Sunday, June 27, 2021

Turning East

 Before leaving Bellevue I had a nice lunch with my sister. She was not in the best of moods as I insisted that she must take her walker (on the advice of my brother and her nurses). But, she did smile for our selfie!

There next morning we turned our wheels toward the east. 

We stopped in Bozeman, Montana one evening. My sons had talked about it in the past and I wanted to do more than buzz by on the Interstate. We rode our bikes into town and along a nice "rails to trails" bike path. We stopped at Schnees, on the advice of our Stock Broker. He told us it was a great store for hiking boots and sport clothes. I gave him a tough time for not warning me in advance that they also sold guns! The Mister found a shotgun he liked, but decided he didn't really need one! Phew! After a bit to eat and a stroll along Main Street we returned to the rig and continued our trek the next day. Bozeman was a nice break in the mundane life of trekking across country.




Our next fun stop was a visit to Jewel Cave, Crazy Horse and Mount Rushmore; all in one day! And then, to top it off, we went to a chuckwagon dinner and show near the campground. As we left South Dakota we swung down into the Badlands and circled through the amazing landscape: green grass prairie as far as the eye can see on one side of the highway and canyons of gray, pink and yellow hues of eroded sandstone on the other. Such a contrast. 








We planned a stop at Soldier Creek Winery near Fort Dodge, Iowa. On our way through acres and acres of alfalfa, corn and occasional pig farms I tried to catch as many "barn quilts" as I could. Painting quilt block designs on barns appears to have begun in 2001, but it is reminiscent of the hex signs found on Pennsylvania Dutch barns that began in the 17th century. 





Our stop at the winery was idyllic. Soldier Creek Winery is a member of the Harvest Hosts programs. Campers may stay at participant's farms or businesses for a nominal fee at most, and can take tours, taste goods and purchase wares offered by the farms or businesses. Although we have belonged to the program for years we have not stayed at any of the venues until this trip as they often are not convenient to the major travel routes. I am so glad that we went a bit out of our way. The owners have 160 acres, most planted in corn. Their son went to an agricultural program after high school and upon his return told his dad that they should plant grapes. His daughter was also in an agricultural program and went on for an advanced degree in viticulture. She is now the wine maker. They make 15 or more different wines. We participated in a wine tasting, enjoyed their Friday night music, bought a few bottles of wine and continued on our way!





We are now near Dayton, Ohio. Tomorrow is the beginning of a new chapter. We are picking up a Winnebago Navion 24D that the Mister found online. We love having the smaller motor coach, but the Atlas we are currently using is just a bit too snug with all of us. So, we head into the dealer tomorrow, go through our orientation for the new coach and we will each have a coach to drive from here to the end of our journey! His and Hers coaches....now I've heard of everything!




Saturday, June 19, 2021

Secret Path

 I happened upon a secret path while walking the dogs near a campground in Bellevue, WA. Well, maybe it wasn't that much of a secret... but it is was an interesting transition from an urban campground next to I-90 to a neighborhood above the hubbub and noise with lovely, lush plantings. I almost felt like we had entered a different universe - perhaps Narnia of the Northeast!










Beauty can be found... 
Even in a concrete jungle!





Friday, June 18, 2021

S to the Fourth Power

Sifting
Sorting
Selling
Storing

That has been our work for more than a month as we cleared out the house we have in California. This was just a "sometimes" house, and because of Covid, we had not even seen it for well over a year. 

How can two people accumulate so much stuff in such a short time of ownership?! 

We sorted things into several piles:
Go to Florida
Store in California 
Sell
Give away
Throw away

Going into this I had a few options for selling some of our unwanted furniture: 

I found a company that will charge for the space your stuff takes up in their truck, then haul everything away. What can be sold is taken to a resale shop, and you get 50% of the selling price. What can't be sold is donated or tossed When I connected with them, sending pictures of everything we had to get rid of, they said I'd use almost an entire truck (obviously they have never seen me pack!!) and only offered to sell about 8 items of the 35+ I sent to them. Then, they added on the "disposal fee" which was more than the fee for the truck. Forget that!

Our realtor knew of a company that would buy your stuff for pennies on the dollar and pick it up for free. I had to submit pictures of everything, because they would not visit homes due to Covid. They agreed to buy my furnishings for $500, and pick it up for free. Hooray! Then, one of their workers got hurt and they stopped picking up furniture. Oh, no! (My words may have been were a bit stronger!
I connected with a few other companies that would pick up your "junk" for a fee. Three were willing to come, but not until several days after we had to be out. 

Thence began a marathon session of posting pictures and descriptions on FaceBook Market Place and Next Door...and answering hundreds of inquiries...and giving out directions...and hauling things to cars...and getting rid of things. It was an onerous task!

We took numerous loads of stuff to thrift stores, and began to cart what would fit in the rental car to storage, to friends or to family. We arranged for a Uhaul U-box to be delivered...and put everything destined for Florida in it, locked it up, and watched it get loaded onto the bed of a truck. It will be stored in Florida until we are ready for it to be delivered to our home. 



We contracted with "Ben the Mover" to help us. He brought a truck and two amazingly strong workers. They loaded all of the remaining furniture destined for storage - at some point we do intend to get a condo or a small home close to the kids - and they deftly packed the storage unit we had rented. 


They returned to the house and cleared out everything else. You know what I'm talking about! The old mattress, the extra packing paper and odd bits of bubble wrap and cardboard, furniture that just wouldn't sell, furniture that wasn't worth selling, and odd bits of this and that. When they left the house was empty. 

We camped in the driveway for two nights as we tidied up the yard and visited with the kids and grand kids, and then turned our wheels toward new adventures!




Home - Sweet - Home

  8,152 miles 73 days 22 States 6 National Parks or Memorials and 2 RVs! We are home! As much as we loved the Airstream Atlas (on the left),...