Where are we?
We didn't write very many
"Where are we's?" in 2005. Why not, because we didn't do much
traveling. We spent most of the year at the Manchester Beach KOA
workamping. We will also spend much of 2006 doing the same thing. Why,
it certainly isn't for the pay. In general, workampering does not pay
high wages. However, we do like the area, we love the people, and we
are having lots of fun. Who could ask for more?
Where are we?
Date: Saturday, January 8, 2005
Here we are, in our warm motorhome, relaxing in a city that is partly
known for the major University located here. The mascot for the
University is the Duck, which, given the weather since we've been here
is very appropriate. In fact, it's the only University in the world
that has a license from Walt Disney to use Donald Duck as a mascot.
But, they can only use Donald Duck's character when they are in this
We left the Manchester KOA on Monday, January 3. That day we drove to
Crescent City California to spend the night. Tuesday we left Crescent
City and headed to Grant's Pass Oregon and then North to our current
We've spent the last few days shopping at Costco, Wal-Mart, and a few
other places. Of course, since we are in the area, we also visited our
newest Grandson, Tristan. Tristan is almost 6 months old now and is
really cute. We may be considered as prejudice but we still think he is
adorable. We were even able to baby sit a couple of times.
Tomorrow, we start heading south so we can be in Bakersfield on Monday.
However, we probably won't make Bakersfield on schedule. Our plan was
to head down I-5 but, it's snowing on most of the passes, tire chains
are required in some areas, and it doesn't seem like that route would
be a good idea. So, instead of heading down I-5, we'll head west to US
101 and then head south on US 101. It will be wet, but at least there
won't be snow.
Where are we now? We are in Eugene Oregon (where the University of
Oregon is located) visiting Larry's daughter Michelle, her husband
Keith, and, of course, our grandson, Tristan.
even during a winter storm
Subj: 158. Where are we?
Date: Tuesday, January 11, 2005
We made it to the southern end of the Central Valley of California.
This area is generally known for oil wells, cotton, and agriculture.
The trip here from Eugene was interesting to say the least. The weather
along the west coast has been frightful. Interstate 5 was closed in
southern Oregon and northern California, so we decided to drive down
the coast. Actually this was the only option. The trip started by
driving between Eugene and Florence. Well, it wasn't bad but there was
certainly snow on the side of the road. After Florence we drove down US
101 and guess what, not only did we see rain, we saw snow on the side
of the road, and we drove through sleet, and some hail. Saturday we
made it to near Trinidad California. Sunday we left and headed south
again, we also saw rain, snow on the side of the road, and in general
lousy weather. Sunday we made it all the way to Santa Nella California.
Now we were on Interstate 5.
Monday we made it to Bakersfield for the RV appointment. The dealer
thought they corrected all the problems but, as it turns out they
didn't. So today we took the RV back and found out that the toilet
needs to be replaced. The toilet is on order and won't be in for a
couple of weeks. We can certainly survive with what we have but it's
Of course we are in Bakersfield right now, and have an internet hookup
at our RV site in one of our favorate campgrounds, Orange Grove RV
Park. That's a very appropriate name since we have already picked a
couple of bags of delicious oranges. The weather continues to be rainey
and lousy. The various passes have snow and chain requirements. We have
to make some decisions tomorrow morning. To go east or more east
on the road for a few weeks.
Subj: 159. Where are we?
Date: Saturday, January 15, 2005
Here we are in the Valley of the Sun. A well earned nickname for this
large city in the desert. The city is known for its mountains
surrounding the city with strange names like the Superstition
Mountains, Camelback Mountain, and areas like the lost Dutchman gold
mine. The nickname, Valley of the Sun, is well earned because of the
heat during the summer. Fortunately it's winter and the high today was
about 80, but tonight it's cool right now it's in the 40s.
