When It Rains….

The house we are renting needed to be treated for termites. As in whole house wrapped up in in gift wrap tent fumigated treatment.

Obviously we could not stay in said gift-wrapped house while the treatment was performed so we arranged to go “camping” for the few days that the home would be uninhabitable. We love camping. We enjoy the outdoors. There’s nothing quite as yummy as percolator coffee first thing in the morning, enjoying the sunrise. No where we have to be, and all day to do it. Four humans, two dogs, all of our pantry/fridge food in a camper – what could go wrong?

The first day felt like camping fun! Kids got to dip in the pool at the campground after they ran a mile to test their times and continue to improve for PE where they test the students periodically. (Love this so much – start them early! And they are faster than I ever was!)

The kids were troopers commuting to school from camp, complete with doggos on board.

Camping while doing regular life like work, school drop off and pick up and errands takes on a whole different meaning, especially when done a mountain pass + 40 min commute over 3 freeways away. Yes, traffic is exactly how it’s depicted on Saturday Night Live’s sketch The Californians.

Day 2 brought with it a little of the drudgery as the latest atmospheric river flowed in. Perhaps you’ve heard that SoCal has unprecedented rainfall totals this year. I heard a news anchor recently ask rhetorically if San Diego was becoming the new Seattle and I had to laugh. It feels like we never left the Pacific Northwest! The campground became deluged in rain, mud and puddles everywhere. We got lucky with our campsite and it was only a little mucky, but it was next to impossible to keep the mud off our shoes, the cars and the camper. We played a bit of cards to pass the time sitting in a box with wheels in a mud pit with rain pelting overhead.

With at least 2 people in need of morning showers to start the day, and only one camper shower, I took dear daughter to the campground shower so we could get ready. We jumped through puddles, and dodged the rain down to the little building. All of this rainfall brings bugs and spiders. Lot’s of worms were “hanging out”. We go in, take our showers and then come out and see that the drains are backing up ,…and we have visitors.

Yes, this picture is extremely zoomed in, because in my vulnerable just-showered state, I didn’t want to get too close. But you tell me – that spider body looks disproportionate to its legs. It definitely looked like it just ate a huge meal or it’s waiting to explode with baby spiders everywhere. (HOW do they always find me?!) Envisioning a scene from Arachnophobia, I urge Hannah to kick it in to high gear and get done so we can get out of this spider’s home.

Not only did the kids have their regular school schedules, there was also a Family night for incoming freshmen at the high school…golf lessons…a trip to the Walmart for camping supplies that we forgot….I’ve feel like I’ve spent this whole week commuting. A total of 22 trips back and forth have been logged, and I’m officially ready to be out. of. the. car. Don’t even get me started on gas prices. When it rains, it pours.

After so many rainy trips back and forth, we are now back home and our food returned safely to pantry and fridge. I’ve washed all the things, mopped all the things and sanitized all the things. The sun is now shining and we return to regular life…

Just in time for next week’s atmospheric river.


Red Roads and Rhythm

When traveling or PCSing pre-minions, the hubby and I traveled well together. We could be up at the crack of dawn, drive most of the day, see random roadside oddities and be happily on our way. We easily found a rhythm to long drives.

My dear husband has a love of taking the road less traveled. Or any road. Or gravel path. Or blaze his own trail. Before the GPS we always kept an atlas in the car, and we joked about the “red roads”. Red roads in an atlas may *seem* like a good idea because they are often a more direct route from one location to another, but they are usually of the 35 mph variety, or hilly with hairpin turns, or under construction and down to one lane. He LOVES these adventures. Me? Not so much.

The day started with a good run in Cody, Wyoming although a bit hard due to the unaccustomed altitude. After that we just couldn’t get out of town for coffee runs, checking out of the hotel, potty breaks, time changes, fuel, and by that time it was almost lunch. We drove out of town around noon and since we started this epic journey we have yet to find any sort of rhythm that came so naturally sans kids.

Late start, led to late lunch, and even later dinner. Partly due to traversing this monstrosity (and yes, the road was both literally and figuratively red):

The tallest peak of these mountains is over 13,000 ft, and this road crests at 10,620. Let me just say that for someone who does not enjoy heights, this was very difficult. 8% grade, switchback turns, and some panicky vertigo made for a long climb and descent.

After eating, more potty breaks, etc, we were headed to our campsite just outside of Mt. Rushmore. This is another one those “red road” adventures!

Construction, gravel road, one lane only entrance to the Black Hills.

We arrived at 9:30pm and proceeded to set up our tent in the dark. I am actually typing this from the inside of my cozy sleeping bag.

Here’s to better rhythm and fewer red roads in the future!

(But I won’t hold my breath!)

Hi, ho, hi, ho, it’s off to Idaho!

Leaving Moses Lake, I attempted another 5k on the hotel dreadmill. This is what I was looking at as I was running:


Sadly those little signs did nothing to motivate nor energize me as this is as far as I got before it felt like I’d been on the thing for an eternity:



Have I mentioned I loathe treadmills? I managed to eek out a mile. I looked out the “gym” window to see my minions playing in the pool so I had to join them for a dip before heading out to Idaho.

We made it to my sister’s place (after stops for gas and essentials at Walmart). I was here two years ago when Eric was deployed. Since then, they’ve added a few animals to their family including some chickens, geese and pigs. It’s just as beautiful as I remembered it, but love that I was able to get Eric here to see it!

Looking up from the front of their cabin! Blue skies for days

Tall tales around the campfire!

This roasting of a marshmallow is serious business!

Don’t mind the white powder streaking his face…we may need to stage a marshmallow intervention! His love of chocolate is only surpassed by his love of a giant marshmallow!

Uncle Dan is the coolest! Jake’s head nearly exploded with excitement!

Sorry tournament of champions!

We swam in a water hole, rode quads, and spent a great couple of days with our family! Kirsti and i also got in our 5k! (We ran until we couldn’t talk anymore, then walked!)

The minions embracing the naked woods.

Yep, the outdoor kitchen area! Roof for a Keurig? GENIUS!

Pickin’ daisies!


Chickens, ducks, and geese, oh my!

As always, it was hard to say goodbye, and the reality of this move is finally starting to sink in. Basically a month of saying goodbyes is making a few of us emotional puddles of goo.

Heading into Montana, we had to stop and let the minions experience the wonder that is Cracker Barrel!

IMG_6619 IMG_6618


Montana is stunningly beautiful, as is Idaho, and if you’ve never been, you should. It is simply breathtaking. Long when you’re driving across it, but so worth it! Last night we stayed in a less-than-stellar motel so i don’t feel comfortable going for a solo run. Montana may be the state without a 5k, but the day isn’t over yet! Onward!

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