The Log of Albion (and other travels)
Log 1: RV Trip After Retirement, Spring 1999
This, and following pages, are a collection of selected e-mails back to family and friends about our travels. This first Log is about our RV trip through California, Arizona, Utah, and Nevada right after Retirement, March 1, 1999. Please excuse grammar and sentence structure, as these were written quickly for a specific audience. The reason for including them here is for a record of our travels for people that were not included in the original correspondence and friends that we've met along the way that want to know what we've been up to. The other "log pages" include our travels in Albion to Canada and Mexico and more RV trips around the USA. Have fun reading them, we had fun making them!
YES! We are now RETIRED!!!! Last night was a great party. There were about 40 people there and many from past years that returned to say congratulations and well wishes. The Habitat chief made some presentations including the lap charts for Mexico from San Diego to Panama. She also has a Yamhill winery and gave us a couple bottles of her select wine. Also got a $100 gift certificate at Captain's Nautical and my 30 year plaque. Jeanette & Terry gave us a $100 certificate at Camping World. And I got lots of hugs!! Maybe I should do this more often. It was great seeing some of my ex-coworkers again and hearing some of the stories that they told to the group again. Molly also got to see some of our past friends from Newport/Tillamook. And the girls at Molly's office sent her a big bunch of balloons, with a nice card attached, to the party. Didn't get much time to eat or drink....too busy working the room. But a great time was had by all.
Brent & Molly
PS: It's RAINING like hell here right now..wish we were GONE!!!!!
Subject: On the Road!
We finally got out of town! Didn't make it too far on Tuesday...all the way to Salem! We had several last minute things to do before leaving town...got a new printer for the computer....went to Captain's Nautical to spend Brent's gift certificate...he got me a new pair of binoculars...what a guy!...stopped on the way out of town at Camping World to spend that gift certificate...got a table, extra water filter and sewer support "slinky". Thanks again!
Called JoAnn when we got to Salem and took her to dinner. Went to a Mexican place, had a nice visit with her. She and Mary Ann are busy getting wedding plans in order. Think it will be a good time.
Today we got up, did some laundry, went to Costco, Thriftway, and K-mart and finally got on the road about 1:30. It was still wet and very windy. Was kind of a wild ride down the freeway. Got to Grants Pass a little after five. I think this is the first night we have had to just kick back, relax and get to enjoy the RV since we moved in! Tomorrow we will head over to the coast and further south. Still looking for dry weather. Would like to spend some time in the wine country, but if it is still raining, may just keep on going!
Will keep in touch. We'll try to check the e-mail daily.
Subject: "Southern California"
Finally got into "Southern" California, but just barely....Morgan Hill just south of San Jose. We are staying at a Thousand Trails camp here. We activated a 30 day free membership that we got when we bought our Bounder. The stay is free but not a great spot, very dusty......and worst of all cell phone signal is a flat line....and satellite TV will not lock on. The antenna does get a few stations so we can watch them instead of talking to each other.
Brief Trip Log:
Thursday--Left Grants Pass 10:30, headed over to the coast via the Oregon Caves road (down the Smith River) and hit snow on top. Met several semi's on the narrow mountain road, but they stayed on their side and I on mine.....I think!
Moseyed on down the coast stopping at Crescent City (sandwiches while watching the boats in the marina) and Trinidad. Finally stopped for the night at Laytonville in a Good Neighbor Park. (283 miles)
Friday--I'm sure we hold the record for the LEAST miles traveled in a day....28. We drove down to Willets to a Good Sams Park and set up camp. Then took the car over to the coast for the day. Stopped in Fort Bragg for lunch, drove down highway 1 past the resort where "Same Time Next Year" was filmed (just watched the movie last night!). The park was nice and we were all by ourselves. Stopped at a couple of wineries. Added to our stock.
