Saturday, October 1, 2022


Saturday: (10/01) Granola for breakfast. Tea in the garden. We all took a bike rie through Stanford University this morning. I was on my ebike, Lou and Dawn on the quad bike. We checked out the Arizona Cactus Garden, the Rock Creek, and the Papua New Guinea Sculpture Garden. We had lunch and chia latte at Coupa Cafe there. We followed the bike trail along Park Avenue and beside the railroad tracks to the Stanford Shopping Mall. We returned home through the College Terrace neighborhood and through some business parking lots to stay off the busy streets. Good weather for our ride. Back home, I put a couple of coats of varnish on the back of the ceiling panels. That determined the consumption of the varnish so I headed off to Lowe’s for more varnish. Tomorrow I can flip the panels over and give the panels 3-4 coats on the side we’ll be seeing. The back was painted for moisture protection. I’ve been waiting to do any painting because of the winds recently. It was nice today and hopefully for the next couple of days as well. Dawn made vegetable soup for dinner. My onions didn’t really get big but my carrots did. They are about 3 inches in diameter and 4 inches tall. Not at all normal, but typical for my garden.

Sunday: (10/02) Granola and a sausage for breakfast. I painted three coats of varnish on the display side of the ceiling panels. They appear to be ready to install. Chili with onions and cheese for lunch. Dawn made pizza for dinner.

Monday: (10/03) Granola for breakfast. I painted the van bed platform that I modified with ventilation holes and extra bracing. Leftover vegetable soup for lunch. After lunch, I worked on pulling in the wiring for the overhead bed lights and installed the rear two ceiling panels. I also trimmed and installed the rear fan edge cover. The panels look nice. Grilled ham and cheese sandwiches for dinner.

Tuesday: (10/04) Ham, egg and cheese breakfast sandwich. I headed off early to lead a hike at Russian Ridge Open Space Preserve with 17 friends, members of San Jose Mid-week Hikers Group. It was 8.4 miles on a great day with beautiful views. The hilltops below were islands in a low cloud cover. Lunch was a super nachos from our neighborhood Taqueria El Gruellense. We made trips to the Grocery Outlet Market for a few things. Lou and I went at different times for different things. My trip included ice cream. For dinner I made a rice and bell peppers with sausage casserole, sort of like diced stuffed bell peppers.

Wednesday: (10/05) I was up and off early toward San Francisco. I wanted to have two adjacent hike days with some good climbs to be sure my back will be able to do the three Pinnacles hikes coming up. I was up at 0545 and caught the 0650 train to San Francisco. The reason for the early rise is because that gets me to the SF Arboretum in Golden Gate park before 0900 while the entry is free. I picked up a nice breakfast sausage, egg and potato pie before entering. I wandered about to get a good view of the fall sights, about 2-3 miles. Then I caught buses up to Sausalito. My intent was to go through a tunnel that exists just after the exit from Hwy 101 into Sausalito. Unfortunately more research should have been done. It was a long single lane, one direction at a time tunnel that did not allow pedestrians, only cars and bikes. So I walked on into Sausalito. I picked up a bacon, tomato and cheese sandwich for lunch before walking on through Sausalito climbing through the neighborhoods sometimes on hidden stairways and paths until I got to the Spenser Road parking area and took the Morning Sun Trail up to Alta Trail, then onto the Bobcat Trail to Hawk Campground. I wanted to check out the camp because I intend to backpack from the Presidio up to Sam Taylor State Park someday a,d this might be one of the stops. Nice campsites but no water available. I retraced my path but continued past the Morning Sun Trail on to the SCA Trail and the Coastal Trail to the Golden Gate Bridge. I walked across the bridge then caught the #28 bus to the Fisherman’s Wharf area. I walked up to Columbus Avenue and got a slice of pizza at Golden Boy Pizza. I enjoyed it in a nearby park then caught the #30 to the Caltrain Depot. I made it to Palo Alto about 1853 and caught the #22 bus home arriving about 1930. Long day, about 16 miles walked, 1931 feet ascent, more than I planned but a good test.

Thursday: (10/06) I had leftover Spanish rice/bell pepper casserole for breakfast. Our neighbor Meili brought over some Chinese fried rice for lunch. I checked on the sewer line project in the morning and tinkered with the RV after that. We dropped off the Jeep at the collision repair shop in the afternoon. More leftover Spanish rice for dinner. No work on the van today.

Friday: (10/07) Granola for breakfast. Salad for lunch. BBQ ribs with new potatoes and fresh tomatoes from the garden for dinner. Lou and I rode the four wheeler to Safeway for a few things. I worked on the van, mostly wiring and ceiling panel preparation.

