Saturday, August 24, 2019

Bringing Dad Home - Trip Outside

We are off!

Heading on an Alaskan adventure to move Dad home. I didn't get the trailer decorated but hope to before we come back. There are always a lot of moving parts to leaving home.
Preparing for a good view 

Alex checks the tires

We moved Dash to the chicken yard  - Stacia checked on him and told him goodbye. 

 Benny wanted to come with us, but not without Mommy.

We're off! #BringingDadHome
Stacia, Alex, Dad (GG)
Totally staged! This is the back seat driver look reserved for when *I* drive the beast. LOL 

The worst of the we waited for the pilot car the "wolves" came out....though we decided the flagger was wrong and they were foxes....Can you spot the one? 

This unique rainbow occurred as we followed the pilot car. The colors were so low they went into trees.  We've never seen a rainbow so close to the ground. It was beautiful.

Some of the pull outs are awfully tight for a rig our size....Alex is very good at spotting Michael.....

And Michael is very good at making the space work for him. 

Day 2 we pulled off the road for Michael to sleep a couple of hours. I made lunch for everyone and Stacia and I went for a walk. We found some unique prints and realized we'd forgotten the bear spray. Maybe we should buy a can to leave in the RV.

 We took note of the Fireweed up in the mountains. There were still a very few blooming. 

Many patches were bright red. 

Some have begun the browning and dying out process. 

Day 3 was a big wildlife day.... Cariboo - Reindeer

We'll wait.....

Note the greens, the red Fireweed and the hints of fall colors. It is AMAZING to compare the colors with the photos when we come back two weeks later. They get HIGH WINDS up here...check out the trees on the left....

 And that little black dot in the photo above? Mama and two cubs... 

We saw a few more bears this day...I think the count was 14.

Who would have guessed? Quite a few healthy options. A & W are quite prolific in British Columbia and Yukon Territories. 

This evening we nearly collided with a herd of Bison. We decided it was time to stop.  It was too exciting to grab photos. LOL

We slept in a turnout on Night 3.....we opened the back of the trailer and watched the stars. 

It was a pretty spot to stop. 

Alex was faithful to check tire pressure

Day 4 we crossed back into America...and traffic. 

We threaded our way through Seattle and Portland traffic only to run into an accident on the south side of Portland. The interstate was closed and all traffic was detouring....we were over 2 hours late getting to our campground.

We had wanted to arrive early to meet Lorri, my cousin,  for dinner at the Woodburn exit. It turns out our RV park was directly behind Elmers - by the outlet mall. Lorri met us for breakfast. I didn't take a single photo. The fellowship was sweet. We do miss our cousin dates.  We were all thankful Lorri drove up to meet us. 

THIS was parked in the RV to it, we looked small. LOL  Some big slot competition. 

After breakfast we drove on to Springfield.....Dad settled in to Will and Sherri's. We settled in at Premier RV park. We lived here during the months  we were in Eugene in 2017.  The kids jumped into the pool. 

It is 2500 miles from our home to Will and Sherri's. We did it in 4 days and an hour on the 5th day. I'm pretty impressed.  That's a slew of long days in an RV. We don't go as fast as a car. When we moved up in 2017 we averaged 300 mile days....took us about 10 days. We had a couple of sight-seeing days built in. This time our goal was to have as much time as possible in OR. We averaged 600 mile days. 

Friday, August 23, 2019

Chickens, Kale, Watermelon....Gardens

This is it.

The day before some of us leave for two weeks.  This day was all about chickens and gardens....and a bit of packing.

Our wind had blown up a lot of plastic we put down in the garden earlier in the season. We replaced it. We put another layer of peat moss in the lasagna bed. We harvested kale....

This is the pile of stems/leaves. 

FINALLY - I realized I COULD move a table and use it and the hose as an outside garden produce cleaning area. So NICE not to have all the dirt and bugs in my sink at the end of this project. We ended up with a pile of stems and some yellowing leaves for the chickens. They DO love kale.

