Arizona, 5.21.19 & 5.22.19

I was awakened this morning about 5 a.m. by strong winds rocking Shorty to and fro. It is COLD out. ๐ŸฅถThere is snow on the ground.

The William’s Arizona welcome sign.๐Ÿ–

Last night we grabbed a bite at a little restaurant in town and walked around for a bit. IT WAS COLD!๐Ÿฅถ

This morning I see the hotel parking lot we slept in is a Ramada Inn, shared with a Rodeo Restaurant & Sports Bar. Thank you from two weary travellers.

It’s almost 8 a.m. and the sun is shining bright, but it is still COLD outside.

I spy with my little eye a McDonald’s in the distance and a Latte with my name on it!! โ˜•๐Ÿ˜Š

Destination today Prescott! ๐Ÿ˜ Looking forward to our visit with friends Mark and Roxanne!! Haven’t seen them since January.

Sidebar: when traveling to different states one cannot predict what the weather may be. Sure, I checked the weather in the states and major towns I anticipated we’d visit. I checked annual averages, seasons, etc. but the weather was colder and much wetter than I anticipated. Fortunately we packed everything from coats, scarves and hiking boots, to flip flops, shorts and swimsuits. I guess what I’m saying is that we were ready for whatever Mother Nature threw our way. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Although, I was hoping for a campsite with a jacuzzi or a natural hot spring to take a dip.๐Ÿ˜We left Williams and headed to Sedona.

Here are a couple of videos, so you could feel like you are riding along with us. If u listen closly you could hear Craig whistling to the song “It’s working” by William Murphy.

Here is another video for your ride along pleasure.๐Ÿ˜ watch this guy in the truck stop in front of us to make a left turn.๐Ÿ˜ณ

We entered the beautiful town of Sedona, but we could not find any RV parking so we drove around for a bit, then continued down the highway hunting for fuel.

More highway views.

Fuel

We considered filling the tank in Williams, but the fuel cost was $3.99 a gallon.๐Ÿ˜ณ At that point we were just above half tank which is my comfort level. Anything below half tank and I begin to feel like this: ๐Ÿ˜ฑ๐Ÿ˜ซ๐Ÿคฏ anxious. We found a town between Sedona and Prescott that had fuel for $3.19 a gallon. By this time we were at a quarter tank. Can we say ANXIOUS? ๐Ÿ˜ฑ My wallet was happy we waited tho.๐Ÿ˜‰

We stopped in Prescott Valley to dump our grey and black tanks and fill our propane tank. I spied this fun toy across the street.

This little four-seater beauty reminded me of the time we went Razor riding with our friends Carle and Joyce in Lone Pine.๐Ÿ‘And then I saw this georgous red and black beast.

Shorty next to this gorgeous beast.

It is a beauty of a beast, but Shorty suites us just fine!๐ŸฅฐOn to Prescott to see our friends!

We arrived at the home of our friends Mark and Roxanne. It was so nice to see them! We sat around the dining room table catching up, talking and laughing. We reminisced about the Panama Canal cruise and talked about taking an Alaskan cruise together. We then went for a ride around town and took a quick walk at Granite Dells Lake it was beautiful! It was cold or we would have stayed out there longer.

We got a tour of the Bucky’s Yavapai Indian Casino and enjoyed some beautiful city views. We sat in the lounge, enjoyed a glass of wine and laughed some more. We dined at a downtown Prescott restaurant and talked and laughed some more. We laugh ALOT when the four of us are together! It was getting late and we were tired. We got back to the house and hit the hay!

Wednesday, 5.22.19

We slept in this morning. After a quick breakfast Roxanne and I went to the grocery store and then the 4 of us went for a ride to Jerome’s.

We explored and walked around this quaint little artsy, hippie town and chatted with some of the local artists. We were impressed with the Nelly Bly store. They claim to have the largest collection of kaleidoscopes for sale. They were quite impressive!

Craig peeking in one.

Here is a pic of us in kaleidoscope form. Just look really closely to see our photo. It was really cool!!

A local sculptor was working in the little studio behind Craig.

Map of the tiny town of artists.

Creativity. Cool sculpture.

This was an odd piece of art. An old cigarette machine. The doll heads were a little creepy.๐Ÿคฏ

These were the steps heading down to the sculptor studio.

After Jerome we took a ride to the town of Cottonwood. It was a windy mountain ride back to the house.

Later in the evening we had dinner of cajun sausage and shrimp with veggies and cornbread. Delish!

Craig and Mark played a couple of games of pool downstairs.

We wrapped up the evening playing Phase 10, a card game.

Clearly I need more practice taking selfies…Craig was playing too but I accidently cut him off.๐Ÿ˜ณ

Our time with Mark and Roxanne is always so enjoyable! When we arrived Roxanne said “You know where your room is, make yourself at home.” And we do!! Such GREAT people. We all get along so well!! They are an added BONUS should we decide to move to Prescott. ๐Ÿ˜‰๐Ÿ˜

Well, our trip is winding down. ๐Ÿ˜ซWe will look at the map in the morning to see which route we will take back home to So. CA. We want to be back home before the Memorial Day traffic hits the road.

Sidebar: not sure why but the formatting gets a little wonky and runs together at times. I need to figure that out. Maybe because I have been using my phone rather than my laptop? IDK…

Grand Canyon, 5.20.19

We spent the night in Bluff, UT at the Cadillac Ranch RV Park. It rained all night. It stopped about 5 this morning. I’ve gotta say, we have encounterd alot of rain ๐ŸŒงsince we left CA.๐Ÿค” However, the one good thing about all of this rain is that it’s washing the majority of the dead bugs off of Shorty’s face! ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ˜‰

Fixing breakfast of sausage and eggs this morning, this little tear drop was the view from my kitchen window.

To put it in perspective, I am 5’4″ and am as tall as this little guy. Oh, better yet, it’s about the size of a Volkswagen Beetle.๐Ÿž๐Ÿ˜ It sure is cute!

We took a walk around camp b4 leaving and saw thousands of birds flying around the little marsh/pond in the center of camp. Look closely and listen, they sing so beautifully.

We saw this little bonfire area at the end of camp with a GREAT view.

The highway to Mexican Hat, UT. It was a one gas station town.

Mexican hat Rock.

More in Utah than in any other state have we come over a horizon and both have said “WOW!” with our mouths wide open.๐Ÿ˜ฒ Spectacular landscapes!!

The Cadillac Ranch Camp camp host suggested we take highway 163, and noted that between Mexican Hat and Monument Valley to look for a “Forest Gump” sign. He said that this is the portion of highway that Forest Gump ran down in the movie. We didn’t see the sign, but it was a nice stretch of highway.

We ran in to some rain, hail, winds and snow flurries on the highway. It was INTERESTING to drive thru these weather changes as we left Utah and entered Arizona. I took a couple of videos.๐Ÿ˜ณ

Snow flurrys in Tonalea, AZ

We saw this natural wind sculptured rock near the border of Utah and Arizona. The landscape is stunning.

As we traveled thru Utah and Arizona I saw many Native American families living in old motorhomes surrounded by plywood. It really hurt my heart and made me angry at the same time to see the Native American people living on THEIR land in such squalor and substandard conditions.๐Ÿ˜ก ๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿ˜ซ

It took me a few miles to get over this sight. I had to take some time to pray for the people, reflect on my life and thank God for how truly blessed I am. You see, I have about 49% of Native American blood running throughly my veins… I felt a connection. ๐Ÿ˜ช

Moving forward, we spent the afternoon at the Grand Canyon taking in those breathtaking views.Too many pix to post. These were truly postcard views. It was about 36 degrees so we moved thru the sights quickly!On our way to Williams, AZ we saw the most incredible sunset and stunning desert sky.๐Ÿ˜ฒWe ended up spending the night in a hotel parking lot near the highway along with a couple other RVers and a couple of big rigs. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Arches National Park, 5.19.19

We arrived at our destination this morning and were met with a line of many other travellers waiting to enter the park. I am grateful that I purchased the Senior Park Pass! Being a senior citizen certainly has its perks!๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿง“๐Ÿ‘ตOnce in the park we saw the most AMAZING, BREATHTAKING and PICTURESQUE views!! Postcard worthy; the following pix are a tease and do no justice to what we got to experience.

This place is AMAZING. A must see.

As we were driving down the highway toward Moab there were some beautiful cloud formations. Craig said that some of them reminded him of the opening of the Simpson’s. ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿคฃ Here are a couple he spied. What do you think?๐Ÿค”

The ๐ŸŽตSIMPSON’S…๐ŸŽถ

Here is an interesting sight…Further down the highway we saw “A Hole in the Rock.”

Do you see that speck on the top right corner of the rock?

Look closely. A razor was up there! ๐Ÿ˜ณ

We drove through Moab and have deduced that Moab is an ATV, jeep and Razor city!! One can rent any of those vehicles, and there are an ABUNDANCE of trails to explore. The views spectacular as well.

It has been EXTREMELY WINDY since we left the Arches. Poor Shorty was being pushed to and fro!๐Ÿ˜ณ It made me a bit nervous.๐Ÿ˜– But then I remember that Craig is a retired professional package car driver and I have faith and confidence in his driving ability.๐Ÿ˜

Sidebar: Now, I don’t frequent fast food places but I have heard that McDonald’s has good coffee from a few people. So, we stopped to grab a quick cup and I opted for the Vanilla Latte. OMG๐Ÿ˜ณ I am a fan. โ˜•๐Ÿ‘

Snow capped mountains have become a familiar site for almost the duration of our journey. They are quite beautiful. The weather these last several days has been in the 50’s and 40’s but the landscape has been so phenomenal that we can overlook the temperature, providing we are warm, cozy and snung with Shorty.๐Ÿ‘

Sidebar: I wave ๐Ÿ™‹โ€โ™€๏ธ at other RVers. ๐Ÿ˜ Just sayin’. Craig used to look at me and shake his head.๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿคฃ It doesn’t phase him anymore.๐Ÿ˜š Most wave back.๐Ÿ–

We have passed many sleepy little towns on this journey; some coastal, some mountain, some farmland. We have noticed a common thread, “Family Dollar” stores are in many of these little towns. Just an observation.

This is one of my FAVORITE pix from our journey so far, Shorty basking in the moonlight.

It’s raining ๐ŸŒงagain. Good night.๐Ÿ˜ด

Utah, 5.18.19

We woke up to, yep you guessed it, rain. After it stopped we walked to the Walmart to pick up some eggs and a few provisions.

We have stayed in alot of Walmart parking lots and will typically patronize the establishment and you know what?! I never see “those” interesting Walmart people referenced on Facebook. I always meet the friendliest, most helpful staff and generally friendly, normal looking people.๐Ÿ˜ Idk about those Facebook posts… ๐Ÿค”.

Some pix on our way to Arches National Park.The pix don’t do this landscape justice and I have way too many to share.

SIDEBAR: OH!! I forgot to mention that while we were at Yellowstone I spoke with a seasonal park ranger who told me about summer park ranger and other seasonal positions. He provided me with a website to look for potential seasonal jobs, and he gave me his email. He told me that they are always looking for retired seniors and college kids for seasonal positions. CHECK. โœ… This is something I will DEFINATELY LOOK INTOโ€ผ #EXCITED.๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ˜ I have wanted to be a park ranger for years. I have always said that if I had a do-over in life, I’d be a Park Ranger.๐Ÿฟ๐Ÿป๐Ÿ๐ŸฆŒ๐Ÿฆ๐ŸฆŠ

Arches National Park

We arrived at Arches National Park late afternoon and popped in the visitor center to take a look around. As we were walking to our rig we noticed a Winnebego View and stopped to take a look at it. Just as we hopped in our rig the owners of the View approached their vehicle and we started chatting and comparing notes. The four of us hit it off; the conversation flowed easily as we toured each others coaches. Matthew shared some knowledge with Craig about our TV and tips on how best to get service.

We learned that Matthew and Rachel are 10 months into their RV journey heading to NY to celebrate their nuptuals with family and friends.

They were on the hunt for a place to park their rig for the night as were we. So, we decided to camp together in Canyonlands National Park. There is plenty of (BLM) Bureau of Land Management land that provides free camping locations. We followed them to an off road location and turned off the paved road to a rocky dirt road and drove for a bit. We settled on a little plateau with a great view.That is Shorty on the left and Matthew and Rachel’s View on the right with the most amazing moon in the center. We each settled in and prepared dinner and dined outside and chatted. Their mellow dog Whiskey joined us.