When we left Bakersfield on Wednesday, we had to decide where we would
go. If we went to Ridgecrest, we would only spend the night and then
head to our current location. So we decided to head here and
spend a day doing something that realistically can only be done in
January or February. So we drove to Blythe, California right on the
What did we want to do? Well, Thursday we spent the day in Quartzite
Arizona. If you've ever driven Interstate 10 in Western Arizona, you
have passed through the town of Quartzite. Quartzite is a small town
with a normal population of about 1900 people. But, in January and
February the local population swells to close to 1,000,000 people (yes
that's 1 million). Most of those people come in RVs of all sorts of
types. The RVs vary from million dollar motorhomes, to fifth wheel
trailers, to travel trailers, to van conversions, to antique RVs, to
homebuilt RVs. The major attraction is probably the weather, but also
there is a reason for many people to be here. First there is the Gem
and Mineral Show. Well, several of them according to the Quartzite
website. Then, during the last part of January is an RV show which is
huge. That apparently is the time the population swells to about a
We were too early for the RV show but there were probably several
hundred thousand people in the area. The big attraction now is a
market. It seems like every open space in town is filled with various
merchants selling almost everything you can imagine. We spent five
hours wandering around looking at a lot of things, and actually buying
a few, yet we may have covered a fourth of what is here. It's not even
the busy part of the season yet.
If you are into RVing, and you take it somewhat seriously you will
certainly hear about Quartzite. We've known about it for most of the 11
1/2 years that we've owned a motorhome and, although we've driven
through Quartzite on I-10 numerous times, this is the first time we
stopped here. All we can say is WOW, it is really an experience. Now we
want to go to Quartzite during the RV show. Even this early, several RV
dealers had already set up shop in Quartzite. Their lots were huge. We
spent an hour at one of the lots that must have had close to 1000
motorhomes plus almost as many trailers. Like we said, Quartzite is a
huge event and certainly worth a few hours or several days.
Now, where is the Valley of the Sun? It's Phoenix Arizona. We are here
for a few days visiting Adrienne's Dad.
Havin' Fun in Phoenix
after spending a day in Quartzite.
Subj: 160. Where are we?
Date: Tuesday, January 25, 2005
It's Sunday, January 23, and we are in the 7th largest city in the
United States and the second largest city on the West coast. It's also
often called the Birthplace of California. It was founded in 1769 when
Spanish soldiers built California's first military fort. Also in 1760,
Junipero Serro, a Franciscan priest, established California's first
We started our month long vacation almost three weeks ago and, if
you've been following our adventures, we have done a lot. First was
Eugene Oregon to visit with our new and very cute grandson. Then there
was a long drive down the coast in wet and cold weather to Quartzite
via Bakersfield. Then we spent the weekend in Phoenix with Adrienne's
After Phoenix we spent a few days in Ridgecrest. There were four
reasons to visit Ridgecrest. Three of them are named Ashley, Daniel,
and Breanna, three more of our grandchildren. We also had Denist
appointments. Yes, we know we are Texas residents but we haven't given
up our trusted dentist in Ridgecrest.
After a few days in Ridgecrest, we drove to our current location
yesterday. Now we are enjoying very good weather and the company of
Denise and Aaron (Larry's youngest daughter and her husband).
Where are we? We are in San Diego for a few days.
on the road again
Subj: 161. Where
February 7, 2005
We are now back where we started about a month ago. We are on
the coast where, according to the local "Traveler's Guide" there are
"Timeless communities and rugged natural splendor. Winding country
highways connect five diverse regions, each with its own rich sense of
time and pace. There are rural small towns, agricultural heritage, arts
and crafts, and the earthly pleasures of the table."
WOW. How's that for an introduction.
The last time we wrote a Where are we? was almost 2 weeks ago when we
were in San Diego visiting with Aaron and Denise. It was a nice
relaxing few days. We went to Tijuana for a few hours and it's amazing
how the town has been cleaned up. It's still a border town but it seems
to be improving from what it was in the 60s. We also spent a day just
wandering around Balboa Park and visiting the San Diego Air and Space
Museum. That was great.
