Saturday, October 31, 2009

On To Craggy Wash

Chuck  We spent 12 days at Park Sierra SKP Park by Coarsegold CA. and is near Yosemite National Park. The last weekend we were blessed to have Jan’s brother Ron and his friend Scarlet join us. It was a planned biking trip for them. They are accomplished mountain bikers and we were happy to share a part of their outing. We walked in the valley and they biked in the area. It was good to spend time with them.

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Ron’s bike garage.

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Ron and his son John.

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Hydraulic disc brakes on a bicycle.

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Ron and Scarlet

My friend Art reminds me that Yosemite is “an urban park”. Even in the fall it is a playground for the metro areas. Lots of people who drive fast and need pass you only to put on the brakes for the next corner.

The fall colors were just magnificent, and a good time was had by all.

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This is of course Half Dome. The next day we left the area and journeyed on to Pahrump, NV. Once again we bumped into fellow Boomers Art and Connie. At this time they have traveled on to the Encampment at Death Valley. We considered going there and will someday, however there is no cell or data service and our air card and phones will not work.

I took Jan to the airport in Las Vegas Thursday. She made a scheduled visit to her parents. She will be there for about ten days. I am in one of my favorite boondock  spots…. Lake Havasu City, AZ, Craggy Wash, FB (N 34.59450 W114.35905) 895’. It offers great scenery and lots of hiking. It has been very quiet and I have no neighbors nearby.

Happy Trails

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Coarsegold CA

Entrance-Gate, file photo(Jan)The SKP RV Resort near Coarsegold has been our Hwy 49 east of Yosemite NPhome this week. It’s a beautiful park-like feel with an enormous hall for gatherings. We arrived here on Wednesday after a winding mountain drive on Hwy 49 just in time for the Park’s Annual Fall festival. We met our ‘new best friends’ Boomers Art and Connie when we arrived and were delighted to join the friendly park residents and Boomer friends Sam and Caroline and Don and Sharon for Thursday afternoon Happy Hour on the terrace and dinner and entertainment Friday night.Yosemite Valley w/El Capitan on the left

Park Sierra is about 40 miles south of Yosemite National Park Valley. On Saturday we drove up to visit this amazing NP with Don and Sharon. It is truly awe inspiring and we are so fortunate that this land was gifted to California in 1864 under President Lincoln and was set aside as a National Park in 1890. We visited Yosemite Valley home of El Capitan. Bridal Veil Falls, Half Dome and Yosemite Falls.



Chuck & I-Yosemite Falls in the distance032

The Ahwahnee Hotel Dining Room where we had lunch048


Granite Cliffs towering over the Ahwahnee Hotel which was built in 1926

Jan and Sharon at El Capital

Sharon and I with the 3000+ feet granite face of El Capitan in the background

Sharon's photo

The best thing about being a Boomer is the people we have met along the way! We met Sam and Caroline at Mittry Lake last year at Thanksgiving and on Sunday they hosted a Mini-Rang Potluck. What a great time: fun friends, good conversation and delicious food! Here we are on their deck; Chuck, Jan, Sam, Caroline, Art, Connie, Don and Sharon.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Shingle Springs CA

(Jan)a stamping millThe Placerville Elks Club, in the suburb of Shingle Springs, has been our base for the last several days as we have roamed gold country in central California.  The Elks Club here has 8 lovely sites with hook-ups and nice fellow RV neighbors whom we’ve shared Happy Hour with.  Our first stop locally was the Marshall Gold Discovery State Park near Coloma.  It is the site where James Marshall discovered gold in the tailings of the sawmill that he was building with partner John Sutter. With a replica saw mill, gold mining tools and machinery, a museum and many of the original buildings, it was a very interesting place to recapture the feel of the 1849 gold rush.

Chuck’s grandmother’s family, G William Vandementthe Vandemans came to Iowa from Ohio and Indiana.  Another branch of the family traveled on to Amador County here in California.  While they came to dig gold, we came to dig up family history info at the local library and in the pioneer cemeteries here. The cemetery at Amador City was particularly interesting as there were several stories placed around the grounds.  We did find the grave of G. William Vandement in Pine Grove. Jacob, his father, was a successful prospector and became part owner of several mines.  The men worked the mines to a level of 60 feet and Mr Vandement cleared $11,000 according to a 1901 publication.

Chuck in the Pine Grove Cemetery.  This is where we found the grave and head stone for Mr Vandement.
002 Click on the picture to enlarge and read early Amador City tales.
One of the Band Organs at Sutter Creek.
This organ, made in Germany, is just a year old and was purchased for $20,000. 

013 While traveling through the countryside we stumbled onto a Band Organ Rally on the streets of Sutter Creek.  It was a charming town to roam through with it’s original 1850 era downtown. We thoroughly enjoyed the music and talking to the organ owners.




092Jan and her brother RonJohn, Ron and Scarlet

Today we headed over to Pleasant Hill to visit with my brother Ron.  He and son John had just returned from a 16 mile bike ride.  Ron has been mountain biking for years and John competes through his High School and a California bike club. We had a great day visiting and sharing a wonderful meal with the two of them and Ron’s friend, Scarlet.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Coastal Redwoods

5 October09 069 (Chuck) Our last few days have been spent on the Northern California coast. We have had the privilege to explore the area known as Redwood National and State Parks. Coast Redwoods grow in a narrow band of forest along the Pacific coast of Southern Oregon and California. Highway 101 travels through many of the groves of trees and in places the trees grow on the edge of the roadbed. The Coast Redwood is known as the worlds tallest living tree and can grow to heights of 360 feet and live for 2000 years.

5 October09 057They are truly monarchs of the forest. It has been a truly awe inspiring experience to walk in these groves of trees. The forest is so dense with immense trees that it seems all sound is deadened and a person truly experiences the living forest. Photos simply do not seem to reveal the size of these trees. It has been one more visit to another of Gods creations. We are so very fortunate to be able to experience these things on our journey through life.

5 October09 064Jan and I with several of the huge Coast Redwoods. 5 October09 059
5 October09 073Our pickup is dwarfed by the size of the trees.6October09 009

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Crater Lake, Oregon

020 Crater Lake along the north rim.021
Wizard Island, a cinder cone, in the lake.

(Jan) For many years we have wanted to visit Crater Lake. 013 What a magnificent place! Crater Lake, at 1943 feet deep, is the deepest lake in the US. It is fed by rain and snow and is considered to be the cleanest large body of water in the world. It has no rivers or springs flowing into it or out of it. The lake rests inside a caldera formed approximately 7700 years ago when a 12,000 foot tall volcano collapsed following a major eruption. The 183,000 acre lake is 4.5 to 6 miles wide and is an amazing deep blue in color. Umpqua River

From Sutherlin we followed the Umpqua River for much of our drive up the mountain. It was a lovely fall day to enjoy the changing foliage in the bright sunshine. But as we gained altitude the temperature dropped until our thermometer registered 26 degrees and it started to snow! At the crest of the rim it had stopped snowing although the wind was pretty brisk. The views from the Rim Drive are spectacular! We made many stops at overlooks and then went to the Steel Visitors Center.

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031 028Our drive down the mountain was another special treat. We followed the Rogue River down for part of the way and got to visit the very impressive Rogue Narrows. The waterfalls and river churning through the deep, narrow chasm were fascinating. It warmed up as we descended but the day remained cloudy, except for this beam of sunshine that spotlighted this beautiful young tree!

Friday, October 2, 2009

WB Part II


We said good-bye to our friends at Winchester Bay today; it was a fun 8 days spent with the Roving Rods.  We had never stayed at a Marina or crabbed before so it was a new experience for us.  We met some wonderful new friends and loved connecting with many others we’d met through the Boomers.  Besides catching crabs and cleaning crabs we took many long walks and enjoyed several evenings of cards with Dean and Judy and played Pegs and Jokers with Dan, Jenny, Bea and Ken and another evening with Jim and Diane.  Good times!!003

On the picture above, published on the Salmon Harbor RV site, you can see the Umpqua River as it meets with the Pacific Ocean.  The waters in the channel are very fast moving and at high tide, create some awesome wave action.  There was a Tsunami Advisory during the week because of the earthquakes in Samoa and then Sumatra but resulted in little more than a higher tide along the Oregon Coast.  Chuck and I drove out to where the river meets the ocean several times and enjoyed watching the swift current and waves rolling in from the Pacific.



Recently, Chuck and I have been using Windows Live Writer to create our Blogs.  It make writing and picture placement easier plus has many other options.  However, it takes a while to learn all of this SO, several of our friends at WB were interested in learning more and fortunately, Laura Brown offered to teach and share.  Here we are at our place; me, Fran, Dianne, Laurie and Judy.  We had a good time and learned a lot.  Thanks, Laurie!

Dean and Judy and Chuck and I rolled into WB together after having spent a couple of weeks together along the Washington coast.  Last night we enjoyed our evening meal together for the last time until we meet again this winter.  In true RV travel fashion, we once again proved the theory that its not were you gather but who you gather with! Here’s pictures of our RV parking pier picnic.

005          Judy and I enjoying our salads. 006    Dean grilling tuna and oysters. Yum!

Tonight we are staying at the Escapee Timber Valley RV Park in Sutherlin OR. Our short trip today took us along the Umpqua River for most of the journey. The trees are starting to turn and we were treated to a lovely autumn drive in the bright sunshine.

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