© Hawk Hickok Hickman, 2008-2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Hawk Hickok Hickman and harleyhawk43.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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On Saturday, April 8, we participated in Grand Canyon/Havasupai Prep Hike II. If you have been keeping abreast of our adventures, you know that we landed the last two slots on a five day hiking and camping adventure down into the Grand Canyon and out again (if we make it!!!). Everyone has been practicing since January, so even though we do a lot of hiking, we were somewhat behind the “eight ball” as far as our fitness for this demanding hike was concerned. Anyway, after a grueling 10 mile hike the week before, we once again formed up for this week’s hike. This hike was at Crystal Cove Park, near Laguna Beach. We would be on the land side of the Pacific Coast Highway, hiking up into the foothills.

Being the conscientious persons we are, we arrived early, at about 7:30. We got all our gear ready (hiking poles, lunch, water etc.), and waited for the other hikers to arrive. By 7:50 no one else had arrived. We began to get concerned. Were we in the right place? There were two parking lots in close proximity and we thought we might be at the wrong one! We walked hurredly over to the other one (about a quarter of a mile away). No one there! We were very concerned now. I made a couple of calls and texts to the only hikers whose contact info we had and got nowhere. We hurried back to the original lot and spotted some people. They had just been late arriving. We bagan to calm down. By the time everyone was ready to go, it was 8:30, so we would have been fine if we had arrived late. Here are a few pictures of the gathering group, including the hike leader, John, who actually backpacked a toddler on the hike!

Soon we were off and immediately began hiking uphill! This was a little disconcerting, because usually there is a flat stretch at the beginning of most hikes, but not in this case. We hiked up a rather steep grade for what seemed to be at least 2 miles. Then, even when the trail leveled off for awhile, it then when up and down rather steep grades for another mile or two. Finally we came to a restroom break area, grabbed a quick snack and were informed by John that we had about another 1/2 hour of hiking before reaching the halfway mark and our lunch spot. Most of this was uphill as well. When we finally got there, these two hikers were very happy to be able to rest and eat for a bit.

After about 20 minutes, we were told to “saddle up”, and off we went again and, would you believe it, we were still hiking uphill! Unbelievable! Finally we leveled off and even began to descend. Then we went through a narrow path where we were completely enveloped in Wild Mustard Plant. It was both beautiful and eerie (See the following pictures and video). I had to hold back to get some pictures and videos and got left behind. Red Fox was upset that I was holding people up, but I just had to get the filming done.

We continued downhill after the Steven King, “Children of the Giant Mustard Plant Jungle” experience and hiked for what seemed forever on what became steep downgrades. Now a new problem arose! My big toes jamming into the toe box of my boots. Fortunately I had trimmed my toenails down. We finally arrived back at the parking lot, weary but self satisfied at completing Part II of our prep hikes. Ester weekend we have no hikes, but then two more the following two weekends, followed by the Big One May 2nd!

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Huntington Beach Woody and other Antiques Car Show

Yesterday, Sunday, April 9th, we went to see Red Fox’s Grandson play soccer and then went to the weekly Huntington Beach Pier, Woody/Antique Car Show. They have this show frequently, maybe every week. Anyway, I will just show the car pictures, because they are all fabulously gorgeous.

Hope you noticed the antique Shasta RV, pulled by the matching color scheme on the Desoto towing vehicle and the beautifully restored interior and exterior. $25,000 for the Shasta. That’s all for now folks. Stay tuned for Grand Canyon updates.

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Did you enjoy these adventutes?

Go to

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or to “Hawk’s Books” (www.facebook.com/harleyhawk1943) on Facebook, for details on ordering our 3 books on our travels, “Hawk and Red Fox-Modern Day Gypsies”, Volumes 1, 2 and 3, text me at 617-605-6594. 

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Posted by: harleyhawk43 | April 3, 2017

Prepping for the Grand Canyon


© Hawk Hickok Hickman, 2008-2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Hawk Hickok Hickman and harleyhawk43.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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Well, it’s been somewhat of a low key winter for our blog followers since we have been pretty much stationary in Newport Beach Campground since mid-November, but to make up for that we have some very exciting news!!!! As you may have seen on my Facebook Page, we accidentally stumbled upon an adventure of a lifetime. One of Red Fox’s in-laws posted on FB regarding a hike he recently completed down into Grand Canyon! We immediately contacted him to get the details, since this has been a dream of ours. In fact, when I was at Arizona State in 1968 and 1969, I first heard of this hike and had sort of forgotten about it (or pushed it into the back of my mind as an “I’ll do that some day, but not now” type of thing). Anyway, we contacted the hike organizer, Bill Fuery, immediately and managed to secure the last two slots. Ecstacy!

