Life is good and busy, as it normally is. No drama, no unexpected surprises and its almost boring!  Except, I’m rarely bored, so what’s up with that?  Its called prepping. At this stage, I just want to hit the road, be done with it all.  I’ve actually evaded this leg of any given journey, then later regretted that I did not take the time to do it right.  What am I talking about?  Its called re-organizing, packing and making sure everything is in good shape and then load the rig. This is the time one double thinks, makes lists, double check this and that – I have long since learned, you don’t wait until the last minute, not even the last week to do this basic stuff.

My break time was sitting back and watching my neighbors swap rigs and move all their belongings back and forth.  Both rigs are 5th wheels, now how did they get that one into that parking space the wrong way?  I will have to wait and see.  I finally remembered to caption the photos, so hover over them with cursor.

One of my preps, was to get my tapestry loom dressed before I go. I hope to sneak in an online class as a refresher before I leave, so it looks like I know what I’m doing – laughing at this, as its been several years since I attempted a tapestry. But this is the loom that will now travel with me out on the road.  All its yarns, accessories have been organized and loaded into my RV.  Yesterday, I also loaded my RV with my spinning wheel and fiber to spin up some yarns too.  That’s for the RV, but for the shed, we got the warping wheel setup (see picture above, lower left corner).

The warping wheel is my preferred method of dressing my floor looms.  Dressing a loom, is putting on the warp – the lengthwise of any fabric.  I use sectional beams and this warping wheel allows me the freedom to design within each 2 inch section, if I so choose. But for my small floor loom, decided to put on just 2 colors, alternating all across the warp. I love to weave Shadow Weaves, a 3D effect, and this will be for cotton kitchen towels. Do not yet know what shadow weave I will use, but once I get going, will post pictures of that.  On my big floor loom, I am really jazzed about putting on 12 colors in bamboo. I’ve not worked with bamboo so am excited with just that, but I had my horoscope read years ago and the gal that read it, is also a weaver. She designated each color based on the planets, positioning etc of my own horoscope. So this is a one-of-a-kind project and the first just for me.  You see, majority of the stuff I make tends to find homes before it comes off the loom. So this horoscope weave is just for me. I think this will be a scarf, but not sure. Again, pictures will be forthcoming. And I’m trying like crazy to get both floor looms dressed before I leave… nice little challenge as its been so blistering hot and there’s no a/c out in the shed.

So I need to get back to work. Have a great day!

Beautiful day…

Today was an incredibly beautiful day – WOW!  Managed to get sunburn too.  Just a great day!  The following 4 pictures were taken from one who lives up on Skyline Drive…  had no idea they were right above the Lynn Canal and can see the ships heading to Juneau
Looking down to water, that looks like its right there… its not, its 400 ft down a cliff
A perch in the tree?

Funny thing to spot in the trees… a big perch or a giant T and how did they get it up there was a bigger mystery.  First off, when it was attached to the tree, it had a salmon on it to draw in a eagle. Well.. the eagle stayed away, but the ravens took it away in short order. Nothing since has perched on this. Laughing here.  They got it up there with a lift of some sort.

Another view, Skagway is off to left and up a bit
Looking down Lynn Canal toward Juneau

My e-spinner

Some fiber that I’m spinning

Stairway to nowhere?

Cruise ship heading to Juneau. It looks fuzzy due to reflection off of water. Zooming  made it look worse

Play time

Small female llama

Found a few more pictures from my trek to Palmer, this is the only one worth posting. This is one of two llamas at my friends house, where I parked over the 4th of July weekend.

Onward.. getting back to Haines… soggy mess day upon day of rains, finally broke. Although clouds creep in over the mountains across from us, we had sunshine here…going on 3 days now. Fabulous!

Two days shy of the lowest tide they had, but its darn low here

A different view of same low tide

The once a week “….dam” ship that arrives in Haines, this one was the Statedam ship. It came in on this low, low tide.  It is one deep port. It left on the high tide.  When these cruise ships arrive in the coastal towns – its instant ants, ere people, everywhere. Laughing here.  Curious, but very nice folks generally. They spend all day in Haines… going shopping, fishing, sightseeing.  Haines only gets one cruise ship a week and once a month – two come in on one of the weeks, but not same day. Compared to Skagway that gets 4-5 cruise ships a day plus the ferry… Haines has it easy.  Haines ferry terminal is not at the same pier, so no conflict. I like meeting the variety of people that comes off the ship and people watching can glue me to a park bench like no other when the ships come in. Fascinating subjects.

