Saturday, July 1, 2023

July 2023

Saturday: (07/01) Granola for breakfast. I received the replacement cooler water pump this morning before 0600 (amazing) and installed it in the cooler. I cut one of the plastic containers down to a height that fits the upper shelf of the closet. I’ll try it out before cutting the other three. I sat for a while and considered the next part of the project, the dais. I then checked my plywood stock and headed off to Lowe’s for more. On the way, I stopped at panda Express for lunch. I drove the van and now that the Kitchen cabinet is installed, It’s more work than I wanted to do to make room for full sheets of plywood. No problem. I considered how to trim the panels enough to match my size needs and loaded my battery circular saw and brought the two sheets i bought out to the van. I parked away from the crowd and in the shade. It was hot today. I can lay a 40 inch wide panel over the bed and refrigerator so with one 8’ cut of each sheet they both fit. I cut 8” off one and 15” off the other. Now I have good sized un-determined sheets and a piece big enough for the back wall of the shower. Most of the rest is for the dais walls and top lids. On the way home I stopped for gas and to pick up lunch from the Lucky Chinese Bistro for Lou and Dawn’s lunch. Back home it was time for a nap in the hottest part of the day. I then unloaded the plywood. I cut some 7.5” strips to use for the walls of the dais. I also installed the magnetic latches on the electrical compartment lid. Dawn made soup for dinner.

Sunday: (07/02) Granola for breakfast. Lou and I tried to install Dawn’s countertop dishwasher this morning with no luck. We couldn’t keep the faucet connection from spewing water. Even with a run to ACE we weren’t successful. Seems like a bad quick connector. I made the under dinette raised platform (dais) frame. Leftover corned beef soup for lunch. In the afternoon I made the front compartment dais under the rotated front seats. Lou made baked fish and rice for dinner.

Monday: (07/03) Granola for breakfast. I completed the dais and made the lids for them. I had some leftover Shepherd’s pie from the freezer for lunch. I painted the primer coat on all the dais parts. We all went to dinner at Mendocino Farms restaurant.

Tuesday: (07/04) Lou and I had ham and eggs with toast for breakfast. I then got busy painting the color coat and a second color coat on the faces of the dais parts. I then made a run to Harbor Freight and Lowe’s looking for contact cement and flooring ideas for the dais. I found a rubber based carpet runner thet may work if the floor that I used on the rest of the van doesn’t glue down well on the tops of the dais lids. I’m concerned about rolling edges and cork separation possibilities, especially when it gets hot. We had our holiday lunch at 2pm. Roast, hot potato salad cole salem deviled eggs and sausage with corn on the cob. I installed the dais units in the van after lunch. Of course, things fit a little differently after screwing down the platforms so some adjustments had to be made here and there. All good now. Now I just need to put some kind of surface on the lids either carpet or laminate flooring. Leftover deviled eggs for dinner.

Wednesday: (07/05) Lou and I went to A Good Morning for breakfast. I installed the carpet topping to the dais lids and added some framing to the back wall of the shower. Leftover soup for dinner. In the evening Lou and I made a Walmart Neighborhood Market run. I needed some additional things to make enchiladas.

Thursday: (07/06) I made a ham, egg and cheese sandwich for breakfast. I met 16 fellow hikers at Windy Hill Open Space Preserve for a hike up Spring Ridge trail and back on Hamm’s Gulch Trail. For 10 of the hikers, that was enough at 6.5 miles. I also had an optional hike that 6 of the hikers joined me on making a total of 10.3 miles. Weather was excellent for the hike including at the top picnic area that we’ve bad to leave quickly due to unpleasant wins on several recent visits. I picked up lunch from Panda Express on the way home and enjoyed it in the backyard. After my afternoon nap, I made enchiladas for dinner.

