November: Where is he?!

November 1- Jenny and I drove from Sedona, AZ to Kingman, CA.


Slept at a Quality Inn… on Route 66!- $68.

November 2- Jenny and I drove from Kingman, CA to Death Valley. Drove through the Mojave National Preserve.





Slept in a cabin at Furnace Creek Ranch.

Spring fed pool with no chemicals. Water goes to the Furnace Creek Inn pool, to the Furnace Creek Ranch pool to water for the golf course. Quite a wonderful pool!

November 3- Jenny and I left Texas Springs campground in Death Valley at 10:30 a.m. and arrived in Las Vegas at 3:00 p.m.

Stopped for a bit in ghost townish Death Valley Junction. Checked in to the MGM Signature Hotel, swam and lounged by the pool, walked to Gordon Ramsay BurGR before attending Cirque d’Soleil’s “O” at The Bellagio.  Wow! This is the show that takes place in, on and around a pool of water. Wow!!

Dinner before Cirque d’Soleil’s “O”
Theater at The Bellagio
Ceiling of the theater in The Bellagio
Jenny grilling Mary, the dealer, about how to play 21, the betting, how the casino works, how long she’s been there, why she’s going to school, how many video cameras there are…etc! 🙂
Fountain outside of The Bellagio

November 4- Dropped Jenny at the airport in Las Vegas:)…and then drove to Brian and Sharon Smallwood’s home in Camarillo, CA to pick up my bike and gear.  Quick stop and then I continued driving to Manhattan Beach. Left Vegas at 9:15 a.m. and arrived in Manhattan Beach at 7:30 p.m.  I realized I drove across all of California.

Las Vegas Airport…parting 😦  Jenny sporting her fanny pack and backpack, daughter Kate’s favorites.

John Teets welcomed me and he and I went out for dinner and a couple of drinks.  Great dinner and then we went to a wonderful dive bar, ________, where he and Wendy  and Wendy’s whole family have a lot of history.

Manhattan Beach.  Thanks for dinner and drinks, John!
Home of Wayne and Jill Tatum, where I was so fortunate to stay.


Isn’t that cool! Bathroom at Tatum’s.

Slept at Wayne and Jill Tatum’s  home, parents of Wendy Teets, my friend in Coeur d’Alene.

November 5- Attended USC-Oregon football game!

Wayne and  Jill Tatum,  David and John at the very old, full-of-character Shellback Tavern in Manhattan Beach.


Attended the USC football game, including brunch and getting to go on the field before the game, thanks to Wayne and Jill!

Chatted with John Robinson, former USC and LA Rams coach. 🙂


Slept at Wayne and Jill’s

November 6- Rode from Manhattan Beach to San Clemente with Pat Doody, a friend from high school in Lewiston, NY.  Arrived after dark, forgetting that daylight savings time had ended the night before- and getting lost for a bit.  Long ride, but the flattest day I’d had since leaving Idaho.

Pat Doody and I, friends since freshman year of high school in Lewiston, NY
Pat Doody and his sister-in-law, Pam Skelton, who is Pat’s wife’s twin.  Pam lives in Carlsbad, CA
Leaving Manhattan Beach
Yoga class in Long Beach 🙂


A good bike lane on much of the Pacific Coast Highway south of LA to San Diego

68 miles/ TOTAL

Slept at the home of Kent and Laurie Adamson

Their remodeled kitchen is on the cover of Kitchen and Bath magazine 🙂
Pat and I enjoyed Laurie’s apple crisp…several times.


Pat and Kent Adamson, my St. Olaf roommate senior year.

November 7- Rode from San Clemente to Carlsbad.

Dinner in Carlsbad. Thank you, Pam!

29 miles/ TOTAL

November 8-Rode from Carlsbad, CA to San Diego, mostly along the coast- with Pat Doody.

Just before the climb to Torrey Pines Golf Course
Pat and David- La Jolla


La Jolla

36 miles/ TOTAL

Slept at Dave and Beth Buckley’s at my Dave and Beth Buckley’s home in San Diego.  Dave is my second cousin;  my father and his mother are cousins. November 9- Staying at my Dave and Beth Buckley’s home in San Diego.  Dave is my second cousin;  my father and his mother are cousins.

Their home is on the historic register in San Diego.


I had my own space, with a private entrance, and this was my view.  Thank you, Dave and Beth!

November 9-Wrote and worked on pictures,   first at Pappalecco Coffee Shop, which was uncomfortably hot, but servers’ shirts said that their smile was their gift to their customers-and they smiled!

Coffee and writing

After coffee and gelato, I couldn’t take the heat and moved to Fresh Catch restaurant, where the young man server kept my water filled for two hours.  I tipped him appropriately.

Dave, Beth and I went to the musical, “I Miss You Like Hell” at the La Jolla Playhouse on the UCSD campus. Excellent. And free, thanks to their connections with one of the musicians.

Slept at Dave and Beth’s

November 10- Sailed San Diego Harbor with Phil Lane and Pat Doody.

I took Dave and Beth out for dinner in Mission Hills.  Walked twenty minutes to an excellent restaurant with a bartender who knew how to make a brandy old fashioned.


Slept at Dave and Beth’s

Nov. 11- Lunch in Pacific Beach with Linda McGrath, a friend from high school in Ohio, and her husband, Bill. Ate at Amplified Ale.

Beth and I went to a jazz concert at a hotel, featuring her friend Peter Sprague, with Leonard on vocals and Matt on guitar.  High, high end music.  Wow!  Beth and I went out fo dessert at ?????? and stopped to say hi to Dave, who was working at the hospital, before a glass of wine at Buckley’s…and bed.

Slept at Dave and Beth’s

Nov. 12- Packed, had brunch on the Buckley’s patio, dipped in the pool and took off for Temecula to visit Skip and Kirsten Kaastad, who used to live across the street from me in Coeur d’Alene.



Slept at Skip and Kirsten’s

Nov. 13- Drove from Temecula to LA. Cars! Cars! Cars!  I scored and saw the Staples Center, Venice Beach and a UCLA basketball game at Pauley Pavilion!  My interest in basketball soared when I was about 10 years old and UCLA started the John Wooden era.


Gonzales, who generously created a parking space for me, took my picture and said, “I’m famous!” after he agreed to let me take his picture. 🙂
Kareem, in front of The Staples Center
Venice Beach!  Amazing energy!


Venice Beach!  There was a wonderful sense of community amongst the acrobats.


True freshman we’re going to hear about.


Slept at Brian and Sharon Smallwood’s

Nov. 14- Biked toward Ojai with Brian.  Due to impending sunset and increasing traffic, we turned around eight miles from Ojai and headed home.

Avocado and lemon orchards



We met Steffen,  on vacation from Switzerland, and he rode witih us.


60 miles/ TOTAL

Slept at Brian and Sharon Smallwood’s

Phil Lane’s second home in Solana Beach
Phil took Pat and me sailing in San Diego Harbor.
Dinner out in Mission Hills, San Diego, with Dave and Beth Buckley

Nov. 15- Went to the Getty Museum, in LA, with Brian Smallwood

Cezanne’s “Still Life with Apples,” painted in 1895.  The Getty welcomes photography of most exhibits, as long as it is without a flash.


I like this photo of The Getty. 🙂

November 16- Took everything out of my car  and repacked in preparation for heading north to Bend, Oregon for Thanksgiving with Emily and Aaron. Brian packed Jenny’s bike in a box and helped in many ways!


Slept at Brian and Sharon’s

November 17- Drove from Camarillo to Bakersfield

img_5217Slept at a Red Roof Inn

November 18- Wrote at Starbucks for several hours!  Drove five hours to Three Rivers, CA, just outside the entrance to Sequoia National Park.

Slept at Quality Inn in Three Rivers ($93)

November 19- Left the motel at 4:30 a.m. and drove through Sequoia, Kings Canyon and Yosemite National Parks!  Saw a black bear, heard water rushing, which I have not heard while in Southern California, and experienced the mountains appearing as the sun rose.

Arrived in Chico, CA about 10:30 p.m. and went to Duffy’s, a favorite bar of Katie and Randy Palmer in Coeur d’Alene.  They lived in Chico eleven years ago.

Slept at America’s Best Value Inn in Chico, CA.

November 20- After breakfast at Morning Thunder in Chico, another excellent recommendation by Katie and Randy, I drove by the massive Sierra Nevada brewery and on to Roseburg, Oregon. I stopped in classy Ashland, which I had never been to, for lunch and a quarter of the Seahawks’ game.

I arrived at Mike and Robyn Widmann’s at 6:15 p.m.  Mike and I lived in the same neighborhood in Neenah, Wisconsin , starting when we were three years old.  We played baseball, explored “the swamp,” hiked three houses down the block to Hansen’s Woods, played in Widmann’s dog pen and more.

November 21- Mike and I drank coffee and talked for a couple of hours, hiked to a viewpoint over the Umpqua River, a short distance from their home, and met Robyn at McMenimon’s Brewery in Roseburg for a couple of good beers and dinner.

Slept at Mike and Robyn’s

November 22- Went to the YMCA in Roseburg, where Mike teaches swimming a couple of days per week, swam a half mile and got some helpful stroke technique tips from Mike, who has been a competitive swimmer for much of his life.

I drove along the North Umpqua River, past the Steamboat Inn and Diamond Lake, for my first ever look at Crater Lake.    The size of the plows, which keep the road open 365 days per year, was impressive.

It was a dark, snowy drive to Bend.  Emily was working and Aaron and I went out for dinner at Sun River Brewery and then played darts at Platypsus Pub.  We tied- one game to one, so the match will continue. 🙂

Slept at Emily and Aaron

November 23- Swam at the Juniper Center in Bend, Em and Aaron cooked, and we ate a delicious dinner at Broken Top Bottle Shop in Bend.  Loved my portabella mushroom sandwich.

Slept at Emily and Aaron’s

November 24-  Thanksgiving!  More cooking and a FEAST at the home of Jeff and Kasey, Emily and Aaron’s Bend friends, who recently moved to Bend from Scottsdale, AZ.

Elliot Garton, a chef for his living, to our benefit


Heidi and Warren’s three month old son, Henrik
We are so fortunate
One of four of Emily’s pies, a tradition she started in her teens- to our benefit 🙂

Slept at Emily and Aaron’s

November 25- After Breakfast we drove up Mt. Bachelor to play in the snow.






Slept at Emily and Aaron’s

November 26- Breakfast at Chow and the food binge continues, REI and a walk around the Old Mill District.




Strictly Organic Coffee Shop in Old Mill District
Dinner in the Northwest Crossing District of Bend


Heidi Garbrecht’s 33rd birthday

Slept at Emily and Aaron’s

November 27-

Slept at Emily and Aaron’s

November 28-Aaron and I skied at Mt. Bachelor, which opend two days ago.  It was snowing and windy, with eigth inches of fresh snow and stinging snow at the top of the chair lifts.  Visibility was challenging. We skied three hours and had had enough on our first ski day of the year.

Slept at Emily and Aaron’s

November 29- Emily, Aaron and I cross country skied on Mt. Bachelor, from Dutchman Sno Park.  The snow was deep and soft, the sun was shining and I was wiped out- I mean, it was hard to get in the truck- after almost four hours of skiing.  I’m glad there is no video of my three falls, and especially of my five minute efforts to get up in the deep snow. I felt like a turtle on its back.

Mt. Bachelor in the background


Emily and Aaron.  Whether we’re hiking, cycling, or sking, I’m always bringing up the rear- and fine with that.
November 29, about a 25 minute drive from Bend, at the base of Mt. Bachelor



And then we relaxed…


Slept at Emily and Aaron’s

November 30-  Drove through Sisters, where I stopped at Sisters Coffee Company while Les Schwab rotated my tires, and on to Corvallis to visit Tom and Debbie Birdseye, a friendship that started in 1986 when we all worked in Sandpoint, Idaho.

Slept at Birdseyes