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Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Normalizing....

I always enjoy watching the metamorphosis of TVC on Monday's following 'long weekends'......within a few hours it transforms from a thriving, teeming RV community to a virtual ghost town.  I hate to say this, since it is, after all, my job to see the park fill up and run smoothly, but, let's face it......I love having the place all to myself.....I love having the unobstructed views once again....I love the total quiet at night once again.  Another thing I love is it is not I who has to fight the mind numbing traffic out of the Tahoe Basin......traffic so bad that you can actually ride a bicycle all the way to Meyers (5 miles distant) faster than you can drive a car.  Many of our customers request late checkouts on these days to avoid the worst of the traffic, but the only way you really can do that is to stay an extra day.

Of course, along with the departure of our beloved customers comes the effluent left behind by them......I would estimate that 90% of our customers leave their campsites as clean, or cleaner as when then arrived, but that remaining 10% more than make up for the 90%.  It is beyond me how anyone could imagine that leaving trash and food scattered all over the ground is acceptable.....I can only imagine what their homes must look like.

After helping TLE open the office/store I rode my Intense 5.5 down to the maintenance yard to pick up the Ranger cart only to find whoever used it last on Sunday had not plugged it in.  This has happened before, and I have managed to get through the next day without having to plug it in again.  However, since this was a holiday weekend I drove it a lot more than on normal days, and by 2 pm I could tell the batteries were running low, so I drove it back to the yard and started charging the batteries.  While I waited about an hour for the cart to charge I assembled a couple of picnic tables, and finally was able to head out for my final round of the day just before 3.....I almost made it, too, but just as I was finishing with Section E the batteries gave out.......after sitting for a couple of minutes I managed to get it moving again and limp back to the maintenance yard.

Things will quiet down for the next three weeks, and then begin to build to a crescendo once again as the 4th of July weekend approaches.  We will have time to finish the many projects still on the table.....install the new water heaters, fix electrical issues, install the new swing set seats, finish tiling the showers in Section A, and assemble the rest of the picnic tables.

I 'punched the clock' about 4 pm, and TLE about 15 minutes later.....we sat outside enjoying the continuing balmy early evening air until about 6 before having dinner.  I watched the second half of game 7 between the Warriors and Thunder played in Oakland......the Warriors once again proved they are one of the best teams ever by not only winning game 7, but by coming back from a 3 games to 1 deficit.....a feat only accomplished by 10 teams in the entire history of the NBA......more than 200 teams have failed to come back.  Now the Warriors will face the Cavaliers in the finals beginning this Thursday.

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, May 30, 2016

Memorable.....

Sunday was the first time I made three complete rounds of the park......each round took just over an hour......in between I helped three folks back their rigs into their sites, pumped propane several times, delivered portable fire places, burned cardboard, built a few more picnic tables, began the installation of the new swing set seats, repaired some trim in the store which had come loose, measured sites, found an illegal fire (built on the ground with no container) and had it cleaned out.....the perp had already left the park......and the list goes on and on.....


I guess the best time to go to a longer shift is on a weekend like the Memorial Day weekend.....when I am busy time just flies.........the weather these past few days has been just delightful.....I shed my light jacket and gloves by 9 am.  By 11 am I was kind of hoping for a little cloud cover as it was getting warm......probably mid 70's......lol.  When you get used to chilly temperatures 75 seems hot......and it is only going to get warmer.....looks like a few 80 degrees next weekend are in the offing......time for flip flops!


As our first major holiday weekend draws to a close I have to say we, the TVC team, did a good job.  We had very few issues, and they all came from one group.....we had an large group of families attending a local youth baseball tournament and they were inclined to walk through campsites to take shortcuts, and they got a little noisy after 10 pm, but we nipped the shortcut problem in the bud quickly, and the night ranger got them quieted down quickly, so all is good.....they were much better last night.  Other than that we had very minor problems, which were all addressed quickly.

TLE and I were home a little after 4 pm sitting outside in the balmy early evening air enjoying an adult beverage.  Around 5:30 I fired up the Sea-B-Que to grill some fish.....we had a lovely dinner....a perfect ending to a long day......one more day on the long weekend to go and things will get back to what passes for normal at TVC in the early summer.  Monday morning most of our long weekend customers will begin to vacate TVC heading back to their workaday lives. 

