Day One – September 10, 2012


Sorry it has taken so long to start this blog. I have had no good WiFi connection on the road until now to get this set up plus some nights I had no amenities – I was in a steel tent “roughing it” as it were. I will post each day that I already have done as I go through and edit them, then I plan to get current… and hopefully stay caught up.

Well, today is the first real day of my new adventure… my new life… my new journey. I write this as I am sitting in the camper for the first night in Theodore Roosevelt National Park. It is exciting, yet a bit strange, to be doing this.

I no longer have a house, nor do I have many personal possessions any more. I went from having enough stuff to fill a 2200 sf house, to what I am able to fit into a small camper and the back of my Ford Explorer. It is actually quite a feeling to be so free – kinda like that first time you go commando to someplace like the grocery store. As I told Meghan the other day, “…no, I am not dying so that is not why I am getting rid of stuff!”. This all probably sounds rather pathetic or horrible to some, but it is a re-birth.

I say that this is the first “real day” because everything up until this was in preparation for this big life change. The last six months have been, shall we say, trying and tedious to say the least. So many decisions, and not able to plan anything out to any degree since there were so many variables for each thing I had to take care of in a deliberate and careful order (and those who know me know what I feel about planning much). Thanks to good friends and family I was able to keep my sanity (debatable, I know), and staying focused and resolute is how I was able to get to the point I am now at. It has not been easy to say the least, but I made it.

As I left my house for the final time Friday morning I really did not think much about what was actually happening… leaving the place I spent the last 16 years of my life… a place I have always loved from as far back as I can remember. Colorado will always be a special place to me and be in my heart forever. Many good memories happened there, and they greatly outnumber a few I do my best to forget. I made many new friends there and many will always stay with me no matter the distance.

Today I left my daughter Meghan’s house in Spearfish, SD after a great visit. I got to her new apartment (a very nice, brand new place) on Friday and we got to hang for a few days and do some things. One of those things was I bought a new bike and we went for a ride. It was a lot of fun, but my body is in less than ideal shape so I will be riding and exercising quite a bit more. Yesterday we went to Badlands National Park, then got to see the exterior of the Minuteman Missile Silo National Monument. A real “man” moment.

The launch door is partially opened and a glass cover is over it so you can see into the silo
Staring down the barrel of a loaded gun…

Pretty cool place

I went north up US 85 through western South Dakota into North Dakota. I arrived here at TRNP at sunset. From what I could see in the waning light was quite beautiful and spectacular. I hope to be up early in the morning to get out and do a hike before it gets too hot. Drove right past a herd of buffalo as I was going into the campground. At the house in Bailey I just left the sun would dip denied the mountain around 5pm or so; seeing a sunset around 7:30 or 8:00 was awesome and I have not seen that in quite a while. My new gig is on the Washington coast so I will get to see it every night now.

I would be an even bigger slacker if I did not thank those who have supported and been there for me the last few months:

My daughters Angie, Chelsea, and Meghan, and granddaughters Alexis, Abby, and Emery for being the wonderful people that they are. They live their lives on their own terms, and of that I am extremely proud and happy.

All of my family and friends for always being supportive, even when I did dumb shit that I probably should not have done. This goes double for my parents. I know I have been a pain in the ass at times, and I apologize for those times, but hey… I turned out okay because of you!

Thanks also go to my parents for letting me borrow the Scotty camper to undertake this adventure. This has made things much easier and gives me a chance to test the waters before I buy a trailer or RV of my own. I just wish people would quit asking me about the camper all the damn time. It is getting old!

A quick note concerning the maps I have inserted into the blog… please click on “View larger Map” if you want more details on the routes I have taken. Most of the maps I had to shrink so much the details are lost.

If you want to read more of my adventures getting to Washington, I have dated and numbered each post so you can read in order the blogs of my travels.

Blog Changes


It’s time to change the blog up a little bit so on top of the theme changes you will get notifications about posts.

On top of the changes to the format I deleted a few pictures early this morning and need to edit some posts to remove the blanks. That’s the reason for the notifications that you are receiving.

