Friday, December 1, 2023

December 2023

Friday: (12/01) Granola and yogurt for breakfast. Leftover pizza for lunch. I tinkered a little on my smaller backpack setup. Dawn made some lentil peanut butter soup for dinner.

Saturday: (12/02) Pizza and apple pie for breakfast. Dim sum (Pork footballs and egg rolls) for lunch. I took the van out for a drive today. I did some grocery shopping ant Noh Hill market and Sprouts Market. I also spent some time at REI looking around. I did get a bag to contain my tent and mattress attached to the bottom of my smaller backpack. I also stopped at Walmart before returning home. I stopped at Super Taqueria to pick up dinner. A super burrito for me and quesadillas for Lou and Dawn.

Sunday: (12/03) Granola and yogurt for breakfast. I went out shopping (looking) much of the day. I visited Target, Walmart, Safeway, then I walked the Westfield Mall and Santa Row. I followed that with a look at Mitsubishi SUV’s and an army surplus store. Leftover Pizza for lunch. Back home we had baked potatoes with chili for dinner.

Monday: (12/04) Granola with a banana and yogurt for breakfast. Now that I’ve started taking B vitamins I need to eat breakfast when I take the pills, which I take at 0700, so I eat right away. My first project was to check on the Hyundai's Front left tire. Lou said a neighbor said it was flat and she confirmed it. I park it in the neighbors driveway and I probably wouldn’t have seen it for some time. It was flat, as in zero air pressure. I thought, I just get the jack out and install the spare and take it down to be repaired. That was made really difficult because the car doesn’t have a spare and because it doesn’t have a spare, it doesn’t have a jack either. The car and tires are 12 years old and have had no previous tire problems so I can't really complain. I decided to call AAA to have them fix it. Their automated phone system referred me to use their phone app so I downloaded it. It wanted me to select a garage to have them tow the car to. That seemed like too much effort, time and expense for me so I decided to try to remove the tire and haul it down to get it fixed. I have a floor jack but it wouldn’t fit under a car that now is even lower than it was originally and couldn’t pull into a parking space over a parking curb without dragging off body parts. I had to jack up the rear of the car to raise the front a little and add some blocks to hold it up and move the jack to the front. Next problem was to get the lug nuts off. I got my impact wrench out and tried to remove them but it didn’t budge them. I tried a ratchet and also had no luck. Time to rethink this. I remembered I bought a tire plug kit for the van so I looked at the tire, still mounted on the car, and found a screw embedded in the tire. I removed it and poked in a plug. It seemed to have worked. Unfortunately I managed to both poke a hole in my finger tip andbang the top of the d=same hand causing both to bleed. The fingertip bled profusely. Tire fixed time to relax a bit hoping for the bleeding to stop. Then I had a salad for lunch. After lunch I went to the T-mobile store and bought a Pixel 8 watch. I had tried to order it online but couldn’t get the order to complete. I got into a circular mode coming back to the order beginning over and over. I don’t actually have the watch yet. It will arrive in a week or so. With all that done it was time for an afternoon nap. Back home I had some leftover burrito for dinner. Lou and Dawn were out all day with errands, appointments, and thrift shopping.

Tuesday: (12/05) Banana and yogurt for breakfast. I took Lou to the emergency room to have her leg looked at. I dropped her off and went across the street to Grocery Outlet for a little shopping before relaxing in the van waiting for Lou. About 1030 Lou was out and we stopped at Nob Hill Market on the way home. Lou and Dawn have a favorite gluten free bread that only Nob Hill seems to have so we stopped and picked some up. Back home I did the RV tank duty and then prepared wieners and tater tots for lunch. Baked potatoes for dinner.

Wednesday: (12/06) I prepared ham and eggs with tater tots for breakfast. I spent the morning blowing and raking leaves in our and our neighbors front yards. With it being fall with a bit of a breeze and all the contributions of the trees on the street, the yards can’t be made fully clean but I did fill a dumpster with leaves. I attended a bit of my Wednesday Webinar then relaxed until my new Google Watch arrived via UPS. I spent the early afternoon setting up the watch. Then I went out shopping. I visited Nob Hill, Smart and Final, Safeway, and Grocery Outlet Markets. I also picked up a late lunch about 1500 at the Wok On Express Chinese Restaurant in Sunnyvale. More tinkering with the watch when I returned.

