Monday, October 16, 2017

Broken Mail Box? What’s Up With That???

Citrus Heights, CA – sister’s house

Typical Mailbox

Above is your typical US Postage Mail Box…open the door, put in your letter or small package, shut and walk away.  It has three moving parts…the door slot to drop the mail, the lock on the door for the postal service employee to open, and the door this lock is in.  Three moving parts.

Typical Mailbox

Typical MailboxThis mail box above only has two moving parts….the slot to put the mail in has no door, so you have a lock and door for the mail person to open when they gather the mail.  To the right you can see a mail person getting the mail out of the mail box.  These mail boxes have been around for most of my life…although they were an “Army Green”, and I vaguely remember seeing a few mini boxes on a post, but they did not hold very much mail.  I have also seen some that look like they are twice as big as the ones shown…but the bottom line, they are all very simple…two or three moving parts to them.




Citrus Heights Mailbox...out of order

So how funny was it when I pulled up to the mailbox in front of the post office near the local grocery store and saw this sign.  “Don’t Drop Mail!!!  Mailbox not working drop you mail inside.  Sorry for the inconvenience.”   Yep, not only can’t the post office keep a simple mailbox in operation…the person who made the sign to notify that it functionally is not working, could not even make a simple sign that made sense.  I was not the only one who thought it was funny.  A couple pulled up near the box to address their letter and put on a stamp, and as I walked in to mail my letter, they pulled up next to my car.  “One would think that they could keep such a sophisticated piece of equipment in operation,” I said.  They laughed.  Saw them both in the store a few minutes later shopping, and we had another laugh about it.

Amazon Delivery Tracking

Speaking of mail…have you ever watched the tracking of one of your Amazon orders?   It is 1,750 miles by car from San Antonio Texas to Citrus Heights.  My last order originated in San Antonio…went to Erlanger Kentucky, then Stockton California, then Vacaville California, then finally to Citrus Heights.  By car that is 3,640 miles.  But hey, I ordered on Thursday, got it on Saturday…can’t beat that, can you?  Well, yes you can.  On Tuesday, August 29th, I finally remembered that Marcia needed a new mouse for her computer…she has been having problems with it for a good month.  We had been back in Sacramento for about five days, and I promised I would get her a new one as soon as we got to town.  Seeing her “mess” with her bad mouse again to get it to work, I got online with Amazon, and ordered two…one for a backup.  As I was checking out, I saw that if I spent 9 more dollars, they would deliver TODAY, before 8 pm.  So I upgraded the mouse she was going to use, and the other mouse is similar to the one I use. Sure enough, around 7:15 pm, the package arrived.  It too came in from San Antonio…but it flew directly to Stockton, tAmazon Delivery Vanhen to West Sacramento and delivered by Amazon Delivery truck (like the one shown here to the right…no name, just a plain white van).  With Amazon buying Whole Foods, and plans to build more (or take over other stores and convert them), I am sure the delivery options for same day service will grow and grow.  They already give you the option to have your order (not large items) sent to a Whole Foods Store, so you can pick up your Amazon package after work, and pick up some eggs, milk, and ready to heat up dinner on your way home.  And the great thing about that is that no one is going to rip off the package sitting in your mailbox, or at your front door before you get home.  Wow!  Everything sure has gone a long way since the days of the Pony Express…which, by-the-way, had its western terminal right here in Sacramento.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Fires, Cancer, Plan #2

Citrus Heights, CA – Sister’s House

SantaRosaFire

There are SO MANY pictures of the fires in Napa, Santa Rosa, and down in LA…but this one is the most dramatic.  This is the Coffey Park neighborhood in Santa Rosa, with the top picture from Google Earth, and the bottom picture taken after the fire went blazing through on Sunday/Monday.  (click on it and it gets bigger)  The fires came so quick, with such fury…listening to the stories of people telling how they got out in the nick of time…how neighbors woke them up and they had 2 minutes to grab things…and then there is the story about Sara and Charles Rippey.  Charles was 100, Sara 98…they met in Elementary School 90 years ago.  They did not get out of their house, and though they slept in separate rooms, Charles tried to get to Sara’s room before the fire consumed their house and them.  Their son was content that they at least died together, he knew they would have liked that, though probably not from smoke and fire.

