Thursday, March 31, 2016

Trails End RV Park, Tehachapi, CA

Thursday: (03/31) Drove from Yucca Valley to Tehachapi. Hit the road at 0530 and arrived in Tehachapi at the Shed Restaurant for breakfast. They make a good corned beef hash. We then settled in at Trails End RV Park near the airport. Lou and Dawn explored the shops nearby while I loaded my pack for tomorrow. We mailed off a resupply box as well. Lou and Dawn had biscuits and gravy while I had a sausage and cheese burger for lunch. Dinner was some pork rice beans and corn. (GPS: 35.1330433,-118.4405944)

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Los Algodones Visit

Wednesday: (03/30) Granola and bans for breakfast. We headed off to the border about 0845. Our first mission was to visit Los Algodones optical and order our glasses. Then we had a 3 hour wait for them to be delivered. Tat was estimated to be 1400. We looked around the shops and had lunch at our favorite shrimp taco place where they also have outstanding tomales and vanilla shakes. Our glasses were delayed so we didn’t get back across the border until nearly 1630. We returned to pickup the RV, hooked up and hit the road. I8 to S38 to Ca78 to Ca62 arriving in Yucca Valley about 2130 where we stopped for the night at a Walmart. Along the way we had stopped at Vidal Jct. During diner we watched three coyotes browsing around the area.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Yuma Or Bust

Tuesday: (03/29) We started with a visit to Walmart to fill our drinking water bottles. Then we had breakfast at Arizona Charlie’s Buffet. Fortunately the Jeeps supplemental brake system seemed to be good today. We were finally on the road at 1030. We headed down Highway 95 and stopped in Quartzsite at the Grub Steak Bar for a fish and chips lunch. After a stop at the market to see if they had the smoked pork chops Lou loves we were off to Yuma. We spent about 45 minutes poking along the last two miles due to some construction. We got some $2.09 Chevron gas and then headed out to the Q Casino by Los Algodones’s border crossing. Tomorrow we go to get some glasses and have lunch. Our dinner was guacamole and chips with cheese and crackers.
(GPS: 32.7394, -114.7218)

Monday, March 28, 2016

On The Road To Yuma

Monday: (03/28) Last night we heard there might be 60 mile per hour gusts. When we got up this morning it was calm but we did have a good breeze this morning about 0400. We prepared to leave after granola for breakfast. As we were dumping the breeze camp up and on our way East on Highway 190 we head really heavy wing and gusts. his turned into blowing sand on the valley bottom. We headed on to Las Vegas via Highway 95. We stopped for lunch at the Fiesta Casino. Very good. The wind getting here was serious enough but it seemed to be getting worst. I checked online and found a high wind advisory for Las Vegas and the Mojave Desert including Lake Havasu, the direction we are going. We decided to stay in town and checked in at Arizona Charlies RV Park for the night.  The winds should disappear tonight after 0200. Just before we got to the RV Park the alarm on the Jeeps supplemental brake system went off. I had to disconnect the power to it to continue. Something to fix tomorrow when the wind and rain are gone and we are settled in in Yuma. Fortunately the hills aren’t too bad to get there. All the dust on the Jeep is now speckled tiny mud balls due to the rain sprinkles.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Aguereberry Point

Sunday: (03/27) Lou and I had an early walk around the campground. Too many people were frying bacon for breakfast so I convinced Lou to prepare bacon eggs and home fried potatoes for breakfast when we returned to the RV. Later Dawn and i were off on another trek, this time out Wildrose Road. We checked out the flowers, visited the Ghost town of Skidoo and several mines there and along the way. We also went out to Aguereberry Point. Along the way we visited Aguereberry mine and house. The view from the point was amazing. You can see both ways up and down the valley and also along the valley leaving to the West from Stovepipe Wells. The view is better than from Dante’s Point on the East side of the Valley. We then returned home. Lou prepared smoked beef brisket with broccoli and leftover tofu salad. We also attended the ranger talk about What Is A Wilderness before sitting outside and watching the camp and talking about all we saw.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Inaugural New Jeep Trek

