100,000 Miles

Back to 00000

On July 31, 2012 the odometer of “The Breeze” read 00000 as you can see in the next pic.  100,000 miles!  How did that happen so fast?

I was traveling on US Highway 26 on my way from Ochoco Divide Campground to Prineville to do some shopping.  Since I don’t see too much traffic I decided to come to a complete stop and take a picture of that fantastic moment in time.  This is where I was.  I guess you can’t ask for a better spot when turning 100,000 miles.

I purchased “The Breeze back in April, 2010 .  Since then I have:

  • Put 21,855 miles on it
  • Started Fulltiming on July 12, 2010
  • Filled with 2,378 gallons of gasoline at an average cost of $3.53 Yes it is about 9.2 miles per gallon. OUCH!!!

I have had a lot of great times seeing new places and meeting great people.  I have established a lot of new friends all across the country and even into Canada and Mexico as well.

Do it now if you can!!!

If anyone is on the fence as to whether they should fulltime or not I would suggest give it a try as soon as possible.  It was the best decision I ever made.  I just wished I had done it sooner.

Way Up!

I wonder why they call it Cougar Butte?

I took a drive on my day off and turned onto Forest Road 27 about 1/4 of a mile from the campground.  It was a great drive and soon I found myself going up and up onto what is known as Cougar Butte.

At the top of the mountain I found a place to park.  The road goes up into the higher elevations of the Ochoco Mountains.

There was also a trail head for the Scotty Creek Trail.  It didn’t look like anyone had taken that trail in a long time.

It looked like a big Christmas tree farm.  Beautiful pine trees everywhere.

Views from the top

The views from the top were fantastic.

The only problems was going downhill.  It was much steeper then it looks and I didn’t even want to lose my brakes so I had it in low gear all the way down and came to numerous stops heading down.  This is where a toad would really come in handy.  One of these days!

It was really a nice drive and I didn’t really have to go too far from my campsite.

North to Alaska!

On a big adventure to Alaska.

In July I had an interesting RV pull into the park.  As I was driving by it in my golf cart I happened to see writing all over it.  Josh was the owner of the RV.  He came down for water and I asked him about all of the writing.  It seems he has earned a full scholarship to a college in Anchorage, Alaska and that is where he is headed with his girlfriend Amy.  He was from Wisconsin and when he found out about the scholarship he decided to purchase an RV and see the country on the way up there.

A signature RV

All his friends had signed his RV wishing him well in Alaska.

Josh was very excited about his adventure thus far.  I believe his father was going to meet him in Washington and Amy was going to return home.  Then he and his father were going to travel up to Anchorage.  He even let me sign his RV.

Here is a pic of Josh and Amy.

Prior to their leaving I had remembered a ski jump suit I had received from my good friend Randy.  He had bought a new suit and gave it to me.  It was a very expensive jump suit.  I have already dispensed of all my ski equipment except for that jump suit.  Randy didn’t want it back and told me to sell it on Ebay.  I have been carrying it in my overhead for some time now and rather then sell it I decided to give it to Josh where he could make good use of it during the long Alaska winters on the ski slopes.  He was very excited and thankful.

Good Luck Josh on your new adventure !!!

 

 

All the way from the east coast

Cold water

This past week I have been getting more cyclists passing thru here from the east coast on their way to the west coast.  They are climbing some big hills to get here and most of them are very tired and in need of water.  I had just had my 300 gallon water tank filled and it was nice cold water.  They were all very thankful for it and also the news that the 30 mile run to Prineville, OR is all DOWN HILL.  That made each of them very happy.

Friends from Northern Ireland and the Netherlands

The first pair to arrive looking for water was Steve and Aonne.  Steve was from Antrim, North Ireland.  He started his trip from Yorktown, VA and was part of an Adventure Cyclists group.  Aonne was from Delft, Netherlands and also part of the same group.  They had been on the road since May 4 and arrived here on July 29.  They stopped for water and a brief chat and then wanted to head on down the hill to Prineville to get a motel room, where they could shower and wash clothes as well as sleep on a real bed.

My butt is sore!

The next two riders arrived on the same day.  They too were really happy to get the fresh water.  Larry was from Blue River, WI and also part of the group starting out from Yorktown.  He and his friend were also glad they were almost finished with their journey.

First recumbent

Tom was Larry’s riding partner and he road in on a recumbent bike.  He was from Bowling Green, OH and also part of the group from Yorktown.  Some of the riders had complained that their butts were sore from riding on those bicycle seats.  However Tom had no complaints as he had a big cushy seat.  I asked him how his recumbent did on the hills and he said it was not difficult climbing.

