Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Day 88, Tuesday, October 31, 2017 - Furnace Creek Campground, Death Valley, CA, Day 3

Tuesday, October 31, 2017 - Furnace Creek Campground, Death Valley, CA, Day 3, 0 Miles, 2,452.9 Towing Miles For the Trip

Happy Halloween! I haven't seen any ghosts yet - and since I didn't buy any Halloween candy, hope there won't be any trick or treaters...

A quiet day spent at the campground. Not quite as hot as the last two days, but since it doesn't cool off much at night, it still feels overly warm. I did take a walk around the campground, and watched the neighbors leave (they only moved down the row two sites) as well as new neighbors arrive behind me. While not as full as during the weekend, the campground still has few empty sites.

I sat outside reading most of the day. Some of the morning was spent arranging to have the water heater replaced at home. Hopefully, within a week Kyle will be able to take showers!

Dinner was a Amy's Enchilada Dinner.

Until Tomorrow -

Monday, October 30, 2017

Day 87, Monday, October 30, 2017 - Furnace Creek Campground, Death Valley, CA, Day 2

Along Artist's Drive
Monday, October 30, 2017 - Furnace Creek Campground, Death Valley, CA, Day 2, 0 Miles, 2,452.9 Towing Miles For the Trip

I spent the morning talking with water heater installers back in upstate NY. I couldn't contact my son - they had a bad storm with hurricane force winds & 5" of rain - the power was out, as was phone & cable. He called when I got to work; everything at the house is OK (with the exception, of course, the hot water). Even his heat is working.

After that I headed to Artist's Drive. It was closed when I was here in February. They repaved it - a nice, smooth but curvy & hilly one way road. The mountainside along the drive screams for panoramas, so I took a few. No problem uploading them, even the multi MB large image files. A pretty drive with lots of places to stop & walk into good viewing areas. More photos, the panoramas, and Borax Works photos at today's LakeshoreImages page.

After that I went in search of the village store. They have completely rebuilt the area, and unless I'm confused (which, of course, is a good possibility) is is much smaller, and hidden behind the golf office. In any case, nothing that I wanted. I did buy my first "T" shirt at the visitor center.

Next was a quick run to the Borax Works. I haven't been there since 1996, so I thought it was time to stop by. Looks pretty much the same, although the walkway is a bit nicer.

I'm now back at the trailer looking for some shade to sit in. A little later I'll fire up the water heater (at least mine works) and take a shower.

Dinner was a veggie burger & watermelon slices, and Chocolate Cream Oreos for dessert.

Until Tomorrow -

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Day 86, Sunday, October 29, 2017 - Furnace Creek Campground, Death Valley, CA

Site 35, Furnace Creek Campground, Death Valley, CA
Sunday, October 29, 2017 - Furnace Creek Campground, Death Valley, CA, 168.7 Miles, 2,452.9 Towing Miles For the Trip

An easy drive to Death Valley, however the pull over the pass spent a lot of time at 4000 RPM & drank a lot of gas! My plan was to stay at Texas Spring Campground, my favorite here in Death Valley, but it is closed. Seems there is either a mix up in ranger assignments, resulting in too few to open all the campgrounds, or not enough funding, depending on who you ask. In any case, Furnace Creek is all that is available in this area.

As always, all the full hookup sites were reserved, and there were only 3 sites left that were open for 3 days. I cruised the loops and picked 35. Not too far from the bathrooms (flush toilets, but no showers) almost level, and long enough for both the trailer & truck. Not as tight as most commercial campsites, but not as open as Texas Springs. There is a bit of late afternoon shade, but the rest of the day, full sun. It hit 95°F this afternoon. More photos at today's LakeshoreImages page.

No Verizon coverage, and a strong, but overloaded AT&T signal. My phone tells me I'm off network, but the Mobley works, and is not suppose to roam, so we will find out what happens when the bill arrives!

Dinner was chicken Parmesan (Why do we call it that when it is usually made with Mozzarella cheese?) In any case, along with refrigerator peaches.

Until Tomorrow -

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Day 85, Saturday, October 28, 2017 - Red Rock Canyon State Park, Cantil, CA, Day 4

The Boy Scouts Next Door
Saturday, October 28, 2017 - Red Rock Canyon State Park, Cantil, CA, Day 4, 0 Miles, 2,284.2 Towing Miles For the Trip

Well, this may be the first day here at Red Rock Canyon that I can't post. The campground WiFi is down, as is AT&T. I'll put the page together & try again later. Well, it is later & the park WiFi is back up; AT&T is still dead.

No overnight photos - a group of boy scouts moved in on both sides of my site. Ten tents right next door & another 5 just down the hill. Not a particularly noisy bunch, but lots of light.

After breakfast & a short walk around the campground, I headed to Ridgecrest to do laundry. I found the I Wash, a nice laundromat that uses cards rather than quarters. You pay $2.00 for the card, and buy time on the machines in $5.00 increments. I guessed at $10.00 worth to wash & dry, put $2.50 each into 2 washers, and $1.50 each into two dryers, got my $2.00 back by turning in the card, leaving $2.00 on the card. It was still less expensive than many of the laundromats I've used, and while I could have kept the card, who knows when I'll be back.

After that I headed to Walmart, stopping om the way to fill the truck @ $2.739 per gallon at a Fastrip gas station. Gas prices are all over the place - on the drive I saw it as high as $4.75 per gallon. I suspect it will get more expensive as I get closer to Death Valley.

Dinner was spaghetti and meatballs.

Hopefully, until tomorrow! -

Friday, October 27, 2017

Day 84, Friday, October 27, 2017 - Red Rock Canyon State Park, Cantil, CA, Day 3

Trailer & Milky Way
Friday, October 27, 2017 - Red Rock Canyon State Park, Cantil, CA, Day 3, 0 Miles, 2,284.2 Towing Miles For the Trip

I took a couple more star photos last night. It is just too tempting with the warm nights & minimal spill light, although the lights of traffic heading down the hill on CA 14 on the north side of the campground are a bit of a pain.

