Sunday, January 10, 2016

Home Again, Home Again, Jiggity Jig! (Oregon or Bust: Final Chapter)

This is my husband's solo leg of the journey from Seattle to home in northern Kentucky, so I don't have much to narrate other than sharing his photos. We'll have to recreate this trip so I can visit these sites, too. 

For the most part he followed I-90 east. In Montana he stopped at the Little Big Horn.

The Little Big Horn Battlefield
 In Wyoming the Devil's Tower was a must-see and a close encounter (yuk-yuk/groan).

Devil's Tower

And then on to Mount Rushmore in South Dakota.

Mount Rushmore
Also in South Dakota, next stop was the famous Corn Palace.

The Corn Palace behind Jasmine & Wander-Inn
From this point it was pretty much a straight shot home for Mark with a short sleep-over in a rest stop.  So glad I'm "retired" even if he's not.  

We earn recognition for the miles traveled and nights slept in Wander-Inn.  I'll be back with those statistics soon.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Wandering Around Oregon (Oregon or Bust: Part 2)

After a kick-back day of no road travel, Krissy & I headed to Portland, Oregon to grab Mark from the airport and then head to Madras, Oregon. The wedding was to take place in a couple of days, but guests were encouraged to arrive early and play.

Not too rough of a river, but it did have its moments.
About 1/4 of the wedding guests who went rafting.

"Playing" included river rafting on the Deschutes.

Desert nights are a cool contrast to the days.

Bonfires & Singing.

Was it the Yucca Yucca game?
Drinking Games.

Of course the next day was all about the wedding.  And of course the celebration!

My brother, sister-in-law & niece.
The bride & groom
I have to include a photo of the man who married them.

Day three of the wedding festivities we were fed an awesome breakfast prepared by the Reverend and his wife. Before I say goodbye to Madras, I have to share the view.

There's a lot of foreground in this photo, but look at those mountains!
Mt. Hood from the bride & groom's home.
We then hit the road for Medford.

Spelunkers, Mark & Krissy
Along the way we stopped to explore a lava tube cave near the Lava Butte.

While Krissy had to go back to work, Mark & I explored a little of southern Oregon.

I just can't imagine this was once a mountain!
We drove to Crater Lake, another fond childhood memory. Then Mark took Wander-Inn and went fishing for two days. 

Is that a Trout Slayer beer?
The Mightly Umpqua
The Bounty!
 Then off to see the Redwoods and the Pacific Ocean.

Krissy in the Redwoods
Battery Point Lighthouse in Crescent City, California
Enjoying the beach in Brookings, Oregon
The time came when we had to say goodbye to Krissy and Oregon and head north.  We took our time and incorporated a side trip to Mount St. Helens.  As a Washington native I had never visited the site of our active volcano. Shame on me! 

We camped at the Silver Lake Resort.
Mount St. Helen 35 years later.
We ended finally in Seattle where Mark & I parted ways.  He took Wander-Inn and headed east for Kentucky and I hung out with my niece and her husband and Krissy joined us for the 4th of July.

Our new group, aka "The Betsys"
That's it for my part of this cross country trip with Wander-Inn.  As soon as I can steal some photos from Mark, I'll try to blog his leg of the journey home to Kentucky.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Oregon or Bust

We were getting a little anxious to pick up Wander-Inn in time to travel to Oregon for a wedding on June 20th. We cut it pretty close!

This trip had several purposes. Youngest daughter Krissy moved to Medford, Oregon last December so along with the wedding we would be spending time with her and then to Seattle for time with more family. I would then fly from there to Anaheim for the Close to my Heart annual convention and Mark would return with the trailer to Kentucky.

In order to not spend his entire vacation just getting to Oregon, Mark decided to fly out and Krissy and I would pick him up on our way to the wedding.

Thus my first solo cross country trip with Wander-Inn.

Winnie & I ready to hit the road.

Actually, I did have a travel companion, full time resident of Wander-Inn, Princess SummerSpringWinterFall, also known as Winnie for short.


I set sail on June 12 for Davenport, Iowa. First day on the road included some nasty weather. I also took the wrong loop around Indianapolis and shot up into Chicago rush hour traffic. I was getting great experience pulling Wander-Inn through less than desirable conditions!

I arrived in Davenport and initiated the galley with it's first meal, a yummy stir fry. First day on the road solo was a success!

Although I was on a pretty tight schedule, I had an agenda for sights I wanted to see.

Leaving the RV park in Davenport I backtracked a little to Le Claire, Iowa, a small historic town on the Mississippi. Also home to the American Pickers. 

Next stop was The Amana Colonies, which turned out to be far too big to explore in a day, much less on a travel day. 

I managed to visit two or three shops before driving off toward the sunset and my next night in Kearney, Nebraska. 

Breakfast on day three started off just fine until I realized there was a little problem.  More like millions of little problems...


The Archway at Kearney spans the freeway. I'd been wanting to return and check it out since seeing it on our trip last December. Unfortunately, I arrived on a Sunday and it was closed.  I was happy to at least be able to walk through the grounds. 

The Sod House Museum in Gothenburg, Nebraska was another must-see stop for me. I fell in love with their barbwire sculpture.

This original Pony Express building was my last historic stop for the day. 

