Cotati to Still Water Cove

It’s a vineyard! The little sticks are the tops of the vine supports

A little coastal flooding did not keep us from driving up the Pacific Coast Farm Road (They say PCH, but it’s a farm road!) to Still Water Cove where the water was anything but still. A big storm blew inland the day before we headed out to the coast. The forecast was for perfect weather the day we were planning to leave so we brought lots of firewood and food!

Our weekend home

The Russian River was above flood stage as we drove along side it toward Jenner and many of the vineyards were under water (literally, not financially). As we wound our way up the PCH (farm road) we passed a few land slides and downed trees

tMy camp site #9

The camp ground was very green and mushy. It’s about 200 feet above the ocean and I was wondering if a tsunami could sweep it away. There is easy access from the campground to the beach and also a bluff overlooking the ocean. I spent a fair amount of time on the beach or the bluff enjoying the crashing surf

After more than an hour of climbing I found a bridge that was not washed out

I did some hiking up the canyon from the campground and managed to hoof it up to where the sun was shining. Next day a group of us hiked over the river on some downed trees and up to the old school house.

It got cold enough to hail on Saturday
Hanging around the camp fire while David dances the canopy up
A meditation spot along the PCH
Didn’t see this until I was done with my morning swim
Still Water Cove
Pam and Jimmy bravely cross the fallen tree
More natural bridges
Can you see me now?

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Repairs & Mods: Convection Micro Re-boot

Out with the new

Look! More Phaeton! This time we’re on a do-over mission. Awhile back we installed a new Frigidaire convection/ Micro oven in place of an oven that failed. Now we’re replacing that new Frigidaire because it’s no good. Just no good at all. It won’t preheat above 300º even if it’s set for 450º and when you put food in it it drops to 200º and sits there looking stupid at you. The thing can’t get a meatloaf to 165º so it’s basically a botulism machine

In with the newer!

The repair person came out and said the sensor and the mother board are bad, but that new parts are not available. Out of stock. Plus the oven has to come down/ out to be repaired. P.S., Home Depot does not allow customers to return major appliances even if they are defective. Bad Home Depot! Bad!

Since We’ve done this before the crappy oven came down pretty quick. Installing the new oven required moving the top support and drilling new holes. The backing plate was replaced with the plate for the new oven, and the vent fan was switched to vent outside

Glamor shot

Since this is in an RV we installed more fasteners that you would for a house install. There is a row of screws into the framing under the bottom cover all along the back of the oven, there are screws through the oven frame into the cabinet frame on both sides too

Maybe you are thinking “Hey, this is a lot more pictures than normal” and you are right. In addition to being a Repairs & Mods post it’s also the install/ uninstall guide for the next person who works on this coach

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Repairs & Mods: Table leg

Before the new leg

We’re back in the Phaeton and this time we’re modifying the kitchen table. It’s a cool slide out table that goes from two to four seating positions. The table slides out of the cabinet about two additional feet when it’s out. That longer length puts a fair amount of strain on the cabinet that holds it so we decided it needed some help in the form of a folding leg. The leg can be down in either the short or long position, or it can be up in the short position.

Test fitting the new leg while Jimmy checks the tiny internet

The leg is made from oak, the same style and color as the cabinets (and lights we installed last summer). It has a pivot that allows the leg to swing in all the way and tuck under the table, or out about 30º so it does not break off if someone just pushes the table in without taking the load off the leg.

Finished and done! (“Done is the engine of more” – google it)

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Repairs & Mods: Fail Edition

All the main areas are marked and ready for cutting

I had planned to install a 14 x 14 skylight/ roof vent in the area above the stove. I marked the area out, located the structure, made sure I was clear of the duct work, and cut an exploratory hole to see what was in the ceiling

Wires!

Wires. Lots of wires

The main wiring bundle from the control center by the front door runs to the power supply near the bathroom and goes right through the area I want to install a skylight in. Both the 12v bundle and the 110v line are in the way

Oops

Now I have a 2.5” hole in the ceiling above the stove and no skylight. Grrrr

I think I can still salvage the project by switching to an 8 or 10 inch porthole from a boat. The round nature of portholes will fit beside the wires and cover the 2.5″ exploratory hole I made.

Stay tuned!

Winter is coming for me!

The hills east of Cotati, CA

I barely escaped being snowed on here in warm and sunny* California! The snow level came down to about 400 feet! Eeek! Next morning there was frost on the pumpkin! Eeek!

Over the weekend we had a camp-out in the back yard. I remember doing that as a kid. Pitching a tent on the back lawn and sleeping under the stars – good times! As an adult we circled the RV’s around the garage, built a fire in the driveway and hung out in the garage when it was raining and around the fire when it was not.

Jimmy and Sandy enjoying the camp fire

Some family members camped out with us while others came and went as the beer-tide ebbed and flowed

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*It’s cloudy about half the time

Weather Watch

From NPR.org
(link below)

Like everyone who has gone before me I’m going to talk about the weather, but not do anything to make it better.

When I started my little journey I imagined I’d be able to follow the perfect temperature north and south as the seasons progressed. North in the summer, south in the winter. Always 70ºF with the perfect amount of shade and always just a bit after lunch.

In fact I’ve been super glad to have bought a 4-season coach because it’s been real cold many times. We started this adventure last February when the temps were hovering around zero degrees F (Colorado). We sat through a month of temps over 100ºF in Montana (and Canada!) and traveled across Wyoming when it was -2ºF. Being able to follow the perfect weather has proven to be like catching rainbows – can’t be done! If you are one of the people who is happy where you are then revel in that! Stay put!

Now it’s February again and we’re in Northern California where the overnight low is between 34º and 50º – Highs between 50º and 70º. I can drive to the beach or the redwoods in about an hour which is kewl. Food and fuel are more expensive here than Colorado, but the car drivers are a lot more polite than they are in Denver. And I do mean car-drivers. There are fewer pick-up trucks here and lots of electric and/or hybrid cars. Big shout-out to my friends Jim & David who have a house here with a super big yard. It is through their kindness I am enjoying the good life near the beach! (plus the boys have a yard! YaY!)

I wondered what -50ºF was like so I put 6 of these in my mouth at the same time. Bad idea

Last week (end of January 2019) was when temperatures in the upper-mid-west plunged below -50º F and I’m happy not to have been there! I’m sure my 4-season coach would be frozen solid in -50ºF. You can read about it on NPR in case you need a reminder

Today (01Feb2019) a big wet-kiss of a storm is making landfall in this area. Coastal flooding, torrential rains, etc. Tomorrow the frogs will be very happy!

And besides, we need the moisture!

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Here is the link to NPR: (https://www.npr.org/2019/01/31/690399029/polar-vortexs-end-is-near-forecasters-say-promising-a-strong-warm-up)

Big Trees!

We went to Armstrong Forest a few days ago and looked at the very tall trees. The one named Colonel Armstrong is 308 feet tall and 1400 years old. It was a sapling in the year 600 AD. I took a bunch of pictures and there is no substitute for being there staring up at someone you cannot see the top of. Their trunks are so massive they create their own gravity well that sucks you right in to touch and hug them. 

Once I stepped back a couple hundred feet I could see the top of the Colonel in the sunshine
They get a lot of rain around here. I think this used to be a drinking fountain
Dappled sunshine touches the ground