Just an update to make you aware and also so you are not wondering “what is he doing now?”.

Advertisements

October 13th, 2018


I am officially off work for a while now…let the time off begin! I am not really sure how long it will last since I may have the chance to go in to work extra and get a few more  paychecks in the bank. Extra money is never a bad thing. At least I don’t think so.

I have a lot of things on the to-do list for my time off. I am trying to get finished unpacking – I cleaned out my storage unit today and got some of the storage tubs emptied out and things put away. I have about seven of the tubs left and they will take some time to put away so it’s good to have the time off to finish that up. I am more than ready to have this done so I can do other stuff.

I have been able to get rid of some things and I am sure there will be more stuff to thin out. Some things I have not seen for a while so obviously I don’t miss it while stored so out it goes. I donated my motorcycle riding gear since I am not riding anymore. I have donated a few boxes of stuff already and started to fill another one. I am finding places to put things I am keeping and have recycled many cardboard boxes in the process.

I need to get a few things done in the yard. Luckily the bees got rid of many of the plums that had fallen on the ground. The feral rabbits have started working on the apples on the ground and I imagine the bees will hit those as they start to rot. If I am still in this house this time next year I’ll get them as they ripen or fall to keep the yard clear.

I have some more traveling that I want to do during my time off so I am definitely looking forward to doing that. I have one trip lined up, another I am in the process of figuring out, and maybe another depending on my additional work schedule. You’ll have to check back to see where I end up. I might even have to check back myself to see where I end up!

The weather lately has been cool but very nice…the proverbial calm before the storm and should stay nice this coming week. There have been the typical rains for the time of year but we have been enjoying sun and short-sleeve weather lately so it has been very pleasant. With the cooler weather coming on it means I need to get the trailer winterized. I could still take it out to “dry camp” without using the water system, or I could even use it wet once I got someplace warmer and re-winterize when I get back. But for now, though, the cover is going back on it after I clear out the water system.

I need to get started on breakfast and get some more organizing done. Hopefully today will be a day to kick back after I get that and the trailer taken care of.

Enjoy your day!

October 5th, 2018


It has been a busy week this last week between moving all last weekend and work. I have been getting things put away from moving this week and need to go clean out my storage unit in the next few weeks. I get stuff put away in the house, only to have bring more things from storage to find a place for.

It is odd that I can now start getting rid of cardboard boxes that I have had things stored in. Most of it was in plastic storage tubs but some was in boxes and some was in milk crates I had. With moving so much the last 6 ½ years I never really had room or time to settle in very much and unpack. I’m looking at not making a major move any more so I’m able to live a little more of a “normal” existence and get things unpacked and gone through.

I have already started going through some things from storage and have things I will get rid of – haven’t used the stuff in a long time so no real need to keep it. It will free up some more space too. Luckily I have a small basement to put things in so the plastic tubs will be refilled and put there with things I want to keep as they are emptied. My old motorcycle clothes and good helmet (not in the wreck) will be donated (except for my well-worn old-school leather jacket – no way that’s being gotten rid of).

A neighbor came over the other day and said that some other neighbors knew I was moving and they had some furniture if I needed/wanted some. I’ll be going to look at that stuff Sunday and probably bring some things home. I just might have a new (to me) couch, recliner, table and chairs and not sure what else. It was really very nice of them to offer the stuff to me since I have never even met these people until yesterday. These are the kind of neighbors I have where I live.

It’s odd (at least for me) to be acquiring things again after getting rid of so many things since before I moved from Colorado. It’s new again to me to be becoming stationary and “established” someplace. I guess it will have to happen at some point anyhoo so this is as good of a time and place as any.

Tonight I watched a movie called “Crossing Borders“. I really enjoyed this documentary and the interactions between the students in the movie – four Moroccan and four American – were very interesting. They spent a week traveling in Morocco and learned a lot about not only themselves and each other but also about the preconceived perceptions of each other and their cultures. The magic of travel.

