Monday, December 29, 2008

Christmas 2008

On Monday, 12-22, we headed out from Happy Trails to SoCal. Our destination was our son Matt's house in Hemet, CA. However, before we get there we stopped by Lois's house in La Mirada to drop our dog Pearl off for her Holiday visit with her best friend Misty. There was tail wags galore, and Pearl really appreciated some time on real grass instead of rocks in AZ. We also picked up some Christmas items we would need during our stay.

Since we were taking our dog with us to SoCal, it limited our space in the Pilot for presents. We had to run around a little bit to pick up some last minute items. Linda started a new tradition for our children's presents this year. We would limit the presents to three-one based on a want, one based on a need, and one that was a surprise. It seemed to work out very well. We did more shopping this year on the Internet with the items being shipped to us. We got some unique products, good prices, and surprise, all of the items arrived before Christmas!

On Tues. 12-23, John had a follow up appointment with his Doctor in Santa Monica. With all of the traffic it was an all day ordeal. But it was worth it, the x-ray showed the hip mending well and even some new bone growth. He still has to do physical therapy and come back for another x-ray in 2 months, but we're really encouraged.

On Christmas eve we headed out to John's cousin Linda's house in San Bernadino to celebrate with his side of the family. It was a lot fun seeing all of the family and how they had grown over the past year. Linda and her husband Mike made a good Lasagna dinner with all of the trimmings, and we caught up on all of the news with the families. It really special to see John's Mom Betty and her sister Shirley. Both of them are doing well.

On Christmas day we headed down to Garden Grove for Christmas with Linda's side of the family. Our niece Val and her husband Rick were the hosts this year and they went all out to make the day special. Like I mentioned in the last post, our daughter Jeni couldn't join us this Christmas. She had to stay in SC to finish her project. But she was with us in electronic form through the Internet. Using web cams in CA and SC, we were able to share the Christmas experience together. When one of Jeni's presents was announced, someone would open it in front of the camera and she could see what her present was. It worked out pretty well, and Jeni got to see what everyone got. She did miss an excellent dinner, though. Here's a picture of the computer with Jeni on the other end.

Of course the real center of attention was the three little ones, our nieces and nephew. Here's a closeup. From left to right we have Chase, then Iris in the middle, and on the right is Violet. Aren't they cute!

It was another great Christmas even though we missed Jeni. Next year we'll have everyone back together again, and it will be even more special. If you want to see all of the pictures from Christmas, click in the link to see our web album:
After Christmas it was back to Matt's house. On 12-26 we picked up John's mother at her sister's and took her home. Normally Matt, Suzanne, and Jeni join us, but Matt had to work and Jeni was in SC, so it was just Linda & John. But we had a good time exchanging presents and catching up.
One of the present we got Matt was a water fountain for his front door. John had to put it together, and then Linda planted some pots around it to add some color. It ended up real nice and makes their front door area real inviting. It fun to see the kids making progress on their new house.
On Monday we picked up Pearl and headed back to Happy Trails for the New Year. We pray that everyone had a great Holiday and we hope 2009 turns out to be a great year.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Getting Ready for Christmas

We do get some nice sunsets when it gets cloudy here at Happy Trails! This is the view from our patio.

When I posted about our visit to the light show, I didn't have the pictures in the computer yet. So, belatedly, here's some of the standing displays we drove by. Here's a train that John had to stop and take a picture of:

Here's a fire truck for our nephew Michael who is a fireman:

We've talked a lot about our friends here, so we thought a picture would be a good idea. Starting from the left we have Bob Lawler, then Allan Kainu, Sharri Kainu, and Maggie Lawler.

We spent most of the week deciding and shopping for Christmas presents. We leave on Monday for our Sons Matt's house for the Christmas week. John has a Doctor's appointment on Tuesday, 12-23 for his hip. And then we celebrate with John's family on Christmas Eve, and Linda's family on Christmas Day. The sad news is that our daughter, Jeni, will miss her first Christmas with the family. She's snowed under with dissertation preparation, with a hard deadline of Jan. 5. So she doesn't have time for the coast to coast travel. We don't know who is more depressed, Jeni or us, but we'll just have to make up for it next year. Jeni has her eye on the target, and she will succeed.

More on Christmas in the next post.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

What's Happin With the Huber's

Sunday we started with the church service here at the Resort. It's an interdenominational service and there was about 450 attendees. There are 2 retired pastors who conduct the service, and best of all there's a 70 member choir. They sing all of the old hymns and the sermons are down to earth.

After church we went out to breakfast with some friends from Vancouver, WA. We went to a local restaurant called the Maui Grill. It's a coffee shop with a Hawaiian theme. Linda had the macadamia nut pancakes, and John had the crab melt. Both were delicious!

On the way back to the resort we stopped at a couple of open houses in Sun City Grand. Just doing more research. Then we went to the workout room and tried out the equipment. It's very nice, and we're planning on using it on a regular basis.

