We’re baaaaack!

So I left my blog to go to Facebook. After trying it for some 6 months I have decided to go back to my blog. Facebook is just too full of negativity, especially about politics. Most posts are just “shares” and contain at best misconstrued statements, but much of it is just plain inflammatory. You can see the influence of organizations unfriendly to the United States. I truly think many people who share these posts do so thinking they are sharing opinions when in reality they are being manipulated.

Oh well, from now on we’re back on the blog. I may still post on FB sometimes but this will be my main social platform.

Categories: Traveling

End of the blog

March 14, 2020 Leave a comment

I’ve enjoyed writing this blog for the many years now. And of the many comments and discussions I’ve had from readers. But it is getting more difficult to maintain, and somewhat redundant because of the other social media we use. So this will be the last entry.

You can still follow us on Facebook. Just look for John Laninga and Romola Laninga and you will find us. Friend us and we will always be up to date. And, we also maintain a rather extensive photo album. This can be found at http://www.laninga.com. And finally, my motorhome has its own blog, which you can find at https://my15aspire.wordpress.com/

See you down the road!

Categories: Traveling

Oregon Coast

August 1, 2019 Leave a comment

The last few weeks have been terrific to be on the Oregon Coast. Temperatures in the low 50 overnight and high 60 daytime, beats the Texas heat wave anytime! But all things come to an end and we are moving to Washington Sate and a cruise to Alaska. But before we go, a few pictures from the Florence, Seaside and Astoria areas of the Oregon Coast

Playing in sand

July 13, 2019 1 comment

Right next to our RV Park in Oregon are the Oregon Sand Dunes. One section is used for hill climbs, and all day long you hear the souped up motors rev up. Fortunately, they close the dunes at dark so we have quiet at night.

It is fun to watch them though, they really take this stuff seriously. And if you can’t afford a bike or a dune buggy, you can buy a ride in one. Fun!

Crabbing in Oregon

Our friend Jack Napoles invited me to go along crabbing with his neighbor Phil. Crabbing would be in Charleston, right by Coos Bay, Oregon. Now Romola and I love crab, so this invitation was gratefully accepted.

First we bought several pounds of chicken quarters, which we used as bait. The chicken was put in the crab pots and in the boat. We then launched the boat and dropped the first of 9 pots. After 4 pots, we moved across the bay and dropped the remaining 5.

After a wait of around an hour, we pulled up the first pot. It was full of crab! At least 4 were legal size and went into the holding bin. This process was repeated until each pot had been dropped twice. We ended up with our limit of 36 good sized Dungeness crabs, plus many Red Rock crabs (Red Rock crabs are an invasive species, quite aggressive, are red in color and have a large claw considered extra tasty. Something like the Florida Rock Crabs….).

The next step was to clean the crab. In the store, you always find them whole, but it is much easier to do a simple clean and throw away the crab shell that would be thrown away anyway. Phil used a special device, like an upside down knife, to break the crab, save the edible parts, and throw away the rest. Later, at home, he brought a large pot of river water to boil and cooked the crab. Jack and Sylvia put up a table on their deck next to the river of their most beautiful house and we devoured several crabs each. Most delicious!

Categories: Friends, Traveling Tags: ,

Heceta Lighthouse Hike

June 30, 2019 2 comments

Well it’s been about 4 weeks since my heart work in Petoskey, and we were in a beautiful place with magnificent weather, and a known hike nearby so we went for it. Not too long, just about 3 miles, but a reasonable amount of elevation gain, equivalent to about 85 flights of stairs.

Found that I’m not as good as I used to be health wise but still able to enjoy a moderately difficult hike. Especially since the scenery was so beautiful, it doesn’t get much better than this. So yes, I’m hiking again, still enjoying it, just have to not overdo it. It’s almost as if we’re getting old…

History, repeated

Romola and I have volunteered at Fort Vancouver for 4 summers. Our tasks were to man the information booth, and help people with the history of the area. So since we were in the area we took a drive to our old volunteer sites.

Alas, they now have Monday’s off and so the fort was closed. So we took a nice walk around the fort, Pearson Air Museum, and through downtown back to the visitor center. So we had a nice walk but will have to visit the fort itself some other time.

Montana Car Museu

Deer Lodge is a small town on Highway 90 that you can easily miss. But you really should stop, there is a lot to see. This was the original home of Montana’s first prison. Now closed, it is an interesting museum of old style prisons, and the political shenanigans that went into building it. But there is more, much more.

One ticket price gets you into the prison museum, but also four others. These include the Wild West, Yesterday’s Toys, an old town replica, and a most excellent car museum. We’ve seen it before but made a point of stopping by to visit these artifacts of our (and our parents) youth.

Here is a small sample of some pictures of our visit.

Badlands, North Dakota

Theodore Roosevelt visited the Badlands as a 24 year old and was so impressed he is now considered one of the founders. Today, there is a National Park and the tourist city of Medora. We decided to spend an extra day here on our way West.

We had dinner at the Pitchfork Fondue, where they take a 12oz NY strip steak, put it on a pitchfork, and fondue it in hot oil. It is then served with all the trimmings, buffet style. We were impressed with the quality of the food, and the steak in particular. But we ate quick as it was cold and very windy.

We also bought tickets to the Medora Musical, a huge outdoor amphitheater where an evening’s entertainment of song, dance and comedy made for a pleasant evening, all in a magnificent setting. The setting sun in particular lent to an impressive performance.

We managed to get in a fair bit of hiking and walked some of the many trails in the Roosevelt National Park. The area certainly lives p to its reputation… the Dakota Badlands. Here are some pictures of our visit.

A medical delay

Twelve years ago I had a quadruple bypass. It worked fine, but over the years it was obvious that some blockage was building up again. So in April I saw a cardiologist in Denton for an angiogram, and had a stent placed. He had some difficulty with the placement but didn’t say more than that. So I thought we were good to go and started our summer travels. And I did well, until a week or so ago.

We were in Petoskey when the angina pain go so bad it obviously needed some work done, so we went to the ER. Since we were in a smallish town we didn’t know what to expect. Turns out the McLaren Northern Michigan hospital was one of the top heart hospitals in the entire USA! After some consults, we were turned over to their cardiologist whose specialty was difficult cases.

It was determined that the Dallas doctor didn’t do the best of jobs. Using the wrong placement tools, too much dye, and used only one but “grossly undersized” stent. So they worked me into the schedule, and after some delays (emergency cases had priority) he reworked the installed stent and added four more. After a day’s recover we were back in the motor home and feeling much, much better. Not totally fixed, but a significant improvement.

Thanks to the Petoskey medical community for getting me back on the road.

Categories: Traveling