Wednesday, October 27, 2021

That's a lot of stuff!

 7:14 am - Wednesday - October 27th - Fontana, CA - 52° F, 63% humidity, wind 7 mph out of the north by northeast.......crystal, clear, blue skies today with a forecast high of 84° F.....okay, that's a warm one on the way!  On this date in 2016 I was working my last day at Tahoe Valley Campground before heading down to Carson City to meet TLE who was flying back from Texas where she visited with her brothers and sisters for a few days......↴


Since we didn't get all the stuff at my son's warehouse moved Monday due to the rain, TLE and I headed back Tuesday to meet my son Chris and finish the task.  We first loaded the 'donate' pile into the pickup bed of his 2005 Chevy Silverado PU and drove it over to the local Goodwill, then returned to load up the rest of the stuff.   We had planned to donate all the backpack/camping gear to Goodwill, but then  thought it would make more sense to donate it to the local Boy Scout troop which meets at the lodge a couple times per month.  As a result we had a lot more stuff to haul home, and now the trailer is really quite full......


.....thankfully it won't stay that full that long.  Just a matter of separating all the backpack/camping gear from the rest of our stuff and then delivering it to the Boy Scout troop.

After unloading all the stuff at the trailer we headed back to my son's office to return his pickup, and then headed directly to the local COSTCO to pick up a few things we only get there.  The shopping part didn't take long so we treated ourselves to two of their $1.50 ballpark hot dogs with 20 oz drinks.....


......the best food value around!

When we arrived at the Elks Lodge Saturday we had intended to dump our tanks before we parked, however, they now put a padlock on the dump station as non-members were coming in after hours and using the dump without paying.  At the time the Camp Host (Maureen) was off premises and we did not know where the key was....doh!  Oh well, we had at least 4-5 more days before we HAD to dump, so we went ahead and parked.  Upon her return, Maureen showed us where the lock box was, and gave us the combination to it.  Well, Tuesday it became obvious we needed to dump, so I spent the next hour taking care of that.  When we use our macerator pump to transfer the effluent from our waste tanks to the dump station I have to run our 100' hose across the parking lot over to the dump station, then hook up the macerator pump.  All that takes about 20 minutes.  Then there is the actual 'dumping' which takes another 20-25 minutes, and then everything must be put away as we cannot leave our 100' hose stretched across the parking lot in between dumps, right?

By the time everything was put away it was nearing 4 pm, and time for a much deserved shower, and nap!

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Tuesday, October 26, 2021

The big sort.....

 7: 53 am - Tuesday - October 26th - Fontana, CA - 50° F, 93% humidity, wind - CALM.....partly cloudy today with a forecast high of 68° F.  On this date in 2013 TLE and I were in Ogden, UT having a late lunch at Roosters Brewing Company, the kind of funky, whimsical place we love so much.......↴


.....and on this date in 2017 we were boondocking on the shores of Lake Powell (southern Utah) near Lone Rock.......


Lone Rock in the background

Our main reason for being in SoCal is to clear our 'stuff' out of my son's warehouse, otherwise we would probably be in Spokane where TLE had planned to have her cataract surgery.  It has been a blessing for us to be able to store some of our things in my son's warehouse for the past 13, or 14 years, but all good things come to an end, eventually.  It is not a lot of stuff....it would probably fill the bed of a full size pickup.  It consists mainly of stuff we use in service of the Newell, plus some boxes of old papers which we will need to shred before disposing of them, a lot of bicycle parts, a couple of bicycles, and a lot of backpacking gear.

We had agreed to meet our son at the warehouse between Noon and 12:30 pm, and we arrived there just after 12:30 pm.  We had planned to sort everything into 4 piles.....trash, 'keep', donate, and sell....and then transport the 'keep' and sell piles back to our trailer to sort through the 'keep' pile  one more time to see if we still need all of that, and then sell what we decide not to keep along with the other stuff in the sell pile.  As forecast, it began to rain about 1 pm, so transporting all of the stuff back to the trailer was out of the question, but we did transport stuff in water tight containers.....

It's going to be a little tight in the trailer for a few days....lol!

.....as well as our old Cannondale tandem, and TLE's old Cannondale F600 road bike, which will be going up for sale, also......


....in all it took us 2+ hours to do the sorting, and then we loaded as much as we could into my son's Chevy pickup to take back to the trailer.  We'll go back Tuesday to get the rest of the stuff, plus drop off the donate pile at the local Goodwill.

