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Old 02-24-2015, 12:41 PM   #1
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Road Trips

For several years I've written of our trips around the US and Canada with a specific year, but Road Trips 2012 went on and on because I got tired of starting a new thread plus we were so engaged in selling a house we took fewer and fewer trips.

We learned that selling a nice house in a rural area is very difficult—to some degree it is like owning the best house on the block. Comparables are not good and lots of people don't want to live in rural America (after trying it for a dozen years, we don't either). But we finally sold it last November and are looking forward to getting on the road again once spring are arrived—spring in Colorado can be late or later, so that probably means May or June.

Our first trip with trailer is usually to Ouray where we stay for several nights at a KOA. Thus gives us a chance to check out the trailer, relax for a little while and be only a couple of hours from home. We may do that again. The big trip for this year is probably going to be to the northwest and Vancouver Is. We went to the Island about 10 years ago, before we had the trailer. We've thought of taking the trailer for years, but the ferry is very expensive and we've gone elsewhere instead. The call of the ocean is strong and we enjoy driving along the Oregon and N. Cal. coast. And the pizza at Upper Crust in Gualala, Cal. is irresistable. When we take that trip is still unknown. Other trips are possible, but we haven't thought it out.

We bought a house near Grand Junction 1 3/4 years ago and have been remodeling it ever since. We attacked it with vigor for more than a year, but I had to have back surgery last September and less remodeling has taken place as I recovered and, then we both got bad colds in December—one month of coughing. But remodeling is picking up and how we balance road trips and remodeling will sort itself out. Our house is 1/2 miles above the city (much cooler in the summer), but only 20 minutes into town with great views and a floor plan that works for us.

We decided to take our annual winter trip to Santa Fe and arrived on Sunday. Snow started 70 miles from home and although not much snow fell, the roads were snowpacked for almost 300 miles. Worse were the samples of snow blindness (even with good sun glasses, it became hard to see), white outs, ground blizzards and lots of slush freezing to the FJ Cruiser. Driving was tiring, but we took turns and arrived in pretty good shape after a grueling drive. Two days later we are still chipping ice off it. We're taking it easy, sampling various varieties of green chili and taking it easy.

Our northwest trip will probably be driving long days to get to Washington fast. Then we'll slow down on the Olympic Penn., possibly seeing a former Airstream owner in Gig Harbor (are you watching, Dan?). We'll take the ferry to Victoria, thus avoiding the Seattle traffic. We know people there too. Then spend a week or more on the Island. Back to Washington and down the coast, coming back east somewhere north of Marin County. This is about a 3 week trip, maybe a little more. We've driven up and down this coast twice before with the trailer and at least one other time. We never tire of the roads along the coast. Some of them are a challenge with a trailer, but well worth it. I hope there will be no tsunamis or exploding volcanos.

When we get back next week, back to remodeling. A tile feature in the "great room" is next and then to finish the bedroom—80% finished, but last worked on just before I had surgery. And there's the basement hallway. Barb started painting it last week, so it needs a second coat and then I need to do baseboards, door trim and wainscotting. And it if gets warm again, some more painting of the garage exterior. Somewhere in the future is the great room paneling and new lighting and finishing the kitchen painting and maybe redoing a countertop. It seems to take us a lot of time for this even though the remodelers on HGTV do it in a matter of weeks. Our crew is us and no one else—maybe that makes a difference.

We haven't had time to wash and polish the trailer for a long time, so that will come in May. Compared to detailing a car or light truck, polishing an Airstream is like polishing a whale. I'm glad we only have a 25'—I can't imagine I'd survive a 34'.

Doing all this gets harder as we get older. But we are determined and this is our 3rd remodel together. We are doing better work than ever even as we go slower. A marriage that can survive 3 remodels and 50,000 trailer miles must be working pretty damn good and we like our lifestyle. Fairly new to the Grand Junction area, we are meeting lots of people and there's more than we can do in the city. Local musicians have a blues jam every week at a local bar and there was nothing like that where we lived before. So life is good and exhausting as we try to live like we are young, but there's no better way to do until they cart me off to hospice in about 20 years.

