Hello party people! Coming to you from our final week in Redding before we continue our journey north into Portland this weekend. We’ve talked a lot about the crappy weather and rain we’ve had during our time in Redding and the irony isn’t lost on us that we’re about to leave here, now that the weather is PERFECT and head to the cold and rainy Pacific Northwest…maybe we should be staying in Redding longer! We’re feeling quite settled and happy here these days!
This week has quite literally been the most perfect weather you could imagine, sunny, 75 degrees, slightly breezy with chilly mornings that are perfect for lingering in bed that few extra minutes after the alarm goes off. And we’ve taken full advantage of the opportunity to be outside, starting with a midweek adventure day! We spent last Thursday taking Eeyore about 20 miles north of us to the Shasta Caverns. We cruised up for the noon tour, which starts at the gift shop on one side of Lake Shasta. They then load you up in a boat (a boat clearly meant for larger summer tour groups than the midweek noon group that consisted of only 8 of us) and take you across the lake while you take in the views of the water and the wildlife. From there, they put you on a bus and drive you 2 miles up the mountain (while searching for bears) to the entry of the caverns. Our tour guide, Laura, took us through the different rooms of the caverns, explaining how the various formations came to be and how the explorers discovered the caverns…hard to imagine discovering a dark cavern of wonders before it was lit up with electricity the way it is today. It was an awesome sight to see and really felt like being in another world, it was cool and damp with water dripping down all around (and sometimes on) you. Outside the caverns, you’re up high on a mountain overlooking the lake and it’s just beautiful views of nature in all directions.
After leaving the caverns, we decided to head to the local brewery that we’d been meaning to try for the past few weeks. We shared a quick flight of delicious beers and handmade tots smothered in cilantro aioli before ducking into the extremely awesome antique shop next door (so many treasures!). We failed to get any pictures at the brewery so you’ll have to use your imagination on the beers and hand rolled tots. After our snack, we headed over to the Sundial Bridge so Jim could take the new Karma drone for its maiden voyage. GoPro’s customer service has been wonderful and we were able to get a replacement this week for the one that crashed. Jim was SO happy to fly the new one successfully, it’s really amazing what it can do.
We set up at the park near the bridge while he tested out the various functions – he flew it up and over the bridge, well out of sight but he was able to see its location AND the video it was recording from the remote control screen. He then ran it through some different patterns and was blown away at the machine’s ease of use and steadiness of shot. You can pretty much guarantee that you’ll be seeing a lot more drone and GoPro footage from us in the near future!
The next day we got in our long overdue swim at the local YMCA. And boy did we chose a good day for it! We showed up at the Y just before 3:00 and were given a tour of the facility by the nicest bro you can imagine, he was so enthusiastic about everything the Y had to offer and couldn’t wait to show us all of it. The pool opened at 3:00 after an hour of closure and filled up quickly with lap swimmers, it was a warm sunny day and just magical for swimming outdoors. We had been slacking so much on swimming that we were both surprised how quickly we were tired and how sore we were afterward…but that’s what happens when you slack off on training! It did feel good to be back at it, especially now that it’s warm outside!
We showered off at the Y and got back to Bertha just in time to meet our new RV friends for dinner. Heather met Natalie walking around our RV park the week before, Natalie was out walking her cat on a leash and they got to chatting. She and her husband Bo have been full time RV’ers for almost two years now and it turned out that we had a lot in common; in fact, we’d been on a very similar route for the past year and were often in the same locations only days or weeks apart…actually we learned we were both in Coeur d’Alene at the exact same time! We met them at their RV (about 15 feet away from ours) and they drove us over to a local pizza joint where we indulged in pizza, beer, and great conversation. We had a ton to talk about and there was never a lull in the flow, they’re wonderful people and it’s so nice to talk with others on the same path. After a long dinner, we headed back to the RV park where they came over to our “house”, (with the cat) for games and more conversation. We played 90’s Trivial Pursuit and amazingly, the youngest one in the group took home the win (Natalie is 31). Around midnight, we finally said our good nights and promised to hang out at least once more before our time is up here.
The weekend was to be a Bertha project time, we’d been meaning to get to this for the past few weeks but finally decided to dedicate our day on Saturday to checking a few things off the list. Heather’s job was to assist Jim but mainly to clean, clean, clean (one of her favorite things!). She washed Eeyore, the trailer (Kerry), and Bertha all with a bucket and a sponge. Meanwhile, Jim cut and installed the custom floor runner that runs between our faux wood flooring and the crappy old carpet that still sits in the cab of the vehicle (we finally decided we weren’t going to replace that). He fixed a broken overhead vent, painted the ugly brass lamps next to our bed, repaired a few broken drawers, and took out the driver’s seat in order to install a custom built LED light up system into the dashboard that measures our house and car batteries. We worked a solid 12 hours, a lot of it out in the sun, and were both tired and sore as we finally finished up around 10pm. But ahhhh, it felt so good to get that all done and to have a clean home both inside and out! Oh, we also got the rope lights up on the outdoor awning, which is a total game changer for the ambiance on the patio/garage!
After getting a good night’s rest and sleeping in a bit on Sunday (ugh Daylight Savings messes with your head!), we woke up with a lazy breakfast and homemade banana nut muffins. We then prepped the bikes for a long ride up to Shasta Dam. Jim has done the ride a couple of times with his buddy, Carson, but Heather hadn’t been up there yet (mainly because she avoids riding on the colder days). We hit the road and Heather was in for a surprise, the entire way there was uphill. And for someone who hasn’t ridden a lot recently, that was tough! Luckily, it was another gorgeous day and the views once we got to the top were worth it. We rode over the dam, took in the views of snow-covered Mount Shasta in the background, and took the winding road back down through the fresh smelling pines. Two hours later we were back home for showers, a cold beer, and a nap in the hammock. Now that it’s so nice here and we have a working awning, we LOVE hammock naps and try to take 30 mins a day for quick recharge. It’s a rough life but someone has to do it.
Between all the fun, adventuring, training, hammock napping, and exploring we remain productive. Jim is thhiiissss close to completing his Ironman U certification, making this his fourth certificate as a triathlon coach. Heather has been making more time for reading and practicing yoga and we have a lot of combined goals we’re working on as we look to the future. What a wonderful week it was, we really will be a little sad to pull away from our Redding home this weekend. But as is this lifestyle, there is more to see and more to do! Onward to Portland where we cross our fingers for more sunshine and adventuring! Thanks for reading, we love you all!
Total RV Trip Miles: 14,810.1