Just another average sunset in paradise!

Monday, December 26, 2011

A room with a view!

I am counting down the days!  January 2nd is departure day for me.  For the past 4 months I have changed my destination plan almost as often as my underwear.  La Paz on the Baja peninsula was one possibility and San Blas on the mainland was the other.  I found a bungalow in San Blas that I can rent for $100. per month and planned to make that my home base.

There is a small town on the beach just south of San Blas named Aticama.  There is a beautiful home on a hill in Aticama overlooking the ocean.  I have known of this house for a couple of years and planned to visit the family that owns it during my travels.  I learned last week that the family will not be staying there this winter and so I sent an email asking if they were interested in renting the house.  Another email and a phone call later and I have a beautiful home  base.

View of Hill Top House from the patio

The patio viewed from the house

Patio bath tub

What a view!

There is also a great parking spot for Dod.  The town is only a few hours south of Mazatlan and even less driving time north of Puerto Vallarta so I am envisioning many great day trips.

Now I have to really concentrate on Dod so I can make my departure deadline!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

30 days of planning and 8 hours of work

The patio project was planned well over a month ago!  I changed my mind about 10 times before deciding on the final design.


and after

After a month of careful planning (procrastination) the actual construction time was only about 8 hours.  I now have just two small projects to complete at my brother's house and hope to have them finished this afternoon.

I still have a couple of upgrades I want to do on Dod but I plan to head for the border no later than Monday, January 2nd which should put me at my final destination of San Blas by the middle of January.  It is 51 degrees outside as I write this and it is 81 degrees right now in San Blas!

I also purchased another piece of medical equipment in an online auction yesterday and need to sell it.  If it hasn't sold by the 2nd I will leave it for my brother to sell.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Is Mexico safe?

When I share my plans to RV all over Mexico, almost everyone has the same advice: Don't go!  Most tell me they have never been there and that they wouldn't even think of going.  I used to explain to them that I lived in Mexico for almost 2 years and that I felt safer there than I would in most big cities in the U.S. but now I just say I will be careful.

The per capita murder rate in Washington, D.C. is eight times higher than in Mexico City and the rate in most large U.S. cities is also higher than Mexico City.  The murder rate for U.S. citizens in Mexico is about 1 per 100,00 or less than one fifth the rate in the U.S.

Anyone who has spent much time in a large U.S. city knows that there are certain areas that you just don't visit.  It is the same in Mexico.  I have been driving all over Mexico since 1972 and have had only two minor incidents.  I had some tools sitting in the back of my Jeep at a hotel in La Paz and they were stolen.  My fault for leaving them there with no top on the Jeep.  In Tijuana, a young Mexican-American, gang-banger type grabbed my cell phone off my belt and ran off.  I chased him down and got my phone back. Pretty dumb move on my part as I was 58 at the time and he was in his early 20s.

I always exercise caution when deciding where to camp for the night and avoid any section of town that does not look safe.  The vast majority of Mexicans are happy to have tourists around as without us their economy would suffer.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Work on Dod progresses

Although nothing was actually wrong with Dod, I wanted to replace the three engine belts and the rear shock absorbers.  I got an estimate of $152.30 to replace the belts and $285.00 to replace the two rear shocks.  I went to a local auto parts store and bought all the parts for less than $140.00 and did the installations with the help of a good friend of my brother's who wouldn't accept any money.  Total time of actual work was about two hours.

Next on the list are a couple of new tires, another solar panel and one or two more house batteries.  I am also thinking about adding the capability of using regular propane bottles in addition to my built-in tank.  I want to be prepared to spend a month in one spot just in case I find my personal paradise.

I also built a shelf unit for the cab-over sleeper area which probably doubled my storage space.  It is filling up fast as I stockpile groceries for Mexico.  I spent $60. today and due to the super bargains and a 5% Senior Discount, my register receipt showed that I had paid about 40% of the normal prices.  While you can get anything you want in Mexican supermarkets, items from the US usually cost much more than you would pay here.  I stocked up on Best Foods Mayo, Ritz crackers,  Rice-a-roni, Betty Crocker side dishes, and Folger's coffee.  I think I probably have enough food on board for well over one month.

I am really getting antsy about heading out!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Am I really going to Mexico?

