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A Little of This and That

This winter I was participating in the Kevin Read Mexico Bootcamp tour. The daily walking and hiking was whipping my flabby body into shape. Then the quarantine hit. Quarantine translates to boredom and self medicating with food. You know where it lead.

My son and family are very active and I have finally started getting some exercise again. On weekends we hike the nearby hills. 

This hike is 2 miles with a 500 foot elevation gain and a gorgeous view.  On the Kevin Read hiking scale it rates maybe a 1.5/10.  Boy am I out of shape. 

Some nice homes in these parts.

Rachel posing for dad

Poison Oak everywhere, but easily avoided

Remnants of what must have been spectacular gardens that surrounded 
 a wealthy San Francisco's summer home back in the day. 

The pay off, a gorgeous view of smoke choked Silicon Valley

I LOVE pizza and first thing I do when returning to the Bay Area is head for Pizza My Heart. Their master pieces the best pizza I have ever had. Many are award winners. My favorite is the delicious  Big Sur with 40 Cloves of Roasted Garlic, Organic Tomato Pizza Sauce, Pepperoni, Sausage, Portobello Mushrooms & Green Onions. If you are ever in the San Jose/Santa Cruz area, treat your palate to the best.  


The girls and I love Battlebots. 
I have not been able watch it since I cancelled my direct TV. 
This is a real treat.


Family Time

 I left Cliff's place in Carson City, thank you,  and headed up into the Sierras to self isolate for two days before arriving at my son's place in San Jose. When I arrived Derek had an antibodies test for me. I tested negative and was good to go. 

Playing Qwirkle with Rachel

It is over a hundred and the pool is greatly appreciated 

Playing Rhino Hero. Not for old guys with fat fingers

Emma, a future Qwirkle Queen

Lets get dad

Parents working online from home.
 Derek works for apple and Adriann is a speech therapist at the local school.

First day of school 

I am helping the girls with their online schooling. Rachel is in 4th and a real self-starter . 

Emma is in second and need a little more help.
Boy am I glad I am not teaching anymore. 
Teaching over a computer is tough.

Celebrating the first week of school with a game of Qwirkle. 
Adriann won and Emma, the future Qwirke queen, was second.



Shonisaurus popularis, a species of Ichthyosaur, is Nevada's state fossil. Shonisaurus were giant marine reptiles that reached lengths of 49 feet and gave birth to live young. They appeared in the Earth's oceans 250 mya and prowled the ocean depths seeking prey for the next 155 million years. 

For years I have wanted to visit the Shonisaurus fossil site, but it is off the beaten path and I never took the time to make the long drive out there. But since Cliff and I were experiencing a little cabin fever, we decided the cure was a road trip. 

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This is a life size relief of  Shonisaurus

The Shonisaurus fossils were discovered in 1928. Excavations began in 1954 and continued for the next seven years. A total of 37 fossils were unearthed at 6 different fossil sites

Shonisaurus vertebra 

Shonisaurus ribs

There is a very nice campground here with shaded tables, water and a dump. All for $15 a night


Adjacent to the fossil site is the small weather beaten mining town of Berlin. Silver was discovered here 1863. The Berlin Mine was in operation form 1897 to 1910. It was a 60/40 mine, 60% silver and 40% gold. In the 13 years of operation they extracted $849,000 in precious metals. 

The mill is the largest building on site

An abundance of old rusty stuff 

Looking out at the long long road to Berlin. Only the last mile unpaved

The old stage coach stop

Back in the day


Carson City

I had a great visit with Cliff. We solved most of the world problems. Only if someone would listen…….

Serenity visited Performance Auto Care for service and brakes. Yes, brake work again. By the time I reached Carson City the new pad installed in Mexico had ground down to metal on metal AGAIN! Turns out the brake calipers were not releasing fully. This is probably why the pads wore out in MX. You guessed it, four new calipers, rotors and pads. 
OK I told myself, the worst is over.
Next, to Sunshine Auto in Reno for a simple front end alignment. Serenity was pulling to the right. The Alignment turned into another money pit. The Safe T Plus Steering Stabilizer was frozen and had been bending its mounting bracket every time I turned right. New Safe T Pus, bracket, and, wait for it, a new right front tire that was coming apart.

Repairs complete I decided to head north to cooler weather. My immediate goal was Steen's Mountain in southern Oregon. 

Looking down on Susanville, CA. 

Eagle Lake, my first night stop.

A nice overnight with a view. 
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Heading north the next morning. 

I was pulling a hill after leaving Eagle Lake when all of a sudden Serenity totally shut down. She would not start or even crank. The same symptoms as when she lost power in Mexico. I am thinking that the wiring that had been repaired there at come loss. I called road side service provided by my insurance carrier. I was told that my policy had lapsed. No free towing. Oh Sh…!  But also a good thing. While in Mexico I had moved Serenity’s coverage to storage since that insurance would not cover me in MX.  I forgot to reinstate my coverage and probably would not have realized my error any time soon. I reinstated coverage and paid for the tow$$$$$. Luckily I did not have an accident. 

I was towed to one of my favorite shops, Master Coach in Bend OR. They found that the chassis battery was bad. Serenity had shut down when she drained all the juice out of the battery. Hooray, a simple fix. One more bonus from the battery failure. The tow truck driver notice fresh oil on the frame. Master Coach discovered a small oil leak where an oil line had rubbed against the frame. Another disaster in the making averted.