Day 70: Monday, August 9th, 2021

Another slow morning, up way too early in the Pacific time zone.  People have asked me how I am doing with it, well, I was up at 3:30 this morning, that’s how I’m doing. I am not at the same point long enough to get used to it.  So, I just go with it. I wound up working on my schedule, some exciting things coming up, and then I fell back asleep around 8 for a good hour before showering, packing, and heading out.  The bed was VERY comfortable, and I enjoyed the vibe of my “Grandma” room. I turned in the house key, yes, it was regular key, and I headed out.

Motel West Bend Oregon

 

So I get to play this game on driving days, especially new States. The game is this, what terrain will I be driving today?  I have driven cornfields, mountain ranges, big cities and small towns. I never know, it’s the roulette of roulette.  Today’s was actually pretty awesome (VIDEO on Facebook) which consisted of winding roads through large bluffs, hills buttes, and mountains.  On my first 2 hour drive of the day (a total of 5 hours from Bend Oregon, to Boise Idaho, I gambled with my gas tank. Don’t EVER do this! I thought I could catch a station down the road, but, nay nay, nothing for TWO hours while I drove in the middle of nowhere.  I prayed, I hoped, I watched my needle fall while I hoped I was getting closer to a town. I was never more relieved than to find a gas station and fill the tank…won’t be doing that again. Normally I have a rule of filling up every time I am going on a long drive, I just got cocky. You get used to doing the same thing for so long, you just think you have full control, and you get lazy.  I have also started wearing my mask again and hand sanitizing my hands again more.  Having that nasty cold is as close as I would like to get to being sick on this venture.

Driving throgh Oregon

Oregon Buttes

Driving Oregon

Driving Oregon

Driving Oregon

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I am now tucked in for the night, here until Saturday while exploring the Boise area. I am IN LOVE with this hotel, and I got smart and started getting a two bed room for the same price. It gives me more room to work out, and just more space in general. The TV in here is HUGE, so awesome!  And in walking distance is a Taco Bell and Subway, so I’m going to get salads all week for dinner. Lunch will be wherever I am in town at the time, that seems to be working for me.  I have to go find my next sticker, I got my Blockbuster one on now, and a couple others I found in my bag.  I think I will be finding ones all the time in the nooks and crannies of my many bags. The guy that checked me in is bringing me one tomorrow, how sweet! So that’s it for today…I am in Idaho, my first time, and I am going to enjoy this hotel because next week is camping…..see you tomorrow!

Side note, thanks to EVERYONE who have donated to my hard work. This is what I do for a living and it is WORK for me, so tossing me a couple bucks to my PAYPAL below helps me SO MUCH with everything needed. I love being able to bring you all of these amazing places so that YOU can do them as well. I work mostly on donations so thanks again!

Lava River Cave

Thank you for your support and kindness!!

I LOVE sharing the joy of Adventure, and Travel! Every dollar you support me with goes right back into my mission for equipment, gas, and essentials. But most importantly, when you support me financially it tells me you BELIEVE in me and MY VALUE, and that means more to me than ANYTHING! Spreading the kindness is my goal on this amazing journey, and I thank you for helping me make magic for so many people. So THANK YOU for YOU!!

$1.00

Day 69: Sunday, August 8th, 2021

I was so exhausted last night that I was out cold by 9 p.m…and then slept through the night until 6 a.m. A FIRST for me in a while, pretty sure I needed it. This hotel room feels like I am staying at a friend’s home, the bed is super comfortable, everything is decorated, just feel’s nice. It was my day off from working out, so it was nice to just take a slow morning and snail pace it for my day.

I headed out by 8:30 to catch the opening of the “Lava River Cave” right at it’s 9 a.m. start. I’ve learned that on the weekends, especially this summer, to get to ANYTHING right at open to assure my self of a spot or chance to see it.  I got there about 5 minutes to, and there was a huge line of cars waiting for them to lift the gate.  So I just played on my phone until they let us in, and then it was park and line up.  They count out so many people, then space it out that one group get’s the information about the Cave, and another group lines up for the next briefing.  A third group is then waiting back on the road, where they intermittently put the gate down during the day to space out the groups. Online it was STRONGLY recommended to wear layers to go into the cave, so I wore my brand new Forks sweatshirt.

Lava River Cave

Lava River Cave

They had us all sit down and explained to us all about the Lava River Cave and how it was formed. When the  “Newberry Volcano” erupted over 75,000 years ago, it sent lava down it’s cone and it formed lava tubes. These tubes were formed by channels where the lava flowed over and over again, eventually cooling by the surface. The cave was born from these tubes, and if the volcano erupted again, this cave would fill with lava the same way, making them bigger.  It cost $5 for a parking pass, or INCLUDED if you have the “America the Beautiful” NP annual pass.  They offered a lantern to be rented for $5, and I was ALL about that!  They hold your car keys until you return it, apparently someone had sticky fingers in the past. Once you have your lantern, or bring your own light source, it was time to take the walk down to the cave and then IN the cave.

