At the Gulf Wars I spent most of my time at the Great Machine while Leofowyna took some classes. I spent Friday and Saturday in the ELT area with Marcella and Ed when the GM was being taken down for the trip back home. In New Orleans we took a swamp tour, explored the Old Market, and drove around through wonderful old neighborhoods.
It was a lovely thing that Leofwyna had obtained a plug-in site for the camper. It was a hot-hot-hot week in Danville, Indiana and we were able to rest well. There were some great amenities in the form of a/c'd shower trailers and a/c'd flushy trailers between our site and the Great Machine making things very convenient for us. We were pleased to attend the founders' get together the first Saturday and had the good fortune of an informal meeting in the hall with several others and visiting with Diana Listmaker herself for nearly 20 minutes. Leofwyna had three really good drumming evenings which put her in great spirits throughout. I spent most of my days at the Great Machine helping as I was able, mostly allowing Master Gerald the opportunity on his 'off-days' to know he could get away awhile. The reception for the Great Machine by folks was consistantly a fission of excitment and awe which was a wonderful boost for his lordship. Wednesday night's bloom compression was especially impressive. (Back at home we found numerous photos and videos of the Great Machine available in Facebook.)
When 50th was done Leofwyna and I headed north to camp in the woods near the south edge of Lake Michigan. Leofwyna got to put another stamp in her passport for the Indiana Dunes National Park. We daytripped to Chicago, Shipshiwanna, and up into Michigan more than once. Of course we visited many thrift stores everywhere we went and we looked diligently for Habitate ReStores where we did find some of the tiles we need for the laundry room floor. We developed a special fondness for New Buffalo, Michigan, where we found wonderful ice cream at Oinks and attended the fireworks on the beach on the Fourth of July. Although we sprayed ourselves with mosquito spray repeatedly through the days we came home with extensive bug bites all up and down our legs, very itchy for days. One suggestion after the fact was chiggers but that doesn't seem right to me.
NOTE: Most likely the 'chiggers' were oak mites. The itching eased off after a week or so and the spots finally disappeared a few weeks later.
I should perhaps remind myself here and share with friends how this trip has come about. Our friend has taken a trip to Australia and asked if we would house and cat sit while she was gone. She is paying for the gas to and from home and we have the run of the house while we're here so there's no 'travel' expense. Leofwyna is underwriting the gas we're using as we play tourist and she's buying the tickets for the attractions we've gone to. I'm extremely grateful she's able and willing to do that for me. The only money I've spent is on groceries, which I'd be doing back home anyway, and on my finds in the thrift stores.
Another ten days gone. Tuesday and Wednesday a little garage reorganizing was attempted. At the sewing table I tried to use up the 1.25 strips but there's still quite a ways to go with those. Thursday I mowed the lawn and packed for the trip. We took Maggie in because of her issues. Friday we loaded up and drove up to Huron, SD. Saturday morning was Sash's "Celebration of Life" at Wolsey with family and community friends. About a dozen Scadians were there including four of the five apprenti and we were invited to join the immediate family at the cemetary for the burial of the ashes. While there I got stung by a bee on the left shoulder. We were also shown where Sash's red oak tree will be planted at the homeplace. Saturday afternoon Leofwyna and I headed west and spent the next four days exploring the Badlands and the Black Hills with a highlight being the evening lighting ceremony at Mount Rushmore. Animals we saw while we were gone were bighorn sheep, antelope, prairie dogs, mule-ear deer red squirrel and thirteen-stripe ground squirrel. Thursday was all day driving the long way home.
Tuesday we were up at 9 am and on the road a 10:00 am. I nearly ran us out of gas again at Pleasant Dale but fortunately was able to pull on into a station in Emerald. The RAVs empty is considerably below the E and I lucked out. We pulled into Lincoln at 4 pm and stopped for ice cream before continuing home... arriving at 5 pm. Daylist: mourning dove, sparrow, hawk, deer, robin, flicker, pelicans and turkey. 4,170.8 miles We both agree, it was a very good trip.
Ian from next door had just begun mowing as we pulled in and was done before we finished unloading.
Sunday we were up at 9 am and on the road at 11:30am. We're beginning to be eager to get home; so much so I didn't even record where we stopped for the night in Wyoming (probably Casper Walmart). Day list robin, crow, sparrow, magpie, prairie dogs, meadowlark, antelope, ducks, deer and mourning doves.
Friday we were up at 9 am and on the road at noon (where did our morning go). We hit a rain/hail storm in the pass coming through the mountains. Upon reaching Spokane, MT we were looking for someplace interesting to eat and found the Spokane Falls Skyride in the Riverfront Park. It rained again during supper so we set up for the night at Walmart in Post Falls about 10 pm. Day list: raven, robin, red-winged blackbird, ducks, crow and seagulls.
Friday up at 9:30am and on the road at 11:30 am. We had a 'dinner show' at breakfast with chipmunks trying to steal Leofwyna's oatmeal. If they had succeeded and been caught at it by a ranger it would have caused us to be fined $5,000. Although we were pushing mileage all day to get to Depot Bay to have dinner at the Sea Hag's Friday buffet (turned out there's no longer any buffet done there). We did stop to stretch our legs at Crescent City pier/harbor looking for river otter we'd been told might be there (only sealion was found). We set up for the night at Walmart in Newport, Oregon. Day list: chipmunks, Stellar's jay, centipede, barn swallow, robin, elk, sealions, cormorants, seals, harbor seal, opposum, deer, crow, Grey whales, gannet and egret.