Scrabbling Across The West Episode 20

May 26th, 2016. Day 20.

Recorded in Albany, OR.

Up early (5:30) at Jedediah Smith State Park (Dave mistakenly calls it a National Park). On the road by 7:09. Hardscrabble Creek leads into the Scrabble Scores; 194 to 284, Dave loses.

The road to Albany, OR.
The road to Albany, OR.

Harold Comfort Memorial Bridge. Dave played a show in Roseburg where we ate and also went to the bank. The show went well and the venue was reminiscent of the dining room of the Titanic. The Wells Fargo had an overgrown guppy and cookies.

We are looking forward to seeing Stephanie’s cousin and her family.

The Albany, Oregon, KOA is a good one complete with a cat and a playground.

Downtown Albany, OR.
Downtown Albany, OR.
Another view of downtown Albany, OR.
Another view of downtown Albany, OR.

Albany itself has a beautiful downtown and an amazing Hungarian Restaurant, Novak’s.

Novak's Restaurant, exterior.
Novak’s Restaurant from the street.
Novak's stained glass window.
Novak’s stained glass window.

 

 

 

 

 

We ate dinner there and give it a 5 out of 5 tile rating (this is our first rating of anything, eventually we expand to 7 tiles and Novak’s is a 7).

Novak's inside decor.
Novak’s inside decor.

 

 

 

It was amazing. We met Dave and Jan who just moved to town and we shared our bread with them.

Icarus by Seth Jefferson (2009)
“Icarus” by Seth Jefferson (2009) in Albany, OR.

We walked around the downtown and then drove back to the campground for Scrabble.

 

 

 

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Scrabbling Across The West Episode 19

May 25th, 2016. Day 19.

Recorded in Jedediah Smith State Park, CA.

Park entrance.
The entrance to Jedediah Smith State Park.

A rough night last night, noisy foul-mouthed neighbors, we called the cops. Stephanie recreates a few moments of it (bleeped for sensitive ears). Oatmeal and coffee for breakfast. This is Stephanie’s first experience with oatmeal and she likes it, Dave speaks about his oatmeal history. Tangwiches and breakfast cereals are discussed. Stephanie sings the “Apple Jacks” song. Dave compliments Stephanie on the great job she did preparing for the trip.

City of Ten Thousand Buddhas outside gate.
City of Ten Thousand Buddhas outside gate.

We visit the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas. Stephanie describes peacocks appearance and behavior. There are, in fact, ten thousand Buddhas. We discuss religion and our history with it and we discuss gossips.

City of Ten Thousand Buddhas inside gate.
City of Ten Thousand Buddhas inside gate.
City of Ten Thousand Buddhas peacock front.
City of Ten Thousand Buddhas peacock front.
City of Ten Thousand Buddhas peacock's plumage.
City of Ten Thousand Buddhas peacock’s plumage.
City of Ten Thousand Buddhas peacock.
City of Ten Thousand Buddhas peacock's backside.
City of Ten Thousand Buddhas peacock’s backside.
City of Ten Thousand Buddhas shrine.
City of Ten Thousand Buddhas shrine.
A hawk doing sentinel duty out side of The City of Ten Thousand Buddhas.
A hawk doing sentinel duty out side of The City of Ten Thousand Buddhas.

We stopped at Eureka and then drove past tsunami warning signs.

Tsunami warning area.
Tsunami warning area.

Towering redwood trees. Trucks hauling logs and elk country. Bear boxes and cougar warnings. We won’t be going to my aunt’s house, there is sickness there. No phone service. Scrabble and then off to bed.

Bear box and tent.
Bear box right next to our tent.
Towering redwoods.
Towering redwoods. This picture doesn’t do them justice.
Looking up.
Looking up.
The Smith River.
The Smith River.
Stephanie beneath a redwood.
Stephanie beneath a redwood.

 

 

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Scrabbling Across The West Episode 18

May 24th, 2016. Day 18.

Recorded at the Kyen Campground, Ukiah, CA.

A stump used as a fishing pier in Lake Mendocino.
A stump used as a fishing pier in Lake Mendocino.

Up early in Monterey, Stephanie got to talk to Ranger Brad (A reference to a movie “The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra”). California morning traffic and beautiful scenery. Wildlife placement for passing tourists, puppy rolling in venison.

Flowers in Cloverdale.
Flowers in Cloverdale.

Dave lost at Scrabble last night by only 30 points. Our neighbor’s truck makes an audio appearance.

Cloverdale coffee shop sign
We stopped in Cloverdale. We can prove it.