Lava River Cave

Lava River Cave

Lava River Cave

Lava River Cave

It is SELF-GUIDED, which I was THRILLED about! You can take your time, but you don’t want to spend to much time away from the groups- it is INSANELY dark down there.  I was so happy I rented a lantern, because a dinky flashlight or my phone light wouldn’t have done anything, the darkness just eats any small light.  You walk down these steep, steel steps, which feels like forever, until you get to the bottom and then it’s watching your step for the mile in and out. It take about an hour or more to walk to the end and back, but oh so worth it. Terrifying, exhilarating, 42 degrees, and dark.  I explored on the way in and on the way back I ghost hunted. Yes, with ZERO wifi, my ghost app was picking up all sorts of words. The most interesting was “Gone person.” It was crazy scary and I LOVED IT!! 

Lava River Cave

Lava River Cave

Lava River Cave

Lava River Cave

Lava River Cave

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Lava River Cave

Lava River Cave

Lava River Cave

Lava River Cave

Lava River Cave

Lava River Cave

Lava River Cave

Lava River Cave

Lava River Cave

Lava River Cave

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Once up and out, I headed to the Newberry Volcano which is located close by. I decided to hike it after a lovely sit in the parking lot with my granola bar, powerade, and a cool breeze today. It was so incredibly cool to see all the lava rock, the way it formed the earth, how life grows amongst it today, and it’s set amongst the backdrop of the “Three Sisters” Mountain Range. I had to get a pic of me touching lava…just so incredible.  Yes, she is an active volcano that is monitored every day. It was a first for me to be on a volcano, seeing lava, and experiencing the cave that was formed by the lava as well. You may think our planet is in the crapper right now, but I am telling you, I have seen things that tell me otherwise and a beautiful God that has hand designed it all.

Newberry Volcano

Newberry Volcano

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Newberry Volcano

Newberry Volcano

Newberry Volcano

Newberry Volcano

Newberry Volcano

Newberry Volcano

Newberry Volcano

Newberry Volcano

Newberry Volcano

Newberry Volcano

Newberry Volcano

Newberry Volcano

Newberry Volcano

Newberry Volcano

Newberry Volcano

Newberry Volcano

Newberry Volcano

Newberry Volcano

Newberry Volcano

On the way back into town, I saw a Walmart and I tell you, seeing that or Target is the best site in the World. I am ALWAYS replenishing supplies, but I was particularly looking for solar lights to post in my campsite coming up. I got the idea online and I was like OH that is genius!! So I stop at the Walmart here in Bend, Oregon, and I can’t even describe to you what I saw, but I’ll try.  I walk into the produce area first, hoping to grab a salad for dinner tonight in my room.  All of the produce is moved to the middle in small coolers, and everything else is covered- all the big coolers have shower curtains over them. Ok, probably lost power, coolers went out, whatever right? Then I start walking around the ENTIRE store, looking at what I might need coming up here, and I notice that you can’t cross to the other side of the aisles….they have boxed merch lining every middle space. I mean, pallets and pallets of stuff. I get to the Lawn and Garden section, and I see this MASSIVE pile of boxes there. I saw a Walmart employee and asked “What the heck is going on in your store?”  He said it wasn’t staffing, he said all of it happened the last couple of days, stuff just keeps coming. I mean, LOOK at the pic I took…WHY do they have so many fans lining the shelves above this mess??? He was so nice, went and found me some solar lights, and I thanked him over and over again.  I was happy to leave tho, it was a really off vibe there.

Walmart Bend Oregon

Dropped by Blockbuster a second time for some more merch for others, grabbed myself some drinking glasses and stickers that I missed the first time.  Then headed to Panda Express, another beacon of light when I was starving and just wanted some comfort food.  They haven’t had their dining rooms open across the U.S. since I have been on the trip, so it was sitting in my hot box of a car until I had my Chinese goodness. 

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Nothing I love better than getting back to my hotel room with good food to eat, an accomplished day, a phone full of memories, and fun souvenirs that will be shipped out this week to the family.  So I have enjoyed my late afternoon here in the room, and will head out to Idaho tomorrow.  It’s been fun Oregon, a beautiful state!

This is what I do for a living, so every donation helps!

I LOVE sharing the joy of Adventure, and Travel! Every dollar you support me with goes right back into my mission for equipment, gas, and essentials. But most importantly, when you support me financially it tells me you BELIEVE in me and MY VALUE, and that means more to me than ANYTHING! Spreading the kindness is my goal on this amazing journey, and I thank you for helping me make magic for so many people. So THANK YOU for YOU!!

