Saturday, June 16, 2018

Charleston Turns Out to be a Good Choice!

Tuesday 6/12 Charleston, OR

Took a short walk around the harbor here first thing in the AM, lots of fishing boats already out based on the number of cars in the lots near the commercial piers and a few boat trailers in the public lot by the boat ramps.

After breakfast we headed North to take a look at our next destination, Umpqua Lighthouse State Park. Along the way we were looking for a carwash as the smart was absolutely filthy from the wet roads coming out to the coast.

Drove into Umpqua Lighthouse State Park campground and checked out our site. Looked pretty tight, probably doable, but that combined with 10 nights without being able to dump our tanks (which meant a long walk to the shower house to conserve water) meant nixing this park as well. We will receive a full refund if we cancel now. 

Stopped and looked at Umpqua Lighthouse, looks like a cool place with an ocean overlook for whale watching. We will stop back here later on when we are up this way to visit the museum and tour the lighthouse which is still an active light.

Drove into Winchester Bay and found a nice commercial RV park, Winchester Bay RV Resort, which had space for five nights starting on Tuesday the 19th. Called Charleston Marina RV and confirmed that we could stay four more days through Monday the 18th. So that gets us through Saturday (6/23) and we have reservations at Beachside State Recreation Site starting on Monday 6/25. So we will have to find a spot north of Winchester Bay for Sunday night.

Drove back into Coos Bay, stopped and finally got the car washed at Hot Stuff Car Wash, a small place that did a combo hand wash and machine wash; stopped at Porter’s RVs for a new nylon disc for the fifth wheel hitch (our old one broke and fell off when I unhitched last night!); then parked in downtown Coos Bay to take a look around.

On the way through town going to Porters Nancy had spotted the Blue Heron, a German/seafood restaurant, so we stopped there for lunch, turned out to be excellent choice! They had more than a half dozen German beers on tap and we both had excellent meals. Young man who runs the place was quite personable and very proud of the remodeling that he has done. Nice place.

After lunch walked down to My Yarn Shop, a place Carol had told Nancy about, but they were closed for the next 45 minutes, so we took a walk around the downtown area. Stopped at Remember When Toys and found some good gifts for certain young people in Colorado. Stopped at Jennie’s Shoe Store where I bought a pair of slip-on loafers and then the Coos Bay Visitors Center for a fistful of brochures. Finally made it to My Yarn Shop where Nancy picked up yarn for several projects.

Back at Charleston Harbor we did some closer looking at our upcoming state park reservations and all of them through the middle of July look eminently doable for us. So our small crisis is almost completely solved. We will have to look at the last two weeks of July as we go along.

Walked to nearby restaurant Miller's at the Cove for dinner. Good beer on draft and good food. Nice to have nearby eatery's that we can walk to!

Wednesday 6/13 Charleston, OR

Fog and drizzle this morning, overnight temps pretty much match water temperature here, 52 degrees the last couple mornings. Lazy morning and lunch at home, then we drove down the coast to Cape Arago State Park, just a few miles past Sunset Bay State Park, one book I have called it the prettiest coast drive in the state and they weren’t far off!  

On the we stopped at Shore Acres State Park which is the site of the former Simpson Mansion built in 1905 and destroyed by fire in the early 20’s. Spectacular scenery from the overlook where the house was, magnificently carved sandstone cliffs. While we were there we could see 3 or 4 orca whales several hundred yards off the shore.

Walked through the beautiful formal gardens including an amazing rose garden. Lots of spectacular trees as well. Beyond Shore Acres we stopped at Simpson Reef Overlook, another great view and rocks on the reef covered with sea lions. In fact the picture in that link is just what it looked like when we were there! Then on a little ways down the road to Cape Arago State Park where there is also a nice overlook with great views of the coast. nice view of Cape Arago lighthouse This is the end of the road south of Charleston. On the way back there was a nice view of Cape Arago lighthouse which is out on an island off the coast and not accessible for visits.

Nice afternoon with breaking clouds in the 60’s. We are sure enjoying this weather! Supposed to warm up a bit next week. Turned into a pretty evening, we took a walk around the harbor after dinner at home, Lots of commercial trawlers and some pretty ratty looking small time fishing boats.

