Sunday, December 27, 2009

Palm Springs for the Holidays

We returned to the Palm Springs Thousand Trails Park on the 20th of December. This is starting to feel like our home base. We may be spending more time here than originally anticipated. We will be here now through the holidays. Our friends Oland and Meralee came in a couple of days later. Their friends John and Debbie who we met at Catalina Spa came in as their guests. The six of enjoyed good times and a lot of good meals over the holidays.

Dennis had a few head bangers in John and Deb's rig, so Johns gave him some protective head gear.
This was a very nice Christmas dinner the park here had their dinner about 5 days before the holidays. John and Debbie hosted a breakfast for all of us and it was wonderful.

This is my very very best present this year, aren't they great.

During this period Barbara has finally been completing her physical therapy. She finished therapy first on her foot and needed a few more sessions on her shoulder. The good news is that it all has gone well.

The holidays this year are a bit of a hectic time. But not in the usual way. We are buying a new motorhome. And there are a lot of details involved. And the process is complicated by doing things long distance. We are dealing with a bank and credit union in Ohio and vehicle registration in Florida. We have been going through the bus sorting through everything and deciding what we can get rid of and what we need and want to keep. As with any move we are finding things that we had forgotten about.

Our new motorhome is a 2000 Monaco Dynasty. Like the MCI bus the Dynasty is nominally 40 feet in length. More technically the Dynasty is about 6 inches longer, 6 inches wider and 6 inches higher than the MCI. It has more interior living space primarily as a result of 2 slideouts. A trade off is that we have less space in the outside storage compartments under the floor.
This photo is absolutely pre boob job. More about the new motorhome later.

Our planned moving day is December 30. We will go to the dealer and park the coaches side by side and move everything from the old coach to the new one. If we do not complete the process in one day we can stay the night. We will finish and be in the new coach for the New Year.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Catalina Spa

We drove the short drive to Catalina Spa at Desert Hot Springs on the 7th. We are staying in this membership park through RPI. It is a nice park. It is known for being an active pickleball center with a lot of good players. There are 4 and soon to be 6 pickleball courts that are busy most days. Dennis played in the monthly tournament that features cash prizes and brings in players from other parks in the area. He managed to tie for fourth place but only the first three win the cash prizes. Oh well.

There are a lot of activities going on. The park has naturally hot water for the hot tubs and pools that are open 24 hours a day.

Best of all some of our friends are here at the same time. Bob and Julie came in the day before we did. Oland and Meralee came in a few days later and our English friends Jim and Jane came in the day after they did. So we have been spending a lot of time reminiscing and getting reacquainted.

The day we arrived here was the first rainy day in eight months. The weather is mostly pleasant and warm with cool nights. It is nice to be in the warm sunshine and see the snow on the mountains.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Busy at Palm Springs

We've been busy here at the Palm Springs reserve and have gotten behind. This is a catchup post.

We are now here with three other couples, all of whom we met at the Peace River TT in Florida a couple of years ago. A few days after we got here Bob and Julie came in. Then a couple of days later Marc and Chris came in. Finally, our English friends Jim and Jane came in last Tuesday. We were lucky in this crowded park to be able to find sites so that we are all parked very near to each other. It has been a nice reunion and we have been able to get together several times.

Last weekend we went to the Fantasy Springs Casino to see the Cabazon Indian Powwow. It was a grand event with a large group of participants from all over the country. They wore beautiful intricate and colorful costumes. We enjoyed watching the dancing and ceremonies and listening to the drumming.

We rode with Bob and Julie to visit the Joshua Tree National Monument which is just north and east of here. We spent several hours driving through the desert and seeing the various and changing scenery of this large park. We came if from the south and were surprised that we did not see any Joshua trees for the first hour or so. It turns out that the Joshua trees grow only in the northern sections which is at higher elevation. When we got to the Joshua trees they were indeed plentiful.

Another event was a visit by Barbara, Julie and Chris to see The Lord of the Dance last Sunday at the McCoulumn Theatre. It was a wonderful exhibition of Celtic Dance. They we impressed with the beauty and precision of the dancers. Unfortunately cameras were not allowed.

