A Travellerspoint blog

We Arrived Only to Set Sail Again (Literally)

There will be no moss on the rolling stone :)

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I know it has been a while but I purposefully left my laptop back at our Tahoe rental so as not to work or blog while we spent time with our friends, Lee and Penny, in San Diego. After arriving in the gorgeous Olympic Valley on Monday, we packed a much lighter load and headed on down to San Diego.

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This time, however, Nikita, stayed at the house with our friend, Sam, who catsit her while we were away. She also had Michaela as a secondary sitter. It was dooly noted that Nikita was done with the Travato. She was happy to stay at the house. Bob was even happier that Nikita was not with us and this second ride was so much easier without a "runner" in the household. We didn't have to walk over a litter box nor worry about her escaping into unknown parts of California.

As we became more experienced "Camper Van People", we realized that we could spend more nights at a Harvest Host site rather than a campground. Traveling down 395 to San Diego was very picturesque but there were limited Harvest Host sites. On the way down, we took 395 to 120 around Mono Lake

5e7fbe30-d33c-11ea-ae76-cfea852103e4.jpg and drove through a vast amount of high desert in BFN California. I lived out here for twenty years and I had never been to the interior of CA except for the brief drive through Bakersfield. We spent the night at the Bishop Country Club in (of course) Bishop, CA. Who knew there would be an oasis in Inyo County and (fun fact) the City of LA receives 70% of its water from the Owens Valley. This was our view from the Travato on the first night. 270_5ea79180-d33c-11ea-a1c2-176e2051fe19.JPG

The next morning, we woke up and completed the drive to San Diego and met up with Lee and Penny on their boat (er.yacht), Preference.180_5e6bc100-d33c-11ea-8734-ad8088732304.jpg We set sail to the Catalina Islands for the next few days and it was absolutely the most perfect getaway. Lee cooked for us every day and we enjoyed the gorgeous waters off Catalina Island.
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On the way back, we stopped at a campground overlooking the Bridgeport Reservoir

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which was about 3 hours south of Tahoe. We took 395 all the back and it was a much more beautiful route to take driving past Mamouth Lake and Mountain and around the Inyo State Forest. Gorgeous! We are now back up in Tahoe until our next journey which I think will be Sonoma next week for a glamping getaway. This should be interesting.

Posted by Greenarlene 07:47 Archived in USA Tagged lake club island country bishop basin catalina mono Comments (0)

California Here We Come!

We made it!

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Well, this says it all. We arrived at our new "home away from Home" in Tahoe for the next two months and Kita immediately settled into her new post which is the window above the kitchen sink. 270_61672080325__E8EFD642-36EF-4AE4-924D-6E8738F0EDB8.JPG Jill says there is a bird feeder so we are going to buy birdseed to lure all the birds to the window. I was also told that bears are prevalent here and sometimes come up to the windows so I have to make sure the windows are closed. Apparently, they are not interested in eating little grey cats but I think I better be safer rather than not so I will close the windows if we leave the house. It's funny because I always have to explain to guests in Palmetto Bluff that alligators are not going to bother you unless you bother them. Now I am getting a lesson about bears as a guest of a Tahoe home.

I am going to include this magnificent sunset photo from the other night in Elko, NV only because I abhor the terrain in that state but this photo made it better :)
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Hang with us as we travel around the west coast. I add commentary and photos. Thanks for your positive feedback on the journey.
Arlene

Posted by Greenarlene 08:23 Archived in USA Tagged california tahoe Comments (1)

Almost There!!

The final push

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Last night, we stayed at the Grand Teton Distillery as a Harvest Host guest. To be honest, we have truly enjoyed being members of this group. In fact, I forewent the campground fee where we were supposed to stay and opted for this distillery in Driggs, Idaho.
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We parked alongside the parking lot with two other Harvest Host members and ended up having cocktails outside overlooking the Grand Teton mountains. IMG_3733.jpgThe other two couples were quite lovely and, once again, we were starved for human conversation other than our own. We all hung out in our social distance circle until 9:30 pm which is late for us RVers! We ordered pizza from Tatonka Tavern in Driggs and it was exactly what we craved.
I also have to mention that we didn't care for Billings, MT in the least. It reminded me of how Chattanooga looked like in the 1980s before it was completely upgraded; lots of industrial, dilapidated buildings and very sad looking. Bob wanted to see it so we saw it and now we can happily move on. However, where I wish we did stay was Bozeman, MT. Wow! Now that was an awesome town! We drove through it to see and stopped at an organic grocery store similar to the one in Half Moon Bay called New Leaf. We were in heaven AND they had Matua! IMG_3713.jpgIMG_3712.jpg We also drove through an adorable little town called Ennis, MT, and decided to add this to our list of potential towns to stay in longer next time.
We got up this morning and started driving on the long trek in hell. We both knew it was going to be the most boring day on our travel journey because we had to drive through Nevado; the ugliest state in the country. My only regret was that I failed to visit the Potato Museum to break up the hellacious ride. Since it was going to be barren wastelands for miles and miles,61662790188__0B120787-0EFE-4481-855E-9AAA66E00B01.JPG I decided to look up Twin Falls, Idaho and see if there was anything worth seeing. We were hungry so I found this restaurant that had outside seating. Elevation 486 was the necessary spark to keep us going. It was located over a huge canyon that had two golf courses built into the crevasse overlooking the Snake River. IMG_3741.jpgIMG_3739.jpg Who knew?
We are now settling into the sh*thole town of Elko, NV for the evening. The RV park is actually nice but there is nowhere to go and we are dying in the 96-degree heat; especially coming from chilly Driggs. Nikita still has that super mad look on her face but we try to convince her to hang in there for one more day. Who knew that she would be the first one to break? Tahoe...we are ready for you tomorrow!!!!

