About Me

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Our names are John and Cathryn.  We live in Kalispell, Montana and recently came back from a year long RV trip together around this beautiful country.  We traveled over 31,000 miles and drove through over 35 states.  It was an adventure to remember and one that sealed a friendship between us that began twenty one months ago that we hope will last the rest of our lives.  As we adjust to living together in our home in this beautiful part of Montana, we are happy, content and enjoying life one day at a time to the fullest!  Life is good!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Leaving Bend, Oregon



Deschutes River runs right through the middle of Bend 

My Home on Wheels

September 5th, 2012

I am leaving my comfort zone here in Bend, Oregon to begin my new lifestyle in search of a place to call home.  I have been here for 30 days now and it is time move forward.  I will return here next summer if I can afford to.  It is a wonderful place but has cold winters and I live in a travel trailer so I need to move further south for the winter. I have been very fortunate to have had some very special friends, Jeff and Letty and their family, and my son Jason, help me through some really rough days since June 16th when my world of love and happiness for the past 47 years slipped away.  I tried to keep as busy as I could while here and it did help me deal with my loss.  I played golf, hiked, biked, walked, drank a lot of great brews, ate out too much and enjoyed the company of some really neat friends.


I bought a mountain bike and surprised myself

Me and my Bend support group buddies

Eight mile hike up and down

Smith Rock - big rock climbing area near Bend - I don't climb! 




It has been 80 days since I lost Pati and I am still having a hard time believing she is gone forever.  I cry everyday and my heart is so heavy I can hardly stand up sometimes.  I am trying very hard to accept my loss but it is going to take a very long time, if not forever, to wake up happy again.  It is my hope this journey will help me find happiness again.

I was asked by Jason to start a blog about my travels now that I am without a permanent home and plan to travel around the country for a few years in search of a place to live.  I have never done this before and my intent is to create some type of travel journal for family and friends. 

I have made plans, after a few days in Portland with Jason and his family, to travel to Southern California to attend one of my oldest friend's retirement function.  I then plan to go to Hurricane, Utah to visit with my brother, Mac and Susan, and from there head back down to Texas to attend my own 50th high school reunion and visit with my family there.  I do plan to stay in the warmer southern states this winter.
  
I will take it day by day after that as Dexter and I try to create a new world to live in without our Pati.  So, I will post daily or weekly  information on this blog of my travels and happenings along with some pictures of locations and people etc.


Princess Kaitlen and my pal and traveling buddy Dexter              
I am going to miss being in Portland close to my sons and grandchildren.  Kaitlen just turned four August 10th  and Josh and Kathleen's son, Ben, was born August 17th premature and has to remain in the hospital until he is healthy enough to come home.   Unfortunately I won't be able to see him until next  year when I return but Josh promised to send pictures so I can see him grow stronger and bigger in the  coming months.

September 16th, 2012

Seems the 16th of each  month is the tough day as I can't seem to get Pati's passing out of my mind.  I went on a bike ride and a car ride around this beautiful area called Montery, California but it didn't seem to help so I am writing now and it does help.

After leaving Portland on September 5th I headed over to the coast with intentions of getting to Coo's Bay and I did.  I stayed in the gravel parking lot at the Mill Casino since it was free.  There were no hookups and I didn't want to unhook and leave the trailer to look around for fear someone would steal it.  I took off the the next morning and pulled the rig over to Cape Mayer and hiked down a trail to get a view of the Sea Lions.  I could sure hear them before I could see them!  There were hundreds of them on a small rock island down below.  This is a really beautiful area.

Hundreds of Sea Lions

Same area looking up the coast in Coos Bay
From Coo's Bay I headed South to Brookings to check it out.  I stayed three nights and looked at everything up to Gold Beach. It is a nice place but not the right place for me at this time.  The last day I was there the fog rolled in and stayed so I left there on Friday, the 14th  headed for Ft. Bragg, an area on the California coast I had never seen.


Big mistake going to Ft. Bragg.  The roads were very rough due to construction and had narrow sharp curves.  Not a good route with a TT like I have.  Once I got there I had a very hard time finding an RV site.  I finally found one in Casper, a small town south of Ft. Bragg, on the beach.  The problem here was that a bunch of folks from Sacramento were in a group and when I pulled up to my site they were sitting around my fire-ring at my picnic table right outside my door having a beer and talking.  I told them this was my space and table but it made no difference to them and they simply invited me to join them.  I let it ride as I do not like confrontations, went out to dinner, came back and they were still there with more fiends and stayed up till all hours of the night (morning).  Very rude.  I hooked up the next morning (they were already sitting at my table as you see in the picture) and pulled up to the manager's office and explained my situation.  She was very concerned and refunded me both nights I had paid for and said she would talk to the people. This is the first time in over 10 years of rv'ing that this has happened.  Most people on the road are very courteous.


That is my table and space...bastards!
After that stressful issue, I drove south on Hwy 1 hoping to get to Half Moon Bay and find a place.  Again, weekends at the coast are very crowded and nothing was available.  So I kept driving south until I got to Monterey....ten hours of driving.  I checked in at the Naval Language School RV park and got a very nice place on the 13th hole of the golf course for only $30 a night.  There are some real advantages to being retired military!  This is a very expensive place.

So here I sit until Tuesday when I am going further south to Vandenberg AFB for a few days. Tomorrow I am going to drive down to Carmel and look around, have lunch at the Hog's Breath Inn where Pati and I ate the last time we were here, and take some pictures.  I don't want to do much as I do not like doing things by myself yet except driving and looking.  I hope to get in a good walk tomorrow as I need the exercise.  More to come soon.


Clint Eastwood's place in Carmel


September 26, 2012

I got a little behind on my journal.  I am now in Castiac Junction in the LA area at an RV park.  I stayed at Vandenberg AFB for six days after leaving Monterey.  Just killing time.  Everything I see reminds me of Pati because this is where we first lived together after getting married in 1966.  I could not find our old duplex on "B" street in Lompoc.  It was probably torn down and something new built where it stood.  I did drive out to Solvang, a beautiful German town, but didn't stop for anything....just drove thru town.  It was a weekend and very crowded and I just have no desire to  do anything without Pati.  I know I will have to change my thinking on that in time but it will take time.  I did meet some very nice RV neighbors at the base, Hugh and Cheryl Hall, from Oxnard, California.  Hugh was out hunting deer so Cheryl and I had time to chat.  She reminded me of Susan, my sister in law.  



I was stationed here from 1964 - 1966

I worked in this building while stationed here - can't believe it is still standing. 

Anyway, I am now in the smoggy LA area.  Yesterday I put Pati in the car with  me, left Dexter in the TT, and drove over to Santa Clarita where Pati's Mom and  Dad's ashes are buried.  I was very disappointed in the shape of their resting  place.  It was dry and the bronze headstones were over-grown with  grass and dirty.  I cleaned it all up and washed the headstones and now they look pretty good.  It is unfortunate that no one comes to visit and maintain them.  I am sure Pati and I were the last visitors about 8-9 years ago.

After that visit, which made me feel pretty good, I drove us down to Glendale at Forest Lawn where we were married.  I visited the little chapel we were married in called The Wee Kirk of the Heather and  I sat with Pati in the private garden area.  It was very peaceful and healing and I only cried a little while there.  No one else was around but Pati and me.


The chapel we were married in Jan 22, 1966


Pati and me in the Chapel Garden

This afternoon I am going to the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley to attend my old friend, Barry Gump's retirement party.  We have known each other for over 50 years.  It is a surprise for him and he doesn't know that I, or many others, are going to be there.  I am sure looking forward to seeing him and his wife, also named Pati. They are two of my oldest friends and his Pati introduced me to my Pati.  

The retirement party for my old friend was very nice and well attended.  I even sat and visited with some other old friends I had not seen in over 40 years.  Barry and Pati had me over to their beautiful home for breakfast and more visiting with other close friends and family the next morning.  It was very nice to visit with such nice folks again. I am very happy to count them among my very few special friends.

UTAH - September 29th, 2012

After a long drive across the Mohave Desert I finally got to my brother's house house in Hurricane, Utah.  I am staying in a very nice RV park about 6 blocks from their home so it is very convenient.  During my visit with them for two weeks, we went on some hikes in the local canyons, drove up to Zion National Park and beyond. Mac and I made a very nice bracket that fits on the back of the travel trailer to hold my generator.  It is real nice and now I can boon-dock more often.
Mac and Susan doing what they love.  Mac is 75 years old. 

The road I am stopped on actually goes through that solid rock mountain in the middle of Zion National Park.   The holes you see are the tunnel view ports and were formed as they bored the rock and sent it out over the edge of the cliffs.
I had a great visit with Mac and Susan but it was time to move on down the road to Texas as I plan to attend my 50th high school reunion on October 20th.  More to come.