August 1st, 2021

Adventure, food, Just things, Outdoors, pictures, Road Trip, Travel, Uncategorized

Wow…it’s already August. Another fast summer. Last night we had thunderstorms here, the likes of which I have not seen in many years – I moved from the Midwest 25 years ago this year – and we don’t really get those types of storms where I live in WA. Winds, lightning, torrential rains…a real blast from the past. Fun and interesting to watch but nothing I really miss.

It was an awesome day today however. It finally cooled down and was in the low 80s today. That meant it was cool enough to leave the dogs out, and that meant I could leave the house finally. Road trip!!!

Yep…The Mother Road!!!

I put Addy in the car seat and we headed out to drive a stretch of Route 66. I was going to catch it at Strafford, MO and head into Springfield from there.

The drive was really beautiful, going through the dense trees and winding backcountry roads, across many low-water crossings and bridges going over beautiful streams. And wild turkeys!

Bet they won’t be thinking “gobble gobble” come November! I will be though.

I doubled back to take this picture as the Trail of Tears is a part of my family’s history on my mom’s side. It isn’t necessary to get into all the details or comment on those events other than I had Cherokee relatives who were forced to relocate and walked this very trail.

We got to Strafford and took a quick look around. There were a few old buildings we saw and this was probably the one that stood out most to me (sorry about the reflection!).

One part I drove was the route from 1926-1928 until it was relocated west out of Strafford; this part of the route went south out of Strafford then west. I decided not to backtrack to see the other leg on this trip but in the future I will.

We headed west on this section through the countryside and rolling hills toward Springfield. As I drove it really made me think about the countless people that made this drive back in the day. It had to have been quite the journey and it really got me excited even more about travel. Imagine how that must have been to see all those things for the first time and be able to travel to the ocean from halfway across the country. It also made me think about the classic movie “The Grapes of Wrath” and the horrible things those people went through.

As we got into Springfield I saw another sign that said Route 66 followed the Trail of Tears for a couple of miles into Springfield. I could not get pictures of that, or some of the other stuff I wanted to get pictures of – I was driving and in some places there was nowhere to pull over. I am certain I will be back that way again and hope to get out and walk around town and be able to spend more time exploring.

I did get a few pictures though.

We did not go all the way through Springfield on Route 66 so I will just have to pick up where I left off someday. This is the longest section I have been on along with driving through Albuquerque, NM. The route is still on my bucket list so it is pretty cool to see this stuff. I may not necessarily need to see every inch of it in the cities but I am wanting to see more of the other stuff along the way. I may not do it all at once either but doing it piecemeal is fine; I still get to see it.

Today’s awesome adventure really got my travel Jones going. I am even more excited to go somewhere now that I did this drive. Plus, I saw so many interesting places to eat that have been around for many decades. They should have good food by now!

My trailer would fit right in with the spirit of this road. I hope to be able to do that soon but then again there are the old-school interesting motels and “motor lodges” along the way and those could be even more fun.

I do like history quite a bit but there is a difference between liking history and liking the history that you discover (and there’s plenty to not like).

It is very interesting (at least to me) to see where we have come from and how we have gotten to where we are, but it sure as hell doesn’t mean I want to live in the past. It is called “the past” for a reason. Learn from it, but move on and leave it where it belongs…in the past.

July 28th, 2021

Adventure, Just things, Music, Outdoors, Road Trip, Scotty Hilander, Travel, Uncategorized

“If you walk around expecting shit to happen, then it will.” – Dusty Hill

“Life takes you on weird trips and you just have to hold on, ride the wave and be as strong as you fucking can.” – Joey Jordison

I saw these two quotes and really thought they were worth posting. It’s how these guys lived their lives and I think there’s a lot to be said about being true to yourself.

Two big losses in the music world in the last two days; one a rock solid bass player – Dusty Hill from ZZ Top, the other Joey Jordison, the incredible monster of a drummer formerly of Slipknot. I honestly am not a big fan of either band but I do have great respect for badass musicians no matter their style. I did see ZZ Top back in the day on the Deguello tour and it was a good show. I have seen several videos of Jordison and wow. Truly amazing.

This weather sucks. Heat index right now is 102° and the forecast the next few days is up to 108. It sounds like it will be worse for my friend in St. Paul, MN – hang in there, S!

Glad I picked up some beers today as it was pretty tasty when we were out with the dogs. I got some Boulevard Unfiltered Wheat out of Kansas City and a 3 Blind Mice Brown Ale from Mother’s Brewing Co. out of Springfield, MO. I am admittedly and unashamedly a Guinness snob, but I do like a good unfiltered wheat beer on a hot day. A brown ale can be refreshing as well. They were both good beers and I may have to take some for the road.

Meghan took off today for her fire gig so I have a few weeks here helping out. We will be cleaning, vacuuming and getting things straightened out in my truck in between the sweating and beers. And the pointless showers.

I was thinking last night that I need to get a road atlas for the drive home and start looking at it. A GPS is fine but I am not sure which way I’ll be driving home and an atlas will help me get details I can’t get on a GPS routing on my phone.

