Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Decompression.....

7:55 am - Wednesday - August 5th - Coeur d'Alene, ID - 64° F, 68% humidity, wind 5 mph out of the east......clear, blue, warm skies today with a forecast high of 91° F.  On this day in 2013 we were having brews and a late lunch at Flathead Lake Brewing Company.......↴


After all the socializing Sunday and Monday we were quite happy to just be home Tuesday decompressing.  We both love socializing with friends and family....it's the best, but it does wear us down.  I spent about an hour out on the 'Lido Deck' cleaning a couple of months of dirt and dust off my Haibike SDURO, but that was the extent of my physical activity. I had considered going for a ride, but by the time I finished cleaning the bike it was getting hot, and time to retreat to the Newell interior, and turn on the A/C.  We are almost through this hot spell, but by the time it ends we will be on the move westward once again.

Most of the rest of the day was spent reading, and awaiting notice that my new 1upUSA bike rack had been delivered.  We have used a Kuat bike rack for years, but with the purchase of our new eBikes, and their much heavier weight we decided we needed a heavier duty bike rack.  When we were in Keystone visiting our friends Rich and Marnie, who also have eBikes, we saw they had bought a new bike rack for the same reasons.  It is made by 1UP-USA.com, and is designed to handle bike tires up to 29", and up to 50 lbs. per bike.  Our Kuat does not handle tires over 27" well at all, and you can tell the weight is testing its limits......



.....we were so impressed with the design and functionality of this bike rack that we ordered one directly from their website.  They have become so popular that they were on back order for about 3 weeks.  We knew we would near my sister, who lives in Spokane, near the end of that time so we ordered it.  We got the notice around noon time it had been delivered to my sister's home, so we will drive over to Spokane Wednesday to get it.

We are currently in Kootenai County, Idaho where there have been 14 deaths over the past 5 months, and 1,633 confirmed cases over that same period of time.    So, obviously, the hospitals in the area are not, and have never been overwhelmed, and life goes on pretty normally.  We, obviously, continue to be asymptomatic, and frankly I would be surprised if we were not.

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Tuesday, August 4, 2020

The Crown Jewel......

7:30 am - Tuesday - August 4th - Coeur d'Alene, ID - 62° F, 67% humidity, wind 3 mph out of the east.....clear, blue skies today with a forecast high of 87° F.  On this day in 2016 we were having coffee and pastries at Alpina Coffee Cafe in South Lake Tahoe......↴


We have stayed in Coeur d'Alene twice before on our nomadic travels....2012, and 2013.  Each time we spent time with college friends George and Brenda.  Shortly after our recent arrival I contacted Brenda letting her know we were in town again, and would like to see them while we were here.  Within a few minutes I heard back from her suggesting we drive with them up to Priest Lake Monday to spend the day motoring around the lake on their party boat, to which I responded in the affirmative.  

Priest Lake is around a 1.5-2 hour drive north....it is referred to as 'Idaho's Crown Jewel'.  It is about 19 miles in length, 3 miles wide at its widest, and over 360' deep in places making it wider, and deeper than Lake Coeur d'Alene.  George and Brenda picked us up in their 2015 Jeep SUV around 10:30 am to begin the drive north.....our destination.....Elkins Resort where their daughter and husband would pick us up in the party boat.......


....Elkins is at the midway point between north and south, and a perfect jumping off point for a 3-4 hour cruise......I'll let the pictures tell most of the story.......


 George driving, and Brenda in the background


 The party boat

 George keeping us on course




 Hill's Resort where we ate dinner...we had a table on the lawn


 Dinner at Hill's Resort - Left to right: Moi, TLE, Brayden, Jenka (daughter of George and Brenda), David, George and Brenda

My beef dip with kettle chips.....yum!

The beginning and end of our cruise

I think this sign sums it up

......we first cruised north to the cabin at which David and Jenka (son-in-law and daugther of George and Brenda) were spending a few days with their 16 year old son Brayden, and then south to Coolin (south end of the lake), and around Kalispell Island (accessible by boat only).....a very popular tent camping destination.  By the time we finished circumnavigating the island it was close to 5 pm, so we headed directly to Hill's Resort for dinner.  We managed to snag a table on their lawn area large enough for 7 people, and settled in for a delightful, early evening dinner with our hosts.  I chose their 'Beef Dip' with kettle fries chased with an local amber ale.  The conversation continued unabated for the entire day, and by the time we arrived home around 9:30 pm TLE and I were beat, and ready for bed.....nothing like fresh air, sun, endless socializing, and a day on the lake to put you into sleep coma, right?

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Monday, August 3, 2020

Closure.......

6:35 am - Monday - August 3rd - Coeur d'Alene, ID - 60° F, 58% humidity, wind 5 mph out of the south by southwest......cloudy today with a forecast high of 84° F.  On this day in 2014 we were at South Lake Tahoe for the summer....our long time friend, Claude, dropped by TVC for an overnight stay on his way to Oregon.......↴


As you may recall, my mother, Virginia, died at age 90 in April, but due to the lock down over the Wuhan virus, no one but my sister, her husband, their two daughters, and the fiance of one of their daughters was allowed to attend the funeral.  Instead the rest of us attended the funeral virtually via ZOOM......




.....even though I understood intellectually that my mother was dead, and buried it did not bring closure.  I kept thinking I needed to call her, and then would remember she died.  For some reason it was not real to me.  At any rate, Sunday we drove into Spokane to my sister's home, and then we drove over to the cemetery where she is interred to visit the grave site.....

 TLE and Hilary placing flowers at the grave

.....there is no headstone yet as in Washington State the making of headstones was considered (then) to be a non-essential business, but now they are once again open and making headstones....we should have my mother's sometime in September.....




Standing in the shade courtesy my brother-in-law, Bob

.....the trees around the grave site had limbs down to the ground back in April making it impossible to stand in shade when you might visit on a hot day, so Bob, with the permission of the grounds keeper removed many of the low hanging limbs to create a shady area in which to stand......thank you so much for your kind consideration!

Bob and I drove to the cemetery separate from TLE and Hilary.  Why?  Well, a couple of years ago Bob acquired a 1957 Austin Healey 100, and he had promised me a ride in it when we came to Spokane.  As a bonus he let me drive it home.......

Bob's 1957 Austin Healey 100

......it has a 4 cylinder engine with a 3 speed stick.  The wire wheels are chromed, and the car is immaculate.  This car was owned and restored many years ago by my other brother-in-law, Elliott (married to my sister Jill).  When he died of cancer a few years ago Bob bought the car from my sister as she was liquidating Elliott's estate.   Bob took me on the round about way home, and before long we had covered over 15 miles of beautiful winding, hilly roads......what a beautiful machine!

We arrived back at their home in time to see the final 3 holes of the current PGA tour event (St. Jude Classic) won by Justin Thomas in the end....defending champion, Brooks Koepka, came in second.

We had a wonderful dinner with Hilary, Bob and their daughter Stephanie....the wide ranging conversation continued unabated until after 8:30 pm when we decided we needed to begin the 45 minute drive back to our home in Coeur d'Alene.  Now I have seen my mother's grave, and now it is real, and now I have closure.

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Sunday, August 2, 2020

Why life is good......

7:00 am - Sunday - August 2nd - Coeur d'Alene, ID - 58° F, 81% humidity, wind - CALM.....clear, cool, blue skies today with a forecast high of 90° F.  On this day in 2012 we were in Seaside, OR having lunch at U Street Pub.......↴


.....the view this morning.........↴


Saturday is an easy day about which to write.....we got up, I delivered my daily missive, I fired up the new Sea-B-Que to test it, and burn off anything left over from the manufacturing process......



.......I installed a new, longer stem on my Haibike (perfect, by the way), took a test ride on the Haibike, watched PGA Tour golf, read, took a couple of random naps, went to Home Depot to by another light fixture for the trailer (another one bit the dust....they must be talking to each other), stopped at the local Fred Meyers for a few things, around 6 pm inaugurated the Sea-B-Que by grilling some salmon filets, to which TLE added sauteed green beans, onions and potatoes.....


......watched another Hallmark movie, and went to bed.........that was our day.  

The other day I wrote that we took a 'vacation' from our 'vacation' when we spent two nights away from the Newell at Rock Creek Cattle Company, however, I was just playing around.  We are not really on vacation.....we are just living our lives in an RV as we reposition from one locale to another around our great country.  There are days when we go out for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, or simply to see the local sights, and others like Saturday when we just stay home.....kind of like living in a sticks and bricks home, but so different because we can change the view out our front window without going through escrow, or breaking a lease.  No one geographical location has a hold upon us.  When it gets too hot, like it has lately, we decide to head further north, but we have gone as far north this year as we can legally do, so the next and only other option is to head westward to Coastal Washington.....not exactly a bad second choice.

We depend upon Miss Serendipity to change up our Jello plans from time to time, and hope Mr. Murphy does not visit too often, but the one constant is we take what comes in stride and keep moving forward.  We always have a general travel plan in mind, but are always open to changing it up when the mood strikes.....sometimes we'll stay longer in one place than we had planned, or less time....nothing is written in stone.

A lot of people, especially those who have lived in one place for years, and years with set routines, have a difficult time adapting to this nomadic lifestyle, and many never do.  It is not for everyone, and we know that.  It is not a good, or a bad thing, but just what is.  It took me about 6 months at the beginning to adapt mentally to being on the move every few days, and a couple of years to finally slip into just living in the moment, and not thinking too far ahead.  There are still times when I slip back into my workaday thought processes, but TLE pulls me back.  After 9.5 years living full time in the Newell, and 8.5 years traveling hither and yon we still, almost daily, remark how much we love, and enjoy our tiny home with wheels.....we love the simplicity of our life, and the multitudinous 'ah ha' moments we encounter on a weekly basis.  Simply put.....life is good, and I don't just say that....I mean it.

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Saturday, August 1, 2020

Calypso......

7:54 am - Real Saturday - August 1st - Coeur d'Alene, ID - 70° F, 57% humidity, wind 7 mph out of the south by southeast.......partly cloudy today with a forecast high of 87° F.....much better than 100° F!  On this day in 2017 we were hiking Busen Peak in Yellowstone National Park.......↴




Man, it is time we headed for the coast, and cooler climes.  This time last year we were living in the sweltering summer climate of Ramona, CA. I was going to work at 7 am to beat the heat, and we were living half our day in air conditioning.....dreaming of cooler weather.  This summer we're not working, and still find ourselves in the occasional heatwave, but not a summer long sentence of daily oppressive heat, and we are mobile, so in a few days we will do just that....head for the coast where daily highs are in the 60's and 70's.

After finishing my daily blog post we jumped in our still freshly washed VW and headed to Calypsos Coffee Roasters over on Lakeside Avenue, down by the Lake Resort for coffee and breakfast.  When we were last in Coeur d'Alene we stayed for a month, and visited Calypsos a number of times.  We love the cool, funky vibe then, and were hoping it had survived the 7 intervening years......




......this place is full of old couches, and breakfast sets....it kind of feels like the interior of a high end furniture thrift shop, and we love it.  Good news, the cool, funky vibe lives on.....being that it was after 9:30 am on a Friday morning the place was mostly empty, and we pretty much had it to ourselves.  There is an alfresco seating area (see background of the picture below) where you can sit outside and have a view of Lake Coeur d'Alene.....


....which is just a block distant.  Yelp gives Calypsos 4 stars on 107 reviews (ours being the most recent)....we are at a solid 5.

Over the past few weeks we have ordered a few things on eBay and Amazon to have delivered to my sister's home in Spokane, plus my son, Chris, had forwarded an envelope of mail, so we headed to Hilary's home after breakfast to pick up those packages, and mail.  One of the packages was a NEW Dickinson's Marine Sea-B-Que.....the one we have been using for the 12 years we have owned the Newell is 38 years old, and has worn out.  We have loved it so much that we had to replace it with a brand new Sea-B-Que......




