Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Tuesday, September 17th, Santa Rosa


After two weeks home from our Airstream trip to Northeastern British Columbia and Western Alberta, you're probably wondering why I'm writing in our travel blog?  We can't be going somewhere again?  Or can we?

I want to suggest we broaden the concept of travel.  Why reserve this space only for stories about adventures around the planet?  Every day, our lives are filled with adventures that challenge the spirit, tangle the brain, and stress the body.  Why not write about those?

From now on, when Pat or I embark on these personal adventures, I'm going to use this blog to capture some of the high and low points, and the lessons we learn along the way.  I hope they are interesting readings.


Saturday, September 7, 2013

Wednesday, Sep 4th, Bend, Oregon


We chose to head inland on Tuesday morning, to the Painted Hills section of the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument in central Oregon.  You won't find many fossils there, as the rocks revealed are less than 30 million years old.  The beauty which can be seen resulted from volcanic ash from the Cascade mountains along the western edges of Washington and Oregon erupting and sending clouds east.

The rapid deposits of ash preserved the remains of plants and animals living in the region. Because ash and other debris fell during varied climatic and volcanic conditions, the sediment layers in the fossil beds vary in their chemical composition and color.   Fossils found in the area include a wide variety of plants and more than 100 species of mammals, including dogs, cats, saber-toothed tigers, horses, camels, and rodents.  

To see the photos we took on Tuesday, click on Tuesday, Sep 3rd. Our journey ended on Tuesday in Bend, Oregon at the CrownVilla RV Resort.    

On Wednesday, we drove northeast from Bend up into the mountains around the Sisters and Brothers, local pair of mountains which have also been volcanically active in the past 60 million years.  Lava flows interrupt the highway, and recent fires and re-growth of trees amidst them create an eerie environment.

To see the photos we took today, click on Wednesday, Sep 4th.

Tomorrow, we've chosen to end the day somewhere around Weed, in northern California.  It's supposed to rain, so we aren't planning on many outings during the day.  We'll have an easy trip home from there on Friday or Saturday.


Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Monday, Sep 2nd, Kelso, Washington


Another two-night stand comes to an end, and we're going to drive eastward a bit to see if we can find some fossils and see some off-highway five sights.  Today, we drove another windy road out to the Oregon coast (see the only good photo we took above), and had lunch at the Pacific Beach Naval Station.  It's now being used as a kind of military-only vacation rental, and has rv sites right behind the dunes.  I very much appreciated California's access to the coast, and it's highway views, after taking this drive.  The base was the only place you could see the beach for 50 miles of driving along it.

At this point in most of our trips, we're anxious to get home, an this one is no exception.  But we're going to re-check our memories of the the Columbia River Gorge, head down the middle of Oregon, and end up in Bend.  We like that town, and will stay at least one night.  Redding will be our last stop, and then home probably earlier than expected.

Been a great trip, and the next few months will be an interesting period due to Pat's knee surgery.  I'm training to be more of a helper with things she'll be unable to do.

See everyone soon.


Sunday, September 1, 2013

Sunday, Sep 1st, Kelso, Washington


I'm starting off today's blog post with a photo from a drive we took after checking into our campsite this afternoon.  It's Point Deception, which is I think the most southwestern tip of Washington state.  The weather was great, not a whiff of wind, and we were so relieved to have found a place to park with full hookup.  Finally, a shower is in the plan.

This morning, it seemed like the chances of finding one were about like winning the lottery.  The day before a Labor Day Holiday, come on, get real.  These rv parks are filled to capacity this weekend.  And no one was answering their phones this morning.  They probably just told all of their staff to turn them all to the answering machines with the message "we're full".  Having to leave before they even opened the offices, we took our chances that we'd have a better outcome than last night, when we didn't find anywhere, and parked in the overflow lot of a casino.

Three hundred miles down the road, the only good thing we had experienced was an excellent BLT lunch at a Subway where we fund a cheap gas station.  Finally, in Kelso, we found a back-in with full service.  With the help of three onlooker guests, who just couldn't help but want to offer advice, Pat backed up and turned our Airstream into a small space within wifi range.  I was very proud of her patience and resolve, as I've only done it once this whole trip, and I had more space to work with.

To see the few more photos we took today, click on Sunday, Sep 1st.  Oh yea, and check out the historic covered bridge we came across.  And I have no idea what that beam of light from above is on the last shot at the coast.


Saturday, August 31st, Swinomish Casino, near Anacortes, Washington


This is one of the first times we really are depending on a casino parking lot for our nightly resting place.  The Swinomish Band of Washington Native Americans operate a huge casino just over the bridge between the mainland and Anacortes Island in northern Washington State.  Their restaurant serves excellent Crab Louie and Crab Cakes, and they have several Sonoma County wines on their list.  We've driven from Clearwater in British Columbia to here, and found that the worst time to try to find space in an RV park is the Saturday of Labor Day weekend.  The parks are absolutely full, to overflowing, and we were happy to be able to pay the Swinomish $10 for a place in their parking lot.

Tomorrow, another southern bee-line to as far as we can toward home.  Maybe Ashland, but certainly Oregon.  At this point in our trip, we're trying not to miss opportunities to visit spots in the Northwest.  On the other hand, getting home a little early is not looking so bad.


To see the photos taken today (how many can you take when you're trying to go long distance?), click on Saturday, August 31st.  I like the one I took out the window of the train with the camera view reversed.