The Aspect Of My Life

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Albuquerque Day #3

The excitement is building as the office is getting prepared for the Balloon Festival.  Over 45 people are checking in today, with another 100 tomorrow.  There are at least 6 workampers in the office, they have walkie talkies, a station is set up outside and the golf carts are ready to escort the incoming to their sites.  I  had to laugh when I think about our 4 employees checking in 200.  What a difference organization and good management seem to make:).  I am just going to sit back and enjoy the activities.

I spent waaayy too much money in the store but I love my new kokopelli earrings and the gifts I purchased.  Once again I admired how sparkling clean the store is, chatted with the workers and got some information regarding the Festival and other sights to see.  I am so glad I chose this park for a three night stay.

One last day at the pool and then I am off to my new home.  I am a bit nervous, anxious, excited...what will this new home feel like?

I guess I will know soon enough.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Ashes to Ashes

When I left Mt. Hood, one of the things I also left with were human ashes that needed to be delivered to New Mexico.  They were finally delivered yesterday.

Donna, the woman on the left, was one of my co-workers at Mt. Hood and I came to love her like a dear grandmother.  My favorite days at work were the days when just Donna and I would work outside in the booth and I would be her "helper", walking back and forth to the RVs, assisting in their check-in.  She would jokingly bully me around and her nickname for me was shit-ass.

Donna's life has never been easy and she wears those hard years on her face.  She started working in a truck stop restaurant when she was 14 and was raised by her grandmother.  Her grandmother told her "Donna, trust me, you will always be working class".  I loved all the stories she told me and oh, how she made me laugh:).  I loved her scowls, sharp tongue and toughness because underneath was a heart of gold.  She was the heart and soul of the office, had been there many years, and you always knew you were talking to Donna because she called you "ma dear".

There is some question as to how many husbands she had been through, I only know of two, but her last husband, John, died a few years ago and she now lives contentedly alone with her dog Bubba.  John was from the New Mexico area so when Donna found out that is where I was headed, she asked if I would take some of John's ashes with me to distribute in New Mexico.

I felt very honored that Donna would entrust me with this mission, but also apprehensive.  I am happy to walk in other realms, but I don't do dead people!  Some people are quite comfortable communicating with the dead, I am just not one of them.  I have had a few encounters, usually just a quick message that needs to be passed along, but I have not signed on for that particular mission, which suits me just fine.  I had no problem taking John with me, as long as he kept to himself and knew the bother me, try to communicate or are present in any way, I will dump your ass/ashes along the roadside!  I also made sure Donna talked to him in case he wasn't listening to me and she assured me she gave him a good talkin' to.

I traveled with his ashes for two weeks and most of the time I completely forgot I even had them.  And when I did remember, there was a brief, certain sweetness that I felt.  Driving through a spot of particular beauty I got the message loud and clear that it was time.  As soon as I could, I pulled off the highway onto Route 6 which was the route to Los Lunas, and there I spread his ashes.  There didn't seem to be any need of a ceremony, I guess he wasn't that type of guy, but I know part of him now rests in this land that he loved and was born in.  I hope some of his ashes will float up with the breeze and catch a ride with some of the air balloons that will soon fill the sky. 

Thanks John, it was an honor.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Albuquerque, NM

I love this park ( and am very happy to be able to spend a few days here.  This site is wide and nice, free popcorn in the office as well as free breakfast, a wonderful store which is immaculately clean and great gifts to buy (Winnie is now sporting a wind balloon purchased at the store:)).  Another bonus is an outdoor pool which is small but perfect for my needs.  Another few days of lounging at the pool and I will have lost my Oregon white:).

The only downside is the wifi which is slower than I would like and they reduce it to dial-up speed if you watch any videos or download files.  But other than that, it is a great park and one I would like for a workamper position.  A perfect end to this perfect vacation I have been having.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Gallup Day 2

I am finding it a bit of a challenge to find RV parks for the next few days.  The famous Albuquerque Balloon Festival starts this weekend so prices at the parks are going up, if they even have any availability.  So I am staying at this same park for another night and tomorrow I have a site booked closed to Albuquerque for the next three nights and then I will arrive in T or C on October 1st.  That seems to be the plan.

