kevin_standlee: (Family)
While naturally most of the press coverage of the many wildfires in California has been of the Napa-Sonoma County fires, there are a bunch more all over the state. The one most important to me personally is the Cascade Fire in Yuba County. That's because my mother lives only about ten miles east of the current eastern perimeter of the fire near Collins Lake. Dobbins, where she lives, is not under evacuation orders at this time, but it still makes me nervous. Today, I managed to get through on the phone. My nephew, Shane, picked up the phone, which also answered the other question I had as he reassured me that they are all just fine, although nervous of course. If they have to bug out, he promised to call me.
kevin_standlee: (Menlo Truck)
An early draft of my schedule for this year (before I moved to nearly all work-from-home) had me working in the Bay Area this week or next week. (As it happens, I do plan to do a week there later in September because I have a dentist appointment in Redwood Shores and am loathe to give up on my dentist of many years.) I am very happy that I did not have to be down there. Hard as it is to believe, it's actually hotter in the Bay Area today and for the next few days than it is here in Fernley.

While the heat is slightly less, we do have much smoke and haze from the many wildfires continuing to burn throughout California and Nevada. I was quite concerned to hear about a big fire near Oroville, and relieved to see that it's not threatening my father and other members of his side of the family who live in hills east of Oroville.

As long as the highs stay below about 35°C, the swamp cooler here seems to cope with the heat. Above that, it starts to get more difficult, and my brain slows down in the heat. Not that I'm yet 100% recovered from the Worldcon trip, which is why there still isn't a bunch of things done that should have been done by now.
kevin_standlee: (Family)
We got a decent suite upgrade at the Holiday Inn Express last night.

Bonus Room )

With my enhanced status, I could get a 2 PM check-out, which meant that Lisa could sleep in while I dealt with the family matters on Friday morning Sacramento. Consequently, I got two breakfasts: one before I headed off for my 8:30 AM meeting, and another at the very end, nominally after breakfast closed but just before they started clearing it away.

Lisa had taken advantage of the nice hotel room to take a long bath and relax. At this point, we were in no huge hurry other than we wanted to go home, so we did not rush. We were out of the room between 11 and Noon, however, not using all of the extra time allotted to us, and making things slightly easier for housekeeping.

I drove us as far as Donner Summit, and then Lisa took over. From there we went to my company's office in Sparks, where I begged the use of their network to confirm that our company network still thinks my computer belongs to it. (I've been having connectivity problems that might have been caused by the network "forgetting" my computer.) This didn't take that long, and confirmed that yes, XPO still can see my computer when I'm on their network.

We were both still very tired, but we also needed groceries only available in Reno, so we went to Winco and Raley's, and then Lisa drove us home. We unpacked as quickly as we could, and then headed for bed. By getting groceries on the way back from Sacramento, we saved ourselves another trip to Reno this weekend. We don't want to go anywhere right now. We want to stay home and rest.
kevin_standlee: (Family)
We got home on Wednesday night from San Francisco (Millbrae), after flying from Seattle, after the KEF-MSP-SEA flight. I haven't had time to write up those stories, which were quite frustrating and make me want to avoid ever having to make an international connection at MSP ever again. I will get back to those stories later and post them as back-dated entries.

Regrettably, a family related urgent issue has come up that requires my physical presence in Sacramento at 8:30 AM Friday morning. After explaining the issue to my manager and co-workers, I took an additional day of PTO for Friday. Lisa asked me if I wanted her to drive us down to Sacramento tonight. I said yes. She's in slightly better shape than I am. I booked a room at the Holiday Inn Express Auburn Blvd and we drove down after work this afternoon. We got a nice suite upgrade (somewhat better than the hilarious Conference Suite we got at Sea-Tac) and will spend tonight down here. I have a late check-out on Friday, so Lisa can stay in the hotel while I go take care of business, and then she and I can drive home. After that I don't want to do any more traveling for a while if I can avoid it.
kevin_standlee: (Family)
For reasons related to some property management, I need to so see my mother twice a year, in January and July. It has to be done in person. Today was my day for getting it done. Lisa didn't have to come along and elected to get extra sleep. I got started later than I would have liked, having told Mom I would be there at Noon. Instead, it was well past 1:30. She'd left me voicemail, but I didn't hear the call come in and didn't notice the message until I was already at her place and had to wait for about an hour for her to come back from the farmer's market, where she can gone, having given up on me.

