Monday, August 18, 2008

Sandy Beach

We changed up our "routine" (if we have one) and left after work Friday for this trip. We were in mad dash mode 'til we arrived at Solano County's Sandy Beach Park on the opposite side of the Sacramento River from Duck Island. (You can see Sandy Beach in our Duck Island post. So, here's a look back at Duck Island.)

Site #7 is a shady enclave that looked inviting but proved to be less welcoming. It took us a good hour to get parked, level and extend the slides. The sites here are mini loops off the right side of the campground road. Our challenge was to position our moose precisely so the bedroom slide wouldn't hit any tree branches and the "big ass slide" (as it is affectionately known) on the other side didn't stick out into the road. Add to that mix was the unique (to us so far) situation of having water and electric connections on the right side of the back of the site. Like all other RVs we've ever seen, our connections are on the left side -- and ours are near the center of that side. Fortunately, we had an extra few feet of cord and hose to spare. Once we were in a spot where our slides wouldn't get creamed and we had power and water we got to the business of getting level. Anytime we have to lower and raise leveling jacks more than a couple of times leveling is taking too much time! At 9PM on a Friday night, it's time to declare yourself level enough. And, we did. We broke out our new Weber Q (If you look really close in the pic above you can see it to the right below the moose.) for very late night burgers. P mastered the new tool in the dark. The burgers were mighty tasty!

In the wee hours of the night the delta breeze turned into a gale force wind, which sent a tiny branch or two across the surface of the bedroom slide right above our bed. The high pitch screeching sound was irritating enough. But, it was compounded as we both awoke and visions of deep grooves being dug into our full body paint filled our sleepy heads. Determined to remedy the situation ASAP, we jumped out of bed, fired up the engine and pulled in the slide. We're sure our tent camping neighbors loved hearing our Ford V-10 fire up at 3AM. Of course, there was no way anybody could hear anything over that howling wind! With the offending twigs at a safe distance, we were able to sleep peacefully as the delta gale forces rocked and rolled us through the night. With the dawn of a new day we checked outside for damage. Thankfully, the grooves and scratches we'd imagined were not a reality. We spent a few minutes performing surgery on the offending tree. Campgrounds frown on this practice. But, current and future residents of Site 7 love it.

We extended the slide again, but our enjoyment of our spacious bedroom was short lived. The gale force winds came back with gusto after lunch, and the slide topper over our big slide took a beating. No damage, thankfully, as it's designed to flex with the wind. But, inside, it sounded like incoming artillery as the strong crosswind put the topper to the test. We decided to play it safe and retract the big slide. With that, things got quiet. And, with 50 or so fewer square feet inside, it got really cozy, too! And, so it stayed for the rest of the weekend.

During the mid-morning eye of this hurricane, we hopped on the bikes and pedaled into Rio Vista for a few groceries. The ride was nice and the people were nicer. There are lots of friendly folk around here. We were grateful for the opportunity to get a bit of exercise, because our afternoon was quite lazy. We watched Olympics, read and napped in our cozy little moose as the incessant wind forced us to stay in and relax. (Though we didn't mind a bit.)

Now, those of you who know us know we know wind. We've grown up with a lot of it. So, we know a gale force when we see one. I tried to get a picture, which can be tough. (Where's a weather dog when you need one?) But, I did my best. The wind blew at least this hard...all the time. And, yes, it did get old.

Sunday morning we watched all the campers in the neighborhood pack up in the wind and move out. It was an extra special treat to know we didn't have to. We got back on the bikes (It's so great to have them with us!) for a little geocaching around town. We picked up six and made two trips across this very breezy drawbridge. We had a great time.

The best thing about being in a campground on Monday morning is...well, not being at work. The second best thing is enjoying the peace and quiet. With coffees in hand we strolled to the river and took in the view of the sandy beach. All weekend this place was filled to the brim with sunbathers, swimmers and jet skiers. This morning it was beautiful.

As our long weekend drew to a close, we were ready to get out of the wind for good. Once we were packed and on the road, P had the pleasure of managing our very non-aerodynamic box on wheels against the stiff delta breeze. Thankfully, Sandy Beach is close to home. So, the drive was short.

We're rested and relaxed. Though, our next stop will be some place nice and calm.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

On Our Own Again

Now, that's a sad sight, isn't it? It's the last bus pulling out of the campground. With that, our weekend party was over. That left us as just about the last weekenders in the place. With the shortest drive of the day, we decided we'd take our time packing up and sharing goodbyes with our new friends.

After the last bus pulled away, we made some time to clean up the moose. It's becoming a bit of a Sunday ritual for us. By making cleaning up the last thing we do before we pull out, we know we'll have a clean coach waiting for us on our next trip out. And, that makes the end of a trip a little less depressing.

With less than a 30-mile Sunday afternoon drive ahead of us, time flew. We were backing Bullwinkle into his parking spot before we knew it, and soon enjoying the last bits of the weekend at home.

We don't know where we're headed next, or exactly when. Looks like we have some research to do and reservations to make. Watch this space!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Amongst the Busses

That's Bullwinkle on the left, looking a bit out of place amongst the big ol' busses. (Yeah, that's a 20-ft. Class C next to us. But, its owners have three busses they left at home.)

These rolling bits of Americana bring back memories of a much simpler time. Today, in their new lives, these busses have all the comforts of home and then some. And, they are lovingly cared for by their dedicated owners who see them as a constant work in progress. They're sort of like a hobby on wheels.

We had a little impromptu open house this afternoon and got to see what's inside. They are way cool! They are not-so-little rock solid boxes of classic craftsmanship. It was a real treat to take a look. We've really enjoyed getting to know their owners. Nice people.

Life at Duck Island continues to be relaxing. Yesterday we took a bike ride up and and across the river to check out a county park with a mighty nice RV campground. It comes highly recommended by a couple we met in Plymouth. We'll definitely be back and give it a the less windy season.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Duck Island

This is the view outside our bedroom window. Here we sit on the shores of the Sacramento River at Duck Island RV Park. We haven't seen any ducks yet, but we've seen plenty of fishermen, boats, jet skis and white caps. The always dependable Delta breeze bordered on a gale force wind yesterday. Today it's much more in character, and we might actually be able to put out our awning.

We're here as part of a rally hosted by an FMCA chapter of converted bus enthusiasts. We'll get some pictures of these classics from the past. If you ever rode a Greyhound Bus in the '60s, there's a chance we're parked next to it right now. Yeah, we're talking about those big diesel busses that were once the transport mode of choice for America's travelers. Now, many of them are living a second life as a very nice motorcoach. True, our brand spankin' new motorhome looks a bit out of place here. But, we've received a very warm welcome from a mighty friendly group of folks.

With our weekend already well underway, we're working really hard at kicking back and doing our best to relax. And, this is just the place to do that. TGIF!