……….oh yes, struggling to establish a home retirement routine. After a few weeks we settled into this: Sleeping in, morning coffee with CNBC, breakfast, working out, shower and dress, lunch, afternoon activity (typically dealing with a repairman, a doctor, an insurance agent, or in Robin’s case, a client), golf lesson, shopping for dinner, making dinner, eating dinner, watch TV (Warriors game or a show), snack, go to sleep. So, although that may sound pretty good (actually reading it now………it does sound pretty good), we really missed being on the road. The year went by way too fast and we found ourselves lamenting the fact that it was over. Now admittedly we did have a remarkable 6 week trip to Hawaii in the middle of all that home routine activity, but what we really wanted was to get back out there, in the old home, and to keep exploring. And……thanks to the uncertainty of the “Oakland” Raiders eventual relocation, Adam & Ryan still have no better idea of where, when, or even if they will be moving and were therefore more than happy to continue staying in our home and taking care of things. So what the heck! We planned, we packed, and we left.
This next trip will be limited to 4 months so that we make it home in plenty of time for the arrival of baby girl Feldman. Yes, Adam & Ryan are expecting December 2015. So, looks like we will be sharing our home with a new baby and who knows, we might even add a new furry puppy (or two) to the mix……now that sounds like a routine we can really wrap our heads around!!
Some highlights of this year’s trip will include the Canadian Rockies, the remaining 8 Presidential Libraries we missed last year, more MLB games, college football games, NFL games, National Parks, battlefields, visiting family and friends, and of course eating!
We took off from home on Sunday, July 19 confident we had packed a bit smarter, a bit lighter, and thoroughly excited to be back in the “old home”. Two hours out of the Bay Area we stopped for breakfast in Marysville, CA and met our good friends Julie and Carrie Brunt. We enjoyed our visit and were soon back on our way. Our first overnight stop was the Best Western in Chester, CA to visit Lassen Volcanic National Park.
Lassen Volcanic National Park, although not one of the more popular parks in our National Park System, is really quite beautiful. We stopped at the Visitor Center and watched a quick informative video on the creation of the park. From there we drove to one of the more popular hikes called “Bumpass Hell Trail”, named after an early settler, Kendall Vanhook Bumpass who unfortunately fell in one of the steamed geysers resulting in the loss of his leg. Bumpass Hell is the largest hydrothermal area in the park and includes the key area of steam up-flow from the Lassen hydrothermal system. The trail is at 8,000 ft elevation and although only 3 miles roundtrip and fairly level it is still a fairly difficult hike. The thermally active basin, smelt from far away, is filled with steaming pools and strange colored soils caused by sulphur and other minerals. We mostly enjoyed the boiling lakes and bubbly mud pots (check out the video at the end of this post)! After our hike and a nice picnic lunch at Lake Helen, we drove through the “devastated area” from the last eruption (1915) and headed back to Chester.
The next two days were drive days. First the long drive from Chester, CA to Redmond, OR. Followed by another long drive from Redmond, OR to Coeur d’alene, ID. Not much to say about those two days except that we had our first room change (Holiday Inn in Redmond gave us a room next to a broken hallway access door that slammed shut every 30 seconds. The door was so heavy it actually shook our room), and the drive was through some very beautiful countryside. We drove lightly traveled highways through the high desert of central Oregon and Washington, offering spectacular views of Mt. Hood, Mt. Adams and even Mt. Rainier. It was nice to drive through the Columbia River Gorge again (this time heading East) and we found a great sandwich and coffee place in Umatilla, OR called Umatilla Java Junkies. So if you’re ever in Umatilla………..
Arrived in Coeur d’Alene, ID late yesterday and checked into The Blackwell Hotel (built by Lumberman F.A. Blackwell for his son and daughter-in-law as a wedding gift in 1904). Had dinner at Syringa, Coeur d”Alene’s finest Sushi restaurant, and got some sleep in preparation for our big day of golf.
We came to Coeur d’Alene for one reason only……..to play a round of golf (putting those lessons to use) at the Coeur D’Alene Resort golf course, renowned for its 14th hole floating green. And today we played!
The course and the experience met all our expectations. The grounds are incredibly beautiful with perfectly manicured fairways and greens. Most holes offer tremendous views of Lake Coeur d’Alene. Plus you get a caddie (a first for us……..nice guy named Shaun) and golf cart complete with heated seats, tilt steering wheel, and a tee dispenser. We even played fairly well, both of us breaking 100 (OK, Robin beat me by 2 strokes but that’s nothing new). As for the 14th hole………I made it across the water to the big sand trap, Robin donated a couple of balls to the lake, and we both enjoyed a nice boat ride (boat’s name was Putter) to and from the green. It was a really nice day.
Tomorrow we are off to Columbia Falls, MT to visit Glacier National Park. Ah….it’s good to be back on the road!