I had never used the convection oven before so I asked Rachel if she could teach me. I naturally assumed that she knew how because they had been living in their rig for 10 months. Surley she knows how it works, right?! She absolutely did, and graciously taught me.๐Ÿ‘ In fact Matthew has actually made bread in their convection oven. ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿž๐Ÿฅ–๐Ÿ˜With this newly acquired knowledge I made cornbread to accompany the Polska and cabbage for dinner. The cornbread came out surprisingly well thanks to Rachel and Matthew!!We met another young couple parked across from us camping in their truck, Chris and Lea (and their dog Holmes.) We chatted at their camp and we saw a bit of the sunset. BUT, we were blessed to see the most AMAZING moon rise. We all ended up staring at it enjoying it in all of it’s glory. ๐Ÿ˜š None of us had ever seen such a captivating sight! It was truly a magical, being in the right place at the right time, moment.Earlier Matthew had started a great campfire so we gathered around it to warm up. The six of us chatted and shared stories of our families, travels, health, water and life in general. Oh, and Whiskey and Holmes joined in too! ๐Ÿ•๐Ÿ˜We exchanged social media and contact information and decided to call it a night about 11 p.m.

Craig and I agree that this was the BEST day we had on the road since we left California.๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘

New Friends, 5.19.19

We woke up this morning to the wind and one amazing view!After making a quick breakfast of soyrizo and egg burritos and coffee I went outside to chat with our new friends.Wiskey, Rachel and Matthew.Rachel, Matthew & their View.Lea, Holmes and Chris.

We chatted for a bit this morning and then everyone went their separate ways. Matthew, Rachel and Whiskey Colorado bound; Craig and I to Arches National Park and Lea, Chris and Holmes homeward (Utah) bound.

Matthew, Rachel, Chris and Lea, THANK YOU. Thank you for being so kind, trasparent and just super cool people! We TRULY enjoyed our time with you four around the campfire under the stars and the moonlight. Blessings and travelling mercies to you all.

Matthew and Rachel, we will see you on Facebook! And YES, If you are ever in Southern California, the Long Beach area PLEASE stop by!! Even if it’s just to take a hot shower, a bath or to do some laundry!๐Ÿ˜ You have our numbers!๐Ÿฅฐ Peace.โœŒ๐ŸŒน

Chris and Lea thanks for the invite, if we are ever back in Utah we will look u up!โœŒ

All of us!๐Ÿฅฐ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ•๐Ÿ• Happy Trails!

IDAHO

Idaho…we’re baaack!

We left cold ๐ŸŒง rainy, wet Wyoming for cold ๐ŸŒงrainy, wet Idaho. ๐Ÿฅถ

Beautiful sights though between the showers.

We stopped for lunch today at O’Brady’s family restaurant in Idaho Falls. Friendly server, reasonable prices and good food. Since we’re in Idaho, (land of potatoes) we indulged in some fries. They were crispity-crunchity just the way Craig likes them!๐Ÿ˜

Some things you just can’t get away from; laundry. Our clothes got dirty and wet in this weather. We stopped at the local Walmart in Pocatello ID, got some laundry detergent and headed to the local laundromat. JAG’s laundromat caught our eye. (Hum…JAG our youngest daughter’s initials. ๐Ÿ‘)

I don’t remember the last time I needed to use the laundromat, but it’s been YEARS. This one was very well kept. ๐Ÿ˜

Anyway, while there we met a couple washing sleeping bags from a recent camping trip. Lenny was a paper map guy (like me). So we looked at the Idaho map and he suggested a few places to visit on our next trip. We talked about Yellowstone and shared a couple of stories. Nice people. We finished our laundry and bid them farewell.

It’s about 7pm and I was ready to find us a spot for the night, but Craig wanted to continue driving. So we hit the highway heading toward Brigham City, Utah.

We passed this pretty Idaho Farm Bureau building.

The Speed limit is 80 mph!!๐Ÿ˜ณOH MY!!

Beautiful Landscape

Such a dramatic sky!

That skyline. ๐Ÿ‘€

We just can’t get over these postcard views and dramatic skylines. Wow!

The photos just don’t do the landscape justice.

Here are some from Utah.

So pretty and green.

This is Utah about 8:45 p.m. still dusky out. NO FILTER. The sky was actually this blue. It was AMAZING!!!

We hit Utah just before dusk. We were met with more rain. ๐ŸŒง Oh, I missed the “Welcome to Utah” sign because I was looking at the map and down at my phone for someplace to sleep for the night. That’s my job as navigator; select the destination, routes, and places to park and sleep. Craig drives. I was a little perturbed๐Ÿคจ becaused I missed the sign. Hopefully I’ll see one when we leave Utah.

Sidebar: Just thought I’d mention that I DO drive. Just not at night, not if it’s too windy, not if it’s foggy, not when the road is too narrow or there is too much traffic, not in the city, not on twisty turney mountain roads, not if it’s raining, not if I’m tired.. hum ๐Ÿค” I hardly drive.๐Ÿคญ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿš

Anyway…LOL.

Well, we found “Shorty” a spot at the Walmart parking lot in Brigham City, UT. He is resting now.

Sidebar: Since we left California the weather has been in the 60’s, 50’s and 40’s. It is 45 degrees tonight. I miss CA weather.๐Ÿ˜” As BEAUTIFUL as these states are…they are too cold for our comfort.

Time to hit the hay! Tomorrow is a new day!

Yellowstone

THURSDAY

At one of the pullouts as we were viewing the beauty of the hot springs, we met a couple who hit a deer with their Ford 1500 pick up truck.๐Ÿ˜ณ They patched their truck up with some duct tape and kept right on rolling (after they reported it, of course.) Poor deer.๐ŸฆŒ๐Ÿ˜”

We saw a spectacular waterfall today.

We also saw several bison in the fields and along side of the road. There were several warning signs to keep a safe distance from the wildlife, but some people just have to get THAT photo…smh. Cars were abruptly hitting their brakes and stopping on the road to get a better look. Some foolish folks were running across the roads trying to get closer, SMH…

There is snow here and there along side of the road and its about 40 degrees. Brrrrr! Cold!! Rain on and off all day today.

Some Shenanigans or as Craig’s dad Pete would say, “foolishness!” ๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿคฃ

Craig is a phenomenal whistler…He was whistling “Moon River.” It sounded so pretty, I attempted to record him. ๐Ÿคญ๐ŸคซBusted! ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿ˜‚

Great day at Mammoth hot springs; beautiful and dangerous springs. It sure would have been nice to bask in one…but not these, the water is boiling.

Boiling mud pot

Breathaking landscapes.

It was a LONG but excellent day at Mammoth Park and Hot Springs.

Craig. My hunny. Look at that cool walk.๐Ÿ˜
Photographer in action.

It’s late, I’m sleepy. I’m lying in bed listening to the rain play a rhythm on the roof. It’s very soothing. Good night.

Friday

It rained ALL night long. We woke up to this.๐Ÿ˜ณ SNOW FALLING!Our original plans were to head south through Yellowstone, visit Old Faithful, and Jackson Hole, WY however, they were thwarted by snow. Beginning at Old Faithful Geyser chains were required. Well, we have no chains for our RV nor do we want to drive it in snow anyway.

After a cup of coffee, filling our fuel and propane tanks, filling our water bottles, and dumping our waste tank we said farewell to Yellowstone about 11:30.We have to have our Kangen water! ๐Ÿ’ง

We headed East on Highway 20, Idaho Falls bound. Craig will have to see Old Faithful on another trip.

Sidebar: 1) We both noticed that Oregon, Washington, Montana, Wyoming and Idaho are VERY CLEAN. We saw NO litter along the highways or towns. That really stood out to both of us.

Sidebar: 2) The though of getting a small dog to travel with us briefly crossed our minds…but after seeing pet owners have to make extra stops and getting up early in the cold and rain to walk their beloved pooches we agreed; NO dog ๐Ÿ•for us.๐Ÿ˜Stopping in Idaho Falls for lunch… I think potatoes are on the menu…๐Ÿฅ”๐Ÿ˜

Hopefully I’ll have better reception and my posts will upload daily.

Big Sky Country & Yellowstone

Wi-Fi is spotty at best. Sprint seems the least used carrier in the northwestern states. ๐Ÿ˜ฎโ˜Ž๏ธ I have been uable to post for two days. ๐Ÿ˜‘We are currently sitting at the Mammoth hotel lobby in Yellowstone. Got wifo!๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘MONTANA Open plains and grasslands with mountains in the distance. Big Sky Country has the most spectacular panoramic views! They are Breathaking! Fabulous! Beautimus! Awe-inspiring! Fantastical! Awesome! There are just not enough words to describe God’s amazing handiwork. Perhaps heavenly sums it up.๐Ÿค”YELLOWSTONE – Day 1We arrived at the West entrance of Yellowstone about noon today, Wednesday, and headed straight to the Visitor’s Center. The ranger provided vital info about yellowstone and the camp grounds.Unfortunately for us only two camp grounds in the park were open AND they had a line of hopefuls wating to hear about cancellations.She shared that we arrived two days too soon as the remainder of the camp grounds won’t open for another couple of days. BUT, fortunately for us there was a campground close to town. The Baker’s Hole Campground (Madison River) had plenty of openings; they are 3 miles North of West Yellowstone on US 191.I purchased the annual America the Beautiful – National Parks & Federal Recreation Lands Pass for $20. This pass allows us entry to parks AND camping discounts! So, camping here at Baker’s Hole was only $18 a nigh as opposed to $25 a night. Whoo-hoo!! Savings and free – two of my favorite things.๐Ÿ˜BisonThermal pools…hot and colorful!

Boiling mud pot. Fascinating!!YELLOWSTONE – Day 2It rained last night so the morning air is fresh and crisp. I made breakfast of bacon and eggs with onion and bell pepper, joined by a cup of coffee for me and tea for Craig.Sidebar: As far as meals go we either have breakfast and dinner or just lunch and lite snacks. With all of the driving that we do one doesn’t really work up too much of an appetite. So breakfast today will hold us until this evening. I’ll put some chicken on the grill and make a cucumber, avocado & tomato salad. Simple. More than likely tomorrow we will just have lunch. Sometimes we’ll try a local eatery or I’ll make sandwiches, a big salad๐Ÿฅ— or we’ll have leftovers if there are any. For snacks we typically have apples, avocado, cheese, almonds, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, beef jerkey and chips. If we happen upon a farmers markets we will pick up fresh fruit and veggies.๐Ÿฅ‘๐Ÿ‹๐Ÿฅ•๐Ÿ“๐Ÿฅฌ๐Ÿฅฆ๐Ÿ„We hung around and chilled until about noon. Today we set out to see the Mammoth Hot Springs.Mammoth hot springs pix.If you have not been to Montana and Yellowstone you owe it to yourself to visit this little piece of heaven!Ok, Gotta hit the road and head back to camp. Will post again when I get wifi again.Until next time…

MONTANA

Shorty loves Walmart! He gets to sleep here for FREE. Tell me, who doesn’t love free?!โ˜บ

Anyway before we hit the road we always fill up first. Yes, I’m one of those people who are ready to fill the tank when it’s half full. I get anxious if it gets below a half tank.๐Ÿ˜ณ I can tell you one thing I have NEVER run out of gas.๐Ÿ˜ I probably never will either.

So, the service station was our first stop and the post office our second. Fortunately for me a postman was there at the station. He was happy to take my mail. “DJ” said he moved from Orange County in the early 90’s to Spokane. It’s really surprising how many California transplants we have met on this journey. ๐Ÿ˜ณAt least 80% of the people we have engaged are from somewhere in California… Hum, ๐Ÿค” maybe they’re on to something!๐Ÿค”๐Ÿค”

Actually, this journey is to explore the states to see where we may want to plant our feet. Yes, we will be transplants somewhere else too.๐Ÿคซ๐Ÿคญ As beautiful as Oregon, Washington and Montana are, we agree they are not for us. The snow, rain and cold are not on our desirable list. The more and more we talk and think about it, Arizona remains at the top of our list. ๐Ÿ‘ I have always favored dry heat AND Sunshine makes me happy. I am so over California. Although Northern Cali is nice…๐Ÿค”๐Ÿค—

Oh, I forgot to mention that I drove yesterday on the open highway for about an hour. However, I much prefer to be the passenger so I could take pix and make my notes.Ok, back to our journey…we left Spokane, Washington about 9:30 a.m.

