Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Mountain Home KOA, ID

Site 9, Mountain Home KOA, ID

Tuesday, July 31 -Mountain Home KOA, Mountain Home, ID - 234.5 Miles Today, 11,448.3 For the Trip

Another uneventful, photographless (is that a word?) day, although it does make 3 months since I left Oswego. I sure have seen a lot of the country!

I did get up early - might have had something to do with the temperature in the trailer at 6:00AM - 52°F, & 42°F outside. It was a lot warmer when I went to bed! I crawled across the trailer, got out the electric heater & fired it up so by 6:45 it was up to 65F & I climbed out of bed. I was on the road by 7:30AM, and spent almost all of it driving on I 84. There are not a lot of other choices to head towards Arco, ID. I think I will make a quick visit to the Tetons on my way to Colorado. A bit out of the way, but I do like the park...

I stopped for the night at a KOA in Mountain Home. The manager/owner wasn't at the park, but a call on the phone put me in site 9. It is hot! Going from the 40's to 106°F in 8 hours is something I'd rather not do too often. You may notice the refrigerator lower door propped open in the campground photo. It is working, but I've added a furnace filter to the cover to try to keep the flame from blowing out while traveling. I think it helps, but it still blows out some of the time, and when stopped, probably cuts down the amount of cooling air going up the back of the coils. Since it is so hot I decided to prop it open. Seems to be helping - the freezer got up to 17°F while driving & is now down to 14°F and dropping even though the outside temperature has only dropped to 105F.

The plan for dinner is to eat more of the pork loin along with a salad. I couldn't find my current addiction - Starbucks Caramel Macchiato Ice Cream so I'm reduced to Klondike Krunch ice cream bars for desert.

I'll have to decide tomorrow whether it is cool enough to go without hookups at Craters of the Moon, or wimp out & stay at the Carters of the Moon KOA with power for the AC. The Max Fan does a great job of keeping the trailer cool as long as it is below 90°F, but if it is well over 100°F, it doesn't cut it!

Until Tomorrow!

Monday, July 30, 2012

Emigrant Springs State Park, OR

Site B19, Emigrant Springs State Park, OR

Monday, July 30 - Emigrant Springs State Park, OR - 171 Miles Today, 11,213.8 For the Trip

The pork loin was great. I felt a bit strange grilling it outdoors since Trailer Inns RV Park has very small sites (even a half size picnic table) and it seems everyone stays inside their trailers, but they just had to live with the wonderful aroma of garlic & grilled pork!

This morning I got a fairly early (for me) start, heading out of the park around 8:45. I made a quick stop at Walmart for some supplies, then headed down WA 22, I 82 & I 84 to Emigrant Springs State Park, Site B19. A good place to stop if you don't mind a bit of traffic noise - it is fairly close to I 84, particularly the full hook up sites in the A loop, but many of the sites are large enough for even big RVs. I'm in the B loop, a bit further from the road. Full hookups for $20.00. While the sites are reservable, there were lots of empty sites at 1:30 when I arrived, although most of the B loop full hookups are now filled.

Nothing much in the way of photographs other than the usual campsite.

Dinner will be a sandwich using left over pork loin, left over rice & left over coleslaw. I hope to make it into Idaho tomorrow, although a stop at Carters of the Moon, a favorite park, will probably have to wait at least another day.

Until Tomorrow!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Yakima, WA

View Along I 82, WA

Sunday, July 29, - Trailer Inns RV Park, Yakima, WA 165.8 Miles Today,11,042.8 For the Trip

In 2004 I drove WA 20 through the Cascades going west. This time I took US 2 going east. While both are beautiful drives, I prefer WA 20, if for no other reason, less traffic. From Leavenworth I switched to US 97 which becomes I 82 in Ellensburg, and stopped for the day at Yakima, WA in site 79 at the Trailer Inns RV Park. Only one photo along the way at a view point along I 82/US 97 that shows the mountains in the background. I even got to see Mt Rainier again along the way.

I spent part of the afternoon doing much needed laundry. Dinner tonight will be a lemon garlic pork loin, with rice.

Until tomorrow

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Gold Bar, WA & Gold Dust Days

Hose Ball at Gold Dust Days, Gold Bar, WA

Saturday, July 87, Gold Bar, WA & Gold Dust Days - 106.3 Miles Today,10,880 For the Trip

As I mentioned yesterday, I wanted to see & photograph the view from Artist's Point at the end of the Mt Baker Highway. The problem was it was even cloudier this morning than yesterday, and there was no room at the inn. So, Artist's Point has been added to the "Next Trip" file.

I drove down I5 to US 2 & started heading southeast. I checked for campgrounds along the way, and it looked like the first one that might have some room would either be a National Forest one in the Cascades, or on the other side at Levenworth. Fortunately, I stopped at a tourist visitors center in Sultan after finding that a hotel that was listed on my GPS as having a campground didn't. They suggested stopping at what looks like a run down trailer park that has a nice campground behind it. McDaniel's RV Park is a nice campground, but because of "Gold Dust Days" in Gold Bar, the campground was full. I tried anyway & they put me in a field next to the campground. Actually a nice location now that my refrigerator runs on propane. Mountains behind me & lots of sun to keep the solar panel happy. The only problem is they didn't tell me the bathroom code & it seems they all went to the the celebration.

I dropped the trailer & went into Gold Bar to see what Gold Dust Days was all about. Lots of booths, both crafts & food, a Classic car contest (You know you are getting old when you have owned one of these when it was new.) A 1966 Chevy II Nova was my wife's college graduation present - we drove it for years. Only a 6, but it ran & ran. They also had horse rides, A Civil War Camp and something I haven't seen in years - a Hose/Water Ball (I've heard it called either) contest between the area volunteer fire departments. It started a little late since the sponsoring team had a water rescue call but once it was underway it was great fun. The announcer mentioned to the audience that they "might" get wet, and they did. I managed to get a bunch of photos without drowning the camera.

