Friday, October 31, 2014

Happy Halloween!

We have never had Trick or Treaters during the eight years we have been RVing. But I always buy a bit of candy "just in case." Of course, Forry's always quite happy that no one knocks on our door. It's interesting where kids - and their parents - choose to go. Son Sean also has never had anyone knock on his door - even though he's lived on the first floor of his apartment complex for over twenty years.
Daughter Mary Mae and her family live on almost the end of a road that comes out of a cul-de-sac. I'm not sure they'd get Trick or Treaters if they didn't  always have a big Halloween party. When I talked to MM this afternoon, the kids were still decorating and she was busy cooking.

I don't know about Daughter Dawn's new house. They're kinda on a corner and could get a lot of traffic -- or not.

We continued down 99S today until we got to Bakersfield, then turned east onto Highway 58. We saw different country today. The further south you travel in California, the worse the effects of the drought seem to be. We saw lots and lots of vineyards and miles and miles of orchards. In between, the ground was dry and sere and much of it wasn't being farmed. We saw signs saying that most of the world's almonds were grown here; signs saying the water issue was all the fault of politicians; and signs extolling California raisins.
We are a park for the night that is new to us (we pushed on a bit further today than we usually do, just to make tomorrow's leg a bit shorter.). The name sounds glamorous - Arabian Trailer Oasis, but it is just an old trailer park with a few dozen spaces, many with older trailers and mobile homes, and a couple of pull-through spaces for overnighters. The toothless fellow that checked us in said that the trailer park was built in the 40s and he had heard that there were a few palm trees and that's why they called it an oasis. He had no idea where the Arabian part came from...

We are in a town called Boron, near a huge boraxo mine. We are now in the Mojave Desert and our scenery tends more to Joshua trees and sand. We have two more days of travel (though it may take us three if we take a rest day) before we reach Eagle View. We did get a call from Sandy today just checking to make sure we were okay as last year we were at the RV park by this date.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

A Day On The Road

Since we were still hooked up with Toad II, it didn't take near as long to get going this morning. We were already heading down the highway by 10:30. We started out south on I-5 until we connected up with Highway 99 down by Sacramento. From there it was another hour or so to get to Collier Road and turn off to Delphi and the Merced River RV Park.

The skies weren't as clear and blue as they were yesterday afternoon. There were wisps of clouds floating around most of the day. The lady in the office said the weather forecast was for 90% chance of rain tonight. It is so dry here, they are quite anxious for moisture. If it comes, I'll just have to grin and bear it!

The agricultural bounty in this part of California is incredible. We went by lots of olive trees, many fields of recently harvested rice, and some fields of vegetables. We saw many vineyards and lots and lots of orchards. I think some of them may have been avocados, others were almonds, but there are many that I couldn't identify. I would so love to see farms put the names of their crops on signs by their fields. I can't be the only one who wonders.

California looks so different from the other states we drive through. First you notice the palm trees and then maybe some cacti. There are cypress trees, eucalyptus trees and the oleander bushes in the median. All these are things that seem to be singular to California and let you know definitely where you are!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

And Now We Are in California!

I wanted to share some pictures I took this morning of the beautiful trees at Seven Feathers. This is one of the beautiful white birch trees next to Auntie Violet's site. I think the peeling bark is so pretty.

The greens and yellows of this maple (?) tree are spectacular -

Another of the white birch trees. A piece of art!

We got a fairly decent start this morning, getting on the road by 10 AM. It was the longest travel day we've had so far. The Siskiyou Mountain pass coming out of Oregon is 4600+ feet. We were in and out of misty clouds all morning until we finally crossed the California border. At the border Agricultural Check Point, the lady asked if we had any fruit. She was unimpressed by the two apples I had in the refrigerator and sent us on our way.

It was so great to finally see Mount Shasta. She is already pretty snow-covered with her head in the clouds. Once you see her, you know you are really in California.

We pulled into Old Orchard RV Park in Orland, California about four in the afternoon. The sky was blue and the temperature was 85 degrees. Off with the jeans and tennies. Time for shorts and sandals! We got settled just in time to watch the last game of the World Series. Unfortunately, Forry's pick won this year...