Saturday: (03/26) We got up early showered and had breakfast and were on the road by 0900. We headed up to the North Road which was supposed to be one of the good flower sections. Really not too much to see. Much thinner than I remember for our last visit here. We stopped and looked at the Ubehebe Crater, just a look, no hike for this visit. Looks interesting though. We then headed out a gravel road to the Racetrack, the place that has walking rocks on a dry lake bed. From there we could either return the 27 miles of gravel road we had just come out or continue on, a possible shorter route to a paved road but on a more severe jeep trail. Of course we took the trail. It was the New Jeeps first real trek. It got at least a couple of tests of the skidplates. Having the new Jeep with Hill Descent mode really helped going down the really steep, rocky road without having to use the brake much. We ended up doing about 60 mils on gravel roads and 120 miles of paved road today getting a good look at some big sections of the North end of the park. Along the way we say some nice flowers on the Jeep road, some of the healthiest Joshua Trees we’ve seen, a rattle snake, a desert iguana, and more. Granola for breakfast, Ham and cheese sandwiches for lunch and leftovers for dinner.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Death Valley NP

Friday: (03/25) Up with the sun but in no hurry. Enjoyed the birds and views. We were on the road a little after 0900 and stopped in Ridgecrest for breakfast in a shopping center parking lot. A nice cell signal here so I caught up on the posts. We made our way on up Highway 178 to Highway 190 to go in to Death  Valley NP. Apparently all the work on the RV did not fix the reason it went in The transmission repair is good but the loss of power problem remains. Going up into the Panamint Mountains on Highway 190 we ended up creeping along  and one point barely able to do 8 mph. No place to pull off clear of the lanes. Eventually there was a level to downhill section where we built up speed but came up behind a truck that was doing 20 mph and that killed our climb so we limped behind the truck with it maintaining it’s slow speed and we kept slowing down again. We made it to a nice level pullout. I stopped and shut down the engine and we let it cool. I took a nice nap. We also had BBQ ribs and rice for lunch. We then disconnected the Jeep and made it up to the summit with no further problems as separate vehicles. We stopped in Stovepipe Wells to get our permit and reconnected the Jeep. We continued on to Furnace Creek and got a campsite at Sunrise CG. It was 95 degrees when we arrived. We headed over to the store for ice cream. Lou made a nice cold salad of tofu, corn, ham olives, and artichokes for dinner. A nice evening outside watching the stars.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Red Rock Canyon SP

Thursday: (03/24) Intended a nice waffles and berries with sausage breakfast but could do it because the Generator wasn’t working. Could have used battery power but if generator was out would prefer not to so we just hit the road. I checked most every thing but didn’t find the problem so I thought it might have been a problem when the RV was serviced. In addition I noticed the driver’s side mirror was loose, again, and drifting out of alignment. We stopped at the rest stop down the road at Kettleman city where we had yogurt and berries for breakfast. Then I did more checking on the generator and found it was working but power wasn’t getting to the power panel. I found a loose connector on the low voltage transformer box. W forgot abut the loose mirror and remembered after we were back on the road. We arrived in Bakersfield about 1130 and stopped at Walmart. I fixed the loose mirror and replaced the bungee cord that holds the front TV in place. The then spent some time inventorying my resupply box food to make sure i have everything I’ll need to my three weeks of hiking after next week. We wont have as good a shopping area out in the desert. It turns out all I needed was some more granola bars (Walmart), sausage and cheese (World market nearby) and peanut butter packets (Sprouts Market a couple of miles away.) Lou also had a shopping list that she got at Walmart. We were then off to lunch at the Rice Bowl, and excellent Chinese restaurant. A final task was to fill the RV and Jeeps gas tanks. One thing the new Jeep has is a gas filler on the wrong side of the vehicle. I was able to fill the RV at a busy gas station but getting re-positioned to the other side for the Jeep wasn’t possible so we headed out. It being 1730 rush hour traffic by then I stayed on local streets rather than going on to the freeway. Along the way we found another Arco station to fill the Jeep then were off over the mountain through Tehachapi on Highway 58 to Highway 14 where we headed North and stopped for the night at Red Rock Canyon State Park just as it was getting dark. We had fruit and cereal for dinner.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Eventually Gone