By the time we reached the Newell the rain was beginning to come down much harder, and by the time we put the last box in the trailer, and my son left it was getting torrential.  We spent the balance of the afternoon listening to rain on our aluminum roof....not an unfamiliar sound after 12 months on the Oregon Coast.

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Monday, October 25, 2021

A birthday celebration.....

 7:33 am - Monday - October 25th - Fontana, CA - 57° F, 87% humidity, wind 3 mph out of the west by southwest......cloudy today with a chance of rain anytime now, and a forecast high of 61° F.   On this date in 2020 TLE and I were enjoying another one of those magical Seal Rock, OR sunsets.......↴


We attended our first family function on Sunday, a birthday party for Charlise (she prefers Charlie), but I like Charlise, so that is what I call her.  She is the daughter of our middle child, Kate.  I think I'm the only one who calls her Charlise.  Anyway, this is her 15th birthday, and it is so hard for me to believe it can be true, but it is.  The passing of time slows for no man, not even a 'vagabonder supreme' (credit to Tioga George) like myself....lol.....

Charlise Rae in the center with additional grand children (from left to right) Scarlett Rae (daughter of Amanda and Mike....Amanda is our honorary grand daughter), Crosby Mark (Tim and Laila's son), Nick (Kate's husband), Brayden James (son of Sharon), and Jolene Rose (Kate's youngest daughter)

.....when I spend time with my children, and their children I feel so rich, and blessed. Life is so good!

We were home from the birthday party by 2 pm, and then I spent the rest of the day cleaning, and organizing the trailer for a one month stay here in Fontana......

Well done....now I can see and get at everything again!

.....when the VW is inside, and everything else is stowed for travel it can get quite chaotic, and many things are difficult to get at.....nice to have my garage back for a time!  Oh, and the 'lido deck' is back....well, mostly back.....

The 'lido deck' is making a return

......here at the Fontana/Rialto Elks Lodge there are 14 RV sites, 12 with water and electric (30/50 amp), and 2 with electric only (30 amp).  There is a dump station available which is in reach of my 100' macerator hose, so that is how I dump my tanks......


.....in the 'lido deck' (two up) picture you will notice three concrete piers.  I bought them about 6 years ago to anchor our patio awning as it can get quite windy here on occasion, and since we are parked on asphalt there is no way to utilize the usual ground anchors which screw into the ground.  When we travel I leave them here for other guests to use, and so far, every time we return they are still there.  According to Maureen, the host here, they do get used when we are not here.    

To cap off our first full day here we were gifted with a nice sunset after glow.....


......thanks for stopping by!

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Sunday, October 24, 2021

Coming up for air......

 7:36 am - Sunday - October 24th - Fontana, CA - 57° F, 85% humidity, wind 2 mph out of the south.....heavy overcast today with a forecast high of 72° F.  On this date in 2020 TLE and I were enjoying a spectacular sunset from our site at Seal Rocks RV Cove......↴


I originally thought we had only 163 miles to drive Saturday, but I was off by 25 miles.....our Garmin Trucker informed me when I input our destination Saturday morning that it was, indeed, 188 miles.  As a result we decided to get an early start, and were rolling our wheels out of the long back in site at Boulder Creek RV Resort by 8:20 am.  In the VW we could cover that distance in 3 hours, but in the Newell plugging along at 60 mph, or slower if we are climbing, it takes at least 4 hours with no stops.  You know there are going to be stops.....at least two, and maybe three.

At any rate, we were cruising along at 60 mph just south of Olancha, CA when I happened to glance down at the two air pressure gauges on our dashboard and noticed the air pressure was down to 110 PSI, and falling.  Normally both gauges just sit there at 120 PSI like clockwork  unless I have used the air brakes, but I had not used them since we merged onto US-395 30 minutes before.  As I kept watch on the falling gauge needles my mind began to go through the possible scenarios for what was wrong......was one of my air bags leaking, or one of the two six packs, a broken air line, a malfunctioning compressor, or regulator.....all of which are complicated repairs as parts would take days to reach us.  My mind always goes to the worse case scenario even though I know most of the time it is something simple.

I didn't say anything to TLE initially, but when I saw the next Rest Area was just 4 more miles I told her what I was observing, and what might be the problem(s).  She always remains calm when I give her bad news, and this time was no exception.  By this time the PSI was down to 105, which is not really the danger zone......60 PSI is the danger zone.....if the pressure gets too low the air brakes will lock up brining us to a complete stop, and you don't want that to happen in the middle of the highway, right?

