Sunday, October 1, 2023

October 2023

Sunday: (10/01) Bean soup for breakfast. Lou made ham and eggs with home fried sauerkraut potatoes for lunch. I had some leftover from the freezer BBQ ribs for dinner. I finally did a follow up Covid test today and I am negative. I tinkered a little doing some final packing and purging items from the van. In the evening I made another shopping run to Smart and Final to get more oranges for Lou and some potatoes and onions. I also stopped at Marshal’s to get the potato peeler I was supposed to get before.

Monday: (10/02) Granola and applesauce for breakfast. I got to work with dirty job. Also a dangerous job for an old man. I cleaned the leave debris off the house roof and the sunroom roof. The sun room is directly under the live oak tree and has a basically flat roof so it collects a good load. I tend to let it go longer than I should. Lou wants it cleaned too often for my likes. Since I’m taking off for a week or so and she has been threatening to clean it off herself, I had to get it done before I leave. Definitely not a job for an old lady. It took all morning but it’s done now. Leftover moussaka and roast chicken for lunch. In the afternoon I drained the gray water tank and filled the fresh water tanks. I also disconnected the charged battery and charged the trouble maker battery. Hopefully, once they are balanced they will track better. Cheesy chicken tater tots for dinner.

Tuesday: (10/03) A nice slow morning. I relaxed in bed much of the morning watching morning TV (CBS Mornings, Live with Kelly, and The View) while also catching up on some Youtube videos like the late night comedy shows return. I did some additional packing, fixed a garden hose. I finally prepared a big ham, cheese and egg breakfast sandwich about 1030.I headed off in the Hyundai toward Redwood City but had to turn around. The power steering wouldn’t stay on. I took the van up to Grocery outlet there as well as stopping at West Marine for a folding wall cup holder. Theirs are better built than anywhere else as well as cheaper. Another stop was the bank for some cash. Cash gas prices are worth the trouble. When I got home an Amazon package that i order late Friday and showed no progress until 2:35am this morning when it shipped, had arrived before 1430. I expected it to be the usual 10 pm delivery. It was some cable and connectors I need to recircuit the batteries to a new battery switch that will allow me to isolate the batteries. I may do that in camp somewhere. Anyway, since it was only 1430, I called Lou and told her i was on my way early. I had thought I wouldn’t get away until tomorrow morning. Traffic wasn’t bad until I got on the 580 freeway leaving Livermore. I stopped In Tracy for a break and to eat dinner. I had picked up some fried rice and Honey walnut shrimp when I passed through Freemont at the Asia Express restaurant. By the time I was back on the road traffic had gotten worse It didn’t get better until i was on the East side of Manteca. I stopped in Oakdale for a couple of more things at Grocery Outlet and I got gas there. I headed out of Oakdale as it got dark at 1850. I finally stopped for the night above Groveland at the Pines Forest Service Campground.

Wednesday: (10/04) I awoke at 0500 and prepared a nice bacon, eggs and cheese with hash browned potatoes for my breakfast. I was on the road about 0615 and entered Yosemite park before the entrance kiosk opened. I parked at Curry Village and hiked up to Vernal and Nevada Falls. It was my post Covid test hike which i intended to be a 5-6 mile hike but this hike was 10.2 miles. I was ready to quit before I walked a mile but I pushed through and it wasn’t a bad hike. I had my usual trail lunch of some tuna and crackers and added a Cliff Bar. Back at the Van I had an ice cream bar reward. I left Curry Village and headed up Tioga Road.I stopped about 1600 for some leftover chicken tater tots by a lake. I had intended to camp by Saddlebag Lake just outside the park but, for multiple reasons that whole area is closed to camping. I came down Tioga Pass and stopped at Aspen Campground for the night. At camp I had my leftover fried rice and shrimp for more dinner. I relaxed and had a shower then watched some downloaded videos.

