Saturday, July 28, 2012

I'm not saying it's hot....

I'll let this photo of a dove hiding in the shade of the bird bath say it for me!

If you have been following this blog you know I've been copying old photos to my computer.  I'm about worn out trying to pry photos out of albums.  It's a giant pain but in a way it is kind of fun.  For example, copying the photos we took back in 1993 when we took European delivery on our new BMW.  We took three weeks and wandered around southern German and northern France.  We had lots of fun & saw all kinds of wonderful stuff.  People at work said it was 'the trip of a lifetime'; I said then and say now 'I'm not dead yet!'.  I'm hoping for many more 'trip of a lifetime' experiences.  Still, we did have fun.  Here I am 19 years ago(!) storing up energy to see Neuschwanstein - German King Ludwig's fantasy castle.
That huge bag is my camera bag:  Nikon, telephoto, flash & a few filters.  Wow, how times have changed.  These days half my photos are taken with my phone; it and my camera will fit in my pocket.  It was my wife's first trip to Europe.  Only four years later, she took a job there.  What a rush! 

One of my favorite RV bloggers says "Life is not a dress rehearsal. Don't be afraid to laugh, love and retire early." Well, I don't know about the retiring early; that's tough to manage but he's certainly right that life isn't a dress rehearsal.  So if you want to do something, make it happen!

Until then, have a good one.

P.S.  It occurs to me that this was my dad's birthday.  Had he lived he would be 108 today.  Happy birthday Dad!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Two days in a row????

WTF, I'm getting all crazy here.  Guess it felt so good to blog that I had to try it again.  To keep on with my restaurant rants I have to tell you about and experience I had here in town last week.  To start with, this is about guns, not food.  Of course that nitwit who is 'alleged' to have killed all those folks in Colorado brought this to mind. 

We went into a local Italian joint the other night.  It's got fair food, reasonable prices and pretty good service.  It's problem is that it basically looks like a dump.  They have a small problem with cleanliness but a larger problem with decor from the 1970's.  When is the last time you saw a statuette of a little Italian chef?  ANYWAY, this place has three employees:  the owner/chef, a fat useless greeter and a server.  The fat useless one just wanders around talking to friends/patrons and generally being useless.  The thing is that he is carrying a sidearm; a nice looking .357 with custom grips.  I told him that the food was good; he doesn't need to carry a gun but he didn't really seem to get it.  We got into a discussion about guns and he seems to think he needs to be armed to protect the place from robbers.  Hmmm.

My folks had a store.  My dad was in retail his whole life.  He taught me 'it's only money'.  If someone wants to rob you, it's only money.  It's not worth being injured or worse; it's not worth injuring someone else, it's only money.  This guy in the restaurant seems to think he's a local Rambo or something.  I wonder if he's got a clue about what it feels like to be shot - or to have shot someone else.  It's just stupid.  We watch someone on tv or in a movie being shot.  If it's one of the 'good guys'; they are walking around with their arm in a sling 15 minutes later.  If it's a 'bad guy' they are dead and the 'good guy' who did the shooting is having a beer with his friends.  Really?  Why is it that in real life police officers who have to shoot people are put on leave and offered counseling?  Why is our local park named for an officer who died in the line of duty?  Why did I contribute to a fund for his family?  Well, it's because life and death are a bunch harder than what we see on tv.

I'm a strong supporter of the 2nd amendment to the constitution which gives citizens the right to own and carry firearms.  I've always owned guns and if they were outlawed, I'd still own guns.  But to use a gun to take a life is a terrible burden.  I would do it if there were no alternative, NO alternative but not otherwise.  It's my belief that if you have a gun for protection you must have that discussion with yourself and know if you are going to use it or not.  And understand and accept the consequences of using it.  It's a big responsibility that I'm pretty sure a lot of gun owners/toters haven't figured out.

Have a good one.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Being bad, or at least dull!

It sure looks like I've fallen off the posting wagon but in my defense I must say that I haven't done much I would want to read about so maybe I've just been saving you from drivel, my reader.   We've had weird weather here with much more rain than usual interspersed with our normal July HOT.

