Home At Last!

29 July 2017

 

Aw-w-w-w! Nothing beats stretching out in your own crib!
That is NOT to say that we didn’t have a good time this Summer, but it still involved living in the home of someone else.

Upon our arrival in Flagstaff Wednesday, we found a camping place in the Coconino National Forest about 4 miles from the Orthopedic surgery Center to park the RV. We were no more than barely set up when it began to sprinkle, then shower, then a full-blown thunderstorm. Jolie got her “Merry Meds” to calm her anxiety and promptly went to sleep.

Thursday, mid-morning, Evelyn met with the doctor for the pre-surgical interview for removing some hardware bracing that was left in her leg during an ankle replacement about a year ago. Friday morning the deed was done.

My Honey’s Hardware

Honey Hardware

 

 

While in WA I attempted to interest some of my grand kids in Geocaching, but they never really got into it even though we made several successful finds.

Stops along the way yielded three Geocaching finds to add to the ones that I located while in Washington.

 

One was a “virtual cache,”

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one was in a stump

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Geocache 3

and one was dangling from a tree.

 

 

 

 

 

 

At our camp near Flagstaff I tried to befriend a family of chipmunks, but they mostly just took my proffered crackers and ran.

Chipmonk

 

 

In one of my previous blogs I showed several examples of Nursery Logs, those rotting logs that provide nutrients for other plant life.

NurseryTree 1Here is one example from Oakridge, Oregon.

 

At our camp in Flagstaff I found a rather unique example of a Nursery Log, and I couldn’t resist showing it.

Someone had dumped several pounds of dry Pinto beans onto a rotting log where the Monsoon rains soaked them to life and they are growing and taking root.

Our 100 lb. baby (Jolie) had a good time with her brothers, but even she was happy to be home. As we approached the city limits of Holbrook, Jolie began to take serious notice of her surroundings. When we got to the place where she takes her daily run, she REALLY got excited and we could hardly keep her in the truck. As soon as we got tho the house she was ready to make her rounds of the yard checking, it seems, to see if everything in her kingdom was still there.

Tomorrow is unpacking day. Wish me luck and sustained strength.

Loaded Truck

 

 

 

 

Almost Home

July 26, 2017

After spending a relaxing evening in Las Vegas yesterday, we awoke this morning to the curious taste of a new granola. This one contains no grains! …. mostly just nuts and honey.

However for a guy that is hooked on HoneyNut Cheerios and Honey Bunches of Oats, I didn’t think that the makers of this granola were standing close enough to the honey pot! One half of a peach sliced over it helped with the flavor. Be warned, it takes a lot of chewing to get it down.

 

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Finding a nice place to set up camp in the Coconino National Forest, about 4 miles out of Flagstaff, we got ready to kiss this Wednesday goodbye.

 

 

 

 

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We discovered a little trail and set off to see what we could see. Both Jolie and Evelyn were eager the stretch their limbs after nearly 6 hours on the road.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Found these two hikers tagging along in the sunbeams keeping us company.

 

 

 

 

 

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Couldn’t resist bringing home this towering thunderhead in a blue sky.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tomorrow a doctor’s appointment followed on Friday by a minor surgery on Evelyn’s ankle. Saturday, a day of rest so she can recuperate and the final 90 miles will get us home to Holbrook and a “normal” life at hissda.org

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Homeward Bound

We are off to a jolly good start on our journey home. First stop for the night is Oakridge, OR. We arrived just before dark. Jolie cooled off in the Mackenzie River and we made a loop of the park.
We spent the morning doing a week’s worth of laundry and loading the pickup to over-flow with stuff that someone donated to the Holbrook Indian School, plus things that just happened into our possession at more that a few Yard Sales.

Last week we were attending the Gladstone Camp Meeting. The evening keynote speaker was Ty Gibson. Awesome! His evening presentations were live streamed and can be found here: https://livestream.com/accounts/13746337/en-camp-meeting-2017/videos/159973372

I understand that audio recordings were made of all the seminars each day, but so far I’ve not been able to locate the link.

