Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas Visitor

Them wise men in this RV?
Let’s get this pilgrimage

70 degrees, sunny and windy on Christmas Day. No Santa in sight in this restricted air space near the Yuma Proving Grounds. But last night we did enjoy the Parade of Lighted Trucks, courtesy of some local inhabitants, who drove all around the desert with lights and other festive decorations strung on their tow vehicles.

Drunk with joy of the holiday and other influences, Bruce started up both generators so Jenna could use the microwave!

Happy Holidays!!

Monday, December 22, 2008


You distract the guard!
I'll grab his cookies!!

Remember, no news is dog news.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Imperial Dam God Forsaken Desert at last

Today we arrived at our winter destination after eight days of driving from Olympia WA. Stayed ahead of a major cold front and snow moving down from Alaska, apparently at the direction of an embittered Sarah Palin.

“Take that, you West Coast Liberals who cost me the Presidency…ummm…Vice Presidency!! "

"Sorry John…not."

"I may forgive you Lefties by 2012.”

If you managed to avoided reading this blog for the past year, here is a brief description of Imperial Dam from a January posting

(C’mon. It’s not too long, and I don’t know any big words.)

We parked next to our friends Barb and Steve, whom we met here last year and visited in Flagstaff this past Spring. More meeting and greeting tomorrow.

Clancy met an adult Australian Terrier today...a neighbor whom we also saw last year. Sounded like they were speaking in Australian so we wouldn't understand them. (The dogs, not the neighbors.)


Sunday, December 14, 2008

Clancy Challenges The Natural Order

To the tune of Delta Dawn

Delta Dog,
Well at least you’re not a frog,
To get squished by every car that goes on by.

But if I hear you say,
You want to be Alpha Dog today,
You’ll go right down to Zeta dog, ain’t no lie.

California, Land of No Rain or Cold

We’ve reached SE California. Indio tonight. Arizona tomorrow after filling up at Costco.

We departed the Pacific NW, then northern California, just ahead of the first winter storm of the season.

No, wait. The local weather predicts cold temperatures tomorrow, down to the 60 degrees. These crazy Californians! Sixty degrees in December and they call it cold. Ha ha ha!
Jenna and friends.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

On the Road Again. Arizona bound.

We hitched up and departed the morning after Jenna's chemotherapy for points south.

Figure three hundred miles per day, arriving at Imperial Dam AZ by 12/15/08. It’s great to be on the road again.

This evening we arrived at a park in Lakehead CA. Sunny, 63 degrees. 25% humidity outside and 50% in our trailer. We brought the rain with us – in the furniture, the walls, and us.

Hopefully when the trailer dries out, it will weigh less. Probably not us tho.


Monday, December 8, 2008

Cancer treatment completed for now

Jenna finished her last lymphoma chemotherapy today. Done for the next six months, after four months of almost weekly sessions!

No detectable cancer in her body! It’s a miracle!!

Thanks to everyone for their best wishes for her speedy recovery. Apparently it helped.

All right then. Let’s get traveling!


Tuesday, December 2, 2008

‘Nother Delay in our Departure – The Sequel

Report from cancer center.
*White blood cell numbers down.
*No chemotherapy today or surgery tomorrow, to avoid further depletion and infection.
*Reboot on Monday.

Thus we hold off another week to depart. The Arizona sun must wait for us yet again.

Your patient reporter,

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanksgiving in an RV with a New Puppy

Bless this trailer, Lord we pray,

Make this dog calm night and day.

In the night, please shut him up,

Too much whining from this pup.

Let him leap not on the couch,

Turning Bruce into a grouch.

Not to poop in this RV,

Make him wizz beneath the tree

And his chewing, let it cease

No more biting with sharp teeth.

Make him grow up in one day,

For us all, O Lord we pray

Happy Thanksgiving from all of us.

Clancy at rest with his treasures

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Dodged a White Bullet

Yesterday we see our neighbor drive by our trailer in his white Audi. Short while later we see him parked about 50’ from us, in front of his motor home. Car idling and white reverse lights on. Hmmmm.

Must be waiting for someone.

Twenty minutes later, we look outside. Still there, idling, reverse lights gleaming.

Twenty minutes later – still there.

We go out for a walk. Wend our way around. Walk up to his car. There he sits inside. Head back. Eyes closed. Looks dead.

Knock knock on the window.

Knock knock knock!

Knock knock knock knock!!

Eye opens. Window opens.

“What? Wow, this car heater makes me sleepy.”
(Ten feet from his parking space. With his foot on the brake.)

Oh, did I mention? When you look out from our living room window, you see the angle of the car. Back it up and you run right into our trailer.

Oh yes. He lifted his foot when we woke him. Car started rolling backwards.

"Hit your brake!!," we yelled.

Moral of the story: "It’s always somethin’."


Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Position of Remission

Jenna’s cancerologist just said that her PET scan shows her clean of lymphoma and other bad stuff!!! Three more booster treatments and she is finished for six months.

