Let’s do it!

Ah life, it continues to be busy in some of the most unexpected ways. My last post, I had spent time at the beach. But I digress a bit… let’s swing back thru the summer here before I move forward.

In June, I met a kindred spirit… we have spent many, many, so many hours talking about everything and anything. We discovered we have mutual friends and it is entirely possible we have crossed paths more than once over the last 40 years. It is uncanny, almost unnerving to encounter such a person, but what a blast!  Now this person, who I shall call “BDS” – who I have not asked permission to post name, images or much else (which I do with anything I post on my blog), has come and gone since June. In fact, has gone again since the first of November. Won’t see BDS for a few months now. That’s ok, we both need our space.

So in early September, went to the Wooden Boat Festival in Port Townsend. Oh my, what an unique experience!  Some of the photos posted above, but I have so much more.  One of my highlights was going out on a schooner, a historical schooner at that. Beautiful!!! Absolutely loved being back out on the water. I haven’t done so since the 70’s, so it was as special as one can gets at this time.  The Wooden Boat Festival was just a grand affair and will try to make this an annual affair. Wonderful time!

I introduced BDS to the RV life. BDS had never traveled in a RV. How do you explain this amazing life? You can’t. So I invited BDS for a short trip.  We hit 3 different volcano national parks – not one picture was taken, can you believe it! Well, not without us in the images, so nothing to show.  We also headed down to northern California to the Feather River White Water Festival. Oh my… I learned how to judge a gate in the race, nothing fascinates me more then learning something new about all this. I have never done competitive rafting, little lone do white water rafting to the degree in which we witnessed. This was Class II-III rapids… I was glued to all the action, even tho I did not fully understand what I was seeing. But the helpful rafters, taught me what they were doing, what maneuvers were necessary to what they were called.  Wow!  I want to go, I want to experience this. Think I will have to wait, but a girl can dream.  As for RV travel, BDS was quite simply hooked with the whole concept. We had a blast.  Having always done the driving, it was a neat experience to let BDS drive, until we got to the mountains roads in Lassen Volcano National Park. Egads, I did NOT like the virtual drop off to no man’s land from the passenger seat. It had nothing to do with BDS’s driving skills, my fear of heights just reared its ugly head.  We were up there to see the Super Moon and I flunked.  So have asked for a repeat in the future, to do Lassen again.   So that was an eye-opener. I wonder if I was driving would the road bother me as bad?  I don’t know.   The Crater Lake road from North to South was a scary one and I was driving. So… these things – you either learn to deal with it or not do it.

In the midst of all this fun, I had two different medical board exams for this VA compensation thing. Both came back 0%, not good, not good at all. Then when I thought I was all done with this, I met with a senior representative from the Seattle American Legion office. That changed my perspective in an instant. They found out things I did not know and highly recommend that I go for it.  So my task at hand is to find a doctor to evaluate my various levels of disabilities. Even some of the stuff I would never have dreamed was important, such as scars.  The problem I have encountered now, no doctor will see me (not in this area, Mayo Clinic, etc), I can’t get in for appointments unless I have something to be treated. I have managed to get 2 appointments under false premises. One, he flat out refused to fill out the forms. The 2nd one comes next week. Time will tell.

This leads me to tell you… I am heading out of here in January. So on that note, Merry Christmas everyone.

Yippee!!!!

Me and Janie

Altho this picture was taken a year and a half ago, the grin on my face describes me best for right this very minute.  I’m done packing, its been hauled off to the Alaska Marine (barge) people and I have moved back into my rig.  Despite the cold, it was the best night of sleeping I’ve had in a long while. My bed was better then I remembered…  slept long and quite comfortably. Ah-h-h!

Norm
Tucker
Managed to get moved out, apartment cleaned and inspected yesterday.  Plus spent some quality time with friends, went off to the a play last night.  The play was “Dancing at Lughnasa”. Lughnasa (pronounced LOO-ne-se), is a Gaelic festival marking the beginning of the harvest season, and celebrating Lugh, the god of music and light – of Donegal, Ireland.  A very nice productive day and a very nice play to attend. 
Today… is spent organizing, processing all the stuff in my rig. I’ve done a little of this each day, but nothing more is coming in, therefore now is to prep for travel.  Managed to get my rig de-winterized, altho there is no water available to test for leaks, etc. Discovered I forgot to turn on the propane, hence no heat last night…brrrrr.  I don’t run my little electric cube heater when asleep or away from the rig… so it was a challenge for the cats to acclimate to the colder temps. They found I would not budge from my electric mattress pad heater…. but they managed to keep me pinned to my spot in the bed.
The deal with the break-in, ere so called break-in into my rig. Despite being made fun of on the Lazy Daze list about Sasquatch, a raccoon, or some big burly guy attempting to break-in… I still find it a little too bizarre to have really happened – but did report to the police, etc.  As someone pointed out, my door may have been caught by the wind and slammed open, then slammed shut without me being aware of it. Which would torque the door, could bend the hinge…. I really don’t know. Via a tip from “bumper” on the mailing list, got a friend to pound on the door with a wedge of wood near the latch. It closed the gap enough, I no longer see daylight and its not near as drafty as it was. Which I am very thankful at the moment.
So… back to work, organizing my rig better. The excess baggage that I’m carrying to Washington is the stuff that I’m processing. It needs a safe secure spot to make the trip. Besides, my boys need places to run and play. Not really going to happen until I get it unloaded in Washington. Visitors keep stopping in, which gives nice breaks.  Its a beautiful sunny cold day… nary a wisp of wind to stir the bay. An amazing day.

Seriously bummed

Tonight, I discovered my side door of my Lazy Daze RV is torqued badly, the hinge is bent, and the door itself is warped. Also, found crowbar marks near top of the door, which tore into the weather striping.

I thought I had broken the gasket/weather stripping in the sub zero temperatures we had, but this is far worst.  The only time I have been out of this rig, is this winter, here in Haines. 
Another observation, which will now have to be looked at more closely in the daylight hours. I noticed a ton of white paint sheets/sections that had come from the roof – down onto the windows on down to the ground. Was something taken, damaged on top of the rig?  I won’t know until I can get someone up there or get up there myself.
I’m moving into the rig this next week and it will be colder than normal with this problem. I may have to move into it sooner as I am re-loading it.
Am truly bummed by this.

Too busy…

Yes, too busy but as my friend says… it keeps me out of trouble. So time is flying and has been crazy. I seriously have to be reminded what day it is and have to look at a calendar to know what week that day is in.  But I see a light at the end of the tunnel. A welcome relief is rapidly approaching.

So, I asked my friend Cheri to help me haul off the rest of the stuff to the dump. Not going to happen. Between Cheri and others that heard that I just wanted to get rid of the junk… I am now having a “FREE” for the taking sale tomorrow morning. Donations are welcome, but please help yourself.

Well… one of the items listed in the ad, was free rug wool on cones. Within 5 minutes of posting that ad, I had a taker. That was Wed. night. She came took all the rug wool and 90% of the office supplies that I had unearthed by then.  Had 3 weavers contacting me that night – wishing for all that yarn as well, but it was already gone. So yesterday, I unearthed some more yarns… it made it until about 10 this morning. All gone. Tonight, one of my immediate neighbors – took 1/2 of what you see in both pictures.  So I have been scrambling trying to fill the spaces/holes with other stuff.  Funny thing… I don’t have much more to put out here. The freebie sale is tomorrow morning. Well, it is what it is. Thankful it has all gone so smoothly.

Stuffed animals in the bags

Tonight, all my stuffed animals found a good home. I have collected Alaska critters in stuffed animals for years. And I had all of my Mom’s collection of Boyd’s bears.  If none had walked out the door, I was donating them to the police department and/or State Troopers. Found out, that is where most are headed. A very good cause.  And found out today, everything left will be picked up by Haines Hospice for their Annual Spring Auction. Wow!  And I found a zillion greeting cards – my Mom saved every one she was ever given, plus a whole lot of cards bought but never sent. They all found a home with the scrapbookers here in town. Good grief, I had no idea. A tip to others that might be going thru all this – double check each and every card… I found $20 bills, delicate handkerchief, little oil paintings and love letters tucked into the cards. Little treasures.

