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!

Modesto Reservoir Regional Park

This month’s camping outing was at Modesto Reservoir Regional Park just outside of Waterford, CA. It was an easy drive as we only live 45 minutes away from this park. We took our time getting the trailer ready on Friday because checkin isn’t until 4pm! That’s the latest checkin time I’ve ever run into. We decided to try our luck and drove out there about 1pm after lunch. We go there at 2pm and was told no problem. We found our site and had no trouble backing into it even though the sites are perpendicular to the street. Plenty of room to maneuver. I didn’t bother setting up water or sewer since we had empty black and grey tanks and a full fresh water tank. The camp site was nice and the view was wonderful.

View from the back of our campsite
View from the back of our campsite

We enjoyed taking a nap with the windows open enjoying the cool Spring breeze blowing through. It was idyllic… Until our neighbors showed up. They pulled into the spot right next to us. Rap music blaring while they set up their… tents. These folks were, shall we say, completely Section 8 through and through. Now these folks really were nice enough but entirely clueless about camping etiquette. They finally did turn the music off so the weekend wasn’t a total rap fest. But many other campsites we walked past were blaring every different kind of music you can imagine. Most of it not pleasant. Now, early mornings were very pleasant and peaceful because all the partiers were still asleep. But this is NOT a place to go to enjoy peace and quiet. Although I’ve never been there mid-week I suspect it is MUCH quieter at that time. We rounded out the evening by grilling tri-tip hamburgers and mac-n-cheese bratwurst on the Blackstone griddle.

To escape the music on Saturday we drove up into Sonora and had another delicious latte at Revive Coffee and a delicious lunch at Diamond Back Grill.

Sunday was much quieter as our neighbors left first thing in the morning. We enjoyed a nice breakfast of scrambled egg, bacon, and I also fried up some left over mac-n-cheese brats. Then we took a walk down by the lake and got ready to head back home.

So again, to wrap up this short entry, maybe this would be a good mid-week campground but unless you are a partier I would avoid the weekends here.

Fleming Meadows – Lake Don Pedro, Ca

This past weekend we went camping at Fleming Meadows at Lake Don Pedro, in the Sierra Nevada foothills. We’ve been up to Lake Don Pedro many times. I’ve flown over it for years and years. This is the first time we’ve camped there. We picked Fleming Meadows because it is relatively close at only an hour a fifteen minutes away from home and it has full hookups (30A, Water, and sewer) at each site.

We left at around 1pm and got there shortly before 2:30pm only to find that check in time is 4:00pm! However, the ranger at the gate told us our site was unoccupied the night before so no problem with the early check in. Reservations were easy (and highly encouraged) via the Turlock Irrigation District website. TID owns the facilities up at Lake Don Pedro, including the huge hydroelectric dam that creates Lake Don Pedro. We found our site quickly and after a few tries got backed in and settled thanks to the superb directions from my co-pilot.

The first day we just decompressed, took a nap and then took a walk down to the lake to watch the boats and enjoy the scenery. Although there was plenty of scenery to enjoy right at our campsite.

But the walk was well worth it. Not only to enjoy the glimpse of pre-COVID life (very few people were masked and plenty of children running around playing together). We walked down the lake both days we were there.

The wildflowers were simply stunning.

On Saturday we drove into Lake Tulloch to buy some repair items from the hardware store. Some of the trim under our slide-out came loose and although I couldn’t repair it this particular weekend I bought some supplies that will help me make repairs next week. I’ll put up another post about that.

After buying parts at Ace Hardware (and RV repair) we drove to Sonora and had lunch at the Diamondback Grill. They have the best steak salad you’ve ever had. Yes, it’s salad with sliced steak on top. I had a bacon burger with garlic fries. Almost as much garlic as fries! And very good. Afterwards we walked up a couple doors to Revive Coffee and enjoyed two of the best lattes we’ve ever had. We sat and chatted in the coffee shop and enjoyed the afternoon. Cristy shopped at a little touristy store up the street and bought a T shirt that said “Don’t mess with Mama Bear!” (I don’t.) Then we headed back to camp to enjoy the sunset and watch a movie.

Sunday morning I made breakfast on the Blackstone griddle; eggs and bacon. I’m still trying to get the hang of that thing. Looked awful but tastes great! Then we packed up and headed for home. On the way, though, we stopped at Robert’s Ferry Nut Company just outside Waterford. Great little shop with delicious nut-based snacks… and milkshakes! I want to try their almond nut butter milkshake one of these days. After that we headed to the storage lot to put our “little house on the highway” to bed.

