Thursday, June 8, 2023

Two halves make a whole.....

6:18 am - June 8th - Thursday - LPG&RVR - 47° F, humidity 85%, wind 0 mph out of the west by northwest......cloudy today with the forecast showing rain later today, and a high of 73° F.  On this date in 2021 TLE and I were enjoying a spectacular sunset on the Oregon Coast.....↴

Before I get into today's post about yesterday I need to memorialize an important milestone for this blog.  Sometime during the evening yesterday we passed 2 millions page views.....

.....a big shout out and thanks to all of you who have been loyal followers these past 12 years!  These kind of numbers are tiny in comparison to some bloggers who have that many views a day, but for me it is pretty cool that so many have clicked on my blog that many times....WOW!

We're in a stretch here at LPG&RVR of rain in the forecast everyday for days on end.  It didn't seem that we were going to get any rain Wednesday, but suddenly around 2:30 pm the skies opened and it rained quite hard for about 40 minutes, which kind of put a dent in my plans to mow ALL the tee boxes for which I am responsible in one pass, but I get ahead of myself.....

The rain came down so hard I could not carry on a conversation out on alfresco dining area of the Clubhouse

.....we've been expecting the delivery of a new manufactured home for Office Kathy and her husband Richard.  It was ordered about this time last year, and was finished in December (up in Oregon), but could not be delivered as the new permanent sites were not completed yet.  Kathy and Richard have lived here at LPG&RVR fulltime in their motorhome in one of the older permanent sites for a number of years.  They sold their home in Reno a number of years ago, and have wanted to get back into a home for a while now.  Well, around 12:30 pm the semis hauling the two halves of the double wide manufactured home arrived....

The two halves moving up Hamel Way

.....within an hour (just in time to beat the rain showers) both halves had been placed on Kathy and Richard's new site overlooking the golf course, and sometime next week a crew will arrive to put the halves together to make a whole home.....

.....I made my normal morning rounds of the golf course, and found all to be in order.  There was a little duck/goose activity on the #3 tee boxes, but I took care of that in a few minutes.  None of the sand traps needed mowing, but they will need weeding again.  I'll get to that on Thursday, or Friday.

I had a lot of mowing to get done Wednesday, so upon return to the Clubhouse I got on the small Husqvarna and headed out to the back of hole #11 to mow another area DeWayne cannot get to with the large 2nd cut mower he uses.  From there I worked my way back to the #10 tee boxes, then mowed the large grass area which parallels the cart path taking golfers to either the #1, or #10 tee boxes.  

Once that was done I exchanged the small Husqvarna for the large one, and began by mowing the large grass area in the parking lot, then the grass around the small Pavilion, and finished the morning by mowing all 5 water/electric sites (31-35) before it was time to give TLE her lunch break. As I noted earlier we had the 40 minute rain event just as I returned from lunch, which essentially squashed my plans to mow the rest of the tee boxes before the end of the day.  I was able to, following the storm, get out and mow all the grass around the #3 tee boxes, and the grass around the back of hole #12 (another area DeWayne has a hard time mowing with the large mower).  By the time I finished with #12 it was time to head back to the Clubhouse to wash, and put away the 16 golf carts we had rented that day.  I'll have to get to the tee boxes at 15, 16, 17 and 18 on Thursday.  I managed to finish with the carts right at 4:40 pm, my quitting time.

I had planned on hitting some balls on the driving range, but decided to practice putting instead while I waited for TLE to close the office.  She was finished with that task a few minutes after 5 pm, and we were home by 5:15 pm.  The wind had come up, and it was out of the west, which is not a good wind direction for our patio awning.  Finally, around 6 pm TLE and I had to go outside and stow the patio awning for the first time in almost 6 weeks.  Of course, within 25 minutes of stowing the patio awning the wind abated, and calm returned to the park.....of course!

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, June 7, 2023

Too many balls......

 6:24 am - Wednesday - June 7th - LPG&RVR - 48° F, humidity 92%, wind 0 mph out of the west by northwest.....mostly cloudy today with a forecast high of 77° F.  On this date in 2020 TLE and I were in Island Park, ID staying at Valley View RV was rainy, windy, snowy, and very cold for the first week in June.  Note the low diesel price then......within 5 months there would be an election, and the subsequent gas prices exploded......↴

....what I would give for a diesel price under $3 again....and this was high compared to what we would pay in Wyoming 10 days later, which was closer to $2/gallon.

