Sunday, September 27, 2015

Blood Moon Night

Sunday: (09/27) For breakfast I made a hotdog hash with eggs. Lou and Dawn were off to San Francisco again this morning to a conference. I worked in the office all morning. In the afternoon I caught the bus down to San Jose to check the house there. Leftovers for dinner. Today was the full moon eclipse or Blood Moon. We checked for it several times but didn’t see it until it was nearly finished and was then higher in the Eastern sky. It never showed itself earlier?

Monday: (09/28) Lou was off early to do a little shopping before the crowds arrive. Leftover hotdog hash and eggs for breakfast. I worked in the office all day. Lou and Dawn were off to visit the Apple Store to talk iPhones. It was rather crowded so they didn’t have any luck. We returned to the store later in the evening and had better luck talking with a genius. I had a ham and cheese sandwich for lunch. They stopped by tThe Cheese Cake Factory for lunch and brought me a desert for an afternoon delight. For dinner we went to Applebee’s for hamburgers.
Tuesday: (09/29) Lou and Dawn were busy in the morning with their exercise class. I spent the day working on the tax return. Our extension is about to time out. Last April I was more interested in hiking than doing taxes. Donuts for breakfast. Lunch at the Lucky Chinese restaurant. Dawn made spaghetti and shrimp in a white sauce for dinner.
Wednesday: (09/30) Lou and Dawn were off early to get the car serviced. The time estimate was five hours so Lou called to report what they were doing and I offered to pick her up. We went over to the Country Inn on Saratoga Avenue for breakfast. That was followed with a visit to Westfield (Valley Fair) Mall where we passed the time until noon. We then stopped at McDonald’s for tea and received to call that the car was ready. I went home stopping for a quesadilla at Super Taqueria in Sunnyvale. Lou and Dawn continued to San Jose for some errands. I spent the rest of the day finishing the taxes which have been postponed as long as possible. I’ll look at them tomorrow again and see what I forgot or messed up. For dinner we had some rice and vegetables that Cecillia had prepared with some wieners. We were heavily overcast all day and enjoyed a little rain as well.
Thursday: (10/01) Taxes look good. Lou still needs to check them. Lou was busy sealing the windows to the sun room in preparation for cold weather. Lou and I shared a chopped  salad for lunch at the Corner Bakery Cafe.  BBQ ribs, potatoes, carrots and spinach for dinner.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Remembering Yogi

Here is a song with many Yogi-isms.

Dipsea Trail / Steep Ravine Loop Hike

Saturday: (09/26) I decided to do a hike with a new Meetup group, the California Outdoors Adventures  Group. They announced a hike I’ve been wanting to do, the Dipsea Trail up by Muir Woods. It goes from Mill Valley up to the top of a mountain then down to Muir Woods then up another mountain and down to the beach. This hike cut off two miles and didn’t start at mill Valley but rather started at Muir Woods. That made tha hike only a 12 mile hike rather than a 16 mile hike. That sounded good to me. Another difference was that this hike was on a weekend day when the crowds are out at one of the most popular places in the area. For that reason it started early at 0830. I picked up breakfast at Jack In The Box and drove up. Traffic was light and I arrived an hour early at 0730. I didn’t know how traffic was going to be.
Dipsea Trail Map 0926150811a
The hike started out up Heart Attack Hill which almost lived up to it’s name.
Dipsea Trail 0926150922a Dipsea Trail 0926150952a
Above left is a view of San Francisco covered with a clouds. On the right is the trail nearing the beach.
Dipsea Trail overlooking Stinsen Beach 0926151029 Stinsen Beach Sirens Cafe 0926151118_HDR
We made it out to Stinson Beach and had lunch at the Sirens Canteen overlooking the beach from under a lifeguard tower. Pretty good grub. I had a Gabe’s Pork burrito. Fortunately th burritos aren’t too big so the hike back up the mountain wasn’t too bad.
Muir Woods Steep Ravine Trail 0926151216 Muir Woods 0926151235a
Our return was via the Steep Ravine Trail which was actually a little less steep than the Dipsea trail on the way out. I was the slowest hiker of the group but my fellow hikers waited at the trail junctions for me to catch all except once when i took an incorrect trail. i could have sworn the trail I took said it was the Bootjack trail but it wasn’t.  It was the TTC trail so I hiked an extra couple of miles for my hike. it was nice country though.  My hike was a little extra with my detour.  I hiked 14.4 miles in 6.33 hours with an elevation gain  of 1580 feet from beach and a 4803 foot overall climb. On the way home i stopped for dinner at Neil’s in Milbrea. I enjoyed a milkshake and a bowl of lentil soup. When i got home, it was nice to take a shower and relax. It’s always hard to walk after a long hike and a drive.
Lou and Dawn were out and about in San Francisco today.

