Missouri Parte Tres

A giant cross. Bible Belt stuff.

We are flying toward Denver and I’m sitting next to Rayman who is rubbing him thighs with dry napkins to mop up the white wine which he just spilled upon himself while holding his book and sharing a pretzel with me.  Poor dear.  

The flight attendant replenished his wine which he really needed by this point in the trip.  The good news is, it wasn’t red wine.  The bad news was it was the entire glass.   A healthy pour landed in his lap.

Hopefully this is the only mishap of the trip.  Thus far it has been great.  We left a bit earlier than I would have, but Rayman gets nervous so I have learned to accommodate early arrivals so he doesn’t get overwrought.  This is a family trait.  His Mom was always nervous about time too.

On the drive from Branson to Kansas City, about a 4 hour drive, we started getting hungry.  Alert.  Alert.  Seems to be nothing but fast food restaurants along the freeways of Missouri, and that just didn’t cut it for me.  Our first destination was the Truman Presidential Library.  As we closed in on Independence, MO, where the library is located, we exited the freeway and drove the local streets until we spotted a Mexican joint that had a few cars in front.  That is where we ate.  And as usual, we gorged ourselves with chips and didn’t complete our meal.  But we were happy as clamss.


This highway is a “major” North-South artery in MO. It is Tuesday mid-morning. Look, Mom. No traffic.

The library is wonderful.  What a time Harry had his whole life, and his life in politics was nothing short of amazing.  I had read the book about him and so it was old news, but the re minder was very helpful.  The pictures and presentations were wonderful.  We also got to see some very old cars that Harry used over the years.  Finally, we capped off the tour with a graveside visit;  Harry and Bess Trumans’ final resting place.  The closest I’ll ever come to them.  

In reflecting on the state of our country, I was reminded just how important democracy was to him.  He even was declared the loser of his election to Mr. Dewey on the front page of the NYTimes.  But he won and Dewey graciously accepted the outcome.  Oh, how I moan at the thought of Trump and his BS. 

But I digress.

As most of you realize, it is hard to land a direct flight anywhere nowadays.  And our trip was no different.  Flew Southwest and we changed planes both ways in Denver.  Denver airport is relatively new and I don’t think it is was well planned.  We couldn’t even find an ice cream cone.  How is that a thing?  Restaurants are few and far between.  Very disappointing.  Oh, well.

We are now flying west out of Denver toward Portland and we just hit lots of turbulence over the Rockies.  Good thing I was wearing my mask.  It made hyperventilating much easier to counteract.  Deep breathing ensued and insured that I did not pass out because of fright.  I hate turbulence.  

While we were waiting in Denver for our continuing flight onto PDX, I checked my text messages, and discovered that my old childhood friend, Marie, was in PDX.  So we connected up and decided to meet for breakfast in the morning.  She is leaving tomorrow to drive back to Paso, where she lives.  So we are meeting at a food truck for breakfast.  I figured she would enjoy the experience of that type of dining since I’m pretty sure there aren’t any food trucks in Paso.

It has been a great trip.  Finished editing the book, spent lots of time visiting with Nancy, saw some sights and dipped my toe in the swimming pool.  

And we didn’t get lost.  This may be a first.  Send up a flair!!


Missouri, Part Two

Before delving into Missouri, let me introduce you to the state animal.  It is a mule.  And here is a picture of a mule and President Truman.  See the end of this for more mule business.

Every state has a motto. Missouri’s motto is “The Show Me State”.  And that made me very hopeful that when I visited the MidWest Genealogy Center, in Independence, MO, I would find what I was looking for…my ner-do-well Great Grandfather on my Mom’s side of the family.

Well, the state did not live up to its motto.  

We came and left with no further understand who the man was.  They did have one database that “Nobody else has this information”, the nice lady behind the desk explained. For just $35 for a 6 month subscription, you can access it at home.  If you want to return after 6 months, we can renew it for you”.  Well.  I passed.  

