On to Ashland – Oct. 4, 2013 to Jan. 2014

Z3We left Fremont the final time on Oct. 4, the day the Fremont house closed. Mark towed the Z3 behind our Chevy truck and I drove the Volt. The Volt could not make the trip on electric alone so we used a combination of the electric and the the gas engine, a generator that makes electricity once the battery is depleted. Here we are at a rest stop on Hwy 5 on the way to Ashland.

IMG_4255We had left Rose, our Airstream travel trailer, at the Holiday RV Park in Phoenix, a small town about 7 miles north of Ashland. This is the park we have stayed at since we began RVing in the Ashland area.

Phoenix2Ramblin’ Rose with the big black truck and the Volt at the RV park in Phoenix this photo was taken from the bridge on the side of the park.

PhoenixAnother view of Rose at the park. We lived here for approximately 5 weeks until the house closed and while we had work done on the house before we moved in.

HouseOn Oct. 28th the house closed, we met with our realtor to pick up the keys and took possession of our new (to us) house. Note the yellow leaf bearing trees in front of the house. These are Ginko trees which dumped their leaves on us for the next 3 or 4 weeks. The gardeners employed by the previous owners dropped by that day and we continued their employment to deal with the deluge of leaves.

GarageCarportThe back of the house with the carport and garage. It also includes room for an artist’s studio which I am going to use for my beading. We had a really cold snap (to us) in November and I tried beading there using space heaters for warmth. Still too cold, so we had an HVAC system installed to heat and cool the space. Nice.
Ace marking
This was Ace’s first visit to the house and he lost no time in making it his.


Before we had our furniture delivered and moved in we had new hardwood floors installed on the second floor. The wood for the floors had to be acclimatized before they could be installed.

FenceOur last pre move-in chore was to have the fences replaced to secure the yard for Ace. This included our side of the public walkway that runs between High Street and the alley behind our house. Movers

Two weeks after taking possession of the High Street house we had our furniture delivered and we moved in. Boxes

The house went from being empty to being totally stuffed.

Living Room with rugI was amazed but within a week we were mostly unpacked! Although we did have to replace some of our furniture with smaller pieces. The Ashland house is significantly smaller than the one in Fremont.

GuestBedroomHere is the rose bedroom, our primary guest bedroom. bedroom

And our master bedroom with the new bed we had built (the walls were too low for our headboard of our old bed, which is now in the rose bedroom).

Kitchen IslandOur new kitchen,  we added a kitchen island to get more drawers and counter space. The kitchen only had 2 drawers when we moved in! Fence in snow

A week after Thanksgiving we had a storm which left us with 8 inches of snow. Everyone kept telling us that this had not happened in 12 years. SolarWe will have to see.

In January 2014 we had a 5.4 kw solar system installed on our roofs. This was not as simple as the system in Fremont. We have solar panels on two smaller roofs on the main house and more on the roof of our garage.

We are pretty settled in our new life in Ashland and looking forward to showing this lovely city to our friends. To close, an Apple Blossom Camellia in our garden before it snowed.

The Move (Aug 4 – Oct. 4)

This series of posts don’t really follow Rose, Our Airstream travel trailer, but she was with us every step of the way to moving to Ashland. This includes living in the Airstream until our Ashland house closed. I wanted to share our adventure in moving to Ashland, Oregon and this seemed a good place to do so.

When we went to Ashland, Oregon in August of 2013 we were only planning on catching a few shows at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. We had no intention looking at houses and moving to Ashland. Every time we visit Ashland we discuss moving, but always decide that selling our house and moving is just too difficult. But, this time we saw a listing for a home with RV parking and called the realtor with the listing. That home was already sold, but we decided to continue looking. We began focusing on homes with RV parking and soon found another home. 571 Oak Hill Circle This one was on the East side of Hwy 5 on Oak Hill Circle,  a beautiful home with RV parking and it’s own sewer hook up connected to a  septic tank.  The RV parking was behind the truck in the photo on the left. It is behind a large metal gate. We placed an offer on the house and returned to the Bay area to place our Fremont house on the market.

One of Mark’s Starbuck buddies is Kacey Alamzai. a Fremont real estate broker, and he agreed to market our Fremont house for us. The first thing he suggested was to make our front yard more buyer friendly.  front gardenOur front yard was like a meadow. We and our friends really liked it, but Kacey did not think it would appeal to would be buyers.