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Summer begins.....

It has been a long time coming, but finally Saturday I was back in shorts and a t-shirt, albeit accompanied by a hat and light jacket.....the point is NO winter wear! And none too soon.....our park is about 85% full with long weekenders who came to enjoy the great South Lake Tahoe outdoors!  The pool is repaired, open and being heated by a brand new boiler, the restrooms in Section E are open with functioning showers (pictures to follow), and the restrooms in Section A are open, but no showers yet.  We took delivery on new water heaters for all the bathrooms, including the group bathrooms......I think those old water heaters were over 20 years old......all the dead, dangerous trees have been cut down and removed.....in essence we are getting stuff done here at TVC!

The last time I did my site check rounds on Wednesday we had about 40 RV's in the campground......on our days off (Thursday and Friday) close to 200 more RV's entered with all the attendant mothers, fathers, children, grand children, etc.  Instead of the usual 15 minutes to do one round it took me over 80 minutes on Saturday.

On each of the major summer holidays (Memorial Day, 4th of July, and Labor Day) we hold horseshoe tournaments, and this Memorial Day was no exception.  I was tasked with making sure the pits were all raked, all available pairs of horseshoes were rounded up, and the large trophy delivered for presentation at the end..... 


 .

.....we ended up with 10 teams competing beginning at 1 pm......by 2:30 we had a winning team.....Team #9.....

The winners with the 'Acker Trophy'

Saturday was also our first day of our new 40 hour work schedule......yep, from now on we will be working 40 hours per week until we leave in mid September, and stockpiling cash towards our eastern U.S. tour beginning this December.

I made my final round of the park, pumped some propane, checked a cable TV connection for a customer (no problem with our cable....the problem was in their RV wiring), dropped off my cart in the yard and clocked out at 4:45 pm......didn't seem like I worked almost 9 hours!

Meanwhile, back in the office/store, TLE was kept busy all day answering phone calls, solving problems.......our ice cream parlor opened for the summer, our ICE HOUSE is dispensing bags of ice, and we appear to be hitting on all 8 cylinders.  


Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Here they come!

Right after breakfast I headed out to the trailer to tune up our Cannondale Tandem for it's first time out this summer......it's actually been over a year since we took a tandem ride, but Friday we did.....we rode all the way out past Meyers to the end of the bike path (about 5 miles each way) and back to the 'Y' (intersection of US-50 and SR-89).  The weather was perfect.....cloudless skies with temps in the 60's.

As we rode west on US-50 towards Meyers we saw one RV after another headed east to Lake Tahoe.....yep, this is the beginning of the Memorial Day weekend, and it will get quite busy for the first time since we arrived April 30th.  It will provide a good test for our new staff who have been busily preparing for this weekend.  I can already notice my Verizon WiFi slowing down with the influx of vacationers into South Lake Tahoe.

After we made the turn around and began our trek back to SLT we decided we would stop off at a new cafe in SLT called MoonHouse Brewhouse, located near the 'Y'.....TLE had noticed they were finally open.....we saw construction going on last summer, but they did not open before we left just before Labor Day.  What a pleasant surprise.......


.....they haven't been open long enough to garner many reviews, but so far after 6 reviews, including mine, they are at 5 stars according to Yelp.  Each cup of coffee is brewed right in front of you using a drip machine.....I got a cup and TLE ordered some espresso as well as some sort of berry scone.....we sat on the front porch enjoying the view and talking with other customers.  The locals seem to appreciate this new coffee place and are showing up to support them as they get off the ground......


.....we were back to the coach a little after noon to find the campground filling up quickly....we all agreed it is great to see the campers coming back after a long month of hard work and preparation.


I have been wanting to put up some sort of sun shade over the door to the trailer as it gets quite hot on cloudless days with the sun hitting the door for several hours....TLE reminded me we had an old sun screen we rarely use, so I added some male snaps over the door and using the two remaining tent poles I ordered 10 days ago put it up....TLE was a great help!

 Sun shade installed, and looking good!

