February 25th, 2004!

This is a special edition of the Tioga and George Adventure Journal. We are celebrating the first anniversary of the day that Ms. Tioga and George met on February 25th, 2003.

In this edition we are reviewing the best of the special places that we visited during this, our first fabulous year! Come with us now as we travel back in time to the beginning of our Journey.

Note: The music is Hatikvah, the national anthem of Israel.

Wednesday, May 14, 2003
Our very first Journal publication was on May 14th, 2003!

Tioga & George's trip to Fort Ross.
Tioga met George in Manteca, California 'bout the end of February, 2003. It was love at first sight. The very day that George drove Tioga home to Concord, George became a Vagabond. George never spent one day in his apartment again. Tioga was home and for Tioga & George, the adventure began.

We knew that we had to be "free-as-birds." That is how we came with our motto: "Never pay rent !" Paying rent to park Tioga is against our religion. Here is what paying rent buys you:

1. Neighbors
2. Noise
3. Somebody elses RV 'bout 3 feet from your bedroom.

Tioga & George don't do RV camping. We are Vagabonders Supreme. We camp where we want to camp. We never pay rent.
In order to be a true Vagabond, we had to cut the strings that tied others to being defined as the dreaded "RV camper." First, we installed (4) 75 watt Shell solar panels on Tioga's roof. Now THAT was an adventure on its own !

Saturday, May 17, 2003
Our first boondock in the wilds!

No. Fork Mokelumne River Bridge.
Tioga & George tried to get to the Jackson Indian Casino, but there was a 9' low bridge in the way. Tioga stands more than a proud 11 feet tall. So, we went looking for a river. We are haunted by waters :) We could not believe our good fortune when we arrived at the North Fork of the Mokelumne River. There was a camping spot, just big enough for Tioga to fit in, and it was somewhat level too. Level is necessary to not mess up Tioga's refrig.

This place is so beautiful, that we think that we will spend the better part of Saturday here. Would you believe, that deep in this canyon that Mr. MotoSat was able to acquire our satellite? That is how we are able to send this Blog from our river campsite.

Only one thing is fouled up, as Tioga pointed out to me numerous times. I forgot to fill up our propane tank, and we might have to eat a cold breakfast. Boooo!

Monday, May 19, 2003
George flies in a P51 Mustang, his favorite fighter plane in the Whole World!

George after his P51 Mustang ride.
This photo of George and the P51 Mustang was taken last month on the very first fun "shake out" trip of Tioga & George . We happened to come onto a convention of airmen at the Nut Tree Airport [Vacaville, California]. They were part of the General Jimmy Doolittle B25 bombing raid over Tokyo. Many other pilots came to pay tribute to these brave Doolittle Raider survivors.

One of these other pilots, flew his own P51 Mustang, my favorite aircraft of all time. I asked him for a ride, and I got one which included three victory rolls and a power dive to within a few feet of the ground. I will NEVER forget it !

Friday, June 27, 2003
Our week on the Illinois River in Oregon! Wow!

View from the bridge.

The pic above is from the bridge just upstream from our campsite. We are looking downstream. Do you see Ms. Tioga down there towards the left? She looks small from up here on the bridge. The reflections off of the water are lovely, aren't they?

It looks like we will stay at this campsite longer than any other. We have already made plans to be here thru Sunday. This is really a nice place. The weather is warm, and the Illinois River is not very cold. In temperature, it is a lot like the Rogue River.

Wednesday, July 02, 2003
We arrive at Crater Lake, Oregon!!

Crater Lake, Oregon. What words can I muster to describe the bluest blue that ever was. This pic of Crater Lake does no justice to this beauty !

Did you know that the average depth in Crater Lake is 1,500 feet? Is that the reason for the beautiful blue? At the place where we took this pic, we were at 7,200 foot elevation. Patches of snow were scattered all about, remnants from the more than 500 inch snowfall last winter.

This area is Crater Lake National Park. The feds do not like people camping in "their" national parks, except in places designated by them. We folks who ride in Tioga, do not want to camp in "those" places. So, we looked around Crater Lake, took our pics, and moved north out of the Park.

In less time then you can say "Vagabonders Supreme" we found a wonderful campsite. We are located in the Winema National Forest, and have named this place "Camp Winema." Wait a minute, Mr. Dometic, the refrigerator wants to say something.

"Hi, I am Mr. Dometic, and I have a question. Why is it OK for us to camp in a National Forest but not OK for us to camp in a National Park??"

Good point, Mr. Dometic. Maybe one of our friends on Open Roads Forum will tackle that one.

Sunday, July 06, 2003
Our week at Squaw Creek!

We have been planning for a couple of days on leaving Squaw Creek Camp #2. And, now that it is the late afternoon before we are to leave, George is feeling a bit melancholy at the prospect. This is the first time George has felt that way about a camp. Squaw Creek has something special. It is the creek.

