Saturday, April 30, 2011

Beverly Beach State Park, OR

Today's Photo - haystack Rock, Cannon Beach, OR

Just getting up early enough doesn't always give you the magic light. Although I watched the sun come up on the Cape Disappointment Lighthouse, it was not a very exciting image. I did find another direction to shoot the North Head Light. Not a majestic location as the Cape Disappointment light, but still a nice place to put a lighthouse!

I used the campground showers this morning - saves filling up the grey water tank in the Escape, and cleaning up a wet bath. For those that don't know what a wet bath is, because the Escape is rather small, the toilet, bathroom sink & shower are all combined in one space, and a small one at that. At least it has one of each & they are usable when necessary. So, the good thing is the campground has a nice roomy, warm shower. The bad thing - I usually don't wear my watch to the shower, and hung it on a hook in the shower stall. You guessed it - I left it behind. Only an inexpensive Timex, but it had an expansion band that is hard to find & one that I have worn for years. Oh well, time to shop for a new one.

My first stop today was at Cannon Beach to take a photo of Haystack rock. It is an impressive pile of dirt! I also stopped at a pull out a bit further south of Cannon Beach for another photo. After that it was on to Tillamook & the Tillamook Cheese Factory. I didn't take the official tour, but did check out the observation deck to watch them packaging their cheese. Of course I did pick up a couple of blocks of my favorites.

On the way out I met a family that was checking out the Escape. It attracts quite a bit of attention since there aren't all that many small fiberglass trailer manufacturers, and Escape is one of the smaller ones. I don't mind showing it off to anyone interesting, although Tammy did mention that I may get sick of all the questions. So far, no problem!

The road into Tillamook was very rough, and one of the overhead doors popped open. All that fell out was some fruit, but with some of the sections it could have been a disaster. I suspect the orange got banging back & forth hard enough to push it open...

The original plan was to stop at South Beach State Park for the night, but as I was passing the sign for Beverly Beach State Park a few miles north of Newport it indicated that there were still open sites, so rather than take the chance that South Beach would be full, I stopped at Beverly. I'm in H5, a nice pull through site that is a long way from the beach, but I don't plan of going swimming! $22.00 for the night with water & electric. Miles for today - 194.7, trip total 3809.8.

I'm planning to head further south tomorrow & stop to see the Sea Lion Caves near Heceta Beach.  I don't have any serious plans for stops after that, but I'll look for interesting places.

Till then -

Friday, April 29, 2011

Cape Disappointment State Park

Today's Photo - Morning Light at the Hoh Rain Forest

No photos tonight (I added it on Saturday) - I only have a cell connection, and it is super slow - 43K (worse than dial up!)  I'll add at least one when I get a better connection.  It figures that photos would be out - I mentioned last post about morning light & it was there at the Hoh campground this morning.  Oh well, you are going to just have to wait.

Today's mileage was 194.7, all on US 101 for a trip total of 3615.1.  The MPG are up a bit to 13.8.  Nothing to write home about, but better than a Class A making 8MPG...

I have reached the southern most part of Washington State & stopped for the night at Cape Disappointment State Park.  $23.00 for full hookups. There are some great locations for photographing the Cape Disappointment Lighthouse.  I hope to get back to a couple of them either around sunset tonight or early in the morning.  Check out is at 1:00, so there is plenty of time.

I bought a 2 1/2" memory foam topper for the bed - I think I mentioned that the cushions are designed to sit on & are too hard for comfortable sleeping.  The topper had to be cut to fit - I bought a cheap electric carving knife to trim it (one of the best ways other than a hot wire to cut soft foam).  We will see if there is an improvement tonight.  

I also cooked my first full meal in the trailer - I've been eating either sandwiches of soup, etc but decided to make spaghetti & sausage complete with sauce (well, jar sauce, not my infamous homemade).  Not bad, although cleaning up in a 12" sink is a little tough.

Tomorrow it is off to Oregon.  Till then!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Hoh Rain Forest

Today's Photo - A Stop Along US 101 On Lake Crescent.

