Thursday, May 24, 2018

Yes, Back in Citrus Heights—Folsom Lake is FULL!

At sister’s hours in Citrus Heights, CA

Folsom Lake from Granite Bay State Park

Folsom Lake, above, from Granite Bay…which is where, in my day, everyone went for Senior Cut Day.  When I was in High School, I only had ONE unexcused absence.  That was for Senior Cut Day, but not for ‘my’ school, for a neighboring school where I kinda of had a thing for one of their cheerleaders.  For ‘my own’ school’s senior cut day, I did not go to school, I had to work instead.  But the school always gave everyone a pass for senior cut day, “IF” it was senior cut day for that school…not a neighboring school.  $12 gets you in at the State Parks around Folsom Lake…but I explained to the nice young lady that all we wanted to do was get a few pictures, and she gave us 15 minutes to do so…so we did.

View from Rainbow Bridge, over American River, Folsom CA

After being back home at my sister’s for 1 1/2 days, getting setup, doing laundry yesterday along with shopping and getting the car washed, today we went by to visit mom and dad.  Afterwards, we drove to Folsom, the town, and then on to Folsom Lake.  This is the picture when one crossed Rainbow Bridge over the American River in Folsom, a bridge that is around a hundred years old.  The bridge in the picture is only twenty or thirty years old…but I love Rainbow Bridge, swam down in that water a number of times, fresh water coming right out of Folsom Lake.

Johnny Cash Trail, near Folsom Prison, Folsom CA

Last year the City of Folsom opened phase one of the Johnny Cash Trail, a 1.2-mile segment of Class I bike trail that connects the Folsom Lake Trail by way of a new bike/pedestrian over-crossing, beautifully inspired by the architecture of nearby Folsom Prison.  Eventually they will have large art works displaying the life of Johnny Cash and his connection to the nearby Folsom Prison, along with a 3 acre park…a nice tribute to the man who made Folsom famous. 

Folsom Dam

Marcia got a nice picture of the newly improved Folsom Dam, which just last year was completed and added some 15 feet to the height of the dam.  When I was young we use to drive across the dam, and every school kid took a tour inside the dam…oh, how times have changed.

Folsom Lake from Granite Bay State Park     Folsom Lake from Granite Bay State Park 

Give it another few weeks and these beaches along Granite Bay will be packed each and every day.  The lake is full with a height of 464 feet, and nearly 954 thousand acre feet of water behind the dam.  Capacity is 977,000 acre feet.  Just a month ago, the lake was only 58% full, and dropping.  They have to have room for the spring runoff from the Sierra Nevada mountains, and in May, the runoff was real good.  It was only a few years ago that the lake was half full at the beginning of June…yes, the drought is over in Northern California.

Folsom Lake from Granite Bay State Park

The lake is very popular for swimming, fishing, and for boating.  today there were just a few boats out there…

Folsom Lake from Granite Bay State Park

…just imagine how many will be out there Saturday, Sunday and Monday.  However, the weather is really playing games around here.  High in the upper 70’s today, but only low 60’s tomorrow (Friday), just to bounce back to low 70’s Saturday, mid-80’s Sunday, and low 90’s on Monday.  Up in the mountains it will be at FREEZING during the night…welcome to the opening of Summer!

Folsom Lake from Granite Bay State Park

We thought about driving all around the lake, but after getting into Granite Bay, figured I had enough memories to deal with.  They use to let you drive right out to the shoreline…not anymore.  I have had many a sunburn in my life, a few of the worse ones right here at Granite Bay.  Do you know how hard it is to cook in a restaurant’s hot kitchen with a bad sunburn???  I do, it is very, very tough.

Sister Sandy and Sister Patti (no, not nuns) are headed up to Reno tonight for a three night vacation away from work and work.  Arny’s mom will still need to be taken care of, and I willingly offered my assistance to help Arny take care of his mother Euleda. 

