A clear smoky passage

After my last posting, we had been reading that the road was closed due to wildfires. Any which way we would go, it would have been an obstacle course. As we recently learned, even the path we got to this point had been closed due to landslide and a new fire. So we reached out to the locals. This was helpful and we moved onto Dawson Creek. Super smoky there, but found a nice campground. I am most fortunate to be able to run my a/c on 12 v, whereas Cheri needs electricity. A/c doesn’t eliminate the smoke, but it sure cooled the air enough for Rosie & I to be comfortable. Morning report found the road was open with a pilot car, so we headed out for Fort St. John. More heavy smoke greeted us and we kept going. Got to the check point and found no pilot car, I would have loved to have been following anybody down that road, visibility was horrible, but just took it slow. It was easy to see why the road had been closed off and on, but no active fire was visible as I plowed thru that heavy smoke. Whew! We made it. so we headed on down the road to Fort Nelson. About 5 hours later, we pulled in tired, stinky from the smoke and glad to be in cooler temps for a change. The smoke came in the next morning. When we arrived the whole town was without electricity, again I was thankful I had my van on 12 v. As I grumble about things that have fallen apart, quit working, etc, I love what I can do with this van without electrical hook-ups. Solar has not failed me in any way, shape or color. Now if I could just figure out how to add juice to these old bones…

On our way to Fort Nelson, we stopped at a rest area. A young fella with a Florida license plate, flagged Cheri down to ask if we had any spare gas.He saw our spare gas tanks on rear of our vans, but alas we haven’t put gas in them yet. So he asked if he could siphon off some gas for his car. The guy had filled up in Grand Prairie, AB and he claimed he always gets gas at 1/2 tank, but this time he thought he could make it. He shy about 80 kilometers. Then he bragged he quit his job in Florida to go build log homes in Alaska. I asked if he already had a job lined up and his bravado spoke volumes that he was clueless. He’s also clueless if he will hitchhike to Fort Nelson too, or just start walking. Well, we don’t know the end result, but none of the tanks he tried to siphon worked, so no gas. He’s learning the hard way.

That broken drawer under my microwave, I found a great way to keep it semi-closed – put my croc’s in front of the drawer. Works far better than the cabinet top. Can’t close the drawer tho, and I can’t take the drawer out – as the lid to my VitaMixer had fallen back there. Can’t reach it either. I need a grabber, but alas we haven’t been anywhere that sells them. So it travels partially open/closed and it can’t go anywhere. Now my step by the sliding door decided to quit. It worked twice one morning, then nothing. Took it into a RV repair place in Dawson Creek, they thought it might be a fuse, but no fuse was found for the step and they couldn’t get to fixing the step until another day. I will just deal with the this, maybe in Whitehorse I can get it fixed, if possible. The step has been a problem ever since they ordered it. The first one worked until it didn’t, waiting for parts to arrive that didn’t work, for them to send a bigger step was nice and it did work the first 3 weeks of owning the completed van, but it doesn’t now. Rosie has no trouble jumping in and out, but I have to take it slow.

Animals sighted so far: Alive: large coyote, buck, 3 moose, 2 black bears, itty bitty fawn (I sure hope Mom was close, but wasn’t seen) and 1 road kill – big grizzly bear. That grizzly must have been hit by big truck, as a car would have left all kinds of debris.

Soory, no images this time. Smoke pictures are less than desirable. Next time, hopefully.

Mother Nature has other ideas

Before reaching Clinton, we got sidetracked by a gas station attendant that guided us to Highway 8 out of Merritt which brought us out just south of Cache Creek. The picture above just doesn’t do justice to how green those mountains were. But 8 follows the river thru these mountains. Apparently in 2017 the river washed out the roads, homes, etc along this route. Most of the road was gravel with sporadic paved but potholed roads. It wasn’t bad driving. Nice diversion too. Except now I have another busted drawer in my galley. This one is below my microwave, The track is broken, magnet does not hold the drawer with all the rough roads. So I finally figured out how to keep it closed when traveling. They built me a box/cabinet around my toilet, it’s the top part that now secures that drawer. It’s a nuisance, but it should stop further damage..

