Cal Valley - Sept 29-30 - RC Groups
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Jun 28, 2012, 11:29 AM
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Cal Valley - Sept 29-30

I spoke with Ken at the California Valley lodge to make sure rooms would be available for this event. Ken basically said rooms would not be available because the workers from the solar plant will be occupying the lodge for the foreseeable future. He said we can still rent the kitchen and we can use the area behind the kitchen for launching.

That leaves us with the following options:

1. Camp on or near the Lodge property. This works ok for for those with campers/motorhomes. Others like myself can tent camp, but not sure what to do about a restroom. I have a call into Ken to ask if the kitchen has a restroom and if so could we have full time access to it. Also, not sure how Ken will react to a large number of people camping at the lodge.

2. Camp somewhere else in the Valley. We used launch away from the lodge off Belmont Trail rd, maybe some could camp there, but no restroom facility.

3. Stay at a hotel in Buttonwillow or Atascadero. Drive into the valley each morning and still use the kitchen for meetings/dinner.

4. Any combination of the above. Some can choose to stay in hotels, others camp.

Given the situation I would suggest the official event be a two day event (Saturday Sunday). I understand there are some teams that may be there Friday and possibly Thursday for practice and Distance Pin attempts.

I need to get an idea of how many will be attending. Please let me know if you plan on attending and what you plan to do for accommodations (camp or hotel).

If you have any other suggestions please speak up!


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Jul 19, 2012, 11:32 AM
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Dudley Dufort's Avatar

Buttonwillow or Atascadero?

I was talking with John about the "No Vacancy" sign hanging at the California Valley Lodge for our September contest. I offered to do some research on alternate places to stay. Unless your camping at CV, your choice essentially boils down to Buttonwillow or Atascadero.

The difference in distance and travel time between the two is negligible. Each is about an hour. Atascadero offers more amenities than does Buttonwillow. After all the Central Coast is a "destination" while Buttonwillow is more of a "crash pad" for weary I-5 travelers.

In talking with the SVSS cross country guys, we're in favor of staying in Atascadero. There are some GREAT places for us all to gather for dinner and Hoover's Beef Palace in Templeton (5 miles north) is an absolute must for breakfast!

While communal cooking and eating at the CV Kitchen is fun, it's also a lot of work for those packing the provisions. The effort is further complicated by the fact that we're not staying at the Lodge. My recommendation is to forgo the kitchen this year and dine out.

The Holiday Inn and Best Western are a bit pricy at $165 & $140 per night. My recommendation is the Motel 6 at only $80. Motel 6 and McDonalds share a common trait; it ain't great but you know what to expect. There are rooms available and I'd suggest making reservations early as there is some big shindig in Santa Margarita on the same weekend as our contest and rooms could become scarce

The contest dates are 9/29 & 9/30. The Dust Devils will be saying at Motel 6 on Friday & Saturday nights, 9/28 & 9/29.

The number for Motel 6 is 805-466-6701.

Jul 19, 2012, 12:59 PM
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Dudley Dufort's Avatar

A Block of Rooms

I just reserved a block of 10 rooms at the aforementioned Motel 6. In theory they are all two beds, non-smoking, ground floor and in the quiet area of the motel. That way we can all be kinda bunched together.

If you want one of the rooms, call Amber and let her know.

Jul 19, 2012, 03:31 PM
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Thanks John and Dudley,
Flying Tigers checked into Motel 6.
Should be flying at Cal Valley Friday also.
Regards Dean
Jul 20, 2012, 12:52 AM
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Thanks Dudley.

Got my room reserved for Friday and Saturday nights.

Jul 27, 2012, 10:19 PM
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John and all
I think I have a solution to the contest dilema. A friend who builds and flys RC gliders/power lives not far from the school in Cal Valley. He has beaucoup acres with house/barn facility and his own graded and groomed RC landing strip. I approached he and his wife about the XC group descending on them for the weekend and they were more than happy to have the event held there. There is plenty of space for planes and gear to be left. Camping is open for discussion also, with worries about septic tank capacity. Portapotty or two would probably be appropriate. I think this could workout well. Let me know what you think about this suggestion. Pm me for a phone number.

Rick Johnston
Jul 28, 2012, 10:27 AM
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Dudley Dufort's Avatar

New Site

Hey Rick

The more I think about this, the better it sounds. I hadn't even thought about all our planes and gear while out on course and at the end of each day's flying. Without a place to store our stuff, we'd have to pack up everything and lug it with us back to Atascadero. Back in town, we'd have to move planes and gear in and out of our motel rooms for safekeeping.

