My Shop

We love travelling but we also love to stay home.  I have always enjoyed woodworking but have not had time to do much.  As my retirement date was approaching, Kay suggested I update my shop from  the old floor less mess it was.  Maybe she just wanted to be sure when I retire that I did not stay in the house and bug her, but either way, it was a great idea.  We gutted the shop, poured a new cement floor, added a 100 amp sub panel and rewired the entire garage in preparation to handle various power tools.

Over the last two years I have been purchasing some tools and building up my shop arsenal and this process continues to evolve.  So come along and see the progress and some of the projects, although I’m starting off simple, each project I learn from.

More to follow…..

January 2018

Today (1/3/18) we are heading South once again, Tehachapi, Barstow and then Quartsite.  We had a great time last year in Quartsite so thought we would go again this year.  We will stop in tehachapi to see the kids and then in Barstow to see my family tghen on down to Quartsite.  We have been home for about 3 months and are excited to get on the road again.

When travelling, I use a heat gun to check the temperature of the tires on both the truck and RV. About 50 miles north of Bakersfield we pulled into a rest stop on a raining day. I found that one rear tire on the RV was about 25 degrees hotter than all the others. After further inspection we noticed it looked more like a balloon. Not wanting to change it in the rain, I foolishly drove very slowly and cautiously the 50 miles to Bakersfied to a tire shop. the gentleman said, “wow, you have a split tire” meaning the metal belts in the tires came apart and that I was lucky to make it anywhere. So we changed all 4 tires to “G” rated, 14 ply tires at a cost of a little over $800. We got about three years from the originals and they looked good but the weight took its toll.
Once we arrived in Barstow we headed down to my daughters place in Long Beach and went to Venice Beach and walked along the beach front.
My “2” girls!
and eating……
After a few days in Barstow we headed to the Salton Sea. Last year we stayed on the East side, this year we stayed on the West side. Here is what we woke up too…..
The are was once a very popular tourist attraction with promises of longevity. Both our parents had property down here way back when. This is a old RV park that is just free dry camping today.
One of the many small resort signs to what was once a really nice place.
Land is still cheap!
You can see the residential water front lots via canals. Now the lake has lowered so much you can see it in the background.
This is what is shown on my truck GPS, of course now the blue water lines is just big empty holes.
Miles of shoreline


We took a trip to Borrego Springs and Anza-Boreggo State park. This area only 25 miles from the sad Salton sea area.
Outside of Boreggo Springs and next to the park are all these metal sculptures in an area known as Galleta Meadows-Sky Art.
The sculptures, probably about 100 of them are scattered in the outskirts of Boreggo Springs.
One of my favorites
So much detail for metal work, look at all the hair!
“It’s alive!”
The scorpion has a pinch on me.

The visitor center is really nice, both inside and outside.

Made it to Quartzsite! First of many Arctic Fox to arrive.
The desert is filled with thousands of RVs from all around the country. Many of them have some really fun hobbies or sports!
Up up and away!
Mic after his dinner, ax usual is ready to go to bed and is begging us to come in
But the sunsets are the best in the West!
The morning arrives as do many more RVers
Some of our group as well as others we met come to enjoy the good times
Mic makes himself at home at others site, just as long as the sun i shining and keeping him warm
Our dear friends, Sandy, (Robins sister) Robin, Kay and Tom. Dropping Tom off at the airport to fly back to Chico as we head to Mexico
As we cross into Mexico
As you are eating delicious shrimp tacos and fish burritos, the dentist works away on others in the chair. We loved the sign….”You can’t pee for free”
Robin getting a braid and Kay getting a haircut
As I wait, I have a $3 margarita
Not bad for a $6 haircut
Then off to shopping, which is an experience in itself!
The local vendors working their sale tactics……
Most shops try to get you to drink shots of tequila or give you a corona beer…….
Then off to dinner, for 4, fish, shrimp and a delicious dinner with 4 drinks for under 60 bucks (Thanks Robin!)
Makes me hungry just looking at it!
Interesting “Art” made of silverware
The beginning of the line to get thru customes
The street vendors continue to try and make deals while they have you captive while in line
The first “Rude” people of the day was the customs officer upon arriving back in the states. Here they are inspecting Robins treasures
Heading back on the back roads has much to see…..
Military “Pproving Grounds””
Once back at camp we enjoy telling lies around the campfire with all our dear friends Note Mic in the front
The two blondes, everyone thinks they are sisters…..
Our last night before heading out
We had about 10 or 11 rigs show up and met many new friends
We hope to see you all again next year down in the desert. Last year we had 3 rigs, this year many more and hopefully more in the coming years.

