For those of you interested Only in TRAVEL, I (Jack) wrote the blog between March 2010 and October 2010 during our travels west. We saw the most beautiful places and had the best time in our big truck and little trailer. See Blog Archive below.

Jul 31, 2010

Where is Jack, Day 111?

This is a lazy day. We wore ourselves out, yesterday. It's tempting to go back over to Cape Lookout--maybe later, but Nancy said she thinks it might be crowded. Blah to that. We were walking this morning and Nancy said, "You know, it's hard to pull myself away from this place. How about you?"

Maybe we'll take a ride to Pacific City. Nancy is hoping kids have gone back to school and there will be fewer people. Right now, though, we're just layin' aroun' doin' nuttin'.

Oh, I forgot to tell you. When Nancy was in Oil Can Henry's the other day, they told her that her truck was a 2004. She said, "No, I bought it as a 2003." The guy said they made a mistake when they advertised it because on the permanent door panel, it says 2004 and also on something in the engine. Nancy felt she got a good deal, but now she says she's got an even better deal. Even her registration says 2003. She hopes they've been servicing it correctly--even Dodge has records saying 2003. When she bought it, the truck was like brand new--even when she left because she had all maintenance done on time and had it detailed each year--the last detail being just before she left. Poor thing has really taken a beating--mostly from the sand and stones being thrown up from the road. When she and Susie were in California a piece of wood flew off a truck and stuck right in the front grill. Fortunately, it's running fine.

Well, aside from walking locally a few times, today, we have nothing to report. Tomorrow, we'll get an early start and see where we wind up. I like to sit by the window by the couch and see what's going on in the campground. Nancy opens the window and shade a little so I can see. She asked me if I saw Susie earlier and I got all excited.

Jul 30, 2010

Where is Jack, Day 110?

We hung around this morning until Nancy's mail arrived. Then, Nancy packed a lunch for us and we set off to find a place we hadn't been. We wound up going to Cape Lookout State Park. What a place! We spent all afternoon on the trails (there were so many) before eating lunch. Nancy packed one of her lunchables and she brought cookies and water for me. She was pooped from carrying everything, but she must be in better shape because she's not huffing and puffing like she used to do at the beginning of our trip.

Nancy took so many pictures. It's amazing how on a trail, the scenery changes drastically. We decided we would follow the Tillamook River as Nancy forgot where to pick up the Trask (we did eventually see it, but were too interested in where we were going to change course). The first thing we saw were baby goats--right next to the road until I barked, but Nancy took a picture anyway. They were so cute. She also took a picture of the river.

Then she asked me if I wanted to go to Cape Lookout State Park. After being there, we think we saw it from the Cape Mears lighthouse. There's a picture of Michael pointing with the girls when he was here. He would have loved this place, today. There were so many trails to enjoy and great cabins. The campground was full as all the really good ones are. Oh, how Nancy wished she had his camera--so many photo ops.

We saw other things besides the ocean on the trails. :-) Nancy gets carried away with pictures. We just saw so many beautiful things, and the great part of it was that we experienced it for the whole afternoon while taking trails and I could be off leash! I got in trouble a couple of times for eating dirt--almost got put back on the leash.

This cabin looks right over the ocean.

And just around the bend...

"God Father" "Hail Mary..."

For some reason, Nancy can't center the pictures. Oh, well. Anyway, Nancy took out her little lunch and my cookies and we sat on a picnic table overlooking the ocean. We sat there a long time after lunch just watching the waves. All of a sudden a lady came walking up and said, "Does he understand everything you say to him?" Nancy said, "Pretty much." That's the truth. I do. They got to talking about our trip and the woman just wanted to know everything. Then, she said, "Could I take some pictures of you and Jack? You really need to have them. I can't get over how cute the two of you are." She was very nice. I can understand her calling me cute, but a lady Nancy's age, cute?" Well, she took them--a bunch; they talked a little while longer. She really was very nice. She was from Corvalis and had a vacation home that she was trying to sell because she and her husband could no longer afford it because all their kids were in private schools, the bubble had burst, etc., etc.

All in all, we had a great day. Nancy just looked at me and said, I hope you don't get sick from eating that dirt! I hope I don't, too. I don't know what tastes so good--Nancy thinks maybe it's that it's so rich. Aunt Judy thought maybe I need minerals. After thinking that over, Nancy remembered when she was pregnant with Michael that she had a terrible urge to eat dirt after a rain. The doctor said it wasn't all that unusual; that maybe she needed minerals. Well, I'm not pregnant, that's for sure, so I don't think I can use that as an excuse.

I forgot to add that the nice lady who took our picture asked us if we'd like to join her family picnic or maybe just have smores with the kids.

Where is Jack, Day 109?

We are unexpectedly packing up to move. Maybe across the RV park, maybe on our way. Nancy's mail hasn't arrived from Susan, yet, and Nancy lost track of days and thought she was signed up through the 30th. Nope. She forgot that they screwed up the original reservation. Have to move as someone has reserved the spot. Check out isn't until noon so we have time since it's early. There isn't much to do. Nancy's already dumped and backed the truck in. She's just waiting to see if the mail comes; then she'll decide. She just vacuumed. I had a hard time not laughing as she diligently vacuumed the whole place, then the dirt holder fell off the a cloud of smoke!! You don't want to know what Nancy said. Well, it's all re-vacuumed. She's glad that she put the couch back up. It feels so much roomier and neater in here.

The question is whether we want to leave this weather, and when we look at the weather map, the answer is NO!

We could stay here or hug the coast up to Washington, but as soon as you go inland just 20-25 miles, it's in the 90s. The problem is that coastal campgrounds are full--people escaping the heat from nearby inland. Aunt Judy agreed with Nancy that we'd regret moving anywhere inland.

I'm feeling a lot better. I want to go on a long, long walk, but Nancy says she wants me to finish my medicine, first. That's another reason not to leave here, Nancy wants to stay close to the vet who treated me.

Nancy went to a walk-in place to see if she could get her bp medication. It was full to the brim. Nancy realized that it was a county health free clinic. All signs were in Spanish as were all the people waiting. It took her about 5 seconds to come back out. It could be that the people are migrant workers or maybe they are running from the new Arizona immigration law. At any rate, she wasn't about to wait six hours to get a few pills. She has about a week and a half of doses left, so there's time. BP is good 127/67 this a.m. Pulse 68. That's for you, Susan, if you're reading.

We have the news on and they just announced that cell phones are dirtier than toilet seats and handles. Sure glad I don't use either!

Well, we moved about 100 feet to another spot. It didn't take any time at all. Nancy's actually getting better at hooking up. She got it on the first try this time. Set up and take down time takes less and less time since we left Atlanta.

The mail is coming, today. Susie gave Nancy the American Mail number and they tracked the package--it will be here before 4:30 p.m., today. Thank goodness for Susie. The mail forwarding service isn't so hot. They never sent the real estate tax bill, but Nancy went online and was able to pay them that way. She knew she always paid it in July. After the mail arrives, we're going out for a ride. Nancy doesn't want me to exercise too much until she's sure I'm protected by the medication. I have to take it until it is gone. Now that we have another week, here, there are some places in the area that Nancy wants to go--some places she can bring a chair while I am off leash. She's already told me that I have to behave and quit eating grass, otherwise she'll make me stay on the leash.

Uncle Paulie called this morning. He just bought a Mac!!! Hoorah. He's going to have such a good time with it. He got a 27" screen. Wow, pictures are going to look great. He has more toys than most old boys. ;-) I'm happy for him. Now, he'll see what Nancy means about Mac. He's going to love it, especially with all the movies, greeting cards, etc., that he likes to do.

Susie called after work, but she and Nancy couldn't stay connected. With our luck, just moving across the way may have changed the cell signal. Michael called last night, and John called yesterday morning. We're not really homesick, but Nancy does miss her kids and friends. Actually, we feel like we're home in the trailer. The house will seem gigantic when we get home.

We're going down through Yellowstone when we leave Idaho. There were two bear attacks, yesterday. One man was killed and a woman was injured. We were surprised that they allow people to camp in tents inside the park. Unless we misunderstood, we thought you had to have a hard-sided camper. Maybe the attack was near the park, not in the park. Jack Hannah also had a very close call in Montana. He has a beautiful home up on Flathead Lake. Nancy half thought about going to Montana, but it would add a lot of miles. I suppose we'll here more on the news about the attacks, tonight. The search is on for the bear to kill it. They said that there were no food violations around the campsites so there may be something wrong with the bear. The woman who survived said the bear had her by her arm. She could feel him breaking her bones and she had the presence of mind to go limp and play dead. Can you imagine? I'd be yelping and howling like crazy.

Well so much for two day mail. Didn't come. Tracking now says tomorrow.

Nancy said she was happy to hear Aunt Judy sounding so much better. Boy, when she gets a cold, she gets a cold. She and Uncle Frank have a score of over 7 million (and that was the other day) in Text Twist.

We did get out for a ride today, like Nancy promised. We tried to follow the Trask River to its beginnings, but we couldn’t get to its very beginnings. Nancy thought it was the same river we saw running down to the ocean when we went toward the Three Capes Scenic Area, and she was right. We'll go back there another day.

John called while we were driving, so did Susie. Nancy was telling John about how there is nothing “spectacular” about this area except the weather, at the moment, but it’s an easy place to be. All within 10 miles you can see rivers, lakes, ponds, the ocean, mountains, dairy farms, forests, and sand dunes. It’s very unusual and while she’s been here quite a few times before, she had no idea what nice country it is. She said she could live here. It reminds her of the Amish country, in a way; clean, big expanses of fields—just a lot to see of another culture. In the driveways, it's not uncommon to see tanker trucks that carry milk.

When we were driving on the narrow back roads, we came across sirens. We wondered whether they were for flood or fire warning. Nancy found this while searching for the answer on the internet, so now I know what that policeman was doing on the back roads the other day, and why he wasn't the most pleasant person. America's Speed Traps See, I knew Nancy was caught in a speed trap in Arkansas, only that cop was a pleasant guy. Back to the sirens--Surprising to be in the middle of the forest and see Tsunami sirens. There's some interesting bits of history in the article--Rich used to talk about the Tillamook Burn.

We learned something about cows, today. Nancy always thought they were non-responsive animals, but she stopped (because there was room) to talk to these cows and mooed at them.

When the cows that were in the barn heard her, they came literally came running out to see what was going on, answering her “moos”. It was a riot!

There is nothing ostentatious about the way people live in this area. They are, supposedly, fairly wealthy farmers as they own the factory but they all live in fairly modest, pretty little houses off the main roads. We came across one – someone liked birdhouses!

It's a shame that it's impossible to take pictures of so much of the pretty scenery that we passed.

Jul 27, 2010

Where is Jack, Day 107

Our plans changed for today. I am not feeling well. I have an upset stomach. Nancy called an emergency vet in Carlton, and they recommended one which is closer in Cloverdale. It seems that in the northwest, dogs can get sick from what they call salmon poisoning. They don't necessarily have to eat salmon, but if they sniff feces of a raccoon or another dog that's carrying the bacteria, they can get sick. It can be lethal so Nancy was really nervous.

It was confusing because I was eating something when Michael and the girls were here and Nancy tried to take it out of my mouth and I swallowed it so she was worried that I might have caused a blockage.

So, we went to the doctor. He looked me over, said my stomach was making noises when he listened. My temperature was only a half degree above normal and usually salmon poisoning will cause a fever of above 104 degrees, and nothing showed up in the slides, so he said he thought I had what they call "garbage pail pancreatitis".

Usually, I don't even know I get a shot, but the shot they gave me, today, really hurt and I cried. I cried when they took a sample, too. Nancy was practically crying because I cried, but they gave me a treat and I forgot all about it. The doctor said if I wasn't better in 48 hours that she should bring me back in. Oh, I don't want to see those people, again. I have to take three pills twice a day until then.

The vet was very close to Hebo which was where Nancy was going, today, but she decided not to go because the road is steep and curvy and she figured it would be better for me to come home to rest. The GPS brought us back on a nice route and we came across Whalen Island and a county park.

I actually feel okay. It didn't bother me to eat and I was anxious to get in the car and to take a walk. Now, I have to stay in bed for the rest of the afternoon, though. Oh, well, Nancy will pamper me, and maybe I can get some extra treats. I *think* I saw her hide some cheese--I bet it's for the pills!

We went for a very short walk, but Nancy made me get up and rest, again.

Nancy, could you bring me a little treat, please.

She just said, "Darn, I was going to call everyone to say hello, and it's already too late." The time difference gets us on both ends out here.

Here is a picture of  Whalen Island County Park. We only drove by it because Nancy wanted to get back home. It's amazing. There are parks at every bend in this area. She and Rich never really explored the backroads of Tillamook, they always went over to different areas of the coast. Nancy said she could spend another month here with no problem, but we want to get to see Ms. Mary in Idaho, and we still have to do Washington. Who knows. Maybe another week, though, if they have room. Nancy doesn't want to travel unless she knows I'm 100% better.

Jul 26, 2010

Where is Jack, Day 106?