We had cocktail hour at our neighbor's, Gordy and Carol, 5th wheel, and then headed back to the coach to turn on the Sea-B-Que to grill some hot dogs and corn....TLE baked some potatoes, and opened a bottle of Pinot Noir and we at by the fire....yep, the weather is beginning to feel more like spring.....finally!

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, May 27, 2016

Local flavor......

Thursday started slowly, but finished with a bang!  Since the batteries for the blue Yamaha golf cart did not arrive until after 5 pm Wednesday, and I was the one who removed the old batteries I was, therefore, the only one who knew where all the wires re-attached......I clocked in at 9:22 am for an hour to install the new batteries and deliver the cart to Bob Sumner who is our resident Thousand Trails salesman......


......everything went back together and within the hour I had delivered the cart.....while I was doing that TLE did some shopping........now it was time for us to enjoy our off day.......

I put our patio furniture back out now that it appears we are in for some warmer, dryer weather for the next two weeks......I spent some time checking over our two road bikes so we could take a ride.  About 2 pm we headed north on SR-89 toward Emerald Bay.....as we rode along the paved bike path we just took our time enjoying the pine scented air, and the trees.  When we came to the entrance to Pope Beach, which is still closed until this weekend, we decided to ride out to the beach.......

 Pope Beach...we are all bundled up

Spectacular view looking north

 Still snow on the local mountains......

.....but kids are playing in the lake

....we continued back to the bike path and northward past Camp Richardson to the Tallac Historic Site which encompasses the Pope Estate, Baldwin Estate and Valhalla......beginning May 28th you can tour the estates and the onsite museum which give a glimpse into the life of the rich in South Lake Tahoe in the early 1900's.....


 One of 2 large boat houses....you can still see the steel tracks running into the water......the boats were hauled out on a large boat dolly on those tracks.

 Looking north towards Emerald Bay



 A couple of the old 'estate' houses.......

.....we haven't visited the Tallac Historic Site since about 2004, so it was nice to just ride through the area with no crowds.....

We got back to the coach about 4 pm, and decided to head over to the Lakeview Commons area to visit a new micro brewery we had discovered while out 'junking' a couple of weeks ago called Sidellis Lake Tahoe Brewery and Restaurant.......




......we immediately ordered a flight of their 8 brews and a platter of their chips and house made beer cheese which ended up being the perfect pairing to sample their 8 brews......


I settled on their version of the famous Imperial Stout, which is served 7 ounces at a time due to the high ABV, and TLE settled on the Farmouse Claunie Ale........for our entree I ordered their French Beef Dip and TLE the Triple Play.  We loved their basic 'pub fare' style menu which definitely lives up to the quality of their brews!  Last summer I wrote about Coldwater Brewing Company which is more of a high end restaurant with an onsite brewery which we thoroughly enjoyed, but was a little pricey.  Sidellis is more our 'hole in the wall' style, and we definitely plan to return this summer.  Yelp gives them a solid 5 stars on 29 reviews, and we would definitely be right there.  There are no servers so you must order your brews and food at the bar.....they do deliver your food to your table.  For some this might be a draw back, but for us it is perfect, and the resulting lower prices are appreciated!

On our way back home we stopped at the same location near Lakeview Commons we did last November to take our 'after' picture of the lake......you will recall how shockingly low the lake was then, and how far out you had to walk to get to the water.........

Before....early November, 2015

After....late May, 2016

......I believe I have written recently about how the lake has returned to it former glory over the past winter, and here is the proof.........the water is almost up to the stone retaining wall once again!

We arrived back at our coach just about 6 pm and the beginning of the NBA playoff game between the Thunder and the Warriors.....it was a closely fought game, but in the end the Warrior prevailed by 9 points......back to OKC for game 6!