To take the photo of the trailer with the milky way behind it I had to set the tripod in the middle of the campground road. No traffic all evening until I set up, then along comes a car. Not only did the headlights ruin the 20 second exposure, but I had to quickly fold up the tripod & headed back to the trailer to get out of the way. I don't think the driver would be expecting someone standing in the middle of the road any more than I expected him to come along!

After he went by, I set up again, and during the exposure he turned around and backed into a site 1/4 mile away. His headlights were still enough to ruin the photo (even the vehicles 5 miles away at the top of the hill I mentioned are enough to show up on long exposures). He finally settled down & I got the photo.  More photos at today's LakeshoreImages page.

I  thought about making a run to Ridgecrest (the nearest town with a laundromat, Albertson's & Walmart) but decided on waiting until tomorrow. I walked around the campground, renewed my site registration, and found the Visitor Center open for the first time. They have some nice exhibits inside, but not much in the way of "T" shirts. I haven't bought one yet on the trip, and it has been 84 days!

Back at the trailer I fired up the water heater & took a shower. Back to navy style since I don't have hookups. Still, nice to remove a layer or two of dust. Since I had hot water, I did the small pile of dishes in the sink. When I'm in an electric site & the water heater is always on, I do dishes immediately after using them, just like at home (a habit developed over the years). When dry camping, I let them pile up until I have enough to make it worth heating up 6 gallons of water.

Speaking of water heaters, it appears that the water heater in the house back in Oswego is toast. It is a BoilerMate indirect Amtrol tank that is beyond repair. They are looking into options, but if it has to be replaced with a new one, it is $2,300.00 installed. Ouch! The house electrical system is not up to an AC powered water heater, and it looks like the chimney is too small for a stand along gas one. The joys of home ownership!

Dinner was a couple of chicken Empanadas baked in the oven, along with some snap peas & a cup of refrigerator peaches. While it was a hot day, once the shade hit the trailer it was cool enough to use the oven for the 15 minutes to took to cook them.

Hopefully, until tomorrow! -

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Day 83, Thursday, October 26, 2017 - Red Rock Canyon State Park, Cantil, CA, Day 2

The Milky Way Over the Campground
Thursday, October 26, 2017 - Red Rock Canyon State Park, Cantil, CA, Day 2, 0 Miles, 2,284.2 Towing Miles For the Trip

There was already enough moon to make photos of the milky way difficult, but I took a few, as well as a 115 minute exposure to make a star circle. The bottom 2 photos are experiments with vertical panoramas to get a bit more mountain & milky way in the image.

It didn't cool off that much overnight, only going down to 56°F, 60°F in the trailer. The furnace didn't even come on. I was able to listen to Morning Edition on the internet at KAZU, a California station; I couldn't log on to my regular Phoenix stations. By noon it was up to 85°F outside & 80°F in the trailer. I walked around the campground loop & took a few photos, including a couple of the open roof vault toilets. I guess that one doesn't get used as much. While it has no doors, so you probably should sing out before entering, it did have toilet paper. The roofed toilets have none, and the floors are a mess; it looks like no one has checked them in days. It can't be the crowds - as far as I could see, there were only 3 other campers in the park last night. I did, for the first time, see some signs of management. A Parks & Recreation truck drove by this morning, and a bit later, a van with a California State Parks sticker on the door. Neither stopped to check the bathrooms...

Around 12:30 I headed to the Hagen Canyon trail at the entrance to the park to take a couple of "Red Rock" photos. I didn't do the entire trail (too hot & I've done it before) in cooler weather.

Last night & today's photos are at today's LakeshoreImages page.

I'm back at the trailer, taking advantage of the campground WiFi, which is working for the first time since I've been to the park. The shade from the rock behind my trailer is just starting to move across it so it should cool down soon.

Yesterday's plan was to head for the Texas Springs campground at Death Valley tomorrow, but it is around 10°F warmer there, with 20° warmer predicted nights, so I think I'll stay here. Today hit 93°F, but the weekend is predicted to be cooler (mid 80's) and since I have internet access, why not? The campground is getting crowded - there are 5 - 6 campers that I can see from my site, and probably more around the corners.

Dinner was a Bubba Burger & pickled beets.

Hopefully, until tomorrow! -

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Day 82, Wednesday, October 25, 2017 - Red Rock Canyon State Park, CA

Red Rock Canyon
Wednesday, October 25, 2017 - Red Rock Canyon State Park, CA, 104.7 Miles, 2,284.2 Towing Miles For the Trip

A very slow start. I didn't need to be out of the park until noon, my overnight package was not going to arrive in Mojave until 3:00, and, as you can see, the total mileage to Red Rock wasn't all that far. I added water to 1/2 a tank since there isn't an easy way to fill tanks at Red Rock (threadless faucets) - I do have a water thief, but it really takes two people to make it work.

I arrived at the Mojave Post Office at 12:05, and discovered they shut down for lunch 12:00 - 1:00. I was pretty sure the package had arrived since the USPS tracking said it did even though I was a couple of hours early. Since I had a good Verizon signal,I parked across from the post office, fired up the Jetpack & sat in the truck reading web pages & forums for an hour. They opened right on schedule, and after a bit of searching, found the package. Lots of checking IDs, signing, etc, but I was on my way in about 10 minutes.

The drive from Mojave to Red Rock state park was uneventful (although the drive from Bakersfield to Mojave hit 5000'; I was down to 8.5MPG by the top. Here at the park the altitude is around 2500' and I'm back up to my usual non interstate MPG of around 10.

The actual red rocks are at the entrance to the park so I stopped to photograph a couple. The formations in the campground are not red, but they make a beautiful background to the sites along the back of the loop. I'm in site 28 this trip (I stayed in site 39 in April 2014, and site 10 in February, 2017. The background is a bit nicer in those two sites, however neither has much afternoon shade, something I appreciate since it is currently 87°F. My other visits were in the Winter & Spring where sun was more important. It is still going to get cold tonight; 49°F is predicted.

After depositing my envelope in the "pay here" slot (I've been here 3 different times at different seasons, and have never seen a ranger or found the visitor center open), I fired up the AT&T Mobley modem, and was pleasantly surprised to find a usable internet signal. it is -94dBm with an amplifier, but it did let me post the images I took earlier.  As usual, more photos at today's LakeshoreImages page.