Wednesday: (03/23) I had a breakfast sandwich that i was trying out from Grocery outlet. About OK. It easily carried me through till lunch. We were all busy getting ready to go. I had to pack my things, collect my tools, do tank duty (filling and emptying as needed),  fixed the sprinklers so the plants survive when the rain stops, collected all my hiking gear for the PCT hike, collected the resupply food I have on hand, Packed my computer and office stuff, and made a run to REI because I still haven’t seen my sun hat recently. This all took most of the day. We finally hit the road about 1730 so we departed in commute traffic. Lots of stop and go. We stopped in Gilroy at the Longhouse Restaurant for dinner. Lou and Dawn had liver and onions and I had fish and chips.
When I had everything hooked up and tested the light a realized a little error I had made. The lights on the scooter rack worked fine under the Jeeps power but didn’t work when connected to the RV. Of course. I’d need to extend the RV circuit on out to the trailer connector. So I will when I have a chance, but not now. Also, unfortunately, I removed the reflectors to install the lights so no reflectors there either. After dinner we stopped at an auto parts store and I bought some reflective tape to add to the rear. Should be good until the lights get power.
In any case we are on the road and put some miles between us and the house so the pull is weakening.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Almost Gone

Tuesday: (03/22) Lou had a service appointment for the Hyundai this morning so we were off early. It was a 45K service so it didn’t take long. I had driven the jeep so we were off to breakfast and shopping while it was worked on. Lou decided we need to bring Dawn’s scooter on the trip so we heeded a carrier for it. it’s been on the list for a while but not anywhere near the top of my todo list, until this morning. We stopped at Harbor Freight to get the carrier. A call to Dawn to have her measure the scooter width to be sure it fit and we bought it. When I got home I assembled it. Lots of parts. I also installed some taillights in place of the reflectors on the rear. I had to make an additional trip to get a electrical connector that I forgot to get with the taillights.  When it was all assembled I tried to load the scooter and it was 1.5 inches too wide? No problem. I removed the front fence on the platform and the scooter fit properly. Lou and Dawn were busy packing the RV. If I get busy and complete my packing tomorrow, maybe we will be off sometime tomorrow. Breakfast at the Country Inn where we split a nice Spanish Omelet with Swedish pancakes. Lou made meatballs with asparagus and some cold vegetables for lunch.  o dinner we went to Harry’s Hofbrau with Ernie, Cecelia and Courtney. We discovered it Tuesday’s are Banjo night be we came too early. We’ll have to return another night.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Coyote Ridge Open Space Preserve

Monday: (03/21) I was up early to get ready for another hike. I grabbed breakfast at L&L Hawaiian , as usual. It was overcast all day with showers expected in the early afternoon. This hike started at 0900, was only 7 miles but took 5.5 hours because it was docent led. We had 23 hikers and 3 docents and we hikers learned a lot about this interesting preserve and the beast that caused it’s creation a rare butterfly. We also learned a lot about the flowers, a main reason for the hike was to see all the flowers. There are cattle grazing on the preserve and we even saw several wild pigs. The first wild pigs I’ve ever seen. I’ve seen lots of pig rutting but never a pig before these. We had lunch overlooking a nice green valley sitting on some of the wild flowers.  We were lucky that, while we had a few sprinkles on our last two miles of the hike, we had no real rain. On the way home I stopped for a coupe of pieces of dim sum. We had leftover macaroni and cheese and wieners for dinner.
When I started the Jeep this morning the service light was on. Since it was at 2447 miles, I just thought it would be time for an oil change, its first. When i got home I called to schedule a service for it at the dealer. Their first available appointment is 4/20. Wow! They do have an drop in express oil change service that could check the code to see why it’s complaining. A while back, i bought a nice OBD2 code reader. I bought it for a problem on the old jeep and never got to use it. I installed the app on my phone and linked up to the reader via bluetooth. Works great. It says the reason for the alarm is a problem with the brake light switch. So I’ll reset the alarm tomorrow and see if it is just caused while I was tapping the circuit. If the alarm returns and everything continues to work i’ll have to find a way to disable it or just reset it regularly. Always something.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Final Touches

