Sunday, September 21, 2014

We’re in Santa Clara, California


September 21, 2014                                                                                                          Lorraine’s report

Hello and thanks for stopping by.  It has been a nice, easy week again for us.  I love just sleeping until I wake up, get up, go on the computer and just take it easy in the morning. 

Well, tomorrow is our 42nd anniversary.  Wow, to me that is pretty amazing.  It has been a whole lot of fun being with Chuck all these years.  Who knew it would be so good for us to be out on the road.  We have made many friends, gone places I didn’t think would be possible and have done lots.  We have come far!  We still don’t know where we will end up, but when we do, we will have each other.  Thanks Chuck for all you have given for us!!

So I love being here by my daughter and grand daughter.  They are a whole lot of fun.  Even if we just hang out and do normal things.  And I love my son, Rick and Donna.  We have had wonderful visits with them.  What fun we have had with each of them.  Pretty incredible to us.

So Chuck wrote about our week.  Not sure where we will be leaving to, but it should be fun.  Hope everyone has a wonderful week..That’s it for me…




9/21/14                                                                                                                                 Chuck’s report

Yep, we’re back near Susy’s, we were pretty close so got an unplanned extra week here.

First, I want to tell Lorraine “Happy Anniversary!”.  Tomorrow is our 42nd year together, last year we were in New York state and celebrated by going on a cruise on Lake George.  This year we’ll just celebrate with Susy and Katie and go out to dinner someplace.   But it has been a great 42 years, hope we have many more together. 

We left Santa Maria last Monday and headed up here.  We hadn’t stopped to fuel up since we left Reno and we were around 1/4 tank, lower than I like to get it for a couple of reasons.  One is sticker shock, when we get more than 100 gallons, it makes for a big bill.  Two, I don’t like letting the tank get that low and possibly stirring/picking up sludge from the bottom of the tank.  And I don’t like searching for diesel when I have to buy, with a large tank we can usually pick and choose when and where we stop for fuel.  We have purposely not bought fuel in a state we knew had high prices if we were just traveling through.  That is one benefit of having a large (150 gal) tank. 

I seemed to remember a truck stop in Gilroy, right on our route so we decided to trust my memory and go there.  I let out a big Whew when we found it, my memory wasn’t playing tricks on me.  And the price for diesel was the cheapest we’ve seen in a couple weeks, $3.73/gal.  Not that it’s a good price just lower than we’ve seen lately. 

And they had a truck/RV wash there too so I checked them out.  They have three guys that use high pressure washers, buckets and brushes.  Their way of washing was a bit backwards I thought, they washed the sides, front, back then did the roof.  Of course, they had to spray all the previously washed areas after they washed the roof.  I usually do the roof first when I do it.  But whatever, it was clean and dried of nicely after we left, of course with some water spots from the hard water but much better.  And the price wasn’t that awful bad, $1.50/foot.  They weren’t too busy when we got there but there was a waiting lineup when we left, guess we got there at the right time. 

We got our normal spot here at the Elks, got set up and drove over to pick Katie up from school.  She was sure pleased to see Nana.  Later Susy came by and we had hamburgers for dinner.  We paid for a week and the host told me they have a new guy in the lodge in charge of the RV area and he is making them stick to the two week max stay here.  We only plan on staying for a week so that wasn’t an issue but we will need to add that to our plans when we come back for the holidays later this year. 

Tuesday we made a much needed trip to Wal-Mart for supplies and such before we picked up Katie.  Lorraine had started a pork roast in the slow cooker and we took that over to Susy’s house for dinner.  After dinner we walked a couple of blocks to a Baskin/Robbins Ice Cream shop for desert. 

Wednesday morning I decided to tackle the front shade problem we have been dealing with.  We were driving down here when the day shade came un-raveling (is that a real word?) down.  I checked it out and the mounting bracket was bent just enough to allow the shade to come out and unroll.  These are electric motor driven and the wires wound up as the shade rolled, causing the wires to roll up tight.   When I worked on it a couple weeks ago, I found the motor was bad, figured it pulled the wires out of the motor inside the roller when they rolled up tight.  I needed to order a new motor and have it sent me somewhere along our route.  So knowing we would be here for a week, I ordered the motor and had it shipped to Susy’s house. 