On Friday we went with Bob and Julie, Chris and Marc, and Jim and Jane to the weekly Street Market in downtown Palm Springs. It was a perfect night and very pleasant to be out with a wide variety of vendors and live musicians. There were booths for massage, tattoos, magic, religion and host of arts and crafts and various foods. We weren't hungry as we had stopped for a very filling meal at a Mexican restaurant on our way. The hardest part was finding places to park. It turned out that we had to park our two vehicles several blocks apart, but we the magic of cell phones it was easy to connect again.

Dennis and Barbara went back to the Fantasy Springs Casino last night to see the Willie Nelson concert. Willie is still in good form and does a great show. We were glad that we went.

This afternoon the four couples in the Peace River group got together for a good meal and reminiscing about good times. Bob and Julie leave in the morning so this is the last time all of us expect to be together.

Through all of this Barbara has been going to physical therapy three times a week for her foot and her shoulder. Dennis has been playing pickleball most days.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Among the Palms

We've been back at Palm Springs Thousand Trails park for nearly a week now. It is a nice setting with all of the tall Palm trees. And it is getting crowded now. We are here now for a three week stay, then we will be in another park for about 2 weeks then back here for another three weeks.

Dennis was having a little trouble with the satellite setup, hmmmm wonder why???

This park has way to many palm trees.

Trying to get the bus for the holidays.

Barbara is continuing her Physical Therapy for her foot. She saw an orthopedist to examine her shoulder. He extended her therapy for a month. She is now to get P.T. for both her shoulder and her foot.Oh the pain of it all. Really hate this bike.

Dennis has been playing pickleball regularly. He is playing on the thousand trails team in pickleball league involving several area RV parks. Barbara has been unable to play for a while due to her foot injury. She got some good news yesterday though. She talked with her therapist and he ok'ed playing cautiously while wearing a special ankle support. So she plans to go out and give it a try.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Desert Pools

We are now at the Desert Pools Western Horizon Park at Desert Hot Springs. It is only about 20 miles from our last stop. The two parks are quite different. The thousand trails park that we just left is noted for its very tall Palm Trees planted in neat rows throughout the park. They give the place a classy look and even seem to help a bit with the afternoon heat. But they also make the park difficult and risky for parking a large rv. The park that we are in now is much more open and has very large sites and interior roads. The surface is all sand (no grass) and has more of a desert look. There are mountain views and nice views of the sky especially at sunset. It seems hotter we think because of lack of shade and the sandy surface. We are glad that we paid extra for 50 amp power as it allows us to run both air conditioners during the heat of the day. The park is named for the natural hot water pools in the area. The park has 3 hot tubs at different temperatures making is easy to find one to suit us.

Sunset our first sunset at desert hot pools.

Another sunset view here at desert hot pools.

Roxy watching the sun setting, she seems to be transfixed.

Barbara went in for her evaluation for physical therapy and is scheduled to start her treatment tomorrow. She will be going three times a week and if all goes well the treatment will be complete in three weeks.

We got a late start for our short trip this morning. Dennis played a few games of pickleball before getting to the business of getting ready and moving this morning. With the short drive we were still here by noon.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Palm Springs

We are now in Palm Springs. Well, we are at the Palm Springs Thousand Trails Park but it really has a Palm Desert address. We were planning to spend some time in this area starting in the middle of November. When it became clear that we would need to be prepared to stay in one area to get Barbara's problem with her foot taken care of we decided to head this way a couple of weeks early. She was told that she would need 3 weeks of physical therapy and a followup visit.

When we were in Hollister Barbara saw a doctor at an urgent care clinic who did an xray then an MRI, then referred her to a orthopedic specialist. The orthopedic doctor told her that it was a ligament tear in her right foot and put her in a heavy boot. He also prescribed the physical therapy which he thought would take care of the problem.

Our trip in today was an easy drive of less than 3 hours. We crossed the desert on a crisp sunny morning and came over Cajon summit and down the hill and through San Bernadino in light Sunday traffic. An easy day. We stopped at the Flying J just west of here to fill the tank. But we had a bit of an accident on the first stop. The latch for our refrigerator was not closed. The door came open and we had a lot of spillage. And some broken bowls. What a mess. It took a while to get that all cleaned up.