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

An Absolutely Special RV Park

Riding on the shuttle bus tonight after our $10.50, 10 oz rib steak and baked potato  dinner, we got in a discussion with the other folks and the driver about RV parks. There was unanimous agreement that if Seven Feathers isn't the most beautiful and nicest RV Resort in the country, we don't know where a better one is. In the six or seven years that we have been coming here,  trees have grown and filled in. There are nice grassy areas at each site with lots of plantings in between the sites. We've been here in the spring when the rhododendrons are blooming - gorgeous! Now there is a nice mixture of white bark birches, maples and fir trees.

Early this afternoon, we walked across the paved road to the pool house and spent a half hour soaking in the hot tub. The pool house is immaculate with large floor to ceiling windows that showcase the trees and mountains surrounding the resort. There are individual changing and shower rooms, also immaculate. (I really think the Native American management consulted with Disney Parks about how to maintain a beautiful park.)

Tonight's  dinner special was snow crab and steak, but we decided that we'll get our fill of snow crab when we get to Eagle View, so we'd have the special rib steak instead. This is the un-advertised special that the shuttle drivers always tell us about. I just wish I'd think before we order and remember to split a steak with Forrest.   A 10 oz steak, baked potato with all the fixings, a green salad, rolls and vegetables is just more then I can eat anymore...

It's too bad we cannot  stay longer, but we need to get on down the road!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Seven Feathers - Hooray! We're on Our Way!

Once again, put everything away, pull up the jacks, pull in the slides, disconnect the electricity and the water. Head out in Toad II for Junction City with Auntie Violet following along behind. Pull into the parking lot of Kustom Coach Works and park the rigs. It's now after twelve, but no sign of the DirectV delivery!

Bobby is a little bit concerned as both UPS and FedEx deliveries have already been made. I told the guys I would bet anything that despite our specific instructions, I thought a delivery man would be showing up with the DVR in tow. I also said that if it didn't show up by four as their email had said, I was going to go over to Camping World in Eugene and buy a unit from them!

Finally, about 2:30 we get a call from the DirectV tech saying he's lost. We reiterated the address, which he finally realizes he already has. A half hour later he shows up with the unit. The first thing out of his mouth was "we don't work on RVs, but I'll make an exception." We told him he didn't need to, all we wanted was the unit. He unpacks the box, does a whole lot of paperwork, as well as "registering" the unit on his phone, then leaves.

Bobby goes to work taking out the old unit and putting in the new one. He gets it working, then discovers that it does not want to connect on all of the satellite signals. We follow the instructions on the screen which instruct us to call DirectV. The lady who answers the phone asks for the unit serial number, then sends us to the next screen which refers to Error 05. She says she cannot fix that error, the technician MUST come back! She calls him and he reluctantly agrees to come back.

In the meantime, Bobby starts tracing wires from the satellite, finds one that has been spliced, replaces it and BAM!, the error is gone. By then the tech is back, saying that he can't fix Error 05 without another Work Order. Bobby tells him it's fine, he's already fixed it. They shake hands and the tech leaves again. Bobby puts everything back together, puts together the bill -- and the estimate for the work we want done next fall. I write a check, we hook up Toad II and we're gone!

About an hour and a half later, we pull into Seven Feathers RV Resort in the dark. At last, we are finally on our way!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

A Lazy Sunday

It was another alternately sunny and rain showery day today. It was nice to see blue sky off and on throughout the day. At least it was not quite as depressing as the constant grey skies.

I pulled some of the slab bacon that I bought at the MCA Sale out of the freezer for breakfast. Made by a Mennonite from Montana, the bacon is a real treat. It comes sealed in plastic and then in a cotton sack imprinted with the auction label. It is so good!

We watched the Seahawks win their game today, then watched the final day of the Professional Bull Riders 2014 Finals in Las Vegas. It was great to see Bushwacker's last outing (He's being retired to stud.). He not only bucked off his rider, but did it with enough points to win the 2014 Bull of the Year title.

We are, of course, now watching the fifth game of the World Series, but I am not happy because at this point the Giants are ahead 2-0...

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Wind! And More Rain

We had a brief glimpse of sunshine when we first got up this morning, but it didn't last. The clouds came flying by quite rapidly and the wind gusts got more frequent. Then came the rain showers once again.

We had thought about driving over to the coast today, but the forecast quickly deterred us. There is a storm that came up along the coast of Northern California that reeked havoc along the Washington and Oregon coastal areas.

I was reading and Forry was watching TV when we heard a large bang. Forry saw the first of the newly constructed walls across the road go down. As we looked at the construction site, a second wall also collapsed after another wind gust.

During all of this wind and rain, our neighbors two sites over were up on the roof of their RV, washing and scrubbing and waxing? it. It is amazing that one of the couple didn't get blown off with the large wind gusts we were getting. They must have spent six hours out there working on that roof!

Friday, October 24, 2014


This is part of the construction that is going on right across the road from us (they have taken out a whole bunch of RV sites for this.), Forry says we have no need for an alarm clock as the crew arrives and starts hammering by 7 o'clock every morning. Of course, by 3 o'clock every day they are done for the day. We think they are building a church that will be alongside the retreat center -- the sign says River Life Church.

We waited until noon to call the fellows over at Kustom Coach Works to see if the DVR had come by FedEx as promised. But there had been no sign of it.

I spent one hour and 44 minutes on the phone with DirectTV trying to figure out why the DVR that was supposed to be drop-shipped here today didn't arrive. It turns out that although there was no charge for the DVR, there was a $19.95 shipping charge. Since the dear woman we had talked to on the phone on Monday didn't enter - or collect - the shipping fee, the DVR was NOT shipped!
Not sure what will happen now - we can't really travel with exposed wires... We have promises of delivery on both next Monday and next Wednesday?!!

Just before this long conversation, we had checked out of River Life RV Resort. I had disconnected the electricity, Forry had disconnected the water, we had pulled in the slides and raised the jacks. I had gone back to the office to get our receipt and we had checked out. Fortunately,  there are lots of empty sites here, so I went back to the office and checked back in. And we did the whole process in reverse.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Another Wet Day

There were intervals of quiet between the showers last night and I thought maybe the rain was over. But then it would start up again. This was the view outside my bedroom window this morning -

It continued to rain off and on all day again today. I did hear that yesterday set a record for one day's rainfall in Seattle. Not too hard to believe given the amount of rainfall we have seen here.

We didn't do a whole lot today. I read while Forry worked on his Sudoku. We took showers. I broiled a steak for supper along with baked potatoes and canned beets. Tonight we watched the second night of the Professional Bull Riding from Las Vegas. The bulls are definitely out doing the cowboys. The only bad part about it is that right now, the top riders are all Brazilians...

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Rain, Rain, Then Rain Some More

It rained hard during the night. It was still raining this morning. The fellows across the road working on the construction project worked all day in the rain. They were making walls, then standing them up and bracing them upright. They worked right through with rain jackets and hard hats on. I suppose if you live on this side of the Cascade Mountains, you would be used to working in the rain. On the east side, the dry side, the work crews would probably have been sent home on a day like today.

It rained all afternoon. We drove into town, to the Safeway store in Junction City which is only about four miles from here. It's a very nice store, but laid out exactly backwards from the one we had been shopping at all summer. Very confusing. It was still raining when we got home and started to unload the groceries.

Then it really started to rain. The wind picked up as well. The rain was very loud as it hit Auntie Violet's roof and poured down the windows. The rain late this afternoon made what had come earlier seem like light showers. The only thing about the rain that I like is the news I hear that it is raining in eastern Washington as well.

We have split loyalties in our home over this year's World Series. Forry is rooting for San Francisco and the Giants as they are the West Coast team. I am rooting for the Kansas City Royals for a couple of reasons. The first is that the Spokane Indians, our local team for all the years we lived in Spokane, was a farm team for the Royals. Secondly, the Brett Brothers owned the local team (and the hockey team and the soccer team) and were definitely hands-on owners. And lastly, the National Rural Health Association was headquartered in Kansas City (they still have their back office there) when I was President and I was able to attend more than one game while there on NRHA business.

