Catching Up

Hello Friends! With the COVID-19 lurking around and people being asked to self isolate I thought this would be a good time to get  caught up on 2DogsTravel.
Since finding this bugger Snake in my little home this past fall and having it removed by a couple of our wonderful fire department personnel (THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!) things pretty much went down hill.

Thanksgiving and Christmas were uneventfull except for the morning lows in the mid-20s for a week between Christmas and New Years. Another reason to be thankful that I have a warm(er) place to hunker down in the Arizona Winter.
Welcoming in 2020 we were delighted with this fabulous sunset

                                                       Gotta love Arizona sunsets.
Late January brought news that my SIL, Karen, had been hospitalized diagnosed with myeloma. That on top of diabetes and Parkinson’s. To her credit she had agreed to the bone marrow testing; she is not one who can handle much pain so this really surprised me. She had lived with her sister in Oregon for the past two years since my brother passed, and Sharon was her primary care giver. I  will be eternally grateful for this.

To make a long agonizing story shorter, she was finally sent home. Weak, discouraged, and with the knowledge that she would be taking chemo for the rest of whatever her life span would be, Karen decided that the treatments, constant doctor’s appointments, and continual tests were too much. She decided to let nature take its course and requested that all her meds to be withheld including her diabetes medications.  That, of course, put her into a diabetic coma and in less than two days she was released from her torment and went home to be with her Lord.
Ten days later I got a call from my niece that it was time to come say goodbye to my sister. Edie had been in rehab, again, to try and get her up and walking after yet another hospitalization in December. She came down with pneumonia on top of her CHF, years with COPD, and several bouts with sepsis. She continued to decline in hospital and come to the point of not being able to swallow amongst other various ailments. The doctors said she would never make it out of hospital and she didn’t.
I made the fastest trip ever to California (Hey, I could still be a truck driver if I wanted to . . . at least for a couple of days!).

One of us was with her 24/7 until she took her last breath at 9:30 a.m. February 27th. I stayed for a couple more days to help as I could and to visit with my sons before making a mad dash for Arizona before an incoming storm arrived.

The Chiweenie Brothers and I didn’t quite make it ahead of the storm and it was a snowy drive higher up on Hwy 44 near Lassen Park, but we came out the other side just fine and didn’t hit snow again until near Mammoth Lakes on Hwy 395 where the worst of this section of the highway was starting, but it wasn’t too bad.

Some shots taken with my phone on the trip back.
Mono Lake March 2020     MONO LAKE
The halfway point in our trip is right about Lone Pine, CA Where we spent a very brutal, cold night in the Alabama Hills. The wind coming off Mt. Whitney and surrounding Sierra Nevada made it feel like my hands were going to fall off and permanent grimace left on my face when we got parked for the night and The Boys needed their evening potty walk. I was so glad to have dug through a couple of my storage bins while in Redding and had brought my sleeping bag back with me.

A cold-but-windless morning presented a beautiful dawn creeping over the horizon.

Alabama Hills March 2020 Dawn is Breaking

Sunrise Alabama Hills March 2020
And this interesting little dinosaur, eh?
Alabama Hills Dinosaur Graffiti
A stop at McD’s for coffee and The Chiweenie Brothers and I head for the barn. I was  feeling a bit off, but was determined to get back to our little desert hideaway.

Back in Arizona The Boys relax after racing around their tiny back yard trying to get some of that pent up energy burned off. DSC_0024

I am totally exhausted and don’t even bother with unpacking the car.

Thank you for stopping by 2DogsTravel. Hugs, Shawna

Mid-April to Mid-May 2019

The middle of April arrives, warm-then-cool-then-warm-then-hot and the cacti, loving the heat, begin to bloom. While I don’t get to see the full-blown spectacle, I do get a wonderful glimpse of what will be. It is breathtaking, and the brittle bush is still showing off, too.

Wanting to stay for the flower show in all its glory but knowing I need to get to Cali to arrange to have my car transported and pick up as much of my stuff stored at my sister’s that will fit in the van the boys and I reluctantly head out. Well, I am reluctant. The boys are thrilled to be out on the road again. Little do they know it is going to be a rocket trip to Cali and back to Arizona in an attempt to get everything buttoned up before the triple digits hit and we need to head to higher ground.


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Once at my sister’s we wait in anticipation of the registration and plates for the Honda to arrive. Let’s just say ol’ Murphy shook me good this time around, but they do eventually arrive.
After leaving my sister’s we head to Red Bluff where I pick up my genealogy file cabinet, toss some Easter goodies to the grands who are home on Spring Break, then head up Hwy 36. Never having been to Greenville or Quincy I opt to follow the south side of Lake Almanor and seriously regret not bringing my camera, but the idea was to get as many stored belongings as possible into the van, so I brought not a single extra thing. I will do this route again someday because there are definitely some photo-worthy scenery along this route.

DSC_0004Dove on Her Nest in an Ironwood Tree
Momma dove sitting on her nest in an ironwood tree

Having gotten a later start in the day than normal on travel days we end up at Hallelujah Junction, a spot for trucks and other travelers to stop for the night, get gas or snacks at the little store, or park for a nap. It is about 20 miles or so west of Reno, NV.
Tired and hungry I grab a peanut butter sandwich, let the dogs do a hike (of their leg) and settle in for the night. I am awakened from a dead sleep by a noise I can’t place, but it is something moving, and it is very close by. Pulling an eye open I notice the whirling of red lights being reflected in the silver windshield cover. What the heck?
I reach above my head and pull the window covering aside to get a look at what is making the noise and my heart stops for a beat or two. My first sleep fogged thought is my God a spaceship is landing! Not 30 feet from MissAdventure something big is settling onto the tarmac. I can barely make out the craft on this moonless night, but a tornado cloud of dust they are creating is highlighted by some unseen source of light. Unnerved and still trying to pull out of the sleep coma, my brain registers that the front windows are open and the whirling dirt being generated by this craft is unbelievable.
The good news: It isn’t a space ship and more than our lives are saved this night. It is a medical helicopter that swooped in and loaded up some poor soul to whisk him off into the dark night. Other than that the trip back is uneventful. And I do not apologize for the mistaken identity of that bird. When I sleep, I sleep hard, it is my brain that doesn’t function well when awoken from that state. Ha!

The Palo Verde are in bloom when we return to Q!

Yes, the trip was fast, but Murphy kept us entertained in delays with the registration of my Honda, delays getting transport of the car secured, and once back in Arizona we hit 100 for a few days in row which necessitated getting the evaporative cooler going, which I discover has a broken pump.
All is on track once again and I am in the process of getting us ready to head out on our summer and fall adventure. Where do you think we are heading?

DSC_0006New Filed Guide to Flora and Fauna of the Southwest
Thanks for stopping by! Looking forward to being back on the road and doing regular posts again. Hugs, Shawna

The Marvelous Ghost Town Named Bodie

It’s a clear but cold and windy day as we make our way to the state park that is the ghost town of Bodie.  Paved road save for the last 3 miles that are very rough, but it’s well worth the trip.

The boys are not happy that I am leaving them in the van even though dogs are allowed here, on leash, but I want to take photos and make them good ones.  In reality, Fries would not like being in the cold wind, but he doesn’t understand that.  A quick walk about for them to relieve themselves drives the point home and he is more than happy to get back inside the van. Charlie B just goes with the flow.

Fire burned a majority of the town on three different occasions through the years. The one during the Great Depression was started by a young boy attending a birthday party who was angry because he wanted birthday cake and was served green jello instead.  He got hold of a box of matches, went outside and began lighting them to catch the tarpaper on the house on fire. 

Although they had a piped water system in the town, maintenance had not been done and the pipes were plugged.  A bucket brigade might have gotten the fire under control, but either no one thought of it, or many were “under the influence” and not thinking clearly. 

If you would like to read more about Bodie, please do so https://www.bodie.com/  .

When the mines quit producing many could not afford to have their households moved so they just left everything behind.
One of two churches in the town

Thanks for stopping by 2Dogs!  Hugs, Shawna

On the Road Again

With a hitch in my heart The Chiweenie Brothers and I head for AZ. It’s been wonderful seeing family and friends. Hard to leave even though in reality I’ve seen more of them this past month than I ever did during any given year living in Burney.

Susanville offered some challenges, and for a brief moment I regretted changing the van’s name from Freedom to MisAdventure. That dang Murphy!! Fries needed to see a vet for an allergic reaction and I locked the keys in the van which cost $100 to get retrieved. Ice is $3.79.  That being said, I have to say Susanville has some of the nicest most concerned and helpful people I have ever run into.

Topaz Lake on Hwy 395 gave us some nice fall color.

DSC_0111Topaz Lake Hwy 395DSC_0110Topaz Lake

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I love the old court house in Bridgeport.

