Taking The Other Way Around!

ImageThe route untaken.

We started out Day #4 with a plan to drive north into Oregon, to a place that our friend, Carson, had recommended. Belknap Hot Springs. We never made it.

We did start the day by heading north. We drove past Shasta Lake (looked beautiful at 60mph), and caught a glimpse of Mt. Shasta from the scenic overlook spot ( at zero mph…we actually stopped to look at it). It was quite windy, cold, and starting to sprinkle. Figured we must be getting close to Oregon.

Mt. Shasta @ 60 mph


Mt. Shasta in the distance.

We crossed into Oregon at exactly 12:04 pm. The sign snuck up on me, so no photo available to share. It was definitely raining out now, and Mark mumbled,

The rain cleans the “California” right off of ya.

We continued heading north towards Belknap Hot Springs, when we saw a sign saying “Scenic Byway.” We couldn’t resist,  which is why we never made it to the hot springs. It was a good decision. What a fine and beautiful route is was! A meandering country road. Just beautiful. And no rain.


A walk in the woods off the scenic byway.

Came across this cool car at the gas station along the way. This couple was driving to the guy’s 50th high school reunion. This is the same car he drove in high school. He’d kept it all these years, and just kept fixing it up. They bought a small trailer that could easily be pulled by the old blue car. Nice set-up!

ImageNice car!

After a lovely drive on this unplanned detour, we arrived at Crater Lake, and at the Crater Lake Campground. Got us a gorgeous camp site amongst the trees. It was raining and bloody freakin’ cold outside!! It was 43 degrees at 5:00pm. Brrrrrrr. Apparently it had been snowing earlier in the day. Nice for us Californian’s, eh?

We had a nice cozy evening indoors. I fired up the heater, and Mark fired up the espresso maker. We nuked a pizza, made a salad, and opened up a bottle of Russian Imperial Stout, and looked forward to seeing Crater Lake in the morning!

ImageOur campsite @ Crater Lake.

ImageNo glamper should be without espresso.

ImageHappy man, relaxing in the back w/ computer and espresso.

ImageDinner time. Pizza, salad, beer, and dogs at our feet.




At Least We’ve Got Oatmeal-Raisin Cookies


Day 4:  Drove, ate, hiked, rode bikes, saw lots of cool stuff, ate, slept.

Days 5-14:  Repeat.

Now we’re in Boise, Idaho. Whammo! I’m all caught up.

I’d heard about, but didn’t completely believe, how we’d be lucky to have any decent internet connections while we travel. Well, it’s true. We’ve had none at all, or extremely bad and slow connections, leaving me unable to post new adventures.

We’re currently in Nampa, Idaho, just west of Boise. We’re at the local Airstream dealer, Airstream Adventures Northwest, having our fridge attended to. Our fridge decided to only work when we’re plugged into shore power, and I just can’t see us driving another 9,000 miles plugged in with a loooooooong extension cord.

They’re looking at the beast right now, trying to figure out what’s up, while we relax in the customer lounge. We’ve got wifi. Great! I can catch up. Oops, no I can’t. All my notes are in the rig. Darn.

Good news….We just had the most amazing oatmeal raisin cookies ever, in the whole world!! An Airstream customer dropped them off for the staff here, and we were fortunate enough to test them out. Scrumptious deliciousness!!!

And, just got word from service here. Our fridge is broken. LOL!! No, really, it’s not the 12v power supply going into the fridge, which was one possibility. But, not that. It is the fridge itself.

Worst thing about a broken fridge, according to Mark, is, no cold beer!

Taking things in stride. Will see what happens next. And, next time we have great internet, I’ll get back to the more interesting and funny stories! Or maybe you think this is interesting and funny, watching us deal with no cold beer! You’re sick!

OMG…I’m Only On Day #3, But I’m Really On Day #11.


Mystery Crops.

Day 3. Day 3 happened on June 12th. I’m pretty sure today is the 21st. If I get too far behind on this adventure, I’ll still be writing about it in 2015.

We said goodbye to the relatives, and left Danville, CA. My bro-in-law Brian, had given us a CD of music that he wrote and recorded. A stellar road trip CD! And good thing we had a road trip CD, ’cause we had about 10 miles to cover by lunch time. We were headed to Walnut Creek to lunch with our friends Joseph and Susan.

After lunch, we did really hit the road, and made it all the way up to Redding, CA. I was struck by a few things on the way.

1.  There seemed to be an abnormally large number of bugs that splat on our windshield. Seriously, it was like bugaggedon out there.

2.  There’s a lot of agricultural land in California, and driving by at 65 mph,  I couldn’t figure out what the heck any of the crops were. This drove me crazy. I think there needs to be a law that requires signs on all crops so that peeps like us know what we’re looking at as we drive by.