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Wed-nes-day

The time is growing short before the first big weekend of the season, Memorial Day, unfolds here at TVC....we have much to do, and everyone working Wednesday hit the deck running.  Our priorities are to get the bathroom portions of Section A & E open......the showers are not yet finished, but at least our customers will be able to use the toilets and sinks.  The contractor thinks he may have the tile work done in the Section E restroom, but we are not counting on it.  Additionally, here is a short list of what must/needs to be done by Friday....in no particular order:

1 - Replace water heaters in the Group restroom, Section A, and Section E
2 - Replace the missing swings on the swing set (new seats ordered....will be here by Friday)
3 - Install the tennis court net
4 - Finish raking all the sites
5 - Remove all the dead trees that have been cut down by our tree guy....we're going to use many of them to aid in the definition of some of our more complicated sites
6 - Get the new air compressor installed
7 - Install new 8 volt batteries in one of the Yamaha golf carts
8 - Get the swimming pool open (contractors are fixing a couple of leaks)

There are probably a few things I am forgetting, but you get the idea.....there are several things we have no control over such as the contractors getting their jobs done on time.

I spent my 6.5 hour shift dragging small trees from various places in the park where they had been cut to the sites that need more definition, removing six 8 volt batteries from one of our Yamaha golf carts (I wrote about this one previously) so we could install the new ones when they arrive from Reno, NV Thursday, helping put up the tennis court net, hauling more broken concrete from the pool area, and ordering the aforementioned swing set seats from Amazon.


I was off work by 2:30, and TLE stayed on until after 4 helping Robert get payroll submitted.  I thought we were done with the rain, but about 8 it began to rain again, and continued on and off until after midnight.  On a positive note the sun is out and drying things out as I write this morning (Thursday).

Thank for stopping by!

Definition

(I am attempting to recreate this post about Monday, May 23rd as it somehow mysteriously disappeared from my site.....this is not a new post, but an attempted recreation)

It occurred to me that some may not know what I am talking about when I write about raking pine needles in such a way as to define that site, and create visual borders for our customers.  Most sites here at TVC have obvious boundaries, but many do not, and it is those sites where we have to spend time on a regular basis explaining to customers where their sites begin and end.  Below are pictures of sites before they are raked........and after they are raked......

Before....

 After.....

.....after finishing my first site check round I headed back to Section G to continue raking sites, and did so until about 10 am when I set out to do my second round of the park.....normally I would have done this closer to 11 am, but about 13 of us staff members were scheduled to drive over to Lotus, CA to another Thousand Trails park (Ponderosa) to attend a seminar put on by our employer (Equity Life Styles, Inc.) on customer service.  When TLE and I retired 4 years ago we both thought we had retired from company seminars......sigh.

We left around 11 am from TVC for the 70 mile drive, which due to the mountainous terrain between here and Lotus (a few miles northwest of Placerville) took about 90 minutes.  We arrived safely at Ponderosa about 12:30.....just in time for the pre-seminar buffet lunch provided by our employer.  The seminar began around 1 pm and lasted until just after 4:30......

 The gang
Our presenter, Mary, in the background

.....for the most part we learned that we are, in fact, already doing most, if not all of the things our Presenter, Mary, was doing her best to convey to us.  Don't get me wrong, Mary did a wonderful job, but to me this just seemed redundant.

We left for our drive home about 4:50, and were back at TVC a little after 6 pm......it began to rain quite hard on the way back, but we ended up facing much less traffic on the return trip.  By the time we arrived back at TVC it had stopped raining, and the sun was showing herself once again.

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Too much of a good thing?

It continued raining most of the night and come dawn Tuesday it was still raining.....in fact there must have been a point during the night when it snowed a little as there was snow on the ground, and snow on my Ranger cart.....


......and there were puddles of water everywhere.....I spent most of the day dodging rain drops, and when I wasn't able to dodge them......drying out in the office/store.......


.....we had a skeleton crew on duty Tuesday as all those who hadn't gone to the customer service seminar went Tuesday morning.

The Memorial Day weekend is staring us straight in the face.....some will begin arriving Wednesday to stretch the first long weekend in a while to 6 days......there will be another wave of people Thursday, and then Friday the crush will hit us when over 100 RV's will arrive for the weekend.  That is probably more arrivals than we have had the entire month of May so far.

With all the rain we are way behind the curve.....we have only painted about half the new tables, and have yet to distribute the rest......the bathrooms in section A and E (our section) are not done yet.....contractors have been here for almost a month redoing the showers.....they had to tear everything down to the studs and start over again.  It appears, based on my conversation with the contractors yesterday, that the showers in Section E will be open by Friday, but the ones in A will not.

