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Westward Ho!

Monday - March 6, 2000

Our adventure began on Monday, March 6th, 2000. We left Carmel at 8:00am and drove straight up 65 to Chicago. In Chicago we pick up 94W and will continue that route until we arrive at Yellowstone.

Today is Dugger's 58th Birthday!

Temperature - 67 degrees. Sunny day with blue sky.

Mileage 61,460 to 62,150 = 690 miles.

94W has taken us through Wisconsin and Minnesota. We are within 115 miles of Fargo, North Dakota. We went through the Wisconsin Dells. That is the first time either of us have been to the Dells….very interesting rock formations with fir trees growing all around. We noted some of the deciduous trees like weeping willows were beginning to come out. I finally decided to stop at one of the Wisconsin Cheese outlets…but of course did not see any outlets once I had decided to stop. Oh well, no cheese today!

Lunch was in our car at Wendy's…chicken sandwich, fries and drink in Wisconsin. Stopped at two rest areas on the way. Wisconsin appears to be more progressive than Minnesota. Wisconsin has a lot of new hotels along the way, and Minnesota feels much more desolate. We drove till 8:00pm and finally found a new "Country Inns & Suites". Lovely room, king-size bed, TV, Microwave, Refrigerator, Coffee maker, Jacuzzi…the works. I would highly recommend Country Inns & Suites.

In Albany, Minnesota, dinner was a piece of blackberry pie from home at 8:30pm. Dugger worked on the computer and I went to bed.

Awoke at 5:30am..off to the shower and breakfast.

Tuesday - March 7, 2000

Mileage 62150 - 62750 = 600 miles

Temperature 60 degrees, sunny and cloudy.

We left Albany, Minnesota, at 9:00am. Within 140 miles we were in Fargo, North Dakota.

North Dakota is farmland, lots of farmland. The further west we went, the farmland began to roll. Earth is very black rich soil, very rolly polly.

We stopped at Bismarck, North Dakota, for fuel…$1.79 a gallon. Bismarck is very impressive. It is spread out over the landscape, many new buildings, extremely clean area. Dugger and I felt very good about that area.

Lunch at Burger King.

We see a herd of Bison on the range, probably 15 or so in this herd.

Along the western edge of North Dakota, the Theodore Roosevelt National Park appeared. We had been viewing rolling farmland for hours when around a bend we began to see the most beautiful rock formations, no farmland. So colorful, red, white, green, etc. just breathtaking. We stopped for a quick peek and when we looked up there was a beautiful full grown coyote near the edge of the road. Dugger rolled down the window and whistled and called to him. He turned back, looked at us once, and kept moving away. He was healthy and beautiful. Just a few feet down the road there were six buzzards, big black buzzards. They did not pay any attention to us being close to them. They are fearless when food is present. Dugger and I feel we should go back to the Theodore Roosevelt National Park. It is a sight we want to experience again with more time. It is a must see!

Late afternoon we arrived in Montana, more mountainous and rocky. Speeds of 75 mph are standard. We stopped early, about 5:30pm in Glendive, Montana. It is a small community with three new hotels. We select a Comfort Inn and it is very nice. Dinner was a slim fast, yummy's from Vicki Kimsey, like: doritos, chocolate cookies, cracker jack, etc. — and a pot of coffee.

We are expecting snow showers tomorrow as we head off for Yellowstone Park located in the north-western corner of Wyoming. We have been watching threats of snow, but so far we have escaped any flakes. We are still traveling Hwy 94W.

More tomorrow…..

Wednesday - March 8, 2000

Buurrrrr…… Hi today is 26 degrees and very gray dark skies. We left Glendive, Montana, at 7:00am and continue west on 94. Morning news reports a snow blizzard in Bismarck, ND and five inches expected for Billings, Montana. We head toward Billings where we were going to turn south to Yellowstone. Remember I said we had escaped any flakes; well that is all about to change.

One hour into our drive we begin to see rain, sleet, snow mixture. Within two hours, we are moving along at 45 mph, very tenuous. Up and down the mountainsides we go. We decide that going as far west as possible is a good thing to escape 5+ inches expected. As we approach Billings, Montana we decide it would not be wise or safe to attempt Yellowstone. Hopefully our next trip will include Yellowstone with warmer weather. So we continue on and weather finally breaks up a little. Blue sky, sunny, absolutely beautiful snow covered trees on the mountains. Very majestic, just breathtaking. We are so covered with snow and road yuk that we stop to fuel up and scrape off some of the junk. By 12:30pm we are exhausted from such a tedious drive. We decide to pull off in Bozeman, Montana and stay a couple of days. We found this little mom and pop pizza parlor on Bozeman's main drag so we devour pizza for lunch (and I mean devour). They had a luncheon special of $5.50 per person, all you can eat, salad and pizza. Once we were in our room for an hour or so, we both decided on a nap. Two hours later, we are back among the living and are beginning to adjust to the 2-hour time change.

