Windy Weather and talk of the midwest

Being from Connecticut orginally has made me open my eyes and mind to the people whom settled the west.  As we were driving across the plains all I could think of was what brave souls they were.  The landscape is flat and you can see for miles – the winds blow so hard you feel like you’ll become Mary Poppins.  I said to my hubby I would have begged you to turn around and go back home back in the 1800’s.  He just laughs at me cuz I really am a city girl and the thought of being 50 miles away from stores would drive me nuts.  Yikes.

One thing I did see that I had never seen before were cows in the water – water covering them – all you saw was their heads.  Never had seen that and did not know that they even did that.  Little things make this experience and lifestyle so interesting.  You learn even on the highway.  In Texas on I-40 they have the biggest cross in the western hempshire.  Of course it is so flat that you can see it for miles – pretty cool.

Another thing you see out here in the west is loads of windmills.  They really should use more and they could power the whole United States of America.  This wind is like nothing I have ever seen.  After experincing this you can picture the dust bowl – before that was really hard to imagine.

This trip west started in Charleston South Carolina and will end in Pleasanton California.  Thus far we have spent over $500 on fuel – highest price paid thus far was $4.75 but saw it yesterday for $4.99.  We were lucky that Kirkland Air Force Base sells diesel – not to many military bases do. 

All the years we spent in the military – hubby was active duty for 20 years – is paying off for us.  We get to stay at nice campgrounds for $12 to $20 a night – shop in the commissary and exchange – some bases even let you eat in the galley, we can bowl, use health clubs and even the library. 

Our stay in Albuquerque was really nice – we toured Old Town and went to the Museum of Art and History.  Outside of the museum I saw a real roadrunner.  Really cool too see.  We enjoyed our stay but were ready to hit the road again. 

During our trip from Albuquerque to California we saw more trains than I have seen in years.  Most of them were at least 100 cars long – so cool.  We saw snow capped mountains, the beauty of the desert and such different plant life.  Our first stop was at a campground in Kingman Arizonia.  We called some old friends to see if we could get together but their phone number did not work.  I did send an email but did not receive a reply right away.  We were really disappointed but we will be back to see you Dan and Pam really soon.  We have not seen them in over 30+ years – wow that is along time. 

As we entered California a shock to our system happened.  We stopped for fuel – $5.49 a gallon for diesel.  Yikes.  Thing that was really good is that did not continue – the price is about $4.89 most places.  Driving thru California was really interesting – saw the plan where Borax is made, saw lots of fruit and vegetable growing, nut trees and those beautiful rolling hills that only California has.    We stopped for one night at a small campground and then the next day went into Sharpe Rv Park which is at the Military Defense Distribution Depot.  It is a small campground but the price was right for $9 a nite for full hookups.  We got to see many ground squirels and hares.  Very interesting.  We met alot of really nice people during our stay here and really enjoyed ourselves.  They have a beautiful swimming pool and nice gym.  We were located about 50 miles from our daughters house but we made the drive every few days.  It was so good to see them – gosh I miss my girls when we are apart. 

During our stay we celebrated Tim’s 65th birthday.   Amanda and Tim treated us to dinner at a Japanesse restaurant and then we did 1st Wednesday downtown Pleasanton.  Very enjoyable time.

We went to see the new Indiania Jones Movie – it was so cool to see pictures of Yale and even saw a New Britain Transportation Bus.  That was the town where I grew up.  Very good movie.

Amanda and I went shopping one night and I tried on gowns for the wedding.  Found one I really liked – alittle more than I wanted to spend but I feel comfortable in it so that is all that matters.  We had a nice girls night out – shopping and a good dinner. 

We also were able to go to Bridges Golf Course where the wedding will take place.  Tim and I were both very pleased with their selection.  It should be a beautiful wedding – can hardly wait for September to enjoy the day.

On the 18th we left Sharpe with Joshua (our 13 year old grandson) ande headed north.  We arrived at Childs Meadow Resort  in Mill Creek.  We checked in for 4 nights.  After getting set up we headed into Chester to get gas, wash the truck and have a good ice cream cone.  That night I could not believe how quiet it was – no traffic goes by except during daylight hours.  Wow peaceful.

Tim did the blog about Lassen National Park but I will add alittle to it.  I was so impressed by this park – it became a national park in 1916 and has seething sulphur springs, belching mud pots and hissing steam vents.  It is the most incredible site I have ever seen.  Hiking to Bumpass Hell was an unusual trek – short sleeve tops – jeans and sneakers hiking thru snow – how unusual is that.  We were all tired when the hike was over but it was just beautiful – so much in this country to see – wow. 

We left on Sunday Morning and headed to Redding California to Fawndale Oaks Rv Park.  We planned to stay in the area until the 7th of July but that was not meant to be.  The fires in northern California began on Saturday night after the lighting storm.  If you have never been out here the summers are very dry and this year they had very little rain so everything is dry.  The smoke was unbelievable. 

On Monday we took a ride to Whiskeytown National Rec Area but could not see the lake or ride around because of fires.  We did stop in the information center and were told they give free kayak tours.  Tim and Joshua really wanted to try that but fires prevented that also.  Whiskeytown is home to many black bears and I really wanted to see one.  We will be back in this area as their is loads to see.   We also wanted to do Shasta State Park.

We did tour the Shasta Dam which was made of 6.5 million cubic yards of concrete.  The dam is the second most massive concrete dam in the United States.  The water rushes over the 487 foot spillway and forms the worlds largest man-made waterfall.  It took 7 years to construct.  No pictures were allowed but it was quite interesting.

The weather in Redding was  very hot and the smoke burned our eyes.  We went to the Sundial Bridge which is a 720 foot long bridge that crosses the Sacramento River.  It is only used for bikes or foot traffic.  Once on the other side we got an Italian Ice which cooled us off.  Interesting concept.

On Thursday the owner of the campground were we stayed told us she would refund our money if we left early.  Because of eye surgery both Tim and I were having problems seeing and each day it got worse.  Our hearts go out to the people in northern California – so many homes and land burned. 

We headed north on I-5 and stopped in Medford Oregon at the Safeway Grocery Store.  We were getting quite low on food – have a teenage boy to feed and not used to that.  We stocked up on food and now that I look back I am really happy we stopped.  This area is in the boonies and nothing around. 

We stopped on Thursday night at the Joseph Stewart State Park – they on
ly could take us for the one night.  What a beautiful park – full hookups for $18 a nite.  We took a nice hike and saw the beautiful lake.  That night the sky was full of stars – have not seen that many in years.  Just spectaciluar site.

Our next stop was at Diamond Lake Rv Park which is located close to Crater Lake National Park.  It is a full hookup site but we will stay Friday and Saturday and move on Sunday to a different site.  They were able to accomadate us until Friday which is great.  After setting up on Friday we took a walk around the campground and then over to Diamond Lake.  What a pretty lake – see people swimming while you see snow in the background.  Really unusual for us.  We walked around for awhile and then stopped at the store to buy graham crackers, choclate bars for smores and an ice cream cone.  Sure cooled us off. 

Saturday am we rode to Crater Lake National Park – what a beautiful park.  The park itself is pretty with snow so high that it is hard to believe.  Each year the park receives over 533 inches – that is alot of snow.  The lake is 5 miles wide and ringed by cliffs almost 2000 feet high.  The lake rests in the shattered remnants of a volcano called Mount Mazama, which erupted and collapsed into itself 7700 years ago.  Crater Lake filled with rain and melted snow and at 1943 feet deep it is the deepest lake in the United States.  Crater Lake became a national park in 1902 and is a must for anyone living in this beautiful country.  Our visit was topped by a visit to the center and lunch at the cafe.  What a wonderful day exploring our national park.

Sunday we moved our site – thanks to Josh and Tim.  I went to the laundry here in the campground and did 4 loads of laundry.  We are now in a nice site and will remain here until Friday.

Monday we took a ruide and did hikes to different waterfalls in the area.  The Watson Falls area was our favorite and so beautiful.  We hiked quite a distance to view it.  While at the falls I met a really nice couple from Florida.  This lifestyle sure lets you meet interesting people. 

Today marks our 2nd year on the road.  We have not looked back and enjoy each day as we see it.  Our lifestyle just fits into our lives so easily and giving Joshua, our grandson, the opportunity to experience this with us is just so wonderful.  Next year we hope that Emily, our granddaughter, will be able to enjoy and experience this with us also.  God has surely blessed us and we enjoy each day to the fullest.  God bless you all until next time.

PS:  Talked to our nephew Steve on Thursday – God was that a good feeling to talk to a Marine just back from the war zone.  He sounded so good and so happy.  He will have to return to the war zone soon and we will keep him in our prayers.  He just got engaged and we are so happy for them.  God bless you Steve – we love you.