Monday, July 28, 2014

July 28 - Monday.

Wow! July is almost gone. Actually it's only been 2 weeks since we arrived home from our wonderful vacation. Lon finally had his doctor's appointment last Monday after it was postponed. He got his bone strengthening shot (Xgeva) but his chemo was not started as we had expected. The doctor wanted to do another set of scans before starting the chemo. So......Lon had the scans done Friday. He goes in tomorrow to get the results of the scans and to start the chemo. We are expecting it to be IV and to get it once a week. Will know definitely tomorrow. Please keep him in your good thoughts for tomorrow. He's not looking forward to it at all.  He's feeling pretty good except he tires easily. Loves his naps!
Last night we had a line of severe thunderstorms go through, dropping a good bunch of rain. We sure needed it. But today is gorgeous. In the low eighties and not humid!! I know California would very much like to have some of that rain. Wish I could send some their way.
No new pictures to take unless it would be of a pile of laundry :-)  More later when I have an update.

Monday, July 14, 2014

July 14, Monday

Yesterday was a very lazy day for us. Lon slept a good part of the day. He needed to get caught up on his naps! I put away stuff, did laundry and took a short nap also. It is really dry around here. The lawn looks like California. But the cornfield next door is doing well. It was maybe 18" tall when we left. Now it's taller than I am. 

All day today we have been under a severe thunderstorm WATCH.  There was a line of storms that went through Middle Tennessee today but most of it missed us. We did get a little rain. In fact, it's raining now when I let Cricket out.  Still warm but they say the temperatures are going to be lower for the next few days. And the cicadas are back - noisy tonight. 
I was looking at our 2 pine trees in the backyard today. They were little living Christmas trees that we used several years back before we planted them. A year apart.  They have really grown.

Lon's doctor's office called today and has postponed his appointment until Monday, July 21. The medication wasn't going to be available tomorrow. So.......we could have stayed away for more days!!! Actually, it's good to get caught up on our rest. We had such a good trip and have so much to talk about and remember. Good times!! 

Saturday, July 12, 2014

July 12, Day 34, Saturday HOME!

We left the St. Louis, MO. area this am. Actually, we were in Lebanon, IL. We drove through more beautiful country -southern Illinois. We went east to Mt. Vernon and then drove south on Hwy 57 to connect with Interstate 24 north of Paducah.  There is a fabulous quilt store in Paducah - Hancock's of Paducah.  Can't go through Paducah without stopping at this store!!! I got several pieces of fabric, most of which were on sale being end of bolt pieces. there were so many beautiful fabrics! Hard to control myself :-)
We got home about 5:30pm, very tired but very happy and thankful to be home. Cricket was over-joyed!! She looks healthy and happy.  She had good care while we were gone. Took a while to get the car unloaded. It was very warm in the garage and we had a lot of stuff in the car!!
Lon did well on the whole trip. He is tired tonight but is doing OK. He held up well for all the miles we traveled - 6352 miles!! We have a very dirty car with bugs from several states.  It's nice to see the gas prices at $3.39.  California prices were as high as $4.13+. 
We had a wonderful trip. A lot of wonderful memories to carry with us.
Thanks to all who helped make our trip one to remember and to those who helped keep our home going while we were gone including taking good care of Cricket.
Lon has a dr. appt on Tuesday. He will get his bone strengthening shot and prepare to start chemo. Hoping that he will tolerate it well.
I have enjoyed writing about our trip and hope that those of you who have followed us enjoyed reading about the trip. I will try to occasionally post about updates on Lon's health but probably won't be a daily posting at this point. Thanks to all of you for your comments.  Carol and Lon

Friday, July 11, 2014

July 11, Day 33, Friday

Almost home!! We have about 5-6 hours of driving left. We are in Lebanon, Illinois just outside of St. Louis. We are staying in a Best Western Inn. Not a handicap equipped room so not as big as manythat we have been in. The one last night in Junction City was huge.  This morning as we left Junction City we tried to find one cemetery that my great grand parents are buried in. Never could find it. So drove out in the country 5 miles looking for the other one with great grand parents. We found the cemetery and I found my grandfather's brother and his wife my grandmother's sister. Was unable to locate my great grandparents Tracy tho. The markers would be very old and maybe aren't even there. I did find some very old markers but not for Tracy. But it was worth the drive out there. The countryside was so beautiful with green gently rolling hills.  I sprayed my feet good with bug spray before tromping through the grass. Didn't want any chigger bites!!!

