Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Eastbound and down...

We said our fond farewells to (most of) our moho friends over another fabulous meal last night. And now we are traveling over Oregon's thumb, following the Columbia River...in gray drizzle. Rain has arrived at last as we make our way to tonight's destination--Spokane, WA.

We will meet up with two coaches that left just ahead of us this morning.

It was a great caravan, but we were all ready to move on. New Hampshire, the Griswolds are coming!

Life is good, y'all!
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Monday, August 30, 2010

Astoria harbor

A beautiful, cool day here at the Columbia River Maritime Museum on our final caravan day. Boats and water next to the museum...two very fine combinations for the Griswolds and gang.

Having some Monday fun. Hope you do, too!
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Sunday, August 29, 2010

Sunday stuff

We took off this morning with friends John and Karen and headed across the bridge at Astoria over into Washington, where we found a couple of lighthouses…and lunch of chowder and fish and chips.  Yummm!

First off, we saw North Head Lighthouse, circa 1898:

IMGP1841And saw many birds living and nesting  on the cliffs across the bay from it (boy, do they make a mess, but their quano is an important part of their nest making:


Then we moved on to the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center, with this lighthouse on the point at Cape Disappointment (the name says it all, as L&C were very disappointed in the lack of  food and shelter found there):


It was a fun day, but being near the water is always a good thing in our book.   Tomorrow is our final group day, but don’t think the adventure is ending.  Nope, Dick and I head to New Hampshire.

Stay tuned, y’all!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Slight fog

Seaside, Oregon, with slight fog here at the beach. Fortunately, we have reservations at a nice restaurant on the beautiful promenade. The town is filled with a walking and bike race happening. Perfect cool weather for that.

We thoroughly enjoyed our tour of Ft. Clatsop where we learned more Lewis and Clark history. This was the end of the line for this great expedition.

Tonight is our chili cook off, so I'll be playing BettydamnCrocker. I think I can remember how, even after being pampered for well over a week. The things a gal has to do.

Life is good! Have a great weekend, y'all.
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Friday, August 27, 2010

Who cut the cheese?

Greetings from Tillamook Cheese factory. We highly recommend their espresso mocha ice cream. Yumm...

Sandee, your birth town is lovely.

Love from the Griswolds!

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Rotors, wings and other things…

The Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum was a big hit with my guy. 

Can you believe this:


Hold short of the intersecting runway, fella!

Lotsa planes to see, including the infamous Spruce Goose:

Spruce Goose

Here is Dick trying to land the space shuttle:


Oh yes, he crashed and burned.  More than once.  Guess he needs a little more practice with that big bird!


But he sure was the best engineer on the tower building project after dinner last night, despite how this structure looks.  Our team won, believe it or not, by being the tallest and staying upright the longest!

We are motoring to our final caravan destination today, Ft. Stevens.  No, it isn’t the end of our caravan just yet, just our final group destination.

Happy Friday.  Go out and have some fun, y’all!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Thursday things

The group is off on another grand adventure today, involving airplanes.  There will be photos tomorrow!

There was heavy fog over the ocean, but that didn’t dampen our spirits as we traveled along the coast to the aquarium in Newport yesterday...


touch pond

The grandkids would have enjoyed this 'touch’ pond that had all kinds of creatures living in it.


And seeing these guys…

Hanging around

And this starfish, just hanging around on the glass partition…

sea otter feeding

And the feeding of the otters and sea lions…

Heck, us big kids enjoyed seeing all that!

Check out the caravan blog for our culinary dinner details and more photos.  Yummm…

Today promises to be a special one.  I hope yours is too!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Wonderful Wednesday…

Our leaders have a lovely day planned here for us in Lincoln City (read all about it here).  Ivana asked who is writing the caravan blog.  That would be ME!  New friend Karen has supplied most of the photos, but some are done be me and some by Dick.

If you want to check out more photos, click here and see more...many more!  I don't think you have to be a Picasa member in order to see the photos, so I hope this works.  Let me know!

Yesterday's drive along the Oregon coast was beautiful, but there weren't many places to pull over for photos, even if we had time to do so.  There were four coaches in our caravan, with us being the 'tail gunner' (last coach).  Dick, being a good mechanic, volunteered for this tail-gunner position.  This person is there just in case anyone breaks down and needs assistance.  Dick would be johnny on the spot and the go-to guy for sure.IMGP1493


Great views, right?  The Griswolds are having fun!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Myrtlewood Factory in Coos Bay

There were lots of pretty and pratical wood items to tempt us yesterday...bowls, cutting boards, serving trays, utensils...even wooden jewelry!  Here is just a small sample of their wares...

If you want to find out what myrtlewood is, you'll have to check out the caravan blog for the explanation.  We learned that it takes a whole century for a tree to mature enough to use for their products.  Since the trees have a large shade canopy, they do need to be cut down in order to make room for more growth in the forest.

Today, we are on the move again.  This will be our next-to-last campground, and a culinary experience awaits us tonight.  We have eaten well on this trip...and enjoyed lots of good company.

Check out the other blog if you are interested in learning more about our daily caravan activities.  And leave me a comment!

Make today special...because it is.  Life is good!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Botanical garden

Sunny, but cool today as we tour the Cape Arago area. Dick spotted a whale off shore, who was traveling with her calf, cavorting and blowing for us in search of their lunch.

We are heading to a myrtlewood factory now before heading back to the coaches. Dinner tonight will be poolside at the casino.

Tomorrow we caravan north to Lincoln. Havin fun!
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Sunday, August 22, 2010

Today's view...

Day on our own...and this our view through the windshield across Coos Bay. Not too shabby!

All 11 coaches got to move into the cg after lunch yesterday. Dick and I were lucky that we got a spot next to the bay.

It is again sunny and cool, but laundry and cleaning both need to be done, along with some photo editing. And a car wash. Poor towed is mighty dirty.

That's our Sunday for the Griswolds. Hope yours is a fun one, y'all!
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Saturday, August 21, 2010

Umpqua Lighthouse

Too bad the light is behind it, but morning is when we are here. It is beautiful. We wanna see it at night!

Heading now to the Umpqua Discovery Museum.

The Griswolds are having fun on the sunny, chilly Oregon coast...no rain!
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Friday, August 20, 2010

On the road again...

The Griswolds are the tail gunner (last coach) for our wave. This is our view for 204 miles today as we travel to North Bend.

We have a rest break for fixing lunch midway, with a fine dinner promised tonight. There was a mix up by the casino for our cg reservations, so they are comping us tickets to hear Kenny Loggins in concert tonight. Not too shabby for having to dry camp one night. Shhh, don't tell the casino we don't mind the inconvenience!

That's life from the road, y'all. Have a great weekend. Any plans???
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Thursday, August 19, 2010

Heading to Crater Lake!

Our kids have this vivid memory of our trip to Crater Lake back in '89...chipmunks!  They were more fascinating to the them than that big ole lake, but what would you expect when they lived on a lake already.  And it took ALL DAY to get there.  Bummer...boring.  They were not interested in history nor geology...until they heard about these places in school, and could say that they had been there.  They had seen this stuff with their own eyes!  Then the stories came alive and became real.
That the fun of traveling with kids!  NOT...
Have a fun Thursday, y'all!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

First caravan day

So how do we caravan these big buses?

Our leader set up 4 waves (groups) of 3-4 mohos each, and has a set time for each wave to depart as a group, allowing for 20 minutes between each group so as not to unduly tie up traffic. We will be very considerate of others on the highway.

A rest stop is planned mid-trip for anyone wanting to stop. We all have assigned campsites, and the afternoon free to do whatever until happy hour, then dinner out.

Doesn't this sound like fun? Yes!

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Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Lava Lands Natl Pk

Sitting on top of a sleeping volcano. Yikes!
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Monday, August 16, 2010

High Desert Museum

Hard to get the whole group to line up and be still!

We just saw a bobcat and a lynx. Real ones and stuffed ones, real otters, rattlesnakes, and owls! Very interesting museum.

Rafting this afternoon. Check out www.oregoncaravan.blogspot.com and follow the next adventure!
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Sunday, August 15, 2010

Goodbye, dust bowl!

We visited with Dorota and Dave this morning, watching the parade of departing motorhomes. They dropped by the booth yesterday, bringing a yummy Polish dish that we enjoyed for our lunch. Gotta love friends who bring food! That totally rocks. We wish we could take them with us on the caravan.

Speaking of that, we are now rolling south to LaPine where we are joining our Monacos-in-Motion club for a two-week journey around Oregon. Come back and learn more details, and follow this fun adventure with us.

Life is good! Have I mentioned that?
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Saturday, August 14, 2010

Final day @ convention

Dick is chatting with some lookers. Campers are the nicest folks, and we've seen a lot of them!

We'll celebrate convention end with some of our Monaco Traveler club friends tonight with a potluck dinner. Whenever there is a gathering of friends, there is always good food and laughter.

Life doesn't get much better than that. Happy Saturday, y'all!
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Friday, August 13, 2010

Our booth…and it’s Friday the 13th!


This is the display booth for our RV park here at the motorhome convention.   Of course this photo was taken just after we set up, when there were no folks around, except other exhibitors.  There are flyers on the table for the park, as well as local chamber of commerce info for our little town.  We had lots of nice folks stop by and visit yesterday (well, Dick did…I was off getting my hair cut and doing errands, then fixing dinner). 

So that answers WHAT we are doing here at the convention.  Besides having fun.  And running into friends and family.

John and Jean have a Beaver motorhome (we’ve owned two, so Dick and John have had numerous ‘guy’ conversations over the years about that).  Each particular brand of motorhome has clubs…much like a Corvette clubs, Airstream clubs, etc., and there are even some motorhome clubs that are generic—you can join, no matter what brand you own.  They are all  a great way to meet kindred folks, and also provides  opportunities for guys to kick more tires. 

So that explains what a Beaver motorhome group is.  They go out camping and eating and having fun together.

Friends Dave and Dorota came over for dinner last night.  Missy charmed them, and they are now convinced that their own tuxedo kitty is her long-lost brother!  We’ll have to set up a play date for them.

And tonight, we’ll get together with John and Jean for  dinner.  See, we have quite the social life, even out on the road.

Barb, I hope this unconfused you:)  I don’t want you to be lost.

Since this is Friday the 13th, do any of you have any phobias about this date?  Not me.  It’s just another great day in paradise.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

What a small world!

Dick has 5 cousins, and today, here in Oregon, John and wife Jean from Arizona came by our booth! They are with a Beaver group and busy tonight, so we'll get together with them tomorrow night.
It's a small world for sure. You never know when or where friends and family will appear!

Life is GOOD!
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Wednesday, August 11, 2010

A sea of motorhomes!

We are parked with soon-to-be 3,000 motorhomes! They are well organized here. And it is cool. Sweet!

Life is good!
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Tuesday, August 10, 2010

If it’s Tuesday, it must be Redmond

So that is where we will end up today, but first, here is a close up of the buckets on that big boy old dredge we saw over in Sumpter.  Imagine all the rocks these buckets drug up!  These would then be run through the sieves in the sluice boxes, sorting, dropping, falling…and the gold would wind up eventually at the bottom box…and make the guys mighty happy, I am sure.

dredge buckets

And then all these ‘tailings’ were dumped in huge piles everywhere along the creek beds, with no environmentalists around to insist they be spread around, so there are mounds everywhere, with trees and brush growing haphazardly out of them.  That’s just the way it was done, way back then.

ore cars used in mines

These are ore cars used in undergound gold mining.  Those were hard times, people!

We wound up in the small town of John Day, staying in a very nice city cg that had FHU (full hook up).  Of course we set up and then set OUT for a loop drive around the area.  You knew we would.  We saw a lone deer, then later on, 3 buffalo by a fence.  I wonder if they were gossiping?

This area is also experiencing the revenge of the pine beetle, with lots of dead pines in several places that we passed, but that is also the cycle of nature.

Brian, that  train photo was actually 3 photos ‘stitched’ together to make the wide-angle view.  This was done using Windows Live Photo Gallery, a free program that also stores our photos up there in that internet cloud in the sky.  Speaking of, I need to upload some more Oregon photos.

Go out and have some fun, y’all!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Monday on the move…again

We are making our way to Redmond, slowly.  Will probably end up in the John Day area tonight, and definitely Redmond tomorrow where we have an actual reservation in a ‘real’ campground.  We need to empty/fill the appropriate tanks, since we will be dry camping at the convention.  Got that?

Anyway, our scenic drive yesterday took us to the old mining village of Sumpter where we saw this huge old dredge that was used way back when in the gold mining days…IMGP1062

And it is the home of a cutsey railroad that we would love to take the wee kiddies on, complete with a ‘train robbery.’