Old Home Week )

After Mom got back from the farmers' market, we dealt with business, I gave her a list of all of the places I would be (and how to contact me) during the Europe trip, and we talked for a while. It was about 3:30 when I finally left. The idea that I could be home in time for a 6 PM San Jose Worldcon committee meeting call was fading fast.

Not a Short Cut at All )

My mother's house is less than 120 miles from my home. I left at about 3:30 and it took me more than five hours before I got home, albeit that I did stop several times, including long enough to buy some groceries in Reno that I figured Lisa would want.

I made a separate mistake of not putting on any sunscreen. My face is redder than usual tonight. I'll put ointment on it before I go to bed and hope I don't peel too badly.
kevin_standlee: (Family)
I needed to go see my sister at the nursing facility in Sacramento as I continue to sort out things on her behalf. In addition, there are some things Lisa and I want for the Worldcon trip that can't be easily had in Reno. So this morning, we set off for Sacramento. Neither of us had had a good night's sleep, in part because of the heat. Until we got near Truckee, there was a whole lot of smoke in the air, mostly I think from the Long Valley Fire north of Reno. The Farad Fire that closed I-80 for quite a while last week is reported as 100% contained, and the areas near the freeway are burned out by now.

We went to the Roseville Galleria (nearest Lush store) for the after-shave ointment I use and some "toothy tab" substitutes for toothpaste I prefer to use on long trips because it's neater than tubes of toothpaste. Then it was on to Fry's for some bits of electronics that Lisa and I wanted. By then we were already wilting from the heat, which wasn't more than a degree or two hotter than Fernley, but significantly more humid. I suggested lunch, but neither of us was very hungry. So we went to the nursing facility, which at least was cooler.

Errand of Telephone Mercy )

After spending time with my sister, Lisa and I were hungry, despite the heat, so we set off east, stopping at In-N-Out in Rocklin (we've given up on the Auburn location because it seems to always be over-crowded), ate burgers, and turned for home. We stopped only at Donner Summit for a rest break and just before home to get some milk and yogurt for my breakfast tomorrow.

The Summit Snow is Finally Gone. Well, Mostly )

It was pretty comfortable at the summit, but we needed to get home, so we pressed on. The house was, as expected, very hot and stuffy, but the overnight low is supposed to get down to 18°C tonight and once the sun went down it started cooling nicely. We have the fans and coolers running full-tilt. Once it's cool enough to do so, I must get some sleep. It's another busy week at the Day Jobbe, and a number of both Westercon and WSFS tasks, plus personal preparations for the Helsinki trip, are looming.
kevin_standlee: (Family)
Today, Lisa and I drove over 400 miles from Fernley to Marysville to Sacramento and then home.

Summer Arrives at Donner Summit )

We went to Marysville to check out some specialty shops there. As it happens, we did not have family business there for a change, so we headed straight south to Sacramento, where we returned an item to Fry's Electronics there that we'd purchased in Fremont last weekend and then bought what we should have gotten in the first place.

After a stop for lunch, we continued looking for a shirt for which Lisa has been hunting, but along the way were waylaid by a British Foods Store in North Highlands, which had some lamb hot pot mix that we can no longer get from the source in Reno where we used to buy it.

With the shopping done, we went to visit my sister and the long-term nursing facility. I had some papers for her to sign as I continue to deal with business for her, and also this might be the last time I'm in the area until we get back from Europe in August. Kelli always appreciates these visits.

We initially had some idea of checking out a few more stores, but both Lisa and I had been up since early this morning (Lisa even earlier than me for a change), and so we headed home to Fernley. Our only stops after that were Colfax to buy me a coffee, and then somewhere around Clipper Gap where Lisa said she was too tired to drive anymore and we swapped (which was why I got the coffee as I knew that was coming). Lisa was able to recline the passenger seat and sleep for most of the final hour we were on the road (substantially from the Nevada state line to Fernley).

At this time we hope not to have to leave Fernley again until we take off for Westercon on Wednesday afternoon. There's still a lot of work for us to do before now and then, though.

Home

May. 21st, 2017 07:22 pm
kevin_standlee: (Fernley House)
After the SJ Giants game last night, I considered trying to drive part way home but decided to go to my usual location for the night and leave from there, mainly because I have not scouted out any locations between Sunnyvale and Yuba City where I can lay up for the night.

