Lucy Loves - Maiden Voyage
Rohnert Park,California, USA to Hague, Saskatchewan, Canada Five days-1667 miles
Plus 6 days of camping- total 1967 miles and 11 days!!! We are still friends :)
We started our journey Monday morning about 8:15am. I got to say goodbye to my neighbor Dan Howard before he left for work. We have lived in the same cul de sac for 29 years. He’s like family. My good friend Jordann Carley and her sweet daughter Cailyn were able to make it by before we drove down Lanyard Court. Remy, my fabulous former coworker from Sonoma State University and my amazing blog manager, was there to take pictures and video as we drove out of Sonoma County for at least 2 months. I’m so excited to start this next chapter of my life. I’ve lived my whole life, all 54 years and 8 months here. Born in Petaluma and moved 7 miles north when I was 18 to live in Rohnert Park. Here we go!!!!
We planned on taking a week to get back to Hague (five days). Our first stop monday afternoon was Rye Patch State Recreation Area in Lovelock, Nevada. About 338 miles our first day of driving. It’s about a 6 hour drive but we made a couple of important stops. We found our campsite about 4:30pm. We didn’t pay for the power site, it was $10 more, in the sun with no trees and the outside temperature was 93 degrees. We chose a shady spot with a short walk to the Humboldt River. In our campsite,we saw two kinds of very fast lizards that we chased but did not identify. After we set up camp, we rode our bikes around to get familiar with the campgrounds. We went up to the Dam at the Reservoir that dumps into the River. On this ride we found a nice beach on the river where we planned to have dinner. Back at the Airstream, I got some leftover pasta and a bottle of wine that my fellow pilot Alyssa Abby brought over to our engagement party. We placed our new camping loveseat in the river and dined and drank. The current was swift but I took a shot floating down the river a bit until Larry caught me. It was a great first day and a great night at the beach.
In the morning, Larry made a new discovery about our Airstream. He found out that the plugs do not work off of our battery and unfortunately he could not make coffee. I sent him up to an empty site that had power. First crisis averted! The day before, we took turns driving in 2 hours shifts. This went well, with Larry taking the first shift. We headed out of Rye Patch about 10am. We both took showers and the bathrooms were very well maintained. This was a great stop for $15 no hook ups. Next we headed to Idaho. I looked ahead on one of our many maps for place to stop that had a river or lake as it was still 90-93 degrees. We also noticed that the air conditioner in Larry Dodge truck was pretty weak ...especially on the drivers side. Some places it was better to have the windows down and funnel some air in with my hand to cool off. LOL I found a nice campground in Rupert Idaho called Lake Walcott State Park. It is in the Minidoka Natural Wildlife Refuge and it’s huge! Beautifully maintained camping and day use areas. It is a migratory lake for birds. We got a nice site with power this time. It cost $32. Bathrooms and showers were great. We took a nice long bike ride around the park. It was so green with many trails to ride but we mainly stayed around the lake. We picked out a spot for dinner on a nice little cove on the lake. When we brought our dinner and loveseat back, we sadly discovered why it’s so green. They water every night! I was sitting when the sprinkler turned on and soaked me. It was hot so I was not too upset. There was A LOT of bugs mainly by the bathroom light. I had to walk through 500 million flying bugs to get into the restroom at night. We had about 1000 flies into the Airstream too. We got then out but both of us had the hebe jebes all night. It felt like our skin was crawling with bugs when we were sleeping. We had a gorgeous sunset while we walked back to our campsite and got ready for bed. Great place if you are ok with bugs!
We pulled out of Walcott Lake around 10am again. This day I knew exactly where I was heading, Bozeman Montana. I was planning on visiting with my childhood friend and neighbor Cindy Hinson. She has lived in Bozeman for 20 years. Her mom Sharon Hoberg is my second mom…..the one that has the 1997 Chevy Corvette that I get to drive when I’m back in town. I just love my second family! We split the driving again. Larry first, then me for 2 hours, then we do one hour shifts to we get there. We made the usual 2-3 stops for me to pee and Larry to have “his break”. We drove through the Gallatin National Forest and stopped in Big Sky for a refreshing beverage. It had started out hot and continued to roast the entire day. The lack of quality air conditioning made it very bad this day and I just needed a BEER!! We found this fabulous place in Big Sky called Riverhouse Grill. It looked like the biggest restaurant in town. It was decorated with all kinds of country stuff and at the outside bar they had swings to sit in. The bartender Jess was from Jersey originally and loved to travel as well. We spent time talking about our adventures til the beer was gone. We needed to get back on the road and the weather seemed to be changing. It went from 90 to 70 in a matter of 15 minutes and started raining. I was glad Larry was driving through the mountains in the rain. It cleared up when we finally got to Bozeman. We drove to a RV site just outside the city a bit to find out that it was all booked and that most places were. They were having a big Sweet Pea Festival that weekend and the lady suggested the Walmart shopping center. Wow! I wasn’t ready for that yet. She also told us where a rest area off the freeway was located so we drove there. We found a nice space in between to Semi Trucks and parked for the night. We were out of food and didn’t want to drive away and lose our spot. The lot was full. So we walked about a mile to a shopping center. I figured we would either find a restaurant or a grocery store. Well, the mexican food restaurant had gone out of business. Our choices were Target and Costco across the street. We went into the Target. I was hoping to find some fresh produce, like the Target in Rohnert Park but they didn’t have anything fresh. We eventually decided on Gorton’s Fish Fillets and a can of clam chowder. We prepared them and had a lovely meal with some mini bottles of Perseco! Sleeping at the rest stop was great! The constant hum of the diesel truck drown out the freeway noise and I actually had the best night's rest!
I had arranged to meet Cindy at the Target parking lot at 9am and she drove us into the super cute town of Bozeman. They have a quaint little main street with mainly brick buildings. It kind of reminds me of downtown Petaluma. I will definitely come back here and spend more time exploring. Cindy took us to one of her favorite spots called Nova. They had something yummy for everyone and a pastry counter to take some to go items for the road. Cindy was super sweet and treated us to breakfast!! Thanks Cindy! Bozeman has six beautiful mountains ranges surrounding the city, Bridger Range, Gallatin Range, Madison Range, Crazy mountains, Absarokas and Tobacco Roots. Lots of great trails to explore and very close to Yellowstone. I’d like to spend a week here when we travel back.
Our driving plan was to make it across the border and stay the night in Val Marie, Saskatchewan. Driving upstate Montana was non eventful. The usual rest stops for me and driver changes. On one my driving shifts,we almost had a head on collision with an oncoming car that was in my lane passing. It was seriously close. I slowed and moved as far to the edge of my lane, the oncoming car being passed did the same and the IDIOT was able to make it back into his lane before causing an accident. I was a bit shaken but was able to continue to drive. One last stop in Malta, Montana and then to the Canadian side of the border crossing. That went better than I expected given what happened on the way down. Again, the border cops really are concerned about When We will get married. I was expecting them to do through the Airstream and more extensive questioning but they were only concerned about our 3 logs of firewood. They made us go back around and give it to the US border cops. After that, it was clear sailing into Val Marie. We found an RV site with electrical hook ups. They had a nice restroom and showers but the campsites were sparsely treed and lots of dirt. There were a bunch of friendly folks there and they wanted to know if we were part of the big weekend family reunion. Nope! They still liked us and visited for a bit, telling us stories of their big family. I was happy to be across the border and perhaps celebrated a bit too much…..Drinking 1 and ½ Lagunitas Coffee Stout 22 oz. at 12.9% ABV. Don’t remember the rest of the night…..Larry was super happy in the morning though……..
We left Val Marie around 10am. We would make it home to Hague by 3pm if everything went well. We continued to take 2 hour driving shifts and stops to stretch our legs. When we rolled into town, we got stopped at the railroad tracks for a Train!! I love trains! We parked our beautiful Airstream in front of Larry’s house. I unloaded dirty clothes and dirty dishes. I did the laundry and dishes. We had some company stop by that saw us drive into town, his brother John. We told him we were just restocking and heading to Nesslin Lake to meet up with Larry’s daughter Amanda and her husband Alex for the weekend. John and his family were going to Anglin Lake for a week starting on Monday so we said we might be able to stop by before coming home. I was able to give Stacey Moody the next door neighbor a tour of the Airstream and thank her for mowing the lawn while we were gone. She watered the flowers for me too. What a sweetheart! When the laundry was finished, we drove by to say Hi and Bye to Larry’s parents Eva and Pete. I also picked up some more of Eva’s pickled beets because I can’t get enough of them! And then off we went…….driving to Nesslin Lake.
I drove the second shift. It wasn’t too long of a drive, about 2 ½ hours but we had already driven a bunch earlier. I was ready to park. My turn comprised of driving on Grid Roads. We don’t have these in California and I would call them dirt roads. I was very skeptical about driving with the trailer on them. It feels like you are driving on ball bearings…..it’s super slippery and slidey! I had absolutely no confidence in driving on this stuff so we switched. I was done! We found the campsite after driving 20 miles down the Grid Road. I was happy we were here. We had no power, and no cell phone service at all. Alex and Amanda were camping at another campground 20 minutes from us. I was hoping we would be able to find them somehow. The campsite was very nice. Tucked away in lots of trees. Our camping neighbors were close but we felt nestled in and it seemed very private. They were tenters, about 8 people in their late 20’s or early 30’s. We did hear them up kinda late drinking but it wasn’t a bother at all. We checked out the campgrounds on bikes. We found the restrooms and showers(pay showers) that didn't work when I used them. The whole week of traveling it had been super hot, in the 90’s and it was like that here too. No air conditioning in the Airstream without power so we used the fans. They worked great. The next morning Amanda and Alex showed up about 10am to tell us where to find them at Zig Zag beach at Delaronde Lake later. Larry’s coffee maker doesn’t work without power so he had to get very creative making coffee. He used a vacuum filter for a coffee filter and BAM! He had coffee.
