Eastern Utah
EMAIL ME AT: mgypsy97 at aol dot com

Monday, June 29, 2015

Another great day!

Not great from the weather aspect though.  At 7 pm it's still 99 degrees and I was gone during the coolest part of the day so I didn't get the swamp cooler turned on until late afternoon.  I'm going to take a beer outside and sit in the shade on the driveway, or wait for the sun to go down to see if the porch cools off.

I ran a lot of errands from about 9am on - got my mail delivery resumed at this address, got my hair cut, etc.  I love the cut this time, and went a bit shorter than usual because of the heat.

The best part was meeting the chiropractor Dr. B. referred me to here in Sac.  I really like him and think I'm going to be doing well under his care.  I miss the exuberant personality of Dr. Bergman though.  I have my second appointment scheduled for next Tuesday, and I guess we will discuss the finances of this treatment plan - not a pleasant thought right now.  I'm going to call my credit union in the morning and see if I can get their advice on it.  I might have to sacrifice my travel fund, but I vow to do whatever it takes.

I asked the Dr. about going back to the gym and what I should avoid doing - rats, the thing I like best and shouldn't do is the bench pressing and some of the machines that provide the same type of lifting.  There will come a time when I can do it though.  Toward the end of the appointment he did some adjustments, and while they don't hurt, it comes as a bit of a shock.  I swear I feel better already after the adjustment made by Dr. B., and I hope this one today will just add to my improvement.  Interestingly, I found out that one leg is 1/2" shorter than the other, which adds to my posture problems.  It's all fixable and I'm 100% optimistic!

 That's it for today.  Hope you are surviving the crazy weather wherever you are.  I'm so tired of the heat, and have been thinking about how comfortable I was near the beach!   I sure couldn't afford to live there and really wouldn't want to, but it was a lovely time for me, and perfect weather.


Sunday, June 28, 2015

Some statistics

I traveled a total of 7,846 miles between April 2nd and June 26, about 86 days.   I didn't take the side trips I normally try to take, with the weather being the major cause in most cases.  I am so glad I got to see Dinosaur National Monument and the Eleanor Roosevelt "cottage", and of course the drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway and through the northeastern Georgia mountains.   The real surprise to me was how much I enjoyed being at the beach communities of Costa Mesa and Huntington Beach.  The weather was perfect, daytime in the 70's, and the area is really attractive, especially at the beach.  Note that I am normally not a "beach person" at all!  I am also very pleased that I made the appointment with Dr. Bergman and then managed to be there for it - not an easy task when having to drive so many miles with the uncertainty of the weather.

Will I ever do it again?  Well, I'm fond of saying "That's it - I'm finished - I am never going to drive long distance again (go backpacking, etc.).  Then after I think about it for a while and the negative side of the event dims in memory, I'm raring to go again.  Get back up on that horse, Gypsy!   I just hope the aging process holds off enough that I can continue to do what I like to do, in moderation naturally, although I've never been known to do things in moderation.  When I decide I'm going to do something I usually just jump right in and muster up all the energy and determination I have.

Speaking of Dr. Bergman, he gave us a referral of a corrective chiropractor in Sacramento, actually close to Jeannie's neighborhood.  I looked at his website and checked all the reviews, and I think he will be fine.  I'm going to call first thing tomorrow morning and make an appointment, as I want to get on with this.

And tomorrow morning I will visit my regular hairdresser who will hopefully give me a cut I can live with and manage myself!  Life is looking so good all the way around.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Feeling great!

I thought for sure I would have to just vegetate for a week or so after the trip I just finished, but I'm feeling pretty good.  I am used to going to bed fairly early  and getting up early in the morning, and hope to keep it up.  I always feel that way after a trip from east to west, and gaining an hour every few days or so.  

My son Steve and his family stopped by this afternoon to see me before they left for a weekend at Bodega Bay.  He had called me while I was still in Costa Mesa to invite me to join them, but after the long drive I had and the traffic I had to face, my only intent was to get back to my house as quickly as I could.  I have most (not all) of my stuff out of the car but there is still a lot sitting around that I have to put away.  The house looked so uncluttered when I walked into it yesterday but it is back to normal now!

I apologize for the following photos - I know I've photographed this sunset many times but I never get tired of it.  I also know I've posted essentially the same pictures, but here they are again.

I loved going back to my farmers market this morning; I also visited Costco and the grocery, so I'm stocked up with fresh foods.   I can't wait for breakfast tomorrow, including home-brewed coffee.  That is a definite down side to traveling - having to buy coffee that has a burnt taste.

Friday, June 26, 2015

End of this journy

I am very glad to be out of the car for a while, but I still have the huge job of emptying everything from the cargo area.

I took some photos of the hills once I got out of the Los Angeles area.   (Click to enlarge)

One of the things I love about northern CA is the way they plant oleander bushes along the sides of the highways and city streets, and in the median.

I apologize for the quality of the pictures, but it's not easy to drive, keep my eyes on the road and one hand on the steering wheel, and snap a picture at the same time.

I left Costa Mesa at 5:45 a.m. and was shocked at the traffic that was already on the roads.  It looked like the worst of it was coming from the opposite direction, and I did pretty well with the Garmin instructions.  I'm pretty tired of California drivers already.

It's going up to 104 degrees today, a difficult switch from the 70's in the beach communities.   I was freezing when we were at the beach in the cool breeze, and don't know how anyone could get in the water.  I love the temps there however.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

WOW! What a Day

I've certainly had an incredible day, and I'll have to write more about it when I'm back in Sacramento.  I'm leaving at daybreak tomorrow to try to avoid a lot of commute traffic, and hope the Calgrove Fire hasn't worsened and caused I-5 to be closed in the Santa Clarita area.

Jeannie, Donald, Donald's Mom (Martha), Ara (who flew out to CA for a week or so to be with them, plus Autumn and Arianna have been at Disneyland for the last 3 days.  My niece, Stephanie, also drove down from Santa Cruz to join them, so it was a big party.

I had my appointment with Dr. Bergman at 7:30am, and Jeannie, Ara and Autumn came along a little later.  The procedure is that the testing and Xraying is done early, and then you go back in the afternoon for the results, plus adjustment if needed.   We all came back together  and were seen together (Jeannie, Ara, Autumn, and me).   I was blown away by the results and the prognosis, and will see a corrective chiropracter in Sacramento who is recommended by Dr. Bergman.  I hope to come back to Huntington Beach in 3 months or so, and again in 6 months, but will have the adjustments done closer to home.

I am not as bad off as I thought I was, although there is a lot of work ahead, and I am going to do everything i can to take part in my cure - yes, "cure".  I know a lot of people don't want to consider chiropractic, but it makes sense to me to try to cure a problem rather than have a doctor perform a lot of tests and prescribe drugs to mask the symptoms.  If you don't agree with me, that's okay as I'm not trying to convert anyone.  I will write periodically about how my treatment is going and hope the results speak for themselves.  If anyone is interested in what Dr. Bergman has to say, and he has lots to say, there are well over 100 YouTube videos on just about every medical problem.  These videos resonated with me because I have become disillusioned, disgusted and cynical about the medical profession and the proliferation of drug ads on TV and in print.

After our 2nd visit to Dr. B's clinic we drove to the beach.  I hadn't planned to go but figured I might as well see what it's like.  Here are some photos looking toward the water (click to enlarge):

These photos were taken looking away from the water - they don't adequately show how beautiful this place is.  I wouldn't want to live and drive here, but it is gorgeous!

I'm going to bed early tonight and get up very early in the morning.  Hopefully the trip back isn't too bad, although it is a Friday.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

A restful day, so far -- UDATE!

I left the motel fairly early and drove the city streets over to Dr. Bergman's clinic.  There were just 3 turns to make, or a total of 3 streets.  The traffic lights and the distance (about 6 or 7 miles), plus not being sure where I was going, made it take longer than I expected.  There is a river that runs between Costa Mesa and Huntington Beach, and not many streets have a bridge to cross the river, which is why the GPS routes the way on one of the freeways.

When I got back I plugged the address from the motel into the GPS and it shows only entering the freeway and then getting off on a different street just a few hundred feet later.  I think I'll try it when I go for my appointment tomorrow morning.  Mapquest offers three options, all of which are complex and not to my liking.

I picked up the form that I need to fill out and turn in at my appointment, so I'm all set now.  I have to be there at 7:30 am and the receptionist said I should allow at least half an hour at that time of the morning.  To be safe I'll allow 45 minutes!

I sat out by the pool for a while as the cleaners were tidying up my room, and I almost wish I had brought my swim suit.  I haven't worn it in at least 15 years, so one of the first things I'll do when I get back is to try it on.  My friend Rita swears by the value of exercising in a pool - just moving in water builds strength that other exercise doesn't provide.  There is a pool at the gym, but it depends on what I look like in the suit whether or not I'll be seen in public with it on.

