Monday, May 1, 2023

May 2023

Monday: (05/01) I was up early and drove into the park and stopped at the Peaks View Parking Area. I had some pizza and a banana for breakfast. My neck and back were botering me so I then took a nap. About 1000, I hiked out the South Wilderness Trail to its end. There was some path finding and a few extra stream crossing on this outing. Tree falls and flooding made for some new routes. It’s a good thing I’m not doing the Pig fence Hike because the river now obstructs the trail at the bottom for about a half mile. This hike was about 7 miles total. Back at the Van I had some Chinese food for lunch. It was rather cold and windy. I drove out the Old Pinnacles TH for a look then back to the Visitor Center Store. I checked in to my campsite and tried to get on the Internet. It didn’t work well but i did learn that I’m the only hiker now signed up for my hike tomorrow. Everyone canceled due to concerns about the storm with its expected rain and wind. So, I figured, why don’t I just do the hike today with a little better weather. I started at the Old Pinnacles trailhead at 1500. It's about a 9.5 mile loop hike so I had to hustle. I exited the Balconies Caves at 2000 and it was dark. I did the last 2.5 miles with my headlamp on arriving back at the van at 2050. I tried to check the Internet and close the signup for my hike but couldn’t get a connection. So I’ll have to hang around and may have to do the hike a second time tomorrow morning. If no one hows up I can leave before the storm hits. I enjoyed my burrito for dinner.

Tuesday: (05/02) Up at 0700. I had a couple of pieces of pizza and a banana for breakfast. I drove over to the store to see if I could get an Internet connection. No luck so I waited until 0900 to see if anyone showed up for the hike. No one did. It was raining all morning. I did drive up to Bear Gulch and considered taking a hike up to the reservoir and possibly through the High Peaks but I came to my senses and didn't. I left the park and headed toward home. I stopped in Holister at the Historical Village but nothing was open. I took a walk around looking at what I could see. I did have good cell Internet here so I caught up. I confirmed that there had been no one signed up for the hike. I enjoyed looking at all the old farm equipment then headed home. At home I made the van tidy again. I finished my leftover Chinese food for dinner. Later in the evening I found a tick on my stomach. He must have been hitch hiking because he had been attached too long judging by his size.

Wednesday: (05/03) Granola for breakfast. I studied the van considering how to install the 3rd set and tables. I also called Kaiser’s advice nurse and ask about my tick bite. They confirmed it is likely not a problem unless things get worse in a few days. I also called Kaiser and scheduled my annual checkup for this afternoon. Ham and cheese sandwich for lunch. Lou came with me for my doctor’s checkup. No problems but she did burn off some skin and schedule a bone density test and lab work. I also got my 2nd covid booster shot. Super nacho chips for dinner. In the evening We went to Dawn;s apartment and relocated her TV to be clear of the escape window.

Thursday: (05/04) I prepared ham and eggs with toast for breakfast. Later in the morning i took a walk down to San Antonio Shopping Center. I looked at a couple of construction projects on the way. I also walked through Fayette Greenway Park. It was built over part of the Hetch-Hetchy Water pipe as part of an apartment building complex. It is basically a dog walk so i sat and read my newspaper and watched the dods play. I continued on to walk around the somewhat recently built office/shopping building complex. I then stopped at Safeway Market and bought some parsley for Dawn. I caught a bus back home. Lou had prepared hamburger salads for lunch. I relaxed in the van tinkering wit the computer and doing some van planning.

Friday: (05/05) Granola for breakfast. I cleaned up the blossom debris from the oak tree. It bothers Lou’s nose. Lou and Dawn were off to thrift and for an appointment. They were gone all day. I relaxed inside the rest of the day and spent a little time working on the van plan. Chili and an artichoke for lunch. The artichoke was one of ours and over six inches in diameter. Chicken and ramen noodles for dinner. When I walked Dawn home I noticed some red light activity at the end of our street. We’d heard several sirens previously and more were coming. Turns out there were 6 Palo Alto police cars, three Palo Alto fire trucks, a fire chief truck and an ambulance. Then two Mountain View Fire trucks and one of their chiefs as well. They were all at our Shell service station. There was one car by the pumps and all the pumps were taped off. Then there was a whole lot of waiting. Evidently it was some kind of hazardous material problem in the car. That’s better than a problem with the hydrogen fueling system.

