April 2011

April 2011
Boondocking at my brother's in Reno, April 2011

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Quick Update

For those of you who asked – just a quick update on the sickies.  Brother-in-law Brian has been released from the hospital in Bishop and is weak but doing fine.  My sister, Laila, is still a patient but may be released this evening or in the morning.  Her potassium went way low and so they are doing some sort of IV therapy and have her hooked up to a heart monitor.

On the bright side, both patients are raving about how caring and concerned the staff is at the hospital in Bishop.  They brought in a couch for Brian to sleep on in Laila’s room after he was released.  They went out to their car and brought in clothes and items they needed.  Laila said they treat them like guests of a hotel rather than patients.  I guess that’s better than being stuck somewhere uncaring.

Saturday, my brother got sick but he was only sick two days.  Monday his wife got sick and she is feeling better today.  Guess Brian and Laila got the worst of it.  I told them I was feeling a bit of survivor's guilt for having escaped that terrible bug.  Here I planned the trip, then bailed on the last part of it, and everyone who went to Bishop got sick!  But I am glad that Russ and I managed to hold onto our supper!!  Makes me think twice about “One Last Trip” to Bishop!

Thanks to everyone for your concern.  I think they are all going to live but it is certainly a trip none of us will ever forget!

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Susanville RV Park

This is out of order but wanted to let you all know about a nice park in Susanville, CA if you are ever on the road in that area.  A few years ago we were going to Reno and boondocked near the Wal-Mart.  However, that location is where we stopped for lunch the other day and were accosted by the crazy lady. 

We got a late start leaving Reno to head home, so we only went as far as Susanville.  I had looked up the Susanville RV Park online and it looked like a nice place to spend the night.  At $39 is was a bit high for the facility but at least it was quiet and there were no crazy ladies yelling at us!
P1050953
We had a nice pull through, and even though the grass was not exactly green, it was better than the artificial turf we had at Sparks Marina.  The dogs were too busy reading the pee-mail to look at the camera!!

The spaces here are concrete and ours was totally level.  Didn’t have to do a thing but pull in and unhook the car.
P1050954

The park is basic with no real amenities other than a laundry room but for an overnighter, it filled the bill.  It is a couple of blocks off the highway and was very quiet.  The park backs onto an empty field and we saw several deer browsing for their dinner.  There is a nice view of the mountains…these mountain had a dusting of snow the next morning.
P1050986

P1050969

One of the unique things about this park – and I really appreciated this – is the way they do the dog runs.  The dog run was separated into four fenced units so the doggies did not have to share.  Ollie does not like to potty when he is on a leash but he does not play well with others.  It was nice to be able to let him off the leash and not worry about some other dog coming into his enclosure. 
P1050987

The runs were small but it worked fine for us.  There is plenty of open space at the park for the dogs to walk on leash and sniff at all the interesting smells.  The park has placed doggy bags and trash cans all around the perimeter of the park so it is always handy to pick up any accidents.

This park does have a great location.  It was only a couple of blocks to the highway and a small shopping complex.  I went to the Safeway right across the highway for groceries.  There was also a Rite-Aid drugstore, a Starbucks, McDonald’s and was very close to Wal-Mart and more small stores. 

It was cold in Susanville and WINDY.  It rained some in the night and the mountains all got a dusting of snow.  The sky darkened in the evening and the wind howled like a banshee.
P1050956

All in all, I would recommend Susanville RV Park for an overnight stay.

On a less happy note, got a call this morning from my brother - the one we had planned the trip to see.  We ended up not continuing on to Bishop but David and Linda, and Brian and Laila did.  Brian got real sick in the night and is now in the hospital in Bishop.  Not sure what's wrong - bad diarrhea, dehydrated, dangerously low blood pressure, and some kind of systemic infection.  Worried about getting them home.  I'm trying to talk one of their grandkids into flying into Reno (no airport in Bishop) and driving them home.  Not sure when Brian will be released from the hospital.  Prayers appreciated!!

Brian, Laila, and Linda earlier in the day at Lake Sabrina.
at lake sabrina

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

McCloud Dance Country RV Park

For years we passed this park going to and from Reno.  Most of the time we were traveling in the van but we were always intrigued by this place.  In another life, we were square dancers and we knew that this park hosted many gatherings of such dancers.  We never went to one but it was fun to think about.
square dancers 001
Yup, that’s us in our Do Si Do outfits!!

