February 6, 2014

  • Epic Road Trip, day 26

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    It was Going Home day and it was a 7 hour drive, if we drove the most efficient route without stopping, which as you can probably tell by now, is not how we do things. I needed the kids home by 7pm so their dad could pick them up to stay with him for the weekend, although they wanted nothing more than to just go home and wake up in their own beds in their own rooms, they had gotten a call from their dad saying he was thinking of taking them to the Oregon Coast for the weekend. I don’t think they were too excited about that.

    They were, however, excited to explore as we traveled home.

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    And to, of course, grab some caches and photos.

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    It was a gorgeous day and we stuck to the coast as long as we could.

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    Then, once we got to Astoria, OR, our goal was to climb the Astoria Column and launch airplanes off it.

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    We bought a year-long parking pass, which cost me a whole dollar, and a couple of wooden plane kits that cost just a bit more. The kids were allowed to launch off paper airplanes if they promised to retrieve them, but no one said anything about the wooden ones. So, up we climbed.

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    And got to the top. Whew! There’s Washington to the right.

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    Quin launched his plane, ran down and got it (Hi Quin, you’re tiny!), ran back up and launched it again. 4 times.

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    Kendrah and I waited up top to admire the view and jockey for position on the little balcony to get some cool shots of the town of Astoria, the Columbia river flowing into the Pacific Ocean and our home state across the water.

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    Then it was time for finding a few caches and a place to eat lunch so down we went.

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    We picked up what planes we could (some flew into the woods) and said goodbye to this cool old column and although time was running out I wanted fish ‘n chips and figured Astoria would be the place to get the freshest.

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    We did find a place, a little tugboat on the side of the road with customers lined up over halfway down the block. I figured it HAD to be good for everyone to be waiting for it and assumed (incorrectly) the line would move quickly. Still, we waited and waited and fidgeted and whined and eventually got to the head of the line. Then we waited for the order to be done and as soon as it was, we dashed off to the car and ate on the way home. It was good. Probably not good enough to wait a half hour for, but better than anything else we could have gotten.

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    Unhappy Frog and the rest of us, now equally unhappy, crossed back into our home state and drove the rest of the way home with very few stops, getting home in time to unload some of the car before they were off to their dad’s. They were happy to discover he’d decided to stay home and not take them to the coast.

    When I checked my mileage for the trip, I laughed out loud because it was exactly 5,550 miles. I came home with 2,450 photos and I still had a few bucks in my wallet. I’d say the trip was a huge success and I hope you enjoyed trailing along with this blog.

    To recap, we drove in and out of 12 different states in 26 days, visited an old friend, my sister and her husband, my parents, my brother, my brother and his wife, and my sister-in-law and nephew. We set up camp in 6 different states and spent more money on juice and ice in that month than I anticipated I’d do in a lifetime. We found 210 caches, and saw (I lost track of how many) National Parks and landmarks and monuments. We reached over 9,000′ in elevation and went below sea level. We saw museums, factories, parks, muffler men, ocean, desert, mountains, mine shafts, fireworks and trains. We ate in some extraordinary restaurants and sometimes didn’t eat a real meal all day. We listened to 5 or 6 audio books and tested the limits of the speakers with some music CDs. The worst thing to happen was having a rock hit my windshield creating a large chip. The nearest miss was going 42 miles past having the gas light go on. We never once felt to be in danger and we never saw so much as an accident happen to someone else. We were blessed with amazing weather and so many memories of the places we saw.

    Now we return to everyday life! And yes, the kids have been bugging me to plan another road trip for next summer. Now, if only I could get paid to do this…

January 31, 2014

  • Epic Road Trip, day 25

    We were down to our last full day of our road trip and I was excited about taking the three kids geocaching in Lincoln City and seeing different places along the coast. So after a lazy breakfast and sending my SIL off to work, we got ready to go play.

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    From muddy shores to dense, mossy woods, we searched out one cache after another.

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    It was fun to look for caches and see such beautiful scenery at the same time.

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    And seeing the same scenery from slightly different angles, too.

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    Onward to the Devil’s Punchbowl, which I’d stopped at the year before but wanted to see again, and show the kids as well.

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    There were plenty of tourists wandering around, and my nephew, bless his little 6-year old heart, had found some gaseous putty stuff in a cache. So he’d adorably and innocently walk up to strangers and with his hands behind him would engage them in conversation just long enough to get their attention and then he’d let ‘er rip — squeezing the putty produced the most unpleasant sound. He’d bust up laughing at the disgusted look on their faces and then wander off in search of his next victim.

