Well…it’s been a while since we’ve traveled turtle style (taking our home with us).  We have had our RV on our property in Oregon since the middle of June. And before that we were stationary in Oregon for almost 3 months at Tom’s brother’s property- which is less than 5 hours away. That means we’ve only spent a few hours on the road in the motorhome since we switched to our newer, longer, RV. So leaving the driveway today felt almost as big as when we hit the road full time three and a half years ago. We are back to being travelers. Yea!

Yes, stupid covid is the main reason we haven’t been traveling. We have lots of friends that have done just fine while keeping mobile, but for us traveling and sight-seeing lost its allure when things started shutting down. We enjoy museums and visitors centers in parks and we didn’t want to go places where we could only enjoy part of the experience. So we haven’t been traveling.

But it was time to leave. Time to head south for the winter like the snowbirds we’ve apparently become. We took down the bird feeders, battened up all the hatches, and said goodbye and good-luck to all our plants.

Then Tom locked the gate for the winter. We left the lot this morning in a chilly 38 degrees. Yes, the weather is a-changing.

We have had such a great time this summer. Until this last week the weather was perfect nearly every day. We had several friends and family members come and stay with us on the property, so we didn’t feel incredibly left out of our social life. But now we are ready to see family for the holidays and meet up with our wonderful friends in the warm and sunny southwest. Looking forward to getting back on the road again.

Another reason this time heading out is a lot like a new adventure is because we have not been boondocking in our new rig – at all! Yes, Tom got us solar ready and we are prepared with extra fresh water and black tank contingencies, but it is all relatively untested.  We have been enjoying full hook ups for a long time now. I haven’t even been to a laundromat in seven months! Now we (I) will be re-learning water conservation and reduced energy consumption.

And Tom will be learning how much more difficult it will be to drive a rig that is eight feet longer. Going straight doesn’t seem any different but the turning radius sure is!

As we rolled down I-5 through Medford, we saw the fire devastation from last month.

So on our first day of travel, Tom put in seven hours behind the wheel, and we left the state of Oregon for the first time in seven months (in an RV). We plan on visiting with family in California and are making the long drive in two days. Luckily Tom only had three hours of driving on the second day.

We overnighted at a Harvest Host spot not far off of I-5. It was a lovely little organic farm called  Moonbeam Farms where they grow lavender and loofahs. We took the farm tour this morning before we left and it was surprising to see where loofah sponges come from: A vine in the cucumber family and when the fruit is picked early it is called Asian Okra and is edible – as are the flowers. When the fruit matures and is left on the vine to dry, it is harvested like a giant seed pod. Then it is peeled and processed and becomes a loofah sponge. All organic, all natural.

We also learned about varieties of lavender and how tough the weather has been on the crop there the last two years. First with flooding, then with excessive heat. Farmers are a tough lot!

We made our purchases in their gift shop – which turns a “free” overnight stay into more money spent than we normally would, but we are happy to have products to show for it and more than happy to support their cottage farm.

Then it was on to Oakdale to see the grandsons. We stayed at our “usual” place at the Woodward Reservoir, where we brought the boys to visit in our “new” RV. There is no touching the water allowed this time of year, but they had fun throwing rocks in.

We got to take them to the parks, and out to lunch, and out to Daddy’s ranch.

Then it was time for Casen to turn four! We were so happy to be there to be part of the celebration.

And three days later it was Halloween – so we got to carve pumpkins and go trick-or-treating with them.

We had a blast in our all-too-quick time there, now it is time to head south to see more family.

We are easing back into being full-time nomads.

Happy Travels,

Peace & Love, Joy