Thursday: (12/07) A banana to start the morning. Lou and Dawn were off for the day. I took the neighbors car out for a run to Happy donut to get a ham, egg and cheese English muffin for more breakfast. I then ran the car up and down El Camino Real road to get a little time on the engine. Back home, I ate my breakfast. Then I was off to Milpitas to the Super Walmart. They have a full market so I was able to get some things unavailable at our local store and the Neighborhood Walmart nearby. I also got a pair of jeans. The cold weather keeps telling me I need to be wearing long pants but I keep resisting. I got lunch at the LUU Noodle House there in Milpitas. I had a combination chow fun. We do miss having them nearby since they closed their restaurant near us. Back home I relaxed and also watched some of the house demolition at a nearby home. They are disassembling it, not crushing it. The dump wants sorted debris. Leftover lunch for dinner.

Friday: (12/08) I started with a banana and then was off to San Jose at 0630. I wanted to beat any traffic problems and get to the San Jose house to meet the termite inspector. I stopped at La Victoria Taqueria for a breakfast burrito and some of their famous orange sauce. The inspector arrived at 0805 and finished in about 10 minutes. I headed back toward home via Highway 82 (El Camino Real). I had hoped to get away for some camping after the termite inspection but I needed to wait for some items arriving from Amazon, especially the protection screen for my watch. I also learned I only have one week's worth of one of the pills I take so I ordered more from Kaiser. I got those about 1430. Then it was too late to really get away due to heavy commute traffic in our direction and only 1 hour of daylight at 1600. So another night at home. A beef pot pie for lunch and chili noodles for dinner.

Saturday: (12/09) Ham and eggs for breakfast. I was on the road about 0900. I stopped in Gilroy at the Longhouse Restaurant for lunch. I, of course, ordered the Cowboy Garlic pork chop breakfast. Lots of leftovers for later. I also stopped in Hollister for gas and a Super Taqueria Burrito for later. I arrived at the Pinnacles about 1330. I hiked from the Manzanita Parking Area out to and through the Balconies Caves then back, about a 7.5 mile hike. After the hike I drove out of the park and parked at a pullout North of the park for the night.

Sunday: (12/10) A crumb old fashion donut and bacon jerky for breakfast. I hiked up to the Bear Gulch Reservoir. I decided to explore some and ended up hiking around to the back of the reservoir. Then I continued up to the High Peaks and came down the Condor Gulch Trail about a 8.5 mile loop. Leftover garlic pork chops and tater tots for lunch. This is the first time I’ve used the air fryer feature of my microwave. It worked well and didn’t use too much power. I left the park and drove down to the Sweetwater BLM Campground 20 miles SE or the park. Nice quiet night all by myself in the CG. Salad for dinner.

Monday: (12/11) Leftover pancakes and bacon jerky for breakfast. I drove further back in the mountains exploring the other three BLM campgrounds Mt Laguna and the two in the Clear Creek area. They have a few trails that I will return to do, maybe even an overnighter. I made it to the end of the road where a gate keeps you from continuing up to the New Indira Mine area. Some day maybe I’ll get up there. Half a super burrito for lunch. I stopped in Pismo Beach at the Pismo Beach Preserve for a hike. I decided to do the Blue Spring to Spring loop hike, about 3.4 miles. I’d never hiked at this preserve before but keep seeing it as we pass by when visiting Pismo Beach. I wasn’t sure where I wanted to stay and eat tonight. I decided to stop in Santa Maria at the Cracker Barrel restaurant where I also spent the night.

Tuesday: (12/12) Leftover burrito for breakfast. I left Cracker Barrel early and drove down to Buellton and parked a while with good cell signal to plan my day. I reserved the ferry to Santa Cruz island in Channel Islands NP for Thursday. There were no sailings on Wednesday. So, I needed to have something to do until Thursday. I decided to Hike up to the top of Gaviota peak (7.4mi) and also to Hike to the Gaviota Wind Caves (2.5mi).I finished up the Wind Cave Hike at 1700 just as it was getting dark. I drove over to a nearby Rest Area for the night. I prepared a hotdog and cheese sandwich for dinner followed by some apple pie. Oddly, even though this Rest Area is very tiny with only room for 10 cars and 2 trucks, the only long time residents are one truck and myself even now at 2100. I expected competition which is why I checked in early.

Wednesday: (12/13) I was up early and ate a couple of Lou’s Frittatas for breakfast. I came down to Carpinteria. I did my laundry there. I stopped at a Smart And Final market and got some apples and bananas as well as some ripe avocados. I had guacamole and chips for lunch. I found where the ferry would leave from and checked in at the office. Fortunately they also provided a pass to park overnight in the lot. I took a nap in the afternoon then explored the shopping center next door. Mostly restaurants. While I napped, a carnival that had their trucks parked in the same lot had set up their equipment on a grassy area next to the lot. Loaded baked potato soup with toast for dinner.

