Lake Solano (5)

Nice site, even if the river view is mostly obscured

Well, I got the boat leak figured out. And the CM did not give us any trouble getting out on Friday. And we saw a river that was lousy with otters! And Richard got a lovely, hot bike ride. The only downer of the weekend was that I was not able to get in much of a paddle when circumstances were perfect. But on balance, that’s still a lot of positives. And I reserved a do over at this campground later, to try again.

Day Use area at dusk

The Caravan Mover working on the second try was a great start to the weekend. The people at Powertouch called Richard back and explained that replacing the turny nut thing would mean replacing the whole actuator, which sounds expensive. They did advise him though that doing a reset means you need to turn the turny nut thing a full two rotations. We had only been turning it maybe one rotation. So we did that, and after one round of engaging, retracting, and engaging again, it worked! And in fact, when we got home, it worked the very first time. So maybe this is a longer term improvement. Crossing fingers.

Tiny river view – but not tiny enough to foil OtterDar

It was going to be a rather hot weekend, so we were glad to have hookups for the AC. We could have maybe gotten a site with a better river view without no hookups, but it was worth the view sacrifice. This site allows just enough of a view through the trees that my OtterDar was able to spot some splishing activity while I was drinking my Saturday morning coffee. Out I ran, and over to a place where I could get a good look see. There must have been at least six playful river otters diving and gliding right in front of me. There is no better way to begin a Saturday.

So many otters!!

Richard set out for a nice ride and I got ready for a paddle. I knew I would need to address the slow leak at some point, but my hope was that I’d be able to stay afloat long enough to find my otter friends before I ran out of air. All looked good at set up and the conditions were spectacular. I am quite the princess when it comes to boating conditions. It doesn’t take much in the way of wind, or cold, or clouds, for me to go “meh” and skip it. This day was the perfect level of hot; just enough that being on the water is refreshing. I got to bliss out for about a half an hour, but then I could tell for sure that the main tube chambers were going down. The floor was fine, and I wondered how much weight the floor could hold all by itself. But then it started to look like the whole thing might just fold in half, and I did not really want to go swimming. So I got out.

Great launch, but things slowly deflated from there.

I thought I could maybe take the whole thing apart, find the leak, slap on a patch, and jump back in. First off though, Advanced Elements boats are constructed using air tubes, wrapped inside an outer cloth cover, and then inserted into a boat shaped skin. They are clever, in that you can easily disconnect the valves from the outer skin, and unzip the cloth cover, to finally get to the tube. But this all took a while. And I did not see any obvious punctures, or seam ruptures. So I accepted defeat and threw everything back in the roof box. I went back to Dory and started micro inspecting the tube while it was inflated. Eventually, I located the tiniest of holes, hidden underneath a seam flap. Hooray! I brought out the patch kit and read the instructions, which indicated a 24 hour wait time after applying the patch. Boo!

The conditions were beautiful

Richard returned to a sad, grumpy sweetie. Things were looking bummy for me, so I tried a desperation move at 4:00 by driving back over to Day Use to see if maybe I could rent a boat. Their rentals are all due back by 4. *sigh* With that, I spent the next forty five minutes just putting my boat all back together so at least it would be ready to go the next time.

Winner recipe

I did cheer myself up with an absolutely delicious grill dinner. We had Sour Cherry-Dijon Pork with Roasted Potatoes and Carrots. The vegetables got grilled in foil packets with olive oil, and then mixed together with butter, and lemon juice and zest. The pork got coated with Weeknight Hero spice blend, and topped with sour cherry spread and whole grain Dijon. OMG it was so good.

Looking for otter buds, but did not see them again

We tossed around the idea of trying to get me back in the water Sunday morning, even if it meant reserving the site another day so we could stay past check out. The princess declared “meh” because it would be a hassle, and a silly expense, and mean arriving late at home. I wasn’t wanting to force it just for the sake of getting on the water. It was just a shame I had missed out on such perfect ottery conditions. I did get a reservation for a weekend in December. My guess is it will be too chilly. It’s not easy being a princess.

Same view in the morning. Just lovely.

My goal for the weekend was honestly just to deal with my boat. So from that perspective, the mission was accomplished. It’s fixed, and now I know how to fix my boat. Both very good things. Next weekend we will again be on a slow flowing river, so chances are good that I will be able to test the repair. Richard says the Lake Solano Loop ride is very nice, but the road conditions are not great. He didn’t get lost though! So we both had definite wins.

Total miles: 54.0, 18.1 mpg, 1 hour 54 min. Site 33 EW hookups. Almost no cell service. Tiny view of river through trees. Went to first dump where there was no rinse hose. Use second one next time. Launching from Day Use area means no mud, but there is limited parking down low. They do rent boat there for $15, but only until 4pm, and they stop renting at 2:45.

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