Back to good health!

Back to RV Adventures!! Maybe I can come up with some interesting entries now. For a change.


Sunday, November 9, 2008

Creature of Comfort

Would you bring me my pipe now?

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Puppy + RV = Puppy’s RV

Ever think of raising a puppy in an RV whilst living in such a tiny abode? During the rainiest and coldest part of the year?

As a public service, we now acquaint you with the realities of this arrangement.

Warning – the following photo contains a graphic depiction of compromised living. Do not attempt to view this picture if your house contains a
- Great Room
- Entertainment Room
- Party Room
- Any room at all.

Note the presence of
* Puppy training mats, aka piss pads
* Exercise pen too high to step over
* Exercise pen too long to walk around
* Exercise pen

Note the absence of
* Living space
* Flooring
* Sanity

Have any suggestions you’d like to share? Keep ‘em to yourself. It’s too late for us.


Thursday, November 6, 2008

Puppy Named. The Angels Rejoice.

Thanks to everyone who sent their best wishes for our new family member from Australia.

We have named him Clancy after Clancy of the Overflow, a well known poem by Australian poet Banjo Paterson. Clancy lived an idealized rural life, compared to “the dusty dirty city” and "the round eternal of the cashbook and the journal." Which describes our own choice of a life of rural travel.

Paterson also wrote the song Waltzing Matilda. And Clancy made an appearance in Paterson’s poem Man From Snowy River.

No, we didn’t know any of this either. Just shows that there’s more to them Aussies than kangaroos and eucalyptus trees! And very cute dogs!!


New Puppy Pictures! Surprise!!

So as not to lose our only reader, we include only two puppy pictures.
(Barak - get working on your new Cabinet! Time enough to read this blog later!!)

(Good dog!)

Anyone know where we can buy one of those bumper stickers, My Dog is Smarter than Your Honor Student.?


Wednesday, November 5, 2008

‘Nother delay in our departure. Plus Political Punditry

Jenna took a call today from her Cancer Treatment Center. Gotta move her appointment back another five days. Thus another five days till we depart, assuming Jenna does not need another round of chemo. Meaning mid-December.


Planning your life is an illusion.


In puppy news
Puppy flies in tomorrow. Exercise pen now takes up much of the floor space in our living room/kitchen/dining room in our tiny abode. And likely will so for months to come.

No one present takes credit for choosing a puppy instead of an adult dog. Matter laid to rest for the good of the order.

In political news
Barak Obama won the presidential election last night. Note the absence of any discussion of John McCain’s PuppyGate scandal, first (and solely) reported in this blog.

Look for a Congressional inquiry in the new administration. Unless that liberal softie Obama decides to sweep it under the rug in the interest of bipartisan cooperation.

At least California chickens breathe easier with the passage of Proposition 2 Standards for Confining Farm Animals. With their newly won freedom and the defeat of Proposition 8 Eliminates Right of Same-Sex Couples to Marry, expect a last minute flurry of gay poultry at California county courthouses.


Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween already

Due to harassment by an unnamed reader (Tom!), we submit this Halloween post.

Jenna turns 63 today! Scarey!! Ha ha ha!!!

Bruce reaches 60 in two months!!!! Scarier!!!!! Boo hoo hoo!!!!!!

At our advanced ages, our new puppy may outlive us. Better find young (rich) godparents. With a house paid off and savings in money market funds. Those with credit default swaps need not apply.

Almost a Geezer

Saturday, October 25, 2008

One Year of Blogging

One year now since we began this blog.

Think of the time you’ve wasted reading it – too much.

And all the creative juices we’ve spilled on the keyboard while creating it – not so much.

In honor of this auspicious anniversary, we present our new Mission Statement, loosely based on another famous, tho fictional, journey. Our journey is real, tho the tales herein may not be.

Camping, the Final Frontier
These are the voyages of ol’ Bruce and Jenna,
Their continuing mission,
To explore god-forsaken places,
To seek out new campgrounds beyond civilization,
To boldly go where no one in his right mind has gone before.

Theme Music
Do do, do do do do do.
Ummm ummm ummm ummm ummm um um
Do do, do do do do do.
Ummm ummm ummm ummm ummm um um
Do do do do do do do do do do.
(OK, enough do do.)


Friday, October 24, 2008

Ch ch ch changes

New information emerges today during Jenna’s cancer treatment. She must undergo an additional four treatments after her PET scan, just to sweep out any remaining crumbs that don’t show up on the scan.

Thus we will remain in Olympia until at least early December. Hope we don't end up traveling when Santa Claus is looking for us.

Always write our schedule in pencil.


Sunday, October 19, 2008

Jenna’s current condition

J’s still making progress. Minor setback this past week, when her low white blood count precluded additional chemotherapy that day. Unless her count remains low, she should finish her treatment in another week.

