Saturday, September 8, 2012

Sanding, and Planning next trip

After spending a couple of weeks power washing the decks and driveways, Craig started sanding the smaller of several railings. He has decided to only sand and stain the top rails and the floors of the decks, and hold off on deciding if all the 2x2s also will need sanding and stain. 

This is the upper deck that is just outside our dining room. We took in all the furniture except for the glass table.  Sun, rain, and power washing has worn off most of the stain on the floor surface.  We re-stained the top rail, but will wait until we are back from our trip to rent the floor sander.  Craig says he has to check the screws before he sands, and tighten any that need it.  I just counted them.  There are 672 screws, and this is the smallest deck! He'd better wear his knee pads.

I, on the other hand, have been planning our next trip. 

We leave on Tuesday for a long haul down to Los Angles.  We are going to get the little ding that we incurred on our drive on CA Highway 1 fixed, and then take the Alfa to get her oil, transmission fluid and probably coolant replaced.  We have no records from the dealer on past service, so we think these things may be overdue.  We will also have them check all belts and anything else they recommend.

Because of our harrowing experience on Highway 1, I bought the Big Deluxe Motor Carriers' Road Atlas as a planning tool.  

I like it because it is laminated and I can mark a route or area with a dry marker and erase it when the trip is done.  All truck routes are marked in orange, and other roads are marked with two thicknesses of red for thru roads, and blue for roads that are not suitable for trucks (nor presumably RVs).

I did a lot of searching on RV forums before deciding on our route to the Yosemite campground where we have a four day reservation. From the West, there are two routes.  Hwy 120 looks like the easier, but according to the forums it is not.  Although there is a permanent one lane bridge around a slide area where we will have to unhook the toad, Hwy. 140 is the route the tour buses take and is better for a 36' Class A. I figure that since the campground accommodates 40' rigs, it has to be possible to get there!

Other than our Yosemite reservation, I have not booked any campgrounds.  I have several in mind, and they are of the "find a spot when you get there" variety.  It is unlikely that they will be full, but I will bring along my Woodall's, Good Sam book, and KOA book.  

I know we can stay at Alfateers for two nights, and possibly at the Freightliner service center as well, but again I have an alternate location in mind. I also plan on boondocking at the Camping World in Bakersfield on the way from LA to Mariposa, which is our stop outside of Yosemite. There is a garden I want to stop at in Fresno which is half way between Bakersfield and Mariposa.

I've used the internet to find thing to do and see in LA.  A Historic House and Garden, a downtown walking tour, and a hike in a park are possibilities.

I've also found a couple of things in Mariposa including a Mining Museum and a river walk.

Tonight I am going to spend some time reading about the hiking options in Yosemite.  We will not climb Half Dome, but we are up for something more than the walks around the valley floor.

I used to be wary of mentioning our travel plans on my blog.  But now I figure if anyone breaks in while we are gone, perhaps they will cart off some of our stuff for us.  Heaven knows it is all old and not worth much!  

Has anyone ever had a break-in while you were traveling?

What resources do you use to find things to do in a new area?


  1. Never had a break-in but I do think about it. Not so much when we had an alarm system.

    I like "Road Trip USA". This is a quirky guide, more for the journey than the destination. It takes you along the back roads, not the beaten track.

    I also have a good hiking book for my state (AL). It gives a lot of detail about the trails and degree of difficulty, whether they are dog-friendly etc.... I'm sure CA has one as well although it must be in several volumes!

    Your desk looks a lot like mine right now.

  2. I can't believe you actually counted all those screws!!! Hope Craig doesn't have any loose ones ☺. Have fun on your trip and hope you get in some good hiking.

  3. We always visit the visitor's center wherever it is..coming into a state, at the national park, in a town. We get all our brochures and then have fun poring over them. You can stay at any Thousand Trails park even if you aren't a member. They honor Passport America and there's one about twenty miles from Yosemite. Where did you get your laminated copy of the Motor Carrier's atlas? I have not seen a laminated one and would like to update ours.

  4. Its so fun to plan a trip! I use a combination of Streets & Trips and Google on the computer, plus we watch road signs for anything interesting as we go along. I keep a file of interesting places state by state that I have read about in other RVers blogs, and I try to mark them in my Streets and Trips maps with pushpins.

    We never had a break-in at the house when we were gone, and all our "good stuff" was with us in the rig, so there wasn't anything worth stealing! LOL .. even the tv's were old, and nothing of value left anywhere. Heck, we have no money so none of that laying around either. It all goes in the diesel tank! LOL LOL LOL
    Karen and Steve
    (Our Blog) RVing: Small House... BIG Backyard

  5. I like the laminated map. I'm also going to look into MS Streets and Trips for our trip to Alberta next summer. I like planning!

  6. Glad the house is still coming along, and you are filling up your time with small trips. I can't wait to take George to Yosemite. I spent a lot of time there when I lived in CA.

  7. If you like walking, check out, you can click on a link on the left-hand side of the home page called "Local Walking Events." We have done many "volksmarches" in all different places.

    We will be checking walks for our trip to Australia as AVA is a worldwide organization.

    Here's a list of our favorite travel books:
    ~National Geographic's "Complete National Parks of the United States"
    ~Reader's Digest "See the USA the Easy Way: 136 Loop Tours to 1200 Great Places"
    ~Reader's Digest "Off the Beaten Path: A Guide to More than 1,000 Scenic & Interesting Places Still Uncrowded and Inviting"

    Enjoy your travels!


  8. I always google "things to do in _____". Gives me some great ideas. I love Roadside America because it's all these really weird things. Have a great time.

  9. Nice good style of house.Even I am thinking to make deck of my house and for that I will be using floor sander to make the floor shine like mirror.


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