Today marks the beginning. Not the beginning of the end, just the beginning.
I guess maybe I’ll start at this end and work backwards. That makes a strange kind of sense to me.
I just drove the entire length of the Pacific Coast, for the seventh time, from Seattle to San Diego. I kept as close as possible to the ocean, sometimes on rural roads. Usually that meant Highway 1 instead of 101, or some smaller-than-blue highway on the map. All together I was gone for two and a half months, the longest time I have ever left my house empty since it was built in 1982. This was an experiment to test the modern Freeze Alarm that I installed, since it would be deep into winter cold before I would return to Alaska. I can’t say there were no problems, because right after I left we had the biggest rain storm in recorded history hit southcentral Alaska. My basement took in water, but after the first fear and traumatic upset I was actually relieved that instead of me doing it, my friend Guy was home sucking up water and hauling it outdoors. It was nice not to be the one to deal with the stress of cleaning it up. I owe him so much! I need to keep busy cooking gourmet treats for him and his wife.
This trip was a wonderful break from life in Alaska, and the experiment was a great success. It gave me some distance and perspective that I needed. I started in Bend, Oregon, visiting my daughter Dara and her family and picking up my car. Each time I leave it there it’s in a little worse shape, scratched or dented, always a different battery, but at least it was running. I drove up to Seattle to visit my niece Lisa and her family, and while there I replaced the weather-checked tires so they wouldn’t fall apart along the way. Next stop was Newport, Oregon, where I had a condo for a week. I love that place, always enjoy the harbor lights and lovely town. Then to Gold Beach to visit my dear friend Jo and husband David for a few days, before heading to Mendocino for another few days. For my birthday I went to San Francisco to spend a week with my Peace Corps friends Gloria and Sonny and their Filipino buddies. Gloria joined me to keep driving down the coast to San Diego and then into Mexico to stay in northern Baja where we had a condo for two more weeks. After dropping her off in San Diego to catch the train I drove on north of Las Vegas to see my son Grey and his daughter Lorin. I stayed there two weeks before going to Vegas for my last week in a nice condo near the Strip. I spent every day researching motor homes and at the very end of my stay I found one in California, drove over to Claremont and bought it. It was delivered to Grey in Vegas while my plane was still in the air returning home. I never even got to drive it. Thank heaven he kept pushing me through the financial hurdles to buy this rig, he’s a great mechanic and says it’s a very good deal. Thankfully he is always willing to help work on things and fix my vehicles (along with everyone else he knows).
Now I am having fun figuring out what I need for my first high-class camping trip with my dog Cheyenne. I’ve done a lot of camping, in tent, van, and out under the stars, but never with a real indoor kitchen and bathroom. I think this “home” is comfortable enough for long-term travel and I can’t wait to start.
I think I’ll devote one post to each stop of this trip before I keep digging back in time or moving on to the present and into the future.
Flash to the Past –
When I was only nineteen years old, I was still a Daddy’s girl, and could never imagine what my life would become. I’m sure at that time I thought everything was just beginning, but that was so many chapters ago!