Thursday: (10/05) Two Eggo waffles for breakfast with some bacon jerky. Drove the June Lake Loop road. Stopped in Mammoth Lakes for gas and at the visitor center. Decided to take the road to Benton where I connected with Highway 120 the Highway 6 into Bishop. I had a salad for lunch. I picked up some clam chowder at Von’s Market for dinner. I continued down to Big Pine and took Highway 168 out to the Ancient Bristle Cone Pines Forest. I camped at the Grandview forest service CG about 2,5 miles down from the Visitor center.

Friday: (10/06) I left camp and drove up to the Visitor Center, which is closed for the season. I had a slice of apple pie for breakfast. I hiked the 4.5 mile Methuselah Trail through the Bristle Cone Forest. Nice hike. A little frosty to start and some snow still on the trail. I drove back down to Big Pine and had a slice of pizza for lunch. I headed up toward Onion Valley and stopped early at Upper Grey’s Meadow CG. Before I left town I picked up some TriTip BBQ which I had for dinner with ramen noodles. While I was in town I caught up on some computing. Nice relaxing in camp all the rest of the afternoon.

Saturday: (10/07) I prepared ham and eggs with hash browned potatoes for breakfast. Then, I drove up the road to the Onion Valley Trailhead. I hiked up to the top of Kearsarge Pass and back. Lots of other hikers both day hikers like me and PCT hikers. Also a lot of the day hikers brought their dogs and most were leashed. The hike was about 10 miles RT. Beautiful views on a clear day. Nice to get a peak over the pass into the interior of the sierras. I drove on down to Lone Pine. They had an Art In The Park event. I looked around several campgrounds and at Alabama Hills but nothing was available. I decided to not continue South and started heading back up North. I ended up spending the night at a rest area North of Independence.

Sunday: (10/08) I drove up to Bishop and got my breakfast at the Pupfish Cafe, a nice avocado and clamata olives on toast. I drove up to Sabrina lake looking for fall color on the trees but it is still too early. Some yellow but no good variety of color. I stopped at Von’s market and got some soup and picked up some soup for dinner and a chicken breast for lunch. I continued up to Mammoth and drove down to Devil’s Pos tPile and hiked out to see it and on to Rainbow Falls and Lower Rainbow Falls. About a 6.5 mile hike. I was supposed to rest today but Devils Post Pile Road is only open on Saturday and Sunday and I was arriving at 1500. I finished the hike about 1715. I topped off my gas and picked up some bottled water that I had forgotten earlier. Then I continued North stopping at another Rest Area for the night.

Monday: (10/09) I had some leftover hot and sour soup for breakfast. I then drove down to look at Hot Creek Geologic Site. It is boiling hot so people are not allowed anywhere hear the creek. I then looked around nearby at possible dispersed camping sites. In fact, there are some right next to the Hot Creek parking area. After the look around, I drove North and stopped at Bodie State Park. it is a well preserved old mining town but isn’t really informative. I munched an apple for lunch. The museum was closed and i missed being able to see the stamp mill. On the way in I stopped to watch a huge flock of sheep. There was a shepherd with two collies and two sheep dogs. When I returned back it on the same road the sheep were gone and even the temporary electric fence they had by the road was gone. All in a little over two hours. I continued North and stopped at the Burger Barn in Bridgeport. Wonderhussy claims they make the best Asada Fries and I will admit they are great. I added a blackberry milkshake as well. A nice late lunch and early dinner about 1530. I then drove more North stopping for the night beside the Walker River. I had a bowl of soup later.