Thursday 6/14 Charleston, OR

Quite windy this morning. Headed out mid-morning for Bandon, about 25 miles south. Took Seven Devils Road southeast out of Charleston to US 101. Up over a mountain past a lot of freshly logged areas, look pretty bad with a lot of forest debris. Some areas where there was new growth starting, but still covered with stumps.

Along the way we stopped at Bullard Beach to see the Coquille River Lighthouse. Picturesque spot, not much to see except a nice beach that was exposed to a very stiff wind out of the northwest. Beautiful day in the 60’s if you can stay out of the wind! Walked across the beach and Nancy dipped her hand in the Pacific just before she had to trot back out of the way of the waves!

Bandon, billed as a ‘picturesque’ town was very touristy. A fair number of gifts shops, book shops, and eateries. Supposed to be a nice walk out onto the jetty and south down the beach, but the wind was just too strong and too cold.

Visited the Bandon Historical Society Museum which was very nice. We like small town museums. Spent a fair amount of time there. Lots of pictures telling the story of small town life, the Native Americans, the logging industry, the fishing industry, and the cranberry industry. A lot went on in this small town's history! The town burned twice, first in 1914 and again in 1936 when it was totally destroyed by a fast moving forest fire. The town history is divided between BF (Before Fire) and AF (After Fire).

Walked back into the shopping area and had nice sandwiches and pastry at the Bandon Bakery and then head back home.

Walked over to Millers at the Cove again for dinner. Quite busy this evening, much more so than earlier in the week.

Friday 6/15 Charleston, OR

Up early to take the truck in to Gold Coast Truck Repair to have the air leak fixed. Stopped at Walmart to arrange for a prescription to be sent from my doctor in IL, then back home. Took a short walk around the harbor to stop at the Charleston Marine Life Center, but not open yet. Another bright sunny day in the 60’s, but still a cool wind off the ocean. We are enjoying this cool weather!

Found an RV park for Sunday night the 24th, Darling’s Marina & RV Resort near Florence.

Drove back into Coos Bay for Lunch at 7 Devils Brewery. Really good beer, poutine, tuna and mac & cheese. Picked up the truck and returned to Charleston. 

Walked over to the Charleston Marine Life Center. A great little natural history museum with live and still exhibits. Fascinating variety of sea life in the live tanks. 

Quick run back into Coos Bay late in the afternoon to pick up prescription for sinus infection and then dinner at home tonight.

Monday, June 11, 2018

Back on the Road Again!

Summer 2018

Headed out for the summer. Planning on two months in Oregon, a month in Northern Illinois, two weeks in Denver and then back to Tucson in Mid-September. A bit late with the post as we were without WiFi for much of the last week. So here we go!

Tuesday May 29, 2018 Ehrenburg, AZ

Spent the last week getting the house ready to close up. Cacti are blooming everywhere, particularly the saguaros. Our neighbor’s mature trichocereus hybrids had beautiful blooms a week ago, too bad they only last for a day!

Several of our trichocereus are budding, huge buds. Opening to beautiful flowers the morning we left! We had one that is about 10 inches tall that produced a bud at least 4” tall! It was really close to opening one evening 

and the next morning it was gone! Probably eaten by a deer. I put cages around the others that had buds before we left.
Some of our other cactus flowers:

Those stone are 1/2” ground cover.

Spent Sunday and Monday loading the trailer, can only work early in the morning due to the heat. Had a nice cool morning Sunday morning and were able to get most of it done. Up around 100 every day now.

Monday morning we biked down to the little Memorial Day parade in Tucson Estates I. Bigger than we expected, but they really need a band.

On the road right at nine AM Tuesday. Went up Kinney Rd. through Tucson Mountain Park and then up Sandaro Rd. to Marana where we got onto I-10, avoiding the traffic around Tucson. Stopped in Eloy to fuel up, found a Cracker Barrel there (!) for lunch, then took I-8 west to avoid Phoenix, then north back onto I-10 and west to Arizona Oasis RV Park in Ehrenburg, on the Colorado river at the CA border. Uneventful except for a half hour stoppage for an accident 30 miles from our destination!  