The answer is yes but now I will be leaving just after Christmas.  I stayed through Monday to purchase some medical equipment in an online auction.  I got everything I wanted and at lower prices than I had expected.  Sold everything within 3 days at almost 20 times what I paid for them!  My brother Rick helped and we have set up an account in his name so he will be able to handle future transactions with my email and telephone help.

Rick's whole family never stopped pressuring me to spend Christmas with them and I finally made the decision to stay yesterday.  It is chilly here with night time temps dropping below freezing and high temps just over 60 degrees.  I follow a lot of blogs from RVers in Mexico and keep La Paz, Loreto and Puerto Vallarta weather reports on my Google Chrome home page.  Lows in all three cities rarely go below 60 and the highs are typically in the mid to upper 70s.  I sure do miss that weather.

As you may recall, I lived in Mexico for almost 2 years.  It seems that  changes occur more slowly there so I expect everything to be nearly the same as when I left.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

New campsite at Kern River

When I checked out the two sites Christen and I occupied last week, I was disappointed in their condition.  After just one week both campsites were a mess: paper plates, diapers, broken beer bottles and other assorted trash littered the entire area.  This campground is totally free and includes beautiful views in all directions and includes a dumpster for trash.  Why are people so disrespectful of our environment?

The above picture shows how I left my campsite around the fire ring.  I am not including a picture of how I found it because in addition to the load of trash around the site, someone had taken a dump less than a foot from this fire ring.

Rick enjoying the view and sounds of the river.

I had to do some clean-up at this new site but due to the remote location, there was less trash than at my old site.  I think I have made my last trip this season to the Kern River so I am spared having to witness what I am almost certain is now a trash laden site.

Firewood supply that Rick and I gathered in about an hour.

These rapids are directly down the hill from my campsite.

The remainder of my stay involved many hours of hiking, reading in the warm sunshine and sleeping with the sounds of the river lulling me to sleep.  No gold panning for me this trip but the same prospectors were there in force each day.

Sorry for the rant as I usually give everyone the benefit of the doubt, however in this case there is no doubt that the individuals involved are inconsiderate slobs.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Dod goes off-roading!

When I arrived back at the Keyesville South Camp on the Kern River I parked for the first night at the camp where Christen's trailer had been the week before. To get to this camp I had to cross the following hazards on the only access road to the campsite.

Yes, they are just as bad as they look!  In all of my travels driving my Jeep CJ7 in Mexico,  I cannot remember taking any roads in worse condition than this one.  It was worth it to me to arrive at the site.  I took a short walk over this road:

Yes, this is the road and it is just as steep as it appears.  At the top of the hill, this is the road down the other side:

The next morning my brother Rick came up and I decided to risk it and take Dod over the hill.  I know it was risky taking a 32 year old RV over this type of terrain but it was worth it to wind up in this site:

Dod's new site as viewed from across the Kern River.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Thanksgiving is over!

I enjoyed a wonderful Thanksgiving feast at my brother Rick's home. In addition to the traditional turkey, we had ham and 10+ side dishes. Dessert included 5 types of pie and ambrosia salad. There was enough food to feed an army which is a good thing as at times the number of people eating and talking seemed like an army to me.

The weather has done a flip-flop and for the next week the temperature at the Kern River will be several degrees higher than here in Bakersfield. With the promise of clear skies and temps in the mid 70s I really have no choice but to head back up the canyon! I am taking some gold panning equipment along and hope to have new found wealth to report when I get back.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Kern River Camping - Part Two

When I arrived at Keyesville South I chose to park on a small side road at the top of the cliff because someone was already parked in the area I preferred.  Two days later my camping neighbor climbed up the hill to introduce herself and ask if I could help her with her trailer's interior lights.  Believe me, I am no expert with 12 volt systems but within a few minutes I identified the problem - a dead battery.

She had recently purchased the battery and a small solar panel trickle charger.  Unfortunately where she was parked she got no more than two hours of sun each day.  I brought down my generator and solar panel to charge up the battery.  I have my solar panel on a 20' length of wire so it can be moved around to sunny spots most of the day.  By sundown her battery was fully charged and she had lights for the first time in a couple of days.

She invited me for a cocktail at her campfire.  It was enjoyable getting to know Christen and hear the stories of her travels as a single woman.  At one point she asked why I was camped so far from the river and I explained that I enjoyed being away from other campers and wanted to give her the same consideration.  The next morning we took a walk around the campground and found a nice spot for Dod down below which was separated from her site by a couple of large boulder formations and large trees.  I moved!