I took care of some business today, including resuming service on my TV and internet.  I'd hate to get home and not have internet for a few days.  I also called to get an appointment with my regular hairdresser to see if she can fix this horrible haircut I got in NY.  It probably isn't all that bad a cut, but it isn't what I asked for or wanted, and I can't style it to look right.  I may go a bit shorter this time because of the hot weather ahead, although with this dumb curl in parts of my hair I can only guess at what it will look like.  If my hair had to turn curly or wavy, why couldn't it have been the same all over my head?

In one way I'm enjoying not having to cook for myself (and clean up), but on the other hand I'm not big on restaurant food.  I had breakfast at Denny's this morning and it was good, and I guess healthy enough if I don't do it all the time.  I'm eating two large meals a day and skipping the normal dinner time.

I mentioned that the motel I stayed in at Indio, CA, the City Center Motel, had beautiful hand painted murals on the ceilings and walls of each room plus in the office.  They are stunning, and the owner told me they are painted by an older Mexican gentleman who does them for large as well as small businesses.  Here are some photos from my room that don't begin to show the true beauty of these murals, or of the artist's beautiful soul.   The detail in the trees is just exquisite! (Click a photo to enlarge.)

There are some places you just get a delightful feeling being in, and this certainly was one of those places.  The owners take much pride in the business and it is obvious.

I'm so excited just thinking about being home in two days.  I've about decided to leave really early, at daybreak which is at approx. 5:45 am, and then just take all the freeways the GPS comes up with.  I'll take I-5, up the Grapevine, and maybe cut over to Hwy. 99 closer to Sacramento.  It will bring me into the city much nearer to where I live and I won't have to deal with downtown Sac. freeway traffic.  It seems like I've been gone for so long and I'm sure my house will show it.

Note to those who are unfamiliar with "The Grapevine", and maybe some Southern Californians can comment with more detail.  The Grapevine is a huge, long, hill on I-5 that ends at the town of Grapevine.  My first experience with it was my first cross country drive towing my 5th wheel, and since I stayed in the truck lane at 55 mph, I had no trouble at all.  Cars in the other lanes zoom around each other - I think it's sort of a ballet to many drivers.  They will pass a car in the middle lane on the right, then pass the next car on the left, and so on weaving in and out of traffic.  It almost looks graceful, but I hate driving in that kind of traffic, and I've never seen it anywhere except California.  

I just turned the TV on to find there is a brush fire in Santa Clarita, which is right in the path of I-5.  It may be out by Friday, but with the heat and wind in that area, I doubt that it will.  I'm picking out an alternate route that is going to add quite a few miles to my trip.  I don't know if I can, or want to, drive 500 miles in a day any more.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

I Made It!

I left Indio at about 8:30 thinking it would take me 3 hrs to get to Costa Mesa.  That's about what it took, and the trip was uneventful.

I followed the Garmin directions up to the last couple of turns, but missed one and ended up where I wanted to be and got here easier!  I can tell you that once I got into traffic, it seemed there was a generous space between me and the cars in front, and looking in the rearview, the cars behind me were holding way back.  Most of the time anyway.  Cars and trucks passed me now and then and traffic was heavier in places and moved slower, but I never felt crowded at all.  It has been a beautiful trip, and I'm so grateful.  I would say the Red Sea definitely parted in my favor.

Costa Mesa is nice from what I have seen of it - very Southern California!  I knew I was a little early to arrive at the motel so I stopped in a Coco's restaurant about a mile before.  Ah, I had a huge croissant with turkey, avocado, tomato, lettuce, and a plate of fresh melon in place of the fries.  I never dreamed I could eat it all, but I did!

The motel room is about the smallest one I've had this entire trip, and has no fridge which I've gotten accustomed to.  Now I'll have to buy ice for my coolers everyday, which is a pain in the neck, but I'll try to consolidate everything into one cooler.  I've been using a smaller one for bottled water which I'm drinking like crazy due to the aridity and heat.  The temps here are in the upper 70's for the rest of the week, but in the sun it feels very hot.  Just like Sacramnto.  I also have to pay for internet, another first for the entire trip.