So we got through the crisis that pretty much destroyed the roads in Cache Creek, temps were hotter than blazes, and we found big gulpies of iced tea heavenly when we could find them. We made it to Clinton, BC and stayed in a RV campground for $25, it also had a quirky restaurant. The guythat we paid to sleep overnight was a big Trump fan and loved quizzing any American. Actually think he loved to rile anyone that differed from his opinion. Quite a dinner. But staying in this campground was quiet, which was nice. When we awoke in the morning, a thick blanket of smoke, as if it was fog, covered our view.. Oh but the temps were so much cooler, a simple joy to behold. We headed out, the day was smoky most of the day, but it was high overhead to block the sun and gave up 64ºF temps all day until Prince George and the sun peaked out the temps soared into the 80’s. We are somewhere north of Prince George for the night and we are officially stuck. I don’t normally speak of where we are until after we leave the area. At this point, I will have to leave you wondering what our solution was until we get much further north. You see Mother Nature has us blocked at the moment.

Can’t go west to the Cassiar Highway due to flooding before Hazelton. – we really didn’t want to go that way (been there done that sort of thing), but the flooding sure put a halt to any thinking of changing routes.. We can’t go north, as a wildfire has closed Highway 97 near Fort St. John. We are looking at some secondary roads, which if you have ever traveled in British Columbia, you don’t take these alternates lightly. So we will be talking to the Canadians tomorrow, in depth to see if they are viable. or what are our other options. We do not want to head south. I can tell you all waterways are flooding that we have seen so far. In all the years I have traveled these roads, this has been the most difficult trip so far. But we aren’t giving up, just have no idea what we will do at this writing.

The Start

I have been camping at Rosie”s breeder Mom home for a couple of weeks. It has been a wonderful shift from hectic to oh so slow regrouping. Rosie got to meet her sister, nephew, aunts and cousins. they ran and played on over an acre of land. It was a hoot seeing the growth in Rosie. She arrived a bit skittish, especially when all the dogs ran out to greet her. When she left she was one confident lady.She got to see her first wild turkey, deer and a chipmunk and donkey’s. Miniature and full grown donkey’s.

It is here that I really got to learn about my van. I was told my water tank had been filled, it had not. I discovered the water level gauge is worthless, as you can’t see water level at all. So I had no inside gauge either, so I just listened to the water until it was almost done. The air conditioning that’s in my roof over my bed, cools beautifully the bed, but rest of the van is hot! So after much trial and error, I learned to open my Maxx Air fan at same time as a/c. This really helps circulate the air. My stupid fridge, has only one knob for both freezer & cold areas. So of course the freezer freezes, rapid built up of ice. I have already defrosted it twice in 2 weeks. Lots of condensation in the fridge, I need a little fan to move the air. I’m on the lookout for one. My separate freezer unit is awesome, except it comes out cock-eyed on drawer. just the weirdest thing. I will figure out how to fix that in due time. Now I am going to share my royal ass mistake, as I have never done this, but I did it royally…thank you very much. I drove off without unplugging my power cord and it janked it and the box it was plugged into straight out of my van. All that is left are bare wires and some insulation. I called a mobile guy for help and it turns out he goes to Spokane to work on weekends. Well my friends connected with him and he is brining it to me when he comes to work on it. Small bit of luck but will gladly accept it!

It is just blazing hot! No reprieve near either. My friend Cheri is now with me, we are anxious to get going. And so we shall!


Well I just finished my 1st shakedown trip in my van. Even before this little trip I was trying to work through the bugs. For instance my freezer was warm vs frosty, discovered the settings were in Celsius not Fahrenheit. What a huge difference that makes.

So off to escape with my Rosie girl. Introducing her to life in the van was interesting. She loves that I go out with her to explore our surroundings under the pretense that she will pee and poo. I called this P&P’s, although she doesn’t get my humor in calling it that. Guess I’ve been on the SKP Board too long. I don’t demand standing rules, bylaws or P&P’s on her, but the interchange happens fairly often and she just stares at me. I do better with sit, down, fetch, ride, walk and leash when talking to her. And so life goes on.