Our big excitement was to visit Las Vegas for dinner at Panevino Ristorante.  It is a pretty upscale place that is NOT on the strip but is right next to McCarran Airport so you get to watch planes taking off and landing.  We had a 6 pm reservation & dinner took about two hours.  It is quite a nice looking place specializing in Italian gourmet meals.  The service was excellent and the food was good.  My complaint would be that the meals were quite expensive ($30-$50 for the entre), and the alcohol was unreal!  A gin and tonic for $9?  We had a bottle of the cheapest American Pinot Noir on their wine list - $75!  Come on.  Just a quick look at the wine list showed many more $200 bottles than under $100.  Maybe there are places in the world where people are going to appreciate such a wine list but I don't think it is Las Vegas.  Especially in this economy, I wouldn't like to be offering that kind of wine.  Granted, it was a lovely wine but I'm thinking there are better values out there.  Will we be back?  I kind of doubt it.  The food was pretty good but if you can't get out the door for under $100 a person; it isn't going to be my regular haunt.

Doing dinner meant that we couldn't do all our usual Las Vegas shopping so last Monday we returned for the usual round of buying stuff you can't get over here.  On this occasion we tried out a burger joint called Cheeburger Cheeburger.  Yeah, I know, we aren't exactly stuck in a rut when it comes to restaurant choices are we.  Anyway I can't really complain about the prices - $7 for a cheeseburger and $4 for some onion rings is pretty reasonable.  I can complain that once again you can't get a rare burger.  I guess they can't maintain good hygiene.  Of course the burger was pretty thin so maybe they can't get it warm enough to melt the cheese and still have it rare.  It is a 50's diner themed place so if you are allergic to that you are forewarned!  Will we go back?  I suppose but only because it is on a road that we travel most times we go into town.

Our local political scene is just as crazy usual.  Our 'town board' is supposed to run a few of our local government offices.  A group is trying to get them fired and have it replaced by an advisory board with no real power.  The power would revert to the county.  They managed to get an item on the ballot for the November election to this effect.  Now there will be a vote.  In the last election I think there were about 7,000 votes cast; this is out of population of 35,000+.  So whatever happens this coming election, it will most likely be decided by something under 10% of the population.  Why the hell can't people be bothered to vote?

I read a few blogs regularly.  One that I like but don't often read is BadNick.  Nick is an rv'er who just has to ask unusual questions from time to time and writes this blog specifically for that purpose.  I especially like the entry that I linked to, especially his last line.  "How come those of you who are very conservative think I’m stupid for asking half of the questions above, and the very liberal ones think I’m an idiot for the other half?"  I like people who look beyond the surface of a question.  We need a lot more people like Nick.

Have a good one!

Thursday, July 12, 2012


Last night it didn't get lower that 89F (32C) here; that's pretty warm.  So when we heard on the LV station that 108F (42+C) was possible we thought it pretty normal.  However, we actually got rain here!  I'm guessing at least three-quarters of an inch (1.9 cm).  Here's a photo of our back patio; the rain is being blowing in from the east at least eight feet(2.4 m).  It only lasted 8 or 10 minutes but it was intense. 
 Ok, iin our home in Florida this was an almost every day occurrence in the wet season.  NOT SO MUCH here, though it is true that rain is often accompanied by some wind.  This was pretty fierce though!

It is very welcome though because we had our own little wildfire going up in the mountains this a.m. caused by some natural lightning.  (I'd offer a link but the local tv station seems beyond that.)  The estimate was that it was about 20 acres (8 hectares)  This rain should help fight the fire.  It was up in land that isn't accessible by truck so the firefighters have to either fight it using aircraft or being taken up there by aircraft or by hiking up there.  None is very fast or easy or cheap so having some rain to help things along is great. 

We are having a quiet day.  Had some cheese, sausage and bread for breakfast (ala our German friends) and talked about our forthcoming California trip.  Tonight there is a chicken in our future though I don't know it's form.  We often buy a chicken to bbq half and do something completely different with the other; the weird weather might force us to modify our behavior.  Gee!  Guess that's life.