High, high tide, same shot as the one above.
The tent on the right, is where we have a crab feast weekly, fresh from the sea!

Well with the sun out, its worthy of one’s time to go play. Right?  Well, in between chores, such as laundry, I’ve been hanging with my friend Cheri. I loaned her my new e-spinner to try it out. She’s hooked on this and is now biding her time until she can get one herself.  Its been a long while since I have spun yarn.. decided not to tackle my favorite, which is silk, but to work on different wool blends. Such as Merino/silk. Nice stuff!  Found I have not lost my touch… so will see what I have in my stash to work on when I hit the road again.

My other set of friends here George & Joan – introduced me to the American Legion for Friday night hamburger night. Must say its the best hamburger I have had in a long time… The town folk come each Friday, to meet up with friends, etc.  The Legion stepped up to the plate when the Elks Club folded in 2013.  I so wish the Elk’s Club still existed in Haines… apparently, I’m not the only one, but it is what it is.

And my stuff in storage is ok.  The mold found on the wheelchair and walker, is on plastic of all things, not on the metal.  A little Clorox will stop that.

In addition to being with friends, visiting Mountain Market, spinning, I’ve unloaded my loom and have once again started threading the loom.  Its not a big push, but it would be smart of me to get this threading done before I hit the heat in Washington State. But its nice outside!!! I want to go play…

Today tho… I went shopping. I finally found a pair of trekking poles that work for me.  I will be trying them out sometime this week… Do I need gloves? Will find out.  Cheri wants to take me to Battery Point. Its across the bay from my rig, but I have never been there. So this will be fun.

One other thing – earthquakes are interesting in a parked RV.  You swear you are driving down the road.  The one that hit at 3:50 am the other day was a 5.0.  Rocked me right awake, as well as the cats. Its my first in a RV!

One of my latest pastimes – I find myself out at the picnic table in the evening looking for water spouts (whales), harbor seals and watching the eagles soar overhead and meeting my neighbors.  Its a great time!  

Soggy in Haines

Since I returned to Haines, it has rained.  None of the drizzle stuff, this is the drenching rains where there’s no turning back….no matter how you try to skirt around it.   Well… July is raining season around here, so you just deal with it.  Interesting enough, fog has been added to the mix – a taste of Fall?  Not going there.  But oh do I love the sound of the fog horns, the symphony of horns out on the water. Each ship is a different pitch. Add a hot cup of tea, curled up with my cats and a book. Quite content, thank you very much.

Soggy nature of things brings to a complete halt my task at hand.  I wanted to hire some kids to pull the contents of my storage unit out and then reverse it. Why?  So I could finally access the back of my storage.  Not going to happen. So canceled the kids.  They were raising money for their senior trip next May.  So still wanting to help out, I offered up my rig to be washed and waxed.  Got to stop raining for that to happen.

Recently… I went to put some acquired stuff into storage, I was not a happy camper by any stretch of one’s imagination.  On my Mother’s wheelchair and her walker and a few of my boxes was mold.  There was no mold the first year, so why now? I don’t know, but pulling stuff out is not a viable solution at this time.  Need to go back on a sunny day and look at the situation better.

So I’ve been busy, the initial days back in Haines, I was parked at Ft. Seward in a campground called Chilcoot Campground.  It is the cheapest place in town at $25 per night for water and electric. There is no dump, no trash barrels, no internet – extremely slow with Millenicom, wi-fi only if you get up early enough… up late doesn’t help.  And this is really a tent city nestled into the roots of all the trees. Its so dark under the canopy, no picture can be taken in broad daylight.   I parked out on the edge, but had to wait a day, as the hookup sites were full of tenters.  Think there are 7 sites with hookups and two of those sites did not work.  Not really complaining here, as my site was level and I was close enough to the bay to hear the fog horns. A good short stay place.

