Welcome to my blog: My sporadic and/or spontaneous postings of latest jewelry endeavours; sprinkled with family happenings; proud mama moments and things that I simply want to share.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Made it: It's Sunday

Quick Update:

Crossed the border on Friday afternoon.  Easy peasy.  Spent the night in Thunder Bay.  Saturday:  longest driving day.  Not much between Thunder Bay and Sault Ste. Marie; quick stop at Terrace Bay for and actual  restaurant "homemade lunch" (frozen pizza, burger and some poutine) :-(

Beautiful drive; saw a black bear run across the highway.  However, long drive. Hoped for a coffee stop, but none to be found, log stretches of nothing but bush.  So fueled on 2 candy bars (Crunchie and Crispy Crunch) and a 5 hour energy drink; pushed through to the Sault; arrived at about 7pm.

Aunt Barbara and Anthea (Dad's sister and niece) met us at our campsite with Chinese Food.  Nice.

Nearing end of this leg on the journey; the past few wet days and big mosquitoes have motivated to keep going.  Although laundry and showers have been had; things are starting to get a bit ripe here in the Rig.  Moving onto the cottage today; one more longish day of driving.

Wifi has been sporadic and sparse; so updates are same.

Smiling ....

Uncle Gerry in Thunder Bay

Aunt Barbara ann Anthea in Sault Ste. Marie

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Canada or Bust: It's Wednesday

National Park, National Monument blitz has whittled down; kind of ... Currently camp set up across the street from the Pipestone National Monument, home of the Red Stone Pipe.

Yellowstone, Devil's Tower, Mount Rushmore, Badlands all were on the list; and we checked them all.  Today's National Monument is a bonus.  We will check it out tomorrow.

Of all the RV Parks we have stayed at my favourites have been Arco, ID and Badlands, SD.  We have stayed at KOA mostly, as there is a given formula and known amenities; however, aside from the two mentioned have been a bit on the busy side for my liking. Not congestion, just large. more commercial; not as "cute".  Arco and Badlands both are family run with the owners living on site.  This I believe makes the difference; personal touches are everywhere; including quirky signs; grounds are clean and scenic.  They take the time to make you feel a part of their living space.

Tonight we hunker down at a private site in Pipestone; nice, and cute.  Marcus mimics me "Is this your style?"  It is.

A storm is brewing, thunder clouds threaten, crossing my fingers it does not pour.  The bit of rain we had driving the other day found it's way though the air vent on the ceiling.

Tomorrow: Duluth bound.

Marcus found a friend at Devil's Tower

Mount Rushmore

Roadside pic in Badlands

Pipestone RV Campground

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Canada or Bust Day - I don't know ...

Let's see ... I left off entering Idaho, since then we caught a bit of Montana (stayed at West Yellowstone, MT), crossed Wyoming and now, Monday evening, in South Dakota.

Lots of sites, driving and wildlife these past few days.  Elk, Bison and Bears, oh my!

We spent the day in Yellowstone Park, highlights:
- Fountain Paint Pots, Lower Geyser Basin
- Old Faithful Geyser; waited about 50 minutes and true to name .... water shooted up from the earth
- We saw elk and bison relaxing and grazing in the meadows and woods; and a grizzly bear at Lake Yellowstone, trying to cross over into the woods.

We descended Yellowstone National Park; but not before stopping at a point of the Continental Divide.  Always thought this was nifty; and recall seeing this as a kid in the Alberta Rockies. We spent the evening in Cody, WY. Windy night, dinner of chicken apple sausages and broccoli, treated ourselves to some Dairy Queen (our neighbour) and called it a night.

- Cody to Devil's Tower.  Worth the 60 minute detour, enroute to Mount Rushmore.  Very pretty and a bit spooky.  Can totally see why featured in Close Encounters of the Third Kind.
- Wanting a shorter drive on Tuesday, we pushed through to the KOA site at Mount Rushmore.  So here we are late arrival, will see Mount Rushmore tomorrow.  [weak wifi = no posting last night, as of this posting it is Tues night and we are in the Badlands]

Have not seen much of John this trip; he emerges from the loft, like the wildlife, I catch glimpses every now and then.  Mind you I am driving, and don't really have eyes in the back of my head.  We did have a great day in Yellowstone; both of us impressed with the Geysers, steam ponds and fountain paint pots at Lower Geyser Basin.

