Saturday, May 31, 2014

Sun Lakes Park Resort, Coulee City, WA, Day 4

Saturday, May 31, 2014, Sun Lakes Park Resort, Coulee City, WA, Day 4 - 0 miles, 9246.4 For the Trip

Not much to report today. No photos. The campground is quite busy, with many kids running around. About all I did today was take a shower & read. Dinner was a grilled chicken breast & snap peas.

Until tomorrow -

Friday, May 30, 2014

Sun Lakes Park Resort, Coulee City, WA, Day 3

Friday, May 30, 2014, Sun Lakes Park Resort, Coulee City, WA, Day 3 - 0 miles, 9246.4 For the Trip

Still another relaxing day of doing pretty much nothing. I did discover what was making a strange, fast tapping noise. A Northern Flicker seems to have fallen in love with the sound of tapping on the light housing of the street light next to my site. Probably sounds better than a hollow tree; it is definitely louder!

As long as I had the camera out, I took a few photos of some of the other birds in the area. Actually, the park bird should be the seagull - they swoop back & forth looking for leftovers. I finally, after 3 days, had a hummingbird stop by the feeder. Photos at today's LakeshoreImages page.

Dinner was a salad & an Amy's frozen Thai dinner. I do wish they sold Amy's dinners in Oswego - they are all very good.

Until tomorrow -

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Sun Lakes Park Resort, Coulee City, WA, Day 2

Lenore Lake Cave, WA
Thursday, May 29, 2014, Sun Lakes Park Resort, Coulee City, WA - 0 miles, 9246.4 For the Trip

A pretty quiet day. I put out the trailer mat since I'm not parked where the concrete pad meets the door area of the trailer. Managed to stake three corners, and a small rock on the last. Around noon I headed to the Lake Lenore Caves State Park, about 12 miles south of the campground. The park consists of a parking lot & pit toilet. If you use a Garmin GPS to find it, it is actually 3 miles north on WA 17 from where it is indicated.

There was a bus load of students on a field trip at the first cave. Cave belongs in quotes, at least if you are used to real caverns. They consist of alcoves in the basalt rocks of the Coulee walls. They are deep enough to let you and the Native Americans who used them to get out of the rain, and the view from them is interesting, but they are barely caves. More photos at today's LakeshoreImages page.

Since I was most of the way to Soap Lake, I stopped at John's market for some fruit & vegetables. They had chicken patties on sale, so I bought a package & will have one for dinner and freeze the rest.

After that it was back to the campground to do some reading & playing the addictive "FarmVille 2 on my iPad.

Dinner, as I said was a chicken patty on a roll, and a mixture of broccoli & snap peas. The breaded, pre cooked patties are very good; far better than I expected.

Until tomorrow -

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Sun Lakes Park Resort (Dry Falls State Park), Coulee City, WA

Banks Lake Sunset
Wednesday, May 28, 2014, Sun Lakes Park Resort (Dry Falls State Park), Coulee City, WA - 7.5 miles, 9246.4 For the Trip

Today might be the record for the shortest move. I still can't understand Washington State Parks. In the case of Dry Falls, the state does not operate the RV park - Sun Lakes Park Resort, Inc leases the property from the state & runs the campground. Usually, that results in more expensive camping, but in this case full hookups are $26.00 per day, a little more than half of what the state would charge.

I even got one day at a 25% discount for booking on one side of the weekend (Thursday). I'm here for 4 days. They have 3 levels of sites - Standard, Premium, and Premium Plus @ $26.00, $28,00 & $30.00 for the off season rate. Not sure when the season starts, but we are currently off season. In season rates are $37.00, $41.00 & $43.00.

I don't see much of a difference between the sites, but some of the Premium Plus are end of row sites that have more room. I have full hookups and a concrete pad which is too far forward to be of much use. Very clean restrooms, however like most of Washington State's campgrounds, public or private, pay showers (although only a quarter for 5 minutes). They are interesting in that they provide cold water without paying & when your 5 minutes run out you better shut it off quickly or get doused with cold water!

I took a couple of photos of last night's sunset over the Banks Lake behind the campground. Other than that the only photo is the site one here at Sun Lakes. More photos at today's LakeshoreImages page.

It was cloudy, with rain off & on today. It did stop long enough that I could cook a steak for dinner, which I had with a salad.

Until tomorrow -

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Coulee City Community Park, Coulee City, WA

Dry Falls, WA
Tuesday, May 27, 2014, Coulee City Community Park, Coulee City, WA - 164.2 miles, 9238.9 For the Trip

I spent much of the day driving WA 26, 17, and US 2 to Coulee. I dropped the trailer at the City Community Park - $30.00 for a full hookup site. After dropping the trailer I drove to Dry Falls State Park, and discovered that for some strange reason, it is less expensive than the city park, so I'm going to move there tomorrow. While there is nothing wrong with the Community park, although it is a bit "worn", I don't mind saving $4.00 per day for a nicer spot.

I stopped to photograph Dry Falls, what, when it was flowing, was the largest waterfall in the world. They have a gangplank you can walk out on to see the view - I took a panorama, but will wait until later to assemble it. While I don't have much of a fear of heights, I have to admit the end of the narrow walkway does cause a stir of excitement!

After that I drove north to see Steamboat Rock State Park. This was more typical of Washington state parks - over $40.00 per night for a site with water & electric. I probably won't stop overnight, although it is a pretty campground. Photos at today's LakeshoreImages page.

