Thursday, June 30, 2016

Double Whammy!!!

As if single whammies aren't enough, I had a DOUBLE whammy yesterday and this morning.  It was 80 degrees at 9:00 am when I packed up the rig and headed off on yet another untraveled road.  I suppose I should brave the freeways a little more.  Highway 20 went straight over to I-84 where a Flying J Truck Stop lived.  The beast needed breakfast and a little extra for lunch.  After 25 stoplights and 45 minutes, I pulled in to the fuel bay backwards, to the applause of ten truckers fueling up.  There was no way in from my direction of travel.  What's up with that?  Next time I'll take the freeway.
Since the entire drive was uphill, I figured the weather would cool off, but that was not to be.  It promptly rose to 95 as I kept an eye on my rig's temperature gauge.  MY temperature gauge wasn't working.  About ten years ago I got heat stroke sitting at a ballgame.  It snuck up on me, even though I was drinking plenty of fluids.  Ever since, my thermostat runs about 10 degrees hotter than everyone else, meaning I don't do well in the heat.  
I crossed over into Oregon for another big WHAMMY.  I'm going straight north, so who would have thought there would be a time change involved?  Heat and time change ... YUP ... double whammy!!
Oblivious to the upcoming assault on my brain and body, I cruised up through the beautiful bare mountains of desert.  Trucks and cars were flying by at the usual rate of speed ... 70 for trucks, 80 for cars.  I cruised along at 60 enjoying the scenery.
When I got to Baker City, I saw probably a hundred people walking alongside the road.  It took awhile for it to sink in.  This is Oregon Trail country, and these people are re-enacting the saga ... in long sleeve shirts and long skirts .... and it's 93 degrees out.  Most were pulling wagons by hand.  What happened to the horses???
I arrived at Hot Lake Springs RV Park,  and have a full hookup for $31 a night.  Several of our Golden Spike group were already here, with another 6 following me in.  Thankfully, it's a 50 amp site with great power that kept BOTH of my AC units running yesterday.  As the temperatures climbed, I slowed down to a crawl.  That's when it dawned on me that my lackadaisical attitude was from the heat over the last few days.
When happy hour came around, I decided they cancelled the event ... no one showed up at 5:00.  Pretty soon, I saw someone carrying chairs over to the shade tree.  It was then I realized there was a time change ... it was only 4:00.  So you KNOW what happened this morning ... I was up bright and early at 4:00 am!!!!  Hopefully I can adjust quickly.  I'm afraid I'm stuck with the heat ... 77 degrees in my rig when I got up.  I turned on all three fans and opened several windows.  It finally feels nice ... YAWN.  

Not much on the schedule today as the rest of the troops arrive for this train riding rally.  It appears there will be a Mystery Adventure when Dan and Patty Chance arrive around noon.  That sounds exciting!!!

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Cooper's Excellent Adventure

I don't take the children out on long walks often.  It's too hard trying to control two out of control puppies.  Especially when one just hates dogs ... that would be Jessie.  I come back with rope burned hands from grabbing the leash when she charges dogs ... any and ALL dogs.  Cooper on the other hand, is a sweetie who loves dogs and people ... the perfect hiking companion.
For this excellent adventure, we went back to the river, just to see if he would jump in again.  This was his second favorite part of the adventure ... tall grass.  There's just something about the smell of tall grass.  He barreled right through it, coming out covered in stickies.
With most of them picked off, we headed down the path to the river to see what trouble we could get into there.
The river has slowed and dropped a bit, making for some beautiful scenery.  Cooper barked.  Really? There's no one here.  Uh oh ... maybe it's a deer ... or a BEAR!!  YIKES!!  The sun was in our eyes and I couldn't see into the shadows on the other side of the water.
Then I heard "quack" ..... "QUACK" ..... Cooper discovered a large group of baby ducks.  They swam all around getting breakfast off the water, nine in total.  When I saw Cooper look further upstream, my eyes followed his.  There were two more groups of babies, each with a mom close by.
With a quick quack from this mom, they all buried their heads in the bushes on the far side.  Lucky for me, Cooper decided NOT to jump in the river after them.  Thanks baby dog .... that was pretty fun!!
On the way back, we stopped at Cooper's FAVORITE thing ... fence posts.  He had to stop and smell EVERY SINGLE ONE!!  I'm sure there was no one he knew, but he was insistent on getting every molecule into his nose.  
It was a rough day ... Cooper the Adventure Dog quickly crashed on the couch ... never far from his ball.  I'm going to try and do this more often.  I got a nice three hours without playing the ball game!!
By now we're back up to the 100's temperature wise, which is why we didn't do anything the day before and had no intention of doing anything yesterday.  My Sis-In-Law wanted to go to lunch and maybe check out a little store in Eagle, just down the road.  Who could resist that?  Our first stop was Smoky Mountain Pizzeria Grill ... and what a great stop it was.  
This rather large pizza, a big salad and all you can drink soda was $9.79.  Best pizza I've had in a long time!!  Unfortunately, half of it got left in Lynda's cold box in her car.  I'm sure she will enjoy it!!
About that time, her son (my nephew) Travis and wife Brandi, along with his son (great nephew) Tyler called about having dinner.  Lunch was at 2:00, but what the heck ... lets have dinner.  We met at El Gallo Giro for some good Mexican food.  Ugh ... I'm stuffed.   
I got home at 8:30 with the thermometer still reading 100 degrees.  It's time to get out of Dodge ... or Boise as the case may be .... and head to cooler country.  Baker City Oregon is on the agenda for today.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Yesterday Was A Scorcher!!