Tuesday: (10/10) I was up about 0600 before the sun. I knew of another car that was parked very nearby that had evidently come in while I was relaxing in the late afternoon or evening. I really didn’t hear them but saw the glow of their inside lights when I walked down to the river before going to bed. My campsite required some rock avoiding navigation to get into. Well, I only had to roll 50 feet forward and discover another neighbor. He was parked in the road and I thought was completely blocking my exit. After studying the route with my headlights blasting into his camper and after getting very close I determined that I could squeeze through and roll over what looked like troublesome rocks with their menacing shadows. Not an inch to spare. I headed North through Topaz, Gardnerville, and into Carson. I stopped in Gardnerville at a Meeks building materials and also an ACE store to look around. Lou had reported that the evaporative cooler motor had failed so I was looking for a replacement which out local stores do not carry. The online ACE website said they had one at that ACE but they didn’t. They did have one at the Dayton Nv ACE store. It was only 10 miles out of the way East. They actually had about 10 motors. Must get hot there. I stopped in Carson at a Basque cafe for breakfast about 1100. I had a homemade chorizo stuffed chili relleno with rice, beans and a fried egg. Really tasty. I bought gas at the nearby Costco store before heading on toward home. I drove through South Lake Tahoe on High 50 then turned onto highway 89 then 88. I stopped for a nap on the way down the mountain when it started to rain. I then continued on highway 12, and then 26 taking me to Stockton where I caught highway 99 to Manteca. I stopped to look around the Bass Pro Store. I had hoped to spend the night there but Manteca doesn’t allow it. I drove a little South on highway 99 and parked for the night at the Flying J truck stop. I got a slice of pizza to supplement my broccoli salad for dinner.

Wednesday: (10/11) Up at 0500 due a door banging into the side of the van and loud talking and cursing. I prepared to leave. I drove over to Tracy to the Winco Market and parked. I napped more until 0900. I then explored the Winco Market, Ross's and Marshal’s and then a Walmart before going to the nearby Golden Corral buffet for breakfast at 1100. Not much I could really eat there due to my starting a no fiber and other limitations for my upcoming colonoscopy. I then headed on toward home. I filled the gas tank before getting home. I relaxed some more before starting the cleanup. I drained the gray water tank, drained the fresh water tanks and refill them. Some of that water has been in the tanks for eight months. Even though I had taken three very generous showers, washed all my dishes and gotten all my drinking water, the tanks were still very full and took a long time to drain. I washed off the van with some then gravity drain the rest and it took over 30 minutes more to drain. Then I washed the van. Lou made a baked potato with ham, cheese and salsa for dinner.

Thursday: (10/12) Today is a fasting day getting ready for my colonoscopy tomorrow. So no breakfast, lunch or dinner. Just relaxing all day.

Friday: (10/13) Up really early to do the final lensing. Lou drove me to Kaiser and I was checked in around 0800. My appointment was for 0900 but I was out in recovery about 0905. Lou picked me up and we were off before 1000. We stopped for breakfast in Los Altos at the Country Inn. We shared a bacon avocado omelet soufflé which came with my favorite Swedish pancakes. Back home and time to rest until the meds wear off. Spaghetti and meatballs for dinner.

Saturday: (10/14) Bacon jerky with fried eggs and hash browned potatoes for breakfast. So nie to be able to eat again. Just one day not being allowed to eat makes me appreciate it even more. I tried to do some things on the van but all I got done was measuring its height which is 8’10”. I also did some laundry from my trip. Later, I prepared some paperwork in preparation for re-registering the van as a motorhome. They want some photos and cost information both for DMV and my insurance company.

Sunday: (10/15) Granola for breakfast. Lou and I made a Grocery outlet run this morning. A nice Super Taqueria lunch. Relaxed all day. Lou and Dawn prepared stuffed squash with asparagus and rice for dinner.

Monday: (10/16) Banana with granola for breakfast. I called Cole Jeep in SLO and got an appointment for Wednesday. Then I reserved a site in Oceana SP for Tuesday through Thursday nights. Weight away in the Jeep and van about 1400. We stopped at the Longhouse in Gilroy for a garlic lunch. I then took the van to the Cat Scale at a truck stop. It weighed 8360 lbs. Lou and Dawn checked the thrift stores nearby. We met at Walmart then headed on South. We stopped in Greenfield to pickup some flan for latter. We then went onto the Rest Stop South of Bradley for the night.