Slim Fast will be dinner..we are both stuffed with Pizza. But we did spot a cute local Italian restaurant that we will try tomorrow evening.

We are beyond the major snowfall of this morning. Mountains surround Bozeman. Everything is snow covered and beautiful.

Dugger is going to Bozeman University tomorrow and I am going shopping..(imagine that). There seem to be quite a few art galleries in the vicinity, so I will go venture to see some western wear and art.

We will watch the weather report tomorrow and the next day. We will be leaving here Friday morning if weather holds.

Till then…."Happy trails to you, till we meet again."

Thursday - March 9, 2000

I travel downtown Bozeman, Montana during the morning while Dugger does some reading. It is an old town with a very old downtown area. I spend time just sightseeing. Late morning Dugger and I take off for University of Bozeman. A small clean campus on the south side of the city.

During afternoon I was able to spend some time with a new book. Dugger and I watched a movie in the afternoon. We went to a local grocery store for some dinner items. We had ham sandwiches and coleslaw, cookies, apples etc.

The Discovery Channel had a documentary on UFO's. We both found it very interesting. There were pentagon and military officials that were releasing information concerning Roswell and other sitings etc. And by the way, there was a UFO crash at Roswell and it was concealed from the people by the US government. They interviewed many people who finally told 'the truth' about this event and how everything was constructed to conceal evidence. Some top ranking, highest security clearance, military and pentagon personnel who are now in their 80's are now testifying in public to the American people about what really happened at Roswell and the elaborate cover-up that was directed by our government. These men are all in their 80's and decided they are not going to take this story to their graves. They are hoping their testimonys will force the government to release all data concerning Roswell and other encounters.

I have believed for a long time that I saw a UFO back in the early 80's along 146th street. The vessel was brown, long and cylindrical in shape, no wings, no windows, no windshield, no sound, no tail, no obvious propulsion, and no! I had not been drinking. This occurred mid day around 3:30pm one afternoon. It approached from the left side of my car and of course it caught my attention. I stopped on the road and looked up at it. It was moving but not at a great speed. When it went over the car, for some reason I started counting the seconds.. "one one thousand, two one thousand, three one thousand". By the time I had counted to three, one thousand it disappeared beyond the horizon on my right side. NOW THAT IS FAST! I have told many people my story, but they always say "…well, probably just an experimental plane."

As I listen to this documentary on Discovery, one of the military personnel describes a vessel that looks like a "cigar, brown, long and cylindrical in shape, no wings, no windows, no windshield, no sound, no tail, no obvious propulsion."

HOLY COW!! I sat straight up in bed…… for the first time, my experience from the 80's was confirmed. No one will ever convince me now that I did not see a UFO. Going to sleep will be tough tonight……Zzzzzz.

We both need sleep as tomorrow will be a long travel.

Good night!

Friday - March 10, 2000

We leave Bozeman, Montana, at 7:00am. We arrive in Aberdeen, Washington, at 8:00pm. We are now right on the Pacific Coastline where it is 50 degrees and rainy.

We have driven approximately 2,500 miles so far.

Our travel today has taken us through the balance of Montana, the northern area of Idaho, and across Washington state to its Pacific Coastline.

In western Montana, we saw ranch after ranch with Black Angus cows. As we crossed northern Idaho on 90W, we found an area on the west side of the state just before Spokane, called Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. Absolutely beautiful, breathtaking, very large lake (Coeur d'Alene lake) mountainous, lots of trees, clean nice city. A must see! We plan to vacation there some time. We had lunch at Burger King in Coeur d'Alene today.

Other interesting sights today are lots of new calves on every range, two pair of bald eagles soaring above us, lambs, lamas, a large herd (probably fifty or more) of reindeer coming down from a mountainside and a new calf probably 5 minutes old in a field. Many beautiful mountain streams. We went by Mount St. Helen's but did not have time or daylight to stop on this trip.

Tonight we are staying in the Red Lion Motel, a huge motel in downtown Aberdeen, Washington. Just ordered a pizza in from Gator Pizza, a local recommended pizza parlor. It was just yummy…only three pieces left. Dugger said he was going to eat the rest for breakfast…YUK. I told him while he ate pizza for breakfast, I was going to Denny's which I saw was one street over from here. Ha, ha.

It is tough driving this evening, very dark, strange roads, and rainy. Thank goodness it is warm. Dugger and I plan to be in Washington state for a couple more days. We plan to drive Washington's coastline to find a place for a couple of night's stay.

It is now 12:20am our time, but 9:20pm in Washington. We are trying to adjust to the time change. We are now in an area where we will have a while to adjust.

