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Sat. Jun 9 to Fri Jun 15- Sacramento CA to Eugene OR

Saturday- We went to downtown town arriving around 9:40. We parked at a meter for $5.50 for 2 hours. We walked over to the Capitol building. Below is the side of the building.

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Below is the front. The entrance was on the “N” street side on the weekend.

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We had to go through a security screening. Of course, my bionic knees set off the machine, so I had to stand with my arms raised to the side while the gal ‘wanded’ me. We asked the guards where to go for the 10 AM tour. He sent us to the statue of Columbus in the rotunda on the first floor. On the way we saw this interesting floor covering. This is actually made of mesh tiles.

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We walked past the 1906 Governor’s offices. Below is his secretary’s office.

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The next office to the right was a larger meeting room where the Governor met with folks.

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Turning the corner was the actual Governor’s Office. The table is a dining room table that he used as a desk.

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Not in the picture, to the left was an ice box where the Governor kept his beer!

The next room to the right, was a history of California room. They followed the history through the dawning of the automobiles and their impact on California society.

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We moved along past the Secretary of State’s office, then the Attorney General’s office. We finally reached the statue of Columbus.

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In the statue, carved in the 1800’s, of one solid piece of marble which weighs 9 tons, Columbus is asking the Queen of Spain to sponsor his trip across the Atlantic. The queen is holding her pearl necklace to demonstrate that she will pay for the trip. The statue was donated by a rich Californian who was thanking the state for his making his money.

The gal who was in the lobby to direct us, told us about the statue and sent us all, about 10 of us by now, downstairs to the Tour Office. Okay, now we were late for the 10 AM tour only because the gal kept us telling us info we would discover on the tour.

We arrived at the tour office, were counted and sent to the gift shop where the tour, with only one lady, was already in progress. Obviously, they did not have their act together!

Our tour guide, Dick, was excellent. We met up with Dick at the statue of Ronald Reagan in the area under the rotunda.

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Here is Dick pointing out the original Capitol building.

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The first capital of of California was in a small town elsewhere. Sacramento at this time was a larger city with lots of hotels and restaurants. The businessmen bought the land and donated it to the legislature, if they would move the capital to Sacramento. So that is what they did. Below are the light fixtures.

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Originally all of these were gas. There was a guy who would arrive at 4 AM and he would light all of these. He would barely get them all lit when the employees arrived, so they were converted to electric as soon as possible. Below is the spectacularly designed ceiling.

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Now we walked back up the 40 steps to the first floor. Below is looking up into the rotunda.

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Here is one of the ornate doors. These are original.

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Below is the Great Seal of California. It, and bears where everywhere!

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Along with the American Eagle.

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Below is the Assembly room. The picture in the center is of Abraham Lincoln. Since the state is so large, and so densely populated in some areas and less populated in other areas, the Assembly districts are designated by population, not by counties.

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Here an example of  the Assembly room ceiling.

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We moved to the other end of the building to the Senate.

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The picture in this room is of George Washington.  The story of the state is that it had its governmental structure, based on the English system, as is our national government. Because they were already set up to go when they requested to join the US, they did not have to wait, like most states, by becoming at territory first. They were admitted as the 35th state. Below is the ceiling in the Senate. The entire room was pink and red.

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We returned to the picture gallery. Below is the official portrait of Arnie.

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Here is Gerry Brown. This is the picture from his 1st time as Governor. There is no  picture from his current tenure, yet.

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Here is Ronald Reagan.

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We walked back down the steps from the 3rd floor.

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We walked thru the rotunda and down to the current Governors office. In front of the office is the ‘”bacteria bear”. That is what the staff call the bear as kids love to pet it!

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The office is on the first floor. The bear was donated by Arnold Schwarzenegger, using his own money.  We walked back out thru security. We still had some time on the meter, so we walked over to the Cathedral  of the Blessed Sacrament.

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The Church was originally built in 1886 a block away from the Legislature. It was renovated in 1946.

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There was an interesting Baptismal Font, it had a small water pond behind it.

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The two chairs in the front of the church were for a wedding. The bridal party was just arriving, so I ran through the church, leaving just as the ushers were entering the church.

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We left and went to the Gold Bridge. In 2002, the residents in the area voted on the color of the bridge, choosing the gold. This is a vertical lift bridge over the Sacramento river with the Capitol building in the background.

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We crossed the bridge and went to Old Town Sacramento. This area was much larger than we though it would be. Most old town areas are smaller. It was 4 blocks long and 2 blocks deep.

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The buildings were all labeled with their original names/uses, but now there are shops and restaurants in each of the buildings. There was  ‘boardwalk’ side walk along the streets.

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Below is the Firehouse, which is now a restaurant.

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We walked the length and then the width of the town. We stopped for lunch at a hamburger restaurant and both had excellent burgers. Bob had a nice beer.

We stopped for ‘dessert’ at Rocky Mountain Chocolate. They had these cool signs.

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We returned to the MH. Roxie was licking her paw, the same one that she had the issue with about 3 weeks ago. She was licking the same spot. There was also a hard knot under the fur. We think that when she was groomed last Saturday, that they might have accidently shaved the scab off and started another infection.

So I started calling trying to get a reasonable Vet appointment. VCA, where we took her the previous time, in southern California, wanted $149 just to walk in the door! I started calling the Banfield’s. Finally, I found one who would take us as a walk-in, at the usual price of $49 for an exam. Since she had been to one or two before, we got this price.

They said come in around 5 pm, and they would work us in. We drove over there through the horrible traffic. What was supposed to be a 23 minute drive, was almost 45 minutes due to traffic delays. The delays were not accidents, they were just heavy traffic. I think Sacramento area traffic is worse than LA traffic!

We arrived and had to wait a short time, then the Vet saw her. He did not think she had another foxtail, but he put her on antibiotics. So total, the price was a more reasonable $69, including the medication.

There was a Buca de Beppo about 1 mile away, on the way home, so we ordered carry out. It was almost 6:45 by now. So we stopped in and picked up the order. Bob had a $25 off offer, so that was really nice! We returned home.

Sunday- Because of the horrible traffic, we decided to leave today. So did our neighbors! We went to breakfast at the lodge at 8:30. This was the only meal that they were offering that we were interested in eating. They had Chicken fried steak one night and pub food another night.

They were not ready at 8:30, as this was the first time that they had done this breakfast. They had a nice buffet and a waffle bar. We both had the buffet and were done by 9AM. I stopped at the office to return the key to the electric box and get our refund of $25. Bob returned to the MH to work on disconnecting our utilities. We were mostly ready to go.

We drove out of the park at about 9:35, traveling on I-80 west to I- 5 north. Still lots of traffic, especially on I-5. We could not change our reservation at the Casino, so we went to the Elks Lodge in Red Bluff CA. We pulled in and set up. $18 for 30 a /w. It was very noisy, as it was located right next to I-5. We set up and ran around town, just taking a look. We stopped for gas, $3.49/gal.

Monday- We left around 10:30 and drove the 27 miles north to Redding CA. We turned off just south of there and drove to the Win-River Casino. The RV park was empty at 11:30, which was good. We pulled in and set up. One of the employees arrived with a golf cart and drove Bob over to the Casino to pay. $26 per night for 2 nights, FHU 50 amp..

We ran about 7 miles south to a sandwich shop. This had really high ratings on Yelp. It was located attached to an AM/PM gas station. The restaurant, BLSS- Best Little Sandwich Shop, lived up to the ratings. Excellent sandwiches

We stopped at the Post Office and dropped off a letter, then returned to the MH to relax. I needed a nap, as I did not sleep well the night before due to the noise. I was up at 4 AM. On the way back, we pulled over at the exit to take this picture of  the south side of Mt. Shasta.

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We had a quiet evening at home, except for the two German Shepard’s in the Class C next to us who barked a lot.

Tuesday- There is not a lot to do in Redding. Plus, the temperature is to be 106 today! We left early to go to the Sundial Bridge.

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The bridge is over the Sacramento River which is a very fast moving river!

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These are starling nests under the sundial fin.

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Above, at the far end of the bridge they had this rock. There were a few of them, showing what that the sundial would cover them on June 21. We walked back over the bridge and returned to the car.

We had filled a milk container with syringes from Bob’s every 3 week Vitamin B12 shot. So we needed to dispose of the sharps. Bob had found an app which shows where there are places to safely dispose of the sharps, so we went in search of the spot. It was located behind a grocery store in a recycling center. The center was closed, but the bin was unlocked for depositing small containers. Ours fit!

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We returned to the MH. The temp was 84. We left again at 11:45 to drive into downtown Redding. It was a typical city with nothing interesting. We stopped for lunch at the Brasserie, a crepe restaurant for lunch. We had excellent crepes. We returned to the MH and the temp was 88.

We had been unable to wash our towels so far this week, , so we drove south to Anderson and to a Laundromat. We washed/dried the towels. We stopped on the way back at  Parlor Ice Cream Puffs. We did not know what that was either! It is a scoop of ice cream, mashed inside a solid doughnut type puff. EXCELLENT! So glad there are only 3 of these ice cream stores in this area!

I had the strawberry shortcake ice cream. Bob had the mint with Oreos ice cream. You can also add toppings, but we did not see any reason to…. they were super yummy!

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We returned to the MH. It was 100 degrees! We had a quiet evening at home with all three compressors running!

Wednesday- We did some tasks around the MH and got ready to leave. We drove out at about 10: 40. We traveled to I-5, then north on I-5. Once we left Redding, we started to climb. What beautiful scenery! We could see Mt. Shasta approaching. We saw it for most of the day, first from the south, then the west, then looking back at the north side.

We stopped for lunch at a Pilot in the town of Weed. I ate the left over half of my sandwich and Bob went to make his and found that the bread was moldy. So he walked into the Pilot and ordered a sub from their Subway. While he was eating, I ran to the grocery store across the street and purchased bread and bananas. The bananas were 4 for $1. Below is our view of Mt. Shasta at lunch.

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At the next exit, we turned north on Hwy. 97. OMG, this was one of the most scenic drives that we have ever taken! I was driving the car, so I could not take pictures. To the left side was a beautiful valley, full of lots of color. To the right was Mt. Shasta. What views!!!

At one point, all the fields to the left were orange, yellow and green. To the right of the road, the prairie grass was all green.  We continued north on Hwy 97 to Klamath Falls OR. We celebrated getting out of very expensive California!!

The road ran right next to the very, very large Klamath Lake. We followed Hwy, 97 to the little town of Chiloquin, and Collier Memorial State Campground.  We had a reservation for site 23 B and went directly to our site. $33 per night with the ridiculous $8 Reserve America fee.( you pay the fee for each reservation, no matter how many days you stay). This the reason we do not stay in very many state parks!  We have FHU 50 amp. We could not get satellite. Oh well! We sat outside as the temp was 72! After the heat that we have been experiencing, this was heaven! This was a very nice state park. We grilled some chicken for dinner and watched some DVD’s that we had a a drawer.