Dod's New Site

My new spot had a lot of advantages: less wind, less traffic, closer to the river and closer to the restroom.  The one problem with the site was that the area was on the muddy side.  My brother Rick came up for the day and within a couple of hours we had solved the mud problem, built a fire ring and gathered a truck full of firewood.

My new pine needle wall-to-wall carpet.

First time I have built a fire ring.

Woodpeckers were busy storing nuts for the winter.

After four days of beautiful weather, clouds moved in; the wind roared through the canyon; and the temperature plummeted from the mid seventies to the low fifties.  With a forecast of rain and even lower temperatures  I decided to bail and go back down the hill to Rick's house.  Cristen decided to leave early also and head for a friend's house in Palm Desert.  We made plans to meet up there on my way to Mexico and even discussed the possibility of a two vehicle caravan down the Mexican coast.  

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Kern River Camping - Part One

A couple of weeks ago my brother Rick and I went up to the Kern River and discovered a really nice free campground.  This one is called Keyesville and has campsites on  both the north and south side of the river.  Keyesville is handled by the BLM (Bureau of Land Management) and is one of several free sites on the Kern River.  The south campground has some fire rings and two vault toilets.  The north campground has the fire rings and vault toilets along with picnic tables.  Two really nice things about this campground are that it is only 40 miles from my brother's house and less than a mile from the town of Lake Isabella.  Lake Isabella City has a Von's (Safeway) marked, a McDonalds, a Burger King, gas, propane, a Rite Aid drug store and a number of small town type stores.

I pulled in around 4:00 p.m. on Sunday thinking I would have the whole south campground to myself.  As I drove by on the upper road I saw a trailer parked in the campsite I had picked out the previous week.  No problem!  I camped right on a little side road and had a great view of the river about 50 yards below me.

You can see the river flowing by below Dod.  I wish I could include sound as the music of the rapids is incredibly soothing to me and made falling asleep easy.  The hiking was great at this site.  There are roads that go up into the hills and trails along the river.

There were fishermen and prospectors visiting the river daily.  I never saw anyone catch a fish but there were three vehicles that came by 5 days in a row to pan for gold.  They must have been getting good results or they wouldn't have come back daily.  The government estimates that during the gold rush of 1847-49 only about 15% of the gold was taken.  I may try that next summer when I get back from Mexico.

Dod looks great from up on the hill. Even though he doesn't look quite this good up close I still like him!  Part two tomorrow includes an unexpected visitor and a change of campsites.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Another reason for delaying my trip to Mexico

MONEY!  While I could leave today and have sufficient funds to travel all over Mexico for the next year or so, I want more!  I sold my business in 2004 and became semi-retired, working only a few weeks a year on special short term construction projects that paid too well to turn down.  However, construction has nothing to do with the business I sold.

My business was buying and selling used medical equipment.  I traveled nationwide to attend auctions of used medical equipment and visit hospitals to negotiate for the purchase of their "unused" surplus equipment.  I made a very decent living doing this.  Since retiring in 2004, I have concentrated on the purchase and sale of one very specific piece of equipment.  Generally, I buy and sell a few of these units each year and make a profit of a few thousand dollars on each transaction.

Recently I have found two of these machines that will come up in an online auction in early December and I already have a buyer.  While I could probably complete the transaction while in Mexico, I feel more comfortable remaining here where I have more reliable access to the internet, telephone, UPS and everything else necessary for the smooth completion the purchase and sale.

Also, my brother Rick has expressed an interest in becoming involved in used medical equipment.  While we await the auction in early December, I will teach him the methods I use and we will form a partnership wherein he will be able to handle all the details in the U.S. and I will provide my input by telephone and email from Mexico.

So, the question is "Should I stay here at my brother's enjoying our time together and all the amenities to be able to go to Mexico with a few thousand extra dollars in the traveling kitty?"


Sunday, November 13, 2011

Projects 2 and 3 completed!

I realize that I posted about starting these two paver projects just the other day but in reality, they were started in early October and finished last Monday, November 7th.  Follower Bob commented that "a little physical activity, (at your own pace) can be quite enjoyable".

Thank goodness I was able to do it at my own pace.  The pavers we used were 12" x 12" by 1" thick and weigh just under 20 lbs. each.  Each of the nearly 400 pavers had to be lifted off the pallet at Lowe's and put in the back of a pick up (I think we made 7 trips.) then unloaded and stacked at Rick's house.  That involves moving almost 4 tons of material.  Next, the pavers had to be carried (as needed) from the garage to the building site.  By the time the pavers were placed, straightened and leveled, they had to be lifted another 3 or 4 times each.