Dinner will be a grilled chicken sausage & snap peas.

Hopefully, until tomorrow! -

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Day 81, Tuesday, October 24, 2017 - Buena Vista Aquatic Recreation Area,Taft, CA, Day 3

My Next Door Neighbor
Tuesday, October 24, 2017 - Buena Vista Aquatic Recreation Area,Taft, CA, Day 3, 0 Miles, 2,175.9 Towing Miles For the Trip

I woke up this morning to a call from my son, no heat or hot water. He used my list of repair people, and at first the boiler repair crew talked about needing to replace it. Luckily, a bit later they just replaced some parts & everything is working, so he has heat & hot water. Something I don't have to worry about here in central California. It was in the mid 80's today, and only down to the mid 60's overnight.

It is good that the trailer is warm - while the site is OK, in fact, a decent distance from the neighbors, and with a great view, the bathrooms are a different story. There is a building every couple hundred yards, but only the central one has showers. All are dark & damp, with stainless toilets (no seats) and in the one across from my site, 2 push button showers that even I wouldn't use. With full hookups, showering in the trailer is easy (well, other than having to wipe down the entire bathroom afterwards).

I spent the day reading, sitting out in the sun, and taking a couple of walks around the campground loop.

A reminder to those that follow my daily postings - while at Red Rock Canyon State Park, my next stop, I will have no internet (or phone) so I will be "off the air" for a bit.

Dinner was a Morningstar Veggie burger & the rest of the Bush beans.

After dinner I sat out watching the sunset (not all that exciting), reading on my Kindle. I heard an owl hooting, and found it sitting at the top of a dead pine tree next door. The image quality isn't all that hot since it was pretty dark, the camera barely focused, and was hand held, but here is the best - I believe it is a Great Horned Owl.

Until the Next Internet Connection -

Monday, October 23, 2017

Day 80, Monday, October 23, 2017 - Buena Vista Aquatic Recreation Area,Taft, CA, Day 2

Sunset & Moon
Monday, October 23, 2017 - Buena Vista Aquatic Recreation Area,Taft, CA, Day 2, 0 Miles, 2,175.9 Towing Miles For the Trip

I sat around reading all morning since my remaining prescriptions would not be ready until noon. I decided to replace my legal sized file box with a letter size, since the legal barely fit in the storage cabinet. I didn't like the latch on the Walmart version since 2 of them failed, requiring pliers to open them. I looked for a Staples, but the one in Bakersfield closed. The Office Max was open, but 30 miles from the campground. I went anyway, picked up exactly what I was looking for, and a couple of pens. I also stopped at a Walmart & Albertson's on the way back to the Rite Aid, then back to the campground.

More sitting around reading - currently Stephen King's Thinner.

By the way, there is good cell coverage here in the park, with both Verizon & AT&T showing better than 10MB download & 13MB upload speeds. I still have less drop out with Verizon than AT&T, but since the AT&T is unlimited, I tend to use it even when each is available. Now that I'm towards the end of the Verizon cycle with only 6GB used, I can switch to it.

My friend Anne stopped by the house to pick up my 2018 trailer registration (they will only mail it to my home address), plus some other pieces of mail & sent it to General Delivery in a town I will be passing through on Wednesday. Unfortunately, the package is scheduled to arrive by 5:00PM & I expect to be passing through around 2:00. I'll check to see if it is early, but if not, I'll stop on the way back from Red Rock Canyon State Park. By the way, while Red Rock Canyon is a beautiful park, there is no cell coverage, so I will disappear for awhile after tomorrow...

I took another sunset photo. A bit different from last night, but still pretty. I must be getting brave (or too much wine with dinner) - I played my Navajo flute for a bit even though I have neighbors! I am terrible at it, but I've always wanted one, so I keep plugging away.

Dinner was a couple of grilled chicken thighs & grilled asparagus, along with a large glass of Wellesley Island Wine, an upstate NY white wine from the Thousand Islands Winery that I like. Probably a bit sweet for some, but a nice grape taste. If you want a really sweet, grape tasting wine, try their Niagara! I love the flavor, but it is too sweet for me.

Until Tomorrow -

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Day 79, Sunday, October 22, 2017 - Buena Vista Aquatic Recreation Area,Taft, CA

Sunset & Crescent Moon
Sunday, October 22, 2017 - Buena Vista Aquatic Recreation Area,Taft, CA, 169 Miles, 2,175.9 Towing Miles For the Trip

I tried for a star photo last night. A few clouds, and the only open sky from my site was pretty boring, but it is at today's LakeshoreImages page (link below).

A quiet drive down I 5 to Bakersfield, CA, at least once I get used to California drivers. Lots of weaving between cars & trucks just to get one car length ahead of the next guy. The Buena Vista Aquatic Recreation Area is listed as in Taft, CA, but it is about 11 miles from Bakersfield. I'm in site 31, a water site that costs $1.00 more than an inland site - well worth it for the view, particularly sunset. The site is a pull through with full hookups for $25.00 per night - this is a county rather than state Recreation area & the site price, compared to the last campground, shows the difference!

After setting up I tried calling the nearest Rite Aid to phone in some prescription renewals, but the pharmacy never answered their phone. Since it was a relatively short trip, I drove to it. I can understand why the phone went unanswered - only one person (the pharmacist) working the entire section - I forgot it was a Sunday. She was able to fill most of the prescriptions while I waited; I'll pick up 2 more tomorrow. Since I have adjusted renewal dates so all come due at the same time (to make it easier when the drug store is a 30 mile drive), I try to keep renewal dates as close to each other as possible. It works well for the 90 day stuff, but the eye drops range from 28 days to 80 days, depending on the medication. It does throw a wrench into planning!

Back at the campground I sat in the sun & read, talked with one of my neighbors (who like to play loud music & TV - I get to test the sound proofing of the new Escape), and took some sunset photos, some with a crescent moon. I know I have some age & noise related hearing loss (both weapon noise from Viet Nam and tuning up sound systems is tough on hearing, plus a fair amount of tinnitus), but I can still tell when someone has their music cranked up more than normal. I hope they read & understand the listed quiet hours!

The site photo and more sunset images are at today's LakeshoreImages page.

Dinner was a couple of hot dogs & Bush Bourbon & Brown Sugar beans.

Until Tomorrow -

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Day 78, Saturday, October 21, 2017 - San Luis Creek Campground, CA, Day 3

Bird Attack!
Saturday, October 21, 2017 - San Luis Creek Campground, CA, Day 3, 0 Miles, 2,010.5 Towing Miles For the Trip

Happy Birthday to my son Kyle!

My feathered friend woke me up at dawn again. This time I had a camera in the trailer so I got a couple of photos. Lousy quality because of the low light & window screens, but you get the idea. Very persistent - he/she would take a 15 - 20 minute break, then back at it, hitting the window every 10 seconds or so flying back & forth between the truck & the window - still going at 10:00AM. One more photo at today's LakeshoreImages page.

Another quiet day at the campground. I talked a bit with my neighbor, took a couple of walks around the campground, and sat outside reading. I started a new book - A Spot of Bother, by Mark Haddon. A very funny story that I found in a campground laundry written by a British author published in Britain. I love trading books - I find authors I'd never think to buy (or find) in a bookstore. Some are terrible, but many are wonderful new discoveries.

Dinner was the rest of the shrimp cocktail & an ɘvol Shanghai Noodles & Grilled Chicken dinner. A bit too dry for me but edible, and it forced me to look up how to make a backwards "e" in HTML!

Until Tomorrow -

Friday, October 20, 2017

Day 77, Friday, October 20, 2017 - San Luis Creek Campground, CA, Day 2

My Wake Up Caller
Friday, October 20, 2017 - San Luis Creek Campground, CA, Day 2, 0 Miles, 2,010.5 Towing Miles For the Trip

It must have been the conditions yesterday afternoon; AT&T was fine last night, this morning, and now. I didn't do much today (you do hear that a lot!) I made a run to Walmart to exchange a file folder in which I keep the trailer manuals, etc. The latch broke, making it impossible to open. Unfortunately, the only one they had that was large enough is a legal size, which uses the same latch, and barely fits in the overhead cabinet I use to store it. I'll keep checking just to see if there is a smaller alternative that still holds all the paperwork.

I have a crazy bird living next door. I suspect that it is bothered by its reflection in my bedside window. He or she attacks the top edge of the window over & over. Woke me up at dawn this morning. If I go outside he flies away, so no photos while in the act, but I did catch him sitting in a nearby tree. I also added a couple more photos of the ducks on the lake at today's LakeshoreImages page.

I can't believe it all came from him, but my truck is covered with bird poop - hood, mirrors, door, etc. I never heard a flock of birds outside, but it almost had to be. During the run to Walmart I stopped at a Fast Wash & the truck now shines. Hopefully, no more surprises!

I tried sitting outside after I got back, but while it is warm enough when the sun is shining, the clouds moved in with enough wind to make it uncomfortable.

Dinner was a grilled cheese sandwich, 1/2 a tray of shrimp cocktail & asparagus.

Until Tomorrow -

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Day 76, Thursday, October 19, 2017 - San Luis Creek Campground, CA

Site 18
Thursday, October 19, 2017 - San Luis Creek Campground, CA, 244.8 Miles, 2,010.5 Towing Miles For the Trip

A longer drive than usual, and longer than I like. I had made reservations at one of the campgrounds in the San Luis Reservoir State Recreation Area since it was about half way to Bakersfield, a planned stop. I looked up the campgrounds & the San Luis Creek has electric & water, so I made a reservation. $40.00 per night plus a $7.99 reservation fee! Works out to $42.66 per night, one of the most expensive campgrounds of the trip.

At check in I discovered that another campground in the Recreation Area has flush toilets & showers, so I asked to change campgrounds. After an exciting left turn across 4 lanes of 65MPH traffic on CA 152, I discovered that, although the Basalt Campground does have pay showers, they don't have electricity or water. Would have been nice for them to mention no hookups at the entrance station since I paid for them. So, another mad dash across CA 152 (another left turn, both times with long waits for a break in the traffic) and back to San Luis Creek Campground.

No showers or even bathrooms - Vault toilets only. I checked out the one near my site & a very large black spider has a web centered about 3" below the seat. I think I'll use the trailer!

I'm in site 18, which is listed as a 30' site, although the tongue of my 21 (which, when measured the way stick built trailers determine length, would be a 19', is 5' from the road with the trailer wheels against the concrete backstop. Each site has a longer space for the trailer & a shorter one for the tow vehicle. My Tacoma just fits. Still, a pretty site that overlooks one of the reservoirs. I included a photo of a flock of ducks just behind my trailer, which you can see at today's LakeshoreImages page. Warm, but quite windy. If the sky stays clear & there are not too many lights in the area, I'll try for some star photos tonight.

There is both an AT&T & Verizon signal (-92dBm for Verizon & -101dBm for AT&T, each without an amplifier). Both showed 4G LTE, but the data rates, particularly uploads, are very slow.

It was late enough after setting up that I took a short walk around the campground (all the sites are about the same size), then started dinner, which was a microwaved Amy's Broccoli & Cheddar dinner.

Until Tomorrow -

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Day 75, Wednesday, October 18, 2017 - Woodson Bridge RV Park, Corning, CA, Day 2

Wednesday, October 18, 2017 - Woodson Bridge RV Park, Corning, CA, Day 2, 0 Miles, 1,765.7 Towing Miles For the Trip

Domestic day - I did laundry, which took 4 hours because someone was using all 4 washers & didn't come back to empty them for 2 hours, apologized, then did the same with the dryers! Anyhow, the wash is done. Also made the bed, another project.

A beautiful day, although it did cool off last night - since I didn't set up the electric heater or turn on the furnace, the trailer was down to 56°F by morning. It warmed up quickly, and I spent most of the day sitting outside reading. I had a turkey sandwich for lunch, so dinner was just cheese & crackers.

Until Tomorrow -

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Day 74, Tuesday, October 17, 2017 - Woodson Bridge RV Park, Corning, CA

Site 48
Tuesday, October 17, 2017 - Woodson Bridge RV Park, Corning, CA, 194.1 Miles, 1,765.7 Towing Miles For the Trip

The usual late start (10:00AM). I was reading a thread on the Escape Forum where numerous members were extolling on the virtues of hitting the road at 3:00 or 4:00AM. Heck, that is about the time I wake up, hit the bathroom, and try to get back to sleep! More power to them - I'm sure the traffic is much better than later in the morning, but by 10:00, most places have settled down and it much better fits my sleeping habits!

Another day doing around 200 miles heading south on I 5. A pretty part of California, at least for the first part of the drive. The unpretty part was the first stop for gas - $3.45 a gallon, although I found it for under $3.00 further down the road at a Loves.

I really have a bone to pick with Garmin. I was interrupted while hooking up the trailer by a fellow traveler & a discussion of the Southwest National Parks, and managed to skip inserting the pin that locks the hitch closed. Not really a problem since I never used one with the 17, and the hitch never opened, but since they gave me one with the 21, I've been in the habit of using it. So, I left the campground with it sitting on the propane tank cover. About 20 miles down the road I remembered that I didn't use it, but by then it was long gone.

So, I asked my Garmin for a Camping World "along my route". It spun it's wheels for 5 minutes, then said there weren't any. Around 100 miles later I cruised by a Camping World. True, the entrance wasn't directly off I5, but it was on a parallel road about 100' away, and within 1/2 a mile of an exit. So, I stopped, and the wall hook that should have had the pin I needed was empty. I had the parts guy check, and he didn't have any in the back room. Maybe Garmin knew? I don't think so! Anyhow, there was another RV store next door that did have the pin, and even gave me a Veteran's discount.

I stopped for the day a bit later than usual (around 3:30) at the Woodson Bridge RV Park. It is an older park with many permanent residents, but full hookups, including cable, clean but worn bathrooms, and a laundry, which I will use tomorrow. I'm in site 48 for $34.20 per night. Sites on the Sacramento River side of the park are a bit more, but I can see it from my site, so I don't need the more expensive real estate.

After setting up I headed for Safeway for some supplies, including a Paul Neumann Pepperoni Pizza for dinner. Since it is still pretty warm out (around 84°F), I got out the electric toaster oven and cooked it on the picnic table.

Until Tomorrow -

Monday, October 16, 2017

Day 73, Monday, October 16, 2017 - Emigrant Lake County Park, Ashland, OR, Day 5

Reflections on the Lake
Monday, October 16, 2017 - Emigrant Lake County Park, Ashland, OR, Day 5, 0 Miles, 1,571.6 Towing Miles For the Trip

I had an early 9:00 appointment to have a pressure & visual field test this morning. I was very impressed with the staff & doctor at Siskiyou Eye Center. They even accepted my Medicare for the exam & test, something that the Arizona eye doctor in Parker didn't do - the Parker eye center got paid by both me & Medicare...

I won't find out how the field test went until I hear from my Oswego doctor, but the pressure was good.

Back at the trailer I spent the day much like yesterday - outside reading & enjoying the sunshine. Towards the end of the day I couldn't resist digging out the camera to capture the great afternoon color. The wind is calm enough that there were even reflections on the lake. Nothing exciting about the photos, but I did like the light!

Quite a few empty sites in the campground. There are even a couple that don't have any reservations on the posts - you could stay for 2 weeks in one of them. As long as I had the camera out, I took a photo of the Casita next door, which you can find on today's LakeshoreImages page.

For dinner, I dug out the last frozen package of the stew I made a month ago. Tasted great!

Until Tomorrow -

Day 72, Sunday, October 15, 2017 - Emigrant Lake County Park, Ashland, OR, Day 4

Sunday, October 15, 2017 - Emigrant Lake County Park, Ashland, OR, Day 4, 0 Miles, 1,571.6 Towing Miles For the Trip

I'm a little late posting this; life has been so boring that I actually forgot to post Sunday's journal. I didn't do much besides sit around reading my current book - Michael E. Rose's The Tsunami File, one of the few Canadian authors I've read. I also caught up on the upstate NY doings by reading the Sunday Post Standard on line.

The day was nice enough to sit outside for most of the afternoon. It was warm enough that the unheated shower was fine!

Dinner was a grilled Bubba Burger & broccoli.

Until Tomorrow -

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Day 71, Saturday, October 14, 2017 - Emigrant Lake County Park, Ashland, OR, Day 3

Saturday, October 14, 2017 - Emigrant Lake County Park, Ashland, OR, Day 3, 0 Miles, 1,571.6 Towing Miles For the Trip

While we had a bit of rain overnight, today there is a beautiful clear sky. Still windy enough to shake the trailer, but lots of sun. I didn't do much at all today, other than a lap or two around the campground and some reading.

Dinner was a salad.

Until Tomorrow -

Friday, October 13, 2017

Day 70, Friday, October 13, 2017 - Emigrant Lake County Park, Ashland, OR, Day 2

Emigrant Lake & Boat Ramps
Friday, October 13, 2017 - Emigrant Lake County Park, Ashland, OR, Day 2, 0 Miles, 1,571.6 Towing Miles For the Trip

A quiet day at the campground. Lots of people moved out today as those with reservations for the weekend moved in. As of dinner time, the campground only had 2 empty sites, one reserved for today & the other a handicapped site.

Around noon I headed to town looking for some clothes & a few supplies. I didn't find much in Ashland, but just up the road in Medford was a Walmart. After getting back to the campground I headed for the showers. Individual units with a bench that stayed dry in a small dressing area that didn't. While the shower heads were the high pressure type, the spray was adjustable, lots of hot water, and free, so I can't complain!

I did a little reading when I got back to the trailer. As I mentioned before, the lake is very low. There is a dam at the entrance to the park & the water doesn't even reach the bottom of it. One of the boat ramps ends over 100' from the water. They put in a second one that makes it to the lake. It must be interesting getting to this campground if the lake is full - the spillway goes across the entrance road!

The view from my trailer across the lake is nice, although there is quite a bit of wind today, making it unpleasant to sit outdoors. The first photo shows the old ramp just over the 5th wheel, while the second one shows both. The haze in the first picture is some rain that never made it to this side of the lake. Also, note the bit of Fall color on the trees.

I started dinner around 5:00, and had some visitors, Casita owners that are thinking of getting an Escape 21 when they retire & read my journal. I showed them around, then sat down to a couple of El Monterey Chicken Empanadas cooked in the trailer oven. Much easier than digging out the toaster oven or much, much easier than in the Dutch Oven. Have I mentioned I really appreciate having an oven?

Until Tomorrow -

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Day 69, Thursday, October 12, 2017 - Emigrant Lake County Park, Ashland, OR

That's Me Up There!
Thursday, October 12, 2017 - Emigrant Lake County Park, Ashland, OR,128.4 Miles, 1,571.6 Towing Miles For the Trip

A short drive down I 5 in an off & on light rain. I pulled into Emigrant Lake County Park around 1:30. Reservations must be made at least 2 weeks in advance, so if there is a space without a posted reservation, you can stay up to 2 weeks. If there is a reservation on the site post, you can stay until that date. There were 2 sites left that included the weekend at 1:30, so I grabbed one. The one next to me went 5 minutes later. There are still one or two one night sites left, but the weekend is now booked.

An interesting park. There are a couple of campgrounds. I'm in The Point RV Park. The Oak Slope section is dry camping & closes on the 16th. The Point overlooks Emigrant Lake, which is well below normal level. There are two tiers of sites; I'm on the top one. A great view, although one of the lower sites might be more out of the wind. At least it has stopped raining. The sites are full hookup for $30.00 per night with a two week maximum stay & what looks like free hot showers (there is a coin box, but the shower runs without money).

I probably confused the campground host or who ever digs out the reservation envelopes. I originally booked for 4 nights, planning on leaving Monday morning. I called a couple of Ashland eye clinics, and got an appointment for 9:00AM on Monday, so I added a day. Separate checks & envelopes; I hope they can figure it out.

Another point - don't mix up Emigrant Springs State Park with Emigrant Lake County Park - they are 8 hours apart! I stayed at the state park in 2012.

Dinner will be an oven baked Marie Callender's Chicken Corn Chowder Pot Pie. While they do give directions for microwaving (9.5 minutes on high), I can't believe the crust would be the same as baking it. So, I will just have to wait 65 minutes!

Until Tomorrow -

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Day 68, Wednesday, October 11, 2017 - Hi-Way Haven RV Park, Sutherlin, OR, Day 3

Wednesday, October 11, 2017 - Hi-Way Haven RV Park, Sutherlin, OR, Day 3, 0 Miles, 1,443.2 Towing Miles For the Trip

No waterfalls today, except out of the sky. A mixture of short bursts of rain with bright sunshine. In between the rain bursts I did a couple of loads of laundry ($1.25 wash / $1.00 dry) at the campground laundry. Other than that I didn't do much of anything all day.

I loaded the entire Harry Potter series in my Kindle (free with the prime library). When I run out of books, I read one. I'm up to Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. While written for young adults, they are readable by all. I can see why they were so popular.

Dinner was an Amy's Enchilada Dinner.

Until Tomorrow -

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Day 67, Tuesday, October 10, 2017 - Hi-Way Haven RV Park, Sutherlin, OR, Day 2

Whitehorse Falls
Tuesday, October 10, 2017 - Hi-Way Haven RV Park, Sutherlin, OR, Day 2, 0 Miles, 1,443.2 Towing Miles For the Trip

After breakfast I stopped in at the local eye clinic to see if I could get a pressure test & visual field test. Unfortunately, no such luck. My local doctor wants me to get the field test to see if the latest regiment of meds is working. My left eye vision is succumbing to Glaucoma, and we both would like to keep as much vision as possible. I'll check again further down the road.

Today I decided that since I was close to one of my favorite "waterfall" roads, OR 138, I should give it a try. The fires that filled the area with smoke (and flames) are pretty much out, but cleanup is still going on. There was a 40 minute wait while they cleared logs from the road. Luckily, I had just purchased a turkey sub at a roadside store just before the road stop, so I got to eat it in peace. Lots of burnt logs piled up waiting for trucks to haul them out. I didn't get to all the waterfalls along the road, but there are more at today's LakeshoreImages page.

Like many of the waterfalls I visited this time of year, there is less water than during my Spring visits. In fact, the Fall Creek Falls, and the creek, were both empty! My favorite image is the Whitehorse Falls, although some of the river photos were OK. There is a bit of Fall color on the trees. If you look carefully, you can see a spout of water shooting out of the 12' pipe at the parking lot for Toketee Falls. I guess the leak isn't going to break the pipe - it looked the same in 2014. I drove through the Susan Creek BLM campground - lots of empty spots. I should have stayed there, but here I have electricity. Almost all the sites at Susan Creek are in heavy shade; not so good for solar.

The work crews were done for the day on the way back, so no wait, although a light rain fell most of the way back. Glad it held off until after my hikes to the falls.

Since I had lunch, dinner was just a burrito.

Until Tomorrow -

Monday, October 9, 2017

Day 66, Monday, October 9, 2017 - Hi-Way Haven RV Park, Sutherlin, OR

Site 75, Hi-Way Haven RV Park
Monday, October 9, 2017 - Hi-Way Haven RV Park, Sutherlin, OR, 140 Miles, 1,443.2 Towing Miles For the Trip

I had a bit of a rough night with a stomach bug, but managed to get to sleep around 3:00 & hit the road around 10:00. Most of the drive was on I 5, stopping for the night at the Hi-Way Haven RV Park in Sutherlin, OR. An interesting place. I don't know if it was built on an old movie drive in or if it is an add on, but they have a drive in sized movie screen on which they show movies during the weekends. They even have a FM transmitter so you can listen to the movie on your radio while sitting in your trailer.

Speaking of radios, there is fair (-101dBm) Verizon & AT&T coverage in the park. Not quite fast enough, at least the AT&T, to keep a streaming radio station going, but fast enough for mail & posting journal updates. I didn't try the park WiFi, but it is free (I just tried to log on, and the password they have in their printed handout doesn't work! I did toss the Verizon Jetpack in the amplifier & it seems to be streaming Phoenix, AZ OK,  with a 4 bar 4G LTE (-85dBm) signal.