Weather forecast is mid 50's, rain for Saturday, sunny and clear sky for Sunday. Hopefully, we can do some picnicking along the coast on Sunday. We love to stop and grill out along the way.

Time to snooze. Signing off for tonight.

Saturday - March 11, 2000

We went to bed around 10:00pm and awoke at 5:30am, so maybe we are starting to adjust to this time zone. We have been wearing sweats so far, but will have to find some lighter clothing that is packed due to the nicer temperature.

Checking out of the hotel, I saw tulips blooming and other ground cover blooming. Just amazing. As we travel through town, we see dogwoods blooming and other trees that are blooming. We take highway 101 North out of Aberdeen, Washington, and follow along the coastline.

We stop many times to view the ocean. We find ocean side property that could be a potential future for us. We pass through many rain forests and see ferns, yes I said ferns, growing along the side of the road. It is around 45 degrees today. We experience everything from sun to rain to sleet to seeing a rainbow. Go figure…only in the West.

We stop at Port Angeles (Port of Angels) for the evening. It is a very cute town on the northern coastline of Washington. We have an ocean side room which is lovely. Hopefully, we will enjoy some fresh fish this evening. We are staying in the Red Lion Hotels & Inns. Ours is a very large Hotel right on the ocean. Our room is very large, comfortable and so affordable. I believe we will be staying two evenings here.

There is a large coast guard boat docked out front. A helicopter has been flying over.

They have lovely walking and jogging trails around the edge of the ocean. We are to have lovely weather tomorrow, so we plan to be outside and enjoy some sun. There is a large cruise ship coming straight toward our room. She will dock in this port this evening.

We are on the second story and have been feeding crackers to two ducks (a mated pair) and 25 seagulls from our balcony. One package of saltine crackers are now gone.

Oh well, off to a grocery tomorrow!

It is so peaceful to be ocean or lake side. Our dream is to be on water at least part of the year by the time we retire if not before.

We had dinner in our hotel's restaurant. YUMMY!!! Table by the sea, dined on crab, shrimp, halibut, oysters etc. We are stuffed and are ready to call it a day.

Port Angeles is a must see!

Sunday - March 12, 2000

We awakened at 7:00am local time, so maybe we are starting to adjust to the time difference.

We have breakfast about 10:30am in our hotel's restaurant. Dugger has an omelet and I have French toast. We then take off for a drive along the ocean looking for property. We find one area called Diamond Point that opened lots for new construction with ocean views. It is located on the Juan de Fuca strait. Dugger is ready to buy…ha,ha. I need to look a little longer. It is located 30 miles east of Port Angeles.

I have not mentioned the numerous tree farms that we have seen. The owner of the land posts a sign as to the last time the forest was cut down. Of course the land is re-seeded for the next cutting which might take as long as 50 years. There were usually 50-year intervals on the cuttings. I have never seen anything like it before.

Along the coast we also see "lavender" growers. I have never seen lavender grown commercially. It is very interesting. Primrose is also blooming everywhere. One startling sight is to see two live deer eating the lawn at a home while the family dog is fenced in the back yard. We saw this numerous times today. Deer have really become domesticated in this area.

They predicted sunny skies today, but it is cloudy and in the upper 40's, definitely jacket weather. We are watching a big freighter go by in the ocean. The Coast Guard is permanently docked at this Port. They have a huge vessel just down the beach from us. Many $$$ for sure. We are taking off for Oregon's coast tomorrow. Hopefully, we will have some sunshine and warmer weather.

Champaign, Caesar salad, crab cakes is dinner in our room. Yum!

Monday - March 13, 2000

Rain, rain, rain, rain, rain, rain, rain, rain, rain……did I mention it rained all day on us while we traveled on highway 101 down the coast. We stop for the evening in Tillamook, Oregon. We stay in a Shilo hotel for our first time. It is new and very nice. We have McDonalds for lunch and deli sandwich, Snapple Rasberry tea, and ice cream bar for desert for our evening meal. We plan on being here two nights. Did I mention it rained all day??

We pass an "Ocean Spray" manufacturing facility in upper Oregon. This area has lots of cranberry fields. Early in the trip I saw rectangular fields that were a wine color and did not know what was growing. Guess what? It is cranberry fields! I had no idea there were cranberry fields. Did I mention it rained all day???

In Oregon road signs are very different, like " Speed 55". The numbers are huge on the signs. Speaking of signs, "Tsunami Exit Route" signs are everywhere as we are following highway 101 along the coastline. Oregon feels much more commercial and inhabited than Washington. The coast is very rugged in Oregon and there are huge rocks setting in the ocean somewhat close to shore. Dugger says in Washington ocean water is very shallow for great distances out into the ocean, and that is why we see white caps so far out in the ocean. In Oregon, white caps are very close to shore, which says the water is much deeper closer to shore. Did I mention it rained all day???? Did I mention it is going to rain for five days?

