Thursday, November 15, 2012

It's Finished!

I can’t believe it’s over. Near the end I was asked if I would do it again. The answer is a resounding YES! Will I do it again? Resoundingly No. It’s been an enchanting experience that I wouldn’t trade away. However, now it’s time to plant my roots at home. No more trying to find campgrounds and Wal-Marts. Sometimes our GPS did a better job than others. I’ve learned more about this country of ours, and our sister country to the north than I’ll ever remember. Every time we were in the same place more than 2-3 days, I would get antsy and want to move on. I’m not sure which emotion was stronger the last few weeks—wanting to be home, or looking forward to our last few adventures. Sometimes it seemed like I would live in a 22 foot RV forever. Other times, the trip seemed to be passing like the proverbial dream. So it is with life both good and bad. Experiences come then they pass. It was great to have a break in Spokane, Seattle, Duncan, and then back to Seattle staying in a house. I can’t say I thought much about going home for my sister-in-law Lois’ funeral. Sure it was marvelous to see family and sleep in my own bed, but not worth it. The world lost an exceptional woman. On this trip I’ve done some amazing things: stepped knee deep into a glacier, watched colonial Williamsburg re-enactments, walked on the sea floor, touched a moon rock, saw the salmon run, hiked until I didn’t think I could take another step—but I did, walked where Jamestown was established, visited a corn palace, went to the smallest state, went through an alien museum in Roswell, saw Old Faithful and Mount Rushmore, shopped in the Edmonton mall, enjoyed fall colors, saw the Von Trapp family home, so very much more I can’t mention it all (just scroll through this blog), most important—we went to all of the temples in the continental states and Canada. No, we aren’t going to take a trip to see the temples that have been dedicated since we left. We took pictures from the stake centers of the unfinished/under rennovation temples when we drove through their towns, but we didn’t go miles out of our way to do so. I now return this blog to my writing for which it was created.

Going Home

Monday: Drove from Pleasanton to Fresno, CA. Gone are the forests, rivers, and such. Still, every mile brings us closer to home.

Tuesday: Attended the Fresno temple then drove to Valencia, CA, only 2 ½ hours from home. I want to clean everything, so I don’t have to do it at home. I’m also packing as much as possible in plastic bags so we can empty the RV as quickly as possible tomorrow. Besides, we need to dump before returning home. See we do have some trees and rivers that flow all year around. We had a celebratory dinner at Black Angus. Tonight I’m happy, sad, excited, tired, and ready to move forward with my life.

Wednesday: Home at last! We followed our morning routine for the last time. Although my heart was racing, I didn’t rush, and as far as I could tell neither did Dan. Okay, I’ll admit I woke up about 20 minutes early, but we still started out at 9:00 am, our usual time. Thankfully it was an uneventful drive home, even through the outskirts of LA. As an appropriate ending, our refrigerator door flung open once more when we stopped in our driveway. We were surprised when 3 of our daughters, 4 grandchildren, and one son-in-law welcomed us when we arrived. They had a “Welcome Home” banner for us to walk through when we opened the door. The last picture is of our well-worn campground guide. My heart is full.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

California Here We Come ...

Monday: Mostly another driving day. When we got near the Medford area, the RV started shaking. We thought something might be wrong with the front end, but we ended up having to replace 2 tires. One was separating, and the inside tire had a bolt in it. So far we’ve replaced 4 out of the six tires (dual tires on the back), not to mention buying a spare before we started. It was a beautiful drive.


Tuesday: Today we visited “One of America’s Top 10 Coolest Small Towns” Jacksonville, OR. It was an interesting mining town from the 1850’s. We also took a hike into the forest by there. I’ll never get tired of hiking in forests. This one was a bit too easy, but still good exercise. After that we went to the Medford temple.

Wednesday: We had a major change of plans last night. Today we planned on driving to my brother’s place in Ft. Jones, CA, then as far as Susanville, CA Thursday. We were then going to go to Reno Friday (we had decided earlier in the week it would be too cold to spend the day we wanted at Lake Tahoe). Instead we drove all the way to Reno and went to the temple around sunset. We started out in a thick fog through the mountains. Most of the time I put the temple pictures on the temples page, but I couldn’t resist posting this one here.

Thursday: Back in California for good! Mad dash through Donner Pass to beat the snow. We made it, but those clouds sure looked mean! A few snowflakes fell on the windshield, but they melted as soon as they hit. We then calmed our nerves before attending the Sacramento temple.

Friday: This will probably be our last day of playing tourist all day. We walked around Old Sacramento. It’s a fascinating place with original buildings and such. We also took in a hike along the river—chilly day, but no rain, and more important no snow.

Saturday: Drove from Sacramento to the Oakland temple then on to Pleasanton Fairgrounds Campground. Tomorrow will be our last time introducing ourselves in classes at church! However, we’ve been gone so long our home ward might have forgotten who we are.

My next blog will be posted Wednesday or Thursday because we’ll be home Wednesday unless things change, and that has happened often on this trip.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

The Last of Canada and on to Washington

I finally caught up on the temple pictures. Check out the temples page.

Monday: Today we followed the yellow footprints through the city of Chemainus. This city has murals of all types on 40 buildings. All were well done. I liked some more than others mainly because I’m not into impressionistic art that much. Another cold, rainy day, but we didn’t let that dampen our spirits. This is the last day here in Duncan.

Tuesday: A travel day including 2 ferries. Still cloudy and rainy, so we could hardly tell where the gray sea met the gray skies, but the journey had its own stark beauty. We ended up about half an hour from our son, so we went the rest of the way and spent the night in a warm house. We’ll be here until Saturday morning.

Wednesday: Halloween Microsoft style. My second eldest son works for Microsoft, so they invited us to go see how they celebrate at the campus. The building my son works in has 5 floors with about 4 floors of offices. Well over half of the people in the offices put candy out on chairs next to their doors whether they are working or not. Children walk down the halls taking a piece from each. Quite a haul!

Thursday: Stayed at our son’s house, got some writing done, and did the laundry.

Friday: Visited the grandchildren’s school again. Too bad California doesn’t have a system like this where parents can get together and home school. Yes, they do emphasize academics, but it’s more fun to take pictures of the fun stuff.

In the evening we attended our grandson’s baptism and had treats at home. Our youngest daughter had planned on going to the baptism, but didn’t make it until 1:00 a. m. because her plane had a mechanical problem. She’s going to spend a week up there.

Saturday: Travel day again. We had to go all the way to Portland so we could attend the temple today. If we had driven the usual 2-3 hours, we couldn't have gone to the temple until Tuesday, and that would mean a rush to get home before Thanksgiving. Can you believe it’s only 2 more weeks?