A slower pace....

Monday, May 31, 2010

The last three days have seen us moving at a much slower pace...well, at least as far as driving goes....76, 88 and 109 miles respectively. We left our site at Osprey Point RV Resort/Marina and headed north on US 101. The view was constantly changing and always beautiful. So much to see. We made it to Sea Lion Caves just before lunch. As we have been doing for the last couple of weeks, we had packed a lunch before we headed out so we ate it before heading into the caves.

Friendly staff, nice gift shop and more view points than you can imagine...many with benches to rest on....yes, there is walking involved...and you will really feel it when you come back up! LOL! We went to the elevator first, it took us down to the cave level. Check out the reading on the levels...we're assuming they are in feet.

As soon as we exited the elevator we could hear them...sea lions and California seals. We took photo after photo...I also took several videos. You can see them all in our SmugMug album listed below. We walked up several levels in the cave to to a viewpoint to the north. Lots of nesting birds, more sea lions and seals and a great view of the lighthouse.

Taking the elevator back up, we saw more sea lions from the viewpoints as we rested our way on the walk uphill. I headed for the gift shop while Stu went the other way on the trail. From there he saw more sea lions as well as a young elk or deer (hard to tell). We have been really surprised at the number of elk here along the coast. We're used to them in places like Rockies and Yellowstone.

After several enjoyable hours we headed north again...looking for a spot for the night. Overnight asphalt parking doesn't seem to be in favor here in OR, at least on the coast. We found a park with an Escapees discount and got settled in for the night. We were right across the street from the beach and took a long walk, enjoying the beauty.

We hated to leave Seal Rocks RV Cove with it's gorgeous view. But on a holiday weekend, we were only able to stay one night. We took our time loading up and heading out since we were in no hurry. We had no destination in mind for the night other than maybe making the WA/OR border.

While Stu maneuvered his way out of the park (definitely tight quarters...won't talk about trapping our DTV dish in the pine tree overhead), I started checking out the pamphlets we'd picked up, looking for anything worth visiting as we headed north.

I found out that the Oregon Coast Aquarium was in the next town north, Waldport. I quickly checked out the admission prices online...wow, another bargain! The Sea Lion Caves were $11 with the senior rate (60+) and the aquarium was $15.50 (senior rate was $13.35 for 65+).

We found the RV/Bus parking lot...it was almost empty. Surprised us on a holiday weekend but that was okay. LOL! We ate a quick lunch and headed over to the aquarium. The line wasn't bad and it moved quickly. DisneyRadio.com was setting up a tent and had music playing. Fun for the kids but for me it did distract from the gorgeous setting as we walked up to the entrance.

What a great find...they have something for everyone, for all ages. There are sea lions and seals, shore birds, sea otters, parrots, reptiles, a realistic wave pool, octopus, alligators, wildflowers, and just about every type of sea life you can imagine. We spent over three hours there and could have stayed longer.

When we left we decided to head inland and take the shorter route to our final destination in Washington. Since asphalt parking turned out to be scarce even along I-5, we opted to spend the night at a nice rest area (12 hour parking limit). Lots of room, nice creek to walk beside and a good stop.

We slept in, not even hearing the trucks coming and going and then headed on to Brookhollow RV Park in Kelso, WA. Nice park, quiet, long paved pull-throughs and a $27/night rate with the Good Sam discount.We had booked two nights there, hoping to take the motorcycle out Mt St Helens. Not to be....can you say rain? My Facebook status update was:
"We went to bed with rain, we woke up to rain, we ate breakfast & lunch with rain....guess I'll write a blog today."
So here it is...LOL! Tomorrow we move on to our final destination, another hundred or so miles. We'll spend a month at South Prairie Creek RV Park. The next week will be spent getting ready for our cruise to Alaska. Not sure when the next blog will be. While on the cruise I will write blogs but don't know if there will be a chance to publish them or not. If not, they will be published when we get back after June 21st.

Here are the photo albums from the last few days...even got videos of the Sea Lion Cave in there!
Thought for the day: "Remember the reason for today....we honor those who have gone before us to give us the freedoms we take for granted every day."

Till next time - keep on rollin',
Donna & Stu

Plans still evolving....

Not much activity in our planning but we are still talking about it. We still plan to get our land set up for an RV spot when we are in Tennessee this fall. We don't think it will take much but the first thing will be to get the land surveyed again. From there we will work with someone to help us lay out the land. Then it's on to what is needed to get the final permit for the already installed septic tank.

We'll probably have to get an address so we can get electric installed. Not sure if we will do anything with water...that's Stu's decision. LOL! The current driveway will have to be widened, gravel added and compacted. We'll lose some trees but we'll try not to lose too many.

We still love the idea of a log cabin but realize we will probably need to downsize our dream home to be realistic. We can easily live comfortably in 1000-1200 sf (consider we are living in under 300 sf now). We've found one supplier in northern GA that makes panelized homes. We plan to visit them and see their factory.

The other option we have considered is building a carriage house type building. The biggest part would be the workshop/garage area but it would be combined with living quarters. Wouldn't be a log home but would conserve on the building costs.

Nothing even close to Jell-O yet....

Still rolling,
Stu & Donna

We meander along...

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Almost another week has passed since I last blogged. We left off in Susanville, CA where we were heading to the Pacific Coast Highway (US 101). We spent the next couple of nights in Grants Pass, OR at the Rogue Valley Overnighters RV Park. A nice little park, close to downtown so we got out and did a little walking before the rain settled in.

From there we moved down to Crescent City, CA where we hoped for some good riding weather. The Hiouchi RV Park is actually just outside Crescent City and close to the Jedediah Smith State Park. The rate was good since it was a Passport America park. The park is very nice, quiet, scenic and we would definitely stay there again.

We did get out for a 150 or so mile ride through the redwoods and down the Pacific Coast Highway (PCH) or US 101. We stopped for lunch just north of Eureka, CA and then headed back. What a perfect day!

We sat out another day of rain and this morning headed north on US 101. More great coastal views, we stopped at a pull-off for a scenic lunch. We could have sat there all day...LOL!

In Coos Bay we visited the local Harley dealer where they had a nice display of 1959 Harley's. Stu got his requisite state t-shirt, lucking into a good buy on a shirt from a local run. Next on the list...Washington state!

We continued on another 10 or so miles to Lakeside where we found another Passport America park for the night, Osprey Point RV Resort/Marina. The afternoon had cleared a little, after driving in rain off & on all day, and we managed a nice walk before settling in for the evening.

Tomorrow we will continue our meander up the coastline. We plan to stop and visit the Sea Lion Caves and have no idea how far we will  travel. We have plenty of time to get to our campground in Washington so no need to rush.

You can check out our photos of the last few days at SmugMug:
Till next time - keep on rollin',
Donna & Stu

Another week gone.....

Friday, May 21, 2010

I swear sometimes that I am sleeping through the days when I realize how long it's been since I last blogged. But when I look at what has gone on, I know we've just been busy.

Going to try to keep this short and just link to photos, so here goes!
  • Sat May 15 - Attended graduation and moving party in Thornton CO (greater Denver) for oldest daughter
  • Sun May 16 - Attended graduation ceremony for daughter in Denver at Metro College 
  • Mon May 17 - Left our campground in Monument CO and headed north on I-25 where we spent the night at Wally World in Timnath CO
  • Got to meet online friends Brian & Heidi, fellow RVers and riders, chatted for HOURS!
  • Tue May 18 - Moved from Tinmath CO to Rock Springs WY where we enjoyed another night of hospitality courtesy of Wally World
  • Wed May 19 - Kept moving westerly, from Rock Springs WY to Wells NV where we were kept safe nestled in the midst of all the trucks at the Flying J
  • Thu May 20 - Gorgeous day as we traveled from Wells NV to Susanville CA where we once again parked overnight at Wally World
Some miscellaneous happenings along the way:
  • Got to see the Great Salt Lake
  • Were surprised at a rest area stop to find we were at the Bonneville Salt Flats
  • Were attacked by some random tumbleweed, one of them traveling for 20 miles or so wrapped around our mirror
  • Got stopped by a CHIPS officer for going a little over the speed limit and wandering a little on the road (well, it was VERY windy)....no ticket, just some friendly discussion
  • Went through tunnels, over mountains, down into valleys...through sun, wind and rain
  • Enjoyed farms, ranches, cattle, sheep, goats, desert views, wildflowers, red rocks, white rocks, black rocks, salt laden lands, green lush rivers, snow capped mountains
We are moving towards the Pacific coast but once again the weather has slowed us down. Tomorrow we hope to make it to Grants Pass OR where we will camp till Sunday or Monday when we will move over to Crescent City CA. We will spend a couple of days and enjoy the Redwoods....hopefully on the motorcycles.

Then we will wind our way up the Pacific Coast Highway (101) and finally settle outside Seattle before taking off on our 14 day cruise to Alaska. Can you say EXCITED??? WHOO-HOO!!!

Till next time - keep on rollin',
Donna & Stu

Day Twelve Recap

Friday, May 14, 2010

Well, we've been here in Monument for twelve days. We've spent time with family, time with friends, eaten out way too many meals, gone to four movies (The Losers, Iron Man 2, Clash of the Titans, Robin Hood), taken a couple (not near enough) bike rides for sightseeing, sold a few items on eBay and caught up on a few chores.

We've had daily highs ranging from 39 to almost 80. We've had nighttime lows in the 20's. We've had rain, sleet, snow, wind and sometimes even a little sun. LOL!

All in all, it's been a good twelve days. This weekend is tied up with graduation activities for my oldest daughter. It has taken her 13 years of hard work but she has finally made it!

On Monday we head north, eventually ending up in Seattle on June first. We hope the weather will warm up, allowing us to do a little sightseeing on the bikes on the way. Time will tell...

Today we headed out to Rosie's Diner for breakfast...we were out of milk. I had to snap a photo of our favorite waitress, Alice. What a great gal...we've enjoyed chatting with her. Again, if you are in the Colorado Springs/Monument area, be sure to stop in. Both the service and the food is great. We'll miss you, Alice!

Till next time - keep on rollin',
Donna & Stu


Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Today's blog is a little different. It comes from reading three other blogs this morning.

The first was from Mike & Pat McFall, who had lost a son to cancer a couple of years ago...and have now lost another son, cause as yet unknown.

The second was from Ara & his pup, Spirit. Ara lost his only son several years ago to cancer. But today's blog wasn't about his son Lance, it was about another who is trying to not lose a son.

That brought me to the third blog, Phil's Expedition Awareness. Phil is fighting to find a cure for ALD (a close relative of ALS) and for his son's future. You cannot read his latest entry without being touched.

Stu & I share many children...none "ours", but all ours. We have not lost any children and cannot imagine the pain of those who have. We have lost a son-in-law at too young an age to cancer, that was close enough.

Take time to tell your kids how much you love them...life is too short!

Till next time - keep on rollin',
Donna & Stu

The hills are alive with the sound of music....

Monday, May 10, 2010

Saturday was the day we had been waiting for...we had tickets to see the country duo, Sugarland, at the World Arena in Colorado Springs. To sweeten the deal, the opening acts were Danny Gokey, former American Idol contestent, and Julianne Hough, better known for her gyrations on Dancing with the Stars reality show.

We had opted for a pre-show dinner/parking pass at the Arena and arrived early enough to pick up our tickets at the office. Parking was wide open since the show was almost 90 minutes away.

After a short wait in line, the doors were opened and we were escorted to the top floor where our table awaited us. We had two drink coupons and we decided to try a local Colorado Springs beer, Laughing Lab. Delicious...going to have to pick up a six-pack before we leave the area.

We met two nice couples at our dinner table and we all chatted a bit before getting up to help ourselves at the buffet. The food was plentiful and delicious! The only downside was not having enough time to relax & enjoy both the food and the company before the show started.

Danny Gokey was the opening act and we missed his first song and had to stumble to our seats in the dark. His set was short, not sure why but the next set was Julianne Hough and since she announced this was her last performance with Sugarland, we thought that maybe Danny was slowly breaking in his opening act.

Although short, Danny's voice was better than ever and we enjoyed seeing him live. Julianne was amazing...what a voice she has. And moves....oh my! She makes Shania Twain look like a Girl Scout....LOL! We both look forward to seeing her back on Dancing with the Stars and will be picking up some of her songs at iTunes.

Then it was time for the main act, Sugarland. What a great show they put on...Jennifer Nettles has the most distinctive voice and her partner Kristian Bush has moved way beyond his family "Bush's Baked Beans" empire. Ninety minutes later we all still wanted more....GREAT show!

We did learn one thing...we need to practice taking our own photos much more often. Today's kids do it so naturally...all we get are dorky shots....LOL!

Sunday was Mother's Day and we celebrated it with my oldest daughter, her new hubby and my grandson. We had a wonderful home-cooked meal and then headed over to see the new house they will be renting in a couple of weeks. They were married last December but have lived in two towns (Denver & Colorado Springs) until school commitments finished. They are excited about finally becoming a family under one roof. I so enjoyed the company that I forgot to take any photos...oops!

Next weekend my daughter graduates college after 13 years of combining work, school and family. I'm so proud of her! Then she starts graduate school...hmmm, a glutton for punishment? ;-)

Till next time - keep on rollin',
Donna & Stu

The rest of the photos: Sugarland Concert w/Danny Gokey & Julianne Hough

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