This has been a busy day. We went to Tillamook to get the oil changed. We went to Oil Can Henry's. Nancy remembered Rich using them. They're all over the northwest. Nancy had a hard time not laughing--in fact, she laughed so hard she was crying at one point. Have you ever tried to stop laughing and can't? There was one guy up near the truck and one in the hole in the ground. The guy upstairs had on a white shirt and a bow tie. He handed out USA Today newspapers to everyone waiting in line. He was kind of dorky to begin with, but when he started shouting, "Oil level good, Check!, Oil cap tightened, Check! Windshield fluid full, Check!, Tire pressure 70, Check,! Air Filter in, Check!--an endless list of things, she lost it and had to hide behind her book. She got hold of herself just in time to hand him her card when he went over the bill, blow by blow, and I thought she was going to laugh all over, again. It's actually good. Some of these places, you have no idea whether they're doing what they say they're doing. They have cameras so you can watch the guy under your car and watch Mr. Dork do all his stuff, too. Wish we had a picture. When he threw the oil filter away, he said, "Disposing of old oil filter and very deliberately put it in the trash, Check!"; same with the air filter. John came to mind for some reason; I think if he had been in the truck with us, he would have been laughing so hard he would have been crying, too. And, lord help us, if we added Michael and Susan!!
Then we got the truck washed and then went to pick up a few items to try to fix a few things on the trailer.

All work and no play makes Jack a sad boy so Nancy set off to find Sand Lake Recreational Area. We found it by the sand dunes that Michael was so fascinated with. I had a feeling it had to do with the winter winds, but wasn't sure. It was interesting to read about. I think when we took the three capes scenic drive, we were on the other side of it.

The campground was closed, but we got out and walked for a while until we saw a sign that said, "Danger. Cougar spotted in the campground, recently." So back we went to the truck, fast.

Sand Beach Ocean Beyond

We found another area where we could see Sand Lake and over the sand bar, the ocean. We drove some more and found some dune buggiers. It's quite a sport out here, evidently. They even have sponsors.

The dunes go far up in the hills. It's a much bigger place than it seems, at first.

Some even appear to have sponsors.

When we got back to the trailer, the electric was off. It had been tripped at the pole. Glad we have a surge protector. Don't know what happened. Nancy put the couch back into it's position and a sheet over it so I could get up on it and now she has two mattresses on her bed. You'd think that would be more comfortable, but she says it really isn't, but it's the only place she can store the mattress. She also discovered that the dope at the car wash didn't take off the Flag decals so one is missing from the truck. :-(

If we have time, Nancy's going to do the quilt tour one day. The weather remains delightful, here. it's chilly in the morning. In fact, Nancy has to get some propane so the trailer doesn't go below 55 degrees.

Jul 25, 2010

Where is Jack, Day 105?

We were slow to start, today. I didn't want to get out of bed.

Nancy's thinking she'll leave the couch bed down as she doesn't use it. She was storing the mattress on her bed, but it made the mattress too soft. It takes away a lot of room, but she'll probably try it for a while. The only reason she doesn't like it is that it doesn't look as tidy in the trailer.

We decided to take a ride and see some of the backroads we may not have been on and on the way home she could pick up a couple of things she needed at Fred Meyers. There was so much to see on the little winding roads amidst the dairy farms, but it was hard to take pictures because there was no place to stop and there were more cars and tractors than Nancy had anticipated. She did pull over to take a picture of these black and white cows, and as her luck would have it a policeman pulled up and told her to move. What's a policeman doing all they way out in the boon docks? We found a small park, and it looked like there was a reunion going on so we just drove through and left.

When Keely was out here she had seen cows walking under a bridge. These cows were walking under a bridge to get to the barn.

Like the ark? Two by Two?

On one side of the bridge.

On the other side of the bridge on the way to the barn.

This one liked us.

Who knew there are Hydranga Farms?

A Barn and Silo seen along the way

In the northwest, they wrap the baled hay to prevent mildew.

Deer are almost as plentiful as cows. There are cute little farmhouses in and among old broken down houses. If we didn't know better, we could have been in Pennsylvania or New England.

We found a herd of brown cows. Nancy said she's going to research what the difference is between the different color cows. She said that she felt sorry for cows because they are not pretty so no one wants to take pictures of them. If they were a herd of horses, there would be no question--people would take pictures.

When we were finished exploring, Nancy took me for a walk in the town of Tillamook. It's empty on Sundays so she thought it would be a good time to walk around and look at the stores. There are really no "pretty shops"--almost everything is utilitarian. We had fun on our walk, though, and we didn't have to deal with crowds of people.