Archive for the ‘travel’ Category

This was a week ago; I wanted to get it up right after I got home, but of course didn’t, and then it felt like it was history so not worth blogging, but I’ve been enjoying reading posts from years ago, so for the sake of my future self, I’m going to do this anyway.

Got out last week for two nights in a row, and it was very successful. I’m now not only hopeful, but confident, that somehow this camping with Scamp and cats is going to work out.


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Days 5-7

Day 5:  Most of this day was spent driving through the mountains, stopping often just to look and take pictures.  It was soothing to my soul–moountains do something for me that no other landscape–or seascape–does, however beautiful it may be.  Especially the high Rockies. (more…)

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Four days on the road so far.  This trip will be about ten weeks, if it goes according to my rather vague plans.  Which are subject to change–indeed, have changed already.


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A couple of old friends (in both senses of the phrase) are getting married Saturday. I am one of the few privileged non-family-members to be invited, so I left Monday afternoon to head to California.  I am, frankly, getting a little bored with the I-5 corridor, so on Tuesday I left I-5 at Yreka and headed up to Trinity Lake on Highway 3, and did a loop that ultimately came out at Red Bluff.   (more…)

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The big as-yet-unresolved issue with having acquired travel cats is the fact that they are nocturnal.  Further, they regard the van as their very own bedroom/playroom, having slept in it almost every night since I got them.  This has worked as desired in terms of making them comfortable in the van and regarding as their “safe place” when on the road.  However, it also means they see no good reason to accommodate my sleep pattern when we are camping.  Which is a problem.  I am a light sleeper to begin with, and I do not do well when shorted on sleep.  Not only do general coping skills decline precipitously, enjoyment of life drops to zero, and I turn into a rabid monster.    (more…)

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(Note:  Two requests for identification are at the end of the post, one flower and one bird, so ID gurus–you know who you are– may want to skip to the end to check them out and give me your best guesses.)

People call Silver Falls the “crown jewel” of the Oregon State Parks system, at least according to its website, and you couldn’t disprove it by me.  I just got back from a couple of most excellent days/nights there and took lots of pictures, so this is a long post.

The first day, my brother and his wife took a day trip down from Portland and we got to discover things together.  First, a couple of pictures of my first view of the South Falls (there will be more later.  You have been warned.) (more…)

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I am now the proud (?) possessor of a new etrike–an adult tricycle that I can pedal as usual, but is also powered by an electric motor and battery.  I’ve owned it (in all its component parts) for a few weeks, but I finally got up to Portland to the Ebike Store, who put it all together for me, to pick it up.

It’s been a process.  First, choosing all the component parts, which had to be bought via the internet, which means no see-touch-feel, which I hate–you don’t really know what you’re getting or if you’ll like it.  The battery is a whole thing unto itself–I went for more power and longevity, which means it’s big, which means finding a container for it and deciding where to mount it on the trike were both issues (and I may change it around yet).  And how to transport it with the van?

Anyway, here it is, just after unloading it at home. (more…)

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Having noticed a certain obsessional taking and posting of cat pics and videos, many of them repetitive in type, over the past weeks, I’ve decided to see if I can get it out of my system by posting a glut of them all at once.  Perhaps then I’ll be able to turn my mind to something other than cats.  We’ll see.  I’ll warn you–it’s long, lots of pics and several video clips, so if you skim through–or skip it altogether–I’ll understand.  Well, I’ll never know, but I would understand if I did know.

First, pictures of cats lolling around.  (No videos in this part.  Go figure.  I’m not quite crazy enough to do video of sleeping cats.)  (more…)

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We’re almost there!  In fact, I think we are there.  I think I’ve succeeded in raising a couple of travel cats, and pretty much have things figured out for how to travel with them, including long trips–they/we did fine on a 10 day jaunt around the Northwest back in September.

But off leash cat walks–that’s the icing on the cake.  Went camping last week for a couple of nights, with the goal of taking a walk in the woods with all three critters.  Headed for Foster Bar, because it’s relatively remote, and mostly used by day-trippers as a place to unload from the river, so I figured we’d have the campground to ourselves, and we did.  Et voilá!

<p><a href=”http://vimeo.com/109598420″>catwalk 2a</a> from <a href=”http://vimeo.com/user33545867″>Jean Mitchell</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>


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First, allow me to introduce the Cuties:


The gray streak would be Attilla the Cute; the darker cat-shaped blot is Tamercutie.  The names will be explained in due course, and are subject to change. (more…)

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Had what is probably the second peak experience of the trip this afternoon.  The first was Carlsbad Caverns, which I never finished posting pictures of even on FB.  Will post today’s pictures here with a few comments in between, but mostly—just look at the pictures.

First, to give credit where credit is due, the tour company is Swamp Adventures.  If you ever make it to New Orleans, I totally recommend them.  They offer 10-person airboat tours and 6-person tours; I took the latter, and am glad I did.  There were only 4 of us on the boat, and because of that, and the rain last night, the guide. . .


(I think his name is Jerry, but I’m not sure.  Bad at names, you know.  But I’ll call him Jerry anyway.  He has the most lovely Cajun accent.  I wanted to go have a beer with him afterwards, but didn’t quite have the nerve to propose it.)

Anyway, Jerry decided to take us off into little a little “trail” he said he’d only done maybe 5 times since October.  For whatever reason, the territory he took us into was just beautiful—close to as surreal as Carlsbad.

First a few pics of the avenues. . .





Those were a bit tricky to get, as the boat was going quite fast down those avenues, and I had to hold my hat on.  But he slowed way down to make the turns, and that gave me the chance to snap a few.

Here are some deeper in to his small trails:




Those give a flavor of the beauty of the place, but as with Carlsbad Caverns, you really have to experience it for real.

Jerry asked us at the beginning what we wanted to see, and of course we all said “alligators”.  Up to that point, I had only seen two—one in Texas, and one at Palmetto.  Now I’ve seen way more—I lost count after about 6.  The smaller ones are quite pretty.  We saw a lot of them from a couple of feet long to maybe four feet long, but they were quick and I didn’t get many pictures of them.  This first one you’ll have to look hard to spot.  Look for the head near the center of the photo.


Here are a couple of one a bit easier to see.




Jerry said the open-mouth pose is for expelling gasses–alligator burping, I guess.

The bigger ones get more lethargic and less pretty, but are of course more exciting to see.




Those last two Jerry obviously knows well—he knew right where to go to find them.  A male and a female.  He tossed the female some chunks of fish–of which she deigned to eat one, the one that literally hit her on the snout.

He also knows this next one well—he called her Madame Robicheaux, and he took us right to her at the beginning of the tour.  I think he’d spotted her earlier in the day.



Soon after turning into the smaller “trail”, he stopped and hooted a bit, explaining he was calling his “buddy”, an owl he has known since it was a baby.  As proof, he showed us a picture of a baby owl.  And by darn, the owl came.


There’s no doubt it was responding to Jerry’s calls.  It watched us for several minutes, from more than one tree, and it followed us quite a ways after we resumed the tour.  Jerry has named it, but of course I forgot the name.  He says it’s a barred owl—I wouldn’t know, but would take his word for it.






If I had the money, I’d go do this a couple more times—my only complaint about the experience was that it was too short, I want more.

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So last night we had supper with childhood friends we hadn’t seen in 50 years (see, I’m getting used to it–no caps :-). The youngest (Midy) was an infant when we left town, and now lives next door to their mom. I tend to drop in on the mother whenever I go through Salmon, but the last few times I haven’t been able to find the lane into her property, but with directions provided by Heather and her husband, we found it and went to see her. (more…)

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So yesterday the G3 ipads came out, available at 5:00pm, and by 5:30 I had mine and was headed home. Now I just have to get used to a whole bunch of new conventions. I’m beginning to get used to the on-screen keyboard, though it’s a bit weird having to switch back and forth between the ABC and the numeric screens. But I’ve run into a few things that I’m wondering about.

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iPad Lust

Yes, I’m lusting after an iPad (and hereafter in this post, I shall not be capitalizing the P. My fingers can barely coordinate these days to capitalize the first letter of a sentence, let alone the second letter in a word in the middle of a sentence.)

So far I have resisted, (more…)

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I may never get to do any real blogging on this trip.

Anyway, I am now just outside Williamsburg, VA. (more…)

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I did make it out finally, late last Thursday. It was 5:30 PM when I pulled away from the house, all loaded down. It almost didn’t feel worth leaving at that point, but I figured even though I’d only get maybe 90 miles before stopping for the night, at least I’d be committed and gone, so go I did.

Getting to Rough Rock was no picnic. (more…)

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Well, contrary to plans and expectations, I’m still sitting at home.

This week has been a bit of a roller coaster for me. (more…)

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On the road again

Or I soon will be.

I’m about to head out for a couple of months. The plan is to make a large circuit of the country, heading out across the south, then north to Connecticutt where a couple of my brother’s grandchildren are (they are the main draw), then west across the north to Bellingham, WA, then back south to CA and home.

After my tent adventures a couple of summers ago (which you can read about by clicking on “travel” from the pop-down menu on the right. The first one that’s really about the trip is “Tent stories 3”, and the next ten posts cover the rest of the trip) I decided I needed access to air conditoning in the future (the temperature hit the hundreds nearly everywhere I went on that trip.) Even though I’m getting out earlier in the season this year, AC will be needed in the South, I’m sure. Tents being not amenable to air conditioning–and a pain to put up–I have acquired a trailer that’s probably the world’s smallest RV. It’s interior square footage is about the size of a double bed. (more…)

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(I’ve had this experience, and these thoughts, many times, but let me tell it as one, not many.)

I stop, halfway up the mountain, in a pullout made for this purpose. A ponderosa pine has inspired me to stop: the desire to say hello, to smell the sun-warmed vanilla smell of it. I turn off the engine and step out into the warm summer day.

Listening to the summer silence, the pings of the cooling engine, bird calls, hum of insects, light wind in my ears, I walk over to the tree, put my hands on it, lean close, and sniff deeply. (more…)

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I did go to Hamilton the day after my last update, and spent Sunday evening to Wednesday morning with my friends there. Again, it was HOT–unusually so for Hamilton, hitting 100 each day. I’m seriously looking forward to getting back to the west coast–though the way things are going, Portland will get one of its annual heat waves just about the time we arrive.

Wednesday I picked my brother up in Missoula and we headed toward Yellowstone. He had a liver transplant a year ago (terminal cirrhosis of the liver, and he’s a lifelong teetotaler–go figure, it’s a mystery to all of us), and his strength is limited, but he held up pretty well to riding most of the day and camping at night in Yellowstone and in Teton National Park.

First Yellowstone. (more…)

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