Sumpter Valley RR holdup

We ventured 16 miles on west to Granite, but it lacked the charm of Sumpter and wouldn’t be worth a visit.  Just sayin’.

Phillips Lake, ID

And this is Phillips Lake, where we camped for the past two nights.  It is a large lake, and was not crowded with boats at all.  Very peaceful…and a very nice campground.

How is your Monday?  Life is good!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Sunday, better late than never…

We could not get online in our new cg in the trees beside Phillips Lake, nor get TV reception.  We went off touring this morning, waiting for the Sunday folks to leave and go back home.  We had already chosen a site to move to that would be a little more open to the skies.

Well, the plan worked well, but it took FOREVER to get everything to work right, so we are just now getting online…and I am doing laundry.

Here are a couple more photos from the zip line adventure:Dick landing

See, the instructor is there at the end, giving us instructions (one is at the top of the run doing the same thing and hooking us up) and helping us land correctly.  And unhook us from the cable, and rehook us to small cables on the tree…safety always!IMGP0970

And in this photo, Dick is all harnessed up and holding the straps that connect to the trolley, that is placed on the zip line.  This holds all your weight, so it is like sitting in a hanging swing, and no, Linda, it did not hurt his back at all.  My arm was a little sore from holding the strap, but it was minor.  Easy peasy!

So now I’ll sort through today’s photos and post them tomorrow for viewing while we are on the road again.

That’s it, that’s all from the Griswolds today.  Hope your Sunday has been super!  Time to fix dinner…

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Zippedee doo dah fun…

The Griswolds, ready to go on Double Trouble…Sandy, Dick ready to dbl zip

It was 1,800’ feet to the landing zone.  Yikes!

Our instructors were great.  There were six of us in our group of fun seekers.  Mac, the youngest, was 12, his mom, and two teenaged young girls…and us.

We did our first ‘training’ glide successfully, then a sort of lateral crossing, followed by one with a deep drop that we were instructed to start our feet running before we hit the ground.

The next next glide was a free fall with cannonball-tucked feet for 1,700’.  It was my favorite!  This is the landing zone…Zip 3 landing area

And the photo above of the two of us was made prior to the the two of us going on Double Trouble, our final glide.  Dick made a movie of that glide, but it is too mega-heavy to post till we get home.  If I can still remember by then to do it!

We have seen pretty much everything we wanted to see around this area of Idaho, so we’ll head to Boise for some shopping ahead of going on into Oregon later today.  We are winging it.

That’s life on the road with the Griswolds.  Have a great Saturday, y’all!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Friday fun!

But before I tell y’all what we are doing today, I wanted to show off the cutie pies we camped next to at Lake Cascade (both parents gave permission to post this (how could they say NO to these three begging gals???).  Angus didn’t have an opinion, but he followed his charges over to pose with them…

Miaya, Aliya, Camryn, Angus

They are Maiya and Camryn standing, and wee Aliya sitting in the chair.  Y’all can figure out which one is Angus.  He was the official greeter when we arrived at the cg, and was perfectly adorable as well as the girls.  We all had fun…you girls don’t grow up too fast, OK?!

So we got set up pretty fast yesterday…we are kinda good at it by now!  And of course after lunch Dick was ready to go exploring---translation:  more bumpy gravel roads.  The scenic byway getting to the bumpy, dusty road was really pretty, but that gravel road area, not so much.  What is beautiful is the Payette River that is directly across the road from our dispersed camping area (free).  It would be fun to float down the river…and we saw quite a few rafts and kayaks on our return trip back to the moho, but none earlier.  Strange.  Oh, maybe folks were at work?

The temps hit 101 briefly around 5.  Yuck!  Who wants to cook dinner in that heat?  But I did…and it is already cooling down.

What are we doing today?  Well, it may be considered a bit dangerous, but it is one adventure that we have NEVER done.  Ever.  It involves height, and trust in others…and trust in equipment—we are going zip lining!

If we make it safely back to the ground, I’ll have photos to post tomorrow.  Wish us luck!

And, speaking of wishes, a big happy birthday today to little sister Nan!  She reads the blog, but the stinker won’t leave me a comment!  I still remember toting you next door (I was 6) to show you off to the Karnes.  I got a tongue lashing over that one…and we all survived.

