Sunday, January 30, 2011

Raider Picture Week 4

Killroy was here.

Kilroy was here.

We have no idea why Raider decided he needed to hide behind the pillows in the above picture but that is where we found him.

The only exciting thing for us this week is that we had to have the windshield of the truck replaced. I guess when you consider how many miles we have covered and the places we have driven we were lucky that the original windshield lasted as long as it did.

Kathy continues to bead, bead and bead. In fact she claims that she was running out of beads (Editor’s note:“Swarovski Crystals) so we had to go to the Bead Store. The closest bead store is the Discount Bead Store 50 miles away in the outskirts of Las Vegas. I spend most of my time reading and avoid bringing the blog up to date. We continue to stay on track with our 10,000 steps by walking for 2 hours each day. The weather remains as it has been with lows in the 30s, highs in the 60s, clear skies and calm winds. The bee invasion of our feeders has stopped so we have bravely put out the hummingbird feeder, but so far no hummingbirds. They are in the park, we’ve seen them around.

Bird Report:

Pahrump isn’t a very birdy place. At our thistle seed feeders we do get dozens and dozens of Lessor Goldfinches and American Goldfinches. At the seed feeder we get House Finches and House Sparrows. At the ground feeder and under the seed feeder we get White-crowned Sparrows, Dark-eyed Junco and Mourning Doves. During our walks around the park we also see Anna’s Hummingbirds, Common Raven, American Robin, Red-tailed Hawk, Sharp-shined Hawk and Coopers Hawk. Our “celebrity” bird of the week was a Say’s Phoebe. He hung around for a couple of days, but has apparently moved on. Given that the only insects we have seen in all of our time here were the bees, I can’t imagine what the Say’s Phoebe was doing for food.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Raider Picture Week 3 and Pahrump Sunsets


Is this getting me any closer to being feed?

Below are a few of the spectacular Pahrump sunsets:





As I wrote in the year end summary posting, one of our goals for 2011 is to travel less and stay in one place longer. Although we will miss seeing our Montana Owner friends, we have decided not to attend the big Quartzsite gathering this year. We have really settled in here at the Escapee Park and the weather has been very nice.

Kathy has reconnected with the resident Beading Group and has been doing a lot of beading. I have been doing a lot of reading. To stay on track with our 10,000 step program we usually walk for an hour each morning and a second hour each evening. The length of these walks does vary depending on how many people we stop to chat with or how many stop to pet Raider. He has become a ‘therapy dog’ for those who don’t have dogs any longer and need a “canine fix”. He just eats it up and knows who is going to give him extra love!

The weather here as been mostly clear both day and night, but as the above pictures and the slideshow below show, when there are a few clouds in the west the sunsets are spectacular.

Pahrump sunset slideshow

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Raider Picture Week 2


Raider’s footprints in the snow

We left last week’s blog entry with: “We are sitting in the Acton KOA and tomorrow we will be heading out to continue our adventures. ”. Our drive on Monday was on a beautiful clear day, with light traffic but a persistent headwind that really killed our mileage.

We have returned to the Escapees Pair-a-dice Co-op RV Park in Pahrump Nevada. This is our 5th visit to the Pair-a-dice Co-op since we have been on the road. After our very hectic December we are looking to relax and rest for awhile. We received emails from friends that Pahrump had 6 to 7 inches of snow the Monday before we arrived. However, we were shocked to see that there was still snow on the ground anywhere there was shade a week later. Although, Raider hates water he loves snow, as soon as he was out of the truck he headed straight for the snow. The weather here has been high 20s to low 30s at night and high 50s to mid 60s during the day with clear skies and no wind. So, the snow has reminded a very long time but it is melting and soon will be completely gone.

We have resumed our 10,000 steps a day walking program which generally takes us about two hours to complete with all of our stops so that people can pet Raider and just chat. The people here are very friendly and with our many visits we have gotten many “Welcome back” greetings.

Beyond that we have just been busy settling in, enjoying the sunshine and reading. We set out our bird feeders but the seed feeders were swarmed by bees. Never seen anything like it. Of course it has made us a little wary of putting out hummingbird feeders.

Tune in next week for more blog updates.




Sunday, January 9, 2011

Raider Picture Week 1


Yes, I still need to finish the 2010 Travelogue blog entries but haven’t got back to them yet. However, while sorting through the pictures for the next blog entry I realized that I had not used my poor neglected camera since the first week of October! How did I go from hundreds of pictures a day to no pictures for 3 months?

There is an axiom in photography that the more pictures you take the better photographer you will become. Toward that end many photographers take on a 365 Project. has over 16,000 groups dedicated to 365 Projects. The commitment is to take a picture every single day for a year of some object or theme.  Naturally, trying to do anything everyday is difficult and many people dropout of these projects. Another group of photographers knowing that they couldn’t keep up with a 365 Project or as a way to work up to a 365 Project do a 52 Weeks Project. has just over 1,300 groups dedicated to 52 Week Projects.

