Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Saturday evening, all of us (Mom, Lorri and Gina...who had arrived at Mom's place Friday afternoon...and Earl and I) went over to Andy's and Kim's place for pizza and a movie. The pizza was great as was the movie (Avatar), and the company was even better.

Sunday we drove over to Kuna to dump our tanks and fill with fresh water and then stopped at Denny's for breakfast. After eating, we went to Costco to buy the silverware, dishware, and convection/toaster oven we'd seen when we stopped there on Tuesday (items for the house we're buying in Spokane).

Lorri and Gina left early on Monday morning and we followed shortly thereafter, stopping at the Sinclair in Nampa to fill with diesel ($3.259/gallon). We spent Monday night at Hammer Creek Recreation Area almost due west of White Bird, Idaho. This was a very nice BLM hookups, but fresh water and a dump available.

We're now back at the Elks Lodge in Spokane. We're signing all the papers tomorrow afternoon to close on the house, but probably won't get the key until Friday, which was to have been the official closing date. We've never had to wait for a key before...have always received it on the same day as the paper signing, but I guess they do things differently here (while we have owned houses in Washington before, it's been a long, long time ago and I don't remember the details).

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Maxx got us up just after 5:30 AM on Tuesday morning, so we went packed everything up and drove back down the side of the mountain. We stopped at McDonalds for breakfast, and then drove out to the Eagle Cap factory to have the fan replaced, arriving there just after 7:00 AM.

While the guy who replaced our fan was on the roof, he went around and checked all the caulking and recaulked where necessary. Great service!
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After the fan was replaced, we continued south, arriving at my Mom's place in Melba, ID around 4:00 PM.

Since then, we've been taking it pretty easy, enjoying visiting with Mom. We did go out yesterday intending to shop at Wal Mart, but when we got there, there were people standing around and three fire engines in front of the store with ladders going to the roof. The story we got from the checker at Albertsons, which is where we ended up shopping (it's located across the street from Wal Mart), was that the McDonalds inside Wal Mart had a fire. It was apparently a small one since we never saw smoke or flames, and by the time we were through shopping at Albertsons, people were going back inside Wal Mart. That was our excitement for the day! ;-)

Monday, April 19, 2010

After doing laundry yesterday, draining our tanks, and filling up with fresh water, we left Spokane around 9:00 AM and headed south, stopping in Colfax for lunch.

Since it was a little past 4:00 PM as we neared LaGrande, we stopped at Hilgard Junction State Park planning on spending the night, only to find it not yet open for the season! So we went on to Thunder RV to see if we could get the bathroom fan fixed, but they didn't have the parts necessary. We then drove out to the factory, but by then, it was nearly 5:00 PM, so we'll come back tomorrow morning and they'll replace our fan entirely (apparently, the fix isn't as simple as a cotter pin, which explains why we didn't find any parts sitting on the screen).

Mony, the General Manager of Eagle Cap, directed us to Morgan Lake located in the hills to the west of La Grande. It's really nice up here, although the gravel road getting here was pretty steep. The lake has several camping spots around it with picnic tables...and the best part is it's free!

Friday, April 16, 2010

This has been a busy week!

It started out on Monday by doing grocery shopping at Wal Mart and then going to the realtor's office to sign the papers agreeing to the counter offer made by the owner of the house we're buying.

Tuesday, we went by the mobile home park to meet with the owner and pick up the papers we needed to sign and have notarized so that he could check our credit rating. Afterward, we drove out to Furniture Row, just east of where we're staying at the Elks Lodge to look at furniture. We ended up buying a bed...spent much more than we needed to, but it's the one piece that I wanted to be comfortable. The mattress is similar to a Tempur-Pedic mattress, except less expensive.

On Wednesday, we drove around checking out some of the other furniture places in town, including some used furniture places and stopped for lunch at The Onion, a restaurant that's been in Spokane since 1978 (we lived in Spokane from 1977-1985).

We had the form we picked up from the mobile home park's owner notarized on Thursday and then went by Best Buy to talk to them about doing something so that we can listen to our Sirius radio when the camper is on the truck. The truck came with a Sirius radio with the "hockey puck" antenna built into the top of the roof. When the camper is on the truck, it covers the antenna, so we need to have it extended to the front of the truck, or whatever other idea they come up with. We go in Sunday to talk with the installer for his ideas.