The people were very nice, but the I knew how to search the other databases so off we went to Branson, Missouri.

Branson reminded me of a cheap Disneyland.  There were no gates leading into the Gay Kingdom like Disneyland had when it first opened in the 1950s.  Or was it the 60s?  Branson was just a main drag with all sorts of venues that appeal to families.  A Titanic was cut in half near the middle of the “ship”, and the side of it had a fake iceberg attached to it.  Understand it is quite a good exhibit, but we declined to visit.  Miniature golf courses,  big theaters for singers/dancers/entertainment.  Stuff like that.  A water bumper car which is the only thing that stood a chance with me.  Oh, I guess I would have played miniature golf too.  But, we did not partake.  

Instead, we drove out of town to the a nature preserve, which was quite lovely, although, and I don’t need to sound as snobby as I am, once you have visited, say, Yosemite, or Sequoia, or a Wild Animal park such as Tanzania, it paled in comparison. We had a fun time being at the back of a trolley car attached to a truck, looking at small waterfalls, weirs, ponds, streams, sycamores, dogwoods, and wild elk and bison.

Here are some pictures:


Na.ncy and her stew

Bob and Rayman at the dive bar.

Art and nature.

Art at the restaurant.

Bear .and me with my OMG face

ffGrizzly bear stuffed just like us after our dinner.

Home, home on the range. Bison nibbling and bathing.  We were at a nature reserve.


Wow. These longhorns were in the same field as the bison.

Elk shading up.

Weir capitol of Missouri. Dogwood Canyon nature preserve. South of Branson.

Nancy and Bob enjoying their Cadillac margaritas. Muy bueno.

Great pic of Nancy and the bison.

Nancy’s flank steak with fresh tomato vinaigrette..Yummy!!

Geese get dinner.










And dare, I say, it was a nice diversion from editing my book, Tales of the Dresser Ranch, 1847-2007.  Nancy, is a fabulous editor-in-chief.  My book gained another full page after adding all the commas, semi-colons, and quotation marks which I left out!!  

Nancy read the book aloud, and we discussed my various errors with great enthusiasm.  She was so good.  When I go to press, it will be with huge confidence that not an error will appear…unless I goof when inserting all the changes which were made on paper, to the computer software program.  

Other things we did were to sit in their backyard which is unfenced and facing a golf fairway.  On these happy occasions, half the geese in the state, flew in and begged for food.  That is because Bob, Nancy’s significant other, feeds the geese saltine crackers, cornmeal of some sort and I forget what else.  He has the geese eating out of hand.  Quite a sight and interesting to boot.  By the time they fly away, there is goose poop on the patio which Nancy rinses off and this guarantees the most fertilized grass on the course!!  

Last night we drove to Top of the Rock to eat at the Osage Restaurant.  Quite expensive and quite beautiful.  A man by the name of Johnny Morris, who made his fortune selling fish bait owns most of this part of the state and this is one of his properties along with the nature preserve.  His fishing flies morphed into bass boats, and all other kinds of sportsman equipment.  He also owns golf courses which made us wish we had brought our clubs, but then we didn’t have time to golf.  Editing was first priority, followed by mosquito swatting, gossiping, telling lies, and drinking about two cases of wine.  I jest, you understand.  

It has been very hot here and we read this a.m. that it rained in Morro Bay yesterday.  Lordy, how fabulous is that event to the MB citizens.  Here, as I said, it has been hot, hot, hot.  Except in the house, where I wear a cotton sweater.  Nancy loves it cool, so it stays cool.  And other than venturing out in an air conditioned car, the only time out of house was to go to aqua aerobics this a.m.


It was an indoor pool filled with about 12 women.  Of a certain age.  All jumping to the tape in a machine that played a routine, “Jumping jacks, five, four, three, two, one.  Now do the ski move, five, four, three, two, one.  Now jog in place…”. I couldn’t  hear the music or the instruction, and there was no leader outside the water.  There was one women who made it her job to repeat the instructions for the rest of us which was very helpful.  She looked like a drill instructor, and she was very effective.  At one point, I was facing her, and she said, “Look at the wall”.  I obliged but told her that I liked looking at her!  She did not seem amused.  

