Saturday, May 28, 2016

Kinetic Grand Championship - May 28-30 - 2016

Today was the first day of the Kinetic Grand Championship , the triathalon of the art world.
Artists construct sculptures with bicycle parts and other materials. They have to be seaworthy.
No motors are allowed, only people power is used to propel the structures.
The event started at 10:00 AM at the Plaza in Arcata.
The teams lined up and the visitors enjoyed checking out those wonderful machines. I do not know how this bicycle with super large tires will do in the water. Some of the entrees have support teams which help installing floating devices when they get to the bay.

This tricycle has air tanks on each side and on the back.

This unit has the floating devices on the top.

Judges check whether the vehicles have proper brakes. The dragon was the largest entry. Eight people provide the power.

Some of the chain and sprocket mechanisms are quite intricate. 

People were watching the goings on from the roof of the Jacob’s Building. It did not look very safe.

The announcers were stationed on a flat bed truck.

The weather was perfect today. There were blue skies and the temperature was about 62 degrees F.
The water is cold though. I would not like to go with one of those contraptions on the water.
From the Plaza the teams went to the dunes. I had enough for today and went home.

Doris and I went, at 8:30 AM, for breakfast at Gill’s by the Bay.
After breakfast we drove to the boat ramp under the Samoa Bridge and watched the Kinetic Sculptures enter the water.

The covered wagon could not make it. The cover acted like a sail and the wind pushed the sculpture to the bank of the bay. Since the crew was not strong enough, and they could not accept any help, they were disqualified.

The Madaket tour boat was loaded with the Queen and her subjects. They cruised up and down the bay singing to loud music.
Everybody had fun.

We left early because Doris got chilled. It was warm in the city but cool on the bay and she did not wear a heavy jacket. I would have liked to see the dragon on the water.
It was difficult again to find a parking spot. There were a lot out of state cars. The affair is very popular.

I did not go to Ferndale to see the final of the Kinetic Championship. I took it easy today. Claudia and her family went to Santa Rosa for the long Memorial Day weekend. They wanted some sun and a swimming pool.
I went dancing and was surprised that twenty four people showed up on a holiday. Doris did not come. She had her family at the house and was busy cooking and baking.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Humboldt County, California - May 2016

Today and yesterday we saw a lot of the sun. My motorhome is located under big redwood trees and it is in the shade most of the day.

At 1:00 PM I left for Trinidad to hike up the Trinidad Head. In Eureka we had blue skies and when I arrived in Trinidad it was foggy. The Memorial Lighthouse and the bay were in a light fog.

Since I was here already I started to walk up the head and after thirty minutes it got brighter and I had to take off my jacket.
Trinidad has a beautiful beach.

Halfway up the head I took a telephoto picture of the Memorial Lighthouse. The real lighthouse is located on the head.

From here one has a very good view of the town and bay.

The pier is visible too.

On top of Trinidad Head is a cross. It is not visible from below because it is hidden by big trees.

When I got down again I went back to the Memorial Lighthouse to take another picture. The fog was gone now.

I really enjoy the view of the bay from here.

In the neighborhood people have beautiful desert gardens.

Most of this land belongs to the Indian tribe. The pier and boat launch belong to the tribe too. They also have a casino in town.

In the distance is Trinidad Head. It has not much altitude but getting up there costs some calories. The view from up there is worth the effort.

On the Moose Lodge property are a lot of big redwood trees. The place looks like a park. Deer come by in the morning.

The neighborhood has a lot of trees too. On my morning walk I enjoy the cluster of houses surrounded by redwood trees.

I really like this house.

This morning I drove up the coast to the Redwood National Park. My first stop was the Visitor Center where I watched a short film about the redwood trees.
The sweet peas at the Visitor Center are in full bloom.

Then I drove to the Lady Bird Johnson Grove, where I walked the 1.5 mile loop.

The average tree in the grove is between five hundred and six hundred years old. Under the trees grow ferns, azaleas and rhododendron bushes.

Some of the trees withstood giant forest fires. Most of the inner structure is gone, burned out, but they are still alive.

Half way up the trail is a little rest area with benches. Here is a plaque honoring Lady Bird Johnson for her effort to beautify America..

Those three hundred foot tall trees have only a shallow root system and in heavy storms some of them fall. This tree fell across the trail.

On the way home I stopped at the beach. We had wonderful weather today.

In the evening I picked up Doris and we went dancing at the Humboldt Grange.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Going North - May 2016

I Left Oceanside at 7:00 AM and arrived at the Elks Lodge in Garden Grove at 9:00 AM.
There was road construction on Interstate 5 near San Clemente. From four traffic lanes it went down to two. It was stop and go for a long time. Because of Mother’s Day the traffic was heavy.
After I set up the motorhome I drove to Los Alamitos and visited Elisabeth, my landlady when I worked in Long Beach for McDonnel Douglas.
She made me and Doreen part of her family. We had a good time living in Los Alamitos. On weekends we went all over Los Angeles.

