Sunday, September 19, 2021

Boy, That Was Fun

 Westport RV Park, Westport, California.

We checked out Google Maps to find the best way to here. The one we know is along Highway 20 from Williams, past Upper Lake (you know we love this place), over to Highway 101 and then North to Highway 20 and across to Highway 1 at Fort Bragg. 

What Google doesn't tell you is that span of road (Highway 101 to Highway 1) is 35 miles of switchbacks and stomach upsetting ups and downs. Add to that pulling a 27 foot trailer and boy, was that fun. 

Then add to that another 16 miles of Highway 1 switchbacks and ups and downs and by the time we got to the RV park, both of us were worn out. 

Then mere feet from check-in, I got one of those lovely thigh cramps (probably from driving so long). So I'm parked in the middle of the road, using 4 letter words and trying to work out the cramp. 

OK, stopped swearing and got to check-in. Was assigned space 106. 

From their website "Here you will find beach-side camping in the sand, on grassy sites and along the creek."

First picture: That look like a grassy site? "Does that look like beach side." No creek in sight in fact never did see the creek.


Second picture: Notice how close the other camper is on the right side of the picture. They left the next morning and the new motorhome was less than 3 feet from our slideout. Now I know how a sardine feels.


Third picture: Still haven't found any grass. 


From their day use (about 1/4 mile from our spot). 






There was no way I could have negotiated ankle deep sand from the Day Use area to the water. I did bring a fishing pole.   

Looking back toward the "beach sites" (at another $10.00 per day and can't be booked online). Looked like a homeless camp to me. 



Oh, did I mention that this little piece of "heaven" is in a Tsunami zone? I would never expect one, but you never know. 

At this point, we're ready to go home and it's just the first day. We would never have been able to do the drive back so we rested the rest of Thursday and Friday with the idea of bailing on Saturday morning. 

Woke up Saturday morning, ate breakfast, and opened the door to hook up the trailer and it was RAINING! I thought, maybe it was a heavy Marine Layer, but no, it was real rain. Haven't seen any of that in a long time.   


Got the trailer hooked up, wife got everything inside secured, and we left this wonderful RV park about 10:00 am. Decided to go the rest of the way up Highway 1 where it connected to Highway 101 as opposed to returning the way we came. 

Granted it was 28 miles of single lane highway and some curves, but WAY better than the way we came. Did I mention it was raining? Yup, still raining. 

Down Highway 101 to Highway 20 and we were on our way home. It rained all the way until just before Upper Lake, then nothing. 

It was cold, windy, and wet. Boy, was that fun. 

Sure was a fun way to end our 2021 camping year. 

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Another One From My Cousin

 By the way, Gavin Newsom is still our Governor. 



One day a florist went to a barber for a haircut. After the cut, he
asked about his bill, and the barber replied, 'I cannot accept money
from you, I'm doing community service this week.'
The florist was pleased and left the shop.
When the barber went to open his shop the next morning, there was a
'thank you' card and a dozen roses waiting for him at his door.
Later, a cop comes in for a haircut, and when he tries to pay his bill,
the barber again replied, 'I cannot accept money from you, I'm doing
community service this week.' The cop was happy and left the shop.
The next morning when the barber went to open up, there was a 'thank
you' card and a dozen doughnuts waiting for him at his door.
Then a Member of Congress came in for a haircut, and when he went to
pay his bill, the barber again replied, 'I cannot accept money from
you. I'm doing community service this week.' The Member of Congress
was very happy and left the shop.
The next morning, when the barber went to open up, there were a dozen
Members of Congress lined up waiting for a free haircut.
And that, my friends, illustrates the fundamental difference between
the citizens of our country and the politicians who run it.
If you don't forward this you have no sense of humour.

Friday, September 10, 2021

To Everyone Anticipating A Possible Civil War

From my own perspective, not having been in the military (not that they didn't try in 1965), I have no interest in going to hell. I know a lot of people who have been there and most of them do not talk about it.  

I have a friend who was one of the last 11 marines off the roof of the American Embassy in Saigon in 1975 and I have to tell you I've seen little things send him right back to hell. 