Our average start time was around 9:00 a.m. and we rarely worked past 1:00 p.m. each day.  While my brother and one of his friends helped with moving dirt and supplying me with pavers, I laid each individual one and my arms, legs and back told me when quitting time had arrived.  In a former life, I had a construction company and did a little block wall work from time to time.  If I had contracted out to do this project for another homeowner, I probably would have completed it in one week and not five but I might not have been able to type for several weeks afterwards.

Rick's wife Karen seemed to enjoy teasing me about the slow progress almost daily but in the end said that it was definitely worth the wait.

The next project is to build a pergola on the other side of the house.  "Pergola" is just a fancy name for an arbor or shade canopy.  Ours will be fairly simple with just a frame of 2x4s 8' long by 5'wide by 8' high with shade cloth covering the top to allow growing ferns and other delicate plants here in Bakersfield where the summer temperatures often top 100 degrees.  The following "before" picture was actually taken today and my  goal is to finish the project within 3 days!  

I hope Karen is not reading this blog because she will definitely hassle me if I miss my goal!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Side trip to Kern River and Lake Isabella

Shortly after completing the flower bed installation I decided to take a trip into the neighboring Kern River Canyon for some alone time.  We went up through Kern Canyon just north of Kernville and found a free campsite right next to the Kern River.  There are several National Forest dispersed camping areas along the Kern River between Lake Isabella and Johnsondale.

Great view to the East and the river to the West

Even though this was a nice campsite, I only stayed one night here.  It was peaceful for the most part (some traffic noise) and it was easy to fall asleep listening to the river flowing by.  The highlight of the day was when four Navy jets buzzed through the canyon at about 1000' above my head.  

The next morning I headed for Lake Isabella (about 15 miles south) and explored several potential sites.  I finally settled on one of the very few that had shade and a view of the lake in the distance.

This tree provided shade for most of the day.  As the shadows moved, so did Dod.  The line on the rocks at about the height of Dod's cabover is the high water mark for the lake.  Now the lake is several hundred yards away and probably 15' lower.

The area around our camp was covered with a carpet of green and we had a  panoramic view of the surrounding Sierra Nevada foothills.  It was super relaxing to sit out and read books.  I finished 5 books in 6 days!  When not reading, I explored some of the many roads and trails that crisscross the lake bed.

The rock formation is probably 60' high and I would have liked to climb to the top but being alone and so isolated I did not want to risk it.  I stayed at this site for 5 days and saw a total of 8 vehicles and only two hikers.

These campsites are within 60 miles of Rick's house so I can easily get to the area in less than 2 hours.  I have since found several other great, free campsites to which I will return soon.


I missed having Jesse with me as he would have had the run of the entire lake bed and been good company on my hikes.  Jesse and a local family from Bakersfield fell in love and I gave him to them.  While I miss his company, I think he will be happier with a permanent home.  He didn't enjoy traveling that much and I found I was foregoing stops I would have made had he not been with me.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Veteran's Day

Thanks to all the veterans from the United States and our allies for their service in the cause of freedom!

My brother Rick is a veteran and proud to display the flag - actually over 100 flags - on each and every patriotic holiday.

Dod says thank you too!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Time really flies!

Kevin and Ruth, of Travel with Kevin and Ruth, reminded me yesterday that it has been well over a month since my last posting.  A lot has happened and, as always seems to be the case, my plans have changed!

When I arrived at my brother Rick's house in late September, my plan was to cross the border into Mexico around the 1st of November.  Today is November 10th and I am still at Rick's!  If you remember my post about Southern Hospitality you will understand why it is so difficult to leave.  In addition to the normal electrical hook-up and three meals a day, Rick has added cable tv and Netflix to the list of amenities!

In order for me to feel better about all of the freebies I was accepting, I suggested that I do some projects around the house beginning with building a 120' flower bed for the back yard.

Prior to building the small retaining wall for the flower bed, the entire perimeter of the back yard was filled with about one yard of bare dirt made up about equally of mud and deep holes dug by Rick's german shepherd "Gizmo".  (Sorry no before pictures.)  We still need to add landscaping but that may wait until Spring.

