Staying in RV parks that don’t have “full hookups” means limiting water use

Since we’ve left home on August 1st we’ve been at two RV parks.  The first was William Heise in Julian where we had electricity but no water except what was in our holding tanks.  We had to break camp and tow the trailer to the dumpsite a couple of times and we refilled our tanks at the same time.

Our second RV park, Sequoia RV Ranch in Three Rivers, CA, has water and electricity which is an improvement, but still no dumpsite at our camp.  So, while we aren’t limited to using what’s in our holding tanks, we are limited by what our grey and black water tanks can hold.  So, once again we are having to break camp and tow the trailer to a dumpsite to dump the grey/black tanks when they get full.  We’ve done it once and we’re trying to limit our water use so we don’t have to do it again till this Friday when we head out to our third destination.

Luckily the RV park has a bathhouse with showers (drop in two quarters and get 4 minutes of water) and every couple of days we head over to that.  We have taken a few showers in our own bathroom, but again we’re watching our water usage.

Our next couple of stops have full hookups so we won’t have to break camp to dump the tanks.  Nice, but more expensive!

The upside is we’re getting lots of experience at breaking camp (stow everything, pull in the slides, retract the awning, raise the stabilizer bars, unplug the electricity and water, hitch the trailer to the truck and drive away) and doing the reverse when we get back to our site.

All in all, it’s a small price to pay for being able to go where we want, when we want, and stay for as long as we want.

Exploring a cavern in Kings Canyon (a guided tour, we’re not that brave) :-}

Back in 1906 a logger named Boyden was exploring the area around Kings Canyon and chanced upon a cavern.  He explored it a bit and then went back to where he worked (several miles away) and filed a miners claim to the area around and including the cavern.  It was the only way to protect the cavern back in 1906.

He owned the claim for more than 10 years and in that time he took hardy tourists and cave explorers through the cavern for a quarter each.  At this time (1906-1916) there were no roads so it was a hike through steep hills and rocky terrain to even get to the cavern!  He lived in the cavern during the winters and in a small cabin nearby during the summers.

Once he was exploring the cavern on his own in the early spring, a time when water rushed through the cavern about shin-high, and he lost his balance in the rocky streambed and broke his lantern and got all his matches wet.  Alone in the pitch black, he survived by crawling along the streambed for over 3 hours knowing it would lead him to the cavern entrance.  When he died many years later he had no family to inherit the claim so it passed to the state and became part of Kings Canyon when the national park was formed.

We took a one-hour guided tour through the cavern.  Very interesting, in a few places we had to duck under stalactites and squeeze through narrow areas.  Well lighted except when the tour guide turned out the lights to show us what Boyden endured at least once.

Enjoy the pictures Jeff took:

The hair comes off

Almost a year ago I decided that when we’re on the road I didn’t want to deal with a new hairdresser every time I needed a trim.  I’ve gone home and cried in the past when a new hairdresser just butchers my hair!  I had found a great hairdresser and had been going to him for a few years but on the road…who knows!

So, I started growing out my hair.  It’s been about 35 years since I had hair past my shoulders.  My logic was that telling a new hairdresser “Straight across the bottom” with long hair would be easier than explaining the shape and style and hoping they got it right.

After several months it did get below my shoulders.  Not all one length yet, so to keep strands from flopping into my face and eyes every time I look down I was putting the top part into a ponytail up high on my head and putting the rest into a second ponytail at my neck.  The top part did feed into the bottom part.  Here’s a picture that sort of shows how it was from the back (click on picture to enlarge it if you’re interested in seeing my hair):

(by the way, this picture is of me walking THROUGH the hollow trunk of a giant Sequoia tree.  Over a hundred years ago loggers working in the area bunked in this tree trunk – you can still see carvings they made in the walls)

But, long hair is more difficult to take care of.  In the trailer we can’t take long, luxurious showers as we have holding tanks and we have to pack up and tow the trailer to a dump site when the tanks get full.  Every time I brushed it or re-did the ponytails I’d find hair all over the place (and I thought only dogs shed!).  It took longer to shampoo and rinse.  I found I really don’t like having my hair down around my shoulders – flopping into my face when I bent over, getting in my mouth with a mouthfull of food.  How do people with long hair manage that!?!?  And, I have thick hair so there’s a LOT of it to take care of.

SO, I decided to head to a Supercuts in a nearby city and get it cut off.  I had a picture of when I had short hair so I showed that to the stylist and she suggested making it a bit longer in the front so I can tuck it behind my ears and shorter in the back where my hair gets curly.  She did a GREAT job and I really like it.

I had Jeff take pictures front, side, back so next time I want it trimmed I can show the stylist exactly how I want it.  Hopefully I get good stylists who can keep this style going!

Latest Location: Sequoia National Park

We drove from Julian to Three Rivers, Ca just outside the entrance to the Sequioa National Park on Friday August 17th.  Long drive but an uneventful one which is good.

It’s even hotter here than it was in Julian, they’d been having highs of 104-106 and Friday it was a bit cooler (ha!) at 98.  So we were really glad our A/C is again working.

On Saturday we went into the Sequioa National Park.  I drove to give Jeff a break as he’s done all the driving so far.  Very windy road and you start at about 1,000ft and end up over 5,000ft!

There was constructions going on and a couple of miles of that narrow, very windy road was down to one lane and delays of about 20 minutes while folks going the other direction made their way through the construction area, then we went.  Luckily the place where we had to stop and wait had a fabulous view of Morro Rock. A different Morro Rock than the one in the beach near Morro Bay of course, but just as magnificent!

We went into the “Giant Forest” and as far as the General Sherman Tree area.  The parking area to go see the General Sherman tree is about .5 miles away from the tree itself, so there’s a hike to see it, but downhill all the way.  The tree itself, and many others in that area, is truly magnificently huge!  Jeff exclaimed several times that he’d seen pictures and knew they would be big, but until you actually stand under them and see how large around and how tall they really are you can’t imagine what it’s really like.  The park service made the trail very nice because in addition to a choice to hike back UPhill .5 miles to reach your car there’s a very slight downhill trail to some accessible parking and a shuttle will take you back to your vehicle.  That’s what I wanted…no uphill strenuous hike for me!

The temperature change from the lower area where it was mid-90s to the Giant Forest where it was sprinkling and about the mid-60s was interesting.  We hadn’t expected that much of a change, but it felt REALLY nice to have a cool breeze and some rain and it made the forest smell really good.  It was fortunate as well for Laddy – we took him on the drive with us and he was very comfortable staying in the car while we hiked down to see the General Sherman tree…dogs not allowed on the trails!

We took lots of pictures and they are in some separate posts.

 

Sequoia National Park and the giant trees!

We drove from Julian to Three Rivers, Ca just outside the entrance to the Sequioa National Park on Friday August 17th.  Long drive but an uneventful one which is good.

It’s even hotter here than it was in Julian, they’d been having highs of 104-106 and Friday it was a bit cooler (ha!) at 98.  So we were really glad our A/C is again working.

On Saturday we went into the Sequioa National Park.  I drove to give Jeff a break as he’s done all the driving so far.  Very windy road and you start at about 1,000ft and end up over 5,000ft!

There was constructions going on and a couple of miles of that narrow, very windy road was down to one lane and delays of about 20 minutes while folks going the other direction made their way through the construction area, then we went.  Luckily the place where we had to stop and wait had a fabulous view of Morro Rock. A different Morro Rock than the one in the beach near Morro Bay of course, but just as magnificent!

We went into the “Giant Forest” and as far as the General Sherman Tree area.  The parking area to go see the General Sherman tree is about .5 miles away from the tree itself, so there’s a hike to see it, but downhill all the way.  The tree itself, and many others in that area, is truly magnificently huge!  Jeff exclaimed several times that he’d seen pictures and knew they would be big, but until you actually stand under them and see how large around and how tall they really are you can’t imagine what it’s really like.  The park service made the trail very nice because in addition to a choice to hike back UPhill .5 miles to reach your car there’s a very slight downhill trail to some accessible parking and a shuttle will take you back to your vehicle.  That’s what I wanted…no uphill strenuous hike for me!

The temperature change from the lower area where it was mid-90s to the Giant Forest where it was sprinkling and about the mid-60s was interesting.  We hadn’t expected that much of a change, but it felt REALLY nice to have a cool breeze and some rain and it made the forest smell really good.  It was fortunate as well for Laddy – we took him on the drive with us and he was very comfortable staying in the car while we hiked down to see the General Sherman tree…dogs not allowed on the trails!

We took lots of pictures and they are in some separate posts.

 

 

One of my hobbies – baking my own bread!

I help my mom make rolls every Thanksgiving and Christmas, but other than that I don’t really have experience baking bread.  It’s something I’ve wanted to do for quite a while, but time and other commitments got in the way.

Now that we’re retired and have lots of time to do what we want, I’ve decided to start baking my own bread.  I made a simple white loaf this morning.  First time using the oven as well so I had to figure out how to light the pilot before putting the loaf in, and I was a bit unsure how well the temperature would match what’s on the dial etc.  Here’s a link to the recipe I used (click here).

Once I master this, I plan to make some sourdough starter so we can have sourdough bread, and also to make other types of bread such as pumpernickel, rye, etc.

Here’s a picture of my first loaf of bread…I had to take the shot quickly while it was still cooling because Jeff couldn’t wait to slice some of it.  He declared it is delicious!