Thursday, September 16, 2021

All Settled In and Making Things

It took Bob and me pretty much all week to move our things into the motorhome, but it’s all done. Since that time we have remained busy. One of the ice plants in front of our house didn’t survive the summer heat when the little tube bringing water to it got clogged. We have a battery-powered watering system to water a couple of time a week that worked quite well otherwise. Bob dug up the dead plant and replaced it with another yellow-blossomed ice plant, and also added a pink one in the center. I’ll post photos when it starts to bloom. We also put out our little wooden pig that we bought in Mexico.

With all the improvements we’ve made on this place we hadn’t yet tackled the bedroom closet doors. They are old, rather ugly sliding doors that scrape across the bottom of the track each time we want to open the closet. We had resigned ourselves to losing the drawers under the base of the closet, too. But then Bob found doors from Home Depot that can be special-ordered to the exact size we need, so the drawers will be staying and there will be minimal work to install everything. The doors should be here in about three weeks.

The other big ticket item we have in the works is having the two chairs in the motorhome recovered. My reclining chair has taken quite a beating over the last few years and the faux leather upholstery has been flaking off. We found a local upholstery fellow that has 30 years of experience and next week we’ll drive the RV to his shop so he can re-cover them. It should only take a few days to do it, too.

On our last week of traveling I started a little pin loom weaving project using a Wunderwag 6” pin loom, and I finished it in just a few days. 

I’ve been sewing a lot. My nice Bernina 480 sewing machine has been in the shop for its annual Spa Day and I came across a simpler machine that will be a backup when I can’t use it. The new one is weighs less and will be handy if I take a sewing class. It’s a Bernina 215 and she’s a sweet little thing. She takes all of my 480’s feet, too, so that saves a lot of money. I sewed up this little bag to hold all of her parts.

I also made this little Happy Cat, which is a free online pattern by Ann Wood, found here. Oh, and see the black stand that raises up the TV so that our DVD player slides underneath? Bob made that, too.

Bob has his lathe set up and made me this beautiful pressing tool out of a piece of Osage orange wood he had. This is nice to do a quick press of seams without going over to an iron as I sew things up.

And lastly, I made this knitted hat and scarf set for Jillian out of some yarn I had in my stash. It was a very soft, squishy knit.

So you see we have been very busy, indeed!

Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Nevada to Mesa, AZ

I don’t know what I expected of Nevada. Actually, yes I do know. In 2016 we traveled from California to Las Vegas before moving on to Utah. So we expected the whole of Nevada to look like the area around Vegas. And there I was very wrong.

Except for Las Vegas, Nevada is beautiful. Highway 93 is smooth and well kept, and there are mountains everywhere. We were enchanted. We left Hollister, Idaho and traveled south to Ely, NV (pronounced “eelee.”) Our campsite that night was in a KOA and was surrounded by mountainous views. Our only issue with it was that the elevation of 6600 feet made us gasp for breath at times. From Ely we continued south to Las Vegas, and then on to Congress, AZ, spending one night each time. And this morning we left Congress to arrive at our park in Mesa where we will be for the next seven months or so. We’ve only been away for five months but it feels much longer than that to me. And now we have the task of moving everything from the motorhome to the house in the next seven days.

Here are photos of our journey as we moved south.

Approaching Ely, NV

South of Ely, NV

Approaching Las Vegas with smoke from wildfire clouding the view

We pass the Hoover Dam, with Lake Meade just barely visible on our left

Mountains south of Las Vegas

We enter Arizona and see our first saguaro cacti

Congress, AZ

The weather has cooled down a little, from temps in the 100s to the 90s. We are grateful for every degree dropped as we move our things in!

Saturday, August 28, 2021

GrandCamp Idaho and Visiting with Family

Bob and I traveled the last leg of our trip to Idaho last Friday, passing the Snake River as it disappeared and reappeared alongside the highway.

We settled into our campground in Caldwell and welcomed daughter Emily, her husband Anthony, and their four beautiful children with a cookout. The children have gotten so big since I saw them in March, and the boys looked huge to us!

After a nice visit, the parents and two youngest returned home leaving us with Quinn and Eve for two days. They have already returned to school so we had to make the most of the weekend. It was so good to spend time with them! They played in the campground pool and game room, and we did lots of crafts…paper dolls, puzzles, rubber band bracelets, Shrinky  Dinks, and painting. And of course we had s’mores!

Later in the week Bob gussied up Emily’s mantle by adding an inner frame to surround the newly painted black wall. Even though it is shallow, the new trim gives a feeling of depth and looks so nice. 

The week went all too quickly, ending up with a meal at Casa Del Matador and a walk around the Village in Meridian. What a fun time we had!

Then we were off again, this time heading south. Originally we had made reservations in Oregon and Washington but the fires out there were causing real problems with air pollution and we decided to return to Mesa early. It has been hazy since we got to Idaho and the haze is worse the farther west you go.

We spent our first night at Buster’s Restaurant and Saloon in Hollister, Idaho, where they have an RV park out back. We had a pull-thru site just steps from the Saloon, and Bob spent quite a bit of time chatting with the owner who dreams of retiring to the road in a motorhome he is working on.

I’ve been working on these knitted fish wash cloths, and also and using my 6” pin loom to make squares for  baby blanket (pics of the blanket to come later.)

It will only take us a total of four nights to get back to Mesa, and I’m looking forward to getting back and settling in. We changed time zones again as we entered Nevada so we are now on Mountain Time, three hours behind our family and friends on the East Coast.

Thursday, August 19, 2021

The road to Logan, UT

On Tuesday night we had strong winds until about midnight. Our RV was rocking and the slide-out covers were flapping. Fortunately the winds stopped for Wednesday but then it started to rain and we had light rain most of the day.

On Wednesday morning Bob and I left Rock Springs, WY for Logan, UT. It was about 180 miles but the trip took over four hours because of the mountain driving we had to do. Whenever we go over mountains I  prepare ahead of time by deflating the Sleep Number mattress so it doesn’t pop. This is a necessity. We also have to be aware when opening jars and plastic bottles the next day because air pressure builds up and we can get a little spray. Just one of those little things most people never have to deal with!

Bob and I noticed a lot of these little silo-shaped structures in the fields outside of Rock Springs but couldn’t figure out what they were.

Then I remembered that our friend Retha had shown me how to use Google Lens, a feature of Google Photos. So I snapped a picture and immediately Google Lens identified these structures as fracking equipment. And now we know. Thanks, Retha!

We passed through Bear Lake in Utah, which is an amazing turquoise color, caused by the calcium carbonate (lime) in the water. The wind had picked up and there were whitecaps in the water.

Once past Bear Lake the road took us on a winding pass through mountains. The canyons we drove through were beautiful and I briefly fantasized about living here in a cute little cabin on a mountain. Except I’m going to bet dollars to doughnuts the winters here are brutal.

We are only in Logan for one night before moving on. Only two more travel days until we see my daughter, son in law, and their four beautiful children!

Tuesday, August 17, 2021

Cheyenne, WY to Rock Springs, WY

I don’t have a lot to say about Cheyenne since it was only a one night stop. Cheyenne is a lot like Nebraska…flat lands. One issue we ran up against was that the park’s water pressure was higher than any park we’ve seen so far. It actually blew the valve off our hot water heater, so Bob had to go looking for a new one. It’s a good thing he’s handy! I don’t know how RVers manage if one of them isn’t a fixer.

I did finish knitting my washcloth, a pattern I found on Ravelry that’s called “Zinnia.” It’s very pretty but I wasn’t crazy about the process of making this one; a lot of yarn-overs and knit-two-togethers with very little plain stitch knitting. And constant counting. I guess I was just in the mood for something more mindless.

On Monday we left Cheyenne and travelled about 280 miles to Rock Springs, which is where we started seeing real topological changes.

We are staying at an event center in town, where we have the most wonderful views of the mountains.

This morning (Tuesday) Bob, Auggie, and I left the RV at 6:30 am to see some wildlife. The sun was just coming up as we drove.

Soon we turned off the highway to a dirt road that was well maintained, and started our 90 minute drive along Wild Horse Loop. We saw pronghorns, sage grouse, and finally, wild horses! It’s a beautiful drive and we did not see another car the whole way.

The scenery was lovely, too, with beautiful vistas.

On Wednesday we leave for Logan, Utah. We’ll be taking a route that avoids the fire just east of Salt Lake. City.

Sunday, August 15, 2021

Ogallala, NE

Our trip from Lincoln on the eastern end of Nebraska to Ogallala, about an hour or so east of the western end was uneventful. Nebraska is big and wide, and the topography gradually changed from the wide-open and flat farmlands to rolling hills.

It was an easy trip, all highway except for a couple of miles at the beginning and 3/4 of a mile at the end. Getting closer to Idaho!

I have not been crafting much so I pulled out my tatting shuttle and made a tiny heart. It may go on a piece of stationery one day.

I’m also starting a little knitting project since I haven’t made a dishcloth in a while. 

Today we are headed for Cheyenne, Wyoming for the night. We’ve never camped in Wyoming although we’ve driven through parts of it.

Saturday, August 14, 2021

Bob the Birthday Boy

We took a short break from driving yesterday so Bob wouldn’t have to drive, and to celebrate his birthday. We decided to visit a Granite City Food & Brewery, which apparently is a chain with locations in 11 states. Reviews were good and so we gave it a try.

Bob had a turkey burger with pepper jack cheese, avocado, arugula, and red onion, plus waffle fries. I had an Impossible Burger and green beans with almonds, and we both enjoyed our lunch very much. The beer was good, too! As we were getting ready to leave we asked our waitress if she would mind taking our picture since it was Bob’s birthday, and she said, “Wait—don’t leave yet!” And ran off, reappearing a few minutes later with a birthday dessert. It was like a hot, soft chocolate chip cookie topped with vanilla ice cream. Yum!

We have been camping at the Lancaster Event Center for two nights in Lincoln, NE, which is a place we’ve stayed at before. While there’s only water and electrical hookups, the manager gave us the code for the (free) laundry which is usually reserved for people staying a week or longer. That allowed us to wash all our clothes and not overfill the gray water tank.

Today we are driving across Nebraska, 289 miles to Ogallala and changing time zones again. We’ll be on mountain time, two hours behind eastern time for anyone who may want to call us.