By the time I got back to the trailer it was too late to thaw out something to cook for dinner (just an excuse) so I went to the Steamboat Restaurant (the only restaurant in Coulee City). I had a veal cutlet dinner for $12.03. While nothing special, I did have a great conversation with waitress & the couple at the table next to mine (we were the only customers).

Once back at the trailer, I defrosted the refrigerator. I have to admit it is not one of my favorite "trailer tasks", and when I was in the Arizona desert I rarely had to do it. Even though this part of Washington is considered desert, I'm back to needing to defrost every 3-4 weeks. Actually, it goes pretty quick - I use a plastic putty knife to scrape the fins after shutting it off for about 10 minutes. Overall, it is a 1/2 hour job.

Until tomorrow -

Boyer Park & Marina & Steptoe Butte, WA

View From Steptoe Butte State Park
Monday, May 26, 2014, Boyer Park & Marina, Colfax, WA - 103.6 miles, 9074.7 For the Trip

I hope everyone had a great Memorial Day weekend.

A bit of light rain overnight, but stopped by morning. Just enough to streak the dust on the RAV4 (of course that was after I spent 20 minutes wiping off the spots left by yesterday's rain). Anyway, I was out of the park by 10:00.

I was surprised by the lack of traffic on the roads on the last day of the holiday weekend, not that I'm complaining! I pulled into Boyer Park & Marina around noon, set up the trailer, then headed for Steptoe Butte State Park. From the description, I didn't want to pull the trailer to the top of the butte, besides which, there is no camping in the park. I'm glad I left the trailer at Colfax - quite a haul up a fairly narrow road to get to the top. The view is great, although I probably would have better color a month from now when there is more planted. Still, the fields and view are impressive. I did a panorama - like all of them, the best detail is in the large version, but unless you have a fast connection, it could take some time to download. Photos & the large panorama are at today's LakeshoreImages page.

After returning from Steptoe Butte, I checked with the restaurant at the campground - they are only open for lunch today & tomorrow, so I won't be able to cop out on making dinner (or breakfast). The site is quite nice, although expensive (seems like most of Washington is) at $39.89 for water & electric. The site is on the Snake River, which looks more like a string of narrow lakes since it is dammed & locked all the way to the Columbia River. It is interesting to see a tug go by with a radar mast, etc...

Since I don't have anything thawed, and it is too hot to fire up the toaster oven, it looks like it will be a couple of cheese brots & beans for dinner, although only if the wind dies down. Right now I don't believe the stove would stay lit long enough to cook the dogs. There is always soup on the stove inside.

While I was able to read a few web pages & get my mail, posting photos seems to be a lost cause - a very slow connection here at the campground. So, this probably won't appear until I hit a bit more civilization.

Until then -

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Four Seasons RV Resort, Walla Walla, WA, Day 4

Four Seasons RV Resort Fountain at Sunset
Sunday, May 25, 2014, Four Seasons RV Resort, Walla Walla, WA, Day 4, 0 miles, 8971.1 For the Trip

Another quiet Sunday. I started out reading the Syracuse Post Standard, catching up on the important things like the comics. While a bit cloudy, it was a nice, warm day, great for sitting out and reading, which I did. Just before dinnertime I drove to Oregon for gas - it is only 6 miles from the campground, and $.15 a gallon cheaper than here in Walla Walla. I stopped at Safeway on the way back & picked up some fried chicken & a salad for dinner.

The only photos for the day were taken last night during sunset. I couldn't pass up a long exposure of the fountain in front of the office. One more at today's LakeshoreImages page.

Until tomorrow -

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Four Seasons RV Resort, Walla Walla, WA & The Fort Walla Walla Musuem

27 Mule Combine
Saturday, May 24, 2014, Four Seasons RV Resort, Walla Walla, WA, Day 3, 0 miles, 8971.1 For the Trip

The rain stopped overnight, but it didn't clear up enough to see if the predicted meteor shower happened. According to the news today, it was a bust anyway.

I went to the Fort Walla Walla Museum today. Senior pricing was $6.00. Lots of photos, including a Shepherd's wagon that is a just a little larger than my trailer.

The museum has a number of inside, as well as outside exhibits, and a number of restored buildings. The first picture of the permanent wave machine looks like an electrical nightmare! I was impressed with the huge combine designed to be pulled with 27 mules. Well worth a visit. Pictures at today's LakeshoreImages page.

After that it was back to the trailer for a bit of reading & relaxing (and two "showings" of the trailer).

Dinner will be a grilled chicken breast & corn on the cob.

Until tomorrow -

Friday, May 23, 2014

Four Seasons RV Resort, Walla Walla, WA, Day 2

Friday, May 23, 2014, Four Seasons RV Resort, Walla Walla, WA, Day 2, 0 miles, 8971.1 For the Trip

Not a lot to journal about today. I spent most of it ducking the raindrops. As soon as I set up my chair outside, it would start to rain; as soon as I folded it up & headed into the trailer, it stopped. I did find an ophthalmologist that could do a pressure test without an appointment. I have glaucoma, and my doctor at home suggested I get a pressure test during the trip to be sure my eye meds were still doing their thing. I tried a couple of times, but they all needed multiple days or even weeks ahead appointments. Found a local one at the Walla Walla hospital that did the test & everything is OK. He wouldn't even charge for it - the reason? His secretary was from Albany, NY!

