Trinidad Beach

Hello! Thanks for stopping by 2Dogs today.

My oldest grandchild, Emma, turns 18 next month, and I wanted to spend a little quiet time with her before her adult life begins. She graduated high school this past June, and is working at a local plant that processes and bags diatomaceous earth. She thought she wanted to join the army, but that’s not going to happen (THANK YOU GOD!!!), and then the tentative plans to move to Chico, rent an apartment with a couple of friends, work until spring and then begin college also went by the wayside. That plan literally had a whole week of excitement before it was nixed.  Don’t you love the way kids can change course so quickly and easily? It leaves my head spinning, let me tell ya. She has been offered a full time position at the processing plant once the summer job is over so she’s considering accepting that.  At least that’s the plan THIS week.

I wanted to spend time with her, but I wanted it to be something she would enjoy and remember so I asked her if she would like to go to the coast. She did.

We left early on Saturday morning and bobbed and weaved our way not only up and down and around lovely 299W, but also through no less than 5 different construction zones.  Boy howdy, I had forgotten just how curvy and narrow that road can be. The wait at the various construction sites gave me plenty of time to reminisce.

We made it to Eureka in record slow time and immediately began looking for a spot to camp. We found nothing. A favorite spot that the kayaking club used to stay at, a local county park called Big Lagoon and always had openings , was so full you could barely maneuver through the area.  No luck at Patrick’s Point, The Little Red School House, nor near Orick.  Long story short, we spent two nights, to the utter horror of my dear Emma, sleeping at the rest area outside of Trinidad. No big deal to me, we’re asleep, who cares, but it did make things a tad bit crowded since we couldn’t put up the tent and give Emma her privacy.  She dealt with it pretty darn well, though.

Our days were spent at the various beaches in and around Trinidad: Clam Beach being one, and another one that has easy access and runs for a long ways that doesn’t really have a name, and then, of course, Trinidad Beach.  And lunch at the Seascape restaurant.   Twice.

The mornings were wet with dew and blanketed with soft grey, but the sunshine broke through around 2 o’clock every afternoon. The dogs loved the warm sand as did we, and we spent hours napping on the beach, listening to the waves crash, and talking the dogs for long, slow strolls along the shoreline.

Emma said she enjoyed our time together. I hope she did.  I know I did.  I was not ready to come home, but on the other hand there are trips to plan, changes to be made in the van, and things to rearrange.  Life is good even when it throws you a curve ball.

Trinidad Beach

METEOR SHOWERS  The Delta Aquarids will decorate the early morning sky before dawn on this last weekend in July, then next month the Perseids are expected to give a spectacular show on August 11-12.


After the disappointment of having our coastal meander put off for now, we settled on a spot closer to home, Willow Creek Campground just south of Adin, California.  While it isn’t a destination campground, it’s a pretty little place with just 8 sites.  It’s also close to Highway 139, but thankfully it’s not traveled much during the night time hours. It’s a two lane road with no shoulders; a few turnouts like this one where we stopped to get a photo, but they are few and far between.




It’s definitely not a big creek.

There was only one other camper here when we pulled in about 3:00 p.m., and it never did fill up. It seemed to be more of a stopover for the night more than anything else.

This little sojourn is more of an opportunity to relax and rest up after our three week push to get the house sparkling and emptied of all personal items.  I think we are doing a bang-up job of that!  Walks, reading, and naps are on tap for the duration.  The boys check their p-mail at least three times a day, and are thrilled with it all.

Our view from the back of the van.


Willow Creek is tiny, but has at least one bull frog in residence. Love that booming sound; it reminds me of growing up in Happy Valley where my brothers decided to raise bullfrogs in one of our ponds.  Butch and Lee built a wooden fence all around the smaller of the two ponds to keep those frogs in place only to discover bullfrogs can actually climb a wooden fence and escape!  And they did.

This is almost a perfect heart when I first spot it, but by the time I run and get the camera out, it begins to break up. DSC_0369

The Chiweenie Brothers do not like being cold, especially Fries (AKA Bitty Boy — in case I forget and call him by his other handle).  At 5000 feet mornings are a bit nippy, and the little guy wants sun and a blanket.  Fries stays in his bed much of the morning. My Charlie just curls up and waits for another walk.


I’ve enjoyed this little respite, but we will head home tomorrow.  Time to begin hauling needed items back into the house.  Needed.  That’s the operative word here. Things must have a specific purpose or value or they will stay in the garage. Nothing is coming back into the house without a need for it. As much of a pain as it was to move all that stuff out, it will be out of the way and, I believe,  much easier to deal with on a box-by-box basis and not have it all underfoot and stacked here, there, and everywhere while going through it all. I was just kidding myself about how much I had done in the downsizing department!  Wow — I would never have believed it. This will actually be the better way to deal with it all, and I will be reminded every time I try to get my car out of the garage, that something must done and I better hop to it.

Thanks for stopping by 2 Dogs.  Hugs, Shawna

We Head Out …

The day is finally here!  Our tiny adventure begins!   

Freedom, is filled to the gills, and she is fueled up and ready to roll. The boys see me taking their bowls and food out the kitchen door and are beside themselves with excitement. They’ve known for weeks that something was up, and this confirms it for them.  We are about to GO SOMEWHERE!!! 