I have to say I really like Boise Idaho.  Even though it's basically at the edge of the desert, there's plenty of water flowing from the mountains and the people are really nice.  That being said, the temperature got to me yesterday.  100 degrees here is about the same as 107 where I'm from.  It was HOT!!  As soon as I stepped out into the afternoon sun, I felt the burn!!  So here's that Train Depot story I talked about at the end of last week.

The Boise Union Pacific Depot was built in 1925 by who else, the Union Pacific Railroad.  Train service was provided by the Portland Rose between Chicago and Portland Oregon.
The building is spectacular, reminding me of Union Station in Kansas City.  It's only open two days a week, in case you are headed this direction.  We were lucky enough to catch it with unlocked doors and stepped back in history.  All service was discontinued in 1971 the day Amtrak began operating.  In 1990, Morrison Knutsen purchased the building and restored it to pristine condition.
The tower is pretty spectacular ... definitely take the elevator to the top to see the bells and the view.  The bells are still in use and VERY loud.  Eventually the City of Boise took it over and now rents it for special occasions.  For $500, you get five hours of depot fun.
Built in the middle of farmland, this old picture shows what it looked like when first in operation.
Today, looking at the same view, there's no farmland in sight.  Unfortunately for photographers, netting surrounds the entire tower to keep pigeons out.
This is the view looking Northeast I think.  You can see Boise sits at the bottom of the mountain range called the Boise Foothills by locals.  Like Los Angeles, it's spread out all over Treasure Valley.
This is Big Mike, a Mikado-type steam locomotive built in 1920.  The name comes from the first     2-8-2 engines being built for Japan.  Used for pulling freight, she (he) ran from Nebraska to Idaho.  Retired in 1956, Big Mike was moved to this location in 2007 and spruced up.  Renamed the MacArthur in World War II after hauling materials in support of the war effort, the new name never took hold.  
Just below the depot are the Platt Gardens with lots of ponds and koi fish.  Not your typical foo-foo park, you can climb all over every inch of this rock pond.
Being a little hungry, we headed off to find food, ending up at the Trolley House.  Originally the end of the line for the Boise Transit System street cars, when the company went bankrupt in the 1920's, it was turned into a restaurant.  In 1976 it was purchased by a family who has kept it in operation ever since.  
The food was great ... huge portions ... and very reasonably priced.  Check out the pictures all around the walls of this Historical Register building.
Not that you want to see this picture right after lunch, but I missed this one taken at the zoo.  These are HUGE fruit bats.  Rather hard to see since I was not only looking through glass, but totally in the dark with only infrared light available.  Cute little guys, right??  
I actually spent most of yesterday snoozing here and there with the puppies.  It was just TOO hot to go out and I needed to catch up on sleep deprivation, between the rock bands and the early morning tap-tap-buzz of probably the inverter.  By the way, the band playing at eardrum-breaking sound level was BOSTON.  Had I known, I might have drug my chair a little closer, not that I needed to be closer to hear!!

My Ex-Sis and I barbecued on her patio under misting fans with entertainment provided by the quail fighting for space on her fence.  Another beautiful but very warm day in Boise.  

Monday, June 27, 2016

Whats That NOISE???

I hate strange noises.  They worry me.  This is what I SHOULD have been doing this morning, sleeping like Cooper, but the snap, crackle, pop coming from my levi drawer in the bedroom, woke me up ..... at 3:45 am.  It sounded like something electrical, so of course I had to get up and check things out.  Nothing seemed to be amiss ... the heater was still working and my power was up to par.  What in the world??