 

 

We stopped in Cloverdale for coffee and found a place to go to tomorrow called “The City of 10,000 Buddhas”. Dave may wear his Crocs to demonstrate his lack of pride. Tomorrow we will be moving on to the Giant Redwoods. Ranger Brad (from Winona) said that we should have done the Giant Redwoods first; now we will compare all trees to the Sequoias.

Lake Mendocino.
Lake Mendocino.
Dave looks out on Lake Mendocino.
Dave looks out on Lake Mendocino.

Moving on to Oregon after that and eventually Murphy, ID and Sheridan, WY, three of Dave’s favorite places. Stephanie talks about some of the disappointments in the booking process.

 

 

Baby Dinosaur.
A “baby dinosaur”.
Butterfly cleverly hidden among the leaves.
Butterfly cleverly hidden among the leaves.

And then Scrabble.

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Scrabbling Across The West Episode 17

May 23rd 2016. Day 17.

Recorded at Veteran’s Memorial Park, Monterey, CA.

Another early podcast.

Scrabble scores, Dave scored over 300 and won by over 100 points, using the word “Quark”.

Santa Barbara County Parks Cachuma Lake Recreation Area in the morning.
Santa Barbara County Parks Cachuma Lake Recreation Area in the morning.

Up early at Santa Barbara County Parks Cachuma Lake Recreation Area, awakened by a cacophony of birds. Dave had a chance to play guitar in the sun this morning.

Passed some controlled burns on our drive.

Wildlife crossings seem much more exciting here than back in MN.
Wildlife crossings seem much more exciting here than back in MN.
Orchards along the road.
Orchards along the road.
Controlled burns. Hopefully.
Controlled burns. Hopefully.
Where there's smoke, there's fire.
Where there’s smoke, there’s fire.

Finished our first AAA book.

Early start tomorrow to the Redwoods.

Met a guy named Dominic who was a musician from Monterey.

We talk about our gas cards. That’s about it for today.

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Scrabbling Across The West Episode 16

May 22, 2016. Day 16.

Recorded at Santa Barbara County Parks Cachuma Lake Recreation Area.

Last night’s Scrabble scores- Stephanie got the word “Sequoia” and bingoed and then Dave won anyway.

Dave woke up early, Stephanie has gustatory rhinitis. On the road by 8:45 after a brief stop at the office to report that we broke the bed while playing Scrabble. Betty says that this is not unusual.

The Ludlow Cafe. Unfortunately we weren't hungry.
The Ludlow Cafe. Unfortunately we weren’t hungry.

Stopped in Ludlow and took pictures of the nice little diner that we didn’t eat at. We missed Barstow Station and drove on using the HOV lane for 6 feet.

The 1986 State Basketball Champions and Daisy the Cheerleader.

Parasailers near Santa Barbara.
Parasailers near Santa Barbara.
An almost completely unremarkable view of the ocean.
An almost completely unremarkable view of the ocean.
The road to Santa Barbara County Parks Cachuma Lake Recreation Area.
The road to Santa Barbara County Parks Cachuma Lake Recreation Area.

Santa Barbara County Parks Cachuma Lake Recreation Area reminds Dave of Italy and Stephanie wants to feed the camp jays. The neighbors had a hard time with the wind while setting their tent up. We podcasted early and discuss the possibility of naked scrabble.

Cachuma Lake
Cachuma Lake.
Dave relaxing in the sun.
Dave relaxing in the sun.

Hoping to meet a friend for lunch tomorrow but they aren’t answering their phone. Heading up to Monterey tomorrow and then on to Oregon and Washington. We almost got charged for using a restroom, but held out for a different one that was much more pleasant. We passed onion fields and smell… onions.

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Scrabbling Across The West Episode 15

May 21st, 2016. Day 15.

Second night in the Needles KOA cabin. Stephanie and Dave voice their opinions on air conditioning and tiny houses. High winds again today, but the brush fire is mostly contained.

Prickly Pear Cactus at the KOA in Needles, CA.
Prickly Pear Cactus at the KOA in Needles, CA.

Dave lost at Scrabble last night. A lazy day today, Coffee and energy bars for breakfast, Dave played guitar in the desert and then slept until 2.

Dave playing guitar in the desert. (The white dot near the center).
Dave playing guitar in the desert. (The white dot near the center).

Dave needs a computer cord, found one in a little second hand shop for $1.50. Dinner at Denny’s. Needles is a depressed town, the whys and whats. Betty at the KOA’s told us her health history. This is the day the theme song was recorded. Easy Wear Ear Warmers becomes our sponsor. Tomorrow we are heading to Santa Barbara.

Pre-1930 was the best period for Route 66.
Pre-1930 was the best period for Route 66, but parking was limited.
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Scrabbling Across The West Episode 14

May 20th, 2016. Day 14.

We woke up in Las Vegas and a high wind advisory kept us from the Grand Canyon. Someone was killed there that day so we decided to move on to Needles, California, a day early. We disposed of the extra fruit and then Stephanie won back our retirement money. She discusses her strategy for gambling and the subject of gambling addiction. Dave didn’t sleep well and did some thinking. No scrabble due to our gambling into the night.

Once in Needles we drove past a brush fire on our way to the Target in Bullhead City, AZ. We got to watch it most of the day and into the night.

Brush fire seen on our way to Target.
Brush fire seen on our way to Target.
Brush fire from our campground.
Brush fire from our campground.
Brush fire at night.
Brush fire at night.

We saw roadrunners, quail and a dead snake which was actually a piece of wood.

Road Runner.
Road Runner.

This podcast is cut slightly short due to memory problems. Probably Dave’s, not the recorder’s.

Sunset over the Needles KOA.
Sunset over the Needles KOA.
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Scrabbling Across The West Episode 13

May 19th, 2016. Day 13.

Woke up in Death Valley! It was off to Las Vegas where we visited Christ The King Catholic Community to visit Joseph O’Connell’s Masterpiece Triptych which Dave helped work on and then installed in 1995.

Joseph O'Connell Triptych.
Joseph O’Connell Triptych.
Joseph O'Connell Triptych (detail).
Joseph O’Connell Triptych (detail).
Joseph O'Connell Triptych (detail).
Joseph O’Connell Triptych (detail).
Joseph O'Connell Triptych (detail).
Joseph O’Connell Triptych (detail).
Joseph O'Connell Triptych (detail).
Joseph O’Connell Triptych (detail).
Joseph O'Connell Triptych (detail).
Joseph O’Connell Triptych (detail). Notice how smooth the hands are from people touching them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dave played the Farmers Market in Summerlin; it was very windy but a good gig.

Dave performing at the Las Vegas Farmers Market in Summerlin.
Dave performing at the Las Vegas Farmers Market in Summerlin.

Observations of the local population of Las Vegas and Stephanie talks about Long Island to someone from Long Island. Ginger and Steve’s story. The people of L.V. are really nice. We were given a flat of fruit from the Farmers Market which we munched on. Rethinking plans about going to the Grand Canyon because of high winds.

The view from our hotel.
The view from our hotel.

Dave had a steak and Stephanie had a hamburger at Siegel’s, named after the mobster. Dave buys some beer and is celebrating. We gambled in our hotel casino, El Cortez. Stephanie analyzes the casino design.

The street below our hotel.
The street below our hotel.
The view from our hotel.
The view from our hotel.
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Scrabbling Across The West Episode 12b

ALSO May 18th, 2016. STILL Day 12.

This podcast was recorded June 26th, 2017. We lost an episode somewhere, possibly Death Valley was so warm that it just melted. So we had to just reminisce about our time there. What we both remember best was that it was very beautiful but that you wouldn’t want to be there without water. Here are a bunch of pictures!

A hot highway
Entering Death Valley.
Beautiful Death Valley.
The arid beauty of Death Valley.
Diving through Death Valley.
The burning hills.
Sand dunes.
Sand dunes and hills.
The moon up so high.
The moon over the desert.
Dunes.
Dunes in Death Valley.
Shadows and the moon.
Shadows and the moon.
Wind patterns on the dunes.
Wind patterns on the dunes.
SStephanie loves Death Valley!
Stephanie loves Death Valley!
Sunset over Death Valley.
Sunset over Death Valley.
Leaving Death Valley.
Leaving Death Valley.
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Scrabbling Across The West Episode 12a

May 18th, 2016. Day 12

An apology for the short podcast.

Recorded at Death Valley National Park, CA.

Dave won by more than 100 pts last night, but it didn’t count. Breakfast with Dave’s McGyvered coffee and then off to the giant Sequoia trees, the General Sherman tree is huge. Dave wants to hug trees. The recorder ran out of memory so here are a bunch of pictures.

Big Trees.
Entering the Giant Sequoia forest.
Massive trees!
Massive trees!
Downed tree.
Weathered ancient wood.
San Joaquin Valley.
A beautiful view of the San Joaquin Valley.
Raod through the trees.
The road through the Giant Sequoias.
Measuring up.
How does Dave measure up to the Giant Sequoias?
The biggest of the big.
Unbelievably HUGE General Sherman.
Dave at the base of the tree.
Dave and someone we don’t know at the base of the General Sherman Sequoia.
Stephanie at the base of the General Sherman tree.
Stephanie at the base of the General Sherman tree, with the person we don’t know.
The whole tree.
A composite image of the General Sherman tree.
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