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 <; 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.


Odds are good that I don’t have much to talk about. Laughing at that.  And these two odd pictures seemed to round out the odds.  Laughing a bit more at that. I have some friends, who reach out and want to stay in touch – thinking the best way is thru Facebook and that is the worst place to see what I’m up to in life.  They claim they read my blog, but I haven’t been doing it lately – they are so correct.  So this posting is about the odd things I do.  Apparently my routine is not so mundane to others.

So let’s address the draft photo.  I’ve been weaving since 1994 and I recognized that that draft/pattern was for a lift plan for a dobby loom.  I don’t have a dobby loom, so have always ignored these patterns. Well lo and behold, I have just learned how to read them and I am just floored at how easy it is.  I won’t bore you with what it says, as I would lose you long before I finished explaining, but I am so jazzed by this new discovery.  But I’m not using that to dress my looms, so will translate at a later time.

And this orange fruit!!  This is an Orange Watermelon. An outstanding watermelon. My mouth just waters thinking of how good it was and hoping they have another one when I stop by the fruit stand today.  The texture is a cross between a watermelon and a honey dew melon, but the flavor is not similar to anything I’ve ever tasted, but it is so darn yummy. A delightful surprise!   They also had a yellow watermelon, I found it way too sweet compared to regular watermelon and this orange watermelon.

The zoo of people heading to Oregon for the eclipse, postponed my leaving WA. Still not sure if I’m giving enough leeway to escape the mass of people traveling, but time will tell.  My timing is also indicative of the Labor Day weekend, I hope I will find some hole in the wilderness to hibernate in for that holiday weekend between here and where I’m going. An unusual feature of this adventure for me is that I have a deadline, an expected date of arrival.  I am giving myself ample roaming time to get there, but its still an oddity for me to ever do a date imposed trip.  That is the big difference between full timers and part timers, and I will take the full timers method of travel hands down no questions asked method every time.

Interesting enough, that deadline is less now then when it was first decided on. I was heading to friends to house sit/dog sit/cat sit while they go off to Belize for 10 days or so. They felt bad that they dumped that job onto me, considering we haven’t seen each other in decades, so they gave the job to another. But I was looking forward to doing it, alas… now I am freed up to go as soon as they leave.  Problem is, the rest of the friends aren’t available… so where do I go play until then?  Time will tell..  Now this is something I can sink my teeth into… go explore the unknown.

Catch up time

Since I arrived back to Chimacum, WA from Why, AZ – I have been swamped with dealing with the VA claim, examinations and trying to find a contractor to build an extension on my 100 sq ft shed. Have been allowed to have up to 200 sq ft, but until now, did not have the money for the project.  I have been heavily on the phone since mid-March all the way thru mid-May – just wanting foundation, shell & rafters to get started, would worry about the interior later, if need be. I had been quoted from $25/hour to $8000.00.  The latter was ridiculous, the cheap one the guy bailed on me. It was frustrating, but lo and behold, I found a retired Math teacher/handy man at $30/hour.  If he wouldn’t have done it, I would have headed back up to Alaska once again, as I had run out of options. I could set something up for next year, but not this year it seems. But as you can see from the above pictures… I found myself a gold mine of a builder for my little shed extension.

George, is my builder.  George is building the new and fixing the old, and then will do an upgrade on electrical and dry wall it. So we have gutted the old, which was insulated but patched with cardboard, peg board and even plastic and a ton of miscellaneous shelving made from rough hewn wood. The old had zero circulation, so the condensation was a big problem. 27 years ago when it was built, they did what they wanted.  I just have to remind myself – Its JUST a shed. Smiling here.  Nonetheless, I want it as a weaving studio. So fixing the circulation issues, adding roof & ridge vents, other venting so it can breath will significantly cut down on mold and mildew. Will also seal the slab (both old & new) to prevent moisture seeping upward. I will heat/cool it when I am in town and use a de-humidifier when I’m not, so hopefully will have safe storage for yarn as well as genealogical records and maybe, just maybe eliminate the heated storage in town or at the very least be able to shrink the size of storage.

The one aspect I so enjoyed when building our house up in Alaska, was the buying of the stuff… junction boxes, electric boxes, wiring, light fixtures, windows, flooring, etc, etc, etc. Figuring sizes, placements of, etc, etc, etc.   I just got the biggest kick out of doing the research, then tracking it down and getting it.  Well, doing it for this little shed just sparks such great memories of it all.  And again…I have to remind myself its JUST a shed. Smiling here. I’m having fun.

And in May, May 10th to be exact…was a mind blowing experience for me.  The whole day was enchanting, magical… it started in the morning with the slab being poured for the shed extension. Yeah, I know, that wasn’t the magical or enchanting part of the day, but it was important in its own right!  Then my friend, Brad, & I headed to Bainbridge Island to take the ferry to Seattle. We arrived and got parked before rush hour. Then started walking. We walked around and thru a college campus to the Space Needle…I’ve never been up there. Wow! WOW!  Explored thru giant art, sculptures, etc. on a campus. Then went out to dinner – I had a superb salad meal. It had the typical feel of a city place that had after-work people drinking wine at the bar to tables full of people eating dinner. It just had that classic feel of a big city place that I haven’t experienced in many years. Nice!  Then we walked to the McCaw building for my very first opera. Oh my…

Opera.  Who would have thought that Melinda, who grew up in a small town, lived in Alaska for decades and now lives in a RV would be so totally enamored, so loss of words of such an amazing event. But I was, I am and will forever be.  The Magic Flute is my first opera. I was surprised that I picked up some of the German in the singing, altho I never really spoke German, like I did Italian.  The music, the singing…my God the clarity of reaching such notes sent chills thru my body and still does when I think about it. The costumes, the story line.  The beauty that was presented to me that night brought tears of joy like nothing I have every experienced before.  There just aren’t any words to express all that I saw, experienced.   Season tickets… tempting.

And to wrap this posting up… spent 4 days down at Fort Steven State Park just outside of Astoria, OR at the mouth of Columbia River and the Pacific Ocean… Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous spot to be parked for a few days.  It was my first May outing with my Lazy Daze family (I’m usually in Alaska by now).  Lots of old friends to see and made some new friends as well.  Our particular campground had more mosquitos then leaves… Laughing here.  I’m sure we got enough protein from them…

As for the photos. The bottom image and the one right above it on right – I was stuck (due to construction) on the bridge – that huge bridge over the Columbia River as I was leaving Astoria. Just taking pictures from my drivers seat.  Of the 3 pictures to the right of my boys Norm & Tucker – the middle one is showing the very last of the shipwreck.  I’m impressed that even that is left after all these years.  All in all, it rained one day, it was cloudy 2 of the days and sunny one day.  I got a chance to go look around the huge State park, but managed to wrench my back out, so it eliminated riding my bike.  I will come back…its a beautiful place to spend time, lots of maritime history, beautiful beaches. And super great to see my Lazy Daze friends.


Do it or not!

Ooh boy, it has been a long while since I last wrote.  My annual membership dues for this site arrived and I was extremely tempted to let it expire.  Spent a fair amount of time debating this with myself and I.  The end result…we will do it for one more year, then re-evaluate it at that time.

I was still hanging in the desert when I last wrote, whether I was at Quartzsite or not, in Yuma or not or near Why.  Got my new eyeglasses in Yuma, but not across the border as initially planned. Prices across the border were climbing on eyeglasses since Trump became it was suggested I just get them in Yuma, so I did.  It was a delight to get to know Yuma once again..its been a few years since I had been there. Alas, I was only there long enough to do the glasses before I headed back to Why. After I left Yuma, I stopped in at the SunPro shop and got my cover for my windshield.  Love it, but realize I need to upgrade or simply replace my curtain in the cab, as one still need to turn off the outdoors at night. Smiling at that.  You see, the SunPro is a sunscreen/protector that covers the entire windshield outside and side windows and the windshield wipers. I can see thru it all day, but no one can see in from outside, except at night.  Surprising to me, is that it adds an element of insulation as well.

In Why…having friends around one sure can escape with friends around… but no weaving got done, again. Ah but a little light bulb went off – find an old RV, gut it, and make it into a weaving studio. I actually looked at a couple of rigs, even looked at bigger sites to fit both my RV and studio on same place.  Before I could take this further the weather turned hot. This is February – what is it about February that the darn deserts start doing their rapid heating?  Can I make it thru a week or two of this heat?  As that is what it did last year, then cooled off once again. Not seemingly with my old boys, but going north was out of the question. Hmmmm…  And I only got to see the beginning of an outstanding desert flowering…darn hot weather.

So I left Why and headed for appointment to get my RV serviced at the Sanderson Ford – they do my major service and any recalls, etc. annually. It was cooler here then in Why, so I stuck around a bit…had the honor of staying with a fellow Lazy Daze friend at her abode. Thanks Lisa!!! The above pictures are of a few of the outside of her house, including the chicken coop.  There is one image of Tucker sitting on my loom, not sure how it snuck into this collage. And the last item…drumroll….is an antique spinning wheel. What a delightful visit!

The weather going north was atrocious… there was no easy route and let me tell you I was studying the routes, the weather along those routes, reading about bridges out, landslides, snow, wind, etc., etc.   So why don’t I just sit on it and not go north? I had to be in Tacoma on March 17th for another non-VA physical examination for my claim. They in fact, wanted me there in 2 days, but I managed to push it back for a 8 days.  Problem with this, it takes me a week to do this route when I’m pushing it and that’s in good weather.

So I said my goodbyes the same day I finished with the Ford place. Dry camped at North Ranch Escapees park and headed on north at first light.  I had planned to stop in Barstow or Tehachapi if the weather held. Got to Tehachapi – no place to park – anywhere. I was wasting sunlight and time and finally said to hell with it and went onto Bakersfield. I pushed thru rush hour and got to I-5 and a truck stop and parked it – a very long day. I crashed – didn’t even make it into bed, just fell asleep on my dinette bench with cats wrapped around me.  Got up and first light, again left and headed up I-5.  Had planned to stop near Coalinga…was in wrong lane and could not exit.  So kept going.  The weather was absolutely gorgeous!!!  But seeing all the fields flooded, was a keen reminder all was by no means a-ok yet.  Kept on trucking’ and got north of Stockton and cut across on Highway 12 to go thru the California River Delta to reach I-80 in route to I-505 to go around Sacramento. Once reconnected to I-5, stopped at rest area and parked it for the night.  It rained all night, but in the morning the sun was once again out.

This time, I was only going to go as far as Redding, then take a break. But I got there – the sun was shining…everything was so flooded…I just kept going. And going. And going. No energized bunny here, but the forecast was lousy, but the sun was shining, so I kept going.  The narrow window of opportunity of getting thru the mountain passes pushed me onward.  The brilliant sun was still shining, but dark clouds were showing themselves. I seriously can’t believe I made it to Sutherlin, but I did and I crashed at Timber Valley SKP for 2 nights to regroup.  Dumped tanks, refilled water and did laundry. And slept.  It rained the entire time I was at Timber Valley, but I did not care. The morning I left…the clouds lifted and I was greeted by sunshine once again. The forecast for that day was periods of rain. Rain I can deal with, but it was sun that I had until I got north of Portland.  Wind driven rain pelted me north of Olympia, but I was so close I just kept going.  Pulled into Evergreen on Sunday and realized I had just done a marathon trip even with stopping for 2 nights in the midst of it. Whew!

The exam went pretty smoothly, keep discovering things about my body…they all ask different questions and examine you differently – end result, I learn new things about what my body is doing or not doing.  Such as I did not realize I can’t turn my body to the right. Say what? You know standing and turning your upper body to the left then to the right – I can do left, but not right.  Now to sit back and wait for the results.

The trip north prompted lots of critical thinking.  The idea of putting a studio down in the desert is just omitted. Realization, the chance of me staying for more than a few months in the desert due to the heat rules it out.  If I have to be parked, it will be in WA.  So I am in the process of getting contractors bids to extend my shed 100 sq ft. I’m allowed up to 200 sq ft total. More on that later.

I’m not traveling to Alaska this summer. I have several short trips over the summer in the Pacific Northwest.  So stay tuned for the next posting.



The majority of the pictures above (minus the bottom two) are all from Ajo Historical Society Museum.  A wonderful place jammed packed with history about the area, including the copper mine… I took far more pictures then these, but the glare from the overhead lights did me no favors. So enjoy.  The handwoven coverlet above was in amazing condition despite the edges. A well loved treasure.  The bottom pictures, Norm managed to tuck himself between the travasak and the comforter to get warm one morning.  The sunset was from my rig in Why.

To carry on the story from the last posting…the inverter was installed without issue, even tested it out with my hair dryer. Then I could not use it. Why? My delightful (not!) house batteries decided to really die. Deader then a door nail. So I managed to get 2 new AGM batteries and installed in a timely manner.  So with all this work done, I prepared to leave for Quartzsite (herein referred to as Q, as my spell checker doesn’t want to spell it correctly).

My arrival to Q was so uneventful, no traffic, not even a mini road jam… pulled into the Lazy Daze gathering spot and was shocked to see I was #3.  In all the years I’ve been coming, I have never seen so few people here.  A few more stragglers have arrived, we are now 9, no 8 as one has left.  Roger, the coordinator of this bunch, was a no-show. We thought his wife needed back surgery, but in reality they got tickets to Washington, DC for January 20th. Free tickets they claim… I bet.   Apparently word passed quickly that Roger would not make it, nonetheless…we, who are here, are enjoying meeting the new folks as well as our fellow friends. Its a quiet bunch, very low keyed, laid back kind of people. We see each other at happy hour and around the bonfire, but not rest of the time. Very different from past gatherings.  One of the new folks, went para-gliding over us yesterday…sure looked like fun.