Wednesday 5/30 Barstow, CA

Got an early start this morning, 8 AM and it was an uneventful day. Got to Shady Lane RV Park in Barstow a little after one. A bit slow going as the towing speed limit in CA is 55! 

Hot and very windy here. Hopefully we will get away from the heat as we head up into the mountains tomorrow. After hooking up and getting the AC running we ran back into town for lunch at Tom’s Burgers, OK but nothing to write home about. Did some grocery shopping and back to RV to relax.

Thursday 5/31 Mammoth Lakes, CA

Well after two uneventful days this one did not start off well. Forecast for Mammoth Lakes tonight was low 30’s (say what?!!) so I checked propane tanks last night and one had just gone empty. Host at Shady Lane told me of two places, so this morning we stopped at K&L Gas. Not open yet so we went on to a U-Haul store where the attendant looked at my tank and said it was out of date and needed to be re-certified! “You can get that done over at K&L.”

So, back to K&L - only a mile or so - and they were open. Very nice young man inspected and certified both tanks for $10. Filled the empty tank and then I realized that the air on the truck was bleeding down faster than it should. Nancy had been saying she could hear an air leak and it seemed to be getting worse. The man at K&L recommended American Towing on the other side of town. I called and they said they could check it out, so over there we went.

Guys at American Towing could not have been nicer. Checked it out right away, found a leaking cab air bag (air suspension), no new bag available in town so I had them cap off the line. Only charged us 60 bucks!

Called Volvo dealer in Sparks, NV and made appointment to get cab air bags replaced on Friday afternoon.

Got back on the road about 10:30! Not too bad for all that went on!

Headed North up US 395, we were surprised by how dry and desert-like the East side of the Sierra Nevada’s is. Lots of snow capped mountains though.

The truck did great on the climb up over 7,000 feet south of Bishop, held 55 in 9th gear all the way up. Nice drive on good road with very little traffic. Had lunch in the trailer at a rest area and arrived at McGee Creek RV Park at 4:30. What a pretty place! Right up against the mountains with a lovely creek running by and lots of trees. High 90’s in Tucson, Ehrenburg, and Barstow, but it was 63 degrees when we got here and it is supposed to drop into the low 30’s tonight! Perhaps because we are at 6,940 feet above sea level! The fresh cool air with a nice breeze felt great when we took a stroll around the park.

Here’s a pic of the fast flowing creek (sure could use some of that water in Tucson!) and a pic of the mountains taken from the same spot. Yes, that is snow up there!

Friday 6/1 Reno, NV

35 DEGREES THIS AM!! YIKES! Actually it was pretty good sleeping last night, we could just hear the water running in McGee Creek. Did need to turn our furnaces on this morning though.

Got a good start and made it to Reno just about Noon. Checked into Bordertown RV Resort, 15 miles north of Reno. Nice place, but tight sites and narrow roads. Paved roads, concrete pads, grass in between sites.

Had lunch in the restaurant here and then took the truck to TEC Volvo in Sparks to get the cab airbags replaced. Of course they said it would be late afternoon before they could start (in spite of what they implied yesterday) and it ‘might’ be done this evening. No problem though, just unloaded the smart and we spent the afternoon driving down to Lake Tahoe just to see the place. Not all that impressive, very touristy. Lots of pretty scenery on the way down and on a different route up through the mountains on the way back.

Back hime we picked up a pretty good pizza from the deli in the casino here. Waiting for the pizza neither of us could figure out how any of the slot machine games even work! No more just put a quarter in and pull the lever! Geezers are us!

Volvo dealer called about 8:15, truck is done. Will pick it up in the morning.

Saturday 6/2 Reno, NV

Took our time getting started this  morning. About 10:30 we went back into the city and picked up the truck and loaded the smart. Stopped at BJ’s Barbecue for lunch, pretty good pulled pork and brisket. Stopped for groceries, then back to RV park. Nancy cleaned tile floors, I shampooed some carpets & vacuumed, Nancy did some laundry.

Walked over to casino for free drink and Nancy gave them a few bucks in the slot machines while we waited for my pizza to be prepared.

Back to trailer and relaxed for the evening.

Sunday 6/3 Valley of the Rogue SP, OR

Got on the road about 8:30. No issue pulling lout of our spot in spite of the tight quarters. Good wether and good roads all the way to Valley of the Rogue State Park. Less than a mile from the RV park we crossed back into California. Mostly good two lane roads through pine forests from just past there state line all the way to I-5 near Mt Shasta. Speaking of Mt. Shasta, great views of the snow covered mountain for miles through the woods. Stopped in a pull-out along the way and had lunch of left-over pizza (the pizza in the deli at Bordertown Casino was great!) and PB&J mini-sandwiches from Trader Joe’s.

Arrived at Valley of the Rogue State Park just before 3 o’clock. Light traffic, good roads all the way, once again an uneventful trip.

Park is laid out a lot like Cherry Creek in Denver, just a bit smaller and tighter, but roads are fine for a big rig and no issues getting into our pull-through space that has more than enough room.

In spite of the trees our sat dish hooked up just fine. We were able to use the Sacramento spot beam from Dish Network for our three stops in California and Nevada. Switched to the Portland spot beam today which will cover us for the whole state. Used Dish chat to make the change each time and it worked fine.

Monday 6/4 Valley of the Rogue SP, OR

I realized this morning that I miss trees! We took a walk along the Rogue River at 6:30 this morning. A beautiful place with huge, mature trees all along the river - and all through the park. Lovely morning, 53 degrees with a clear blue sky.

Mid-morning we drove into the small town of Rogue River just a few miles from the park. Stopped in a visitor’s center there and picked up some info, then drove on into Grant’s Pass. After a spin around town we stopped at Wild River Brewing and met our friends from Desert Trails, Carol and Jack, for lunch.

After lunch they gave us a tour of Grant’s Pass and environs with a stop at their lovely home deep in the woods outside of town. Jack did most of the work on the house with an impressive display of cedar woodwork inside and out. Made a stop at an overlook over Hell’s Canyon on the Rogue, where we will be going on a boat trip tomorrow.

We stopped at a store of the Murphy Hemp Co. just to check it out. Nancy bought a jar of Topical CBD Salve after we tried samples. 

Back to the trailer about 4:30 for dinner and the playoff hockey game.

Tuesday 6/5 Valley of the Rogue SP, OR

Nice long walk on the path along the river this morning, about a mile and half, lots of birds with pretty songs around here. Nice morning, although it was 45 degrees when we got up. Waited until after brea
fast to take our morning walk. 

Late morning we drove into the village of Rouge River and had a second breakfast at Bee Gee’s Diner, nice little place. Went on into Grant’s Pass and spent some time roaming around trying to find the Chase Bank branch. Eventually determined that I was looking for the address of a branch in a different city! After correcting that mistake we found the ATM we were looking for.

The we met Jack and Carol at Hell’s Canyon Jetboats. We took a two hour jet boat trip down the Rogue River, 18 miles to Hell’s Gate Canyon. A really interesting trio and great fun, although we could have gotten along fine without the requisite water splashing. Lots of wildlife along the way (including black tailed deer and a solitary muskrat swimming in the Rogue) and interesting information about the history of the area. From just below Grant;s Pass the Rogue is a designated “Wild River” all the way to the Pacific in Gold Beach, so it protected from development.

After the trip we were all pretty wet, so we came back home to change and then Nancy & I went back into Rogue River and had dinner at Terasco’s Mexican. Pretty good dinner.

Wednesday 6/6 Valley of the Rogue SP, OR

A bit warmer this morning, 54 degrees. The beautiful weather continues, we have had nothing but warm sunny days since we left home a week ago. 

After breakfast we walked along the river path again in the opposite direction. Really impressive big pine trees. Once again we did a mile and a half.

Yesterday I realized that my right hand, which has been bothering me ever since I injured it several years ago felt much better since I used that sample of Topical CBD Salve at the hemp store On Monday! Not sure if the soreness is from arthritis or inflammation (or both), but I have been treating it by squeezing a small ball in my hand and this ointment really made it feel better! 

So when we went back into Grant’s Pass we stopped at the Murphy Hemp Co. there (the one we stopped at on Monday was in Merlin) to get another jar of the salve. Nancy decided on the lotion with the same ingredients.

