Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Are you sure you are still doing a blog?

I will admit I have been a little remiss in blog writing lately, so I will make keeping the blog more current my 2010 New Year resolution. Now all of you can see how well I do at keeping New Year resolutions. 

To bring you up to date. Our visit to San Jose was packed with visits with family, friends between the doctor visits. After all of the doctors, dentist and Vet visits we are all three good to go for another year. For Christmas Day we had Kevin, our youngest son, and his girlfriend, Veronica over for dinner. As always Raider was happy to see his big brother.

Like last year we left San Jose the Monday after Christmas and the traffic jam on Highway I-5 went from one end of the state to the other. Also like last year we did manage to go at the speed limit for the most part. We stopped for the night at Orange Grove RV Park in Bakersfield, also same as last year. As we wrote then, you actually park in the grove, with trees just dripping with delicious oranges, free for the picking. Until you have had one you can’t imagine how good a fresh picked Orange is. Also like last year fellow Montana Owners.COM (MOC) members Butch and Susan were staying at Orange Grove RV Park. In the almost three years we have known them and the several times we have met them on the road, we have learned that no matter where we are Susan will say: “We know a place to eat, do you want to come?”. Of course we always say “Yes”. Susan has a remarkable knowledge of great restaurants no matter where we are. One of her favorites is a Basque/French place in Bakersfield. A lot of food and I know I have never had better Rack of Lamb anywhere. We were joined at dinner by Jim and Vicky MOC members we met at a Montana Owners rally in Oregon this past June. We all had a wonderful time catching up on what we had been doing the past six months since we were last together. We made plans for when we get together again in a couple of weeks in Quartzsite Arizona for another MOC rally.

We left Bakersfield after one night and have arrived in North Palm Springs for a week of hopefully warm days. However, so far it has been mostly windy.

By not writing the blog I missed our very important anniversary of December 26th: we have been on the road fulltime now for two years. I went back and read what I wrote on our one year anniversary and so many of the things I wrote then are still true. “Where has the time gone? It doesn’t seem like we have been on the road a whole year.” If anything this second year seem to go by even faster than the first. “So, how has life on the road been? Incredible!” It remains “Incredible!”. Due to Kathy’s surgeries early in the year none of our 2009 plans happened, but traveling without a plan and letting serendipity show us the way was a wonderful experience. We went to places we didn’t know exist and as always when RVing met many wonderful friendly people.

I wrote last year “No doubt many of you are wondering: where is the best place you have been? There is no “best” place.”. There still is no “best” place but there are many remarkable places. Certainly, a month on the Oregon Coast in June, 3 weeks at Glacier National Park in July, 3 weeks in Western South Dakota (Badlands National Park, Mt. Rushmore, Wind Cave National Park and Jewel Cave National Monument) in August, 3 weeks in Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks in September, 3 weeks in Zion National Park in October! For us total city people our time at the Andersen Farm in Oakes, ND with Terry and Vick were the highlights. This year we learned to stay in one location longer and really get to see the area.

New for me this year was the photography. The shutter counter on my camera says that I have taken an amazing 3,000 picture since I got the camera in May! With the 3 weeks stays in Glacier and Zion National Parks, we did quite a bit more hiking than our previous year. However, our Astronomy and Birding fell way off this year. We didn’t get our telescopes out once all year.  I didn’t even keep a 2009 bird list but, we did see 3 life birds and that brought our Life List to 500 species.

Our plan for year 3 is to do what we didn’t do this year; tour the eastern half of America and if time permits visit eastern Canada as well. As always we will let the weather decide where we go and when we will get there. Hopefully we will get in more birding and astronomy during year 3 than there was in year 2.

Once again, we would like to thank you all for following our travels and we look forward to meeting more of you this coming year.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Yes, we are still doing a blog


Yosemite Valley from Tunnel View

WOW, a month since our last posting!

To pickup where our last blog left off:

We stayed two more weeks at the Escapee Park in Pahrump. Kathy beaded everyday, I read and Raider got in his two walks a day. Although, the weather stayed nice the nights kept getting colder and colder. As planned we left Pahrump on November 18th and had a dull, uneventful two day drive to San Jose. We arrived in San Jose just in time for a wet rainy and windy day. After a weekend of laundry, groceries etc. We went to Kathy’s folks place in Mariposa California for Thanksgiving Week. Mariposa is about 40 miles west of Yosemite National Park (about an hour’s drive). There are very few RV Parks in the area and none open this time of year, so we left the trailer in San Jose.

Over the years we have been to Yosemite more times than we can remember and in every month of the year. November in Yosemite is probably the quietest time of the year. Too late for the summer crowds and too early for the winter skiers. We guessed that is had been about 5 years since Kathy and I had been to Yosemite Valley and even longer since her folks had been to Yosemite Valley. With that in mind we decided to take a day trip  to Yosemite.

As you can see from the pictures we had a beautiful fall day. It was a little cool to be sure but sun was shining and the there wasn’t any wind.


El Capitan


El Capitan up close

Yosemite’s famous waterfalls are reduced to a trickle by November:


Bridal veil Falls


Yosemite Falls


Top of Yosemite Falls


Half Dome


Basket Dome

Thanksgiving was pretty traditional too much food, dinner with Kathy’s folks and her youngest sister and her family.

We are now back in San Jose for Christmas with our youngest son and our yearly doctor and dentist visits.