The last month has been filled with new beginnings and big endings. While I have been here in Pt. Mugu with Sara and the boys, Bob has been in Fallon packing up his 45+ year collection of “man stuff”. Before we left on our big journey a little over two years ago, we purged and packed up 2240 square feet of our house and moved it into his shop out back. Over that period of time on the road we came to the realization that while we didn’t yet know where we wanted to settle down for our “re-started” years, we knew it wouldn’t be in Fallon. So the decision was made to sell our house. Fortunate for us, the wonderful family that has been taking such loving care of the house and gardens while we have been gone, have decided to buy it. Now that we were getting down to the final weeks to closing on the sale, the time came to condense even more.
I wish I was there to help him, but honestly, the majority of what he is working on are his treasures that need to be consolidated and I couldn’t have made the decisions for most of it. However there sure have been some moments of “Do we really need 14 chairs that don’t really match anything"?”, “Are you SURE you have to keep —insert (SOMETHING REALLY IMPORTANT TO ME) here—?”. There have been some tense conversations, but there have also been some really good ones as we work through where our plans will take us for the future.
I haven’t lost sight of how extremely hard this has been for Bob though. His shop out back has been his refuge. 1800 sq feet of HIS space. Many a night I would call him in for dinner, only to see him for the 15 minutes it took to eat, then he would get back out there to continue a project. When Sara was in High School it was the gathering place for many a teenage boy. They would stop by in the late afternoon to pick his brain about a motorcycle or car problem and end up staying for dinner because they hadn’t gotten enough “Bob time”. It was the bar area for the beautiful reception in our back yard for our daughters wedding, and the one place he could blare his music and no one would ask him to turn it down. There was plenty of room for his buddies to come over and have a beer as they figured out how to pack up the bikes and gear for whatever adventure was coming their way. It was his space. His area to spread out and surround himself with the things that made him happy and content.
We always called our home “The House that Bob Built”. From clearing the acre that was filled with alfalfa, till the day we moved in, he touched every part of it. We thought it would be our forever place, and that his shop would always be his playroom. It’s hard to let go.
There is a fabulous library here in Camarillo. It ranks right up there with one of the best I have ever had a library card for. I had some time to kill before picking up the boys from school the other day so I I parked and took a walk through the neighborhood. A mile or so into my walk I came upon this sign. Didn’t realize it at that moment, but the parking lot it graced was the exact location that we had parked in almost 12 years ago…the day Cash was born.
It’s been a little over four weeks since Sara took the unfortunate step deep into a gopher hole and received a spiral fracture for her effort. After the long drive back from Arizona, the days since have been filled with Dr. visits, both hers and the boys (dentist and orthodontists), miles of walks on the quiet beach here on base and getting caught up on work duties and correspondence.
Travis has traveled on to Louisiana to report to his newest duty station, and we have morphed into our own little version of a “family dynamic” here at Pt. Mugu. This is the most amount of time I have spent with my girl since before she went away to college, and I am enjoying it immensely. I know it has been extremely hard for her though, not only to be handicapped by a cast on her lower leg, but to have her life completely turned upside down right before the major move to Louisiana.
The original plans were for Bob and I to leave Arizona late April and head for Fallon to pack up our house before it’s impending sale. I didn’t think I would ever be back to Pt. Mugu and the Ventura area. I am trying to take in some of the sites that I always wished I had, and it’s pretty amazing that after two years of doing hardly any driving whatsoever, I’ve jumped right back into the LA traffic scene and can travel THE 101 to points north and south like a pro.
We’ve gotten real friendly with FaceTime the last few weeks. With Bob in Bodega Bay teaching a boating safety class for UCDavis the next couple weeks, Travis in Belle Chasse, LA and us here - we have managed to all stay in close contact.
Only a few more weeks to go before school gets out and the boys and I will travel north and meet Bob somewhere in the Bend/Portland area. I intend to spend it walking on the beach, taking advantage of having a huge lovely kitchen to cook in (remember I have been in a motor-home the last couple years), practice my photography and hopefully take a class or two in Photoshop - but, most important - enjoy this time with Sara and the boys.
It’s been a busy couple of weeks, filled with family and fun. Lisa and Brad, Bob’s younger sister and husband, arrived on the 4th, Travis on the 5th, and Sara and the boys on the 6th…..Sissy’s Bday. Our days were filled with journeys to some of our favorite spots around Cottonwood and Sedona. Did a 10 mile hike into West Fork of Oak Creek in Sedona, had a wonderful docent at the petroglyphs at VBarV, toured around historic Jerome, the boys had target practice down by the river, did a long drive tour of the Red Rock country and still managed to have plenty of relaxing moments at the campsite.
This was the fourth year that we have had the boys with us in Verde Valley for Spring break, and they enjoyed the freedom that familiarity with the campground gave them. Added to that, we were able to have Caleb - our friends Bree & Chad’s son that the boys met last year, join us for a few nights. Cash and Caleb spent the nights out in a tent behind the motor-home, and while I couldn’t tell what they were talking about from my side window by the bed, the sounds of giggles and long conversations went well into the night. I have hopes that they will continue their friendship for years to come.