Been a long and tiring day today so I am off to bed. Sleep well, World.

September 30th, 2018


It has been very busy this weekend. I moved to a new place. Yes, I moved. Again.

I am now living in a bigger house. I spent Friday night, yesterday, and a few hours this morning moving and cleaning the old house. I got it all done with some kick-back time afterwards but I still need to put some things away. It was an easy move – the house next door.

It is over twice the size of the tiny house I just moved out of.  The yard is huge and really nice with a raised garden bed, apple, plum and cherry trees. I have a fireplace/wood stove and plenty of room to stretch my arms. There’s a nice patio with Adirondack chair and double Adirondack chair. The front porch is big enough to just hang out on if I want shade.

So yeah…I am rather excited to be in a much bigger place for many reasons. I have great neighbors in a nice little neighborhood. I have fruit trees and can plant a garden in a raised bed. Since I just bought a blender those apples will get put to good use – I just might try my hand at making some pies. I’ll probably have to just get the apples and freeze them for now. I have a lot of stuff to put away before I cook like that.

Next year I can plant some tomatoes, beans, and peas in the raised bed. On a whim I planted a couple of tomato cores into a ceramic pot a couple of weeks ago and they are actually growing. I have room to bring it inside so I am curious to see how it will do in a southern window. I still have a strawberry plant that’s alive but I am not hopeful on that one.

I don’t plan on moving again for a while. This new place is a nice size and even has enough room to bring all my stuff from the storage unit and save a few $$. I got a few things out of there yesterday but still have some things to get. I want to get what I already have organized before I bring more in.

I am tired so I am off to bed. See you next time.

 

 

September 23rd, 2018


This was my last night camping so I decided to have a campfire. Oh what the heck. I have not had a fire mesmerize me in a while and it was nice. Staring at a fire is one of those magical things. I can get totally lost in thought watching a campfire. I contemplated many things in between those blanks staring at that fire tonight as one is prone to do with a fire.

Having the trailer sure makes it easy to go and see places and do things much the way I did when I would tent camp. I still travel with few frills, stay in primitive campgrounds…simple, inexpensive and very enjoyable travel with no plans. I spend the money to go more often and buy very few souvenirs when I am out. I am not cheap…I just don’t buy stuff like that and I never really have.

Last night I decided to just head on home and it ended up being a good thing. I had a lot of things to take care of – washing the salty film off of the truck and trailer, laundry, some cooking, and working on some other things around the house. I wanted to avoid traffic but heading up 101 into Oregon I got caught in the weekly US101 Boat and RV Show – a parade of slow-moving rubberneckers who refuse to pull over to let people by. I actually ended up biting the bullet and came back through Portland. I ended up being able to avoid most of the traffic going through McMinnville. It was still faster but the traffic was not as bad this time.

This has been a nice adventure and it was badly-needed. I could really tell last week that I was ready to hit the road and realized Monday that I really needed to get away more than I thought. By the end of the work day I couldn’t get home fast enough to wrap things up to go. I have been able to relax and see some new places. I finally got to see Crater Lake – something I have wanted to see since I was a kid.

See you next time!

September 22nd, 2018


My next destination ended up being Lassen Volcanic National Park. I drove until I found a USFS campground called Hat Creek that was close to Lassen and decided to stop. It was only $16 so I am sure it was cheaper than the ones in Lassen. Besides, I had water (hot and cold), heat, and food so I had what I needed to get by.

It was a restless night’s sleep for some reason. I have been having trouble sleeping lately and this nonsense needs to stop. However I got up raring to go, had a quick breakfast and some tea, and went to check out the volcano.

I got to Lassen and it is a beautiful and expansive park I definitely want to come back to this one and spend a few days exploring. Like Mount St.Helens, it is a large, imposing behemoth of a mountain.

Lassen Volcanic National Park
My truck and trailer at Lassen Volcanic NP

I was only there for a short time because it is a bit farther south than I had originally planned to go so it was a special trip to get there. I thought since I was in the area I would check it out. I do need to turn the corner and start heading towards home.

