Sunday, July 31, 2011

Deer sighting - quiet days in The Palms

Saturday evening

When Katie and I took our afternoon walk, we met up with a neighbor walking his dog.  His dog is a 5 pound Deer Chihuahua, sooooo cute - like a miniature Katie.

While we were talking he said to walk over by the fence at dusk and we'd see deer, and sure enough, we did.  There was only one, she looked like a female, no antlers, and kind of smallish.

She saw us coming when she was behind the fencing in front of the bushes, so I snapped her through the fence, then we walked around behind her to get a clear shot. 

 She's really watching us.

She just stood there for a long time, and then finally walked slowly through a hole in the bushes.  I don't know what's on the other side, but it sounds like water, like a creek.
Slowly walking through the bushes.

These aren't the clearest photos, but they are the best of what I got.

Another view of the campground, on our walk back.  The Palms is in the middle.  Two coaches away the people had guests all day, and they had lawn games and ran remote control cars on the lawn.  They were quiet, but looked like they were having a good time. 

We're in the middle - there is another Sunseeker across the road from us. 

I noticed this plant growing in the rocks on the edge of the water - I think it's a lily of some kind?  I wonder if someone planted it here, or if it just landed in the rocks and started growing.  The waves constantly hit it.

Other than taking a couple of long walks around the "neighborhood," it was a quiet day in The Palms.  I listened to a book on tape downloaded from the library while I played computer games, then sat outside with Katie and read my Kindle while the sun went down.

Since nothing was defrosted, I made an avocado and cheese omelet for dinner.  I put a little ketchup and sour cream on top, and it hit the spot.  Cookies and coffee for desert, and a little TV and ... that was our Saturday.

Sunday morning

This morning I was up early, and Katie seemed to be having a problem deciding whether to get up or go back to sleep.
She went back to sleep.

About an hour later she was ready to get up, and when we went outside, we saw a flock of Canadian Geese on the grass at the pool area.

It looked like some were sleeping, and three in the back had their necks up, watching out for the rest?

A bit later, they went into the water and seemed to be drifting by our campsite in a single line.

And they drifted away.

We're going out on the deck now, a little Kindle reading and sun, and then lunch. 

From Me and My Dog, have a great Sunday, everyone!  : )

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Checking out the campground


When I had my word processing business, Kristy was in high school, and when I had a job that included a lot of numbers, like address lists, I'd hire her to find typos.  She would get ten cents for every typo she found.  I'm  good at proofing, but she is even better, and she always found something.

Since I posted that her birthday was coming up, I've gotten a couple of e-mails from her with the Subject:  Typo.  The first e-mail said her birthday is on the 30th, not the 31st.  Then I got another one today, same subject, saying she was going to be 38, not 39.   Oops.  Sorry Kristy - but I'll never forget that wonderful day.  After having your own kids, you know how happy your birth day was for me.  : )

We walked around last evening and checked out the rest of the campground.  I met up with a couple of women in the library, and it is really a library, not just a shelf of old paperbacks. There is a wall of shelves full of books.   I asked them about the campground residents, and they said about 75% of the people live here full time. 

The entire grounds are kept clean and neat, and the buildings, too. 

        Nice spot to stop and enjoy the view

Here's the laundry room:

Large table for folding clothes and a nice magazine rack.  Makes sense to have magazines in the laundry room instead of books.  When I checked in, Virginia said the cost for a load to wash and dry is cheap, so I'll check out what it costs in a few days. 

The restroom looks large and clean, too.  I had Katie with me, so I didn't go in and check out the showers, but I use my own shower in The Palms, so I won't be using this one.  I've been surprised at how many Rvers use the campground showers when they have one in their rig.  Some people told me they use their shower for storage, and it is a large area, volume-wise, to store things in.  A tension rod for clothes above and the floor for other items makes a nice extra closet.  I only use mine for storage when I'm driving.  I'm just too lazy to walk over to the showers!

 Large clean bathroom


 Catamaran launch area

 Looking up into one of the huge trees

 Warm, clear, breezy - perfect sailing weather

Katie loves getting treats out of her Kong

I've never studied lakes or water movement, and I haven't spent much time by a lake.  A little fishing, but that's all.  I'm sitting here at my dinette this morning looking out the window and enjoying the view of the lake.  The waves keep coming in.  Where do they go?  Are waves coming in all around the lake?  Is the other side of this large lake getting waves, too? I guess it must be.  It's like a mini ocean with continuous movement.  I remember  lakes I've seen before being calm.  Maybe it's the breeze moving the water to shore?  How can I be 66 years old and not know this?  

