Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Back in Portland March 20 - May16

Here is the main reason we came back to Portland.  We've learned a lot about rugby, and thoroughly enjoyed watching Tyler play.  As with most of his athletic endeavors, he's quite good.

There were, as usual, maintenance items to be taken care of.  There was a terrible leak in the area of our middle air conditioner.  It seemed that the installer had heavily damaged the roof of our RV in the process.  It finally stopped raining long enough for Ted to remove the tarp that we had covering it, remove the air conditioner, and reinstall it correctly.  Once again, the old saw proved correct: If you want anything done right, do it yourself.
 We did manage to escape for a few days to one of our favorite nearby campgrounds, the Columbia Riverfront RV park in Woodland, Washington.  Through our windshield we could watch the Queen of the West paddle serenely by.
 The big ships going up and down the Columbia, like this car carrier, are always fascinating.
It is always relaxing and refreshing to watch the sun setting behind the hills across the river in Oregon.

Next stop, Newport, Oregon.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Bakersfield, CA to Portland, OR

Our first night on the way home, we stop at Orange Grove RV Park, just east of Bakersfield.  For the first time we were greeted by orange trees in bloom.  The sight was beautiful, but the smell was spectacular! 
 After the last couple of weeks 97ยบ by 9 am, we welcomed the overcast, cool day as we drove up I-5.  However, the pavement from CA 46 north for miles, was so rough, that the ice on the cooling fins in our refrigerator fell off!  Well, it saved me having to do it manually.
 As many times as we have made this trip, you would think there wouldn't be anything new to see.  Wrong.  We saw field after field that looked like the photo above.  The fruit or nut trees are covered to prevent birds from eating the crop.  They also help with hail, and to some extent with wind damage.  This had been a practice in cherry orchards in Oregon and Washington for some time, but we had never seen it along I-5 in California.
There was lots of tumbleweeds (Ted called them kochia) along the way; more than we have ever seen.
This cattle feeding station has been here for a while, but we have never gotten a photo of it.  It is humongous and so is the smell!
We chuckled over this because this could be one of Ted's cousin-in-laws.  He is 86 years old and just bought a little plane with detachable wings so he can park it in his garage.  He has owned many planes and flown all over the place.  He still has his license.  
The rest of our trip was uneventful; for which, we were very grateful.  We have had many issues, some very expensive, along this route.  We arrived "home", looking forward to time with our kids, grandson, and friends.  Now to cleaning out the very fine, cling-to-everything dust of Palm Desert.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Leaving Palm Desert March 16, 2015

 We've certainly enjoyed our winter in Palm Desert.  There aren't many places you can lounge amidst the palms and groove on the snow in the mountains at the same time.
We had a few of the locals over for dinner.  This little house finch was the first of many who fought over our feeder.
The finches were often messy eaters, but not to worry, the clean-up crew was there to take care of it. 
 There were a few hummers early in the season, but this little black-headed hummer stayed with us through the two and a half months.
 The sun must, however, set on all good things so it is now time to move on.
Our first stop going north was Orange Grove RV Park, always our last stop going south.  Oranges were all gone, but the trees were in bloom.  Their wonderful perfume filled the whole park.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Indio, CA 10 Jan 2014

 Attended performance by Paul Anka at Fantasy Springs Casino.  He is 73, trim and fit with the singing power of a much younger person.  He did not disappoint.
 All the photos were taken from very far away with my Samsung phone.  I wish they were less blurry, but they are a record of a fun evening, at least for us.
 He entered through the audience and returned to sing a medley among those in the expensive seats.  The ladies flocked to him and screamed as if time had stood still and they were teens again.
At the end of the show, Paul introduced Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett, who were in the audience.  Warren went on stage and sang a version of "My Way" with Paul.  Fun ending to a good evening.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

