Over Bend (Bent?)

We needed to find a population center big enough to support some RV services because we had a few minor kinks to iron out after several weeks on the road.  RV refrigerators are notoriously temperamental, but ours seemed to take it to new heights, barely managing to function if the outside temperature is over 70 degrees.  We also needed some fine tuning for out tank systems.  Our options were Bend, Spokane, or Boise.

Crown Villa Resort in Bend.  High end for us.

Crown Villa Resort in Bend. High end for us.

We chose Bend.  We intend to scope out different areas of the country as possible alternatives to Alaska for settling down after this trip is over. I was intrigued by Bend because I knew of several Alaskans who recently retired there.  People rhapsodize about the place, so we decided to check out it.  We are glad we did because now we can cross it off our list of possible places to settle. I don’t want to be too hard on Bend, but, for us, it was no nirvana—too many drawbacks.

First, the weather—it goes from warm and sunny to cold (very cold) in about half an hour.  It has been in the low 30’s every night we have been here—not surprising since this is high desert.  But the growing season here is really short, a huge negative for us since we want to do some serious gardening.  Second, Bend’s recent population boom has vastly exceeded the infrastructure–it feels crowded, with congested traffic for its size (every time you go to pull out anywhere, you have to wait for an endless line of cars), and an overpriced housing market.  Third, it’s just too trendy.  I think we are too Alaskan for such a Portlandia-type environment.

Snow-capped mountains string the western

Snow-capped mountains string the western horizon.

Bend feels like a college town in search of a college.  It has a little downtown area on the Deschutes River, with lots of restaurants, antique stores, and other expensive-looking shops.  There is a beautiful park by the river that looks like a college campus on the East Coast.  South of downtown is the Old Mill District, which is a mix of meticulously restored buildings (old lumber mills) and new ones, again full of high-end shops, restaurants, and galleries.  North, east, and south of town also have large shopping areas, with pretty much every retail outlet imaginable.  I don’t know who is buying all that stuff.  There are clearly a lot of people with money here and then there are those (hipsters included) who are scraping by working at low-paying retail jobs.  Maybe we aren’t going to the right places, but everyone here seems to be white, outdoorsy, and … well … trendy.  Not a lot of diversity.

Our view of the place may be jaundiced by our experiences here.  When we arrived, construction blocked our turn off the main road for the RV park and we then had to drive about 15 miles before there was any place to turn around.  When we finally got here and pulled into our site, it was startlingly cold, started pouring (it was sunny a few miles down the road), and progressed to pea-sized hail.  Not a good introduction to the area.  Things went downhill when we brought the trailer in—we didn’t have a great experience with the folks at the RV place.  Part of the reason may be that they were so swamped with work, but it colored our perception of Bend—not in a good way.

The sky after the hail storm.  A colorful and frigid evening.

The sky after the hail storm. A colorful and frigid evening.

On the plus side, we have enjoyed the restaurants and our RV park.  We had an excellent dinner downtown at Zydeco, where we sat outside with Zoe.  They brought her homemade dog biscuits and a big bowl of water.  I loved them for that.  They brought us Cajun barbequed shrimp, wild boar, mussels and clams, and duck fat fries (among other things), and I loved them for that, as well.  The town is awash in breweries and good beer.  We ate at Crux yesterday (called a “fermentation project” not a brewery)—another dog-friendly venue.  Dogs seemed to have reached almost a cult status in Bend.

Zoe enjoyed the restaurant experiences.  The little bag on the table was dog biscuits.

Zoe enjoyed the restaurant experiences. The little bag on the table was dog biscuits.

The RV park (make that “resort”), Crown Villa, delivers a paper to the trailer every morning, has great WiFi, empties our personal garbage can, has a steam room, tennis courts, a gym, and spacious sites.  All for a price, of course, but it’s been kind of fun.  Our wee trailer sticks out like a sore thumb among all the gargantuan RVs here.

Unfortunately, we haven’t had the time to explore the outlying areas or do any real hiking–the real attraction here. We managed to fit in a short hike today on Pilot Butte, the local knob in the middle of town.  Tomorrow, we’ll be heading east.

At the top of Pilot Butte.  Zoe liked the photographer.  This view gives a good idea of what Bend looks like.

At the top of Pilot Butte. Zoe liked the photographer. This view gives a good idea of what Bend looks like.

Our mini-hike.

Our mini-hike.  Looking down on the shopping sprawl east of town.

Loved the juniper trees.