On Monday Linda attended a beading class, and on Tuesday John joined the woodworking group called the Sawmill. He hopes to learn some new skills and build a couple of small projects after the first of the year.

Thursday night we went to a special drive through Christmas light display which included many action figures and 6 drive through tunnels. Afterwards we all went to devour some pizza at a local place called NYPD, with New York style pizza.

We also had some happy hours with our friends during the week, and a special dinner on Friday night. Bob & Maggie hosted us for a Jamaican themed dinner, which was very good. There was jerk chicken, Allan & Shari prepared fried plantains, and we made the collard greens. Even John tried the collard greens which were good.

Saturday night our group finished off the pizza leftovers with a great salad Linda made. And we bid farewell to our Allan & Shari. They left on the first flight on Sunday to Seattle to be with their family. We even got up a 4:00am to take them to the airport. When John turned on the water for a shower, there was no water. We thought the worst, but when we got back to the MoHo it was only a loose connection! Whew! Needless to say, we went back to bed and slept well.

So that's been our week. Oh, we did some shopping, Linda continued her morning walks, John got a library card, and we did some more shopping. So it was a fun week.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Our First Week at Happy Trails

We got here on Monday and got the MoHo setup and leveled. On Tuesday we worked around the lot. We had to get a new sewer hose for the hookup here. Since the satellite dish is covered by the awning we had to hook up to an external dish mounted on the roof. Luckily it was pointed at the right satellite, and we had TV by the early afternoon.

Linda cleaned the desert sand that we had picked up in Desert Hot Springs out of the interior of the coach, and John fixed the Bar-b-que so that we could use it while we're here. We also took advantage of the washer & dryer, and began to explore the park.

One of the events we enjoy is getting together with our friends for "Happy Hour". It's great fun having great neighbors again. Here we are with Bob & Maggie at Shari & Allan's lot. Allan was out of town, and Shari was getting appetisers so they're not in the picture. John has a lot of work to do on improving his photos.

There's a nice area called the town center across the fairway from our lot. There's a large auditorium for shows and dances, several work rooms for the different crafts, a library, billiard room, and an exercise room.

The Chuckwagon is the on site restaurant serving breakfast & lunch Mon-Fri, and special dinners. There's both pickle ball and tennis courts, a wood shop, and 2 other clubhouses. There's also a great pool and spa.
There are many special events. The first one was on Wednesday, a craft fair. Linda went and found some unique handmade items. Who could she had bought something for? On Friday was the monthly vendor day where there are many booths setup selling anything from makeup, food, to carpet and rv accessories. Most of these events are held inside the auditorium and outside on the plaza are around the fountains.

On Friday night, the Huber's had their first dinner party here at Happy Trails. We invited three other couples to our lot, and they brought the sides and desserts. John used the grill to cook some great NY strip steaks from Costco, and we served some delicious wine. It was a fun evening and we even burned a fire in our outdoor fireplace. We plan to do a lot more of these get together's.
Every morning Linda has been getting up at the crack of dawn to go on a walk with her girlfriends, Shari & Maggie. They walk about 31/2 miles through the park. It's great to have someone to walk with and they are keeping themselves very motivated.
On Sat. even John got early for the first half of the two part yard sale inside the park. Twice a year they have a designated day for yard sales, and everyone rushes around in their golf carts looking for bargains. We didn't find anything to buy, but Allan & Shari found a nice wicker table for their patio area.
So that's what we've been doing. I'll try to keep up to date with what we're doing. It's a lot of fun and very busy. And the classes haven't started yet!

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Our Home at Happy Trails

We promised you pictures of our home for the next four months. Here we are, starting to settle in lot 676. We're just 3 lots from the corner, and a half a block from our good friends from Monaco Northwest Bob & Maggie and Shari & Allan. There's a full cover over the patio and the coach, and the two story shed is towards the front of the lot. There's plenty of room to park the car and golf cart in the front.

The patio and sitting are is behind the shed and next to the coach. We like this because it gives us a large area and its screened from the street. The back of the patio looks out over the 17th tee of the golf course, and has a fireplace for cold nights.
Although the view of the golf course is of the 17th tee, which isn't that spectacular, at least we don't have any golf balls flying towards the MoHo.
We also have a nice outdoor kitchen with a Bar-b-que, hot plate, and a nice counter for laying out food for guests. We're still in the midst of cleaning it up and making sure everything is working. The weird wooden box on the right is an outdoor shower, which we'll probably never use.

Inside the shed is a stacked washer and dryer, a workbench, and a refrigerator. Pretty nice for us as it gives us room to spread out and we'll even be able to shop at Costco for food again. There's a second floor available for extra storage.
Since John took these pictures, Linda has cleaned everything up, John has fixed the bar-b-que, and we've added two tables and 8 chairs. So now we can entertain more than 2 other people for the first time since we left Turlock and started this adventure.