I have quit keeping mileage figures so studiously.  What does it matter how far I've traveled from point to point.  I know the total round trip will be in the neighborhood of 8000 miles when I've finished, and it doesn't matter what kind of fuel mileage I've gotten.  There was nothing to do but buy it when I needed to.  It hurt when I made the first fuel stop in CA though - $3.29/gal.  I think that is the first time the entire trip I've paid anything close to $3/gal, much less 3.29.

I have a lot more to write about, but it will be in another post.  Just wanted to say my attitude adjustment worked and I landed safely at my destination here.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Nearly there!

My last night before arriving in the Los Angeles area is in Indio, CA.  On my first trip across country in my 5th wheel, I stayed overnight at an "RV Resort" in Indio, and from that time on I have studiously avoided any business with the word "resort" in it.  The RV Park personnel had an inflated view of the place and I was glad to get out of there.

I'm in a lovely motel, a style from the 1950's but updated beautifully.  The ceiling and back wall have murals painted on them, and I believe they are different in every room (from what I read on the motel reviews).  The bathroom has been updated and the tile, pedestal sink, etc., are so nice.  Hair dryer, ironing board, iron, fridge & 'wave, round out the amenities (I don't count huge LCD TV's as an amenity, as I think a regular old fashioned TV is as much of an amenity!

The heat continues, but from what I hear it will be much cooler when I get close to the ocean.

I've done sort of an attitude adjustment and instead of worrying about getting through the L.A. traffic, I'm envisioning, and certain I will find, any traffic parting just like the Red Sea did when Moses held up his stick.  (I think that was Moses?)   Well, I will let you know tomorrow afternoon if the red sea traffic got out of my way.


Sunday, June 21, 2015

Counting Down!

I have only tonight and tomorrow night on the road and will then be in the area of Huntington Beach for 3 nights.  I leave on next Friday morning and just hope I don't run into a heavy commute, but I'm so close to the end of this trip now I can deal with it.  I will have nothing in the house to eat, so it will be necessary to make a quick trip to a couple of places to pick up some basics, although I could probably get by for a day or so.  I think I have a few things left in my freezer, but of course, nothing fresh.

I had to stop at Border Patrol checkpoints twice today, but both waved me through.  The second one asked me if I had anyone in the car with me, but that was it.  I wouldn't tell anyone but if I did run across a couple of illegals I might offer them some water.  This heat is ungodly and I hate to think of people trying to get anywhere on foot.  It was 106 when I stopped for the day, and at 4pm it is on its way up to 109!  I'm starting to get hungry but don't know if I could stand to get back into the car right now.

Note to Bruce:  I would be flattered if you want to include my site among your favorites on your blog (http://brucecarolcabin.blogspot.com)..  Also, thanks for the invitation to visit.  I don't know when I'll get to Colorado, but would very much like to visit the state in the next year or two.  I don't think I mentioned a problem with breathing at high altitudes, but one of the bloggers, Jo from Phoenix, recently had issues in the higher elevations.  But then, I can't really say what is the highest altitude I've been.

I am starting to feel more optimistic and invigorated, and really don't know why.  It couldn't be the heat, could it?  I was thinking today that I'm glad I don't have a dog with me.   I might try to find one (or might not) when I get back to Sacramento, but I would never bring him or her into this kind of heat.  Of course, Sac isn't much better.   By the time I get home we will have triple digits as well.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Still in New Mexico

I'm still in the Land of Enchantment.  Since I had to pass by the V/C at White Sands this morning, I exchanged a tank top that I bought and got the next size up.  I think they must run small because I know I've lost weight.   Hahaha, isn't that what you'd expect me to say!  I'm stopped for the night and haven't tried the size Large on yet, but it'll fit, or I'll find someone to give it to.

I'm at a newly remodeled Motel 6 and it's probably the nicest one I've ever stayed at.  Large room, large bathroom area, in fact two separate areas with sinks in both.  I saw a hair dryer, a first for me at a Motel 6, so I will wash my hair in the morning and dry it, plus there is an iron and ironing board.  I was thinking how it is so unnecessary in most cases because I don't know many people who iron (ok, I iron about once a year).  I guess it's like the hair dryer - I can do without it although my hair looks better when I use a dryer.  My clothes would probably look better if I ironed them too!