Friday: (03/18) I made corned beef hash for breakfast. Yum! Lou and Dawn were off to an exercise class and some estate sales today. I worked on the Jeep.
Jeep Tow Setup 0320161519c_HDR Jeep Tow Setup 0320161519a_HDR-001
Above left is the actuator solenoid under the drivers seat. On the right is the bracket that attaches the cable from the solenoid to the brake pedal arm. It really is almost entirely out of sight and makes hookup to the RV really simple.
Jeep Tow Setup 0320161520a_HDR Jeep Tow Setup 0320161520b_HDR
I finally did the dreaded intercept of the vacuum line and hooked up the vacuum pump to the system. The pump is mounted to the right of the battery above left. The vacuum lines I installed with the check valve are above the yellow cap above right.
I then tested it out. I had a problem at first that turned out to be a sticky breakaway switch. I then hooked it up to the RV and all the wiring seemed to be correct. All the lights worked and the brake control in the RV worked properly. Unfortunately the solenoid doesn’t seem to pull hard enough so I need to tweak something so I’m back to thinking about it. Lou made some more corned beef which we had with the leftover cabbage from yesterday for dinner.
Saturday: (03/19) Blackberry waffles for breakfast in the yard. Since we were in the yard, I got busy on moving more plants from the greenhouse outside and re potting others. We enjoyed a nice morning before the clouds started to roll in. The clouds never turned in to the forecast rain. Dawn was off to a bookstore that’s going to be closing soon. Lou and I went to Los Altos Taqueria for lunch. We also went in search of some specific sized plastic planters to fit in some large terracotta planters. We can fit two small ones in  the large planter making it easier to move them in the greenhouse. Found them. We picked up Dawn and returned home. We decided to binge on season two of the Amazon TV series Bosch. Fortunately, Dawn remembered we had tickets for the Redwood Bluegrass Concert in Mountain View about 30 minutes before we needed to be there. So, no dinner and we were off. Fortunately they do serve good pie there. Good show with Mike Compton and Joe Newberry.
Sunday: (03/20) I stayed awake all night binge watch the Amazon TV series Bosch. I finally got to sleep just before 0600. It was at least still dark outside. I got up about 0930. Maybe an afternoon nap will be in order.  I fried some eggs to serve with leftover corned beef hash for breakfast. I eventually went outside to work on the Jeep. I did successfully tap into the brake light circuit and dress up the wires to the control box. When I tested it not only did the brake lights work but the solenoid brake actuator worked properly. I also adjusted the front towbar to be lower to match the RV.
Jeep Tow Setup 0320161519_HDR
I also reattached the front license plat holder. It is now off center to allow the break-away cable to be clear.  And finally I drilled new holes in the rock skirt mounting brackets where a cotter pin holds them in place. The new bracket arms blocked the old holes. While doing all this there were some rain sprinkles and downpours. If it dries out this afternoon or tomorrow morning I’ll take thee RV and Jeep out for another test drive. All I have to do is convince Lou to take another ride in the Jeep as I tow it and apply the brakes.
I remembered last night that I hadn’t applied for my PCT permit for this year yet. When the application period opened in early February, were were still planning on heading back East for an extended period. Now that that is not the plan and we will mix short RV trips with PCT section hikes, I need a permit. So I applied this morning.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Murietta Falls, Ohlone Wilderness Tail