Monday, September 21, 2015

A Couple Of Unusual Events

Monday: (09/21) Leftover corned beef hash and eggs for breakfast. Pizza for lunch. Cottage cheese and fruit for dinner. When Lou and Dawn came home from a shopping run they said that El Camino Real road was closed causing a big traffic jam with cars coming off the highway into the neighborhood.

RV Fire 0922151120b Tree Burnt By The RV Fire 0922151121
We all walked down a block to see a class C motorhome burned out and the fire department spraying it and an adjacent palm tree with foam. The business next to the tree didn’t seem to be involved. The entire roadway was closed because the RV was next to a fire hydrant so it wasn’t used and they had to string a hose across the highway. There were two pumpers and an aerial ladder truck “working” on the fire and about six police cars. Only three people involved in extinguishing the fire. The remaining 10 or more people were standing around doing nothing most of the time. After about 40 minutes the hose across the street was removed and eventually one direction of the road was opened. The only reason a lane or two weren’t opened on the other direction was that one pumper blocked three lanes and the aerial ladder truck blocked the middle lane but wasn’t needed anymore anyway. After more than another hour, the opposite roadway was finally opened. This always bothers me because if the incident manager would simply properly use his people and equipment, the impact to the neighborhood could be greatly minimized. They never seem to look around to  see their impact. This is one of my pet peeves.
Tuesday: (09/22) I fixed ham eggs and potatoes for breakfast while Lou and Dawn were off to their exercise class. Then they were off to San Jose for and appointment. I worked at the computer much of the day. When lunch time appeared, I fixed a ham sandwich, Late afternoon we all walked over to look at the burned out RV that, for some inexplicable reason, was still where it burned. Before we got there, red lights and sirens approached just beyond it. We walked on to see what was going on. There were four police cars with on guy up against a car. Then a firetruck came and finally and ambulance. Turns out the guy was stabbed. The police didn’t seem to be looking for anyone and didn’t have anyone in custody. Rather odd. All this activity again closed part of the El Camino real roadway. What’s happening to our formerly peaceful neighborhood. Lou made hamburgers for dinner.
Wednesday: (09/23) I took a walk down to San Antonio Avenue. I had heard there was a train incident there. I didn’t get away until about 30 minutes after I heard the report. When I crossed the tracks at meadow Avenue, there was a train down near San Antonio about a mile and a half South and three trains stopped up track. Just before I got to San Antonio Avenue, the first of the three trains that had been waiting up track passed by. Evidently the stopped train had finally cleared the track and I just couldn’t see it because of trees by the track. In 15 minutes three more trains passed by riding each others tails down to San Jose. Those poor passengers were not allowed to depart the trains and were well over an hour late. I learned later a passenger was standing too close to the track and the train insisted on the right of way. Since I was in the area, I stopped by the big dig at San Antonio Mall where they are digging a really deep hole for a parking garage as part of a new hotel, movie complex and shopping area. The hole looks to be over 80 feet deep at present. After I’d had enough fun, I walked back home. The burnt out RV was still parked where it had burnt on Monday. Later that afternoon it was finally gone. Ham and eggs with potatoes for breakfast. Ham and cheese sandwich for lunch. Dawn’s pot roast and fixings for dinner.
Thursday: (09/24)  I installed the replacement AC shroud on the RV’s air conditioner. It got a little warm before I finished the job which should have taken about 30 minutes. I had lots of trouble riveting the shroud together and needed a trip to the hardware store for more rivets. I had considered going to San Francisco for a walk-about but decided to just take it easy at home. Lou and Dawn did go to San Francisco for a meeting and to see a museum. Breakfast from L&L Hawaiian restaurant. A burrito from El Gruelense Restaurant down the street for dinner.
Friday: (09/25) We did our weekly shopping trip a day early because were all gone tomorrow. I was busy in the office all day. Breakfast at A Good Morning Restaurant with Cecelia. Leftover pot roast vegetables for lunch. Pork chops with rice and asparagus for dinner.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Enjoying The Hot Beach Weather?