Saturday: (10/08) I prepared scrambled eggs with toast and ham for breakfast. I tinkered on the computer in the morning. Later we attempted to go to the local high school flea market but they changed from the 2nd Saturday to the 3rd Saturday. So we just did some produce shopping on the way back home. Chili and wieners for lunch. I worked on the van in the afternoon. I troubleshot why the ceiling lites I installed didn’t work. Found a bad connector. I installed the rest of the panels. I still need to install the front fan shroud. And, more light problems. Now the ceiling lights turn on but not off nor will they dim. We had macaroni with cheese and chili rellenos for dinner. The peppers were from Dawn’s garden.

Sunday: (10/09) Leftover macaroni and cheese for breakfast. Tomato soup with toast for lunch. Shepherd’s pie for dinner. I worked on the van cutting panels for the walls. Wednesday I’ll be busy varnishing these panels.

Monday: (10/10) The usual hikers breakfast ham, egg and cheese ciabatta sandwich for breakfast. I led a hike from Picchetti Ranch up through Stevens Creek County park and Fremont Older Preserve, a 9.4 mile loop. I only had four other hikers join me for this hike. We had good weather and conversations along the trails. After the hike I stopped by the Chinese Township restaurant for lunch of fried rice and coconut shrimp. Back home I had a nice shower and relaxed. Lou made roast chicken with mashed potatoes and homemade orange cranberry sauce.

Tuesday: (10/11) Leftover rice and a sausage for breakfast. Chili beans and chips for lunch. Pizza for dinner. I decided to try to donate a bunch of used solar panels I have. I tried Habitat For Humanity but they didn’t want them due to their age (10 years old). They referred me to the Builders Resource in San Francisco. I emailed the details and am waiting for a response. I finished cutting a wall panel for the van and then sanded all the panels I cut yesterday and today. Ready to paint or varnish as appropriate tomorrow.

Wednesday: (10/12) Lou made French toast for breakfast to which I added some sausage. A broccoli salad for lunch. Lou made stuffed peppers from our garden. It was served with asparagus and a baked potato. Lou believes in efficient time in the kitchen. The pepper filling was a was a common mix that she uses for Shepherd’s pie ground beef, zucchini, and onions with some peas and other things. I attended my usual Wednesday webinar then got to work painting. I did two coats of paint or varnish on the backs of all the panels and one coat on the finished side. More to do tomorrow. While the panels were drying, I headed off to Lowes to get more varnish, brushes, screws, electrical connectors and boxes. I also stopped at Grocery Outlet and Walmart Neighborhood Market for a few things.

Thursday: (10/13) I put a couple of coats of varnish on the good side of the van panels. In the afternoon, while stuff was drying we all took a ride out to see the donkeys. Lou and I in the quad bike and Dawn on her Zappy trike. Dawn had trouble coming up a hill so Lou went to ride the bike up and he managed to fall off and have the bike fall on her. We had a nice visit with the donkeys who were out of their pen going for a walk in the park. Back home, Lou decided to go to Emergency to have her ribs checked. We got home about 2130 after a cat scan. No problems, just bruises. I just waited in the car near a Safeway and watched videos on my phone. Seems like if I do go toward home I never make it home before getting the call to return for pickup. I did get the van ready to roll tomorrow. Lou needs the car for a couple of appointments and I have a hike leaders hike tomorrow. French toast and sausage leftovers for breakfast. Broccoli salad and a ham and cheese sandwich for lunch. Soup from Safeway and a burger from Jack In The Box for dinner.

Friday: (10/14) A hiker’s breakfast ham, egg and cheese ciabatta sandwich for breakfast.I drove the van to Los Gatos to meet Tara for a ride to Felton for a hoke. Rich hosted a group of hike leaders at his property where he had constructed a maze of trails during the Covid shutdown. He also led us through some neighboring trails and showed us the (10back gurn area near his house that stopped the CZU fire before it got to his house. After the hike we had lunch on his patio and discussed all sorts of things including leading hikes. The van drove well and was quiet with no unusual noises with the ceiling and floor installed. After a rest I got to work on the van and installed most of the wall panels that I had recently finished. Lou made pizza for dinner.

