By Sharon Wootton, Columnist
Sandy Moran has been “settled” for 20 years, but now it’s time to roam once again.
“We’ve been a little like Gypsies just about our whole life,” said Moran, 62, of herself and husband Jim, 64. The two were divorced, then later remarried on an Australian beach.
When they were first married, vacations led to “Let’s move there!” and subsequent moves.
They’re selling their home this year, climbing into their 21-foot Roadtrek Sprinter van (22 to 25 mpg) in December with dog Hailey, and taking off for points yet-to-be-decided.
Sandy Moran is tuning up for the trip with a blog, roadtrekgirl.blogspot.com, which I stumbled across one day while roaming the Web. Her plans are to regularly post words and photographs as they travel.
She writes well, and posts photographs. Her blogs offer tips on how they changed the van’s 125-square-foot interior (not including driver and passenger space).
One tip was to remove the seat behind the passenger seat and replace it with a cabinet for their folding bicycles and grill.
She gives the retail names of products that work well but is not paid by any company to do so, as well as tips on food at local eateries, and recipes for small spaces (think boat galley). She also writes seattlepastrygirl.blogspot.com.
One blog was on Cape Disappointment with words to the wise about campsites (few are close to the ocean), favorite (No. 106) and recreation (perfect for bicycling).
The trip to Boundary Bay Regional Park in British Columbia produced an abundance of eagle and owl photographs and descriptions of where they saw both. Pictures of Rialto Beach allowed readers to follow them for breaking surf, sea stacks, surfers, birds, and a family of inukshuks, stone monuments made by beachwalkers.
The Morans’ family will be following her blog and trying not to worry.
“They think we’re crazy. They say, ‘Why don’t you keep your house?’ I think they’re just in the frame of mind that you need to have roots.
“My husband sometimes wonders, too. He said, ‘Do you think you’ll ever be normal?’ I think I am normal! I think it’s the beginning of a marvelous adventure.”
Be swift about it: Vaux’s swifts soon will be roosting in the chimney at Monroe’s Wagner Center (formerly Frank Wagner Elementary School).
The migrating birds visit each spring and fall, and are an astonishing sight as they dive into the chimney by the thousands.
Pilchuck Audubon’s Monroe Swift Watch committee and the Monroe Swift Night Out committee are recruiting volunteers to monitor the chimney each night during the two migrations.
You can join the fun by attending a planning meeting at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the Goddard Room at Valley General Hospital, 14701 179th Ave. SE, Monroe.
Bird blog: Check out birdmandea.blogspot.com. Heavy on photographs and light on words, the recent posts include photographs on eagles, crows and clams, peach pits and parking lots.
Columnist Sharon Wootton can be reached at 360-468-3964 or www.songandword.com.