Separating Ways-Almost

Cat solo

Cat solo

 

Saturday, Cat (cycling the coast with her pups) and I, chose separate paths for the rest of her trip down the 1 and the 101. She is strong and has been cycling on her own for several days in a row for over a month now. Saturday I decided, since I was not needed any more, I would like to venture off in my own direction. I want to explore some of the area around central California on my own time and schedule.

I am still carrying the gear she does not need. She loaded up the rest of the dog food and other essentials and now is totally independent as she finishes her ride down to the Mexico border. I am still there in case of emergency but that is it. We will meet up in San Diego after her ride is complete and sort out the gear.

I hope Cat can appreciate what we have done for each other. At the beginning of this trip we had several long conversations about the “what ifs” of this journey. I asked her if she would have pursued this trip without me and she said, she did not think so. I am honored to have been a part of this adventure. I am glad I could more than, get her on her way and help out when I was needed. I imagine that many of the through bikers would have appreciated the support that I was able to give to her. It is a hard journey, physically, emotionally and more. Now it is time for Cat to fly solo and for me to figure out what is next.

This has been an interesting two plus months on the road. I have learned a lot about myself. I have learned what I can tolerate and not tolerate. Whoa, I am only 64 years old and I am just now figuring this out. Mostly what I have learned is that I want to be appreciated, not more than necessary yet appreciated none the less. I guess I really want to appreciate myself and I am getting there. I didn’t always feel this appreciation on this journey of two. Because of the long days, Cat did not always have any more to give at the end of her day. This trip truly tested us both in many different ways.

I was the one who instigated our separation. I felt like a mother who was seeing her sidekick fly the coop. I am glad to know she is strong and continuing her journey down the coast. I am proud of what she has accomplished and what she will accomplish still. It will be good to meet at the end of her trip.

img_6158 img_6167Meanwhile I am in the town of Atascadero this morning in a sweet little coffee house, typing like crazy. I spent last night at a Harvest Host site near Paso Robles. The Rio Seco Winery is a small family operation with an interesting history. It was used as a film set for the 1987 movie “The Junkman.” The barn, where the tasting room is today was also part of a major drug bust. It was used as a growing house for marijuana. Today it is a lovely small winery specializing in red wines. The sunset was gorgeous from my small house on wheels.

Today I am not sure where I am wandering off to. Wander I shall. I think I am going off to look for those twisty little back roads that I love so much.

Please continue to follow Cat’s trip. After more than two thirds of her trip was over, her bike is now in good shape. She is riding strong.

Elsie, the Roadtrek and Me are riding strong, too.

RT in the Redwoods

RT in the Redwoods

Janet in the Redwoods

Janet in the Redwoods

Elsie the rave

Elsie the Brave

Friends & Wine Anyone?

img_3431Last Monday I took a break from the coast and route 101.

Have you ever had one of those forever friends? You know the ones I mean, you may not be in touch for years, but suddenly, one day you are back in touch. Not too long after that an opportunity arrises to be able to get together and catch up. It is like yesterday. I have one of those friends in Corvallis, Oregon.

Last Monday after I made sure Cat was good to go, I departed the coast, drove one hour inland (east) and met up with Kat and her husband Charlie. We figured 2003 was probably the last time the two of us physically saw each other. It has been almost that long since we have spoken. Thanks to Facebook and her daughter (we are FB friends) Kat and I got in touch. The first phone call was hours long.

I spent this past week in their home. Elsie and I had the downstairs apartment. I think Elsie was glad for a bit more room and so was I. Initially I was suppose to leave and head back to the coast, today. By the second day of our visit, we both realized we needed more time. I extended my stay until a week from today.

Kat, Charlie & Kat

Kat, Charlie & Janet

I am having so much fun. Kat is a spinner and loves to explore genealogy. With hikes mixed in we have been catching up. One day we spent immersed in my family’s genealogy. She has promised to help me dye some wool and go home with my own yarn. It is so much fun. I am also enjoying Charlie, her husband. We all get along very well and I am so glad to be back in her company. It is truly a delight. I am getting to see a part of Oregon that was not on my itinerary.

There was one glitch in the plans, in regards to spending a second week. This Sunday they have family coming into town to spend the night. I have my sweet little Roadtrek the RV. This afternoon I took off to go camp for the next two nights.

12249836_925564227523865_4050253941871400085_nI am a member of Harvest Hosts. They are an organization that works with different attractions all over the United States. For my $49/year I can call ahead to different attractions (vineyards, farms) and spend the night. Tonight I am at Emerson Vineyards in Monmouth, Oregon. I am camped behind the barn for the night with Miss Elsie the Cat. It is so nice here. I am out in the country. It is quiet.  While it is raining outside I am sitting inside writing this blog. 1614519_10152171414074326_1764785442_o

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Tom, owner of Emerson Vineyards

Emerson Vineyards is a small family run business. I have met Tom the owner and investor. He is very laid back and nice. Not only is he knowledgable about the wines he also was a wealth of information on the local area. I went to a wine tasting this afternoon and now have 3 bottles of wine and a bottle of yummy port sitting on my countertop. I like this type of camping.

I am so glad to know I have friends, similar to Kat all over the United States and Canada. Often my visits coincide with my need to be social and be in other’s company. My visit with Kat is very well timed. We have known each other for so long, there is an ease between the two of us. We share a history and it makes it easy to be in her company. Right now I am enjoying that ease.

Today I am thankful for organizations such as Harvest Hosts that add adventure to my life.

Today I am very thankful for my forever friends. They bring such joy to my life. Today I am thankful.

img_3971Hi everyone, Miss Elsie the Cat here. I finally got Janet’s permission to post to my fan club.

This little house on wheels must be a permanent thing. Janet doesn’t mention going home. This must be home. I am still adjusting to this. I miss my outdoor space. Janet tries hard to give me time out. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. I also have to be on a leash. What’s with that? I remember last summer I had to be on one. It really isn’t that bad, I just don’t want Janet to know it.😏

Have I told you that there is are two dogs traveling with us? They seem OK but I am keeping my eye on them both. I don’t think any cat should trust dogs too much. When they ride in the Roadtrek with me they are either in a small green thing called a Playhouse or up front. So far this has worked out. I still keep my eye on them because I have to be ready.

One morning I was outside on my leash and the dogs came by. I ran for the bushes. Thank goodness for those big green things. I blew my tail up larger than it has ever been before. I was ready to “mean business” if I had to. Thankfully Janet and Cat kept us apart.

img956725Cat, another human, keeps coming in and out of my new home. I am not sure about her. She smells like those two dogs. She keeps trying to be friends, my eyes get big and I am not quite sure about her. I did celebrate our arrival into Oregon with the two humans. They had champagne, I took one sniff of it and decided the it wasn’t for me. Now if it had smelled like fish….

Rolling

Rolling

I have done some traveling, for a little kitty. I will have to make a list sometime of all the places I have been. As long as Janet is around I am pretty good with that. I like when I go outside and smell interesting things in the grass. I think it must be like catnip because I get down and roll and roll. I also like the dirt and sand to roll in, too.

Birds fighting over fish

Birds fighting over fish

I am still not sure of all the water and the people and the animals around. I like watching the birds. They are quick and it makes them fun to watch. One day I saw some seagulls fighting over something in the water. Janet says it was food. They were squawking and fighting.

Janet and I seem to spend more quality time together in this small house on wheels. I like that. I like it when she sprays my scratching pad with cat nip. At night while she sleeps I play with the small super balls she bought for me. I would like to say, I hope I don’t keep her up but, I am a cat, so I really don’t care too much. Maybe if she is up, we can play.🙃

Time to get back to what is important. I think it is time for a nap under the sheepskin, after I check on those two dogs.

To the Sheepskin

To the Sheepskin

 

Elsie, A Little Cat Exploring a Big World

Elsie on the road Again

Elsie on the road Again

Wow has my life changed. One minute I am in my house and the next minute Janet and I are in the Roadtrek, and living in her friend’s driveway. I knew for a while, something wasn’t right. The furniture started to disappear, everything in the house was getting spiffed up and then, just like that the house is gone and I am on-the-road with Janet.

I am glad Janet is a constant in my life. I am just a little kitty (under 6 pounds) and change is a bit overwhelming for me. Where did the house go? Why am I in the trek? Where are we going? Why?

