Long Lost Blogger Surfaces in Texas

Cheese & Crackers it has been 3 months since I update this blog! I was just too busy having fun in Likely. Work four days, off four days. On my days off I would play golf at least 3 times. My excuse was the dogs loved to run the golf course. I would take Buster out the front nine and Sadie out the back nine with lunch in between. Lots of things to sniff and chase. Nothing ever caught but the chase was great fun for the furry freeloaders. Honestly by the end of our stay there I was golfed out. I did not think that could happen but it did.

Well what happened in these three months I have been lazy in my blogging.

Every year the group Likely to Lie invades the RV park and has two days of golfing. Not sure how well this group plays golf but I know they had fun. I lost count on how many times the beer cart had to be refilled but I think I could have filled up my pick up with empty beer bottles. They are a good group who had lots of fun AND behaved themselves.   Most were where in their late 50s to early 70s. This is a typical age for this park and golf course. Here are a few pictures.

Beer Cart

Beer Car

Tournament Cap

Tournament Cap

Next thing of note was Vicki’s trip to Sacramento for a halve day seminar. Nothing of any real excitement but one curious item. The seminar was help east of Sacramento at a golf course with meeting facilities. I guess I could have played golf while Vicki was in the seminar but I choose just to hang out in the parking lot and read after running some errands. I recognize now this was the first clue of me starting to be golfed out. This course had a flock of “wild” turkeys walking around. When I first saw the flock at a distance my eyes comprehended what they were but my mind just choose not to believe it. Wild turkeys hanging around an urban area with golfers and golf course workers moving around the course – just can’t be. But there they were. Later I was reading in the truck with the windows all opened and the driver’s door also open, it was getting pretty hot by 11:30, and I hear this strange sound. So I got out of the truck to investigate. As I rounded the corner of the door I was face to face with a turkey about 5’ away. We both jumped, with me jumping the highest relating to the intensity of my fright. The turkey just slowly walked off and after I took the pictures calmed down and continued reading.

Turkeys

Turkeys

Turkey that scared me.

Turkey that scared me.

Well I am sure all of you have heard about all the fires CA had this past summer. We only had one small fire close to us, about 5 miles away – see pictures below, and with us being in a location that firefighters and equipment can get to quickly it was taken care of in hours. We had two bouts of smoke in the area. Both lasting about 5 days.  I am lucky in I do not smell it. But Vicki does and has a runny nose and slight breathing difficulties at night. The clouds were tinted a slight shade of brown.  The big questions I heard on the phone and when people showing up at RV/Golf resort is “how is the smoke?”. Being an easterner who never really experienced forest fires I found this interesting. From what I gathered we were very fortunately not to have lots of smoke in our area given all the fires.

Fire in the distance

Fire in the distance

Zoom in of fire

Zoom in of fire

One of the fire truck from a close by fire station

One of the fire truck from a close by fire station

Another golf tournament Likely had during the summer was the Rich Hamel Memorial Tournament.  Rich was the rancher that turned his ranch in Likely into the Likely Golf Course and RV resort. He also had another ranch in the valley towards Alturas. Rich passed away last winter. He had the foresight to see all the RVs traveling up and down US Highway 395 and thought of building a RV and golf course. It took over 20 years. At first it was 10 RV sites and 4 holes. After 10 years the course had grown to 9 holes. About 10 years ago they finished the second 9 in a two year period and the RV sites had grown to over 55 sites. I believe Rich was the President of the California Cattlemen’s Associations. One does not think of CA as being a cattle area but believe me it is. In the foot hills of the Sierras and in the high desert there are many ranches. He also must have been a bit of character who would talk with anyone. I was told of a story where he was being honored by the Cattlemen’s Association and there was a protest at the event. One of the protesters told Rick he was a vegetarian. Rich told him that was funny because all of his cattle where vegetarian also. Got to love that humor.  See the memorial they have for Rich below.

Memorial of Rich Hamel

Rich Hamel Plaque

Rich Hamel Plaque

I understand in prior years the people who spent the summer at Likely Place would have a birthday party every month for the people who celebrated birthdays in the month. Well this year we only had one in August. Everyone brought a cover dish. As always at an event like this the food was very good and very plentiful. We also had live entertainment, a Country Western band. Now this group were all well into collecting Social Security and they were very good. While I am not a great lover of this style of music I truly enjoyed it and they were find folks.  I thought the golf carts in the background added something.  What about you?

The Band

The Band

Our son Geoff visited us for a long weekend during the time period of Kyle’s birthday, August 29th.  A very nice gesture on his part. We played 2 rounds of golf. Geoff being very competitive thought he should be able to beat this over the hill, white haired, out of shape, wrinkled old man. Nope, not gonna happen. But we had fun. Geoff of course brought along his dog Ziggy. Where did he get this name? Well Kyle had a German Shepard he named Marley, as in Bob Marley. Then some years later Geoff got his dog. Bob Marley had a son named David Ziggy Marley so Geoff named Ziggy, Ziggy. When we played golf we have a bunch of dogs running around and by the end of the visit Ziggy was “dog tired”.   Sadie and Buster have been golf course trained.  DONT TOUCH THE GOLF BALL! Well Ziggyhad a lesson or two on the course.   Ziggy photo bombed us in the picture below.

