November 19th, 2020

Adventure, food, Just things, Road Trip, Uncategorized

It definitely was a big day today. I got my other cataract out this morning. It is so nice to be able to see the same thing with both eyes again. It’s pretty exciting to finally get this taken care of. Won’t need to do it again.

On the way home I told my friend I was buying lunch since he gave me a ride to the appointment. He had never been to Five Guys so I had to enlighten him with their one of their delicious burgers and some fries. For a treat (okay, three…) for later, it was his very first stop at Sluy’s Bakery in Poulsbo.

I got home and waited the few hours necessary to remove the tape keeping my eye closed. I’m having a few strange things happening with my eye at the moment so it may take some time before it calms down. I am hoping when I wake up tomorrow the halos and fuzziness are gone – I just need to be patient. I have a follow-up tomorrow so they will be having a look at it anyhoo and I can let them know any concerns. I have no cheater glasses and my previous glasses will need new lenses. I’ll be getting some reading glasses at the store tomorrow to get me by until then, but I just can’t really read at the moment.

There was a lady with a group of us in the waiting area. It was her first surgery and she really looked frightened peering around over the top of her mask. I mean almost a “scared to death” look. I told her she would be fine and it’s over fairly fast (which it is). I was not really ever too scared about it either time, but that shot in the eyeball to numb it is absolutely more than just a bit freaky.

After the follow-up appointment I’ll get my dog and come home. I will need to start making calls pretty soon about a storage spot for the trailer. I cannot keep it where I will be living but I want a really secure storage lot to put it in. Storage in this area is so damn expensive but they are always all full so supply and demand works well.

I just watched one of the strangest, yet funniest, shows that I have ever seen. It’s shot in a “mockumentary-style” of look and feel. It is called “Lazy Circles” and it’s filmed in Oklahoma. Yes, you heard me. It is pretty funny and if you know about the Midwest, you’ll get this movie. To some of us with a certain type of humor it is hilarious.

Just a quick update. I am off to bed pretty shortly. Thanks for stopping by.

December 21st, 2019

Adventure, food, Just things, Music, Outdoors, Scotty Hilander, Travel, Uncategorized

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Looking for a gig? The Bitch be hiring!

 

In celebration of the Winter Solstice I say good riddance to these short hours of daylight. I have been more than ready for not only longer “days”, but also some weather that is better than the lousy weather we have been having. The dog isn’t very happy about the rain keeping him inside either!

I won’t be doing a “year-end update” this year; I have been updating the blog with scattered posts. This year not much is really worth repeating so if you want to know what has been going on the last 11 months feel free to go back and look at my earlier posts.

Needless to say, I am looking forward to a much better year in 2020 and am anxious to get this retirement officially started with some travel. I was hoping to do something around the holidays but I am on standby for jury duty for a bit so I cannot go anywhere. It’s just as well, I guess; it saves me some money by staying home. Weather permitting I hope to get away for at least a weekend sometime very soon.

Monday, however, I was able to get away for a few days in Seattle. A friend was in town and offered to share a room so we could hang out a few days and walk around.

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We went walking out and about Tuesday morning to sightsee, shop and eat. Later on in the day after a break at the hotel my friend wasn’t feeling well so I went back out after dark (which is around 4:20 in the afternoon). We had heard there was a political rally and, since I was in the area and am curious and had never been to a political rally like that I felt like I just HAD to go and experience it so I hopped on the light rail and went to the rally location. I will just stay apolitical and leave further comments on this out of the post. It was an interesting experience however and I would do it again!

After the rally I hopped back on the light rail and went to my old fave on Capitol Hill – Dick’s Drive-in – to snack on a couple of burgers and some of those tasty, delicious fries. There were actually quite a few people out not only around that area but around Seattle in general. Lots of shoppers and tourists. Wednesday was an early rise to get home and get the dog from boarding on time.

I’m still working on the intricacies of the song I started back in July. It is coming along well and clocks in around 4:30. I really wish I could have gotten it done much sooner. I find that it’s best to finish a song soon after it is started in order to keep the original “spirit” of the song but I got rather ambitious with some textural aspects of the song and keep adding layers so that has pushed the completion of it back. So far it is at about 14 individual tracks and I will be adding a few more tracks and expanding some I already have to make the sound very full. It’s getting close to being done but not quite to my satisfaction yet. I have really been trying to wrap it up though!

