Shaniko, OR

Lousy crosswind

It was a combination of rain and crosswind that highlighted by venture into the state of Washington.  I only had 220 miles to go but right at the start it rained a bit and then the sun came out and jI enjoyed beautiful high clouds.  But the crosswind was blowing from my left to the right making for some white knuckle driving.

Shaniko, OR

Someone suggested (sorry but I can’t remember who) on my way to Yakima I stop at the little town of Shaniko, OR.  It is right on 97 so decided to check it out.  It is a very old town with many really old buildings.  It is practically a ghost town but I did see a few people and a couple of businesses still open including the post office.  It is a neat little town only consisting of a few blocks.  I got out the camera and took some of the following pics.

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The old livery stable.  Lots of rusty stuff around here.

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This is the Old Gold Nugget Saloon.  I bet I lot of booze was consumed here at one time.  Most of these buildings were closed.

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This is the town’s hotel.  It is the biggest building in town.

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I am not sure what this building was but it sure looked neat.

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There were many other buildings on another street along with a museum, but it was late in the day and I still had a ways to go to my destination.

It is a neat little town out in the middle of nowhere.  I would like to spend more time here whenever I get up this way again.

Rainy day in Bend, OR

Weather

The weather had been great up until the day I left the casino.  It didn’t really rain but sprinkled all the way to Bend, OR.  While in Bend I stopped at the Walmart to fill my prescriptions for the next 3 months and picked up some groceries.

I plan on spending 2 nights at the Bend Elks Lodge where they have electricity for $15 per night.  Time to get everything charged up.  I usually charge up IPhone, IPod, my computer, and my Bose speaker system.  That just leaves my Kindle Fire, toothbrush and battery charger which recharges my rechargeable AA, AAA, and D batteries.  I take advantage of electricity now as I will only have solar power when I reach Panorama Point (where I will be camphosting for the summer) and then I will have to juggle things to keep them charged.

Bend Elks Lodge

I signed up for two nights and got one of the 8 sites available with electricity.  There were three other campers when I arrived but one of them left this morning.  It has been very overcast and rained off and on during the day.  Chica and I went for a walk but she got a burr in here foot.  I helped her get it out and she is OK.  This is a view of our spot at the Elks Lodge taken with my IPhone.  It was just before it started really pouring.

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Elks Lodge Membership

Becoming a member of the Elks had to be one of the best things I have done since starting to fulltime.  Many of the Elks Lodges have low cost RV camping facilities and most of them have electricity, water and dump.  They do not accept reservations but most have sites available when you pull in.  After my experience trying to camp at a National Forest Service campground that was not yet open I made a change of plans and decided to stick with available Elks Lodges along my route.

My next stop will be the Elks Lodge in Yakima, WA where I will spend another 2 nights.  Elks Lodges are a very convenient place to stay during off season camping while traveling.  Plus they also have full bars and very reasonable dinners as well.  Not too shabby!!!

One more day

Still at the casino

Well 2 nights is going to turn into 3 at the Kla Mo Ya Casino.  Not because I love to gamble (I haven’t even been inside) but because the LA Kings face the Anaheim Ducks in their first game of the series tonight.  I am an avid LA Kings fan, although never get to any games.  I have been a fan for many years and hope they can beat the Ducks and continue in their quest for another Stanley Cup.

Perfect weather

The sun is shining and the temps will be 63 high 37 low.  It gets a bit chilly around 4:00am but nothing that requires heat, just warm blankets.  Great sleeping weather.  I turn on the Wave 3 in the morning to warm everything up including Chica.

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Slow down mode

Ever since I arrived here I have been in a slow down mode as opposed to my hurry up mode in getting here.  Between here and my destination at Panorama Point Campground in Northern Washington it is only about 600 miles.  So I have plenty of time to get their by May 10th.

My route north

I am trying to bypass all of the large cities on my way north.  I didn’t want to go through either Portland or Seattle if I don’t have to so I got out my atlas and I came up with the following route.  Since I am already on 97 I plan to just continue heading north on it until I reach 2 in Washington.  Then I will go west on 2 to Everett, WA where I will get on the 5 heading north.  Then I will go east on 20 which will put me right in Concrete, WA about 20 miles from my campground.  This route will take me thru all small towns until I get to Everett.  Has anyone ever taken any of these roads?  If so I would love to hear your comments on the roads and my route.

Elks Lodge in Bend

Tomorrow I plan to head to Bend.  I need to do some shopping at Walmart and they also have an Elks lodge with RV parking available.  Only about 115 miles so won’t be much driving.

 

The Good, Bad and Ugly

The Good – Ramhorn Springs BLM

I headed north from Mono Lake over a pass at 8,100 feet.  I use both the Allstays and the Ultimate Campgrounds Apps on my IPhone to determine where I can stay overnight.  They are both very handy and you can use filters to determine what type of campground you prefer.  I decided on the Ramhorn Springs BLM campground about 45 miles north of Susanville, CA.  It was a bit further then I like to drive at 271 miles.  I normally like to travel only 200 miles per day.

When I arrived there were 2 truck campers pulling ATV’s.  Chica and I got settled in and prepared dinner and then went over to talk with my fellow campers at their campfire.  They had been coming here for several years and told me about the area.  It is always neat when you can find others who will share their knowledge of the area with you.  One of them suggested that I unhook the car and check out a few of the spots they mentioned.  I was thinking of doing that, but the Internet was so poor and I was out of phone range.  So I decided to move on.

Here are a couple of pics of the campgrounds.  It was very cool and well maintained.  The first pic shows the road leading into the park.  It is right off 395 about 3 miles on this road to the park entrance.

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The next few pics show are campsite within the park.

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The Bad – What you don’t want to see when towing

Since I had driven 666 miles (that should have been a hint that something was going to go bad) in the last 3 days I decided that a short drive further north would be a great idea.  I looked up a NFS campground 22 miles north-west of Altura, CA.  It would be a short relaxing drive of about 80 miles.  Great!  We were headed to Howard’s Gulch CG.  Just prior to turning into the campground road the 2 lane road started a passing lane.  NICE!!!  I had to turn left so was in the passing lane.  My trusty GPS told me where to turn and left I went only to find the RV’er with a toad’s worse nightmare – ROAD CLOSED.  I was already committed and had no choice but to turn left.

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I got out and surveyed the situation and determined that I had to unhook my car, turn the rig around and then rehook up my car all within about 50 feet.  The problem was that I was on an incline and when I tried to unhook the car I couldn’t get it off the ball hitch because of the incline.  After starting my car and putting it into gear and using my handbrake to stop I was able to get it to a point where It would come off the ball hitch.  Then I had to maneuver both rig and car in a small space facing the opposite direction, hookup the car and then I would be on my way.

By the way, when I checked the campground it said it opened in May.  Today was May 1.  DUH!!!  I guess it was too early to open.  Oh well!

The Ugly – Wheel well cover flapping in the breeze

By this time I determined that any campground that said it opened in May probably meant May 15 or later.  My friend John had mentioned a casino in Klamath Falls, OR that allowed RV’ers to spend the night.  So that was my goal.  I put it into my GPS and off we went.  On the way a large truck came flying by going the opposite direction and my wheel well cover came detached and was flapping in the breeze.  I pulled over and tightened it the best I could but it was not good enough as it happened again once another truck went by.  I did this about four times and then decided I was going to get it fixed temporarily until I got to my campground in Washington where that would be added to my list of things to do.  So I got out the one thing I knew could do the job properly – good ole DUCK TAPE.  I taped it up and the flapping came to a halt and I drove to Klamath Falls.

Once I got in Klamath Falls I thought it would be only a short drive to the casino.  OH NO!!  It was 24 miles north of town.  YIKES!  I usually check my GPS to see the total miles I have to travel to my destination, but this time I didn’t.  DUH!!

It is now 5:30 and Chica is getting antsy (although she cooperated) as well as myself.  We finally arrived at the Kla Mo Ya Casino about 6:00 and I immediately pulled into a nice shady spot.

DSC_0326The Internet here is great and the weather very nice, so I don’t plan on leaving here for 2 days.  Unless they kick me out.  HA!

Mono Lake

Windy morning

I got up this morning to a lot of wind.  I checked the weather and it was blowing 10-15 mph.  I was debating whether to stay or head out into the wind.I checked the Weather Channel and it said windy today and windier tomorrow (15-25mph).  If I stayed here I would need to stay two more days.  I needed to get a few items at Walmart so packed up and headed to the Walmart in Ridgecrest, CA.  The wind wasn’t too bad so decided to head out.  My destination was Mono Lake where I know a great boondocking spot.

There were a few times when the wind got very gusty, but overall it was OK.

Stopped in Bishop

I had to stop at the Schat’s Bakery to pick up their famous Sheepherder’s bread.  However they were completely sold out.  BUMMER!!!  Instead I got a loaf of Sourdough Rosemary bread which I am sure will also be very delicious.  I couldn’t wait so just buttered a slice and it was really yummy.

Mono Lake

I am boondocking in the same spot I had when I came up here in 2012.  It is a great spot overlooking the lake.

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This is a pic of some of the beautiful wild flowers growing right outside our door.

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Some pics taken in different directions surrounding our campsite.

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There is still snow on the surrounding mountains as we are up 8,000 feet.  The temp is supposed to get down to 35 tonight so Chica is already warming up on my jacket.  Looks like we will run the heat tonight.

