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

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

Image result for quotes on family

Fowler Falls Day Two

No matter how hot the days, nights this time of year usually cool down really well.  REALLY well.  Like into the low 40s.  The last two nights were no exception and even without a  roof top fan to cool Miss Freedom down during the day, by early morning hours it’s downright chilly.  I hurriedly took the boys out for their just-woke-up pee then we scrambled back into the van where Burger curled up in his front seat nest and The Chiweenie Brothers once again snuggled under the covers while I made some coffee.  The water was already hot as I had boiled some the night before and stored it in a Stanley thermos just to have an easy cup of joe while still stumbling around half asleep. After making coffee in the Melita, I too jumped back under the covers and read for a solid two hours before taking a little siesta. After that it was time to get up and get this day going.

We will have to head home, but not before checking out Upper and Lower Falls. I begin breaking camp, and the dogs need a longer walk than this morning’s offering. Things get packed up and put away, and the boys are raring to go.

A leisurely walk around our campground and the river trail is just what all of us need. The late morning air is warmer; soft and inviting.  This walkabout is where the boys really shine and show how well they are learning the lessons of not barking at certain times.  We stop often to take in the view of the river below us.  It’s so low!  California’s four year drought has taken its toll.

Click on photo(s) to enlarge

Once back at our campsite all that is really needed is to load ourselves up and go.  It’s hard to break away, but I do want to see the other two falls. I get the boys settled in the van, drop our garbage in the bin, and we are off.

It’s not far to Lower Falls.  It’s just as pretty as Middle Falls, but with a different flow pattern.  And it’s easy to see just how much water is NOT spilling over — it should have many, many more CFS than this, but still beautiful.

 Lower Falls

Nearby 14,179 foot Mt. Shasta

We head back the way we came in order to get to Upper Falls, another beauty with another, different look.  It is also evident here just how much more water should be flowing down the McCloud.  The drought has sucked away Mother Nature’s precious resource without putting anything back.

 time and force have worn holes into solid rock
Sadly, it’s time for us to head back home and dream about the next adventure. We head out toward Hwy 89 and head south, pointing Miss Freedom’s nose toward home.  

This is gorgeous country we are so fortunate to live in.  If you haven’t been to northern California —far northern California, come for a visit. You’ll be blown away.  As always, thanks for stopping by Two Dogs. 

Next week it’s back to the mundane; a post about the elastomeric I put on Miss Freedom’s roof.  🙂
Hugs, Shawna

Fowler Falls Adventure

The boys and I couldn’t stand it — we had to plan another camping trip.  This time we stayed a bit closer to home selecting Fowler Falls Campground about 40 miles north west of Burney off Hwy 89 near the town of McCloud.  Soon as Burger, Fries, and Charlie see certain items heading out the door they begin the excited happy dance :); well, maybe twirling and whirling around like demented little dervishes would be more accurate.  They do love to go! Me, too!

The Fowler Falls/Cattle Camp Campgrounds are no reservation, water, and vault toilet sites.  It’s a popular tourist area, but many just drive in to see the Lower, Middle, and Upper Falls never planning to camp, and there were lots of empty sites to select from. It’s also the week before school starts so I am sure that had something to do with it, too.  Very warm, sometimes too blasted hot, is normal for afternoons around these parts this time of year so we chose a site with plenty of lovely dappled afternoon shade. 

 Click photo(s) to enlarge

Despite our first outing through Lassen Park and on to Susanville (read about that HERE,) this one yielded even more insight on some things that need to be changed, things that need to be added, or things that can be left home.  I will be changing how I pack the Cube Cooler, changing up the storage drawers to make things more convenient, as well as putting my cooking items in a different spot.  The anti-gravity chair is going to stay home. I need to find one of those old fashioned webbed chairs to haul around instead.  I have never been very comfortable in the big lounger, it bothers my neck.  If I need to put my feet up I will find something from nature to use.

 
The boys and I hiked the short, 1/2 mile trail to Middle Falls

This trip was also an excellent opportunity for the boys to get in some more socialization practice.  My little Charles Barkley is a former street dog who had a broken jaw, and he’s not used to other dogs coming near “his” area. Some people are given the stay away message, too. He lets them know when he doesn’t care for their demeanor. He’s learning there’s a time for the alarm, and a time he needs to be quiet. Slow progress, but he is learning.  Burger, the stubborn wire hair, eggs him on.  Charlie had never seen a deer either I am sure, so he was pretty freaked out when one tried to creep through the trees and through camp to get down to the water.  All in all though they weren’t too terribly bad, and our last day there yielded some really good behavior from him and the other two who are also rescues with varying degrees of abuse problems to work through. They all made progress in those areas this trip.

I couldn’t wait to try out the backpacker’s stove I bought a while back.  Looks like I need a bit more practice with it; it got a lot hotter than I anticipated, and I burned the hot dogs on one side and they weren’t cooked enough on the other.  The fuel used was small twigs. Burger and The Chiweenie Brothers didn’t mind the charred parts of the samples they received, though 🙂 —keep ’em coming mom!

Next morning’s breakfast eggs were cooked using a cast iron skillet and canned fuel.  It took longer than anticipated to cook, but the heat was more even.  And I was so happy to have a decent meal I forgot to take a photo.

 Part Two of our Fowler Falls Adventure coming up tomorrow
We  leave you with a shot of the McCloud River (it’s really just a little creek now) meandering sweetly toward Lower Falls.



Thanks for stopping by Two Dogs!  Hugs, Shawna