The IBM laptop died and with it our Blog on what we did from Medford, OR to LA. We can recover it from the hard drive, just not right now. This Blog entry begins after we had been in LA for a few days.
Tuesday, September 21 - It’s my birthday! Oh well, you only turn 65 once.
Work continues on the over-the-cab cabinet. Don fixed Frank’s spaghetti yesterday and we served it to Larry and Renee for dinner.
Wednesday - Today the cabinet is finished and it is just great. It looks like it came from the factory. It will take a little time to figure out exactly how we will use it, although I have claimed one cabinet and put all of the electrical appliances in it. I don’t think I could be more pleased. We went to dinner at a local Italian restaurant today with the Wade’s and the lasagna was excellent.
Thursday - We said goodbye to Larry and are now in Tehachapi, CA at the Indian HIlls Ranch RV Park for the September Lazy Daze Caravan. There are 70 LD’s here - we’ve never been around so many before. They say this is a small gathering, usually 100+. The club is 54 years old and a lot of these people have been together for over 40 years. We spent time with Don & Rosemary Webb whom we met at the LDNW gathering. They showed the movie, Blind Side, with Sandra Bullock, and it was wonderful and fun and feel-good. We can see why she won best actress,
Friday - We drove around Tehachapi sightseeing and returned to the rig for a nap and lunch. It’s our first nap since Saturday! I went to a women’s meeting and Don went to a tech meeting. Tonight is a “bring a dish” dinner and the movie, Old Dogs.
The Caravan Club runs like a swiss watch. When they show a movie, they have a 5x8 screen and an HD projector with sound system.
The weather has been perfect the last week or so. Cool at night and temperate during the day. That is going to change. We had planned to leave here for Zion. However, a week long heat wave is arriving, which will put temps here and at Zion in the high 90’s. We need to gain elevation and will hole up in the Sierra Nevada Mountains until the weather changes.
Saturday - Everyone, else, is playing Washer Toss. They finished after lunch and half the group went back to LA. At 3:00, they had the annual meeting and we were introduced as new members. The meeting concluded with the ever popular Pot of Gold lottery. Then the owners of the park brought tubs of Baskin Robins ice cream and apples.
Sunday - We are almost the last to leave the Caravan - only four rigs were left. Some left at 5:30 on their way to Albuquerque to the Balloon Feast. We started the journey to the Sequoia/Kings Canyon National Park. A little west of Tehachapi is the Caliente Bodfish Road. It’s a narrow winding mountain road. We took it. We did not know how narrow or winding or long it would be. It climbs from 500 feet to over 4,000. Everyone waves to you. We found a campground, Limestone CG, which is operated by National Forest. If it had been warmer, Lake Isabella has lots of $0 camping. Stine Cove on the west side looked the best. Camp 9 is has a dump.
Monday - We continued on the twisty mountain road and got to the Sequoia National Forest. The mix of flora is different than anything we have seen - Christmas trees of all sizes. We saw our first Sequoia trees in the 100 Tree Grove. The Redwood trees grow very tall, skyscrapers. Sequoias don’t get as tall, but are very wide, like houses. If several are together, then they grow together and make a very big tree. We are camped at a private park in Porterville where the elevation is only 400‘ and it’s a hot 100 degrees.
Tuesday - Driving north through the San Joaquin valley, which is primarily agriculture and economically depressed. It looks about two notches above Mexico. We saw orange trees, lime trees which are shorter and bushier than the orange trees, olive trees which we have never seen before and are kind of like willows, and corn and cotton. The fire that we encountered two weeks ago in the eastern Sierra Nevada is still burning and the smoke is throughout the valley. We are camped at the Azalea CG in Kings Canyon National Park. Only a trace of smoke here.
Wednesday - We drove 40 miles on the jaw dropping Kings Canyon Road. Even better than Tioga Pass. A bit of smoke partially obscured the wonders of the granite walls of rock rising up thousands of feet from the valley floor. Actually the floor is a moraine as it was carved by glaciers. We hope to return here when there is not a fire.
In addition to the usual admonitions to not feed the bears, this park has new, to us, advice. Don’t try to take anything away from the bears.
It’s German Month. Cruise America’s are out like fireflies with German’s and other foreign tourists. We think a $10,000 tourist fee should apply. They dress funny, are impolite and take up space.
Thursday - Tree Day. We drove the General Grant Road as far south as the Giant Grove and hiked the two mile Congress Trail through the giants. These trees are magnificent! The Senate and the House groves were good, but the President’s Tree is truly a sight to behold. A lot of the trees are named. After looking at the President’s Trees, if I had lots of money, I would pick the most magnificent unnamed tree and name it The George W. Bush Tree. But guess that’s not a very good idea, because then someone would want to name a tree after some president I don’t care about. Therefore, I guess I should just name if after me!
Once again today, it was smoky, but where it had not been yesterday. At the museum we found out that the fire was the work of an arsonists. How sad!
Friday - Driving day. We left Kings Canyon and arrived at Barstow 5 1/2 hours later. - halfway across the Mojave. We are once again staying in a private campground because it is hot - 103 when we arrived. We love dry camping, but sometimes, you just have to have a/c. We do have cable, so will watch Tom Selleck tonight.
Saturday - Another driving day - 5 hours. We couldn’t decide where we wanted to stop, but knew that we could not get a place at Zion on the weekend. So we decided to stop at the Casa Blanca Casino in Mesquite, NV. The CG is a paved lot, but better than Wal*Mart. We have full hookups and cable TV for $19.95. Great bathroom/shower. We went to Wal*Mart for grocery shopping, then we went to the casino for dinner. They had a prime rib buffet for $14.50. They had crab legs, shrimp, filet mignon, prime rib, fried chicken, and lots of other meats. Fresh strawberries, cantaloupe, water melon and a lot of other salads. Then there was also vegetables and desserts. And it was good.
After dinner, I needed to spend a couple of dollars in the slot machine. I had $5 that I was willing to lose - yes, I am a big time gambler. After I was down about $3, I won $13.25. After much debate, I decided to continue, figuring I could handle losing it all, maybe. I got down to $2.75 and was regretting my decision and then I won $22.25! I stopped - it paid our camping fees!
Sunday, October 3 - We made it to Zion. It is as busy as an anthill. Watchman is booked for the month. With Dorothy’s blue placard, we managed to snare an ADA site, one of the few spaces available. Two light showers this afternoon cooled southern Utah off. More rain and cooler temps are expected tomorrow and for the next few days.