Thursday, December 31, 2009

It is New Year's Eve and we are in Kansas with snow all around. Dean and I are spending the holidays with his family.
For Christmas, we spend 5 days with his daughter, Stephanie, and her family in LaClede, Missouri. We were snowed in for 3 days. Our grandsons had a great time with all their new toys and we had fun watching them.
This is a picture of Stephanie, husband Lorin, and two sons Landon and Lane.

We are spending this week with Dean's brother, Tom, his wife Barbara, and Dean's mother on the pig farm outside of Emporia, KS. It is so cold that Chica and I have only walked about 15 minutes outside a couple of times. We have the big family gathering with other relatives on Saturday and then we head to Oklahoma for a short visit to see my step-mother, Doloris, and my brother Stan. Hopefully, the weather will cooperate and we will have clear highways. We should be back in Prescott a week from today.

This is Tom's farmhouse with snow all around.

Since my last blog we have bought a motorhome - 1999 Blounder - previously owned by our friends, Greg and Sally. We have taken one short trip to Yuma to get solar installed and see our friends, Chuck and Jan. We are looking forward to our first major trip in January to the "Q" and other happenings in SW Arizona.

Happy New Year to everyone and here's hoping that 2010 will be the best year ever.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Leaving Laughlin on the right.

We have come to the end of another adventure. We are back in Prescott and love it. Don't get me wrong - I love the RV and seeing the country. But like Dorothy said - there is no place like home.

We arrived home on Tuesday and unloaded. On Wednesday, I cleaned the inside and Dean cleaned the outside. Thursday we stored the RV at the Elks Lodge. Now it is only 10 minutes away and we can visit it any time we want. Next trip - Quartzsite in 2010.

Below: Dean is washing the RV in front of our house in Prescott. Notice the ski helmet that he wears when getting on top of the rig.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Death Valley and Laughlin

October 12

We left bright and early this morning for Laughlin and arrived around 1. RVer’s can stay for free in the back parking lot of the Tropicanna Express Hotel/Casino. After walking around a few casinos and taking Chica for a walk we went in and had a wonderful Italian meal. Then Dean won almost $200 on the penny machine. What a lucky guy. Tomorrow we should be home in Prescott and our wonderful RV trip will be over. It has been great!!!!

The following I composed while we were in Death Valley since we did not have any internet connection:

October 10-11
We drove to Furnace Creek in Death Valley. What a difference in landscape than we have seen all summer. You can see for mile and miles. The colors on the mountains are beautiful. I know all you non-desert people may think we are nuts, but Dean and I are really enjoying this. And we are really warm. When we got to Furnace Creek it was 94.
We decided to camp at the Furnace Creek campground. We toured the visitor’s center, Harmony Borax Works, Artist Palette (colorful rocks in mountain) and Badwater Basin (lowest elevation in the US 282 ft below sea level). Last night we had a campfire and it was so pleasant to sit outside in shorts and no jackets. And we took the down comforter off the bed finally and slept great!

October 9

Went from Walker Lake to Death Valley and first stop was Scotty’s Castle. We both found Scotty’s Castle very interesting and enjoyable. After walking around the grounds, looking at the stables with a lot of old cars, we took a tour of the castle. Millionaires Albert and Bessie Johnson built the castle and their colorful sidekick, who got them interested in the area, was Death Valley Scotty. The Johnson’s spent 2 million in 1929-31 on this castle.

The girl at the right was our tour guide.

The interior of the castle was gorgeous with the finest furniture, woodwork, tile, and metalwork. I especially enjoyed the music room and the huge organ, which the tour guide played for us.

After the castle, we camped at Manzanita Springs campground. It is 1800 ft above sea level so it was cool at night but warm during the day.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Walker Lake, Nevada

We are in Nevada and a totally different landscape than what we have been in for the last 70 days. I am finally in shorts and I love it!! We are boondocking at Walker Lake in between Tonapah and Fallon on Hwy 95. It is a huge lake, a lot like Roosevelt Lake in AZ, except there is no green vegetation anywhere in site. After tonight we will head to Death Valley and really warm up.

After we left Winchester Bay we drove to Medford to visit my cousin, J.B. and Evan Kell. We stayed at the Valley of the Rogue state
park which we have stayed at before and really enjoy. We had dinner with my cousin and expected to see them again on Monday night but Dean got sick on Monday and we stayed at the park. Since we stayed at the park all day I got a chance to do laundry and Valley of the Rogue has a really good, cheap laundry. Dean is all better after a miserable day of stomach problems.

On Tuesday we drove to Lassen Volcanic National Park in Northern California. We stayed at Manzanita Lake Campground on the NW side and there were maybe 4 other campsites occupied. Lassen Peak erupted in May 1914 and again in May 1915. It was a huge eruption and there are a lot of hydrothermal areas, jagged mountains, lakes, streams, and volcanic rock formations. I hiked Bumpass Hell which is a 3 mile hike to the biggest hydrothermal area. Dean still did not feel great so he stayed in the truck with Chica. This mornig when we left it was 28 degrees so I am glad to get someplace warm.

The above picture is Bumpass Hell and the picture to the right is Lassen Peak and Manzanita Lake.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Winchester Bay

This is our last evening at Winchester Bay. Tomorrow we leave and go to Medford to see some of my relatives. The marina is filled with sailboats and fishing boats. This is a view from our trailer.

We have had a busy and fun 10 days at the Crab Feast with the Rovin' Rods. Dean has crabbed everyday - 2 days from the dock and 8 days on a boat with 3 other guys. They pulled in an average of about 9 to 10 'keepers' everyday. Most went to the group dinners but we got to freeze a few. Our freezer is full of crab, salmon, albacore tuna (which we bought from a local fisherman), and blackberries. Wish we had a bigger freezer. The picture below is Dean and Bill Underwood cleaning crab at the fish cleaning station.

Every night we either had a happy hour with heavy appetizers or a potluck. I haven't had to cook much and we sure have eaten well. They should rename this group from Rovin Rods to Chowhounds. We have had 3 fantastic potlucks and have eaten out 3 times. The picture below is our travel buddy Jan Moore with Fran and Bill Rayner at one of the happpy hours.

So tomorrow we take out of here and travel 175 miles to Medford. It will be sad to leave the ocean and the wonderful seafood.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Crabbing at Winchester Bay

Dean did it! He finally caught a crab. We have been at Winchester Bay with the Rovin Rods for 4 days and he has been crabbing everyday (two days on a boat and 2 days off the pier). finally he came home with 2 nice crabs. Hopefully we will get more in the next week.

We are having a great time with the
Rods. We have a happy hour each night and last night we all went into Reedsport to the Eagles for chicken fried steak. My diet has been totally blown apart on this trip. Tonight we are having a crab potluck. Everything hasbeen great except for the weather. Wonderful mornings but then the wind picks up and the afternoons are very windy and cold. Oh well, we can't have everything.

This is Jan and Chuck enjoying their breakfast at the marina where we are staying.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Tillamook to Winchester Bay

We finally made it to Winchester Bay and the Roving Rods Crab Festival. We got here today and Dean has already started throwing his crab pot in the water. He caught a lot of crabs today but couldn't keep anything because they were so small. Maybe tomorrow!!

We stayed at Tillamook for four days and did some interesting things. After one day of
just getting things done around the rig like cleaning, reading, and computer stuff, we rode with Chuck and Jan on the Three Capes Scenic drive to the Cape Meares Lighthouse and
the lovely beach of Oceanside. This is us sitting on the beach enjoying the sunshine.

Then the next day we went to the Air Museum which was really interesting. They have a lot of planes, some old and some new, in this
hanger that was built to hold 9 blimps during WWII. This picture is taken from our RV park which was close to the big hangers. At the museum we watched a video of the history of the building and then we walked around the airplanes. Dean and I would highly recommend this museum.