La Quinta, CA 6 Jan 2014

It is great to be back in Palm Desert.  We always have a good time here and enjoy the weather, friends, and family, but when we are gone, we think maybe we should try somewhere else.  Tonight, we decided that is crazy thinking.  However, the sun is shining, the temp is perfect, and there is no wind. It is easy to love it here as long as we have days like the last three.  After spending time cleaning and making our site our own, we went to happy hour at one of our favorite restaurants.  The menu is cheap, delicious and full-meal worthy.  The atmosphere is wonderful, service superb; with a nice view.  The patio manager is from Manzanita, Oregon! 
The Cliff House with valet service provided, even for our filthy Jeep.  It will get clean tomorrow.
 Sculptures above the patio add whimsy to the place.
 Usually there is a long wait for a table like this with a fire in the background, unless you are there between 3:30 and 4 pm.  Today it was 5:00 pm before all tables were taken.
This view is why it is worth arriving early to get one of the few tables where the mountains can be seen.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Red Bluff to Bakersfield, CA 2-4 Jan. 2014

We stayed an extra day at Durango RV Resort in Red Bluff, CA because our coolant was leaking.  Ted found the leak in a hose, cut off the offending piece, put the hose and a new clamp on.  Wonder Boy saves us time and money, again!  Jan. 2 we did our usual checks before leaving.  Ted found a gallon of Bloody Mary mix on our picnic table and a beer bottle on the ground.  That was very odd for this upscale place.  Then we discovered my bicycle had been stolen.  It had been locked, but they had cut the cable. We had put the seats in the car to protect them from the elements, so the person will have to buy a new one.  Ted hopes he or she hits a big bump before they can get a new seat.
Ted then checked his motorcycle and noticed that the clip for the hitch pin holding the car tow bar to the coach had been pulled out!  This meant that the bolt would have eventually come out and the Jeep would have detached from the coach; potentially killing someone.  We were horrified!  Who would put the lives of people at danger like this?  Later we learned that this has happened to many other people, even in big box store parking lots.  We told the office and called the police, who arrived in seconds; a plus of a small town.  The cop said that the neighborhood to the west of the park was a rough one.  We have a lock on the second bolt for the hitch.  We will buying one for this bolt, too.  We feel fortunate, will write the theft off our taxes, and add this to our many RVing tales.
Four hours later we arrive at Kit Fox RV Park, Patterson, CA.  We like to enjoy the trip, so we only drive about that far each day.  It is nice to stop early and take in the area near-by.  There is a gate in this fence that allows guests to walk to any number of restaurants.  We enjoyed El Rosal.
 This park is small, with quite a few permanent residents, but it is clean and half-way between Red Bluff and Bakersfield.  The sites are tight and the cement is eroded, making it a little tough to get level, but it is more than OK for an overnight.  We had to cancel the night before.  The manager was didn't charge us and wished us a quick fix.  
 Bakersfield is certainly not a favorite destination, but we love stopping east of the city on Hwy 58 at Orange Grove RV Resort.  We have mentioned this before.  The resort is set in an orange grove and guests are encouraged to pick as many oranges as they want.  They have spoiled us.  We seldom buy any in a store anymore.  They can't compare to tree ripened.
 This photo shows one of the roads to the sites. 
Look at all those oranges.  I am wrote most of this blog as Ted was driving down Hwy 58 north of Edward's Air Force Base.  As you may remember, we have our own Wifi.  Love it!  It was sunny and in the 40s.  The desert stretched forever.  We turned south at Hwy 395 and met up with I-15 and then I-10.  Ted and I are both into genealogy and have had our genealogy DNA done.  I have a measurable amount of gypsy.  That must explain why I love to be on the go.  We made it to Palm Desert, CA by mid-afternoon and had dinner with my cousin and her husband.  

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Updates to Coach

 We were in Portland for three months.  During that time we did a lot of maintenance and updates on the coach.  Here are the befores and afters of three updates.

Original television.  It kept overheating.  Brent took it, gladly.  He won't have it in a window, so overheating will no occur.
New 44" Samsung Smart TV hooked to our surround sound.
Original three burner gas stove top.  Worked great, but was a b____ to keep clean.  RVing friends were happy to have a replacement for theirs.
New two burner induction cook-top.  Love, love!
 After spending the summer on the East Coast and our two air conditioners not able to keep up with the heat and humidity, we had a third unit installed.  The cover was ugly, so...
 Dave and LJ's RV Remodeling, Woodland, WA made us a custom cover.  They installed the new TV and stove top, too.