Most of the staff here this summer is new so they have no idea what 'BUSY' will look like.  It has been laid back and slow paced for them all month, but their first test is coming quickly.

After completing my rounds I went to check the Ice House temperature as we have a large shipment of ice coming any day now.....the temperature was 19 degrees, so it is more than ready.  Next up I picked up three loads of broken concrete being removed by our pool service in the pool area so a leaking pipe can be repaired......I had to haul the concrete all the way back to the maintenance yard to add to the ever growing debris pile.  During the times when I was drying out from the incessant rain I helped Sandy stock the shelves in the store.  I did a lot of other things Tuesday which just don't come to mind.....there is so much left to do that it seems like anything I do is just a drop in the ocean.

It looks like we have one more day of rain drop dodging Wednesday, and then it begins to clear up in time for the long weekend.....we'll see.  No one loves rain on the roof more than I, but like all good things it is possible to get toooo much.  Having lived in SoCal my entire life has made me appreciate rain, but after one month in SLT I'm beginning to long for the long dry days of summer!

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, May 23, 2016

Rangering

Once again it is 27 degrees as I sit here writing about Sunday......well below freezing.....on a positive note our water hose did not freeze overnight, and it has not frozen once since we arrived April 30th, but our neighbors, John and Deb, have had their hose freeze twice.  The high Sunday was 50.......it was a cloudless, windless, sunny day, however, if you were not standing in the sun you were reaching for your jacket, watchcap, and gloves, which was my attire for most of my 6 hour shift.

I finished my first round of the park around 9:30 am and was on my way back to Section G to do some more raking.  As I drove by site 101 (they had arrive after hours Saturday and were not on my computer print out) I noticed the tenants were outside at their picnic table so I stopped to ask if they had gone to the office to register yet.....the answer was yes.  As it turned out they are from Australia (in their late 60's) on a multi month RV trip.  We ended up talking for about 30 minutes about their travel plans, things to see on their way to British Columbia, etc.  Their travel style is much like ours.....they make no reservations, and other than their ultimate destination (Prince Rupert Island) they are making up their route north one day at a time......Bob and June are delightful people, and one of the reasons I love my job as Ranger.

From there I went over to site 132 to pick up where I left off Saturday and continue raking sites.....these sites are all pull through sites, and quite long so take a considerable amount of time to rake.  When I finally worked my way to the end of the row to site 127 I went to empty my trash bucket before continuing.  The dumpsters I was heading to are right next to our dump station.  If you are not a guest of the park we charge you $10 to use our dump station.  We get a lot of folks coming from Fallen Leaf Lake which has no dump station.  As I approached the dumpsters I noted a trailer parked at the dump station.....it looked brand new.  I heard someone call out to me so I turned to see a man standing by the rear of the trailer waving me over.  Apparently this was a brand new trailer, and this was their maiden voyage.......they had never dumped their tanks before, and needed a little instruction, so I stopped to help them.....strictly hands off....why deny them all the 'fun', right?  They were ery grateful for the brief tutorial I gave them.......once again, another reason why I love my job!

After raking a couple more sites I took my 30 minute lunch break returning for my last 90 minutes about 12:30.  I made my rounds, ran a few errands for the office staff and was off work a little after 2 pm.  I spent the rest of the afternoon puttering around our site straightening things up after our recent storms, and then watched some PGA golf.  At 5 we turned on the NBA playoff game between the Warriors and Thunder in which the Thunder wiped out the Warriors.....at one time leading by over 40 points in the 3rd quarter.....they ultimately prevailed 133-105.

Thank for stopping by!

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Summer breezes......NOT!

As I sit here pondering what to write about Saturday I see that just as I checked the outside temperature on my phone the temperature dropped from 27 degrees to 26 degrees......this does not feel like summer!  We've got 4 electric heaters rocking right now.....thank goodness for electric heaters!


Saturday was the coldest day beginning to end we have had since we arrived April 30th.....the daytime temp never got out of the 30's, and I remained bundled up for my entire shift.  Ironically, we had rented out our large tent for a wedding and reception Saturday.....not exactly a day for strapless bridesmaid dresses, huh?