The United States is in a pile of shit right now and it needs to get straightened out pronto. You don't see this? Here is some places to look: MSN.com, Associated Press, NBC.com, ABC News, CBSNews.com.  

I'm not even going to go into vaccinations. Just looks at the statistics. 


“To everyone anticipating a possible civil war from all sides, let me give you a little bit of advice. "Many of us served and fought in wars. When our time was done, we came back to the USA to start over and live in peace. It wasn’t us who kneeled on the neck of a man until he died. It wasn’t us to retaliate by kneeling on the neck of a toddler saying “BLM NOW mf.”

You see, War is hell. Millions of you do not quite grasp this concept. We have been to hell, lived in hell, climbed out of hell, and don’t want to go back to hell. If you keep trampling on the peace we fought for, earned and love, then when that first shot gets fired, you will force us back to hell; and we will show you the brutal realities of hell.
Y’all better work this shit out before we do, because I guarantee you are not ready for this."

(Copied and shared from a cousin who copied and shared from an Army brother)

Monday, September 6, 2021

No Fire Statistic For This family

Back on the August 26th, I hoped my son's home would survive the Caldor Fire. As of today the fire has burned 216,358 acres. BUT, it's 44% contained and getting better. 

Those in South Lake Tahoe are breathing a sigh of relief. The evacuations have been downgraded and many are returning home. 

Which brings me to my son. He returned home today after being evacuated for something like 3 weeks. Three weeks in his motorhome at a couple local campgrounds. I don't suspect he'll want to be camping any time soon. 

The devastation continues though. Yesterday we had a new fire. It's called the Bridge Fire located near the town of Auburn. It started at the confluence of the North and Middle forks of the American River under the Foresthill Bridge. Some of you might be familiar with this bridge if you're a fan of Vin Diesel and the Fast and Furious movies where the red Corvette was driven off the bridge. That was the Foresthill Bridge. 



It's not unusual for this area to be on fire. Burns about every two years or so. A couple of picture of the fire. 

 



The Dixie Fire is approaching 1 million acres. Currently 910,495 acres with 57% containment. This one is a little harder to handle. Here's some photo's. 




If it's Summer, California is on fire. When we lived upcountry in Volcano, it wasn't a matter of "if", but when. The Caldor Fire caused this area to be on evacuation notice. That means get your vehicle loaded and be prepared to haul ass. 

It's a fact of life, if you live in the US of A that something will affect you. Just take a look at Hurricane Ida. Drowned about half of the country. 

In the East, you have hurricanes. Mid-Westerners have tornado's. West Coast has earthquakes when it's not on fire. Southwest has blasting hot weather and Upper Mid-West you freeze in the winter. 

All that said, I'm extremely happy my son and his family are OK and back in their home.

We're off to a new camping place on the coast mid-next week so if I don't post before...........

Stay Tuned.    

Friday, September 3, 2021

Back From Camping

 My son and daughter-in-law were supposed to go with us to Upper Lake this past week. As I mentioned in the 8/26 post they were evacuated. Well, they are still and unfortunately missed the trip to Upper Lake. Apparently the appeal to go camping isn't there when you've been camping (so to speak) for the last three weeks. That said, looks like their home is going to be OK. Fire (Caldor Fire) hasn't moved toward them for some time even though it's raging Eastward. Currently 212,907 acres with 29% containment. 

Being the good and kindly father I am, we went anyway. Actually it was their decision since their motorhome was crammed with everything you take when evacuating. 

Sunday was the drive up. Only took us 3 1/2 hours (normally 4 1/2) because no usual traffic jam at the airport and no road work to negotiate. I think I've mentioned that California only has two seasons. Winter and road repair. So we got there, set up the trailer, got out our favorite beverage and enjoyed the rest of the afternoon. I give you a Sunday Night sunset for your viewing pleasure. They really do have great sunsets here. 


Monday morning we got out the kayaks and set up the "rack" I use to gracefully get in and out of my kayak. Unfortunately I forgot the spike that holds the "rack" so I had to ratchet strap it to a log laying there. Not quite as stable. Just have to make sure you get the straps in a straight line.  