The first project turned out so well that we decided to install pavers on the side of the house up  front and also on the walkway from the front of the house to the back yard.

Front area before

Walkway before

After pictures will be coming soon as well as some posts about my side trips while here in Bakersfield!  

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Answering a few questions


The main question people are asking is if Mexico is still on.  Definitely!  I arrived at my brother Rick's house last evening and will probably stay here for a while doing some minor (I hope) repairs on Dod.  My current plan is to hit the border around the first of November and be in Mazatlan or Puerto Vallarta for the holidays.


Someone asked about the chairs with the canopies.  They work great but I like the sun so I have only used the canopy for shade a couple of times.  The canopy does, however, make a great platform for holding all my shower supplies while I use the solar shower.  I checked on line and found the chairs for $60. each and said "No way!".  I finally found them at a building supply store in Pendleton, OR where they were on sale for $24. (also, no sales tax) and I bought two.  Later I found one on sale at a small market in Pierce, ID for $15.99.


As far as reading materials go, I have been stopping at every small thrift store I notice and stocking up on paperbacks at an average of  fifty cents each and now have a couple of months supply.  By the time I hit the border I hope to have 100 or more.  Then when in Mexico I will visit the larger marinas where they usually have a book exchange for cruisers where you can trade books one for one.


Even though I have not posted about it, I have managed to stay under $900. per month for August and September.  In July I went over by about $500. due to some purchases to equip Dod and also for some minor mechanical and service work on Dod.

I have been on the road for three months now and have traveled almost 4,000 miles.  That represents 400 gallons of gas at an average price of close to $4. per gallon.  I have about 1,400 miles ahead of me before reaching Mazatlan so the majority of my budget will continue to be fuel until I arrive there.  Once there I will only travel a few hundred miles each month and with gas selling for $3.00 per gallon I should feel rich!

My total campground expense for the three months is a grand total of $62. and I don't anticipate that going up  in Mexico.  I probably spend less than $30. per week on groceries and I have only had 7 restaurant meals while on the road (all breakfasts).  I have cut my smoking down from 10 packs per week (ugh!) to 5 packs per week (still too much).  Cigarettes in Mexico sell for about $2. per pack instead of the $5. a pack here in the U.S.  My alcohol expense has been running about $30. per week and almost all of that is for the purchase of my favorite drink which is scotch.  In Mexico the price of scotch is ridiculous due to the import tariffs and being the tightwad that I am, I refuse to pay $25.-$30. for the same bottle that would cost $10.-$15. here.  I will have to settle for tequila or rum or cerveza but that doesn't worry me.

Overall, I don't think I will have any problem living on $600. per month and easily on $900.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Lazy Days

I am so far behind on posting that I probably will just do a summary for September and then try to keep up again.  The problem seems to be that even though I have access to free wi-fi, once I have breakfast and find a day camp I start reading or doing projects on Dod.  By the time I think about the internet it is usually late and I say manana.

I have been utilizing indian casinos while on or near the Oregon Coast.  They are all great with free slots if you join the players' clubs.  I actually am still ahead of the casinos after 20 days at four different casinos, it seems they are paying me to stay.  Heading south to a casino in Coos Bay tomorrow.

There are so many great day trips available up and down the coast that it is hard to decide where to go.  My favorite so far is DePoe Bay and I will post about it with photos soon (or later).

Dod is still going strong with "0" problems after 3,000 miles of travel.  I have decided that I will have to beef up the power system though while at my brother's house in Bakersfield.  I am thinking a minimum of two house batteries and 100 watts of solar.  My normal schedule is to read for about 1 hour after the sun sets and wake up with the dawn.  Right now that gives me 8-9 hours of sleep.  When the time changes and Winter shows up, it will be dark 14-15 hours daily and I need to find something to do for the 6-7 extra hours of darkness.

My brother asked me if I ever get lonely.  I had to think about it but the answer is definitely NO.  I do however get bored but not too often.  It usually only happens when I run out of books.  I counted yesterday and I have read 24 books since August 20th.  I am out right now so I will hit a few thrift stores on my way down the coast today.

Bye for now!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Paying for the night

It was easy to review my total expenses for campsites.  June - $17.  July - $9.  August had been totally free up till then so I decided to splurge and spend $15. for a site at the Barview Jetty county park.  It is right on the beach and among the amenities listed in my book were showers.  I hadn't used a regular shower since July.  The camp/solar shower works great but the real shower at the park was wonderful!  The cost was only $1.00 for 8 minutes which is more than enough time.  The water was the perfect temperature and it felt sooo good!  I took a second shower the next day before I left.

Jesse got to visit his first beach and wasn't too sure about all the water.  He really enjoyed running along the  beach and playing with other dogs but he wouldn't go near the surf.  One of the great walks we took was right along a jetty that had been build in 1914.  There is a river on one side and a tidal marsh on the other.

Jesse came up to this tidal stream and refused to cross with me.  I just kept walking and eventually he went for it and splashed across with 3 big jumps.  When he got to the other side he was very proud on himself and went for a long run to dry off.

The posts above are actually trees that were planted along the jetty almost one hundred years ago.  From the size of the trunks I would guess that they made it for 20 years or so.  Each of them is still rooted but the tops were all snapped off at about the same height.  Must  have been quite a storm!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Nothing good lasts forever

Thursday night about 9:00 p.m. four vehicles pulled into my secluded campsite!  It took them until almost midnight to set up 7 tents.  The next morning I counted 8 children and 6 adults scampering around the camp.  I still had the best campsite but as you can guess, it lost some of its ambiance.

Saturday morning two more vehicles showed up with an additional 6 people.  I could have stayed but I figured that any group who could put together a group of 20 friends and family deserved their own space.  I packed up and pulled out.  When I told them I was leaving they said "You don't have to go" but as I drove away, I watched the mad dash as they competed to move their tents into the prime location I had just left.

The detour continued to be4 beautiful.  I came around a bend and saw 50 or 60 cars parked in a lot along the highway.  As I rounded the next bend I had a great view of Mt. Rainier.

All of the spring flowers were in full bloom and it was exceptional.  See the snow still on the ground down below me?  Everyone said that summer still has not arrived at this elevation.  Dod made it over Chinook Pass with no problems whatsoever.

I decided that I might as well drive to the coast as I wanted to get to Oregon.  Four hours later, I was at the Astoria  Bridge.

The Oregon coast is just as beautiful as I had remembered.  All of the little beach towns have a personality all their own.  Dod is the perfect size to drive up and down the small streets and to park in regular parking spaces which made exploration easy.

Thursday, September 1, 2011


During this entire trip, I have only made two u-turns to check out a road that I passed.  The first u-turn resulted in the great hunting camp that we found in Oregon.  The second u-turn resulted in the beautiful camp where we are now.

After spending a forgettable night at Walmart in Yakima, WA we headed west toward some inexpensive National Forest Service campsites.  We were taking highway 12 from Yakima and about 2 miles into the drive there were roadside flashing signs warning of 2 hour delays on 12.  I stopped at the NFS office in Naches and was advised that there was a detour available that actually provided a more scenic route if I didn’t mind 35-45 mph speed limits.  Music to my ears; I love taking my time.

About 10 miles into the detour the highway started following the twists and turns of a beautiful river and I found myself wishing that I could find a turn off that would allow me to camp near the river.  Five miles later I passed a NFS sign for the Half Flat Campground.  I passed it by as I was looking for a free spot.  As I drove slowly by, I noticed several open areas right on the river.  I made a u-turn and went back to investigate.  Before you reach the gravel road that leads to the campground, you pass an area that has 6 primitive campsites right on the river.

We have the entire site to ourselves and there is a view of the river from each of Dod’s windows.  The highway is about 100 yards from our site but the river drowns (pun?) out 90% of the highway noise.  It also helps that this highway does not allow commercial traffic so that there is nothing louder going by than the occasional Harley.

Dod tucked away at the river

Jesse and I have been overextending just a little.  We started out walking about 3 miles a day and increased it to 4.  Yesterday, we did 2 miles in the morning and for some reason that evening we decided that an additional 5 miles would be good.  It was okay but definitely too much for one day.  Jesse gave up about a half mile short of where I did.  He just disappeared.  I walked to the end of the trail and he was nowhere to be found.  As I walked back down the trail, there he was just lying down in the shade looking much more comfortable than I felt.

As soon as we reached Dod, he took a few gulps of water and called it a night.  He barely moved from 6 p.m. last night until 6 a.m. this morning!  I have to admit, I didn’t move much either.  When we walked this morning I could feel it and when I started back toward camp after about a mile, Jesse was more than happy to lead the way.

It is beautiful, you are allowed to camp for 14 days and it is FREE!