Looking down to bay

Looking up to hotel, a part of Ft. Seward

Please note the brown building in the above picture. Do not know what is on top, but the bottom is the worst laundry facility I have ever seen.  Out of order was most common thing.  This and the campground is owned by the Hotel Halsingland, in Ft. Seward, shown in background.  They have not put any money into this campground. Too bad.  Tenters love this place… they can park their tents at many different tiers, lots of tents.  The plus – its not far from town, fast ferry, fairgrounds, brew fest, and some good eateries.

I worked on my new (as of April) e-spinner today.  I had sold my well loved Majacraft spinning wheel last year, so that I could buy this Hansen Mini e-spinner.  Much more doable size for living in a small spaces. But today was my first chance to actually spin on it.  What a joy!  This e-spinner has both electric as well as 12 volt ability, and I may look for a battery backup when I’m away from my rig. The wheel, manuals, cords, tools all fit in a shoebox, a boot box may be too big for all of it. And it has its own burlap tote bag.  I’m in love with this.  Didn’t think to take a picture when I had it out, but will for my next posting.

Random stuff

Some of my readers who were asking for updates, got it yesterday. One of them, Pleinguy – who I have no idea what his first name is – told me its too early to head north.  I kind of chuckled over that yesterday – as the weather is same here as it was in Jacksonville (1 hour and 15 minutes south) – so why not move north a little bit? To this morning on Facebook, someone posted a picture of the “Welcome to Florida” sign as you enter Florida from Alabama near Pensacola area – white out conditions, everything covered in snow. And I just roared with laughter. It might be warmer heading north right now.

And snow is forecasted for Jacksonville and Saint Mary’s on Tuesday – so the weather is still the same. Crazy stuff, that’s for sure.

So yes, I’m bucking the norm by heading north.  Climate Prediction via NOAA says things will be warming up in this region in 6-10 days on into 8-14 days and not much in the way of precipitation either along the mid-atlantic coast southward to northern Florida.  So will just ride it out. After Tuesday, I see alot of 70’s in the forecast… so may move on northward. Time will tell.

And among other things. I needed to dump my tanks – I went 24 days without dumping the black tank – whoa is me, but surprisingly it was listed as 72% on my SeeLevel and it had been listed full on the hood display as full for quite sometime.  So something else to learn about this rig.  I did dump my grey tank at my friends (with their permission) once.

So the mundane chores are done now. Tomorrow, I will be back working on my next project on the loom. I am beaming on at the moment.  A little research on the fiber I’m using, as I have never used Tencel, which is a fancy name for rayon. I was told it acts like silk and is soft like silk, but its not silk. Then a comment from a fellow weaving friend said it does not wear well, made me do some more research.  What I’m putting on is a baby blanket. There’s no way in heck will I give it to a new Mom if it can’t be thrown into the washer and dryer without much ado.  From my research, it says to wash by hand and dry flat. That won’t work.   But some said they have had no problem too.  So will make it and see how it pans out. It might be a dress-up blanket – if there’s such a thing for babies.

On a previous post I mentioned I couldn’t be seen at the local hospital or clinic. What I neglected to say is that the military is no longer open to military personnel unless you are signed up for that region. I couldn’t believe it.  So I can’t get ANY kind of medical outside of my own region.  This held true on the lab work too.  Some might say, there’s the VA. When I retired, I stayed with military medicine vs going VA on purpose. It doesn’t mean I can’t still switch, but my pay is military, not VA pay.  At this time, I’m not switching.  But was surprised that they have closed the door on its own to get help.

Grump, grump, grump here… why don’t people follow rules and regulations? Do Not Feed The Wildlife is made for reason that are escaping the brains of many folks.  Last Spring, was traveling with a person who put whole peanuts out to draw in the feral havalina pigs – to get better pictures!!!  Now I’m parked next to a RV that has allowed their two cats outside and they roam freely without a leash or anyone being around. Rules dictate all pets must be on 6′ leash and not left alone outside. These folks are feeding them outside as well.  Then there are people that feed the feral cats at Mayport NAS – those feral cats are healthy looking cats!  And then someone in Alabama, no it was in Mississippi, where a semi-permanent young RV family left their young kids outside alone (Mom had her back to them inside her rig, talking on cell) and a… think it was a lynx, or something like it, was found less then 25 feet from those kids.  That was quite a conversation in that park that night. But seriously… I use to grump in Alaska when folks left their garbage out, bear comes to feast on easy pickings, then gets the bear killed due to the stupidity of the humans not storing their trash.  Ok, off my soapbox today.