Joyce Moore sent me an email and said Indy had 5 inches of snow on Saturday. Burrrrr! Temperature has been about 50 degrees all day. There are many trees that are flowering, crocus that are blooming, and daffodils in full bloom along highway 101. We see a family of raccoons on the side of the road near a state forest. There are Elk signs everywhere in Oregon, although we have not seen any Elk. Did I mention it rained all day????

We watch Discovery this evening and they demonstrate how a nuclear aircraft carrier is built and assembled. It was so interesting to see the process from the steel mill to the finished product.

It is time for beddie bye….good night.

Tuesday - March 14, 2000

We are up by 7:00am. Going to breakfast at10:00am. It is gloomy and raining looking here this morning. Jeanne is starting her new job today. I am sure it will be exciting for her. Joyce has been offered a CFO position at her work and Jake and I are corresponding about his non-compete problem.

Our Internet connections are working wonderfully. This is the first time we traveled together and attempted to use the Internet. It is so easy and so convenient. I am waiting to receive my first email from my Mother. It should be coming any day now.

After breakfast, we drive around Tillamook, Oregon and venture seaside to look at property. There is plenty of raw land ocean side for sale. Beautiful huge rocks in the ocean, just so different than anything I have ever seen.

I have not mentioned an abundance of Rhododendron along the coast. None are in bloom right
now, but it will be beautiful when they bloom.

We had a couple of hours quiet time this afternoon. I am reading "Memoirs of a Geisha". It has been on the #1 international bestseller list. It is a very easy read and so interesting. The Japanese culture is very different from ours in the States.

Dugger went to "Oil Can Henry's'" for an oil change this afternoon. We were about 200 miles over the 3,000 limit. Fresh oil, new wiper blades and professional service hit his spot. So the Mercury is now ready for another 3,000 miles of travel.

This evening we went to "La Mexicana" for dinner. A small Mexican restaurant downtown. Food and service were great. The salsa served before the meal brought tears to our eyes ~~~ home made and HOT ! It was very enjoyable.

Tomorrow we continue our journey down the coast of Oregon on highway 101. We should be on the road by 11:00am or so. I told Dugger we needed to find a place to celebrate St. Patty's day this week. Previously, Dugger has gone to Muldoon's in Carmel and reserved a spot for us at 5:00pm and then I normally join him after work. This St. Patty's Day observance will be in southern Oregon somewhere. You know….everyone is Irish on St. Patrick's Day!!

We are to have sunny weather tomorrow. I will believe it when I see it. Ha,ha

The stars are out tonight, so maybe we will have some blue skies tomorrow. Yea!!

Time for some TV and snoozin ~~~

Wednesday - March 15, 2000

It is now 4:15am and we are both up. There is a price to pay for hot and yummy Mexican food!

Dugger is reading and I have already won a hand of solitaire on my computer. My Mother has a great mind and is good with numbers. She is always playing solitaire or some kind of card game, so I decided I should follow in her steps and play some kind of cards as I age. For right now, I play solitaire on my computer until I win a game. It's me against the computer. And yep, I have won a game every day while we have been on this adventure. Dugger likes to play Bridge. I played a lot of Bridge in college. We have a real nice bridge game on our computers. Dugger plays more bridge than I do.

I have been having such a terrible time with dry skin over the last few months. I have tried all kinds of things to help my face. I have used E oil, been to CNG for vitamin C cream, and on and on. So yesterday Dugger says to me, you know, "I read an article one time that Doris Day took baths (total baths) in olive oil." So, I said why not try it. I ordered a 55 gallon drum of Bertolli, Extra Virgin olive oil………………………

ha, ha, ha. Actually, I went to the grocery and bought a 17oz. Bertolli, Extra Virgin olive oil to use on my face. Hey, I figure if it doesn't work, we will cook with it when we arrive home. Well, guess what? After one day of two applications, my face is better. Imagine that!! So this experiment has now led to a conversation about a new business venture of high quality olive oil soaps and cremes. It sounds to me that I am going to be experimenting at home with some recipes, putting up a web site to sell it, and who knows what we will call it. And then of course there are questions of molds for hardening, scents, packaging……..who knows, we may be on to something here. I will need to see how my face is doing in a week. I told Dugger if my face swelled up over night, to take me and the Bertolli to the emergency room. Ha! We all know these "baby boomers" are going to need something to help them survive the "dry spell"!

As we travel down 101 South we stop along the beach. Dugger does an excavation journey on the beach. He found a twisted log that is now in the trunk of our car. I feed seagulls all the crackers we have in our car. I then enjoy some Girl Scout cookies and they want me to share those as well. Well, I won't share my Girl Scout cookies with seagulls. I will have to buy some more crackers tomorrow.