Picture of Us at Likely Place with Ziggy

Picture of Us at Likely Place with Ziggy

After Labor day we had some weather moving in at times with snow in the Werners. I always find weather fronts interesting and thought I would share.

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I also started to search for summer employment for 2016. So I asked Dennis, my boss,  if he could give me a reference. This was his first cut at it.  Think I have a chance next summer at a job?

First cut of my reference letter

First cut of my reference letter

I had to take a trip to Klamath Falls, OR for a drug test for my next job at Amazon in Texas. Well after a 2 hour drive and “studying” for the test they had this sign hanging in the office. Took my mine off my “situation” for a bit.  As Curly Howard would have said “I resemble that remark”!

Forrest Gump words of wizdom

Forrest Gump words of wizdom

For my last round of golf Vicki and I took a trip to Fall Rivers to play at their course. I had heard lots of good comments on this course and we actually paid to play golf. First time this summer that we paid. It was a very nice course but they are having some water problems and the course was not as lush as it normally would be. I had a great round and we had fun. On the way back we ran into a bike gang. Luckily we could out run them after they posed for a picture.

Bad Boy Bikers

Bad Boy Bikers

Below are some pictures I found interesting.

We have seen many antelopes while in Likely area but never got a picture of the.  Well here is a mural of them in Alturas.

Mural of Antelope in Alturas

Mural of Antelopes in Alturas

Wong Potatoes

Wong Potatoes

Every time we went to Fall Rivers I saw this building.  But I really would like the Right Potatoes – how about you?

Well that takes us to the end of summer at Likely Place. If you are a golfer and a RVer I would highly recommended this place.   Very nice golf course with great views. Nice RV sites. And the folks that own it are work there a great people. If you are not a golfer but need a place for a day or so of relaxing, again a great place to stop. I don’t think we will be there next year but I certainly want to come back as a RVer/golfer or as an employee again. Time will tell.

See ya in the funny papers.

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Lots Going On, Lazy Blog Writer

It has been over a month since my last blog. We have been pretty busy and I have been lazy getting around to sitting down in from of our PC and hammer out a blog.

Well one of the first things we did in June was going to a fish farm across the valley about 5 miles from where we are. But not any fish farm but a sturgeon fish farm. One of the largest in the world.   It is located on a cattle ranch that has a great supply of cool fresh water. If I remembers the number correctly it has 3,000 gallons per minute and the temperature stays between 64 and 68 degrees year round. No matter what the outside temperature or drought conditions and has for as long as this rancher and his family has owned the ranch. His family settled this area in the 1870s and has raised cattle and I can guess he had some Indian problems early on. Finally about 20 years ago the rancher convinced UC Davis he had this water supply. UCD found it hard to believe he had this volume of water with the cool temperature up here in the high desert.

Now why does he raise sturgeon? For a non-connoisseur of high end eats, like me, sturgeons are used for their caviar. He receives the sturgeon when they are about 200 pounds. This is when they can tell the girls from the boys. Of course he only gets the girls. When they reach 800 pounds, about 3 years later, they are ready to harvest their eggs and meat. The caviar retails for around $80 per ounce. An 800 pound sturgeon gives 80 pounds of caviar.   The ranch does not own the fish. They are owned by a company in San Francisco. He provides labor, water and the land. If the caviar is “gold” caviar it is sold to Royalty and goes for several thousand dollars per ounce.

Here as some pictures of Sturgeon swimming in circles against the current in their penin the 250 to 300 pound range.

Fish Food

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We also were visited by some astronomers. Here is one of their telescopes. Literally people come from around the world show up here because of the clear skies and very little light pollution. Last year they had a group from Sweden. The furthest astronomer in this group was from south Texas next to Big Bend National Park. Next week we have about 25 people coming in to look into the heavens.

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In June I also received a care package / retirement gift from a golf buddy from Pittsburgh. Pro-V golf balls, T-shirt and Tasty Kakes. Below you will see he had the golf balls personalized. Robin is my nick name in our annual golf match we play. My team mate is Batman so you can figure out we are the Dynamic Duo. His golf team is the ADG, as in The Apple Dumpling Gang. The Tasty Kakes did not survive long enough for a picture. He gets a kick that I am a goose poop picker upper.

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Also in June we had Father’s Day so I posted my Dad’s picture from his Senior Year yearbook on Face Book. He and his best friend always said they graduated 31st and 32nd in their class. Well their class at West Lampeter Vocational High School in 1927 had 32 members. I can honestly say I did my best to keep this tradition intact.  Dad is in the upper left.

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We also went to a rodeo in Reno, NV. Now Reno is about 3 hours south of us but it was well worth the trip. Something to see how these young men and women become one with their horses. We really enjoyed this.