I picked a campground between Sequim and Port Angeles. I had need to go to both places so tried to do it this weekend. I only managed to get one of tofwo things done – Costco was done and getting seen at Music Mobile was not. So the first day/night I camped off electricity. I really wanted to see what I could do without electricity and with solar. Of course the skies opened up and it rained, but I still got a good idea. I did not do anything huge amount of cooking, but I had come prepared to just eat what I picked up at Costco for dinner. Rosie, got (new to her) Sunday’s beef for dinner. Her Nom Nom was still frozen. Well she rather looked at Sunday’s offerings and walked away, so I added freeze-dried beef, just a few to Sunday’s food. She cobbled it all down. We walked after dinner, as the rain had let up. Met a few of our neighbors, she got lots of attention and she loved it. Met a few big dogs which made Rosie run between my legs for protection, whereas the big dogs just wanted to play. She did not allow it, so we moved on. When we got back to the van, Rosie played a bit, while I attempted to check my emails. Still having trouble making my iPhone a hotspot. I do all the steps on phone as well as computer – the phone picks up the computer but not vice versa. I will figure it out, but it’s eluding me at the moment. We turned in early.

A rather rude discovery the next morning, to learn my 12 v Norcold fridge is not working. It was before the trip, did something dislodge on the road? I don’t know, but it’s not working. So I hooked up to electricity. Switched on the inverter, wa-la – my fridge is now working. I don’t get it, why doesn’t it work on 12v? Sure it’s raining outside, but everything else is working. So guess I will stay hooked to electricity until I head back home.

So the rest of the weekend it rained, of course. So I had brought stuff to pack and find a home for, I did that. Played with Rosie, walked Rosie – never did find the dog run they claimed they had, I would have loved to let her run, but not this time. Oddly, she seemed content as long as I was walking with her. When we got home, I attempted to just let her out on the front porch to do her P&P’s to no avail. She brought her leash to me – a first! So we both got drenched in our walk. Rosie is anxious when in a moving vehicle. Despite all the baby steps to get her past this, I think I may have to resort to drugs. She just non-stop pants. Yeah, I know dogs pant, that is normal, but this is different. She stops panting as soon as the vehicle stops and picks right back up when we are moving. She is a whole lot better in the van than she was in my car, as she watches out the windows, but think she is more distracted. Really wish she was better. Her trainer thinks she will improve.Keep your fingers crossed, let’s hope she does.

Now I need to master the storing of stuff in my van. I realized on this weekend, I need a location for trash, dirty clothes, but also the stuff for my nightly goodies. There is no room for extras – which is a super challenging for this person who always had a backup – whether it was a water pump, extra hoses, extra filters. I am also eliminating a few appliances to make more room. I decided I’m not taking my food processor & all its parts – I will have to mash my beans for hummus by hand or using a potato masher. Not sure what else I will eliminate, but I’m striving to make this my best pack yet


I was warned that the last 3 weeks of my van build would be difficult. It doesn’t help not knowing what week they started the countdown. All I know, is I will soon have my new vehicle. This past week, I sold my car. I had no plans to tow it and could not justify paying for 2 vehicles, when one will sit idle while the other one hits the road. The fella who is buying it, is letting me keep it until the van is done. Yippee!

I decided to try to jumpstart the paperwork on the van. You see, when you buy a cargo van its listed as a commercial vehicle, well its now a RV but DMV can’t change it to that without a slew of photos, documents – not much different than insurance companies that want proof the van is indeed a RV. Basic criteria – bathroom, bed, cooking. So none of that can be provided until the van is completed, plus they need the weight of the vehicle. And I need to contact the lien-holder to send title to DOL so it can be updated. So that person is not available until Thursday. So much for trying to get ahead of paperwork, but at least I know what is required.

Next item on my agenda is organize the stuff that will become the basic load in the van. I did this with my RV and it saves hours and hours on packing for a trip, if the basics are already in the vehicle. I have duplicates – such as can openers, silverware, dishes, measuring cups, cookware, even some clothing – need to rid my park model of the duplicates (here’s hoping they all fit). I have been thinning that list for awhile, cause I don’t have space in the van. Then after this is done, must figure out what I need to take for 4 seasons – yes, I said 4 seasons. And food prep, egads I eat fruit and veggies, potatoes, oh and beans. I need to prep for some of this before I hit the road. Such as it would be helpful if I got bean burgers and hummus made ahead.

And then Cheri & I need to do a few shakedown trips. Cheri’s van is smaller than mine and she is figuring it all out now as well. But with our dogs – she has 2 Corgi’s and me – Rosie; they haven’t traveled or camped in our vans. So we have quite a variety of places we can go nearby or in less than 4 hours from here. So we will really be able to decide what needs to go, what doesn’t, what we wish we could take or what we have forgotten. We are anticipating being gone for about 9 months, so all of this is crucial. Then after the shakedown trips, packing in earnest starts.

I will tell you we are heading north. way-y north. For those that have followed my travels, I tell where I’ve been, not where I’m going or when. This is a safety issue. I seriously doubt I will change that. But this blog is the only source to follow my adventures and to find out what, where, etc we are. Click to follow this blog and you will be notified when I post. You should be able to reach me via text messages – I don’t think they are charged as much as emails. Things have changed since I was last on the road, so got to work through it to see what works. We plan to see many of our friends, some of our families – but no one is getting an answer on when that will happen. When we know, we will let you know.

A brief update

Back in 2018, before I posted the comments on my travels in September 2018, I had my annual physical. It was a turning point in my life. It almost instantly put me in part-time status vs full timer RVer. Several things happened over a few short months. I bought a park model (a 400 sq ft home on wheels) that became my home base in Washington State. I forever stopped eating meat, fish, eggs, and dairy to save my own life – literally. Without the lifestyle change I would have been hooked up on dialysis to lower my high blood pressure – which I did not know I had until the annual exam. I refused, absolutely refused to have dialysis and I quit eating meat, fish, eggs and dairy – wow! I didn’t know I could do it, but I completely eliminated the high blood pressure and turned my life around by just eating the best food – whole food plant based and no salt, no oil, no sugar (WFPB-SOS). It hasn’t been easy to maintain such an extreme lifestyle, as I got real good falling off the wagon. But I am rather stubborn to master this way of life, as the opposite extreme is going into my elder years having someone tending to my needs, wiping my butt, feeding me – no way do I want that kind of extreme. WFPB-SOS has given me a new zeal for life, energy of a 30-40 year old and a healthy life with no medications, just fantastic food.

I’m a little fuzzy on whether I posted on my trip to Nova Scotia, did not make it to Labrador but will go back one year. Had a blast in Nova Scotia in the Fall. Was hoping to get the best colors for Fall only to be disappointed, I was too early. Well, I had a better sense to get south before the colors would change and high-tailed it out of Canada. When I arrived back to WA – a full set of tires were in order for my RV and that was an expensive project, so parked it for the winter. Then COVID hit.

In 2021, I acquired a new companion after both of my cats died. Meet Rosie, a Soft-coated Wheaten Terrier. More photos to come.

I have not traveled since 2019 and I miss traveling so much. But I sold my beloved Lazy Daze RV in 2022 and turned around and bought a cargo van. A major downsizing event. At the time, there were zero used vans to buy anywhere in the Pacific Northwest – none, nada, zip, no vans. So I ordered a 2023 Ram Promaster 2500. It took 6 months for it to arrive. It has been at <http://CampNCar.com&gt; in Port Townsend since November 28th for a van conversion. I can’t wait to get it. The very start of its build is shown below.

Rosie at 5 months of age in 2021
Start of my van conversion

Onward eastward

I took 15 days to get to Michigan.  If I drove a long ways one day, I would park for two days. If a short day, I only stopped overnight.  This worked pretty good for the 3 of us, who haven’t traveled in the RV for over a year. It really was a most enjoyable trip east. The weather was no where near as hot as it was last year and no smoke. A delight!  I was even impressed with North Dakota, as the last time I traveled thru there, the areas west of Bismarck appeared to be destroyed by all the oil drilling and extractions.  It was a major improvement to see it almost look normal.