I debated the next leg of the trip and ended up heading toward the coast. I did not really want to go up the interstate again and sure would like to avoid Portland if at all possible. And I will make it possible.

I ended up driving some two-lane roads CA 44 and CA 299) that were beautiful drives through small towns with $4/gallon gas and sprawling forests. On the west side of Redding I drove through an area that turned out to be the location of the massive Carr Fire from a few months back. The devastation was incredible. Everything was burnt – cars, trucks, houses, equipment…it was unbelievable to see destruction of such magnitude. Seeing it on the news, internet, or newspapers does not really show it.

IMG_1431
Near Whiskytown NRA
IMG_1434
Near Whiskytown NRA

I opted to go to Arcata instead of Eureka to save a little time. I have now been on all of US101 from Arcata, CA north. I was a little concerned when I got to Arcata, though. The wind was howling off of the Pacific and I was concerned about the trailer getting blown over. Once you are committed to go this way there are not a lot of options without a lot of backtracking so I stayed the course and it all worked out fine.

Along the way north on US101 I drove through the southern part of Redwoods National Park. I had gone to the part of the park near Crescent City last year so this was new territory for me and is my fifth National Park on this adventure, and fourth in just the last two days.

It may sound a little rushed to you, but I have seen what I wanted to see and will go back to see things in greater depth in the future. The concentration camp was really only something to see once, but the rest I want to explore more. I just don’t have time to spend two to three days in each place on this current adventure.

I have stopped for the night in Del Norte Coast Redwoods State Park just outside of Crescent City, CA. It is well off the highway and is very nice. There are massive redwood stumps bigger than my trailer in the spot behind me. It is $35 a night but there is a hot shower, water to fill up your tank, and it is a beautiful, quiet place. Still a bit spendy, though I bet the private campgrounds are $75-100 or more.

I told you the stumps are big

One drawback about my site is that it is right by the bathroom…as in the path runs right next to my trailer. As in a foot from it. Luckily it has not been a parade, but I bet it will be in the morning (so will the dump station). I will probably try to get out early in the morning to beat the Sunday rush and get at least halfway home or more. Then I can make the final push on home Monday morning unless I make it all in one day. I DO have another day, though…

I’m looking at the maps to figure out my next move. I have Monday off so it is a 6-day weekend for me. I don’t do what I used to do back in the day – drive and get in late the night before I gotta go back to work (or even drive an all-nighter straight TO work!). I’ll hopefully get in mid-day Monday to have time to take care of mail and anything else that has popped up while I have been away.

See you tomorrow!

 

September 21st, 2018


Slept like a rock last night and ready for the day after a nice, long hot shower. Time to head out of the KOA.

 “Those who cannot remember the past are doomed to repeat it” – George Santayana

My first destination was not very far so I got a leisurely start to Tulelake, CA. I’m headed to see WWII Valor in the Pacific National Monument Tule Lake Unit. This is the second one of these I have been to (the other was Hart Mountain in WY).  They are not only quite sobering, but embarrassing and shameful.  There are two parts to this historic site but I only visited one of them this time – Camp Tule Lake. I drove past Segregation Camp on my way out of town and will come back another time to see that.

I began my visit by stopping at the fairgrounds office, which has a small visitor center (for the camp) in it along with a museum containing local history about the camp, battles with native peoples and farming. Outside they have one of the housing buildings and a guard tower on display. That’s a pretty somber thing to see.

IMG_1412
Guard tower from Tule Lake concentration camp
IMG_1410
Exterior of concentration camp barracks relocated to museum grounds
IMG_1408
This space was for a family of four

While looking at the buildings I met a guy working on the fairgrounds on the other side of the fence. He was telling me that they are expecting over 500 immigrant farmworkers to come in to dig up all the strawberry plants in the fields around the area so they house them in buildings on the fairgrounds. They ship them off and transplant them elsewhere to grow the fruit. The season is too short here to keep them going and I guess it gets bad in winter and kills the plants so they transplant them.

