Wednesday, March 18, 2009


Ozzie and I are off to another adventure! We are in the process of moving to Malo,Wa so that Ozzie can build a house for his dad. We decided to move there about a year ago. The cabin above is the bunk house or guest house on Tom's (Ozzie's dad's) property. We are staying there temporarily until we get back on our feet and I get some kind of job.

It is quite beautiful up there, but a little cold, about -8 last week. Tom's house is right next door with a full kitchen. The outhouse and shower are both outdoors. It is very rustic but nice and we like it so far. It was a good transition for me to be on the road and traveling simply so, that having a small cabin now seems like a luxury.

I have already experienced splitting wood for the wood stove, riding a four-wheeler and cleaning out a barn where several families of mice lived. Hard work after laying on the beach for three months. It feels good to do something different.

The people we have met so far have been very nice and welcoming and Tom and Cynthia are taking good care of us.

Here are a few more pictures from there. We are looking forward to spring. Hopefully, the snow will be melting soon.
Inside our cabin.

Ozzie's dad's house.

The outdoor shower.

The view from the porch.

The barn where part is going to be finished into a house.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

The Road Home

Our last few places we visited in Mexico were some of the places we liked the best. We were lucky enough to meet up with some great people living in San Carlos, which is on the mainland side of the Sea of Cortez. What a beautiful place and Bill and Kathy, a couple from Bend, made us feel right at home. We were able to stay in our truck right on the beach next to their condo and they were so kind to let us hang out, eat, shower, do laundry, and sea kayak. We felt very spoiled. Their daughter and her boyfriend were also visiting so we had a great time hanging out with them as well. Such a wonderful and generous family.
The terrain and climate in San Carlos is much like the Baja, so naturally we loved it there. We also went out of town and stayed a couple of nights on the beach across from a beautiful little island, called Cactus Island.

I looked for shells and read and Ozzie hiked in the desert. We could have stayed there a week. However, it was time to head north.
It was an interesting trip home. We were in some very cold weather and also were stuck in Vegas for a day. Luckily, we found some hot springs in Austin, Nevada. Ozzie drove right to this beautiful steamy pool at about 10:30 at night after a long day of driving. The temperature outside was about 5 degrees. We enjoyed warming up in this pool before we went to bed and when we woke up.

It has been fun to visit all of our friends here in Bend. We are going to continue traveling a bit and head up to Washington state to visit our families. Then, our plan is to move to Malo, Washington in the next month. The adventure continues and we will keep updating our blog.
Lyndi and Ozzie

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Back to the USA

Ozzie and I made it safely back to the US. It was a pretty easy crossing. We avoided Nogales and crossed in Lukeville, AZ. Our first day back was really cold. The first night we stayed in Kingman, AZ and it was 18 degrees. Luckily, we bought a small heater so we were comfortable. Not exactly a warm welcome. We were very sad to leave Mexico. It really was a wonderful trip. Onward to the cold north.

Yesterday, we rolled into Vegas and the alternator went out. So, we had to stay overnight to wait for a new one. Luckily, it was under warranty. Last night we stayed at the Circus Circus KOA Kampground, a very luxurious campground. I am e-mailing in the TV room and everything is really nice. Of course it is right on the strip so we went to the casino last night to have dinner. We decided to give gambling a whirl and spent 1.50 on the slots. Needless to say we weren't lucky and we couldn't bring ourselves to spend more.

Hopefully, we will get our new alternator today and be on our way. We should be back in Bend by the weekend.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Going North

About mid-January we realized that it was time to turn around and head north. After the butterfly sanctuary, we went north to San Miguel de Allende. This is a beautiful colonial town with a magnificent cathedral and old architecture. Here we stayed at an RV park to get the basics, a shower, laundry, and internet. We met some great people here, a couple from Oregon, Dr. Wayne and Arline. They adopted us and showed us around the town and gave us some great travel info. One night we headed down to the main square for the festivities. It was a celebration of the birthday the person the town was named after, Ignacio Allende. It was amazing! When we arrived, an orchestra was playing under a large white tent right beside the cathedral. The music was so beautiful. Suddenly, fireworks began going off from the top of the cathedral, huge fireworks. This beautiful display went on and on, more fireworks shooting into the sky highlighting the cathedral while this magnificent music played. I have never seen something so beautiful and, I don’t usually like fireworks. People had tears in there eyes it was so moving. Then, to end the concert, more fireworks were going off of several other buildings right next to the square. In true Mexican style, you had to be careful of the little hot embers that were raining down on everyone. If you were under a tree, you were pretty safe. However, the chance that you could be burned only added to the excitement of the light show.

