Jan 19th
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RV'ing Washington to Arizona

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Travelin' Grandma
Hits the Road with Mum in Tow    

    For some time I’ve thought about hitting the road in a small motor-home outfitted with a traveling office. And, also, with my 91-year-old Mum in tow. I would ponder this outlandish notion over a mug of coffee or latte with writer friends and colleagues. “Is this a crazy idea,” I’d ask. “Am I totally nuts?”
    “Of course it’s not crazy, I’d love to do something like that some day,” said writer friend Marilyn. “It would be fun to have a traveling office and visit lots of different des-tinations. You could even work on your young adult mystery novel!”
    “I think your mum, being in good health, will enjoy traveling with you,” said writer colleague Maggie. “You’ll probably just need to adjust the pace a bit.”
  We first traveled in the Pacific Northwest this fall, visiting friends, relatives, and destinations in Central and Southern Oregon. Then Mum and I headed north from Portland to Washington State to visit brother Dave at his scenic spot on a bluff on Hood Canal above Hoodsport and Lilliwaup. From there we continued north to visit friend Sheryl and her Mum Dorothy in Sequim near Port Angeles on the Olympic Peninsula. These also are great places for families to linger, traveling in a motorhome or in a car or SUV with tents and camping gear in tow.
    In our case Mum and I found a vintage motorhome in good condition, a 27-foot El Dorado Mirada which we named “Thelma.” My first disaster was burning out the brakes on a steep hill into Lake Merwin located near Portland. Mel at Mel – Ken Motors in Gresham advised, “Now remember, you’re driving a one ton vehicle so go into first gear and tap the brakes lightly on the way down steep inclines.” A lesson well learned.
    In setting up my office I collected information about laptop computers, wireless mouses, and cellular telephones. I learned about T-Mobile wireless services, Internet Cafes, and Starbucks “hotspots.” I found out about connecting to the internet on the road, checking email on the road, and emailing articles to my editors from destinations far off the beaten path.
    When a bunch of parasites infected my word processing program on my new laptop, I learned from my computer gurus Don and Jeanine at Fix My Dead Computer in southeast Portland that it’s critical to do weekly updates on both my anti virus and parasite programs. “It’s just part of the routine now,” says Jeanine. “The parasites out there are awful and can really infect your programs.”
    In early November we’ll head Thelma the motorhome south to Desert Hot Springs near Palm Springs, CA and then east from there to the small town of Wickenburg (population 5,000) located north of Phoenix. We’ll trek around parts of Arizona that are away from the Phoenix metropolitan environs so as to find the smaller and more quiet destinations such as Quartzite, Tonopah, Gila Bend, Casa Grande, Benson, and Tombstone. The notion of embracing the partially fulltime RV lifestyle is becoming a reality as Mum and I hang out in the motorhome called Thelma at the scenic Portland-Fairview RV Park and as we get ready to head south from the chilly Pacific Northwest for the winter months.

Helpful travel web sites:

– Myrna Oakley authors two guides, Oregon: Off the Beaten Path and Washington: Off the Beaten Path.  She likes the mobile traveling lifestyle and often takes the grandkids along too.


Where was Solomon born?

This is Solomon, a new born Humpback whale. He provided hours of entertainment for our group of whale watchers. Where was Solomon born? Click here to find out.

Tips, Tricks & Tactics

...ideas to consider 

Tips on how to safely play under the summer's sun
and in the winter's cold.



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