I had to remove the shades on the driver’s side window and remove the pillar trim covering all the wires between the windshield and driver’s side window.  When I was working on it last time, I put in wiring disconnects so I didn’t have to cut wires every time I worked on them.  This time, when I disconnected the final connection, I found it wasn’t made up very well so I tried a new connection just in case and guess what, the motor was good, the only problem was that bad connection I made when I put everything back together last time.  So I didn’t have to drop the windshield shades after all, just put the new connector on, put the trim piece and the driver’s side shades back in place.  All in all, it was about an hour’s job and I can return the pricy motor back to the manufacture.  And its really nice to be able to use the shads as normal. 

Later we made a Costco run before we picked up Katie.  They had a welcome back to school program that night so Lorraine, Susy and Katie headed out to attend that.  I elected to stay home, didn’t think they really needed me there. 

Thursday we only ventured out to pick up Katie from school.  Lorraine tried a new receipt for Hawaiian chicken in the slow cooker.  Susy came by after work and had dinner with us before they headed to her house. 

Friday we hung around home all day once again.  I used a waterless cleaner to clean the water spots from the wash job off the motorhome, at least as high as I could reach without getting out/using our ladder.  Joe, I was thinking about you as I used the Solution, it works just fine.  I still have some left but it’s going fast, ha. 

Katie had a dentist appointment so Mark picked her up and kept her the rest of the day, they were planning on going to an A’s baseball game on Saturday.  So when Susy came by, we just had hot dogs for dinner, easy. 

Saturday we headed over to Susy’s house then went to the San Jose swap meet.  This is a big swap meet, must be a thousand different vendors.  It was warm, in the low 80s, so we didn’t manage to walk the whole thing but did make a good effort.  We found a couple of items we wanted before we made our last stop at the produce section.  There is always lots of vendors in this covered section, some have better produce than others and the prices vary too so we checked out a number of them.  We ended up with a watermelon, two cantaloupes, two honeydews, three pineapples, lots of nectarines, (I like the white kind best), peaches, plums, oranges and grapes.  Whew, what a haul of good stuff but it was a big load to carry back to the car.  Guess we’ll be eating lots of produce this week, ya think. 

Katie was having a sleep over with a friend of hers at Susy’s house after we got back.  We had pizzas for dinner, the gals seem to like that.  We hung around until the girls were tired out enough to want to go to bed before we left.  After we got back, I cut the watermelon and one honeydew up, put them in plastic containers and put them in the fridge.  Once again, I’m glad we replaced the Norcold fridge that came with our coach with a residential one, larger and safer as it doesn’t use propane.  And it keeps a better, lower temperature too.

The weather has been really nice this past week.  We have morning clouds that usually clear up by 10 and bright, clear, sunny skies the rest of the day.  The temperatures have been getting into the 80s most days but there is a usually a slight breeze in the afternoon to keep things bearable.  The area is really dry and they could use some rain for sure.  Too bad the hurricane that hit Mexico last week didn’t come this way, instead of heading into the Southwest instead.  They have had two big rain storms over there in the past two weeks and didn’t need the second one as the first one caused lots of flooding just by itself.  But all the same, it is nice to enjoy this fine weather.

We still aren’t sure where we will head to when we leave here.  We were planning on leaving tomorrow but that’s our 42nd wedding anniversary so we decided to stay here  at least one or two more days, leaving here Tuesday or Wednesday instead.  We are thinking about heading to the Elks at Santa Cruz for a couple of days, we’ve been there before but never stayed overnight.  I imagine it’s going to be lots slower and less crowded after Labor Day and now that school’s back in session.  

I just checked and we didn’t use our camera this week.  I know Lorraine took a few pictures using her phone but don’t want to go through to check for some to add here so guess that’s all for now.

Thanks   Chuck



Sunday, September 14, 2014

We’re in Santa Maria, California


September 14, 2014                                                                                                              Lorraine’s report

Welcome and thanks for stopping by.  We are parked at the Elks Lodge in Santa Maria, CA.  There are about a dozen spaces in this area, with about 20 along side the lodge that have power and water.  Not bad, especially when you look around the area and see what they are charging for your typical site for parking big rigs at different areas by here. 

