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Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Eve - 2011

Just a few sunrises left until our view changes!

Wow! Did December go fast, or what? Come on now, we just had Thanksgiving dinner a few days ago.....it seems. It's funny to think that I've spent the past few years trying to slow time down, unsuccessfully, I might add. For the first time in years I've been happy to let go of the coat tails of Father Time, and let him have his way for change. This past 11 months have flown by. I remember first broaching the subject of us moving into the Newell, and leasing the house to the kids in mid August of 2010. While our goal was to do just that, but in another year, Elaine was a little hesitant at first mention of my big idea. Like most people we know, the recession that started in 2008 put a serious strain on our finances. I wanted to salt away some more money for retirement, and there just wasn't enough to go around. I saw this as a chance to put a serious dent in cutting our living expenses, and direct a little more into savings.

I'm glad we had started to divest ourselves of a lot of the "stuff" that had overtaken our lives the past 25 years back in January of 2010. We had a couple of yard sales and really cleared out the garage, and closets of "stuff" that wasn't being used, and was just takin' up space, and donated what was left over to Disabled Vets. By that August a lot of the hard work had been done, so I just presented the plan, and then left her alone for about a month. Eventually she came to me and said she liked the idea and was ready to execute it! What a great wife, and partner! I then let the kids know our plans, and they loved the idea of having the house to themselves.

OK, that part was easy, but Elaine wasn't going to retire until September of 2011, so where would we live until then? Our initial plan had been to bounce back and forth between a couple of local county parks (Prado and Rancho Jurupa) every two weeks....each park has a 14 day maximum stay per 28 day period. That would have cost us around $750 a month......not bad compared to our mortgage payment. Then I had the idea of applying for a camp host position at one of them so we could just put down temporary roots, and stay in one place for FREE. Easier said than done.....I found out that the local parks had waiting lists, and turnover in camp hosts was low. Well, I put in one application at Rancho Jurupa just after New Year's 2011 thinking we should have done that a year before, but as they say "nothing ventured, nothing gained". Within 10 days we got a call from the resident ranger who asked us to drop by for a face to face interview. When we arrived she walked us over to the new "cabins" they had just put in (really what I would call "park models") and asked us if we would be interested in taking care of the cabins as our camp host job. Originally the County was going to hire someone to do that job, but due to budget constraints they decided to use volunteer labor. We, of course, said "YES!", and the rest is history...by February 1, 2011 we had become FULLTIMERS! Neither of us has, for one minute, regretted our decision, and, in fact, we love our new life......of course you knew that, right?

So, here we are just a few weeks from continuing our FULLTIMING life, but now on the road. Tomorrow we will drive up to our oldest son's home in Rancho Cucamonga to exchange Christmas presents with his family, and our other children and their significant others. Tomorrow evening we will go to our traditional Christmas movie, which, this year, will be the new Sherlock Holmes movie. We started this tradition a number of years ago when the first "Lord of the Rings" movie came out.

We took a nice bike ride on Wednesday to run a few errands.....it's great when you have a wide open schedule....you can just dawdle around from one place to the next with no time constraints, other than sundown.....lol! One errand was to stop at Staples so I could get the 2012 calendar insert for my DayRunner, and then off to Target to get a video game for our grandson's XBox Kinnect, and then to Von's to pick up some filet's to grill that night. On our way back we stopped in at a local coffee shop we had not been in yet called "Back to the Grind".....kind of a cool place.....and then back home.....probably only about 15 miles round trip, but we took 3 hours to do it....what a very nice afternoon!

I have really been enjoying my new Kindle......I've read 12 books on it since I got it, a couple of months ago, and have 3 stacked up in the home page to read. Later today Elaine and I will spend some time in the trailer deciding what goes with us on February 1st, and what stays in the office warehouse, and what gets tossed.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to one and all! Thank you for reading!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

December 17, 2011

The title of this new post has no particular significance other than to say that we can now see February 1st just rising above the distant horizon.....we are no longer counting months, but weeks now....less than 6 weeks until we pull anchor.....soon it will become days that are counted, and we will begin to feel the pressure of wrapping up all the loose ends as we finish our preparations for life on the road.

One of those loose ends is the installation of a solar charging system on the roof of our "home". We have chosen AM Solar to complete that task. They come very highly recommended, and we have been impressed with their communication so far. One of their authorized mobile technicians will be stopping by our location on December 19th to do a pre-installation inspection, and then on Fedruary 1st we will journey down to an Escapees park (Jojoba Hills) near Temecula, CA to have the installation completed.

On the home front I just finished my last soccer matches of the Fall Club season last weekend....seems like it was just September 12th (opening day) a few short weeks ago. I just finished the 3rd week of High School soccer and have done around 21 matches to date, with about 24 to go. My last High School match is January 31st, and that date will mark the end of an era for me. I did my first youth soccer match in the fall of 1984. Hard to believe 27 years has passed so quickly. I will truly miss the exhilaration of running up and down the soccer pitch, as well as the camaraderie of my fellow referees. Many players whom I coached, and whose matches I officiated over the years are now grown, and now I officiate their children's matches. That is a lot of water under the proverbial bridge.

In addition to that we will soon bid farewell to our home of the past year (Rancho Jurupa Regional Park), and most poignant of all, we will be saying goodbye to the many friends we have made here. I really do not like saying "goodbye". The resident ranger has agreed to keep us on the approved host list, so we can return. Frankly, if I had to pick a place to spend a few years at this would be my choice. All other future camp host jobs will be compared to this experience. I have read a number of work camping horror stories, so I know it is not all "peaches and cream" out there, however, our experience here has been nothing short of amazing.

The weather the past two weeks has alternated between severe Santana winds, below freezing temps several times, and major rainfall....it is now raining again as I write.....just 24 hours ago we were being buffeted by 40 mph winds.

Well, that's the update. Stay tuned for more posting as we edge toward our road trip. Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Why am I so thankful?

Tim and Sharon about 13 years ago...