Tuesday: (10/17) Avocado toast with leftover garlic porkchops for breakfast. We separated ways. Lou and Dawn thrift shopping me looking around. They had lunch at a Huckleberries restaurant . I had a Costco chicken bake for lunch. We checked in to our campsite at Pismo SB Oceana CG about 2500. Dinner at Old Juan's Cantina.

Wednesday: (10/18) Leftover pancakes and bacon jerky for breakfast. We prepared the van to roll. I headed off to the Dealer for an appointment for a recall fix and an oil change. I waited un the area. I attended my Wednesday webinar in front of Vons market. I had a piece of chicken from for lunch. I walked over to a park for a nap. I got the van back at 1300 and headed home. Lou and Dawn has been out at Grover Beach thrift stores but we're back at camp relaxing. We went to A clam chowder dinner at Pismo Gish and chips.

Thursday: (20/19) Strawberry and banana waffles for breakfast. It was foggy and soggy today. Lou and Dawn were off to SLO to thrift. They had lunch from Von’s market. I took a drive South to Guadalupe and Santa Maria looking for a hike. Nothing found. I had lunch at about 1400 at Francisco's Country Inn. I was back at camp about 1630. Lou and Dawn returned about 1730. Salad for dinner.

(10/20) We prepared to leave. Lou and Dawn took showers. We took a walk around the campground. About 1100 we went to Francisco's Country Inn for brunch. Lou and I shared a corned beef hash with some bacon. Dawn had loaded oatmeal. We then went our separate ways toward our new campsite at Morro Bay State Park. Lou wanted to join me in Bakersfield for lunch at the Rice Bowl but today it was to be 96 degrees. Tomorrow is supposed to be 85 degrees. So we reserved another night here on the coast and Morro Bay had the only sites. We were still foggy and soggy this morning in Oceana but once over the hill into SLO it was sunny and remained sunny in Morro Bay. Maybe we’ll get the batteries recharged today. We’ve had to conserve yesterday and today. I stopped at Costco for gas and REI for a look around. I found my 6 egg case that I’ve been looking for. Only 12 egg cases were to be found until now. Lou and Dawn visited a thrift store for more stuff. We met at Morro Bay SP a little after 1400 and checked in. Lou prepared an omelet for lunch. We looked around Morro Bay a little. Beans for dinner.

Saturday: (10/21) Granola for breakfast. Lou and Dawn took showers and we prepared to roll. We headed toward Bakersfield on Highway 166. We met in Bakersfield at the Rice Bowl and had lunch with my cousin Judy and her husband Don and Lou’s old room mate Anita. Lou and Dawn continued North to Tulare to do more thrifting on their way home. I drove out through Glenville to Wofford Heights then North along the Kern River to Johnsondale. I considered taking Sherman Pass Road over to Kennedy Meadows and Highway 395 but decided I wanted to stay on the West side of the mountains. I stopped for the night on a forest service road between Johnsondale and California Hot Springs. (35.9425000, 118.6380000). When I stopped i started my water heater with the intent to take a shower. The, in my wisdom, I decided I could have my dinner while I waited for the hot water. Big mistake. It very quickly trimmed my main battery fuse, a 300 amp fuse. I checked my fuse stash and luckily found I had planned ahead and I did have a spare. To install it i had to move the refrigerator out of the way and open the top of the electrical compartment to get access to the fuse. Nice to see the lights back on. No second attempt to take a shower until I replace the spare fuse stock. I got to enjoy a shrimp dinner (shrimp with chow mein) for my lunch and leftover lunch for dinner. Also, the driving today and sunny skies managed to fully charge my batteries.