Latest severe fire danger mapMuch of Northern California is under a fire watch or extreme fire watch…including the Yosemite area.  This has changed our plans completely…though we are not yet sure what plan #2 is going to be yet, but I do have some ideas.  We are in no hurry…would sure like to have some rain come and soak the state again, but there is none in the foreseeable future, though the winter is suppose to have normal precipitation from what I have read. As we come up with plan #2, we will let you know.



(Left to Right) Florence, Marci, Mom

Above is a picture of mom (right) visiting with Marcia and my Aunt Florence (dad’s brother’s wife.)  Well, mom was diagnosed with Lymphoma back in 1998 (give or take a year).  Two doctors told her that some day, it would be back.  Here we are about 20 years later…and it was time for extensive tests again.  I took her last week for blood tests, doctor’s appointment, and then a CT Scan.  The GOOD news came on Monday…the CT Scan shows no abnormities, and the blood tests are fine outside of her high sugar readings due to her diabetes.  (Perhaps I should put her on Skruffy’s diet!)  Now with that behind us…time to formulate plan 2….

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

F is for Fall and Family and …

Citrus Heights, CA – Sister’s House

Burdick Family Fall Get Together

Fall and Family get together for a Family Get Together…hard to beat that!  It has been many years since everyone of my 3 brothers (all older than I) and 2 sisters (both younger than I) and mom and dad all got together…and unfortunately, due to a wedding in the Santa Cruz area where one of my brother’s was the caterer, my brother Bob (#2 in age) was unable to be here for it.  However…we got him locked in to catering the Burdick Christmas Party in December…and the oldest brother (Jim) has committed to be there…so this Fall Party was just a prelude to the family getting together. 

Burdick Family Fall Get Together    Burdick Family Fall Get Together

Burdick Family Fall Get TogetherSome of the family was inside, others outside, with many going back and forth.  The two pictures above include two ladies who are 190 years old collectively!.  Here is another picture of them to the right.  Fern is in the Blue sitting in the wheelchair…she is my Aunt Florence’s mother, and is 95 years old.  Arny’s mother, Euleda, is sitting in the big chair…she turns 95 in December. Toss in Mom and Dad who are on the couch, and well...that takes us back to the time of Columbus!  😜

I won’t bore everyone who is not family with the names and relationships of everyone else…let’s just say that we all had a good time, great food, and we are looking forward to the December gathering where both Burdick families will get together at a local church that is typically used for this type of gathering. 

Yosemite Pines Logo
Got an email from Yosemite Pines RV Park (Resort).  We stayed there back in 2012.  Yosemite is “ONE” of my favorite all time National Parks…and I have been debating with myself if we should go back there.  We talked about it a few days ago, and with the email coming yesterday, it seems like it is the thing to do.  The email was for a 3 for 2 deal…3 nights for the price of 2, October only.  “IF” we go, it will probably be next week. 

Stay tuned…

Monday, September 18, 2017

How “OLD” is Old?

Citrus Heights, CA – Sister’s House

Old Woman Rocking

This past weekend my sister Sandy and husband Arny, who's backyard we are able to have the motorhome in while in the Sacramento area, went to the Reno Air Races.  My other sister Patti and I took care of Arny’s mother…she is nearly 95 years old.  Euleda can doing little for herself.  She needs help sitting up, can’t stand up so is transferred to a Wheel Chair.  She needs help getting on the potty, taking baths, getting dressed, and even eating.  She can hardly see, can hardly hear…but has much of her other senses, is not in pain, but also cannot remember things without many reminders. 

Reno Air RaceThey left around 10 am on Friday, and returned around 8 pm on Sunday.  A caregiver helps Monday through Friday from 8:30-1:30.  It takes two to get her on the toilet, to get her to bed.  She gets up around 8:30, back to bed at 1:15, up again around 3:30, bed for the night around 7:00.  Same thing day in and day out. This past weekend, Patti and I gave Sandy and Arny a long overdue break.

Euleda can still have a conversation…can answer from simple questions to more complex questions…although the latter may need a bit of help to give her recall.  She likes to talk about days long past...but in the middle of the conversation she might forget what she is talking about.  I sat with her on Saturday and Sunday morning while Patti did some errands.  The TV was going despite the fact she cannot see much of what is going on with the TV.  I was petting Skruffy at one point and asked if she could see Skruffy sitting on my lap.  When she said yes, I can see you petting her, I asked what Skruffy looked like.  “A blob of black fur” is what I think she said.  Patti brought her two dogs over for short visits, and she said, “Are those blond dogs yours Patti?”  On Sunday she asked, "Do you have curly hair?", and I replied that my ponytail is certainly curly.  She loves Chocolate, and when her great granddaughter (Arny’s granddaughter) came over Sunday for a visit, I put out a chocolate truffle which I cut into four pieces.  Brittney did not want any, so it was all for Euleda.  After Brittney left there was still one piece sitting there in front of her.  She could not see it…but when I told her she still had a piece left, she knew right where to grab it with her left hand, the only hand that still functions completely.  At one point Sunday she made the comment that she wished she had a small computer.  Thinking she was serious, I told her that her hands probably did not function good enough to operate a computer.  "Well, I doubt I can see the screen either!"  It wasn't that she "WANTED" a computer...what she wanted was the ability to use and enjoy a computer.


Old Man Computer

It is inevitable that unless we die early due to bad health, an accident, natural disaster, or evil doing…we will all get old. Dad turns 90 next year, mom 88…and it is there 70th anniversary too.  They live in assisted living, but pretty much can take care of most of their needs.  Both still enjoy getting on the computer…dad loves his Android phone.  They walk, but both use a walker or a cane or a "GoGO" type of scooter. They go on outings with other people in the Assisted Living place...and love to go out to lunch or dinner with family or friends.  They wish they had a car still, but they gave that up last year when they moved into the Assisted Living facility.  Dad has outlived both of his parents who both died in their 60’s (and in the 60’s).  Mom is reaching the age of her mother when she passed, and her father died when mom was a teenager.  One has to go back to dad’s 2nd Great Grandfather to find an ancestor who lived to be over 90…and he lived to be 96 years old, born in Nova Scotia, died in California….1801-1897, nearly the entire 19th century.

I read many RV blogs, and many times I heard it said, “You need to travel while you can…”  I envy some of the younger folks who are traveling in their 30’s.  I wonder about some of the kids who are being home schooled as they travel with their parents from state to state, and even into Mexico and Canada…will these kids travel when they get older?  Or will they settle into the typical life of getting a job, buying a home, etc.??  I am so grateful that Marcia and I are able to travel as we do…get to see so many places, get to travel to Sacramento to visit family and help out where we can.  At some point, the travel will wind down…but there will be so many memories.  This does not scare me…but losing those memories...having to be totally dependent upon others for EVERYTHING certainly does…as it does for many of us.  There comes a point when death is truly ones friend…I know Euleda is at that stage now.  She has commented to me a few times these past few years that she does not know why God keeps her here still…I wonder if any of us will ever know and understand why.  I know one thing for sure…Patti, Marcia and I all enjoyed every minute we had with Euleda over the weekend.  We laughed, we talked, we shared, we ate, we had a good time.  She is a remarkable lady…when the time comes we only hope it is painless for her.  And I know that when that time comes, she will be missed.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Hurricane Update … All is Well

Citrus Heights, Ca – at Sister’s House

Duke Outage Map

The electric company is working feverishly to get power restored … heard that there are 3.5 million (or more) without power…which in Florida where September temps are still hot and muggy, it makes life pretty hard to deal with.  Pasco County, which is technically where the Condo is located, has over 1/3 of their customers without power…which is about half of what it was this morning.

Duke Outage Map

Pinellas County, where our PO Box is located, has nearly 311,000 customers without power, about 55% of their customers.  That figure is down from over 70% as of this morning.

Our neighbor Mary made it home today from the shelter…power was on, and no damage to anything in her condo.  She said that one of the car ports lost its lid…no sign of where it blew to, no other damage anywhere that she saw. 