About 9 years ago we had no RV of any kind. We did, however, own a 26' Columbia Sailboat we kept in the water near Belmont Shores, CA. We became the owners of that vessel in 1992 quite by accident. A long time friend of ours, who lived aboard his 38' Scandia double ender sailboat in the Long Beach Downtown Marina at the time, called one day to tell us there was this sailboat for sale for $800, and that if I didn't buy it I was stupid. Well......no one likes an intelligence challenge more than I. Anyway, the long and short of it is we drove down to see the boat, and bought it on the spot. It was an amazing deal. The economy at that time was in the tank, and the market for boats of any kind was also in the tank. The fellow who owned that sailboat had health issues, and needed to sell it as he was moving to Colorado, and had run out of time. The lease on his slip had run out, and the boat was moored on an "end tie" on a day to day rental. In just a few more days he would be forced to donate it to the Sea Scouts to be scrapped. We were in the right place at the right time. It was well equipped, and presented an opportunity to us to expand our horizons. We had visions of our children really getting into sailing with us....trips to Catalina Island, and eventually the other Channel Islands danced around in our heads. The kids never really got into sailing, however, we did make numerous trips to Catalina Island with and without our kids over the 10+ years we owned the Columbia, however, we mostly did "dock" sailing. We would drive down on a Saturday afternoon every few weeks, spend the night on the sailboat, and drive back the next afternoon. Elaine and I used it as a getaway place where we could spend 24 hours every few weeks by ourselves (we had 5 children living at home at the time).


1973 Columbia 26'



In 1992 our oldest son had purchased his first RV...a Fleetwood Gear Box trailer. I would hear stories each Monday I came into the office of their adventures with their in-laws that weekend camping at Glamis, Dumont Dunes, El Mirage (a dry lake in the upper desert not to far from where we are now). Eventually my daughter-in-law came to me one day saying her mother and father were selling their Fleetwood Tioga Class C motorhome and were we interested? We had been talking about selling the Columbia and buying a trailer so we could spend more time with our son and grandkids, so it didn't take us long to sell the sailboat, and buy the 1987 Class C motorhome!



Our first trip with my son and his in-laws was to Lake Tahoe. I had been going to Lake Tahoe since the early '50's with my parents, and every other summer with my wife since we were married....we, in fact, spent our honeymoon at Lake Tahoe. Well, after 10 days on the road in that Class C were were hooked on the life style, and even began to talk about living full time in an RV when we retired. Over the next 4 years we put around 15,000 miles on that Class C mostly in the western half of the USA, and fell more and more in love with the lifestyle.



After returning from our longest trip yet (over 3 weeks) to Yosemite, Lake Tahoe and Mammoth Lakes (in the Eastern Sierra) we came to the conclusion that if we were serious about fulltiming we were going to need a bigger motorhome. About that same time, my son, who had progressed from the 30' Gear Box to a 42' Road Warrior 5th wheel, and then to a 38' Fleetwood Class A diesel pusher (with 4 slides) suggested that we look at something like he had. Well, the one thing we knew for sure was that we did not want a loan payment, and if we went that route we would have to finance....I think his cost around $100,000. We decided we would try and find something around 10 years old that we could afford to purchase free and clear.



The time was late 2007, and I spent a few hours a week cruising the RV for sale sites looking at used rigs. We had decided we didn't want slides...one more thing to break. We were looking for a "low tech" coach that had systems I could work on myself. In early 2008 we went to the big RV show at the Pomona Fairplex and spent the better part of a weekend going from RV to RV. Nothing really struck my fancy....they all looked the same inside, no matter the manufacturer. The benefit of spending those two days looking at new coaches is that it helped us narrow down what we were looking for, and from which manufacturers. The key was to find something durable, well made, in good condition, in our price range. We found a number of coaches that interested us (Safari's, Monaco's, Rexhaul's, etc.), but the rigs in our price range, between 5 and 10 years old were just threadbare, and in most cases needed to have the carpet replaced, upholstery redone, wood floors refinished, had prior water damage, etc.



Then, in late February I was cruising Craigslist....just typed in diesel pusher in the search window.....one of the first items that popped up that day was a 1982 Newell. The picture in the ad looked like a bus conversion. I had never heard of Newell, but I showed the picture to Elaine. The coach was listed as being in the Thousand Palms area near Palm Springs. Well, as luck would have it we were going to Indio (also near Palm Springs) for a wedding that very weekend, so she says "Why don't you contact the people and see if we can take a look at it while we are down there". What could it hurt? We were going to be there anyway, so I e-mailed the person suggesting a rendezvouz that weekend, and within just a few minutes I received a call from Fred, and older gentleman. We set the time and made our plans. We were planning to drive our Class C down to Lake Cahuilla and camp that weekend while attending the wedding and reception. We drove down Friday afternoon (Elaine following in the T-Bird), and met with Fred the next morning at the storage facility where the Newell was kept. We walked up to the coach, and knocked on the door. Fred greeted us and invited us in....Elaine entered first, and before I got to the top of the stairs, following her, she had already fallen in love......with the Newell. I kid you not! In her mind it was already ours. I'm thinking, "What on earth! This thing is 26 years old, and I've never heard of a Newell before! Are they even in business anymore? What the hell is a 2 stroke Detroit Diesel?".....I'm seeing visions of a money pit.....but Elaine has already moved beyond that, and now I'm playing catchup. My good friend, whose wedding we were attending, told me he knew about Newells, and that they were still in business, and they were very well built. Fred gave me a 2 hour tour of every basement area of the coach, and every system inside and out. The coach was in immaculate condition, and we found out later, had been stored inside a warehouse for 22 of its 26 years of life. He invited us back on Sunday to look at it a second time...that afternoon, and evening after the wedding, I spent several hours on the computer reading about Newell, and Detroit Diesel 2 strokes, etc. By the next afternoon when we returned to visit Fred it was just a matter of discussing the details of the purchase. The price was right, and by March 1st she was ours.



Original Craigslist picture of our 1982 Newell



We love serendipity, and that moment in time when I stumbled across the Craigslist ad so smacked of serendipity, and the subsequent days as everything fell into place, were truly serendipitous! We have never looked back, and now, coming up on our 4th anniversary of being Newell owners, we are so THANKFUL we again were in the right place at the right time back in February of 2008! We had planned on our next RV being a transitional one, but, instead, found our future home. We can't imagine owning another RV.



So, now you know the rest of the story, as Paul Harvey often said in his weekly broadcast. On this day of National Thanksgiving we have much to be thankful for.....our children, grandchildren, health, retirement, and yet untold adventures to come.



Thank you for stopping by, and may God Bless each of you on this special day!


Saturday, November 12, 2011

The week in review.....



We returned to our home park last Friday to rain, so we had to set back up in the rain, just as we "took down" in the rain up in Ventura. Of course, it didn't rain most of the 2.5 hour drive home, but it rained on each end.