I spent my morning doing my rounds....there are a lot more people in the park.....helping Adam (maintenance manager) troubleshoot an electric problem in in one of our park model cabins....every time the electric water heater would try to come on all the other electric would go off.....we never figured out what was wrong so we ended up moving them to an empty cabin.  We'll have to bring in our offsite electrician to find and fix the problem....we think the water heater is going bad and drawing to many amps.

I later fixed another fence that was sagging, picked up some trash, hauled some more cardboard boxes down to the maintenance yard to be incinerated, and since the pile had grown so large I decided it would be a perfect day to burn the pile.....a nice way to spend part of my afternoon.......


....this was the first time I felt warm all day long!  From there I went to talk with a couple of campers who still had outstanding amounts on their bill......why I don't know, because we are supposed to collect the balance do when checking people in, so somehow these guys slipped through the cracks.  At any rate they were gracious about our error and took care of paying their balances.

Soon 2 pm came and my 6 hour work day was complete so I clocked out and headed for the Newell.....TLE was about 30 minutes behind me.  I had gotten my new Hayes hydraulic brakes for my Cannondale Bad Boy.....I know, only the rear one had gone bad, but I got a deal on a used front and rear pair through an eBay seller, so I bought them both.....I'll save the front brake for a rainy day.  It took about 20 minutes to remove the old brake, and install the new one.

When I exited the trailer it was snowing once again, and it snowed for about 20 minutes, but the snow never stuck.  I spent the rest of the afternoon reading, and napping....I need to go to bed earlier.....I've been going to bed about 10:30 and getting up at 7:30 am, but 7 hours of sleep is not cutting it.....even with an occasional nap....I think I'll go to bed at 9:30 and see if that works better.

Time to have breakfast, get dressed and head out into the 'icebox' for another 6 hour shift.....thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, May 21, 2016

A flurry of activity......

I know.....you've been waiting to find out it if snowed on May 20th, so I will not keep you in suspense........




......yes it did!  But pictures can be deceiving......while it looks like it is coming down by the bucket loads these brief flurries would only last 10-15 minutes, then the sun would return.....no snow ever stuck to the ground.  I guess it was the best of both worlds.....we got to see it snow, but never suffered the consequences.  As I type this morning it is dry outside with no evidence whatsoever remaining of the on and off snow flurries all day long.

Since we knew we would have cold, snowy, rainy weather Friday we planned to hang around the coach all day, and that is what we did.....well, what I did.  TLE did go shopping at Raley's and KMART.....whenever she goes shopping by herself she does what I do in Home Depot....walks every aisle.  When she returned I drove the car over to the office to pick up Wesli's bike to do some repairs.  The shifters were not working, so I decided to replace her handlebars, brake levers and shifters with some of the stuff I salvaged a week ago from two other abandoned bicycles.  In all I spent about 3 hours tinkering with the bike, and in the end it came out quite well.

After delivering the bike back to Wesli about 1:30 I took the rest of the afternoon off to read, and nap.....with all the curtains pulled back we could see the snow come and go all afternoon and into the early evening.

Nothing else to report for Friday.....it's back to work Saturday for our 4th week here at TVC.....the current temperature at 6:13 am is 31 degrees with partly cloudy skies.....more rain forecast for this afternoon with continuing COLD temperatures.......thanks for stopping by!

Friday, May 20, 2016

Going with the flow......

Our intent when we awoke Thursday (our day off) was to head down to Carson City around mid morning, do our shopping, get my ears lowered and then head back to Lake Tahoe, but, to change things up, go north on SR-28 and drive around the lake counterclockwise stopping in Tahoe City at one of our favorite Tahoe Basin restaurants (The Bridge Tender) for lunch, but then the following happened......

There was a lake wind advisory which normally does not concern us as we are pretty well protected here at TVC being surrounded by a forest, however, the wind was coming more from the south/southwest (from the passenger side of our coach where the patio awning is) and was beginning to concern us, so we decided to delay our departure until early afternoon....say around 1 pm when the wind was forecast to begin to abate.  We wanted to be on hand just in case the wind got out of control and we had to stow the patio awning.

