01/22 January 2022 Journal

January 1, 2022; Saturday; BD23
Snow/Ice day today; Working away on PCs while it's snowing and blustery outside.

Feeling my usual Pangs of Prior deParture Panic as we near our current Monday leaving day and the entire upstairs is still a shithole of scrambled boxes, wads of packing paper, and scattered stuff.

Dry-uary: I've done this before, but it's been a few years. I'm not sure what motivated me to do it in 2022, but, as they say about chicken soup as a remedy for a cold... "it can't hurt". For the first few days, until it becomes more of a habit, it'll require my attention to keep from popping the now-banned substances in my mouth without thinking about it.

"To have interesting things to think and write about, you've got to DO interesting things." Burma Shave

I've made comments a day or three ago... about the experience of going through photos from days gone by - boxes and boxes of them. Thousands, many thousands. I mean, it's like we did very little else other than hold a camera and snap photos. Sheesh. Going through all these, culling and sorting, it's like having your life quickly flash before your eyes. The old adage about your life passing before your eyes as you're dying. That may be part of the reason for the cathartic-ness of the experience.

"A catharsis is an emotional release. ... At a certain point, it feels as if there is so much emotion and turmoil that it becomes overwhelming. People may even feel as if they are going to "explode" unless they find a way to release this pent-up emotion."

That's it. That's a good description of what I'm feeling.

Our minds seem to minimize memories after some time passes.


January 2, 2022; Sunday; BD24
Connect with Tim today.

Considering the weather looks like we'll be leaving on Tuesday. But that's still reason to panic. Much to do. Many more to visit. Packing. Cleaning. My head hurts. Think I'll take a nap.

A lot was done today. Loaded truck mostly. Lunch with Jan and Dave. More pics... Getting close to finishing. Tomorrow is the last full day here.


January 3, 2022; Monday; BD25
Clean up day here at the farm. Pack bags, load. Last-minute items, etc.

Plan for an early and clean getaway tomorrow.


January 4, 2022; Tuesday; BD --> Sioux Falls
After helping with shutting down the house and cleaning tasks Dar found, we got rolling a little before 9am. Although not in close tandem proximity (parade mode), we more or less shadowed each other all the way to Sioux Falls. It was a cold morning... single digits.... but did warm up a little during the day. For the most part, cloudy conditions prevailed with brisk southerly winds. During the day those winds clocked around to the west and northwest. About 20 miles from SF all hell broke loose. Winds picked up to 50mph or higher. Driving was tough. Both vehicles were close together and we found a hotel off I-29 on the west side of SF. Americinn ($111 incl taxes) But a nice place with a bar, breakfast, and pool workout room, etc., and quick wifi (10d/8u). Tomorrow looks the same, but with some snow. May very well stay a second night.


January 5, 2022; Wednesday; Stay in Sioux Falls - Americinn Hotel ($111)
Said our "till we meet again" to D&L mid-morning. Did Park work... especially Dar, who is getting involved with this year's budget process in a big way at this time. I'm dabbling with some website improvements and personal organizing issues.

Late lunch at Crooked Pint Pub just a mile or so from the hotel. Good local beer and food. Enjoyable time.

Hotel was relatively new and it showed. Unusual touches for a moderately priced hotel... walk in shower with no damn curtain, big open lobby where it was comfortable to hand out, a separate bar area where they serve wine and beer.

Predicted AIR temp tonight of -10 to -15... that's below zero. Holy Crap


January 6, 2022; Thursday; SF to Gillette, WY - Home 2 Suites by Hilton ($105)
As predicted, -12 this morning. Truck was stiff. Quite a chore to load stuff up. IF it gets much colder I'll have to buy some gloves.

Was going to stop in Rapid City, but despite a pretty brisk quartering headwind, we got there a little after noon. Remember, we gained an hour moving into MST. So 2 more hours and we were in Gillette. Got a room at a Home 2 Suites by Hilton ($105) ... never having stayed in one of these before. Designed for extended stays, it has a good mini kitchen, plenty of room, and just comfortable.

Looking ahead at "iffy" weather in Montana. Looks like it'll mostly clear up by tomorrow afternoon, so we'll head that way and make the best of it.


January 7, 2022, Friday; Gillette to Butte; Hampton Inn Butte.
Decided to just go and see what we run into. Wind was still a factor out of the SW, but for the most part, things flowed well. We are running through the gas though... somewhere around 12mpg. When we got to Billings, a little after noon, we stopped for fuel and a break. Looked ahead on the weather apps and decided to run the same plan this afternoon that we rean this morning... just go and see. Originally had planned to just make it to Billings today, but onward we went. Could have stopped in Bozeman but hotel prices were double 2x what they are other places.