On the way back I took the RAV4 to O's Hand Car Wash for a bath. At $15.00, it was less expensive than the mechanical wash I use at home, and they did a great job. Only bad part is it was over an hour wait, but since I had my book with me, and didn't have anything planned for the day, who cares!

No photos for the day, so I used the "bird in a Musical Staff" photo taken at Palouse State Park.

I hit my first Chinese restaurant for dinner. It was a buffet, and I'd have to rate it just OK; I've had better (and worse).

Until tomorrow -

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Four Seasons RV Resort, Walla Walla, WA

Site 39, Four Seasons RV Resort
Thursday, May 22, 2014, Four Seasons RV Resort, Walla Walla, WA, 61 miles, 8971.1 For the Trip

The plan was to stop for the long weekend at Lewis & Clark Trail State Park, but a combination of a couple of inches of cottonwood tree fluff on the ground at most of the sites, and a charge of $32.00 for dry sites (with too much shade for the solar panel to be happy), I kept going down US 12 to Walla Walla. I needed to get there anyway to fill a couple of prescriptions. This time I'm trying Walgreens. According to the internet, they have the most stores, at least one in every state, so future refills might be easier than they have been so far.

The help at the pharmacy was great. It wasn't their problem, but New York's CSEA (the supplier of my secondary medical coverage as well as prescription plan) has again, like almost every year, changed their drug supplier. The problem is they sent the new card to my home address, and my son didn't realize it was a plan change so never forwarded the card. Fortunately, CSEA, while annoying in that they change suppliers (and sometimes, approved drugs) every year, are pretty good on the phone. Only about 5 "speak clearlies & number punches to get to a real person, who gave me all the new code numbers. I did have one prescription that needed to be transferred (there are no CVS stores in Oregon or Washington) that will take a day or two. Hope it works...

Not too much to say about the park. It is far from a campground, although I do have a picnic table. I'm in a grass site (#39) at $37.00 per night for full hookups + cable, fairly close to the bathrooms & laundry. A level pull through (at least it was) since I had to pull through another site to get to mine. Very well kept up grounds, with fountains, lots of decorations, and, while some permanent residents, very neat. The only photo is the site photo ( I just can't call it a campsite photo!)

After picking up my prescriptions I headed to Walmart to pick up a new hummingbird feeder hanger (I seem to have left the last one at Maryhill State Park) plus a new tire pressure gauge. I dropped my good dial type on the pavement, and it died. Too bad, since I've been carrying it since 1990. I suspect the new digital one I bought won't last anywhere near as long. Another short stop at Safeway for supplies, and I'm back at the campground. It is hot out - high 80's, but there is a tree providing shade for my trailer & chair. According to the weather on the local radio station, it is going to go down to 50 tonight, so it should be comfortable sleeping. I'm running the fan at full speed. I have an air conditioner, but just can't bring myself to running it.

Dinner will be a left over chicken breast fillet & rice, and a salad.

Until tomorrow -

Palouse Falls state Park, WA, Day 3

Palouse Falls, WA
Wednesday, May 10, 2014, Palouse Falls state Park, WA, Day 3 - 0 miles, 8910.1 For the Trip

This morning I played campground host. The only park employee I've seen so far has been the grounds keeper, and it must have been her day off - no one raised the flags, and I never saw the truck. Because I'm in the host position, everyone assumes that's what I am!

A little before lunch I decided to wash the trailer. I scrubbed about 8 months worth of bugs off the front, and lots or road dust off the rest of it. I also put a quick coat of wax on the front; keeping it waxed makes it easier to scrub off the bugs. I thought about washing the RAV4, but decided that I'd wait until I'm unhooked somewhere & head for a car wash.

I took a photo of the park sign and a couple of other non waterfall photos with the Nikon D200. The bird on the wire reminded me of the ad for public TV that had a composer using the birds on the wires outside his window to write a melody. Only one bird, so only one note, but I liked the effect. The railroad track is in a gully that is deep enough that even though it is just 50' from the campsite, you barely hear the trains.

The clouds managed to stay around this evening and after dinner (which was a chicken breast fillet, rice & snap peas) I headed back to the falls. Unfortunately, while there was some color on the horizon, it was behind us, not over the falls. And I do mean us. The last two nights there were only one or two photographers; tonight there were at least 10. It looked pretty funny with the row of us lined up along the edge of the overlook. Photos at today's LakeshoreImages page.

Until I have a data connection -

Palouse Falls state Park, WA, Day 2

Upper Palouse Falls, WA
Tuesday, May 20, 2014, Palouse Falls state Park, WA, 0 miles, 8910.1 For the Trip

The star photos were not worth posting - I may try again tonight, however the clouds I wanted for the fall photos are here, so if the sunset cooperates, I'll have better sunset photos, but tough star photos.

I hiked up river to the Upper Palouse Falls just before lunch. Not as impressive a drop, but still very pretty with lots of white water. There was a trail down to the river at both falls, but I really didn't want to do the hike back up, so I shot both from the top. I did meet a guy that made the loop to the bottom of Palouse Falls, and while it only took him a couple of hours, he was a lot younger, and admitted to being a trail runner!

Other than the short hike, I spent most of the day reading. Since there was many fluffy clouds in the sky during the afternoon, I was hoping for more interesting skies to shoot the falls around sunset. Unfortunately, they all disappeared after dinner, and the sky was flatter than yesterday. I still went back to both falls and took a few images, but I sure wish it would storm. Now, how often have you heard me say that!  More photos at today's LakeshoreImages page.

