Archive for September, 2011

Now what?

Friday, September 30th, 2011

Paul ” Everything is loaded, slides in, jacks up, Denise go ahead and start the coach and pull forward.”  Denise turns the key.  Nothing!  Paul “What?” Denise ” Don’t know?  I must be doing something wrong.  I must be missing something!”  Paul, “Move, let me see”  Turns the key.  Nothing!  Denise “Now what?”

That’s how the morning started.  So far on the road we have had very little trouble and nothing serious that Paul can’t handle with his little box of tools, but this time there seems to be a problem that doesn’t make sense.  Everything is working; lights, radio, slides, dash lights, inside lights, everything except when you turn the key you hear nothing!!!   Paul gets his little box of tools out, removes the steps cause that is where the batteries are and starts touching and tapping things.  Is that a good idea?  Wait, I better just sit in the seat and wait for directions.  Tap, Tap, Tap,  “Denise, try the key”  Nothing.  remove some more parts, Tap, Tap, Tap,  “Denise, try the key”  Nothing.  remove some more parts Tap, Tap, Tap,  ” Denise, try the key” motor starts, but wait, Denise didn’t know it was going to work that time and she let go of the ignition!  But that is ok, her mind is still pretty quick and she tries again and it starts!  Whoa!   Paul “How did you do that?  and don’t touch the key!”  How did we do that?  and will it work again?

We pull out, hitch up the car with the motor running and pull up to the dump station.  Dump with the motor running and head out down the road.  Now what do we do.  We have to shut it off sometime.

Good thing for Internet and the IPhone!  I look up a Workhorse  Dealer(that’s who makes this thing) in Medford and there is one.  I call them and talk to the nice man who tells me they have no openings until Wednesday.  He also thought from my information that it is probably a dead battery and driving will charge it.  He did say if that isn’t it and we are stranded call him he will figure something out – What nice people Oregon has.

Paul from what happened is pretty sure it isn’t a battery because everything was working so since we were going right past the Workhorse place he decides we will stop and see if it restarts there.  It did.  The nice guy came out and showed Paul a couple of things about our RV and talked to him a bit about what happened but he had no answer for the problem.  So off we go to our next destination which was the Elks of Medford.

That’s another story!  The Elks usually have a few sites at the lodge and we like to stay there because it is easy, safe and you can go in and enjoy a meal or a drink and talk to some locals.  Well the Medford Elks didn’t  have camping at the lodge but right outside of town they have a picnic area that is for RVer’s.  After talking to the guy, Paul gets directions and the code to the gate.  We finally arrive at the area which is about 2 miles down a dirt road about 5 miles outside of town.  We get there and it looks really nice but the RV area is in an uneven field, no one else is there, and the dog can’t go on their really nice lawn!  Since we are not sure about the starting of the rig we decide we don’t want to turn it off here – not good if we are planning to spend the night.  So, off we go back to town.  Paul makes his appointment and we head down the road – not sure where we will end up!  Yep, the RV is starting everytime so far!!!

Beautiful Oregon

Wednesday, September 28th, 2011

Trees, Blue Sky & rushing water, that’s what we woke up to this morning.  We are parked in a National Forest Park along the Rogue River southwest of Crater Lake and it is amazing.  This is camping – no running water, no showers and no internet or cell service.  There is a pay phone about 1 mile down the road!

Farewell Bend NFP, Oregon


View from my bedroom window

About 5 miles from the park is a Rogue River Gorge that is beautiful.  The trail runs right along the gorge so you have some beautiful views.

Rogue Gorge

Beautiful, loud and wild

The Falls right before the Gorge

Thinking, that's a lot of water and no chance if you fall over!

This is beautiful but we need some connection with the world, so off we go down the hill to Joseph Stewart State Park on the banks of the Lost Creek Reservior which is really low this time of year.  The park was very nice, with really big sites but not the view of Farewell Bend.  We moved here for some internet service as well as a bit warmer temps.  There wasn’t much sunshine in the woods!  If you are a boater you would really like it here.   We are

Powered Up

Monday, September 26th, 2011

We have been on the road for a week and camping for the past 4 days without electricity.  That is not exactly true; we have power when we choose to run the generator which is about 1 hour a day to charge up the batteries.  This is camping!  We have no services attached to the RV; our neighbors are more than 10 feet away; I read a whole book;  there are lots of trees, dirt & dust; and campfires scent the air morning and night!  I love it.   We are in Sisters Oregon which is only 20 miles away from Bend and very beautiful.  We have to move to Bend today so that Paul can again work for a day or two and then we head back toward California.  The good news is we are planning to stay in State Parks the rest of the trip so no more electricity – I hope!

Sisters Oregon is beautiful and has so much to see and do or just do nothing and enjoy the fresh air.  The landscape is spectacular around Sisters.  We took a drive into the Williamette National Forest along the MacKenzie Scenic Pass to Dee Wright Observatory.  At the top where the observatory is located you could see forever; to Mt. Washington, Mt. Jefferson, Mt. Hood and the Three Sisters Mtns.

