Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The old stomping grounds

We are at one of our "stealth" spots on a dead-end street in Sunnyvale, California (map), a spot at which we've stayed many times. I've previously written here that we can technically only remain in one such spot for 72 hours, and we've tried to stay low-profile and not test the limits of what law enforcement considers "parking." However there are a pair of class-C's just south of us that look to have "moved in," we remember these guys from our last visit. At least one of the rigs has a flat tire and looks to not have moved in weeks.

As I wrote last time, lots of folks down on their luck in the downturn have been driven to the streets; those with actual RVs are in better shape than the many sleeping in cars or even less. There are not a lot of places where these folks can spend the night in peace, and I think the Sunnyvale PD is cutting everyone a lot of slack as long as there is no trouble. Patrols come by here at least twice daily. On a dead end in an industrial area, it's no harm, no foul unless one of the businesses in the area complains. Great for us, at least right up until the fact that these rigs look "camped" causes the city to post the whole street as No Parking in the wee hours, as they have done in many other neighborhoods.

We tend to be good citizens and will be moving before our 72-hour clock expires today. Louise is going to be spending a good deal of time in the next couple of weeks helping out a friend further up the peninsula, so we've been looking for digs a bit closer.

I had really intended to post more from Monterey, where we spent two nights at the Elks Lodge (map) while visiting with Louise's dad and step-mom. However I expended all my energy following the earthquake/tsunami events and was barely able to get the last post out as it was. Now that I've caught up on sleep, I can write that we had a nice visit, even if travel around town was somewhat restricted by the tsunami-induced street closures. Staying at the lodge also gave us the chance to top up the batteries, fill our water tanks, and empty our waste, so we are good for another couple weeks (dump stations are few and spendy here in the bay area). We had put another 70 gallons of fuel in at a cheap ($4.10) station in King City on our way to Monterey Thursday.

Speaking of the disaster in Japan, several readers have inquired whether we might be sent there by the Red Cross. The answer is no, because we are not part of the very small cadre of American Red Cross volunteers who have been trained and qualified to be loaned via the International Red Cross to other Federation member nations when called for. Also at this writing, the Japanese Red Cross has not made any request for personnel, AFAIK. They have asked for monetary assistance, which is why the American Red Cross is able to collect donations directly for this purpose (by contrast, New Zealand did not make such a request after their earthquake, which is why you did not see an option to donate to that cause).

Danger to the U.S. and its territories from the tsunami had me prepared to leave if needed, but of course that danger is now past and there was no significant impact requiring mass care in the U.S.. I am still on call, however, and we are expecting a big spring flood season, so it is possible that I may be called to some operation in the midwest or elsewhere. Louise is committed here for a while, so I would go solo via air. In the meantime, I continue to remain riveted to the coverage of the unfolding events in Japan, in part because their infrastructure and ours is so similar. I think most US relief organizations will be learning a lot from what is happening in Japan.

I expect us, or at least Louise and Odyssey, to be here in the bay area at least two weeks and possibly longer. We are committed in San Jose next weekend for another Red Cross training event, and I expect we will move the bus down there for the purpose before moving back up north. And we have lots of friends here in the area to catch up with over the coming days.

1 comment:

  1. Not a bad spot by any measure, considering the Starbucks and other stores nearby. When I lived in Sunnyvale (3 years back or so) this used to be my go-to place. There used to be a Denny's around the corner too, not sure if it exists anymore.


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