Monday, August 31, 2015

Alaska Trip Wrap Up

My Favorite of the Trip

Alright, I've put it off long enough, even made a short trip in between. The facts:

74 days, 10,987.5 towing miles with less than 100 non towing.

Campground costs totaled $2207.78, with an average cost of $30.66 per night, one of the highest totals I've had (although I didn't convert the Canadian $ to US $, so it is a bit higher than the actual cost.)

Fuel costs $2876.49, again without converting Canadian $. Average MPG was around 14.8, a little lower than my overall 15 MPG average based on 68,701.5 of towing the Escape 17B.

My favorite parts of the trip included the 4 days at Denali, and watching the bears feed at Hyder, both were the main reason for me going to Alaska.

As to photographs, I have a collection of favorites, but I have to admit I didn't have anything I'd consider as outstanding. Not sure why - Alaska is beautiful, with magnificent scenery, but I have far more memorable photos of the Southwest US. My favorite of the trip could have been taken anywhere.  In any case, I'll add a couple more here; the rest are at today's lakeshoreImages post.

Until the Next Trip - 

Saturday, August 29, 2015

A Visit to Howe Cavern & the Secret Cavern, NY

Howe Caverns, NY

Secret Cavern, NY
During our camping trip to Chenango Valley State park with some Don, Anne & Terry, their guest from China, we decided to visit Howe Caverns & the Secret Caverns next door. About a 90 mile drive from the campground up I 88.

Howe Caverns is a cold cave at 52°F year round, with most of the formations dead or non active. Lots to see with many colored lights highlighting the structures & formations. The cave's "special feature" is a 10 minute boat ride on a narrow lake at the bottom of the cave.

The Secret Cavern is less popular than Howe Cavern, smaller, and less expensive ($18.00 ve $25.00 for Howe Caverns). The lighting is more primative, mostly to provide adequate lighting to see where you are going, Narrower pathways, but in many ways just as interesting. The "special feature" for the cavern is the 100' waterfall at the end of the tour. Well worth seeing as long as you can deal with the over 100 steps to get into & out of the cave (no elevator like Howe Cavern).

Many more photos at the Howe Cavern & the Secret Garden pages at LakeshoreImages.

That was pretty much it for the day.  We had Bubba burgers, chicken burgers, and corn on the cob for dinner & I'll be heading out to the campfire as soon as I post this page.

Until next time  -

Friday, August 28, 2015

A Short Weekend Trip

Site 92, Chenango Valley State Park
So, I'm planning out my weekend, which will consist of tearing the 3 year old black plastic off my garden & rototilling, and installing the solar panel holdouts & upper taillight on the trailer, when I get email from Don asking if I wanted to go camping at Chenango State Park.  While my first thought was to do the work I planned, Anne email me reminding me I was retired, and could do Monday anything that I was planning for Saturday.  She's right, of course, so it was a quick 1 hour packing of the trailer and off to Chenango.

After setting up in site 92 (for which I'm listed as the second vehicle - don't ask, the only way we could get the site since they don't do day of reservations, and you have to register in person if you don't reserve).

 I finished putting together the home made pizza I was planning to cook for dinner.  The usual onion/pepper/mushroom/pepperoni pizza with home made sauce.  Not to bad, although a very thick crust - I had enough dough for a 18" pizza, but can only fit a 12" pan in my toaster oven.  We sat around and talked after dinner, but it is cooling off quickly, so I headed back to my trailer (we ate at Don & Anne's in site 94).  Terry, the Chinese lighting designer that was a student living with Don & Anne last year is back designing their first show this year.  This is his first time camping, if fact, the first time eating outside.  He is having a wonderful time chasing frogs, bugs, etc.  I lent him my headband LED light - he loves it!

Until tomorrow -

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Oswego, NY

Thursday, August 20, 2015, Oswego, NY - 110.6 Miles Today, 10,987.5 For the Trip

A quiet, relaxing morning since I didn't have all that far to go to get home. A familiar drive - I've been to Letchworth a number of times, and my daughter Karin spent her undergraduate years at SUNY Geneseo, a near by branch of the State University of New York system.

Hot & humid, which wasn't a problem on the drive thanks to the RAV4's powerful air conditioning, but unpacking the RAV4 & trailer was a chore! We are currently under a flood watch, although there has only been a small amount of light to moderate rain. I managed to unpack during the breaks in the rain, but according to my Vantage Vue weather station, the humidity is 79% inside & 92% outside.

Since I arrived home a bit earlier than expected, I moved my doctor's appointment up to today. No obvious problems, but they took about a gallon of blood for testing, and changed one of my stomach meds. Back in two weeks to check the results & decide if I need to see a specialist. I have to admit I'm more comfortable at home than on the road with my sour stomach. I always worry about how the trailer would get back to Oswego if I ended up not being able to drive. Plus a protracted stay in the trailer can be difficult, although it wasn't all that bad 2 years ago when I had a bout of A-Fib.

I'll post a wrap up in a day or two with my favorite photos and the trip stats.

Until Then -

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Letchworth State Park, Castile, NY

The Boler Next Door
Wednesday, August 98, 2015, Letchworth State Park, Castile, NY - 280.5 Miles Today, 10,867.9 For the Trip

Another reason not to drive toll roads - they are not in any better shape than the non toll roads. If they were smoother, I might see that as a reason for their existence, but both OH 2 & I 90 are in better shape than the same state's sections of I 80.

I decided to break the final leg to home at Letchworth State Park, one of my favorite NY parks. I'm in site 406, an electric site with water close by, as well as bathrooms with showers. $23.75 for the night.

There is a Boler (another Canadian fiberglass trailer, although the company is no longer in business) across the road from me. Nice & light - I have to admit there is an advantage over the Escape; they unhooked & shoved the trailer around until it was on the site to their satisfaction. With 350 lbs of tongue weight, I can't do that with the Escape!

Sine I have been posting photos of the Escape every day for the last couple of days, I used the one of the Boler for today's post.  If you want to see my site at Letchworth, check today's LakeshoreImages page.

I spent the day reading. Dinner was a grilled chicken breast, a salad, and broccoli.

Until Next Time -

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Huron River Valley Resort, Huron, OH

Site 70, Huron River Valley Resort
Tuesday, August 18, 2015, Huron River Valley Resort, Huron, OH - 300.2 Miles Today, 10,596.4 For the Trip

This morning proved why I prefer to drive into Canada and go over the Great Lakes rather than through Chicago. My first 4 miles out of Joliet on I80 took over 2 hours, even though I waited until almost 9:00 to leave the campground. I assume there was an accident somewhere up ahead, but we never saw it. Eventually, the traffic picked up to normal. The rest of the trip was OK, however another advantage of going around the top of the lakes is to avoid tolls. I generally hate toll roads. I figure my (or someone's) taxes paid for the road to be built; why should I have to pay again? And, I80 through IL, IN, and OH is expensive. With 3 axles, I paid $31.00 to get from Illinois to Exit 118 in Ohio. I'm going to turn north on I 90 tomorrow, and rather than sticking to the NY Thruway & its tolls, I'm going to probably cross the state on NY 104. There are some nice state parks along the lake that I might be able to stop at since I'm still 430 miles from home, and don't plan to do it all tomorrow.

The Huron River Valley Resort isn't, but it is a nice campground. Individual showers with push button valves (and adequate hot water) that felt great. I'm in site 70, an overnight site (most of the campground is permanent summer residents), a electric & water site for $34.20 with the Good Sam discount. No traffic noise, but there is a train that goes by, tooting its horn.

I crossed into the Eastern Time Zone and since I'm on the western edge, it is still very daylight at 8:00PM. Of course, not like Alaska where it was still daylight at 11:00PM, but the light fooled me - I didn't start dinner until 6:30 or so.

Dinner was an Amy's Burrito & the last of the snap peas.

Until Next Time -

Monday, August 17, 2015

Hollywood Casino Campground, Joliet, IL

Site 77, Hollywood Casino

Monday, August 17, 2015, Hollywood Casino Campground, Joliet, IL - 308.7 Miles Today, 10,296.2 For the Trip

While the weather started out with heavy rain making driving on I80 a pain, it pretty much cleared up as I drove east, with short bouts of light rain. I wanted to get my usual 300 miles or so today, and stopped at the Hollywood Casino Campground. I'm in a 80' long pull through, far more than I needed, but they told me over the phone that I probably would not be able to fit in their smaller back in sites & leave the RAV4 connected. Of course, after being assigned the site, I discovered I'd have fit fine in the back ins, cheaper & closer to the showers. Anyhow, a electric & water site for $44.55, I think.

The reason I think is I had to check my credit card transactions because for some reason Capital One decided to put a fraud hold on my card. The only thing different I did today from the rest of the trip was to make two phone orders for stuff (shipped to the home address registered on the card) and am staying in a Casino campground. In any case, I was able to clear the hold on the internet by telling them they were legitimate charges. The "I think" for the campground $ is they had a larger charge on my card that they tell me will be "adjusted" when I leave. Something about the additional $ to cover incidental charges at the hotel which uses the same billing system.

I went for a walk around the campground (and to check out the bathrooms at the other end of the place) and while there was a very light rain falling, I watched (and heard one second later) a lightning ground strike. Very exciting!

