Tag Archives: Windshield Shots

Getting there

If you’ve visited here before, you know I take an inordinate amount of “Road Ahead” pictures. I take them when we’re driving in the truck, and I especially take them when we’re in Lizzie (our RV). And heaven forbid we are on NEW (to us) road – man, is that shutter clicking!
Our drive from central California to northern Arizona was no exception. Oh, my – how those “Windshield Shots” added up!
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Sometimes just pointing the camera out the window worked pretty well, too!
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But my favorites are usually just the Road Ahead.
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You know I could go on and on (and on and on), but for now, I think it’s time to move on to just what we were aiming for as we drove from California to Arizona. (But if you’d LIKE to see more “Road ahead” pictures, you can check them out HERE! 🙂
So next up will be the Grand Canyon – North Rim!
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See ya tomorrow! (I hope!)

Let’s get started!

OK — the kiddos have been hugged, I’ve caught up with my email and financials (well, mostly), and I don’t need to think about the SOWER newsletter for at least another week. AND – I have good internet and Verizon signal! And that seems like a perfect mix to finally get this blog back on track!
Way back, when I wasn’t so far behind in this blogging thing, I had every intention of doing a post about how different the drive from Idaho to California was from the Curvy, Curvier, Curviest drive we had from Montana to Idaho. I was going to post pictures about how Straight the roads were
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even though there were a couple of these signs to get my attention –
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and
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(Donner Pass on I80 in California)
But mostly our two day drive from southern Idaho to central California was beautiful and peaceful and without incident.
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Just the way we like them!
And then I was going to say that if you wanted to see more “Road Ahead” pictures of that beautiful drive, you can check them out HERE!
But it seemed so long ago that I wasn’t sure if anyone would be interested.

But I knew I didn’t want to skip over our time at Sugar Pine Camp! We were officially there by ourselves,
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but there was another SOWER couple who had been there all summer as “SOWERS on Assignment” – SOWERS who come for an extended time, usually with a specific job in mind. So while we weren’t necessarily working directly with them, it was great fun to hang out with them whenever we could!
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Our work at Sugar Pine was pretty varied. I did some housekeeping, some office type chores, and lots and lots of laundry.
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Gary did some electrical work, some A/C and refrigeration stuff, and then settled in (with lots of help from the other SOWER guy) with building a shed on the back of a staff house.
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And if you were wondering how they were going to get into the shed….
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Yeah, he’s smart like that!
Interestingly, except for the T-1-11 on the outside, all the lumber used in the shed was milled right on the property. That was pretty cool!
So it was a busy and beautiful month. There were retreats going on every weekend, and even during the week there were groups coming and going. (Hence, my housekeeping and on-going laundry duties!).
But for all the activities, it was a very peaceful spot.
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Once again, it was a great month. We were in a beautiful part of the country (more on that later), serving at a dynamic ministry “Impacting Lives for Christ”, enlarging our SOWER family, and enjoying a nice quiet month after such a ‘social’ month back in Idaho (which is always welcomed by my sweet introvert hubby!).
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Just checking in!

We’ve left Idaho, and we’re settled in Oakhurst, California (see the So Where are We Now page for more details), and I have lots and lots of stuff to write about. And lots of pictures to share.

Sadly though, I have very bad internet so it might be a bit before I get an official post done. So this is just to say –

We are alive.
We are well.
We are busy.

I’ll do my best to get some real ‘catch-up’ soon!

Thanks for your patience! Here’s a Windshield Shot to hold you over…..
On our way!! Yosemite here we come! #ontheroadagain
(Starting out in Idaho)

The Dashboard Garden

After I wrote my post about the curvy drive we had getting to SW Idaho, several folks commented on the ‘stuff’ that rides along with us on our nice flat dashboard.
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So here’s a little ‘splaining about our dash riders.
First, on the left, is Gary’s computer. No, he’s not playing solitaire as he drives. It’s his mapping program, and the theory is that it tells us where to go. (I often have my phone GPS going too since I can’t see his computer screen.  Those two GPS’s don’t always agree, but we usually come to some type of agreement before we get too far down the road.)
Then there’s the aloe vera plant.
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We picked her up when we were down in the Florida Keys (2011). Literally – from the side of the road. I confess, Vera is looking a little peaked in this picture, and I promise she’s doing better already. Over the 5 years she’s traveled with us, I’ve re-potted her several times, and she’s getting close to needing it again. But she’s handy to have around as a mini-first-aid kit!
Then there’s this little fellow –
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We picked him up when we were in Arizona this past winter. I can’t tell if he’s happy or not on the dashboard. But he seems to be doing OK with my expert level of neglect.
Over in the corner we have two collections – the littler stuff (stones, shells, sea glass, driftwood)
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And then the bigger stuff.
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This is mostly rocks and larger shells that don’t fit in the jar. Some we’ve picked up along the way (there’s one from Lake Superior) and some have been given to us. A couple of favorites are the little crochet covered river rock (thanks, Lynne) and the painted one, given to me by a SOWER friend in Maine. (Thanks, Bunny!).
The zip-lock bag has my latest scavenged treasures – shells and sand dollars from Discovery Bay in Washington.
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I haven’t quite figured out what I’ll be doing with them yet, so they are still in the gathering bag. Christmas ornaments, maybe? (Pintrest, here I come!)
So that leaves the one thing that has been on that dashboard from the very first. The Jade plant.
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When we left Jamison, back in August 2004, we left behind a 4 foot high jade plant tree that I had purchased as a little thing the very first year we were married (1971). While we left the tree behind, we brought along this little cutting.
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(photo from Sept. 2004)
See how tiny it is? (And how uncluttered the dashboard is?)
I put this little collage together in 2007 to show how it had grown-
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Over the years, as it gets too big for Gary to see over when he’s driving, I’ve cut it back, re-potted new cuttings and left jade plants with new friends (and unsuspecting family members) all around the country. Toward the end of last summer, both Jade and Vera had outgrown the dashboard (we never want to compromise the driver’s view, right?) and they were relegated to riding in a milk carton in the shower. I did the most recent re-potting in South Dakota (October 2015) and left the bigger part of both plants with new friends there. By the time we left, our traveling plants had one again found their spots on the dash!
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When we’re parked for a bit I usually pull out a couple of pictures of my favorite things – one of the family and one of the cabin. –