Then the lawn mower started up and she needed to kick it up a notch with the instructions.  This went on for 1/2 hour.  The entire time was 1 hour, and after 5 minutes I was looking at the clock in desperation.  Again, I am so spoiled, missing my instructors, my music, my foam barbels, my styrofoam noodles.  Again, Missouri did not live up the motto, The Show Me State!!

Off tomorrow to venture back to Portland.  A few impressions.  The people were nice.  Didn’t see too many Trump signs.  Saw lots of gays and Black people in Kansas City,where we landed.  The streets have funny names.  A.  AA, HH etc.  Can’t explain it.  The KC airport is going to be replaced.  It was entering it’s advanced years.  The lady at Avis was very nice and friendly.  Our boutique hotel was owned by two gay guys and it was fabulous.  Plus they knew a restaurant that was still open at 9 p.m. at night.  The food was great, the wine list was in need of help, but the patrons were beyond interesting and quite delightful.

The Ozarks were beautiful.  I have always made fun of the Ozarks, and now I offer my formal apology.  There are  many, many, many churches, crosses, billboards offering Jesus plays.  

Heart of the Bible Belt, I guess.  

Nancy and Bob have a nice life here.  The weather is generally mild, there is a huge lake here, dammed.  The place is very hilly, with not much altitude.  It makes driving fun with the up and downs, and twists and turns.  

Oh, and the sales tax is 10%.  

Mule info: https://statesymbolsusa.org/symbol-official-item/missouri/state-horse/missouri-mule

Hope you found the mule info as interesting as I did!!


Our First Flight in Years

We’re crusing now at 39,000 feet on a flight from Portland to Denver then on to Kansas City, MO.  This trip has been in the works forever.  Covid interrupted our life and with that our travels, like everyone else.  No woe is me here.


We are masked and staying as safe as we can.  Grabbed the bulkhead seat for legroom and I now have to balance my computer on my knees to type.  Huge thunderheads have appeared in my window and they are beautiful to behold, like gauze or  ootton clumped together.  They are a stark reminder of nature’s wonders and dangers as they surely could hold strikes of lightening in their bosoms.  

Enough.  The stage is set.  But it wasn’t easy.  Mr. Rayman was nervous as a whore in church from the time we jumped out of Sue’s Subaru until he flung himself down in his blue Southwest Airline seat.  But we were lucky.  In going thru our paces of checking in, I grabbed the first ticket out of the kiosk machine, and attached the baggage tag to  our suitcase.  I then grabbed the boarding pass from the machine.  As we approached the check in desk, Rayman espied our passes on the side of the kiosk.  Yikes.  Not realizing that I as going to receive 6 or 8 pieces of paper, I grabbed the first one and moved on.  We were extremely lucky to find them. 

When it comes to navigating airports, I find myself in charge of navigational duties.  I find the gate, I locate the bathrooms (a long line for women this a.m. ).  I steer us to the line we must stand in to board.  Once on board, Rayman relaxes and life resumes as normal.  

The Captain just announced that we are flying over Boise.  Glad to know because as far as I know, we could be flying to Hawaii.  No control.  In their hands!!  And there is a thick cloud layer.

Beau is on the ground in Vancouver.  Ryan and Tam are taking him in.  We miss him already,  Such a sweet boy.  He’ll have a dilly of a time with Izzy and Themza chasing him around the huge yard.  

Tomorrow, we will go to Independence, MO to visit the MidWest Genealogy library. I hope to do some sleuthing in the archives in search of my Great Great Grandfather on my Mom’s side of the family.  My Grandmother never knew her dad.  Her mother knew, obviously, and reported his name to be Sherman Nobles of K.C., MO.  The closest person I have found thanks to my fabulous friend, Dorothy, is Sherman Noggle.  Hoping this will lead somewhere.  So far, it’s leading me to Missouri!

