What a whirlwind!

What a packed week! It’s hard to believe all the places that we’ve driven to and things we’ve done, since the end of the last blog (only 12 days ago)!

From Washington, we drove south to southern Oregon to a town called Jacksonville. For only 1 night there. It’s located between Medford and Ashland, Oregon. Our AirB&B was like a little cottage, it was adorable!

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We found a little wine bar there and did some wine tasting that evening. The next morning, on to Middletown, California, to another AirB&B for 2 nights. Long driving days. We thought we would be closer to Napa and wine tasting, and were a bit disappointed in the limited wine tasting opportunities. It IS September, and not high tourist season, so many of them were only open on the weekends. We did find a vineyard and ranch, WAY out into the mountains, called Six Sigma Vineyards (seemed like it took us forever to get there, on dirt roads!). It was pretty good wine, but that’s the only one we found.

Next stop…on to Lake Tahoe where my good friend, Sandy, lives on the north side in Incline Village, Nevada. We had a wonderful 2 days with her. We visited the city of Genoa, Nevada, which boasts of having the oldest bar in Nevada. Of course, we had to check it out with a beer!

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After visiting Genoa, we headed to Gardenerville, Nevada, where many of the “Basque” sheepherders settled. Apparently these shepherds came from the basque region of Europe (from Wikipedia: Ancient DNA cracks puzzle of Basque origins: DNA from ancient remains seems to have solved the puzzle of one of Europe’s most enigmatic people: the Basques. The distinct language and genetic make-up of the Basque people in northern Spain and southern France has puzzled anthropologists for decades). I never knew this was a completely separate European culture! Early Basque immigrants to America were for the most part single men who came seeking sheepherding work. Many arrived by railroad, with little or no English language skills. For this reason Basque hotels and their restaurants were frequently located near the train station, and some of them still are. Mostly are located in the Northern Nevada and central valley of California. So Greg did a google search and found J.T.s in Gardenerville.

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The granddaughter of the original immigrant still runs the restaurant, and she came over and talked to us about the Basque culture. 

So dinner went like this, it was served “family style” with a bottle of local restaurant wine included with dinner. They first brought a large bowl of homemade soup and a ladle to help yourself. After the soup, they brought a pork and beans dish and an ox-tail stew. AMAZING! OH, and a salad. Then we each ordered a meat: sirloin, lamb, chicken or stroganoff. Sandy and I each ordered the lamb, and Greg had the stroganoff. AMAZING! Oh, the homemade wine was pretty darn good too! THEN, to top it off, ice cream for dessert, and coffee. The entire meal was a very nominal fee, and we took leftovers for Sandy’s dinner the next day. It was an amazing experience! And highly suggest if you ever have a chance to find a Basque style restaurant, TRY IT! Here’s the link:

JTs Basque restaurant

From Sandy’s in Nevada, we drove the long day to Logan, Utah, to visit and stay with Gregs high school friend, Tony. What a desolate drive! On one stretch of the desolate road, we were running low on gas and was hoping and praying that we’d find a gas station! Well, we did, but it was still pretty desolate out in the middle of no where!

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Our final long day arrival in Logan, Utah: a rewarding, beautiful sunset.

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During our stay in Logan, Greg and Tony (and his dog Keno) hiked Logan Canyon, and we all 4 (Greg, Tony, Keno and I) hiked Providence Canyon. Beautiful area.

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Toto didn’t care all that much for Keno, she’s a big blood hound with lots of energy and just wanted to play with Toto. After a while, although she was curious, she left Toto alone.

Finally, we moved on to a more permanent location. From Logan, UT, we drove to Superior, Colorado, which is maybe 10 miles from Boulder, CO. During our drive, we drove through snow-not fun! I guess I got my “snow fix”!

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We will stay at this AirB&B for the next month, visiting Jeni and family, and getting in lots of hikes. Today, we hiked to Gem Lake in Estes Park (trailhead):

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It was a great “saunter”, as John Muir would put it, with amazing views of the snow covered mountains.

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We had lunch at Gem Lake.

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As we were leaving the parking area of the trailhead to Gem Lake, we noticed all these cars parked on the side of the road! There was a huge herd of elk hanging out under an area of trees! The bull elks were moving around and bellowing. It was pretty cool to see. Not too sure these photos do it justice, but here they are:


After Gem Lake we found a little local microbrew, Cut Rock Brewing Co. in Estes Park, for our celebratory glass of local beer, it was pretty darn good!


Finally, I found a cute little Yoga Studio in Boulder, “Yoga Loft”, where I’ve signed up for the next month (unlimited classes).

It feels good to stay in one place! I don’t think we want to do anymore 1-2 overnighters. I think in the future, we will stay in one place by the month. It’s nice to just unpack and and be “home” for a while.

 

 

 

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First week adventures…

We left MN on Monday morning. The back of the CRV full, the roof carrier full of pretty much all our belongings that we will be living with the next 6-7 weeks, when we return to MN.

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Drove to Rapid City, South Dakota (uneventful drive), and Tuesday we drove to Bozeman, Montana. The snow-covered mountains were beautiful!

 

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From Bozeman, we drove a LONG 11+ hours to make it to our first Air B&B in Mossyrock, Washington. Our Air B&B is located in a very secluded, very quiet area.

Mossyrock is a very small town. We chose this location because it is 1.5 hours south of Mount Rainier, and 1.5 hours north of Vancouver, Washington (a place we may consider buying property at some day). Mount Rainier is where Gregs brother, Geoffs, ashes are. In 2015, the family spread his ashes there (Geoff passed away in 2012, very suddenly. He lived in Olympia, WA and loved Mount Rainier).

So first order of business after arriving in Washington, was to get our Washington Drivers License, and register to vote. So on Thursday, we headed to the Drivers License office located in Lacey, WA (just outside of Olympia). SO…..as I’m standing at the counter the lady looks at me and says, “your drivers license is expired”!!! WHAT??? Yep, it expired on my birthday this year. I never got a reminder in the mail, but then again, we were in the Caribbean until April, and it probably got forwarded to Kenny, or Kenny never got it. Well, that’s water under the dam, now I need to get this fixed. How? you ask? WELL!! I needed to go to a driving school (located 6 block away, thankfully), and take both the written and behind the wheel tests! YEP! Can you believe it! Well, it had to be done, I couldn’t be without a drivers license (as it was, I’ve been driving for 4+ months without one!). So, I take the written test, got 9 wrong (could only get 8 wrong to pass), so I had to take it AGAIN! At the instructors availability and she was busy. Needless to say, I passed with only 2 wrong the 2nd time. THEN I had to take the behind the wheel test, again, at the instructors availability. So, this was a all day affair, but I passed, then had to go BACK OVER to the Drivers Licensing office to get a drivers license. That went easily enough. But what a day that was!

The next day, we drove to Mount Rainier to visit Geoff. We drove first to Paradise Inn at the base of Mount Rainier, this was one of Geoffs favorite places. And I can see why. If you’ve never been here, I highly recommend it. It is a beautiful chalet built in 1917 without one nail. Great beautiful craftsmanship!

After having a beer there, we drove down to where we spread Geoffs ashes, had a beer for him, and had lunch. A beautiful spot that I’m sure Geoff agrees.

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The next day we drove to Vancouver, Washington, to discover the town. We rode our bikes on the trail paralleling the Columbia River, saw sailboats, and apparently they have sailboat races on Tuesday nights during the summer! Vancouver had a good feel to it, so far.

Aquataurus and Irma

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Last week we were anxiously watching the path that Hurricane Irma was taking. Since Irma left the Caribbean, we have seen the devastation she left behind on some of the beautiful islands that we had visited in the past which include the USVI and BVI. Before this, we had even considered sailing up to the USVI and BVI in the coming sailing season. But now, I don’t think they’ll have the resources for sailors, let alone their own population. That being said, we will probably stay in the southern Caribbean this coming season.

As you can see from the map above, Antigua and Barbuda were in Irmas path and were some of the hardest hit islands, with 90% of the islands destroyed. So Irma’s path was further north than where Aquataurus is located on the island of Martinique. We feel very lucky! We have sailing friends down in the Caribbean that we have been in touch with, and they are safe. There are others who have not fared as well, loosing their home/sailboat (but they are safe). We pray for those sailors as well as the locals who inhabit the islands. They count on tourism for their livelihood, so this will be difficult for them to rebound from. Below you can see Nanny Key in Tortola on the BVI, before and after photos. Total devastation. We’ve been here years past.

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As we inhabit our home for the last days of our time here, we look forward to travel in the US, visiting family and friends before we return to Aquataurus for a few weeks in November and December, back to the US for Christmas, then for the sailing season in January 2018. The hurricane season lasts until the end of October, so we continue to watch the weather. Until next time…

 

Ok so I’m having an emotional moment

As I sit on our porch, looking over our gardens, I think of all the work we put in. And I’m getting sad about leaving our home. Today the buyers sign the final papers, then we will be renters in our former home, for 2 more weeks. I look at the pergola, and think about Greg and Kenny building it. I look at our beautiful waterfall and think about our friend Marv building it. I look at our pavers of the patio and think of our friend Dave laying them. I look at our home and think about Greg and I designing it, 18 years ago, and contacting (our now friend), Todd, to build it. 

I think of the animals that have passed through our yard! Just this morning! Ben the bunny (I named him/her). Have seen him/her a few times this week.


Can you find him above? He’s at the end of the waterfall.

So many memories, so much love. I look at all my flowers, plants, and think about planting them.  I look at some of the plants I got from my mom, and think about her, and bringing them home from her house and finding a place to plant them. I look at the water lilies in the waterfall and think about getting them from my sis, Tammy.

Wow, yea, this is an emotional blog, but it’s an emotional time for me right now, as my final days in our home are limited.

BUT, life moves on, and the next adventure is about to begin! I will always hold a very special place in my heart for this home, the place where Greg and I started our life together, built together, nurtured together and grew in love together.

So, until next time…

Update!

So we have a private showing on our house for sale on Saturday, and an Open House on Sunday! Let’s hope this results in some offer activity!

I’ve also updated my professional website (lnwellness.com) and have included some download links on the “Yoga” tab, and hope to add more soon! Also check out my yoga classes there! Yesterday was International Day of Yoga and I taught 2 classes, my regular Wednesday morning Senior Yoga and another to the staff at the local prison. Both were amazing classes!

Looking forward to a vacation/holiday out west the end of July to mid August! Time with grandkids and being in the mountains! Stay tuned!