From San Miguel, we found some other great cities. We only stayed one night in each one, but they were wonderful too. The architecture of these colonial towns makes you feel like you are in Europe not Mexico. The history is so interesting here and the Spanish influence still is very strong. Here are a couple of pictures from these towns.

Near a town called Durango, we camped out off a dirt road in the campo (country). A large farm was near by but we felt that we were ok where we were, not trespassing or anything. It was a beautiful spot and a great sunset and it was nice to not have to be staying in town. We slept soundly and enjoyed the tranquility. In the morning, we woke to the sound of Bozeman growling. He only growls if someone is approaching the truck. Ozzie looked out the window and a lady was walking around. She began yelling, “Senor, Senor”. Uh oh, we thought that we were in trouble. So much for parking in the country, we must have been on their property. Reluctantly, I went outside. People are not as intimidated when they see a woman. So, I approached the lady with a friendly smile and buenos dias. She smiled back, a good sign. I asked if it was ok that we were there. She said that it was and that she was just coming to say hello and see if we needed anything. She invited us to her house and gave us coffee and fresh baked bread. Her name was Rebecca and she also showed us the farm and all of the animals they had in the back. We visited for a while and she was so nice. She told us that we should have stayed at the farm and that we were welcome back anytime. Wow, how generous.

Next, we headed from Durango to Mazatlan. The road through mountains is crazy. It is about the curviest road in Mexico, but the views are spectacular. Here a few shots from the road.
It was not the safest road either. We saw two semi-trucks nearly hit head on a sharp corner. One had to back up around the corner for the other to pass. I still am not sure how they didn’t crash into each other.

We decided to head back to Mazatlan to meet our friends again, Dr. Wayne and Arline. They helped us to make a little bit of money by taking some time share tours, the time share people will actually pay you cash to just listen to the spiel. They had done a few before and showed us the ropes. We had fun hanging out with them again and they helped us out a lot. We spent one night walking around the old part of Mazatlan which is much more interesting and charming than the hotel area.

We are slowly making our way north. Both of us are not quite ready to go back to the cold, but inevitably we have to. Maybe one more week and then we will head across the border. As usual, we don’t really have a plan.

Hope all is well up north,

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Monarch Sanctuary

Yesterday, we visited the Monarch Butterfly Sanctuary way up in the mountains near a small town called Ocompo. The drive was beautiful as it meandered through a patchwork of fields and little farm houses on the steep hill sides. Once we reached the park, we were met by several children selling walking sticks. Also, as we walked to the entrance, we passed about 50 or more little make shift shops and restaurants for all of the tourists. We were a litte put off by this but kept onward. The walk up was nice and fairly steep. I tried not to feel tired as I walked next to small children, old grandmothers and grandfathers and even mothers carrying their babies up the steep climb. Once to the top we found a crowd of people gathered around several trees. As we looked closer, we could see masses of Monarch butterflies hanging off of the branches. Millions of them piled on top of one another. Simply an amazing sight. People were encouraged to be silent, which was most difficult for the children.
The monarchs are hibernating here in the sanctuary for the winter. This particular colony of monarchs travel from Central Mexico to Florida and Canada, and then back to Mexico. Over the course of the migration five gernerations of butterflies are born. The last generation born in Canada live 7-8 months and make the long trek back to Mexico. Wow. They stay at about 10,000 feet in the temperate forests here and are protected by the trees. We lucked out on the weather, it was nice and sunny, so some of the butterlies were flying around as well. Definitely worth the visit.


Being up in the highlands of Mexico has been an entirely different experience. Leaving from Colima we climbed up into the mountains to Matzamitla. A beautiful town very different from any of the beach towns we had been to, this was a self-sufficient town up in the pines. It was much colder and there were not a lot of gringos as we could tell from driving around. We stayed in a grassy parking area in town across from a tienda and restaurant. We slept well all snuggled into our sleeping bag, thank goodness we brought it. In the morning, Ozzie walked next door to the store and asked if they had a public bathroom. The owner, an older woman, politely said no. About 15 minutes later, she walked over to our truck and offered her private bath and oh yes would you like a shower as well? She did not know that Ozzie was traveling with his wife. Of course I would like a shower I said. It was so very kind of her and she would not take any money for the use of her bathroom. When I left, I thanked her and she said if we needed anything else to be sure to come back. This is the kind of generosity that we have encountered so far.

Next, we wound through the state of Michoacan, the place I have wanted to see since the beginning of this trip. Even higher up in the mountains still, we drove through several small villages. The women all wore brightly colored long skirts, heeled shoes, no socks, and a beautiful wrap around shawl. They could be seen carrying babies, groceries, wood, and other things with this shawl. These villages were mostly inhabited by the Perupecha indigenous people. The particular villages we drove through were very poor. Small shacks, make shift housing, garbage along much of the road, much like the baja. Women washing clothes by hand, cooking outside, men working in the fields, children running around playing in the street. It definitely felt different than anywhere we had been thus far. No one smiled as we drove through, we often met unwelcoming scowls instead. These scowls did turn to smiles when we offered a friendly wave.

We then ended up in Patzcuaro, the heart of Michoacan. Wow, what a beautiful city. We stayed in the truck right on the main square that was surrounded by colonial buildings and large trees with fountains in the center of the plaza. Since we were not paying for camping, we decided to go out for dinner. In another smaller square a block away, we found all of the taco stands and cheaper food that we had been looking for. We decided upon a chicken place that looked good. The plates they were serving were huge. We sat down at a table that was part of the preparation area and waited for our food, they were very busy. While we waited, I noticed the cook ladle a large spatula full of lard from a nearby five gallon bucket. Yikes. Then a small boy about five years or so tapped me on the shoulder. He was wearing a shirt with Mickey mouse on it and the word “Mickey” printed along the top. I turned around and he forcefully stuck his hand out and said, “Money” in English. I was a little startled by his brazenness and I replied, “No tengo” (I don’t have any) Obviously, he was prepared for this answer an he replied a little too knowingly and quickly “Si, tu tienes” (Yes you do) with a cute little smile. Yikes again. I chose to ignore instead and he went away. After dinner, we did find him and give him our leftover chicken, which he gladly accepted without hesitation.
We were a little cold up in the mountains:) We might have to head back to the beach soon to warm up again.

Lyndi and Ozzie

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Visitamos el Doctor

Well, the visit to the doctor was successful in many ways. First, the son of the owner of the campground, Estaban Chico, drove us to his uncle’s house where he has his private office and practice. We all went into the examination room together and the doctor proceeded to ask Ozzie questions about his ailments. Estaban Chico, the son tried to translate some but, Ozzie and I understood a lot of what he said in Spanish. Then, once he determined that Ozzie had bronchitis, he had him breath in some medicine through a vaporizer. Not a common practice in the US, but seemed to help with Ozzie’s coughing. While we were waiting for Ozzie to breath, the doctor seemed genuinely interested in what we were doing and where we had visited in Colima. We politely asked about the rocks that made up one rock wall in his office. They were very old petroglyphs and they had been cemented into the wall of the house about 50 years ago. He became very excited and asked us to come to the back to see the rest of his collection. He had several artifacts in a glass case and he went into another room to bring out a large stone that had been carved into the shape of a baby. These rocks were probably carved out thousands of years ago and this doctor had them in his house. The Grandfather of Estaban Chico had purchased the house along with the artifacts several years ago and it remains in the family. It is located right off of the main square in Central Colima. I joked that he had his own museum in his office. He laughed and said it was a “museo en la sala” All in all the visit cost about 55 dollars and Ozzie received very personal care. The only problem we had was a pesky mosquito that kept biting us while we sat in the office. The doctor was not in a hurry and he seemed very thorough. Also, the mini tour we had of his collection was definitely worth the visit. I did not have my camera with me so I did not get to document our tour. Ozzie is on antibiotics now and hopefully on the mend. He was not happy about going to the doctor at first but realized that it was a good cultural experience for us. Now, we are back at the campground resting and planning on leaving tomorrow.