That was about all the excitement for the day. Dinner was a chicken pot pie cooked in the toaster oven outside on the picnic table. That way the air conditioner doesn't have to fight the oven.

I may not be able to post this tonight - while I have a cell connection, I don't seem to have an internet connection from Verizon. I'll try again later or in the morning.

Until Next Time -

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Timberline Campground, Waukee, IA

Site 69, Timberline Campground
Sunday, August 16, 2015, Timberline Campground, Waukee, IA - 289.4 Miles Today, 9987.5 For the Trip

Another day, another 300 miles closer to Oswego! Nothing much to say about today's part of the journey, although the Timberline Campground is one of the nicer ones I've found along I80. I'm sure there are many others, but the Timberline has me in site 69, nestled between two trees (I wouldn't want to back a long trailer into the location), an electric & water site for $37.68 with the Good Sam's discount & paying cash. Clean unisex bathrooms (only two at this end near the office) and shade at the level site. Long enough that I didn't have to unhook.

Since I arrived around 2:00, I spent most of day afternoon sitting outside & reading. It isn't quite as hot as the last two days, and was comfortable in the shade of the two large trees on site. There is a fair (2 bars) AT&T signal here, and an OK Verizon 4G LTE data signal.

Dinner will be a grilled chicken paddy sandwich & snap peas.

Until Next Time -

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Kearney RV Park, Kearney, NE

Site 5, North Campground, Kearney RV Park, Kearney, NE
Saturday, August 15, 2015, Kearney RV Park, Kearney, NE - 291.9 Miles Today, 9698.1 For the Trip

More running east on I80 today. It started out with a surprise - no AC. Now it was 7:45AM & already 75°F, with a predicted high of 97°F so I was a bit concerned. I remember our 96 cross country summer trip - My late wife Carol & I in a 90 Dodge Caravan with very good air conditioning, and our traveling companions in their "Yoda", an older 4 cylinder mid engine Toyota minivan that lost its AC a couple of days before the trip. They used spritz bottles to mist the air coming through the windows (which, on many days completely evaporated before it reached their faces) while we stayed cool & complained when we had to get out of the van and into hot tents. This was their chance to get even!

The RAV4 Sport has manual AC/heating controls, and I always leave the fan on 2 unless I need more. It has never been off since I owned the vehicle. A big but - I was on the cell phone sitting in the RAV4 because I needed the amplifier to keep a connection & turned off the fan to be able to hear. I didn't notice that that was why no AC; a twist of the wrist & everything was back to normal. I really would have felt stupid pulling into a Toyota dealer to have it fixed!

So, that was the excitement for the day. I stopped in Kearney, NB (boy is Nebraska a wide state) at the Kearney RV park. I'm in site 5 in the North Campground (they have 2), a full hookup for $36.15 with the Good Sam's discount. Still a bit close to the interstate, but not as bad as last night. I went through another time zone, so I'm only an hour behind Oswego. I called my son Kyle to let him know I'd be home early.

Dinner will be a baked cheese burrito cooked in the toaster oven outside on the picnic table. It is still hot enough that I probably won't have to plug it in. We'll see how the stomach holds up!

Until Next Time -

Friday, August 14, 2015

WYO Campground, Burns, WY

Site B5, WYO Campground, Burns, WY
Friday, August 14, 2015, WYO Campground, Burns, WY - 275.2 Miles Today, 9406.2 For the Trip

Anyone looking at a map & my current location will notice I'm east of my expected next stops. While I hate to say it, I'm calling the trip to the West part of this adventure to a close. I've mentioned a couple of times my stomach problems, mostly acid reflux. I'm on a couple of prescription medications that helped in the past, but over the last month it has bothered me to the point where the trip isn't fun any more. I'm waking up in the middle of the night, reduced to eating unspiced chicken, etc. I've been skipping hikes, taking photographs, and many of the other things that are the reasons I travel, so, I'm heading back to Oswego. I'll keep up the blog of my travels, but I have to admit they probably won't be all that interesting - just burning the miles along interstate 80.

The trip to Alaska was wonderful, and I hope to get my stomach under control with my local doctor, then maybe head to Florida for the winter. I was planning on doing that next year after spending this winter in Arizona, but we will see.

Tonight I'm in Burns, WY at the WYO Campground. It is just off I80 (lots of traffic noise) in site B5, a full hookup site for $34.65. Very hot - in the 90's, but a strong breeze, almost too much for the awning. I spent most of the afternoon sitting outside in the shade of the awning reading.

Dinner was left over chicken & snap peas.

Until Next Time -

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Sleeping Bear RV Park, Lander, WY

Site GB5, Sleeping Bear RV Park
Thursday, August 13, 2015, Sleeping Bear RV Park, Lander, WY - 153.6 Miles Today, 9131 For the Trip

A pretty drive along US 26 & US 287, mostly 2 lane, 65MPH roads. Sure did have different $ for gas along the way. $3.39 a gallon just outside the park, $2.99 at Dubois, and $2.77 in Lander, all within 150 miles along the same road.

I stopped for the night (actually barely afternoon) at the Sleeping Bear RV Park in Lander, WY, my second choice. While the Pioneer RV park a bit further along US 287 had better reviews, it is closed. Sleeping Bear is OK, although basically a parking lot with hookups. The do have very nice bathrooms - all in one units with showers, including one that has two showers in the same room. Full hookups for $38.30 with a Good Sam discount.

It is very hot - my outside thermometer reads 98°F (although that is under the propane cover which is in the sun). A light wind makes it possible to sit outside, as long as you can find shade. My site (GB5) has a few small trees, but nothing that makes shade. I did a couple of loads of laundry - I was down to two pairs of underwear (I know, too much information!) The only photo for the day is the site photo.

It was too hot to cook, so I made a run to Safeway & picked up a fried chicken 8 pack. For $6.99, and at least two meals, it is hard to beat. Snap peas & an ice cream sandwich rounded out the meal. After dinner I'm heading for the showers - It will be nice after 4 days of dry camping...

Until Next Time -

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Gros Ventre Campground, Tetons National Park, WY, Day 4

The Town Square, Jackson Hole, WY
Wednesday, August 12, 2015, Gros Ventre Campground, Tetons National Park, WY, Day 4 - 0 Miles Today, 8977.4 For the Trip

I woke up in the middle of the night listening to the refrigerator igniter sparking away. I didn't have the automatic switch over on the propane tanks on, and I was out. I switched tanks, and went back to sleep. A little bit of rain this morning, but after that it cleared. Still lots of haze in the sky, slowing down the recharge of the batteries. Another quiet, relaxing day. I walked around a couple of loops in the campground, then loaded the empty 20 lb propane tank into the RAV4, along with 10 lb tank I use for cooking. It wasn't empty, but I figured I'd fill it since I was filling the large tank anyway.

The small tank wouldn't take any propane. Not sure why since I've been cooking with it for two weeks, but is seems to still be full. The 20 lb tank took 4.3 gallons of propane. While I was in town, I decided to play tourist & take some downtown Jackson Hole photos. The first is at a gallery that has some stuff I liked, although too expensive or too large for me. A couple of photos at the square, and one of the snow less ski hill.  More from today at today's LakeshoreImages page.

After that I drove back to the campsite, hooked up the filled propane tank, and relaxed for the afternoon.

Since I was hungry, yesterday I skipped the New England Clam Chowder & had the rest of the baked beans & a grilled chicken paddy. Tonight it will be the chowder.

Until Next Time -

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Gros Ventre Campground, Tetons National Park, WY, Day 3

Atherton Creek Campground
Tuesday, August 11, 2015, Gros Ventre Campground, Tetons National Park, WY, Day 3 - 0 Miles Today, 8977.4 For the Trip

Well, I did nothing today! First, I slept in, not getting out of bet until after the furnace warmed the trailer to 65°F (inside was 52°F, outside 48°F this morning) then a quick navy shower & a bacon & eggs breakfast. I tried my Primus toaster for the first time - I definitely need a bit more practice to keep from burning the toast on the Coleman stove burner), then spent the morning reading. I took a break to walk around a couple of loops of the campground (the bathrooms are on the opposites side of the loop from where my trailer is located), did a little housekeeping checking & cleaning the batteries, and talked with a few neighbors.

I forgot & left the Sleek amplifier & WiFi ranger on overnight, with the result that I was down 30 amp hours by morning rather than the usual 15-20. Since the trailer is in the shade most of the morning, I got out the portable 160 Watt solar panel & by the end of the day, all 30 amp hours plus what I used during the day are back.

I called Rear View Safety, the people that make my rear camera system. I purchased it in June, 2010, and a week or so ago it died. I really miss both cameras, the trailer for monitoring traffic, and the RAV4 camera for hitching. I'm guessing the multiplexer is what has died, although it is possible it is the monitor. Since the multiplexer is only $39.95, it isn't expensive to replace, however I don't know when I'll be somewhere near a post office that accepts general delivery long enough to have it shipped.

That's about it for the day, I don't even have any photos, so I used one from yesterday of the Atherton Creek Campground.

Dinner will be something simple; I'm thinking some New England Clam Chowder, but that may change. Right now I'm trying to cool off. While it cools off quickly at night here in the Tetons, the outside temperature is now in the high 80's...