A Lava Observatory built in the early 1900's

Mt. Jefferson

Three Sisters (actually only 2!)

3 Sisters (2) thru the view tubes (Lava Tubes) inside the observatory

Thats Paul at it again! Where's Duke?

All the landscape you see is lava.  It goes on for miles and gives me a very eerie feeling.  It is amazing and reminds me of the desert somehow.  But then there are these giant mountain peaks and snow in September.  I still like the mountains and forest more.  As soon as you crest the pass at the observatory moving down the other side we get right back into the mountains and trees.  What a difference.  And then there is the MacKenzie River that follows the road with a couple of waterfalls!  Yeah.

Koosah Falls

About a 50 foot falls.  We walked up the trail about a 1/4 mile where you can get right up to the rushing river.

A mini fall up river

The water is soooo blue!

The river is so powerful.   The noise allows you to block out everything else and just relax.  Someday I may live near a river like this, I think!

Clear Lake Oregon

And then there is the tranquil lake.  Clear Lake is located up river from the falls and is so quiet and clear that there were children in these row boats far away and you could here them laughing while rowing.  We even saw a couple of scuba divers that say you can see down about 40 feet and they dive about 50 feet to see lava tubes and such.

I could stay here forever or until the snow comes which today it feels like it might!   It was 85 degrees when we got here Thursday and today it was 40 when we got up at 8 am.  I sure hope it warms up!  The good news is we are heading back to civilization and will have electricity again for a day or two where I can warm up with the heater.

Goodbye Westport Washington

Sunday, September 18th, 2011

As fun as the summer has been I am ready to pull up the jacks and head south!  I can’t wait to get to California and see everyone.  Our summer has been great and we have met a bunch of new friends that we will leave and stay in touch with via the Internet.  We will miss them and Westport but now it is time to get back to our family!

The Girls of Summer

Pool Boys and Trash Smashers!

We had an awesome time here in Westport and especially enjoyed the weekly Texas HoldEm’ Games, even if I did whine!  The potlucks were excellent.  Again I am amazed at the dishes that can be made in such small ovens.  The farewell dinner was the best, especially the achievement certificates!  It may be awhile before I get Paul’s ego back in place!!!

Good Bye American Sunset RV Resort!  Happy travels to you all.


Yachts in Westport

Wednesday, September 14th, 2011

Westport is a sleepy little fishing town which is home to a shipyard that makes some really large Yachts for the rich and famous.  Today they were launching a smaller one, only 85 feet.  We were able to get to the launch just before they removed the trailer.

A beautiful 85 feet

Two pieces that are only connected by a wire


Tuesday, September 13th, 2011

Judy left on Sunday and Nancy, another sister arrived on Friday!  Nancy and her husband Butch drove from Seattle to see us after spending a week enjoying a cruise to Alaska.   They only spent one night before heading back to North Carolina.  We had a great visit and showed them around Westport.  We took a drive on the beach and hit the sand dollar jackpot!  There were so many sand dollars that Nancy filled a doggy bag without moving more than 20 feet!  We also spotted a sea lion that had washed up on the beach with the tide.  Butch said they went all the way to Alaska and saw more wildlife here in Westport!

Nancy & Butch left on Saturday afternoon and Paul and I worked that evening and Sunday morning so we could take off for Seattle once again.  We went back to Everett, which is about an hour north of Seattle to see our friends, Roy & Teresa and Pat who is visiting from CA for the summer.   Roy has turned his hobby of unique finds at garage sales into something he can sell throughout the Northwest at art festivals.  He finds old metal everything and a bit of glass and makes some amazing yard art!  Some of his pieces are quite large but I found something that will fit into our lifestyle, small & compact!

Meet Pete

Pete is the newest addition to our family and he will be traveling with us on this adventure.

Quilting, My new favorite hobby

Sunday, September 11th, 2011

This summer I decided I needed some indoor activities as the weather is not perfect here in the Northwest!  Suprisingly I spent several beautiful days inside sewing because the weather was not cooperating with my sewing schedule.  I took classes and made 2 quilts that I am very proud of.  The best part of this new hobby was I got to experience the long arm quilting machine.  It is so much fun and really hard to use.  It will be a very long time before I will say I am a long arm quilter but I will keep trying!

Look mom! I can Quilt!

One more round of Site-Seeing

Sunday, September 4th, 2011

Paul’s sister, Judy and her 2 boys, David & Ethan came to spend the week with us and we are having a great time.  We spent last summer with them in Old Forge, NY so it is fun to have them here and show them all the stuff we are enjoying this summer.  We had to take them to all the regular places, crabbing, lighthouse, beach, fish & chips and a few places we haven’t been yet.  They arrived on Monday and after the long drive home from SeaTac we spent the evening roasting marshmallows and laughing around the fire and then on Tuesday the fun began!  First was crabbing, then the beach and back to camp to swim!  The boys had a great time on the docks even though we didn’t capture any “keepers”!

Bringing in the net to see what we got!

It's all in the wrist action

After two days of crabbing and no luck, Paul tried to purchase a couple so that we could cook them and show the boys how to clean and then enjoy the feast but the price has doubled here and for $15 each we decided hot dogs & beans would be a fine dinner!

Wednesday we took a drive north into the Olympia National Park to get to Ruby Beach and see some tidepools.  What a beautiful day and the beach was just perfect.  We arrived at Ruby Beach just as the tide was coming in so we got to see lots of tidepool activity and lots of waves crashing!  One of my favorite things- just sitting there and watching as the waves crash into the rocks.

Ruby Beach from the clift


Watch your footing!

David really took to the adventure of chasing the waves and enjoying the splashing as the waves head for shore.  He even got a taste of the ocean as one wave was quicker than he and soaked his shirt & shorts, a small scrape on the knee as he tried to escape but all was well and he waited for the next wave!

Amazing rocks along the shore

They are happy! Really!

Thats my favorite photo of the day!  They were all enjoying the beach and really didn’t want to turn around for another photo, but they did and it was a really good one!  After an hour of playing on the beach another beachcomber told us that a beach down a ways would have better tidepools so we loaded up and headed to Beach 4.  I guess they run out of names?  It was a great beach with even more rocks off shore for exploring however the tide was coming in quickly and we were not able to really get out to the pools.

Heading south from the beach we stopped in Ocean Shores to show the boys the drive on beach and the Go-Karts!

Denise always WINS!

Ethan was pretty good also!

Dinner of fish & chips and the long ride to get back to camp!

Thursday we headed into Aberdeen so that David could do a little shopping.  He happened to see the Star Wars store and was sure they would have some great deals to add to his collection!  This place is not much bigger than my RV and is stuffed with everything Star Wars!  David was in heaven and found himself a couple of guys to take home.  Paul, Judy and I amused ourselves with laughing at the store owner and enjoying his stories.  He opened the place years ago when his boys were teenagers and it was suppose to be a hobby for him and the boys and it has just grown!  This guy was so funny.  He showed us a tatoo of one of the characters he has on his arm that he had her give him an autograph which he took to a tatoo artist and had the signature tatooed below it!  Crazy.

Street Art

In Aberdeen they have lots of street art along the sidewalks.  This was Pauls favorite!  A TV.  They have metal statues of all sorts, fish, sporting activites, animals and Paul chooses the TV!!!

More campfires and smores and of course kite flying.  We chose Friday to enjoy the beach here in Westport and fly our kites.  It was so windy I wasn’t sure we would be able to keep the kites in the air.  The boys had a blast flying and chasing my green monster kite while Paul gave direction to Judy in two string kite flying.


Saturday we headed to Seattle to show the boys the big city and the Space Needle.    To make things a bit interesting and not just a hour car ride we took the ferry from Bremerton to Seattle.  A great diversion and the views of the city are beautiful as you approach.

Looking back to Bremerton

Since it was Labor Day weekend the city was crazy.  We took them to our favorite spot to see the Space Needle and get the tourist photos before skipping the craziness and heading south to the Museum of Flight which Boeing has done a great job of putting planes from the beginning into this museum.

Space Needle, Seattle Washington


Every kind of plane, all in one place

You could spend hours here, we did!  Paul could have spent days.  They have buildings for WWI, WWII, Space Exploration, Air Force One and then my favorite was the building of Glass that had Planes everywhere you looked.

This was an amazing museum even for someone like me who knows very little about airplanes other than they take me where I want to go in a really short amount of time.  I really enjoyed this museum and would consider going again.

After the museum we headed to dinner and then to our hotel.  We spent the night near the airport so that Judy and the boys could catch their flight at 6:50 am to New York.  Speaking of flying to get yourself somewhere quick, that isn’t how it always happens!  Judy flight left Seattle on time and was due to arrive in Newark NJ for their 1 hour layover to catch a shuttle to Syracuse where Fred (the dad & husband would be waiting to take them on their 2 hour car ride home!  Before they reached Newark their plane was delayed and had to stop in Pittsburg, PA and wait while our President was in New York City accessing the damage from the recent storm that hit the area from the hurricane.  All air space in New York City was shut down, by the time they arrived in Newark, their shuttle had been canceled and the next flight was 3 hours away.   Judy took the easy way out!  She didn’t stand in line with the mobs waiting to see how the airlines might help them get back into the air, she boarded the train and headed to NYC where she took another train to upstate NY, spent the night with relatives and was driven halfway home where Fred met them the following day.  They arrived home on Monday about 8 pm!   Still faster than driving but…….

A great week!