Actually, it might be called a snow forest - they had a couple of inches last night.  According to the only other person in the campground, the sunrise was beautiful.  At this point the snow is off the roads, the trees, and most of the ground that isn't shaded.  Of course, there is a lot of shade!
I'm in site 25 at the Hoh Campground.  It's self paying since there are no rangers or campground hosts around.  With my Senior Pass it is only $6.00 for the night; one of the advantages of being over 62.  Of course I don't have any water or electricity so I'll get to see how things work without it.  My lighting doesn't draw all that much since it's all LED, but the cell amp & furnace are power hogs.  I'll shut down the amp after posting.

It was an interesting drive on US 101.  About 25 miles north of the Hoh turnoff I hit a wall of hail.  The road went from wet to 1" of ice (at 60mph) Very exciting! Although the RAV4 did some sliding, the Equilizer Hitch, a straight section of road & very careful slowing down to 20mph did the trick.  I sure don't want to do that too often.  Since it is pouring & my mileage information is in the car, I'm going to wait until it stops (probably in the morning) to post todays mileage. The sun came out for a bit & recharged my batteries as well as letting me out of the trailer without drowning, so I'm adding the mileage tonight.  96.4 for the day & a trip total of 3420.4.

I did get out to shoot a couple of images before it started to rain again - I hope it will be nicer in the morning since this is a very pretty location.

You know, even with the rain it doesn't get much better than this.  A quiet location, a gently running river 20' from the trailer, and a wonderful view. More photos at my LakeshoreImages Blog.

Till then -

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Port Angeles, WA

Today's Photo - A Stump at Washington Park, WA

Another early morning - I don't quite know how over this trip I have shifted back to pre retirement waking hours, but I guess it will be useful when I start taking sunrise photos.  Couldn't do one if I wanted to since, although not raining at 6:30AM, it was cloudy enough that there wasn't any sunrise.

Washington Park provides an audio extra - jets going overhead throughout the evening. Sounded like military - they were flying too low for commercial. There is a Naval Air Station on nearby Whidbey Island; I suspect that is where they are from. At least they stopped by bedtime.

Washington Park Loop Road
I went for a walk (I promised myself I would keep up my 2 miles a day walk as often as possible on the trip) around 7:00 on the park's loop road.  Met quite a few other walkers - they close the road to vehicles until 10:00AM so it is a popular place.

 Took a couple of photos of an interesting tree hanging over the bay.  Couldn't quite get what I wanted, but here it is
Tree Along Loop Road
After getting back from my walk I decided to tackle the cabinets.  I loaded them rather quickly while waiting to get checked out on the trailer, and have since spent far too much time trying to find things.  In fact, my Melita coffee funnel seemed to have disappeared!  So, I emptied them two at a time onto the bed & put everything back in logical order.  We'// see if it works - I had to do it soon or I'd get used to the disorder!  I did find the coffee funnel.

After that it was off to Olympia National Park, Actually, with a couple of stops, I decided there wasn't enough time to get to the Hoh campground, the one I wanted to stop at, so I stopped in Port Angeles at the KOA campground. I'm in Site 19.  111.1 miles today for a trip total of 3324.

Till tomorrow!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The Second Night

Today's Photo - The RAV4 & The Escape 17 at Washington Park, Anacortes, WA

Last night I already started off skipping something I swore I was going to do - take a photo of every campsite.  One of the problems trying to figure out where I've been would be much easier if I recorded where I stayed, but I forgot to either record it or photograph the site.  Tammy of Escape Industries made a reservation for me at the nearest campground -  Cottonwoods Meadows just across CA1 from the plant.  I was in site 36, not the greatest campground or site, however it was pull through which makes it easier for a new trailer puller!

Tonight I am in Site C18 in Washington Park, Anacortes, WA.  The park is next to the ferry to the San Juan Islands, an area we visited during our 2004 trip.  We stopped here at Washington Park, but just to each lunch, not camp.  The campground is very shady - my solar is only putting out .1 amps.  Beautiful large trees, moss & ferns on the forest floor, and the sunlight (yes, it isn't raining!) streaming through the trees makes for a pretty scene.

