From the first moment our trip began, Chase has been asking when we were going to Texas…It’s a cowboy thing.  So, after leaving Arizona, we drove straight to the Lone Star State.  It was Cold and very Windy.  So much so that we opted for a hotel room instead of the RV we’d called home for so long.  It was a nice change, actually.  Like we were on vacation, or something : ).  After a day of swimming and soaking in the hotel pool, we dined out in the well-known “road-side America” restaurant the “BIG TEXAN”.  This is one of those you’ve-got-to-see-it-to-believe-it kind of establishments.  A cowboy (7ft tall Texan doning a 10 gallon and huge boots) picked us up in a limo with a full spread of long horns attached to the hood and drove us to the restaurant for dinner.  This is the home of the big eat the full 72oz steak in 60min or less and get it free meal.  (No, Chef didn’t try…)  We were plenty full after our much smaller meals (or at least Marcus & I were).  Chase exchanged phone numbers with the young Southern girl who served us (I think she asked him to come back and be her date for the HS dinner dance), ate every bite on his plate (a 10oz and mac & cheese served in a straw cowboy hat lined with a red bandana) and finished dessert.  We got another ride back to the hotel with another real cowboy.  Don, an older gentleman who used to work on a Million Acre ranch in his years.  He invited us back to check it out if we were ever in the area again.  The moment we entered the room, my tummy all-to-full, Chase gave me that look…and said his most common 3 words…”Mom…I’m Hungry”!  I can’t believe him!  What are we going to do when he’s a teenager?  I guess maybe he’s training to eat that big 72ozer when he goes back to the Lone Star state.   www.bigtexan.com

Published in: on February 10, 2008 at 10:03 am  Leave a Comment  

Giant Trees!

We decided to take a camping trip from our camping trip and packed the back of the truck with enough blankets and gear for an overnight. We left the camper at Scotts River LDMA camp and ventured West via a very winding route 96 then took a “short cut” called the bald hill road which lead us to the coast and home of the giant redwood trees. This short cut was like none other.  It was unpaved, straight uphill and 90 degree right turns followed by 90 degree to the left turns.  I almost needed dramamine!  We took a few trails and explored the forest, feeling much like ants, and in awe of the age and enormity of the forest. One tree was 21.5 feet in diameter and over 300ft tall. It is estimated at 1500 years old! We then found the corkscrew trees where 8 redwoods have grown together and become one huge mass. The drive thru tree which we found was just barely wide enough for the Dodge. The mirrors, folded in, still rubbed on either side of the tunnel as we came through.

We then decided to set up “camp” for the night and pulled down to Gold Bluffs Beach near where we had seen a herd of Roosevelt Elk earlier in the day. We slept in the back of the truck and snuggled close, as it dropped down to only 17 degrees that night. burrr! But we survived, and enjoyed the trees!

 Oh, the following morning, before headed back to the LDMA camp, we found a great diner/cafe, drank warm coffee and ate lots of good breakfast food.  Chase, being so used to the restaurant scene and harrassing Chef’s students, felt a bit too comfortable at his post at the diner counter.  He pointed out to the server that her help had left and was sitting down talking to other guests.  (She was the 83 year old owner and was talking to her grandson!)  He then reminded one of the other servers that the dishwasher could take his empty soup bowl.  Uggh.  I think we’ve created a monster.  Fortunately, the staff was loving this 6 year old’s input. 

Published in: on December 6, 2007 at 8:01 pm  Leave a Comment  
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More of the Olympic Peninsula, WA

Four more bald eagles made an appearance in the next few days. Two flying, and two fishing, side by side along the river. What amazing creatures! They are so majestic when they fly and so confidant in their presence…no wonder they are the symbol of our country. We also explored some tidal pools where coral pink colored star fish the size of Marcus’ hand and florescent green sea anemones made their homes. We met a fisherman who gave us some freshly caught and smoked Salmon which was a tasty treat. What a great place. The sun shined bright all but our last day, and the rain began again the morning we pulled out and headed back south.

On our way back towards Portland, where we planned to spend a few more days, we visited South Bend, Washington, home to a large oyster farm. We watched the barges towing oyster shells to replenish the beds, and ate some delicious cayenne smoked oysters…they were like candy…hot and sweet and smokey, yum. We spent that evening at Cape Disappointment State Park at the Southern Tip of Washington and watched huge ships go out to sea from the mouth of the Columbia river. It wasn’t a disappointment. Actually, this was the first night we’d been hooked up to utilities since we were in Spearfish, SD! Electricity without the generator and (seemingly) endless water? What luxury.

Published in: on November 30, 2007 at 3:21 am  Leave a Comment  
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