Please let me have a short rant about the GPS and I'll try to never bring it up again.  I complained that the GPS always tried to route me on an interstate, no matter how much out of the way it took me.  I visited the settings page and changed to "Avoid highways".  Well now, it's doing it's damndest to get me off the interstate, and when I checked the route to see if theirs was a better one, I discovered that it was mostly on unpaved roads.  And also WAY out of the way.  There should be a happy medium, but I don't know what it is.  I'm not sure GPS makers are doing their best with the units designed for cars, since most newer model cars have a built in GPS, and nearly everyone (but me) has one on their cell phones.

I took some photos from the car while traveling past the White Sands missile range - the rock formations are stunning, but somehow the camera missed the stunningness!

One thing that I've noticed ever since Texas is that I've never heard a plane, not a single one.  You'd think with all the AFB's in this part of the country there would be something flying around.

I'm hungry but since it is early and too hot outside, I'll wait a couple of hours and try it.  I'm going to walk to a restaurant I can see from my motel window. 

Friday, June 19, 2015


I visited White Sands National Monument this morning and took a few photos that appear below.  After stopping at the Vis. Center I did the auto tour from which most of the pictures were taken.  The first stop on the tour was a boardwalk out over the sands.  The photos you normally see showing wavy white sand dunes with no vegetation at all must be at another point than the average visitor gets to see.  I think in fact those dunes may be on govt. property.

There is vegetation on the sands I saw.  I did climb up one hill that was just white sand, and I took a couple of photos of my car way down the hill.  Pictures are two dimensional so you can't get the feeling of how high I climbed.  I thought it would be worse going back down, but neither direction was difficult except for getting sand in my shoes.  A lot of folks buy the saucer shaped toboggan and slide down the slopes - again, I took a couple of photos from the car as I drove by.  If I had been with someone I might have been convinced to try it.

The next shots are from the auto tour (click on photos to enlarge, by the way).

Here's the dune I climbed:

Looking at the world from the top of the dune.  You can see my car down on the road.

And here are some folks having fun in the sand.

I enjoyed visiting White Sands  Nat'l. Mon. much more than I thought I would.   I normally don't like desert at all, but this one is intriguing because of the beautiful white gypsum sand and the dune formations.  Also the fact that there was no cacti in sight!

It is so hot right now I'm worried about the things in my car that could melt.  And to think it is about 78 degrees in NY where I was staying!  Cool and green.

I didn't think I'd get internet this evening as it just wouldn't work for me.  I walked over to the office, and the man at the desk said he would re-boot the service to the motel rooms and see if it would work.  It did and I'm happy to get this post and photos done.

I have no idea which way I'm going to go tomorrow - well, I have a general idea but everything is subject to change.  I'd love to be heading straight home now, but knowing that when I arrive the temps will be 100 or over doesn't give me any reason to be too eager.  I just want to get out of the damn car, unload it, and not drive anywhere except to the farmer's market, Costco, and the gym for a couple of weeks!  

Thursday, June 18, 2015

UFO Museum

I finally got to the UFO Museum, after finding a laundromat and doing all my laundry.  I have about two weeks worth of clothes and they were just about all dirty, so I'm relieved to have that  job completed, and I've packed the two duffle bags I carry my clothes in and they are ready to be stowed in the car.

I've enjoyed the relaxation at the motel, the handy location, and just taking a longer time between driving days.  Tomorrow I'm going to see what I can see at White Sands National monument and I've already arranged for lodging, with a possible destination for the following day as well.  I'm terrified of the day I reach Los Angeles, as well as the day I leave it, but I know it's something I have to do and it will be OK.

I didn't stay a long time at the Museum as much of the material presented I have either seen on TV or researched on the internet.  I always wanted to visit Roswell, but I think it has changed over the years and tried to become a more upscale tourist destination.  Anyone who knows me and how I've changed after I retired, there is absolutely nothing upscale about me now!

I only took two photos, and they aren't really all that representative of the UFO story, but artists' renditions of what they might look like.

There was a time when I didn't believe in the existence of aliens, and especially those who might have figured out how to visit our planet.  I've changed over the years and don't rule anything out about anything at all.  My way of looking at everything under the sun is that "it might be true, or maybe not".   The less we hang on to absolutes the better we are able to handle what comes along.

So I've never seen a UFO and at this stage in my life I don't think I want to!  But I believe many other people have.