 

New Curtains and back on the road again!!!

Finally got rig back

It was 2 weeks since I dropped off my rig at the Ford Dealer but finally got it back on Friday.  I had booked one night at O’Neill Park.  I was also able to reserve 2 nights at the Elks.  It took the dealer a good bit of time to complete the necessary repairs.  The dealer that repaired my rig only works on heavy stuff like RV’s ambulances and big trucks.

The whole time my rig was at the dealer I spent over at my sister Bev’s and her husband Bob.  Chica also really enjoyed Lando as shown from my previous post.

It sure was nice getting back to sleeping in my home once again.

New custom made drapes

Bev and I measured all the windows and she offered to make me new curtains.  We must have made a dozen trips to Hobby Lobby for all the material needed as well as a few other neat items.

Bev was very busy cutting fabric and sewing it to the specs of the windows.  We went to the rig several times while it was parked in the dealer’s lot, but waited until last Sunday to install them.  What a fabulous job she did.  I can’t begin to thank her enough.

This is the rear drape.  Mind you I was able to remove that horrible pull down blind that was in the rig since it was made by Lazy Daze.

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The door window.  The old LD blind broke earlier in the year.  Bob just happened to be walking outside of the door as this pic was taken.

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She also made curtains for the kitchen windows but the pic did not turn out well.

Celebrated at the Elks

Since I was parked at the Elks when everything was done and installed we all went in to celebrate with a drink at the bar.  It was a wonderful ending for a great day and my last down in So CA.  It is always fun seeing Bob and Bev.  Thank you so much for everything you both have done for me!!!

Early call Monday morning

At 7:45am Bev called.  She had gotten up early and wanted to finish off a valance for the drapes.  I hadn’t planned on leaving until 10:00 so she came over and installed the new valances.  What a big difference.  That was the finishing touch she really wanted.  It looks FANTASTIC!!!!!

This is the back window.

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The door.

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The Kitchen.

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I am so excited over the new look.

Stopped at Inyokern, CA

I got on 395 and made my first stop at a small RV park in Inyokern, CA.  I have stayed at this same park 3 out of the 4 years I have been on the road.  Just like going back to your old neighbor.  It has hookups so I get get water and dump tanks on my way up to Mono Lake where I will boondock for a night.

I have not driven any distance since I came over to SO CA from Yuma.  That is not much driving at all.  It is so great getting back on the road again.  Chica is very happy too as you can see from this photo.

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I am slowly making my way up north to the Cascades in WA where I will be a camphost all summer.  I should be up there by May 10th.

Waiting for the rig

Been a while since I last posted

Sorry it has been so long but have been busy getting ready to head up to Washington for my new camp host job.  I traveled to Southern California where I have been spending time with my sister Bev and brother-in-law Bob.  I spent 2 nights at O’Neill Park in Orange County and then took my rig into the Ford dealer near by to have a few things checked out.  They are very busy this time of the year so I have left it there while they ordered parts.  My front end needs work and it also needs service as well.

Chica and Lando

Lando is Bev and Bob’s dog and Chica got to know him last Christmas while we were there.  So they are now getting more and more familiar with each other and sharing each other’s toys at times.

We took them to the nearby park to run in the grass.  They had a great time together.

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Chica even enjoyed playing in the swings and slides area.

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Birthday party at the beach

One day we were invited to a friend’s grandson’s birthday party at the beach.  The weather was great and the party was fun.

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Things I have done in the past several days.

Hiked with Bev at a nearby park.

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Visited my Mom at their annual Easter Egg Hunt for the little kids.

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My Mom is doing well and was really glad to see us.  I will take Chica over to see her tomorrow.

Getting rig ready

Bev has been very helpful in getting my rig organized.  I definitely needed a woman’s touch in there and she definitely supplied it.  I had already installed shades in three of the windows, but needed curtains on both the door and in the kitchen window.  We bought the material and she sewed some drapes for me.

While the rig is parked in the dealers lot ready to be repaired, we have gone over there several times and they let us do things inside the rig.  First of all I got rid of a lot of unneeded junk..  I finally removed the back valance and tossed it.  Bev is also going to make some curtains to replace the old curtains Lazy Daze they had installed in the rear.

Today we went and installed some of the curtains.  I forgot to take any pics so will have to show you in a later post.  They really turned out nice and I am very pleased with them.  I can’t begin to thank Bev enough for all the work she has done.

Repairs tomorrow

The dealer said they will be working on my rig tomorrow and finish it up by Wednesday.  I may move it back to O’Neill Park for a couple of days and finish it up and then begin my journey up to Washington.  I am supposed to be up their by May 14, but am planning on getting there on the 10th to get organized in my new campsite.