Anyway, I am much happier about the score of tonight's game than I was last night's game. And it's still raining.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

River Life Resort

We spent the night in the parking lot of Kustom Coach/Amazing Creations, essentially dry camping. We gave the generator a good workout fixing a roast with potato wedges for supper and then watching TV. We shut it down for the night, but I was a little concerned about enough battery power for Forry's CPAP. It seemed to be just fine, but I turned the generator back on when I got up at seven so that I could make coffee.

I don't know how many hours per day Scott and Bobby work, but I know they didn't leave here last night until after 6:30 and they were all ready hard at it when I got up. Bobby came over about ten and went up on the roof to drop a second wire through the ceiling from the antenna to the TV. I had prepared a list of possible additions/changes to Auntie Violet for them to consider. They're going to price them out and have some bids for us when we come back Friday to get the DVR installed (which hopefully will have arrived!).

We called over to River Life Resort in nearby Harrisburg to see about a space to stay while we wait. Like many parks this time of year in this part of the world, they said they had lots of spaces. Actually, a good half of their sites are unavailable due to a large building project they have going on, but we have a nice wide pull-through. The resort advertises itself as a retreat center and I think the building project may be for a large church.

We really do need to make a trip back into Junction City to the grocery store, but I scrounged up and defrosted some beef chunks, added a sweet potato, a couple of carrots and an onion, the last half of a bottle of red wine and we had stew for supper.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Junction City

It was a short journey today, just about sixty miles down to Junction City, Oregon. We traveled south on I-5 finally following 99-E over to Prairie Road just beyond the town of Junction City.It's been a few years since we were here. Bobby Vodden of Kuston Coach Works and Scott Adams of Amazing Creations share shop space here in Junction City where they do incredible things to the inside of RVs.

The last time we were here was to install the beautiful cherry wood desk and file cabinets they had built to replace the table in our RV. They had also built us a CD cabinet and a free-standing map cabinet that fits between our front seats.

Today we are here to have Bobby revamp our TV setup so that we can record shows on TV, We tried to get a recording DVD last year when we were in Arizona, but the tech from Direct TV did not want to work in the RV. Bobby came over this afternoon (We are dry-camped in their parking lot.) to begin taking things apart. The Direct TV folks are going to drop-ship us a new HD DVR by FedEx. It should arrive on Friday so that Bobby can install it.

While we are here we are going to have the fellows measure the wall our sofa is on with the idea of taking it out and building a cabinet to hold the heating vent and other stuff that is under the couch. Then we would  have room to put a recliner in that corner. We also want them to replace the floors in the coach -- take out the ceramic tile and the carpet. I had been thinking wood, but am really impressed by some of the newer vinyls that they are using. We shall see...

While I was on the phone with the lady from Direct TV, I had to run across the parking lot to the shop to ask Bobby a question. It was thundering and pouring rain and I got drenched! Just a few minutes later, this is what we saw --

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Remembering the Sabbath

When we are on the road and away from Menno, we rely on joining worship with our church family via U-Tube. Gene or one of his sons make a video of the service and then Bill uploads it to U-Tube so that we can see and share it.

Today, however, we were privileged to attend Salem Mennonite Church where our Son-in-law Todd is Pastor. He was preaching on the portion of Matthew 22 where the Pharisees query Jesus about whether they should pay taxes to the emperor. This Oregon congregation does most of their singing without accompaniment and it sounded wonderful. As a treat and a follow-up to the sermon, they sang an old Bob Dylan song, "You Gotta Serve Somebody," with an accordion accompaniment.

Daughter Dawn has a bad sore throat and didn't come to church this morning. Not wanting to catch it, we came on home after church instead of going back to their house. Forry spent the afternoon watching football games while I read.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

A Very Busy Saturday

Forry slept in this morning while I actually enjoyed a bit of sunshine with my breakfast coffee. It's been a while since I've seen blue sky.

We had just finished a late breakfast and were getting ready to head over to Daughter Dawn's when Forry announced that he had broken the toilet! Seems the little flusher lever on that bottom has this wire with a little ball on top that actually does the job. And the wire had snapped.

So after a short visit with Dawn and Todd and Granddaughter Kyra and Grandson Micah, we headed up the freeway to Wilsonville and Camping World. I had called ahead and they had what we were looking for, but instead of buying another Thetford, we ended up with a Dometic 320.