I continue to go through things around the house and lately I have been making some good progress with organizing and going through even more things to get rid of. I have some extra storage containers that I emptied previously when downsizing so I can start consolidating my things into fewer containers. It also gives me the chance to get the last few things I have in cardboard boxes into some sturdier waterproof containers with handles.

With all of the moving around I have done from 2012 until last year I tended to not acquire much in the way of new possessions. However, being fairly stationary for the last 18 months I have bought a few household items I needed so I should not need to get too much more. Now that I have retired and considering more travel I will not be making many more major purchases for household goods (I pretty much have everything I need anyhoo). There’s not really much room in a 15′ Scotty Hilander and most of my stuff would have to go into storage for any long-term travel if that is what I end up doing.

It’s pretty nice to have most everything that had to be done out of the way. Finally, there are no more surgeries and post-op recovery time or PT this year and it’s looking like I actually have a clear calendar for quite a while other than a couple of surgery follow-ups.

That’s all there is for now.

This Weekend’s Adventure – 06/07/17

Adventure, Outdoors, Scotty Hilander, Travel

Wow, that was a really good weekend.

First, the shakedown cruise has been awesome. I am glad I brought the trailert out now so I can get used to this new way of travel before the hopeful big road trip in the Fall. I am making adjustments to storage, layout, and determining if I can leave anything else behind or need to bring something. I have had to fine tune a little but I think it’s almost done.

I think I have most everything that I need except a lawn chair (or two, when the time comes that I am not flying solo any longer) that I had on my list but forgot to grab. Luckily, where I have been staying had a picnic table with a pretty nice river view of the Columbia River. I need to remove a few cooking items that I want need right now, plus I have to make some room for my cast iron skillets and my soon-to-be-arriving Instant Pot.

Trying to figure out how to organize is a little bit of a challenge in this trailer. I don’t have a lot of storage right around the “kitchen area”. There is some, yes, but not enough to make the grocery storage sensible so I have to store groceries in a couple of different places. You also need to distribute the weight and that’s probably why they have the cabinets set up the way they do. Plus I’m still new to this so I am trying to figure it out from scratch.

I am also going to need to rethink my grocery purchasing. Bigger single boxes just aren’t going to work in here at all. I can buy in bulk, like the multi packages at Costco, and I can store the extra items in my storage unit. I need to get a small shelf or two and some storage containers to put in the cabinets to store rice, beans, cereal, etc. in. That might possibly even save me some money by doing it that way since nothing ever seems to get any cheaper. Since I don’t go through some things very fast, I’ll not need to buy stuff very often.

I have had to make a few changes on how my bedding is stored to make that more accessible. I don’t want to have to tear the trailer halfway apart to get the blankets out to make my bed every night. I also had a rolled up piece of egg crate foam that I cut into slabs so it will store easier since it now lays flat. There is even a leftover piece that I can get rid of so that will save some space as well. Taking out the bunk mattress helped with that.

I also see the potential for an interesting change for my storage but it would require some cutting on the cabinetry and that’s just not something I’m comfortable doing. If I would put in a couple of cabinet doors I would not have to take the trailer halfway apart to make my bed anymore. I think it would be a really nice improvement plus it would really help with storage access. I know someone that would be really good at it that I work with so I’ll have to talk to him.

At some point in the future I’m going to have to get new foam for the cushions. The foam in the cushions is pretty soft and I don’t think it will hold up very long under constant usage. They need a good closed-cell foam to offer better support, and I can probably ditch the egg crate foam after they are replaced, saving more storage space and a few pounds of weight.

So, on to the adventure!

I stayed in an RV park in Orondo, Washington. I nearly had the place to myself. There were only three other trailers there and they were on the other end of the row of trailer pads. I was over to the side by myself. They have no dump station or sewer hookups. It is right next to the highway so it’s a little noisy and the damn sprinkler system kept turning on; the last time I had the truck windows down and it got wet inside. I was not happy about the service there so no shoutout to them.

RV Park I Stayed At

RV Park I Stayed At

A Cocktail on the Columbia River at Sunset

A Cocktail on the Columbia River at Sunset

My Truck and Trailer

My Truck and Trailer

I found the park through an exchange I needed to make on Groupon. I got two nights for $29 and had electricity and water hookups. I have had a love/hate relationship with Groupon but I must say this was a hella deal even though there were some issues.