So we're real excited. We get a morning newspaper everyday, and we even have our own mailbox. Our mail address is:
John & Linda Huber
17200 W. Bell Rd., Lot 2427
Surprise, AZ 85374
So write us if you get a chance, and visit us whenever you can. The weather has been in the mid 70's and we haven't even had a cloudy day!

Monday, December 01, 2008

Moving Day

Once again the Hubers have the MoHo on the road. We've been in SoCal for over a month visiting Doctors, doing physical therapy, and most important, visiting with family and friends. The time has come to make our move to Happy Trails in Surprise, AZ, just west of Phoenix. It's hard to leave our family and friends, but we hope they will visit us during our 4 month stay there.

Linda started getting ready to move on Saturday by putting away all of the chairs, rolling up the awnings, and taking off the tire covers. While uncovering the passenger side rear tires, she noticed that one of the tires was low. John said no problem, we'll just pump it up using the air compressor on board the MoHo that runs our brakes and air bags. Except when John tried to connect the hose to the air outlet, it wouldn't fit. Off to Home Depot, to buy new parts. Has John ever done project that didn't require a trip to the hardware store? He got back to the park, and tried the new parts-didn't fit. It turned out the coupler to the air line was corroded. It must have been the moist WA air! So today John called our roadside service company who sent out a nice man with a compressor in the back of his truck. He felt that the braided extensions were slowly leaking and he tightened everything up and filled the tire. By the time all this was done, it was 10:00am. Still plenty of time to drive down the I-10 to get to Happy Trails before dark.

Our good friends, Bob & Maggie Lawler were staying in the park with us and they also were heading for Happy Trails so we caravaned to our new home. We both wanted to get fuel after we got to AZ, and John remembered Zips Truck Stop that had been recommended by Allan & Shari last year. So we stopped there and filled up with diesel for only $2.04 a gallon. When we were in WA in June we filled up at $4.79 a gallon. That was very good news.

We filled up first and started heading east on I-10 before Bob & Maggie, knowing that they would catch up to us at Happy Trails. Well, John took the wrong exit, and almost got stuck on a dead end road. So by the time he got back to the freeway Bob was way past him. Oh, well. At least we didn't get stuck!

It was still light when we got to the resort. John had been worried about the coach fitting in the space we rented because there are some close poles that support a roof over the coach. But with Linda & Shari's great help he got it in with room to spare. We got hooked up and then went over to Shari's space for a great lasagna dinner. What great friends.

We'll be here until April 1, so we would like everyone to come visit us. And we're going to go back to SoCal a few times to visit with family. It's only a 5 hour drive to L.A. Tomorrow I'll take some pictures and tell you a little more about Happy Trails.

Friday, November 21, 2008

A Visit to Pechanga

While we were staying at Wilderness Lakes, we visited our son Matt at his employer, Pechanga Resort & Casino. The lobby of the hotel was all decked out for the Holidays.

The main reason we visited was to have lunch with Matt(he bought). But while we were there, Matt got John a cart and showed us the new golf course, Journey, and the clubhouse. Here's the lobby of the clubhouse, overlooking the 1st tee and the 18th green.

Outside of the lobby and the restaurant is a beautiful deck for public or private functions. Some of the oak trees are over 100 years old.

And here's the view from the deck overlooking the dry wash.

The resort has also completely upgraded their spa. If you're in the Temecula area make sure you stop. It's even worth a special trip!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Valerie Turns 30

Our niece Valerie turned 30 this month. Her husband Rick decided to throw a surprise party for her with her friends & relatives. He decided on a novel theme-Bowling. So he rented a room in the local bowling alley, some lanes, food & good beverages. It sounded a bit off the wall, but it worked out terrific!

Here's everyone waiting for the birthday girl to arrive. Luckily the food was served or there might have been a mutiny. The food was good, all sorts of hand munchies from veggies to pizza.

Fashionably late, but still surprised, here's Val as she entered the party room.

Rick really pulled it off-a nice surprise party.

One of the elements of the party was a magician. Before Val & Rick arrived he entertained the kids and some of the adults. Then it Val's turn to be his able bodied assistant. She did very well with the rings, putting them together and taking them apart. Or did the magician do it all?

As befitting a bowling party, most of the party took to the lanes. A lot of them were rusty, some got better after a few beverages. This is Val's sister Tiffanie showing great form. I don't remember what her top score was. I think it was in the high 70s.

After everyone finished bowling, Val got to blow out her candles and everyone had some ice cream cake. Some of us wore more than we ate, but we all had fun.

A special thank you to Tiffanie, Donna, and Linda for helping Rick surprise Val and making sure everyone had a good time.

If you would like to see all of the pictures from the party, please click here:

Thursday, November 06, 2008

We Visit Our Friends in Turlock

We made a quick trip back to Turlock the last week of October. We took the Pilot and left the MoHo in the driveway at Linda's Mother's house. Our good friends and old neighbors Jean and Dave Drayer offered us the use of their pool house again, which gave us a great base of operations.

