Sunday, April 24, 2016

HOME... Safe and sound

Port Townsend... A very special place

What a beautiful place to stop!  Not only  are the RV sites right at the Port of Port Townsend marina, they have full services and a fantastic view out over the water. There's no privacy amongst the sites... we're basically parked side by side, but "oh my" it is sooooo good to smell the salt water air again, and to hear the cry of sea gulls... and to walk docks ogling all the beautiful boats.  We have a real soft spot in our hearts for the old traditional woodies.. and they're here... just like eye candy.

We spent an extra day here.  It felt pretty good to be surrounded by boats again... And sailors... And even a couple of friends we hadn't seen for a few years.

Saturday, April 23rd.    WE ARE HOME!

Oh yeah... Feels wonderful.  Up at 0400 and on the road by 0600 (it always takes longer when you have a dog to prep :-).  We had a nice drive to Port Angeles, an uneventful crossing on the MV Coho... And the best ever experience with Customs.  A really nice Customs officer welcomed us home and after a short but pleasant chat... We were on our way.

By 1500 hrs., we had hit Save-On for groceries, had lunch, pushed Lucy up the driveway into her home-based parking spot and were well and truly home.  Phew!

This has been yet another season with a multitude of experiences.  We are so very glad to be home, safe and sound, with all the creatures we left with in tact :-). And we are very much looking forward to seeing our friends.  This living two different lives can be wearing... and it takes a special kind of friendship to put up with us... dropping in and dropping out.  We are blessed and steeped in those special friendships.  Thank you ... you know who you are.

So, for now, we wish each and everyone of you... who have been so kind as to come along with us on our most recent adventures; we wish you all a wonderful spring and summer.  And, all things being in balance,  we'll be back when there's new adventures to report.  Adios for now.  CJ

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Another great campsite...

We feel so very fortunate to have been guided to such beautiful locations.  This one, Casey's Riverside RV Park, in Westfir, Oregon, is gorgeous.  No golf course, no pitch and put, just good old fashioned rugged, natural beauty.  The site we have chosen (Site #51) is just a few feet away from the middle fork of the Willamette River, and it looks out directly to where the north fork meets up with and joins the middle fork; a huge volume of river water, rushing past our doorstep.  The campsite is nicely set up with large, spacious sites.  Each site has a nice, flat cement pad and full services. There's even a swinging bench seat positioned for a perfect viewing of it all and we three enjoyed a moment or three there after we arrived. Oh, I should also mention a train runs along the other side of the river for just a little bit.  And, once you realize it, the sound of the horn is quite romantic (in a nostalgic kind of way).  This RV park is another we will be sure to return to. Thumbs up and a B+.

We have a full day today, starting with a three hour drive into Portland where we need to return the oars we had purchased for the first dinghy (1 of 3 that passed through our inventory this past winter).  Then we'll head back out onto the highway and, three hours after that, we should arrive at the Little Creek Casino and RV Park ( in Shelton, WA) where we will spend the night.

All is well with us.  Hope your day goes well.  Adios for now.  CJ

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

On top of the world...

Or at least that's how it feels as we seem to be at eye level with the peaks of the mountains surrounding us. We're at the Likely Place Golf and RV Resort and it's really quite special.

The Golf course portion reminds me a combination of the Nakusp golf course back in the early '70's (that ran beside an old friend's father's pasture), the Ladysmith golf course, with all its ups and downs, and a Summerland golf course that has so many hills and gullies everyone has to use a golf cart just to get around. Course fees for 18 are $30 and that includes the golf cart :-).

The RV part is flat, spacious, clean and most sites have water and electricity. There are no trees or shrubs on the sites but that's OK cuz everywhere else you look is forested wilderness. It also has BBQ areas and special viewing sites for the night sky, reputed to have some of the darkest skies in the country and, therefore we assume, amazing stars. Unfortunately there was an almost full moon all night so poor star-gazing :-(

I forgot to mention the drive off the main highway is about 2 miles... So we're definitely 'out here'. Oh, and the brochure says you can rent a "villa". Not sure what they are but there are some nice looking, modern cabins on the periphery.

Did I mention it's beautiful here (maybe I' m just smitten with the evergreen surrounds... It's been a while). We walked the nature trail yesterday afternoon. It's 1 1/4 miles of winding trail through the surrounding forest and it has numbered posts every so often with a corresponding informative brochure. Miss Sophie enjoyed it as well. It was her first hike involving a combination of being on her own three feet and hitching a ride in her new puppy-holding backpack.

So, it's a new day and we'll be off again soon. We're heading to Oakridge, OR to a place called Casey's RV. It's on a river and apparently quite nice. We shall see.

PS. I've started making notes in the side-blog called Land Cruising camping sites. It will take a while to catch up all the past places, but at least the details re these new ones will be there.

Have a great day everyone..... CJ

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Monday, April 18, 2016

Cathedral City to Bishop, CA

You guessed it.... Back to Plan B :-). Couldn't resist... The winds were calming down and Hwy 395 was reputed to be far more scenic than Hwy I-5 (not hard to beat, but we figured worth a shot).

Up early, packed and raring to go, we headed out of the beautiful Outdoor Resort and began our journey home. Even though we've had wonderful explorations and many great connections with friends... It feels very much like it's time to go home. Funny... my mantra these past many months has been "home is where you lay your head at night" and, for the most part (for us) that has been true... But deep down we know in our hearts, our home awaits us in Maple Bay and we're really looking forward to being there. Heck, we haven't even finished unpacking from our move :-). So, home we go!

First day on the road... Started off a little jerky. First, there was recovering from the discovery of a golf ball 'divot' on Rikki's transom (that's a tail gate to you land lubbers :-). Seems someone sliced when they should have hooked (or vice versa) and managed to miss the neighbours rig and Lucy,,, but couldn't resist nailing poor Rikki. Then there was trying to find gas for less than $3.00 per gallon... That took a few miles. We did find it at Murango (on the way out of town) but, unfortunately their air hose let more air out of the tires than it put in. We stopped before the tire was completely flat and hobbled on down the highway to the next station that had a working air system. Phew! Finally, about an hour later than planned, we were able to mosey on up the highway, heading for the scenic 395.

It did not disappoint. Hwy 395 heads what feels like due north and it drives through areas of striking beauty. Imagine snow-capped Sierra Madre mountains with green slopes leading up to them on one side of the highway, and on the other side a much more rugged vista with red rock and sand leading up to very dry and rocky mountains... Quite a view.

During our drive we passed through a variety of landscapes including dry, flat desert, rolling hills, and finally forested ranch land. We arrived in Bishop, CA pretty much on schedule and before dinner time. Friends had raved about Eric Schat's Bakkery and we couldn't resist a visit. Two loaves of bread, two muffins and one turkey pot pie later (I knew I should have gone in with Kathy :-) we carried on to our intended over-night stop.

Browns Town Campsite has friendly staff and a folksy, cowboy kind of feeling when you arrive. Unfortunately it also has the largest collection of ant colonies we have ever seen. We tried three different sites before giving up. Way too many ants for us!! Then we tried the other RV Park in town but realized it was not looking for transients. And then we hit pay dirt!

The Bishop RV Park / Tri-County Fairgrounds are also still 'in town'; just a little further along. The RV Park is, at first glimpse, a flat, gravel parking lot. But, when you get closer you realize it is new, has full services at each site, and a new washroom and shower building. It just happens to be attached to the fairgrounds (empty this time of year) which is kind of cool. Cost: $30. Registration: by honor system envelope if no staff on duty.

We have had a very peaceful and quiet over-night with no ants or critters of any type. With a longish drive ahead of us today, we're up early and hope to be on the road by 7. Guess I better stop writing and start prepping :-)

Hope you all have a great day... Hasta Luego. CJ

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Friday, April 15, 2016

Deja Wind...

Remember the northerly winds in the Sea that nailed us and other cruisers to the docks? Remember that the Northers start in California?

Well.... They're here! And they blew hard all night! And, yet again, our travel plans must be adjusted because of wind. The weather forecasts are all calling for high winds to continue today and tomorrow. They are issuing warnings about driving on several highways, including the ones in our Plan A and B. Their High Wind Warning means a high wind event is occurring or expected with sustained winds of at least 40 and gusts to 58 MPH (we certainly experienced very strong winds overnight). The Coachella Valley Music Festival is on this weekend and festival goers are having to gear up with eye goggles and bandanas because of the blowing sand anticipated.

Sigh :-)

So, my friends... Unless the wind advisories change (and we shall monitor them closely) we must reside here for at least one more day and possibly two. Luckily the owner has already said we are welcome to stay longer if we wish. I guess we wish. And even though Lucy is small and Rikki is strong, they can still get blown about by high winds...and, like so many other times, it's the 'other guy' we worry about.

Guess there are lots of worse places to be stuck. Gotta go now... dig out the reading books and patio chairs... Hasta Luego ... CJ

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Thursday, April 14, 2016

On the eve of a leaving...

Wow, can't believe it's time to leave already... I know I've whined about wanting to go home... Who could blame me? (and shame on you if you do :-). But, Sophie and I are sitting here (Kathy's gone to the pool to cool off) and we're watching a fellow brave the wind, and golf himself around the course. It's so quiet, because of the wind and the heat, that he's got the course to himself. He's playing three balls at once; getting his monies worth I'd say. He is, however, also battling quite a wind from the beam, as well as blowing leaves and small branches.....

This land cruising is almost as crazy as sea cruising. Lucy is all spiffed up, washed and waxed by a fellow who knew what he was doing; and Rikki also received a wash today. A fine looking rig if I ever saw one :-) We had our course all laid out. Plan A had us heading up Hwy I 5, due north...full speed ahead, taking in The Harris Ranch Inn at Coalinga, Rolling Hills RV at Corning, 7 Feathers at Canyonville, Or, Woodburn RV at Portland, and then on to the KOA at Port Angeles. THEN, we were wooed by friends who were heading up 395... so we changed our plans and wrote up Plan B. Plan B was wonderful... beautiful scenic drive, avoiding tons of congestion around larger cities...and ending up at Portland anyway.

And then we checked the weather and road condition forecasts. Rats!!

Guess what? We're back to Plan A. The winds forecast for the Plan B route are horrific. 30-40 MPH in some places. Our 'keep it safe' genes just won't let us do that...and we're determined to leave, back to Plan A it is. All I can say about this is, just remember, all plans are made in sand,., just below the high tide or high wind mark.

I'll let you know where we end up, after we get there....
For now. Adios... Talk to you when next I can.

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Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Miss Sophie

Sophie, Miss Sophie, Princess Sophie....however you know her... is still kicking. It's true she's had a few health issues over the past several months; spent a few days in hospital, wooing the staff each time and walking (hopping) out on her own three feet after recovering... But she's doing well now.  The last one turned out to be a pretty bad case of pancreatitis.  Even the Doctors didn't think she'd make it through the night.  We were all very sad.  The Doc called the next morning and her exact words were "I can t believe it's the same dog!". Miss Sophie has got to be one of the toughest little creatures we've ever met. She is determined to not miss any day or any adventure for as long as she can.  She'll be 15 in September...  guess she s determined to set that record too :-)

Anyway, we shared with you her joy at being once more at the beach; the beautiful beach in San Carlos where she spun circles expressing her joy and hopped right out into the waves like she used to...  She was so excited we all had a good chuckle at her expense.  When we took her to the little strip of sand along the shore of Canyon Lake and another on the Colorado River she wasn't really sure what they were...until finally a boat went by, creating wake, and she recognized the waves washing in. Then she knew it was a beach...and got all excited again.

But, have to say, salt water (warm salt water) beaches are her very favorite..... Ever.

Spoiled again in the Outdoor Resort

Always a treat!  The Outdoor Resort in Cathedral City (Palm Springs) has spoiled us again.  This year we landed in Site 180 with our patio looking out at the Tenth hole.  How cool is that? Even when there was a heat wave, we still had the use of the pool to cool off in...and the hot tub to warm up in :-). And, we're very happy we were able to dust off our tennis rackets too. After two weeks of visiting with our friends, old and new, we are now starting to plan our route home. Going to head up Hwy 395 and take the scenic route heading north.  We leave on Friday and even though we have had wonderful experiences... We're looking forward to being home... It's time.

Just couldn't resist sharing a few photos of the view from our patio.   Have a great day...

Buckskin Mountain State Park - Photos

As some of you may have noticed, we're working on a few upgrades to the Blog... Thanks for your patience.  I ll let you know when we've fleshed out the new 'sidebars'.  In the mean time hope you enjoy a few photos of some of the places we visited.  This is Buckskin State Park, as seen from one of the hiking trails.  The last photo looks down on the sites where we were staying.  Of course, Lucy is tucked in behind and you can t see her at all :-).Many of the sites are more private than they appear in the photos.  We would definitely stay here again.