Thursday, August 31, 2006

5AM - Moved Nite Camp.
Since we will be here at our home base for several weeks, we want to be careful about our Nite Camp site. So, MsTioga moved her Nite Camp a few blocks and we finished our sleeping there. We want to be sort of invisible.

7AM - Newhall Park.
Many Concord residents come to have their morning walk in lovely Newhall Park. There are trails in the park. Little Mavicito and George are going take their morning walk on these trails. When we come back, Little Mavicito will publish pics of what he has seen, OK?

9AM - Morning walk.
Little Mavicito has some pics for you to see from our walk in the lovely Newhall Park. There is a hilltop in the park containing a memorial to the soldiers from the City of Concord who died in Vietnam. We headed for that hill.


The park and hills of Concord.

The monument commemorating the Concord soldiers who died in Vietnam had the following verse:

Forgotten by some, this may be,
But for each one lost, we plant a tree.
So that all who pass this land may see,
These mighty oaks stand because this land is free!

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Vietnam Memorial.

2PM - Markham Nature Park.
Since The Team is going to be in the Concord area for several weeks, we do not believe that it is a good idea to stay in one place all day. MsTioga wants to be low on the radar screen. So, we left Newhall Park and made a Day Camp in Markham Nature Park.

4PM - Work planning session.
We have sooooooo much work to be done while here at our home base of Concord, California. We decided to have a work planning session in order to organize that work.

In the pic below, George is hard at the chore of planning the work.


The work planning session at Markham Park.


No anchor map link published at our home base.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

5AM - Moved Camp into Yountville.
The early morning traffic from nearby Hwy 29 was getting a bit loud, so MsTioga drove into nearby Yountville where we made Camp to finish the nite.

7AM - Silverado Trail.
We saw on Mr.DeLorme's map, a road called Silverado Trail which headed south. There are a ton of vineyards along this road. Many of these vineyards have very grand buildings which we guess are the wineries.

Silverado Trail led into the City of Napa. We have made a Morning Camp here in Napa and will stay here perhaps until the commute traffic dies down a bit. MsTioga and The Team do not like to drive in heavy traffic.

12 Noon - Homebase Concord, California.
MsTioga and The Team have arrived at our homebase, Concord, California. We have a zillion things to do here during the next several weeks. One of those things is to get fresh maps at the AAA.

In the pic below, George is going thru all of our paper maps to find the ones that need replacement.


Getting maps at the AAA.

2PM - Day Camped in Newhall Park.
Newhall Park will be the place that we do many of our maintenance things on MsTioga and The Team. It is a quiet here most of the time. The paved parking lot is great when using our creeper to go underneath MsTioga.


MsTioga and George in the City of Concord's Newhall Park.

6PM - Evening Camp.
We drove up to son David's neighborhood, and made an Evening Camp. Mr. Datastorm is just barely able to see his space station from our Camp site. We were very happy about that!

Later that evening, David came home. That was the first time in a year that George and David have been together! Wow! Pretty neat!

10PM - Nite Camp.
We made a Nite Camp on a quiet street in Concord. There are a lot of apartments here and people move in and out. So, hopefully MsTioga will not be noticed.


No anchor map link published at our home base.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

6:30AM - Wine Country.
We left the City of Cloverdale and followed Hwy 128 into wine country. There is something about vineyards that The Team loves. There are hundreds of miles of vineyards in this area. If you like to drink wine, you will love driving thru the counties of Napa, Sonoma and Mendocino in the State of California. We have passed a zillion wine tasting signs!

7:30AM - Breakfast Camped along Hwy 128.
We are about 9 miles north of the Town of Calistoga. Would you believe that there is a very heavy overcast this morning?! Mr. Sunny is sort of grumpy about that. We drove inland from the Pacific Coast to find the Sun, and right now Mr. Sunny is generating only 1 amp. Wow!

9AM - Doing laundry in the Town of Calistoga.
Today is laundry day! And we found a nice laundromat inside the adorable Town of Calistoga. This is a touristy town, with lots of shops for browsing.

Mr. Sunny wants you to know that he is up to 10 amps!!