Friday: (09/18) I made corned beef hash and eggs for breakfast. We all took turns riding Dawn’s scooter. I took an extended scoot around the neighborhood and out to the beach. I spent almost all day at home relaxing while Lou and Dawn were busy shopping. We did all go out for lunch of clam chowder at Pismo Fish and Chips restaurant. That was my only outing

Pismo Beach  0919151000 Selfie of Don, Lou and Dawn On Pismo Beach 0919151029
Saturday: (09/19) Oatmeal for breakfast before a walk on the beach. We all walked along the surf past the Pismo Beach Pier to the end of the beach then back to the pier. I continued on to get the Jeep and pickup my fellow weary walkers. We stopped for lunch at the usual Pismo Fiah and Chips before heading back to the park. Lou and Dawn were off again to check out more places that htey missed or wanted to return to. I relaxed at camp for a while and eventually took a ride on Dawn’s Zappy scooter. I went by the RV part s store to get a shower hose holder and check on a replacement AC shroud. They have some shrouds in stock so I’ll return with the RV and a tape measure to get that. I did get the hose bracket. I then took the back roads back to camp. The battery was almost dead. Evidently it didn’t charge yesterday. It indicated full when I started out on this trip when not moving and half full when moving. Obviously the moving reading is the accurate reading. I pushed it up to the top of an overpass and it got me back to the RV. For dinner we went to a Chinese restaurant I say a couple of days ago. I stopped by for a smell and to check the menu then. The Garden Moon Restaurant was pretty good but not a destination restaurant.
Sunday: (09/20) Lou prepared leftover apricot blintzes for breakfast. We then prepared to leave and pulled out of the campground about 1100. First stop was the gas station. Second stop was the RV World RV Parts Store. I bought a new air conditioner shroud. The existing cover is about to disintegrate. i also bought a new shower valve. All related work to be done later. We headed out and stopped in Paso Robles at the thrift and antique stores. It was a hot day so we ran the house AC all the way home. Our late lunch/dinner stop was in Greenfield at the Rancho San Miguel Market. We were all settled in at home at 2010.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

SLO Farmers Market

Thursday: (09/17) Lou made an omelet for breakfast with some of the leftover cold cuts for the party last night. We relaxed around home until after 1000 then we drove down to SLO to an adaptive equipment office. Dawn may now have decided on her new phone, an iPhone. We visited a couple of thrift stores then visit Louisia’s Cafe for lunch. Then more thrift stores to complete the rounds. Then it was time for the Farmer’s Market . We returned to camp about 2000.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

A New TMC and A Party

Wednesday: (09/16) I loaded up the Jeep with Dawn’s electric scooter. I stopped at L&L Hawaiian for a breakfast sandwich and donut for breakfast. Then I headed down to San Jose for a Traffic Signal Association meeting. It was held at the new City Of San Jose Traffic management Center. We got a nice tour. It seems to more things change, the more they look the same. It looks pretty much like the one I worked in. Then I returned home to pickup a couple of placards I forgot to transfer from the car to the Jeep. At 1600 it was party time. I attended a pot luck dinner with the San Jose Mid Week Hikers meetup Group. It was held at a the home of one of our fellow hikers and reminded us of some of our hikes with its waterfalls falling into the pool and hot tub. Great party venue. Nice get together . After the party I hit the road back to Oceana arriving a little after 2200.