In Minnesota – it was a simple joy to be back in familiar territory. I stopped in Paynesville, trying to find the home of my cousins. Did not.  Then just kind of roamed around. Funny, I remember more of my time with them up in Lake of the Woods in Province Ontario then I do of them in Paynesville, St. Paul or even in Anoka. Nonetheless, it was neat to be back in the area of my teen years.  Lots of fond memories. Wish I could have connected with any of them this trip, but none responded to my quest for a meet up.  So onward.

I should mentioned, I started seeing a wee bit of Fall colors in Minnesota, then in northern Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.  Beautiful reds.  But no images yet.  In UP MI, just east of Wakefield, my GPS took a major dislike of a detour, and sent me down a logging road.  Luck will have it, a guy was mowing along this road and I said I was lost and could he help me?  He informed me that about a mile down the road was a turnaround for snowplows.  Off I go, only to discover I had to disconnect my car to turn around. No big deal!  But… I could not, for the life of me, get the bolt out of one arm, got the other one without issue. All the tricks I have learned on this towing business failed this time. I was stuck!!!  Called Coach-Net. But how do you tell someone where you are when you don’t know?  As luck will have it, the mowing guy got concerned when I had not passed him by once again.  He eventually got the pin out, but had to hammer at it to get it to budge. Weird.  He asked if I needed help getting the RV turned around and re-hooked up the car. I smiled and he looked at me, and said “oh! Just honk on your way out!” and he left.  It wasn’t difficult to get turned around, but as I was in the process of re-hooking up the car, I heard a rustling in the woods not far from me.  All I could see was something black moving toward me. Untangled myself from the tow bars and got into the car quickly. It was a black bear cub. The cutest darn bear, would loved to have picked him up like a teddy bear – but where was his Mom?   After 5 or so minutes, the cub ventured back into the woods, still no sign of a Mom bear. Whew

So back to finishing the connection. Drove out to where the mower was. He was standing along the road, looking very much as an undecided fella (should I go back and check on her or not kind of look). He was so relieved I came back by. Learned his name was Wayne.  Nice, nice fella.  And off I went on thru Michigan.  Michigan has the worst roads, jarring affect and no way to escape it.  Unbeknownst to me, the rough roads disconnected my drive/tow switch on my car, plus disconnected the Invisi Brake System wire under the hood. And I had a dead car on two mornings. What the heck?  Turns out I needed a new battery, as it no longer holds a charge.  Made it to my friends place in Schoolcraft, MI.  Their oldest son, fixed my wiring issues, replaced my battery and didn’t charge me anything. Lucky on that one.  It was hot in MI – days in the high 80’s and nights not cooling off at all, staying in the 70’s..  Great seeing them, so might stop back in on my way west to see them again.  Great friends.

Onward to New York state.  No Fall colors in upstate NY yet.  It was quite warm when I got here, but the night was a delightful 49º the first morning. I can live with this. More on this leg later.

In a nutshell

Its been a long while since I last posted, but since I’m heading out on a big road trip soon, I wanted to give you a “in a nutshell” version of things up to now.

I mentioned I signed up for an online culinary class, a whole food, plant based SOS (no salt, no oil, & no sugar) course thru Rouxbe Culinary class thru Forks Over Knives. An awesome course to take. It was a fabulous lesson of basic info on up to layering of flavors, dressings, batch cooking, etc.  Some of the photos I had to turn in for my assignments are above.  The broccoli one – was a doozy.  I went thru probably 4 lbs of broccoli before I finally got the results I was required to get.  The “mise en place” is something we were taught to do before each and every dish we made.  The advantage of prepping each ingredient for any given dish and have it in front of you – is super nice and easy. No dashing around looking for the missing ingredient. Its all there in one place, ready to go. The lessons on layering flavors was mind-blowing. Such as we fixed 2 tablespoons of cooked brown rice in each bowl (4 total).  The first one was just the rice, 2nd one we added chopped fresh tomatoes, 3rd was with Kalamata olives and the last was with coconut aminos.  We were to taste each bowl and write down what we tasted. Separate they were boring, bland, too salty, too sour, but together it was awesome combo. I was shocked. The other layering of flavors lesson was with lemons. Oh my, I had to repeat it twice as I did not believe my results. Wow!    So I have learned so darn much. I’ve been cooking since I was a child, but I still learned many things new.  Wonderful experience and I graduated, and have been invited to do the Professional whole foods plant base course. Haven’t decided on that…but I can tell you, it was nearly impossible to do this course in my Lazy Daze RV, altho I got thru it, there were some lessons I neither had the room on my stove top, nor refrigerator space. It was frustrating, but the chef’s were quite lenient on those situations.  Wonderful experience all in all.