Overall Fleming Meadows is a very nice campground with very scenic views. If you can, try to stay midweek as I think it will be quieter. Weekends bring the party and boat crowds and they love to boast of their tales of daring do on the water well into the night. We will probably go back but we’ll make it mid-week and off-season next time.

See you next time!

Latitude Awning Issues

We love our Lance 1995 travel trailer. Everything on it has worked well except for one component. It’s not that it doesn’t work. It just doesn’t work very long. I’m talking about the wind sensor in our Carefree Latitude awning. It has a motion sensor in it that detects awning movements caused by the wind and is there to protect the awning from wind damage by automatically retracting the awning. It is powered by two hearing aid batteries and they only last for about 6 weeks or so. It’s maddening. The sensor connects back to the awning controls via Bluetooth and when the batteries in the sensor go dead, of course it stops communicating. When it stops communicating with the awning controls the awning will retract half way, and then beep every 30 seconds. If you put the awning back out, it will again retract half way, and of course the beeping will continue as long as there is power to the awning. Even if you retract it all the way!

The workaround is to extend your awning and then turn the power off. Voilà! No more beeping. Of course if it gets windy the awning will not retract and could be damaged by the wind. Well, for about the 10th time since I’ve owned the trailer my awning started it’s beeping routine again. I removed the wind sensor from the awning (it’s under the front end cap) and opened it up.

Changing the batteries were not going to do any good as water had intruded through the screw holes and corroded the circuit board.

I called Carefree and after waiting on hold for 40 minutes was told that they would send me a new wind sensor for a little under $90 US. I did some research on the Lance Owners of America website and found that many people had received an updated sensor that takes AAA batteries and had received it for free. I decided to try their automated DIY warranty process on their website. I put in all the requested info an uploaded the above picture to them. I then received an email from them:

This was very good news to me. Not only are they sending me a new wind sensor but an entire Bluetooth kit! Free of charge. I was starting to wonder about Carefree’s customer service after having no luck getting hold of anyone the first time I called (6 months ago) and then told I would have to pay this time. I’ll post an update after I receive the kit and install the new sensor.

Yank’s RV Resort – AGAIN

I was looking for a place a place for Cristy and I to go this weekend. I originally wanted to go back up to Durango RV Resort up in Red Bluff but they were booked solid for the weekend. I called around and found that Yanks had ONE MORE SPOT open for this weekend so I booked it. It was a long weekend with a my normal Friday off and then Monday being a holiday. Seems everyone had the same idea. I picked up the Lance on Thursday evening after work and drove it home to plug it in for the night. I also turned the refrigerator on to get it cooled down before we put food in it on Friday morning.

Friday

We loaded food and clothes up on Friday morning and after I checked all the air pressures in the tires we finally hit the road around 10:30am. The drive down I-5 was easy as the wind was at our backs. Driving over Pacheco Pass was fairly stress-free as well due to the lag of big rigs crawling over the steep incline. I was white knuckles the first time driving over but this time I felt very relaxed. We pulled over once for a potty break in the trailer and then finally pulled into Yanks at around 1:30pm. Note that one new change they have implemented is that you now pick up your check-in paperwork outside the front gate rather than in the front office. The nice lady told me they were supposed to call me. Nope. No call. And no big deal as I walked back out the front gate picked up my packet which was basically the park map with our site indicated and the best path to get to it. We drove right to it and quickly settled into the spacious 70-foot pull through site.

We were situated on the very end right next to the (super-clean, brand new) combo bathroom and shower rooms. Each bathroom has a toilet, sink, and shower with marble floors and walls. Very nice and clean. We also had a great view of the hills to the east and Pinnacles National Park. We spent the first day taking a nap, walking around the park, grilling burgers on our Blackstone griddle, and then watching a movie. We watched the marine layer (San Francisco fog basically) roll in while we ate dinner. And that was pretty much it for the first day. My favorite kind of day!