The problem quickly became a ghosty, but now I was wide awake, as were Cooper and Jessie.  Jess will lay back down, but it's PLAY time for Cooper ... he already found his ball and was squeaking up a storm.  UGH!!
Yesterday morning wasn't much better ... will I EVER get some sleep??  I kept hearing this whooshing noise.  Gosh, is it the neighbor's heater?  Is it MY heater?  I couldn't figure out where it was coming from.  I finally opened the door to discover these guys!!  Hot air balloons ... I should have recognized THAT sound!!
The next thing I know, they are right above me, and YES, those are power lines.  Just to show how early it is, that is also the MOON at the top right ... I mean left (YAWN)!!
Although they tried to land in the RV parking lot, they went back up slightly, luckily missing all the power lines around the fairgrounds and landed in their back lot.
The second balloon began to descend next door at the Fire Department.  YIKES!!
Almost down to the ground, he was waved off .... I mean really, what about the fire trucks?? ... and he came whooshing back up.
I never did see where he landed.  This made for two too many EARLY mornings and LATE evenings for this girl.
Just as I thought the music festival was over, they moved even CLOSER.  The baseball stadium is between the fairgrounds and this RV park.  What a perfect spot to have a large ROCK concert last night!!  I can hardly keep my eyes open.  No wonder the park reminds you there are NO refunds.  It was so loud I was sure they had moved just outside my door, so I turned my television up full blast.  Not that it made a difference ... I still couldn't hear.  Gosh, isn't it Sunday evening??

About 11:00 pm I finally dozed off, followed WAY too early by the clicking and buzzing in the bedroom. I've no clue what that was ... all the circuit breakers are fine and I can't find a thing wrong.  Between overeating at my nephews (barbecued salmon and lobster risotto) and lack of sleep, I'm a hot mess with a big stomach ache.  I may have to stay in today and try to catch up on my sleep!!  How boring is THAT???

Sunday, June 26, 2016

The Sound Of Music ....

I know you want to hear all about the Boise Music Festival, but honestly, I was more interested in the Idaho Baked Potato smothered in sour cream.  Only thing is, this ISN'T a potato.  Believe it or not, it's ice cream.  Don't feel bad, I had to look more than once before realizing it's ice cream rolled in Nestle's quick and covered with whipped cream.  YUM YUM!!!
Back to the festival ... we arrived around 10:30 in the morning, as bands began playing on six stages around the fairgrounds.  This is the main stage where all the headliners play.  I guess I'm WAY out of touch with music, since I only recognized ONE name ... Daughtry ... and that's only because I caught part of American Idol one season.  The Main Stage didn't play until 1:30, so we wandered around the grounds.
There was a carnival to keep the kids busy while the adults sucked up gallons of beer and smoked that funny stuff.  Not allowed of course, but I smelled it everywhere.
We walked down the long street of food vendors and finally settled on barbecued pulled pork and tri-tip.  My advice is to walk around MORE and check out what everyone else is taking away from the area.  We saw several things we thought looked better ... like Egyptian food and Chinese take out. This picture however, depicts the hippie vibe floating around the park.  There was tie-dyed everything, including hair.
The first band we actually sat down and watched was 504 Plan.  They played a combination of old rock and country music and were REALLY good.  I can't say as much for some of the other musicians.
Since we weren't interested in hip hop, we stayed to pick apart the second band.  We were sorely disappointed.  This 15 year old kid can sing and play like you can't believe.  He should be on American Idol ... this kid rocked the house!!
We moved over to the main stage and found Ryan Robinette just beginning his set.  Although the weather was MUCH cooler ... in the low 80's ... we found some bleachers with shade and sat out the rest of the day.  Ryan should have warmed up back stage.  The music was great, but he was so off key it sounded terrible.
This is Andy Grammer.  It didn't ring a bell with me either.  Apparently he was recently on Dancing With the Stars, getting voted off immediately.  I still have no idea who he is, but at least he could sing better than Ryan.  In fact, he sang really great ... and no, that girl is NOT topless.  I knew you would ask.
The invitation must have said "wear any darn thing you want", because believe me, it was ALL there.  From billowy long dresses like this one to shorter-than-short shorts, we saw everything ... literally ... everything.  
This however was my favorite of the day ... a Giants Baseball Bumgarner shirt!!  One long flowing dress in bright yellow was worn by a clairvoyant ... she received messages through her antenna she said.  I'm pretty clairvoyant too ... I knew immediately she was ... lets say "different" ... when I saw her outfit, but I didn't want to be rude and take her picture.  Sorry.
There was probably a little too much beer flowing in the grandstand as this gal took a bad fall trying to get down by walking on the seats with her flip flops.  I'm pretty sure she will have a black and blue spot to rival her tattoos!!  We directed her to the first aide tent, but she declined.
Last year with 107 degree temperatures, everyone practically fainted, so the ambulance team set up a cooling station.  It was a great idea that the kids went crazy for!!
Around 3:00 the crowds began coming over to the main stage to watch Coolio.  That name couldn't be found in the cobwebs of my brain either.  My apologies to this hip hop band.  You're just not my cup of tea.  The guys that ARE hanging around are (please don't be offended) rednecks.  I bet they all have a big truck with a gun in the window ... mostly shirtless (oh yeah) ... which didn't bother me at all.
Daughtry ... a name I DID know ... wasn't playing until 8:30.  That's a little too long to keep my puppies locked up, so Ex-Sis-in-Law and I left to check on them and find a spot for dinner.  Kuna (pronounced Que-na) won the coin toss as we headed off to Enriques for Mexican food.  I really did have more than the marguerita.  A trio of enchiladas was just what I needed to sooth the savage stomach after all that ice cream.  
That didn't work as well as expected ... I woke up with a headache.  No problem ... I'm going to sit around relaxing for the next eight hours before catching up with my only nephew.   