We drove to Zig Zag beach in the afternoon. The wind had come up and it wasn’t as warm as the day before. We didn’t see Amanda or Alex but we goofed off at the beach for a while. We drove into Big Bend and went to see the beach. I got to climb on an old tug boat and we talked to some boaters about their fishing trip. No fish! Sunday morning Alex and Amanda drove over to let us know where there were camping. We were planning on going out on one of their friends boats. Again, a windy cool day. We boated over to Zig Zig beach from the campgrounds for the day. The wind never let up so wakeboarding or skiing was out. When we went back across the lake, Jet Waldner tubed on the way home. It was fun to watch and they were never able to dump him! I was surprised because he was bouncing around like crazy. Back at camp, I met a million of Larry’s friends and friends of friends! Wow!!
Last night a Nesslin Lake was nice. We watched the sunset on the lake. The next morning we decided to clean up in the lake and not shower. Larry said it was cold but really it was fine. We rode our bikes around a bit and found a volleyball court close to our campsite. The net was almost gone except for one string across. We went back to pack up the bikes and noticed that the campers from the tent site were playing a game. Larry went over and they let him play a few games. I think they were impressed with his skills. I chatted with a nice young lady named Joann. She was a nurse and her husband a Med student. After the game, they all headed out in their cars down the Grid Road. We finished up our packing and headed out too. About 5 miles down the road, we came across our new friends. They had spun out in a corner and ended up in the ditch. We made sure they were ok and had help coming before we left.
We had decided to camp at Anglin Lake for the next 2 nights. We still hadn’t used our new 2 person inflatable kayak yet. I was dying to try it. I figured that Anglin was a smaller lake so maybe it wouldn’t be so windy there. We camped at this lake last summer and I really enjoyed it. Shortly after we parked the Airstream, John drove up on a bike with Spencer. They told us what campsite they were in and we said we’d be by soon. We hung out with John, his wife Rona and all of their children, Taylor, Marissa, Emily and Spencer. We even got invited for dinner! Spencer, my new best friend, showed me how to trap squirrels. Unfortunately, no squirrels came so no squirrels were trapped.We had a great time visiting.
Larry set up a squirrel trap in our campsite the next morning. I was successful trapping 3 squirrels. 2 got out on their own and Larry said I could not keep the one I had left. BOO!!! So Sad! We did some bike riding around and decided to try out the Kayak. I am very impressed by our new kayak! It was super easy to set up/blow up. It feels super sturdy and it’s very roomy. We did a short test run up the side of the Lake to the Anderson trappers cabin. It was windy, choppy and against it the whole way up. It was a lot of work. It even looked like rain! We rested at the dock by the cabin for a while. It wasn’t warm so no tanning. It was much easier going back. We did travel a good distance and we were both happy about the new kayak. We left it inflated for the next day. We found John and his family. They didn’t spend much time on the lake because of the wind but were hoping to do some fishing in the evening. We hung out at Taylor’s campsite and played lawn games. I did poorly but had fun! John suggested taking the kayak to the channel on the other side of the lake because it was sheltered. We thought that would be great for the next day. I packed the small cooler with beer and lunch and off we went. When we were launching, I was standing in the water for less than 2 minutes. When I popped into the kayak, I noticed that I had a leech on me. Luckily it hadn’t attached yet and I flicked it off. That wasn’t cool! We had a very nice afternoon kayaking around looking at these amazing cabins on the lake. Later before dinner, we biked to the boat ramp and discovered Saskatoon berries and decided to come back with containers. We picked 2 containers in about 45 minutes. They are tasty berries that grow on trees here. They season is super short and it’s a real treat to get some.
Our last morning, we decided we needed more berries before we left so we went back on our bikes. Larry also discovered blueberries too. We got one container of each before we headed out of the campgrounds.
Our first 11 days of traveling and living full time in our Airstream is under our belts! I think we did great! We each have our our specialized tasks that we do to set up and take down. The amazing thing is it only takes 15 minutes to get set up. The Kayak takes even less to blow up and deflate. I Love with Living my dreams in our Airstream “Lucy Love”. I can’t wait to really get on the road. It looks like we will be heading out in about a month. We will be going west through Canada and I cannot wait to see more of this beautiful country!