When it is hot and the wind is like the desert, the breeze that drifts through the creek is soft and refreshingly cool. There is always shade, no matter what time of day. The water, oh the water. It practically talks. Everything at the creek is perfect.

The wildlife about the creek come down to drink. Today we saw a little tiny squirrel. The squirrels here are so adorable. They are smart too, and know that there is no danger if they come close. This squirrel, about 4" long, came down for its drink and stood at the water's edge only a few feet from George's chair. First a drink, then a look around with tail wagging, then more drinking.

Tomorrow, we have to check on our repaired leveler. Then we plan to head east towards Redmond, Oregon. We are heading north to the Crooked River National Forest area. We like National Forests, because The Mounties are friendly there.

We have not mentioned The Three Sisters. These huge mountains overpower the views from most of the land below. We have wondered what the pioneers thought, when these giant obstacles appeared and then grew and grew as they approached them. In this pic, George is standing where all Three Sisters may be seen.

Credits: Photos & text by Mr. Sony Mavica of the TiogaRV crew

Sunday, July 13, 2003
Timberline Lodge, Mount Hood, Oregon!

Small snow people are all over this great mountain skiing. But the mountain is SO big, and the snow people are sooooooooo small, that you cannot see them. So George talked some of them into posing for a pic, so that you could be able to see them too!

Inside, the Timberline Lodge reminds us of a small version of the Ahwahnee Hotel in Yosemite. After eating a wonderful buffet breakfast, George relaxes by the huge fireplace.

Thursday, July 24, 2003
Mount Rainer! Our most northern point in 2003.

I am at the base of Mount Rainier, near the town of Paradise, WA. That name is no lie. There is so much beauty here, that it overwhelms me. No wonder this town is named Paradise! I have to shake myself to really look, and not become jaded by all of this wonder. Below is a pic of Mount Rainier. This will be as close as I will get to this volcano. Thru my binoculars, I am able to see tiny people walking on the glacier on the way to the top. I hear climbers talking to themselves, saying that they enjoyed camping over night at the summit. Incredible.

I am captivated by the flowers. Some are so common. I see them along roadways covered with dust. Yet they are gorgeous.

This one, whatever it is called, is a terrific flower. When I pick it, to put in the George cup, I see that each flower is really a dozen little flowers!

We made Nite Camp at Cougar Rock Camp, a few miles from Paradise, WA.

Tuesday, July 29, 2003
Mount Saint Helens, Washington

Looking at Mount Saint Helens' blown out face which occurred in the May, 1980 eruption. This pic was taken outside Ms. Tioga at the end of a lovely day. Do we seem close to this active volcano? Well, we are!! And, there is smoke belching from the crater, as well. We can only imagine what this exact spot where we are now was like at the moment of the volcanic blast at 8:32 Sunday morning, May 18, 1980.

I believe that I mentioned how hard it is to boondock in National Parks. Saint Helens is a National Monument, and it is a bit easier here. I found our present boondock site, called St. Helens Camp, by following a short Weyerhauser Timber Company road. It is really nice. I love to camp early in the afternoon, at least by 4pm. Otherwise, it gets difficult when I am tired.

Looking at the huge mud flow that came with the eruption. I know that it looks like a river, but it really is the 1980 mud flow.

Wednesday, August 06, 2003
Astoria, Oregon with Lewis & Clark's Fort Clatsop!!

Early this morning, the TiogaRV Team woke up to a grey and mysterious day in Astoria, Oregon. Look at the wonderful pic below that we took right outside our boondock place. It is the Astoria-Megler Bridge across the Columbia River.

Later on, we made arrangements for a Welding Shop to repair our damaged leveler mount on Saturday. We are happy that we have to stay here until then, because Astoria is filled with the kind of history that we love. For example, below is a pic of George at Fort Clatsop's Lewis and Clark location in 1805.

Below tells a little of the history of Fort Clatsop.

Saturday, August 30, 2003
Rogue River Raft Trip ! Wow!

George is back from his Rogue River Journey, and it was fantastic ! George travelled with White Water Warehouse as his river guides, and he recommends them to anyone who wants a wonderful river trip.

White Water Warehouse!

George paddled an inflatable kayak thru the largest rapids on the river, and only got dunked once in the famous Mule Creek Canyon. Below is a pic of a campsite just about dawn.

Below is a pic of George among the many boats along on this river trip.

One of the best parts of the trip was the food. It was great. Served on tables and chairs with desserts and everything. Below is a pic of everybody at the dinner table.

Dinner on the Rogue.

Below is a pic of David and Pedro with George in their kayaks on the Rogue River.

David/Pedro & George.

Wednesday, September 17, 2003
Eel River! Lost our Transmission!