Saturday

On Saturday we slept in and then headed down to Paso Robles to get some lunch. We’ve been through Paso many times over the years but have never been to their downtown area. We headed down 13th street and found some free street parking and then started walking through the small but lively downtown area. Even in the age of COVID it’s a pretty nice place, it must have really been something before the lockdowns. We settled on a restaurant called Fish Goucho on Park Street. It was very good and very pricey! That’s okay, God has blessed me with work throughout this pandemic so I’m happy to help out businesses who are struggling to stay open. Afterwards we strolled down to City Park. It was remarkably clean and free of homeless folks. The centerpiece of the park is the Public Library, which, is closed. Still a beautiful park. Then we walked back to Park Street and stopped at Brown Butter Cookie Company. Cristy bought some gluten-free chocolate-mint cookies with sea salt. I bought some regular cinnamon cookies. All of them were very good but a little on the sweet side. We then walked up to Spearhead Coffee for a couple of latte’s. We drank our coffee at one of their sidewalk tables and watched the fog burn off. The warm sun and the warm coffee felt very nice after the chilly foggy morning.

We headed back to the truck and then drove back to the RV resort. We took showers in their bathroom which is very nice! Nice to take a LONG HOT shower. The rest of the day was just kicking back in the trailer watching the wind blow outside. We watched another movie I had downloaded. Then after dinner clean up and did pretty much nothing until bed time.

I love days like that.

Sunday

We slept in on Sunday morning and then watched our church services online. After lunch we decided to drive up to Pinnacles National Park. It was a little cold and damp but we’d never been there so we wanted to try it out AND it was only a 30 minute drive from our RV park. When we got there we found that the park and visitor center was closed although, they were allowing free access to the hiking trails. We parked along side the road just outside the gates as the parking lot was full. Apparently a lot of people knew there was no charge to enter the park at this time. We just decided to hike one of the smaller loops as it was pretty damp and chilly up there. The peaks there spend much of their time in fog that comes down from Monterey Bay. After our decidedly short time at Pinnacles we headed back down. We spent the remainder of the day relaxing even MORE when we got back to the trailer.

Monday

Monday was travel day heading back home. We pulled out of the park at about 10:30am and made the 3 hour drive back home. Traffic was heavier going home but still not too bad. Not much to write about on travel days. They are what they are. I will add that my personal travel maximums are: drive no more than two hours before taking a break, travel no farther than two hundred miles, stay no less that two days. It’s my 2:2:2 rule. I don’t always abide by it but it’s my goal. Well, that was our trip to Greenfield, CA and Yank’s RV Resort. On to planning our March trip. See you next time.

Absolute Proof by Mike Lindell

You may know Mike Lindell as the Pillow Guy, inventor and seller of MyPillow. He is also a great patriot and has put together a documentary will all the evidence of election fraud in the 2020 presidential election. It is detailed and long but if you want to know everything that happened to bring us to where we are, it’s a great watch.

Watch it on Rumble:

https://rumble.com/vdlbl7-absolute-proof-mike-lindell-election-documentary-full.html

What’s Going On

I haven’t been able to update this blog much lately due to just being flat out busy and somewhat lazy. Here is what my life has been like in a nutshell…

Work

I’ve been working a lot of overtime working on the home stretch of a monster project at work. We have a major disaster recovery project going on to provide network redundancy to all our hospital network switches and also set up an off-site disaster recovery data center. The major pieces are in place now it’s just adding all the little pieces in that connect to it. Just takes time and when I do have time off I’m just wiped out. I am counting the days until I can retire.

Family

All is mostly good except for my son Scotty. He is pretty much a prisoner in his home thanks to Governor Newsom. If you are a California voter please sign the petition to recall Newsom. The rest of the family has been doing well. My daughter Angela is considering expanding her horizons in looking for a job. North Carolina anyone? Cristy’s mother is hanging in there although she is a fall risk so we haven’t been able to leave her for very long. She also has some cancer that needs to be looked at but she is refusing to go to the hospital as she doesn’t want to be quarantined. She’s afraid of dying alone in the hospital or a nursing home. She’d rather die at home.

Hobbies

RV travel has had to take a back seat as we are worried about Cristy’s mother falling. Instead, we go to the storage lot and spend the day in the trailer just relaxing; reading, watching TV, or napping! I still fly when I can. I flew yesterday for an hour but hadn’t flown since early December. I talk to my friends on my Ham radio daily too.

The coming year

Our hope and prayer is that the COVID-19 Pandemic comes to an end. We do not believe it to be as deadly a disease as the media is portraying it. We believe it to be a largely political tool being used to usher in worldwide societal change. Our prayer is that this change does not happen. We are hopeful.

Voting Irregularities

The makers of voting machines used in much of the USA, Dominion and Smartmatic have consitently claimed that their machines do not connect to the Internet. BLXWare and 3Net Labs have proven differently. Take a look at this web page which shows Internet traffic between voting aggregation machines in various parts of the USA and the rest of the world.

https://www.blxware.org/scorecard/index.html