Of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Vancouver (WA) to Sequim (WA) - 209 miles

Nov. 14, 2011 - Home Sweet Home ... We drove through a mix of rain and sunshine the rest of the way home.  We're still seeing fall color in Washington.  It's amazing that we have followed autumn through 15 states on this journey.  We stopped in Hama Hama to buy smoked salmon, one of our favorite stops along the Hood Canal.  As soon as I stepped out of the car, the fragrance of the cedar trees wafted down to me.  We spotted the elk herd in Brinnon.  The Olympic mountains are snow-capped and beautiful.  It is so good to be home again!

Our plan is to drive back to Tucson the middle of January.  We'll pick up our RV and spend several months exploring the Arizona desert.  I'll continue this blog when we get ready to take off again.  Thanks for coming along with us!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Sacramento (CA) to Vancouver (WA) - 611 miles

Nov. 13, 2011 - Woke up in Sacramento (CA) and ended up in Vancouver (WA), north of Portland (OR).  It was a really long day of driving!  The scenery got gorgeous again at Mt. Shasta (CA).  The drive through Oregon's Cascade mountain range was awesome.  We're spending the night at Vancouver (WA).  I'm relaxing with wine and chocolates in the motel room.  Tom is surfing with a remote control.  Cooper is perched on the window ledge and Teva is relaxing on the motel bed.  When I asked Tom about the highlight of the day, he said, "Getting out of the car after eleven hours of driving!"

Mt. Shasta through the car window

Pat blogging with wine and chocolates, Cooper on window ledge

Teva, the motel room cat

Twentynine Palms (CA) to Sacramento (CA) - 499 miles

Nov. 12, 2011 - A long driving day... It was interesting to travel through southern California's desert and hill country.  We found a great German bakery in Tehachapi, too.  But, the San Joaquin Valley was a real grind.  It was flat and monotonous with lots of traffic.  We're just putting on miles now.  Both of us are anxious to get home again.

Teva and Cooper, the Subaru cats

Cooper relaxing in the Subaru

Tucson (AZ) to Twentynine Palms (CA) - 402 miles

Nov. 11, 2011 (11-11-11) - It was a busy morning packing the car and figuring out how to winterize the RV.  The first time for anything is always the toughest.  Donna, our next site RV neighbor from Washington, gave me a hug before we took off.  There is an RV community camaraderie that we keep hearing about and have experienced ourselves.  I noticed a sign at the RV park office today that informed RVers to carry a flashlight at night when walking the paved park roads because rattlesnakes will warm themselves at night on the heated pavement.  Yikes!!

Once we had the car loaded with all our stuff and the two cats with all their stuff, we headed west on I-10.  It was such a pleasure to drive the car after being in the RV, which drives like a truck.  We drove through Joshua Tree National Park and spent the night at a Mom & Pop motel in Twentynine Palms, CA.  Cooper and Teva loved exploring the motel room.

(Who knew that a cat would use a litter box at 75 mph?)

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Tucson (AZ)

Nov. 8-10, 2011 - We spent the past three days in Tucson enjoying the sunshine, watching the full moon rise over the Rincon mountains, and hiking several desert trails.  Tom had to get the battery replaced in our car while we were here.  Towing it hasn't been easy on the original battery!  We found out that we can store our RV at the same RV park where we are staying now.  Great news... We'll pack our car tomorrow morning, winterize and store the RV, and start our northbound journey to Sequim. 

Tom in Saguaro National Park

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

El Paso (TX) to Tucson (AZ) - 314 miles

Nov. 7, 2011 - With the two time changes, we were awake by 6:00 am and on the road by 8:10 am!  We drove out of Texas, across New Mexico, and into Arizona.  We’re staying three nights at the Cactus Country Camping Resort near Tucson.  It is so nice to be in theTucson area again.  It is one of my favorite places.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Lubbock (TX) to El Paso (TX) - 400 miles

Nov. 6, 2011 - We're still in Texas!  A 400-mile driving day and we're still in Texas!  We went through two time changes today - Daylight Savings Time and Mountain Time Zone.  We're tired tonight...

Clinton (OK) to Lubbock (TX) - 315 miles

Nov. 5, 2011 - It was another full day of driving, but in strong winds today.  We’re seeing cotton fields and tumbling tumbleweeds as we travel through Texas.  We changed our route at Amarillo (TX) after finding out at a tourist information center that the weather at Albuquerque was cold and rainy.  So we headed south from Amarillo and made it to Lubbock (TX).  It’s warmer down here.  We’re seeing lots and lots of RVs on the road with license plates from Michigan and other cold winter states!  We’re the only ones traveling with two kayaks on top of the car, though.

Tom stopped by a cotton field today so I could pick a cotton boll.  When I was in sixth grade, my dad picked one while we were traveling Route 66 to California for a family vacation.  I had that cotton boll for a long, long time.  It got lost in one of our many moves.  Now I have one again.  Cooper found it on the dash, though, and started chewing it tonight.  I had to move it to a cupboard!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Rogersville (MO) to Clinton (OK) - 383 miles

Nov. 4, 2011 - Back on the road after three wonderful days visiting with family.  We’re heading west now with few diversions along the way.  It was a steady day of driving on Missouri interstate and Oklahoma turnpike to a casino parking lot off I-40.  I’m making a list of future attractions that I’d like to visit when we return to this area, though -  Mark Twain’s birthplace in Hannibal (MO), the Will Rogers Museum in Oklahoma, the Ozarks in Arkansas, sections of old Route 66.  I’m sure my list will continue to grow...

Cuba (Mo) to Rogersville (Mo) - 138 miles

Nov. 1-4, 2011 - We’re spending several days with my cousin, John, and his wife, Margee, in southeast Missouri.  My Aunt Fran is also here.  We have had a wonderful time catching up on our lives while eating delicious home-cooked meals, playing lots of Euchre, sitting around a BIG campfire, and touring Branson (MO).  Tom and John kayaked one afternoon.  I think we may have inspired another person to become a kayak paddler!

Pat, Margee, Fran and John at Branson Landing

Snowball, the map reading cat

The perfect Euchre hand!

Beloit (WI) to Cuba (MO) - 402 miles

Oct. 31, 2011 - On the road again... We left my mom’s house on Halloween morning and drove south to St. Louis.  Found an RV park west of St. Louis in the Meramec Valley.  Our GPS directed us via a gravel road route!  Why does it do that???  We are following the fall color southward.  It is warmer here and the trees still have plenty of colorful leaves.  The days are short, though.  No trick or treaters tonight...

Fall color in Missouri