Idaho RV Trip 2019


Diary of Roger and Linda's Idaho RV trip - July & August 2019


07/06/19 We left this morning at 7:00 am on our long 6 week trip to Idaho and the Pacific Northwest coastal areas. All went well with newly installed injectors on the Silverado diesel truck. Traffic in LA area was light on this Sunday morning. Arrived in Lone Pine about 2:00 pm. They did not have a pull through site for us so they gave use a back-in with full hook up’s. Because they did not have a pull through they gave us the site free of charge. I can’t believe it!. It was hot, so I decided not to unhitch as the rig was completely level. I made tuna sandwiches for dinner with sweet pickles and red Justin wine in the glass. Got our new TV working with Amazon Video using my Tmobil iphone hot spot. We watched episodes of Dr. Quin Medicine Woman and the Outlander TV series with no slow downs and with a very nice 1080p resolution on screen. Cooled off nicely by 10:00pm.

 

07/07/19 Got up at 8:00am and got trailer ready to travel. Linda wanted breakfast at a local excellent Bakery and Cafe specializing in breakfast. We parked trailer a block away and got in just before the hordes arrived. It was a long gruesome 6 hour drive to Sparks Marina RV park. Arrived about 3 pm and got hooked up. I took a shower to relax and clean up before dinner at Kathy and Conrad’s. The very delicious dinner was barbecued ribs, corn on the cob, and coleslaw. YUM YUM Desert was strawberry short cake. We socialized at bit and headed back to trailer.

 

07/08/19 Kathy and a friend Barbara visited us at 8:30am for a 2 mile hike around the Sparks Morena Lake Park. Weather was perfect sunny in low 70’s. Afterward we went to BJ’s for good Country Style Breakfast. Worked the rest of day getting trailer stocked up for the long trip. At night we went to dinner with Conrad and Kathy to Roxies at the Eldorado Casino and Hotel. The food was great as usual especially the Lemon souffle made to order.

 

07/09/19 I wanted the trailer to have a full detail, to remove oxidation on the paint. The Sparks Marina RV manager would not allow the detailer to put the acrylic liquid wax on in his park, so I had to move it to the Grand Sierra RV park where they allowed the job to be done on one of their gravel sites. Unfortunately the Sparks Marina would not give me a refund, so I had to pay double rental fees for the day. The detailer did a wonderful job and the trailer looked 10 years younger. We had leftover spareribs, sweet corn, salad, and Joanne’s peach cobbler recipe for dinner. YUM YUM

 

07/10/19 Left at 6:30am on our long drive 400 mile + to Caldwell Idaho. Checked into the Canyon Springs RV park around 4:00pm. We got a back in site right on the lake at this lovely RV park. Too tired to cook much so I used microwave to cook some frozen chicken potstickers from Costco. Watched an episode of the Outlander TV series and retired to bed early.

 

07/11/19 Slept late, had light breakfast, and then drove to Mallard Park to give the dog and ourselves some exercise. Spent rest of the day tracking down parts to repair miscellaneous problems on the 5th wheel and tuning up the new trailer Samsung smart TV.

 

07/12/19 Left at 6:30am on our 260 mile drive to Orofino, ID. Not a long drive but lots of farmland driving and curves along the river. We arrived at 2 pm and checked into the Clearwater Crossing RV Park. Our back in site was right on the Clearwater River another awesome RV park in Idaho. Watched more streaming Video TV shows before retiring early to bed.

 

07/13/19 No internet or phone service on T-mobil here in Orofino. I was up at 7:00am and hooked up the Verizon MyFi Jetpack to my Lenovo laptop. Communication to the web and my gmail worked great. I got on line and changed my upcoming Iceland cruise air travel seats to upgraded aisle seats with extra leg room. I then made us French style cheddar cheese omelets, fried ham, and honey wheat toast, the best breakfast so far that, we have had on the trip. It rained in morning, but cleared around 10 am for a beautiful day on the river.

 

07/14/19 We left this morning around 7:30 am for Aquarius camp ground which is about 60 miles from Orofino all on mountain roads. I drove about 45 minutes and stopped at a gravel turn out parking lot for a break. I had to make a tight turn to leave and the trailer wheels were locking up and sliding on the gravel. I thought it was another bad brake controller so I disconnected the cable going out to the trailer. It still seemed hard to pull but I continued on about 5 miles to Headquarters, the Potlatch company town when logging was in full swing. I touched the tire rims with my fingers and they were blazing hot almost ready to melt. Then I checked the safety brake cable connected to the hitch and it was gone! So this is designed to lock up the brakes when trailer is disengaged from the hitch. A forest service official was there and he happen to find the loose cable in the bed of the truck. It had disengaged when I made that tight turn 5 miles back. He plugged it back in and the brakes immediately disengaged, If I had drove another 5 miles I am sure that I would have had a brake fire and possibly a burnt trailer. I was afraid that the brakes might be damaged so I left them disconnected for the rest of the way into Aquarius.

