Wednesday, July 18, 2012

A new addition to our family

We are so thrilled for Katie and Russ as they have brought a new addition to our extended family. Mac, a 7 month old Pit-bull puppy was adopted from the Sacramento county Animal shelter

Mac was found with his sister wandering the streets in the Sacramento County area. Mac's sister was adopted some time ago, but Mac remained in the Isolation ward while being treated for Demaductant mange. We are so happy for Katie and Russ and their new addition to their family. Now, if either Katie or Russ is home by them selves, Mac will be there to keep them company.

Mac so far, has proven to be an easy keeper. He doesn't appear to suffer from the sort of separation anxiety that Rosie suffered from when we adopted her.

Katie and Russ came by on Sunday, and brought Mac with them so that he would be introduced to our clan. Rosie and Mac had a great time playing together! :-) Later that evening, we enjoyed a bar-b-que together. Carol made her famous potato salad. This particular time, Carol used a new steamer she bought from Pampered Chef.

It has worked out perfectly for cooking corn or potatoes to perfect doneness.

We hope you all are doing well.

Happy camping! - Eric and Carol -

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Geocaching in the Bodega Bay area July 7th, 2012

For our last full day here in the Bodega Bay area, we decided to explore the area by doing some Geocaching. This brought some important information for us die-hard geocachers. If you want to geocache, don't rely on some light way application on your cell phone. You see, when you are in an area where the cell service doesn't work, like here in Bodega Bay, you won't be able to geocache yourself out of a wet paper bag! :-)

That's ok, since we have been geocachers from way back, we pulled the Magellan hand held GPS into service. After loading the coordinates for 8 different geocaches into the Magellan we set off for some High tech hide and seek. One of the caches was mapping out in the middle of the bay it self. It turns out that it was on a pier where you can walk out on. That one we couldn't find, because there were two many other people where the cache was. There was also another one at a gas station where there was just too much activity to find it. None the less, we had a wonderful time looking for all of these hidden treasures!

Half way through our adventures, we decided to have some lunch at the Spud Point Crab company. I had some wonderful clam chowder and Carol had a wonderful Crab cocktail!. We also shared some Sour dough bread and some yummy crab cakes!

This concludes our 5 day long get away to the coast so that we have enjoyed immensely. Every time we go some place new, we think about how much we want to return, and Bodega bay is no different. But, it also reminds us how many wonderful places in our country we have to explore in our future.

Thanks for reading, check back frequently for other updates.

Happy camping! Eric and Carol

Fort Ross and Bodega Marine Lab July 6th, 2012

We had a wonderful time on our second full day here in the Bodega Bay area. We took a trip about 20 miles up the coast to Fort Ross. This is a fort that was built in the early 1800's by the Russian-American company which was in the business of trying to establish a foothold on the west coast of North America. The main purpose of the outpost, was to have a place to produce food and other goods to ship up to Sitka Alaska and other Russian outposts in the Alaskan wilderness. Of course, this was a time in history long before Russia sold Alaska and the Aleutian islands to the United State of America.

This fort, was established as one of the first California State parks in the state park system. At this fort, there was a kitchen and fabrication shop building, a chapel, a warehouse and several other buildings inside the perimeter of the fort. On two of the opposing corners of the Fort, are gun posts where canon's and muskets can be fired from upon opposing forces if need be. This fort was never attacked. In fact, the only time the canon's were ever fired was when dignitaries arrived for a visit.

After we finished exploring Fort Ross, we headed back to Bodega Bay. Along the way, we found ourselves descending down through the cloud deck which was kind of a cool feeling as we were driving back to camp.

 On our way south on highway 1, we stopped in the town of Jenner for a wonderful lunch at CafĂ© Aquatica. Carol had a great Portobello mushroom sandwich, and I had a fine albacore tuna sandwich.

Upon our return to the Bodega Bay area, we went to the Bodega Marine Laboratory for the weekly tours that are conducted at the facility. We had a tour from a very interesting docent that told us about how at one point in time, PG & E wanted build a nuclear power plant on Bodega Bay. Though they were aware of the fact that the San Andreas Fault ran right through the area where they wanted to build the plant, they ignored that fact until that information came out and became public knowledge. After that, they sold the property to the State of California and UC Berkley ended up with the property and opened this Marine lab here. Though this is primarily a research facility, it is a fascinating place to visit get a glimpse of what is going on.

Tomorrow, we hope to explore the area some more by doing some Geocaching.

Happy camping! Eric and Carol

Bodega bay - July 5th, 2012

On our  first day here in Bodega Bay, we did a lot of exploring in the area. We started out by taking the two browns (Lilly and Rosie) to the beach so they could have a little fun. Since we adopted Rosie as a 1 and a half year old, we aren't sure if she had ever been to the beach. But, since she came from Amador county and seems so un-socialized with people, we doubt that she ever had enough socialization to have been there. In other words, we don't think she got out much. While we were out at the beach, we took a few minutes to fly our old pocket kite. Carol reminded me that this is something that has been around since before Carol and I met, and wow, that was 14 years ago!!!

We had a nice lunch at a restaurant right outside the gate of the RV park. They have a lot of seafood dishes with a Mexican flare to them. We think the park manager is married to the owner of the restaurant, but that is only a guess.

After we left the beach we explored the Bodega Bay area and looked out over some overlooks and checked out the coast line. This is a really beautiful area, but it is also a very rugged coast. There are many beach parking areas, but it's pretty tough sledding, getting down to the respective beach areas.