Monday, September 14, 2015

MM1632 To MM1653, Seiad Valley

Friday: (08/14) Up at 0600, on trail 0715. A race to town today, mostly downhill. About 1/3 steep down, 1/3 along the river and 1/3 on roads.
PCT Etna To Seiad Valley
A bypass on logs and rocks for a missing bridge.
PCT Etna To Seiad Valley PCT Etna To Seiad Valley 0814151125a
A collapsed bridge and it’s better bypass on a couple of 2×4 boards.
PCT Etna To Seiad Valley PCT Etna To Seiad Valley 0814150813a
The las of three bridges was unharmed by th fire last year. But most of the trees were not so lucky as seen on right above.
This is the only place where the road is the trail. 21+ miles today arriving in Seiad Valley at 1640. I was disappointed to learn that the cafe is only open 7am-2pm. The P.O. is only open until 1600 on Friday. Tomorrow it’s open 1200-1330. I’ll depart after I get my resupply box tomorrow. Toucan and Bonanza, Bill and Jennifer and ? Here tonight. Lots of folks started late in the afternoon to hike North. One couple from Latvia, Peter and Rita left near 9pm.
GPS:Lat 41.842343, Lon -123.195598

Coastal Dunes RV Park

Monday: (09/14) Lou woke me early and we took a walk around the campground and botanical gardens. Granola for breakfast. We spent some time trying to find a place to camp closer to town. Lou and Dawn will be without a car when I return to Palo Alto for Wednesdays meetings. We already know there is nothing in Pismo Beach. When I checked online it looked like there may be something in Morro Bay SP. You can’t really tell because reservation through ReserveAmerica can’t be made closer then to day before arrival. And, the park attendants don’t know what has been reserved until the the morning of the stay so there is a two day gap. Unbelievable that they are so backward! So we could have gotten a site at Morro Bay but would likely have to move each day because we don’t have reservations and they can’t know which sites are reserved.

Oceana Dunes RV Park0914151754 Oceana Dunes RV Park 0914151755
We decided to head down to Oceana to the County’s Coastal Dunes RV Park and campground. We got a nice site but they are much more expensive than the state park fees. We are only about 1/2 mile further South from the North Beach Campground we normally stay at and 1/4 mile from Grand Avenue in Grover Beach. We actually have a whole section of the park to ourselves. For some reason the beach camping is really busy this year. And the state parks in the area used to end reservation on 0/7  but now will be reserved, in that lousy system, all year. We’re going to have to plan ahead now. We wanted our usual fish and chips favorite lunch but Pismo Fish and Chips is closed Mondays so we went to CJ’s Cafe in Arroyo Grande for lunch. a little shopping and we were worn out and returned to camp. Lou made carnitas tacos for dinner. We’ve had several little rain showers today and little sun. I’m not complaining, It’s still better that working at home.
Tuesday: (09/15) Granola for breakfast. We visited some more thrift shops. I also stopped by Radio Shack and bought another XMradio antenna to leave in the RV. We have a portable radio but forgot the antenna. It’s easier to leave them in plac anyway so now the RV has it’s own. Lunch at Pismo Fish and Chips. We had some sprinkles today and it was usually overcast  I headed back home at 1700. I was home by 2030. My dinner was cold cuts on the road and a stop in Greenfield for some flan and at San Miguel Market.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Labor Or Not Days

Saturday: (09/05) We’re starting to have brisk mornings. Fall is in the air. However, it’s still hot later in the day. We did our usual Saturday morning grocery shopping run. Lou finished up her sand blasting of the chairs. These will be valuable chairs based on hourly pay rates. I finally finished installing new valve stem mounting brackets on the motorhome. These replaced seriously aged original brackets that were falling off including the temporary mounts I installed a few months ago. I didn’t do too much else myself today. I did finally upgrade my laptop from Windows 7 to Windows 10. It’s been nagging me to do it for a while. I hope it doesn’t kill it. I made corned beef hash and eggs for breakfast. Dawn made salads for lunch and Lou made BBQ ribs, coleslaw and French fries for dinner.

