November 7th, 2020

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

I write this post sitting in the parking lot of a repair shop on Washington. I’ll be here until Monday since they are closed on Sunday.

I was heading back out on the highway this morning and a problem arose. It was windy. I have driven in winds before but my trailer has never gone down the road crooked so when that happened I thought it was odd. The winds just weren’t strong enough to make it do that and it just didn’t look right.

Then I saw something that looked like smoke trailing behind me, but my windows were dirty so I wasn’t sure. Finally I saw it WAS smoke so I thought I’d best pull over.

Smoke was billowing out of the passenger side tire on the trailer. I had stopped in the nick of time. It could have caught fire, locked up and caused an accident…any number of things – and all of a bad nature. Wheel bearing is cooked and the wheel is sitting odd:

This tire SHOULD be straight up and down…

So, lemons and lemonade and $590 later I’m staying in the trailer in the parking lot since the lot is not secured. I just replaced the battery in the trailer so I should be warm overnight with the furnace running. There’s no shore power so I am boondocking for a few nights and charging the trailer battery from the truck. Even more fun is the trailer is not level; it’s nowhere near level. The ground was already sloped…and it’s up on a jack stand! Yes, I have supports out to keep anything from happening. I’ll be sleeping with my feet downhill (I guess if it rolled over I’d basically end up standing up). Just another part of the adventure.

Oh, the things that happen to me. I usually just shake my head at them in disbelief, smile a little, and go about my day.

So, anyhoo, I left a few days ago to come back over. It was odd leaving; it’s never easy leaving any of the kids and grandkids and it certainly wasn’t any easier after being there a while. I needed to move along and take care of some things. Winter was getting ready to have another go so I needed to scoot while I had the opportunity. I pushed my luck far enough and I’m not much for winter these days. I got into a few rain showers in the mountains on the way over but no issues. From the pictures I saw at Meghan’s house this morning I’m glad I left when I did.

I brought a few extra things with me so I don’t have any extra room be it truck or trailer. I’m constantly moving stuff around on and off the bed, but it’s just a temporary thing. I’m going to find a small storage unit when I get there and put a few things in there to help with the clutter. I did a little rearranging this morning and got a bit more room.

I decided to hang here a few days to let the rains pass. I considered going over to the Oregon coast but not sure yet so it gives me time to ponder. There’s not a way over there without backtracking a bit and I really don’t want to do that. I’d like to avoid Tacoma so I will weigh my options. Thinking back eight years, I actually went over to Astoria and went north. I drove down from Mt. St. Helens and went over through Longview. There’s two really tall bridges along that route. I also remember I got a speeding ticket down in that area too.

Winter on the coast can be stormy so that’s another consideration. I would love to see a storm on the coast. I am not sure if I care to be in the trailer out there during that stuff. It’s pretty vicious. I have seen big surf but nothing like what’s out there.

I don’t really have a major plan yet. I do have things to fall back on so I’ll be fine and I have a place to be. I don’t know how things will unfold but I always have a roof and a meal. Never an issue these days but it’s been a little, shall we say “interesting “ at times. Had a few rough times here and there but always made things work out for the best.

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.

October 13th, 2019

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

I’m sitting here typing this while drinking a cup of organic Sumatra coffee. It is nice to be able to enjoy a delicious cup in the later part of the day as well as in the morning. Ahhh…the simple pleasures. I’ve been having only one cup in the morning the last few years, but I have enjoyed an afternoon cup several times the last couple of weeks. I want to get back to one cup though. I think limiting is not only healthier (as in blood pressure), but you appreciate the flavor of a cup of good, high-quality coffee even more when you limit it.

It’s definitely different now that I have a dog! It’s been a long time since I have had a pet around full-time – about 70 dog years. He seems to be adjusting pretty well and he follows me absolutely everywhere – within a foot of my physical being. He’s not a problem, though. He’s definitely smart but in a puppy way. I took him on a ride to get a Chuckit and a chewy snack today. He will lay down, then all of a sudden get up to look, then just suddenly collapse, fall over and sleep – it’s like he is narcoleptic.

Friday was PT and a surgery post-op follow-up. It was like Groundhog Day – he saw his shadow…so it’s 12 more weeks of PT. Post-op appointment went good – no more post-ops but I probably won’t get full use of my arm back. Poop I say. I will still continue to work hard and keep my exercises going to get as much back as I can though. Still not enough range of motion and we are not really doing much for strengthening other than using it as I can.

Yesterday I went out and organized the trailer a little, cleaning out and removing anything not really needed, putting things in their place and drained the water lines and tank. I found some storage containers on clearance (75% off!) that ended up being perfect for separating and storing my kitchen stuff securely in place under the bench. Another one was perfect for storing my cordless drill, bits and charger, a screw assortment pack, an electrical toolkit, and other miscellaneous things for electricity.

Back earlier in the year (before I got hurt) I had added closed-cell foam in the seat cushions since the old ones were breaking down a bit and not very cushy (I guess it can happen since the trailer is 11 years old now). The addition of the extra foam has them overstuffed now but they will flatten after sleeping on them a few weeks. I did not have enough foam to just replace what was in there, plus I have sat on cushions like that while camping and they only mash flat and have no padding. I figured mixing the two might solve the problem.

The trailer was pretty damp inside even though I had some absorbent packs in there. That’s not really a good thing and it’s a good thing I went in to work on things. I was really surprised how damp it was since I put those packs in there to help control the moisture inside. I have bedding and such in there so that had me more than a little concerned. I ran the furnace while working in there but it made the walls sweat even with the windows cracked open a little (propane heat has moisture in it so you have to vent the inside when using the furnace). The packs weren’t even clumping – obviously not doing their intended task – so I ordered a small electric dehumidifier to put in there and that should fix the problem. It might even come in handy on trips instead of the constant running of the noisy A/C.

I’ll probably be getting out for some dry-camping trailer trips close by in the next few weeks to get back into traveling. Last year’s Crater Lake trip was my last road adventure. The drive to MT was a big jump back into driving for me and it’s been a while since I towed a trailer. With the additional PT I have to go to, it is going to affect going on any long trips (more than 5-6 days) for a while…possibly into January next year (it’s only if we are still making progress). I don’t see it as the end of the world; it’s just a little delay in things. I am going to go see things when I get the opportunity but my arm is a little more important to get back.

I have been bingeing on Hulu again, all in preparation for today’s premiere of the newest season of “Letterkenny”. I was hoping to see a few more seasons and a friend said a few weeks ago that the new season is on it’s way. My rockin’ Black Friday Hulu deal expires at the end of the month so I’m glad I can watch the new ones before then. Pitter-patter, let’s get at ‘er.

February 21st, 2019

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

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I’m just not seeing this…or am I?

Been busy getting out and about lately. I went out with one group of friends and tried a new (to me) Italian restaurant and the pasta primavera was fantastic. To start it was delicious crusty bread with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. I went out to a bar and got pizza with some other people and had a great time that night, too. Checked out some live music and much fun was had.

I got my taxes done yesterday. I had paperwork burn-out from taking care of all of the estate things from my Dad. I really wasn’t in the mood to do it, but I bit the bullet and took care of it so that’s off my plate. It has to be done and there is no getting out of it. Next I have to work on his taxes and that should be all of his paperwork completed. It’s not been too daunting taking care of all of the paperwork; but the emotional aspect is tough.

It’s been good getting back to my version of normal. I have outside more, getting exercise in and am keeping it up eating better. Today was a little cool but sunny and that was good to be out in. Not a cloud in the sky to be seen.

Had to reload my WaterMinder app as I had slacked off on drinking water every day like I should be doing. It nags you to drink until you get to the level you should be drinking. It is a very useful app and has made a difference in getting my levels up and a little more energy and less hungry so I’m losing a pound or two. Another plus.

Still anxious to get the trailer out, and today’s weather really made me want to go somewhere even more. Got a few things in the works – I just got a ticket for one, another is almost taken care of (this weekend it will be) and one other adventure I’ve just started looking at and working on. Like always, when I do these things they will be posted so you’ll have to come back and see what it is if you’re interested. You know you are!

September 22nd, 2018

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

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.

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Near Whiskytown NRA

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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!