Dinner was a turkey burger & chips.

Until I have a data connection -

Palouse Falls state Park, WA

Host Site, Palouse Falls State Park, WA
Monday, May 19, 2014, Palouse Falls state Park, WA, 33.4 miles, 8910.1 For the Trip

A short drive from Connell to palouse Falls State Park. While the roads are shown as the smallest paved on my AAA map, they are good two lane roads that only have a few spots that require slowing down from the 60 - 65 MPH speed limit. The final couple of miles into the park are on a well maintained gravel road.

The only sites in the park are walk in tent sites. You can park in front of a couple of them; there is one Class C RV already doing that. I had a choice of parking next to it or heading to the overflow parking lot, which wouldn't have a table or anything but space. The groundskeeper had another suggestion - there is an unused host site that has full hookups. Even though it is more expensive, I went for it. Shade, I can use my toaster oven & electric heater, and all the good things with hookups. It is $33.00 per night & I signed up for three nights.

I took a couple of photos of the falls under lousy lighting conditions, although the clouds were nice, and the second set had a rainbow at the base of the falls. There is an interesting rock formation to the left of the falls, & I shot it with a person next to it to show the size. I hope over the next couple of days to get some nice sunset & sunride images. It is an interesting falls - it appears out of nowhere and plunges into a large pool, exiting as a pretty river.

Unfortunately, while I have a cell signal on the data hotspot that switches back & forth between 1X & 3G, there is no data connection. AT&T, as usual for areas away from civilization, has no service. So, it will be a couple of days before I do any posting.

I want to know why when you want a cloudy sunset (with lots of color) you get clear skies, and when you want to shoot the stars or moon, the clouds roll in. While the light warmed up for the sunset images, there wasn't much detail in the sky. Since it is pretty clear, and there doesn't seem to be much light around, I'll try for some star photos tonight. More photos at today's lakeshoreImages page.

Dinner will be a steak, mixed vegetables & a salad.

Until I have a data connection -

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Coyote Run RV Park, Connell, WA

Along US 97
Sunday, May 18, 2014, Coyote Run RV Park, Connell, WA, 157.7 miles, 8876.7 For the Trip

I headed out of Maryhill State Park around 10:00. I forgot to turn in my "comments" card, and wish I had. At $40.83 per night, it is the most expensive state park I've stayed in anywhere in the US, and on top of that, they charge $.50 for 3 minutes of shower! I know, I whined about the shower cost a couple of posts ago... I guess I'll save the card & drop it off at the next Washington state park.

I stopped just outside the park on US 97 to photograph some windmills on the hills. Someone told me that this is the area where the photo that was used for the opening screen of Windows XP. Don't know it that's true, but the hills do resemble the image.  Another photo at today's LakeshoreImages page.

The only other photo is the site picture - site 67 at Coyote Run RV Park. At $25.53 for full hookups & cable TV, it is not to bad a deal. Lots of permanent residents, but well kept up. Very windy - I don't thing I'll be grilling tonight, not that that would be all that easy - no picnic tables at my site, although some sites have them. Individual bathrooms needing a key with a $5.00 deposit, with a large shower. One problem - most of the hooks for your clothes are broken, so there isn't much in the way of places to put things. In the one I was in there was no hot water at the sink, but since there was no mirror, you didn't need it for shaving, which I did in the shower. Still, very clean, with a shower curtain to keep the room dry.

Dinner will be soup or a sandwich.

Until tomorrow -

Maryhill State Park, WA, Day 3 & Washington NOG

Pot Luck Dinner, Washington NOG
Friday, May 17, 2014, Maryhill State Park, WA, Day 3 - 0 miles, 8719.0 For the Trip

Today is the last official day of the NOG (Which stands for Non Organized Gathering). Rather than my usual pie, I decided to make sweet & sour meatballs. I put the meatballs in the crock pot around 12:00 - they were done by 4:00, so next time I'll start them a little later. I used frozen meatballs; not as good as when I make it with onions & fresh ground beef, but there are limits to what I can prepare in the trailer. Lots of photos of the pot luck dinner, and the handing out of door prizes. I won a towel rack.  Photos at today's LakeshoreImages page, and all of the NOG photos here.

There is a large version of the panorama above, however is is a 18MB file, so only open it if you have a fast connection. After cleaning up after the pot luck I met a geology teacher from Holland who was wondering why he finally found a campground with the "proper sized caravans"! We talked for awhile about some of the parks he and his father visited, and I explained about fiberglass trailer groups.

Dinner was the pot luck - lots of great food including a birthday cake!

Until tomorrow -

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Maryhill State Park, WA, Day 2 & NOG, Day 1

Stonehenge WW I Memorial
Friday, May 16, 2014, Maryhill State Park, WA, Day 2 - 0 miles, 8719.0 For the Trip

I played tourist today. First stop - Stonehenge, no, not the one in England, but right here in Maryhill just a couple of miles from the campground. It was built by Sam Hill as a World War I memorial.

After the memorial, I headed for the Maryhill Museum of Art. The building was planned as a private residence for Sam Hill, however he converted it to a museum and never lived there. It is an amazing collection of memorabilia from Queen Maria of Romania, paintings & sculptures, and a large collection of Native American artifacts. I enjoyed the Theatre De La Mode exhibits as well as a large collection of chess pieces. Another surprise was the Rodin Gallery, a collection of his sculptures.

After the museum, I made a short stop to see a historic locomotive. It didn't photograph well since it was in a small cage, but it was a huge engine. The last stop was a drive west along WA 14 to Dale Mountain Road. There were suppose to be wildflowers in bloom, but I was either too early or too late - not much other than a couple of interesting trees.

When I got back to the campground I made a round of the park taking photos of all the trailers; even got one of me.

After that it was time to head to Paul & Norma's site for hot dogs, a beer exchange, and sitting around the fire. Lots of photos at today's LakeshoreImages page.

Until tomorrow -

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Maryhill State Park, WA

Mt Hood, OR
Thursday, May 15, 2014, Maryhill State Park, WA, 163 miles, 8719.0 For the Trip

I headed out around 10:00 for Maryhill State Park in Washington. Matilda, my GPS wanted me to drive all the way on I84, and cross the Columbia River at the bridge next to the campground, but I was tired of interstates, and crossed at "The Bridge of the Gods", and drove most of the way on WA 14.

The Bridge of the Gods is now an actual metal bridge (a $1.50 toll when towing a single axle trailer) but there was an natural "bridge" at one time - it seems there was an land bridge for awhile caused by a landslide, as well as a Native American legend that is far more interesting. Here is Wikipedia's take on it. No photo of the bridge - I was hoping to stop in the middle since there was a flagman on the bridge, but I got waved on, so you will have to do with the sign for the trailhead.

I arrived at the campground a little after noon, got set up, and said hello to a number of fiberglass trailer owners already here. There are about 11 trailers here already, with many more expected tomorrow. I didn't take any photos of them; will wait until tomorrow to make the rounds with the camera.

I did take a few along WA 14 - a pretty road overlooking the Columbia River with many tunnels, and peeks at Mount Hood along the way. I also shot some flowers - bright orange & yellow poppy looking that grow wild along the road. I'm in site 3 at the campground. I checked out the bathrooms - typical of state parks everywhere, however I was a bit surprised to find that here at the most expensive state park I've stayed at they charge $.50 for a 3 minutes shower!

More photos at today's LakeshoreImages page.

Dinner was a grilled chicken breast & the rest of the coleslaw from Tuesday.

Until tomorrow -

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Portland Fairview RV Park, OR

Site 53, Portland Fairview RV Park
Wednesday, May 14, 2014, Portland Fairview RV Park, OR - 20.6 miles, 8556.0 For the Trip

Alright, I suppose I shouldn't complain about the hot weather since it has been pretty cool for most of my stay in Oregon, but today it was in the high 90's. In fact, even now at 8:00, it is still 89°F outside.

When checking my email this morning there was a message from REI that my order was in. So, after a short 20 mile drive to Portland Fairview RV Park, I dropped the trailer and headed to REI. No problems picking up the shelter sides, and I was back at the campground by 11:30. The RV park is one of the cleanest I've stayed in, all the way from the sites to the bathrooms & showers. More expensive than I've been paying lately; $38.52 with the Bed & Lodging tax for full hookups plus cable TV. Since it is only for one night, I can deal with it. I'm in site 53, two sites away from where I was in the same park in 2012. No other photos today.

I did two loads of laundry and spent the rest of the day reading in the shade of the awning. I did make a run to the Walmart just down the street & picked up dinner - a frozen pizza. Since it was a standard rather than thin crust, I have enough left over for lunch tomorrow.

Until tomorrow -

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Ainsworth State Park, OR, Day 3

Stream Below Wahcella Falls
Tuesday, May 13, 2014, Ainsworth State Park, OR, Day 3 - 0 miles, 8535.4 For the Trip

Another day, and two more waterfalls. I headed out around 8:30, bound & determined to get to both falls before the sun came over the sides of the gorge. I didn't quite make it, but at least the falls were both in shade. I found that, as usual, I spent more time photographing the cascades in the stream than the waterfalls, at least with Wahclella Falls.

After the Wahclella Falls hike, I stopped to see the sturgeon pond at the local fish hatchery across the road. While we have a few sturgeon in the Oswego River in NY, I don't believe any of them get to the size of these. The largest was over 10' long. Photos are tough because they are through a glass window, but still interesting. They also have many other buildings & ponds, etc at the hatchery, including a section filled with huge rainbow trout, but I didn't get to all of them since I still wanted to shoot Elowah Falls. They do have the nicest decorated restrooms I've seen in awhile.

The stream feeding Elowah Falls is too far below the trail for most of the way to photograph it, but there were a number of lovely cascades hundreds of feet below & through the trees. At the falls, the spray made taking photos tough. I had to attempt to line up the shot with the camera covered, then pull the cover long enough to shoot. I still managed to take a number of images covered with droplets of spray. There is a wonderful shot of this waterfall taken by Darren White in the Photographing Oregon book by Greg Vaughn (it is a book in the same format as the series "Photographing the Southwest" by Laurent Martres). I could figure out where he positioned the camera to take it, but he must be younger than I am; I skipped the climb down a steep, wet bank of rock & gravel. Still, if you have the book, check the image on page 152. Excellent! Lots of photographs at today's LakeshoreImages page.

After Elowah Falls I headed back to the campground & signed up for one more day. Nothing from REI on my shelter sides - I was hoping they would be in early, but it still looks like the scheduled date of Thursday, or later. I do need to find a campground that has a laundry or a laundromat, so depending on what I hear (or don't hear) from REI, I'll have to decide where to head tomorrow. Since every mile towards Portland is a mile away from Maryhill State Park (my Thursday destination), I'll skip heading west if I don't hear from them.