He was telling me that there are not enough people to hire locals and it is only for a month or so. Either they don’t want to work or it is not worth quitting other jobs to do that for only a month.

I then drove over to Camp Tule Lake to see it but it was closed off and I had to look from a distance. They offer tours of the compound in summer but they are done for the season.

IMG_1414
Camp Tule Lake
IMG_1415
Camp Tule Lake

I found it interesting that the Japanese prisoners (and later German and Italian POWs) were used as slave labor to farm since the local men were over fighting the war and crops needed to be tended to by someone. All I knew of was the other immoral and disgusting behavior behind this rounding up of human beings for simply being “different”.

Just down the road is Lava Beds National Monument, my next stop.

This whole area is desert-like with scrubby brush and grasses and some trees. In the Monument there are sprawling lava fields and lava tube caves you can go in. So that’s what I did.

I went into a cave called “Catacombs” and it was eerie. I got inside and turned off my lights. It was way beyond dark inside. I didn’t go very far in because I came up to a spot that had a pile of rock from a collapsed section of the ceiling of the tube. I decided that was not for me and turned around. On the way out the ranger at the gate told me that they have found over 800 of these caves and 13 or 14 new ones this year alone.

IMG_1416
Catacombs lava cave entrance
IMG_1418
Collapsed ceiling in Catacombs lava cave – I’m out
IMG_1420
Inside Catacombs lava cave looking out
IMG_1423
Collapsed lava tube

Next I went over to the Petroglyphs section of the Monument. I looked and there does not appear to be many of the petroglyphs left with the weathering that is attributed to draining Tule Lake down to gain more farmland. They say it has uncovered more ground the blows around and erodes the soft rock they are carved in. Not really much carving to see from where I was.

I left to head further south into CA. It was strange to be going down the road and seeing highway signs for Reno and Winnemucca, NV and San Francisco. I really haven’t driven that far but it ends up I am only a few hours from Reno.

That’s all for this post. More tomorrow!

September 20th, 2018


Yesterday morning I took off on the first day of my latest adventure. As usual, I’ll be delaying these posts for my privacy.

I got out of the house at a decent time yesterday morning. After a few errands I hit the road and headed south. Along the way I had the usual questions about the trailer from people when I stopped. I also got a thumb’s up from someone on the highway. It tends to turn a few heads for some reason.

IMG_1381
So THAT’S how it gets around…

I thought Denver traffic was bad but then I came to Seattle. Seattle traffic sucks. And then…there is Portland traffic. Jeezus…how the hell do you people deal with it? It sucks no matter the time of day. Do all of you drive at the same time?!?! And fix that damn bottleneck where I-5 narrows down from three lanes to two as you are getting into downtown from the north.

I was almost out of downtown and then there was the sound of crunching metal – like a large beer can being squished. I saw it happen two lanes over from me. A lady, perhaps she missed her turn or was texting, hit the divider where the highway splits. I saw the car bounce and the brake lights flashing when she hit. Airbag deployed. SURPRISE!!!

One of two covered bridges in Lowell, OR

I got off I-5 at Eugene and headed SE along highway 58. It is a beautiful drive and is worth the trip off the interstate. I ended up getting to Cascara campground in Fall Creek State Park near Lowell. OR around 5 or so. I had a relaxing, leisurely evening. It was a nice park and there were only three or four sites taken. They had no water due to well issues so if you are headed there make plans for that.

The campground is right on the lakeshore and direct access to the beach. Well…kinda:

Dry lakebed at Cascara campground in Fall Creek State Recreation Area

The stairs in that picture actually lead down to the swim beach and what you see in the distance should all be under water up to the gravel beach seen between the railings. It is late in the year so runoff has slowed to a trickle, but the other part of the equation is the Corps of Engineers is working on the dam so they had to let a bunch of water out. There was NO water in sight from the campground and the meadow you see in the picture has been there only since June. It was still a beautiful place to look at and a nice campground to stay in.