Loved the juniper trees.

Route 97

We have become Route 97 fans, following it from Canada through Eastern Washington to Bend, Oregon.  Its landscapes change abruptly.  Turn a corner, go over a hill, and you are in a different world.  And it runs through country we haven’t explored before.

After leaving Oroville, Washington on Monday, we continued on through the Okanagan Valley orchards and vineyards and then emerged into the really arid hills around Lake Chelan and the upper Columbia River area.

Zoe smells a marmot.

Zoe smells a marmot.

We spent Monday night near Wenatchee at Lincoln Rock State Park, which I will forever remember for the marmot infestation. The park has three different grassy and treed loops for camping, which wind around a very dry hillside covered with sagebrush and rocks.  As we drove around looking for a campsite, clusters of marmots were scavenging at recently vacated campsites (it was the end of the long weekend) and would waddle off to the safety of the hillside only to reemerge after our car passed.  They were hardly recognizable as the wild marmots we see on our Alaskan hikes.  They were fat, slow, and kind of like big old rats, only they flattened out when you approached.  I bit nightmarish, really.

Fortunately, we found a nice spot by the water that seemed marmot-free (who knows what they did when the lights were out). It was still busy in the park into late Monday evening, with lots of families swimming, soccer games, and teenagers cruising around.  We were definitely back in civilization.  What a lovely view, though.

Morning view at our campsite at Lincoln Rock

Morning at our campsite at Lincoln Rock

On Tuesday we headed down through the apple growing region around Wenatchee and into the pine hills near Cashmere–a really pretty area as you begin to leave the valley.  The road passes into woodsy mountain terrain and then descends into the Yakima area.  We did not spend much time in Yakima (bank and grocery store time), but I kind of liked it.  It’s a huge, wide valley of farmland with Mediterranean-like hillsides planted with fruit trees and some grapes.

The road changes again as it climbs into another set of hills on the Yakama Reservation, where the smell of pine resin was intoxicating. The trees thinned out again as we descended to the big Columbia River on the Washington/Oregon border.

The hills before the final descent to the river gorge were covered with windmills.  They may be an eyesore to some, but I loved them.  They looked like moving sculptures on the hill tops and sides, moving in unison—or not.  Either way, it was like a dance.  We met our first real wind that afternoon, with lots of swirling gusts coming through the gullies and over the hillsides.  Windmill watching for me and concentrated driving for George, as we were hit from every direction by gusts.

Descent to the river by Maryhill S.P.

Descent to the river by Maryhill S.P.

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We camped at Maryhill State Park that night, right on the banks of the Columbia.  It was absolutely beautiful, with the cut banks of the river, a field of grass behind our campsite, and mature sweet gums, maples, birches, and other ornamentals planted throughout the park. There must not be any concern about drought in Eastern Washington, because sprinklers were going in every park we visiting as if there was water to spare—and then some.

Maryhill State Park

Maryhill State Park

The Columbia from Maryhill

The Columbia from Maryhill

We woke to increased winds in the morning and huge whitecaps on the river. The bridge to Oregon is a fairly high one and I was picturing a gust blowing the trailer right off the bridge (one of my only irrational fears).  The winds were forecast to get worse, so off we went.  The bridge was fine—a stupid fear overcome–and we followed Route 97 into Oregon.

Route 97 near Moro, Oregon

Route 97 near Moro, Oregon

An unexpected pleasure–Oroville, Washington

Memorial Day weekend posed a problem.  Where to go without reservations?  We had mail waiting for us over the border in Washington and didn’t want to linger in Canada through the weekend.  But all of the state parks in northeastern Washington were booked solid for the long weekend.  We called several decent-looking private RV parks.  No luck, all full.  I was worried.

With visions of spending a three-day weekend in various Walmart parking lots, we headed to Washington.  After finishing the final leg of the Cassiar Highway on Monday, we drove for two days through British Columbia, with lush farming and timber regions on the Yellowhead Highway and arid, craggy hills around Cache Creek.  By the way, British Columbia is very large. On Wednesday, we headed southeast through Kamloops and Kelowna on Route 97.  Kelowna was not what we expected. It is in the beautiful Okanagan Valley—full of vineyards and fruit trees.  But the main road was an endless, traffic-ridden strip of every imaginable retail store, chain restaurant, and outlet mall, clogged with people at 1:30 on a weekday afternoon.