Unfortunately, we have to postpone my fly fishing lesson.  It's at least a two hour drive to get there, meaning most of the day will be spent in the car.  The Boise River would work, but they just released something like 300 thirty inch salmon into the river and the banks will be packed with fishing poles.  That won't bode well for an inexperienced person flinging her hook and line around the neighborhood.  Maybe next time!!  

By the way, WHAT is that NOISE?????

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Let The Party BEGIN!!!

It's Friday.  How do I know that?  Because this place is packed to the gills with weekend RV'ers.  If you walk outside, even though it's only 68 degrees, you can hear the jet-engine roar of heaters, accompanied by barking dogs.  My once quiet front yard is now full of tent campers ... seven of them ... packed in like sardines.

Aunt Mabel's blowup queen size mattress is sitting on the lawn with five kids on top of it.  It will make a nice jump house later in the day.  Add to that noise, the cockatoo, the yellow and gold macaw and the stereo system ... you've got a party in the making!!

But first, it was a girls day out as my Outlaw Sister and Nephew Wife met me at the Boise Mall.  I learned a few things about shopping.  You've seen little old ladies pushing small square shopping-cart looking things?  Well they make them in a Mercedes Benz model that rolls along the floor like the best airport luggage ever made.  Hands free shopping ... what an idea!!  In the first hour, it was totally full and overflowing.

I picked up a couple pair of capris and snagged two tops on sale, followed by a marathon makeup matching session (NOT mine) and a stop at Sees Candy.  What's a mall trip without candy??  Mrs. Fields showed up with sandwich cookies, filled with ooey gooey frosting.  I passed on lunch and chose half a cookie instead.  The perfect recipe for a stomach ache!!

After four hours, my arms were three inches longer from carrying around heavy bags ... thus the need for a shopping cart ... so I headed back to the rig to check on the puppies.  They have definitely been short-changed on their playtime, so I leashed them up and went off to the river for a walk.  SO many good smells!!

When we finally hit the river's edge, Cooper walked right up to the bank, and in a move worthy of a gold medal winner, took a flying leap into the water.  NOOOOOOOOOOO!!!  I jumped in after him, soaking my new Birkenstocks (probably beyond repair), grabbed his harness and jerked him out of the water.  He looked at me like ..... MOM ... I just wanted to go swimming!!!  GOOD GRIEF!!!  Jessie, who stayed high and dry, wasn't impressed.
Back at the rig, we dried off and played the ball game while I contemplated what COULD have happened.  To get my mind off it, I made a quick trip to the quilt store.  There's nothing like shopping for fabric, to ease the mind.  This red, white and blue one will be made from fat quarters and came with a free pattern.
As soon as I opened my door after parking back at my camp site, I heard it.  Even MORE noise, if that's possible.  Today is the Boise Music Festival (right next door), complete with carnival rides, vendors from all over and lots of LOUD music.  There are the headliners, including Daughtry of American Idol fame, and six stages of local bands, all trying to outdo each other.  I'm hoping to get a few pictures, but professional cameras are not allowed.  I'm not sure if my smaller Nikon will make the grade, but I'll try.  Worse case, I've got a point and shoot and my phone.
The drums finally quit beating about 10:30 and I dozed off.  The sun came up WAY too early this morning.  I'm hoping I can stay awake at least most of the day.  It's Music Festival time ..... ROCK ON!!!