This missing a decent size kitchen to cook in got me looking at park models. Its a 400 sq ft home. Never dreamed I would ever live in a house once more. I missed it immensely, but a girl can only do what she can do and that is live in my RV.  So for me to look at these little park models got me excited. Went to one dealer in Port Angeles, started bargaining with them. Over a course of 2 months, I got what I thought was a great deal, I arranged for financing and the day…the very day, I was going to go put some money down to order one, a park model became available within the park I have a lot in. They had literally just announced it, and I thought it won’t hurt to go look. Fell in love with it on sight. Made an offer, she accepted it and it was mine! It really helped to have done all that research about park models before I saw it, had more then a couple people look at it – all agreed it was an excellent deal!  It was costly to move it from the 600 row to the 300 row, but far less then if I had ordered a new one.  They moved it the first of April… pinch me, I’ve got a great new-to-me home!  Just tickled pink with it all.  So unloaded my RV – gosh I carried alot of stuff in my rig…laughing at that discovery, as my RV was never overweight.

Sometime before winter returns, I will have skirting put around the park model and I am desperate to get stairs built.  Am loving my new digs.  So weird tho, I can’t find anything – I knew where everything was in the RV, can’t figure how to organize all this space!  Laughing at the thought that 400 sq ft is so spacious!

So I’m in the midst of reloading my RV, as I will be heading out soon.  What a nuisance reloading is!  Once I get it reloaded this time, its staying put.  How do part-timers do this – they must keep there stuff in there like I planned to.  But am happy to say I am no longer a full timer in my RV. Never dreamed I would say that!  I have thoroughly enjoyed my years as a full-timer, and who knows, I may one day return to it. But for now, I want to enjoy my new home.

So what’s this big trip that I’m heading out for?  I’m heading to Nova Scotia and Newfoundland. Hope to catch the New England fall colors as well.  So the next posting will be somewhere along the road to Nova Scotia and Newfoundland.




Its been months since I wrote to my blog. Life has been exceedingly busy.  I did do the Fall trip to the midwest. It was a horrendous trip to Colorado – as temperatures were 106-108ºF the entire way, with thick smoke from all the wildfires. My heart goes out to those battling those blazes.  Considering I do not go south in the summer for these temperatures, never in my wildest dreams did I think September would be that bad in the northern tier of the country. It was HOT and there was no way I could boondock in those temps. By the time I got to Idaho, I headed north to Pocatello vs taking I-84 south to UT.   Got onto Highway 30, which was so refreshing to be driving in the country once again – it was also much cooler then the 100’s.  So stopped at Montpelier, a nondescript town and took a much needed break from hard driving.  I eventually made it to Colorado and was shocked to see blue skies, no fires and warm, on the day I arrived.

I found out on way to Colorado, that I would not be housesitting, so that freed up my time there. Met up with Vivian & her husband in Fort Collins, and it turned out there was no place for me to park my rig at their house as they thought.  Then a scramble to find a place to stay. Colorado is anti-RV and anti-tourist. All campgrounds are booked out years in advance – no joking here. Its impossible to find a week, heck if it included a weekend – absolutely could not book.  So if I wanted to stay, I would have had to move every day.  This included all private campgrounds, as well as national & state parks.  It was the most ridiculous discovery. Even the locals complain about it. I did eventually park on their cul-de-sac for a night or two on the street, but my stay in Colorado was too damn short.