    It was time to move on.

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    This will be my last chance to say it, so I will just say it and get it over with. This is one of my favorite photos from the trip. I love the blues and greens, and the contrast of the browns and white, and the island there on the horizon.

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    We were on a mission to find the best of the best caches in Lincoln City to qualify for a challenge so we zigged and zagged till we found them all, even meeting the challenge cache owner at one of the locations. It was a good experience for the kids to see some clever caches (like ones in a PVC pipe with holes in it that you have to plug with your fingers, fill with water and catch the cache as it floats up).

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    See the surfers out there trying to have a good time?

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    The kids had been behaving and having a good time, but we were all getting hungry. I suggested Subway sandwiches and my nephew cheered “Yea! Subway! I love Subway! Love it! It’s sooooooo yummy!” so we go in and I ask him what he wants. He looked at me with a totally blank look and said, “I don’t know. I’ve never eaten at Subway before.”

    Ohhhh-kay.

    We got ordered (always interesting) and settled in to eat. I get weird looks when Quin orders — he isn’t as wild about Subway as his cousin was (till we got there, anyway) so he ends up ordering a meat, cheese and olive sandwich. That isn’t when I get weird looks, those come when he requests at least 4 condiments like brown mustard, BBQ sauce, mayonnaise and regular mustard. And oil and vinegar. And salt and pepper.

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    What a day. We did some more caching and played on the beach again and then headed back when my SIL got home from work. Our last night on “the road”, and we head back home tomorrow!

January 24, 2014

  • Epic Road Trip, day 24

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    My SIL went off to work and we took her son / my nephew / the kids’ cousin with us as we went shopping for snackage and then began our caching and playing on the beach adventures.

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    I much prefer the heat of the desert but the feeling of being at the ocean and playing in the warm sand with all that cold water and wind around it is really special.

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    The tide was out and the boys were off!

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    My nephew had to see what I was getting a picture of. I said, “of my feet with the water. Oh, and your shadow.”

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    The waves crashing onto shore is one of my favorite things to watch!

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    Kendrah the pirate is waiting for her ship to come in.

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    And I find the perfect way to say “hi” in the sand.

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    The kids and I had made a UV reactive pony-bead anklet with shell beads before we’d left. When I wasn’t in the sun it was all white but when I was in the sun (and sand!) they glowed different colors. The ones that are still white in the picture are the ones that glow in the dark instead. It was a fun piece of jewelry although I couldn’t wear it a lot of the time previously as my ankles were too swollen in the heat. And as you can see, my nail polish didn’t last the whole trip, but I do have tan lines and my toe rings are still shiny!

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    There wasn’t much driftwood with which to make forts so the boys had to go far and wide to find some, then drag it back to home base.

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    Then Kendrah got into the action to help haul a huge log. This venture wasn’t very successful but it kept them busy.

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    Then it was time to hang out on the hill with me, dig a hole, stick the small one in it and pack him in. This is what’s called Fun At The Beach, folks.

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    The birds were entertained by our digging antics.

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    Done with the beach for a while, we went caching around town.

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    And visited the Hatfield Marine Science Center while we were in the area. Then we decided to find our way under the bridge to find another geocache that had strange parking I hadn’t figured out last time I was here.

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    While there, the kids climbed the large pile of rocks and struck some silhouette poses for me.

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    They also set down the caching stamp I’d bought before the trip with all our caching names on it and lost it here. I even went back once I realized it was gone but we never found it.

    As evening fell and it was time to go home, we had a nice time catching up and watching a movie till bedtime.

January 17, 2014

  • Epic Road Trip, day 23, part 2

    Making our way from the lovely town of Klamath, we stopped on the side of the road to grab a geocache in the redwood forest. The redwoods are ginormous.

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    And that’s not the only thing that grows big around here, the clovers were also huge!

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    Wandering though some town or other, I was stopped at a traffic light and down the street I saw a school sign that made me laugh and grab for my camera. As usual, something got in my way and it’s not the best shot of the trip but doesn’t it seem funny to you that they have cougar pride at Crescent Elk School? They excel at lunch, PE and recess! Rawr!

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    It always feels like home when I see this sign. Not that I live in Oregon but it was home for a long time so it still feels like it. There’s a cache here I’d already found but I let the kids jump out and find it as an excuse to get their picture by the sign.

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    Besides, there are pretty flowers there.

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    We drove on through Oregon, stopping to see the foggy coast when we could and generally making good time. We spotted these cool statues on the side of the road so we stopped for some photo ops and to stretch.

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    After sitting on the little bear we saw the tiny sign that said to keep off and that we’re being videotaped to discourage our climbing. We shoved off and ran for the car to make a quick get-away after that.

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    The fog lifted somewhat and stopping at the pullouts on the highway became more pleasurable for my camera.

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    When we saw this sign in Port Orford we were all ready to stop and use their restroom and find the cache on the grounds.

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    Tried to pretend the dinosaur was chasing the kids but all three characters were just too goofy to pull it off.

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    Hello. How YOU doin’?

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    After we’d done what we came to, we continued up the coast to my SIL’s, stopping occasionally for a view or a cache. We were all excited to arrive, the kids were going to be seeing their cousin, after all! And after so much electronics deprivation the kids were ready for some zone-out-with-a-movie time and to play on their aunt’s computer.

    But I wanted to stretch my horizons and find a cache further west than I’d done before so we stopping on a section of the coast that jutted out into the ocean. There was an ancient cemetery there so after we found the cache, Quin acted like a zombie while I tried to get artistic photos of tombstones. Artistic photos – 0. Zombie photos – 4. Zombies of the one-legged variety won the match hands down. So to speak. This zombie collected all his body parts before we left.

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    Later we arrived at our last stop before home, but we got to stay here a few days so the adventure isn’t over yet.

January 16, 2014

  • Epic Road Trip, day 23, part 1

    In the morning, knowing this was the last time we’d be camping, I wanted an all-hands-on-deck approach to breaking camp and packing the car. Unfortunately, Quin wasn’t being helpful and everything I asked him to do either didn’t get done or got done in such a way I had to redo it. Normally I’d just make him do it again but I was on a time schedule so ended up doing it myself and getting frustrated. Kendrah helped where she could but I don’t like asking her to do everything I’ve asked Quin to do so I was on my own with 2/3 of the work.

    We got the sleeping bags rolled up, my air mattress emptied and rolled up, the pillows, clean and dirty clothes, the shoes and books out of the tent. I folded it up (pretty good at it by now!) and crammed in into the bag. And crammed and crammed. It didn’t fit. What?

    I unrolled it and looked at the creases and confirmed that I’d done it right. Rolled it tighter, kneeing it down and squashing the air out. It didn’t fit.

    As IF I wasn’t already frustrated! I unrolled it again, stomped out the wrinkles and folded it the opposite way I’d been doing. The ground was dewy and wet and I wasn’t planning on using the tent again for a while so I beat off the grass and mud with each roll, making sure it was as tight as possible. It fit in the bag this time, with room to spare. I was quite satisfied with it as it easily zipped up and I hoisted the bag into the trunk.

    Which is when Kendrah patted her face and said, “Um, Mom? I don’t have my glasses.”

    Yeah.

    So we unrolled the tent looking for a mangled pair of glasses but instead found them inside, perfectly safe in the tent pocket. We rolled the tent up again, got it in the bag and finally managed to get the car loaded.

    Our neighbors were coming to life at that point (surely woken up by my growls and snarls) and as we got into the car I cheerily waved to them and said, “Thanks for the story last night!” and then quickly drove away before they could sort through all the things they said/did the night before when they didn’t think that we were listening.

    On the way out we saw this bear coming out of the sign. It struck my fancy enough to stop for a picture.

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    But then it was time for breakfast. By then we were pretty sick of grocery store muffins and portable food so we stopped for a quick virtual cache in Eureka and then went to Denny’s for a cheap, but real meal.

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    Today’s journey wasn’t a long one –just over 300 miles — but it was on highway 101 right along the coast so I knew it would take a long time to get anywhere with all the stops to see the ocean. Plus we couldn’t go by without stopping to visit Paul Bunyan and Babe.

    On the way to Klamath we stopped at a bear statue (also a virtual cache) and got a photo or two.

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    And noticed a grave marker for Big Foo, which also needed a photo, don’t you agree?

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    Then it was time to say hi to the big guy.

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    Mr. Bunyan noticed the kids right away and said hi to them in the parking not. I’d told them he’d probably talk to them but I don’t think they believed me till that moment.

    I got a few pictures while the kids wandered around.

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    Then both kids each climbed on a boot and conversed with the statue. After a bit, everyone lapsed into silence.

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    After a few moments, Quin tried “starting up” the statue again so yelled “HI!” and the very droll voice of Paul said, “Yeah, I think we already covered that topic.” Which is when Quin really believed the statue was really talking to him and really made him nervous.