$1.00

Day 68: Saturday, August 7th, 2021

As I wrapped up my stay at Sisters Inn and Suites, I was almost depressed to leave this one.  Probably the largest room I have had so far, and it was so nice to have a kitchenette to cook food on. Loved the free upgrade, the huge king size bed, and being able to park outside my door.  I booked all of these hotels months ago, around March, so I got some killer good prices because a lot of them were hurting due to the pandemic.  Booking so many hotels, there is bound to be a mistake at some point right? Keep reading.

Sisters Inn & Suites

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Check-out was fine, they give you a snack bag instead of a breakfast. I said goodbye to Sisters and headed to Bend, Oregon for the weekend.  Since I couldn’t check in until 3 p.m., I headed to the High Desert Museum located on the outside of town.  I got there right at opening at 9 a.m., figured it was a Saturday and it may be busy so I got the closest spot and paid my $17 to get in.  (Masks required here). This was an interesting place….part Museum, part zoo, part farm, and all among the forest which they just had a control burn in.  I am an otters fan, so I went and watched them for a while, then headed to the Birds of Prey Center and took pics of the owls, and then got lost back in the sawmill/farm area.  It took me about an hour and a half to tour the entire place, beautiful grounds, cute animals, definitely worth the money. (Also take note of the tower of handmade blankets).

The HIgh Desert Museum

The HIgh Desert Museum

The HIgh Desert Museum

The HIgh Desert Museum

The HIgh Desert Museum

The HIgh Desert Museum

The HIgh Desert Museum

The HIgh Desert Museum

The HIgh Desert Museum

The HIgh Desert Museum

The HIgh Desert Museum

The HIgh Desert Museum

The HIgh Desert Museum

The HIgh Desert Museum

The HIgh Desert Museum

Now this next stop….this seemed to be the one that MANY who knew I was here wanted to see me report on. THE LAST BLOCKBUSTER ON THE PLANET located here in Bend, Oregon! Yes, the one you heard about on John Oliver’s show, and the Netflix series. I can tell you it was like walking through a time warp as you push open the door and the yellow and blue smack you in the face!  Videos and DVD’s line the shelves, a mini-museum with a shrine to the old and new of what has happened at this store, and od course, they have gotten smart and sold merch as the last one standing.  My arms were FULL of stuff!!! So much I may head back tomorrow and grab some other items too. It’s the last one, it’s special, you know? The video is on The Relocated Tourist Facebook page, check it out! It was everything I had hoped for, and I encourage everyone to try to get to this store to just get the “feels” one. More. Time.  I even got lucky to see the owner pop in, she waved and then left. LOL

The Last Blockbuster

The HIgh Desert Museum

The Last Blockbuster

The Last Blockbuster

The Last Blockbuster

The Last Blockbuster

The Last Blockbuster

The Last Blockbuster

The Last Blockbuster

The Last Blockbuster

The Last Blockbuster

 

The Last Blockbuster

The Last Blockbuster

The Last Blockbuster

The Last Blockbuster

The Last Blockbuster

The Last Blockbuster

The Last Blockbuster

The Last Blockbuster

The Last Blockbuster

The Last Blockbuster

The Last Blockbuster

The Last Blockbuster

The Last Blockbuster

The Last Blockbuster

The Last Blockbuster

The Last Blockbuster

Next I headed to the downtown area, happy to find easy parking. And I just walked, and walked.  I was hoping to find lunch, but nothing was sounding good. As I was getting hotter in the sun, I just wanted to chill somewhere with a drink and just BE for a while. I found a little café on the banks of Drake Park, a beautiful place. So I sat, I enjoyed, and I just relaxed.

Bend Oregon

Bend Oregon

Bend Oregon

Bend Oregon

Bend Oregon

Bend Oregon

Bend Oregon

Bend Oregon

Bend Oregon

Bend Oregon

Drake Park Bend Oregon

Drake Park Bend Oregon

Drake Park Bend Oregon

Getting pretty hungry, I put in my GPS the familiar spots that I was hankering for.  MOD Pizza came up, a FAVORITE of mine in Illinois, so I stopped and ate inside…it was heaven.  What do I get on my pizza? Extra mushrooms, onions, sausage, cheese, and red sauce. I didn’t think I could eat the medium, but decided it was lupper and made peace with every bite.

