Saturday, February 8, 2014

Oceanside, California 2014

I left Gila Bend at 5:45 AM and arrived in Oceanside, California at 12:30 PM Arizona time (11:30 AM California time). At 1:00 PM I was at the doctor’s office and got an appointment for 3:10 PM.
My doctor got a promotion and works only on Wednesday and Thursday in Carlsbad. A young female physician checked me out and I have an appointment for blood work on Monday morning and I have to make an appointment Monday afternoon for an ultrasound.
When I came across the mountains, east of San Diego, it was raining lightly. The Western United States needs more rain and snow. The lakes and reservoirs are very low.

I tried to visit people today. Some friends I was able to see. One of them was Aaron. I worked with him at Convair.

This was a busy day. At 9:30 AM I went to Kaiser for blood work. Then I went grocery shopping. I had a 10:30 PM appointment for an ultrasound. I was lucky; they called me at 7:00 PM and asked me whether I could come in at 7:30 PM. I took the 8:00 PM appointment.
I am through with the tests and have to wait now. The blood work results are already on the Kaiser website. My cholesterol is high again. I am not worried about that right now. The ultrasound results are more important.  
On my morning walk I took a picture of this tree. There are many of those along the street in this neighborhood. It is a beautiful sight but messy on the ground. 

I walked all the way to the pier. It took me thirty minutes walking fast. 

Just before lunch the doctor office called me. They had arranged an appointment for me with an urologist. I saw him at 3:00 PM. He checked me out and he also had studied the ultrasound. He told me that I have nothing to worry about. The growth is on the epididymis, which is a structure within the scrotum that is attached to the back side of the testis.
He also told me that this is rarely cancerous. But to make sure I have to call the radiology department Monday for an MRI.

On my morning walk I spotted this woody. It is a typical car used by surfers many years ago.

Oceanside has a beautiful library, with palm trees and water on the grounds. 

The Good Times Camping Club has their monthly outing at the Elks Lodge. The host came one day early and when I found out that he lives in Borrego Springs I asked him whether he knows Chuck Bennet  and Ron Carlson. He knows Chuck Bennet very well since he volunteers for the State Park. When the rest of the club arrived they invited me to their campfire. 

This morning I drove to San Diego and had breakfast at Rudfords restaurant with Jim Mousel. Then I picked up Chappy at his house, in El Cajon, and we went for lunch at a Mexican restaurant in Alpine.
We should feel guilty. The rest of the country is covered in snow and ice and we have summer weather. During the day the temperature was almost 80 degrees F.  

I felt like playing tourist today. I drove down to San Diego to go to the lighthouse in Point Loma. It was foggy though near the ocean, so wnt to Balboa Park instead. There is an enclosed area where dog owners can let their dogs roam around. The dogs chase each other and have a good time.

The bridge into the park is closed for vehicular travel because of bridge repairs. I parked on Balboa Street and walked in.

The California Tower is a wonderful backdrop to the flowers. 

A balloon artist was making balloon animals for children on the main walking area.

At the large fountain children were watching two ducks. 

At the theater dancers were taking pictures.

At the botanical garden orchids were in full bloom. 

Next to the water basin a lady played music on a keyboard.

At the International Village musicians were jamming in the Irish Cottage. 

The Old Globe Theater was flying flags advertising their shows. 

I did a lot of walking and ate my lunch at the lawn outside the park.

Yesterday I changed the linens on my bed. While removing the fitted sheet from the mattress I hurt my back. I kneeled on the mattress and bent the corner towards me while removing the sheet. I should have moved the mattress away from the cabinets on each side of the side of the bed. I certainly will do it next time.
Yesterday I was in pain. This morning I hardly could get out of bed. I was lucky that I found a little package with painkiller pills. A short time ago I did throw away all the bottles with pain medication. As soon as I was able to get to my car I went and purchased some new happy pills.
I finally got an appointment for a MRI. It is on March 7th. This changes my plans with the WINs. I had hoped to meet them in Tucson, Arizona. There I have friends I wanted to see. The group will be further east by then. After the MRI I have to wait for the doctor evaluation, which will take some time too. I have a feeling I will be on the coast all of March.

I had enough of just laying around. Today I went to the Cabrillo National Monument, on Point Loma, in San Diego. The weather was perfect.

There were a lot of sailboats in San Diego Bay. 

Cabrillo was a Portuguese sailor, heading a Spanish expedition up the Pacific Coast. He was the first European setting foot on what is now the west coast of the United States. Across the bay the Hotel Del Coronado is visible. 

The Old Lighthouse is now a tourist attraction. It had to be abandoned because it was too high above the ocean and many times in the fog. 

The new lighthouse is near the shore.

Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery is located next to Cabrillo National Monument. 

On the way home I stopped at Shelter Island. San Diego had a large Portuguese population. They were part of the large tuna fishing fleet. 

From Shelter Island one has a good view of the bay and the city. 

John Hartsell, his friend Steve and I went to the Museum of Craftsmanship today. There are on display scaled down cars, airplanes, all kind of engines, and machines. 

The 1932 Duesenberg has an engine which works.

The museum has all kind of airplanes and boats.

The hand gun collection is outstanding. I wish they would have put a quarter next to the gun so one could tell how small the weapon is.

They also have a few doll houses.

The do-nothing machine is very interesting. The builder used hundreds of gears, sprockets, cams and chains to operate this oddity.

Since all three of us worked in machine shops when we were young, the small engines were of special interest. The builders spent thousands of hours to fabricate them.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Painted Rock Petroglyph Site (2014)

I left Mesa at 9:00 AM and arrived at Painted Rock Campground, near Gila Bend, at 11:30 AM. As soon as I came near the pile of black boulders I remembered that I have been here before, by car, to look at the petroglyphs.

Bryan had come here yesterday and he had bought a seven pound pork roast. He decided to share it with the group and have a potluck dinner. We are ten people now. I made mashed potatoes, and heated up a big can of Bush’s beans. Somebody brought roasted potatoes. There was also coleslaw, and other side dishes and dessert. 

I started the camp fire but had to leave and fix a water leak under the kitchen sink. All the pots under the sink were wet. It turned out to be a loose connection. It happens from going over dirt roads. The motorhome shakes and things loosen up.

This morning we drove to Gila Bend. It is a twenty five mile drive. We went to the Visitor Center and the town museum.
Walter and Les are inspecting a court reporter typewriter.

The museum has a lot of items used in this area, from household use to farm and ranch equipment.

They also have a fine collection of Papago baskets. 

Our next stop was the Little Italy restaurant where most of us ordered pizza. 

We had another magnificent desert sunset.

This was a day of rest. New people arrived and some of them went to Gila Bent and did the same things we did yesterday. Les took a few WINs up the mountain behind our camp.
I walked over to the petroglyph site.

The sign explains the purpose of those strange figures. At least archeologists try to give an explanation. Nobody is sure what the pictures mean. 

They are fascinating though.

From the top of the mount we can see our motorhomes and trailers. 

There is also a sign honoring Jean Babtiste “Pomp” Charbonneau, the son of Sacagawea, Lewis and Clark’s Indian guide and translator. Pomp became a guide for the Mormon Battalion and they came through this area.

I have to leave tomorrow for the San Diego area for medical attention. My HMO wanted me to go to a medical facility in this region, but I rather go back to California. 
I really wanted to go to Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument and Tucson. I have a feeling that I will not see the group for a long time.