I am a traveling kitty. Last summer I rode in this magic, mobile home for four whole months. I experienced many things and saw so much that was new. I am at it again.

Janet made sure that some of my favorite things were in this little home. I still sleep under my sheepskin every day. I have toys, and my food and treats. Even my catnip is here. Janet remembers to comb me. I like that a lot. At night I curl up next to her and sleep. Life is not too bad. Oh, I almost forgot my favorite string to play with is also in my current home.

The first part of the trip, once we left San Diego, was up the coast (I am not sure what that means but it seems to involve water and sand). The water scares me a little bit but the sand is really kind of cool. I love to roll in it.

My private patio

My private patio

Staying in peoples homes seems to be a part of travel. The first home we stayed in was big. Janet and I had our own suite. My favorite part of that house was the private french doors to our own patio. I felt safer when no one was around. I could go in and out. There was a lot to explore and if I got nervous I could run inside.

I have seen big trees, Janet says they are redwoods. I can’t imagine trying to climb one of those. It might take me weeks to get to the top. I wonder what is up at the top. I guess I will just have to imagine it.

Elsie & the Bird

Elsie & the Bird

 

 

At one of the campsites I got a close up view of a little bird.  I think it wanted me to come out and play. It may have been taunting me. It sat just outside the Roadtrek and looked in. It might have been a good meal. Janet gives me yummy food from a can and I don’t have to work for it. I guess that little birds will continue to taunt me.

We spent about a week somewhere called Crescent City. It was in those big tall trees. I thought it was going to be peaceful but then this woman, Cat showed up. I immediately liked her. How could you nor like person with the name Cat? I think I have seen her before. Right after I saw her, two dogs showed up. I know I have seen them before. They make me really nervous. I am suspicious they aren’t going away too soon.

Now I am somewhere called Oregon. There are a lot of trees and it is green. I don’t know what happened but all of a sudden I moved into house #2, with a cool back yard. Mary seems to be in charge here. She tries to be my friend but I am just a bit wary. I don’t know why we are here. It is kind of a nice break from the little home I travel in. Janet and I have a nice room and it is upstairs. It is private. When things make me nervous I run for the stairs.

I am suspicious that this nice home is not going to last. Change seems to be in the air. I am going to keep a close eye on things. In the meantime I am getting braver and exploring this house before it disappears.

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On the Move

IMG_3342Last Tuesday I started driving Miss Elsie and myself northward. I did not get far. I received an invitation from other Roadtrekers to visit them in their beautiful home in Camarillo, west of Los Angeles. I could not have had nicer hosts and now friends.

I did not stay in my RT. Miss El and I had a very nice suite within their home. Elsie really liked the door than opened to the back yard. She thought that was pretty cool and was always ready to get hooked up to her leash so she could explore. Of course, she could only do that when I was around as coyotes and hawks live in the neighborhood.

IMG_3359In the three days I was there I had an opportunity to explore, on my bike and with Jeff and MJ. Since I have lived in southern CA, it has never ceased to amaze me that I can find wild open spaces in a land lived by so many people. I biked one morning into Hill Canyon, a beautiful reserve between Camarillo and Thousand Oaks. What a delightful way to spend a morning.

Jeff and MJ also took me to the beach one evening. We sat in their Roadtrek and enjoyed a delightful dinner while watching the sunset and the birds play in the surf.

Life is certainly changing for me. It takes some getting used to and that will take time. It is OK for me to give myself the time to adjust. In the meantime it is good to explore what is out there in the world.

Here is a list of things I need to remember in my new chose lifestyle.

  • I do not need to be a tourist 100% of the time.
  • Remember to pay the bills.
  • Remember to check my e-mail.
  • It is OK to stay in one place for more than a day, in fact it may be preferable, especially on a summer weekend.
  • Do not think you can just drive to the Big Sur Coast and get a campsite on a weekend in the summer. It is not going to happen!
  • Pay attention to the news, at least a little. There is still a wildfire burning in the rugged hills east of the drive up the coast. There had been talk of closing Route 1. It might be good to know this information.
  • Always make sure Elsie is taken care of first. After all, she is the princess. On a more serious note, I want her to be comfortable so she doesn’t overheat.
  • It is OK to sit down with a good book and relax.

IMG_1476I feel so honored each time I am invited into someone’s home and life. I have discover delightful people with many varied stories to tell. I find it so interesting to share our life stories. Sometime I find I have more in common than I know and other times, I find I am just fascinated by the stories they have to tell. Life is an adventure.

I am in Monterey now. I finally found a campsite at Laguna Seca. And I am staying here until Sunday when everyone heads back into the city. It is an interesting place. Down the hill to one side is a gun shooting range. Over the hill on the other side is Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. This morning I hear gun shots on one side and cars racing on the other. I am definitely going to take a walk over to the raceway and check it out. This area sits in the hills east of Monterey. It is so nice a quiet at night and busy during the day.

After a few more posts I may be dropping the link to Facebook and LinkedIn. If you want to continue to follow my blog there is an easy way to do that. If you go to my blog https://journeysofthankfulness.com and click on “Follow my Blog” it will ask you for your e-mail address. Each time I post, you will receive an e-mail. I am considering this option for several reasons. One of the major factors is security. I will alert you before I take this step.

There are some interesting things on the left side of the page.

  • Check out the Go Fund Me link. This shares information about The James Fenningham Scholarship.
  • There is a Book Recommendations link. I added that after so people came up with their favorite book suggestions. Some of the books are my recommendation and others are from people, like you, who submitted them in one post.
  • The Favorite Website link, with one click on the website and it will take you to the appropriate web site. keep an eye on these as I will be updating this at intervals.
  • Click on Photos and it will take you to my Shutterfly and you can see the latest photos.

Well it is time to adventure on. I need to check out the car noises. Off to explore.

 

 

I Sold The Bed

 

“Today, I close the door to the past, open the door to the future, take a deep breath, step on through and start a new chapter in my life. ”

The above is a post someone placed on my Facebook page. It is very fitting for my life at this moment in time.

January 1, 2016 began with the emotional sale of my bed.

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My Bed

January 1, I sold my bed. January 2, I am not sure what I will be doing. Next week, I know a little of what I am doing. What is next in my life is still totally a mystery, but here is what I  do know. This coming spring I am planning to put my home, Jim’s and my home, on the market. I am getting ready to step through that door. Well, almost ready.

Remember a previous post “Anyone Want a Bed?” After all the emotional trauma, I continued to pursue selling my bed. I had several different offers but it was waiting for Sandy. She and her boyfriend drove, almost 6 hours to pick up the bed on Friday. And what a delightful couple they are. As we walked into my bedroom to introduce my bed to it’s new owners, I became overwhelmed. This couple was so kind, they patiently waited while I shed a few tears and then we got down to business. We dismantled the bed and moved all the pieces to their truck. And just like that the bed was gone.

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Sandy’s bed

I know I should tell you it was easy, that I was ready for it go and I am excited to experience what is next. If I told you that I would not be telling a complete truth. Selling the bed has been emotionally hard. I have found myself to be teary eyed and quick to shed a few tears since it left my home. I can’t quite define what this is about. It could be fear of the unknown, the loss of the familiar, grieving for the loss of Jim (just a little), or none of the above or all of the above or something else. Who knows. I will wait it out and know that each day will get a bit better.

I don’t regret selling the bed, I just wasn’t ready for the personal fallout from selling it. Miss Elsie the cat has had to adjust too. Right after they left she walked into the bedroom and meowed a lot. It felt like she was asking where the bed was. Funny she has experienced so much newness since I bought the RV but this one made her uncomfortable. Once I moved the air bed into the bedroom and made it up she has been fine.

As you can tell,  I do have a bed to sleep in. And if I find myself not comfortable in the bed, there is always the floor. I have slept there often since Jim died. I once heard a quote “Comfort can be found the closer you are to the ground”. I believe there is validity to this statement.

I don’t find the above to be depressing, it is just honest. I am slowly moving ahead and that is what this New Year is about for me, moving ahead. Step one is the bed. What is next?

Anyone want to buy a Lazy Boy Love Seat?

Just because I love her here is  a photo of Miss Elsie.

Just because I love her here is a photo of Miss Elsie.

 

 

Returning Home, Next trip on the Horizon.

IMG_6409It has been just over two weeks since Elsie and I came back to San Diego. I am home, I think. Living in and near my RT for the past four months makes me have to consider what is home. Elsie, on the other hand had no second thoughts about where she was. She is glad to have no leash attached to her halter.

