Sue and Mo at Harris Beach

Sue and Mo at Harris Beach
Sue and Mo at Harris Beach

Monday, April 23, 2012

On the Road Again

Finally time for the spring flags Seems as though I just got home from Texas, but when I looked at the calendar it has been over two weeks since I returned.  Geez.  Don’t blink, or life will speed right over you, minus the speed bumps to slow you down!

I love these tiny daffodils The MoHo is in Brookings, where the snow never flies and chains are never required,  and we try to get over there for a road trip at least once every month.  A week or two on the road is always a great reprieve from everyday life, even if that everyday life is really quite wonderful.

For our last few trips we have traveled a good distance, often heading south into California to find warm sunshine and blue skies in the winter.  This time we decided that it would be great to just hang out in our own beautiful state of Oregon and explore the hidden nooks and crannies in the Willamette Valley and surroundings that we have missed while running off to the coast and then heading south.

the greenhouse is ready and waiting for a new crop Mo found an Oregon website of all the covered bridges in the state, something Oregon is famous for, so we have the google map with 71 bridges pinpointed to guide us.  Will we see them all?  Of course not.  Who knows how many we will actually see, but it gives us a little bit of something to make us move from one place to another at least.  We have no plans, no reservations, no particular destination.  We are going to wander for two weeks and see what appears.  Oregon is just so beautiful this time of year, especially on the west side.  The flowers are blooming, the orchards are blossoming, the grass is green and often the skies are blue. 

morning light coming through all the flowering trees ready to open Here at home, on the east side of the Cascades just south of Crater Lake, spring is just barely coming out.  All it takes are a few more warm days and I should have at  least the beginnings of flowers and blossoms on our own trees.  With a little luck, we won’t miss the tulips coming into bloom that I planted last fall.

coloring eggs with silk ties I returned from Texas barely in time to take a breath and prepare for Easter.  With my oldest daughter in Texas, my middle daughter plying the country with her truck, and my son way back in Missouri, once again I was blessed by the fact that my youngest lives in Klamath, close enough to bring the family for a wonderful day of spring time celebrations.  This year they came the night before so they could be here for the early morning festivities.  With the kids now 19 and 13 the Easter Bunny doesn’t have to stay up late to hide eggs any more, but we still love that big Sunday morning breakfast and waking up together for coffee and family time.

killer baby back ribs in the big green egg by Kevin the bbq king006 Kevin, my SIL, brought his Big Green Egg  BBQ and smoker out for the day and made some of his famous baby back ribs while Melody followed some great instructions for coloring eggs with silk ties.  They were gorgeous!  We are all planning to collect more ties for next Easter. 

The rest of the day we made an Easter cake for entertainment.  With some internet searches, the kids decided on the “bunny butt in the stump” chocolate cake.  I had to buy fondant for the bunny and the decorations.  That was a shocker!  Fondant comes in a tub for about 20 bucks, and then I had to buy the different fancy colorings to go with it.  It feels a bit like play-doh and tastes a bit like old gum.  Ah well, the cake and frosting were fabulous and the decorating was so much fun.  Who cares if you don’t eat the fancy green leaves and cute flowers.  My 13 year old grandson was pretty good at flower making, and while I expected my artistic granddaughter to do well with this, the grandsons enthusiasm was a surprise.  We had a great day together.

013002 Monday morning I was back to work, again racking up two weeks straight of soil survey work to give me the freedom of another two weeks off so we can amble off in the MoHo.  I spent the rainy weekend in between finally finishing the quilt table runner for my friend Maryruth and finishing up the baby blanket I started over a month ago when Mo’s new grand niece was born.  Sure glad I got it done before she was too big to care!.  An easy pattern with inexpensive yarn that is washable made it a simple gift.  It was cuddly! 

Blogging of course slipped way back to the bottom of the list.  Reading blogs slipped as well.  In fact, I realized that I was letting the blog world take up much more of my time than I wanted.  I made the difficult decision to stop following many blogs so that I wouldn’t feel as though I was always behind.  I have heard other bloggers mention this problem lately.  Some have discussed it much more eloquently than I can. The whole thing has just expanded exponentially.  I went back to my original reason for blogging, keeping track of my life for myself, my own personal diary, and letting those who care about me know what I have been up to.

Grants Pass House 002April morning (18)   Of course, I have made some real friends through this blogging thing, and of course there are some old friends I continue to follow, but I am giving myself permission to opt out, to quit worrying if I am blogging enough, or am interesting enough, or paying enough attention. I refuse to compete for comments or readership.  It is just too yukky.  If you are still here reading, thanks.  In the mean time, I’ll do like several other bloggers have done recently and be really happy that I can look back and see what I was doing this time of year back in 2010 or 2008 or whenever.  I can’t count the times that Mo says to me, “When did we do….?” and I will answer, “Let me go check the blog”.

Today and tomorrow we will load up the Tracker one last time before bringing the MoHo back home.  The kayaks are coming down and going on top, the bikes are going on the rack in back, we are packing shorts and raincoats, and everything in between.  Wednesday morning we will head for Brookings.  I haven’t a clue where we will go next except it will be somewhere right here in Oregon.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

To Texas, no Mo, and no MoHo either.

if I am going to Texas, I guess I need the hatWhy in the world would an RV loving traveler drive to Texas without her motorhome?  Kids!  Always blame it on the kids.  My daughter decided it was time to move to Texas and we decided together that it might be nice for me to help her drive the UHaul.  Gives us lots of mother-daughter time, right? 

002Quality time in a loud bumpy truck pulling a car on a trailer, covering up to 800 miles per day.  Blog stories about our regular RV travels are leisurely rambles from place to place with all the wonderful delights of carrying along your food and kitchen, your bedroom, not the least of all, your bathroom.

I kept thinking I didn’t need to really blog about this at all, since it isn’t really part of the MoHo Travels, but it is a record of what in the heck has been happening in my life, so here it is.  Not leisurely, not filled with campground reviews and hikes and beautiful sights.  Just the road, the unfurling yellow lines, the sunrise as we keep moving east, the glare of headlights as we continue driving into the night.

sunrise traveling east on I-10 from IndioWe drove down I-5, so familiar from the many trips Mo and I have taken on that route, with many sections repaired and much better than they have been in the past.  We crossed the pass over 58, surrounded by snow but without any falling on us.  We passed Desert Hot Springs buffeted by the desert winds, spending a night in a motel in Indio.  Crossing Arizona and New Mexico, Deb got her first view of Mexico across the “mighty” Rio Grande overlooking El Paso toward Juarez, at 60 mph. I told her long stories of the history of the Rio Grande River and how it has been used and reused and dammed and diverted until the trickle that makes it to the gulf no longer feeds that sea with richness and the shrimp are dying.

East on I 10 through TexasWe drove many miles within sight of the border, going through some border checks, and after 800 miles that day we slept again at a motel in Van Horn, Texas and rose before sunrise for the last leg into San Antonio. Deb was enthralled by the Texas Big Bend Country, the mesas and long vistas, her first view of this kind of landscape. I called Mo after many hours of no cell service and her first words were, “Have you been hit by a tornado?”  I guess two tornados touched down in Dallas as we were approaching San Antonio, but that was north of here and they are now moving northeast so we are fine.

East on I 10 through TexasWe covered 2030 miles together in 3 days of driving, with gasoline running 4.15 in most of California and 3.79 here in Texas.  The UHaul got less miles per gallon than the MoHo and we spent just over $1000. bucks on gasoline, didn’t eat a lot, and paid 63 to 99 for the hotel rooms for the 5 or 6 hours of sleep we allowed ourselves. I had my cell phone, but I can’t believe how many hundreds of miles on a large interstate don’t support any bars at all, much less any kind of internet.  I read a few facebook posts from bloggers here and there, but don’t have a clue what is going in the blog world except for a few really important things.

East on I 10 through TexasNan is hanging in there while her husband fights to breathe.  Pray for her. Al and Kelly are almost home, and my heart broke along with everyone else when I read that little Cora Motormouse was gone. I know Rick and Paulette are home in Canada, Erin and Mui went camping among the bluebells, Laurie and Odel are making tracks to central California, Karen and Al got their kayaks in some really gorgeous water, and Donna and Russ are having some doggie troubles.  I’ll catch up eventually with the rest.  For now, my daughter and her Texas honey are unpacking a big truck into a small home and I am sitting in another motel with air conditioning to adjust to the high temperatures and humidity.  I plan to sleep a lot between now and the time I fly back home to Oregon and my simple life. 

the destination, Lytle, TexasTrips like this one really make me see how lucky I am to have the chance to travel in a motorhome.  Although the hard push of a fast road trip actually has it’s pleasures as well.  White line fever he called it, wasn’t that Merle Haggard? There is something extremely satisfying about covering a lot of miles in a short time with a hard push.  It was fun.  I am beat to death and tired as heck, but it was a blast. I am really going to miss having my daughter as close as Portland, but I guess this will just be all the more reason for Mo and I to go spend some winter times in Texas with the MoHo.