(Before any well-meaning person says, "Just part at any Wal-Mart," be aware that while many Wal-Mart locations (including Yuba City) are tolerant of overnight "dry camping" of RVs, not all of them are, and those in larger cities are much less likely to be tolerant of it. It's store by store. Tracy or Stockton would be convenient, but a cursory check of some resources shows that they're not friendly, either by store policy or local ordinances. I don't like being rousted. It's happened twice to me, and it's very unpleasant.)

Anyway, I woke up at 5 AM on my own, and did not rush getting up for a change. I stopped for breakfast in Tracy and continued up to Sacramento to visit my sister, then detoured to Yuba City to do errands for her there, then turned east for home. It was quite warm in the Sacramento Valley and didn't get comfortable until I was well into the Sierras. My MP3 player's mix of old time radio shows ran out, and so I stopped at the vista point on CA-20 to fire up my computer and pour more shows into the MP3 player. I also took the opportunity to open all of the doors and the roof vent to allow the Sierra breeze at 5000 feet to flush some of the valley heat out of the Rolling Stone.

To my annoyance, I discovered that for some reason the MP3s of Ray Gunn & Starburst are not compatible with this little slot-player. It's not the first time that I've found that not all MP3s are alike. I contributed toward the second series crowd-funding, but I still haven't listened to it.

I got home a bit after 5:30 PM and plan to fall into bed as soon as I can. It's another week of 6-to-3 days, with the added excitement of mixing more concrete in the afternoons now that winter appears to have finally left. Lisa said that there was still snow on the Pah-Rah Mountains this morning, but the afternoon, it was gone.
kevin_standlee: (Family)
I've decided to not go to Yuba City tonight as previously planned. I don't have to be there until Noon Saturday, so given how early I wake up these days (due to my enforced Central Time work schedule), I will just get up at the usual hour and drive down there. Whether I'll stay down there tomorrow night or drive the 150 miles home I haven't decided yet.
kevin_standlee: (Family)
This morning, Lisa and I made a leisurely drive up to Dobbins where my mother lives. I've never been to the place she's helping restore — or rather, I had no memory of it. Mom says I'd been there with her for a short time back in the 1970s. She also couldn't describe how to get to it, so I had to drive to the Dobbins general store and call her so she could drive down and lead us to the place.

Fascinating Old House )

We spent an hour visiting with my mother and taking care of a bit of business that needs my physical presence every six months for some paperwork. We would have liked to have stayed longer, but I really didn't want to drive on CA-20 into the mountains after dark. We headed up to Grass Valley/Nevada City. Although we couldn't stop for long, we stopped briefly at the Nevada County Narrow Gauge Railroad Museum, which I've seen from the freeway before and wanted to confirm where it was. The volunteers did let us know that there was a popular film festival in GV/NC this past weekend, which explains why we couldn't get a hotel room here. We're going to have to come back down here in the summer. There is a nearby hotel that is actually connected to the museum by a short train ride, which sounds like our kind of place.

We did get out out of the bad part of the drive (the narrow, twisting sections of CA-20), over Donner Summit (lots of fog up top) and into Reno before dark. Initially, we planned to have dinner and do our major grocery shopping; however, I was very worn from a drive over wet and somewhat doubtful roads, and Lisa was tired as well, so we elected to just go straight home. If we decide that we need a large shopping trip this week, we can run into Reno after work on Monday or Tuesday before the next set of storms hits the area.

The weather really was quite good, but of course we probably wouldn't have made the trip otherwise. I'm glad we got one window here in January to do so, and I'm glad I got to see the house on which Mom is focused. Like Fernley House, it needs lots of work, but she certainly seems happy to be there.
kevin_standlee: (Family)
Although I'm not going to the SF Bay Area this coming week, I did have a pressing non-emergency-but-important need to visit my mother in Yuba County before the end of January. Looking at the weather this weekend and next, I decided that this would be the better of the two weekends to attempt it because the weather was clear for Saturday and Sunday. Although initially I thought I'd get up very early and make the down-and-back journey, after discussing it with Lisa we decided to drive down today and back tomorrow, and this also allowed us to go pay a visit with my sister in Sacramento without being rushed.

Fernley to Marysville via Sacramento )

The trip over Donner Summit was thankfully uneventful. Caltrans crews have done a great job clearing the road. As we worked our way up to the summit, a snowblower truck was cutting back the banks, throwing snow in a high arc away from the road. It was not as spectacular as the rotary plows the railroad uses, but it was still a good show.