After the contest I stopped in a Greek booth for my annual Gyro. Kind of interesting - if I was in Oswego, I would have had the same lunch today. Oswego's Harborfest Celebration is today and that is where I usually get my Gyro fix. I hope it came off OK - the prediction according to friends in Oswego is for thunderstorms today. A few years ago I shot photos of the fireworks during a thunderstorm. Some interesting photos of man made & nature's displays together.
Fireworks & Lightning at Harborfest, 2008

The Gyro booth here in Gold Bar had an interesting side dish - Curly Fries. I didn't know they were Greek, but they sure were popular!

Since a late lunch was a Gyro, I'm snacking for dinner. Good news - the campground owner stopped by while I was typing this to give me the bathroom code. Looks like I'll get a shower after all!

Until tomorrow

Refrigerator Repair & Mt Baker Highway

Mt Baker Highway in the Fog

Friday, July 27, Fixing the Refrigerator & Mt Baker in the Fog - 61.5 Miles + 108.3 to Mt Baker Today,10,773.7 For the Trip

I got to Chilliwack a bit early and had to convince Reace to finish his lunch before tackling the refrigerator. We didn't have to pull the fridge completely out - just enough so the receptacle could be moved down a bit. Dometic sent the chimney cap (I already had one sitting under the refrigerator left there by Camping World, but didn't know what it was) but didn't send the most important part - the Baffle. Reace took one out of one of his new refrigerators & installed it. Found the problem with the open ground wire & fixed that, hooked up the gas line & and put everything back together. So far everything is working! It even cooled on gas while driving down the road, something it has never done. I can't say enough about the Escape customer service. Reace spent a couple of hours fixing a problem caused by a faulty repair by Camping World in Syracuse, including ordering parts & stripping one of his own units. He wouldn't even charge me for the cost of the parts! On top of that, he decided my upper grill was looking a bit shabby from all the times it has been opened, so he gave me a new one to put on when I get back to Oswego.

After everything was back together Reace took me into the shop to see the mock up of the new 21' Escape. It is about 5" wider than the 19', and, of course, 2' longer. Lots of nice features, and it feels much more open than the 17. Of course, 4' would do that! There is a floor plan as things stand now at the Escape Trailer Forum thread on the Escape 21, but is is nice to see it in 3D. Looks like a winner.

While the posted wait time to cross the border at Sumas was 20 minutes, it took me 55 to get back into the US. The campground at Sumas & Hidden Village were both full, so I'm at the Lynden KOA. I dropped the trailer & drove to the end of the Mount Baker Highway, something I've wanted to do for years. I'll probably do it again tomorrow - it was so foggy at the top you couldn't see the mountains over the lakes. I did get a couple of waterfall images, and drove through the completely booked for weeks Silver Fir Campground at mile 46. Looks like it would have been a nice place to stay now that I have a refrigerator that runs on gas.

I got back to the campground around 9:00.

Until Tomorrow -

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Hidden Village RV Park & Campground, Lynden, WA

Mt Rainier, WA

Thursday, July 65, Hidden Village RV Park & Campground, Lynden, WA - 80.3 Miles Today,10,603.9 For the Trip

I hate to say it, but another boring day on the road. Actually, the road wasn't all that boring - snow covered mountains on the right & what we, on the Great Lakes Plains would call small mountains on the left. I ditched the GPS & drove up WA 9, a pleasant 2 lane road rather than I 5. I stopped for the night at Lynden, WA in the Hidden Village RV Park & Campground. I'm in site R7, a water & electric site with a big back yard, but utilities on the wrong side, and not a lot of room on the door side of the trailer. No problem because there is a huge field behind the trailer & lots of picnic tables. I spent most of the day kicking back reading. Tomorrow I'm heading into Canada & Chilliwack, BC for a 2:00 appointment to have my refrigerator fixed. Here's hoping the refrigerator from hell will finally be tamed!

No photos for today other than the usual campsite, so I used one from the trip through Mt Rainier National Park.

Dinner was more of the freezer food - a couple of kielbasas & my favorite pre packaged cole slaw - Dole's.

If I stay in Canada tomorrow night & don't have WiFi, there won't be an update - last time I checked, Verizon's data cost in Canada is $2.05 per MB. I'm pretty sure Millenicom has blocked Canada, but I'm shutting off roaming just in case.

Until tomorrow

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Mount Rainier National Park, WA

Narada Falls, Mt Rainier National Park, WA

Tuesday, July 24, Mount Rainier National Park, WA - 94.8 Miles Today,10,410.7 For the Trip

Another day, another mountain! Although I got a glance at Mt Rainier on the was to pick up my trailer last year, it was so cloudy by the time I got there I decided to skip the visit. I was stationed at Fort Lewis, WA in 1969 for the remainder of my time in the army after returning from Viet Nam. On Christmas, my wife Carol & I drove as close to the mountain as we could get to find some snow. Even though it is getting towards the end of July, there is still plenty of it around. All the roads and passes are open, however some of the trails are still snow covered. Lots of photographs, many of the mountain, many of the waterfalls in the area, a bunch taken at Paradise, a visitor center & lodge as close as you can drive to on the southeast side of the mountain.

When I got back to my parking space in Paradise a fellow visitor told me that they had seen a bear & two cubs while standing next to my trailer. We looked for them, but they had moved on. On the hill down from Paradise we both stopped & he found the sow again. I got a couple of photos, but by the time I got out the tripod & my 300mm lens & doubler, she had moved back into the shadows. I waited a long time for her to reappear, but she never did. So, there are a couple of fuzzy photos of a bear.

After leaving the park I started looking for a campground. Although I found a few, they were pretty bad looking. I finally found a nice park in Eastonville, WA. The park is called Alder Lake Park, and looks to be built by Tacoma Power Utilities. A fairly level pull through with electric & water for $29.00. They also have full hookup sites for $31.00 and tent sites for $22.00. Much nicer than last night, but still no cell connections. I did have one long enough to download my email while driving through the park, but couldn't update the pages. So, looks like it won't be until tomorrow that the "Mountain" pages appear.

