Red Rock Canyon & Donny

Just a little bit west of Las Vegas is a place everyone should visit if you’re ever in the area. This National Conservatory (not a park) is beautiful and can be accessed with your Old Age National Park Pass (OANPP) and a couple of bucks. But, you need to make a reservation because they monitor the number of vehicles allowed every hour. It’s a busy place and the road is one way all the way. it’s probably 13 miles long. I know that’s true because I looked on the map they gave us.. There are stops all along the route to view things.

Here’s a little bit of what we saw …

We also saw Donny Osmond. He put on an exceptional 90 minute show that we both loved.

Palm Springs to Las Vegas

I’m going back a couple of days for this one because I wanted to make all my photos available. As most of you know, I seem to have a problem getting them from my phone to my computer sometimes. But, they’re all there now, so I can catch up.

We left Palm Springs yesterday, two days before our scheduled departure. I’m not sure why we did that, but we did. One of the last things we did before packing up was spend most of Tuesday at the pool. First time we did that and it was very pleasant. People in PS are very nice and no one laughed at my chicken legs and farmer’s tan.

Wednesday morning we packed everything into our suitcases, and all the remaining stuff in the bags we collected during our many shopping trips for one thing and another. Then I hurked all it down to the vehicle, one bag at a time. That isn’t true, of course. I took two items at a time so I could walk straight. With only one heavy item to carry, I tended to walk in circles to keep my balance. So I started with that overweight suitcase and the next one down in size. When packing, I moved all the heavy stuff from #1 and put them in #2 to even things up a little. After I got the suitcases loaded I started on the bags, of which there were many. Diane was a huge help by moving all the bags from the 2nd floor and staged them at the bottom of the stairs. No elevator, remember? It was not easy for her to make those trips up and down and I really appreciated her help.

On our way north, we passed through the little town of Joshua Tree on Highway 62. As we headed up into the mountains I kept getting these annoying flash flood warnings. Never got any of those before so I wasn’t overly alarmed. There were clouds scattered around, but being from Oregon they don’t scare me at all. Shortly before getting to Yucca Valley we were peppered with some rain which was nice, actually. We like rain. It’s refreshing. Clears the air.

As the rain got heavier, before we got to town, we learned that rain in this part of the world also clears the streets and we learned what those warnings were all about.

In Yucca Valley we only saw two (2) storm drains on the main street and they were working just fine. Being the only two, however, didn’t help clear the massive amount of water rushing in from all the streets that didn’t have drains. The result was that pretty much every intersection through town was flooded over the sidewalks in most cases.

Some small cars, whose drivers took the chance of navigating through the water didn’t make it and stood all alone in the rushing water. There was really no danger because the water was probably 6-10″ deep at the most and wasn’t getting inside the cars. Being in the Toyota 4-Runner, we weren’t in peril. Diane did a great job of plowing through the water, keeping a safe distance, and letting the locals with their jacked up trucks fly through the deep stuff which is probably how they get the bottom of their rigs cleaned off.

Finally we got through the worst of it and turned left from Highway 62 onto Highway 247, or Old Woman Springs Road, according to my map. That’s the name of the Highway 247 all the way to Lucerne Valley where all the dairy products sold at Safeways the world over come from even though there’s not a cow in sight.

Anyway, in Lucerne Valley Old Woman Springs Road continues west, but Highway 247 heads north toward Barstow. Consequently, Highway 247 became Barstow Road just like that. I suspect it’s called Barstow Road because that’s where it goes, io Barstow, where intersects I-15 which originates in San Diego, CA and heads for Las Vegas, our destination. So, we turned right and headed that direction. Exit 239 on Highway 237 was fun:

An interesting thing about I-15 is that southbound drivers exit the freeway right across the street from the old CPO Club at 32nd Street Naval Base in San Diego. The last time we were down there the old club was a place to eat an excellent, and cheap, buffet lunch. Pretty awesome.

The drive took about 4.5 hours and we only had to stop once to empty our bladders. Other than the excitement in Yucca Valley, it was an uneventful trip.

That’s it for the trip. Tomorrow I’ll tell you about our visit with Donny Osmond, and our visit to Red Rock Canyon.

Now I must sleep because Diane turned all the lights off. It’s 2330.

Palm Springs

Today is Wednesday. That mean we’ve been here four days and we’ll enjoy our 5th nite-nite tonight.