Friday: (07/07) Leftover enchiladas for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I installed the back wall of the shower after cutting and painting the back of the panels. I also cut, varnished and installed some trim pieces on the outside back of the shower wall next to the sliding door. I also installed the wall in the microwave cabinet. I would have installed the shelf as well but I ended up using the shelf supports for something else. I received the air bed for the front seat area but needed to clean up the front of the van and charge the air pump that came with the bed. We’ll try it out tomorrow. I had my first reflux episode tonight, the first in nearly a year. I have to be more vigilant in stopping eating early.

Saturday: (07/08) I started my day doing RV tank duty. Seemed like the black tank was full, maybe yes, maybe no, but it didn’t hurt to assume yes. Granola for breakfast. I tinkered on the van, trying not to start anything big. I completed the shelf in the microwave cabinet. We installed the front seat air mattress and tried it out. Seems like we need to find a way to address its tilt toward the backrests. I went out shopping to figure out how I wanted to seal the shower penetration. I determined I’d use some Flex Seal tape to seal the edge of the hole through the steel floor and plywood. I’m going to cut a 5” hole for easier servicing of the shower drain. Back home, I washed my Hyundai Accent and Lou’s Jeep. Tomorrow, I am not allowed to make noise in the backyard because of a party the neighbor is having. The best way to prevent that is to not be home so I’ll take the van out for a spin. Chinese food for lunch from Wok On. Salad for dinner.

Sunday: (07/09) After watching the morning show on CBS and the political show, Lou made John Wayne Special for breakfast. The are steak, potatoes, salsaand ?? over tortillas. Since I couldn’t make any noise in the backyard today, I had planned to take the van out for a spin and goof off. That changed into my leaving in the van for a few days. About noon, I headed off toward Lassen NP. I stopped in Neward for aom shrimp and rice from Asia Express, one of my reguar stops when I pass by. Nect I stopped in Tracy for a short nap. Then another stop In Yuba City at Winco for a chicken breast for dinner. I got gas and cash in Chico before heading out on Highway 32. I stopped for the night about 35 miles Eat of Chico beside the highway.

(07/10) I walked down to Deer Creek next to my campsite this morning. Nice! I had some leftover enchiladas for breakfast, and dinner. I drove on into the town of Chester to see what it’s like. Not much there. I topped off my gas and continued on into Lassen Volcanic National Park. A lot is closed due to the Dixie Fire. I hiked to the top of Lassen Peak. Quite a climb and there was quire a bit of snow covered trail. After the hike I returned to the Southwest Entrance where you can camp in the parking lot for $5. I was trying to find out if the Devil’s Kitchen area was open. Eventually, not with the aide of any postings at the visit=ror Center nor the Entrance Station, and well hidden on their website, I learned that yes it is open but you can’t drive to it due to the fire damage near Drakesbad. So it would be a multiday hike and won’t happen on this trip. I’ll spend the night here and continue through the park tomorrow. Leftover Chinese food for lunch before the hike.

Tuesday: (07/11) Up early. Had a banana for breakfast then hitthe road to Kings Creek Falls. Nice falls, nice meadows but the forest is all burnt trees. I had some difficulty locating the Cold Boiling lake trailhead, as did a bunch of Chinese tourists. We all eventually found the trailhead and I hiked out to the lake and beyond to Bumpass Hell to see the mud pots and geysers. The trailhead to Bumpass hell from the road is closed and the boardwalk around the features is closed as well but you can get to the area and see from across the hot creek by walking three miles. After that I headed North and out of the park. I stopped before Old Station and took a Forest Service road out about a half mile then about a quarter mile on a spur to a nice pace to take an outside shower. I then continued on to see McArthur Burney waterfall then continued North on Highway 89 stopping to look at the three McCloud waterfalls. I then continued on to Mt. Shasta town for c=gas and to call home. Then on to Weed where I tried to stop for the night at a Pilot truck stop but no room there. I did get a couple of things at the Grocery Outlet there before continuing North on I5 stopping for the night at a Rest Area a few miles North of Weed. I nibbled a later breakfast and a late lunch of leftover enchiladas. For my late dinner, I had leftover Chinese food and some cottage cheese.

