Saturday, March 17, 2012

Not sure this is the exact model David is riding, but it is pretty close.
The bike has quite large panniers that change the looks a great deal.

winter driving

I am a self-proclaimed adventurer.

Not sure anyone would agree, but that is not important, but somehow this trait has been passed down!

A few minutes ago, and it is close to midnight, my oldest grandson (also David) arrived having driven straight through from Sacramento. He had snow, he had rain, he had all the bad weather. He also had layers of rain gear and electric clothes. He said without all of that he would have turned around and gone back.

The real adventure is that he was riding a Ducati Motorcycle! At one point he said he got gas and asked the guy how many bikes he had seen today. “None.”

While he was taking off his layers of clothes, he said: “I’ll not do that again.” I told him that if necessary we could put the bike in the back of my pickup and I’d drive down (he could rest in the warm cab).

He will be here for a week or so, but first he needs some rest.

That Ducati will go over the road very quickly. When he could he rode a bit faster. At one point, in the rain, he passed an Oregon State Patrolman. The officer was in his car along the road. Grandson looked down at his speedometer: 93.

The officer didn’t even budge.

A big bike like the Ducati, does not go too far on a tank of gas. 150 miles might be an average run, which means the trip has to be planned with care.

Just in case, he carried an extra gallon of gas.

I am quite amazed at the quality picture I get from my iPhone.
One day I'll get a iPad and I think I'll buy a tripod adapter and treat that little baby like it was an 8 by 10 view camera. Seems like a natural use of a awesome hunk of useful "stuff."


Today I made good progress on my building project.

It has been too cold, to rainy or windy and I am not a hero. I can handle weather less than perfect, but bad weather is not my idea of a good work environment! I’ll drive in ugy weather, but not work.

When it is over I have this wonderful feeling of accomplishment. I rest my tired feet and knees (roofing is hard on knees) and have a good feeling.

Miriam works so hard to be useful, to be helpful. She likes that same feeling I get. But it more difficult with her. Daughter has her iron some. Miriam can only do flat things, and there aren’t that many any more.

Tonight she was putting things away in the galley/kitchen. I’d prefer her to leave it alone and I’ll put it all in the place so I can find it later, but she wants to much to be useful. I am not always as patient with her as I need to be.

The layout of the bus is pretty simple. Seating at one end, queen bed at the other and bath and galley/kitchen in the middle.

The queen bed takes up about all of the space at the end. Twin beds would work out better, but we have not slept in twin beds since our honeymoon. Luckily David, who owns the bus felt the same way.

During the day I am liable to throw clothes on the bed. She fusses with them when she goes to bed. Last night we made the bed with clean sheets. I put on the sheets because it involves a lot of jumping back and forth and lifting corners.

Then I asked her to help me with the blankets. She was so glad to help.

I must let her be useful more.

Monday, March 12, 2012

A bit of an old grain barn, from that horse powered era of long ago.

Palouse country

This weekend I drove 160 miles north to the edges of Spokane for a weekend with other grandparents and two of my grandkids. It was good.

There seems to be some question about the name of this area and where that word came from. There are Native Americans that we use that name upon, but assuredly it was not what they called themselves.

The Palouse country is much of eastern Washington and North Central idaho, as well as NE Oregon. It is one huge grain growing area. Miles and miles of wheat fields.

The topography is one of rolling hills, with some trees in the gulches and shadows, mostly, though it is a huge field of grass and now wheat.

There are wide 4 lane roads that go that direction, but the shortest route is along the smaller roads.

This is wind country. Windmills (the modern million dollar variety) are in abundance. At one point there are dozens in view and the view is pretty close up. Come around a corner on one winding uphill climb, and there is half dozen windmills, the first a couple hundred yards away.

What looks pretty small when viewed 15 or 25 miles away, are pretty impressive when you are that close.

The trip back included sunshine; rain; snow and a bit of sleet. It is spring in the Palouse.

About a hundred years ago, my salesman grandfather traveled this are in a horse and buggy, selling his wares. At that time these vast fields were disced and planted and harvested using huge collections of horses.

Pictures of machines being pulled by 20 or 30 horses show the horseyness of the era. I am not so sure about trading all of that for Texas diesel, but that is how it was done.

Like all progress, there were casualties along the way.