Spent part of the day paddling around the lake and just getting used to kayaking again. Last time out was June. It got pretty rough with a wind across the lake at about 15. So we just cut it short and called it a day. A Monday night sunset. See what I mean about great sunsets? Every night is like this and I should mention this was taken from the side of our trailer.  


Tuesday dawned a lot calmer so off we went. this time I didn't forget the trolling attachment for the kayak. 1/4 oz. Gold Kastmaster was the lure of the day. Last June I caught one off a certain cabin so I trolled by there again. Sure enough, same spot and I hooked up again.   



Now, the picture below isn't just for a look at my knee, it was the first picture of said fish above. I can't see it, doubt you can. 


I took another. It's hard trying to get your phone out for a picture when the fish is pulling you around in several directions, but I got him this time. 


Turned out it was a nice about 12" Rainbow. Again I couldn't hold him, get the hook out, and get a picture all at the same time so you're just going to have to take my word for the size. After all, I am an honest fisherman. 


Wednesday I didn't catch any from the kayak although I did get one good bump in the same place. Later in the afternoon I soaked a little Rainbow Power Bait off the dock and took a second one, it too about 12". Gave it to the guys next to me. Told him I would back him up if he wanted to say he caught it.  
Since we were going home Thursday, I also got you a Wednesday night sunset.  


If you remember the June magnet fishing incident. You know the dislocated and sprained fingers, I had to "get back on the horse" so to speak, so Wednesday about mid-day I hauled out the magnet fishing bucket. I got the usual nails, screws, hooks, snaps, and an occasional chunk of metal. This time the prize (last time was the top part of a fishing rod) was a "live' 410 shotgun shell. Seems magnet fishing is always an adventure. Still have about half the dock to cover. It will still be there next June when we come back. Besides my daughter-in-law is still a magnet fishing monster. 


That's it for this trip. In a couple weeks we are off for our final trip of the year to a new campground on the coast. 

Stay tuned. 

Friday, August 27, 2021

A Little Humor For Your Friday.

Everything has been so negative lately I thought a little humor might be called for. 



RED SKELTON'S RECIPE FOR THE PERFECT MARRIAGE
1. Two times a week we go to a nice restaurant, have a little beverage, good food and companionship. She goes on Tuesdays, I go on Fridays.
2. We also sleep in separate beds. Hers is in California and mine is in Texas.
3. I take my wife everywhere, but she keeps finding her way back.
4. I asked my wife where she wanted to go for our anniversary. "Somewhere I haven't been in a long time!" she said. So I suggested the kitchen.
5. We always hold hands. If I let go, she shops.
6. She has an electric blender, electric toaster and electric bread maker. She said "There are too many gadgets, and no place to sit down!" So I bought her an electric chair.
7. My wife told me the car wasn't running well because there was water in the carburetor. I asked where the car was. She told me, "In the lake."
8. She got a mud pack and looked great for two days. Then the mud fell off.
9. She ran after the garbage truck, yelling, "Am I too late for the garbage?" The driver said, "No, jump in!".
10. Remember: Marriage is the number one cause of divorce.
11. I married Miss Right. I just didn't know her first name was 'Always'.
12. I haven't spoken to my wife in 18 months. I don't like to interrupt her.
13. The last fight was my fault though. My wife asked, "What's on the TV?"
I said, "Dust!".
Can't you just hear him say all of these?

I love it. These were the good old days when humor didn't have to start with a four letter word or political. It was just clean and simple fun. And he always ended his programs with the words, "And May God Bless"with a big smile on his face.

Stay tuned.  

Thursday, August 26, 2021

The Latest On The Caldor Fire

 I'm not one for praying, but I'm certainly hoping that my son's home doesn't become a fire statistic. 

Below is the Cal Fire map from this morning. The dotted line is the perimeter of the fire as of this morning. Currently 136,643 acres with 12% containment.   



The second picture is what we're concerned with. If you double click and make it big, on the left side you see Sierra Springs. Below the name are 2 small green squares. The one on the bottom is where my son's house is. Inside the dotted line.  


We are hoping for the best. 

Stay tuned.  


Sunday, August 22, 2021

Another Fire Update

As of this morning. 


