A Dog’s Way Home by W. Bruce Cameron – Book Review


From the best-selling author of A Dog’s Purpose and A Dog’s Journey comes A Dog’s Way Home.

A Dog’s Way Home is the story of Bella. Bella, a mixed breed mutt, was born under an abandoned building – and that was when life was easy. Since then it’s been a rollercoaster ride for Bella and her person, Lucas.

Follow along with Bella as she faces the ups and downs of cats, dogs, and humans. She finds herself on the most important journey of her life; to get back to her person and her purpose.

W. Bruce Cameron’s books are probably not going to be literary classics, but they are guaranteed to make you smile as you read them. All of his dog books are fast reads, perfect for a day when you need to cheer yourself up. You will laugh. You will cry. And you will absolutely fall in love with the amazing dogs in Cameron’s novels.

And if you don’t like dogs, then please go think about your life choices for awhile.

Because dogs rule.


Book Review – Hunger by Roxane Gay

“Even the happiest moments of my life are overshadowed by my body and how it doesn’t fit anywhere. This is no way to live, but this is how I live.”

Roxane Gay, a best-selling author, a college professor, and a feminist woman of color and size, has a lot to hunger for. Education. Success. Love. Affection. Acceptance. And food.

In the book Hunger – A Memoir of (My) Body, Roxane is brutally honest about all aspects of her life as a fat black woman. She wasn’t always fat, but she doesn’t have to think too hard about how she got there – because it wasn’t an accident. She used food to build her body into her own personal fortress.

This book delves deep into personal trauma, and all the things that come after…like life. Roxane Gay has a story to tell about her body, and she tells it superbly. 

Bad RVing Tips #2

More Bad RVing Tips!

Brought you by the lack of common sense of our recent camp neighbors!

  1. If your camp neighbor has decorative items at their campsite, make sure to let your small children play with it! Your neighbors are going to LOVE you!
  2. If you pull into a small campground and there is only one other person there you can go ahead and crank up your sorry-ass country music as loud as your minivan speakers will let you! It’ll turn into a boot-scootin’ party.
  3. If you find a little free library at your camp neighbors site, you can take as many books as you like! Shit, take all of them! There are no library police at camp!
  4. When there are lots of signs telling you to keep your dogs on leashes, do not even worry about it. They don’t mean YOUR dog, just everyone else’s!
  5. When you think, “Gee, I think I should run around in my underwear!” Yes! This is definitely what you should do!

Okay. I’m done being the grumpy old lady yelling “get off my lawn!”
But seriously…stay off my lawn.

I’m done yelling. Here’s some cute puppers.

Bad RVing Tips

 

Crooked River – Prineville, Oregon

Crooked River Campgrounds

Along the Crooked River Highway

The first of the Crooked River Campgrounds is located about 15 miles south of Prineville, OR along the Crooked River Highway. There are between eight and ten BLM campgrounds along the river. All of the campgrounds have bathrooms and garbage service, and a few have drinking water as well. You can stay a total of 14 days on BLM land, but you can switch to different campgrounds during your 14 days.

Campground entrance…and exit, actually. Are we coming or going?

One of the campsites at Stillwater Campground.

We chose to stay at Stillwater Campground, and had a whole end of the campground to ourselves for most of our stay. It is ridiculously warm during the summer, but that is what the freezing cold river is for. So, wear a swimsuit with a snowsuit over it.

There is a lot of wildlife in the area. We saw deer, a beaver, ducks, geese, all kinds of birds, and even bunnies! We didn’t get pics of all the critters, but we can’t do everything for you, now can we?

An Osprey waiting watching for his fish dinner. (Go Seahawks!)

A Blue Heron at dusk.

What’s this you say? Come on. You don’t know a beaver when you see one? 

It was a peaceful stay, and with Prineville so close there is access to everything you could need. There are grocery stores, fast food, restaurants, a cool dog park, and an RV Shop that has a Dump Station and a fresh water fill for only $10.00. If you find yourself passing through central Oregon make sure to stop and enjoy the Prineville area! 

Beautiful drive along the river!

River views from the campground.

A shoe tree! No one knows why they exist, but theories range from serial killers to fertility rituals. 

 

 

Book Review – Dietland by Sarai Walker

Dietland by Sarai Walker

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“I’m every American woman’s worst nightmare. It’s what they spend their lives fighting against, it’s why they diet and exercise and have plastic surgery—because they don’t want to look like me.” 
― Sarai Walker, Dietland

Are you fat? Read this book. Are you skinny? Read this book. Are you female? Are you male? Are you human? Read this book. Are you a feminist? Read this book? Are you not a feminist? Read this book and learn something.

This novel follows the life of Plum Kettle. She is scheduled for a weight loss surgery, and is looking forward to it so much that she spends her free time online shopping for her “skinny” clothes. With a closet full of things that aren’t even close to fitting, her regular uniform is her ankle length black skirts and long sleeve black shirts – even in the sweltering heat of summer.

Plum’s life changes when a mysterious woman wearing bright tights and combat boots starts following her. Between the punk stalker and the news of a dangerous anarchist causing damage around the world, Plum heads down a dark, winding road with no place to turn around.

This is Sarai Walkers’ debut novel, and I will probably cry if she never publishes another.

&^#@%*! Clean Up After Yourselves!

&^#@%*! Clean Up After Yourselves!

I’m angry. I am angry that I even have to write a post like this. So, I will keep it short and simple, and try not to use profanity.

We enjoy dry camping. We will drive right past even the coolest of RV Parks and go out in the middle of nowhere where our puppers can roam free and we can have peace and quiet to work on our writing, reading, and napping.

More often than not, when we are dry camping we come across the tracks of the most vicious animals to walk the earth.

I’m sure this just rolled out there by itself.

Broken bucket strategically placed to…catch rain water?

Ah! Forest tree ornaments.

A beautiful butterfly posing on a piece of garbage.

Humans.

Pieces of a TV.

Hey, Mother Earth! Hold my beer.

We have found everything from mattresses to an obscene amount of bullet casings. And we always clean up what we can. Not to toot my own horn, but we always leave our camping spots in better condition than we found them.

Endless shell casings

GAHHHHHHH. WTF people??

And it is really that easy! Whether you are out in the forest fulfilling your ammosexual fantasies or parking your RV to find your peace – just leave your spot better than you found it. Take a garbage bag when you go. Clean up your shit and whatever other shit you see laying around.

Nice shooting there, JimBob.

I killed myself a cardboard box! YeeHaw!!

A Jack in the Box cup. It’s like 50 miles to the closest Jack in the Box. People suck.

This is your earth. You don’t get another one, so stop pissing her (and me) off.

Sir Rusty Fluffy Butt is pretty pissed about all of this shit too. He loves his planet!!

PACK IT IN – PACK IT OUT!!

LEAVE NO FUCKING TRACE.

I FAILED AT NOT USING PROFANITY.

FUCKING CLEAN UP AFTER YOURSELVES!

Book Review – The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher

The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher

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Have you ever wanted to sit down with Carrie Fisher, sip on a glass of iced tea, and hear her juicy stories about Harrison Ford? Have you ever imagined staring at her in awe as she reads her poetry from when she was just nineteen years old and still had her entire crazy life before her? Or is that just me?

Well, if that is what you are looking for then read The Princess Diarist. This memoir is like the best gossip fest ever! And I don’t even like gossip!

"I wish that you could love me more so I could love you less." 
- Carrie Fisher

It was a treat to read her her story and her truths. There are entries from journals that she kept while filming Episode IV, including poetry and personal memories. There are a lot of emotions on the pages of this book, but what young woman could resist a scruffy looking nerf herder?

Call his indifference a mystery
Call his arrogance intellect
All you've got to lose is your heart
And a little self-respect
-Carrie Fisher

Yea, me either, Carrie.

Champoeg State Heritage Area – Donald, Oregon

Champoeg State Heritage Area

We had an appointment in Portland, OR, so we decided to try to make the trip adventurous as well.

First of all, you can’t go anywhere near Portland and not visit Powell’s City of Books!

After you find your way out of Powell’s City of Books, drive south out of Portland, and about 10 miles off of I-5 is Champoeg State Heritage Area and Campground.

 

The Visitors Center…which we didn’t visit.

The park is…cozy, meaning that the sites are pretty close together. But there are a lot of trees and shrubs to help with privacy. There is a large area to let your dogs run off-leash. Milo would like me to take this opportunity to remind you to check for ticks this summer! The ticks tend to travel around with fella’s like these. 

OMG. Why didn’t anyone tell me that velvet is so last spring?

How embarrassing. Hold on. I must go change.

There are multiple day use areas, along with a full disc golf course. They have multiple hiking trails, including a 2.4 mile trail that leads you to the Historic Butteville Store. 

The Historic Butteville Store

Over 150 years old.

The Ryan Family Library inside the store.

Butteville Store patio.

The Butteville Store has been there for over 150 years. These days they serve the public by making deli sandwiches and amazing blackberry cobbler.

Roast beef and provolone on sourdough, and homemade blackberry lemonade.

Warm homemade blackberry cobbler with vanilla ice cream.

Nearby, in the town of Wilsonville, is Morey Park. It is a quiet little neighborhood park dedicated to Walt Morey, who authored children’s books like Gentle Ben. At the center of the park is Gentle Ben himself.

