Monday, November 30, 2009

Buckskin Mountain State Park, Arizona

There is a saying in the RV world, “home is were you park it”. Well, we parked it at Buckskin Mountain State Park today, where we expect to stay for the next four months. I’m shown here trying to relax this afternoon after loosing a battle with the blankety blank Satellite TV set-up. We think we are going to enjoy our stay anyway. It’s a beautiful park on a nice section of the Colorado River. High tempature today was probably 70. If you get a chance to stop by and see us, we are in site #68.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Lake Havasu

Made the short drive to Lake Havasu this morning where we are staying in Lake Havasu State Park where we worked as Volunteer Hosts last February. Great to see familiar places and visit with friends Scott & Judy Priebe, Volunteer Hosts. Tomorrow we move on to Buckskin Mountain State Park, just down river a ways, to set-up for our winter’s Volunteer jobs.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Needles, California

We left the Orange Grove RV Park this morning expecting to stay tonight at the Calico Ghost Town near Barstow, but the weather was so poor and we were making good time, so we decided to drive on to Needles. The climb over Tehachapi Pass went fine; there were snowflakes, but no snow on the ground. In Barstow it was raining, so it was easy to choose to go on. When I stepped out of the motor home here at Desert View RV Resort in Needles this afternoon, I was engulfed in the soft warmth of the desert, ah, a good feeling. ----- Tomorrow we cross over into Arizona and drive to Lake Havasu State Park for a night or two.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Orange Grove RV Park

We were up before the crack of dawn today, packed-up, and were on the road by 7:00AM, for our day's drive to Bakersfield. We are now set-up in the Orange Grove RV Park on the East-side of Bakersfield. This park is an annual stopping spot for us and we always enjoy picking some oranges. This year however we are earlier than usual and the oranges are not ripe yet. I guess the “early bird gets the worm”, but not the oranges. ----- Tomorrow we head on over the Tehachapi Pass to Barstow, probably camping at Calico Ghost Town.

Thursday, November 26, 2009


Jeanette’s sons Sean and Tony, and Tony’s girl friend Maggie, who all live in Oakland, joined us for Thanksgiving Dinner in our Holiday Rambler here in Pleasanton. Serving a Thanksgiving Dinner for five people in an RV was a real challenge, but Jeanette proved it could be done, and very successfully.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Enjoying Pleasanton

We are enjoying our stay here in Pleasanton California. Yesterday we spent the morning doing odds and ends around the motorhome. After lunch we took a nice four-mile plus walk on some of Pleasanton’s walking/biking paths. We are shown here relaxing in the sun after our walk. In the evening we went to Richards and Mary’s for a lovely dinner of asparagus and cheddar stuffed chicken breasts and an exciting game of Mexican Train Dominos.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Picnic in the Sun

Richard and Mary wanted us to be sure and see Lake Del Valle while we are staying in Pleasanton. Yesterday they took us on a picnic and tour of Del Valle Regional Park. We enjoyed a picnic in the sun, and then took a stroll along the lake identifying birds and I tried to capture some of the park's beauty with my camera. We also scouted out the campground. It’s not a question of "if "we will return to this wonderful park, but simply a question of "when"!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Holiday Kickoff Open House

The big event of the day yesterday here in Pleasanton was attending Richard & Mary Sites “Holiday Kickoff Open House”. On display were some of Mary’s Department 56 collection. A huge display of the “Christmas in the City” series filled the dinning room spilling over into the kitchen, and the “Holy Land” series filled in one end of the living room. Food and friends filled in the rest of the space. 

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Pleasanton California

We made it here to the Alameda County Fairgrounds yesterday. Driving Highway 680 with the speeding traffic bumper-to-bumper five lanes wide always gives me the feeling of having joined a mass of lemmings rushing for the sea. The worst part however was the terrible road surface, cracks, potholes, and deteriorating pavement, gave us a cupboard-jarring ride. But, we made it, and the warm sunshine is wonderful. Twenty-eight dollars a night here for a site. We have now been in California for a week.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Lunch with Rudy

We took the car and drove up to Grass Valley yesterday to have lunch with a family friend Rudy Thompson. He grew up in the Toledo Oregon area with Jeanette’s dad, Jim Dye. They were scoutmasters together and after WW II they both lived in Roseburg with their new brides. The couples did things together and remained friends for life. Rudy is the only one left, but he is a very spry 97 years old. Jeanette and I have remained in contact with him, and in fact he has contributed photos and information to Cascade Ramblings for Derrick and Trembley Lakes. When we called to arrange a visit, he insisted on fixing us lunch himself. He provided everything for a Norwegian style lunch of open-faced sandwiches including smoked lox, and pickled herring. He has such a zest for life, and is involved in projects too numerous to attempt to list, but one of his latest is learning Norwegian!

Today we pull up stakes and head for the Alameda County Fairgrounds in Pleasanton where we will stay through Thanksgiving.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Yuba City, California

Yuba-Sutter Fairgrounds - - - we have discovered that county fairgrounds often have RV camping available. They have to be scouted out, as they are sort of under the radar in that they do not usually advertise, nor are they listed in most RV park guides. They are however great places to stay for several reasons. In the first place they cost less than standard RV parks by ten to fifteen dollars. We paid twenty dollars a night here. Secondly they are interesting places to stay in that it’s fun to be able to walk all through the fairgrounds. There is some danger in exploring the fairgrounds as Jeanette found out yesterday. During our walk, Jeanette went through a turnstile and found herself locked into a secured parking lot with no way to get out. I had told her there was no way to get out, but she proceeded to attempt to prove me wrong. In the end, I had to go find a maintenance man to unlock the gate to let her out!

We are staying two nights here. We have unhooked the car and today will be driving up to Grass Valley to visit with our friend Rudy Thompson.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Sycamore Campground

Sycamore Campground and the Red Bluff Recreation Area have so much to offer that we stayed a second night. This campground is completely unknown, right on the banks of the Sacramento River, with miles of hiking trails. We toughed out the first night in a site without electricity, but in the morning we moved to the site shown here with electricity, twenty five dollars a night, but with Senior Pass, twelve fifty a night. The sun came out on the second day and we relaxed, hiked, and got some good photos of birds to add to Cascade Ramblings. I was able to add; White-breasted Nuthatch, Black Phoebe, and Red Shouldered Hawk. Today we will be traveling on to Yuba City

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Red Bluff, California

We had to continue fleeing south ahead of the storm yesterday. We left Yreka in the morning as the rain was just threatening. High winds between Yreka and Weed made for some treacherous driving, the best I could do was only 45 miles an hour. Once we descended down to Dunsmuir we were out of the wind and driving was back to normal. We got gas and lunch in Anderson and then drove on to Red Bluff where I wanted to try camping at the Lake Red Bluff Recreation Area. Here we are in our eight-dollar site in the Sycamore Campground. The no-hook-up sites are actually sixteen dollars, but with a Senior Pass it's half price. We got in a great hike on the park trails just before the rain hit at 3:00. Looking at the road cams later I could see snow on the route we had just driven, in fact snow was reported as low as Dunsmuir.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

California or Bust

We are now in California! Yesterday we made it safely over the Siskiyous just ahead of the upcoming storms. We had to make a fast dash, as yesterday was forecast to be the last dry day, meaning no snow, for some time to come. We left the Salem area early in the morning, repacked the Holiday Rambler in Elkton, and sped down I-5 and over the Siskiyous, arriving in the late afternoon at the Yreka RV Park as shown here, where we were happy to pay $38.50 for the night. Phew! Over the first hurdle on our southward migration for the winter.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Astro Boy

Yesterday at the invitation of my grandsons I went to see the movie “Astro Boy” with, as shown here, my wife Jeanette, my daughter Lisa and my grandsons, Jake, William, and Luke. My grandsons told me the movie was about robots. And there were lots of robots, robots of every size and description and they contained powers beyond my imagination. But as the movie progressed I realized it was the classic battle between good and evil, a father’s love for his son, and the son’s willingness to sacrifice his life to save the world. The son, in this case, Astro boy, was able to save the world because the power of his goodness ultimately overcame the forces of evil. Hmmmm, ---- now that sounds like a familiar script.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Good Memories

We have had a great three days staying in Salem. The repairs on our RV were all completed by Wagers Trailer Sales on Thursday; the cabling was set up to receive satellite TV in the bedroom, the loose wire was found to repair the left-hand mirror camera, and a leak was found and sealed that was causing rust to form and drip out at the wheel-well. So, the motor home is all set for out trip to Arizona. We have also got in some shopping for odds and ends, and in fact it has been kind of fun just to drive around our former hometown. The best part of our stay however, has been time spent with friends and reconnecting. We have met for lunches and dinners and gone for walks at River Front Park and Minto Brown Island Park. To my great disappointment I failed to have my camera with me on both of our walks. We will however have the good memories to carry with us.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Salem Senior Center

In general I stay away from senior centers. Call me stubborn, or in denial, but that fact is I don’t much like the idea of getting old. So, imagine my surprise yesterday to find myself at the City of Salem Senior Center standing in the cheap lunch line! Jeanette and I were there to have lunch with friends at the table reserved for members of our Chemeketans hiking club. I tried to explain to strangers that we were not members, just guests. To our chagrin, no one even asked if we were old enough. I did notice that several hiking friends had gotten a lot older. As soon as we were finished eating, we got up and left. That’s another thing I hate about old people, they are so impatient.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Practice Trip

We are currently set up in our motor home in the Phoenix RV Park in Salem. We will be here through Sunday having some work done on the motor home and visiting with friends and family in the area. I’m calling it a “practice trip” before we leave for our “big trip” next week for the winter to Arizona. Don’t let the photo fool you; we did see our share of rain earlier in the day while driving up I-5.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Looking for the Bright Spot

I have always felt that it’s important to make sure I get in some exercise every day. Most days now it includes taking our dog Buster for a walk. It’s important for him too, he seems easier to live with if he gets daily exercise, and he sleeps better. It definitely gets to be more of a challenge in the wintertime with the predominance of cold foggy wet rainy days. But, I’ve noticed if I am vigilant, that even on rainy days there is usually a break in the weather, a bright spot, and the sun comes out even though briefly. Today was such a day, solid rain all morning, but about noon the sun came out and dried up the streets and walkways, and so I took Buster out for our walk. It’s important for my sanity to keep looking for that bright spot, its usually there if I keep an eye out. Seems like that’s probably true with the rest of my life as well.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

In Search of Mushrooms

For me, photographing mushrooms in the fall takes the place of photographing wild flowers in the spring. I am drawn to seek them out and attempt to capture their beauty with my camera. Eddie Harrod snapped this picture of me taking a photo of Scaly Chanterelles on yesterdays hike along Brice Creek.

Sunday, November 1, 2009


Halloween was featured at Brandborg Winery again this year in Elkton. Jeanette and I are shown here in our costumes as Wacky Tourists. It was a fun evening when adults got a chance to prove they are still young at heart. To see more photos of the evening check out Webshots.