January 1-5, 2016

IMG_86901Day 1 – The day arrived, January 1, 2016, the day I was to start my new life and journey for the coming year.  I had been working so hard and pretty much non-stop for the past month and a half. I kinda wanted to pinch myself that this was all real, I had really done it!

I was up bright and early at 7:30 A.M. I was so excited to get on the road. I jumped in my RV turned on the key……………nothing, it was dead, dead, dead. I could not believe it, the battery was dead……..Really!  As I sat there assessing the situation Alyse (my son’s girlfriend) and her friend Corrine were arriving home from work (They are nurses and had just finished a 12 hr shift). They were troopers and jumped right in to help me get this baby fired up. Out came the jumper cables which we attached to the batteries that were located towards the front portion of the RV……………. Now don’t laugh and don’t shake your head but this is what happened and it’s my experience and learning curve LOL. Now in a motorhome, there are two sets of batteries, one is the in-house batteries…..the batteries that run the lights, etc when you are not hooked up to landline electricity and a second set which is at the back of the RV near the engine which is the battery that starts the engine. Now I don’t know what happened to my common sense and thinking skills, maybe it was just too early in the morning LOL, but here we were trying to jump the in-house battery, which of course did not work. I knew Alyse and Corrine were tired from their long work night and they needed to get some sleep so I told Corrine to go on home and for Alyse to go to bed. I had recently purchased “Good Sam” road service so I called them and told them my battery was dead and needed them to send someone to get my motorhome going. After 45 minutes I received a call back that due to the holiday they could not find anyone to come. I thanked the lady, hung up and thought what the heck……….so a person can’t get roadside help on a holiday, what if I was stuck on the side of the road or in a rest stop somewhere……I was going to have to wait until the next day???? I continued to sit and think and assess what I needed to do. I texted my son, Bryce who had gone off for the weekend snowmobiling and told him my situation. It was then that he told me I was jumping the wrong battery…………. Really!  I decided to go to the store and buy a set of jumper cables and a battery charger. I first tried to jump the RV with my car, nope no luck. So I hooked up the battery charger and let it charge for a couple hours……………..SUCCESS, it worked, the RV started up. I was never so happy to hear the sound of an engine. I literally jumped for joy and clapped my hands! Hallajueuh I was going to finally hit the road 7 hrs later.  I did not care that it was late afternoon, this baby was running and I was going to get down the road even if it was only 4-5 hrs of drive time.

Now that I was on the road I was not stopping till I had to, so I be-bopped on down the highway until I needed to stop for fuel. I also needed propane, I had enough to last for a while but knew I was going to run out before too long.  I stopped at the gas station and got diesel and asked the attendant where their propane was……..sorry but we don’t have propane here you will need to go just up the road a bit. One of the things I really like about Oregon is that people can’t pump their own fuel, a gas attendant does it for you. Today I was happy about that cause it was cold. I went down the road a bit and pulled into the station with the propane, well being a bit lazy and not wanting to get out in the cold to go and ask for someone to come out and get propane for me, I hopped back on the freeway and kept on going deciding that I would be okay and get some propane later. I traveled for about 3 more hours (which put it about 7 PM) when I pulled into a small rest area about 25 miles from Roseburg. I was so excited I was sleeping my first night in my new home on the road!  Well during the night guess what? I ran out of propane so there was no heat and it was a bit cold…..BRRRRR!  It was 21 degrees and there was frost on the inside of my windows! I put on my winter coat, my warm sweatpants, and my gloves. I did not have an ice scraper so I decided a credit card would work, but as I was searching for my credit card I ran across my AARP card. I chuckled and thought this would be the appropriate card to use LOL. I proceeded to scrap my windows with my AARP so I could see where I was going. I could have sat there and waited quite a while for the defroster to do its job but I was a bit impatient. I was ready to get on the road and find myself some propane so I could get warmer

Day 2 –  January 2, 2016, went much better, I was able to get propane and warmed up. I made it over Grants Pass, The Siskiyou’s and Mt Shasta without any problem. One of my main worries with all the cold weather we were having was getting over the passes before another storm came in. When I checked the weather before leaving Portland it was to be clear and sunny for a few days.  It was a good time to head out and get to warmer weather.

The Siskiyou’s20160102_140219

Day 3 – I had crossed over Mt Shasta and Lake Shasta the prior evening and so I was not able to see the Lake which  I really wanted to see as I knew the Lake had been getting really low in recent years and the last time I was through here was about 6 years ago. So once I got over the pass I pulled into to a Chevron station that was open all night and a safe area. I pulled around behind the station and parked in a lighted area for the night. I did not want to travel another 52 miles to a rest stop and wanted to be close enough to Lake Shasta to backtrack in the morning to see and get pictures of the Lake.  I wasn’t sure if I would be able to stay parked here for the night or if I would be asked to leave, but I decided to take my chances, which worked out perfectly. I awoke this morning, fired up my motorhome and headed back the few miles to see the lake. I was just amazed and saddened by how low the lake was, the lowest it has ever been. Aside from the low water levels, it was just beautiful to see all the earthy tones of the soil that are now exposed.

Shasta Lake

After getting to see the Lake and getting pictures I continued on my way to Vacaville, California.

Day 4, 5 and 6 – I spent 3 days in Vacaville visiting a couple friends and seeing my brother and his fiancee. My brother was a great help in going over several things in my motorhome with me so that I felt more comfortable with where everything was and what I needed to keep an eye on and maintain. I had a great time hanging out with my friend Colleen, we had dinner at Tahoe Joe’s…………..the closest I was going to get to Tahoe this trip. It was a great atmosphere with a lot of Tahoe/Truckee photos, snowshoes, skis, and even a menu that reflected food choices of places in Tahoe as well as great tasting food, I soaked my aching, sore muscles in the hot tub which was great and much needed, made a trip to Camping World to browse with my granddaughters “Tigger” and did some fun photoshoots.

#Vacaville #traveling #RV #newlife #motorhome #friends #Lake-Shasta












Thanksgiving 2015

Today, November 26, 2015………..Thanksgiving!  That day when family and friends gather for the turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, gravy, green beans, pies or whatever your family traditions may be.  For me the holidays are difficult. I miss the years when my family was closer, the kids were young and we were all able to gather for family holidays. But as life goes children grow up, loved ones pass on and family dynamics change. During the changes in life one hopes their family will stay together but sometimes it just doesn’t.  So it happened that this year I was going to be by myself babysitting my youngest son’s dog (Hank) in Portland. My son, Bryce and his girlfriend, Alyse had made plans quite sometime back to fly to North Carolina to spend Thanksgiving with her family. Bryce was going to leave Hank with a friend to care for him, but when I found myself “retired” from my job I told my son that I would come and take care of Hank so they did not have to worry about him.  But life has a way of taking you by surprise and reminding you of the awesome, caring people still out there in this big world of ours. The day before Bryce and Alyse were to leave Alyse had a couple of her work friends (Laura and Corrine) over at the house that I had the opportunity to meet.  Now take note that it was a brief opportunity, but the next day after I dropped Bryce and Alyse off at the airport I received a text from Bryce that I was invited to Corrine’s house for Thanksgiving. I was surprised that with such a brief meeting that this young lady did not want me spending Thanksgiving alone, but that I was welcome to come and spend it with her and her family. I accepted the invite as a challenge to myself that this was the beginning of my new life adventure I was moving towards, the chance to do something different, step outside the comfort zone and meet new people and make new friends.  I arrived at Corrine’s house with several family members already there – her parents, her parent’s longtime friends, her sister with her husband and children. I was welcomed with open arms, hugs and smiles and introductions to who I was and how did I fit into this picture ( Bryce’s mom who is the boyfriend of Alyse who is Corrine’s friend and co-worker). Within the hour more family members arrived with husbands, wives, children and a few more friends. In total, we had a house full of 21 people. What an awesome time I had visiting, sharing my stories, hearing their stories, watching the family dynamics of love for family and friends. Lots of good food….turkey, stuffing, gravy, Mexican dishes, salad, olives, pie, cake and several things I can not remember the names of.  In the end, I made new friends and shared phone numbers and email with Corrine’s Mom – she and I hit it off and she was excited about my new adventure. She wants to follow my journey and hopes that she and her husband will be able to travel more this next year as well.  So on this Thanksgiving Day, I am thankful for my family that I love very much and I am thankful for new friends and a caring, compassionate young woman who reached out her heart and a hand to welcome someone new into her family and world. May the world continue to be a better place and that we all look beyond ourselves and be open and aware of others who may need a hug and a welcome embrace.

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