February 23, 2010

Spaceship Grill

This cool grill is the latest accessory for La Rana. The Caboose had an R-V-Q grill, but we didn't have a portable grill for our trips with La Rana. We have made great use of the on-board oven for scalloped potatoes, but we needed something for the steaks and grilled veggies. The O-Grill 3000 took care of that job perfectly.
It has a 225 square-inch grill area and a hot 9,450 BTU output. It has attached folding legs to keep it from melting the tablecloth and a removable drip pan. The grill fits in the dishwasher and the smooth lines mean there is nowhere for the grease to hide. The only thing I don't like about the grill is it has a removable tool box behind the hinge and since it is made of plastic, it must be removed before heating up the grill. Wonder how long it will take me to forget and melt that into something that looks like a green army-man under a magnifying glass? (in answer to a comment below, the tool box is a little larger than a school pencil box. You might be able to fit a SMALL pair of tongs in there, otherwise it is corn cob holders, short kebab skewers, or a sauce brush).

In other news, while cleaning out the sand from our recent beach trip, I decided to do one of the few mods we've made to La Rana, and added a 12v plug under the dinette seat.

February 21, 2010

What Rain?

We were watching the weather forecast pretty closely all week and decided to risk it and go camping despite the thunderstorms that were predicted. It was a great gamble because it only rained for ten minutes the whole weekend. We had an absolute great time camping with our friends Paul and Linda. We met at Doheny for Saturday lunch, browsed the shops in the harbor, and then headed to San Mateo for the night. We had a great evening around campfire, joined by their son Jesse and his girlfriend Abbie. In the morning we headed to San Clemente and walked the surfline and bluff trails before heading into San Clemente for the Farmer's Market and this really cool artist cooperative. It was a terrific weekend with some terrific friends.

February 14, 2010

Wagon Train

We spent Saturday with our friends Paul and Linda at their office camping trip at Ocotillo Wells SVRA. More than 80,000 acres of the California desert are open for off-highway exploration near the Salton Sea. I always pictured these areas as drunken parties, but was pleased to learn that, like the wagon trains of the old west, they are largely a self-policing, family-friendly rendezvous.

Almost all of the riders we saw, whether they were on motorcycles, quads, side-by-sides or buggies, were demonstrating the concepts of the Tread Lightly program. While we were sitting in our campsite, we saw one rider climbing a steep hill, flip over and tumble down the hill. Within seconds, riders were at the accident scene helping him get his OHV back on all four tires and back on his way (there wasn't much they could do for his pride). Of course Andy wants to buy a quad of his own, but "Pops" is content to go with friends a couple times a year. Andy will just have to find a job if he wants to buy his own. Of course you should always ride with a buddy, so he'll need to buy one for me too.