Back Stage

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Bronco Busting

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Calf Wrestling

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Three Teams pulling a wagon.  It was amazing how he moved his wagon around the arena including backing it up.

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Some youngsters with their moms parading around.

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Later on in June we took a trip to the Fort Cook Museum in Fall River Mills, CA. FRM is a 2 hour trip from Likely. We traveled south and then west going to FRM. We went by a horse ranch that had over 100 horses running loose. We also saw a flying helicopter with a fire bucket under it. Unfortunately I did not get a picture of either.   But here are some pictures of the museum. This kind of stuff really interests me and you can find them almost anywhere in the US.

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Fire arms from back in the day.  I would guess some of these would be worth some real money.

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Different types of fences that was used.

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Sheep hearder’s wagon.

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Of course we went to the Alturas 4th of July parade. Now you have to remember Alturas is a town of around 3,000 people and only have one fast food restaurant – Subway. But I really enjoyed it.

Sherriff’s Posses.  The Sherriff is on the right.  We played golf with him 2 months ago.

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Gotta have some Cowgirls

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Fire is a BIG thing is this neck of the woods.  This is a BLM (Bureau of Land Management) truck.  One of the firemen plays golf down at Likely.

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Alturas’ fire truck.

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Of course we had Smokey the Bear.

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And we were in the Likely Place annual 4th of July golf tournament held on the 5th. We did OK coming in 3rd out of 6 couples in the mixed division. It was a Stapleford format. If as a team you birdied a hole you had to move back a tee. If you boogied a hole you moved up a tee. Also on the par 3 drop hole, my favorite on the course, you had 7 different flags to shoot at. Vicki was 2nd closet to the pin. We almost came out ahead with our winnings less our entry fee but we had to have some grape juice at the the 19th hole.

Why is my name second when all the other teams have the guy first?!

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Well that is about it from Likely Place. Here are a few interesting pictures from this past month.

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I think this is a Red-tailed Hawk Sadie, Buster and I saw on one of our walks.

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Larry the Lizards from Likely that was under our trailer this month.

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Quote for the Blog:

Let your mind wander back a bit-

When times were real and true.

To a land that was conquered with guns

And spurs, branding irons, and a good lasso.

Andy Devine

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Changing Gears, Exploring and Settling In

Since my last post there has been some changes to my work life, good and bad.

On Wednesday May 13 my boss asked me if Vicki wanted to work in the RV / Golf Office. There was an opening that he wanted to fill. Well Vicki makes a hold bunch more money than $9 per hour and she likes her job but I said I would ask. Vicki said she could help out but could only work on the weekends and I knew they needed someone who could work 4 days on, 4 days off and that would not work. Hmmm but what about me?  So that night I thought it over and on Thursday morning I told Dennis I could work in the office. I suggested I could still work outside on my days off. I thought I would miss working outside and I was right. The good – more hours and a predictable schedule. The bad – not working outside as much. So from Friday May 15th to Monday the 18th I was in training working inside. Lots to learn for an old broken down accountant in a short time. Basically there are two jobs. One is taking care of the RV park check ins and the other is taking care of the golf course and checking people in. The RV side of the job is working on a “turbo charged” Excel spread sheet called Camp Master. I have worked on spread sheets for the past million years of my career but need to get conformable with all the different drop down menus and how to navigate around the spread sheet. The golf side is all on the cash register and the Point of Sale machine, credit card reader. The Point of Sale machine is pretty simple. However the cash register is a bit challenging. There are codes to input what kind of sales and how they paid. I think I have been doing a pretty good job but I still have a way to go.

On Saturday the 16th Likely had their biggest golf tournament ever and I also did some course marshalling in between my training. Now a big tournament here in the high desert was 82 golfers. Could have had more but we ran out of golf carts. No big problems as I was marshalling but when you have a beer cart running around the course selling beer ya never know. Luckily I did not have to use my Marshall Matt Dillon skills to work. Like I have any.

On Tuesday May 19th I was on my own in the office. Luckily Peggy, who trained me and is in her second year here in Likely, is a great person who did not mine me calling her. I made my share of mistakes but made it through the first two days but then here comes the Memorial Day weekend. Starting Thursday lots of people were coming in to stay during the holiday and play golf. There were some large groups that I had to take care of. All went well but it was tiring and I was whooped by the end of the days.

Now starting when our big tournament this area was getting hit with record setting rain. Turns out this May set a record for rain fall. In excess of 5 inches. Now this does not sound like much but in this neck of the woods it is a bunch. But folks still came out to camp and play golf. The golf course held up pretty good but some of the areas of the RV Park developed large puddles and the big rigs made some large ruts.