We are only here for 3 days then will move to another park in the area. We already had several reservations in and didn't want to start changing them. We couldn't get a reservation for the 15 day period so we will be here the 3 days and 12 in the other park.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Wending Out Way Down California

We are parked at the Arabian RV Oasis in Boron, Ca. in the high desert country west of Bakersfield. This is a Passport America campground where we are staying for the half price rate of $12. We are headed to the Palm Springs area and wanted to get over half way which we did.

We looked at a couple of options in leaving the San Benito TT park. The obvious and easy one was to head north through Hollister and west on 156 to I-5. This was the way we came in. But we didn't like heading north to go south. So we looked at the alternative of taking highway 25 south to highway 198 west. This would save us over 40 miles and some fuel and time. There is a sign just where we would turn on to highway 25 saying "tractor semis with king pin to rear axle over 30 feet not advised next 50 miles". Well, we are not a semi so the warning does not directly apply, but generally roads that are not good for trucks are not good for large RVs either. But the sign did not even say that semis were forbidden to use the road. We talked with a couple of RVers who had driven the road in RVs notably smaller than ours who just said that it was a winding narrow road with no shoulder and you had to go slow. We've done that before. So we took this more difficult route. It was curvy and slow but little traffic and no real problem. The worst part is that a steep grade of about 5 miles starts on 198 just after the stop sign meaning that we had to go up with no momentum, and did most of the climb between 15 and 25 miles an hour.

We had a problem that was unrelated to the route. We have a Brakemaster system that uses the bus air brake system to control the brake pedal on the Camry and stop it proportionally. On our first stop to check things we found that the connecting air hose had come lose where it connects to the car. So we pushed it in and left again. There is a light on the bus dash to indicate when the car brake is applied. We now watched this carefully and after the first stops it did not come on. So when we found a good pullout we checked again. We found that the quick connect was not locking. We sprayed a lot of silicone spray on it and it seemed to loosen a bit but not fully lock. We did the best we could at pushing it on and hoped that it would stay. We were really not too concerned about the towed car braking system not working as we are within the weight capacity of our bus brakes even with the car behind. But a few states require such a system. We don't recall if California is one of them but it would be logical as there are a lot of mountains. And the way our system is set up our car brake lights don't come on unless this system is working. Fortunately, it stayed hooked the rest of the day without further intervention and we hope that it will continue until we get to Palm Springs tomorrow. Then we will look at finding a new connector for the end.

Once we hit I-5 we had several options. Our GPS recommended taking I-5 to I-10 in Los Angles. We did not want to take this route. There is a hard climb called the Grapevine on I-5 and we preferred to avoid this especially in the heat of the day as these old buses have a tendency to overheat in such conditions. And we also prefer to avoid going through large and unfamiliar cities with our bus-car combination whenever possible. So we decided to take highway 58 out of Bakersfield. There is a climb through Tehachapi pass which we are pretty sure is easier than the grapevine. And the only other city on the route is San Bernadino which we recall as being relatively easy to travel through.

We made it through Bakersfield easily which is notable only because we were there once before and somehow made a wrong turn in heavy traffic causing frustration and delay. We made it up the hill in mid-afternoon. We stopped near the top for a few minutes to let the engine cool. It was easy driving in the high desert.

We had originally thought that we might just park for an overnight in a Walmart or rest area. But recalling that it is Halloween we decided that might not be the best plan. We could have gone to the Soledad Canyon TT park which would have been only a few miles from a reasonable route. We spent a couple of weeks there 4 years ago and it is a nice park. But we decided that for one night we would be better to stay somewhere right on the route which would be an easy in and out.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Goat Head Thorns

This is what a goat head thorn looks like.

We seem to have been running into these things all fall. They are definitely a nuisance. We have parked several places where they stick to shoes then come inside and come off on the floor to be stepped later with bare feet. Ouch! We have also pulled a number of them out of Roxie's feet. We have heard of them getting into a dog's feet and causing infections and vet bills. They even sell shoes for dogs to protect their feet.