Saturday (today)-- Left 10:30 after washing the RV and car. Stopped at Dry Creek Winery for a couple bottles of wine and wind breakers with sailboats on them of course!! Then on down 101 through San Francisco......DO NOT take 101 through SF!!!! It takes you right through downtown.....and the red lights are on the side-posts, not hanging over the middle of the street. Missed one and nearly got a car in the intersection!!! You know, one good thing was learned, when you stand on the breaks, the rig STOPS!!!! Also, some of the things that have been riding just fine all long, suddenly, aren't! Then on through SF to here, Morgan Hill.
We are staying here two nights. Tomorrow we will drive the car around and visit some of the wineries in this area. Will head out Monday for Thousand Oaks to visit Lynda. Then San Diego and then east. We will probably not head up to Death Valley since it's a little far up there to back-track. So will head east to Tucson a little earlier than planned. We still want to stop and see Anza-Borrego State Park and Joshua Tree N.P. on the way over....and who knows what else.
We'll keep in touch.....when the signal is strong enough!
Brent..and Molly, too!
Subject: Thousand Oaks, CA
Whoever said "It never rains in Southern California" was WRONG! We woke up this morning in front of our daughter's house here in Thousand Oaks to rain drops on the roof. Yuk!
The last few days, however, have been pretty nice. No shorts yet though. We did finally take the sweatshirts off and after looking at the closet, realized that maybe we took too many.
We have been keeping in touch with the kids and other friends with e-mail. This cell phone/modem combination is just great. We write the message, que it up, log on, and it is sent instantly. Total airtime is normally less than a minute from start of dialing to disconnect. The only problem we had was at the Thousand Trail camp where it was up in the hills and the signal was flat-lined. We had to drive down the road four miles in the car and then log on.
We spent several days at Lynda's seeing the grand kids activities...Brianna at ballet, Megan at jazz dance and Jordan at baseball. We even took in a Lakers game...scanning the crowd for stars was fun!
Subject: Chula Vista
Arrived in Chula Vista Friday afternoon and drove up in the hills to our Thousand Trails camp.....nice but still just a camp! Again, it's up in the hills and we don't "get any dots" on the cell phone so keep it off.
Friday night we went to dinner with Will/JoAnn & Brian/Laurie at the Chula Vista Yacht Club. It was St. Patrick's night with corned beef & cabbage. The marina is REAL nice, quiet, and clean. The yacht club is located right on the board walk and the end of Will & JoAnn's dock. We are planning a "dwaddle" day today (Saturday) although we may head in to San Diego to LOOK! Then Sunday morning we are going in to the yacht club and have their Sunday Brunch with the guys again before we head out of town.
Since we cannot get cell reception here, Thousand Trails has a phone hookup for computer e-mail. I haven't ever gone on-line at a "modem friendly" campground before and will try to sent this that way. Remember, on a land line for me it is a long distance call back to Portland, although Teleport does have three phone lines in San Diego....don't know if that's long distance from here or not. If that doesn't work I'll add a PS to this note and sent it via cell phone if we get to town today.....or tomorrow.
Short term plans are to head East to Anza-Boreggo and Joshua Tree Parks and then on to Tucson by the end of next week. May spend two nights at each location...Anza-Boreggo has a Good Neighbor Park and Indio near Joshua Tree has a Coast to Coast.
Still haven't had shorts on, but I have shaved my legs in anticipation [Molly]! Take care and will be seeing you soon we hope.
Brent and Molly
Subject: Indio, CA
Today we are in Indio....just east of Palm Springs in an AT&T area with good strength. It only takes a minute or two to sent and receive messages in this area....probably depends on time of day too. We went for a road tour of Joshua Tree N.P. today after we arrived. Saw some neat cactus plants and got several more lifers....first sightings of birds. We'll be here for two nights kicking back and sight-seeing. We are staying in a true "resort" RV community with swimming pools, tennis courts, shuffle board, horse-shoe pits, rec. rooms, weight rooms, community center, etc., etc., etc. AND it only cost us $6/night because it is one of our Coast-to-Coast RV membership parks. WHAT A WAY TO LIVE!
