Thursday, April 30, 2009

As soon as the gates opened at Thunder RV, we were off to Eagle Cap to have the rear tie down brackets reversed.

While Mony Pen (General Manager) and his crew were busy doing that, Gary Hubbard (Sales Manager, and the person we'd dealt with in designing our camper) gave us a tour of the factory.

After that was taken care of, we went back to Thunder RV to purchase Fastgun locks and then went across the street to do grocery shopping at Wal-Mart. We had lunch at Denny's then went out to the fifth wheel to transfer some more stuff into the camper.

Tonight, we spending at Rendezvous RV Park in La Grande.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

We filled up with diesel ($2.339), had lunch at Dairy Queen, took the fifth wheel to storage, and then drove out to Ken & Joanne's place to unload the stuff from the back of the truck (hitch, Fold-A-Cover, generators, etc.) and put it in their barn. (Ken & Joanne are Escapees Boomers who live in La Grande during the summers. We met them last year when we were staying at Hilgard State Park, and they generously offered their barn as a storage place for our "stuff.")

We were planning on going back out to their farm to spend the night at one of their full hookup sites, but when we loaded the camper onto the truck, we discovered that the rear brackets on the camper for attaching the tie downs was turned the wrong way for our dually truck. Therefore, we're spending another night in Thunder RV's lot so that we can drive out to the manufacturer's tomorrow morning to have the problem corrected.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

We started the process of transferring stuff from the fifth wheel to the camper, much of it the stuff I'd ordered online and had sent to Andy's place. Since we want duplicates of most things so we don't have to unload more than clothes, food, and toiletries from one rig to another, I made a foray to Wal-Mart, which is conveniently located across the street from Thunder RV, to buy items such as dishes, towels, storage containers, etc.

Earl and Caleb (our Thunder RV salesman), went to D&B Supply to pick up a bed mat for the truck. In the past, we've always had a sprayed-in bed liner added, but we haven't done so on this truck, thus the need for the bedliner.

We also went by the place where we're going to store the fifth wheel and paid for 6 months. We might not be gone the entire 6 months, but any overage will be applied to the camper storage when we return.

Monday, April 27, 2009

We left Melba in the morning and arrived at Thunder RV in La Grande, OR in the afternoon. After parking our fifth wheel on the side of the building so we could hook up to electricity, we had a chance to crawl around our new camper...beautiful! The first thing I did was to unwrap the memory foam pad and put it up on the bed so that it would have a chance to inflate.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

We took Mom out to dinner at Chapala, a Mexican restaurant in Nampa.

We were originally going to go to the Thai restaurant in Nampa that we'd taken Mom to before, Krung Thai, but it was closed even though the sign on the door indicated that they should have been open. We have a sinking feeling that it's gone out of business, although there were no signs anywhere indicating that.

Disappointed at not having Thai food, we nevertheless had good Mexican food at fact, we'd definitely go back there again.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

This morning, we drove into town to shop at Costco, Wal-Mart, and Camping World. We stopped to get an empty propane tank filled and had lunch at McDonalds.

Andy picked up Mom from the airport in the afternoon (returning from her trip to Ireland and Scottland with Lorri and Gina), and we went over there in the evening to visit. I made dinner for the three of us.

Friday, April 24, 2009

We filled up with diesel before leaving Jordan Valley ($2.609) and arrived at Andy's and Kim's place in Melba just around lunch time. No one was at working and at we just backed up in their driveway as we had the previous time we'd stayed here.

When Kim got home, we had a chance to open all the packages of stuff we'd ordered for the was just like Christmas!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Tonight we're at Sunny Ridge Park in Jordan Valley, OR. This is a nice park, meant mainly for mobile homes I think, but there are lots of empty spaces. Parking is on grass which is a departure from the dirt or gravel of most RV parks.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

We're spending the night at Hi Desert RV Park in Winnemucca. This is a new park for us (Passport America), since we usually stay at Winnemucca RV Park which is a Good Neighbor park (part of the Coast to Coast system). However, in order to stay at Winnemucca RV Park under the Good Neighbor rate (currently $13), we have to make reservations no less than 3 days in advance. Usually that's difficult, since we never know for sure where we'll be 3 days hence!

Our Passport America book said that the PA rate at Hi Desert was $14-something per night; however, we were charged only $12.65. I don't know whether the park has lowered their rates (unlikely), or a mistake was made in the charge, but there you go.

We ate dinner at the Model-T Casino in town.

Monday, April 20, 2009

We left 20-Mile Beach this morning and made our way to the Churchill County Fairgrounds in Fallon. The price to stay here has gone up since we were here last...$7 to dry camp (used to be $5) and $14 for water and electric hookups (used to be $12). The price to dump has also increased...$5 for a dump and water, or $5 just for if all you want to do is dump, it's free? Probably not what they intended, but it's what the sign leads one to believe.

We're going to spend a couple of days here so we can get laundry done and do grocery shopping.

Our camper is ready and we've made arrangements with the dealer to arrive at this lot next Monday (the 27th) and stay in his lot overnight. We can then start the process of transferring the stuff we want to put into the camper from the fifth wheel, do the walk through, sign the papers, etc. During all this time, they'll put the tie downs on the truck.

Before we can actually load the camper onto the truck, we'll have to take the fifth wheel to storage and then go unload all the stuff from the back of the truck (fifth wheel hitch, generators, Fold-A-Cover, etc.). Once all that is done and we finally hav the camper loaded on the truck, it'll be off to Springfield to have solar installed.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

There are two other BLM areas along the western shores of Walker Lake in addition to 20-Mile Beach where we're currently camped. Since we've never been to either area, we decided to check them out today, in part to report any necessary updates to our Day's End listings from the Escapees RV Club.

The closest area to us, Tamarack Point, looks like it might have been a *regular* campground at one time since there are dedicated back-in spots (compared with the dispersed camping at 20-Mile Beach). The Day's End listing says that there are covered tables at this spot, and perhaps at one time there were, but they are no longer here. This is a free area, too.

The next spot, Sportsman's Beach, is a fee area: $6 per day for the developed sites and $4 per day for the primitive sites (half-price for Golden Age/Access passes or their current replacements, the Senior and Access passes). There are also weekly fees of $36 and $22 respectively (again, half-price for holders of the federal Senior/Access passes). The Day's End listing says there is water here, so we brought our water jugs with us to fill up. However, after driving through the entire campground, including down to the boat launch area, we found only one water spigot, and it had a large warning sign on it: "Not for human consumption"

We knew that Walker Lake was low, but we didn't realize how low it was until visiting Sportsman's Beach. Just past the upper campground, there was a sign that said "Lake level in 1882." As we continued following the road down to the lower campground, we came across other signs showing the lake level at various time periods. According to the above website, the lake level has receded as much as 160', or 7 miles since 1882. The Walker Lake Working Group is trying to reverse this trend, but so far, have been unsuccessful. It would be a shame if Walker Lake is allowed to go dry because of the diversion of water coming into the lake for other purposes.

Friday, April 17, 2009

This afternoon finds us at another of our favorite stops along US-95 in Nevada: 20-Mile Beach, a BLM area along the western shores of Walker Lake with free dispersed camping.

On our way through Hawthorne, we stopped to drain tanks and put some water in the fresh water tank at the free RV dump station offered by the El Capitan Casino. We also stopped at the Safeway to do grocery shopping.
The mountain in the background of the above picture is Mt. Grant, the highest peak in the Wassuk Range, at 11,239'.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

We left Death Valley this morning and drove to Miller's Rest Area, a favorite stop about 10 miles west of Tonopah on US-95.

We stopped in Tonopah for lunch, to fill up an empty propane tank and to get diesel ($2.359 per gallon). On our numerous trips through Tonopah, we've found that the gas station in town on the east side of US-95 always has the least expensive was no exception as the Texaco stations on either end of town were selling diesel for $2.599 per gallon and the Shell station was selling it for $2.569 per gallon. The station where we fill up used to be called Giggle Springs, and their credit card receipt still says that; however, I believe the name of the station has changed, but I haven't payed close enough attention to remember what the new name is.

Monday, April 13, 2009

We drove up to Ubehebe Crater, just north of the campground.

The flowers were in bloom around and in the crater, as they are in the other sections of Death Valley that we have drive through.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

We were planning on staying at a boondocking site near Beatty listed in our Day's End. However, one we got there, we didn't like the site...however, we did do some brief exploring of the ghost town of Rhyolite nearby.

Rhyolite Mercantile

Tom Kelly's Bottle House

Glass "town"

Bottle House

We've ended up at Mesquite Springs Campground in Death Valley National Park (the northern-most campground in the Park about 4 miles southeast of Scotty's Castle).

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Today is our last day here at Las Vegas Bay Campground.

We've been busy while we've been here, doing shopping a Costco and Camping World as well as picking up some crossword and suduko puzzle books at Barnes & Noble (for those days in Canada and Alaska when we won't have either Internet access or satellite TV reception). We also picked up Maxx's remaining pills from the prescriptions we'd gotten at the veterinarian in Tucson back in January.

I mailed off a check to Think Bank to fund the savings account that we set up so that our monthly payments on the camper loan can be automatically deducted from it...that way, I don't have to worry about finding Internet access while on the road in Canada and Alaska to pay the bill when it's due each month.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

We arrived at Las Vegas Bay Campground in the Lake Mead National Recreation Area sometime after lunch. We got set up in Space #24, which sits out on a penninsula all by itself. I've always wanted to stay in this spot, but each of the other times we've been here, it has already been taken.

We'll be here for at least 5 days, maybe more.

Miles driven: 95.3
GPS coordinates: N 36° 07.582' / W 114° 52.240'

Saturday, April 04, 2009

We left Quartzsite around 9:30 AM and headed to Lake Havasu City where we stopped at the Wal-Mart to do grocery shopping. A little farther up the road, at the juction of AZ-95 and I-40, we stopped for fuel ($2.259/gallon) and lunch (Burger King).

We're spending tonight in the parking lot reserved for RVs of the River Palms Casino in Laughlin. The lot sits high on a hill and we have a great view of downtown Laughlin, the Colorado River, and into Arizona.

Miles driven: 147.2
GPS coordinates: N 36° 07.582' / W 114° 52.240'

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

The other day, we discovered doves trying to build a nest on our king pin (we have a level attached to the front of the king pin and the area behind the level makes a really nice nesting area). They hadn't gotten too far in the process, so we chased them off and got rid of the nesting material.

We hadn't payed any attention to them since then, but today when we came back in the afternoon from visiting friends, Mike & Mary, we found that they were back to nest building...not only that, but the female had already laid an egg!!! If we were going to be staying long enough, we would have just let them be and raise their family there, but since we're going to be leaving on Saturday, we had to get rid of both nest and egg. Earl then rolled up the rug that's normally outside and put it in the space so they can't continue trying to build a nest there!