Now the rest of this adventurous trip into Aquarius camp ground. The Forest Service were replacing culverts on the road and there was a detour 17 miles long on a dirt gravel logging road. This road was incredibly curvy, steep, and narrow. The scariest spots were one lane with cliff on left and sheer drop off on right. In many places there was no visibility up the hill to see if there was any oncoming traffic. It was so scary that I dreamed about it for 2 nights and worried about getting out alive. It took about 2.5 hours total to reach Aquarius. Thank God there was no oncoming vehicles on this single lane mountain road detour.

When we arrived most of our friends were already there jockeying to get their favorite spots from the 10 spots available. Beverly Roberts had saved us spot 1, not one of the most desirable spots but it was shady, private, and did have a decent view of the river.
The cons were not very level (required blocks on one side and digging wheel holes on other side of trailer). I was also a bit worried about having enough sun for my solar panels to charge my 4 house 6V batteries. I got it leveled however and all set up in about one hour. I was too tired to cook so we had precooked frozen chicken cilantro potstickers from Costco for dinner.

The temperature was in high 70’s and very comfortable. We attended campfire having excellent tasty homemade apple pie prepared by Barbara Tyler. We went to bed early after a very stress full day.

 

07/15/19 Slept late to 9:30 am this morning. It was a pleasant night of sleeping on the river listening to the soft sound of water rolling over the exposed stones. Temperature dropped to 51 F in morning. Charlie dog snuggled up close to keep, each other warm. I made sour dough pancakes with huckleberries for breakfast this morning. I worked on cleaning up the trailer storage compartments today. Disposing what I no longer needed and rediscovering what I had. I barbecued Carne Asada on the grill for dinner. Cut meat up adding cilantro, salsa, red bell pepper, onion, avocado, all on fresh fried flour tortillas. YUM YUM. Attended camp fire, but mosquitos were really bad and I was eaten alive. I returned quickly to the trailer to apply aloe vera and other creams to sooth my poor skin from the bites.

 

07/16/19 Warmer sleeping temperature than previous night. I cooked left over sourdough Huckle berry pancakes with fried ham for breakfast. I then spent an hour tightening screws on our Titanium 5th wheel which was purchased new in 2004. Next Linda and I did a short 1.5 mile hike along the North Fork of the Clearwater River. The trees and vegetation were in beautiful condition probably because the rain fall has been above average for the past 2 years. We attended an appetizer group get together which also served has dinner for us. We had already eaten when we got word of the event, so we did not bring anything. More really bad mosquitos tonight while waiting for camp fire. I decided to retreat to the enclosed mosquito free atmosphere of our trailer and retired early to bed

 

07/17/19 I cooked sourdough huckleberry pancakes for the entire group (perhaps 25 people) this morning. They came out great as sourdough seems to do well at this elevation, temperature, humidity, and the collection of bacteria in this area of the world. They mostly all loved them. I have been using my current sour dough starter for 25 years now. Other’s brought bacon, sausage, and various fruits to have with the pancakes along with real maple syrup. YUM YUM After dishes were cleaned up by Linda, we drove to an old landing where logs were brought to float down stream to the Lewiston paper plant. I flew my Mavic Pro drone about an 1/2 mile upstream above the river to where our Aquarius camp ground was located. Got some nice video footage. Next Linda, Charlie, and I walked on a beautiful mountain trail down stream river about a mile and returned. The fishing is great here. Likely to see all kinds of wild local animals. The trail is beautiful and it can be taken about 12 - 15 miles to the Dvorshak dam if one is up to the long hike. I had bad dreams last night about the upcoming drive out of here on that logging road detour. I figured less traffic would be coming in on a Thursday opposed to a Friday my scheduled departure date. Therefore because of this and the forecast for possible rain tomorrow, we decided to leave tomorrow on Thursday rather than Friday. So I started packing up, the rest of the day for tomorrows exit. We had left over Cane Asada for dinner and then attended group camp fire with a bottle of red wine in hand. I had a nice time socializing with the group and was one of the last ones to leave the fire.

 

07/18/19 Got up around 6:30 am, showered, and had bagels with cream cheese for breakfast. We said good bye to the group and left the camp ground returning the way we came in via the old logging road detour. At the 1/2 way point on the detour I discovered that the trailer had a flat tire. Pulled over to side and started finding tools to change the tire. Just getting the spare out of its holder took 15 -20 minutes. An 80 year old father and younger son stopped and offered to help me change the tire. The old man got under the trailer and placed the hydraulic jack under the axle and jacked it up for me. We all 3 took turns removing lug bolts and the 3 of us lifted and jockeyed the very heavy trailer tire/rim onto the lug bolts They also helped putting the damaged tire into the truck bed. Some how a tree branch had poked right into the sidewall of the tire and it could not be repaired. It took the 3 of us and hour to change that tire. I offered them a nice bottle of wine for their help but they would not except it. I will be grateful to these 2 Idaho gentlemen the rest of my life. God only knows how long this tire change would have taken on my own.

I continued on down the hill of the detour road with no problem. The road and visibility was much less scary than going uphill was. There were more turn outs and less single lane spots in the road than I had envisioned in my frightful dreams. Reached Orofino in about 3 hours and had some delicious hot hamburgers at the 10 lane bowling Ally on highway 12.

We continued on about 45 minutes into Clarkston, WA to Les Schwab Tires. I was able to get an appointment on Saturday 7/20/2019 8:00 am to have 4 new tires installed and the brakes checked out on my Titanium trailer.

I stayed at Hell’s Canyon RV resort near Les Schwap for the night. This resort is extremely nice right on the river with many upscale amenities. Each site had 4 hook up stations on the corners of the site, so all hoses and cables were long enough no matter how short or long. Had left overs for dinner.

07/19/19 My bug bites acquired at the Aquarius Campground stay are horrible this morning. I put Hydrocortisone 1% on them this morning which doesn’t help the itching much. I had a bagel with cream cheese for breakfast. We moved to Granite Lake RV Park at 11:30 am where we had reservations for 4 nights. We got a site right on the river which is so scenic and on Lewiston city Green Trail along the river. Got all hooked up and moved in. I then spent the day working on various maintenance items under neath the trailer. (tye wrapping and taping up loose wires) I then plugged in all my electronic battery operated devices to charge them up for future use. Then started on my diary for the days spent in Aquarius.

 

07/20/19 Got up at 6:30 am had breakfast and got the trailer hooked up to truck, so I could move it to Les Schwap Tires for my 8:00 am appointment. They installed the four 14 ply steel redial tires. The trailer front axle brakes were checked and found to be in good working condition. The back axle brakes were almost down to metal and were replaced. When they replaced and torqued the bearing nut to 150 ft-lbs the back drivers side bearing was making sandpaper like noise and needed to be replaced. Unfortunately they did not have this bearing in stock and could not find one in town. They are going to call a supplier in Spokane on Monday morning to see if they have one and ship it down perhaps in the same day. It is a sealed one piece Timkin bearing 031-073-03 “NEV-R-LUBE Dexter part. The axle nut is torqued at 150 ft-lbs.

I drove the trailer back to Granite Lake and will wait to see if they can find one on Monday 7-22-2019.

 

07/21/19 Got up at 9:30 am and made sourdough huckleberry pancakes for breakfast. It was suppose to be hot today, so immediately after eating we left to go hiking on the famous green belt trail along the Snake and Clearwater Rivers for a short hike. The trail is wooded, lined with wild edible berries, smooth asphalt for walking and bike riding, no motorized vehicles allowed, some wild life, loaded with squirrels, 50% shaded, and it is right on the Granite Lake RV Park where we are staying. Charlie dog goes crazy chasing the squirrels. Returned home in an hour. Talked to a friendly ex marshal neighbor for 1/2 hour and then worked on my diary and photos for a few hours. Later did shopping at Costco and Walmart. Had fresh sweet corn on the cob with leftover Carne Asada. We continue to watch two streaming Amazon Video TV series called “Bosch” and “Outlander”

 

07/22/19 Got up at 8:00 am and had left over Sour dough Huckleberry pancakes for breakfast. Looks like rain is coming today. We got a short hike in on the river green trail before the rain came.

I drove to Les Schwap to find out what was happening with the purchase of my trailer bearing. They found a bearing at Grants Pass store but they wanted $400 for it + labor + 40% markup on part. I had found the vendors phone number that Amazon uses for these bearings and they only wanted $129. I talked Les Schwap into purchasing the bearing for me and installing it for $65. It is their policy to only install parts which they buy. The part should be here tomorrow some time hopefully before 5 pm so it can be installed tomorrow 7-23-19.

 

 

So they total price should be as follows:
031-073-03 bearing $129 x1.4 = $181
069-085-00 clip $ 6 x1.4 = $ 9
Overnight delivery $100
Labor for installation $ 65
Total $355

 

07/23/19 Moved the trailer to Hells Canyon RV to wait for bearing part to be delivered to Les Schwap. It arrived around 11:00 am and I delivered the trailer around 12:00 pm. I had to wait my turn as they use first come first served procedure. I dropped it off and Chris my tech promised to call me when he started working on it. Linda, Charlie, and I decided to visit Hells Canyon State Park about 8 miles down river. The park was huge with 2 museums, an RV Park with electric hook ups, no sewer hookups, several boat ramps, beach area for swimming, and several picnic areas. It was a bit seedy park, but for a beach and water recreation type park it was not bad. I would definitely however pick Granite Lake RV park over this one.

Chis from Les Schwap called me about 12:30 am and said he had started replacing the bearing. I drove immediately to the shop to watch him installed the part. Removing and installing this bearing could not be done in the field because an hydraulic press is required for both removal and installation. When he was done and spun the tire there was no longer any sandpaper grinding noise.