My last post was on Sunday. When we arrived the temperature was 100+ and it was still around 90 when we finally went to bed. Those are outside temps, of course. Inside it’s a comfortable 72 because the A/C runs constantly, 24/7, in every hotel/motel/resort room in every village in this part of the country. The electricity necessary to make all that happen is immense but, as luck would have it, there is one of the largest wind farms in the world. I’m guessing about “in the world” but the Palm Springs Farm is really BIG. So big that there is a local company that provides self-guided tours of the farm for the paltry sum of $24.50 a person. I’m pretty sure we won’t take that tour. I don’t see the logic in taking a self-guided tour of a facility that I can view for nothing simply by driving back and forth on I-10. True, there wouldn’t be the drama of driving on roads that weave themselves around the towers on which 150 foot long blades of death spin uncaged above our heads killing birds that dare to investigate them too closely. What fun would that be?

We’d rather take a ride on the tram, one of the things on our to-do list, but wait! It’s closed for maintenance until the 10th. Not a big deal, really, because there are many other things to do here.

For instance, just driving around looking at stuff, using up all that $7.09/gallon gas. We expected that.

I’m complaining, aren’t I? Sorry. We’re actually enjoying ourselves. One fun activity is visiting thrift stores. We do that wherever we go. Kinda lame, you might think, but we enjoy it. That’s what we did on Monday in addition to grocery shopping to get the items we missed on our Sunday shopping spree.

There’s a pool here that we’ve walked passed a few times, but haven’t taken that next step to shed our clothes, jump into a skimpy swimming suit, and test the water. I suggested that we hit the hot tub first, but since it’s been over 100 degrees pretty much every day that seems kind of dumb. So, we won’t do that.

Yesterday we went to see the Salton Sea. Never been there and decided it would be a nice trip. I made sandwiches which we packed into the new foldable cooler we got for that purpose, choosing a foldable one that can be placed in Diane’s already overweight suitcase. Actually, we’ll fill the foldable cooler with excess items from Diane’s overweight suitcase and it can be her carryon.

On the way to see the Salton Sea we saw a sign pointing to Mecca. We’ve always wanted to go to Mecca so we went.

Turns out it’s not what I expected, but it was interesting. Then we continued on to the Salton Sea.

We drove down the west side of the sea to what we considered a likely place to see the sea but the road was closed. They should have put a sign on the highway to save adventurous people from wasting their time.

So, we made our way north to the top of the sea and headed east so we could venture down that side to a designated state park. We drove for many miles looking for an entrance to the state park. Turns out there are many entrances that head toward the beach but they don’t have signs for the little gravel exits along the highway. We noticed that there weren’t any vehicles along the shore which was probably due to the extreme heat. All the smart people stayed home with their air conditioners.

We finally found an entrance that led us to a number of picnic tables and ultimately to a covered one near a restroom. And, it had the only handicap parking slot in the entire park.

That’s where we ate our sandwiches, waved at a couple of park rangers as they drove through the park. Then I walked down to the shore thinking I’d like to see how salty the Salton Sea is but changed my mind when I remembered a small sign on the fence when we entered the park. I said something about poisenous algae in the water. Looking around, I saw the culprit and saved my own life by not touching anything. Also, there was a particularly nasty smell down by the shore.

Then it was time to leave.

On the way back it became abundantly clear that we were traveling through the date palm capital of the world.

I’m guessing, of course, because I really don’t know if that’s true. I just know we saw many dozens of orchard filled with thousands and thousands of date palms ripe with fruit all protected with bags.

When I saw all those bags around all that fruit I was impressed with the monumental effort it must have been for people to do all that bagging.

Amazing.

Next stop is Indio. I think.

Guess What!

It’s that time of year again where the sun came out for a while and caused pretty much every green thing in the area to spring forth with pollen. Because of that, Diane finds it necessary to spend most of her time indoors so she can breath. It’s really sad that the sound of a lawnmower anywhere in the neighborhood causes her to hurry inside and make her rounds to ensure all the windows are closed. It’s that serious because the fragrance of mown grass pretty much shuts down her ability to breath comfortably. I really didn’t know it was so severe when I bought her that new riding lawnmower but I got a really good deal and couldn’t take it back. So, I’ll mow the grass.

Now that the worst is over she is on a mission to replant all the pots that have been gathering dust in Mom’s garage all winter long. I know this was going to happen when Diane showed up with bags of dirt in the car when she picked me up yesterday.

