Tag: Travel

The Pause that Refreshes

The Pause that Refreshes

We are beginning the second leg of our trips now.  We finished one tour of camping duty and have gone back out to battle the roads again.  Yesterday and the day before give us a chance to get caught up on laundry, pick up a few supplies, and take care of one or two personal appointments.  At least one of the appointments was for Dad, taking him for things like blood work etc..  The outcome of that was mentioned in “I Saw an Old Man Walking”.

We drove as far as the Colville Walmart last night, arriving around 8:30 pm or so.  Made for a long day but with some luck we’ll make up for it at the tail end of our trip.  I really do not like the drive-camp-drive scenario, much too tiring for me.  As long as we can get a few days of downtime after these first couple days we should be ok.

Spokane was the destination of choice today.  We only drove as far as Deer Park this morning where we came across an inexpensive municipal camping spot so we decided to bunk there.  $10 bucks a night is within my budget.  That’s good too because I blew the budget a bit while shopping at Costco.

Photo 2012-07-26 5 55 15 PMI’ve been a tad frustrated trying to navigate while using maps and reading road signs so an investment in a GPS was considered.  I didn’t have to consider too long though, actually it was a foregone conclusion.  I picked up a Garmin nuvi 2595LMT.  I hope it’s a good unit.  Too late now anyway but it’s always nice to know you made a good choice.

My posts are likely to be a bit disjointed from here on out, at least for the next week or so.  Nothing new you might think, but because we’re on the road it has been a bit more challenging to put up a good post.  Somehow the preparation on my iPhone just doesn’t do justice to the appearance of a blog.  I can get the content in alright but making it look at least a little interesting is more challenging.

I’ve been using an app called Penzu to write them and then copy/paste in the WordPress app when I get cell service.  I don’t think I can insert pictures as easily though and they seem to lose all formatting when I do the paste.  I have just used the WordPress app to prepare the post but I’ve also lost them that way too.  No chances are taken when I do it this way.

Anyway, I’m off for now.  Time to move on.

July 21 – On the Road Again

July 21 – On the Road Again

Our visit here is almost over. One more night, tonight, and we will be back on the road again. It reminds me of the Willie Nelson song…..”On the Road Again”…., I think it was Willie anyway. I’ve never been good at remembering songs or artists so cut me some slack, please.

20120722-200643.jpgIt’s been somewhat relaxing camping here at Bridgeport State park. The campground as a whole is quite pretty, and as I said in my last post where it’s not really my style it does have a certain charm. My wife gave it an 80% and while I wouldn’t rate it that high. I would say it’s probably in the top third. Of course that’s only measured from the places we’ve seen. As I said I’m a camping-snob too.

This location would be quite nice for groups of families camping together due to the open concept and the “circle the wagons” format of social camping. I, however, am not that social and I am a self described non-social person, not to be confused with anti-social.

The two are distinctly different in my mind. Where an “anti” social personality is against being social (hence “anti”) I am just more comfortable in situations that don’t demand or require social interaction. I am more the wall flower, or perhaps the strong silent type. In fact one of my favorite quotes is “It’s better to remain silent and thought a fool than to speak up and remove all doubt”. I would search out and identify the author of the quote but unfortunately my Internet access is slow or non-existent.

So I’m non-social, have no Internet, and perhaps no personality or life. What am I to do while I’m on the road? I do like to read and if I can remain focused for long enough I can plow through a good sized book in no time. That too is relative but my reading speed and comprehension are pretty quick, faster than average I think. I was reading college level in grade 9 and although that was 100 years ago I still have the fundamentals.

Where I am challenged though, apart from my ADD and other obvious things (kidding, but only partly) is my disconnect from the ‘net. Blogging, and all it entails like photos, quotes, post formatting etc. are more challenging when you try to do it solely from your phone, utilizing only the apps you have available, and relying on your cell carriers coverage. It’s probably also obscenely expen$$$ive, as I’m sure I’ll find out, as my connection is strictly via roaming. I’m sure there are easier/better/cheaper methods and I’m equally as sure I’ll figure them out. That’s probably best dealt with under separate cover.

So anyway we’re on the road again but I’m off the information highway. You’ll have to bear with me and take my posts as they come, perhaps without some of the niceties, minus the lipstick and rouge. I’ll do my best but until we get back into Canada or I get good wifi somewhere the posts will be what they’ll be. Hoist one for Willie and the road.

July 20 – Pseudo Camping

July 20 – Pseudo Camping

We are camping snobs, you could say we have “pseudo-itis”. It’s a horrible disease, one where the the cure may be almost as bad as the illness, where the symptoms may not be readily apparent to anyone least of all those affected (or “infected” as the case may be). It can also be highly contagious as friends and family have experienced when they travel with us. I will try to elaborate.

As we’ve visited a number of campsites during our limited travel experiences we have determined what we do, and do not, prefer with regard to: privacy, or lack thereof, treed or open, big or small, and perhaps a natural setting or man made. This criteria is not the only means to measure our camping experience but it covers most of the key physical factors

Our taste typically runs toward the private, treed, large(ish) and natural. And to clarify, when I say private I’m referring only to the relative privacy each individual site has, whether you can be easily seen from the road or any adjacent sites, and can you be heard by other nearby campers. I’m not referring to Gov’t or private campsites, and won’t go so far as to say we will or won’t stay in either a state/provincial park, or alternatively a privately run non-government campground. Both equally run a diverse range of pros and cons.