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And like any flat space (in our house anyway), it also collects change, screws, wire nuts, and the occasional out-going mail item! It’s a wonderful clutter catcher!

But when everything is tucked away for the next adventure,  I confess there is always something comforting when I see those little leaves making themselves known as I photograph the road ahead!
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Thanks for stopping by – and have a great weekend!
Steph

Curvy, Curvier, Curviest

That’s what the last two days have been all about. As we plotted our drive from Plains, MT to Marsing, ID we knew we had a couple of choices. Either stay on interstate-type roads, but add at least 100 miles to the trip, or go the most direct route that kept us on mostly two lane roads.
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We opted for the shorter and scenic route, knowing it would be curvy and involved a mountain pass or two, but also knowing that we weren’t in a great rush and could take our time. (Don’t worry – we’re very courteous ‘I’m not in a hurry’ folks, and pull over every chance we get if there are vehicles behind us.) By the end of the two days, Gary decided it was probably the most challenging two days of RV driving that he’d done in the 12 years we’ve been on the road.
After distributing hugs to our friends at Bighorn, we got an nice early start on Friday.
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(Aren’t those fun clouds just hanging there?)
We picked up Rte 12 just south of Missoula, and began our first windy UP to Lolo Pass.
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Route 12, known also as the Lewis and Clark Highway, closely follows the trail taken by those early American explorers. Today it is a scenic and beautiful drive over the Lolo Pass, with many points of interest, hiking and camping opportunities along the way. (If you’d like more info about Route 12, HERE’s a nice little pamphlet about it. I had to chuckle when I saw it was subtitled – A Long and Winding Road.)
So it was 34 miles UP to the pass – a nice, steady and gradual climb with its fair share of twists and turns.
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We checked out the Visitor Center at the pass, stretched our legs, and began the drive DOWN. Hello Idaho – thanks for the warning!
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You don’t see THAT sign just anywhere!
Or one like this, either!
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(Thanks 26 miles, not 2.6. Sorry for the blur!)
But when we stopped for lunch, and had this for a view –
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well, it seemed those curves were well worth it!
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It was a beautiful drive, although an exhausted driver was happy when we finally made it to Kooskia, and a bit more of the regular!
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We picked up our connecting road to get us over 95, and maybe should have paid a bit more attention to the local name of the road. Around there it’s not called Rte 13, it’s called the Harpster Grade Rd. Yep, 6 miles of winding road, leading us UP.
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And if there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that if there’s a long UP, somewhere in the near future there will be a long DOWN. In this case, we had a brief reprieve as we went through some lovely farmland and drove on some (mostly) straight roads.
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It’s a good thing we enjoyed those nice flat miles, because unbeknownst to us (though not to a local traveler, I’m sure) there was a BIG down just outside of town!
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You know it’s going to be a challenging drive when
1. The view is incredible.
2. The signs at the top give you mile markers for the THREE runaway truck ramps.
3. The term “8% Grade” is mentioned more than once.
Gulp.
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(Oh, Yea – the Grade STEEPENS!!! Catch the runaway truck ramp?)
I was a very quiet rider, as Gary did a great job getting down that hill. And when we rounded the final bend and could definitely smell our brakes (Gary even felt they were feeling soft. Uh-oh), we were oh-so-delighted to see a nice big parking lot just waiting for us pull in. And cool down our brakes. And begin to breathe. In fact, it was so nice that after we unhooked the truck to see if there was dinner to be had in the little town of White Bird (pop. 106 according to the sign, but actually only 93 according to the restaurant owner), we decided to just tuck in there for the night. And man, that felt really, really good!
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The next morning, with nice cool brakes, we set off to follow the beautiful Salmon River for a ways. It was a beautiful way to start the day.
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After we fueled up with a hearty breakfast in Riggins, where the Salmon turned off, we continued on following other lovely rivers and streams that kept the roads winding, and the scenery beautiful!
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There were still a couple more UPs and DOWNs in the drive, but nothing compared to the day before.
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Soon we were in the final stretch –
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and enjoying the beautiful agriculatural scenery of this area.
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Ahhhhhhh…………
So, here we are at the Snake River RV Resort
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with a great view out the front,
Our new view. We'll be gazing at the Snake River for the next week. #r&r #snakeriver #idaho #ahhhhhh
sunsets to warm my heart,
A beautiful end to our day. So thankful for our safe arrival and looking forward to our week off! #Godisgood #sunsets
and a campfire that will call my name.
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We are both looking forward to a week of no alarms and no (major) agendas. Sound like a good plan to me!
Thanks for stopping by,
Steph

PS – More Curvy Road Pictures can be viewed HERE!