Just playing

Another successful morning selling things I had not planned to sell, but am glad they have found a new home, this includes 4 lamps, a bookcase, small 3 drawer chest, a small round table with glass top, 2 rugs and my trundle bed.

My friend Cheri and I decided to take advantage of the snow today… so went snowshoeing. What a blast!!!  We went out to Haines golf course… one of the flatter areas in this area (the beach is the other flat area). Still had to get up and over snow berms, but oh my was it beautiful out there. The silence was absolutely golden.  Her two corgi’s were “swimming” in the snow, but we couldn’t get them to break trail for us no matter how we tried.  They had a blast too.  So here are a couple of pictures of me – decked out in layers…

My new snowshoes

These snowshoes – bought via L.L. Bean, are the best ones I have tried. Wish I had spent the money to get them before or maybe I would have been snowshoeing more often. Its a no brainer hiking in these. Happy to have them.

Almost look like an eskimo

My snow pants are now too big… have a belt holding them up, but they still keep me dry and that is what’s important. My winter coat tho… by the end of the hike, was not the best coat to wear. Hmmm… need to think of another type. I got too hot. Not exactly wise to strip down out in this weather, but I was tempted.

Happy to be snowshoeing

All in all, a great day to go snowshoeing. Been waiting all winter to do this.  When we got back to town, I went and broke a new trail to my rig…. deep, deep snow.  Hopefully it won’t rain tomorrow, but this is sure pretty today to go out for a hike. Happy, happy to be out hiking!

Snow

My freebie sale was successful. All but 2 small boxes of stuff is left. Impressive! There was no rush of people, but a steady line of people, despite the weather. Whew! Glad that’s done.

If you have been following my blog… you will note that I said if winter was going to show itself in Haines, it would wait until I was getting ready to leave.  Considering it has rain all winter so far, I knew Mother Nature was just waiting for this crucial timeframe.

Well… the hurricane forced winds finally settled down.  And a huge squadron of planes roared into Haines early yesterday morning during a quiet spell – as no mail, food, ferries or anything else has been able to reach us. The squadron of planes even impressed the locals.

Mid morning

Last night… it started snowing. The winds whipped the powder snow into a full blown blizzard, which has continued today. Egads is it ever gorgeous!  Its a treat for me, having not been around it for a few years out on the road. Its an even bigger treat – as I don’t have to dig myself out of it. I can sip my hot tea as I watch the heavy snow cover the landscape.  The temperatures have warmed up to 4ºF – yes, it feels quite warm considering the wind chill we have been dealing with.

The above picture was mid-morning and a whole lot more snow has fallen since that was taken. My footsteps disappear quickly in this. Note on the above picture – see all the windshield wipers sticking up? A classic example of Haines – almost everyone does this, as they don’t want them to freeze to the window. This snow is not particularly a problem, but if it continues to warm up, it will be ice and useless wipers if not left up like this.

Forecast… if one is to believe… it will be back into the 40’s by weeks end… and rain.  Well… may be that’s a good thing…  I won’t hold my breath just yet. Think I will go fix another cup of tea…

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.

Status update

A touch of color

Well I am duly impressed with what I have accomplished since I arrived in Haines. I was wall to wall, ceiling to floor boxes when I arrived. Barely room to walk a narrow path between bed, bathroom and kitchen.  That was about 10,000 lbs of stuff.  The estimate on my load to leave with is 2,000 lbs and they gave that on the high side.  I know it will be closer to 1,500 or less.  Yippee!!!!   Before I came, my friends at Escapees told me to anticipate still having “stuff”, but to manage to get rid of the bulk of it. That I have done.

This estimate came today.  And further details of what to expect on this move. I’m not doing it thru a moving company. I’m packing it, taking it to the dock and I’m sending my household goods via Alaska Marine Lines, other words on a barge. It will be delivered to Seattle, then must get it across the pond (ere. Puget Sound) to Port Townsend.  All those fine little details will come in due time.  In the meantime….

Just found out Saturday, that my friend Natasha is driving to Wasilla vs flying. What this means is that all the stuff (genealogy books, weaving books, weaving equipment to be sold, etc) that’s heading that way, is going soon – like in 1 week.  So I am scrambling trying to make sure I have pulled it all from my stuff. Surprises still happening… but the bulk is ready to go. And I am now scrambling, more then I was, on going paperless.  I have a fabulous scanner. Its a Fujitsu Scan Snap IX500 – highly recommend this. And its small compact size travels well in the RV. Far superior to the flat bed scanners, altho there is a need for those in certain circumstances.  And when not scanning, am backing up my system on an external hard drive.  Super, non-stop busy.

Am dropping dead into bed at night… can’t even read, my eyelids are so heavy… but it is so worth it. So am hanging in…  vacation is on the horizon. Well, that’s not quite true.. or is it? I will once again be a full-timer and I can’t wait.  I will catch my breath, relax on the ferry trip south.

A couple of weeks ago… I took the Meyers-Briggs Personality Test.  Have you ever taken this? I happen to be the rarest of the 16 personality types.  INFJ (Introverted, Intuitive, Feeling, Judging). I laughed, as I knew I was unique… but did not know I was rare!  Laughing here. Actually thought I was a little introverted and extroverted, but guess not.  Very interesting to study this.  See what happens when Melinda gets a little bored with downsizing… knew it was time to change my course in all this.

Haines has heavy rain warning out for Tuesday & Wednesday with high winds on top of that. Warnings about small stream flooding, landslides and mudslides are also posted.  Where is the darn SNOW!!!!

Crazy traveling days..

From my last post, I mentioned I planned to get off of I-90 and head north to Rt. 2.  I took Highway 83 up from I-90.  Beautiful, beautiful road – rolling hills of ranches, grasslands all the way.  I had a chuckle in South Dakota, as I came into a wee town with a population of 89 in Mound City.  Laughing, as they had a post office. 89 people and they have a post office!?!  At the opposite edge of town, less than a city block length of town, I understood why they got a post office.  Mound City happens to have the County Courthouse of all things.  I guess anything is possible, but this just tickled the heck out of me.  South Dakota has the best all around road system – whether interstates or back roads – others could learn alot from them.

North Dakota, on the other hand, had horrible roads in most places. With the oil boom, they should have redone all their roads in this State. Gads, what a waste that it hasn’t happened.  I understand Highway 83 is good all the way up to Rt. 2, but I did not take it north from Bismarck.  I stopped in Bismarck for the night and the next morning on awakening at 5:30 am – discovered pea soup fog. Could barely see the rig next to me.  Went about having a leisurely breakfast, shower, etc. and the fog had lifted enough to go ahead and leave… or so I thought.  Got out to 83 and realized I wasn’t going anywhere fast. So found a grocery store and went shopping.  When finished, the fog had lifted a whole lot, but not from the north (83).  At this point, I figured I would make a short day of that day, and stop at Theodore Roosevelt’s National Park… 2 hours away. Theo’s park is a great NP, altho I have never been there in a RV, years ago did tent camping, hiking there. Just a beautiful scenic park. I’m hoping the buffalo are still roaming thru the campground like they did years ago. Time will tell.

So I got gas, and headed to I-94 and headed west about 8am.  It was foggy but doable. Just wish others would turn on their headlights… but all went pretty well.  My next best opportunity to head north was on 85, just past Dickinson.  Not the best or wisest choice on my part.  Remember my mentioning the oil boom in North Dakota.  For some ungodly reason, I thought it would be on Rt 2 at or in Williston.  If it is, I don’t know, as I did not go that way.  Highway 85 though, was disastrous.  It started out ok, even with seeing miles after miles of oil rigs spaced about a 1/4 miles from each other on both sides of the road, but the oil tanker trucks… all kinds of trucks for that matter, hogging the road to and fro with the combo of the fog… Not a fun place to be.

