January 9, 2011

“It’s an Adventure!”

"It's an Adventure!" That's my line when something unusual happens; you know, things like (a) getting lost, (b) a disaster occurs or even (c) going somewhere interesting. Occasionally the comment annoys my husband George, but usually I just grin at him. Depending on the adventure, I might add something else but sometimes it's just better not to say anything more.

I actually thought the pioneer genes from my ancestors died out a generation before they got to me, but there must be some residual gypsy left because I really do love to travel.  George and I planned for years to travel the US for at least a year after we retire.  We bought the truck and the 5th wheel in anticipation of the journey. 

I retired October 29th, 2010--2 years earlier than we had originally scheduled—and we hit the road the very next week! Original plan has already been scrapped. Who wants to go back to Seattle in November??? So we're telling people "year-and-a-half to two years", but I think the real answer is "as long as we want!"

The focus is National Parks—plus assorted National Monuments, Recreation Areas, Preserves, golf courses (for George), or anything else which distracts us. I can be easily distracted.

In the first 2 months of our trip, we've had several different types of adventures:
  1. On day 2 of our trip, I suggested a quick side trip to view the Clarno Unit of John Day Fossil Beds NM before we went on to our reserved campsite for the night. That way we wouldn't have to backtrack the next day. The map didn't show that the quick side trip was down a really steep, really narrow road. G wasn't much pleased having to drag the trailer down that grade. I really think he missed most of the scenery. I learned later that he wanted to use the RV resorts as hubs for our explorations, not take the trailer with us all the time. (Okay, that works too.)
  2. The stupid GPS tried to get us to drive to the RV park in Bend via Mt. Bachelor. The road kept going upwards as we headed into the snowline in the dark. G got a little testy there too…but it was definitely an adventure before we turned around—once we found a place that we could turn truck-and-trailer around! Please note: we do still own a GPS, although it's not allowed to talk anymore.
  3. We missed snow by 6 hours leaving Yosemite but had a different kind of adventure that day. G drove 6 miles on a 7% grade down the new Priest Grade from Groveland without trailer brakes! At least going downhill the mountain and not the canyon was on my side of the truck.
  4. We've visited Redwood NP, Whiskeytown-Shasta-Trinity NRA, Yosemite NP, Pinnacles NM, Salton Sea California State Parks), Joshua Tree NP, Death Valley NP and Mojave NP as well as various and assorted side trips—without the trailer—along the way. We explored Monterey and the 17-Mile-Drive, a WWII Air Museum in Palm Springs, a windmill farm, oases and a couple of ghost towns. George has even played golf a few times.
  5. Lots of rain in Southern California this year—even Death Valley was underwater.  
We've visited relatives, hiked and ridden our bikes, loafed around and tried to stay warm. At first we weren't staying very long at one place, but we've learned that we don't have to keep driving all the time. We don't have to be somewhere by any certain time, so we can be anywhere for as long as we want.

I'd planned on getting this blog going long before now, but playing on the computer hasn't been high on my list of things to do in retirement. We're going to be in Las Vegas for another week, so it seemed like a good time to get back to working on this.

It will be a work-in-progress for a while. Let me know if you have suggestions on places we should visit, or comments on our travels.

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