Time to head back to Barstow to see my Mom and then to Tehachapi to see the kids and grand kids then off to Chico.

Thanks for coming along!

September in Utah

Well I know it has been some time since I updated the blog but better late than never.

Kay holding on tightly as we approach Panquitch.
and as is normal this time of year are the fantastic monsoons
Otter Creek and a beautiful day with my bro, Craig
The weather and fishing were great.
The dogs relaxing after having a long day of doing just that, relaxing.
Beautiful views all around Panquitch
Day trip to Kodachrome Basin

and the afternoon monsoons arrive just in time
One of two campgrounds in the Basin
Chimney Rock at the park, note Kay at the bottom right

Down the road from the park is an old drive in movie theater with old restored cars sitting in the viewing area.
You can rent a strategically located Air stream RV for a view of the nightly movies.
After close up look of the screen it is in really good shape so they must actually use it
The projector house
A piece of art at the local tourist center
Another cool trip we took, 60 miles for a cup of coffee at the famous KibaKoffeeHouse
Panoramic view, the picture does not do it justice

The Koffee House sits on a cliff, overlooking a huge valley

Deb, Craig and Kay enjoying the view and of course the Koffee (as they spell it)
Back at home, the dogs are ready for their next ride.
We did lots of fishing and it was excellent. One day three of us caught 19 fish in less than an hour. We trolled and most the fish are a good size. The only thing is that they have a parasite due to the extra warm temperature and should not be eaten. We learned that after this first catch.
Craig and his grandson, Kyle

After a tough day we enjoy a good glass of port
Mickey waiting for the ride
Helping a fisherman who broke down. We say him oaring the boat with two lines trolling and at first thought was he was just exercising while fishing
The weather was actually to nice, we missed much of the monsoons which we usually have while there

We had a great time, however we did not razor ride much but really enjoyed the time with my brother and Deb, already looking forward to next year!

Priest River

Well we finally made it to my brothers place, albeit about 30 days later than we originally planned.

Brad and his wife Jan along with Kay, Mic and their dog, Jacks
Being around Jacks (a Lhasa Apso) is a really good experience as I have never had a small dog but some day we will and it will probably be a Lhasa Apso. Not only cute but really smart plus they don’t shed a bit!
“Really Kirk, you expect me to play with this little thing?”
“ok, I guess he’s worthy”
Brad, Kay and Jacks taking a walk
Less than a block from Brad and Jan’s is beautiful open country. Priest River is an awesome place with lots of trails and waterways to get around on.
Our hike took us to where we had to climb a fence and we all “went down”
Brad’s friend’s bike, all decked out for the 4th of July.
Brad’s son Chandler’s dog, Onyx is a never-ending ball playing crazy fetcher and Mic, just wants to hold it and not play.
Brad n Kay
A day on the beach of Priest Lake. this place is more beautiful than one can imagine.
Kyle, Brads son, getting lessons on kayaking
Brad, fumbling his way forward
Chandler, Brads youngest, playing fetch with the dogs
As it turned out, Jan had severe pain in the gut for days and at 7 AM on July 4th had to go to the emergency room. After diagnosing her with a bad Gallbladder infection they transported her to Spokane by ambulance for an emergency surgery to remove the Gallbladder. Needless to say the BBQ and all got suspended.
Kyle came home and took Kay n I out to the local fire works show. We got on a bridge over the Pend Oreille River. From there you can see about 5 miles to Newport and watch their fireworks show than once that one is complete, Priest River conducts theirs.
After the Newport show, all the boats turned around and headed towards Priest River to watch that show.

