Thursday, April 23-30, 2015

I dislike posting so many days at a time, however when traveling and computer connections do not cooperate, that is what happens!

(44,722.0) Thursday April 23rd left OR for Eureka CA. Stopped for 3 nights at Shoreline RV Park. Nice pull through spaces, full service. Visited Dale & Kay, Took a driving tour of old town historic Eureka and the many Victorian homes of Ferndale. Also checked out the old, old cemetery of Ferndale located on a hillside with roads made for the horse and buggy width or later cars from the 20’s and 30’s. It seems that the area is in touch with its historic side and to make changes you need lots of plans and permissions. I would have liked to stop and walk through the cemetery, however, we were running late and Dale needed to assist Kay with a tire problem.

(45,069.7) Sunday April 26, 2015, we drove from Eureka, CA to Yuba City CA, having gone south to Ukiah before crossing over to CA 20. We went through some hills on our way east, with at least two large lakes of fresh water, then through large farms and orchards. We stayed at WalMart, 1150 Harter Pkwy, Yuba City, CA (530) 751-0130, and parked on the outskirts of the parking lot, as instructed. Although we had permission to park in their lot, the lot itself was not big-RV friendly. But I did some shopping at Michael’s (yarn) and WalMart.

(45,334.0) Monday, April 27, 2015, after a night with limited sleep in Yuba City CA we headed to Fernley NV. We stopped, parked the motorhome in a mini-mall in Auburn CA. We proceeded to the New Auburn Cemetery to view the gravesite of my Aunt Alma and Uncle Clayton. Uncle Clayton was my mother’s brother and the last of his generation to pass away. It makes me feel old to be part of the now older generation. However, we have children and nieces and nephews to carry on. We hooked back up with the MH and proceeded to Fernley, NV, Pilot Flying J had a truck wash next door, so before we settled for the evening we drove the MH and attached Jeep through the vehicle wash. WOW, they did a nice job. Big bays with spray hoses similar to those that seem to be in most towns for your personal vehicles. But these were for the BIG BOYS. We saw cattle haulers, regular 18-wheelers, tankers, and car haulers. This operation was open 24/7 and they seemed busy.

(45,525.2) Tuesday, April 28, 2015 we drove from Fernley NV to Elko, NV. Jack and I discussed taking Highway 50 (also known as the Lincoln Highway) to Ely, NV as it would take us in a more easterly route to get to Denver.

(Here is what I found out about Highway 50: BETWEEN SAN FRANCISCO AND THE CHESAPEAKE BAY Running coast-to-coast through the heart of America on a 3,200-mile odyssey from sea to shining sea, US-50 passes through a dozen different states and four state capitals, as well as the nation’s capital, Washington, D.C. Along the route are some of the country’s most magnificent landscapes: the Sierra Nevada and the Appalachian and Rocky Mountains, the endless farmlands of the Great Plains, and the desiccated deserts of Utah and Nevada. It follows the footsteps of pioneers, and gives a reverse time line of national development. Heading west to east, you can travel back in history from the cutting-edge high tech of contemporary Silicon Valley, across the Wild West frontier of the mid-1800s, and through lands the likes of Daniel Boone and countless others pioneered in the 1700s, before arriving at the Atlantic Ocean near some of the oldest and best-preserved colonial-era landscapes in the United States. All the way across the country, US-50 passes through literally hundreds of timeworn small towns, the great majority of which have survived despite the modern onslaught of Wal-Marts and fast-food franchises. Blue Highways author William Least Heat-Moon writes about US-50, “for the unhurried, this little-known highway is the best national road across the middle of the United States.” The route offers such a compelling cross-section of the nation that Time magazine devoted nearly an entire issue (July 7, 1997) to telling the story of the road it called the “Backbone of America.” From its start at San Francisco, the route cuts across California’s midsection, passing the state capital at Sacramento before following the route of the old Pony Express up into the Sierra Nevada to the shores of Lake Tahoe and into Nevada. The Nevada portion of the route, dubbed “The Loneliest Road in America” by travel writers and tourist boards, is one of the most compelling long-distance drives in the country—provided you find miles and miles of little more than mountains, sagebrush, and blue sky compelling. The Great Basin desert continues across half of Utah, but then the route climbs over the Wasatch Front and onto the national park–packed red-rock country of the Colorado Plateau. Continuing east, you cross the Continental Divide atop the Rockies, then follow the Arkansas River along the historic Santa Fe Trail. For fans of vanishing Americana, the route really comes into its own here across the Great Plains, with its hypnotically repetitive landscape of water towers, windmills, railroad tracks, and one small town after another. After bisecting Missouri from Kansas City to St. Louis, US-50 crosses the Mississippi River into a much older and more settled landscape, through the agricultural heartlands of Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio. After climbing into the Appalachian backwoods of West Virginia, US-50 emerges suddenly into the wealth and power of downtown Washington, D.C., before passing through the still perfectly picturesque fishing and farming communities of Maryland’s Eastern Shore. Credit for this information goes to the web site regarding the Lincoln Highway.)