And I found a quilt that I had made back in the early 1980’s, but never finished. It was 3/4 finished on the hand-quilting of it (no machine quilting on this beautiful quilt!!!), then a bias binding and it would be done. I decided to donate to the quilters group here in Haines, when finished – it will be auctioned off at the Hospice Auction.  So exciting to be done with this aspect.  
Now to start packing in earnest. In the meantime, despite our outlandish weather – 114 mph winds posted today at the lighthouse, no sleep for the weary due to the howling winds, no ferry service, no mail, no food coming in. Bitter cold winds too – temp hovering in single digits – way minus numbers with wind chill. Melinda did something foolish ere…actually just stupid.  The gasket on my side door of my RV is frozen. The door now has a huge gap at the top – the weather is pouring in. Can’t do anything until it warms up. The gasket shattered in the sub zero temperatures, when I tried to shut the door.  I know about this, but yet I still opened up the door to put bigger stuff into the rig. Stupid of me. I got the door re-locked, but the gap is obvious on the top half of the door.  So here’s hoping that the temps warm up before I move into my rig at the end of February or it will be downright chilly living in my RV.  Will hope they carry this gasket here in Haines too.
So am counting the days now. I am so excited.

MV Taku trip to Haines

Leaving soggy, non-stop rainy place in Port Edward was a wonderful relief. So headed to Prince Rupert – only about 16 clicks from Port Edward.  I checked into the Alaska ferry terminal on October 6th, got measured, tickets, custom declaration form, cats tickets.  And its not raining!!! Wow!  So once done with this, went and parked on the street overlooking the port. I was the only one there that early.  As it turned out for such a late time of the season, there were only 20 vehicles heading north out of Prince Rupert.  

Its always a little confusing to me when I do the ferry.  You are given times when one will load, etc, except that the times are Canadian or are they Alaskan times?  You think you get a handle on this… but it trips everyone up.  The ferry is on Alaskan time, not Canadian time, the terminal is Canadian time.  Fine and dandy you say.  Well… depending on whether they are on summer schedule or on winter schedule – you need to know when to be at customs and ready to go.  I was told they would come get us at 1 am – to double check all paperwork is completed, etc and to get into place at the terminal. One o’clock came and went… nothing.  Two o’clock came and went… About three o’clock – folks started showing up at the terminal. Can’t see if ferry is in from my angle. The few folks that had parked with me on the street, but had not checked in informed me they (Canadian ferry people) would not be coming up to us, but we need to go down there. Uh?  That’s never happened before. Ok. Wake up, head down and park in a lane for customs. And wait. And wait… nearly 5:30 in the morning, customs shows up and we finally make our way thru. Told which lane to park in for loading. Do so and wait… and wait… and wait.  Its a quarter to 7 in the morning that I finally get loaded onto the ferry oh wait, is that a quarter to 6?  The ferry left 15 minutes later. Gads!

Our route north

I crashed, went to bed once I made it to my berth on the ferry. Did this for two reasons… see the schedule above… that 6 hours between Prince Rupert and Ketchikan… other then the last hour, it is wide open water, not protected by the islands.  Big rollers…. I prefer to sleep thru that….  and second reason… I needed solid block of sleep. Its exhausting doing hurry up and wait stuff.

Ketchikan

Once again, Ketchikan was sunny for me.  This being one of the rainiest places on earth, I bring them sunshine each time I pass thru..  a good omen.

Note how smooth the water is

The trip north – the waters were so smooth one would have thought we were on a lake versus the ocean.  So took this late afternoon shot as we approached the narrows to show you how smooth the water and our trip north was.  In the Fall, this is downright rare site to behold.  As it is, the day after – special winter warnings were issued all up and down the Inside passage.  I couldn’t have been more lucky.  It can be a wild ride when its stormy.