Now I am enjoying the beautiful coastline of Pt. Mugu for a couple months. What was originally scheduled for mid-May as “help Sara and the boys pack out for their move to New Orleans”, has turned into “Help Sara maneuver around on crutches for the next two months while she prepares for her pack out to New Orleans”. On the last day before everyone was scheduled to start departing, she fought with a gopher hole - and lost. Spiral fracture in the lower leg will keep her in a cast for the next month or so. Not the way anyone wanted to see her end her trip, but thankful it looks like no surgery will be required. Flexibility is something that I write about quite often on this blog, but never has it come in as handy as now. Bob will stay on in Cottonwood for another week or so, and then start the push towards Fallon.
Looking forward to these next weeks with my little girl, and the boys. Not the way I would have chosen this extended stay, but am so very thankful that I can be here with her as Travis makes the journey towards New Orleans this week to pick out a house and get checked into his new position on base.
Sorry Bob, no homemade cookies for awhile, you are on your own for a bit.
This is our fifth trip to this historic heritage site and once again we had an excellent docent that took time to explain what he thought the symbols meant. The vast majority of images were created by the Sinagua from about 900 AD until about 1350 AD and the wall tells the story of the seasons, with planting and harvesting represented as well as Father Sun and Mother Earth. A large rock fell from the wall this last winter. Unfortunately it was one that they had proven through daily/weekly study that it made a distinct shadow line pointing to a symbol that represented the spring equinox, close to the date of the actual equinox. A couple of years ago we were able to see it in person as the shadow traveled down the wall. Sad to see that others won’t have that experience in the future.
Sara and Travis took off for a day to themselves and test out the Bronco on the red rocks of Sedona. Glad they got to experience the thrill of Chicken Point.
yep, that’s a Jeep towing a Ford! (fuel line went out, fortunately just a mile from camp)
West Fork of Oak Creek
Our spot for the next week
Another beautiful day spent with my boots in the red dirt. Had everything a girl could ask for. Creek crossings, incredibly panoramic views, the scent of juniper to fill the air and a beautiful family of the heart to enjoy it with. (Sad note, Bob did a bike ride on another trial and crashed head over his handlebars….his body ok, just a little bruised, the bike not so much. Parts are on order)
Took a beautiful day trip up to Jerome with Ron & Kathy. A town built into the side of the mountain it originally was settled and built upon the wealth of copper mining. At one time the population exceeded 15,000 and it was the center of commerce for the entire Verde Valley area. By the 1950’s the population had decreased to around 50 full-time residents and over the next twenty or so years the town started to slowly rebuild as artists came in and settled themselves in this beautiful scenic area. It’s present day incarnation is as a tourist destination. It reminds us somewhat of Virginia City, NV due to the quirkiness of the stores and their ability to re-invent themselves to appeal to tourists young and old. From wine tasting rooms, art stores, museums , bars and restaurants…there is plenty to see and do around town, but no visit would be complete without a trip to the KALEIDOSCOPE STORE! That’s right, an entire store devoted to just kaleidoscopes! Trust me, and go.
Most of these pics were taken through the opening of the
kaleidoscope using my iPhone
Jerome State Historic Park https://azstateparks.com/jerome/
Nellie Bly Kaleidoscopes http://www.nellieblyscopes.com/
Jerome Chamber http://jeromechamber.com/history-of-jerome-arizona/
I have been hiking around Red Rock park for many years, but it is always a new experience when you get to take someone with you that hasn’t been there before. You see things through new eyes as their experience becomes intertwined with yours. Kathy and I spent the day hiking up to Eagles Nest. The Eagle's Nest Loop and the Apache Fire Loop are joined together by the Coyote Ridge Trail which creates one of my favorite day hikes. The views from the different vantage points as the trails winds around through the juniper, manzanita and cypress are just amazing. Take some time, stop and enjoy the beauty. We did.
(This is about the tenth time I have done this hike, and while it looks like renovations are continuing on the House of Apache Fire, it still has a long way to go before they re-open it. I hope to someday be able to visit the inside when they re-open it for tours. For now, here is a great blog post I found about the renovation .https://maliasmiles.com/arizona/red-rock-state-park/house-apache-fires-interior/ )
This year I am hoping to do a better job at keeping up with my trail posts. After many many miles of red dirt under my feet they start to blend together and I want to be able to remember my favorites.
TOP OF THE LIST: Mescal Trail offers amazing views of Sedona's famous red rocks as it snakes along the base of Mescal Mountain. The in and out hike is about 5.5 miles, and many times I have connected it with lots of other available options. Elevation gain isn’t much, about 500 ft., and you do have to have an ear out for mountain bikers, but I have probably done this one at least ten times, and it never gets old. The added bonus for me this trip is I had my oldest and dearest friend with me, Kathy. She and Ron just arrived last week and I can’t wait to venture down many more paths with her.