Saturday I had 4 soccer matches at the San Bernardino Soccer Complex in Highland, CA. The weather was cool...for a change, and the day was uneventful. Sunday was a different matter....I had 4 matches scheduled at U.C. Irvine (Irvine, CA), and the weather forecast told of rain starting that morning and lasting most of the day. My first match was at 7:30am, which means I had to leave Riverside around 6am in order to be there 45 minutes before match time. The match got underway to threatening skies, but it was NOT raining yet. We managed to get in 70 minutes of an 80 minute match before it started drizzling, then raining.....that was my match as center referee. The remaining 3 matches I would be an assistant referee. The second match began at 9:15am, and within 20 minutes my sideline was a 50 yard mud path. By the end of that game (a 90 minute match) I was muddy from the knees down, and my shoes resembled large mud clods than shoes. My next match was not until 1:15pm so I decided to take my wet stuff back to the parking structure, and my car, to change into some dryer clothes, and shoes, and steel myself for the next game, and more mud. While I was at the car I got a phone call from the center referee assigned to the 11:15am match saying the replacement assistant referee had not arrived, and would I come back and take his place until he arrived? OK, fine.....I walked back to the field munching on a half sandwich, and arrived a few minutes after game time. The missing referee arrived at half time and graciously offered me half the game fee for filling in for him, which I gladly accepted. It was then I found out this was the last game of the day.....the organizers had decided to cancel the rest of the games that Sunday as the fields were in horrible condition after 3 hours of heavy rain.....so I got to go home 4 hours early!


The rest of the week saw Elaine and I reorganizing some of our basement storage areas in the coach. We had discovered on our trip to Ventura that some things we use when dry camping were left in the trailer, and there were many things that we rarely use. So, we spent the better part of the day pulling things out of several of the storage areas to be sure only the things we need for short trips are there. Amazingly, we have a lot of room left. Somethings went up to my office warehouse where they will remain until we depart. One of the storage areas had room for a shelf, and so we installed a shelf thereby increasing it's capacity by almost twice....very nice! Pictures to follow.






Right rear storage (just behind drive wheels)


On Tuesday and Wednesday I applied a wood sealer to the plywood pedestal the new toilet sits on to better protect the wood in the event of another leak. Then Elaine created a paper pattern of the platform which we used to modify the carpet piece we had purchased to fit around the toilet base. Instead of stapling the new carpet in we decided to use stainless steel screws with beveled washers so, in the event of a future water leak, we could simply unscrew the carpet and easily remove it, instead of removing 84 staples....lol! In addition we had to replace the quarter round molding that had been damaged by the water leak. It turned out way better than I had imagined.




We are now working on how to transport our two Terra Tadpole Trikes, and my mountain bike. We already have the tandem and two road bikes figured out, and now I think we've figured out the final three "bikes"....I know, I know.....who needs that many bikes? At any rate, once I get the necessary hardware I will share with you have we have solved that mystery. For those of you who wonder what a Terra Trike is, here is a picture taken at the top of Towne Pass (between Death Valley and Panamint Springs) on a 465 mile trip I took with a friend a few years ago. The one in front is mine (with a trailer). Elaine's is the same. We call them "rolling lawnchairs". We rode from Furnace Creek (272' below sea level) to the top of Towne Pass (4,956' above sea level) on one leg of this 9 day trip.




Anyway, that's what's new in our neighborhood. Thanks for stopping by!


Friday, November 4, 2011

Rincon Part II




Sunset Wednesday


We went to bed Wednesday grateful there had been no Santa Ana winds as had been predicted, BUT at 1:30am on Thursday we were awakened by strong winclds grabbing at the still deployed awning....well, that's not good. I woke Elaine (taking down the ZipDee awning is a two person job, especially in the wind!) telling her we needed to get the awning down quick. We threw on some clothes and jumped outside to save our awning. It was amazingly warm for 1:30 in the morning. It took us 3 minutes to put the awning down and put away anything that might blow away, and went back inside. I hate waking up like that...with a little adreniline burst, because I know it will take me time to go back to sleep. I think I fell asleep again around 2:30am, and woke up to bright sunshine around 8:30am....that is late for me!

Elaine enjoying the view on Wednesday afternoon.




The sky was crystal clear Thursday morning, and, thankfully, the wind had died down. The Channel Islands were clearly etched against the morning sky. After a quick breakfast we put on our bike clothes for our annual ride up the Ventura River bike trail to Ojai, CA. Ojai sits at about 750' above sea level, so the ride from Rincon (sea level) was mostly uphill. The round trip ride from space #119 on Rincon Parkway to Ojai and back was 36 miles. The the weather was perfect riding at 65 degrees. We left the coach around 10am, and arrived in Ojai around 11:30am. It was getting on time for lunch so we stopped at a Starbucks and ordered a couple of the hot Pannini sandwiches. After a nice lunch we began the downhill run back to Rincon.



Feeling mellow after the 36 mile bike ride........


We arrived back at the Newell around 2pm, took showers, and headed outside to sit in the lounge chairs. Since we hadn't had a fire Wednesday night we had a lot of wood left for this night. We started up the fire around 4pm, and sat there watching the evening overtake the day as the stars began to twinkle, and the lights of the distant oil platforms became visible. What a great way to end our stay on Rincon. Of course there was a bottle of wine involved, and some Frank Sinatra on Sirriusly Sinatra (XM/Sirrius) channel 71. Since rain was predicted for today, Friday, the clouds were rolling in big time. After dinner we put almost everything away, because we did not want to be loading up in the rain.


Cloud cover getting heavy...


First thing Friday morning it was still partly cloudy, but no rain, so, in order to speed up the rain I went outside to wash off the windshield...lol! Within 10 minutes it started to rain....works every time!

We departed Rincon as the intensity of the rain increased, and headed south on HWY 101 to HWY 126 which takes us through the Santa Paula Valley to I-5, and home. The rain quit as we hit Santa Paula, and it remained dry all the way home. We had barely backed the Newell into site 216 (our permanent site) when it started raining again. The rain continued the rest of the afternoon until around 4pm. Well, we avoided packing up in the rain, but got to unpack in the rain, so our day was complete. The temperature when we arrived "home" was in the low 50's.



Well, that's the rest of the story....thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Buena Ventura





On Monday we only had two cabins to clean so we hit them early, and were finished by 9:15am. Right after that Integrity Mobile Detail arrived to do the monthly wash and detail on our coach....I like to hit the road in a clean coach. Hitting the road means hitting the road north for Rincon Parkway north of Ventura.


The last time we drove the Newell up to Ventura was last February....almost 9 months! Every time we are here I tell Elaine, "Why don't we come here every month?". The weather in November is always nice, and there are no crowds with which we must compete for a parking spot on the "Parkway". There are 127 50' spots end to end on the Parkway. Rincon Parkway stretches about 5 miles from the Sea Cliff exit on the north to the State Beaches exit on the south. It is what is left of the old Highway 1 in this area, which was replaced years ago by Highway 101. The County of Ventura has converted 1 mile of the Parkway to dry camping to the 127 dry camping spots. At either end of this section of the Parkway are two County Parks....Hobson on the north, and Faria on the south. Each of these parks offer a dozen, or so full hookup spots including cable TV. Most the spots in these two parks are just a dozen feet from the surf at high tide.