Bend Oregon

Bend Oregon

So, I get to my Motel for the evening. Remember, I booked these MONTHS ago.  I am checking in, and they have NO record of me. Of course. I look up my records, and for some reason I had booked tomorrow and Monday, and not this weekend.  Embarrassed, I asked if I could move it to this weekend instead. Sure, but it cost me greatly. He wouldn’t honor my online prices, but today’s going rate, $100 more!  I just said “ok” and trudged to my room. I closed the door and had a good cry….feeling stupid. I worked so hard on this trip, and I just can’t afford a $100 mistake, so it hurt and it hurt that I was alone to deal with it.  Yes, I am capable, but sometimes when you feel down and stupid, you want that physical presence of a hug that says “It’ll be ok, it’s just money.”  So I am tucked in for the evening, trying to still calm down from my stupidity and now checking all the rest of my bookings coming up.  There are days I wish I had had an assistant to keep all of this straight. Anyways, I will live, but that was my day. See you tomorrow.

The Last Blockbuster

Thanks for your donation…..it helps me out when I need it most.

I LOVE sharing the joy of Adventure, and Travel! Every dollar you support me with goes right back into my mission for equipment, gas, and essentials. But most importantly, when you support me financially it tells me you BELIEVE in me and MY VALUE, and that means more to me than ANYTHING! Spreading the kindness is my goal on this amazing journey, and I thank you for helping me make magic for so many people. So THANK YOU for YOU!!

$1.00

Day 66: Thursday, August 5th, 2021

After such a chill day yesterday, it was almost disappointing to have things to do today. I have more rest time coming up, so I got into my routine right away, and checked out by 9:30 a.m. Cold is almost gone, just that last, little stuff is left…annoying but oh so thankful that it wasn’t something more serious. Fun side note, today marks the longest road trip I have been on thus far. The 2018 road trip lasted about 65 days, so we are now in new territory folks, it’s getting exciting!!

The idea for today was to hit a really cool, old place that I had seen my boys on “Ghost Adventures” investigate. This small theme park is hella haunted, so I couldn’t wait to play in the tunnels and see if I could get anyone to talk to me there.  Making sure I avoided Portland, I drove around it to get to Turner, where “Enchanted Forest” lives. Owned and operated by the Tofte family since 1971, generations of families have made their pilgrimage to this sweet theme park over the last 50 years. (Yes their 50th anniversary is this weekend).  Thankfully I did my research yesterday and learned that I had to not only buy my ticket online for today’s date, but also reserve the time.  They are closed a couple days a week now due to short staffing, so look ahead and reserve accordingly. 

I went in at my ticketed time of 12:45 and probably headed out about 3 p.m.  Ride tickets are extra, $1 a piece, most taking 3 or more per ride, and they are sold at the main gate and through out the park.  I wasn’t interested in the rides, just seeing the Park itself, and it did NOT disappoint!  Walter and I had a blast going through the storybook tales, then the Western town and finished up in the Village watching a really cool water, light show. Lunch was a pulled pork sandwich with potato salad, delicious and affordable.  I ghost hunted the tunnels, and I ogt a couple of hits – I passed a window with a display of lights and it said “window” and so I figured someone was standing by the window as I walked past. The tunnels are pretty dark, no light, but lots of kids so it’s impossible to get a “moment” to do much investigating. So I just did it when I could. Small, sweet, and magical place, proving you don’t have to be a mega place to be amazing. HIGHLY recommend this for families and anyone interested in the childlike feel of this place. No, not Disney, but that’s why it was amazing. $15 admission, definitely worth it.

Over the next two hours to Sisters, Oregon, I drove on the 22 past National Forests and Detroit Dam.  And then came into where the forest fires had been….my mouth just dropped open. I had never seen anything like it, forests with black trees, orange skies, empty spaces, and to boot, lightning streaked the sky as I pulled into town for the night.  What was 5 p.m. felt like 10p.m. with the air quality and storm passing through.  I will have to see what I can or am able to do tomorrow, I may be staying inside because of the fires. I have to investigate more, here for 2 nights. 

Rolling with the punches, I was offered an upgrade to a king size bed WITH a kitchenette! I haven’t cooked anything in 66 days or more, and to be able to make myself a home cooked dinner made me SO HAPPY!  I was able to walk to the food store, bought ingredients for chicken fajitas, and made them with such delight.  Leftovers for breakfast and dinner tomorrow night, loving that my room smells like peppers right now.  

We shall see what is happening with the area tomorrow and go from there with what I plan on doing, I wouldn’t mind another rest day again.  See you then!

Thank you for your kindness!!!

I LOVE sharing the joy of Adventure, and Travel! Every dollar you support me with goes right back into my mission for equipment, gas, and essentials. But most importantly, when you support me financially it tells me you BELIEVE in me and MY VALUE, and that means more to me than ANYTHING! Spreading the kindness is my goal on this amazing journey, and I thank you for helping me make magic for so many people. So THANK YOU for YOU!!

$1.00