Hello again from beautiful Redding, California! It’s a beautiful day here today, though it has been raining almost non-stop since we arrived a week ago. The flooding going on all over California, including an evacuation of Los Angeles many of you have probably heard about, has made for a really interesting week in our new semi-permanent location here at the Green Acres RV Park. Jim snapped a picture on the only day sunny enough to ride this past week where the road he was heading down suddenly closed and was totally flooded out! Comparing it to the Google StreetView image in the same spot, you can see just how high up the water is here in Redding.
Despite the rain keeping us stuck indoors for most of our days, we are starting to like this town; everything is within 3 miles of where we are, making for easy trips into town to get groceries, etc. on our motorcycle, and with the RV park’s unlimited electricity, water, and wifi we’re getting a lot done with our busy days. Likely the most productive thing week 41 saw was the completion of our taxes – our first year getting to file together as a married couple (aww!). Having our taxes done after the atypical financial year we had last year was no easy feat, but Heather’s ability to plan and make time for this kind of stuff coupled with her detailed record keeping all last year made for a fairly painless night (complete with celebratory beers!)
We also booked a ton of travel this week for our upcoming summer trips. From Heather’s 3 weddings she’s in this year (and accompanying bachelorette parties), to spending time in Costa Rica for the next big race on our calendar, Heather getting her Yoga Teacher Certification in Key West, our family canoe trip in Minnesota, Jim’s Ironman Louisville in Kentucky, and an eventual settle down in Portland, Oregon, we’ve got another crazy travelling year ahead of us (most, without Bertha, sadly!). Taxes done and travel booked, week 41’s RV park immobility not only helped us get a few big-ticket items crossed off the list, but also allowed us to receive mail at our doorstep for the first time in nearly a year! Now staying here as monthly tenets, we can actually use the address here to get mail and packages – a concept that might seem odd to others but is certainly high-five worthy to the two of us who haven’t touched a mailbox in months.
Among the coolest things that we’ve ever ordered (but of course doubly cool since it’s coming right to Bertha’s doorstep) will be arriving tomorrow: our new GoPro Karma and Hero 5! If you recall last week, we were less than hopeful for our chance to get on The Amazing Race TV show after more or less becoming just another random couple at an open casting call last weekend. We have been working all year on putting together a video to submit that should be able to much more adequately relate how perfect we think we are for the show. Jim spent hours this past week finalizing all the clips we’ve taken and putting together a great audition video for us with just one problem – our ability to record our actual “interview” and conversation from the couch into the camera. Long story short, Jim’s GoPro (currently the Hero 3 model he’s been using and abusing for the past 3 years) has no real decent way to record audio without buying additional adapters, etc. and upon shopping for these upgrades, the idea of upgrading the long overdue camera entered the picture. Since we’re also entering the phase of our respective businesses needing to start more video production, the timing just made sense. We took the leap and ordered the new Hero 5, complete with Karma drone (another long-overdue upgrade) and handheld camera gimbal that helps steady the camera. All in, it’s a nice addition to our current setup that should allow us to really start off on the right foot with professional quality recording equipment. The audition video will be our first time using the new setup and we’re looking forward to including a link to our completed Amazing Race audition video in next week’s blog update!
The rain definitely put a wrench in our training plans this week, but wasn’t able to fully stop us from getting our sweat on. Between rain spells, we managed to get in a few running sessions, a bike ride, a bit of yoga, and some time on the bike trainers. There’s a great YMCA with an indoor AND outdoor pool nearby, but the rain has not been conducive enough (yet) to allow us to pack bags and brave the rain on the motorcycle for a trip to the pool. There’s always week 42!
Tomorrow is going to be another Bertha project day and we’re looking forward to getting some of our fixes, repairs, and improvements taken care of that have been on the list for far too long. One of this week’s biggest changes will be the installation of a new awning (you might recall our original one was all crinkly and sun-faded when we bought her, finally giving way to the elements while we were staying in Michigan last summer). We ordered one last week that should be here and installed this week (fingers crossed!). How wonderful it will be to have a shaded (and rain-proof) patio area again!
A last perk of being in one place for an extended period of time that last week permitted was Jim being able to set up his digital piano in Bertha’s cab! Before going on this trip he used to play every day. He’s said many times how much he’s really missed playing and is thrilled to finally have it all set up for him here, even if it’s just for a few weeks. It’s no grand piano in a concert hall, but it works!
Here’s hoping you all have had as wonderfully productive week as us! We miss you all and think about you lots! Until next week, stay happy and healthy!
Total RV Trip Miles: 14,794.3