......it is pretty much the same BBQ, but with some improvements in the design.  At $319 this is the most expensive BBQ I have bought, but why make a change when you know you're holding a winning hand, right?  With the acquisition of the new Sea-B-Que we now have replaced every major appliance (except the A/C units) in the Newell....to recap:

1) New Dometic toilet - December 2019
2) Newer Dometic refrigerator - February 2012
3) New Norcold refer - June of 2020
4) New Winegard automatic satellite dish - October 2019
5) New Sea-B-Que - July 2020
6) New built in electric heaters (3) - March of 2013, and September 2014
7) New Girard Tankless water heater - March 2020
8) Newer Honda 2000 portable generator - January 2019
9) New LED light fixtures over sink, and vanity - September 2019

The afternoon temps got over 100°, and stayed there until after 7 pm.  Needless to say we spent most of the afternoon inside the cool confines of the Newell, but around 8 pm I went out to unbox, and setup the aforementioned new Sea-B-Que.

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Friday, July 31, 2020

Pacific time.......

8:30 am - Friday - July 31st - Coeur d'Alene, ID - 72° F, 48% humidity, wind - CALM......clear, blue skies today with a forecast high of 100° F.....our first triple digit day this summer.  On this day in 2018 we were dining at Beale's Lobster Pier in Southwest Harbor, ME..........↴

 Lobster Rolls and Allagash White.....

......the best Belgian White ever made!

I was up shortly after 6 am Mountain DST (really 5 am Pacific DST) in anticipation of an 8 am departure....very early for us, but needful since the high temperature for the day at our destination, Coeur d'Alene, was going to be 97° F...we wanted to arrive while it was still in the high 80's.  True to plan we exited the KOA around 7:55 am, and were soon floating westbound on I-90.  At about the 6 mile mark we got off the Interstate to pay the rent at the local Love's truck stop where we took on 110 gallons of diesel at $1.87/gallon....this will be the least expensive diesel we see until we pass through Washington State, and into Oregon.

We were warned by our friends Richard and Rhonda that there were numerous construction zones standing between us and our destination, and two of them were quite lengthy.....

The cone zone

.....we made good time in the light traffic, and soon we were at the halfway mark....Haugan, MT checking out the 50,000 Silver Dollar Bar......


....we stopped here back in November of 2008 on our first long Newell trip to my sister's home in Spokane, WA for Thanksgiving.  I actually bought a silver dollar back then.

Just past Haugan, MT is Lookout Pass, and then the Idaho border......



....where we re-entered the Pacific Time Zone for the first time since March 3rd of this year.  After Lookout Pass we had just one more pass to slip over.....4th of July Pass standing at just 3,069' above sea level......


 4th of July Pass - all that stands between us and Coeur d'Alene, ID

......the first view of Lake Coeur d'Alene (just past Wallace, ID)....not far now......



.....the last time we were in Coeur d'Alene in the Newell was September of 2013.  Then we stayed for a month on the banks of the Spokane River at River Walk RV Park....we got winter rates then ($440 for a month), but now their winter rates do not begin until October, and their weekly rates right now are $325, so we opted to stay at the Coeur d'Alene Elks Lodge #1724 for $20/night.  They have a 30 site RV park in the back of their property providing 50 amp electric, and water.

We arrived around 11:30 am Pacific DST, and were set up in site #11 shortly thereafter after paying for one week.....



.....this is a tight 'cheek by jowl' park, but very quiet.....we are about 4 miles off the Interstate here.  Once we had backed our 62' into site #11 I quickly connected the shore power, while TLE turned on both A/C's to cool the hot interior.  The high temp hit around 5 pm, and then it finally began to cool, but oh so slowly.

We spent the rest of the day staying cool inside the Newell....I took a long nap to make up for my early start to the day, read some, and napped again.  We had a subtle sunset around 8:25 pm....about an hour earlier than the past couple of months whilst we resided in the Mountain Time Zone.....


.....thanks for stopping by!

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