Y’all go out and have some fun today!  And stay cool…

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Thursday things…

First of all, I finished uploading the final Montana photos and began an Idaho folder.  Click if you want to…or not:


We stayed one more day on wonderful Lake Cascade, so today we are moving south about 40-50 miles, looking for another state park to get settled in before the weekend happens.

So, since we are on the move, I’ll finish up a few Montana photos.  Check out this mighty fancy barn where that wonderful BBQ was held last Saturday night at our very private campground…


Glass cowboy boots with a red bandana stuffed inside were both table decorations and gifts for each person in attendance.  Clever!IMGP0913

Buford big boy

And we finally got to see Buford, but didn’t get to pet him, which I certainly would have done…………. from over the safety of the fence.  He was a mighty handsome big boy!

Whatever you do today, go out and make some good memories.  We sure are!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Hell’s Canyon


This is what a lot of the canyon looked like—barren, brown and very inhospitable.  There were lots of good water skiing places, but not many good ‘docking’ places.   And I only saw one deer in the whole canyon, although we did see several occupied bald eagle nests on the way over and back.

It was 150 miles over there, and obviously the same on the return trip, so it was a long day.  We’re glad we saw it, but don’t need to go back.  It was fascinating to learn at the visitor center that many fossils found here in the mountains are coral and other tropical critters that came from way far away in the Pacific!  In Idaho, a state that is nowhere near the ocean!   Who knew?  Those tectonic plates have been bumping and moving for millions of years to bring those fossils so far inland.   And those plates are still moving, as folks in California find out periodically.

We again shared dinner with our nice neighbors, and then everyone went for a boat ride except for the 3 y/o and moi.  Miss Aliya was running a low-grade fever and not feeling well, so I stayed behind to play Grammie to her.  Missy helped.  And also enjoyed the three books I read to her!







Today we move again…somewhere…we are trying to hook up with some friends, so we’ll see what happens.

It will be a wonderful Wednesday.  I hope yours is also!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Tuesday again?

Yesterday’s photo was the only one I took.  My bad.  Hey, it was a busy day!   Our neighbor’s dog wandered over to inspect us during our set up, so naturally we had to go over and say HI to his sweet family—parents and three cutie pie wee gals (3, 5, 9) from Boise.

I went to the PO and picked up the box of mail (thanks, Amy!), and spent the afternoon sorting, filing, etc. --TCB time (Taking Care of Business, Ivana), while Dick set up the electronics and got everything to work, bless his heart.  Then about 5p, neighbor Sheryl knocked on our door and invited us to have dinner with them, since she had cooked up a big pot of stuff!  Literally manna from heaven, since I had been wrapped up in paperwork and hadn’t started our dinner yet.

We had a delightful visit, then went back over to share their fire (not so much the smoke) and enjoy S’mores (not me!) after dark.  Other folks joined us and it was a great evening.  We have learned through our ownership of a cg and camping ourselves over the years that 99% of campers are great folks.  We’ve met a lot of them on this trip.

We’ll head out shortly and go visit Hell’s Canyon.  Interesting name, but supposedly worth seeing.  We don’t plan to meet up with the Devil though!

The Griswolds think that life is good!  Happy Tuesday…go out and have some fun and make some good memories, y’all!

Monday, August 2, 2010

On Cascade Lake...

Not too shabby! We'll stay 2 nights and tour this area before moving on. Just now getting set up, then I need to go to the PO to pick up mail. The Griswolds are happy campers, well, except for the rock that put a crack in the towed's windshield. It's a small one down low. We'll survive.

Life is good! Happy Monday, y'all...
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Sunday, August 1, 2010

The Griswolds are rolling…

Mama and baby

We hated to leave these sweet early morning visitors, and this beautiful, peaceful garden…

veggie garden

…and our sweet hosts, Denny and Lucy, but leave we must if we want to get to Redmond on time.  We have thoroughly enjoyed our time here in Polson.  It is beautiful territory…and we learned that these folks know how to put on a great BBQ!

Today we are finally going to travel in the path of Lewis and Clark, and will settle in Cascade, Idaho, on Monday to pick up mail that Amy sent to us.

Come along for our next adventure.  Have a great Sunday, y’all. 

Happy Birthday, Brian…many happy returns, honey.  We love you very much, and hope you know how much you have blessed our lives!