We spent the week visiting our great friends that we miss so much. Gary & Rosemarie Sanders, Bob & Kathy Whitehead, Gary & Connie Weimer, Marty & Brenda Zuidvaart, & Kevin & Linda Brynes. We had many meals, great conversations, played games, and even went to the new Gallo Center for choral performance.

And John went to the cancer Doctor and got a clean bill of health. In fact, instead of visiting the Doctor every 6 months, now John has to go every 12 months. The works real well for us because we're planning to leave AZ in April and head East without going back for more checkups.

I did get one picture of Linda and her friends at a lunch at the tea room. Everyone looks really happy to see Linda again!

We'll probably make at least one more trip to Turlock before we head East. We can't go a whole year without visiting our friend in person.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Chase's Baptism

We were honored to attend Chase's Baptism on October 26. The baptism was right at the beginning of the service, and John was able to get some good photos with his new camera. Here's one with the parents, sponsors, and Pastor giving the blessing. Chase let everyone know he was there, and wanted to be the center of attention.
After the service we were able to get some posed pictures of Chase, his parents, and the sponsors. Notice how Chase is all relaxed. It's amazing how some food helps calm the little ones.
After the service we all headed back to Michael & Katie's house to celebrate. There was an abundance of food and drink. It was a beautiful day, so we spread out to the backyard and socialized. Here's Grandma Donna with Iris and Chase.
And here's Great Grandma (GeGe) with Val's youngest, Violet.

And finally, here's everyone's favorite Aunt with Chase on his special day.

It was a great day of celebration, and a chance for all of us attending to remember how important Baptism is.
For more pictures please click on the following link:

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Results from the Doctor-Good News

John had his follow up appointment with a new Doctor located in Santa Monica. Dr. Ehrhart had worked with Dr. Larson during his internship at St. John's hospital, so there was good communication between the Doctors, and we were confident that Dr. Ehrhart would give us a good follow up examination.

After filling out all of the forms and getting insurance clearance, we went into the exam room. John had to go out for another x-ray to check up on the healing process. Everything is now digital, so there's now waiting for the film to develop, and the results are available on a computer screen. For you technical types out there, they had an interesting system where the x-ray is on a portable tablet PC, which is slipped into a docking station. and a large LCD screen gives the detail view of the hip.

The hip is healing well, and John was told he could put total weight on his right leg for the first time since the Sept. 5. The Doctor then spent time with John showing him how to walk and encouraging him to put more weight on his right leg. It was a difficult transition because John is still using the walker for stability, and he naturally wanted to take the weight off by supporting himself with his arms. But, he began to get the hang of it. He'll use the walker for another week, then he'll transfer to a cane in his left hand. Linda's still concerned that John will try to do to much to fast, but she'll keep him in check. One of the benefits is that John is now the designated driver again. Linda is a great driver, but she doesn't like driving on all of the freeways and traffic in SoCal.

We'll be going to Chase's baptism on Sunday, then we're off to visit our friends in Turlock. Through our good friends and old neighbor, Dave & Jean Drayer, we'll be able to stay in their pool house so we can drive the Pilot. Linda has really been giving a deep cleaning to the MoHo, including all of the closets. We'll both have to do some clothes shopping when John gets to walking better.

Monday, October 20, 2008

We Made It To SoCal

We made it all the way to Los Angeles without a problem.

We left Woodburn and stopped in Redding, staying overnight at the Wind River Casino. It was John's decision, but because of construction the lot was tight. But the site was very quiet and the security was helpful. They are building a new RV park.

Then the boring drive down I-5. To give John a break, Linda drove the motorhome about 200 miles. She did a great job, and John was only nervous the first 50 miles. After that he relaxed and enjoyed the view from the co-pilot's seat. We even got to stop at an In & Out Burger for dinner.

So we're parked in Lois's driveway in La Mirada, enjoying her hospitality. Linda is taking the motorhome apart, cleaning everything. We had a problem with mildew and mold during our wet and cold stay in Olympic National Park. So she's taken everything out of the closet, drawers, & cupboards, cleaned them, and then reorganized it. No one does a better job at cleaning.

John has a Doctor's appointment on Friday, then we have Chase's baptism on Sunday. Then we're taking the pilot and heading for Turlock for an appointment with John's cancer doctor. We'll let you know what the results are.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Woodburn, Oregon

We decided to stay here because it's halfway between Portland & Salem and it's right off I-5 behind a large factory outlet mall. We don't have the biggest site, but it's a pull through with 50 amp power. And the temperature was 72 degrees and sunshine. We are loving it.

On Monday afternoon Linda visited the outlet mall, but wasn't impressed. The only thing she bought was for Jeni. Go figure. Oh, and she bought a new can opener. Whoopee. John had to stay at the coach because they didn't have any carts for him to ride around in.

