Monday, July 15, 2019

What Happened? plus 2018 summer trip

Farnum Creek Campground Kansas

Thirteen months ago I had no idea that the blog would go dormant for over a year. This post is to explain it to you, the readers, and to also help me understand what happened.

The brief version goes like this:

We left for British Columbia in July, 2018.  Got our Escape updated and saw 5 National Parks.

Two weeks after we returned in September my mom was admitted to the hospital.  I became her caregiver, the trustee and POA for my step-father.  She passed away on Christmas Eve after three difficult months.

In January, three weeks after her death, we headed out for Arizona.

Returned home in March leaving again in April and May for three more fiberglass rallies.

There have been other stresses.  As many of our rally friends have noticed, my husband's memory is going. My step-father needs care. My sister is disabled.  And I am left with being the new matriarch of the family.....a role of my mom's that I cannot fill! 

Please don't misunderstand.  This is not a pit party.  It is just life in this moment.  We have many good things going on and strive to always be grateful for our health, our home and our happiness.

We have been home for six weeks...a long time for us!  It's taken that long for me to realize how much I've missed doing the blog and missed reading about my friends.  Yesterday was spent reviewing the phone's trip photos.  Also found photos on the Nikon from last September!  Haven't touched the camera in 10 months! The past 12 months seem like a blur.

Clark Fork River
Lolo NF, Montana

Lake Roosevelt, Columbia River, Washington

Diablo Lake, North Cascades National Park

Last year, contemplating a 2650 mile trip to the Escape factory in Chilliwack, BC was almost too much to comprehend.  Our trip that winter to AZ had been full of complications including my husband's 4 night hospital stay and our Tundra's costly California breakdown.  But the Escape was aging and there were things we wanted on top and some new windows.  And there are many national parks to see on the way!

The Black Hills in South Dakota were just about half way between Tennessee and British Columbia.  The plan becomes to camp there for 3 or 4 nights and reassess where we are both physically and mentally. 

Pactola Lake, Black Hill, S.D.
Our strategy of taking it easy and not pushing the miles pays off as we arrive feeling pretty good.  Stayed at Pactola Lake for three nights.

Back on the road we discover a cool mountain-top campground at Georgetown Lake near Anaconda, Montana and stay another three nights.  We feel like we have plenty of time as our appointment with Escape Industries is two weeks away.

Neither of us have seen Glacier National Park.  It's only 200 miles away!  Pulling over to the side of the interstate we call and secure reservations at a private campground very close to the park's entrance.

Hike from Logan Pass

McDonald Lake
The North Cascades National Park in Washington state is full of twists, turns and smoke as we slowly travel through it.  I keep worrying about the brakes, making it a tense drive.  We spend a few days but forest fire smoke keeps us from having a positive experience.  (We had been in a haze since the Black Hills but this was much worse.)

Our appointment with Escape Trailer Industries is in a few days.  We are getting a new solar panel on top, inverter, two new that opens over the sink, a new bath vent and reading light.  We stay two nights at Camperland, dropping off the trailer for work during the day and picking it up in the evening.  We are over joyed, feeling like a child at Christmas! It is an exciting time!

campsite without the Escape

Our time in Canada is seven nights: two nights at Camperland waiting for the trailer work to end and four nights at Tamihi Creek on the Chilliwack River.  We enjoy this rural forest camp....until the weekend when we are overrun by ATVs.

The above photo is a smoky Chilliwack Lake which was miles above our site on the Chilliwack River.

Our next destination is Olympic National Park.  I have some hope the ocean breezes will blow away the smoke that is now always with us.

Locals tell us how to save miles of driving by taking the ferry.

Our campsite at Mora on the Olympic Peninsula is only a short distance from the Rialto Beach.  It's nice.  Ten bucks a night. We have what we need but something is wrong.  I am restless.  The forest seems sun is filtering through the trees and the always present haze.  A close friend is in Yellowstone NP at Mammoth Hot Springs and says she is not leaving anytime soon.

I look at the distance on the map and send off an email.  We are coming!  I am so ready to get away from the west coast!
Three nights later we are in Livingston, MT and we wake to snow on the mountains above us!

Mammoth Hot Springs, Yellowstone NP

Mammoth Springs campground

Leaving Yellowstone is difficult but we had not seen the Tetons.  Our friend recommends Gros Vente campground.

Although it is just a few days after Labor Day, the leaves are turning yellow in the Tetons.  It feels like time to get back on the road.
We get to the Kansas rally ready to get off the road for awhile.  It's great to hang with our buddies!

This was a wonderful trip, really our best! We always thought our Alaska journey would beat out everything thing else. Although the AK trip was truly magnificent and gorgeous, it was also exhausting and stressful.

This worked for us because we tried to be easy on ourselves.  Hope we can keep remembering this lesson as we go forward.  The husband is turning 82 in a few months and I hit 70 in the spring.  Aging is a reality but we don't plan to sit in a least not for long!


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  2. Wow! Quite the year. Thanks for the update and good luck in your futures trips. Remember how you enjoyed staying multiple nights.

  3. So enjoy your Blog. Thanks for sharing the update. Hope to see you on the road.

  4. Wow, what a sure travels a good bit of the country in spite of all the family needs. I agree, staying two or three nights really breaks the trip and makes it more relaxing. You guys take care!!

  5. Wow ... that was some "catch up" post. Sorry to hear about your rough year but happy to see from your fantastic photos that you took the time to see some great places. Thought I'd let you know .. "the hounds" and I have moved from Indiana to Arizona. Lots to see out here. I am glad to see you blogging again and I know the feeling about the urge to return to blogging ... it's is something I have yet to figure out.

  6. I wondered about you guys. Glad you are doing "ok" and still camping. They do have a couple of caregiver groups here in Chattanooga. My husband attends on a regular basis to receive support and ideas for navigating the caregiver waters. We hike on Tuesdays with a local group. Join us when you can. Marti

  7. Didn't have an email address so I thought I would try this...Just read about the EF-3 that went through Chattanooga a couple days ago and thought about you and David. Thoughts and prayers coming your way...Hope all is well with you Guys...Do miss your posts....Take care and be sure didn't need this adding to the Already crazy situation we're in with the "Virus"...Horst sends