Look at the sun shining on the water this morning:

Awesome view to wake up to in the morning.

It's almost 10:30 - time to wake Katie up and get going with our day.

Have a wonderful Saturday, everyone!  : )

Friday, July 29, 2011

I'm in Heaven - RV Heaven

For everyone who was worried about Katie - she's fine.  She was only sick a little bit, and seemed fine right afterward.  I thought it was nice that she waited until we were stopped and I could quickly get the carpet cleaner and a towel and clean it up immediately.  Such a good girl!

Katie loves her treats and chew toys!

Last night (Thursday) we were near Eugene, OR when I saw a Walmart right off the freeway.  I pulled into their parking lot and saw this:

I had heard that some Walmarts will let you stay if you call and ask for permission, so I did.  And they said I could stay at the end of their parking lot - so I did:

The Walmart I stayed at on Wednesday night was a Super Store, and I think it was open all night.  It was very bright and had lots going on - lots of RVs staying all night, as well as cars with people sleeping in them.  Noisy.

The Walmart last night was quiet.  They closed for the night and there were still lights on in the parking lot - good for safety - but no traffic.  One truck with a trailer came in late and stayed, but that was it.  I slept much better last night.

So, on the way to Eugene, I called Quality Coach Repair, a referral from one of my followers, Thank You, Sharon!, and I have an appointment to see them on Monday to get an estimate on what it will cost to add the vent covers on the roof and the back-up camera, and fix a few things, and when they can take The Palms.

I talked to Robert, and asked him for a recommendation on somewhere to stay that would be cheap, and he recommended Fern Ridge Lake, just west of town.  I checked on my Droid 2 for Fern Ridge Lake, and it directed me right to it.  And here I am:


I really lucked out - this site just became available because the prior "camper" just retired and moved away.  I had the impression that he lived here.  It was just now available, so I have it for a week, and I'm hoping to get another week.  I need to talk to the office lady on Monday to see if it's free for the  next week, too.

It has two decks to put chairs, etc., on, and a small storage building at the end of the driveway, which I don't need, but if I was here long term, it would be nice.   

 View across the lawn of the swimming area to the left.

 View from my kitchen window

 View to the right.

This park is called Fern Ridge Shores and it's on Fern Ridge Lake, one of many areas in the Fern Ridge Wildlife Area.  The weekly rate is $200 for full hook-ups, and it has restrooms, free showers, a library, a marina for non-motorized vessels, a swimming area (three sites from my site).  There isn't anything close by within walking distance, but there are some small towns with good restaurants and bars, according to Virginia in the office.  

My Verizon kept dropping calls, so I updated my roaming capabilities, and it was better.  My Internet works fine, and I was really happy to see I can get quite a few antenna TV channels.  I haven't watched TV since I left Vacaville, so this is nice.  

It's warm here, but there are wonderful breezes coming off the lake, and I can hear the waves lapping up on the shore.  

The first thing I did after getting hooked up was put my chair on the deck.  I haven't really used it except a few times at Santee Lakes, but this is the perfect place to sit in the sun and read, or just look across the lake.  I attached Katie's leash to the chair, put her water bowl outside, and her new bed, and she's as happy as a clam.

I warmed up leftovers for lunch and took it outside with my drink to enjoy the lake view.  Then I read my Kindle until I had enough sun.   After a while Katie jumped into The Palms and got into her other bed and went to sleep, still attached to her leash which was attached to my chair.  This traveling is such tiring work!

I'm thinking we're going to be very happy this next week, and as much as I love FREE overnights, I'm looking forward to being here for a week or two and enjoying the amenities.  

And now Katie and I are going for a walk to check out the neighborhood.

From Me and My Dog, have  a great Friday, everyone!  : )

Thursday, July 28, 2011

We're in Grant's Pass, Oregon

Wednesday Evening

Katie and I left the casino parking lot around 11:00 this morning and drove north. We ended up on the 199 to Grants Pass.  (FYI - everyone in San Diego says "the" 5 or "the" 101.  I don't know why, but when I first moved down there, it sounded so strange.  Finally I started saying it, too.  Then I moved away and dropped the "the."  I moved back and went through the "the" conversion again, and I'm still doing it.  I'm sure it will fade away when I've been gone a while.)

Along the way I took these shots:

 As you can see if you click on the photo, I had already slowed to 28 mph.

 As we started driving, Katie found the sunny spot and was enjoying the warmth.

Crossing into Oregon:

Shortly after entering Oregon, we were in a small town named O'Brien that had a little store and gas station and post office with a police car outside. I thought this was the post office, and asked the woman.  If you click on it, you'll see the Post Office.  She said it used to be, but now it is next door, so I went over there and mailed a birthday card for my daughter, Kristy, who is 38 on the 30th.  HAPPY BIRTHDAY, KRISTY!  I hope the card gets to you by Saturday.

I bought some snacks and went outside to take a picture of the police car.  I guess this is what happens when a state has no sales tax. 


I'm not sure these are in the right order, but a few more photos along the way:

The Klamath River

My longest and most memorable vacation was a two-week trip to the Klamath River.  We stopped first at the Pitt River, where I learned how to fish.  Then we went on to meet friends and spent two weeks in the rain fishing for salmon.  It was so much fun, and I've loved fishing ever since.  That was in the early '80s, and this is the first time I've been to Klamath since then - 30 years later!

Driving along from Bodega Bay to Grants Pass brought back so many memories of trips taken in the past with people I think about from time to time.  Great memories.

We stopped at the Trees of Mystery and I took a photo of the front of the store and of Paul Bunyon and Babe, his Blue Ox:

They had beautiful flowers all around the area.  We took a break here, but I didn't take the "mystery tree" tour. 

 Paul Bunyon and Babe, the Blue Ox

I don't know what they had to do with the Mystery Trees, but they were in front, and HUGE.  See the woman under the light post?  That will give you some perspective on the height of these concrete statues.  Paul's right hand waved and he winked and spoke to the people looking up at him.

 Along the 199 - I would have loved to pull over and fish this area.

 A little back-up - Bicyclist in Tunnel?

While waiting in line, I saw a left hand turn into a Rest Stop, so we pulled over and went in.  Took a little break.  As I pulled in, Katie threw up, so we spent some time resting and walking.  That's the first time she's been sick in The Palms, but we have been driving some pretty twisty roads.  Monday when I was talking to the man driving the new Sunseeker rental, I mentioned how I was riding the yellow line bumps on my side, otherwise I can hear vegetation on the right brushing my rig.  He said he had the same thing, also he was car sick from all the turns, and he was driving!  So I guess poor Katie did pretty well to last until this afternoon before getting carsick. 

At the Rest Stop, I started talking to a woman named Dottie, and then her husband, Roger, too.  They have a new fiver, have been RVing for 50 years.  We had a nice conversation.  I mentioned that I was in Santee Lakes in June, and he said that's where he grew up.  They now live one town over, in El Cajon, and know Santee Lakes very well.  Small world.  

When we left the rest stop, we were back in the "tunnel" line up.  When the light turned green for us, we went through, and it wasn't a bicyclist.  It was dark in there, but it looked like workmen were applying a coating to the walls on the opposite side of the tunnel, and that's why it was a one-lane road through the tunnel. 

 My least favorite driving - a barrier on the left and a concrete wall on the right.  
There were workmen on ladders putting a coating
on the walls of the tunnel on the other side. 

We ended up in Grant's Pass and got gas at a Fred Meyer gas station for $3.729/gal - I checked my Gas Buddy app on my phone and it was the cheapest around, and the station was close to where we were, so we drove over.

 Gas Station Attendant - remember when?

Gas station attendant - I had forgotten this job title existed!  I haven't seen one in California for years and years.  They were efficient, quick and polite, and I didn't have to get out of the truck.  Nice!

Then I searched Wal-Mart on my GPS, and there was a Super Wal-Mart right across the street.  I called them, and they allowed overnight parking.  As an added bonus, I just found out the McDonald's in the store has free wi-fi.  Am I hitting the right stuff, or what???  

I dropped $60 at Wal-Mart, and on my trek back to The Palms, I noticed there was an Applebee's a few stores down, so I put away my purchases and locked Katie in the rig and walked over.  I ordered the fish dinner, which was really good and then a hot-fudge shooter. She forgot to put the dessert on the bill, said it would be "on the house," so I left her a big tip. And I have enough fish and broccoli left over for two more meals.