On Tuesday we met with Ron & Dona Davis, another friend for Monaco Northwest, for lunch in Wilsonville. We met Ron & Dona at our first rally in GA while we were back visiting Jeni. They were our mentors, and they took us under their wing and showed us the ropes. Ron knows about everything about a motorhome, and Dona makes beautiful jewelry. They are the ones that invited us to the Monaco Northwest rally in Birch Bay last summer, where we met some more great friends. It took us 3 hours to eat lunch and talk. They hold a very special place in our hearts!

After a tearful goodbye to our good friends, we went over the other side of the freeway to one of the newer Costco's. John's been waiting since his retirement to buy a new SLR camera, and every time he decided on a model the companies would announce new models and he would want to wait. Well, the waiting is over and John has a new Canon that he'll be happy to show you next time we see you.

Wed. was our problem day. John had ordered new tires for our Honda Pilot through They arrived in Salem, and we drove down to have them put on. They took all of our information, and we went into the supercenter to shop while they mounted the tires. An hour later they called our names in the store. We though they were done. But no, they just figured out that they couldn't mount the tires because they couldn't reset the tire pressure monitoring system. So the next day we took the tires, at a reduced price, to Les Schwab tire center to have the tires mounted.

After we left the tire center, we continued to drive south to our old town of Albany where we had dinner and a fine time visiting with Paul and Kathy Ross. They had visited us when we were at Lake Crescent, but we still had a lot of catching up to do. We wish we lived closer so that we could see them more often. It's probably going to be 2010 before we see them again, but we'll keep in touch by email and telephone. Thank goodness for weekend free calling.

We'll leave Woodburn on Friday, 10-17 and start our way south towards SoCal.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

A Wonderful Weekend in Mossy Rock, WA

We left Port Angeles and Olympic National Park for the last time on Sat., 10-11. Linda had to get everything ready to go by herself, and she did a terrific job. We decided to take it slow and easy down Hwy. 101 to I-5, then on to our friends who live off Hwy. 12 on Lake Merwin near Mossy Rock. John was very careful, staying in the right lane and keeping a steady pace. His hip did well, but it was a relief to pull into Allen & Shari's driveway.

We stayed two nights and were treated like royalty. Shari made some great meals, starting with homemade Lasagna. Then the next morning she cooked a full breakfast with pancakes, bacon, sausage, and fruit. Linda was spoiled because she doesn't get a good breakfast often. On Sun. night it was a special chicken casserole that was outstanding.

The best part of the weekend was the wonderful relaxed setting with wonderful conversations. This was just what we needed after so many hours of just the two of us sitting in the rain & cold. We so appreciate the friends we've made through the Monaco Northwest group.

On Monday we left for Woodburn, OR, where we'll spend a few days visiting old friends and getting some goods where there's no sales tax.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Good News & Disappointments

We went to John's orthopedic Doctor today for a follow up. The good news is he gave John permission to drive so that we can leave Port Angeles and start heading South. The disappointment is that John still can not put any weight on his right leg. Everything is healing well, but the Doctor wants to be cautious. Linda agreed wholeheartedly.

He knows a Doctor in SoCal for a follow up appointment in 2 weeks, so that's where we're heading, slowly. We'll bypass Turlock on our way down, but after the appointment, we'll head back up to Turlock. So we'll still be able to visit with our friends.

So that's it. John still has to use the walker, which is driving him crazy. But as Linda says, we don't want to go through another surgery because John rushed it. As usual, Linda's right.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Not Much Happening

It's been quiet up here. We're waiting on pin & needles for the next Doctor's appointment, which is Thursday, Oct. 9 at 3:00pm. Please keep John in your prayers. We're hoping he's healed enough to put weight on his right leg and can start to drive. We want to head south to warmer sunnier weather.

We want to visit some of our friends in SW Washington, then we want to spend some time in Oregon enjoying some shopping in the no sales tax environment. Then on to California to visit our friends in Turlock and check in with some Doctors. Once those are complete, we'll head to southern California to visit family. We'll move on to our site at Happy Trails in Surprise, AZ, for December through March. But everything depends on what the Doctor has to say!

The weather here is turning colder. It was overcast with showers on Saturday & Sunday, then on Monday a big storm with high winds came through. We went down to Sequim today and looking back to the mountains in Olympic National Park they were covered with snow. It seems early, but it's been a very cold summer, and now fall. The high here today was 48. Now you know why we want to start traveling South.

As soon as we know what the Doctor has to say, we'll let you know.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

An Average Day

The last couple of days have been average days, almost like we had when we had a stick house(we don't go to work however).

We started on Tues. by getting our oil changed and having the Honda checked over. We found out we need to get new tires. We might wait until we get to Oregon, because they have no sales tax (and the Mo-Ho needs tires too...).