I'm not going to post all of the 47 images I'm posting for the park here - I'll do a separate Mount Rainier page, and post some at today's LakeshoreimagesPost.

Since I have a picnic table to cook on & the refrigerator is still not working on gas, I'm goingto eat the last Bubba Burger to help clean out the freezer. So far, by plugging in every night the frozen stuff has stayed frozen, but when the refrigerator is out for repair, everything may thaw...

Again, this won't get posted until tomorrow.

It is now tomorrow & I finally found a connection at McDonalds near Puyallup, WA. 

Till Tomorrow -

Mount St Helens

A Cloudy Day at Mt St Helens, WA

Monday, July 23, Mount St Helens National Monument, WA - 154.3 Miles Today,10,315.9 For the Trip

Well I lied about the flight path at the near by airport - around 9:00PM either the wind changed or they started landing bigger airplanes. Still everything settled down by midnight.

I drove I 84 to Cascade Locks in Oregon, then crossed over to Washington on a $1.50 toll bridge. I wanted to see Mt St Helens & Spirit Lake, so I drove up the East side of the mountain (well, not actually the mountain although the forest roads gained & dropped 3000 feet a couple of times. By the way, a good alternative name for Forest Service Roads 25 & 99 should be trailer hitch test track. I've never seen so many frost heaves anywhere else. While it didn't fully open any trailer cabinets, stuff managed to slip out of a couple of them & my laptop ended up on the floor. Still, everything is still attached. The drive was well worth it. Mt St Helens was mostly covered with clouds, but you can still see the destruction caused by the eruption. Photos at today's LakeshoreImages post.

After beating the trailer & RAV3 to death driving up the rest of FR 25, I stopped for the night at Randal, WA at the Maple Grove RV Resort & Golf Course. Resort it isn't! I guess if you are a member you get the good sites, but for us peons it is "The Woods". I do have water & electric, but no picnic table, lawn, etc. Just a dirt road in the woods. Still it was only $20.00 (well, actually $21.95 - back in the land of Sales Tax.)

I did get to pick my site & it is a level pull through that isn't too far from the bathrooms, but it sure is in the woods. Dinner will be simple since there isn't a table to set the stove on.

Sorry I didn't post today, but for one of the few times on the trip, I don't have and connection to the outside world, no WiFi, Verizon, AT&T, FM Radio, or even, under the trees, no XM Radio. Pretty silent this evening. I'll try to find a place to post tomorrow.

It is tomorrow, and, believe it or not, I have cell phone coverage in Mt Rainier park in the middle of mountains! Unfortunately, it is too slow to post yesterday's photos, so I'll keep looking.

Till Tomorrow -


Sunday, July 22, 2012

Waterfalls Along the Historic Columbia River Highway (OR 30)

Cascades Below Bridal Veil Falls, OR

Sunday, July 22, Waterfalls Along the Historic Columbia River Highway, OR, - 174 Miles Today,10,161.6 For the Trip

Today was waterfall day. I'm sure I will find many more on the trip, but after dropping off the trailer at site 51 at the Portland Fairview RV Park (which has everything - I 84 traffic, in the flight path of the local airport, and a railroad track just below the campground - at least the trains don't blow their whistle and the flight path is landing, not takeoffs!) Actually, it is a nice park & the noise isn't all that bad. Level concrete pads, full hookups, and a bit crowded, but I have a Casita next to me that was at the Oregon Gathering at Bullard's Beach.

I headed out to visit some of the waterfalls along Historic OR 30 which parallels I 84. In fact, at the suggestion of the campground office, I took I 84 to the Multnomah Falls exit. I suspect a non raining Sunday afternoon just might not be the best time to visit - it took 20 minutes to find a parking space. Multnomah Falls is impressive for its drop, however the bridge in the middle distracts a bit from the overall image, at least in a photograph. Still, well worth a stop.

After looking at the back up on OR 30 at the falls, I decided not to go west to see the other falls, but, instead took I 84 back to the Corbett exit & headed back to the east once I got on OR 30. The first stop was at Vista House at Crown Point. A beautiful building with stained glass windows with a great view of the gorge. I didn't go all the way back to Multnomah Falls, but stopped at Bridal Veil Falls (I wonder how many Bridal Veil Falls there are throughout the US - I've visited a bunch of them). Anyhow, my favorite wasn't actually a falls, but the rapids below Bridal Veil Falls. If you look closely at some of the photos you will see another photographer doing the same thing I was - ignoring the falls & shooting the cascades. Of course, I did also shoot the falls. On the way back I filled out a survey for the Oregon Park System on the park, and stopped at Chanticleer Point (Women's Forum State Park) for some more  photos of the Columbia Gorge. You can see the rest of the photos at today's LakeshoreImages page.

Dinner was boring, so I won't even bother describing it!

Till Tomorrow -

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Tillamook Air Museum

I Believe This is a Grumman Duck Getting Ready to Fly

Saturday, July 10, Tillamook Air Museum, OR, - 96.1 Miles Today, 9,987.6 For the Trip

I stopped today at the Tillamook Air Museum, a building I have passed by too many times on past trips. There always seemed to be a reason not to stop, but not today! The museum is housed in a World War II Blimp hanger, one of two that were built in Tillamook (Hanger "A" burned down in 1992). The hanger is 1072' long, 192' high, 296' wide, and covered with a forest's worth of local wood. It was large enough to hold 9 blimps.

While the museum doesn't have as many airplanes as the Air & Space Museum in Washington, DC, the difference is most of these still fly. While I was there they hauled a number of them out of the hanger & flew them away. It is a treat to listen to the unmufllered rotary & V12 engines! On the drive up US 101 I saw a couple of them flying overhead.

I didn't name them all, but those that had a nearby sign are identified. One of my favorites is the P47 Thunderbolt - I read what I believe was Bob Johnson's book "Thunderbolt!" as a child & immediately started saving to buy & build a model of the airplane. It started me on the hobby of building & flying model airplanes that lasted through college.  Lots of photos at today's LakeshoreImages post.

After the Air Museum I continued up US 101 with a brief stop at Cannon Beach. I couldn't park to get a good photo of Haystack Rock - a pet peeve of mine is finding a car parked in the middle of the few double length parking spots set aside for RVs. There was no place to park...

I'm in site 1A at Bud's Campground Grocery in Gearhart, OR. I took a short drive past Fort Stevens State Park; as expected, the campground was full. The plan is to head along the Columbia River on US 30 looking for waterfalls. Eventually, I'll start heading north to visit Chilliwack & get the refrigerator fixed. It will be nice to have gas operation back.

Dinner tonight was at the Chinese Restaurant next to the campground. My first disappointment at a Chinese Restaurant - I'm not sure if it is just a difference because I'm on the west coast or if it was the restaurant, but neither the orange chicken, the pork fried rice or the crab pots were as good as back in Oswego.

Friday, July 20, 2012

More Lighthouses

A Creek Near Heteca Lighthouse

Friday, July 20, Lincoln City KOA, OR, - 86.4 Miles Today, 9,891.5 For the Trip

I'm back in a KOA for the first time in awhile. I tried almost all the Oregon State Parks on the way up the coast, but they were all full. Sure is different from the same coast last April! The KOA in Lincoln City is on Devil's Lake, which is a bit inland from the coast, so it was the first park I found that wasn't full. I'm in site 73, a back in water & electric site. I also renewed my KOA membership. I don't know if it actually has saved me any money, but I'll try it for another year. I also decided that if I was having as much trouble finding a site on Friday, it might be a good idea to make a reservation for tomorrow night. I hate to do reservations, but since I need electric for the refrigerator, most of the forest service, etc campgrounds are out. I tried a couple near the Washington border about 90 miles from here & found a space at Bud's Campground Grocery. Strange name, but it has good reviews at RV Park Reviews, my favorite site to check campgrounds.

On the way up the coast I stopped at every lighthouse I could find. The first was Heteca Lighthouse & I didn't really get to see it - it is under renovation, and covered with a tarp while they work under it. I did get a photo as well as some photos of the bay it sits on. The next stop was Yaquina Lighthouse, one that I remember from last year's trip. I didn't take the tour of the lighthouse because the line was fairly long & moving very slowly. So, I'm back on old ground. In fact, one of the state parks I tried was Beverly Beach State Park where I stayed last year. A nice park, but unfortunately, full.

That was about it for photos - Check them out at today's LakeshoreImages page.

Not sure what dinner will be but something from the refrigerator. I'm trying to empty it as much as possible since to warms up quite a bit while driving.

Till Tomorrow -

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Lighthouses, Sea Lions, Seals & Long Waits for Showers

The Umpqua River Lighthouse, OR

Thursday, July 19, Jessie M. Honeyman Memorial Park, OR, - 119.9 Miles Today, 9,805.1 For the Trip

The refrigerator is now working as it should, at least on electric. Tony at Gibs says not to run it on gas until it is fixed. I got a call from Tammy at Escape & they should have the parts to fix it in by the 26th, so it looks like I'm heading for Canada.

Today, after waiting until 1:01 for the people in my new site to move out I set up in the F loop, site 264. After setting up I headed back down the coast with just the RAV4 to check out lighthouses, rocks, the ocean, etc. I stopped first at the Umpqua River Lighthouse, then drove down to the shoreline & the triangle. I don't know what kind of fishing is going on in the triangle, but there are a bunch of what looks like large floats with a couple of commercial fisherman moving around them - maybe shell fish? In any case, it looked neat. After that I continued south to the Cape Arago State park, photographed rocks, sea lions & seals, & what I think was the Cape Arago Lighthouse. If there is a road to it I never found it or any signs for it so all I got was a distance photo. On the way back to the campground I stopped to take a couple of photos of an interesting boat house on a lake surrounded by trees.

After getting back & eating dinner (a couple of cheese brots & the rest of the Dole Coleslaw which I really like, but have rarely found) I headed for the showers. At the old site they were next door - three pretty beat stalls on the men's side. Here they are newer - 4 individual rooms, however I suspect some kids locked the two center doors with no one inside. Either that or we waited in line for 2 people who don't answer knocks and were taking 1/2 hour showers! At least the four of us waiting got to talk about out travels.

Till Tomorrow -

Truly the Refrigerator From Hell!

A Tree at the Jessie M. Honeyman Memorial Park

Wednesday, July 18, Gibs RV & Jessie M. Honeyman Memorial Park, OR, - 46.8 Miles Today, 9,685.2 For the Trip

I arrived at Gibs RV at 7:45 & the two hour job finished at 3:30. Some interesting problems - First, they did replace the thermostat, but because it was my call, not theirs, it was determined that it didn't fall under a warrantee repair. I suspect I could argue that with Dometic, but their answer is because I added a light to the refrigerator that has a magnetic switch to turn it on & off, I've modified the refrigerator & they won't do anything under warrantee. So, I'm out $94.50 for the part (which was bad & needed to be replaced) and $249.88 labor, which I really can't complain about since they worked on it all day. Actually, I was very happy with Gibs, but not the refrigerator or Camping World of Syracuse.

The real problem was the last "repair" by Camping World in Syracuse. Seems they left out the baffle that goes over the chimney in the heater, which is why it doesn't cool correctly on gas. Camping World also busted off the ground pin on the AC cord. I can see why - the new cooling unit has some of its plumbing right in the way of the AC receptacle. The only way it could be plugged in is by bending the connector enough that the pin broke. Of course, while the refrigerator was out they could have moved the receptacle, but they didn't. One last thing - they didn't connect the 12V ground wire - the refrigerator was getting its ground from the AC pin (that was missing) and the gas line. I'll have to take that up with them when I get back. In the mean time, since the missing baffle is a 2 week order, I didn't want to wait for it so I'm hoping Escape can order one. If they can I'll stop in Chilliwack after visiting the Mount Baker Highway in Washington.

So, with all that I'm now living out of a couple of ice chests and running the refrigerator on electric only. Truly, the refrigerator from Hell!

I'm is site 223 at Jessie M. Honeyman Memorial Park. A pretty site nestled in tall trees and only $24.00 for water & electric. I could only get the site for one night since I didn't make a reservation; I'll add a night tomorrow since I want to photograph some of the area lighthouses, and it was too foggy to do it today. I did get out to some of the dunes in the park.  Photos at today's LakeshoreImages Post.

Dinner was a Bubba burger, coleslaw & soupy ice cream!

Till Tomorrow!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Refrigerator Good News / Bad News

Tuesday, July 17, Alder Acres RV Park, Coos Bay, OR, - 12.5 Miles Today, 9,638.4 For the Trip

I'd have to call it a good day / bad day - the parts came in for the refrigerator, however it was late enough that there was not time to replace them today. The problem is to install the thermostat the refrigerator has to be pulled; there isn't enough room to get tools at it when the refrigerator is sitting on the deck. The good news is they can do it in the morning.

I spent the day doing a bit of shopping, and stopped by the Coos Bay AAA to pick up a couple of maps & camp books for the remainder of the trip. I mentioned my dislike of the new Woodall based camp books & the person there agreed with me, however even though she and others have complained, it is a cost thing & it is unlikely the national AAA is going back.

It is drizzling again tonight. If it stops dinner will be Orange Chicken & Rice, if not, probably peanut butter & jelly.

Well, I decided to violate one of my "rules" & cook a fried meal inside the trailer. Generally, I only heat water since I don't want to "grease up" the insides, but I really didn't want PB&J for dinner, the refrigerator will be off for a number of hours so the food might spoil, it's still misting - all excuses, but the orange chicken was good! Of course, about an hour after finishing the meal the mist stopped & there are blue skies overhead right now.

Till Tomorrow -

Monday, July 16, 2012

Alder Acres RV Park, Coos Bay, OR

Site C4, Alder Acres RV Park, Coos Bay, OR

Monday, July 16, Alder Acres RV Park, Coos Bay, OR, Day 7 - 27.4 Miles Today, 9,625.9 For the Trip

If everything works out, by tomorrow night I will have a working refrigerator. Of course there are a lot of "everythings", but I'm an optimist! Gibbs RV was able to order the part & it should be here by 3:00 tomorrow. They even think they can schedule to have it installed! So, rather than heading on up the coast, I stopped at Coos Bay & the Alder RV park, Site C4. A typical large rig paved, & full hookup site, in fact, the last one available in the park. It is about 3/4 of a mile from Gibbs RV so I shouldn't have too much trouble getting there!

Since checkout time is 12:00 & I have no idea how long it will take to replace the thermostat, I am here at Alder Acres for 2 nights. After that, I'm heading up the coast.

Till Tomorrow -

Oregon Gathering, Day 4

The "Perfect" Marshmallow for a S'More

Sunday, July 15, Bullards Beach State Park, Bandon, OR, Day 7 - 4 Miles Today, 9,598.5 For the Trip

Well, it does feel like the Oregon Gathering is over. Instead of two Casitas parked next to me there are two large Class As.

I'm leaving to head north tomorrow. How far I get depends on whether I can find an RV dealer that has a thermostat for my Dometic RM2510 Refrigerator. It is a unusual model, so I'm not optimistic, but since Reace, the owner of Escape Trailer Industries (the manufacturer of my trailer) was here at the rally & told me that he has had the problems I described & the thermostat was the problem, I need to find one. If no one has one in stock I'll try calling the parts department at the service department of an RV dealer somewhere ahead of my travels & see if they can order one from Dometic.

We did have a small gathering of those left in the park to toast marshmallows & talk; photos at today's Oregon Gathering post.

Till Tomorrow -

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Oregon Gathering, Day 3

The Pot Luck Dinner

Saturday, July 14, Bullards Beach State Park, Bandon, OR, Day 6 - 0 Miles Today, 9,594.5 For the Trip

It was early to rise (at least for me on a trip) to get organized to take a group photo at 8:45AM. After that it was back to the trailer to eat breakfast & a shower. I went to a wood flooring workshop and after that started to make a blueberry pie for the pot luck dinner tonight. Hope it worked - it is the first time I tried making one in the toaster oven. I did notice that the usually first 10 minutes at 450°F didn't work - I had to turn it down after 5 minutes to keep from burning the crust. Still, at least from the outside it looks like a normal blueberry pie; we'll find out how it worked later.

We did trailer tours by loop during the afternoon. Lots of people stopped by to see the Escape 17B. Lots of questions, particularly about towing with the RAV4. After the A loop tours were over I grabbed the camera & headed for loops B & C for some interior photos. It is amazing how many different ways a tiny box can be organized into a comfortable living space. I particularly enjoyed seeing some of the interior rebuilds of some of the older trailers. Lots of loving work has gone into many of them. Photos of some of the interiors as well as photos of the Pot Luck Dinner & Awards are on the Day 3 Oregon Gathering Page.

We had a great pot luck dinner, the pie worked out OK, a bit soupy but tasted normal, after which awards & prizes were given away. I got a plaque for the longest drive from the North and maybe what was the strangest "Prize" for the night - a dried Raccoon baculum, which is the bone in a Raccoon's penis. There is even a web page describing the history of the thing. Not sure what I'm going to do with it, but is will be a conversation piece!

Anyhow, a great time was had by all.