Now, let me give some further insight and detail. This is not the hike down to the Phantom Ranch with which many people are familiar. This is the hike down to Havasupai Canyon and passing through the Indian Supai Tribe Village. This village contains the last U.S. Post Office to receive its mail by pack mule. Consider that for a moment if you will.

Now, details-The hike is a 5-day endeavor, starting with a private party motor coach ride from Orange CA to the Kingman Arizona area. We leave Orange at 10:30 p.m. and arrive at the Grand Canyon Rim starting point at around 6:30 a.m., stopping for breakfast around 4 a.m. at an all night McDonald’s. Then we hand our 30 pound saddle packs to the mule team drivers so that our tents, sleeping bags and other heavy items can be carried down, as we hike. We will be wearing day packs and Camelback water packs, We then hike down a 10-mile trail with lots of switchbacks, as we descend from alpine type climate to semi-tropical climate. The estimated vertical differential is about 5,000 feet.

Once we are at the bottom of the canyon, which is contained within the greater Grand Canyon complex, we will set up camp under some cottonwood trees, near a river. On the way down, we will stop to eat the lunch we packed. All of our other meals are provided by the hike organizer. We will then spend the next three days hiking around the canyon to various waterfalls and swimming holes with crystal clear water and water temps in the 60s. Air temp will be in the 80s at mid-day.

On Day 5, we will pack up and hike back up the 10 mile trail. This will be the toughest part of the trip since we will be ascending approximately 5,000 vertical feet in these 10 miles. Once at the top again, we will board the bus and stop for pizza on the way back (maybe a few beers as well). Then it will be a short drive back to the Wolfpack and packing up for the trip back East, with a few more adventures on the way.

Because we found out about the trip late (it is May 2-6), we have to do some last minute practice hikes during April. We did our first one this past Saturday and I am attaching some pictures and maybe a video clip from that 9 mile adventure. It took place in Santiago Park in Orange Ca, which is in Orange County, near L.A. and near our campground in Newport Beach. We will follow up later on with more details.

Several Pictures from the hike this group did in March, down into the Canyon. This is where we will be going!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

Posted by: harleyhawk43 | March 27, 2017

Visit to the ICU


© Hawk Hickok Hickman, 2008-2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Hawk Hickok Hickman and harleyhawk43.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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Our trip to the ICU took place about 3 weeks ago. We had to go to the hospital in Chino California for a critical condition. Who had this condition? The better question is, “What was in critical condition?”. Yes, you guessed it, after I got you very nervous. It was the 2006 F-350 Ford Pickup that required a visit to the ER doctor. If you recall, from a prior post about a month ago, we had taken “Old Bessie” in for a fairly noticeable oil leak and were told by the local Ford dealer that the leak was in a hose connected to our after market oil cooler and that, therefore, they couldn’t work on it, because they would be unable to warranty it.

So, on the phone to the Bulletproof Oil Cleaner company in Mesa Az to get advice. They suggested a local (30 miles away) diesel shop in Chino. The appointment was made and we had the hose repaired for reasonable expense. However, the manager casually mentioned to me that the coolant system was registering way too much pressure. Whereupon I queried him on the ramifications and possible causes of that particular symptom. The answer was not gentle.