Thursday: (12/14) Granola for breakfast. I took the ferry out to Santa Cruz Island in Channel Islands NP at 0900. It takes most of 2 hours to get there. We did get to see dolphin, whales, and porpoises on the way. I headed right to the trail. I barely had time to do my 8.6 mile loop hike. It is the MontaƱon Ridge Loop hike that goes out along the bluffs then climbs up to the top of the ridge and back. I started at about 1100 and had to be back to catch the ferry at 1500. Four hours to hike 8.6 miles and 1756 feet. I wasn’t entirely sure I would be spending the night in the cold because I missed my ferry. Instead, I made good time partly by only stopping 10 minutes to eat my sandwich for lunch. I made it back at 1445. Nice hike and great views. I also got to see a couple of the foxes that are only found here on the island. Coming back to the mainland we passed through several hundreds more porpoises. We got back about 1700. I got some food from Panda Express for dinner and stopped at Winco Market for a couple of things. I decided to return to the harbor and try to stay another night.

Friday: (12/15) I prepared scrambled eggs with bacon jerky and toast for breakfast. I head off toward who knows where about 0815. I thought I might try to hike out to the Hollywood sign from Griffith Park but I also wanted to have lunch at Eat At Joe’s restaurant in Redondo Beach which closes at 1400. It could have been possible if traffic had been better so I opted to do the hike another day and enjoy lunch. I had some fun in bad traffic on the way but eventually arrived at about 1130. I ordered the John Wayne Special. I’ve had it a couple of times before, first time 40+ years ago. It’s still the same, and an outstanding meal. Also the restaurant had the atmosphere of a friendly truck stop restaurant. After lunch I continued South on the Pacific Coast Highway stopping at a Rest Stop about 44 miles North of San Diego. I prepared some ramen noodles and added a chicken breast for dinner.

Saturday: (12/16) Granola for breakfast with a banana. I stopped at a Walmart store and got a few things. I replaced the wiper blades on the van. I got more wood chip pet bedding and serviced the compost toilet. I also bought a long squeegee for the windshield. I drove through the beach towns down to Mission Bay Beach. I got a free parking space right by the beach and a lawn where I had a salad for lunch. There was a lady with three 5 gallon bubble juice buckets then she launched bubbles from and had other visitors try their hand at making bubbles. While I was having my lunch one of her 18 inch bubbles drifted inside my van that was parked about 100 feet from her. I also walked on the promenade for a while. About 1500 I decided I’d better leave so I could get to my new home before dark. I decided to leave the city and head East toward Campo. I tried taking back roads but they all seemed to return me back to I8. I stopped for the night at a rest area on I8 near Pine Valley. I had a chicken breast with loaded baked potato soup for dinner.

Sunday: (12/17) An apple for breakfast. I drove down to Campo and visited the Southern marker of the Pacific Crest Trail. I prepared brunch there with some cheese toast with fried eggs and black bean salsa. I also trove back West on Highway 94 to Tecate Mexico border crossing. I wanted to see what I missed because I got lost yesterday afternoon. The railroad I’m looking for disappeared on the way. It turns out it enters a tunnel North of the Mexico border and exits inside Tecate Mexico. Evidently the tracks do that several times on the way to San Diego. I continued East on Highway 94 then took part of the old scenic Highway 80. I found what I was looking for just North of Jacumba Hot Springs by I8. The railroad tracks heading into Carrizo Gorge and to Goat Canyon. About 1230 I started to hike out the tracks but, after talking to other hikers and bikers I learned it is 8 miles to the trestle, and of course 8 miles back. I figured I wouldn’t be back to the van until about 1900, 2 hours after dark. I turned around about 2 miles out and will return tomorrow. I moved the van a short ways from the trailhead to a wide flat area with good cell signal for the night. Also away from the dust road. Chili and ramen for dinner.

Monday: (12/18) Granola for breakfast. I moved from my camp spot to the trailhead. I started the hike about 0730. There were two other hikers there that started shortly after I did. They had camped out there beside the rail tracks hobo style. Goat Canyon Trestle in the Carrizo Gorge area of the San Diego and Arizona Eastern Railway North of I8 and Jacumba Hot Springs. It is the largest wooden trestle in the world.

