February 5, 2017

Roamin Goes To The Beach

The last week of the year between the holidays is usually a slow time for us work wise.  This year we decided to close shop, take a vacation and go to the coast.

nice small beach within walking distance to our home on wheels

Caspar Beach it is.  There is beach access right across the street from the campground. How. Sweet. Is. That?

yep, it's really that close :-)
I'm a sucker for the beach.  It's my sanctuary from life.  I could sit on the sand, soak up some sun and read a good book for hours, all while listening to the sound of the crashing waves on the shore.  During my high school and young adult years I lived very close to Half Moon Bay.  It was an easy 30 minute drive to the beach.  I was in heaven! 
Caspar Beach RV Park is a small park with both tent sites and RV sites.  They offer a Good Sam discount so we ended up saving a little bit of cash too.  During our visit the tent areas were closed due to being flooded out.  We did walk the little bit that we could and it looks like a great campground to tent as well as RV.  The Wi-Fi worked quite well too.  Our five day stay was just what we needed.

our spot among the shade trees

Since our trip to Carmel in November we now know how much Rufus likes the beaches too.  Our days were usually planned around his enjoyment but let's face it: we had fun too!

Ron asked at the front store if there were any good tide pools in the area.  The owner told him about a small beach close enough to visit.  We opted to take the truck since the road there is narrow, too narrow at some spots for walkers with a dog.

The narrow trail leading to the beach was quite muddy in places.  We had to walk along the outer areas to keep our shoes somewhat clean.  Luckily someone had placed some wooden planks down in some of the areas.
















Our hunt paid off.  The beach was completely empty.  Rufus did hundreds of zoomies without tiring.  Unfortunately the low tide was still too high to reach the elusive tide pools.  We did however manage to climb around a bit and enjoy the quietness of it.






During our time in Caspar we visited the towns of Mendocino to our south and Fort Bragg just a little north of our campground.




Mendocino is a cute little town with plenty of shops to stroll through.  We'd rather visit the beach and stroll through the sand than shops.  I found a geocache for the area that is like a walking tour of the town.   As we walked along the streets I did notice the locations a few of the hints pointed toward.  But alas, the beach was calling us...







While walking along the bluff we spotted a small beach with a seemingly gigantic pile of drift wood.  We could see people walking down there.  But how do we get down there?  We walked further around and then we spotted the staircase built into the side of the cliff.  So that's the path down :-)


yippee, we found it :-)

Once down to the sand, Rufus had a great time and more zoomies were had!  Ron and I enjoyed discovering the various pieces of drift wood and one in particular looked like a giant cinnamon twist doughnut!

see what I mean??


Mendocino and the drift wood beach

The weather during our stay was cold and sometimes windy but always sunny.  One beach we didn't get to was Glass Beach.  Perhaps the next time we visit the area we'll get to see it for ourselves.

There is a small lighthouse in the area that we stopped at on a different day.  Point Cabrillo Light Station has a couple of geocaches in the vicinity.  We found one but the other seems to have been displaced by recent renovations.

     


The lighthouse itself is now a museum/gift shop.  Inside there are photos of the light keepers of old and trinkets for sale.  Donations are gladly accepted if you don't want to make a purchase.  There are other buildings which are now rentals.  Yes, you can stay in the same buildings where the light keepers resided years ago.  How cool would that be?

This past month we've been at our home base riding out the winter storms.  The rain has been coming down in record totals!  California needs it, so I'm not complaining.  Once the spring hits and the weather is more conducive to onsite work, I'm sure we'll be traveling more.


January 6, 2017

Time Flies When You're...

Time flies when you're:
Geocaching!

We were turned on to this fun hide and seek game by friends of ours, Steve and Debbie.  I had heard about it awhile ago but never actively pursued it.  A few weeks ago they took us along on a night time find.  It was a success and we were hooked!

