20171026 What Is With This Week?

Things have just not been going my way this week. The week started out “Crappy.” Tu-wit, I sat on the toilet and the plastic hinges shattered from old age and brittleness. “No Problemo” I think, I’ll just order new hinges. Nope…so I ordered a new seat. End of the week came and no seat. So I canceled that order and re ordered it at the next town, Henderson, NV. That one failed to show also, so I had it shipped to Judy’s Sister, Sonja’s house for next week. Besides it is kind of fun skating around the toilet on a loose seat.
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Family Legends 2:

This is the second in the Family Legends series. This is the infamous story about “The Gasoline Can.” Even in my youth I was a compulsive tinkerer and fixit person. This is a story that could have had a very different ending… Read More »

Desert Luxury:

We have gone from the luxury of the Family Motor Home Rally in Indeo, California along with 1,300 coaches; to the Bluegrass Festival in Blythe, California with perhaps 500 families; and now to the desert of Quartzsite, Arizona with about 100 Alpine Motor Homes just like ours. In each location we have met with old friends and made some new friends. Read More »

Afton Canyon:

The Mojave National Preserve is a huge area of pristine desert landscape in south eastern California. My blog on Mitchell Caverns and Hole-in-the-Wall covers our first trip there. We expanded on that trip over the past two days by visiting Kelso Depot. We intended to camp in a primitive campsite alongside the Kelbaker road that crosses the Preserve from south to north from Interstate 40 at exit 78, to Interstate 15 at Baker, CA. The road tops 3000 feet on both sides of Kelso and for a time exceeds 4000 feet elevation. For comparison both I-40 and I-15 pass through this area at about 1000 feet.

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Warm Winners:

We are now officially in California. We are south of all of the rain storms that are sweeping the Pacific Northwest this week, and it is warm this afternoon; a high of 70 degrees at our coach.

Our camping experience was a little strange today. We have always been richly rewarded when we stop by the Corps of Engineer Campgrounds. Not so today with Kyen Campground on Mendocino Lake on US 101, near Ukiah, California. This campground was old, small and crowded with narrow, crooked roads with posts and concrete bollards guarding every corner. We tried in vain to stuff Arcturus into two different stalls, and each time we were blocked by overhanging trees and guard posts.

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More Seals

It is Thursday and we are on our way to a church campout this weekend in Chehalis, WA. Now one of the advantages of having a home on wheels is that you can schedule your maintenance on the way to these events. We were due to have the oil changed and the chassis lubed. I scheduled this event for Thursday around noon at Pacific Power in Ridgefield. Now that would give us time to seek a campground if all went well and leaves us a whole extra day if things implode.

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Camping

As you might have guessed we lead a somewhat nomadic style of life. We are continually looking for new, suitable campgrounds to stay at. The operative terms are new and suitable.

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Mittry Lake

Sometimes our life is one long campout. This has been one of those weeks. We joined up with a small group of friends near Yuma, AZ. We were camped on the desert on the shores of a small backwater off of the Colorado River called Mittry Lake. We were almost roughing it. We had no electric, no running water, no cable TV, no cell phone and no internet. We did have sparkling clear skies and a full moon each night. We sang songs around the campfire, had pot luck meals and coyotes yelping right under our windows in the middle of the night.

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Matagorda Bay:

We have kicked back for a couple slow days at Indianola Park at the edge of Matagorda Bay. This is an estuary that forms the mouth of the Colorado River here in Texas. About 15 miles to our south-west is a line of barrier islands and then the Gulf of Mexico. On the map of Texas this bay is about half way between Galveston and Corpus Christi. The bay is about 350 square miles, and this afternoon when the wind came up we had some pretty impressive surf a hundred feet in front of the coach.

We just finished up a week of work-camping with our friends at Lutherhill, a Lutheran Youth Camp in the summer season. Our friends, Arnie and Mem, care for the grounds during the winter season. We did a few handyman tasks to justify our stay, but mostly we hung out with friends and went to the Opry in La Grange. (See our blog for Feb 20, 2007,(Under construction, link to come) for our last visit to the Opry)

The really nifty part of this location is that we dodged the latest freeze cycle a little further north of here. We woke up to 61 degrees this morning. We rushed out to get in a bicycle ride this morning before the predicted noontime rain. The rain squall caught us about five miles away in Indianola, Texas, a couple hours before predicted. Oh well, We won’t complain, Texas is a couple buckets short for the last two years.

Another advantage for this area is the abundance of birds. We have been logging gulls and terns, shore birds and Sandhill Cranes. We have spotted egrets, herons, pelicans, kingfishers and hawks.

Finally the camping here is free. Now you would think that the place would be overrun, but quite the contrary, it is only sparsely populated. We are “dry camping.” That means no electricity, no water, no wi-fi or cable T.V. There are a few fishermen and also a few full time travelers like us here too. We just met a couple from the Netherlands. They shipped their little European compatible camper over on a ship and they are touring our country for a full year. Just a couple weeks ago we met a family from New Zealand who were doing the same thing.

Meeting interesting new people is one of the rewards of our nomadic style of life. In fact as I sit here humming a few bars of Jimmy Buffet’s “Margaritaville,” I find it hard to even remember what it was like “Workin’ nine to five,” with Dolly.

So Long from South Texas…now where did I put that salt shaker?

Gary and Judy

Sunshine

Sunshine! Glorious sunshine! Now we have figured out what we have been doing wrong. We have been on the wrong side of the Cascade Mountain Range.

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