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Hello from the FitRV headquarters in Salt Lake City! Lance is all washed up and stowed away for the time being, and I’m back to the real world with Mel on my lap, which is making typing a bit of a challenge.
He’s got this Cat Cuteness thing down and knows just how to pull my attention away from the screen and into Mel World. This post will probably take me hours to write.
We had our reunion with Mel yesterday, and oh my… guys, he was TOTALLY ADORABLE! He was so happy to be home he couldn’t contain his joy.
Anyone who says cats don’t feel happiness should have seen Mel flopping about the house yesterday, excitedly doing laps and running from James to me for scratches. That’s HIM scratching US, I mean. When I lifted him in my arms for our reunion, he actually snuggled in, rubbing his head in my chest like he didn’t want to be put back down. Ever. Well, okay, maybe that was ME who didn’t want to put him down ever.
But it’s not just me who’s enamored with Mel. James is just as sappy.
But enough on Mel the Adorable.
I just went through all our trip pictures over the past 4 weeks, and wow. We have done so many things this trip! We put on a brutal 2 bazillion miles (approximately)….Utah to British Columbia down the coast to LA then back home again.
It’s interesting, now that we have this semi-popular website, we don’t pick destinations in a traditional sense. Instead, our destinations tend to mold themselves around website-related events. But I’m not complaining in the least, it’s actually a good thing. I feel like it takes us to places we may not have considered on our own.
Take this trip, for instance. We planned it around 2 events: 1) seeing the Xantrex team who built our badass electrical system in Vancouver, BC, and 2) attending the Pomona RV show. Knowing we had these two events gave us a frame for planning what to do in between.
Normally, James and I are big planners, and I mean BIG. We usually prep a 3-ring binder we call the “Binder of Fun” for each trip we take.
The Binder of Fun contains ridiculous detail complete with color-coded tabs including daily route maps, nightly lodging plans, and we even go so far as planning where we’ll stop every two hours along the drive. We didn’t do that this time. Caving in to peer pressure and fellow RV friends who think the Binder of Fun is insane, we tried it their way, with no real plans.
Yeah, that’ll never happen again. The trouble with not planning ahead means you’ll have to take time away from your trip to research a place to stay, where to eat or get groceries, and what to do for fun. Sometimes that would be multiple hours a day and lead to much frustration and bickering. I felt like we got cheated out of much of our trip time doing the planning on the fly.
So there, we tried it. It sucked. Next time, it’ll be back to the Binder of Fun.
Not that we didn’t have fun, mind you.
I mean, how can you not when you’ve got beautiful fall weather, biking trails everywhere, and Lance as your basecamp.
At the start of the trip, we stayed at a Washington winery on our way to BC, and were awakened by the sound of shotgun blasts every 30 seconds (some bird deterrent tactic). Ah, serenity.
And then we rode the Vancouver Skytrain from our campground to downtown. We got lost, but didn’t get mugged!
So yeah, BC was cool, especially visiting the Xantrex HQ. James got to nerd out with like-minded individuals drooling over Lance’s electrical innards.
Back in Washington state, we did some sweet mountain biking at the famous Duthie Hill. I thought I was totally tearing up the trails until I got passed by an 8 year old:
Then we headed into the remote wilds of Frank Gifford National Forest, 2 hours up forest service roads feeling like we were the only ones ever there, discovering new unknown lands…only to discover clearly others came before us:
Back in Starbucksilization, refueled and refreshed on iced coffee drinks after all that nature,
We headed for Fort Stevens State Park for some history, trails, and beach yoga.
Well, ONE of us did beach yoga. The other stayed back and swept the RV.
We made a bad choice of campsites that first night at Fort Stevens. The loop we were in was so dense with trees that all the neighboring campfire smoke had nowhere to go. So it all decided to enter Lance. Second night, we moved:
From Fort Stevens, we continued to hug the coast, doing the touristy thing all the way down through Oregon. Well I did the touristy thing. James was actually working his pesky day job:
That was fine by me. James has limits on how much beach time he can tolerate. Having to work distracted him and gave me much more time to explore the coast without my beloved sandphobic hubby murdering my fun.
But I do have give James a GOOD JOB HONEY shout-out. What a trooper he was. Yes folks, this actually happened:
I know. You can see the delight on his face.
And then we hit the Redwoods. Normally, when I’m surrounded by trees the first thing I do is pick my favorite for hooking up the TRX.
But I quickly realized this was going to be a problem.
It was our first time seeing Redwoods. We kept saying “wow” over and over again, because they’re just jaw-dropping awesome. I suppose Eskimos and Greeks have a hundred different ways to say wow. Me, I know one. It got said a lot in Northern Cali thanks to those Redwoods.
And then there was this:
Lance’s first time over the Golden Gate Bridge! Coming off the bridge was incredibly anti-climactic, though, because we were stuck in traffic so snarled it added an hour to our route, and James was grouchy. Yay, RVing!
Years ago, James had found an article about the best places to mountain bike in the US. One of the places mentioned was Henry Coe State Park. We’ve been talking about getting there for ages. This trip finally put us within range of hitting it, so we did.
First off, this isn’t a park for a Class A rig, or even a Class C. The road to the park narrows to one lane and has tight steep curves up a mountain. Lance handled it like the rock star he is. It was a great reminder that we’re so thankful for rolling in a campervan.
From Coe we headed back to the beach, Rincon Parkway Campground.
We met up with Vanessa the Cat Whisperer so I could soak up some of her wisdom on RVing with cats. She and George roll in their Travato with 3 cats!!!
It gives me hope for Mel. Now I just have to convince Mel of all the fun he’s missing being such a jerk about the whole driving thing:
And then FINALLY, we landed at the Pomona RV Show.
I’ll tell you all about THAT experience separately, because it was probably the coolest Pomona show we’ve attended…and that’s because of all of you who stopped by and made us feel like rockstars.
Besides, Mel’s whining for some attention and doing extra cute cat moves to entice me off of here. Oh guys, I REALLY can’t wait till Mel’s trained and can hit the road with us! Who knows, maybe next Pomona show, he’ll attend with us and be the REAL rock star!