I'm trying to make room in the freezer, so dinner is going to be another Amy's Cheese Enchilada. After posting, I'm going to sit out in the sun & enjoy the warm weather!

Until tomorrow -

Monday, May 12, 2014

Ainsworth State Park, OR, Day 2 & Waterfalls

Upper Horsetail Falls, OR
Monday, May 12, 2014, Ainsworth State Park, OR, Day 2 - 0 miles, 8535.4 For the Trip

I got an early start on the trail above the campground to a couple of waterfalls. Since if was a clear day, I wanted to reach the falls before the sunlight broke over the sides of the Columbia Gorge. Unfortunately, I hiked almost a mile in the wrong direction, and by the time I reached Oneonta Falls, the sun was out. Upper Horsetail Falls (also sometimes called Ponytail Falls) was still in shade, and I'm happy with the photos. It is another waterfall with a cave behind it that you can use to cross behind the falls. More at today's LakeshoreImages page.

At Oneonta Falls there is a bridge that is damaged - a sign states it is safe for people to cross one at a time. I didn't see the damage, and it felt solid, but we all obeyed the sign! After Oneonta Falls, I backtracked to the part of the trail that went down to the Horsetail Falls parking lot & took a photo of the falls. Rather than climb half way up the side of the mountain to take the trail, I walked along OR 30 to get back to the campground. It parallels the railroad tracks, so I got to take a photo of one of the campground noise makers. Overall, I sure got my 2 miles in today. More like 4 miles and it felt like all of it was uphill!

Dinner was a Amy's Cheese Enchilada.

Until tomorrow -

Ainsworth State Park, OR

Multnomah Falls, OR
Sunday, May 11, 2014, Ainsworth State Park, OR - 126 miles, 8535.4 For the Trip

It wasn't too bad a sunset over the marina, so I took a photo. This morning most of the driving was on I84. I'm in site B24 at Ainsworth State Park. The park is fairly empty. Part of the reason is there is a fair amount of traffic noise from I84, and an active railroad track is also close by. Also, since it is in the shadow of the mountains on the side of the Columbia River Gorge, and lots of shade trees, it is cool. Probably a good thing later in the summer, but I'd rather have sun. In any case, I'm here for two days.

After setting up the trailer I drove into Portland to return a effects projector to Fry Electronics (the speed control didn't work). I also stopped at REI to pick up 3 side walls for my Caddis Easy Up. I checked on REI's website, and the only store in the area that had them was Tigard, OR store. The problem - don't trust computerized inventory. They didn't have any & I wanted 3. So, I ordered them, had them shipped to the store, and, it everything goes like it should, they will be in the store on Thursday. I'll pick them up on my way to Maryhill (I know, Tigard is not on the way, but I'll be closer to Portland on Wednesday.) If they come in late, I'll pick them up after the rally at Maryhill.

On the way back to the campground I stopped at Multnomah Falls. Not as crowded as the last time I was here when I had to circle the parking lot three times before I found a space, but harsher lighting. It is an impressive drop, but not the prettiest waterfall I've seen. The cover over the bridge between sections doesn't help. The rest of today's photos are at the LakeshoreImages page.

Dinner was a grilled port chop, and coleslaw.

Until tomorrow -

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Boardman Marina & RV Park, Day 2

Me Relaxing With a Book
Saturday, May 10, 2014, Boardman Marina & RV Park, Day 2, Boardman, OR - 0 miles, 8409.4 For the Trip

A very nice day today, with temperatures in the mid 60's and bright skies (lots of clouds mixed with blue). For those that are annoyed by trains, there is a railroad close to this end of the campground (although not much further away for most of the sites). Fairly heavy traffic during the day, but only a few toot their horns as they go by. Little traffic at night, and no horns. I took a photo of the marina at the campground - nice to see sailboats! For those that have never seen the Columbia River, I also took one of it. Finally, I used the self timer to take a photo of what I do on a pleasant day. Note the short hair! Photos at today's LakeshoreImages page.

About all I did for the day was read, relax, and take a shower.

I made a run to the local grocery store for milk, and gave in to Deli Fried Chicken & Macaroni & Cheese for dinner. While it probably isn't the best choice for healthy dining, it sure was good!

Until tomorrow -

Friday, May 9, 2014

Boardman Marina & RV Park, Boardman, OR

Site 7, Boardman Marine & RV Park, Boardman, OR
Friday, May 9, 2014, Boardman Marina & RV Park, Boardman, OR - 91.4 miles, 8409.4 For the Trip

Well, for those that read yesterday's post, dinner was soup. It started to rain a short time after I posted, and continued off & on for the rest of the day and much of the night. I packed up in the morning, and as I was getting into the RAV4 to pull out, a school bus pulled into the one lane, one way road just in front of my site, stopped, and started letting the kids out one at a time to use the campground bathroom. I waited around 5 minutes, and it looked like they were going to be there a long time, so I got out and asked the driver if he could drive around the loop so I could get out. He was nice about it & pulled far enough ahead that I could sneak by in a pull through site. I guess they don't have a lot of choices since I've never seen a school bus with bathrooms, and things are far apart around here.

I joined I84 at Pendelton, and stopped for the next two days at the Boardman Marina & RV Park. It was suggested by a neighbor when I was at Lake Owyhee State Park, and I'll have to agree that it is a very nice park. Lots of open, green space on the shore of the Columbia River. $23.75 per night for full hookups, and a good view of the river from my site. There are more expensive sites right on the river that are probably great in the summer, but I'm glad I'm further away with the cool wind that is blowing today. I'm in site 7, and the only thing I don't like about it is the long walk to the showers.