Then wait maybe three weeks for a PET scan. Then a final visit and a test for her immune system.

Barring unforeseen events, she should finish in late November and we will depart. Thanksgiving plans – unresolved.


Thursday, October 16, 2008

Full Circle in Olympia

We have returned to Olympia WA, where we started our RV adventure 15 months ago after 16 years here. Looks much the same, only wetter, if that’s possible.

We hope to stay here for one month, till Jenna finishes her chemotherapy regimen. Which means just two more treatment Fridays, then another PET scan in two weeks to see if she is cleaned out, and a final checkup. If Jenna needs another round of treatment, add another month to our stay.

In the mean time, we will visit friends, maybe go out to the coast (the Shore to you fellow East Coasters). The kinda stuff we couldn’t enjoy when we were Workin’ for the Man. Funny that we may feel more retired during this month than we had in touring mode.

Oh yeah, the dog. We’ll wait till the last minute to send him out here, to give him max time with his mother. Thus probably wait till 10 weeks old. Unless Mom gets fed up and kicks him out. Kids! Ooops, he ain’t a goat. Puppies!!


Sunday, October 12, 2008

Retraction. It’s Worse than We Thought!


In our October 3, 2008 post, we said,

PS Tried to find a picture of John McCain kissing a puppy, just so he wouldn’t feel left out here. Found nothing.
John McCain hates puppies!! You heard it here first.

A faithful reader has provided us with new canine data for the presidential candidates.

I just read in Dog Fancy that the McCains have 4 dogs and Obama has none.

Further research confirms this claim. Times article.

We regret the error (sorta).

News Flash!!

John McCain is running a puppy mill and is overwhelmed with canine responsibilities.

Stay tuned for more information about this Growing Scandal.


Your fair and balanced reporter

Friday, October 10, 2008

Another Puppy Pic

Recall our warning of puppy pictures ad nauseum.

Due to reader demand for more pictures of our puppy for the naming contest, we include another.

Don’t ask for any more now…we don’t have any more…well, no one actually asked for more…but we try to anticipate the needs of the reader or two…OK, we won’t post any more…until we actually get the dog.


Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Puppy pilgrimage

Two days ago, we drove to eastern WA to an Australian Terrier breeder. We left one day before the first winter storm of the season for western Washington. Snow predicted down to 4,000 feet. Let’s see now.
+ 5,700 Washington Mountain Pass
– 4,000 snow level
(carry the two)
Snow on the road!

So we stayed over an extra day. On the return, we indeed saw snow down to 4,000 feet. Here is an example of a peak on the leeward side of the storm:

So much for the road report.

Puppy visit was a success. Attractive and healthy parents, knowledgeable breeder. Cute puppies. We put down a dog deposit! Adoption expected in 4-5 more weeks.

Proud Father

Harried Mother. Ours is the dark one.

In the spirit of the presidential elections, we offer you the chance to vote on the name of our new puppy. We have narrowed the field to three Australian male names:
Matey – colloquial for Friend
Hobart – a city in Tazmania, also means Shining Intelligence
Mandu - an Aboriginal name meaning The Sun
John McCain – to encourage him to love puppies. (See prior posting for more information on this growing scandal.)
Write in – you are free to suggest a different name. And we are free to ignore any Input deemed as Input.
Don’t forget to include your credit card information with any suggestions, as bribes WILL be accepted without promise of reward.

To vote, send a Comment, found at the end of this Post.

We will hold a random drawing from all votes submitted!!
Grand prize – the honor of being named Godparent of our new dog.
First prize - a used chew toy from our new dog. And the responsibility of succeeding the Godparent should this person fail in his/her duties, including dog sitting and lavish financial support.
Second prize – a used chew toy belonging to our prior dog Denby, assuming our new dog does not want it. In the latter case – nothing.

Remember: Vote Early And Often.


Friday, October 3, 2008

All the News that Fits We Print

Jenna’s OK. Four cancer treatments to go. O’mama’s Biden her time. (Ha! Election joke.)

Humor is very democratic. (Ha ha!! Another one.)

We vote Democratic. Republicans Palin comparison. (Hahaha!!! Somebody stop me.)

OK, that’s the good news. Now the bad news…for you.

In a few days, we drive to eastern WA to see some newborn Australian Terriers. If we like (we like), we return in early November for our chosen housemate.

So, you know what this means, don’t you? GASP!!!! Puppy pictures!!!!!

You have been warned.


PS Tried to find a picture of John McCain kissing a puppy, just so he wouldn’t feel left out here. Found nothing.

John McCain hates puppies!! You heard it here first.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

More about Hair

What’s new?

Jenna and her new Do.

Hoo hooo!

That's who.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Hair and the dog

Two events of some import this week in our tiny household.

1 Jenna decided to rid herself of her remaining hair. More “Snip Snip, Buzz Buzz.” Smooth smooth now now. Pictures to follow soon after new wig (!) in place. Wait wait!