Jolie was a orphan all week and has been as eager to hit the road as we are.

Lake Chautauqua Reflections

Lake Chautauqua Reflections
July 19, 2017

We have spent the first night ensconced in our “Family ’n Friends compound,” composed of three consecutive RV campsites on the grounds of the Oregon Conference SDA Conference Center at Gladstone, Or. Meetings don’t start until tomorrow evening, but already this part of the RV park is half full.

 

The Lake in its morning glory.

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Six brothers and sisters of the feather flocked through camp this morningChautauquaReflections  12b.jpegFamily_Friends Compound-b.jpeg

 

 

 

 

Family and Friends Compound

 

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Ducks Breakfast

 

 

 

 

 

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Tuesday morning, this week, I read the last posts on my Facebook page (making only a few Comments) and deleted my account. With my announcement the week before of its imminent demise, on my FB page, I promised to keep my word, unless I was dead, unlike those who promised to leave the USA if Trump was elected President, I’ve kept my word. But I understand that it may take up to 14 days for them to snoop out all my posts and information in order to delete it, so be patient I AM on my way out.

It’s been a good run. I’ve enjoy every minute, and hours upon hours, of our “visiting” on that venue.
Some of my Facebook “Friends” were relatives, some have been face-to-face friends in real life, some of you I have never met. Those in the latter category, I think that I would LIKE to meet you one day.
I am also limiting the use of the phone that is smarter than I am. Phone calls and text messages will be answered at my convenience… usually after Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner. I’m tired of being a Smartphone Zombie.
Email will take a few months longer to untangle, but for almost 200 years the postal service, paper, pen and ink has served our nation well. OK, I’ll probably use my computer as a word processor before dropping the missive in the mailbox. I’m taking that step so that I can more easily keep a copy of all my correspondence. Besides, I need to hone my handwriting skills or my recipients will not be able to read what I’ve written.. lol
My wife, Evelyn has pointed out that by Blogging, “You’re still on the internet, still being social, so what’s the big deal about not being on Facebook? You’ll be back soon as Jolie or some other fictional character.”
Perhaps but certainly not “soon.” If I can hold out long enough, I’ll be dead of old age… then what’s the point of being a “Friend” on Facebook?…. unless I join as a Zombie???
BTW, we are missing the Monsoon weather going on in south-central AZ in favor of more moderate (70-85F) !

 

Haunted Valley, WA

 

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July 14, 2017
Haunted Valley, WA
Our window with a view

 

This has been the view from our second-story window every morning this summer. There have been interesting variations, of course, but it has been basically the same. Sometimes it is clear. Some days the fog lies between us and the nearest trees.

It is with a bit of sadness that we will forever take leave of this fair view. Only four more mornings to enjoy this view … Two next week and one the following week. I say “forever take leave” because we will be leaving for Arizona in ten days. In August our youngest daughter will be selling this 20 acre paradise that we have called our summer home for so many years.

She bought this place in the early 2000’s and in 2008 they built this beautiful large house overlooking the Yacolt valley. We placed a modular home at one corner of the land and lived here for several years, until my wife, Evelyn, retired in 2010. Then we hit the road in a used motorhome, touching bases here at least once per year ever since.

Despite the usual rains, which have been noticeably lacking this Summer, I will miss this view. One never knows the multiple colors of “green” until living in the Southwest Washington countryside. There are the yellow-greens of the sunny Vine Maples to the black-greens of the shaded Douglas Firs and thousands in between.

Our Hidden Valley has water falls …

 

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…and trickles.

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There are magical rings of iron …

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….  ginormous trees …

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…and cool places to hike.

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The Lord willing, I’ll live long enough to see other beauty spots in this area next Summer.

Aug. 1, 2009 -Camping in Black and White

Lying abed the other morning, on our first “camping trip” in our “new” motorhome, we started reminiscing about our past camping experiences. That brought giggles from both of us.

Back in the day, when we first went camping, we traveled light. During our first year of marriage we went nearly every weekend. It was pretty “lean” camping, and even our little dog, Penny, had to carry her share once in awhile.



Below are the earliest known photos of our camping trips. It was on a popular log road / hiking trail in the hills behind Southern University in Tennessee. Some of the places we went, we constructed camp furniture from native materials and twine and would return again and again.












The following year, we saved money and invested in a “tarpaulin tent.” It was just a light-weight tarp that had a lot of grommets on each side. On one of the early trips using this tent, we camped with some friends at the base of a beautiful falls somewhere in Georgia. We descended to the bottom on a steep path holding onto a cable. Soon after nightfall it began to rain… as only it can do in northeastern Georgia. The friend’s pup tent began to leak badly. They called out in the dark to ask if we were still dry. W

e were, so we invited them over to spend the rest of the night.

Even though we had set up camp in the trees of the shoreline, some 100’ from the water, by morning the swirling lake was less than 20’ away from us. We ate a hasty breakfast, broke camp and headed back up the hill to the car.

The trail now resembled an otter slide. If it weren’t for the cable we would have spent the next several days there!






In the early ‘70s we were doing Foster Care. This photo shows Ruthie, our first, and a neighbor girl, April, as well as our four kids. Need I say we felt like sardines?

We had to take a break from being cramped into this little Datsun wagon.





Deciding that this vehicle was a little too small for pleasurable camping, we bought a used van. We had it about three weeks before we went on our first camp-out with it. This is a picture taken on the first morning after arrival at the campground. Yep, a strong wind came up and dropped about 40’ of a snag through the front, pinning it to the ground!







After the children got a little older, we got into backpacking in earnest. For the next 10 years or so this was our sole camping experiences.

Then in the mid-1970’s we bought our first camp trailer. On our first camp trip we went to the Oregon Coast for Anita’s birthday. It was then that decided that camping in a state campground was not for us. There was loud music and drunkenness ‘til the wee hours of the morning. Shortly after that we camped our way across America to our new life in West Virginia. We used the camper once to visit a cousin in Washington D.C. and then we sold it and returned to backpacking.

After our kids married and left home, we even got into bicycle camping. Mostly in the San Juan’s of Washington state, and while in Sweden. This photo shows Evelyn getting ready to check out a Mall while I watch the loaded bikes.

Then, while living in Southern California, we bought a 10’ Coleman pop up tent camper. It served us well for nearly three years, until it met its demise in Death Valley doing battle with a wind storm.




This was really our departure into the soft side of camping, because, we replaced it with a 16’ fiberglass “Casita” camper.

It served us well for the next 8-9 years.

From there it was a 22’ Class C motorhome. True, it was almost 30 years old, but it ran well and was another step toward luxury camping on wheels.



Spring Vacation of 2008, we hooked up our Toyota RAV4 to the Born Free MH, and set out for southern California. It was an awesome trip, but way too short. We had to return to murky SW Washington to finish the school year.

This motorhome went through several changes in the years that we have owned it! It got its last facelift last winter, becoming our “Ratmobile,” for desert camping.



When we decided to go “full-timing,” after Evelyn retired, we picked up this used 5th wheel RV and Ford “dually.”

We spent our first winter in the deserts of SoCal at our first Workamper assignment. Loved it! Loved it!

However, getting two vehicles, plus a 5theel RV and pickup from one place to another posed quite a problem, so we went shopping and exploring our options. The result was, selling the RV, pickup, and Ratmobile to reduce rolling stock.

Now, we are totally “soft,” living full-time in a 36’ ten-year old Class A motorhome. Whereas in the olden days, camping was a diversion, a getting away from home, roughing it, it now consists of finding a new place to park our home for a few days or weeks for a change in scenery.


Yep, camping sure has transitioned through the years!

In retirement, work pretty much consists of looking around wherever we are located, to see what needs to be done. Then doing something for someone else… that which they neither have the time nor experience to do for themselves is best.

What a kick it is to be retired! I’ve never been busier in my life. And I’m doing those things that I want to do, not which I’m required to do.


Ah-h-h-h-h! Retirement, the ultimate camp life… getting ready for heaven!