Caldor Fire - 98,149 acres   0% containment. My son will probably not be allowed to return to his home for a couple weeks. 


Dixie Fire - 721,298 acres   37% containment. 


Monument Fire - 147,323  16% containment.


McFarland Fire - 116,423 acres  64% containment


It must still be Summer. California is still on fire. 


Stay tuned.  


Thursday, August 19, 2021

New Evacuations

 Had we still lived in Volcano. 

These are voluntary evacuations as of this morning. 

Amador County

  • Shenandoah Road at the Amador County line west through the River Pines community, continuing west on Shenandoah Road to Ostrom Road
  • South on Ostrom Road to Jibboom Street, west on Jibboom Street to Fiddletown Road
  • East on Fiddletown Road to Hale Road
  • South on Hale Road to Shake Ridge Road
  • East on Shake Ridge Road to Charleston Road
  • South of Charleston Road to the intersection of Charleston Road and Rams Horn Grade. This is downtown Volcano.
  • Due east to Highway 88 at Tiger Creek Road
  • Tiger Creek Road east to Salt Springs Reservoir Road
  • East on Salt Springs Reservoir Road to the east end of the Salt Springs Reservoir
  • Due north from the east end of Salt Springs Reservoir to Highway 88
The part in Bold Red, that's where we lived. 

The part about Shenandoah Road, that's where all the wineries are. That would definitely be alcohol abuse.  

Stay Tuned. 

Wednesday, August 18, 2021

California Continues To Burn

 There are currently 12 fires burning in California alone. The biggest is the Dixie Fire of course. As of this morning 635,728 acres with 33% containment. It's been burning for 35 days. 

The Caldor Fire has only been burning 4 days. It has currently burned 53,772 acres. It started near a little town called Omo Ranch and spread in a North East direction. It blew through the town of Grizzly Flats just like the Dixie Fire blew through Greenville. Not much left in either town. 

The Caldor Fire is the one I'm watching the most. Evacuations include a lot of towns I'm familiar with. One place they has evacuated is what's called the Sly Park area. Sly Park road runs from Pleasant Valley to Pollock Pines. Just happens my son lives off this road and yes, he has been evacuated. He's currently hanging out at a campground along the American River in a town called Coloma. How do you know the town of Coloma? That is where gold was first discovered in the tailrace of John Sutter's mill.  

The fire has burned almost to Highway 50 and the latest evacuation as of this morning is the town of Kyburz. Kyburz has quite a history. Don't know if you remember back in March of 1976, Andy Williams' estranged wife Claudine Longet shot and killed an Olympic skier named Spider Sabich. She claimed it was an accident, that she was showing the gun to him when it went off. She eventually when on trial and was convicted of misdemeanor criminally negligent homicide. She was fined $250.00 and served 30 in county jail mostly done on weekends over several years. Even though this event occurred in Aspen, Colorado, Spider Sabich (Vladimir Peter Sabich Jr.) hailed from Kyburz.  

The experts say that this weather we're experiencing, not just in California, but all over the world, is what is going to be the norm from now on. Climate change is here to stay.

Oh, one other thing before I go, Eldorado National Forest is also closed which means, campgrounds, fishing all the upcountry lakes, or just taking a drive up the hill is on hold. 

Yup, it's Summer and California is on fire. 

Here's a couple photo's:

 This is or was Grizzly Flats


Courtesy of the US Forest Service


From the town of Fair Play



From the Sierra At Tahoe Ski Area


Stay Tuned.

Wednesday, August 11, 2021

Why Wear A Mask

Watched a YouTube video by "Beau of the Fifth Column" yesterday. He was talking about an upcoming Garth Brooks concert. Garth Brooks said that if you're not wearing a mask, you will not be admitted to the concert. You can watch the video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_HSd3MflmTc

On July 6th Rick Kushman from UC Davis published an article about wearing a mask and what the benefits of doing so are. 

You can read the whole article here: https://www.ucdavis.edu/coronavirus/news/your-mask-cuts-own-risk-65-percent

Here is one quote from that article I find appropriate to this post. 

 “People who don’t wear a mask increase the risk of transmission to everyone, not just the people they come into contact with. It’s all the people those people will have contact with. You’re being an irresponsible member of the community if you’re not wearing a mask. It’s like double-dipping in the guacamole. You’re not being nice to others.”

After a year and a half of dealing with this Covid virus and now dealing with the 4th mutation (Delta Virus) which is twice as contagious as the previous variants, I can't understand why the people out there aren't getting vaccinated or at least wearing masks. 

I ask you, what is it that is stopping you?

Are you listening to all that bullshit on social media that says the vaccine is putting little tracking devices in you? Or is it the "Big Lie" conspiracy theories that allege the vaccine can cause all manner of major side effects, from infertility to permanently altering your genetics. 

Do you want to die? Because 100% of the people dying from the Delta variant are unvaccinated. 

There are several Governor's that are threatening the people who run schools if they mandate children wearing masks. What, do these Governor's hate children? Do they not care that there are an increasing number of children getting the Delta Variant? Are they stupid? Maybe they are. To quote Ron White "You can't fix stupid. Stupid is forever". 

There are several articles out on NBC, USA Today, and others about a church in Florida that had 6 members die within 10 days. All six were unvaccinated. Four of the six were healthy young people and under the age of 35. All of a sudden the church held a vaccination clinic and 800 people got vaccinated. Didn't do a damn thing to help those 6 that died. 

No one can make you get vaccinated. That's your choice. 

Good luck to those who stay unvaccinated. You are certainly playing a game of Russian Roulette. Might as well use a gun that has five bullets in a six shooter. 



The Delta Variant awaits you

Wednesday, August 4, 2021

What Are You Thinking

I just read an article on NBC that said in Louisiana, the state's coronavirus hospitalizations reached record levels Tuesday, with 2,112 people admitted. According to the Health Department, about 90 percent of them were not vaccinated.

Those being admitted are younger overall than previous surges. Younger. 

Two weeks ago Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center in Baton Rouge had 36 Coronavirus patients. It now has 163. 

Across the United States, the new cases are averaging 70,000 PER DAY. 

What is the matter with the younger generation. This Delta Variant is highly contagious and once you get it, you can't get vaccinated until you're recovered, if you recover. 

Don't those of you out there that aren't vaccinated realize, this thing is killing people. This is not your yearly flu. 

I've been vaccinated and had NO side effects. My wife has been vaccinated and had a little rash on her arm. My neighbors have both been vaccinated with NO side effects. 

This Delta Variant is not limited to Louisiana. The state of Florida had 50,997 new cases YESTERDAY. This thing is everywhere. 

Here in California we are back to masking and social distancing again. We're back to where we were the middle of last year. WHY, because unvaccinated people are spreading the Delta Variant at an alarming rate. 

Everywhere I go, I mask up. I social distance. When I get back to my truck, I sanitize everything I've touched, starting with my hands, my steering wheel, and my cane. 

Researchers have found that people touch their face 16 times per hour. PER HOUR. That's the fastest way to get Covid. 

You don't need to get Covid, but if you do and you've been vaccinated, it's going to be a lot easier on you. 

I saw a cartoon (if you want to call it that) the other day. Guy said you're not sticking that (vaccine needle) in me! Second picture was him in a hospital bed with a tube stuck down his throat. Which would you prefer?

Get vaccinated. Your life depends on it.  

Friday, July 30, 2021

Update to the July 22nd Post

 Back to that post. Interesting how the game plan changes week by week and sometimes day to day. 

I won't include a new picture as the front lawn looks the same as the second picture on 7/22.

I've watched water usage with the Summer heat hanging around 100 for the last, seems like forever, few months. You can figure we use about 3000 gallons for the house. 

Here's the breakdown:

April - 11,220 gallons  

May - 17,204 gallons

June - 21,692 gallons

At this point we shut off watering the grass and did the drip system I mentioned in the 7/22 post. 

July - 9724 gallons

That's less than half, but one has to take into consideration we still are watering the garden. We have vegetables that supplement our diet and herbs that my wife uses all year long. Once the garden is done, we should reduce water usage by 2/3's or so. Back to around 3000 gallons per month. 