The last day of my four days on was Friday the 22nd. Saturday Vicki and I got in the truck and did some exploring on Saturday. Drove up to Alturas and then headed east to Cedarville and discovered a neat little shop with old timey stuff and had this hanging on their wall. Not sure with a the small little hole is for but you old folks know where this came from. seat

Next we continued heading east into Nevada on a dirt road. The object was to see some wild horses. Well we did see horses but are not sure if they are wild or not. I understand when people cannot afford to keep their horses they will turn them loose on the range. One of the locals said we were far enough into Nevada that they were wild but another said their nose were not shaped correctly. To me they seemed pretty tame and were more interested if I had something for them to eat than being scared of me. Horse 2 Horses 1 Whichever they are they are good looking animals.

After that little adventure we drove back to Cedarville and then headed north to Fort Bidwell. I was told this is the sight of one of the last Indian battle that took place. We then drove over a one lane dirt pass that took us west back to US Rt395. With all the rain we had the road was pretty muddy so I threw the truck into 4 wheel drive. We did not have any problem making up and over. In this 20 some mile drive that took us about 2 hours we only saw one other truck. They were a family from Oregon with a 4 wheeler in the back of their truck.   Great views and there was still snow in the shelter areas. IMG_0501 IMG_0499 Rain Day IMG_0512 (2) When we got back on Rte. 395 we were in Oregon and could see Goose Lake. This lake spans CA and OR. Pretty big lake but water looked low to me even with all the rain we had. I guess because of the drought we have had.

Sunday and Memorial Day Monday Vicki and I chased little white balls around the mountain. When I took this job I was wondering what the golf course would be like. I am presently surprised. It has a nice layout with many dog legs and up and down hill holes. Number 16 is a 167 yard drop hole that I really like. And all the holes have great views of the surrounding mountains. When we arrived here the greens were very slow but are now running pretty fast. When I play by myself during my days off and Vicki is working I take Buster out on the front nine and then take Sadie out on the back nine. Never saw or heard of a course that allows dogs out on the course but this one does and it is really neat. And the dogs love it.

Wednesday the 27th found me back at work. Not much to report during the next four work days. I am getting more conformable with my job. Saturday night we went to the annual Alturas Bull Riding Event.  Starts with Mutton Busting.  Kids 5 years all trying to hang onto a sheep for 8 seconds as it runs across the arena.  Then we sang our National Anthem as a cowboy holds our flag as he rides.  Can it get any better? Bull Riding

Then the bull riding. bull riding 2

Sunday May 31st Vicki and I took a trip over to Klamath Falls, OR for our monthly food shopping trip.  But first we ran into a traffic jam coming out of the RV Park as we cross some range land. traffic jam in Likely

It is a very pretty drive.   We played peek-a-boo with Mt. Shasta.

shasta

Every time I see Mt. Shasta I think of our son Kyle and the memorial trek that seven of us took in August, 2006. I made it to what I called base camp at 11,000 feet while our son Geoff, my cousin’s sons Kurt and Eric along with three of Kyle’s buddies Tim, Ty and Mike made it the whole way. Not everyone makes it to the top but this group did. Mt Shast

Well except for the old guy. Physically for me the trip up was pretty challenging but the trip down was painful. All three knees were in pain left knee, right knee and hind….

A bitter sweet memory that I will always cherish. It was a two day trip. First day was hiking from 6,950 to about 11,000’, where we made camp. The second day was final trip up the top at 14,179’. On part of the way down you can glissade (spelling??) down about 2,000’. This is where you sit on your butt and slide down  snow/ice. Not for the faint of heart. You can really pick up speed. You have to use your ice axe as a break. On the second morning I got up with the guys at 3 am to wish them good-luck and went back to the warm sleeping bag. About hour later I got up and looked up the mountain. Everyone had a head lamp on and from my view point it looked like a string of white Christmas lights stung out on the trail to the top. I guess about 30 people were making the summit trip that requires crampons and ice axes. I started down about mid-morning and the guys were passing me about 3 pm. Vicki had pizza and beer waiting for us. NEVER did pizza and beer taste better.

Not much else to report. During one of my off days I also do the wash.

High Desert Wash dahy

Also I have gotten in the habit of taking the dogs for a walk on the back nine.

dog walkThey really enjoy all the different smells and chasing rabbits and ground squirrels. Only problem is Sadie with eat almost anything and will roll in things. This afternoon she is getting a bath.

That is it from “Likely Place RV and Golf Resort”, that is what I say when folks call in……

“Time will slow a bit – from those who on their journey stop an smell the rose” Andy Devine

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First Two Weeks of Work Is In The Book

Well the 1st two weeks of work went pretty good.  Thursday April 30th was my 1st day.   My first duty of the day is to drive around the course and check the tee boxes and greens to make sure they are in good shape. On the tee boxes I fill divots with a sand & grass seed mixture and pick up broken tees. Lots of bending in this effort. Great exercise to start the day. I also check the tee boxes and greens for “gifts” left over night by our local geese populations and shovel these “gifts” off into the sage brush. This I refer to as the morning Goose Poop Patrol. There are 3 tees and 3 greens the geese seem to favor so not that big a deal. I get to be the first one on the course in the morning and see the day begin with wild life – geese, jack rabbits, mule deer and lots and lots of ground squirrels. On my second week I ran into two bull snakes. I am told these guys eat the ground squirrels and will kill rattle snakes that are in the area. So these are the good guys of the snake world. The snake picture below is about 4 feet.