Thursday: (03/17) Up early because this hike is out by Livermore, a pretty good drive away.  I had breakfast from L&L Hawaiian as usual, a sausage an cheese English muffin and a maple bar. I was ready to go when Jessica arrived. We took my Jeep and picked up Alex on our way out of town. We headed off to Lake Del Valle to meet our fellow hikers for an early, for us, 0900 start. Another nice hike with the San Jose Mid-Week Hikers. This was a wonderful, strenuous hike out to a nice seasonal waterfall. The mountains and trees were a good match for St. Patrick’s Day being a vibrant green. Here is my track for the hike:
It was quite a climb up the mountain (1924 feet up and down twice) to the water falls about 6.6 miles out. The return was the reverse of our way in. We enjoyed a nice lunch by the water fall.
 The falls. 
Our lunch site I was back home before 1800 and Lou had a nice corned beef and cabbage dinner ready.
Murietta Falls 25Murietta Falls 254220Murietta Falls 254_ee22915e33_k Murietta Falls 0317161233_HDR
Really green! Not like the usual California hikes. it won’t be like this in a month.
Murietta Falls 447941131 Murietta Falls 447941247
My gang at the falls (left) and on the trail (right).
Murietta Falls 447941261 Murietta Falls 447941340
A couple of rare Don shots above and below left.
Murietta Falls 447941433 Murietta Falls 25792021021_419c366f65_k
I do like to relax on the occasional rock or log. We passed a buzzard on the way up.
Murietta Falls 25861202276_d64a044993_k Murietta Falls 25862396536_dc7f0c9ed6_k
Nice flowers hills above left. On the right the group fording a dangerous stream.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

PCT Hiker Survey Results

I saw this in a PCT hiker post today. It might be of interest to both hikers considering a stroll on the Pacific Crest trail and to those who wonder about those hikers.

A Photo Op

Saturday: (03/12) Another rainy day. Breakfast at a Good Morning restaurant. I then spent some time adding understandable names to the photos taken over the past couple of months. They default to just the date and time. After that we all took a drive up to San Bruno for Lou to check on some leather at Tandy Leather. We then shopped our way toward home stopping at Tanforan Shopping Center. We stopped for dinner at Neil’s Cafe in Millbrea. A final stop at Hillsdale mall then on to home. Stayed mostly dry today, except for getting in and out of the car.
Sunday: (03/13) A lazy Sunday morning. I watched TV while I added photos to this blog for posts since late January. How easy it is to get behind. Lou made berry pancakes  and sausage for breakfast. Because it continued to rain and because my next task with the Jeep is to remove the driver seat, I didn’t do any work on it today. In fact I only went outside once to dump the water from the tarp on the canopy over the Jeep. I tinkered on the computer all day, and enjoyed it. Cottage cheese and fruit for lunch. Leftover pork rice and beans for dinner.