There were 3 each of these bags but I left 1 each at our hill house the remainder were transported to Mom’s creek house.

This is why I call it the Creek House. It has a creek running through the back yard. Milton Creek to be more specific. It’s very peaceful.

This is Diane hard at work with one of her dirt bags. Doesn’t she look great?

There were 3 each of these bags but I left 1 each at our hill house the remainder were transported to Mom’s creek house. Before we could get the bags into the Hill House we had to navigate our way around Gabby, our neighbor’s guard goat. Our garage door was left open, for some reason, and she came in to get out of the rain. She’s pretty crafty. Actually, she’ll go through any unguarded door she encounters, including the one to our RV. So, we generally keep doors closed.

Last Sunday, Mother’s Day, The entire Walters Clan came to visit. We are thankful to be close enough, geographically, that visits are simple and often. This time they brought Jessiah, a Grand Nephew on Daniel’s side of things. Jessie is about the most calm baby (8 months) I’ve ever encountered. Mr. Mellow. It was a treat, too, to see Pastor Jeran who is home from school (Corban University) for the summer. He’s going to be the Youth Pastor for the family’s church all summer. He was surprised that they plan to pay him to do it. I have no doubt he would have done it for free. He’s that kind of guy. So, he’s going to be getting a lot of experience in a church he’s been going to for a lot of years. The congregation was overjoyed with the announcement that one of their flock was coming home to teach. We heard there was a standing ovation for him. We’re happy for him.

Now I have to get busy jacking up the RV so we can remove the rear wheels and, with the help of some savvy friends, figure out a way to release the brakes so we can use the rig. As it sits, it’s not going anywhere.

Later….

Another Adventure

This time of year for Diane and me is devoted to celebrating our Anniversary. Normally it amounts to us communing with nature by sequestering ourselves in our motorhome near the beach. The ocean air is like a healing balm for Diane. It makes her happy, and anything that makes Diane happy, makes me happy.

Sadly, we had to venture forth without the shelter of the RV because it decided it wanted to stay home. In a roundabout way, it told us that it’s been setting for so long that it’s going to take more than a twist of the ignition key to pry it from its parking spot next to our garage. The exclamation point to that was when she locked up her brakes and refused to let go. Everything else works just fine, but nothing we did would convince her to take us to the beach.

So, we transferred all the provisions to the car and drove ourselves to the land of the healing ocean air. When we return we’ll get busy and convince her that she really should go with us the next time.

Since we left our accommodations at home, Diane made reservations at a couple of condos, in the vicinity of the friends we were supposed to be “camping” with that would just have to do for, this trip. The first one was for 3 days in Newport, Oregon.

It was pretty nice and only 6 miles from South Beach State Park where we were supposed to be. That’s where Les & Sophie, and Cliff & Susie were staying. Although they were parked near the beach, we had a pretty nice view from our condo.

Our time was spent visiting with out friends, like we always do which makes me wonder how we could possibly come up with MORE things to talk about. But, we always do. And, we eat really good meals. Each couple is responsible for cooking one dinner for the group during the course of our stay. We eat quite well. When it’s our turn I campaign for beans and weenies but it never happens. Instead we have stuff like pork loin, or steaks, and things that go with them. One of these days I’ll get my way but it will have to be on a trip that lasts longer than 4-5 days.

After Newport, we moved up the coast to Neskowin and checked in to the Proposal Rock Inn. It’s a building full of individually owned condos that are rented to folks to help pay for the mortgages when the owners aren’t using them. The one we got is on the 3rd floor so I got my exercise carting all our stuff up some pretty steep stairs. We’ll be here for four days so I guess this will have to do.

The others moved to Winema Beach. Literally. The RV parking spots are almost right on the beach. Perfect for riding scooters, if you have a scooter.

That’s what Les and Cliff did, without me, because I didn’t bring my scooter. They are only about 3 miles north of our condo and rode almost all the way to us before turning around to go back.

With Les leading, Cliff kept him in sight while enjoying the sights while scooting along near the surf line. Then danger struck when he saw something shiny on the sand. Stopping to investigate, he bent over to pick it up and was hit with a rogue wave which pretty much soaked him and drowned his scooter.

He had to push it about a mile back to the RV because the electric motor was (apparently) full of sea water. That’s not a good thing. He’s a crafty mechanic, however, and will no doubt resurrect it once he gets it home. Right after he replaces the microwave in the RV. The microwave went belly up in Newport.

