Tuesday, December 27, 2011

2011 Matagorda Madness

It was time for the annual December Matagorda Madness Rally with our fiberglass RV pals. We coaxed the Wonder Egg out of its comfy new nest to go relax by the beach.

Matagorda Madness was named for the unpredictable weather that can be found this time of year. 2011's early December climate could not have been better. We thought of all our fiberglass friends who put their trailers to bed months ago for winter hibernation. Here in Texas, we were kicking back and enjoying colorful sunsets and sunrises.

The fishing fleet departed like clockwork every morning as coffee brewed in the Wonder Egg.

A friendly fiberglass village grew up at the Matagorda Bay nature Park and we were even visited by a well kept, vintage Love Bug!

What would a Texas fiberglass trailer rally be without gathering around Ranger Duke's place to enjoy his famous poppers! Those grilled jalapenos, stuffed with sausage and wrapped in bacon simply melt in your mouth. Yum!

Oscar enjoyed a romp on the beach where he could let loose and run with his pals. Here he is ears-a-flyin' and taking up his big-dog stance that he does when romping with larger dogs. I think he surprised Guinness with this maneuver.

Oscar looked down the beach, yelled "Yippie . . . there she is!" and took off running to jump up into the arms of none other than Mrs Santa Claus whom he gave an earful about all the presents he wanted for Christmas.

This fine group of people has the feeling of an extended family as we gather with our trailers, share good times and create new memories.

After the relaxing, sunsets, sunrises, poppers, and beach run, and catching up with friends, we packed up and headed for home. All the way home, Oscar kept reliving his beach excursion and asking me when we were coming back.

"Next year little dog, next year . . ."

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Pagosa Springs, Co

Hi folks, Oscar here. Pete's been too much of a slug lately to get out a post of our travels so I thought I'd catch up with them. He claims the construction of a carport for the Wonder Egg and window replacements in our home have deterred him from this task ... all I can say is "HE'S A WIMP!"

So anyway, that cool picture above is from the "Evening Illumination" of hot air balloons at Pagosa Springs this fall. Even the moon cooperated and made it into the photo ... coooool.

We met a bunch of great folks at the Pagosa Springs rally. It was a nice time meeting others who travel across the country alone in their travel trailers. What a fine group of people! I enjoyed meeting their furkids and doing the "sniff test" to see if I'd met them before.

The Wonder Egg found a nice spot to settle into during the rally.

I especially enjoyed the time down in the meadow chasing my pals. Above, you can see me on the fly as I'm chasing Foxy who thinks he can get away from "Super Dog!"

Look at the surprise in his eyes as I overtake him and cut off his path. HA HA!

Down in the meadow, Jim had a great setup for his Casita. Green lawn, beautiful spruce trees. blue sky dotted with puffy white clouds, all next to a mountain stream. Rough life, Jim!

There were lots of cool things for folks to do at Pagosa Springs. Old style locomotive rides were a huge winner. Pete chose to take the time to get his out his kayak on the local lake and go fishing.

Not being much for fishing, I hung back in the Wonder Egg and napped along with "Flat Weezul" to the sounds of a rushing stream.

The Wonder Egg felt right at home next door to a 1963 Avalair.

As evening came, retro music would emanate from the silver palace, drawing me, inexorably, towards it's door. I knocked and met our neighbors, Rob and Lori, who I partied down with while "Pete-the-slug" stayed in the Wonder Egg watching a documentary on "5000 Years of Chinese History" . . . What a loser!

Here are a couple more pictures from the balloon activities around Pagosa Springs this year.

Hope you enjoyed my blog, sorry "Pete-the slug" has been so slow posting this time. I'll try to get him to do better. Wish me luck . . . LOL!!!!!!!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Uncle Whisker Britches

Getting home today, after another epic summer trip on the road with The Wonder Egg and Oscar the Smiley Dog. The Tacoma passed a milestone yesterday as 100,000 appeared on the odometer. It's just about broken in and has been trouble free . . . what a great tow vehicle. Oscar especially enjoys the back seat area which folds down flat. He has his crate, a comfy bed, food, and a driver who hauls him all over the country at his whim . . . sheeesh!

We were out in the middle of nowhere and Oscar says "Hey Pete, there's Wilson Arch! Uncle Whiskers told me all about it." So we pulled over and Oscar proceeds to tell me all about the area and the wagon trains that passed by here so long ago. He had such vivid detail, I told him he was just making it all up out of thin air.

