And the winds blow between enormous blackened boulders and through blackened scrub trees and above the blackened skeletal remains that were houses or barns or studios or cars…but the spirits that one would expect to be blackened and shriveled are not. I live in the flat desert country south of where State Highway 89 winds […]
Love comes in many forms and I feel fortunate to have shared in a great portion of these treasured memories of the heart. …Your husband comes home from work and rescues you from a spider that you covered with a jar because you were afraid of it. …A wet wispy kiss by a newborn baby […]
I felt strange, lost, confused and alone. My bunk was level with the open window on my 25-foot mini-motorhome. A warm breeze stirred. The trees murmured and swayed in the woods surrounding my campsite. The moon painted eerie shadows. I couldn’t remember where I was, what day it was, or for that matter, who I […]
In my circuitous RVing fashion, I happened on to the Biltmore Mansion in Ashville, North Carolina, just in time for its first Christmas Candlelight Evening of the season. It is America’s largest private residence with 255 rooms, built by George Washington Vanderbilt and opened for the first time on Christmas in 1895. It had what few did in those days—indoor plumbing, refrigeration and electric lights.
Each room had one or two decorated Christmas trees in different themes. Victorian dolls and wooden horses peered from underneath. It was like walking through The Nutcracker, but it didn’t exactly remind me of past Christmases as a child. Three cabins like the one I was born in would have fit nicely into any room, perhaps even under the tree.
At the end of March, RVers from all parts of the country, all ages, and all talents pull into North Ranch Escapees Park near Congress, Arizona. A few boondockers park while others back up to the electric and sewer hookups. Everyone settles in. Awnings are pulled out and fastened; the ground cover is spread; the lawn chairs are opened, and a new home surfaces. They are RVers, woodcarvers and beaders. Some have come from many miles and made the trip for many years, immediately drawing hellos, hugs and handshakes from old comrades.
My husband was much more informed than I was as our young family visited this famous campus. He was a fan and knew everything about the sports stats and the championships in football and basketball, and some of its other history as well. What totally awed the four of us on this stormy summer day was that as the Cadet Chapel came into view, with its seventeen spires sending prayers soaring 150 feet into the Colorado sky and beyond, a triple rainbow hovered over it. Wow! It was a terrific beginning to our tour of the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
It was the fall of 1985 and I was shoulder deep in a nasty basement sump pump when I decided to sell the house. I put it on the market and it sold in nine days. (I should have such luck now!) Immediately, thirty years worth of “stuff” was subject to scrutiny.
Everything it took to run a household with an acre of land, outbuildings, machinery and tools was not a problem. The kids took what they wanted and between garage sales, an auction, and giving it away, the majority of that dwindled into the swanky Early Halloween decor for which I am famous and would use in my apartment.
Are you battling the expressways against tour buses, gleaming multi-colored double-bottom trucks, and snippy little cars desperate to pass your RV and tow car? STOP! If you are near Nashville or Natchez, take a 444-mile, three-state breather on the Natchez Trace Parkway.
Relax. Draw a deep breath. Feel the stress leave your body as your blood pressure drops. Whether you are headed northeast to Nashville, Tennessee, or southwest to Natchez, Mississippi, turn into this limited-access parkway. As RVers, you already have your comfortable shoes and bikes at the ready for hiking and biking. It is a great place for both.
It has never interested me to follow the Interstates though that is the fastest way to get around when necessary. It is a little like having a GPS. I don’t want to follow the crowd or the crowd’s direction. I want a little mystery in my life. Though I always had adequate food to build breakfast, lunch or dinner in my RV, it was much more exciting to discover hole-in-the-wall cafés.
State Route 20 has always been one of my favorite routes through Washington state. Not only is the mountainous countryside awe-inspiring, but also I love a little western-themed tourist town. Daughter Janet was driving her van and our first stop was in beautiful downtown Winthrop. This town, with a population of around 400, lives at the eastern end of the entrance to scenic North Cascades National Park. Route 20 through the park shuts down during the heavy snow months, leaving Winthrop at the end of the road for the winter.
In the Klondike Gold Rush of 1897, the most direct route was on the Chilkoot Trail, which began at Dyea, Alaska, and required a difficult 45-degree climb to Lake Bennett. Gold stampeders built boats at Lake Bennett and if they survived the winter and Whitehorse Rapids, they went on to Dawson City. Today, hiking the Chilkoot, now part of national historic parks in the U.S. and Canada, requires a fee and a permit, allowing no more than 50 backpackers on the 33-mile trail each day.
Rita’s story began in January 2013. Her sister, Fran, ten years her senior, said that she and daughter Rachel were going to hike the Chilkoot Trail to celebrate Fran’s 70th birthday and asked if Rita wanted to join them. It is wise to know your traveling companions, and that does not exclude relatives. Do they arise early, get their start at noon…or…well, you’ll understand as you read about Rita Moriarty’s Chilkoot Trail Adventure.
Three Families Arrive Years Apart at Death Valley National Park:
Her two small children snuggle beneath warm comforters with homemade teddy bears. Her exhausted husband lies snoring gently beside her. From sunup to sundown, he and the oxen have trudged behind the covered wagon ahead of them, with she and the children walking beside them. Already weary from the many months on the rough trail from Salt Lake City to the California gold fields, she peeks through the canvas, wondering how they will ever get through these brooding mountains. She feels joy in the twinkling stars on this Christmas Eve, but unbelievable weariness claims her body and Martha sleeps, blissfully unaware of what awaits them that winter of 1849.