Monday, May 21, 2018

Granite Flat NF Campground – 2018

Granite Flat National Forest Campground, Truckee CA

Granite Flat National Forest Campground, Truckee CA

We first found Granite Flat Campground back in 2015…we stayed there four different times that year.  We had just bought the 2014 the Dynamax Isata due to a RV Storage fire taking out our Jayco, and hoped to go to Alaska in 2015…but ran into some problems with the Dynamax that needed to be addressed, including the rebuilding of our slideout.  Since Sacramento is hot, and Truckee is mild during the Summer, we came up here to test it out, went over to Tahoe, came back.  We came back two more times that year, sometimes staying a day or two, other times staying up to a week.  We did go to Alaska in 2016, and skipped Truckee, but came back last year for a visit on our way to Sacramento.  We just LOVE this park...

Granite Flat National Forest Campground, Truckee CA

Site 54 is our favorite site because as a ADA site, it is flat while some of the others are not.  Many of the sites can be reserved, but they have some that are first come, first serve. 

Granite Flat National Forest Campground, Truckee CA    Granite Flat National Forest Campground, Truckee CA

This time of year, everything is first come, first serve, but reservations start this weekend…and today is like we have the park to ourselves.  The campground opened on May 17th this year, and during parts of the summer, especially weekends, it can be full.  Price is still $11 per night with the lifetime senior discount card that you get through the National Parks for $80 if you are 62 or older…we are lucky in that we got our card back in 2012 when it was only $10 (advantages of marrying a gal just a wee bit older than you)

Truckee River, Granite Flat National Forest Campground, Truckee CA

The campground is right along the Truckee River with access to the water at a number of locations.  Normally we cannot see the river from our campsite, but it is so high this time of year, I got this shot right from outside the front door. 

Granite Flat National Forest Campground, Truckee CA    Granite Flat National Forest Campground, Truckee CA

Only thing about today….too much overcast, even a few showers, so the solar is not putting out as much as we need…but that is why we have a generator, and I doubt we will get any complaints since there is virtually no one around.

Back in Citrus Heights tomorrow…it has been a great three weeks, and we plan to head out from Citrus Heights again around June 11, three weeks from today, for around five weeks in Southwest Oregon, ending up near Santa Rosa California for my oldest son’s wedding.  In the mean time, we have my parents 70th wedding anniversary to celebrate in early June. 

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Tooth-loss in Carson City

At Comstock Country RV Park, Carson City, NV

Comstock Country RV Park

Through this whole tooth ordeal, the only pain that Marcia complained about was “me being a pain in the a**”.  Honestly, she actually said that she had a small amount of throbbing “once in awhile”, and that I have been a perfect angel over all of this.  Now, one of these is a honest statement…I will let the reader decide which is which.


Got up at 6:45 when our Bubba Alarm Clock went off, got the coffee going, took the kids out for a walk, fed them, and waited for the coffee to perk for the required 20 minutes.  By 7:30 Marcia was ready to get this over with…had to be there by 9:00 so that they could give her some meds due to her hip replacement.  We left promptly at 8:35, arrived by 8:45, by the time she finished her paper work, took the pills, she was called back at 9:15, 30 minutes before her actual appointment time.  I figured they would do X-Rays, and then discuss it…but in 10 minutes she was done.  The wisdom tooth was not imbedded into the bone anymore, so the dentist said, “This will be easy”, reached in, pulled it out, said, “All done!”  $270 later, we were out the door.  This is the second tooth she has ever lost since she lost all her baby teeth a few years ago…

Comstock Country RV Park

After the numbness wore off, she has no pain in her mouth (no telling about the back side that she sits on however), and all is well.

Comstock Country RV Park

I have included a couple shots of us here at the Comstock Country RV Park.  All of the sites have nice trees to buffer between the sites.  Yes, they are a bit close, but the buffering really helps a lot, and the park is dog friendly, and everyone has been so nice.  The empty slot next to us had a young couple from Denver in it last night, they had a baby was fixing to be a year old (that ‘fixing’ is an Arkansas term), and they were headed up to Portland via many National Forest and BLM land boondocking spots.  This was the first campground in two weeks since they left Denver…I wish them well.  Tomorrow we will pull out around 10:30, and drive up highway 50 to Lake Tahoe, around the north shore, and to one of our favorite NF Campgrounds near Truckee for a few days…were nighttime temps are going to be in the upper 30’s, but daytime temps will be in the mid-60’s.

