Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Departure's Last-Minute Panic

Are we the only ones who scamper around like idiots to complete tasks that must-be-done before we can drive away? Why is it the day before we're scheduled to leave, the blackberry bushes, that took years to accumulate, suddenly need to come out of the ground? Or the hellebore leaves simply must be cut back and the dentist appointment postponed? Good grief, we've been at home since November and those to-do items weren't very compelling, not until departure loomed?

Naturally an early departure simply wasn't going to work out with Thistle still unpacked. Brad came by at 11:00 and projected a 3:30 departure. At 2:15 we were ready, priding ourselves at getting an early start, using Brad's 3:30 estimate. Never mind the one we began the day with. One must be flexible, after all.

For the third time in our southerly departures in Thistle we have headed northwest first, avoiding the I-5 corridor. We drive up the island to catch the ferry to Pt. Townsend for a leisurely drive down the peninsula, after stopping at the coop for supplies. Seal Rock National Forest camp site is our destination, having stayed there off-season before. Well, not last night. It was gated and closed for the winter.

Being boondocking experts by now, we shrugged our shoulders and headed on. In a few miles we take a side road to Collins Campground. It too was closed, but having reached here on five miles of deeply pot-holed road and not seeing another car, we simply shrugged our shoulders again and parked at the locked gate for the night. And here we are, reading and writing and drinking coffee at 9:00. We'll get another "early" start this morning...probably about 11:00. And this is how we travel, starting late, stopping early, and taking our time in between.

Our first night's camp…

Collins Campground...

Camp 13 was especially unlucky this winter…

The Duckabush River…

We'd hoped for lunch at the old historic Tokeland Hotel. Although not closed for the season it was definitely closed for the day…

Our second night we camped at Cape Disappointment, a stone's throw from the Columbia River, and then Astoria. The Blue Scorcer coffee shop in Astoria will entertain us with coffee and internet tomorrow morning before we poke our way down the Oregon Coast.


"You can't just turn on creativity like a faucet. You have to be in the right mood.
What mood is that? Last-minute panic."

~ Bill Watterson

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

"Laws change; people die; the land remains."

Happy Valentine's Day!  

Ed and I are preparing to depart for California soon, roving along at our customary slow pace.  This will be a short trip, six or seven weeks, and then we return home to prepare our garden for the Whidbey Island Garden Tour on June 17.   We have switched plans several times this year with the final switch to accommodate the garden tour, keeping us on the island April, May and June.

Not being on the road these past many weeks I have given blog writing a rest.  Politics has been too heavily on my mind and on my calendar to leave it out of my writings.  Not wanting to turn our Thistle Adventure capers into a political rag, as tempting as it may be, I simply left it alone.  I'm reminded of what we say to Benton when he's about to roll around in something disgusting, "Leave it, Benton".    

A Thistling we will go!

Since my younger years I have not been to Sequoia & Kings Canyon or Yosemite.  Ed has never been to any of these beauties.  Way past time!  In turning to  Sequoia & Kings Canyon's website, I read this:
"At the elevation of the sequoia groves, rain falling on top of several feet of snow has created icy and slippery paths.  Very few trails are suitable for hiking on foot at this elevation.  Snowshoes or skis are strongly recommended.  Tire chains are required in some areas, and roads may close if conditions become unsafe."
Guess we're lucky we didn't depart a couple of weeks ago, as first planned.  By the time we get there I'm guessing we'll still see some snow, but we are able to adjust our arrival to accommodate the weather a bit.  We will be visiting friends and family, either heading south, or on our return route, or even a bit of both, giving our travels some built in flexibility.  As John Steinbeck said in Travels with Charley:  A journey is like marriage.  The certain way to be wrong is to think you control it."  

Yosemite National Park is looking more promising weather wise with sun and warmth forecast.

Our third destination is Red Rock Canyon State Park.

The power, beauty and love of our land draws us.  With each new destination our passion is fueled…


"The land, the earth God gave to man for his home…should never be the possession of any man, corporation, (or) society…any more than the air or water."

"Laws change; people die; the land remains."

~ Abraham Lincoln
 President of the United States