DSC_0113Court House in Bridgeport CA

Here’s our view from Lone Pine Campground, the Alabama Hills , west of Lone Pine on Hwy 395   DSC_0146Lone Pine Campground at Whitney Portal Rd
We take our time, enjoying the lovely weather and the sights going over Hwy 395 that are very different than the last time we drove this highway in spring of 2016. Then there was still snow on the ground. What IS the same, though, it’s cold up on top at 8000 feet!

If you plan on heading over 395 gas up anywhere but Lee Vining ….

Lee Vining CA fuel prices

Thanks for stopping by!  We are going to do more traveling per day than normal and get to AZ quicker.  There’s only one planned stop and that’s for us to see the old ghost town of Bodie.

Thanks for stopping by!  Hugs, Shawna

 

 

 

Ashland Dog Park

We are so close to being back in California, but the boys need some off-leash time, and I look for a dog park. Ashland has one and once we have the morning chores accomplished: Potty walk for the boys, coffee made for me,  breakfast for The Chiweenie Brothers, MissAdventure tidied and things in place for travel, we head out.  The park is just up the road. It’s an interesting roundabout way to get to it, but we finally arrive.  The boys have a ball.

 

 

After the boys have a good long romp in this park, we head south stopping once at another rest area inside California for a short break before heading on.

After a couple hours drive we are here—Hello Redding!—Negotiating traffic and eagerly looking forward to seeing everyone,  I pull MissAdventure into my sister’s driveway and head to her door. So good to see her!

My brother-n-law is not the man I have known my whole life. In the year I have been gone dementia has set it. He doesn’t know who I am. He doesn’t know who his kids are. To him we are “That Girl” or “That Guy”. Heartbreaking. My sister has her own health problems, but no dementia thank God.

Home base is under a nice shade tree in Sis’s side yard, and I will make small journeys in the area to see my sons, grandchildren, and friends, and try to remember the layout of town! How sweet it is.

And this is where I leave you for a few weeks, taking a break from blogging as the boys and I enjoy our time here reconnecting with family and friends.

THANK YOU for coming along on our travels, and we will “see” you sometime in November when we head to our wintering grounds in Arizona.

Hugs, Shawna, Fries, and Charlie B

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The Redwoods!

We’re up early on September 27 and begin our journey inland.  It’s a beautiful sunny day and after picking up a coffee at McD’s  we take 199 heading east into Jedediah Smith State Park. 

DSC_0049It’s shady and cool here. We park and take a lovely mile long loop on one of the walking trails. I’ve seen the redwoods many times in several different places along the California coast, but I never get tired of being amongst these giants.

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The Chiweenie Brothers explore the lush green ferns and other delights along the path and we stop so they can check out the cavity in one of the trees.

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Once our walk is done we head out on Hwy 199 and back into Oregon.   I am like a horse headed to the barn;  we’re back on the road.

This highway is a narrow two-lane curvy mountain road, but at least it has guardrails.  We eventually gain better highway and level road. We make a quick stop at a potential campground for the future–of which I cannot remember the name–and Charlie, spying movement near the rest rooms, goes into lizard hunting mode.

Load up boys. We need to keep moving.

What was to be a quick stop in Grants Pass for fuel turns into a test in patience.  Fred Meyers has the cheapest fuel in town and I definitely want to fill up before I get into Cali.  Ol’ Murphy is at it again and not only is there is HUGE line of fellow travelers waiting to fuel up, the pump I eventually get to park beside has something wrong with it.  Ten minutes in line waiting, then we get the pump that is only trickling in fuel.  Another 25 minutes waiting for the tank to fill and we are finally back on the road.

It’s freeway time folks, and we sail along I-5 to Ashland where we spend some time in a rest area that won’t allow an overnight.  I am weary, it’s been a long day and the heat and smoke inland has me needing to stop for a while.  I find some shade and we rest a bit.

I realize the day is waning and I need to make a decision.  There is parking for trucks on top of Siskiyou Mountain so if nothing is found between here and there that’s where we will stay. Fortunately the very next rest area allows overnights so we shut her down there and will head on in the morning.  It will be nice to get out of the smoke!  I don’t know how those in the valley around Redding dealt with smoke from the Carr Fire for over TWO MONTHS.  It was said that being out in it was like smoking a pack and half of cigarettes a day!  Not sure where the smoke here is coming from, but it isn’t nearly as bad as it could be, but it still makes my head and sinuses hurt. Goodnight! Hugs, Shawna