Sunday, June 18, 2017

Mother Lode Country with Nicolette and Jacob.

June 18, 2017.
We left Eureka at 8:00 AM and arrived at the Konocti Vista Casino in Lakeport at noon. It is really hot here; I connected the electricity and started the motorhome air conditioner right away.
I was worried that I would not get a camping site at the casino, but there are only seven RVs here. The casino RV Park has more than fifty spaces for RVs.
I  picked the casino because they have a swimming pool.
I took two facing sites and made it a pull though site. If security does not complain I will not have to unhook my car.
The kids went to sleep after lunch, Nicolette on the couch and Jacob on my bed. After their rest we went to the swimming pool. It was refreshing.

June 19, 2017.
This was a lousy day. It started fine. I let the children sleep while I was driving.
We left Lakeport at 6:30 AM and arrived in Grass Valley at about 9:00 AM. I could not get to the Moose Lodge because of the sharp angle of the street. If I would have come from the other direction it would have been easier.
I continued on and tried to get to the Elks Lodge I came down a very narrow one way street. I had to make a right hand turn. To make the turn I needed both lanes of the street. Because of the traffic I turned too soon and heard the noise on the passenger side of the motorhome.
I stopped right away and got out of the motorhome. I had hit a stop and direction sign. The post of the sign was under the outer, back tire.
A police captain was there in five minutes and later a policeman. The policeman directed traffic while I unhooked the car and backed it up. The captain and I could not back up the motorhome without ruining the tire. I moved the post several times till it broke. Now I moved across the street and parked there, while the nice policeman gave me a ticket, my first one fifty five years. This is my second ticket.
I got the car too and hooked it up again. Then I noticed one side of the window over the table was all shattered, held only by the plastic inside. The direction sign had hit it.
I called the insurance company and they told me it takes a week to get a window. I am going to use Gorilla Tape to hold it all together.
After that mess I decided to go to the Nevada County Fairgrounds, I will never again
take a motorhome in those old mining towns.
Besides the window one of the storage boxes on the side of the motorhome was separated from under the motorhome.
I had to put the contents of the compartment into the trunk of the car and the box has to go in the motorhome while we are traveling. Right now it is under the motorhome.

In the afternoon we went to the Empire Mine State Historic Park and took a tour. It was hot and not that much fun for the kids. I had taken the tour before.

The stamp is one of eight which the mine used to smash the ore to powder. The eight stamps made a tremendous amount of noise.

We got to look down the shaft. The mine was the deepest in California. They went down 1,400 feet.

The manager’s office was the fanciest building on the premise.

June 20, 2017.
This was another disappointing day. I drove ninety minutes, up the winding highway 49, to Sierra City to take the Gold Mine Tour.
When we arrived there the facility was closed. They are open from Wednesday to Sunday. I knew this when I laid out the trip. But with yesterday’s accident I am not up to it right now. Temperatures of 100 degrees F. do not help.
We drove back and stopped at a wonderful Mexican restaurant and had lunch.
I had made already reservations for South Lake Tahoe for tomorrow so I cannot take the kids down the Kentucky Mine.
My insurance company farmed out the window repair. I am working with a lady from a company in Elkhart , Indiana. It will take more than a week for her to find a window.
The repair of the storage bay is post phoned until we get home. An insurance adjuster will take a look at it then. The door for the bay is damaged too.
I try to hold the window together with Gorilla Tape. The glass is broken in little pieces, only the plastic between the sheets of glass keeps it together.

June 21, 2017.
I cannot get it right. For today and tomorrow I had made reservations with a Thousand Trails Park in South Tahoe. They have a swimming pool.
I had to set up the reservation with the main office of Thousand Trails and had no local telephone number. My problem was that my GPS did not accept the street name of the RV Park. On the Internet I found the coordinates for the park. I had the wrong coordinates though.
We passed South Tahoe and went down the hill. The road was narrow and 10 MPH curves. There was no way to turn around, and when I finally found a place I did not feel like going back.
Instead of having a wonderful afternoon in the swimming pool we sat at the Elks Lodge in Jackson.
To make it worse the bar tender gave us a password for the WIFI which does not work.
Nicolette and Jacob take it all in stride. They are really great.
It was cool at Lake Tahoe and down here it is 104 degrees F.