Sunday: (09/06) Started as we often do by watching the Sunday morning TV shows like CBS Sunday Morning. Dawn made porridge for herself and Lou and I had leftover corned beef hash for breakfast. Lou and Dawn attended a sing along and then we headed off to the Kings Mountain Art Fair up on top of the mountains above Woodside North of Palo Alto.
Kings Mountain Art Fair 0906151244 Kings Mountain Art Fair 0906151427
It’s a benefit for their volunteer fire department. It’s interesting because it’s in a redwood forest on rather uneven ground . Some very interesting art was seen. None of the stuff was imports, the artists were in the booths. I couldn’t resist a huge cookie I bought from some elementary school students. We came home through San Mateo so we had dinner at Neal’s Restaurant. Then we stopped by Hillsdale Mall for a look around before heading home.
Monday: (09/07) September is turning out to be hot. Granola for breakfast. I installed a backup camera and monitor in the Hyundai as my first an really only task of the day.  It has terrible rear viability. It seems to work. Lou pointed out a new leak in the waterline to the backyard. A big puddle formed further out in the yard so the water’s off again to dry out. With the heat, I’m not sure when I’ll fix it. Chili sizes for lunch. In the 90′s today. Inside all afternoon tinkering on the computer.  For dinner we drove up to Applebee’s for hamburgers. We did a little shopping before returning home.
Tuesday: (09/08) We have a high of 100 degrees forecast for today. An inside day. Lou was off to the dentist early. I worked in the “office” all day. Granola for breakfast.
Wednesday: (09/09) Another hot day, or so I assume. I really only went outside twice for short tasks. Why risk getting hot. It’s nice and cool inside thanks to Mr Cooler. I’m not sure what I did all day but the day passed quickly. I did spend some time trying to order a phone for Dawn online, The model she wants is obsolete but better than the current models. We keep being told it’s available at stores only to find out they don’t really have it. It is available for the ATT system but not the Verizon system. It is supposedly available online but the online shops can’t seem to complete an order and the final kicker was that when I finally had almost completed the order after talking to customer service, there is no warranty available for the phone. Big waste of time. Time to choose another phone. Deciding on that model took months. Granola for breakfast. I made popcorn for lunch. Dawn made some vegetable soup for dinner.Dawn had her writers club meeting in the evening.
Wilton Water Leak 0911151140
Thursday: (09/10) I made a nice wiener, hash browned potatoes and eggs breakfast. My main event was to go to see the movie “A Walk In The Woods” with my hiking group. After the movie we had lunch at Aqui’s Restaurant. An interesting movie. Amazing how Redford and Nolte never worked up a sweat hiking! Their clothes did but they didn’t. At home I spent some time hunting for another pipe leak. Nice that it was cooler today. Lou made tuna noodle casserole for dinner. Today the fourth season of Longmire was released on Netflix so we started our binge.
Wilton Water Leak 0911151140a
 Friday: (09/11) Not too hot today. I headed out to the hardware store but on the way I stopped at jack In The Box for breakfast. I collected a bunch of parts for the water line repair. I hadn’t actually found the source but planned on replacing everything I had exposed yesterday. When I tried to hook things up the pipe headed off under the sidewalk came loose about two feet back.
Wilton Water Leak 0911151439 Wilton Water Leak 0911151720
So I got my jackhammer out and blasted out some of the walkway. Unfortunately that wasn’t easy because I pit the walkway in and  it’s laced with rebar. I also decided to remove a short section of fence that was in the way and note needed anymore. After a lot of work I found the tee that the pipe came loose from. I cleaned it up and install piping to new valve. Everything looked good, for about 20 minutes then water started leaking from the tee. It turns out it was split.
Wilton Water Leak 0912151415a Wilton Water Leak 0912151653a
Getting access to replace the tee was even more work intensive. I had to remove more walkway and dig a much bigger and deeper hole. That took the rest of the day. Lou prepared chicken gouda lettuce wraps for lunch. I wrapped up work about 1945, took a shower and headed out for dinner at LUU Noodle House and another visit to the hardware store for more stuff. Lou and Dawn wore off for an appointment.
Saturday: (09/12) Today was unexpectedly cooler. It was overcast and seemed to threaten rain but none came. Granola for a late breakfast. I was up late binging on the last of the Longmire episodes for season 4. Then I got to work repairing the water line and restoring the sprinkler lines. The repair went quickly, the reinstallation of the sprinklers to their new location took longer but no problems. And the nice thing is there are no leaks now. Much of the rest of the day was spend backfilling the hole and tamping it. I then had to put things away and clean up. I needed to finish this project because we are to leave tomorrow. To this end i couldn’t attend a neighborhood ice cream social that Lou and Dawn attended. They also went to see a movie at Gunn High School that the students made. Guacamole and chips for lunch.  Lou and Dawn made pepper steak for dinner.
Sunday: (09/13) Cloudy this morning. We worked on getting ready to leave. I had some work to do on the sprinklers. I hadn’t tested the sprinkler valve I moved. When I did, it didn’t work. I obviously spliced the wrong wires. Correcting that made the valve work but then I noticed water pouring out from under the sidewalk. That didn’t seem right. From the electric valve their are four circuits each with a manual valve, fortunately. The manual valves on the water circuits isolated the bad water line. Fortunately it could just be abandoned by moving a couple of drip emitters to another line. Finally OK. I then tested all the other sprinklers since they have not been used in months due to the bad water line that fed the entire back yard. And finally, I added a sprinkler to Mt Donald. Then I readied the motor home to go and packed. We finally were ready to go. But, I had a low tire. For this trip we’re not towing the Jeep, we’re taking the Hyundia. Lou and Dawn headed off. I aired up the tire and was off. I stopped for gas on the way out. Nice prices now. As I was leaving Gilroy, Lou passed me. They had stopped for a walk. Our late lunch and dinner was in Greenfield at the Rancho San Miguel Market. Lou and Dawn were off to find a camp spot. When I arrived at Pismo Beach SP she was still trying to find a spot. None available? This was unusual for a Sunday night. We headed back up to El Churro Regional Park in San Luis Obispo and found a spot. Wieners and tapioca pudding for dinner.