We spent the night just off of the Eel River bar road, near where we got stuck a week ago. We have learned our lesson and will stay from Rotten Rocks from now on. Below is a pic taken from Ms. Tioga's front step looking out at the beauty of the Eel River valley.

As George ate breakfast of a wonderful peach and a beautiful banana, he thought about how lucky he was to be able to be out here in the wilds looking out at the beauty shown in the pic above. He remembered when he could not taste flavors because he was filled with that horrible chemo. George wants everybody to know how happy he is and how grateful he is to be out here in the wilds that he loves so much.

George walked out to the place where poor Ms. Tioga got mired in the Rotten Rocks last week. The pic below shows George pointing at the exact place where Ms. Tioga was held fast by the Rotten Rocks.

Personal Note to my friends out there who want to boondock, but are afraid: I have NEVER been threatened by anybody in all of my travels. Rare encounters with police may be handled well by being polite and always asking them if it is OK if you just stay the night. I have dealt with just about everything that could happen out here in the wilds. From tranny going out on a far away river gravel bar, having my refrig go out, levelers break, cabover floor fail. These things can be easily managed, if you are not afraid and just deal with them. Remember, it isVERY UNLIKELY that my unusual experiences will happen to any of you.

I want all of you would be boondockers to plan on being out here with me in the wilds. It is so wonderful. You really don't want to miss it, do you?

Thursday, October 02, 2003
A beautiful moment in our former home, Concord, California! Sometimes we see a glimpse of heaven, from right here on earth. Could a sky be more beautiful than this one over Concord?

When I was in the 11th grade of high school, I memorized the last part of a poem. I did not know it then, but these words would stay with me all of my life. I have tried so hard, to live a life which would match these words, and, without success. Lately though, I have been learning fast.

The writer was William Cullen Bryant and the poem, "Thanatopsis."

So live, that when thy summons comes to join
The innumerable caravan, which moves
To that mysterious realm, where each shall take
His chamber in the silent halls of death,
Thou go not, like the quarry-slave at night,
Scourged to his dungeon, but, sustained and soothed
By an unfaltering trust, approach thy grave
Like one who wraps the drapery of his couch
About him, and lies down to pleasant dreams.

Tuesday, October 28, 2003
La Purismima Mission & flowers!

We were on the road to La Purisima Mission at 6am, and made breakfast camp in a field nearby. A little while later, the sun was rising behind the smoky haze that came from the Southern California fires.

While George was eating breakfast, he noticed the flower farm across the dirt road. Of course Mr. Mavica and his faithful friend TriPod wanted to go out right away and look at the beautiful flowers. After breakfast was cleaned up, the three of us went out on a flower look. Flowers are a giant crop near Lompoc. Below is a pic of George looking at the flowers.

The grounds of La Purisima Mission are an historical wonder. Being there is like transporting back into time. Below is a pic of the main church and a perspective of the sleeping and working quarters.

We have made supper camp in a residential neighborhood of Santa Ynez, near the Chumash Indian Casino. Tomorrow we will go past Lake Cachuma again, towards an approved dispersed camping area above Santa Barbara. This place is on Camino Cielo (heaven or sky road in Spanish).

We moved to our overnite camp, a dirt parking lot in downtown Santa Ynez. Our battery bank is pretty low, because the smoke from the Southern California fires overcast the sky preventing our solar panels from full charging.

Monday, November 10, 2003
Big Tujunga Canyon, George's Dad rests here!

Before dawn, we left our nite camp and went up the road toward Big Tujunga Canyon. George wants to go there, to visit scenes from his thrilling days of yesteryear. The pic below shows George at the entrance to the Canyon.

George's Baubi (Grandma) owned a cabin in Trail Canyon, a short distance from Big Tujunga Canyon. The family spent summertimes here. Daniel, George's Daddy lived in this cabin for awhile.

In July of 1976, Uncle Seymour, Daniel's brother and George stood at the top of the rise that leads down to where Baubi's cabin was located. Together, Seymour and George scattered Daniel's ashes here. Below is a pic of George looking down at his Daddy's scattering place.

George looks down to our breakfast camp, while Ms. Tioga, the Greatest RV in the History of the World stands guard. Ms. Tioga, her mighty engine never failing, has conquered dirt roads, high roads, all roads; thruout the Western United States of America.

We stayed at our breakfast camp site, for supper and nite camp. During the afternoon, George walked down to the place where the cabin used to be. There is nothing left there, except some concrete floor and foundation, covered over with earth and plants. A flood many years ago, washed everything away.

Monday, December 15, 2003
December is San Diego month!

Is this pic of George looking out at San Diego Bay from Shelter Island a painting? Or did Mr. Sony Mavica do another magnificent job?

It is 7am, and time for George and Mr. Mavica to go for a flower walk up Shelter Island Drive.

