Thursday, September 29, 2011

Off to Onion Country USA!

After dinner with the kids, we went back to the "Beast" to get ready to shove off first thing in the morning and turned on the final game of the Mariners (read: last defeat in a defeating season!) while we listened to music.

We were able to get to the Fred Meyer gas station for cheap ($3.59/gal) gas but it takes so much longer with the required gas station person filling  your tank...why does Oregon require that??  Off to Caroline's to say goodbye, get g-kids kisses and head out.

It's a bleak landscape between Bend and Burns, OR.  We crossed Starvation Ridge (you can imagine traversing this area of little water and no vegetation--save sage and juniper--in a covered wagon saying "we're going to starve here!"), Stinking Water Creek and arrived at Drink Water Pass....gulp!

Deer hunting season begins Saturday, and so lots of hunters from the area are headed out for the mountains to set up their tents/RV's/chairs, etc. to stay the weekend and hunt.  We got a smile from some of the folks that passed us on the route--the best were the ones in the pickups pulling a trailer containing a converted golf cart painted in camo, a plastic chair and gun carrier...

As we head through Vale, OR we move into a much more agricultural area, alfalfa ready for its last cutting, potatoes, apples, cukes and lots and lots of onions!  We moved into "Onion Country USA" without our knowledge...but there was the huge billboard proclaiming it so we knew we had arrived!  (They ship over 22,000 loads each season!)  Many, many hundreds (thousands?) of acres of onions...onions everywhere:  on the farmtruck, on the semi, in the field, on the side of the road, in the ditch, etc.  EVERYWHERE!  Just so you know, the logo for the area is a smiling onion with cowboy hat in hand!

We needed to stop near Boise so chose Caldwell, where we bypassed 'Stinker Fuel' for the more well-known Flying J...dinner at the MOHO and an early bed for an early rise tomorrow to SLC!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Beautiful Bend and Around

Caroline graciously fixed dinner for us Monday and Tuesday as we continued to enjoy the kids, the grandkids and the weather.  We ate well! 

We went to the riverfront park, which extends at least a couple of miles along the Deschutes River and includes play areas, dog parks, picnic tables, much grass and pretty vistas.  Really a great asset to the city.  We took advantage of everything along the walk, with both kids on their bikes (Anna, 2 1/2, has the kind without pedals but otherwise looks like a teeny bike).  Ryan has just learned to ride without training wheels so he was glad to show off his new skills!  (only one small mishap)

We had dinner out at a Mexican restaurant tonight and the kids each had a bean burrito, with Anna sporting a bean soul patch towards the end...the 4 adults had either shrimp or beef fajitas and G&G took 2/3 of theirs back to the Beast for later consumption.

We're off to Boise, ID tomorrow via Burns, OR for a total of about 6 1/2 hrs driving or so.  We'll stop by for one final kiss goodbye from the g-kids and then off for new territory...

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

HERE WE GO! RV Adventure #2!!!

Here we are again, on the road and  loving it.  It's so great to be home, it's great to be at our island home on Lopez, and it's great to be on the road!!  We worry (well, okay, it's mostly me) that the market will be awful, that we'll have an earthquake at home (I get extra credit this time...we've had several minor earthquakes off and near our coastline!) or that we'll have so much rain that our house will wash down the road to the ocean...mostly I worry about this at 4 am when I can't sleep and Jeff is sawing logs....ok,  I digress....

We had a wonderful time traveling to my parent's home in SE Washington.  We are so lucky to have them still thriving and enjoying life.  We brought a full dinner with us for them, along with several fish dinners (frozen for their convenience) and other goodies for later consumption.  We had MAX veggies from local folks--how good does it get?  Those of you who know me, know that I LOVE veggies of all ilks and this is PRIME TIME for fresh veggies...we brought:  kale, carrots, green onions, tomatoes, green beans, celery, beets, parsley, etc from our Lopez garden to our home in Edmonds, hoping for them to last 'til we got to G&G's (often followers will know this is son Bill and daughter Caroline's grandparents, Isabelle and Barney) and beyond.

We were so happy to get on the road with the ole' MOHO (the Beast!) and had an uneventful trip to G&G's.  We were cheered before we left by our neighbors, Ron and Barbara, who invited us down to indulge in a "wee glass of wine"  to wish us well and get us off to a good start ; ).   We always enjoy their company and this was a treat we really enjoy--sharing time with them.

G&G were doing so well (Dad had the crossword done before 8 am);  Mom has some trouble walking around, but nothing she feels she can't handle.  She refuses a cane/walker/etc., which may be the reason she's still getting around so well at 93; Dad at 97 is having a bit of a problem with his neck...I gave him therma-cares with the hope that he would use them (setting him up with his first one on his neck before we left). 

We went to breakfast at the usual "White Stallion"--the hangout for the "locals"---although Waitsburg is being infiltrated with "yuppie" places:  coffee houses, wine tasting rooms, and Seattle lounge/pool halls, we still run into lots of people who know G&G.  Even given their age and SOOO many of their peers and those decades younger who they knew and grew fond of have passed, there still seems to be many who stop and say hello and say something about how they knew them while we sit in the restaurant.

We had wonderful weather (75 and slightly cloudy) and then too soon it was time to move on.  Our next stop was our daughter and her family's home in Bend.  This took us 6+ hours to drive (stopping in Umatilla for gas--which was $3.89/gal--we asked about the high cost and they (how honest!) said they raised prices because of the Pendleton Roundup traffic!

We arrived at the Crown Villa RV Park about 5:30 pm and setup and were ready to go the kids'  by 6:15, having dinner at their house.   Ryan has just come down with a cold and Anna is close behind.  Bummer!!  I'm dosing oregano oil and hoping for the best--it's too late for the kids, they're already in the cold spectrum!

We walked Ryan (with Anna in tow) to his kindergarten class--it's "Picture Day!!!"   What a cute thing:  walking through dirt trails for 1/4 mile or so to his school (which will be his school through grade 5) and me peeking through the door ("Grandma, you can go now!!!") till they started school. 

We get lots of Jeff and Lorena time with the grandkids tomorrow while Caroline does her bookkeeping work with her clients...yeah!!!