Have a good one; regardless of the weather!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Vegas Baby!

We've been home almost a week so it was clearly time for a trip to Las Vegas.  Today we especially wanted to visit the Erotic Heritage Museum.  My wife had found a deal on Groupon where we got in for half price:  $7.50.  I liked it a lot more at that price than at the $15 normal price.  The museum is right next door to the Deja Vu strip club; turns out the museum's patron is the guy who owns the clubs. 

It was actually pretty interesting.  They had a lot of art work celebrating sex though there was relatively little from other countries.  One exception was a series of German posters that Hitler tried to destroy.  There was some Asian representation as well but less than I would have expected.  There were also some pieces from primitive cultures but they weren't very well documented.  They also had quite a few televisions showing loops of various porn movies including ones from 1915, the 1920's and 30's.  They have a library that legitimate students can use but they also had a small display of pornographic literature.  Jeez, I hate it when I see things in a museum that I have at home.  It really makes me feel old! 

We had lunch in a brew pub called BJ's.  It's a fairly large chain that brews some of their own beers.  They have a few lunch specials at $5.95 which is fantastic for Vegas!  They were doing a pretty good business too.  I had a piece of fried chicken with potatoes & gravy.  It wasn't overwhelming but wasn't bad at all; especially for the price.  My wife had a trio of barbacoa tacos with black beans which she really liked but couldn't finish.  Again, it is a really good value.  I tried their porter and was happy with that as well but at $5.25 for a 12 oz. glass; well, I didn't think it was that special.

This is the time of year for it to be warm here and we are warm.  Right now it's 111F (almost 44C) and this is almost 18:00 hours.  If we are lucky it cools down in the very early hours so we can open the house for a couple of hours and get some fresh air.  Otherwise, it's just stay inside and thank your lucky stars for air conditioning.  For some odd reason we haven't felt like filling the hot tub.  Other than that we have everything squared away from our trip.  Even the seemingly endless of loads of laundry are done, the trailer is cleaned and put away.

I'm always on about the politicians around here.  I'm happy to say I've found somewhere that is even worse.  Here is a story about a Jordanian politician who pulled a gun on a critic on live tv!  Not bad by any standard.  The moderator had guts though, he got between the two and kept them apart.  I don't know that I would have been there between those two.

Gotta go.  Have a good one!

Friday, July 06, 2012

GRRR! Google is doing an Apple

As of a couple days ago I started getting a message when I log into Blogger - "Your browser is no longer supported by Blogger.  Some parts of Blogger will not work and you may experience problems.  If you are having problems, try Google Chrome."  Grrr!  That's the reason I hate Apple, they try very hard to force you into using all their proprietary shit.  Now Google is doing the same thing!  Double Grrr!

I'm going to go on using Firefox as long as I can.  I've got a copy of Chrome but have been avoiding using it simply because I don't want to.  It's probably a perfectly good browser, maybe better than Firefox but, it's the principle of the thing.  What a bunch of jerks.

We have decided our trip up to Washington was a success based on a new criteria:  we are willing to get into the trailer again!  Sometimes we just don't look forward to another trip.  This time we are already planning a trip to San Diego and LA.  Again we are talking just a couple weeks rather than a whole month; we are thinking that is part of the difference.  We also didn't have many long days on the road.  We think that makes the trip much harder. 

I assume everyone has heard of the possible malware that is supposed to infect your computer and makes it impossible to convert DNS codes to legible names.  If you haven't heard, this hack was done quite a while ago but was caught by the FBI and foreign security services.  However, the only way they could figure out to keep people from crashing was to substitute temporary servers for the hacked ones.  Now they need to remove those temporary servers so if your computer won't talk to the internet on Monday, lucky you!  Do a search on 'DNS problem' or something and you'll find sites to help figure out if you are infected and what to do about it.

