Category Archives: Travelogue

Thank you Ketchikan

Between our RVsThink Ketchikan, and your mind should overflow with images of eagles, mink, bears, humpback whales, fishing, and eating seafood, all set amongst glorious mountain and ocean vistas. (See the Clover Pass album for a small sampling.) To that, I’ve now added a note of awe for the cheerful, generous, helpful nature of Ketchikanites (Ketchikaners? Ketchikanians? Others wonder too.) in response to these three incidents.

The gum where my tooth was extracted in March was feeling a bit tender. Read on

The tinkling sound of glass

When your house bounces along the road day after day, eventually things break loose. And break. This can give rise to many elementary science lessons.

Broken sink

The toilet paper stored below is NOT supposed to be visible through the sink!

For instance, if an object falls four feet while the RV is rounding a curve and lands 18 inches offline from straight down, what speed is the RV moving? Although the physics to answer this might be daunting, empirical evidence is easy. We always drive 55 mph.

This leads to an advanced materials question. When a glass light-fixture globe strikes a vitreous china lavatory sink, which of them breaks? Where a scientist might need to calculate tensile strength, modulus of elasticity, chemical formula and crystalline structure, RVers already know the answer: both!

Faulty fixture

Fixture less it’s glass globe.

When investigation all of the other light fixtures in the RV revealed one more hanging by a thread, today’s biology question arose. What kind of nut would be most likely to travel across the USA in the spring before falling free to root in eastern California? While the evidence seems to indicate that this happens with 1/8″ brushed-nickel capnuts, I think the real nut is the driver who never checked them before departure!

Intact fixture

Fixture with newly tightened retaining nuts.

Fortunately, replacing a sink and a fixture globe are not terribly difficult tasks, so wish me luck finding parts that will fit.

On the road again

2013 dawns on an RV packed with 250 canvases, gobs of camera equipment, and a few computers as we embark on a nine-month journey through the USA and Canada. “That’s a long time,” you say. “How the heck did you come up with that plan???”

Last winter in Tucson, our Habitat friends Terry & Sue asked us about island hopping with our RV through the Inside Passage in 2009 on the Alaskan Marine Highway ferries. We happily related the stories, and darn if we didn’t get so excited that we not only talked them into going this year, but we convinced ourselves to join them!

Susi also registered for the Second Annual Plein Air Convention that will be held in Monterey California in early April, so that seemed like the logical place to begin our Alaskan adventure. We’ve heard many rave reviews of the beautiful coastline of California, Oregon and Washington, and this would give us a chance to see it for ourselves.

Then, in early October, our plans to lead a Habitat trip to Nicaragua fell through, leaving January and February wide open. “Soooo….,” Susi asked sheepishly, “isn’t Tucson on the way to California? Wouldn’t it be wonderful to re-connect with our friends at Rincon West RV Park and Habitat Tucson?” Thus came the crazy plan to drive to Tucson in January, fly home in March to do taxes, visit with family & friends, and finish some studio pieces, and then fly back to Tucson in early April so we can pick up the RV and head to Monterey.

Today, as we begin the first leg of our journey in our RV on the way to Tucson, we look forward to working a bit with Habitat for Humanity, making paintings and photographs in the desert, and re-connecting with the new friends we’ve met in the past few years. Yesterday we shoveled away winter’s first snow storm and packed the rig with the clothing we’ll need from Arizona’s deserts to Alaska’s mountains. We’ve hugged family, friends and neighbors goodbye, but we hope to stay connected with all of you via cell phone, Skype, email, and our blogs throughout the year.


A fantastic HfHI Carter Weekend!

We almost threw away the original Habitat invitation to the April Carter Weekend, but decided to RSVP  “yes” because we were very interested in learning more about the many new and collaborative programs that Habitat has initiated in the last few years. Imagine our surprise when we learned we were included in a small group of about 50 of HFHI’s top corporate and individual donors as well as national and international HfHI staff for a 3 day conference! Read on


We’re Off and Running!

Ritz Carlton 2 We’re approaching the end of our first week here in Tucson on Sunday – and having a blast!  As my Dad stated, “I guess we’re as busy as we want to be” . Opportunities abound at Rincon – which I call a retirement community on steroids – for all kinds of physical exercise groups, art and crafts, games and fun events – not including the work we will be doing with Habitat for Humanity Tucson or exploring the city and surrounding  national and state parks.  Although we cringe at a boring blog entry of “what we did today”  – I’ve done just that to share why we chose to return to Tucson. Caution – read at your own risk… Read on

Blastoff 2012

While loading our RV on New Years Day, we experienced a fine example of Ohio’s motto, “if you don’t like the weather, stick around for the next change”. From glorious blue skies as I drove from the storage lot to our house, to the rain that soaked me 45 minutes later as I re-installed the batteries, to 3 or 4 more similar cycles that had Susi proclaiming, “It’s me. I cause the rain. Every time I carry something out there it pours again!”, to the dusting of snow that fell in the late afternoon, we felt our motivation and excitement building to get on the road. With snow showers threatening, we got underway at 6:30 the next morning to try and stay ahead of the storm. So, while family and friends hunkered down around TV with subs and pizza to enjoy an orgy of six college football games, we ran south full blast until…

Read on

Here’s $4 – Let Me Feel How Hot That Cord Is

Jerry & I obviously were labeled – newbie RVers at our first camping site – and rightly so. Did you know that an RV can hook up to either 20, 30, or 50 amps at a campground? Based on Dave’s recommendation, we asked for a site with 30 amps which was cheaper than using the 50.  But our check-in gal insisted on assigning us to a 50 amp because she was concerned where the rig would fit. Read on

On the Road Again

Dave has been working hard to get the RV ready to roll – unfortunately he is not coming with me on this next journey! He stepped in to fill a Habitat house lead position and is working 5 days a week to get the house ready for the Elmi family to move in. Luckily, his brother Jerry was very willing to hop on board to visit the Badlands National Park, Custer State Park, and Yellowstone on the way to Teton National Park where I’ll attend a  workshop at the end of August. Read on

Map: Tucson 2010

Hover over the markers to see the date and a brief caption for each location.
Click on the markers to see additional details and links.

Playing Moose

Oxbow Bend Grand Teton Mountain over Oxbow Bend We visited the Oxbow Bend turnout in Grand Teton National Park on a lovely day, and I was able to capture a couple of pretty nice photos. If only I’d been content and left it at that, I’d have been just fine; but, the sight of some pelicans and cormorants up the river was just too much to resist. Of course, they were too far away to photograph with the lenses I have, so I took a hike.

Read on