So this time we decided to stay here on our way to Reno and tonight we are here again on our way back from Reno.  Apparently the name is changing from Dance Country RV Park to McCloud RV Resort but whatever name you call it by, it’s a great park.  You know how most websites put up pictures that make their place look wonderful but when you arrive, you wonder where the pictures were taken?  I can honestly say that this is one park where the website pictures don’t do it justice.

Located just 9 miles from the junction of I-5 and Hwy. 89, this park is well worth the drive off the freeway.  The sites are large and the ones we stayed in were completely level.  Of course not all spots are concrete, some you park on gravel and some directly on the grass.
P1050993

There are a couple of ponds and a little creek runs right through the park.  The dogs love to get a drink of the fresh cold water and maybe get their toes damp, but they are definitely not water dogs.  Rusty would have been lying smack dab in the middle of that water.
P1050880

There are lots of open grassy areas and a large covered pavilion for group gatherings.
P1050868

P1050896No long ribbons of concrete here with RVs lined up in neat little rows.  There are different areas on either side of the creek and you can choose shaded or open, gravel, paved, or grassy.  You can choose to be on the water or near the bathhouse.  There are even horseshoe pits – especially for Joe and Betty!!





A river runs at the back of the property and it is from here that the little creek flows.
P1050988

Yes, this park is a little on the spendy side at $39 for a 30 amp FHU site but you get what you pay for.  Good to indulge once in a while!  And how much is this view worth? (That’s our rig on the right)
mt shasta from park
Yes, that is the grand lady herself in the background, Mt. Shasta.  Had a little cloud cover today so not a very good picture but it was still beautiful.

So aside from the loose dogs that I griped about before, I would definitely recommend this place.  The dogs were not a problem this time and one came over to greet our pups.  I let Jewel off leash and she did fine.  Don’t quite trust Ollie enough to remove the leash and he wasn’t quite “friendly” but he did okay.

When we pulled in here the pups got soP1050871 excited.  Ollie LOVES to roll in the grass and we haven’t had much of that lately.  They were so happy to get out and visit the creek and get a drink and then Ollie got in lots of grass rolls.



 
Remember, this park is right on Hwy. 89 so there will be some highway noise.  It didn’t bother us and it was quiet at night.  It’s worth it in my opinion to be so conveniently located so the noise was not an issue for us.

We also visited the small town of McCloud.  McCloud was a mill town in its heyday and the railroad ran through here to haul logs.  We didn’t have time to do much more than drive through but would love to spend some time exploring the museums and such.  Be aware there is not much in McCloud.  There is a gas station and mini-mart across the street from the park and a grocery store across the highway.  We saw one little cafĂ© in town but don’t know if it was even open.  Very small town, but then it is only 9 miles from Mt. Shasta City where you can eat at the Black Bear Diner and enjoy this view.




Here are some pictures taken from “downtown” McCloud.
P1050914

P1050915

P1050916

Call me crazy, but I saw this guy running around town and I immediately thought …”I didn’t know John Hedges was in town.”
P1050917

Monday, May 5, 2014

How To Take a Lickin’

One of the things about dogs is they really complicate your life.  If would be much easier to go and do and travel without dogs.  BUT – they also add so much to our lives that the pluses definitely carry more weight than any perceived negatives.

I remember when we lost Rusty and then Poppy and how bad that hurt.  We were never going to get more dogs.  We lasted six months.  Then when we got Ollie and Jewel, Ollie was less than friendly to Russ.  In fact, for about three weeks, I didn’t think they would ever be friends.  But Russ was patient and didn’t push and Ollie made a complete turn around. 

Now Ollie has a special ritual with Russ.  Ollie thinks he is the barber and Russ is the client.  He dutifully washes his face and tries his best to groom his whiskers.  When Ollie gets nervous, he climbs up on Russ’ lap and gives Russ a real lickin’. 

This is what happened at McCloud RV Park.

Hey Dad, did you forget to shave today?
P1050923

Don’t worry, I’ll take care of it for you.
P1050927

Whew, you really need a good lickin’…
P1050929

I think you need to wash your hair too!
P1050920

Get that mustache over here so I can check it out.
P1050924

Did you wash behind your ears?
P1050928

Now don’t we feel better?
P1050934

Well, if you made it to the end of this post, you must be a real dog lover.  I know I am but Jewel and I wisely stay uninvolved in this male bonding ritual.
P1050926

If you can make yourself check back tomorrow (or maybe not until the next day) I’ll do a real review with pictures of the Dance Country RV Park in McCloud and also the Susanville RV Park in Susanville, CA.  Until then…should you find yourself of the receiving end of a good lickin', it's best to just take it like a man!