I had a big burger for lunch and now I'm getting sleepy.  There really isn't anything else I want to do or see in this area, at least nothing to get me to leave the A/C comfort of my room to go out into the hot car.  I did drive to Target and was so disappointed that they didn't have anything on my list.  So far I believe the Target I go to in CA has the best selection of products.  I don't buy groceries there except once in a while a natural brand of pop tarts that use no sugar, but sweeten the poptarts with fruit juice.  No artificial ingredients or anything I can't pronounce!  Of course this target didn't carry them.  I almost picked up a bag of Hershey kisses but thought better of it considering they would be sitting in the hot car while I had lunch.

I'm going to sprawl out on the king sized bed and rest my eyes for a moment.

Thanks to everyone who leaves comments on my blog, and a special thanks to Linda A.  It was what I needed to hear, and I think I will really appreciate being home for a while.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

What do I do now? (UPDATED)

So I arrived in Roswell.  After checking into the motel, the first thing I did was to find a Jiffy Lube to get an oil change.  The "Maint.Req'd" light had been on and was driving me crazy.  All is ok now and I resisted Jiffy's list of things I could and  should have done.  They showed me a pretty grim looking cabin air filter that was filled with leaves, seeds from spring flowering trees, etc., and I did get that replaced.  They mentioned I had an engine oil leak but didn't really try to sell me on that fix, so I interpreted that to mean I can make it to my regular mechanic for service.

After driving for days on roads with little or no traffic, I'm overwhelmed with Roswell.  If I can get my nerve up to go out in this heat, I will probably walk to find a place to eat.   To find museums and the Visitor's center will require a trip in the car which I'm just not ready for.  It's very tempting to make a beeline for Sacramento and just rest and relax for a while.  If someone wants to tell me I should get out and explore, smell the roses, get to know the place I'm in, etc., just know that I have seen many full time RVers reach the point I'm at right now.  I'm sure it applies to anyone who drives a little or a lot to see the country, find new places, meet new people, etc.  There comes a time that you know you're finished with it, even though you know full well you will miss it like crazy sometimes.  I hope to travel shorter distances, say within 500 miles or so, but no more of the long arduous drives for me from now on.  I no longer am interested in viewing historical markers by the side of the road, looking around spruced up old towns and visiting the trendy little shops, etc.  No more visiting National Parks for a while at least - I'm just too weary to want to do any of that.

I would like to set up my tent the next few nights, but I know I would have to get up to an elevation that's cooler than it is here!

I have been passing by a lot of oil drills in the fields and got this photo of one (you've seen one, you've seen them all).  The first two pictures were just an attempt to photograph the sky in Texas through the windshield.  I can assure you it looked way more ominous to me.

I took the drill through the passenger side window and couldn't get it without part of the door frame showing.  

I might put my walking shoes on and get out a bit, but I doubt there is much to photograph along this strip which is mainly businesses.  I would have loved to have seen the 1947 version of Main Street Roswell! 

I apologize for the "down" tone of my post.  I needed something to eat!  I dodged 4 lanes of steady traffic and went to the Denny's across the road and ate way more than I thought I could eat - now life is looking a lot better.  But still no more long road trips for my future - at least that's what my crystal ball is showing right now.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

I came out alive!

I survived the night and moved on at 6:00 am.  It wasn't all that bad, and it was cheap.  I'm at a Budget Inn this evening that is gorgeous but cost twice the price.  

First of all I had a nervous feeling when the lady who checked me in handed me a towel, a washrag, and a roll of toilet paper!  No soap, and I assumed they had some in the bathroom - not so!  I'm not too paranoid about washing my hands and worrying about germs, but in public places I definitely do, and of course there are times you definitely want to use the soap and water.

I then thought, what if there are bedbugs.  I have never encountered such a bug and in all the motels I've stayed in I didn't even think about it.  But last night I pulled back the bedspread (a rather nice spread, at that), wrapped the bath towel around the pillow, and slept in my clothes - the air conditioning was not working right so I didn't even need a sheet over me.  I hope there weren't any bugs in the bed, and I sure didn't sleep as snug as a bug.

The room was large and decent - the paint was good - but it just looked neglected.  No microwave, but there was a large house-sized fridge in an alcove.  I guess if you lived there you could be comfortable.

This morning there were dark clouds in all directions, but I kept noticing in my rearview mirror the clouds seemed to be ominously dark.  Duh, I have tinted windows back there!  I escaped the day with only a sprinkle now and then, and the very cloudy day which became brighter as I moved west.  I should be in the Land of Enchantment tomorrow.

I decided to change to a different route as I didn't want to have to go through or around Wichita Falls, and I even enjoyed the scenery in the western part of the state.  It is still pretty flat - and I know, there is Texas hill country - but from my vantage point it's flat as a pancake.