Between the two storms we had in Fernley (with an intervening rain that melted all of the first storm's snow), we had around 30 cm of snow in Fernley. Up at Donner Summit, it looked like there was more than 300 cm (3 meters, around 10 feet) of snow on the ground. There was a lot of mist at the summit itself, but Lisa could see a lot of people on the ski slopes. This must be the sort of conditions the ski operators were praying for: plenty of snow with four days of good weather centered on the weekend.

Visiting my Sister )

Lisa drove for a while after we left the nursing facility and I called my mother to confirm that I'll be coming up to Dobbins in the Yuba County foothills tomorrow. We then changed drivers again at the Fry's in Sacramento and I drove us to Marysville. We used to stay at the Holiday Inn Express in Yuba City, but it's now a Best Western, giving me no incentive to stay there, and it made more sense logistically anyway for us to stay at the Comfort Suites in Marysville. Lisa was grateful for a full-size bathtub, and since the drought is nominally over, she also didn't feel guilty about using that nice tub in the hotel room. Conveniently, there was a Pizza Hut a block down the street, too, making dinner plans easy.

My initial plan had actually been to come down (without the side trip to Sacramento) and stay in Grass Valley, but for some unaccountable reason, it seems like every hotel room in Grass Valley/Nevada City this weekend is booked. I am unsure what's going on up there; however, I'm just as happy to do the circle trip via Sacramento so we could see Kelli. And while I'm capable of doing the down-and-back trips (it's about the same distance and time as the one-way trip to the Bay Area), I'd rather not do so if I don't have to do it.
kevin_standlee: (Family)
We ended up doing the ambitious trip today, driving to Sacramento and back to visit my sister and deliver her Christmas present to her. The weather was cold but clear. My biggest concern was patches of ice on I-80 in shaded areas. Lisa did most of the driving from Fernley to Nyack, where we traded off at the vista point on I-80.

Winter Vista )

About 1 PM we got to Sacramento, where my sister was delighted to see us. We spent more than two hours visiting with her. While we were there, one of the nurses in the long-term care home brought her a stuffed bear, whose name is Barnabas Bear according to his tag. [livejournal.com profile] travelswithkuma told Barnabas to take care of Kelli.

We gave Kelli a present, and she decided to open it today rather than wait until next Sunday.

Early Christmas )

After a long visit, we said farewell and I promised that I would stop by and visit whenever I could, including my next trip down in January.

By then it was getting late in the day, and while we would have liked to press up into the mountains before the sun set, we hadn't had any lunch and I was showing it, so we stopped at the In-N-Out in Rocklin. In the past, we've stopped at the one in Auburn, which always seems jammed. The one in Rocklin is new, and while the power center in which it was located was quite busy during this holiday Saturday, the restaurant wasn't cheek-by-jowl with customers. (The drive-thru was backed up badly, though.)

While the roads remained clear for the rest of the drive, I cannot say that I enjoyed it. I like I-80 through the Sierra on a nice sunny day. I don't like it in the dark in below-freezing conditions, when I don't know whether there is a rogue piece of ice ahead of me. Indeed, heading up over the top in the slow lane, I was worried about how wet the pavement was until I realized on the far side of the summit that I'd actually been driving where Caltrans had just applied de-icing solution to the highway, which is why I never had any problems. I'm quite a road boulder under these circumstances, but people can go around me as I stick to the slow lane.

When we got to Reno we decided to deal with some of our planned shopping, going to Cost Plus World Market and then to Whole Foods Market to buy some things for ourselves including some good cheese and some of the fixings for Christmas dinner. Then it was well past time to get back home, where we arrived around 8:30.

I'd packed the fireplace full of hardwood before we left at 10 AM today, and while it had burned down mostly to ash (and cooled sufficiently that I could take the opportunity to clean the fireplace glass and dig out dead ashes), there were more than enough coals left over that I was able to rekindle the fire and start pumping heat back into the living room.

I'm really glad we were able to go see my sister for Christmas and give her a present of things she enjoys (and a basket she can use when she's done eating the food in it). It's very hard on her being cooped up in a long-term care home like this with no sign of when, if ever, she will be able to go home. I'm also glad we could go down on Saturday, because it means I can spend Sunday recovering from the driving.
kevin_standlee: (Fernley)
I slept in a couple of hours this morning, which was good, but it did mean that by the time I started heading out of the Bay Area, I ran into unaccountably heavy traffic in spots. Maybe I should have got up at 5 AM after all. But I made it home, including spending 90 minutes visiting my sister at the nursing facility in Sacramento.