We continue down 101 South and stop at the Fireside Motel in Yachats, Oregon. We have a very large room with king size bed, large windows facing the ocean, fireplace, and observation deck. We are within a 150 feet of the water line. The ocean is really rolling and crashing into the rocks. We eat dinner at La Serre Restaurant. We have clam puffs, oysters, clam chowder (the red kind), spinach salad, and marionberry sorbet. The restaurant, setting, service and food were just superb.

We decided to remain here for six days. Spring break begins this weekend. This should be exciting.

Thursday - March 16, 2000

The crashing waves, fireplace and TV certainly put us to sleep right away. It sounded like a storm all night long with the crashing waves being so close to us.

As we traveled yesterday we saw a daffodil farm and an artichoke farm. Those are new farms to me. I have never seen them before.

Dugger stayed in and read most of the day. I went out to some of the local stores and brought back lunch. Then I ventured off to some local art shops. It seems to be very artsy fartsy here. Found some lovely things. There is a large art exhibit that is going to happen on Saturday, so Dugger and I will have to go check it out.

The library is open noon to 4:00pm every day. The town seems to fold up around 8:00pm. I saw a sign in town that said, " If you are picked up for a DUI, you loose your vehicle." That is the most stringent warning I have ever seen. Local culture is so interesting. Everyone uses walking sticks along the shoreline since it is so rugged. So I bought Dugger a walking stick today. We are going back to buy me one tomorrow.

Tomorrow is St. Patrick's Day. I told Dugger, after seeing the DUI sign, maybe we should order pizza in to the room, buy some Jameson Irish Whisky and whipped cream, and make our own Irish Coffee's. I think that is fine with him. So we will probably spend our St. Patrick's evening in our room with yummy pizza and Irish coffee's.

It is warmer here today. We had sunshine most of the day. Early afternoon, we take two tubes of Zesta crackers to the ocean shoreline. We immediately have 30 sea gulls battling for crackers. They are so tame; they fly right up in your face as you hand them a cracker mid-flight. What a sight! Just a little bit a go we heard a ruckus on the roof above us. Dugger went outside to find a seagull smashing a clam on the roof trying to open it. We see the seagulls smashing clams on the rocks in front of our hotel room.

We are off to dinner at the Clam House this evening. We enjoy clam chowder (cream based) a nice salad, codfish & chips, oyster fettuccini, apple cobbler, and coffee. Yum!

Friday - March 17, 2000

Happy Saint Patrick's Day!

I awaken this morning at 2:00am and cannot go back to sleep. I begin to read my book and I hear a seal crying out. Seal Rock is just up the coast a very few miles from us. I suspect a baby lost its mom. The sound does not last more than a couple of minutes. It is too dark to see what is going on at the shoreline.

In yesterday's paper we found out that the gray whales will be migrating here on the coast from the 18th to the 26th, so the binoculars will come out tomorrow. They are to pass right by us on the way to the Baha along the California coast. I hope we are able to see some passing by. What a treat that would be!

We arise at 8:00am today. I call my Mother and wish her a Happy St. Patrick's Day.

The waves are very large and breaking way out in the ocean today. It is cloudy and overcast again.

We spend the afternoon at the local bookstore. Most of books are used, but some are new. Dugger really enjoys looking at all the books. I end up buying more books than Dugger. They have a lot of biographical material, so it is fun. There are two miniature finches in a cage, they are really cute. We then venture back to the store that has walking sticks. We buy another walking stick, so we both have walking sticks now. The next stop takes us to the local Library where a book sale is taking place. The library is open from noon to 4:00pm every day. Dugger finds a couple of books, while I read the local paper to learn about the area. Our next stop is at another lovely art store that I found the day before. We find many things that we like, but do not buy anything yet. Our next stop is a new development of homes close to where we are staying. We spend time looking at models and talk to a salesperson about the area and local culture.

It is now 5:00pm and we begin celebrating St. Patty's Day with a bottle of champagne and order a pizza for delivery. You didn't know that champagne and pizza went together did you? Well let me tell you, champagne and anything go very well together!

We go to bed around 9:00pm while the local Irishmen continue their celebration.

Saturday - March 18, 2000

Seagulls are banging clams on our roof again. We are having really stormy weather here today. We both spend time reading this morning.

I call Debbie this morning, but she is out. I talk with Bill and he is watching NCAA basketball playoffs. He says everything is fine at their house and that he and Debbie are fine.