For the last two days (after leaving Chula Vista visiting cruising friends) we spent a day in Ocotello Wells touring and hiking in Anza-Borrego State Park (the nation's second largest state park). The RV park, however, was a wind swept, sand box. It was across the highway from one of California's off-road vehicle areas. At least it was mid-week and not very busy. The first night there was beautiful. No wind, lots of stars, warm, and very quiet. Just what you picture for a fine desert retreat.
Getting to Ocotello Wells required coming down a long narrow winding road. Although I was just touching the breaks occasionally, they started getting a bit mushy and starting to smell. I found a place to pull over and they were smoking. We waited a half hour for them to cool, disconnected the car (Molly drove it down the hill the rest of the way), and proceeded to Ocotello Wells. I will be a little more wary next time and disconnect earlier.
Thursday we plan to head east to Phoenix, where we will probably meet up with our friends Bud & Lisa. There is some kind of kite festival there this weekend, so we may do that before we then head South to Tucson to see some other sailing friends that live there now. THEN we are on our own and will probably see some of the National Parks to the North.
Hope everybody is fine there. I'm starting to actually think that this is NOT JUST A VACATION......and looking forward to more adventures.
Subject: Tucson Travels
Had time to sit and do some e-mail catching-up of our travels. Better news than the last one!
By the way we are in Tucson. We stayed several days with our friends Nada and Dorsey Hensley and then she had other friends coming and "kicked us out". (Actually, she was willing to stay over at the neighbors so we could all stay there, but we opted to move on.) We moved into the same park that Bud and Lisa Root are staying in. We were storing the RV in another park when at Nada's. We will be staying here until Friday. Then we will probably head to Phoenix to watch Lisa compete in a kite competition. And then we don't know where!
The weather is unbelievable, mid 80's, and SUN! There is supposed to be a chance of showers on Friday.....but I don't think they know what showers really mean.
We have been seeing lots of sights. Friday was Old Tucson Studios, where they have shot several movies and TV series like Gunsmoke and High Chaparral. There were several shows that Nada guided us to.
Saturday, Bud & Lisa and we drove almost to Phoenix to go to the Renaissance Fair. A full day of shows and medieval dress and contests....like real jousting. The best show was the "Birds of Prey". The first bird (Zulu) an African eagle, didn't want to cooperate and was flying from roof to roof, and wouldn't come catch the target the trainer was throwing. Finally the bird took off on a thermal, soaring higher and higher.....and never came back!!!
Sunday we went to Catalina State Park and did some hiking and birding in the hot desert SUN, and then a great dip in the pool at Nada's development.....then cocktails of course!
Monday was a "work" day! We moved the RV to the other park, but also got it lubed & oil changed. We had the car looked at and an appointment made for Wednesday....the air conditioning (YES AIR CONDITIONING!) makes the car stall out when at idle--a problem we hadn't noticed in Oregon! And I took the RV past a roadside window repair vendor (there are several just along side the road) to check if the crack in our windshield could be fixed. It started as a chip and then one day zipped in a nice arc of about 12 inches. He said they could fill it and it would be about 90% better and not split anymore. We will go back on Friday and get it fixed on our way out of town. That should take care of all the maintenance things we needed done.
Tuesday (today) is (as Lisa put's it) a "dwaddle day". After we all went out to breakfast, Molly & Lisa went shopping and bought new dishes and.....well a whole bunch of stuff (good stuff!). Costco here has booze!! and gasoline too! Bud & I put a roof vent cover on his motor home, using the new drill that Molly bought me for Christmas. Bud and Lisa are now out flying their kites and Molly is putting things...stuff away....and I'm doing this in the shade of our awning sipping a beer!
Hope the weather is getting better there.
Subject: Williams, AZ
I know, "Where the hell is Williams, Arizona?" Well, it's about 30 miles West of Flagstaff up in the mountains. We are camping at a little over 7,000 ft., a long way from the desert. It looks a lot like Eastern Oregon pine forests here.