 On the way out of Junction City we went by Ft. Riley, an army base.  the eastern part of Kansas is much different than the western part of the state. It was green hills and many trees. Very pretty.
We made it through Kansas City without too much traffic. That place is enormous. It goes on forever! We arrived in Columbia, MO around 4pm so stopped at a Texas Roadhouse for dinner. Had the BEST steak we've had in a long time. Columbia is Nascar driver Carl Edwards' home town. 

Since we had eaten early and weren't too tired we drove through St. Louis and on to Lebanon, Illinois. We should be able to make it home in 5-6 hours tomorrow. Lon will probably sleep for a whole day!!  He is breathing better now at the lower elevations.  Gets winded some with exertion but not nearly as bad as in the high country.
It's been a wonderful trip filled with lots of memory-making events. We've seen a LOT of people, and a LOT of different places. Can't believe a whole month has passed. Will try to post tomorrow after we get home and settled. Take care. Nite.   The moon is gorgeous. Almost full!!
P.S. I forgot to mention that we have gone from 8% humidity in California to 84% here tonight.  Can sure feel the change!!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

July 10, Day 32, Thursday

We left Denver about 11am. We have a hard time getting going in the mornings!! Lon was feeling the altitude. We took Interstate 70 east for 506 miles. We saw thousands of acres of corn and wheat, lots of oil pumps?, and many,many wind mills.  Some wheat has just been harvested. It was quite windy but a very clear blue sky. They had bad thunderstorms go through the area last night but was nice today except for the wind and being near 90. Here are the pictures that I tried to post last night. The picture of the pronghorn was in the lobby of the motel in Evanston, WY.

The Colorado sign was at a rest stop. A family was taking pictures of each other in front of the sign so I offered to take a picture of all of them together. They were happy with that. 
Tonight we are at a Hampton Inn in Junction City, Kansas. This is the town where my father was born in 1889. I'm sure it was a very different town then. But the area is very pretty. Gently rolling hills. Everything seems to be green. I have some family members buried here so hopefully tomorrow we will have time to visit a couple of the cemeteries so I can take pictures of their grave markers.

It's looking like it will be Saturday before we get home. We are still 10 hours driving time away700 miles. Lon is breathing a little better at this lower altitude. We are at 1100 feet now rather than 5000+ feet that we have been for a couple of days.
No pictures from today. Saw several cars from California. A couple of them pulling U-hauls. Moving?
I was talking to my sister the other night about my visit with the CHP in Chester and she said that they are being very aggressive in pulling people over. They aren't unpleasant - just doing their job!  Upsetting some of the locals and not setting well with a lot of the tourists.  Not that it made me feel any better.........but at least they weren't just targeting ME!!
Time to turn out the lights! We lost an hour today. Went back to Central Time.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

July 9, Day 31, Wednesday

Today was a long travel day. We left Evanston Wyoming at 11am. It is near the Utah border so we drove across Wyoming to Laramie and then went south to Denver which is where we are tonight. We saw lots and lots of beautiful country. Much of it we saw going to California but it looks so different coming back the other way. Here is a picture of a pronghorn that I took in the motel this am. This is what Lon saw yesterday. Today we saw a couple of different groups of them quite near the highway. We also saw a herd of elk a little distance from the highway but distinguishable.
Well, I guess I can't upload a picture. It won't go.  Will have to add the pictures tomorrow. They have free wifi - they didn't say fast wifi!!!
The trucking industry is alive and well on Interstate 80 across Utah and Wyoming.  There were very few passenger cars most of the way until we hit the Denver area. But there were a ton of trucks!!!
There were storms in the area that we could see but we never ran into them. Hopefully we won't run into any of them tomorrow. Looks like there are storms across Kansas on Hwy 70 where we will be going. UGH!! But the car does need a good washing.  Lots of bugs and dust. 
We are at the Best Western Inn at Denver International Airport. but the airport is a few miles away. They shuttle people to the airport from here. We both are tired tonight. Lon is sleeping already.  I'm going now also. Sorry about now pictures tonight. Take care. <3

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

July 8, Day 30, Tuesday

Today was a GOOD day!! We left Winnemucca, NV about 10 am and headed east. It was already warm and going to get hot. But the air conditioner in the car works great so no worries. Some pictures of Winnemucca.