Drove trailer to Hells Canyon RV Park about 2:30 pm and set up. The temperature got up to 106 F. today and the trailer AC could at best reduce the temperature to 88 F. At 4:30 pm we ate early at Fazzaris Pizza to avoid the heat in the trailer. We had Linda’s favorite - the Shotsky’s which is cheese with mustard sauce, sausage, and sauerkraut on top. It does not sound good, but it really grows on you and gets tastier with every bite. Returned to a cooler trailer now and watch an Outlander show on Amazon Prime Video, Half way through the show an horrendous wind, lightening and rain storm hit us disabling the TV. Two hours after the storm the temperature dropped to the 60 ‘s. We could not get the streaming video going again so we retired to bed early.

 

07/24/19 Got down to 48 F. last night and we had to run the heater this morning as it was 58 F. We had a lite breakfast bagel and were on the road by 8:00 am on highway 95 to Sand Point Idaho to see Doug and Lana Willingham. Arrived about 12:30 pm and parked in Doug’s driveway which had electric and water hookups. The Willingham’s had 2 other families with kids staying with them. At 3 pm Linda and I went down town to see the local Farmers Market. We bought beets with greens, fancy multi colored tomatoes, and red raspberries. We had an outdoor cookout barbecuing hamburgers and bratwurst on an open fire. Lana also made baked beans and sweet corn on the cob. The meal was quite tasty, but the highlight of it was warm Huckleberry cobbler with vanilla ice cream made by Lana. Lana and the families had hand picked the berries in the wild most of the day before and after we had arrived. After dinner we drank some nice wine and socialized a bit on the balcony over looking the Lake Ponderay slough below us.

 

07/25/19 Was very cold last night down to 50 F. or less. Had to run the heater a while in the morning. I had a light cereal with fresh red raspberries tor breakfast this morning. My goal today is to compose my diary and then try to restring some of the trailer day-nite shades which do not open and close very well. I expect it to be quite challenging. The weather was excellent ranging 65-75 F. Spent most of my time on deck overlooking the slough and working on restringing the trailer day-nite blinds. Got the first one 90% ready for remounting. The wifi at trailer is near worthless and even my Verizon wifi does not work here, so no streaming of Netflix or Amazon video. Bummer. There is not even any over the air TV signal. The house is in the way of the Dish satellite signal. No mass media usage here, one has to create his own entertainment. I am resorting to wine consumption and conversing with Doug for some of my entertainment. Working on trailer maintenance projects does help a bit. Doug cooked corn beef and cabbage for the meat eater’s tonight. Craig cooked a fish, cheese, vegetable pasta dish for the vegetarians. Lana cooked a very good Huckleberry cobbler with ice cream for both the, vegetarians and the meat eaters. The Huckleberry’s were picked at Schweitzer ski resort by the Grosse family, Lana, Dustin, and girl friend,

 

07/26/19 It was another great night for peaceful slumber; cool, quiet, and low humidity. Many trains going by blowing whistles but it did not wake me. We had coffee and bagels with cream cheese and cherry preserves for breakfast. I am now ready to begin my trailer day-nites blinds project. I worked about 3 hours on blinds and finally got a small 2 string one, restringed and reinstalled. The reinstallation was the worst part, trying to get the strings anchored in place with the right tension. Linda actually helped me do this as it is a two person task.

 

07/27/19 Got up in time to be down to the Farmers Market at 10:00 am. Way more venders today than Wednesday. Fresh Huckleberries were available for $10 / pound or $50 / gallon. We had already purchased frozen ones in Riggins for $17 / pound. We paid too much. I bought some fresh garlic dill sour dough bread and a goat Cherval cheese roasted onion spread. They went well at dinner as an appetizer with wine. After the Market trip we stopped to buy some NY style bagels at Uptown Bagels. On way back to Doug’s, we stopped at Petco to buy dog food for Charlie. Charlie has found a new White Labrador Retriever dog friend named Katy, who is owned by Lana’s daughter. They have been playing rough house for hours the past 3 days. The 6 month old Lab loves and protects Charlie from the other dogs. It is unbelievable how the Lab plays just rough enough without injuring Charlie. Both are willing to rough house for 45 minutes at a time.

We had appetizers from Farmers Market, salad, and pasta dish made by Craig for dinner. Craig is a very good chef and I enjoyed talking to him about food and cooking as he skillfully cut the fresh vegetables for the dinner. I loved the pasta he made and it went very well with a Spanish red wine I was drinking.

 

07/28/19 I prepared Huckleberry sour dough pancakes breakfast for the group this morning. All liked them except Jackson who wanted plain pancakes. I started preparing the trailer for departure tomorrow morning. We have really enjoyed our 6 day stay at Doug and Lana’s house. This house on the lake is a relaxing pretty place to stay for a time. Doug and Lana’s hospitality can not be better. Her daughter and son’s families were very nice and entertaining people to be around. We had a great time.

