We’ve been so busy having fun — and with limited internet — we haven’t taken much time for blogging. So, in case you’ve been wondering what we’ve been up to this summer…
I started this post on August 15 titled “Summer Continues” but here it is more than a month later and Fall is almost upon us.
We spent most of June and July visiting family and friends in the beautiful Pacific Northwest before heading east to South Dakota.
We also did a little work. Jim cleaned a couple of inches of moss off his mom’s roof (sadly, no “before” photo) while I did some weeding and other miscellaneous projects. Jim also built shelves in his brother’s garage. Finally, a justification for carrying around the chop saw in the living room all these months!
I even got to check one item off my bucket list — a James Taylor concert! While parked on the back side of a mall, we took the bikes and checked out the nearby greenbelt along the Willamette River in Eugene, Oregon.
Our travels gave opportunity to make a stop or two at Boondockers Welcome hosts. If you travel and don’t mind boondocking, let us suggest checking out boondockerswelcome.com. We have met some very nice and interesting people who offer a place to park overnight in some lovely settings. The hosts are fellow RVers–presently or in the past–so they understand the lifestyle. Some welcomed us with an invitation to get acquainted over a glass of wine on their patio and several shared veggies from their gardens. Most even offer water and/or power; however, we only opted for power on one very hot afternoon.
On our way east to South Dakota, we stopped in Kellogg, ID to visit some of my long-time friends. It was only about an hour’s drive from Kellogg to Lolo Pass where we took a day trip and rode our bicycles on the Route of the Hiawatha. This a ride Jim has had his eye on for a long time so we were very happy our travels took us to the area.
The 14-mile trail was originally a railroad line and travels through nine unlit tunnels and over seven trestles. The grade averages 2%; downhill on the way and uphill, of course, on the way back. There is a shuttle available for the trip back up to the first tunnel, but the guy at the bike shop where we stopped to get a part for Jim’s bike suggested we bike 10 miles down and turn around and pedal back up since the bottom 4 miles are not too scenic and a little less improved. And even though I knew I was not in the best biking shape, being the competitive girl that I am, I agreed to take on the challenge. The 2% grade didn’t seem like much on the way down; one could coast practically all the way. But that mild 2% uphill climb was unrelenting. We hadn’t gone much more than a couple of miles up when my right knee reminded me that I’m not 18 anymore. Luckily, we had decided to bypass all of the informational plaques on the way down which gave us opportunity (an excuse) to stop fairly often and rest my knee. At times the pain was so intense, I had to get off and walk for a short distance. What took us about an hour and a half on the decent, took three and a half to return. The first/last tunnel is 1.7 miles long and I was determined not to stop and walk so I toughed it out and pedaled through the wincing pain, employing Lamaze breathing methods to help endure. I was barely able get off my bike at the finish line but I made it!! We were both feeling our age the next day but also felt very accomplished.
Next post…eastward bound.