We spent over a week in Tucson visiting, and seeing the sites. The last place we visited was Biosphere2 where 8 people lived for 2 years in the early 90's in a 3.1 acre glass enclosed environment without any supplies from the outside (well not quite true...they had to import some oxygen when the artificial cement rocks that had been build started using up the oxygen during it's aging process). The Biosphere had 5 different habitats that they maintained and did experiments in (including a 100 million gallon Ocean habitat with an self-sustaining coral reef). The other habitats included a rain forest, desert, savanna, and marsh. They grew all their own food to live on in those two years too. If you're ever in Tucson, make sure you see it.
Then we headed to Phoenix with our friends Bud and Lisa Root. Lisa was flying her kite in competition. And she won first place in the mandatory maneuvers and second place in the free-style flight to music, beating out 4 men. We were proud of her and everybody was impressed that she had her own cheering section all the way from Portland.
We stayed in Phoenix three nights at a nice RV park and went swimming several times after a day in the hot sun watching kite flying. The temperatures are still in the mid to upper 80's and we're starting to get a little color.....but we're taking it slow! We had some large umbrellas with us and used them to shade us from the sun......something we had never used them for in Portland!!!
Today we drove 150 miles North through Flagstaff and then West to Williams. We thought this would be a good staging area for heading North tomorrow to visit the south rim of the Grand Canyon. We've never seen it before and this is one of the MANY first's we expect to see from now on.
We still see RAIN fronts coming into the Pacific Northwest on the National weather reports. Therefore, we're not in too much of a hurry to get home and get started working on the boat.....got a friend doing that for us already! We still plan to see many of the Utah National Parks, then head for Las Vegas. Molly's closest friend from high school sent us an e-mail saying she is getting married in Las Vegas on April 14. So we made reservations for the 13th through the 15th at a Coast-to-Coast RV park right near the strip (only $6/night!). After that we will probably head home slowly working our way up through Reno and Northwestern California.
Let people at work know that it's not getting boring yet and I'M NOT COMING BACK!
Subject: Blanding, Utah
Don't know when we may be able to send this. We are in Monument Valley--"roam and no dots!" on the cell phone.
We spent Tuesday (3/30) in the Grand Canyon. We parked the RV in a park just outside the park headquarters and drove into the park in the car. Weather was very windy but comfortably warm. We took the rim tour and hiked back to the village on some of it. They were doing some controlled burning in part of the park so some of the views were a little smokey--made our pictures a little hazy looking. Wednesday we awoke to stronger winds than the previous day and looking like it could get stormy. We drove back into the park but then headed east along hwy 64 along the east rim of the canyon. It was much cooler today and really windy at all the stops we made along the rim to view the canyon. As we left the park and dropped back down to the desert, we encountered very windy conditions from the side. It was more than a little scary at times. Brent had a good workout just keeping the rig on the road and then just being able to see the road at times was a challenge! We had the lights on and at times it was like driving in heavy fog because of the blowing dust. Would have liked to be able to shorten sails--but couldn't find any reef lines! No place looked like a good place to stop, but continuing on at times didn't look like the best option either. At one point, the gusts rattled us so bad that it made the awning latches come loose. We had to stop several times right on the road and finally strapped then up with Velcro and bungee cords. But we continued and finally the wind was at our back and made travel a little more comfortable. We stopped for sandwiches in Kayenta and considered spending the night in a parking lot there, but decided to go on to Monument Valley to a Good Sam park there;
it's at the location John Wayne stayed and filmed when here. We haven't been able to see any of the monuments--too much wind and blowing dust. They say they are out there, but can't see anything! We were going to visit the park headquarters, but there was a fee to enter and since we couldn't see anything, decided to wait until tomorrow to see if the visibility is better. The RV park is pretty nice and we were able to pick a good spot where we could orient the rig into the wind and not be broad sided by the gusts. We did enjoy just kicking back for the afternoon.