This condition is symptomatic of a pending, or already occurring, blown head gasket. This is very bad. It means the entire engine has to be removed from the truck in order to replace the head gasket. Additionally, I knew, and he reminded me, that there could very well be collateral damage to other components, due to overheating that might already have occurred. Now before all you Ford Haters and Chevy, Dodge, GMC Lovers get started, there are a few considerations to consider-

  • We purchased this vehicle in 2010 with 70,000 miles on it (It’s very hard to find a used diesel pickup and new ones are way too expensive).
  • We were unaware at that time that the 2004 to 2007 F-350s had a history of overheating, head gasket issues and oil cooler/ EGR issues (shame on us, we didn’t perform due diligence).
  • We had a head gasket repair right from the get-go and got it covered under warranty, along with the Oil Cooler and EGR system, so we thought we were golden
  • What we didn’t know is that these issues tend to keep recurring due to a faulty oil cooler design
  • We had a Bulletproof Oil Cooler put in about 2 years later and had resonably good luck after that, until now, although we did have other issues such as a blown turbo and replacement of one bank of Injectors
  • We were, meanwhile, using the truck to haul five tons of RV and motorcycles across the country twice a year on our annual pilgrimages to warm weather
  • Now, after 13 trips across the country, we had 160,000 miles and the head gasket acting up again

This was the situation when we got the recent bad news. What to do?

A. We could get it fixed and continue our adventures but with a huge repair bill, or

B. We could invest in a less old truck or a new truck

The trouble with B. is that new F-350s run around $70,000 and we were not about to bite that bullet (pun intended). So we went with A..

Then the drama deepened. Upon removing the engine, cracked heads were discovered, so add new heads to the gasket and head bolt repair. Also, the lifters would have to be replaced. On and on it went. We really had no choice. Anyway, after 8 days in the shop and a constantly escalating estimate, we got her back. Basically she got a heart transplant, new lungs, new arteries, new plumbing etc., etc.

What’s the good news?! Modern Day Gypsies/Endless Summer will continue and we will persevere as we will persist in following our dreams. Stay tuned for further adventures. Some pictures of the major surgery are attached. Don’t cry for us, Argentina!

Posted by: harleyhawk43 | February 13, 2017

Riding to Cook’s Corner, Trabuco CA


© Hawk Hickok Hickman, 2008-2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Hawk Hickok Hickman and harleyhawk43.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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Yesterday, 2-12-17, we rode from Newport Beach CA to Cook’s Corner Biker Bar in Trabuco CA. This is a very short ride (25 miles each way) but we had been told about this popular spot and wanted to check it out. It was a gorgeous Southern CA day, with temps in the low 70s and totally blue skies. We took our time leaving and riding there and arrived around noontime. The joint was packed and we soon discovered that it is a destination point not only for motorcyclists, but mountain bikers as well. They have a separate parking area for the bicyclists.

We did some people watching, took some pictures and videos, had a beer and burger and then took a short mountain ride in the local foothills on our way home. We also chatted up a threesome, one of whom had a Beartooth Highway t-shirt on. We had ridden that famous highway in 2011 and knew he would have a good story. More on that later.

Here is what Wikipedia has to say on Cook’s-

History

The building is named for Andrew Jackson Cook, a merchant who acquired 190 acres (77 ha) of land in the South Orange County area. The building was constructed not long after, in 1884. In 1926, Cook’s son, Earl Jack “E.J.” Cook, converted the structure into a restaurant meant to supply food to miners and local ranchers. Seven years later, after the end of the Prohibition period, alcohol began being sold again, and Cook’s was converted into a bar. The Cook family sold Cook’s, which included the bar, the Cook’s family house, and about 40 acres of land to two owners, Victor Villa and Volker Streicek, of the Santa Ana, California based motorcycle accessories company Cheat’ah Engineering in 1975. The Cook family purchased a ranch in Montana and moved out of Southern California. Volker and Victor had founded Cheat’ah Engineering in 1969, along with Ron Rondeau. They purchased Cook’s as an investment, but also as a place where motorcycle clubs could gather in peace. Volker and Victor were proud of the fact that Cook’s was a place to party with very few fights between motorcycle clubs and patrons. The owners established a policy where no motorcycle club colors were allowed at Cook’s. Cook’s became one of the more famous social places for bikers in Southern California. Volker and his wife Shirley ran the bar in the late 70’s, before moving to Colorado. Victor and Volker sold Cook’s in the 1980s. Volker died on March 29, 2011 in Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada.[2] Victor still lives in Southern California.