Then we went west of town to Rogue Creamery. The farm store there was closed when we went by on Monday and we wanted to try their cheese sandwiches. Also looked around their automated dairy. They have a large cattle barn with open walls and a translucent roof, does not look or smell like any cattle barn I have ever seen! The cows are allowed to set their own schedule for milking! They come into the barn whenever they want, eat grain there, water or sleep and when they “feel the urge” to be milked they head up one aisle to the robotic milking machines. As they enter the chute and FFID chip in their ear tag sends a signal and, if they are due to be milked, the gate opens, allowing them into the milking parlor. If they are not due for milking the gate directs them back into the barn! From there they enter one of two milking stands. Once they are in place the robotic arm washes their udder and the attaches the milking device! 

The system monitors the amount of milk from each cow, identified by the chip, and analyzes the product from each milking. If the milk deviates from the norm (temperature, chemical content) it immediately notifies the farm supervisor by text so the cow can be examined for health issues.

Cheese sandwiches were were great and we bought some cheese and cheese curds.

Made a stop at a huge Fred Meyer grocery store and them Walmart to get a laundry drying rack since we left ours at home.

Jack and Carol picked us up at 4:00 and we drove into Ashland. Walked through  nice shopping area, stopped in a really nice used book store, The Book Exchange (bought 5 books!) and had dinner at a brew pub. Then we went to the theatre of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival for the opening night of Book of Will. Quite a good performance in a really nice facility. After 11 by the time we got back home.

Thursday 6/7 Valley of the Rogue SP, OR

Headed out a little after nine this morning on a day trip to Crater Lake. Took about two hours to get there, our senior park passes saved us $20 on park admission. Watched the video at the Visitors Center then drove a little ways along the East Rim Drive to a lookout area where we had a nice view of the lake, very blue and very pretty. 

Looks like maybe we could use a selfie stick!

Nice day in the 60’s although the roads around the rim are still closed due to snow and there was a fair bit of snow in the woods along the way. A pretty drive through pine forests most of the way. Stopped at an eating area just outside the park gate for lunch and then back home.

Loaded the car on the truck and got ready to head for La Pine State Park in the morning. 

Friday 6/8 La Pine SP, OR

Short walk in the morning, 49 degrees. Heading for La Pine Sate Park today, only 161 miles with the first 60 retracing our route from yesterday.

On the road about 9:30, uneventful drive to La Pine SP with is way back in the piney woods. About 13 miles into the closest town - La Pine - and 27 miles into Bend.

Pretty spot, pull through with fun hookup. We will be going without sewers for the a while after we leave here and our shower tank seems to be filling up too quickly and the tank monitor is only showing half full. Will try to sus-out what is happening while we are here.

Before dinner we took a walk along the bank of the Deschutes River which wraps around the campground, really pretty spot.

This evening I decided to see what was going on with the gray tanks. Earlier I had put some tank treatment in to try to clean the sensors, but I decided to dump that tankful. Then I took a 6-1/2 gallon water jug and refilled the shower tank - 50 gallons. Did not seem enough as we are supposed to have 87 gallons of gray water storage. 

Then I drained the kitchen tank then refilled it using two one gallon jugs to measure. To our surprise it took 41 gallons! So the shower tank is filling up completely. Apparently we (particularly me!) have been using more water than usual during our showers. Will have be more conscientious while we are without full hook ups over the next few weeks.

Saturday 6/9 La Pine SP, OR

43 degrees this morning and light rain, rained on and off most of the night. The pavement in the park (and elsewhere as it turned out) had streaks of yellow material that ran in the rain. Later we found out is was ponderosa pine pollen!

Took our time getting started, watched F1 practice and then headed for Bend. Stopped at the Newberry National Volcanic Monument visitor’s center in the Deschutes National Forest. Quite an interesting place, the geography, and geology, of the entire area has been shaped by volcanic activity.

Then on into Bend where we found a laundromat that also had good WiFi! After doing the wash and catching up on our e-mail (our phones barely work in the state park and the Verizon hot spots are virtually useless) we had a good lunch at the Pour House restaurant.