Thursday- We left around 10 driving to Crater Lake, about 35 miles away. We took the dogs with us on this field trip. The gate was way into the park when you take Hwy. 62 from the south. We stopped at Annie’s Falls, and saw through the trees what looked like cascading water. Not worth taking a picture. We continued onward and upward to a pullout overlooking where fossilized steam vents had formed the formations below when the mountain was erupting. It is hard to see in the picture, but the depth of the formations is really huge.

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We showed our Geezer pass at the gate and saved $25 for the day. We stopped at the Steele Visitor Center. We used the facilities, walked the dogs, and left the dogs in the car. We do not usually do that, but the temperature was 57, so we did not think that they would get overheated.

The movie was 22 minutes long and pretty interesting. The volcano erupted numerous times over around 4,000 years. Finally, 7,700 years ago, the activity about 1.5 miles below the surface became so intense that around the bottom of the mountain the steam vents, like in the picture above, made a circle around the base of the volcano. The steam escaped, and the mountain fell in on itself creating the caldera which is now the lake.  All of the water in the lake is from melted snow. There is no water entering or leaving the caldera.

The lake’s surface elevation is 6,173 ft. The lake is 6.02 miles across at the longest part and 4.54 miles at the shortest. It is 1,943 ft.deep. The lake holds 4.9 trillion gallons of pristine water. They get a lot of snow here. The last time we were in the area and had planned to visit the lake, the only part of the lake open was the visitor center, and you had to walk thru a tunnel dug thru the snow. This was our first visit to the park and only the west rim was open. 4 miles of the east rim was open, the rest was closed, due to snow.

We continued to the Rim Village Visitor Center. We were looking for the picnic area to eat our lunch. Bob went to the Ranger and asked where is was located and was told that it is still snow covered. So we ate in the car.

Then we went and walked along the rim of the Caldera.

Crater Lake

Crater Lake

Above is Wizard Island. It is a volcano in the lake. There are several more, but they are under the water. Yes, the water is really that blue! It is hard to see, but there is still ice on the water!

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Crater Lake

We returned to the car and drove over to the Crater Lake Lodge. It was built in 1915. Crater Lake Lodge

It is not as ornate as the inside of many of the other National Park Lodges. Note the décor, with the stone and wooden walls. Plus the very large fireplace. On the side of the building facing the lake, there is a deck and people sitting outside having drinks from the bar and viewing the lake.

Crater Lake Lodge

This was their view!

Crater Lake Lodge

We walked back to the car, and turned onto the west rim drive. We stopped at an overlook. This brought us closer to Wizard Island. We used the binoculars to see some of the island.

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To the right side is a boat dock. Along the shore what looks white, is actually yellow tree pollen which has accumulated along the shore. At the inlet the water color was more aquamarine.

In this next picture, you can see the ice still on the water.

Crater Lake

As we were driving along the rim of the caldera, we passed a lot of snow covered areas. The road was clear, and some areas were clear, but there was still a lot of snow coverage.

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Below, it is not showing up, but someone had skied down this hill.

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We could only go as far as the north entrance turn off, so we back tracked and went up the 4 miles of the east rim, that were open. We arrived at Vidae Falls. The falls was much steeper than it appears in the picture.

Crater Lake

We continued to the barrier and parked. Two snow plows left while we were parked there. This was the Sun Notch area. Bob hiked up the 1/2 mile, moderate trail, to take pictures of the Phantom Ship.  From Wiki:”Phantom Ship is a small island in Crater Lake in the U.S. state of Oregon. It is a natural rock formation pillar which derives its name from its resemblance to a ghost ship, especially in foggy and low-light conditions.”

Crater LakePhantom Ship is a small island in Crater Lake in the U.S. state of Oregon. It is a natural rock formation pillar which derives its name from its resemblance to a ghost ship, especially in foggy and low-light conditions.

Below was part of the 1/2mile walk.

Crater Lake

Crater Lake

It had gotten warm, so I stayed in the car with the sleeping dogs.

We drove back to the State Park and sat outside until it clouded over. We grilled some pork chops and ate dinner.

Friday-  We left a little after 9, traveling north on Hwy. 97 to Hwy 58 and traveling mostly downhill, to Eugene. We drove through town to the Elks Lodge. We arrived to find only 1 site, out of 6, available. First come, first serve. Wow, are these sites narrow! Bob went in and paid the $15 each for 2 nights. That was a whole lot less expensive than all the RV parks in the area.

We backed into the site and the large motor home on our right had all his slides in. If he had not, we would not have fit in the site. We maneuvered so that we could open the bedroom slide and the living room slide only about 1 foot. That at least gives us room to move around. It’s only for 2 nights! We ate a quick lunch, as it was now after 1.

We walked out of the MH and met our neighbor on the left, Polly, and the people just past her, Lisa and Larry. We went to Costco for gas. $2.99! What a difference from California. It might be even cheaper if we could pump our own gas. Oregon requires attendants pump gas.

The Costco was wild, and this was a Friday! We lucked out and found a parking place. We shopped then left and went to Walmart. As usual, we had forgotten our bags, like we kept doing in California. In California they charge you for the plastic bags, which we never purchased. In Oregon, there were no plastic bags, just paper bags that you could purchase. We chose not to, put the items into the cart, and went to the car and put them into bags in the back of the car. I am starting to run short on plastic bags that I use in the trash can in the bathroom!

We stopped at a Napa on the way back to replace the light bulb for the Edge rear light that Bob had just replaced.

We returned to the MH at the same time that the folks on our right arrived back at the Lodge. They took one look at the situation and decided to move their MH over to their right. There was a lot of room to do that, so now they were able to open their slides.

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We decided to go out to dinner. The dinner at the lodge sounded good, shrimp in an alfredo sauce, bread, salad, drink for $8. There were 5 cars in the parking lot. Never a good sign! So we decided to go out to a seafood restaurant. We wanted to go somewhere for beer, since this is a craft beer mecca, but could not find a place with a decedent menu. We finally decided on McCarthy’s Sea Food. I had the shrimp and scallop skewers and Bob had the fried fish plate.

We stopped at ColdFire Brewing Company on the way back for Bob to have a nice beer. Bob had the “Beans of Wisdom” Imperial Coffee Porter. The brewery was very busy. They had a 3 person band, who were very good, even is they were too loud!

We returned and watched some TV. Bob called Direct TV and changed our ‘address’ to Portland and off of Fresno. Up until here, we had been watching Fresno local channels. The next change will be in Seattle.

Sat. June 2 to Fri. June 8- Fresno CA to Yosemite CA

Saturday- It was going to be very hot today in Fresno, 96 degrees, and hot at Yosemite, 90’s, so we left at 8:30 after dumping at the Elks Lodge. I still drove the car and Bob drove the MH.  We drove north on Hwy. 99 to several roads northeast. OMG, the first road thru Merced, Hwy 140,  said, once we were too far to turn around, that the road was closed. EEK! We ended up driving thru the construction area. They were working, but the road was not closed. We turned onto Hwy 49, following the GPS. It was thru ranch country. AGAIN, we were way down the road when we saw signs that the road was closed. This time they were not working on the road and there was absolutely no where to turn around. We turned onto Hwy 53. EEK! This road was thru the mountains. Two lane and very, very narrow. No closed signs, and no signs saying do not take a large rig thru! Three times on turns, the back wheels were off the road into the dirt/rocks. I really thought that the rig was going to scrape on the rocks sticking out into the road. Bob did an excellent job of driving this very difficult road. Both of us were grinding our teeth!

Whew, then we turned onto Hwy 120. The road was better, but up hill several thousand feet. Lots of traffic. Bob had to pull over into pull outs 3x to let cars pass. We were worried that he would not be able to get going again up the steep climb, but the rig did it really well, without overheating! The highest the temperature gage climbed was half way! We would never had made this climb on this two lane road before we had the MH repaired last year!

We traveled through the little town of Groveland, where the TT address is listed, but it is about 20 miles farther east towards Yosemite. We drove into the RV park at about 12:30. Signed in, ran around the park and found a nice 30 amp FHU site. It was either a 50 amp site under the trees, or a 30 amp FHU site with a clear satellite view. We chose the satellite. The temp was in the 90’s. We parked and set up. We had to run the roof air conditioner to get the rig cooled off.

We went over to the office and the Family/Adult Lodge to check them out. The Family Lodge is on the first floor, and the Adult Lodge on on the second floor. There are pool tables in the Adult area and a very large TV in the Family area. There was a nice deck with chairs and tables. There is no swimming pool or spa, which is unusual for a TT. They usually have both. There is swimming in the river which passes right by the resort.

We ate dinner and at around 8 we walked over to the Pavilion. They had a band and s’mores. That was a hoot. There are a number of rented, small Class C MH’s in the park. They are rented by Oriental folks touring the USA. The resort does not rent them. The folks had never heard of s’mores. So it was a hoot to watch them figure out how to roast marshmallows and put together the s’,mores. They had a great time. We roasted and ate ours. First time in years we have had them!

Sunday- We walked back over to the Pavilion, for the Pancake Breakfast. It was pretty good, $5 for two good size pancakes, two sausages links, OJ and coffee.

We returned to the MH. We are having a quiet day. No sense in going to the NP on the weekend fighting with the weekend crowds. There is a YARTS bus that stops in the park to take people to Yosemite, ($10 each round trip) but it stops here at 8:47 in am, but does not return until after 5 PM. We will not take it because of the dogs. There are shuttles in the park that we will use.

At lunch time we decided to drive to Groveland to use the internet and to eat lunch. We hopped into the car and drove the 6.6 miles to the overlook where they were supposed to have 4G internet. We tried to connect but there was only minimal 3G. I took some pictures on my phone of the valley and I have to wait to transfer those pic’s as I need internet to do that.

We continued the other 14 miles to town. We traveled through Groveland to Oak Flats and at the top of the worst part of the climb on Hwy 120, there was a restaurant called Priest Station Café and Store. It was at the intersection of Priest Station Road and Hwy 120. Priest Station Road drives up the mountain, parallel to Hwy 120. There were huge signs on both ends of the road  saying not to drive RV’s, trucks, or buses on this road. I think the road is shorter, so of course, steeper.

We had an excellent lunch. Bob had the brat plate and I had the turkey sandwich. We stopped for gas, $3.69 gal vs $4.09 on the rest of the road. We stopped on the way back to the resort, at the overlook,  and I tried to load last weeks blog. No way, there was not enough service. We returned to the park and had a quiet afternoon and evening.

Monday-  We left early, about 8:15, and traveled the 5 miles to the entrance to Yosemite. We stopped and took a picture of the sign.

Yosemite sign

We again saved $25 a day using our Geezer pass. From the Big Oak Flat  entrance, it is 24 miles to the Yosemite Valley Visitor Center and Theater. We had to drive thru 3 tunnels. The first of which was about 1/4 of a mile long.

Yosemite NP

We stopped at a pull out to take a look at one of the valleys.