Monday: (03/14) A rainy day. We all went down to San Jose today to check the refrigerator temperature. We arrived about 1040 and found the repaired new refrigerator at 35 degrees in the refrigerator and 16 degree in the freezer. Finally OK. I removed the extension cord for the loaner refrigerator and turned it off.  We then went over to La Victoria restaurant for breakfast burritos. After that we stopped at the Super Walmart on Story Road where I bought some new blue jeans. and a few other things. On the way home we were notified about the pickup of the loaner refrigerator. We dropped off the groceries we bought in San Jose since we were almost home. Lou and Dawn returned at 1500 and met the Home Depot crew while they removed the loaner. I removed the canopy and tarp from over the Jeep. It was still a little cloudy and a bit windy but we should have four days of sun now, three of which I can dedicate to working on the Jeep as needed, and one for a hike. Since today is Pie Day (3/14/16) Ernie brought some pie over to share. I had a ham and cheese sandwich for lunch. Leftovers for dinner.
Tuesday: (03/15) Granola and a banana for breakfast. I got busy on the Jeep again. I removed the driver seat and installed the solenoid the pulls the brake pedal under the driver seat.
New Jeep Setup 0315161614a_HDR
I routed the power wires to it and the draw cable from it under the floor mat, installed the pulley and attached the cable to the brake pedal arm. After a nice ham and cheese sandwich again, I got busy wiring up the controller.
New Jeep Setup 0315160901a_HDR New Jeep Setup 0315161614_HDR
I now have only to intercept the brake switch wiring, hookup the vacuum lines, power it up and test it. That’s a big only. I spent some time today trying to do the brake switch wiring and didn’t make much progress. I also needed some parts to do a good installation on the vacuum lines. I found all but the check valve and ordered that from Amazon for delivery tomorrow. Lou made roast beast with asparagus and spaghetti squash for dinner.
Wednesday: (03/16) A nice sunny day. Breakfast lunch and dinner outside, that’s how nice! I cleaned out the Jeep for my hike carpool tomorrow. That’s also why I didn’t do any work on the Jeep today, except cleaning up all the tools and junk that the project had collected in it. I received the final parts needed to do the vacuum line mods about 1100 Amazon is fast. I also spent some time putting all that stuff from the Jeep away so I can find it when next needed. Otherwise I relaxed all day including napping. Lou made eggs Benedict for breakfast. Leftovers for lunch. Lou made BBQ ribs with bake potato and coleslaw for dinner. Lou and Dawn took a long walk to and from Mitchel park midday. Lou was busy smoking ribs and chicken this afternoon. By not working on the Jeep today i had time to thing of a better way to tap in to the brake lighting to avoid having the vehicle brake light override the blinkers when towing. The wires are not very long leaving the harness and are way up inside behind the dash. I decided to try to just do the intercept inside the brake light switch assembly which is connected by a plug and just twists out. Seems like it might be much easier. I’ll find out Friday. Worst case should only be the need for a new switch. Much less permanent damage.This is how I do a lot of projects, procrastinate until a better, easier way is discovered. Some are still waiting for that easier way though.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Jeep Towing Setup