Snowing in Santa Fe now—drought here is really bad and I hope more snow comes. Santa Fe is really pretty in the snow. We've been coming to SF for 25 years and it doesn't snow very often, so we welcome it.

Gene
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Old 02-24-2015, 02:06 PM   #2
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So glad you got the house sold and that very long chapter is over for you and your wife.

May you enjoy many happy trips.


Maggie
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Old 02-24-2015, 02:20 PM   #3
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Hi Gene,

Glad to hear that you finally got free. Enjoy the ride and keep us posted.

Brian
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Old 02-24-2015, 07:49 PM   #4
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Yes, Brian, we are free! We use just that word to describe how we feel. The Great Recession still goes on in rural America. We had small comfort from the fact others had just as hard a time selling their houses. Now get out there are find the mooses.

And, Maggie, it was a "very long chapter". The positive side is that we had a lot of time to remodel the new house without all our stuff there. We worked hard, even when I was messed up from back issues. The work and stubborn determination kept me from thinking about the pain. A lot less back pain now, but my knees are getting worse and now I have a big ugly brace for one knee. I'm supposed to wear it when I work on the house or exercise. The clear message is if I don't, a partial knee replacement is coming soon. I will do whatever I can to avoid that and have stepped up exercising. I am not blessed with good fibrous cartilege—the disks in my back and the padding between bones in my knee are examples of that. But I don't have wrinkles, so I still look young, especially to people with bad eyesight who believe I have blond hair, not grey (my secret, stay in the weak lighting).

It is hard not to know Jullianne Moore won lots of awards for her performance in Still Alice, even for us who can't stand awards shows. She's a great actress who enhances most any movie she's in. She is also a very attractive woman and any Hollywood woman who lasts more than a year or two as an actress must have something special, especially after she's 29. We went to see the movie (a professor of linguistics gets early onset Alzheimer's at age 50) this afternoon. Powerful for those of us who worry every time we forget something. But I've been forgetting things for many years and it is the same as it was 10 years ago, so I prefer to believe I'm fine. All my aged friends joke about forgetting things, but I think there may be some compensation going on. Laughing in the face of the devil so to speak. After this very not-funny movie, I was in the bathroom and the guy next to me started talking about the movie. We even made some jokes. There are very rigid conventions about what men do standing in front of a urinal. We always try to keep a distance from the next guy—one empty urinal between us and no talking. If we talk, the other guy might think we're trying to pick him up. People have even written studies about this. So we guys are pretty silly, but we had a good discussion about how the movie affected us. We may be silly, but we don't buy a lot of shoes and many of us have learned to take showers.

I'm thinking of the trip along the coast a lot of the time. I hope there's a campground on the ocean near Tofino. Yesterday Barb's cousin met us in Santa Fe (she was in NM for a training session for her job) and told us about a rock in the Pacific you can walk to at low tide. It is near Cannon Beach, Ore. Apparently you only have a few hours to go and get back, or wait for the next low tide. There are caves to explore on the rock and waterfalls. Maybe it is an island and not just a rock. We'll have to check that out (with knee brace, of course). I can imagine myself driving along all those roads, even the twisty, narrow ones. I think I have it bad—I want to drive!

Gene
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Old 02-24-2015, 08:38 PM   #5
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Gene,
Keep us posted on your Northwest trip. Our new home is only about 10 miles or so north of Gig Harbor. Search for Manchester, WA on Google maps. Were just a couple blocks south of the Post Office. Maybe we'll get to meet without me having to go the western slope.

Ken
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Old 02-24-2015, 10:52 PM   #6
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Hi, don't forget that Bob is in Oregon now. Lately we have been buying plants and doing prison work. You know, where the prisoners take sledge hammers and break huge boulders into smaller ones, break smaller boulders into rocks, break rocks into gravel, break gravel into pebbles, and break pebbles into sand. Well not exactly, but our un-landscaped back yard is mostly clay and fist sized rocks. This makes digging holes for plants quite a job for a old person.
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Old 02-25-2015, 12:35 AM   #7
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Old 02-25-2015, 10:46 AM   #8
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the road out to Tofino, as memory serves me, is very narrow, twisted and with a pretty good pull up and then down, 7% seems to stick in my mind. the RV parks we found on the east side of the island were nothing to recommend, unfortunately, but never checked out Tofino and that area, good luck.