To get through Los Angeles without traffic problems I left at 5:15 AM this morning. Even at this hour there was a lot of traffic.
I stopped at Costco in Oxnard for gasoline and stayed in the parking lot for a while to eat breakfast and shave.
Ten miles south of Santa Barbara the traffic was stop and go until I got to the city, then it opened up.
I arrived at the Elks Lodge, in San Luis Obispo, at 9:30 AM.
After a rest I started checking out the wiring from the motorhome to the car. The rear lights on the car did not work.
I thought I had it fixed but I still have a problem. The wiring and connecters I did replace a few weeks ago. Today I took the seven pin to four pin adaptor apart. The four wires are held in place with four small machine screws. All four were loose. I tightened them.
I still had the same problem. At the lodge they gave me a telephone number to call. I called and was told they were busy, but to call back tomorrow morning.
In desperation I started pulling fuses and found a blown one. It was the fuse for the rear lights.
To treat myself I drove to Avila Beach and enjoyed an ice cream and the scenery. This is a beautiful, small beach community.

When I came back to the motorhome I went to the swimming pool. The lodge has a pool for children and a pool and hot tub for grownups. This picture was hanging on the wall in the lodge.

The jacaranda trees are blooming right now. This big tree has lost a lot of flowers already, leaves are showing up.

I got up early again and drove to the Elks Lodge in San Jose. The campground host was not available yet so I called the Elks Lodge in South San Francisco. They had one empty space.
If the weather would have been better I would have stayed in San Jose and enjoyed their large pool, but the sky was dark.
After setting up the motorhome I drove to the Bart station and investigated about taking the train to the Embarcadero. There I want to get on the sightseeing trolley. I do not feel like taking the car. In this city is very little parking available.

At 9:00 AM I was at the BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) station. The machine where one buys the ticket is not very user friendly. I asked a fellow traveler and still got it wrong. I paid for the fare with a credit card and used the ticket to get to the train area.
Then I used the ticket to pay for the parking. I also put three dollars cash in the machine. My ticket came out of the machine again and I boarded the train.
I went to the Powell Street station and checked where the hotel was where the tour company would pick me up at 1:00 PM.
At the Powel Street station is the end of the cable car line. The conductor drives on the turn table and pushes the cable car until it turned around.

People were waiting for the next cable car.

Powell Street, like so many streets in San Francisco, goes up a hill.

Since I had several hours I walked to China Town.

It is larger than China Town in Los Angeles.

This church had information in Chinese on the bulletin board.

A street entertainer was dancing to Michael Jackson music. He was a good look alike.

 At 1:00 PM a small bus picked me up at the Parc 55 hotel, and at the tour operator office I transferred to a big tour bus.
We drove along Fisherman’s Wharf. I could only take pictures from the bus. In this area are many restaurants. A stop was not important for me since I know the Wharf from previous visits.

A large sailboat and a ferry were anchored here.

Our first stop was the Palace Of Fine Arts. Fifteen minutes was not enough for this stop. I will come back next time and spend more time at this fantastic building.

Very rich people live across this pond.

The next stop was the Golden Gate Bridge. I never stopped at the south end of the bridge. Here is a lot of information available about the construction of the bridge.

A monument of Joseph Strauss, the designer of the bridge, is located near the visitor center.

Alcatraz Island was visible through the light fog.

The weather was not very good for taking pictures of the city.

We also drove through Golden Gate Park. This is the largest man made park in the United States. It is larger than the park in New York.
A lot of museums and gardens are located in Golden Gate Park. This is the California Academy of Sciences building.

Goethe and Schiller are standing among the bushes.

There is a large Japanese Garden.

Then we drove up to Twin Peaks. From here one has a wonderful view of the whole city. Unfortunately the fog was coming in.

On the way back to the tour company office we drove through the Haight Ashbury District. Hippies are still there, but they are called now transients.
A lot of stores sell vintage clothing.

The big bus dropped me off at the train station. The gate for entering the train area would not open. I had to add $ 2.80. This meant I paid twice for parking. I finally made it to the train.
In South San Francisco I could not leave the train area. I had made another mistake and added only   $ 2.70.
After I added a dime to the ticket I was ready to go to the parking garage, get into my car and drive to the motorhome.
It was 7:30 PM and I was very tired. I moved the motorhome and attached the car.
I got everything ready for an early departure tomorrow.

It took me only twenty minutes from South San Francisco to the north end of the Golden Gate Bridge.
I had left at 5:15 AM and just zipped along I-280 and then 39th Avenue. On 39th Avenue I hit almost every green traffic light since there was very little traffic.
It was never that easy before.
After I crossed the bridge I stopped at the Vista Point and had breakfast.

I arrived at the Coyote Valley Indian Casino at 8:30 AM and after a little rest did some computer work.
I went to the Buddhist Monastery and had lunch there.

I am always intrigued when I go there. It is so different of what I am used to. The Hall of Ten thousand Buddhas has many Buddhas in the wall. I do not know whether there are actually ten thousand of them.
On the outside, on the wall, are two large paintings. 

After lunch I went to the library. The rest of the day I just took it easy. It is warm in Ukiah.

I left Ukiah at 6:30 AM and three hours later I arrived at the Moose Lodge in Eureka.
In late afternoon I went to Claudia’s house and picked up my mail.
The latest book of my travels had arrived, so did an antenna for the cell phone booster. This antenna is for the car. I have one on the roof of the motorhome.