Yosemite NP

We stopped to take a look at El Capitan. On Saturday, 3 experienced climbers had died climbing this rock.

Yosemite NP

We returned to the car, and were ready to leave our parking spot and Bob noticed a large waterfall. We got back out of the car and walked over to the famous Bridal Vail Falls. (The map that they give you is not very good!). It was a 1/4 of a mile walk into the falls.

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Below is the water coming from the falls that we saw along the walk.

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The last part of the walk is uphill on asphalt. There were a lot of people there, including a bunch of kids, who were not looking at the falls, just hanging around chatting with each other and standing in the way of the rest of us who wanted to take a look.

Yosemite NP

We walked back to the car and continued on our way.

Yosemite NP

We arrived at the Yosemite Valley Visitor Center parking lot. It was a long way from the Visitor Center. We parked and took our backpack and lunch bag with us. We walked over to the Visitor Center, past a lot of buildings and some construction. We arrived and went to the Theater for the 20 minute film about the history of the park. Thank you John Muir and Teddy Roosevelt who saved this treasure from development!

We spoke with the ranger at the information desk and she suggested that we walk over to the Yosemite Falls. The walk was about 1/2 to 3/4 of a mile to the entrance to the trail to the falls. We turned into the trail, which was 1.1 miles and walked the 1/2 mile to the lower falls overlook.

Below is the upper part of the falls.

Yosemite NP

Below is the lower falls from the viewing area.

Yosemite NP

We sat and looked at the falls for awhile and took a selfie.

Selfie

Then we continued on the trail.  We saw this Native American type monument. The Native Americans leave these rock formations all over the country.

Yosemite NP

We stopped at a spot and could finally see the entire falls.

Yosemite NP

Yosemite Falls is the tallest waterfall in the USA. It is the third tallest in the world. It is actually 3 falls. There is a 4 mile trail that goes up to the top, but we were not going to do that difficult hike!

We continued on to the rest room area where there were picnic tables. We ate lunch, but could not see the falls from the picnic area. We then went in search of Sentinel Bridge. The signage is poor everywhere! We found a bridge in an field and looked up to see Half Dome. Guess we found the right bridge!

Yosemite NP

We walked through the meadow on the meadow trail.

Yosemite NP

We returned to the car and dropped off the backpack and lunch bag. We took the #1suttle back to the Visitor Center. We visited the gift shop and the very expensive Ansel Adams Gallery.

We went to hop on the #10 shuttle and found that the line was very long. So we hopped on another shuttle and went to the #3 stop. It was the Majestic Yosemite Hotel (formerly known as the Ahwahnee Lodge).  This Lodge was commissioned by the then head of the NPS in 1925. The building is made of stone, brick and concrete, using very little wood to prevent fires. Currently, the building is 150,000 sq. ft. with 93 rooms. The cornerstone was laid August 1, 1926. The building was converted to a hospital for the Navy during WWII.

Yosemite NP

Yosemite NP

We hopped on the next shuttle which took us back to the gift shop area. We walked over to the Grill and both ordered chocolate ice cream cones. We enjoyed the cones on the patio, hearing a lot of sirens. We also noted a faint smoke smell.

We walked back to the car and turned right out of the parking lot following the exit signs. It was about 2:30. We drove towards the Yosemite Lodge and ran into a vehicle standstill. We ended up spending almost 1/2 an hour circling as they Rangers had closed the exit road and the line up of cars was miles long. We quickly realized that there must be a fire somewhere.

The road in and out in this area is one way each way, but a two lane road. They had us circle back around to the entrance road and sent us out the entrance, staying in the right lane. There was only a few cars coming in on the other side, who must have been in the area. We then saw the smoke.

Yosemite NP

We were glad to be leaving!  As you can see, we had to pass by where the fire was located. We traveled along with the traffic, away from the smoke. When we arrived at the fork, they were routing everyone away from the Yosemite Visitor Center area. Many people had pulled off on the side of the road to wait for the park to re-open. We raced out of there!

We traveled the 30 miles back to the TT park, arriving at 4:30. We had a quiet evening at home.

Tuesday- We decided to have a quiet day again. We still have no internet or phone service which is driving us crazy. Bob needed to post on the Roadrunner FB group about the problem with the umbilical. I did some laundry and Bob worked on trying some of the suggestions from friends on how to get the umbilical to work. We left around 11 and drove to Groveland, stopping in a little park and connecting to the internet. Bob looked at what people had posted about the problem. Bob then called Freightliner for assistance. They suggested a specific fuse, #27.  I texted some friends and looked at various posts on FB. Bob called the Freightliner in Sacramento and attempted to make an appointment. We could not get an appointment for 2 weeks. Then we went to lunch at a little deli. From there we went to a Napa Auto parts to purchase a 30 amp fuse. We stopped for gas again, and returned to the RV park.

Bob tried the changing the fuse and this did not solve the problem. I continued with laundry and we decided to redo our plans. So now we had a different problem. Bob left and went back to Groveland and found a different Freightliner in Salem OR, the next Freightliner Oasis dealer. Oasis dealers specialize in motorhomes.

The washing machines at the RV park were finally working, so Bob took the towels over and washed them. We ate dinner and sat outside enjoying a campfire. Our neighbor, Steve, next door, had left us some firewood. Just as we were getting ready to go back in the MH, our neighbors on the other side returned home. The husband came over and asked us about being residents of South Dakota. Then he went and got his wife. She came over and we spent an hour talking with them. We finally went into the MH around 9:30.

Wednesday- We were out the door at 8:30. We took phone numbers with us and also took the dogs. We went straight into Yosemite, and drove to the Yosemite Visitor Center area. We parked and taking the dogs for a walk with us, went over to where the restaurant went to the picnic tables outside. We started making phone calls. Bob made an appointment for the 18th at the Salem Freightliner Oasis repair facility. Then he called the Casino in Redding, and made a change to our reservation with them. Then I called the RV park at Crater Lake. They could not accommodate a change, so we had to cancel the reservation.  I got online and found a state park. I called them and made a reservation for Crater Lake for 2 nights. That was all they could accommodate, not the three nights that we wanted, but at least we will finally be able to view Crater Lake. We have tried 3 times in the past!

We left and drove to Glacier Point. This first picture is from the Tunnel View overlook, looking back over the Valley. The waterfall on the right is Bridal Veil Falls.

Yosemite Glacier Point

We drove through the 1/2 mile tunnel and continued on Hwy. 41. We climbed several thousand feet in elevation and turned left onto Glacier Point Road. We continued to the overlook at  Washburn Point. This drive took an hour from the valley.This view is of Half Dome.

Yosemite NP Glacier Point 
Yosemite NP Glacier Point

This view is of Yosemite Falls and the glaciers in the background.

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Below is Vernal Falls.

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Here are the glaciers is the distance.

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The views were spectacular! The temperature had also dropped at this elevation to 59 degrees. We continued on the road to Glacier Point, evidently along with everyone else! We ended up in a long line, cruising the parking lot for a place to park. We finally found one and sat in the car eating our picnic lunch. Supposedly there is a picnic area, but we could not find it. Then we took the dogs and walked up to the point. The elevation is 7214 ft. Below is Nevada Falls.

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We walked up to the Geology Exhibit.

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At the edge, looking down at Yosemite Village.

Yosemite NP Glacier Point

This picture below is of the with Mirror Lake. There is a 4 mile, each way, hike to Mirror Lake that we did not do.

Yosemite NP Glacier Point

Again, the views were spectacular, from across the valley from where we had been on Monday. We returned to the valley and back through the park. We exited the park and returned to the MH.

We had a quiet evening at home watching The Freestate of Jones. What an interesting movie!

“Is State of Jones a true story?

Premise. The story is based on the history of Jones County, Mississippi during the Civil War and the immediately following period. Although the plot of the movie is fiction, the overall story follows the history of Jones County, and many of the events portrayed are true. “From Wiki..  Neither of us knew that after the war, that the plantation owners would kidnap black children and forge paperwork claiming that they were apprentices, thereby putting them back into slavery.  Congress had to pass a law against it.. 

Thursday-  Moving day! We left at around 10 AM, with Bob driving the MH and I was driving the car behind him. We traveled Hwy. 120 back down the mountain. We luckily did not have any cars behind us on the zig-zag down the mountain. It is a 5 mile drop in altitude and we took it very slowly. When we hit the bottom Bob radioed that he hoped to never have to do that again!

We continued on Hwy 120 until we turned north on the 99 Freeway. We traveled north to Sacramento. Sacramento traffic was awful! We turned onto I-80 and went to a Pilot. We ate a late lunch there, and called the Elks Lodge in Carmichael. The volunteer at the Lodge told us that they had 4 available sites. We traveled about 13 miles to the Lodge, checked in, and parked. We have 50 A/W for $30 per night.

Bob had a $5 coupon for Texas Roadhouse, so we went to dinner there again. We had a nice dinner and stopped at the Costco for gas, $3.33/gal. We returned home and watched Hidden Figures which we had recorded. We had listened to the book on CD, but had not seen the movie.

Friday-  We slept in until 7, late for us. Then we did some tasks around the MH before leaving. We ran through Bubba’s Car Wash. Nice wash, but interesting name! We went to Kohl’s, then Best Buy for a new filter for the refrigerator. We stopped at Costco. From there we went to lunch at TOGO, which is a sandwich restaurant chain. They had nice subs. We both opted for a ‘mini’ which is half of a 6”sub. Then we went to Walmart Neighborhood Market. We returned to the MH to put away the groceries.

Bob took the dogs for a walk, and I had a knock on the door. The guy next door, Gary, came over asking about South Dakota residency. I invited Gary in and we sat and talked. Then Bob arrived and we continued the conversation. We talked for about 1.2 hours. Gary is from California, and the state is eating them alive, so they are seriously looking at ‘moving’ to South Dakota.

We went to dinner at the Fair Oak Pub. They had great beers. Bob liked all of the ones that he tasted. BUT the service was awful! First, they delivered the wrong beer Flight to the table. So they had to take that back and bring the correct one. We had ordered a pizza. It took about 1.25 hours for it to arrive. First they delivered the wrong pizza, then we think they had to re-cook the pizza. We know the waiter had the order right as he put it into an I-pad and repeated it to us. We spoke with several people including the manager about the situation. Finally, they brought the right pizza, which was not worth waiting for! It was pretty lousy. So we paid, and were getting up from the table when a waitress arrived with a cheesecake. It was a reward for their terrible service. Even it was mediocre. It was cheesecake on top, with yellow cake under, and raspberry on the bottom. There was a lot of whipped cream surrounding the cake, with a chocolate drizzle. Sounds good doesn’t it, but it did not taste all that great….

Sat May 26 to Fri June 1 Fresno CA–Sequoia NP-Fresno CA

Saturday- We were out the door early to take the dogs to Bethany’s Dog Grooming. We dropped off the dogs, then went to breakfast at Red Apple Café. We arrived at just the right time. We were immediately seated. When we left, the line was out the door.

