Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Last week in Gilroy

June 26 - July 2, 2013:

It is getting really hot here, way up to 100 degrees in Gilroy, but we always seem to always have a cool breeze breeze in late afternoon and by sunset you almost need a jacket outside.  

I actually did a little work this week before it got so hot, I cleaned the RV roof and put a UV coating on it, it has been about 8 months since I did it last and I think this is important to keep the roof in good condition.  

This will be our last week here at Gilroy and our original vague travel plan has now changed substantially.  We are now interrupting our RV California adventure on July 3rd to return to Phoenix for family issues.  We are also taking a break from the RV, storing it here in Gilroy and driving the truck back to Phoenix.  We didn't plan for this, it's sort of an emergency, my niece Angie needs a dental Guinea pig (that would be me) to help get through a portion of her dental hygienist training.  Angie will be cleaned my teeth three mornings a week for a month.  I'm not too fond of dental work, but it will be nice to see my mother, my sister and her family again.  We will be staying at my niece, Cindy's, house.  In early August we will return to Gilroy, hitch up the RV and hit the road again.  As a result, the level of excitement you have come to expect from this blog may slack off a bit in the next month. 

You may be wondering why a few months ago, we had boondocked for a couple months straight, now not at all.  The problem has been that there is no BLM land in this area and the California State and County parks usually have no sites for an 35 foot RV and are expensive to boot.  They charge almost as much as it costs to stay at a full hookup RV campground.  Also boondocking loses it's appeal when the heat gets in the 100 degree range.   

On Thursday we went to Pinnacles National Park about 40 miles away which is an amazing geographic story.  It was designated a National Monument in 1908 and just recently was elevated to National Park status.  It is part of a volcano that erupted 23 million years ago due to the Earths colliding Pacific and North Atlantic plates.  Over millions of years as the Pacific plate crept north east, it split the volcano in half and carried the part we call Pinnacles 195 miles to it's current location. It was not a good day for a hike, 100 degrees, but we still did a moderate 2 1/2 mile loop hike.  It was a great hike going uphill for good views, then down to a small dam and reservoir, then under a series of giant boulders (real caves) and then downhill through a forest area.  The heat on the sunny uphill portion was brutal, we are not used to this heat yet, Twinkles was feeling poorly, but she hung in there and made it.


We then rode back to Hollister and found a parking spot to watch the Saddle Horse Parade.  The parade was better than expected, it was huge, a truly inspiring small town America event and well attended.  The E Clampus Vitus guys in the parade were most interesting, we have seen their historical monuments at several places recently.  The Saddle Horse Parade and rodeo is the happening event in the Hollister area this week. Hollister also has a huge biker rally after the 4th of July.

E Clampus Vitus

Grape vineyards near Hollister

Beautiful reservoir on Pinnacles trail

The trail goes right under this wedged in boulder

A spring feeds the lush ferns on the trail

Lettuce fields near Hollister

Hollister parade cow

The E Clampus Vitus Club in the parade

Lots of nice horses 

This horse was doing some fancy footwork

The San Benito Rodeo on Saturday was held at a county fairground, Bolado Park,  10 miles outside of Hollister near the town of Tres Pinos. This is a beautiful rodeo arena surrounded by hills.  It was a 100 degree day, but the grandstands were covered and there was a nice cool breeze, it wasn't bad at all.  This is real horse and ranch country, real cowboys and cowgirls, (No dude riders) !  This event has much history, has been going on for 80 years and they have a good rodeo museum on the grounds.  On the way out we stopped at the 19th hole Saloon in Tres Pinos for a beer, another interesting story.  Mr. Pinos was building a golf course and bar in town and he planned to have 17 holes and then name his bar "The 18th hole".  A competitor beat him to the punch and opened a bar called "The 18th Hole", as a result Pinos made his course 18 holes and changed his bar name to the "The 19th Hole".  Tres Pinos was a stage stop and railroad town in its heyday and a pretty happening western town. Interesting story about the "Tres Pinos" town name switch by the Southern Pacific railroad also.

Tres Pinos

Rodeo Museum photos

Wild bull riding

Bronco riding

Roping competetion

 A final trip into Monterey on Monday to look around the old town.  It has some of the oldest buildings in California and was the capital of both Spanish and Mexican California.  We visited the Cooper-Molera Adobe House built in 1830 by Captain John Rodgers Cooper who was a young New England ship captain.  He must have been a pretty sharp character and certainly married well.  He married 18 year old Encarnacion Vallejo from one of California's most wealthy and illustrious families and acquired extensive land holdings.  The house eventually ended up with a granddaughter Francis Molera who willed it to the National Trust for historic preservation in 1968. 
We then checked out Fisherman's Wharf and took glass bottom harbor cruise aboard the "Little Mermaid".  Fisherman's Wharf is loaded with tourists, but has many seafood restaurants with great looking food and views of the harbor.

Monterey classic building

Ornate building facade in downtown Monterey

Tiles depicting Spanish colonization of Monterey

View of the Fisherman's Wharf in Monterey

Seagull with a fish head, pretty gross !

The Little Mermaid 

View of Sea Lions resting on float in harbor

Sea Lion and Seal, I think, they seem to get along well together

Sea Lion at rest on shore

Sea Lion taking a nap, they seem to sleep all day

You might ask how did the Sea Lion get up there ?

Wharf full of Sea Lions and Seals, I have trouble telling them apart

I'm just starting to learn my way around this area, so as usual, it's time to leave.  Unfortunately, we are going to miss the main event here, The Garlic Festival.  We are busy packing up stuff to take with us to Phoenix today, cleaning out the refrigerator and we've been trying to eat all the stuff we can't save or take with us.  This is a rather strange move ?

Stay tuned for more from hot Phoenix !
Twinkles and Slick

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