 A Methodist Church across the street from the Winners Hotel and Casino. We didn't eat breakfast before leaving so by the time we got to Elko we were ready for lunch. Had a nice lunch at the Red Lion Hotel and Casino. We played about 10 minutes after eating and won enough to pay for our lunch and have some left over. It was pretty warm all the way across Nevada and Utah. It was 100 crossing the salt flats. Saw some mirages that made the landscape look surreal! Made mountains look like they were floating. We hit Salt Lake City at the end of rush hour, needing to fill up with gas. Took a chance on an exit and lucked out finding a service station. No signs. And got back on Hwy 80 headed east without problems. Thank you Siri's sister :-)
By the time we reached Wyoming it had cooled to 88. We saw some of the most beautiful country. The area around Park City, Utah was gorgeous.  We could see where there are ski slopes in the winter time. And some enormous homes!  
We are staying in the same motel and same room that we had on our way to California. We are in Evanston, WY at the Best Western. I went to the restaurant and got take out dinners. The elevation is 6700 feet so Lon was conserving his energy. He did pretty well with his breathing. Only got winded a couple of times. This is a picture in the lobby of the motel.

Lon kept saying that he wanted to see some wildlife as we were driving. He actually did get to see a live antelope as we entered Wyoming.
So far we have travelled 4600+ miles. Only about 1600 more to go unless we take any side trips!  I'm headed for bed. We are on Mountain Time now so lost an hour. Not sure where we go back to Central Time. More tomorrow if possible. Nite all.

July 7, Day 29, Monday- Day of Departure

This has been an emotional, difficult day but we have made it to Winnemucca, Nev. to stay for the night. We wanted to make it to Elko, NV but got a late start and were too tired to go farther. We started out the day saying goodbye to Lon's sister Dee and Mom Velma. We have been with them off and on since the 23rd of June. We had a wonderful visit. Was hard to leave. This photo was early in the morning and they didn't want their picture taken so I warned them it would be on the blog so not to be ugly!! They did good.  :-)
We went to Chico and stopped to visit Lisa and part of her family. As always, goodbyes are hard. Had a nice visit with them. Then left to get the car washed before we took off. Had gotten a free car wash when we had the car serviced at Toyota. So we drove clear across town just to find out the car wash was down for repairs.
So we left Chico for Lake Almanor to see my sister Jackie and her son and his girlfriend and family. The trip up Hwy 32 was beautiful as always. Deer Creek is low but still pretty. Had a little road construction but didn't have to wait long.

There is a rock formation that is visible in one spot on the road. We always say hello to Smoky!! So had to take his picture this time. Bye Smokey!!

Once in Chester, we stopped at a favorite restaurant, the Pine Shack Frosty.  Apparently a favorite of a lot of other people as well because they were VERY busy! They have great hamburgers, and the best milk shakes - many, many flavors.  We met Jackie et al there and had lunch and visited for a bit and then left for the start of our trip. About 5 miles out of town I was stopped by the CHP. He gave me a ticket for speeding!! UGH! Like I said at the beginning of this, it's been a difficult day.  So he took off ahead of me.  A ways down the road, he was stopped on the other side of the road and after I passed him, he pulled out and followed me a long way. It didn't go over 55 after he stopped me, but there were several other cars that passed me just before he pulled out behind me the second time. It didn't seem to bother him that they were going over the speed limit. Maybe he didn't like the out of state plates!!  Maybe my getting stopped had a purpose - to make it a little easier to leave CA!! Anyway, the rest of the day went fine. When we arrived in Nevada the speed limit went to 75 so I was good with that!!  It was windy and some dust was blowing, and temps 100 across Nev. We had a good dinner and Lon is sleeping already. I will be right behind him. Not sure how far we will get tomorrow. Will be glad to get back down to lower elevation. Probably won't make that tomorrow tho. I need to get my feet up. Between sitting for hours, the heat and the elevation, my feet are quite puffy. Plus restaurant foods are salty.
Tomorrow will be a good day!!