There is a middle sized grocery store here in town. Well stocked, with a large Mexican food section, but expensive. Don't use Garmin's GPS address for finding a grocery store - I drove by the real one going to the one Garmin suggested, which turned out to be a house a few miles beyond the actual store.

No photos other than the site photo above.

If the wind dies down enough, I'll cook the chicken fillets, if not, it will be an Amy's Cheese Enchilada Dinner.

Until tomorrow -

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Ukiah-Dale Forest State Park, OR

Some Thistles
Thursday, May 8, 2014, Ukiah-Dale Forest State Park, OR, - 66.3 miles, 8318.0 For the Trip

An uneventful drive up US 395 (I believe that over the last three years, I have traveled most of this road) to Ukiah. While I haven't seen the town (if there is one), I'm in the Ukiah-Dale Forest State Park, a small, dry campground (it does have flush toilets, but no showers) in site 4. While dry camping, it is a beautiful location, with a small river running about 20' behind my trailer, and lots of Ponderosa Pines scattered throughout the campground. Other than the campsite photos (I took two to show the stream) all I have is a photo of a thistle seen above.  Campground photos at today's LakeshoreImages page. 

Dinner depends on the weather, Rain is predicted, but it seems to be holding off, at least for the time being. If it stays away, it will be grilled chicken fillets; if not, a can of soup.

Until tomorrow -

Clyde Holliday State Park, OR & John Day Fossil Beds

Painted Hills, John Day Fossil Bed National Monument
Wednesday, May 7, 2014, Clyde Holliday State Park, OR & John Day Fossil Beds, - 0 miles, 8251.7 For the Trip

While there were 0 miles on the trailer, the RAV4 didn't relax! I got an early start to visit the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument, and managed to put almost 300 miles on the clock. It is a large national monument, spread over three major sections. I visited the Sheep Rock Unit, and the Painted Hills, but skipped the Clarno Unit. Lots of photos - I'll do a separate page for most of them, but there are a few on today's LakeshoreImages page.

I shot a couple of panoramas, and used one of them for today's photo. If you have a fast internet connection, Here is a large (2.62MB) version.

It is an interesting place with all kinds of colors & formations. Not too many visitors, although I did meet and talked with an artist on one of the trails. My poor RAV4 is very dirty - many of the roads in the monument are gravel; good condition, but dusty. There are no car washes in John Day, so washing will have to wait.

Since it was already 5:30 when I got back to the campground, I picked up some baked chicken at the Thriftway grocery store in John Day.

Until tomorrow -

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Clyde Holliday State Park, OR & The Kam Wah Chung State heritage Site

Kam Wah Chung & Co
Tuesday, May 6, 2014, Clyde Holliday State Park, OR, - 130.9 miles, 8251.7 For the Trip

I left Farewell Bend around 10:00 ( I think, not sure whether it is on Mountain Time or Pacific Time). I was going to stop at the dump station, but there was a line, so I skipped it. I am good for at least 3 weeks as long as the campgrounds I'm in have showers. A boring drive up I84 to Baker City, then a very nice drive on OR 7 & US 26 to Clyde Holliday State Park. When I stopped for gas in Baker City, I asked if there was snow in the passes on OR 7 (they are close to 5000') and was told there were no problems, and although there was a little on the sides, the road was dry. I stopped to take a few photos of the view & an interesting barn on OR 7.  See them at today's LakeshoreImages page.

I arrived at the campground around 12:30. Fairly empty, although as I type this at 6:00, there are a few more RVs & tents moving in. This is one of the few Oregon State Parks that doesn't take reservations. Very nice level sites with lots of shade trees, clean bathrooms with individual shower rooms, at the usual $24.00 per night for water & electric.

After setting up the trailer I headed back to John Day (about 8 miles east of the campground) to see the Kam Wah Chung State Heritage Site. A couple of Oregonians recommended it to me so I had to stop. I took the tour of the building, and was impressed with both the site & the guide. I took lots of photos, however since they don't allow flash & they were all hand held (shot at an ISO of 1250) they are not as sharp as I'd like. Still, they show what the place is like. There are a few at today's LakeshoreImages page,  more on their own page.

I stopped on the way back to the campground at the local grocery store for some supplies & a Paul Newman Thin Crust Pizza for dinner. Kind of early to eat, but as I've mentioned before, they don't fit in the freezer, so if I buy one I have to cook it immediately.

Until tomorrow -

Monday, May 5, 2014

Farewell Bend State Park, OR, Day 2

Monday, May 5, 2014, Farewell Bend State Park, OR, Day 2 - 0 miles, 8120.8 For the Trip

Cloudy & cool, with light rain off & on during the day. I didn't do much - took a walk around the campground loops between rains, did some reading, and played FarmVille 2 for a bit. It is a little addictive! I did add a link to my home page that links to the various Fiberglass Trailer rallies I've attended.

No photographs for the day. I hope it warms up enough for a shower this afternoon. Dinner will be spaghetti & meatballs if it stops raining long enough to cook them outside. If not, an Amy's Cheese Enchilada dinner.

Until tomorrow -

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Farewell Bend State Park, OR

One Lane Tunnel, Owyhee Park Road

Sunday, May 4, 2014, Farewell Bend State Park, OR - 74.1 miles, 8120.8 For the Trip

While I got a late start today (I spent some of the morning defrosting the refrigerator) I only had to drive 75 miles, and with the switch back to the Pacific time zone, even though I left the campground at 10:30, I arrived at Farewell Bend State Park by 12:30 including with a short stop at the Ontario Home Depot & Walmart on the way.

Farewell Bend has three loops - I'm in the center one which is quite nice. A fair amount of shade, and hedges between sites. Electric & water for $24.00. While there isn't a lot to do in the area, I'm going to stay two days. I do have internet, although somewhat slow, but no AT&T service, so I can't make my usual Sunday phone calls. While the campground is only a mile or so from I 84, there is no road noise. There is a railroad near the park, but while you can hear the trains, they don't blow their horns, and they are far enough away that they don't bother me.

I added some photos I took on the way out of Owyhee State Park, including one of the one lane tunnel.  Photos at today's LakeshoreImages page.

Dinner was a New York strip steak, corn on the cob ( a bit old - I should know better than to buy fresh vegetables at Walmart!) and Korr's Cheese & Broccoli Noodles.

Until tomorrow -

Owyhee State Park, McCormack Campground, OR, Day 2

Bullock's Oriole?
Saturday, May 3, 2014, Owyhee State Park, McCormack Campground, OR, Day 2 - 0 miles, 8046.7 For the Trip

A little cooler today - yesterday's 85°F was a little warmer than I'd like. I didn't do anything other than read & take some photos sitting in my chair. A motorcyclist managed to run off the road & a Life Flight took him away. While it is hard to call him lucky, there are many sections of the road into the park where the only thing you would need after running off the road would be a hearse.

The rest of the photos are of some of the bird life in the campground. While I have my hummingbird feeder out, I've only seen one once, and I didn't have the camera at the time. More images at today's LakeshoreImages page.

The big event for the day was a shower just before dinner, which was a Creamy Mushroom Pot Pie.

Until the Next Internet Connection -

Owyhee State Park, McCormack Campground, OR

Site 28, McCormack Campground, Lake Owyhee State Park, OR
Friday, May 2, 2014, Owyhee State Park, McCormack Campground, OR - 172.9 miles, 8046.7 For the Trip

A longer drive than I've been used to, particularly the last 30 miles (more about that later). I stopped in Vale for gas & groceries. Unfortunately, I browsed the fish counter and thought I found some nice flounder. The last time I had flounder it was a few hours out of the ocean at Nantucket, and was excellent, so I gave it a try (more about that later).

The roads between Vale & Lake Owyhee are one step above unpaved on my AAA map. They started out OK, in fact, better than US 20, but the closer I got to the park, the narrower and poorer condition they became. There are sections in the last 15 miles (speed limit 25MPH) that are really only one and one half lanes, (including a one lane tunnel) with lots of turns that larger RVs need the full width to drive. While I met a few on the way in, they were all in straight sections so neither of us had to back up.

There are two campgrounds in the park - the McCormack & Indian Creek. I'm in a water & electric site(# 28) at McCormack for $22.00 per night. A long, level site (in both directions) so I didn't unhook. I paid for two nights, however if someone reserved my site for Saturday, I'll have to move. It won't be a problem - of the 31 electric sites, only about 10 are filled. It is a pretty location, with the campsites overlooking Lake Owyhee. The lake level looks to be at least 20' lower that normal - some boat ramps are difficult to use & there is a "bathtub ring" on the shoreline. I'll try for some more photos of the lake tomorrow unless there is a good sunset tonight. More photos at today's LakeshoreImages page.

Back to the fish - I should realize that fresh fish hundreds of miles from the ocean isn't a good idea, and, as I opened the package to start dinner, the fishy smell was a warning. I tried cooking it anyway, and it turned to mush. I finally gave up & turned what was going to be a side salad into dinner. Live and learn!

By the way, you won't be hearing from me for the next two days. There is no AT&T service here in the campground, and only 1X Verizon (no data). So, until I drive about 30 miles north, I'm off line.

Until the Next Internet Connection -

Thursday, May 1, 2014

The Narrows RV Park, OR

Site 13, The Narrows RV Park, Princeton, OR
Thursday, May 1, 2014, The Narrows RV Park, OR - 154 miles, 7873.8 For the Trip

I was up early, but somehow didn't get out of the campground until 9:30. Another nice day with temperatures in the mid 70's, although more clouds than yesterday. A long drive through the high desert. Kind of boring with wide, open spaces. Lots of scrub, with sections of cattle ranches & irrigated grassland. I stopped for coffee at the town of Brothers, which is mostly a Cafe. Very nice people - they made a entire fresh pot of decaf for my one cup.

I turned south at Burns on OR 205 and am in site 13 at The Narrows RV Park. While on gravel, it is full hookups for $23,64 with my Good Sam's discount. Very clean park & restrooms - individual rooms with shower, however be warned - a shower is $2.50 for 5 minutes! There is a restaurant in the park; I'll probably hit it for breakfast. They also have a laundry - $1.50 for wash & dry. It was definitely time - did two loads. The laundry library was disappointing. While there were lots of books, they were all bodice ripping romance novels!

The only photo for the day is the campsite:

Dinner was a cheeseburger, corn on the cob, and some Cape Cod Waffle cut chips. You can tell I bought them at 100', and went to open the bag at 4124'. It was blown up like a balloon, and popped open!

Until Next Time -