Posted by Greenarlene 17:58 Archived in USA Tagged nevada Comments (2)

God Bless America

and God bless everyone!

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The mere fact that I am sitting in a bar somewhere in BFN South Dakota called Twisted Brewery drinking pretty darn fantastic beers and writing to you alone warrants the phrase, "God Bless America". Now add all the beauty that we encountered today and yesterday and I can almost scream it! GOD BLESS AMERICA!!! (Psst...I am only two beers in)
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I will not lie. Today, as we walked up to view Mt. Rushmore, I completely teared up. There are no words for the pride that I felt looking up at those four granite faces carved into the side of the mountain. Those gentlemen carved out the groundwork for this great country of ours. Washington was the skeleton of the "new" Americas, Jefferson expanded the country with the Louisiana Purchase (the muscular support), Lincoln brought this country together after the Civil War (the skin) and Theodore Roosevelt opened the Panama Canal which gave us the ability (our extremities) to transport goods from one coast to another in a very short time. And in this time of upheaval, I hope everyone recognizes that we are still a country that has overcome so many obstacles and will continue to do so in order to make ourselves stronger.
Soooooooo.....I am putting down my American flag, finishing the last refrain of "God Bless America" and will now post a few photos of this AMAZING country. First up, the Badlands of South Dakota. I know people have described it as "eery and unsettling" but it looked more like perfectly placed sandcastles on a beach. The drippy tall towers looming up to the sky followed by the huge holes in the earth reminded me of summers on the beach.
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Next up, Mt. Rushmore. As we all have seen photos of this magnificent endeavor, nothing compares to actually walking up 230 steps to view it from underneath the granite mountain. I cannot fathom the effort put forth to create this masterpiece.
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Since we are in the age of political correctness and plus, when will we ever be in SD again, we decided to visit the Crazy Horse Monument located a few minutes away. What a well-done exhibit in terms of the museum and visitor center. I didn't even know it existed and I am happy that we stopped. The mountain carving was started in 1948 and has been completely privately funded. One man, Korczak Ziolkowski (the sculptor from Boston) collaborated with Chief Standing Bear (Lakota) to honor the great warrior, Crazy Horse. They wanted the monument built in the Black Hills overlooking "my lands where my dead lie buried" (Crazy Horse). For he was the great warrior that took down General Custer at the Battle of Little Bighorn (or Custer's Last Stand). To give you an idea as to how enormous this monument is, Mt. Rushmore would fit inside the head of Crazy Horse (picture below). The story is fascinating as they continue on this journey to build and honor.
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Posted by Greenarlene 17:40 Archived in USA Comments (6)

The Princess Has Spoken

And has ordered us to get her out of this tiny house.

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I am starting with this picture of Nikita, our Siberian Princess, to show how it was when we embarked on this journey. She was a little queasy in the very beginning but soon settled in on her blue blankie during the day and snuggled in our bed at night. Well, friends, those days are long gone. After last night's second escape from the Travato, we have decided that she is telling us that enough is enough. She seemed okay with us selling our beautiful home that had ample space to roam and watch all the night creatures on the two screened-in porches. She made do with the Meighan's guest house because there were stairs to climb and places to explore. However, she has had it with the Travato.
The first escape was at the Rapid City, SD RV Resort Park. Bob was sitting outside enjoying his wine and I was sleeping. She was next to me in bed. For some strange reason, I woke up and called over to Bob, "Where's the cat?". She wasn't inside and the Travato is too small not to see her. We both ran outside in the dark whispering her name since it was after 10 pm which is quiet time and we didn't want to wake anyone.
"Kita, Kita!", we whispered, "Get over here!" but we didn't see nor hear anything. Out of the corner of Bob's eye, he saw a flash of grey fur next to the Travato and it then ran up to a cabin next to us. We grabbed our phone flashlights and I prayed to God that we would find her before a bear or dog did first. Shaking dry cat food didn't work nor hyperventilating on my part; however, prayers did. I walked around the side of the gravel road and I saw her lying under a tree. Thank God for that long fluffy tail which enabled me to grab and drag her ass back into the Travato. BAD KITTY!!!
Ok, fine. We now know that she is an "escape" cat and needed to be watched all the time. So we were really careful....until last night in Montana.
Kita was out of sorts all day; lethargic at best but then again, she's a cat. When we stopped at the Yellowstone Campground in MT last night, we set up our space like we have been doing all along. Bob put out the two chairs and pressed the button for the awning to arrange cocktail hour. Nikita just wandered around pissed off at the world. When Bob started to make dinner, out of nowhere, those huge paws managed to open up the screen and scramble outside the Travato AGAIN! The only positive thing this time was that it wasn't dark and we could see her. A gentleman with his three huge Great Danes on leashes stood on the street to help us strategize and round her up. Ok, Nikita. We hear you and are now hurrying to get to Tahoe as fast as we can.

Posted by Greenarlene 09:55 Archived in USA Tagged nikita Comments (2)

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