Washington Park, Anacortes, WA

Washington Park, Anacortes, WA

Only fault I can find is the sites are a bit muddy.  Although it isn't raining now, it looks like it did earlier in the day.  I need to get a mat for the trailer entrance, and probably a set of shoes that come on & off easier than sneakers.

As to driving, the trailer pulls great.  Just as if it was glued to the car.  As to mileage, I hope to do better on better roads than I took to get here - I dropped from 23.5mpg without the tow to 14mpg.  Oh well, only about 10,000 miles to go! Speaking (well, typing) of miles, today was 76.9 miles & a trip total of 3212.9.

Time to make dinner & relax for the rest of the day.  I got email from my friends that were going to come to Seattle next week, but they won't be able to make the trip from Colorado.  I think I'll head for Olympic National Park tomorrow.

Till then -

Monday, April 25, 2011

The Egg Really Has Hatched!

Today's Photo - My New Escape 17B.

Well I made it to Chilliwack.  I had a hard time convincing the Canadian Customs Official that I drove all the way from the east coast just to pick up a trailer, but she finally let me in.

Mileage for today was 63.4 & a total of 3136.0.

Reace & Tammy were great.  I did have to wait a bit since they were still finishing up the delivery of the morning trailer, but I spent most of the time moving things from the car to the trailer.  After the move one of the Escape team spent 2 hours going through every part of the trailer.  Although I have rented RVs in the past, much of what they covered was new or different.  I can't thank them enough for the complete job they did making sure I was properly oriented & comfortable with the trailer & its equipment.

Hard to believe everything fit, but there is lots of storage room in the Escape.  So much that it will probably take me half way to home to figure out where everything is.  I tried to fill the cabinets with an order in mind, but the last two items I went looking for while making dinner don't seem to be anywhere! Oh well, it will give me something to do.

For some reason, Dreamweaver, the software I use for my main site won't connect from the campground so I will have to wait until I hit the US to post the rest of the photos I took of the trailer & the new Escape shop. Once they are posted I'll add a link here as well as on that day's page. I know a couple of Escape owners wanted to see photos of the new storage box on a 17 so I took a bunch of them.

A reboot solved the posting problem, so the pictures of the New Escape plant & my new trailer are now posted at Day 8 of my trip journal on Lakeshoreimages.

So, after a year of putting things together, I'm spending my first night in the Escape!

Till tomorrow -

Heading for Canada

This Morning's Photo - A Chipmunk

Just a short post.  I'm on my way into Canada, and since the cost of data on American wireless plans (both AT&T & Verizon) in Canada is very expensive, I won't be posting unless I find a WiFi site.  I expect to be back in the US in a couple of days...

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Bellingham, WA

Today's Photo - Mt Rainier (I'm pretty sure)

I've always seen Mt Rainier from the west, where there is less stuff in the way, so I won't swear this is Rainier, but it's my best guess after looking at the coordinates of where I took the photo & using a Google Map of the area.  In any case, it was the last chance to see it; the rain and fog moved in a few minutes later. Because of the rain, I didn't bother to take the loop through the park.  Maybe I can make the trip on my way back south from Chilliwack.

I did see something I wish other states did - along I90 there were signs identifying the crops growing in the fields along the road.  I appreciate knowing what is growing in the various fields I pass.  It is easy to identify things like corn or sunflowers, particularly late in the season, but the rest of the crops are just green. They may have only put the signs up because I90 is a major road, but it is the only place I've seen the signs.  Thank you whoever did it!

Today was an early stop.  I reached Bellingham, WA around 1:00 and since I wanted to spend the night in the US & hit Chilliwack Monday, it was a good place to stop.  I checked with Reace at Escape & they are doing a delivery in the morning so I'm scheduled for the afternoon. Today's mileage is only 254.3 and a total of 3072.6 for the trip.