The hike was North from near De Anza Spring Resort by Interstate 8 and headed up the Carrizo Gorge to Goat Canyon about 8 miles out then 8 more back to the start. Curtis and Peter, the other two hikers passed me at about the 3 mile mark. We met up again at the end by the trestle. We had lunch and chatted before doing some nearby exploration then returning. I had a roast beef and cheese sandwich. We all hiked back together. Back at the van I offered them ice cream bars which at first they thought was a joke but then enjoyed them. We only met one other couple on the way back. I had leftover chili and needles then wieners and tater tots for dinner.

Video of trains going through the gorge.

Tuesday: (12/19) Granola for breakfast. I head toward Julian on highway I8 then onto the Sunrise Highway 79. I stopped by a couple of PCT trailheads beside the road. Arriving in Julian just before 0800 I took a walk around town before stopping by the Julian Cafe for a great chicken fried steak breakfast. I came away with a slice of apple pie for later. I then went down the hill to Borrego Springs in Anza Borrego State park. I looked around a little, took some photos of some of the metal art figures scattered around the valley. I saw a coyote near the visitor center. I left Borrego Springs on Highway S22 and stopped on top of the mountain at the Culp Valley campground for the night. Near my camp I saw a bunny. There hasn’t been too much wildlife around.

Wednesday: (12/20) Granola with my morning pills. I took a walk up to the end of the valley to a vista point overlooking Borrego Springs on the Culp Valley Trail. I pulled out of camp about 0745. I continued West on S22 to Warner Springs. I stopped at a couple of PCT crossings for a look. I got cheap gas at an Indian casino in Anza before stopping for brunch about 1030 at the Paradise Cafe. I turned East there and headed down toward Indio. I stopped again at another PCT trail crossing and at an informative vista point with all sorts of information about Indians food sources in the desert. I did some shopping in Indio and got a date milk shake before heading East on I10 to the South entrance to Joshua Tree National park. I stayed outside the park in some BLM land there. As I was arriving to the park entrance there were a few sprinkles of rain and a big rainbow. I had a chicken breast and some ramen noodles for dinner. In the evening there was a little real rain.

Thursday: (12/21) A banana and two frittatas for breakfast. I drove up to the Cottonwood Springs trailhead in Joshua Tree National Park. I hiked out to the Lost palms Oasis. It’s 3.6 miles out then back making my hake today 7.6 miles with a little exploring at the oasis. I had half a ham and cheese sandwich for lunch. I returned about 1400 and drove out to a nature trail parking area. I had a good cell signal there which was a bit higher than last night’s campsite. I stayed there until just before dark then drove on down to the BLM area and picked a campsite. This time I pointed my nose down hill and that may be part of the reason I have better cell signal tonight since the windows are likely on the side of the cell tower, wherever it is. I had the rest of my ham sandwich with a salad for dinner.

Friday: (12/22) A banana and frittatas for breakfast. It rained some last night, It was foggy this morning. At 0800 I headed back into the park and drove to the Jumbo Rocks area and on through the park to Joshua Tree. I found barricades up at the entrances to campgrounds along the way saying no parking. I took that to mean no camping in the park, likely due to the rain. I continued to Yucca Valley then onto Highway 247 to Victorville. I got gas there and stopped for lunch at Raul’s Mexican restaurant for a carnitas plate. Then onto Highway 395 to Highway 58 into Bakersfield. I stopped at the Rice Bowl Chinese restaurant to pick up a shrimp dinner to go. I got gas in Buttonwillow. In Paso Robles I took Highway 101 up to Bradley and stopped at a rest area to eat some dinner. Then on to home arriving about 2130 after getting more gas.

(12/23) I had more leftover shrimp dinner for breakfast. I moved the food from the van refrigerator to the RV. We all shared the leftover carnitas with some added chips, refried beans, salsa and cheese for lunch. I washed the van in the afternoon. Cabbage and onions with wieners for dinner. Dawn baked a pie for dessert.

Sunday: (12/24) Leftover nacho chips to go with my morning pills. I started with a shower, a hair and beard cut and another shower. Then Lou and I went shopping at Smart and Final and Nob Hill markets for a few things. Back home I prepared ham, eggs, and hash browned potatoes for breakfast. I did tank duty on the motorhome. While i was gone the Hyundai tire went flat again. I aired it up and will get new tires in a couple of days. The existing tires are original with 73K miles on them now.

Monday: (12/25) A banana to start. I prepared ham and eggs with hash browned potatoes for breakfast. I relaxed the rest of the day. We had an early Christmas dinner. Lou and Dawn made beef Wellington and Ernie made scalloped potatoes, carrot salad with pomegranate and pineapple, green beans with bacon, and deviled eggs. We had real fruit cake with peppermint ice cream for dessert later.