Bull Snake

I also pick up range balls on Thursday and Sunday. Kind of fun doing this with the cart and ball picker but on Thursday I shag the balls that are hit into the brush. Again good exercise but gets kind of tedious. This past Thursday I shagged 15 gallons worth of balls.

My regular schedule is working Thursday thru Sunday and have off Monday thru Wednesday as days off. But on Monday and Tuesday, May 4th and 5th, there was a high school golf tournament that I worked. Not much of a problem with players, some of the parents needed some marshaling but nothing too bad. Some of the players had some real nice and smooth swings, others not so much. The best swing I saw was from a young lady who hit it pretty far and always right down the middle.   Some of the players traveled as far as 4 hours away to play. This shows how remote and unpopulated the area of north CA is.

With the tournament my first day off was Wednesday May 6th and I had lots of catching up to do with work around the house. I agreed with Vicki I would take over all the washing, cleaning and cooking with this live style change. Only fair. She works a regular 40+ hour week and I work 20 to 25 hours per week. So Wednesday I did the wash and cleaned the trailer. I also did a complete inventory of the food we have on hand so we could come up with a shopping list. Vicki finished up work at 3:30 and we drove to Klamath Falls, OR to grocery shop, buy dog food, have dinner out and buy fuel. With no sales tax in OR and cheaper fuel prices I think this makes sense. This is close to a 2 hour trip one way. It was really a nice drive over to OR and we saw some deer. While we were eating dinner at the Black Bear Diner it hailed. Luckily it was over by the time we left Black Bear. Black Bear Diners are up scale chain of dinners in Northern CA. The food is very good with good prices. We always enjoy eating there.

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We did not get home until 10:30 and the drive was uneventful. But we were looking out for deer on the drive home but not one was seen.  It was a long day.

My following week was a normal week and I am getting settled in my duties and getting to know the guys on the course. One of the guys is a member of the Likely Fire Company. If you recall from a prior post Likely has a population of 75 folks. He was wearing a T shirt one day and I asked him if they had these for sale. Yep for $15. I am thinking this will be a collector’s item someday.

Saturday was Likely’s opening day tournament and Vicki and I played in it. Cost was $20 per player. We came in 2nd in the mixed foursomes division of which there was 4 mixed teams. We played well and shot an 80 with the 1st place team shooting a 76. AND I behaved myself, at least I think so. Vicki was still talking to me at the end of the round. We won $75, YAHOOOO. So we netted $35 so maybe this will be another source of income…… We played with the Sheriff of Modoc County and one of his deputies. We did not know this until the 5th hole. Pays to behave until you know who the folks are you are playing with. We enjoyed playing with them and they tied for 1st in the men’s division.

For Mother’s Day there is a couple of things to report. As normal a good friend of Kyle’s sent Vicki flowers that arrived on Friday. He has been doing this every year since Kyle’s death nine years ago. What a great guy. With us being out in the boonies Mark and I were concerned if it would make it here and on time. Mission accomplished but then I am not surprised. Mark served our country in the Air Force and he was a boomer. He operated the refueling pod on aerial gas stations.   Lots of responsibility there coupled with danger of flying around with thousands of pounds of fuel. Thanks Mark!

Mark's flowers

After my Sunday work on the golf course we went to big town of Alturas to have a late lunch / early dinner at an Italian restaurant. Good eats while Vicki had two glasses of wine and I had ice tea. What’s up with that?!   Mother's day pic

With Geoff living about 400 miles south of us he could not make the trip but did call Vicki in the evening. We had a long call with him on Saturday also.

Monday I did my chores around the house and just vegged out as Vicki did her 8 to 5 job. Today, Tuesday we are having rain. Kind of nice to see but it is rather raw with the temps not getting out of the mid 40s with clouds hiding the mountain tops.Rain Day

I got my shirts for Likely Place so I guess I am official.

Harry and shirt

Seems like we are adapting pretty well to living here. The folks that live here in the summer are all really nice and good to talk with. After the golf tournament Vicki and I sat out  on the deck and got to know them. They talked about their life living here and the wild life with bob cats and the occasional mountain lions in the area. Always interesting to hear about different areas of our country from the locals.

Well that is about it from Likely, CA.

Something to keep in mind:

“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” – Ferris Bueller

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“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times

What happened to posting weekly? Well we have been kinda busy but there is much to report so hang on.

I retired on Friday April 10th and started my new life. Luckily I did not receive a watch but had some cake. Being a son of a watch maker I need another watch like I need another ache in this old body.

Retirement Cake

As always played golf Saturday morning with my golf buddies. This would be the last time with this gang until after Christmas. Going to miss them and their money. Well maybe they will miss my money. Sunday morning we had our house washed.  They did a great job.

