Bend, OR to Standish, CA


Pretty low-stress day, considering we packed up ourselves, closed up the condo and drove 5 hours to start our 2, 3, or 4 month getaway from the winter. It was a beautiful, uneventful drive out of Bend to 395 South. We love the 395 drive through western California.

T'Chat had her ritual vomit about one hour into the drive. It happens every trip on the first day, then NEVER after that! Now we prepare; the towels and cleaner were at hand at the start of the trip.

Covered 315 miles today. We split the driving. I, Robin, like to take the first leg every day, as that’s when I’m freshest.

We both put our earbuds in and listened to podcasts along the way.

Me: Two Crime Writers and A Microphone ~ hilarious Scottish guys interviewed Ian Rankin, Mark Billingham and Eva Dolan. Stay Tuned with Preet Bharaha ~ who interviewed retired Russian chessmaster Gary Kasparov. You are Not So Smart ~ On how immersive storytelling can change one’s thinking about a topic.

Ross: Rhonda Patrick, PhD ~ interviews with Dr. Judith Campisi (cellular senescence), Dr. Satchin Panda (circadian clock and food), sauna benefits.

Plusses: Gorgeous sunset! Didn’t get in trouble for carrying our citrus fruit into California. We admitted to carrying in 3 lemons at the border and were cleared to carry on.

Minuses: We seem to have sprung a leak in our toilet. Luckily it’s in the fresh water intake side…nothing icky. We’ll work on fixing it at our next destination.

Dinner: Homemade split pea soup and homemade chicken salad over spinach! Plus (my first sugar since before our fast) ~ one Seeley mint chocolate piece.

The Gap Band - Party Train

We are OUTTA here!

My old fave Gap Band tune is our Official Departure Song whenever we pull out of our latest campground for the next destination.

Ross finished his clinical contract last night and we head for points North this morning. We are armed with good ideas from Ross’ coworker Vern and my friend Britta (thanks Britta!). Please email or text if you have more ideas for us along the way.



- by Robin

Foggy mornings turn into sunny breezy summer afternoons here in Astoria.

This was our view at lunch today, just two minutes from the clinic where Ross is working. We sat on the dock here and ate Crab Louie from Northwest Wild: fresh picked Dungeness crab, asparagus, artichoke hearts, black olives, tomatoes, hard boiled egg over a huge bed of mixed greens.

If we’d had a loaf of sourdough, we’d have felt like we were in San Francisco…

Notes from Astoria, Oregon: Day 1

posted by Robin


  • Arrived in Astoria just in time for the Scandinavian Festival Pannukakku Breakfast. Pannukakku can best be described as a an eggier version of bread pudding or very close to my favorite Southern dish SPOON BREAD! A truly delicious comfort food, although the accompanying picture makes it look like burnt toast. It was served with an enormous slice of ham and the traditional Scandinavian Canned Fruit Salad in Heavy Syrup.

  • Really bummed we missed yesterday’s Running of the Trolls. Which reminded me of Troll Dolls from my youth. Why were they all naked? And what was up with that hair?!!

  • I have a farmer’s market fetish from our days as full-time RV’ers. Farmers markets around the U.S. reveal little slices of local life and culture, access to fresh produce and baked goods, and watchable dogs (my favorite part).

  • Our arrival here was timed to allow a visit to their Astoria’s Sunday Market. Astoria’s growing season is ahead of Bend’s, so I knew we were in for a treat. Sure enough…we left with a bounty of fresh greens, other veggies and fruit. Astoria has a top-notch market.

  • Spotted three different baby goats were at the market, on leashes! Are baby goats trending at farmer’s markets, or was this just Astoria? Either way…I loved seeing all the baybees.

  • Dogs at farmers markets spend most of their time peering between human legs at other the other dogs in the market.

  • Everyone’s happy at a farmer’s market.


  • I tried to get Ross in a picture with the Scandinavian Festival Queen, but he refused.

  • No local pie at the Farmer’s Market. There was some regionally produced pie, but I ain’t wasting my pietime on that.

  • Got ‘pronuncisplained’ by a persnickety male desk manager at the Cannery Pier Hotel. Went to inquire about using their sauna and he replied you mean the “SOWna?” Sure enough, there are two pronunciations of sauna. Did not know that. But his version was no more correct than mine! haha!!

  • That reminded me of the great KeFEER vs KEEEfir controversy of 2014.


  • We signed up for the Astoria Aquatic Center/Gym, which we will use during the two weeks Ross is working. My wonderful strength coach Joey texted me my workouts tonight so I can keep bulking up (hahaha!). I already miss my SuperWomen Training Group, and I want to be ready to jump back when we return.

  • Found a mini-blender for jucing at Costco. Ross tried it and it works great. We can keep our green juices going.

  • Ross removed the bent bike rack and we’ll take it to the recycling area this week.

