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.

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Pics of my Summer Home

I am still having problems with the new Photos application on my MAC so I decided to revert to the old IPhotos application. I couldn’t get the new Photos to upload the pics from my camera. Thankfully the old IPhotos has no problem.

Following are some pics of my campsite here at Lake Harriet. The first couple pics shows my view of the Oak Grove Fork of the Clacamas River. I love my backyard.

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My chair where I sit every afternoon with Chica is on the right of this next pic. Not too shabby!

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I have moved my rig further into the sun from this pic. My panels weren’t getting enough sun to keep the batteries charged.

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This is the day use area with the lake in the background. The lake is much larger then it appears in this pic.

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Chica is having a ball in the grass with the river running by.

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This is Chica’s favorite spot for catching the afternoon sun.

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Here is the narrow road that leads to our campground.

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Lots of Fish

I am sure getting a lot of fish dinners. One camper gave me this beautiful Rainbow Trout, which I cooked up real nice. It was delicious. Another camper brought me dinner two different times and they were fried trout. Really good!

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Timothy Lake

I drive up to Timothy Lake every Wednesday to take a nice long hot shower. They also have washers and dryers that I can use free. I also can use their Internet to check on email. This is the lodge and the duplex at Timothy Lake that the PGE employees can rent for a modest fee.

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View of Mt Hood

After finishing up with business at Timothy Lake I took a ride across the dam and part way around the lake. From the Hoodview Day Use area there is a great view of Mt Hood. If you look close you can see a family of ducks enjoying the lake.

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Found the Pacific Crest Trail

I kept going further and found the Pacific Crest Trail that stretches for 2,650 miles from Mexico to Canada.

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Then I crossed back over the dam and got this pic of the lake on one side and the river far down on the other side.

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I hope this shows you a bit of what it looks like in my beautiful summer home. I will try to post more often now that I have the pics figured out.

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.

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!!!

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!

Banff, AB Canada

Lots of wet weather

We headed off in the morning to Banff.  It turned out to be a wet overcast day the entire trip.  Fortunately we only had to drive 68 miles.  Unfortunately we were unable to see many of the mountains surrounding Banff.  We stopped on the way in Canmore, AB.  We found some RV parking and decided to get out and check out the town. 

 

 I passed this guy who was very frigid but found a different method to stay warm.  Not sure I would try this myself. HA!

 

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We had a fabulous lunch at Mountain Mercata and got out of the rain. Afterwards we walked around the town some more and I was able to get these pics.  It was cold and wet!

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Then we were off to Banff.  We are staying at the Tunnel Mountain Trailer Court which is a huge park just on the outskirts of Banff.  It rained like crazy when we arrived but soon after it stopped and I was able to take these pics.

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I got a close up of the same mountain with my telephoto lens.

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Weather is getting colder

The weather here in Banff is colder so I got out the electric heater and the Wave 3 is on low so the rig stays very comfortable for both myself and Chica.  When I take her out I make sure she has her coat on.  Although it is a battle to get her to wear it, I am sure she is much warmer then without it.  We are going into Banff ans spending time just sightseeing.