After that we drove to Sequim to shop and do our laundry. We have a small combination washer/dryer in the MoHo, but it only holds a couple of shirts and one pair of pants at a time. So we still go to the laundromat for the sheets and towels. While we were in Sequim we went to Costco (which John always likes ), then onto the laundromat. John sat in the car and read his book and waited.

Then we headed back to the MoHo for dinner and to feed Pearl. We're currently watching a mini-series called "War & Remembrance". It's quite good, but it's long, using 12 video tapes.

Wednesday John had an appointment for a bone density scan. Linda & the doctor thought it would be good to check this for the future. We won't know the results until his doctor appointment on 10-9. It's an easy test, so everyone, not just women, should get one when they reach their 60's.

Linda took John back to the MoHo for a final appointment with his physical therapist, and then ran some errands and grocery shopping. The therapist gave John some written instructions on exercises to do when he can put weight on his leg. He's going to have to learn how to walk again, and build some muscle back into his right leg. We've been very blessed with a great medical team here in Port Angeles.

So now we're sitting here listening to the Dodger-Cub game. We're having a little trouble deciding who to root for because of our son Matt. He's a very devout Cub fan, to the extent that he wears his Cub's jersey when he goes to a Dodger game. Linda & John are old Dodger fans, going way back to when they were dating and going to the nose bleed seats at Dodger stadium. So whoever wins the series will be great with us.

We don't have anything planned for the weekend because the weather is supposed to be cold and rainy. But we're seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, so a quiet weekend might be good.

Monday, September 29, 2008

We Visit Something Old & Something New

The weather continued to be great. The high is expected to 72! We decided to take an extended drive back to our old campground, Fairhom, on Lake Crescent. As we rounded the curves and got a good view of Lake Crescent, we had to stop and take a picture because it was just gorgeous.

We drove around the campground reminiscing about our stay. One of the pictures that John wanted was of the path where he slipped an fell on his butt. Here it is. Doesn't look very dangerous, does it. But it did the job on John.

After we left the campground, we went up the Sol Duc valley to view the salmon cascades. Every fall the salmon return to the headwaters where they were born to spawn and die. This particular point is a tough spot for the salmon to get past. They have to jump up the waterfall. Luckily, the road was right next to the river so John was able to get a view and spotted some salmon jumping up the falls.

Unfortunately, it's very tough to get a picture because the fish are not predictable, and it's early in the season, so the run is just starting. But it's still a very beautiful spot.

Not only is the view wonderful, but the sounds of the river makes the image complete. We're sorry we didn't have a video camera, then we could have had the sound and probably a fish jumping.

Linda has taken most of the pictures, isn't she doing a great job! I think she may have found a new hobby.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

September 28-Our 40th Anniversary

Sunday, 9-28, was our 40th wedding anniversary. Needless to say, with John's injury it was a somewhat quiet day. The weather turned very nice, our Indian Summer. On our way down the hill from the campground we stopped to take a picture of Port Angeles from a turnout close to where we're staying.

We went to a late lunch at a restaurant call the Crab Pot. It was downtown, close to the ferry terminal. The windows overlooked the public pier and a small beach, along with a view of the bay. Linda had a chicken quesadilla and John had homemade crab cakes. They were both very good, and the views made the meal memorable. John was even able to watch some of the pro football on a big screen.

After our lunch we decided to explore some areas of Port Angeles we hadn't seen before. If you continue to drive on the waterfront past the downtown area, you come to a boat harbor. There's a boat builder in town that specializes in motorized yachts. They start at about $3,000,000 and up. We saw one in the harbor and decided to take a picture of it.

That's a lot of money for a hole in the ocean!

We then continued around the bay on the breakwater, out to where the coast guard station was located. We could look back across the bay to the restaurant where we had lunch, and then up to the hill where our campground is.

It was not what I had originally planned for our anniversary, but it was nice just being together. We both plan to have a bigger celebration when John is healed and we're in another area. What that celebration will be is yet to be determined.

Monday, September 22, 2008

A Real Gem-The Library

One of the real joys we rediscovered during our stay here in Port Angeles is how much fun a library can be. If you haven't visited your local library in a while, you'll be really surprised at the changes you'll find.

Our local branch of the North Olympic Library System is in Port Angeles. It is fairly new, having been built in 1998. It's large with many areas for sitting and reading, tables & chairs for studying or computer usage, and a large selection of books, videos, and books on tape to borrow. They also have many computers to use and free, fast, wifi. Since they're part of the larger system, we could request books and videos from other branches in the system.

We have borrowed a lot of different books and videos this summer because we don't have TV. And we've discovered new authors and books. John is averaging 2-3 books a week. Linda is averaging 2 a week. We haven't done that much reading in years. And we've enjoyed books on tape as we travel around and explore the areas.
So, our recommendation to everyone is to rediscover the joys of the libraries in your area, and start reading again. It'll open whole new venues for you.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Out & About

The Doctor and the physical therapist both suggested that John get out more. So, with Linda driving, he began to venture forth (this is a hard thing for John, since he usually does all the driving).

