Back Home in Welches

Completed camp hosting

I finished my camp hosting job on Sept 12 and drove down to Estacada, OR where I store my rig.  All the camp hosts got together on the 11th for our going away party.  Lots of great food and gifts from my employer PGE (Portland General Electric).  This was my second year hosting for them and they are a great company to work for.  I will definitely return for a third year in 2017 if they will have me.

Great summer

I had a great summer this year.  Since it was my second summer season I knew how things worked and what to expect.  What was really nice was seeing so many people return that I met last year.  Plus I met a lot of new folks as well.

My good friends Christy and Jim stopped in for a night on their return from vacationing in Bend.  They also cooked me a great dinner.  I always have a great time with them and looking forward to seeing them soon.  They also camped the Labor Day weekend.  What fun!!

Visited friends at Columbia River

When I heard Jim, and Gayle and Jeanne were in Portland I drove up to the Columbia River to meet them.  It was good seeing some of my good RV friends again.  We all had a good talk and walked around a portion of the Columbia River.  I got this pic of Jim, Gayle and Sophie.

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All the way from Portland – on a bike!

One family had a reservation for a campsite at Lake Harriet.  The daughter Jessica, her husband Elvis and baby Kai all arrived in the usual manner by driving here.  However her mom Mary and Dad Fred had a different idea.  They rode their bicycle all the way from Portland to Lake Harriet.  The nearest town to Lake Harriet is Estacada and that is 31 miles away.  Portland is MUCH further.  Here is a great pick of them prior to them leaving and returning to Portland.

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Lots of fish

Just before Labor Day they stocked the lake with 2,000 regular and 550 trophy size rainbow trout.  This is a pic of the fishing hitting the water.

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Naturally this brought out a lot of people.  This is a few the day they stocked it.  Later in the week you couldn’t even find an open spot to cast out as it was so crowded.

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Chica staying warm

This is a pic of Chica staying nice and warm.  She loves her banky.  She had dental work down last fall and they had to remove her bottom front teeth since they were loose.  The vet told me that her tongue would stick out.  Chichuachua’s are notorious for having bad teeth.  She doesn’t seem to mind though.

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Fog rolled in

One day the fog rolled in for the only time this summer.  It was very scenic.  I took several pics of it.

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A pic out my window.  You can see the fog just starting to roll in on the river.

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This is a pic showing a portion of the campground.

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Another view towards the campground entrance.

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A neat shot looking toward the lake.

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I was able to get a pic of a Great Blue Heron on a stump from the dock.

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Another shot from my window showing my back yard for the summer.  What a great life.

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I was able to get another shot of the heron.  It had a huge wing span and was really something to see when it flew.  There were actually two of them at the lake.

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My new window

When I moved into my new home I decided that a stained glass window would look great.  I wanted it to depict Mt Hood.  I looked online and found Chuck Franklin Glass Studio in Portland and gave them a call.  They were in business many years and did all the windows for the McCormick and Schmick’s restaurants all over the country.  I told Becky what I wanted and she came up with several designs.  Once I selected the design she came out and took the measurements and showed me the glass she would be using.  Much of the glass was vintage glass dating back to the 1980’s.

In July she and her husband Arther delivered and installed my window.  They did a terrific job and I really love it.  Unfortunately the colors don’t look as good in the pics as in person.

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Great Internet!!!

I now have a great internet connection.  I reduced my Verizon data plan to the minimum and signed up for Wave Cable Internet data plan.  It gives me 400GB for only $39.95  I was paying $100 for 12GB with Verizon.  I love this company.

I will try posting more often now that I have an Internet connection.

 

Back to Lake Harriet

Back to Lake Harriet

Well her I am back at Lake Harriet campgrounds for the summer.  It was bittersweet leaving my home after only living there for 5 weeks.  I was disappointed when I had to leave, but once I got done to my camp host site in Lake Harriet Campgrounds all that changed.

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I still have the same site this year overlooking the river and it didn’t take me long to set up my easy chair right on the bank of the Oak Grove Fork of the Clackamus River.  DSC_0063

Chica and I sit out here almost every night, just watching the river go by.  We also see a lot of ducks floating in every direction.

The weather was quite different this year than last.  For one thing we got a lot more rain in May and June.  That kept a lot of the campers away, but once the temperature hit 100 in Portland they came out in droves.  The rain has backed off now that we are into July so a lot more campers.  This park fills up every weekend.

Waterfalls around Lake Harriet

I decided to take some pics of the waterfalls around the lake.  They are just small waterfalls but very calming if you are near them.  It doesn’t look like we will have a repeat of the drought that we had last year.  There are lots of flowers in bloom everywhere.

 

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Reading Email

I have to drive 5.5 miles to the Ripplebrook Store in order to read my email.  It is a nice quiet drive through the woods.  I usually make this trip on Sundays or when I am expecting a certain email.  I always take Chica with me and she calmly sits on the bench next to me just watching the cars and people go by.  My computer always recognizes the Wi-Fi almost immediately, but it takes my phone a while.  I am not sure why that happens.

I still can’t make a phone call from there but at least I can get on line and check email, bank and credit card accounts.

 

 

 

 

 

My New Home

Wet winter sets record

This winter set the record for the most rainfall in the Portland area.  Wouldn’t you know it.   There was one day it even snowed a bit but not enough to accumulate. All this time I have been staying at the Clackamus River RV Park.  I stayed nice and dry while indoors in my Lazy Daze.

Move in day

All the time I am waiting for my new modular home to be built, delivered and set-up.  They completed it on February 8 and it was delivered to the site, but I had to wait until the set-up was completed and the deck that was added to the side was built. Then I could move in.  It took them longer to build the deck due to the rainy weather.

On March 24th I signed my life away.  HA! Then I moved in on March 25.  The only funiture I had in there was the bed as they had already delivered and set it up.  I received a new couch and chair on Sat. March 26.  Then things started to trickle in that I had ordered.

I have been very busy shopping for my new home.  I have lived in my RV almost 6 years and didn’t have anything when I moved in.  I didn’t want to have to move things back and forth from home to RV and then back to home each time I went on the road.  So I have been buying everything new for my new home such as bedding, dishes, cookware, silverware, etc.  Here is a pic of my new abode.

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Assembly Line

I feel like I have been working on an assembly  line for the last few weeks.  It has been something new each day.  I found a nice end table that would go great in my living room at Fred Meyer.  It took the better part of a day to assemble it.  Trying to figure out the instructions for some of these assemble pieces is a nightmare.  But I didn’t do too badly and everything turned out OK.  Chica really enjoys this spot.  Before I got the table I had the bear lamp on the floor.  That bear is almost the same size as Chica.  One day I spotted her when she went up and licked the bear on the mouth.   HA! 

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The next item I purchased was a bar stool that I will use for sitting at my bar to eat and check my computer.  It was also not an easy assembly however I was able to muster through it.

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Barbecue Assembly

My next item was an outdoor barbecue.  I will never buy another barbecue unless it is assembled and delivered.  This thing took all day.  It was a hassle just getting it out of the box!  With a lot of patience and assembling and reassembling I finally finished it off.  Then I got my tank filled and it fired up the first time I tried it.  I am really enjoying my barbecue.

Small Table and two chairs

The final item I had to assemble was a small table and two chairs.  It is the perfect size for my new bay window.  It took most of the day but not as bad as I though it would be.  Chica’s table is right next to mine. She is really getting used to her new home and loves to take walks down to the river.

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Still RVing

Just because I now have a new home doesn’t mean I will stop RVing.  I will be camp hosting for 3 months in the summer starting in  May.  I will be at Lake Harriet in Oregon where I worked last summer.  I was really glad that PGE called me back again.  It will help to make the house payments.  YUK!!!

I am also planning on traveling to Quartzsite next winter for a month to meet up with all my friends who I haven’t seen in some time.  

Rain

Lots of rain

I look at the 10 day weather forecast each day and it is now getting to where  I seen nothing but rain and/or showers.  Fortunately a lot of the rain comes in the middle of the night so we do have some clear days.  I went on one of these days to take some pics of the area I am in.

This is a pic of my campsite which is up against the forest.

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This has been my home since leaving the campground back in September. I was going to move up to Mt Hood Villages, but decided that Clackamus River RV Park was closer to town and much cheaper.  Yes my rig is slightly slanted to the right but that is to allow rain water to run off and not build up around my A/C unit.

Looking down on the campground.

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A couple of huge logs that I found.

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This is the forest directly above the campground.

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Farther up the hill.  To the right is the little town of Estacada about 6 miles down the road.  To the left about 25 miles is the Lake Harriet Campground where I worked last summer.  This is the first time I have stayed in a 31 mile radius for almost the entire year.  Welches is only about 30 miles from here.

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New weather forecast

I just checked the weather forecast this morning and it only shows rain 2 out of the next 10 days.  HOORAY!!  It sure is nice seeing the sun again.

16-56 To Yuma

All I want for Christmas is my one front tooth

The day after I completed my camp hosting duties as I was eating I felt something weird and it turned out to be my front tooth.  I had my front tooth knocked out when I was 18 and 50+ years later the crown decided it had enough eating and came out.  A couple days later I had to attend a going away party for all the camp hosts.  What a bummer.

Since I am moving into Oregon I was able to get cheaper insurance then my costly AARP prescription drug plan and my medicare supplement by replacing them with a Kaiser Permanente plan.  For $41 they have a dental plan that covers minor dental and cleanings. However they were only able to offer me a flipper device which attaches via suction to your gum and gives you a temporary fix.  However you can’t eat with this device.

So I called Dr Eva Urena’s office in Algadones, MX to check on the possibility of getting an implant.  Sure enough they can do it and the cost would be about 1/4 the cost here in the US.  I decided to fly down to Yuma, get a motel for a few days with a rental car to get around in.  I booked everything on line, called the PetHotel (Petsmart) and made a reservation to board Chica.  Since Chica stayed at the PetHotel in Aliso Viejo, CA they were able to get all her records.

Left last Saturday at 11:00 am to take Chica to Tualatin, OR in plenty of time for my drive up to the Portland Airport at 4:55 pm.  Her is a pic of Chica seeing me off.  She was not very happy.  I always feel so bad whenever I leave her anywhere, even at the groomer.

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I got to the airport in plenty of time even with the heavy traffic due to an accident.

Flight #1 Portland to San Francisco

It took about 2 hours to get to San Francisco where I had a 3 hour 52 minute layover.  I walked around the airport for a while and noticed the first game of the World Series was on.  I found a nice place where I could pick up a sandwich and beer to watch the end of the game.  Wouldn’t you know it but the game went into extra innings and I had finished my sandwich and beer.  I figured I ought to get another beer so I could continue watching the game.  I sipped that but it was gone and the game still going on.  I left the bar and found a seat in the waiting are where I could still see the game.  It was a great game but too long with KC finally winning.

Flight #2 San Francisco to San Diego

At 10:40 pm the 2nd plane took off for San Diego and landed there at 12:16 am (now into Wednesday).  This was going to be the worst part of my journey.  I have a 6 hour and 14 minute layover.  I was upstairs in the boarding area getting my phone and computer charged up.  The chairs are also much more comfortable up there.  Then a policeman comes up and tells me I can’t wait up there as they are cleaning the area so I have to go downstairs.  NO COMFORTABLE SEATING DOWNSTAIRS.  Plus I have to wait over 6 hours until my next flight.  Nothing is open and there is no place to plug in.  They don’t even have a vending machine.  That was probably the longest 6 hours I have spent.

Flight #3 San Diego to Phoenix

Finally at about 5:30 am I made my way back through the TSA area for the second time on my journey.  YUK !  The plane took off at 6:30 am and landed in Phoenix at 7:53 am.  Then I had to hike to the complete opposite end of the airport to get my next flight.  My layover was only 52 minutes and I was able to get a strong cup of coffee to keep me going.

Flight #4 Phoenix to Yuma

Finally I was off to my destination in Yuma at 8:45 am landing at 9:51 am.  From there I walked to the Hertz booth where I had reserved a car on-line.  I am glad I did reserve it as everyone behind me weren’t able to get a car until late in the afternoon.  Picked up the car and off I went.

Too early for check-in.

I was going to check-in clean up and brush my teeth before going to the dentist, but realized I couldn’t check into the motel until 3:00pm.  What a bummer!!!!!

I decided after traveling all night I had better brush my teeth before going to the dentist.  I found a McDonalds and grabbed my tooth brush and tooth paste and used their bathroom.  I also bought breakfast there as I was starving.

Off to Algadones

I made my dental appointment for 12:00 pm so after eating and brushing my teeth I headed to Algadones.  Dr Eva needed a CT Scan of my mouth in order to decide how to proceed with my implant.  Her office ordered  someone to pick me up, take me to have my CT Scan and drive me back to their office.  All this only took about 1/2 hour.  Then she and a Periodontist conferred on my implant.  It seems that there was still a portion of my root still left in my gum.  They decided to cut into my gum remove the remaining root and then replace it with bone and the implant at the same time.  YUK!!!  They wouldn’t be able to do this until tomorrow.

Early Thursday I was the first appointment.  A specialist worked with her to complete the process and I was out of there and heading back to my room to heal.  They gave me pain medication and antibiotics.  The implant went well, but they wanted me to return Friday morning for a follow-up.   That is one of the main advantages of the dentist in Algadones.  They will do anything to accomodate you.  Dr. Eva knew that I had flown down to Yuma expressly for the dental work and would be flying back on Saturday.

Anyway I got everything done and now just have to wait 4 months to get my permanent tooth while my mouth heals.

Leaving Saturday for Portland

I only have three flights to contend with on Saturday and will be home at 5:29 pm. Then to Tualatin to pick up my baby.  I can’t wait.

Then in 4 months turn around and do it all again.  Hopefully fewer then seven flights.

 

Stay put or head south – That is the question

Completed my camp hosting job

I completed my camp hosting job on Sep 9 but decided to stay there a bit longer until the water ran out.  It was nice not having the daily chores and collecting money.  For a few days there was nobody in the campground, but the first weekend they filled up the park once again.  Of course it didn’t cost the campers any money and they did not have toilet paper in the bathrooms.  Also the handle to the water pump was removed so they had to supply their own water.  But the camping was FREE so that brought them in.

My original plans had changed (will get into that later) so I decided to check out the Clackamus River RV Park about 6 miles outside of Estacada, OR.  I drove down there and to my surprise I almost couldn’t get a site because it was totally full.  I told them I would be here at least one month and maybe two.  They were able to find me a spot in the back where another person won’t be coming in until Dec 1.  I signed up for a month and got moved in.

Changing residency

I am changing my state of residency from Texas to Oregon and I needed an address to begin the process.  Once I moved in I applied for Medicare Senior Advantage and Senior Advantage Plus through Kaiser Permanente.  I was enrolled in Kaiser Permanente in Southern California prior to beginning my full-time adventures, but had to cancel since I was on the road more then 6 months.

I was accepted by KP and received my card in time for my first appointment to renew all my prescriptions.

Why change residency?

I guess you asking why I am changing my residency.  Throughout my travels I have always knew that one day I would be wanting to settle down and not travel quite so much.  When I crossed into Oregon back in May I stayed at the Rogue River RV Park right on the Rogue River.  What a beautiful place!

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I thought that is where I wanted to settle down.  However looking at property I realized it was way out of my price range.  Anything on a river in Oregon is usually VERY expensive.  So I stopped thinking of that for a while.

Then back in August I took a 2 day fly fishing course through The Fly Fishing Shop in Welches, OR.  Part of the course was to go fishing both days.  The first day was on the Swift River and the second day we fished on the Salmon River.  You take these little one lane back roads to get to the river.  All along the river are these beautiful homes out in a forest setting.  I thought that would be a great place to live so I googled “real estate Welches, OR”.  I came up with one site that showed a cabin located within the Mt Hood Resort Village.  It was small but perfect for me and right within my price range.  So on my day off I headed up there to check it out.

Liked what I saw

I liked it except for the fact that it was close to Highway 26 and there was substantial road noise.  This is a gated community and when I went in to get a pass code I picked up a flyer at the desk that told them about the cabins for sale.  Little did I know that this would change my life.  When I got back to Lake Harriet I read the flyer and decided to check it out further.

To make a long story short I put a deposit on a lot that is further back from the road (no road noise whatsoever).  Plus it was just a few hundred feet from the Salmon River.

Approved by lender TWICE

I put in an application to the lender and was approved not only once, but twice.  The original application was taken over the phone and the app was all screwed up.  They had it down that I was working full time for PGE (Portland General Electric – my camp host employer) and not just part time in the summer.  I didn’t see the original application until they sent me the approval.  

I brought it to their attention and they informed me that they would have to run the app again.  After much negotiation I finally got approved again.  I just had to come up with the down payment.  I cashed in my PGE 401k and my mutual fund and savings and just paid them the down payment last week.  

Now I am waiting for it to be built.  This is a single wide modular home built by Cavco in Woodburn, Or just about 63 miles away.  It probably won’t be ready for me to move into until after the first of the year.

Future Travel Plans

I don’t plan on living in my new home all the time.  I am still going to work in the summer at Lake Harriet for the next few years.  Plus I still intend to travel in the winter months of December and January/February.  Then plan to spend relaxing time in my new home the rest of the year.  I will still maintain my RV and store it at the Village when not using it.  So once I move in I will be a part-timer and not a full-timer.  

More to come on this later.  Just wanted to let everyone know what I have been up to.  

Grandson Eric to River Rafting

Grandson Arrives

I picked up my grandson Eric at the Portland International Airport at 3:15 Sunday afternoon. It sure was great seeing him and was really pleased he could spend some time with his Ole Grandfather to get an idea how I live. We stopped for dinner in Estacada at the Cazadero Restaurant where we had a great view of the Clackasmas River.

Then headed to the grocery store to pick up a few items for his breakfast and lunches. Then it was 31 miles to get back to the campground. He couldn’t believe the beautiful scenery that Oregon has. Eric is from Fort Worth where there are no hills let alone mountains, just flat land. So it was very different for him.

Old Log Cabin

The next morning after breakfast we took a drive to an old log cabin further up from the dam. I am not sure when this cabin was built but it was really falling apart. It appears someone was living there during the rainy season as it is covered with huge tarps. There was also lots of trash around the area. Maybe it was a old trappers cabin.

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Long ride on a Dusty Road

Then I found a gravel road that kept going up and up. It soon turned into a one lane road with lots of growth. I don’t think this road had been traveled in some time.

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I got these pics part way up on our adventure to the top at about 4100 feet. What a view!

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Getting acquainted with Chica

Here are some pics of Eric getting to know Chica. What is funny is that he has a Chihuahua named Chico. How ironic!

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Timothy Lake

On our final day I drove over to Timothy Lake. This pic was taken in the Hoodview Day Use area with Mt Hood in the background.

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I also showed him the Pacific Crest Trail.

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Past Mt Hood to the airport

Then we drove north on Hwy 26 and showed him some close-ups of Mt Hood. He took some pics while I did the driving. We stopped in Sandy, OR for lunch and then dropped him off at the airport.

It was a short but great time with my grandson. Now he knows how Grandpa lives. HA! I think he enjoyed himself and I invited him to come back next summer as I plan on being here then as well.

 Visit from Friends

Last Tuesday my friends Marti and Charlie stopped in for a couple of days. It was really good to see them and catch up on what they were doing since I last saw them last year in Washington. We took a walk up to the log cabin I had shown my grandson.

White Water Rafting

The next day Charlie and I went on a white water rafting trip down the Clackamas River.  I was able to reserve two spots on one of the rafts.  It was a very exciting trip.  Charlie had gone on another rafting trip, but it was my first time.  The rapids look much bigger when you are in them as compared to seeing them from the road.

I brought along my Go-Pro camera and was able to get great videos.  We were in a five man raft including our guide who was very knowledgable about the area.  Charlie was directly in back of me and the guy you see was with his wife.

It was a lot of fun, but very wet.