Cook’s today

Today’s Cook’s Corner is a wooden structure similar to a World War II-era restaurant and bar. The property includes a pool table, outdoor recreational area for horseshoe games, as well as trails for mountain biking and hiking. The majority of bikers come to Cook’s Corner on the weekends, when Cook’s hosts a number of events, mainly dealing with motorcycles, including the “CHOC ride of 2006,” and the “9/11 Remembrance ride.” On the first Sunday of May each year, [3] about 2,000 come for the annual Blessing of the Bikes given by a priest of nearby St. Michael’s Abbey. [4] In May 2006, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger made a stop in Orange County, and ate at Cook’s Corner. During the California wildfires of October 2007, newscasters reporting on the Santiago Fire ate lunch at Cook’s Corner, as well as firefighters working to control the blaze.

In May 2008, a small-scale landslide destroyed a large section of the famous outdoor patio. ABC 7 and NBC 4 were among some of the news teams that broadcast the event. Damages were somewhat minor, and the repairs took just a few days.” Below is a wide angle shot of Cook’s, also courtesy of Wikipedia.

cooks_corner_wideshot

Here are some of the pictures we took-

And more

The three riders on the left in the first picture are the new friends we made, mentioned earlier (Todd, Barb and Bob). We will be hooking up with them for some riding in the future.Todd is the one who rode Beartooth Highway in Montana and actually has done it four times!. Google it for details, or click on the following link-

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beartooth_Highway

Below are some interior shots of the bar-

All in all, a good day, especially considering that back home (Massachusetts Coast), they were having a horrible weather day. For video clips of our Cook’s Conner adventure, go to my Facebook Page- https://www.facebook.com/harleyhawk43

Posted by: harleyhawk43 | February 6, 2017

Motorcycle Ride to Yuma and Julian


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This past week we finally got a stretch of good riding weather and headed out from Newport Beach CA bound for the Yuma AZ area. We had told our friends at our former winter campground, Imperial Dam, that we would be out for a visit. We had opted for a luxury campground this winter, as a treat, but missed our friends and wanted to see them. It’s almost a 300 mile ride each way, so we had to be rested and prepared. We left on Tuesday morning and returned Saturday afternoon. Both bikes were in good shape and ready to go after the usual tire pressure and oil level checks.

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We left at 9 a.m. Pacific Time and landed at Imperial Dam around 4 p.m. Arizona Time (lost an hour). We were booked into the Winnebago Hilton, a modest trailer in the Imperial Dam Campground and soon met up with our friends, Captain Canada and Debbie Dewdrops. While we were there we would do a couple of hikes, play dominoes and enjoy several cookouts. Then, on Saturday, we would meet up with another friend, Preacherman, and a group of local riders, for the ride back, via Ocotillo, Pine Valley and Julian.

(Here are some hiking shots and a cookout shot)

(Here we have the Winnebago Hilton where we stayed for the four nights we were there)

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(Getting ready to depart on Saturday)

 

(Meeting up with the Preacherman motorcycle gang)

(Off to Pine Valley and Julian, via I-8 and route 79)

(Lunch at Buffalo Bill’s in Julian CA)

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(In this picture we have,not in order, Red Fox, Doug, Henc, Hawk 2, Hawk 1, Preacherman, Tinkerbell, Linda Waigirl Hawaii, Randy, Trevor and one I can’t remember)

Believe it or not, we had two Hawk’s on the ride, yours truly and the fellow closest to us on the left. He is 80, so for a change I was not the oldest. Preacherman is in the denim vest with the cap on. He conducts a Christian ministry in the desert, near the campground. After lunch and the usual hugs, we split from the group and followed route 78 back to Oceanside and then route 5 to Pacific Coast Highway to Newport Beach.

(Some views as we left Julian. The truck scared me because he was coming on fast and seemed like he was going to come over into my lane.)

We finally got home late Saturday afternoon, unpacked and collapsed on the couch with an adult beverage. We had to rest up for the big game the next day!

