Saturday Drive to Silver Lake

After my awesome Friday, flying in the morning, camping in the evening, we had to make Saturday every bit as good.  But without the flying, Mrs. Flying Dutchman doesn’t like flying so much.  Since it was forecast to be hot again we decided to drive higher up into the mountains.  Our destination was only an hour away; Silver Lake.  When we arrived we found a lovely 75 degree day rather than the 98 degrees it was forecast to be back at the trailer.  We hiked along one of the roads along the shoreline and then moved to different section of the lake and did some rock hopping and took in the beautiful sights.

After spending several hours at the lake it was time to head back but not before swearing to come back after tourist season is over.  Even the drive back down the mountain was beautiful.

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Sunday Morning

On our last day we just hung around in bed for a while, had a leisurely breakfast, and then watched church on our phone.  Afterwards we packed everything up, got the trailer ready to travel, and then drove back down the mountain to Modesto.  It was a wonderful, relaxing weekend.

Awesome Friday

Morning Flight

This was a great Friday.  Due to some personal business I was FORCED to take the day off.  Okay, no one forced me, I forced myself.   But since I was home anyway, and I didn’t want to wake Cristy, I decided to head out to Oakdale to test out my new Electronic Flight Bag.  An EFB has all the info a pilot needs including airport information, temporary flight restriction, NOTAMS, and most important of all, up to date navigation charts.  The EFB I use runs on my iPad and it’s called Foreflight.  Foreflight will display your aircraft’s GPS position right on a navigation chart, what’s more, it integrates with the airplane’s transponder to display ADS-B data on the chart as well.  What’s ADS-B data, you may ask?  It’s basically real-time traffic position data that is transmitted by air traffic control every time their radar sweeps the sky.   Today was to be the first time I display traffic on my EFB and it worked like a charm!

I booked the Cessna 152 out at the airport at 6am and by 6:30am was climbing out and heading south for a quick flight to Turlock and back.  As I said this was mostly just to test the ADS-B functionality of my EFB.  I was amazed how many airplanes it picked up.  It won’t pick up every aircraft in the sky but it will pick up a good portion of them.  In fact, it picked up one that was dead ahead of me and at my same altitude.  I scanned the sky carefully and was finally able to see it!  Another aircraft heading into Turlock.  You can see it in the photo below depicted as N543RR.

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I continued my approach into Turlock, landed, taxied back, and took off again for Oakdale.  Fiddling with my new EFB the whole way back.  I was an early adopter of ForeFlight years ago and I can’t believe how may features they have packed into it now!  After arriving back at Oakdale I put the plane away and began on the second part of my awesome Friday!

 

RV Trip to Gold Country Campground Resort

On my way home from the airport I swung by the RV storage yard and picked up our Lance travel trailer.  I had reserved two nights at Gold Country Campground Resort.  We packed up our food and clothes and then headed up into the Sierra Nevada foothills to try to beat the heatwave we were experiencing down in the Central Valley.  Unfortunately, our campground was not high enough in elevation to beat much of the heat.

We checked in at the campground office and were given a map to our site.  I asked if it was a pull-thru or back-in site and the young woman told me it was a back-in site.  So after finding the site and backing in, I found that the utilities (power, water, sewer) were on the wrong side of the trailer!  It was actually a head-in site!  I pulled out and went round the loop again and pulled straight into the site and then everything lined up perfectly.

After getting set up we cranked up the AC to cool off.  It was 97 degrees outside!  We took a nap first hoping to sleep away the hotted part of the day.  It was still hot when we woke up so we jumped into the truck and drove into town to get some ice cream.  Munnerlyn’s Ice Creamery was just a few miles away in the town of Pine Grove.  We stopped in and got some vegan blueberry ice cream.  It is non-dairy and made out of coconut and blueberries.  I’m NOT a vegan but this stuff was delicious!  All of their ice creams are hand made onsite and it is worth a trip if you are anywhere within a 2 hour drive!

After dessert we decided it was time for dinner.  We drove down to Jackson and had dinner at Highway House Restaurant and Bar.  Afterwards we drove back to the campground and sat out under the awning while the sun went down.  Then we watch some Netflix shows I had saved on our iPad and then we turned in.

More to come…

Weekend Getway to Flying Flags RV Resort

 

This past weekend Cristy and I decided to get away for a few days so we loaded up the trailer and headed for Flying Flags RV Resort in Lodi, CA.  It’s located just off I-5 and Highway 12 just west of Lodi.  I wouldn’t really call it a resort.  The spaces were close together and there is no greenery… just rocks.  But it’s very clean and quiet so it made an ideal base for our weekend in Lodi.  We used our Passport America membership to effectively get 1/2 off the price for two days.  Very worth it.

We got to Flying Flags around 12 noon which is their check-in time.  The front desk staff quickly found my reservation and gave me all the info I needed as far as where our space was, WiFi passwords, pools, bathrooms, etc.  We found our space and within an hour were all set up, sitting in the dinette with the AC blowing full blast.  It was already quite warm outside by this time.