For an hour or so I wondered why we had left Alaska.  Then we crossed the border into Oroville and things quickly improved. It is a funky little border town–still in the fertile Okanagan region–without a chain store in sight.  Our mail wasn’t in yet, so we had to overnight somewhere nearby.  We decided to check out the Osoyoos Veterans Memorial Park, which turned out to be an amazing campground wedged between the edge of town and the southern end of Lake Osoyoos, a gorgeous lake stretching across the border into Canada.

Our lucky campground--you can just see the truck.

Our lucky campground–you can see the truck if you look closely.

The park was almost empty.  You would expect a Veterans Memorial Park to be busy over Memorial Day weekend, wouldn’t you?  But no.  Apparently everyone heads to the big mountains and this lovely, serene gem in the foothills had plenty of room for us.  In fact, on our first two days here, the place was almost empty.

The swimming beach with one woman and a baby. It's a refreshing swim.

The swimming beach to the right with one woman and a baby. It’s a refreshing swim.

We enjoyed the sun and heat, with swimming several times a day for me and Zoe.  The park is bordered on three sides by water—the lake at the end, with an estuary on one side and a river on the other.

The lake.

The lake.

The river.

The river.

Our willow-side camsite.

Our willow-side campsite.  Notice that there is no one around.

There are birds everywhere and frogs are going full-throat in the evening.

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Even with the weekend now in full swing, the park is not even remotely full and most of the campers are Canadians, down from B.C.

We love it here.  We had brunch today at an excellent restaurant downtown, the Pastime Bar and Grill.  It was big-city quality in this tiny town and they let Zoe sit next to us at an outside table.  Then we drove up into the hills east of town to Molson, a ghost town that has been preserved as a museum.

Old Molson

Old Molson

Oroville-35

Molson is at almost 4,000 feet elevation.  Lots of snow in the winter but dry and sunny now.

Molson is at almost 4,000 feet elevation. Lots of snow in the winter but dry and sunny now.

Molson's law office.  Even then.

Molson’s law office.

We lucked out on this one.

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A tale of two Cassiars — Part Two

A powerline, bears, and a lake

We left our idyllic wilderness valley early Saturday morning to continue our trek down the Cassiar

Goodbye to the most beautiful RV park in the world

After a few miles and a gas stop in Isbuk, we found ourselves in the middle of a major construction project–the Northwest Transmission Line (NTL), an enormous power line extension running from the Stewart/Hyder cutoff to the Isbuk area. Apparently the Stikine region near the Cassiar is slated for several mining and hydro projects, including a large open-pit gold and copper mine and the NTL will supply power needed for development. It is also touted as a supposedly “green” project because the 600 or so residents of Isbuk will no longer need to power the town with diesel generators, thus cutting carbon emissions. Given the carbon emissions needed to build the line itself, I’m thinking that reasoning doesn’t pass the red-faced test.

South of Isbuk

South of Isbuk–the towers are going up, but no lines yet

Assembling the towers

Assembling the towers

I’m not against power lines, but this one runs through one of the most beautiful wild regions imaginable, and they could not have designed it to be more obtrusive and in-your-face if they had tried. It runs right along the road–criss-crossing it several times–a huge swath of clear cut with enormous steel towers. Let’s just say you can’t help but notice it.

Powerline running for miles and miles beside the road

Farther south, the lines have been strung

In contrast, the portion of the line built earlier, which runs to Stewart, is barely noticeable, and only crosses the road in one area.  In any case, the northern part of the Cassiar reminded us of the old Alaska Highway–winding, narrow, remote, and wild. The second part reminded us of Alaska pipeline construction days–lots of trucks, construction camps, activity, and litter. It was a real contrast.

Despite the power line, the area is still gorgeous, with park-like stretches dotted with dandelions and cow-parsley on the road edge. And did I mention bears? They were grazing on the newly-emerging plants all along the road and it became almost routine to see them. “Oh look, there’s another bear–or is it a stump–no it’s a bear.” We saw eight that day, including a good-sized brown bear in the middle of the road.

You can just see the road in the lower left, way downhill

You can just see the road in the lower left, way downhill

IMG_1592We stopped for the night at an absolutely beautiful Provincial Park, Lake Meziadin, where we found a spot right on the water. Although it was supposed to be raining, the weather was sunny and in the 70’s, so we decided to stay for two days. It was a long weekend in Canada, Victoria Day, and lots of families were camping. Kids riding bikes, people fishing, the smell of campfires and breakfast bacon–it was another amazing camping spot for us where we worked hard at relaxing.