IDAHO

In no time at all we were in Idaho, which was a blur. We zipped through the Northern tip via Interstate 90.We saw lakeside homes in Idaho looked that looked so peaceful and serene. We saw similar sights Oregon and Washington. Quaint and really cute.

Another Idaho sight; simply beautiful landscape. The photos don’t do the scene justice. We saw many more Cows grazing in lush green pastures.We stopped at the Idaho/Montana border at Lookout Pass.

Lookout pass history.
Border of Idaho and Montana. SNOW.๐Ÿ˜ฎ But it was warm.๐Ÿค—

As soon as we exited Lookout Pass there was the sign welcoming us to Montana.Montana was a surprising 81 degrees๐Ÿฅต when we entered and it remained very warm for the duration as we drove throught the many small towns and enjoyed the views.

BIG SKY COUNTRY is right! Montana is absolutely STUNNING! You know that airline commercial? “Wanna get away?” Well, Montana is the place! I now understand why it’s called big sky country.

Absolutely.

Stunning.

Landscape.

By the way, did you know that Highway 90 in Montana is actually built on a fault line according to the Visitor Center in Missoula?! You can tell by the different colors and rock formations on the side of the highway. They vary in shades of tans, browns, and reds.

Shorty was tired so we took a little walk and let him rest. A “beast” parked next to him. Awww, look at our little guy!๐Ÿ˜‚ He almost looks like a toy!We stopped in Missoula for some fuel…you guessed it, we were down to about a half tank!๐Ÿค—๐Ÿ˜ (I know you are laughing at me Carle)๐Ÿ˜‚ This place “Mentzer’s used cow lot” was across the street from the service station. I don’t know about you, but I’ve never seen a used COW lot. ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜The drive thru Montana has been absolutely BEAUTIFUL! The following pix just don’t do it justice.I just LOVE riding down the highway next to a river. It is so peaceful and quite zen.๐Ÿง˜โ€โ™€๏ธLOOK AT THAT SKY! “BIG SKY COUNTRY” without a doubt!Well, Shorty needs his rest and Craig is tired of driving. Here we are in the Helena Walmart parking lot with many other weary travellers.Again, thanks Mr. Walton!๐Ÿค— On to Yellowstone in the morning.โ˜บ

Spokane Bound

We spent the night in a Cabella’s lot (Lacy, WA ) with several big rigs and a couple other RVers.

Shorty looks like a toy next to this big rig.๐Ÿ˜ฎ
It is considerate of Cabella’s to provide an area for horses๐Ÿดand dogs.๐Ÿ• We have neither but for those that do, heads up!๐Ÿ‘City Sights We passed passed the Tacoma Dome and Car museum.
Tacoma Dome
Car museum
BridgesThere is something about bridges that Craig and I admire. Their structure? The architecture? Their design? The colors or materials? Their strength and size? I don’t know. We just like bridges.๐Ÿ—๐ŸŒ We passed several bridges on our way to Spokane.A broken bridge!๐Ÿ˜ฎAs we cruised down the highway we saw a Military convoy.We thank you for your service.๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ™As we continied on the 90 we noticed that the terraine had changed again. We passed some beautiful green pastures, some beautiful bodies of water and snow capped mountains.There is just so much to see that I can’t possibly document it all. It is all so beautiful. ๐ŸžHow blessed we are to have this opportunity to travel.Let me put a pin here. WE acknowledged today that Craig is a DESTINATION driver; so unlike me.๐Ÿ˜‘ But that’s OK.๐Ÿคซ๐Ÿคญ I am the navigator. ๐Ÿ˜‰๐Ÿ˜‰We both wanted some fruit so we stopped at a roadside fruit stand; Thorp Fruit. We parked next to a tan Winnebego View. After some shopping, we stopped and chatted with the owners of that View. Nice folks from WA who have done ALOT of travelling. We shared a couple of stories about our vehicles and went on our way.Manito ParkOK, so we made it to Spokane, WA late in the afternoon and decided to find a public park and set up our grill to make dinner. This was by far the BEST part of our day. With the help of a local we found a BEAUTIFUL Park. People are so FRIENDLY in Spokane. One local said it’s because the snow is gone and they finally get to go outside! ๐Ÿ˜Manito Park used to be a zoo, years ago, but it closed and was transformed into a beautiful park. After dinner we took a walk.Sidebar: Manito in Spanish is “little hand.” “Mano” is hand and “ito” at the end of a word indicates little.Some pix as we strolled around the park.
The Lilac Garden. SO FRAGRANT!!
There was a Japanese Garden, a Butterfly Garden, a Rose Garden and the Lilac Garden. The Lilac Garden was the MOST FRAGRANT garden I have ever had the pleasure of experiencing. It was so very FRAGRANT. It was incredible! If you ever make it to Spokane, WA you must stop at this Park.๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘
Us, in the park.
We took that walk after dinner which consisted of a seasoned ribeye steak and potatoes with a side of asperagus in butter and garlic grilled in foil packs.
Dinner was DELISH!
Me attempting to take a selfie.
Go ahead and laugh. ๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿ˜‚ WE DID! CLEARLY Craig and I both need practice taking selfies. We were trying to show you our dinner.๐Ÿ˜‚๐ŸคฃAnyway, we are spending the night in a Walmart parking lot in Spokane Valley along side of a couple of big rigs and other RVers.THANK YOU SAM WALTON!!On to Idaho and Montana tomorrow.๐Ÿ˜ด๐Ÿ˜ด

Room with a view – Happy Mother’s Day

Happy Mother’s Day!๐Ÿ™‹โ€โ™€๏ธ

What an AWESOME way to spend Mother’s Day. On the road with my hunny waking up in OUR RV!๐Ÿฅฐ Retirememt is GOOD. #BLESSED.๐Ÿ˜ #GRATEFUL. #HAPPY.

The view from our room.๐ŸŒฒ

“SHORTY”๐ŸŒฒ

We are heading on over to Tillamook this morning.๐Ÿ˜ CHEESE!๐Ÿง€

Tillamook

We had to stop! After our tour of “cheeseville” we shared a scoop of rocky road ice cream; so rich, creamy and chocolaty,๐Ÿฆ a grilled cheese oozing with cheddar cheese-a bit much for us- and some razor clam chowder. Had to try it. Neither of us is really a clam chowder fan so we cannot say if it was good or not.๐Ÿค”

Cheese sampling.๐Ÿง€ Holding on tight to his camera.๐Ÿ“ท

Grilled cheese and razor clam chowder.

Glad we stopped! Donna and Larry, thanks for the tip!

Tillamook is a HUGE operation with an eatery, ice cream parlor, a souvenir store and the factory where all of that cheesy magic happens! What an ๐Ÿง€ operation, it is quite impressive!

Where the cheese magic happens and you can watch it happen below.
Loads of souvenirs! Shirts, hats, etc. and of course CHEESE๐Ÿง€.

We were particularly impressed with the story on the milking process and care the cows receive. I have Tillamook cheese in my fridge now and will look for Tillamook dairy products when I shop. Tillamook, great product, great marketing!

After our time at “cheese heaven” we continued our trek Northbound toward Washington. We passed some of the cutest little towns.

We kept seeing this rich yellow folage along the mountain roads and along the side of various highways. It really stood out after seeing so much green.๐ŸŒฒ

Once we entered Washington I began to see this bright reddish-pink flowering shrub. It was so pretty.

Bridges

As we approached the state of Washington we crossed a waterway and could see a LONG bridge in the distance (on the left). It appeared to be the bridge that we would cross over to enter into Washington.

YEP! We crossed that LONG HIGH bridge. I thought of a former coworker (GD) who DOESN’T like bridges. She would have cried going over this one! It was HIGH!

As we began to descend the tall portion of the bridge another LONG portion of concrete beckoned to us, as if to say “there is no turning back, come on down!”๐Ÿ˜ฎ

This bridge crossing over the bay from Oregon to Washington was the TALLEST and LONGEST that we have been on in our lifetimes! โ›ต๐Ÿ—

Just before we exited the bridge there was a little sign that said “Welcome to Washington.” Craig saw it. I missed it, so I didn’t get a pic.๐Ÿ˜‘ Shucks!

There were no other references to the state of Washington other than the highway signs with George’s image.

This is our first time in the state of Washington. We noticed that they have too their share of bridges.

…and here’s a tunnel.๐Ÿ˜

We thought this was a cool overpass.

As we continued to drive we saw more forests. I was saddened to see the patches of deforestation in South Bend.

We saw alot of muddy, empty lake like water beds. Don’t know what that is about, but it made me think “tsunami.”๐Ÿ˜ฃLike in Oregon we saw lots of tsunami zone signs.

Initially we were going to head all the way up the 101 to Port Angeles and take the ferry across to Canada, BUT quite frankly we had both seen enough forest and trees and twisty roads. Don’t get me wrong, I am the “Nature gurl” and even I was tiring of the same mountain twists and turns and trees and all of the tsunami signs. We thought let’s head inland. SO, we opted to change up the scenery and head East toward Olympia. We’ve got our sites set on Spokane, WA via the 90 tomorrow morning.

Oh, I didnt want to cook today so we stopped at Outback for Mother’s Day dinner. It was nice.๐Ÿฅฐ

We are tired and decided to hunker down for the night at a Cabella’s in Lacy, WA along with some other RVers and big rigs.

Until tomorrow..๐Ÿ˜ด

Oregon, 5.11.19

We spent the night at the Beach Loop RV Park. It was near the ocean, nice and quiet.

Tribal.โœŒ. I LOVE color.๐Ÿ˜

With beds made and a cup of coffee in hand we left Bandon about 9:30 this morning. As we drove further North into Coos Bay and beyond there was lumber yard after lumber yard. We saw stacks and stacks of lumber. Never ever had either of us seen this much lumber before, EVER. Later on down the highway we saw where the land had been stripped of lumber.๐Ÿ˜ฅ It made me a little sad to see the naked hills.

We drove for a couple hours and decided to find a spot to fix some breakfast.

Oregon Dunes

We stopped here for a breakfast of sausage and eggs. Afterwards we explored some beautiful trails.

Beautiful trails to the sand dunes.

The flora and fauna was beautiful and rich in color.

Craig fiddling with his camera.

Me practicing selfies…๐Ÿ˜‰
Getting back on the road.

While driving up the Oregon Coast we encountered many bridges. Here are a few throughout the Oregon Coast between Bandon and Tillamook.

We even encountered a cool tunnel too.

All along the coast were tsunami ๐ŸŒ€๐ŸŒŠ warning signs. We went in and out of tsunami zones throughout the coast.

We drove through some cute little towns and past some beautiful homes.

Florence was a quaint little fishing village with homes along the harbor.

A small Marina.

Beautiful solitary homes.

We ran across more๐Ÿ„ dairy farms and ๐Ÿ‘sheep, goat, horses ๐Ÿดand donkeys grazing in the fields. We saw a couple of chicken๐Ÿ“ coups here and there too.

We ran across some interesting shops…

Sunray Cannabis, $3 a gram
Medical marijuana dispensary.
Mr. Nice Guy’s weed store.
Look at this cute colorful Kite store. Colorful things ALWAYS catch my attention.
We saw a few Santa’s climbing on the roof of this store.

The Oregon Coast

The Oregon Coast is BEAUTIFUL. Some parts are clear where others are covered with a hazy fog. Sometimes the fog was so thick that we had to turn our headlights on.

Fog hovering over a solitary home in the distance.
Tide pools

Sidebar: Did you ever see the movie “The Fog?” It’s a sci-fi movie where a sleepy little coastal town is enveloped with a THICK fog. The fog holds some unworldly invaders.๐Ÿ˜ฑ๐Ÿ•ธ๐Ÿฆ‚๐Ÿฆ ๐Ÿœ ๐Ÿฆ•It is really a good movie that demonstrates how people respond in a dire situations. If you haven’t seen it and like a good sci-fi, I recommend it.