  • Dinner was a salad leftover combo with fresh market greens and a shared Backroads Vanilla Porter.

  • We are already weeding out things we need to send home, and will end up with a box to mail by the time we leave here including shoes, hand blender, extra dishes and extra sheets.

Bend to Astoria with a Bang

*posted by Robin*

Shipped out of Bend today with T’Chat (a.k.a. MonkeyShines) and two bikes on the front of the renovated Chinook (Thanks Ross!).
Arrived in Astoria, Oregon with NO bikes on the front, after getting in a fender-bender in Warm Springs.

It was the best car accident I’ve ever had (and my first car accident since 1987, thank goodness). The car in front of me stopped suddenly at an intersection. I was going the speed limit and had a good bit of distance between us, but couldn’t quite keep from tapping his bumper with our bikes. There was a chain reaction to the RIGHT of us in the turn lane where 2 other cars collided (don’t know why).

SO much good luck:
1) no one was injured
2) no major damage on any vehicle
3) a Warm Springs policeman witnessed the whole thing.
4) he said it was simple chain-reaction, no speeding or mistakes, therefore no tickets issued.
5) One of our bikes was tossed on the ground, but had NO damage. The bike rack is a goner (bent up) but Ross wanted to get a different rack anyway.
6) The Warm Springs policemen and EMS were so efficient, we were back on our way to Astoria in under 30 minutes.

I am so grateful there were no injuries. It was a big reminder how swiftly life can take a nosedive. I was pleased that I didn’t freak out, felt very calm through the whole experience, although I did let Ross take over the driving afterwards.

It was a beautiful day for a drive, and we had spectacular views of Mt. Hood.

T’Chat was her usual traveling self. Every single trip she vomits, but only once and usually about ½ hour into the trip. She did her ritual vomit around Madras and we had the cleanup supplies standing by. Once that’s out of her system, she’s a trouper. She goes from lap to lap, watching out the windows and napping. She won’t get carsick again on this whole adventure, if she is true to form. Once she gets it out of her system, she is Road-Worthy.

We landed safely in Lewis and Clark Golf and RV Park. Our site pulls up to a golf range. T’Chat was already begging us to let her go hit some balls. Dinner was margaritas, tamales and chile rellenos at our favorite traditional Mexican restaurant here in Astoria: Cabaña de Raya.

It is drizzly and overcast in Astoria…but after our experience here this past spring we expected nothing less. (There is a reason everything here is so lush and beautiful.)

Going Back to Cali, Cali, Cali...

Daily Summary April 14
Day 03
Start Bullards Beach State Park, OR
Finish Jedediah Smith State Park, CA
Today’s Miles 109.6
Trip Time 05:57:37
Moving Average 39.3 mph
Speed Max 62.6 mph
Time Moving 02:55:00
Odometer 385.6


  • Breakfast at Minute Cafe in Bandon listening to the old coots opine about “God damn” this and “God damn” that. And the breakfast wasn’t bad either., especially the huge biscuits that lost their gold medal status after getting caught up in the meldonium scandal.
  • The raging surf spitting the largest waves we’ve ever seen.
  • The epic walk with El Tigre (T'Chat’s feral alter ego) under the redwoods and along the Smith River.
  • Robin smuggling contraband limes into California just so she can have a Moscow Mule tonight. Shameful behavior!


  • Damp cold causing Mr. Spock’s rheumatism to flare up. Thank goodness for medical marijuana. Unlike Bill Clinton he admits, “I inhaled the shit out of that…well…shit!”

Blowing in the Wind

Daily Summary April 13
Day 02
Start Jessie Honeyman State Park
Finish Bullards Beach State Park
Today’s Miles 82.1
Trip Time 04:53:35
Moving Average 33.3 mph
Speed Max 64.7 mph
Time Moving 02:35:05
Odometer 275.9


  • Beautiful run through Jessie Honeyman State Park to start off the day (Robin)
  • Beautiful views south of Charleston around Sunset Bay State Park
  • Botanical Gardens at Shore Acres State Park
  • Sea Lions at Pinnacle Reef
  • Discovered a free camping spot at Bastendorff Beach (another trip)


  • Strong winds ripped my new tarp
  • Chilly
  • Poor sleep last night
  • Mr. Spock acting like a nursing home runaway

The Adventure Begins

Daily Summary April 12
Day 01
Start Bend, OR
Finish Jessie Honeyman State Park
Today’s Miles 193.9
Trip Time 5:08:36
Moving Average 50.4 mph
Speed Max 67 mph
Time Moving 3:57:54
Odometer 193.9


  • Going from dreaming and planning to doing
  • Cocktails in the rain
  • Beautiful landscape on the east side of the Cascades, especially east of Eugene


  • Cold and wet
  • Mr. Spock seems unhappy. He’s sleeping in the Jeep versus under the awning in his crate. On previous trips he slept with us in the teardrop.