This is all because of my book I have written.  Writing is so wonderful.  It points me in many directions which is a hoot.  After we visit the library, we will drive down to Branson, MO to visit our good friends, Nancy and Bob.  They are so kind to let us stay with them.  Nancy is editing my book, so I arranged for two copies of the book to printed out at the UPS store in Independence, MO, thereby, alleviating me of schlepping the copies from Oregon.  While digital things can drive me to drink, it is also miraculous if you consider it technologically.  I don’t like dlgital clocks.  I abhor digital ovens that require you to hit the start button which is very easy to forget.  But, I do like being able to transmit my tome and pick it up miles from home!

So, that is it for now.  Think I’ll look at the news and brace myself for the car rental experience which is scheduled upon our arrival in Kansas City, MO.  No, wait.  Got to get from point A to point B in Denver, gate-wise.  That’s the next hurdle.  


We managed to get to the next gate, onto the next plane, and arrived safely in K.C.  Then it was on to picking up the It was  expensive.  One week economy car ran $680.  We used points and still got nicked $189.  The Avis counter required a ride in a shuttle.  In an act of desperation, we parted.  I went to the Avis counter, Rayman went to baggage claim.  Miraculously he found me.

We then put on lives in the hands of our GPS app, and off we went.  KC airport is a bit of a relic.  They are building a new one, I heard.  There are a lot of roads under repair.  Detours were, seemingly, everywhere.  Somehow we made it to the Truitt.  Here is a picture on the right.  The first pic was taken where we dined at 9:30 p.m..  The picture of the bar was taken in the French Bistro where we dined.  The pic of me was snapped in the conservatory of the Truitt.  We highly recommend the place if you are ever in KC.  And there is parking in the back, unknown to us as we schlepped our suitcase across the street and up the stairs.


Oh, well.  We got there safe and sound!!




Installment Three – The Rest of the Way

How many blogs have I authored?  It feels like thousands at this point.  Not even 500, truth be told.  So why the heck can’t I get my pictures where I want them on my posts?  I fear an update.  Oh, lord.

So rather than publish without pictures, I will stop trying to figure it out and just write.  Much more satisfying.

Today was a grand Mal day.  We miraculously set our iPhone alarm clock correctly and it woke us at 5:30.  We hit the trail a bit after 6 a.m.  Way early for this kid.  But we wanted to get into Yosemite before all the maddening crowd.  The gates open at 6 a.m. so that is what we were hoping for but, we didn’t miss it by much.  No cars, no traffic at the gate.

We then took the northern route locally referred to as Tuolumee Meadows.  What a fabulous drive.  Here are some of the pictures, with explanations.  

This is a sign on the road into the Park. We saw these announcements on many signs in the San Joaquin valley.

This is a sign on the road into the Park. We saw these announcements on many signs in the San Joaquin valley.

The backside of Half Dome.   Below is a lake pretending to be a mirror.







This sequence shows a small deer peering up at me as I snap the shot.  The other picture shows the hind legs of another deer.  Look closely for the legs behind the big rock.  That deer never moved a muscle while hiding.  So sweet, really.

Deer legs and shadows.

All ears.




Sheer granite.


Note:  I posted a video on FB if you want a ride down the hill!

We exited the park on the east at Lee Vining, CA.  Not too far from NV.  Mono Lake is there.  We attempted to get into the Visitor’s Center, but it was closed.  Had to relieve ourselves in the bushes.  Ran.

We came upon hurdles but I’m not going to spoil my high with faux pas tonight.  Just not going to do it.  Don’t worry, dear reader, there will be plenty of faux pas to report on in the future!!

So, the ride is like trees, trees, trees interrupted by mountains of granite, scrubbed by wind, rain, sleet and snow.  The beauty of the place just overwhelms your senses.  This grandeur of monster mountains, green meadows full of life, …where the mountains are hard as…I was going to say rock but that would be too too.  

