Natalie & Tom Training

NatalieTom50th

Natalie & Tom Training

In celebration of our 50th anniversary, we are taking a train trip to visit family and tour some of these United States. This will be a running commentary about our adventure.



North America » United States » Washington September 16th 2020

Yesterday was our day to break camp and return home. I wanted to leave by 9:00, and Natalie aimed at 10:00, so we compromised at 10:50. Natalie thought that perfectly fair. Of course, a couple people stopped by for a chat, and the final cleanup, packing and disconnecting took a bit longer than planned. I had been a bit concerned about getting out of our campsite without damaging either the coach or the site, but it proved pretty easy. (Until we did it, it was a bit of concern and it probably should always be at least enough concern to be careful.) Our drive home took 3 hours, then half an hour to unload into the house and we were off to fill the gas tank. The first part of that puzzle was to choose a ... read more

North America » United States » Washington September 14th 2020

Although our RV has cable, it's only the basic Seattle channels, so any news beyond weather is only the acceptable Seattle news, so we mostly have ignored it. It's really quite interesting how life in a small community of KOA campers can become an engaging experience. Last night before dark, we heard what sounded like a bulldozer starting up and working on the other side of the campground. After a little while, we saw the source: a fairly standard farm tractor was towing a pickup with a camper shell into a campsite. Today, a big tow truck came into the campground, loaded the pickup onto its bed, and drove away, leaving the camper shell mounted on a frame and all hooked up to electricity. And that was only the beginning of our excitement. We took another ... read more

North America » United States » Washington September 14th 2020

Another fine day in the sticks, with many neighbors, begins without much change in weather. The sky is still obscured by smoke and haze that seems parked overhead. However, it is dry, if cool, and there's plenty of light to read by while comfortably seated outside. Today's excitement was seeing shadows for a brief little while. This afternoon, we walked the beach again for bit longer, and looked a little closer at the cliff and some of the features along the beach. There's just not much to see toward the water, except a couple way out in the bay collecting clams. We talked to them a while and learned the park has an area campers are permitted to collect clams- too far in any direction, and they're on private property. This couple did collect their limit ... read more
Sasquatch lounge chairs
Interesting driftwood log

North America » United States » Washington September 13th 2020

After a good night's sleep, another day begins without fanfare. A few hunters left way too early, so we stayed in bed. This is not a working vacation. As usual, the chef prepared an awesome breakfast. Eventually, the chef even got dressed. This is one major advantage of RVing: bedclothes are just fine when you don't even have to emerge. After a while, we took another little stroll around the park. It is a nice park, and this time, we walked through the kiddie play area. They have a good collection of playground toys and games. There's even an RC car track. (The cars are available for rent from the office. Fancy that.) We might even have to try that out. You see, Natalie beat me at checkers last night, 2 out of 3, so we ... read more
Two-point buck

North America » United States » Washington September 12th 2020

Now that we've been here for a whole day, our 2nd night went well because we've become somewhat used to the different kind of sleeping arrangement, today is sort of a normal type of day. The point of the RV rental this week is to learn about the RV life and whether it will be to our liking. If everything went perfectly, it just wouldn't be a realistic learning experience now, would it? So, the first difficulty came up when we hooked up and turned on the water supply: the water just poured out the onboard tank's overflow. There shouldn't be a connection between them. A call to the dealer led us to decide to just keep the onboard tank full and live off the tank. Yesterday, we found the water spits out the faucets like ... read more
Beachside cliff.
Interesting erosion pattern
Looking north along the beach

North America » United States » Washington September 10th 2020

We decided several months ago to do this experiment, and wait until kids should be back in school. (Vacations seems to be more peaceful when children are in school.) You see, when I retire in a couple years, our temporary plan if everything continues well, is to sell our house and move into an RV and travel until we find a place we want to settle down. It really wouldn't work well if we buy the RV, use it for a month or two, then decide we dislike the whole exercise. So, if we learn about RVing first, we won't make that mistake. After reviewing RV rental outfits online, we decided to rent from Ryan's RV Town, and are quite pleased with the choice. They are very friendly and considerate, and they rent late model, quality ... read more
Murdock
Sunset over the bay

North America » United States September 27th 2019

Our final day on this journey began with a wait for the train in Sacramento. According to the conductor who boarded in Sacramento, this train always runs about an hour late, and it was again today. We climbed aboard about 1:15 am, when it was very dark. They couldn't seat us together on the upper level, so put us in the front row of the four on the last level. (This level is usually reserved for handicapped or those more elderly than us.) The attendant said she'd find us seats together in the upper level in the morning after they had unloaded some. I'll admit to being quite displeased because other attendants would awaken those using two seats for the price of one so couples could be together. The attendant on the Zephyr even warned people ... read more

North America » United States September 26th 2019

After an excellent night back in a bed, we have a day to explore a little bit of Sacramento. Because old town Sacramento is a short walk from the train station, we plan to check our bags for the day and check out "Old Sac" as the locals call it. There is a railroad museum right there, and it seems fitting to visit that museum today. And that's what we did. The navigator failed to confirm the route before we started walking, so we ended up walking all the way across the Sacramento River before realizing we missed a turn somewhere. So after spending a little while appreciating the park on the other side of the river, we found our way back to the right side of the river. The railroad museum is right there. If ... read more
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North America » United States September 25th 2019

As dawn broke today, we were traveling through Nevada after leaving Elko and on our way to Winnemucca. This is the first time I can honestly say the terrain can begin to look monotonous. I had thought Nevada was almost all desert wasteland, except Las Vegas, Reno and several small towns, of course. However, that picture is misleading. Most of the land we crossed today is high desert, and there was very little variety to the vegetation most of the way. Just lots of yellowish scrub grass with pale green bushes scattered throughout, seemingly at random. The terrain does vary quite a bit as we passed by. It is mostly flat, and seems to go on forever. But then, we begin to cross small canyons, some with little streams at the bottom, others with just more ... read more
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North America » United States September 24th 2019

During the night time run through Nebraska, they announced a delay because Burlington Northern Santa Fe told them to hold while BNSF repaired some track ahead of us. We still rode into Colorado in the dark, but ended up being 2 hours late most of today. It's not a problem for us because we'll still arrive by 4:00 pm or so in Sacramento and stay the night before catching the midnight train to Seattle. We had breakfast in the dining car with a delightful Amish couple from Dalton, OH. They were taking an epic vacation of their own: With two other couples, married at the same time, they are celebrating their 40th anniversary with a series of train rides around the country too. We enjoyed talking about some common experiences, and learned a little about the ... read more
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