But better minds (AKA Jack) prevailed. Better to stay on major interstate highways then venture to the unknown. If we had a break down, then we might be easier to find. And I must say that Nevada is much like Arizona, lots of dry land, good for growing sage brush. Not a lot of exits full of stores or gas stations. Got to Elko, NV and pulled into the Double Dice RV Park with full hook ups. We decided to spend two nights here and you might ask why. First some housekeeping in the rig. Then we looked for things to do on Wednesday.

Might as well see the sites. Wednesday April 29, 2015 Our first stop was the Northeastern Nevada Museum 1515 Idaho St, Elko, NV. I hope to be able to download pictures from the camera, so I can share with all of you. This museum had several collections, one from Will James, an artist and writer. The 2nd is art from Edward Borein, both make up the flagship of the permanent Western Art Collection. There are regional exhibits reflecting the western exploration, railroads and ranching. There are exhibits of Indian baskets, clothing from the late 1800’s, living room from that era and a old type-set printing shop. They also have two extensive gun collections on permanent display. The Wanamaker Wildlife Exhibit was added to the museum in 1999, in it’s own wing. Nevada’s largest collection of wild animals from around the world is located here and is amazing.

Next to the Museum is the Chamber of Commerce housed in the Sherman Station, a 100-plus year old former stagecoach station. Walking up to the front door, you can’t help but think that a stagecoach just might pull up at any moment. Completing the image is the fact the two-story structure, which sits in a shaded park near the center of Elko, is made of two-foot-thick bristlecone pine logs. The corners have definite dovetail fittings. Across the front porch is three rocking chairs, inviting one to “sit a spell”. Inside the main station building, visitors can view a re-creation of an early 1900s parlor, which contains original artifacts and antiques that belonged to the Walther family, the station’s original owners. The history is fascinating to read about, however the interior of the Visitor Center is not as thoroughly restored as one would expect. It was a disappointment.

We decided to check out the California Trail Interpretive Center, about 8 miles west of Elko and built by the Bureau of Land Management, who continue to manage it. There is a to-scale map of the Great Basin which depicts the many trails pioneers took to cross the desert from Salt Lake City, Utah to the Elko, Nevada area on their journey to California. Original artwork, native plants, and interpretive waysides are strategically placed along the plaza to help tell the story of the landscape and the people. Between 1841 and 1869, up to 250,000 people sold their belongings, packed wagons, and set out for California for a 2,000 mile trek. (There are no confirmed number of those who died during this arduous travel.) A greater understanding of the California Trail story can be gained through the exhibits. The videos were not working at the time of our visit. An outdoor pioneer encampment features covered wagons, handcarts, and tents. Contrasted with this is the traditional Shoshone summer camp, located a short walk from the pioneer camp. The Center is located eight miles west of Elko at Hunter Exit 292. Parking is available for cars, trucks, RVs and campers and admission is at no charge.