As it turned out the wind did abate sufficiently by 1 pm so we began our drive down to Carson City.....normally we take US-50 all the way over Spooner Summit to Carson City....normally takes about 40 minutes.  I say 'normally', because it was not a normal day at Stateline......as we approached Nevada SR-207 (Kingbury Grade road) we saw that traffic was being diverted off US-50 to Nevada SR-207.....apparently there was some sort of bicycle race going on around the lake which involved US-50 and Nevada SR-28 so traffic was being diverted from Noon to 2 pm......uggggh!  Well, okay, we could still get to Carson City, but we would have to take the long way around, so we did.  

This alternate route took us through Genoa, the oldest Nevada settlement dating back to 1851, which was a nice drive albeit 30 minutes longer to our destination.  Nevertheless, we enjoyed the drive and arrived at Trader Joe's by 2:20.....from there we headed over to Costco to take on fuel and buy a few things, then over to Supercuts for my haircut.   By the time I was finished with my haircut TLE had found out that Nevada SR-28 was open again, so we headed over Spooner Summit and began our drive counteclockwise around the lake passing through Incline Village, Brockaway, Carnelian Bay, Kings Beach, Crystal Bay arriving in Tahoe City at The Bridgetender, a Tahoe City institution for over 35 years, around 4:30 pm......so, instead of lunch we sat down for an early dinner....works for me!



The Bridgetender, for those who have not been following my blog long, is located on the shores of the Truckee River across the street from the dam which controls the outflow from Lake Tahoe into the aforementioned Truckee River.  Yelp gives them a solid 4 stars on 413 reviews.....we are somewhere north of 4 stars, personally.  They have, in my estimation, one of the most amazing Bleu Cheese & Bacon Burgers I have ever had, and that is what I order every single time.  I chased it with a pint of draft Moose Drool.  TLE ordered onion rings which she loves, and I gave her part of my burger.

We were back on the road a little around 5:30 concerned that we might have a long drive home due to the 5, or 6 construction zones we had to go through on California SR-89 to get back home, but, as it turned out we did NOT have to stop one time hitting all the zones just as traffic was beginning to move again.....SCORE!!

We were home before 7 with smiles on our faces settling quickly into the evening.  Friday will be a great example of how fickle the weather in the Tahoe Basin in in May....Thursday we had a high of 70........there is an 70% chance of snow Friday with the high barely reaching 40.....overnight low is projected to be mid 20's.....BRRRR!


The day did not go as we had planned, but in the end is was the perfect day.....thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, May 19, 2016

'Outwit, Outplay & Outlast'

As I mentioned yesterday my 30 hour work week would end at noon on Wednesday (our Friday) as I was about 1.5 hours ahead of my 6 hours per day.  Beginning May 26th (the beginning of our next pay period) we will go to 40 hours per week the rest of the summer.  At any rate I went through my normal routine first thing in the morning, and once I had finished my first round of the day I went back to the maintenance yard to assemble a couple more picnic tables so Gordy would have room to paint the next batch of wood.  When I was finished with that I got a large rake and drove over to Section G to the 4 park model cabins to begin raking pine needles.  I managed to rake the four cabins sites, and then 4 more RV sites before it was time for me to make my final round of the day before heading for the barn.

Our manager, Robert, was in Capitola for the day at company meetings so he assigned TLE to do some cleaning, and organizing in his office.  The fruit of that labor was passed on to me to transport via golf cart up to the administration building.....once that was finished it was noon, and time to punch the clock.

TLE's 30 hour week ended just about 2:30 and she quickly joined me at home.  Often last summer our practice on Wednesday afternoons (also our Friday last summer) we would walk over to Classic Cue for fish tacos and a pitcher of beer, and about 4:30 we did just that.  A pitcher of Porter and 4 fish tacos costs just over $20......I think the fish tacos are even better than last summer.....if that is  even possible.  As we sat sipping our Porter brews we talked about what has been accomplished the past three weeks and what still needs to be done in the next 9 days when the Memorial Day weekend descends upon us in full force.


