Seekin' My World

Brenda's wanderings and wishings

Another aborted trip November 20, 2018

Filed under: Bobcat travels — Sierrashadow @ 6:49 pm
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I have so little to share that it almost isn’t worth it, but I use this blog as a memory keeping aid so here goes.

I offered to drive halfway to Seattle to return my sister-in-law’s dogs that we had been watching while they moved. Since I was headed through Sacramento and couldn’t find a deep cycle AGM battery anywhere in my small community, I emailed ATC about it. They said come on by. I cannot possibly say enough good things about the service this small factory does in aftermarket assistance. Most companies wash their hands of you once they’ve got your money. These guys go above and beyond. Quick in and out replacement. Once again very glad my policy is to maintain a clear aisle at all times. Didn’t have to move anything but the couch cushion to make the repair.

I got a site at Valley of the Rogue again. Not exciting but predictable. We spent a wonderful evening in their motel room catching up.

The next morning, I started heading down 199 to begin my coastal vacation down highway one. But I got a message from my mother that I needed to come home to Long Beach. My dad has stage four lung cancer. So I powered my way down highway 5 instead.

I have never seen so little snow on Mount Shasta. California will be in bad shape if we don’t get rain soon. And the smoke from Redding to Stockton was horrible because of the Camp fire that destroyed Paradise last week.

I was fine driving the full 12 hours although it is a boring road even in daylight, but I got a call from my husband worried about me. He thought I was letting my worry cloud my judgment (he didn’t know I was totally enjoying a book on CD). He asked me to pull over at the next hotel. I was on I5 just south of Bakersfield, the black hole of nothingness. I promised him I would (not too nicely, either). Imagine my surprise when the next exit had a little brown recreation sign with camping. It said four miles to Buena Vista Lake. I was lucky to find a lakeside site at 9:00 pm on a Saturday two hours from Los Angeles. I am a Christian so I don’t call it luck but Devine providence. I popped up and got a good nights sleep. Until 3:30 when the propane ran out. It made some different clicking noises trying to light the furnace. So I got up and drove the rest of the way “home”.

I will use the camper in my parents driveway since there are not enough beds for everybody. Yes, I have time to create this blog entry while sitting at the hospital. It takes forever to get discharged. But praise the Lord they are letting him come home.

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Southern Utah Fall October 5, 2018

Filed under: Bobcat travels,Destinations — Sierrashadow @ 1:56 am
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I wanted to see some color so I headed over 120 and straight across Nevada to Utah. The first day was pure power driving. Kershaw Ryan State Park was my destination. Nevada is one very sparsely populated state. I have never spent much time there since my vacation time was in summer. I may have to rectify that. I think I was near Area 51 but didn’t see any aliens except for plastic ones.

The next day was gorgeous with the red rocks and yellow aspen. I pulled into Cedar Breaks but there was no parking so I didn’t really see it from the rim, but here it is from below.

Then they show you the grand staircase from the top. Better to view from below but still very pretty.

Just before you enter Bryce Canyon from the West is Red Rock Canyon. You get a better view from below this time, and I can include my baby.

That is just a foretaste of the wildly ornate, incomparable Bryce Canyon.

People with better cameras than I get fabulous shots but even just a cell phone works when the subject is this beautiful.

The next day I went to Kodachrome State Park. I must admit I was humming that all day long. Pretty in a different way.

I try to record my lunch stops when the view is like this.

Then off to Zion where I hoped to be after the crowds, but it was still a zoo. Hour long waits for shuttle buses. But at least I snagged a campsite by getting there at 10:30 in the morning.

It was threatening rain and flash flood, but turned out to be just perfect weather. It did rain that evening, but just lightly. I love the sound of rain on the roof of my safe and secure little Bobcat.

Then I drove straight through to Long Beach to see the parents. I haven’t been to Vegas in 30 years and from what I saw from the highway, I won’t be back. Huge!!!

Another wonderful wander accomplished.

 

Yosemite Fall September 19, 2018

Filed under: Bobcat travels,Destinations — Sierrashadow @ 4:51 am
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I love going to Yosemite once the school kids go back and the crowds get less. The weather has also turned pleasant. Goldilocks weather, not too hot, not too cold. Here is my baby parked at Stoneman meadow with Royal Arches and North Dome behind.

My husband chose to go with me, a rare occurrence. The camper is pretty tight for two, but we manage.

We drove down to the Mariposa grove where the Conservancy has just done a complete remodel. You now take a shuttle bus up the winding road to the grove so that the experience is a lot less of a parking lot. They have raised boardwalks where 90% of the foot traffic goes (the shortest loop) to promote healthy root systems. The area almost looked like a manicured garden compared with the trampled mess I was used to.

We passed through a lot of newly burned area from the Ferguson Fire.

I love how majestic Half Dome is from Washburn Point.

I waved down at my rig parked below.

Saw this interesting rope ladder that others might be interested in.

Then I took another watercolor class. I must find a way to carry less but I carried a stool, table, lunch and art supplies. The new art center at Happy Isles is NOT convenient even though it is a more beautiful location. Not much fun to be a pack mule.

Only a two day trip, but so rejuvenating.

 

Hybrid trip North Part 3 July 22, 2018

Filed under: Bobcat travels — Sierrashadow @ 4:44 am

Back on the mainland, we headed up the sea to sky highway. What a marvelous road. Clinging to the side of a fiord. Shannon and Brandywine waterfalls were two great leg stretching opportunities. We camped near Squamish.

No Sasquatch at our site though.

On up to Whistler, which is just too shi-shi for my tastes. Green Lake was well named.

On past glaciers and canyons. Just beautiful.