3.  As the navigator, I had way too many navigational tools in my lap, and they all kept sliding off my lap. An iPhone, an iPad, a road atlas, a campground guide. Plus, my sunglasses, and my reading glasses. I remember driving cross country a couple times before with only a road map, and that turned out ok. Why so much crap now??!!

Despite the problems we were having, we arrived unscathed in Redding around 5pm. Redding is the site of the Sundial Bridge, designed by Calatrava (famous architect). It’s a cool looking bridge, in a beautiful location, spanning the Sacramento river. Some people hate the bridge. We liked it…a lot.

Sundial Bridge. Redding, CA

Sundial Bridge. Redding, CA

Mark & Dax on the Sundial Bridge

Mark & Dax on the Sundial Bridge

View from the Sundial Bridge. Sacramento River, Redding, CA

View from the Sundial Bridge. Sacramento River, Redding, CA

In fine fashion, a friend of ours (formerly of Redding, then formerly of Santa Barbara, and now currently of Redding again) met us at the bridge to do a fun bike ride with us. Carson showed up on his motorbike, which is rigged with a contraption that carries his bicycle. Pretty cool. Carson is clever in that way. We did a fast and fun loop down the river, across another bridge, and back over the river to where we started.

Mark, Carson, and Carson's magnificent contraption.

Mark, Carson, and Carson’s magnificent contraption.

The day ended with dinner out in downtown Redding, and a free and flat parking spot out front of Carson’t house for the night.

Home sweet home in front of Carson's home sweet home.

Home sweet home in front of Carson’s home sweet home.

Seemed like we had done a ton of stuff this day. We slept like babies!

Like An Emu On Drugs, The Day Zooms By


The long long drive to Danville, CA.

Day #2…Hold onto your sox, ’cause I’m gonna zoom through Day #2 faster than a crazy emu on crystal meth and growth hormones. It’s not that the drive wasn’t nice, it’s just that we’ve done it so many times before. It’s just long.

Lots of driving, about 6 hours total. Santa Barbara to Danville, CA. Delicious lunch of Mexican food at La Plaza Bakery & Cafe, in the very flat and family friendly town of Greenfield, where Trixie posed for a nice portrait. And then, finally, arrival at Brian & Jen’s house (my brother-in-law/sister-in-law), where we bbq’d chicken and snacked on chips & homemade salsa, while Dax tried to eat one of Jen’s strawberry plants, earning him a couple of demerits.  End of day. And we retired for the night in the RV in our quiet and free parking spot out front.

Modern technology in Greenfield, CA

Modern technology in Greenfield, CA

Trixie. Waiting for something to happen. Major intersection.Greenfield, CA

Trixie. Waiting for something to happen @ major intersection. Greenfield, CA


Quiet, free, and mostly flat parking spot. We're all set for the night.

Quiet, free, and mostly flat parking spot. We’re all set for the night.

Driving In Circles, Friends, & Freaky Pizza…It’s a Road Trip!!!

ImageLast thing to do…load our bikes.


Trip is on!! We left San Diego on Tuesday, June 10th.

First leg of trip: Driving car out to storage facility to get the already mostly packed RV.

Second leg of trip: Driving RV back to our downtown condo to load our four bikes.

Trip Mileage: 17 miles so far, and we’ve landed right back at our home. Weeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!

Bikes loaded, and off we go, finally!!!

Uneventful drive up to Carpinteria, where we stop to visit Bob & Jennifer, their three dogs, two horses, and uncountable amount of chickens. Bob is outside to greet us, and he’s bleeding. Apparently he’s just broken up a fight between his newest K9 and some of his chickens. Don’t know who won the fight, but it didn’t look like it was Bob!

ImageBob and Jen, looking cool in front of the space shuttle. 

Next stop, Santa Barbara, technically, Goleta, for a visit with our friend, Val @ Chez Val. Wine and pizza was had by all. My slice of pizza had the hugest slice of green pepper ever. I shudder to think about the size of the original whole pepper that birthed my slice.

Image @ Chez Val. Always a party going on.

ImageFreakishly large slice of green pepper on my pizza. 

And finally, after a fun evening of catching up with Val on all things important and weird, we settle in for the night. Free glamping for the night outside Val’s house on San Marcos Road. Just a little noisy, and we were listing a bit towards the curb side. But it was free!

ImageCozy little free glamping spot

Day #1….complete!

How Many Pairs of Underwear Will It Take?



We’re down to the wire. We leave on our big cross country trip in two days. And so, today we’re packing. Never have been the kind to prep and pack a week ahead of time. That would be less stressful, I think. But, here we are, doing it today.