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I was eager to try my new X-Chocks.  Even with our wheels chocked the trailer still rocked quite a bit whenever we would move around inside.  With the X-chocks in place the trailer was almost rock solid.  Very pleased with this latest purchase.

 

 

We channel surfed TV for a bit then decided it was nap time.  Yay!  My favorite time of day!  After napping we began looking for a place to have dinner.  Cristy already knew exactly where she wanted to eat: Thai Spices in Lodi.  VERY good Thai food there.  After dinner we headed back to the trailer and tried sitting under the awning to watch the sunset and enjoy the Delta breezes cooling down our hot valley.  UNFORTUNATELY the folks in the next space over decided to enjoy a nice LONG cigar.  It chased us back indoors where we had to close all the windows and turn the AC back on.  This was really the only downside to the whole trip.  Luckily they left the next morning.  But for the remainder of the evening we watched a movie I had downloaded onto my iPad and then called it a night.

The next morning I went out and sat under the awning and read a recent issue of General Aviation News – a rare treat.  I never get to just sit and read aviation news.  I did that partially to enjoy the cool morning and partially to just get out of the trailer so Cristy could sleep in.  When I heard her stirring within I went back inside and we had breakfast.  We decided we wanted to do some walking but not as long as our walk around Pinecrest Lake and looked around for a place to do that.  We decided to go to Lodi Lake Park which was just up the street from Thai Spices.

We parked on the south side of the lake first and then walked on the west shore of the lake ending up in a Masonic cemetery.  Many of the tombstones were very ornate (because… they’re Masons) and dated back to the early 1800’s.  We poked around in the cemetery for awhile until the “noseeums” started eating us up then we headed back towards the parking lot.  We stopped at a bench along the way and sat and watched a pack of kayakers enjoying the morning out on the lake.  Then we headed back to the parking lot and wanted to see what else the park had to offer.

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The lake is actually a large lagoon connected to the Cosumnes River.  We looked at the park map and found a few more parking lots over near the river so we headed over there.  Just in time as it turns out because by this time the park was beginning to fill up with people having picnics and birthday parties.  We parked and then walked a nature trail that ran along the river then back through the riparian forest that grows along side the river.  We enjoyed the many interpretive signs along the trail.

By now it was 1pm and we were both getting hungry. HEY!  Thai Spices is just a mile up the road, let’s head there!  Good idea!   So after lunch at Thai Spices we headed back to the RV park for some more reading and napping.  But we also had something special to get ready for in Modesto.  Our daughter Angela was playing her music on the patio at church that evening.  This is an event our church puts on in the summer.  They invite member musicians to play music on their large patio and the church serves free hot dogs, or pizza, or snow cones or something.  It’s just a safe place for people to go, get something to eat, and hang out.  At any rate we really enjoyed Angela’s music.  Here is a small sample of what she did that night.

 

We really enjoyed listening to her.  Afterwards we headed back to the RV park for another movie and then bed.  At least this time we could open the windows because the cigar smokers were gone!

Sunday morning I woke up and did pretty much the same thing as Saturday morning.  After breakfast we watched church on their live Internet video stream, packed up, and headed back home.  All in all a great weekend getaway!

 

Jackson Rancheria RV Park

We just got back from a two night stay at Jackson Rancheria RV Park.  Jackson Rancheria is a casino owned by a local tribe of Miwuk Indians.  I have to admit, we’re not casino people and we didn’t venture to the casino.  But the RV park is top notch and the owners should be proud of what they have created.  We were greeted warmly when we arrived and I did not have to ask a single question.  Christina, who checked me in, answered every question I had before I even asked!  The RV spots are spacious and there is ample room between spots.   We had a back in spot on the east edge of the park.  The wide concrete pad was level and was surrounded by grass.  We were also given a garbage bag when we checked in just in case we didn’t have any.

As I was setting up a familiar face walked into my campsite.  It was my old buddy Bob!  Bob and I were aviation buddies back in the day.  We even owned an aircraft together for a brief time until my OCD couldn’t handle it any longer.  We chatted for a bit and thin I finished setting up.  After getting set up we took a walk around the park on their nature trail, after visiting with Bob and his wife some more.  The trail loops around the perimeter of their park.  We stopped in the office and helped ourselves to free popcorn.  Then we headed back to make dinner and catch up on some movies.

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The next morning after breakfast we drove down in to Jackson and walked around their downtown district.  It was nice but not much was open on Monday morning.  Seems the weekends are their big days.  Afterwards we drove to Sutter Creek which had a larger historic district and more stores were open.  We had lunch, shopped a little, then drove to Lake Tabeaud Day Use Area for a little hike.  It was overcast but still kind of warm and balmy.  The landscape was rich and green with all the recent rains.  We drove home for more dinner and movies.

The following morning was “go-home” day.  We slept in, had a late breakfast then packed up and drove home.  We really enjoyed Jackson Ranceria’s RV Park and since it’s so close to home we’ll definitely be back many more times!

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