It was time for an oil change for the RAV4 so I made a quick stop at Jiffy Lube.  They still had me in their computer even though my last time with them was the 2003 Town & Country a few years ago. It is pretty amazing how long your information floats around in company's databases.  I stopped at a Safeway, a store I haven't visited since our cross country trip in 1996.  They had a buy one, get one free for some vitamins, and although I didn't have my card, all it took was a phone number & it worked. Not sure if that's a good thing or a bad thing, but it saved me some $. I need to save every penny possible - the RAV4 is going to need new tires before the trip is over & the run flat Bridgestone tires on it are expensive.  Probably hard to find as well.  I probably should have changed them before picking up the trailer, however they aren't quite down to needing to be replaced.  With only 19463 miles on them they should have a long way to go, but from what I've read about them, they wear fairly fast. Oh well, that's a future problem!

I'm in the Bellingham, WA Comfort Inn, quite a bit more expensive than last night, which, by the way, was another cheap motel with a great bed.  Only problem is it was fairly high off the floor.  OK for me, but if I was still traveling with Carol I'm not sure she would have been able to climb into it!

In any case, I can use the extra time to catch up on bill paying, etc.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Over the Passes

Today's Photo - Moonset over Cardwell, Montana.

I love the story of Ansel Adams taking one of his most famous photos, Moonrise, Hernandez, New Mexico, 1941.  It is one of my favorites & of course this is no where near the caliber of that or any of his images, but I couldn't help thinking of it while driving along I90 this morning.

Here is another stop for the moon & mountains:

It was a cold, crisp, sunlit morning; 27°.  I'm glad I stopped at a Walmart & bought a scraper - there was a layer of ice & snow on the RAV4.  The Bozeman Days Inn does a cooked to order hot breakfast that was excellent.  After that it was off to Butte, MT and the various passes between Bozeman & Washington state.  I didn't need to worry about them, even though I talked with a couple of people that had to wait a couple of days before they could cross.  Today it was crystal clear, both the road & the skies.

I made a short stop to take a photo of the mountains outside of Bozeman. I believe is part of the Tobacco Root range; someone can correct me if I'm wrong.  In any case, no photograph does it justice - If I stayed in Bozeman for a couple days I sure I could come up with something without a telephone pole growing out of the center, but I was still in a hurry to get to the pass at Butte while the sky was clear. In any case, Bozeman is surrounded by mountains, most of which are snow covered this time of year.  Very pretty!

The rest of the day was fairly uneventful, other than a nostalgic stop at Missoula.  My daughter & her husband both obtained their master's degrees in International Conservation at the University of Montana at Missoula.  It was one of their favorite places, and we visited them as often as we could while they were there.  In fact, they got married just north of Missoula on the shores of Lake McDonald in Glacier National Park. 

So, I had to give Karin a call while stopped for lunch.  I also took a photo while leaving the city:

I stopped for the night (well, it was actually late afternoon, but the days that add a time zone are an hour longer than normal) at The Interstate Motel in Moses Lake, WA. I drove 498.9 miles today for a trip total of 2808.3 miles.  

If the weather is good tomorrow I'll take a break from I90 to visit Mount Rainier.  The last time I saw the mountain was in 1969 when I was stationed at Fort Lewis after returning from Viet Nam.  Unfortunately, the forecasts I've heard so far predict rain all over the state, but one can hope.  

Till Tomorrow - 

Friday, April 22, 2011


Today's Photo - A Smiling Elk

No pictures today, so I pulled a favorite from a past trip.  The smiling elk was at the National Bison Range outside of Missoula, MT.

Although I did see a little snow yesterday, today I saw more.  The staff at the Spearfish Super 8 suggested staying on I90 rather than the shorter route on US 212, so I took them up on it.  I don't know what 212 was like, but sections of I90 were almost whiteouts.  I did see one section where a couple of cars spun out, but for the most part it was drivable, although sometimes at 30mph.