as far as the coastal travel and vistas, the WA coast is beautiful until you get as far S as the Hoh rainforest turnoff, then the roadway heads inland and all you see are clearcuts that were never replanted. pretty much the entire OR coast is packed with scenic vistas along with small towns that stretch along hwy 101 for mile after mile of slow crawling traffic. best vistas are on the south coast of OR, but you probably already know all about this.
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Old 02-25-2015, 11:28 AM   #9
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Ken, I thought you were moving north of Seattle, but now I know another person along the way. You may remember Dan who was a short term Airstream owner; his family goes back a long time in Gig Harbor. I haven't forgotten Prisoner Bob in Salem either. We've never seen Salem and I think it is close to I-5. I hope we'll have time to get to Vancouver Is. Barb has cousins and her aunt in Richland, Wash., and I don't know we'll go there, but it distorts my desire to move north fast. Next month I'll get out the maps and start planning how to do this in 3 weeks—it may have to expand.

Evan in Victoria—are you watching? Dave in Nanaimo?

Everywhere we will travel we have been before with a few exceptions. The things we didn't see (like the cheese factory in Oregon) we may see this time. We'll concentrate on the places we liked the most. I'd like to go to Point Reyes National Seashore again, even though the campground is right on the San Andreas Fault, and if the next big one is really big, the ocean may rush in. But it may be a little too far. Last time (2012 I think) we went to a CG on the Pacific at an Indian Rez in Wash. where they had been filming vampire movies. That was nice, but out of the way. We were right next to the beach in Anchor Bay, but in the summer I don't know if we could get a spot that close—and it was very difficult to get the trailer in the site. Otherwise, it is pretty hard to see much of the coast in Washington, but the forest is nice to drive through and traffic is light, so we get to Oregon sooner. We have some places we always stop because we like them—Cannon Beach, Bandon, Gualala. But maybe we'll find some other adventures.

You may have noticed I'm closing in on 10,000 posts. I'm probably closer than the number shows because threads I have posted on have been disappeared. The number of posts indicates I am a narcissistic dog with too much time on his paws. Seven and a half years ago I was a puppy, eager to defend my masters' new Airstream, now I am an older, more experienced dog, but I still defend the trailer and truck. Mess with me or my masters and I'll poop at the bottom of your stairs, or better yet, on them. I enjoy traveling but my male master is deteriorating with his infernal back problems, weak knees and decreasing memory. So I type for him as he mumbles to me. But my young female master feeds me, walks me, and lets me jump up on the sofa. She has better things to do, but the Forum keeps the old guy out of trouble (except when the mods go crazy). Woof!

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Old 02-25-2015, 09:49 PM   #10
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Hi, Gene; Yes, the Tillamook Cheese factory tour is great. We plan on going there again when my Daughter shows up. Today Prisoner Bob was forced to did a large hole in the ground for Lee's "Weeping Snowfall Cherry Blossom" tree. I like cherries but this tree only makes flowers. You should see the rock that was in that hole!
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Old 02-25-2015, 09:55 PM   #11
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Hi, OK that was actually one of four landscape rocks that Lee had the rock retaining wall man place there. [with a tractor] It might weigh about 200 lbs or more and Lee wants me to relocate it. Here is the largest of the rocks that I had dug out today. Lee and I lifted it out together. The picture doesn't even show how heavy this rock is. Most of the rocks are like the little one on the left, on the weed. My shovel stops at all rocks.
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Old 02-25-2015, 11:21 PM   #12
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One of my favorite cartoons is the guy with a shovel in his hand, and the wife indicating "plant the tree there!" And under the ground is a veritable pyramid of rocks under the indicated point. Story of my life.


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Old 02-26-2015, 12:00 AM   #13
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Road Trips

Here's a problem that couldn't be solved via said suitable application.
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Old 02-26-2015, 12:24 AM   #14
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I'll claim "not a suitable application" on that one...


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