Palm Creek Days Are Nearly Over

Tue, Mar 6, 2018

I’ve been offline the past couple of months because, well, there hasn’t been anything post worthy.  Carol and I have been relaxing in the Palm Creek RV Park and there’s been no adventure travel.  Just lots of R&R.

Last Fri marked 14 weeks since my ATV accident and I’m pretty much healed.  I no longer have pain from my fractures, ie, three vertebrae, two pelvis, one hip and one rib.

I still have some lower back pain but that’s probably because I’ve been beating too many golf balls on the driving range.  And my right shoulder will never be the same.  I don’t understand the physiology but the clavicle has been repositioned and isn’t going back.  So I have a bump that sticks up but it works so I’m grateful for that.

Palm Creek RV Park has been our home since Dec 26 but we’re leaving on Thur.  So tomorrow is a cleaning and organizing day.

On Thursday, we’re heading to NASCAR weekend at the Phoenix International Raceway and then we’ll spend three days with my parents in Mesa, AZ.  Then over the border at Yuma for a teeth cleaning and then a two week return to the Emerald Desert RV Park in Palm Desert.  Then back to Marin on April 1.  Yippee!

NASCAR at Phoenix Int’l Raceway

Thu – Sun, Mar 8-11, 2018

During our trip to Baja last year, we met a group of full timers who travel together to special events.  This weekend’s NASCAR race is one of those events.

I love cars and car racing but have never really been into the NASCAR scene and have never attended one of their races.  So this was a first for me.

We settled into our spot alongside the 86’ers and did what all NASCAR attendees do:  we opened a beer.  The first of many that weekend.

The RV grounds are laid out in the desert in one giant grid.  Here’s our street with our Airstream on the far left.  The grid went on for what seemed like miles.


Cars are on track most of the weekend and are either tuning their cars, qualifying or racing.  Here’s the race on Sat that’s sorta like AAA baseball, ie, it’s one level below the top.  That’s a Camaro pace car with the field right behind.


Oops!  Blown engine.  Better bring out the street cleaners.


And Sunday’s race day.



1957 Airstream

Mar 8, 2018

While strolling the NASCAR RV grounds at Phoenix International Raceway, I came upon this 1957 Airstream.

The owner said he bought it for $450 about 20 yrs ago and has been taking it to races ever since.


Not much to the interior as all he did was install a couple of beds and a shower.  Still pretty cool 🙂


Yuma Air Show

Thu, Mar 15, 2018

We moved into the Suni Sands RV Park in Yuma, AZ last night and it’s near the airport.  Little did we know that there’s an airshow this weekend.

We found out early this morning when an F-35 Joint Strike Fighter flew figure 8’s right over our heads.  And I mean he was right there.  I can’t believe how low they let them fly but I was loving it.

The F-35 is our most modern fighter and is a stealth aircraft.  Here’s a shot of the profile:


The F-35 has three variants.  One for the Air Force that’s designed for air superiority.  A second of the Navy that has air craft carrier landing capability and a third for the Marines.

There’s a Marine base here (in the desert??) so naturally they are flying that variant.  It is a STOVL aircraft, ie, designed for short takeoff and vertical landing.  Here’s she is coming in for a landing.  At this point, she’s going low and slow but went into a stationary hover a few minutes later.


Here’s a good shot of her belly where you can see that the main thruster is pointed down.  The plane also has a giant fan to keep it level during hovering.  You can see the intake in the photo above and the exhaust near the front of the fuselage.


And this is what you get when the thruster is pointed out the back:


And another:


One last shot when the plane was banking straight over my head.  He’s flying horizontally with the left wing pointing straight down.  Funny perspective because it looks like he’s going straight up.





Suni Sands Time Capsule

Fri, Mar 16, 2018

We booked the Suni Sands RV Park because it was near a Walmart, a muni golf course, easy access to the border town of Los Algodones and had great reviews on TripAdvisor.  What I didn’t know was that is was a time capsule.

Why?  Because the travel trailers, ie, mobile homes, were put here decades ago and haven’t changed a bit.  All nice and tidy and fully occupied by snowbirds, primarily Canadians.  And everyone is super nice 🙂



We’re Buying a Condo in Palm Desert

Tue, Apr 10, 2018

After a few days in Yuma, we returned to Desert Emerald RV Resort for two weeks of R&R.  My sister and her husband were there as well as our Canadian buddies so it was a lot of fun.

Then it was a return to Marin County, our home.  Out tenants will be leaving at the end of the month and we plan to put our Mill Valley house on the market.

We are in contract to buy a condo at The Retreat in Palm Desert and will make that our new home.  Since the Coachella Valley is a hot one in the summer, we plan to use our Airstream to bug out during July and August.

Here’s what our unit will look like.  This building is a four-plex and we’ll be on the upper floor on the right.  Our unit will be finished in late July, just in time for the summer heat. Ugh 😦


Our Mill Valley Home is For Sale

Sun, May 13, 2018

We’ve been working the past few weeks getting our house ready for the market.  Basically working down a punch list to make sure everything is clean and in good working order.

Our tenants vacated last Saturday and Wed was the broker’s open.  We were encouraged by the comments from the visiting real estate agents that the house shows well and is priced right.

Our agent held an open house the past two days and we had a lot of traffic.  In particular, there were five couples that visited both days and spent over an hour looking things over.  We’re cautiously optimistic that we’ll get a strong offer.


Our Mill Valley Home is in Escrow

Sun, May 20, 2018

After last weekend’s Open House, we were thrilled to receive two offers for our home.  We accepted the first and the terms call for a close in 30 days.  So we’ll be homeless in mid June.  Can’t wait 🙂

We feel very fortunate as the buyer appears to be a good fit for our home and our neighborhood.  He’s been looking for nearly a year and had three requirements.  First, a view of the water.  Check.  Second, a chef’s kitchen.  Check.  And third, he wanted redwoods.  Check.  We have all three in spades.

Here’s the updated version of our For Sale sign 🙂


Edit:  The sale of our house closed escrow on June 15th so we are officially homeless. Now we’ll focus on the purchase of our Palm Desert condo that is scheduled to close escrow on July 24, 2018.


Hello Palm Desert

Sat, July 28, 2018

With the sale of our Mill Valley home last month, our focus shifted to our condo in Palm Desert, CA where construction has just been completed.

Carol and I drove down to the Coachella Valley earlier this week to close our purchase and it was just in time for some record heat.  How much?  Well, the record high for Palm Springs for July 23 had been 116F but today we enjoyed a new record high of 119F.  Never been in heat like that before.  Let’s just say it felt like a blast furnace.

The valley contains the resort cities of Palm Springs and Palm Desert, as well as Rancho Mirage, Indio, La Quinta, Indian Wells and Cathedral City altogether with a population of almost 500,000 in April, declining to around 200,000 in July and rising to around 800,000 by January.  It sure was easy getting around this time of year 🙂

Our condo is a three bedroom, three bath unit in The Retreat development overlooking the Desert Willow golf course.  Here’s our building and our unit is on the second floor.


Two more pics for you.  First up is the living room with the pocket glass doors that slide open.  We plan to spend a lot of time outside on the deck, weather permitting LOL.


And finally a snap of the kitchen.  Not a good perspective but it’s a bit nicer than this picture might suggest.


Botswana’s Okavango Delta

Mon, Dec 10, 2018

After a quiet fall enjoying the fine weather that is the Coachella Valley, my bucket list trip to the Okavango Delta finally arrived.

My itinerary was LAX to Addis Ababa in Ethiopia and then south to Johannesburg.  All on a comfortable Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 787 Dreamliner.  It’s about 32 hrs of transit from wheels up in LAX to landing in Joburg so I was thankful for a good seat.

Then the next day was an hour and a half flight north to Maun in Botswana followed by a 45 min flight to a landing strip in the bush.

The plane of choice is a Cessna Caravan and we were lucky to be flying on a new one.  Seats for twelve and very comfortable.


The landing strips are carved out of the delta and are hard packed dirt.  Perfectly functional.


This is the third time that I’ve been lucky enough to seat in the right seat, ie, co-pilot seat of an airplane.  The first was a Citation jet piloted by my old boss and the second was during my flight to Katmai in Alaska on an old Cessna.   And now in the African bush.  Beautiful views from the front!

And here’s our 24 yr old pilot.  Trust 🙂


Finally, there’s a reason that the pilot does a flyover before landing on any of the airstrips.  See the elephant at the end of the runway?  You do not want to run into him!