Sunday: (10/22) A foggy morning. I prepared bacon and eggs with hash browned potatoes for breakfast. After breakfast I took a shower. I left in the fog. I drove down to Porterville. I Found a Vallarta Market where I picked up some chili rellenos. I also stopped at another Mexican restaurant and got a carnitas torta. Then I continued up Highway 65 to Exeter and took Highway 180 into Sequoia National Park. I stopped at a view point after entering the park to eat half of my torta for lunch about 1400. It was foggy everywhere in the park. After a look at the Sherman tree I headed further up in the park. No, instead of fog there was also smoke due to active burns being done. It was near 1700 when I got to the junction of Highway 190. I hadn’t seen any open campgrounds so I decided to head out of the park to find a place to spend the night. I had planned on returning into the park and continuing into Kings Canyon NP in the morning. But, there were no places to stop. Mostly private property instead of National Forest. I then decided to just head toward home. I continued down to Fresno then got on Highway 99 which soon came to a full stop. After a little creeping I took the first exit. There was a TA Truck Stop there where I thought I might spend the night but there were no other people doing the same si I decided to just take the back rod over to Firebaugh and Highway 5. I planned on spending the night there but no places to stop including the rest area which was closed. In the end I just drove home after a short stop for my chili relleno dinner in Gilroy at 1000. I was home at 1130. .

Monday: (10/23) I spent some time in the office in the morning. I had homed to get an Amazon delivery of some spare fuses but they wont be arriving until possibly 2200 so I decided to hit the road. I had the other half of my carnitas torta for lunch. I got away a little after noon. I did some exploration near San Luis Reservoir. I tried to go up to Henry Coe’s South entrance but evidently it is closed and only rarely open. I still want to get up there and hike. I also stopped at Pacheco State Park. It also is on the list for some hikes. I also went out to Dinosaur Point which is a boat launch area on the South side of the lake. And finally, I stopped at Cottonwood Wildlife refuge. I found out I can camp there in the parking area so a possible site to go with the other hiking sites. I then continued out Highway 152 to Madera where I got gas and then spent the night at Walmart. Chili relleno for dinner.

Tuesday: (10/24) Up at 0600. I had some pie for breakfast. Since I was parked at Walmart and I remembered I could use a pair of reading glasses, I went inside and got a pair. My real glasses won’t stay in place. I’ve been looking for a strap to keep them in place. Haven’t been able to find any yet. The reading glasses work fine. I headed out of town on Highway 145 driving through the foothills and through North Fork then on into Yosemite. I drove out to Glacier Point and had lunch, some broccoli cheddar soup, with a fabulous view. Then I came back to Sentinel Dome and hike to the top for more views. It was nearing 1600 and I’ve decided i need to get settled in to cam earlier so I decided to head out 120 and look for a spot. I did stop in the valley to take some photos and watch the El Capitan climbers. As I approached the exit booth on Highway 120 i noticed Hodgdon Meadows campground and decided to see if they had a site. They did so I settled in about 1730, before it got dark. I had BBQ baby back ribs and Spanish rice for dinner.

Wednesday: (10/25) Apple pie for breakfast. I drove out of Yosemite NP and went down to Hetch Hetchy area of Yosemite reentering the park. I hiked out to see some waterfalls. I went by Wamata Falls and on to Rancheria Falls. A nice 13 mile hike on a nice day. The mosquitos and flies were a little bothersome but a storm trying to come in provided a nice breeze occasionally and provided some relief. It also provided the threat of rain that did start as I drove away from the parking area. Lunch was the usual trail lunch of tuna salad and crackers. After a nice shower at a pullout on the highway I drove further down the mountain to another pullout for dinner and to spend the night, It had some cell signal which their first location did not. I had BBQ baby back ribs and Spanish rice again for dinner.

Thursday: (10/26) Apple pie for breakfast. Did I mention that I ended up with two apple pies in my refrigerator for this trip. I left my campsite in the dark of morning departing at 0630. I drove down Highway 120 to Highway 49 and stopped in Sonora for a walk. Then on to Highway 4 through Stockton and Clayton then caught Highway 680 to Highway 84 and on home. I stopped for a walk along the way East of Clayton at the Round Valley Regional Preserve. I picked up Lunch about 1400 in Union City at my favorite Honey Walnut Shrimp Chinese restaurant. Leftover Chinese food for dinner. I prepared the Van to leave tomorrow morning to Dave’ Ranch. Lou and Dawn were going to go but decided not to at the last minute. I have to go because I’m the host.