The day continues to be high wind gusts, rain, and gloom. So we read most of the day, mid day nap, and then off to the Blue Whale for dinner. Dugger enjoys a Ruben while I have fish and chips. Fresh brewed tea is a plus. We take a piece of black berry pie to our room for later. We decide to drive into Waldport which is 8 miles north of here. We find a liquor store and a great laundromat in the same complex. So, we decide to do our laundry while we are there. There is a gentleman, Mike, in the laundromat who just chats up a storm. He was born and raised in California, and moved here to escape the rat race of California. He and Dugger proceed to talk about their careers and of course that lead to a conversation about philosophy. Yachats is very oriented toward the arts, metaphysics, nature and the sea. Before you know it, Mike's girlfriend and another woman come in and now we have a philosophy conversation going like you would not believe. Soon, our laundry is done and we are on our way back to Yachats.

We enjoy the pie, and watch two movies on a "family channel" that is very good. Now it is midnight and time for us to call it a day.

Sunday - March 19, 2000

Today is gloomy and rainy again. I can see rain out in the ocean. I can also see a break in the clouds. I think it is to rain all day here. We enjoy breakfast at the Blue Whale. Dugger has a green chili omelet with gravy and biscuits and I have pancakes and sausage.

After breakfast we go to the art fair at Yachats' Commons. It is delightful! We finally find "marionberry" sauce. Dugger purchases a couple of prints that he likes and I purchase an Indian flute. I cannot play it, but maybe I can learn a little. The craftsman is an Indian who hand makes the flutes. It is a lovely piece that I plan to display in the house as a piece of artwork

We then venture inland to see some properties. There are some homes with lovely views of the ocean and coastline. There is a beautiful doe walking on the road. She is very friendly, obviously a pet of the neighborhood. We experience probably 6% grade where we are looking. Just lovely!

By now it is early evening. We watch the BIG MAMMOTH on Discovery. It is a story about removing a Big Wooly Mammoth in its entirety from Siberia's icy north. We're glued to the TV for two hours.

We are not very hungry so we snack on cookies, bananas, peanuts etc. for dinner.

By 10:00pm, we called it a day!

Monday - March 20, 2000

We awaken to a beautiful sunrise. It is finally sunny and clear. Our ocean view is just beautiful.

In Yachats, we often eat at the Blue Whale Restaurant. Never before have I seen paperback books stationed at dining tables. The first time we encountered this, we thought someone had left a book at the table. The books are normally western stories which can be read by children or adults. I have never before seen a restaurant promote reading.

Dogs, dogs, dogs…..everywhere. Western people are dog lovers. Dugger says it reminds him of Britain, where everyone has a dog or dogs. I see a dog in our future very soon and of course a SUV to carry the dog(s) and travel. Yea!

We are going to invest in "Zesta" cracker stock. We have bought numerous boxes of crackers for the Seagulls. They are now doing flyby's to see if we are getting the crackers out of the box. How quickly they learn!

We go to the Blue Whale for lunch today. Dugger has a breakfast of eggs, hash browns, bacon and sourdough toast. I have a BLT on sourdough toast with potato salad. We then drive south on 101 to some spectacular views. It is almost impossible to explain the views. We drive up to a park side stop and follow a trail to where we could see about 50 miles down the coast. The coast is very rocky and rugged. There are many whale watchers including us. Unfortunately, we do not see any whales.

As we drive around town we see tulips, iris and forsythia blooming. What a treat!

We then return to our room and take off with our new walking sticks along the rocky coast. We have a great exploration along the coast. Dugger finds a clamshell that is just spectacular in color. We bring it back to our room and decide we better leave it outside due to its stinky odor it delivers. We spend a lot of time exploring. There is pussy willow everywhere along the shoreline. It is about 55 degrees today and sunny.

The pizza shop is closed so we go to La Serre for some carry out. I order Dugger a fish combination of salmon, clam, prawns, oyster etc. I have "free range" chicken.

"Free range chicken you say?" It is a chicken that has been raised without preservatives and steroids etc. And no, I could not tell any difference. They offer "marionberry crisp" for desert, so I buy that as well. Dugger says it is wonderful. My marionberry crisp will have to wait until tomorrow.

It's now 10:00pm and time for beddie bye.

Tuesday - March 21, 2000

It is partially sunny here this morning, tide is out and waves are really rolling in. I will do some whale watching this morning. Today is our last vacation day in Yachats and we move on to California tomorrow. Dugger is sad today. He wants to stay in Yachats for the balance of our vacation. I know Yachats will be in our future somehow.

We drive up the coast to Newport for a Wendy's chicken sandwich, stop in Waldport for more Zesta crackers for the birds and marionberry preserves for us. We then come back to our hotel for some beach exploration.

I find many lava type rocks that will fit well into a fountain we have at home. We feed the birds eight packages of crackers and enjoy some snacks in our room for dinner. The sunset is beautiful which we enjoy from our deck.

Discovery has a lovely biography on Jessica Tandy. I never saw her on stage, but saw her in many movie and television events. The two most recent movies that I remember were "Driving Miss Daisy" and "Fried Green Tomatoes". She was also in "The Birds" by Hitchock and of course "Streetcar named Desire" with Brando. She experienced three marriages, three children and a hardworking career until she was in her middle eighty's when she passed away with ovarian cancer. Very nice story!

Wednesday - March 22, 2000

We are leaving Yachats this morning. Highway 101S is open at noon. There was a rockslide in January, but they have the road open one-lane-at-a-time between noon and 8:00pm.

It is rainy and very foggy this morning. We head down the coast for California. The fog becomes worse as we drive. Driving is slow and visibility very poor.

We finally see a herd of elk. This herd consisted of approximately 50 elk. Wow!

Coos Bay in Oregon is very industrial, not attractive at all. The northern part of California is very poor and very unattractive. We stop in Eureka, California at a Red Lion Motel. We order pizza from UNY's and go to bed very early.

Thursday - March 23, 2000

We are up early this morning. Once again it looks rainy. We are heading across and down through California today. It is warm today, 65 degrees. Dugger drove all day. No rain, partly cloudy. Up and down, up and down, up and down the hills we went. 6, 7, 8% grades all the way, up and down. We see many beautiful green streams.

We see many baby lambs, numerous hawks, red buds in bloom, olive groves, and orange groves.

We stop in Weaverville (Bea[v]erville), Ca. to grab a Burger King. The local newspaper reported a baby black bear had been strolling down Main Street on Tuesday. So the local "animal control" chased him up a tree, shot his rump with a sleeping potion, and then carried him off to the woods along with 20 lbs. of dog food to help him along.

After eight hours on the road, our main question is "Where's the Bread?"

We stop in Stockton, Ca for the night and bring in some edibles from our car and cannot find the bread. We both have been through the car, which is stacked to the ceiling, and cannot find the bread. YEEEEEKKKK!!!

It is time for bed…no…it is past time for bread…I mean bed. Good night!

Friday - March 24, 2000

We watch movies till midnight and then fall off to sleep. We continue down 99S through Bakersfield today and on through the Mojave desert to Arizona. I am playing solitaire everyday but have not won a game for at least three days. Maybe today will be my lucky day.

We see grapevines, orange groves, pistachio nut groves, plum/prune groves, and a Dole manufacturing plant. There are grapevines and fruit trees for as far as we can see.

It is pleasant driving today, sunny and warm. We decide to drive completely across the Mojave desert before stopping for the evening. Just before entering the desert, we see huge windmills all over many mountains' sides. There must be a thousand windmills being used to generate electricity. Some of the blades on the windmills must are 20 feet long or so. An amazing site! Dugger drives across the desert at 80 to 85 miles per hour. When we approach Needles, I tell him he is going to have to slow down so I can read the signs. Ha…So, he slows down to 77 miles per hour and then says to me, "OK, how's this, I am nearly crawling now?" Well, I discovered I could read most signs at 77 miles per hour!! Ha…ha….The rocks are beautiful and desert is very interesting.

We did not see any armadillos or roadrunners. Darn! At 5:30pm it is 75 degrees in the desert. So, it must have been very hot during the day in the desert. Dugger is guessing maybe 90 degrees or so. When we stop in Needles at 7:00pm, it is 71 degrees, very nice dry temperature.

Before we started across the desert, we stopped at Wendy's for some mid-day burgers. So neither of us is hungry tonight, just glad to be out of the car. We are staying at a Best Western in Needles. There are a group of bikers staying next to us. It is Spring break here and they are out riding. They are sitting outside on the veranda and talking about traveling to Taos, New Mexico where Dugger and I were last year. It is at least in the mid 70's and dry. Great weather to be riding a bike. The bikes are beautiful and they are having fun, no doubt. It is a beautiful evening to be outside. I look forward to being outside at home on our deck.

We will be off to the Grand Canyon tomorrow.

No, I did not win at Solitaire today and NO BREAD HAS BEEN FOUND! It will be really ugly and moldy by the time we arrive home. The bread is in the car somewhere. YUK!

Saturday - March 25, 2000

We leave Needles mid morning and drive 40E. About 50 miles outside of Flagstaff, AR., Dugger decides to take some local roads to Sedona, AR. As always, traveling with Dugger is a thrill….he is an adventuresome traveler! Within one mile, we are now on red, rocky roads….and I mean sagebrush, cows and big hills with no one in sight. I tell Dugger, I feel like the Indians are about to attack. Well, guess what….we end up on an Indian reservation going through a forest on red rock roads for 60 miles…yes, I said 60 miles!! But, I must admit after we surfaced on real roads, it was a lot of fun.

