Cool Stuff

Sometimes you just find cool stuff when you travel…

…like the toll road around Denver. Good thing I saw a sign early on that said they take a photo of your license plate and then mail you a bill for the toll, or we would have been confused by these empty booths…

…and these signs:

They wanted our money, told us how much, but nobody was around to take it. We watched our mail and — finally — a few months later, we got a bill, which we were able to pay quickly and easily online. The future of tolls is here!

Now imagine you’re taking a peaceful nap in the passenger seat. You’re suddenly awakened by a blood-curdling scream from the driver. Your eyes jerk open and this is what you see through the front windshield:

IKES! Just kidding. That’s not how I spotted this rig begin towed. But it makes a funny story, huh?

If you travel near El Centro, California, in the winter months, you might get be surprised with an impromptu air show from the famous Blue Angels Navy demonstration flight crew! This past March wasn’t the first time we’ve been delivered with this unexpected gift, which is awesome even from the highway miles away:

Or you could be tooling along the road just about anyplace in the US and spot a painted water tower. It’s a sure sign of a proud community — even a tiny one like this one, in southern New Mexico:

Maybe it’s something in the air in New Mexico, but we also spotted a few decorated bushes in the median of an interstate. It’s hard to make out the details, but more than one American flag is tied to this one, along with some tinsel and other flashy objects:

Nothing much beats seeing a stunning old building. For some reason they scream, “Fix me up! I’m a hidden treasure you just found!” This one in Ohio was left to die when a major re-routing left it on a curvy, dead-end road:

At least one attorney and a title company have spaces in this old building, which sits in downtown Port Clinton, Ohio. Yep, a port town in Ohio — up along Lake Erie’s shoreline. Someone answered the call to fix up and maintain this brick building, keeping a bit of the area history alive:

Nope, you never know what you’re going to spot when you’re traveling down the road. Somewhere along I-76 in eastern Ohio or western Pennsylvania, we ended up behind this fascinating compilation. Why tow the red pick-up truck if you can stow stuff in its bed, then haul it in the back of a bigger truck?

And as for this little critter… well, all I can say is I’m glad we got to see a true Beach Bunny out at the end of the Outer Banks in North Carolina:

There are a lot of reasons to RV…. seeing cool stuff — especially unexpected cool stuff — is one of them!

Posted in Animals, Cool Experience, Interesting Stories, On the Road | Tagged , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Escapees with a Good Book ;-)

“She’s done it again. Ellen Behrens has created a can’t-put-this-book-down mystery,” writes Marcella Gauthier in her review of Yuma Baby for the Escapees Magazine.

This review means more to me than most because it’s by a fellow RVer for fellow RVers. The Escapee RV club has (so I’ve heard) about 50,000 members all over the country, and I’m happy to be among them. But when Marcella called me “a favorite author of the RVing community,” in her column, I glowed.

Writers are advised to imagine the ideal reader while we’re writing, and it’s helped me. Several readers have told me they feel as though I’m Betty (I’m not, though we’re pretty similar in some ways) and that I’m “talking” just to them (I am). RVers have sent notes and posted reviews saying they appreciate the details of their RVing lives finding a way onto the page, because so few other novels do this, so few other characters in fiction are RVers.

All of this is to say that I’m humbled every time someone sends an e-mail, stops me at an RV park, or writes a review saying they enjoyed reading about Walt and Betty and their Rollin adventures.

It’s easy to lose heart when you spend so much of your energy inside your own head, wondering if anyone will understand the words the come out, much less enjoy them.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Posted in RV, RV Parks & Lifestyle, RVing Books, Yuma Baby | Tagged , | 5 Comments

Yuma Winter

We didn’t get to Yuma during the 2015-2016 winter season except for a brief stop-over on an otherwise snowy trip north to pick up our Jeep (has it been over a year already?!?!), so we were more than ready to spend some time there in late 2016 and early 2017.

It’s a good place to unwind and practice my photography… Continue reading

Posted in and Critters in General, Animals, Birds, Cool Experience | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Big Guns

Every time we re-visit someplace, we try to see something different. This past January, while in Yuma, Arizona, we decided to take a day off from running the fitness trail and drive up to the Yuma Proving Grounds, which is about twenty miles north of town.

The directions say, “Turn at the big guns.”

Next step: stop at the visitor processing center for vetting before entrance onto the proving grounds. The Army officer and staffers in the office were fascinated with Bob’s late-1960s Air Force experience and we were given our visitors’ passes after a short wait. Continue reading

Posted in Attractions, Cool Experience, Interesting Stories | Tagged , , , , | 6 Comments

Oddments

My dictionary says an oddment is something left over. So here are some things that just didn’t fit into other posts… leftovers, you could say. Oddments. Odd oddments, at that. Things you don’t see every day. Like…

…three antique cars, each pulling a teardrop camper, spotted leaving an Idaho RV park this past autumn.

Maybe you’ve seen some of these little signs tacked to posts and trees outside Boise… Continue reading

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Look Harder

Let’s get one thing straight: there is nothing boring out there. There are no dull stretches of highway. Every small town holds something amazing. If you look around and think, “There’s nothing here,” look again. Look harder — because you’re missing something.

Staying near Boise, Idaho, this past September, we sometimes drove a country road that took us past a farm with alpacas.

Or this crop that caught our eye (and nose): Continue reading

Posted in and Critters in General, Birds, Cool Experience, Off-Roading | Tagged , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Coastal Cuisine

You didn’t think I could write about our month-long stay on the Oregon coast last August without mentioning where we ate, did you? Of course not!

So those of you who are especially susceptible to getting the hungries when reading about food, you’d better fetch a snack before going any further. Consider yourself warned.

Continue reading

Posted in Food | Tagged , , | 2 Comments