We were able to depart Rancho Jurupa around 1pm.....after a 30 minute stop over at my office to drop off my grandson's BMX bike, which he left behind after his stay with us over the weekend, we entered the 210 FWY and headed west to I-5, and then north a short way to Highway 126, and then west about 30 miles to Ventura and Highway 101. We arrived on Rincon Parkway just after 4:30pm pulling into #119 on the southern end of the dry camping sites. There were probably 2 dozen RV's here when we arrived, and just a few more today (Wednesday). There are 8 empty sites to the south of us, and 2 empty ones north of us, so we are by ourselves.


The first night (Monday) there was a very heavy marine layer to the point of a heavy mist falling. We grilled a couple of filets for dinner and sat by the fire for a while...there wasn't much to see because of the heavy marine layer and fog, but it is one of the things I love about Ventura. The sound of the ocean drowns out any other sounds.






Tuesday morning it was still overcast, but not foggy. I had some insurance work to do, but by 11am we decided it was time for a bike ride. Our destination was downtown Ventura where we always visit Anacapa Brewing Company on Main Street. It is a great, local micro brewery. One of their signature appetizers is sweet potato fries with a honey mustard dip. The ride from #119 is just over 7 miles to ABC, and we arrived there after a 30 minute bike ride. We quickly ordered a plate of the fries, and two Porters. What a nice al fresco afternoon spent sipping Porter and munching Sweet Potato fries.



Sweet Potato Fries!



On the wall at ABC


We arrived back at site #119 around 3pm and sat in our recliners watching dolphins swim up and down the beach for the rest of the afternoon. Since we had a big lunch we decided to roast some artichokes Elaine had steamed earlier that morning. So, we sat there watching the sun dip lower in the sky sipping wine, and eating artichokes. What a great end to a great day!




A little Zin' to wind down the day....






Today, Wednesday, the forecast called for Santa Ana winds, so we decided to stay close to camp....neither of us likes riding bikes in the wind. As it turned out there was NO wind all day, but it was balmy and crystal clear, which is what you would expect with a Santa Ana condition. The day was spent sitting in our lounge chairs reading, watching dolphins again, and two long walks on the beach, and a long nap. Elaine had been marinating chicken all day, and soaking sweet corn in a salt brine, so around 5pm I lit the BBQ and cooked the chicken and corn. We watched the sun sink below the horizon once again and sat until well after dark just watching the colors change, the stars and moon come out, and listening to the soporific sound of the never ending waves.




We'll be here two more days, and head back to Rancho Jurupa on Friday afternoon. Tomorrow we're thinking of riding up the Ventura River bike path to Ojai for lunch.



That's it for today....thank you for stopping by!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Dometic 310


The new Dometic 310!


Our coach came to us in 2008 with a Thetford Aqua Magic pedal flush toilet which was a year, or two old. It has worked well these 3 1/2 years, but all plastic toilets just get harder and harder to clean with hard water deposits, staining, etc. Plus plastic tends to hold odors. So, when our Newell friend, Steve Ward, who also has a 1982 Newell, decided to replace his Thetford with a Dometic 310, which has a PORCELAIN bowl we decided to check his out. Elaine loved the look of it much more, and the porcelain bowl sold her. These toilets run around $125-141 on sale. We got our for $141 including shipping. I ordered it on Wednesday, and it was at my office the next morning....WOW!!!


My friend's motivation for replacing the toilet was that his seals were shot, and the bowl would no longer hold water. Our motivation was just to improve our toilet....we thought. It seems Mr. Murphy was peekin' over my shoulder, but this time he didn't have the last laugh!

Since we are rolling the coach up to Ventura on Monday I decided Friday (yesterday) was the day to do this "1 hour" job. Our toilet sits on a 1.5 inch plywood platform (1.5" above the bathroom floor grade), and when we had the carpeting replaced with wood flooring 3 years ago we decided to leave the carpeting on the platform as it would have been a pain to remove the toilet and then put it back in again. Nevertheless, Elaine really did not like that carpeting, so we decided that when we removed the Thetford we would replace the carpeting at the same time. So, while I removed the toilet and the old carpeting she went to Lowe's and Home Depot in search of a suitable carpet remnant. The theory was that by the time she returned I would have the old toilet out and the carpet removed, and everything prepared for the new carpet and toilet.
It took me about 10 minutes to remove the toilet....that was the easy part. What I was greeted with made my heart skip a beat....just a beat. The carpet behind the toilet was saturated with water. Visions of major wood removal taunted me as I pulled out the 82 staples holding a 2' square piece of carpeting in place (why do they use so many staples?). It turned out the entire piece was damp due to a leak in the water supply line to the toilet. I'm sitting there looking at wet wood and thinking I'll have to remove it all, but how the hell am I going to remove that flange without damaging it? Is it screwed on to the stand pipe, or glued......well, it's been 29 years since it was all installed, so even if it is threaded, how will I get it loose without damaging everything? It's starting to look like a 1 week job, not a 1 hour job.

Before I caused any damage I decided to call Steve.....we have basically the same setup. He didn't know if the flange was glued, or threaded, and said I might have to cut it off....NO!! Then he asked about the condition of the wood....was there any visible rot? Were there any soft spots in the wood? Is there any warping? I replied that the wood was just wet, but looked fine. Good, he says, that means the leak is pretty recent. Just put a ceramic heater in the bathroom, and close the door for a few hours and see if the wood dries out, so I did. Within a couple of hours the wood was dry, and there were still no soft spots. It's obvious that this plywood must be marine grade, as regular plywood would begin to warp and delaminate pretty quickly.

Anyway, we decided to postpone the installation of the carpet allowing the wood to finish drying completely, and just install the toilet. When we get back from Ventura we'll install the carpet around the installed toilet.


Just after we bought the Newell



With the wood floor installed


Bare wood raised platform


Since today is Saturday it must mean I have soccer matches that need attention. Today I have a "late" start....11:45am down at U.C. Irvine at the Premier league. Three Boys U-17 matches with my center being the last game of the day. Tomorrow it's back to my schedule from last Sunday....5 League Cup matches starting at 8am, with two centers. I'll be gone all day, and will be very tired Sunday evening.

Here is the view I am greeted with most every day (that it's sunny), and here is what the park looks like when it is pretty full. Surprising how many families camp on Holloween!!! There are a lot of creative Holloween displays here in the park this weekend!