We also took the opportunity to check out some of the camp-grounds around the area for our eventual return. We really liked the Doran Beach campground which is managed by Sonoma county, but we had a hard time finding spots deep enough for our 40 foot Allegro bus. The Porto Bodega RV park is another nice full service RV park. It is flatter than where we are staying (at the Bodega Bay RV resort) and it also has beach access where we could walk the dogs out to the beach shore of the bay.

We also made a trip out to the town of Bodega, which is only about 15 minutes inland from Bodega Bay. Bodega's claim to fame is the Church and the house that were used in the Alfred Hitchcock classic 'The Birds'. We also went into a cool store that is full of Hitchcock memorabilia.

We are loving the Bodega Bay area and are looking forward to our additional explorations.

Happy camping! Eric and Carol -

Friday, July 6, 2012

More field repairs as we get ready for our Fourth of July departure for Bodega Bay

We scheduled a departure for Bodega Bay for a 5 day get away, which would start on the fourth of July. We had two problems that were bugging ol' Eric and he wanted to get them repaired sooner rather than later.

One of them was the Washer/Drier. It stopped working and after some diagnostics, I thought it might be the water pump that drains the washer. I contacted Splendide and they confirmed, based on my testing and findings, that my diagnostics were probably correct that it was the water pump. So, $138.00 later, we had a new water pump in hand, and the night before our scheduled departure for Bodega Bay, I changed out the water pump on our washer. It was in fact the water pump that had gone bad. The electric motor was very hard to turn, compared to the new one, which was very easy. So, with 2 hours of work, we were good to go.

The other repair I did, though a couple days earlier, was determining and fixing the problem with the lights on the CRV when being towed by the motorhome. We had a problem with this since the day we bought the Allegro bus. I eventually tracked the problems down to two issues. A couple of the circuits in the converter box failed and one wire in the wiring harness had pulled free. So, after a trip to AutoZone and a couple hours of work, we were up and running correctly with the lights on the CRV.

We've had a flag pole for sometime on the motorhome when it is parked, but never had appropriate lighting for at night. So, I bought a couple of solar charged spot lights, affixed them to the flag pole, and now the flag will have light all through the night, thanks to the batteries in the lights that are charged during the day time. And, we got the lights for only $5.00 each at Target!

Lastly, Karen, my sister was kind enough to send us some 4th of July scarves for the dogs. We had the dogs sporting them on the Fourth just as they were intended. They wore their colors proudly! :-)

Well, that's all for now. Happy camping!

Eric and Carol

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Moonlight Classic June 24th, 2012

For any of you who know me very well, ol' Eric cut his teeth on drum corps back in the 1960's when my sister Karen and my Brother-in-law Mike were marching in the Anaheim Kingsmen. I've had Drum Corps in my blood ever since those faithful days when I would hang out on the track of the foot ball stadium as Karen and Mike practiced with the corps. It really was a great up bringing!

Even 45 years later, I'm still going to Drum Corps shows, frequently with Karen and Mike and of course with the love of my life Carol, who now enjoys drum corps in her own right! :-) Because the stadium at UOP in Stockton is now closed, they have moved the Moonlight classic to Sac State, a very nice venue. This years event had all the makings of a great show. We had on the agenda, roughly in this order. Blue Devils 'C', Sacramento Freelancers Alumni corps, The Mandarines, Pacific Crest, Blue Devils B, The Santa Clara Vanguard Cadets, The Boston Crusaders, The Blue Knights from Colorado, the Phantom Regiment from Rockford Illinois, The Blue Devils and the Santa Clara Vanguard.

There was a large crowed at the event and there were even a number of old Kingsmen members that Karen and Mike ran into at the show this evening. It was weird, Karen and Mike were closer to Anaheim two nights earlier at a show in Clovis, and they ran into only one old Kingsmen alumni. But, Sacramento, with the history of the Freelancers, is more of a Drum Corps town, so I guess it was to be expected.

The evening started off with a 'Park and Blow' performance by the Freelancers Alumni corps. Their respectable performance, was enjoyed by everyone.
Everyone of the corps that we got to see this evening were vastly improved over previous years. Somehow, they get better every year. We really, really enjoyed the 'Boston Crusaders' as they were the most like 'Old style drum corps' which is what we all really enjoy, even my wife Carol who is relatively new to the activity. This evening held up to it's name litterally. It truely was a Moonlight Classic. You see, Sac state couldn't seem to get the stadium lights turned on. As a result, the last corps to perform was the Boston Crusaders. And they were 'ON'. Even the color guard stuck the catches on all of their rifle tosses, despite the dusky lighting.

The competition director had to call and end to the evening so as to ensure everyone could get out of the stadium safely.

After the Boston corps finished and we left the stadium. We went with Karen and Mike to get some desert. Wouldn't you know it, as we drove passed sac state about 2 hours after the competition was cancelled, the lights were on, but not a corps to be found.

Thats ok, we still had a wonderful evening!

Happy camping! - Eric and Carol -

Brandon's 28th birthday

Last weekend, on the 23rd of June, we were very fortunate to join Brandon and many of his family members for his 28th birthday. Brandon, and his dad Bill and mom Loretta, moved up permanently to their summer home in the Pioneer area of Amador county just a month ago.

Much of Brandon's family lives in Amador county where we once hailed from. The event was a wonderful one with lots of family including Brandons grandmother Shirley and uncle Calvin, Aunt Joyce and his cousine Katie as well as several other close family members.

Every birthday like this is such a wonderful milestone for Brandon, which we always enjoy celebrating with everyone. The weather was wonderful on his birthday and we got to enjoy a lot of time relaxing out doors. Brandon scored with many wonderful birthday gifts such as CD's and clothes.


We look forward to many more birthdays with 'Brando' in the years to come! We love you Brando!