 

07/29/19 We left about 10:00 am for our next 3 day stop in Wenatchee, WA. Goggle said it would take 4 hours, but it took me 6.5 hours. Ran into a construction area traffic jam around Coeur d’ lane, stopped at Camping World to buy leveling blocks and day-nite shades restringing kit. I stopped about 3 more times for rest and once to eat in the trailer. The goggle gps had a problem twice and caused a couple back track recoveries. I stopped to buy fruit and vegetables at the beginning of Wenatchee Valley. After setting up the trailer in the county park, I only had enough energy to cook corn on the cob for dinner. I ate 3 ears with butter and Ben Jerry’s ice cream only for dinner. The Tmobil hot spot worked great here so we watched one episode of “Call the Midwifes” before retiring to bed.

 

07/30/19 Slept late this morning, getting up about 9:30am. Temperature had dropped to 61 F. this morning just right for late slumber. We each had a NY style large raisin bagel with butter this morning purchased from UpTown Bagel shop in Sandpoint. Very good but also very large. Next I helped Linda a bit with washing our last two weeks of dirty clothes.

Then a walk in the County RV Park along the Wenatchee River. This is my favorite county park anywhere. It has large sites, abundant shade trees, green grass on every site, about 1/3 of the sites are on the river, best free robust internet I have had any where in an RV Park, internet reservations/reminders, and the park is maintained well in every respect. But of course many of the Washington County RV parks are awesome.

Tonight, I barbecued Costco seasoned tri-tip roast, sauteed fresh green beans with Yokes bacon and caramelized onion, mint honey sauteed carrots, and fresh corn on the cob. Whoops, I had a disaster with the carrots. I put the honey in immediately with the butter and water. The high heat boiled off the water and cooked the carrots but it also turned the honey into a caramelized stiff candy like substance. The outside of the carrots had this yukky candy like coating on them and tasted terrible. YUK YUK Fortunately everything else was good. After dinner we watched an Outlander TV episode using my Tmobil hotspot on my Iphone XS Max. The Tmobil service here in Wenatchee is amazingly good, being the best I have ever experienced anywhere.

 

7/31/19 We had a Sandpoint Idaho Uptown blue berry bagel with coffee for breakfast. The are huge NY style bagels are very good. We then drove to the Hale Wenatchee Dog Park along the Columbia River to give Charlie dog some exercise. On the way home we stopped at the public indoor market to purchase produce, cheese, and a dish of Sea Salt Carmel gelato. We then came home and started preparing the trailer for our exit tomorrow morning.

 

08/01/19 We left at 8:00 am for Hoquiam, WA this morning. Stopped to get gas and Linda noticed low front right tire on the truck. I checked pressure finding the tire pressure at 35 psi (should be 55 psi) and also found a nail 1/2” from side wall. I returned to Discount Tire in Wenatchee about 20 miles back and had them look at it for possible repair. Of course they highly recommended a new tire because the damage needs to be 1/2” in from sidewall and it was marginally on the 1/2” imaginary line Of course they did not have the same Michelin tire. I decided to have a different Michelin tire installed which they had in stock. It was a LT245 /75 R16 120R E1 BSW MCH AGILIS CROSS CLIMATE. They actually got us back on the road within an hour. It may have been a bad idea to install this non matching tire. I think the deeper tread on this right tire is causing the truck to pull to the left. I checked the specs and the this tire has less wight carrying ability then my old Mechelin Rib tire 3050 vs 2500 pounds and this is why the dealer recommended installing new tire on the front. Life always has pro and cons with every issue that comes up!

Any way we got on our way driving through the Wenatchee National Forest and then through part of the Cascade range of Washington State. The scenery was breath taking reminding me a bit of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, but it was definitely greener here. The road was very good most of the way. All was well until we went through Snoqualmie Ski area which had incredible traffic slow downs due to excessive population. We stopped in Auburn shopping center for lunch. Also a very busy place. Got tangled up in traffic and had to make a tight turn around in a parking lot with no outlet. Backed trailer onto grass and a security guard fully armed showed up, We informed him that we had made a mistake and were trying to get out. He informed us that this was a National Defense high security site. We apologized and he became less belligerent and told us how to get to a mega outlet center shopping center near by. We went there, got lunch at a Panda Express and were back on our way to interstate 5.

We were now into Tacoma and the slow downs on I5 were horrible 4 lane parking lots. Twice our google maps app rerouted us off the free way to avoid some of the slow downs. After seeing this LA like traffic grid lock you could not pay me to live in this area. The military bases area on I5 in Tacoma had the worst traffic - taking about 45 min to go 12 miles. We finally reached Olympia our turn off on 55 mile drive into Hoquiam which again also took us 2 hours due to traffic slow downs and some construction slow downs. Google had problems directing us properly in this remote area to our RV Park. I had called earlier expecting to be late and they had lost my reservation, but had 1 pull through site left which she gave me. It was a lovely clean park right on the Hoquiam River. Got set up and was very hungry. We went to a local place called 8th St. Ale House. It was a rustic popular haunt having excellent beer and food. I had crab cakes and Linda had fish and chips. The best food I had out dining since our dining at Roxies in Reno. My Tmobil to my surprise worked good enough to stream the OUTLANDER on Amazon Video.