On a brighter note, everyone we have encountered has been very friendly.๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ‘Overall the Oregon Coast is a beautiful blend of beaches, marinas, forests,๐Ÿž mountains, pastures, dairy farms, rolling hills, grasslands, hiking trails, cute little towns, beautiful flora and fauna and trees; lots and lots of trees. AND let’s not forget about the weed.๐Ÿ˜ The weather is cool and we understand it rains ALOT. The Oregon coast is a beautiful place to visit. We have enjoyed our time here.

A couple of observations;

  • Fred Meyer stores are popular here. They are similar to Walmart in CA.
  • Fuel prices are going up the further north we go. When we first arrived in Oregon diesel was $3.09 but now it’s up to $3.45 a gallon at some stations. Still cheaper than in Cali!
  • Trees. Lots and lots of trees!๐ŸŒฒ๐ŸŒฒ๐ŸŒฒ So. Many. Trees.
  • NICE people.

Today we travelled from Bandon to Tillamook (think of cheese๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿง€), about 9 hours on the road. We have settled in for the evening at the Tillamook RV Park.

We had dinner of homemade meat sauce over some steamed brocolli and some iced tea.

I cook.
Craig cleans.

It’s a team effort.๐Ÿ˜

In the morning we will visit the town of cheese (Tillamook) and then head on to Washington.

Nighty-night.๐Ÿ˜ด

CA-101, Friday, 5.10.19

We hit CA Highway 101 about noon today. We took our time enjoying the sights and made a couple of “Visitor Center” stops along the way and checked out a few RV parks.

Sounds of the Sea RV Park

Azelea Green RV Park

Patrick’s Point State Park Visitor’s Center

We took in the sights at the Elk Prairie Campground Visitor Center and stopped for a bit to see the elk.๐ŸฆŒ

Elk in the distance.

We passed through so many sleepy little towns. Orrick for example has a population of 357. Some towns were so remote that we wondered, where they go for medical/dental services? The grocery store? Clothes shopping? What do they do for fun? A few little towns were only a few blocks long…one has to wonder…๐Ÿค”

We saw alot of cow and some sheep and goat pastures sprinkled here and there.

Continuing up the highway we saw SO MANY TREES. So. Many. Trees. ๐ŸŒฒ๐ŸŒฒ๐ŸŒณ๐ŸŒฟ๐Ÿ€ And the folage is so lush and green. If you haven’t taken a ride up CA Highway 101- it is a must! The ocean views, trees, folage, and sights in general are breathtaking! This is the first time we have been (North) past San Francisco.

The only downside was we had NO wifi service through the forest and some coastal areas so I couldn’t research different sites as we drove, (Darn you Sprint!) However, in retrospect I think it was a good thing because I took more pix to help jog my memory for this blog.๐Ÿ˜

We drove through Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park. OH MY, BREATHTAKING is the word that comes to mind. We took plenty of pix.

Our “Shorty” in the forest, oh my!

HUGE hollow tree
US ๐Ÿฅฐ enjoying our forest immersion.
Practicing selfies; I’m not very good, yet.๐Ÿ˜‰
I have a good dozen pix in this forest similar to this that I won’t bore you with. ๐Ÿ˜‰ It was just SO BEAUTIFUL!!

There were a few interesting sights along the highway besides RV Parks…

Bigfoot!๐Ÿ‘ฃ

Paul Bunyan says “hello!”
Ship to shore shopping.๐Ÿ›ณ

As we got nearer to the Oregon border the landscape became even greener. The weather went from warm to cool and damp.

Cloud cover. Overcast.

Oregon

This is the first time for both of us in Oregon.

As we entered the Oregon border we saw an ABUNDANT amount of “weed” signs. ๐Ÿ‘€

We stopped at the Vista Pub in Brookings close to the CA/OR border for a bite to eat and met some really nice folks. Of the 9 or so at the table, 7 of them were transplants from Southern California!

Shout out to Vista Pub who is farm to table with the BEST burgers!๐Ÿ‘

While speaking with some of the locals at the pub (California transplants in the pic above) we learned a few things…

  • Weed aka cannabis aka marijuana aka pot is abundant!
  • Most towns on Oregon, U DON’T pump your own gas, attendants do.
  • There is NO sales tax.
  • State property tax is LOW (compared to CA).

I learn something new everyday!๐Ÿ˜

Oregon Coast

We just had to!๐Ÿ˜˜
Awww, the ocean!

We continued North on the 101. Dusk was upon us so we decided to find somewhere for the night because the highway is DARK after the sun sets…we found the Beach Loop RV Park in Bandon, OR.

Until tomorrow, Good night..๐Ÿ˜ด

Highway 36

After our morning coffee we bid our farewells and hit the road. We drove West on Highway 20 to the I-5 North.

On the I-5 in Colusa we saw rice crops, and almond & walnut trees. Further North we saw olive trees.

Rice crop

Rather than go on to Redding and cut across to the 101, we decided to go West on Highway 36 at Red Bluff. As we began on this route it was beautiful; rolling green hills and pastures with cows and goats. Picturesque.

Highway 36.

While on Highway 36 we passed a tiny town called Forrest Glen; Population 22.๐Ÿ˜ฎ We saw two people.

After driving Highway 36 for a while the road began to get REALLY twisty-turney!! From beautiful pastures to mountain terraine with steep drops and narrow roads.

Two minute video of twisty-turney roads.

There was a lot of road work going on in the mountains. A couple of times there was only one lane monitored by Cal Trans.

We passed a burned section of trees.๐ŸŒฒ๐Ÿ˜ฃ

After almost 4 hours of twisty turney roads on Highway 36 we were HAPPY to get to the 101.

We stopped in Eureka for a bite to eat and then we continued North on the 101 to find a spot to sleep.

We decided to spend the night at the Cher-AE Heights Indian Casino. They provide RV parking for $20, and you could stay for up to three nights for that $20 bucks. What a deal!

GPS provided two routes to get to this casino; highway or scenic. We opted for the scenic route. BOY WAS THAT A MISTAKE! ๐Ÿ˜ฎ While the scenic route provided excellent views of the ocean, the road was NOT SUITABLE for an RV. Thank God shorty is small!! A vehicle any larger than 25 feet would have had to turn back. There should have been a warning sign.๐Ÿ˜ฑ A couple of sections of the road was a single lane, some was unpaved, gravel, uneven and VERY NARROW! We held our breath a couple of times.๐Ÿ˜ฑ

View from the crazy narrow “scenic” route.

We made it safely to our destination and are all hunkered down for the night…๐Ÿ˜ด

On to Oregon in the morning.

Penn Valley, CA

Day 1

We arrived in Penn Valley Monday night about 9:30 p.m. We woke up to this view.

View from our room.

We mosied into the kitchen for coffee and saw this cute little sign welcoming us. So sweet!โ˜บ

Cute little sign says: “Welcome Craig and Debbie” ๐Ÿฅฐ

Larry and Donna live on a stunning 3.2 acre property on Wildwood Lake in Penn Valley. Their custom built lake home is absolutely BEAUTIFUL. It’s something you’d see in a Home and Garden magazine. There are fruit trees, a garden area, huge grass areas and many other cool and unique features. Oh, the dock! They also have a private dock with a pontoon, canoes and a paddle boat. After all, what is the point of living lakeside without a dock? Right?!๐Ÿ˜‰

Let me put a pin here. We met Larry and Donna, and three other great couples on our Panama Canal Cruise in December and we have kept in touch with these couples. One of our goals as we travel is to stop and visit each couple. We’ve visited Mark and Roxanne in AZ and now Larry and Donna here in CA. ๐Ÿฅฐ The other two couples live in Canada and Iowa respectively.๐Ÿ‘

After a quick breakfast Larry and Donna gave us a tour of Grass Valley and Neveda City.

Our eldest daughter’s name is Athena.๐Ÿ˜‰

The Holbrooke Hotel is the oldest hotel in CA and has been operating since 1849. It is currently under going some renovations.

Grass Valley is a cute little town with some quaint and unique shops and friendly folk!

Next was a drive to Nevada City, the little town right next door. Neveda City, CA has a very rich mining history.

Tribute to the Chinese workers who helped build the railroad.๐Ÿ‘

Some OLD mining equipment.

After some browsing we decided to lunch at Stella’s Mexican restaurant.

Stella, this one is for you.๐Ÿ˜‰

We stopped at the grocery store for some dinner items on our way back to their home.

When we got back we washed the bugs off Shorty before lounging in the afternoon sun.

SHORTY getting a bath.

After some lounging we took a ride around the lake on their pontoon.

Donna prepared a little platter of cheese, crackers, strawberries and grapes. With glasses and a bottle of wine in tow, off we went!

View of their home from the lake.

The homes on the lake were each beautiful and had their own unique qualities.

Some of the homes on the lake.

This home had a “dumb waiter” (on the left) to carry items to and fro.

Donna relaxing. She and “Captain” Larry shared some lake home history.

Me trying to take a decent selfie with Craig in the background.

Their little dog, sweet Sadie, went along for the ride and knew we were almost home.

Once back home it was time to get dinner ready. I prepared a sauteed cajun dish of shrimp, kielbasa, asperagus, bell pepper, onion and two kinds of squash. Donna made some skillet corn bread to accompany the dish. Donna also made strawberry๐Ÿ“๐Ÿฐ shortcake for dessert! Oh my!

After that tasty dinner and scrumptious dessert we chatted for a while. Larry and Donna shared with us some of their many RV travel experiences. They have owned and travelled in various RVs for 16 years. They are seasoned and quite knowledgeable RVers who provided us with some great suggestions and sound travel advice. We are newbies, so of course I soaked it all in.

Larry and I looking over some maps.

Day 2

My view this morning as I enjoyed my cup of coffee.โ˜•

After a quick breakfast of soyrizo and egg burritos we hopped in their SUV for a tour of the mountains in Yuba County.

After a twisty-turney ride through the mountains on Highway 49 we stopped to stretch our legs at the Yuba River.

Yuba River

Donna and Larry.

Craig, me, Donna and Larry@ Yuba River

We hopped back in the SUV and continued down the twisty turney highway to Downieville Town.

Population 325.

We walked ๐Ÿšถโ€โ™€๏ธaround town; all five blocks of it, and stopped in the local store for a libation and a snack.

This sign actually says, “Grubstake Salon Vittles ‘n’ Libations.” ๐Ÿ˜ They were closed.

Historic Durgan bridge. 1938.

Craig, Donna and Larry taking a break enjoying their “vittles and libations.”

It was a nice scenic ride back to Penn Valley. When we got back everyone chilled or napped for a bit before dinner.

Dinner was at a Pizza Parlor in town. Conversation is relaxed and easy. After dinner at their “lake house” we took some pix.

Donna is holding their sweet little pup Sadie.

It was a long day. We talked more about travel, looked over the maps once again, got a few more travel tips then we called it a night.

Some deer in the front yard at dusk.

Craig and I will hit the road in the morning. We’ll be heading West on the 20 toward the Coast.

We had a WONDERFUL couple of days with Donna and Larry! What gracious hosts, and loving, God-fearing people. We are blessed to call them “friends.”

Got much love for you two! ๐Ÿ’ž๐Ÿฅฐ Thank you Larry and Donna for opening your Lake home and hearts to us. Until next time…

Sidebar: Henry if u read this; LOVE YOU๐Ÿ’ž much and we’ll see you on our next trip.๐Ÿ˜‰ ๐Ÿ™‹โ€โ™€๏ธ

Familiar and New Sights

We boondocked at a Cracker Barrel in Santa Maria last night and woke to the noise of Waste Management emptying trash bins this morning.

Note to self: check for trash bin proximity before hunkering down for the night.๐Ÿ˜‘

As we began to get ready for the day it started to rain so we fixed a cup of joe and relaxed ๐Ÿง˜โ€โ™€๏ธenjoying our warm morning brew while waiting for the clouds to pass.

We hit the road about 9 a.m. heading Northbound on Highway 101. We would usually take the coastal route, PCH, when heading North but this time we opted to take the 101 to Sacramento and take in some different “inland” sights.

From the I-5, near the famed Madonna Inn, we saw a drive-in movie theater (that is a rare sight these days.)