After San Diego we drove all the way to Anaheim. After setting up the
RV in an RV Park near Disneyland, we drove into Culver City to see
Jeff, Jill, and two grandkids. We kidnapped the grandkids and took them
back to the RV. The next day we took them to Disneyland. It was a gray
morning that turned into a rainy afternoon. After we met Jeff and Jill
at Disneyland we would all head back to the RV to dry off and change
clothes. As luck would have it, late in the afternoon it cleared up and
became a cool but dry evening. So we went back to Disneyland. At 9
o'clock that night Disneyland had a show called Fantasmic, well it was
great and thanks to Jeff, we had great seats.
We then left Anaheim and went to Valencia. Valencia is close to
Scott, Adrienne's oldest son. So we visited with Scott, his girlfriend
Jennifer, and Jennifer's 2 boys (who started calling us grandma and
After Valencia, it was a quick stop in Bakersfield to get a new
toilet for the RV. We had ordered one our first time through and now it
had arrived so we had it installed. It's great having a toilet that
Our next stop was two days later in Petaluma. Petaluma has a nice KOA
and, thanks to Yolanda, the manager of the KOA in Manchester, we were
comped for two nights. That's another benefit of working at a KOA.
Although we didn't explore Petaluma, we did drive over to the coast and
see some of the coast that we had never seen. We drove to Jenner, and
then south to Bodago Bay, then down to Marshall where we bought oysters
from Hog Island Oyster Company, then a short visit to Point Reyes and
then back to Petaluma. We didn't really have enough time to explore
everything we wanted to but it did whet our desire to return to that
area for more oysters and spend more time at Point Reyes.
After Petaluma it was a fairly short drive to our current location.
Where are we? We are now back in Manchester California at the
Manchester Beach KOA. For those of you who do not have maps available,
we are 153 miles north of San Francisco on Highway 1. We are 6 miles
north of the Point Arena Lighthouse.
162. Where are we?
Date: Sunday, July 3, 2005
First of all, we have to wish everyone a Happy July 4. We are still at
the Manchester Beach KOA and wll be here through the summer. There have
been several events that we should pass on to everyone.
Right after Memorial Day, we had a visit from both of Larry's
daughters, their husbands, and Larry's grandson Tristan. We really had
a great time and Tristan is as cute as ever. If you want to see a
picture of Tristan set your web browers to www.manchesterbeachkoa.com.
Yes, Tristan is now famous. It also shows some of Michelle's handiwork.
On the same web site is a picture of Larry with the honey wagon. If you
aren't into RVs, you might not know what a honey wagon is. Well,
Motorhomes and Trailers have holding tanks for waste water. Obviously
you have to get rid of the waste. Most of the time you empty the tanks
at a dump station. The honey wagon will pump out the holding tanks so
you don't have to move your rig. Our "honey wagon" also has a nickname,
we call it "Sweet Lips." Just think about that for a few minutes and
you will get the irony.
After Tristan's visit (with his parents, his aunt and uncle), we had a
week long visit from Daniel, That too was great. Daniel had a great
time and we certainly enjoyed Daniel's visit. He made lots of friends
and we found many exciting things while exploring the local beaches.
It's also been very busy. Over Memorial Day weekend the campground was
completely full. That was good for the campground but, especially since
we were at least one workamping couple short, it was a lot of work for
the rest of us.
The last weekend in June was also very busy. That weekend was a very
low tide weekend and the last low tide of the first part of Abalone
season. There were lots of abalone divers in the campground and,
although we were not full, we had 80 sites to clean on Sunday.
This weekend, July 4 weekend, we were also full. We are still short 1
workamping couple plus Felipe, the only long term employee on the
outside. Felipe broke his foot and will be off work for three weeks.
Yolanda, our most famous, awesome person and the manager, is off on
materity leave to make sure she " cooks that daughter long enough to be
'ripe'". Yolanda's due date is Aug. 15, but baby girl may arrive
on July 15th.