I found a book at the local Friends of the Library store about chili.  Written in 1981 it is 'The Great American Chili Book'.  The author talks about chili (the soup) as a food, then offers some recipes.  Some are interesting, one or two might even be useful.
- chili from the U.S. Army Tm 10-412 - start with 24 lb ground beef....
- chili for 600 - 25 lb dried ancho chile pods!
- mountain oyster chili - 2 lb calf testicles....
Some of the folks have strong opinions:  "This business of putting tomatoes in a dish of chili is an abomination, and anyone who would do such a thing should be forced to consume a whole fried chicken cooked in castor oil."  You can bet I'll be modifying my chili making in the near future.  Not to say I'll be stealing a recipe but making some modifications to my own. 

Gotta go.  Have a good one.

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Home again

We made it home yesterday.  It was a fast trip which equates to tiring but we really wanted to go and thought that missing out on the redwoods would just be silly.  Here's my report.

Trip Log - 60Yr-Trip

7:34 PM 6/15/2012
Spent most of the morning going back and forth with stuff for our trip.  I was dragging by the time we were ready to leave.

Got out of the yard about 13:00 - calm and quiet trip to Tonopah after hitting Scotch on the head four or five times to get him to shut up.  Stopped at Joyland RV Park - $10 PA - gravel lot - several small spaces but bigger ones are down the road a ways.  Signage for the park is ok but the GPS tried to get us to turn where there was no road.  There are five but only four are really usable; the last is both rough and access is poor.  We only want water and electric.  There might be cable; I didn't dig around for it.  The sewer in our spot is broken but it's our first day, who cares!

Went out to dinner at a Mexican joint (El Marques - kind of plain but not bad).  Who can complain about $3 XX beer?  They were selling lots of margaritas too but my wife wasn't interested.  Got diesel at the usual place in the middle of town; we do know that the stations on the North end and South end of town are
more expensive but easier to access.  Then found that the Rebel, off the main drag, is $.20 a gallon cheaper!  That's a difference of $3.69 to $3.49; the places on the edge of town with the better access were at $4.09.  We could get up to the Rebel with the trailer but would have to be careful turning around - one lane paved road only - limited hours but I think the credit card reader might work at other hours.  At any rate it IS do-able.

We could open the rig when we got home.  6K feet altitude has it's attractions.  There is WiFi - my wife can get on; I can't. 

6:13 AM 6/16/2012
The cat woke us twice in the night.  He is getting panicy in his old age & isn't used to the trailer yet.  The folks next to us got all packed up last night then took off at 05:00; as quickly and quietly as possible.  Class act.

Left Tonopah about 09:00 along with everyone else in the five space park.  We started out US 6 Eastbound but soon were headed north up NV 376 up through the Big Smoky Valley.  About half way up the valley we suddenly noticed these big power lines heading up the valley.  Sure enough there was a huge open pit mine up there.  We met US 50, the loneliest highway, and went west on it for a few miles.  We considered ourselves fortunate when we came to a huge hill and being westbound were on the 'mountain' side rather than the 'air' side.  After just a few miles we picked up NV 395 and resumed our northbound track. 

From US 50 to Battle Mountain, NV is 88 miles; no towns and pretty darn few people.  We didn't really check out Battle Mountain but got directly on I-80 westbound for Winnemucca, NV.  We found our park by about 15:00.  We were staying at the Hi-Desert RV Park.  It was a nice enough place but the space was
extremely narrow.  They outline the space with landscaping timbers so you really have to get it right.  A young guy showed us to the spot but let us park by ourselves (which we prefer).  They have all the amenities including wifi that actually worked.  We felt kind of 'racked and stacked' because the 'yard' was only about 8 feet wide but otherwise completely acceptable.  We had a celebratory drink and headed out to find dinner.  In the end we decided that nothing looked all that inviting so we went back to the rig and made burittos.  Early to bed because tomorrow is a long day - driving for six hours!

11:03 AM 6/18/2012
Yesterday was pretty interesting. Like the Chinese curse 'may you live in interesting times'!