There were many familiar sights as we drove leisurely up the road; the familiar cow pastures, hills, and empty fields that were so lush and green for miles and miles. The shades of green varied from lime green to a deep forest green, really beautiful.

Rolling hills sprinkled with cows

Farmworkers tending to the field

We drove through San Luis Obispo, Paso Robles, King City and Salinas before we hopped on to Highway 152 to cut across and continue our journey on Interstate 5.

We passed San Luis Reservoir whose water level was surprisingly low. ๐Ÿ˜ฃ Apparently all the rain and snow we got earlier this year wasn’t enough to replenish our reservoirs.

LOW water level.
You can clearly see the former water level.

As we traveled further North we saw vinyards, orange groves, strawberry fields, cabbage and lettuce fields. It was really a nice drive. We saw a sign that said “pimento farm” but I didn’t see it.

The closer we got to Sacramento we began to see dairy farms, cattle ranches and fields of goat and sheep – we had never seen fields of goat and sheep before.

Dairy farm.๐Ÿ˜ฃ

Craig wanted to pay a visit to Old Sacramento to stop by Danny’s Mini Donuts for some fresh, made to order donuts, but he was met with disappointment; they were closed.๐Ÿ˜ฃ๐Ÿฉ No donuts for Craig.

Our last stop for the day was to see the California State Capitol.

It was about time to wrap up our day, so we reached out to our friends in Penn Valley – turns out we were closer to them than we thought. On to Penn Valley…๐Ÿš™๐Ÿ’จ

On the road again

Destination or Journey?

When u travel is it about the destination or the journey?๐Ÿค”

This trip is about the journey. We have no particular destination in mind other than to visit friends in Grass Valley, CA and in Prescott, AZ later this month before we head home. Between those visits we plan to wander around Northern CA, mosey on up to Oregon and then Washington. Where we go depends greatly on the weather. We don’t do snow,๐ŸŒจโ„ especially not with Shorty.

This journey began northbound on the iconic Pacific Coast Highway. We cruised thru Malibu and Zuma beaches and observed the many families enjoying the sun, sand and surf. Traffic rolled by the Getty Villa at a snails pace due to some street maintenance. But that’s ok, we are in NO rush.

Zuma Beach around the bend

As we cruised past Leo Carrillo State Beach we saw so many flowers. ๐ŸŒป๐ŸŒผ๐ŸŒพ๐Ÿ๐ŸŒธThe further North we drove we saw rolling green hills and more flowers. It was really pretty! All that rain ๐ŸŒง we had earlier this year did wonders for the landscape.๐Ÿž๐Ÿ‘

As we passed Ventura we saw artichoke and ๐Ÿ“ strawberry fields. We’d seen plenty of strawberry fields, but this was the first time either of us had seen artichokes in their natural habitat! โ˜บ

Artichoke field

Between Ventura and Santa Barbara is “Rincon Parkway Campground.” This no frills strip along Pacific Coast Highway (aka PCH) offers parking with ocean views. Boondocking at its best! We drove by to check it out. Reservations must be made online. My friend Carle highly recommends this spot for some serious relaxation.๐Ÿ‘

As we continued Northbound we saw fields of horses and cows. Soon we were in Santa Barbara. We love Santa Barbara; it’s comfortable and homey, yet modern.

Trolly and “land shark” on State Street in Santa Barbara, CA.

We stopped for a bite at El Pollo Loco in Santa Barbara. After dining we looked at the map to see which direction we wanted to continue. We opted to continue on Highway 101 and saw an amazing sunset as we entered the city of Santa Maria.

We stopped for gas and decided to hunker down for the night at the local Cracker Barrel right off the 101.

Until tomorrow…๐Ÿ˜ด

SEASONS

Seasons

To be able to travel and explore is a blessing. To travel this country and explore in an RV๐Ÿš™ is MY dream come true. I am so grateful for this season in our lives. Craig and I have worked hard and raised three amazing daughters who are strong, independent, self-sufficient and happy young women. Each have taken their own path to happiness.๐Ÿ˜

The wonderful thing about having grow children is grandchildren.๐Ÿ˜ We have been blessed with three grands who are thriving. Our twin grandsons are in high school and our grandaughter is a former college student currently working in Customer Service. She currently lives with us which has proven to be a win-win. She is home to watch the house and take care of our kittys while we travel; in turn it provides her the opportunity to save money and explore her options in life.

We are at a season in our lives where we are footloose and fancy free…We can focus on US ๐Ÿ’‘ And we do. We have reached those so called ‘golden years’ and we are thoroughly enjoying them!๐Ÿ‘

Well, we are ready to hit the road again! ๐Ÿž๐Ÿš™ Our first stop will be Central California to visit with some friends. After that on to explore Northern California, Oregon and Washington. Inland or the coast? Not sure yet. We’ll see where the road leads us. ๐Ÿ˜ Canada? Wyoming? Montana? Idaho? Utah? Hum? ๐Ÿค” Not sure, but I do know that we will stop in Prescott, AZ to visit some friends before we head home.

I have always said that life is an adventure. I’m ready for our next one…๐Ÿง—โ€โ™€๏ธ๐Ÿšดโ€โ™€๏ธ๐Ÿšถโ€โ™€๏ธ๐ŸŒฒ๐ŸŒป

Life is GOOD.๐Ÿ‘๐ŸŽ

Remember: “Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

See you on the road…๐Ÿš™

โ€œSHORTYโ€ and BOULDER CREEK

โ€œSHORTYโ€

I name my vehicles. I understand that not everyone sees the point, but to me, each vehicle has a personality (so to speak) or a style about them. So naturally, I began thinking about a name for our 2016 Winnebago Navion.

I had a little Black Toyota Prius back in the day that I named โ€œKeimoโ€ which is a nickname that Craig and my brother-in-law used to call me because I am part Native American. My current car is a Hyundai Elantra who I call โ€œEthan;โ€ Ethan Elantra. He is my current ride. Way back in the day I had a little green Mazda 626 that we called โ€œthe boogerโ€ because he was green. LOL.

Anyway, I started calling our RV โ€œWinnieโ€ because she is a Winnebago. I liked it, but Craig was not too fond of the name. After some polling in an RV Facebook group we considered the name โ€œBenzieโ€ as was suggested by one of the group members, because our RV has a Mercedes Benz chassis. However, neither Winnie nor Benzie stuck or felt right to BOTH of us.

Itโ€™s funny how names come about. Anyway, after this weekendโ€™s camping trip to Boulder Creek with some friendsโ€ฆand seeing just how small our RV is compared to the โ€œbeastsโ€ as we called them, โ€œShortyโ€ just seemed to fit! We found a name we can agree on. Shorty is 25โ€™ long.

That’s “Shorty” on the right.

Caravan to the campsite.

BOULDER CREEK

Our friends Carle & Joyce have an RV that is about 38โ€™ long; a Class A. Some of his other friends have RVโ€™s easily over 30โ€™ in length, and they tow toys! These toys are Razors. If you are not familiar with โ€œRazorsโ€ (I wasnโ€™t) they are kind of like dune buggies except (theyโ€™re not) they are specifically made to climb up and over boulders, easily drive thru sand, dirt, and mud! They are some rough and tumble little vehicles with roll bars of Nascar quality โ€“ just in case you flip over or roll!

Carle’s Razor & Class A

Boulder Creek RV Resort and Park is located in Lone Pine, California. Craig and I joined Carle & Joyce and several of their friends in a caravan heading to Boulder Creek so they could do some Razor driving over the weekend. We arrived at camp, checked in and set up on Friday.

Boulder Creek R V Resort & Park

After we set up, it was interesting to watch Carle and the others unload their razors in anticipation of Saturday mornings ride. We got to know some of his friends; Mr. & Mrs. *T&B and Mr. & Mrs. *R&R, plus many others. Altogether, I think there must have been about 10 razors and at least 20 folks getting ready for the Saturday morning ride.

Craig and I took our bicycles fully intending to take a bike ride into town while they all went Razor riding on Saturday. However, Mr. & Mrs. T&B invited us to ride in their four-seater razor โ€“ most were two seaters. Being newbies and having no gear and very little knowledge on what was in store, we accepted their invitation for the adventure.

Saturday morning everyone was out and ready to hit the road by 9 a.m. Mr. & Mrs. R&R loaned us helmets and goggles for the ride. We were advised to bring a blanket, as it might get cold because we were heading up to the snow- capped mountains. AND we were told โ€œdonโ€™t worry if we roll, our roll bars are Nascar quality, just grab on to your harness and hold tight! Keep your arms in at all times.โ€

So, Craig and I hop into the back seat of this razor, put on the helmets and goggles and strap on our harness. The harness consists of two very sturdy over the shoulder belts and one across the lap. There are hooks and latches to ensure that you stay snug and tight in your seat, but a safety latch that will release it all with one swift tug should you need to exit quickly.

Mr. T ensured us that we would not roll, but not to worry if we did. I thought โ€œroll?! I just might pee my pants!!โ€๐Ÿ˜ณ

Craig and I all geared up!

So everyone is all geared up, strapped in and lined up waiting to hit the road.

Shortly after we hit the road the razor we were in throws a belt and it must be replaced. Craig and I watched in awe as all of the razors stopped, some of the guys hopped out and started working on Mr. Tโ€™s razor. Like a Nascar team they huddled, talked, removed and replaced the belt and within 15 minutes or so we were on the road again. It was one of the most amazing, flawless and fast teamwork efforts I have ever witnessed. Craig and I were thoroughly impressed at how prepared and skilled these guys are! They certainly know their stuff!

The team fixing Mr. T’s Razor

As we began to climb the mountain, I could see the road above and below me and the other mountains at a distance. It was a pretty amazing sight. The roads were bumpy and very dusty.

It got a little bumpier and dustier the further up we went with mud splatters here and there. We stopped at one point for a break to enjoy the awesome view.

Heading up the mountain.

Quick break.

What an amazing view!

We hopped back in the Razors and began to climb the mountain again and drive over rocks, and when we were near the edges of the road at an angle I could feel my heart begin to race. In my head I kept saying, โ€œwe will NOT tip over, we will NOT roll down this ledgeโ€ as I held on tightly to the bar in front of me. While the entire ride was exhilarating and exciting it was a little terrifying at some points (for me). I have to admit, I was feeling uneasy here and there. Craig loved it all. Granted the ledges weren’t THAT high, but the thought of tumbling down one…Well let’s just say that I don’t like roller coasters.๐Ÿ˜ณ

From what I could tell all of the other riders seemed to enjoy the trails; it was old hat to them.

Rocky Roads.
Even the dog had a good time!

We drove through mud and snow, and arrived at the top of the snow-covered mountain and had to turn back because it was deemed unsafe to go any further.

On our way back our razor got stuck in the muddy snow. We all got out of the vehicle and Mr. T tried and tried to get out of the muddy snow, but could not. His wheels spun and kicked up snow and mud over and over again.

Once again, that awesome Nascar team came together to help. They had wenches and ropes, as did Mr. Tโ€™s razor. Within about 20 minutes Mr. Tโ€™s vehicle was pulled out of the muddy show and we were back on the road.

On the way back down the mountain we stopped for a lunch break and chatted. The ride back down the mountain was not as bad as going up.

Lunch break! Carle snacking.๐Ÿ˜

We got back to camp about 3 in the afternoon and we were ALL dusty, muddy and tired. It was an adventure I wonโ€™t soon forget.

All tucked in for the night.

SUNDAY MORNING

Sunday morning they were all on their razors heading for another trail. Shortly after they all hit the road Craig and I and hopped on our bikes and went for a ride into town. Town population was about 2,100 and was about 5 miles away and consisted of about maybe 12 blocks long with a Visitor Center, a McDonalds, a few restaurants, two gas stations and a small film museum.

What a spectaular mountain view!
We stopped to enjoy the view at Diaz Lake on the ride back.

When we got back to the RV park all of the razor riders had returned. BUT some of them were ready for a second run, and Craig joined them.

Craig and Carle ready to ride.

They drove to an old mining cave…and drove in it!!

CRAIG DROVE INTO THAT CAVE.๐Ÿ˜ณ
My brave husband.๐Ÿ’—๐Ÿฅฐ

Some sights along the way to the cave.