Now that I've run across all the water info, now the lawn info. 

Got a load of shredded Cedar bark per the recommendation of the lawn service and covered a small area next to the driveway. Shredded is one thing, this is chunks big enough to put in the wood stove, if we had a wood stove. Scratch shredded Cedar bark. Cost to cover the front yard about $530.00 plus landscape fabric at about $600.00. 

Next move is to look for something else. Went to a company down toward Sacramento that has a lot of different landscape products. Looked at everything and settled on Medium Bark Chips. Cost to cover the front yard, $951.00 plus $600 for the landscape fabric. Don't forget 8% sales tax too. 

Just not in the mood to spend $1600.00 to cover the front yard. So we're going to live with brown grass for now. Hey, maybe I'll just paint it green. 

I'm sure there will be more to this story. 

Stay tuned.  

Thursday, July 29, 2021

Huge Milestone

 I bet you thought this was going to be something about the fires in California. Nope. 

I bet you thought this was something about how the lawn was dying. Nope. But it is. 

I bet you thought this was about catching some huge fish. Nope. 

This is about this blog. 

I know I've bailed a couple times since I started this blog on January 7, 2009, but I've always come back. 

A lot of you stop by and view what I write about. Even though most don't leave a comment, I appreciate that you do find what I write interesting enough to keep coming back. I was even able to raise a few feathers on San Juan Bob because he and I didn't agree about our congressional leaders, but he said he would still stop by.

When I went from "shoretroutfishing.blogspot.com" to "northerncaliforniatrout.com", I wasn't able to transfer over the 52,000 views that were there, but I didn't forget about them. 

In the last week or so I passed the 948,000 views to cross that 1 million view mark. Add the 52,000 to the current 949,761 views and you have 1,001,761 total views. That is a huge milestone. 

Considering that I started this blog just to let locals know what I was catching and with what, it has blossomed into an International following I would have never believed.

I realize that because of my physical disabilities that I can't do the amount of fishing I use to so I try to keep you interested with other topics and throw in an occasional fishing post. That's why the name change to the Wandering Gimp. 

Thank you all for continuing to follow this blog. 2 million views is just around the corner.  

   


Wednesday, July 28, 2021

A True Hero

 This from one of my distant cousins:



You're a 19 year old kid.
You are critically wounded and dying in the jungle somewhere in the Central Highlands of Viet Nam .
Its November 14, 1965 . LZ (landing zone) X-ray.
Your unit is outnumbered 8-1 and the enemy fire is so intense from 100 yards away, that your CO (commanding officer) has ordered the MedEvac helicopters to stop coming in.
You're lying there, listening to the enemy machine guns and you know you're not getting out.
Your family is half way around the world, 12,000 miles away, and you'll never see them again.
As the world starts to fade in and out, you know this is the day.
Then - over the machine gun noise - you faintly hear that sound of a helicopter.
You look up to see a Huey coming in. But.. It doesn't seem real because no MedEvac markings are on it.
Captain Ed Freeman is coming in for you.
He's not MedEvac so it's not his job, but he heard the radio call and decided he's
flying his Huey down into the machine gun fire anyway.
Even after the MedEvacs were ordered not to come. He's coming anyway.
And he drops it in and sits there in the machine gun fire, as they load 3 of you at a time on board.
Then he flies you up and out through the gunfire to the doctors and nurses and safety. And, he kept coming back!! 13 more times!!
Until all the wounded were out. No one knew until the mission was over that the Captain had been hit 4 times in the legs and left arm.
He took 29 of you and your buddies out that day. Some would not have made it without the Captain and his Huey.
Medal of Honor Recipient, Captain Ed Freeman, United States Army, died at the age of 81, in Boise, Idaho.
I bet you didn't hear about this hero's passing,Medal of Honor Winner Captain Ed Freeman.



Friday, July 23, 2021

Campground Evacuation

Got a notice this morning (7/23) at 9:23 from Recreation.gov notifying us that the Hope Valley Campground (see the post from 7/17) has been closed as of 7/16 and we are to evacuate immediately because of the Tamarack Fire. We came home on Saturday 7/17 as we would normally from a camping trip. 


