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 "" to "", 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 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 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.  

Monday, July 5, 2021

The Fire Alarm Incident

Smoke detector update. Smashed, ripped apart, it still beeped. The smoke detector from Hell. Now in the trash can to be picked up and disposed of tomorrow morning. 

Good riddance.

You all have fire alarms in your houses. When we purchased our home here in town, I replaced the hard wired alarms with these snazzy new 10 year fire alarms. 

I made sure I put the expiration date on each one and put them up. This was in 2016 as they expired in 2026. 

A couple mornings ago we were dumped out of bed buy the beeping of a fire alarm or so we thought. Three blasts followed by three blasts and then nothing. I looked around at all (about 10) alarms in the house and all I could find was the Carbon Monoxide detector flashing that little red button. Figured that must have been the one that misfired. So I went to Lowe's and purchased a new one and plugged it in. 

Two nights ago I was up doing the bathroom thing that all us old guys know about, and noticed the smoke alarm in the bedroom was flashing little light blips. I might mention that this was 12:10 am. From the couple nights before experience, I wasn't taking any chances that it was the culprit and not the CO detector. 

Naturally the ceilings are high enough that a ladder was needed to get it down and all my ladders are outside long the garage side of the house. So I barefooted it out and got one. I might add at this point and remind everyone that with Peripheral Neuropathy my feet are extremely tender. The side of the house is pea gravel and stepping stones with pea gravel tops. Yes, I did use several 4 letter words until I got the ladder back into the garage. 

So, here I am at 12:20, in the bedroom, on a ladder (my wife is awake by now) taking down the smoke alarm so we don't have to experience one of those "claws to the ceiling" alarms in the middle of the night. 

Took the detector out to the garage and pressed the disconnect button. Left it on the work bench. 

This is what a 10 year smoke detector looks like.

Enter this morning. During a break from destroying the front yard, I heard the somewhat quiet beep of a smoke alarm. Went to the work bench, clipped off more of the disconnect part and shoved the button as far as it would go. Punched the test button and nothing. Good, finally off. 

Enter the second morning break, sitting on a camping chair (only one left since I killed two of them at Upper Lake) with a fan blowing in my face (it was about 95 degrees outside) and again I hear the little smoke detector beep. 

Walk to the work bench, grab the detector, a hammer, and out to the drive way. 

That sucker will NOT beep again, EVER. 

Back to Lowe's for a new one. Think I'll go back to the battery ones.