They are very hard on bicycle tires. Dennis rides every day, often on places other than improved roads. As a result he has changed a number of tubes. He went into a bike shop in Hollister and bought a couple of heavy duty inner tubes. They also sell tire liners to go between the bottom of the tire and the inner tubes. We talked to someone in the campground who said that duct tape on the inside of the bicycle tire would work the same way (it just makes another layer that a thorn, piece of glass or other sharp object has to penetrate before it punctures the tube). So he tried it. So far, so good.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Big Sur and Highway 1

Today we took the car with a plan to visit the Monterrey area and drive down highway 1 along the coast. We drove west to Monterrey and decided to head and down highway 1 to Big Sur then visit Monterrey on the way back. Bob and Julie rode with us. It was an interesting ride down the curvy and hilly coast highway. We've been down this highway before but we wanted to see it again while we are in the area. The coastline is rugged and hilly with great views over the ocean.

Just in case you dont know Julie is terrified about heights, so she had to have company for this shot.

How do you like the new footwear, you really dont want to be kicked with that.

The views were breath taking.

We saw some fabulous homes with unbelievable views along the way.
my favorite there is house to the right behind the trees, hard to get in the picture, but was wonderful and very very large.

We made a couple of stops in the tourist oriented areas of Big Sur. We stopped at the Ripplewood Resort in Big Sur for enjoyable lunch and browsed in some of the other shops and stores without buying anything.this is a very large pumpkin in front of the diner where we had a very good lunch.
This sign made Barb want to take up drinking beer, lol

We stopped at a number of the scenic pullouts to soak in the views. At one point we saw what we were told was a California Condor floating high above us.
Was afraid he was up too high for a good shot, but hot too bad.

By the time we got back to Monterrey it was late afternoon and we were tired. So we decided to wait to look around that area another time.

Friday, October 23, 2009

A Time of Celebration

Well another year has gone by. Dennis had a birthday and Barb and Julie seemed to think that it was a reason for celebration. At our age what are we celebrating. Surely not that we are older. More likely that we are still around and able to celebrate.

Julie and Bob has us over for a birthday dinner. Julie made her delicious ribs. Barb's primary contribution was one of her carrot cakes that everyone seems to like. She also make some asparagus which is one of Dennis' favorites. In any case it was a great meal and a good time.

This is the head of Bob and Julie's household. His name is Odie. He is very active, friendly and loves attention of any kind and any time

This is the beta dog. His name is Scruffy. He is much more laid back and takes life as it comes. He likes attention but doesn't seek it out.

These are the humans who like to think that they are in charge.

We played some cards -euchre. Bob is a relatively new player, but suddenly becoming quite competitive, at least with our group. We've mostly been playing men against the women, and the men have started winning their share.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Pinnacles National Monument

Today we went with Julie and Bob in their truck and drove south on highway 25 to visit the Pinnacles National Monument which is just a few miles from the San Benito TT park where we are now staying. It was an easy drive on a bright sunny day.

Dennis, Bob and Julie went for a hike up to a scenic overlook. Due to the problems with her ankle Barbara was not able to go for the hike. But she sat on a park bench and enjoyed the scenery including watching the woodpeckers in the area. The hike was billed as easy to moderate and was a moderate uphill climb of about an hour. We started hiking at about 2 o'clock which was the heat of the day which made it a bit more tiring that it would have been with more sensible planning.

The woodpeckers love the dead trees

We were able to view the rock formations for which the park is named from a variety of perspectives. There were also interesting views of the canyons and the varied vegetation. We saw the largest pine cones that we have ever seen.

On the way home a flock of wild turkeys just had to cross the road, too bad we didnt get to do any roadkill, might have been tasty.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

San Benito

We are currently at the San Benito Thousand Trails Park south of Hollister, California. According to our mapping programs the shortest route was to head west and then south through the east bay area and down through San Jose. But it was only about 15 miles longer for us to head west to I-5 and take a rural route. For us it was an easy choice as we generally prefer to avoid the larger urban areas with the bus if reasonably possible. So we left Isleton on Sunday and drove west on highway 12 a few miles to fill up the bus at the Flying J at Lodi. We then headed down I-5 and turned west and crossed over Pacheco Pass and South through the town of Hollister. It was an easy drive. We are arguably in southern California now. Many maps divide the state into northern and southern pages. When they do this area is near the top of the southern half. And we have been seeing some palm trees with to us is an indicator of a warmer climate. The weather is nice and we are happy.

