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! šŸ’¤

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.

Day 2, I’m a survivorĀ 

Ok, let me start with Kristine Dugger is a machine. She is kicking my booty. Her energy is definitely motivating me. I can only hope to get my rear moving and start a real workout program at the gym. Maybe next week. Monday sounds like a great goal. Someone make a point of reminding me. Even better lots of you push because the competitor in me needs it. 

Planning on getting my before pictures and stats ready tonight. I may or may not show them until the end. In my head I’ve made this a 30 challenge but hope to make it a lifetime change. 

My friends Michele and Valentina have also jumped on board. I expect to see and hear from you two regularly, ya hear? Just keep moving šŸ˜

Who wants to throw down a small and obtainable goal for us? Go hiking, run your personal best, then try to beat it. Anyone want to send us some motivation? New gear to try? Healthy snacks and shakes? I have an address if you want us to give your products a try, I’ve said it before, this blog is for me but heck free stuff for me and my friends = free advertising for you makes for a win:win in my books. Just throwing the idea out there. If you don’t ask the answer is definitely no. 

Stay tuned for our continuing adventure towards weight loss and getting fit! 

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, 

    Oh Canada, Victoria to be precise

    Early Thursday morning we waited in a long line at the Port Angeles ferry dock. We got there early because we had to drive our truck onto the boat that would take us on my biggest adventure yet. 


    Let me back track a little. I just got my passport specifically for this trip. I’ve never been outside of the US before. I hate to fly. I have flown out of necessity and when I was much younger. Admittedly 9/11 scared the crap out of me therefore adding to my already unreasonable fears. It’s that bad that I even think is over the top. Now y’all know why this blog is called “road trips”  not my worldwide adventures. Maybe hubby will convince me to travel abroad someday. 

    Ok back to my current adventure to Victoria, Vancouver Island, Canada. The ferry ride was a blast. I rode the whole way on the bow. I stood tall loving how the breeze felt and the ocean looked. I’m sure I looked like a little kid standing on the large pipes so I was tall enough to see over the rails. Yep, I’m short. Only 5ft. God stopped when he found perfection, or so I tell myself. 

    When we entered the docks, all vehicle passengers were hearded downstairs. The process of loading and unloading the vehicles was quick and efficient. Since we had reservations we were in the front which really paid off for the customs line. It only took us about 5 minutes. I admit to having some nerves about this part. We have all of our camping  gear which includes some knives and an axe for firewood. Was this allowed? Thankfully we didn’t have any problems, 

    We had lots of time to drive aimlessly and site see before checking into our sleeping quarters for the next 2 nights. The city is breathtaking. The homes are beautiful. The people are polite and kind. I discovered all of this within the first hour on the island. 

    Our reservations were for an “Otentik” Read more. Basically it’s a tent/cabin. 

    That was cool by its self. Now add in the fact it’s in Fort Rodd Hill Natiobal Historic site.


    Wait there’s more, it’s also the location of the Fisguard Lighthouse. 


    But wait, there’s more. The park closed at 5:00 and there are only 5 Otentiks, our first night we had to share the park with only 4 other people. Imagine getting to explore this historical location without anyone bothering you. Stepping in front of you while you read signs, take pictures etc. it was so quiet and peaceful. The family of 4 was exhausted and went to bed early so the park really was all mine! 

    Oh! but hold on, there’s still more. Picture the sun going down. The air turning a little cooler, the only noise is the water lapping at the shores and the geese flying around making the occasional honk. Then you look up to the lighthouse again. OMG! I was stunned by the beauty. Thank god I had a camera.  You judge for yourself. 


    I went to bed with this image in my mind and a smile a mile wide. 

    I’m not sure this trip has anything to beat that vision. Challenge excepted 

    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. 

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    In the meantime I’m off for my next adventure