Until Next Time -

Monday, August 10, 2015

Gros Ventre Campground, Tetons National Park, WY, Day 2

A Cabin Along Gros Ventre Road
Monday, August 10, 2015, Gros Ventre Campground, Tetons National Park, WY, Day 2 - 0 Miles Today, 8977.4 For the Trip

While I didn't put any mileage on the trailer, I did drive over 100 miles today. Horst, a Texan who follows my blog suggested I look at the Atherton Creek Campground, one of his favorites. I can understand why. Although it is at the end of a rather rough section of poorly paved road, it is on Lower Slide Lake (created by the largest landslide in the world) with wonderful views from some of the sites. Unfortunately, the sites with great views are already taken through the weekend. I did include a photo of the campground, and will try to stay there on the next trip.

After that I drove north on US 89. I stopped to watch them launch a raft at Deadman's Bar, then on to the Moran Junction, then back towards the campground on the Teton Park Road. I drove to the top of Signal Mountain, a very twisty, narrow paved road. I included a photo of the cell tower (since it is called Signal Mountain) as well as a couple images of the view from the top.  More photos at today's LakeshoreImages page.  Lots of traffic in the park - many of the turnouts were full, as well as the Jenny Lake parking area.

On the way home I skipped by the campground & headed into Jackson & the Albertsons there to pick up some water & ice tea. Reminded me of Nantucket - very busy, with a full parking lot, and everyone in a rush. It is a huge store with lots of stuff, but no good meat thermometer.

After getting back to the campground, I read for a bit, then cooked a Bubba Burger & canned beans for dinner.

Until Next Time -

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Gros Ventre Campground, Tetons National Park, WY & Mormon Row

T. A. Moulton's Barn, Mormon Row, Teton National Park, WY
Sunday, August 9, 2015, Gros Ventre Campground, Tetons National Park, WY - 121.6 Miles Today, 8977.4 For the Trip

Well, the wonderful mileage is gone. Lots of hills, and a gain of a couple 1000' of altitude resulted in a more realistic 14.7MPG by the time I hit The Tetons National Park. I decided to stick with US 26 rather than the shortcut into Jackson Hole of ID 31 & WY 22. I did that on a previous trip, and it is quite a haul over switchbacks and passes. I stopped to take a couple photos of rafts on the Snake River. A fairly mild section of the river, but it was one of the pull offs where I could see rafters. After that it was fighting the traffic in Jackson Hole, and on into the park. I'm in site 219 in the non generator section of Gros Ventre Campground. Dry camping at $12.00 per night with the senior pass. A good view (through the trees) of the Tetons behind the trailer.

I do have a 2 bar, -86db 4GLTE Verizon signal at my campsite, better than having to drive into Jackson Hole as I did the last time I stayed in the campground. I was at the other end; maybe that makes the difference. In any case, I was able to post the photos and the first version of today's page. I hope to get out and add to it this afternoon.

I did drive out to Mormon Row, one of my favorite locations for photographs in the park. While I prefer earlier in the season when there is still snow on the Tetons, today's clouds look pretty good. I hope to get back around sunset for some evening photos. Other years I've been here there have been clear cloudless skies, so I'm hoping today's will hang in there.  More photos at today's LakeshoreImages page.

Dinner will be a chicken paddy sandwich with broccoli.

Until Next Time -

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Snake River RV Park, Idaho Falls, ID & EBR-1

Heater #1, An Atomic Airplane Engine!
Saturday, August 8, 2015, Snake River RV Park, Idaho Falls, ID - 86.1 Miles Today, 8855.8 For the Trip

As promised, I've included some of the photos of the EBR-1 Museum I took yesterday. While the entire plant is interesting to anyone wanting to know more about the early history of the use of "atomic" energy to produce electricity, the part of the exhibit I can't get over is the two atomic airplane engines located outside the building. While the engines were built & tested, the airplane, designed for 5 day flights, was obsolete before it was ever built. Still, the engines are impressive.  More photos at today's LakeshoreImages page.

It rained off & on all night, with a few breaks during the morning. Someone pulled into site 20 with a class C blocking a forward exit from my site. It was no problem since I could still back out if necessary, and since I only planned for a short drive today, didn't have to leave early. I met the couple and their family after breakfast - 5 kids. I remember how difficult it was with 2 teenagers on camping trips. We were in tents then, but even with a fairly large Class C RV, 5 kids (not all teenagers) has to be quite an adventure!