Today, we met the inspector at the house. While he was busy checking out the house from top to bottom, we took measurements so that we'd know what to look for in the way of furniture. Fortunately, there were no surprises in the inspection, so the sale can proceed! :-)

After the inspection, we drove to Airway Heights (boy! has that place changed since we built our log home there back in the early 80's!) to open up a savings account at a local bank. We are going to need a cashier's check to take to closing, and it's been our experience that banks won't provide this service to people who are not customers. Since we "bank" at our brokerage firm, and they don't offer this service, we figured the best course of action would be to open up an account in the area.

This took us to noon, so we stopped by the Longhorn BBQ, another Spokane-area institution, for lunch.

Then it was back to Furniture Row to buy the rest of the furniture we'll need for the house...well, almost all. We still have to find two nightstands for either side of the bed...we're limited to about 12" in width, and Furniture Row didn't have anything that small...and two lamps, one for each side of the bed. We'll also need a couple of office chairs for the table we got for the office, but those will come from Staples (hopefully, the Staples here will have the same chairs we bought for the fifth wheel since we really like them).

OK, now it's time for a nap! ;-)

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Well, we've done it...put money down on a house here in Spokane.

We've been looking at houses in Spokane online for quite a few months and had three areas narrowed down (all 55+ mobile home parks). When we got to town on Wednesday, we checked out two of the parks and immediately ruled out one of them because we didn't like the location. We checked out the third park on Thursday and finally narrowed our search down to two in each location...based on the information and pictures online.

We contacted a realtor, one recommended to us by our friend, Mary Doran, and we were shown the two houses yesterday (Saturday). We were really disappointed in one of the houses...the master bedroom was very small, barely wide enough for a queen-size bed, and the other "bedroom" at the other end of the house was a jumbled-up mess (now I know why there were no pictures of the bedrooms on the web). Besides, there were a lot of little things that would have needed to be done to it and had some features we didn't like (aside from the bedrooms), such as the plastic panels at the top of the kitchen cabinets near the ceiling that hid the lights.

The other house, however, was a gem, even though it was older by 20 years or so. The owner had recently updated the entire house, inside and out...spent way more than he's getting out of it, but it is in pretty much pristine shape.

We made an offer, and he's countered our offer, so we'll go in to sign papers at the realtor's office (probably tomorrow) and start the process of getting an inspection done and whatever else we need to do. Closing is slated for the end of the month.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

We were watching TV Tuesday night while parked at the Walla Walla Elks Lodge when the power went out. Earl went outside to check power at the pedestal...all was OK there. Flipped the breakers on and off several times, but that didn't help. Tried the runs just fine, but doesn't power the rig. Everything worked fine off the inverter.

On Wednesday, when we got to Spokane, we went by Freedom RV, a dealer/service center we'd used back in 2004 on the Lazy Daze, although their location has moved from Sprague to out in the valley off Barker Road and I-90. Because we had done some piddling around checking out a couple of mobile home parks, we didn't get to Freedom RV until around 2:00 PM or after. They couldn't fit us in that afternoon, but would get to us first thing in the morning when they opened at 8:00 AM, so we just pulled off to the side of their lot and spent the night.

At first, they thought the problem might be in the transfer switch, but the problem turned out to be with the inverter. I don't understand all the technical aspects, but it had locked out electricity from coming into the rig...apparently because it wasn't secured securely enough and some of the connections were loose. At any rate, nothing major was wrong (whew!). While they were at it, we had them replace the under-sink water filter and the flap on the stove vent which had broken.

Once everything was fixed, we had lunch, did shopping at Costco, and checked out another mobile home park.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

We finished up our shopping at Wal Mart this morning after breakfast and then headed out for Walla Walla.

We ran into snow shortly after leaving La Grande, and it snowed all the way until we were about halfway down the 6-mile, 6% grade into Pendleton. For most of the way, the road was just wet, although there was some accumulation of snow around Meacham.

When we got to Walla Walla, we stopped by the Home Depot to find a few of the things that we were not able to find at Wal Mart, including a nice little Kingsford charcoal grill.

We're now at the Elks Lodge where we just went through a rain storm and a couple of claps of thunder, which got Maxx's attention!

