Sunday, November 7, 2010

Kristi's Trip Summary

Just the Facts, Ma'am:
We began our adventure on Thursday Sept 16, in the rain, and ended on Monday Nov 1, in the rain.  Six and a half weeks. In between, we had great weather, one day of RAIN in Hood River, and a few sprinkles a few other days. 
We travelled approximately 750 river miles, were locked up to 736 feet in elevation and back down to sea level.
We went 'as far as we can go' on FOUR rivers, the Columbia, the Snake, the Clearwater, and the Palouse.  We were limited by any of the following:  depth, bridges, or charts.
We took 1234 photos.  That is not a made-up number.  That is the last image number in Picasa, less the first image number from Sept 16, PLUS the 10 more shots left in the camera after the 'log boom' post.  There was lots of great scenery, so it was easy to get great photos. 
Those facts covered, it's now time for my somewhat random thoughts on the trip.  Warning:  the views expressed may or may not be shared by my travelling companion.
Al wanted to take 5-6 weeks for this trip, and we didn't go much over that, even with a week longer than expected in the Tri-Cities area.  It is important to remain flexible in the schedule to allow for weather delays and for personal inclemence.  However, I believe for this trip to be MORE ideal, it should be begun the day after Labor Day.  That would be nearly two weeks earlier than we travelled.  And six weeks would get you back around October 15, which is when many of the parks and marinas begin closing down for the season, or at least turning off the water and pumpouts.
I really LOVE taking my bed with me!  It is so comfy and cozy, and it's OURS. 
On the trip upriver, it seemed easy and natural to call the boat 'home'.  But I think once we turned and began the return downriver, the closer we got to Portland/Vancouver the more I slipped into calling IT home.  Al called me on it once.  He asked 'What are you going to do next Spring?' referring to our plans to head north, with no return (with the boat) scheduled for 3-5 years.  I said 'I think you will be buying a few train tickets.' 
I really missed my kids and grandkids. Cell phones and Facebook just don't take the place of hugs and kisses.  I look at the relationship my kids have with their grandparents, which just isn't as close as the one I had with my own granparents.  We lived half way across the country, and even though we made a point to visit once a year as the kids grew up, and Mom and Dad came out once a year,  that really isn't enough.
I think Al and I got along quite well.  Our biggest days of aggravation are due to PMS, which seems, anyway, to be exacerbated by the close quarters of the boat.  We are both learning to watch the calendar carefully.
Al has jokingly called me his memory.  At introductions he says openly 'I won't remember your name unless my wife is here!'  This is VERY true.  Often the words coming from his mouth do NOT match what I KNOW he means to say.  This does concern me more than a little.  I don't know if this has truly increased, or if I just notice it more because we are spending so much more time together.  He does not appear to have any trouble work-wise at all.
The actual adapting to living on the boat has gone very well, I think.  There are plusses and minuses, of course.  I am really sick of the same old clothes, but we are in a change of season, so that may feel better for awhile.  There is no room to be making any additions to the wardrobe. 
We still have a garage full of 'stuff for the boat'.  So I am presently trying to go through some nooks and crannies to remove things that have not been used in the last six months.  

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