We were expecting rain all day Tuesday, but it never materialized.  A number of golfers moved up their tee times to avoid the forecast rain, but they needn't have done so as it turned out.   Monday, which was not a work day for me, the driving range was cleared of balls by Walt.  On Sunday they almost ran out of balls so Walt added another 1,000 from our range ball reserve in one of our CONEXs.  When I arrived at work Tuesday morning those golf balls were still soaking.....Monday had been an unusually busy day, and pretty much every golf cart we have was rented....some went out more than once.  The result was there wasn't enough time in the day for Walt to get them washed, dried, and put away.  I estimate that I washed, and dried over 2,500 golf balls, of which I returned almost 1,000 to the reserve in the CONEX.  The task took me most of the morning after I returned from my early round of the course.

Speaking of my early round of the course, there was, once again, virtually no goose/duck leavings on the #3 tee boxes....this is a trend I hope continues.  I haven't seen many geese around lately, so I imagine they have moved further north as is their instinct.

I finally finished washing the balls, and had them drying in the surprisingly sunny conditions around 11:30 am, so I had 30 minutes left before TLE's lunch break....just enough time to run around the exterior road of the golf course to see how play was progressing.  Tuesday was a much less busy day than Monday, and there were only 11 carts out when I made this round of the course.  I was back just before 12 pm....perfect.

The big news of the day on the Golf Channel (it is always on in the Clubhouse) was the shocking merger of the PGA, DP World Tour, and LIV golf into one organization....wth!  After all of the self righteous posturing by the PGA leadership for the past two years about how evil the Saudi money was, they did a 180° switch and took the money.  Suddenly the moral issue was no longer important.  I'll let it go at that, but I think we will be seeing the repercussions from this decision for a long time to come.

By time I returned from my lunch at 2 pm about 9 carts had been returned, so I began to clean them.  I took a break around 3 pm to make another round of the course to see how the afternoon golfers were faring, and the all seemed to be spread out and having a good time, especially since it was not raining as had been forecast.

I put my last cart away around 4:40 pm, which is when I am off on a normal day, and grabbed a bucket of balls to hit while I waited for TLE to close down the office.  I just took my driver, and 5 wood out of the bag to work on them for the 20 minutes I had.  Amazingly I hit around 15 balls with the driver, and everyone went 170-200 yards.....most down the middle with a few to the left, or right of center, but still in the range.  Then I picked the 5 wood that I hit so well the afternoon before, and found the same success, only off the grass, which is always tougher for me.  Out of the 15 balls I hit everyone went at least 120-150 yards.  I haven't hit that well in a long time.  I need to just stick with the clubs I feel comfortable with, and stop obsessing over trying to hit all of them well.  I may never hit a 3 wood off the grass well, so why keep beating myself up over it?  Now I need to work on my short irons, and chipping.

TLE was ready to go home a tad after 5 pm.  We had bought a couple of filet mignons at Holiday Market the day before from their discount bin.....instead of paying $32, we only paid $16, because the meat was a little older and darker.  I always like the darker meat as it means it has aged, and is getting more tender.  Anyway, I turned on the Sea-B-Que right after I got out of the shower, and by 6 pm we had two of the best filets we've had in a while.  Love that aged meat!

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, June 6, 2023

The first time this season.....

6:13 am - Tuesday - June 6th - LPG&RVR - 50° F, humidity 73%, wind 1 mph out of the north by northwest......cloudy today with a chance of rain this afternoon, and a forecast high of 79° F.  On this date in 2020 we had arrived in Island Park, ID just in time to beat the forecast rain......↴ 

We slept in Monday until after 7 am once again, and enjoyed our coffee until around 10 am when we decided to take a bicycle ride together, for the first time since last year when we rode our bikes into Cedarville, CA from Surprise Valley Hot Springs for lunch....that was the last time TLE rode her bike!  We decided to ride out to Jess Valley Road, and then into the town of Likely for which our golf course/RV park is named.....

....the entire town of Likely consists of about 2 blocks along US-395 consisting of the Volunteer Fire Department, Likely General Store, the local Post Office, and the no longer open for business, The Most Likely CafĂ©.  There is also a Saloon next to the General Store, which is also no longer open for business.

TLE enjoyed the ride, and admitted she would like to do it again.  We were back home a little after 11 am, and on our way, driving, into Alturas for our weekly shopping foray....

....we arrived at the Jess Valley Road entrance to LPG&RVR just as a local cattle drive had passed the entrance, and had to kind of creep along behind the cattle (mostly young stuff) for about 1/2 mile before the cowboys were able to move them off the road to let us, and another vehicle pass....

