Saturday, August 3, 2019

Ramping Up for My Next Adventure

I'm heavy into the planning phase of my next adventure. I'll be leaving here in early September. As always, my first stop will be Portland. I'll spend a few days there getting some things done and saying goodbye for now to my daughter and her family. 

This will be a long trip of more than 10,000 miles towing. I plan to head east across the northern states ending up in Maine then down to Connecticut and Rhode Island to visit family, later on to New Jersey and Virginia to visit friends. After that, I'm heading down the eastern seaboard for October. I will be working in as much beach and shelling time as possible. 

November 1st will find us in The Florida Keys for a month. December is entirely up in the air, but I'm looking for a spot in Florida near saltwater. So much beach, so little time. 
I'm not excited about being away from my family during the holidays, but it isn't feasible to wait until January to go all the way to Florida. This also adds another level of preparation to my list. I'd like to do my Christmas shopping and leave wrapped gifts behind so I don't have to ship them. 
Photo Credit to Libby Trostle

My last big stop on the way home next summer will be to attend the week-long, 2020 Airstream International Rally in Loveland, Colorado. They say there will be over 700 Airstreams in attendance. A group of women Airstreamers is also planning a pre-rally rally. It's a twofer. I've never participated in a rally before. This will be intense for the introvert in me. 
This month will be filled with preparation, sorting, purging, vet and groomer visits, medical appointments, vehicle service, new tires for Bridget, and the list goes on. Wish me luck! 

Sunday, July 28, 2019

Bridget Gets Some New Upgrades

A week ago I headed for Portland to drop Bridget off at Ultimate Airstreams for a couple of tweaks. I've been living without a microwave for over a year and a half. I really couldn't decide if I needed to keep the gas oven for times when I don't have electricity or just give in and get a microwave/convection oven with a gas cooktop installed. I finally bit the bullet. 
The new unit is not only beautiful, but the top is flush with the counter and gives me a lot more working space. Having a microwave again is really nice. 

I also had a little storage area added by the door. 
This space is great because I always had stuff piled up on top of the cushion that was there before, and it looked so messy. Now I have two shelves and the top lifts off for more storage. It's so tidy! 
I stayed with my daughter and son-in-law while I was homeless. When I was getting Bridget ready to go, I kind of crushed my toe under the steps. I went out to empty the refrigerator and freezer and when I flipped the entry stairs down but forgot the curb was under them. The bottom step came down hard on the sidewalk and my big toe, which was caught between. There was so much blood!
My daughter and son-in-law

My poor son-in-law, Ryan, had to rescue me once again. He bandaged my toe and emptied my fridge and freezer. My baby chose well.

I'm thankful I added carpet to the steps recently because if I hadn't, I think I would have lost the end of my toe. I'm healing well but won't be wearing closed-toed shoes anytime soon. I'll spare you the pictures of that particular injury. Because crushed toes. 🤢

We spent a lot of time sitting on the back deck, watching the kids play and swim in the summer heat. We ate dinner outside and played cards in the evening after the little kids went to bed. It was a lovely week. 

Remember that baby we were anxiously waiting for last winter? She's 7 months old now and absolutely perfect. Her infectious smile and constant happy mood make everyone around her feel joyful. 

Friday, July 12, 2019

OOPS! I've Been MIA for Nearly Two Months

The other day I realized it had been nearly two months since I wrote a blog post. There are always so many things to take care of when I come home for a while. I thought I'd say Hi and recap my Winter and Spring 2019 trip. 

Please don't try to make sense of my crazy route. I just followed my heart and the weather and flew by the seat of my pants. There were days when I'd get up and decide where to go on the spot. I used to have to plan very carefully, but now I can just wing it. Winging it is not natural to me, but I kinda like it. Perhaps a combination would suit me. 

According to my trip planning app, this trip consisted of;
18 weeks duration,
10 States,
5 National Parks,
41 stops of at least one night,
111 hours of driving (just towing Bridget),
6,955 miles (just towing Bridget), and,
1,000,000+ "Watch for Rattlesnakes" signs.

I loved it and hated it all at the same time. I guess that's to be expected when you have such a significant change in your circumstances. It's a learning process, right? 

I started a whole new visited states map when I got Bridget. It's filling up nicely. I'm also adding National Park stickers when I visit one. 

That sticker under the door handle was given to me by Jonathan of TinyShinyHome who I was camped next to in Winslow, AZ. What a lovely family and a beautiful vintage Airstream. 
For now, Murphy and I are just hanging out at my Brother's place in the lap of luxury. Murphy loves it here! 

What's not to like? When you can hunt rabbits from the comfort of your mom's bed, you've got it made, right?

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Homeward Bound

After leaving Albuquerque we spent our first night back on the road at the Meteor Crater RV Park just west of Winslow, AZ. It's super handy off I-40 and I knew I wouldn't have to disconnect the truck and trailer. 
I also love that Route 66 is right outside the gate and I can walk Murphy off-leash there. It's just my kind of place. 
The next morning we left Winslow and headed toward Las Vegas. I wanted to stay at Lake Mead for a night because it's so pretty there. I didn't bargain for the heat. 

It was 96 degrees at Lake Mead. Way to hot for this girl. However, I did get to try out my heated/cooled seats in the new truck. Oh my goodness. Cooled seats, where have you been all my life. 

The next morning we got out of Dodge. I completely winged this whole trip so far so I looked at the weather and decided to head directly North into Utah. 

I found a campground in Beaver, Utah that looked nice and booked two night. We drove almost 800 miles in three days and we were just done. 

Beaver is a beautiful place. All the green and mountains made me feel right at home. The B on the mountain really reminded me of where I grew up in Bonner, Montana. We had one just like that. 

Beaver is very much dairy country. There's even a creamery in town. Of course, I had to visit and sample. 

After two nights in Beaver, we continued north and ended our day in Tremonton, Utah about an hour north of Salt Lake City. I knew several days of rain were on the way so I booked three nights.
It was nice to have some time to relax but this morning it was time to move again. We did about 300 miles today and are just on the Idaho/Oregon border. It won't be long before I'm tucked into my daughter's driveway. 

Friday, May 17, 2019

The Sway Fiasco

Wow, so much has happened since my last post. I moved back to Albuquerque from Santa Fe because I had been having trouble with my truck when towing my Airstream. I was having problems with trailer sway even with my weight distribution/sway control hitch.
I'd had two incidents of such extreme sway that the sway warning light on my truck dash came on. It was scary and I was feeling unsafe.

After doing a ton of research and asking a lot of questions there were simply too many variables. I needed to decide if I was going to start dumping money into the old truck hoping to find the cause of the problem or just bite the bullet and upgrade to a more powerful truck and be done with the whole thing. 

Meet my new (used) tow vehicle. My salesman, Danny was awesome! We had a couple of hiccups but on the day I picked up the truck he surprised me with this gigantic, red bow. I laughed so hard. 

I don't have a name for the truck yet. Obviously, it needs a boy name to go with Bridget. Feel free to offer suggestions. 

This is the bed cover I had added. It's solid, water resistant, locking and really easy to unlock and open with one hand. Linex also put a rubber seal around my tailgate to keep the water and dust out.

I spent a total of 8 days in Albuquerque getting the truck situation all ironed out. 

There were a couple of things I had to have added and I had to have the hitch adjusted because the new truck sits a lot higher.  Yes, that's a ladder I have to climb to get in the back. 

Finally, everything was set up and I was all ready to go. I'm amazed by how much better towing is with this truck. There is zero sway and I can barely feel it when a truck passes me on the freeway. 
Unfortunately, Washington State makes it almost impossible to license a vehicle remotely. I'm working my way back home so I can get the licensing done before my temporary tags expire at the end of the month. Good thing I didn't buy in Florida.

Saturday, May 4, 2019

Room to Spread Out in Albuquerque and Super Snug in Santa Fe

We left Winslow and moved along to Albuquerque, New Mexico. 

It's no secret I like casino campgrounds and there is a great one just west of Albuquerque. I had decided I needed some time to catch up with my adult duties like cleaning and maintenance so I booked for a week. Nothing particularly exciting happened during that week but I sure got a lot done. 
We enjoyed some really beautiful sunsets and even a double rainbow one evening. 
Then the week was over and off we went to Santa Fe! We stayed at the Santa Fe KOA and boy was it snug. 
That's the RV in the site next to me completely obscuring my view. Snug is one way of putting it. We were crammed in like sardines. 

Campground aside, Santa Fe was great fun. I was finally able to meet Sandy who I've been online friends with for years and who was a high school classmate of my late husband. 
Sandy graciously took me to the Santa Fe Plaza for a wonderful day of shopping, touring, eating, coffee and conversation. 
I love the architecture. 
One thing I like about Santa Fe is there is a lot of vegetation. The green looks so pretty in contrast to the browns of the buildings. 
I could have taken hundreds of photos but I was beat!
This picture is quintessential Santa Fe to me. 
Little nooks and crannies filled with merchandise.
Thank you so much for your hospitality, Sandy!
It's such a charming city and I'd love to spend more time there someday.

Saturday, April 27, 2019

Standin' on the Corner, a Meteor Crater and Route 66

When I was growing up The Eagles were one of my favorite musical groups. When I realized I'd be driving right through Winslow, Arizona I knew I had to stop and check it out. 
If you don't know what I'm talking about listen to this song. Winslow is pretty small but it the only town for many miles in any direction. I didn't realize it was on Route 66 but as you can see, it is.

Here is the obligatory photo of me standing on the corner in Winslow, AZ. 
Strangely enough, there is a beautiful campground about 20 miles west of Winslow called Meteor Crater Campground. 
It's like a beautiful oasis plunked down in the middle of the desert
Sure enough, there is a meteor crater just down the road from the campground. 
Here are some of the particulars courtesy of Wikipedia. 
Basically, it's a big hole in the ground but very interesting. 
And then there was Historic Route 66. It's really in pretty sad shape and much of it is closed. There were businesses and town along the old highway but those have long since died off. 
What I found the most fun about Route 66 in Arizona is seeing places I recognized from the animated Disney movie series "Cars". 

For a while, I considered hunting down all the places related to the movies but they are pretty spread out along Rte 66 so I found a few and moved along. 

Our campground was right beside the old Route 66. Here's Murphy on one of our morning walks. You can see Interstate 40 in the distance. 

See ya next time!