Then to see the damage to the fields, apparently getting more oil rigs in.. Did they buy out all the farmers? Or what?  Lousy work ethics, but guess I shouldn’t be surprised.  On one side of the road was the National Grasslands, which I could not see at all that day due to the fog, but they are awesome normally and across the road are oil rigs… none stop.    About 2 miles from the turn to the National Park, I pulled over to take a picture or two.

Hills near the National Park

View looking down where I was going

The turn into the National Park was on the left, and I was in the wrong lane to turn left. Trucks don’t particular care if you want to turn left, just get out of their way.  Immediately after that turn, its a steep climb back up. No turning back.  As it was, I am so happy I did not stay at the National Park on two very major points.  Considering I did that day on Memorial Day… I could not fathom doing the next 50 miles on a normal work day.  Major, major road constructions, truck traffic, dirt beyond dirt (or mud if it rained), everyone driving the fastest they could go over potholed roads beyond description. It swallowed cars frequently. Not good for RV’s.  I wish I could have taken a picture of even a fraction of this nightmare, but I was doing good just getting thru the mess. And the road construction at the Rt 2/ 85 exchange was unbelievable potholed mess.  Get me out of here!!!!

One highlight in that mess… near the town of Alexander was a ranch with very green pastures on hills, at the highest areas, were buffalo enjoying the grasses, just below them were cattle.  Nice!

On Rt 2, once I put a distanced between the mess… was good road.  As tired as I was from the day so far… there was no place to park, to pull over for a potty break, nothing.  So I kept going. I found a side road to pull off on to do a mini-break and to check for a place to stay the night.  Two places listed – could not find either. One was a city park, another was a casino in wee towns I drove thru. I arrived at Wolf Point, MT (280 miles from Bismarck) to Rancho RV Park. What a joke. On my Find a Friend app, it said I was parked at Moe’s Trailer Park.  Well, I’m happy to say its not that, it is a RV park with basic camping. I met Moe, man in charge, is one of the many Indians here.  He was a hoot, and had me park in the shade even tho I was dry camping.  I just wanted to crash.  I forgot to take a picture of the little corner of his park. It was green, soothing for raw edges, and quiet. Couldn’t have asked for anything better.  It looks like they took over an old motel… I have no idea if there were showers, laundry or anything else available. I took a nap initially, then went to bed at 7 pm.  Its still hot in the 80’s here, but with great relief, I am finally in dryer climes. 
The secondary reason I’m glad I did not stay at the national park, they got slammed with golf ball hail and 70 mph winds that night.  Tons of rain. Flooding from slow moving thunderstorms, which I happen to drive under as I got into Montana. Breathe of fresh air knowing I was not there then.
I had no desire to sit at Rancho RV park more then necessary, but I really would like to find a place to park for several days…  so I put another long day under my belt.  I am now at Shelby. I was going to stop in Havre… but found no place for RV’s to park, nothing I had listed in my various apps could be found. The road construction leading into town was one rough road as well. Did I miss a turn because of it? Not sure, but I found nothing else.  So kept going.
The constant road thru rolling hills and valleys, tons of grasslands, and hundreds of cattle was lulling me into a state I knew I had to change.  So the next available cell phone pull out, I would take and take a break. And it was an absolute delight.  Mountains. Honest-to-goodness mountains, snow covered mountains at that. It has been months since these eyes have seen the mountains and there they are… but they are on the horizon.  Oh I have missed the mountains… but this rejuvenated me. Onward.
So in Shelby… trying to find a gas station that my RV would fit in, that was working, was troublesome. But eventually found one right before my stop for the night – so hoped it would be a decent one.  You know, a girl can dream, but it doesn’t mean diddly-squat sometimes.
Glacier View RV Park…  is across the road from a train yard, a very busy train yard and behind a motel.  The following are my views. No glacier to be had.

White building on left is the back side of motel

Train yard… several tracks.

