"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

Sunday, August 14, 2022

Replacing our Awning & A Crazy Week with Friends & Family

Coloma, CA
Ponderosa Resort 

Once back in Coloma for the week we had a big job to do.  Replacing the awning.  We've had the material for a couple of weeks but we wanted to wait until our friends, John & Tina joined us so that Steve could get some help.  They camped next to us. (thanks for the pic Tina).
We knew after 8 years that our original awning was getting dry and brittle and would need to be replaced.  We had a big wind a couple of months ago and it ripped in the upper left corner where it attaches to the side of the trailer.
Our friends Mike and Rose came over so Mike could help out as well. First, remove the old awning.
Straps were attached and the bottom roller bar comes off after the rivets are removed.

Next the new awning material gets put through the upper grove and screwed in place at the ends.

Mike and John feeding the material through the bottom on the roller.
New rivets put in.
And here it is!  It took them a couple of hours.  Thank you both John & Mike for helping!  I'm glad all I had to do was take some pictures.  It might be hard to tell in the pictures, but the new awning is a fade to gray style.  I do like the white strip against the trailer as it lets light into the bedroom window.
Finishing touches.  We're very happy with it!
San Jose, CA
A week later we drove 3 hours to San Jose to babysit Jaxon and visit friends and family.  We started with a visit to Debbie and Rooty since we were staying at their families home/yard.
We had a great dinner at Brew City.  The food was amazing!  Debbie had a Filet Mignon Wrap and I had a Strawberry Arugula Salad.  The Wings were delish too.  They all loved their beer samples.

We watched Jax for the day and had a great time.  He loves building things with Papa.
Nonna loves her giggly Meatball.  Especially his kisses.
Park Time!
Fun for the little ones and the big ones!
Later in the week Debbie and I went on a hike leaving from the cute town of Los Gatos up to Lexington Reservoir.  This was my first hike since Covid and while I was a little winded, I did great.  Even with the elevation gain.
The Two Debbies.  We've known each other since 2nd grade!
Los Gatos Creek running along the first 1/2 of the trail.

Lexington Reservoir where we had a great lunch that we brought with us.

It sure felt good to get back on a trail.  That evening the four of us were looking forward to dinner at the Cats before watching a band that a friend of ours plays in.
The Cats is an iconic spot.  From their website:

Established in 1896, and originally a stop on the old stage line, The Cats Roadhouse served as a weigh station for horse-drawn lumber wagons on their way to San Jose, as well as a rowdy social club for local residents. At the time the road was first paved, around 1920, the Cats was one of the area’s most notorious speakeasies and bordellos. During the 40′s and 50′s The Cats building housed a realty office, gun shop and sporting goods store. The restaurant and tavern were re-established in 1967 and it is one of the last remaining Roadhouses in the United States. Today the legacy continues as a destination and place to be for generations to come. 

Rumors of two ghosts, one female upstairs and one male downstairs are still talked about today,

we hear they are friendly and keep an eye on the place for us.

It's probably been 35+ years since we've been to the Cats.  It has been closed for a while and just now reopened.  Unfortunately, they had staff problem and closed last minute just before we arrived.  So off we went to Historic Downtown Los Gatos and had a great dinner at Loma Brewing Co.
Then it was off to Downtown San Jose where an old friend of ours was playing in a band.  Until recently, I hadn't seen Derek since I was maybe 10?  He gave me guitar lessons!

The next evening we finally got to meet our 2nd son, Shane's, girlfriends parents.  It's only been 3 years!  Covid kind of messed that up and we were gone much of last year.  Love your parents Lindsay! They are wonderful people and we were very glad to have finally met them!
On our last morning I wanted to take Steve to Jack Holder's Restaurant that Debbie had introduced me to.  Oh my, do they make the best Green Chili Verde & Eggs!
The Flintstone House visible from Hwy 280.
Our final day was supposed to be a visit to my uncle (I haven't seen since Covid started) but he wasn't feeling well so we decided to go visit my grandparents/great grandparents graves.  Steve hadn't been to them before and was surprised to see how fancy a mausoleum can be.  Back in the day, Italians put a lot of money into where they ended up.  And it wasn't below ground.  A small fortune was spent on these fancy granite tomb resting places.  I didn't take any pictures of the ornate decorations.
My great grandparents.  My Nonna was the one that came to Italy in 1906.
My grandparents.
My grandparents on my Dad's side.  My Mom is uber organized.  She has already added her and my Dad's info on the headstone so all we will have to take care of is their death dates.
And to end on a sweeter note, one last picture of Jaxon waving goodbye until we see him next week!
It was such a crazy week and the next one will be more of the same! 