2 Finding that Jenna is tolerating her treatment regime very well, we have moved ahead with acquiring a new no-shed dog. We considered many breeds. Looked at a Basenji last week – too active. We stayed the course for the Australian Terrier.

Many phone calls made yesterday to breeders across four states, as this breed is uncommon. One person said people only register 300 new dogs with AKC each year. Not many. We found a breeder in nearby Idaho with male puppies just three weeks old. We will see them in two weeks, after taking a nice drive through the western Cascades. Pictures coming soon also, when they no longer look like hamsters. Wait wait wait!

You might ask, “Why are you purchasing a dog from a breeder when so many dogs want for homes?” Well, you didn’t ask, so “Never mind.”


Tis true. We have taken in many unwanted and rescue dogs over years. Now our particular housing and health needs demand a finer choice. Besides, Jenna is getting older, and needs a calm companion to balance out her demanding younger husband.


Sunday, September 14, 2008

Lake Tyee pictures

Nothing special goin' on. Countin' the days till our departure.

Since I've talked so much about Lake Tyee, our RV home away from no place else, thought you might like to see some pictures from the place.

For more pics, click here:


Thursday, September 11, 2008

Looking back on our first year of fulltiming

One year ago, on September 14, 2007, we retired and hit the road. Three months prior, we had sold our house in Olympia WA. In September, we left our RV lot at Lake Tyee for new adventures. Now, 15,000 miles later, what do we think?

Over these past 12 months, we have met the unexpected and gone away with it.
  • Visited eight beautiful National Parks and camped next to an all night fuel station.
  • Spent a week at a hot springs desert resort near Palm Springs and three weeks with no utilities on the Arizona desert.
  • Endured weeks of repairs on our RV, and months of repairs to our own bodies.
  • Basked in the Arizona winter sun and fled from Kansas spring tornadoes.

Through it all, we met generous, kind, caring comrades in ten states of the Union.

Fulltiming is challenging, exciting, uncommon, exhausting, impossible to duplicate. We wouldn’t have it any other way.

Can’t wait for the next year. We’re ready to hit the road again.


Saturday, September 6, 2008

Cancer plans, travel plans, dogs plans

Wire services calling daily now, asking, “What’s the latest with you two?” And “Can you endure any more presidential politicking?”

And so we reveal.

Jenna continues in chemotherapy in Seattle for her lymphoma. Arrives at treatment with a sheet of questions. Gets answers. Back next week with a new set of questions.

Clinic entry door opens up. Nurses scatter. Ha ha! No, really, the care at this clinic – can’t beat it. Kind, compassionate, competent. Free snacks too!! Seven weeks till reevaluation.

When the rains resume, we will move back to Olympia, no later than mid-October. Stay there, visit with our friends, go to Seattle weekly. Endure the rain and wait to return to the AZ desert.

Trip to Mexico – prospects dim as the drug war escalates throughout the country. We can wait till next year.

One week now with no dog. We returned him to his breeder. Who immediately said that she will keep him as a pet. Happy days for all, as Denby grew up in her home, with occasional trips to waiting females. (What a stud!) We miss Denby, but are amazed at how much cleaner our home and truck and clothing and lungs look and feel.

As a substitute, we are looking for a new breed: smaller; doesn’t shed; intelligent; watch dog; not aggressive. Jenna thinks that I fit the bill already, other than height. I demur.

The winner so far – Australian Terrier. Uncommon, thus few breeders. But we are mobile. “Have travel, will dog.”

That is all.


Saturday, August 30, 2008


Gee, not one post in 104 about food. Certainly doesn’t truly represent our interests. Herein we set the record straight.

You like turkey? We like turkey. Only the best at O’Brien’s Turkey House at the Arlington exit of I5 in WA. We often stop there on the way home to from Seattle. Need proof? Witness our latest meal today.

The stage is set. So is the table.

Chemotherapy has not affected her appetite.
No, that’s not a club. It’s a drum stick.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Buzz cut for cancer treatment

Jenna prepares for no-hair style by allowing Bruce to have his way with her.


The Demon Barber of Lake Tyee.



Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Hair today, gone tomorrow

Suddenly today, Jenna’s hair is falling out. Bamm! Bunches of hair falling to her blouse and the couch. Fortunately, she has been reading about wigs for weeks. And bought a few head covers already.

Good news, actually. Means the cancer treatment is working. It attacks fast growing cells, including hair cells.

Bruce tells her, “You’re just catching up to me. I’ve lived with this for 40 years.” She is amused.

Jenna says, “As soon as Denby leaves and takes his shedding with him, I start shedding.” Bruce is amused.

We are easily amused.

Other than side effects, Jenna feels better than before treatment began. Better than amusing.

PS Denby returns to his breeder in three days. We broke the news to him tonight. He is not amused.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Blogging for MySpace

We have 0 MySpace friends.
We prefer our corporeal friends.

About Us
Want a scoop?
...We think of poop.
Cause we RV
...And so you see.
What goes out, we

can’t recoup
...In a normal septic loop

Our Music
** Nothin, cause we don’t have room for CDs and get no radio reception out in the boonies.

** We usta like the Rolling Stones. But yesterday we heard their music in the ceiling of Walgreens Pharmacy. They once took drugs. Now they market Metamucil.

Our Books
Medicare Benefits Summary

- How To Grow Your Portfolio Into Three Figures

- Clean Your Septic Tank for Less Than $5 a Day

Our Philosophy
We’re retired. We don’t change our clothes every day. (Bruce only)

I’ll give you my social security card when you take it from my cold wizened hands.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Denby’s imminent departure

Sorry to say it’s time for Denby to move to another home. Why, you say? Guess you’ve never lived with a majorly shedding dog in a very small space. We have for a year now.
Except that now Jenna has started chemotherapy.
  • Which depletes her immune system.
  • Which leaves her highly susceptible to infections.
  • Which requires a high state of cleanliness.
  • Which conflicts with a dog that constantly sheds and brings in much dirt on his low slung body, not to mention other substances that he should have left outside (you know).

I vacuum every other day. Jenna brushes him every other day. But the dirt and hair never end.

We have lived with dogs, mostly Corgis, for 29 of our 30 year marriage. And Jenna started with Corgis in the BB time (Before Bruce). We don’t take this step lightly. But risk is composed of probability times impact. Not much chance, but potentially big impact.

We gotta get clean. If we lived in a conventional house with some property, like our last one, we could ban Denby from our residence for the duration of the risky time - at least four months. But with this RV - nope.

So we plan to return him to Mary Day, his breeder, who doubles as the leader of the NW Corgi Rescue Association. She will find another good home for him.

Sad to say. But life is change. Here’s comes another one.


Monday, August 11, 2008

Cancer treatment progress 2

Four days now and all’s OK. Jenna is tolerating the numerous chemicals that she and others have poured into her body. Some discomfort here and there, not necessarily discussed in polite company. But she actually looks and feels better since beginning the doses.

We are content. Tho she knows that side effects often build up during weeks of treatment. She is crossing her lymph nodes.


Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Cancer treatment progress

Today Jenna completed preparation for chemotherapy, which begins on Friday. In the AM, a surgeon installed a Power Portocat in her shoulder.

Then that afternoon came a bone marrow biopsy to help guide treatment. Both procedures went well with minimal discomfort.

Jenna’s oncologist says that she should complete 12 weeks of weekly treatment, then undergo a PET scan to evaluate her progress. If NG, then an additional 4 weeks of chemotherapy.

Thus we will remain at Lake Tyee until about November 1. Unless our lot sells. Or the famous NW rain starts. Then we will move closer to Seattle till the end of treatment.

We still intend to return to Imperial Dam for the winter, and hopefully some time in Mexico. And gather more grist for this blog. Right now the Pulitzer committee is looking elsewhere.

And what’s new with you?


Monday, July 28, 2008

Cancer treatment at last

Six years ago, Jenna was diagnosed with stage 3 NH lymphoma. She embarked on a nontraditional treatment program and remained relatively symptom free.

Until the past few months. Last week she received the results of radiology studies that show that the lymphoma has progressed.

Which means that she will start medical treatment soon. Likely next week. Good prognosis for remission, according to her doctor.

We will remain at Lake Tyee during her 4-6 week treatment period. If we sell the lot, then we will move some south, closer to her treatment center in Seattle.

Our plans after that depend on her recovery. We had intended to work at the Fort Clatsop Visitors Center in Astoria, OR. If Jenna feels well enough to go there and does not need direct followup in Seattle, then we could move to Astoria and Bruce could work at the Fort Clatsop. Otherwise…dunno. Gotta go with what you’re given, you betcha.

Thanks to everyone who has offered us emotional and moral support over these past six years.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Concrete Flyin

Big fun was had by all at the annual Flyin at the Concrete airport this weekend. Antique airplanes, experimental airplanes, ultralights, even antique cars. All assembled and flying (not the cars) at this small municipal grass field. To wit:

Waco YMF 1935 biplane

Squadron of experimental airplanes

Acrobatics by the experimental airplanes.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Too long without news

Gee, 12 days without a post. What is the matter here?

Well, nothing, actually. Not much goin’ on. Still haven’t sold the Lake Tyee lot, tho we heard second hand that a Canadian couple has showed some interest. Thank God for the Canadians. Their dollar is worth more than ours, well almost. Heck, too many currencies are creeping up, or actually we are creeping down. But I digress…as usual.

In the mean time, we are looking for a new domicile. No, we’re not seeking "a thrash metal band from Manchester, England," whatever that it is. Rather, when we sell our Lake Tyee lot, we can no longer register our truck and trailer with the Dept of Licensing. Washington law requires a physical address, which we will not possess.

Thus we must find a new state to call our legal home. Fulltimers and others favor Texas and South Dakota, two of the few states with no income tax and other advantages for the domestically mobile. Since we intend to spend our winters in the South, Texas may win out.

Who knows, we may become Texas Democrats. In other words, Republicans. And paint NASCAR racing stripes on our trailer. Ha ha ha!

Y’all take care now.


Sunday, July 13, 2008

Got the goods at last

We just purchased a new camera, just to take better pictures for this blog.

You’re welcome.

Here’s a self portrait of the camera.








And, as luck would have it, my first picture with the camera.








A bald eagle perched in the tree within sight of our Lake Tyee lot.

As a result, I have raised the price of the lot another $10,000. But readers of this blog can purchase it at the Before Bald Eagle price. Offer good until it sells.

Just mention that you read about this special on the blog.
Or that you can read at all.
Or that you can breathe.
And have the money.

Know what I mean?


Wednesday, July 9, 2008

San Juan Islands with the sister

Jenna’s sister Pat is paying us a visit this week. Fleeing from North Carolina’s 95 degree heat for compatible company in the cool Cascade mountains. We celebrated with a cruise thru the San Juan islands on a WA state ferry.

Those of you unfamiliar with the delights of western WA may not know that the WA state ferries attract many tourists and locals with their low cost sailings thru the Puget Sound region. (In fact, the ferries are reportedly considered the most popular tourist attraction in Seattle.)

Puget Sound, on which Seattle perches, is (maybe) the largest inland sea in the world. The San Juan Islands to the north host Orca whales and other dolphins, as well as a plethora of sea and land birds, including bald and other geriatric eagles. Which we did not see during our tour today.

So we boarded the ferry at Anacortes WA for a 65 minute sail to Friday Harbor on San Juan Island. Walked about the downtown area, taking in gift shops and fish and chips. Basked in the cool bright day on the water. Then boarded a returning ferry for another delightful sail through the islands and back to the mainland.

By the way, we have reestablished our online connection. But only by purchasing a Sprint Aircard as another connection. Fortunately we can suspend this service alternately with our Hughes service, thus eliminating double service. Nothing is simple for us nomads.
From syndicated columnist Vicki Lee Parker’s “gas saving tips” comes this advice: “Avoid backing up; it uses more fuel.” Ha ha ha! Don’t even think about the higher cost of driving home in Reverse gear than in Drive. I figure she meant that backing up means you cover the same ground in a forward gear, wasting precious gasoline. Send Comments on your interpretation, titled “What was she thinking? Or was she?”


Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Sort of off-line for the summer

Despite Herculean efforts to establish a satellite Internet connection from our trailer, we are now limited to connecting via our local library and unsuspecting motels. Which will mean twice weekly emails and hopefully the same schedule for blog updates.

We decided to try to sell our lot in Lake Tyee. The only way to mitigate the rapidly rising price of diesel fuel is to use less of it. (See, by not working now, we have time to figure this stuff out.) Driving between the northern border of the country (Lake Tyee) and the southern border (AZ and Mexico) at 10mpg can hurt a person.

We must all sacrifice so that Exxon and the rest of them can continue to earn record profits and enjoy tax breaks. And wage war on other countries for their petroleum. Hard to see it otherwise after we found no WMDs, but our companies managed to secure exclusive contracts to the oil fields. Follow the money.


Thursday, June 26, 2008

Lake Tyee for the summer

Today we made the final drive back to where it all began – Lake Tyee, Concrete, WA.

For new (or forgetful) readers, on July 1, 07, we moved out of our Olympia house and drove to ID to pick up our trailer, On July 17, we moved to Lake Tyee, where we spent the summer, with Bruce still working and Jenna dispensing with our remaining possessions. On September 14, we hit the road. The circle is now complete.

Round trip mileage over nine months, departing from Lake Tyee = 12,500 miles. Which included a 2,200 mile detour to Kansas for RV repairs.

We said we looked forward to three months in one place. Now we know why.


PS On the way to Concrete, we stopped for one more RV fix – a new furnace. Can’t go too far between repairs.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Return to Olympia

We spent five days in Olympia, our home for about 15 years prior to our transition to the nomadic life. Visiting good friends, seeing good doctors and dentists and veterinarians. But no internet service, thus the delay in this posting.

And had a lucky find too. Camping World, without which the RV community would be a poorer, and richer, is offering a Sleep Number bed at a sale price. Oh heaven! Of all the possessions we sold when we were downsizing, none pulled at our hamstrings more than our old Sleep Number bed. We kept it till the day we moved out, when our buyer arrived to carry it away.

Our new RV bed was a mediocre replacement. Now, one year later, almost to the day, we see a Sleep Number bed in our grasp. Joy fills our tiny dwelling!


Thursday, June 12, 2008

Yellowstone Day 7 – Mammoth Hot Springs

Snowed this AM – told you.

We set out for the Mammoth Hot Springs, 88 miles away, as soon as the roads cleared. We made pretty good time until we hit an “animal jam;” i.e. tourists blocking the road to look at wildlife. One dozen cars stopped blocking in both directions to take pictures of a beaver up on a rock. A beaver! Musta all been New Yorkers who watch music videos instead of Animal Planet. So, more hot springs up there, tho completely different from the bubbly kind.






Does that last one remind you of Monet?

Finally, on our way back home, one of the locals bid us a fond farewell.



Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Yellowstone Day 6 - SNOW!

Six days at Yellowstone. Six days of snow. BTW, it's early June in the northern hemisphere, in case you're one of our Venusian readers, whose seasons vary from our own.

Oh yeah, this winter ends seven years of drought. (Irony alert.)

Three inches last night and it hasn't stopped all day. So we've stayed in, cooking and cleaning, all day.

More snow tonight.

Rain tomorrow. (Betcha it snows.)

Good news! Clear skies and 50 degrees on Friday.

We leave on Friday. (Emphasis added for more Irony.)

Nice weather on Saturday too. (Oh, forget it.)

Bruce (source of Irony)

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Yellowstone Day 5

Today started out cold, wet, and windy. So we delayed our departure. Eventually we returned to that beautiful waterfall, took a few pictures, and moved onto the Visitors Center at Canyon Village.

There we learned more than we wanted to know about the Supervolcano that is Yellowstone. How the next eruption will doom all life on the planet. Consider that scientists rated one of three past eruptions of this volcano as 1,000 times the power and ash of Mt. St. Helens. It covered most of the western US and threw enough ash into the atmosphere to darken the skies for years. Uh oh.

Could happen soon, tho soon in geological time gives one some comfort. I suspect that we humans will cheat the volcano by destroying ourselves beforehand. Consider the international popularity of Hannah Montana. (Heck, just look at the length of this Wiki entry.)

Moving on, we traveled north a bit to the highest point in the park, as well as the highest snow walls we have seen yet. It was a beautiful view, but once again the weather looked ominous. So we returned to our home and prepared to go out to dinner with friends Gene and Joyce.

Two more days in the Park.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Yellowstone Day 4 – Old Faithful, More Hot Springs and an Incredible Waterfall

Today we went all out. We hopped a tour bus for a day of Yellowstone sightseeing. Well, really, a day to see just a small portion of this 2.2 million acre national park.

Our tour took us back to Old Faithful, where we looked again at bubbles and steam emitting from holes in the ground. Then on to another area with a different type of hot spring – paint pots. So called because the bubbling mud in these holes looks like paint in pots. OK.

Finally we drove over to the Canyon area, what they call the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone. And saw an incredible panorama of alternating canyon walls leading up to a 300 foot waterfall. Even this picture cannot capture the beauty. We plan to return for more time just gazing at this scene.

Sorry, but no menacing wildlife today. Tho I did see two Ospreys. But too high up to endanger my life. And they only eat fish. Maybe next time I'll eat tuna for lunch.


Sunday, June 8, 2008

Yellowstone Day 3 - Sulphur And Bubble And Bears, Oh My!

Today we spent time at another hot springs, this one called Mud Volcano Thermal Area. Large and small bubbling sulphurous pools all about. Notice that the superheated water has burned Bruce's feet clean off! And so soon after getting a new knee too!!


We even saw some buffalo lounging near one of the steam holes, apparently taking the waters. No wonder they look so big and healthy! (You can double click on any of these photos for a bigger version.)

We had hoped to continue up to Mammouth Hot Springs. But concerns about the snow on the route up, coupled with our late departure, drove us back.

To the Lake Lodge for a microbrew in their spacious sitting room. Yeah, this is living.

Then we saw a bear on our way from the Lake Lodge. Kewl!

You may say, “Gee, Bruce must have a good telephoto lens to get that close up shot.

Well, no, actually.

Bruce was crouched behind a car with another idiot taking pictures. He was the bigger idiot tho, since the bear would have scratched up his car when we piled into it. I shouldn't say that tho, since he did offer the back seat in the event I needed it.

Really, it was the bear’s fault for moving closer. Then a Park Ranger suddenly appeared and was not amused. He didn’t exactly use the word “idiots.” He should have tho.

Aaaah, nature. What new adventures await us?


Saturday, June 7, 2008

Yellowstone National Park Day 2

After waiting for the snow to cease and the temperature to rise above freezing, we ventured out to the Old Faithful area of the park. Saw the obligatory, albeit impressive, hourly geyser.

We also saw a large field of smaller, bubbling springs above Old Faithful. Colorful and varied edging surrounded these hot fissures in the ground, as well as equally intricate streams from their activity.

While viewing the hot springs, the weather shifted from sun to snow and back to sun again. Never hit 40 degrees either. But we are hardy stock...with hot tea.


Friday, June 6, 2008

Reply to Rickster

Reader Rickster sent a comment asking for info on the Yellowstone Park. Since he did not include his email, I'll answer here.

We are staying at the Fishing Bridge RV Park in the center of Yellowstone National Park. Nice place with nice sites, to the extent I've seen it. The snow has been pouring down since our arrival, so we haven't yet explored the rv park or the Park yet.

Now $40/nite seems a mite high. But with a fantastic park this big, this central location is invaluable. And they offer a lot of services on site, like propane, which we will likely use up with the temps in the 20s at night.

Oh yes. If you're not Rickster, please do not read this posting! It's not meant for you!! And don't touch that Wet Paint sign either.


Yellowstone National Park – it’s snowing in June!

We’ve just arrived at the campground in Yellowstone NP. Snow and sleet and 36 degrees to greet us on our first day. As well as Gene and Joyce with a much warmer welcome.


So far, we’ve seen walls of snow in the south part of the park, as well as Yellowstone Lake, a pretty large body of water. Snow hit the Park very hard this year, and the Park Service has just recently cleared the roads.

More to come for sure.


Thursday, June 5, 2008

Grand Tetons National Park

End of day two at Grand Tetons NP. More superlatives for this natural wonderland of snow covered mountains lined up west of the Jackson Hole valley.

And large and small mammals wandering about. In our two days here, we’ve seen moose, buffalo, elk, wolves, a coyote, prong horn antelope, as well as western tanagers, scrub jays, great blue herons, hawks, and osprey (on the way to the park).

Tomorrow we move to Yellowstone National Park, just 50 miles north. Our friend Gene secured us a site at the nicest RV park for four nights. Not bad on short notice, considering they were completely booked. It’s who you know, i.e. Gene is the manager at that park.

After Yellowstone, we expect to return to these Tetons for three more nights before resuming our 900 mile journey to Olympia and Lake Tyee. At this point, we plan to arrive in Oly on the evening of Friday, June 20. We’ll stay there for about five days before finishing our trek with a final day’s drive to Lake Tyee.


Friday, May 30, 2008

Westward ho!

We survived the twisters so far, tho a tornado watch was called yesterday for the area where we remain today, i.e. Sidney, Nebraska. Tomorrow we continue our journey west on I80. Two more days and we leave Tornado Alley during this record breaking season of funnel storms.

Then north to the Grand Tetons and Yellowstone National Parks, where we will once again camp without benefit of utilities. We just picked up a Blue Boy septic tank , yet another step in our dry camping technology.

See how easy it is! (Doesn't Jenna look good since she retired?)

More good stuff (camping) for sure.


Sunday, May 25, 2008

Storm runners (away from)

More tornados in the Midwest today, centering on Kansas. Oh, yes, I did mention that we were driving into Kansas today, didn’t I?

One ear tuned to the radio. One eye cocked on storm clouds and lightning to the south. Another eye on the map as the radio announcer reports tornado activity. Quick, turn north, the tornado is approaching from the south! Ha ha, travel is fun!!

We had planned to camp at a state park for one night, then drive on to Smith Center, Kansas for our service appointment the following day. Expecting no storm shelters in a state park, we decided to press on to Smith Center, where we knew we could enter the service building in the event of a twister.

Thus we arrived at 6pm, just as rain started spitting. But so far, tornado activity and baseball size hail have passed us by, tho a tornado watch remains for several more hours now.

Well, at least if a tornado does carry our trailer away, we can easily order a new one from the sales office across the street, assuming it has not been carried off too.

No pictures…we were busy fleeing for our lives. Ha ha ha!

Forecast for the next 48 hours - widespread thunderstorms, possibly severe in the afternoon. May produce large hail and strong winds.

And no tumbleweeds out here to advise us!


Friday, May 23, 2008

Tornados in Colorado

We spent two nights at the "RV Park" in Idaho Springs, CO, about 30 miles west of Denver. Since we didn't want to pay for utils here for two nights, being cheap and self-contained, the owners put us in a driveway to other RVs, next to their house. Worked out OK, cause they didn't want to hear our generators, so they gave us a 20amp extension cord.

Then we departed for Seibert, CO. First we ran into southerly winds up to 40mph.

As we drove down I70, tumbleweeds scampered across the highway, in a headlong rush from the storm. Some even clung to our trailer, thinking we could save them.

But we discovered that the fleeing ones knew more than us. Of course, the tumbleweeds live there, and we are but strangers passing through.

At our quaint, albeit nice, little park in Seibert, we set up our computers and learned of a tornado watch in our area. And a tornado warning 50 miles away.

We prepared our few possessions and our disinterested dog to move into the hosts' storm shelter. Also readied the RV to quickly close the slides to minimize possible damage.

Thunder, lightning, winds, but thankfully no tornado.

Next time we will consider the opinions of tumbleweeds. Who knew?