I have finally arrived back home to my beloved Anza-Borrego Desert State Park but have moved up to Ram’s Hill Country Club. We are attempting to sell the beautiful house that I took all of the incredible sunrise photographs. Ram’s Hill has its own unique charm and as I write, I am listening to a chorus of coyotes howling and yipping off in the distance. I have a pond in the back of the house that attracts a lot of wildlife, so I am excited about the prospect of new photo opportunities.
Michael, Lara, Callie and I piled up most of our belongings into the SUV so that we could leave the RV in Encinitas and have the chance now to go back and forth to the beach and the desert. It can feel a little isolating in the desert and Callie can never run around free because of all the predators. I actually let her explore her surroundings at the beach with frequent checks from me so that she could feel a little more freedom. She loved it and stayed close to the RV.
Callie is doing very well and loved all the travel time. She has had so many experiences as a cat that it still amazes me how much she has learned about travel. She can watch the world go by as she rests on the dash, she walks with a leash along wilderness trails and will soon be put on a bike basket again to whiz along the roads and feel the wind in her fur.
I can’t stress enough the importance of good tires when RVing. It isn’t just the thread but also the sidewalls that are important. You cannot help it if you run over debris in the road, but having blowouts can be catastrophic, dangerous and just plain inconvenient when traveling.
When we were on the way to Big Basin National Park last month and AFTER we had driven past the sign stating that there would be no services for 83 miles, we had a blowout in the back outside tire below the gray water tank. It tore through the tank and displaced the pipe by at least an inch when it blew! Michael drove the RV with great caution and at under 25 mph and we made it to a gas station finally at a crawl. He was able to get some help and changed out the tire and switched it with the spare but we had to depend on it all of the way back to Borrego Springs.
Fred just happened to have a slider issue yesterday morning after I had posted my blog on leveling, (he has a very weak motor) so we caravaned into Tillamook to have his MINNIE repaired and Michael had the repair shop work on our gray water tank at the same time. The Tillamook RV Repair Shop took care of all of our needs as we pigged out at the Tillamook Cheese and Creamery Factory across the street. I had to put aside my thoughts and concerns about the care and needs of dairy cows in order to enjoy the delicious cheese they produce and had a fabulous Caesar Salad and Tomato Soup with Cheddar Cheese Curds melted in it.
Because the repair work took all day, we headed back to the Jetty Marina and Campgrounds at Rockaway Beach and watched a magnificent sunset. It was a beautiful evening with the smell of salt in the air and the sounds of gulls calling out their mournful song as the waves lapped at the sand while the tide came in. This RV site has about 10 spaces on grass that have an incredible view of the ocean and sand spit. The photographs are listed as the Nehalem River so I am a little confused about whether it is a river or inlet. Whatever it is, the view is extraordinary!
I have taken about three weeks off from posting any new material because I ran out of storage space and I keep debating on what to do next as far as blogging goes. I could buy a business plan on WordPress but that seems too expensive, or delete old photographs. I have chosen for the time being to delete past images until I can figure out what I want to do next because I miss writing and posting photos of Callie. I have also noticed that I can’t remember what I did yesterday, much less, where I was last month! If I don’t attempt to record my thoughts and experiences down in a journal, I quickly forget who I am and where I have been!
Callie visited 6 National Parks last month- Zion, the North Rim Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, The Grand Tetons, Great Basin National Park, and see, I can’t remember what the 6th place was that we stayed at unless I go back and look up old photographs. (It was Monument Valley) We are currently heading up the northwest coastline to Seattle, Washington with our friend, Fred and daughter Lara to attend a wedding.
As soon as we crossed over the Oregon border, we got steady rain and it has been raining all night in Brookings, Oregon at the Harris Beach Campground. Listening to the rain last night as we slept was peaceful and soothing and the fluffy blankets have come out because Callie insists on sleeping underneath them. She is doing well and so loves traveling and resting on the dash while she helps out with the navigation.
We left Encinitas, California last Monday and it is now Saturday morning. We stopped at Jalama State Beach the first night, Bella Vista in Cayucos on the second night, Big Sur on the third, The Redwoods, the fourth and we are now camped at Harris Beach. It has been so hot and dry for so long in California, that the damp and coolness of the rain is a wonderful respite. The muffled sounds of wet leaves and raindrops pinging on the top of the RV and the trill of various songbirds as they rustle underneath for food makes for a peaceful and misty morning.
The sun is supposed to come out later today, so we are planning on staying one more night. Callie got her walk this morning in the drizzle and was greeted by various campers with stories of their own to tell about adopting stray cats and kittens. For the most part, it seems like a lot of cats choose their owners, just like Callie did with me.
We are having an incredible time and are currently at a rest stop off the 15 in Idaho. We left Monument Valley and spent 12 hours on the road. It is now 5:45 am and Michael, Callie and I are up and at ’em! We want to make it to Yellowstone today. We have a 3.5 hour drive to go.
I cannot upload photographs until I buy more storage. I have linked my 500px photographs so that you can see what I have been up to. I want to thank all of my readers for following my blog. Callie loves traveling with us and has been an awesome traveling partner with Michael and me. The Tracker that we are pulling is a great addition and the 24ft Icon Class C, fantastic.
Love, Joan & Callie of course!
We are camped at the Kaibab RV Campground which is about a 45 minute to an hour drive to the Grand Canyon North Rim. The road takes you past miles and miles of burned down forest with broadleaf trees sprouting up first. But once you get close to the entrance of the park, fragrant meadows appear as far as the eye can see. As soon as we crossed into the park, a herd of Bison were being supervised by park rangers as they rolled in the dirt and sparred with one another. Many of the females had nursing calves and you have to wonder if they will survive the harsh winter. They were crossing the road and sometimes would stop and stare at the cars and drivers. When this happened, the Rangers would blast their sirens to keep the herd moving into the grassy meadow.
The rim was extraordinary and a lightning storm was flashing in the distance. You pass a sign where a hiker was struck two weeks ago by a bolt and there is a hole in the pathway and a tree took a direct hit too. If you hear thunder, you must take cover indoors at the lodge. The hiker survived because of the quick response to personnel and CPR.
I took lots of photographs and we had a fabulous day because of the Tracker and the freedom it gives us to explore the area without dragging the RV everywhere. Callie goes on several walks and appears to appreciate the cooler temperature of being at an 8500 elevation. The pine trees smell divine and there are puffy white clouds out. The monsoon season has arrived and every evening the clouds build up in the distance to dump rain on the horizon.
Callie, Michael, Lara and I were all here in April of this year, but it was much too cold for Callie to get in long walks at the resort. Today we went all the way to the office and Linda, one of the front desk employees, came running out to take Callie’s photograph and to give her a package of treats. I give Zion River Resort 5 stars for everything from service, to the grounds, showers and the swimming pool and jacuzzi. We have met so many nice people here and will come yet again. It is ideally located to take the shuttle into Zion or over to Saint George for Snow Canyon and Pine Valley Recreation Area. The Kolob Reservoir is a must see also!
Life is an adventure and traveling in an RV makes the adventure attainable. Every day becomes a here and now experience. I am so grateful for my health and the health of Michael and Callie. You can’t have as good a time if you are ill. We are leaving for the North Rim Grand Canyon tomorrow.