Thursday, July 28, 2022

Crazy Weather and a Visit to Genoa, Nevada

Hope Valley, CA

After our first week of Trailer Jail (with Covid) we decided to serve the rest of our 2 week sentence boondocking out in our favorite, Hope Valley.  It's only a 45 minute drive further up in the mountains from Placerville.  We will be on our own for the next 10 days, so no worries.
This is the Scott's Lake Dispersed area in the National Forest on Hwy 88 near Hwy 89.
The sunsets here are always lovely.
We spent most of the week just driving down some of our favorite dirt roads enjoying the scenery.
I wanted to take a new road to see if we could make it to the small alpine lake.  It's only a mile.  Well, the road got pretty rough about 1/2 way so we made a 10 point turn around and headed back.  I'm always checking the dually's for "potatoes".  What's that you say?
Potatoe sized rocks that wedge in between the tires.  Usually, Steve can strong arm them out or coax them with a breaker bar.  Not this biggee.
We had to drive up a ridge on the dirt road so that the inner dually sat higher up than the other.  Then Steve deflated the outer dually after that didn't work, and finally manhandled it out!  We were just a couple of miles from camp and we have a compressor to fill the tire back up.
This is the second time up here that the cell tower doesn't seem to be working so great.  We took a drive to check out a couple of the other nearby campgrounds to see if it was better there and that we could fit.  Turned out no and no.
Thunderstorms were expected for the next few afternoons so we wanted to get back before then.
Kirkwood Lake.  We've hiked and kayaked here but the campground is too small for us.

The fire did a lot of damage here too, but the wildflowers came back strong!
The storm coming in over Caples Lake.  Will we make it?
Looking down at Red Lake from Carson Pass.  The rain and hail hit us at this point.
The horrible storms kept coming but would skirt us by staying on the other side of the highway.  So strange to see.  It pounded the nearby town of Markleeville so bad they had severe flooding from the scars of previous fires.  This went on for a couple of days and they closed down Hwy 89 due to flooding and road and bridge washout.
We did get some nice rainbows and more stunning sunsets.

Most of our neighbors left due to the storms.  Then we had this cutie move in! (the horse!)

We spent most of our time relaxing.  No hiking or kayaking.  No energy really to do that yet anyway.
The sun came out towards the end of our stay so we day tripped to nearby Genoa, NV.

The drive in towards town.

Founded in 1851, it was the first settlement in what became the Nevada Territory.  Its population is under 1000 and claims the oldest bar in the state of Nevada.
We haven't been here since the kids were young so we re-visited the Mormon Station.

This was Genoa's first gristmill stone built in 1854 used to grind wheat into flour.

Snowshoe Thompson statue.  He carried the mail through the snow on skis!

They have a nice little museum too.

An old, unique calendar safe.
The Masonic Lodge.
Of course we popped into Nevada's Oldest Bar, the Thirst Parlor for a drink.

It's a very colorful bar with lots of history.

What an "ashhole" ;-)

A Six-Shooter Old Fashioned for Steve and a Spicy Smoky JohnWayne Bloody Mary for me.
Some ride in on horses here and some come in with a little more horse power!
We walked around town admiring the old architecture and stopped in the Pink House for a late lunch/early dinner.  We sat outside on the porch.
While the food was fantastic, the service was some of the worst we've ever had!  When we arrived about 3:30, there was a full staff there and no one but us.  We we're delayed over and over and waited to be seated, for our drinks, for our food, etc!  We only ordered sandwiches, yet it took 30 minutes to get them.  We'd have left after our drinks but I was so hungry and a bit buzzed after two cocktails :-)
A tasty Aperol Spritz for me and a nice IPA for Steve.
Before we left we drove up to the cemetery to find Snowshoe Thompson's grave.
It was a great day!
Our last evening, we drove back to Silver Lake to meet up with our friends from Placerville who were camped here.  Always a great visit with Doug & Deanna!  And that wrapped up our time in Hope Valley.  Now that we're out of quarantine, we'll head back to Placerville for one week.

Coloma, CA
Ponderosa RV Park
It's going to be hot so we're glad we got a spot in the shade with the river behind us.

Nice to just relax some more as the next 3 weeks will be crazy busy!