Check into a Hampton Inn and found it agreeable. Had dinner at Mackenzie River Pizza and Pasta across the street. Very good.


January 8, 2022, Saturday, Butte to Spokane; Hampton West
Departed Butte with no wind and clear sunny skies about 9:30am. A little beyond Anadonda, clouds started to dominate and stayed that way until we were into Idaho. About an hour from Missoula, the road became icy and slushy especially the fast lane. The road follows the path of the Clark Fork River until St. Regis. At times, we slowed dramatically and took curves with the greatest of caution. It was slow going for a while. Good improvement as we went through Missoula and north, until about St. Regis. From there it was surprisingly rough going as we climbed to Lookout Pass. Lookout Pass sits at 4,710 feet on Interstate-90, in the Coeur D’Alene Mountains of the Bitterroot Range, on the border between western Montana and eastern Idaho. Toward and over the top, it was mostly a single file truck train. Yes, there were a few truckers who knew better and blasted past other rigs... ignoring the chain-up order for towing rigs. But it was a "character-builder" to say the least. Up, over the top, and down into Idaho things improved. But Idaho's version of I-90 left much to be desired. Huge deep potholes threatened to rip wheel from axle even after we were down and on relatively flat terrain again.

After this tense ordeal, we debated throwing out the anchor in Spokane or heading toward Kennewick... a couple hours more down the road. I wanted to stop. So we did, at the Hampton Inn on the west side, out toward the airport. Nice place, including a bistro in the building. First on the agenda was to find a truck-wash. It was a pig after the pass today. Found one out toward the airport, near the Rusty Moose Restaurant. We tried to stop in, but they didn't open until 4... an hour after we were there. Oh well.

Truck looking like new again, and time on our hands, we sat with computers down in the lobby in front of a warm fire. Touch of wine too. Good times.

With continued luck, we should make it to Camas tomorrow.


January 9, 2022, Sunday, Spokane to camas.

Lind Washington home of the combine demolition derby.
Great day. Arrived in Camas at Gage and Andrea's house about 3pm. Unloaded necessities and relaxed a bit.


January 10, 2022; Monday; At Hymas house in Camas
A day to chill and recover. Didn't do much today except mess around on the chromebook and organize files, etc. Oh, I did buy the paid version of an extension we use on the website... pdf embedder. We had a request to be able to print right from a website post. Felt good to resolve that issue. I also listened to more of a talkie-book... "Blueprint" by Nicholas Cristakis. It's been a relaxing couple days.


January 11, 2022; Tuesday; At Hymas house in Camas
Another very good 4-star sleep last night. Not sure why, but the last 2 nights have really been good in that department. Organized files and notes in my cumbersome file and wiki systems.

How's "dryuary" going? Not the best. The stress of travel and the comfort I get from a libation in the evening have conspired to motivate me to make a few adjustments. dryuary became wine-uary one night (but just one) and then beer-uary for a couple nights when we visited pubs. I relented and changed the name to "one-uary" but just wine and beer. Still haven't had a booze hit since the first ushered in 2022. And sweets? Same situation. One morning at a motel with a carb-forward bfast, I made it "no-icing-donut-uary" when I had a plain cake donut. Then, while traveling, I realized my serving of gorp had M&Ms in it. Imaging my surprise. Then, when we found the bag of carmel corn from Dan White, it bacame "carmel-corn-uary". Now, in fairness, I have certainly cut back on sweets... way back. And I've not had more than one small serving of beer or wine per day.

Just had a thought... maybe the reduction in alcohol and sweets has something to do with my sleeping better? Nah. I doubt it. But I will keep watching in case some kind of correlation becomes more obvious.


January 12, 2022; Wednesday; Camas to Sutherlin
A third-in-a-row good nights sleep. Will be interesting to see if this string continues after getting back to Sutherlin. After much deliberation on Dar's part this morning (left the decision up to her), we decided to stay until Friday. Rain tomorrow and she doesn't want the stuff in the pickup to be subjected to the additional stress.

Got "paid" last night (SS). Inflation has been getting worse and the payments are up by some 6%? or so. The gov't is sending us almost $35k this year. Combined with our low cost of living, we're still good for a few year.


January 13, 2022, Thursday, Camas
Rain delay day.
Slowness. Honored my code with the International Institute of Not Doing Much. (IINDM).
Some packing and decluttering, as well as a few small projects around the Camas House.


January 14, 2022, Friday, Camas --> Sutherlin
Packed, loaded, joined Gage and Andrea for breakfast at Otra Vez? restaurant. Headed south and made it back to Sutherlin about 3pm. Open rig, unpack, load up shed (Dar), empty pickup. Now thinking about trip south. in a few days??


January 15, 2022; Saturday; Sutherlin TV
I'm hungry. No food in rig. Time to hit grocery store.
Afternoon... joined wifi meeting in progress at the clubhouse with Gerry and Dick.


January 16, 2022; Sunday; Sutherlin
Call Tim; Chris is in Wisconsin for a few weeks.
Feeling some separation from the Timber Valley Community. Absence complicates involvement and the world moves on.

Had zoom call with kids at 10am. All aware we're "out'a here" for a few months.
Chili today? Yes, turned out pretty good.
Unpack bags today?
Declutter more today?

January 18, 2022; Tuesday; Sutherlin
Dinner at Outpost with Jimmy and Julianne
Dar trimmed trees with a workgroup.

January 19, 2022; Wednesday; Sutherlin

January 20, 2022; Thursday; Sutherlin
BOD meeting; Stream

BiMart. Metamucil, coffee

January 21, 2022; Friday; Sutherlin
11am WIFI Meeting CH
1pm Paxton repeater issue

No rain, but it at least was kinda cold today.

January 22, 2022; Saturday; Sutherlin
Killed morning working to transfer Dar's phone number over to Mint Mobile. Finally got it done. Took the better part of a week. Now, the work begins to get everything ibn order to head out on our mystery travels. Aiming to leave next Sunday or Monday, depending on weather. Want to put 5th in deep mothballs... slides in and water drained completely. Some work involved. The last night here we'll stay in the Escaper.

Packers played 49ers in Division playoffs and were trounced by inconsistent play and a stronger physical team. In some ways, I'm happy it's over.

January 23, 2022; Sunday, Sutherlin
No Tim Call this morning as he's traveling back to Wisconsin for a week or so.
1pm: helped Dick configure a couple nanostations for the A system. Dar worked on our "end cap", cleaning out leaves and debris, and trimming things down.
Planning for this next week.

January 24, 2022; Monday, Sutherlin
1pm appt. with Mike Hilti. We agreed on a solution that looks like it will work.
After Jackson Jill's meeting Dar and I met with Patty Healy to discuss lot 2 Cheryl and the renters/awl12 Dick and Melinda. My thoughts: Randy is and has been a poison in this park. Unclear what can be done about it.

January 25, 2022; Tuesday, Sutherlin
Quiet morning. But it's been really cold Like freezing or below at night, fog in a.m., maybe a little sun in the afternoon. We're under a high pressure system that's stagnating our air. Not the nicest weather, especially when the forecast for this week had been mostly sunny and highs in the mid to upper 50s. Ain't seen that yet.

Begin to move into escaper today. We're calling this our "Mystery Trip" 'cause we don't know where we're going, how long we'll be there, or even if we'll ever come back. It's a Mystery.

January 29, 2022; Saturday, Sutherlin (but not for long)
The past week we've been caught in a "stuck" air mass. High pressure is creating stagnant air warnings. Low's have been below freezing, as low at 26 or 28, and heavy morning fog. Some days it's been burning off so the afternoon is mostly sunny, but it's been damp and cold and I'm getting weary of it. We're trying to get ready for our trip and it's been a challenge.

Park meetings, mostly by Zoom, this past week have kept us busy. Add to that personal packing and preparing for putting 5th wheel in deep mothballs, and we've got our hands full. We're getting cranky too. Should be much improved when we finally get moving on Monday or Tuesday. Think we're moving into the little camper today, so we can get the slides and awning in during relatively dry sunny times.

January 30, 2022; Sunday, Sutherlin and then...
Moved into Escaper yesterday. Nice day, things went pretty well. Got 5th wheel slides in before rain. Hard to live in that danged thing with them in though.

Little camper (aka Escaper) takes some getting used to, but looks like it'll work fine. Slept well last night.

January 31, 2022; Monday; Sutherlin yet!!
Glad we have an extra day here. Still much to do. We agreed to stay tomorrow night at Seven Feathers in Canyonville... just to a) get away from this place and b) reduce the time pressure tomorrow and have a place close enough that as we're settling in with the Escaper we're still close enough to home to return IF WE HAD TO.

Mechanically, the 5th wheel is pretty much ready for our departure... water system off and blown out; water heater drained, plug resecured; furnace turned way down; slides in; awning in and mostly dried out. The remaining issue is US and our preparedness. It's been a trying month in some ways, but the most difficult to deal with the past week and a half is this incessant stagnant air and morning fog, which lasts all day some days. Happy to have February coming.

You'll only receive email when they publish something new.

More from Thom Hoch's Blog
All posts