Monday, August 20, 2018

2018 travels and planning

As I've mentioned in the past couple of posts, I've been working on tools to map where we've been and where we're going.

I took at look at google's My Maps ( I had started playing with it at the end of 2017, and started with a plan at the beginning of 2018.
This was our tentative plan at the end of 2017 for our 2018 travels. We had a goal to "collect" the states in Miss Doozie that we had not yet visited of the lower 48 - Colorado, Utah, Nebraska, Kansas, and Michigan; to visit Virginia in the fall; and to get some items transported from storage in Virginia to cousin Marty in Florida. (Link to 2018 original planning map)
This is how 2018 has actually turned out, for January-August. We "collected" Kansas, Nebraska, Colorado, and Utah, but added a trip into the Pacific Northwest to incorporate a visit to Henderson's Line-Up in Grants Pass, Oregon. The numbers overlay the letters; My Maps has an 8-location limit on the driving directions component before you have to start a new "layer", but then I can do a "layer" with just locations and tell it to number the locations and they overlay the A, B, C's with numbers which I prefer. (Link to 2018 Travels)  I plan/hope to keep this updated as we travel and replace the view on the "Maps" on the blog with a year-to-date view from now on. For now, I've added a new link and kept the old one, but I think I'm going to remove the old way. And, if I get energetic, I'll make maps for 2014-2017 in this format instead of all the 10-location google map ones.

I've also created a "what we're currently planning" map for the remainder of 2018, including "collecting" the provinces of Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba, visiting friends and family in Illinois, and Ohio, stopping in Northern Virginia to visit friends and the Museum of the Bible, family in Virginia, and winter plans in Florida. (Link for August-September 2018 plan on MyMaps) Right now it appears that we may not "collect" Michigan this trip, but who knows, we might make a detour to accomplish it!
I think I have set the sharing properties appropriately so anyone who has the link can view the maps... but if you get a permission failure, please make a comment on the blog or if you know me personally, send an email. Thanks!!

If you are anywhere along the route, or even a little ways away, and would like for us to visit, contact us, and we'll see if we can work it into the plan!

Sunday, August 19, 2018


After telling about some of the blog features in yesterday's entry, I decided to look at some options for mapping that might be interesting to use.

First, I looked at Google Maps Timeline feature. There's been a lot of press about folks not wanting Google to keep track of one's location, and I can understand that, but... for me... the benefits of it automatically keeping up with me outweigh the privacy concerns. Of course, we also do not have a house that we're concerned that someone may break into when we're away, though I guess our trip away from Miss Doozie to Victoria earlier this month might have qualified for risky sharing of location information.
2014 locations - note that it only tracks locations, not routes... our travels started in the DFW area, went east, and then back around through Dallas and out to Arizona.

2015 locations - this was the year that we decided to go fulltime, so lots of time spent around the DFW area getting the house cleared out. It started in Arizona and ultimately ended in New Mexico, on our way back to Arizona.

2016 locations - even though it only has dots, it is pretty obvious at least part of our route! We sure enjoyed our visit to the Maritime/Atlantic Provinces of Canada, particularly Newfoundland! 2016 started in New Mexico and ended in Arizona.

2017 locations - much of the travel was driven by our commitment to be in Casper for the solar eclipse in August, and then our plan to visit as many Thousand Trails campgrounds as we could down the west coast. 2017 started in Arizona, and  ended in Palm Springs, California.

So far in 2018... started in Palm Springs and has so far stayed toward the west.

The "all time" view. I think this only includes our post-retirement travel, as we did not have smartphones that collected our location information prior to retirement. It shows some large empty areas - maybe places that need to be added to our planning lists!
I was wanting to find a way to track our travel for the year with a single view, instead of the multiple maps that I have been posting via google maps (10 locations per map and then copying them down to "Earlier Maps" on the right frame of the blog). I have been playing with My Maps, also a Google tool. It isn't quite as easy to use as google maps, but it is doable, so I think I'm going to replace the item under "Maps" that used to be just the last few locations with a view that will have year-to-date route information. More work to do on this... so hopefully I will have it completed by tomorrow's post!

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Features of the blog

As I was checking things on the blog this morning, I realized I had not updated the maps since we moved on Tuesday! It is Saturday... only 4 days late in getting it done!

In case you haven't noticed, there are some features on the blog - when you view it on the computer, they are on the right side of the page. On a mobile device, they are hidden under various expandable tab locations, or you can view the web version to see them.
At the top is the current status of Miss Doozie's collection of Canadian provinces and US States.

That is followed by links to "Where we are" and a current mapping of our route. There is a facility to enter your email address which will then delivery the blog entries to your email each time there is a new one (it doesn't come as soon as the blog posts, but sometime over the next 24 hours or so). Then there is the blog archive of all the posts with an expansion of the current month's entries.

A little further down... can expand the entries for various months and/or years, and then there are the routing maps of our previous segments. Google Maps only allows me to put 10 destinations into a map, so each of the maps has 10 locations and our route between them. I've been looking for other ways to keep track of our routes... maybe I'll find something else!
This is not a feature of the blog,
.... but a view of the places that we've "checked in" on the RVillage tool so far in 2018.

There are probably other tools that I could add to the blog. The "Where we are" and email subscription were added based on requests from blog readers. If you know of a feature that you've seen on other people's blogs that you would like for me to try to add, let me know! No promises, but I can try!

Friday, August 17, 2018

Names and names...

While looking for information about what we could find around Newport, Washington, I discovered that there are multiple Newports in Washington. This is rather confusing to someone who is not from around here!

Costco seems to think I *must* mean a Newport that is somewhere near Seattle... maybe because that is where many of their stores are located?

CVS asks which county I'm interested in... of course, I don't know, and I don't know why there are 3 Newports listed in King County...
Because I don't know, I clicked on the first one, and it turns out that's the one that I'm interested in!

Now, I could avoid all of this confusion if I would look up the zip code of where we are planning to stay, but - why would a state have multiple cities with the same name? Is this common?

As we have been in the Newport area, we've seen that there is a Pend Oreille River and Lake Pend Oreille over in Idaho, as well as several businesses with Pend Oreille in the name. Who or what was/is Pend Oreille?

Wikipedia (,_Washington) tells me that it is named after a tribe and that roughly in French it could mean "hangs from the ear". The pronunciation is not how I've been saying it, but I have a very hard time knowing how to pronounce words in French... it seems that they have a LOT of silent letters!
I tried to find those Newports that CVS thought were in King or Thurston Counties, and that Costco thought was near Seattle - King County, it seems that there is a community called Newport within the city of Bellevue east of Seattle.
In Thurston County, all I could find were a Newport St and Newport Ct in Olympia.

It would make more sense to me if a town named "Newport" was on the coast - isn't that where ports, new or old, would be?
Wikipedia provided an answer (,_Washington).
And... when I was asking in Newport about places that might take our recycling (we haven't found any), one of the directions that a lady gave me sent me on "route 41 through old town" which I heard as "old town", like maybe the old downtown section... but...
It turns out that Oldtown is the name of the area in Idaho...,_Idaho
So, now I know a little more about the names of places around this area of Washington!

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Scripture memorization

John Piper on scripture memorization, video:

If you don't have time to listen to the whole message, listen to the first 16 minutes. Blessing!

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Back to Newport

We drove to Newport on Tuesday... on the way, we passed some of the fields that had the crop names identified (that I blogged about last year: A few of them I found interesting - one had "RYE" and under that another sign that said "WHISKEY". I didn't know whether that was a type of rye grain or the finished product that the crop was destined to become - I think the latter. Another sign that I thought was funny said "TATER TOTS"! There were fields marked "POTATOES" but only one that had "TATER TOTS" - I wonder if there are folks who think that tater tots are harvested directly from the field and placed in bags in the freezer section of the grocery store? There were also fields marked, "BEANS" - I remember that when I saw them last year, I thought that they were probably soybeans, but when we talked to a local farmer in Quincy this week, he was telling us about all kinds of beans that he grows - kidney, red, navy, and some others that I had not heard of before - whatever there is a demand for that he gets a contract to grow.

Also on the way, we drove through Spokane, where "Tomato Street Italian Restaurant" boasted that it is "The only street in Spokane not under construction"! We had not noticed an abnormal amount of construction, but I remember hearing from a friend who lived in one of the northern states that they have two seasons: Winter and Construction. So... maybe a lot of the non-winter time is spent sitting in construction delays in this area of Washington.

We are at the Newport / Little Diamond KOA / Thousand Trails again - Miss Doozie is in about the middle, backed up to the meadow. We were here in the beginning of September last year, at the beginning of our endeavor to visit all the Thousand Trails campgrounds on the west coast.
I think we are in the exact same site that we were in last year. We have been thinking about friends that we made when we were here last year and missing having them here with us!

We are waiting for a couple of orders to come in via mail or UPS before we continue on from here.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

The difference of a couple of days

Some pictures I took Saturday                   versus                           pictures on Monday: