Friday, July 31, 2009

Still fooling around

Still visiting family in Washington state. Eating and drinking more than enough seems to be our primary recreation. Driving around getting to see the forest takes second place!

Saw this guy while driving along next to the ocean and had to stop take his photo. He was having lunch and I guess we interupted it. Sorry guy! A few seconds later and he took off taking the remainder of his lunch with him.

We've been out of wifi for the past few days and it looks like we will be out again for the next few days. We'll just have to live though it is a great deprivation. Cell phone service isn't too impressive either but then again, the eagle doesn't carry one.

Gotta go do some more sight-seeing and eating. Take care; it's dangerous out there!

Saturday, July 25, 2009


This is one of the dams on the Elwha River. An agreement has been made to remove it and another dam on the same river. This will allow salmon to migrate up the river as they did in the early 1900's. I'm not sure what I feel about removing the dams. It will be a huge project; supposedly begun in 2008, I've no idea of what work has been done. It's something to learn about while we are here.

The weather is wonderful! High 70's(24C) in the afternoon; mid 50's(13C) at night; and the sun is shining! Our family thing is to be this afternoon. Have to go into town and find a couple of bottles of wine to take but otherwise we've nothing to do. Not a bad situation at all. Hope you are all as lucky.

Take care, it's dangerous out there!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Washington State 1

We made it to Washington. We are outside Port Angeles, WA on the Olympic Peninsula. It's actually a fairly busy place in the summer. The camp grounds are full and every third vehicle you meet on the road is an rv of some sort. Very pretty, of course, to our green tree starved eyes! We lived over near Seattle for 15-20 years so it is pretty familiar. It's nice to have the windows open; at home in Pahrump it is already nearly 90F (32C).

1253 miles door to door (2016km) - probably half on regular roads and half on the Interstate. The Interstate gets you to popular places quickly but, as I've said before, it's pretty dull stuff. Given that the trailer is brand new, it's working out ok. We've found a couple of things to talk to the dealer about but nothing major. Still can't find anything on the first try but.... Hell, I can't do that at home! Old age IS wonderful. And I'm only 60!

Going in to town this a.m. to buy stuff. We haven't been in a store since we left Nevada; didn't even unhook the truck two nights; so we are running low on things. I've been having cheese sandwiches for breakfast for two mornings. Now that's desperation though I do like cheese sandwiches!

The place we are staying is nice; pretty casual but nice. Our space is beautiful to be in but awful to get into. Took us a good 20 minutes of fooling around to get situated so we could open the slide. We still can't open the awning because it would be out in the road. Here are a couple of photos from the window of the rig; mother and child.

Take it easy, it's dangerous out there!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Where am I???

Jeez, I don't know! Well, Mt. Shasta, CA - the city not on top of the mountain. Photo was taken from our campground about five minutes AFTER the optimal time for a mountain sunset. (Bah humbug!) We are on the second day of our trip to the Northwest and still haven't escaped the heat. Tonight, at least, we got to open up the windows by about 20:30. Last night we were in Fernley, NV - a little place outside of Reno - had the a/c on almost all night. Today we got to Northern California and the Interstate highway system. Interstates let you move around rather quickly but they are dull and always the same. Much of our trip so far has been on two lane roads; now we are on divided highway until we get well into Washington.

Things have gone well. A reasonable about of construction delay since this is the time to fix roads but otherwise things are cool. It is fun to be driving through all the trees in Northern CA. The new trailer tows nicely; isn't knocked about by passing trucks but it is susceptible to sidewinds. We can't find anything but that's because we threw things in here where ever it would fit. We'll get organized in another lifetime.

Take it easy; it's dangerous out there!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Where have I been?

Croft asked me where I've been. Well, here kind of. It's been a busy/anxious time. Let me start with last Thursday; that was the day we decided to buy the new trailer and agreed to close the deal on Tuesday.

Friday we made about twenty calls to our brokerage to transfer some money to our bank; get the bank to loan us the rest of the money for the RV; change the insurance and all the rest that goes on with a purchase like this. (It complicated things to borrow but the interest is tax deductible so we went for it.) The bank electronically transferred our down-payment money to the dealer and promised to overnight us a check for the loan amount(wouldn't use electronic transfer for some unknown reason). Of course Pahrump doesn't have overnight service on the weekend so that actually meant Monday afternoon. My wife is the worrier so she was having a fit all weekend; I supplied her with an unusually large quantity of alcohol to calm her.

All the time she was also worrying that the dealer would not accept our old rig in trade. I have no idea how many times I explained that the dealer was making a nice profit on both sides of this transaction and it would be ok. She was still worried when the dealer parked our old rig next to the new one so we could transfer our stuff. I think she was afraid they would let us move all the stuff THEN ask for more money. But no, there was no hitch at all.

The dealer encourages you to stay overnight in their lot just to try everything out so we took advantage of that and stayed Tuesday night. Actually, it was something like 110F (43C) in Vegas so by the time I'd gone back and forth between the two rigs I was pretty much a wreck. RV air conditioner units aren't all that great either so even though ours was running, it was still pretty warm in the rig. We went out looking for something to eat and then came back to the rig and drank two bottles of champagne to celebrate our purchase.

Got up Wednesday a.m. and slowly got ready to go. When we went to attach the trailer to the truck we discovered that the trailer hitch could not be raised high enough to get above the ball on the truck. It took a few more blocks of wood under the hitch to get us attached. Anyway we finally made it home about noon. Backed the new trailer into it's spot and came in to collapse!

This a.m. we hit the DMV to register the rig. It cost more than the truck! Over $300!

Now we are trying to get all our stuff organized so we can leave Monday a.m. for our first trip. As I said, we are headed for Washington state to visit family and see a few sights. Don't know when we'll be back; maybe three or four weeks. It will be nice to get out of the heat for a while. Heard on tv that this is traditionally the warmest week in Las Vegas. Next year I'm thinking we'll have to plan a trip for a little earlier! I don't know what the internet access will be while we are traveling but I'll do the best I can. Take it easy, it's dangerous out there!

Friday, July 10, 2009

A New RV!

Went into Vegas yesterday and decided that we do want one of the rv's we've been circling around. Here's the winner. It's a bit larger than our ideal size and the bedroom doesn't have flow through ventilation BUT in all our search we haven't found anything better. Plus, the price is acceptable so we went for it. My wife is on the phone with the bank arranging for a loan as I type.

It's odd how couples work out their finances. When we first got together we had separate accounts and took some care that if I signed up for the water bill, she would sign up for the newspaper and so on. Then after a few years, everything got merged together and, while we still have separate bank accounts, no one cares who pays for what or where the money comes from. Somewhere in there, I started doing all the bookwork and taking care of our investments. NOW she does all the everyday bills and the Quicken work and all I do is manage our investments. It works for us; might not for anyone else. I imagine everyone's situation is different.

One advantage for us is that we are both conversant with what's going on financially. We are getting to the age where we acknowledge that we might die unexpectedly and in that situation whoever survives needs to be able to manage things. Knowing your finances is critical. It's like being out in a boat; having just one captain is good but having only one person who can operate the boat is just plain dumb.

Take care, it's dangerous out there!

"You can never have a greater or a less dominion that over yourself." L. da Vinci

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

In Search of Dignity

Here's a link to an op-ed article in the New York Times that I think is fantastic! In Search of Dignity It really speaks to the conservative part of me. If you knew me; came to my house and looked at my books and pictures; you would know I'm somewhat of a sensualist. I have an embarrassing number of books on nude photography; there are reproductions of famous nude paintings on the wall of my den(that I inherited from my folks!). But every time I see a photo of some star's crotch, I'm offended. This guy writes beautifully about the difference and what we are missing. I'm impressed.

He also made me want to read Washington's biography; and I doubt if I've read ten biography's in my life. Hmmm, a good start to the day! Have a good one!

"Remember, every time you open your mouth to talk, your mind walks out and parades up and down the words." Edwin H. Stuart

Monday, July 06, 2009

Dreaming of travel

We are finally planning a trip! There is a family get-together up on the Olympic Peninsula in Northwestern Washington state on the 25th of this month. I always like the planning process. We have lots of maps and guidebooks to look at and, of course, now there is the web. Lots of resources.

One of the reasons we moved out west was so that we could travel more out here. The trek from Florida to the west coast would eat up at least half of our travel time. Now this trip is still 1200 miles (1900 km) but that's do-able. When towing the trailer we tend to do perhaps 300 miles a day (just under 500 km). Thus, Washington is still four days away but that's better than the 3200 miles (5200 km) from our old home in Florida.

Right now we are planning on leaving on the 20th and driving directly to the party then fooling around seeing things on the way back. There are lots of things to see! Over on the Washington coast is the famous Ho River rainforest. There are also lots of wild beaches. It isn't until you get down towards Oregon that the beaches are sandy and walkable. Of course there is Seattle. We might have to stop off there for old time's sake. Nearby is Mt. Rainier. Mt. St. Helens is an amazing place. I've only visited there once since the 1980 eruption but would like to see it again.

Lots of things to do, places to see, people to meet. I'm excited!

Take it easy, it's dangerous out there!

Friday, July 03, 2009

RSS - well, maybe!

OK, I've given it another shot at creating an RSS feed. Does it work; well, I guess I'll wait and see! As soon as I go find a feed reader, etc. Bah humbug! I read a LOT of blogs and just go visit them individually; I can see where going to one place would make life easier so it sounds like a good idea. What does Red Green say? "I'm a man, I can change, if I have to, I guess!"

Spent the day in Las Vegas looking at new trailers. Found a couple that might be interesting if they weren't quite so expensive. The dealers are letting their stock get down to nothing; who knows if the builder will be here in six months and you wouldn't want to be sitting on a bunch of orphans. Of course that means it's harder for the poor salesman who has nothing to show people but who cares about the salesperson? Guess we'll put a few more miles on our old rig.

Haven't given you a weather update lately - it's been hot! Over 100F (37C) is warm but it's been overcast as well with 20% humidity (a lot for here!). Everyone is complaining; especially the people who have evaporative coolers since they don't work will with this much humidity. It is also warmer in the night so we haven't been able to open up the house for the first time since we moved in. Outside the sun feels hot; hotter than in Florida but the lesser humidity means if feels more comfortable (at least to me!).

Well, gotta go. Be careful, it's dangerous out there!

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Quiet times

Haven't blogged lately because I'm just plain dull. A very nice young woman named Rae has offered me advice about adding an RSS feed so I'm going to blow away the Atom feed and restart the whole process. I'm not entirely sure I need to do that but what I have now is clearly screwed up!

Went to Las Vegas last Saturday to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary with our kids (her kids - my step-children: a young woman of 39; a young man of 37 and his SO - youth is in the eye of the beholder). A good time was had by all. We dined at the Paris casino restaurant (steakhouse). We had a table upstairs on the balcony but traded it for one in a private room that was not being used. The view wasn't as good but we could be loud and not bother anyone or be bothered by them. Worked out great!

After dinner, my wife and I strolled the strip back to our hotel; just people watching. The kids took off and had their own fun. I'm certain all of us were in bed before midnight though the elder portion made it before 22:30! Watching the people on the street and in the casino it's hard to believe that the casinos are having a tough time. However I must say that when we left the restaurant at perhaps 20:30 the place was practically empty. THAT isn't normal I'm sure. There were a lot of people on the streets and they all seemed to be having a good time; maybe they just aren't throwing money at the casinos like in the old days.

Prostitution is legal in Pahrump but not in Las Vegas. (Rural county vs urban; don't ask how that came about!) Lately one of the bordello owners started a group urging the control illegal prostitution in Vegas. I thought it was just self-serving crap, NOW I'm in favor of his idea. On every corner there were six or eight guys handing out business cards for hookers! Not only does this add an awful lot of litter to the city but it doesn't do much for the town's image and they were annoying. Here I was walking hand-in-hand with my wife (I'm sixty; she's fifty-eight) and I was being offered hooker phone numbers. Bah, that's just beyond tacky.

Tomorrow is another trip over the hump; going to look at new trailers again. There are some we haven't seen so we have to check them out. We are planning a trip to the Pacific Northwest in late July and it would be fun to have a new rig. But if we can't find something we want; so be it. Even I can take a hint!

Be careful; it's dangerous out there!