This park is ok,, wish the swimming pool was open, but I guess with the cool nights it was too hard to keep it warm enough for swimming.  The days are warm but bearable and the nights cool down considerably.  Looks like that will be the standard for my coming winter months.  This park does offer a nightly BBQ so last night I chose the fried catfish, not bad, and tonight I will choose something else off the menu.  The park is located on Route 66 so lots of Route 66 memorabilia for sale.  I might like to do more of that route one of these days.

On the agenda for today is a shower, reading and just chillin'.  The higher altitudes, dry weather and remnants of whatever that thing was I picked up have left me not feeling as well as I would like so I am just taking it as easy as possible.  I am also somewhat enjoying the lack of conversation, other than talking to myself:).  Recharging my me batteries before I am back in the public eye chatting and being hospitable.  That will all come soon enough.

I get a daily Note from the Universe and I had to laugh when I received today's.  So very true.
 I also didn't tell you, Susan, that in this life alone, you'd cover more territory than most do in 1,000 lifetimes. But I bet you'd believe me now... "Secretariat." 
Chess anyone?
Mural at the dining area

Kokopelli Land
Eagle Sculpture
Bear Fountain

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Gallup, NM

Wow, what a totally amazing day.

I was up early and on the road by 7:30 AM, knowing that I was going to lose an hour and had a longer drive than usual.  The road was wide open, fabulous tunes on the radio thanks to an amazing station out of Flagstaff (not often do I hear Cat Stevens and Bob Seger) and the weather was blissfully cooler than the heat I have been experiencing.  Nothing like the experience of cruisin' down the highway at 70 mph, good music and not a care in the world.  The only blip was a grape Crush in a glass bottle that broke and left me mopping up purple liquid from the floor and rugs.  No problem, nothing taking away from this day.

The other main issue were all the Indian "trading posts" along the way that advertised rugs, jewelry, blankets, etc.  I finally had to stop at the last one, Indian City, and bought myself a taco and a Kachina coloring book.  All the Kachinas in the book are named with descriptions of their attributes and what colors should be used.  An example: " Mastof Kachina - He has white spots on his cheeks representing stars - white hand prints on his chest and arms and he carries a boomerang shaped throwing stick".  I am excited to spend time with these Hopi Spirit Beings.

As I was coming into New Mexico the land became unbelievably beautiful, painted mesas and huge boulders that looked like the gods of Mt. Olympus.  I was overwhelmed with emotion and just started crying.  There must be some part of me that has longed to return to me from this land and I wonder how long I will live here.  It has felt like a homecoming.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Williams, AZ

I have been on the road for almost two weeks and I am becoming a bit weary of the stop-n-go life style so today I opted for a short hop down the road and spent the day reading and listening to the Husker football game.  The park is a  bit rough, but okay for one night.  It is not nearly as good as the website would leave you to believe.

I am so close to the Grand Canyon that it was a possibility as well but decided not this time around, save it for another time.

I plan a longer drive tomorrow and stopping in Gallop, NM. Yea!  New Mexico here I come!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Kingman, AZ

And in my box of chocolates today I got.....the Hoover Dam!

Even though I kept seeing signs leading me in that direction, I kept telling myself I was not going over the Hoover Dam, people make it a vacation destination and no way was I going the tourist route. I looked on my map twice, and still never saw it coming until I was in a mile long line moving at 5mph.  Even then, I thought it was because we were crossing over into Arizona and there was a check point ahead.  It wasn't until I had been directed into the RV line, opened up Minnie for inspection and asked the inspector what the security check was for that I finally got it that I was going over Hoover Dam.  It was packed with tourists, cars, rented RVs and photo ops and all I could think of was "get me out of here!".   I still have no idea how I end up in these unintended places.

So, it took me an hour longer than anticipated today but I am currently outside of Kingman at the Blake Ranch,, a funky little park and it was so hot I had to turn on my AC for a few hours after arriving.  It is nice and cool now but I have got to get up to some higher elevations so thinking about Flagstaff for tomorrow.  I got a call from my soon-to-be boss and my RV site won't be available until October 1st so I have a few more days of vacation left and am trying to decide the best places to stay for those extra days.

I'll figure it out tomorrow.