They served us huge breakfasts and I took enough home breakfast for 2 more days and Bob for 1 more day. We went to Vineyard Farmers Market. It was located in an old, large, grape arbor. We purchased zucchini and strawberries.

We left and tried to find another farmers market, but when we arrived at the site it was an apartment building. We stopped at Von’s for some more items and Kohl’s for a couple of items.

Then we stopped and picked up the girls. The groomers did a really good job. We returned home, ate lunch, and had a quiet afternoon. We decided to go to the Old Spaghetti Factory for dinner. We have been to one before and decided that we will not go to one again. The bread, while fresh, was very blah. Bob had spaghetti with a mushroom sauce which was okay. I had angel hair with a meat marinara. Hardly any meat and the sauce was mediocre. The salad was just iceberg lettuce with a few pieces of shredded carrot. They serve a 3 course meal, with the salad and ice cream for dessert. We both opted for the vanilla which was okay.

Sunday- We left at a little before 10 to go to Forestiere  Underground Gardens $15 ea. senior rate.

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The Garden, in 2016, was voted best underground attraction in the country by Trip Advisor. Also in 2016 it was voted a top attraction by Fodors.  The story was very interesting. The guy who built it, I am going to call him BF, worked on it for 40 years! He emigrated from Italy and wanted to start a citrus farm like he grew up on in Italy. He arrived in New York and worked at digging the subway. He earned the money to travel to California. He then dug ditches in California, earning the money to purchase 70 acres of land in the San Joaquin Valley.This valley grows almonds, pistachios, and raisins. The land has only a very shallow area of dirt before you hit hardpan, the third hardest rock in the world. He had 5 feet of this rock on his land.

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So rather than sell the land, he decided to dig and build an underground garden, planting citrus trees underground. How did he pay for this you might ask? He worked his day job, digging ditches during the day, and digging the garden overnight!

This was a guided tour. We entered the underground garden and our first stop was this courtyard.

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BF planted trees and plants underground. He used these openings in the roof for them to grow. Orange trees lifespan is 60 years, his trees are living much longer.

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These trees are all underground and thriving!

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He grafted various varieties of oranges, and other citrus,  to sour orange trees. The sour orange tree is very sturdy and resistant to infestation.

BF was very religious, so he put in a chapel.

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He even put in a bell above the chapel.

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It is hard to see in the picture below, but this tree has two different kinds of oranges. The edible ones are on the left and the sour ones are on the right.

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He built his home in the garden. There were two of the them. The first one was small and the second was much better. Below is the dining room table. Notice the whole in the center of the table. He had a tree growing through the table.

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The icebox in the kitchen.

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Stove and the table in the back slid in and out.

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There were two bedrooms. Not because he had visitors, one was a winter bedroom with a fireplace for heat and the other was a summer one which was more open,

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Then he also had a patio with a bath tub.

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He put the water up on top of the garden and had a tubing running down into the bath tub. The water would warm all day, and he would then let the water run into the tub.

Below was his fish pond. He would go to the river and catch a lot of fish, keep them alive, then bring them back and put them in this pond in the garden. Then he would catch the fish in his pond, and cook it.

The next picture shows a peak hole. When someone came to visit, they would ring the bell. He would see who they were and might or might not visit with them.

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So how did he deal with rain? He had covers he could put over some of the roof openings. Others he let the rain in, but the floor slopes and the water can drain into a hole.

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He decided late in this process to open up to the public to make some money. He built an auto road into the garden.

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I don’t think I mentioned how many miles of tunnel that he built! There were lots..

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BF really got into grafting and made this one tree with 7 varieties of fruit growing on the tree. The green fruit in the right lower corner was what the issue was. It is a very heavy fruit and it made the branch fall off the tree. This led to an infected tree, and the loss of many of the fruits. This is the tree, but it only has two varieties of oranges growing on it currently.

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Below is more of the road.

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Below are the tools he used to do all this work.

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Ant this piece of equipment is. ..

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BF did not just grow citrus, he also grew carob, and grapes.

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And roses…

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Towards the end, he built a ballroom. Below is the stage.

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The floor is Italian marble which he imported.

So who owns this attraction? It is still in the family. BF, in 1940, contracted pneumonia post surgery, and never left the hospital after his hernia surgery.  He never married ( surprise surprise, he spent all his time working….). The family sold the land, and his brother bought back 10 acres, which is what is now left of the garden. The family maintains the facility.

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We were very impressed with this attraction. The hard work this man did…. he never married and had no children. IMHO, I think he was mentally ill! But then I never knew the man. He was obviously a genius, as he put really smart ideas to work in this facility. He did this whole enterprise, without a plan. No blue prints. He used, to support the roof, any items he could find. There are bed slats and box springs, any type of metal. He was also very religious. There are many instances of 3’s and 6’s incorporated into the building. If you are ever in the area, I would recommend a visit. The story is fascinating!

We stopped at  El Michoacano Mexican Restaurant for lunch. I cannot tell you how great our meals were! They were the best Mexican we have had in a long time!!

We went downtown to look at the Fresno Water Tower.

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And the historic Arch.

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Monday- We traveled southeast on Hwy. 41 to Hwy. 99. We exited the freeway onto Hwy. 198 and traveled to Three Rivers, just outside of Sequoia NP. We arrived at Three Rivers Hideaway RV Park to find that they did not have our reservation. The guy at the desk, said they could accommodate us. Huh, we made the reservation and had a confirmation! Thanks for doing us a favor…This is a small RV park with no amenities. We have no internet or phone service. We can get texts. The park has internet, open and free, but it is intermittent and very weak ATT. No Verizon.

We settled in and Bob took the towels to the one washing machine and dryer. I did laundry in the MH. We had a quiet evening at home

Tuesday- We left early and drove into the NP using our “Geezer” Pass. The pass is saving us $25 per day at each of the NP’s that we enter!

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Our first stop was at the Foothills Visitor Center. We immediately found that there is construction on the road, with up to 1 hour delays, and we had to leave in 3 minutes to make it to the construction site, way up the highway…

So we went back to the car and took off. The visitor center is at 1700 ft. The next area was at 6409 ft, so obviously, we traveled uphill! We reached the construction area and had to wait about 7 minutes. The road, on the outside, was being replaced/upgraded. It was a single lane for 2 miles. We drove through, then it was another 9 minutes to the Giant Forest Museum. We looked at the exhibits, but were not impressed by anything there with the exception of the trail of blocks which represent how big a Sequoia would be on the ground. It was impressive!

We found that they have a free shuttle, so we hopped on the #1 shuttle to the General Sherman Tree. The shuttle, which runs every 15 minutes dropped us off at the trail. We walked up to the tunnel tree.

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Then continued on to visit the General Sherman tree. it is the largest tree in the world, by volume. The top is dead, so it will not grow taller.

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Its hard to get a picture of a tree which is so large, but the picture above shows it from a distance.

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We hopped back on the shuttle and went to the Lodgepole Visitor Center. On the way, the shuttle drove past the Lodgepole Campground. We had tried to get reservations there, but were unable to do so. We are really glad that we did not, as the drive in would have been terrible, although coming from the north, as they are not allowing longer RV’s through the construction. Also, they have had 8 bear attacks in the last 3 weeks, with bears trying to get into the cars, trucks, tents etc.….

We ate our picnic lunch at the table outside the Lodgepole building. We went in and watched the video on bears, which was very interesting.

Then we hopped back on the shuttle and returned to the Museum and raced to the car. We drove back down and got in line to go thru the construction. We arrived in time and waited about 5 minutes. We traveled through the construction area. Now we did all the sites that we had missed on the way up. Our first stop was at an overlook. We could see Moro Rock and the valley.

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Above is Moro Rock. It is hard to see, but there are people on the top of the rock.

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We continued to Hospital Rock. This was a site is where an Indian village was located. We walked across the highway to the rock. To the right, there was the kitchen. It was in the shade, and in the rock, you can see the holes where the women ground the wheat for flour. It must have taken centuries to develop these holes!

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Under hospital rock there were petroglyphs.

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We left and traveled back to the Foothills Visitor Center and used the internet at the facility. Both of us checked our emails and FB. We left the park and traveled into town. We went to the local ice cream parlor/candy store for some ice cream. Everything is made there and it was excellent! It was 65 degrees in the park, but felt warm in the sun. It was 98 in Three Rivers at the RV park. We returned to the happy dogs and had a quiet evening.

Wednesday- Our destination was to be Kings Canyon NP which is north of Sequoia NP.

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Due to the construction, we decided to travel outside the park. We turned west and traveled about 5 miles to Hwy. 216. We traveled through orange and lemon orchards to Hwy. 245. We followed Hwy. 245 to Hwy.180 and the entrance to KIngs Canyon NP. I would never travel Hwy 245 again. So glad we were not in the motor home! The road surface was good, but the road zig-zagged up into the mountains. It was more twists and turns than what was in the park. The best explanation I can give you is it was many miles of curvy Lombard Street in San Francisco! It took less time, but more gas! The views were beautiful, if you had the time to look at them!

We arrived at the gate, passed into the park, and went straight to the Grant Grove Visitor Center. We stamped the passport, and drove east on the Kings Canyon Scenic By-way. We drove all 32 miles, out to the “Roads End”. It was a spectacular drive with rocky canyon sides, a fast flowing river and two waterfalls.

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Our first stop was at the General Grant Tree. It is the third largest tree in the world, by volume. There was a 1/2 mile walk around the area. On the trail, first there were several exhibits prior to the General Grant Tree.

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Below is the same tree as in this exhibit picture. You can walk thru the tree!

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The Sequoias are very sturdy. The live through fires as you can see the damage in this tree.

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This is Centennial Swamp. The tree was cut down and parts were shipped to the World’s Fair. Easterners did not believe that there were such big trees in California. They thought it was a hoax, so the Californians sent the parts of this tree to the Fair to show them. The Easterners still did not believe them…

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You can see right through this tree!

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This was us at the far end of the tree you can walk thru. We traded taking pictures with some Canadians.

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The drive thru the mountains and canyons was spectacular.

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Below you can see the road traveling thru the canyon.

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Below is 10 miles creek.

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We stopped at the Conflict Flat Campground and Picnic area for our picnic lunch. This was our view. It was a pretty little park. The Convict part of it was that they had convicts from Alcatraz who were brought here to work. They earned a dollar a day for 6 days a week. It was hard to escape this area, and they usually did not try because the cost of catching them was taken out of their pay. Also, they only used lifers and long term convicts for this work. 

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Below is the Kings River. It was a raging river!

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Below is Grizzly Falls.

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The end of the canyon.

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Below is the second waterfall, this is Roaring River Falls. It was pretty loud!

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It was only 2 more miles to  Roads End. This is Grand Sentinel at 8518 ft.

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When we reached the end, we turned around and drove back. We turned onto the Generals Highway, and returned through Sequoia NP. At this point, we had used most of our gas, and we were getting a little bit nervous about fuel. We had started in the morning with almost a full tank, and now we had less than a quarter tank. There are no gas stations in the NP’s. Fortunately, the area between the parks is a National Forest, and there was a gas station. Gas was $3.99 gal, so we only bought 3 gallons, enough to get us back to Three Rivers.

We lucked out and arrived just in time to catch the 3:30 drive through the construction area. We returned to Three Rivers, (temperature 102!) and had a nice dinner at home. Then we took the dogs and my computer and went to Lake Keweah NP. It is right on the highway and since we have the geezer pass, it was free for us. There was phone service and we were able to connect to our Verizon. I was able to download all 196 pictures from my phone! We ran a little bit farther and stopped for gas. $3.65/gal. Gas in the town of Three Rivers was $4.09 gal. We returned and had a quiet evening at home.

Thursday- We left a little later today, but still caught the 10:30 trip through the construction. We went immediately to the area we had missed on Tuesday. We stopped at Auto Log. They used to park cars on this log.

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Then continued on to Tunnel Log. There we are driving thru….

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We continued on to Moro Rock. We had looked at this from 3 sides. Bob walked up the 356 steps and took these awesome pictures. I went up the first 60 and looked right and left and said, no way, I don’t like heights!

I returned to the car while Bob continued up. Here are his pictures.

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The steps farther up become very narrow and built into the rock.

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Glaciers

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We went to Crescent Meadow for our picnic lunch. It was about 12:15, so we raced down the hill to catch the 12:30 trip back through the construction. We returned to the MH, walked the dogs, then went in search of internet/phone connectivity. Bob called the Elks Lodge in Fresno and we are returning there tomorrow for one night. This give us a chance to grocery shop and get more (less expensive) gas, before we leave for Yosemite on Saturday.

We returned to the MH and stopped at the office. We asked for a refund for tomorrow and the gal gave us one. She said that she could sell the site tomorrow. When we returned to the MH, Bob noted that she had refunded us $49. We had only paid $40 for the night. So he went back to the office and told her, taking the receipts. She said that was okay, she would get it when she sold the site tomorrow, no problem. Wasn’t that nice!  We had a quiet evening at home.

Friday- June 1- We have been on the road for 8 years today! Wow, time sure flies!!

We packed up and got ready to leave. When Bob went to the tow umbilical, he noticed that it was broken. So I drove the car behind the MH. We wanted to leave early, as it was going to be in the high 90’s again today.

We back tracked west to Hwy. 99 and turned north on Hwy 41. It was an easy drive. We arrived at the Elks to find that our assigned site, site 9, was occupied. Hmmm. The guy Bob has spoken with at the Elks very obviously has memory problems and hearing issues. So we were not too surprised. Site 6 was open. So we went into the Lodge. The guy must have asked us 6 or 7 times the length of our MH. He walked out with us to take a look. Then told us to pull into site 6. It turned out, the folks in site 9 had just pulled in some time overnight and not paid or had a reservation. They were not there. The rig was a longer, 42 to 45,  than our 40 footer.

Site 10 was also open but we could not fit in that site as it was too short. So into site 6 we went, and it was reserved for someone else.

We set up, ate lunch and Bob worked on the umbilical, checking everything he could check. We went to Walmart, Total Wine, and Bank of America for quarters (laundry). Bob had looked at Walmart for fuses for the umbilical, but they did not have the one we needed, so we stopped at Auto Zone.

We returned ( the guy with the reservation had arrived in a smaller Class C MH, and fit nicely in site 10) and Bob put in new fuses. It still does not work. The MH lights work, so he does not know what is wrong. He looked for  some dealers in Sacramento, and they were already closed for the weekend. We will have to find cell coverage on Monday and schedule an appointment.

The Elks guy had invited us to the dinner at the Elks this evening. After last week, heck NO! We went to Texas Roadhouse for a cheaper, much better dinner, with good service and no wait!  We stopped at Costco for gas, $3.33 gal. This Costco also has diesel on a few of the pumps, with signs that say no trucks over 40 ft.

Sat. May 19 to Fri. May 25- Salinas CA to Fresno CA

Saturday- We stayed in Salinas today. Our first stop was at Walmart to drop off Bob’s prescription. We looked at Costco for gas, but they did not have a gas station. Too bad, with the price of gas being so high!

We went to Old Town Salinas. We were headed to the Steinbeck Center, but spotted a Farmers Market. Usually we find the markets listed on the internet, but we could not find one listed in Salinas. We parked in a 2 hour parking space for free and walked back about 2 blocks to the market.

They had all the usual stuff, but we only purchased romaine lettuce. We returned to the car and dropped off the lettuce. We walked over to the Steinbeck Center. Right across the street was this mural of the history of Salinas.

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We paid the $9 each, senior rate, and entered the museum. The museum combines history with his writing, and of course, there was a lot about the Salinas Valley.

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This was the RV that Steinbeck and Charlie ( his poodle) traveled in. I think my father had gotten the idea for his first camper from this, as Dad’s looked very similar.

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Steinbeck was also a WWII news correspondent. They had some of his articles highlighted. My favorite was about ‘the girls”. In the article, the men were men, but the women were girls. But, the theme of the article was about how the women worked so hard and saved so many lives during the war. Okay, I will forgive him for calling them ‘girls’. It was the time period….

We watched the video about his life. He was married 3 times and had two sons. Both sons have passed also. His widow was featured in the video although I am not sure if she is still alive. He grew up in the Salinas Valley. The Grapes of Wrath is about the Salinas Valley. Cannery Row is about Monterey. I read the Grapes of Wrath in high school and remember that I hated it because it was so sad… Below is the downtown from the front of the museum.

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We left and went two blocks down the street to his childhood home.

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The home is a restaurant and you are only allowed on the first floor and in the basement gift shop.

We decided to eat lunch there. I had the crepe ( it was more like an enchilada). Bob had the Ruben. The food was very good. All the money goes to the upkeep of the home.

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Below was our table.

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This was his postage stamp.

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After the family sold the house, several other families owned it. When it was purchased by the Not-for-profit, they found this fireplace grate in the basement. It is in family pictures, so they know it was the one that was there when Steinbeck was a child.

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We left and went down to the gift shop in the basement. A man in town decided to make this doll house for his daughter. He built it to scale. It took 17 years, and by that time his daughter was no longer interested in the doll house. She had graduated from college!

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The detail was incredible! The doll house was very interesting! The ladies in the gift shop were so nice that I felt guilty for not purchasing anything.

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We stopped for gas, 3.69 a gal. and returned to the MH. We decided to go out to dinner, so we ran and picked up Bob’s prescription. The gal wanted to give give him 25 lancets. Bob still follows his blood sugars. He explained to the gal that he gets 90 days worth. He had to argue with her about the number supplied. The prescription shows 90 days worth! She finally got them, then put them in the rack, knowing full well he was standing there waiting. He was not happy….

We went to dinner at a little seafood deli/restaurant. It was expensive, but everywhere in California seem to be pricy. I had the broiled scallops. Bob had the clams and chips. Both were excellent.

Sunday- We drove to Monterey. Our first stop was at Cannery Row. Because we were early, we easily found a parking place at a meter.

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The above monument pays tribute to the diverse people of the area. On the top is John Steinbeck due to his book Cannery Row. Eight other figures surround the monument, representing the bustling sardine canning days and other folks. Steinbeck’s friend, Ed Ricketts, who is one of the ‘fathers of marine biology’, a Chinese person who represents the Chinese fishing village, and two female figures “Madam Flora Woods” who was know for her generosity and one of her girls. Four boys sit together to represent the entrepreneurs who worked on the rebirth of the area.

Cannery Row, which has so much history, has been turned into a shopping mecca. Mainly, tourist stuff. We walked the length. At the end is the Aquarium. We stopped at the Toll House Cookie store and purchased two cookies for later today. We also stopped in at the Ghirardelli Chocolate store. We had a coupon. We purchased 2 pieces of chocolate each. I really liked this stained glass on a restaurant window.

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By this time, it was time for lunch. We left the area, and went to a breakfast place in Old Town Monterey. The restaurant, Breakfast All Day, was very popular. We lucked out, arriving in a lull. We easily found a table. I had an egg plate and Bob had an omelet. Both were excellent. As we were leaving, the line was out the door…

We drove south on Rt. 1. Our destination was Big Sur. South of Big Sur and north of San Simeon, Rt.1 is closed for repairs. Since it was Sunday, there was a lot of traffic.

This is Big Sur. We crossed over the famous Bixby Bridge 714 ft. long and 260 foot high wonder of engineering built in 1932.There was so much traffic and no place to park, so we did not get a picture. 

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We stopped at Safeway on the way back. Then we went to the Carmel Mission. The Basilica of Mission San Carlos Borromeo, Del Rio Carmelo Carmelo-By-The-Sea. Wow, is that a mouthful!

The mission was founded June 3, 1770.,by of course, Padre Junipero Serra. It was the second mission. The Padre was born in Petra, Isla del Mallorca on 11/24/1713. He was named the Presidente of the Missions of Lower and Upper California in 1767. He walked from lower California(Mexico) to San Diego where he established his first mission in 1769. Then he came by boat to Monterey. He originally founded the mission in Monterey, but moved it to Carmel, as there were more Native Americans in the Carmel area. Over 4000 were baptized between 1770 to 1836. He died August 28, 1784 and requested to be buried in the sanctuary of the Basilica.The present church was built of native limestone in 1793. The building fell into disrepair as the area changed over the years. Eventually, in 1924 they started to renovated the buildings. In 1961 the Basilica was designated a Minor Basilica by Pope John XXIII. In 1985 Pope John Paul II declared Serra venerable and in 1988 he was beatified in recognition of his heroic virtues. In September 1987 the Pope visited the mission as part of his tour of the US.  Pope Francis canonized Saint Junipero Serra on September 23, 2015. ( To become a saint you have to have a documented miracle. In Serra’s case, a woman who had Lupus prayed to Serra and was cured). Whatever the story, the Padre was the real deal. He lived as a Franciscan, in a small room with no ornamentation. He brought a lot of items with him to the area.

Mass had just ended when we arrived. We purposely scheduled our visit this way. The bell tower is unique as it has 9 bells.

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  Below, to the left on the floor, the white square is the memorial of where Serra is buried. 20180520_142644 (2)

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Below is the Our Lady of Bethlehem. This is not a picture. It is a large doll, brought to the mission by Padre Serra. It fascinated me. It was awe inspiring!

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Eagle eye Bob spotted this. It is hard to read, as when I try to highlight it goes back to normal. Can you see the issue??

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Yup, it says that this person lived to be 151 years old.

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We stopped in the little museum and watched the film. Notice the arched ceiling in the church. It is unique to this era.

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This ornate Nativity scene was in one of the back rooms.

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This is another small chapel in the Basilica.

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The Padre’s Office. The Mission hosted the first Library in California.

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Above, more relics that Padre Serra brought to CA. Below is his room.

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We left and returned to Salinas. No traffic back up on the road today! We had a quiet evening at home.

Monday- Moving day. We never saw the Camp Host at this Elks Lodge in the entire time we were here!

We drove north on the 101 past more vegetable fields. We exited onto Hwy 156 east and traveled to Hollister, where we turned south on Hwy 25. Now we were seeing cattle ranches and a few vineyards.  We only traveled 44 miles to the San Benito TT. It is a typical TT. We found a flat site with 50 amp, FHU. We had to pay $5 extra each day for the 50 amp, but it is worth it to have hot running water.

We settled in, ate lunch, I started a load of laundry, and we then drove back to Paicines. The town consists of a General Store/Café and Post Office. We picked up our mail and returned to the MH. On the way back in, we drove around the RV park, as it is very large. They have over 500 sites and the sites are not that close together.

We continued to settle in. I continued to do laundry and Bob took the sheets and towels to the laundry here at the park. It was fairly inexpensive, at $1.25 to wash and $1 to dry. That is the least that we have seen for awhile! We had a quiet afternoon.

Tuesday- At around 10:45, we left and drove 23 miles south on Rt. 25 to Pinnacles National Park. I had tried to look up the park in our Fodor’s National Parks of the West book, and it was not in there. When I Googled the park, I found that it had been designated a National Park in 2013. Our book’s copyright is 2009.  Before that the park had been a National Monument.

We stopped at the Visitor Center and I stamped our National Park book. We received the map of the park and proceeded to the Bear Gulch ranger station. There was a nice picnic table in the shade, so we ate our picnic lunch. There is no restaurant or many facilities. Surprisingly, there is a campground with 30/50 amp electric and a swimming pool. When I asked about it, the Ranger said that the RV park had been privately owned and that the owners sold the park to the NPS, along with the land, which has now extended the park. Also, they had running water in the restrooms. Usually most NP restrooms are vault toilets. That was a happy surprise! Although, the Ranger also said that the septic system had failed at the campground, so they were bringing in port-a-potties for the Memorial Day weekend.

We watched the movie and talked with the Rangers about the hikes. The ladies said that there was a moderate hike to the Bear Gulch Reservoir. In looking at the map and at the signs, it was only 0,7 miles to the reservoir. The gals suggested we take the left fork up and the right fork down. They lied! It was 1.2 miles uphill. Bob’s Fitbit told us we had climbed the equivalent of 3800 flights of stairs. Whew, it was a trip. Lots of rocks, tunnels etc.to climb through. I had to be very careful of my bad ankle.

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This was the trail through the rocks. Below was one of the tunnels.

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Above, we literally had to walk under this rock above.

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When we exited one of the tunnels, we ran into these climbers. They were just reaching the top of the rock.

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Right before the reservoir, there were small steps in the rocks. There was a metal railing to the left, but the steps were very narrow. There were about 70 steps. Then we finally reached the reservoir. .

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Now we started the 1.2 miles back down the mountain. Below are the pinnacles.

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It was very pretty, but been there done, that! Fortunately, no injury to my ankle.

We arrived back at the car and drove to the end of the road to visit Old Pinnacles. It was just a parking lot for the trails, so we returned to the MH. We had a quiet evening at home.

Wednesday-  We are having a quiet day at home. I worked on the blog and Bob did some tasks. Then we washed the poor car. It was filthy as there had been a slight rain in Salinas, which combined with being towed behind the MH made the car filthy!

So Bob cleaned the outside and I did some of the inside. The weather is perfect with a slight breeze and the temp in the 70’s with bright blue skies. We went to the Camp Store which is open Wed to Sat. Then we went to the Family Center and did a book exchange. We grilled a steak and had a quiet evening at home.

Thursday- Another quiet day for us.  We did basically nothing, a little laundry and relaxing!

Friday- Moving day again, and of course, it rained. So much for the clean car!. We traveled back north through Hollister, turning onto Rt. 156 to 152. We traveled through more citrus orchards and what looked like vineyards, but they were actually growing raisins.This freeway took us past the San Luis Reservoir, which was down about 30 ft.. We went through the pass in the Diablo Range. There was a lot of traffic, especially trucks!  We continued east to Rt. 99 and turned south to Fresno. At this point we  had entered the San Joaquin Valley. Now we were traveling through raisin, almond, and pistachio orchards.

We drove into the Fresno Elks Lodge. Bob went into the Lodge to sign in. We had a reservation. Again, we never saw the Camp Host while we were here, even though we were parked next to him! The guy in the Lodge was not real friendly either.

We ran to a car wash, $7, and washed the dirty car, again. We settled in and decided to go to dinner at the Lodge. We always try to support the Lodges when we use their Rv parks. Well, this was an experience! The dinner started at 6:30, or so we were told! The sign said $10. We paid $20 each. Bob had the steak and I had the steak and scampi. They included stale bread, a salad, and the meal. We waited 45 minutes to be served, and there were only 20 people there.We should have taken a clue from the fact that the place was not crowded. What a mistake! We could have gone to Texas Roadhouse, had a much better steak, better service, and the awesome rolls!

Sat. May 12 to Fri. May 18- Oceano CA to Salinas CA

Saturday-  We drove north again to San Luis Obispo. We went straight to the Farmers Market. This market has weird hours. It is open from 8:30 to 10:45 AM on Saturdays only. There is also a Farmers Market on Wednesday evenings.

It was a very nice Farmers Market. We purchased local Romaine lettuce, nectarines, oranges and cucumber. We left and went to the Mission. We wandered through the museum.

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Above, the alter is not the original, but the Tabernacle is the original. I thought that this dress was interesting. It is a black wedding dress.

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I originally thought that it was a mourning gown. For a second marriage, the custom was for the bride to wear black. The dress was very ornate with lots of beads.

The church was stark, compared to others we have seen. We did not stay long, as a Baptism was taking place.

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We had parked across from the Mission in a parking place where the meter was broken. So we hustled around town. We stopped at the Visitor Center. The gal said to move the car to the parking garage, as the first hour is free. Okay, so that is what we did. The garage is located in their one block long China Town. The area was under construction, but this was interesting. This mural was on the side of the parking garage.

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We walked back past the Mission, and through Mission Plaza, where there was an Environmental Fair going on. We passed through, and went to Bubble Gum Alley.When the gal at the Visitor Center told us about it, my first thought was that it was for kids. Well, sort of, there are over 1 million pieces of bubble gum on the walls. It is 15 feet tall and 70 ft. long. Gross, but fun….

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Since it was only 10:45, we decided to walk back the car and drive to the Madonna Inn. It is an interesting place. It is white on the outside, but pink on the inside.

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The picture above was taken from the 101. The area we went to is in another area.

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We walked in and OMG, they were cooking bread! It smelled wonderful. We went downstairs to the gift and wine shop.I took these pictures of post cards of the rooms.

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In the lobby.

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The main dining room.

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Okay, enough pink. We wandered into the very busy Copper Cafe, and went to look at the bakery. They are known for their cakes. The cakes were about  a foot high. They looked really good. We decided to pass, as they looked like they had way, way too many calories!

We left and returned to downtown. We parked in an open lot, on a meter. It had 22 minutes left on it ( we sure have been lucky) and we just added time to make it an hour. We went to the SLO Brewery for lunch. Bob had a flight of beer with the Cali Weisse, A Blackberry Ale, the Nitro Oatmeal Stout and the Triclover Stout. He liked the Nitro the best. Lunch was just okay, nothing terrific.

We passed this Adobe on the way to and from the parking lot.

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We left and went back to the MH. We took the dogs and went to Oceana State Beach. We parked in the lot outside the beach, and walked in for free. You can drive on the beach for $5 per car. We chose not to…

The dogs had a great time until they got bored. So we returned to the MH. Below, that is Bob walking the dogs….

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We decided to go to dinner at Gina’s Italian Restaurant in Arroyo Grande, one of the local towns. We had seen it when driving by…. The food was awesome. Bob proclaimed it one of the top 5 Italian Restaurants we have ever been too. Their specialty is the ravioli. Bob had the chicken and spinach and I had the shrimp and lobster. I also had a glass of Castoro White Zinfandel . The wine was excellent and when we looked it up, it was from a vineyard in Pas Robles, and costs $10. We are going to try to buy some bottles of it…

Sunday– We left at 9 and went to Oceano Elks Lodge for the Mothers Day Breakfast. Actually, we just went for the Sunday breakfast, but it turned out they were having a special Mother’s Day breakfast.  $10 for a buffet breakfast, which included an egg casserole (full of bell pepper) potatoes ( also had bell pepper, I was getting worried that Bob was not gong to get enough to eat), Danish, biscuit and gravy, pancakes and scrambled eggs. Also bacon and sausage, and fruit. So he had plenty to eat.  Whew!

We drove south on the 101 to Santa Maria, where we went to Costco ( a brand new one), and then a Walmart Neighborhood Market.  We stopped at a car wash, as the car was filthy. $8 this time. Much more reasonable!

We returned to the MH and had a quiet afternoon and evening. We noticed that Roxie was licking her paw a lot. We checked and could not see anything, so we shaved the top of her paw. We found a bump and red spot. Hmmm

Monday-  Bob took the dogs for a walk and I called the local VCA Animal Hospital. I made an appt. for 8 AM. We packed up both dogs and ran over to the hospital. The very nice Vet looked at the red spot and decided that she needed to do a fine needle aspiration and needed to really clean the paw. So she kept Roxie. We returned to the MH and packed up a go bag. We took Karlie with us, since her separation anxiety is so bad.

We drove north to San Luis Obispo (SLO) and stopped at the Home Depot. I walked Karlie and Bob went in to purchase a new magnet for our bathroom door. It keeps the door open as our bathroom is small.

We drove north a couple of exits, and turned towards the coast. We turned north on Rt. 1 and drove along the coast. Our first stop was in Morro Bay to look at the Embarcadero ( just a bunch of beach stores) and Morro Rock. Morro Rock is 576 ft. high and is a Volcanic rock.  As soon as we left the car, we could hear the Harbor Seals.

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We also spotted this sea otter enjoying sunning his belly.

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Of course, we could not miss the rock. We could see if on the way into town from Rt. 1.

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We continued north on Rt. 1 to Cayucos, which is only 4 miles north. We looked at the town while driving through, and continued north. Our next area to view was Cambria. We turned off the highway to drive through this Welsh themed town. There were lots of little shops with arts and crafts. We did not stop, but did see this very large Fresnel Lens.

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We could see a little bit of Welsh in the buildings.

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We continued north driving along the beautiful Pacific Ocean.

As we were driving north, we saw people had pulled over and were standing on a hill looking at something. So we stopped to take a look and found a herd of Zebra’s. Well, that is not something you see everyday! They must be descendants of the Zebra’s at the Hearst Zoo. There were about 60 in the herd. How did we know that they were Zebra’s? We used the binoculars and saw the stripes!

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We turned right in San Simeon and drove up to the Hearst Castle visitor center. This is totally different than when I visited in 1975. At that time I had taken what is now the Grand Rooms Tour. There are now 5 normal tours and other special tours.

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Since we had Karlie with us, I walked into the Visitor Center and asked if there was a tour that we could take her with us. The Docent said no ( of course, but I had to ask). He said that she could come into the Visitor Center. So I texted Bob and he walked up with her. We wandered through the Visitor Center and took a quick tour of the Museum. We decided that we will just have to return at some point in the future. She was unbelievably well behaved! She walked between the two of us just strutting her stuff!

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We returned to Cambria and picked up two sandwiches at a Deli. Then we went to the state park and had lunch. Here was our view from the picnic table….

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We left and returned south and turned east, traveling to Paso Robles. On the road was the Castoro Vineyard. We stopped in to purchase the White Zinfandel that I had at the restaurant on Saturday night.

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The testing room was packed with people. Evidently, this is a popular vineyard! There was a group ahead of us and we think that they purchased about $1000 in wine! I bought 3 bottles of the White Zin, $10 each, their least expensive wine. They purchased 4 cases of the very expensive wines….

We continued to the 101 and drove south to SLO, where we stopped at Costco for gas. $3.49 gal. We returned to the MH. We both fell asleep in the recliners.

At 5, we went to pick up Roxie. The Vet assistant showed us a whole bunch of stickers that they had retrieved from all of Roxie’s paws. With all the fur, they had to shave all 4 of her paws, even between the pads. We immediately realized that we were going to have to shave Karlie’s paws and clean them out. We thought we had gotten all the junk out of both of their paws, but these were little pieces that were migrating into the skin.

We returned home with poor Roxie in “the cone of shame”. She kept bumping into everything! She did not drink and did not eat. She also has a bandage on her left front paw.

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After dinner, we took the dogs outside and we shaved Karlie’s paws. She was not happy! We had problems with between the claws, and nicked one of the pads and she bled.

Then we brought them back in and used scissors to cut the hair out. While doing that I found lots and lots of the little pieces and even some of the round burrs. Ugh, I am not sure why she was walking normally!

We were all exhausted after that 1.5 hours of work! We settled in for the evening and watched TV.

Tuesday- I woke up at 2:30 and Roxie was sitting up on the bed. She was just miserable. She could not get down off the bed and could not sleep in the cone. So I got up and took her into the living room. She immediately drank a lot of water. I took off the cone, put her on my lap, with her paw under the blanket. She sighed and went right to sleep. I read until 6 AM, then put the cone back on and took her back into the bed. I went to sleep and Bob got up with the dogs. I slept until 8.

We plan to stay home most of the day with the dogs. But first, friend Barb Zielke had sent me a text about the Kong Cloud which looks like an airline neck pillow. So I had Googled it. We left, taking the dogs with us,and went to Petco, the only pet store in town. We purchased an inflatable neck collar, a different brand. We put it on in the store and it was so much better for Roxie. She could drink, eat, and was not bumping into everything.

We returned and had a quiet day at home, with me taking a long nap to catch up on some sleep. We were going Square Dancing this evening, but decided to stay with the dogs instead.

Wednesday- Bob refreshed the water filter. Then I went to have a mani/pedi. I returned and we ate lunch. Then in the afternoon I went to a hair appointment. Really good cut this time!

Karlie kept licking her paw, where we had nicked, so we put the ‘cone of shame’ on her. Roxie has one more day!

Since they were doing good, we decided to go to dinner at Splash.  Yummy! We both had the crab melt sandwiches, although Bob had his without the avocado. He also had a cup of their award winning clam chowder. The spoon stands up in the cup!

We returned and did a few tasks, then we took the dogs and ran to Oceana beach to watch the sunset. We left the dogs in the car, as we did not want sand in the wounds, and walked out onto the beach to watch the sunset. The wind was howling, so I did not do a Facebook Live.

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Thursday- We left as soon as we could, around 9AM. We wanted to be on the road ASAP to avoid the winds that pick up in the late morning or afternoon.

The Salinas Valley is notable for its produce. While the previous areas were famous for vineyards, the farther north we drove, the more farms we viewed. The Salinas Valley is known as the Salad Bowl. They grown most of the romaine lettuce. They also grow cabbage, cauliflower,pimentos, broccoli,  wine grapes, artichokes, and celery. We viewed lots of migrants picking the vegetables. It was interesting. They arrived in school buses, painted white, and we noticed different names on the sides of the buses. The buses pulled trailers with port-a-potties on them. The workers were working very fast. When they say ‘hearts of romaine’, they must mean that they pull off the outside of the lettuce, as we could see that they left those leaves on the ground. We could easily see the difference in the different vegetables, as the color would change of the fields. We also saw flowers being grown.

We continued to travel north on the 101, turning off in Salinas at a Pilot for diesel. $3.97/ gal UGH!. We drove back south one exit and turned into the Salinas Elks Lodge. Another MH pulled in behind us. Bob and the other guy went to the camp host’s rig. His truck was there but he did not answer his door. So they went into the Lodge and spoke with the bartender who gave them sign in sheets and told them to put them in the box out by the Camp Host’s rig.

Meanwhile, I was talking with the wife. We each chose spots. Bob checked to make sure that the electric and water were working and we parked. We settled in, walked the dogs, then drove to Carmel. There was a big art show this weekend in Carmel, so we wanted to get in and out of town quickly. We drove the 17 miles west to town.

We drove through the ritzy downtown, and out to the ocean. There was a Frank Lloyd Wright house. It is privately owned and a family is living there.

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There were other really nice houses on the same street.

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We drove down the ocean a ways then, went to the 17 mile drive. They charge $10.25 per car to drive on the ocean drive. It had changed a lot since I drove this in 1975. There was no charge then!

They have built many mansions along the ocean. The trees were overgrown and it was difficult to see the ocean in many areas. Most of the houses had vegetation around the property.

Bob downloaded the App, which as we approached a site would give us some historical information. Their map showed 21 areas to view, but we only stopped at a few. The first stop was Spanish Bay. Spanish explorers camped her in 1769 while searching for Monterey Bay. We drove through the very crowded parking lot. Then we stopped at The Restless Sea. This vista point had a view of the unique offshore turbulence generate by the submerges terrain off Point Jo. They have been known to have 50 ft. waves at this point. Early mariners believed it was the entrance to Monterey Bay and  crashed on the rocks. My picture did not turn out, but the sea was fairly calm.  This was looking back on the area.

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This is bird rock. We could hear the birds and the harbor seals.

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We continued on to Crocker Grove. This is a 14 acre nature preserve. The largest Monterey cypress is located here.

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Of course, we could not miss the Lone Cypress. This is one of California’s landmarks. It has been on this rock for over 250 years

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This is The Ghost Tree.  It’s supposed to be spooky looking….

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The route continued past the well known Pebble Beach golf course.They use the cypress tree as their logo.

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The Lodge was built in 1919. We did not stop as there was lots of traffic,we continued on. The tour then circled and returned to the entrance we had come in. Much of the open land is sponsored by Del Monte. At this point, all of a sudden we noticed that the marine layer had started to come in with wisp’s of clouds covering us. We could no longer see the ocean. It was interesting how quickly this occurred! I can imagine this was why there were so many ship wrecks in the area!

We went to downtown Old Town Monterey. Then we returned to Salinas. The traffic was pretty bad, as there is only one road from Salinas to Monterey, and it is two lanes. A traffic light caused a 7 mile back up. We had a quiet evening at home.

Sat. May 5 to Fri. May 11- Rancho Oso to Oceana CA

Saturday- Happy Cinco Da Mayo! We had a very bad start to the day at 3 AM. Both of us were sleeping pretty hard, and did not wake up for Karlie vomiting on the bed. We both woke up when we heard her tag banging on the water bowl. Bob got up to help her back on the bed and realized what had happened. We turned on the light and Bob started cleaning up the bed while I comforted Karlie. Suddenly she took off. Bob grabbed shoes and clothes and took her out. That was when we discovered that she had diarrhea on the rug near the door. Poor baby, she was so upset!

I cleaned up the rug and pulled the quilt off the bed. When they returned, I comforted Karlie for awhile, before she had to go back out. I had to keep Roxie with me, both times, so that Bob did not have to deal with two dogs.

This time Karlie was able to settle back on the bed with us and we cuddled both dogs, as they were both upset. We finally fell back to sleep around 5 am and woke up at 8. We took quick showers and ran to breakfast. We decided it would be best for one of us to stay with Karlie all day, as she still had diarrhea.

Bob took the quilt over to the laundry room and washed the rug in the washer in the MH. We were out of the pill pockets for Karlie’s meds, so I ran to Goleta. I stopped at Ulta for hairspray, then Jersey Mikes for sandwiches for lunch. Then to Costco for the pill pockets. I ran through Costco, picking up chicken, ground turkey and pork chops also, and returned to the MH at around 1, as it was Saturday and everywhere was very busy.

We took a nap. Then went to the Ice Cream Social at 3. We bagged some of the items for the freezer. At 6 we went to the ”make your own” Tostada dinner at the resort. Just before bed, Karlie wanted to play, so she was feeling much better. We are not sure what caused her tummy issues….

Sunday-  We did our usual Sunday tasks, then around 11, we left to go to Goleta to the Farmers Market, as we had missed the one in Santa Barbara yesterday. This market was much smaller. We purchased cucumber, oranges, local Romaine lettuce, and strawberries.

We went to lunch at Pieology. We had a nice pizza for lunch. This was the first time at Pieology, and we would return.  We stopped at Ralph’s for groceries and returned to the MH. We bagged the rest of the meat from yesterday. We had a quiet afternoon and evening. Karlie is back to normal.

Monday- We have noticed that our shower water has not been very hot. So we used the Hydro Hot, instead of the propane Atwood water heater. The difference was really startling. So Bob investigated the issue. The Atwood website said that we might need a new thermostat for the water heater. So he checked with an RV Parts store in Buellton. They had what we needed, so we left and went to Buellton. They had the part, $13.

We drove through Flying Flags RV park in Buellton, per Glenda’s suggestion. It is a very nice park! We returned thru Solvang and stopped for lunch at one of the Smorgasbord’s. The guidebooks recommend that you go to one of the Smorgasbord’s during your visit to Solvang.

We looked at the Smorgasbord and were not impressed, but we did want to try the Danish sausages and meatballs. So we both ordered the Sausage/Meatball plate, with mash potatoes, gravy and red cabbage. The bread was interesting. We both enjoyed the plates.

We returned home and I took a nap. Bob had watched a YouTube video of how to install the thermostat. It was to take 30 to 45 minutes. It took him 1.5 hours! Guess if he had to do it again, it would only take the 30 minutes! The water heater water is now 120 degrees instead of 90 degrees.

We ate dinner at home and watched TV.

Tuesday- Finally, enough people have left the park, that I can now use the internet again. I was able to send my three articles that have been waiting until I had decent internet.

Around 10 we took the dogs and went down the mountain to Santa Barbara. Our first stop was at Arroyo Burro Beach, which was where we had been before. It is dog friendly. We drove through a really nice residential area on the way.

The marine layer was still over the area, but we still took the dogs out. The temp was supposed to be in the 70’s, but with the marine layer, it was in the 50’s. We keep some jackets in the car, so we took them out to wear.

We took the dogs to the ‘off lease area’ and let them run, play, dig, and meet up with other dogs. They had a great time. They let us know they were done, and we put the leashes on and walked back up the beach. I have no pictures, since the marine layer was covering everything.

We left and stopped at a McDonalds drive thru for lunch, since we had the dogs with us. We continued back down the mountain, off of Cliff drive, and went to Montecito. Montecito is an upscale area and there was supposed to be a beautiful scenic drive. We could not find the drive from Santa Barbara, so we took the freeway to the exit and drove into the town. I have no idea why celebrities and other rich folks want to live there. The roads are narrow, the area is crowded, and the houses are all surrounded by lots of vegetation, so you do not have beautiful views of the ocean. There had been a mud slide there in January, and much of the area was under construction.

We left, stopped for gas $3.53 gal, and returned to the MH.

Wednesday- We had a quiet day to day, getting ready to leave tomorrow. We ate lunch and dinner at home. We left and went to the Square Dancing in Santa Barbara in the evening. Our last drive up and down that horrible hill! We will not miss that drive!

Just before the bad road into the park, there was a tree down on half the National Park road. We were able to get by on the road. We turned into the park and when we arrive at the TT Ranger Station, we told the ranger about the downed tree. He said he would report it and have it removed.

Thursday- We packed up the MH and got ready to leave. We pulled out of the site at 9:15. I was nervous about the road, so I drove the MH. Bob drove in front of me in the car. This road is only 1 mile, but it is a very long mile in the MH with, ups and down,and the twists and turns. Right after the first sharp turn, Bob called on the radio to tell me that there was an RV coming my way. Huh? At 9:15 in the morning! This is why we were leaving early so that we would not meet anyone on the drive out!

Bob told the guy that his wife was right behind him driving a big motor home. The guy met me on the road. He got over as far as he could to his right. I managed to pass him with about 1.5 inches between his trailer and my mirror. Whew, was that scary!

By this time, Bob is calling me again! There were tree guys taking down trees on the park road. Bob had gotten out of the car and told the guys I was coming and that they needed to move the “bucket” and all the limbs out of the road. They did and Bob directed me through the mess.

We got to the end of the park road, and both of us were stressed! We hooked up the car and got the heck out of there. Next time, we will not stay at this TT. That drive is just too much! There is a nice Elks Lodge in Santa Barbara where we can stay if we come through this area again. Oh, and the tree had been removed from the park road and you could not even tell it had been there!

We arrived at the end of the National Park road and turned right, heading towards Solvang, and down hill on Hwy 154. There was no way we were going to go up the mountain from a dead stop on that highway.

We drove pass the exit for Solvang, and continued through Mt. Olivos, to the 101 freeway. We turned north and traveled to Oceana. We turned west towards the town. We drove into Pacific Dunes RV resort at about 11:15. We arrived just as a wind advisory was posted, so we were glad to be settled.

We set up camp in the 50 amp, FHU site. The sites are not great, although the nightly rate is $67. We only pay $23 as this is an Encore park.

We left and drove north to Pismo Beach. We had to drive around the block to find parking. We pulled into a parking place. As Bob was going to the meter, a car stopped and I guy leaned out and gave me his ticket. The ticket was good until 2:30. Talk about good luck!

We walked up the street to a little walk up restaurant called Splash. Bob had the clam chowder with steamed clams and I had the crab melt. Both were excellent! I see another time going there for lunch in our future!

We walked down to the beach and looked at the ocean.

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We returned to the MH and continued to get settled into our site. We had a quiet afternoon and evening.

Friday- We drove north on the 101 to Paso Robles. We stopped at the Visitor Center, where the girl was the least helpful of any that we have been to…They did not even have a public restroom! 

Evidently, there was one at the park, and most of what we wanted to see was located around the park. So we walked over to the park. They were really nice public restrooms, with outside hand washing and Dyson hand driers.

The town of Paso Robles was founded in 1889. El Paso de Robles means “The Pass of the Oaks”, The town was also  known as “Almond Town” due to all the almond orchards surrounding the town. Currently, the area around the town is producing Olives and Wine.

We stopped to look at the Carnegie Library-  We have now seen several of these libraries around the country. It is now the Historical Society. 20180511_105614 (2)

Below is the oldest bar in town.

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It was built in 1887 and now hosts a different bar. The building below was the Municipal Bath House, built by and for the city, the building made it possible for the residents to share the curative power of the hot sulfur water and the building was used for that purpose for 65 years.

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There were a number of other buildings on the walking tour, but none are still used for their original purpose.

We went to lunch at The Blue Moon Southwester Grill. We had found a flier for this restaurant at the RV park, and we liked the menu. Bob had a huge burrito, which he only ate half of. I had a shrimp chili relleno. Both meals were terrific.

We left and returned home. We ate dinner at home and had a quiet evening.

Sat. Apr. 28 to Fri. May 4- Rancho Oso/ Santa Barbara CA

Saturday- We went to the great breakfast again this morning. Around 10, we left and drove to Santa Barbara to the Farmers Market. We purchased strawberries, potatoes, and oranges.

We left and went to the Santa Barbara Mission. They have a nice parking lot, so it was easy parking. The cost was $7 each, senior rate. We had just missed the tour, so we did the self guided tour. This is a working parish, and known for being the only Mission which has continuously been used. It was the 10th Mission established by Padre Junipero Serra, the founder of the first nine missions. He died before it was built, but his successor, Padre Antionio Paterna built the Mission in the 1790’s. Some of the buildings still exist today, but the Mission has been through several devastating earthquakes. 

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The tour starts in the garden. Due to the drought, the fountain is not working and the plants/flowers are being traded out for water conserving plants.

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Below is the closed area where the Jesuits live.

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Below is the entrance to the cemetery. The far building houses some graves.

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Below is inside that back building.

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Below is an old external entrance to the cemetery.

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This was quite a tree in the center of the cemetery.

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With the picture below I am trying to show how empty the cemetery looks. There were mausoleums around the outside walls and a few in the center.

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Yet, over 4,000 Chumash Native Americans are buried in the cemetery, in addition to others.

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Next we entered the Mission Church.

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On the left above is St. Francis of Assai and on the right is St. Clare of Assai. This was on the right side of  the church. In the back was the baptismal font.

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On the left side were these statues of Jesus, post resurrection and Mary Magdalene.

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Below is the history of the growth of the Mission.

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We moved into the museum.

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Below is a traveling Tabernacle which they used to take to various areas when saying Mass.

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Back out front, there is this Moorish Fountain.

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The Lavanderia. 20180428_120349 (2)

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On each end were statures which are deteriorating. The Chumash used a lot of concrete! .

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The cross below is to honor Padre Sierrra.

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We went across from the Mission to the Mission Garden, This was a hopping placed with parties and picnics.

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We left and went to lunch. We found a seafood restaurant at Henry beach. We arrived to find a 1.5 hour wait, so we left. Too bad, as the restaurant was right on the dog friendly beach. We went to lunch at a small restaurant downtown, nothing impressive.

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We stopped at Ralphs for groceries and returned to the MH.

Sunday-  We went to the park breakfast then did our usual Sunday tasks. Checking accounts, sheet and towels, and filling pill boxes. We left and went to In n Out burger for lunch, then to the Santa Barbara Arts and Craft Show at Chase Palm Park, right on the ocean. We skipped the arts part, and just cruised the crafts. They had some interesting items, but living in a MH, means we don’t buy that sort of “stuff”. Below is Stearns Wharf from the street.

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We returned to the MH and had a quiet evening.

Monday- Bob was supposed to take the car in for repair, but we have not had the issue with the transmission. So he cancelled the appointment. We did need the oil changed. I was having massive problems trying to work on articles as the internet was so slow. So I went to Santa Barbara with Bob. He found a Jiffy Lube and dropped me off at a Starbucks close by to work on the internet. I was able to download what I needed and was very surprised when Bob returned quickly after the oil change.

We went to little Mexican Restaurant in a shopping center near by, which had excellent lunch specials.

On the way back, we decided to drive onto Stage Coach Rd. This road winds through the entire area, up and down some interesting hills. Those poor horses, having to drag the stagecoach over these mountains. On Stage Coach road in this area is the historic Cold Spring Tavern.

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On the weekends, they have a band and the place gets very busy. I guess here is where the action is. They also had an outside BBQ cooking kitchen.

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We checked out the menu inside and decided we would return for lunch on Saturday. We returned to the MH and had a quiet afternoon and evening.

Tuesday- The internet was better today since so many of the weekend folks have left. So I was able to work all morning. We decided to go out to lunch, but most of the restaurants in Solvang are closed on Monday and Tuesday, so we went to Buellton for lunch at Anderson’s Restaurant. This restaurant is famous for creating Split Pea Soup.

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We did not have the soup, but did have a nice meal. We drove back through Solvang, and stopped at the Hans Christian Anderson Museum. The Museum had been closed the last time we were in Solvang. He certainly wrote a lot of famous books! He never married and did not have children. His books are in the public domain, which is why Disney is able to make so many of the books into movies.

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We returned home and it started to rain. The first rain we have had. It is cold and damp, with temps in the 50’s. Solvang was in the 60’s and sunny!

Wednesday- We stayed home most of today, having leftovers for lunch. We had a quiet day with me working on articles and Bob working on Genealogy. I worked on Genealogy in the afternoon. We ate dinner at home and drove to Santa Barbara. We stopped for gas, then went to the Square Dance. It was the club’s 49th anniversary, so they had a small party. There were two squares all evening. The last dance, we dance with two squares of 6, which was interesting, as the caller joined the two squares, into a rectangle, and we danced that way. It was fun.

Thursday- I worked on articles again today. We decided to go to lunch in Solvang. We had seen on the menu outside the Belgium Café that they had crepes, so we went for crepes. Bob had a chicken crepe and I had a shrimp.

We went to Los Olivos to a brewery for Bob to sample some beers. Los Olivos is a pretty little town with lots of restaurants.

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Friday- We went to breakfast at the resort. Then at 10, we left and drove to Ventura, about 1 hour and 10 minutes away. We stopped at Andrea’s Seafood and met up with my friend Glenda for a nice seafood lunch. We sat and talked until the restaurant became very busy, and we left and wandered down the wharf.

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Above are both sides of the Fishermen’s Memorial. Below is the restaurant. That is Glenda walking into the outside area. Forgot to get pic’s of us all together….

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Below is the wharf. It was a beautiful day!

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Thank you Glenda for showing us the Ventura Wharf and suggesting a great restaurant!

We stopped at Walmart, then returned to Santa Barbara. The ride back was not fun, as the traffic picked up. No accidents, but it was slow and bumper to bumper thru Santa Barbara. It was heavy traffic crossing the pass, but at least it was moving.