Saturday, April 30, 2011


Wow! it has been around 10 days since the last time I posted anything so let’s see what have we been doing.

We took a ride in the hills around Santa Rosa but had trouble getting pictures because there aren’t many places to pull off the roads to park.

Here are a couple pictures.



and a short video;

My youngest daughter “Felice” has had her surgery and the doctor said that they didn’t find any bad stuff in side her. Now we have to wait for the lab reports. She was discharged from the hospital yesterday so we went to SF to pick her up.  She is now recuperating at a friends house and is doing good.

On Tuesday we went to our grandson Harvey’s track meet. To me, a track meet is about as exciting as watching grass grow but we were there for Harvey. He won two of his four events, the hundred yard dash and the high jump.

Harvey is on the left.



I cleaned up and painted the stove that Mike gave me for the cabin and took it up to Indian Creek on Wednesday. Unfortunately I forgot to bring my camera so there are no pictures of the stove in place. The fitting on the hose that I was planning to use for the stove had a left hand thread so I couldn’t connect it to the stove. I will have to get a different hose and regulator. I haven’t found the right knobs for it yet. The ones that are on there are not correct.

I started taking apart “Pigpen” (my van) to rebuild the front end. As it turns out all the noise that I was getting from the front was being caused by the shocks so I don’t have to replace the ball Joints. I ordered the shocks yesterday and they should be in by Monday.


I am going to take apart the steering box next, to check for wear. I am hoping that it is okay because I don’t think I could find a new one.  

Wednesday, April 20, 2011



We left Quartzsite around 11:00


and made it to the AVI Casino near Laughlin, Nevada with no problem. We got there around 1:00. The Casino has a shuttle to the RV park so we went to lunch at the casino. I left Patti at the casino and she came back at 5:30 only $20 down. Not bad!!

With AAA discount the park rent is only $21.50 per night. 

I'm using the parks  free wifi It is a little slow 5 to 9 mbps but Verizon wireless doesn't work at all here. I might try it later tonight.


We left the AVI casino RV park around 9:30 and drove to Kettleman City where we stopped for dinner at Mikes Road House Café. Patti said that her hamburger was good. I had a hot roast beef sandwich that was unremarkable.

It was windy as hell all the way from AVI almost to Bakersfield.

Coming over the Tehachapi's we were being blown all over the road. I was doing a maximum of 55 mph and I had a death grip on the steering wheel.

The wind died just before we got to Bakersfield and the rest of the drive wasn't bad.

We stopped for the night at the "Sommerville Almond Tree" RV park, on the west side of I-5 at the Jayne Ave exit.


The ride from Jayne Ave was uneventful and we arrived home at 2:00.

I got an email from Becky & Dennis with pictures of Roy’s newest camera setup.


They went out to the shaft today. Apparently the system worked and they got some good footage. I hope Roy can send me a copy of the movie so I can try to show some of it to you.


I woke up to the sound of rain. I miss Arizona. 

Saturday, April 16, 2011


On Thursday we went back to the deep shaft to try the camera again.

Roy redesigned the setup with some different lights and a rack from a convection oven as a base. It kind of looks like a flying saucer.



We slowly lowered the system into the hole until it settled on the bottom of the shaft.


When we retrieved it


we connected the camera to my mini laptop.


The video was to dark to see anything so we added two multi led head lamps to the rig and sent it down the hole again. This time we didn’t try the laptop because the sunlight was so bright that it was hard to see the screen. After we got home Roy hooked the camera to his TV and watched the video, it was dark all the way down until almost the bottom where the lights finally found something to illuminate. Roy is going to try again on Tuesday.

While we were playing with the camera Becky noticed a bird nest on one of the beams in the shaft.


The wind was blowing hard and was pretty cold so we left the shaft to find someplace out of the wind to have lunch. As usual that turned out to be a wash.


After lunch we drove around for a while, over the low hills, through some deep gullies and up a couple of narrow washes.

Along the way we stopped to check out a tunnel that we had passed several times in the trips out to this area. The tunnel was a little disappointing as it only went about 100 feet into the hill.


On the home front we got some more pictures of the birds that come to visit the pond





and the flowers.



Well, our Arizona adventure is almost at an end. It has been another great winter down here. We had a lot of fun and will miss all our friends until we see them again next season.  We will leave here  tomorrow (Sunday) for California. It will take us about two and a half days to get home.

My youngest daughter is undergoing major surgery on the 21rd and we want to be there for her.

We have to get a new roof put on the Motor-home in May.

In June we will be going to Redmond Oregon for our granddaughter’s graduation from high school.

We aren’t sure what we will be doing after that. Whether we will be doing a lot of traveling or not depends on the price of fuel.

There is plenty for me to do at home this summer.

I have to rebuild the front end on my van “Pigpen” and I still have a bunch of work to do on the cabin at Indian Creek. I am looking forward to getting back in the redwoods.