The park itself is several miles off the road just south of the tiny town of Paicines. We stayed here for a couple of days in a rented trailer 7 years ago. We thought then that it was a very nice park and area and we wanted to return. It is a surprising large and remote park. The sites are large and flat with many huge maple and oak trees. The terrain is a hilly semi desert country, with a lot of wildlife. We see a lot of deer in the park. We have seen a small herd of buffalo just outside the park. We have also seen bobcats in the park. There are wild pigs in the park. We have not seen them but there are a lot of holes that they did. The area seems to have some large ranches and is really quite different from the urban stereotypes that most people in other parts of the country bring to mind when they think of California.Just before you enter the campground across the road you will find buffalo, a small herd.

There also are a couple of bob cats in the park and wild pigs that really dug up our campsite.

Barbara is getting medical attention for a problem with her ankle. She fell when we were in British Columbia about 2 months ago and has had recurring problems. She saw a doctor Monday and had an MRI Tuesday. She is waiting now to see an orthopedic doctor. We may need to stay in the area longer to get treatment completed.

Bob and Julie came in Tuesday. We have not been traveling together but instead keeping in touch and kind of hopscotching. Three of us played pickleball today while Barb was at the doctor. It would be nice if there were some other players here.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Delta Shores

We woke up Thursday and found that it was still raining which was a disappointment. We were leaving and had expected that the rain would be over by the time we left. But we had to get ready and start the trip with it still raining. We drove approximately 130 miles to Delta Shores RV Park in Isleton. The traffic was heavy as we continued down highway 101 then headed west on highway 37, a little north of San Francisco bay. The rain stopped and the sky quickly cleared when we were 30 or 40 miles from here and the weather has stayed nice.

Its was a quick change of terrain as we left the rugged hill country and came across to a flat agricultural plain. The immediate area is at the edge of the Sacramento Valley. Except for a view of some mountains in the distance this area looks a lot like much of the midwest.

here is a good look at the Levee

This is one of two ROD parks in the area. Both parks are along the Mokelumne River. The road in is the levee along the river. When you turn into the park the entrance road quickly decends about 30 feet. On the other side of the road the water level is only a few feet below the road, so it looks like the whole area could be a flood zone with rising water. It is a recreational area with a lot of boating and fishing. Bob and Julie changed their plans and decided to stop in the area. They were not aware that we were here and choose the Lighthouse park which is only about a mile down the road.

sunrise at Delta Shores

Above is a great view of the dock across from the park for use by the members.

We all went out to dinner at Lucy's an Italian Restaurant in Rio Vista tonight. We had a great meal and a good time.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Caught in a Downpour

We are now at the Russian River Thousand Trails Park for 4 days. Bob and Julie left Klamath the day before we did and headed over to Redding to visit some friends. We had decided to continue down highway 101. We drove the approximately 250 miles here on Sunday. It is a bit more than we have been going in a day lately. After about the first third of the drive it was inland from the coast. It is a slow road with a lot of hills and turns, but still faster than much of the drive down the Oregon coast.

The visit here has been kind of a bust due to the weather. It has been raining most of the time we have been here as a major front came through. It was not a thunderstorm or even high winds, just relentless rain. It is perhaps ironic that it is in sunny California that we are having the worst weather we have seen this year. That has kept us from doing much sight seeing. This is California wine country. We have driven by a lot of the vineyards. We talked of doing some wine tasting but the weather kept us in. We did go to the Sho Ka Wah Casino for their advertised $4.95 Prime Rib dinner. It turned out to be a very good meal. They also gave us each $10 gambling credits for signing up for their cards. We played the slot machines for a while and we came away with enough to pay for our meal plus about $15. So it was a good night.