What's wrong with this picture?  


As of this morning the Tamarack Fire is 58,417 acres and 4% contained. It has currently crossed into Nevada. This fire along with the Dixie Fire which is s bit North of us by Quincy and Lake Almanor is currently 113,000 acres and only 18% contained. 

The Dixie Fire


This is Lake Almanor on a clear day


Lake Almanor with smoke



We, here in the West, are happy to report that we are sharing all the smoke from these two fires with ya'll all the way back to New York City. You know that place where they DO NOT make Pace Picante Sauce. 

Stay tuned. 

Thursday, July 22, 2021

The Destruction Continues

Back on June 11th I posted about the amount of water needed to maintain the front grass. Well, it's been a little more than a month and I thought I give an update on the drought redo of the front yard. 

This was the photo I took on June 10th. 


Since then I've removed some of the scalloped brick under the front window. I've also started to use the weedeater to cut the grass down to nothing. It's going a little slow as I've only been able to work outside for a couple hours a day. Too hot after that. As it is, I'm covered with sweat. 

This morning I took the photo below. This is what happens when you don't water for a month and the temperature hovers around 95 to 100. I've plugged most of the sprinklers and added drip systems to the trees and shrubs that are staying. Eventually I plan to cover the grass with weed abatement cloth and then wood chips. 



I've been looking for someone to help with the part that I'm just physically unable to do, but like you've been hearing on TV, no body wants to work. 

I approached the lawn service that mowed the grass and all they want to do is a razzle dazzle front yard with dry river beds and some snazzy plants, BUT they can't do anything until September. Hell, by then it'll be raining again. I even approached the lawn guy who does the neighbors across the street. Guy doesn't answer texts or voice mails. I caught him in person 2 weeks ago and couldn't even get a commitment whether or not he could help me. 

So I keep plugging away a couple hours a day. Sooner or later it'll get done.  

Next camping trip, end of August. Back to Upper Lake. 

Stay tuned. 

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Fire Update

 We made reservations for our stay at the Hope Valley Campground six months ago. We do this for a couple reasons. First to make sure we have a space when we get there and second is to plan our camping season early in the year so we know what days my wife needed to get off from work. This year is new because she retired in January, so we could go when ever we wanted. For that reason we reserved Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday going home Saturday morning. 

If you looked at the last post you saw the beautiful blue skies this year. Last year we got rain. It's the chance you take reserving a space that far in advance. 

Then at the end of that post, I mentioned the Tamarack Fire. The fire actually started July 4th from a lightening strike. For about a week before we got up there on the 14th they had thunderstorms most afternoons. Then we had 4 days of beautiful weather. The last couple days, thunder storms again. 

Which brings be back to the fire. With those thunderstorms the fire exploded. Saturday it was 6600 acres. Sunday it grew to about 18,000 acres. Monday it was 23,000 acres. 



The above is a picture of the current fire lines. You'll notice just to the left is Hope Valley. Just about where the name is, the campground is. This morning the Alpine Sheriff closed Blue Lakes Rd. Blue Lakes Rd is the one that runs from Hwy 88 to Upper and Lower Blue Lakes and right past the campground. The fire is currently 39,045 acres with 0% containment as of this morning.  

I would suspect that the Hope Valley campground, PG&E Campground at Blue Lakes, and all the surrounding dry camping people have been evacuated. 

I'd like to point out "what are the odds" of us getting 4 beautiful days up there between thunderstorms and the fire that were reserved six month ago. 

Sometimes Ya just get lucky.   

Stay tuned.

Saturday, July 17, 2021

Hope Valley Camping

 If you recall the post from April 13th, I showed a picture of an old Indianapolis race car with DA Lubricant on it and mentioned that I worked for them for 10 years. Before that jigsaw puzzle I also knew of a movie where there was a drum of DA Lubricant oil in the movie. The movie was "White Lightening" with Bert Reynolds and Jerry Reed. The picture below is from that movie and you can see the drum with the D-A logo on it.  


On to Hope Valley. Last year it rained most of the time we were up there. This year, different story. The first picture is from our spot up to the area for tents only camping. Notice the blue skies.  