As we came to the left hand turn lane to turn into the Coso Station Rest Area the pressure dropped to 100 PSI......as we exited the highway in low gear I noticed the pressure began to recover, and by the time we parked in one of the pull through spots it was near 120 PSI....whew!  An audible sigh of relief  escaped my lips, and TLE broke out in a smile.  By the time I shut the big Detroit Diesel down the air pressure was reading just over 120 PSI again.  So what happened?  Obviously there could be no leak anywhere because the air pressure recovered while we were sitting there idling at 500 RPM, which means the mechanical pump is turning more slowly. If there was a leak anywhere that would not be enough to overcome the leak.  So, why did the air pressure suddenly build again, and everything return to normal?  I have no idea, but this same thing happened last March on our return trip to Oregon from our one month vacation.  Just outside of Yuma, AZ the same thing happened, but for some reason I interpreted it differently.  The air pressure would drop to just above 100 PSI over 20 miles, then suddenly it would build back to 120 PSI.  This scenario repeated over and over again for the next 150 miles, and then suddenly stopped for the next almost 2,500 miles.....maybe this was a repeat of that?

After calming down for a few minutes, and after I completed a walk around the coach listening for obvious air leaks, we resumed our journey south on US-395, and once again after a couple of miles the air pressure began began to fall over the next 20 miles.  I still wasn't sure what was going on, but wasn't freaked out about it this time.  As the pressure neared 100 PSI again we pulled off the highway at the Shell fuel station in Personville, CA where the same scenario unfolded....as we idled the air pressure recovered.  This was when I remembered what had happened last March, so as we edged back onto US-395 I determined to let the scenario play out without pulling off the highway, and sure enough over the next 100 miles it repeated itself 5, or 6 times, then suddenly stopped between Ridgecrest and Kramer Junction, and did not return again the rest of the drive.....the air pressure remained steady at 120 PSI, and every time we would bleed off pressure by engaging the air brakes it would quickly return to 120 PSI.

Other than that the drive to SoCal was completely uneventful as we quickly devoured mile after mile of US-395 stretching off into the distance.....

Just after we entered US-395 from the Boulder Creek RV Resort exit/entrance

Coming up to Coso Junction Rest Area

Just past Ridgecrest, CA

Approaching Kramer Junction (we call it 4 corners)


Approaching Adelanto, CA and Cajon Pass....you can see the massive cloud bank hovering over the San Bernardino Mountains in the distance

Just as we began the 8 miles of 6% downhill gradient into the Pomona Valley....a little foggy to say the least.  It disappeared after we dropped a few hundred feet in elevation

.....we arrived at the Fontana/Rialto Elks Lodge just before 1 pm, and after removing the Beetle, and the artificial turf we were backed into our site for the next month by 1:30 pm.

So, what caused a repeat of the loss of air pressure scenario from last March?  I still have no idea, but I am going to have the mechanical compressor inspected, as as well as the air pressure regulator.  I can hear no leaks anywhere in the air system, and as I sit here typing the air pressure on both gauges sits at 120 PSI after sitting here for 18 hours, which is what I would expect.

Thanks for stopping by!

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Saturday, October 23, 2021

A no summit day.....

6:54 am - Saturday - October 23rd - Lone Pine, CA - 48° F, 46% humidity, wind 5 mph out of the east.....partly cloudy today with a forecast high of 70° F here in Lone Pine, but we roll our wheels in about 90 minutes for SoCal. Our view this morning.....↴

.....on this date in 2020 TLE and I were on a long weekend down in Bandon, OR having a late lunch at Tony's Crab Shack where I enjoyed my favorite fish tacos of all time...



Since we only planned to cover 65 miles south to Lone Pine, CA Friday we walked over to Schat's Bakery for some pastries and coffee before hauling anchor.  The walk from the Fairgrounds is about 5 blocks, and takes just 10 minutes.  You can tell the summer season has passed because we walked right into the bakery and placed our order.  Normally you might wait 15 minutes during the summer just to get inside, and another 20 minutes to place your order.  We easily acquired an alfresco table on the patio.....




....in addition to the bakery which has been here since 1905 (there is one in Mammoth Lakes also).  The Schat family also owns the wine bar next door.....