Tuesday: (12/26) A banana for breakfast. Brunch from Happy Donut, an egg sausage and cheese English muffin. I Was off to Jiffy Lube to get an oil change in the Hyundai. Then off to Costco to check on new tires for the Hyundai. They did have anything for the car, they evidently are odd. I did some more price checking and I decided to get them from the Hyundai dealer. I had hoped that they would have the parts for a couple of recall fixes but they are still backordered. I got an appointment for tomorrow but have to leave it all day. I also stopped at ACE to get a new light witch to replace a bad switch in a closet. Back home I installed the switch. Then I disassembled half the front of the van to replace a bad parking lamp. After determining the appropriate lamp, I went to Walmart and got the lamp. Back home I installed the lamp and reassembled the van. A really stupid design that requires removing two pieces of trim to be able to remove the entire lamp assembly to get access to twist out lamp access covers. Obviously the intent was to be able to access them from under the hood but there was no access. I picked up a late lunch from Panda Express. After lunch I raked the leaves up in our neighbors front yard then drove her car for some exercise. We had leftover steak, scalloped potatoes carrot salad and green beans.

Wednesday: (12/27) A banana for breakfast. Lou and I were off early to the Hyundai dealer in Santa Clara to get new tires. We dropped the car off a little after 0800. Then we headed to the Country Inn restaurant in Los Altos for a real breakfast. We shared a skillet which included some Swedish pancakes. Then back home. I relaxed while Lou and Dawn were out shopping and at appointments. They returned a little after 1500 and took me back to the dealer to get the Hyundai. Lou and Dawn went their way. I stopped at Kaiser in Santa Clara and got my covid booster shot. Then, on the way home I got gas and then stopped at Walmart to get new wiper blades for the Hyundai and Jeep. I got them on the Hyundai just in time for some heavy showers the rest of the way home. We had pizza for dinner.

Thursday: (12/28) A banana to start then some soft boiled eggs for breakfast. We all took a drive up to Pacifica to look at the big waves happening now due to storms and king tides. Unfortunately, it was also foggy so visibility wasn’t as good as hoped. We enjoyed our lunch in Pacifica. Then we drove down the coast stopping here and there. In Half Moon Bay we had some clam chowder for an early dinner. Dawn looked around a couple of book stores before we headed home on Highway 84. We stopped at the Container store on our way home arriving at 1830. We had some leftovers for additional dinner..

Friday: (12/29) An occasionally rainy day with some wind on the side. Granola with a side of pills to start. Only a small amount of granola because Lou promised breakfast later. She and Dawn were off to the Mexican market to get tamales for our New Year dinner. When they returned we had some tamales for breakfast as well, I installed a small dehumidifier in the van. I searched for a good location and ended up installing it under the bed in the rear left corner. Power was available there and under the bed is one of my most concerning locations. I still need to install a fan to keep the air under the bed mixed with the rest of the cabin air so the dehumidifier should handle the entire van eventually. I picked up lunch from the Lucky Chinese Bistro. After lunch I bought some PowerBall Lotto tickets. The jackpot is too high to not do it. Then I stopped by Jiffy Lube to get the cabin air filter replaced with the correct size. Their computer was indicating the wrong size but they installed it anyway. Now they have installed the correct size. Leftovers for dinner.

Saturday: (12/30) An apple to start. More rain today after lots of rain last night and yesterday. I relaxing inside all day. Lou made a real breakfast later in the morning. Tempura for a late breakfast. Crackers and cheese with guacamole for a late lunch. Leftover Chinese food for dinner.

Sunday: (12/31) New Years Eve. I had cottage cheese to start. Avocado toast for brunch. We enjoyed the usual Sunday morning shows on TV. About 1000 we all headed off to Big Basin Redwoods State Park via Highway 9 and 236. We had leftover Dawn’s soup with toast for lunch when we arrived. I took a walk while Lou and Dawn had a nap. I hiked the nature trail and then up Dool Trail and back Gazos Road and Creeping Forest Trail. Total hike was about 3.5 miles. This is my first visit to the park since the CZU fire that destroyed the park. It was nice to see how green it is again. Most of the redwood trees are coming back. Only a few trails are open so far. When I got back to the car Lou and Dawn were leaving for a walk so it was my turn to nap. When they returned it was 1630, time to get out of the park since it closes at sunset. We came out through Boulder Creek and came back home on Highway 9, 35 and Page Mill Road. We had fried rice from our neighbor Meili for dinner. Cheese dip and chips in the evening. We managed to stay up to see the new year in.

No comments:

Post a Comment