I spent some time learning the scanner and printing some pictures from the camera. I got in a real twit; thought I had lost some pictures I had transferred the other night. They were the ones with Herm and Nancy and also Lisa's kite pictures. Knew I had edited and transferred them from the camera, but they weren't in the Kodak albums where they were supposed to be. I had cleared out the camera to make room for Grand Canyon and beyond. Finally did a search for all my "jpg" files and found them and put them where they belonged! Hate to have the computer get the best of me!
It's after dinner now and it seems like maybe the wind has died down a bit--or maybe we are just getting used to it! We are hoping that this will pass by the morning. If it does, we plan to see this area before moving on north to Natural Bridges, Arches, Canyon Lands, etc.
The wind did stop during the night and in the morning it was .... snowing! Thought at first Brent was playing an April's fools joke! Not snowing hard, but enough to make the ground white. The snow at least settled all the dust from the day before. And, yes...there were monuments out there. See attached picture view from our front window. After breakfast we returned to the park headquarters. It cost $2.50 per person ... and very well worth it ... when you can see something. We took the self-guided drive and I took a lot of pictures.
Weather was clearing up so after noon we left for Blanding. Arrived here in early afternoon and spend a "dwaddle" afternoon. Really needed to do some cleaning ... everything had a layer of dust after yesterday's trip. We will spend a couple of nights here (I think!). I have Roam and lots of dots so will send this tonight.
We will take a car drive tomorrow to Natural Bridges and Glen Canyon--Lake Powell. On Saturday we want to go on to Moab, where we will stay several days seeing Arches and Canyon Lands National Parks. I say we want to do that on Saturday, but am not sure because it is again snowing here where we are tonight, so all these plans depend on what the weather allows us to do. But the weather reports seem to indicate that the weather will be improving over the weekend, so that's probably what we will do.
Will keep you posted.
Subject: SNOW Bound
HELP! We thought this was desert country.....and SPRING...not Winter in the mountains. It's been snowing all day!
We slept late and finally the snow abated a bit so we decided to drive up to Natural Bridges N.P. about 30 mile away from here (Blanding, UT). We got up there but couldn't see a thing because of the poor/snow visibility. We did walk to one over-look and saw where the natural bridge should be, but good visibility would have been better. The only picture we took was on the way out at the entrance (see picture).
We came back to camp and just lazed around (I mean dwaddled!)....watching the snow fall the rest of the day. Right now (6:30 pm) there is about 2-3 inches out there. We made reservation tomorrow in Moab UTAH, but don't know if it will be do-able. Even if we can, I'm not sure we are going to see any arches or canyons! This weekend is an off-road jamboree in Moab, so the Good Neighbor park said they wouldn't honor the reduced rate.
We are getting pretty depressed, after all the nice weather we had and now this. But there seems no place to go to get out of this. They had about 3 inches in Phoenix, I hear, and they canceled a Pro Golf Tournament in Scottsdale. I guess we will save some of the sight seeing in this part of the country for "the next time". I guess we can just sit it out, work our way up to I-70, and then head on over to Las Vegas.
Apparently I lied to Molly.....I told her she would never see the SNOW again and here we are snow-bound in Blanding....where-ever the hell that is!
I didn't get this sent last night. The connection was acting up. The sky looks a lot better this morning, but it's white outside. The highway looks clear, so we will wait around til late this morning and then take off for Moab.
Last night after we went to bed and were watching TV, we heard a knock on the door. It was the park manager saying it was going to get down to 20 degrees tonight and that the water should be unhooked. He said he'ld do it if I wanted, which he did. After awhile, however, I went out and drained and coiled the water hose and put it back in the basement. I also unlocked the car doors and took the emergency break off. I thought I was done will all this winterizing shit!
Oh well, hope you're warm.....if you are we may be heading that way sooner than expected!
Subject: Moab, Utah
Today was a better day!!! Sometime during the night, it stopped snowing....and the skies cleared and in the AM we had sunshine! It is amazing what a difference a little sunshine can do. Yesterday, was gray, gray, gray skies and snowing all day long, I swear. Today, although it was still cold, everything was clear and crisp and bright!
We left Blanding mid morning and had about 80 miles to go to Moab. Fortunately we had heard a news report about there being a "Jeep Jamboree" weekend in Moab this weekend and had called ahead for reservations .... there are more jeeps in this small town this weekend than we have seen in a lifetime! Our poor car needed a car wash after being towed on the wet road ... you can imagine the wait at the car wash as all the jeeps were there to wash after being off-roading! There are a lot of RV parks here, but they are all jammed as is every motel. Glad we didn't have to find a place to eat tonight .. am sure every restaurant is packed.
We made some sandwiches and then headed out for Arches National Park. So far, this is my favorite place. I felt a little like I did when we went to Glacier Park. When I saw the first glacier, I got so excited ... not knowing there were dozens and dozen more to come. After a while, it was ... "oh, it's another glacier." I am glad we had just taken John's geology class because we were able to look at the formations and identify them and appreciate their formation. Really made a difference.
It was a full afternoon in the park. We made a lot of short hikes out to viewpoints and took lots of pictures. Am finally beginning to use the camera efficiently ... I take every picture I see, then come back and review them on the TV, eliminate the ones I don't like, then transfer them to the computer and clear off the camera to be ready for the next day! One of these days, I am going to have to get serious about printing them ... oh well, I have a lot of time.
Had an e-mail from Jeanette ... first retirement check arrived. YEAH!! Now it's real!!!!!
Don't know what tomorrow's weather will bring. Report is for another storm front to be moving in, but not as strong as the previous. We want to see Canyonlands NP tomorrow, but if the weather is anything like yesterday and Natural Bridges, we may pass and have another "dwaddle" day. They aren't so bad.
Subject: Moab to Vegas
Didn't get a chance to write anything and sent it off this morning so I am writing this as Molly is driving across Utah at 65 mph. I will try to put an update together by excerpts from other e-mails in the last week.
Snow on the ground again today, but decided to go to Canyonlands anyway...about 30 miles from our park. As we entered the park another snowstorm hit and didn't look like it was going to pass anytime soon. Upheaval Dome, which I wanted to see was another 10 miles inside the park. We drove a few more miles and could barely see the sides of the road, so we turned around, went back to Moab and went to a movie, then to dinner.
When we got back to the rig, we called our friends Bud & Lisa, who were in Bullhead city in their RV, and asked then how the weather was there....they had sunshine and were still wearing shorts!!! Although we really wanted to do the rest of the National Parks in southern Utah, we decided maybe next time! We told Bud & Lisa we would be heading for Bullhead City tomorrow.
Well, that's where we are now....heading for it, that is. We figure we can make Las Vegas late this afternoon and have an easy day tomorrow (Tuesday) to head South to Bullhead City. Actually they are just a little South of that in Fort Mojave.
That's as up-to-date as I can make it for now. If I don't get this sent on the road, I will include some pictures and send it tonight.
By for now,
Subject: Las Vegas
We are in Las Vegas (Monday night) but were unable to locate a soccer tournament. We didn't get here til after noon. Checked into a beautiful RV park right near the strip ($6/night as Coast-to-Coast member). Then drove in and toured some of the casinos.
We decided to go big pig (whole hog to others) and get tickets to some shows. We got tickets to see Wayne Newton and Crystal Gayle. Lots of shows to see but these were the only ones we had heard of.
There is a storm system over LV right now and it did spit some moisture today, but when we were sitting outside watching the wave pool at the Mandalay Bay Casino, we just sat there having a drink and everybody else ran for cover.....they weren't from Oregon! The temp, however, was 67 today. Actually it is thundering and lightening out right now (8:40pm)!!!
The eats here are great too. Tomorrow we plan to go to an all-you-can-eat breakfast buffet for $3.45. In-expensive on the pocket book, but very expensive on the waistline!
After L.V. we plan to see Death Valley then on to Reno/Tahoe and then slowly work our way home to Portland by the end of the month. See you then. It seems awful strange now that we have not worked for a month and a half, the longest vacation I've ever had so far, but I'm getting to like it a lot!!!
Subject: Still in L.V.
Yep, we're still in Las Vegas!! We decided to stay an extra week because we were having so much fun and there are so many sights.
We have gone to see three shows and have tickets to see the Righteous Brothers tonight. We have also seen most of the "free" shows and attractions, the best of which is the fountain show in front of the Bellagio that is synchronized with music. Bud and Lisa have been here since last Thursday and we have been going to most of the attractions together. They are leaving today (Tuesday) and we are heading to Death Valley tomorrow.
The weather is getting warm!! The pool at our RV park resort has been well used. Yesterday was 93 and it's predicted as 94 today. Death Valley was over 100 yesterday so we may have second thoughts tomorrow if it is staying that high.
We're not looking forward to heading home, especially when we see on the national weather map that it's still getting wet up there. But we do have to start getting the boat ready for Vancouver Island in June. The fellow I have working on the electronics is done and only has the new autohelm to put on.
We are leaving Reno this morning in cloudy and predicted windy conditions. Temp today will be 64 and yesterday was in the mid 70's.
We did it all in Las Vegas. The last show we saw was the Righteous Brothers, sang all the old songs and it was great.
We left L.V. on Wednesday and headed out the back door of Vegas, through Pahrump, Death Valley Junction, and into the Valley from the south. The temp was about 92 when we got there. We drove back down the valley to Badwater (-282' below sea level) and then another 30 miles South to take a picture of a hill that is located right on top of the fault that formed Death Valley. The East and West side of the hill actually slipped North and South of each other. Like splitting an apple and moving each half along the same plane about an inch.
We stayed in Furnace Creek campground with no facilities except just a place to call our own. Had dinner at the Furnace Creek Ranch Restaurant and saw some Harley Davidson bikers with "Beaverton Oregon" on their shirts. One asked me if I knew Kay Brown (when he found out I worked for ODFW). I told him of course....she was my new boss (Asst. Dir. of Habitat Division) just before I retired. His name was Rick Williams and is Kay's brother-in-law. So I have to say Hi to Kay from him when I get back!
The next day we drove to the North end of the valley to Scotty's Castle and Ubehebe Crater, then up to a very narrow canyon where we took some pictures of the car wedged in some of the corners. The canyon is called Titus Canyon, but some of us in John Snively's Death Valley class (Clackamas Comm. College) several years ago corrupted the name a bit because it was so "tight"!
That night we filled the motor home with gas so we wouldn't have to worry during the next long day in the outback. The price....$2.03/gal! The trip, when we left, was up a monstrous hill (the Panament Range) out of the valley and then down the other side. No roller coaster was ever like this, you know the coaster is safe, but if the breaks get too warm coming down this narrow 9% hill for five miles, that's all she wrote!!! Then it was cross the Panament Valley (another one just like Death Valley) and up and over another mountain range. Molly drove the car behind the RV from Death Valley until we got down off the second mountain range, much less to pull up one side and hold back down the other.
We were headed for Mono Lake, CA that night, but it was getting very cold and snowing. We drove through snow on the highway over one of the passes (8,000 feet). We were going to stay two nights in Mono Lake (actually Lee Vining) and drive the car over the mountains into Yosemite N.P. the next day, but the pass was closed because of snow. Therefore, we only stayed one night and hoped the pass beyond Mono Lake toward Reno would be ok the next day (8,100 ft).
The next day was fine, dry roads. So we are in Reno now in a park (actually in Sparks). There aren't many shows here like LV. We went into town and did some nickel slot machines just to get rid of what we had left from LV. We kept winning more, however, and finally cashed out, then went to the Nugget for dinner.
We are heading out today (Monday) toward Susanville-Alturas-Klamath Falls-Bend and over the hill to Portland. At least that's the plan for now. We should be back by the end of the week. Not too rushed but in the right direction!
That's it for now. Talk to you when we get back.
Log 2: North to Canada, Summer 1999,