I woke up at my usual 5:00 A.M. and had a nice mellow morning before I hit the road again. The drive down 58 and then highway 62 was so beautiful, but then I was totally awestruck by what I saw next.

Crater Lake National Park.

Man…what a beautiful place. A steep, gorgeous drive to the top of the crater and along the rim then back down the other side. That first view of the lake was simply stunning. It is so much bigger than what I ever imagined and the water was incredibly blue. As you can see by the pictures it was a beautiful day and it ended tip being perfect up on top. Another achievement on my bucket list!

IMG_1400
Crater Lake panorama
Closeup of blue watrer around Wizard Island - Crater Lake NP
Closeup of azure-blue water around Wizard Island – Crater Lake NP
Crater Lake NP

I had thought about staying in the Mazama campground but didn’t. I did not like the campground or the prices being charged so I went on south, but I will definitely be back to explore more. There is a lot to see and do in the area and I want to take a boat over to Wizard Island. The area reminds me of Colorado in many ways and the drive all the way down here to Klamath Falls was beautiful.

I ended up in a KOA which happened to be in town but it was all that is around that was habitable. But, it IS close to shopping and I needed to get supplies anyhoo and am taking advantage of the water, electricity and the shower as well. Now that I have water in the tank I am fully self-contained and will probably dry (primitive) camp the next few nights and not stay in a KOA or similar campgrounds until my last night (to use a dump station). They are nice (so are the utilities and showers) every great once in a while but not really a place I like to stay very often. I did not bring my generator but am getting by fine without it. Next time I will but I am not really missing it too bad. I did not even have any cell service from about 3:30 yesterday afternoon until about 10:30 this morning and I lived to tell the tale.

I really prefer to stay in a Forest Service campground because they are primitive. I have always liked staying in them (as far as developed campgrounds) and I think they are the most fun and cheap. I have propane for heat and hot water and cooking, and it is a whole lot cheaper. Hauling water adds weight and drops my gas mileage a little, but I am getting an average over 12 MPG! Even not pulling the trailer I get about 16-17 so I am happy with that, especially with all the hills I have been climbing.

One thing I did when I got here was re-organize some of the previous re-organization I did in the Spring. Last night I just saw how it wasn’t going to be fully practical in everyday use so I moved a few things into a completely different spot and I think I’m getting close to finding the right combination. I need to get some more bins to organize my kitchen supplies better. I have one bin but it just isn’t enough. Perhaps I can create a divider with compartments that I can put together inside the dinette bench to better organize the stuff in there. I have thought about buying a Dremel tool set and that just might be handy for that project.

I am a little disappointed that during packing I forgot to load my guitar. I was wanting to work on some song ideas with it but I guess I can get by doing some work with instruments in Garage Band on my laptop.

So far I have had great weather and beautiful surroundings. I hope the weather holds out for just a few more days. If I stopped now I’d be happy with this adventure but there’s more. If you are looking for a great drive this is definitely one to not miss.

Tomorrow I’ll be headed off to another place so check back! For now I am off to have another local blackberry (Marionberry) hard cider – Made Marion – by 2Towns Ciderhouse. If you can find it it is worth a taste!

September 13th, 2018


There’s quite a lot going on for me right now. Many things are in the works and they all seem to involve travel. I’ll talk about them in no particular order.

Work is winding down but there’s still plenty to do. With the recent big changes I had at work it is really going to be a good winter.

I have a long weekend coming up soon and that you know what means – yep… there’s another adventure on the horizon. I will be posting updates daily while I am out and about so be sure to check back. I am excited to finally be able to get the trailer out and have the chance to get away. It will be time to fully relax and take some serious me time and maybe even work on some new music.

I have begun the process of trying to narrow down some countries to see in Europe. I hope, and plan, to see a few new countries this time. There are some great sales going on right now so I need to get some decisions made in short order concerning where I want to go. As of right now part of the trip will be solo and that is the only part I am trying to figure out. The part where I am traveling with Jim and his wife we have already discussed some options so we know pretty much where we want to go.

