Right Now, It’s All About the Home

I have been consumed by the fact that my home is not what I had hoped it would be and that in fact, it is less than adequate. As some of you know, I am trading in my van for a trailer and a truck. An advantage to this arrangement is that I will have a vehicle at the end of my road trip. Though I have become attached to Big Mama, I have to feel safe and because of the many repairs I have not.

Have gotten the trailer:Photo734

It’s a 2011 and seems completely unused. I am excited to have a home that stays put as I explore the surrounding areas – wherever I am.

We have traversed Oregon quite a lot and will continue to do so as I seek a new home for the future. I have fallen in love with Eugene, am now on the coast. (I fell in love with Portland where my nephew David is now living, but will not settle there. David moved there from the south to get a job as a Physicians Assistant.)

IMG_0330David McKee

I am definitely finding my groove in what I really want from a campground, and by extension, for my permanent home: quite. I have stayed in campgrounds where Hwy 5 is  right in my backyard.  The last two nights I have been fortunate to stay in campgrounds that are luxuriously quite and I slept for 9 hours – straight through!

This particular campsite in Lincoln City was the best! Surrounded by trees, lawn and a beautiful creek:


Wapiti RV Park


Doesn’t Big Mama look good? I’ll miss her.


View from my campsite!

You may remember me writing about my friend, Deble who put me up before I left for Mendocino. Here is a picture of her and her two daughters; Alexis was a great friend of Matt’s in the early years when the family still lived in Oakland.

Deble:Alexis:SierraAlexis, Deble and Sierra in Hawaii, 2016

I was able to go on a pre-trip with Deble to the Pinnacles in June. It was terribly hot, could not bring Lympia into the caves, but through it all, Deble had good humor and patience.

Me:PinnaclesJune2016Me on one of the trails in the Pinnacles

Now, in Florence, Or., I am at a site that is so interesting. It has dunes directly behind the campground. I took Lympia out there and she proceeded to overdo it, putting me in high alert for rescuing. She took many minutes to revive as we sat in the shade of a tree. Like a moonscape, it is deceiving and weird; it must have seemed like that to Lympia as well because I believe she didn’t realize how hard it is to run on sand!



Woahink Lake RV (outside of Florence,OR) resort; just yards away from campsites.

It has been interesting to see how much land there is and how much of it is free to be a lawn or a place where trees might grow-  free range trees! I think of the Bay Area and how every inch is predetermined to have a reason, to have a purpose: curb appeal for sellers; in business parks, just enough of a green space to make one believe you are not really there for business; soccer fields, two and three on a green patch; parking lots, etc. Even the east bay hills where the regional parks are, if you take a look at a map, it is comparatively a very narrow band spanning the hills from Castro Valley to El Cerrito. Feeling appreciative that as many acres were saved at all. I think I only notice the difference in spaciousness because in Oregon, there is so much land that is just not being purposefully used that you notice much more green. (And! Not as many people!) How lovely that so many acres of land are not earmarked for commercial use.

I was having a conversation with my girlfriend, Bry’Andi and she was remarking how finding a home within yourself is most important and real. I am learning to do that as I go along. It is true that I am getting more comfortable not having a permanent place. Though,   I believe Lympia would like one. It seems to be hard on her – she still hates the van – shaking and wanting to just run all the time. But, she is devoted to me, keeping me alert to  things that are not right. She’s a good friend, too.


Much love to you all,



The Beauty and the Beast

Aaaah. I am finally beginning to appreciate the beauty of my surroundings. On the way to Tionesta we went through the Butte Valley National Grassland. Did you know we had national grasslands? We passed a place called Grass Lake – unbelievable. And, that they are protected? They were absolutely gorgeous – along hwy 97 north from Weed, CA. The grasslands could be seen to have standing water, but the grasses themselves were so beautiful and some yellow wildflowers could be spotted as well. Spectacular.

And, on Saturday in Klamath Falls, OR, Lympia and I went to an incredible city park – yes, a city park! An enormous park with courts, hiking trails, picnicking and lots of fields for kids to play in. Here are some photos of Moore Park:

MoorePark, OR

Moore Park, Klamath Falls, OR


anotherAdjacentPark alongLake

Upper Klamath Lake, Klamath Falls, OR, across the street from the city park


Moore Park trail

I am finding more time to sit and contemplate my life because it is so dam hot! No energy to do much past 11 am. When we returned to Merrill after a day in Klamath Falls, it was 86 degrees at 4:45 pm. I do get ourselves out for hikes and rides in the early morning. While in Merrill, I walk Lympia through town around 7am in the morning and no one is around. I love it!

What I am noticing is the loneliness and missing folks I love, while also feeling very free and wanting to explore areas where I have not been. Today, as the 4th approaches, I watched families, friends and lovers get together for fun and conversation all over. It really brought home my aloneness. I have to fight the melancholy. Thank god for Lympia and those of you who are keeping in touch. One reason I think it is so easy to get down is because there is always something wrong with the van. It’s quite discouraging.

Today, after I filled one tire with air (a slow leak!) the (abs) and brake light went on. My heart sank, because I had specifically asked the mechanics to check levels of all fluids, etc. I am guessing it’s brake work that is needed. One encouraging note is that the rv’ers say there is ALWAYS something wrong or needs to be fixed. Whew! I really was beginning to feel that I had made a huge mistake. But, with an RV this old, it’s gonna be like this – apparently!

It’s been a little over 2 weeks. I can look forward to enjoying more and worrying less, right?

Lots of love,







Staying in Touch

IMG_0219The four of us the day I left Oakland. I cried all along the way to Guerneville.

There’s always so much happening when traveling, it seems overwhelming to keep up on what to share and what is not that interesting or important. All of it seems great and important and I want to share it all.

I am in Weed today, off to Tionesta, near the Lava Beds, making my way into Oregon on Sunday. The trip here was exciting, beautiful mountains, Trinity River, Redwoods and gorgeous skies. My van did not like the uphill climb, getting too hot and forcing me to turn on the heat. Lympia was absolutely  miserable. Last night proved to me she had too much of 105 – 106 degree temperatures in Redding and Anderson, CA. Her breathing and heart worked very hard to calm down. Today, she’s much better.

My van was in the shop (!!) all day yesterday at a Camping World. They were great, very dog friendly and were wonderful with Lympia. But, it was not a very active time for her.

So you can see, it’s a mixed bag of responsibilities and seeing this beautiful land and people. The people I have met along the way are also very helpful, always offering advice and tips. I am grateful for that. No conversations as of yet, have been particularly deep or interesting but friendly, nonetheless. I anticipate this changing as I create more of a routine in my days, staying longer and doing more. Right now, I am just getting to Oregon for the month of July (which, I had not thought about the 4th and the holiday, so finding a place to stay has been challenging!)

4:20 pm: left Tionesta, a dive. Now in Merrill! 87 degrees! Too hot still. Here’s some photos I neglected to post earlier:


Here’s a happy pup on the beach in Mendocino. I could let her run wild!



Gorgeous Mendocino cliffs and ocean.