Then the brooks, the streams, the river too low of water, the lakes, the reflections on the lakes…it is just too much to believe.  We are so blessed to have these natural wonders in our state, our nation, our planet.  

The flip side is all the burnt trees we had to look at in a cocktail of sadness and fear.  Our planet is crying out for help and human beings in power around the world are not coming to her aid.  George Carlin put it another way, “The planet is fine.  The people are fucked,”    He argued that the planet will repair itself after it has rid it of us.  After all, that has happened before.  

Traveling is both wonderful and a pain.  There is nothing easy about it.  It opens new vistas and ideas and thinking as you muddle about trying to get about.  And it is made more difficult with a doggie.  Just making the reservations and then keeping track of them is a challenge.  I try to keep them digitally, but I almost always make a copy…it is as if I don’t trust digital.  Seems reasonable to me.

Finding food is easier than it was when you had to keep or catch your supper but on the road, finding a place to eat outside with our Beau is not without its challenges as well.  One place flat out turned us away today.  Luckily our second try netted a table outside with shade and a breeze.  As luck would have it, a hiker sat down at the next table and we struck up a conversation.  He had been hiking the Pacific Coast Trail since mid-Apr but he had to stop today because his fibia or was it tibia? was broken not from a fall, just hiking…  He lived in VA so it will take him a time to get home.  He was not a young man.  Quite interesting

It is time to retire for the day so I will continue this when I figure out my app issues.  

Your Intrepid Reporter,  Dianna

Hi again.  I’m back.

Carson City was where we decamped on our second night.  Our Home or My Home…a new hotel chain that I give 3 stars.  It was clean, modern, but it sat between a major artery, a freeway, an off ramp so opening a window was a fool’s errand.  A stuffy room was the result but we made the best of it and checked out after a delicious bowl of Crunchy Raisin Bran that came prepackaged in a bowl.  It was too sweet, but we paid, didn’t we?  

The other thing worth noting was that we arrived at 1:30 and they offered to let us check in early for $50.  AYKM?  That resulted in us killing time by getting the car washed, and finding the restaurant for late lunch/early dinner.  We also wandered into the Sportsman store where I observed a lifetimes worth of camo jackets, pants, underwear, hats, gloves, boots.  If you need to blend into the woods, this is the store for you.  And, there was a gun department with several men waiting on several patrons.  I wanted to throw up but decided, no I did not.  Instead I engaged with the man that was helping us find dog booties so Beau’s paws could be protected while he gingerly pranced over hot parking lots sans trees/shade or cook an egg on the sidewalk hot sidewalks.  The guy was from Iowa temporarily because he was helping his mom post surgery.  I expressed sympathy that he lived in Iowa.  He corrected my poor thinking by saying he loved Iowa.  “But, they are so hostile to women”, I offered.  He said he understood but he didn’t approve of abortion and that is where we left it.  Those guns give me pause.

Moving right along.  Some pictures.

f you can see the buildings, they show how high these “hills” were.

Look, ma, no cars.

Pano of the alkaline lake…it reminded us of the Great Salt Lake. It went on for miles and miles, and miles. Perhaps a preview of what the Salton Sea will be soon enough.

Our drive consisted of driving to  Burns, OR.  Burns is in the high desert and we have never been there before.  Ryan suggested we stay two night because of geology so we made a reservation at a Day’s Inn which was one of three places that allowed pets.  So that is where we were heading

Along the way we got hungry and so we stopped at a restaurant in Alturus that was featured in an article in the L.A. Times that I read in December.  An Italian joint.  When I went inside to order, there wasn’t a soul there.  Then a woman emerged and I ordered spaghetti after I discovered we could eat outside on the sidewalk.  As it turned out, it is hard to eat slippery spaghetti with a plastic fork.  Noodles just slip off like rain on a window.  Key learning, there.

After our lunch sans wine because they couldn’t serve us wine outside, a local rule, I suspect, we got back in the car and continued north.  The landscape was amazing and we were one of four cars on the road.  Two lanes, no traffic, hardly a car or truck at all.  It was nirvana.  And we had the January 6 affair to listen to on the radio.  The miles went by quickly doing 55 MPH.  

OMG.  The Jan 6 hearing was jaw dropping and I was so happy to hear a young woman testify.  What a patriot.  Wouldn’t it be ironic if it was women that saved the Republic?  Between Cassidy and Cheney, the ingredients are certainly there.  They are making the apologists for Trump look like fools…either that or fooled by the grifter that reminds me as more or a Mob leader in more ways than one.

When we arrived in Burns, we were given a smoking room.  I was adamant.  “I’’m not staying in this room”,  I told the kid behind the desk.  It reeks of smoke.  Do you have a non-smoking room”?  

Upon learning it was their only room left, we left.  The room had a sagging bed with an old Sears and Roebuck flowered bedspread, a wall air-condition that looked ominous, like a good example of a Legionnaires disease spreader.  God, it was horrible.  There might have been another room but the hotel was going thru a renovation and half the place was uninhabitable.  

Where did we go?  Dead tired after 6 hours on the road, we went west to Bend.  There was no place to stay that was any better than Day’s Inn in Burns that would take Beau.  

About 8:30 we arrived at La Quinta in Bend, we lugged our stuff up stairs to find our room.  Rayman walked the dog, I ordered tacos from GrubHub, and when it arrived, Rayman ate at the desk in the room while I sat on the bed and used the night stand as my table.  Flushing down the mediocre taco with gulps of beer, we finished eating, got ready for bed, and called it a day.  It was 10:30.

This brings us to yesterday.  With a three hour trip in front of us, we took our time leaving and arrived back at the SHIP in Portland in early afternoon.  In one pieceand very excited that we had such a beautiful trip.  The scenery was out of this world, we only got angry once or twice, and we toodled all the way to Portland.  Very successful trip.   

Installment Numero Dos

Pictures being worth 1,000 words or 10,000 words won’t cut it tonight.  I only have two pictures that I took today.

Our trip today took us from the shores of Morro Bay to the mountains of the Sierra Nevadas, sort of.  Having just checked into Buck’s Lodge, we are adjusting to a $250 bill for a room that has one dinky window, space just enough to fit a queen bed with all the comforts of say, a 2 star hotel.  However, having said that, we are 17 miles from the entrance to Yosemite…proving once again that it’s all about location, location, location.  

The room faces a gas station that is no longer in service but it does provide shade for two dilapidated old trucks that are parked under the overhang.  Our front door looks out on the road which is just one step our of doo…so close to being mowed down, it brings to mind our drive today.

The old gas station next to the motel.

We took highway 41 to Atascadero, 101 to 46 east at Paso, turning left at 41 to continue driving on 41 to Fresno.  Then it got really interesting.  We took back roads and ended up on  a road we weren’t sure went anywhere.  But out we popped and hit 120, newly paved and a pleasure to drive in the 100 degree heat that enveloped all of San Joaquin Valley.  Hot, hot, hot.  

And this is why I pulled off to take my picture seen below.  Those poor cows.  Over 100, no trees for shade, no water trough in sight.  We then passed a big ranch with a splendid gate that announced “Dry Creek Ranch” which had a big American flag flying to announce support for the GOP, I’m sure.  They seem to have claimed the flag as their own while the old chap-wearing, spur- adorned farmers do all they can to dismantle democracy in these parts.  If I looked up their Representative, I would be shocked to find a Democrat.  No, these guys like the GOP because they think the GOP will build dams everywhere to capture the water that never arrives.  We passed the San Pedro dam and it looked way low.  We are always mystified when we see these signs.  A dam isn’t going to a damn for them.  Perhaps they should have a better slogan…”We are sure that God will provide so please build dams”.  While they slam electric vehicles and solar power, they erect silly signs like it is going to make the difference.  So silly, are these folks.

Rant over.  

