Sunday, March 29, 2015


leaving everyone
in the dust

We are friends with an interesting couple… he’s a world-class champion land sailor and she’s a falconer.  So how can we not join them and others from our past life in Santa Cruz for the 2015 America’s Landsailing Cup (March 21-28, 2015) at the Ivanpah Dry Lake Bed on the California-Nevada border?

Ivanpah Sunset
California provides the dirt and Nevada contributes Primm: a three-casino-resort-plus-mega-shopping-mall-and-a-couple-of-mini-mart-gas-stations “town” off the I-15. Many of the race participants get a bargain room in one of the casinos for a comfortable night’s sleep, some just get rooms for the shower and dry camp on the lakebed.

Camping with SASSAS
 We arrive the day before races begin and set up camp near our friends. Who are also dry camping  but generously share their room key for showers for the duration. Everyone is getting the boats ready for the next day’s start of competition.  There are sailors from across the US and Chile.  Word on the playa: excellent sailing conditions for the coming week…

There are ten classes of dirt boats racing.  The largest class is the Manta Twin with 36 registered boats.  The Biggest boats hit 80mph in 29-knot winds… Depending on the wind & our mood, we trek out to the judges stand to take photos of the start & finish or park ourselves out by the mark for action shots each day. 
part of the Manta Twin line-up

Dimples' all aluminum Cousin?

 In the late afternoon after the races end, Chris goes out with a friend in a Manta Twin and they hit the butt puckering speed of 50mph, the next day I’m finally convinced to give this a try and get a thrilling 30mph (fast and puckering enough thank you very much) ride.

A solar Monet

The races are fast andexciting. Three major sailing clubs are represented:  SASSAS (The Sunny Acres Sipping, Sailing and Soaring Society), MOOSE (The Montana organization of Sailing Enthusiasts) and the Wind Wizards from SOCAL.  There are also individuals from across the country and a competitor from Chile.  Each day ends with the awards ceremony and a BYOB potluck or a dinner sponsored by one of the clubs. SASSAS does ribs, Wind Wizards cook up some mighty tasty burgers and the MOOSE fry up 50 lbs. of bacon and serve it up with hors d’oeuvres. YEA!!! Of course adult beverages are plentiful.

despite the illusion, this is a DRY lake

Ready to Rumble

On the early windless mornings before the races start, we join our friend with her rabbit hunting duo of Jesse James: a Harris’s Hawk and her Hungarian Vizsla: Buso. The Jean Roach Dry Lake area supports a decent population of Jack Rabbits.  Jessie chases but never connects.  He’s still young, so with a bit more experience he’ll be a jackrabbit’s worst nightmare.
Jesse James
Lookin' for those waskeley wabbits

Jesse and Buso on the hunt
 By the end of the week, we’ve each shot over 1,000 photos each, (See more photos here) we've generated a mountain of laundry and Dave and Dimples are dusty inside and out. What a great way to start off this year’s travels…

One interesting note: When sharing about our plans to return to CA for Chris’ dental work, we are beginning to hear, “Why aren’t you going to Mexico for that?  I have a friend/relative/co-worker etc… who had great work done really cheap.” Something to think about…

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

AHH… THE GOOD LIFE…until the other shoe drops...

Imperial Beach
It's our third winter on the road and again we wile away the winter months in the San Diego area.  This year we spend the entire break at the Bernardo Shores RV Park in Imperial Beach.  We enjoy holidays with family, visit some of our favorite spots, binge watch Netflix, get our camera's checked and services at Canon's fancy service center in Costa Mesa and take care of some repairs and upgrades to Dave and Dimples, while we enjoy the warm southern California weather.
The View

Dimples gets:  All new screens, Sirius XM Radio, a Rogue Wave WIFI antenna and a US Carberation Generator Conversion Kit to convert our Yamaha generator to run on gas or propane.  

Balboa Park, San Diego

Living Coast Discovery Center

Orchids bloom in Balboa Park

There are lots of restaurants within walking distance so we don’t always have to cook...

Three of our favorites:

Don Pancho’s is the go to place for cheap good eats.  We graze through their menu.  Never a disappointment, and we have more than a few favorite dishes. All of their burritos are bigger than my forearm and packed full of goodness. The Carnitas Burrito ($4.75) is juicy with just the right amount of crispy edges and there is just a smattering of salsa and onions to balance the flavors.  The Surf and Turf Burrito ($6.95) is a perfect blend of Carne Asada, Jumbo Shrimp and Mexican rice.  An order of the Carne Asada Fries ($7.69) or the Nachos Grande ($6.59) is a meal in itself.  The Breakfast Burritos are also tasty and a great bargain at $3.30 each.

All of the meat here is tender and flavorful, veggies are fresh and the sauces are zesty.  The only thing we’re not fond of is their guacamole, too much cream and not enough avocados, but this problem is easily solved.  Just add fresh made avocado salsa from Northgate Market and a couple of Negro Modelo’s for a perfect take out meal!
Don Panchos Taco Shop on Urbanspoon

Giant Pizza King is a local chain that makes horrible Pizza - BUT their Lasagna Dinner for $8.99 is surprisingly delicious.  It comes with a generous mixed salad and a huge chunk of focaccia bread.  It’s enough to serve two average appetites.  Even better - they deliver, so a quick phone call and about a half-hour wait (just enough time to let the wine breathe) and we’re enjoying a really good lasagna dinner.
Giant Pizza King on Urbanspoon

Big Kahuna’s offers up burgers and such with a Hawaiian twist.  We have to agree with Samuel L. Jackson about the Big Kahuna Burger – “Now that’s a Tasty Burger!”  They also have great pulled pork dishes, rice bowls, and a favorite breakfast: the Loco Moco – ground beef, onions and gravy served over rice and topped with two fried eggs.
Big Kahuna's on Urbanspoon

Overall it's a great winter, with one crappy exception.  Chris gets a tooth ache… goes to the dentist & discovers that all of his 20+ year old caps & crowns  are failing… he gets a plan and a price to basically rebuild his mouth with new caps, crowns and partial dentures… we are in sticker shock… but the work needs to be done, so he starts the process and we tentatively plan to return to IB for the summer...