Sunday, May 12, 2019

'19/#19 Just Another New Job

After 30 plus years at the same job I find it odd getting used to the idea of being the new guy. There are no problems, but having been the "guy" people went to with questions on the job I am now the one with the questions. I was used to knowing what my job was, what I needed to do, and have the ability and knowledge to deal with those things that always seem to pop up when it is most inopportune.  Mary goes through the same thing. We have the skills to do the job, but every place has their own way of doing things. By the time we finish our commitment at any of our workcamping gigs we are almost always very proficient at the job and comfortable with the company's way of operating. The next season we start all over again. It is just something we have to deal with.

That said, the park we are at is very busy. Weekends have as many as 200 guest checking in each day! There are a number of other seasonal workers here and it is taking time to get everyone trained and schedules worked out. We have a lot of kids, and I mean teens and twenty-somethings, still in school and with family obligations, just to make it more interesting. Also the winter weather was excessively wet and put a number of projects behind going into the vacation season. That means that everybody has a list as long as their arm of things to do. Fortunately most of that is maintenance and has little to do with us. Mary works at the front desk and reservations and I am primarily night patrol (they don't like the word security). I'm not trying to blow our own horn but, we do occasionally help out in other areas when we can. That is a bonus you get when you hire Mary and Frank, or so we've been told.

Our days off are coming up and we have a few chores to do and will try to squeeze in some sightseeing. With schedule still in flux it is taking some time to get into a routine that will give us the best use of our time, but that will come soon. so I will sign off now from our home in California because.....

Home is where we park it,
Frank and Mary

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

'19/#18 It's A Different World

Our work camping has started  here in Petaluma and it is a new experience. With almost 300 sites and within a short drive to San Francisco it is a very busy campground. Also because of the demand it is also a little pricier than places we usually stay. There are RV sites, tent sites, KOA cabins, lodges, and group camping areas and it is full every weekend. During the week it is well occupied but with a different clientele. The weekends are families and groups and it is a bit noisier. It is a fun noisy but there is still quiet time after 10pm and that is somethng that will be my responsibility as night patrol. For now I am working on some special projects until the season officially starts on Memorial Day weekend.

Mary is in the front office and getting training on the KOA software and the workings of the camp store. The training is going slowly because we have been pretty busy but I am sure she will get up to speed soon. After all she is a lot smarter than I am and takes to front office work like a duck to water.

We have found most of the stores we need in the area and are settling in. Shopping in California is a little different than elsewhere. Most places ask "paper or plastic?" but here they ask "bag?" and then charge you for each bag you need. It is all about recycling and saving the environment here and I guess that is a good thing. We have a number of reusable and insulated bags so the only problem is remembering to bring them in to the store when we shop.

We have eaten out at a few restaurants and have really enjoyed them. Anyone who knows me, knows that I am a carboholic. Pasta, rice, and bread.....especially bread if it is fresh or home made. The San Francisco area is known for their sourdough bread and it lives up to all the claims. Even Mary has decided that sourdough bread is the bomb. There will be NO keto dieting in the bay area! In less than two weeks we are already on our third loaf and I don't plan on stopping. Maybe slowing down a little, but bring on the sourdough.

Well I have to get ready for work soon so I will have a slice or two of that heavenly bread with my coffee before I head out from our home in California because......

Home is where we park it,
Frank and Mary

Saturday, May 4, 2019

'19/#17 It's A Wonderful Life

Mary and I were sitting here thinking about where we are. This is someplace we dreamt about going and it has become a reality. Then we talked about all the places we have been, and hopefully you have followed, and realized the destinations were only part of the adventure. Most people who travel either hop on a plane and miraculously are transported to their destination or jump in the car and drive, drive, drive, until they get there. Our travels are different.

Just this trip to California was an adventure all it's own. Yes, there were some tough times but that is what makes it an adventure. In just under a month's time we have seen the Cadillac Ranch, a bird's eye view of Albuquerque, that corner in Winslow Arizona, Meteor Crater, the London Bridge, Death Valley, Lake Tahoe, and the Pacific Ocean. We also ran into tornado warnings, hail warnings, and had a tire blow out. Exciting and interesting all while making memories we will never forget.

We are settling in here in Petaluma. I'm sure the blogs will be a little less exciting as we get into the work camping routine of this park. We do plan on exploring and enjoying the area and plan on sharing it all with everyone who is following us. I will say good day now so I can get ready for work at our home in California because.....

Home is where we park it ,
Frank and Mary

Saturday, April 27, 2019

'19/#16 Made It!

With almost 2400 miles of road under our tires we have arrived in Petaluma California. We have seen some awesome things along the way and have tried to share them with everyone following. This is why we live this RV life. The KOA we will be at for the summer looks like it is a really nice campground and promises to be busy all through the season. So far everyone we have met is friendly and that should make for a good team here at the park.

The trip from Nevada was relatively uneventful. There were some pretty good grades to ascend and descend but the truck handled it like a champ. Crossing the Sierra-Nevada mountains we went from about 4000 feet above sea level to over 7000 feet and back down to below 1000 feet with several grades of over 5%. If you have ever towed a trailer in the mountains you know that 5% while not much in a car or truck becomes more difficult with several thousand pounds of trailer behind you. It can be taxing on your vehicle. The engine will be straining going up and your brakes can get hot and fade on the way down. We have close to 18,000 lbs of trailer and over 7000 lbs of truck to get up and down the mountains so it is important to have the proper vehicle for the task and that it is in good shape. Again, uneventful because of the right equipment kept in good condition.

