Welcome to my blog. What started out as "A bit of this and a bit of that" has grown into the journaling of the process of converting my van into my little RV and the dogs and I will, eventually, tour the country in it. We'll still have a bit of this and a bit of that, but the main focus now will be the conversion and eventual journaling of our travels. Thank you for coming along for the ride!
Hello blog readers. As you may have seen on my Facebook page, I am going to quit posting in Blogger. Their new requirement that you be part of a certain group is going into affect and will eliminate a lot of people who may want to read about our adventures but do not want to be forced into joining that particular group or any other. I don't think that's very nice or very prudent of them.
I am looking into migrating all previous posts, but if that is something that won't be allowed then I shall post a link on the new website so you can get back here easily. OR, if there's something you want to look at again just let me know and I will try and get that particular post onto the new website. Yes, I can copy and paste as I did with the last post on this site, but I am pretty sure it will stack them from newest post first and it will put all the travel stuff out of sync, BUT I will be looking into what I can do, so bear with me. Until then please go to the new site (with a NEW NAME) ...
http://2dogstravel.com . I will be posting announcements on Facebook for a while until everyone who is interested has had a chance to check it out and, hopefully, follow. Following is a much easier process on the new site. Simply click on the follow button, add your email address (which is never published) and you will be sent an email when a new post is published. Super easy. No Google Friends to be a part of nor any other group, nor will you have to choose which group you belong to if you would like to leave a comment, and I hope you do. (We love comments! Shows us that you really are reading our blog! :) It's really straight forward.
Again, please bear with me while we get it all sorted out.
Thanks for being faithful to our blog(s). Hugs to all. Shawna
Good morning! Or afternoon if that is the case. The boys and I are snug as bugs, staying inside and keeping ourselves warm and occupied. Well, I'M keeping occupied; those three nap most of the time. And eat. Yep, they will not put up with missing a meal.
Oh, they do venture out into the snow and cold for a quick romp and tending to business, but for the most part they curl up and half-hibernate. I, on the other hand, am typing my fingers to the bone day in and day out to keep food on the table and cord wood in good supply. Ha! We aren't really as desperate as that sounds, but it made for good copy, no? It's a long way to spring ...
Besides steady work and trying to keep the hounds occupied when they aren't napping, these cold winter days are sliding by with dreams of spring, a sale, and Miss Freedom's launch into full-timing. This is our year! This will happen! That's been my refrain.
From my evil twin's perspective the fear and trepidation creep in and whisper "No, it won't. What are going to do when this or that happens. What happens if ____?", and my mind is off and running with all kinds of depressing, paralyzing thoughts, as the 'what if's' try to take hold. For the most part, though, I am able to keep them at bay, and I know when the time is right, in God's timing, it will happen.
The Van Plan is moving forward regardless of the negativity that creeps in now and again; mostly when I am hauling wood to the house in the rain and cold, or pushing that cart through snow loaded up with a day's worth of warmth. Then it's yeah, baby, can't wait to get out of here; don't want to do this anymore! And always, always when something comes in the mail that makes the wanderlust spark burn bright and hot, then The Van Plan and all that that entails comes bursting through the doubts. That was the case today. These came in the mail, and I can't wait to install them.
Do you know what they are? They are called vent visors and will allow the front windows to be down almost two inches to provide ventilation without sacrificing security or letting rain come blowing in. The windows can also be cranked all the up as they are installed inside the window frame at the top. Cool, huh? Can't wait to install them! That, though, will have to wait for dryer, warmer weather. There's something else on order that didn't arrive, but that's another post. And something to look forward to ;-) .
Sunday was a rainy day and the boys and I stayed snuggled in the van for a good portion of the morning. Coffee, snuggly pups, and a good book! After a leisurely breakfast, Frannie and I spent most of the rest of that lazy Sunday chatting the day away, taking the restless dogs for many, many walks, and watching a movie. It's a good friend who will take one of your dogs on so many walks and subject herself to all his idiosyncrasies and penchant for pulling like he thinks you could never possibly walk fast enough. Thanks Frannie! Burger loves you and I am endlessly grateful.
Monday was fairly nice and we drove up the Umpqua River, again on Hwy 138 (Diamond Lake Hwy), but heading east this time. We stopped at one section where Francesca has done some SCUBA diving and found this memorial. Something terrible happened here. It was obvious this man was well-loved and will be missed.
The river is so low!
We motored on and took a hike up to Fall Creek Falls. Oh. My. Gosh. GORGEOUS hike on an easy trail (except for the dogs pulling like sled dogs :) . It was cool, damp, and everything was green. I could just picture the wood fairies scampering among the ferns. The falls was beautiful too, but with much less water than normal, so it's potential for spectacular will increase with an end to the drought. A lot of the boulder strewn creek bed (BIG BOULDERS) was dry in places, but it was obvious that in a normal year there is a lot of water fighting for space there.
This photo below had us thinking about the Cascadian Fault (read about it HERE) and the fact it's 50 years past it's "due date" for a major earthquake. If you read up on that, the potential for a catastrophic event that would devastate everything west of I-5 along Washington, Oregon, and part of California could happen at any time.
Yes, the trail goes through these rocks.
Imagine the falls with maximum water plunging over the edge.
On the ride back toward Roseburg, we made a quick stop at Colliding Rivers, where a river on the left, Little River, "collides" with the River on the right, the North Umpqua. These photos do not do this place justice. In the flood of 1964 the water here was FIVE FEET ABOVE the railing from which I took these photos. It's quite a ways down to the water........ mind blowing.
It was a wonderful visit with a wonderful friend--and long overdue--and I truly hated to face having to come home. I keep chanting to myself 'one more year, one more year' until the day the boys and I can take off on our traveling adventure full time. I don't like to wish the time away but...........
I mentioned at the beginning of this post about kicking back and doing some reading on Sunday morning. Finishing the last book in Jane Kirkpatrick's Kinship and Courage series leaves me with the question of what to do with these three books. Yes, I could give them to the local library as I have done with many of my books, but I thought it might be nice to give them to one of you. If you want these books please comment that you would like them and the first one to respond will get them. We'll work out the details of getting them to you later and keep your information private. Here's a synopsis of the books:
Published in early 2000, these books are historical fiction based on the true story of 12 pioneer women who lost their husbands to cholera and faced the 1800's frontier on their own. Their journey takes them from a wagon train heading west to California where some settle and some move on. I particularly loved these books as the second and third in the series takes place in my own county, Shasta, and gives a good portrait of life in the mid 1850s town of what is now Old Shasta. The third book takes place in both Old Shasta, south to Sacramento, and north to Jacksonville, Oregon. Jane Kirkpatrick is an extremely talented writer.
Thanks for stopping by Two Dogs. Until next time, Shawna
Yes, finally, a date was set for a trip north into Oregon to visit a friend in Roseburg. The Boys and I left Friday after I got the last of the items onboard Miss Freedom, heading north on Hwy 89 to merge onto I-5. If it had been summer we would have taken a more meandering, less traveled path, but it wasn't and we didn't.
The trees that show color in the autumn were halfway between pretty and kind of dried up and dead looking. Pretty much half and half on most of the trees. The drought seems to have taken the life out of everything. Still, it was a nice drive.
When we arrived in Roseburg and pulled into my friend's driveway we were delighted to find Francesca's neighbor had several maple trees in various stages of fall glory. And they were not showing signs of the drought.
Once the boys and I got settled in we waited for her to get home from her job then, of course, there was all that catching up to do. And we did a good job of that!
Saturday morning we planned a little day trip to Bandon-By-The-Sea, a jaunt of about 70 miles if you go the direct route, but we decided it was a lovely day to do a little sight seeing so we went via Hwy 138/38 to Elkton following the scenic North Umpqua River. Loved this carved pole, one of the four that decorated each end/side of the bridge across the river.
We took in Fort Umpqua, a wonderful re-creation built with as many old techniques and skills as possible; pegs, hand-hewn timbers, etc.
The Monkey Puzzle Tree. I've seen these around the coast and inland a ways before. They always fascinate me. And the tips of the "leaves" are needle sharp!
At last we arrived in the quaint little town of Bandon and drove through "Old Town" and out where we could park and walk the beach. The wind was fierce and we did not get the photo of us we always take to document how we've grown, ummmm.......aged, but I did get a shot of the roiling surf and a sweet little pigeon who was either very confused about just what time of year it is or just plain crazy. She was perfectly content to just sit there on her basket nest watching the people come and go. Not sure which came first, the nest or the basket. I think she got some help from someone, what do you think?
A trip to Bandon is never complete without a stop at the Bandon Bakery for a cream puff so after a bite to eat at a local restaurant where we shared a table with a very charming Canadian and a local gentleman, we went straight for the puffs. Oh man. Heaven! I was good; only had one. :). I thoroughly enjoyed every last bit of it, and it wasn't until I was savoring the last bite that I realized I hadn't taken a photo of it. Oh well, probably a good thing I didn't. It might have been more than you could take. Yes, they are that good! :)
Some local art. And a sculpture made of garbage to bring awareness of the threat to wildlife, human life, and the eyesore garbage is to the environment.
Despite the biting wind, we had a wonderful time and Burger and The Chiweenie Brothers were three very tired pups. Guess we were pretty tired, too, because I didn't get a picture of the hounds!
Sunday and Monday of our little getaway will be the focus of the next post. Thanks for stopping by!
LOOK UP! Tomorrow morning (and Friday) the predawn sky has a treat for you. Check it out HERE and scroll down.
OH NO! The other van is gone. They must have been up and at 'em rather early. At least earlier than we cared to be. They were still there when I took the boys out for a quick potty run, but then we snuggled back under the blankets for a bit. I should have been bold the previous night. *sigh*.
The boys gobble their breakfast. I savor mine and linger over another cup of forbidden coffee. Yeah, the doc wants me to give up the java, too. I can cut down, but not sure I can quit altogether. The meat and dairy are a cinch compared to that insult.
Breakfast, second cups, and a little tidying done we go for a walk. The boys must have slept well; they are raring to go and we head the way of campsite number 5. Look at that! This one has easy access to the creek. I cut the walk short and we head back to our Vome, and I pack up. We snag number 5 and get settled in. We again attempt a walk and make it a long one. The boys are ready for a nap but change their minds once we walk down to the creek and I set up the tie outs. They have access to the water and begin checking it out. Charlie likes the water! I doubt he has ever seen a creek, being a former city street dog. You don't know the story of my rescue pups, do you? We'll have to change that this winter.
Fries (from Small Fry). Fries just goes so well with Burger, ya know?
Fries is curious as to why the other two are so fond of the water. He's not one to be cold, so he's content to watch.
We do take a short nap after their romp in the creek, then another walk. The air is scented with the smell of dry--very dry--pine, fir, and cedar. As we finish our long, leisurely walk and are heading back to camp we hear a vehicle coming up the road. It's the Forest Service, and I wave as he slows down and passes us. We catch up to him as he is finishing his inspection of the vault toilet. I comment on the fee being waived for this campground. He says it's because there is no water, but they are working on getting it repaired. He tells me they were always running out of water in this campground and found out someone was stealing the camp's water to irrigate their marijuana patch. And they caught him! For now they are considering the campground dispersed camping, hence no fee. We chat a bit more and the nice gentleman heads out. We head back to our spot by the creek and while away the rest of the afternoon.
Our view from the van
The air quickly turns cool as the sun goes down. Although there is a fire ring and some firewood someone left, I do not build a fire. It's just too dry. I know others do, but I just do not want to risk it. We live in California, known for it's wildfires, but we are in a four year drought on top of that. Too risky for me. We went through the hell of fires threatening our little town of Burney, burning homes in nearby Hat Creek and up on Day Road last year. They should forbid campfires here as they have in Oregon. Too many careless people. The devastation is not worth the comfort and ambience of a campfire at this time. Just my opinion folks. The boys and I stay out as long as we are halfway comfortable, go for another walks before we lose what light remains, then we head inside.
The evening is spent reading, studying the Benchmark Atlas for future trips, making lists, and watching a movie I downloaded onto the Kindle to view offline. It's an excellent, but sad, selection. Rabbithole if you are interested.
It was colder last night than on Tuesday night. I had to grab for an extra blanket in the wee hours of the morning and you couldn't get The Chiweenie Brothers out from under their warm, snug lair if you wanted to. Burger isn't one for being undercover, thankfully, and he's too big even if he did think it was his right. He curls up into a ball on top of the covers and snores away.
It's the usual morning routine of coffee, breakfast, and--um--more coffee. I walked the boys earlier and staked them out so I could get packed up. Everything is cleaned up and put away. It didn't take long. We are ready to go, but I am not ready to leave. I look over at the boys and Fries is worrying something. I go take a peek. A hedgehog! Fries has a hedgehog! No, not a real one, a stuffed one. But he thinks it's real and he is fierce in his determination to subdue this interloper. Go Fries! Funny the things you find.
Finally, I can put it off no longer and we must leave. No real reason to actually have to be home, but there are things I need to get done and I don't want to wait too long and end up being on the road after dark. I grab the boys, take one last look around, and we are off.
The scenery is pretty flat once we get back onto Highway 299 and head west toward home. Lots of big and small farms and ranches in Big Valley; some gorgeous and well kept, some dumpy but still alive, the effort put into the constant outside work not on the house.
The leaves are turning! I stop to take a couple of photos.
Just before we reached this pretty little scene, there were some metal sculptures that I wanted to photograph so I walked back from the only safe spot topark Miss Freedom to get them. The boys waited patiently in our Vome.