Saturday: (05/06) Granola for breakfast. I drew up some plans for Dawn’s seat construction. Not much else accomplished today. Leftover celery chicken over rice for lunch. Strawberries and yogurt for dinner.

Sunday: (05/07) I made a Denver omelet for breakfast. I started with helping Lou erect a tent in the rear yard. She will be cleaning out the cottage and needs some covered space. I worked on the van rear door lock problem. The electric lock chattered and didn’t lock the lock. The key didn't work either. Today, the lock solenoid didn’t even chatter. I may have waited too long to fix it and it burnt out. I removed the panels and checked for a jam and it worked fine. That should have been a clue. I decided to just disconnect the lock connector so it would do anything, which was better than only unlocking. While the panels were off I installed some insulation in the lower half of the doors. I hadn’t removed the factory lower door panels when I insulated the rest of the van. After reinstalling the panels, I tested the lock and it didn’t work again. I removed the panels again and discovered the cause of all the problems. One of the screws I used to attach the upper door panel was the culprit. It interfered with one of the levers connecting the latch and the key cylinder. I installed a shorter screw to fix the problem. I don’t intend to repair the electric lock because with it being manual only, it will remain locked whenever the other doors ore unlocked. The rear doors are seldom used so it should be no problem. Salad for lunch. I relaxed all afternoon. Meatloaf and one of our artichokes for dinner. This artichoke was slightly smaller than Friday’s artichoke, only six inches in diameter.

Monday: (05/08) Leftover Denver omelet for breakfast. I met my fellow hikers in Saratoga village for a hike led by Libby. We walked through the streets up to Villa Montalvo and up a trail from there to a viewpoint up the mountain behind it. It was only about a five mile hike but the company was great. I picked up a super burrito for lunch from Super Taqueria on the way home. I also stopped at Grocery Outlet for a few things. After a bit of relaxing I joined Lou cleaning out her garden spot. I removed a bean trellis, a bunch of concrete pavers and the drip sprinkler pipes. That was enough. Lou and Dawn made vegetable soup for dinner.

Tuesday: (05/09) Leftover Denver omelet for breakfast. We worked on Lou’s garden today. We pulled all the weeds and grass up. With that done. I rototilled the garden. Next, a trip to Lowe’s to get some steer manure. Back home, I tilled the manure in then leveled the garden. And finally I replaced the step stone bricks. Dawn made some baked peppers, onions, and unmeltable cheese for lunch. After lunch Dawn and I went to get a load of mulch from the city pile and then a load of compost. Both are for Dawn’s garden. Dinner was tater tots, cabbage, and sausages.

Wednesday: (05/10) Lou made a mushroom and sausage omelet for breakfast. I installed a bean trellis for Lou’s garden. I also worked on plucking some weeds from the patio cracks by the arbor. I tried to attend my Wednesday webinar but the Internet disagreed with that plan. Bad connection. We went to Aqui’s Restaurant for Lou’s Mother’s Day dinner. A few days and hours early, since it was Wednesday’s late lunch. Back home I went to Dawn’s apartment and reinstalled her computer monitor. Salad for dinner followed with strawberries and yogurt.

Thursday: (05/11) Leftover mushroom omelet for breakfast. I reinstalled the drip tubes in Lou’s garden that had to be removed to rototill the garden. Broccoli salad and some yogurt for lunch. I went with Lou for a doctor’ appointment in the afternoon. After my afternoon nap, I made a run to get more mulch from the City’s pile for our gardens. Leftover vegetable soup with carrot salad for dinner. I posted a hike for Tuesday.

