Sunday, January 24, 2021



50 winters I have spent here in the land of rocks and cows. Most winters have been so cold that it makes you wonder why our forefathers settled in this area at all. But I must say that this is one of the mildest January's I have ever experienced here. We have had little snow, hardly any Alberta Clippers blowing in. A few days have been in the 30's. I am so glad that it happened this year, our first winter back in 6 years. It makes winter feel one month shorter and believe me, winters can get very long here.

I am getting much better at removing snow with my tractor. At the start of winter I had my doubts but with lots of practice, I'm getting it done. The hardest part was having the bucket at the right angle so that you don't dig in.

My hand is slowly getting better. I would say that it is at about 52 and 3/16 percent right now.
From this.

To this.
It's been over a month since surgery and I am getting some strength back into my hand which means that we can start to work on the cabin again. First thing I did was to finish hanging the sheetrock in the inside hallway for our firewall. Once that was done Lisa did the mudding for me and she discovered a new talent. She is much better at it than me.
Now that wall is ready for our cedar and steel. However the steel we have for it is buried under the snow at the moment and it really needs to be washed off before we hang it. So that may have to wait until spring. Another project I tackled was to build Lisa a closet for her mink jackets and evening gowns.
Our room is not very big so I had to be careful not to take up too much space. We are going for an industrial look so I used tin on the inside of the closet.
It was slow going with one and a half hands but I finally got it done.
A little bit of trim work to do yet, but it turned out great. 

I know this started out as a travel blog, but it just wasn't in the cards this year. I am definitely getting the itch again. We went to the cities (Minneapolis) a couple of weeks ago to visit my 94 year old father. I remarked to Lisa that I haven't left our super secret undisclosed location since June of last year and Lisa hasn't been anywhere since March when we arrived here. Damn Covid.

We have had some great times with our kids and grandkids though. That is worth it right there. We don't have a bath tub in our cabin, just a shower. Little Virgo likes our shower and we improvised and used a sled so he could play in the shower one day.
And then there is little Audie who has started to walk. He walks like me after I have had a few beers.

That's it for our update. I hope everyone is healthy this year and having a great time wherever that may be.

Friday, January 1, 2021

2020 Year in Review

 To say that 2020 was an odd year would be an understatement for sure. We had such high hopes when January started. Little did we know that the rug would be pulled out from under us.

We started the year out in Quartzsite, Arizona camping out in the desert with many friends. We had lots of "happy hours", ATV rides and of course the big RV show.

If you are an RV'er and have not been to Quartzsite, put it on your list of things to do. In February we said our goodbyes to the group and pointed our rig westward to Anaheim, California. What's in Anaheim you ask? Disneyland! Lisa has never been there and the last time I was there I was probably 10 so we had to go and see it.

It is different than Disney World yet kind of the same. It was worth checking out. We stayed at a campground 2 blocks from the parks entrance so we were able to just walk everyday. In the news there was some talk of a new kind of virus in China. We didn't think much about it at the time. Since it was still February and too cold to head to Minnesota, we were looking for warm places to be. So we headed to Lone Pine, California and Death Valley.
Lone Pine is probably the western movie capital of the world. Hundreds of TV westerns and movies were filmed there, along with the movie Tremors, one of my all time favorites. The Alabama Hills just outside of Lone Pine offers the perfect background for westerns with the Sierra Mountains behind them. Next up, Death Valley.
We didn't know what to expect here but it was breathtaking. I never knew the immense size of the valley. It was truly amazing. Next stop, Pahrump, Nevada.

We got a great deal to stay here from the RV show. 2 weeks for half the price of one week. It was a great place to use as a base camp. We made several trips to Las Vegas, back to Death Valley and many other places we explored.

After Pahrump we headed out to Stewarts Point on Lake Mead. One of our special camping spots. If you are looking for a spot for peace and quiet, this is it.
From Lake Mead we went to Kingman, Arizona for a few days. We did a little exploring along Route 66.

We continued on to Camp Verde, Arizona next. This was a great area to visit. Lots to see and do. Our favorite had to be mining town of Jerome.
A very interesting town. We visited several national monuments in the area along with Sedona. Next up, Lone Rock on Lake Powell.
I have seen this in other blogs and have always wanted to find it. We have been here on Lake Powell before and never knew this was here. We got the Ranger out and had some fun also.Word of the virus is getting more and more news time. We are starting to see empty toilet paper shelves and don't know why. Our next state is one of our favorites. Utah!
I think we have done a pretty decent job of exploring the south east corner of the state over the past few years. It is always beautiful and breathtaking. This is Goose Neck State Park. They have a small campgound there and that was a bucket list item for me. I only wish the weather would have been better to stay longer. We also drove up the Moki Dugway. That is always a butt clencher of a drive. 

In March, we were getting nervous about what we would hear on the radio so we decided to get to a campgound with all of the amenities so we could get some TV. Things were getting worse. People were panic buying and of course the media was blowing it out of proportion. We were weighing our options now. We figured if we had to self isolate we could do it around Moab.
We made a quick visit to the OK RV Park to see the girls and their horses. It has been a few years since we were there and they have grown so much. We headed back out into the desert to wait. We got word that Moab and the state of Utah was going to shut down. So we headed east to Palisade, Colorado. We found a campground that would let us stay if it should come to that. By now the virus was running rampant in the US. 

After some talks with our kids we decided to bee line it home and help them out anyway we could. We just had one obstacle in front of us. The Rocky Mountains and it is still winter. There were a few days of better weather so we packed up and hit the road, driving hard to get to Pringle, South Dakota. We knew of a place that was warm and welcoming and it has an endless taco bar.
The infamous J bar B homestead. We dropped off some of their stuff we were hauling around for thousands of miles. It was a good night of laughs and camaraderie but in the morning we had to leave. We made it to our sons house in one piece. We watched our grandkids because they pulled them out of daycare. Too many sick kids in one place. 

The rest of the year we were out at our super secret undisclosed location building our "fortress of isolation."
From this.

To this, something we can live in. It was a very busy summer for us.

So that is our 2020. As I look back, I feel grateful that we were able to travel as much as we did last year, because we did see a lot. I am also thankful that the pandemic didn't hit our families as bad as the media led us to believe. I am not dismissing it by no means, but we will continue to be careful out there. I would have to honestly say that I would not want to repeat the year over. We made it through it mainly because of what we learned during Y2K. LOL.

We wish everyone a Happy New Year. We also hope that everyone stays healthy until we see each other down the road somewhere. Stay safe and stay happy.

I forgot to add our injury update. My injuries have been a torn rotator cuff, tennis elbow and carpal tunnel. Lisa's was just a tiny chainsaw cut and she needed my help to get that. So I win!