(45784.4) Today is Thursday, April 30, and we got on the road again about 8:30 am. We drove by the Great Salt Lake and could clearly see the Morton Salt Plant (no tours, darn!) We have stopped for the night at a Flying J Travel Plaza in Provo, UT. Head to Grand Junction, CO tomorrow with this leg’s final destination in the Denver area on Saturday.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Hello all,

We are still at Junction City, with another day to find something to do. We looked at the local brochures and found one entitled “Cascades Raptor Center.” They are a nature center and wildlife hospital specializing in birds of prey. We decided it would be fun to check it out. One thing I can say is that if you are in the area, stop in and see what is in the aviaries! It was well worth our time and admission cost.

When we got to the facility the main gate was closed, which is to be expected if you are 15 minutes before the scheduled opening. So we sat and just waited in the quiet woods at a trail head parking lot which was across the street.

I hope to be able to post the pictures of the owls and eagles that we took. The aviaries are mesh covered and that does not make for good pictures! They had a barn owl, great horned owl, northern saw-whet owl, burrowing owls, snow owl, golden eagles and bald eagles. There were a couple of buzzards but since we had seen so many when we were down in Florida, nothing new to say about them. There were also hawks and falcons.

(The eagle below seemed to be agitated by the helicopters above working on flood damage on a hiking trail.)

IMG_20150422_110833837 IMG_20150422_110913122 IMG_20150422_105915114

Great horned owl, shown above.

All the birds with the exception of one was native to the Northwest. There were over 35 aviaries and each of them designed with branches and flying spaces for the birds that were housed. They had toys and other means of keeping the birds challenged while in captivity. If at all possible the birds are healed and rehabilitated to later be released into their native habitat. Those that can’t return to the wild have a home for life.

Did you know that there is a law that does not allow you to collect the feathers or body parts of native birds? I did not know that. Each aviary has a preliminary area where the keepers/volunteers can work from to avoid the birds from swooping down on the worker. In that area is a plastic bag where they gather the shed feathers. The feathers are then sent to a collection center. I searched the internet and was unable to find the exact location. I think somewhere around St. Louis. The Bureau of Land Management is responsible for administering the law. The law that applies to this is the Migratory Bird Act of 1918. This was written for the protection of migratory birds.

Due to some construction work on a trail that went up the side of the property of the bird sanctuary and across the hill top, there was a helicopter moving some large boulders. The birds were not happy about the noise. We could see why….the noise the helicopter makes would make one think of a giant bird of prey!

We got back and found out the part had arrived. (Ordered on Monday, overnight air and arrived today about 10:30???) It was installed and we were ready to go at 2 p.m. Given some thought, decided that we would spend one more night here, to make a full week. Tomorrow on to Eureka.

Weather has been co-operative, sunny, slight breeze but not hot.

We are watching the weather. Utah looks like no snow however the severe storm warnings and tornados through Oklahoma and Texas is a bit concerning. Then Al Roker mentions the high winds through the northeast. Since we have planned to take our time, I am sure we can time our driving to avoid the worst of the weather.

Now we will button up the motorhome and move on to Northern California. We will be in touch.

Monday, April 20th, 2015

Monday, April 20, 2015

Thanks to all of you for your comments.


We are still in Junction City, OR and may be here for a couple more days. In the meantime we are looking at the various state maps for a fairly RV friendly highway from Eugene, OR to Eureka, CA. It may be the 299 from south of Eugene to Reedsport. We have traveled that way in the past and it leads right by the Roosevelt Elk Preserve.
After a visit with my cousin in Eureka, we will head further south and probably take the “Lincoln Highway” to Denver. We had never heard of the Lincoln Highway but interesting information when ‘Googled’. It was the first transcontinental highway (started in some places as a dirt path) from New York to San Francisco Golden Gate Bridge. It runs a bit further south than I-80 and in some places is designated I-70.
Tuesday, April 21, 2015

We are waiting for one more small part for the bedroom slide. We have had problems with it in the past and do not want any more. So a small roller (about the size of a stack of 5 quarters) is on it’s was from the east.

A viewing while at the local McDonald’s:

4-20-15 Old time cars Junction City OR 4-20-2015 Old cars McD Junction City OR

Today is another sunny day here in Oregon. Last night before supper we got up on a ladder at the front of the MH and I swear scrapped off a billion bugs from the windshield. Could use a bit more work, but once up on the ladder, making that trip up and down is a one time experience!

As we are headed to Denver, CO, the comments about snow and multi-car crashes have me concerned about the potential for bad weather. We won’t even begin to mention the threat of tornadoes in Oklahoma and Texas! Our friends in CO watch AccuWeather and we also have that app, so will pay close attention as we move to Nevada and Utah.

 

Beginnings

BEGINNINGS

Introduction

My husband and I are a 15-year married, 60+ something couple, living in a home in the Pacific Northwest.

Jack is a VietNam veteran, sustained a massive head injury, making a recovery but with several deficits in memory and ambulation. The Marines discharged him after his physical therapy was completed and told him to go home and do nothing more strenuous than carry a cup of coffee. His family continued with his rehab and he took on many leadership activities in the household. His travel has been limited due to restrictions in his abilities and family responsibilities. His home and family reside in the East, primarily Maryland with many in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

I am a registered nurse, who after 45 years of working decided to hang up my bandage scissors and retire. I have lived primarily in Washington State with time spent in Arizona and Southern California. Retirement, what a dirty word that can be. What to do? Certainly there are several books on the library shelves or the book store to obtain and read. But after several days of sitting on our bums, it is rather boring. We are not used to going out in the evening so Bingo is not our choice. Movie going is fun but unless it is a matinee–that is just to darn expensive.

Jack and I met (over the internet) and married later in our lives. There are many things in the United States that neither of us have seen. One of our goals was to do more traveling. After failing to be ready to leave last fall, we decided to leave Washington on April 9th, 2015 and tour the United States. Our plan will be to visit friends and family and research genealogy along the way. This trip will not be boring!! We hope to travel slow and easy, returning in about a year.

History

We love to travel and I enjoy putting down on paper where we are going and what we have seen. Usually on a daily basis. This allows us to review our memories and share. We send via e-mail to our friends the narrative of the day’s events. I know that not everyone is interested in what I am writing, but it is a nice way to journal the ‘Adventures of Jack and Judy’. We began this process when we traveled with friends to Alaska. It was a wonderful journey, a once in a lifetime adventure. And so many different animals, weather, scenery, people and things to look at and do. We then carried on that tradition when we traveled to Florida with a whole new set of animals, weather, scenery and things to do.

Current status

Today is Monday, March 23, 2015 and we are working to get everything settled here at home and putting supplies in our motorhome to start our journey on April 9, 2015. We have a 40-foot Monaco diesel pusher and pull a Jeep for local sightseeing.

The list of things to do to make this trip a reality is getting shorter. Although it feels like I cross off two things and add one. I guess that is true with any plans. I am also hoping to get the house to a point where it feels right to let our friends move in while we are gone. That means both Jack and I are finishing up so many of the projects that we have started and not finished. We are racing to get it all done.

Communication

To keep track of our journeys, in the past I would write about what we had done and seen. Now I am going to try a blog. Little did I know, I would start on a new learning curve and it is not as easy as saying “We have a blog. Read it. You will know what we are doing.” HA, not so easy. I am sure I will make the classic mistakes (spelling errors among others.) Learning how to apply spell check and adding pictures are just a couple of the many things I need to educate myself on.

This is a new format, blogging, for us. We have written journal-like entries when traveling to both Alaska and then again to Florida. However, blogging will allow us to add as we choose, with readers able to view when they have time or the inclination.

Friday 4/17/2015

We have been in Guaranty RV, Junction City, OR, having some more work done on the motorhome. The roof is being repaired/renewed. Got lots of it done on the 17th but still have the rest of the roof to complete and two oil changes (the generator and the diesel engine.)

We are spending the week end in Junction City, OR. Small towns (population 5,650) have nice libraries. The use of the computers is free to the public. I am able to take my information and documents on the thumb drive and work from that at this library. The librarian is also helpful.

Little did I know how much work would go into a blog when I decided that this might be the avenue to share our travels with family and friends. Frankly, if only one person reads this, it is not worth the energy.

Now I have printed out over 34 pages of information to try to simplify what I post and to make it interesting. How that works remains to be seen. Now we have started our journey and I am still not up to speed on blogging.