 

08/02/19 Nice cool morning in high 50’s. Cooked French style omelets, ham, English muffins with strawberry jam, and coffee for breakfast. We did short hike on the river after breakfast. The trail was like a rain forest totally covered from above with tree limbs and vines. In the afternoon we drove to Grays Harbor National Wild Life Refuge. The google maps took us about 4 miles to the location near their closed airport. We had to walk about 1 mile to enter the refuge. It was an elevated wooden walkway about 2 miles out into the wet lands. We were too late for the birds today and the water appeared to be another 1 - 2 miles out, so we turned around. It had few people and dogs were not allowed, another reason to turn back as Charlie dog was with us. This Harbor is huge and the ocean is actually about 15 - 20 miles west. We walked back to the car and found that the iphone no longer had data signal. As soon as you leave a town out here in the bunnies the data signal disappears. It would behoove one to have some real hard copy maps on board. After a mile or 2 data reception was regained and we found our way into town. Refilled truck with diesel and drove to Dairy Queen for a chocolate malt. Spent rest of day in camp, too tired to go out for dinner.

 

08/03/19 Very cold last night in the low 50’s. Had to turn on the heat to warm up. Was going to leave early to visit Ocean City State Park about 20 miles away, but totally fogged in this morning so we waited for the fog to lift. The people in this park seem to be semi permanent, as very few seem to ever get out of their rigs and when they do are not particularly friendly. Cleared up totally by 11:00 am so we headed north to the State Park. We found the huge beautiful wooded beach park, paid our $11 to enter and walked through a 1/2 mile of semi wetland riparian land scape to the beach. The weather changed to cooler and windy. Temperature fell to low 50’s with 30 mph wind. Sure glad we wore long sleeve shirts. This is one of the longest and widest beaches I have ever been to. The tide was out and my guess is that the width of the beach here was 1/4 to 1/3 of a mile wide. The beach here was like this for several miles in both directions. Many four wheel drive vehicles were parked and driving on the beach, but there was no congestion impact, because this beach was so wide. Many people were flying beautiful creative style kites which I shot stills and video’s off. It was way too windy for my drone. The beaches in this area is the main reason people drive west approximately 175 miles from I5 to get here. It was the easiest walking beach I have ever been on because of the packed sand which is perfectly level. Linda and I really enjoyed this sojourn to this beach and would highly recommend it to others because of the beauty, pristine conditions, minimal congestion, and nice cool weather even during the dead of summer. We returned to Hoquiam and had a nice lunch including some Ale at the 8th Ave House. After some napping I made green beans with bacon and some chicken pot stickers for dinner. Desert was fresh peaches with Dairy Queen ice cream. My Tmobil is still producing a hot spot wifi signal to watch another “Outlander” episode.

 

08/04/19 Got up today at 6:00 am to start our drive at 8:15 am) to Eugene, OR. The traffic was light and the road was very good. I made in time as predicted by Google maps (5 hours) this time. It was a Sunday with no work traffic slow downs on I5. After several stops for rest and lunch we arrived at the Premier Resort in Eugene at 2:00 pm. We got what I considered to be the best site of all in this huge upscale RV Park. Our huge grass and concrete site had a view of the park lake, a view of an Alfalfa Hay field in the foreground, and a view of distant mountains in the back ground. I took serval drone videos while the alfalfa field was being irrigated with large wheel like sprinklers. At 5:00 pm we drove to a restaurant called Placido’s Pasta Shop. Some reviews on line rated it the best restaurant in the Eugene. The salads, pasta, and tiramisu desert were all excellent. Good basic wine selection with very liberal glass pour and priced accurately. YUM YUM

 

08/05/19 I got up at 8:00 am and flew my drone toward the mountains for views of RV Resort, Alfalfa fields being irrigated, and mountains in the distance. Went out to bake shop for breakfast so Linda could have a fresh scone. I had cinnamon roll and coffee. I next did some maintenance in the trailer fixing some furniture that had shaken loose from vibration either from trailer vibration or by Linda vibration! We then walked the entire Premier RV park inspecting all 330 sites, lakes, and recreation areas. This park was awesome because of the; excellent landscaping, flowers, huge sites, wide roads,lakes, and best of all, my huge site 140 had view of alfalfa fields and the mountains on the afternoon shade side of the trailer. We then drove to visit Paul Flashenberg a long time friend, bridge acquaintance, and hiker. He did not appear any older than last time I seen him 8-10 years back. We had a glass of wine at his house before dinner discussing old times and mutual friends. He then drove us to our dinner restaurant which I had selected Sabai “Cafe and Grill”. The Thai food was more excellent than my favorite Thai restaurant in Las Vegas. We shared all our entrees. I splurged on a wonderful bottle of Malbec blend red wine made in the US by Chalk. Paul and I finished it off with no help from Linda. The only negative about Sabai was slow service, but we were in no hurry and we all had a great time in a nice upscale comfortable restaurant. YUM YUM

