Tuesday, October 13, 2009

From There to Here

My last blog entry left us about two weeks ago, in Wyoming. Today we are in California, hunkered down in the San Jose area, waiting out a big rain and wind storm. I finally managed to sew the safety pinned curtains, while Shawn hammered his way through e-mails and bookkeeping chores. Hopefully, tomorrow we'll get back on the road on our southerly route home.

I can FINALLY let the cat out of the bag and tell you about the big project that we've been working on for the past two YEARS! We were souvenir artists for the Small Scales Salt Lake City Houseparty. Our project was a quarter inch scale Paris cafe called Poulbot. Our family is SO, SO, SO, sick of hearing about Poulbot. Songs have been written about it. (Our family is weird like that!)

It is a big undertaking, but very fulfilling. I think it's all right though, to say that I'm glad they're finished and in the hands of the houseparty goers. Lots of new projects on the horizon for next year. But let me get back to the trip.....Wyoming, Utah, Nevada and California.....

The snow chased us through Wyoming. We were about 12 hours ahead of a big front that was coming through and we didn't want to encounter snow in an area where roads get closed and chains are required on tires, so we moved along as quickly as we were able and made our way into Salt Lake City. As we were setting up "camp" the temperature was pushing 90 degrees and kids were swimming in the pool. Then the temperature started to drop and drop and drop. When we woke up the mountains were covered in snow and it was still falling. We had to drive to Park City, home of the Olympics a few years ago, to pick up a print of Poulbot. Just a little side bar here - four years ago when we were at the last Salt Lake show, we took a trip up to Park City, ate buffalo burgers, strolled around the shops and galleries and discovered a wonderful gallery of photographic art. One of the subjects was of a cafe in Paris called Poulbot. I bought a post card of it and it was the inspiration for our miniature project. We wanted to give a print for a houseparty helper, so the trip to Park City was underway! It was still snowing in the mountains and Park City was in the mountains. It was a quick trip up and a quick trip back to S L C. What happened to summer or at least fall? It is our intention to evade the snow and cold on this trip so on our way home we are heading south.

The miniature show was fabulous! The group that worked on this houseparty did a great job and a good time was had by all. The weekend went by too fast and soon it was time to head westward for the show in San Jose. Oh, I almost forgot about my workshop on Monday. A group of friends had gathered to learn about assemblage and the form we were making was an altered dress. Everyone did a great job trying a new medium, and if our Liquid Nails would have dried, we might have finished. That's the dance of doing a class or a workshop. Sometimes everything falls in place and sometimes the glue doesn't dry properly. The evening was spent with friends, hamburgers and wine. What more could one want? Salt Lake City is a beautiful place.

Before we got on the road again, I was having more than my share of apprehension about getting over the mountains to California. This was new territory for me as all of our previous trips to California or places west had been on an airplane and although I could see the mountains, I didn't have any worries about hauling a little vintage trailer up and around those hills. It didn't help that when I mentioned it to friends, you know who you are, they told me about the pioneer Donner party who got stranded up in the hills and that we had to go through Donner’s Pass. “Lions, and Tigers and Bears, Oh my!”

We made our way through Utah and into Nevada. My mountain fear was growing but the evening was on it’s way so we settled into a campsite in Winnemucka, yes, that’s the real name of a real town. It was so cold that night! Shawn was worried about our pipes freezing. We just didn’t know what to do. We looked in all our RV for dummies books and the only thing I could find was that if you leave your hose connected it could turn into a popsicle, so I talked Shawn into disconnecting the hose. Turns out, you’re supposed to leave it on and leave your water trickling in the sink. So, guess what? The pipes froze, BUT, they didn’t break, so after thawing them with my hair dryer, we got on the road heading for the big, bad mountains again. I’d like to say it was anti-climatic and as my nephew says about flying - “Any flight that you can walk away from, is a good flight!”, so I will say that except for the claw marks in the passenger’s side of the car, it was a good flight. We made it over Donner’s Pass and through the twisty windy California roads on our way to Jeff Packard and Debbie Young’s home. Whew! Made it! And then we had the best time...until we had to leave for San Jose and one more miniature show. More mountains? No we were OK now and so we arrived at our RV Park which was not really in San Jose but about 20 minutes away. I’m not going to say the name of the town because I’m going to slam the park. It's supposed to be a very nice park with very good ratings. So, here’s the slam....after making a reservation, then arriving and paying for five nights. After welcoming us and telling us about the nice place they were going to put us, a conversation ensued about Shasta trailers and that there was another one in the park, we mentioned ours was a vintage trailer. You would have thought that we we displaying naked women (or men) on the bumper to account for the reaction that followed. They do not allow trailers or RV’s older than 10 years. And they also told us that we would find that true in lots of parks. We’ll see...I don’t believe so. Out of the goodness of their hearts they would honor our reservation, but they would have to put us in the back where we wouldn’t be seen. I was so furious, steam was coming out of my ears, but we were between a rock and a hard place and Shawn ushered me out of the office as fast as he could. Turns out that the spot “in the back” was very nice and away from the highway noise. We had geese, hummingbirds and little bats for neighbors as well as two giant RVs on either side of us. Today I’m especially thankful for those RVs as they kept the wind from knocking us all around. Another observation about this snooty park - they haven’t cleaned the showers the entire time we’ve been here. The same clump of hair is still sitting in the same spot in the same shower. Yuck!!
I’ll take the little homey park any day....or night.


  1. Wow, what a nasty park! I have found that often the more you pay and fancier the establishment, the less you get.

    Would love to see the little Paris cafe by the way!

  2. You two amaze me no end...enjoy the southernly-routed trip back. How dare they snub your little Shasta !!!! :)