Since I had been doing a lot of driving without the trailer, I reset the MPG calculator on the RAV4. Fairly flat roads between Arco & Idaho Falls so I ended up getting 17.3MPG driving at 59MPH. Unfortunately, that won't last. I stopped for the night at the Snake River RV Park in Idaho Falls, ID. I'm in site A-11, a back in grass site with electric & water for $36.61 with the Good Sam's discount. Quite a slope to the site - I had to unhook and add a couple of Leggo blocks to level the trailer.

After setting up the trailer I went looking for a haircut. Found a barber (actually all the places listed under Google seemed to be hairdressers) and got my haircut for $10.00 + tip. I also stopped at Albertson's for some supplies. I'm currently looking for an "instant read" meat thermometer. My last one died, and the Good Cook brand I bought to replace it said "instant" on the package, but is anything but. It takes 30 - 45 seconds to come up to the temperature of what you are measuring. My last one did it is a few seconds. I found one that claims 4-6 seconds at Amazon, but don't plan to be anywhere long enough until later in the trip to have it shipped. I'll look for a kitchen supply to see if I can find a good one. Since I tend to cook lots of chicken, I want to be able to check the temperature while grilling.

After shopping, it was back to the trailer & a bit of reading & a shower. Since I'm heading to the Tetons, I will be dry camping for a few days, so it is now or never! Well, not really never, but a shower in the small wet bath of the escape is something I avoid as much as possible.

Dinner was a grilled chicken breast, peaches, and cookies for dessert.

Until Next Time -

Friday, August 7, 2015

Craters of the Moon National Monument, ID

Site 19, Craters of the Moon National Monument, ID
Friday, August 7, 2015, Craters of the Moon National Monument, ID - 126.4 Miles Today, 8769.7 For the Trip

A fairly short drive today. I added 16 miles to the trip looking for the Hagerman Fossil Beds National Monument, but while I found signs 8 miles away, and the town of Hagerman, I never found the monument. The GPS said it was at the high school, but I looked around & no luck. On the way back to the route to Craters of the Moon I stopped at a view point for the Fossil beds & the Snake River so I included a couple of photos.  More photos at today's LakeshoreImages page.

Craters of the Moon is one of my favorite National Monuments. It is so strange to walk through the many trails - weird rocks, including some 2' across that you can pick up and hold at arm's length with one hand, beautiful stunted trees, cinder cones, etc. Well worth a visit. While it may not work tonight since there is quite a bit of haze in the air, this is one of the best places for night skies I've visited. Part of that comes from the openness of the area, part from being far from lighted cities, and part because the campground is dry camping, so the lights usually go out with the visitors going to sleep.

I'm in site 19, again a dry site for $5.00 per night with the senior discount. The sites are cinders, which are a pain if you are wearing sandals since they get under you feet, and everything is black, so the sun heats things up during the day. The campground is at over 5000', so it cools off fast at night.

I won't be able to post this since there is no cell coverage in the park, and no WiFi, at least until I drive somewhere that has it. I may visit the first atomic power plant museum again - it isn't too far from the campground and has the only atomic airplane engines I've ever seen.

I did drive out to the EBR-1 and took some photos, but didn't bring the adapter to load them to the laptop, so they will have to wait until tomorrow. There is a good 4G LTE Verizon signal here at the reactor, so I'll post today's page a bit early.

Dinner will be a grilled chicken paddy and a salad, cookies for dessert.

Until Next Time -

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Three Island Crossing State Park, Glenns Ferry, ID, Day 2

An Interesting Spider
Thursday, August 6, 2015, Three Island Crossing State Park, Glenns Ferry, ID, Day 2 - 04 Miles Today, 8643.3 For the Trip

A quiet, relaxing day, other than the heat. It started out cool, but was in the 90°Fs by afternoon. I did take a couple of photographs of the "wildlife" - a bird nest that was not as interesting as the last one, the parents, and a cool looking spider. About 2" across. The other photos are at today's LakeshoreImages page.

After that I drove to the Oregon Trail History & Education Center, a building at another part of the state park. They have a bunch of exhibits, a video, and lots of information about the Oregon Trail & its travelers. The name of the park comes from the three islands that formed one of the few places along the trail where it was possible for wagons to ford the Snake River. No photos, but worth a visit if you are in the area.

After that is was back to the campsite and sitting out in the chair. I tuned on the AC to cool down the trailer, but prefer to sit outside as long as there is some shade & a breeze.

It was too hot (or I was too lazy) to cook, so I drove to the local supermarket for some Tom's Fried Chicken & a salad for dinner. Not the greatest fried chicken of the trip, but it beats cooking!