Again, that leaves a lot of work for the rest of us. The good news is
that we will be getting another workamping couple this week. We expect
them to arrive on Thursday. The even better news is that they are
friends of ours that we met at Crater Lake last year. We are looking
forward to seeing them and working with them.
Working hard but still Havin' Fun
Where are we?
Date: Thursday, December 1, 2005
First we want to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a very Happy
New Year. We hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving.
We are still in a remote area of wonderful natural beautiful but
questionable roads. The natural beauty includes mountains, and
seashore. I can't really say beaches although there are some beaches.
Much of the shoreline is really rocky cliffs. There are two lighthouses
nearby. Not too far away is a wonderful town that was built on the
logging industry but is now an artist community. That particular town
has a great Chamber of Commerce. They know that they now have no
traditional industry but survive solely on tourism. Consequently, they
plan all sorts of events to attract tourists. They will sponsor music
festivals, crab festivals, mushroom festivals, wine festivals, art
festivals, whale watching festivals and many more. Not a month goes by
without at least one major event to attract tourists. Many people may
recognize that town from some old television shows. In fact, Jessica
Fletcher’s home in “Murder She Wrote” was supposed to be in Cabot Cove
Maine. It was actually in this town on the Northern California Coast.
This is the first “Where are we?” since early July. You already know
that both of Larry’s daughters visited us with their husbands and our
newest grandson. You also know that one of Adrienne’s grandsons was
here for a week. However, in August, Adrienne’s two oldest sons (Jeff
and Scott) visited with their families. So far we have had visits from
4 of our 6 children and their families.
The season was been very busy and finally ended with the Thanksgiving
Celebration. Jim, one of the campground owners, deep-fried 8-22 to 24
pound Turkeys. Guests brought side dishes to share. We ended up having
over 150 people for Thanksgiving Dinner. Fortunately the weather was
great. It didn’t rain until after the dinner and after everyone had
left the Rec. Hall.
Of course there were other activities for the holiday including a visit
by Santa Claus. Yes, Larry was Santa again and he had a lot of fun.
Early in October we went to the Botanical Gardens in Fort Bragg (40
miles north) to take a class on “Identification of Mushrooms for
Beginners.” Although we learned a lot, we also decided that when we go
mushroom picking, it would be at a supermarket. We also have to mention
that while we were there, we had a Portobello Mushroom sandwich, wow,
that was great!
The end of October was the Oktoberfest. Once again we catered the
Oktoberfest dinner. The menu was Bratwurst, Hot German Potato Salad,
Sauerkraut, Beans, Cole Slaw, Hot Pretzels with several different
mustard dips, and Finger Cookies. Again, Larry’s homemade Hot German
Potato Salad was a big hit.
Oh yes, Yolanda, the campground manager, had her beautiful baby girl in
August. Nayeli was small but is very cute. She is growing well and is a
very happy baby. We have been adopted as Grandparents, a title we
accept with pride.
Now for some of our plans, but remember, plans have a tendency to
change with outside circumstances. We are planning to spend one more
year here. That means we will be here until just after Thanksgiving of
2006. By that time we will be more than ready to hit the road again. Of
course we will be taking some time off after the first of the year.
About mid January we will be taking off to visit our kids and
grandkids. This year we plan to be off for about two months and we are
really looking forward to it.
Oh, we had a surprise a couple of weeks ago. A neighbor invited us to
go to the Senior Center in Point Arena for lunch. It’s by far the best
$3.50 lunch on the coast (it’s probably the only $3.50 lunch on the
coast). Anyway, we were eating lunch and enjoying the conversation when
Adrienne looks up and says, “Larry, That’s Maureen Aardalh, and there’s
Jeff!” She was right. Maureen and Jeff are friends of ours from
Ridgecrest. As it turns out, they retired and moved to Gualala, which
is about 20 miles south of us. We had a great time visiting with them
and we’re sure that we will spend more time with them.
Where are we? We’re still at the Manchester Beach KOA in Manchester
California. The town we described above is Mendocino, about 30 miles
north and a very fun place to visit.
Havin' Fun, As Always