I say we give this offer serious consideration.

Jul 28, 2012, 12:09 PM
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Would we launch from your friends place then do the normal course?
Jul 28, 2012, 02:38 PM
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How far is this field from the Lodge? Do you think it is a better area for launching than the field we have been using behind Kens restaurant?

Right now Ken has agreed to let us use his field and the restrooms in the restaurant. We might even be able to store our equipment in the restaurant.

The only advantage I see to switching to this other field is if it is better for launching and if it has a secure place to store equipment overnight. The drawback is apparently it has no restroom facilities.

Jul 28, 2012, 05:38 PM
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Attached is a KMZ file showing Doug's place in relation to Ken's. Soad Lake Rd is about four miles on Hwy 58, Ken's place another mile or so down Soda Lake Rd. The contest course will probably have to be altered someway, but also consider Bitterwater Rd is close by to go up.
To answer your question about lauching and landing, Doug's place has a graded flat landing field out behind the house, probably big enough to land a full scale Cub, no ruts, no holes, very nice. Doug's barn is big enough to put everybody's planes and gear inside for the night. Doug's on a septic tank so it would be better to have a portapotty or two brought in for the weekend (I can arrange that)so as to not to chance on overloading Doug's system with all of us using it during the day(not saying we are full of you know what, just saying). Doug says camping is OK. Probably shower outdoors(behind the barn) with a hose. If you guys can put together a camp kitchen we would be able to have onsite meals. Doug ran a campground for a couple of years so he is open to most any arrangement.
I know all will enjoy meeting Doug and his wife. Doug hobby work shop is fill with models he's built and as many kits he hasn't and some dating back to the beginning of time, with interesting stories to go with, I think some of you may actually know Doug from the 70's and 80's RC venues.

Last edited by Rickj.1151; Jul 28, 2012 at 05:53 PM.
Jul 30, 2012, 10:57 AM
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:Why don't you and your Marquita come up some weekend and we could drive out to Doug's place (one hour away)and look. The Bitterwater Rd area north of Dougs, from Google Earth, looks like it might be usable as part of the course.
Feel free to stay at my house for the weekend if you and Marquita want have a get away weekend. Morro Bay is five miles, Hearst Castle and Big Sur an easy day trip. I have a guest house that you are welcome to use.
Jul 30, 2012, 11:47 AM
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Thank you for the kind offer. Its been years since I have been to Hearst Castle and that area. I am not sure I have time to get up there prior to event but if I do I will let you know.

As shown on your google earth map I have a concern about the location of Doug's place. If we launch from there we would have to turn onto highway 58 for a section of each flight if we use our usual turnpoints. I do not want to use highway 58 for any portion of the course. In years past we used it, but I and others felt it was too fast and busy from a safety standpoint.

One other possibility would be to launch from the usual spot behind Ken's restaurant and then use Doug's place to camp for those who want to camp and store our equipment there overnight.

Rick, thanks for looking into to this. It's always good to have options.

Anybody, please feel free to chime in with ideas/opinions.

Jul 30, 2012, 07:08 PM
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Highway 58 is busy. Cal Valley is not the sleepy place it used to be, with solar plants going in, there is alot more traffic everywhere. Let me know what you want to do. Looking forward to flying with you guys.

Jul 30, 2012, 11:09 PM
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Hello everyone-
I'm the Doug that Rick's mentioned. I've spent the last few days paying attention to traffic on Hwy 58, and there's a bunch now with the two solar plant installations. It will be that way for at least another year and a 1/2. Part of the conditional use permit for the new facilities is an increase of Highway Patrol visibility, and they're certainly paying for their Christmas Party with their presence. The days of landing a C-172 on the road and taxiing to the house are gone. It sounds very wise to keep the event off of the highway. With that said, I still want to offer whatever we have to help you have a safe and successful XC event. I have a good sized shop, that I can clean (it's horrible) and clear space for airplanes, charging, and a 10' workbench for repairs. The shop is secure and very large airplanes will be fine and safe. There's also enough room for test flights here and you won't be bothered. We have a guest bedroom available, and as Rick mentioned, limited septic capacity for the masses. I will also offer "gopher" stuff if you guys need anything local here prior to the event. Let me know.
Jul 31, 2012, 12:07 AM
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Hello Doug

Glad you jumped into this discussion since we are talking about your place! First off, thank you for offering to help us out. I think because of the added traffic on 58 we would be wise to keep the lodge as the launching point at least until the construction of the solar plant is complete. I have not confirmed if Ken will let us store models/equipment in the restaurant so some teams may take advantage of your offer to store equipment at your place.


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