Monday, June 30, 2003

Buzzard Mine Campsite.

Here we are at what we have named, "Buzzard Mine Campsite." The road that we drove here on has the same name. The pic above shows George in a field of Daisies.  Do you see the fabulous Tioga looking down at me?

Would you like to know how we got here? Well, we were all keeping our eyes wide open looking for a good place to camp. We usually look for a creek or river. All of a sudden, Mr. DataStorm pops up with, "Why don't we go to a mountain top, instead of a valley bottom?" Everybody said, "Yes, why don't we?" So, up we went. According to Mr. Delorme, who knows everything about positions and elevations, we are at 3,288 feet. None of us believed that we had come this high. But we had.

We are all so happy that we came up this mountain, because it was so warm down below. Especially that wimpy George. He is so affected by heat. My Lord, I am the one doing all of the work, and George is the one doing all of the complaining. Oh, by the way. In case that you did not know. This is Tioga doing the typing. Don't I write very well for a '91 Ford/Tioga RV?

 Nite Camp Location Link

Sunday, June 29, 2003

Late this afternoon, all of the weekend vacationers camping around us pulled out. After supper, I walked up the road past where the gold miners stay. The miners were still there, some playing music, others talking. Their tents are scattered over a large area. Other than the miners, it is very quiet in the canyon.

Roast beast.

I made a roast beast today. I do not know what kind of beast it is, but it came out wonderful. Tioga says that it is really called roast beef. What does she know? Above is a pic of me about to devour the beast. It was delicious. I am glad that I am a good cook.


Saturday, June 28, 2003

Friendly fishes-Illinois River.

George is talking with several small trout in the Illinois River. We were all amazed to learn that Illinois trout speak perfect English. You didn't know that? Well, take a look at the pic and you will see for yourself.

There are thousands of fish living in these waters near Tioga. Most of them are tiny, only 1/2" long. But many are 3-4" long. When George is in the water, they swim over and kiss his legs. It tickles.

This morning we drove into Cave Junction, and stocked up on food and water. Then we returned to our same campsite on the Illinois River. I think that this means that we are going to stay here awhile. We are all having so much fun here, because it is beautiful and there are so many things to see and do.

This morning we went on our "before breakfast" long walk. We went up the road, upriver from our campsite. After awhile, we came upon a rather large group having breakfast. There were trailers and some tents about. These folk are gold miners. They mine placer gold with dredges. They vacuum up the river bottom while wearing diving gear. I asked them how they were doing, and they were noncommital.

I will ask all of you out there. How much gold do you think is still here, after all of these years?


Friday, June 27, 2003

View from the bridge.

This pic is from the bridge just upstream from our campsite. We are looking downstream. Do you see Ms. Tioga down there towards the left? She looks small from up here on the bridge. The reflections off of the water are lovely, aren't they?

It looks like we will stay at this campsite longer than any other. We have already made plans to be here thru Sunday. This is really a nice place. The weather is warm, and the Illinois River is not very cold. The water temperature here reminds us a lot of the Rogue River.

Nite Camp Location Link


Thursday, June 26, 2003

Illinois River from my bedroom window.

Above is a pic of the Lovely Illinois River from my bedroom window. We are at "Camp Illinois", about 25 miles before Grants Pass, Oregon. It looks like we might be here quite awhile. I am not sure.

Remember that Mr. Leveler broke his drive screw yesterday afternoon? This morning we drove into Cave Junction, Oregon, and mailed the entire jack back to the factory in Indiana for repairs. We have not decided if we are going to stay here at Camp Illinois to wait for the jack to return. However, we are levelled out, but are using only three jacks. Mr. Levelers is toughing it out, and we are all very proud of him.

It is a little after 7pm right now. I think that I will take a dip in the Illinois. Are you all jealous?


Wednesday, June 25, 2003

On to Oregon!

We have finally made Oregon. And after only 19-days into our Great Adventure. This is very exciting.

We had a long search to find a campsite. We wanted to camp along the Illinois River, but could find no river access. We looked up so many roads, you would not believe it. Finally, we turned up a National Forest Development Road. What kind of road that is I could not tell you? But, we found this grand and free campsite there.

One small occurance marred our arrival. When we were leveling out Tioga, Mr. Leveler broke one of his drive screws. There was a very loud, CLUNK, and when I took a look, Mr. Leveler was broken. It's a good thing that we have lots of tools onboard. The broken jack was removed. We turned Tioga around and used the other three jacks to put us into a level position. Of course Mr. Leveler feels terrible, but it was not his fault. Tomorrow we will contact the factory to see what is to be done.


Tuesday, June 24, 2003

Lower Forest Camp.

Lower Forest Meadow Campsite is a few hundred yards upstream from where Tioga & George are camped. It is a gorgeous place, and the pic does not do it justice. Tell me everybody, why are the people in town at the pay-for-the-nite RV camp when they could be here? Boggles the mind.

We have been here one full day this afternoon. Only one fellow looking for a good fishing hole came by in all that time. We are happy for that. We love the peacefulness. There are no car sounds here. I have heard no airplane sounds here. The sounds, the smells, the sights here, are all of God's green earth.

There is shalom (peace in Hebrew), everywhere in Forest Meadow Camp.

Nite Camp Location Link


Monday, June 23, 2003

Crescent City view-Hwy #101.

Tioga and I left our Hunter Creek campsite before 7am. We arrived at the site of the pic above while it was still early morning. This pic of Crescent City was captured way up on Hwy #101 and the view from here is just beautiful! When we got into the city however, the wind was blowing and it was cold. We had thought about staying the night in Crescent City, but the wind blew us out of town.

The Middle Fork of the Smith River follows alongside Hwy 101 for quite awhile. It is a gorgeous river. Its blue-green color and strikingly white rapids are breathtaking. Below is a shot of a set of rapids.
Smith River rapids.


Sunday, June 22, 2003

Recaulking at Hunter Creek.

Here I am recaulking a seam on Tioga. I made a commitment to Tioga to do some cleaning and repair/maintenance everyday. And, I have stuck to that promise. Tioga is looking very good. People who come up to us think that Tioga is very new instead of being born in 1991.

Hunter Creek late afternoon.

Above is a pic of us in the late afternoon. Isn't our campsite beautiful? This is our last evening at Hunter Creek. We had a wonderful time here. We loved watching the little birds looking for food in the shallow creek. A humming bird came knocking at our diningroom window! A dozen frogs called out to each other at night.

Tomorrow morning, we will break Hunter Creek campsite and travel to Crescent City, about 18 miles to the north.


Saturday, June 21, 2003

Hunter Creek Camp.

Here we are at our Hunter Creek campsite, and lucky we were to find this near perfect place. Our campsite is 65 miles north of Eureka. After Arcata, there are no campsites to be found, except those horrid RV Campgrounds which Tioga & George refuse to consider. Can you imagine that THEY even want us to pay to stay there? Incredible?!

On the way up, we drove on the Newton B. Drury Parkway and viewed those enormous redwood trees that have been growing there since the beginning of time. The Newton B. Drury Parkway used to be the Old Highway 101 many years ago.

We looked and looked for a campsite as we drove. Nothing. Finally, Mr. Delorme spoke up. Mr. Delorme has not been behaving lately, so we were concerned. [Mr. Delorme is our GPS system.] He said, "Go up Hunter Creek Road, there's a nice place up there." Tioga said, "What do we have to lose?" So up the road we went. I actually drove past our campsite, when Tioga & Mr. Delorme began shouting at me to go back. I had to drive backwards for a few hundred yards.

This campsite at first look was too good to be true. A lovely trickling stream. A nice flat area alongside the stream. It was a bit scary driving down to the stream because there was a small drop. But it was no problem. As you may see from the pic, we are alongside the creek. We are hidden from the road behind trees. So far, we have had only two visitors. One departed quickly and the 2nd stayed for only ten minutes playing loud rap noise. Thank God that this "music lover" left.

We might stay here until Monday morning, if we are not disturbed. But if nasty hooligans show up, all of us have agreed to make tracks.