 

08/06/19 We got up and drove to Paul Flashenberg’s house arriving at 8:30 am. He drove us to a park in Springfield. We did about 3 miles mostly on a asphalt walking and biking trail mostly following the river, but also going through riparian landscape with large old growth oak trees covered with moss or mistletoe. Paul said most of the land used to be an hazelnut farming land donated to the city of Springfield. After the hike, Linda and I did a bit of grocery shopping and returned to the trailer. I had a husband wife team over at 4:00 pm to wash the trailer and the truck. They did an excellent job for $140. This would probably cost $300 in San Diego. The wife a very attractive young lady with no fear of heights climbing on the roof to wash it, had the tightest pair of jeans on that I have ever seen. We had left over Thai food for dinner. YUM YUM

 

08/07/19 Left Eugene about 9:00 am for Gold Beach Oregon. This is another rather remote small beach town on the coast, We stayed on I5 for perhaps 50 miles and then started west on a beautiful 2 lane highway going through some farming country and then through National Forest where extensive logging was going on. We saw perhaps 50 logging trucks in two hours hauling huge long old growth looking trees. Every thing was green and streams, creeks, rivers, and lakes every where. A heavy mist made me turn on the wind shield wipers 33% of the time. We eventually reach hwy 101 which intermittently had awesome views of the rugged ocean coast. The last 50 miles of the 200 mile trip was really a bit scary as the cliffs were eroding and sliding town to the beaches. There was lots of road repair going on, tipsy dew humps, and soft shoulders. As we approached Gold Beach there were numerous rock islands off shore which appeared to look like various turtles and dragons. We arrived at 1:30 am and got checked into the huge Turtle Rock RV Park. Our Huge site was only a very short walk to the huge sandy beach. The con however was that hwy 101 was very close to us even though we could not see the road because of tall trees and bushes. We got our satellite TV working except without locale channels even after spending 2 hours trouble shooting with Dish Network. Finally gave up on that and used the park low resolution cable tv for the local Oregon network channels. All the other channels on Dish Network were working fine in 1080p resolution. Linda was real cranky now so I had to get dinner made. We had grilled bratwurst on butter roasted buns fried onions and sauerkraut rinsed and drained, seasoned with spices, - caraway, dry mustard, celery seed, salt, pepper -, and brown sugar. YUM YUM

The Verizon MiFi worked great at this remote location. I got Linda hooked on the BBS TV series called “Call the Mid Wife” TV series on Netflix. Was in bed by 10:00 pm.

08/08/19 Slept late until 8:45 am. It was a low of 57 F. this morning. Had to run the heater for 1/2 hour to get temperature up to 70 F. We are still using the original 7.5 gal propane tank since way back in Reno on day 6. Will that tank ever be used up? I have a full 2nd tank which can be manually switched over in a few minutes. Propane is used for refrigerator while I am driving, so I keep a close eye on it. I made French toast for breakfast this morning. To our surprise, around 11:00 am the sun game out. We immediately got prepared for a walk on the beach as we were not expecting the sun to be out much here at Gold Beach. We walked about 200 yards under the route 101 bridge and we are on a beautiful sandy 200 yard deep wide beach that is clear for miles in both directions. This part of the beach and ocean is full of huge black lone rocks. One of them in the sand where the river enters the ocean has a big rock that looks just like a turtle, hence the name of our RV Park called “Turtle Rock RV Park”. We walked about 2 miles with Charlie dog running around like a rabbit on the soft beach sand. Returned to 5th wheel and had lite Thai food left over lunch. Took it easy in camp resting and surfing the web rest of the afternoon. We went to best restaurant in town “Spencers” for dinner. We are really lucking out on finding good restaurants this trip. We had a very charming excellent waitress. All her recommendations were right on. Linda had clam chowder and deep fried cocoanut coated prawns. I had a dinner called salmon on a plank. It came with a wonderful pear, blue cheese green salad. It also included rice and a very good medley of perfectly cooked fresh summer vegetables. I had a nice bottle of 2014 Ferrari Carano Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon wine. They allowed me to take left over wine home. Our shared desert was a rich dark chocolate pudding with phyllo dough pastry. Again a recommendation of our waitress. I only ate 1/2 of everything so I will have a nice lunch tomorrow. We returned to trailer and watch another “Call the Mid Wife” on Netflix.