Spectacular view!
Some field residents.๐Ÿ„

These are some of the nicest folks! There is something special about RVers. Their willingness to share and help a fellow RVer has been apparent in our travels. This was a different adventure for us. ๐Ÿ‘

Monday morning we all packed up and headed home.

Thank you Carle and Joyce for inviting us, for the memories, and for introducing us to your very cool friends!

Until our next adventure!

*NOTE: Out of respect for people in my blog I do not use their names or post their pix unless I receive permission prior to blogging. therefore: Mr. & Mrs. *T&B and Mr. & Mrs. *R&R were used.

Great folks!!

HOME

When I am on vacation, having an adventure as I like to call it, it is RARE that I look forward to coming home. (Sidebar: in years past as soon as I saw the traffic and lights of the city I would silently cry dreading the day-to-day grind that awaited me – so sad that my “bliss” was over.) My feelings of “home sweet home” are short lived. Don’t get me wrong, I have a great home and a loving family. I just like to be out and about. I love to explore and meet people. I love to “literally” stop and smell the roses. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE to travel. I always have. Travel is the thing that makes me the happiest; to be out, to wander, to explore and not know what tomorrow will bring or where I will be or who I may meet. What new sunrise will I be blessed to see or what magnificent sunset will grace our evening skys? That is my never ending question. That is my idea of HAPPINESS AND BLISS.

Could I live full time on the road??? That is a big, I THINK SO, I’d like to give it a go! Our first trip was 20 days, perhaps next time a month, then two, then three, then 6 months, then a year….I’m pretty sure I could do it….Craig? HUM???? I don’t know, but then again he surprises me!

We’ve been home for 10 days now. The first week home was full of what I call “adulting.” The not so fun stuff that has to be done to keep the household and life in order. Our first week back we did the typical stuff; unpacked, laundry, sorted thru the mail, paid bills, and did some grocery shopping; the typical grown up responsible stuff that needs to be done; adulting. Also, since securing our RV we had to get that registered in our home state of California. So rather than go to the DMV and wait in line a half-day, we opted to go to AAA and take care of our business there. After completing some paperwork, getting the vehicle ‘smog checked’ (to ensure that it complies with the California emmission standards), and paid a (not so pretty) State fee, we received our new California Licenses Plates (so shiny and new) and our temporary registration form.

Now that the majority of the “adulting” has been caugh up we are getting back to our daily routine of morning walks, Thursday yoga and date day. Friday is our date day, and has been for years. We typically go for a beach walk, catch a movie and go out to eat, in no particular order. On occasion, when the weather is really nice, we take a hike or go for a bike ride, nothing spectacular; just concentrated time with each other. We have learned that it’s not really what we do, but what we do together is what matters. Our children and grandchildren are at the age where everyone is pretty independent, so we have plenty of time for each other.

Since I retired in December, we will have a lot of “togetherness time.” I thank GOD that Craig is such an easy going, calm, level-headed individual, with loads of patience. He has been retired for 11 years now, and me the brand new retiree is getting used to being at home. I still wake up early, with no particular place to go, but I get up and stretch, read, pray and enjoy the morning quiet. Craig has his routine and has graciously let me fall into his morning walk and Thursday yoga routine until I figure out my own. I have been kind of tagging along with him when he runs errands. Conversation is easy, quiet is comfortable, we know each other well and laugh at each other’s silly jokes. We really do enjoy each others company!

I do have a list of “things to do” and hobbies I want to take up – I’m just taking my time getting to them. Afterall, what’s the rush, right? I am really enjoying my new found freedom. I’ve only been retired for a little over a month and I still get that feeling that I have to be somewhere and on a schedule. Craig tells me that it may take about a year until I feel really “chill” and “retired.” So, for now, I am really enjoying this time catching up on sleep, watching movies, reading, sitting in my lounge chair daydreaming and just doing absolutley nothing. Intro to retirement was a 15-day Panama Canal cruise in December and a 20-day cross country RV trip in January LOL, yea, I am feeling pretty chill!

Guess I’ll watch a movie now…

Homeward Bound

This is the second time we’ve stayed at an RV Park with full hook ups; sewer, electricity and fresh water. Since this is still a relatively new process for us, hooking up and emptying the black and grey tanks takes some time.

We are still familiarizing ourselves with our rig and pull out the Owner’s manual when in doubt. ๐Ÿค“ (Or text the previous owners when we are totally baffled.)

If you think about it, an RV is truly a home on wheels. We have ALOT to learn about our new home!

Visiting our boys was great, but the time passed much too quickly. ๐Ÿ˜”๐Ÿ•ฐ (They are so tall, almost as tall as Craig.) We stopped by to get a quick hug before we hit the road, and off we went.

The boys chillin’ in our rig earlier.

After we left the boys we stopped at Cracker Barrel for some coffee and breakfast.

The ride was relatively quiet except for one of Craig’s playlists jamming Jill Scott, Michael, Stevie, Luther, Whitney, James Taylor, Justin Timberlake, Prince, Temptations, Shaka Kahn, Gregory Porter, Marvin Gaye, Harry Connick, Jr., and Earth, Wind & Fire. You name a group or artist and I’m sure they are on one of his playlists. ๐ŸŽต๐ŸŽถ

The drive is about six and a half hours from Tucson, AZ to our home in Los Angeles, CA. I could sense Craig wanting to plow through to get home. I get it, afterall we left home on January 14th and today is February 3rd. We have been on the road for about 20 days now ๐Ÿ˜Ž๐Ÿš. And I have to admit, I AM LOVING THIS!! I LOVE BEING ON THE ROAD!!๐Ÿ˜Ž๐Ÿคฉ๐Ÿ’—๐Ÿ’– I am a wanderer and an adventurer at heart.๐Ÿ’–๐Ÿ’

In my mind I am already planning our next month long trip. ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿคฉ

I like to stop and stretch my legs – gas stations, rest stops, roadside stops, where ever. Everytime we stop to fuel up, I get out and walk around a bit. I don’t know about you, but my legs get RESTLESS!๐Ÿ˜Ÿ

We passed state line late this afternoon.

We are in California.๐Ÿ˜Ž

The diesel fuel rates have changed quite a bit while traveling from the Atlantic to the Pacific coast; from $1.90 to $4.00 a gallon. Yep, we are in California.๐Ÿคจ

Our view of Palm Desert as we enter the City limits.

We stopped at our favorite restaurant in Palm Desert for some BBQ.

One more fuel stop, then we should be home in about two hours…

HOME SWEET HOME.๐Ÿก

Our boys, Tucson, AZ

Our middle daughter Muneca, (Spanish for “doll”) flew to Tucson to visit her her sons where they attend school. She knew we were going to stop for a visit with them, so she coordinated her trip to ride back to CA with us in our RV.

Our grandsons are twins, Reign and Remil.

We arrived Friday night in Tucson and met up with my grandsons and daughter for a bite to eat.

Reign, Muneca and Remil.

Saturday Morning Reign wasn’t feeling so terrific so he stayed home while his brother, Remil took us for a hike in Upper Madera Canyon – BEAR country.๐Ÿป Living in these parts besides bear are mountain lion, squirrels, and a host of birds and other little critters.๐Ÿฟ๐Ÿพ๐ŸฆŽ๐Ÿฆ…๐Ÿ๐Ÿœ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ•ท๐Ÿฆ‚๐ŸŒฒ๐ŸŒต๐Ÿ•ธ๐ŸŒฟ๐Ÿ‚

The surroundings were BEAUTIFUL. The air was so fresh, clear, and crisp!! It was nice to feel the twigs and leaves crackle beneath my feet and keep an eye open for various wildlife. We saw very few people on the hiking trail above us. We had opted to hike up the river on the rocks hoping to see a little more wildlife.

Craig, Muneca and Remil as we headed up the river.

The hour long hike was invigorating.

We made it to the waterfall which wasn’t quite a fall but rather a trickle.

Yes, I was there too. ๐Ÿ˜ Craig, Muneca and Remil in the distance.

Group selfies!๐Ÿ˜˜ Craig, me, Muneca and Remil with the waterfall in the distance.

We had a great day hiking; but missed Reign.

Saturday night

Craig, Muneca and I spent the night at the Green Valley RV Park. This RV park was a blend of permanent residents in manufactured homes, full time RVers, snow birds and those of us just passing thru town. It was a nice, clean facility with a pool, jacuzzi, restrooms, showers, laundry room, and a recreation room with a pool table and full hookups for $42 a night. Not bad.๐Ÿ‘

After dinner we checked into the RV park and settled in. We taught Muneca how to play Phase 10, the card game we played with Mark and Roxanne in Prescott. ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿ˜Š It is a great game, lots of laughs!

Sunday morning, isnt that a song by Maroon 5?? ๐Ÿ˜˜

Anyway I woke up this Sunday morning to the sound of the pitter-patter of rain on my roof. As I lay warm and cozy in my bed I lifted the shade and watched as the storm clouds lazily passed and the light of the day shone through.

We made one last stop to see our boys before leaving AZ.

Great seeing you guys. See you both again soon. We love you!๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜˜๐Ÿ˜ฟ๐Ÿ’—๐Ÿ’–๐Ÿ’ž Granna and Papa.๐Ÿ’‘

On The Road Again

We thoroughly enjoyed our stay with Mark and Roxanne in Prescott, AZ. They live on an acre in a spectacularly large and beautiful home.

This is their home, garage and private driveway.

A selfie on their property.

At the risk of repeating myself, I just have to say it again!๐Ÿ˜ Mark and Roxanne are the SWEETEST, most hospitable, and genuine people EVER. Craig and I felt so welcome, comfortable and at home. ๐Ÿก We were so relaxed that we took a nap, chilled and did laundry while there. We felt like family!๐Ÿ˜

You know, life is interesting. In life you meet ALOT of people. There are times you might be more drawn to some people than others. Kindred spirits? I think so. That’s just the way life is. Some folks are in your life for a season, and others for a lifetime. For those of us fortunate enough to find those kindred spirits, it is a blessing. Mark and Roxanne are those “kindred spirit” kind of people. Sweet, sweet spirits.๐Ÿคฉ๐Ÿ˜

Anyway, Before we left town we got a quick tour of the historic downtown Prescott “Wiskey Row” where Wyatt Earp and Doc Holiday used to frequent during the wild west.

We did a little shopping. I got a magnet and some jewelry, and Craig? A coffee mug.๐Ÿ™ƒ

Mark admiring some art.

Craig and Mark peeking in Matt’s Saloon.

In this historic bar…those steps led to a brothel back in the day…๐Ÿ˜ฒ

A cool piece of Art.๐Ÿ˜

Afterwards we were given a tour of their recently remodeled church. ๐Ÿ’’

We joined them to pick up their grands from school. I could see Roxanne and Mark beam at the sight of their little ones. It is very apparent that they play a very big role in their grandchildren’s lives; the kiddos were very happy to see them too. They are the CUTEST, well-mannered children.

#Proud grandparents.

Proud grandparents with their favorite little people and our RV. We gave the kiddos a tour of our RV; they thought it was pretty cool. Mark really likes it too.๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜‰

Well, the time came for us to leave these lovely people and Prescott.๐Ÿ˜”

Thank you Mark and Roxanne for letting us be a part of your lives for a couple of days, and letting us meet your beautiful grands. You are very special people.

Until next time.๐Ÿ˜Š

On to Tucson to visit our twin grandsons, Reign and Remil.๐Ÿ˜

Prescott, AZ

I woke up yesterday morning in a nice warm bed, to the smell of fresh brewed coffee. Still sleepy-eyed I went to the dining room in my pajamas and joined Roxanne for a cup of coffee.

After chatting and drinking our coffee we all got ready for the day. We met Frank and Laura for an early lunch. These are Mark and Roxanne’s friends from Montana who are in town visiting their son. They are RVers.

After lunch we all went for a hike at Lynx Lake.

The weather was perfect for a hike. We walked and chatted. Besides being RVers I learned that Laura is an avid birder and Frank is into photography. We had plenty to chat about.๐Ÿ˜

Here we all are; Craig, me, Mark, Roxanne, Linda and Frank. We took this pic and then parted ways. Linda and Frank headed to see their grandchild’s sporting event. Mark and Roxanne took Craig and I for a quick tour and shared some of the citys history and the growth that they have seen over the years.