Friday: (10/27) I prepared pork roast with fried eggs for breakfast. About 0930 I headed off in the van to Dave’s Ranch. I did stop at Super Taqueria for a super burrito and at King egg roll for some egg rolls before heading over Mt Hamilton on Highway 130. There was some bad signage that implied the road may be closed. Coming down the back side the County was doing some repaving and I was passing through during their lunch break, otherwise it would have been closed. I arrived at the ranch gate about 1220 but it was locked. I decided to prepare some paper plate signs while I waited. A rancher came out the gate and left his lock unlocked for me but I was hesitant to go inside and not be sure of a way out. Dave and his wife Lou showed up shortly and we went in. Markus was right behind us. I settled in. I did some weeding around the van and picked up the cow pies near the van and around the ranch house. I also cleaned off the picnic tables. We were surprised when one of the other owners fly his plane in. When he was taking off to leave, Pavel and Ludemilla arrived. Pavel. Ludemilla, Dave, Lou and I took a walk out by the old homestead cabin. When we were returning, Henry met us on the trail. I had some cottage cheese and cold cuts for lunch. Dinner was half of the burrito I picked up. In the evening we had a campfire and Tom drove in. We enjoyed the campfire until about 2200.

Saturday: (10/28) I took a morning walk before breakfast at 0700. Then I fried some eggs and pork roast slabs for breakfast. At about 0930 Pavel. Ludamilla, Tom, Henry, and I walked the Ridge Trail. Back at the Van, Lou came bay to say Dave needed some help with a water leak in his trailer. Just where the leak was, wasn’t easy to find. Eventually some blue towels determined it was the pump leaking. When I got back to the van I found out that Anna and Chinse had arrived and had actually tried to catch up to us on the ridge trail. I had my remaining burrito half for lunch. Later I took Chinse and Anna on a narrated hike to the homestead cabin. The hikers BBQ’d lots of stuff for dinner and also had some taco makings. I brought some egg rolls as appetizers. Then a nice campfire in the evening with Scott, Tim, Clint, Frank, Darlene, Tom, Brad, Dave, Lou

Sunday: (10/29) Granola for breakfast. I helped cleanup the house and outside. I left the ranch about 1000. Just some of the biker group remaining. I thanked Dave for having us for the weekend. I returned via Mt Hamilton Road. Back down in San Jose, I called to order a pizza at House Of Pizza. I picked it up and relaxed in the parking lot while eating some pizza and catching up on email. Then I took a nap before heading on home. A little van clean up and more napping before BBQ ribs with corn and tater tots for dinner.

Attendees:  Bikers =Clint, Brad, Scott, Tim, Frank, Markus, Darlene. Hikers= Dave, Don, Chinse, Ludmilla, Pavel, Tom, Anna, Henry

Monday: (10/30) A leftover half burrito for breakfast. I worked in the office all day cleaning off my desk and paying bills. Later in the morning Lou and I went to Costco and Dawn visited a bookstore. When we returned home we enjoyed tamales for lunch. I was back to work in the office at home. Chili beans ala Lou for dinner.

Tuesday: (10/31) Leftover pizza for breakfast and lunch. I headed off to the DMV office in Lps Gatos to re-register the van as a motorhome rather than a commercial van. I waited through the line and got the van inspected to confirm it was converted. Then I waited through the line to turn in the paper work but I forgot to bring the title sheet so I had to return home to find it. Then back to the line to complete the change. I got new plates and tags and turned in the old plates. Mission accomplished. Back home for a nap. Leftovers for dinner. Cottage cheese, yogurt, pork roast and a spring roll.