With the process of starting to plan another trip, I have been considering a change in my choice of travel backpack. The one I have, the eBags Weekender Convertible, worked great on our trip but I want to get something a little lighter to carry. It has a lot of extra pockets with organization that I just do not use – I do not put anything in unsecured pockets. I want simple and functional and that has been what I was searching for.

There are two that rank very highly for travel packs, but they still are too overthought for me. They are nice, however, and difficult to not consider given the mesh back panel and padded hip belt. Then I thought I might just take my Osprey Stratos 36 pack. I already have it so it is “free”. It has a comfy suspension and is pretty simple. It is a little lighter than my current one and not a lot of gimmicks and cannot be locked.

Then, on Tuesday, I was given a new backpack at work for helping out with some things. It is a pretty nice pack – an Outdoor Research Dry Payload Pack 32 Liter. Perfectly simple! One outside pocket that I could use for a map, and 100% waterproof. It has a simple waist belt and shoulder straps but it is quite similar to the suspension on the eBags pack I used and it was comfy on the shoulders. It weighs half the eBags bag. There’s also no way to lock the bag zippers but that’s okay since I only do a carry-on. My bags do not leave my side unless locked in my room.

I think it would work just fine but I have to really think about that. Being halfway around the world for several weeks, carrying everything you need on your back in a bag, means there has to be no doubts it is going to be something you are happy with. I really like the Osprey I have because it is simple and comfortable and a little bit lighter than the eBags one. There are some trade-offs to consider.

There’s also going to be a road trip to KS at some point to start going through stuff in the house. This time I’ll be driving back and I’ll stop and pick up Meghan and Addy so that is exciting and will make a better trip. It will be good to see all my girls and sister again even under the circumstances.

So as you can see I have a lot going on. It actually looks kinda busy now that I have typed it out. I am excited for all of it though.

September 9th, 2018


Friday was a bit of a busy day. It was a day to get caught up on some paperwork and do some arranging, cleaning, shredding and make a trash run. I did the recycling last week so that was already out of the way. Saturday was jam-packed with some filing and more shredding and getting rid of unnecessary paperwork.

Another thing I am doing is pondering my travel options now that I have my schedule. Europe is definite during the off-season, but not exactly sure when yet. It is narrowed down to a timeframe but no tickets are bought yet. I have seen some great deals and want to go twice at the prices I have seen but I am leaning more towards a road trip in the trailer for a month or so and a single trip to Europe. Decisions, decisions.

The trailer trip is something I was planning on doing before but with everything going on I could not go earlier this year. I was hoping to do some weekend trips this summer (as I had posted earlier) but this is a great time to be able to make a longer adventure happen.

I needed a getaway so I went over to Port Townsend and attended my first-ever Wooden Boat Festival.

2018 Wooden Boat Festival - Port Townsend, WA

IMG_1329IMG_1336

Wooden Teardrop TrailerDetail on Wooden Teardrop Trailer

My schedule changed so I took full advantage of the time off to get out, hang with some friends, have a few beers, some food-truck deliciousness and have enjoy some much-needed relaxation. It was a great time and I had a lot of fun and had some unexpected things happen while there.

I got there early and decided to walk around and check out the amazing craftsmanship that was put into some of the boats. The skill and attention to detail is just incredible on some of these vessels. One was an old speedboat capable of going 63 mph with a two-stroke Mercury that had been carefully rebuilt and restored. The motor alone was Art Deco brilliance.

My friends showed up while I was in the “Main Stage” tent having a local beverage. They joined me with an IPA and then we went for fish tacos and poutine. Perfect match with a beer. We then went back to the tent to enjoy some more music. And another IPA.

We ended up standing on the edge of the dance floor since there was not ,much room anywhere else and one friend had happy feet and was busting a move. While we were talking between songs another song was started as I made some gesture with my hand while talking. All of a sudden a strange hand grabbed mine and dragged me to the dance floor before I knew what had even happened.