Looking out from ferry at Sitka

I was parked at edge of ferry, this was the view out behind my rig.  Beautiful day in Sitka, I would have normally gotten off and gone exploring, but I had not spent time with my boys since Ketchikan, so I spent time with them.

Ferry just unloaded
My rig

After Sitka, the next place I had acknowledged was at Hoonah. It was night, but the moon made it so very special to be out on the water with the surrounding mountains.  Gosh, it was just gorgeous, but my pictures did not do justice to what I was enjoying.  Then, I did not awake until we were leaving Juneau, so missed seeing Auke Bay, etc.  As it was, the weather turned sour.  All one could see was fog and water.  As we got closer to Haines the wind picked up and it was snowing… yes, it was indeed snowing.  Got off the ferry and the snow turned to rain.

Got quite a welcome from my friends… my amazing friends.  They managed to move the entire contents of my storage unit into my apartment before I got there.  I can’t see my apartment for all the stuff, but its big!  Wow!   I got the boys moved into the place… play time.  Let them explore while I went and topped off propane, gas, got pink anti-freeze and started unloading my stuff out of the rig. Problem with unloading the rig – there’s no place to put it into the apartment that’s packed to the rafters. But I got to start somewhere…  I got the rig winterized too in the midst of all this.

So I am almost done removing all liquids, foodstuff, toiletries, clothes from the rig.  I have doggedly pursued this as the weather is changing daily now, getting colder…  I think I will master the last of this tomorrow.  I am fortunate that I can park my rig behind this apartment complex, within view of my apartment no less.  I will try to get photos for my next posting.

In my short time here, I have unpacked, separated out, put away – 7 china packs, 8 mirror packs.  I say separated out as what I know I absolute do not want and will be sold or thrown away is pulled out immediately.   I have even pulled out my favorite storage containers and have put them into my rig to get them out of the apartment.  I now need to make a run to recycle center to rid myself of all the empty and flatten boxes and white paper, so I can continue with the task at hand.  So no more unpacking until that is done. So the big chore is to set up the kitchen – where to put things, I don’t know what to do with all this space!!!

And the boys… Tucker is frustrated in a funny way. In the rig, all he has to do to keep track of some bird or squirrel is to run to another window. Well, he does not get the same result at the apartment.  But overall, the boys recognize our stuff, lots to check out, play hide and seek.  They are so busy… but for some reason, they think my twin size bed is their bed and there is no room for 3 of us in that little bed. I already miss my bed over the cab… 

NW LD GTG

The Northwest Lazy Daze get together  – what a hoot!   4 days at Confluence State Park in Wenatchee, Washington, a beautiful park, was a blast seeing everyone. Some new, some old.  This is a great park to bicycle, hike, explore or kick back to enjoy.  There was an auction on two nights vs one this time, they had so much offered up, including 2 of my towels… Yes… indeed, some really great stuff, including some real funny ones. Such as the sock one – what a hoot!!!  All proceeds go to support this great group.  I don’t know exactly what they made, but both Leonard and Bill seemed pleased.

Just a few of the Lazy Daze that gathered

The Pavilion 

More Lazy Daze

We learned of a neat way to start a fire. Learned it from our own Pyro/magician man… Ready?  Take a snack size bag of Fritos, open it, put kindling over it. Light with match. Wa-la – fire is started.  Who would have thought Fritos was a fire starter?  A new one for all of us.

Larry, our Pyro man

A surprise showed up at our group site the night before we left.  It was a 1987 Lazy Daze with a popup, not entirely sure of the year.  But you catch the drift.  John the owner of said rig, lives in Wenatchee and he was surprised to see so many Lazy Daze in town – so dropped on by.  Sorry, I did not get a picture of his rig, thought I did, but it didn’t show up in my pictures.

It was a fun, fun time by all…

Travel back to lower 48

Looking across bay at Haines

Wow! Its been awhile since I’ve posted. Sorry about that.   I’ve been in Washington a week now. My traveling companions and I headed straight to Panorama Point Park (National Forest CP), north of Concrete, Washington to see Jimbo, who is the Camp Host this summer. Beautiful park!