It was a two hour trip up to Wilsonville and back, so it was early afternoon when we got back to Auntie Violet. It took most of the afternoon to take out the old toilet and install the new one. We got finished up in time to head back over to Dawn's for roast pork loin and sweet potatoes for supper. Kyra was at work and Micah was at a friends, so it was just the adults. Todd and DT had spent the day building a storage shed in their back yard, so it was a group of tired folk who enjoyed this fall feast.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Hee Hee Illahee

It was drizzling when we woke up this morning and it continued to rain off and on all day. It was a gloomy day for traveling, but we headed south on Interstate 5. We crossed over the Columbia River into Oregon, traversed the slow-down and heavy travel in Portland, and continued on towards Salem.

We had checked on-line and looked at the RV Reviews and decided to try an RV park closer to Daughter Dawn's new home in Keizer then the park we usually stay at in Woodburn. Hee Hee Illahee is a fairly new park (2006) owned and run by the Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians. When I called this morning, the fellow answering the phone assured me they had lots of pull-through sites and that we didn't need a reservation. When we got here this afternoon, he was a bit hard-pressed to find us a site for three nights. Seems they had had a large group make reservations for the weekend. But, with a bit of looking he found a spot for us in Site 30.

We headed over to Dawn and Todd's place about five o'clock and went with them and Grandson Micah to a place, Dos Hermanos, that serves Salvadorean food. I'm not quite sure what I ate, some kind of samosa type flat bread with pork filling. It was quite good and along with black beans and rice made a tasty meal. Micah at 13, is really getting tall with long legs - and he's lost his little boy face!

After dinner we stopped by the Croc Center to surprise Granddaughter Kyra (16) who works there after school and weekends as a pool lifeguard. She is getting to be such a cute, grown-up young lady!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Waiting, Waiting, DONE!

Did you know that sunrise at this latitude in Washington State is not until 7:30 AM? That means it was DARK when we got up this morning. We were up early in order to get Auntie Violet over to Uhlmann's RV in Chehalis by 8:30 (though it was actually 8:40 when we pulled in...).

I had followed Forry over in Toad II, so parked in front while he took Auntie Violet in by the service entrance. We left the dear girl while we went over to Denny;s for breakfast. I had blueberry pancakes while Forry had some of their special Fall pumpkin ones . We killed about an hour and a half eating breakfast and talking, then went for a drive. We ended up at a local park and again killed time watching kids and parents on the swings. (Have you heard that they are taking swings out of school playgrounds because there are too many accidents and trips to the ER on them?) These kids seemed to be having a lot of fun.

Mid-afternoon we went back over to Uhlmann's to see how things were going. Clayton reported that the new seals were in and things were being put back together. He said he had taken a good look at the motor when they had it apart and that it looked very good. There were no scratches or cracks to be seen. With that report, we decided we would not order a new pump (6-8 week lead time and $1000) "just to have it on hand."

It took another hour or more for them to button everything up and refill the hydraulic lines. It was quitting time by the time we were ready to go. We still don't know if everything is covered by our Extended Warranty or not. Casey will give them a call in the morning to see what's been decided. I again followed Forry and Auntie Violet back to Midway RV Park and settled in (we were paid up through tonight and had told them we would be back unless we had to spend another night in a motel.).

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

The Kit is Here!

Another very rainy night. Sometimes it rained hard enough on our metal roof that it woke me up. It's rained off and on all day today as well. The only nice thing about it is that I understand that it is also raining on the other side of the mountains. As Jeff had put it, the wheat really needs a drink!

I woke up this morning with every joint hurting. This dampness and I do NOT get along. I hadn't slept all that well during the night, so ended up taking a nap on the couch this morning.

We got a call from Casey at Uhlmann's RV this afternoon saying that that the seal kit had come in and did we want to make an appointment to have it installed??? I told him of course, and he wanted to know if we wanted to come in tomorrow or Friday?! (This is NOT the guy we had been working with and he obviously didn't know the back story...) I told him we'd have the coach there tomorrow morning at 8:30 when the shop opened!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Not Yet

It was a VERY rainy night! It started in earnest towards evening and rained pretty hard off and on all night. It was overcast and gloomy all day today, but we didn't get any more rain. The rugs in the bathroom need to be washed, but I think I'll wait until there's a little less humidity so that they will dry. Given that the clothes I washed yesterday were still damp this morning, I think it may be a while.