Looking out salon window


Lookin' west


Lookin' east


Have a great week, and thank you for reading!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Indian Summer

Monday through Friday last week we had a heavy marine layer, and fog on several of those days. Then, magically, as if a lever was pulled, we had summer on Saturday and Sunday....low 90's, and clear skies. Monday morning the "lever" was pulled again and we are back to heavy marine layer, and rain! The skies partially cleared by Noon yesterday, but then mid afternoon we had 20 minutes of heavy rain, and then the sun came out again. Last night it rained again, and we have awoken to a heavy, heavy marine layer. Ironically, this next weekend the forecast calls for "summer" again. The weather is flippin' and floppin' just like a politician.


Enough with the weather talk, but as you will see, the weather is woven through our activities the past 8 days. Last Friday we got a call from Kool Filtration regarding the need to do our annual servicing of our reverse osmosis (RO) water purification system at our house. He said he could meet us around 1:30pm, so we decided we would ride our tandem the 13 miles (26 round trip) over to the house to meet Ruben, and then ride back after he finished. It was a perfect day for riding....very overcast, and temperatures in the high 60's. We took Crestmore over to Riverview and then up to Mission Blvd. which would take us all the way to Ontario. We arrived just after 1:30pm and Ruben arrived a few minutes later. He was done within 20 minutes, I wrote the check for the service, made arrangements for Ruben to come to our coach in January just prior to our departure and service our RO system in the coach, and then jumped on the tandem for "home". We decided to take a different route home....who likes to see the same scenery? We headed east on Riverside Dr. to Etiwanda where we turned south to Belgrave, and then east again to Van Buren, and then south again to Limonite where we angled eastward back to Riverview and then Crestmore and home. On the way we spied a Carl's Junior where we decided to have an early dinner, and use some coupons out of our Carl's Jr. coupon book our daughter gave us a few months ago. Those suckers are only good until December 31st, so we need to start using them. We finally arrived home around 4pm. Our cyclocomputer showed that we average 13.8 miles per hour and that our riding time was just under 2 hours round trip!



Saturday I was scheduled for 5 soccer matches...3 as assistant referee, and 2 as center. Sunday's schedule was the same....so 10 matches in two days in temperatures in the low 90's and NO BREEZE! With no breeze it seemed like 100! The site was the San Bernardino Soccer Complex located in Highland.....about 20 minutes from Rancho Jurupa. I was on fumes by Sunday at 5pm, but had a large wad of 20's, 10's, 5's and dollar bills to show for it, and another $500 went into the fuel fund! On top of that I got some good exercise, and my legs are feeling much better after a few weeks of soccer.



Elaine and I have been riding our bikes 5 days a week consistently since we got back from Spokane. We have this 8 mile loop we do most days, with a longer ride like last Friday's mixed in for variety. We've both dropped about 5 pounds!



We had 6 cabins rented this last weekend so after our bike ride yesterday we went and pulled the soiled linens, and cleaned two cabins. We'll clean 2 more today, and the final two on Wednesday. So far only 2 are rented for next weekend. We'll get those cleaned along with any last minute rentals Sunday afternoon, and Monday morning. Monday afternoon we will pull anchor and head up to Rincon Parkway, north of Ventura, for 4 days! Will be great to roll the tires....we haven't left the park since we filled up with propane in early August. Looking forward to hearing the sound of the surf just 20, or 30 feet from our coach at night, watching the sun set over a campfire, and doing some great bike riding.



On Rincon Parkway a couple of years ago.

As I am writing it has started raining again.....well, more like a drizzle. Looks like our daily bike ride may occur later in the day. Oh well, now that Elaine is retired it doesn't really matter. As long as it's not 100 degrees outside, or raining we can ride at our leisure!


Elaine is really enjoying her iPad. She's reading books on it, taking care of e-mail, surfing the "net".

That brings you up to date....thanks for reading!!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Is this May, or October?

You wouldn't know there was a mountain there....



The weather pattern around here is reminding me more of May/June gloom, than clear, dry Fall weather that normally prevails this time of year! Once again we are socked in with a very heavy, deep marine layer that will hang around until early afternoon again according to weather.com. Don't get me wrong.....I love cool, partly cloudy weather, and I certainly prefer that to hot, mind numbing heat. Having lived in Southern California since my birth in 1949 I've had my fill of sunny, hot weather over the years......after all that's what you get when you live in desert environment, which, essentially, is what Southern California is. I am beginning to chomp at the bit to start turning the wheels of our home down the road seeking new horizons, and chasing short pants/t-shirt weather. When I am refereeing a soccer match that is pretty much on "autopilot" (by that I mean managing itself, requiring very little interference on my part), as I was last night, my mind starts to drift to the time when I will no longer just be dreaming of our life on the road, the hum of the tires as they drive us toward that horizon presenting new vistas, new adventures, new friends, and, yes, new challenges. I am ready! Bring it on!



Here is what our park looks like on a Thursday....wait until tomorrow afternoon!



We are currently researching our options for changing our domicile to another state. There are so many things to consider. The Escapees website seems to have a lot of good information on how to make that decision. We don't have to make a decision right away, but within the next few months we need to decide.



This weekend will be a busy soccer weekend for me. In addition to the normal Coast Soccer League games my referee association handles we will also be covering a lot of fields for League Cup, which is in its 3rd week. Just this weekend our association will cover 500 matches. My share is 5 matches on Saturday, and 5 on Sunday, with 4 of those being as the center referee. It will also be a good "payday" for me.....almost $500 in cash, which will go into our diesel fuel fund. Many of the large truck stops, and gas stations offer 15-20 cents discount for cash. That can save us over $30 on each 180 gallons. By the end of December we should have enough saved to pay for 2 years of fuel for the coach!



We had been planning on pulling up anchor and setting sail for new horizons on January 2nd, but now we have pushed that back a few weeks to January 31st. The lease on our home comes up on the 31st, so we need to be here to be sure every gets "signed, sealed and delivered". In addition it will allow me to do another 4 weeks of Coast Soccer League, and High School Soccer. The money from those 4 weeks will more than pay to install a solar recharging system on the roof of our coach. Being able to dry camp, and boondock is an important part of our plan. The more we can avoid having to "hookup" the lower our operating expenses will be.



So, that is where we are at, and where we are heading. Thanks for reading!











Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Who saw this coming?



"FOGGY BOTTOM"


Where is Mt. Rubidoux???




