Back by popular demand. Plus this blog gives me an opportunity to write, which I enjoy. My goal is to entertain.
I began this adventure 3 years ago June (2013-2016). Not all of the adventures were what I would call entertaining. But that has more to do with me than with the situation.
I plan to visit the past in the future, but for now I just want to catch you up for the past 90 days. I was finally travelling with a group of singles who I liked (the name of the organization is Wandering Individuals Network, or the WINs) on a caravan through the interiors and coasts of Oregon and Washington. The Pacific Northwest is one area I definitely want to explore. (Interestingly, I must be the only RV’er I know who doesn’t have Alaska on her Must Do list. I reserve the right to change my mind).
But back to the PNW. By way of background information, I’ve developed a hobby of identifying wildflowers. As I made my way toward the California-Oregon border to meet up with the WINs caravan, I followed the southern part of the Volcanic Highway. Everywhere I stopped or parked I got out my trusty wildflower app and dead-tree wildflower book to note the particulars of the find. While in the Burney Falls area near Mt. Lassen, I developed a second hobby of hiking the Pacific Coast Trail. Every time the road I was driving intersected with the PCT, I got out of my car and made it a point to walk along the designated trail for a few yards. I also took photos to prove how far north I made it! (I tried for selfies with the sign but haven’t mastered the technique. If ever there was a candidate for a selfie stick, it would be me.) So the entire time I’m making my way from the Bay Area up the State of Jefferson, I’m stalking wildflowers. When I meet up with the WINs I continue to pursue my wildflower hobby and ask members to point out anything they find. That’s how I found the relatively rare for California Cirsium arizonicum (Arizona Thistle). You know where I found it? Smack dab in the middle of an uneven, dusty parking lot used by RV’ers like us and homeless people at Lake Shastina outside Weed, CA.
So people come and go with the WINs and some of us start to form cohesive groups. Small town gossip is generated (my all-time favorite topic would have to be Are they ‘together” or are they just friends? There’s the guy, widowed not 6 weeks before when his wife, with whom he RV’ed full-time, dropped dead as they were walking along the street. Aneurism. So now he’s flirting with a sister RV’er, going over to her rig every day to help fix things. And then — wait for it — she actually LEFT HER DOGS in the RV to go out to dinner with The Widower. This is a woman who did not participate in most activities because she dare not leave her two dogs. Ever.
Anyway, it was on one of these days about 50 miles south of Portland, Oregon (I use the state to distinguish it from the other Portland, in Maine, which I’ve also visited, she bragged), when I made what turned out to be a bad decision. But what I was thinking at the time was: I really should do something different than wildflowers today. I’ll go on the 3-mile round-trip hike up to the waterfall. I really should play with others. So armed with a hiking stick, which I think actually contributed to what happened next, and footed in my good hiking boots, I fell. Hairline fracture of my right ankle (yes, that’s the knee replacement leg) and possible rotor cuff injury of the left shoulder. I mention these injuries only because I think the hiking stick, which I used to help steady me on the right side, pushed me forward and over onto my left shoulder, causing my right ankle to twist around as I fell and went boom.
To make a long story short — and I may have mentioned this before: I am the ONLY person I know who really CAN and WILL make a long story short — my brother, Gary, flew up to Portland and drove my RV towing the Smartcar (in RV parlance, it’s a “toad”) all the way down to Oakland, a trip of 650 miles. My son, Michael, agreed to let me park my RV next to his house in Pleasant Hill in the east part of the Bay Area. His acquiescence was almost certainly a sign of gratitude that his uncle and aunt were taking me in so he didn’t have to. I lived under Gary and Faith’s roof and house rules for 6 weeks. My shoulder injury seems to have been exaggerated (it hurts a bit when I move my arm in certain directions but I can live with it, literally). I was recently released back into the wild and am in an RV park one block away from the coast in Grover Beach/Pismo Beach. I arrived here Wednesday around 6 pm and have spent the entire four days working on the RV interior. My intention is to introduce elements of feng shui into the RV.
BTW, I learned that prosperity is represented by an aquarium. Well no wonder I’m not rich. I HATE aquariums. My dentist had one in his waiting room so I associate all that bubbling sound with pain and suffering. I mean, the man almost drowned me when he first started using a water drill. Water. Gurgling. Not gonna happen in my personal space. Even the fish that are supposed to go into a mere fish bowl give me the willies. One, the arowana, looks as if it’s sheathed in snake-skin; the second, koi, is simply ugly; the third, goldfish, brings visions of a thin black trail excreted behind it as it swims through the murky (and now we know why) water. I also found out that according to the Western Bagua, my love area is the shower. Talk about my chances of romance going down the drain!
I’m including some photos of my highly customized RV. As for my decorating abilities, let me state for the record that I like my RV very much. Just be aware that upon looking around, a close friend of wealth and taste turned to me and asked, “Just what were you hoping to accomplish here?”
I’m off for the next several days to the Second Annual Cousins Reunion Without A Funeral. Now THERE’S an event that should offer plenty of material. Not that I can use any of it, though.
Shown above: Sleeping loft; sofa, curtains, and throw pillows; my hat collection; looking from the front toward the back (bathroom is behind the closed pocket door; desk created using dinette bench backs; silver wallpaper and "tile" separating galley from the bathroom; white "tiled" wall in bathroom; bathroom wallpapered in "wood"and "wood" and feng shui elements to separate it from the galley; my favorite poster.