Returning home for me is always a bit hard. I seem to feel a bit in limbo for a while after a trip. I am not home and I am not away. Where am I? I am not always sure. That is OK. And then there is the yard work…well I just won’t go there.

Miss Elsie, Rolling

Miss Elsie, Rolling

I have been asked if I had a great trip this summer. I am not always sure how to answer this question. Some of it was absolutely delightful and fun. Other times were different. When everything was running as smooth as a well oiled machine the traveling was fun. Most of my days were filled with interest yet there were times that I felt lonely and sad. I missed Jim and his companionship. And…maybe he was traveling with me but it is not the same as having him there in person.  Miss Elsie the Cat helped a lot with the lonely part.

Someone recently called me a road warrior. In some ways that can really describe any of us who take to the road for adventure. I see a warrior is someone who is always ready for whatever the circumstance. This is good and maybe, some times, a bit hard. I see it as vigilance, where I can never let my guard down. Does being vigilant not allow me to relax? I am not sure.

I do believe that I handled myself well in most situations. Stress since Jim has died has been a constant companion. I did’t invite it to be my companion yet for right now it seems to be. I have decided since the end of this trip that I want to handled unexpected situations a bit better. It is just hard sometimes.

There were so many wonderful places I saw. I am glad I traveled the distance I did to tour such wonderful unknown places. There were so many highlights it is hard to list them. Here are a few that stand out:

  • IMG_0423Hells A’Roaring Horse Round-up. This was so much fun. I love horses. I love the west. I love cowboys and cowgirls. For a weekend I got to be a cowgirl and it was fun, REALLY FUN.
  • Traveling through the Nebraska Sand Hill Country.
  • Discovering all kinds of campgrounds, Fairgrounds, Town Parks and parking behind the visitor center.
  • Visiting with my friend, Helen and her husband, Norb in Fish Lake, Indiana.
  • Zoe’s and Kay’s wedding.
  • Traveling to the Roadtrek RV mothership. I was treated so well.
  • Making new friends in Michigan and Penetanguishene, thanks to the Roadtrek Facebook Group.
  • Fourth of July at the lake in NJ. Visiting my family and long time friends.
  • My niece’s wedding. I am not always a fan of weddings. This one was truly fun.

    Loons-can you see the baby?

    Loons-can you see the baby?

  • Hot air ballooning and kayaking in Queechee, VT with more long time friends, Diane and Tom.
  • Chasing loons. It was a major photo shoot for loons. I love them.
  • Visiting with Missy and Dan at Moxie Lake in Maine. I got my very first Zumba lesson. Cool.
  • I really, really liked New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.

 

Mary, a meeting on the Cabot Trail

Mary, a meeting on the Cabot Trail

  • Meeting a long time friend unexpectedly  on the Cabot Trail.
  • Exploring the Cabot Trail and camping on the ocean was a delight. The National Park on Cape Breton was beyond delightful.
  • Anything on the Cape Breton end of Nova Scotia was fun.
  • Biking, kayaking, walking, hiking…well you get the idea.
  • Driving west on the Trans-Canada Highway. Beautiful ride.
  • Meeting so many interesting people along the way. I hope that some of us really do stay in touch. Barbara, hopefully you are reading this.
  • Finally feeling brave enough to go to southwestern Colorado and camping for two nights on my land.

    Colorado Land

    Colorado Land

  • The last week I traveled through southern Colorado from friends to friends to friends. There is nothing better than being able to get hugs and good conversation. I really love all my friends.

Now I am home. I have finally culled the photographs. If you want to view them, click on the link below.

Roadtreking Photos, 2015

Travel is healing for me. I love getting out in nature and I really like exploring places I have always wanted to see. I enjoy meeting new people and learning.

Now I am home. I was hoping that this summer might clarify life for me a little. I am not sure it did. That is OK. Sometimes I get impatient so I am learning patience and enjoying the journey.

I am grateful today for traveling there and back again, safely and mostly happily. I am grateful for everyone who continues to support me. Thank you.

My adventures will continue and you are always welcome to come along. This blog will continue.

Stay tuned for more adventures of Miss Elsie and Janet.