P.S.  I think we saw John Hedges in McCloud...I have a picture.

P.P.S.  We got the tire fixed today.  We had picked up a nail - no fault of the rig!!

Sunday, May 4, 2014

An Interesting Trip

Just a short trip to Reno to see my brother – or so we thought!  This has been in the works for several months and it was my bright idea – yup, guilty as charged.  We, along with my sister, Laila, and her hubby Brian were going to Reno to see brother David and then we were all going to caravan down to Bishop for a mini family reunion.  David was born in Bishop and it was always a favorite family vacation destination when we were kids.  What could possibly go wrong?

Our plan was to get on the road early Thursday morning.  We got the motorhome ready to roll and the car all hooked up Wednesday night.  We planned to take the van and go out for a quick breakfast before hitting the road.  Well here’s what came of that plan…this is what we found when we went out to get in the van:

P1050834

It’s a good thing I had some cold cereal and milk as that was our breakfast while we waiting for Les Schwab to send out a truck to air up the tire.  Then Russ had to take the van to the shop only to find the tire had a hole in the sidewall and had to be replaced.    Two new tires on the van was a good way to spend our trip money…CHA-CHING!!  Got a late start but had a decent day for a drive.  Here’s the requisite picture of The Mountain as we head south on I-5.

P1050858a

P1050855a

We spent two nights at Dance Country RV Park in McCloud, CA – I may have to write one more blog just to talk about that.  Nice park but too many loose dogs.

P1050881

P1050867

We were walking the dogs when I felt a stinging on my ear.  I reached up to my ear and came away with a squished black bug of some kind, and about two gallons of my freshly ingested blood!!  Don’t know what it was but he sure liked to bite and suck blood…no, not a tick.  It was a very soft bug.  Okay, WARNING – this is an ugly picture, but I bet you can tell which ear it was that was bitten…
ears

It still hurts although the swelling has gone down and I am left with a just a big knot on the back of my ear.

Our good luck continued as Russ checked his email and found an overdraft notice from the bank.  He has an automatic transfer from checking to savings set up and he thought he was making a change to the amount.  Instead he made an additional transfer and that caused the overdraft.  No problem, the bank just transferred back from savings to checking to cover his transfer from checking to savings and charged him $12.50 for the privilege.  Makes perfect sense.  Several other things have gone wrong too but I think you get the picture – not such a smooth trip!!

After two days of dodging loose dogs in McCloud we left for Reno.  Our good luck continued when we stopped at Jack in the Box in Susanville for lunch.  It’s right next to Wal-Mart and an empty building where we had boondocked a couple of years ago.  Plenty of parking for motorhomes and several already parked in the area.  We parked at the empty building and Russ walked the dogs while I got some grub at the restaurant.  We were just starting to eat when I heard someone yelling.  I looked out the door of the motorhome and saw this wild haired woman facing the rig and yelling at us at the top of her lungs.  I could only pick up a few words of what she said…something about helicopters, judgment, no respect, and getting an earful.  I started the camera in case she did anything really crazy.  It was when she opened her trunk and brought out what looked like a broken baseball bat that we began to get worried.   Russ doesn’t normally react to such situations, preferring to just ignore people and mind his own business.  But when she brought that club out we both got scared.  I had visions of busted windows or even busted heads.  I shut off the camera and he called the police.  I never did get a picture of her with her weapon but she was scary.  The police came and chased her off and then talked to us.  Seems this woman is the local nut case but normally she just stands on street corners and yells at anyone who passes by.  For some reason our being parked there in the motorhome set her off.  The officer told me she asked him if he heard the airplane and told him things were going to start happening now!  We gulped down our lunch as quickly as possible and got out of there as soon as we could get our adrenaline under control.  Here’s a couple of minutes of her rant…it went on a lot longer than this.



In retrospect, I feel sorry for this poor woman but at the time we didn’t know if she was a real threat or not.  So much craziness out there…seems you never know what might happen.  I didn’t know if the bat was the only weapon she had and we didn’t want to take any chances.

