Sunday, October 13, 2013

Preparing for Fall

Along the Feather River in Plumas County, Northern California, 2011
The pine, cedar, and fir forested mountains of Northern California relinquish a bit of space in the middle of Plumas County to allow for oak-studded Indian Valley. Quiet, level roads attract cyclists who glide beneath the overhanging oaks. White-painted farm houses and weathered barns provide counterpoints within scenes of grazing cattle and softly stepping deer. Wood smoke curls above the communities of Taylorsville and Genesee.

Those remembered images, along with the anticipation of crisp air and fall colors, typically animate me each year at this time to clear the schedule for a few days, pack up cameras and tripods, warm clothes, meals and maps, and finally head out highway 49 on a Fall photography outing. It is also an opportunity to reacquaint myself with the nice folks who run the Plumas County Visitor's Bureau, and have made use of my photos for several years on the cover and the inside pages of the Plumas County Visitor's Guide.

On the Beckworth-Genesee Road
I could stay in motels or tent camp (brrr!) on these adventures, but I prefer the gentle rusticity of our little 1986 Toyota-based motor home. We acquired it several years ago as a "jump-in-and-go-option" to our cumbersome truck and 27-foot trailer setup. While small enough to park in most any space that will fit a regular car, it also has all of the cozy life-support features of a motor home. No, there's no 50-inch flatscreen TV, but better yet, it has a door that can open onto an early morning, mist-shrouded meadow, where you can stand awestruck, steaming coffee in hand.

This year "Minnie Winnie" is getting a bit of extra TLC in preparation for the fall outing, thanks to my wife Hilda. She is taking on the more difficult and time-consuming part of our project to replace the window coverings. This while taking time out from canning apple sauce, apple butter, and pickled veges. 

The many holes in the wall panels indicate previous frustrated attempts at solutions, ranging from Venetian blinds (awkward to operate, and all those strings) to curtain rods (always falling down). A while back I discovered what seemed to me a perfect solution. Tracks that mount flush to the wall, and sliding clips that snap onto pleated curtains. Fortunately Hilda knows her stuff with respect to thread and fabric. All I had to do was ply the tape measure, drill, and screwdriver. My part was literally a snap. Planning the fabric width considering the pleats, and then making the pleats happen, was the tricky part that Hilda had to work out. 

Track and end caps
The snaps come pre-mounted on a tape that is sewn onto the top hem of the curtain fabric that can then be pleated. The bits and pieces, with sewing and mounting instructions come from a company called RECMAR. They have a variety of track systems for boats as well as trailers and RVs.

I'm plugging all of this stuff because the system has turned out to be an excellent upgraded window covering solution for us. 

Minnie Winnie with her track-mounted curtains installed. 
So cozy - can't wait to head out!


  1. Very nice camper. Your photos remind me of when I would visit Montana for a few weeks each year.

  2. Cozy remote typecasting station! I suggest you use it often this fall (: