Tuesday, October 30, 2012

More from Cape Blanco

Ventured out on Saturday to Bandon, OR for laundry, grub and gas.  Pretty uneventful and the weather was nice.

It rained all night Saturday and was still coming down Sunday morning.  We decided to take a break from cabin fever and drove into Port Orford.   The bloggers at Wheeling It and some other commenters on our blog insisted that a visit to the Crazy Norwegian for Fish and Chips was a must do.  They were right.  I had the mini-fish and chips and Rose had the Clam Chowder.

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We had already started eating by the time I decided to take pictures, so pictures don’t reflect the full portions.  Here is a picture of us before the food arrived:


I wanted to see the lighthouse and take some pictures of the bluff at the westernmost point in the lower 48, but the fog was so heavy, you could not see the lighthouse from the parking lot.  So we gave up.

I am battling a small leak from the ceiling Fantastik Fan in the kitchen.  It is a drop every 15 seconds or so, but I cannot find the source.  I picked up some spray on waterproofing stuff “as seen on TV”, from the Ace Hardware in Port Orford, but it does not go on too well in the rain.  Am trying some other stop gap measures, but basically putting a bowl under the drip to catch the drops.  Will let you know how it turns out.

We decided to leave a day early for Arcata, CA tomorrow, instead of Wednesday.  This rain is getting to us; and the pooches.  No fun walking in the rain; and the mud accumulation in the camper is terrible.

Thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Cape Blanco State Park

We are at the westernmost point in the geographic lower 48 states of the USA.  Here is a picture of the lighthouse that sits on the bluff at this point.


We arrived at Cape Blanco yesterday after pulling out of three days of rain at Beverly Beach State Park farther north on Highway 101.  It was 156 miles travel distance, but the weather improvement was wonderful.  We arrived here in sunshine and today has been sunny all day.  Of course, this is the Oregon coast in October and the Weather Channel says we will have showers on and off for the next 6 nights we plan to be here.  On the way down here, we stopped at Carl G. Washburne State Park beach and picnic area to have lunch.  After lunch we took the pooches down to the beach for a little off leash time.  While we were down there I spotted this dead tree sticking out of the sand:


I don’t know about you, but I think this is one of the better photos I have taken in several years.

Cape Blanco State Park is pretty big with a campground with large sites with good privacy between the sites.  The facilities include 50 amp electric and water hookups.  A really good deal for the off season rate of $16 a night.  The Verizon service is fair, fluctuating from fair to non-existent.  I did manage to find a small space between two trees to aim the satellite dish.  So here we are in a forest, on the beach, with internet and satellite television.  Life is pretty darn good.  Here are some pictures of the site:

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A short walk takes you to the bluff overlooking the ocean.  The campground is over 400 feet above sea level so it is set aside as a Tsunami escape zone.  That makes Rosie feel secure; she has concerns about the big Tsunami predicted for the west coast of the US someday.  Here are some pictures from the bluff area:

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After lunch we climbed into the truck and headed down a narrow paved road for the beach.  We were shocked to find 2 parking lots and only one empty parking space.  There were 4-wheel drive vehicles driving down on the beach.  How weird; or fun, depending on what floats your boat.  Here are some pictures from the beach:

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Rosie continues to improve a little bit every day.  We grilled up some pork chops for dinner with some roasted potatoes and fresh veggies still from the Farmers Market in Idaho Falls.  Add adult beverages and we are having a good evening.

Thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The Oregon Coast At Last!

Well, we made it.  About 1:30 pm on Sunday we saw the Pacific Ocean for the first time in several years; and the very first time from an Oregon coastline.  Barbie, our faithful Magellan GPS, guided us expertly through the freeway system in downtown Portland (Sunday is a good day to do this – less traffic).  We got off of I-5 and headed southwest on 99W where we picked up highway 101.  Here is our first sighting of the Pacific Ocean.


