Saturday, October 22, 2011

Table Rock Sunrise

Just another pretty drive to the office this week.

Last night we watched "The Wild and Wonderful Whites of West Virginia" on Showtime.  Wow.  And now I guess I know why there is a "White City" here in Jackson County, OR.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The View from the "Office" Window

I'm doing a payroll this morning.

Some people want me to hurry up so they can go play on the beach.

Monday, October 17, 2011

A Special Birthday

. . . of special kids.
Pilot, Chase, Libby, Molly and many more are four today.

Fuzzy brother Cosmo and his "sister" Sweet Pea say "Hi" from Eugene.

Molly is, of course, on a camping trip for her birthday. Last night/this morning we were at Clear Lake State Park. Normally when we go down we stay at Tom's mom's, but we were unsure about getting the motorhome up the driveway and concerned about tall dry grass in the pasture. Also the park was conveniently close to the wedding venue.

Pretty and shady, early fall in Lake County.

"Why are we in jail?"

Because we were putting on appropriate wedding attire and didn't need you underfoot.

We didn't get back to camp until after dark, at which time there was a small SNAFU power-wise. California state parks, unlike the more civilized Oregon model, do not have power at the sites. We had things to do which require power. Never fear, thought we, as we now have a generator! Which ran for all of about 2 minutes before making a clanking sound and quitting. And which would only make the funny sound and not restart.

But this is why we are doing a short shake-down cruise, right?

We were able to use the power inverter to log on to our computers briefly this morning, though we didn't get coffee (whimper). We decided early that Molly needed to camp at the beach for the rest of her birthday trip, and that we needed to be at an Oregon state park with power. So we headed up 101 today.

A beautiful spot for a "potty break" for the dogs.

October on the coast can be beautiful. Today was sunny and warmer than our trip in July.

"How about a birthday kiss?"

Tonight we are camping at Harris Beach State Park, which has some special memories for us. It was here in 1976 that Mandy took her first steps. And it was here in 2005 that we first heard that Alice was looking for a new home. She came to live with us a month later.

Pilot is a Silver Grand Champion who has won the herding group 5 times. Chase is a Champion with countless performance titles as well. Molly may only be a half-a-champion (8 points, 1 major) but she is BPE (Best Pet Ever).

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Shake-down cruise

Thursday: Tom started hooking things up, took her back to dealer to have water leak repaired, hooked up satellite for tv. Yesterday: stashed what had been in the trailer into various cupboards and compartments in the motorhome. Got water-leak fixed for sure. This morning: packed clothes and food. This afternoon: 80th birthday party for my Aunt Gay. And at 3 p.m. we're finally off! Heading to Northern California for the wedding tomorrow of our niece Robyn.

We'll be back on Tuesday.

I want one of those little maps on the back where we can stick on the states as we travel.

Mt Shasta from the Northwest

Lake Shasta and marina

Sacramento valley sunset

Over the olive groves of Corning

"Camping" at the Rolling Hills Casino and RV Park. Support the local tribe.

Having walked several circuits of the RV park now with various combinations of four dogs, I can tell you that it is very nice. A little van continuously circles to provide security and/or to ferry you over to the casino and back.
For those who requested a tour of the inside . . . well, it isn't big: about 28' nose-to-tail. We are dwarfed by some of the units in here. But we will fit better in state or national park campgrounds in the future plus she's a comfortable size on the road.

Bedroom. Walk-around queen bed with our sleep-number installed.

"Living room"

The seats turn around and become "recliners". Dinette on slide to the left. Dog condominiums (300 crates) above with extra storage behind. The three girls are up there while Hux is riding in an additional crate beside the bed. He said that he was terrified that I was going to drop him when attempting to lift him down. I tried to assure him that I wouldn't, but he wasn't going for it.

Kitchen, tv ready for ducks game.

I debated whether to show the bathroom. I could only get part: the shower is behind the door.

There is also quite a bit of storage outside; the big compartment will even hold the booster bath when needed.

Now, back to watching the ducks!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

I feel more road trips coming on . . .


We brought her home last night about 6:30. I drove ahead in the Element to unlock the gate. Just after I passed the neighbor's driveway, a deer bounded across the road and over the fence into the pasture.