....we hit all the usual places in town (Ace Hardware, Rite Aid, Holiday Martket) before finishing at Rubio's Taqueria for some of their great street tacos.....TLE got their chicken taco, and I there Asada Taco plate (includes rice and beans, and three tacos).  Once we had our take out orders in hand we headed to the city park to our usual table to enjoy them, and the local ambiance....

....including a seagull...I think that's the same seagull that gave me the 'stink eye' north of Depoe Bay, OR back in November of wrote about that here.

....we were home around 2:30 pm at which time I sat down for a nap whilst TLE put away the groceries.  Around 3:45 pm I decided to go out and play 9 holes (the back 9) for the first time since we returned back in April.  My right shoulder has been unusually sore this season, but began to feel much better a few days ago, so I decided to give it a go.  As one might expect, there were as many bad shots, as good, but I was encouraged by the good shots.  I hit my driver pretty well, but stank at hitting my 3 wood off the grass.  I switched to my 5 wood for fairway shots after that, and hit it pretty well.  I two putted every green, so that's a good thing, but my chipping from just of the green was inconsistent.  My short game was also hit and miss.  My last hole, the 18th, was my best....I hit a great drive with my driver, and then hit an 8 iron just over the green.  I hit a great chip, and then just missed my par putt.....that hole made it all worth it!

By the time I got back to the Newell it was after 6 pm....where did the time go?

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, June 5, 2023

Another day well lived.....

7:54 am - Monday - June 5th - LPG&RVR -  64° F, humidity 51%, wind 1 mph out of the north by northeast......mostly sunny today with a forecast high of 82° F.  On this date in 2021 TLE and I were in Newport, OR having breakfast at 'The Coffee House'.....nothing like a large, clear mug of Americano coffee to go along with a view of the Yaquina Bay Bridge......↴

I remember looking at the clock in our bedroom Sunday morning, and it read 7:01 am.  As I dropped off to sleep once again I was thinking how nice it was to have slept in until 7 am.  The next thing I knew it was 8:30 am....wait, what? I do not remember sleeping in that late for quite a long time.  It is sooo quiet here, even at 8:30 am in the morning, that it is easy to sleep in as long as your curtains are closed.  We awoke to a brilliantly blue sky day with a promised high temperature of 81° F.  For first time in a few weeks no heaters were nice.  Of course, no heaters in the morning portends warmer days, and I'm not quite ready for really warmer days.  Thankfully, the temps will drop back into the 60's and 70's over the next 15 days, so the warmer weather seems to be being kept at bay for now....

....much cooler temps are in store, but do you notice all that rain in the forecast?  Pretty much every day through the 14th....not at all like last year.  Once we got into June I don't think it rained again until late July, or early August.

I took my Haibike SDURO e-bike out for another loop ride around the golf course, and felt very strong, especially on the climbs, of which there are several.  One note of clarification, while this is an e-bike with 'pedal assist' I only use assist level has 5 assist levels, each one more robust than the prior.  Level 1 simply makes this 65 lb. bike feel like a 22 lb. bike, which is what my former Intense 5.5 weighed.  Upon completing my ride I took a look at the Strava statistics, and was pleased to see that while I felt quite strong during the ride, I was actually riding quite strongly......I had knocked a full 2 minutes off my previous best time for this loop.....

.....other than the loop ride, I didn't leave the site the rest of the day.  TLE and I watched a lot of the final round of the Memorial Tournament (Jack Nicklaus' annual tournament), which ended up going to extra holes with two golfers (Denny McCarthy and Viktor Hovland) tied at 7 under par.  Denny McCarthy had held a two stroke lead from about the 7th hole until the 16th hole when Viktor sank a long birdie putt to pull within one stroke, then another long putt on 17 to save par.  Denny then bogeyed the 18th dropping him into the aforementioned tie.  Viktor won the first sudden death playoff hole to win the tournament.  At the beginning of the day there were 40 golfers within 5 strokes of the leader who was Rory McIlroy, but he melted down over the remaining holes to end up at 3 under par.  

TLE had me grill a couple of salmon steaks on the Sea-B-Que for an alfresco dinner to which she added sides of grits, and Corn Maque Choux.  After dinner we remained outside on the 'lower deck' to play a game of 'Phase 10'.  The last two times we played 'Phase 10' TLE won handily...they were not even close.  On this night we both entered the final Phase tied, but I led her with the fewest points by about 30 points.  We both managed to complete the 10th Phase successfully, but I still led her by the aforementioned 30 points, so I won the tie breaker....