Fishing in the morning stillness--the lake got windy in the afternoon

Fishing in the morning stillness–the lake got windy in the afternoon

Our campsite

Our campsite

Zoe thought that she had died and gone to doggy paradise. Walks, great new smells, her first opportunity to swim on this trip, and the park host gave her biscuits.

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A tale of two Cassiars

Part one–the upper Cassiar HIghway

It cleared up by Thursday morning (May 15) when we left Takhini Hot Springs. After a brief stop in Whitehorse, we headed to Watson Lake. We stayed at a utilitarian (not lovely–but relatively clean) campground in the middle of town to do laundry, fill tanks, and get provisions for our next leg.

We took Zoe on an after-dinner walk to the Watson Lake sign forest down the street. On previous trips, we have always driven by it with just a glance, thinking it was just a touristy gimmick.  But it was worth a closer look.  It dates back to WWII when the Alaska Highway was built and is a maze of thousands and thousands of signs from all over the world. There is a lot of misdemeanor sign-theft represented in that grove of trees.

Sign forest

Sign forest

The next morning we headed down the Cassiar Highway.  We had hesitated on this route because rain was forecast for the area and its road conditions are supposed to be bad in the spring. When the forecast improved, we decided to go for it. I’m so glad we did. What a beautiful drive.

There were some potholes and frost heaves, but nothing compared to the mess near the border. All in all, the road the first day was in good shape. It started out in a flat and open burn area, transitioning to rolling hills and then mountains.

First part of the drive through the burn

First part of the drive through the burn

Once again, we saw lots of wildlife–three bears, including a young brown bear, a deer, and quite a few beautiful caribou. Unfortunately, they were faster than I was with the camera.

The only successful wildlife shot all day

The only successful wildlife shot all day

The highway winds by lakes and rivers,

Vivid glacial green waters

Vivid glacial green waters

all types of mountain peaks,

IMG_1547and has periodic flat stretches.

If you look carefully, you can see two caribou running into the trees on the middle left of the picture

If you look carefully, you can see two caribou running into the trees on the middle left of the picture

We ended the day at the most beautiful RV park in the world. Really.

Zoe approves

Zoe approves

We stayed in the section for large RVs because we were the only people there and the view was extraordinary. But it also has a beautiful wooded area next to a stream with large back-in spots for smaller RVs and tent campers.. The park–Mountain Shadow RV Park–is in Iskut, below Dease Lake, and it’s on 250 or so acres in a stunning valley. It’s gorgeous, immaculately kept, and I highly recommend it.  It was astonishing that no one else was there and we had the whole exquisite valley to ourselves.

We set up our chairs, poured glasses of wine, and sat in the sun (we are still Vitamin D-starved after the winter). It was in the 70’s, the birds were singing like mad, a nice breeze kept the bugs away. Sheer bliss.

Room with a view

Room with a view

 

Takhini hot and cold

Our WiFi access is limited in Canada, so I haven’t been able to post anything lately.   I will try to get this short post out.

We left Haines Junction Tuesday on another brilliantly sunny morning. There were several herds of horses grazing near the road with foals and cowbells around their necks.

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Our destination was Takhini Hot Springs, outside of Whitehorse. It is a beautiful two-pool spring (hot and hotter) with an adjacent, poplar-wooded campground. Once again, the campground was almost empty and there were very few people at the pools. Mostly sweet solitude.

Here’s the campground.

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I had one social soak where I spent a good forty-five minutes talking with a teacher from East Germany, who is on sabbatical traveling for a year. She was twenty-seven when the wall came down–very interesting to hear her experiences then and now. Great conversation with someone whose life has been so different than mine–while soaking in a an outdoor hot spring–is my idea of a good time. Not my typical day in Anchorage. I love travel.

Even though the hot springs is at the end of a road without much nearby, there is a coffee shop set back in the woods within walking distance.  It was rainy and cold on Wednesday, so the coffee shop was a nice haven for lunch.  They had homemade soup and sandwiches and good WiFi.

It started to dry up on Wednesday evening and the temperatures plummeted. By early morning, it was down to twenty-six degrees. On to warmer destinations. We hope.

Bathing suit and woodsmoke

Bathing suit and woodsmoke

 

Road fever takes control

It was a battle in George’s brain and road fever won.  We are now rehabbing. We like to drive, and drive, and drive some more.  We find it hard to stop for the night when there is an enticing stretch of road ahead.  In September 2002, we happily drove from Atlanta to Anchorage in eight days–about 600 miles a day–with two cars, three golden retrievers and a set of walkie-talkies.  We didn’t need to make the trip in eight days, but we enjoyed doing it that way.

When we planned this trip, we kept telling each other that we need to take our time and pace ourselves, and we were successful the first few days.  But on Monday, the desire to drive took over.  Instead of sensibly stopping for the day at a pleasant campground after a reasonable amount of miles, we kept going, even though we knew we might end up driving the full 400 (or so) miles from Tok to Whitehorse.  Because we wanted to.  Well, George’s brain succumbed first and mine soon followed.

We had planned to stop after about 175 miles because of the delay of a border crossing and the rough roads after the border.  Our concerns about border crossing delay were almost laughable. The border guard asked a few quick questions (“Is there anyone in the trailer?” “Uh, no.”) and waved us through.  He was almost charming–a description I never thought I would use for a border guard.  Getting older has its advantages, apparently.

Us and lots of sky.

Near the border–looking small with all that sky.

Our concerns about the road conditions, on the other hand, were not laughable.  At the border we hit a stretch of gravel–very dusty gravel–with a particularly jarring washboard. The gravel portion turned out to be a pleasure, however, compared to the paved portion that followed.  Permafrost and paving don’t mix well. The frost heaves were continuous and took on all kinds of creative twists–side to side, three rolls in succession, and corkscrews–we had them all.  Later that evening, I learned that in RVer language, large frost heaves are called “whoop de doos.”  I can’t imagine exclaiming “whoop de doo” over these babies.  My language was considerably more colorful.  It was ugly driving for almost a hundred miles, especially with a trailer.

The road finally improved after Destruction Bay and our cabinet contents miraculously stayed in place.  In the meantime, while bouncing around, we saw a nice bit of wildlife–one porcupine, four moose (very skittish compared to Anchorage moose), eight swans, and one ground squirrel.  And then there were the bears.  After driving for about forty-five minutes looking for a place to pull over to eat lunch, we finally saw a pull-out ahead in a lonely stretch of road. We couldn’t figure out why the car ahead of us was sitting at a full stop in the middle of road next to the pull-out. Bear pictures, of course.  A nice black bear was munching on garbage.

Don't mess with me.

Don’t even think about messing with my garbage.

Zoe smells good stuff.

Zoe smells bear.

We did not stop there for lunch.  After another twenty minutes, we saw an even larger black bear grazing on green plants at the edge of the road.  He was quite near the next pull-out, so may have been cruising for garbage, too.

This one was large and a real beauty.

This one was large and a real beauty.

Because of the lousy road conditions, it took about eight hours to drive the 300 miles from Tok to Haines Junction.  By then we were finally ready to call it a day and, fortunately, found a campground that had just opened for the season.  There were two other couples there.  One was from Georgia–big UGA football fans–and the other couple turned out to be former neighbors from Anchorage, heading home after wintering in Arizona.  We never met them when they lived down the street from us, but we know them now.

After walking over to the Village Bakery (which we highly recommend), we brought home some amazing sandwiches and ate them with this view of the mountains,

Haines Junction

Haines Junction

and this view of the car wash.

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Early birds

We thought that we would have a nice uncrowded trip down the Alcan by starting in early May.  We did not anticipate that only a minuscule number of campgrounds open before mid-May and the Alaska state and Yukon governmental campgrounds are firmly gated, so there is no access at all.  It’s taken a bit of research to find camping spots, but so far, so good.

After our first night at a nearly empty private RV park in Palmer, we had a leisurely drive up the Glenn Highway to Sheep Mountain Lodge.  It is not fully open for the season, but they let us dry camp without any hookups.  The drive took us from full-blown spring in Palmer to just-barely spring at Sheep Mountain, with the willows in catkin stage and no leaves budding at all.

Mountain chiaroscuro

Spring on the Glenn

Catkins at Sheep Mountain

Catkins at Sheep Mountain

The drive was a good test for the truck and trailer.  Steep grades, tight curves–many without guardrails–and precipitous drops to the river way, way below–typical white-knuckle terrain.  The trailer (and George, of course) handled it beautifully and the scenery was so distracting that I hardly noticed the drop-offs, even from the suicide seat.

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Matanuska glacier from the road

Matanuska glacier from the road

The evening at Sheep Mountain was sunny and warm and we sat by the fire doing nothing but soaking in the sun and the views.

View to the South from our camping spot

View to the South from our camping spot

Shifting colors on Sheep Mountain -- there were sheep, too

Shifting colors on the mountains behind the lodge cabins — there were sheep, too

Dog houses used to block the driveway--only in Alaska

Dog houses used to block the driveway–only in Alaska

But clear skies make for cold nights and it dropped to 30 degrees in the early morning hours.  Quite a swing from the evening warmth.

On Saturday, we headed for Tok–the crossroads for those driving in and out of the state. The road from the Glenn Highway to Tok–appropriately named the Tok Cutoff–was not in good shape.  It alternated between short stretches of paved road undulating with frost heaves, to short stretches of gravel with pot-holed ruts at the the transitions.  It was slow going.  But again, the weather and mountain views were superb, so we’re not complaining. Also, the pavement breaks were well-marked and there was plenty of time to slow down. Actually, they were so frequent, we never got going very fast.

There were quite a few early season RVs heading South from Tok, mostly with Texas plates.  Full timers using Texas for residency or true Texans?  Who knows, but a lot are heading toward Anchorage.

Spectacular views of the Wrangell-St. Elias range

Spectacular views of the Wrangell-St. Elias Range

 

The clouds below the summit highlighted the rocky crags in front.

The clouds below the summit highlighted the rocky crags in front.

Tok is a balmy seventy degrees tonight, sunny, with only a few sluggish mosquitoes. Pretty nice.  Happy Mother’s Day all.

First day out

Actually, it was only a partial day out–we didn’t leave Anchorage until about three this afternoon. But we did manage to leave, after feeling like we were never, ever going to get out of town. The last-minute details kept multiplying until it felt like the Twilight Zone, where no matter what we did, we could not escape and get on the road.

After the final house cleaning, and storage and dump runs, we hit the bank.  I took a picture of the Chugach while I was waiting with Zoe in the truck. I managed to capture some unique Anchorage business signs also.

Lovely Anchorage morning.

Lovely Anchorage morning. Will we ever get out of here?

Then we finished loading the trailer and headed to the scales to see how much weight we are carrying. Another picture while waiting, but now the Chugach are in the rear view mirror.

Sopranos shot.

Sopranos shot.

Then we needed to get a few final hiccups checked out.  Thanks to Tim and all the folks at Alaska Performance RV & Marine (who installed our solar setup) for their continued help and interest in our trip.

We left Anchorage mid-afternoon to spend our first night in Palmer–essentially a suburb of Anchorage, but a gorgeous commute.

On our way.

On our way.

George's new office?

George’s new office?

We chose to stay at a real RV park tonight and, fortunately, it’s almost empty and very quiet except for birdsong.

Lovely setting with without the crowds.

Lovely setting without the crowds.

Here’s the view out our window.

The leaves are exploding.

The leaves are exploding.

Zoe is bewildered by all the change.  When we got to the campground, she did not want to leave the truck.  After dinner, a walk, and a good stick, she felt much better.

 

This may not be so bad.

This may not be so bad.

 

Change (or maybe not?)

Last day of work — late

I was not able to contemplate the end of a work era during my last day of work. I was too busy.  In fact, by the end of the day, I was rushing around like a maniac, trying to get everything done so I could head out as planned for a celebratory dinner with George.  I made it–just barely.  Now I have time to think about the monumental change from work to non-work. It feels very, very good.

Which is not to say that I did not enjoy my work–I did.  And I will miss my friends. But it will be so nice to be able to go, do, and say pretty much whatever (and wherever) I want.  And I am looking forward to a more leisurely pace.

First day of retirement

9 a.m.  I woke promptly this morning at my usual time.  I rolled over and slept another hour. What a sweet feeling not to have to pack too many things into too short a weekend.  I thought I might have trouble unwinding from my usual pace, but I am already quite unwound.

9:30 p.m.  Ha, that was a joke.  I am still wound up.  I ended up running around all day trying to get all of the last minute things done so that we can leave on Tuesday.  We took a couple of loads to storage, cleaned the truck interior, hauled stuff to the trailer, shopped, and continued to sort through things.

It was a lovely day at the trailer storage lot.

Sunshine in the living and dining area (without the table)

Sunshine in the living/dining area (without the table). You can see the decal on the trailer stored next door.

Our neighbor dog, Minnie, couldn’t figure out what we were doing.

IMG_1343Zoe is worn out. We will try to slow down tomorrow.

She is afraid we will pack her tennis ball.

She is afraid we will pack her tennis ball.