Road Trip Over.. time for Christmas!

December 10th

TriCities Oregon

Yesterday was not quite as long a day, but it was fairly miserable with fog and or rain mostly all the way. No snow though, although we saw evidence of previous falls on the side of the road.

It was also very windy. Same old same old. 

We made it up and through the passes out of California and into Oregon with no problem, just some traffic and trucks and not a few crazy leftover California drivers. The lunch stop at  a truck stop near Weed was pretty cool, still sunny, very windy, and the mountains were gorgeous. We were also parked next to a small airfield, with a couple of Cessna’s sitting on the grass and one interesting larger twin engine old plane. I went over to have a look and take a picture, and was surprised to see three large letters painted on the fuselage under the cockpit – C D F.  My father’s initials, and he was an avid old airplane buff – there was also a large 94 painted on the back.

I snapped a picture and posted it on facebook, quite gorgeous with the mountain behind it I might add… and asked my sister if 94 wasn’t the age my father would be on his next birthday…in January…

indeed, it is.

very spooky – as Yi says, it’s my message from Dad!

I also asked fellow Nordhavn enthusiast/owner and plane lover  Christopher Dent what kind of plane it was – of course he had an answer for me right away!  A Grumman S-2A Tracker circa mid-late 50’s…. originally a Navy submarine tracker.. probably now being used by the California Department of Forestry ( oh I get it.. C D F)  for a fire bomber. My cousin George ( aka Martin) also had a great story about these planes flying off the HMCS Bonaventure on the east coast, then transferred to the west coast to Comox on Vancouver Island and used for anti-submarine detection… and how noisy they were… the pilots would scare the heck out of the sailors by sneaking up on them at night and turning on full throttle. 

So  we are up and ready to go, breakfast dishes done ( breakfast? toast and coffee)….. as Lawrence does the last minute check of everything off and on and in between, I meet a neighbour, who tells me that tonight is the annual Christmas truck parade down the main street!  Now THAT I wish we could stick around to watch! Sounds fantastic! And then a kitty comes running down the lane, looking for all the world as if it’s an old friend coming to greet me… chubby little thing, with bellybags swinging… said hi to me, made sure I was a cat lover, and then went off on her busy-ness.  Turns out some sadist sicko just left her at the site after they left, so the RV park has adopted her. Then the resident told me that her dog is a rescue too – he was left on the beach at Coos Bay as a two month old pup, a Besenji cross, still had his baby teeth!  So she adopted him … Nice to know there are still people with hearts down here!

And now…we are turning right, North, onto the I-5… sounds like all is clear so we should be OK. Shall see what today brings us!

The next day – yes, we made it!  Powered through almost ten hours of driving, rain, slush, snow on the side of the road… stopped and delivered a few boxes of  Mexican treasurers to  our friends in Bow, aand after a  very perfunctory discussion with the Canadian Border – (hello, where have you been, what do you have, how much tequila, how big are the bottles, fine, have a good night) we were in Canada.

Hooray!  and there is more snow here than in any other place we have driven through… worked our way home through the rain and the traffic, and arrived to son and his girlfriend putting up the Christmas tree! The neighbourhood is still kind of white, there are beautiful Christmas lights all around us… and it is bitterly cold. 

And so it’s over – hard to believe we left October 28th for our big adventure – part road trip and part boat trip. The road trip part was remarkably fun, although we both wished we could spend a little more time at each spot and maybe explore a little further. I would guess the future holds some long distance overland travelling for us, when we aren’t in the boat down south! Being able to pull over into a nice clean rest stop ( America has great rest stops!) and make lunch or breakfast was a huge bonus, we could be stopped, fed, and cleaned up in half an hour and on the road again.  The cruise part of the trip was fun as well, especially being able to share it with friends. It is too bad we weren’t able to travel as far north in the Sea as we had anticipated but that, for a fact, is  what cruising is all about – Fixing your boat in exotic places…. luckily we were sharing our adventure with other long term boaters and they totally understood the process.  They also helped out immensely which was an added bonus! Yay Tom and Phyllis! Now get out there and find yourselves  another boat!!!!

So we left in fall, and have come back to deepest darkest winter… luckily by postponing our travel and spending an extra day in San Diego, we didn’t have to drive through the actual snow storms on the way up, although with those wonderful chains we knew we could do it!

speaking of which.. photos of Tom the Highwayman…

Now, listening to Charlie Brown’s Christmas song, looking at the sparkling tree, and watching the cat explore all the decoration boxes on the floor, I am ready for the Christmas festivities to begin.  However – December 27th we hop on a plane and head down to the boat for a quick two week return engagement with son and his girlfriend…. hooray!  back to summer! 

I hope everyone’s Christmas and New Years are great, and 2017 brings happiness and peace, and maybe a little more travel to exotic places!