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.