Big Sky

Once again, I’ve been out of town. I’ll call it a pseudo-vacation of sorts. We flew to Montana for the entire week. Donette was working, I was just along for the ride so to speak. And by “ride” I mean car ride; We put in a lot of windshield time. As usual I’ve already forgotten everything we did. I really need a notebook or something. I recall we flew into Missoula, and out of Billings… All the cities between have escaped me though. There were a lot of them too; Besides spending the first weekend in Missoula, we went to a different city every day. Speaking of Missoula, I couldn’t help but notice it was roughly the same population as this gawd-forsaken-place I currently reside in. Despite being the same size, there were countless places to eat, and even several big-name concerts going on. Why is that? We have zero decent restaurants, and about 3 horrid cover bands that take turns annoying me. WHY?!?! Donette reasons that Missoula is an actual city, whereas EDH… “isn’t.” I’m not even sure what it is, a town? Whatever. Annoying. I guess we could move to Sacramento, but honestly it isn’t a whole lot better from what little we’ve seen of it.

Random ranting aside, I enjoyed the trip. It would probably be worth a repeat visit, especially if she didn’t have to spend the whole time working. Of particular note was Glacier National Park. Unfortunately all we had time to do was drive through it, but even that was pretty spectacular. I’m not entirely clear why it’s called Glacier Park, I didn’t see any stinking glaciers, despite being plenty cold for some. I could probably figure that out with a little reading…. Nahhh. Having just come from Yosemite Park, I would say it was favorably comparable. Definitely would like to get back there some day, maybe even in the motorhome. Of course I snapped a gajillion pictures as always, but they just don’t quite look the same as seeing it. We drove by Yellowstone park also, but didn’t have time to veer off course to that one. Another trip to be made, I guess.

Still Going…

For somebody that complains about a constant state of boredom, we sure have been doing a lot lately it seems. This weekend, we dumped the puppies on some friends and headed out of town (barely) to a Bed and Breakfast called Saluti Cellars in nearby Somerset. We had purchased a certificate to stay there at a fund raiser a while back, and finally got around to using it. As in, QUITE a while back, I was a little surprised they even honored it, but luckily they did. We made it out there Friday, got settled it, and headed out to dinner at a place called Gold Vine Grill. That was definitely one of the highlights of our weekend, I would have gone back the next night if it had fit in the schedule. The dinner was great, and reasonably priced. You rarely see either of those qualities at any of the restaurants near us, and definitely not both at the same place. It was a night-ender though, we were both so full we could hardly move. The bread pudding dessert may not have been the best idea, but it was worth it.

Saturday we did the “wine country” thing. We only went to two different places and tasted, but loitered quite a while at each. We’d gone up enough in altitude to buy us about a 10 degree cooler temp, so we mostly just enjoyed being outdoors without roasting. We put the top down on the car and did some driving around the winding, hilly roads too. I liked that immensely, Donette not so much. Hey, I don’t get to drive my car very often, I get carried away sometimes. For evening entertainment, we went to a party they were having back at the B&B. It was maybe something of a forced attendance; They had about 100 people show up and a pretty loud band, all right under our bedroom window. Hey if you can’t beat ’em… It was a good time though, we most likely would have gone anyway. Not like we had any better plans.

All-in-all, we were definitely for the place and I imagine we will go back. Really the only downside, and it was not that big of one, was that our loft or whatever you call it was right over the barn. We enjoyed watching our animal neighbors all weekend, but for whatever reason in the mornings the horse stall was a bit… “pungent.” Not overwhelming, but not pleasant. This little drawback was outweighed by having an incredible pool right next to us, great breakfasts in the morning, and fantastic views all weekend.

And More Travel

Well that was a much-needed vacation last week. We’ve had a trip to Yosemite scheduled all year, and it finally got here. We took off in the motorhome Monday afternoon, and made it as far as Merced where we parked for the evening in a Costco lot. It was… Tolerable. Factored into that rating was the camping cost, a grand total of zero. That came with a few caveats though, mainly the issue of triple degree heat and parking on blacktop. Wow it was hot. We loitered in Costco for quite a while enjoying their air conditioning, but when they closed it was back to the hot box. We finally had to turn on the generator in the middle of the night and run the a/c, it was too hot to sleep.

