Friday, April 24, 2015

Magic Moment–#23 Balance

A friend of mine recently posted a picture on Facebook of a few her friends crossing a creek (and I think she was in the photo also).  All of them over 60 years old and slowly crossing the water with walking sticks.  The photo was taken by her 28-year old daughter who easily made a graceful single leap over the entire stream. 

The visual hit me.  These people were all my peers—all the same over 60 age bracket.  Of course, I do not have youthful balance either at this age.  Besides the stiff joints and bones a little more brittle these days, my balance has become a wobble at times.  I can work on my equilibrium through exercise and yoga (and I do), but it is nothing like my younger years.

tracksinwoodsRemember how good it felt to run like the wind, arms flailing, jumping over fences, down steep hills.  One moment (I was 15-16 years old) sticks in my mind of balancing under railroad tracks on a trestle beam.  We were on vacation deep in the woods somewhere in Washington State.  High in the air with both arms out, just like a tightrope walker.  Not just me, but I dared others to take the walk.  We were sweaty with fear, but was it ever exhilarating!

Older, wiser I would never attempt this now.  (We would have most certainly been hurt badly, if we fell from that height.)  But, I still remember the feeling of being invincible.  On top of the world.

[Photograph from Pinterest; author unknown.]

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Where You Live

This week I drove over to Port Townsend with my friend, Wanda, and a new friend, Jean, to spend the day window shopping and for a fun lunch (PT has many cute little restaurants and quaint shops).  Our new friend is British and a former model; she is tall, thin, and still wears very nice attire, at least for the Olympic Peninsula.  A lovely person.  During the course of the day, we found out that Jean is very unhappy living on the Olympic Peninsula.  She misses the big city (prior to retiring she lived near San Francisco), upscale restaurants, and abundant shopping.

olympicnatlparkSo why did she pick the Olympic Peninsula?  After reading about the hottest places to retire, Jean and her husband first settled in Las Vegas.  She quickly found out that the place was too hot—thermally, that is—for them.  They went back to the internet/magazines and looked at recommended retirement locations with a milder climate and decided the Olympic Peninsula would suit them better.  Well, it did not.  The weather was fine, but the remote location was not what they expected.  Once they came to that realization, they had already bought a home and spent quite a bit upgrading the place making it difficult to relocate again.

While we were traveling in the RV across the country, we ran across others who were unhappy in their retirement location choices.  Almost without exception they had relied on a magazine article, internet research, or a friend’s recommendation and relocated—without spending much time there physically beforehand.  And they really did not spend some time understanding their retirement lifestyle.

Before reading or researching, we found understanding our lifestyle, our personalities and wants was the first order of business.  Living full-time in our RV for two years gave us an opportunity to experience many a new location’s community, weather, activities we enjoy (hiking, fishing, golfing, art workshops, social), affordability, and size.   We picked our town on the Olympic Peninsula because we like the beautiful forests (Olympic National Park is within a few miles), the mild weather, small town (with ‘no traffic’), reasonable home prices and wonderful community.  If you like to shop, eat in an exclusive restaurant, have lots of big-name entertainment, or a national sports team in your area, then, trust me, our retirement paradise isn’t your cup of tea.  [smile]

Make sure you know your priorities for a personal quality of life and spend some time experiencing a location to ensure all or most of your personal wants/needs are satisfied. 

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Magic Moment– #22 Into the Woods

20150302_183529Ohanapagosh Campground in the Mount Rainier National Park is very special.  I camped here as a kid, as a teenager and as an adult.  Never stopped loving it.  The old growth forest is untouched.  The trails lead into a dark, green environment.  We would escape from the hot eastern Washington summers to this cool place.

Smell of fir.  Smell of berries.  Warm in the opening through the trees.  Very cool in the shade.  Sounds of trees creaking in the wind and the whoosh of the boughs swaying back and forth.

The Ohanapagosh river runs through the campground.  Icy cold.  One trail takes you to a waterfall.  When the path turns back to the campground, you must traverse a bridge very close to the cascade of water—almost always wet with spray.

My latest painting (left) is this trail.  I need to go again. 

Friday, February 20, 2015


Saw a quote not long ago (do not remember the author), “Don’t replace your dreams with regrets”.  I have known people in the twilight of their lives who, unless you see them face to face, you would not know they were “old”.  The difference?  They still have dreams, plans, and goals.  I want to be that person in my retirement.

We sold our fifth wheel RV a few weeks ago.  Do we regret living the RV lifestyle or giving it up?  Not one bit.  The carefree lifestyle of traveling in our home full-time and seeing new places and people was fantastic.  We lived it for two years and enjoyed every minute.  That’s why I started this blog to describe the life and keep a journal of our travels.  When we switched it up a bit by buying a “sticks and stone” home in 2011 on the Olympic Peninsula and traveled in the winter to a warmer climate (the Southwest), we found the snowbird lifestyle in an RV didn’t suit us.  Different plans and dreams are waiting for us.  Time to move on.

nordhavn47-alaskaLooking forward to many, many years of new adventures.  Traveling in the U.S., overseas, and aboard.  Not only abroad, aboard!  Boating (and fishing) here in Puget Sound, the Strait, and Canadian waters is phenomenal in this part of the world.  It is right out our back door!

And maybe when the traveling and boating have played out, we will just…I don’t know…maybe move overseas! Sail the ocean blue.  Mix with the natives on the island of Yak.  Only dreams, no regrets.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015


My “Best of the Adriatic” tour website contest entry was officially approved and accepted into the Rick Steves’ contest!  You’ll see my name and link on the following Rick Steves’ web page.  So. Excited.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Adriatic Tour–See the Contest Website!

Each year the Rick Steves Tour Company sponsors a contest allowing anyone participating in a tour during the year to submit a website “scrapbook” of their tour.  I finally finished my website of our tour, “The Best of the Adriatic”.  I have stiff competition, but just putting it together is a wonderful way for me and Wanda to revisit our trip and share with all of you.

If you would like to view the website, here is the link:

I know it is not same as being there, but we had a  fan-tas-tic time and hope you enjoy carousing around the website.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Update to the 5th Wheel Sale

Although our local dealer suggested a price of $47,000, we decided to lower the price for our 5th wheel RV to a more competitive amount of $39,900.  We eliminated the ad on Craigslist (too many scam messages) and listed on RVtrader.  Also added the availability of our 2012 F450 truck.  Here is the new write-up and link, if you are interested.


2008 Drv Mobile Suites 32TK3, Triple slide Mobile Suites 32TK3 Year 2008. Unit features freestanding table and chairs with two EKornes stressless recliners in living area. 40" Samsung flat screen HD television with surround sound. Ceiling fan, fantastic fans, two ducted air conditioners, day/nite shades throughout. Full kitchen slide features beautiful solid surface Corian countertops, dual stainless steel kitchen sink, 3 burner stove stop with solid surface fold down cover, GE convection microwave, Dometic fridge, lots of overhead and cabinet storage. Queen size bed slide with 9 drawer dresser and cedar lined mirriored closet with shoe storage. Bedroom includes flatscreen tv. Split bath with large angle shower, Splendide washer/dryer. Private toilet room. Exterior features weather pro electric awning, triple step entry with assist handle, exterior shower. trail Air hitch, large basement storage compartment, hydraulic landing gear. Currently in Lake Havasu until 3/15/2014. Call 509-308-0547 Ask for Mike $39,900 Also available is 2012 F450 6.7 power stroke diesel truck under 15,000 miles for additional amount. Truck includes 5th wheel trailer hitch and storage boxes.

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