Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Seventy-five Percent Requires a Nice Sunset

Sunset - Citrus Heights

Yes, even Sacramento can have nice sunsets…especially after a light rain like we had today.  Wish it was a heavy rain, they need it…but a light rain is better than no rain.  We drink bottled water, buying gallon jugs and storing them in the car.  I needed to get one, and saw this wonderful sunset....got my camera and when I went out front there was my sister already shooting pictures with her camera.  It is rare to get a sunset like this in these parts.

Sunset - Citrus Heights

This is what it looked like over mom and dad’s house.  

As for today, it is the last day of September…seventy-five percent of the year is gone.  Also, seventy-five percent or more of this year's trip is gone...we may not have made it to Alaska, but we still had fun and Alaska is still there for another time.  We celebrated today by doing laundry. 

Cheesecake Factory, Roseville    Cheesecake Factory, Roseville

Instead of going to a Greek Restaurant that I knew would not live up to our expectation…I took Marcia out to the Cheesecake Factory in Roseville last night for her birthday.  She had not been to a Cheesecake Factory, and it had been a few years since I have been.  They have a huge menu of items, and a huge number of Cheesecakes and other deserts to choose from after dinner.  We got four cheesecakes to go and brought Sandy and Arny each a cheesecake for “Dog Sitting” (along with backyard camping).  Boy, they sure were good!

Sunset - Citrus Heights

That just about wraps up things for the past two days.  Yes, I still have a blog to do about the few repairs which need to be done…but parts needed to be ordered so that will wait a few more days.  Hoping for more rain tomorrow…in fact, it would be nice if it rained each and every day for the remainder of the year…and they still would be in a drought!

Monday, September 28, 2015

Birthday Girl, back in the HOT Valley

Arny and Sandy's backyard

We enjoyed a couple of days up in Truckee, and headed down to the valley mid-morning, and arrived at 1:00 sharp.  The dogs were over joyed to be back in “Arny Land”, and when Sandy got home from work a little before 4, well, they let her know that they missed her too.

Birthday Cake

Today is Marcia’s birthday.  Mom had chicken and rice, and Sandy brought a shrimp, scallop, clam sauce linguini dish that Arny made the day before.  Marcia did not want to a “big thing” for her birthday, and I plan to take her out for some Greek food in the next few days.

Temps

It was 85 when we arrived, and by 4 pm it was hitting 90.  Now that is not nearly as hot as some of the temps we encountered over the summer, and some of the temps we missed when we escaped up to the Washington coast back in August…but it was the hottest temps we had encountered for a few weeks now.  And at nightfall in Utah and up in Truckee it immediately seems to get to 70 and then it falls quickly from there.  It was 36 degrees this morning when we awoke.  It is past 9 pm right now and still in the mid to low 70’s.  Can’t complain about those temps, but sure is warmer than what we have been used to over the past few weeks.  At least the triple digit temps are over…or at least we hope they are over.

repairs 

There are a few ‘minor’ items that I need to take care of, which I will share in my next post in a few days.  Overall, we have been very happy with the performance of the motorhome over the past few months.  I think all motorhome and RV owners know that there is “always something” that needs to be done….just how it is.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Two Weeks for a Concussion, 1,100 Miles Later

Granite Flat, Truckee California

Two weeks ago, Saturday late morning, we are camping at Granite Flat N.F. Campground just outside Truckee California.  Daughter, who had a hit on the head with a surfboard just seven days earlier, has been admitted to the Intermountain Medical Center in Murray Utah, which has a Level I trauma center.  Although I never asked, I am sure that many of their trauma patients are from auto accidents, rock climbing accidents, and ski accidents….not so much from surfboarding accidents.  Apparently Stephanie had fallen at her apartment Friday, passed out, and was taken by ambulance to the Medical Center….her third visit to a hospital in a week!  Sunday we arrived, and camped out in their parking lot with electrical hookups for the next twelve days.  She went from hardly being able to talk, not able to stand or walk, to being able to speak fairly fluently, and she walked out of the center on Friday just a few hours after we left to start our trip back to where it began.  Can’t say enough about how excellent Intermountain Medical Center is….all the people, the level of care, the facility are all top rated in my book.   So “Yes”, we are back to Granite Flat….arriving here around 1 pm today.

Burger Me, Truckee California

Of course, if we are headed back to Truckee, we are “probably” going to eat at Burger Me…and this morning mom and dad called to tell us that they are going to meet us at Burger Me for lunch….and what time did we think we could be there.  Well, we were still 200 miles out, so we felt 1:30 would be just about right. Then we decided that they should just meet us at Granite Flat…so when we pulled in at 1:00, there they were waiting for us.

Burger Me, Truckee California

Did not take us long to set up, and we all drove over to Burger Me for a nice leisurely lunch.  We sat outside, enjoyed the sun, little wind, and pesky little “meat bee”.

Meat Bee - Wasp

This little fella (the picture is from Internet….not the same meat bee) just would not leave Marcia alone…and then it went after mom’s burger too.  Well, I finally laid it to rest with a napkin….  After all, a “meat bee” is not really a bee…it is a wasp…a yellow jacket, and the sting can really really hurt you.

Truckee to Citrus Heighs Map

Mom and dad made back safely down the mountain to Citrus Heights, and we are just going to kick back for a couple of days before we head back down to the valley ourselves.  It will be strange going back down to near sea level after being above the 4,000 foot level for so long….over 5,000 feet here in Truckee.  But as they say…”It is all down hill from here.”

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Daughter Being Released – Our Day Escape

Wasatch Front

Stephanie has recovered enough that she is being released Friday afternoon.  Instead of looking at these mountains that hug the hospital to the east…today we drove over them through Big Cottonwood Canyon.  But first…Stephanie.

Stephanie show mom and others what she learned

Tuesday night before her mother fly back to Arkansas the next morning, Stephanie took us down to the training room and showed us how she was able to walk with out holding onto the rails.  By today, she was able to walk around the hospital floor without aid, even jogging just a bit.  Tomorrow she has a full morning of training, and by 3 or 4 she should be checked out.  She will have to take it easy for a number of weeks, and keep her athletic activities down for a few months, and it is very difficult to read and think still…but out patient training will help with all of these areas over the next few weeks.
 
Big Cottonwood Canyon

 We have had an itch to get up into the hills to see the change of the season.  We are not far from Big Cottonwood Canyon, and I knew one could drive through the canyon eastward all the way to either Park City or Midway this time of the year.  During the winter, the snow is so deep to do this.  Most people take I-80 because it will take three times longer going up this canyon and over to the other side. 

Map of our Day Trip

But for Autumn colors, this is a perfect route.  Once on the other side, we headed south to Provo Canyon, then cut over to Sundance and the Alpine Loop Scenic Byway.  All in all, a 100 mile drive which took us around five hours.

Big Cottonwood Canyon - Autumn

It did not take long for the colors to show up right along the road.

Big Cottonwood Canyon - Autumn

And the mountainsides were full of green and yellows and tans with a big blue sky above dotted with puffy clouds.

Big Cottonwood Canyon - Autumn

This is the Solitude Ski Resort area.  Both Big and Little Cottonwood Canyons have various ski resorts…and of course, the 2002 Olympics were held in Salt Lake City with events going on in both canyons, and up at Park City.

Big Cottonwood Canyon - Autumn       Big Cottonwood Canyon - Autumn
Big Cottonwood Canyon - Autumn

As we got close to the summit, we stopped for a quick potty break where the views were just gorgeous. 

Big Cottonwood Canyon - Autumn

And the higher we got, the more spectacular the views were.

Big Cottonwood Canyon - Autumn

The road had many many switchbacks…and Marcia did a spectacular job of getting pictures when all I could do is stop or slow down long enough for her to get the shot off.  Once up over Guardsman Pass…the traffic was nearly null.  But the traffic was not that bad at all headed up the canyon overall.

Big Cottonwood Canyon - Autumn

 And the road is wonderful up to the summit…after that, it is still a paved road, but a rough paved road.

Guardsman Pass

We have now reached the summit, and our descent down to MIdway has begun.

Guardsman Pass

If you have never seen the Aspens in Fall up close and personal…this is the type of drive you just have to do.  It won’t last long…a good storm and these trees will be empty.  We ran into a few patches where the trees were empty, but there are plenty of patches with these bright yellow colors clinging to the trees.

Guardsman Pass headed to Midway

As we get closer and closer to Midway, the Aspens disappear, and we start to see reds along the mountain side.

Pine Canyon Drive headed to Midway

Here is shot of the rough road to Midway…with the reds of the Maple Trees.

Pine Canyon Drive headed to Midway

As you get into Midway, the views all around are just wonderful….

Pine Canyon Drive -- Midway

And as you come into town, you get a great reminder that Thanksgiving is right around the corner.  Winking smile 

Pine Canyon Drive -- Midway

It is views like this that make me wish that I had never given up golfing!

State Route 113 -- Deer Creek Reservoir

Here is a view of Deer Creek Reservoir that I had never seen before.

Alpine Loop Scenic Byway

We are soon past Sundance, and driving the Alpine Loop.  Marcia has had scenic overload, and takes a quick ten minute nap.  This route, which I have driven a few times before, is more crowded…and the narrow roads make it hard to get good pictures.

Alpine Loop Scenic Byway

This route has Aspen Trees too.  It also has a parking area for hikers wanting to try to summit Mount Timpanogos, and the Timpanogos Cave National Monument.  The later is easily reached by going up through the American Fork Canyon from I-15 near Thanksgiving Point…where it is only 18 miles from I-15, and the road is very wide and well marked from the Interstate up to the Caves.

Alpine Loop Scenic Byway

Well, that raps up our one and only Day Trip that we snuck in while Stephanie was in the hospital.  Not sure about our plans now….as Scarlett says in Gone with the Wind….”After all... tomorrow is another day.“

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Daughter's Surfboard Injury Update

Stephanie Ryan Surfboarding

This is a picture I took off of my daughter Stephanie’s Facebook page of her and my son, her brother, Ryan the day of the accident.  This was the second time she had been on a surfboard I believe….and his first.  They were in Santa Cruz on Friday before Labor Day just to surfboard.  While doing a wave another person’s surfboard hit her in the head…I think she said twice, but once really hard.  It knocked her out, and Ryan got her back to shore.  This also gave her a black eye…which is still healing too.

Stephanie and Jenny

The previous day Ryan, Stephanie and Jenny, Stephanie’s roommate and good loyal friend, spent the day in San Francisco.  Jenny has helped so much in watching over Stephanie during all of this.

Stephanie and mother Shelley

Stephanie and her mother Shelley are very, very close.  Shelley is a school teacher in Arkansas, and also attends classes working on her Masters.  She was able to break away yesterday and is now out here too for a week…the best medicine Stephanie could have.

On Tuesday afternoon they moved Stephanie to the Rehab floor.  Yesterday was her first day of “retraining”…retraining her mind to make the connection which tells your limbs to move, restore coordination, restore speech, etc.  It is unknown how long she will be in this “retraining”…perhaps up to three weeks. 

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Emergency Run to Utah

Saturday we got word that daughter Stephanie had to be taken to the hospital Friday night due to the concussion she got surfboarding over Labor Day.  So Saturday Marcia and I packed up and headed to Salt Lake City.  We arrived at the hospital Sunday and thank goodness they have RV parking with four electrical hookups...we got the last one.  Forgot to get fresh water...so I have had to add ten gallons by hand so far.  Found a place ten miles away to dump and get fresh water for free...so that trip is in the near future.

The brain is a strange creature...we can sure use your prayers with this one...she is stable, which is good.  Don't expect very many posts for awhile.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Escaped the Heat, Found Cold Nights

Granite Flat NF Campground

Here we are in the same camping spot at Granite Flat NF Campground that we have been three times earlier this summer.  We did drive around, and there were a couple of spots we almost took….but here we are shaded, yet lots of sun to our backside for the solar panel. 

Granite Flat NF Campground

If you look closely in the bottom right of this picture, you can see the solar panel.  I have to rotate it three or four times during the day, and this was taken as the sun had just gone behind the hill to our west.

Granite Flat NF Campground     Granite Flat NF Campground

The campground has less than half the campers that it had last time we were here, and these folks are mostly our ages…although one Airstream trailer has three young kids in it.  As Marcia was taking her afternoon nap, I started to hear this noise that sounded like a bird or squirrel playing with a plastic bottle cap. 

Golden Mantle Ground Squirrel

These little creatures (Golden Mantle Ground Squirrel) are running all over the place…but they are so fast it is hard to get a good picture of them.  I had wondered if one of them had found something under our RV.  So I quietly go to the door and found it was those three kids riding their little scooters with plastic wheels on the loop road. 

Skruffy    Skruffy
Skruffy

Had Skruffy out on the table for awhile and she was having a hard time keeping up with these little critters herself.  When she did lock in on one, she would give this low whinny growl of hers…she really is doing so much better about not barking all the time.


Camco Tri-Levelers

You may have noticed something new on, or should I say under, our motorhome.  Picked up three of these Camco Tri-Levelers.  Three because I think most of the time we only need two…but if the site is way off to the right or left, I want one under both rear tires along with the front tire.  I store them behind the driver in the HHR because they just take up too much space in the motorhome. 
grocery store
Other than going to the Grocery Store (nice Safeway in Truckee) we did little else.  The temps were in the low 40’s last night, we turned the generator on for coffee and heating for an hour, and by 10 am it was 70 degrees.  The high was around 88, and right now, 7:15, it is down to 72 again headed for 40 again.  Far cry from the triple digit temps down in the valley, that’s for sure.

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