June 22, 2017.
This vacation is a bummer.
I made some mistakes but the weater is the biggest problem. It was 104 degrees F. today and there is no change in sight.
I tried to find a RV Park nearYosemite National Park and had no luck. Without reservations it is impossible to get a campsite.
If I would have been smart I would have left the motorhome in Sonora and climbed the hills in the car.
We did it with the motorhome which was stupid.
We are now In Sonora at the Fairgrounds running the air conditioner full blast.
Going outside is no fun.We only went grocery shopping. The kids are playing with their electronic devices and I have to write my notes on pwper because Microsoft shut off my Word. They claim I loaded it down to many times. It is still working on my old computer, but I did not bring it.
Tomorrow we will be going to Yosemite.

June 23, 2017.
This was a fantastic day.I kicked the kids out of bed at 5:30 AM. Nicolette told me that she can not function this early. She did survive though.
We left the motorhome at 6:30 AM and arrived at Yosemite Valley at 8:00 AM.
We stopped at the first waterfall. The meadows are covered with water and so was a bridge.

Since the Visitor Center was still closed we jumped on a shuttle bus and went to Yosemite Falls.
 Jacob looks like a ranger with his hat.

The river has a lot of water. I have never seen the waterfalls with such amount of water and noise.
There is still a lot of snow on the top of the mountains and there will be more water coming down.

After visiting the Visitor Center and Ansel Adams Gallery we drove up to Glacier Point. We had to park at the Badger Pass Ski Area and then take the shuttle to the top. The lines for the shuttle was long and it was hot, even at this elevation. Nothing is normal anymore.

The wait was worth it though. I am always excited when I come up here. It is a view which pictures can not completely show. Half Dome and two large waterfalls seen at the same time, it can not get any better. The valley below is so small.

It was again above one hundred degrees F.

June 24, 2017.
We arrived at the Elks Lodge in San Jose at about 9:00 AM. I noticed two motorhomes in the dry camping area. Dry camping is only allowed when the hook up camping area is full.
I needed a site with at least electricity.
I walked over to the hook up area and noticed on empty site. I ran back to the motorhome and moved it in front of the sit, unhooked the car and moved the motorhome into the site.
After leveling the motorhome and connecting the water hose and the electrical cord I took a rest.
A few minutes later the camp host came and told me that I am very lucky. He had gone to get a coffee when the previous occupant of my camp site left and I took it.
He was going to give the site to one of those dry campers.
Later we went to the Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum.

It is a large  museum with many copies of Egyptian artifacts, including mummies, ancient ritual objects, textiles, musical instruments and other objects.

There is also a copy of the bust of Nefertiti.The original is in the Egyptian Museum in Berlin.

After the visit to the museum we went swimming in the swimming pool of the lodge.

June 25, 2017.
We drove by car to the Santa Cruz Beach Board Walk.

When we arrived there at 9:45 AM it was cloudy and cool. We put our beach towels and my chair down to claim our spot, and then walked to the rides and vendor booths.

By 11:00 AM the sun was shining and it got warm.
Nicolette and Jacob decided not to go to the rides like two years ago. They wanted to enjoy the waves, and they did.
They were in the water for three and a half hours.

On the beach were not many bare spots. Thousand's of people were enjoying the fresh air and the noise from the roller coaster and other wild rides. There was a lot of screaming.

June 26, 2017.
We left San Jose at 7:30 AM. I like to get up at 4:30 AM and get trough San Fransisco early in the morning. But the children are not happy then.
We encountered heavy commuter traffic the first ten miles and then it got easier.
We stopped at the Ukiah Elks Lodge for the night.
After setting up the motorhome we went to the Buddhist Monastery and had lunch at their small vegetarian restaurant. Nicolette was happy and Jacob was not. I knew that beforehand but we do not always get what we want. I ordered one dish which tasted like meat balls. Even those Jacob would not eat.
I wanted to go shopping with the children but they did not want to leave the motorhome. They were texting and playing games. I caught up on my blog.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Eureka - May/June 2017

May 13, 2017.
I am back at the Moose Lodge in rainy Eureka. I was lucky, they had one dry campsite left. Half the campground cannot be used because of mud. So far they had already 160 % of normal rainfall, and there is more to come.

I went to Claudia’s house and picked up my mail. Jacob grew about half a foot while I was gone. He is now taller than his father.
I will take it easy for a while.
May 15, 2017.
Nicolette and her best friend belong to a Belly Dance Group. Yesterday I had the pleasure to see them perform at the Morris Graves Museum of Art.

The two are the youngest members and performed their own choreographed dance.

Tonight I went dancing at the lodge. I had to answer several times to the question where I was the last six months.
The dance club has a new member; her name is Erika. She came to the United States in 1956,when she was nineteen years old, she is two years older than I. She moved to Eureka from Monterey to be near her son and family. This sounds familiar.
She will be dancing at the Swiss Club this coming Sunday.
Rhododendrons are in bloom now. Those colorful bushes are all over town. It brightens up a little bit the rainy days.

May 18, 2017
I am trying to keep busy. Sometimes it does not work.
Tuesday it rained all day. I did not feel like to drive in the rain to the mall and walk there. Watching TV and working on the computer gets boring after a while, but I survived.
Yesterday and today we had sunshine and the weather was beautiful. After lunch at the Senior Center I drove to McKinleyville for a visit of the Singing Tree Gardens. It is a nursery, but looks more like a botanical garden. All the plants are marked and customers can see what the bushes or trees look like in a natural setting.

My next stop was the little view point on highway 101. Seals were sunning themselves, in the sand, on the island between the river and the ocean.

In the evening I went to the Redwood Curtain Theater and saw the play: “Third”.

Friday, May 19, I enjoyed Beethoven’s 9th Symphony at the Arkley Center for the Performing Arts.
I have seen and heard parts of it on television and radio, but I wanted to have the whole experience.
Some of the soloists were guests from the region and from San Francisco.
Judging by the applause at the end of the symphony, the performance was a success.
I had tried to buy tickets on the Internet but it was sold out. So I went to the Arkley and stood near the ticket counter. There was also a sign indicating “Sold out”. I had come early and after forty minutes a lady from the Will Call table came and handed the person at the ticket counter a ticket. A man had come alone because his wife had to help a relative with an emergency. This ticket became mine.

Sunday, May 21, I went to the Swiss Hall in Loleta and danced to the music of the Humboldt Accordionaires.

Monday, May 22, was my regular day for dancing at the Moose Lodge. More people are leaving the Friendship Circle Dance Club and are dancing now with the Moose Dance Club. The Friendship Circle has now low attendance and not enough money to pay for a good band.

May 26, 2017.
After eating lunch at the Senior Center I usually do some walking. This week I did a lot of walking on the Hikshari Trail. The trail goes along the bay, part along the water and part through a wooded area.

A fellow walker made me aware of flowers on the dunes. I followed her advice and took a side trail and found those colorful flowers.

This evening I went to the North Coast Repertory Theater and enjoyed Gilbert and Sullivan’s HMS Pinafore. I have seen it several times and it is always funny. I also love the music.

May 27, 2017.
The Kinetic Grand Championship, the Triathalon of the Art World, is a big deal in Humboldt County.
The event starts at the Plaza in Arcata. The announcers are stationed on a flat bed truck and let visitors know what is going on.

The human powered sculptures are inspected and categorized, and then have to pass the brake test.
The Kinetic Kootie’s team captain is a thirty five year veteran. She and her co-pilot work the tail, the mouth and wings with ropes while pedaling the big sculpture.
The team, to get this piece of art on the road, consists of twenty six people and it is a one year effort.

Today was the street race and the test whether the team was strong enough to go over the sand dunes. 
After the inspection the teams race around the plaza and then head for the sand dunes.

May 28, 2017.
Today the Kinetic Sculptures had to go into Humboldt Bay.
I went to the boat ramp where they entered last year. It was the wrong place. Because of the low tide the entrance location was changed to the Wharfinger Building, at the other end of the city. The program said so but I had paid no attention.
Since I was early I did not miss anything. I drove to the Wharfinger Building and mingled with members of the Family Motorhome Association. They are staying at the Fairgrounds in Ferndale. Not to miss anything they had set up their chairs at 7:30 AM. The program was to start at 10:01 AM.  
The first machine entering the water got stuck in the mud. The person tried for thirty minutes and finally moved to the side.
The next machine came down and made it. But they did not get very far and had to be pulled into a boat slip.

Several other sculptures came down and made it to the open water.
The Volkswagen Bus was leaning to one side but straightened out after a while.

I was getting stiff from the cold wind and standing at one spot for over an hour. I walked to the Boardwalk and watched the goings on from there.

The Madaket came up and down the Bay with the Queen and officials of the Kinetic Organization on Board.

The Kinetic Kootie was waving its wings and the two pilots had a good time.
The tide had come in and it was now easier for machines with big wheels. They did not get stuck in the mud.

June 2, 2017
Wednesday was a beautiful sunny day. I wish we had more like that.
After lunch at the Senior Center I felt like cleaning the top of the vent covers of the motorhome. They had accumulated dirt.
Last week I had fixed a rusty ladder to clean the windows and windshield. The ladder has three hinged areas. It can be used as a straight ladder and a step ladder. The ladder is high enough to go safely on top of the motorhome. Rich, the administrator of the lodge, does not know where the ladder came from. He had in mind to take it home and fix it. I saved him a job.

This morning I went to the Headwater Forest Reserve and hiked the Salmon Pass Trail with a volunteer ranger. To get to the trailhead one has to pass private land, that is the reason nobody can enter the reserve without somebody from the Bureau of Land Management.
The hike lasted four hours and there were several changes of elevation.
A woman and her two adult sons were also on the hike. The trail goes to one of the few remaining groves of old growth redwood trees. 
The ranger was very knowledgeable. We saw fungi, which looked like flowers, growing on a log.  It was an enjoyable walk in the woods. 

In the evening I went to the Elks Lodge for dancing. On my table were four men and one woman. Usually it is the other way around.
Doris came with a friend and I danced several times with her. I did not stay very long. Sitting around and only listening to the music is no fun.

June 5, 2017.
Friday I walked in Sequoia Park. When I came near Wind Storm Meadow I saw two red wood trees leaning on other trees.
The meadow was created when a strong storm toppled over many trees. Red wood trees have a shallow root system. 85 per cent of the trees are cloned from the roots. Only 15 per cent are grown from seeds.
I would not walk in the park during a wind storm.

Saturday was First Saturday. On the first Saturday of the month are all galleries and museums open from 6:00 PM to 10:00 PM.
On a lot of street corners in Old Town are bands playing. The Latin Peppers were playing at the Morris Graves Art Museum.

Ken and his partner were playing at the Old Town Coffee House.

The Pentercoastal Church Choir was performing at the Boardwalk.

Half the town seems to be walking up and down the streets and visiting the galleries and enjoying the finger food offered there.
This little cute guy gets a lot of tips.

Sunday I walked in the Humboldt Bay National Wildlife Refuge. I did not see many birds but a lot of flowers.

Monday I walked in the Arcata Community Forest. The forest was clear cut and the rest was burned. All the trees are new growth. There are many large stumps, a reminder how large those trees were.

June 12, 2017.
This week had its ups and downs.
I received two different letters from the Internal Revenue. They want more money. I did not click on the question whether I had health insurance in 2016. This means they want $ 2,234.00 as penalty payment.
Everybody at my age has health insurance. This morning I amended my income tax return and sent it in.
I also sent a letter and asked why they want over $ 700.00 without explaining it. I sent the money and I am waiting for an answer.
We have now good and bad weather on the same day. One minute it looks like rain and shortly after that the sun comes out for a while.
Today I drove to Trinidad and walked up the Trinidad Head.

On top of the hill is a cross. I am still working on what the inscription means.

At the Memorial Lighthouse are stone plates with the names of people lost at sea.

When I came down the hill I had a cup of clam chowder at the Seascape Restaurant. The restaurant is located on the bottom of Trinidad Head, next to the pier. One has a fantastic view of the bay, pier and hill from the restaurant and they serve the best chowder.

June 16, 2017.
Yesterday evening I went to the Bear River Casino in Loleta. Jacob graduated from middle school and his school had the ceremony there at the Recreation Center.
When I arrived there I was wondering why it was held in such a large facility for thirty five students. Then I realized it was more for the parents, relatives and friends who filled up the bleachers.
Jacob has a difficult time smiling.

Jacob is getting his diploma. In the fall he will join Nicolette in High School.

I am getting ready for my trip, with Nicolette and Jacob, to the California Gold Country and Yosemite National Park.

June 17, 2017.
Today was Oysterfest in Arcata. Restaurants have booths where they cook the oysters and sell them. There is competition for who has the best ones.
I would not know since I do not like them.

Of course there is other food served.

The band was good but noisy.

People sat on the lawn of the plaza and enjoyed the food and music. The sun came out late afternoon.
I bought only a bag of kettle corn.

In the evening I went dancing at the Moose Lodge.