and what a show it was.
Two shows for the price of none!
A new game Kyle and Chandler taught us, called “Splender”
Kyle took the day off and took Kay and I on a tour of the area including picking the cherished Huckleberry’s when you can find them. Kyle had the spot down!
Can you spot the Huckleberry’s?
On the hunt for the berry.
Ready for the freezer and just add to all kinds of deserts.
On e of our stops on the tour was a really nice resort on the shores of Priest lake.
Kay enjoying Huckleberry Ice Tea (Looking pretty!)
Nice sandy beaches
The next stop was the falls at Roosevelt Grove of Ancient Cedars
Beautiful Cedars letting some sunshine in
A short hike up to the falls
Kyle at the falls
Kay at the falls
Look carefully, a lookout overhang above the falls
Love the sound of the water and falls
Awesome “Bachelor” pad, 3 tv’s, and an exercise machine, thanks Kyle!
Travelling down thru Idaho you see miles of rolling hills with large rolls of hay, waiting to be picked up
An engine light came on the truck so we stooped at the first town with a Ford dealer, thus having to stay in a Walmart parking lot.
We have never seen a Walmart parking lot with so many RV’s. Actually folks had chairs out, generators out and on, trucks disconnected from the rigs and even RV’s left alone all night. Here the kids are running little RC cars on the parking lot.
Heading south down Idaho you come across a overlook looking down at Lewiston. The sign reads that when automobiles came to be, the obsolete roads used by wagons were no longer needed. If you look down you can see the winding road to get to the bottom. It is about 5 times longer than the new road.
Note the road in many areas once used by wagons.
Overlooking Lewiston where two rivers meet, the Snake and the Clearwater.
All the rivers in Idaho are flowing very high and the rafters are everywhere.
So many miles of rolling hills and farm land.
Don’t know what the yellow plan it but it is sure pretty. Anyone know?
We could not get any camp spaces in McCall so about 30 miles south is Cascade lake.
We loved it so much we stayed 3 nights.
About 100 yards from the water so we were able to leave the kayaks out all night.
From the water, looking back at camp.
Can you see Kay?
Here she is.
Great kayaking along the shores full of brush and trees.
If you look carefully you will see hundreds of small fish. We were told they are small Perch.

Well it has been lots of fun for the last 7 weeks but tomorrow we will start heading home.

Stay tuned.

NROA Rally

The night before the rally we spent the night at Thief Valley Reservoir, only 12 miles from the rally
Only one other person stayed there so it was nice being on the water.
Everywhere we went, Mic loved running in the tall grass
We made it to “Grand Hot springs Resort” I believe there were over 70 Northwoods rigs in attendance
Exercising “Mic”
Same nest and probably the same Osprey’s as last year, along with chicks
We arrived a few days before the rally began so we took one day and went to Morgan Lake just about 15 miles from camp.
and saw this eagle……
Your’s truly
Perfect size lake to kayak the entire shoreline
Our dear friend, Fran and her grandson, Daniel
We spent another day over at the “Hot Lakes Springs” museum. Interesting place owned by a bronze sculpture artist.
A view of our camp from the deck of the Hot Springs museum.
Many different version of hot tubs here at the resort/museum
One of the larger pieces of bronze art
Some art on the wall……..
I really did not see the “Do not enter” sign but what I found was the owner, the artist, doing his latest clay/bronze sculpture
Making the clay mold to eventually make the bronze art, here is the owner of the resort and the bronze sculptor
This was taken on the last day of the official rally. The whole week was full of events and lots of fun.
Social gathering, so much food, snacks, wine, beer and so much more!
Dinner out for the last night with those that have not left yet
Northwoods BBQ and free raffle
Our dear friends, Pete, Fran and their grandson, Daniel
Every unit gets a nice gift, we scored on a zero gravity lounge chair!
In line for the BBQ
Side view of the group picture
There they are again!
And of course, another dear friend Roger (and LaDonna, not in picture)
Yours truly!
So much fun and so many great folks to share with!
After the rally, we headed to Lewiston. This road, Highway 129 was not only one of the most beautiful stretches of road we have been on but very steep both going down 20 miles and then back up the other side another 20.  Averaged about 20 miles an hour and turned off the air condition to help the engine stay cool.
Already half way down and looking down some more
Looking up, note, 2 stretches of the road……winding back and forth
another view
Our next camp in a state park in Lewiston, very nice park
Cool “Art” in Lewiston
View from the park over the Snake River
View from our camp
and yes, almost lost my second antenna. funny thing we only drove on highways and the state parks roads. The rig is just too high!

Tomorrow we head out and go to Priest River to visit my brother Brad and family.

Touring Central Idaho

We left the Boise area and headed North East on Highway 21.  Our first stop was about 5 miles outside of Lowman, camping in the wild along a very fast and loud Payette River.

Today we covered about 60 miles so I was beat when we got to camp. Over looking the river which is normally so shallow you can walk across it. The roaring sound was almost deafening. We stayed here two nights in relative solitude.
Our camp above the river.

We saw many white water rafters

and then this very brave duck.
My two loves of my life……..
relaxing and taking it all in.
Our awesome view over looking the river.
We left our camp and traveled highway 21 from Boise to Lowman.  We stopped for a quick view of the Sawtooth Mountain range. Met some folks (Bob n Susan) heading to Yellowstone to celebrate their 1 year engagement anniversary.
On the way we crested the Banner summit at 7250 which still had plenty of snow.
With so much rain we all had, there are so many wild flowers everywhere. Once again the Sawtooth mountain range in the back ground. One day after we got thru the pass, the road was closed due to avalanche and the road being washed out. We saw the spot and could not believe the road was still open, apparently it got worse.
We made it to our planned destination, yes about another 60 mile trip….it’s a hard life. Here we are at Red Fish Lake which is so cool and pretty. The lake is very full and many campsites are flooded out.
Many campgrounds are flooded
What a view. Can’t get enough of it!
Yours truly……
This area is so nice and well planned layout for all to enjoy. Here she is, enjoying the sun, breeze and beauty of the area.
Nature and my beautiful wife!
and again……
Never understood the fun of a unicycle…….
As we head on to the next destination, we continue to see so much water everywhere. Here is the Salmon river, about 40 miles from the Headwaters.
Here near the Galena summit, a beautiful view as well as overlooking the headwaters of the Salmon river.
This valley where Stanley resides gets snowed in for months every year
and with so much more runoff still to come
Before settling down in another isolated location, we stop at the local outpost for some supplies. Everything is so big here from the mountains to the chairs.
After driving no more than 60 miles we pulled up into a National Forest canyon (free camping) just outside of Sun Valley. Note the ski runs in the background.
This is a lovely valley with mountains of snow in both directions.
and pretty hills to the side

another view

so much solitude, it’s like not even being there.

Sound of music, the hills are alive, staring Kay Jefferson!

We drove about 60 miles today. Here is our camp about 3 miles up the road from Sun Valley.
From the opposite side, once I walked down here I realized we can not get out this way as the road is very “lopsided” so to speak with a cliff on the downward side. We use google maps and other information to be sure we do not get into this mess but it does not always work. I think, (hope) I can turn the beast around where she sits to get out the way we came in.
On the other hand, the view from our door is awesome!
Our first stop was the Sun Valley Lodge which we were told we must see. Well, you cant see much as this place is set up for the rick and it is all locked down and where y ou can go, you are watched like a hawk. Anyway, in the hallway are many photos of those that have been here before us. Any guesses on who this is? (on the left, answer below)
At the back of the lodge is a huge outdoor ice skating rink. It is 85 degrees and this thing is frozen along with the indoor huge ice skating rink just behind this one. (The picture above is Rosa Parks)
Some cool structures here
Looking at the back of the lodge from the ice skating rink.
The pool
The next day we toured the cute little town of Ketchum which is the main city around Sun Valley. Something about big chairs here in Idaho??
Bottom of one of the many ski lifts.
Statues of Gretchen Fraser 42 winter Olympics in Switzerland
Really loved this fence
Couldn’t get enough of it!
Does this person own a ski shop?
Or just buys the newest and greatest several times each year?
After leaving Ketchum, we headed over to the “Craters of the Moon” National Preserve.   Here is nice sunset from our camp at the Craters of the Moon.
The 7 plus mile one way road trip thru the preserve shows very interesting landscape. Apparently NASA used this area for some training in preparation of the moon landing many years ago.  Note the little flowers growing on the small pieces of lava.
And of course, my favorite, pictures of old dead trees. Think of the stories they could tell.
The lava comes in so many forms
and eventually over many years you start seeing more green plants starting to come to life
Smooth next to rough……
rough next to little pieces with new growth
and little “spatter cones” of lava spill…..
from “spatter cones” to rough and then smooth and eventually gravel lava then plant life
some of the “spatter cones”are large, enough to hike up onto
some  “spatter cones” are huge….
acres of little flowers trying to take hold in the lava gravel
its amazing!
I think on our next trip I will bring more than two weeks of underclothes…..must be time to go to an RV park to fill our water, dump our tanks and do laundry.
While at Craters of the Moon, we took a little drive and saw this old ski resort, (for lack of words)
We put an offer in to purchase it and open as the new “Sun Valley” but with much more affordable prices
yea, it needs a little work
Our camp at Craters of the Moon
On another trip we headed to a little community called “Arco” in Idaho. Not sure what the deal is with all the “Big” chairs we seem to find.
One of the most “colorful” motels I’ve ever seen
Possibly one of the most interesting things we have seen on this trip was this little “Museum” in Arco. This tiny little shack is a museum full of history of our cold wars Nuclear era. Outside of this little town is a huge facility where “Clay” worked on nuclear submarines and the training of some 40,000 nuclear submarines navey persnnell.
“Clay” has put this little museum together almost on his own. We spent over an hour just talking with him and hearing the history not only of this areas involvement of the Navy nuclear subs, but of the nuclear advancements which was learned here.
by my estimate, “Clay” is at least 84 year sold and loves to share the history.
“666”, not in satanic terms but was a big player in the cold war. Clay was able to get the top of the sub to add to his museum. Little fact: The first nuc subs had to be fueled at least every 3 years and took about a year to do so. With the refinement of the uranium (at this facility) now subs never have to be refueled, they are fueled before being activated and with nuclear fuel, the one fueling last for 30 years, the life span of the sub!
and all this is in our namesake county……
We left “Craters of the Moon” area and headed over to Oregon to attend the NORA rally.  We spent two nights along the “Snake River”.
Pretty place but the BUGS!!!!!!
The area is full of “Thistle”
Kind of a pretty plant but wow, can it be dangerous, full of sharp spines.
The bees love the pollen


So do the spiders, look closely
and the spider wins!
Such a beautiful flower
More to come

Well, its time we head over to the NROA Rally!

First Destination – Boise

Our first night out we stayed next to Cabela’s in Reno which is always nice.

Our 2nd night we parked along 95 in Southeastern Oregon, finally the feel of being back on the road, doing what we want, when we want, why we want and for as long as we like. LIFE IS GOOD!
Just like my father, I would have be interested in purchasing this “GEM”
Yea, a little work. But a really nice area, Jordan Valley, Or.
The beautiful Snake River
We finally got to Boise and all set up. Had to stay in a park as no close BLM land to park.
My sis and Emma. It just so happened that my sister’s youngest, Emma was graduating from High School and was having a party at the park.  We were lucky to be here this week as most of Julie’s kids were in town for Emma’s Graduation.
It has been years, like 17 since I have seen Emma’s father, Ken, nice to see you buddy!
Party Time!
Brian, my sister’s 2nd oldest, brought his pedicab.

Julie, Kay and I, getting a pedicab ride!
A little get together at my sister’s with the kids and their significant others.
Back at camp. our neighbor had 2 Peregrine Falcons . Had a very interesting conversation with him, guess how fast they can dive for a kill?
230 MPH! Wow. Note the two little holes on his yellow beak, they allow the falcon to breathe at the high speeds during a dive, works something like a venturi tube as it was explained to us.
While looking for some BLM land to park on, we had a gorgeous view overlooking Boise.
Boise is a really gorgeous city with many really nice parks.
Some quality time with my sis and the kids!
So much water from a very wet year in Idaho (and most other Western states) that the lakes are full and the rivers are in flood stage. This is the emergency spillway from “Lucky Peak” going into the Boise River.
Lucky Peak dam and a really nice beach and park below it.
The dam above Lucky Peak (ArrowRock Lake) was also in flood control mode, both power plant and overflow.
Pictures do not do it justice!
We moved out of Boise but wanted to stay close enough to visit my sister so this is our next camp at Lucky Peak. (Free camping)
Our view from camp
Enjoying mountain BBQ breakfast, the best!
Evidence of some nightly visitors, raccoons.
Geese and their babies on the Boise river
Before heading out to tour around beautiful Idaho, Julie’s daughter Kailee and her boyfriend Chandler wanted to do some rock climbing. Here is Kailee on the rock, Chandler on the left giving moral support and Caleb holding the rope.
We had a short hike to the cliffs so the dog (Mick) had to find a cool place to sit and relax.
I soon joined him.
and what a view
Mick even thought so
and yes, I had to try it, I made about 8 feet!
and my sis got about 25 feet, congratulations kiddo!
Julie and all the kids came out for a BBQ the night before we left and we all had a wonderful time.  The next day Kay and I started touring around Idaho before heading to Oregon.

On to the next Post, Touring Central Idaho