We had a big tub of kale leaves for US.....

We took them inside and began filling bags and vacuum sealing them...Krista showed up just in time to join us.....30 more quarts of kale for the winter. I left the main stalks in the garden so we may have some baby kale when we return. If it hasn't frosted.

Did I say chickens? She came to take a dust bath - and left behind our first egg from this year group. 

A tiny start....

A couple of mornings ago one of our hens was dead in the coop.

We have been waiting for Phoenix to start dominating the hens....and then we were going to introduce him to the mean girls. Well - they've actually been sharing a chicken yard for about 6 weeks.  He is finally showing interest in ruling the roost....

AND the bare bums haven't grown back on last year's chickens. We'd been warned they wouldn't survive the winter and their habits had become ingrained.....but we thought about it....and today, we took down the fence and let the two groups mingle.
The big fluffy ones are the "chicks" and the ones with missing feathers
are last year's group. 
 We sat in the middle of the chicken yard  and watched as it became apparent which hens were the mean ones. We did NOT want to cull any chickens - that means butcher in everyday speak.  😞 Our hope is that if we remove the aggressors, the others will regrow feathers before the winter is very cold....and the two flocks will integrate. Lucille snuck in and she seems to be doing well.  She spent most her time in between the two flocks.

Dove is our bravest in this year group. She eyes the inside....

She was the first of the younger ones to try out the nesting boxes.  Two of the mean girls climbed in and began mercilessly pecking her. I was mad enough I forgot to be scared and pulled them out. 

As we watched, we marked the hens which were more aggressive than simple pecking. We were surprised it was NOT , as we had suspected, the ones with feathers growing back that were the aggressors. It was the really bald ones. We think they've been fighting with each other when we weren't watching....anyway, we marked five that were being horrible to their year group and to the younger ones. We now have 5 hens in the freezer. I cried. It was hard and sad and yet....that means we now have 12 new chickens and 6 which went crazy last winter. I hope the dynamic changes out there. It already has in that we feel comfortable letting Lucille try the coop again. She misses the other girls. 

You may thank me for NOT taking a single picture of the sad proceedings. 

We planted squash in 4 different areas of the garden to see where it would grow best. This is the worst area....

With the lettuce, cabbage and kale gone...these beds now have beets and carrots. They should be just fine for a couple of weeks. 

You can see I didn't have enough starts to even fill half the garden spot....

Last week I cut out the center heads of broccoli. Sure enough - baby ones are starting all over...these should be a good size in a couple of weeks. 

Potatoes....I'm assuming they'll be fine too. 

This seems to be the best spot for squash. 

My lasagna bed. I hope to find time when we get back to start some more spots....we should have more brown layers then (fall leaves). 
The 3rd squash site....and our corn patch. I have EARS of corn forming....I didn't rip it all out even though the wind made a mess of it....we'll water and see what happens. LOL  It's all been one big experiment...

Stacia cut back tomato foliage....hoping that will help the sets to ripen. 

Michael fixes dad up with some suspenders....smh. 

I may never live THIS down....all the hard the watermelon 1/2 the greenhouse and THIS is my watermelon crop.  The vines were everywhere...climbing the walls, creeping out the door, blossoms were plentiful. 

I am finally calling it quits for this year. They have done this all season. TONS of vines, lots of blossom and sets...but when they get this size they simply fall off the vine. I have no idea WHY. I'm going to have to do some research about this over the winter. 

Dad hasn't stopped teasing me about my "watermelon crop." ::snort:: It doesn't seem quite fair because the garden is really producing more than any other garden we've ever had....just not melons. LOL

It's 10 p.m. and it's dark. I've been reminded when school and high school football begins - IT'S FALL!  There you have feels like fall, it looks like fall - it's fall. LOL  Maybe it will still be summer in Oregon.