Sunday, March 19, 2006

3/19/06 Hello from Park Sierra. We returned to our lot here last Saturday night and had quite a surprise when we arrived. There was LOTS of SNOW here! All day long on our drive from Las Vegas, we had been expecting snow in the Tehachapi Mountains but were pleasantly surprised that there wasn't much there, and none on the road. Then, when we arrived at Park Sierra just after dark, we found the snow accumulation to be quite sizeable. The next day we walked around to take some pictures and realized that there was quite a bit of damage from the heavy and wet snow - many trees had limbs that had broken off or even entire trees had fallen down. Luckily, there wasn't much damage to RV's or cars. A few people had their car covers smashed, and one lady lost her golf cart to a direct hit, but other than that, the biggest problem was that limbs were down everywhere. A work crew got out quickly and cut up the trees that had fallen across roads and fed them into the chipper. That took 2 days of hard work. Then they started to clear limbs that had fallen on lots and driveways. Elaine and I spent two full days helping out on this crew and it was a lot of work. We were glad that it rained Friday and prevented working outside because we needed a rest! Probably this work will take the better part of a month or two because there are trees and/or limbs down on nearly every lot, and there are 254 lots in the park.
As usual at this time of year, we are working on our taxes and cleaning up our paperwork. We are also trying to get ready for our upcoming trip. This has caused us to drive into Fresno twice already, to buy things we need, such as a new ultracompact camera, travel books, etc. There have also been several social events which we have enjoyed. There was a Happy Hour for the park with good munchies, and a chance for us to catch up on some of the doings of our friends here. Friday night we drove into Oakhurst with 7 friends and enjoyed a corned beef and cabbage dinner at the Elks Club to celebrate St. Patrick's Day. There was also a dinner here at the park, but they served hamburgers!
The rain and cold continues, with clearing skies scheduled for Wednesday and we hope that will be the end of the cold, wet weather for this year.

Park Sierra sign and snow. Posted by Picasa

Smashed car cover at Park Sierra Posted by Picasa

Broken trees at Park Sierra Posted by Picasa

Broken tree at Park Sierra Posted by Picasa

Broken trees on a shed at Park Sierra Posted by Picasa

Elaine & Fallen Tree Posted by Picasa

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Hello from Las Vegas. We arrived here yesterday and have several days of shopping planned during the expected cold, windy, and rainy weather due to be here for the next 3-4 days. There is even the possibility of snow here over the weekend!! We want to buy a small computer and ultra-compact camera to take along on our upcoming travels. There are also some good bookstores here and this is often where we do travel research. Last night we had dinner with Shirley Willes Seward and her husband, Mel. She and I were classmates from grades 4-12, and we have had nice visits with them the past few times we have visited this area. Shirley graciously treated us to a delicious rib dinner, celebrating the fact that she just registered for her first social security check. Congrats to you, Shirley and it is hard to believe that we are at this stage of life, isn’t it?!

Usually our RV friends want to know where we stayed, so I will elaborate. We were able to get the last spot in the Roadrunner RV Park on Boulder Highway, near Sam’s Town, largely because we have a small rig. It is $11 a night, plus tax. Two guys we talked to in Laughlin had stayed in the parking lot at the Rio last week and had no problems with security, but we wanted to stay in the Henderson area. In poking around Camping World in Henderson yesterday, we noticed that it is posted “No overnight parking” but there were obviously rigs parked there for overnighting. Behind Camping World there is good street parking and even a fairly large parking lot not associated with any business, and not right in a residential area, but near one.

Our last camping spot was Davis Camp County Park near Bullhead City and right across the bridge from Laughlin. This was quite a nice place as we were able to park right on the shore of the Colorado River, just down from Davis Dam. Our friends, Lee & Susie Blattner were there with some of their relatives and friends, and we joined them for several days. Of course, there was a delicious potluck and good socialization. Elaine and I wanted to put our kayaks in and go down the river to the Avi Casino, where there was a good pullout spot, but the two days we were there were too windy. One afternoon we drove out to Grapevine Canyon, off Christmas Tree Pass Rd., where there were lots of pictographs on the rocks, and huge impressive rock formations, as well as a small creek and waterfall. This was quite surprising as there hasn’t been rain in this area for over 150 days. California has been getting it all!

Elaine’s son, Darran, has just returned from the college graduation trip we gave him to Thailand. He was there for about a month, had a very nice Intrepid group to travel with, and had a fantastic time. He also met a girl he seems interested in. She is an Aussie girl who has been living and working in the London area for a few years. He has already booked a flight for London in April!

Since we are talking about our kids, here is a quick update on the others. Elaine’s daughter, Tarra, is currently on a Mexico trip with Alonzo, and when she gets back in a few days, she will be starting a new job with a construction company, working with the permit process. My son, Thomas, quit his job in the office of San Francisco’s largest landscape architect about a month ago, and is becoming a Swedish massage therapist. My daughter, Laura, continues to do well in Reno, and was recently in Las Vegas where my 2 granddaughters competed very successfully in the Nevada State swimming championships. How thankful we are that all our kids are happy, responsible, self-supporting adults!

Our Camping Spot On The Colorado River at Camp Davis County Park. Posted by Picasa

Casino View from Davis Camp County Park. Posted by Picasa

Elaine, Lee & Susie in Grapevine Canyon. Posted by Picasa

Pictograph in Grapevine Canyon. Posted by Picasa

Rock Formation in Grapevine Canyon Posted by Picasa