It will all be on the blog so check back from time to time.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011


On Saturday I was replacing the starter solenoid on the RV and when I opened the engine compartment I noticed a Dove sitting on a nest next to the engine.



We are leaving for home on Sunday the 17th. Now we have a problem. How do we move the nest without having the dove abandon it? We have had several suggestions and will try to do it as gently as possible but if we fail we will have at least tried.

The doves have been having trouble getting to the water in the pond because of the height of the sides. We put a large rock in the pond to form an island so they can get closer to the water.


Well, the doves aren’t smart enough to figure it out so I put a piece of Ironwood in the pond to form a bridge to the Island.


So far I have seen only two doves using the bridge.

Roy’s Key-fob camera arrived on Saturday. He built a rig to mount it and we went out to find the deep, deep shaft on the north side of the Plomosa mountains to try it out.

This time Debby and Mike were with us.


It took us a long time to find the correct shaft. Along the way we Checked out some tunnels but they didn’t go in vary far.

This one was to small to easily enter and only went in about 10 feet.


The next one was tall enough to stand up in but again only went into the hill about 30 feet.


This one was full of water the last time we saw it so we couldn’t check it out.


We were disappointed this time because the tunnel only went about 15 feet into the hill.


We stopped at a deep vertical shaft but it was shaped like a funnel and was too wide and dangerous to try lowering the camera into it.


As we traveled along we found another really interesting lizard.


The lizard is called a “Great Basin Collard Lizard”.

We stopped in a wash for lunch. There wasn’t much shade but the sky was a little overcast so it didn’t matter much.


A couple of miles further down the trail we finally came to the shaft we were looking for.


We spent a lot of time setting up to lower the Key-fob camera into the hole.


Here is the setup.

The camera on top,


With a five LED clip-on head light underneath


The camera rig is tied to a 500 foot long line and lowered into the shaft.


We spent about an hour messing with this setup


but the lights were not bright enough to get any video of the hole. We will try again at some other time. However, we did find out that the hole is about 250 feet deep.

We did however find some neat stuff around the hole. Here is a rodent scull


Debby found a small piece of rock that she thinks has some gold in it.


Who knows?

We continued to travel north and came upon some more old mines. This thing looks like some kind of a rock crusher.


We got back to the parking spot around 3:30 and loaded up the ATV to go home.


We stopped at the Gurbstake for dinner and at the restaurant ran into  Iron Jaw and his wife, Blue Eyes, some old buckskinner friends of ours.

This morning I was sitting in the backyard


enjoying the sun and got some pictures of this Humming bird.




Thursday, April 7, 2011


Tuesday, we went to Lake Havasu to purchase the liner for the pond. We left home around 10:00, got to Home Depot around 11:45, bought the liner and went to Wal Mart to get a few things. From there we stopped at Panda Express for lunch and arrived home at about 3:00. After a rest, we installed the liner, put some rocks on it to hold it down and filled it with water.


Yesterday, Dianne and Wayne came up for a visit. We had lunch outside under the awning, as the weather was uncertain and it sprinkled a few times. We had a good visit and they left about 3:30. Dianne seams a little better and can stand (with help ) for a few seconds, enough to get in and out of their Bronco.

Today we took a ride with Suzanne, Roy, Becky, and Dennis. The plan was to make our way to the Mailbox Cabin (Apache Chief Mine) and find some rocks to finish the pond. Roy said there was a shale outcrop in a wash near there. We did some exploring along the way checking out a couple of trails that we hadn’t been on before. On one trail we crossed a wash that had an interesting rock formation. It was a conglomerate with many different types of rock in it; shale's, granites, black volcanic rocks, green rocks etc. All pressed together.


Where is a geologist when you need one?

The trail split up into several cul-de-sac’s. We retraced our route to the road along the south side of I-10 and continued our trip to the Apache Chief. We took another side trip through an area that was an old mine. We had passed this road several times but never checked it out before. The place had not been used for a long time and the buildings were very dilapidated.


On the top of a small hill we found a vertical shaft that was very deep. Roy has ordered a “key fob camera that he is going to rig on a fishing pole so we can check out some of these shafts but it hasn’t arrived yet so used the old drop a rock technique to judge how deep the shaft was.


It was Very Deep !

From there we drove around the area a little and checking out some of trails. Eventually we hit on a trail that went into a wash that eventually turned onto one of the roads that goes to the Mailbox Cabin. At the cabin we stopped for lunch sitting at a picnic table.


When we left the cabin we followed the washes back north looking for the shale outcrop. We didn’t find it but we did pick up a lot of flat rocks along the way.

We got home around 3:00, unloaded the jeep and spent about an hour setting the rocks around the pond.


It is cool and windy this evening. I don’t know if that has anything to do with it but there are no toads breeding in the pond. It could be that they are all done breeding for the season or just tired out from all the sex the last several nights.

It is supposed to rain tomorrow so I put the doors and windows on the Jeep.