Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Farewell Tater



It has been over a month since my last post and a lot has happened. Not so much in the way of traveling in Tater... but I'll explain more further down in this posting. First, I thought I'd give you all some insight into why we moved into Tater in the first place.

Perhaps it was two years ago, give or take. Ben and I had been discussing moving into a sailboat. What fun it would be to let the wind carry us to exotic destinations! To exploit the sun for our own electricity! To leave the smallest footprint possible on this earth! It all sounded too good to be true. And, for a while it was.

I think Ben would have been ready the first day the subject came up. I, on the other hand, was a bit more skeptical. What about my fear of the ocean? What about Lola? How could she go for walks and potty on a boat? Our compromise was an RV.

Enter Tater. Tater was meant to be a training tool. For living in a small space. For do-it-yourself fixes. For Lola's indoor potty-training. He was meant to show us how to live on a boat... while still having easy access to the land. We intended to drive Tater across the country to see what the USA has to offer. And once we hit the east coast, we'd begin our search for the perfect sailboat.

Well, my dear friends and family, as you well know, life is what happens while you're making plans. Just about a month ago, we found the perfect sailboat right here in our own backyard. And here I sit, in the cabin of our boat moored in San Diego Bay, typing the last of my Tater blogs. This is not to say we'll never take a road trip across the country. But if we do, Tater won't be accompanying us when we pull into your driveways.

We'd like to thank Tater for eight enlightening months. Without him, none of this would be possible. He was a sweet and cozy home and the perfect stepping stone and we will miss him dearly. He will always have a special place in our hearts. May his next owner enjoy him as much as we did.

And thank you all for visiting our site to see what was happening in our lives. If you are interested in learning more about the sailboat, you can visit our new blog here.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Shelter Island


Shelter Island was once a sand bar in the San Diego Bay. In the 1950’s, it was developed into a peninsula to offer shelter to yachts, as well as shelter for tourists in the form of four Polynesian-styled hotels. It offers one of the best views in the county: from one vantage point across the bay, you can see Mission Hills and Old Town, the San Diego skyline, the Coronado Bridge leading to Coronado Island and the Navy SEALs military base, all the way out to the Pacific Ocean past Point Loma. It’s almost impossible NOT to spot a sea lion swimming in the bay, and on a lucky day you might even see a family of dolphins frolicking between the moored boats. Shelter Island is a popular hangout for fishermen, boaters, tourists and walkers (with a 2-mile roundtrip walking path that parallels the bay.) The only residents of Shelter Island are the ducks, seagulls and, of course, the RV’ers.

Shelter Island is one of the places Tater and the gang spends much of their time. Here, there is always bay front parking that allows for an unobstructed view of the beautiful sights across the bay. With the exception of periodic uproar from jets and helicopters on the Navy Base, Shelter Island offers a peaceful respite that no money can buy (because it’s free…Duh!). Often, we’ll sit inside Tater and watch the sailboats, motorboats, cruise and military ships moving in and out of the bay. Sometimes, we’ll shoot the bull with the other RV’ers and fishermen who park along the bay. And we always find time to walk Lola on one of the many paths or take her for a run on the sandy beach. At night, we move Tater to the street as there is no overnight parking in the lots.

Shelter Island is the perfect place to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life. It’s a place where we can relax and read a book or go for a walk, and ultimately be in the company of people who share similar values.




View Larger Map

This is what I like to refer to as "RV Row"... free bay-front parking (the RV behind Tater belongs to the first RV'er we met named Tommy)


This is a view of the San Diego skyline from Tater


A closer view of the skyline from Tater


These pigeons have no fear. They will fly right into our window if they are hungry.


I can feel their beady red eyes staring up at me.


Sailboats in the Bay


An aircraft carrier heading home


The Shelter Island Fishing Pier (no license required to fish from the pier)


A view of a marina on the back side of Shelter Island, taken from a walking path on Point Loma


Sea Lions are everywhere


Another sea lion


Lola coming in from a swim in the bay


Lola giving me grief for making her swim


The sandy coat is my punishment for making her swim


Ben & I


(sidenote: The sailboat in the first picture at the top of this posting belongs to a sailor named Dave. We didn't know him at the time the photo was taken but a couple weeks after it was shot, while we were nosing around the dock, we met Dave and he invited us aboard for some wine. Dave actually built the boat himself.)

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Tater Kin

Today we spotted a Mini-Tater when we stopped to run an errand. This is the first time we’ve ever seen anything remotely resembling Tater. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to get the specs on Mini-Tater but it looks like a 17-foot motorhome with a different interior design. Here are some pics.

Mini-Tater Driver Side View


Mini-Tater Passenger Side View


Here is a pic of both. Mini-Tater on the Left and Tater on the Right

Never Before Seen Footage

I posted these the other day but it didn't seem like they weren't working. Here they are again... a couple videos of our dirtbike adventures through Anza Borrego. And, NO, we did not crash.

video
video

Monday, April 7, 2008

Anza Borrego Desert State Park: Blair Valley

We spent the last day and night of our trip at Blair Valley. Also a primitive backcountry campground, Blair Valley does offer vault toilets, but who needs that when you have Tater? It is located at 2500 feet (second highest elevation of the Anza Borrego campgrounds) and is 32 miles south of the Visitor's Center. However, just 2 miles away is the town of Shelter Valley (pop. 340). From Blair Valley, we saw the pictographs (left behind by the Kumeyaay Indians) and did some dirt-biking around Little Blair. Little Blair actually seemed quite large, despite it's name. Ben also took off on a solo mission (my nerves could only handle so much dirt-biking through cactus fields) but unfortunately he didn't bring the camera with him (or maybe fortunately for the camera). Here are some pictures:

Tater at the campsite



On our way to the Pictographs



Pictographs



A view from the trail beyond the Pictographs


Another view from the same trail


Taking a break


Another view


From inside a cave


Ben on top of the cave


Ben & I relaxing on top of the cave


Me @ Little Blair


An egg-shaped cloud we spied on our way to Borrego Springs


We would have gotten to Borrego Springs quicker if there wasn't such a strong headwind!


A view on the way to Borrego Springs


A view from our campsite in the morning


Lola @ the campsite


Another view from our campsite

Anza Borrego Desert State Park: Yaqui Pass

We spent the first two nights at a backcountry campsite at Yaqui Pass. These primitive campsites are free and offer no hookups or running water. Some of them have vault toilets. This one did not. (Lucky for us, Tater has a toilet of his own.) The elevation at Yaqui Pass is 1730 feet - the third highest of the 14 campgrounds in Anza Borrego. It is 12 miles southeast of the Visitor's Center (meaning it is 12 miles from civilization aka Borrego Springs - pop. 2900). From Yaqui Pass, we explored the Kenyon Trail on foot, then Mine Wash and Buttes Pass on Mule. Here are some of our pics:

A view of Tater from the top of the hill



King of the hill


Me & Lola


Ben taking a spin on Mule



Lola chasing Ben


Tater & Mule at the campsite


Me in front of the only Bar in Borrego Springs


A view of the morning sky from our campsite


Tater in the morning


Ben & Lola hiking on Kenyon Trail


Lola quenches her thirst on the trail


A view from Kenyon Trail


Another view


This is a view of the mountains across the desert... Taken from the top of Kenyon Trail


To add some perspective, the horizontal(ish) line at the bottom is Route 78


Another view from the top of Kenyon Trail


Mule on the Mine Wash Trail (Off Route 78. Flash Flood Area)


A View from Buttes Pass


This Cockatoo belongs to a Borrego Springs local. Lola doesn't know what to make of a bird that (1) is bigger than her, and (2) doesn't fly away from her.