We are now on Hwy 89. Dugger decides we should take a further adventure and take 89A into Sedona. Want to know how that goes??>>>>>

200% Pucker Factor on Way to Sedona!!

We go up and down and up and down the steepest mountains we have encountered so far. And many of them do not even have guardrails. We travel through Jerome, AR. which is literally built on a mountainside. It probably was a ghost town, but someone has turned it into a real booming area. On one turn, Dugger came really close to the edge and I had a pucker factor totally unknown to man. Ha, ha…..We both laugh and say if we go over the edge, we will be the only couple to die at the bottom of the canyon with Champagne and Girl Scout Cookies all over us. Ha, ha, ha…..

We arrive in Sedona about 6:00pm to find Sedona hotels totally booked. So we continue on north to Flagstaff where we find a hotel for the evening.

We are both exhausted, but venture out to "Jakes", a local bar and restaurant. We consume their best steaks and salads. YUM!!

We return to our hotel to call it a day.

Sunday - March 26, 2000

We leave Flagstaff this morning about 9:30am, and head toward Grand Canyon north of us. It is 75 degrees, sunny, beautiful sky, feels like it is 65 degrees given it is so dry. Grand Canyon is absolutely spectacular. This is the second time I have seen the Canyon, and the first time Dugger has experienced it.

We drive from the Canyon back to Sedona where we stay in a Hampton Inn downtown. Our view is spectacular with Red Rock cliffs tall and encompassing. We plan to be here three days.

We order pizza to our room from "Moon Dogs". It is fabulous.

We are both a little tired, so we watch some TV very early this evening.

Oh….I won two games of Solitaire this morning…..YEA!

Monday - March 27, 2000

We slept with the window open last night and it was great. Early morning is sunny, sunny, sunny, blue sky, blue sky, blue sky.

Shopping, shopping, shopping…..is next on my list.

I spend my day shopping in town. Find a few things of interest. There is so much Indian jewelry, pottery etc. it is hard to know what is of any value. I find two stores with some very nice items.

I purchase some new CD's, a vase, and a wedding gift for a girlfriend.

Dugger and I have Subway sandwiches, veggies, and fruit for dinner.

We watch some TV and call it a day.

Tuesday - March 28, 2000

Ugly morning….rain, rain, rain.

Dugger and I stay in today. It is ugly all day.

We visit a lovely restaurant this evening….Dahl and La Luca. Italian…a must if you ever visit Sedona. Yum…Yum…Yum..

We are heading home tomorrow morning.

We have had a lovely trip…one we shall never forget.

Wednesday - March 29, 2000

We leave Sedona at 6:30am. We agree to 4 hour driving shifts driving straight through till we arrived home. Off we go!!

We have a little rain, but not much.

We come across on 40E all the way from Sedona to Nashville. From Nashville, we take 65N to Indianapolis.

Southern New Mexico feels very large. One can travel for miles and the mountains remain the same size, they just don't seem to move any closer. It is very unusual. I have never been through Albuquerque. There are 15 exits into Albuquerque….whew!

The northern part of Texas is very desolate. Texas lives up to its reputation of having a "BIG SKY".

We sing "Oklahoma" while traveling through a part of Oklahoma. The flat lands began to appear in Oklahoma. Farming and cattle seem to be key. We also begin to see some "green" appear after being in the desolate countryside of New Mexico and Texas.

Next came Arkansas the home of you know who. We drive through there late in the evening. So, we do not see much of Arkansas.

Now looking for some day light!

Thursday - March 30, 2000

Tennessee also feels green. Nashville looks very interesting. Some day, we will have to revisit Nashville to take in their sights.

We arrive home around 1:00pm …..30 hours straight. Our home is just fine, and we are both glad to arrive home and be out of our car. Now the real fun begins…..unpacking and laundry.

We unload our car….showers next…and a 6 hour nap followed for me. Dugger remained up till bedtime. When I arise at 7:00pm, Dugger is doing laundry and starting dinner for us.

Of course the first thing on our agenda is to feed our birdies. They are so happy we are home. We are both anxious to plant our "wild flower" gardens and our vegetable garden.

As the old saying goes… "There's no place like home".

We definitely have identified some areas of the country where we want to live some day, at least during some winter months…..maybe even full time. Mission accomplished!

As always, it is a pleasure to share this time with Dugger.

We know not what nature has in store for us, but one thing for sure……this has been an adventure I shall never forget!

©Beth Ann Renselle, 2000-2006 — Edited. 8Aug2002  PDR — Created 6-30Mar2000  BAR
(15Dec2001 rev - Add top of page frame-breaker.)
(8Aug2002 rev - Add Flying Saucer GIF. Add document title. Correct some of Beth's 'spellings.'