Oregon writer, Rain Trueax, and Oregon painter, Diane Widler Wenzel co-author Rainy Day Thought. Diane generally posts on Wednesdays and Rain on Saturdays. There may be extra days or changes as situations warrant. Comments are always welcome and appreciated as it turns an article into a discussion.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Where we've been

Ranch Boss, our two cats, and I left our Oregon farm for Tucson on October 9. We were traveling in an older Silverado truck and pulling a 26' vacation trailer. Tucson is 1400 miles from our home up here which makes it a long drive. Flying makes it harder to take the cats and requires renting a car when we are there. If we only stay a week, flying works; otherwise, driving is pretty much required and we've tried it various routes as well as ways. The last two trips down, we've taken the trailer, and it works better in some ways but has its concerns as weather can make pulling it dicey. We drove down through Nevada keeping our driving days short for our benefit and the cats.

When we get to our Tucson house, I always think we have so much time to enjoy but there are always jobs to be done and in the end, a month and a half hardly seemed long enough. 

The work did get done, as well as some good research time, many useful photographs, a lot of editing with two books due out during those weeks, and some hiking-- but not nearly as much of that as I had expected. I thought I'd lose weight while there-- instead I think we both gained due to eating out more and in my own case hours at my desk with editing.

When it came time to head back north, we knew, based on road conditions, it had to be through California. Our departure would be determined by weather reports. We were aiming for 12/10 but that became impractical when California was hit by high winds, and the Siskiyous were requiring chains. So we waited. 

On the 15th of December, we had thought we'd get right out and on the road. Instead it took so long to get the trailer and truck loaded, not to mention some last minute cleaning (the majority would be done by the housekeeping service we are trying for the first time), that we camped that night at Catalina State Park. That is a great spot for RVs or tents for those who have never camped there. Peaceful, quiet site.

Then we were on the road for the next six nights with the trailer. One thing travel like this reminds a person is how much our country depends on trucking. Those trucks run round the clock, and there are a LOT of them. I have this feeling that the country needs to get some better ideas on how we operate as this much trucking cannot be environmentally or economically wise in the long run. We're kind of spoiled as a people. Fresh produce is expected year round. The latest gadget must be ours the day it's out. I think we need to reevaluate our expectations and desires. This much trucking cannot be good for the environment. It certainly makes for crowded freeways.

We had planned the RV parks where we'd stay and by necessity, they were near highways, which meant noisy all night. We stayed in Bouse, Daggett, Coalinga, Santa Nella, and Red Bluff where we again got the trailer ready to be stored at a lot south of Redding. We drove then to Medford, took a night in a motel, which both horrified and fascinated the cats. Raven had never seen that kind of traffic with lights driving past the window. Our time there was brief but nice to see our daughter and grandkids (I better add, we didn't see our son-in-law because I ended up not feeling well, and he was working late. It would have been nice to see him too).

On the drive home, we got a call from our son. He'd come out to the farm to turn on the heat, only to see water pouring out of the utility room door. To make a long story short, the hot water heater had sprung a leak, pouring water over the floors of the utility room, kitchen, part of the hall and dining room. He got it stopped and sopped up what he could. When we got home, we built a fire in the wood stove and Ranch Boss fixed the hot water heater the next day. We got our first hot showers Christmas morning.

Currently Oregon is wet, cold and definitely not the desert. This is though typical weather for the season. Looks like our water table is back to normal after a drier than usual summer.


OldLady Of The Hills said...

It sounds like a hard trip, no matter how you do it! But you always make it back! Not so great to find the Water Heater problem....OY!
Wishing you the Happiest of New Years, dear Rain.. May 2016 be a Healthy, Happy and Prosperous year for you and yours!

Tabor said...

So much work and busy days. Perhaps now that you are home, you can rest. We have a tankless water heater and I would not know how to fix it if I had to. It is gas, so not touching that stuff.

Rain Trueax said...

Thanks, Naomi and the same for you. :)

We are thinking of changing to something different in Tucson but didn't have time this trip, Tabor. Our place up here would have to use propane as no natural gas out here. What I want now is a way to turn the water off when we leave. With three water disasters in this house, this year (water closet on both toilets leaked earlier in the year and went out onto the floor), it seems risky to leave here! Our water heater here was the one in the house when we bought it in 1977. They don't make them like it anymore... or the parts for it lol

robin andrea said...

That was quite a journey. Glad you made it home safely and hopefully all the water problems can be solved easily. I loved seeing your desert photos. Made me wish for a bit of a winter respite there. I see why people go south for the winter!

Rain Trueax said...

It does have its appeal as it's easier to get out and walk if weather is the only barrier. Lots of things going on. February is when I'd like to be there (if we weren't lambing) as that's the big Tucson gem and mineral show. Fascinating with dealers from around the world. We made it to it only once, I think. They spread the booths out across the city and not only unusual minerals show up but rugs and other imported items. Great fun to go around to the various tents and motel shows. Plus a big display in the convention center.