Here we are, same space as last year. Temperature in the 80's during the day and cold at night. Trailer was 54 degrees this morning, inside. 


Now, one would wonder if I went fishing. Well, I did, sort of. Across from the camp ground is the West Fork of the Carson River. You've heard of it before. I've fished it before and caught small Rainbows and small Cutthroats. This year, and I might remind you that the West Coast is in the worst drought in 1200 years, I went over and the water level was so bad, I didn't even try. On the other hand, there were a bunch of kids swimming in the water so it was my guess that the temp (I didn't have my thermometer) was way above 70 degrees. Don't want to fish in water that warm. This was Thursday morning. 

Back at the trailer, one of the other campers walked by and saw me fiddling with one of my rods and said they were up at Blue Lakes up the road and it was so windy they couldn't even fish. I decided to wait and see if Friday was any better. 

Thursday being our anniversary, we decided to cook some steaks and baked potatoes on the BBQ and a bunch of Zucchini on the out side stove. That's the stove below. 
 

There is a story behind this stove. When we first got the trailer I tried to use it. It connects from a propane line to the stove with 1/4 inch slip couplings. The same couplings you use on an air compressor or air powered tools. You know the kind. Anyway, couldn't get it to work so I took the trailer in to the dealer and they said it worked fine. The thing I missed was a valve at the trailer and a valve at the stove. Turned on the trailer one, but missed the one on the stove. 

Next time out, opened the valve on the trailer and the one on the stove, still wouldn't work. Since it had a two year warranty, I called the manufacturer, told them the problem, and they put me in touch with a dealer locally. The dealer ordered the part and I waited and waited and waited. After a month I left the dealer a message on the Wednesday before Memorial day asking what was happening. That following Saturday I left a message saying cancel, I'll fix it myself. Saturday I ordered the part from Amazon.com The part was here Sunday and installed on Monday. The dealer finally called back Tuesday and said the part arrived Friday, but he'd been gone since the previous Tuesday. Who runs a business and doesn't take their cell phone with them?

So this trip, hooked everything up, lit the stove, and had sautéed Zucchini with our steak and baked potatoes. 

See below, BBQ and no rain.      


I shot this straight up from where I was sitting. Nice tall trees. 


Friday morning the wind was blowing just as hard. I was also having some trouble walking, so I had to throw in the towel. No fishing this trip. I never would have made it down and up the hill beside Upper Blue Lake. 

We pulled out this morning about 11 am and as soon as we hit the highway, I noticed a fire just over the hill from where we were camping. Interesting that fire in the campground fire pits was still allowed. The fire I saw was called the Tamarack Fire. Currently 6600 acres with 0% containment. It's located about 8 miles South of Markleville and evacuations are in effect for parts of Markleville, Grover Hot Springs park & Campground, and East Fork Resort and Campground. This is not very far from where we were camping. Not very much fun for campers up there. 


 With the wind up there and this fire, I suspect it will get a whole lot bigger. Typical California Summer. 

No trips planned until the end of August and then back to Upper Lake. 

Until then, the grass is dying in the front yard and the drought remake is under way.  

Stay tuned. 

Sunday, July 11, 2021

Ya Want Hot?

 How can you not love a place that looks like this?





We had a trip planned to see this National Park in March this year, that was until the leaking trailer vent incident. 


OK, enough with the pretty pictures. Yesterday it was 130 degrees. The all time record was 134. The low temperature at 5:37 this morning was 104. That's only 2 degrees below what we here in beautiful downtown Jackson are expecting as our high temp today (106). 

In the last picture is says that Badwater Basin is 282 feet below sea level. The actual for Death Valley is 282.2 ft. below sea level, but hey, what's 2/10 of a foot between friends. 

This is why we planned to go in March. Anyone with any sense stays out of Death Valley in the Summer. 

With the exception of the 4 days we've planned in Hope Valley, We're going to be right at 100 or more through the end of the month. People say, ah it's not so bad, it's a dry heat. Dry or wet, hot is hot. 

Hope Valley Camping Wednesday through Saturday. 

Stay tuned.