About 45 minutes later we pull into Beverly Beach State Park, located about 5 miles north of Newport, Oregon.  There was no one at the registration window so I picked up a self registration envelope and we went hunting for a site.  We found a site that fit our fiver and backed into it successfully.  It was starting to sprinkle a little, so setting up was a bit on the wet side.  The site was deep in an old growth forest so I knew there was no possibility of a satellite shot for direct TV.  Then I noticed a cable hookup on the electrical post.  Wow, full hookups plus cable TV in a State Park; all for $23 a night.  So I filled out the registration form and wrote the check and took it back to the office.  On returning to the site, I see a reservation tag has appeared on our site post for the next day.  Darn!  The next morning I go speak with the nice ranger lady at the office.  She confirms someone had reserved our site for Monday night.  She gives me a list of open sites for Monday night that have the same full hookup facilities.  The good news is that one of the sites in the B Loop is now available and it is much better than the site we are in; it is closer to the beach and is longer by about 15 feet.  The guy in the site is packing up as we go by after taking the dogs for a walk on the beach.  He estimated he would be pulling out in an hour.  So we go disconnect everything at our site and pull over to his site just as he was pulling away.  After many attempts to actually speak with a Ranger at the office, we finally succeeded in learning that the site was also available Tuesday night so we extended a day.  Here are some pictures:

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             Our new site.                                                          Highway 101 bridge

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                 Under the bridge.                                                              On the beach

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             A really long piece of kelp.                                  B Loop from the beach side of the bridge.

Monday afternoon it is stock up time so we head to Wal-Mart in Newport.  We also stopped at Fred Meyers for a few items and filled up with diesel at $4.29 per gallon.  I should not need fuel again until we get to California next week.

This being Oregon, it rains on and off; sometimes gentle, sometimes hard, then the sun comes out.  The dogs aren’t quite sure what to make of the beach; all that sand and no grass.  Rosie continues to recover slowly from her injuries.  She takes 2 Aleve in the morning and 2 at night to help with the pain.  It is still more comfortable for her to sleep on the couch where she can use several pillows to set herself partially upright.  I miss our snuggle times, but those times will return; just don’t know when. 

Thanks for stopping by.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Disappointment Turns To Joy

When we arrived at our target campsite, LePage County Park, Friday afternoon, we discovered it was all booked up.  Turns out the Steelhead are running in the river and the campground is next to the river and the fishermen had reserved all the sites.  It looked so good when we pulled in about 2:00 pm; until we saw the “Campground Full” sign.  The attendant in the entry shack explained the whole situation, then referred us to Maryhill State Park about 10 miles down the road and across the Columbia River in Washington State.

To get there we had to cross this bridge:


How many of you know that Rosie is deathly afraid of high, long bridges?  Well, she just took a deep breath, closed her eyes and said “Let me know when we are on the ground again”.  What a gal!  So just across the bridge is this wonderful State Park with large green lawns, mature trees and full hookups.  That is rare; full hookups in a State Park.  A little pricey for us at $28 a night, but what the heck; once in a while you gotta splurge.  The whole park is first come – first served and it appeared to be about 25% full.  We drove around the loop and found a great pull through site overlooking a large grassy area.  As soon as we settled in, we agreed this was the kind of place we would like to stay an extra night; so we are.  Great benefit of the RV lifestyle; you can change your plans at the drop of a hat.

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View from our dining room.                                              Large green tent camping area.

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     That is the Columbia River in the background.                                   Our site.

After we got all settled in Rosie started on dinner.  Our friends, Gary and Julie Butler, from the Snake River Campground in Idaho Falls had given us a fileted Cutthroat Trout they caught at Henry’s Lake in Idaho; so we breaded the filets and fried them up , added some oven roasted potatoes and green beans with almonds.  Yummy!

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Doesn’t Rosie look great for someone who suffered 6 broken ribs and 2 cracked vertebrae 3 weeks ago?

Thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

On The Road Again!

That wonderful Willie Nelson song was running through my head this morning as we were driving south on Interstate 15 headed for Pocatello, Idaho where we would turn west towards the Oregon Coast.
I am really grateful that Rosie is recovering so far ahead of expectations considering the seriousness of having 6 broken ribs and 2 crack vertebrae in her back.  Here is a picture of her with a plethora of gifts sent from her hiking crew in Colorado.
There was a reality check this morning at Big O Tires in Idaho Falls.  We pulled in there for our annual tire rotation and balance on the camper.  Turns out both tires on the rear axle are wearing very unevenly on the edges; inside edge on one and outside edge on the other.  One of them was bad enough to warrant replacement.  So $256 later, we hit the road.  I do feel it is better to discover these potential problems early, before we have a blowout on a busy interstate; or remote back road.  Now I need to find a place to get my rear axle aligned.  Arghh!
So we pulled a bit over 300 miles today; a long day for us.  We prefer to max out at about 250 miles a day.  We are spending the night at the Country Corners RV Park.   The new owners, Scott Dolman and Carla Horton, purchased the RV Park 2 months ago after several years of full timing.  The park is clean and green.  Nicely mowed lawns between sites; good level sites and a large lawn area with park benches and a fenced doggie run.  Full hookups are $26 a night with a Good Sam discount.  Verizon service is excellent.  There is a clear shot of the southern sky for satellite dish setups.
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This morning we hooked up in the dark so we could be the first in at Big O Tires.  Tomorrow morning we will take a more leisurely approach to our departure; maybe hit the road about 9:00 am.  Our destination is a County Park near Rufus, Oregon.
Thanks for stopping by.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Four More Sleeps

