Category Archives: On the Road

Mondays are for Memories – Joy in the Journey

CraterLake-19I was talking with our kids in Waco today, and they are chilled.to.the.bone. The roads are snow and ice covered (have you ever seen a snow plow in central Texas?), the temps are barely reaching the twenties, and there are ‘rolling blackouts’ as communities try and conserve electricity. As my dear daughter-in-law (who moved to TX to escape winter) said – “Texas, you have betrayed us!” Since I am not chilled to the bone these days, I thought I’d look back to a time when we came across some crazy snow in late April, 2016.

Joy in the Journey – May 2, 2016
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Sometimes we drive just to get to our destination. Sometimes it’s even a long drive. But this last week, while our drive was long (almost 1300 miles) and we were pointed at a final destination (Lake Retreat Camp in Ravensdale, WA (SE of Seattle)) we tried to take that road less traveled when it was possible and take time to stop and smell the roses (or walk in the snow as the case may be) along the way.
Want to come along?
Heading on our way! After 4 months in the desert we're excited to be heading to some trees! Washington, here we come! Oregon, we'll be enjoying you along the way. 🚍 🌳 #ontheroadagain
Although we did have to hop on to Interstate 5 for a bit to get through Sacramento, we mostly drove on Route 99 and then 97. Rte 97, in fact, took us from Weed, California right through Oregon and almost up to I90 in Washington. We drove through valleys, scaled (or so it seemed) mountains, crossed rivers and drove along beautiful lakes.
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Along with the gallery of pictures below, HERE is a link to the album on Flickr. (I’ve put captions on most of the pictures, but apparently unless you click on each picture, you won’t be able to see them. I’ll have to talk to Flickr about that!)


Our two main stops were –
Lava Beds National Monument
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Have you ever heard of this place?
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It was very interesting – lots of lava, beautiful views
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and lots of caves to explore. We weren’t really expecting to go spelunking, so we stuck with the one lighted cave (Mushpot) and one other that seemed pretty easy (Skull). As in no duck-walking or crawling easy. Yeah, we’re not into that. Of course, my phone died just as we were entering the Skull cave – so you’ll have to trust me that it was pretty cool!
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The caves found in this park were created by flows of smooth lava thousands upon thousands of years ago. In another part of the park was a huge rock outcrop with petroglyphs –
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I’ll confess that the petroglyphs were a little disappointing, but the rock itself was fabulous!
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(Full album can be seen HERE!)
and (continuing the sentence back a couple of pictures!)
Crater Lake!
We’d heard about how stunning it was – and I’m sure there is a lot more to do in the summertime when things are actually open,
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but draped in the beauty of snow – this was still a crazy beautiful experience!
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We are so glad we bundled up and stopped to see this amazing lake that was formed when a volcano erupted and collapsed upon itself. So beautiful!
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More snowy pictures HERE!

We thoroughly enjoyed our drive from the desert to the beautiful Pacific Northwest. The scenery was varied, fuel prices were low(ish), our stops were outstanding, and arrival at Lake Retreat welcome!
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We caught sight of Mt. Rainier today on our way home from church –
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Looks like there will be more ‘sploring in our future!

PS – Here’s a music video of the song “Joy in the Journey” by Michael Card. It’s not so much about RV travel (not at all, actually), but about our journey with Christ. It’s worth a listen if you have a minute (or 3).

Getting Here

We’re getting nicely settled in our January spot (check out the So Where Are We Now page for more details!) but getting here presented some interesting challenges.
Tuesday night as we were packing up and preparing for an early departure Wednesday morning, Gary did his standard tire pressure check. We’re thankful he did! One of our rear tires was dangerously low and was a cause for concern. He got the pressure up (yes, we carry an air compressor with us), checked it in the morning to make sure it was still safe to drive, and headed to a local tire shop, hoping for a quick repair and then we’d be officially on our way.
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The first shop couldn’t find the leak. The second shop couldn’t fit us in until (maybe) later in the day. The third shop was the charm – there was only about an hour wait. (Kinda hard to believe that the little town of Bonifay (FL) has THREE Tire shops!) We found an empty parking lot to wait, and sure enough we got the call just a little over an hour later. Gary maneuvered our beast into their work area, and the mechanic started working on the tire. He found the leak in the valve extension (that’s where Gary thought it might be), and removed it to fix the problem, filled up the tire, and kindly said – “NO Charge” when we went to pay the bill. Unexpected blessing to be sure! The morning was just about gone, but we were on our way at last.
Except. The engine was running rough. It would go along fine, but then it would give a little cough or jerk like it wasn’t getting enough fuel. This has happened before and each time the problem has been the fuel filter. So now we carry a spare or two just in case! We limped into the next rest stop and my dear husband worked his magic once again.
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We were very thankful that that did indeed ‘do the trick’ and we were officially on our way a little after noon, aiming for a rest stop/overnight near Ocala.
Except. During one of our ‘waiting times’ we had tried to start the generator. Nuttin’. Click-click-click -whrrrrrrrrr. We don’t need the generator to move down the road (or when we’re plugged into power), but because we now have a residential refrigerator (which we love) we do need to run the generator periodically when we’re not going to be plugged into power for over 24 hours.  We’ve found that running the generator for a couple of hours in the evening and then again in the morning (we have to make coffee, after all!) keeps the fridge nice and cold. But an overnight with no generator could be trouble.
And Then. We realized that the water pump was not working. Now we carry some bottled water with us, but we weren’t really excited about flushing the toilet, washing our hands, etc. using 16oz bottles of water.
And So. We broke our ‘golden rule’ of two day travel (rest stop or Walmart for sleeping) and pulled into a campground right off the highway for a quick overnight. Power, water, all the good things – and even a bit of TV! I think it was a well spent $29.00.
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We had a leisurely morning, and finished the last 120 miles of the trip with no problems, just a bit more Florida traffic than I like! Today we ordered a new valve stem extension to complete the tire repair and a new water pump control (we don’t need the pump as long as we’re hooked up to ‘city water’) along with some other miscellaneous RV parts that have been hanging out in our shopping cart on Amazon! Oh, and the generator started right up once we got to our new spot. That little glitch remains a mystery.

