Back on the road

Left Oceanside

I saw my eye doctor for the last time for a while and got my medical for my new job so now I was ready to get out of Dodge.  I decided to wait until Sunday Apr 26 to leave.  I will be driving up the 5 so wanted to keep traffic to a minimum (HA!!) going thru LA.  It was still a rat race and only made it to Castaic where I called it quits.  I was tired, the wind was blowing and it was getting late so I pulled into the Valencia Village RV Park for the night.

I got up the next day with hopes of moving on but the wind was really blowing with gusts up to 35 mph.  I don’t know about you, but I hate driving in the wind, so I paid for another night.  Then I realized there is a Camping World not far away.  I had a rear vent cover blow off some where in my travels and was trying to replace the cover.  But on a 1992 rig that is just about impossible.  I couldn’t find anything on line.  Many of the components used on my rig are no longer being made.  I headed to Camping World to see what I could do.  While there I found out they could replace my rear bathroom vent with a fantastic fan.  They had one in stock so I paid for it and scheduled it to be replaced the following day.  That meant I would have to stay another day at the park as they couldn’t replace it until 3:00.

Chica was a hit at Camping World

The following day I drove the rig to Camping World and checked in.  I asked them if I could bring Chica into the customer waiting room.  Camping World is very dog friendly so she came in with me.  Immediately she was a big hit.  Many of the staff came in to see here.  At first she was a bit overwhelmed, but she finally got used to everyone.  Sorry but I didn’t think of taking pics.

It took a bit longer then I expected as they were very busy, but finally finished and now I have a really nice rear fan.  We headed back to the park and spent our last night there.  By the way this is a great park if anyone wants to visit Magic Mountain.  It is only a couple of miles away.

Elks Lodges

The next night we stopped at the Visalia Elks Lodge.  For $10 I had a great rib dinner and met lots of nice people.  Then it was on to the Lodi Elks.  I was invited to their Happy Hour and met a lot of fellow RV’ers.

My next stop was the Red Bluff Elks Lodge where I only spent one night.  I love the Elks Lodges since they usually have full hookups and only cost $15 – $20 per night.  They all have a nice bar and many nights I get a great dinner.

HELP!!

I was going to cross into Oregon and stay at the Ashland Elks Lodge.  Forget it!  They only offer parking in a parking lot with very little space.  I did see a red/white 24′ LD but there was no place to park.  I checked Allstays (great APP for locating campgrounds) and there wasn’t much around the Ashland area so it headed north to Medford.  

I found the Medford Elks Lodge and parked in front as I couldn’t see any RV’s.  They had a sign on the door that said the lodge had been closed down.  Not sure what that was all about but I needed a place to stay as it was getting late.  I decided to keep heading north and stop at the first RV park I could find.  I landed in Rogue River and the first park was full, but they suggested another park next door to them.  I really landed a gem.  It was $35 per night which is more then I usually like to pay, but she put me right on the Rogue River.

Didn’t want to leave

It is a really clean park with great showers.  We walked right out our door and the river was only ten feet away.  Chica loved looking at the Canadian geese that lived on the river.

The next morning I got up and paid for another day.  I needed to relax a bit as we had been driving every day.  The owner suggested going into town for breakfast and that sounded like a good idea. I had a great breakfast at the Cottage Cafe and it was really good.  

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Chica guards our home

Since we were right on the river we saw many Canadian geese.  In the evening they would come out of the water and feed on the grass around our rig.  Of course Chica had to let them know who was boss.

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Salem, OR

Our last stop before my summer home was an Elks Lodge in Salem, OR.  I stayed there for 2 nights to get organized before heading to the campground at Lake Harriet.  I called my employer to get last minute info about the next few days and instructions on getting to the campground.

Then it was honey do stuff.  I took Chica to PetSmart to get bathed and groomed and have her nails trimmed and I got a haircut.  Then I did a some major shopping for groceries.

Off to the campground

Today I am heading out to my new campground at Lake Harriet.  I will be passing through a small town called Estacada which will probably be where I will be doing my weekly shopping.  I am not sure what kind of cell phone or Internet service I will get at Lake Harriet so here’s hoping with my booster I can get connected.

Das ist Gut, Ja?

Almost my last leg of journey north

I was tempted to spend another night at the beautiful Yakima Elks Lodge and Country Club but decided I need to hit the road and stick with my schedule.  So I packed up and headed for the last stop before I landed at the campground where I will be camp host.  My destination was Mount Vernon, WA.  The map showed about 225 miles thru the mountains.  I had to get gas so wound up going back to Yakima to fill up.  The Elks Lodge is actually in Selah, WA a small town next to Yakima.  The interstates going north are confusing and I got on the wrong one and had to back track.  Thus the total mileage for the trip north turned out to be 252 miles.  It was a long day as it was raining almost continuously and it was a lot of mountain driving.  I am glad that is over.

Stopped in Leavenworth

When I had posted my route many people mentioned that I should stop in Leavenworth, WA.  It is right on highway 2 which is the road I take to Mount Vernon, WA.  I was able to find public parking for my RV right at the end of town.  Fortunately it was not raining when I got there, so parked the rig next to a sports shop and walked a few blocks back into town.