Calistoga, California.

11:30AM - Doug and Juanita.
Reader Doug and his wife Juanita came to call on MsTioga and The Team! We had a swell time talking about stuff inside MsTioga, and then went out for lunch at a very nice Mexican restaurant here in the Town of Calistoga.

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Doug and Juanita.

4PM - MsTioga's charging system has sprung back to life!
During the day MsTioga noticed that her engine starting battery seemed to be back to its old healthy self. So, we checked the battery with a voltmeter. Sure enough the battery with the engine off gives 12.7 volts. At 1500 rpm, the charging rate is 14.2 volts. According to the many emails that we received from readers about MsTioga's charging problem, 14.2 volts is right for this rpm.

We do not understand why the charging is so erratic. But we are very happy for MsTioga.

We are now Nite Camped a bit north of the Town of Yountville.


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Monday, August 28, 2006

6:30AM - MsTioga's starting battery.
Yesterday we told you about MsTioga's battery charging problems. We did not know if the alternator or battery or both were responsible for the battery not getting fully charged.

This morning George and MsTioga went to their Chilton Ford repair manual and read about battery charging problems. Chilton says to run the engine at 1500 rpms to see if the alternator is putting out power. When we did this test, we found that the battery was getting charged at about 12.9 volts, which should be enough. So the problem is with the battery which only gets charged to about 11.2 volts.

7:30AM - Coast or inland route?
For the past three years, we have always returned south by the Highway One coast route. However, this year the days have been unusually foggy. Mr. Sunny did not receive his full charge yesterday until almost sundown. This is not a good thing. We are not able to stay online very much under these conditions.

We are thinking about heading inland to get some Sun.

9:30AM - Navarro Redwoods State Park.
MsTioga came to the decision place, where the road splits. The turn south would take us on the coastal route. We took the turn to the east.

We had never traveled this road before and were amazed as we entered the beauty of Navarro Redwoods State Park. That such a place as this truly exists on the Planet Earth is a gift from heaven.

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Navarro Redwoods.

11:30AM - Vineyard Day Camp.
We came to a place to make a Day Camp in the middle of a bunch of vineyards. Mr. Sunny likes it here because the Sun is shiny bright! Mr. Datastorm likes it because there is a clear view of his space station. Mr. Levelers likes it because MsTioga is already level. And Little Mavicito is excited about the vineyards that are all around us.


We love the look of a vineyard.

2:30PM - Looking for a quiet Nite Camp.
Our Day Camp near the vineyards is alongside Hwy 128, and a bit too noisy because of the traffic. We are heading toward the City of Cloverdale, and looking for possible Nite Camps along the way.

5:30PM - Nite Camped in Cloverdale.
This is The Team's first time in the City of Cloverdale. We have made a Nite Camp toward the south end of the city. There is a large field outside MsTioga's window with a herd of horses. This should be a quiet place for sleeping.

George, Mr. Trek and Little Mavicito are going for a bike ride to explore this place!


Camp Cloverdale.

9:30PM - Policeman knocks on MsTioga's door.
It seems that the owner of a building near our Camp phoned the police on MsTioga! Wow! The policeman kindly suggested that a grocery parking lot around the corner would be OK to stay the nite. Isn't that the greatest thing?

We moved to Ray's Marketplace parking lot. It was very quiet and nobody else knocked for the rest of the nite!


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Sunday, August 27, 2006

7AM - Heading toward Pacific Coast.
The road from our Nite Camp to the Pacific Coast is a very winding one which goes thru a forest filled with coastal redwoods. One of our favorite trees. We love the look of the bark!

10AM - Day Camped alongside the gorgeous Pacific coast.
We have found a wonderful Day Camp. The Pacific Ocean is soooooo blue. Little Mavicito hopes that you may be able to see how blue the water is in his pic below.


Isn't the Ocean a wonderful deep blue?

10:30AM - MsTioga's electrical system not charging.
Hi everybody! This is MsTioga typing at you. I am having charging problems. Do you remember a week or so ago George bought me a new starting battery? Well, that battery seems to have gone bad already! It will not take a proper charge, even when Mr. Sunny tries to charge it up.

My alternator was replaced a few years ago, but appears to have also gone bad on me. George thinks that he will be able to keep me going OK until we reach our homebase later this week. My battery is still able to start my engine. So that’s a good thing.

4PM - Fort Bragg, California.
We drove to the City of Fort Bragg. There is a movie playing called “Invincible”. We have heard good things about this movie, so The Team decided to treat George to a ticket.

“Invincible” is a great movie. MsTioga gives this movie five horn honks of approval.

6:30PM - Nite Camp in Fort Bragg.
We have made a Nite Camp in an industrial/commercial area of town. Mr. Sunny is sort of grumpy, because it has been foggy all day making it difficult to charge our battery bank. Having MsTioga's alternator not working isn't helping. The alternator normally helps charge the battery bank while we are driving.


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Saturday, August 26, 2006

7:30AM - Goodbye Eel River bar.
The Team stayed at the Eel River Bar for two nites. Staying inside the Humboldt Redwood Forest is wonderful. Also, MsTioga is close to her goal of 1,000 miles traveled for the month of August. Camping here for two nites brought her daily average down to under 35 miles per day. Very important when gasoline for MsTioga is over 40 cents per mile.

Now, we will continue our journey down the Avenue of the Giants.

9:30AM - Avenue of the Giants.
If you do one thing when in Northern California, driving the entire Avenue of the Giants has got to be it. Little Mavicito tries to give you a pic to show how wonderful the redwood trees are here. But how is that possible?


MsTioga and George look at the redwoods.

11:30AM - Hooker Creek Camp.
Just passed the end of Avenue of the Giants we came across Hooker Creek Road which is a dead end. Mr. DeLorme's map shows that we have never stayed here before. This road is just below Hwy 101, so it may be a bit noisy for a Nite Camp. We will have to see about that.

We have made a Day Camp here, and guess what is growing just down the road? Blackberries! Tons of them.


Little Mavicito catches George harvesting blackberries!

3:30PM - South Benbow Camp.
We have made a Nite Camp south of the Town of Benbow. The traffic from Hwy 101 is barely heard from this place. Much better for sleeping!

6PM - Exploring Camp.
When the sun set behind the forest hills and the temperature dropped below 90°F, we went out to explore our Camp. There is a State day-only parking area here with a locked gate. MsTioga and The Team have passed by this place three times, and this gate has always been locked.

Little Mavicito and George walked passed the locked gate and found a road that led to the South Fork Eel River. There are many birds along the river. Egret, ducks and other large birds too far away to identify.

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Our Benbow Camp and the South Fork Eel River.


Nite Camp Location

Friday, August 25, 2006

8AM - Morning walk.
Little Mavicito was anxious for his morning walk on the Eel River Gravel Bar. He found one single plant growing on the bar, a lovely yellow flower.

The pics below show the flower and MsTioga on the gravel bar. On the other side of MsTioga, do you see the tiny bridge across the river that MsTioga must cross to continue her journey?

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The lovely yellow flower and MsTioga on the Eel River gravel bar.

Note to RVers about the Eel River gravel bar.
This gravel bar is a dangerous place for RVs. It is soooooo easy to get stuck in this gravel. If you decide to make a camp here, do not go off the existing road path without first walking where you will drive. Only a few inches in the wrong place could mean disaster.

I chose the gravel bar because it is one of the few places in this area to make a boondock camp.

1PM - Team Meeting.
Mr. Chips our valiant desktop computer called a Team Meeting to decide whether we should stay on the Eel River gravel bar for a second nite. Everybody thought that was a swell idea, so we are making this place our Nite Camp again.

1:30PM - The Ralph Chaney Grove.
Just across the Avenue of the Giants is the Ralph Chaney Grove. This grove is only a short distance from our Camp. Little Mavicito begged to take a peek at the Chaney Grove, so we did.

If you have ever walked in a grove of old growth redwood trees, then you know that the descriptive word magnificent is too small. Not even Little Mavicito, try as he did, could catch the magnificence of the redwoods.

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Ralph Chaney Redwood Grove.


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