Left Winnemucca on US 95 then turned off on NV 140.  Totally acceptable road but darn lonely.  Took some time but finally made it into Oregon; the road turned into OR 140 but otherwise....  There were a few surprises along the road.  We found a few mountain passes that weren't marked on our atlas but for the most part they were painless.  Then we started down!  The first major downgrade was an 8% grade that was signed for 25 mph.  I put the truck in 2nd gear and went down but it wouldn't hold 25, can you say steep?  We were very happy to be on the 'mountain' side this time especially since there was NO guard rail, no
road side, nothing.  Did I mention that at the very top of the grade was the famous Doherty Hang Gliding launch?  That wasn't on the map either!  So we wandered westward and soon enough came to another downgrade, only 7% this time and not as long but for part of the distance we were on the 'air' side.  It was marked at 45 mph. Third gear was capable of keeping us under control this time. 

we did finally come to Lakeview, OR.  There is some serious water in this valley; it was as green as possible.  Lots of farms growing mostly forrage crops.  There were quite a few cattle grazing as well.  We were headed north on US 395 then turned off onto OR 31 going northwest.  It is marked as a scenic road but we couldn't really see it.  It was lots more desert with a lake or two thrown in.  There was a nice little lake not marked on our map; then we came to Summer Lake.  That was a disaster.  It must have been a beautiful place at one time but now it is 90% dry and the sand blows across the little remaining water making
it just awful.  People who remember it from when it had water must be heartbroken. 

About 16:00 we made it to La Pine, OR and got onto US 97 heading north towards Bend.  Our campground was between La Pine and Bend; the Encore Thoushand Trails Bend-Sunriver Campground.  I want to get the name right because I words escape me when I try to explain how bad this place is.  This is to totally mis-managed and fouled up that I find it difficult to imagine We drove up to the gate behind a few other vehicles.  My wife had called for our required reservation and used her credit card so I got her to go into the office.  The office kid has worked here for three days and just didn't have a clue about what to
do.  An older guy was wandering around but wasn't much help.  Two women came wandering around with drinks in their hands; turns out one was the manager but she didn't bother to help with the confusion.  It took us 45 minutes to get checked in!  Customer service is totally non-existent.  You may as well ask the cat to wait on you.  All this BS and we have already paid for two nights!

During this time I was sitting in the truck with the animals.  After a while the cat started getting restive and I was afraid he was going to pee on my wife's seat so I held him in my lap.  Soon I started smelling this smell, yep, he peed on me!  Grrr!

 I got the trailer keys and put him back in the trailer.  Of course my clothes are wet with cat pee so I'm happy!  Finally we got in; we are told that of the whole place people who don't belong to Thousand Trails have to stay in Section H; way in the back.  So we trek back to Section H.  ection H is not properly maintained.  The rest of the park is obviously nicer.  The roads are much narrower than those in the
rest of the park.  Many camping spaces are slanted the 'wrong' way.  Of course this also makes it almost impossible to back a trailer into them.  We tried at least three spaces before we found one we could get into.  We also scratched the sides of both the truck and the trailer in the process.  Grrr!

The space itself is quite nice.  We are surrounded by pine trees, of course, the maintenance is bad here too.  The small saplings aren't being pruned out so that while they provide a visual barrier between spaces they will never grow well.  Also weeds and bushes aren't being trimmed so that in case of a fire this place will go up like a bomb.  No WiFi of course.  Would I come back?  Only in a pine box!  Of course now I get to call the cat "Piss-n-Boots". 

Today, Monday June 18, we just made a quiet day.  We had breakfast in the rig then went out to lunch in Bend; ate at a place called Pizza Mondo that my wife found on Trip Advisor.  It was ok but is really for a younger crowd; college age people though there were at least five small children in the place and it only seats about 30.  On the way home from Bend we stopped at Newberry National Volcanic Monument.  It is all about the Newberry Volcano which is just south of town.  There is a huge lava flow in the park where you can walk and a cone that you can drive up.  We didn't stray from the visitor center; it's only about 60 degrees and we were cold!

Went to the Village Pub & Grill in Sunriver.  What a pretentious POS pub - $10 hamburgers that were dry and not seasoned.  Grrr!  I had a Philly Cheese Steak - dry, unseasoned and probably from a packet.  The fries were certainly from a bag. 

This is white-bread country - have only seen one person of color in Bend & she seemed to be an adoptee.  Back to the rig and had a nice night's sleep.

7:54 AM 6/20/2012
Took off yesterday about 10:00 and had a nice drive up to Salem then up I-5 to Woodburn, OR just on the south side of Portland.  It was rainy much of the way; at least it washed off most of the tree pollen that we got at the TT park.  There was a 4500 ft summit then lots of downhill through a heavily forested area. 

This is the Portland-Woodburn RV Park.  Not a PA park but we get a 15% Escapees discount.  Got checked in within 5 minutes - such a great experience.  Got into our spot and relaxed.  They have WiFi but I can't get on; it's choked with users who don't sign off but are still 'there' to the system.  They as also next door to an outlet mall just in case you desperately need something.

It is a beautiful morning; one of those days that the Pac NW shows it's beauty.  Have to go get diesel this a.m.  Found it at Safeway, about 3 miles from the park.  Got a discount because we have a Safeway card.  Check out is noon but we would like to be in Gig Harbor (3 hours up I-5) by 14:00 or so.

As soon as we got on I-5 (11:10 a.m.) we switched to I-205 to avoid downtown Portland.  Traffic stopped almost before the first exit; no idea what it was but gradually it cleared and we only lost about 15 minutes.  Had a couple more slowdowns but nothing exceptional.  Had TWO people zoom past us on the right just as we were losing a lane; these people just don't want to live!  Found an 18 wheeler and followed him up to Tacoma where we got off on WA 16 for the peninsula.  The interchange was AFU but otherwise things were good.  Made it to the first set of relatives (wife's sister and brother-in-law) in Gig Harbor by 15:00.  Doing family stuff this afternoon & evening.  No WiFi since the relatives are computer challenged.

My wife had a wonderful time telling all about the Thousand Trails experience; it will be a long time before I hear the end of it!

5:59 AM 6/21/2012
Big party is today.  The in-laws have been married for 60 years today.  I woke early so am giving Piss-n-Boots a little people time.

Setting up for the party was a lot like work!  Carrying tables and the tent and all upstairs gave us a real workout but then it was done.  Party was excellent; catered so no cooking but I have had better food. 

9:38 AM 6/23/2012
Yesterday we drove the 70 miles from Gig Harbor to Squim to visit with the in-laws.  Got diesel in Gig Harbor for $3.79/gal.  Had a nice visit; this a.m. we are doing some chores then this afternoon will go over to Port Angeles for my wife's brother & sister-in-law!  No WiFi here or where we are visiting this afternoon; more challenged relatives.

Had fun with the relatives.  Visited one of their favorite winerys (Camaradarie Cellars) and left with a couple bottles.  They get grapes from Eastern Washington then bring them over here for processing.  Great conditions here for processing; not so great for growing!  Had bbq even though it was raining.  In the Pacific Northwest if you let rain stop you you won't be doing much!  We were back to the rig in Squim about 20:00.

5:50 AM 6/24/2012
Another quiet visit planned for today.  Going to to a little cleaning in the rig then probably eating and drinking too much again. 

Went to lunch at a local golf course; food was ok but nothing spectacular for $10 hamburgers.  Hit Safeway for a few essentials like coffee and juice then filled the truck so as to be ready to leave in the a.m.  More visiting during the afternoon then we came back and finished cleaning the rig.  It was sorely needed; the wet weather and vegetable matter meant the place was nasty!

Tomorrow we leave; headed for a park we know near Mt. St. Helens; not a long drive but it gets us out of the congestion of Seattle!

5:03 PM 6/25/2012
We managed to get out of the park by 10:30; not easily since the pointy little concrete areas are tough to escape.  We went down US 101; beautiful drive especially while we were next to Hood Canal.  In the little town of Potlatch, WA we found fireworks stands on every corner.  It's land owned by native Americans so they can do that stuff.  It's an amazing situation!  We got to I-5 and came down south.  we were planning on stopping near Mt. St. Helens but decided to go a bit farther.  Ended up in The Big Fir RV Park in Ridgefield, WA. just off Exit 11 in Washington.  It is interesting.  We are in deep timber with large trees all around; unfortunately most of the rigs look like they are permenantly here.  Indeed, some look like they are incapable of movement.  Had a couple of kids wandering around earlier but we are hoping that their parents will corral them for the evening.