Gentle Ben

Little Ben?

Walt Morey

Upon leaving the residential park, we realized that it’s actually an exclusive park for people living in the Morey’s Landing neighborhood of Wilsonville. We are now considering changing our name to Rebels on the Road.


For more information about the Champoeg State Heritage Area visit Oregon State Parks

Want to know how to pronounce Champoeg?

Book Review – Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer

Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer

“It should not be denied...that being footloose has always exhilarated us. It is associated in our minds with escape from history and oppression and law and irksome obligations, with absolute freedom, and the road has always led west.” 
-Wallace Stegner, The American West as Living Space

Into the Wild is the story of Christopher McCandless, an affluent young man who had been given all he could have ever needed or wanted financially-including a trust fund that he gave to the organization OXFAM, a charity committed to fighting hunger. Just over two years later Christopher’s alter-ego, Alexander Supertramp, died of starvation in the Alaskan Wilderness. While the end of his life was tragic, his thirst for life and adventure was not. 

The book is the result of Krakauer following in Alex’s footsteps through America. Alex made many friends along the way, and found a sense of family in complete strangers that he could never find with his own biological family.

He wanted nothing more than to be free. To live by his own intelligence and will. He wanted to go into the wild.

“I now walk into the wild.” 
―Jon Krakauer, Into the Wild

If you are travelers like we are at Write on the Road, then I must insist that you read this book. You will feel the emotional journey of Chris McCandless on a different level than the average person. You will be able to understand that wanderlust, and the desire to wake to a new view every single day.

If you don’t travel full time like we do, then I still must insist that you read the book. Find your own wanderlust. Feel the passion to see new horizons. Eat new food. Try the local beers. Hike new mountains.

Become a tramp…

“...make a radical change in your lifestyle and begin to boldly do things which you may previously never have thought of doing, or been too hesitant to attempt. So many people live within unhappy circumstances and yet will not take the initiative to change their situation because they are conditioned to a life of security, conformity, and conservation, all of which may appear to give one peace of mind, but in reality nothing is more damaging to the adventurous spirit within a man than a secure future. The very basic core of a man's living spirit is his passion for adventure. The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun. If you want to get more out of life, you must lose your inclination for monotonous security and adopt a helter-skelter style of life that will at first appear to you to be crazy. But once you become accustomed to such a life you will see its full meaning and its incredible beauty.” 
― Jon Krakauer, Into the Wild

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Story Time – Silver Rock by M.D. Parker

Write on the Road spent a few days drycamping in a ghost town. The spirits that resided there inspired M.D. Parker to share their story.

Silver Rock by M.D. Parker

She moved through the doorway with a small bundle of wood in her hands. The morning was cooler than she expected, and the fire needed stoking. Maria knelt down pulling open the heavy iron door. She tugged on her dress to keep the hem from catching under her sandaled feet. Only a little, she thought. Just enough to warm the water and take away the morning chill. The day would soon be warm enough. She closed the iron door and stood, wondering, if today would be the day he came back. Miguel still had not come home.

She loves him through his faults. Miguel is heavy with the drink, but no one works harder than he. She looks around the house. She should try more, she thinks. The wood is chipping and the whitewash she spread along the wall is cracking. She notices a dark stain near the door, like ground in charcoal. She fetches a bucket from outside the door. She returns with a small amount of water and lye soap to scrub it away, but there is no stain. Confused, she looks around before setting the bucket down and gives up trying to remember what she was looking for.

She can’t remember how long they’ve been there, but she can remember the man in his horseless buggy. She’d heard they were becoming very popular in the cities and soon they would be everywhere. She didn’t believe it. His horseless buggy couldn’t make it up the hills like her horse could. He had walked up the last hill to tell her that she would have to leave. The claim belonged to her husband and she was not entitled. Yes, entitled was the word he used. She knew the English, but the man in his fancy suit and horseless… “automobile” is what he called it, he used lots of words she was not familiar with. She chased him away with the rifle Miguel left standing by the door.

Maria cared very little for the fancy man, but she never wanted to hurt him. She just wanted to scare him; make him go. She had to keep everything ready for when Miguel returned. He will take care of the fancy man, and she will take care of their home. That was the deal when they came to the hills outside of Silver Rock, and everything had been going fine until the day…

She would not think of that day. She had work to do, right after she relieved herself. She stepped with care across the rough ground; just a few feet from their door to the outhouse. The sun, not fully over the mountain, did little to light the path.

The day passed, as so many others had, while she waited for Miguel. She filled their water from the hand pump over the well. She made herself some food and had some put away for Miguel. She tended to the plants in her makeshift garden that was bordered by rocks she had placed in concentric circles. She brushed off her dress and set to preparing the oil lamps as the sun touched the western hills. The moon already showed itself, full and bright, as it chased the sun away.

She heard them coming. A rumbling sound. They were following the same track that had been laid down by the uncountable trips with their wagon, hauling what Miguel had pulled from the mine on their way into Silver Rock to get the goods they needed. It came into view. Another horseless buggy, of sorts.

It was strange though, closed in like a carriage of painted metal. Not open like the fancy man’s. She watched as they stopped so near to her home. The wheels looked nothing like the ones on the fancy man’s. His had spokes like a wagon. These were solid and of the shiniest metal, like they were made from pure silver. How rich must the owner be to afford such extravagance? She grabbed the oil lamp from the mantel and turned for the door.  Stopping only a foot past the rifle. She raised the oil lamp to get a better view beyond the shadows thrown long by the setting sun and the rising moon. She could not help her mouth falling agape as people climbed from the carriage.

A man got out first first from the front of the carriage and looked around as if not seeing her. He wore denim of a quality she had never seen. A thin shirt hung over his torso, like an undershirt but with pictures painted on it. The woman that stepped out next was the reason for her shock. She looked like a harlot; a half naked working girl. She wore no dress. Her legs bare, her bottom covered only by some kind of tight fitting pant that ended high upon her thighs. She too wore a shirt with painted pictures, the front low enough to show hints of the breasts it barely covered. harlot or no, she felt a tinge of wonder if her own legs had looked like that before age had taken the youth from beneath her dress.

They both moved and spoke as if she was not there. Ignoring her as she called out to them. This man in his fancy carriage and his harlot companion had no business around her home. They continued to speak with no regard to her. They spoke in clear English, but some words she did not know. She continued to wonder at the woman who seemed so comfortable being so near to naked.  

Maria stepped out farther toward them, forgetting the rifle by the door.

“You see the burn marks? I told you she did it.” The man said to his companion, pointing just behind Maria.

“She must have been so sad,” the woman said.

Maria turned to see what the man was pointing at and saw the charcoal colored stain she had meant to clean up that morning. The two of them walked right passed her, straight into her home stepping with care.

Pare! No se puede entrar! She said too fast, forgetting her English.

“Did you hear that?” The woman was looking around.

“Hear what?” The man answered with his eyebrow up mocking the bare-skinned woman.

“Something, I’m not sure.”

He’s laughed then, “Don’t tell me you believe the stories about her ghost now?”

Maria reached for them. The man’s shoulder was closest to her. A startled half scream slipped past her lips as her hand passed through his shoulder like a wisp of smoke from a pipe. The man turned around and his face fell slack as he stumbled. Then it all became a blur. It happened so fast.

He screamed and the woman did not move but met Maria’s gaze, eye to eye. Maria shook away the shock, realizing she must have missed his shoulder, she had meant to grab him, to tell him to get out of her home. They had no right. She stepped forward yelling at them. Her Spanish and English mixing in her tirade.

Pare! Get out of my home. No entrar. LEAVE!

The man scrambled and stumbled as he tried with desperation to bring his feet under him. The woman broke the ice holding her feet to the ground and grabbed the man by his painted picture shirt. He swung his arms as he stood. Maria stepped in closer holding the lamp at him, shaking it with all the fury that masked her own fear. The man’s arms struck the lamp. Maria saw the flutter of a disturbed smoke trail as her hold on the lantern broke.

She screamed.

She heard the the glass on the lamp break as it found the hardened floor. The man’s eyes grew larger than the full moon inside their sockets.

LEAVE!

They tried to run from her. They tripped and stumbled as if climbing over something she could not see. Maria felt hot.

Panic stabbed at her mind, breaking her fury as she began to understand what happened to the lamp. Its oil splashed as it broke. Her dress ignited as the tiny flame found a new home. She screamed, not for them to leave, but for help, as the flames swirled around her.

The heat. The pain. All so fast.

She saw them fall through, more than run, out the side door. The one that opened toward the well pump. She flapped her arms against her dress, but the oil spread. She ran out the front door. Her body dropped to its knees. Her mind blank except for the pain. The heat. The smell.

Miguel?

Help me…

Por favor, Miguel.

Miguel did not come and the world fell darker than the night should be. The man and his harlot ran to their carriage. Through the flames that covered her eyes, she saw the wheels of silver rolling over the rocks.

She moved through the doorway with a small bundle of wood in her hands. The morning was cooler than she expected, and the fire needed stoking. Maria knelt down pulling open the heavy iron door. She tugged on her dress to keep the hem from catching under her sandaled feet. Only a little, she thought. Just enough to warm the water and take away the morning chill. The day would soon be warm enough. She closed the iron door and stood, wondering, if today would be the day he came back. Miguel still had not come home.


Read more in M.D. Parkers first collection. 
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