BTW, all of us are:
George the driver, Tioga the RV, Mr. Dometic the refrigerator, Mr. Delorme the Global Positioning System and last but not least, Mr. DataStorm the Satellite Antenna.


Friday, June 20, 2003

Eureka historic waterfront.

Eureka is a city whose history is portrayed everywhere around here. Museums, historical exhibits and even parts of old ships as shown here in this pic are part of exploring Eureka.

I am standing a few feet off of the waters of the huge Humboldt Bay, a bay that somewhat resembles San Francisco Bay because it is shaped like a navy bean. A few years ago the City of Eureka dedicated a nice boardwalk near where I am standing. It should have been called a 'brickwalk" because there is not even one board there.

Eureka seems to be a lower middle class city. I stayed overnight in neighborhoods here, and never saw anything but lower priced homes.

Everyday I spend sometime cleaning or repairing Tioga. Modestly, I have to say, she is looking very good. Her tires are black and her windows are clean. Tioga can hold her own with any of the new coaches that go zooming by.  They ALL go zooming by because we travel slowly. Hardly ever more than 50mph. Why go fast, and miss all of the beauty and all of the flowers?


Thursday, June 19, 2003

Steam Donkey-Scotia, Calif.

This is a Washington Steam Log Hauler. There are Steam Donkeys all over this area, historical exhibits showing how logs were moved during the latter 1800s. But this Washington Hauler, is bigger than any ten of the others. This one is owned by the huge Pacific Lumber Company in Scotia, south of Eureka. The entire town of Scotia appears to be owned by Pacific.

We are heading up to Eureka, and will spend a couple days there.


Tuesday, June 17, 2003

Avenue of the Giants.

Here we are on the road to Eureka. We took a road off Hwy 101 and look what we found! This pic does not do justice to the height of these gigantic trees. It is so beautiful, Tioga could not keep her headlights off.

Tonite we camped on a deadend street, close to the Eel River. At a bit after 9pm, a local gendarme came by to scoot us off. We do not even mind this cat-&-mouse game anymore. It is part of the Vagabonder Experience. Hey, we are smarter than they are and getting more talented each day.


Sunday, June 15, 2003

Gorgeous flowers.

Tioga & George pulled off Highway #1 into a Vista Point, a few miles from Westport, California. I was going to take a nap, but Tioga said, "Look at all the beautiful flowers." I picked some, added them to our bouquet, and this is how they turned out. Beautiful, huh?

I have to go take my afternoon nap now. See ya.


Thursday, June 12, 2003

Timber donkey.

This is a picture of a Steam Donkey that was used in timber operations around Willits, California. It is located just outside the County Museum located in Willits. The great race horse Seabiscuit lived here on a ranch. The museum presents a film of what some consider the greatest horse race of all time between Seabiscuit and War Admiral in which Seabiscuit was the winner going away.

Willits is a very neighborly kind of town. There seems to be a lot of comradery and togetherness here. I feel very comfortable in Willits.


Wednesday, June 11, 2003

Russian River.

Here we look down at the tiny Russian River, a few miles north of Cloverdale. We spent the night here. Tioga liked it because we have a half moon now, and it is not dark.

Tomorrow we will mess around in this place for a bit. Perhaps even touch the waters of the Great Russian River. Then we will move up to Ukiah, about 23 miles north. There is a solar company located there that I would like to visit.


Tuesday, June 10, 2003

Tioga gets a lift.

Tioga is so proud of her new levelers. She begged and begged me to take a pic of her up in the air. So, what could I do? Before Mr. Levelers showed up, I could never park in a place like this, because the out-of-level condition would play havoc with Mr. Dometic, the refrigerator. Now, it is a snap!

We found a nice park here in Healdsburg to spend yesterday. It has a doggy park in it, and that is fun to watch. There is also a very large community garden and a child's play area adjacent. Tioga and George love to watch the kids play.

Today we will plan more of our trip, but it looks like we will head towards the Northern California border, likely via Highway 101. Tioga & George always have our eyeballs out looking for interesting places. So, who knows?