Friday, May 18, 2018

Tooth Fairy Uprising

At Comstock Country RV Park, Carson City, NV

Carson City Area, Rainbows

Hey Marcia, I don’t think we are in Kansas anymore…or in the Alabama Hills either!

Sierra's along 395 headed north to Carson City

On the move by 1:00 pm Thursday.  I had left Marcia alone in the motorhome as I went to checkout the dump station at Tuttle Creek Campground, and then to get gas in Lone Pine in anticipation of heading up Whitney Portal Road all the way to the campground and the trailhead for Mt. Whitney.  I got back, and Marcia said, “I can’t close my mouth all the way…”  For months she has been fighting a Wisdom Tooth which seemed to be ‘loose’, and frankly we should have had it looked at in Florida before we left, but she had just dropped her dentist of 20 years and did not want to find another one.  So on the phone I got to call local dentist, to finally find one in Carson City who could see us Saturday.  So just before 1 pm, we left Lone Pine, left the Alabama Hills, and headed north.  The picture above is a vista point just outside of Baker California, the north end of Owens Valley. 

Sierra's along 395 headed north to Carson City    Sierra's along 395 headed north to Carson City
Sierra's along 395 headed north to Carson City

The views along the 230 miles, which took us six hours to complete, were just gorgeous.  As we got closer to Carson City, we did hit some rain, and some 45 degree weather…but then we got over that pass and down to Carson City were temps were mild, a little rain, and a busy, busy city.  It was pulling into the RV Park Thursday that Marcia got the double rainbow in the first picture.

For the first night we stayed at Silver City RV Park, after reading about others who had stayed there.  Unfortunately, they could only handle us for Thursday night, and they also increased their price from $35 per night to $50 per night due to new management…and no longer a Good Sam park, yet they have a bunch of Good Sam stuff still on their windows, on the map they hand out, etc.  I would have made a fuss…but we are no longer Good Sam members either, just not worth the price as far as we are concern….especially since many Good Sam parks accept AAA membership too, which we have on the car.  We crammed into a site, the sewer was so far back that even with three sewer lines we could not connect (because we did not disconnect the car), and all I did was hook up the water.  “IF” you want to use their cable, you have put $75 down for a cable box…we just did over-the-air TV.  The dogs are not allowed on grass, and the rocks seemed to hurt both of their sets of paws….and the off leash dog area is about half the size of our motorhome and twice our width…so they are better just being off leash inside the motorhome which has no rocks.  And the check in process took so very long, for no reason other than incompetence.  Well, enough of that.

Giving car a wash

Today we moved over to Comstock Country RV Park, which just so happens to be less than 1/2 mile from the Dentist Marcia sees tomorrow.  Here there is shade, room between sites, a nice, efficient staff, and a price of $42 per night including tax, and it is very quiet.  Only had about 8 spots open for today, and we are in for two nights, and it is close to so many things…including a car wash for our poor HHR which needed to be cleaned so badly.  Also, “WE” are going to take showers our self…only bad thing about boondocking is the lack of a shower.  (Wash clothes can only do so much….)

Dentist pulling a tooth

As for the Dentist appointment…around 10 am Saturday morning, pacific time, if you hear what seems to be a earth shattering noise…the earth moving below your feet…it is not an earthquake, it is not a sonic boom, it is not the second coming….it is Marcia getting her Wisdom Tooth pulled.  (Actually, it is so loose, it should be a breeze, but since she has a hip replacement, she needs to be careful of infection, and so she will have a antibiotic an hour before the procedure…otherwise, I would just pull it with my needle nose pliers.)

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Museum of Western Film History & What You See In Rocks

Boondocking in Alabama Hills, near Lone Pine, CA

Overland Stage, Museum of Western Film History, Lone Pine CA

Our big adventure today was going into town to visit the Museum of Western Film History.  For a $5 donation per person, there was lots to see, and included a short 15 minute movie about Lone Pine and the movie industry, and especially about all the many westerns filmed in the area, especially the Alabama Hills where we are camped right now.