Posted by: harleyhawk43 | December 31, 2016

Balboa Island Christmas Boat Parade


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On Saturday, December 17, we decided to go to the Christmas Boat Parade at Balboa Island and Balboa Peninsula. A map is posted below so you can see the location, but basically it is right in a bay near the Pacific and separated by a peninsula from the ocean. They are both in the Newport Beach/Orange County area, south of Los Angeles and north of San Diego.

balboa-island-map

Balboa Island is a simply delightful place with seaside cottages that were built back in the 1940s. Here is what Wikipedia has to say about B.I.-

Balboa Island is an area of Newport Beach, California, actually comprising three modified or artificial islands in Newport Harbor: Balboa Island (33°36′23″N 117°53′40″W), the largest; the smaller Little Balboa Island (33°36′23″N 117°53′16″W) to the east of Balboa Island, joined by a two-lane bridge; and the smallest Collins Isle (33°36′31″N 117°54′1″W) to the northwest of Balboa Island, joined by a one-lane bridge. The Balboa Island community is joined to the mainland by a short two-lane bridge on the northeast of Balboa Island, and a privately operated fleet of three, three-car ferryboats (Balboa Island Ferry) which provide access across the harbor to the Balboa Peninsula which lies to the south.”

For a full history, go to this link and read the fascinating history-    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Balboa_Island,_Newport_Beach

One final tidbit, again from Wikipedia-

“Balboa Island is one of the most expensive real estate markets in North America outside of Lower Manhattan. A two-bedroom house with a water view from the living room can cost about $3 million.”

Since B.I. is only a short bicycle ride from our campground at Newport Dunes, and since it is so unique and its houses so beautiful, we go there frequently to bicycle and walk. During one of our walks there we learned about the Christmas boat parade and made plans to go on one of the 5 nights it was running. Friday night it poured but the weather cleared on Saturday and off we went. As you will see from the attached video clips and pictures, it was a fabulous parade.

 

Those are the best pictures. We were there over 2 hours and the boats just kept on coming, endlessly. We finally left and had to take the ferry back from the peninsula to the island and then ride our bicycles over the bridge and home. The ferry ride, which took us directly across the channel, perpendicular to the parade route, was like a scene from the Normandy Landing. The video clips should give you a good idea of this crazy ferry ride!

 

 

Christmas at Newport Dunes   

Arriving back at the Wolfpack, after the boat parade, we were treated to the Christmas lights on our lagoon and the decorations we had put up next to the trailer and on our Harleys.

Christmas Eve and Christmas Day at Huntington Beach  

Christmas Eve Day we watched the Patriots/Jets game at Red Fox’s son Patrick’s house   and then returned on Christmas Day. He and his wife Kim’s house is only 5 miles away. We got up early, drove over again and watched Karen’s 2 grandsons open their presents. Then we hung out the rest of the day for the usual feasting and cocktails.

During the day I called my extended family back in Marshfield and spoke to them all. Another wonderful Christmas and now looking forward to a new year. Happy New Year!

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or to “Hawk’s Books” (www.facebook.com/harleyhawk1943) on Facebook, for details on ordering our 2 books on our travels, “Hawk and Red Fox-Modern Day Gypsies”, Volumes 1 and 2 or text me at 617-605-6594. For readers in the Boston MA area, MMA (Mass. Motorcycle Association) will have a booth at the RV Expo this month where these books will be previewed and part of a presentation on RV travelling with motorcycles. Look for our friend Rachel Ingham at the booth, handling the presentation

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Posted by: harleyhawk43 | December 9, 2016

Balboa Island Harbor Walk


Yesterday our Athletic Director, The Red Fox, scheduled a 6 mile walk from our campground to Balboa Island and around the Harbor walkway. I wasn’t overly enthused, but wow!, her idea turned out to be fabulous. Almost every home on the harbor/bay was decorated exquisitely. I wound up taking over 100 pictures. The best ones are shown below as well as one video clip.

Before we go there though, let us just remind you that you can take care of many of your unfinished Christmas shopping by ordering some of our books on the internet or directly through me.

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Balboa Island Downtown shopping area

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Balboa Island Harbor Walk

Are you beginning to see what a wonderful walk we had, in 70 degree temps! See more below and remember to stop to smell the roses.

We couldn’t believe the beautiful decorations as we walked along and thanked our lucky stars we were not back in the frigid weather affecting most of the country.

We didn’t realize it, but we were walking in a big circle and eventually came back to the bridge that connects the mainland with Balboa Island. Here are the final photographs we took.

 

Posted by: harleyhawk43 | December 7, 2016

Newport Beach CA and Newport Dunes RV Park.


 

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We arrived in Newport Beach CA on Tuesday, November 15, after leaving Brant Rock/Marshfield MA on November 1. We spent 5 days in Apache Junction AZ with our friends Captain Canada and Debbie Dewdrops, had a trailer repair done on November 14, spent the night of the 14th at BLM (Bureau of Land Management) land near Joshua Tree N.P. and then completed the trip on the 15th.