So once again, God has gotten us safely to our next location. We cover our travels in prayer (and I know others pray along with us), and we never take for granted a safe arrival. We’re thankful to be here, safe and secure, and ready to see what the LORD has in store for us this month!
Thanks for coming along for the (somewhat bumpy) ride!
Steph

Random Photos and Mini Stories Part Two

UntitledSo what’s the story with that pile of screws? Well, I’m pretty proud of that little pile. All of those shiny babies were removed from our last siding area. By me. Using a power drill. Read that again slowly. I don’t often ask Gary to use my power tools (my sewing machine?), but he really did need me to take care of those screws. While un-screwing uses less upper body strength than getting those screws into the wall, there is a certain skill required to back out a screw while pushing into it so the bit stays in the screw. Just sayin’. Me. Power Drill.  Now that’s random!

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No mini-story here – just a beautiful sky that is declaring the Glory of God. And that’s pretty much a maxi-story!

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My Lynne Croswell Gallery. Lynne and I have been friends since our kids were little, and she has long been my fabric art/quilting inspiration. She’s my go-to for quilt questions and since she and her sweet hubby live in Vermont, we even manage to connect with them most summers! She has gifted me several of her fabric post cards, and I’m working on getting them displayed appropriately. Tiny art for my tiny space! (If you’re looking for fabric art inspiration, feel free to check out her blog – Mountain Vistas. And if you’d like to see how she helped me do a fabric rendition of the cabin, you can be inspired HERE!)

And finally –
Ready for Christmas
Just like that – we’re ready for Christmas!!

Hope your Christmas preparations are going well too!
Steph

Tree ‘sup

I’m going to be honest here. In the 17 Christmases we have enjoyed during our time ‘on the road’ I have never done much Christmas decorating. It’s not that I’m against it – oh no! Back in the day (i.e. living in PA in our 1860s farmhouse), I was all about candles in every  window, white lights in the pine trees that lined the road, garlands around the bannisters and sprigs of holly and evergreens peeking out from picture frames. Oh, and ribbons. Lots and lots of ribbons. Even though we didn’t put our family tree up until Christmas Eve (shocking, I know!), I decorated a small Victorian themed tree in the front parlor early in the season and I loved adding small ornaments to it each year. Ah, yes – I truly loved decorating for Christmas.

But since we’ve been traveling, we’ve only rarely been in our RV for Christmas Day.  If we are at home for Christmas, it’s only because we haven’t yet traveled to see some set of kids and grands somewhere.  Our Christmas morning filled with warm sticky buns and fuzzy slippers and jammies all day happens some days later in the cozy family rooms of our kids. So most years I pull out my shoebox full of Christmas items, and at least put out my two nativities and sprinkle some cherished ornaments around. This year I’m feeling kind of stumped. We won’t be here for Christmas, but we won’t be with any of our kiddos either. We’ll be ‘self-quarantining’ down on the coast of Alabama (Orange Beach to be exact) in a lovely condo overlooking the Gulf. And while we’re looking forward to that (in a way), it seems so un-Christmas-y that I’m having a hard time feeling the desire to decorate.  So far, the shoebox has remained under the bed.  But not to be a total Scrooge, I finished up the little Christmas tree wall hanging (made with scraps from all those stockings I made!) so I can officially say – the tree ‘sup!
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You know, just writing this up has made me a little nostalgic for a bit more Christmas decorating. That shoebox might just come out from under the bed after all! I’ll keep you posted!

New Month – Familiar Neighborhood!

Today was another ‘on the road’ day for us as we officially moved from our November project in Mississippi to our December project in the FL panhandle. Here’s what I wrote over on the “So where are we now?” page –

Nov 27 – Dec 22

Gateway Academy/Teen Challenge
1213 Hope Circle
Bonifay, FL 32425

We worked at this location on our fourth SOWER project, back in March of 2005. Wow – over 15 years ago! After that first time we returned for two other winters as an SOA (SOWER on Assignment – extended months usually for a particular purpose) to help set up the air conditioning in a new building. Although we may have stopped by a time or two, the last time we worked here was May 2008. So while some things seem familiar, others (like almost all of the staff and of course the boys!) will be new to us! And we do like that aspect of things. Hopefully we’ll get to connect with some friends from those good ol’ days and get reacquainted with the area. I’m counting on it being another blessed month!

We getting settled after a full day’s drive and looking forward to doing a bit of exploring over the weekend. Or maybe we’ll just take some naps! But this I know – no alarms for the next two mornings! Yippee!

 

Oh – Here are the answers to Wednesday’s geography puzzler. Sorry, Doug, you only got 50% correct! But thanks for guessing!

Kansas
Montana
Arizona
South Dakota