So, 120 going east is a huge climb.  Hairpin curves, no guardrails.  We could have performed a Thelma and Louise to great affect but thought better of it as it might have started a fire.  Things are dry as a bone.    

Yosemite this year requires a pass to drive into the park and passes are designed to limit the amount of cars in the park.  What a fabulous idea.  You can get a pass 1 week in advance.  I think the limit is 70 so we were lucky to score.  I’m talking about cars here, not age.  It is all done on the computer so if you can’t connect to the internet, you may be screwed.  This would impact people of modest means the most, of course.

We plan to traverse Tuolomme Meadows and fall out of the park on the East side via the Tiago Pass road which leads down to highway 395.  Only done it once before when I was way young, so really looking forward the the ride.  Think we will be on the outside, so other opportunities for ending it all will present themselves but we’re not ready to go yet!

Beau is laying between us as I type and Rayman relaxes on his iPad with his solitaire game.  He was neither seen nor heard as he traveled on the floor in the backseat.  Such a good boy.  We must leash him up so he doesn’t bolt from the door and get squished by the cars that drive by our room to get the other rooms in the back of this building.  What a hoot.

The road thru the Meadow is under construction.  Did I mention that?  Yes.  Delays are expected.  To avoid as much of that as possible, we plan to be at the gate around opening time which is 6 a.m. in the morning.  We may traverse some gravel too.  Glad we aren’t wanting to go to the valley floor in order to drive up to the Glacier Point.  Glacier Point road is completely closed for the season for much needed repairs.  That road offers one of the most breathtaking views on the globe.  

Rayman is out walking Beau and I‘m going to conclude this travel log to hoof it over to Buck’s Cafe and Saloon…  It might be a wild time in the saloon tonight.  

Here is Rayman with a view of the saloon.  It was surprising good.  Avocado toast and tomato basil soup was dinner.  Yummy.  Actually was the best meal of the whole trip.  I know this because we made it back to PDX and that is another Installment.


I’m having quite a time with this software.  Glad you can’t hear me!!

Our room for the night.


Road Trip for 2022 – First Installment

As we are in Chico, I am writing from Chico.  Arrived a bit ago after a drive from Roseburg to here.  Yesterday we traveled from PDX to Roseburg, Oregon.  It was a rainy trip for most of the time.  It has been reported that June is the wettest in recorded history…quite possibly dating back to Jesus Christ.

Yesterday’s trip was perfect.  We did not hurry, and everything went like clockwork.  For instance, we arrived in Roseburg at check in time and I tootled into the lobby and announced our arrival. 

“Name please”?

“Dianna Jackson.”

As he grabbed an envelop, he said, “Barbara Jackson”.

 “Nope.  Dianna”.

“We don’t have you on our list, he explained..”

“Oh, I have the reservation confirmation.  QR842b67Y5062VX233.

“That is not our confirmation number.  Ours all start with G,,,,,There is another Riverview Hotel right next door.  You might try them.”

Not to belabor the point, but I reserved in THAT place next door, the Riverview Hotel.  Leaving with my tail between my legs, I almost tripped.  Good thing I didn’t.  The hotel next door was our venue for the night.  It had paint trucks in the parking lot, painters painting here and there, and it was raining lightly.  

As luck would usually not have it, we got the best room in the place.  On the end, ground floor, with a balcony as there was a basement ground floor beneath us.  Ah, serendipity.  Sweet serendipity.  The place had seen it’s better days but we oddly liked it because the bathroom had a window.  And the most fabulous part of this unit, was the bottle opener that sat below the lock on the bathroom door (inside) so that if someone was entertaining, it would not go missing.  Nailed to the door, and repainted close to over 50 times.  Oh, and the stand up shower instead of bathtub with shower combo which is an overused application, IMHO.   It probably would be not hard to break a hand by hitting the wall while shampooing.  I’ve seen smaller in Europe, but this a close rival.  And it was cheaper since it probably fell into the 2 star range.  