Long, long drive from Pemberton to Hope. We followed the mighty Fraser River for a good, long time. Marvels of engineering, the road and railroad construction.

Got flagged for a random credentials check at the border crossing. Poorly timed as it was noon shift change or something. I support my government in most everything, but this experience was a revelation in inefficiency.

I was planning to camp after this trip in the ATC Bobcat, but I hurt my knee early on and I just want to get home. I have been gone a whole month. Time to reconnect with real life.

 

Hybrid trip North Part 2

Filed under: Bobcat travels,Destinations,Non ATC Bobcat travels — Sierrashadow @ 3:13 am
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Vancouver Island has been on my bucket list for 35 years. My college roommate and I got to Port Angeles then and decided not to go when we saw how much the ferry cost. We are no longer poor recent graduates, in much better financial shape.

We crossed over from Anacortes, a lovely ferry ride past the San Juan’s. It arrives in Sidney and since we didn’t want to go through Victoria, we meandered through the Highlands. Some tiny little roads with a primeval look. The rainforest is such a joy to us parched Californians, even if they are in a “heatwave”. We stayed at Bamberton Provincial Park. Canadian provinces sure know how to do it right.

Then we went to Chemainus, city of murals.

Then through Nanaimo (not impressed) to Coombs where there is a bakery tourist trap called Goats on the Roof with, well, goats on the roof.

we stopped at the Taylor river rest stop in the middle of nowhere because it said it had free WiFi. My friend is teaching an online class that allows her the freedom to travel but not without a few strings. I happily sketched the beautiful overlook with the most gorgeous turquoise water. Not glacial flour turquoise but a clear beautiful color.

We stayed at Port Alberni in a motel because my knee was killing me. Then on to Ucluelet at the end of the road where it meets the Pacific Ocean. A hippy vibe kind of place with gorgeous views. We enjoyed a nice picnic lunch with thimbleberries as a snack.

On to Pacific Rim National Park with beautiful sandy beaches.

Tofino, at the other end of the road has a much richer feel. We managed to find a cheaper restaurant with ranks as one of the top two fish and chips I have ever had.

We decided to forego the upper half of the Island in favor of going to Whistler, but that will have to be a part three.

 

Hybrid trip north July 19, 2018

Filed under: Bobcat travels,Destinations,Non ATC Bobcat travels — Sierrashadow @ 8:34 pm
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I needed to head to Seattle for family, so I built a whole trip around that. My husband joined me for the straight shot up highway 5. He let me do all the driving since he is unused to the camper visibility. That was a novel experience for us as he always drives when we travel. But he was a pretty decent passenger.

After family obligations, I had a few days before my college roommate joined me for a Vancouver Island trip in her vehicle. So I did a two day loop around Mount Baker.

I have always wanted to see Concrete,Wa but I missed the turn for the beautiful lake. Oh well.

Nice campground by the glacial fed river where I set up the tent as practice for the BC part of the trip.

The Oso slide was massive and there is quite the memorial growing there.

And just for giggles and kicks we visited the Funko Flagship store in Everett. Quite the zoo, a frenetic Disneylike feel, not my cup of tea but very well done. It is a spark of revival in a economically depressed city. More power to them.

Beautiful Vancouver Island. They were having a heat wave that felt blessedly cool for me.

Chemainus is a city of murals well worth the stop.

Headed out to Tofino, Goats on the roof in Coombs is a tourist zoo. But funky. This rest area on the Taylor River was a beautiful surprise. The water was the most incredible aqua turquoise.

Ucluelet was funky, hippy enclave. We enjoyed a lovely picnic on a cove beach,with a laughing bald eagle and thimbleberries, yum.

Into Pacific Rim National Park where the beaches were so lovely. And had a lovely dinner at Big Daddy’s Fish Fry in Tofino. Tofino has a much more upscale feel than Ucluelet. Guess where I felt more comfortable?

So long for Part One. Sailing across to the mainland now.

 

Yosemite Nature Journaling class May 15, 2018

Filed under: Bobcat travels,Destinations — Sierrashadow @ 10:57 pm

I spent four nights in Yosemite to attend an art class. The reserved campsite for the class only allowed tent camping, so I tried to get my own since I am too spoiled to sleep on the ground anymore. The computerized system of five months in advance on the fifteenth of the month is a nightmare. If you haven’t gotten something in the first three minutes, it isn’t going to happen. But persistence pays off. I kept checking multiple times a day for cancellations and slowly cobbled together four nights. It meant moving off site every day and parking in the day use parking area. The advantage in that is that it is easy to find a full sun parking space to recharge the battery.  Then after the class was over, I went to the next campsite. Good thing the ATC is so easy to open and close.

One day I parked along the meadow. I enjoyed framing Half Dome with the door at lunch.


I added a new safety feature. I store the one pound propane for the cook stove in the main propane cubby. It used to rattle around in transit. The padded bubble wrap wasn’t working that well. I saw the hiking bottle holder and thought, “I wonder if that would work?”. It keeps the bottle from tipping and moving. 

This was on my neighbors site, but it has lots of potential. It’s a US General magnetic paper towel holder for $20 on Amazon. https://www.amazon.com/US-General-Magnetic-Paper-Holder/dp/B00Q1ET26M/ref=sr_1_16?ie=UTF8&qid=1526447745&sr=8-16&keywords=magnetic+paper+towel

One of the gals brought a pretty cool chair I may look into. But $170 seems a bit steep. It swivels!

The falls were at their fullest, and the dogwoods were magnificent. 

I found a Sierra Sculptured Puffball (a fungus). What a strange and beautiful creation. 

So my trusty steed got a little more exercise, and didn’t let me down.