Driving through some fierce winds, we finally made it to Reno and our destination of the Sparks Marina RV Park.  We pulled in and our neighbor greeted us with, “Say, did you know your front tire is really low?”  No, we didn’t know that!!  We called AAA first – we have the RV Plus plan.  Since it was just a low tire we thought they could handle it and they assured us someone would be out who could either air up the tire or put the spare on.  More than a hour later, a guy showed up with a tow truck.  He didn’t have a compressor big enough to air up the tire, nor the equipment to change the tire!!  SHEESH, we told them it was a motorhome – you’d think they would have sent someone who could do the job.  So we called Coach Net.  They were knowledgeable and sent someone out who put the spare on for us and aired it up.  Now we have to wait until Monday when Les Schwab is open so we can get the tire fixed.  After that we are heading home.  With the way things have been going, we don’t want to go on to Bishop and risk more problems. 

The dogs have been real good but it has been hard on them too.  They are accustomed to having a very large yard to run around in and a doggy door to use whenever they want to.  Being on a leash all the time does not make them real happy.  Hopefully they can chase a few balls out at David’s place today.  I will write one more post about the Dance Country RV park.  Aside from the loose dogs and the blood thirsty bugs, it’s a beautiful park and worth staying in.  That’s all for now!!

And so ends just another adventure in travel.  Hopefully our trip home will be a lot less exciting than our trip here. 

Friday, April 4, 2014

See Ya Later

Just a short note to let those who may be interested that this blog is closing.  Whether that is permanent or temporary is yet to be determined.

We are okay and not suddenly struck with some dread disease.  It is just that our lives are headed in a different direction now and we are not sure where that will lead.  Besides that, the quill is dry and the ink pot is empty.

I will cherish the friendships I have made during the last several years, both virtual and in person.

  Yes, the dogs are fine and we treasure every moment with them.   

IMG_4304

Take care all and safe travels to you all.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Little Dogs on the Prairie and LOTS of Balls

We visited Meadowlark Prairie with the dogs.  It is an urban setting that was restored from agricultural land to its original prairie and wetlands habitat in the 1990s.  It’s a popular area for walking, biking, wildlife viewing and picnicking.  The paved path encircles the 404 acre site.  Needless to say, we have not yet made it all the way around!!  Maybe someday, but we are going a bit farther every time we come.  It’s another great place for dog walking and there are places you can go down into the prairie area off the paved pathway. 

P1050773

We came across this beautiful Northwestern Ringneck Snake along the path.
P1050780

Apparently they are rarely seen, preferring to move about after dark.  I thought this one was dead at first but when I touched it, it moved.  I thought it was enjoying some sun but after looking more closely at the pictures, I wonder if it was injured.
P1050781a

There were many ducks, geese and other water fowl in the wetlands area of the prairie.  This duck seems to have found a nice resting place.
P1050778

There were hundreds of geese gathered in a field across the road.  The wind was blowing towards the dogs from this field and they stood for the longest time just sniffing the scent of geese.  Didn’t bark or try to move – just figuring out the scent.

This is the view from one end of the prairie.
P1050782

This is even closer to our house than the lake is so we have a couple of great exercise areas with 15 minutes or less.

The weather has been wonderful the last couple of days so we have spent a lot of time in the backyard with the dogs.  They love to play ball and get super excited when I approach their bucket of balls.  I am trying to teach them to calm down so as soon as they start barking, I move away from the balls.  When they stop barking I move closer.  In the following video, Ollie throws quite a temper tantrum when he doesn’t get his balls right away.  Jewel catches on and quiets down pretty quickly.  This was yesterday and it took maybe 5 minutes of barking before they settled down.  Today went much quicker – just a couple of minutes.  Then they sat quietly while I got the balls.  Turn your speakers down or OFF so you don’t hear all the barking!!
)

Russ took all video and no stills of this session so I snagged a couple of shots from the video. The quality is not great since these photos are from the video footage, but you can see how Jewel likes to jump and catch.   Ollie loves to run flat out as fast as he can to chase the balls.  Jewel does not want to chase – she wants to turn somersaults and catch the balls.  So I throw one long for Ollie and then toss one to Jewel for catching.  Woe be to me if I don’t take turns and make sure they each get the same number of balls!!

jewel catch1

jewel2

Look how that right leg is way up there!
jewel4

jewel5

jewel6

Catch ya later!!