Friday, September 4, 2015

Butano Ridge Loop Hike

Friday: (09/04) Breakfast from L&L Hawaiian. I picked up Jessica and we headed up to Portola State Park for the hike. We met our fellow hikers there and headed out on the Pomponio Trail over to the Old Haul Road then onto the Butano Ridge Loop Trail.

Butano Ridge Viewpoint 0904151213 Butano Ridge Hike 0904151356a
We hiked out the spur trail to the viewpoint for a nice view out toward the ocean. It looks  lot like fall. The trees are loosing a lot of leaves early du to the drought. We returned to Portola SP on the Portola Trail. This was a 15 mile hike with 1590 feet elevation change, 4686 feet overall climb. We were only four hikers. The forest we hiked through was lovely and the weather perfect for a nice hike. Lunch was light, a tuna salad snack. FOr dinner I had a chili size. Lou and Dawn were out all day and returned late.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Monterrey Fair

Thursday: (09/03) I made a breakfast sandwich to start  my day. After completing a few tasks, we were off to Monterrey to see their fair. We stopped for lunch at the Black Bear Restaurant in Seaside before entering and being tempted by the fair food vendors. The fair was a nice small fair. On the way home we stopped at Phil’s Fish Market in Moss Landing for dinner.

Monterry Fair 0903151451 Monterry Fair 0903151524
One of the best bunch of vegetables I’ve seen. Much better than in any store. All from the Salinas Valley. And then there was the nice bunch of pies. Looking isn’t the same as tasting which I did and a booth in the building.
Monterry Fair Pig  Race 0903151647a Monterry Fair 0903151701b
We always like the pig races. Maybe it’s their smiles. We also like the local artists work.
Monterry Fair 0903151740d Dinner at Phils Fish Market 0903152033
Such friendly animals. We wore ourselves out and enjoyed dinner back toward home in Moss Landing at Phil’s Fish Market.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Wednesday: (09/02) Breakfast at L&L Hawaiian. I had a hike this morning at a preserve I haven’t hiked at before, the La Honda OSP. The open space district has a dozen or more preserves in the Santa Cruz mountains. Most are open to the public and have improvements like restrooms and trails. This one doesn’t. It is open by permit only and there are only a few old ranch roads to hike on. The preserve has a nice mix of forested and grassy areas with some good views of the mountains and out to the ocean. Our hike was quite short at only 5.25 miles and only 945 feet of climb. At over 5000 acres, this will be a nice preserve when they get it improved someday.
La Honda OSP 0902151107 La Honda OSP  0902151112b
While there was some nice oak an redwood forest, there was also some nice grassy hills.
La Honda OSP  0902151124
A nice view out toward Butano Ridge.
A nice ham and cheese sandwich for lunch.