2nd Trip To Durango RV Resort

Last year we visited Durango RV Resort in Red Bluff, California and enjoyed our stay so much we wanted to go back. Unfortunately my planning was poor in that not only was it Father’s Day weekend, it was the hottest weekend of the season so far! High temps hit 111 degrees F in Red Bluff! However, Cristy and I still made the best of it even if we didn’t take many photos. It was just too hot to be outside much.

We drove up on Thursday and then just hung out and napped the first day. On Friday we drove out to Black Butte Lake to do some kayaking but our GPS took us to the wrong side of the lake. In fact, it was the dried up side of the lake. By the time we got to where we needed to be it was so hot we could only stand to be out on the water about 15 minutes before turning back. Seemed like a good excuse to go have lunch so that’s what we did! We headed back to Red Bluff and had lunch at Los Mariachis.

Later that day we spent some time at the resort’s pool but it was so chlorinated we had to cut it short and head back to the trailer. We watched movies I had downloaded to the iPad for the rest of the evening.

On Saturday we slept in. We had two choices that day, go to Mt Lassen Nat’l Park or go to Mt Shasta Shopping Mall in Redding. Only one of those choices had air conditioning so guess which won? Shopping is indoor hiking as far as Cristy is concerned and she had a ball. I most sat and people-watched and read Telegram. Afterwards we made dinner at home in the trailer and watched more movies.

Sunday was a travel day so we pretty much woke up, got the trailer ready to go (dump tanks, etc) and then hit the road for home. We did stop off at Nancy’s Airport Cafe in Willows, California. They have THE best breakfast you’ll ever find. And if you happen to have an airplane, you can fly in and park right next to Nancy’s.

We split this breakfast. That ham is do die for!
Primo parking for airplanes. I’ve flown in many times myself.

It was hot but it was relaxing and we can’t wait to take our little house on the highway out again!

PPC – First Modifications

After getting my Powered Parachute (PPC) back home I wanted to start it up to see how it runs. The seller had sent me a video of the engine running but I wanted to see it for myself. It started up okay but ran pretty rough and would NOT idle correctly. If I brought the throttles back anywhere near their fully back position the engine would die. After talking to a friend who is pretty knowledgeable on PPCs and doing some online research I decided to remove the intake silencer. Most sources said they don’t really work all that well on quieting engine noise and don’t do anything to make the engine run better. So my first modification was to remove it.

Intake silencer installed on the engine. Started the removal process.

I unbolted the intake silencer and removed it from the engine.

Next I covered the carburetor intakes while I ordered the parts I would have to replace as a result of removing the intake silencer. First, I would need two air filters, one for each carburetor. Next I would need two new main jets as Rotax has a main jet recommendation for use with and without intake silencers and the jets are two different sizes. So while I was ordering the correct parts I covered the air intakes.

While the parts were on order I also decided to check the other components of the carburetor to make sure they were clean and correct. I checked the main jet, idler jet, needle jet, and jet needle (yes those are two different things) to make sure the correct parts were installed.

148?? Nope need a 158 main jet.
2.68 Needle Jet…. Yep, that checks out. Correct.
11K2 Jet Needle. Yes, that’s the right part.
45 Idler Jet… Yes, also correct. We’re in pretty good shape.

So after verifying and cleaning these jets and the needle I reassembled the carburetor and ordered two air filters and two 158 main jets.

After receiving the main jet installation is very simple. Remove the carburetor bowl (slide one clip out of the way and drop the bowl) and unscrew the main jet at the bottom of the carb. Screw the new jet in and replace the bowl. Next I put on the two new air filters.

Now after having verified the right parts in the carburetor it was time to adjust the idle. I went with Rotax’s standard recommendations to start with. Setting the idle speed on this carb is kind of like hitting a moving target. There are so many adjustments to make and every adjustment affects every other adjustment. Rotax recommended screwing in the air regulating screw all the way in and then back out 1/2 turn. They recommended screwing in the adjustment screw all the way in and then out 3 full turns. This is were I started and the only difference from these defaults was that I ended up screwing the adjustment screw out 2 1/2 turns. This gave me an idle speed of 2200 rpm with the throttle at the rearward stops. Now, here is the translation. The air regulation screw controls the idle mixture, so the closer you are to sea level, the richer it needs to be. The higher up you are, the leaner. What they call the adjustment screw actually just limits how far the throttle slide inside the carburetor will travel to the closed postion. So once you get the idle RPM running nicely with the air regulation screw, you set the minimum idle speed with the adjustment screw. If I were to give them names I would call them the idle mixture screw and the throttle stop screw.

Next I have to take the PPC out to the airport and do some full throttle tests. I don’t want to do that in my neighborhood because it’s way too noisy. More to come!

I Went And Bought A Thing

The bad news was that the flying club I belong to is closing down. I hate bad news. To console myself I started browsing Barnstormers.com for airplanes I couldn’t afford. I thought about the powered parachute (PPC) that I owned and I kind of missed it. I started looking at PPC’s on Barnstormers and all were either on the East Coast or where out of my price range. Then I stumbled on an ad for a Six Chuter PPC – call for details. I emailed the guy and got back a detailed list of what he was selling and for how much. His price was firm but it was a very good price for what he was offering. I put a deposit down on it on the spot. I ran the ad by my friend who has been into PPCs for years, got me into it. He agreed it was a smoking deal so I made arrangements to complete the purchase. The only problem, it was two states away from me almost on the Canadian border. About a 950 mile drive. One way.

No problem.

I asked Mrs. Flying Dutchman if she was up for a road trip. She hemmed and hawed a bit until I told her she could just ride with me half way and then stay in Bend, OR, our first overnight spot and spend the day shopping while I drove the rest of the way to pick up the PPC. She was sold.

We left home at the crack of 7:30am and started driving north from central California. Past Sacramento and up the Central Valley. We stopped off in Williams, CA to have lunch at Granzella’s. Delicous Reuben sandwiches and nice restaurant as well as the deli where we got the sandwiches. We stayed on I-5 until we got to Weed, yes, Weed and then jumped over to US 97 and took that past Klamath Falls all the way into Bend. It was kind of a whirlwind journey.

Klamath Lake
US 97 just goes on and on and on…

We got to our hotel in Bend, The Hampton Inn in the Old Mill District. We had dinner and pretty much fell into bed exhausted. We did take in some sights before crashing for the night. I got up and hit the road at 4:30am the next day and didn’t get back until midnight. It was a grueling drive up to Chewalah WA which is about 30 miles north of Spokane, and about 30 miles from the Canadian border! I didn’t take many pictures. Here are a couple I managed to grab on my way up.

Cristy enjoyed her day in Bend however. Here are a few photos that she took.

So all that driving… what the heck did I come home with?

When we finally got back home we were completely exhausted but at least I know I got a great deal. Now to go over it with a fine tooth comb and make sure it’s airworthy. More to come!

Red Hills Fly-In 2021

It’s already that time of year, time for the Red Hills Fly-in! Sadly this event was cancelled last year out of concern for the health of our hosts, Jack and Myrna who are well into their 70’s. But this year we were all unafraid and pushed ahead with the fly-in on our usual Memorial Day weekend. The biggest change was that this year I truly had nothing to fly to or at the fly-in. Our flying club in Oakdale (O27) is closing it’s doors and I sold my PPC two years ago. To add insult to injury I was on-call for work this weekend so there was no way I could camp with everyone else. However, there was also no way I was going to miss it. It’s only an hour drive away so I drove up Friday and then again on Saturday to visit. We had a great visit with Jack and Myrna and caught up with old friends. Always a lot of fun.

Can’t wait until next year!

See you next year!

Finally Paddling!

This actually happened two weeks ago and due to work getting in the way of my leisure time I’m finally getting around to writing about it.

As I mentioned in this post we bought a kayak. Our fist try at taking it out on the lake was a bust but a week ago on Friday we were finally able to take it out on Woodward Lake. I’ve flown over Woodward for years, in fact, I learned to fly in the skies directly above Woodward. It’s smack in the middle of Oakdale Airport’s practice area. However, this was my fist time to actually visit it on the ground. We drove out to the lake and when we were checking in asked the ranger at the front gate if he knew any good areas to launch a kayak. He pointed us to a GREAT area for first timers. No one was there (on a Friday morning) and the launch point was very close to the parking area.

This was perfect because we didn’t want a crowd watching our attempt to get in the water and start paddling around. We set it up and got it inflated. There was very little wind and the water looked great!

Perfect day for the maiden voyage of our kayak.
What shall we do with the drunken sailor?

After getting everything set up in the kayak we carried it to the shore and set the front half in the water. Cristy climbed in a got settled and then I pushed out and climbed in the back seat. It felt a little wobbly at first but with those two huge air chambers making up the sides it resists tipping… to a degree. You can still flip it without trying too hard. At any rate we got settled and started out for uncharted waters.

Lake Woodward is basically a low spot out in the middle of Oakdale’s grazing lands so there isn’t much in the way of scenery around it.

Look! Prairie grass!

But with patience you can find some interesting coves around the lake.

We went out twice on the lake and really enjoyed it. We’ll probably go back again and go a little farther. This time with sunscreen!

Celebrating Mrs. Flying Dutchman’s Birthday In Jackson

To celebrate Cristy’s birthday I booked us a weekend at Jackson Rancheria Casino RV Resort. It’s a very nice resort located just outside Jackson, Ca. We’ve been there once before when we first got our travel trailer but it’s been a couple of years. It’s just as nice now as it was then.

We packed up Friday morning and headed toward Gold Country in the Sierra Nevada foothills. We jumped on Highway 88 and took it all the way up to Jackson. We had called ahead and they said it was fine for us to arrive before the 3pm check-in time. We got there around 1:30pm and found we had been given a beautiful cul-de-sac spot near the entrance of the park. I thought it might be noisy but they told us it’s actually pretty quiet up near the office. She turned out to be right.

Site 64
Lots of room!

As is my custom on arrival day, after setting up I took a nap. I was lulled to sleep by the sound of raindrops on the roof and thunder lightning. Now, if you don’t live in the central part of California you won’t understand how rare this is for us. There are always thunderstorms in the mountains due to orographic lift of the ocean breezes coming from the Pacific. But the Central Valley rarely gets thunderstorms. So hearing the thunder as I was going to sleep was very nice.

Later we decided to drive into town for dinner. We ate at an unremarkable Mexican restaurant. It was just okay. So I don’t want to call them out on the blog, if you find them, you find them.

Saturday was celebration day for Cristy’s birthday and was pretty packed, for us. First we drove into Sutter Creek which is a historic mining town near Jackson. Cristy did some shopping at the small shops lining the narrow street. We stopped by the farmers market and bought an onion to cook with our steaks back at the trailer. Then we decided to look for coffee and boy did we find it! If you are ever in Sutter Creek plan to stop by Choc-O-Latte. I got a caramel latte and Cristy got a macha latte and they were both DEE-licious. The folks were super-friend and NO MASK REQUIRED! We sat at a small table near the window and finished our coffees before heading back to the trailer to cook lunch.

Sutter Creek
I wonder if the dog’s name is Sutter? He’s enjoying Sutter Creek.
Enjoying coffee at Choc-o-latte.

Once back at the trailer I fired up our Blackstone Griddle and started frying up the onions, steak, and some snap-peas. Again, the grass-fed sirloin was delicious. We enjoyed our leisurely lunch and then made plans to kayaking on Lake Tabeaud near Pine Grove. We got to the lake and spent about 45 minutes paddling around before it started getting cold and windy. By the time we had packed up the kayak the sun had come back out and it was starting to get hot. Spring time in California. We drove in to Pine Grove and stopped at Munnerlyn’s Ice Creamery. Cristy got a pint of dairy-free chocolate chip ice cream (made with coconut milk) and I got a strawberry milkshake. Again both were delicious.

Lunch back at the trailer enjoying this view.
How boring… NOT!

Afterwards we headed back to the trailer and took a before-sunset walk around the RV Resort on their “nature trail”. It’s paved and circles the park. There’s not much nature but it is a beautiful walk.

View from the nature trail.

After we scrounged for dinner we watched a movie and turned in for the night. It had been an eventful day so no problems falling asleep.

The next day (Sunday) Cristy’s actual birthday we listened to church online and then packed up and headed home. A very enjoyable but short weekend. We could do this for weeks and weeks! Can’t wait until my birthday trip next month!

See you all next month!

We Bought A Kayak

An inflatable kayak. Seemed the best way to transport a kayak. Especially as we start full-time travel. I chose the Sea Eagle 370, big enough for two people and all the gear they would want to stuff in there. It inflates quickly and easily. I tried it in my garage and it went together quickly. We were eager to try it on the water so I picked a likely launch spot at New Melones Lake, near Sonora, CA.

We drove up to Sonora and had lunch at Schnoog’s. Then we headed over to the spot I had chosen. Then we ran into the first problem. It was muddy, and crowded. And full of boats playing obnoxious rap music. Eh… nope. We drove over to another part of the lake and after taking one look at the shoreline we decided that was a no-go too.

NOPE!

By now the wind started picking up. It was going to make launching an inflatable kayak challenging for the first timers that we are. We decided to walk up the shoreline to see if it got any better. Then we ran into this.

Vultures sitting on a dead tree

If the rocks weren’t enough, if the wind wasn’t enough, the vultures were enough to make us realize that this was not the day to go on the maiden voyage of our kayak! We have rescheduled for this Friday morning back at Modesto Reservoir. We’ll let you know how that goes!