Until Next Time -

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Three Island Crossing State Park, Glenns Ferry, ID

Site 19, Three Island Crossing State Park, ID
Wednesday, August 5, 2015, Three Island Crossing State Park, Glenns Ferry, ID - 206.4 Miles Today, 8643.3 For the Trip

More miles on I84. I discovered this morning that the refrigerator from hell is doing its thing. The spring in the door latch broke. While the magnetic seal holds it closed when parked, without the latch any bumpy or windy roads is asking for the contents to end up on the floor. I had added a strap that goes across the door, so that won't happen as long as I remember to hook it up, but I'd rather have the safety of the working latch. I stopped at two different RV dealers in Boise, ID but they didn't have the latch in stock. I did get the part number, so if I am anywhere long enough, I can get one shipped.

I stopped for the day at the Three Island Crossing State Park. I'm in site 19 for two nights. While the price is more expensive for non residents, they have a 50% discount for seniors. $19.31 per night for electric & water. Nice shade trees over the large site, very clean bathrooms and showers. I'm not sure why the park is so empty - a pleasant place to stay.

After setting up I decided that I could fix the door. I removed the latch, took it apart & found the pieces of the broken spring. I was pretty sure I wouldn't be able to find an exact replacement, but at the Hometown Hardware in Glenns Ferry they had a small compression spring made of wire about the same weight. A little reworking with a my Leatherman and a lot of luck, and there is now a spring back in my latch!

Dinner was a grilled chicken breast, corn on the cob & a Butterfingers ice cream cone for dessert.

Until Next Time -

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Mountain View RV Park, Baker City, OR

Three Fiberglass Trailers With Red Tow Vehicles
Tuesday, August 4, 2015, Mountain View RV Park, Baker City, OR - 277.6 Miles Today, 8436.9 For the Trip

I had a couple of surprises this morning - on the way to the bathrooms I saw an old bug eyed Sprite. Reminded me of the days when I drove an 1957 MG Midget (with a Sprite engine). The other surprise was a vehicle with Hawaiian license plates - must have been a tough drive! That would have been a special find back when we played the license plate game. We used to do it on trips, and for a number of years, did it while on the island of Nantucket. Alaska was always tough, but Hawaii was tougher. We did find Alaska plates for a couple of years at the Coast Guard housing on Nantucket, and one year there was a Hawaiian plate on a car on a boat in the harbor (cars aren't all that unusual in Nantucket harbor - some of the boats have their own helicopter.

Back to the trip - I spent the entire day on I 84. I stopped for the afternoon at Baker City in southeast Oregon. When I pulled into my site there was an Escape 19 across the way. I talked with the owners; they are here for a bit longer than planned. Their Highlander transmission failed so they are stuck here until it is repaired (under warranty). A sad way to start out - they have only had the trailer for a week.  I'm in site 101, a full hookup site with cable for 32.08 with a Good Sam discount.

By the way, the campground has a rather unique way of keeping unaccompanied children out of the bathrooms. The keypad & door handle is 5'6" above the ground. As a former building coordinator that had to enforce building safety rules, I'm surprised they can do it - if a child managed to enter the bathroom (say by following an adult) and managed to stay in the bathroom until all the adults left, there is no way he could open the door since the inside handle is also 5'6" above the floor...

While relaxing in my chair a Casita pulled up 2 sides from me. A bit later another one pulled in to the site next door. Even more strange, we all had red tow vehicles. I had to get a photo.

Other than a walk around the campground, I didn't do much other than talk with the neighbors, read, and relax. Dinner was a grilled chicken patty sandwich, the rest of the snap peas & a cup of peaches.

Until Next Time -

Monday, August 3, 2015

Sandy Riverfront RV Park, Troutdale, OR

A Clean Trailer!
Monday, August 3, 2015, Sandy Riverfront RV Park, Troutdale, OR - 247.3 Miles Today, 8159.3 For the Trip

A bit of a late start today; I didn't sleep all that well & tried to catch up between 4:00AM & 8:00AM. I'm heading southeast; not sure where I'll end up, but I hope to see some of the parts of Oregon and east that I haven't already been to. I'm not starting off well - I cruised down I5 to I84, both of which I've done many times. I got as far as Troutdale, a bit east of Portland. I'm in the Sandy Riverfront RV Park, site 152, a full hookup site, including cable TV for $37.89 with the Good Sam discount. A very commercial style RV park; concrete pads, street lights, grass lawns at each site. It looks like many are either permanent or long term campers, but very well kept up. Very nice bathrooms & showers; my only complaint is they are at the other end of a long walk through the campground. While not a complaint since they don't bother me, the park, like all of them along the Columbia River Basin have near by trains going by, complete with tooting horns. There is also a near by small plane airport.

They do have another great feature - they want you to wash your trailer. It is in the rules that you have to wash them twice a year. I asked and they said it was OK to do mine. So, I had to wait until almost sunset to post the page so I could take a photo of a clean trailer. I washed off about 50 lbs of Alaskan dirt!

Other than that, I didn't do much. I grilled a chicken breast & steamed some snap peas for dinner, took a shower, and talked with Don & Anne on the phone. They went to Palouse Falls on my recommendation, but it was over 100°F so they didn't spend much time taking pictures. While it was in the 90°F over the last couple of days in western Washington, last night on the coast it was in the 60's, and felt cold.

Until Next Time -

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Crescent Beach RV Park, Port Angeles, WA

Crescent Beach
Sunday, August 2, 2015, Crescent Beach RV Park, Port Angeles, WA, - 194.1 Miles Today, 7912 For the Trip

I left early, planning to take the ferry between Lynnwood & Edmonds. It saves about 80 miles of driving, but to be sure to get one you need an early boat. Since it would cost around $80.00, I'd use less gas driving, and I wouldn't be able to get into the campground until at least 11:00. So, I decided to take the land route. Not a bad drive, although much of it was on busy 4 lane (minimum) roads, even at 7:00AM on a Sunday.

I arrived at he campground around 11:30 & discovered that their check out time was 2:00 & there was someone in my assigned site. I parked at the side of the sites, and took a walk on the beach. That was, after registering & paying for the site. You get a wrist band (like at concerts & RV shows, etc) that gives you permission to walk on the beach. A bit different than the Great Lakes, or Nantucket, for that matter. There, no one owns below the high water mark. Here, apparently, they own to the water, no matter where the tide is. I watched one of the "guards" chase a couple of stand up paddle boarders off the beach when they came onto the shore for a break.

They should add the name resort to this campground, but only because of the price - $50.69 per night. I wanted to stop at the Elwha Dam campground; it had the best reviews in the area, but it was full.

Sites here are burned up grass, full hookups & one bathroom with two unisex showers located at the other end of the campground. They also have a novel solution to wasting hot water & cleaning - both shower doors have been locked all day even though there is a sign on the doors saying leave the doors open when not in use.  I finally knocked, and no one answered...

They do have a nice beach - I took a couple of photos so I could get my moneys worth. When I got back from my walk there was still a van in my site, so they gave me one next to it.

I went back to the beach after dinner for some evening light & to chase seagulls.

Nice campground hosts, but they sure protect their beach! I wish they did as much for their sites - dog poop is on the side of my site. At least it is on the sewer side!  More photos (not the dog poop) at today's LakeshoreImages page.

Dinner, by the way, was a Marie Callender's frozen Country Fried Chicken dinner. OK, but not as good as home made.

Until Next Time -

Lake Ki RV Resort & Camp, Arlington, WA, Day 2

Saturday, August 1, 2015, Lake Ki RV Resort & Camp, Arlington, WA, Day 2 - 0 Miles Today, 7717.5 For the Trip

I was so busy doing nothing that I didn't post last night. Sorry, but since there isn't much to write about, you didn't miss much. I spent the day reading, took a shower, and had another steak along with broccoli for dinner. The highlight of the day was a drive to Walmart for more snap peas. No photos for the day.

Until tomorrow -

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Lake Ki RV Resort & Camp, Arlington, WA

Site 22, Lake Ki RV Resort & Camp
Friday, July 31, 2015, Lake Ki RV Resort & Camp, Arlington, WA - 85.9 Miles Today, 7717.5 For the Trip

The earliest start of the trip - I was out of the campground at 6:30AM, much too early for us retired guys! John at Roland Toyota of Everett said it would take 2 hours from Bellingham to Everett, but at that time of day the traffic was minimal, and it only took an hour. I got permission from the store manager at Albertsons to leave the trailer there (across the street from Toyota) since there was very little parking at the Toyota dealer. They had the oil seal replaced by 11:30, I did some shopping at Albertson's, then headed north to Arlington & the Lake Ki RV Resort & Camp. The only photo is the site one above.

While resort in name, it is only one by price - $40.00 per night for full hookups. The bathrooms & pay showers ($1.00 for ? minutes) as well as the laundry are as far away as they could be and still be in the same park. The gravel sites are difficult to find; a poor map & the only site id is a small tag on the power pedestal (although some sites have a small sign on the picnic table). There are also many dead ended sections that are difficult to tell from the main loop. I had to do some tight turns & backing to get out of a couple of them before I parked the trailer & walked around until I found my site. I'm in site 22. All that said, the laundry is inexpensive - I did a double load.

By the time I was done with laundry & sitting around reading, it was time for dinner. Albertsons had small seasoned round steaks that were priced by one, get two free, with two steaks per package, so I went for it. A bit tougher than I'm used to, but you can't beat the price. So, dinner was a steak & mashed potatoes.

Until tomorrow -