The last rider to stop for water was Franklin.  I was making my rounds in my golf cart and he was sitting at the entrance to the park.  I offered him some water but he said he didn’t need any.  I was surprised he was drinking a coke at the time.  If I am really thirsty there is nothing that will quench my thirst more then water.  After talking to him for a few minutes, he asked me if the water was cold and I assured him that it was.  He then came down and filled up his containers after having a nice cold drink of water.  Franklin was by himself, but said there were others behind him.  He was from Big Woods, KY and also part of the group from Yorktown.

Stopping for an overnight rest

Then I didn’t see any others until I returned from shopping in Redmond.  I usually take every Tuesday off to go into town but decided to skip last week as I had plenty of food, but this week took off Tuesday to do some shopping.  When I returned from Redmond Jerry was parked in Site #1 right across from my campsite.  Jerry was from Decatur, IL and had started his journey from his driveway at his home.  He had decided to spend the night in the campground as it was late and he was very tired from climbing the huge hills east of the campground.

A few minutes later Ray pulled in with Ruby (his trike recumbent bicycle).  It seems that Ray and Jerry had been riding together for some time.  They met each other in Colorado just east of Sulpher Springs and had been together ever since.  They mentioned how you tend to find someone on the road who travels at a similar pace as yourself and then travel together.

Ray was from upstate New York and also started with the group from Yorktown.  You can read more about Ray’s adventure across the US at Ray and Ruby’s Big Adventure.  It goes into detail day by day.  What an adventure these guys have!

Crazy stories

Since Jerry and Ray were spending the night I really got to talk with them about their fantastic adventure.  They said that the hardest part was traveling across Kansas, where the temperature got to 110 degrees during the day. Jerry said he was traveling at night and finding a place to stay during the day.  An interesting story he told was when riding at night in Kansas he saw a headlight way out in front of him.  From the size of the light he thought it was another cyclist coming toward him.  About a HALF HOUR later that light turned out to be a semi-truck that passed him going the other way.  How crazy is that!

Another time Ray mentioned while also traveling in Kansas he found a lone tree out in the middle of no where.  He stayed under that tree for a very long time just to have some shade.  Most of the terrain was very flat and had NO trees whatsoever.

Brewski anybody?

I wasn’t sure if they would want a beer, but I offered anyway.  They couldn’t say YES fast enough.  Then we all enjoyed a brewski and chatted about all our adventures.  It was really a blast.  These guys don’t have too far to go to the coast although they do have another uphill climb before they get there.  What an exciting adventure!

Finally contacted my friend

I have been trying to contact my friend Jack several times in the past two weeks without any luck.  All I get is his answering machine where I leave a message to let me know where he is and how he is doing.  He is on his way to the east coast as I wrote about on a previous post Bicyclists.  Finally on the 1st he sent me a text message and yesterday he called.  He is outside of Pueblo, CO and headed for the east coast.  He had climbed peaks of 11,500 feet.  I can’t even imagine going there in my RV let alone a bike.  I have a hard time going up a small hill, huffing and puffing all the way and sometimes getting off and walking.  I guess you could call me a real wuss!  Anyway he said he is glad to get out of the mountains and onto flat land.  I told him he probably wouldn’t mind a few large hills after he started going through Kansas.

I am really enjoying seeing all the cyclists passing through going to either coast.  They are really a blast to talk to and each of them have different stories.  I hope there is more to come in the future.

Ochoco Divide Wild Flowers

Photographing wildflowers

The wildflowers here at Ochoco Divide campground are coming up everywhere.  They are in the campsites, along the road and especially in the fields.  It is magnificent.  I am not a great photographer like Al of the Bayfield Bunch and don’t have a high end camera, but the fact that it is digital gives me the opportunity to experiment until I get what I think is a nice picture.  That involves taking 100’s of pics and deleting those that just didn’t work out well.  Below are some of my better shots.

You can enlarge any pic by clicking on it and then clicking on it again.

Wildflowers are very small

All of the above wildflowers are very small with some not even a 1/2′ in diameter.  Part of the problem with photographing wildflowers is the breezes that come up and blow the flowers just when you have the focused.

I had a great time finding all these different flowers.  Some of them could only be found one or two flowers in a very small area.  Because of their size I got a lot of hiking in as well to find as many different kinds as possible.

Bicyclists

Right next to the transamerica bike trail

Ochoco Divide campground is right off Highway 26 in central Oregon.  It is one of the TransAmerica Bicycle Trails that is created by the Adventure Cycling Association.  They have maps you can purchase that show all the routes from the west coast to the east coast and vice versa.  I have noticed most of the riders I have seen carry these compact maps on there bikes where they can refer to them.  They are also detailed with elevations, etc.

