Slow Gypsy Life of Lynda and Bob travel blog

As our stay in Bend comes to a close, the only regret for the month here is the number of nights in the 20s. We’re tired of having to disconnect the water hose at night; also, we have used five 40-lb. canisters of propane during our Bend residency. It has been four nights in a row now and the prospects are that it will continue until we leave. Yes, we have considered insulating our water hose but the guy at a local RV service center said it wasn’t worth it unless we were planning extended stays in sub-freezing weather. Not us! Apparently it requires buying a different type of hose, a warming device, and wrapping the hose with insulation. As he was explaining the process my non-handyman eyes glazed over and I headed for the door. Even Lynda, aka Miss Fix-it, concluded that bringing in the hose was the better alternative for us. Weather wise we just need to be more prudent in selecting our temporary residences; after all, one of the reasons for selecting this lifestyle is to eliminate temperature extremes.

During this past week we more or less finished our Oregon shopping spree. We find it interesting that sales clerks will ask if we want a bag for our purchases. Since they are so conscious of being ‘green’ in these parts, they try to conserve as much as possible. As you may recall we had planned to refurbish our respective wardrobes here since there is no sales tax. In addition, two retail chains are going out of business and most others stores are having sales. The recession has hit this part of the country hard (Oregon’s unemployment rate is 12.1%), but we’re doing our part to stimulate the local economy. Besides clothing including a good pair of hiking shoes for me, we decided we needed quality binoculars for our trip to Alaska and future needs.

Lynda, as usual, did the research based on notes she took from Howard when we were in Rockport, TX and concluded the best one for our purpose might be the Nikon 8x42 Trailblazer or the Nikon Monarch 8x42. At the local REI store we checked out three different brands/styles and agreed that the Nikon Monarch 10x42 ($339.95) was what we wanted, as the Trailblazer was too heavy. Even with 10% off after joining the REI cooperative (as a member you get a 10% rebate on all purchases at the end of the year), the price was $50 more than on Amazon, so we left sans binoculars and headed for Trader Joe’s to replenish our food supply.

One of the retailers going out of business is Joe’s, a 30-store sporting goods chain here in the northwest. Coincidentally, the Bend store is in the same shopping center as TJ’s. I would not have thought about checking out what deals they had, but my shopping partner could not resist. As we entered it occurred to me that they might carry binoculars. Shazam, Lynda had this in mind all along. Her philosophy is, you never know what you might find if you look i.e. shopping is gathering not just buying. After all she is a woman!

Sure enough, “binoculars are in the glass case in the rear, along with guns and ammo.” Imagine me in a store that sells guns and ammo! I get an eerie feeling watching men (usually) pointing a gun as if they are about to shoot a living creature. Is Dick Cheney in the store? Oh well, I got over my anti-gun moment when we saw the Nikon Monarch 10x42 at 30% off their regular price of $319.95. For $223 and change, how could we resist a $34 savings below the Amazon price? It is great to be married to a professional shopper! The Nikon Monarch comes in black and camouflage. I said, “ maybe we should get the camouflage one since you can see Russia from Alaska.” Bill, our salesman either didn’t get the joke or he likes Sarah Palin. I suspect it was the former.

I asked Bill what he planned to do after the store closed. He responded, “I have no idea. They’re keeping us too busy to think about it.” Imagine a man presumably in his 50s out of a job in this environment. My heart went out to him as I wished him well. I wonder how all those “tea-baggers” who oppose government spending to create jobs and extend unemployment benefits would feel if they were in Bill’s shoes?

On Tuesday night we returned to the Bend library for another program Lynda uncovered, the showing of a PBS film entitled “Children of the Camps.” It is about the psychological effects resulting from the internment camps, aka prisons, where 100,000 Japanese-Americans were held during WWII because of irrational national fear. It was a disgraceful policy of the Roosevelt Administration that many of us who grew up during those years know little about, particularly those who did not live on the West Coast. The film was an actual weekend workshop conducted by a Japanese-American psychologist and six other adults who were interned as children. They explored, in a group setting, their memories and feelings about that experience. The message was striking, that fear and prejudice can lead to behavior that is inconsistent with a just society.

On a more upbeat note Lynda revisited the Crown Villa Spa this week for a clay-wrap. A what? I reflected on the clay figures we used to make in elementary school. Presumably she wouldn’t look like one when she returned. As you can see I’m not much of a spa person. On my 70th birthday I had a massage at a B&B/resort in Sulphur, OK for $100 plus tip. It wasn’t wonderful, even though I love to have a back-rub. Nevertheless Lynda really enjoys this kind of pampering, so she is free to indulge herself anytime. When she returned I asked that she not get clay on the carpet since she insists that I always take off my shoes. Yes, she took my comment as the joke it was intended to be and proceeded to tell me how wonderful she felt; without getting clay on the carpet I might add.

Our current plan is to depart Bend on Thursday, stopping in Yakima, WA for one night on our way to Anacortes. With rain and/or snow showers predicted for Tuesday and sub-freezing temperatures at night we may leave earlier, Tuesday at the earliest. It is still cool (upper 50s and lower 60s) in the Seattle area but the nighttime temperatures are 15 degrees warmer than Bend on average. For anyone traveling to this part of the country we can recommend Bend and Crown Villa (if you can stand the summer prices). If you want warm weather come in May-September.

My next entry will be shortly after our arrival at Pioneer Trails RV Park in Anacortes on May 1. Until then be well!

Entry Rating:     Why ratings?
Please Rate:  
Thank you for voting!
Share |