Until Tomorrow -

Saturday, July 14, 2012

The Oregon Gathering, Day 2

Trailer Lights

Friday, July 13, Bullards Beach State Park, Bandon, OR, Day 5 - 0 Miles Today, 9,594.5 For the Trip

I made pancakes for breakfast - the first time I've actually made them in a pan rather than on a griddle. They were edible, but I prefer a griddle. The Coleman stove burns too hot to cook them right, but, still edible! After breakfast I spent a little time setting up a Powerpoint to display the images I planned to use for the ;long exposure workshop. I took a break at 10:00 to go to a solar workshop that covered some interesting information. Then back to put the final touches on the Powerpoint presentation, get out the equipment and do the workshop. feel it went well - the only problem was the bright sunlight washed out most of what I wanted to show in the sample images. I'll set it back up tonight after dark for those interested in coming back.

After that it was another round of photographing trailers. Dinner tonight consisted of snacks. Everyone brought a batch of finger food & all dug in. After that an welcome to the event, a chance for everyone to introduce themselves and to finish off the evening, a campfire & S'Mores.

Actually, it didn't quite finish off the evening - there was a trailer lighting contest at 10:00PM (you do have to wait until dark). I got a bunch of photos and added them to the 2nd day page of the gathering.

Till Tomorrow!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

1st Day of the Oregon Gathering

Registration for the Oregon Gathering

Thursday, July 12, Bullards Beach State Park, Bandon, OR, Day 4 - 0 Miles Today, 9,594.5 For the Trip

Today is the first "official" day of the Oregon Gathering. I started separate web page for the gathering: 2012 10th Oregon Gathering. I worked the registration desk from 10:00 - 12:00 then wandered around the three campground loops trying to photograph all the trailers. There are links to the photos by loops at the gathering page. Now I'm back at the trailer posting the new pages.

Till Tomorrow -

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Bullards Beach State Park, OR - Day 3

Wednesday, July 11, Bullards Beach State Park, Bandon, OR, Day 3 - 8.6 Miles Today, 9,594.5 For the Trip

Another day without photographs! I spent the morning doing laundry, and getting a haircut. I was planning to shoot some shoreline photos at sunset since the skies were clear, but by dinner time the clouds rolled in & the photos wouldn't be any different from those taken on the first day.

All day long fiberglass trailers of all makes & types have been rolling into the park. There is an Escape 5.0 5th wheel on one side of me & a Scamp 15 on the other. We had a group of about 10 of us stuffing shopping bags with "goodies" for tomorrow's registration.

And, dinner, for those interested, was a Chicken Pot Pie (no, not homemade, but frozen Marie Callender's).

Till Tomorrow -

Bullards Beach State Park, OR - Day 2

A Driftwood Shack

Tuesday, July 10, Bullards Beach State Park, Bandon, OR, Day 2 - 60.1 Miles Today, 9,585.9 For the Trip

No photos for today so I'll use one from yesterday.

I did drive to Coos Bay. I was hoping to find a roadside fruit & vegetable stand to buy blueberries, but never saw one. On the other hand, there were 2 pound trays of Oregon blueberries for $4.99 at the Coos Bay Fred Meyer store. That sure beats the $3.99 per half pint at Safeway, and they were nice looking berries. So, I have everything needed to make a pie. Should be interesting in the toaster oven...

After dinner I spent a little time at a campfire with a bunch of the early arrivals for the gathering. That's about it for the day.

Till Tomorrow -

Monday, July 9, 2012

Bullards Beach State Park, OR

Coquille River Lighthouse

Monday, July 9, Bullards Beach State Park, Bandon, OR - 8.4 Miles Today, 9,525.8 For the Trip

Well, I finally got to Bullards Beach. Since I arrived in the area at least a week early, I've been making small hops exploring the area, but now I'm settled in site A08 for the next week. Even though the "Oregon Gathering" doesn't start until Thursday, there are a number of fiberglass trailers already here at the park. I've now met in person some of the people I've only know on various websites. By the end of the week there should be about a hundred trailers here at the park.

After setting up I drove out to the lighthouse, took a couple of photos, including some of the beach. There is an amazing amount of driftwood along the shore. So much that people have built "shacks" out of it on the beach. I'm sure the shacks help keep the beachcombers out of the wind. It is much cooler than the east coast (at least my experiences on Nantucket) with highs predicted this week in the mid 60's. At least the skies are something I'm used to - when ever you are in the lee of large bodies of water you can expect grey sky. Reminds me of Oswego!

I checked with the local grocery store for blueberries - I'm planning to make a blueberry pie for the pot luck dinner on Saturday. Quite expensive, and not all that good looking. There is a pick your own in Coquille, but they list their starting date as the 16th. I'll keep looking. Dinner tonight will be steak & rice with a salad.

Till Tomorrow -

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Bandon, OR

The Pacific Ocean, Bandon, OR

Sunday, July 8, Bandon RV Park, Bandon, OR -25.9 Miles Today, 9,517.4 For the Trip

A very short but exciting drive along UT 42S to Bandon - a curvy, narrow road with significant drops to the Coquille River (and, of course, no guard rails and the river on my side of the road). I'm glad the trailer isn't any wider or longer. I stopped for the day at the Bandon RV Park, Site 19.

After setting up the trailer I drove into "old Town", a touristy section of Bandon with all the requisite shops. Of course there had to be a used bookstore. Yesterday I even went to the extreme of buying a hard cover copy of a book by one of my favorite authors (Lincoln Child) and a couple of books by authors I haven't read just so I would have something over the next week or so. Well, at the River's Edge in Coquille they had a book exchange that was stocked with some of my favorites, and here in Bandon the used book store had many more. So, I'm fixed for books for the near (maybe even the far) future.

I wandered around town, then took the Beach Loop Drive to check out the rocks & beaches south of Bandon. I took a couple of long exposures to add to the collection for next week's talk on long exposures at the Oregon Gathering as well as my first pelican photo. As you can tell by the lack of sky color, today was the perfect day for waterfall photos. Unfortunately, there aren't any in the area! Hopefully, it will clear up over the next couple of days. More photos at today's LakeshoreImages Page.

Dinner was going to be at the blue Fish & Chips place, but when I got back there at 6:00 they, like most of the rest of the town, were closed. Since I didn't feel like eating in a "formal" restaurant, I'm back in the trailer eating cheese & crackers & soup.

Till Tomorrow -

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Rivers Edge RV Park, Coquille, OR

A Clean Trailer & RAV4 at the Rivers Edge RV Park

Saturday, July 7, Rivers Edge RV Park, Coquille, OR - 75.7 Miles Today, 9,491.5 For the Trip

I did manage to stop at Walmart & pick up a few books so my sanity should be OK for the next couple of days. I was stopped in Wilson. OR as I drove along OR 42 by a group of car washers from the Crash Youth Ministry. I did ask if they really wanted to wash the RAV4 AND the trailer, and they said yes. Took about 6 of them 45 minutes to do both & it was a pretty good job. I gave them a bit extra over my estimate for the price for 2 vehicles since the trailer was pretty dirty. The Graffiti Weekend that I linked to in yesterday's post covers quite a portion of the area. There were events in Glide, Roseburg, and this afternoon, in Wilson.

I continued on to Coquille, OR & The Rivers Edge RV Park, site 17. A nice, clean park that looks to be mostly full time resident, but I have a nice site along the river I wish I had more laundry to do - the machines are the least expensive I've seen on the trip, but I don't have enough for a full load.

I checked with Reserve America, and was able to add the 9th to my reservation for site A08 at Bullards, so I only have 2 days to kill rather than three. I'll probably head to Bandon, the town next to Bullards for tomorrow night.

Since the sausage didn't defrost last night, I'll have it tonight.

Till Tomorrow -

Friday, July 6, 2012

Douglas County Fairgrounds & Museum

Douglas County Museum

Friday, July 6, Douglas County Fairgrounds Campground, OR, Day - 55.1 Miles Today, 9,415.8 For the Trip

A short drive to Roseburg & the Douglas County Campground. I'm in Site 42, a back in site with water & electric for $20.20. The bathrooms & showers are a long way away, but from the look of them, that is probably good! Still, a good stop for one night. I'll be making short hops until the 10th, when I can get my site at Bullard's Beach.

They have a museum here at the fairgrounds. $4.00 for seniors. The most unusual exhibit - a pair of live rattlesnakes. Hard to shoot because they are behind glass (probably a good idea!). Anyhow, most of today's photos are of the museum. I had to include the photo of the 2 man chain saw. My parents used one of these when clearing the land for out house in Croton-on-Hudson, NY. A huge, heavy beast that scared all of us, but made quick work of the trees that had to be removed for the foundation.

It is Graffiti Weekend here in Roseburg, with many classic cars all over the area. I saw around 40 as I drove through Glide on OR 138, and there are a few here at the fairgrounds. Tonight there is a "Show & Shine" race at the fairgrounds - It sounds like the Oswego Speedway during warm ups. I hope they aren't racing some of the cars here in the campground - most are far too beautiful to bash around on a track.

Depending on whether the sausage defrosts (it shouldn't be a problem since, while the freezer is doing OK at 5°F, I can't get the refrigerator section under 44°F with an outside temperature of 80°F) I'll either have the rest of the Alfredo sauce with spaghetti, or a Bubba Burger. Tomorrow I have to make an emergency stop at Walmart, or, better yet, a used bookstore. A tragedy is taking place - I'm out of books!

Till Tomorrow -

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Susan Creek BLM Campground, Day 2

Whitehorse Falls

Thursday, July 5, Susan Creek BLM Campground, OR, Day 2 - 0 Miles Today, 9,360.7 For the Trip

Happy Birthday, Karin! Since I didn't take any photos today, I'll use one from the trip along OR 138.

A quiet day of doing nothing. I did spend a little time putting together some stuff for a long exposure photo workshop I'm going to give at the Oregon Gathering next week, but aside from that, just a kick back day. I can't think of a nicer place to do it. While there are no hook ups, Susan Creek BLM Campground is a very nice stop.

I'm not sure where I'll stop tomorrow, but I plan to move a bit closer to Bullard's Beach over the next couple of days.

Till Tomorrow -

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Waterfall Day

The Stream Below Watson Falls, OR

Wednesday, July 4, Susan Creek BLM Campground, OR -68.0 Miles Today, 9,360.7 For the Trip

Happy 4th Of July!

It did get cold last night - the low was 32°F, but the electric heater kept the trailer at 62°F. As to the mosquitos, they all went away after I got set up. I don't know whether they don't like eastern blood or what, but I was able to sit outside in my chair & read without a bite. By the way, dinner was a good but expensive thin crust Hawaiian Pizza. Tonight it will be grilled chicken & Pasta Alfredo.

Today was waterfall day. The park map at Diamond Lake Campground has a map on the back that shows 6 waterfalls along OR 138. I stopped at the four of them that are just off the main road. Not one of the best days for waterfall photos. Today has been bright & cloudless - they work best on a overcast day - sunlight highlights the white water part of the falls so much that neither film or digital can deal with the dynamic range between the highlight & the shadows. I did include a couple of variations of some of the images...

The first was Clearwater Falls, then Whitehorse Falls, Watson Falls and last Toketee Falls. They ranged from next to the road to a 1/2 mile hike, a couple of which were definite climbs. I also took photos of the cascades & rapids below the falls at some of the locations. I tried to name the area for each, but I could be wrong! Most of the large versions of the images has the EXIF GPS data attached, so if you have a reader you can find the coordinates. At the Toketee Falls trailhead they have a very leaky redwood pipeline. In four of five places there is a stream of water spraying out the side of the pipe. It did hold together long enough for me to hike to the falls! More waterfall photos at today's LakeshoreImages Post.