Rosie is recovering from her injuries faster than we expected.  I chalk it up to the fact that she works hard at staying healthy by eating a proper diet and following a good exercise regimen.  (I do not follow her example very well).  She went from prescription pain meds to Aleve days ago.   This morning she stopped taking Aleve.  We have taken her for several rides in the truck. She has gone shopping with me at Wal-Mart and the local Farmer’s Market, and is taking it all in stride.  So we have decided to hitch up Thursday morning and head for the Oregon Coast.

We will have to leave early from the RV Park because we want to get over to Big O Tires to get the camper wheels balanced and rotated before we leave.  Our first day will take us to Caldwell, ID;  our second day to Rufus, OR; and we should arrive at Beverly Beach State Park in Newport, OR on Saturday.

I will get back to regular blogging with pictures once we get going.  We appreciate the good thoughts and well wishes of several of our followers through this trying time.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Visitor from Canada

A cold front from Canada dropped down to visit us last night.  It was 27 F at 5:30 this morning.  Brrrr!  OK.  This is what I wanted to get away from.  It is October 3rd and it is freezing already.  At least it did not snow here like it did in North Dakota this morning.  We ran the heater all night with the thermostat set about 65 degrees.  I guess our propane expenses will be going up until we get to So. Calif. in November.

Fortunately, Rosie continues to recover from her injuries.  Broken ribs take a long time to heal, but she is feeling much better since we found the proper balance between foods and medication.  She is walking around the camper and wants to go for a walk outside this afternoon.  Since she is a remarkably healthy person to begin with, and has a high tolerance for pain, we hope she will be ready to travel in a couple of weeks.  Only time will tell.

Welcome to a bunch of new followers to our blog.  I will try to write more, but sitting here waiting until we can leave is not the most exciting topic in the world.  I need to take lessons from RV Sue and Nick Russell.  They write something every day and they say something interesting every day.  It takes a very creative mind, which I seem to be lacking.  Sigh.

Thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

On the road to recovery.

My bride of 45 years is back home.  She was released from the hospital yesterday (Oct 2nd) with a 10 day supply of pain meds.  She is experiencing some pain (even with meds), still has only a small appetite and is pretty tired.  She can walk and climb stairs (into the camper) okay.  Riding in the truck created a modest level of pain from having to sit up and the road motion.  Rosie is a tough “cookie” and is exceptionally healthy.  She should recover faster than the average person out there.

I paid $400 for another month here at the Snake River RV Park.  Even if we don’t stay a full month, it is still better than the $40 nightly rate for full hookups.  If Rosie feels up to it, we will head for the Oregon coast about the 18th or 19th of October.  If we do that, we will skip our first two campground destinations on the central Oregon Coast, but will be able to follow my original travel plan from Cape Blanco State Park southward on 101 to Central California and I-5 to So. Calif. in order to arrive there for our reservations at the Ventura KOA in Santa Paula on November 15th.  If she isn’t up to travel then, we will wait until November 1st, when we are pretty confident she can handle riding in the truck.  They we will go straight south down I-15 to get to Santa Paula.

Many of you have expressed concern and have offered up prayers and good thoughts for her recovery.  We are grateful to all of you for your support.

Time for the monthly full expense report:

Camping –                            $456 ($14.70 per night)

Diesel Fuel when pulling –  0.00

Truck Repairs/Service –     $312.38

RV Repairs – $128.60 (Awning Repair)

Generator Gas/Propane -     $47.55 (Propane)

Satellite TV/Radio –            $103

Total for August        $1,047.53

Thanks for stopping by.