Birthday weekend

Our granddaughter’s (Paige) birthday is in August. We asked her what she wanted for her birthday. She said to go camping in the trailer. We are always happy to oblige any camping! Roxie’s birthday is also in August as our anniversary (35 years). It seemed like a thing to do. We couldn’t go right after Paige’s birthday so we did it the next weekend. We chose our old reliable, Princess campground.

Paige’s father (our son Aaron) and Aaron’s girlfriend, Rachel, decided they wanted to go also. They decided they would stay in a tent. Fine with me.

We decided to head up there Thursday to get a head start and they were coming up for the weekend. They also wanted to bring their dog, Maggie, which was up to us to do since we have the truck. It was nice to get there early. We were able to take a naturalist-led walk around Indian Basin and saw a fawn and a woodpecker:

2015-08-14 10.31.162015-08-14 11.35.37

As we were resting, waiting for the rest of our party to show, on Friday we heard some diesel engines. The Rough Fire had started 2-3 weeks before and we knew that there were firefighters fighting it. The noise we heard were some Forest Service fire crews heading into the campground. They occupied a few of the open sites and probably rested from their chores:

2015-08-14 12.56.43

A couple of times various crews had to move as campers were coming in for their reservations. We knew that there were helicopters getting water from nearby Hume Lake and we heard them from time to time. I wasn’t worried about the fire as I knew it was a ways away.

On Saturday we all did the requisite visit of the General Grant tree but this time it was different. Rachel had never seen it or maybe had never seen and Giant Sequoia’s. I think she was impressed. Here is a shot of the General Grant and the walk through tree. Recently I was not sure that if we might ever see the General Grant after how the Rough fire has gone but it seems safe now:

2015-08-15 10.12.262015-08-15 10.57.32

One thing we noticed this year at Princess was it was very dirty and dusty. This ight attributed to the drought and possibly because we usually don’t head her as late in the season. Here is our campsite, and that is not my tow vehicle:

2015-08-16 07.58.122015-08-16 07.58.31

On Sunday, Aaron and Rachel left relatively early which gave us a chance to go on another walk around Indian Basin. This time we took Maggie and Paige. It was warming up and a bit of smoke was beginning to show:

2015-08-16 10.30.21

The dreaded part was next. Heading back down to the 100+ degree weather.

Shortly after we left they closed the highway that leads down to the Kings Canyon right by our campground. As Maxwell Smart says “Missed it by that much!”

Three updates

It has been a while to post but three events had taken place so I will lump them together.


Our daughter Hannah has been going to school (Academy of Art) to get her Bachelor’s degree (she is the first one to do so in the immediate family). She has finally achieved it! Her graduation was on May 22 which happens to be one month to the day after Roxie had her back fusion surgery. You think Roxie, or I, would miss that? No way!

We decided to take the trailer as Aaron, his girlfriend and Paige (granddaughter) were going to be there for the weekend also so an RV park made more sense than a hotel.

We left a day early and stayed at WalMart in Los Banos:

Los Banos

This time I chose to stay at the Trailer Villa in Redwood City. A bit far from the city but cheaper and not too bad in the back. It backs up to the Redwood Slough (so get one if the back in spots, we will next time):



We attended Hannah’s graduation as very proud parents. The ceremony was in the Cow Palace and we saw her on the Jumbotron!


It was a good weekend of family times:



One added note. Roxie did an amazing job only one month post surgery and having a temporary Handicapped parking placard is amazing!


I had a Snugtop shell on my truck for a year and a half. For almost all that time I have had problems with the shell fitting close enough to the cab. It was very frustrating. I worked with my local dealer and they were wonderful. The issue was with Snugtop itself. I created a website about it: They did not decide to work with me to get it fitting. I even offered to drive to Long Beach so they could do it. Eventually, after more emails, a negative Yelp review, a negative Facebook post, Snugtop gave up and gave me a full refund. Thanks for that but no thanks for not even trying!

I took that refund and immediately purchased a Leer top. Although I had to wait 6 weeks again for a shell, here it is:


I really like the Windoors that have a screen also. I am overall happy with it but I will let you in on a secret, the Snugtop is higher quality than the Lear.


One other trip to mention. Father’s Day. Aaron wanted to do a Father’s day thing so it was decided to head to the Dodger’s game on Saturday. With Roxie still on the mend we opted to spend a couple of nights in Valencia which is not too far from Dodger stadium. Five of us went to the Dodger game, me, Aaron, Paige (granddaughter), Rachel (Aaron’s girlfriend) and David (Rachel’s Dad). Roxie and Julie (David’s wife) hung out together are Julie’s house.

It was a fun time except the fact the Dodgers’ lost. Here are some shots from the stadium:

Chavez Ravine Dodgers

There you go! Three in one!