I always enjoy seeing the riders with all their gear riding along Hwy 26 as well as other routes.  I thought I would take this opportunity to show you some of the people who have come through this camp site.

Headed to Canada and Banff

The first people I met were a Ron and Debbie from Redmond, OR who had just started their adventure that day.  They only stopped here for water, which I was happy to oblige.  They mentioned that they were headed to Canada and on to Banff.  I told them to stop by here on their way back to tell me how it went.

My friend Jack – is he crazy?

The next guy I saw was a good friend of mine.  He and I go back 2 years and we communicate with each other quite often.  Jack decided this year that he was going to fulfill one of his dreams to bicycle across the country.  He and his bike took a train to Eugene, OR and then bicycled to the coast for the official start.  He stopped in here to have lunch with me and chatted for a couple of hours and then he was on his way again.

A wonderful family out on a bike ride

The next bicyclists I saw stayed in the campground over night.  They had traveled from Portland, OR and their destination was Baker City, OR where they were going to meet up with their family.  This was a family of four.  The father, Chris was on a bike built for three and also carried is daughter Alexis followed up with his son Jackson.  That was a looong bike.  The mom, Melissa rode a bike that pulled a trailer caring a lot of their gear.  They were so much fun to talk with.

Max came all the way from London, England

The next cyclist was the first one I have seen from the east coast.  Max was from London, England and he and his bike flew to South Carolina where he started his journey.  From South Carolina he cycled up to Kennebunkport, MA and then to the west coast.  He had been on the road 2 1/2 months when he arrived in the campground.  From here he was traveling to the Oregon coast and then down to the California redwoods and finally to San Francisco and eventually Los Angeles.  He then planned to fly to the Grand Canyon to see it and then home to London.  He was a very adventurous guy and traveled all by himself.  He said his biggest thrill cycling across the country was when he saw the Grand Tetons.  That blew him away.  What a fabulous journey!!

John a determined cyclist

The last cyclist I have encountered was John.  He started out from Seattle, WA and has made a giant loop of all the northwestern states.  He was headed over to the coast and then back up to Seattle.  I gave him some water which he really needed.  He mentioned that he couldn’t wait to get to a motel and bath and wash clothes.  He hadn’t changed his shorts in over 8 days.  What a bummer!

Lots of others too

I have seen many other cyclists but didn’t always have my camera handy.  They each had their own story to tell.  I have to hand it to them for their determination and strength to take on such an adventure.  They were all very interesting people.

2nd Year on the Road

On July 12, 2012 I just completed my second year of fulltime RVing.  I can’t believe I have been on the road so long.  So once again, as I did last year, I will summarized this fantastic year with some of the highlights.

Remember you can click on any pic then click again to enlarge.

Working in Texas

To start I was in Texas and decided to work for a month to help defray costs of traveling to Texas to see my family.  What a mistake that was.  It was 106 degrees and higher the entire month I worked.  Oh well I will definitely know better next time to stay away from there during the summer.

Grand Canyon of Texas

After my work duties were over I headed to Palo Dura State Park in northwestern Texas.  It is know as the Grand Canyon of Texas and a very beautiful place.  While there I hiked the Lighthouse Trail and took this pic of myself standing on the plateau in front of the lighthouse.

Taking advantage of my NM state pass

Then it was off to New Mexico where I wanted to take advantage of the last few months of my New Mexico State Pass.  My first stop was Clayton SP.

Then on to Sugarite SP, just south of the NM/CO border.  This next pic shows Lake Dorothy just north of Sugarite SP.

My next stop was Cimmaron SP and the town of Cimmaron.

Fulfilling a boy scout dream

I also visited Philmont Scout Ranch, which had always been a dream of mine ever since I was a Boy Scout.

More of beautiful new mexico

After that it was Eagle Nest SP, Coyote Creek SP (where I saw a bear), Storie Lake SP  and then on to Villanueva SP where I got my semi-annual haircut.  Finally it was off to Hyde Memorial SP.

Then in October I met up with all my good friends at the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta where I stayed and partied for 10 days.  Even had a balloon land on top of my rig.  HA!

After the Balloon Fiesta I drove south to Poncho Villa SP to enjoy a Escapees Chapter 21 Rally.  Of course that also included a trip to Palomas, Mexico where I had to have some dental work done and make sure the margaritas still tasted as good as always.

A visit to the Whitehouse

Next stop on my route was Canyon de Chelly (pronunced d’Shay).  Located on an Indian Reservation it is a beautiful place and a must see for anyone in that area of Arizona.  Of course I had to hike the Whitehouse Trail, which is so beautiful.

Monument Valley

From there it was to Monument Valley, UT.  Talk about a fabulous area, don’t miss out on seeing this.