Monday, July 7, 2014

July 6, Day 28, Sunday - Last Day in California

It's time to head home already. We had a very nice day visiting with some family before we hit the road. Our grandson and his family drove about 100 miles to visit one more time. A special treat for us. Eric, Nicole, Triton, and Tiana Cox.  Was sure good to see them.  They are cuties!
One of Lon's cousins and his wife, Mike and Denise Olivera,  also stopped by to say goodbye. They brought us a wonderful  "care package" to take with us on our trip home.  A very sweet thing to do for us. We have enjoyed seeing them again this trip.
For dinner we had to have Round Table Pizza - a favorite of ours. Nothing like Round Table pizza!!! Chicken and Garlic Gourmet .   YUM!

Laundry is done, bags are packed almost, everything is ready  to load in the car in the morning. We plan to stop by Lisa's house in Chico to see her for a few minutes, get the car washed, and head to Almanor to see my sister, Jackie for a few minutes and then on to Reno and hopefully Elko by tomorrow evening. We have decided to go back on Interstate 80/70. Will decide if we are going to go down to Oklahoma City and go in on 40 or continue on 70 to St. Louis, etc. A few days before we have to make that decision. Hate to leave here but will be good to get home. Just hoping the weather holds until we get to Tennessee!! Stay tuned for more updates......... .......:-)

Sunday, July 6, 2014

July 5, Day 27, Saturday

What  fun day we had today. We drove up to the westside foothills to visit Lon's cousin, Mavis and her husband Glen. The hills are a golden brown. Even the star thistle is kind of dry. But it's pretty with the oak trees, cattle resting under them to avoid the heat. Almost all of the small creeks are dry. The valley has a haze of smoke hanging over it. Several wild fires are burning. Below is a picture of the hay bales as they are in California. In the background you can barely see Mt. Lassen. No snow visible on it. It's the bump on the mountain rim.



Mavis fixed a nice lunch for us. I'm glad I didn't eat breakfast before we left home. After our visit, we drove around the countryside a bit looking at ranches that had belonged to Lon's family in the past. We also stopped at the Paskenta Cemetery to take pictures of a few grave markers. It was 101 deg so we didn't stay out of the car for long.
We came back to Corning to stop at the Olive Pit store and shop at Safeway briefly. A stop at the casino in Corning to gamble a little and have a light dinner. Then home to sister Dee's.
Lon didn't get a nap in today so he was tired by the time we got home.  So he is in bed and I'm going there just as soon as this finished and uploaded. One more full day here before we start our trek home. Lon said this am it is "sweet and sour" - meaning bitter sweet LOL!! It will be good to get home but is difficult to leave family and friends and familiar areas.
Nite all. 

Saturday, July 5, 2014

July 4, day 26, Friday Happy 4th of July!!

Another beautiful and dry! We had a wonderful lunch today. Natalie (Lon's daughter) and her mom came for lunch. We had crab louies made with fresh crabs from Ft. Bragg. We bought them the morning that we left there. They had been caught the day before. Getting towards the end of the season. It was so good!!! Haven't had fresh crab since we left California. We also had a beautiful fruit (melon)  salad. They actually had good melon flavor.

Lon's sister, Dee; Natalie's mom, Sue; Lon's mother, Velma. Natalie was hiding!  We had a nice visit.  Then Lon took a nice long nap. Everyone has gone to bed so I will too soon. Can hear fireworks going off in the neighborhood.
Hope everyone had a special 4th of July. We did. Time is running short before we have to leave. Trying to decide which route to take home. The elevation in Wyoming didn't agree with Lon too well. But there is elevation no matter which route we take to get across the divide. It looks like there might be a lot of construction on I40. Oh well, we will get it figured out before Monday - Departure Day. 

Friday, July 4, 2014

July 3, Day 25, Thursday

This am I went to Chico to do some genealogy research and to get some groceries and take pictures. I didn't find out what I was looking for. Unfortunately the people that know the answers to my questions have all passed on. Wish I had asked my questions a long time ago.  I did visit the cemetery where my parents are buried. Today is their wedding anniversay.
Here is a picture of the high school that my kids attended a "few" years ago.