The wind was interesting.  There were fairly strong crosswinds yesterday - I watched a motorcycle driving along on a straight section leaning sidewise into the wind about 15 degrees!  Today it was 40mph headwinds.  My miles per gallon went from an average for the first 1800 miles of 24.7 to 23.5 in just 200 additional miles.  Part of that might be the 70 mph I was driving most of the time, and I also have a feeling the 85 octane fuel that sells for regular doesn't go as far as the standard 87 we use in the east. In any case, I made far more refueling stops than on previous days.

I stopped for the night at the Bozeman, Montana Days Inn.  466.5 miles today, and 2309.4 miles so far for the entire trip.  According to Matilda, my GPS we only have 800 miles & 12 and 1/2 hours to go to Chilliwack.  Of course that will depend on whether or not I can get across the Continental Divide tomorrow.  I checked the weather at Elk Park Pass near Butte, and it looks OK, although the pass web cameras show lots of snow. Right now the roads are clear here in Bozeman, but there is a couple of inches on the ground & it's snowing.

As to boring housekeeping stuff - my room is just down the hall from the guest washing machines, so I did 5 day's worth of laundry.

Till Tomorrow -

Thursday, April 21, 2011

The Badlands

Today's Photo The Badlands National Park, SD

After a cold night at the Budget Inn (I know why they are a budget inn - they don't provide heat), I continued to head west on I90.  I was far enough ahead that I decided to make a couple of stops.  The first was at the Corn Palace in Mitchell, SD.  The last time I was there was in 1996 on a cross country trip with my late wife & our friends Don & Anne Guido.  It sure looks like the area has been developed since then.  Hardly room to take a picture, but I tried!

The Corn Palace, Mitchell, SD

After that I decided to take the loop road through the Badlands National Park.  We also stopped there on the 1996 trip; there are photos on the same page as the Corn Palace. 
The Badlands, Badlands National Park, SD

The last stop was at Wall Drugs.  After years of seeing hundreds of Wall Drug signs along US2, 20, I90, and probably any road that comes within 200 miles of the place, I decided to stop. The park loop rejoins I90 at the town of Wall, so I was already there.  Anyhow, it is probably the biggest tourist trap I've seen, & I've see lots of them.  I didn't buy anything, but took a photo of the front (well, one of the fronts) of the place.

Wall Drugs, Wall, SD

After that it was back on I90, eating up many miles (today was a total of 510.8 miles & 1842.9 miles for the trip) until I decided to stop in Spearfish, SD for the night.  I'm in a Super 8, much nicer than the one in Kent, Ohio.  The only problem is the clerk said they are expecting 5" of snow tomorrow.  I don't mind driving in snow, after all, I'm from Oswego, one of the snow capitals of the east, but I don't want to get stuck, unable to get across the Continental Divide.

I guess I'll worry about that in the morning!

Till tomorrow - 

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Iowa is Flat!

Today's Photo - A Farm in Iowa

Looking out over a field in the midwestern states can be a shock for those growing up in the East.  A photograph doesn't do it justice, although I also have a pan of the same location at my Lakeshoreimages Trip Journal (I'm not sure why I'm doing two journals, other than I expect to put far more images on the LakeshoreImages site once I get to the Southwest).

I also took a photo of an interesting change since the last time I went through this area.  The tallest objects are no longer grain elevators.  Electric generating windfarms are all over the place:

When I crossed the Mississippi, there was quite a bit of flooding.  Iowa Public Radio stated it was the 6th worst recorded flooding. I also have a pan of the river at the LakeshoreImges site.

Although I'm not quite ready to throw Matilda, my GPS in the Mississippi, it's close.  The via from hell that was giving me problems yesterday is still causing problems.  I'm hundreds of miles past the troublesome via but the GPS still wants me to go back to it before I go any further.  I don't think so! The only solution I could come up with was to dump the old route & make a new one.  Since the old one took a couple of hours adding all the vias necessary to keep it off the interstates, I suspect there were just too many of them for the Garmin.  I tried to modify the file using Road Trip on the Mac, and the new download to the GPS just crashed to GPS. I gave up & did a quick new route directly to the GPS sitting in a MacDonalds, and included a big section of I90 to cut a day or two off the time so that I can hit Chilliwack at a good time for the people at Escape.  A GPS is handy, lots of fun, but you had better keep a paper map handy!