Tuesday we got up early, gassed up, and headed for Yosemite. It was nice to break up the drive a bit, because once we got in the mountains it was brutally slow going. For all their conveniences, the motorhomes just ain’t no sports car on the road. We got there though, in about double the time google maps quoted. We got all set up and went to enjoying the park, and were soon joined by our friends Ed & Kim. They’d flown into southern California for a wedding earlier, then rented a motorhome and drove up to the park to join us. For the rest of the week we did the camping thing; A few hikes, a few dinners, and no small amount of swimming in the river to cool off. The campgrounds were rather… “rustic” so we didn’t have any a/c. Seems to be a thing out there I guess. The views were great though, and the price was definitely right.

Overall a great trip, we both want to return. Probably in the fall sometime, when it’s cooled off a bit and hopefully isn’t so crowded. The new vehicle performed admirably aside from a few “quirks” which I guess just come with a twenty year old motorhome. We dropped it at the shop when we got back home and hopefully some of them will get worked out. Worth the drive for sure, even at the cost it takes to fill that beast up. We watched “Free Solo” when we got back home, and it was pretty cool to see all the places we’d just been. (And also a little nauseating watching that guy climb that rock… Holy smokes. That thing was huge.) Need to be quicker with the cameras too; We saw lots of cool wildlife but missed it all. We even got to see some bear cubs, hated missing that shot!

Travelin’

We are out cruising around the country again. I’ll probably keep things brief for myriad reasons. For one, I’m typing on my iPad which is a pain. For another, we’re hunkered down in a Costco parking lot in our motor home and I’m afraid of missing out on some action. Not sure what action happens in a Costco parking lot but I don’t want to miss it when it does. I just hope we don’t get rousted in the middle of the night by The Man, telling us to move on. I’m not entirely clear on the rules of motorhome slumming yet.

The weekend was relatively tame. Saturday I fired up my smoker and did a few pork shoulders for the trip we’re on this week. I got a new toy for the cooker, so I was pretty excited to try it out. It’s one of those fancy temp controllers; basically a fan that hooks up to the intake of your smoker, then cycles off and on to maintain whatever temperature you program. Overall, I call it a success. Hit a few snags, but it’ll go better next time. The biggest problem was when the battery died and the fire went out. No bueno. That cost me a few hours. Note to self, make sure batteries are charged when starting.

Sunday we hosted a brunch at the house. I feel like we’re really hitting our stride on the brunch front. We had biscuits and gravy, scrambled eggs, and bacon with not much effort or mess another couple brought some great corned beef hash so we fried some more eggs for that. Way too much food as always, but it was darn tasty. If I’d have been on my game I would have thrown together some kind of green Chile with the pork I cooked Saturday but I didn’t really think of it until everybody was gone. Oh well I’ve got several pounds in the freezer, next time.

And I’m back

And so ends my longest hiatus ever on this site. I’m sure dozens of my readers have stopped coming by and checking. I’m OK with that. Honestly I sort of thought I was just done with it. Hey, this thing has been running a long time though, it seemed a shame. Plus I just paid for three more years of domain registration. In retrospect, maybe I should have gone with the one year option. Oh well, hind sight and all that.

It would of course be impractical, if not impossible, to cover all our amazing adventures since Float Trip. Or “both of them,” or whatever. We had a few highlights; Our annual Bottlerock music festival, a few nice camping trips in our motorhome, a big BBQ party to officially unveil my new smoker… That is what comes to mind right off. I also very nearly, and very permanently, screwed up my website. I was “fixing it,” (not that it was broken, naturally,) and all of a sudden it was just gone. Quite gone. Just a blank white page where years and years of typing had been. Luckily, I have been very good about taking backups. The problem was, I didn’t really know how the backups worked… I just turned it on and left it, several years ago. Well, after some reading, I figured out how to do a restore. I picked a date in mid-May, clicked the button, and boom it was magically back. Whew. Back until I fix it again, I imagine.

I s’pose that’s about it. Another good thing, I have a lot of pictures to post. Hey, content is content. I think I’ll post a few this week, and a few next week, until I’m all caught up. I don’t want to overwhelm everybody with information overload.