Woke up this morning to as heavy a fog as I have seen in years. Could not see Mt. Rubidoux, or any of the other hills surrounding the park. Could barely see the cabins. When I checked weather.com and saw that the fog would "hang" around until almost 1p I knew we weren't going to get our early morning bike ride in today. We decided to clean the last 3 cabins first thing, and hope the fog lifted enough by 11am to take our ride. That plan worked out perfectly, and we were able to start our ride about 11:30am.






So far, there are only 3 cabins being rented this weekend, so Monday will be an easy day for cleaning them. The next weekend only 2 are rented, which will make it easy for us to get on the road Monday, 10/31, up to Ventura. As we suspected, the rental rate has begun to decrease as we get further into the Fall season, and temperatures cool.




Today, Wednesday, is also "mow" day....this is the day each week when the county mows and edges the grass in Cottonwood, where we are staying. It takes 5 people all day to manicure the grass just to give you an idea of how much grass there is. It is one of my weekly pleasures to watch someone else mow the lawn, and it doesn't cost me a dime!


Heading out in about an hour to referee an adult soccer league I do once a month.

The park is pretty empty right now.....a few "snow" birds, and a few campers who move from local park to local park living in their RV's....a symptom of our economy. They range from young families with small children trying to make ends meet, to groups of 2, or 3 adults who have banded together to keep costs down. As I have said before, you are only allowed to camp here in Rancho Jurupa Regional Park 14 days out of every 30 days. Most of the County parks in the area, including Yucapia Regional Park, and Prado Regional Park have this same limitation.

Well, that's it for today. I am hoping to begin posting now on a more regular basis, so check back to see what we're doing tomorrow!


Thanks for reading!!




Tuesday, October 18, 2011

What's next?

SPOKANE


Hangman Valley Road - my brother-in-law and the Lovely Elaine

On September 30th Elaine worked her last day for her employer of 20 years. We went out for an amazing Italian dinner at Mario's Place in Riverside to celebrate.






Returned from our trip to Spokane, WA.....a week of relaxation, many, many naps, hikes, bike rides, anniversary celebrations, a trip to Cabela's, and walking in the rain. Our Alaska Air flight from Ontario to Seattle left at 6:20am. Our second leg of the trip was aboard an Alaska/Horizon Air propjet into Spokane arriving just before Noon. It rained all the way from Seattle to Spokane, and as we deplaned from the propjet we got a little wet walking across the tarmac into the terminal. All in all it was a fast trip...less than 6 hours....of course we had to get up at 3am in order to be at our home (where we would leave our car for the week we would be gone) and meet the shuttle service that would deliver us to the airport. Since our plane left at 6:20am the latest Super Shuttle would pick us up was 4:20am. It's only 10 minutes from our house to the airport so we had a 2 hour wait....don't you just love sitting in airports waiting for flights?


The Spokane River

My sister and her family live in the hills on the southwest part of Spokane. Their home is about 10 minutes from downtown. The home has 3 levels, including a full basement that they had built out when they bought the home a few years ago. The basement is just under 2,000 square feet all by itself, and is divided into four areas......a family room with a large screen TV, a media room with theater seating, a guest bedroom (The Queen Suite) with its own full bath, and a large guest suite (The King Suite, of course!) with a kitchen, dining area, bedroom, bathroom, patio, and laundry.....that is where we stayed.



Our suite




The view to the south

We slept in until after 8am almost every day. Since we had our own coffee maker in our suite we didn't have to run upstairs for our morning dose of that wonderful elixir! We had a wonderful trip, and thoroughly enjoyed visiting with my sister and her family. We loved hearing the rain during the night, and taking walks in the gentle rain that fell 5 out of the 7 days we were there. We watched several movies with our hosts in their media room, and many college and NFL football games over the weekend. We did a 13 mile bike ride on the one clear day along Hangman Valley Road. What a great way to celebrate Elaine's retirement.

video

Just before we left for Spokane I bought Elaine an iPad, and a Kindle for myself on Ebay. Since she no longer has her company laptop she needed a computer. She decided what she wanted was an iPad. Both items were waiting on my desk when we returned from Spokane. Elaine is going through her learning curve on the iPad, but she loves it a lot! The first book I downloaded was "The Sun Also Rises" by Ernest Hemingway. Much to my shame I have never read any of his books. I became fascinated with him after seeing the recent Woody Allen movie "Midnight in Paris" on our Texas trip, and then on the trip home from Texas read a long article in the Southwest Airlines in flight magazine about his life and times.

The weather is decidedly cooler at night, and, although the temps are still in the 80's during the day it just feels like Autumn should feel. I'm doing soccer each weekend, and will be attending the High School soccer recertification class next week. This is my last Fall soccer season, and the High School season will be my last. I have bittersweet feelings about finishing my career as a soccer referee, but would rather go out this way than gradually finding myself assigned less and less competitive matches as I get slower and older. I'm still being sent to do CSL Premier games down at UC Irvine each weekend, and that's how I want to end.....on my terms, when I decide....still at the top.

Since Elaine retired we have been riding our bikes virtually every week day in the morning. We've developed an 8 mile loop that takes us across the Santa Ana River, over to Fairmont Park where we ride around the man made lake, down Market to Mission Inn Blvd. and home. The first time we did the loop it took us 46 minutes. Our last ride it took us 39 minutes!

Today while Elaine drove down to South Coast Plaza near Newport Beach to have lunch with an also retired work friend I spent time checking the coach over. First on the list was to pull each battery tray out, check water levels, and check the batteries for overall condition. The first battery I pulled out had a problem. The positive post is "pulling" out of the casing for some reason. Interstate Batteries will warranty the battery, so I just have to pull it out and take it in for exchange. Fortunately, the other 3 8d batteries checked out fine. But, that is the whole point of preventative maintenance....find the stuff that is failing and replace it before it breaks. I also checked the oil level, coolant level, etc. and that all checked out fine. Tomorrow I'll check the air pressure on all six tires.

We're planning on driving the coach up to Rincon Parkway just north of Ventura on Monday, October 31st where we will spend 5 days.

Well, that's it from Rancho Jurupa Regional Park. All is well as we drift ever closer to pulling up our anchor and heading out on the road. Thanks for reading!!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

What are we smiling about?

In just 8 days the Lovely Elaine (background) retires. She has worked for the same company for the past 21 years. I think the longest I worked for any single company since age 22 was 12 years, and I cannot really explain why I stayed there that long, BUT that is another long story...lol!

So, about 5 days after Elaine retires we are flying up to Spokane to spend a week with my sister, brother-in-law, and their two amazing daughters. Spokane is a great place to be in the Fall. We plan to do so bicycling, and just decompress a little, especially Elaine. I think it will take me a few weeks to get used to NOT hearing the names of familiar co-workers, or the many issues she dealt with over the past few years with her employer, and supervisors. So, to some degree, I am retiring too....from being a sounding board.....haha!