Still perfecting our set up and break down RV camping routine.  Have not left anyone or anything behind yet; Marcus ensures that our lifelines (electricity, water and sewage) are connected and more importantly disconnected.   In Lovell, WY Marcus cleaned the windshield, not an easy task for a young'un on this rig; next I'll have him checking the tire pressure and oil.  I posted a pic of Marcus and the windshield on Instagram and Facebook; so if browsing check out those spots for random pics and posts.

Papa and Ozzie conferring each day on their experiences.  I hope you have been reading their blog:   http://onshamansrock.blogspot.com

A few words on managing this rig:
- If an exit, point of interest, scenic view etc ... has been missed, it has been missed. No going back.
- "Hey, pullover a sec", words I do not hear.  Good thing there is a loo on board.
- Adhere to speed control signs, ie 35mph for curve can be done at 37 or 38, but a few more mph I'm sure you would be banking it on 2 wheels, just sayin'.
- Prius, Minis and Fiats pardon my sneer if you pull up and park in front of me, leaving me barely a gap to pull out.  I know you don't know better, I didn't, but now I have crossed over. 

Today I channel surfed the radio and figured when in Rome ... settled upon a Country Station.  I do not mind country but do not know country.  My untrained ear thought all male vocal songs were Scott McCreadie and female, Carrie Underwood  (ok, not that untrained -  I do have some George, Willie and Reba in my music folder).  

I'll leave you with two songs (links to vids) that entertained me:

(chew tabaca, chew tabaca, chew tabaca, spit ...)

Lower Geyser Basin

Watching Old Faithful erupt
Father's Day at Old Faithful 
Yellowstone Park

Friday, June 14, 2013

Canada or Bust Day 3

Buh-bye Nevada, Hello Idaho!  Another big driving day; push to make it to the next state.  "... Sage brush-y fields for-ever ... " in Northern Nevada; I like sage; however after today, I think in moderation, strawberry sounds good ...

Today's Highlights:
- coffee made in my Chemex (visualize Breaking Bad)
- leaving Nevada
- discovering and exploring Craters of the Moon, lava fields bubbled up; appeared out of nowhere
- Peaceful rig, save for the on the move mode of rattles and hums.  Papa, John, Marcus and Ozzie all well-behaved.

Oh, ya' and Trucker Mom, still smiling ... (honk, honk!)

Coffee time 
See ya' Nevada

Lava Fields, Craters of the Moon

Our view from Arco, Idaho, KOA

Hill of Numbers
 (story is that highschool graduating class paints last 2 digits of graduating year)

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Canada or Bust Day 2

The Open Road is where it's at.  Whew, driving the RV from Fremont to Orinda and out shaved years off my life.  What a difference a day makes.  Day two; although day one felt never-ending; an end of the build up, and the start of the journey.  

Now sitting here in Winnemucca, NV, 8:30p.m., a full day of driving experience logged, I am ready to take on Day 3.  Somewhere on the east side of Truckee, I had worked up to 75 mph; battled the windy open terrain; good thing we had the extra 100lbs of Ozzie on board, kept from blowing off the road.  My nerves and upper arms got a workout.  By the end of the day I was passing fuel tankers, just short of giving them horn arm pumps.

Time to change hats from Trucker Mom to RV Coordinator and Cook.  Settled into Winnemucca, NV, about 3 hours east of Truckee (drive felt like 6).  Ozzie walked, then a dinner of caesar salad and hamburgers.  All good.

I do have a good team aboard the rig:  My Dad, Jim: an excellent Co-pilot, lane changer and backer upper advisor.  Marcus: a solid Mechanical Engineer, has figured out every switch, pump, hose and how they all work; also a very good Rv Coordinator; packed all the cupboards and can find anything in a snap. John: at the ready to jump in when called upon; mostly today Navigation consultant.  Ozzie is quite attentive; keeping me in his sights, however I think that was more out of fear of being left somewhere.  By 4pm he left my side, and took a snooze. 

So in the words of recently passed Stompin' Tom, we are: "Goin down the Hiway smiling"

I hope to pepper this blog with journey updates; however my Dad will be blogging more consistently.  Check out his blog at:  http://onshamansrock.blogspot.com

The Rig Crew

4pm Snooze

Winnemucca View