Guess what they see across the Chilkoot River?

My traveling companions? You wonder.  Two couples who traveled together up to Alaska for the summer, as they came thru Haines on there way out, we connected briefly to set plans, then I met them in Teslin, Canada a few days later to travel south with them.  John & Linda had there trip detailed plotted and planned out from start, so I just kicked backed and enjoyed the trip out. Seriously folks, what a joy! They are far removed from my whimsical style of traveling, but I learned alot on how they travel – got alot of great pointers, and I didn’t have to worry about where to stop for the night either, etc. I was on vacation, in a way, and it was a delight.  And that was for the trip down the Cassiar Highway, a very remote place to travel.  Beautiful, beautiful place.  Things changed up a bit when we hit semi-civilization…

My camp at Boya Provincial Park

And our next campground.. at Kinaskan Lake Provincial Park:

And then onward to Stewart/Hyder:
Bear Glacier on way down to Stewart, Canada

Momma & baby

When we made it to Highway 16, the differences between our traveling styles showed themselves. When I need to shop for food, etc – its done when I stop for the night or on a non-traveling day, not when on the road. Its the way I learned from my fellow full timers.  So when we stopped in Smithers at a Safeway store for them to pick up a “few things” as they were out of food – I never dreamed I would still be there 2 hours later.  If I had known, I would have left them and traveled on to our next campground. Then the 4 of them informed me they needed to stop in Prince George to go Walmart and Costco shopping the next day. Later in the day JC told me he & ZC needed 3-4 hours to do this and they would then take 2 extra days before entering the States again. Whoa…  its another travel day, not a shopping day for me. At that point, I informed John & Linda that I would meet them in Washington. So we parted ways… 

As it turned out… they were only a hour and a half behind me that day – obviously JC did not need 3-4 hours to shop. But I had no idea… and the next day… we apparently arrived at the border crossing within an hour of each other. – therefore they did not stay an extra day in Canada. Go figure! They headed straight to Panorama park, I stopped to get email.  Despite it all, I really enjoyed traveling with them. The conversations around the campfire at night or over the CB radio were most entertaining. Lots of chuckles.  Although, I think traveling with a set schedule is hard, therefore another full timer would be a better choice if I ever go this route.  But what a fun trip, all in all.  Thanks John & Linda, JC & ZC for letting me tag along on your adventure.
Panorama Point National Forest Campground – awesome place!  Only 2 negatives… not enough sun to power the solar, due to heavy tree canopy and the other campers. They are partiers…  But I stayed an extra 3 nights after my friends departed.  Of those days… the first was noisy with the campers as they drank the night away and laughed themselves silly in the day swimming in Baker Lake. I really did not mind it. The last day – I had the campground to myself. Pure joy!  Even Jimbo wasn’t around.  
My spot at Panorama Point

Baker Lake

So what to do… let see, I could not work on my loom – its too dark to see colors, threads and such. Had zero connectivity to the outside world. Had no desire to take a hike. So I picked up my Kindle and started reading. I haven’t read a book in over 2 years and I found myself so totally engrossed with the “Fifty Shades of Grey” that nothing else existed. Oh my!  I have since read the trilogy. Awesome!

When I realized my solar just wasn’t being recharged, I decided to leave a day earlier. I parked the night at a KOA near Concrete, WA – $22/night campground. Who has ever seen a KOA that cheap!!! It was a Thousand Trails campground too. Beautiful place, but $22? But only one night, dumped tanks, refilled water and I headed for Anacortes.  I had an appointment at Frontier Ford for my rig – oil & filter change, fluids checked, etc.  Then onto Whidbey Island’s Fort Ebey State Park to stay the night, then hopped on the ferry to Port Townsend the next day.  And I have planted myself at Escapees Evergreen Coho SKP here in Chimacum.
I had a great opportunity yesterday to meet a gal who has followed my blog from the start. What a blast! We will get together again next Tuesday…she’s going to show me around the area. My boys loved her! Thanks Ilse for taking the leap.