Surgeon Dentist Wagon, Museum of Western Film History, Lone Pine CA

With all sorts of movie and TV props, and so many posters pertaining to so many movies…it is well worth the price, that’s for sure.

Old Movie Cameras, Museum of Western Film History, Lone Pine CA     Old Movie Cameras, Museum of Western Film History, Lone Pine CA

From old movie cameras (and catch those posters behind that one on the left)…

Old Movie Projectors, Museum of Western Film History, Lone Pine CA  Old Movie Projectors, Museum of Western Film History, Lone Pine CA  Old Movie Projectors, Museum of Western Film History, Lone Pine CA

…to the old projectors that they ran on at the movie house.  This place has it all.

RKO Camera Truck, Museum of Western Film History, Lone Pine CA

Look at this old RKO truck that they would mount the camera on.  They shot so many of the early silent westerns…although most silent films almost always featured live music to go with the movie as it plays.

Tom Mix Display, Museum of Western Film History, Lone Pine CA

Marcia was able to walk this museum, here she is looking over a Tom Mix display, telling me that she saw many a Tom Mix matinee in her childhood…along with many other of the old stars on display.

Display, Museum of Western Film History, Lone Pine CA    Display, Museum of Western Film History, Lone Pine CA
Display, Museum of Western Film History, Lone Pine CA    Display, Museum of Western Film History, Lone Pine CA

Movie Theater, Museum of Western Film History, Lone Pine CA

Eventually we made it to the small movie theater, where they do show movies now and then, but have a TV set up for the 15 minute thing on Lone Pine and the Alabama Hills and Owen’s Valley area.  Good little information piece.

They do allow pictures, but no flash…I think I was able to compensate for that pretty good this time.  And as you can see, no big crowds…and all three couples (when you include us) are passing through in RVs…the other two at the local RV park, us up in the rocks.

what do you see in the rocks game, Masked Man

Speaking of rocks…we have all played the “what do you see in the clouds” game.  Here, I played, “what do you see in the rocks”, right outside our motorhome.  Above, this one is easy…with the help of someone who added rocks for eyeballs.

what do you see in the rocks game, Casper the Friendly Ghost

This one here may or may not have had help, but I sure see something like Casper the Friendly Ghost in this rock.

what do you see in the rocks game, Dinosaur      what do you see in the rocks game, Dinosaur

This one reminded me of a dinosaur…could not find the exact one, but this one to the right is close enough.  (It’s my game, I make the rules!)

what do you see in the rocks game, Army Sergeant     what do you see in the rocks game, Army Sergeant

This one reminded me of like an Army Sergeant, but has a thicker neck than that cartoon character I found, and his helmet covers his eyes more.

what do you see in the rocks game, Tremor Monster     what do you see in the rocks game, Tremor Monster

Yes, even a rock that looks like the monster in the movie Tremors.  Principal photography took place in the Alabama Hills area in 1989. The mountains in the distance are the Sierra Nevada, and after filming was complete, the town set was completely torn down.  --OK, GAME OVER---

Views of Alabama Hills    Views of Alabama Hills

After the museum, we took a long drive down Movie Flat Road to see some more of the many rock formations.  The picture on the right is a close up of a rock hole or arch that is in the left picture.  (Remember, if you click on a picture it will get much bigger)  Marcia said that the one hole looks like a heart from this to agree, it sure does.

Views of Alabama Hills
Views of Alabama Hills
Views of Alabama Hills

These rock formations go on and on…no wonder the filming industry liked filming in the Alabama Hills.  In the bottom picture you can see a couple of tents…we did see about 4 RVs and 3 tents as we went deeper along Movie Flat Road…but there seemed to be less campers today than yesterday.

Views of Alabama Hills

I know, game is suppose to be over…but you got to admit that this looks a lot like a skull.

Views of Alabama Hills

Finish it off with a panoramic of the Sierra Nevada Mountains.  Now, we just need to find some of the movies we like that were shot here to watch for the various things we have seen.  Winking smile