KAL Pressure Washers

In the afternoon we went to a cook out with one of my golf buddies Bill and his wife Sunny and their son Eli.

So on Monday morning I started the job of putting a protective coating on our rubber roof and then waxing the house.  Lots of surface area to keep me out of trouble.  I enjoy doing this type of work but did I tell you it was a lot of surface area?

Waxing our Home

Look at that intense attention to detail!

Also washed and waxed the BAT.  Big Axx Truck.  That took a lot less work then our home.

On Wednesday the 15th I finished our taxes.  I always hated doing our taxes and knew this year we would owe both Federal and state.  In prior years our Federal refund covered what we owed Cali but without a large mortgage interest deduction we owed Uncle Sam and Uncle Brown. But we are good with that.  It is much cheaper to live without the mortgage payment.

I have not adapted to getting up later since I am retired.  I am working on it but I still wake up about 5 am and Thursday morning was no difference.  Usually just turn on the TV, check emails or read a book as long as the dogs are not bugging me to take them out.  Well the 16th was a little different.  A good buddy from Lancaster called me at about 5 am or so.  Now usually this is a “butt call”.   This where he calls me by mistake by having his phone in his pocket.   I answered and he was on the line and asked if I was awake.  I knew right away something was wrong if he is calling me for real at this time.  He was calling be to let me know his son passed away the night before.  It was a difficult phone conversation to say the least.  So Vicki and I had some decisions to make.

Are we going back home for the services?  Of course, how could we not?  When were we going back?  Decided to fly home late Wednesday and then fly home on Sunday.  The first decision was easy.  We wanted to, it was the right thing to do, we had the ability and he and his wife where there big time when we suffered the same loss nine years ago.  The second one took some thought and planning since we were in the middle of moving from Chowchilla, CA to Likely, CA.

Well come Friday morning we were all packed up and ready to move out. First stop was a tire shop in Chowchilla to put on our new wheels and tires.   In a prior post I reported the tires that are put on a trailer are just not adequate for traveling full time.   I had one blow out about 4 years ago and do not want a repeat of that especially since this is our home.

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So we drove to Reno, NV with two rest stops along the way to let the mutts stretch their legs and to retork the lug nuts.  Friday and Saturday night we stayed at Bordertown RV Park and Casino.  Nice park but spaces very close together.  Friday night we just vegged out.  Saturday we visited Carson City and did a little walking tour of Nevada’s capital city.  Saw the house that was in John Wayne’s last movie “The Shootist” and also toured the Nevada State Railroad Museum.  It was a nice day.

Sunday the 19th we were on the road again on our way to Likely.  We arrived before noon met my summer boss and set up the Forrey Summer Camp 2015.

Forrey Summer Camp 2015

Monday took a tour of the course of the facility and golf course with Dennis, my boss and owner.  Basically I will have four main duties.  Marshall the course, weed the sand traps, pick up range balls AND on two greens they have goose “problems”.  So the first thing in the morning I get to pick up the goose poop.  For some reason my friends think this is funny…….

Buster thinks this is swell.

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Tuesday we wanted to check out the kennel for Sadie and Buster while we are back east.  If Likely is in the middle of nowhere the kennel is even back in further.  Looked like a good place for the mutts to hang out for a  few days.

So on Wednesday we started our trek back home.  Left Likely at 7:30 to drop off Sadie and Buster, then started to Reno to get a 2 pm flight back home.  A long but uneventful day.  We stayed with Vicki’s mother who lives at Willow Valley just south of Lancaster, PA.  The last thing I remember on that travel day was seeing  4 am on the alarm clock.

On Thursday we ran some errors around town and went to our friends’ son’s services Thursday night.  It was a very nice service with lots of people.  Afterwards our friends had a get together at their home.  Great to see lot of old friends but a very sad occasion.

Friday morning we had breakfast with my cousins on my mothers side of the family.  Always good  to see them.  We also had a nice visit with Vicki’s sister and her husband.  They were on their way to TN for a RV fulltimers rally .  They are also getting into the fulltime RV life.  Friday night we went to a high school baseball game to watch my cousins’ grandson play.  It was very windy .  Friday night we went out to eat at the Iron Hill  Brewery.  Again good times with family again: cousins Keith and Dori, SIL and BIL Lynn and Jim and MIL Barbara.

Saturday I drove Vicki nuts driving around our old areas and then we went over to our friends house to help them eat and drink the left overs from Thursday night.  We had a great time with our “old gang” with two other couples and reliving old times.

Sunday we flew home and  did some shoe shopping at the shoe tree.

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Picked the dogs up Monday and did some food shopping in the big town of Alturas on the way home.  I HAD to play some golf so I walked the front nine.  Man with an elevation of 4,600 feet and some big walks from green to tee I was beat.  I started out with Buster walking with me and Vicki took Sadie for a walk.  As I was hitting into the 2nd green Buster saw Vicki and Sadie and took off.  I played the rest of the round by myself and Vicki had the mutts.

Tuesday was a lazy day just puttering around the house and took a short walk.   Saw lots of jacket rabbits and a few cotton tails.

That’s all from us in the north country.  See ya in the Funny Papers.

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Still Sitting in Chowchilla and Counting the Days

We are still in Chowchilla and preparing ourselves and our rig to move out.  Not much of excitement these past few weeks but it is time to post.

I gave my notice at work that my last day will be Friday April 10th.  Kind of funny how life is.  I let my boss know about my last day on March 6th, 2015.  Exactly 37 years earlier I stated by profession life on March 6, 1978.  No wonder I have some grey hair.  Anyway my company does not have a replacement for me.  In May of 2014 I told them of my plans but so far no replacement has been found.  I guess I am just irreplaceable.  Yea right.  A good buddy of mine points out every 4 years we replace the most powerful person in the world with not so much as a small hick up.  We will see what happens.  I might get tapped to do some work in May.  It would be nice to get some extra dollars but then again I am ready to get out of pushing numbers around a spread sheet.  Also kind of weird feeling.  Really looking forward to the next chapter in my life but also a little unsettling.

Vicki decided her dentist and her orthodontist need some extra money.  She is in the process of getting 3 crowns and a new retainer. Lost the first retainer with help from a busboy.   I also guess the endodontist also needs some extra to make a boat payment.   What happened?  Well lets see.

Four weeks ago Vicki had her braces removed, YAHOOO!, then started to wear a retainer, BOOOO!  Two weeks she was in her dentist chair for 4 hours getting 2 teeth squared away for crowns and had temporary crowns installed.  Five days later she thought something happen to one of the temporary crowns.  Off to the dentist.  Nope, broke a different tooth.  Plan was if she could stand the pain would wait until her full-time crowns were installed and then have the tooth repaired.  Well plan did not work out.  Too much pain.  So off to the dentist again.  Sent her to an endodontist for a consultation on a root canal.  Now this is on St. Patrick’s Day and we had plans to celebrate with freinds at a local watering hole that was to have live music.  Consultation turned into a root canal.  We were a little late making to the St. Paddy Day celebration but we made it and it appears that all is going well in the tooth department.  Celebration was good.  Needed to tell them hold the green dye in the beer.  Green beer is for amateurs.  Good band doing rock n roll.

Why do we celebrate St. Patrick Day?  One thing I need to point out is St Patrick was not from Ireland originally.  He was from either Scotland or was Welsh.  I got this from the internet so you KNOW it is true.  This is an important point to keep in mind.   Now Vicki’s side of the family has definite claims to being Irish with her grandmother’s name of Dougherty.  Also Thomas in her background as British next door neighbor of Ireland.  Then there is a Buffet in her background which is French.  Rumor has it she is a distant relative of a musical guy and some super rich old man.  What about me?  On my mother’s side it is all German.  On my father side I am Scottish so with St. Patrick originally from Scotland, forget about the Welsh thing, this is how I am entitled to celebrate St. Paddy’s Day.  Might be a stretch but what the heck.

Now we have some projects to take care of to get ready to take off.  First we need to give the rig a good washing and put on a protective coating on the rubber roof and wax the sides.  With the drought restrictions in this neck of the woods we need to have some one wash the RV with recycled water.  This will cost $80.  Not a bad price but I like doing this stuff.  For and extra $300 he would wax the sides and put a protective coat on the roof.  Nope, I plan to do that myself the week after I leave work.  Should not take more that a long day.

The other major project is to replace and upgrade the tires which means  we need to upgrade and replace the wheels.   I will not bore you with the technical details but the tires that come with a new trailers are very poor.   Many people who I have become friends who full time have replaced their tires.  I was hoping we could put this off but 3 weeks ago I was inspecting the tires and saw that one had a bad side wall.  It was to be expected but really!?!  With about 2,000 miles on them and they are having problems?!  Not a small dollar amount but I would rather be safe.  I had one blow out on our travel trailer about 4 years ago and it was not fun.  Nothing serious happened but do not want this to happen again.

So now the time line is I quit work on April 10th and complete all the chores on the trailer, pack up and start moving towards Likely, CA on Friday the 17th or Saturday the 18th.  Plan to pull out of Chowchilla and head toward the tire shop, get the new tires and wheels installed and go north.  Most “likely” will make the 400+ mile trip in two days of travel and most “likely” stop around Reno for a night or two.  We will see.  (Note to self – stop the “likely” stuff, gets old)

Well that is about it.  Seventeen more work days…..

 

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Recon Trip to Likely, CA

Well we made the trip to Likely on February 7th, 8th and 9th.  We started on our trip Saturday after helping Geoff move into a new apartment.  Rained off and on during the move but did not interfere with the move or the drive to Auburn, CA.  Auburn is about a half hour east of Sacramento on I80.  Stayed over night and then continued on our trip Sunday morning.  Of course we had to stop at the Cabala’s just west of Reno, NV.  Good break in the drive.