We had another quiet day today. I spent a bit of time catching our log book up on our stays since this summer. I had gotten careless about it since we were basically bouncing between Peaceful Pines and Ponderosa Falls, alternating our two week free stays with paid weeks. Forry got taken up browsing through the old log book. He was absolutely sure we had stayed at Midway RV Park before even though I could not remember ever being here. Sure enough, he found a log entry for way back in December of 2008.

We checked in with Clayton at Uhlmann's Parts Department late this afternoon. There was no sign of the seal kit's arrival today. Since yesterday was a federal holiday (the infamous Columbus Day), no one seems to know when the kit might have been shipped. I guess we'll wait for tomorrow...

Monday, October 13, 2014

Drip, Drip, Drip

It's been one of those drippy days. It has threatened to rain all day -- and the weatherperson kept saying it was raining -- but now it is. At first it was just a shower, a pause for a few minutes, then another shower. Now it has settled down and the rain is coming down very steadily.

Forry drove over to Uhlmann's early this afternoon to talk with the parts guys about the seal kit. Turns out that Clayton got the kit ordered on Friday. They asked for it to be sent 2nd day air and they are definitely hoping that it will show up tomorrow.

I spent most of the day doing laundry and hanging the washed clothes up in the living room. Because the air is so damp, the clothes aren't drying well. I suspect it'll be tomorrow morning before I can start folding them.

I got to talk both to Daughter Mary Mae and Sister Sherry today. And I had a long visit with Daughter Dawn yesterday. How fortunate we are to live in a time when talking on the telephone is cheap and easy! I am old enough to remember when a long distance call was a very rare -- and expensive -- thing. Now we think nothing of chatting for an hour. So good to catch up on what's going on.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Football Games and Bull Riding

We spent a very quiet day today. It was another one of those Fall blustery, occasionally rainy days. Not one of those days that just begged you to come outside and play. The damp air makes my joints hurt -- I can't even sleep in in the morning as the acheing wakes me up...

Of course, we watched the Seahawks play the Cowboys this afternoon. Forry got pretty upset with his "seachickens" this afternoon. It was NOT a nice loss.

The bull riding didn't go a whole lot better.  There a couple of American kids doing very well, but then those Brazilians came along again and took the win away...

In a nod to the weather, I made a pot of chicken noodle soup for supper. Even put some carrots into it.
It's going to be a long week, waiting for that darn seal kit...

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Brunch and More

On the website for Midway RV Park there is an ad for Judy's Country Kitchen with a comment that's it's just outside the gate. I thought, "Good, I won't have to cook dinner tonight." I was disappointed when we got here to find that it's only open from 6 AM to 2 PM. So we had spaghetti and garlic bread for supper instead.

But, this morning we went over to Judy's for breakfast, or rather truthfully, brunch. We waited about five minutes for a table to be cleared before we were seated. I ended up having Pumpkin Spice French Bread with a ham scramble while Forry had biscuits and gravy. Huge plates of food! What a busy place! We got there about 10:30 and there was steady traffic in and out until we left. It's a fairly large building and it was crowded. It must be one of those places with quite a reputation as it's not near any mall or residential area. I must admit, the food was really good. We may have to make another visit while we're here.

We had passed a Safeway store on Harrison Street on our way to Midway Park yesterday, so I knew we had a place close by for grocery shopping. After our brunch, we headed over there. I was so full, it was hard to look at food, let alone plan meals as I shopped. I did find a large pork loin roast with a nice layer of fat on top for roasting. When we got home, I divided the roast up into three pieces and wrapped two of them for the freezer.

The third chunk of roast I saved for dinner tonight and put it into the oven with some acorn squash halves. I filled the squash with butter and honey and baked everything for an hour at 350 degrees. The roast came out absolutely delicious. The fat on top was crispy and had rendered down to baste the meat. It rained off and on all day today and this was a perfect meal for a chilly Fall day.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Not So Good News

Shade and sunshine. evergreens and aspens. That was our drive yesterday.