Where it joined four others if its species.

In all there were two does, two youngsters (spring fawns) and . . .

We brought her home last night about 6:30. I drove ahead in the Element to unlock the gate. Just after I passed the neighbor's driveway, a deer bounded across the road and over the fence into the pasture.

Yes, a legal buck. Notice him keeping his head down, trying to blend in with the girls. Not very bright, to be out in the daylight this time of year. Oh, but wait a minute: deer see a single car on an otherwise deserted road and jump in front of it instead of waiting until it passes.

I was just sure that the entire bunch were going to bound back into the road and up the hill just as Tom arrived and wipe out our new pretty! And in fact, four of the five did. Fortunately he saw them and had time to stop.

Our new little home-away-from-home.

Does this picture make my butt look big?

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

I hope Audrey likes peas . . .

One of the things we like to do when traveling is to . . . well, to eat.  Lately we've been trying to find Triple-D places or others of that sort.   Local food, good food.

Our first culinary adventure trip of this sort was when we did a great road-trip to the 2004 national specialty in St Louis.  The trip started on a high note, at the Burger Queen Drive In in Laveview.

Dinner was at a Basque Restaurant in Elko, NV: the Toki Ona. Alas, google tells me that it is no longer in business.

We wound our way down through Utah to Arches National Park, then up the Colorado River. Sometime soon I am reminded to go back and post pictures.
Things went pretty well until Kansas. It was somewhere along there that fresh vegetables disappeared to be replaced on the plate by bigger portions of meat and potatoes. Now I have nothing against either meat or potatoes in moderation. But a little diversity of menu is a good thing.

And speaking of diversity, have you ever partaken of toasted ravioli?

Q: How many meals in a row can you eat toasted ravioli?
A: Every single club banquet.

Once the big party was over, we loaded up four dogs in the van and started retracing the route of Lewis and Clark. May of 2004 marked the bicentennial of the start of their great expedition. More meat and potatoes. By the time we got to Council Bluffs, Iowa we were really beginning to crave West Coast food. We deviated from our plan of eating only at local establishments and succumbed to the allure of an Applebee's sign. Surely we could get a little variation there. Pasta that wasn't toasted ravioli and a salad, at least.

Seated at a table, perusing the menu, Tom inquires what "microbrews are on tap." It should have been a clue when that was met with a blank stare by the waiter. Clarifiation: "beer." "Uh, Bud, Bud Lite, Michelob." Not all Applebee's are created equal.

As we continued northward along the Missouri we learned something else: it can be very, very cold in May on the north plains. We had planned to continue following the river through North Dakota and onward. But when we hit I-90 in South Dakota and it was about 60 or 65 degrees less than 90 we decided the heck with that and headed west.

This is what South Dakota looked like through the van window.

The wind was howling and it was getting colder and colder. We traveled until exhaustion, stopping in a small town with few paved roads: Murdo, South Dakota. For some unknown and unfathomable reason, the Best Western in town had no vacancy so we ended up at the quaint and dog-friendly Sioux Motel.

How cold was it? With the wind chill it was reported to be 14° F.  We did not have clothes for  14° F.  But we braved the cold and headed out for dinner. Where to go?  Well, there was a truck stop down by the exit.  Ok, that will do.
We venture inside, slide our way into the all-American vinyl booth, view the menu.  Chicken-fried steak.  Meat loaf.  Mashed potatoes.  Vegetable of the day!

Remember how starved we are for produce, after a couple of weeks in the heartland.

The waitress, a caricature of a midwest-truck-stop waitress, trods over to take our order.  Tom orders the chicken fried steak and meekly inquires as to the "vegetable of the day."

Picture waitress, hands on hips, towering over (obvious) tourists: "CANNED PEAS.  You DO like PEAS, Dontcha?"

Seven years later, we still laugh about that incident and "You DO like PEAS, Dontcha?" has become a stock answer to a "What's for dinner?" question.
Guess where Audrey is soon going to live.   Yep: Murdo, South Dakota.  It appears that we will have a return trip in our future as of course we will have to visit.

Anita, we will be sure to bring you some fresh vegetables when we come.