Diana Pharaoh Francis | Diana P. Francis | Diana Francis


Sunday, July 19th, 2009
Back From Beyond

Yep, we got back from Oregon a little earlier today. Kids and dogs are quite relieved. The puppies did very well on their first long journey, though the return trip had them looking very despondent. At least until they got home. For those interested, here’s a report of the trip, as best as I can recall.

We set off on Thursday afternoon and went as far as Missoula. This was to give ourselves a chance to pick up some stuff at Costco (muffins anyone?) and also to give the puppies a chance to have a shorter (three hour) drive before the next 900 miles. Things went well with two rest stops to pee the puppies. They seemed to do well with the setup with Voodoo crawling onto my lap and then into the back seat like a pendulum.

The next day we drove and drove. We meant to stop in the Tri Cities and visit Patty Briggs, but she had family things going on so we kept going. Stopped in Rufus and decided that the camp wasn’t going to work, so went on to Cascade Locks. Lovely little KOA there. Beautiful. I love the Gorge. The next morning we realized Bad Things had happened to the front of the trailer. It was separating from the rest of the trailer. I spent some time on the cell and found a place to take it to have them look at it. T bungee corded the bits together as best he could and then off we went.

Turns out the front cap of the trailer is popping off. (we also discovered a leak in the trailer later and some other issues, so this week we’ll take it into get it fixed. The whole extended warranty thing we bought pays off!) Anyhow, there wasn’t much to be done, but it wasn’t a safety issue so Aaron at Camping World at Ollinger RV helped us out with some special tape and off we went.

Spent the night in Salem visiting with friends. I signed stock at two bookstores and they had my books! Yay! Also bought some raspberries, apricots and blueberries right out of the orchard/patch. Went to dinner with friends and put the puppies in crates for them to sleep. They Did. Not. Like. This. So they tore stuff up. Next day we went to Walmart to replace a harness and some bedding materials. Lesson learned. Puppies would rather be in the back of the truck with us than in their beds without us.

Then we set off for the coast. I should mention that thus far, the weather had been so wonderfully cool! And now it rained. We got to the Rogue River Brewery and met up with brother and fam and the rents and we ate and drank and then went and set up our trailers at the park. It was the Beverley Beach State Park. It was a quick walk under the freeway to the beach which was lovely.

The next day the rain eventually let up, never to return.

in the course of the week, we did many fun things. But one of the coolest was going to the Devil’s Punchbowl. (pics will come later). Anyhow, it’s this place were there were two sea caves that collapsed, leaving this massive hole in the coastline that is nearly enclosed but for I think three entrances. At high tide the water churns inside (would love to see it in a storm) and at low tide, you can go inside and tidepool.

We went down the wrong side first and couldn’t get inside. Down many stairs and up many stairs. The puppies were in heaven. They like BEACH! So we hiked back up and then down again on the right side and went inside. Very very very cool. The pics probably won’t do it justice. It was a little bit of a walk over a bunch of normally submerged rocks and stuff and the puppies did very well. I worried they might cut their feet on the barnacles, but no such problems.

The other thing we did was go on a hike on the Drift Creek trail. It led to this little suspension bridge across a little gorge where there was a waterfall. The three mile hike turned out much longer since the sign fell down and we went the wrong direction. But eventually we made it (can you say feel the burn? Di is out of shape and the whole sprained ankle that hasn’t really healed thing made it a bit worse, especially after the punchbowl hike. Note to self, make doc appointment to get the ankle looked at). Anyhow, made it to the bridge. It’s a footbridge and only one person can cross at a time. Did I mention I’m afraid of heights? All the same, I crossed, all the while fearing the trip back. But did make it back too. There will be photographic evidence later of such also.

At night we did some barbequing and making of fajitas on the camp stoves, making of smores and playing of games. It was very fun. The puppies thought the whole trip was fun but I can’t believe how often they poop!!!

Also worth mentioning, the trees at the park are so very cool. Many have grown up on nurse logs so the roots are long and you can climb under them. The kids were in heaven.

Then we had to come home. Two hard days of driving. And it was hot, which meant a bit of difficulty when it came to the puppies. Mostly because we couldn’t leave them hardly at all, even to get food. And the trailer was terribly hot to be in too. But we managed.

And now back to work on the book. Must finish quickly (I did do some work on it during the trip and may even have had an ending epiphany. Or half a one.) The folks are coming behind us shortly, so there will also be house cleaning and other preparation, and my aunt is coming through in a week also. Where is the summer going? Ack! School will start soon.

Read three books on the trip. The first was a Karen Marie Moning and I liked it. Will read the next ones in the series. It’s UF. One I won’t say by name, but it’s by one of my favorite authors–an automatic buy. I didn’t like it. It was the style, which was completely intentional for the book, and totally drove me nuts. So much blathering endlessly and then a bit of plot here and there. Sigh. I had high hopes. And then I read the first Brent Weeks book. Okay, I’m not done yet, but am enjoying it, despite certain anachronisms of language. I think his worldbuilding is phenomenal and would love to know more about his process for building this world because it’s so very thorough and complex. On the other hand, he gets away with some things narrative-wise that I would never get past my editor. I’m not saying that’s bad, but it means I might try some things, too. I guess that means I may be expanding my storytelling horizons. We’ll see.

My neck gave me some trouble on the trip and I’m icing now, but the hiking seemed to help so I’m going to keep up the exercise to keep it going.

Oh, did I mention The Turning Tide was in Fred Meyer (a big Walmart type store out there). How cool is that?

Also, ate fudge at Fuddy Duddy Fudge in Depoe Bay, bought some earrings and some cool rune stones, and found Wen Spencer’s latest, that I didn’t know was out. Also we bought beer to bring home from the Rogue River Brewery. Also, I did not read or watch any news and had only net hookup on the first couple of days going out there.

So I probably won’t check much on my friends list–anything going on I need to know about?

3 comments to “Back From Beyond”

  1. Peg
    Comment
    1
     · July 29th, 2009 at 11:33 am · Link

    I enjoyed your 2 trilogies and I’ve also read Brent Weeks’ trilogy. I have to say that he could have had 2 full trilogies out of his one. Talk about TMI!

    I probably missed it, but what kind of puppies?



  2. Di Francis
    Comment
    2
     · July 29th, 2009 at 3:49 pm · Link

    HI Peg! They are corgi puppies–Voodoo and Viggo.

    And you should know, Crosspointe is not so much a trilogy as a series. I’m finishing up the fourth book right now. No. Really. Okay, going back to work. It will be done by Monday though.



  3. Brooks Wheldon
    Comment
    3
     · July 26th, 2011 at 6:59 am · Link

    I dont know what to say. This blog is fantastic. Thats not really a really huge statement, but its all I could come up with after reading this. You know so much about this subject. So much so that you made me want to learn more about it. Your blog is my stepping stone, my friend. Thanks for the heads up on this subject



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