I stopped for the night in Site 10 at the Susan Creek BLM Campground about 10 miles east of Glide, OR. A very pretty campground along the North Umpqua River. I'm not sure if I'll stay one or two nights - no hook ups, but they do have hot showers. Actually, there is one site that does have electricity at twice the standard rate, which is $14.00 per night (1/2 that for Senior Card holders). I was tempted, but left it for someone who actually needed the AC. Since I'm now 4000' lower than last night I'm hoping it doesn't get quite as cold, but if it does, I have plenty of propane for the furnace.

Till Tomorrow -

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Diamond Lake RV Park, OR

Diamond Lake, OR

Tuesday, July 3, Diamond Lake RV Park, OR - 48.6 Miles Today, 9,292.7 For the Trip

I had a nice drive to Diamond Lake up OR 62 & OR 230. I stopped for one photo of a stream along side OR 230.

I'm in Site H8, a full hook up site that overlooks (through a bunch of trees) the lake. If you get to the area, and like ice cream, s stop at the South Shore Pizza Parlor for a Walnut Pistachio waffle core is highly recommended. I asked for a single scoop & they managed to put at least a pint of ice cream in the cone. I'll probably skip cooking & try them for pizza for dinner.

Only problem with the campground is they have lots of mosquitos and somewhat rough, but clean bathrooms. Another problem is they use TengoInternet. While I have been in a few locations where TengoInternet worked well, for the most part is is very slow. I can understand that here in the middle of no where (at least connectivity wise) the internet connection is probably satellite, but I've been in a number of campgrounds with satellite connections & they are better than this. While it is possible to view web pages (although not ones that are heavy on images) it is too slow to upload my images to my ISP. Other than that, a pretty place for a night or two. I am also including a photo of the lake, and, of course, a campsite photo.

While I'll try again later, it may be until tomorrow (or later) before I can update the site. Well, while there was no cell connection when I arrived at the park, I now seem to have one. My WiFi Ranger router tells me it is a 299kbps connection, but it is much slower than that. In any case, it let me upload the images so I'll try the page.

Till Tomorrow -

Monday, July 2, 2012

Joseph H. Stewart State Campground, OR, Day 4

An Osprey Near Lost Lake

Monday, July 2, Joseph H. Stewart State Campground, OR - 28.2 Miles Today, 9,244.1 For the Trip

The first bit of excitement for the day was a trip to Shady Cove to do laundry. Alright, not all that exciting unless it is you that are out of sox, and running low on everything else.

On the way back to the campground I decided to stop at a fish hatchery. I had been passing it up because the one in Oswego only has a run in October; the rest of the year it is open, but nothing going on. Guess what - here on the west coast the salmon run is underway. It is a bigger operation than the one in Oswego, but does much of the same thing - collects fish, separates them by sex & species, treats them for disease, and puts them in storage ponds. Eventually, they collect eggs & milt, and raise fish to be released back in the Rogue River. Pictures at today's LakeshoreImages page.

I also drove up to the dam that creates Lost Lake. On the way back to the campground I found a Osprey nest & got a couple of photos of the resident. The first is a bit soft - I took it at a low ISO with my 2X extender to make my 200mm lens a 400mm so it is wide open at f:5.6. I managed to bump the ISO up to 1250 while the Osprey was circling & am happier with the landing shot.

I haven't decided whether to have left over stew or cook up a couple of the remaining beer brots for dinner. This will be my last night here - tomorrow I'm heading to Diamond Lake.

Till Tomorrow -

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Joseph H. Stewart State Park, OR Day 3

Mill Creek, OR

Sunday, July 1, Joseph H. Stewart State Campground, OR - 14.3 Miles Today, 9,215.9 For the Trip

Wow, it has been 2 months! Hard to believe I've been gone that long.

It looks like the internet is back; slow, but it let me post yesterday's page & today's photos. I'll have to finish this to see if today's page gets through. I saw the sign at the Mill Creek Falls parking lot that showed another trail to the "Giant Boulders", so I went back today to see what they were like. Well, they are giant boulders! The Rogue River runs through many of them as it drops into the valley below the Mill Creek Falls. You can walk (or climb) along the river, apparently all the way to the base of the falls. I only followed it a short way. There are many signs that note that the river consists of class IV rapids, including a description of what class IV rapids means. Basically, unless you are an expert, you have to be crazy to kayak the section of the river. Looking at the part near the giant boulders, I'd have to agree.

To add to the huge vertical drop, there are a couple of power plants that can instantly change the amount of water in the river. We have the same problem in Oswego. There is a power plant at the dam below which many fisherman wade the river, particularly during the October salmon run. While there are signs pointing out the problem as well as sirens that go off just before the river rises, there have been a couple of drownings. The utility running the dam tried to set up posts, rafts, signs, etc in the river, but it may have made things worse - the first time the local fire department took their rescue boat up the river it got caught on one of the posts & dumped a couple of fireman into the river.

In any case, I respect rivers that rapidly change volume! There is also a photo of the Mill Creek bridge being replaced. The view from the bridge is great, although I wonder if the house next to it has problems during Spring runoff. Photos at today's LakeshoreImages page.

Till tomorrow!

Joseph H. Stewart State Campground, OR, Day 2

Saturday, June 30, Joseph H. Stewart State Campground, OR - 28.1 Miles Today, 9,201.6 For the Trip

Not much to report for the day. All I did is drive to Shady Grove, a town about 14 miles south of the campground. They have a fairly good sized market there so I picked up snacks, supplies, and a couple of night's dinners. I spent the rest of the day sitting under the awning reading. I had to move inside - it has rained every day since I've entered Oregon - hope that isn't a sign for the week at Bullard's Beach & I'm hoping it will clear up in time to cook dinner. I do have a couple of simple "indoor" meals, but I prefer cooking outdoors.

No photos for the day - if it is nice tomorrow I may check out the Rogue River above the Mill Creek Falls. I'm not sure how to get to it, but the collection of rapids looks neat.

Well, I may have to wait until morning to post this - at the moment I have no Verizon cell connection. It has been pretty slow here at the campground, but right now - nothing. After many attempts, I managed to post yesterday's update. Not sure how today's will go...

Till Tomorrow -