And an added note - No serious rain today.  A few drops, but the wipers never hit high.  In fact, there were breaks of sunshine!  I still didn't get to use my new sunglasses because the breaks were gone by the time I got them out but there was some sunshine.  There was also snow on the ground.  The roads were clear, but Spring hasn't quite sprung in northern Iowa.

So, today was 415.7 miles for a trip total of 1332.  I'm at the Budget Inn in Fairmont, MN, exit 102 on I90, freezing in my motel room.  I think I know how they afford their cheap rates!

Till tomorrow!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Rain, Rain, Rain!

Today's Photo - The Blueberries I'm going to miss this year!

Day 2 was a long one.  Drove 502.8 miles, for a two day total of 913.5. I know I said I was going to take it easy, but two things came up.  First, I emailed Tammy, one of the owners of Escape Trailer Industries, and she asked that I not stop to pick up my trailer on the 29th since they already have 3 being delivered that day.  So, I need to get there a bit earlier than planned since the 29th is a friday & I want to be in Seattle by the second or third.

I hate to admit the other reason, but as usual, I got lost driving around Chicago.  It seems to always happen, no matter how much I plan.  This time I can blame it on both the GPS (poor Matilda) and myself - one of my vias I used to try to force the GPS to take US 30 instead of I80 or I90 managed to be a bit off the road, and the GPS lost US 30 completely.  It kept insisting on backtracking to the location no matter how hard I tried to convince it that it was wrong. I finally gave up on it & used a paper map, but by the time I got done fooling around it was late enough that I called it a night & let the GPS do a search for a motel.  I'm at the Mendota, IL Comfort Inn at the intersection of 34 & I39.

I'll be back on US30 tomorrow, and see how the timing goes - I may have to move onto I90 to add a couple of days, but so far I'm ahead of schedule.

Not much to photograph today - that's why there is only one of my stock photos included in the post.  I did go through an Amish section of Indiana - there were almost as many horses as cars along the road.  There were also a number of them riding bicycles.  Lots of farms, but very little activity - everything is too wet. It rained all day, with heavy thunderstorms towards the end.  Right now there is thunder & lighting, and, at times, rain so heavy it is undriveable.  Glad I made it to the motel!

I do remember a trip in the past where we stopped at a section of highway where it passes over a railroad track - it was the highest point (other than grain elevators) in every direction.  Although it wasn't raining where we were, there were a couple of thunderstorms in the distance in a couple of directions - very impressive to watch. We don't get all that many thunderstorms in Oswego, and when we do unless they are over the lake there isn't all that much to see.  I did get a good photograph of a strike during the Harborfest Fireworks a couple of years ago:

Lightning Strike During Harborfest

I hope I finally get a chance to wear my sunglasses sometime on the trip!

Till Next Time -

Monday, April 18, 2011

Day One - Kent, Ohio

Today's Photo - Lower Falls, Letchworth State Park, NY

I was off at the crack of 8:00AM. Actually, that is an early start - many of our trips ended up starting at the crack of Noon (Right, Anne).  Anyhow, it was cold & rainy most of the day.  I decided to stop at Letchworth, and got a break - the rain stopped.  The Genesee River through the park was raging.  I'm sure it has been higher, but this is as much water as I've seen.  In fact, most of the rivers I drove along today were overflowing their banks.  It has been a wet spring.

Here is another one of the lower falls:
Lower Falls, Letchworth State Park

There is a railroad trestle going over the river just above the upper falls - I've often seen people walking across it so I checked it out.  There are many "No Trespassing" signs plastered over the path to the bridge as well as on it.  Still, there was a couple in the middle as a train started to cross.  There seems to be room for both, however it there was a wide load on the train, it is a long way down to the river, and, of course, three waterfalls to float over.  So, I just took a photo of the train & bridge.  It is noted as the "Longest & Highest" wooden railroad bridge in the country. 