There are several historical places in this area that I have not seen in over 20 years. May or may not go check them out. What I would like is a good museum or two. There must be a few of them around. So will ask the locals soon.

Big winds and no balloons

Its been a few days since I last posted.  The balloons have been fantastic for at least two days, other days they look like they are speeding toward us, then hit a brick wall, climb and then head away from us. Very interesting to see that happen. Then other days they just flat out head west and don’t even try to come toward us.  And today… the balloons did not fly, but the special characters inflated on ground.

International Children’s balloon

I’ve taken a ton of pictures, but many were repeats of others I’ve taken and posted on this blog and/or just weren’t that good. I did save one in the batch, the one above is one of the pretty ones and since it was over my neighbors (Steve & Pam) Lazy Daze, I decided to include it.

Tires. Michelin would not honor the warranty as their opinion my cracked sidewalls is not bad enough to replace. Excuse me!  They told me I still had many more miles I could put on those tires and that a ballpoint pen would have to fit in the cracks before they would swap them out. Egads, I hope no one is driving with that wide of a crack.  My crack was at the base of tread all around the tire. Expensive to replace, but since my life depends on my wheels to get me down the road, I bought two new tires.

Have eaten some great foods, gotten to see how some folks have their RV’s set up, including one with the fireplace. My cats have met tons of folks as they came into my rig to see the loom. Its been most enjoyable visiting with my Lazy Daze friends, but also working on my loom. I had high hopes to have been weaving by now, but must admit there have just been too many distractions.  So decided to post one picture, then another once I start weaving this project.
Act of dressing the loom, as I’m threading the heddles

The winds are just downright nasty today. Have tried to venture out to retrieve things I’ve seen blow briskly by, but have now given up on that. Its hard as heck to get my door open to enter or leave. So I’m staying put today. Got plenty to do to keep me busy inside and the worst of the winds has yet to arrive.  So everyone is hunkered down.  Nasty…

Getting things done… I stocked up at the grocery store yesterday and have been re-packaging and storing away since then.  Need to fine tune it, but at least the cold stuff is put away.  Due to high winds, I’ve had to bring in my Sun Oven (pictures will come later). That has now found a home in my passenger seat – but all that needed to be rearranged to fit that in and protect the seat as well. Doubt now, that I will take it out again before I leave.

The itch to move on is strong.. but can’t quite pull it off yet. I plan to leave here on Sunday, head to Bernalillo for two nights to do laundry, etc.  Then and only then am I heading out, so let’s hope the weather behaves itself.  I’m taking I-25 north to Springer, then will head east on the back roads of good ole U.S.A.. I originally had plans to head to Denver, but I haven’t heard from anyone, so am heading east before Colorado.

And beyond…

After posting all those photos yesterday, I realize I missed informing you of where else we’ve been… or even where we are now.

After Moab, where we spent two nights… we ventured down to southwestern Colorado to Mesa Verde National Park. We camped in the National Park campground with no hookups for 2 nights. Wished it had been more level, but was perfectly happy to be snuggled in the trees for some shade. Whoa is me, who has never had issue with elevation, to be knocked flat at 7000 ft above sea level. Whew!  It really was a bummer, as this is one place I really wanted to see.  Think I will have to come back for a week to acclimate to this elevation and then try hiking to the cliff dwellings.  As it was.. Kathy went to the Spruce House – a non-guided tour and I did the museum.  The museum was awesome, one of the best I’ve been in for awhile.

One item that intrigued the heck out of me. Yucca leaves. All these years, I never realized that Yucca leaves are loaded with fiber.  They wove all kinds of things with the fiber from yucca plants, such as their sandals, baskets, clothing, etc.  To access the fiber, these cliff dwellers either boiled or soaked the leaves, then peeled off the outer covering to expose hundreds of strands of yucca fiber – similar in size to 16/2 cotton or little bigger than thread. Everything in this museum was enchanting look into the lives of those that lived before us. Just a wonderful place.