Then after we hit Reno we drove north on US Rt 395.  First a 4 lane highway then a 2 lane road.  Got kind of lonely at times.  I know we would drive 5 minutes and not see another car.  Good road but not much around.  Rained off and on but mostly a good drive while we continued up a slight incline and drove through lightly forested mountains and farm land.

After a 2.5 hour drive we hit the big town of Likely.  I knew from looking at Google maps we need to turn right on to road 64 go about 2 miles and then turn right onto Likely Place Lane that would take us to, where else, The Likely Place RV Park and Golf course.  Not hard to find your way.  There are few roads to get lost on and you can see a good distance.  Took a drive around the RV Park and then some roads that went around the course.  Yea I think I am going to like this place called Likely Place.  BUT does it have good Verizon cell phone signal for Vicki to work?  We found the space that will be our home for the summer.  Yep looks like a good signal but we need to test further.  Vicki pulls out her Verizon Jetpack and hooks on.  I attach the I Pad to the Jetpack, Vicki pulls out her work lap top and hooks on.  I down loaded and streamed a video and Vicki pulls up a work spread sheet.  Video played well without any pauses and Vicki could use her spread sheet.  We are good to go!

We then dove over to the driving range and found a small herd of deer wandering around.  They were a little skiddish.  I guess they are mule deer but was not sure.  They sure are bigger than the PA white tails I used to chase back in the day.  Later on I Googled what type of deer are in the area and found out these are black tail deer which are a sub specie of mule deer.  There was a nice size buck in the crowd.

After that we drove 20 miles north to Alturas to check into the Rim Rock Motel and see the sights of Alturas.  Alturas, all 3,000 people of it, is the county seat of Modoc County that Likely is in.  It has the basics we need, small grocery store, a Rite Aid and even an Elks club.  Fuel is a little more expensive.  There are a few restaurants around but not that big a selection.

On Monday we drove back home after stopping at the RV Park and golf course.  Yep the deer were still there.  The drive over the Sierras was a little challenging.  We had snow, not deep but slippery.  Saw at least 3 accidents.  They did not look that serious but I think one hay truck driver is looking for a new job.

Well that is all on the Recon Trip to Likely.

Vicki’s quote of the trip after exporing Likely and Alturas.  “This will be interesting.”

 

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January 26, 2015 – What the Plan, Stan?

We started this blog in the summer/fall of 2013 and really have not done much to it.  It is now time to move out.

For the past 21 months we have been living in Chowchilla, CA in our 5th wheel and other than that living pretty much a normal life.  Working during the week and enjoying our weekends, playing golf, knitting and seeing Geoff.  Just doing the normal stuff of life.

About 8 months ago we reviewed where we were financially and where we wanted to be when we take the plunge of leaving our jobs, traveling and living off our retirement savings while working at lower paying jobs.  We did not think we would be able to pull this off and start in the spring of 2015.  So we went with Plan B.  Vicki stepped up to the plate and thought she could continue working at home and let me “retire” and start out our new life of traveling.  This has some limitations.  Vicki needs to have a reasonable strong cell phone signal allowing her to keep working and we will need to stay out in the west.  So that is the plan, Stan.

In mid April I will leave my job in the Central Valley of CA and we will move our home to the very north-east part of Cali in the small town of Likely.  I will be working at an RV park and golf course.  It is called Likely Place Golf & RV Resort.  Literally this is in the middle of no where.  Sixty three people live in Likely as of the 2010 US Census and the big town north of Likely is Alturas has 2,827.  Alturas is where we will shop for groceries etc… Likely is at 4,449 feet so we should be out of the worst of the summer heat. This job will last from early May to early October when it gets too cold to golf.  We plan to take a two-day trip to check things out in the near future. We should be good to go with cell phone reception but need to make sure.

So that is the big doings right now.   44 more work days from now but who is counting?

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First Blog Post and FAQ

This will be the first official post of our Going Mobile blog.

FAQ:

What’s the purpose of the blog?  To keep friends and family up to date with our lives.

Are we crazy?  Well maybe, not sure, you can read on and answer that question yourself.

How often will you post?  Again not sure, will try to post weekly but only if something of interest happens to us.

Why are you stepping out of a “normal life”?  What the heck is normal?  See “About Us” for some background.  Just too much to see and do in the USA and a couple of weeks traveling a year would not let us get to know an area or the people.

When will we get back to living in one place?  Hopefully in the Neffsville United Methodist cemetery but who knows when that will be?

Where did you every learn English and spelling?  Harry here.  In Lancaster County PA.  Home of Amish and PA Dutch who can really turn any sentence around.  I also think spelling is an art and not a science.  It is not the fault of my English teachers.  They tried really hard but, as they say, “you can take a horse to water, but you can’t make em drink”.

Where did you get the blog tile Going Mobile?  From the group The Who from back in the day.  Kinda fit into what we are doing.

Are we crazy?  Answered before, try to keep up.

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