We headed back to their home to relax for a bit. The gracious hosts that they are had snacks and meals readily available. After dinner we played a couple of games; Phase 10, a card game and Yatzee. What a great evening with WONDERFUL folks.๐Ÿ˜

We LAUGHED ALOT!๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿ˜‚

FINALLY, I got to drive!

Spending Tuesday night in Winslow was nice because the next morning we went back to the famed “corner” to take more pix and have some breakfast.

We stopped in the little corner tourist shop for a souvenir; I got a magnet and a hat, and Craig a coffee mug.

While there we met Tommy Dukes, Arizona Blues Hall of Famer. He was setting up on the corner to jam for the tourists. Tommy is a really friendly guy who talked as though he had know us his entire life. A real sweetheart!

After being tourists and enjoying the little shops we stopped for breakfast at the Falcon Restaurant on Route 66. The food was good and there is plenty of RV and Trucker parking.

At the Falcon restaurant our outstanding server Keanna was just as lovely as she could be with that southern hospitality and her sweet spirit. It was such a blessing to meet and talk with her! She shared a little with us and we with her.

Keanna, remember to dream big, because dreams do come true!! ๐Ÿ’Blessings always!!

After breakfast we hit the road heading to Prescott to visit our friends Roxanne and Mark; who we met on the Panama Canal cruise in December. But you know what?! It feels like we have known each other for YEARS. They are the nicest, most precious, sweet spirited people!๐Ÿ’—๐Ÿ’ They are a gift and blessing in our lives. Kindred spirits. It’s not often in life that one meets such beautiful people that you bond with so quickly. That was Mark and Roxanne.

While on the Panama Canal cruise we met some lovely people! We had the pleasure of meeting and hanging out with Mark and Roxanne; Janice and Jerry, and Donna and Larry. We forged lasting friendships and plan to visit each of them…there are talks of a reunion cruise. Time will tell.๐Ÿ˜‰

I FINALLY got to drive. Craig drove across the country because it was so doggone windy! Anyway, I got to drive a couple of hours from Winslow to Prescott, AZ.

Typically I am the navigator while Craig drives, but he was while I drove. Here is my navigator acting up, being silly.

He took a lot of great pix while I drove. Too many to post. But here are a couple.

There was plenty of snow along side of the road on the way to Prescott. We arrived at Mark and Roxanne’s late Wednesday afternoon. They greeted us with much love and a tour of their beautiful home; which is HUGE! We settled in and were treated to a dinner of steak, baked potatoes, salad, and green beans, which they prepared. YUM. After dinner we retreated to the TV room to relax and be entertained by Trevor Noah. Roxanne being the wonderful hostess that she is provided cake and ice cream for desert.

We spent the night warm and cozy in one of their many guest rooms.

We feel so at home; it is lovely here.๐Ÿก๐Ÿ˜‰๐Ÿ’

The Land of Enchantment…

This morning we work up in Amarillo, TX and it was freezing!

We spent the day on the road.

We plowed thru The Land Of Enchantment and stopped only to eat at Sadie’s a New Mexico recommended restaurant. (Thanks cuz!)

We were hungry and it hit the spot. ๐Ÿ˜๐ŸŒฎ๐ŸŒฏ๐Ÿฅ˜ New Mexico food is a little different than Mexican food, but it was good. The salsas were SPICY, but tasty!

Craig wanted to keep driving so we did.

There was alot of open land and highway to see. And SNOW on the side of the road. BRRRRR! It was COLD all day๐ŸŒจ๐ŸŒฌ

So what does one do when they drive all day long? We sing to songs from Craig’s playlist; from James Taylor to Michael Jackson to Boney James to Aretha to Carol King to Keith Urban to Ella Fitzgerald! He has a great playlist. Well, Craig whistles – he is an awesome whistler and can whistle to anything. I sing, not well, but I love to sing!

Today during a bathroom stop we had a quick dance break, just to get the blood moving.๐Ÿ•บ Other than that we talk.

The other day while driving down the highway we practiced calling each other by name. Hahaa!! ๐Ÿ˜‚๐ŸคฃWe RARELY call each other by our given names; Craig and Debbie. He is “hun” or “hunny” and I am “bun” short for “hunnybun.” We have used these names for each other for about 35 or so years! So when I call him “Craig” or he calls me “Debbie” it sounds so foreign! We always end up cracking up!! Anyway, we were purposefully making conversation and using each others names. IT WAS HILARIOUS (to us)!!

The New Mexico skyline is really pretty at dusk.

And night…

We hit the Arizona stateline after dark and drove past the petrified forest. Darn it! I was a little disappointed. But that’s ok, I will just add it to one of our future adventures when the weather warms up.๐Ÿ˜๐ŸŒต๐Ÿฆ‚๐Ÿ

As we entered AZ, I told Craig that I wanted to stop at the “corner of Winslow, AZ” so we did!!

The Eagles made Winslow, AZ famous with their song “Take it Easy.” This stop was the highlight of my day!๐Ÿคฉ๐Ÿ˜Š

Thank you HUNNY!!๐Ÿ˜˜

TEXAS

So we left Arlington today about noon. We enjoyed our weekend with Jessica.๐Ÿ˜ It was sad to leave her but it was time to move on. ๐Ÿ˜”

Our goal was to be in Albuquerque by tonight but between Wichita Falls and Donley the wind๐ŸŒฌ๐ŸŒฌ was whipping and it was so COLD!! Our little RV was getting pushed around so much that Craig had to drive really SLOW.๐Ÿ›ต The big rigs kept right on trucking, passing us at speeds of 75 mph.

๐Ÿ™ƒ Well, since it was so windy we only got as far as Amarillo, so we are spending the night in a Super Walmart parking lot.

Here are some of the sights on our way. This is a little one street town, population was about 758. The highway was their main street.๐Ÿ˜ฎ

Another little town had a population of about 2,200.

We saw little houses like this one periodically, with miles and miles of flatland between them. Where do they go grocery shopping? The doctor? Movies? They were out in the boonies, ๐Ÿก with NOTHING around them.

LONG stretches of highway like this one are becomming pretty common to us now. Most times they are pretty peaceful and a little mesmerizing. We witnessed this beautiful orange skyline, and with the jazz playing in the background, it was a pretty amazing moment.

But sometimes the long dark stretches of highway remind me of the Twilight Zone and could be kind of creepy. No kidding! Like this one…

Me and my crazy imagination could think of all kinds of crazy scenes. ๐Ÿ˜ฑ But I don’t go there. ๐Ÿ˜

Speaking of the Twilight Zone, do you remember the Alfred Hitchcock movie The Birds?

In the trees near us there are hundreds of birds darting around from tree to tree. It’s dark so I can’t see what kind they are, but they sound beautiful. I have NEVER seen this many birds together in the wild, and at night! Breading season maybe? I don’t know. Anyway, we are parked not too far from them so hopefully they will still be here in the morning.๐Ÿ˜Š

It’s late, my eyes are tired. Onward to Albuquerque tomorrow.

Brrrr, Chilly.

Today in Arlington.

We leave Arlington this morning and head to New Mexico on our way to Prescott, AZ to visit new friends we made on our cruise in December; Roxanne and Mark.

Craig and I will look over my maps and chart a course before we hit the road.

But before we leave Texas, we must find some good Texas BBQ! I have a couple of places in mind…๐Ÿคฉ๐Ÿ˜Ž

To be continued.

Marshall, TX

So, since we are in Texas we went to visit Craig’s 91-year old Aunt Melba, his mama’s sister. We visited her at his grandparent’s three bedroom, one bath home, where his mama grew up with 11 siblings. Aunt Melba resides there and tends the the property with two sons. The home sits on 26 acres of land that his grandparents bought for a whopping $700 over 100 years ago! Last year a hurricane came thru and took out some trees and a little church on the family property, but the house remained unscathed.

The drive there looked like this…

Once we got off of the main highway we saw a lot more two lane roads with houses sprinkled here and there.

The driveway to the house is a dirt road right off of the highway. The house sits at the end of the little dirt road surrounded by the 26 acres.

Below: Jessica and I took a walk around the property to survey the land. ๐Ÿ˜ It has changed ALOT! Last time I was there, several years ago, Aunt Melba had a vegetable garden, flower beds and cows.

Years ago she let the neighbor’s cows graze on some of the property. She shared that he moved. She told me that she is no longer able to keep the garden and flower beds up. ๐Ÿ˜” But that isn’t stopping her from making plans for the property. Where there is a will, there is a way!!

Below is the home in the distance.

Some of the land. The sky was so blue and the air so cool and crisp! Doesn’t that look like a postcard?!๐Ÿ˜‰

Here is a view of the house as Jess and I walked back across a portion of the property. The sky started to get cloudy, and it got colder, but it didn’t rain. ๐Ÿ˜Š

The house is over 100 years old and needs some work, but it is warm and quite cozy inside.

Here we are in front of the house with Aunt Melba and her son George, who is caring for her.

We visited a couple of hours and then hit the road back to Arlington to spend more time with Jessica.๐Ÿ˜

Sunday, the Lord’s Day

We went to church with Jess today. She attends and volunteers as a Greeter at Trinity Church in Cedar Hill.

Pastor Hennessy taught on the Holy Spirit. Excellent message! Craig got the CD so we could listen to it again.๐Ÿ˜

After service we went to brunch at Mudhen’s, a farm to table organic, vegan and Keto friendly place. We walked around the Farmer’s market and drove thru some neighborhoods looking at homes. (I think Jess wants us to move here.๐Ÿ˜‰) Afterwards we came back home to her place to chill for a while.

We met up with her very good friend Ashley. We all enjoyed dinner at Twisted Root Burger, a real good burger place that serves, buffalo, elk, bison, turkey, boar and some other types of gamey meat burgers. They make their own buns and grind their own pasture raised, organic cattle. Nothing is frozen; everything is fresh! Oh, they make fried pickles; and a variety of sliced pickles are availabe in barrels; ranch, sweet n spicy, butter, dill and a couple of other flavors. Unfortunately neither of us took pix. ๐Ÿ˜ But we recommend this burger joint. Jess knows all the good spots to eat!

Overall, it was a chill day. We enjoyed the weekend with our baby gurl.๐Ÿ˜‰

Well, we hit the road in the morning…THANKS JESS! We loved our visit in Arlington. We love u!๐Ÿคฉ๐Ÿ˜˜๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ’—๐Ÿ’

Arlington, TX

So, we own rental proptery in Denton County, in a town called Corinth. While Jess was at work we borrowed her car and took a drive to see our property.

We purchased this property in 2005 or 06, I can’t remember, but that was the last time I saw it. Anyway, it’s a nice 3 bedroom, 2 bath home in a nice neighborhood near schools and a new shopping center. The area has changed quite a bit, the community is definately growing!

Prior to that drive we had lunch at Jason’s Deli for a salad and some soup. Delicious soup! We discovered Jason’s Deli when we first hit Texas. We are fans and highly recommend them. The food is reasonably priced, flavored well, and they provide hearty servings. I had the beef stew soup, and Craig the tortilla soup. DELISH! They have a really good salad bar too!

After we picked Jessica up from work we headed home to her place. We relaxed and binge watched “This is Us.” Craig and I had heard of this series and had seen maybe one episode. Well, after binge watching almost the entire first season, we will have to binge watch some more to catch up! Excellent show!

Anyway, today is Saturday and we (Craig, Jessica and I) are heading to Marshall, TX to visit Craig’s 91-year old Aunt Melba.

On to Marshall…๐Ÿ˜

WACO, TX

We are in Arlington at Jessica’s chilling and doing laundry. She is in the kitchen making banana nut bread for her daddy. Such a good daughter. ๐Ÿ˜ “Daddy’s baby gurl” as Craig calls her.๐Ÿ˜‰

Let me back up. So, after a good nights sleep at the Cracker Barrel we popped in for breakfast, and then we hit the road, Waco Bound.

We are BIG fans of Chip and Joanna Gains of HGTV’s, “Fixer Upper.” They are such a cute couple and great team! We admire their work and sense of decorating style, so we had to stop by the Magnolia House at the Silos! I had been there once before in 2016 on a girls road trip, so I recognized the silos as we approached. I was so excited!

We parked and walked about a half block to the entrance. As we approached the corner my nose caught a wiff of sugar. ๐Ÿ˜‰ I could smell bakery items. Alas, as we rounded the corner there was the bakery; and a line to get in.๐Ÿ˜ณ

The bakery.

