Mendo Water Towers

Tue, Apr 18, 2017

It’s our last day at Casper Beach, just north of Mendocino.  And what a beauty it is.  Warm with lots of sunshine.  Here’s the local lighthouse:

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Amazingly, the Town of Mendocino does not have a municipal water supply.  Instead, the residents rely on some 400 private wells.

Fresh water wells are great but what about water pressure?  In the Bay Area, water towers are rare as the water districts simply put their tanks on top of the hills.  The height above the end user is what creates the water pressure.  And historically the pressure was measured in ‘feet of head’.

So in a place without hills, you build towers.  Since they didn’t have a public water system, people took it open themselves to build towers and Mendo is famous for them.  Google it and you’ll see that some have been converted into hotel rooms.

Here are pics of a few of them.

Side note:  Years ago, I was traveling through the midwest with a colleague who’s also a very smart chemical engineer.  He pointed at a water tower and asked ‘what’s that for?’.  He thought that water was pumped to houses instead of being gravity fed.  We both had a good laugh on that one after a few beers…

Jug Handle Creek

Mon, Air 17, 2017

You gotta love the NorCal beaches.  Perhaps not up to Oregon standards but pretty darn sweet.

I took this from a bridge about a mile from here.  Just a guy walking his dog.  Not bad, eh?

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Whiskey Tango Foxtrot

Mon, Apr 17, 2017

Ft Bragg is about 7 mi north of us so Carol and I drove over for lunch.

As we approached the town, we noticed this CalTrans sign:

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Uh oh.  We had planned to drive up the coast as our next stop is a campground in Eureka, CA.  But a March 10 rock slide shut down some of the lanes of Hwy 101 just after the merger with Hwy 1.  And now all lanes are closed and the only way is a huge detour back to Hwy 5.  A 400 mile detour.

Update on Mon:  CalTrans posted today that Hwy 101 should be open on Wed.  Fingers crossed.

Update on Tue:  Sorry, says CalTrans, Hwy 101 isn’t opening after all.  It looks like we’re headed back to Hwy 5.

Mendocino

Sun, Apr 16, 2017

Carol and I arrived at Casper Beach RV Park, about 3 mi north of Mendocino.  It was an easy drive although off and on rain spoiled what was otherwise a beautiful day.

The Northern California scenery along Highway 101 is beautiful with lots of vineyards and rolling hillsides.  It’s a crappy shot taken out the window as we were driving along but you get the idea.  And after all the rain, it is green, green, green out there.

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It was still cloudy when we arrived so hardly anyone on the Beach.

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Then into Mendocino with TiVo and I riding shotgun.  Check out the new Service Dog vest 🙂

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And finally some sunshine and the beautiful California coast.

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Off to Alaska

Sat, Apr 15, 2016

Bike rides in Marin, runs on Mt Tam, dinners with friends.  The past two weeks sure blew by.

Then we put our cars back in storage, said our good-byes and hit the road.

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We are planning to reach Anchorage on June 8 so we’ll be taking our time.  The approach is to drive one day and then lay over the next.  This per the Carol Doctrine.

The first part of our trip will take us up the west coast to Port Angeles near Olympic National Park.  Then we’ll ferry to Vancouver island for a six day visit.  Then back on a ferry to Vancouver and on to Banff and Jasper where we’ll arrive in mid May.  Let’s hope the Canadians do a good job with snow removal 🙂

I haven’t worked out the details of the rest of the trip but we’ll go up the Alaskan Highway to Tok, Alaska.  Then we’ll spend five weeks as we drive the Tok > Anchorage > Homer > Anchorage > Denali > Fairbanks > Tok loop.  Then back south via the Cassiar Highway.

Carol and I will have our hands full 🙂

Year Two

Sat, Apr 8, 2017

We did it.  Met with our tenants a few days ago and signed a lease for a second year.  This means that we can’t go home until July, 2018.

We’re nearly eight months into this adventure and it’s been a hoot.  Currently back in the ‘hood for a two week stay and then we’re heading to Alaska.  Should be back to Marin in late Aug.  Then it’ll be the end of our first year.

Year two will be different.   We’ve decided to shelve my ambitions for the trans-Canadian drive and then a trip to the Florida Keys.  Instead we’ll chill on the West and Central coasts this fall and then spend Dec – Mar in AZ.  Not sure what we’ll do next spring.

As for now, it’s yet another rainy day.  But I got out for a quick spin and took this pic of Corte Madera Creek.  Hershey’s chocolate muddy!!  Same as the bay!!  It’ll take some time for the bay to clear out but what a wonderful rainy winter it has been.

Here’s the creek:

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It’s Nice to be Home

Sat, Apr 1, 2017

It’s day three since our return to Marin and we’re happy to be back.  Visiting with old friends, cycling with my buddies.  It’s all good.

Today’s ride took us up Mt Tam and we climbed 2,700 ft over the 30 mile loop.  Small numbers compared to the good ole days but that’s fine with me.

If you look in the upper right of the picture below, you can just make out San Francisco through the haze.  Happy cycling, everyone 🙂

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