I arrived for dinner at Susie’s and Cliff’s a little early so had time to get the full story about the scooter trip, but had forgotten about the demise of their microwave. During the course of getting things ready for dinner, Cliff picked up the dinner rolls to put on the table and suggested Susie warm them up in the microwave. Susie didn’t miss a beat and told him, “good idea. Why don’t you get on your scooter and drive them next door and use Sophie’s microwave?” It loses a little retelling that, but it was hilarious at the time.

That’s about it for now. We’ll be back home in a couple of days. I’ve received numerous suggestions about what to do with the RV to make it release the brakes. The best solution involves large hammer. I’ll let you know how that turns out.

Cheers!

hasta la vista 2021

OK – I know. That’s a bad choice for bidding farewell to a year we will never see again. Sayonara would be more correct I believe.

Iregardless, or regardless if you prefer, it’s time to say goodbye to a year fraught with amazing and frightening events. I have no intention of reiterating the lengthy list of candidates as I’m pretty sure the big ones (newsworthy) are well known to all. Rattling around in my head, up near the top, are events that occurred on January 6th. I’m sure you all know that’s the day Epiphany is celebrated.

“Why,” you may ask, “does anyone celebrate the Capitol Riots?”

Pondering the question with my arms crossed, my head tilted a bit to the right, tapping my chin with my right forefinger, I respond, “Actually, though the Capitol Riots did indeed happen on that January 6th, it isn’t known for sure if that day for such activities was chosen for religious reasons or if it was purely coincidence. You see, January 6th is the 12th Day of Christmas.”

You might respond with a resounding, “Really!” or a “Now, you’re just yanking my chain, right?”

“Nope, not at all,” I reply. “January 6th is the day of Epiphany, marking the end of the Christmas season . Epiphany celebrates the baptism of the infant Jesus Christ by John the Baptist, and the visit of the Three Wise Men to Bethlehem, and the day all Christmas decorations must be removed from the exteriors of homes in areas where HOAs are very strict.” That last bit was only recently added.

Just so you know, the events that happened on January 6th, 2021 had nothing to do with Christmas whatsoever (I’ve always wanted to use that word in a meaningful way). According to many news networks, there may be another upheaval in 2024. I can only wonder if it, too, will transpire on January 6th.

COVID, in many forms, assaulted people throughout the year and caused lots of problems for the nurses and doctors who did their best to deal with it. The medical community will forever have my respect for what they are enduring. If only people would just suck it up and get vaccinated, perhaps they could help end this by not getting sick and overwhelming our hospitals and medical facilities. Who knows?

Enough of that.

How about a nice January 1st, 2022 sunrise?

This is the way 2022 started for me. Kinda pretty, don’t you think? In my mind, however, it conjures up an old nautical saying … Red sun at night, Sailor’s delight. Red sun in the morning, Sailor take warning.

I’ll admit that such a stunning display as this doesn’t really reveal that the rising sun is red. There’s a lot of reflected light on display just before the sun makes it’s appearance. Whenever I see such a display in the morning I wait to see what the sun will do. Not only because it’s very pretty, but because something woke me in time to see it and I need to watch it to the end. It doesn’t last very long so you can’t look away.

In this instance, the sun revealed itself like this …

It means the day will be good.

Hope your’s will be good, too. Like good all year.

It’s Been Fun, and Thanks for the Memories

Although we are scheduled to be home by September 30th, I think we can officially say we’re winding down, and heading home. Tonight will be our 3rd at the Bearmouth Chalet RV Park situated on the shores of the Clark Fork River. The river is between us and I-90, and the traffic noise is pretty loud, but it seems to just go away at night. Trains go by pretty often, too, but the same rule applies – tolerable at night.

The two hour trip from Kalispell to here took us 5 hours. That seems to be the way this trip has gone for every leg of this trip. Projected time provided by our maps and GPS units do not concur with reality. The common joke between the drivers for pretty much every leg of the trip is to hold up five fingers while stating that it’s only a 2 hour trip. Funny thing

Things would have been a little closer the projection, but one of us developed an issue with brakes climbing the hills going south making the trip down a little exciting. Stepping on the brake pedal and not getting any resistance before it bottoms out is a bit concerning, and terrifying. Especially when you’re driving a 30+ ft Class A RV.