Well this week was one of just hanging out, checking out the area and taking it easy.  I would like to thank all the people who prayed this week for me.  Many, many thanks, but there is more, so if you call, I will tell you about it.

It is so much cooler than up in the mountains where it was so hot. And my oh my, I’m so glad to be out of the area where Yosemite is on fire.  We made it through just in time…What luck..  And while it pretty, I still love the water and enjoy the many areas it affords.  I really liked visiting Pismo Beach.  What a pretty area, really liked the pier…

So I guess that is it for me.  Take care everyone and see you down the road…




9/14/14                                                                                                                                   Chuck’s report

Thought about not writing a report this week but figured I probably should as we don’t have major plans for today.

Like I said in our last blog, I asked Lorraine to pick our next destination and she wanted to go somewhere along the coast, it was cooler for on thing and she really likes the water.  So Monday morning we packed up, dumped the holding tanks and headed out, knowing we had to travel over/thru a few hills to get to the coast.  We had stopped at the Elks in Santa Maria when we were here last fall and knew they had a nice RV set-up with a dozen or so sites so that was our first choice.  Our back-up was the Pismo Beach Elks, not as nice but in a really nice area. 

We had a pretty uneventful trip over, boy is this area dry however.  There are two fires in the Yosemite Park area, started the day after we left.  They had to evacuate some people but I think where we were is still open, the fires are not too close.  But glad we were gone before the fires started anyway because of the smoke.

When we got here, we found lots of openings in the RV park here at the Elks so that’s where we set up shop.  We like to have the front of the coach face the North or East when its hot and the sun shining all day, it helps keep the coach a bit cooler.  We were able to get a site under the trees, facing NE.  We have full hookups here, 50 amp and sewer at each site plus we are able to get TV satellite service, all the things we like to have.  We decided to stay here for a week, that would give us time to explore the area some and still have a couple of days to just rest from our visits to the two National Parks we were in last week. 

After getting set up, we headed over to the lodge for dinner, they were serving chicken fried steak.  This lodge is the place that has the well known BBQ every Friday, serving over 300 people each week so they have the dinners down pretty good.  We picked out a table and soon went through the serving line for our salads and entries.  They even had fruit for desert.  We were both a little disappointed in the chicken fried steak, too much breading and way overdone.  But besides that, we had a good meal and returned to the coach to watch part of the second Monday Night Football game. 

Tuesday we ran some errands and checked out the town here a bit, sort of just to get the lay of the land.  Seems like a nice place but won’t make our short list of places to live when we get off the road.  Not sure why, just didn’t rate high on our list although it has most of the items we want. 

Wednesday was more of the same except we stopped for a good BBQ lunch at BBQ Land, not too far from where we are staying.  We ordered two different plates and shared, one was with BBQ sauce, one with dry rub.  I think we both liked the sauce but both were styles really good.   That was the highlight of our day, doesn’t take much to make that when we have these quite, restful days. 

Thursday we headed up highway 101 to Pismo Beach area.  We stopped at the beach access points a couple times, checked out some RV parks and the Elks Lodge just in case for a future visit.  We had a really great day in a really nice area.  I think this area might make our short list but would require more exploring and research, guess we’ll have to come back someday.

Friday we headed South on 101, I wanted to check out a 1000 Trails park in the hills above Santa Barbara.  We set the GPS but it wanted us to head down a “shortcut” through the hills and even though we were in the car, I didn’t feel like driving more narrow, curvy roads so we stayed on 101.  Finally we got to the turnoff and headed up into the hills, the temperature climbing as we got further up the hills.  When we got to the drive into the park, it was another narrow, curvy road.  A couple of places the road was only one lane wide and some of the blind curves had a mirror set up to help see around the corner.  We got to the park, drove through and check it out and decided we didn’t need to return.  It was 104F, all the sites were serviced with only 30 amp power so we would only be able to run one air conditioner and it was REMOTE, nothing in the area.  Glad we checked it out via car first, would have been disappointed to drive the coach that far and not like it. 

We wanted to drive into Santa Barbara but when we got back to the main road the afternoon traffic was starting to get heavy so we decided to get outa town before rush hour.  So we turned around and headed back to the coach.  Later we returned to the lodge for their BBQ dinner we’ve heard about and found it was cook your own steak, ribs, chicken or sword fish.  We both decided to have steak so when they were ready I cooked the steak over their large, 35’ long, wood fired BBQ.  They have it set up in sections, one for each type of meat.  When the steaks were done I went back out and Lorraine had made our salads and was ready to finish.  We went through the line, picked up potatoes (baked or fries), bread and vegetables then ate our meal.  Except for the cook your own part, it was all we expected, very good.  We talked to a couple who had the fish and they said it was good too. 

Yesterday was another rest up day for us, we headed out for a short while, I got a haircut and filled the car with gas.  I found some guys set up with a trailer that a large soft water tank and they were washing cars in an vacant lot.  I pulled in to see if they would be interested in washing our coach but they wouldn’t come to us and we didn’t want to break camp just to get it washed, shoot.  I asked them if they would be around on Monday when we leave but they only do this on the weekends I guess. 

Afterwards, we came back to the coach and watched the Washington Huskies football game.  Unfortunately, the baseball game went long so we missed most of the first half but we got to watch them beat Illinois.  Both teams need more discipline, too many penalties on both sides.  But at least Washington won. 

The weather has been really nice this week, guess that’s why all the folks want to live in California, ya think.  Before we came over the hill, the temps were pretty high, into the low 100s in Visalia.  But as soon as we got over the hill, the temperatures started dropping to the mid 80s, pretty nice.  Plus we’ve had a nice breeze every afternoon.  Of course, it was hot when drove up to check out Ranch Oso but that was just a trip, we weren’t staying there. 

Our travel plans are to head back to Susy’s place for next week.  I have ordered a new motor for the broken windshield shade and will replace it while we are there.  Lorraine also has a package waiting for us to get back there too so we’ll pick that up.  I just called the campground host at the Elks and he said our normal site just opened up and he’ll save it for us so we’ll head up tomorrow.  Our plans for after that are not firmed up yet, we need to work on those as well as our plans for the winter.  Tough life, huh?

I don’t think we’ve taken too many pictures this week but I’ll go through them and pick out some to add here. 

Some scenery through HOT mid-California. 

DSCN6048 DSCN6049 

Back on the coast, that’s the Pacific Ocean. 

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Some Orchids at the farmer’s market.

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Back in the hills. 

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Rancho Oso is a 1000 Trails park, way off the beaten track however and it was HOT there, 104F.

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DSCN6092 RSCN6094 


Time to finish this up and get it posted. 


Thanks   Chuck



Sunday, September 7, 2014

We’re in Visalia, CA.


September 7, 2014                                                                                                                Lorraine’s Report

Hello once again from Visalia, CA, a nice sunny town in CA.  Thanks for stopping by.  Well, this week we were unhooked from the modern day world, meaning-- no phones, no internet,  we got television, but had to park in the middle of an open field to get it.  The trees would have made that impossible to receive, so we parked in the middle of an open field.  I sure wish Thousand Trails had better campgrounds for its users.  They are so old, power is iffy and  yet they want a lot for their membership.  Go figure..

So this week we spent our time visiting Yosemite National Park.  What a very nice park!  The ride up to this park was something else.  We went up to around 10,000 feet above sea level. Now, those who don’t know me think this is normal for me, but I kept telling Chuck, I was a sea-level type person.  I don’t like going up that high; it’s harder to breathe, and the heights make me a bit scared.  Especially going up that high in our motor home.  You see all kinds of people texting or not paying attention to how they are driving.  Chuck had to use his horn a bunch of times to wake people up so they stayed in their lanes.  That was the worst part. 

But it was wonderful to visit the area.  I liked visiting the Sequoia National Park.  I think I liked the Sequoia National Park the best.  I loved the trees; while it was nice to see all the rocks and such, nothing beats it for me than looking at a piece of living history. Those trees are something else.  All worth it to me!

This week, on September 11, my son will be entering the hospital in Anchorage.  Rick has to have a heart stent put into his vein in his heart.  I hope everyone will remember him in their prayers, hopefully all will be okay for him.  Please pray for him.  He is still so young and has many more years ahead of him.  He has been and always will by my sunshine and heart!