One last walk through the house and we’ll be on our way. An errant leaf has been deposited on the kitchen floor no doubt from one of the pupper’s mad dashes outside,  back inside, outside again, then back in as they whip themselves into a frenzy.  As we bid adieu to our little cottage, the dogs forget their manners and squeeze past me as I open the door.   

DSC_0364    WAITING IS HARD! And boring.

The Chiweenie Brothers are in their harnesses, and Burger is on leash so once I sort them out at the front gate and get them untangled it will be an easy job getting them in the van.  We board the beautiful  Miss Freedom, and the boys get in their places; Burger on the very outside on the passenger side and The Chiweenie Brothers take the inside middle on the little bed I have made for them atop the plastic drawer unit I have between the front seats.  The passenger seat has been “extended” with their pillows and blankets on top of gear on the floor essentially extending the seat toward the dash so everyone has plenty of room.  The first squabble that breaks out means the Wild Wiener Dogs get banned to the back.  Like that will be enforced.  Ha! 

We pull out of the driveway and turn right towards Hwy 299. At the stop we nose out and head eastbound. Little Fries sits up straight and almost at attention as he gazes out through the windshield.  Wish I had taken the time for a photo.

Burger tries to show some enthusiasm, but of late he only thinks he wants to go for a ride. What he once loved is no longer quite as appealing, but he would rather go than be left home. Of course that isn’t an option, and I will do my best to make it a good trip for him.

Charlie is his usual accommodating self.  Wherever we go, whatever we do, I am just glad to be with you is his attitude. Such a sweet little dog is my Charles Barkley.

Did you catch the change in direction?  We should have been westbound if we were heading to the coast.  Nothing in life is guaranteed, and since I am pretty damn good­­­­–from much experience–at dealing with life’s unexpected, we changed our course and our time frame. 

The good doctor, after being put up in a local B&B courtesy of the health center over the Fourth of July holiday weekend, informed them that he didn’t want to work in Burney after all! I am “just a house” so I am not privy to any information, but I can guess; he got a better offer from another clinic somewhere. Whatever the reason the health center is without a doc, I am without a renter, and our two month coastal wander is off for now. 

Instead, we are camped at Willow Creek Campground south of Adin, California.  More on that outing next time. 

Thanks for stopping by 2Dogs! Hugs, Shawna

A Day Can Make a Difference

Yes, a day can make a difference. A day can change your life. Remember that when you’re having a bad day, week, month.  Things can and do change. Prayers are answered, sometimes in a way you never expected, but answered nonetheless. I am still amazed out how this all fell into place.

If you read Update on the Cube Coolermy blog on a regular basis you know that I have a “Van Plan”. I would sell my home, pack up The Chiweenie Brothers (I didn’t think we would still have the Burger Meister by the time that happened) and hit the road in our conversion van Miss Freedom , cruising around these United States. Guess I didn’t get enough of it when I was driving truck, but this time around I can do it on my terms.

fa703-yard441 Can you imagine having this goofball in the van?

The current plan was to finish the sun room repairs, list the house, stand my ground on price, and if it didn’t sell spend another winter here in the mountains of far northern California, and try again in spring.  I never completely ruled out renting, but there are just so many negatives to that scenario that it might as well have been.

Enter our local Facebook swap and trade which I peruse most every day. Listed on this particular day was an ad for a furnished 1-2 bedroom home for three months.  On a whim I inquired as to who, what, and when.  I was told it was needed by a traveling doctor that had signed up for a three month stint at our local clinic.  They were in hopes he will love it here in our beautiful Intermountain Area and stay for at least a year, but it would be three months for sure.  We chatted back and forth, I explained the sun room project, she explained how the yard care would be handled, and how utilities would be paid.  I sent pictures.

Never one to count my chickens, I was excited, but not convinced it would work out. I did, however, begin moving some of the items that needed to be put in the garage anyway, and worked harder toward getting the sun room back in order while waiting for the gal to get the okay from the CEO.

This would be the perfect answer to my dilemma, and the perfect way to really get my feet wet without the possibility of drowning if the van life isn’t for me.  The wait was intense. A day went by with no communication.

The next morning I booted up my computer and immediately went to Facebook and checked Messages.  Two. Two lurking in my inbox.  Holding my breath, I opened up the app and there it was, the message I was waiting for, staring me in the face. I don’t want to open it. I have to open it. Whatever is waiting beyond that one click of my mouse could change my life.

YES!  It’s yes, it’s a go, and we have a date to be out by. The boys give me the strangest look when I high five myself and give out a hoot followed by a holler.  They aren’t sure what’s up with all this noise, but they rally around and get into the excitement. Or maybe it was that they were waiting for breakfast, and they figured I was as excited as they were to be fed. I can’t be sure, but I’m okay with it either way!

Fortunately for me, the deal is for a furnished house so that eliminates a lot of hassle right there. All I really have to do is get my personal stuff out into the garage–a wonderful perk, renting my house and still being allowed the garage to store stuff—tidy up, make things sparkle, and buy a few things for the house. Yep, I have done such a good job at downsizing that I now have to buy some things I have gotten rid of!  Isn’t that a kick?  It’s okay. It’s no biggie.  Still, how ironic.

Soon, you will be getting the travelogue that hopefully you have been waiting for all this time while we developed “The Van Plan”. Yes indeed, what a difference a day can make.

Hugs to you all, Shawna

“Status quos are made to be broken.” ― Ray A. Davis