On my way to Amazon

Then I drove north to Interstate 50.  It is known as the loneliest highway in America.  And believe me it really is.  You could drive for miles and miles and never see a car or truck in either direction.  You would not want to break down on this road.

My destination was Fernley, NV, where I worked for Amazon for 8 weeks.  By the way it was probably the hardest job I have ever had.  Thankfully the 8 weeks went by fairly fast, although it took a couple of months to get healed from the aches and pains I suffered at that job.  OUCH!!!  On top of that it was very cold as well.  Four degrees when I left there.

I then drove to Reno, NV and parked my rig and flew to SO CA to spend a week with my family over the holidays.  It was really great seeing everyone and getting caught up.  I even played some golf.  Actually I tried to play some golf.  HA!  What a joke!

Time to warm up

Then I hit the road to get out of that cold weather up north and drove down to Quartzsite, AZ.  There I met up with a whole bunch of Lazy Dazers (about 20 rigs at different times) and relaxed in the wonderful Arizona sunshine.  Of course I also saw the crazy RV show and even saw a concert by Paul Winer (the Naked Book Seller) although he was fully clothed.  Great show by the way with SRO.

With the help of all my friends I was able to upgrade my rig with new LED lighting, another 12v receptacle and an outdoor motion sensor light.

Next stop – Imperial Dam

In February I left Quartzsite and headed to Imperial Dam just outside of Yuma, AZ  I really enjoyed my stay there with more friends.  Got to do a lot of hiking in the desert.  Plus don’t forget the wild donkeys.  HA!

Heading south of the border senor!

Then it was south of the border to Mexico with the Harvest Host Wine and Whale Watching Tour.  What a fabulous trip that turned out to be.  Visited 5 wineries, with great wine tasting at each.  The wineries were located in the Valley of Gaudelope with very beautiful scenery around.  Also stopped in Ensenada for a day, where we had a great lunch down at the fish market and an opportunity to stock up on lots of great seafood.  Of course we also had to have some cervasa’s (brewskies) at Hussong’s Cantina.

Later visited La Bufadora (the blow hole).  Another very scenic spot.

The wineries were great plus the wine was even greater!  Even got to see a colt that was born that very day.  How exciting!

I am NOT an illegal alien!

After crossing back into the US I drove to Tamarisk LTVA where I stayed for a week and met some really wonderful people.  We hiked ever day in the desert and one day we were surrounded by Border Patrol cars who thought we were illegal aliens.  No comprende  Senor! What a trip that was!

One of my very favorite spots

After spending so much time with so many wonderful people, I needed a break and decided to head for one of my most favorite spots in the Clark Dry Lake bed of the Anza Borrego desert in southern California.  It is 7 miles outside of Borrego Springs.  This place is so peaceful and always gives me a chance to reflect on my future plans.  It was here where I made my resume on workamper.com and emailed it to various people.  Within 10 minutes I had a call for the job I would be working at this summer. More on that later.

Back to the coast

Then it was off to the west coast to Oceanside, where I parked my rig at the Elks Club and took the train up to Orange County to see family.  It was back and forth visiting different members of my family and it was great seeing my Mom.  Love you Mom!

Heading up north

Then it was time to hit the road and head up north.  My first stop was the Trona Pinnacles outside of Ridgecrest, CA.  It is like a trip to another planet.

From there it was off to the Alabama Hills just outside of Lone Pine, CA.  This has been one place I always dreamed of venturing to even before I had an RV.  An absolute MUST SEE.

From there it was off to Mona Lake, where I stayed for about 5 days and ventured around the area seeing the tufa’s at the edge of the lake and the weird cloud formations.

I also took a side trip to the old ghost town of Bodie, CA.  Much of the town is still intact as it was a hundred years ago.  Really neat and another MUST SEE.

Then I finally made it to Oregon where I stayed at Goose Lake SP, La Pine SP and finally Crooked River Ranch.

My workplace for the summer

I met up with my area managers who I would be working for the summer in Prineville, OR.  I am the camp host at the Ochoco Divide, a NFS campground.  It is on the summit (4,726′ elevation) of Hwy 26.  This campground is nestled among giant (200′) Ponderosa Pines among other pine trees as well.  I have now been here 2 months and love this job.  I get to meet a lot of interesting people and have lots of areas to hike in.

Well that about wraps up another fabulous year of my fulltime RV lifestyle.  There were some tough times (truck breaking down) and some great times (caravan trip to Mexico) as well as taking time out to see my family, which is very important to me.  I had lots of times spent with great friends and even some time to myself to ponder how lucky I am.

I almost can’t believe it has been two years since I have set out on the road.  I would also like to thank all my wonderful followers who have been with me as I experienced each and every day.  Every day is a new adventure.