Mr. Sony Mavica tells his story about, "Why everything is better in an RV!"

Hi, I am Mr. Sony Mavica, the Camera on the TiogaRV Team. Together with my sidekick TriPod, I take all of the pics. I also write and publish the Team's Blog. Below is my pic:
Mr. Sony Mavica.

I want to tell you why everything is better when you do it in an RV! Take today for example. George parked Ms. Tioga in a nice flat place. There was a little grass there, and we all like that. George washed Ms. Tioga from top to bottom. Even the roof. Below is a pic of George on Ms. Tioga's roof. Do you think that George is having fun? Look at that smile on his face, because he knows that I am taking his pic!

After the cleaning was done, George came in for lunch. First he answered some email, then turned on the TV. George was making a tuna salad lunch, so he hard boiled an egg first. Then added the grated carrots, egg, and squash. I snapped a pic of George's lunch just before he sat down to eat. Do you see the George Cup full of flowers? George made quite a haul this morning with his flower walk on Shelter Island Drive!

As the camera for The Team, I see everything. I have a word for those of you who worry that you may not like living in an RV fulltime. You will love it! The Team even loves to go grocery shopping, for heaven's sake! Trust me, I am Mr. Sony Mavica, and I know everything.

Monday, January 19, 2004
Rosarito Beach, Mexico!

I never was a farm boy. Living here in Rosarito, Mexico, makes me wish I had. There is something so comforting hearing the first rooster of the morning crow. Add that to the Ocean surf, soft and constant. I am soooo happy, you would not believe!

This morning when The Team awoke, it was High Tide! The Pacific Ocean came up to the Sea Wall with the water only one meter from Ms. Tioga's rear! Later, the tide has rushed out to sea again. It is a sunny day, a T-Shirt day. Almost a short pants day. In the pic below, George stands in front of an absolutely gorgeous beach and surf.

We cannot believe that The TiogaRV Team is rethinking our 2004 Trip Plan! But yes, it is true! We are thinking of returning to San Diego this Wednesday, and then coming back to Rosarito for a few months. Hmmmm? Are we really going to do this? Wow!

This afternoon, George, Mr. Mavica and Mr. Trek took a ride around Rosarito. We found Reuben's Fish Taco across the road from The Rosarito Hotel. What a grand visit we had there too. George was the only customer, because it was slack time in the middle of the afternoon. There were four waiters there, only one was working. Nobody spoke English, so George got to practice his Spanish! What a great time. Everybody was so friendly and the fish taco was fantastic!

Mr. Mavica took this great pic of everybody at Reuben's Fish Taco. We told the group to smile, but they didn't listen!

When we got back home to Ms. Tioga, it was late afternoon. It was a bit cold, and the clouds over the Pacific Ocean were gorgeous. Just as Mr. Mavica caught this scene of George looking out over the Ocean, a rider with a group of horses rode by. Wow!

Sunday, February 08, 2004
Sunday Mercado (market) in Rosarito Beach!

Today The Team is going to have a lot of FUN! It is Sunday, and the day of the Big Swap Meet! More important, it is the day of the Outside Mercado (Outside Market!). George loves to shop at the Outside Market because, well you will see for yourself later! Wow!

We took the pic below, because a good RV friend pointed out to us that the Islas de Coronados is almost directly offshore from Home Camp in Rosarito Beach. These islands are 26 miles away. Can you see the island in the distance?

Also, we wanted to show everybody what a lovely day it is this Sunday morning. This pic was taken from Ms. Tioga's rear window.

Around 10AM some kids went into the Ocean, and were having such a fun time! They were in swim suits. George asked himself, "What the heck am I doing out of the water?"

That is how Mr. Mavica was able to get the pics below!

We are now at the Sunday Mercado (market), a block off of Blvd. Benito Juarez. First, we want you to see what we bought at the market today. All of this food; fresh shrimp, halibut, red snapper, all of the vegetables and fruit; everything cost us $90 pesos (about $US9 !).

These are the fish sellers, where we buy our shrimp and fish. NOTE: Thank you Mike!! for un-tinting the terrible red! Wow!

This is the entire display of fish for sale! Leon is the smiling fellow who owns this fish stand.

The pic below, is where we bought our vegetables and fruit.

Have you heard of Gorditas? These are fried wheat flour pancake like breads with pork or beef inside. Here is the stand where we bought Gorditas!

This has been a Perfect Sunday!

George spoke Spanish with many people! George is VERY happy with his progress in Spanish. We made nice buys in the Sunday Mercado. All is well in our World!

In the pic below, the Sun has set thru Ms. Tioga's rear window.

A note about this Special Edition!

It is very interesting, trying to pick out certain days and call them special in a year that has been as spectacular as this one!

Bye for now,
Ms. Tioga and George and all of the Team!