In what I hope to be a “two-fer” I am starting a 52 Week Project of:” Pictures of Raider”. My plan is to take and publish a picture of Raider each week of 2011. To complete this project I will also have to have at least one blog posting a week in 2011.

I am hoping that with this plan I will be able to keep the blog more current. Of course it may turnout that I end up with 52 pictures of Raider sleeping and me writing “Nothing interesting happen this week.” Smile


So to get started:

We left San Jose last Monday and headed to Wine Country RV Resort in Paso Robles. This is  the RV Park where we spent our first night as full-timers 3 years ago. Also like 3 years ago we were in town to take our trailer to Sky River RV. This time to have a leaky gray tank replaced under warranty and to have the body damage caused by our tire blowout back in October repaired. As you can imagine this was an all day job so we headed over the hill to Morro Bay. We last visited Morro Bay in November of 2008 you can read about it at blog entry 2008 How are you and where are you. Like last time we came to Morro Bay we let Raider run on the beach. Although, he hates water and won’t go near the surf he LOVES running on sandy beaches. We once again had lunch at the Great American Fish Company. We spent the rest of our time in Morro Bay just watching the waves break and surfers freeze.

Watching the waves break


Once we had the trailer back and a goodnight’s rest again, as three years ago, we went to see our sisters that live near Magic Mountain\Valencia in southern California. Again the closest RV Park we could get into was in Acton, about 30 miles beyond where they live.

So there we are up-to-date. We are sitting in the Acton KOA and tomorrow we will be heading out to continue our adventures.  

Morro Bay January 2011 slideshow 

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Thoughts on our Third Year as Fulltimers

I wrote last year in my end of the year posting: “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’s resolution. Now all of you can see how well I do at keeping New Year resolutions. ”

Well, as we all now know I did even worse in 2010 than I did in 2009 at: “keeping the blog more current”. I was never able to keep the blog even close to current after March. I even skipped over our first 10 day visit to Fredericksburg, Texas at the end of March just to try to get the blog caught up. Fredericksburg is one of the best places we have visited since we have been on the road. We spent 20 days there in total on two different visits. At some point I will have to write that blog entry.

At least in part, the reason the blog has been so far behind is that we did so much this past year. I wrote in last year’s end of the year message: “This year we learned to stay in one location longer and really get to see the area.” Clearly in 2010 we forgot that lesson.  In 2010 we drove over 18,000 miles, visit 28 states and 4 Canadian provinces. Twenty of those states we had never been to before and all 4 of the Canadian provinces we had never visited as RVers. A huge part of being so far behind with the blog is due to the 1,000s of photos we have taken this year. It takes us a lot of time to download, edit and select the pictures for the blog and slideshow. At least that’s my story and I am sticking to it.

As in the past two years we continued to visit and see some absolutely remarkable places. These would have to include Sonora Caverns and the “Hill Country” of  Texas, Jamestown and Yorktown in Virginia, the entire state of Maine, the villages of Louisbourg and Peggy’s Cove in Nova Scotia, Niagara Falls and the Thousand Island area of upstate New York
Particularly exciting for us was our visit to Washington DC; neither of us had every been there. It was just amazing to visit the National Archives and see the actual Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. To visit the Smithsonian Museums and see the actual Wright Flyer, Spirit of St.Louis, Hope Diamond and the countless other items at the Smithsonian. Equally incredible was to tour the Capitol building and to walk among the famous monuments that we had only seen on television or in movies.

There were also wonderful experiences like sailing on Lake Champlain and whale watching on the Bay of Fundy in New Brunswick on gorgeous sunny days!

I am not even going to attempt to list all of the truly wonderful people we got to meet and visit this past year for fear that I would forget to mention someone. However, we had wonderful experiences visiting family, old friends and meeting new ones during this past year.

To bring the blog somewhat up-to-date:

As in years past, we returned to our hometown of San Jose, California to spend our time between Thanksgiving and Christmas visiting with family and friends. Plus lab tests, visiting doctors, dentists and Raider’s Vet for annual check ups. Our departure from San Jose was delayed a week because Raider had to have surgery to remove a large “fatty tissue tumor” from his side and a melanoma from his foot. Fortunately, both were benign, but he needed some extra time to recover and have his stiches removed.

Plans for 2011:

Having travelled so many miles last year, for 2011 we are going to try to go no further than the Mountain Time Zone and stay at places longer. We are also thinking that  we would like to do some volunteering at a wildlife refuge, state or national park. We don’t want to commit to a 3 month stay, but if an opportunity to volunteer for a month so that  we can “get our feet wet” in volunteering were to come up we would jump on it. However, the plans of fulltime RVers are always cast in Jell-O.

New Year’s Resolutions:

1. To get the rest of our 2010 travel blog and pictures posted.

2. Do a better job in 2011 than I did in 2010 at keeping the blog up-to-date. Really, could I do any worse?