"Two roads diverged in a yellow wood... And sorry I could not travel both. I took the one less traveled by. And that has made all the difference." --Robert Frost

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Back Home Visit, Boondocking with Friends

Placerville, CA

Another Wedding
Our second month back home was busy with more weddings.  This time my cousin Brian was getting married.  It was at a beautiful venue in the Santa Cruz mountains in CA.
All the cousins together! (minus Lyssa)

The beautiful bride.

County Fair Time
We also went to our county fair.  We've spent years there as our kids were in 4-H all through school and I used to be a Dairy Goat Leader and Livestock Advisor for the fair.  It was nice to see how many kids are still  raising animals.  Our county is a big Ag-County.

Nigerian Dwarf  Dairy Goats
New Goodies
We also took some time to add some things to our trailer so we can extend our boondocking.  We now have a collapsible 50 gallon water container which is lightweight and rolls up nicely for stowing. This will be a nice addition to the 66 gallons the trailer holds.  We bought a 12 volt pump to get the water into the trailer's pressurized system.
We aren't ready for a complete roof top solar system just yet.  It's a large expense and we are still feeling out how much solar we need to get us through for our needs.  Even if we decide to go with a roof top system, we'd still want a portable panel.  We like to park in the shade and this way we can move the panel up to 50 feet away if we need to.  We bought a 2300 watt inverter so if we do upgrade to the roof top system, we won't need to get a bigger one.  We also added 2 more deep cycle 6 volt 230 amp hour batteries.  We now have 4.  Since we don't have a control panel yet, we drilled a small hole into hall closet and ran a short extension cord to be able to plug in our coffee maker, computers, etc.  Put a nice cover over it.

Camping Trip
We wrapped up our 2 month visit back home with 2 camping trips.  The first was a boondocking trip to my favorite area in the Sierra Nevada, Hope Valley.  The second was a fishing trip with the kids. (later post)  Hope Valley is a gorgeous area along Hwy 88 in Northern CA, near Kirkwood Ski Resort and the PCT (Pacific Crest Trail).  Good time to try out the new solar.  We always wanted to try out this spot called Scotts Area Lake.  It's a gorgeous area under the pines between a huge meadow and the mountains.  It's all level, easy to get in and out of with a big rig and free!  We have plans for kayaking, hiking and lots of nothing too.

Here we are.  We're on the far left behind the trees.
The Washington wildfire which started a coupe days before our trip, luckily brought only a small amount of smoke into the valley the first day.  The rest of the time the winds were in our favor and kept blowing the opposite direction of camp and the lakes and trail we'd be on.  YES!

The first night Tina & I had the meadow to ourselves before everyone else arrived.  Fresh figs wrapped in Prosciutto and chilled wine.  Heaven!

Just a little snow on the peaks.

Caples Lake
Today we kayaked on Caples Lake at 7800' elevation.  Except for a little smoke diluting our beautiful blue sky, it was a perfect day!

Interesting.  "X" marks the spot!
John was catching our appetizers!

We always knew Tina could walk on water!

Way to go John!  We will eat well tonight!

Me, Angie, Tina & Rose

They were delicious!
John cooking up his famous pasta for dinner!

Dinner was amazing!
A nice walk through the meadow after dinner.
Off to hike Shealor Lake.

The wildflowers were gorgeous.

Tim & Maureen

Mike & Rose
Since there was a wildfire going on just over the ridge, the Forest Service suspended campfires.  So below is our substitute campfire.  It was pretty cool!

Another day we kayaked on Silver Lake.

First time for Mike and Rose.

Angie heading into a cave.

Rick taking pictures.

It was a great trip with good friends!!