Nov 6 2008
Day one: ESCAPE!

Departure day. First snowfall forecast. Hwy closure necessitating mountainous route to border. Forecast materialized…SNOW! We escape just in time.

As we approach the dreaded border, the site of our trauma 7 months ago, I’m grasping my brown bag ready to treat my hyperventilation. Gawd, you’d think we were approaching the Afghan border!

Short story, all was well, we only lost a bag of cat treats and three oranges after inspection by US Customs.

Having done this trip twice and endured endless “right and righter” discussions regarding directions and decisions, I decided to retire as Navigator. I planted myself on the couch or the easy chair and before the trip was over I had written a whole new Coaching Program (watch for the launch soon!) and read an 800 page novel (just mind candy)!

DB had complete control. Mind you, that did not mean that he didn’t drive around Wenatchee for an hour in the dark looking for a proper parking lot to spend the night. It did mean he hit the highway again until finding a truck stop in the rain, dark and fog.


Headed out south on a wet Hwy 97 to the Hood River, which is the dividing border between Washington and Oregon. Then west along a narrow, winding yet beautiful drive along said river.

This resulted in Solomon returning his breakfast on Greg’s shoe (not on his foot at the time) and soon after, my tummy joined the Cirque de Soleil. Unusual for me who can always read and work on the computer while in road motion.

Leaving that experience behind we head South from Portland, Oregon on Interstate 5 to Eugene where we did the evening ritual of driving around for an hour looking for the Wal-Mart which was finally located after DB ASKED DIRECTIONS! Progress.

Finally able to shop for some food, I make a very upsetting discovery: My exclusive label Chardonnay wine has gone up 33% since last season!! Dang! “WalMart White Wine” is now $2.97 a bottle! Curses.

I must tell you about the Tilted Lady.

Parked for the night in the Wal-Mart lot, I glanced out the window to see a very short, pear-shaped older lady exiting her older motorhome with her older dog on leash. She “walked” over to a nearby tree to allow doggie to pee.

This is the best way I can describe her “walk”:

You would think the pear shape would keep her centre of gravity in the hip area. Her legs were perpendicular to the ground (that’s good), but from hips to head she was slightly tilted forward (this in not good). Add to that a very short, very quick-stepping gait with a slight side to side waddle. So far so good, except…..the further she walked the more she tilted making the tiny steps speed up which added to the increased degree of the tilt which necessitated faster feet, etc. etc. Thank goodness she and doggie arrived at the tree in time to be anchored!

Now for the return trip and I’m holding my breath. Same scenario. Before she made it to her motorhome I was ready to put 10 to 1 with my bookie that she was going to do a pavement plant with her nose! I would have lost, but it was really good for a few minutes entertainment. I did notice though that the dog, being very small and also wise, stayed well out ahead as far as his leash would allow while giving continual furtive glances over his shoulders!

Day 3: Sunshine! Warmer!

Oops, back to rain.

Yay, back to sunshine.

Dang, back to rain.

To complete the day with a cracker-jack thunderstorm!

Darkness falls, we are in Redding, CA. having completed travel through the remainder of Oregon. Torrential rain, constant lightning and I’m lovin’ it. Really, I like thunderstorms. Got a huge thrill when an extremely bright flash of lightning occurred at the precise same time as a C-R-A-C-K of thunder so loud I almost swallowed my eyeballs!

DB is learning! He actually stopped and asked directions to a truck stop within 10 minutes of entering Redding!

Ahh, to sleep with the window open breathing the fresh, rain-washed air!! (CHOKE, GAG), what the heck is that stink!?

Diesel exhaust! Well, there are ‘only’ about 100 semi trucks parked inches apart for the night and most have their generators running. Window now closed, oh well, so much for fresh air.

Day 4: B-O-R-I-N-G

Mostly sunny
The long, boring stretch through flat, central northern CA .
Still frosty at night. Sunny all day.

Sid had the most excitement for the day when I put him on a leash and let him gorge on grass at two rest stops. Do you see the look he gave me when I tucked a bougainvillea blossom between his ears? “I am NOT a girl cat!”

Then we have the boys still doing their synchronized sleeping pose.

The sight of literally thousands of wind turbines never ceases to cause mouth-dropping awe for me. By the way, on my computer if you click on one of my pictures it will enlarge. Give it a try so you can see the futuristic landscape in the distance.

Overnighted in the Tejon Pass at a Flying J truck stop. Great truck stops! Showers for drivers, good restaurants not just fast food joints, stores similar to 7-11, many diesel pumps, truck repair bays, etc.

After hours of straight, flat hwy it was good to see foothills in the distance. So different from home with no greenery but with a certain beauty all it’s own. I can only describe them as looking as if the Mountain Angel had crumpled a gigantic, brown paper bag and slightly stretched it out again upon the earth. Various angles of sunlight gave them a velvety appearance.

I rather like the break from TV and Internet. Early to bed and early to rise just like the farmers in their day.


Price of diesel: $2.80 gal US at the truck stop. It varies greatly and every gas station has different prices, not like home where they are all in cahoots with each other and every station is the same.

Sighted the first palm trees today!

Arrived in Yuma after dark and elected to park in the Wal Mart lot rather than wrestle this bus and trailer into our RV Park site in the dark.

Yahoo! My Triple ‘W’ Chardonnay is STILL $1.97 here in Yuma!


Glorious sunshine, CALM winds. So different from last year!

We ran around getting re-acquaintance hugs and hollers with old friends from last season. No loneliness this time!

Being the organized, well-prepared person that I am, I had arranged for Qwest to connect our phone and Internet for the same day we arrived. Didn’t happen. A subsequent call revealed they had lost the order. What else is new?????! They felt badly and ‘expedited’ the order for a week later.

Final Note

So we are happily snuggled into our lot living in the hip pockets of our neighbours: Barb & Jim and “Stevie” (Chihuahua and mystery cross, old and sweet) from Seattle on the left and Sandy & Tim and “Lucy” (Basset Hound, old and sweet) from Stettler on the right. Seems the pets and the people have lots in common…everyone is Old and Sweet!

Been here for 9 days as this writing, constant sunshine all day and only light breezes so far! Daily temps range from 30 to 35C.

Oh yes, we have an orange tree this year on our new site. Bye-bye grapefruit.

A Tip for you

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