Friday: (05/12) Granola for breakfast. I prepared the van to roll again. I tried to install the dropdown table on the sink cabinet but the screws kept breaking off so I canceled that project until I get better screws. I also drained the gray water tank and filled the fresh water tanks. Then I was off to do a little shopping. I stopped at Walmart and bought some more kitchen towels. I use them for both the kitchen and my bath towel. After checking out while walking to the car, Lou discovered I was gone and learned I was at Walmart so I had to go back in and gt more stuff. I then stopped by Super Taqueria for a burrito. I put it in the fridge for tomorrow's lunch. I hate over-priced event food. And I topped off the gas tank at the cheapest station. Salmon stuffed tomato for lunch. Baked squash with beef and peppers for dinner.

Saturday: (05/13) I was up earlier than recently and had some granola and a banana for breakfast. I said my goodbyes and jumped in the van and headed off up Highway 280 toward Santa Rosa to the Adventure Van Expo. I Stopped for a short visit to Freidman Brothers then headed off to the Fairgrounds. I walked in when they opened and 1000. Weather was nice then but it got warmer during the day. Lots of interesting vans and components for van builds. I made the rounds several times and finally called it quits at 1620. My lunch was the super burrito I picked up yesterday afternoon. I picked up some Chinese food for dinner then headed off toward Bodega Bay and camoed beside the road beside the bay.

Sunday: (05/14) Up at 0500 to drive in the fog down to Olema to the PaloMarin Trailhead. I understand parking is limited, the hike is popular and it’s a weekend day. The foggy drive was interesting. I had to stop for an owl standing in the road and also saw a bobcat. I arrived at the parking area about 0650. I prepared my breakfast of some ramen noodles and chili. I hit the trail about 0800. It’s about 4 ¼ miles out to a primitive trail down to the falls. That trail involves going down the cliff using a rope. It’s also possible to hike another 3 miles looping back on the beach from Wildcat Beach. The trail wasn’t at all difficult and Alamere Falls are beautiful. There are also a lot of flowers on the hills above the falls. I returned to the van about noon. After a little cleanup, a change of clothes and a salad for lunch, I was back on the road home. I was home about 1500. I had some chili for dinner.

Monday: (05/15) Lou and Dawn were off to an appointment. We met for brunch about 1000 at A Good Morning cafe. On the way there I stopped and got gas in the Van and did some shopping at Walmart. Then I went to REI and got an egg carton and a California road atlas. Lou made tator tots with chicken wings for dinner about 1400. I stopped by ACE hardware and bought some steel angle iron to make the third passenger seat. It’s going to be bolted through the floor and the seatbelt bolted to the steel. I had some cheese toast for a snack later.

Tuesday: (05/16) After a shower I made an egg, ham and cheese sandwich for breakfast. I drove the van up Pagemill Road to the Skyline Ope Space preserve to meet my fellow hikers for a hike through five openspaces including going to the top of Black Mountain. The weather wasn’t as hot as forecast and we had nice clear views, wild flowers and a nice occasional breeze. We started at 0930 and finished at 1500. Six hikers opted for a slightly shorter hike of only 9 miles while eight of us proceeded to the top of Black Mountain for a 12.5 mile hike. I was worn out as we finished. Back home after a nice shower i prepared ramen noodles and chili for late lunch and then took a nap. More chili for dinner later.

Wednesday: (05/17) I had scrambled eggs with ham for breakfast. Out neighbor is away so I used her car to give it some exercise and went to Smart and Final Market for a few things. Back home, I moved some flagstone pavers I had stacked between the legs of my cement mixer in the tent. Dawn needs the mixer for her garden soil preparation. I also checked and corrected some sprinklers. Ramen noodles with chili for lunch. Dawn made vegetable soup “Wish Soup'' for dinner. After dinner I removed a couple of artichoke plants that had completed their choke harvest.

Thursday: (05/18) Scrambled eggs and ham for breakfast. I had a dental appointment in the morning. I gave myself a hair and beard cut before I headed off to the appointment. I stopped at Sprout’s Market nearby in Sunnyvale after the appointment for my favorite green tea. The shelf was bare. I then picked up my lunch. After that I tried a second Sprout’s location in Cupertino. It is now closed for good, just like our Mountain View location. I hope the rest remain open. Another stop at Panera Bread Cafe for some soup for Lou and Dawn’s lunch. Chinese food from Wok On Restaurant for lunch. BBQ ribs with baked potato and artichoke for dinner.