One day we went to the Sequim to visit the local Costco. They had one of those scooters for riding around the store, and John got the hang of it right away. He enjoyed getting out and looking around the store. One of John's enjoyments is sampling new food that is offered a Costco. And he was able to check out the cameras, books and wines. Of course he couldn't drink any wine because of his pain medication, but he still looked. And he bought some Jelly Bellys to enjoy.

After Costco, we stopped at Safeway for our groceries, and they had a scooter too. John's getting a whole new perceptive by shopping from a different level.

The outing perked John up and we think that the Doctor was right, he needed to get out. And we think there will be more outings in the future.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

A Progress Report

John left the motorhome for the first time since he returned from the surgery on Wed. 9-17. He had a Doctor's followup appointment to see how the hip was healing. The physical therapist gave him instructions and practice on climbing and descending the stairs in the motorhome, and he made it to the car with no problem.

We first had to stop at the hospital for a blood test, then on to the Doctor's office. John hates getting stuck, and he always tells the nurse what a chicken he is, so they take special care on the blood draws.

Once in the Doctor's office, they took x-rays of the hip from all different directions. Then the Doctor reviewed them with us and John got to see the plate and screws for the first time. Everything is healing well and the Doctor was pleased with the progress. The good news is that John will not have to wear the support stockings he had been using to reduce the chance of blood clots. John was thrilled because they were very tight, and had a tendency to itch at night. The bad news was that he still can not put any weight on his right leg. So he still has to use the walker and be very careful.

Our Doctor, Dr. Larson, is a very young man with great credentials. He graduated from Oregon Health Science Center, worked in Albuquerque, NM, & Santa Monica, CA, before coming back to his home town of Port Angeles to raise his family in a small town environment. We're really glad he's our Doctor.

So, 4 more weeks of healing, then maybe John will be able to put some weight on his leg and start walking again.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Bad News & a Change in Plans

For the last couple of weeks John's right leg has been bothering him. It's more in the thigh muscles and it hurts when he does a lot of walking. We thought it would be a good idea to get a doctor to check it out before we left the campground so we went to the ER in Port Angeles. They took X-rays and examined him but didn't see any problems, so they gave him some prescription ibuprofen.

We were able to get into see an Orthopedic Doctor on Wed. 8-27, and they concurred with the ER's diagnoses. They recommended physical therapy, so we made some appointments in Centralia, WA, the area we were moving to next.

Then on Sat., 8-30, John woke up with extreme pain in his right leg, and he couldn't put any weight on the leg. On Sun. we made another trip to the ER. This time they were very busy, and John had to sit in a wheelchair for 4 hours waiting (he was in real pain). After the Doctor examined John, he just gave him some strong pain medicine but didn't order another X-ray. Linda asked if they could do a MRI, so they said they would schedule one. Because it was Labor Day weekend, they couldn't schedule one until Thurs., 9-4. John didn't get out of bed until Thurs. morning because his leg hurt so much.

The MRI was in Sequim, about 45 minutes away. Linda drove him there and got the wheelchair out to transport him into the MRI. The results were very obvious to the technician, but he couldn't tell us anything. He just told us to head for the hospital in Port Angeles. When we got there we found out John had a hip fracture. And they checked him into the hospital, because he was going to need emergency surgery. We tried to figure out how it happened, and the only thing we remember is John falling on his butt while walking the campground. Down near the lakeshore the path changes from asphalt to gravel and that's where John fell. He didn't feel any pain at the time, so he continued to do a lot of walking, and that's must of aggravated the hip. What was probably a small crack eventually developed into the major fracture.

We were a little nervous about the quality of care we would receive, but we were very satisfied with an excellent Doctor and really caring nurses. We couldn't have received better treatment if we were in a large city.

John had surgery on Friday, 9-5, and everything went well. He was released from the hospital on Monday, 9-8, and went back to the motorhome to recuperate. Linda arranged to have the MoHo moved to a campground closer to Port Angeles. Another campground host at the park, who has a motorhome, drove it out of Fairholm campground to the Heart of the Hills campground. It is on the same road that Hurricane Ridge is on . It's only 5 miles to Port Angeles, and we have good cell phone coverage and good Internet access. The only thing missing is TV, but we're getting use to that.