After the museum we went to the seafood market and bought fresh halibut and clams. That night we had a feast: Chuck and Jan provided salmon and salad and we provided clams and halibut. The picture below is our camp at the Airpark of Tillamook looking thru the blackberry bushes which I spent a lot of time picking fresh blackberries.

On Wednesday we drove to the Three Rivers Casino in Florence, OR to meet up with a group of Boomers (RV group we belong to)before going to Winchester Bay. The Casino has free parking and provides each new visitor with $10 playing card. Dean and I came out ahead - after using our $20 we had $6.32 extra. We probably closed the casino with our big winnings.

Monday, September 21, 2009

South Beach to Tillamook

We stayed at South Beach until Friday. This has turned out to be our favorite campground so far. On Wednesday we drove with Chuck and Jan around the Quinault Lake and saw some really big trees, waterfalls, and great views of the lake. Dean is actually standing inside of a large cedar tree in the picture below. On Thursday we bought coho salmon from the local fishermen at Queets. Then Chuck and Dean cleaned them and Jan and I vacuum packed them. We have a lot of salmon!

We left South Beach on Friday
and drove to Aberdeen for supplies and
stayed the night in the Elks club parking lot.

On Saturday we drove South thru some neat little fishing towns We stopped at Long Beach and visited the Kite Museum and then walked the beach watching the people flying kites. We meet a really interesting kite flyer, Chuck Blevins, and sat with him while he flew his kite in circles, squares and dives. Then we left Long Beach and drove South along the beautiful coast of Oregon.

We ended up on Saturday at Tillamook and the first stop we made was at the cheese factory. We are staying at the Airpark near the biggest wooden building in the country - a hangar turned museum that was built for blimps during WWII.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The above picture is our campground at South Beach on the Olympic Pennisula. The four of us have enjoyed a campfire every night. But there is rain today in the Olympic Pennisula. Of course, they get 140 " per year. Yesterday we had gorgeous weather: sunny, warm and clear. We are in the big town of Amanda Parks today, using the internet and making phone calls.
We have been at South Beach for 3 nights and no internet or cell. But it is beautiful.

Tuesday Dean and I went to Ruby Beach and to look at a very large Cedar tree. We have bought fresh salmon from the local Indians at
Queets and I am picking blackberries every chance I can. Life is great.

Yesterday this was our sunset.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Olympic Pennisula

We are on the West side of Olympic Pennisula. After we left The Rainer area and said our goodbyes to Dick and Beth we drove to the Escapees park in Chimachum outside of Port Townsend, WA. There we meet up with Chuck and Jan our friends from Iowa. Last Wednesday we went into Port Townsend and had clam chowder at Finn's Restaurant and it was fabulous. Then we walked around the town, went to two museums, and the local farmers market.

On Thursday we drove into the Olympic National Park and to Hurricane Ridge. This location, on the North side of the Park, has a panoramic view of the mountains including Mt. Olympus. And the weather could not have been better - clear sunny day.

Friday, Dean and I took the ferry over to Seattle and had lunch at Ivers on the wharf. Then we met one of Dean's old classmates for dinner at Bainbridge Island. Saturday, we left the beautiful Escapes park and drove West, staying this night at an abandoned visitors center. Sunday, we drove into the rain forest and did a hike among very big trees with lots of moss and ferns. Last night we drove into South Beach, recommended by Dick and Beth, and it is wonderful - right on the beach. We had a nice fire and watched the wave action. It is cloudy and we are hoping for sunny skies tomorrow. But this side gets 140 inches of rain a year so if we get sunny skies we will be very lucky.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Chimacum, Washington

We are finally out of the rain forest and into civilization. We are dry camping at the Escapees park in Chimcum, WA. with Jan and Chuck. We said our goodbyes to Dick and Beth yesterday and wished them good travels. This is a picture of Dick and Beth at Mt. St Helen's. Here are some writings while we were at Iron Cree campground.

September 3, 2009

We are at Iron Creek campground, South of Randle, WA.,and still have no internet. So I will copy and paste this later. We have been here since Sunday and plan on staying until Tuesday after Labor Day. This camp will be very full this weekend; we are lucky to have a spot. Dick and Beth Miller are with us; they came in on

Tuesday. We have huge trees all around us (solar does not work here) with lots of ferns and moss. Yesterday, the four of us drove up to Mt. St. Helen’s on the North side where it blew in 1980. Forest road 99 is a memorial road with lots of pullouts for views and information on the eruption. The vegetation is coming back a little but it is pretty barren. Lots of down trees, ash and rock. Today, Dean and I stayed home and did a bike ride while Dick and Beth went to Mt. Rainer. Tomorrow we are going to the really big flea market in Packwood, WA.

September 7, 2009

We are still at Iron Creek CGand we are beginning to feel like ducks! It has rained here for three days and nights. Tomorrow we leave and all four of us will be ready. Dick and Beth will head East and we will head West.

Friday we went to Packwood and spent all day at the flea market. It was almost as big as Quartzsite. Didn’t buy much but it was fun looking. The picture below is of Beth with her best purchase - wine glasses!

Saturday because of the rain, we stayed in our rigs. Beth and I did some beading. Sunday Dean, Dick, and I went for a little drive to Iron Creek Waterfalls and to Randle for generator gas. We have both been running our generators about 6 to 8 hours a day because we have NO SOLAR.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Mt Rainer, Washington

Here I am at the laundromat at Morton, WA. I have already spend almost $20 in quarters and I haven't begun to use the dryers. Oh well, that is one of the downfalls of traveling. Thank goodness Dean and I did a lot of the laundry at our previous camp in Idaho.

We are staying at Iron Creek NFS campground in the
Gifford-Pinchot National Forest south of Randle, WA. It is a beautiful campground and we have decided to stay thru the Labor Day weekend.

Yesterday we traveled over from Yakima. We dropped our trailer at a golf course and drove into Mt. Rainer National Park. The mountain was beautiful. Yesterday was clear and sunny so it was a good timing to see the mountain because today is cloudy. We drove into the south side and visited the Paradise Visitor center. Being Sunday, there were a lot of tourist there. But the drive was wonderful. The forests here are so lush with moss and ferns everywhere. We did short hike onto a trail where trees were huge and over a thousand years old.
I have already started picking blackberries which grow everywhere here. We are in contact with the Millers and might meet up with them this week.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Saturday night at Walmart

We are at the Walmart in Yakima, WA. Tomorrow we are going to try and find a campsite around Mt. Rainer. Since we have not had internet for the last four nights, I thought I would catch up. Here is the message I wrote on Thursday in Idaho.

August 27, 2009

Here we are again without internet or phone service. We are at Wilderness Gateway Campground in the Clearwater National Forest, outside of Lowell, Idaho. We have a beautiful spot in Loop B of the campground and paying $4 per night (with the Golden Age Pass). On the way over from staying in Butte we stopped at Lolo Hot Springs for a soak and at the Lolo Pass Visitors center. We found this campground and decided to stay for a few days.

Yesterday we got out the bikes and did a 45 ride around the CG. The weather is absolutely wonderful. Not many campers here at all. Today we hiked up Trail 221 into the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness area. We only hiked about 40 minutes in because it was mainly up switchbacks and Chica was with us. Tomorrow we are going to hike along the Lochsa River to an old Forest Service building. We are spending our time reading, working on projects and sitting by the campfire. Life is good!

On Friday I hiked along Hwy 12 to the historic Forest Service Station about 2 miles from camp. There are about five historic buildings that survived the 1934 fire. The "combination building" was very interesting - combination of cooking facilities, office, and supply room.

The rest of the day we spent in camp doing laundry and reading.

Dean has turned in to a good laundryman. He washed clothes and kept them in the sun all day. What a guy!