Monday, April 05, 2010

We left Mom's house around 7:30 or 8:00 this morning, stopped in Ontario, OR for diesel, and arrived in La Grande around 10:00 or 10:30 AM. Although it had rained a little bit in Melba before we left, we had dry weather all the way into La Grande.

Our first stop was Albertsons to pick up three gallons of water so that we could dewinterize the camper. We then headed over to the camper, turned the batteries and the propane back on so that we could start the refrigerator cooling.

We unloaded all the stuff from the camper that we had stored in it during the winter (the inflatable boat, all the HughesNet stuff that we no longer use, but can't get rid of, and other assorted items) and loaded it back up with all the boxes we'd brought with us. Then we took all the stuff that had been in the camper over the winter to the small storage room we'd rented, along with the truck's tailgate and the Fold-A-Cover.

At this point, we stopped for lunch. After lunch, we loaded the camper onto the truck, returned the key to the gate, and stopped at Wal Mart to pick up a few items we needed for tonight and tomorrow morning...we'll pick up the rest of the items we need tomorrow morning after we're more rested. Fortunately, although it was cold, we didn't get any of the rain/snow that had been predicted. In fact, there were even periods where the sun actually shown through the clouds!

We stopped to fill up an empty propane tank, checked into La Grande Rendezvous RV Resort, and proceeded to put away all the stuff that was piled all over the place. Afterward, I fed Maxx and us.

Now we're ready for a nap (after Earl watches the NCAA National Championship game)!

Sunday, April 04, 2010

We made it to my Mom's house just fine. The roads north of Ely were clear, and we encountered no problems. In fact, the farther north we went, the less snow there was.

We stopped in Buhl, ID to have lunch, but found all the fast food places and restaurants closed (Easter Sunday, you know), so we stopped at the grocery store, which was open, and bought already-made sandwiches.

Tomorrow, weather allowing, we'll be in La Grande picking up our camper.
It snowed last night in Ely! I looked on the Internet and found a 511 to call for Nevada road conditions. According to the report, the road between here and the Idaho border is clear with no restrictions, so we're going to give it a try. We have a full tank of fuel, just in case we get stuck someplace.

Saturday, April 03, 2010

We were awake before 6 AM, so got up and loaded all the remaining stuff into the truck. Cleaned the tanks, turned off the propane, closed the slides, locked the door, and off down the road we went.

Stopped at the Coachman Cafe in Bouse for breakfast, Burger King in Henderson for lunch, and had dinner at the Prospector Restaurant in Ely, where we are staying (well, not in the restaurant, but in the motel attached to it). Earl and I took turns driving, so it wasn't too bad, although it was a long day...didn't get into Ely and the motel until around 5:30 PM...we're usually off the road by 2 or 3 PM, and always by 4 PM when we have an RV with us!

The roads in Nevada are good...unlike the roads in California. US-95 from Vidal Junction (in California west of Parker, AZ) to the Nevada border was in terrible shape!

We ran into snow on the ground approaching Murray Pass on US-6 just before getting into Ely, although the roads were dry. There is still snow on the ground here in Ely, too.

Friday, April 02, 2010

On the Road Again (Almost)!

We have been busy this week preparing the fifth wheel for spending the summer in Arizona.

Besides having the rig washed and waxed, I've been busy oiling all the woodwork and cleaning windows. Yesterday we put 303 on the tires and covered them. Earl also got on the roof and put the cover on the A/C unit.

We bought several 18-gallon plastic tubs and have been busying filling them up with the stuff that we need to take with us for the camper. Clothes will be put in our "luggage" (cloth grocery store bags...hey, we're nothing if not classy!). After dinner tonight, I'll defrost and clean out the refrigerator, leaving the doors open, and before we go to bed, we'll put the Reflectix that we've cut to size in all the windows.

Tomorrow morning, I'll put plastic bags with water in them over all the drains (prevents the water from evaporating), fill the toilet with water and put saran wrap over the bowl. We'll pack up all the remaining last-minute stuff (like toiletries) and head off down the road, stopping at the Coachman Cafe in Bouse for breakfast.

Tomorrow night will be spent at a motel in Ely, NV. Sunday, we'll be at my Mom's place south of Nampa, ID, and Monday will find us in La Grande, OR picking up our camper...probably in the rain, according to the weather forecast! It'll be strange not having an RV with us for a few days!