And here you have it….four months worth of clothes and unders…all laid out on my bed. Doesn’t look too bad. I think it will all fit in the RV. I hope it will.

Only thing missing is my Patagonia nano puff jacket, which is currently in the washer. I know, won’t be needing that for a while. But, come the end of September and October, I’ll be happy I packed it.

And shoes. Add one pair of running shoes  (and the jacket) to that pile, and that’s my wardrobe for the next four months.

Most important thing is unders. Need to pack enough of them so that we don’t have to do laundry but every ten days or so.

Oops….I did forget to include something in that photo….my cycling gear. DAMN!!! That’s a whole pile of crap that needs to fit somewhere.

Allrighty then, back to square one to rethink everything! Lots to figure out!!! Will let you know how I do.


Thoughts On Forrest Gump & Kicking Ass @ Table Tennis


Yesterday I told Mark that I’d come up with a BIG IDEA for our upcoming trip.

“Guess what we’re gonna do as we travel around?”

His reply….

“Rip everyone a new a**hole.”

Yea, really? You really think that’s what my big idea is? No, we’re NOT ripping anyone a new anything!!

My big idea is to Gump-icize our trip. That’s right. We’re gonna make like Forrest Gump! Forrest Gump met life head-on with an open mind and an open heart. And he had all these outrageously incredible experiences.

And so that’s my plan…to be sure that, as we travel around these next few months, that we embrace all the amazing people, places, and opportunities that we happen upon. Oh yea, and my plan also includes kicking somebody’s ass at table tennis, just like the Gumpster.

It’s gonna be a wild ride!! GAME ON!!!!

What Day Is It???? Losing Track of Time!

Is it a good thing or a bad thing, when you have absolutely no freakin’ clue what day of the week, or what time of day it is?! After reading this comment by full-time rv-er Martin Hrabe, I’ve decided it’s a good thing. You can draw your own conclusion, but as we head out on the road next week, I’m planning on taking this on and making it my own!!

It’s always Today. 

Daily schedule:

  • Get up have coffee mocha
  • Have breakfast
  • Piddle fart around
  • Decide on what to see and do
  • When we get hungry, have lunch
  • Afternoon nap
  • More piddle farting
  • Visit some neighbors
  • Adult beverages
  • Start grill
  • Have dinner
  • Visit around fire-pit
  • Go back inside

It’s morning when the sun comes up. It’s around noon when the sun is close to straight overhead. And its evening when the sun goes down.


Martin Hrabe

Countdown To “Dog Days of Summer” 2014 Tour


In a simple twist of fate, our big cross country trip just got a wee bit closer! We had planned to leave towards the end of June, but, our property manager found a nice couple to rent our condo for a couple months while we’re gone, and they have to move in on June 11th. And that means we have to be gone, gone, gone, on the 10th! Whoaaaa…..that sucked up two whole weeks of prep time!!

I can roll with the punches, right? Yea baby! And so, I made myself a giant sized gin & tonic, and started freakin’ packin’! And I’ve paused just long enough to make a batch of Jell-O Shooters….and to blog!

So much to do in the house to make it “rent-worthy.” Not only have we been procrastinating on a few minor repairs, but we also have had to empty the bedroom and coat closets, lock up our business and personal files, empty a good portion of kitchen cabinets. Oh, and did I mention, I’m also having to write a somewhat long thesis on how everything operates in the house? Yea, we’ve got some fancy shmancy hi-tech window shades and ceiling fans, and some other weird peculiar thingies in our place that need explanations.

And then there’s Fiona. We’ve had to fast-track taking care of some items with her. We just removed the front TV (more headroom, less head-banging, easier access to the storage compartments that were behind the TV). We’re having our batteries checked on Tuesday (having some charge/voltage issues). I ordered a TPMS (Tire Pressure Monitoring System) that should arrive on Wednesday. We’ll be removing the second row seats today or tomorrow. We were hoping to have some bug screens made for the back doors and the sliding door, but we’ve run out of time for that. Maybe we’ll figure something out while we’re on the road, and preferably, before we get eaten alive when we get to “bug country.”

And then there’s us. And us packing. Mark and I are masters at packing lite. This trip is a little more tricky, ’cause we’re gonna hit a real variety of weather conditions. We need to pack for unbearable heat and humidity, for rain (foreign to us So-Cal folks), and for colder weather as we get into late September and October. We also need to pack stuff for swimming and cycling. Swimming’s easy (suit, cap, goggles). Cycling is not so easy when you consider our lack of space (shoes, helmets, three or so cycling outfits that get so sweaty you can only wear once before washing).

It’s all super exciting and fun. Could use those extra couple weeks we thought we had. But, then again, we’d probably have just procrastinated doing all this stuff until the last week anyway, so, it’s all the same!