Monday, June 09, 2003

Water wheel of Beal Grist Mill.

Here we are at the Beal Grist Mill, a few miles from Saint Helena. It is hard for us to imagine people working to grind down corn and wheat in order to make these grains useable for foods. These grains are so difficult to grind, that grist mills like these were established so that people could pay someone else to do this work.

We spent the night in Saint Helena, visited the Robert Louis Stevenson museum located there, and then drove towards the coast along a road which parallels the Russian River. We will likely spend a few days in this area, working on Tioga's installation chores and enjoying our traveling experience in depth.

Saturday, June 07, 2003

Tioga & George in St. Helena.

Well, well, well !! So much has happened since I last journaled on Wednesday. First of all, the solar panels are on Tioga's roof, and she is so delighted about that event. Our average charging amps went from around 14 to over 24 amps. We have a fully charged battery bank everyday, and early in the afternoon too.

The PowerPlus leveling system came in to Dr. Scott's Thursday morning, and the installation was complete by noon. These jacks look very good. I will take some pics of them for all to see.

The bad brand new Dometic #1 was replaced with a good brand new Dometic #2. This one seems to be doing fine. Of course now, we have Mr. PowerPlus Leveling System to keep Mr. Dometic's juices flowing properly.

Tioga and George did not even realize that they were now heading out on their big adventure, for reals. We had just crossed the bridge near Benecia, when suddenly it dawned on us that there was nothing left to test. Everything works now!

We quickly pulled over to the side of the Freeway, and phoned elder son David to let him to know that the adventure had begun. Tioga and George will miss the famous and long awaited for "Swimming Pool Filling" at son David's home. But what can we do??!? David will send us pics of his beautiful waters. Tioga and George are haunted by waters.

Free at last, free at last, Lord A'Mighty we are free at last!


Wednesday, June 04, 2003

Preparing solar panels.

George prepares the solar panels for installing on the roof tomorrow morning, while I, Tioga the great photographer that I am, snap this memorable pic. Pretty good, huh?

The major items left to be installed are the replacement Dometic (better known as the stupid fridge that can only cool its freezer, not its fridge cabinet), and the PowerPlus Leveling system. Now, get this friends, we have been tracking the levelers as they come across the country via FedEx. This afternoon we tracked it in Sacramento!!! We might get everything installed this week. Have to be mighty lucky though.

You all know that Tioga & George had to spend another night in Dr. Scott's desert of a parking lot while Mr. Dometic got his temperature checked. Mr. Dometic had such a high temperature, that they are sending him back to the factory for testing and giving us a brand new Mr. Dometic.

That meant that we did not have any food in our fridge for supper, so George peddled his bicycle over to the famous Match Maker Restaurant, about a mile away. Pretty good pork chops too.


Tuesday, June 03, 2003

George at Dr. Scott's.

Tioga & George had to camp overnite in Dr. Scott's RV parking lot because our Brand New Dometic refrigerator does not work right. Dometic means Dumb Refrigerator, because although they will freeze in the freezer compartment, they do not know how to cool down the refrigerator section. Why an engineer designed this device to have little cooling go to the fridge box baffles us. But whatever, we are stuck here with a thermometer in our Dometic. Marvelous.

Dr. Scott is also installing our levelers which are supposed to arrive on Thursday. If we are able to drive out of this lot on Friday, with an operating Fridge and our Levelers installed, it will be miracle not seen since the Waters Parted in the Red Sea!


Monday, June 02, 2003

George and son Joseph.

Here is a pic showing Tioga, Youngest Son Joseph & George in Newhall Park-Concord, California. Joseph is a computer engineer for Apple Computer. We are very proud of Joseph. He is a fine man and a credit to our family.

Today, Tioga & George kicked back and just rested. After yesterday's struggle to complete the rewiring of the duplex panels in our Solar Electric system, we needed the rest and relaxation. Tioga is scheduled for her Leveler Installation on Monday, June 9th. We are so excited about that.

After the Leveler Installation, Tioga & George may be free to venture forth on their exploration of Northwest America. We cannot wait to be On The Road.