Guess that is it for me.  When we came back to civilization, we had over 100 e-mails, and it took me most of one evening to catch up on facebook.  It was 103 degrees when we came into Visalia, CA.

Until next time- Hugs,



9/7/14                                                                                                                                   Chuck’s report

We are back in the HOT Sacramento Valley once again with both air conditioners running mostly all the time.  We’ve been up in the mountains for the past few days and it’s a bit cooler there but we were out of contact with no/very little cell phone or internet service so its nice to be back in civilization again.  But we have kept busy exploring both Yosemite and Sequoia National Parks. 

Last Sunday and Monday we finished up our time in Reno by visiting a couple more casinos, nothing much to report from those two days. We both mostly stayed even, I think Lorraine left town with more money than she started with, yea. 

We knew we wanted to explore Yosemite but I wasn’t sure of the roads there, it would take more time/miles to head back on I-80 vs going through some of the “back roads”.  I called our friend Mike to pick his brain and luckily he heard the phone and answered.  His suggestion was the back roads would be just fine although we would be driving in the mountains. 

So Tuesday that’s what we did, headed South on 395, mostly 4 lane and good road conditions too.  A good start to our trip.  Then we turned onto 1-20 and entered Yosemite on the East side.  Mike was certainly right, we had lots of hills to climb/descend and this was mostly 2 lanes, sometimes with narrow lanes.  There were a few times that Lorraine was holding on for dear live with her eyes closed.  I didn’t have too much of a problem except for a couple of times oncoming drivers tried to cut their corners short by driving into our lane when I was already hugging the right edge.  One time I even had to hit the air horns to get a driver’s attention, I think they would have hit us if I hadn’t done that. 

This wasn’t the worse road we’ve driving the coach on but it was one of the narrowest for sure and some of the hills were really steep.  I am sure glad we waited until after the Labor day holiday to do this part of the drive, can’t imagine doing this with 5 times more traffic.  And yes, I was using the pullouts so traffic behind us could go around, a couple of drivers even waved with their full hand as they passed. 

But it was nice scenery, at least Lorraine said she enjoyed it, I was too busy driving to really enjoy the views.  We were just driving through the park and staying at a 1000 Trails park on the West side.  Our plans were to park the rig and explore the park over the next three or four days driving the car vs the motorhome and one day we would return back to visit what we had just pasted through. 

Once we got to the park and checked in, we headed out to unhook the car and find a spot.  It was hot enough that we wanted a 50 amp site so we could run both air conditioners.  But the only ones left were in the trees and would have been very hard to back into.  Plus we knew there was no way we could get satellite reception on the TV antenna through the trees there.  We also didn’t have any cell phone or internet access so we wanted to try to at least get TV while we were there. 

There is a nice, open field with 30 amp service and they have shared service with two rigs, one facing one way, the other just opposite.  With this being after Labor Day weekend and the majority of the campers having left the day before, there were lots of open sites.  So we picked one and I tried using our “cheater” electric box.  This allows us to use two different feeds and connect them into one feed to our coach. 

I was able to connect to both site’s 30 amp power as they were both on the same post, just different sides.  This allowed us to have 2- 30 amp services, basically giving us 60 amps.  All that just to say we could run both air conditioners although we did turn them off when we ran the microwave, just in case. 

And we did need them, it was in the high 90s and we were in a valley so there wasn’t any hint of a breeze to help.  It sure would have been hot with only one air conditioners. 

After that tiring drive I was ready to just rest for awhile, didn’t even want to drive into town.  We had a roasted chicken and Lorraine fixed up a good dinner for us and we just took it easy, didn’t even wash the bugs off the front of the rig.  We did return to the guard shack to use their phone to call our daughter to let her know we were ok but out of cell service for a couple of days and gave her the phone number at the guard shack just in case. 

Next morning I was going through the basement storage and found I couldn’t move one of the sliding beds with our totes on it.  I first thought it might be some of the leveling boards I store under it might have moved and gotten into the track but that wasn’t it.  Finally I found a rubber doorstop I carry down there had moved and got caught in the outside portion of the slide just enough to keep it from moving.  Yea, an easy fix, not too common on these motorhomes sometimes. 