The problem was solved by puling to the side of Highway 93 and letting everything cool off for a while. Hence, the added time for the trip. The master brake cylinder is physically located about 6-8 inches from the exhaust manifold causing the brake fluid to boil and lose it’s compression properties. Wrapping the master cylinder with a moldable aluminum baking pan added the additional protection that got us safely to our destination. It should serve us well for the remainder of the trip, also.

Prior to leaving Kalispell, we had a celebratory birthday dinner/party for Susie.

Diane, Susie, and Carolann spent a lot of their free time looking ahead to our next parking place. Without their efforts we would have had a hard time getting from one place to another. We all agreed that knowing where we’re going to land at the next stop is important. Takes a lot of stress off the drivers. Diane was normally the one who made the final phone call for reservations and she’s really good at it. Makes life on the road way better.

After Kalispell our next stop was at the BearMouth Chalet & RV Park on the shores of the Clark Fork River which just happened to be on the same exit (138) as the exit for the Garnet Ghost Town. All of that is a few miles east of Missoula.

The next day we took a drive up the mountain to the ghost town and spent a few hours looking through the remaining buildings. Much of the furnishings were still in place giving us a good idea of what it must have been like to live in such a primitive manner. Not an easy life for the miners and their families. Getting there was an adventure in itself as it was 15 miles off the main road, most of it gravel and one lane. Fun stuff. At times the sheer side of the road was a couple hundred feed down, but there were always a lot of trees to break the fall should someone wander off the road.

River’s Edge Resort was our next stop near the small village of Alberton, Montana. Beautiful spot on the banks of the Clark Fork River. Had a riverside dinner to end this brief stay.

Then we bedded down for the night preparing for the next leg of this epic venture.

Later.

Trek to the beach

Truly, it was a trek. For Diane and me, it was an epic trek. It began quite calmly with a short walk around B Loop here in the park, to a very soft sand path that immediately aimed itself uphill. Next to the entry point stood a pole to which was attached a small sign with an arrow point the way. Beneath the arrow the distance was revealed to be 0.75 miles.

So, 3/4 of a mile uphill in soft sand. No problem. It was a challenge for both of us so we marched on. Very slowly.

Here I must report that this park has a portion available for folks who bring their horses and they are allowed to use portions of the sandy path we were trekking. Dodging occasional horse droppings on shared portions of the path caused me to wonder why campers are constantly reminded to clean up after their dogs but nowhere did I see similar reminders for horse owners to do the same. Especially for common use areas.

How is this fair? I suppose it could be a safety issue for the riders who would have to stop, dismount, cleanup, remount, then restart. Maybe OSHA made a decision that exempts horse folks from stooping so low as to pick up their poop. I don’t know, but, I have a solution.

Pretty much every parade I’ve ever attended had horses who marched down the road with all the other displays. Usually, they followed all the bands and marching units, for obvious reasons. Each group of horses is followed by a brave group of people with a shovel and a cart, picking up the droppings as necessary. I don’t think it’s beyond reasonable to provide the same service for horses allowed to traverse paths shared by humans. The pickeruppers could follow along on an off quad, or a small jeep.

Just a suggestion.

Now that I’ve unburdened my troubled sense of fairness, let me just say that Diane and I made the 1.5 mile round trip without incident. Although the temperature was reported at 68 degrees, neither of us believed it and took hoodies for the trip. They were put to good use once we arrived at the beach. The wind was blowing quite hard driving the wind chill factor down to about 9 degrees. That’s probably not true but it was really chilly. Even so, I ventured down that last steep hill to the beach so I could look at the little rocks the water scatters all over. Diane chose to skip that last challenge and found a comfy place to sit by a large sign with 146 on it. These signs, scattered up and down the coast, are used by safety agencies for locating emergencies along the coast. I looked that up so it must be true. Makes sense.

Anyway, while wandering around smartly on the beach, with no one within 2 miles of us, except the wind surfer making his way south. The results of my pebble hunting was about 7 pounds of extra weight for the return trip on that soft sand path home.

The path from the beach goes into those trees, and beyond. Daunting.

We took numerous breaks on the way back to let our hips and knees rest. Now it’s later, we’ve had supper, and sitting for any length of time causes micro seizures of all my crotch muscles. Getting up is difficult and painful. I’m having the same symptoms I get when I drag my golf bag around a 9-hole course. I fail to understand why all my discomfort is centered within the confines of my crotch area. Doesn’t make sense.

Still, it hurts. I will heal, I know, but for now, it hurts.

Please pray for me.

