Saturday, September 26, 2009

Cichorium intybus

We spent two weeks at the Escapees park in Chimicum. While there, we drove into Sequim to shop at Costco and fill up with diesel ($2.909), had oysters at Snug Harbor Cafe, and drove in Port Townsend to celebrate our 34th anniversary at Bayview Restaurant.

On Friday, the 18th, we headed off for the Lakewood Elks Lodge near Tacoma, crossing over the Tacoma Narrows Bridge which has a toll of $2 per axle...cost us $8 to make the short trip! We usually stay at the Elks Lodge in Puyallup when visiting family in the area, but someone on one of the RV forums I read recommended trying the one in Lakewood. All I can say is, we won't stay here again, because the site are too narrow. Earl stepped of the distance between electrical boxes and found it to be 15' -- we're 14' wide when both of our opposing slides are out, meaning 6" to spare on either side. Fortunately, we had no one next to us, but if someone with 3 slides had moved in next to us, we would have been able to shake hands out the windows!

Late Saturday morning, we drove over to Russ & Dani's house and had a great visit with them and Cameron. In the afternoon, we all piled into their car and went into downtown Tacoma where we ate at the Spaghetti Factory. Earl had ordinary spaghetti and meatballs, but I had crab-filled pasta which was delicious! After dinner, we walked around the Bridge of Glass, part of the Museum of Glass. On the way home, we stopped at Borders Book Store where I bought a Sony Touch eReader.

We spent the next day visiting with Russ & Dani again and Dani fixed us a great meal of pot roast and veggies together with home cooked bread.

When we left Tacoma, we spent the next couple of days at the Vancouver Elks Lodge, the last time we'll probably stay at this lodge since it is right next to the freeway and very noisy! While in Vancouver, we shopped at Wal-Mart and picked up food for Maxx at PetCo.

Wednesday and Thursday (23rd & 24th), we spent at Le Page Park, a Corps of Engineers campground near Rufus, Oregon.

We're now at the Elks Lodge in Bend where we'll stay until Sunday morning when we move to one of our Coast to Coast RV parks in La Pine.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009


Today is the 9th of September, 2009...or 09/09/09. Twice today, it will be 09/09/09, 09:09:09!

I suppose numerologists would put some significance into the date and time, but I just thought it was an interesting observation.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Spotted knapweed
Centaurea stoebe

Monday morning, we had breakfast at the Tillamook Cheese Factory and then took a self-guided tour of the factory. It was fascinating to stand above the factory floor and watch all the cheese being cut, wrapped, and boxed.

Afterward, we went by the Tillamook Sporting Goods to pick up one of the items we'd tried to find at Camping World (a stove top toaster). We then got groceries and diesel ($2.769) at Fred Meyer.

On Tuesday, we stopped at Mo's in Tolovana Park to have lunch (a trip to the Oregon Coast would simply not be complete without stopping at Mo's for clam chowder!) and then continued north to Fort Stevens State Park.

This park has electric and water hookups (and apparently some full hookups sites, too). We picked out a spot where we thought we'd be able to get our roof-mounted satellite TV antenna tuned in, but we misjudged...we weren't certain of the exact azimuth and it turned out that one tree was in our way. The bigger problem, though, was that our microwave wasn't working. Now, we don't use the microwave very much, and we didn't need to use it that evening; however, when we're at a site with electric, we like to set the clock and that's when we noticed that the LCD display on the microwave wasn't working.

I posted an inquiry on the Excel Owner's Forum and got lots of suggestions about what to check. One of the people suggested that perhaps one leg of the park's 50-amp outlet wasn't hooked up, and the next day when we were boondocking and ran the generator, we found out this person had correctly diagnosed the problem because the microwave was back to working!

Wednesday night was spent at the Promised Land Recreation Area north of Humptulips, Washington (a Rayonier recreation area). Thursday night was spent at the Elks Lodge in Forks.

Yesterday we made it to the Escapees park in Chimicum where we will spend at least a week, maybe two.

Destruction Island barely visible in the background:

Crescent Lake:

Tillamook Air Museum

These are just a few of the airplanes at the Museum.

Boeing 377 Stratocruiser (Mini-Guppy):

WWII Blimp Bases:

The Tuskegee Airmen (Redtails):

1946 ERCo Ercoupe 415-C:

Consolidated PBY-5A Catalina:

Alien Spaceship:

Gooseberryleaf globe mallow
Sphaeralcea grossulariifolia

When we left Hilgard Junction State Park last Friday (8/28), we stopped at the Albertson's in Pendleton to pick up groceries. We were planning on staying at LePage Park near Rufus, a place we've stayed on several occasions, but they only had one site left...the one right next to the outhouse. We were willing to stay in the overflow section, but there is a rule there that no one can stay in the overflow section unless all spaces in the campground are filled. So we headed a few miles down the road and parked in a free area along the Columbia River just downriver from the John Day Dam. We had a much better view there and had the bonus of being able to watch Native Americans catching Salmon using nets.

Saturday morning, we headed off toward Portland, stopping at the Camping World in Wood Village to pick up a couple of items...which they didn't have. So we headed on down the road to the next Camping World in Wilsonville, but they didn't have what we were looking for either! In fact, the Wilsonville store was so bare, we asked the woman at the checkout counter whether or not the store was closing. No, she said, the new owners (FreedomRoads...apparently the company that had owned them before Affinity Group bought them, according to this Camping World employee) either had or hadn't changed over the computer system (I don't remember which) so they were not able to order new stock! Strangely, Camping World's website says nothing about being bought by FreedomRoads, although under "History," it does say they've "joined together" -- whatever that means!

Anyway, we went on ahead and spent the night at the Spirit Mountain Casino in Grande Ronde. Shortly after parking, staff at the Casino cleared an area near where we were parked so that a rescue helicopter could land. They sat there for a long time before an ambulance arrived and they transferred the patient to the helicopter and took off.

On Sunday, we drove to Tillamook where we checked in at the Tillamook Bay City RV Park. First, though, we toured the Tillamook Air Museum.