From Mesa Verde, we headed to Durango to meet up with Carol & Mike – long time family friends of mine. Last year, they spent 3-4 days with me at the Balloon Festival.  A bit of a mix up on getting together (they thought we’d be in this weekend), but it all worked out and got to wish Mike a happy birthday. We went to lunch at Oscar’s – local joint – for lunch. Old time foods and delicious!!!  After lunch, we did a side trip up to see their home above Durango.  They tell me they have full hookups and I’m welcome anytime… well the climb to their house is close to a 11-12% grade on gravel.  Will have to think hard on that one, but they have a beautiful place.

Durango is not a RV friendly place and no place to park, even getting gas is tough – not much room to maneuver.  While visiting with Carol & Mike – we parked in cramped Walmart parking.  So we decided to head on out about 2 or so.  We could have made the trip to Albuquerque in one day if we had bypassed Durango, but we have plenty of time to not do that. So we went about 2 1/2 hours down the road to a new truck stop out in the middle of nowhere. Nice place!  They offered hookups for $25 but let me tell you, don’t bother. The electrical posts are too close together for one, but the big reason – you would be smack dab in the pathway of all those trucks.  We parked behind where the employees parked. It was level, a little highway noise, but it wasn’t bad.

We came on into Bernalillo, just north of Albuquerque, yesterday. Headed for the KOA – as I desperately needed to do laundry.  We had electric and water only, nice park for KOA’s. I’m usually not impressed with KOA’s due to high price, but this is quite doable.  Now Kathy is liking this civilization and decided to stay there until Monday.  Whereas, I checked out after I dumped and refilled my water this morning. I’m presently parked free at Sandia Casino and will be here until Monday when I head into the balloon festival.  Other Lazy Daze will probably arrive tomorrow, right now tho – I’m the only one amongst all these class A’s and a couple of trailers.

Tomorrow, I have a luncheon/dinner thing at artist, Dee Sanchez home. My friend Karen invited me to join her.  So am excited that I get to do this. Something different…

As I was heading into Sandia this morning – saw a red and white Lazy Daze head north on I-25. Safe travels to you.

Plotting details…

Have spent quite a few hours/days trying to work out details to spend time with my niece, just north of Seattle. I canceled the NWLD GTG (Northwest Lazy Daze Get Together), as I thought she would have weekends off from work vs middle of the week.  When I didn’t hear from her and didn’t hear from her… I reached out to Lorna to join in the Ladeze once again. THEN and only then, did I finally hear from my niece to tell me she is off on Tuesdays and Wednesdays each week. Just shaking my head over this one.  
So driving in from Canada, I might make it to WA by the first Tuesday, but not to Chimacum. I suspect I will get to Whidbey Island then, then take the ferry the next day. Not doable to connect with my niece tho. So I have told her the 10th or the 11th – but I haven’t heard anything more from her yea or nay. At this point, I will be there, if she shows – great! – if she doesn’t… will just move on.  So no NWLDGTG or LaDeze this year! Believe it or not, seeing my niece is worth it – so hope it happens.
Speaking of Chimacum.  That is where the Escapees SKP park is. Stayed there last year when I drove out of Alaska. Its a great spot to stop.  And this time, it sounds like I have some breathing room coming out of Alaska and before the next lengthy stretch of road to get to the Balloon Fiesta. All is good.
Hot off the loom!  This is the raw product before sewing in lose ends, hemming, washing, hard pressing, etc for a finished project.  This could have been a decent kitchen towel, but its for samples. It will be cut up into four inch squares… then a detailed report on contents, structure, drafts and samples of yarns used. Then will be shipped off to be exchanged with others doing the sample exchange.
Sample project

So my next task, is to see if my warping wheel will work in this RV to dress the loom.  The space is limited, so need to put on a new project to see if it will work. If it doesn’t, then it goes into storage and I will have to find another method to make a warp.  I know from my short trips into town that my loom will travel better with a warp on.  So time is of an essence now… need to see if this will work.