There are 6 parking places for RV’s, only one big enough for me. Yes, they have electrical, water and sewer – but I would not touch anything but the electrical.  No trash cans, no bathrooms, no nothing else. On two sides are alleys.  And I’m the only one here.  Not too comforting, but the next destination is 79 miles away… that’s the mountains… can’t wait!

Marching in

March was to come in like a lion, but it delayed itself by 3 days.  Awaiting the said lion gave us such a delightful 70+ degree weather and low humidity, basking in the sunshine was a simple joy.  Had the rig entirely opened to air out.  The cats had all the sun beams while this person was spot washing the rig.  What I couldn’t reach the California Duster helped with that. Afterwards, went to see if I could get down to the water or if there were any trails around.  No luck on either.  Will have to talk to the Camp Host, as the office is closed on weekends.  It was a gorgeous day!!!  Met most of my neighbors too.

Today tho… that warm spell was smashed to smithereens. But not until mid-day. Temps dropped by 17 degrees in short order, winds started blowing… right now, at dusk – temp is now down to 35ºF – it was 64ºF this morning. The winds are rocking the rig big time.  Its been raining since about 4p. There is a winter advisory out for ice, but the local weather said it will quit by midnight.  It will be chilly tonight, down to the low 20’s, tomorrow we will be lucky to reach 40… and that my dear friends has been my norm for this winter… no matter where I have been.  Arkansas, LA, MS, FL, SC and now NC. Crazy stuff!  By the end of the week the temps will go back up.  It has been one roller coaster after another this winter…

Snuggled down

Now when I planned to head north, the weather was going to be a delightful sunny, nice weather in the 60’s, no wind – good traveling weather. Later in week was to bring in some rain. So the night before & the morning of, glanced at weather on where I was heading… not good. So stopped to study maps, and such, in a little more detail.  I have learned over the years, to not take a cavalier attitude about the weather. It can bite your ass quicker then anything.  I have a tendency to read clouds and if it differs from the weatherman says, I heed the clouds…

As I said in a previous post, I was bucking logic to move north.  I knew I could not go as far north as I wanted, despite seeing the temps that they had been having.  It is February you know.  So added that element of caution and went for it.  There’s no destination that requires me to be at any one place by a certain date or a certain time.  Folks that know I’m coming have been informed of a block of time, not an exact time frame.  Even that has backfired a few times… no big deal.

I had not been on the road for over 2 1/2 months, I planned a short day.  I parked at a nondescript place at the junction of I-95/Highway 17, about 133 miles north.  It was a great drive north… even saw my first alligator as I passed one of many swamps.  Totally cool to see it. Lots of birds too. Just a good all and all day to hit the road.  Weather forecast was changing, but according to news people – it was Atlanta that was in for it. Well I awoke to 37º and a fine mist.  I didn’t waste time, fed the cats, got dressed, fixed my tea for the road and left at first light.  Considering it was not forecasted to be out of the 40’s the whole day… I was out of there. Quickly got out of the mist, tho cloudy… it was beautiful trip on Highway 17 into Charleston.  This is such a beautiful city!  Harbor, rivers, ships, etc.  But I kept going, as the rain was following me. When I got to Charleston, the temp had dropped to 35º. I needed to get parked, so kept going. It wasn’t too much further, but need to get past these bridges.

Didn’t take long – sleet happened sooner than forecasted. A big sigh of relief that I got this far and settled in before it started.  Listened to sleet most of the evening… I slept quite comfy with my mattress pad heater – one of the best purchases I have made for living in my RV. Pure lush warmth that caresses one’s body… and the cats! Laughing here.  To awaken to find rain, nothing but rain and the temp had warmed to 31 (it had been 27 when I went to bed).  The pink (ice) on the weather maps had moved just west and north of my area this morning – not but a smidgen but it had moved away. South Carolina had issued a State of Emergency besides Winter Storm Warning and Ice Warning last night. The only thing changed is the Winter Storm Warning has been dropped.  So will wait this out…