Day 1196 – Back on the Road

First of all, David survived his overnight backpacking trip. In fact, he was really quite the happy camper when he got home.  I will let him fill you in on the details, and he has some great photos. Hopefully, he will write his own blog post soon.

Today, we started our annual Eastern trek.  We first watched the Newcastle United vs Arsenal English Premier League match on TV because Hannah was in attendance.  Didn’t really expect to see her on TV, but wanted to see what she was seeing on the pitch.  She did send pictures from the sponsor suite, and really enjoyed the VIP treatment.  It reminded David and I of our first date in the CalFarm suite at Arco Arena all those years ago.  And while Hannah had a chef make her a special vegan entree, David had to settle for a hot dog bun as his vegetarian option at the Kings game in 1989. Certainly is a good example of how eating habits have changed over the years.

We had a lovely visit with our friends Anna and Louis, and got our quick goodbyes in before they headed out for a walk around the lake; David grabbed a picture of them just before we left.  They head back to Canada next week.

Anna and Louis
Anna and Louis

I gave Anna the last of any soap that I was still holding onto, so I am really motivated to get a new batch made.  Perhaps when we stop in Texas…

I have to brag about this couple a little more.  Anna made both David and I the most lovely hand warmers.  Check them out:

Hand Warmers by Anna
Hand Warmers by Anna

These are going to keep us toasty in Maine, that is for sure! And you notice those jars on the counter? Well, they contain goodies like apple sauce and a berry syrup that I can’t wait to put on pancakes.  Yes, I get spoiled by friends on the road, just like I did at home on Markham Way.  Life is good, I tell you!

After we visited the dump station and filled with about 60 gallons of water, we headed to Highway 8, and after a short drive (by RV-travel standards), we parked at RoVer’s Roost, a SKP Co-op park outside of Casa Grande, AZ.  This no-frills park offers dry camping spots for a deal: $5 for the first night, and FREE for the second.  We are going to drive into the Phoenix outskirts to visit some friends for the day tomorrow, and we wanted to be parked someplace secure, so this park is going to be great for that.

Upon setup, we chatted with a lady named Georgia, whom we happened to meet in the dry camping area of another Escapee park called Jojoba Hills.  I guess we are just destined to run into people we have met along the way, since we are now in our 4th year of RVing.  It does just blow me away by how small the world is, though!

Tomorrow will be a busy day, so I will just sign off with this – dinner was quick and easy, and I really need to get to a Trader Joe’s, Winco, REI…oh, hello civilization! I feel a shopping fix coming on.

I’m glad that we could have this chat,

Nancy

Our Route Today:

Day 1194 – Individual Projects

The day started with a surprise rain storm.  It is one of those things that happens rarely in the desert, but we have been witness to it at least four times this season.

Our day was spent inside getting our place in order, preparing to leave, and with a few projects.  David has been planning to hike up one of the nearby peaks, and did indeed head off around 4 pm today.  He had his backpack loaded with water, food, a tent and sleeping bag.  Yes, it is a solo overnight hike, and as I type this at 12:50 am, he is up on some mountain, and I suspect he is getting more sleep than I am.

I really encouraged him to go.  One, because I think it is important that he see that he can still do these things on his own.  We do so much together, and this trip is proof to me, too, that his health is good, and that it is OK to not be hovering around him all of the time.  It is strange to be alone for so long, though.  I am sure that I will eventually get tired enough that I fall asleep, and then morning will come, and he will return with tons of pictures and stories.  It gives me a chance to update this post, too, which is something that I have been struggling with.  Time, energy, focus, structure – these are all my unstructured-life challenges.

For my project today, aside from burning a bunch of personal papers that I have sorted through and logged into Quicken, and after I made some muffins for David to take on his trip, I had a new soap project to complete. Here are the carrot/apple/raisin/walnut muffins I made:

Muffins!
Muffins!

David would tell you that they needed more spice, and that they could have cooked a little longer.  I will tell you that this did not stop him from eating them.

Now, for the soap project.  About twice a year, Brambleberry (a soapcrafting supply company) has a “Soap Swap”, where one signs up to swap 10 bars of soap with other soapcrafters.  There are only so many soapers to get into each swap, and I was lucky enough to get into this one.  I have been wanting to try something called “rebatching”, so today was the day to do it. Rebatching is taking a batch of previously-cured cold process soap, and remaking it into something new.

I started off with taking the unscented soap that I had on hand, and shredding it:

Shredding Soap
Shredding Soap

I purchased this shredder at the local Thrift Store for 50 cents!

Next, I put the shreds into a pot:

Makeshift Double Boiler
Makeshift Double Boiler

And melted it down slowly over a 2 hour period.

I then added a fragrance, and put it into a loaf mold.  Next, I topped it with some dried rose buds:

Soap Toppers
Soap Toppers

 

I am hoping this texture on the soap calms down a bit, and that it doesn’t turn out to be a globby, flaky mess!  If it doesn’t turn out well, I will have to make a different batch of soap for the swap, and that is not in my travel plans for this weekend!

The daylight part of the day was wrapped up with a lovely sunset, and a text from David that he had made it to the top of the mountain.  I looked for him, but couldn’t see him.  Honestly, I don’t even know for sure which peak he was going to.

Sunset View
Sunset View

I am sure David will have lots of photos to share tomorrow.

As for me, I binged on many episodes of “Hot In Cleveland”, ate a vegan Boca burger for dinner, and am letting the cat sleep on the bed.  Seems like an all-around good wrap up of a day.

I’m glad that we could have this chat,

Nancy

Planning Our Path East

Our time of living life leisurely parked in the desert of Arizona, living off the grid, is rapidly drawing nigh. We must pack up our things, store Hannah’s car, and start heading towards the East Coast of this lovely land.

We are in the planning stages, and this is what we have so far:

Our timeline:

Sunday, March 21: Meet up with friends outside of Phoenix, AZ for a bike ride and some bingo!

Tuesday, March 24: Overnight Hike in Saguaro National Park (http://www.nps.gov/sagu/index.htm)

Travel towards Texas – plans open, but we have a deadline…

Thursday, April 2: Annual exam Dr appointment in Buda, TX (scheduled)

Friday, April 3: Annual Neurology appointment in Houston, TX (not yet confirmed)

Hopefully spend the next few days visiting with family in the Austin area.

Then, head on up to Tulsa to see Kit and Tamara.

From there, we will head towards South Hadley, MA to see David’s parents and sister, then head to our job in Bar Harbor, Maine.  Our expected arrival there is the last week of April.

At least, that is what we have planned right now.  We do reserve the right to shake, rattle and roll, boogie woogie, or slip slide away the days, depending on the radio station and what catches our fancy as we head down the highways and byways.

I have many update posts up my sleeve as well, so I will just say that I am working on it, and leave it at that.

I’m glad that we could have this chat,

Nancy