The big tent, here at the Q, has been delayed opening for some reason, but it hasn’t stopped the zillion little flea markets around it from opening. I needed a cheater (to get a 2 prong plug to work with a 3 prong), but there was no way I was willing to wade thru those shops. So went to the Dollar Store…the line was weaving thru the rows at the store. Ridiculous!  So in the long run, it would not matter where I went. But found the adapter, so all is well.  Also found a RV parts store… found a new screen door handle. So got that replaced. Let’s see…. am hoping all the repairs are officially done now.


Why is an un-incorporated town, which consists of one gas station, one RV park, one community center and one restaurant.  If you blinked on your way to the Organ Pipe Monument, you missed the town.  It is the place where two highways meet – 85 & 86. If you had a triangle and Why was on one spoke of the triangle, the other two (equal distance from Why) are Phoenix and Tucson.  That sums up the town.

I am outside of the town, in what I refer as glorified boondocking campground. One must have solar to stay here. Running generators is frowned upon, they suggest you go into Why for full hookups if you need that much electricity. Love that!  This is high desert camping, we are surrounded on 3 sides with mountains, cactus, creosote is the normal landscape. You see organ pipe goods on surrounding hills. Wild burros, coyotes are frequent visitors. Lots of hiking, bike riding, etc. So why do I call if glorified boondocking? There are 4 dump stations, 4 shower houses, clubhouse with computer room, craft & office), laundry with clothes line available.  There are spigots of water available all over the park, but if you want one on your lot, you need to pay for a year to get it.  Whoa!  There’s no way I’d be here in the summer time… the cost for the year includes a shed you can add as well.  How much? $550.00 per year. Or a monthly rate is $130 or a daily rate of $9 a day.  Being self-contained – this is an awesome place to park it for the winter.  Tons of solar panels galore and people do more here then in other campgrounds I’ve been at.

Grocery store is found in Ajo and they build up stock for all the RVer’s that play down here for the winter.  The store also has an ACE Hardware store attached to it.  Nice feature. So rarely need to go to the cities for anything, which is even nicer. There a great organic grass fed hamburger joint in Ajo…the best tasting burgers I’ve had in eons.  I’ve not eaten at the restaurant in Why, will have to try that out sometime.

Since I’ve been here this year… I have added two new solar panels.  I really thought I needed to get new AGM batteries…could not hold a charge for love nor money.  Well, the solar folks around here proved me wrong. After doing all the required testing (took 4 full days around the clock) and them adding an extra battery charger to my batteries, full sunshine and the generator running 3 hours in morning and 3 hours in the evening – my batteries finally got fully discharged. That term still confuses me – didn’t they just charge all this?  Anyway, once this was accomplished…another 2-3 days of testing and sure enough, I need more panels to make the batteries work better.  Now since this hasn’t been happening since I bought the rig… the batteries are definitely showing signs of being tired. The lifetime for AGM batteries is 5-6 years, I’m on the cusp of needing to deal with them anyhow, but… I’m using this time to test thoroughly on the cloudy days, partly cloudy days, full sun days.  So I got the new solar panels right before Christmas and its night and day difference. I stand corrected, glad they made me go thru those detailed tests (they drove me nuts! – no comment from the peanut galleries now!!!).  So I still have the 2 panels on my roof, that don’t tilt up. And the 2 new panels, they made me a PVC stand to support them to set at an angle on the ground. They fold up and I can move them easily enough.

This next week, I’m getting a Xantrex 2000 inverter installed too. I’m excited about that…  Its going to be fun to see what I can run on that. So much that I wanted or like to use, I have left in WA in storage, as I can’t use without running a generator and I hate to run my generator – noise pollution is a major taboo.  So with the inverter, this will change, life will get…what? I don’t know, guess I will find out.

A follow up note on protecting my tow car. A friend of mine, when I visited her in Sutherlin, OR before I came south, said “Melinda, having a car is a fun thing to have, but if you have to struggle, you aren’t having fun”.   She pointed out she had 2 mud flaps on her rig. One set immediately behind the rear tires, the other about 1/2 way out to the rear bumper.  I can’t get mud flaps right behind my tires, as my tanks are in the way.  But I do have the mud flap 1/2 between rear tires and the rear bumper.  So I started paying attention to fellow RVer’s as I came south… almost all of them, have no protection on the car or between the rig and the vehicle. None!!!  No damage to the tow either. All but 2 had two mud flaps on the rig. I managed to talk with one of the 2 about towing with only one mud flap. They have been doing it for 14 years – zero problem! In fact, they had tried the Protect-a-Tow and had the same issues that I encountered. So from Phoenix, I took off my $400 cover, and towed to Why. Zero problems. Was it a waste  of money to have gotten the full hood/window cover?  Yes and no. I will use it when I next go to AK, because I don’t have 2 mud flaps.  But its now being stored in my car.  I won’t put it on again, in fact, I can’t put it on by myself. I don’t have the hand strength needed to put it on.  Oh the things we learn…