Checking on Trip Advisor I located a dinner house.  Since it was 58 degrees and sprinkling from a variegated cloud formation, we took Beau so he could be in the car while we ate.  We arrived as they opened, at 4:30 p.m. after stalking the place by driving around the block regarding the “historic district” that had many store fronts shuttered.  The Republicans must be big in these parts.  And they must have big bucks for that prime location. Check out this picture.


And because we were the early birds, our drinks and food came expediciously.  The playlist was great so we did some chair dancing until others arrived and invaded our space in the main dining room.  The food was great, the martini we split was super cold, the olives extra big.  We split pork, polenta, roasted Brussels and crispy onions slices on top,  drowning  in a cream sauce that included pickled jalapeño.   Bonding with the server was easy.  We think she liked us.  

After dinner, we went back to the hotel to watch TV.  Problem is… the TV didn’t have our channel.  Then the phone rang.  My phone announced a call from Costco.  Costco?  With fear and trepidation, fearing it was a ruse, I answered the phone.  It was an employee from Costco who knew the maitre’d of the restaurant we had just left.. Brad was his name.  He called her because he found my purse draped across the back of my chair like a coat on a coat rack.  In my purse, he found my Costco card.   He called someone he knew that worked at Costco and she looked up my account and called me.  How fabulous was that? 

Poor Rayman went back to the restaurant which was very close by, to pick up my purse  (because my driver’s license was in the purse ) while I tried to figure out how to stream the news on my MacBook Pro.  When I kept hitting walls, it occurred to me that perhaps Rayman’s iPad could do it.  And it did!!  Rayman walked in just as I got the program on his iPad and we watched the news!!  Now that is great timing.  The news was so upsetting that Rayman didn’t even mention the lost purse episode.  And neither did I!  Overall, it was a very positive experience and we count ourselves lucky that my purse fell into good hands.  Rayman gave the nice guy a tip for his honesty.  It does the heart good to know there are some trustworthy people in our midst.   Not to mention the fact that I could have lost the purse for good, returned home and then discovered that my purse was missing., become insane and deranged at approximentaly the same time, etc.  Oh, the possibilities.   

Today Mr. Yang showed up.  Since Mr. Ying was so kind to us, Yang was a clear disappointment.  There was nothing open in a way of a bakery in Roseburg so we drove to Grants Pass an hour south.  Then the cutoff to 99 E was closed for construction so we had to double back a few miles to get back to I-5 so we could get another road over to 99.  We also had to stop for ice and I thought Rayman was going to blow a gasket.

We parked in the Safeway parking lot in Redding.  Forgot our masks so I sent him back to the car in a sincere attempt to save him from catching Covid, while I went in and bought the ice.  The plan was for Rayman to get the car and pick me up in front of the store.  Well, it was painted red, the sidewalk, I’m talking about.  Rayman wanted to move the car from the DO NOT PARK zone.  My idea was just to get the cooler out of back quickly, and pour the ice in and vamanos.  It became so contentious that Rayman said he worried we would get shot for being so stupid.  I said, “Oh, for Pete’s sake.  It’s fine”.  That is when the 6 shooter appeared, Rayman got pistol whipped, and I drove out of parking lot.  

Just kidding.

Nothing happened.  Other than raising Rayman’s blood pressure to a very unhealthy level.  

Now I would be remiss if I said the whole ice follies event occurred because Ryan gave Rayman an assortment of beer for early Father’s Day gift.  We needed to ice it down.  It is with us so we can drink it after a hot day on the road and today, the clouds disappeared and the sun shone bright enough to warm the the temp to 80.  If we haven’t have done that, I would be drinking warm beer right now.   So even though Ryan is in WA, I could make a case all this was his fault.  And if I did, divorce would be inevitable!!

Tomorrow we head home.  From Chico to Morro Bay.  It will be a long slog but perhaps it will be perfect!!

To finish this on a high note, I present to you some pictures I took in the bakery in Grants Pass.  Enjoy.  I would have tried to edit these but the beer has kicked in.  It’s called Diversionary Pinot Porter.  Very good.