Oahu – Day 8

On this day we didn’t do much in the way of playing tourist. Our main goal was to get gas for the rental so we wouldn’t run out on the way to or from the Polynesian Cultural Center which is waaaay over on the other side of the island. I think it’s something like 34 miles away. Sounds close, but with speed limits normally 35-45 mph, and unpredictable traffic, it takes about 1.5 hours to get there. There are, however, always drivers who think it’s necessary to get places faster than anyone else. It’s them who make traffic unpredictable. Diane dismisses them easily. In general, drivers here are pretty nice.

Getting to the base gas station was a journey worth mentioning. First, our GPS took us to an AMR Gas station located next to a small NEX in a military housing area, but the station was closed forever. It was interesting because the GPS took us to the small exchange on a previous trip so it was deja’vu all over again.

I asked a young Marine, who was headed for the store, where the station really was and he gave us good information. Turns out it’s hidden away behind the main NEX and Commissary that we’ve visited a few times already. Diane got us next to an empty pump right away but I caused a bit of delay to our line because I couldn’t figure out how to get the fuel door open. There was no inside release, so I went back to it and smacked it with my hand and it popped right open. That didn’t work the first time. When it opened I was surprised to discover that there wasn’t a cap for tank behind the door. Turns out that the door seals against the filler spout making a cap unnecessary. Never had one of those before. The guy on the motorcycle behind us wasn’t impressed.

Anyway, we got the tank full, then drove back to the parking lot that takes up a lot of space around the yacht club and what I call the Hilton Lagoon. That’s the one that’s in front of the Rainbow Tower.

Diane drove to the very edge of the parking area and was waved into a spot next to a group of local surfers. The view directly ahead of us was Diamondhead, to the left Waikiki Beach.  Couldn’t have hoped for a better spot.

We broke out our brand new folding chairs and parked them between a couple of large canoes that we stranded on beach and just sat there taking in the view.

It wasn’t long before a lady named Faith struck up a conversation with Diane. They talked for a while until we had to move because the middle canoe was returning to the next, where we were sitting.

Faith’s husband, Saul, who grew up in NYC, his wife is from the Philippines. We have no idea where they currently reside, but that doesn’t matter. We had a nice visit.

Eventually, the sun went down. I could tell because it got darker so I took another photo of a sunset. I’ve got hundreds of these, but they never get old.

Then we left, making one of the drivers circling the parking lot very happy, and drove back to the hotel. Diane got out and headed back to the room while I assumed driver duties and drove to the Hale Koa parking lot that I’m sure I mentioned in previous posts. It’s a pleasant walk back to our hotel.

That’s our routine.

See you on Day 9. I should have information about the Polynesian Cultural Center for you.

Oahu – Day 6

Another lazy start to another beautiful day. Every time I check the temperature, it’s 82. Makes me wonder if my temperature taker is faulty. Doesn’t really matter. Whatever the temperature may really be, it was a beautiful day.

Our primary destination was the MWR (Military Welfare and Recreation) office at the NEX (Navy Exchange). We got there around noonish and decided before we did anything else, we’d eat something. So, we went upstairs to the food court and visited Taco Bell. “Really,” you may say, “Taco Bell?” Makes one wonder, doesn’t it? Well, we go where our stomach tells us to go. No reason to go elsewhere. I had a Crunchwap and Diane had two Chicken Chalupas. When we opened the bag we discovered that each of those orders included one crunchy taco. I, of course, had to eat the unexpected extras.

Then we went shopping for shirts and stuff for all the people we left behind to make this trip.

Diane is the expert shopper and does way better when I’m in a different part of the store because she thinks I’m hovering, trying to speed things up. That’s not true. I just want to be near the love of my life. But, to make her more comfortable by spending my time in the electronics section looking at TV’s, and laptops.

When Diane was finished it was after 4:00 pm and we hadn’t located the MWR office yet. So, I took my tired feet around the corner from the NEX main entrance and found the office. The door was open so I went in and was promptly told they were closed. They close at 4pm. I thanked the young lady behind the desk and said, “Thanks, I’ll see you tomorrow.” As I exited I heard her say, “We’re closed tomorrow” which drew me back inside. She said they are only open Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

Great! I thought. Then she said there was an annex office on the main Navy Base that will be open tomorrow, 9am-4pm. She even gave me direction which was very confusing to me. In her effort to clarify, she asked if I knew where Willamette Street was. When I heard that name I perked up because it’s a NW name we know well. She mispronounced it, however, like a visitor. You know what I mean – she said it like Will-uh-mette with emphasis on all the wrong syllables. Like a foreigner. Being who I am, I had to explain that I’m very familiar with that name and told her how to pronounce it properly. She took it well.

So now we must go back to the Pearl Harbor Naval Base tomorrow on our way to Waianae. We’re actually finally going to the beach. Been here six days and haven’t even got our feet wet.

But, we’ve been busy.

Now for some random stuff …

First, here’s a photo of the front of our hotel. Our room is up there somewhere.

A sign Diane wants after we get the new floor in the Cricket House.

Here’s a fun sign we’ve seen a few times while traveling the freeways.

Simple advice, right? Well, let me tell you that drivers here pretty scary. It’s pretty much guaranteed that after a light turns red, at least one car is going to run it. Sometimes more. Not joking.

Where we currently live.

Now it’s time to quit.

Oahu – Day 3

Today we slept late, a planned event for the duration of our stay. It works for Diane but I still wake up early. That’s OK.

After a bite to eat we took a trip to the North Shore to visit Waimea Bay Beach Park. Perhaps some of you already know that’s where the Eddie Aikau Invitational (a BIG Wave tournament) is being held Saturday & Sunday. Eddie was a famous, fearless life guard at Waimea back in the day (he was Diane’s age). The tricky weathermen over here apparently can predict when and where to find the big waves. Depending on which news broadcast you watch, the waves are expected to be anywhere from 30-60 feet high. Even at the lowest, it should be fun to watch.

On the way up Nimitz Highway we saw this building on fire. Turns out 911 got the call about 10 minutes before we drove by. Sadly there were three fatalities – 1 elderly man and 2 dogs.

Once past this sad event, we departed H-1 west and took H-2 north to Wahiawa. That’s where we lived from 1986 to 1989 during our last tour in the navy. My initial duty station was at NAVCAMS Eastpac located near this village, and Diane worked for Dr. Corboy at the Hawaiian Eye Center in the town. After two years I was moved to CINCPACFLT Headquarters at Pearl Harbor.

Wahiawa is where many of the Dole pineapples that you eat grow up.

Without incident, we made it to Waimea Bay Beach Park where we just sat around for a while at a picnic table. The parking at the park is limited to only about 20 vehicles. But, if you have a handicap pass you get an extra chance. Thankfully, Diane thought to bring ours with so we generally don’t have any problem finding a place to park, even in small lots. That pass, however, doesn’t help with the incredible amount of traffic traversing the two lane road that connects all the villages on the north shore. It really didn’t bother me at all because I wasn’t driving. Diane, though, had a few choice words for the way some Hawaiians drive. That didn’t bother me, either. I just sat in my seat minding my own business for the duration of the trip.

Although the big waves weren’t here, yet, the surf was pretty stunning by Oregon standards.

Same is true for some of the beach-goers.

On the wasy “home” we stopped at Zippy’s in Wahiawa where we had some Saimin (fancy Ramen). I knew what Saimin was, but asked the waitress if it was like Ramen anyway. She said, “Yes, like Ramen but way bettah”. She was right. Diane did half of her bowl and I ate the rest, including mine. Quite tasty.

After Zippy’s we drove in to Mililani Town where Jeff attended High School. Mililani it the next village down the hill from Wahiawa as you head back to Honolulu.

This is H-1 East on our way back to Honolulu. Notice the people heading West. They’re going to the North Shore, all of them, and this is just a sampling of what the weekend will be like for all roads leading north.

Thought you might like to see the fancy toilet we have in our condo. Once I figured out what all the buttons are for, I found myself going to the bathroom more frequently.

Ala Moana Blvd from our porch. This is one of the busiest roads on the island as it’s right in the heart of the Waikiki area. A number of years ago we stayed in a nearby condo where we survived a tsunami caused by an earthquake in Chile. At that time, there was not a car on this blvd and no one was allowed on the beaches. It was quite interesting. Diane bought me a Tsunami Survivor T-shirt. It’s brown.

Sunset with a friendly bird. Notice he’s standing on one leg. He just came up and landed a couple feet away from us while we were watching the sunset. He didn’t leave until we did.

When staying in tall buildings, I use our assigned balcony railing to ensure neighboring buildings are straight up and down. This one looks to be pretty plumb to me.

Having verified that it was OK, I was able to relax.

What’s in Indio?

Beyond Van Gogh is here for a while, at the Empire Polo Club. We were going to go to this in Portland previously, then Diane learned that it was going to be in Indio during our trip to this part of the world. So, plans were changed to visit that venue here. Never been to a polo club before. Just seen them on TV and in the movies. Seems like a complicated chore for horses, dodging all those long handled croquet mallets, and banging into the other horses. We didn’t get to see any of that, of course, because the Van Gogh event took precedence. It was set up inside an enormous building that is apparently used for polo matches when it rains. Which isn’t very often.

When we first entered the building we encountered a series of small billboard like displays that gave the history about Vincent Van Gogh as well as some short letters that he wrote to his brother Theo and their co-owned dog Buster. Sadly, Buster liked Theo best which is why Vincent never painted a picture of him.

I did my best to read every one of them because they were actually interesting. There was no mention of Buster on any of those letters so I don’t think that’s true about him being co-owned by the brothers. I’ll bet they didn’t even have a dog. As a matter of fact, I’m pretty sure I just made that up.

After zig zagging through the gallery of Vincents life we exited through a doorway into the larger room where the magic happened. As the users said, the display is on a 37 minute loop. There was no set time as to how long viewers could stay watching the display but the fact that mentioning the 37 minute loop planted the seed that after 37 minutes it was time to leave.

The swirling display changed constantly for 37 minutes so it was difficult to keep our eyes moving in such a manner that allowed us to see everything. There was some danger that we’d have to sit through the display again to ensure we didn’t miss anything. You may have noticed that Vincent painted numerous pictures of himself. That because, as a struggling artist, he couldn’t afford to pay models to sit for him. So, he painted what was available to him.

Seeing all these works by Van Gogh was mesmerizing and very calming as soothing music was played for the duration of the show. Starry Starry Nite, played in a subtle minor key by a bunch of stringed instruments, was prominent, but you had to listen hard to catch the melody.

There were a total of three 2-butt benches scattered around the vertical displays and about minute 26 we were fortunate enough to be near one when it was vacated. So we sat for a while. Then a lady stood lurking near us making Diane nervous. It was evident that she was just waiting for an opportunity to replace us on that treasured resting place. So, at minute 39 we relinquished it and moved on to the last stop, the gift shop. The only things we got were a refrigerator magnet and a wall hanging of Starry Starry Night. Where it will eventually hang is currently unknown but we’re pretty sure the magnet will find a place on the refrigerator.

Leaving the building we were funneled around the side of the building which was next to one of the many polo fields in the area. They take their polo seriously in Palm Springs. There are numerous fields like this all around the city – easily hundreds of acres of them.

After Van Gogh it was time for lunch so we randomly chose Sloan’s to satisfy that need. The food was excellent as was the service. We were pleased with our choice.

Then, we went ‘home’ to our desert oasis. That’s actually true because the name of the resort at which we’re staying is the Desert Oasis.

Friday we have tickets to Sunnyland, one of the many mansions in the area. We both will take a tram tour of the grounds and Diane will get the full meal-deal of a guided visit inside. While she’s doing that I get to watch a movie.

Hope all is well on the home front, and wherever you might be. Stay safe.

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.

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.

South Beach, Jennie, CT/PET scans

This is Oregon’s South Beach, not Florida’s. It’s a state park on the Oregon Coast. That’s where we are at this moment in time. Watching the VP debate.

About the debate. After watching the presidential debate, no way were we going to miss this one.

The trip north was non-eventful. The entire way the sky looked almost like it was going to rain at any moment. It didn’t, but should have. If it had perhaps I could have scraped the 3-4 millions bugs off the windshield. From the inside of the coach, the windshield looks a lot like modern art. Before leaving tomorrow I’ll see if I can capture it in a photo with the thought of framing it for a prominent spot above our fireplace.

When we first checked in to the South Beach camp ground, we set up in space A-33, the one we selected when originally registering. One of the first things I do when setting up camp is to determine how good our southern view is. That’s important for good satellite TV reception. Gotta have that so we can check the news. And other stuff.

After I got the coach all set up it was apparent right away that we didn’t have a good southern view. Neither did we have access to broadcast channels. So, I went cruising around the park looking for a better spot. I found that E-31 was far better and went back to the Park Ranger and he switched our sites.

We broke camp and moved. Everything works great.

I can hear your heads twirling about how what I’m describing has anything to do with camping in any way shape or form. Camping is setting up a tent, stoking a wood fire, cooking with the fire or on a tiny little gas stove. You bundle up when it’s cold, and you sleep on the ground. We used to do that.

Then we got old and camping took on a new look for us. Sleeping on the ground became difficult and extremely undesireable. So, we don’t do that any more.

NOTE: I just opened my laptop and found this as a draft from October 7th so it’s a bit out of date. Instead of wracking my tiny brain for more information related to South Beach I’m going to skip ahead a bit and share where we are this moment in time – Deschutes River State Park near The Dalles, Oregon. That’s almost as far away from South Beach as we can get. Actually, that’s not even close to true because the further east we go on I-84 the further we get from South Beach. But, that’s a bit irrelevant for this narrative.

This trip we connected with our Winnebago Group once again. Diane made the arrangements for us to meet up with the group at the Troutdale Outlet mall so we could travel together east on I-84 to the park. Normally, when we rendezvous like this, we are the last to arrive, but this time we beat Terry & Carolann and Cliff & Susie by a mile. Les and Sophie were already at the camp ground so I guess you could say they beat us all. Which they did.

Since we arrived first, we got our lawn chairs out and sat in the sun, yes it was sunny, waiting for the others to arrive. It took them a while but that was to be expected since they live about 3 miles from Troutdale.

We establised another first by leading the group on the trip to the camp ground. What fun I had leading the pack. We mossed along at a sedate 60 mph the entire way.

Once we got to the campground, and connected to the utilities, I investigated the best view of the southern sky. I’ve mentioned before, maybe earlier in this narrative, that seeing the southern sky is imperative for a successful camping experience because that’s where the satellites live that we need to ‘see’ with our Dish antenna. Thankfully, the antenna finds the satellites all by itself. Nifty.

I reset the Dish received a few times with the antenna in various locations with no success. Then I decided to put it on the RV roof, always my last choice, to see what it could find. Turns out it was perfect even though the window to the sky was small through some very tall trees. I was amazed. Diane was very happy.

We set up on Thursday and prepared ourselves to silently celebrate our daughter’s, Jennifer’s, 45th birthday on Friday. Wow! Our baby is 45! But, she still looks like she’s 20-something. Knowing we weren’t going to be home, like almost every October 23rd for many years, we celebrated her birthday with dinner and a small party at Jen’s house last Wednesday. It was a nice, quiet visit. Always good. In attendance was Jen, Daniel, Lydia, Justin, Diane and me. I haven’t mentioned Justin before. He’s Lydia’s new boyfriend. Actually, they’ve known each other since they were wee children and went to school together. They were friends then until Justin called Lydia a “dumb blonde”, or something like that. Because of that she shunned him for the last 8 years or so. Now Lydia acknowledges that he is her boyfriend. It’s a good thing.

The next morning, we left town.

Now it’s time for some historical information to set the stage for Friday afternoon.

Diane was informed about spots in her lungs that concerned her doctor last February. The fact that the doctor knew about them was due to a serendipitous abdominal CT scan that was mistakenly done on her chest. One spot, behind her heart, was of primary concern so another CT scan was scheduled for April so they could see if anything changed. It didn’t, so another CT was scheduled for six months out, in October. That test, done on October 12th, showed changes. Not good news so a PET scan was scheduled for October 20th. Knowing that PET scans are a primary avenue for discovering cancer in one’s body was intimidating, but it had to be done.

That was just a few days ago. Yesterday, Friday, Jennie’s birthday, she got a call from her oncologist but it went right to voice mail so she didn’t get to talk with the doctor directly. The message she left relieved a lot of tension for both Diane and me. She said the PET scan didn’t reveal any bright spots, meaning there was no cancer. Then Diane was able to access the PET diagnosis which was pretty much all good news. Amazing. Her oncologist said there are things that need to be worked on, but the worst case wasn’t in the picture.

I am so happy that my life with Diane isn’t going to be cut short and Diane is so relieved that the doctors have something definitive to deal with. She told me that on the drive home after the PET scan she felt a calm envelope her, a sense of peace. Like a sign that all was going to be alright. So far, it is.

The fact that all this news became available on Jennifer’s birthday seemed to be significant. No doubt in our minds, prayers were answered. For that, we’re thankful.

Life is good.

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.