Thursday, May 10, 2012

Exercise can hurt the Alfa too!

Since we cancelled our April trip, on Wednesday  we decided we needed to take a short "exercise" run for the good of the diesel engine.  Craig said that just pulling out and driving around for 30+ miles seemed "silly", so we located an RV park just north of San Francisco that we could drive to, stay over, and return the next day.  Just exercise.

If you followed this blog last fall, you know our home parking location is a bit of a challenge to get in and out of.  Craig drove out of the upper drive, down the road, and into the lower drive with ease.  We refilled our fresh water, loaded a few things and were good to go.

A fellow blogger, Mary, once reminded me to watch out for all eight corners of the rig! 

 As Craig was backing up out of the lower drive, I was watching the side were there is a threatening stone wall, the front corners, the  back, and the lower back corners, but forgot to watch out for the top back corners. 

He was staying further to the left to avoid the wall. 

slowly back,

Then when he had come far enough,  I crossed my arms to signal STOP.  He says the hand gesture didn't register, and he kept coming. 

Just as I yelled STOP, the driver's side upper rear corner crunched into a large tree slanting into the road. We share the blame.  

We knew the tree was there, but neither of us really saw that it leaned over the road at the 12' height.

A big ouch! 

This is the top back corner of our poor Big White Box. 


The tree is fine.

The drive up to San Francisco was nice.  I guess we are learning to take these things in stride and not waste our time being angry about them.

The night before I had expressed some reluctance to drive the Alfa thru the streets of San Francisco. Several years ago we went thru the city in a rented 26' Cruse America and it was a harrowing experience. The main differences were that it was rush hour, we were new to the rig, the passenger-side mirror kept moving, and we took the wrong route.  

"Trust me" he says. 

So after a good nights sleep, I decide to do just that.  It turned out the drive down 19th avenue and onto the Golden Gate Bridge was smooth as can be.  The traffic was light and the Alfa is really much easier to drive than that Class C was.

I'm not real comfortable going thru curved top tunnels in the Alfa!

We pulled into the Marin RV park just after noon.  It's not fancy, but it is close to a ferry if you wanted to go into San Francisco without having to pay bridge tolls and parking fees, and easy to get to from the highway.  The full hook up spaces were close, gravel-covered pads.   Off season price was $45 per night minus 10% for Good Sam discount, plus 10% tax.  In California, that's mid to low price.  

The biggest negative was the lousy WiFi connection.  It was OK in the morning, but you couldn't do anything in the evening when all of the other people were also using it.

The cable connection was good, so Craig got to watch a baseball game.  (We have only Apple TV at home.)

We took a nice walk along a level path in the salt marsh area next to the park.

We saw these large metal structures that neither of us could guess what they were.  Each was about ten feet tall, evenly spaced, and quite rusted.  Any ideas?

We also saw these birds which we think are egrets.  There were two like the taller one, and three like the shorter one.  They were "together."  Craig thought they were a family, but I'm pretty sure they were two different types.  

Help me Judy. 
What are they?

We had a nice sleep, a leisurely morning drive back, and the Alfa is once again tucked into her forest home.  I'll be looking into RV fiberglass repair places next week.


  1. I sure hope you don't get any rain before you can get it fixed or you could have a lot more damage. At least you are sharing equal responsibility so no one gets blamed. lol

  2. You do need to learn to handle those big ouches that happen. I still get upset but not near as much as I used to. I really admire you for driving through San Francisco and across the bridge. I don't think I could have done that.

  3. The larger bird is a great egret and the smaller one is a snowy egret.

  4. OH MY -- we had not had our MH very long when hubby pulled out of our driveway and almost turned it over in the ditch. Thankfully he managed to get it out with only a scrape to one of the compartment doors. There is NO WAY I would be driving in SF -- so you are a brave woman indeed!

  5. Bummer on the crunch, but YEAH on the trip to San Francisco.

    I'm pretty cavalier about The Palms getting hurt now, too. Once it's done, you just have to deal with it. Kind of like when one of your kids is hurt and you know the doctor bill is coming.

    I'm glad you had a good time. I haven't been in San Francisco in ages. Such a great town. :)

  6. too bad about the tree and Alfa! can be fixed..move on and carry on!..enjoy your little vacation!

  7. Ouch! Sorry to hear about the damage, but you are right not to let it spoil your plans.

  8. Double ouch!!

    The best piece of advice we got when we started our fulltime adventures was about the first thing to pack - your sense of humor.

  9. At least it was nothing that stopped you from going on your exercise trip! It can be fixed. Nice photo of the egrets.

  10. I think watching out for the height on an RV is the easiest one to forget. When I pulled into our Congress Arizona house a couple months ago I failed to look up & see the low slung power line. Kelly noticed it when she pulled in with the Jeep a few minutes later. The undamaged power line was resting atop our front A/C cover. Close call. We all learn from our mistakes.....sort of.

  11. Ouch is right. Hope you don't have any rain coming soon.

  12. Sorry about the "incident". I'm glad you're taking it in stride and didn't let it ruin your little trip. Good luck getting it fixed.

  13. A dear friend told me (more than once), "everything on your motorhome can be fixed." Those wise words help keep everything in perspective.

    I'm impressed at your courage to drive through the City! We avoided that at all costs! Not that the other freeways and bridges were any easier!

    Keep smilin'!

  14. Bo Bos happen. It's good that you didn't get out of sorts over something than can be fixed.

  15. I've read on phred's poop sheets to carry silver insulation tape, not duct tape, but the kind you use over insulation. He claims it's really water proof & works great on RV's. I carry white duct tape to cover areas till I can fix them. But I might go get a roll of the insulation tape too.
    ouch -- glad ya'll took this in stride though & still did your outing.

  16. OMG Sorry to read about the Alfa getting hit by a tree. Bad tree! Hope you get it repaired before the next rain.

  17. sorry about the "ouch" but I am glad you did a short local trip. The 19th avenue route is not bad (I do it as often as once a week, RT, and in college, I commuted to SFSU from Santa Rosa 3-4 days a week mostly using 19th or Sunset for variety but with the RV, maybe not). Since my early arrival is not as critical lately, I pick a weekday window of leaving the Summit area by 8:30-9 am, and we have decided to skip 85 most days because the 85-to-280 on-ramp is not nice in commute hours. We just tough it out 17->280.

    I believe Sheila and Doug are correct on your egrets. We find good birding on this route - lots of hawks on 280 from the grassy areas near Page Mill all the way to Crystal Springs. Egrets also, tho many more north of the GG bridge.

    an app for the iPad that is probably even better than the phone version is iBird. Get the Western edition. Has good sound files. Also, Cornell's site ( has tons of good info. Good folks. We started using their backyard birdcount project to improve our skills in identifying birds since we are such amateurs (not yet bird nerds).

    Watch for tide changes as you near Sausalito and the change in that glassy bay and wetland. Hope you make more regional trips - maybe you can get out to Bodega Bay (and see Jean W;-) or Tomales and Pt. Reyes - go out via Petaluma).

    Happy Trails!

  18. Ouch!! When I parked at Garner SP I forgot to park with the power pedestal between the slides, ooops
    Of course, I had already unhooked and got it level. Had to hook up move it about 5 feet and do it all over again. Oh well, just more practice. Only a little scratch and slight dent that popped out.


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