The Portage Railroad Bridge

The path the GPS took me on to get back on my route included a stretch of Wiscoy Road (still in NY) which passes over Wiscoy Falls.  Of course I had to stop & take a picture:
Wiscoy Falls, Wiscoy, NY

I drove longer than I expected - Stopped in Kent, OH, for a total of 410.5 miles today.  I'm not planning to do that much every day, but it does put me a bit ahead of schedule.  More time to explore!

Till Next Time -

Sunday, April 17, 2011

It All Fit!

Today's Photo - I'm packed & Ready to Go!

As the caption says, the RAV4 is packed.  Wasn't sure everything would fit, but somehow I was even able to include the rest of my 12 pack of Landshark. Since I'm the only one here that drinks it, it won't go to waste.  I do appreciate all the room I had in the Town & Country minivan.  Even though I am only packing for one, the RAV4 is quite a bit smaller.  For most of our trips I managed to fill the minivans level with the rear window; the RAV4 looks to be about the same.

Oh, by the way, my winter coat is buried fairly deep in the car & it just started to snow!. Hey, it is the middle of April! Hopefully, I'll manage to drive out of the lousy weather.  It is suppose to be nice tomorrow.

My first stop will be at Letchworth State Park here in NY, providing it isn't raining, snowing, hailing, or whatever. I'd like to get a couple of new photos of the lower falls, hoping that the tree trunk in my 2009 photos has washed away over the winter.  I know it is natural, but the falls looks much better without it.

With all the recent rain, it may be interesting to see the river with more water than usual, although I have usually found that waterfalls photograph better under low water conditions. In any case, it will be worth a stop.

 From there it is into PA & heading west.  I'll probably post most days here at Jon's Journeys since that is the way I keep track of my mileage.  I hope to also keep a set of pages at my LakesideImages site, but will only update them when I have a good connection & a bunch of photos.

Till next time!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Back In Oswego

Today's Photo - Buttermilk Falls, Long Lake, Adirondacks, NY

I'm back in Oswego after a great week in DC meeting my new granddaughter.  This will probably be a first & last visit, at least for awhile.  I'm heading west for a couple of months, and, if things go as planned, Brian's company will be sending him & the family to Botswana for 2 years.  They both love Africa, having spent 2 years in Cameroon with the Peace Corps, and a half year in Ghana, but it will be a bit more difficult to visit!

It was a boring but uneventful drive back home.  Now it is time to pack for the trip to Chilliwack, BC to pick up the new Escape 17B.  That should be a more interesting trip.  First, it is planned for the "Red Roads", national & state highways rather than the interstates. Second, I don't have a schedule, so I can take as much or as little time as I please.

Right now I'm making the final decisions on what I want to take with me, and what I'll buy after settling into the trailer.  One problem is what ever I take has to fit in the back of the RAV4, at least for the trip out.  Good thing the rear seats fold to the floor! I have a bad tendency to take far more stuff than necessary for most trips - it was easier to get away with that in the minivans I have been driving for most of the previous cross country trips.

Time to start packing - Till next time!

Monday, April 11, 2011

The Waiting is Over!

Today's Photo - Brian, Zoe & Karin

Zoe App managed to avoid a "C" section by a couple of hours.  It was scheduled for 8:30 this morning, but  she decided to start her arrival around 11:00PM last night.  She was born at 9:20 this morning.  More photos of all at Zoe.

Valerie is busy getting used to her new sister:

Needless to say, there isn't much happening with the trailer this week.  I'll be back in Oswego towards the end of the week, pack things up, and head west.