We are eating in tonight.  My wife is addicted to Trip Advisor on her smart phone and the local places don't seem to inviting.  We'll try tomorrow night!

5:50 AM 6/26/2012
Should have a short day today just going down I-5 to the Escapees Timber Valley park in Summerlin, OR.  Woke to light rain dripping on the rig.  We've been lucky so far not to have to either park or break camp in the rain.  Hopefully it will be gone by the time we are ready to leave.

Had a dry hitch-up; then had rain showers the rest of the day.  Got in about 15:30 and set up in the dry!  Went to Pedottis Italian Resturant for dinner - nice place and acceptable food.  We've been here before.  Had chicken parm - kind of burned on the edges but nice and moist and tasty.  My wife liked her lasagna even though she had to send it back to be warmed up.

7:53 AM 6/28/2012
Decided we liked the Escapees park so much we wanted to stay another day.  Didn't do much; just some laundry and a little cleaning of the inside of the rig.  During this wet weather the dog brings in a LOT of crud on her feet.  It makes keeping the place clean difficult. 

We wanted to try a Mexican place my wife found on TripAdvisor.  Apparently it didn't go so well; the resturant at the address listed had a different name AND was closed.  So we settled on Abby Pizza.  Not bad food but $23 for a 13" pizza seemed a little high.  They serve there pizza with ranch salad dressing on the side.  No idea whose great idea that was but it doesn't do much for me. 

Off to Crescent City, CA today.  It could be a tough day driving through the mountains.

We dropped south on I-5 to Grants Pass, OR where we got off on US 199 "The Redwood Highway".  We were a little concerned about the highway but it turned out to be great.  It didn't hurt that we were on the 'mountain' side but really it was quite nice with plenty of guard rails and fairly small dropoffs.  The trees were spectacular as well.  There were plenty of 25 mph (40 kph) turns and quite a few places where the road ran between really large trees but there were also turnouts for us RV'ers to let the speedy folks pass.  All in all, a great road. 

We arrived at Sunset Harbor RV Park in Crescent City about 14:00.  The manager had just gone off somewhere but there was a maintenance man who suggested a site so we parked and left a note for the manager.  Hopefully we won't have to move.  The park is kind of interesting.  It has half full time residents and half fishermen and us.  We didn't find any resturants that were calling to us so we ate in and had a quiet night watching tv.

6:53 AM 6/29/2012
Sightseeing is our plan for today.  Gotta see those redwoods.

We started off walking over to the Good Harvest Cafe; it's only about a block and a half from the park.  It is highly rated on TripAdvisor and we were pleasantly surprised that it pretty much lived up to it's reviews.  One review mentioned being left by the door waiting for a table and we had that happen as well.  But the food was completely respectable; our breakfast for two was $20 plus tip.  They also have a coffee bar for those needing a latte fix.

Went in to pay for the site and got the Escapees discount - $19 a night; pretty good I think.  The cable in our site doesn't work so we are plugged into the next site (which is empty!).  Also the wifi doesn't have much get-up-and-go but the site itself is great - there are three on the end which have just grass behind them and we got one.  Everyone else is side by side and their rear view is another rig.  This is much nicer.

Drove down the coast a ways and checked out the trees.  These coastal redwoods are just magnificent.  We kept stopping along the way to check out the coast or the trees; tough decisions but we are tough enough!  Had lunch at a place called the Snack Shack in Klamath because of the reviews on TripAdvisor; not my favorite since it was a greasy mess.  Got back about 16:00.  I went out again and found Safeway.  They had a couple filets that were calling to me so we got out the grill pan and had steak and brussels sprouts.  Yum! 

9:06 AM 6/30/2012
Having a quiet morning.  Did a little sightseeing but nothing else.

6:19 PM 7/1/2012
Up and out by 10:00 or so which is pretty good for us.  The park worked for us but might not for everyone.  They put us in a space that backed up on a green area used for parking fishing boats.  Everyone else was racked and stacked. 

We went down US 101 in the fog to Acata, CA then turned east onto CA 299 - it's called the Trinity Highway for the Trinity River.  It was a beautiful drive.  The road runs along the river for miles and miles.  This means two things:  beautiful views of a very beautiful river AND zillions of 25 mph (40 kph) curves!  After Whiskeytown the road got better but it was still twisty.  For all those miles out in the desert where the power steering is a waste; well, today it earned it's keep!  It took nearly six hours to go 200 miles.  Amazing.  We got off the road at NUMEROUS turnouts to let cars pass.  Ok, I'm not a speed demon but we never had another rv backed up behind us.

Tonight we are parked at the Redding RV Park in Redding, CA.  It's a fairly nice park but definitely tight.  It is all paved, clean, organized but the next rv is probably 8 feet away and is looking into our windows.  Needless to say, there is another one on the other side.   It is also about a quarter mile from I-5 so there is some road noise.  Happily it is 91F now so the sound of the a/c will drown out the sound of the freeway.  LOL  We want to get on I-5 for about 2 miles in the morning then head southeast on CA 44 until we reach CA 89 when we continue on to Susanville, Reno and more!

Redding is a nice enough town of about 70,000 people.  The town straddles the Sacromento River; very pretty.

6:19 PM 7/2/2012
We left Redding about 09:30.  The first part of the trip was in trees.  When we got to Susanville, CA things changed pretty dramatically; the trees were gone!  When we got to Reno we took I-80 about thirty miles east getting off in Fernley.  We were going to get gas at a Pilot station but it was jam packed; we left and found a station in town that had no other customers for $.01 per gallon more.  What a winner!  We took Alt 50 east then picked up US 95 going south.

We've landed at the Whisky Flats RV Park in Hawthorne, NV.  Hawthrone is about 90 miles from Reno; 250 miles from Las Vegas.  It is a nice park with concrete pads for the RV.  Each space also has a picnic table and a small tree.  This is home to an Army munitions depot and that's about it.  I can't imagine living here so far from anything.  It's hot; 91F (>32 C) after the sun has gone behind the mountains at 19:17, but what do you expect in Nevada in the summer. 

Tomorrow we should make it home baring some accident.  It's something like 270 miles (435 km); not trivial but not difficult either.  It will be good to be home; it's been a great trip but we are all tired of the constant movement.

10:43 AM 7/4/2012
Got in about 14:30 yesterday afternoon.  Had a fairly quiet day cruising down US 95 until we picked up NV 160 to come into Pahrump.  Stopped in Tonopah for diesel; I went into the station the wrong way so had to turn around in the alley behind the place but it really was no problem.  Getting into our driveway is much more difficult!  But we managed that as well, motivation is a wonderful thing.  Got a few things unloaded; went out to pick up a prescription, get diesel and a pizza.  Nice combination, huh. 

When we set out the pickup had 27,899.7 miles (44,900 km).  When we unhooked the trailer on our return it had 30,898.7 miles(49726 km) - exactly 2,999 miles (4,826+ km) on this trip!  Amazing.  In 19 days.  It was too fast for real enjoyment but we wanted to make the trip to celebrate the family ocassion.  We added visiting the redwoods because for us to visit that far north in California is quite a trip in itself. 

A small update is in order.  We towed 2,645.3 miles (4,257 km); the remainder was wandering around probably looking for diesel!  Total cost of fuel was $1,151.10 - not nearly as bad as I was expecting!  Thanks to my wife and family accountant for the numbers.

Well, that's it.  It was a long, fast trip but a lot of fun.  As for photos, I took the camera but may as well have not done so.  I've got a total of about two photos using my phone.  I've no idea why I was camera shy; I'll try to do better in the future.  Now we are planning on a California trip next month.  Have a good one!