After breakfast we got in the car and headed out to visit Yosemite for my first time.  We headed for Yosemite Village where the visitor’s center is located and some of the reports say is the best part of the park.  Boy am I glad we were driving the car on this section, it had some real tight, narrow corners that would have been tough if we were in the coach. 

We drove around the area to check things out then parked and got in line for the shuttle ride to the visitor’s center.  That’s right, you can not drive to the visitor’s center in a personal car, you either have to walk (half mile or so) or ride the shuttle.  We waited in line for about 15 minutes without seeing a shuttle so decided to walk instead.  About a block away we saw another shuttle stop and asked the driver about her route.  She said she could drop us off about a block from the center and also said the shuttle to/from the parking lot wasn’t running after Labor Day.  Sure would have been nice to if they would have posted a sign informing all the folks in line that the shuttle would never show up, ya think!

I asked about the waterfalls in the park as we hadn’t seen any yet and the gal said it was too late in the year, all the water falls were dried up, shoot.  The waterfalls are some of the nicest scenes in the park according to brochures I’ve read and now we couldn’t see any.  After we got back to the car, we continued with our tour of the area before returning returning back to our rig. 

Thursday we headed out once again, this time to retrace our drive when we drove the motor home through.  It sure was a much nicer drive in a car and even then there was a couple of times someone cut their corner short and almost ran us off the road.  And it was sure steep but the scenery was nicer on this portion than around the visitor’s center, at least we both though so.  We drove most of the way back through the park before deciding to turn around and head back, really only one road in this area.

Our return trip was mostly downhill, from 9000’ down to 3500’ and with the speed limit 40 MPH or less, I really had good gas mileage.  The computer calculated we hit an average of 80 MPH for the last 25 miles, wow.  Of course, I’m not talking about the mileage going up though. 

After we got back to the rig and took Misty out for her walk we headed into town, and I use that name loosely.  We were about 15 miles from Groveland so that’s where headed, needed to make  a couple phone calls and wanted to stop by a grocery store.  Town is about two blocks wide and four blocks long but they did have a nice city park where we stopped to use our phones and a small store to pick up a couple items. 

We did make it back in time to turn on the TV and watch the Seattle Seahawks first regular season game, in defense of their winning it all last year.  They were playing Green Bay and although most said the Seahawks should win, it would be a hard, tight battle.  But win they did, going away by 20 points.  They looked pretty good, sure hope they continue with their winning ways, it would be nice to see them win back to back Super Bowls. 

Although we had planned to stay in the area for 4 nights, we decided to leave the next morning, having seen most of the park over the past three days.  Once again, without having internet service, I couldn’t check on parks in the area we were headed so decided to do that the old fashioned way, use the books. 

We wanted to explore Sequoia National Park a few miles South, neither of us had been there.  I found the Elks lodge in Visalia had RV sites available so that’s where we headed.  I set our GPS and found it wanted to send us off the main road down some small roads so I knew we couldn’t blindly follow those directions but instead would follow the paper map. 

Even then we soon found ourselves heading down a 10%, five mile long down grade.  I wish I would have counted the number of turns on this portion but it had to have been way over a hundred, I was constantly turning either left or right to go around corners.  And steep, sure glad we have real engine brakes, even then I used the service brakes lots to keep our speed down.  Boy was that a white knuckle drive.  There is a new road to bypass this section but it had a big sign saying no vehicles over 7500 LBS, our rig weighs 36,000 LBS so we couldn’t us that route.  But most cars/pickups were using that route so there was very little traffic on the section we were driving, that was a good thing. 

Finally we made it down to flat land, whew.  Lorraine commented a couple of times that she was a “Sea Level Girl” and didn’t like to travel those steep roads, ha. 

So on we drove, heading to the Elks.  Our GPS headed us through some back roads once again but nothing too bad, all but one was on our map.  But when we got to town, it led us through two residential areas, not sure what was going on there.  Finally it said we had reached our destination and we were in the middle of a residential area.  We didn’t have the phone number of the lodge but did find the street address so I entered that and it led us around a bit more before taking us to the Elks Lodge.  Always an adventure when we are in a new town/area and have to follow the direction from the GPS.