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This is a really unique little town that is modeled on a Bavarian Village.  What a trip!

Good Mood Food

I thought this was a cool name for a restaurant.

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They even had a small par three golf course.

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These guys kept the golf course well manicured.

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Beautiful Mountains

This is a ski town and the mountains still had snow.

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Lots of very neat shops

This is the downtown portion.  Lots and lots of small shops.

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Here is one of the many hotels with a beautiful mural painted on the wall next to it.

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I loved the many murals painted right on the walls of the buildings.

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Another view of the town and local mountains.

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Pizza anyone?

I thought this was a really neat name for the local pizza joint.

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Great stop

I loved this town.  I really didn’t go into any of the shops as it was getting late and also started to rain.  On my next trip up here I would like to spend a day walking thru the many shops.

Lots of rain and traffic

I took highway 2 over to I5 and then headed north to Mount Vernon.  It was raining so hard I could not see much of the local scenery.  On top of that I hit Everett, WA and headed north during rush hour.  The gas tank was very low, but I knew I could make it to my destination.  I had called the camp host at the Mount Vernon Elks in the morning and he stated they had room.  He greeted me when I got there and showed me where to park.  WHEW!  This was a tough day of traveling.  Lots of mountain driving in the rain.

Pip Pip Ole Boy. I’m off to MY country club today.

Yakima Elks Golf and Country Club

The Yakima Elks Lodge is right off 97.  My GPS took me to this road and I thought The GPS had guided me down the wrong road.  But the sign reads Yakima Elks so it had to be right.

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The entrance and down a long road to the lodge.

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What a place.  This has to be the most fantastic Elks Lodge I have ever stayed at.   There was no camp host to tell me where to go so I just pulled over, went inside, showed my card and paid.  Then I could pick any site that was available.  I grabbed the one closest to the driving range.  I never in my wildest dreams ever thought I would have golf course property.  At least for two nights.  Whoopee!!!

View out my window

I took these pics out my window so they are a bit dark.  The first one looks out to the driving range.

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This guy pulled up in a real fancy golf cart with sides and chrome wheels.  HA!

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This is a view of the course and the practice putting green.  The course is highly manicured.

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This shows where I am parked for 2 nights.  They park the rigs right on the edge of the golf course.  It was $25 per night and well worth it with water, electricity and dump station.  I’m the little guy on the end.

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They serve dinners here  from 5 to 8 pm Wednesday thru Saturday.  I got here on Tuesday so heated up some frozen Trader Joe’s pizza and scarfed.  It was good, but plan on going into the lodge tonight for dinner.

I have stayed at many Elks Lodges since joining, but never anything like this.  I feel like I just joined the rich and the famous.  Even Chica is strutting her stuff on her walks!

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.

 

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.

Spring Training Weekend – Part 1

Lucky to land a space at the Elks Lodge

I left Hot Springs LTVA Wednesday and traveled to Tempe, AZ.  I used the Allstays App on my IPhone and found an Elks Lodge in close proximity to Sky Harbor Airport where I will be picking up my son Curt.  He is flying in late Thursday (actually Friday) and leaving late Sunday (actually Monday).  He will be staying with me as we attend a couple of Spring Training Baseball games.

The Elks Lodge is also close to the Tempe Diablo Stadium where we will see the Angles on Sunday.  I was sure lucky to get a space as I got the last space available when I checked in.  I plan to stay here for 7 days before heading back to Yuma to have Chica’s teeth cleaned.

I am in the last row.  It is a fairly large park with 26 full hook-up sites.

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The only bummer is the Animal Hospital and Kennel that is located on the other side of the block fence surrounding the park.  The dogs start barking at 6:00 in the morning and hardly ever let up all day and late into the night.  However we have gotten used to it and it hardly phases Chica anymore.

Here is Chica basking in the sun on our new flooring as a hundred dogs are barking only 50 feet away.

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Goodyear Ball Park

We hung out on Friday and did some shopping and a lot of catching up since we last saw each other.  It was sure great to see my son again and spend some time with him.  Friday evening we saw the Texas Rangers vs. Cincinnati Reds ball game.  It took place in Goodyear, AZ which is on the other side of Phoenix.  We left early as it was Friday during rush hour traffic.

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Here is a selfie I took of us at the ball game.

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We were lucky that they had $1 beer night except it was a bit chilly so we only had one each.

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Angels Batting Practice

While out shopping on Friday I decided to head over to the Tempe Diablo stadium where the Angels would be playing on Sunday.  We were able to get into the stadium since there was no game and the guy in the Team Shop told us to return tomorrow about 10:30am and we could see the Angels practice out in the field.

We got up early (sure can’t sleep with all the noise from the dog kennel next door) and headed to the park.  It was very cool.  You can get very close up to all the players and some of them would even sign autographs.

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Albert Pujols catching a ground ball.

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Everyone was yelling for Mike Trouts autograph.

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But Josh Hamilton did stop to sign autographs.

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Curt (on the right holding up the ball) tried to get his autograph but just missed since there were so many people.

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It was a very fun day seeing all the players practicing.  I will have more to post tomorrow about our exciting weekend