Wednesday: (07/12) I hit the road about 0530. I had some difficulty finding the correct road but eventually found the Klamath River Road and drove on toward Seiad Valley. I checked out several Forest Service Campgrounds along the way. In Seiad Vallay, i stopped at the cafe for breakfast. The cook/waitress was quite busy so the order took a while but arrived cooked to order. I had a bacon, avocado, tomato and cheese omelet with hash browns. It was a huge breakfst but I conquered it. Lots of PCT hikers were the other customers. I topped off my gas and continued on to Happy Camp and took a road up to Highway 199. I checked out more campgrounds on my way to Creasant City. I went to the Chart Room for a fish and chips lunch. Then I headed South toward Prarie Creek State Park. I had to wait through about an hour of trffic delays due to construction so arrived at the park about 1730. The Visitor Center as closed, of course. I tried to find a place to boondock for the night but all the area is either State or Federal Park land or Indian Reservation so I went further South to a rest stop in Trinidad. I’ll return early to do my hike. I had some salad and yogurt for dinner.

Thursday: (07/13) I was up at 0530, made a tea and hit the road back up to Prairie Creek. I was the first vehicle/person there. I warmed up some enchiladas for breakfast. I hit the trail, still the only person there about 0700. I took Miners Ridge Trail over to Golds Bluff Beach the walked the road up to Fern Canyon. I walked through the canyon with quite a few people there at 0930. I then took the James Irvine Trail back to the van at the Visitor Center for s 12 mile, 1150 feet hike. I was back at noon. I then drove further South and stopped in Arcata at the Chinese Buffet for lunch. I wanted a shower and I wanted a cider but I couldn’t find a good out of the way spot for a shower and the cider mill is only open Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings. I did stop at Adelin Surplus/junk store. Lou had sent me to find a glass for her stainless steel butter dish. I found a silver plated one with a glass they look like the one she wants. It was the only thing there. I then continued on South stopping for gas in Loleta at the Indian Reservation. I turned off toward Shelter Cove to get to a campground, the Wailaki Campground in the King Range National Conservation Area about a mile and a half off of the Shelter Cove Road. I may explore more here or even take a hike tomorrow. I had to take a sink bath inside the van because there were a lot of mosquitos around camp. It was also hot, much warmer than I expect only five miles from the ocean. Leftover salad for dinner.

Friday: (07/14)Bacon and scrambled eggs for breakfast. I checked the Lost Valley trailhead and decided against doing a hike there today. I returned past camp and on out the road toward the Sinkyone State Park. I chickens out when the sign on the road said no campers or trailers. I probably should have gone anyway but, instead, returned on the Bryceland road. I took highway one down to Fort Brag then took Highway 20 back inland to Willits and home on 101. I stopped in Ukiah for gas and some enchiladas for lunch. Traffic was bad with all the weekend and evening commute drivers. At home I had some chili with ramen noodles for dinner.

Saturday: (07/15) I received some Amazon deliveries while I was gone. I cleaned out some of the stuff from the van. Food from the fridge, dirty clothes, etc. My new hiking pole was pretty nice except it was supposed to collapse to 13” and was 15 inches when collapsed. In addition it was supposed to extend to a 135cm length, I use a 130cm pole. This pole only extended to 125cm. But the final kicker was that once extended, it wouldn't collapse. One of the joins was jammed. So, I returned it to Amazon at our Whole Foods store. I also visited the ACE and Lowe’s stores trying to figure out the parts needed for the shower drain but had no luck finding the needed parts. I also received the shower roll door and checked it out for damage. It seems OK even though the box was broken in half. Lou made grilled veggies and beer soaked chicken for dinner.