We're still here waiting for the hip to heal. John can't put any weight on his right leg, so he's using a walker. We have a visiting nurse and a physical therapist who come to the motorhome for treatments. And the weather is getting colder and more overcast. We've definitely got cabin fever, but there's not much we can do until the doctor releases John. We're watching a lot of old movies, John's reading about a book a day, and listening to our satellite XM radio for news and baseball games. BTW, the Cubs and the Dodgers are in the playoffs. The good thing is we can turn off all of the election hype.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Sol Duc Falls Hike

Time is running out as we plan to leave here the day after Labor Day. There's still a few sights we wanted to see. One of them is the Sol Duc falls. Sol Duc is the name of the river that starts in the Olympic mountains and runs into the Straits of Juan du Fuca. It's a premier salmon & steelhead stream. The river forms a canyon that runs up to the mountains. The road follows the river up the canyon, past the Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort, and ends at the trailhead for the falls hike.

The Sol Duc Resort includes cabins, an RV park, and a swimming pool and the hot springs. It's very popular, and the campground is often full.

The trail is a pretty level run up to the falls area, about a .8 mile one way. It wanders through old growth Douglas Fir. The falls themselves are different in that they flow sideways into the canyon.

You can hike above the falls to get closer to the river. Here's a picture of John sitting on the rocks enjoying the sights & sounds.

Here's a shot back down the river showing the water shooting across the canyon. We visited the falls in August, so you can imagine the volume of water in the spring when the snow starts melting.

If you would like to look at other photos, click on the link below:

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Port Townsend, WA

We decided to make a day trip to Port Townsend which is about 2 hours east of the campground. We contacted our good friends, Bob & Maggie Lawlor who live in Bellington, WA, to see if they could take the ferry and meet us there. They could and would so a new adventure was added. As we left Lake Crescent it was a beautiful day with no wind so John had to stop and take another picture looking towards the west from the east end of the lake.

Bob & Maggie beat us to Port Townsend, but waited patiently for us. We began to explore the town which is loaded with Victorian shops and homes. It prospers as a tourist destination. We located a great restaurant that had a deck overlooking the bay. We enjoyed a great meal with our special friends.

After lunch we drove around looking at the different areas of the port, and ended up a Fort Worden. There was a small beach, with a lighthouse at the end of the spit.

We had to get out and explore the area, walk on the beach and admire some of the boats. Even though it was a weekday, the area was still very busy. Fort Worden is a WA State Park. It was developed as a fort in the late 1890's to protect the Puget Sound area. It became a state park in 1954, and the state has done a good job of maintaining the historic buildings. They also use some of the buildings as conference centers and college seminars. The reason Fort Worden looked so familiar is that it was used as the setting of the movie "An Officer & A Gentleman". After our visit there we had to watch the movie again and we really enjoyed it and recognized a lot of the buildings used in the movie.

If you're looking for more information on Fort Worden and some great pictures, click on the following link:

We stopped at a unique garden shop on the way back to the campground and we saw some nice water features which we thought Matt & Suzanne might be interested in. They're going to add a water feature to their backyard .

If you would like to see more photos of the day please click on the following link:

Friday, July 18, 2008

Sequim Lavender Festival

Every year in Sequim, WA, there's a weekend festival based around lavender. Sequim is a unique town about 30 miles east of our campground. All of those mountains that you saw in the pictures of Hurricane Ridge are directly west of Sequim. Most of the weather comes from the ocean to the west, so the rain falls in the western slopes of the mountains. By the time the clouds get to Sequim, they have lost most of their moisture. Therefore, where the Hoh gets 12 feet of rain a year, Sequim gets less that 2 feet. This creates a nice microclimate for growing a lot of different crops from all kinds of berries to lavender.

The festival celebrates lavender in all kinds of different ways. There's a lot of different food flavored with lavender, including lavender wine. There's a tour of 8 different farms where over 144 different varieties of lavender are grown. At some farms you even pick your own lavender. There's also animals at some of the farms such as these lamas.

The lavender is really beautiful as this closeup shows.

At one of the farms there was a classic car show. Linda saw one of her favorite cars, a '57 T-Bird.

If you would like more information for next years festival, please click on the following link:

To see more photos of the festival, please click on the following link:

Monday, July 14, 2008

Hoh Rain Forest

About 60 miles west of our campground on Lake Crescent is the Hoh Rain Forest. This is one of the largest temperate rain forests in the world. The road follows the Hoh river up into the Olympic mountains, leading into the rain forest.

It's about 14 miles inland from the coast, gaining slightly in elevation. The further you drive along the road, the larger and closer the trees are together and the deeper is the moss. There's a visitor center, campground, and hiking trails. We got there in time to join a ranger led walk through the Hall of Mosses.

We learned a lot about the different types of moss. The forest receives 12 feet of rain a year, but very little snow because it's so close to the ocean which keeps the temperature above freezing. We also saw examples of nurse logs. These are logs on the ground from trees that had fallen due to winds or age. New trees grow on the logs, and as the nurse logs rots away, the new trees roots extend down to the soil creating unique root structures.

It was very interesting and a great learning experience. As you can see, there's a lot of different areas in the Olympic National Park which allows for a very diverse visiting experience.

We had a great sunny day, which is very unusual weather wise. If you want to see some of the other photos, please click on the following link: