Friday, November 30, 2012

Our Last Night on the Road for a While

The desert around Lake Havasu was hazy this morning. The mountains looked bluish in the distance -

We spent a bit of time in this area a couple of years ago, checking out the Lake Havasu lighthouses and London Bridge, but this time we just spent the night. It seems the city has sprawled quite a bit more since we were here last.

There is still a great deal of undeveloped property around the lake --

As we traveled along Highway 95 beside the Colorado River, you could see the many little RV Parks on either side of the river --


We took Highway 95 into Quartzite and then turned onto Interstate 5 to Ehlenberg. We will be spending our last night on the road for a while here at the Colorado River Oasis RV Resort. It was a beautiful afternoon when we arrived. The temperature was 83 degrees with a nice breeze. We arrived early enough for me to wash a couple loads of laundry knowing that it would quickly dry.

The RV Park is adjacent to a mobile home park just on the other side of the fence. There are several of these little cabins for rent as well. We had another absolutely beautiful sunset tonight.

Thursday, November 29, 2012


We caught a glimpse of Joshua trees as we left Sierra Trails RV Park this morning. While we are quite a way away from Joshua Tree National Monument, there are quite a few of these relatives of the yucca plant in this area --


I drove part of the way today. And wouldn't you know, I got the stretch that is still two lane highway on Highway 58 going into Barstow! (It was four lane when I started...) This stretch of highway goes through the Mojave Desert by Edwards Air Force Base and the Twenty Nine Palms Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center. Lots of area for airplane test flying and training.

As you approach the eastern border of California on Interstate 40, the ground again begins to rise as you  drive between the Piute Mountains.

Until you descend again and get your first glimpse of the mighty Colorado River --

Which divides the State of California from that of Arizona!

We then took Highway 95 east and south to Lake Havasu City and the Lake Havasu RV Park --

People were sitting outside at the RV Park enjoying the high seventy degree weather. These oleanders along the fence were starting to bloom --

The fence at the edge of the park looks out over the sandy desert. I spotted this flock of California Quail watching the sunset --

Aren't they pretty creatures with their little top-knots?

I had to stop and watch the sunset as well. It was gorgeous tonight!

Auntie Violet reflects the sunset glow as well. This is the first back-in site we have had in several days. It was a bit of a pain to have to unhook Toad II, but Forry thought it was probably good to run the engine after towing it for several days...

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Finally to the Desert!

It started to rain about 7 AM this morning and it poured! That Pacific storm they'd been talking about finally caught up with us. We had only unpacked what we needed for the night and had left Toad II hooked up, so we were ready and on the road by a little after nine.

We drove along Hwy 99 most of the way right through the heart of California's agricultural country. We saw lots and lots of rice fields, nut and fruit orchards and then we began to see the grapes.

We drove by thousands of acres of grapes. Some of the fields looked kid of funny with these coverings on them. I'm not sure if this is protection from birds or what? Seems like birds would fly right underneath...

And we finally started to see groves of citrus trees. We went by the huge packing plant for the little tangerine oranges you get at Christmas time.

WE finally turned east at Bakersfield and headed out of the flat farming country into the Tehachapi Mountain range. This range of mountains probably has more windmills per square foot than any place else in the country --

There weren't too many of them turning today...

California Highway 14 took us into Mojave. We are spending the night at Sierra Trails RV Park where we have stayed before. It's just as you start into the great Mojave Desert. It certainly wasn't raining here on this side of the mountains -- the owner of the RV Park says they average about 4 inches of rain per year and they'd already gotten their forty drops this month...

With our early start this morning, we were able to settle in a little after three PM, so Forry got a nice nap before dinner!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Still Heading South...

It took a while, but we got going by noon this morning. Forry had that recalcitrant ever slow leaking tire to top off again and we needed to go to the dump station. We were both moving a bit slow this morning, but we're doing much better than yesterday.

We continued south on Interstate 5. We went by lots and lots of groves and orchards. I can recognize the olive trees, but there must have been nine or ten other kinds of trees we went by. My friend Leslie sent me a link to an internet site that told about the agricultural trees of Northern California. All kinds of fruit and nut trees are grown here. There's a portion of Grant County in Washington State where the farmers put the names of their crops on the fences along the freeway. I sure wish the California growers would do something like that!

As we went further south, we began to see more fields covered with water --

You could see the dikes around the fields where they were growing rice --

The further we drove, the hazier and smoggier the skies got. You could just see the buildings of Sacramento through the haze --

We cut off onto Highway 99 near Sacramento. The highway medians are planted with oleander shrubs. When we come back this way in the spring, they will be all colors of white, red and pink.

We came as far as Delhi this afternoon to the Merced River RV Park. It is right along the riverfront and has nice 50 amp pull-through spaces. New this time was the pleasant surprise that the park is now honoring the 10% Good Sam discount.

Monday, November 26, 2012


  n. a general feeling of discomfort, illness, or uneasiness whose exact cause is difficult to identify: a society afflicted by a deep cultural malaise/ a general air of malaise.
<ORIGIN> mid 18th cent.: from French, from Old French mal 'bad' (from Latin malus) + aise 'ease'
 The New Oxford American Dictionary

That's the way I felt today. I didn't sleep well last night, then didn't want to get myself awake this morning. The harder I tried to wake up, the sleepier I felt. My blood sugar was low, but I had no desire to eat breakfast or lunch. I couldn't tell Forry what was wrong, I just felt blah.

I did pull myself together late this afternoon to repeat our trip to Costco. Forry got his Polish dog fix, but it didn't even smell good to me. I settled for part of a dish of ice cream...

It was NOT fun putting groceries a way when we got back. (It's definitely not my favorite task when I'm feeling good.) Got the job done and back to the couch.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

84 Degrees!

What a change today was after the last few wet, cold rainy weeks. The sun was shining when we got up and it stayed that way all day. It peaked out at 84 degrees early this afternoon! It was warm enough in the RV that I actually had to open the windows. Such a tough day!

It's the weekend after Thanksgiving, so the TV is full of football games. One after another. At least that's what it seems like to me. I try to bury my head in my Kindle and find other things to do and to think about, but sometimes even I get sucked into watching.

Late this afternoon we decided to make a Costco run to pick up some of the vitamins we were out of. There is a Costco in Chico which looked like it was only a half hour away. I looked on the web for the address and saw that it closed at 6 PM on Sundays. We left at five, but it took over 45 minutes to get there and they were getting ready to close. Well, that took care of that. Guess we'll have to go back over in the morning...

We did stop at a Sav More grocery in Orland and stock up on a few things. Then to Taco Bell for a nacho supper.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Californee, Here We Come!

It was our last night at Seven Feathers and it rained. It was quiet when we went to sleep, but by 2:30 AM it was raining loud enough to wake us up. It's a good thing we had decided to sleep in the living room again as it was dripping into the pan on the bed...

The picture on the left is one I took the first day we were here of the little stream that flows next to the campground. You have to look very hard to see the water. I took the picture on the right just before we left. It's still not a great deal of water, but it's sure a lot more than it was a week ago!

This is what Interstate 5 was like when we left this morning --

As we left the mountain passes and came into California (and were stopped with all incoming traffic at the inspection station checking for citrus fruit) we began to see blue skies --

Our first glimpse of Mount Shasta --

The closer we got, the bluer the sky --

Mount Shasta loomed cold and beautiful on the horizon when we stopped at the Weed Rest Area --

The trees in California are still golden, holding their color. The ones in the NW have already dropped the biggest share of their leaves and the forests no longer show the contrasts.

Interstate 5 goes south below the Cascade Mountains into the valley between the Coast Range and the Sierras. We began to see flat land fruit and nut trees AND olive groves --

We drove south until about 3:30, ending up at Old Orchard RV Park in Orland where we have stayed many times before. It's a small park and the people who run it are elderly. Since we didn't come this way last year, we weren't sure it would still be open... We'll spend a couple of nights here then continue moseying towards Arizona. We're thinking we'll most likely try to be there December 1st.

Friday, November 23, 2012

The Day After Thanksgiving

This was indeed a lazy day. The only time we got out of our PJs all day was this evening when we went over to the pool house for a swim (me) and a soak in the hot tub (both of us). The pool house is open until 9 PM with the last hour supposedly reserved for adults only. The resort filled up with RVs today and we saw lots of kids running around and riding their bikes.

Which is why we waited until 8 PM to go for our water time. I got a few laps in, but then a bunch of older kids came and started a game of Marco Polo in the pool. They were sort of considerate, saying "excuse me" every time they bumped into me (the one who was "it" had to have their eyes closed), but it soon got too uncomfortable to try to swim, so I joined Forry in the hot tub. Instead of just the two of us as there had been all week, we ended up with six adults in the hot tub plus the older kids coming in and out. We finally just gave it up and headed back to Auntie Violet...

Just because we are die-hard WSU Cougar fans, we watched the Apple Cup this afternoon even though the Cougs have had a miserable season so far. The first half was a good game. The third quarter was kinda scarey when the UW pulled way ahead, but the Cougs rallied and tied the game during the last two minutes! And then they won in overtime!!! What an amazing punt kicker they have!

All in all it was a pleasant last day here at Seven Feathers.

Thursday, November 22, 2012



We've had a reprieve from the incessant moisture of the last week. Yesterday there was sunshine and Thanksgiving Day dawned clear as well. We had a late light breakfast and then headed up to Seven Feathers about 2 PM. We checked out the The Gathering Place Buffet, but the line was about an hour and a half long according to the hostess...

Forry checked out the Cow Creek Restaurant (where we had the rib eye steaks a couple of evenings ago) and reported back that it was pretty full, but there was presently no line. We decided that rather than wait in line, we would go back to the restaurant. It turned out to be a VERY good choice. Their special turkey dinner was $9.99 per person and turned out to be way more than either of us could eat. They had an incredibly good butternut squash soup for an starter. Forry opted for the green salad instead, but after a couple of tastes of my cup of soup, he said he wished he's chosen it instead. Next we were served large plates with three thick slices of turkey breast and several pieces of dark meat; large scoops of both dressing and real mashed potatoes and gravy; haricot greet beans with bacon; whole berry cranberry sauce and yeast rolls. We had a choice of pecan or pumpkin pie with the meal, so we ordered one of each.

It was a busy place. I felt a bit sorry for our waitress who seemed a bit harried already when we were seated. She was waiting on quite a few tables, but almost everyone seemed to be ordering the special, so at least there were not a lot of confusing orders. About halfway through our meal, she lost a plateful of the special off her tray, just missing the man at the next table. Everyone kept their cool -- the man she almost hit was quite nice about it. It's tough to have to work on a holiday, but one of the staff told me they had volunteered because they were being paid time and a half. Our bill seemed to be awfully small for such great meals. I did leave a 50% tip...

One of the items I added to my thankful list was "not needing to work on holidays anymore." (Hospitals are open 24/7, so I've worked on many of them...) 

Since we've taken the Seven Feathers shuttle every time we've gone anywhere, we haven't even unhooked Toad II. The lady driver is the same lady who guided us to our site when we arrived. It's been fun visiting with her about her years of working here. She says that times have been tougher since the economy has taken such a hit and they don't have near the perks they used to have. She was looking forward to a complimentary turkey dinner this evening however. Seems to be a good place to work. There's not a lot of turnover.

This is the last of the sunset we saw on our return via the shuttle to Auntie Violet --


I hope this Thanksgiving Day was a blessed one for all of you who read my ramblings! (One of the other items on MY Thankful List is all of you who have encouraged me in my writing!)

Wednesday, November 21, 2012


My younger sister, Roxy, finally was able to post her blog about the trip she and her husband Rich took through the Panama Canal last month. It brought back some interesting memories. It's been at least thirty years since we had been in Panama. The first trip was in our Cherokee Six with a group of other small airplanes on a Flying Farmer tour that took us through stops in almost all of the countries in Central America (we didn't go to Belize). The late Hoyt Walkup of Oklahoma State University's School of Aviation led the tour. He had taught many of the pilots from Central American countries, especially those of Costa Rica, so we had royal treatment from former students everywhere we went.

The second time we were in Panama was in 1974 when we attempted to fly our twin engine Aztec to Colombia with our friends Gene and Dorene who had served a term in Colombia with Mennonite Church's Voluntary Service. We planned to visit the communities where they had worked and also visit Forry's former neighbor Leona who had married a Colombian national and taught in a school in Cachipay.

We had a good trip until we got to the Guatemalan border where we discovered that we would not be able to get more than 50 gallons of gas in Costa Rica and even that was not for sure. (This was the time of the first great gas shortage when the US restricted speed limits to 55 miles per hour!) Rather than risk the possible stranding of our airplane somewhere in Central America, we decided to turn back to Mexico City, leave our airplane there and fly commercially (and that's a whole 'nother story!).

Anyway, we bought tickets that gave us a stay in Panama as Gene wanted to buy some duty-free cameras there. All I can recall of either visit was the stark difference between the US controlled Canal Zone and the rest of the country. The Zone was lush and green with manicured lawns and gardens and beautifully kept buildings. There was a distinct line where the Zone ended and the Panamanian controlled portions of the country started. Dirty, dusty, sad-looking poor ramshackle buildings that reminded me of the poorest border towns we had seen in Mexico.

