May 26, 2009

Memorial Day Weekend

I hope everyone had a great Memorial Day weekend! This holiday of remembrance always has been a favorite of mine. For as long as I can remember, my mom's family has gotten together at my Grandparent's house and celebrated with North Carolina style BBQ (which is different from what most people think of when they hear BBQ and second only to my Dad's for favorite on my list!) brought straight from Selma, NC by my grandparents or made at their house. There'd be lots of other good food, topped off with several varieties of home made ice cream. All that yummy food and surrounded by family all day always made it an extra special day.

Last year we were able to get a load going to TN and joined them for the celebration. But this year, circumstances prevented the gathering, and we wouldn't have been able to make it anyway. Instead, having a load to California and three days to get it there (the entire trip was barely 800 miles), we took it easy. We stayed the night at a rest area just 60 miles from where we picked up. Saturday morning, after breakfast we drove a grueling 280 miles, stopping in Redmond, OR along the way to do some grocery shopping at Walmart, and at Best Buy to have the geek squad check out our lap top. It was behaving strangely and I suspected another virus problem. I was staying off line till I could get it figured out, so that's why I haven't been around. Fortunately the Geek Squad guy tweaked my Internet Explorer and that was all that was needed. He said probably a virus had attempted entry, but our spy sweeper had blocked all its components so it wasn't able to operate and that's why Internet Explorer was acting strange. What a relief...and service free of charge! That's the third time those guys have saved the day for me! I love the Geek Squad!

We stopped for the day in La Pine, OR and treated ourselves to a hotel for the afternoon and evening. It was one of those little roadside deals you see, the left over hotels from when there weren't any interstate mega-hotels. It was clean, charming, a little run down and out dated, but that kind of added to the charm. It wasn't any worse than a truck stop shower, so we dealt with any inconvenience, like no AC but it wasn't hot anyway, and a tiny shower.

We watched TV all evening and just kicked back. I did get the chore of giving the girls a bath done. They were in need. Even naked dogs get a bit of an odor after three weeks with no bath! And it was a chore as the shower was so tiny. I had to stand them in the shower and use plastic cups of water from the sink to wet and rinse them. One hand on them to hold them there as they thought no tub side meant easy escape, and then bending back and forth between sink and shower to wet them down and rinse them off. You might wonder why not just use the shower, but I didn't feel like getting wet and it was splashing water everywhere. I consdidered just getting in with them, but then they claw you to death when you try to hold them under the shower. Anyway...it was a challenge, but worth it. Nothing better than a clean fluffy headed cresty to snuggle with...except maybe three of them!

Sunday morning we were up earlier than we had planned, but when you get up at 5:00 or so every morning, its hard to sleep in. We took our time getting ready, and then walked across the road to a little cafe we've stopped at before. After breakfast we drove on down to Chiloquin, OR where we stopped at Collier State Park. They have a logging museum there and Malcolm had been itching to go, so presented with a good opportunity, we decided it would make a nice break from the norm.
The park included a large picnic area and playground, along with fishing in a stream. Across the road was the logging museum. It was all outside, which was nice as the weather was just warm enough to be pleasant but not too hot. The equipment was huge and included pieces from pre-1900 to things they used in the -70's and later. Malcolm was in heaven...boys and their toys you know.

The stuff was huge! I think this was used to load logs on train cars.

This, I don't remember what it was for, other than moving logs around or something like that.

For laying railroad tracks.

This little guy is a Golden Mantled Ground Squirrel. There were about three hundred of them running all over the equipment and grounds, making meals of pine nuts and other things. This one enjoyed playing a game of "peek a boo" with me and my camera.

This is an old explorer's cabin. It was retrieved from some place near the park on a stream. Its authentic...and short! I hope he didn't do much walking around in there, because if he did, he'd have had an awful back ache from stooping over all the time. It was quite a bit more rustic than the settler cabins I'm used to seeing at parks down South.

Malcolm's leaving trucking to "ride the rails." I don't think it will be as profitable!

He reportedly "needs" one of these. Its a road grader. He's "always wanted one."

I think the phrase, "watch your fingers" is an understatement with this one!

This was one of my favorite things.

I call it my history tree. This tree was born in 1240. It is 769 years old. The plaque on the other side explains that the tree, which was located near Seaside, OR was 200 years old when Columbus discovered America. The diameter of the tree at the base was over 15 feet, and it towered 200 feet into the sky. This cross section was cut from a point 38 feet above the ground. It was the world's largest Douglas Fir, which is also the state tree of Oregon. All those green markers on the tree indicate points in history. They mark things like the establishment of the Oregon Trail, the American Revolution, when Marco Polo left Venice, and when the Black Plague began to spread in Europe. This tree lived through a lot of history! It fell November 25, 1962 after being weakened by the Columbus Day Storm.

It was a really nice weekend, fun to get out and do some things. We delivered yesterday afternoon in Delhi, CA, and we're now sitting in Sacramento waiting to load at the port. Its another one of those deals where another driver has to drive our truck in because our TWIC cards aren't ready yet. So, the girls and I are blogging and Malcolm is next door talking to a salesman at Western Star. For my non-trucking friends, that's another "brand" of truck like Kenworth or Peterbuilt. Our truck is getting up there in its miles, nearly 500,000 now. So we'll be trading it in sometime the end of this year. We were just going to get another Kenworth, but we've been looking at Western Star's lately and I really like them. They are tremendously roomier inside, and they have a wider bunk option that we like. So we'll see. I went to see the truck, but I'm not interested in all the "numbers" talk that follows, so I came back over to our truck to blog and keep the girls from feeling left out.

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