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    Kendrah found it hilarious, though and continued to tease the statue into more conversations about logging, Babe, and whatever else crossed her mind.

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    I browsed the gift shop and got some shots of flowers and decided against paying $31 to hike the Trees of Mystery trail, and then moved on.

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    The rest of the day will have to wait, though.

January 15, 2014

  • Epic Road Trip, day 22, part 2

    I don’t think I’ve done a good job of keeping track where I was taking the photos, but on this day I was traveling from Roseville to Fairfield and then on to Eureka, all in California. It was 338.68 miles. Maybe when I get “home” I’ll recap my journey by showing my itinerary and how many miles I traveled each day, something I should have been doing all along but forgot since I had too many photos to show!

    Till then I’ll continue my slip-shod method of showing you where I went without telling you where I was. Cause, I don’t know.

    I’ve driven up and down California several times so I felt like I was in somewhat familiar territory now and as on this whole trip I had specific goals of places I wanted to see, but this time it was places I wanted to see again rather than new places. But, before we got to Confusion Hill, we stopped at a “Solar Energy / Green Living” place in Hopland, which was interesting.

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    The outdoor structures were innovative and functional.

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    And the store inside was pretty cool till we got to the section promoting marijuana and we decided it was time to move on. Quickly.

    You really can’t drive in this part of California without seeing some redwood or other with bragging rights, like this one in Ukiah.

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    There was a Muffler Man in Willits that we wanted to see, but it took a great deal of searching. Finally spotted him hiding behind barbed wire fencing by some rodeo grounds.

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    Then, on to Piercy and Confusion Hill, where gravity and magnetic fields are not the way we think they should be. We all love optical illusions so I’d been keeping the admittance fee stashed away and keeping a block of time open so we could play here.

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    And it started in a shoe house.

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    And quickly went into picking the noses of or getting bit by statues. Of course. Have you noticed this theme on the trip?

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    I was amused by this sign.

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    And the kids decided to give examples. In reality they both enjoyed this place.

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    We opted to spend some extra money to take the train ride.

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    Which had a 100 MPH speed limit so most the photos I got were blurry. Ha ha!

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    We stopped often but the whole place was pretty run down and while it was fun to be on the little train and to see the different sites they’d set up for our amusement it wasn’t really worth the expense. But, of course, I didn’t know that and I would have regretted not doing and imagining it was cooler than it really was. Still, I got some interesting shots.

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    And, since the train was full of foreign tourists, we had some fun photobombing their pictures and playing around with our own.

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    Our engineer was rather odd. Besides his floppy tattoos and unfortunate clothing choices, he was full of jokes that slammed previous owners, lamented the “destruction” caused by logging, kept telling us he was lying, and was just, in general, a negative and somewhat crude guy. Maybe I would have enjoyed the tour a lot more if we’d had a better engineer.

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    And I neither tipped nor fed him.

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    But the kids did get to blow the train’s whistle! Worth the price of admission right there!

    Then it was time to walk around and get dizzy!

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    This one got cropped a bit, but you can just see there on the right how the water is flowing up the trough.

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    Then it was just all kinds of fun to try to stand upright. No, the real fun was trying to get photos of kids trying to stand upright while I’m struggling with it myself! Woooo!

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    And more water flowing uphill –

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    And a few signs.

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    Then, it was getting late and we needed to set up camp so we said our goodbyes to the crazy place and headed off to the KOA we had reservations at. But, before we got there we saw this not-quite-a-muffler-man that we got a picture of.

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    Then, the most exciting part of the trip, maybe! We had been driving through nothing for quite a while, hadn’t see any civilization and the few exits we saw didn’t seem to go anywhere, which is when my gas tank light went on. As far as I knew, that meant I had about 30 miles or so before it was actually empty so I did a search on my GPS for the nearest gas station, which was some 25 miles in the wrong direction. The nearest station to the north was some 45 miles. What to do, what to do. While I may have a lot of rocks, and Jelly Bellies, and camp chairs I hadn’t used even once on this trip, I did NOT have any spare gas. Going to the nearest would take us so far out of the way we’d be late getting to the campground, going forward might leave us stranded on the side of the road who knows where.

    What would you do?

    I like “might” better than definite in this case so we plowed ahead in the hopes that GeePS was outdated and there was a gas station closer it didn’t know about. I thought this might be where my new AAA membership might come in handy, and thought since I’m a long ways from nowhere I should call now and have them meet me in the approximate location I’ll be spluttering to a halt so I don’t waste time waiting for them.

    Well, according to my GPS, I drove 42 miles beyond where the light had gone on, and I didn’t run out before finding a station. I was curious to fill the tank and see how many gallons went in, but it was by far the most expensive gas I’d stopped for on the entire trip and opted instead to get get a few gallons, just enough to get me somewhere more competitive in their pricing.

    So, I didn’t have to go out of my way, I didn’t have to call AAA, and I was doing good for time to the KOA. Except I couldn’t find it. I had an address for it in my GPS, I had directions from the campground in my book, and they were both pointing to nothing. I finally called them up and asked where they were and she was able to direct me to their real location, another 10 miles or so down the road.

    Let me just say, KOA is great when you rent their cabins, they usually have nice facilities and sometimes a pool, but they have the idea that as tent campers we like being sardines! I don’t.

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    Our little tent barely fit in the space, the lines for the fly actually went under the divider. But, this ended up being one of those experiences I won’t forget because as we were trying to settle down to sleep, the guy in the tent next to us started to read aloud to his wife. I know this because I could hear every word. I was sad when he stopped reading but I got to listen to their conversation about the book section he’d read, so all in all it was quite a pleasant stay and we slept well.

January 14, 2014

  • Epic Road Trip, day 22, part 1

    After a yummy breakfast the kids and I loaded up and aimed the car to our first planned stop, Fairfield, CA, where the Jelly Belly factory is.

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    I’ve been here several times but the kids hadn’t and it never, ever hurts to visit. Except for the wallet, that always takes a beating. But, before we spent money we did the tour and saw the Jelly Belly Art. They made all these pictures out of beans!

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    And my favorite,

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    After finding room in the car (don’t ask how, I have no idea) for all the Belly Flops we bought (much cheaper), along with some gifts and jokes (barf flavor that looks like peach, for instance) and postcards, we snagged a few caches nearby and headed to some unknowns places.

    We were looking for a wacky roadside attraction but were having trouble navigating the roads due to traffic, convoluted one ways and turns that went the wrong direction, but I came around a curve and saw theses statues and knew I had to get a photo of the kids. We drove around the block as I explained that there is no parking and a lot of people out and about so what I wanted them to do was as soon as I pulled over to the side of the road, they were to jump out and pose, I’d get their picture through the car window and then they were to run as fast as they could back to the car before we got rear-ended. Ready? Go!

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    Perfect.

    After that we found a garden that had a cache hidden in it. We enjoyed getting out of the car and stopping long enough to smell the flowers and admire textures and patterns for puzzles!

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    The water looked gross to me, but it was hot and boys must play in whatever water they can find so that’s what Quin did.

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    When he left to explore other things, I got a picture of the fountain. Isn’t it cool how the slight wind pulls the water around?

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    This one isn’t so much about the flower, but the big black bee that landed on it.

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    Obviously I hadn’t seen many flowers on our trip so I got a little carried away. One last picture!

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    Then, because it was too much to expect us to drive right by a giant severed hand without getting a photo, we had to work our way around the block and try again. Unfortunately this was right in a business district so parking was nonexistent but we had a red light against (well, for us in this case) and I was able to get this one through the windshield. K also got a photo of this, but a lady walked in front of it as she took the picture. Then, the light was green and it was time to go.

    We stopped at a park where a couple of geocaches were and I liked how the sun was right behind an extremely tall palm tree. When I got home I was surprised my camera had picked up the rainbow, which I hadn’t seen and I love how it’s circling the sun.

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    I really enjoy California! But the rest of today’s drive will have to wait for another post.

January 13, 2014

  • Epic Road Trip, day 21, part 2

    Joe’s Crab Shack was so busy, after we gave our names at the front we decided to go wandering while waiting for our table. At another old museum-y place, I saw these “Rules for Teachers” for another time. It made us laugh.

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    Then it was time to head back, but there was a train in our way.

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    Once we were seated, it was still a long wait, so Kendrah and her aunt spent some time chatting.

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    While Quin played with a menu.

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    I didn’t get any pictures of my food — too hungry for that — but after the meal as we were heading out I had to laugh and get a shot of the bathroom door. I was going to get one of the men’s side, too, but, sorry, just too awkward for me to do that.

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    Then it was on to do more touristy stuff, which includes challenging puzzle photos.

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    And more pictures of swirly handrails, even as my family leaves me behind.

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    Then it was time for some serious touristy things! A statue of another Pony Express rides (this one quite fierce!).

