Quick update

Day 4 and we have seen lots and the weather has been crazy.

We stayed outside of Henderson Nevada last night at a small KOA campground. I love camping and my little tent is quick to set up.

Last night was terrible though. Almost 100 degrees at 1am. I don’t think I have ever tried to sleep outside in that kind of heat.

I jumped up early and started packing. I was anxious to get on Route 66 and go to Oatman Arizona. A tiny town where the donkeys wander the streets. I will write about Oatman in another post soon. This one is more about trying to sleep and the weather we have seen.

When leaving Oatman it poured rain. Huge drops. Lighting, wind, you name it. By the time we got back on I40 we were good and the temperature started to rise again.

So our next destination was Williams, Arizona. I made a special reservation at a much larger KOA. More to come on this place too.

Here is where we are staying tonight! And the weather is more like home. 60’s.

I am ready to get some sleep. It’s a little chilly but guess what? Our tee pee has a space heater and a fridge!

Good night! 💤

4th Annual Shotgun Rider Road Trip

Well the planning is as far as it’s going to get. Less than 48 hours and we will be on the road.

I am sure I am forgetting something but I’m not worrying about it. I keep thinking about the line from the movie Coal Miners Daughter when Patsy Cline tells Loretta Lynn to not worry about not having the things she needs.

Patsy Cline: [to Loretta] “I’ll call you on Monday and we’ll go shopping. Anything we can’t buy, we’ll make. Anything we can’t make, we’ll steal!”

With that philosophy I suppose we are ready to go.

No real plans for the first 3 days. I want to hit as much of Route 66 as possible because it’s Route 66. Who wouldn’t want to travel on Route 66 given the chance.

We have reservations for Wednesday night outside of Sedona Az. That location has a little twist I will share with you when we arrive. Then 2 nights at Grand Canyon and 2 nights near Bryce Canyon. We are hoping to hit Devils Tower in Wyoming if our trip takes us in that direction.

For now I will finish the little bit of prep needed at home and just start my slow down and relax mindset.

Ahhhhhh, it’s almost time to kick my shoes off and travel shotgun style again.

Sharing feedback and comment cards

I spent a few hours after we returned answering emails and completing feedback requests frim hotels, camping sites, restaurants and sightseeing locations from our trip. When you’re staying away from home for 17 days that’s a lot of places to rate. 

Most places were rated as excellent. Some were just ok. A few were completely bad. There is no way I could recommend them. I will go into more details about the individual locations another time. 

Like I said most stays were excellent. I try to complete all of my opinions and experiences. Not just the negative ones. Plus within a negative experience there may have been a bright side. An employee who did everything right but wasn’t able to correct the problem. That employee deserves the recognition for their positive effort. 

I’m pretty easy to please when it comes to an overnight stay. A hotel needs to be clean with clean bedding and have a working toilet, shower and mainly bathtub. I enjoy soaking in a tub after sitting in the truck for so long and especially after hiking around hills or downtown for hours. One day we walked over 15 miles. Yep, I was looking forward to a bubble bath that night. Unfortunately that was the night in Victoria at the lighthouse, no shower or tub available until the following day. 
If I’m camping out then I want flushable,  non-smelly toilets, a clean shower and hopefully quiet time. It’s camping after all so you can’t expect too much. I do my best to not camp near killer beasts like bears. The less bugs the better but that ines hard to control. The location dictates the bug problem. I never needs my Shoo-Fly device so I have no idea if it works or not. I’ll have to try it on our next trip. 

I filled out a few from restaurants after completing our meal as well. 

In my other part time job, these surveys are highly coveted by the corporate offices. Proudly I will say I have a very large number of highly satisfied customers who have completed the feedback email. My employer does offer a discount on the customers next purchase if they complete the survey, but still they are completing it with a positive experience and those positives ones are hard to get. Most customers only write about the negative parts. 

So I ask you:

  • Do you fill out feedback forms? 
  • Do you only fill them out if you get a freebie or discount by providing your experience?
  • Do you only fill them out for negative experiences? 
  • How important do you think these feedback requests are and do you think they make a difference? 

Ironically while writing this blog I just received another hotel Etsy feedback request. Off to complete that one while it’s fresh in my mind. Incidentally it was a positive experience. 

I’ll let you know if I get any responses from my recent road trip. 

    The Zombies are coming

    The cabin I’m staying at tonight is kind of in the middle of nowhere. It’s really hot and I cant sleep. My mind started wandering to zombies. It happens sometimes. 
    Well the zombies aren’t coming, yet, but I did tell you a few posts back basically how I would handle things in such an event. 

    This post technically isn’t about road trips except that getting away from zombies is the same way I’m running away from a bear. I even picked up a new shirt to wsrn everyone. 

    Zombies are kind of a big deal in our house. Movies, tv shows, books, collectibles you name it. Walking Dead is a sacred show in our world. Rick is my favorite and I hope my boys will be as tough as Carl when the time comes. Hubby keeps their training up to date so we should be good to go. 