A stop at the Albertson’s for groceries and then 22 miles back home to watch F1 qualifying. Still cold, never got much above 50 today. Supposed to be low 30’s tonight, of course we are at 4,100 feet here!

Sunday 6/10 La Pine SP, OR

33 degrees this morning! Glad I disconnected out water hose last evening and switched to our fresh tank. After breakfast and CBS Sunday morning we headed north to the Oregon High Desert Museum. Quite an interesting place, a nice museum with sections on Native Americans and early settlers. Also an outdoor portion with a neat display of otters in their natural habitat. 

Spent several hours in the museum and then went on into Bend and had lunch at the same place we did yesterday and stopped at Walmart before heading back to the campground. On the way in to the campground we detoured down a side road to see “The Big Tree”, which is the largest Ponderosa Pine ever recorded. It was pretty big, 162 feet high and 28 feet in diameter.

Back home for pizza and to watch the Formula One race from Montreal. Oddly enough ESPN choose to run it on a delayed broadcast so they could show NCAA Baseball tournament. So race in Europe and elsewhere are shown live in the middle of the night or early  morning, while a race that is in North America at mid-day is tape delayed! The new owners of F! who supposedly want to develop the market in the US are doing their best to drive the audience away before they can get their act together. 

Turns out the F1 race was not on when the Dish Network guide said it was! May have been on during the day while we were away. Fortunately they are rerunning it let tonight - supposedly.

After we arrived home I checked tires and wanted to ad air to one, when I fired up the truck and opened the brake balance valve to get my air hose going I found a pretty good air leak, confirming the hissing Nancy heard when she was helping me back in. We’ll see how it goes tomorrow.

Monday 6/11 Charleston Harbor RV Park, Charleston, OR

On the road about 9:30, 44 degrees and spitting rain. Really scenic drive across the Cascades to the coast. The air compressor was holding it’s own against the air leak, so far so good.

Arrived at Sunset Bay SP to find a really (I mean REALLY) tight campground. Our site was big enough for us but that was no way to back our trailer in there as it was at right angles to a very narrow rod with trees right up to the pavement. Gave it a try, but it could not be done. Drove down the road and were fortunate to find Charleston Harbor RV Park which had a site large enough.

Got parked and checked in. Walked across the street to Portside Restaurant for an excellent dinner, short walk and then home to watch F1.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Headed For Home and a Wedding

Tuesday 9/26 - Thursday 9/28

Nice relaxing visit with Joan. The girls did some shopping, I pretty much sat on my butt for two days!

Friday 9/29

Friday afternoon we headed back to the trailer, stopped in Geneva and had a real nice diner at Livinia with Patt and John. Two hours of good conversation and good food. Back home we watched some of this morning’s F1 Practice.

Saturday 9/30

Nice morning walk around town, a bit cool 46 degrees this AM! Put the quilt Joan lent to us on the bed last night! Had breakfast and after it had warmed up a bit we took a nice walk through town. Spent the day doing cleaning and maintenance, Nancy made a run to the store.

Sunday 10/1

Relaxing day, morning walk around the lakes at the RV park, F1 race, run to store, etc.

Monday 10/2

Morning walk and on the road about 9 AM. Checking tires in the morning I had one Pressure Pro beeping, checked the tire and it was OK. Then it kept beeping! Should not do that. Investigation showed that the sensor for the left front outer trailer tire was on the right side and vice versa! Bet all left and rights are switched! Will have to check it out later. Uneventful trip to Timberline Campground in Waukee, IA. Third night here in a month! Lunch at Cracker Barrel.

Tuesday 10/3

Up a little early and on the road by 8 AM. Wanted to get to Independence, MO with time to tour the Truman Home. Arrived at Campus RV Park about noon. Nancy headed over to the National Park Service Visitors Center to get tour tickets for this afternoon. Only about seven blocks away from the RV park. I met her there a little while later and we watched the movie on Truman. 

Stopped at Dave’s Bakery and Deli for lunch and then walked over to the Truman house. Good exhibit.