Kacey had very definite ideas how he wanted our front yard to look. He even interviewed landscapers for us and described to them what he wanted. SodThe landscaper converted our drip irrigation system to a sprinkler system to support the new sod. They trimmed all the vegetation, removed one Crape Myrtle and totally reconfigured the yard. It was not our yard anymore, but since the house would soon belong to someone else we dealt with the changes.

Next Kasey brought in an interior decorator to advise us in staging our house for showing.  She had a great many suggestions that we attempted to follow. The first was to declutter the house and to remove any personal items. She really liked whiteMasterFirst, she wanted a white comforter on the bed in the master bedroom. That was not hard, all I had to do was purchase a white duvet cover.

She also wanted white furniture in the great room. Kasey told us afterwards that she works for a company that rents furniture used in staging homes. Lucky for us Mark remembered that our sofa and loveseat had white material under the slipcovers. This was a total pain, we had to cover the furniture after each showing to keep it clean!  We also had to remove all the hangings from the beam that separated the living area from the dining room. Living room

But the great room did really look good.

dinning room:kitchen


Here are some more photos of our staged house.

The dining room …

The kitchen …

Once we had the house ready, Kacey put it on the market. On Aug. 29th the Realtor Open House was held. During the Open House Kacey had several buyers drop by and ask to make an offer.  He declined and said he wanted to hold Public Open Houses over the weekend to generate more interest. He accepted offers the next Wednesday, Sept. 4th., we received 7 offers and accepted one for $25,000 over the asking price.

A problem had developed with the house on Oak HIll Circle. An inspection was built into our offer on the house. The inspector  told us that the roof would not make it through the winter. Our realtor had 3 different roofers look at the home and give us quotes on replacing the roof.  They all agreed with the inspector that the roof needed replacing. The owner refused to admit that the house needed a roof and would not help us replace the roof. We pulled our offer and after the Fremont house had an accepted offer, we took Ramblin’ Rose and returned to Ashland.

We parked the Airstream at the Holiday RV Park in Phoenix and resumed our search for the perfect Househouse. We decided to change our search parameters from RV parking to walkability. There was a house we were interested in near the Plaza. We had not looked at that house on our earlier search because it was a two story house. But after looking a it we knew this was “the house” We put an offer on it the next day, and after a counter we had an accepted offer!

We left the Airstream in Phoenix (Oregon) and drove back in the BBT (big black truck). we did this so that when we returned to Ashland we could bring all our vehicles in one trip. Mark would tow the Z3 with the truck and I would drive the Volt. We left Ashland to get back to Fremont to make arrangements to close the Fremont house and move our stuff to Ashland. packing - garage

To get ready to show the house we had moved all the excess stuff in our garage. But, as you can see in the photo at the left the garage was pretty full. We decided to use Mayflower to move our stuff. Because the Ashland house closed 3 weeks after the Fremont house closed we had to store our stuff until the Ashland house was ready for us to move in.

packing - house As we packed our stuff the boxes piled up in the house. At the end it was difficult to move from room to room. Ace got very confused during the last few days before our stuff was picked up.

soldWe were looking forward to the sold sign being put on the For Sale house in front of our house.After the funds had been transferred from the buyers to our bank account Kacey finally placed the sold sign.

MayflowerThe movers loaded our stuff and put it into storage on Oct. 3, and the house closed on Oct. 4.

We rented a car hauler from the local U-Hall and they assisted us in loading the car onto the trailer.

One last note – If you need to sell your home in the tri-city area we highly recommend Kasey Alamzai. He made the process of selling our house painless and definitely got us top dollar.

June 17 – 23, 2013 – Ashland, OR

We arrived in Ashland on June 16 after a long drive from Bodega Bay.  We were really tired and decided to treat our selves to a Mexican dinner at a restaurant within walking distance of the RV Park.

MexicanSi Casa Flores is in the small strip mall next to the RV Park.  It was really good and had beautiful murals on the walls. I almost went back to ask the owners if I could come in and take some pics, but chickened out.

Park from above

Here is a view of the RV park taken from the bridge over Bear Creek.

BearCreek2Bear Creek which runs next to the park.  When we first began coming here in the Roadtrek we parked next to the creek, but we park in the center of the park now in Rose. Most of the slots next to the creek are too small for Rose.Rose in Phoenix

Since we were going to be in the Ashland area for about a week, we put Rose’s awning down, got our lawn chairs setup and put up Ace’s pen on top of a mat. There were more burrs here and I was trying to keep them out of his fur. It reduced the number, but every time he was walked he had to be de-burred.AshlandDowntown Ashland; the large white building on the left is the Ashland Springs Hotel. The Festival is closed on Mondays, so we drove into Ashland and picked up our tickets from the box office and just wandered around.

We had tickets to two plays, both matinees and both indoors.  We decided against plays in the Elizabethan theater this trip because the weather was a bit unstable, both cooler and wetter than we had expected.


 We decided we didn’t want to leave Ace inside the trailer while we were at the theater.  We checked Yelp for Doggy Day care and found a highly rated facility about 5 minutes from the RV park.  When we picked him up after the theater he was exhausted.  🙂

Thomas TheaterOn Tuesday we saw “The Unfortunates” at the Thomas Theater.  The Thomas theater is the newest and smallest of the 3 Oregon Shakespeare Festival theater.  “The Unfortunates” is a world premiere musical.  “A musical pilgrimage through uniquely American genres delivers five prisoners to salvation — or at least keeps the terror at bay. Facing an uncertain end, they bring to life the story of Big Joe, a tough bartender who risks everything to save the armless courtesan Rae from a deadly plague.”

Bowmer TheatreOn Wednesday, we saw “My Fair Lady” at the Bowmer theater and Ace spent another day at doggy day care. The Bowmer is the largest of the two indoor theaters.  A musical, acting and singing; It was a great play!

GreenShowWhen we were hanging around the Festival Plaza we saw these young girls practicing for the Green Show. The Green Show is free entertainment offered 6 nights a week while the Elizabethan stage is running (June-October).Sleeping PupAce after a day a puppy day care. Note his use of a cushion as a head rest.  This in a Westie behavior; we belong to the East Bay Westies Meetup group and we see numerous photos of Westies and their chin rest there.  🙂LithiaPark Lithia Park, at one end of the Plaza in Ashland, was designed by John McLaren, landscape architect of the Golden Gate Park.Leaving AshlandThe view from HWY 5 when leaving Ashland, on our way back to the Bay Area. We spent Sunday night in Vacaville so we could drop Rose off at the new Airstream dealer in Fairfield first thing Monday morning.Agricultural StationAn Agricultural checkpoint when entering California.  Because Agriculture is such an important park of California’s economy there are such checkpoints whenever you enter the state. ClassAA class A motorhome with it’s toad (the towed car).  Motorhomes are divided into 3 classes:  Class A, the big buses, Class B, van conversions, like our Roadtrek, and Class C, built on what is known as a cutaway van chassis. Airstream FairfieldInside the Fairfield Airstream dealership,  which is a huge warehouse structure. The night before we put all our stuff in the BBT, big black truck, so we could drop Rose off to have the warranty work done.NilesCanyonWe returned to Fremont via the scenic route which goes through Niles Canyon.

June 16 – from Bodega Bay to Ashland, OR

AshlandIt was an interesting trip from Bodega Bay to Ashland, OR because Bodega Bay is on the Pacific Coast and HWY 5, the main route to Ashland, is in mid state.  There was no direct route, rather we had to meander our way to HWY 5. CA1 to the Valley Fort/Petaluma Rd to Hwy 101 to Hwy 37 to Hwy 80 to Hwy 505 and finally Hwy 5 all the way to Oregon!


Driving through West Sonoma county. Like West Marin it’s agricultural and undeveloped. It is why driving the North California coast is so enjoyable.

505A total change – 505 to Hwy 5.  Showing the golden fields and hills that makes California the Golden State.

TravelingPupAce is a great traveler, except he does not want to stay in his puppy seat.  He just has enough give in the leash that connects him to the seat belt that he can get out of the puppy seat and into the middle of the back seat.  Sometimes he gets out at a different angle and can’t move and I have to release the seat belt and he promptly climbs into the front seat and my lap. Happy Westie!

Hwy5HWY 5 is not very scenic until you get to around Red Bluff and Redding and then it gets a lot more interesting.  Still very hot but slowly climbing thru the foothills and then the Trinity Alps which separate Redding from the Shasta Valley.ShastaLake

After Redding is Lake Shasta. It is fairly low this year because we have had a very dry winter. Strange weather actually, a dry winter followed by rain in late June. Rain this late in the season is almost unheard of.Mt.ShastaMount Shasta and it’s sister peak, Shastina. We are nearing the southern edge of the Shasta Valley.BlackButteBlack Butte is a large black cinder cone north of Mount Shasta.


The Siskiyou range separates Northern California from Souther Oregon. It is about an hour from Yreka at the north end of the Shasta Valley and Ashland in southern Oregon.

IMG_4255When visiting Ashland and the Oregon Shakespeare Festival we stay at the Holiday RV Park in Phoenix, OR. Phoenix is about 10 miles north of Ashland and sits between 99 and 5.

June 14-15, 2013 – Bodega Bay

map-BodegaBayOn Friday morning we left Samuel P Taylor and headed for CA 1 and Bodega Bay.  It was only about an hour and a half drive, so we had a leisurely morning  in the park and arrived at the RV park in Bodega Bay around 1 PM.

We took Sir Francis Drake to Olema, where we turned right onto California One and headed north.


PointReyesStationThe first small town we passed through was Point Reyes Reyes Station.


Continuing north we drove along Tomales Bay.HWY1Highway One is a beautiful winding road that hugs the CA coast.dinucci's

We driving through Valley Ford we passed Dinucci’s, an old style Italian restaurant, where we had many enjoyable dinners when we lived in Petaluma and San Rafael.

AgricultureWest Marin and Sonoma are zoned agricultural, which maintains the rural atmosphere of the area.

RoseRamblin’ Rose at the Porto Bodega Marina & RV Park.


This is an interesting RV park in that it is located next to a marina. The 5th wheel parked next to us had a big crab pot.  They went out crabbing in the morning and came back and had a crab lunch.


We had a wonderful seafood dinner that evening at Lucas Wharf Restaurant.

Mark           Dixie

Here we are waiting for dinner to be served.


Ace had his first beach experience.


Seaweed – good to roll in; Saltwater – Yuk.

WalkThe next morning dawned foggy; Mark took Ace for a walk before it burned off.

BaseballGameThat afternoon Mark and Ace watched the baseball game.

DogOutsideThe 5th wheel next door had a big black dog; here is Ace checking him out.

The next morning, Sunday, we left for Ashland, OR and the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.

June 11, 2013 – Samuel P Taylor Park

Samuel P TaylorThis is our first trip since my knee replacement surgery.  Because of that we are not sure how long it will last.  We have definite plans to go to Samuel P Taylor Park in West Marin and then on to Bodega Bay on the seaside in Sonoma.

It is a short drive from Fremont to Samuel P Taylor State Park, only an hour and 20 minutes.

Ace had a great time, because much of the drive was on Sir Francis Drake driving through Marin and his window was down allowing him to have the full dog experience. Having his head out the window to catch all the exotic, to him, scents.

AceOutWindowWe soon spotted the entrance to the park and pulled in.  The roads were clearly marked allowing us to easily find our spot. Samuel P Taylor is set in a redwood grove, very impressive, with all the big trees.

Our space was perfect, a pull through that fit both Rose and our tow vehicle. On top of a little hill with a nice view.

RoseRedwoodsAs soon as we arrived we took Ace out for a walk to check out the Orchard Hill Campground where we were located.  When we returned and looked at our puppy we realized that he was covered with burs.  He did not enjoy them being removed. I found them were from a plant with small blue flowers, which we then avoided as much as possible. Burrs

Besides being in the redwoods, the park also has streams where salmon run.  We discovered one while walking around the park.  It was marked with this sign.

SalmonSignWe have friends who live in Fairfax, about 20 minutes from the park.  We have known them since we lived in San Rafael, over 20 years ago.  They lived across the street from us in a large yellow Victorian house. We spend an afternoon with them, drinking wine and watching Ace chase around their huge back yard.  We had a great salmon dinner with them, yum. This is the view of their house from the back.WalkupHouseAce was really happy, a big yard to run around and  Squirrels! I think this was the highlight of the trip so far for him.  Here he is in mid chase.

SquireelBabs and Dave are Giants fans, as Mark and I are.  Here is Bab’s modeling her Romo jersey.  Go Giants!!!RomoJersey

The next day Mark and Ace met the owner of a 1961 Bambi parked down the hill from us.Meet&Greet

LockLater that morning when I went out and closed the trailer door, the lock failed.  Ace and both our phones were locked in the trailer with us outside! We had just joined the Good Sam Roadside Assistance program and their number was on the trailer.  Mark borrowed a phone from the owner of the Bambi and called them.  Two hours later an locksmith from Berkley showed up.  He picked the lock, but the door still did not open.  He punched the lock cylinder out, but it still did not open.  It took him another 45 minutes to get the door open! Now we have an empty hole where the door lock should be! But, we still have a dead bolt to secure the trailer.

This was our last day at the park and Friday morning we were back on the road headed up HWY 1 to Bodega Bay.

Jan. 20 to 26 – Yuma, Palm Desert, Bakersfield to Home

After Tucson we decided to leave the caravan and head home. The caravan was heading north into New Mexico and the weather was forecast to get a lot colder.  My knee was not happy with cold weather and we decided to go to Palm Desert which was forecast to be in the mid 80’s.

Our route back to Fremont: A-Tucson, AZ, B-Yuma,AZ, C-Bakersfield, CA, D-Fremont, CA

Route Home

We haven’t had an Ace shot recently; her he is in the backseat of the truck using the arm rest as a chin rest.DSCF9160

We started out going through the Sonoran desert with many  saguaro cacti.DSCF9136

Beautiful mountains in the distance.

DSCF9150We stayed overnight in a transient slot in the Desert Paradise RV Resort – not very exciting, but we were only there overnight.

DSCF9172Across from our slot was a beautiful vintage trailerDSCF9173

The next morning we were back on the road heading back to California – an Agricultural Check Point soon after entering California


We passed by the Salton Sea.DSCF9190

In Palm Desert we stayed at the Emerald Desert RV Resort – this really was a resort, beautifully landscaped with multiple pools. Bocce Ball Courts, clubhouse and driving ranges.  We are seriously thinking about going back next year during the rainy season.
DSCF9208There was a second Airstream parked next to our rig.DSCF9209We stayed in Palm Desert for 4 days and then we were back on the road again … this time to Bakersfield. A Joshua Tree on the way out of Palm Desert. As I have mentioned before, I love Joshua trees  🙂DSCF9226Our route took us through the Tehachapi Mountains

DSCF9259When we dropped back into the valley around Bakersfield we were surrounded by fog, beautiful buy hazardous to drive through.DSCF9264Once more we stayed at the Orange Grove RV Park. mostly because Mark wanted more of their oranges.DSCF9266The next morning we picked up HWY 5 and returned to Fremont.

Jan. 18 – Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum

The highlight of our time in Tucson was the visit to the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum.  I was incredibly lucky that another couple has a mobile cart with them and loaned it to me to visit the museum.  Unfortunately I don’t have any photos of me in it. 😦

At the entrance to the Museum was a ASDM docent giving a demonstration talk with the help of a raptor.


Here’s a close up of the handsome bird …


Here we are entering the museum, passing a Saguaro and it’s nurse plant.DSCF9062

More cactiDSCF9066

We were soon at the museum’s walk-in aviary, you walked through a mesh curtain and you are inside a huge aviary full of different species of birds.DSCF9072

Among the tree branches were bird nests, made with whatever the parent birds could find.DSCF9088

Nearby was another docent with a Barn Owl, a really beautiful bird.DSCF9076

Display of Bighorn SheepDSCF9097One thing I did not expect a desert museum was an Aquarium, but new Warden Aquarium opened in January, 2013. A full understanding of the Sonoran Desert region isn’t possible without recognizing the importance of the freshwater rivers that flow through it and the Sea of Cortez which are critical to this desert’s status as the lushest desert on earth.DSCF9105

Out of the Aquarium, so of our caravan members taking a break.DSCF9090On the way back to the fairgrounds we passed some decorative overpasses.

overpassThat evening we had a memorable dinner at Carusso’s Italian Restaurant which has served Tucson since the 1930’s … yum Sign

Jan. 17 – to Tucson, AZ

This is a bit late (May), I was trying to get the Caravan blog done before my knee replacement surgery and didn’t quite make it.  😦  So, I’m going to try and remember what we did last January and get this finished before we begin our next trip.

Here is the route we took from Hickiwan Trails RV Park in Why to the Pima County Fairgrounds RV Campground in Tucson. Almost all through the Sonoran desert.

Why to Tucson

Here we are with the small group of RV’s we began our trip with leaving the RV Park.DSCF9003

Driving down the West Tucson Ajo toward Tuscon

DSCF9011AZ route 86 through the Sonoran desert was fined with Saguaro cacti. It was a beautiful drive.


More beautiful desert scenery.DSCF9037A windmill in the desert.

DSCF9024 We had to cross Tucson to get to the Pima County Fairground RV Park.  It is in the outskirts of Tucson.


We finally arrived at the Pima County Fairgrounds RV Park. A windy, dry place. It was a pretty unpleasant place to stay and I don’t have any photos of it.