The rest of  this day's travels I spent skirting along the edge of this nasty looking weather system on my way to Lyman, Wyoming.

Day four included a long lunch with a friend north of Salt Lake City. No trip to (or through) Utah can be complete without visiting Cindy.  She brought a lovely bouquet for Wander-Inn.

I deviated from the route we took in December when Krissy moved to Oregon, and headed north towards Idaho, stopping in Twin Falls to see the Shoshone Falls. Gorgeous!

This night was spent in Boise, Idaho. Another beautiful sunset along the way. 

The last day of the first leg of this trip may have been my favorite. Boise, Idaho to Medford, Oregon is beautiful. The mountains in Oregon are quite spectacular, although you may have to squint to see them in this photo. 

My last sightseeing stop before arriving in Medford was Lava Butte. It was a nostalgic stop. What I remembered from my childhood was the road that wound around the cone to the top. What I saw as an adult was an amazing view of more snow capped mountains.

The absolute best part of this day was arriving in Medford and seeing my daughter.  And I was so ready for a day off the road!

Coming soon: Oregon or Bust - Part Two.


Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Our First Adventure with Wander-Inn

We bought a trailer. A tear drop trailer.  It's a pretty awesome little unit and just perfect for us.  

We named her Wander-Inn

My husband is a little younger than I am which means he is not going to be retiring as soon as I wish he was. So I refer to our trailer as our weekend retirement vehicle. It's my way of starting our retirement one day at a time. 

Our teardrop was built by Camp-Inn in Necedah, Wisconsin. June 5th was our adoption day.  Of course we were super excited to see our little camper for the first time.  We spent the day getting acquainted with our new silver baby before heading back to Madison to spend the weekend with some old friends. 

Phil & Catherine, friends from church, in the old days before kids.

A couple of days later we were on the road again heading home from Madison.  Once out of the city it became my turn to tow the trailer and begin my "training" for my upcoming long solo trip. The wind kicked up as we approached Champagne, Illinois and then


Our two month old tow vehicle developed a very serious sounding noise. We pulled off the freeway, examined under the chassis, under the hood and anywhere else we could think of, and found nothing. So we googled the closest Honda dealership and slowly and carefully limped our way to it. 

Yes, we pirated some power for the night.

Husband found a power outlet in a protected area between two buildings so we set up camp.  First night in our camper and we had power, which meant AC and a defense against the sweltering humidity. We had planned to drive all the way home that day and this is not how we expected to spend our first night in our teardrop. Not only were we squatting at the Honda Dealership, we endured an awesome thunder and lightning storm. Between the flashing and booming, rain coming down in buckets, and fear of a police officer tapping his flashlight on the door, little sleep was to be had that night. 

Looking out toward our "camp spot" from the dealership lobby.

Monday morning we introduced ourselves to the very kind and accommodating staff at the dealership. They gave us coffee! And then they proceeded to inspect our car. It went up on the rack, was driven with and without the trailer, and finally the serviceman came to give me the "good news:" they couldn't find anything wrong with the car. 

Not My Idea Of Good News

Good news would be, "We found the problem and fixed it."


So we paid our bill, headed out to find some breakfast (aka Starbucks) and got on our way. Of course smooth sailing the rest of the way home just wasn't in the cards. Not yet. About 15 minutes down the freeway Husband turned the radio off and cocked his head. "No!" I said. "I don't hear anything!" But just like before it was starting out softly and building to a horrible noise.  I knew they should have found something at the dealership! I needed to get off the freeway and quickly jabbed the brakes. Then the horrible awful no-good noise stopped. Just like that. Gone. 

The rest of the journey home was uneventful. 

Thank goodness. 

Miles: 604  
Nights: 1

Monday, March 23, 2015

I Worked in the Garden Today!

It's no secret that gardening is not my thing.  
I pretty much hate it. 

Then I read this article:  

So I thought I should at least give it a chance.  

I've been in the dirt 2 or three times in the past week.  Just a little at a time.  And when I say "little" think minutes, not hours.  

The results?  

I like being outside. 
My little patches of work are looking nicer each time. 
My dog & cat both like me being outside.  
For Bailey it means I'll throw her toy every time she brings it back to me. 
For Zori it's just being outside, because she won't go out unless the dog or one of her people is out with her.  

So I think I'll keep at it.  Just a little each day, although every time I spend a little longer than the time before.  Maybe I will grow to like this. 

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

It's Just Little Things That Usually Make Me Smile The Biggest

My pup has become a night owl, wanting to go out and play after midnight.  

After Midnight
We're gonna let it all hang out!
After Midnight
We're gonna chug-a-lug and shout!
We're gonna stimulate some action,
We're gonna get some satisfaction.
We're gonna find out what it is all about.
After Midnight
We're gonna let it all hang out!

(musical interlude completed) 

Last night I took her out and threw her frisbee for her.  It was a beautiful night and called to me for a walk.  Bailey never strays far from me so without a leash I decided to walk with her around the cul de sac.  She was happy as a hairy clam, stopping to sniff and mark and just wallow in the fresh cool (finally!) air.  

I stopped for her as she took a longer than usual sniff and saw Timid Cat was walking right along with us.  She stopped when we stopped and walked when we walked, enjoying the midnight adventure as much as my pup.  

There was just something special about my fur children playing in the moonlight.