Sunday: (07/16) Granola and yogurt for breakfast. We relaxed all morning watching the Sunday morning TV shows, as usual. I did more research trying to design and find parts to connect the shower drain. Still can’t find the right mix of parts to connect ½” drains to 1.25” piping and a 1 inch valve in the space available. I wanted to figure it all out before cutting the hold for the shower drain but I guess I will just do it and make it fit together. Maybe a lot of putty and tape will help. I then trimmed my beard and hair and showered. Ham and cheese sandwich for lunch. I was planning a broccoli salad mix that was in the refrigerator but it was too old and went to the dumpster. In the late afternoon, when the rear yard got shady, I brought out the table saw and cut some pieces to do some trim in the van. I painted up some pieces but will need to sand and varnish some panel pieces tomorrow morning. Lou made new potatoes with butter, bacon and cheese, something like a pizza, for dinner.

Monday: (07/17) Granola for breakfast. I painted a couple of coats of varnish on the trim boards I cut last night. I then, after a lot more thinking and procrastinating, started to cut the hole in the van floor for the shower drain pipe. I only got half way done before my hole saw became too dull to cut more. I considered using the jigsaw but couldn’t find any blades long enough. Ham and cheese sandwich for lunch. Next I considered using the sawsall and even bought a long metal blade at ACE but then couldn’t find any of my four sawsalls. Later I headed off to Harbor Freight looking for a sawsall of longer jigsaw blades but I found another 5 inch hole saw blade and got it instead. Chinese food from Panda Express for dinner. Then off to Lowe’s to get some PVC piping for the drain lines and FlexSeal to help seal the new 5 inch hole in the floor. Back home I finished cutting the 5 inch hole then cleaned up. No work tomorrow due to it being a hike day.

Tuesday: (07/18) Ham, egg and cheese sandwich for breakfast. I met my fellow hikers at Tarwater Trailhead for a hike to Jones Gulch in Pescadero County park. Six of us did the 10.4 mile hike in 4 hours. I had planned the hike to take an alternate trail because the Shingle Mill Trail was supposed to be closed. It was open so our hike, which had been planned at 11.2 miles, got shorter. Nice hike, nice trails, nice fellow hikers, all ladies. On the way home I picked up lunch from Panda Express. I enjoyed it in the backyard before a nice shower. I rested the rest of the day. Chili with ramen noodles for dinner.

Wednesday: (07/19) Granola for breakfast. I masked off the hole in the van’s floor for the shower and sprayed it with Flex Seal. Now I have to wait for two days for it to dry. I also picked up a bunch of floor foam squares that a neighbor disposed of and Lou wants for her shed. Ham and cheese sandwich for lunch. We all went to the Milpitas Super Walmart and got a new microwave oven. We had lost another a couple of days ago. While there we shopped around and also had dinner at the Black bear Restaurant.

Thursday: (07/20) Ham and cheese omelet for breakfast. I tinkered on a couple of van projects. I cut and painted some filler boards that will be used to attach some trim pieces above the dinette and bed. Peach blintzes for lunch. Ham and cheese sandwich for dinner.

Friday: (07/21) I prepared the usual ham, cheese and egg sandwich for breakfast. I was then off to an early hike in San Jose up to the top of Mt Umunhum, about 7.5 miles. We 12 hikers endured the rather hot day which was actually not too bad. Slight breeze, about 85 degrees, with the return all downhill when the temps were highest. After the hike, I stopped to get lunch at the Wok On Chinese restaurant in Sunnyvale. Back home, after a nice shower, I relaxed the rest of the day. Leftover Chinese food for dinner.

Saturday: (07/22) I spent the day working on the van. I dropped the shower pan in place and fashioned a sheet of plastic as a weather/splash guard and mouse barrier for the shower drain. I made a run to ACE for a flange washer for the shower tailstock pipe and returned a sawsall blade I didn’t need. The washer was too thick to work. I then collected some tings and drove toward Lowe’s. I stopped for lunch on the way. I settled in at Lowe’s in a shady parking space to the side of the store. I went to get some things I thought wou;d work for the drains. I needed to connect the shower drain and modify the drain for the sink. It all had to fit in a very limited space. I tinkered and considered and went in to Lowes four other times for things I needed. On the last trip in I also returned all the stuff I hadn’t used. Of course, the end product was totally different than the original plan but I managed to finish it at about 1900. I headed home. Tomorrow I’ll need to test for leaks, add the splash and mouse proofing covers, and caulk as needed. Leftover peach blintzes for breakfast. Panda Express Chinese for lunch. Dawn’s soup for dinner.

Sunday: (07/23) I prepared a ham, bell pepper, onion and cheese omelet for breakfast. I watched some Youtube videos then eventually got to work. I needed to test the van pluming for leaks. It failed the test. There was gushing water from the shower drain lines. I tried to tighten it up several times but it didn’t cooperate. We all went to Bajis Cafe for lunch. I stopped at ACE and picked up a thick foam washer for the shower drain basket connection. After a nap, and to stay out of the heat, I installed the washer and reconnected all the piping that needed to be remove to do that. I lifted the shower pan out to be able to tighten the fitting. When I got it all back together, the test was successful. Now I can install the shower walls and install some trim before getting to the seat belt and air conditioner. Salad for dinner.

(07/24) Granola and banana for breakfast. I got out the shower panels and explored how to install them. I located the directions and learned what a normal installation should be like but then had to come up with how I'd actually install it in the van. The major difference is the curved side wall. I determined what I needed and headed off to Lowe’s for some materials, like adhesive, caulk and some plastic molding. On the way home I stopped for lunch at Panda Express in Sunnyvale. Back home I installed the trim molding I had prepared a couple of days ago. I also cut some pieces for installing the shower ceiling. Among the things I learned by reading the directions was that the walls need to be prime painted for best adhesion of the panels. I purposely left them raw because I thought that would allow better adhesion. Of course, I'll do what they recommend. Lou made spaghetti for dinner.

Tuesday: (07/25) Leftover omelet for breakfast. I painted the shower walls in the van with a couple of coats of primer. I also painted a few other wood pieces that will be used to hang the ceiling of the shower. Later, I went to Lowe’s to return some storage containers thet Lou says are too big to lift when full. They were 27 gallons and I had intended to get 17 gallons like the two already in the van. I swapped the four large for two more smaller 17 gallon ones. Then I stopped by the Grocery Outlet in Sunnyvale for a few things. Leftover salad for lunch. I relaxed the rest of the day. I didn’t get back to work when it finally cooled off. Leftover Chinese food for dinner.

Wednesday: (07/26) I made an omelet ith ham, cheese, onions and peppers for breakfast. I was preparing to work on the van but then had to attend my Wednesday webinar. Lou and Dawn also were headed off to San Francisco when Lou got a call from the washer repair man that he would be arriving soon. They continued on and I had to attend to the repair visit. As it turns out, the washer didn’t cooperate and the repairman was more interested in not finding a problem than repairing one. His computer said everything was good. He wasn’t all the way to the end of the street before the washer finally let out a few short grinds. The next load was all grind during the wash cycle. I sent off an email with an attached video with sound requesting they return. We’ll see how that goes. I then headed off to ACE to get a few pipe fittings. The repairman tried to say any problem was the way I hooked up the drain line and the fact we didn’t run hot water to the washer. Of course, neither had anything to do with the problem but I changed the drain line and will run water to the hat water inlet as well. After redoing the washer drain line, I made some ramen and chili for lunch. My morning working on the van was ruined so I relaxed all afternoon which then ended up being the rest of the day. I picked up a chili relleno from Tacos El Grullense for dinner. Lou and Dawn were out all day thrifting their way up to San Francisco then attending a meeting there.

Thursday: (07/27) Leftover omelet for breakfast. I did a little weeding to start. Then I started to prepare to install the shower walls. In discussing the installation with Lou we decided to go to Lowe’s to look for something to better seal the back corners of the walls. In the end, I decided to use vinyl tape in the corners and caulk it to the panels. The panel is slightly too narrow leaving about ⅛-¼” of no panel on each side in the rear. Broccoli salad for lunch. As usual, after lunch it was nap time. I was awakened by a noise outside. It was the FedEx delivery guy sliding the air conditioner up by the van. I opened the box and was amazed to find a well built plywood crate inside which protected the AC unit very well. I then removed the rear Maxifan in the van and caulked the gasket on the roof. Lou and I were in the process of trying to get the AC unit on the roof when a neighbor and his wife strolled by and offered to help me, making Lou very happy. We got it in place on the gasket but in the process had displaced the gasket messing up the caulk. The gasket was repositioned and the AC unit will hold it in place while the caulk sets tonight. Tomorrow I can lift the unit and add some caulk to the edge of the gasket and finish anchoring the unit and wiring it up. I’ll get back to the shower after the AC installation is complete. Baked fish with vegetables and rice for dinner.

Friday: (07/28) Lou made steak, eggs and bacon with tater tots for breakfast. I lifted the air conditioner on the van and added some caulk, as needed, around the roof gasket. I then lowered the AC and adjusted the position then bolted it down. I finished up about 1300. Shirl, a member of my hiking group came over to talk about travel, camping and hiking. We talked until about 1600. Lou and Dawn picked up sandwiches for lunch from Subway. I had my lunch after 1600 so no dinner was needed. I started routing the power wire for the AC only getting it about halfway. Lots of disassembly needed to get it in. I posted a hike for next Tuesday.

Saturday: (07/29) Granola for breakfast. A little slow getting out to work. When I did, I was distracted from the van and worked on cleaning up the shop area, putting things away and disposing of some things of little use. I’m a collector of all sorts of wood scraps and materials collected working on projects. My work table ended up with much more room on it. Our neighbor Meili, provided Taiwanese chicken soup for lunch. I worked a bit more cleaning up after lunch. Then it was nap time. After dinner of cabbage with beef, I worked on the van a little. I removed the refrigerator and opened access to the electrical area. I pulled the AC power cable the rest of the way in. The cables are 2-3 feet too short to connect. I reinstalled the microwave oven and cabinet wall and shelf.

Sunday: (07/30) I made a ham and cheese omelet for breakfast. We had the usual slow Sunday morning watching the Sunday morning TV shows. I wasted a lot of time trying to locate my cable crimper and connectors. I didn’t find the connectors but did, eventually, locate the hydraulic crimper. I emailed the AC vendor to learn the cable size for the AC. The cable didn’t have any markings. I finally found marks on the connectors after I removed the shrink tubing and found them marked 16-10. 16mm = #6 cable. I found a few pieces, enough to make the extensions needed. Also found a 60 amp flag breaker. But, I think I want to increase the conductor size going to my buss bars to accommodate the extra load of the AC. I also took inventory of the needed crimp connectors and other components needed and did an Amazon order. I made a shopping run to Lowe’s to return some things and do grocery shopping at Smart and Final market. On the way I picked up Chinese lunch for us all. I also spent some time at Dawn’s place working on her printer and computer. In the evening I completed securing the AC cable near the AC and reinstalled the ceiling, AC faceplate and wall trim. All that had to be removed and reinstalled again because I forgot to connect the wires to the ceiling light in the ceiling panel. Now just waiting for parts to complete the power connections and test the AC on Wednesday. So back to the shower walls project. Leftover Chinese food for dinner.

Monday: (07/31) Granola and diced apple for breakfast. I installed some sealing tape in the back corners of the shower. I also ct some boards to brace the back wall in place while the adhesive dries. I then trimmed the back shower wall panel and glued in place. Chili beans with ramen noodles for lunch. I was going to have a ham sandwich but my bread was moldy. Not much else to do today. I made a run in the afternoon to Lowe’s and got some caulk tape for the back corners. I figured it would seal better and be neater than any caulking I could do. I had snacks for dinner. Scrambled eggs and some sliced ham and cheese with hummus and chips. My van heater has been asking to be run for a while. With our high daytime temps I haven’t gotten to it in a while. This evening I ran it for a few minutes. I assume it is to keep the pump primed.