Sleeping in Seattle

How do you plan for a trip like this, you ask?

You ASK lots of questions, read lots of googles, ask lots of people, pick up a lot of maps, and ask more questions. The more you study the travel sites, the better acquainted you will be with the area and can recognize more famous landmarks.

Our first day in Seattle we took the bus across the street from the RV Park to the Airport.  At the airport we boarded the Light Rail to Pioneer Plaza. At Pioneer Plaza we realized that we wanted to be at Westlake Center where we could board the Monorail to the most familiar site - the Space Needle. That's a lot of thinking for these West Texas country bumpkins.

At 520 feet off the ground,

it's a view that never sleeps - so the brochure says.

In the Pike Place Market,
you must have your picture made with the brass piggy bank.
 Coins go to some worthy cause I'm sure. 
(The guy in the background is not with us)

Here's Papa choosing a chew from the Gum Wall!
 (Not really.  He is making a contribution)

Gum is stuck to both sides of Post Alley underneath Pike Place.

Art of a sort lines other walls.

In the market you can buy everything from flying fish to flowers.

You can eat clam chowder where a scene from 
Sleepless in Seattle
 was shot.

And you must ride the duck boats, 
which tour Seattle from the streets and the water.

You see sites you've never heard of - like the second most photographed landmark in town - the carwash sign. Our guide said that Elvis once washed his caddy there and that there have recently been rumored sightings of him.

We drove past the Iron Man at the Art Museum. 
Those little people in the picture aren't with us.

And of course, there's the houseboat from the movie, Sleepless in Seattle.
We saw it from the Duck Boat (in Lake Union). It is only visible from the water. Our trusty boat guide (Captain Sid E. Slicker) says the house recently sold for 2.2 million.

We must watch that movie again.

My step counter recorded 13,000 plus steps for one day in Seattle,

 but my feet screamed 13 million. 
Maybe I should have rented a bicycle.



I've had a request to tell you how to plan for a crazy trip like we are taking. 
I am blogging on the fly with small devices and very little connectivity,
so I'm a little slow. The formatting may not be pretty either. 
However, here are some thoughts about Portland, Oregon.

Travel tip: Check Diners Drive-ins and Dives and Trip Advisor 
when looking for a great place to eat. 
We looked at Triple D's visits, then compared that list to Trip Advisor. 
The Tin Shed made both lists and was rated #2 for Portland.

After stuffing ourselves, we walked down
the street and found a food cart (truck, bus, trailer) pod 
with hot dogs, Mexican, Honduran, Italian, etc. 
There was even a Paleo wagon. 
No picture of the cart, but here's their sign.

We should have saved some room because they all smelled wonderful.

Interesting facts about Oregon:
There are over 500 food carts in Portland.
Lewis & Clark found the ocean here at the end of the Columbia River.
The spot has been named Cape Disappointment.
Medical marajuana is legal.
Recreational marajuana becomes legal for home use in July.
Pumping your own gas is NOT LEGAL!

Today's advice:
Check the reviews
Follow your nose
Don't complain about pumping your own gas
And don't  let your successes be confused with disappointment.

Thanks for traveling along with me!


Coeur d'Alene

It was just a stop-off - just a pause on the destination trail. Lake Coeur d'Alene had a beautiful natural glacier carved lake, a near perfect waterfront RV park, and a floating restaurant. National Geographic has referred to the lake as one of the five most beautiful lakes in the world.  It's certainly one of the top five these travelers have seen. 

Take a pause in your busy day today to
"Be still and know that I am God"
Psalm 46:10



Navigating a road trip sure takes a lot of resources. Destinations, routes, waypoints, campgrounds, reviews, rates, exits, and the next destination all need a mountain of gadgets, gizmos, maps, and information. Then the next day the whole crazy process begins again. Today we reach uncharted territory - for us. A few have gone ahead of us. The first people groups, Lewis and Clark, the wagons on the Oregon Trail, and the railroads all blazed the way. Even the contributors to the travel advice sites were pioneers somewhere. It was all new territory for them.       

All to see some mountains on the west side of the continental divide. 

Most of life is uncharted territory that sometimes has to be navigated without many resources . Marriage, babies, toddlers, teenagers, jobs, houses, cars, and now we are about to navigate Social Security, Medicare, and dare I even say it - old age.
However, the one constant, tried and true device for navigating life is the Word of God. His WORD never fails.

  Isaiah 43:19 says, I [the LORD] will even make a way in the wilderness and, and rivers in the desert.

Stay tuned for more wilderness adventures as I try to navigate blogging on a hand held device.