While I thought we have seen (what we thought was) all types of camping I am still occasionally surprised, as I was today. I think this is where the snob”itis” comes in.

While looking for a spot to camp tonight we pulled into a State park in North/Central Washington. It was situated on a pretty lake in a small valley, a few trees provided shade and there was a number of greenspaces where one could play catch, toss a football, or just hang out and enjoy the sights.

The RV sites themselves left much to be desired however, with the available RV spots being on a large asphalt pad, divided up into stalls, and each stall being approximately twice the width and length of what you might find in any supermarket parking lot. There were a number of them all lined up, like so many rows of used cars. There was nothing green nor any break between the sites, you would literally be sitting in your lawn chair below your neighbors windows. Not my idea of an ideal situation, I would call it pseudo-camping. We chose to move on, the disease was taking hold.

After an hours drive or so we finally did pull into another State Park, this one on Wood Lake just outside Bridgeport. The drive up from the highway was somewhat intimidating, climbing up out of the river valley and leaving orchards of fruit trees behind. The gray/green desert scrub, sage brush and sand, appeared to be the only ground cover we could see and we wondered what kind of camping this was leading us into now. We were pleasantly surprised however as we crested the hill and descended back down into an oasis of green situated on the shores of the lake. Opposite this park, across the lake, were more of the fresh looking orchards, a tapestry of color lining the valley wall.

The camping area itself is very pretty, green and lush with abundant greenspaces and mature trees to provide shade on the days that require it. The sites are not private however and while there is abundant space and trees around, and between, each site they all back onto a large open grassy common area. As I mentioned this is not our ideal but I needed a break and the other positives of this location outweighed the few negatives. Our snobbishness was apparently in remission.

We will stay for at least 2 nights here before moving on. I say “at least” because we may decide to stay longer if another appropriate site is available. We have this particular site for both nights before a previously made reservation takes hold. If we choose to leave we will head off into the unknown to continue looking for those spots that don’t aggravate our condition. It may be a challenge but I don’t think so. I’m hoping there are fewer pseudo-campers than those of us with the illness, pseudo-itis. Keep me in your prayers and wish me a healthy recovery.

Our Time Here is Done

Our Time Here is Done

20120719-093542.jpgOur time here is almost done.  We will be on the road shortly to continue our adventure in the US.  That is currently the plan anyway.

We’ve been staying at our daughter and son in laws for the last 2 days and nights, to catch up on laundry and of course see the family (read that grandson).  I lamented the fact in my last post that we had to spend a chunk of cash on the trailer to get a wheel alignment done but that is done now and I think we are good to go.  Let’s see what the road holds for us.

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Carry your Loved Ones in your Heart

Carry your Loved Ones in your Heart

20120622-223118.jpgLong days, and nights that fly by.

We have hit the road again to see the fam and celebrate a belated Fathers day and my upcoming birthday. I’m pooped and have become quite disillusioned with the time spent driving, but you knew that didn’t you. Be that as it may we will thoroughly enjoy our time and we will also look forward to going home. I certainly will anyway.

I will miss my lil’buddy but I will always carry him in my heart.

Here We Go Again

Here We Go Again

20120621-141008.jpgI’m back to feeling like a traveling salesman, off to a new destination tomorrow, the end of the road a point on the distant horizon.

It is really we, not I, but the result is the same. We will spend time away from home and away from my castle. I’m becoming more of a yard snob I think, someone whose life revolves around the goal of bringing his gardens to perfection and won’t be fully “satisfied” until they are.

My current yard passion would be roses. Something about the tending to, pruning and nurturing, calms me. We will see if this stays with me or goes the way of so many endeavors and passes out of consciousness and into oblivion. Hang in there, we’ll see.

Family Bondage

Family Bondage

June 14th

I arrived unscathed at the first destination in my journey, my daughters home. The roads were good and traffic was relatively light, the route becoming almost routine. Thankfully the weather turned into a black squall after I arrived, with high winds and a pounding rain.

We had just finished a delicious dinner of butter chicken, one of my daughters specialties, and were working on a yummy bottle of red wine.  We sat on the couch to yak.  It is family bondage time.  Intrigued?

On the Road again

On the Road again

source http://www.miss-thrifty.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2008/09/travelling-salesman.jpg
Travelling salesman

I’m soon to be on the road again. I feel like a traveling salesman, and to think at one point I aspired to a role like that. Now, maybe not so much.

I have been approached recently too, to see if I’d be interested in taking on a sales position since I’ve retired.  It would mean travel probably 2 or 3 days a week, living in hotels and eating restaurant food.  Boozing and schmoozing customers would be the norm, it would most likely tax my adapting skills to the max, and I’d probably be back into the stress mode. More here

Life with the Fam(ily)

Life with the Fam(ily)

Photo 2012-06-07 9 23 01 AMMeet my grandson Madden.  Had I ever thought I could feel the way I do about a little human being I would have had grandchildren sooner, a lot sooner.  He was 3 months old on June 10th and he has the personality of my daughter.  He is one of my fam(ily).

Since he was born we’ve made about half a dozen trips to see him and his family, my daughter and son-in-law.  It’s about a 4 hour jaunt, well worth it when you consider the payback, his smiles or the way he gazes into your eyes.  He is my ‘lil buddy, I am his poppa.  Just looking at his picture while I type this puts a warm feeling in my heart.

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