Ron and I left our home base the afternoon of Dec 27th and headed to the California coast town of Caspar, nestled between Fort Bragg and Mendocino.  The town itself is tiny but there are plenty of things to do around here.  There are miles of beaches, historical buildings, quaint shops, a lighthouse, forests and of course caches to be found.

Our first day out we searched for and found 5 caches.  Most were medium sized and had some 'goodies' in them.  If you come across a cache with goodies (called swag) you can swap something you have or simply leave it.  There's always a log to sign to show you were there.  You can also log your finds at the official website.  It's free to join but with a paid subscription ($29/year) you can access more caches, among other benefits.  If you're also a geocacher, look us up.  Our name is PolyMenders.

During our time in Caspar we found a total of 11 caches, four of which were in or next to cemeteries. 

log reads: 12/29/2016, PolyMenders *our first find as newbies!

Caspar Cemetery, it sits atop a small hill just above our campground

Another cache was along Highway 1, next to a duck/goose pond.

I wonder how many visitors they've had since a cache was placed near their home

full of SWAG (Stuff We All Get) that can be traded

Our next three caches for the day were found at a new public recreation area along the coast in Fort Bragg.  On our way there we accidentally drove along a private dead end road.  One of the residents was not too happy to see us.  He came out of his home as we were heading back to the highway.  We stopped and spoke with him.  He had no idea what Geocaching was so we tried to explain it to him.  We calmed him down (apparently they get a lot of misdirected drivers) before we left on our way to the correct street into the recreation area. 

find #3, next to a small cemetery with a view of the ocean
sunset view at find #3

find #4, just a log to sign in the tiny cache

our last find of the day happened after sunset, we needed a flashlight for this one :-)

This trip was purely a vacation for us.  The week between Christmas and New Year's Day we closed the shop.  We had a great time geocaching along the California coast.  There are many more hidden caches here for us to get on our next trip to the area. 


Up next: more Fort Bragg and Mendocino adventures.

December 30, 2016

Friends, Family And An Engagement

With the New Year almost here Ron and I are thankful for many things:

1.  FRIENDS

We first met Steve and Debbie a few months before they began their full-time adventure in 2014.  We've remained friends ever since.  When they come to California to visit their family for the holidays we have a fun get together.  This year we spent an entertaining evening at Dave 'n Busters, a bar/restaurant/arcade for kids of all ages :-)  Then we did some geocaching in the area and Steve found a micro cache.

friends and drinks just go together

Debbie and Steve

some serious skee-ball happening here

Steve found a tiny surprise in the canister
Steve and Debbie have been so helpful to us as we join the ranks of full-time RV'ers.  They answer simple and sometimes silly questions we pose to them.  We hope to return the favor one day to future full-timers. On a side note, we are now among the ranks of geocachers.  Our caching name is PolyMenders and as of this writing we have 5 finds so far.  I'll write a post about our first adventure soon.

2.  FAMILY

We haven't had too many family members here yet.  Our daughter lives in Maryland.  Our son lives in Japan.  We're in California.  We are planning to go to Japan in March but Roamin will have to stay behind.  We're hoping to get to Maryland over the summer at some point. 

We did spend Thanksgiving with my aunt and uncle.  Just a few days ago their son, my cousin, came to visit them.  So David came by to see us too :-)

best cousins, he's 2 months older than me

3.  AN ENGAGEMENT

Last week our oldest child, Alex, made a life change, it's all good!!  Let me tell you a little background first.  Alex is one of those people who never has to study for a test, yet aces it.  He is self sufficient and doesn't believe in free handouts.  He says what is on his mind.  He has had girlfriends in the past but none seem to have captivated him quite like Kana.  She brings out the best in him!  And I'm very proud to say that Alex and Kana are engaged to be married!!  :-))

awww, they're so happy!!

Kana is a nurse.  Alex has said that when they move back to the states (he goes where the Air Force sends him) that she will get her US license for nursing.  She will likely be in high demand since she's fluent in both English and Japanese.  Ron and I are looking forward to meeting her soon :-)

So Many things happened in 2016 for us.  What about you?  What are some of the best happenings in your life in 2016?  Feel free to comment.  I love to hear what's on your mind too.


