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.

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