So I selected this motel because of a sign outside town telling visitors they had the fastest internet in town, and I believe it.  I even ate a burger and some onion rings across the street at Sonic while waiting for my room to be ready.  I have lost 10# of all that weight I worked so hard to put on, but I'll get it back when I'm at home and cooking again.  I'm resolving to have my main meal at Noon, because if I wait too long to cook then I just don't want anything at all, and lose my appetite.  This room is beautiful, and comfortable, by the way. 

While driving today I came up on several large crows at the side of the road enjoying a bit of roadkill.  As crows usually do, they took flight as my car approached, all except one big guy.  He flexed and ruffled his wings, puffed out his chest, and stood his ground as I went by.  He didn't want to lose his place at the banquet, and it actually made me laugh out loud.  I've always loved to watch crows and this one was a champ!

Monday, June 15, 2015

From Bad to Worse!

This isn't the greatest part of the trip; the roads aren't marked as well as some places, and the GPS has really given me some bad advice.

I'm ready for this travel to be done with.  If I ever travel even half way across the country by car again, it will definitely be in the northern states - less traffic, easier roads to follow, etc.

I'm in a 2-story Bates motel this evening - I knew from looking at it that I shouldn't stop, but I couldn't find anything without traveling way off the US route I'm on.  Hopefully I will survive the night and live to see another day.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

On the Road once again

I'm very weary after a day's drive.  I had a restful and fun 2-1/2 day, 3 night stay in Columbus, GA.  A friend from my childhood, and the maid of honor at my wedding, lives in Columbus now and I haven't seen her for years.  

Rita and I shared an apartment together for several years, and we loved to drink Tanqueray martinis, which she remembered.  She fixed us martinis every late afternoon before dinner, and at first I was worried because it's been at least 45 years since I've had one.  Absolutely delicious!

I am very tired this evening after driving through Alabama and Mississippi, and managed to get across the Miss. River before I decided to look for lodging.

I seriously don't think I will do any more long distance driving after I get home from this trip.  It just doesn't do anything for me these days except make me tired and just want to drive to the point where I can stop for the night.  That isn't much enjoyment.  I will probably limit my driving to a few hundred miles radius of Sacramento for a while.

I couldn't connect to Rita's internet so I just stayed off the computer (and really didn't miss it much).  I also didn't watch TV at all - we talked until we were all talked out!  It was a great break for me.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Last of Blue Ridge photos

These cover the final section up to the Smoky Mountains.  I wish you could see all the ridges in the pictures, but the pollution is so bad that half of them are hidden to the camera.  They can be seen with the naked eye though.

I talked to some guys who were riding their motorcycles from the north end of the Shenandoah - Skyline Drive, to the entire Blue Ridge Parkway - probably 600+ miles.  They were astounded at the scenery as they are from the midwest (one fellow mentioned he was from Wisconsin, which is beautiful in its own right!)  The Appalachian chain of mountains is thought to be the oldest in the world, and were once higher than the Himalayas!  They have aged gracefully, I'd say, over millenia of erosion.  (Click a photo to enlarge.)

My GPS gives me fits.  I was trying to get to a motel but was led to a dead end industrial location.  The road I've been following since Cherokee, NC is a 4-lane highway, with a center lane for turns.  After all the days of driving at a slower pace on a 2-lane twisty-turny road, you'd think I would like this, but I don't.  I miss the scenery around every bend.

I ate a late breakfast in Cherokee, and was so happy to taste good grits, gravy, and biscuits again!  

I get an email every day from the "Daily Ray of Hope" - it features a beautiful photograph plus a quote or poem that can relate.  I thought today's verse is so pertinent to my life that it probably relates to a few others as well:

Though outwardly a gloomy shroud,
The inner half of every cloud
Is bright and shining:
I therefore turn my clouds about
And always wear them inside out
To show the lining.

~ Ellen Thorneycroft Fowler

I wish I could honestly say I turn my clouds inside out - sometimes I just wallow in the gloom.

I'm taking at least a 2-day stop tomorrow, so I can relax and take it easy.  It seems like I've been taking it pretty easy all along, but with a zero-day-and-a-half, I'll be totally mellowed out!

There is something else I wanted to mention (for the past couple of days) but I keep forgetting.  By the time I remember at the same time I'm writing the blog, it won't matter any more!