Hip Hip Hooray!

I am so excited… my floor loom is in my rig and it will travel quite nicely in its location.  No room for a desk, but that’s ok.  I’m pleasantly surprised to see that the loom is level on across carpet and vinyl flooring. No tilt whatsoever.  The following are a few pictures:

Black and red Shadow weave kitchen towels

The black and red was striking on this towel.  The same colors are still on the loom, but I do not have those colors presently in my reach to weave with.  So plan to play with different colors to see different affects. Then I will take it off and put on an entirely different warp (which is the length-wise on fabric and what is on the loom. When I weave, I use a shuttle to weave from selvage to selvage and that is the weft.

Side view of Baby Wolf loom

Side view. To the left is the front of the loom and where I will sit to weave.  The beam on back is a sectional warping beam.

Back side of the loom

The top of the loom is what is called a “castle”. Not all looms have this feature. Its handy to have tho, as I can keep bobbin winders, sley hooks, tapestry needles, and such up there out of the way.

I am so jazzed to have this work. I could not picture it, but glad I stuck it out to decide once and for all when I had the loom inside the rig.  My friend Cheri has loaned me a couple of her shuttles, ball winder, bobbin winder to get me thru until I leave, but then I need to come up with them myself.

I have a ton of friends and family that have had no idea what I actually do. They have gotten different handwoven items, but to see how things are made – they were clueless. That will all change now.

So am wrapping up the last bit of revamping/re-organizing my rig.  My friends are having a garage sale on August 3rd – I’ve sure added a bunch of stuff to it.  I finished the outside storage bins today, and have almost completed the kitchen. Then I can weave!!!   I love it when I discover I have found homes for everything and still have room to spare… Altho I will try to refrain from filling the spaces with yarn… it sure is tempting. Laughing here.

Unexpected, but delighted

The last few days, as I put forth a huge effort to finish sorting, getting rid of unused or unnecessary contents in my rig a few miracles happened.

The first brought great laughter in memories. I found the lid to the Hot Chocolate container I had lost in April down in Arizona.  For those just starting to read this blog, I had discovered cookie dough in the process… and I decided to finish making them. As I was putting the flour away, the hot chocolate mix started falling. In my feeble attempt to stop it I lost both the flour and the chocolate and the contents ended up on my two cats. It was a rip roaring laughing at that moment in time, as one set of orange eyes and the other green staring up at me with spooked look then they ran. Oh no, they can’t run, but run they did. It took me weeks to quit sucking up chocolate.  But the lid to the hot chocolate disappeared.  So where was it?  In the cabinet where it had been originally located. Crazy!

The second miracle of the era… the lost/stolen iPhone, was not lost or stolen. It was hiding in the cabinet below my dinette seat (closest to the door).  It was deader than a door nail, but what an utter relief to have found it.  The process of getting another was stopped in its tracks, un-suspended this phone, updated passwords on this phone. Oh my… I can’t tell you how relieved I am…  Everything that can be put in place to secure is now quite active on this phone.  Amazing…

Now back to my rig.  The last couple of days, I have brought into my space units of my trade. Such as the bench to my floor loom, a rack that has multi-uses and my warping wheel (a method to measure said warp).  This had brought me to a halt last night, called my friend Cheri over to view.  Yes, I’m pretty sure I can get my loom in and be able to weave, but do I want to forsake the entire back part of my rig to weaving? The loom is coming in tomorrow and the truth shall become obvious in an instant.  I’m not at all sure about this now.  Cheri says I can, Melinda says – yes I can but do I want this. Answers tomorrow.  I have a little table loom that I could bring. Its has a 12″ weaving width, which would allow me to make scarves, mug rugs and/or finger towels – you know those little towels you found in your grandmothers stash of goods!   So decisions, decisions, decisions….

I’ve got two more days before rains move back in… we really need the rains, as its so smoky around here and its dry.  But will appreciate some down time too.  I’ve been so busy, its time for a break. As one of my RV friend mentioned, its 6 weeks before they head out and its 6 weeks before I head out. We shall meet in New Mexico…  as well as several others.