He then reaches into his wallet and pulls out an old faded photograph of his great-great-great uncle Whisker Britches who was a guard dog on a chuck wagon that crossed these parts so long ago. Oscar says canine oral tradition is very strong in his family and he swears it's all true, every bit.


Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Journey's End

Members of the Louis and Clark Expedition pulled their canoes onto this beach on November 15, 1805. After 18 months and more than 4000 miles of travel, the Corps of Discovery finally looked across the broad mouth of the Columbia River and onto the Pacific Ocean. "Ocian in view! O! the joy" William Clark writes, "Great joy in camp. We are in view of the ocian, this great Pacific Octean, which we have been So long anxious to See. and the roreing or noise made by the waves brakeing on the rocky Shores (as I Suppose) may be heard distictly." Remaining here 10 days, Louis and Clark scouted the area, making detailed maps such as this one displaying the camp's location.

From a high overlook on the north shore peninsula, they could look far out into the ocean.

Imagine their exhilaration at poking their dugout canoes into the never ending expanse . . .

Today, a lighthouse stands guard over the rocky point jutting out on the northern shore.

Food being scarce and the wind being fierce on the northern side of the river, they moved south and set up encampment at Fort Clatsop to winter over into 1806.
Today, the fort is maintained as a learning center where you can imagine their living conditions and hear the roar of a muzzle loader they used for hunting wild game.

Alas, our journey is over . . . what a wonderful group of friends that participated along the way. Thanks, Judy, for having the vision and putting together this memorable trip! To all, safe journeys wherever you go and may we meet again along the road . . .


Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Taming the Columbia

Mt Hood rises on the horizon in the vicinity of a particularly difficult stretch of the Columbia River for the intrepid Lewis and Clark team. Before The Dalles Dam was built, the river plunged over the Celilo Falls and cut through the Narrows or Five Mile Rapids. For more than 10,000 years, Shahaptin and Chinookan people lined the shore and braved the currents while plunging dipping nets into the massive runs of fish. On October 22, 1805, Clark writes "We arrived at 5 Large Lodges of Nativs drying and prepareing fish for market . . ."

More recently, a series of large hydroelectric dams have harnessed the Columbia's energy and tamed large sections of this once roiling river. The Bonneville Dam is one of these behemoths, backing up the water where it is used to drive the electric turbines and for pleasure. Here's a riverside park favored by local windsurfers for its steady, firm winds.

Rising waters have covered many artifacts of previous civilizations. Some local petroglyphs, removed from there original locations which are now underwater, are on display at Columbia Hills State Park on the Washington side of the Columbia.

The Rolling Rally settled in at Memaloose State Park to see the sights. Nearby Memaloose Island was use by the Chinook as a respectful burial site for the departed. The islands name comes from"memalutz" which, in the language of the Chinook Indians, means "to die."
Lewis and Clark landed on the island in 1806 during their return journey up the Columbia and counted 13 structures full of bodies.

To be continued . . .

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Walla Walla

Wandering Wayfarers Wheel into Walla Walla Washington's Wally World

Sorry. I just couldn't help myself . . .

Lolo Pass to Dent Acres

The Lolo Trail was the northern route across the rugged Bitterroot Mountains used for centuries before Lewis & Clark by Native Americans of the West. The Nez Perce traveled east to the great plains and the buffalo. The Salish used the trail to reach the Lochsa river and fish for salmon.

During our crossing, we slept to the gurgling sounds of a babbling brook at Lolo Hot Springs campground. What an excellent nights sleep!

On sept 13, 1805, Lewis and Clark camped nearby at Glade Creek. Here's the open field where they struck camp. Their horses were tethered o the meadow below.

L&C passed these immense cedar trees as they navigated down the pass.

Many years later, Bernard Devoto would sit amongst this cedar grove as he edited the Louis and Clark Journals.
The giant cedar sentinels have been here many centuries as men have made their way below them through the wilderness.

The Eggs gathered in the Powell Ranger Station parking lot to gather local information.

Oscar snapped a picture of this foreboding caution sign. He missed the first one of these, which said 99 miles!

But those winding, descending curves were nothing like the ones to Dent Acres State Park. The steep grade made it imperative to use caution for hot brakes. Approaching the park, we crossed a lovely suspension bridge spanning this mountain lake.

Here's Oscar, standing guard over the Eggs as they relax on the hill overlooking the lake.

To be continued . . .