Tuesday: (03/08) I had two good hikes planned for today and tomorrow. Murietta Falls hike at Lake Del Valle. The leader canceled it late last night due to a report of too much mud on the trails. So, I decided to cancel my Wednesday hike up in Napa at the Skyline Wilderness as well and get busy on the Jeep.
New Jeep Setup To Tow 0308161204_HDR New Jeep Setup To Tow 0308161204a_HDR
Day one of the Jeep setup. Removed the front end of the Jeep. Really feels odd to do that to a new vehicle. I installed the two towbar baseplate receivers.
New Jeep Setup To Tow 0308161204b_HDR New Jeep Setup To Tow 0308161620_HDR
Next I worked on installing the electrical connector and breakaway switch. Much of the task involved getting a couple of holes drilled through the bumper.
New Jeep Setup To Tow 0308161521_HDR
Getting two holes through was really difficult. While the forecast called for rain about 1600 we had a good shower about 1300 so, with Lou’s help, we assembled a rain cover over the Jeep. A breakfast sandwich from L&L Hawaiian to start the day. Ham and cheese sandwich for lunch. Mexican casserole for dinner.
New Jeep Setup To Tow 0309161414_HDR
Wednesday: (03/09) Day two of the Jeep setup. Installed the front end electrical connector mount. I decided to make a bracket using those two holes to mount the breakaway switch. It needed a bracket anyway because it needs to be mounted about two inches behind the bumper to match the face of the electrical connector.
New Jeep Setup To Tow 0309161646_HDR New Jeep Setup To Tow 0309161723_HDR
I then reinstalled the front end and trimmed the fascia for the electrical connector and breakaway switch. I didn’t quite trim enough but didn’t discover it until I’d reassembled most of the front end so I had to do a little trimming in place to get the bumper cover to go back far enough to get the bottom of the fascia to go back far enough to reattach. At the end of the day the front was back together and the wiring brought up into the engine compartment from the connector and switch. Granola and banana for breakfast.  Pepper steak sandwich for lunch. Meatloaf, vegetable medley and French fried potatoes ala Dawn for dinner.
Thursday: (03/10) Day three of the Jeep setup. I fabricated a mount for the vacuum pump and installed the pump.
New Jeep Setup To Tow 0310161735_HDR New Jeep Setup To Tow 0310161736a_HDR
Then I pulled the wiring through the firewall for the brakes and lights and to the rear of the Jeep for the tail lights. Another massive dis-assembly of the Jeep was needed to route the wiring to the rear of the vehicle. The wiring goes behind the bottom molding by the left side doors. Even with the difficulty getting the cable through, it’s a lot better than hanging it below the vehicle. I tidied the wiring under the hood. Only needs final hookup under hood, tail light diodes and wiring, solenoid installation and control wiring under dash. Leftover breakfast potatoes with sausage and eggs for breakfast. Lou brought home some dim sum (pork footballs and shrimp balls) from Dim Sum King for lunch. For dinner roasted cauliflower, pineapple coleslaw, wieners, and rice noodles.
New Jeep Setup To Tow 0311161155c_HDR
Friday: (03/11) Day four of jeep Setup. Another really rainy and windy day. My first task was to work on the tarp over the Jeep. It had loosened and now contained about 20 gallons of water.  I didn’t want that to burp onto where I was working. I worked on fishing a cable over the rear compartment from one tail light to the other. I’ve watched a couple of videos where people have done the same thing to the Cherokee. One dropped down from the taillight behind the outside wall and hung under the vehicle. Another removed the spare tire storage covers. I decided to just pop the molding off either side of the rear and fish the wire over the top. I then made up the wiring installing the diodes. The wires were intercepted after the connector and before the fixture where there is only 2 inches of wire. Hopefully they don’t have too much strain placed on everything when it’s all stuffed back in place. I then closed everything up and the lights all worked as before. Seeing if they work from the RV will have to wait until later. After lunch I started on installing the solenoid that pulls the brake pedal down. It will be installed under the driver seat. This is a learning experience which I have passed on to professionals for the previous two installations. Getting a new car apart and back together is nerve racking.
New Jeep Setup To Tow 0311161532_HDR
Now a new puzzle. How to remove the drivers seat. It turns out that FCA (Fiat Chrysler America) decided to use a new type of bolt requiring an odd tool. It’s only on the past couple of years of Dodge Dart and Cherokee and some GM vehicles. It is a four point torx like bit. Most torx bits are 6 point and some 5 point. Needless to say getting the bit turned into a project. None of the auto parts stores, home improvement stores or tool stores had it. After a call to the dealer that wasn’t too much help and a lot of searching on the Internet I finally found out what to search for and found what should be the bits on Amazon. I ordered them next day delivery and should have them tomorrow. So, the Jeep is in operating condition with the front finished, the rear finished and most except to hookup under the hood done but all the inside work to do. A good dry day with the right tools may finish up the inside. Under the hood I am concerned about tapping into the vacuum line because of a short section where I need to intercept and I’ll probably need to be creative to get the ell and check valve to fit. I’d really like to find some ells to use but haven’t found them yet. Lots of tees but no ells. Leftovers for breakfast. Ham and cheese sandwich for lunch. I made my pork, black bean, rice and salsa casserole for dinner.