My new truck has a Bose sound system and to make things even better it has Apple CarPlay. I can basically mirror my phone on the display so I get not only my music and phone but also Apple Maps. This will really be handy for finding places and easier to deal with than my phone. Pretty exciting!

I really only use a GPS/mapping app just to get someplace and not for planning of my route – it’s just too tedious. I find that, for me, a paper map is a much more useful tool looking at a route and to look at along the way for stops. Apple Maps is pretty usable with its guides at a destination.

I am considering several different options for the drive home. Smoke, fires and heat pretty much cover everything west of here so that means some options are limited going through certain areas. I do plan on seeing a few sights when I can while I am here and the trip home won’t be any different – I will stop anywhere I see something interesting just like always. I’m halfway across the country so I might as well make the most of it and see and do all I can.

Missouri has a lot of interesting places to see and things to do. There’s a lot of history and the Missouri State Parks are some of the best anywhere that I have ever been to. The campgrounds were always fantastic and well-maintained. I hope we can all get out on some trips soon and explore and just hang out by a fire doing s’mores and I’ll even splurge and eat a hot dog or two roasted on the fire.

That’s it for now.

July 26th, 2021

Adventure, food, Just things, pictures, Road Trip, Scotty Hilander, Travel, Uncategorized

My new truck!

It’s hot & humid AF. I have not been in this kind of weather for many years and it blows as much as I remember…if not more. Luckily they have a kick-ass air conditioner. It’s been hot in the middle of the day and into early evening. Wednesday they are saying heat index of 103. Stop it I say!

The place they bought has a garden already planted with a couple of things – tomatoes, zucchini, purple green beans, cucumbers, and something else I’m not sure of but it’s either another type of squash or maybe gourds. They don’t eat tomatoes so I’m gonna be getting my fill of them and that’s awesome. I don’t have to buy any of those horrid hothouse tomatoes plus there’s enough to get me by and more. I just have to keep stuff watered to keep them going.

I took a look around and saw some blackberry bushes, honeysuckle, and wild grapes. I also saw some sour grass – a type of clover that is edible. It has medicinal and culinary uses. Unfortunately, there’s also poison ivy, poison oak, and poison sumac everywhere and in amongst the good stuff.

I did a curbside run for groceries in my new truck this morning. It’s a nice truck and has more options than my Avalanche simply because of it being 15 years newer. It will take some getting used to all the new things I don’t currently have in the Avalanche but it won’t be a problem! Built-in WiFi, wireless phone charger, killer stereo, Apple CarPlay, heated steering wheel, heated/cooled leather seats…the list of goodies is long. Plus it’s much quieter inside.

Tonight I made my chicken caprese ciabatta for dinner. I haven’t made it in a few weeks and it was so delicious. I usually grill the chicken at home but they don’t have a grill yet so I browned it up in a skillet in a little olive oil. I like the flavors either way but grilled is a little healthier even though I toss it in a bowl with a little olive oil and spices before grilling.

I’m glad to get my groceries picked up and get back into my diet. Kind of a guilt trip not being able to eat my normal way. I’m not getting way out of line with anything but I’ve worked hard to get this far and I don’t want to mess it up.

There are things I have really gotten used to eating, like my overnight oats, dates, fruits, pitas , guacamole…and many other things. I eat a variety of things and I am used to knowing how much of what I can eat and be well within my diet parameters. I was able to stock up well today but it’s always a concern going to a different place.

Anyhoo I’m off to bed. It’s visions of oats & berries for breakfast dancing in my head.

July 23rd, 2021

Adventure, food, Just things, Road Trip, Scotty Hilander, Travel, Uncategorized

Got my last appointment done today and it is the weekend. Yay x 2! I had to drive to Tacoma for the appointment and the weekend traffic was early today so it took a while longer to get back home. I also had to stop at the storage unit and clean stuff out of my truck. Mostly it was tools and stuff I was going to use for the trip in the trailer that isn’t going to happen yet. Again, I say 🤬.

I’ll figure out the next trip very soon. All this work I have been doing and getting a few new things for the trailer today is really getting me even more excited to go. I just gotta have a dependable vehicle and I hope to have that taken care of soon.

With that comes a bit of sadness, however. Selling my Avalanche. My parents bought it new so it has some real sentimental value for me. I believe it is the only vehicle that they ever bought new all those years on the planet. I will miss driving it and 18 years of familiarity. There’s even a little “character” from my mom backing into something, leaving a divot in the plastic body parts.

When I got home the painter was painting the front of my house so the door was taped off. I decided to just go to town and kill some more time and take care of any errands I needed to do before the weekend. I stopped by Goodwill to burn some time up and I actually found a few things for the trailer I could use.

I found a couple of coffee mugs that match the teal color on the trailer so that was kinda cool. Since they are plastic (lightweight and unbreakable bouncing down the highway unlike glass or ceramic) I don’t know if I will use them for coffee but I can use them for other things. I got a small coffee cup that holds maybe a double espresso, and then lo and behold I actually stumbled across a small Italian stovetop espresso maker to go with it! Hot damn! Coffee in the trailer is now solved. It is small and easy to store and use. I also got a brand new 2-quart Crock-pot that was still in the box…AND it was half price so it was ONLY $3! I can use that in the trailer as well or in the house. A few good scores.

Some really nice weather here right now – 60s & 70s, with sunshine every day with some fog early or marine layer some mornings. I wish I had a charcoal grill but it’s just as well I don’t. Burning restrictions are starting up in a few days as well as new mask mandates. We’ll leave that alone.

I had to quit drinking wine again. I started enjoying too much of the grape every night so it was time to stop for a while. Buying cheap wine is part of the problem – it’s, well…cheap, and it’s sweeter than good wines so on a hot day it goes down easy. I’m just taking a break from it for now; I’ll be washing wine glasses again before too long.

I started watching the “Chef” series, which is based on the movie I raved about last week. The series is just as good and it makes me hungry watching it. Lots of good foods and interesting people. Jon Favreau does a great job in this series as well as the movie. It’s really making me want to go crazy cooking again! I foresee a chicken caprese ciabatta in the very near future…

That’s it for this post. Be safe!

July 20th, 2021

Adventure, food, Just things, Outdoors, Road Trip, Scotty Hilander, Travel, Uncategorized

One more appointment down today so that means only one more left this week. I am going to be taking off and hitting the road soon since I can free my schedule and go away for a few weeks. I am making some time for me; I will be going someplace and doing something. I need it. I deserve it.

After getting the air in the tires checked I took the trailer to wash it at the car wash. It is amazing to me to see older cars around here with moss on the roof and I had a couple of spots where that was happening a little. The trailer was dirty from just sitting and I will need a cover for it by this Fall.

Then I thought I would go by the glass shop to check on re-doing the rear window and see if whether or not they could do it in the trailer and get an estimate for that. Unfortunately they were out on a service call so I didn’t get to talk to anyone. Oh well, as long as it is not leaking that is okay but it looks bad and needs fixed so I will follow up on that soon.

The trailer is ready to go mechanically. I still have the rest of the caulking I will finish up soon, but I will be taking care of a few spots left that are of some concern in the next day or two. Otherwise there is nothing real major left to seal so it should go quick.

Inside the trailer, I have the bedding washed and packed and I’m starting to get some groceries in there. I packed some canned goods mainly (in case of rodents since you can’t trust those little bastards to stay out). I also packed a few other things up in a cabinet out of reach of invaders.

I will finish going through cookware to see that I have all I need and make any necessary changes. Since I like to cook, and I am used to them, it would be nice to have good pans and pots in the trailer but it is just not financially feasible. However, taking my enameled pots & pans would be pretty nice and they are easy to clean. I do have a small enameled Dutch oven in there so I can use it for a big pot or a frying pan. I have two sizes of cast iron skillets along in case I want to cook on a wood fire so I don’t ruin my other cookware, plus I can bake in them. I will be putting one of my woks in the trailer and can use it outside on my camp stove/oven combo.

This afternoon I met up with a friend and he & I went on a two mile hike. Felt good to get out and I definitely got some cardio in. A mid-60° kind of day, clear sky…great for a hike. Still got a sweat up though.

Tonight I portioned out some snacking items to take when I am ready to go. I weigh all of my foods and package snacks in zip bags to keep portions under thumb. I really hate using plastic bags (pollution) but they are easy and I use them over for many things like my popcorn; I buy bigger bags on sale to portion so it saves money.

I should be good for the road with snacks but it will be tough since I graze when I drive. That is why I do portion control and it has helped me lose weight. I will even be taking my scale with me. Go ahead…laugh your ass off. I am staying alive – I got shit to do.

I still look at my dieting app to see where I am at with nutrition amounts each time I want to eat something, be it a meal or a snack. And I adjust what I want to eat to stay within my max amounts as best as I can. If it means using a tool like this to help me it is well worth the $60 a year for my health.

I was asked at cardiac rehab if I think I can keep up the diet methods I am using and I said “yes” without hesitation. I feel I can and will do it. I may not portion stuff out into baggies as much, but yeah…I will get more familiar with portion sizes and I can stop doing that as much. I will continue to weigh most everything though, especially cooking meals.

Speaking of food, yesterday I took a trident salmon burger and tossed it on the grill. I sprinkled some water on top and sprinkled some taco seasoning on top. After 5-6 minutes I flipped it over and repeated the procedure. When done I shredded it up into a tortilla, tossed some romaine on top along with some low-fat cheese and fresh tomatoes. I finished it off with some Chipotle Salsa Cremosa made by Herdez. Oh man…I was really craving tacos and that took care of that.

I got some fruit yesterday called an “aprium”. I looked it up and sometimes they are called other names but the most common is a “pluot” (depends on a few things to determine what they are called). It a cross between an apricot and a plum. Incredibly juicy, sweet and delicious with a light, wonderful flavor.

Just wanted to close this post by passing along a safe cheap flights link that gives me a chance to win a free subscription. It is where I get my info for flights: http://fbuy.me/r8U0_.

Have a great night/day.