Back to Orland.  Had a good dinner of spareribs.  Going to need to go on a diet when we get home. Only a few more days left before we have to head for Tennessee. Not really looking forward to the long drive home. Hope we don't run into any wild fires.  With the holiday weekend coming up, there will probably be more fires.  Already several going.  Everything is so dry it's inevitable. More tomorrow after our crab lunch!! Nite all.

July 2, Day 24, Wednesday

Time to hit the road again. Of course, it's a beautiful day. No fog this am. Blue skies. Makes it hard to want to leave. We have enjoyed being here so much. It's so relaxing. Have seen LOTS of tourists, many from foreign countries. This must be a destination for many Europeans, back packers, hikers, bicyclists, etc. Lots of outdoorsy people. We enjoyed some time at McKerriker State Park yesterday. Here is a photo:

The tide was coming in and the kids (and big people) were having a wonderful time playing! We left the motel about 11am and drove down the coast towards Mendicino. Lon has carved and painted at least 2 pictures of the Point Cabrillo Lighthouse. He had never seen it so we went looking for it.  After a couple of wild goose chases we finally found it. It looks much smaller in person than we expected. We had taken a picture off of the internet for him to do the carving. Here is a picture of the real deal and his leather picture.


Then we headed for the hot valley. Didn't take long to reach 90 degrees. In 30 miles we were over the mountain and headed for the heat. Also the smoke......there was a wild fire not too far from where we were. Didn't actually see the fire but sure could see the smoke. I was visible throughout the whole valley. Couldn't see the mountains on the east side - the Sierras and the Cascades.   We arrived at Dee's house about 5pm.  A good trip - a lot of traffic headed for the coast and cool weather for the long weekend. We bought freshly caught salmon before leaving Ft. Bragg so we had baked salmon for dinner. The best I have ever tasted. It was so mild but flavorful. Wish we had gotten more. We also bought 5 Dungeness crabs to have for lunch on the 4th. It's pretty much the end of the crab season so we were lucky to get some nice crabs.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

July 1, Day 23 Tuesday

It's overcast in Fort Bragg. Lon is tired so is resting while I go and shop at the quilt store and mini mall. When I finished, he was ready to drive around a bit. We visited his cousin, Sue. Surprised her. Had an early dinner at the Wharf again. Had halibut tonight. Was very good. Enjoyed watching the fishing boats come in from their day of fishing.

It's so peaceful listening to the ocean. It's chilly - low 60's. 50's at night. Needed a jacket. Tomorrow won't need one in the valley tho.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

June 30, Day 22, Monday

We have made it to the west coast. As far west as you can go. We left Woodland this am and drove through the Capay Valley to Hwy 20 to head for  Ft. Bragg. We saw more beautiful country. Lots of orchards - many almond orchards, walnuts, olives, prunes; lots of vineyards, big sunflower fields, some lavender, safflower, and lots of star thistle!! After we got on 20 we found many areas that have recently in the past cpl years burned. Sad to see.  The vegetation is quite dry and it wouldn't take much to start a fire again. There are many Cal Fire buildings with trucks standing by. We saw a herd of buffalo that was interesting. Clear Lake was beautiful. It's very big. was like glass on much of it but not many boats on it. Not sure why. Looked perfect for skiing. It was 100 when we left the valley, got up to 106 at a couple of points until we came to Willits. It's 33 miles from Ft. Bragg, but a mountain range divides it. We drove through redwood trees and other evergreens on a winding road. Took an hour to go those 33 miles and when we reached Ft. Bragg it was 60 degrees. It was warm in the sun but as soon as the sun went down, it was down right chillly. Wanted to have the window of the motel open so we could hear the ocean but it's too cold. We had a great dinner at the Wharf tonight under the bridge in Noyo Harbor.  Will post pictures tomorrow. It's getting late and I'm tired and ready to sleep. Need to transfer pictures from phone and camera to computer before I can post them.
It's been a good day seeing and remembering the times we have visited here.  First time was 22 years ago. Same motel...........It's always good to be at Ft. Bragg.  And they have a quilt store here!! 
Nite all. <3