Till next time -

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Still Waiting

Today's Photo - Karin is Still Waiting

Well, today is Karin's due date so it looks like she will be delivering at 8:30 tomorrow morning.  We went to the Apple store & I resisted an iPad, but Karin & Brian picked one out.  They had to order it on-line since the store was out of them, at least the AT&T 64GB version.  Since they will be traveling outside the US, the Verizon version would be a problem.

Today we went to the Farmer's Market & besides the farmers, saw "The Banjo Man" & "The Jazzy Juggler."

"The Banjo Man"

Karin, Valerie & Brian Watching "The Jazzy Juggler".

Juggling a Bat, Tennis Racket & a Bowling Ball!

After the Farmer's Market it was back to the apartment & moving cars around so there would be a parking space for Bert & Pam, Brian's parents.  Right now we are working through where we should go for dinner.  Actually, I shouldn't say "we" since I'm ducking out & letting them decide! 

I'll try to have some photos of Zoe tomorrow!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Washington, DC

Today's Photo - Granddaughter Valerie

I'm in Washington, DC visiting with my daughter Karin, her husband Brian and, of course, my granddaughter Valerie.  Karin is due to deliver my second granddaughter on Monday, at least if she doesn't have her before then.  Since Valerie was breach & a "C" section, the doctors won't let her go past her Monday due date.  She's hoping, but prepared to hit the hospital at 6:30AM on Monday.

I'm sure I will have some newborn photos to post sometime soon!  Meanwhile, Brian's father Bert & I will be putting together Valerie's new dollhouse.  She bought it herself with her Christmas & birthday money & is excited to be able to use it.  I also made her an "I'm 3.33333333" photo book of her & her life (at least up to 3.333333 years old) to give her something to keep her busy while Karin is in the hospital.  The book was done by Blurb & I'm pleased with the result.

Valerie getting so much stuff & attention I'm sure she will be sending Karin back to the hospital to have another one!

Till next time!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

More Escape Photos

Today's Photo - My Escape is getting closer!

Just a quick post for those following the building of my Escape 17B.  It is nice to see the insides taking shape:
The Front Dinette 

The Sink & Stove

Storage & Furnace

Looking Towards the Read Dinette

I mapped out my route to Chilliwack yesterday.  As I've mentioned before, I try to avoid the interstates when traveling.  I also try to take a new route across the country each time I go.  This time I will be taking parts of US6, 30, 212, and WA20 with lots of short lengths of others on the way.  Here is a map:

It looks to be about 3172 miles & 60 hours, 31 minutes, according to Garmin's Road Trip.  Of course I might take a bit longer since I plan to stop to sleep, eat & get gas every once in a while! I did plot out the trip on I90 - it ended up at 2903 miles & 44 hours & 27 minutes.  Sure, I'd save some time, probably some gas, but no where near as interesting.  If I break down & decide to get there sooner, I can hop up to I90 in many parts of my planned route, but as of now I plan to stick with the "Red Roads".

Till next time!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Last Meals on Wheels Delivery

Today's Photo - Poison Ivy in Early Spring

Today's a bit sad - I made my last delivery for Meals on Wheels, at least until late August.  I'm a big believer in volunteer work, both for the community & for myself.  I've worked on a Red Cross Disaster Team here in my local community, traveled to Louisiana to help out after Katrina, and try to help out doing & teaching photography for a number of groups.  Volunteering also gets me off my butt!   Although I only do Meals on Wheels one day a week, I'll miss seeing the smiling faces when making my deliveries. By the way, the group usually needs volunteers - if you are looking for something to do in your spare time, it is a great organization.

I got the word from Escape Trailer Industries that they got the check for the trailer.  It took well over a week to get there - I was starting to get a bit worried that either the US or Canadian mail ate it.  I also picked up a 1TB portable drive today to use as a back up for my photos while on the trip. It was on sale at Best Buy for $119.00, and while talking to the guy at the cash register I mentioned that the first hard drive I purchased was a 20MB drive & sold for $1500.00.  Hard to believe much prices have come down & capacity has gone up.  Of course, the computer I connected that early hard drive to was jam packed with 1 MB of memory!

Till next time...