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Staying Dry

Saturday: (03/05) A slow start to the day. Today was a wet day so we didn’t go out much. Lou made a nice sausage eggs and home fried potato breakfast. I spent most of the day cleaning up my study now that I’ve gotten it back from Dawn. I then spent some time in the office doing filing. In the evening I worked on a PCT hike plan for later this month, hopefully. Lou and Dawn went to an estate sale late in the afternoon. Lunch was bread pudding. Dinner was PBJ sandwiches.
San Mateo Coast Drive 0306161119_HDR San Mateo Coast Drive 0306161119a_HDR
Sunday: (03/06) More Wet. We took a coast drive today. We started with the beach at Half Moon Bay. Then visited Pacifica. Next we drove back South on Highway one stopping in Davenport for a walk. We then ended up in Santa Cruz for dinner at 99 Bottles Of Beer. They have interesting food. Then book stores were on the agenda before we headed back home.
Monday: (03/07) More wet. Grocery shopping to start our day. Granola for breakfast. Since it was supposed to be wet We were busy inside most of the day. PBJ sandwiches for lunch. Meatloaf, baked potatoes, and broccoli for dinner.

Friday, March 4, 2016

Sanborn County Park Hike

Sanborn Park Hike 447495414 Sanborn Park Hike 447495356
Friday: (03/04) Breakfast from L&L Hawaiian, my usual sausage egg and cheese English muffin and a donut. Lou and Dawn headed off before me. Lou’s meeting the refrigerator repair man. I met my fellow hikers at the park. The rain that was forecast for this afternoon was already starting but that only deterred one hiker. The rest of us (22 hikers) had a nice hike in a continuous light rain for our 9 miles hike.
Sanborn Park Hike 447495496 Sanborn Park Hike 447495550
No views but we saw lots of newts enjoying the rain. Just after the hike we had a real deluge. Good timing.
Lou, meanwhile got a call about an hour after the beginning of the service window that the repairman would not be coming out because they don’t have a replacement thermostat. Nice to have gotten a call before driving 20 miles to San Jose. She drove home, picked up the papers she needed and headed to Home Depot. She must have impressed them because they had a loaner refrigerator deliver and installed within two hours. They still won’t replace it even though this is the sixth service call. This may become a law suit soon. I stopped for dinner at the China Wok restaurant in Sunnyvale on my way home. they stopped at Original Joe’s Italian Restaurant in San Jose for their lunch. About 1530 the tenant  called and said the power went off for the loaner refrigerator. I drove down and checked the power, found no problems other then it is on a circuit that has many outlets around the house so i moved it to the dedicated circuit the existing refrigerator is on. I was back home by 1900.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Gone To Reno

Reno Trip 0301161358_HDR Reno Trip 0301161359a_HDR Reno Trip 0301161459a_HDR
Tuesday: (03/01) Granola for breakfast. We finished our packing and hit the road about 0930. We enjoyed  stop at the rest stop near Donner lake where there was still some snow. It was way past lunch time when we stopped at Louis’s Basque restaurant in Reno. Unfortunately they weren’t serving until 5pm so we checked in at the Silver Legacy. Lou and Dawn had some time in the casino and I looked around as we waited for dinner. Our dinner was excellent but after dinner we were worn out so just went to our room.
Reno Trip 0302161045_HDR Reno Trip 0302161045a_HDR
Wednesday: (03/02) Lou and Dawn started the morning with a soak in the hot tub. I checked online for the best breakfast places in Reno and came up with two interesting ones. Both were within a mile of our hotel. The menu at Peg’s Glorified Ham And Eggs restaurant looked very interesting so I convinced Lou and Dawn to walk the .7 miles down Sierra Street to the restaurant. We were not disappointed. Lou and I shared a Chili Relleno Breakfast and Dawn had Biscuits And Gravy. We were all stuffed after our late breakfast. They were then off to visit all the thrift stores in town. Lou prepared a map a home to speed  their travels about town. I walked a couple of blocks to the main bus transfer station and bought a 24 hour pass for $1.75 and picked up a route map. I caught the rapid bus South on Virginia Street to the Atlantis Casino. I checked the casino and, unlike the downtown casinos, it was busy. They even had $3 blackjack which almost enticed me to play. I again boarded the rapid bus on to the Meadowwood Mall. After a check around the mall, I caught the 56 bus which wanders through the neighborhoods South of the mall and used Google Maps to see when I was near my lunch destination, Murieta’s  Restaurant and Cantina. The magic of GPS in an unfamiliar town. Continuing on my quest, I enjoyed a shrimp chili relleno for dinner. I then walked back up Virginia street about 2 miles to the Atlantis Casino then caught the rapid bus back downtown. Lou and Dawn had their favorite prime rib dinner at the Cal-Neva Casino. And the day was gone.
Thursday: (03/03) Lou and Dawn did their soak in the hot tub to start their day as I packed most of our stuff back to the car. I also cashed in a ticket that Lou still had and then played a couple of games of keno before we were all off to breakfast. While I wanted to return to Peg’s, Dawn wanted a buffet. Since she’s gone off her gluten free diet, she want’s to enjoy all the stuff she’s been avoiding. She won so we had breakfast at the Silver legacy Buffet. I managed to control myself, a little. We ten visited a couple of thrift stores I had been by on my travels yesterday that they didn’t get to. We hit the road back toward home about 1430. Traffic wasn’t bad all the way home and we only had a few sprinkles up on the mountain. We stopped in Grass Valley for lunch at a Raley’s market. Dawn and I shared a roast beef panini and Lou had soup. Since they were in the mood, we stopped at a final thrift store in Milpitas on the way home. When we got home we found a UPS envelope on the from porch with the check paying for the old Jeep. Now the only thing keeping us from some time aways from home in the RV is my setting up the Jeep for towing over the next few days.