As luck will play into changed plans…my water pump died. Could I find anyone in Colorado that would do this – I even had the replacement, so did not have to order parts.  No takers, I couldn’t even make an appointment. Thankfully, I was carrying extra water this trip!  That and no place to park as the temperatures rose in Colorado (they dropped to the 50’s after I left, of course!) – I headed out. I meandered the back roads, thru miles and miles of farm land until I found my way to Goodland, Kansas.  Egads, I have not been in this town since the early 1970’s – it hasn’t changed a bit.  It is here, at a towing company, that replaced my water pump – at no charge.  I was getting ready to pay and the fella behind the counter said “a single woman traveling alone, boggles my mind – and you had the replacement, its on me”. He was smiling, it made my day! Wow!

Onward, on I-70 to Salina. This was stop planned to possibly meet up with some long ago high school friends – one lives in Haven, Kansas and the other lives in Abilene, Kansas. Once I got settled, I made a call to Janie to let her know I had arrived. I had spent time at Janie’s home 3 years ago and it was great to see her then. Still not knowing if she could come though. Surprise – she could and she came and picked me up to go have some lunch. An even bigger surprise was that Darlene could make it as well, I have not seen Darlene since we graduated. Wow! We talked, chatted, ate some, but chatted some more and talked and laughed and laughed some more. What a blast from the past seeing these gals!!!  It was fortunate the place we met, they allowed us to hold our table for hours. What unexpected fun!!!

Onward to Kansas City, Kansas to Norma and Fred’s home. Norma & I were classmates in nursing school. We have stayed in touch, but had not seen her until they arrived in WA 2 years ago – for a surprise visit.  So the brick wall in the pictures above was the side of their house. I was fascinated, for some reason, by how the bricks were laid and the rough side was out vs the smooth side, which altered the colors between the shade and sun. Funny how my mind works on this stuff.  Norma is mostly blind, but one of the most capable people I know. It was a real treat to get 30 amps, water at their home. It was hot there as well, more 90’s and 100’s and home cooked meals daily. Wow!  I stayed with them for nearly 2 weeks.. got caught up on our lives.

I was due into Fort Scott, Kansas – but it was way too hot to park at my friend Marianne’s house. So stayed at another town about 21 miles away. Did that for about 1 week, then the temperatures started cooling down into the 80’s, so I moved to the street next to Marianne & Steve’s home. Its one of those beautiful big old homes. 3 stories high and they have upgraded and maintained it beautifully.  It was such a treat to be there, to see Marianne, spend time with both of them – lots of laughter, lots of talking and a whole lot of attention from Suki, a doodle dog of some kind. Marianne was one of my high school friends as well, as we haven’t seen each other since we both went off to nursing school.  The picture of the brick street above, is looking down the street from their house. All the streets in Fort Scott are brick, ere that’s not quite accurate. The old part of downtown and the residential areas are all brick streets. The new section – shops, roads, etc are not brick.  I really miss being there… it felt like home in so many ways, altho I have never been to Fort Scott until this Fall.

As it happens to me on the road so often these last 3 years – the VA wants me prompt and center. I have to get back to Seattle.  I can sit in Washington for months, thinking I will get called and nothing happens. As soon as I hit the road – the call comes in when I am not near anywhere. So I have to head back earlier then planned.

From Fort Scott, I did a bee-line to South Dakota & I-90, as I will take the northern route home. This is potentially a stupid move on my part – it is October, after all. The weather changes on a blink of an eye in the mountains at this time of the year. So to add an additional element to this – my propane detector quit working. Do you know how obnoxious that sound is?  Well, your propane detector needs to be replaced every 5 years (or so it says in the manual) – well its been 7 years on this one. I figured out how to turn off the sound, but now I have to be super careful.

So I get to South Dakota it was in 80’s on this early October day and I have another planned meet up, this time with Vicki – she used to live next door to me, when we both were quite young (grade school, I think?). She was in my brother’s class. Wow! Again, its like the years apart did not happen. Lots of life has happened for both of us, but its like we just talked yesterday.  Wish I could have spent more time with her, but the deadline to get back to WA was hounding my brain.

It was a beautiful trip back West. I had cool, to cooler, to cold temperatures before I got mid-way thru Montana.  Northern WY I was surprised to see vivid blue skies, no smoke and no remnants of fire. Hmmm, so this area did not burn?  The same held true up around Billings and then onto Missoula. Where were all those massive Montana fires?  I never saw the end result of what had been deemed the worst fire season. Obviously, it was not along I-90.  But the big blue sky was prominent. Gosh it was gorgeous in all its Fall glory!  The nights were frigid (below 32º), but the days were an awesome 50-60º weather – I was back in my element. I had to stop and wait out a Fall storm in Missoula. It produced lots of wind where I was at, but first snows of Fall hit the mountains.  As soon as I was able, I headed out.  I couldn’t take photos while driving thru the snowy mountains, but it was gorgeous!  At one rest stop, I took the wee bit of snow picture above.  On into Washington, it was good weather, but you could still see heavy smoke south of where I was at. At least the heavy, choking smoke I went thru around Ellensburg on the trip East, was gone.  I really wanted to just stop and take a few days break at this point, but the weather forecast for Snoqualmie Pass for the next day was worrisome.

So on my final day of road travel… I left at the crack of dawn and headed for the Snoqualmie Pass. It was sunshine on the East side, but it was dark clouds on the West side. My hitting the pass so early saved me, as the storm moved in 2 hours after I went thru. It closed the pass down that night.  Made it back, set back up, called the VA and I made it to the appointment 2 days later. Cut it close, but it worked ok.

Since then, been to the opera twice, been weaving and I signed up for a culinary cooking course.  And now you will have to wait for the next story.

Rumple strips

Prior to leaving on my present road trip, I decided to re-acquaint myself with my weaving equipment, get the looms ‘dressed’ and ready to go for when I get back.  Well, its been 7 years since I’ve seen my big loom, trying to find the parts, get it together, etc has presented more of a challenge than I had expected, but found enough to put a warp on. Alas, I decided to put on my Horoscope Color project.  Years ago, I had my horoscope read by a fellow weaver. Its based on the planets, houses, and the colors that is associated with each of those planets and houses based on my birthdate.  Wildly random order of Bamboo yarn – was a super challenge to follow. My good friend Cheri read the precise order of the colors as I added the yarn to each 2 inch section (upper left corner).  It took us over 6 hours to get this onto the sectional beam. Whew!  But wow, its absolutely gorgeous!!!

Once it was beamed, I let this all sit, as I was packing for my road trip. With Cheri’s intense curiosity (probably equal to mine), she threaded the heddles for me as I zoned out in a chair from packing that day.  Can’t wait to get out on the road but I am beat!  Then Cheri & I threw a pansy color and an emerald blue color strands of yarn across to see which one to actually weave with.  So many of my friends wanted the purple pansy, but it was too large of yarn, as they company sent the wrong size yarn. But will use it in the future when I get the correct sizing.    As you can see in the bottom 3rd picture, I wove with emerald blue yarn.  This will be a quick weave as its in plain weave, any other pattern would be lost in all that color. And that loom will now have to wait until I get back.

The little floor loom, only one 2 inch section got dressed before I left.  I am putting on a variegated green and white cotton yarns on for kitchen towels.  This will be a technical challenging weave structure of Shadow Weave, I love working on these as you can get a 3D affect. Alas, it will also have to wait until I get back.

So I am off on a Fall trip. Its a quickie compared to my other journeys. This road trip has challenged me in ways that make an unhappy camper out of me, as I have had to depend on a/c due to high 90’s as well as up to 108ºF, therefore RV parks… Other then getting a/c they offer me nothing and I lose money.  I’ve become such a cheapskate, I guess.  So where are the Fall temperatures…you know warm days and cool nights?  I found a cool night (42º) last night up off of Highway 30 in Idaho – that was a quality night of sleep, but it was the only night in this past week.  Egads Mother Nature!  At least the further east I go the less smokey it is.   That picture on the bottom right corner, was taken from my rig at the Mountain Home RV park in Mountain Home, Idaho. The 2nd best RV park I have ever been in. The first was Nellis AFB back in 2011. Both parks are manicured to a T, level paved spots, well organized electrical, water and septic and both cheap, spotless showers too.  Well, cheap for this trip… as I have had to pay up to $55 for one night in a roughed in pit-run RV park. Horrible place.

Soon, I will be connecting with friends, wishing for cooler days and despite my grumpiness on the hot temperatures, it is so good to be back out on the road.