You have to understand something. I do not dance – it is just not my thing and never has been. It’s not that I haven’t, but it takes quite a lot of alcohol to get me out there to bust a move. And I really do mean a LOT. I had not had but two beers so for this to happen was rather shocking. But, I went with it. When in Rome…

It was a slower song so that was better than a fast song as far as my dancing abilities. So there we were, slow dancing and just chatting away. Then came a rather unexpected surprise. She suddenly said “Oh, there’s my husband!”, to which I replied “What?”, trying to make sure that I had somehow incorrectly heard what she had said. She repeated it and then he came up to us, fairly drunk and a bit bigger than me. “Oh shit.” went through my head quickly and repeatedly. She told him that SHE grabbed ME to dance and introduced us. He smiled at me and said “whatever”. We then shook hands and he went on his way to find yet another beer. Just another adventure in my life.

It was really good to get out and do something and do it with some friends. With the events that have taken place over the last few weeks I am now trying to return to the version of “normal” that is my life. After losing your parents you find that normal will never be the same again, though. Then there is the emptiness that will never be filled and the endless “shoulda-woulda-couldas” that goes through your head.

But we have all the great memories and that is a wonderful thing to have on top of knowing that they loved us all and we were lucky enough to have them in our lives. And we loved them, and still do love them.

No one can take that away.

September 3rd, 2018


If you want to contact me please feel free to send a message or a comment. I have to approve them so I see them anyway.

I wanted to pass along because I gave out my website address to some relatives at the funeral. I just wanted to make sure everyone knows that they can contact me through here.

I had the day off today. I really wish I would’ve realized that before I went to work though. I am quite used to working holidays after all these years and didn’t bother to read the email as carefully as I should’ve so it’s my own fault. That’s OK. I woke up at 4 AM anyway, long before my alarm. That’s very frustrating.

So after I got back home, I took the recycling and dropped it off. Then I washed the trailer and the truck. I haven’t washed a vehicle by hand out in the yard in a long time and it was actually quite therapeutic. I usually just take them to the car wash.

It felt good to get out and do it though. I’ve been sitting on my ass way too much lately and I need to get busy again.

I wanted to get the salt air washed off of both and get them looking good for a trip. I’m not sure about where to go next weekend. The following weekend I have a long weekend and I’m going to enjoy it.

Looks like I’ll be off a few months this winter and come back early. I’ll have time to make a trip to Europe and some other places too. I have some appointments to keep but I’ll make time to do some things.

I cooked up a breakfast tater tot hot dish this morning and put some burritos together for meals. I’ll be eating some Instant Pot items from the freezer that I made ahead and froze. Looking forward to trying some new recipes after I make some room!

September 1st, 2018


I got back home yesterday and I was absolutely worn out. I didn’t do anything other than wash some clothes but was too tired to even pull them out of the dryer. I spent the evening trying to relax.

It was back to work today and it ended up being a good day. I really was not quite ready to go back yet, and probably could have taken a few more days off, but decided to go ahead and get back into it. It helped me out and I am looking forward to going back again tomorrow and keeping my thoughts in a better place.

Now that things have settled down it is time to start thinking about a much-needed getaway for a few days. Where I’ll go I do not know yet but I definitely need an escape for a few days. That means it is time to finally take the trailer out. I should still have plenty of time to get it out for several more trips this year before I have to winterize it.

It is also time to start thinking about going to Europe again. I am ready to get a ticket but not sure when I can go yet due to a schedule change at work. I will hopefully find out this coming week when I can go and get a ticket. Where I can go will be determined by when I am able to go. I have been seeing some great deals again so I am quite anxious to get a reservation made with the prices I have seen. With all of the flying I have been doing I think I actually have enough miles to go to Europe for free!

Speaking of my job, I received great news about some big changes to it yesterday afternoon. It is pretty exciting news and I was quite anxious to share it with those close to me. In the past my parents were always the first ones I called whenever I had good news to tell. My dad was the first one I thought of calling last night but as I reached for the phone I realized…

It was a very somber moment for me to make that realization.

That’s all until next time.

%d bloggers like this: