October 23, 2010

Switching Gears

Well it looks like we've made a quick transition to Winter in California. Around here, they say we have two seasons, Green and Brown. We're getting ready to put the shutters up on the Lookout tower, and I just ordered tire chains for La Rana.

I worried a bit about the chains. I have duallies in the back, so does a chain go on both tires? Just one? I found the folks at TireChains.com to be really helpful and they've collected all the laws about tire chains here. It seems Yosemite has even tougher chain laws with fines up to $5,000!! Since we're gearing up for a winter trip to Yosemite National Park, I'm glad they had given me the heads up.

I went with the Dual-Triple chains, with cams and spring tensioners. They got here very quickly and I'm very impressed with the quality. I'll be buying a couple duffel bags for these because each side weighs about 26 pounds and I'd rather slug each set separately than one bag that is almost sixty pounds.

The CHP has some tips on winter driving that makes a great checklist for our preparations. I'll be going down that list, plus shelling out $350 for a new windshield since a tiny chip turned into a full crack after the last trip.

October 4, 2010

Guys' Trip to the Rancho

Patrick, Kyle and Andy
at the Tin Mine portal.
Sherry was off on a crafting retreat with her friends, plus we missed last month's trip due to the playoffs, so that made this weekend the perfect opportunity for a guy's trip with Andy and his two buds, Patrick and Kyle.

We started off the morning with a hike to Tin Mine Canyon. It was quite the episode of Wild Kingdom, with Patrick finding the remains of a scorpion and then Andy and Kyle spotting a couple Tarantula Hawks.

Mini-golf at Rancho Jurupa
 We then headed out for Rancho Jururpa, just twenty minutes from the house. This is a Riverside County park, along the banks of the Santa Ana River on the historic farm and ranch lands of Riverside's pioneers.

There are over two -hundred acres of cottonwoods, two lakes and two campgrounds. The older campground, Lakeview, has only 12 sites with hookups, but it is under giant sycamores and cottonwoods so there is plenty of shade. The newer campground, Cottonwood, lacks full size trees, but is otherwise a country-club of a campground with laser-level concrete pads, full hook-up including cable and internet access, laundry and even a miniature golf course that is more putting green than windmills. There is a water play area that young kids go crazy over. This is clearly the best county campground I've ever seen.