Friday: (05/19) Scrambled eggs with ham and hash browned potatoes. I worked in the yard in the morning. I weeded and cleaned out my succulent bed. I moved my two big jade plants into buckets and placed them out front for someone else to enjoy. Leftover Chinese food for lunch. After lunch, I started preparing to do some welding and wood work for the van. I rearranged my shop, which is over crowded and moved the saw and welder to the yard. In the late afternoon, we attended an open house at Dawn’s apartment building. Lots of city council members, state legislators and even our congressional representative attended. Soup and roast chicken for dinner. I posted a hike for next Tuesday.

Saturday: (05/20) Granola for breakfast. I tinkered with the van seat installation. I did some more cleanup outside my shop then got busy cutting plywood for Dawn’s chair foot stool. She needs a platform for the stool she uses at the sink. That needs to dry so I placed it in the van. It happens to be about the same height as the dais in the van will be so I used it to confirm the height of the 3rd seat. I cut a couple of pieces of plywood for the seat but because there won’t be a complete set of walls I only have two I can connect. After the glue dries where I connected those two pieces I’ll trim the rear panel to fit and attach a ledger boars and the top. A ham and cheese sandwich for lunch. After lunch I took a package to Kohl’s to return an incorrect Amazon shipment. I got birthday cake flags instead of garden hose caps. I stopped at Walmart for a couple of things for Lou while I was out. Back home, I tried to get the welder going for the seat belt anchorage which could also be the rear support ledger but my wire feed motor isn’t working. So now I’m not sure how to proceed. Lou made chicken salad for dinner,

Sunday: (05/21) Granola for breakfast. I made a shopping run in the morning. I stopped at Rosses and Marshall’s looking for a plastic organizer like the one I bought a while back for the van. I didn’t locate what I wanted. I also stopped at Harbor Freight, the purpose of my trip, for some stick welding rods. At the register I asked about the status of my welders warranty. It was good for another 30 days. How fortunate. My welder's wire feed motor quit working. I had them hold a replacement and returned home to get my welder. Ham and cheese sandwich for lunch.I returned after lunch to Harbor Freight and swapped the old welder for a new one. Lou and Dawn came along for the ride and looked around a Bed Bath And Beyond next door. Potato salad for dinner. I moved the old washer over to the arbor where it can be used as a backup to our failed new washer.

Monday: (05/22) Granola for breakfast. I took a bike ride over to Stanford’s Arizona Cactus Garden. Lots of flowers to see. After a Tiger Chai Latte, I returned home. Ham and cheese sandwich for lunch. I spent the afternoon cleaning out the greenhouse. Way too much stuff in there Lots of pots pot hangers, sprinkler tubing, wire, etc. Plus scads of fertilizers and chemicals. I filled two recycle bins and our garbage bin. I now have a clear area inside. I washed the pots and saucers I might keep and left them to dry overnight. Tomorrow I’ll put some of it back in, an amount that fits, and recycle or give away the rest. Salmon with rice and carrots for dinner.

Tuesday: (05/23) Ham, egg, and cheese sandwich for breakfast. I moved all the pots I washed yesterday evening off of the lawn. I met my fellow hikers for a hike at Foothills Nature Preserve. It was a shorter version of my Other Trails Hike. The twelve of us enjoyed good weather, nice flowers and a friendly snake. Back home I had some leftover BBQ ribs with ramen noodles and chili for lunch. I made a run to ACE hardware for a barbed pipe tee to add the old washing machine to our gray water discharge system. Sauerbraten over baked potatoes for dinner.

Wednesday: (05/24) Granola and a banana for breakfast. I started by moving some furniture out to the street for pickup day tomorrow. They had been removed from the cottage and had been advertised for free for the past few days. I then got out my torch and brazed some tubing to be used as shelf support legs over the potting table. I needed to get a few things to complete the greenhouse cleanup. I headed off to shop and get lunch from Wok On Chinese Restaurant. Then I visited Harbor Freight to get a cheap tarp to be a curtain to protect the storage area from the overhead sprinkler. I also stopped by Lowe’s for some storage tubs and eyelets. Back home I completed the work in the greenhouse. Now Lou just needs to organize her fertilizers and chemicals. Salad for dinner.

Thursday: (05/25) Granola and banana for breakfast. The morning was exciting because today was one of our free pick up days so all sorts of interesting items were placed out for pickup. We had all sorts of stuff from the greenhouse and the cottage in our pile. Watching the man add it all to the rear of the truck and get crushed. After all the excitement I got to work on the van. That began by more thinking. I then got the saw out and cut some pieces for the 3rd seat. I received my new cordless nail gun and used it to pin the main pieces together with some glue. When that had dried enough I added some corner reinforcing pieces that I had cut out while waiting. Leftover Chinese food for lunch. I finished cutting most of the pieces for the seat to be able to assemble it tomorrow. Leftover salad for dinner.

Friday: (05/26) I had scrambled eggs and ham for breakfast. I worked on the can seat cutting and test fitting additional pieces. Cauliflower sausage and onion soup for lunch. I finished for the day after painting the pieces. Tomorrow I can assemble the seat and add some more structure pieces. Chicken with rice and artichokes for dinner,

Saturday: (05/27) Granola and banana for breakfast. I tinkered with the van a little, then worked on rearranging all the stuff that needed to be in the shed. I managed to fit it all in. My table saw and my bike have been left outside for the past week. The clouds have returned and I wanted to be sure nothing gets caught outside in a sprinkle. Late lunch at Harry’s Hofbrau in Redwood City. Lou and Dawn had their prime rib and I had my veggie lasagna. Nibbles for dinner.

Sunday: (05/28) Up early and drove up to Milbrea to the Bart Station. I caught a train to the 24th Street station where the Carnaval Parade will be. I walked up 24th Street to Tacos Del Barrio where I got torts for breakfast. I finished up about 15 minutes before the parade was to start. Nice parade but it never got warm. The parade finished at about 1300. I caught Bart back to my car and drove El Camino Real down to Redwood City where I stopped at Grocery Outlet for a couple of things and then stopped at Harry’s Hofbrau for soup and sandwich for lunch. My back was bothering me so I relaxed the rest of the day.Leftover lasagna for dinner.

Monday: (05/29) Granola for breakfast. I worked on the van dinette wall panel. I had to strip off the upholstery on the panel. Lots of staples and a mess of glue that held the foam in place. Eventually I got it cleaned up. I cut it to fit the new need that the set caused. Then I painted the panel. I had a snack about 1130, chili beans and cottage cheese. Our holiday feast about 1400 was corn on the cob, potato salad, deviled eggs, with hamburgers and BBQ ribs.

Tuesday: (05/30) A ham, egg, and cheese sandwich for breakfast. I went up the hill to the Long Ridge Open Space preserve for a hike with my fellow San Jose Mid-week Hikers. Seven of us hiked a loop out to Ranch Spring trail and back, about 7.2 miles. We stopped for a snack on the ridge overlooking the mountains with the ocean just beyond. After the hike I drove back home via Saratoga stopping to get lunch at Wok On Chinese restaurant and stopped at Sprout’s Market to see if they finally have my favorite green tea. They did so I got four boxes. Back home I took a shower and relaxed. When Lou and Dawn got back from their errands, Lou surprised me with the four boxes of tea she had bought at the same market, evidently after I had gotten mine. I should have enough tea for a few days now. Ramen noodles with leftover sauerbraten beef. About 1700 I finally got outside to work on the van. I fitted the dinette wall panel and cut the reinforcing panels for it. I glued and nailed the panels together. Now the wall will be one inch thick for better ability to hold screws. The lip needed to remain only ½”.

Wednesday: (05/31) Banana and granola for breakfast.I tinkered installing the dinette wall panel and assembling the seat box. Lou provided a couple of cushions to use temporarily. I loaded up the van for my outing. Potato salad for lunch. I left home about 1500. I shopped my way down to Morgan Hill where I picked up some Chinese food for a later dinner. I spent some some time in Holister doing some final online needs. No phone or Internet in Pinnacles NP. I timed my arrival to a turnout near the park entrance just as it was getting dark. I enjoyed my Chinese food for dinner.

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