Monday, June 1, 2009

June Journey for the twos of us

30 June: Lots to report whenever I get done with mending & sudokus.

20 June, Saturday: We are in Moses Lake, Washington tonight after a very pleasurable day of sightseeing along the Columbia River Gorge east of Portland turning north on a road less traveled. Pulling the trailer the interstate has been the road of choice because it is a fairly flat divided highway that does not often go through high mountain passes. I-84 had gorgeous vistas. It was interesting watching the trains along the sides of the river, the wind farms high on the river banks as well as the wind surfers on the river with gaily colored sails.

Last night we had a great Thai dinner with a friend of forty years: Beanie and her husband Eddie. He is a world Scrabble master who beat all of the top world champions in one single tournament. Retired now, she and Eddie are studying to become Shamans.

18 June, Thursday: It is 99 degrees as we approach a gorgeous snow and ice covered Mount Shasta ahead; it is even more surprising since Sacramento's forecast was temp high of only 95 degrees. I-5 has been a beautiful drive all the way; the median is often filled with 10-foot-tall red, white and pink oleanders. It is a joy to again be traveling through the mountains and even more exciting to think that motorcycling is only a couple of days away now.

17 Jun: This evening when left the Holiday Inn to drive to dinner, we found a ticket with a fifty dollar parking violation under the windshield wiper. No surprise in a big city except that we were parked in the city parking garage as directed by the Holiday Inn valet parking attendant. Apparently that entire floor of the city parking garage is off limits from 7:30 am to 9:30 am to all but authorized street vendors in that cutesy downtown area. When we had parked at 6:30 pm the lot was full and warning signs were obscure - especially to unsuspecting visitors from out-of-town. Valet parking had not warned us of that hazard, so the hotel graciously deducted most of the cost of the ticket from our bill.

16 June, Tuesday: We enjoyed lovely visits with cousins Kenneth and Jewel (both gems) who are in their mid-nineties; this amazing couple were teacher until retirement and enjoyed their home in Indiana until their sons moved them to Phoenix after Jewel broke a wrist in a fall. They live independently in a lovely condo unit with meals provided in the cafeteria. It was a relief to see Kenneth more active and vital than during previous "recent" visits. We met cousin Kay at the Good Egg for breakfast and non-stop conversation. She is a mesmerizing six- foot- tall woman with a delightful personality. The car has handled pulling the lite utility trailer just fine but it got pretty dicey in the pass near Palm Desert. According to a local the wind in the pass is like that all of the time which is why they have the wind farms. The phone call from Lee, Walt and Pam keeps running through our minds and conversation because it was just so great to hear Lee sounding good: you hang in there, Lee!!

We are on I-5 heading north enjoying the mountain vistas, agrarian fields and orange groves of the beautiful San Juaquin Valley in central California. Interesting signs are posted in fields along the road: "Congress Created Dust Bowl"

I love you Smooch Smooch.

13 Jun (maybe), Saturday: The desert scenery is awesome on I-10 through Tucson. We enjoyed a nice breakfast with cousin Jim & Diane at the Country Home in Sierra Vista

2 Jun: After an early awaking at 4:40am, we spent the early morning packing until Smooch Smooch refused to sit on the sidelines and started messing with Ron's beloved recycling projects. A time-out was needed, so we went to Wal-Mart to purchase rope and a padlock. A final Sacred Grounds breakfast was thoroughly enjoyed by Smooch Smooch, Ron and buddy Paul. At 9:00 the trailer was opened to discover that the incident yesterday that created jack-stand problems was worse because the motorcycle tie downs are connected to the jack stands; the floor was broken and one motorcycle was inadequately secured and at risk of falling. The temporary solution to get on the road was to duct-tape a brick to the side stand and to open the back at every pee stop to inspect for catastrophe. 70 miles from Kansas City, the pee stop uncovered another problem, a leaking trailer tire. I guess Ron needs to do better at avoiding curbs - even though he only hit one ot two and a stump in Carol's driveway that jumped out & bit the trailer right on the tire. Good things somtimes come from bad beginnings (yeas, really) and the place that replaced the valve stem also repaired the floor for a mere $25 in Sweet Springs, MO. thanks again to you guys (although the women's bathroom could be cleaner). Just puzzling... why is it that Ron can happily say, "You are not going to like the bathrooms" without himself being much bothered by the men's room condition. We had a delightful Applebee's dinner with Clarence and Kathy. Ron's month of surface mail fit into one priority envelope.

1 June, Monday: 5:35 AM and the journey is about to begin. The tow trailer is loaded with two
bikes for the westward jaunt. Thanks to Paul for letting us store them in his garage this month. We lunched with Carol and will spend the rest of the day packing. One significant ten hour day this week should get the next volume to the publisher.