July 24th, 2021

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

Haven’t seen this livery in a long time!

As I begin this post I’m in a shuttle bus on my way to the airport. It’s quiet, partly because it is 6:30 in the morning. It’s also quiet because they showed up maskless and I had one on when they arrived and I was asked if I prefer everyone mask up. I said “Well yeah because of what’s going on with the surge. Mandates are coming again Monday anyway.”. I’ll just leave it at that.

I am headed the airport to fly to Missouri to help Meghan out while she goes out to work on a forest fire. Certainly not excited about flying right now. I am really not looking forward to the weather either. I’m also not looking forward to going to a ‘rona hotspot but I’m heading back into lockdown mode myself and avoiding people anyway.

I’m going to pick up my dog and bring him home after nearly six months of him being gone. It’s gonna be so weird to have him back but I’m excited at the same time. I am sure he will be so excited to see me and get home too.

I’m also picking up my new (to me) vehicle and driving it back so I am going to get my road trip on after all! No idea which direction I’ll be driving back yet. I’ll know when I leave!

I’m glad I saw the problem with my Avalanche before I pulled the trailer halfway across the country. I’ll be getting it ready to sell when I get back. I think the issue is not as bad as I thought originally. I think it is just the rubber boot on the axle and not the joint itself. It should not be too expensive to fix it.

At the airport it is pretty busy. Way too busy, but at least everyone is masked up even though half don’t have their mask on correctly. Gotta cover the nose people; it’s not a jockstrap for your chin. I forgot my hand sanitizer but they had overpriced sanitizer wipes so I had to buy a pack. It’s easier than the liquid too.

Like everyone else, though, I am flying too so I am no different. We all have our different reasons and justifications for flying. I really cannot wait to get this over-with. I have to go to DFW then on a puddle jumper to MO.

I have snacks but breakfast was very early and now I am used to eating meals and not snacks and garbage foods. Traveling like this makes it difficult to do the diet but I will stick with it as much as I can. It’s a very long travel day, though, so I’ll be having to find something to eat at DFW. The turkey wrap on the plane menu was 24g of fat! I just cannot do that.

I wear stretchy cargo pants when I travel. And no, they are not like leggings so don’t get too excited dreaming of that mental image. They look like regular pants and are comfy and practical for travel. I will definitely not wear shorts on a plane; done it before and froze my ass off, plus my bare legs are not going on those seats.

Cargo pants give me places to put things without having to dig into my backpack suitcase (I will not check bags when I fly). Sanitizing supplies, masks, gloves…all in one pocket. Phone and cables, chargers, AirPods in the other side. They may not be for everyone but I am making it easier on myself.

I always consolidate everything down into my backpack before going through security – phone, wallet…everything, Before I board the plane I organize and pack stuff into my pockets that I need on the plane so I have most everything I need. I want to minimize disrupting the boarding process. The sooner we load the sooner we can get off the ground on time or maybe even leave earlier.

On the plane it is kind of a strange vibe. It is quiet and everyone is mostly staying to themselves. Most certainly I am not the only one on this flight that ate an edible or two this morning before boarding. Wake & bake!!!

I got a pair of AirPods Pro and holy cow…the noise canceling is even better than my Bose headphones which had this weird whine during the noise canceling. I heard no plane noise and they sound fantastic. I see what all the talk is about. Very impressive. They are much easier to carry too so I cannot wait to take them to Europe.

Speaking of whine I got a glass of the red stuff. It came in a can and I asked the flight attendant “What, no wine in a box?”. Nothing tastes good out of a can, especially booze, and this was certainly no exception. It had paint thinner notes with more than a hint of aluminum. I had one and it was enough. I’m doing good anyhoo with the edibles kicked in.

The first leg of the journey has been very calm; a smooth flight and no one acting like an asshole (so maybe THEY ate some edibles too!). I was actually worried about people being ducks but maybe they are getting the message they have to abide…just like The Dude. There’s no food unless you pre-order it beforehand so check on that before you fly anywhere.

I decided I had to eat something and was open to options knowing what was available at the airport would not be remotely healthy. I was going to go to Panda Express to eat what they try to pass off as Chinese food but on the way I saw Smashburger. I never had one but wanted to try it out so I did that instead. I don’t know if it was because it was in an airport but I found it very underwhelming and not worthy of the hype.

The final leg of the journey was okay. A little more lively crowd but still no assholes. The short flight was on American Airlines. I liked the first leg on Alaska much better.

I was glad to be on the ground and maskless and even more glad to see everyone. Wearing a mask all day has not been horrible, and medical people do it every day. I think I just might be able to do this going to Europe with no problem if it opens up consistently. By the time I got to where I was going it was 16 hours in a mask. I could do a non-stop to Amsterdam no problem I believe.

I’ll post again soon!

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 21st, 2021

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

It’s time.

I discovered today that my truck needs another repair so I am going to fix it and sell it. This time it is one of the front axles. The joint on the end of one side is going bad and has to be replaced.

I just cannot do this any longer. I am going to have to give up and get something else to drive that is dependable; I just cannot be left stranded someplace and I like to be in more solitude than campgrounds so that could be problematic. I don’t mind fixing things – that isn’t the issue – but if I am in the middle of nowhere and something breaks I am hosed. That being said, I guess it is better it is happening now instead of being on the trip I was planning to take. Grrr…🤬🤬. Oh well. Life marches on. I may get delayed a bit but not delayed forever.

I guess I will go ahead and finish getting stuff in the trailer tomorrow. I will be going somewhere eventually so I might as well do it since I have the time. I started on it a few days ago and did some more this morning in anticipation of finishing it up and taking an adventure. Instead I went to a few places to see if they can fix it and most places are booked out a few weeks or longer. I can still get by with it for now but it cannot go on without being fixed. It cannot get done until someone can fix it but at least I still have wheels unlike before.

Mechanical stuff does break and the truck does have a lot of miles. It’s all good. Frustrating, but good. The trailer has different systems than the truck and I have done my share of fixes there. But, the trailer doesn’t leave me stranded like the truck does.

I know the time and money and elbow grease I have put into the trailer will hopefully keep out going for quite a while. When I had that wheel bearing go out last year after they replaced it they checked the other side and greased it so it fan get down the road okay. I have definitely learned quite a lot about maintenance, upgrades and repairs on that trailer.

That’s it for tonight. Just needed to rant. Stay safe!

June 28th, 2021

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

I. Am. Over. This. Shit.

I really hate hot weather, and it was 101 just a few hours ago at 6 PM; it should be in the 70s in this area. Hot HUMID weather is even worse and it is so humid the mountains are barely visible. I grew up with it in the Midwest, WITHOUT air conditioning, when I was a kid (yes, it had been invented by then but we didn’t have it…). It sucked then and it sucks now.

My house, like many here, doesn’t have it. I went out yesterday to be in some A/C and it was pretty hot, but today is much worse. It’s a good thing that I did not try to pull the trailer someplace or I might have had some overheating problems. I drove ½ mile down the road to head to town and my truck was already at operating temperature; I then tried to go find a shady spot by a stream in the forest and I thought my truck was going to overheat. Pulling a trailer could have been a real issue. I got a new radiator cap this morning just to make sure that is not going to fail.

I had to cook lunch at 10:30 yesterday morning and it was really too hot even that early to do so. Luckily I made up some burritos last week and froze them so I nuked one in the microwave for supper. Tonight was going to be a salmon burger but no way was I firing up the grill. I probably coulda thrown the damn thing on the sidewalk and cooked it.

It is looking like tomorrow the weather is headed back toward normal finally. I bet many will be looking into installing air conditioning after this. Unfortunately we have been in drought conditions here and July 5th starts the dry season so it is going to be a tough, dry summer. Still, with all of this, the stupid don’t believe in climate change. Idiots.

I started the cardiac rehab today. I can see where it will be beneficial to start with and will keep going as long as it is still helping me improve. Today was a “let’s see where you are at” appointment and it went pretty well. I got on the treadmill and he put me through some speed and incline testing. Honestly I am pretty goddamn sick of being restrained over the last 2½ years from doing things I want to do because of all the medical appointments, surgeries and limitations. I want to go places and enjoy being retired; it’s supposed to be more than just not working or constant recovering from something medical.

Since next week is the holiday I have two weeks off of the cardiac rehab (I should clarify WHICH kind of rehab…). This would be a great opportunity to go someplace but I don’t know if it will happen with all the variables. We will see.

Stay safe!

June 24th, 2021

Adventure

Woo-hoo! I just got an e-mail that my new passport is on the way! It’s not like I am going anyplace I need it anytime soon, but I am glad to have that taken care of. Things are opening up so you never know! I should have it by the end of the month. I am glad they return the expired one – it is a great souvenir and is pretty cool to look at while remembering all the fun and great times on those first two trips.

I was having an issue with my truck running rough again, but without going into much detail I got it fixed. I simply replaced the gas cap and it fixed the issue and cleared the error codes. That was a relief to spend only $17 on this repair. I saw it could be that and thought I would try it since I wanted to get a locking cap anyway. Fixing this is a big relief so now I feel I am going to be able to travel and not have to worry. And my gas won’t get siphoned.

The trailer is hooked up to the battery trickle charger and it really needed it since it has been on there for a day and a half. I got the blankets and pillows put back in the trailer and the sheets will go in after I wash them this weekend. The fridge has been tested and it is working fine except for the freezer door. I think the springs in the hinges are broken and the door will not stay closed. I need to get that fixed and will be getting the door out and looked at in the next few days to hopefully get it fixed. I may try to redo one of the windows this weekend since it will be warm. I have not done this before so it will be a learning experience for me. Once I figure that out (with the help of YouTube) I will do all of the windows.I guess

Speaking of travel and my truck, I hope to be getting my Interagency Pass for all of the Federal lands tomorrow. I plan on making good use of the pass to see some more National Parks soon. It is well worth getting one of these passes since it can get expensive to pay entrance fees at every place you visit – especially since you may only be at a park for a day or two.

It is going to really damn hot here the next few days – high temperatures that I don’t recall seeing in this area before. It is going to be pretty miserable. I was hoping to get away for a few days but I start a cardiac rehab program on Monday so I cannot get away very far.

I will find out how beneficial this rehab will be for me. Since I am already on a diet, have lost weight and walk several miles a day I may not need to go very long. It is weekly for 12 weeks (but I can stop when I want) so that could end up interfering with travel all summer if I did the whole program. My health is priority and I will do this as I need to, but travel is my therapy and that is really important too. We’ll see how it goes Monday and go from there. They do a group discussion but, as I told the coordinator, I am not into the Kumbyah stuff but I will keep an open mind and try it. I may learn something and perhaps I could help someone else.

It will be busy here this weekend. I am sure that with the hot weather moving in there will be a lot of people in the area. In fact, for some reason it was ridiculous at Costco this morning. I was going to pick up a few things before the weekend crowds but there were so many people the parking was almost full. On a Thursday. I don’t know why. I guess I will either go back tomorrow morning or wait until Monday.

That’s it for now.