October 26, 2008
Well, another week has flown by. It was a very nice week. We were at a nice camp outside of Isleton, CA. This was on the waterways of California Delta. What a great region. The weather was great in the mid 80’s in the daytime and down to the upper 40’s at night. The sun was still warm; it felt like the summer we missed while we were home in Bellingham in August. We had sewer, water and 50 amp, so I was able to have nice long hot showers, washing and drying clothes was not a problem, and we could run both air conditioners in the late afternoon. I could get spoiled very easily with all of these amenities.
We got in on Monday afternoon, it was about a two hour ride from the hilly region of the gold country. The area was really flat, with a lot of water ways everywhere. We were across the street from a canal, with the levees being used as the roads. Monday was spent cleaning and setting up.
Tuesday we went into Antioch to Costco and Wal Mart. It was a busy town, there was a lot of activity all over town. Chuck decided to take a different way home, he had told the GPS to avoid toll roads (there was one on the way going back to the motor home). Well, the GPS sent us all the way into Stockton on I-5, then back west. An hour and forty five minutes later, we made it back home. A long drive to avoid a toll.
Wednesday as we were getting ready for the day, the shore power quits. Chuck goes out and checks the breakers, but that wasn’t the problem. He then heads up to the office and they tell us we have to move. So, we pack up and move to the other end of the park. Everything there worked fine. They never did tell us what happened to the power.
We didn’t have any plans, so Chuck and I decided to explore the area. We went to a small town called Rio Vista. We found a nicely stocked store with clothes that we could use for our upcoming cruise. Next door to the store was a Moose Lodge. I did some shopping, then we went into the Moose for a drink. It was small, but nice and was cooler inside, it was 85 degrees outside.
While visiting with other patrons at the lodge, one told us we had to see the restaurant/bar down the road. So off we go to check this place out. It was full of lots of stuffed animal heads, hunted by the old owner of that restaurant and his friends, from all over the world. It was an amazing collection. We took pictures then headed back to the Moose Lodge for Tacos. They have Tacos the second and fourth Wednesday’s of each month, 3 for $4.00 or $1.50 each, plus nachos and all the fixings. All in all, a good deal and the food was great.
Thursday, we wanted to get a new sewer hose for the motor coach, ours was leaking he said. The neighbor told Chuck there was a camping world about 35 miles away. We decided to head up to Fairfield to the Camping World. It was a great day for another drive.
After Camping World, Chuck said he wanted to go to the Budweiser Brewery there in Fairfield. After all the years we’ve driven right by and never had time to stop, this time we took the time to tour the brewery. We both enjoyed the short tour , a lot of information was given to us by the tour guide, and she gave us two tickets apiece to try the new products. I tried a new brew with raspberries and pomegranate in it, for a beer it was very tasty.
Then we went over to the Jelly Belly factory, just down the road. We took the short tour there; and they gave us a big handful of product; all in all a great day.
Friday was moving day. We were headed into Morgan Hill, just 45 minutes south of where our grand daughter lives with her mom and dad. Morgan Hill is a Thousand Trails park, they have 30 amp only, no sewer, but water. There are turkeys here and deer are seen all the time.
We get to MH, set up, Chuck washed the windshield, the power goes out, he gets it fixed, and finally we head up to Sunnyvale to pick up Kaitlyn from her day care, such joy for all of us. Since then I have been busy with my daughter, Susy and Kaitlyn. I look forward to being with them as much as possible. We have a great time together.
We will be here until the Monday after Halloween.
So until next time, see you down the road.
We are at Morgan Hill, California, about 35 miles from our daughter's home. We are in a 1000 Trails park, 30 amp service without sewer hookup. This is a nice older park and is pretty busy. We've been here before and always seem to meet some nice folks, this time being no exception.
There are also white tail deer and wild turkey in the park. The deer come out at night, you may find them anywhere in the park. The turkey come out early in the morning, mostly in the area we are in. Last year I counted over 90 turkeys in three different flocks (or is it a rafter of turkeys?) while we were here.
Here are two pictures of the turkeys. It's pretty early and the light isn't the best yet.
We got here Friday around noon time, set up and then we went to pick up our grand daughter, Kaitlyn, from her day care and met up with Susy and Mark for dinner. Lorraine is in grand baby heaven, I think. We sure enjoy spending time with Susy, Mark and Kaitlyn. Kaitlyn is growing up too fast, though. We saw her in August and I would swear she's almost a year older than she was then. I'll bet most grandparents say the same thing, though.
Granddaughter Kaitlyn after day care, waiting Notice all the different outfits on the same day.
for Mommy to come home.
Lorraine brought this outfit with us, Kaitlyn loved it 'cause it came from Nana!
Good picture of Susy and Kaitlyn playing. Gotta love that smile, easy to tell where it comes
from, huh. Notice, a different outfit again.
That's Susy, Kaitlyn and Mark in their kitchen area. And again, a different outfit. Not sure what she will wear on Halloween night. Oh wait, this was on Saturday morning, the others were all on Friday.
Saturday morning, Lorraine went to Susy's so they could spend the day shopping. Mark and Kaitlyn went to an amusement park, Great America for the day. I had a few chores to do around the coach, IE, a few lights that didn't work, replace an electrical switch, etc.
That afternoon the temperature was about 90F when the front air conditioner quit working, After troubleshooting it for awhile, thinking the power in the park was too low, I finally checked the circuit breaker. Sure enough, it was tripped and once again it works fine.