Saturday: (10/15) Granola and a banana for breakfast. I needed to plan the closet so I wanted to go to The Container Store to look at containers. Dawn joined me. Most are too fragile or too weak. I wanted containers for clothing which will all be rolled. I wanted containers of a little less than a cubic foot, soft, ventilated, and sturdy. It also must be a common brand and type so it can be replaced. I found one that matches all the requirements. Seems to be the only one that does. We then went to the IKEA store to check there. Nothing was found there but Dawn enjoyed a lunch for breakfast. Back home I checked and it seems like it will work. I’ll just need 7 more after I get the closet built. I also installed the bed wall panel that will be partially covered by the closet. I also installed the foam and fabric on the headboard wall panel and installed it. Then I installed the dinette wall panel. Ham and cheese sandwich and broccoli cheese soup for lunch. Chinese food for dinner from Lucky Chinese Bistro.

Sunday: (10/16) PBJ toast for breakfast. I tinkered in the van in the morning. I did a little trimming to fit the water tanks against the wall and then stared at things trying to determine how to build the water tank boxes and secure the tanks. I had leftover Chinese for lunch than took Dawn out to make a pickup of Free Stuff. Then I was off to Lowe’s to look at things where i bought some aluminum angle to use to secure the tanks as well as some electrical parts and screws and washers. Lou made tamale pie for dinner.

Monday: (10/17) Leftover tamale pie with scrambled eggs for breakfast. Salad for lunch. Dawn made stew and I added toast for dinner. After the usual project inspections I got to work on the Van. I made aluminum channels to hold the tanks and cut the plywood for the box over the tanks. I also cut a wall panel for above the refrigerator. Then I painted the panels.

Tuesday: (10/18) Up early to attend the Alpha DevCon. It started 0600 because it is online and on the East Coast. It lasted all day. I had granola for breakfast, salad for lunch, and macaroni salad for dinner. The DevCon ended early at 1400. I then got to work on the van and painted the color coat on the panels it primed yesterday.

Wednesday: (10/19) Day two of the Alpha DeCon today. Another early rise to start at 0600. Granola for breakfast. Salad for lunch. Macaroni salad for dinner. More work on the van in the afternoon. I completed the installation of the water tanks. I had to ride the bike over to ACE to get more brackets. Because the platform for the bed is more than difficult to get in place and upon completion of the upper cabinets and shower it would be impossible. And because the platform won;t tilt up because the walls are too slanted, i have decided to redesign the bed with hinged side panels allowing access to the storage over the tanks and a hinged couch like middle section that will then be short enough to remove and with enough clearance to actually swing up. Basically it’s mostly a matter of changing the support for the platform and slicing the platform. It also provides an opportunity to fix an error I made for the end panels of the tanks which are 1.5 inches too short. In the evening I moved all the materials out of the motorhome into the van. The RV needs to be ready to roll Sunday to the Pinnacles for our visit and hikes next week.

Thursday: (10/20) Day three of the Alpha DeCon today. Another early rise to start at 0600. Today’s session was longer going until 2 pm after which I needed a nap so no work on the van today. I did a little more cleanup of the RV. Scrambled eggs, sausage and toast for breakfast. Ramen noodles for lunch. Chili relleno with asparagus and refried beans for dinner.

Friday: (10/21) Day four of the Alpha DevCon today with another 0600 start. Interesting things presented but I’m glad I didn’t travel to it and see it in person. These past three years it has been virtual. Later in the afternoon we all went grocery shopping at Grocery Outlet, Smart and Final and Nob Hill markets. When you’re picky, you have to go several places. Granola and banana for breakfast. Lou’s clam fettuccine blob for lunch. The noodles fused together likely because they are gluten free. I supplemented them with more cheese and some salsa and it was quite good. Chinese food from Lucky Chinese Bistro for dinner.

Saturday: (10/22) Busy in the morning preparing to leave. Fill the water, drain the holding tanks, wash the windows, unload unneeded items and restock needed items. A change of plans affected the loading. I’ll be going solo this trip. Lou and Dawn had a change of plans. Since they didn’t have to pack to go they were busy planting the winter garden. Granola and a banana for breakfast. Leftover Chinese food for lunch. I picked up dinner from Harry’s Hofbrau.

Sunday: (10/23) I took a final good shower, folded up the RV and rolled off the leveling block. After tea in the yard and breakfast, I departed a little after 1030. One reason to leave later was to wait for my favorite restaurants to open. I picked up a Super Burrito from Super Taqueria in Sunnyvale. Next stop was at Safeway for some drinks, Wok On Chinese restaurant for a combination of peking ribs, salt and pepper fish and pork fried rice then REI for some electrolytes all at this one stop. Then I phoned in an order for a pizza at House of Pizza in San Jose. I drove down and it was ready for pickup. I learned that the RV’s shocks are bad again. It’s back to an increasing wobble side to side when a bump is encountered. Couldn’t safely go faster than 50 mph so I decided to not take the freeway but stay on minor roads. I stopped at a park on Santa Teresa Blvd to enjoy some pizza for lunch. I continued down to Hollister and took a nap before continuing on to the park. I was all settled in at 1630. Flan for breakfast. Pizza from House of Pizza for lunch. Chinese food for dinner.

Monday: (10/24) The usual hikers breakfast sausage, egg and cheese ciabatta sandwich for breakfast. I met my 16 fellow San Jose Mid Week Hikers at the camp store and we drove up to Bear Gulch parking to start our hike. We hiked up through Bear Gulch caves to the reservoir then up through the High peaks rocks and back down on the Condor Gulch Trail. All hikers survived. Trail lunch of canned tuna salad and crackers. Late lunch back at the RV of leftover pizza. I spent the evening at another hikers camp looking at the condors flying around the ridge above camp and chatting. Dinner was leftover lasagna.

Tuesday: (10/25) The usual hikers breakfast sausage, egg and cheese ciabatta sandwich for breakfast. I was joined by 20 fellow San Jose Mid-week hikers for another hike here at Pinnacles NP. I call the hike the Grand Loop, only 10.6 miles. Nice weather, nice views , and nice conversation.Trail lunch of canned tuna salad and crackers. Late lunch back at the RV of Chinese food. Dinner was leftover hot and sour soup and pizza.

Wednesday: (10/26) The usual hikers breakfast sausage, egg and cheese ciabatta sandwich for breakfast. Only seven of us hiked the North Wilderness loop today. Nice cozy small group. So much easier to not lose anyone. The usual trail lunch of canned tuna salad and crackers. Back at the RV, I had half of a Super Burrito for a late lunch and dinner.

Thursday: (10/27) Leftover fettuccine with added cheese and salsa for breakfast. I prepared to roll and moved the RV out to the High Peaks Viewing Area lot. I decided to make my bonus hike to the top of Mount Defiance. The way up is off trail for three miles. Finding the start of the way up took two tries. Since I couldn't find a way through the brambles to start where I had planned, I opted to start at a little steeper location just behind a wild pig trap. The track is not obvious for the first half mile and disappears often. Much of the trail is through sticking brambles and over loose gravel and sand and is very steep most of the way. I almost decided to admit defeat at about 2 miles up because it was already noon. But, I decided to continue and turn around by 1400. I made it to the top about 1330 and had my lunch of the usual tuna salad and crackers. Nice views of the High peaks area and everything else in any direction. I added my name to the register book. The last registration was last April. Not too many people come up here or not many register. While I got a few pokes and cuts by the brush on the way up it appears going up is with the grain and going down against the grain. Going down was like losing a fight with Edward scissor Hands. My arms were cut everywhere. My favorite hat was shredded. Mt Defiance was very defiant. I made it back to the RV at 1630 and took a shower. Then I cooked corned beef hash for dinner before leaving. Since I had to keep my speed down due to the bad shocks, I didn’t get on any freeways. I departed after 1800 and arrived home about 2100.

Friday: (10/28) Leftover corned beef hash and eggs for all this morning. Leftover fettuccine with salsa and cheese for lunch. Dinner from Harry’s Hofbrau in Redwood City for dinner. I had a nice French dip sandwich. Lou and Dawn were busy with a housing appointment and a Social Security office visit today. I added a brace to Dawn’s squash whose trellis was falling over.

Saturday: (10/29) PBJ toasted sesame dinner rolls for breakfast.I spent some time inside preparing my mail in ballot. I also drafted a hike to post for Tuesday. I still have to check with the boss to be sure I can go. Lou and Dawn were off to a story telling memorial for a member of Dawn’s storytelling group. Broccoli salad for lunch. In the afternoon I pruned the artichokes and front yard geraniums.

Sunday: (10/30) Granola for breakfast. I relaxed all day today except for some tinkering , thinking about, and demolition of the van bed. Meili prepared our lunch of a curry stew over rice. Leftovers for dinner.

Monday: (10/31) Up early to drive our neighbor’s car down to San Jose for some work on the transmission. We stopped by Dawn’s apartment at the San Jose house on the way back home. I made corned beef hash and eggs for breakfast. I rechecked my measurements for the van bed and cut some new, better fitting pieces for the modification of the bed. I got the pieces cut out and primer painted. We expect rain tomorrow so I put everything away before dark. Salad for lunch. We got to pick up the Jeep after 1700 from the body shop. It looks pretty good with a couple of items awaiting parts or missed that will be corrected later. Dinner from Super Taqueria in Sunnyvale, a super burrito for me and nachos for Lou and Dawn.