I have a full cupboard, fridge and freezer, so I'll definitely be eating in for a while.  I even got a huge artichoke at Walmart, so that will be dinner tomorrow.  Or lunch, maybe. 

We're settled in for the night, and going to bed early.

From Me and My Dog, have a good Thursday everyone!  : )

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Overnighting at the Cher-Ae Heights Casino

It's Tuesday evening - and we are parked in the RV lot of the Cher-Ae Heights Casino in Trinidad, CA.  It's a couple of miles from the beach we spent time at this afternoon.

I called first to see if I could overnight in their lot, and they said yes, come to the casino and complete the paperwork and then I could stay.  They were very friendly when I went in, and now I'm here overnight.  They have the usual gaming options, plus a nice, more expensive restaurant and a less expensive over the counter deli restaurant where you can get hot dogs, hamburgers, hot fudge sundaes, things like that.

The RV parking lot is above the Casino, and I am parked facing the ocean, through redwood trees.

 At the RV parking lot at Cher-Ae Heights Casino.

 The view from The Palms.

Katie and I walked to the edge and I took this photo:
 A little cove below the Casino - there is a small sail boat on the left.

A beautiful location. 

Unfortunately I'm not a gambler and I'm too frugal now to eat in their restaurant, although it had some good choices.   I plan to go over tomorrow before I leave and get a hot fudge sundae.  I feel like I ought to purchase something in return for parking here overnight, so I'm going to sacrifice myself on the altar of ice cream and hot fudge.

I'm going to eat in tonight, and have a wine/iced tea with my dinner.  

The fog that was coming in at the beach has burned off, and it's a beautiful, warm early evening.  I have the windows open, and can't believe I'm in such a beautiful location.

On another subject, I know it's not usual to drive as much as I did on Monday, especially on that narrow, windy coast route, but don't worry about me driving too far.  If I'm tired, I have no problem pulling over anywhere that feels safe and either resting, taking a nap, or spending the night.  I did the same thing on my first trip to Vacaville.  I guess it feels new and exciting and I want to get as many miles behind me as I can at the beginning.  Maybe I was a long-haul driver in a previous life. : )

I really enjoy driving this rig.  I made myself two CDs from my favorite songs, and play them most of the time. When I get tired of them, I turn on talk radio if I can find a station, and that entertains me.

When I was driving along the beach or through the redwoods, it was such a wonderful feeling to be in that beautiful environment listening to songs like Hallelujah by K.D.  Lang, Come Away with Me by Nora Jones or You Raise Me Up by Josh Groban.  Included in the mix are Elvis Presley, Billy Rae Cyrus, Sarah Brighton, Enya, Ray Charles, Willie Nelson, The Canadian Tenors and more.  All my favorites from CDs I had at home and I copied them to my computer.  Then I made two CDs with the best and it ended up being 49 songs.  All kinds of music.  An on-going constant change-of-pace set of CDs.  So I am cruising along, mellowing out on the tunes, drinking my coffee, enjoying the ride.

We also stop a lot.  Even if it's just to check out an area, take Katie for a potty walk (or me), stretch our legs, etc.  I stopped once for propane (that was interesting - I'll post about that another time), once for gas. I drive into RV parks and State Parks to check them out and check pricing.

I've seen quite a few smaller rigs like The Palms since I've been on the road.  I saw another 24'  Sunseeker yesterday.  It's the first one I've seen on the road.  We passed each other a couple of times, with each of us stopping and starting again.  We both ended up stopping at the same place, and I went over to see how they liked their Sunseeker, which was a 2011 model 2300.  He said they were renting it to find out if they wanted to buy one.  It had the down bed and circular dinette, but no couch, and was very nice inside.  When they saw mine, I think they liked it better with the kitchen in the rear and the long couch, but if they had those, they would have lost their queen sized down bed.

Today, Tuesday, I've driven 106 miles - completely Highway 101, good, wide lanes, easy driving.  I had planned to continue on north after our stop at the beach, but I had checked out this casino before we stopped at the beach, and I thought I might come back for the night if they had free RV parking.  

Oh yeah, AND they have free 5-bar wi-fi.  Really sweet!

I'll post this tomorrow, Wednesday, since I've already published a really long post today.   I'm looking forward to what tomorrow will bring.  : )

PS:  Late yesterday afternoon, I heard a loud vehicle and looked across the parking lot, and this is what I saw:

The thing was huge, way up off the ground, looked like a tank.  They parked all night, all closed up tight, but with three side windows open.  Kind of a scary looking vehicle, but they didn't make a peep.  I slept like a log last night, and woke up at 9:45 this morning, just as they were leaving.  It's 10:30 now and Katie is still in bed.  What a lazybones!

From Me and My Dog, on the road headed north, have a great Wednesday, everyone!  : )

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Foggy beach weather - yeah!

Katie and I left Vacaville at 8:30 am Monday.  We drove over to Bodega Bay and then went up Coast Route 1 from Bodega Bay to Garberville - what a trip! From Vacaville to Bodega Bay to Garberville, it took me 11.5 hours to drive 246 miles. I was driving between 35 and 40 mph most of the way, with 10 to 15 mph around some of the turns.  There were quite a few hairpin turns.  

 We had the Pacific Ocean to our left most of the way, 
the rest of the time we were driving through farming communities or forests.  
Each was a winner for beautiful areas.

 Sun coming through the trees in the forest.

There were lots of areas with road construction and many places where the road was out and narrowed to a one-lane road with temporary red lights to control the lanes of traffic.  Coast Route 1 has pretty narrow lanes compared to 101 or Highway 5.

 One lane bridge

 Slide - construction ongoing to repair the lane.
 Super narrow lane - this is the worst lane I drove in.
I don't like these concrete barriers on both sides. 
No room for error! : (

101 - Yeah! Two wide lanes each way!

There were a lot of slides.  All the construction was very interesting when you aren't in a hurry.  I didn't take any photos of the most narrow roads or the hairpin turns, for obvious reasons.  I was holding my breath and not my camera.  Lots of narrow bridges - I discovered I love driving over bridges.  The lanes are more forgiving on the right side than the roads are, so I actually had more room.

This area had signs all along the road:  Danger - Tsunami Area.

I was very happy about all the pull-outs available all along the way on the coast route.  Most of the time I had the road to myself, and could drive as slow as I wanted, and I often wanted to drive pretty slow.  When I saw a car behind me, I just pulled over and let them pass.  They were grateful, and so was I to have the road to myself again.  This is not the route to drive when you're in a hurry.

The Palms drove like a dream again.  Katie seemed happy to be on  another road trip.  Here is her new place to sit while we roll along, where she can look out the windows on both sides of The Palms.  
 Katie's new perch while riding along. 

When I started getting tired of driving, around 6, I stopped at a state park and then a private park to check on prices, and they both wanted $35 a night - the state park had no hook-ups. There was no way I was paying that much to just sleep overnight and drive on again.  Around 8, I stopped for gas in Garberville, and right next door was an RV Park.  I called them, and he quoted me $28/night with water and electricity., $33 with sewer too. 

It's called Richardson Grove Campground and RV.  I went over and found a site. There were pretty barren sites and nice forested sites, but the ones with the trees were near a group of Christian teen-agers camping and making a lot of noise.  Nice noise - signing hymns, hooting and hollering, etc, but still...  They were pretty noisy, so I opted for the plain site area.  

 Pretty barren, but it worked for an overnight.

Office and store
Sites under the trees.

This is a great campground for overnights - I don't know about longer stays.  There was no Verizon coverage, no TV and no Internet.  Since I'm traveling alone - I can only talk to myself for so long, and didn't feel like reading.  

When I checked out this morning, I noticed they are also a Passport American park, which I just joined, so I got my site for half the $33 rate, or $16.50!  Nice park, nice people, nice price.  
 This tent is right next to the freeway, at a 4-way stoplight crossing.  
Can't believe they are getting away with camping here.

Katie and I are at the beach at Trinidad Bay right now, taking a break, having lunch and writing the blog.  This is where we are now:


Haven't seen many interesting birds.

It's really quiet and pretty here, a good place to stop for lunch.  After the mid-90 degree weather in Vacaville, this foggy beach weather is really nice.

I'm looking for a great, inexpensive place to camp for a week or two - probably in Oregon.  And now... the fog is coming in and my view is going away, so...  back to our road trip.

From Me and My Dog, have a great Tuesday, everyone!  : )