Five days before we leave for Kansas City.
kevin_standlee: (Rolling Stone)
Last night I laid up in the Rolling Stone near my office in Fremont (partially because Lisa knows how to find it easily). I woke up just before 6 AM, which is actually sleeping in for me much of the time I'm in the Bay Area. As I was getting dressed after putting away the bed, Lisa rolled up in the Astro, having left Fernley shortly after Midnight.

We dropped the RV at my mechanic's shop in Fremont, had breakfast at Dino's Restaurant (where I used to eat regularly when I lived within walking distance of it), and headed out of the Bay Area. Of course, a good thing about driving out on a Saturday morning is that traffic is much lighter than on a typical Friday afternoon.

We went to Yuba City, where I had some business to transact with my mother, and we visited with her for about an hour. Then we went back south to Sacramento where I visited my sister at the nursing home where they continue to care for her. She was very happy to see me, Lisa, and [livejournal.com profile] travelswithkuma.

It was a hot day today (temperatures up around 38°C), and this affected us a lot. Besides it simply being uncomfortable to drive around, the Astro's hot-starting problem came to the fore. Anytime the van is too hot and has not had a chance to cool off (difficult in this heat), it becomes very difficult to start. We did manage to get around, however, and moved in to the Rancho Cordova Holiday Inn for the night. We were pleased (and surprised) to find that it had wired internet, a microwave oven, and a mini-fridge. We got some groceries (cold drinks) and ordered a pizza. Lisa took advantage of the nice Jacuzzi-style bathtub to have a nice bath where the sound of the jets overcame her tinnitus and let her relax.

I understood why Lisa was so tired, but puzzled about my own fatigue, especially after getting a longer-than-usual sleep last night. Lisa suggests (and this makes sense) that having spent most of the past two weeks on high alert, when the pressure came off as it did today, I started falling over when I relaxed.

Tomorrow we hope for a relatively easy day as we visit my friend Rick in Placerville, then drive home via South Lake Tahoe.

Yay, Home

Mar. 26th, 2016 10:11 am
kevin_standlee: (Fernley House)
Although I got away from the office before 11 AM on Friday, outbreaks of Day Jobbe along the way along with spending more than an hour visiting my sister in Sacramento meant that I did not get home until about 10 PM last night. Lisa helped me unpack the Rolling Stone and I tumbled into bed to sleep for a long time. Travel and early rising for two weeks take their toll on me. I like traveling, but I also like coming home.
kevin_standlee: (Rolling Stone)
The weather forecast for this weekend called for lots of rain over the Sierra Nevada today, turning to snow tonight and heavy snow throughout the weekend. I can drive in rain, but not in snow, and therefore after a long video conference call at work this morning, I told everyone that I was heading out today lest I not get to the Bay Area at all next week, and I left a bit after Noon.

There were heavy gusty winds through the Truckee River canyon, and that's not good for a high-profile vehicle like the Rolling Stone. It's a good thing I didn't have to head south, because I-580/US-395A were closed to RVs and big rigs due to high winds. When I got to Reno, I met the rain coming the other way, and climbing up toward Truckee the high winds and rain combined to make for an unpleasant drive. I slowed down, as is my wont in bad weather. I found myself behind a big truck going about 45 mph, and I was happy to follow him as far as the California Department of Agriculture inspection station.

At Donner Summit, the rest area was open, and despite the rain, I stopped to use the facilities. There was more than two meters of snow packed up around the rest area, but there was no snow falling at the time, just lots of rain. (The prediction was for over 80 mm of rain today.) I carefully and slowly worked my way back down the mountains and onto CA-20 toward Grass Valley, descending into a bunch of fog to go with the rain, but the cleared up as I descended toward Marysville/Yuba City.

In Yuba City I visited my mother who is periodically staying at my sister's house keeping the house alive while the medical professionals continue to try and find a way to get my sister to the point where she can come home again. For a change I was not under any time pressure, which was nice. After a few hours I bade Mom good night and headed over to Walmart (Yuba City's Walmart is one of those that allows overnight RV parking) and buttoned up for the night. I did also buy some small groceries from Walmart, as it is my policy to not shop there except when I'm using their parking lot for RV parking.

Tomorrow I'll make my way down to the Bay Area, but I won't be in any hurry.
kevin_standlee: (Rolling Stone)
Around 10 AM today, I spotted that chain controls on I-80 had been lifted and there appeared to be a break between storms of about 8-10 hours. As quickly as I could, I finished up what work was on my desk, packed my gear, and told my co-workers (truthfully) that I'd already logged 50 hours this week and that if I did not go home now, I wouldn't be able to go home for another week.

