Saturday, September 27, 2014

Gotta Love A Man In A Skirt...

We're still camping at Dixon Fairgrounds...and will be for a while longer.  Our new black tank wasn't delivered from the manufacturer in time to be installed this weekend as planned. Hoping for delivery this coming week and installation next weekend.  So here we are for at least another week.  At least we're enjoying family and having fun!

The Scottish Highland Games were held here today. Bagpipe music, rugby and men in skirts right in our front yard!  We took full advantage of the invitation to "check it out' and saw it all.  It was cool!

The parade of Clans went right past our front door...

 Scottish Deerhounds...

  Color Guard...

 Our next door neighbor Todd with his dog...

 Bagpipes on parade...

Scottish Clydesdale...this one is named Sonny and is seventeen years old

Scottish Cattle...they are much smaller than I expected. Bred to be efficient, they give milk, wear a yoke and work in the field and provide very lean meat

First time I've ever seen Scottish was fun.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Ryan ~ RIP

Ryan was on his way to a shelter when Jack met him four years ago  He was a raggedy little 11 year old, anxious, fearful and afraid to trust...flinching when anyone reached out to pet him.

Jack rescued him and took him home.  He worked patiently to gain his trust, spoiled him and introduced him to the good life.  By the time I met Jack, Ryan was a friendly little boy who loved nothing better than being petted, chasing tennis balls and playing tug-of-war with an old sock.  He was okay with my becoming part of the family and would occasionally sit in my lap to be petted, but he and Jack always had a special bond.

In June 2013, Ryan, along with Maggie, joined us when we moved into our fifth wheel and started life on the road.  He traveled with us for almost fifteen months, through twenty states, before the effects of old age became too much.

Today we said goodby to our little guy...he was almost 16.  It was hard to lose him, but we know he's no longer struggling.

I hope he's playing with an old sock somewhere.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Black Tanks, Bikes and Bagpipes...

We're back in Vacaville...well, technically, we're in Dixon, but we're only seven miles farther out than the Vineyard RV Park in Vacaville was.

Our campsite
We're at the Dixon Fairgrounds...we don't have all the amenities we did pool (but we only used it once), no cable TV (we're managing with over-the-air channels) and no laundry room (I have my new washer/dryer now!)...and it's half the price the Vineyard was, so we're happy. 

We have the place to ourselves; there is only one other RV here and, ironically, we recognize it as one that was parked near us a few weeks ago at the Vineyard RV Park...small world!

Bike Show
There was a Bike and Tattoo Show at the Fairgrounds this past Saturday and things were hopping for a couple of days, but everyone had cleared out by Sunday evening.  

In two weeks the Fairgrounds is hosting the Scottish Games...we've never been, so that will be interesting.  I imagine things will get lively for a couple of days...kilts, bagpipes and what all.

Dave, our RV Tech, came out to look at our black tank leak the day after we arrived and pronounced our black tank cracked...near a fitting and in a manner that can't safely be patched.

There's bad news and good news. The bad news is we need a new black tank.  The good news is that Dave can do the work here at our campsite on a weekend...we won't have to take it in to a repair shop.  The bad news is that it's an expensive job.  The good news is that Dave's labor rates are lower than the RV shop where he works during the week.

Also in the good news category, as mentioned above, I have my new washer/dryer!  After five months of laundromats, I am doing laundry in the tranquility of my own home.  No longer hesitating to wear a favorite item of clothing because it'll get dirty and I won't be able to wear it again until we get to the laundromat (I know, I'm a bit odd).  Anyway, I love having own my washer/dryer again!

So now we're in "wait mode' until the tank arrives.  He's also going order the piece needed and fix the body damage from our blow out.  Right now the plan is to be finished and leaving here before the first of October.

I won't say we're not stressed over the repair costs, but it's a relief to finally know what's wrong and that it can be fixed.

Tacos at Stacey's
Jack, Stacey and Jack

In the meantime, we're going to enjoy visiting everyone again! We started with tacos at Stacey's this past Sunday and have plans in the works for a day trip to Lake Tahoe with Robyn and Melvin as well as a family BBQ next weekend.  Tonight it's Melvin's world famous spaghetti! 

Sunday, September 14, 2014

California Redwoods...

We spent two days seeing the Redwoods...

It's almost impossible to describe how awesome they are, and I mean awesome in the true sense of the word...awe-inspiring.  Pictures just don't do them justice.  Their immense size, the sense of quiet and peace you feel standing among them, the earthy's majestic...almost spiritual. We're both very glad we made this trip. The Redwoods are something everyone should see at least once.

Some facts about Redwoods for my grandkids:
The Redwoods are amazing...the largest living things on earth.  They range from eight feet to twenty feet in diameter and can be as tall as three hundred seventy-five feet...taller than the Statue of Liberty!  They are found in three places.  The largest area is along the coast of Northern California, they need the cooler temps and the heavy fog found there to thrive. They are also found in a small area of the Sierra Nevadas and in a small remote area of China.  Their bark is very thick and is both fire-resistant and resistant to termites and ants. They grow slowly and protect themselves, even trying to continue growing after they fall. Some of them are thousands of years old. 

The first day we visited the Trees of Mystery.  It's a privately owned attraction along Hwy 101 surrounded by Redwood National and State Parks.  It's hard to miss as it's anchored by a thirty foot tall talking Paul Bunyan along with Babe the Blue Ox.  There are a variety of majestic trees along the trails...we took the easy to moderate trail, a hike of just under a mile.  We also took the Sky Trail, a gondola ride through the tree tops and we walked the Tall Tales Trail which depicts the exploits and adventures of Paul Bunyan through chain saw carvings...very cool.

Trees Of Mystery (click to enlarge)

Chainsaw Wood Carvings

The second day we drove the Avenue of the Giants.  It's a thirty-one mile stretch of road through Redwoods and Humboldt National Parks that runs parallel to California Highway 101.  We stopped several times along the way to explore and take pictures.  At one point we happened upon a small caravan of antique cars and stopped to take a look...and some photos.

Avenue of Giants (click to enlarge)

 Our truck sits on the site of Dyersville, a small town destroyed by floods

A burned out hollow in a redwood tree

Some of the antique cars we saw along the way...

The EEL River showing more river bed than water...a serious drought!

Our campground was also on the Avenue of Giants...called Ancient Redwoods RV Park.  Nice flat sites, full hook ups, reasonably priced...and no cell service whatsoever.  There are a few tiny towns along the Avenue of Giants with a couple of cafes and mini markets, but not much else. The Redwoods are the reason for being here...and well worth it!