Posts Tagged With: adventures

Am I There Yet? A vintage girl’s journey across America – Day 9

I feel a little whiney today.  I didn’t sleep so well last night.  My privacy shades didn’t keep out the bright security light so I couldn’t find that deep, delicious REM sleep I need.   I was anxious for daybreak so I could get organized and hit the road.  Yesterday I decided not to head north to Kilispell, Montana as planned to visit Glacier National Park but to stay on I-90 West that would eventually take me right into Seattle.  I’ve never been in this area of the country so it’s all new and beautiful to me and although I swore I would have no deadlines, I feel ready to get to my final destination.  My husband is flying to Seattle to meet me for his 70th birthday with his children and grandson.  My well-planned itinerary feels like its unravelling around the edges a bit but, so what?  I’m gonna follow my nose and keep going left — west.

I’m not sure if I was tired and zoned out or was involved with my murder mystery audio book, but when I noticed a bunch of people at an overlook I joined them.  Whoa!  Welcome to Idaho.  I’ve met some incredible people at these overlooks.  We’re all visitors and every one has a story.   I had to pull into a rest stop to make absolutely sure I was where I was supposed to be.  When I did, I realized I was hungry so  I took a box of crackers and peanut butter over to a picnic table with my maps, etc.  I thought the critters were squirrels.  But, they weren’t.  They were prairie dogs.  Hungry prairie dogs.  They were adorable but I still didn’t share my peanut butter crackers.

You single girls out there – let me tell you the easiest way to meet nice men.  Forget Match or eHarmony, just sit down and look at a map.  They can’t resist – if they’re gentlemen they want to help. Whether you need assistance or not you will meet some really nice people.  So, these two guys who were also laughing at the prairie dogs joined me at the picnic table to see if I needed help and we began talking about Idaho.  They  were headed south to the Tetons after spending the night in Couer d’Alene and highly recommended a stop there.  I was only a couple of hours away and very tired so I decided to take a break, have a hot meal and find a motel for the night.

I had an hour to kill before I could check into my motel room so I stopped for lunch.  I whipped out my atlas while I had a glass of wine waiting for my meal.  A nice older (than me) gentleman came over to see if I needed help.  See, I told you so.  Anyway, we had a nice chat about his dream of visiting Florida and he gave me some information about Idaho. When I checked into my room I took a wonderful hot shower, set up my computer to try to catch up on blogging, emails and messages and took a long nap.  When I got up I was hungry and lazy.  I didn’t want to get dressed up to go to a restaurant so decided to look for a fast food place in the neighborhood.  I found a Panda Express nearby and thought, why not?  Live life large, right?  Try something new.  Not.  By morning my hands were so swollen I couldn’t make a fist and my face was puffy.  Unless you can tolerate loads of MSG, don’t do it.

But, I was clean and comfortable and fed and getting organized.  I’m excited to explore Couer d’Alene tomorrow.

 

Categories: Aging Gracefully, Camping, Life, Retirement, road trip, Travel, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Am I There Yet? A vintage girl’s journey across America – Day 8

I slept amazingly well considering I was on bear alert and a little on edge.  I waited for daylight so I could go across to the restrooms to get cleaned up and ready for the day. I was hyper-vigilant walking on the path through the bushes and carried my pepper/mace spray in the ready position.  With my quick reflexes and physical acuity I’m sure if I ever had to press the nozzle of the mace it would be pointed in the wrong direction and I’d get it in the face instead of the bear.  At least I wouldn’t be able to see him eating me.

I was reluctant to leave the grandeur of the bay but will savor the beauty and plan to return to Grand Teton National Park as a destination with my sister, hopefully, next year.

Yellowstone National Park is only 18 miles up the road from Coulter Bay Campground.  That was a pleasant surprise and, again, I saved the $30 entrance fee thanks to my Senior Pass.  My plan was to visit Yellowstone then head north to Glacier National Park but cell reception in the Tetons had been patchy to non-existent.  I even had trouble with my GPS so I’m a little anxious about driving to Glacier on secondary roads without any type of cell service in case of emergencies.  A girl’s got to be careful and aware when traveling alone, especially if she can’t call Geico or dial 911 if she’s in trouble. I decided to not think about it until I finished at Yellowstone, having already established a beautiful alternate route to Seattle if needed.

On the way to Yellowstone I passed the Continental Divide for the first time this trip.  An elevation of 7,988 feet may not seem like much to most people, but I’m from Florida where the elevation of my home is 6 feet.  I checked Wikipedia for a refresher on the “Continantal Divide” since it’s been about 100 years since my last geography class. If you’re interested, America’s Continental Divide:

is the principal, and largely mountainoushydrological divide of the Americas. The Continental Divide extends from the Bering Strait to the Strait of Magellan, and separates the watersheds that drain into the Pacific Ocean from those river systems that drain into the Atlantic Ocean (including those that drain into the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea) and, along the northernmost reaches of the Divide, those river systems that drain into the Arctic Ocean

Of course my first stop in Yellowstone was to see Old Faithful.  I only had to wait about 10 minutes for its eruption and it looked exactly like the old newsreels and pictures you’ve seen.  What made it especially exciting were the hundreds of people from all over the world waiting with me and the “oohs” and “aahs” as the geyser took off.  I stopped in the Travel Center to get my National Parks Passbook stamped, wrote some postcards to the grandkids and continued my exploration.

So I  moseyed and meandered through Yellowstone for a couple of hours observing waterfalls, geysers and hot springs.  So beautiful.  It’s funny …  I packed my clothes and equipment for kayaking and hiking adventures but my heart led me to continue driving and exploring, observing the beauty around me.  I entered Yellowstone from Wyoming and exited the park to West Yellowstone, Montana.  I had a late lunch at the Bullwinkle Saloon.  An adorable restaurant but $18 for a cheeseburger?  Oh wait, that included a Blue Moon and the tip. I finally had a wi-fi connection so I called home to let everyone know I was OK, caught up with emails and messages.  Wait, maybe I had two Blue Moons.  OK, $18 isn’t so bad. I checked my Allstays app (don’t leave home without it) and my atlas and decided it would be foolhardy to attempt Glacier National Park this trip.  I did not feel prepared or comfortable continuing without cell service or warmer clothes that were stored in my rooftop carrier and I’d rather be beaten than try to get the duffel down from there after the fiasco with my kayak. So, on to Plan B – just keep driving west.

I passed through Billings and Bozeman looking for a place to stay and finally gave up and decided to boondock at a WalMart in Butte, Montana.  I had a leisurely dinner at a local restaurant and spent a comfortable night tucked away between two giant RV units. Unfortunately, I parked under a security light and gave up a little bit of comfort for the safety of the big boys parked on either side of me.  It was a long day filled with wonders.

 

Categories: Aging Gracefully, Camping, Life, Retirement, road trip, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Of Course I Love My Family But …

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Pride and Joy.” What’s your most prized possession?

Of course my family and their love is my most prized possession – that goes without saying.  But if you want to know my most prized material possession, it’s my Casita travel trailer.  It was my retirement gift to me, from me, with love. I am eager for every camping adventure, especially when I go solo.

My 17-foot Casita Freedom

                                                              My 17-foot Casita Freedom

On Long Key, near Key West, Florida (Paradise)

                                                On Long Key, near Key West, Florida (paradise!)

I always wanted to be a cowgirl so that's how I decorated my Casita

I always wanted to be a cowgirl so that’s how I decorated my Casita

Bathroom behind door #1, closet behind door #2

Bathroom behind door #1, closet behind door #2

Dining table drops down, cushions flatten to form a queen size bed

Dining table drops down, cushions flatten to form a queen size bed

Inside dining for two - granddaughter & Grampy

Inside dining for two – granddaughter & Gramps

Just big enough on a rainy day to stay inside & watch movies

Just big enough on a rainy day to stay inside & watch movies

camper1

Getting ready for take-off

I took my sister with me to Anastasia State Park, St. Augustine, FL for a girls' weekend

I took my sister with me to Anastasia State Park, St. Augustine, FL for a girls’ weekend

Girly repairs with pink duct tape

Girly repairs with pink duct tape

My happy place

    My happy place

Good night

                          Good night

Categories: Aging Gracefully, Camping, Daily Prompt, Family, Life, Retirement, Travel | Tags: , , , , | 5 Comments

Mamacita’s Casita – Let the Adventures Begin!

I never saw a live pig until I was 19.  I was raised in Miami Beach in the 1950s and led a sheltered life.  So, how does a spoiled, scaredy cat, mid-century girl end up with her very own travel trailer driving cross country alone?  Here’s the skinny …

We took a hard look at our finances when I retired and concluded that if I wanted to go, do & see everything on my list I’d have to find a creative way to go, do & see.  The most economical way for us to travel is by camping although up til then I considered camping staying at a cheap motel. I  investigated RVs, campers and travel trailers before deciding that a Casita Spirit was the perfect travel trailer for me.  Ultra-light for easy towing and all the amenities I need packed into 17 feet of fiberglass.  I also had to find the perfect vehicle to tow the little cutie & eventually bought a Kia Sorento.  Then all I needed to do was learn how to hook it up, tow it, back it up and set it up!

Mamacita with her new Casita!

Mamacita with her new Casita!

After almost killing each other on our first couple of trips, I realized that this camper travel thing was my dream, not Kurt’s and he did not want to participate in every one of my hare-brained adventures.  I needed to learn to travel alone if I wanted to be Wander Woman and must overcome my fears of the dark, the great outdoors and all things creepy-crawly or I had to give up my going, doing, seeing.  So, I did.

I traveled to Long Key State Park at Mile Marker 62 in the Florida Keys and backed into a campsite by myself yesterday.  I then set up camp and began my blog by the ocean.

First time I backed the Casita in by myself!

First time I’ve backed the Casita in by myself!

And set up camp by myself!

And set up camp by myself!

Blogging by the ocean - not too shabby a set up!

Blogging by the ocean – not too shabby a set up!

Let the adventures begin!

Categories: Camping | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

You Know You’re a Mid-Century Girl If …

I’m a mid-century girl and you are too:

  • If you were born in the 1940s, 50s or 60s
  • If you wore a girdle and stockings to your first job but later burned your bra, threw out your girdle & started wearing pantyhose and mini-skirts and slacks to work & now wear Spanx if necessary
  • If you learned to type on a manual typewriter, then used an IBM Selectric then a computer keyboard & now have an iPad or notebook
  • If you worked where there was a telephone switchboard but now use a smart phone
  • If you watched I Love Lucy, Gunsmoke & Bonanza  on a black & white television & now have flat screen TVs in every room with TIVO, ROKU or You Tube
  • If you used to get dressed up to go shopping downtown but now do all your shopping at the mall or on-line at Amazon.com or eBay
  • If you had to save up to make weekly long distance calls home to your parents and now use Skype or Facetime to stay in touch with family & friends
  • If you took shorthand, bookkeeping and business English in high school and still use all those skills
  • If you hand wrote letters in cursive to friends & relatives on nice stationary, stamped them and sent them through the  mail and now use email and FaceBook to communicate with those same people
  • If you had a Brownie Instamatic or Polaroid camera that used flash bulbs but now use your smart phone to take photos
  • If you were forced to take Home Economics in high school but were not allowed to take Shop because you are a girl
  • If you helped your parents read (and fold) road maps during summer road trips but now use GPS, Priceline, Trip Advisor or a map app on your smart phone
  • If you used to wash and iron your cotton/linen/silk dresses then went to polyester because it was wrinkle free and now wear 100 % cotton, linen & silk again
  • If you used to play in blue jeans and Keds and now wear designer jeans, heels & blingy tops for evening wear
  • If you were forced into one of the accepted professions for women; secretary, teacher, nurse but retired as an Executive Assistant, school principal, senior teacher, politician, doctor, lawyer or para-legal, manager, engineer, astronaut or succeeded in whatever career you eventually chose
  • If you read the Bobbsey Twins and Nancy Drew and now read mysteries, blogs & the Wall Street Journal
  • If you went from watching Disney with your family on Sunday nights to visiting Disney World with your grandchildren

You’re a mid-century girl and my kind of woman – so, let the adventures begin!

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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