....sure, it was a squeaker, or in baseball parlance it would be the equivalent of a 'bloop single' Vin Scully used to say, "it may have been a bloop single, but it will look like a line drive in the box score"  As we played we could see the sky darkening with water laden clouds, and could hear thunder rumbling in the distance.  The rain finally came around 9 pm, but didn't last long. 

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, June 4, 2023

Almost like home.....

 9:12 am - Sunday - June 4th - LPG&RVR - 63° F, humidity 41%, wind 2 mph out of the east.....crystal clear, blue, sunny skies today with a forecast high of 82° F.  On this date in 2011 TLE and I were riding our bicycles along the Santa Ana River Trail near Riverside, CA......↴

As it should be on days off from work, TLE and I slept in until after 7:30 am Saturday.  This is one of the joys of this job we have at LPG&RVR.  We work hard for four days, and then sleep-in for four days.  After the whirlwind drive to Redding, and back it felt like 3 of our days had already been used, but we really still have 3 days left on our four day weekend, and sweeter yet, two of those days are real weekend days meaning all TV's are tuned to the latest PGA tournament....Jack Nicklaus' Memorial Tournament in Ohio at Muirfield Village where all the top names in golf are playing this weekend.

After typing my latest 'day in the life' post TLE and I took a walk up Likely Place Road to Hamel Way to take a look at the 12 new full time sites which were just completed, just recently inspected by the State of California, and declared fit for occupancy.  People who have been on the waiting list for a few years have been moving into those new sites pretty steadily since then....

Our post walk picture

It has occurred to me that I write about weeding and raking sand traps, mowing tee boxes, and removing goose/duck leavings, but have rarely posted pictures of those specific sites, so today I will endeavor to take you on a tour of my golf course responsibilities.....

Tee boxes at the 3rd hole after goose/duck 'leavings' removal, and mowing

I mow all the grass from the entrance to the four 3rd hole tee boxes (blue, white, red & yellow) to the end of the yellow tee box....takes about 30 minutes just for this stretch

The 12th hole is about a 100 yards to the east of  the 3rd hole, and this is one of the sand traps I weed and rake

This is the blue tee box for the 4th hole which I mow around

The sand trap at the 4th hole

The blue tee box at the 15th hole (the lone restroom, other than the one at the Clubhouse on the golf course is in the picture)

The sand trap at the 15th hole.....the largest of the four.....about the size and depth of a wading pool

The blue tee box at the 16th hole

White tee box at the 16th hole

Red tee box at the 16th hole

Yellow tee box at the 16th hole

I mow the grass between the entrance of the 17th hole down to the yellow tee box in the distance

Blue, white, red 7 yellow tee boxes at the 17th hole

And last, but not least, the sand trap at the 18th hole

.....I neglected to take pictures of the 10th hole tee boxes, which I also mow, but I will on Tuesday.

I spent some time weeding the grass for our site (#55), and then pulled out one of the anti gravity chairs to watch some of the Memorial Tournament....I'm pretty sure there was at least one nap during that time.

Around 3:45 pm TLE and I drove over to the Clubhouse for the weekly putting contest....

The participants

The venue, or lose the weekly putting contests are always fun, and festive.  Most everyone brings an adult beverage, and we all laugh, and have a great time.  Mike Bratzler, who conducts the weekly contests, plays the National Anthem, while we all stand with hats in hand.  He's played the Chis Stapleton version the past two weeks, and that has to be one of the best renditions I have ever heard.  On this day I putted well, and got to the 3rd round where I beat myself on two consecutive holes.  Nonetheless, the quality, and consistency of my putting in the first two rounds encouraged me, and, frankly, on the first 3 holes of the third round.  The longer we are here, the more LPG&RVR feels like home....

Chris Stapleton's Super Bowl LVII (57) 
performance of our National Anthem

.....we were home, with smiles upon our faces, by 6 pm.  

Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, June 3, 2023

You can't always get want you want......