Rox had some interesting pictures of present day Panama and of the Canal that is now entirely in Panamanian hands. They sure brought back some interesting memories.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012


It rained last night. I mean it RAINED last night! It sounded like there were buckets of water being poured on top of Auntie Violet continuously. It sounded a lot like it did when we were at Niagara Falls last summer. I read in the Seattle Times (on my Kindle) this morning that a new record for rainfall in a 24 hour period was set at Sea-Tac airport yesterday. It was one humongous storm!

And wouldn't you know it, now we have another leak! This one is in the back in our bedroom -- right over the middle of the bed! It's most likely somewhere around the back air conditioner. We ended up putting a bowl on the bed, then emptying it several times during the night. I ended up sleeping on the couch while Forry slept in his recliner -- where he takes all of his naps.

Not sure how we will handle the leak. I DO NOT want Forry up on the roof! There is a mobile RV unit advertised on the RV Park flyer in nearby Myrtle Creek. I gave them a call, but so far we haven't heard back from them...

This is the sight we saw up the canyon when we went over to the hot tub this morning --


It never really cleared off today, but at least for the time being it has stopped raining. I did not want to cook tonight, so I called the shuttle and we got a ride up to Cow Creek Restaurant. It's a funny deal. They have rib steak special for $8.99 that is not on the menu. You have to ask for it! The shuttle driver told us about it the last time we were here, so we tried it out. It's actually a pretty good steak, about 3/4 inch thick and well-marbled. They serve it with a baked potato, garlic bread and vegetable. I had it for dinner tonight while Forry stuck to his chicken fried steak for a dollar more.

Monday, November 19, 2012


The NOAA radio app on my iPhone has been broadcasting ALERTS all day for the SW Oregon and the Canyonville area. There has been both a Flood Alert due to heavy rains and a Wind Alert. The Wind Alert was cancelled late this afternoon, but not until we had some strong wind gusts come through that shook Auntie Violet quite vigorously.

It has been raining steadily since early afternoon. There is a little creek along the edge of the campground that looks pretty innocuous, but we'll keep an eye on it. You look down a good ten feet into the creek, so I think it's going to take a lot of rain to fill it...

This is an incredibly beautiful park. The RV sites are spacious and nicely landscaped --

These lovely birch trees were just little saplings when we first stopped here --

This is the Pool House located just across the road and two sites down from Auntie Violet --

Besides the restrooms and a workout room, the building is mostly taken up by the pool --

And best of all, the hot tub!

It is so nice to sit in the hot tub and look out the large windows. We could watch the wind gusts come over the top of the hill this morning and follow the bending trees down the hill into the canyon. One of the gusts actually blew the double doors open on one side of the Pool House and then blew across and blew open the doors on the other side!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Ah, the Hot Tub!

Rainy night
Overcast morning
Puddles of water
Soggy grass
Gusty wind
Freshly washed trees
Scattered leaves

Warm building
Hot water
Bubbling jets
Large windows
Awesome views
Soaking bodies
Pruney toes


Saturday, November 17, 2012

On to Seven Feathers

We got a fairly decent start this morning in spite of the steady rain. We decided not to drain the tanks as they were only half full, but we did stop to take on diesel as we had decided last night not to try it in the dark.

We stopped at the Pilot near Brooks, Oregon which had quite a bunch of trucks lined up to fuel. I tried to use my RV Plus Charge Card at the pump, but it didn't seem to work. As I started to walk into the store, the young truck driver in the station next to us told me that the computer in the store was down and none of the pumps were working. He said he had been waiting over 45 minutes and that they kept telling him "just a few more minutes," so he was going to leave and drive on down the road. We had procrastinated about getting diesel and were pretty low and really weren't comfortable going much further...

I walked on into the store and just as I walked in, the clerk told me everything was working. So we filled up with 91.53 gallons of diesel at $4.079 per gallon. OUCH! Would it be a bit less painful if we filled more often?

It insisted on raining fairly hard the entire trip as we proceeded south on Interstate 5 --

We kept getting passed by vehicles with Oregon Duck flags flying --

This pickup had four flags -- and a barbecue in the back. The closer we got to Eugene and Oregon State University, the more of the flags we saw. There were cars with duck feet all over them as well as ones plastered with "O"s. We finally realized that the OSU - Stanford football games was this evening (as I write this, it's tied 14-14).

It was raining awfully hard, so I never did get a good picture of all of the thousands of sheep we saw in the pastures along the way. This is definitely sheep country.

We made good time and pulled into Seven Feathers RV Resort near Canyonville, Oregon a little after three PM. It was kind of fun to have the guide who took us to our site recognize us from our previous trips here. She even remembered that we had not been here last year! (She said she recognized my smile?)