I'm in site 75, a full hookup site for $34.50 per night for 3 nights. A very commercial, parking lot RV park with gravel sites, a concrete patio with a table & a pair of chairs. Nice showers, other than the high pressure, low volume shower heads. I got my first propane refill at $2.08 per gallon.

There is a couple from California staying in a Casita next door. We chatted a bit about fiberglass trailers & the area.

Rather than cook, I went out for pizza for dinner. I had a chicken garlic pizza at the Dakota Street Pizza Station in Sutherlin.  A very good thin crust pizza.

Until Tomorrow -

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Day 65, Sunday, October 8, 2017 - Silver Falls State Park, Sublimity, OR, Day 8

Steller's Jay
Sunday, October 8, 2017 - Silver Falls State Park, Sublimity, OR, Day 8, 0 Miles, 1,303.2 Towing Miles For the Trip

After posting the photos from the pot luck dinner, I was down to 75% on the GoPower controller meter. Since I can't really depend on it for an accurate state of charge on the batteries (after a week hooked up is said 90%, and went from 95% to 65% making a pot of coffee that used 6 amp hours). I'm more of a believer of the voltage reading (at least when the sun is off the panels) which showed 12.5 volts, which, depending on which table you use, is anywhere from 80% to 90% full. In any case, there wasn't enough solar yesterday to fill my batteries.

I checked with the park ranger station, and there were 3 sites available in the "B" loop that have water & electric, so I decided to pack up a day early & move. B10 also has lots of sun, which helped drying out my ground cloth, and other damp stuff. We packed up the easy up after some sun, but it was still a bit damp. I'll have to set it up when I'm somewhere with warmer weather & more sun. Hope that isn't until Quartzsite!

Site B10 cost me an additional $7.00, but is level enough that I didn't have to unhook, so packing up in the morning will be quick & easy.

Most of the day was saying good byes to those that left. Donna left me her firewood, so I had a fire going all afternoon. The afternoon was spent sitting around the fire reading my Kindle. I had some taco chips and salsa, and a few small pieces ended up on the picnic table. There was an attack of a flock of about 4-5 Steller's Jays as soon as I moved a foot away. I have to admit I didn't have the camera, so I committed the sin of tossing out a couple more chips once the camera was in hand. They sure fight for the stuff - most of the photos were blurred by their movements since the table was in the shade, but I got a few, most at today's LakeshoreImages page.

Dinner was a microwaved Boston Market Chicken Parmesan dinner.

Until Tomorrow -

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Day 64, Saturday, October 7, 2017 - Silver Falls State Park, Sublimity, OR, Day 7 & The Fall NOG, Day 2

The Pot Luck Dinner

Saturday, October 7, 2017 - Silver Falls State Park, Sublimity, OR, Day 7 & The Fall NOG, Day 2, 0 Miles, 1,303.2 Towing Miles For the Trip

The predicted rain started around 8:00 AM, and has been off & on all day. Very light, but enough to keep you inside, except to go out & move the solar panel when ever the sun came out. I made my second pie this morning, which kept the trailer nice & warm!

During one of the sunny breaks, I walked around the campground for a few photos, including a brand new 5.0TA Escape that left the factory yesterday. As usual, more photos at Page 2 of the rally pages.

The rain mostly held off for the pot luck dinner, with just a few sprinkles. We had enough "Easy Ups" to let everyone find cover.

Dinner was a great pot luck!

Until Tomorrow -

Day 63, Friday, October 6, 2017 - Silver Falls State Park, Sublimity, OR, Day 6 & The Fall NOG, Day 1

The Hot Dog on a Stick at the Fall NOG
Friday, October 6, 2017 - Silver Falls State Park, Sublimity, OR, Day 6 & The Fall NOG, Day 1, 0 Miles, 1,303.2 Towing Miles For the Trip

A quiet day spent at the campground. I did my usual walk around, taking the camera to take photos of the early risers (well, 10:00 early; some of the group are up at 5:00AM). In any case, it was too early for the camera. The lens fogged up; I had to warm up the camera in the trailer before I could take pictures. Just a few here, more at the Fall Northern Oregon Gathering page.

The rest of the day was taken up with the dinner on a stick & beer exchange, again, photos on the NOG page.

After getting back to the trailer at 7:00, I started the first blueberry pie for the pot luck dinner. I figured it was a good time since I could let the oven heat the trailer rather than running the furnace. With ten minutes to go on the pie, the trailer is at 72°F, so it works!

Dinner was a couple of hotdogs (dinner on a stick).

Until Tomorrow -

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Day 62, Thursday, October 5, 2017 - Silver Falls State Park, Sublimity, OR, Day 5

Thursday, October 5, 2017 - Silver Falls State Park, Sublimity, OR, Day 5, .3 Miles, 1,303.2 Towing Miles For the Trip

The shortest tow of the trip - from site 9 to site 100. I'm back to boondocking, and, for the first time on this trip, in the shade. Only 1 amp on the rooftop panels, but the portable is putting out a couple, and would probably do more if the batteries weren't full.

The move went OK, other than I forgot the hummingbird feeder. No hummingbirds, so I didn't pay much attention to it. I went back a couple of hours later, and the hosts had already cleaned up the site. I found them in a different part of the campground & rescued the feeder.

Nice clear skies today with temperatures in the 60's. It feels great sitting in the sun, which is what I did after setting up.

I talked with a couple of new arrivals, then headed to Silverton to do laundry & buy the stuff for the pies. While I was there I also bought dinner - fried chicken & egg potato salad.

Until next time -

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Day 61, Wednesday, October 4, 2017 - Silver Falls State Park, Sublimity, OR, Day 4

Wednesday, October 4, 2017 - Silver Falls State Park, Sublimity, OR, Day 4, 0 Miles, 1,302.9 Towing Miles For the Trip

A quiet day after a cool night - down to 37°F by morning, and it only reached 60°F by 3:00 this afternoon. When I was in Salem yesterday it was in the 70's, so the 1000' altitude gain seems to cool things off. In any case, lots of sun, so if felt warmer when sitting in it (which I did a lot of), reading David Mitchell's The Bone Clocks, an interesting, and huge, science fiction novel.

The fiberglass trailers are arriving. There are about 7 or 8 already in the campground, with the Escapes outnumbering the rest of them. Donna D, the organizer of the rally, arrived with her Escape 5.0TA.

Around 2:30 I braved the cold showers. I still wish I had my own showerhead, and maybe a portable propane heater! It was at least 10F cooler in the showers than outside.

Dinner was an invite to Dave & Kathie's (Escape 21 owners) for a pork chop dinner with mixed root vegetables & applesauce. We also killed a bottle of St Lawrence Red wine.

Until next time -

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Day 60, Tuesday, October 3, 2017 - Silver Falls State Park, Sublimity, OR, Day 3

Middle North Falls
Tuesday, October 3, 2017 - Silver Falls State Park, Sublimity, OR, Day 3, 0 Miles, 1,302.9 Towing Miles For the Trip

After breakfast I decided to do part of the Waterfalls Trail. It would be better to wait until a cloudy day since bright sun makes the highlights burn out, but if we get a cloudy day, I can always go back. I took a few waterfall photos. Far less water going over them than the last time I was here (April, 2014). I'll include a couple of the images from then to show the difference. More photos at toady's LakeshoreImages page.

I guess this points out that waterfalls are more interesting in the Spring when they usually have a bit more water in them!

After finishing the hike, I headed to Salem. OR to pick up my new Key Bank Credit Card, a couple of prescriptions, and, since a Trader Joe's was next to Rite Aid, some snacks.

Dinner was a pork tenderloin sandwich. That's the problem with a whole pork tenderloin. It is fine for a family meal, but for one, it lasts forever - I still have enough left for another meal!

Until next time -

Monday, October 2, 2017

Day 59, Monday, October 2, 2017 - Silver Falls State Park, Sublimity, OR, Day 2

Monday, October 2, 2017 - Silver Falls State Park, Sublimity, OR, Day 2, 0 Miles, 1,302.9 Towing Miles For the Trip

I spent the morning reading, and digging out a couple more long sleeved shirts out from "dead storage" under the bed. The only way to get at the suitcase I have them stored in is to lift the mattress, prop it up with a broom, and hope things don't come crashing down while digging around (they didn't). As long as I was there I also got out the parts to install the battery monitor. It looks like it is going to go in the face of the cabinet over the range hood. I originally wanted it over the refrigerator, but when they moved the solar controller to under the passenger side dinette bench (I still thing it would be better over the refrigerator, but Escape said NO!) I had them cancel running the wiring. While a practical location would be next to the solar controller (and much easier to do), I don't want to crawl around on my knees every time I want to check my battery status. Anyway, it will be a project one of these days. I might even purchase a Bogart Engineering SC-2030, a solar controller that mates with the Bogart battery monitor. I've never been impressed with the performance of the GoPower system.   Of course, then I will have to find a new way to switch the inverter off & on since it is currently done using the solar controller.

I also tweaked the FM antenna. Escape installs a bolt through 8" antenna with no ground plane. It works OK for major stations, but I sent them a radio chosen for it's high gain front end, and the current antenna doesn't supply enough signal to make it work on weak stations. Since I like to listen to NPR, both the news & the classical stations, pulling weak stations is usually necessary. So, I did a temporary fix by adding a 4' piece of copper wire running between the antenna & the refrigerator vent. It worked. The one static filled news station is now clear as a bell, and I have 3 new weaker ones that are listenable, including one classical station. I'm going to look for a longer stick antenna to see if I can get rid of the wire, but until then, that's my new antenna.

I drove to the nearest Safeway (14 miles) to make sure they had blueberries. The pies for the rally are going to have to be frozen. They have fresh that look pretty good, but at $8.00 per 18 ounces, that would be $32.00 for 2 pies (each pie takes between 30 - 32 ounces of berries). They do have frozen wild blueberries, which I like better than the standard high bush berries, so one 3 pound bag plus one tray of fresh berries will make 2 pies.

Around 3:00 I headed for a shower. Let me tell you, while there was plenty of hot water (although a low volume, high pressure showerhead that produces cold water at your knees while burning your shoulders), you do tend to get dry in a hurry at 50°F room temperature. I really have to start carrying a standard shower head & a wrench! There is a thermostat on the wall, but I thing it is just there to make you think there is heat.

Dinner was as close to a Cuban sandwich as I could get with the supplies on hand, and broccoli. Call it at least a warm sub.

Until next time -

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Day 58, Sunday, October 1, 2017 - Silver Falls State Park, Sublimity, OR

Site 9, Silver Falls State Park, OR
Sunday, October 1, 2017 - Silver Falls State Park, Sublimity, OR, 29.4 Miles, 1,302.9 Towing Miles For the Trip

Since I didn't have far to go to get to Silver Fassls State Park, my next stop, I hung around the campground until almost the 1:00 check out time. Getting out of the site was tight - I held up traffic while hooking up the trailer. Nothing like the pressure of a line of RVs waiting to get by to make hooking up the trailer interesting!

My GPS wanted me to take a road off OR 22 that had a sign saying "No Outlet". I decided no, and listened to Matilda telling me to "make a U turn" over & over for the next 8 miles. She finally gave up & routed me to the town of Sublimity & OR 214, the road into the park. It ended up being about 15 miles more than Matilda's preferred route, but no outlet signs make me nervous!

I'm in site 9, after a 5 minute wait for the campground hosts to clean up after the last campers. A fairly shady water & electric site close to the playbround & bathrooms for $28.00 per night (including the reservation fee). It would be great for the rally next week, but, unfortunately, is not available (nor are any of the hookup sites) over next weekend. I'll have to move to site 100, a dry site just a couple of hundred feet away, on Thursday.

While the rain has stopped & there is even blue sky overhead, it is still cool, only getting up to 58°F during the afternoon. After setting up the trailer, I read for a bit, than set up my roll up table in front of the trailer door. There is a picnic table for the site, but it is a long way behind the trailer across a muddy section of ground, so using my own table make more sense.

Dinenr was a pork loin (well, a couple of slices, not the whole thing), mashed potatoes, and a salad.

Until next time -