Open meadows and wetlands, almost marshes....

And following a logging truck from miles on a twisty two-lane road --

When we got back into Chehalis in the late afternoon, we got a call from one of the guys in the shop. They had managed to get everything on our list done. BUT, in the process, they had noticed an oil drip which looked like it was coming from the shaft of the hydraulic motor that runs the fan that cools the radiator.

We had a visit with the shop guys this morning trying to decide what to do. The drip may mean nothing and may not get any worse. OR the seals could really break loose and burn up the motor...
This is one of the great disadvantages of having an orphan coach. When Western Recration went out of business, everything was sold at auction. Makes it awfully hard to find parts sometimes!

The parts crew spent several hours on the phone trying to track down the motor and find out who made it. They finally got a parts number off of it and found out that it was made in Italy! The motors are made to order, take about six weeks and cost about 1K! Then they found a seal kit that might be available within 4-5 days and costs about a couple of hundred dollars.

Forry is a bit nervous about not doing anything and trusting that the seals will hold.  We've been broke down before in the middle of nowhere. It is not fun. We decided that the seal kit will be ordered Monday with an attempt to get it sent overnight or second day air.

So we made reservations for a week's stay at Midway RV Park about 8 miles away. We had thought about going down to the Oregon MCC sale in Albany Saturday, but I guess that's not going to happen.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Day Trip

We were at Uhlmann's RV in Chehalis a few minutes after ten this morning for Auntie Violet's scheduled appointment. I had a list of about eight things we needed to have done: change oil and filter, check all fluids and belts, change air filter, service and charge the two roof air conditioners, service and charge dash air conditioner, check air in tires, fix trim on front door, fix right front shade and make sure all of the roof was sealed. We had Josh assigned to our coach. He went over things with us, promised he would plug in the coach to keep things frozen and went to work.

Forry and I decided it was a beautiful day for a road trip. We drove over towards the coast and the town of Long Beach. It was a beautiful drive. The deciduous trees are turning colors of gold and yellow. Interspersed between all of our Northwest evergreens, they are spectacular.

We made a loop and came back along Highway 101. We checked in to the Best Western motel we always seem to stay at while Auntie Violest is getting work done. About that time, Josh called to say they had just about completed the list. There is a small a hydraulic fan by the radiator they're going to check on. We'll discuss it with them in the morning and decide rather it will need to be replaced.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Midway RV Park - Centralia

I sat in the passenger seat in the front of the RV this morning, drinking the morning's first cup of coffee and watching the river flow by.

This KOA is located just outside of Ellensburg, stuck in a small space between the freeway and the Wenatchee River.

It is an incredibly peaceful place. It's not that far from the ranch, just a bit over a hundred miles. It's a nice spot for a first night and a chance to make sure everything is working and towing right.

We headed out this morning, once again over the Snoqualmie Pass on Interstate 90. We don't have a lot of deciduous trees in this part of the world, but we did see a lot of yellows.

We cut south on State Highway 18  through Maple Valley to pick up Interstate 5. (Definitely need to get that windshield cleaned!)

We pulled into Midway RV Park mid-afternoon. This is a new park to us and it looks like it's a nice one. They have a great many permanent residents, but the area for transients has nice long pull-thru sites with big cement pads between grassy areas. We have an appointment at ten tomorrow morning at Uhlmann's RV, which is only a few mile from here.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

We're On Our Way!

We had a lovely pair of visitors last evening. Jeff, who farms our ranch , stopped in when he got home from work. We so enjoy him and his family! We got an update of the boys and their doings. They were just wee little guys when the family moved to our ranch and now they are grown handsome young men. Later that evening, Bradley, Jeff's older brother, stopped by for a visit on his way home  from the field. We hadn't seen him for years. The two brothers grew up with our kids and it's hard to believe that Brad is now a Grandpa!

We didn't rush this morning, just kept plugging away at stuff. Forry got the tanks drained and flushed while I put away things in the bathroom and kitchen. We eventually pulled out through the ranch gate about 1 PM. We had gotten diesel at the new Love station in Ritzville earlier, so didn't need to stop in Moses Lake.

We got our first glimpse of the mighty Columbia River as we came west on I-90 --

And soon spotted Gobedere's herd of ponies on the bluff --

Because of the draw-down of the reservoir so that repairs can be made to Wanapum Dam, there are portions of the dry river bed showing a long ways out --

The cliffs along the river are incredible --

We didn't go very far today, only as far as the KOA at Ellensburg. Our appointment at Ullmann's RV isn't until Thursday morning so we're easing into travel slowly.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Check-off One More

We checked off one more item on our list of things we needed to do before we head south. We made a quick trip to Spokane to Group Health to see Dr. Brennan before we left. We needed to review some medication issues with her and pick up some prescriptions AND get our flu shots.

We also stopped at a big Walgreens and restocked my medicine cupboard with things like cough drops and band aids -- you know, all that little stuff that you have on hand that you wouldn't need unless you didn't have it. I also picked up a package of the WoundSeal powder that I've been reading about. Developed by the military, it's a topical powder that stops bleeding instantly. It'll go in the big first aid kit in Toad II.

A stop in Ritzville to get gas and a pair of frappacinos at Starbucks and some peaches and corn at the fruit stand and we were on the road back to the ranch once more. We'll spend the rest of the day putting stuff away, washing a last load of clothes, checking the air in tires and the water in the batteries - all so we can be ready to pull out in the morning!

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Sunday Morning Worship

The worship service this morning were in the big tent, left up from yesterday's MCA sale. This is the first time we've held worship in the tent in several years. (Last year there was a huge dust storm the Sunday after the sale!) It was good. Our speaker from MCC, Alan Claassen Thrush, talked about the curtain in the tabernacle and the temple. It fit so well as we watched the shadows of the trees on the roof of the tent. 

All of the singing this morning was accapello (unaccompanied by musical instruments). We were sitting towards the front. The sounds of the beautiful four part harmony raised goose bumps. We sang "Praise God From Whom" (old hymnal 606) in closing -- fantastic!

The proceeds from this year's sale are not yet in, but it will be well over the $100,000 mark again. People are so very generous in giving for relief! The way so many people with divergent views and ideas can work together in the name of Christ gives me great hope for our church!

Saturday Mennonite Country Auction

Another $100,000+ day!
Thanks be to God!
I'm exhausted -- time for bed....zzzz

Friday, October 3, 2014

Getting Ready For Tomorrow

I finished up the last load of laundry this morning, then went over to Menno to help Cleon tag the items for the auction tomorrow. We have most of the things here, there are a few yet to come in the morning. While we were doing that, the ladies were in the library measuring quilts and organizing them into bundles for the auction. (Usually we intersperse a groups of quilts between other items in the sale.) in the morning, the quilts and afghans will be hung in the big tent for display.

I went the three miles back to the ranch to get Forry, then we drove into Moses Lake to get the oil changed in Toad II and pick up the seven gallons of oil that Auntie Violet will will need for her oil change next week.

We got back to Menno in time to do some visiting and then joined the rest of the crew for a pulled pork sandwich meal -- so good!

I'm writing this on the hill on the way home -- time for bed, it'll be an early start tomorrow.

Thursday, October 2, 2014


I planned to spend a good share of the day doing laundry. After all, we had been two weeks at the RV Park without a sewr hookup. (We actually have quite a bit of room left in our tanks...)

But, like my usual plans, the jello shifted and we ended up making a quick trip into town instead. We had a fat box of mail at General Delivery at the Ritzville Post Office. We had stopped yesterday on our way through tow, but it hadn't arrived yet.

While we were up where we could get reception, I got a couple of phone calls made as well. I'll be over at the church tomorrow helping Cleon tag auction items, so will try to post something then.

The Move -- Wednesday

Yesterday we made the move to the ranch, where there is no internet nor cell phone coverage. (I am writing this in the car atop the hill.)

We got a VERY pleasant surprise when we drove in the lane. Jeff had said it was quite dry -- farmers really need rain!  He said he would set a sprinkler up where we park alongside the windbreak. He had also mowed down the Crescent wheat grass and with the watering, it had greened up! So instead of a dry dusty spot, we had a little green oasis to park.