Traveling to North Dakota

When you come to North Dakota, there are some things you may see that need a little explain', y'all. So here is a West Texas farm gal giving you the unofficial North Dakota Tour:

Lewis and Clark and Sakakawea - Remember studying them in the fourth grade? Remember their little expedition of the western frontier that took up the Missouri River right through North Dakota. Oh, well - you probably aced the test then promptly forgot about them. Some first peoples' language experts have decided that us elementary kids were taught to pronounce her name wrong - it's not Sacajawea, but Sakakawea. They are still around in North Dakota today.

Homesteads - The Homestead Act of 1862 gave 160 acres to anyone willing to become a naturalized citizen and stay on the land for five years (that's my simple interpretation). Singles, couples, and families left their homeland, sailed to New York, probably, and rode a train to North Dakota without knowing a word of English.  Some of their grandchildren are still here living on those homesteads - but in newer houses.

Shelter Belts - Another homestead act gave homesteaders 160 acres in exchange for planting a portion of the land in trees.  You will see rows and rows of trees that help slow the biting twenty below wind, I suppose. They call them wind breaks, hedge rows, and shelter belts.

Farm Dinosaurs - I don't know the names of the different species, but you'll recognize one when you see it.

Rock Piles - These are rocks that come to there surface with the spring thaw. The frost line is 7 feet here and I think the frost heave pushes them to the top.  The rocks are called glacial erratics because they do not match surface and are thought to have been pushed here by glaciers. There is a rumor that bodies are buried under some of the rocks.

Wildlife - There are robins, ducks, geese, swans, deer, antelope, moose, and eagles. If you think you see buzzards circling above, take it closer look.  It just might be an eagle. I haven't seen a moose yet.

Churches - North Dakota has more churches per capita than any other state. It's not unusual to see a church steeple rising to the sky in the middle of a wheat field. It seems to me that there are more Lutheran churches than any other.

Crops - Durum wheat (think pasta), flax, corn, canola, sunflowers, soybeans, and peas. Some of these crops have been genetically modified modified to resist herbicides. What that means is - when they are sprayed with round-up only the weeds die. Some farmers spray round-up on wheat so it will die uniformly and be ready to harvest. The farm news says that eternal sunshine yellow canola plants are on the loose - they refuse to die. Round-up in my tummy - doesn't that sound yummy? OK, I'm off my soapbox and back to being your tour guide.

Multiple Pump Jacks on one location - These are horizontally drilled wells. That means the drilling rigs drill down then out. They damage as little of the land as possible.  Wells go in all direction and lotsa, lotsa good farm folks get an oil check.  You know how in Texas everybody in the family gets a new house and a new car when Mama gets an oil well?  The only way you can spot fresh oil money in North Dakota is that Mama gets a new Buick. That's what the locals say.

Oil Trains - You just might see an oil train or two. There are no refineries in N.D. nor or there any pipelines heading south.  Trains are the only way to move the one million barrels produced every day to Gulf Refineries. 

So there you have it - North Dakota tourism in a nut shell. I guess I'm the nut! These are just a few of the things I might forget to tell you as you travel along the highways and the back ways of North Dakota. I hope you enjoy your visit.

And to my 24 Godly Girlfriends, who are on your way as I type - 

Welcome to North Dakota Y'ALL!!!


Miracle Rain

The news headlines said that the

This lake that provides water to 350,000 thirsty folks in
 West Texas has received a Miracle.

We carried umbrellas as an act of faith.
We acknowledged our sin before God.
We humbly asked Him to open he skies.
We sang rain songs and read rain scriptures.
We acknowledged that He is the one in charge.

The prayers have continued.

Water rationing began.
Thirsty non-native trees and lush lawns turned brown and died.
Some homeowners drilled water wells in their back yards.
Others replaced the dead turf with artificial turf,
and rocks, and cactus.

A few weeks ago, these homesick grandparents went back to Texas just in time to witness some spring rain, water running into the lake, and blooming wildflowers whose seeds had long been dormant in the hard packed dirt.

Four walls couldn't keep us and we drove 
the country-side 
to witness this great green rejoicing of nature.

When the mud dried a little, 
we ventured to our own back yard 

- our pasture, 

my happy place.

How long has it been 

since we've seen these yellow flowers?

In April 2011, we were praying for rain.
In April 2014 this lake held less than 1% capacity.
In April 2015 this lake held 44% capacity.

May 9, 2015
This murky watered lake
that provides life for so many, is 
73% Full

we have seen a miracle.

HE gives rain on the earth
and sends water on the fields.
(Job 5:10)

May HE come down like rain on mown grass.
Like showers on the earth.
(Psalm 72:6)

Drip down O heavens from above, 
and let the clouds pour down righteousness;
Let the earth open up 
and salvation bear fruit,
and righteousness spring up with it.
I the LORD have created it.

(Isaiah 45:8)

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