The walk over and back was delightful.....temps in the 70's.....I wore flip flops, shorts and a t-shirt.....on the walk back we decided we would have our first fire of the summer here at TVC, and to add a little extra atmosphere I pulled out the outdoor TV so we could watch the NBA playoff game between OKC and Golden State.....OKC opened up a can of 'wupass' on OKC beating them by 27 points.  Of course, the best way to watch basketball is muted with XM Radio channel 71 (Siriusly Sinatra) playing in the back ground......  


.....we may not have a chance for another fire for a while.....the forecast calls for temps to drop into the low 60's Thursday, and then down to 31 on Friday with a chance of snow!  As usual May continues to be a mixed bag weatherwise.....I guess I'll have to pull my snow boots back out again.....sigh.....

One thing I forgot to mention is after TLE came home from work we got to work modifying our sunshade.  I had ordered some adjustable tent poles from Amazon and they had arrived the day prior.  Now we can open up the patio area when we wish making it easy to watch TV from the fire area, and to use the picnic table when we wish.....I think it turned out pretty well......


....we retired inside just after 8 pm to watch the 3 hour 'Survivor' finale which was ultimately won by Michelle who won the $1 million dollar winner take all prize this year....she definitely "Outwitted, Outplayed, and Outlasted" her competition this year.

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Table Topics.....

As I was making my rounds Tuesday cruising along in my Yamaha golf cart feeling the crisp, cold 42 degree air slowly numb my face I thought how blessed I am to be in this place at this time.  You're thinking....wait, what?  This guy has spent over 4 years chasing t-shirt, shorts and flip flop weather and now he is saying he feels blessed to be in a place where watch caps, UnderArmor, jackets, and gloves are part of the daily attire?  It's hard to explain, but I just love this weather.....it feels more like fall than spring weather, and fall is my favorite season....in fact, rain is forecast for about 8 of the next 15 days.  I have always felt at home here, and now that we are in our 3rd year working at TVC we know our way around.....we have integrated ourselves into the local community......we have made friendships that will long endure past the summer of 2016.  We have a management team which is extremely supportive, and is getting things done.

So, what did Tuesday look like from my perspective?  As all our work days here begin we opened the office at 7:30 am.......I rode my Intense 5.5 down to the maintenance yard to pick up my cart, and to check on the golf cart in which I had installed 6 used batteries to replace the 6 DEAD batteries.  The charger indicated it was charged, and I was able to put it in 'gear' and back it up, and drive forward......a seeming success, right? Unfortunately the used batteries only provided enough power to move the cart about 1/8th of a mile before they died......sigh!  At least we know it was the batteries, and not anything else wrong with the cart.  We should have the new batteries in a few days.



I retrieved my golf cart and headed back to the office to get my reports and begin my rounds which went pretty quickly.  Then I headed over to our 'Ice House' which we had been venting out for the past 2 days prior to turning the refrigeration on for the summer.  As with other things the folks that worked here the last few years are no longer here and no one seemed to know how to turn it on......after about 10 minutes I found an electrical box with a lock on it which I opened to find the switch to turn everything on......by 2 pm it was down in the 30's inside.  

About mid morning Miguel (head ranger) joined me in the maintenance yard to begin assembling 40 new picnic tables....Gordy has been painting the wood before we put them together, and he can paint enough wood to assemble 6 picnic tables at a time, so it looks like it will take us about a week, or less to get them all assembled and distributed throughout the campground.  We've got our assembly process down to where it takes us less than 12 minutes to put one together using 27 carriage bolts to marry the metal legs and supports to the wood table tops and bench seats.....my Porter-Cable impact driver is really coming in handy.




We finished the last table about 1:30 giving me 30 minutes to do my final rounds, return my cart to the maintenance yard, and my radio to the office to be recharged before clocking out for the day.   I've only got 4.5 hours left before I reach my weekly 30 hour work limit, so I'll be off work Wednesday by noon.....YAY!

I arrived back at the coach fully intending to take a bike ride, but when I went out to check on my Cannondale Bad Boy hybrid I found that the rear hydraulic brake was not functioning properly.....by that I mean it would not stop the bike, so I proceeded to try and bleed the line, but it turned out....after about 15 minutes.....that the caliper had developed a terminal problem and needs to be replaced before I can ride the bike.  I found a couple of likely replacements on eBay, so I should have the replacement early next week.

Thanks for stopping by!