We walked past the bakery and headed to the main building.

Prior to entering the building we were greeted by smiling staff. They made me feel so welcome, like visiting an old friend. We could tell that customer service and smiles are a top priority!

The store is so nicely organized and the displays provide some simple but cute decorating ideas.

I LOVE this apron sink and concrete counter!

The grounds are EXTREMELY family friendly and designed to make you want to stay and relax! There is a family area, a big green play area for kids with toys and balls. There were bean bag chairs, picnic benches, food trucks, gardens, a green house, garden shop and the bakery.

In the distance I saw some seniors relaxing, sipping coffee and eating bakery items and kids were running and playing with the balls. One young mom was sitting in a bean bag chair with an infant in her lap enjoying the sun. It was a very zen and welcoming environment.

We each made a purchase; me a “Magnolia House” magnet and Craig a coffee mug.๐Ÿ˜‰

As we were leaving we stopped in the bakery… Do u remember those cartoons where a character would float thru the air because their nose was caught by a delicious smell?? Yea, it was like that! ๐Ÿ˜ณ Yes, we succumbed to the sweet treat temptations! When in line a smiling staff member handed me an order card and pencil to help speed up the process. I got the “classic,” a chocolate cupcake with vanilla buttercream frosting.๐Ÿคช It was so moist! I gotta say, it tasted like a little bit of heaven! I felt a little bit of guilt as I licked that creamy, sweet goodness off of my fingers. ๐Ÿ˜Š Craig, he got a cinnamon roll and an oatmeal chocolate chip cookie which he saved for later.

The bakery order card.๐Ÿ™ƒ

They get profs for cleanliness and customer service throughout the facility; a first class organization!! A MUST visit if you are ever in Waco, TX.๐Ÿ˜Š

We met Jessica at her job, Team Rubicon, in Grand Prairie. She introduced us to some of her coworkers and gave us a tour of the facility.

The “Teddy Award” is a quarterly employee award for those who are willing to step outside of the box and risk failure to accomplish something great! Jessica was the first recipient of this awesome award in 2015. #Proudparents

Jessica treated us to dinner at Torchys. A really GOOD taco place. TASTY!!

Well, the banana nut bread is cooling. Craig will probably have some with coffee in the morning. Me? Nope. That cupcake was more sugar than I’ve had in a couple of months, but it was finger licking good.๐Ÿ˜‰ The laundry is done and it’s late.

Good night.๐Ÿ˜ด

OFFICIAL RV Owners

We have officially been RV owners for 9 days, YAY US! ๐Ÿ˜ Until now we have been fortunate enough to be overnight guests at friends homes. On the nights that we have slept in our RV, we have dry camped. Dry camping?! What?! ๐Ÿค” This is basically when you don’t have access to a dump station. Essentially your bodily waste and shower water stays in your RV tanks. ๐Ÿ˜ต๐Ÿ˜ณ However, last night, as I mentioned we spent the night at an RV park with full hook ups. Well, this morning we stuggled a little trying to figure out which levers did what. We did get a crash course when we picked up the RV, but, hey, it was alot to remember. Any who, it was a bit of a stuggle trying to empty the tanks, but with a little help we got it done. It will take us a little while to learn all of the features, functions, noises and the little nuisances about our RV. But this cross country crash course has us learning quickly! AND, We are really grateful that Mark and Diana are just a phone call away!! โ˜Ž๏ธ๐Ÿ‘Our answer people!

Well, we hung around San Antonio today and visited with an old friend of Craig’s from church; his name is Craig, too.

We visited for a while with Craig and his wife Monica. Sweet people. Craig is actually a pastor in San Antonio. They relocated from Los Angeles with their children several years ago. After visiting they treated us to lunch at Pappadeaus; a popular southern seafood restaurant. The food was spicy and tasty.

Us with Craig and Monica.

We hit the road shortly after lunch. It was a chill day. Thanks Craig and Monica for the relaxing day, your hospitality and lunch!

So, tonight we are hunkered down in a Cracker Barrel parking lot. Yes, they welcome RVers and truckers. I have a new appreciation for this establishment.๐Ÿ˜

Staying in an RV park can get costly night after night. Rates could cost anywhere from $25 to $80 a night, so one on a budget looks for FREE 99 when we can get them.

We are Arlington bound in the morning to visit with Jessica, our youngest daughter. On our way we will stop by Waco.

Any HGTV Fans? Chip and Joanna Gaines? We love their show, Fixer Upper. ๐Ÿ˜They are such a good team and sweet couple. Anyway, I want to stop by and see their shop Magnolia House. I understand that they have a restaurant too. We’ll see what we can see.

Until then.๐Ÿ˜Š Good night.

Random

We returned from The Alamo and River Walk earlier. As we are settling in for the evening it starts to rain. The wind is blowing and it’s raining. Fortunately we are warm and snug in our RV.

You know, you REALLY have like someone and thoroughly enjoy their company because these are such close quarters. ๐Ÿ˜ Fortunately, we do. Not that we don’t get on each others nerves, LOL, because we do. Anyway, here we are hunkerd down chillin in our RV.

Earlier at the Flying J having our propane tank filled. This guy had to take a class to do this, it requires safety training. He said whever he fills a tank that everyone must vacate the vehicle – in case it explodes! What the what?!? That is what he said, and he was SERIOUS. He also said its never happened, but it is safety precaution.

Settling in earlier getting ready to blog. Craig looking for some tunes.

OK, enough writing tonight, my eyeballs are tired. Until tomorrow.๐Ÿ˜Š

San Antonio’s River Walk

We opted to spend the night Alamo City RV park.

It is very reasonably priced with all of the amenities; laundry, showers, pool, wifi, movies and books available to borrow, free popcorn and nice folks!

We have been owners of our RV for one week now and today is the first day we are fully hooked up. ๐Ÿ˜Š Since it was our first time we needed help. We heard that RVers are a community of friendly folks willing to help another RVer. Well, we experienced that this evening. After we parked and got our hoses and such out, Craig couldn’t quite get things to work properly, so I walked over to a couple relaxing by their RV and asked for help. They were happy to assit in setting us up and explained how things worked. They suggested a few things that we would want to consider getting. Bill and Laura shared that they were new fulltime RVers and were loving it. As they left they said if we needed anything else to “just holler.”

One reason we chose this RV park is their location. They are a bus ride from the Alamo and River Walk. Bus #24 stopped directly in front of the RV park. We hopped on and enjoyed the ride.

We first saw the Alamo.

We enjoyed the River walk, it was so pretty in the evening.

On the streets there were these horse drawn carriages, each uniquely decorated.

Craig chillin.๐Ÿ˜˜

After quite a lot of walking we headed to the bus stop to head back home. That was an adventure because we didn’t know exactly where to catch the bus to head back. We finally found it and boarded.

On the bus ride home we met other RVers who had also taken the bus to the River Walk. One of the three couples were full time RVers; new retirees who sold EVERYTHING and are travelling in their 36′ Class A motohome, towing a truck. Two of the couples were camping at the KOA park down the street from us. The third couple were actually our neighbors who had pulled in and set up after we had.

This is such an interesting journey. We are meeting some really NICE people. Could we live fulltime in an RV? ๐Ÿค” Hum, I don’t know. It is something I could consider…

Houston to San Antonio

The drive from Houston to San Antonio was a WINDY one!! Lord, a few times I thought we were going to get blown off of the highway. Craig had to hold on tight to that steering wheel!

And then we see hurricane evacuation signs.๐Ÿ˜ณ What the heck?! This made me a little uneasy. That wind was really ROUGH.๐ŸŒฌ๐ŸŒ€ I think being in a high profile vehicle added to it.

On a lighter note something pretty cool that we noticed is that the highway numbers are printed on the highways!

Can we do this across the country, please?! Thank you Texas for making highway driving easier. ๐Ÿ‘

My favorite place to stop in Texas; Buc-ee’s. I LOVE Buc-ee’s! It is a 7-11 on steroids! They sell just about everything; FRESHLY made on the spot sandwiches, salads, roasted candied pecans and potato chips. They have more spices and sauces than you can imagine; T-shirts, souvenirs and specialty items. I love meandering thru the isles, you never know what you might stumble across. Oh, and they the BEST beef jerkey, and the largest variety I have ever seen. And gas pumps, did I mention the massive amount of gas/diesel pumps they have? No waiting in line here!!

It is a one stop shop! I LOVE Buc-ee’s!! They also have the CLEANEST bathrooms anywhere. Hands down!

Oh here are a few interesting items I saw at a local Walmart. King cake and duck fat. I didn’t know duck fat was a thing? Did you?๐Ÿค”

New Orleans Drive by

So we headed to New Orleans with the intent to visit the famed Bourbon Street to enjoy some jambalaya, or gumbo, enjoy the sites and listen to some jazz.

If you have ever been there you know how narrow the streets are. It was a little difficult navigating thru them. We were unable to find adequate RV parking so we just drove around taking in the sites.

The Rams and New Orleans Saints football game was playing at ALL of the establishments we passed so there were few folks in the streets. We could hear cheers and jeers from the bars and restaurants as we leisurely drove thru the streets. We know how rowdy crowds can get when their team loses so we decided to keep going and continued to Houston.

The New Orleans colors, purple and gold were abundant and there were alot of interesting characters.๐Ÿ˜ Here are a few pix.

On to Houston…

Houston

We headed to Houston to visit our adopted daughter Felicia. We arrived Monday evening and visited with her family for a few hours before retiring for the evening.

Her husband Justin, a physician, makes his own kombucha! He explained the lenghty process and offered us some; it was quite tasty!๐Ÿฅ‚

Her three bedroom split level home is in a lovely little tree lined neighborhood. I was ready to sleep in our RV parked along side of her home, but she invited us to sleep in their cozy guest room. We did.๐Ÿ˜ด

After breakfast and a little morning visit we hit the road. Thank you Felicia and Justin for your hospitality and breakfast.๐Ÿ˜ (Her husband, Justin is camera shy.) Here is Felicia and her son Daniel.

Us with Felicia and Daniel.

On to San Antonio…

On the road again…

Walmart

I have a new found appreciation for Walmart. ๐Ÿ˜

While travelling in an RV is exciting it poses certain challenges, such as where to park at night to sleep?

While there are many camping and RV accommodations across the country they are not always available when YOU are tired and want to rest. Like a hotel if you don’t make a reservation you are taking your chances. Sure, you can plan ahead city -by-city or state-by-state, calculate your driving time and reserve a place in advance. OR, you can fly by the seat of your pants (like we are) and drive until you get tired.

Have no fear! In the US there are several options for weary travelers to stop and rest. My favorite so far is Walmart!

Most Walmart Supercenters welcome RVers to stop and sleep OVERNIGHT. Now, you cannot set up camp, get your grill going or sit in your camp chair to enjoy the sun. NO. It is ONLY an overnight stop to rest and then get going in the morning. This has worked out well for us as we travel across country back to California. Why Walmart? It’s FREE-99. FREE. Who doesn’t love free? And it’s Walmart, they have everything! We bought a travel iron and ironing board and some snacks.๐Ÿ˜ As a courtesy patronize them if you stay the night.

Other places that RVers could stay overnight free of charge:

– FLYING J Truck stops*

– Union 76 truck stops*
– Kmart factory outlets
– Some major shopping centers
– Cracker Barrell
– Cabella’s
– Bass Pro Shops
– Rest stops

– Some public lands

*Dump stations and propane available

As a courtesy, patronize the establishments that you stay at, when possible. It is a small price to pay.

Speaking of paying, RV parks and campgrounds charge anywhere from $25 and up depending on the amenities offered. The more amenities, the higher the daily price.

Now, don’t get me wrong I have no problen paying when I intend to set up camp and stay a couple of nights. But just passung thru town, I’ll take the FREE-99.

THANK YOU SAM WALTON.

Sunday morning

So we woke up to a windy, cold morning. I need coffee.

Getting ready for the day. ๐ŸŒš We might have to sit here for a bit because that wind is really kicking!! ๐ŸŒฌ๐ŸŒฌ When we are able to safely hit the road, we will be New Orleans bound.๐Ÿ˜

If you have any suggestions on what to see or where to eat, please let me know!

Until later…