Del Valle SRA


IMG_5859Nice to find another close by location that’s pretty. This is a little gem tucked away in the hills just south of Livermore. It’s a go-to destination if you have a boat, apparently, and it has lots of day use picnic areas. I reserved this quite a while ago and I’ll bet it gets crowded in the summer. The sites are nicely spaced apart and there are hookups on some of them. Our site was pretty good, nice privacy, though the picnic table was sort of off to the side.

IMG_5855We had a couple of experiments to try out this weekend. First off, we’ve been wondering about the foam mattress. Richard hasn’t been sleeping well and on the last trip out I thought it was really hot. I had heard that the heat issue was a possibility with memory foam, but I don’t remember noticing it last summer. As an incentive to try something different, there was a 65% off sale going at the Futon Shop so we ultimately decided to take a risk and get a queen size 2” wool topper.

This shows the oddness of the shape of the bed. Queen size is 60″x80″

The measurements are not right on paper for this and I wasn’t sure if we were going to have problems with it being too wide to fit. I knew it would be short, but to get something that would run the full length of the long side of the bed area, we’d have to get a king size and then cut out a weirdly shaped corner. That would have been much more expensive. Not worth it, given we weren’t sure we’d like it anyway. In the end, it fits just fine, though short on Richard’s side. He doesn’t seem to mind and he slept. I feel it might be a little too firm, but I’m going to give it some time before doing something, like adding thin foam underneath. I like the feel of the wool very much and now that the foam is out, I can tell it had a mild smell to it. Not bad, just something I notice now that it’s out.

IMG_5854The other experiment was trying a new recipe in the Shuttle Chef and having Richard cook it around noon on Friday so it would be ready by dinnertime. Huge success there! I got the recipe, Lemon Pepper Chicken and Creamy Rice, from one of those quick Facebook videos and thought it might work well in a thermal cooker. We altered the ingredients slightly and Richard made sure to cook the chicken pretty well before closing it up. It simply sat in its little spot in Dory as we drove and it was steaming hot and ready for dinner around 6. IMG_5870Oh man, this was really good and definitely a keeper! The rice was fully cooked and very much like a risotto. The chicken was tender and perfectly cooked. It wasn’t browned and crispy like in the picture, but it was still excellent. We had a perfect dinner with enough left over for lunch the next day (but not more than that). Proof of concept is established here and we will definitely look for thermal cooker recipes for Fridays.

IMG_5835I can also report that Yoga in Dory is proceeding as planned. A new (blue) yoga mat has been purchased and cut to size and I’m getting the choreography down. I am determined here because that foot injury thing really sucked.

Saturday Richard went on a nice bike ride in perfect weather while I screwed around doing some Dory cleaning and toodling around the campground on my pretty blue bike. Poor bike has seen some miles and weather while barreling down the highway on Dory. Despite the spots of missing paint and rusting screws, it works like a champ for exploring.

In the afternoon, we had nappy time and then walked over to the lake and identified birds, sort of, well, there were definitely woodpeckers, geese, and quail, and I heard turkeys. Then it was back to Dory for report writing and, eventually, dinner. I was going to grill outside, but I’m a weather wimp and it was slightly chilly. So we cooked up fajitas on the stove inside. Super yum. Crank up the tunes, have a beer or two, and you’ve got yourself a perfect day there.

IMG_5869On Saturday afternoon, Richard started to worry about the espresso machine battery and realized he had not charged it up before we left. He was able to pull 2 1/2 espressos Sunday morning and then went to Plan B. He took the Techimpex outside and hooked it up to Dory’s battery. He was all excited about that because he got to see the indirect effect on the battery through the Trimetric. Since the Techimpex was drawing from the battery directly, he could only see the Amp impact from how much the converter was putting back in. It read 20 Amps when the machine was heating up, which sounds about right. Coffee machine battery recharging was a top priority when we got home. I also forgot to restock wine before we left, so we have some things to add to our getting ready check list.

And the last bit of weekend news is that I will definitely need to explore some kind of sub wool topper layer for softer sleeping. I still like the wool, but it didn’t offer enough cushioning for sound sleep and I woke up Sunday rather tired and a bit cranky. Another Altoiste found that putting an egg crate foam layer under a wool topper was perfect. We shall try that.

Total miles: 41.1, Engine Time: 1 hour 32 min, MPG: 16.5

Site: 6; Nice site with full hookups. All of the sites seemed to have a nice amount of space. We’d go for this one again, or the one next to us, but any of them would be fine actually. No cell service for either of us.






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