Rocks before the trip.
Rocks after the trip.

Bandon, Oregon

What a nifty place. Major league golf courses, that cost $295 for 18 holes, if you aren’t a resort guest. Since Diane and I are 9-hole golfers, we probably wouldn’t be allowed to play. This price is the same for all of the Bandon golf courses, all of which are professional grade. Really, really nice courses. Absolutely no moles anywhere, so I hear. Oh, and carts aren’t allowed; everyone walks. That’s another reason we won’t play because, for us, half the fun of golfing is riding around in the golf cart.

Instead, we’ll just investigate the back roads around the town and pay a visit to McKays Market once in a while. There are also many excellent seafood restaurants on the wharf along the river just inside the jetties that protect entry to the Coquille River.

Today, Thursday, was beautiful. Yesterday there was forest fire smoke in the air all day, swirling up from California.

After the ride we came back to the camp ground so I could cook lunch, then we watched “Death Wish” with Bruce Willis. When it was over, we wondered why. To ease the pain of that one, we watched “The Bourne Ultimatum” for the second feature.

Diane brought along Movie Candy so we ate some of that while watching. I had Good & Plenty’s, she had Hot Tamales. I opened my box yesterday and Diane put on her “Lets test Jerrie hat” and asked me how many Good & Plenty pieces were in a standard serving. I told her, “25”, which was true because I read the label. Then I dumped some in a bowl so she could count them, and she was totally amazed to discover that I’d dumped out 25 pieces. Actually, I was too. I believe her exact words were, “how did you do that!” My response, I think, was a short explanation about how I’m able to slow the passing of time, relatively to myself, so that everything around me runs in super slow motion which allows me to do that kind of stupid stuff, or something like that. Exactly like The Flash, but different.

Now it’s bedtime. Past, actually. G’night. Maybe I’ll speed-sleep just for fun. Never done that.

I’ll add some random photos now and rely on you to relate them to the narrative.
Big Dog, I think.
Catching some rays in the front yard.
The fishing pier in Bandon where the Coquille River enters the sea.
Almost like Malibu moved to Bandon’s Beach.
No surfers here.
Diane’s Flowy hair. Wind’s from the north.

That’s it, shipmates. Semper fi.

Off on another Adventure

This is a preamble to the following narrative to explain the reason I wrote it two days ago and am only now sending it. First, there was an “internet thing” that prevented me from sharing it. I also had photos to share that I needed to download to my laptop from my phone. I found it interesting that when I connected my phone to the laptop I got a message reporting that I needed to download a file to make it happen but it didn’t tell me what the file was. Being gullible, I just selected “sure, download that file and make me take a change you will destroy everything on my computer.” That was actually an option. Really. I started that last night but got bored waiting so I stopped the process and went to bed. This morning I just let it run wild and also initiated a download of my own to update my laptop OS. Since I’m using my iPhone as a hot spot, and the signal it has is iffy, the process took just about 5 hours. I’m happy to report that everything turned out just fine except the photo download process thought all of the 9700 photos on my phone were new. It took about an hour for the process to stop at my command, then I selected the last 150 photos and downloaded them. Now I’m ready to let you read this thing. Whew!

I can’t believe that it’s been 19 days since my last post. You’d almost think I’ve been avoiding all of you. I could claim that COVID has kept me away, and that’s true, to an extent, but not the reason I’ve avoided the blog. Nope. I’m just lazy. One day melds onto another and, at least in my case, they’re pretty much all the same.

I get up around 5 am, let the animals out, let them back in, feed them, take my pills, sit in my chair, spread out a blanket in my lap for the cat, read my book until the cat wants to go back out, make coffee, fall asleep until Diane gets up between 10-11am, drink coffee, make breakfast, check my email, watch TV with Diane until time for supper, eat supper, watch TV until time for bed, let the animals out, let them back in, go to bed, read until I fall asleep, wake up just enough to put my book up, sleep off and on until 5 am, let the animals out, etc. for the past 19 days.

Actually, that routine’s been going on for years.

So, what did we do during those last 19 days? Let me look at my calendar. I’ll be right back …

A quick review revealed that there’s not much to report other than the fact that Diane wanted to wash the storm windows on the east side of the house. I thought, well, they come off pretty easy and they shouldn’t be too difficult to wash and replace, so I agreed. I got three of the four removed myself, but needed Jeff’s help on the 4th one.