Oh, also, I filled out a survey and got a Route 66 pin in exchange.  What a bonus!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Pahrump Day #2

This resort continues to amaze me.  Everywhere I look there is another hidden treasure.
Mountain View

Full moon just coming over the mountain
Gorgeous Full Moon
My back yard

Nearest Neighbor - they pulled out this morning   

These amazing benches are everywhere
Zen Theme
Tucked away in a corner

This is really such an amazing place and I am glad I decided to stay another night and take care of a multitude of chores this morning.  I am battling an onslaught of mucus which was the next step after the scratchy throat so a good day to soak up some sun, swim and lounge poolside.

Whadda life:).

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Pahrump, NV

How could you not want to stay at a place called Pahrump?  I wanted to visit this place the last time I was in the area so took the opportunity to stay here this time around.  It is a small town just West of Las Vegas.

The best thing about Pahrump is this most amazing RV resort I am staying at, definitely moving to the top of my list.  I have my own private gazebo and stainless steel grill that goes along with a large, level cement pad.  I spent the day lounging around several pools, each with their own temperature.  My lunch was served pool side, cocktails if I wanted, and there is no body here!  This is a 5 star resort and I am just wondering where are all the people??  For the several hours I was at the pool area only three other women showed up and one man, and one of the women lives in Pahrump and pays a monthly membership fee for use of the facilities.  This gem should certainly be the talk of the road.  Oh, and the price I am paying?  The grand total of $27.25 per night:).

Gotta stay another night.
My own private gazebo
Looks like I will have to grill some food.  And how do you like having your own garbage container!?

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Tonopah, NV

Drove five hours today, no stops because it was a whole lot of nothing.  The only places with RV stops were Hawthorne and Tonopah so I opted for the longer route and am now parked basically in a parking lot for the evening.  The scenery was gorgeous and I averaged 70 mph because it was just wide open spaces.  It is hot right now, very breezy, and I am anticipating the cool evening when the sun goes down.  I am at approximately 6,000 ft so when the sun goes down it should be mighty cold.  That's high desert for ya:).

Monday, September 20, 2010

Nevada - about 10 miles outside of Reno

It's hot.  And it is the first time I can remember that I am looking forward to the sun going down.  Ever so glad I decided to stick to the higher elevations.

I stayed around Durango as long as I could before pulling out for this route I have never taken before.  To my surprise, it took me through Lassen Volcanic National Park and up to elevations of over 5,500 feet.  It was slow going but the scenery was spectacular.  Mt. Shasta was covered in fog yesterday but today She was out in all her glory and the view of her was a wonderful send off and the the vistas continued throughout the entire day.  This is the view from my only rest stop of the day,
 I am now in this funky little RV park that I really like.  It is peaceful, has some greenery and good wi-fi.  It also comes with a casino that I avoided and a restaurant where I bought tacos for $1.00 each.  The laundry is extremely close so I am washing clothes, napping, catching up on emails and starting to feel some cool breezes coming through.  I am also not feeling as well as I would like...scratchy throat, headache, blah blah.  Hopefully after a good night's sleep I will feel better tomorrow and enjoy whatever experiences the road has to offer.

Bordertown RV Resort

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Red Bluff, CA

I think I have just found my new favorite resort, the Durango RV Resort  This was one of Gloria's favorites so I will have to thank her for this great find.

The club house is huge with an assortment of leather couches and chairs with a big screen TV that had Sunday night football on - always a bonus.  The sites are exceptionally large, a few restaurants are within walking distance, free coffee and paper in the morning and an outdoor swimming pool that had me drooling.  Unfortunately, today was cool, rainy, foggy and cloudy so not such a good day for swimming and sunning.  Would have loved to just lounge by the pool today.  It has excellent wi-fi, a big open sky to watch the stars at night and with my senior discount is only $37 per night.  Yes, this may very well be my new #1 park.

I have had to totally rethink my route from here as I forgot that the weather can be extremely hot this time of year going my previous routes.  Staying away from the desert and heading up to the mountains, or at least high desert.   That leaves me crossing over into Nevada tomorrow instead of heading further south through California.  I plan to take it slow and easy, savoring this time with myself and enjoy the new parks as yet undiscovered.  I also get to add another state to my map of where Minnie and I have traveled.  I am a little nervous about driving through this unknown territory but am amazed how comfortable I felt today driving the mountain passes that usually are so intimidating.

I wonder if the thrill is gone?

Saturday, September 18, 2010


For the third time I am back at the Seven Feathers RV resort and this time I am not quite as impressed.  The resort is so full all they had left was a back-in and the internet is painfully slow.  But it is still the best bargain out there at only $33 per night and you can't beat the scenery and amenities.

Spent the day pedaling away in the fitness center while watching a very impressive Husker football team and then went to the casino.  I still have no idea how to play the machines, where is Sherita when I need her, and lost a whopping $2.00 before I decided that was as much entertainment as I could stand.  Ate at the buffet which had a very full selection and l left very full:).

Tomorrow I have the dreaded mountain ranges to cross before arriving in California and my next RV park.  The park is one of Gloria's favorites so I am looking forward to some warmer weather, no rain and a nice park.  I continue to treat myself to this wonderful vacation I am on.

Friday, September 17, 2010


Back in Eugene for a few nights, still carrying parts of Mt. Hood with me.

I wake up and look out my window to a totally different scenery.  The sounds are different.  I want to whack the weed whacker.  I miss peeking out my window and the comfort of seeing Jan's trailer next to me, Everett across from me.  I still have the vision of their presence.  I feel turned around and disoriented as my bed faces a new direction.  This is what comes from being so long in one location.

I am also anxious to get back on the road.  I have taken care of  the mundane business of replenishing supplies, getting mail, visiting the bank.  All is falling into place for the next journey down the road and I am eager to step onto the path.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Lincoln City, OR

I am on the Oregon coast treating myself to a bit of a vacation.   Last night I watched the sun set across the ocean while sipping a Key Lime martini and nibbling popcorn shrimp.  For lunch today I watched the mists roll across the ocean while enjoying a salmon burger and the best clam chowder I have ever eaten.  I have taken walks on the beach and lazed in bed working crossword puzzles.  Doesn't get much better than this.

This is the resort right across the street that has been providing these fabulous meals and stunning scenery:

Thursday, September 9, 2010


I am restless and bored and itching to move one.  It feels like I am living in a ghost town.

I had agreed to stay through one more week-end because I thought there would be work to warrant my staying on.  This has not been the case and instead of helping my co-workers, I find I am just there to "amuse" them through their boredom. Had I known this, I would have made different arrangements and be further down the road.  I have decided to adjust my hours and work only two more 5 1/2 hour shifts instead of two more 8 hour shifts.  I worked a four hour shift today and spent most of it playing computer games.

Get me out of here!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The Packing has Begun

It is almost over, only this next weekend to work, and I can finally be back on the road and heading to a new destination.  I have scoured Gloria's notebooks for RV parks I want to visit, started packing up my outdoor table and chairs, cleaned windows, defrosted the fridge, cleaned the stove, washed towels, rugs and bedding, run the generator, started Minnie to make sure she still runs and made a hair appointment for Monday.  As soon as my hair has been given a much needed make over, I am off to Eugene for a few nights to have lunch with my son and hear about this year's experience at Burning Man.

I have never been to Burning Man and doubt I will ever get there, too many people and too much heat.  But it is with deep wonder that my son feels so at home in this environment.  It makes me feel that even after my poor parenting skills, my son still became a most amazing human.  I cannot begin to describe or explain what Burning Man is all about, but I hope this video will give some insight into the New World that is forming.  It is the middle video, titled "Gifting".

The Party's Over

Labor Day weekend came and went, and what a party it was.  Both sides of the booth were open for check-ins as over 300 RVs came in during a two day period.  By now we all had plenty of experience under our belts and it was the smoothest process we have ever accomplished.  Go Team Go!

We had three nights of music under the big outdoor tent, free alcohol compliments of the local RV dealership which had our parking lot full of new RVs and a park that was 98% capacity.  It was a wonderful carnival atmosphere and I was able to fully enjoy the music on Sunday night and dance to Runaround Sue, among several of my favorite songs, as sung by Charles Suniga  .

Also, a square dancing club was here for the weekend so when not dancing or listening to music, I also spent some time watching the intricacies of square dancing at its best and remembered that way back when, my mom and dad belonged to Buttons and Bows, a square dancing club.  My mom would wear these swirly skirts with stiff petticoats underneath and my dad would wear a spiffed up cowboy shirt and off they would go to a night of square dancing.  I loved the remembrance and listening to the caller call out such phrases as the "Ping Pong" and the "Brad Pitt". 

What a way to go out....

