Happy Doryversary! And also Happy 23rd Anniversary! Our celebration weekend happened to coincide nicely with the release of “Finding Dory” and because I know someone who works at Pixar, I was able to score a very cool promotional decal for Dory. By the way, if you have not yet seen the movie, do it. It is not only very entertaining, but as with most Pixar movies, also quite poignant.
It’s hard to believe it was only one year ago that we met Dory in person for the first time. I can honestly say that getting her was a game changing decision for us. We’ve had a ton of fun this past year and we’re looking forward to many adventures to come. If you are on the fence about doing something crazy and expensive and possibly scary, I say do it. Life is short.
During our last outing, we suffered the traumatic loss of our 12v espresso machine, so you can imagine what the focus has been at home for the past two weeks. Richard has been online and on the phone with a number of different experts, some Italian, some just nerdy. The various consultations resulted in the purchase of a nice new soldering iron and several small electronic components. Upon inspection of the inner workings, it was pretty clear where the smell and smoke were coming from. One of the little circuit boards had a dark black spot directly underneath a square black thingy, apparently called a MOSFET, that does something important. This charring was likely the result of having clipped the alligator clamps onto the wrong terminals of the standalone battery momentarily before Richard was awake enough to notice (to say I’m sure glad it was not me who did that would be an understatement). He was able to fairly easily order a replacement thingy and painstakingly went through the process of removing solder and replacing resistors, until it seemed right. He tested it out before we left and all appears to be well. Still, we did also purchase a Handpresso as our emergency backup plan.
Mt. Diablo is a significant landmark in our neck of the woods. It is the tallest point around and I made the reservations knowing it would be an interesting place to spend our ‘versaries. Back in the day, I actually was one of the crazy bicycle people who rode the entire 50 mile round trip from home, climbing a peak of 3,848 feet, and then shooting back down it while trying not to die. I have no idea anymore why I used to do that. Climbing it with Bruce was awesome and as I passed bikies on the way up, I kept thinking to myself, “Why?” This would not be a good camping destination if you have a large trailer or RV. The roads are quite windy and the sites are really more geared toward tent camping than RVing, at least in the Juniper campground. However, the view is simply stunning.
The sites are not reservable by number, so you just take whatever is available when you get there. We spent a fair amount of time trying to find a site that would work and then maneuver around in it to get as level as we could get. This was not easy and ultimately required some unauthorized uses for things like chocks and step ladders in order to at least bring the downhill side high enough that we wouldn’t feel tippy. We did use the caravan mover in an attempt to find the best angle, and there were no hookups in the park, so we kind of gave up and settled for “close”. Close was ok and we really did enjoy looking out over the whole Bay Area right from our site. Richard made a delicious Shuttle Chef meal of Caribbean Chicken and I had a couple of Laughing Glass margaritas. The sunset was spectacular and seeing the lights come out after dark was amazing.
Saturday we went on a hike around the summit. You can see everything from up there, even SF and the Golden Gate Bridge in the distance. We could see where our house would be and all of the highways we’re used to driving. Very fun, but also hot. So then we went back and napped, spent hanging out together time, and periodically talked about air conditioning. On Sunday morning it really was starting to heat up (like low 90s), so we packed up and started rolling by about 10. There is no dump on the mountain, but we discovered that the RV storage place not too far from us will let you use their dump for $25. This is good to know. This is also the place we would have had to pay $230/mo to store Dory had she not fit into our garage. I can’t say enough about what a difference it makes to have her at home for packing, organizing, and playing in, at all times. I don’t think there’s another option out there like the Alto. Safari Condo really did an exceptional job with this.
We got home around noon, but I completely forgot to take data. It should have been about 23 miles from home, about an hour of a slow, winding drive, and lousy gas mileage going up. I did glance down at some point and it was reading 10.something. That was with a full tank of fresh water. Great cell service for both of us. Espresso machine got measured when we got home and it seems to be fully recovered and operational after being put through its paces. We may be putting together a traveling soldering kit for the road however, just in case.
Site 13 and I’m not sure how many other sites would have worked. No hookups, but water spigots and bathrooms which were fine.