We decided to stay in the Seattle area at the Lake Washington RV and Mobile Home Park (part of the Bryn Mawr Properties) through the winter and until we were able to get our vaccines before we continued on our travels. We felt safe in the city as we just hunkered down and really did very little outside of the RV. It was really nice being in an area where everyone took the pandemic seriously, wearing their masks everywhere, staying 6 ft. apart, and getting vaccinated as soon as they were eligible. Being in an urban area had several benefits, conveniently located across the street were 4 pot shops, a fantastic Thai restaurant, and the bodega where we picked up our lotto tickets each week. We were able to get our groceries delivered, we had access to loads of restaurants through Uber Eats, and I was able to establish myself with doctors on the West Coast and get all my yearly medical checkups completed. This became very important as my left shoulder decided to freeze up due to the AC joint being impinged by arthritis causing what the surgeon described as a “pothole” in the cartilage.
I was able to have the surgery on my shoulder to have it cleaned up and repaired at the end of March and I am working hard at physical therapy so that we will be able to leave here on May 1st, physically sound and vaccinated. Jonathan was able to get his vaccine in early February with his second dose at the end of that month. My phase did not become available until the middle of March and I received my second dose today.
During our time hibernating over the winter, we were able to celebrate Christmas with our daughter, Rebecca and son-
in-law Jason. We visited with them often, helping them with projects around their house, shopping, and taking hikes with them and their pups, Teal’c and Alfie, as well as just relaxing and reconnecting. It is a blessing that we have been able to be together during such a tumultuous time.
Over the winter we had a lovely snowstorm that blanketed us in a white wonderland, and then we waited impatiently for spring to arrive. The weather was typical Seattle winter weather with lots of rainy and cold days, but we also had lots of sunshine and we were able to get out for walks nearly every day.
To keep fit we walked the roads around the neighborhood. The RV Park is at the foot of Lake Washington and next to the Renton Municipal Airport. They have a nice access road, that is also a designated bike trail, that goes around the airport and makes for a nice walk. We tried to walk everyday between 2 and 4 miles just to keep from going stir crazy in the RV and to get some exercise. We learned a lot about planes and Boeing maintenance just by watching the airfield as we walked. It was also a lot of fun to watch the float planes come in and take off on the lake.
Due to the cold, rainy weather we only got in a couple of bike rides before my shoulder gave out and I had to have the surgery.
As spring approached, we loved seeing the beautiful flowers that blossomed along our walks.
I tried to put my time to good use, so I sewed more masks and a bike cover for our new bikes which we are storing on the ladder on the back of the RV. I put together a campground database of most of the campgrounds that we have stayed at over our 21 years of RVing so that we not only have a record of where we have been, but it also has notes about good campgrounds and the best sites for when we want to return to a particular area. Then I organized and labeled all our digital photos so that we can easily locate them. I took an online Great Courses storytelling class, sorted through a stack of old storytelling notes from previous classes and conferences I had attend over the years, attended the virtual Rainforest Writers Retreat on writing, and attended several virtual storytelling festivals. I read too many books to count and listen to several others while crafting. And that was not enough to fill my time, so I also started another cross-stitch project and I re-learned how to crochet. Yep, I can’t sit still – even when hibernating I need to keep busy!
Jonathan volunteered to be the webmaster for the FCOC (the Freightliner Chassis Owners Club), a social organization for people who have Freightliner chassis on their RVs. The job does not take too much of his time but there has been a bit of a learning curve as he gets a handle on how to set up the rally registration pages and works to keep the site updated. He worked on a few repair projects around the coach and kept up with all the maintenance that keeps the RV in tip top shape and keeps us on the road. He is working through the courses offered by Adobe and Boris FX learning how to improve our videos and photos that we post here on the blog. He also spent a lot of time planning out our summer and fall travels. And to top it off, he reached Level 6 in Boulders Gate, Level 47 in Homicide Detective Hidden Objects and played umpteen levels of Fallout Shelter and games of Microsoft solitaire!
These past months have been a real emotional rollercoaster for us as well. So happy to be in an area we felt safe and able to spend time with our children, though we were depressed with the stuff happening in the world, with Covid, politics, and gun violence but then happy to get our vaccines. Unfortunately, we also had some very sad family news as my big brother, Ralph passed away on March 10th. He was my protector as I was growing up and I will miss him, though I know he is in a better place.
Before leaving Seattle, we got to do one thing that I always wanted to do when we lived in this area 20 years ago. Just north of the city in the Skagit Valley they are known for their Tulip Festival. Since it was an outdoor event, and everyone was vaccinated, we decided to join Rebecca, Jason, and Jason’s mother for a day visiting the stupendous fields of flowers. We went to both Tulip Town and to Roozengaard Gardens both located in Mt. Vernon, WA. The colors and range of different tulips were tremendous and we thoroughly enjoy the day outside and being able to spend time with our family before hitting the road again. (Sorry there are so many pictures in this slide show! I had such a hard time choosing which ones to leave out!)
And if those weren’t enough tulips, here’s a video of Tulip Town!
Over the last few months, we debated whether or not we wanted to workamp next winter as we were really feeling the need to get out of the coach more but eventually decided we really wanted to spend more time on the road. Jonathan has planned a route through Oregon, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, North Dakota, Minnesota, Michigan, and landing in Indiana for a FCOC Rally. Then we will tootle down to Red Bay for our annual visit to the Tiffin Service Center then we will head west to Southern California for next winter. After a couple of months near San Diego we will head north again to get ready for the caravan to Canada – as long as the border opens back up by June 2022!!
We feel blessed that we have been able to get vaccines, all our children have been vaccinated and so far, none of our family members have been permanently adversely affected by the pandemic. Everyone who lost their jobs early on are now employed again, they are healthy and happy. We hope that all of you who follow us have also been able to survive unscathed during this last year.
I will hopefully be posting a little more often as we hit the road.
Till then may you have safe travels!