    Hubby will watch any zombie show. There’s one called Z-Nation. It has the the cheesiest plots and script I’ve ever seen. The worst part is I don’t want to watch it but I find myself getting drawn in while he watches. Then I hate myself for losing the 60 minutes of my life I’ll never get back. 

    We have a zombie defense plan set up too. 

    Don’t judge us, it has multiple uses. It’s the standard get the hell out plan. Where to go. What to do. What we need.It has become a way to gather up all essentials needed for any other type of emergency evacuations. Due to our location in Northern California we have high potential for a few natural disasters such as earthquakes and tsunamis. I remember vividly the 1989 earthquake and it scared me for life. Thinking about making a Zombie kit is much less frightening. 

    I’m not going to list everything we have in our kit. It’s pretty typical items from all the list you can find on line for emergency preparedness. Water, food, clothes, matches, crank radio….. the list is pretty big.  Our camping gear is nearby as well. It contains a large part of the items needed. We are constantly adding stuff we feel will be necessary. For instance I bought hubby a machete for his birthday. Perfect for Zombie elimination. You’ve got to destroy their brains after all. Even thought all of these items are great to have during a “real” evacuation, honestly it’s primary purpose is for when the zombies appear. My family is all set. 

    So in a nutshell. If a bear, mountain lion, gorilla or especially a zombie is chasing me you’re out of luck. I don’t have to outrun them, I just have to outrun you. Tripping, hitting, elbowing and knocking you down are all allowed in this survival game, 

    Day 2 Sleeping under the giant Redwoods

    We stayed tonight in one of my favorite places. A mini cabin in a campground. I stayed in one last year and fell in love. Much more comfortable than a tent, and so cute. 

    Yes, it costs a little bit more than tent camping but it’s still cheaper than a hotel. 

    This KOA campsite in Crescent City is surrounded by ancient redwood trees. A beautiful place to stay. We didn’t have time but the offices had directions to multiple self guided walking tours in the redwood forests. 

    We took a late stroll to look at the stars. Without all of the light pollution the stars seemed much closer here. 

    Too soon we had to leave. We had a long drive ahead of us to Cape Outlook State Beach. 

    Thanks for following me. If you like my blog posts please follow along. By following and putting your email in you will receive emails keeping you up to date with my travels. 

    In the meantime I’m off for my next adventure 

    ShooFly, solar light, bug bands oh my!!!

    I’m always looking for items to have that may be useful on our annual road trip. Sometimes it’s to replace old stuff and sometimes it’s just because it’s a nifty item I want to try. 

    Recently I’ve purchased a few items I hope will make this trip more enjoyable. 

    The first one is called ShooFly. It’s a battery operated fly distracting device.

    When camping I hate flies. They get into you food, they land on you, they buzz your head. They are just gross. This clever looking device spins a couples strips of plastic with holographic stripes which supposedly keeps the flies away. We shall see. I’ll give a full report as soon as I try it out. Not so sure about this one. 

     Next irritation on camping trip are mosquitoes. Sprays get in your mouth. Wipes leave you all sticky. Don’t get me wrong I’ll still be using those because hubby and I react badly to bites. Itching is a bad sensation while sitting in a truck for 8 hours. I bought these bands. I’m even more skeptical of these working that the ShooFly. Again I’ll report to you my findings. 

    Next is a fire starter. Hubby likes to make fire from scratch. No matches. It reminds me of how Tom Hanks acted in the movie Cast Away.  Thumping his chest and yelling to nobody. “Look what I’ve created. I have made fire.” Must be a man thing. I know these work because each of my four boys have been given the key into manhood. Tasked with using these to start a camp fire. It’s just a fun thing and when it takes to long I pull out the matches. I’m impatient like that. Evolution makes this possible.He’s  such a caveman. 

    Bought a bear bell too. When camping you string it across an area to alert you to a bear approaching. Remember, I don’t have to outrun the bear, I only have to outrun you! Just thought I’d warn people now. Same goes during the Zombie Apocalypse.  Pretty sure I’ll be tripping and pushing people down if danger is chasing me. If I am running stay out of my way or I’ll turn you into bait. 

    Lastly is my favorite new find. I remember seeing this item on the TV show shark tank . 

    LuminAID is a solar, blow up lantern. No batteries, no heat like a propane lantern, water proof, easy packing and affordable. I paid about $14.00 on amazon. I am excited to bring it with me into those dark campsite bathrooms and showers especially. The orange strap turned into a place to hang the light. It seems bright. Here’s a picture from a dark room in my house. 

    Like I said, I will give my honest opinion on these items as I use them, I don’t get any compensation to review them. It’s just for my entertainment. Although I’m not opposed to the idea of free stuff or compensation . Just throwing it out there If anyone’s listening of course. Hello? Anyone? 

    Anyhow,I hope you all are ready for this trip. I’m getting there. Now it’s time to pack this stuff up.