December 24, 2016

Decked Out For Christmas

Christmas decorations in an RV?  Sure, why not!    

This is our first year celebrating Christmas in Roamin.  I definitely want to decorate.  I just need to scale down the size.  

When we lived in the house I would set up the 6' tree with ornaments that we acquired over the years.  Some hand made by relatives.  Some made by the kiddos.  Most store bought.  All full of memories.  When we downsized the tree was donated.  Most of the ornaments were also donated.  I did save a few special ones though.  They're in storage because they won't fit on our RV sized tree.

Ron and I wanted a small tree that would fit on the narrow rear counter top.  We use our kitchen table multiple times a day so a table top tree wouldn't work for us.  We looked at Amazon and at a few local stores before finding a perfect tree at Walmart.  And what goes best with small trees?  Small decorations do.  I'm the tree decorator at our house.  This year I was done in a jiffy!


  

   
The tree is cute but we wanted something to go along with it.  We bought some garland with lights.  So one afternoon while Ron was out and about I turned on the Christmas music and finished up with the interior decorations.


The garland is hung with Command hooks.  They are an RV'ers best friend IMO.  The photo is the kitchen slide but garland is also on the dining room slide too.  I kept the kiddo's stockings and hung them too :-)


Apparently Rufus doesn't care if the house is decorated or not.  LOL :-))




There's presents under the tree.  Christmas music is playing on the radio.  Dinner is cooking.  The fire is going.  We even had a visit from our friend, Santa, known by the name Gary 364 days a year.



Merry Christmas and Happy New Year Friends!!
 

December 10, 2016

Roamin Goes To The Lake

When we left the Monterey area our vacation wasn't quite over just yet.  We had reservations at Millerton Lake State Park near Fresno for four nights.  Another one day of work to tend to in Fresno and then we had free time until the following Monday.  The best part was that my aunt Sandi & uncle John and their dog, Kestrel, would be staying at the same park too!

getting set up is becoming easier

The FHU area is a parking lot with a grassy area behind the rig.  There are plenty of dry camping spots too.  The dry camping area is gravel and less level.  Sandi and John prefer to dry camp.  We aren't quite ready for that just yet but we hope to try it once we get more used to this lifestyle.

We actually had a bit of 'mock dry camping' while we were here.  For some unknown reason our water line wasn't working quite right.  When we hooked up to city water, the water was forced into our fresh water tank.  To solve the problem we disconnected the city water and used water from the fresh tank by using the water pump.  We spoke with a tech at Camping World after we finished working in Fresno.  He said that something might have simply made the actuator fill the tank.  We decided the best course of action would be to call our local CW once we returned home and have the part replaced under warranty.  We had to fill the tank each evening before turning in for the night so we'd have enough water for our morning showers, but it wasn't so bad.  I'm happy relieved to report that once we got Roamin set up back at home, all is well and we haven't had any more issues with the city water hookup :-))   

the lake is a short walk away from our site





 
We found ourselves taking Rufus down to the shoreline a few times.  He really enjoys his free time to run around off leash.  I'm not sure where the other campers spent their time but I'm glad they weren't down here because we had the area practically to ourselves.  There are plenty of trails in the park.  On our next trip here we'll spend more time walking them.

Thanksgiving Day was spent with John, Sandi and Kestrel.  We had agreed upon a pot luck style meal for dinner.  John is vegetarian and Sandi is allergic to turkey, so that worked best for all.  Sandi made a pot roast, rolls and brownies.  I made spicy black beans in the Instant Pot and bought a bag of kale/broccoli salad.  It was a delicious meal and John even ate some of the pot roast.  He said it had been years since he had meat...

Sandi, Kestrel and John

we can actually fit four at our table :-)
     
We all had such a good time together.  I'm so glad I invited them to join us.  They wanted to do something for Thanksgiving but just hadn't decided what to do or where to go.  We're looking forward to another trip together in the future.