"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

Friday, January 27, 2017

Sunny but Soggy

Placerville, CA
Storm Valley Ranch

Happy Friday!  It's a beautiful sunny day, but it's still very soggy here.  We've had a few days of sun and the next storm doesn't come in until Wednesday.  So there is a slight chance we will get out then.  But the water is still spilling from the dam, so who knows?!  We'll test the pasture out with the quad and if it doesn't sink, we'll try the truck.

Since we've been here a few extra weeks we've been able to see the kids and friends more.  One Friday we took a 3 hour drive into San Jose (the south of the Bay Area) to visit our oldest, Ryan, and meet his new girlfriend over breakfast.  Diana is very sweet and we enjoyed meeting her.  Ryan ordered us all Bloody Mary's.  They came with a beer.  Different.

Ryan and Diana
Steve, me and Brian (trying to be serious).

We stayed at Brian's and he was a good sport about joining us for some geocaching.

We weren't able to find the one at the park, but these snails were sticking all over a wall in an interesting pattern. 

Brian found this cache on his own.  It was hidden in a fake rock.

Another great moment, we had just found our 2000th geocache!

Steve went to a Portuguese Crab Feed that evening with Brian and I went out with some friends. Chris and I saw the movie Founders about Ray Croc of McDonalds.  Very interesting and we both liked it.  Turns out he wasn't a very nice guy.  Then I stayed up late to meet another friend, Debbie, that couldn't make the movie and we met at 11pm at a bar with a bowling alley and restaurant... in the local Bass Pro Shop!  And it was a great bar!  Open until midnight.  Who knew?

Then it was off to San Francisco Sunday (north part of the Bay Area) after visiting with my Uncle Danny.  We had a great breakfast before meeting our second oldest, Shane, at his new apartment in San Francisco.  I forgot to get a picture but we had a great time.  My uncle is thinking of moving to Laughlin in Nevada.  Looks like we'll have another place to winter as there'll be an RV pad for us!

The view of Alcatraz in the distance from the 8th floor of Shane's apartment.  Not bad!

Some wings and drinks while watching some football inside while it stormed outside.  Then the 3 hour drive back to Placerville.  It was a very busy weekend but a lot of fun.

Since we had a break in the rain I did a little hiking with my friend Tina once back home.

There was still water flowing everywhere.  Streams, waterfalls and lots of mud from landslides.

The mud came down the hillside and covered the trail.  Lucky for us they had just fixed it.

Someone got creative and decorated this large boulder to look like a snake.
It was a great hike but soon the elevation climbed and the mud and snow were something we didn't want to hike through.  So back we went.  It was a nice 5 mile hike.

 The hillsides of vines are still dormant.  This is a great wine region.

I removed the name to protect the victim innocent!
In the meantime, positive thoughts for a dry week so that we can get going!

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Stuck in Limbo or Rain, Rain Go Away!

Placerville, CA
Storm Valley Ranch

November started out with nice weather in Placerville, but that was short lived.  We had some snow and then endless amounts of rain.  RAIN.  The kind that never ends!  And a series of bad luck.

All of California has had some of its heaviest rainfall in over 10 years this past few weeks.  The above picture shows the overflow from my brothers dam at his pond.  This was with a low flow.  There have been days the pipe flows at maximum capacity and this part of the pasture is now a river.  The problem?  The lower part of this river (that you can't see) is the "road" that we have to drive our 5er out of!  So that is why we still sit here in cold, wet Placerville instead of enjoying Happy Hours with our RV Friends in the warm desert in Quartzite, Arizona!
All this non-stop rain kept me from adding some Dicor to a suspicious spot next to the Fantastic Fan on the roof that I noticed while I was washing it on one of the very few dry days.  So no surprise when we got a little leak.  I went up to dry the area and cover it with plastic until we had a dry day to add more Dicor.  For those of you that don't know what Dicor is, it's a thick goopy sealant.  Problem was the wind and rain were horrible and I needed something to hold down the plastic sheet.  Here's where I get a little Redneck.  I couldn't find rocks/bricks etc to use and I really didn't want to carry any up the ladder or put them on the roof in case the wind made a sail out of the plastic.  I was cold, wet and out of ideas.  Hey, I just bagged up a few large garbage bags of trash (no food scraps).  I lugged them up the ladder and they hold the plastic down perfectly!  Too bad I didn't get a picture of it!  A week later when the sun showed itself for a couple days, I got the Dicor on and it's working perfectly.  I know this because another huge round of storms has hit us again and we are still dry.  No leak!
The same day I was out on errands and got rear-ended in a parking lot.  The guy had just driven past me and decided to backup.  Very quickly.  Without looking.  WHAM!  I saw him in my mirror and honked but too late.  How can you not see this big ass dually truck?  Ug.  Now calls and e-mails to insurance companies.  Since we appear to be stuck here unless we add pontoons to the trailer, I guess we'll get it fixed here.

Unfortunately the hitch took the main hit and broke Steve's favorite Arrogant Bastard Brewery hitch cover.  But fortunately the hitch took the main hit because that's about all it did and his van didn't fare too well.  It did tweak the bumper a bit and now the back up camera sensors are off.  This makes the truck think it's going to constantly hit something and it now beeps when in reverse.  Kinda funny.


Some good news though.  Our youngest son and his girlfriend graduated from Dental Hygiene and we enjoyed the graduation.  Whew.  That's 6 college graduations.  I think we're done now.

                                              Brennan and Alex.

They decorated their caps.  Brennan made a sort of Bobble Head Tooth on his.

The grandparents and us with Brennan.

On those couple nice days we did get some hiking and geocaching in.  This was a fun one with a clever container.  It was one of those pink lawn flamingos up in a tree.  You had to bring it down on a rope/pulley system he made to get to it. 

A nice little hike led to this view above the river.
Pretty clever, right?  We love it when cachers make these types of hides!
On the last day before more rain set in, we hid a few caches of our own and spent some time hiking in the Georgetown Conservancy Area. 

Steve finding a cache in an old mine.

Looks like this poor guy wasn't having a good week either.  (he must've fell out of the tree)
And wrapping it all up at the Goat House Brewery to visit an acquaintance who had a hot dog truck there.  Cute little farm too.
At this point, January 18, it is looking like we won't make Arizona until February.  And that's only if we get a couple of weeks of no rain to firm the ground back up!  We may only get a couple of days in Quartzite before we need to be in Phoenix with the in-laws.  We'll see what Mother Nature has in store for us. 
Until then,