When we return from Spokane it will be just 2 1/2 months until we pull anchor and set sail for unknown territory. Our tentative plan (which has been evolving over the past 6 months, and continues to do so) is to get on Interstate 10 and head southwest eventually over a month, or so hitting the Gulf Coast around Corpus Christi, and then meandering eastward as the spirit moves us. How far east we will get this time around we don't know, and, "frankly Scarlett, we don't give a damn"! Wherever we are in May we will begin to head north by northwest to the great Pacific Northwest and spend the summer there visiting with friends, bicycling to our heart's content. In late August we will head down to Lake Tahoe to meet my brother and his family for a week, and then we're not sure. The NOT BEING SURE is really the cool part, because we don't have to be sure....maybe we'll head to Colorado for a few weeks of Autumn weather, maybe we'll head to Yellowstone after the summer crowds have gone. We will just make it up as we go, and isn't that the real reason we "all" aspire to this lifestyle? I've known where I'm going to be everyday for the past 41 years. As a soccer referee my life has been proscribed by the length of each match I do....90 minutes at a time, 80 minutes at a time, 70 minutes at a time, depending on the age group. I yearn for the days when I don't know what time of day it is exactly, and I may even forget what day of the week it is, when I don't have to be anywhere unless I choose to be there, when I can wake up one morning and decide it's time to move a 100 miles to a new view, and new adventures. I look forward to the day when I can chase the almost endless summer.....live in short pants, t-shirts and flipflops, stay up to 2am if I want, and sleep in if I want.

I have been gradually reducing my time in the office to a few hours a day, and 2, or 3 days a week, but that has been a psychological adjustment. I went through feelings of being a slacker, because I wasn't physically in the office, even though I was working from home. However, I am happy to report that I have gotten over those emotions and have adjusted to my new semi-retired, part time schedule. Through attrition I have been reducing the number of customers I will continue to service whilst on the road. Obviously, I haven't been adding new customers in quite some time, by design.

The weather here in Rancho Jurupa Regional Park has continued to be very moderate this summer. We've had a few days of triple digit temperatures here and there, but generally it has been in the high 80's and low 90's with low humidity. Autumn officially begins today so here's hoping we escape this year without an "Indian Summer". I remember years ago...maybe 10, we had a 4 day Indian Summer when temps hit 110 degrees on November 1st! Obviously, that is an extreme, but until we get into November there are no guarantees that it won't get really hot, if only for a few fleeting days. For today, anyway, there is a crisp feel to the early morning air.

Well, that catches you up to date on our fulltime life.....thank you for reading!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Living Life

Not much to report since our July 4th post. Elaine is counting down until her official retirement on 9/30/2011...tomorrow it will be 6 weeks +, or 47 days to be exact! Monday through Friday we wear our workaday hats, and clean a few cabins on the side. On the weekends we have been doing a lot of bicycle riding. Three weekends ago we rode our single bikes from Angel Stadium in Anaheim down the SART (Santa Ana River Trail) to Newport Beach where we had brunch at Cucina Alessa, which is right on Pacific Coast Hwy just south of where the Santa Ana River Trail terminates at the ocean. The total round trip mileage was 26.











Two weekends ago we did a shorter 10 mile ride to a local Starbucks for breakfast.



One weekend ago I spent 2 days at Mammoth Mtn. riding in their mountain bike park doing about 54 miles of downhill riding over two days.




Mammoth Mountain Pictures

This weekend Elaine and I got out our recumbent tadpole trikes and headed up to the Pacific Electric Rails to Trails bike path in Rancho Cucamonga. Normally we start our ride at the eastern most trailhead in Rancho Cucamonga on East Ave. just above Baseline (a few hundred feet west of Interstate 15). When this rails to trails bike path is finished it will run from Rialto, CA all the way to Claremont Colleges in Claremont. This path follows the right of way for the old Pacific Electric railway, which, in its day, was one of the best mass transit systems in the Western U.S. There were literally hundreds of miles of track running all over Southern California on which the Electric Red Trolley Cars carried citizens at very little cost. When this amazingly efficient mass transit system was replaced by buses the right of way sat dormant for decades, and was, frankly, an eyesore. Now the cities of Claremont, Upland Rancho Cucamonga, and Fontana have joined together to repurpose this right of way providing a wonderful local resource for recreation for thousands. Our intent this day (Saturday, 8/13/2011) was to ride west to Vineyard where the trail temporarily ends as "they" construct a new bridge over Foothill Blvd. We did not realize that in the past few months Fontana and Rancho Cucamonga had connected their two sections under the I-15 freeway making the trail virtually complete now....just awaiting the one small section on the one short stretch over Foothill connecting the Rancho Cucamonga and Upland sections. As we were riding westbound an older gentleman (like we're not older, too....haha!) pulled up along side us as we pedaled and informed us that the Fontana section was now connected! After making our turn at the Vineyard closure we decided we would head all the way back into Fontana and see how far the trail went. The ride we had planned was about 13 miles round trip, but with the addition of the Fontana section we ended up riding 27 miles total. Below is a video of our ride.






video



The weather has been very moderate the past 5 weeks....maybe one day over 100, but mostly high 80's, low 90's with a lot of heavy overcast many mornings, aka: marine layer. The campground has been 90% full each weekend.



So, that't it from Rancho Jurupa Regional Park for now. Thanks for reading!


Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Happy 235th Birthday America!

Mt. Rubidoux, July 4th, 2011

For me the 4th of July weekend is always the real beginning of summer and the attendant heat in Southern California. We have this annual ritual provided by Catalina Eddy. No, Catalina Eddy is not a person, but an annual weather pattern that creates what we call "May/June Gloom". This weather pattern off the coast drives a heavy marine layer sometimes up to 50 miles inland, and keeps temperatures in May and June in the high 70's to mid 80's. The overcast burns off by noon most days. By late June we usually see the end of this pattern, and we wake up to bright sunshine each morning. Often temperatures are into the 80's by mid morning with day time high's into the mid to high 90's.

Our last marine layer morning was Wednesday, June 29th. Thursday broke with BRIGHT sunshine and temps into the high 90's. By Sunday, July 3rd, we broke triple digits to 102.

Normally our only responsibility in the park is taking care of the cabins, but on holiday weekends all the hosts take turns working in the kiosk to help with the influx of large holiday crowds. Elaine and I were assigned two shifts: 10:30am to 2pm on Sunday, and 10:30am to 2:30pm on Monday, July4th.

One issue this park has had on past holiday weekends occurring during the summer is power outages. By 10:30am on Sunday it was already in the low 90's. One of the rangers went to each RV park to check voltage readings and came back to the kiosk advising voltage had dropped from 120 to around 108 in both parks, as well as at the kiosk. Fearing another outage he took one host and went around asking people to shut down one AC unit if they were running two, or if they had generators, and wanted to keep using both AC's they could switch over. Everyone was co-operative and we made it through the day with voltage running around 109-110....low, but not destructive to AC compressors. We thought Monday, the 4th, would be easier since the forecast was for about 8 degrees cooler. NO SUCH LUCK.....by 1pm the voltage had dropped to 105 and we had personally turned off our AC to avoid damage. Not everyone did, however, and by 3pm we had our power outage.....UGH!!! So, we returned to our coach after our kiosk shift to no AC, and no prospect for electricity anytime soon.

As you know, we do have on board a 7500kw propane generator. Normally I would not hesitate to fire it up....when full we carry 48 gallons of LPG. Our generator burns about 1/2 gallon per hour, so we could, theoretically run it for 96 straight hours, or 4 days. HOWEVER, we last filled up when we moved into the park, and after 5 months we are down to 1/4 tank, or less. I have been planning to drive out of the park in the next week, or so to refill. Theoretically I could run for 24 hours on 12 gallons, but when it gets this low the reading is not as accurate as when it is full, and I didn't know when power would come back, so we sat outside in the shade. Two of our kids camped overnight Sunday night, and had gone into town to buy a small wading pool. How fortuitous was that! We put our bathing suits on and submerged ourselves in the deliciously cool water. We spent the rest of the afternoon talking, laughing, and drinking cold drinks.

As the sun set we noticed some lighting coming on at the Club House (houses showers, laundry and restrooms), and then some of the interior lighting came on, but NO power at the individual site pedestals. Eventually I remembered I had the little Honda 1000 watt portable generator and 5 gallons of gas, so I plugged it in and fired it up, so at least we could run the "attic" fan and move air through the coach, as well as lighting, and the outside radio. It ran until we went to inside around 10:30pm, and it was getting cooler by that time. Still no power restored.....we noticed around 9pm that lights were on in the cabins, but still no power in the RV parks.

One reason Rancho Jurupa Regional Park fills up with thousands of people on the birthday of our country is the spectacular fireworks show the City of Riverside puts on each year on the top of Mt. Rubidoux, in whose shadow we reside. Pretty much anywhere in the park you can get an unobstructed view of the mountain top. The show starts precisely at 9pm, and it did on this evening too. We had all our chairs set out with our 3 daughters and their boy friends to watch what we thought would be a 25-30 minute show. We were around 10 minutes in the show when it suddenly stopped. We sat there for 20 minutes expecting it to restart, because, after all, there had been no GRANDE FINALE! You have to have a GRAND FINALE, right...it's a rule, isn't it? It soon became clear that the show would not restart, so the cars began to surge toward the one exit to the park. After the traffic had leasened we said good bye to our kids and headed inside for the night...around 10:15pm we heard two loud "KABOOMS" from the direction of Mt. Rubioux and rushed outside to be greeted by the resumption of the fireworks show, and it was spectacular, and there was a "GRAND FINALE"! We had no clue what had happened, but 80% of the people who had come to the park to view the show missed the ending.

We found out the next morning that 3 fires had ignited on the east side of the mountain (we are on the west side) and the fire department had told them to stop the show until the fires were put out.

We then went to bed with only the basement Norcold fridge still on. Every other DC source was off to preserve our battery power with the exception of the attic fan that I ran for about an hour to pull in cooler air. I awoke around 4:30am to find that the power was back on and quickly went outside and reconnected our cord to the pedestal. Today we ran the AC from 9am until 9pm, but, of course, the park is empty so we had nearly 120 volts all day long.

Well, that our 4th of July story, and we are sticking to it! Thanks for reading!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Extended workstation!!!

The PitProducts.com extended workstation








I've had a number of projects for the car hauler that I've been holding back because I wanted to find and install some sort of "foldup" work bench in the front of the trailer. Since I wasn't sure what the dimensions of the work bench would be I couldn't install a few other items there until I found what I was looking for. I've been looking for several months and thought I had found something at Lowe's that would serve my purposes (but was quite heavy and bulky) when I stumbled across Pit Products.com. They make stuff for the interior of trailers like mine and they had exactly what I needed (Pit Products). It is called an "extended workstation", and has a 46" X 20" fold up/down table. Made of stainless steel, and surprising sturdy, and very light. Well, it arrived via UPS a few days ago, and yesterday afternoon I eagerly ripped the box open to begin installing it.

Work table folded up along side the screws and small parts cabinet


Work table folded down. Has two shelves.



Some of my stuff on the shelves



Wall mounted odds and ends storage...I love these organizers!!




Wall mounted TEAC CD/am-fm stereo....a guy has to have his music to work by!!


The extended workstation came with 8 self tapping sheet metal screws. I added a couple more to make 10 fastening it to the front wall of the trailer. It is really solid and very well made. Once the workstation was installed I was able to mount the "odds and ends" organizer for all the small bike parts, electric connectors, screws, bolts, nuts, etc. I have. Then I was able to mount the TEAC stereo. Now my work area is complete, and it sits right over the tandem bike, my mountain bike, and the road bikes. I have to remove the mountain bike and road bikes to use it, which takes a couple of minutes, but I don't have to take out the tandem!



Next on the list for the trailer are a few wall mounted cabinets and we're set. We are really enjoying checking off one project after another as we prepare for our traveling adventure in just a few months.

Elaine will be submitting her application for her retirement benefits in the next couple of days (you can apply 90 days prior to your retirement date), so she is inside 90 days now until retirement.....yea!!!!

Nothing much new to report from Rancho Jurupa. Life is good here. We have made some great new friends, and love waking up every day in "parkland", as we call it. It is soooooo quiet here at night....I don't think I have slept this soundly in years. It is as if we were a 100 miles from anywhere, and yet we are only a few minutes from "Old Town" Riverside for services and great eateries. Last night we ran over to "The Brewery" on Mission Inn Blvd. and Lime, a local micro brewery, and had the best hot pastrami sandwhiches washed down with a couple of pints of their own locally brewed Vanilla Porter.



We've also been doing a lot more bike riding since my last post. We've taken the tandem out twice on 25 mile jaunts around the Riverside area, and last weekend rode our road bikes down the SART (Santa Ana River Trail) about 24 miles round trip.



So, you are now up to date on the "goings on" at RJRP (Rancho Jurupa Regional Park). Thanks for reading!!!