This is approximately a 3,000 mile trip, which we have now done 13 times in the last 6 1/2 years (2 trips per year, one out and one back). Essentially we drive from the Atlantic to the Pacific and back each year. Why do we do this? Several reasons-

  1. We don’t want to spend any more Winters in New England. We were tired of the cold, snowy, gloomy weather. We did enjoy skiing, but you can’t go skiing every day.
  2. We wanted to be somewhere year round where we could be outside most of the time, bicycle riding, kayaking, motorcycle riding and hiking.
  3. My family is on the East Coast and Red Fox’s family is on the West Coast

We tried Florida for the first 3 years and then travelling out to Arizona and California in the Spring, but then went straight out here the next 4 years. This year we treated ourselves to Southern California instead of the much less expensive Arizona desert area. We had paid off our truck loan and travel trailer loan and so decided to treat ourselves this year.

Here are some pictures of the Newport Dunes RV Campground, which is located near Balboa Island.

As you can see it is beautiful here, but pricey. I won’t shock you with the price, but you can google Newport Dunes to get details. From here we can take several bicycle trails, one inland, along a stream bed and one along the ocean. The first one is accessible right next to the campground and for most of its length there is no auto traffic. There are many branch paths off of it and so there is good variety for ride choices.

Getting to the ocean path is a little harder. We have to cross a major highway (Pacific Coast Highway), then ride through Balboa Island and then take the ferry over to the Newport Beach area. Below you will see pictures of both and one video clip of the inland route.

Balboa Island Bridge and view of downtown main street.

 

Leaving the campground

Entering the bike path

Along the path, next to the bay

The Balboa Ferry

The Wedge

Campfire Time

So there you have it, a quick primer of this area. Stay tuned for further adventures, as we plan a motorcycle trip to the desert to visit our friends at Imperial Dam. Meanwhile, visit the link below for last minute Christmas presents either on our travel adventures or to check out our Irish Sea Mossing books and videos.

seaweed-shanty-town-picture                                                           mossing-museum-picture-for-book-signing-copy                      http://www.nstarsolutions.com/store/home.php?provider=harleyhawk

 

 

Posted by: harleyhawk43 | November 17, 2016

Year Seven


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(Hawk and Karen’s two books on their full time RV travels are available at http://www.nstarsolutions.com/store/home.php?provider=harleyhawk)

363 Full color pictures!

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Well, we made it! Hauling a 2006 Forest River Cherokee Wolfpack with our 2006 F-350 Ford Diesel pickup, we, once again, for the 13th time made it across our wonderful country. We are so fortunate to be able to do this! For those of you new to our blog, we made a decision 7 years ago to let go of most of our belongings and fixed residence to join the full time RV fraternity. Since that decision, we have never looked back. Despite fairly regular impediments in our path, we have persevered and continued to focus on our objectives. They are;

  1. To be free to travel wherever we please in the U.S.
  2. To live within our budget
  3. To share our experiences with our children, grandchildren and friends
  4. To encourage like minded individuals to “take the plunge”.
  5. To record our motorcycle/RV adventures and encourage others to give it a try.

This particular time, we made it to Arizona without any mishaps. Then, the usual happened, a warning light on our dash, indicating an electric brake issue. We did not panic, since we have been through this type of thing many times. We were at Lost Dutchman RV Park in Apache Junction and called the nearest RV Mobile Shop. No problem, even though they and everyone else were straight out, they said they would be out to our site on Saturday November 12. Excellent! We waited all day and they never showed up. Since it was the weekend, we could not call them. So, we developed a plan; send them a voice mail and a text, expressing our disappointment in their lack of keeping their appointment and informing them we would be at their shop first thing Monday morning.

So, off we went, somewhat apprehensive about the brakes, but not overly concerned, because we had a flat route to the repair shop. They apologized for the mix-up, repaired the short in the trailer brakes and we were on our way for the final leg in this year’s journey (Arizona to California (Newport Beach). Below you will see some of the scenes in Apache Junction, near the Superstition Mountains, as we joined our Canadian buddies, Captain Canada and Debbie Dewdrops, for a reunion and hiking. We were tired from traveling and they took advantage of that during our 2 day dominoes tournament.

