Monday, September 30, 2013

Schlepping Sully Part II

Have you ever heard the reason I moved to northern California? If you haven't, you're the only one. So I would never be hot again as long as I live.

A couple of years ago, when it was clear that I could no longer afford the gas to keep the battery charged much less take another road trip, I sold the RV. About the same time the Cash for Clunker opportunity came along and I got rid of my Ford Explorer. I now drive a Prius. Additionally, I'm not pleased about the fact I am three and a half inches shorter than my once full height of 5' 5", but it came in handy when I decided I would camp on my trip to Montana. Not in a tent. I'm way too old to be interested in that. In the Prius. I pulled the passenger seat all the way forward, placed a feather comforter the full length of that side of the car, added a sleeping bag, a couple of pillows, my little cook-stove (for coffee in the mornings) and a small cooler. I spent the first two nights at my friend's gorgeous 'beach' house in Yachats, then headed east. I watched the temperature going up and up as I got away from the Oregon coast. By the time I got to Bend, it was in the high 90s. I checked into a motel for the night.

I went to Bend specifically to visit Healing Reins, a therapeutic riding center. A friend of mine is working toward launching a center here on the Mendocino coast. I wanted to make contact with one of the best.
Wednesday October 16, 2013 from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM PDT
at Healing Reins in Bend

There were two new chickens in the carrier. I'm not sure of the message this little goat was sending them.
This picture is blurry because I was smiling too hard.
                John Day website

From Bend I drifted northeast, hoping for cooler weather. I'd wanted to visit the John Day Fossil Beds again, but it was 95 degrees there, so I snapped a couple of pictures and drove on to find a motel with a strong AC unit in Ontario, OR. That night there was a lightning and thunder storm that made this old fossil happy to be snug in her bed.

It was in Idaho I first noticed that 'deer crossing' signs had changed to 'game crossing.'

The next day the temperature was nearer what I thought I could cope with, and I was determined to camp on my last night before reaching Holland Lake Lodge where the writing workshop was to take place. I crossed Idaho and came into Montana through Lolo. That's where the big fire was earlier in the month. The aftermath, as expected, was sad, but it gave me renewed admiration for fire-fighters. I passed a number of houses that remained untouched by the fire which had burned all the trees around them. One right up to its back door.

Because of the fire, all the campgrounds were closed for the remainder of the season. I checked into a motel in Missoula. Missoula, BTW, is beautiful. They have an appreciation for trees that beats anything I think I've ever seen. From an over-pass, the tops of trees are all you can see in neighborhood after neighborhood. Very impressed.

First afternoon on Holland Lake
See that bird on the shore? Guess who.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Schlepping Sully Part I

Hopi pronounced Hoppy
For the last two weeks I've either been driving to Montana, writing in Montana, or driving home. I logged 2927 miles. I decided to drive because I reread Steinbeck's Travels With Charlie this summer, and used to love to drive. When I moved to Fort Bragg from Miami I took a circuitous 9000 mile route, rambling through the five states that I had never been to: Arkansas, Wisconsin, North and South Dakota, and Montana. It took me seven weeks of traveling back-roads in the RV I bought expressly for the move. I was accompanied by my parrot, then only 11 years old, a tame white dove who sat on infertile eggs the entire trip in her basket which hung in the bathroom off the shower head, and an albino
red rat snake--one of my going away presents. Rosie lived 9 years. In Nauvoo, IL, I picked up a stray kitten. That trip was 22 years ago.

My trip to Montana started with a 10 hour drive up the coast to Yachats (pronounced Ya hots), OR. A dear friend moved there a few years ago and this was a chance for a visit. She took me to Newport where we visited the Hatfield Marine Science Center. They had truly interesting exhibits, but you know my fondness for octopuses. They have a Pacific Giant octopus on 'octocam' which they feed on Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays at 1 pm. If you go to the octocam at that time, you can watch them feed her. (if link doesn't work, copy and paste into your search engine.) 

Waves at Point Cabrillo for example
Another stop we made was to a memorial for two young men who were killed when a sneaker wave swept them off the rocks. I was so moved by the memorial one of the boy's mother had erected at the site, that I took pictures. Here on the Mendocino Coast, not a year passes that we don't have a fatal encounter with the sea. 

They were standing on the rock at the top of the picture 

And were swept into the crevice.

The memorial on a prettier day by Linda Watson

So who is Sully?
Wait for Part II in a few days.

Friday, September 6, 2013


This is Sluggo, a baby skunk I rescued. The full story is on my website, which I've just spent the day editing, and up-dating. I've posted some pictures--animals and family history--and a few short stories.

I'm taking a couple weeks off to work on a new project, so I thought maybe you'd be willing to take a look at all the work I've done on the website.
(If this link doesn't work, click through via the link at the upper right hand corner.)

     I'll be back in touch toward the end of the month.