The park here is wooded, and hilly with some tight turns. The sites are long but often close together. Although these parks are billed as resorts there is no pool or organized activities. The park is probably less than a third full. It appears to be a park used in summer with the river as a major attraction. The staff here is the friendliest that we have run across for a while.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Visiting with Giants

We had driven through part of the Redwoods National Park while coming into Klamath but we wanted to see more. So we went with Bob and Julie to spend some time in the park.

The trees are certainly impressive. It is amazing that they are as large and old as they are. We didn't see any of the drive through trees, but some were very wide. And tall as well. It is impressive that they are hundreds or in some cases even thousands of years old.

Walking through the redwoods we were struck by the quiet stillness of the forest.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Klamath River

We drove from Port Orford today to Klamath, California. It was an easy drive. We stopped for fuel before we left Port Orford as we had seen a gas station with a very large lot and easy approach. We didn't really need to fill up yet but we knew that we would be staying on 101 and that easy in fuel spots might be hard to find. We also thought the price would be better in Oregon than California.

The drive down the coast highway continued to be very scenic. There were many great views of the ocean and coastline. The Oregon coast from end to end is impressive and more beautiful than any other we have seen. We are also impressed that Oregonians have resisted high rises and commercialization of the coast and kept it so much of it assessable to the public.

We have driven into California several times before, but it always seems odd to be stopped at the border for the checks for fruit. It feels like you are entering another country. The inspector was quite friendly and when we informed him that we were carrying bananas and lemons asked to see the lemons. He looked carefully at each of the lemons and ruled that they were fit to enter California.

We had reservations and directions to the Klamath River RV Park. Just getting into the park was nerve racking. We saw a sign with an arrow showing almost a U-turn to get in. Uh-Oh. Well, we saw the enterance was wide, but turns of much more than 90 degrees are hard with our bus and car combination and this was more like 140 degrees and down hill with a sharp dropoff on the left hand side of the enterrence road. With our wide turn we were at the left side of the road looking over the steep hill. There were logs as a barrier it looked like we were going to be scraping them, so Barbara got out to watch while Dennis inched the bus forward. It turned out that we cleared the log by several inches but it sure looked close from inside.

The park itself has a nice view of the Klamath River. There is a boat dock and it is apparently a good fishing area as several boats were going out. The sites a deep but narrow, open for satelite but with woods around the area. We were a bit put out by the $3 extra fee for electricity added on to the RPI fee that usually covers electricity. It was more irritating when we found that the voltage was prone to dropping under heavy use so it was necessary to manage power use to prevent it from dropping too low.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Port Orford, Oregon

We left Newport this morning and headed south on the coast highway, highway 101. It was a scenic drive. We are heading to the area of the Redwoods National Park in northern California, but we decided to take 2 days as we expected the road to be quite slow. This section wasn't as bad as we expected and we were in Port Orford by 1 p.m. The highlight of the drive down was when we pulled into a scenic overlook. We were pleasantly surprised to hear and see a large group of Sea Lions below us. It turns out that we were at a point just below the Sea Lion Caves. We got to see the Sea Lions without stopping and paying.

We stopped at a Passport America park in Port Orford, Oregon. It is a small park with a handful of sites for overnighters. Most of the park contained aged RVs that appeared to have not been moved for years and probably are lived in full time. Passport America is an organization that provides members sites for half price. This campground was one that appeared to have no one in for full price. Anyone paying twice what we did for an overnight stay would probably be disappointed as everything looked run down and needing attention. We got full hook ups in sites that were just large enough. The cable tv worked well but we could not get a signal on the wifi even when we brought a computer to the office.

Port Orford like so much of the Oregon coast is a very scenic area. We went out to see the sunset at Paradise Point north of town. It is a great view, with "shark's tooth" rocks that are reported to be 5 miles out but appear much closer. We also stopped at the beach north of town for another great view. There were a lot of very tame deer in town near the park.

What a great sunset, just loved it, but was a little windy.

