Thursday, February 18, 2010

Update from Humboldt

(Another post saved on the computer - January 10, 2010)

Update from Humboldt
The new semester begins, for Rich, at Humboldt State University (HSU) on January 19, 2010, marking three years since we first came to Humboldt. It has been an interesting journey.
Though his initial thought was to pursue a Bachelor’s in Oceanography, he has since figured out that another program will better suit his desire to work in the ocean, rather than just about it. His planned degree is in Natural Resources Planning and Interpretation (NRPI) with a minor in Scientific Diving.
The Diving program here at HSU is highly regarded, and Rich has enjoyed the experience of participating in the classes very much. He has even been diving at Catalina Island (a University of Southern California facility) twice over the past three semesters of HSU Diving classes.
Though his requirements for his minor are fulfilled, this semester Rich plans to complete a Rescue Diving Course and Underwater Photography. These two courses will be very valuable in his future pursuits as a Scientific Diver.
Although we have had great challenges finding long term parking for our RV, since being here – it seems that few places are willing to accommodate rigs over 10 years old – most recently we have been blessed finding a “home” in the foothills about ten miles from the University; and it is beautiful!
We are in an area called Freshwater, renting a space from a very nice couple. The property includes an adjacent building that houses a laundry room, carport and what was previously a workshop. Since we’ve been here, with the help of others, we’ve been working on converting it to a “playroom” (think family room) – It’s coming along great!
Living here in the forest, but yet only about five miles from the Bay as a crow flies, it is truly breathtaking. Waking up every morning to incredible beauty; it’s like that feeling waking up when you’re camping. We have yet to build an outdoor fire pit, but it’s in the plan.
At this point we anticipate being here in Humboldt until sometime in 2011… but, more to be revealed. Thankfully, it seems, we’ll be able to stay in this place until Rich completes school. Only wish we could have found it sooner.
This past Christmas was spent in Oroville visiting Rich’s folks, and our son AJ and his family. We had only planned to be there for a couple of days, but God had other plans… The night before we were to leave we received a call from a friend offering us a van that she no longer needed. The only catch, it was in Reno, Nevada.
Interestingly enough, though, since we were in Oroville that made the drive to Reno only about three hours, one way, whereas if we would have been in Humboldt it would have meant at least seven hours, each way. So, we likely might have passed it up.
The weather was dicey so Rich watched for a “hole” to hopefully be able to get to Reno and back without having to chain-up. He managed to get up there, get the van then got back as far as Cisco Grove (just on the west side of Donner Summit) before it became evident that the alternator was not working.
With no resources for auto supply stores he found a safe place to park the van for the night and proceeded to ride back to his parents with his nephew who had accompanied him on the trip, and was now driving the car they went up in.
He got back to Oroville and figured out that the alternator on the car that his sister had had totaled in an accident (a couple of days before Christmas) might actually be able to work on the van. So he removed the alternator, charged the battery from her car, and the battery from our Land Cruiser (that is parked for a new engine) in order to take them with him --- just in case.
The following day he left, again with his nephew (and Ian), to go up to get the van. He arrived at the parking lot where he left it, to learn that it was a popular sledding spot… which thrilled Ian but made getting in and then out, after the van was running, just a bit challenging, to say the least.
Amazingly Rich made it back with “Betty Boop” (as she has been affectionately named) with just enough battery to get to the driveway, and then coast in. LOL! Rich spent the following day taking care of mechanical issues and Ian and I tried to help with the cleaning, as the van had been sitting for about a year.
That night we took it on a drive to visit AJ and family and she’s been running great ever since. In the next week or two she’ll get a tune up and she’ll be running great. Did I mention that Betty is an Econoline Conversion van? They are the ones with the raised roof, nice captain’s seats and all the things that make it nice for traveling.
Yesterday, Rich made it official: Betty is a Diver Transport Vehicle she got a California Diver sticker on the back window. Rich is really jazzed because there will be no more tent camping on the ground for his dives; Betty has a bed in the back that sets out with the touch of a button! Yee haw!! (I told him that he should have named her "Mona…" or perhaps that’s "Moana?" … just reflecting back to the van craze of the 70’s! LOL! Too fun!!)
Next weekend we’ll travel back over to Oroville to see family and put new tires on Moana, er I mean Betty! (LOL!) Also we’ll be there to give our love and hugs to AJ and family before they leave for their move to Texas.
They are very excited about this move. It is something that AJ has wanted for a long time. It has finally all come together; he and his wife have secured jobs near Dallas that will start the first week of February.
We are very excited for them, but will miss them much. It has been hard enough to see them on any regular basis just being seven hours away by car; now we’ll be at least that far away by plane. Oh, well… We’ll save our pennies and you know where we’ll be spending next Christmas. ;-)
We will return to Humboldt in time for Rich to start school on Tuesday the 19th. It’ll be a full weekend for sure, but worth it. (Then I suspect we won’t be back to Oroville for a visit until at least Spring Break in March.)
Other than delineating the blessings we have had over the past few months, I think this is a pretty good summation of the latest with us. I will do my best to be more frequent at posts this year. I look forward to keeping in touch.
Until next time…

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