Showing posts from March, 2013

Mar 19 - End of Winter; Journal on Hiatus

We're in Vancouver Washington. The 180 mile drive up from Sutherlin yesterday, Monday, was good, but we always marvel at the amount of traffic on I-5... even on a Monday when it's presumed many folks are at work. We took on 73 gallons of #2 diesel between Salem and Portland where we found it for $3.999/gallon. I'm told it's good to have the tank as full as possible when parking for a longer period of time in order to keep condensation from forming in the tank. And in a wet climate like the Pacific Northwest, especially in the Spring, they don't get much wetter than this.

The plan is to be here for the next 6 weeks or so. The project jar is full so there won't be much lounging around. We'd like to get a start on outfitting our apartment at our daughter and son-in-laws house... one of the early steps in moving on to Sabbatical II. (My son, the engineer, thinks we really ought to call it "Sabbatical 2.0") We have child care responsibilities on the c…

Mar 15 - Into Oregon

A brief update on our status.

We're in Sutherlin Oregon tonight, and will be here until Monday or Tuesday.  Our camp is at the Escapee (SKP) Timber Valley Co-op Park. The drive up from Red Bluff California was great... lots of scenery, relatively light traffic, about five mountain passes to climb and descend. We and the bus-house handled it with ease.

More tomorrow...

Mar 14 - In Northern California

My last post to the journal (this past Sunday night) had us in Bakersfield California, on the southern end of the big Central Valley. Tonight, Thursday, we're in Red Bluff California, at the northern end of that same valley and some 400 miles north of Bakersfield. We're here for a night of rest before tackling some mountain passes tomorrow on our way into Oregon. Weather looks like it'll cooperate for that trip so, with any luck, we'll be just a long stone-throw from the Willamette Valley tomorrow night. And then it's supposed to start raining.

This past Monday we made our planned drive from Bakersfield to the SKP Park Sierra near Coarsegold California. Along our way on that 150 mile drive we stopped at Sportsmobile of California in Fresno to check out what they do and see them in action. One of the vehicles we're considering for our next phase... Sabbatical II... is a Sprinter Van converted into a camper. I'd characterize our visit as productive and educa…

Mar 10 - Bakersfield 'til Morning

A very short update tonight. This morning we were up early... engine warmed, sh-lumped slowly through two rutted washes, hooked on the toad, and were rolling down the paved road by 8:10am. Good-bye Quartzsite for another year.

Our route took us up to Parker Arizona on AZ-95 where we topped off the diesel tank at 3.959/gallon (thanks to Gas Buddy), probably the cheapest dino-juice we'll see for a while. From there it was across the Colorado River into California on CA-62 to Vidal Junction where we picked up US-93 north towards Needles. Through this stretch high gusty winds prevented my mind from wandering too far from the task at hand.

At Needles we picked up I-40 west which we took to it's termination at Barstow. After a short stint on I-15 we grabbed onto CA-58 westbound and followed it all the way to Bakersfield, where we decided to drop anchor for the night. We're at an RV park just a block off the CA-58 freeway... "A Country RV Park" (yes, that's it'…

Mar 9 - No-Change Time Change

Rainy spell is over. Wind has calmed. Sun is re-emerging. Temps aren't too bad for this time of the year... low of 48 last night... high in the 60s today. Our last day at "The Quartz" is turning into a nice day.

The main project today is preparing for moving tomorrow.  Depending on how things go early, it might be a longer day than we've gotten used to lately.  Could be over 300 miles. So I'm pushing for an early start.

Daylight Savings Time starts tomorrow... officially at 2am I believe. But we're in a unique situation for this one because we won't have to change any clocks. Why? Well, this gets a little confusing so try to stay with me. Arizona doesn't observe Daylight Time, so it'll be the same time here tomorrow as it is today (relative to the sun). And on any other day we'd be gaining an hour (clock turned back) by crossing the border with California and moving into the Pacific Time Zone. But not tomorrow. You see, people in the Pacific T…

Mar 8 - Screens and Journaling

In my last post I forgot to include a link to the post from November 2011 about creating our intaglio... so here's that link.

After reading that old post again, and after checking a dictionary source for assistance, I think the use of the word "intaglio" is really not appropriate for the rock art thing we created out in the desert. It looks like it might better be termed a "geoglyph". The dictionary says a "geoglyph" is a drawing on the ground made by arranging natural materials (stones, rocks, etc.) and the shade variations of the underlying ground. Hmm. But whether it's an intaglio, a geoglyph, just some crude desert graffiti, or something else... I'm impressed that it's still there.

I also discovered that it's visible on Google Maps. Link. (may have to zoom in) If any of the readers of this journal are ever in Q, feeling bored, and/or ambling around aimlessly in the desert... and you happen to stumble on this thing... whatever it …

Mar 5 - First Few Days at "The Quartz"

This past Sunday, March 3, we departed the SKP North Ranch Park and headed for a boondocking spot in Quartzsite. The chosen route took us a few miles north to the booming metropolis of Congress where we picked up AZ-71 westbound. At Aguila AZ-71 ends so we turned west on US-60 which set us up for an hour drive to Brenda, where we caught I-10 for about 10 miles before exiting at Quartzsite. We've been to "Q" a bunch of times in the past and have developed a liking for the area around Plomosa Road, north of town. In short order we were out there and found an agreeable spot a short distance from where we camped the last time we were here.

First things first... as soon as we were settled I suggested a hike out to our rock intaglio. Long time readers may remember that during our stay here during Thanksgiving week 2011, we constructed our own intaglio (a design on the desert floor made by utilizing the varying shades and colors of rocks and the underlying dirt on which they r…