....and Schat's Roadhouse a couple of blocks away.....


.....by 11 am we were putting Bishop, CA in our rear view mirror once again, and heading for Lone Pine.  It is about an hour's drive from Bishop to Lone Pine, and there are two small towns in between....Big Pine and Independence.  We have passed through these towns a dozens of times over the years, and we never get tired of them.  US-395 south of Bishop is pretty flat with no summits, or passes to overcome.....it's just a matter of setting cruise control, hanging on to the steering wheel, and enjoying the view....




....we almost always stay overnight at Boulder Creek RV Resort just south of Lone Pine when going north, or south on US-395....it's just one of our traditions.  Over the years we have never made a reservation, and Friday was no exception.  We have always been able to snag a pull through site in the past, but, ironically, the Ontario Elks Lodge is holding a rally here this weekend, so we when we arrived around 12:30 pm we had to settle for a long back in site with a great view of Mt. Whitney, and the eastern Sierras.

We were treated to a beautiful after sunset alpenglow which went on for about 20 minutes....





.....time to roll our wheels!  Thanks for stopping by!

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Friday, October 22, 2021

Summit day.....

7:58 am - Friday - October 22nd - Bishop, CA - 39° F,  48% humidity, wind 7 mph out of the northwest.....clear skies today with a forecast high of 75° F.  Our view this morning.....↴

The Eastern Sierra Nevadas as viewed from 
Bishop Tri-Counties Fairgrounds

....on this date in 2017 TLE and I were hiking in Bryce Canyon NP........

All trails lead to TLE

Two days was really not enough time in Carson City, but it will have to do this time around.  We would have loved to drive up over Spooner Summit to see Lake Tahoe once again, have lunch at the Bridgetender in Tahoe City, and visit friends in South Lake Tahoe, but it was not to be.  We need to be in SoCal by this weekend to move our stuff out of my son's warehouse.

We were on US-395 heading southbound to Minden, NV just before 9 am.  Our first stop of the day would be the Maverick fuel station there where we would take on 139 gallons of #2 diesel at $3.54/gallon for a total cost of $493....ouch!  Fortunately we will not to 'pay the rent' again until sometime in December.

Standing between us and Bishop, CA was 160 miles of mountainous terrain, amazing, breathtaking, adjective defying scenery, and many high altitude passes.....the first one of the day being Simee Dimeh Summit at 5,987' above sea level just south of Minden, NV......


Topaz Lake

.....we re-entered California just past Topaz Lake, and continued on through Topaz, Coleville, and Walker toward Devil's Gate Summit......



.....standing at 7,519' above seal level.....a lot of grinding along in 2nd gear at 33 mph.....right at red line (2,100 RPM's)......


......after Devil's Gate Summit we took a long break in Bridgeport, CA before heading out of town to tackle Conway Summit, the highest elevation point of the entire length of US-395 at 8,131' feet above sea level.....

Bridgeport, CA.....City Hall

Looking north....

....and looking south



.....and it was another grinder.....8 miles to the summit before the Mono Lake Vista Point.....



.....we took another long break before continuing southward down to Mono Lake, and the small town of Lee Vining, CA.....

Still snow on the ground at the Mono Lake Vista Point from the latest snowfall


.....we always stop at this vista point whether going north, or south, to take a picture.  My parents did this when we were small kids, and TLE and I have continued the tradition.  The sky was amazing.......



....there were only two more summits to crawl over before we began our long 14 mile descent into Bishop, CA......the first.....Deadman Summit at 8,036' feet above sea level.....


June Mountain Ski Resort in the distance

Mammoth Mountain Ski Resort

.....and finally we passed the Sherwin Summit sign at exactly 7,000' above sea level.....


.....from there it was a slow slide downhill in 2nd gear for 8 miles at 6% grade, and another 6 to the Bishop, CA city limits.......



.....we arrived at the Bishop Tri-Counties Fairgrounds just before 2 pm, and opted for a site out in the field with 30 amp and water.  We've stayed here numerous times over the years....it is right downtown within walking distance of restaurants and services, and it is pretty quiet at night....





....and the view is not too shabby either.

We were going to go out to dinner, but TLE enticed me with the promise of a BLAT (bacon, lettuce, avocado, and tomato) sandwich for dinner....an offer I dare not refuse.....lol!  Only 200+ miles until we reach SoCal, and our home for the next 5 weeks!

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