Thursday, September 24, 2015

Where have we been??

It’s been a wild couple of weeks.  We worked our way south, landing in the Reno area at Becky’s house.  It was soooo good to be back with family !  We had posted Daisy for sale and have a firm pick-up date of September 16th  for the new motorhome.  There were many responses to our ads.

On Sept 1st, we worked like dogs to unload the entire contents of our Daisy into a rented storage bay , gave her a good bath and showed to a prospective buyer who committed to purchase her !  She will be owned by a family who are very familiar with Lazy Daze RV’s, and we are very excited for the adventures they will have with her.

Now we are homeless, and without wheels; but, only for a couple of weeks.  Becky and John have been very generous with their home and cars.  We love the opportunity to spend so much time with them and Juniper.  Swim lessons, a pow-wow, a trip to Pyramid lake and walks in the woods were outings we all enjoyed.

Pyramid lake is fed by the Truckee River, and outflow from Lake Tahoe.  It is on Paiute land, and guests need to register for a permit to be on the land around the lake.  Juniper had a great time.

Hiking near Lake Tahoe:

Toddlers fit into spaces most adults wouldn't attempt.  Juniper found a geocache box.  We had a great time unfurling it and leaving something of ours behind.

Remnants of the old Bonanza ranch used in the filming of the TV series:

There aren't many prettier places than lake tahoe.

Juniper is helping Tom with his on-line Scrabble game.


On Sept 14th, we went to watch Junipers swim lesson, had a wonderful lunch together, picked up a Budget rental truck, worked like dogs AGAIN to unload the warehouse of the RV contents into the rental truck, and headed toward LA.  It’s kind of fun being on the road again.

The drive on the Eastern side of the Sierras is beautiful, again, as we saw it at the very beginning of this vacation, waaaaay back in May … in snow.  It is fun to see it all again at the end of the summer.  

 We arrived in LA the afternoon before our appointment on the morning of the 16th to pick up Daisy Version 2.0.  It never rains in LA … except the day we get there.  POURING down rain – they have no idea how to drive in it.  We saw a doubleton Fed X truck spun around itself on the highway.  THAT snagged up things for a while.

Stinky’s take on the last few weeks:

Well … I don’t get it. We were traveling along just fine, in a daily routine I understood.  Then my parents up and moved into a house with other animals and a TODDLER !!  For my 'safety and sanity' … they made me stay in their bedroom, all day every day, with only some opportunities to play outside.  And if THAT wasn’t bad enough, just when I was getting used to the toddler, they moved me and all our stuff into a small truck with very little room for me to ride in.  

It was horrible.  AND, we had to stay overnight in hotels, in rooms that smelled (to me) like other animals.  I couldn’t sleep at ALL, so I kept my parents up all night.  Then everything got better.  We moved into another motorhome JUST LIKE the one I was used to.  We’re on the road again.  Life is good.

Next Post:  New Motorhome and final push home

Friday, September 4, 2015

Return to the Lower 48 (8.21.15 - 8.30.15)

After Ketchikan, the ferry down to Prince Rupert dropped us into the Canadian border at 2:45 a.m. We cleared the border and beat a hasty path to the closest Walmart parking lot and went right back to sleep.  The travel goal is back to the lower 48, meeting our bicycling friends Patty and Ken in Portland, then out to the Oregon Coast to spend a couple days with friends from home, John and Marti.

Coming through British Columbia (a different path than we took northbound), we are reminded of Alaska's southeast coast.


Eventually the sky opened up, then sun came out, and we enjoyed a beautiful drive down through Fraser canyon. 


The fireweed is finishing it's bloom and bears are in places they shouldn't be.


Stinky is  NOT keeping up with his navigational responsibilities, but he makes a great  dashboard ornament.


A riverfront campground appeared to be the perfect stopping / overnight point …


... until these ran between us and the water view, about every 20 minutes ALL NIGHT LONG !! UGH. Note to self, ask about,  or evaluate train tracks before settling in.


Crossing into the USA spanked us with busy roads, lots of traffic, big cities, monster trucks, and complex navigational decisions … all of which were a rude awakening. Part of us wanted to turn right around and head back north.


Heading south, we stopped at the Mt. St. Helens visitor center. It is loaded with interesting science about volcanoes and about Mt. St. Helens in particular.   A picture of Mt. St. Helens before it erupted  (the lake is Spirit lake, which disappeared during the eruption):





When it erupted in 1980, it was the most economically destructive volcano in US history. Fifty-seven people died, 250 homes, 47 bridges, 15 miles of railways, and 185 miles of highway were destroyed. An entire lake was buried, and two new lakes were formed. The 1980 eruption was preceded by numerous earthquakes and the eruption emanated from just above a large bulge that had been forming on the side of the volcano. The bulge that slid down the mountain during the eruption caused much of the damage. 


Getting out to the Oregon coast was a great improvement over the Seattle to Portland corridor.. We enjoyed a day in the cute town of Astoria, home of the first permanent settlement on the pacific coast. The town has struggled since the closing of it's last fish cannery in 1974, and declines in the timber industry.



Astoria is trying to build a tourism industry. We watched tankers line up, waiting for their turn with a bay pilot to head up the Columbia river, the local sea lions, sightseeing sternwheelers, and lots of birds.  Kris's kind of town - water, boats, wildlife, interesting architecture,  photo-ops and art galleries.


We camped at Fort Stevens state park (love Oregon State Parks), where there was an old shipwreck on the beach.


Moving down the Oregon coast, we stayed with friends in Manzanita, Oregon, a quiet beachy town of 600 people. Our friends have a beautiful home with ocean view. They toured us through their favorite local spots and we gained a real appreciation for how beautiful and rugged this part of the coast is.


We walked through old growth forest to a beach with massive driftwood. 


Octopus Tree


A very brisk storm came through, more typical of November weather.  In about 50mph winds, Tom looked like Albert Einstein when he came back from taking this picture.


By the next day, the air was scrubbed cleaned, and we had a wonderful beach walk.  Not all creatures survived the storm so well.


From there, we made a bee-line, past Mt. Shasta, past abandoned homesteads, past northern California farms amongst rolling brown hills, right to Becky, John and Junpier's house outside Reno.  We have driven about 10,000 miles, but have traveled many more counting air flights and ferries.

We'll be here about 2 weeks, setting up for the next 'Chapter'. More to follow after Sept 16.


Next Post:  Chapter 2