Day one in Petaluma was just getting everything set up since this will be home for the next six months. Being a vacation type campground we can't make it too much like home. To keep with the aesthetics of the park we must keep our rig looking like it will be moving out any day. Nothing to indicate that we are long term residents. Mary will have to keep her plants to a minimum. It can't start looking like a plant nursery. No trailer skirting, no hard piping for the sewer, and nothing looking like we are setting up for a summer long party. No problem. We try to keep things at a minimalist level. The less stuff we have, the less stuff we have to pack to move.

We don't start our work camping jobs until Monday so we will start exploring the area around our home in Petaluma because....

Home is where we park it,
Frank and Mary

Friday, April 26, 2019

'19/#15 Pretty As A Picture

Today the plan was to drive around Lake Tahoe and see what all the hubbub is about. Well let me tell you it is as spectacular as we have heard. As they say pictures do it no justice. It was like looking ata a post card in real life. But that didn't stop us from taking a bunch.  Once again we entered California since the lake is split between Nevada and California. With the lake surface at over 6000 feet elevation we had some climbing and winding roads to travel. Directions and information centers are spotty at best but it really wasn't hard to find.

With over seventy miles of shore line we were glad we set aside the whole day, but as with everything else enough is enough. Stopping and taking pictures of the lake and the surrounding mountains was fun and the views were amazing but it was the same lake and the same mountains after a while.  Half way around we decided to loop around to the interstate and check out Reno.

Now my view may be a bit skewed because I am not a gambler at all. The occasional lottery ticket is about as risky as I get. Mary may put a few dollars in a slot machine but we feel we can get more for our money elsewhere. I am not putting down gambling as entertainment. If someone enjoys it more power to them. I just doesn't do it for us. Everyone likes something different. If we all like the same things the world would be a very boring place.

Tomorrow we head out for Petaluma California. This will be our last day of travel before we set down temporary roots for the summer. I will report more on that later but for now this is good bye for the last time in our home in Nevada because....

Home is where we park it,
Frank and Mary

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

'19/#14 Almost There

Minden Nevada should be our last stop before arriving at our summer destination in Petaluma California. On the map we are only an inch or two from Lake Tahoe so we will do some exploring there and around the Carson Valley area. The casino has a nice yet cozy RV park with all the amenities we need. The sites are level, the electric connections are good, and the water and sewer hook-ups are more than adequate. The WiFi is even outstanding which can be hit or miss when it is "free" with your paid stay.

Yesterday we went to Genoa Nevada, the first settled town in the state. The two blocks that make up the town were interesting but not worthy of a lot of time. It is good to see where and what the settlers did to travel across the country but it is just a blip in the grand scheme of things.

Then we decided to head up to Virginia City. It is an old mining town up in the hills where some 3 billion dollars worth of gold and silver were taken from the ground. It is now just a tourist destination but the town has been maintained in the style that is was in it's hey day. It is also where Samuel Clemens, also known as Mark Twin, started his literary career.

We walked the old wooden sidewalks and visited the shops that now occupied the old buildings. Pictures of the old buildings and period styled signs completed the walk through time experience. We even took a picture in front of the Post Office. The town itself isn't very big but it was fun to walk the same streets that the miners did back in the day. Parking on the street included mule parking.

Tomorrow will be more exploring around Lake Tahoe so goodbye from our home in Minden Nevada because....

Home is where we park it,
Frank and Mary

Monday, April 22, 2019

'19/#14 I Know Why It's Called Death Valley

Beatty Nevada is not a major cultural center. In fact it is not the center of anything except nowhere. It is one of the entrances to Death Valley so we decided to take a ride and see what it was all about. An hour or so later we had driven through some mighty desolate country. There were some pretty colors in the rock formations and the vastness of the whole thing was impressive but not much to see or do for these travelers. The winters can get pretty cold and the summers are famous for it's extreme heat. Highest recorded temperature on the face of the earth is 134 degrees in Death Valley. I know it is a "dry" heat but so is an oven. Try trading places with your next Thanksgiving turkey.
One of Beatty's Prominent Citizens

On the way back we stopped at a ghost town called Rhyolite. It was a gold mining town that lasted for about 15 years with a population of almost 10,000. Then it just disappeared. There is one building mostly intact and the rest are little more than foundations and partial walls. Again not a lot here but it is part of the story of how and why the west was settled by adventurers look to get rich.

Having seen all we wanted to see we set out to continue our journey towards California. We headed north towards the Lake Tahoe area for our next stop. The roads seem to go on forever and there is very little in the way of civilization along the way. After an hour on the road we stopped in Goldfield NV for breakfast at a place called Dinky's Diner. If the speed limit hadn't dropped to 25mph in town we might have missed it. Breakfast was good and reasonable and we were on our way after a couple of pictures of the towns highlights.

Like I said there is not much civilization along the way, therefore there are not a lot of fueling opportunities. Today was a 300 mile day yet I stopped for fuel three times. When I saw diesel pumps I stopped, especially if the price was reasonable. We did well as far as price was concerned keeping the diesel prices under $3.10 per gallon. That will change once we get to California.

In between the forever straight roads we also had a number of small towns, and I use the term "town" loosely. Not much more than abandon mines, scrap yards, and cat houses. Yes cat houses also known as houses of prostitution. Mary was amazed that this was going on to the point that she looked them up on Google. Big mistake! Now she is on their mailing list and they want her to review it on Yelp!!! I hope this doesn't follow her around for long.

We finally made it to Minden NV and the Carson Valley Casino,Hotel, and RV Park. This will be our home base for a few days while we explore the Lake Tahoe area. So I am signing off from our Home in Minden Nevada because.....

Home is where we park it,
Frank and Mary