Once they were down, and we got a closer look at them, and the condition of the window frames they were hiding, we had a short discussion about the benefits of spending a lot of money to just have all the windows replaced. An expensive but simple way to get all the windows washed. Made my day.

Now all we have to do is wait for the guy to show up and measure all the opening for that perfect fit. Then wait some more while they are all manufactured. Then wait some more for an install date. We have a pool going about whether or not it will be raining cat and dogs on the install day.

We’ve been traveling more and more lately. Fort Stevens State Park was the last trip, a couple of weeks ago with our Winnebago Friends.

At this time, we’re currently on the second day of a trip to Bullard’s Beach State Park in southern Oregon. It’s a great way to sequester. One big reason to head west was to get away from the forest fire smoke we’d be breathing for a week or so. This is what it looked like off our back porch:

Just 60 miles west in Seaside we had this:

End of Broadway – the Seaside Turnaround.
South end of Seaside Beach.
The Winnebago Crowd

At this moment, we’re parked in spot 9 at Armitage Park in Coburg. Got here yesterday and will leave tomorrow for the final leg to Bullard’s Beach State Park. It’s very quiet here and the spaces are about 30 feet apart so there’s no crowding at all.

A funny thing happened last night that made both of us grab out chins, tip our heads a little, and go “Hmmmm.” When I woke up this morning my right knee looks like someone hit me smack on my patella with a hammer. It was all swollen up and had stuff squishing all around my knee cap. I know that because I was moving it all around with my fingers. I could do that because it doesn’t hurt. Another interesting aspect of this event is that it doesn’t hurt to push it around, but I cannot kneel on it. That hurts. A lot. It’s just weird.

My gnarly knee. Looks kinda like a kangaroo knee.

For now it’s just not a concern and it’s kinda fun to look at.

Today we took a trip via back roads to investigate Springfield and Eugene (think Oregon Ducks). We made a trip to Mount Pisgah Arboretum and tromped around on their grounds for a couple of hours, walking 3 miles or so. It was good. It’s an immense area with miles of paths for serious walkers, of which there were a few.

That’s Diane running away from me.
Recharging
One of many paths across the fields.

Met some very friendly people who were hard at work clearing acres of blackberry vines. After watching them for a bit, my little patch of blackberry vines at home dwindled to pretty much nothing in my mind.

Then we drove to downtown Eugene to see an incredible house perched on the side of the hill just above the Amtrak stop. If it hadn’t’ve been Monday we would have toured the place but they don’t open till Tuesday. Big bummer.

Shelton McMurphey Johnson House

Then it was time to go ‘home’, but only after a stop to get some groceries. Turned out there was a Winco Food store right around the corner so Diane was delighted.

Diane wanted steak so we got some. The New York versions were cheap, she said, and came 2 to a pack so we got 2 packs. I allowed this knowing that Diane would only eat half of hers, but that was OK. While checking out she foolishly asked me if I could eat a pound of meat. Though no answer was required, I said, “sure.”

Once back ‘home’ she went to work baking a couple of potatoes and one ear of corn (for me) while I got the BBQ out of the basement and worked at getting it hooked up. That’s really not a tough job but when I opened the basement door things fell out. Like a bag of beach toys the girls use when we take them to the beach. They went everywhere. While I was picking those up, the bag full of kitty lights fell out and scattered a bit.

Then I got the BBQ and hauled it over to the picnic table. The propane tank was waaay on the other side of the motorhome. Gathering my strength for that trip took a bit, but I got it together, got the tank, and hurked it to the picnic table. You may scoff, if you wish, but that tank weighs at least half as much as I did when I was in the fifth grade.

Not much happened until all the food was cooked and I made a concerted effort to get the steaks, which looked marvelous, into the coach. Everything went well until I couldn’t, for some obscure reason, get my right foot to the top of the last step. There was a lot of wobbling going on, Diane held her breath, but nothing worked and both steaks landed on the rug; the one we wipe our feet on when we come indoors. Nice, huh? That was resolved by passing them under the water faucet for a rinse. Then we ate.

I ate all of mine and the other half of Diane’s. Definitely a pound of meat. Then I ate a piece of cake. When that wore off, I ate a banana.

Sadly, neither Diane nor I captured any of this to share with you. We still have those other two steaks to cook while we’re traveling so I’ll try to remember to get photos then.

Now we’re winding down, watching Dancing With The Stars and wishing Tom was still the host. Tyra just isn’t any fun at all.

Still, we watch.