I was originally planning to go visit my mother in Yuba City, but I called her and explained that I really needed to dash as straight home as I could because of the weather. I'll go see her in a couple of weeks on my way back down for my next stint in the Bay. I did, however, stop off and visit my sister in Sacramento. (There's some hope that they may be able to discharge her to be able to go home sometime in the next few weeks, which would be wonderful.)

There was plenty of snow all around. The Donner Summit rest area was closed, with what looked like close to two meters of snow piled up. Kudos to Caltrans District 3 workers, who had the pavement clear and mostly dry. They were working on cutting back the snowbanks when I went over the top. There was enough wet pavement to make me take it easy and be something of a road boulder, but I stayed in the slow lane and let the people with more confidence in their tires' grip go around me.

With palpable relief, I got home around 7:30 PM. My own bed beckons.
kevin_standlee: (Rolling Stone)
I got away from Fernley just as unexpected snow started moving from the east (most storms come at us from the west), but the weather in the mountains was clear, and by the time I hit Colfax, I had the heater off; by Sacramento, I was venting cool air into the RV; however, I had to turn the heat on again as I neared the Bay Area.

The contrast between the Bay Area and Fernley's weather is striking. Tonight's where I am tonight is 6°C warmer than the high in Fernley this afternoon. (That's 8°C versus 2°C.) Furthermore, today was the first day in about five that the daytime highs in Fernley were above freezing. It's no wonder that we've been going through propane and firewood at home like nobody's business.

I briefly visited with my sister in Sacramento. Her condition is unchanged, which means she's no worse; however, she's also no better. But at least she can talk.

As I came down I-880, I found myself hoping that the 49ers game would go into overtime (which it did) in order to give me a few extra minutes to get through the Santa Clara/North San Jose area and not have to fight through post-game traffic.

Not an exciting drive, and that is just fine by me. Excitement is not something I'm looking for when driving the RV.
kevin_standlee: (Lisa)
The weather forecast through Christmas is such that it did not look like we would have any good opportunity to delivery our Christmas presents to my family in the Sacramento Valley. I could have mailed them, but I do not like doing so, and besides, one of them is a gift card from a store in Yuba City that doesn't have online sales, so I needed to be there in person during business hours. If we could have run down on Thursday, that would have been fine, but I do need to work from home when I'm working from home. Lisa offered to drive us down on Friday afternoon in the Big Orange Van on Friday, because the BOV is a full-time 4WD vehicle with big snow tires and if it can't get through, it's because the road is closed. (So-called "R3" road conditions — 4WD and chains — are rare, and if things get that bad, they usually just close the road.) So on Friday afternoon about 2:30, I cleared up my Day Jobbe work and we hit the road again.

14 Hours from Fernley to Fernley via Sacramento and Yuba City )

Our very late dinner/early breakfast in Sparks helped keep us going for the final leg of the trip home, the 30 miles to Fernley, where we arrived about 4:30 AM. We quickly unpacked, I rekindled the fire, and as soon as we could do so, we went to bed. No alarms were set for Saturday.
kevin_standlee: (Fernley House)
Lisa climbed under the minivan this afternoon and removed the hose that appears to be the source of the leak. After work we went to O'Reilly Auto Parts. Unfortunately, they cannot find an exact match for the shaped rubber hose. They found one that might fit, and we bought it. Lisa will try to install it when she can do so, although the weather system bearing down on us may delay this.

Lighting Effects in the Hills North of Fernley )

The incoming storm looks messy, but I'm running out of time to deliver Christmas presents to my family in the Sacramento Valley. We are considering taking the Big Orange Van down Friday after work, delivering presents to my sister, then going to Yuba City and spending the night, then visiting my mother before heading home. The last stage of this will almost certainly require going through snow country, but Lisa's van is 4WD with snow tires, so we can probably make it happen. Lisa is willing to do this although with the rear (larger) fuel tank not working, we will have to make a lot of fuel stops, given that the van gets only 9 MPG, the working fuel tank holds only 15 gallons, and with the bad weather, she wants us to keep a lot of reserve fuel. (She strapped a five-gallon can of fuel on the back of the van as an extra reserve.) We refueled the van this evening after the O'Reilly trip, wishing we had done so yesterday: the price of fuel shot up 12 cents/gallon overnight!

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