Monday, April 17, 2017

Home in lovely Maple Bay....

Just a quick note to let you know we are safely ensconced in our Maple Bay home. We were up as planned (at 0430 hrs) and slipped the tethers at 0600. Made the Coho Ferry with no problems and arrived in Victoria on time. Pleasant encounter with officialdom and we were on our way. TT Lucy is now tucked up in her driveway with Rikki watching over her. Tanks are flushed, gear has been transferred to the house, and we are happy to be home. The house and grounds have done well under the watchful eye of our home-keeper and we now join the rest of you in the rush to control Mother Natures energetic sprinkling of every kind of weed seed she can find :-). Oh well, it is good to be home and close to our family and dear friends.... all of whom we look forward to seeing real soon!

So dear friends, we close down another season of "sailing in the Sea". This one was very special. We actually made it off the dock, to some wonderful Baja anchorages, and shared time with dear friends Sue and John on board. SSpirit rests peacefully at her slip in Marina Mazatlan. She will be cared for by folks there who do that for a living and have done so for us in the past. We will return to her next fall, by airplane this time, and continue our exploration of the Mexican coast. Until then we will enjoy spending time in our new home and gardens, and with close friends and family.

We wish all of you a pleasing and enjoyable spring and summer. May your flowers grow where you planted them... or at least somewhere near, and may your summer be filled with fun times with friends and loved ones. Have a great year... CJ and K

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Posted by: Carolyn (via Kathy's Google mail profile)

Friday, April 14, 2017

Driving into Spring...

It's hard to believe that, only a very few days ago, we were driving through barren, dry, and hot desert; certain we would have perished if not for Rikki's trusty air conditioner. Then we were driving north through shrub-like treed expanses drowned in sand and thrashed by desert winds, but still very hot... blazingly hot. Territories so dry you didn't need a hand towel; just wait one minute and your hands were dry. One day later we drove up into the snow zone where temps were in the low to mid 30's and snow graced the sides of the highway and up into the tree-lines. One could be forgiven for believing we were indeed returning to a land of winter.

I am pleased to announce 🤗 that yesterday we drove into spring. Temps were still low, and it even rained on us, but this morning the sun poked its way through the clouds, delighting us with patches of blue sky, and glimpses of beautiful Pacific Northwest spring scenes. Yup, daffodils at the side on the road, white and pink cherry blossoms everywhere, bright yellow forsythia in bloom... oh, and traffic jams cuz folks were out enjoying the drive...

We have just returned from touring the Bonnieville Dam and Fish Hatchery. Very interesting and informative. And now, as the 'spring' rains begin again, we shall tuck ourselves into the little trailer and watch a movie :-). Tomorrow we move on to Port Townsend for our last two nights on the road.

Hope all is going well for you and spring is showing her head in your neighbourhood. CJ

Posted by: Carolyn (via Kathy's Google mail profile)

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Farewell Bend State Park, OR

Thankfully we beat the rain. Arrived here about 1530 hrs (or 1630 if you wanted local time... which we didn't as the sun was shining and where we were heading was the earlier time too). Donna and Liz had arrived ahead of us and selected their site so we pulled in right beside them. The park is almost empty as it doesn't officially open until mid-May. For those of us not afraid of a little colder weather the park folks have allowed a 'first come first served' site selection system, along with an 'honour system' payment set up. Worked for us and in quick order we were set up, organized for a joint dinner and enjoying a great view of the river over snacks and a libation. We played some cards after dinner and, good news Dee, I now understand Uno :-)

Farewell Bend State Park is one of the parks, set up along the Oregon trail used by the early settlers and paralleling the Snake River. Just like Three Island Crossing State Park, a visitor can look out over the river and surrounding terrain and begin to imagine the fully loaded wagons, along with kids, parents, and loners trudging their way slowly west. As we drive through the flat barren land, crossing vast distances of dry uninviting desert, we can only imagine the damage done to the horses and oxen by the thorned and prickly cactus. The rugged terrain along with the lack of shade and water must have demanded a heavy toll in both equipment and life. As we drove our route up Highways 93 and 84, we spoke often of those brave, courageous, and stubborn people who managed, against all odds, to find their way west. Me thinks very few people today would even consider starting such a journey, never mind continuing with it once the hardships became obvious.

The clouds began moving in (the forecast looks like rain off and on for the rest of our journey (rats 😖) and by 0230 it was raining on our parade. I'm delighted to report that this morning (0700) the rain has stopped. Fingers crossed it stays stopped until we're at least packed up and maybe on the road. We have pretty much perfected (to our standards anyway) the 'touch and go' method for one-night stops. First we find a site long enough to accommodate our whole 'rig' (that's RV talk for whatever you're driving and whatever you're towing or carrying on your back). Our rig is 35' overall and we can usually find a site long enough to back into and stop without having to detach the truck. Then we pop Rikki up onto a single board under each rear tire and (voila) TT Lucy is level for and aft. And, to make it even easier, most State Parks have paved sites or very flat gravel ones, so the side to side levelness isn't an issue. Easy peazy.

We leave this morning (Thursday) to head for Ainsworth State Park just outside of Portland. This will be a two day stop as we're one day ahead of schedule and have a bit of shopping to do in Portland. As well, with luck, we'll get to see the Cascade Locks this time.

So, while we are cooler, at least we're sleeping better at night and did actually think to bring along a pair of long pants and some fleece tops. Just have to dig out our rain coats now.

Hoping all is well with each of you and your days re filled pursuing your dreams. Adios for now.... CJ

Sent from my iPad

Posted by: Carolyn (via Kathy's Google mail profile)

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Cattail Cove State Park, AZ

The eve of departure approaches... sigh. As if to help prepare us for the soon-to-be arctic temps ahead of us, the wind and cloud cover has increased and the daytime temperature has dropped to 77 brrrrr. 💨🌨☃️ Can't wait to face the mid-50's (as daytime highs) that await our trek north.

Oh well, we've had a grand time here at Cattail Cove State Park (just outside Lake Havasu City, near the western border of Arizona) and today is our last day for R and R.  The truck is tidied (the trailer not, but we've still a few hours to tuck things into their proper place... ship-shape as it were) and, after one last dinner with our friends we'll be heading out early tomorrow morning.

Here are a couple photos of the park.  One shows the lovely little beach and the other looks back over the campground.  If you look very carefully you'll see Lucy tucked away under the trees - about dead centre of the photo.  The trailer to the left belongs to friends Donna and her mom Liz.  We four have had a great visit, hiking in the mornings, swimming in the afternoons, sharing dinners and .. well, just sharing the beauty of the desert.

Tomorrow we head home via, if the weather allows, stops in the following order: Cathedral Grove State Park; Welcome Station RV in Wells, Nevada; Farewell Bend State Park, Oregon; Ainsworth State Park, Oregon; Portland; Port Townsend, WA, and finally the Coho Ferry to Victoria on Easter Monday morning.  That's the route we've mapped out and we hope the trip will unfold flawlessly...

Won't be doing much writing on the road so remember no news is good news...  Hope all is good with each of you.... will write again when it's time.  CJ

Posted by: Carolyn (via Kathy's Google mail profile)

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Buckskin Mtn. SP

A giant, scaled, with sharp toe-nails lizard (of some sort :-)

Buckskin Mtn. SP

A beautiful desert flower.... and the posies are lovely too... :-)

Buckskin Mtn. SP

The mighty Chuckwalla...

Buckskin Mtn. SP

Ahhhh, the hiker herself...

Buckskin Mtn. SP

Oh what a view... for a weary hiker...

Buckskin Mountain State Park, AZ

As predicted, wifi connectivity has been limited. But, Lucy's readiness to pick up and go was not... so, with very little effort on our part, we dusted off the dear little trailer, got Rikki his 32,000 km (already!) service, picked up a few groceries, and headed on up the road to our first planned stop, Buckskin Mountain State Park.

You may recall we've been here before... twice actually... guess we like it :-) and this visit was no different.  This little park is nestled on the banks of the Colorado River.  Most of the sites are a good size and there are enough trees scattered throughout to provide satisfactory privacy for the most part.  The river bank is accessible for wading, swimming, paddle boarding, boat launching and general R and R, such as sitting in your lawn chair, on the side of the river, with your toes in the water (it's not a very wide beach:-).

One of the things we like the most about this park is the wildlife.  Not only are there tons of birds, including Ring-necked and Mourning doves, Gambel's quail, Hummingbirds, Tanagers and all kinds of other delightfully coloured and active smaller birds... there are also Coyotes wandering through the grassy areas at night and all kinds of reptiles to be seen on the hikes. As well, the desert is having a "super bloom" this year and the desert flowers are gorgeous.

The best way to see the flowers and reptiles is to take advantage of the miles of desert mountain hikes that start right at the park gates.  We did, and I'll post a few photos in a following blog.

We were at Buckskin for four days (April 1-4) and then moved on to our next stop Cattail Cove State Park, a whole six miles down the road... but worth the visit every time.

I know we don't have the wondrous adventures of those who are actually out and about RVing only (our mission being the mere return from cruising in Mexico)... but I'm glad we have time to take a few days here and there to enjoy the desert we are passing through. With any luck, weather and time will allow us to enjoy a couple more parks as we head north... but only time will tell, so we're enjoying the warmth while we can.

Had a sobering realization the other day.  I did the math... and realized... that my grandparents (who seemed very old at the time), and who used to travel south in the '60's towing a small trailer (of all foolish things!), all the way to Arizona (of all forbidden places!), and stopped to take photos of cacti and other desert succulents, and who stayed in trailer parks (crazy huh)....  must have been my age (or a bit younger)!! Doesn't that just stop you in your tracks!  It did me.

Anyway.... back to my motto....  live every day, as well as you can!  That being said, I must get back to enjoying this beautiful park at Cattail Cove.  TTFN my friends.  Know we are well and slowly wending our way home.  Hope all is well with each of you.  Stay tuned for more photos.  CJ

Posted by: Carolyn (via Kathy's Google mail profile)

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Snow in Yuma !!!!!!

Now I know these weather patterns have been crazy... but SNOW in Yuma!!!! Come on... that's just not right!!!!! oh yeah ... April Fools!! 😉.

Can't blame a girl for trying... even while travelling. I usually get at least one of my sisters.... let me know 'k.

In fact, Yuma may be hot but it's sure nice to not have our clothing plastered to our bodies by 90+% humidity 😄

We went directly to check out TT (travel trailer) Lucy and found her sitting peacefully in the yard of friends... exactly as we'd left her and showing signs of having been cared for very well. Thank you Lane and Kathy. Your care has made our arrival and preparation for leaving so much easier than it might have been. We heard from neighbours about the terrible winds and dust storms, yet Lucy looked like she'd just had a bath and there was no dust inside. We heard about the terrible heat, yet Lucy's water bottles (left open to add humidity during the hot winter months) were almost full (having been refilled me thinks by her care givers). What a welcome relief to find that her prep was minimal (removing window covers, restoring one outside awning, a very light exterior dusting, and draining the water tank) and Lucy was rendered 'ready to go' in very short order.

We pick her up this morning, after breakfast (ooh I love the little waffle machines at these B&B hotels :-) and head off. Today is a short drive to Buckskin Mountain State Park; a very nice campground on the Colorado River with nice walks and hikes in the surrounding desert and in the park itself. Not sure of their wifi so thought I'd write a note this morning before we leave Yuma. We'll be there until Wednesday when we head further north (a bit) to Cattail Cove State Park. We'll be in Cattail until the 10th after which we begin our serious sojourn north to cold, wet and beautiful BC.

So, if you don't hear from us for a few days, don't worry. Will write again when there's something to say. Hope all is well with each of you.... ttfn. CJ

Sent from my iPad

Posted by: Carolyn (via Kathy's Google mail profile)