We made our final leg a two day trip, due to our late departure from the brake repairs and stayed overnight on BLM land, just outside of Joshua Tree N.P..

After a relaxing morning hike Tuesday morning, we drove the final 140 miles and landed in Newport Beach CA  around noontime and spent the rest of the day setting up camp.

After settling in to a routine and familiarizing ourselves with the area, we prepared for a busy weekend of celebrating Thanksgiving early (on Saturday 11/19) and then watching our beloved New England Patriots prevail over San Francisco today. The weather has been good with 50s at night and high 60s during the day. Today and tonight it actually rained!

group-picture

(An early Thanksgiving at Huntington Beach with Karen’s extended family)

More pictures of the campground in the next post.

 

Posted by: harleyhawk43 | October 23, 2016

Westward Ho The Wolfpack


Well, since we drew the curtain on Summer about a month ago we have been preparing for our annual trek West. If you are new to our blog, we are getting ready to embark on Year 7 leaving our summer campground in Brant Rock Ma and heading for warmer climes. This year The Red Fox has decided that we will spend most of the Winter in Newport Beach CA at the Newport Dunes RV Park. Headquartered there, we will be within reasonable driving distance to both of her sons, 2 grandsons and daughter-in-law. Below you can see our campground with many vacant spots since the transient campers had to leave by 9/30 unless they wanted to pay extra for October. We stay until October 31 every year and then head out November 1st

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Go to

http://www.nstarsolutions.com/store/home.php?provider=harleyhawk

or to “Hawk’s Books” on Facebook, for details on ordering our 2 books on our travels, “Hawk and Red Fox-Modern Day Gypsies”, Volumes 1 and 2.

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Our route to Newport Beach will take us about 3,000 miles from the western shore of the Atlantic Ocean to the Eastern shore of the Pacific Ocean. Our route will be Route 3 to Route 128 to The Mass Pike (Route 90) to Route 81, to Route 84, to Route 40 to Route 10. We will stop in Tucson at the Superstition Mountain RV State Park to spend a few days with fellow travelers Captain Canada and Debbie Dewdrops and then complete the final leg to Newport Beach. We will be hauling about 5 tons of trailer and belongings, including our 2 Harleys, 2 kayaks and 2 bicycles. The hauling machine is a 2006 Ford F-350 diesel pickup, while The Wolfpack is a 30 foot 2006 Forest River, Cherokee, tag-a-long hitch (not a 5th wheel). Since we purchased both in late 2010, we have logged about 90,000 miles traipsing around the country, following the warm weather.

SAM_3384

Whilst we are sun tanning in the Winter, Hawk is writing books. Besides the two “Gypsy” books, he has written 2 books on Irish Sea Mossing in Scituate MA. His latest, “Seaweed Shanty Town”, can be seen below. This book follows 5 Irish families and 1 Italian family from Ireland and Italy to Scituate and follows them through several generations as they work at gathering seaweed and lobstering.

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Go to

http://www.nstarsolutions.com/store/home.php?provider=harleyhawk

or to “Hawk’s Books” on Facebook, for details on ordering

seaweed-shanty-town-picture

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Before we leave a week from Tuesday, we will be breaking down the living room, which raises up on a platform to the ceiling, in order to make room for the Harleys and kayaks (the bicycles hang on the ladder on the back of the trailer after the ramp is closed).

Prior to traveling, on the morning of our departure date, we will have the trailer inspected for brake wear, wheel bearing lubrication and other critical maintenance. During the Summer we spray  the undercarriage and hitch mechanism with rustoleum paint (being camped next to the ocean all summer raises hell with rust). We have to have the trailer gone over on the morning of our departure because we live in it all year and cannot leave it at a shop. As we travel across the country in 300 to 350 mile stints, we stay each night in a Walmart parking lot to save on expenses (why pay for lodging when you have your own lodging with you?). Our diesel expenses will be about $700 to $800 for the trip (9 mpg divided into 3000 miles equals 333 1/3 gallons times $2.40 per gallon).

As we move across the country, we will post updates on Facebook for those of you who are curious about the details.

That’s it for now! Catch you on the road! Make America Great again!

 

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