 8:01 am - Saturday - June 3rd - LPG&RVR - 56° F, humidity 56%, wind 0 mph out of the north......crystal clear, blue, sunny skies today with a forecast high of 80° F.  On this date in 2012, our first year on the road, we were riding our bikes near Spokane Falls in Spokane, WA.....↴

"You can't always get what you want".....Rolling Stones

Just before we left Thursday afternoon to drive the first leg of our trip back to Redding I got a call from A-1 Smog in Redding advising they had finally found the correct hose which connects the airbox with the smog pump, but it would not be in until noon time (via UPS).  We had reservations again at Shasta Pines Motel in Burney, and it was too late to cancel them, so we left anyway at 4:15 pm for our drive to Burney, and arrived there safely as I reported in yesterday's missive.  Our original plan, had the hose arrived before Friday, was to leave Burney at the crack of dawn Friday to be at A-1 Smog by 7 am, their opening time, get the emissions stuff installed by 8 am, get our smog certificate, and be back on our way home shortly thereafter, but you don't always get what you want, according to Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, but sometimes you get what you need.

That's the hose A-1 had a hard time finding, but finally did after I sent them this picture

Since we didn't need to be at A-1 by 7 am we slept in Friday morning until 7 am, had a leisurely cup of coffee, got dressed, and drove back 4 miles on Highway 299 to where it intersects with Highway 89, then another 6 miles to Burney Falls State Park to see Burney Falls.  We arrived there around 8:30 am, paid $10 to enter the park, found a parking spot, then walked down a short hill (lots of steps) to view the waterfall.....

See how long my hair was?  Check out the 'usie' down below

....we spent about 30 minutes enjoying the falls, which were flowing at maximum due to the heavy snowpack melt going on right now.  We've wanted to stop here for years, but it is about 20 miles out of the way, so we never did until Friday.....sometimes you get what you need.

We left the falls around 9:15 am thinking we would be in Redding just after 1o am, but two long construction zones undid those plans.  Our plan had been to be in Redding around 10 am to get our shopping out of the way before we arrived at A-1 at noon.  We didn't hit Redding until after 11 am, but we still wanted to get our shopping done.  Our first order of business was to stop at Trader Joe's to retrieve our $120 bag of scotch and vodka we left in the shopping basket the week before, then it was over to the local Supercuts where I got a haircut whilst TLE did her grocery shopping at the Safeway across the parking lot.  We both got done at the same time!

Next up was a stop at COSTCO to fill our now depleted gas tank at $4.13/gallon for premium.....the best we've paid in California in a while!  On a side note, ever since I replaced the four ignition coils, and 4 spark plugs in the VW the mileage has increased.  We used to average around 27 mpg on the highway, but now we're getting over 31 mpg consistently...even in the mountainous terrain which separates Alturas from Redding.  TLE needed to exchange some clothing she had bought at COSTCO the week before, so we took care of that next.  By the time we were back in the car it was 12:15 pm, and we were already late for A-1.  We arrived there at 12:25 pm, gave our keys to Sarah, one of the front desk ladies, and took our seats in the waiting room.....

Check out that haircut....much better!

.....TLE always has a ready, not so  I was really happy we were there, and our car was being fixed, but I guess my face did not show  Gabe said the work would take about an hour, and once the new emissions stuff was installed they would retest the car, and we would be on our way home......providing it passed.  Well, a few minutes after taking this 'usie' we got the news the car did PASS!  We paid our bill, and were on our way home by 1:30 pm....perfect! A big shoutout to the folks at A-1 Smog for getting our car fixed, and our smog certificate......BIG thanks to Brent, Sherry, Sarah, and Gabe for your efforts in making this a successful trip!

We stopped at the local Starbucks to get two Frappuccinos (a vente mocha for moi, and a grandĂ© vanilla bean for TLE) for the drive home.  The total mileage home is about 164 miles.  We knew we had two construction zones to pass through on our return trip, but by the time we got to the second one the workers had quit for the day, so there was no delay!  At about the 105 mile mark we stopped at a burger place in Bieber, CA called Old Mill Grill (5 stars on Yelp on 40 reviews) for a couple of burgers....we hadn't eaten all day, and we were both getting a little peckish, or 'hangry', if you will.  We both ordered their Cross Cut Burger with onion rings....very easy choice when you read the description.....

It is just that tall, and it definitely takes two hands!

.....there are probably 8 tables in the dining room...the ambiance is reminiscent of the long past logging days in Big Valley.....

.....I also had a chocolate milk shake....OMG.  If you ever find yourself in, or near Bieber, CA check this place out....amazing comfort food!

After our hour interlude we continued on our way home, arriving back at LPG&RVR around 6:30 pm.  What a delightful trip, and even though we did not get what we wanted, we got what we needed, including that elusive smog certificate, and a visit to Burney!

Thanks for stopping by!