One thing I don’t like at all about Groupon is that merchants want to redeem your voucher when you make a reservation or take a credit card number for a deposit. That means it is redeemed before I get the services I paid for and that’s unacceptable to me as I have zero recourse if hat happens. This problem needs to be solved, and I will not buy many, if any, more services with that happening.

Wednesday I headed east on US Highway 2 – the very same highway to that I want to drive coast-to-coast on. I’ve been on the stretch before and that’s how I knew there were some places I wanted to go to. You can’t really tell by looking around you because it’s very dry and arid and I t’s kind of like the Great Plains. But I have been here before and I saw signs of places I wanted to go at that time. One of those was Grand Coulee Dam.  The others would be Sun Lakes State Park and Dry Falls state park.

I considered doing all three but I will have to come back – I just didn’t have the time to do it all. The State Parks are their own destination with campgrounds so that will be nice. I am doing my adventures more slowly to see more things along the way as opposed to marathon drives to get places as far as possible to work back towards home – wherever that was at the time.

Grand Coulee Dam is one of those places that we have always heard about but never remember why. It is a pretty impressive engineering work and the stats are really amazing – the damn sits ON the granite below, which is solid three to five miles thick. It is NOT attached. At all. The sheer weight of it holds it in place. It will outproduce any nuclear plant. It is the sixth biggest producer of power in the world, and first in North America. There is enough concrete in it to build a four-lane highway from Seattle to Miami. There are many other stats that will blow your mind.

The interconnection between dams up- and downstream is incredible. With high snowpack the lake is high but they can pump millions of water far downstream to make room for what’s coming down from upstream. In Canada upstream they are at 175% of normal snowpack. This damn was built for irrigation initially, but hydro power was added after WWII so it fills two roles.

I was on a short tour that was very informative but they were doing something and we did not get to actually get to go on the damn. We got to go into the pump house and did get to see the equipment running. If you are in the area it is definitely worth a stop. Be advised the security is like the airport. It is one of the very few that remain open somewhat to visitors after 9/11.

After that I was hungry so I got on Yelp and looked up someplace to eat. I decided on the Hi Dam Tavern. Five stars on Yelp so they must be doing it right.

Indeed they were.

Delicious!

Thew World’s Best French Fries next to a Morningburger

I asked what they were known for and she said “the Morningburger”, a handmade patty on top of a bottom bun with homefries on it. On top of those two was cheese, ham, bacon, an egg (which I left off since I’m on a diet 😬). The fries…damn, absolutely THE best fries I have ever eaten. Hand-cut fresh and fantastic, these make you never want to eat fries anyplace else and drive as far as you need to get these. These fries have now become the benchmark. A great dive bar and friendly people around the town, which I really, and sadly, didn’t meet many of as I drove around.

After a delicious lunch I had to think about where next. I have not been up in this area except for a trip many years ago. I finally decided I was going to go around the block and make the loop up across the reservation towards Omak, but then head south back to Orondo where the trailer was. Quite a scenic drive that had several different types of terrain. Rivers, forests quite similar to Colorado, dry, dusty plains, farmland, countless orchards. It is a great road trip for an adventure.

I’ll resume putting maps in my posts when I go somewhere, starting with this one. I think it is something easy to look at so you can look at the entire route at once on a separate page as well. I will not put beginning to end (because I know where I live and no one else needs to), but will make sure it has info on it that is usable. People will come from different directions so I will just do the local stuff and side trips around the area I am staying if that’s the case. For a long adventure I will be more thorough like I was in the first posts of my blog. I don’t really know why I stopped but I did.

I must say that I definitely see the fun in doing this trailer thing. I was apprehensive at first on how to approach it but I am just going for it and really having some fun. The convenience is very nice, and to have a familiar place to sleep and cook daily is a plus. It saves some money (figuring in the extra fuel, no hotels, not dining out, etc.). Boondocking it in the forest will save even more money, especially on a long adventure.

Anyway it was a great weekend and I was miles away from where I currently call home both literally and figuratively. It was nice to get away and decompress and do it in a place that I’ve never been. I will definitely come back to this area and visit again. There is much more to see and do.