Marcia’s brother Mike and wife Sandy dropped by the condo today and said all was well…except for the hurricane evacuee who was living in our back covered and sealed patio area.  “WHAT” we said.  “Oh, it was just a little lizard….” was the response.  LOL

Mary, Marcia’s 84 year old cousin who lives just a few miles from us, is not as lucky with her power.  We told Mike to let her know that she can move into our Condo until her power is restored…all Mike would need to do is turn on the water, turn on the hot water circuit breaker, and bring a chair into the living room that she could sit on since we gave our couch and two chairs to Marcia’s son after the house they were living in burned down back in late April 

Have heard from everyone now…some don’t have power, everyone is safe and sound and we don’t think anyone has had any damage to their property.  Others, however, are not so fortunate…they are in our thoughts and prayers.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Hurricane Irma…Rain, Wind, No Direct Hit

Citrus Heights, Ca at Sister’s House

Irma Radar Image

Although we won’t have word until tomorrow (Tuesday) at the earliest, the heart of Hurricane Irma missed our community of Tarpon Springs/Holiday Florida by around 20 miles.  And when it did get near us…it was barely a Category 1 Hurricane.  When we saw it hit the coast at Marco Island, I knew we had a good chance to miss the most powerful punch of the hurricane.  The arrow is the general path of the Hurricane as it passed through the Tampa area.  The “X” in the upper left is the area we live in.  The entire state seemed to get lots of rain and wind from the outer bands.  We will know in the morning if there is any flooding problems…for now, the area is under curfew, and morning’s light will produce a massive amounts of pictures.

I feel for those folks in and around Marco Island…and Naples who did take the full punch.  I also feel for folks in the Miami area in general, and of course, the Keys which took the hardest punch in Florida.  Of course, the Hurricane did massive damage outside of the United States too…it is the nature of the beast of living in this humid area.

Duke Electric Outage Map

Not that our area near the Tarpon Springs / Holiday area did not have problems.  Above is a Duke Energy Outage Map…and our Condo is in this general “outage” spot affecting nearly 1,000 homes.

FOX 13 Live Stream

We kept in touch with the situation by watching FOX 13 out of Tampa via the Internet.  On Saturday morning I did some research on which Television stations had a live stream…and FOX 13 seemed to be the best…maybe not the “technical best”, but because they have what we consider the best Meteorologist team headed up by Paul Dellegatto who oversees the work of four other Meteorologist. When it comes to Hurricanes…they are my team, that is for sure.  That said, they did have some technical problems.  At 9:00 pm Pacific Time Saturday (Midnight Tampa time) it went off the air for about 20 minutes…then it came back on with the rerun of the Saturday morning show.  Figured they had to make a mistake, and after 10-15 minutes of watching what I had watched earlier in the day…I called them.  Got transferred to the “Internet” person, and the nice lady immediately looked at it, acknowledged they had problems much of the day, promised she would fix it, and thanked me for calling.  She had “no clue” that they were broadcasting old stuff…and had been for 20+ minutes. 

At 1:00 am my time, 4 am Tampa time, it happened again…but this time when it came on they were showing what they broadcasted 2 hours prior to this.  I immediately called, and unfortunately the nice lady had left after a long, busy day. Her replacement was more skeptical when I talked to her…asked if I had started the “Miami feed” (did not know there was such a feed), and when I told her this was the second time I had called in the past 4 hours, she said, “Well, let me see for myself…”  And then about 30 seconds I hear the echo of what I am watching…and she gasps and says, “Oh, you are so right….”  Well, it was bed time, and we left the stream going…but by 6:45 when I got up to let the dogs out and feed them, the live stream was gone.

At noon our time, 3 pm Sunday Tampa time, it happened again…this time they started broadcasting what they broadcasted 45 minutes prior.  I immediately called, and this time was connected to a guy who tried to blow me off by saying, “Our engineers know about it and are working on it….”  I told him this was the third time I had called in less than 24 hours, and that the first two times I called no knew they were broadcasting old stuff.  I could not have counted to 10 after I hung up and the live stream went off the air.  Nearly 30 minutes later it came back up…and it has worked great ever since.

NOAA Satellite Image

Another site I used was the NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) site.  They seemed to have the best view of the eye of the storm so that I could track its direction.  They provide a 30 minute satellite view of the hurricane which takes about 10 seconds to play.  Every time it did a “wobble” to the north before they expected it to turn, I would say “YES!”, but with the full knowledge that if it turned too early, Miami and millions of people would be put in harms way.  What I truly hoped for was a turn into the Everglades…less population to harm…but no, it turned as forecasted…now it depended on which northern path it would follow. 

Hurricane Irma Heads North

Goodbye Irma…how about headed west and putting out a few fires out here…..

PS:  Why is it that all the news media seem to think we like seeing them out in the wind, the rain, along a beach, standing in water, picking up sand and watching it blow into their face when they drop it???? 

Saturday, September 9, 2017

"Neither tornados nor heat from fires nor gloom of hurricanes stays these RVers from their travels"

Citrus Heights, CA – at Sister’s House

Hurricane Irma Forecasted Path

Above is the most recent, as of 2 am ET time Saturday, of the path and strength of Hurricane Irma.  A very VAST change from just 36 hours ago when the projections showed it on the eastern side of the state.  “IF” this projection holds true, well, the “eye of the storm” (or darn close to the eye) will pass right over our condo in Holiday.

Hurricane Irma Forecasted Path

Above left is a map from google, with the orange balloon showing where Holiday is…in the picture right, which is a blown up of our area of the first picture, you can see the path line…and it sure looks like it will be right over Holiday.  Of course, these projection paths change from day to day…now changing about every 4 hours as its approach is so near.  Who knows…perhaps by Saturday night it will head so far west that it won’t even hit Florida at all…or it “might” just head up to the panhandle where many Floridians have evacuated to.  Marcia said that happened before when a Hurricane was suppose to hit Tampa area, so people went over to Orlando…and guess where it hit?  Yep, Orlando area.  Anyway, not only has the path changed…the strength as it passes through has increased from a Cat 1 or 2 to now a Cat 4. 

Tornado of April 29th

Back on April 30th and May 1st I blogged about a Tornado that we just barely dodged in Blytheville Arkansas on Saturday night (Sunday early morning) when we parked at a Walmart Parking Lot, and just across the Interstate at a Shell Station, a F1 tornado did damage to a Shell Gas Station below.

Tornado of April 29th

You can read about that night by visiting those two blog posts by clicking these two links:   April 30th Post ….. May 1st Post.   That was a very scary 20 minutes…no TV working, and if it wasn’t for our cell phones going off with an emergency warning, we might have just slept right through it.  Well, with Hurricanes you don’t sleep through them…they last for a long time…and if you are in the path, you are scared or stupid.  Thank goodness “WE” are not there, sitting comfortably in Citrus Heights at my sister’s house (comfortable now that the 109 temps have vanished for the rest of the summer…we hope…)  Of course…that was not the end of it because we faced another Tornado being close to us while in Santa Rosa Lake State Park in New Mexico on May 8th!  We also saw some hail as we traveled a few times this year…one hit pretty hard and I was shocked that none of our windows busted in the HHR.  Then there was the fire in Southwest Oregon, which led to our evacuation back to Sacramento.  That fire, by-the-way, is now at 178,000 acres, and only 5% contained…but so far they have kept it away from Brookings and from Alfred Loeb State Park which was shut down…and remains shut down…just five days before we were to return to the park for a two week stay.  We just decided it was best to get out of Oregon so that we did not take up any camping spots that locals who were evacuated from their homes might need.

So what has been going on for the past two weeks????  Family time, Doggie Grooming time, Computer fixing time at mom and dad’s place, and trying to keep cool.  Temps in Sacrament quickly raised right after our arrival, and yes, got up to around 110 degrees.  When it is that hot…the inside of the motorhome is in the upper 80’s.  Thank goodness the hot spell broke on Tuesday, but we will be back in the low 90’s Saturday, Sunday and Monday before they dip back down again.  But that sweat on my brow won’t be from the heat…but from worrying about our friends, family and our Condo as they endure Irma.  Our prayers and thoughts are with all of you...

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Shasta Dam, HOT Weather, Naked Ladies & TV

Citrus Heights, CA

Shasta Dam, Shasta Lake California

On our way back to Citrus Heights on Thursday, we took a side road over to Shasta Dam…not for a tour, but just to show Marcia what it looks like.

Shasta Dam, Shasta Lake California

I have not seen so much water in Shasta Lake for I don’t know how long…it felt good to see it full again.

Shasta Dam, Shasta Lake California

This is the place where I attribute my “fear of heights” to.  Back in the mid-1990’s my children’s mother’s family was having a “family reunion” near Shasta.  It was August 1993 if I remember…because I was named the Interim Library Director while I was away on this trip as the previous Director was….how does one say this nicely…given the chance to find employment elsewhere.  Anyway, as ALL my previous wife’s family and I were visiting Shasta Dam, we were looking down over the spillway…and one of my nieces jumped up onto the top of the railing to look over, and in my mind, I saw her going over…and since I was right there, I grabbed the seat of her pants and pulled her back…and her mother was not too happy with me.  Ever since then I have had an extreme fear of heights…can’t look down out of a hotel room window which is a dozen or more floors up (I can look out, just not down).  Can not look down from the Golden Gate Bridge (I had no problem doing so before this), and I have a HUGE problem flying in a plane.  Had nightmares of her flying off the dam for many years after the event.  And I NEVER did get a thanks from the parent, although we did come to an understanding when I said, “Perhaps I should have just let things take their natural course…” (which, for those who know me, I could have never done).

Shasta Dam, Shasta Lake California

A look of Shasta Lake…lots and lots of water behind the dam!  Too bad there was so much smoke in the air.

Homemade motorhome

Just had to show a picture of this Motorhome which we saw at the Pilot Gas Station south of Corning California…A porch, on a old Winny Chassis.  I don’t think he drives it much on the freeway, but they do seem to live in it around the area. 

Sister's Backyard, Citrus Heights, CA

Made it back to the Sacramento Area just in time to see the Naked Ladies, enjoy the 105+ degree weather, celebrate both Sandy and Arny’s birthdays (day apart from each other…mom and dad no longer have children who are ‘in their 50’s’ anymore, and enough time to install a new TV and a new Controller in the Solar Panel.

Belladonna Lily (Naked Lady), Citrus Heights, CaThe “Naked Ladies” are a type of plant that grow outside my sister’s house near our RV door, and in other places in their backyard.  The Belladonna Lily (Naked Lady), Citrus Heights, CaBelladonna Lily is called the “Naked Lady” because the stem is leafless, tall, and pretty flowers on top.  In the spring there is a very leafy plant…which seems to die off, then in late summer, this large stem grows, and then the flower blooms out.  They are very pretty, and all of theirs are a lavender color but other varieties include orange, pink, red and yellow.  Marcia saw some orange ones up along the coast of Oregon, but we did not get pictures of them.

New SuperSonic 12v, 24" TV

Our main living area TV gave out on us while up in Oregon….not unexpected as it was acting up since we left Florida.  Got a ‘SuperSonic’ 12volt TV, although for some reason it did not come with a 12v plug, just the 110 converter plug…but that will be easy to take care of.  A 24” HD-LED TV for $135, and we really like it.  Smaller, lighter, and for $10 more I got a wall mount so that we can adjust it to our liking.  The board behind it was not painted behind the TV, so I also painted that board…still have another coat which is why the hooks have take over them.  Also installed some eye hooks to strap the TV down while we travel with bungee cords. Once I get the plug, we will be able to watch a little TV without turning the generator on…nice for when we are in rest areas, Walmart parking lots, Cracker Barrels, etc….especially when strong storms are in the area as we faced in Arkansas earlier this spring.   As for the Solar Controller…so far I really like it.  Will write up it once we boondock again.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

A Different Look at Eclipse

From Huntley Park Oregon to McCloud California

Smoke in Medford Area from Chetco Bar Fire   Smoke in Medford Area from Chetco Bar Fire
Smoke in Medford Area from Chetco Bar Fire    Smoke in Medford Area from Chetco Bar Fire

Yes, this is taken on Eclipse Day…no, it is not the MOON blocking out the sun, it is the SMOKE.  We did watch the Eclipse from Huntley Park Oregon, then proceeded over to Myrtle Creek…then to Medford…then to Talent where we stayed the night in a Rest Area.  ALL of these pictures taken above were taken between Myrtle Creek and the California border yesterday and today.  The bottom right picture was taken as we were leaving Harry and David in Medford…about 6:45 pm.  NEVER seen the smoke so thick, and this smoke is being attributed to the fire near Brookings, called the Chetco Bar Fire.

Chetco Bar Fire

When you stay in an area for a month, and then a MAJOR fire takes place in that area, the connection you made sucks your emotions into what is going on.  You have met nice people in the past month…the hosts at Alfred Loeb State Park, the checkers at Fred Meyer in Brookings, or at McKay’s Market in Gold Beach, the workers at Indian Creek RV Park, the hosts at Huntley Park, and of course, D & D of Double D’s Cafe in Gold Beach and their entire family, most of whom we had the pleasure of meeting.  All of these people are being affected because they know people who have evacuated…and they probably know or know of the five families who have lost their homes so far…with many more threatened.  In the above map I have added, in RED, the various places we stayed at…along with the Fire Perimeter.  They listed the two levels of evacuations areas…level 2 is be prepared to leave, level 3 is get the heck out of there.

Oregon highway 42

It did not take us long on Oregon Highway 42 before we started to see the thick smoke.  We went north because they asked people not to drive down highway 101 toward Brookings…too much stuff going on down there.  By the time we got close to I-5, we could smell it.  We drove by On the River Golf & RV Park, a place we have stopped by many times before…they looked full to the brim, and the smoke was just too thick.  Didn’t even try our back-up plan in Myrtle Creek, Millsite RV Park, a city park, because the smoke was just too thick.  We went on to Medford to visit Harry and David…Sis LOVES Moose Munch, and since her and Arny both have birthdays next week, one day apart, we had to pick up “stuff”.  (I can see her licking her chops already…)  After the shopping spree, we headed to Talent where there was suppose to be a RV Resort through Passport America, which looked promising on paper…but it ended up being a HUGE DUMP…one of the worse we have seen…and it was also full…and we did not want to stay there even if they had sites open…yes, it was that bad.  And how do they even come to think they are a resort????  So we stayed at a Oregon Rest Area….along with many other people, most of whom were Californians headed back home after the full eclipse.

I-5 north of Medford, 5:30 pm Eclipse Day 2017

There was a wreck about 5 miles before Medford.  Marcia and I were counting the California plates as they went by us…4 out of 5 vehicles were California plates, with occasional Arizona and other states in the mix, and about 1 out of 5 were Oregon plates.  So it is safe to say…some Californian did something stupid and caused a wreck.  By the time we got up to it, an hour later, it was gone, so it is just a “educated guess”… 

McCloud RV Resort, McCloud CA

So this morning we had our coffee, a quick breakfast and off to McCloud California to one of our favorite RV parks in NorCal…McCloud RV Resort which we have been to 3 or 4 times now.  We DON’T like the prices necessarily, and they have some strict rules about their grass…which keeps the grass in such good condition I guess.  But it is not as hot as other Northern California areas, has lots of shade (although we lose our shade around 1 and it isn’t back until 5), and it is very peaceful.

McCloud RV Resort, McCloud CA

Of course, there are jerks who like to park their trucks on another person’s site…but I won’t go into that…nor the nine attempts to back into his site…yes NINE.   Now on the other side of his trailer he has three chairs, lots of other camping stuff, along with his park provided table…and there is room to back his truck up more, but heck…he would probably hit the fence or his awning, so it is much easier just using a chunk of our site.  And then there is the bigger jerk who let both his dogs off leash, and when I spotted them, I did not take Bubba or Skruffy their way...but they both made it over our way.  His Shepherd got a bit noisy, which then gets Skruffy going, and frankly, I was ready to give it a hit in the noise had it become aggressive.  The guy says, "Sorry, did not know it got out...", and just then the Shepherd comes running over.  I had seen them, and I knew he knew they were out, so I just said, "You know, that is why they make leashes."  He did not look at me, he just got his dogs and walked away.  GRRRR!!!

McCloud RV Resort, McCloud CA    McCloud RV Resort, McCloud CA
McCloud RV Resort, McCloud CA

But the park is just a lovely place, and we are here for two nights.  Yesterday’s drive was twice as long as it needed to be…it is only 120 miles from Huntley to the Rest Area…but that route is on a paved, National Forest road which is not recommended for RVs.  Had we gone through Crescent City, it would have been a 160 mile trip…but as it was, due to the fire, we drove over 240 miles.  And once we hit I-5, the traffic was a a crawl numerous times due to traffic and wrecks.  So two days to regain our sanity is in order…then we will head the 4+ hours back to my sister’s house…with a stop at a Truck/RV wash on the way back to Sacramento, one which we have used in the past…and after all the dust and dirt we accumulated these past seven weeks, it needs it.  As for us…the long showers we had this afternoon felt real nice…the 94 degree weather, well, that did not last very long.

2017 Eclipse

And YES, we did watch the eclipse, or at least I tried to get some pictures of it.  This is the best one I got, about 9:55 am, 20 minutes before our 95% coverage.  No matter what, the sun was too bright for the eyes, and our camera did not do so well capturing it.

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