Thursday, September 2, 2010


My workamping experience at Mt. Hood was what I refer to as the Perfect Storm.

I chose a park that was HUGE, almost 400 RV sites, 3 yurts, 21 tent sites, 9 rustic cabins, 2 cabin suites, and innumerable cottages.   I was assigned the busiest schedule, Thursday, Friday and Saturday, and the busiest times of the day.  The experienced full time worker I was to work with quit after Memorial weekend so I was left working with someone who was even less experienced than I was as my "go to person".  Add to that half the work staff that was there last year, a season that started May 15th instead of earlier in the month and a staff already stretched to the limit.  And, I came to learn, a manager well over his head in managing the park.  There were multiple other problems which were never taken care of and you have a Perfect Storm for my first workamping experience.

I have been stressed, overwhelmed, pissed off, incredulous and exhausted.  I have also met some wonderful people, laughed myself silly and learned a lot about myself and my relationship to other people. I was glad to be here for my son, my dad and his wife, and for those valuable visits from my friend Wren.  I could write a book about each of the characters who have inhabited this world with me, and what characters they have been.  I have never known such people before in my life and likely will never again be surrounded with such a vast diversity of gravediggers, welders, ex-cons, peeping toms, and "supposed" drug dealers.  I have come to realize what a sheltered life I have led.  It has not been easy, but it has been a world of new experiences.

I feel it is now time for a totally different experience and have accepted a new workamping job which I hope will bring some peace back into my life.  At the very least, it will be wonderful to soak in some healing waters and be more among people who "speak my language".  I knew it was to be my next assignment and am very excited about this amazing opportunity.  It starts October 1st and I have committed for at least 3.5 months, with the possibility of staying as long as I want.

So, check out my next assignment.

New Neighborhood

While I was diligently working during the Huckleberry Festival, each night I came home to a changed neighborhood.  One night I came home to a family behind me who had settled in with a tree swing and several hammocks.

Another night I came home to a car, just a car, parked next to me with several pre-teenagers gathered around a fire in the fire pit.  Since I generally know when someone is moving in next to me, I questioned them as to whether they had a site tag designating that this was in fact where they were supposed to be.  An adult was summoned, and no, he did not have a site tag.  I promptly sent him to the office in the hopes that they were in an incorrect site and that these would not be my new neighbors.  Unfortunately, they did come back with a site tag and later in the evening put up two tents as their now new, permanent residence.

 This was all very odd to me since we never put just tents in the long term section of the park, but there they were and checking on the computer it looked like they were going to be here for a year!  It just kept getting stranger. 

After several days of them as my neighbor, watching them throw knives and hatchets, a hatchet stuck in a tree which pained me every time I had to see it, I was considering the possibility of moving to another site or giving the office the ultimatum of either they go, or I do.  Miraculously, one morning they were packing up and moving everything down to an RV at another site.  There was some talk about a probation officer showing I don't know the full details, but I am happy to report that I now have my space, peace and tranquility back to myself. 

Even Everett's site changed as he built a deck addition onto his RV.  I love how he now has a perfect place to hang all his skis in preparation for the winter.

What a world, what a world:).

News in Brief

A lot has happened in the time I have been off-line, so much that I am posting the "news in brief" so that I can be up to date with the weekend that is fast approaching, Labor Day Weekend.  So here goes.....

Last weekend was the Huckleberry Festival which I thoroughly enjoyed and was the weekend that helped me get through the week.  The Festival consisted of three days of food vendors, wonderful music and multiple other vendors plying their arts.  I ate fresh grilled salmon, buffalo burgers and fresh huckleberries, huckleberry pancakes and listened to the wonderful music of native american flutes, guitar music and a man who sounded so like Gordon Lightfoot that as I approached the tents I thought to myself "Gordon Lightfoot is here!" .  Here is a sampling:

Neighbor Ben waiting his turn to play his flute
Gloria selling hand painted wine glasses and jewelry
Co-workers Donna and Lynn in their Huckleberry outfits
   Huckleberries taste like tart blueberries

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Back on Line

I had multiple issues with my internet service so was not able to blog for the past several weeks.  I am now back on line with a new server which should be usable until I leave in a few weeks.  It certainly has not been boring or for lack of things to write!  Will get around to updating as soon as I savor these moments of having internet back.

I sure did miss it!