Wednesday 10/4

Drizzling rain in the morning, headed out a little after nine. Traffic around the south side if Kansas City was fairly heavy and made tougher by the fairly steady rain. Got off the interstate at US 169 and headed straight south towards Ollogah, OK and the Will Rogers Ranch (Dog Iron Ranch. Dog Iron being the brand used on his father’s cattle.). 

US 169 was a good four lane for the first hour or so, but then it became a narrow two lane with marginal shoulders. Not helped by the steady rain and fairly heavy north-bound truck traffic!

Stopped at a grocery store in Coffeeville, OK and Nancy made sandwiches for lunch. Arrived at the ranch in mid-afternoon. I knew the the RV spot there was on grass and they had warned about soft ground if it rained! Talked to the caretaker there and asked if there was a possibility of parking on the pavement ( I had looked carefully at the Google satellite view). He said maybe, so we went on in.

Turns out we are the only guests here. Jacob, the caretaker, is a very nice and accommodating young man and he said we were welcome to give it a try. Still raining steadily. I was pretty well soaked by the time I got us hooked up. I pulled into the paved circle, and then backed the trailer up to the edge of the pavement. Just able to reach the electrical hookup with the 50 amp cord and two 30 foot long 30 amp extensions that we carry. No water hookup though! We always carry a half tank of fresh water so we should be good for two nights.

Walked over and looked through the ranch house. This is the house that Will Rogers was born in, although it has been moved a quarter mile from it’s original position. The large Rogers ranch was mostly flooded by the creation of a large man made lake. The house now has a lovely view out over the lake. Good video about the house and family and information on the family in plaques on the walls.

 Thursday 10/5

Short walk around the park, we are parked next to the grass airstrip dedicated in 1931 by Will Rogers and Wiley Post. Does not appear to be used very much, if at all.

Headed into Claremore around 10 AM. Tracked down a bakery Nancy had found on Yelp and bought some bread, checked out the Rib Crib (also from Yelp) to see if it looked like a viable place for lunch. Then we went to the Will Rogers Museum. A very impressive facility built by the state after his death. A good number of interesting artifacts and a lot of videos and film clips.

Late lunch at the Rib Crib and back out to the Dog Iron Ranch. Walked around the grounds and checked out the barn. This is still a kind of working ranch, horses, cattle, a couple of donkeys and goats in the barn. There was a good video about the home ranch and WRs rope tricks. Pretty impressive stuff.

Friday 10/6

Weather better this AM. Got a good start at 9 AM. No problem maneuvering the trailer out of the loop we were in without getting off the pavement.

Stopped at the Flying J in Tulsa for 250 gallons of diesel. Fought a headwind most of the way west, so fuel mileage lousy today. Just after noon traffic came to a screeching halt at El Reno, OK. We were right at the exit so I jumped off and we pulled into a Walmart to eat the lunch Nancy had packed. CB radio said tie-up was construction so after lunch we went up to Buss 40 and went west to the next interchange which was past the construction.

Got into Sayre, OK about 2:30 and found the RV area in the city park. Nothing fancy, but large and long pull through sites. A good deal for $12. Quick run to the grocery store and settled in for the evening.

Saturday 10/7

Pretty strong thunderstorms rolled through around midnight last night, a bit of rain and wind but that was about it. Cleared out in time to record the F1 race at 1 AM! Learned a new trick with the Dish local channels earlier in the week, don’t know why I had not thought about this before. Every time we move we have to call Dish Network and ask them to change our service address in order to get local stations on the satellite. A bit of a pain.

Last week I happened to look at the spot beam map and realized that Des Moines was on the fringe of the Kansas City spot beam, as is Claremore, OK. So when we arrived in Waukee, IA on Monday we changed our locals to Kansas City and we had the networks for Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday without making any change. On Friday in Sayre, Ok I changed locals to Amarillo and that worked for Friday and then Saturday in Santa Rosa, NM.

Uneventful trip today to Santa Rosa RV in Santa Rosa, NM. Turns out they have a Bar-b-Que restaurant on site that will deliver to your site! Had pretty good ribs and beef for dinner.

Sunday 10/8

Up fairly early, still running on Central time although we moved into Mountain time yesterday afternoon. Took our time getting going, watched the pre-race and start of the F1 race, on the road around 10 AM. Uneventful trip to Ojo Caliente, still a pretty good head wind though.