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    But we didn’t stop with a photo of the statue, we had to get pictures of my kids with my brother, being photographed by my other brother!

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    But then I played the proper tourist and got a shot of the proper subject as well.

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    Followed by more puzzle photos.

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    And just for kicks, a photo of my handsome brother (should I say “one of my handsome brothers?” They are all good looking!) getting a photo of something. Perhaps he saw a pretty girl?

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    Then, I got some pics of funny (to me) signs and things on the boardwalks.

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    We got home as it was getting dark, and I got this picture of the moon.

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    Then, it was time for our last night staying at my brothers. Another day to drive tomorrow!

January 12, 2014

  • Epic Road Trip, day 21, part 1

    After spending the previous day caching in Rio Linda, where my sister-in-law told me later I shouldn’t have gone, her and my brother, and my brother that came up from where he lives in California, my kids and I all got together — girls in one car, boys in another — and went to Old Sacramento. One of my big splurge ideas for the trip was taking the Underground tour.

    While we were waiting for the tour to start we spent a bit of time wandering the boardwalks and peeking in the windows of some shops.

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    Yes, Quin was pretty impressed by the Lego bear and would have happily spent the day surrounded by Legos he could play with, but we had other things to do.

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    This is where our tour started. I wasn’t allowed to photograph anything during the tour so the camera had to take a nap.

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    After the tour, however, our guide, Miss Odessa, encouraged us to get a photo of her with the kids so we did that. As you can see, Kendrah was crazy about her and Quin didn’t want to be there at all.

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    Quin found his own brand of fun elsewhere!

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    We spent some time in the history museum and I got several photos that I thought would make great puzzles. In fact, this day was so full of interesting textures and colors I got a lot of puzzle photos.

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    I also found it vastly amusing to see a replica building inside the museum. The Sacramento Bee, in part of it’s glory, displayed inside.

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    Inside the building-inside-a-building I could see some of the original printer’s tools, the press and stuff my Dad could probably name but just looked like cool tools to me.

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    After the museum, we wandered around the grounds near the Sacramento River and did some more window-shopping.

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    We went into an olive oil and vinegar tasting room, and I was in awe of how many flavors there were. Vats and vats and vats lined up along the walls and center aisle that we could sample at will. I didn’t think it would be fun to taste oils and vinegars without something to eat it with, but it was a very interesting experience and I really appreciate that I did it. It was easy to taste it and connect it in my brain to a memory of a food. That would be excellent added to a spaghetti sauce, that vinegar would be good with fresh cucumbers, can’t you just imagine how a loaf of French bread would be dipped in this oil? There were a few I wouldn’t try, a few I tried and didn’t like, and a lot I didn’t get around to tasting, but the majority of ones I did taste, both oil and vinegar, were outstanding.

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    After a while, with 6 different tummies all growling we decided to stop what we were doing and immediately….

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    ….because we couldn’t wait for their special.

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    But the meal and the rest of our day has to wait for another post.

January 11, 2014

  • Epic Road Trip, day 20

    On the 20th we were settled into my brother and SIL’s house, but they had to work that day (some people can’t take 4-week long vacations, apparently) so we had the day to play. I wanted to go caching. The kids wanted to go play at a park their aunt told them about. Guess who won?

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    Yes, absolutely we went to the park. Kendrah lagged behind after a stop at the restrooms so I gave her a moment of paparazzi fame by jumping out from behind a planter to get this photo.

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    And yeah, with her newly dyed hair, she sucked up the attention.

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    The kids climbed.

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    And then took the swings to new heights. They were having a great time, but it was hot and I was bored.

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    It was really hot and there was no place to sit and nothing to drink so I gave them some time but then said let’s go caching! I had loaded my GPS with a string of caches nearby but traffic was a bear and once the kids had stopped playing they realized how hot it was and wanted to drive around a bit so I drove to another trail with a long string of challenge caches, most of which I qualified for, in another town. I didn’t take my camera out because it wasn’t a very pretty place. Ok, it wasn’t even a nice place. When we got back to my brother and SILs and told her where we’d been she practically shrieked that no one goes to that town and most people drive far out of their way to avoid it and was surprised I’d gone there instead of staying in the nice part of her town. One good thing about being a tourist, you can see things you don’t normally see, and go places you don’t normally go. That’s pretty much what we did and I got a lot of cool caches so that’s all that matters, right?

    The next day, my brother came up to our brother’s house to spend the day with us and we had a full, fun, and exciting day which will take several posts to convey so we’ll keep this one short and sweet and post about tomorrow on another day.