But we made it and went inside the lodge to register.  They told us to just pick out a site, park and come back inside to fill out paperwork and pay for our stay.  So that’s what we did, backed into our site and was pleasantly surprised to find it was 50 amp power and water, there is a dump station available but not at each site. 

We got semi setup then went back inside to pay.  We had to pay at the bar as that was the only section of the lodge that was open so we decided after the long, steep drive down the mountain, driving the back roads and through residential areas that it just might be “MILLER TIME”.  I ordered a beer and Lorraine asked for a “fruity” drink, this before we even talked about paperwork or paying, ha.  After our drink, we went back outside to the hot (it was over 100F) and continued with our set up. 

We were disappointed that the lodge wasn’t having any dinners over the weekend.  We had leftovers for dinner, neither of us wanted to venture out again after that drive. 

Yesterday morning we got in the car and headed up to explore Sequoia National Park.  Once again, I’m glad we didn’t attempt this in the motor home, I’m sure we couldn’t have make it through a couple of switchbacks.  But the trees are really something to see, glad we saved them from the loggers and made it a National Park. 

Some of the trees are visible from the roadway, most have a nice pullout area so you can walk closer too.  We stopped a couple of times, the most significant was at General Sherman area, the largest tree in the world.  It isn’t the highest, however, that would be the Redwood trees in Northern California.  I guess I thought Sequoia and Redwood trees were the same, learned that is not true.  We continued on through the park, then through Kings Canyon before heading down off the mountain.  Once again we had a steep drive down the mountain but not as long as leaving Yosemite. 

Once we got back and walked Misty and rested a bit, we drove into town so Lorraine could get a few things she needed.  We also stopped for dinner at Black Bear restaurant, thought of you Joe and Alice while we were there. 

A couple of personal items here.  Our son, Rick, called us last week to let us know he was going in the hospital on the  11th.  He had been experiencing heart pains and got checked out.  They found he has some blockage in his heart and needs to have a stent put in.  We are asking for everyone to keep him in your prayers and send all the good wishes you can his way for a successful surgery and recovery.  

Secondly, while we were driving through the mountains the past few days, we’ve been listening to the music Dave and Sandy we so nice to give us on a USB drive.  I don’t know how many songs are on the drive but we didn’t get through them all in 5 days.  Thanks for the music, we think of you two every time we use it, especially nice when we don’t get reception for regular stations or even on Sirius Radio.

Like I mention earlier, it has been HOT, over 100F for the past two days.  I used to work with a guy, Curtis, who grew up in Bakersfield a few miles South of where we are now.  He always used to tell me how glad he was to move to the Pacific Northwest, even with all the rain there.  I can sort of see why now although not having to work outside and only being here for a few days, it isn’t that bad.  But I’m pretty sure we wouldn’t want to live here, especially in the summer. 

We need to make our travel plans, I’ll be working on that after we get this finished and posted.  I told Lorraine she had to pick out next spot and she decided she would like to return to the coastal area, somewhere around Pismo Beach.  Last time we were there, we stayed at a nice Elks Lodge RV park in Santa Maria and found another in Elks Lodge in Pismo Beach with RV parking.  I also need to contact 1000 Trails to see what Encore or associated parks are in the area that we might be able to use. 

Now to go through all the pictures Lorraine took of our tour though the National Parks and pick some to add here. 

Traveling from Reno to Yosemite.

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That’s our new mirror on the right. 

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Entering Yosemite National Park. 

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There have been lots of large fires in/around the park in past. 

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Lorraine testing the waters in the river. 

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That’s Half Dome on the left. 

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Lorraine testing the waters in the lake this time. 

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There are people climbing this rock face, about 10 in all. 

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A blue jay, we’ve seen lots of them since leaving Nevada. 

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Just wanted to show how low the water level is in this reservoir. 

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It was 103F when we got to the Elks here in Visalia. 

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Another reservoir with very low water levels. 

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In Sequoia National Park. 

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One of the first Sequoia trees we saw, they are big. 

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At the visitor’s center. 

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Walking thru a fallen tree. 

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General Sherman is the largest tree in the world. 

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That’s it in the background.  Doesn’t seem so spectacular until you get closer.  

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That’s one big tree!!

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And its pine cones are pretty large too. 

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More big trees. 

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Wow, lots of pictures this week. 

Thanks   Chuck