Sharktooth rocks

Monday, October 5, 2009

Whaler's Rest

We are spending a week at the Whaler's Rest Leisrure Time Park just south of Newport, Oregon. It was an easy drive here from Seaside. Easy but not quick. The drive of approximately 125 miles took around 3 hours down highway 101 which is a slow winding hilly road. It does have a lot of nice views making it worth while. We stopped at a Les Schwab tire dealer on the way to have one of our tires looked at. We had a gash in one of the drive axle tires. It looked like a sharp cut but not very deep. We don't know how it happened but our best guess is that it was a sharp rock in one of the campgrounds. The tire person looked at it and said that it was not quite to the belt so it would not be a problem. The large semi truck size tires that we use have thick side walls so I guess that we were lucky this time.

The park we are in is wooded and fairly hilly. With the help of the ranger we were able to find one of the few available sites where we could get satellite reception through the trees. The site is closer to neighbors than we like but it works. The area is scenic. The park is across the highway from the ocean. There is a state park there. It is an easy walk to go over and go to the beach. We can hear the surf easily from our site.

So far the weather has been cooperative. The mornings are cool but warm quickly with the sunshine which has so been plentiful. Our friends Bob and Julie came in the day after we did. We have been playing pickleball most mornings. There are several other pickelball players.

Barb and Julie tried their luck at crabbing. Turns out they didn't have too much luck but it is about having a good time, isn't it? Ok while Julie and Barb got a good lesson about crabbing on Friday, they went out again on Sat morning with even more dismal luck than on Friday.

Picture of our lesson on how to tell a male from a female, really simple, the male has a long skinny tower and of course the female has a very large round bottom.
Julie holding the only keeper that was caught by our group of ten, Barb and Julie caught 2 good size female, but just our luck you cannot keep the females.

Tuesday morning while Barb was painting the cabinet doors, the couple next door gave her six of the 12 crabs they caught that morning, they even cooked and cleaned them for us. Nothing like great campers. Oh, by the way they have crabbed a lot and they cheated using a boat. Just jealous that we didnt have a boat.

wow just look at this, we plan a great dinner.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Forts and aTower and Food

We had a busy day. We played pickleball in the morning and went sightseeing in the afternoon. Well, we started the sightseeing trip with a stop at the Goose Hollow Restaurant for a hearty lunch. Dennis and Bob both ordered what was billed as "the best Reuben on the planet" and they agreed that it was a very good Reuben indeed.

We headed on to Lewis and Clark National Park and spent some time going through the museum and replica of Fort Clatsop, which was where Lewis and Clark spent their winter on the west coast.
Lewis and Clark with Seamon

one of the hollowed out boats

We then visited the Astoria Tower which is on a hill and provides great views. Actually the view is great from the hill and even better from the tower. It overlooks the city and the mouth of the Columbia and the long bridge between Washington and Oregon as well as the Cascade Mountains. Even on a bit of a hazy day we were able to see Mt. Rainer and just make out the top of Mt. St. Helen's.This is one georgous tower

what a view from the top

Before leaving Astoria we just had to stop for cones at the great custard ice cream cone stand across from the Columbia Maritime Museum. We each managed to eat one of the delicious filling cones, even after the large lunch we had earlier.

Our last stop was at Fort Stevens State Park. We went to the beach and viewed the Peter Iredale Shipwreck. The rusty remains are what is left after 103 years.

Bob wanted to share this moment one ole wreck with another ole wreck.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

A Cheesy Day

We took an afternoon drive to Tillamook which is about 50 miles south of Seaside. Bob and Julie rode with us. It is slow but pleasant trip down highway 101. There are numerous vista Ocean views along the route. The tourist attraction in Tillamook is the famous cheese factory. We went through and got our free cheese samples then went through the self guided tour of the facility, learning a bit about the local operation and cheese making in general. We bought some of the cheese in the store. This was followed by what was the highlight of the trip for most of us at the ice cream shop. The fare was delicious and plentiful. Oddly, Bob declined as a dietary measure. The rest of us spoiled our appetite for dinner, so perhaps it wasn't so bad for our diets either.

Julie makes a good farmer, but don't about

Dennis didn't want to be a cow, so here I am.

good shot of the factory.