Living in the motorhome, I have to be an electrician, plumber, carpenter, mechanic, heating and cooling tech and I get to wash/wax the coach too. But this is still a better life for us than living in the sticks and brick home. So far, I haven't had to mow a lawn, weed a garden, paint anything or go into a crawl space with spiders or other critters.
Out of order a little bit but after our posting on Sunday, we again took off touring the local area. This time we went to Folsom, of Folsom Prison fame. This is a fairly large town, even has a Costco and Super WalMart. Folsom Prison wasn't much too see from the outside, took a couple of pictures and moved on.
Monday was moving day again. We didn't get to see all of the California Gold country, will have to return and explore more of the area. Lorraine called ahead and made reservations in a campground in Isleton, Ca., located Southeast of Sacramento in the California Delta area.
I have heard about the California Delta area but didn't really know much about it, maybe I slept through American Geography class in school or something. Seems the whole area between what is now San Francisco to the West, Stockton to the East, Pittsburg to the North and Antioch to the South was just the delta from from the Sacramento river. This is quite a large area, very flat and just a couple of feet above sea level.
During the California gold rush days, transportation in the area was via the water. In the early 1900s, people started trying to dry out areas by building levees to hold the water back, drying out the area between the levees and farming the rich delta land. Soon the government got involved building the levees. They didn't just dike the river and attempt to keep it in it's bank but rather created almost 1000 miles of water ways and lots of islands. At one time, steam boats were used to transport people and freight along these waterways The area is heavy into farming but the water ways have created their own “business”. There is lots of boating on the water, good fishing and of course, tourism. Lucky for us, there are quite a few campgrounds around the area, too.
Driving from one area to another around here means driving on these levees and over bridges. There are lots of draw bridges, some designs are unique to this area, I hear. The water level is effected by tidal action too but from what we've seen, the water is much higher than the surrounding area. If the levees were to fail, the whole area would be under water. When Katrina hit New Orleans and the dike system there failed, I remember hearing that this area have more damage if these levees were to fail.
A draw bridge with large counterweights. Another water way, we are driving on a levee.
One more bridge.
I understand there was a failure of some of the levees in 1972, since then, any homes built had to have it's living quarters above the level of the water. There can be other parts of the house below, garages, shops, etc. but that has made for some strange looking houses.
I wonder if there is an elevator on the right side, be a real pain to walk up/down every time.
Now that's a bit better, has a walkway over to the levee, notice the motor bike on the front porch. That's a motorhome on the bottom, probably about 36' I would guess.
All in all, this is another part of the country that I have enjoyed learning about and exploring.
On Tuesday, we needed to re-supply (that means shopping) so we found a Costco about 30 miles away in Antioch. Using our GPS, we headed out, no problem finding Costco. Using the GPS to return home, it sent us South then East instead of Northwest. It also said it would take about 90 minutes to get home. Trusting in the GPS, we continue on, not sure why it was sending us on this tour but enjoying seeing the country. I finally figured out that I had it set to avoid any toll roads and the shortest distance back would have required us to go over a toll bridge. So our GPS sent us on a trip of about 80 vs 30 miles to keep from crossing one toll bridge. I guess they are only as smart as the person (me) programing them, huh? Oh well, lesson learned and we got to see some of the area that we hadn't planned on seeing yet.
Wednesday morning I woke up to a cold motorhome, the heat was off. I checked and we had no electrical power to the coach. I checked the surge protector and found it wouldn't let the campground power though to us. Further checking showed they had about 149 volts on one of the 50 Amp legs, should have been 120 volts. Without a surge protector, we would have damaged some of the electrical stuff on board the coach.
I switched over to the 30 amp service and it worked for awhile but within about an hour, we lost power to the site completely. We ended up moving to a different site across the campground, meant we had to unhook the water, power and sewer, put stuff away inside the coach, pull the slides in, raise the jacks and move. It took about an hour to move from one spot to another but we have good power in this site. The campground owners said they know they have problems and are planning on redoing the whole system soon.
After moving and giving Misty (our dog) a bath, we decided to go exploring again. We just typed in a local town's name in the GPS and let it lead us there. Again, there is lots of farming in the area, we saw corn fields being harvested, lots of pear orchards and of course stuff I don't know what it was. We drove through the small towns, once again, lots of history to learn.
Lorraine found an advertisement for this dress shop in Rio Vista and wanted to see if we could find it. Trusting the GPS once again, it lead us there with no problem. Happens right night door was a local Moose Hall, being a Moose member, we checked it it out. Nice place, nice people. They told us about a local restaurant that had lots of stuffed animal heads in it. Seems the owner traveled all around the globe hunting and sent the stuffed heads back to his restaurant. The elephant head was so large they had to reinforce the walls and they put wooden tusks on because the real tusks were too heavy to hang on the wall with the head.
Can you tell we were impressed a little bit? This was interesting, under most of the heads was a picture and some information about the hunt. Some of these animals are extinct now, but probably not from him shooting one years ago!
Once again, we used the GPS to direct us home, this time it led us directly there without going the long route. Even with the problems we have had with it, I still like using the GPS. We actually have one built in on the coach, one for a laptop and the portable, hand held one.
Once again that was our week. I hope the pictures add some information and give a better idea of what kind of stuff we are experiencing and enjoying.
Until next week - - - - Chuck