Stopped in Santa Fe for groceries and then on to Ojo Caliente Spa. Had to park and go into hotel/spa restoration to register for the campground. Pretty tight spaces and narrow roads with lots of trees. Getting into our site was pretty tricky. Needed to turn around in order to back in. Site is right at a junction with three roads and an island with trees in the middle! Had to came in on 6 o’clock leg, had to turn right and down far enough to get trailer straight, then back down the left hand leg, around a curve with trees tight on both sides, then pull back into the 6 o’clock leg with the site on the right. Then had to back in between water standpipe and large trees. Went smoother than I expected, I even impressed myself!

Monday 10/9

Walked a little way up a mountain trail by the campground, but it was steep and rocky so we did not go far. Off to the spa early in the morning, soaked in several of the pools, somehow we missed the arsenic pool that we liked in the past. Nancy went for a message late in the AM, I soaked a bit more and then sat in the sun and read, kind of a cool breezy morning.

After Nancy finished we went over to the restaurant and had a nice lunch. Thought about going back to soak, but we decided to go back home and relax.

Tuesday 10/10

Cold last night! 28 degrees here! Snow in the mountains to the north, and apparently in Denver! Glad to have that quilt!

Took our trekking poles with us this morning and went up the trail/road to where we had a good view over the spa and off to the mountains in the east. Beautiful morning, sunny with a nice breeze. After the hike we went to the spa restaurant for lunch again. Really good food here, but a bit pricey, so lunch is a better deal, then we can have a light dinner at home.

In the afternoon Nancy went back to the spa for another treatment and a soak, I just took it easy. Balancing $24 admission against soaking in the hot spring again, I opted for the 24 bucks!

Wednesday 10/11

No rush to get on the road this AM as we are only 100 miles from Albuquerque. Took a nice long walk to the end of the campground and down a road to a round barn, marked as the only one in the state. Sat on a bench by the Ojo River for a while where it was babbling through some small rapids.

Short trip to Albuquerque and Enchanted Trails RV Park where they were good enough to squeeze us in at the last minute during a really busy week! Got settled in and went over to Deb’s house (my 2nd cousin). My cousin Lee, Deb’s Mom also got in today. Had a nice visit with them as well as Dan, Deb’s main squeeze, and the about to be married couple Selden and Kelsie. Deb baked a nice lasagna.

Thursday 10/12

Went over to the Petroglyphs National Monument. Quite an interesting place. Relaxed at home for a while and then went to Kelsie’s parent’s house in the evening for the rehearsal dinner, catered by Deb, Dan, & Lee! Excellent roast beef sliders with fixings.

Friday 10/13

Headed out early to watch the Balloon Fiesta. Did not actually go to Balloon Park, but stopped up above off of I-25 where we had a good look at a large number of balloons in the sky. Stopped in a parking lot and spent quite awhile watching with binoculars.

Back home for lunch and then off to the wedding back at Kelsie’s parents. Nice ceremony with a good sized crowd of relatives and friends. Helped Deb and Dan decorate Selden’s car.

Wedding was catered by a pizza truck, which was very well received!

Back home around 9 PM. Wedding was at 4.

Saturday 10/14

On the road at 8:45. Lots of balloons in the air as we doubled back to I-25 and headed south. Planned on stopping at a little restaurant in Hatch, NM on the cut across road towards Deming. Turned out to be closed! Permanently it appeared. 

Made it to Wilcox, AZ late in the afternoon, stopped at the quarter car wash in town and washed the truck and trailer. Not a great job, but at least presentable.

Stayed at Ft Wilcox, RV. New owners since our last visit and I have never seen so few RVs here. Not sure why, price might be up a bit, but it is Passport America so half price is reasonable.

Sunday 10/15

Only 90 miles to get home from Wilcox. Found everything in good shape at home. No issues other than quite a few little volunteer palo verde trees in the yard! Got the trailer unloaded and back to the RV lot late in the afternoon. Still hot here!

So ends our travels for the summer of 2017. We traveled 7,350 miles with the truck and trailer and stayed in 10 states since we left home in July!