 

08/09/19 Another great cool night for good sleeping. Temperature predicted today -57 F. low - 70 F. high and partly sunny. This is what I had in mind when booking this summer RV trip to avoid the heat and humidity in San Diego. Overall the weather has been great on this trip. Going to check torque on my truck and trailer tires this morning. I have lost two trailer hub caps this trip. I have been searching the web for hub caps to fit the trailer 16” rims that are bolt connected to my 6 lug nuts. So far have found nothing that will fit. I guess I will have to stop at some tire shops to get advice on what I can install on these rims that will not continually fly off. We drove a short distance to the Roque river to do a short walk that allow one to see lots of Osprey and Eagles. The trail was non existent but we did a 1 mile up and back seeing a few eagles and ospreys from a distance. We did see several jet boats loaded with tourist going up stream on the river. It was a beautiful drive even though the trail was never found. Stopped at local fish market at the confluence of the Rogue and ocean bay to purchase some smoked salmon and fresh oysters. Returned to trailer for some relaxation. I made fried rice with vegetables, grilled chicken, and grilled shrimp per Linda’s request. Unfortunately it was not very edible because Linda had over cooked the basmati rice. I ate a little of it and then cooked some fried oysters for myself.

 

08/10/19 This sadly is our last day on the coast and we will be heading back to San Diego full speed tomorrow. Even though it is sad, I am looking forward to sunny California and the routine of stationary living for a bit of time before my next trip. There is total cloud cover in Gold Beach this morning. We headed out to the beach for a walk about 10 am after the marine layer had lifted. Charlie dog loves the soft wet sand and runs around in circles like a mad dog really enjoying her self. We returned to trailer to make preparations for our exit tomorrow morning.

 

08/11/19 The 330 mile 7 hour drive south this morning on hwy 101 to Cloverdale, California KOA campground was one of the most beautiful legs of our journey. The scenery along the ocean and through the California Redwood Parks was breath taking. We almost lost Charlie at one rest stop near Brookings. We both exited the truck leaving the doors open. When I returned from the bathroom I wondered why traffic had stopped on 101 and then discovered that Charlie was out of the car on the road. Fortunately the traffic was slow here and had stopped to avoid running Charlie over. I got her on the leash quickly probably saving her dog life. The road on this leg was quite treacherous with many curves. I was really tired when we reached Cloverdale. The final 12 miles up on a mountain road to the KOA was another nerve racking experience. The hairpin uphill curves were really scary requiring the truck to shift way down in low gear. Two one way narrow bridges with weight restrictions also had to be negotiated. I was worried that I would wreck or get the trailer road locked on a dead end up here. It took about 35 minutes just to negotiate this final 12 miles. What was I thinking when I booked this park. The park was very nice when I finally reached it. I had reversed the last two dates of my reservations, but fortunately they had spots available for me. Oh yes I was low on gas too, adding to the stress of this location. We scraped up left overs for food in the trailer as we did not want to drive 12 miles back into town during darkness for dinner. I had a couple glasses of wine with friendly neighbors who totally understood why I needed to relieve my stress from the drive up here.

 

08/12/19 We actually slept quite well up here in the quiet cool mountains. We left about 8:00 am driving very slowly down the mountain on this road from hell. Found a gas station with no problem and filled up. We now had a 360 mile 7 hour drive on Interstate 5 to our final camp ground called “Bakersfield River Run RV Park”. No problems here and it was actually quite scenic driving through the pretty wine country. The campground on the Kern River with oil wells in site was very upscale and clean RV Park. If one must stay overnight in Bakersfield this is a good place to do it. We went out for pizza tonight and almost burned all the taste buts out of our mouth. We ordered a buffalo chicken wing pizza that was suppose to be mildly spiced! The Mexicans in this area have a different idea of what is mild! My poor stomach. Fortunately my micro stout beer was good and off set the spice a bit.

 

08/13/19 Left about 9:30 for our 240 mile drive through the dreaded LA area to home in San Diego. All went well, but some of the roads especially the concrete ones were in ugly condition probably due to all the heavy semi trucks. The worst roads for me are the concrete ones because the slabs seem to subside unevenly and causes the trailer/truck to have a bucking motion making me reduce my speed 10 -15 mph less. The asphalt roads in general seem to be much smoother than concrete. I looked up following info about roads on the web-
The pros of concrete are;
Economical: Asphalt is still less costly compared to concrete. Moreover, it takes less time to build a asphalt road than a concrete road. (Asphalt dries faster.)
Recyclable: Asphalt is a recyclable material. It can be used again and again by melting it.
Easy maintenance: Repairing just a prt of the asphalt road is easily possible. Asphalt roads even can be relayered over the old layer.
Safe: Asphalt roads provide better traction and skid resistance for vehicles. Asphalt tends to help keep roads free from ice and snow.
The pros of asphalt are;
Economical: Asphalt is still less costly compared to concrete. Moreover, it takes less time to build a asphalt road than a concrete road. (Asphalt dries faster.)
Recyclable: Asphalt is a recyclable material. It can be used again and again by melting it.
Easy maintenance: Repairing just a part of the asphalt road is easily possible. Asphalt roads even can be relayered over the old layer.
Safe: Asphalt roads provide better traction and skid resistance for vehicles. Asphalt tends to help keep roads free from ice and snow.

I think the main problem with our roads is that they are not designed by the road engineers to hold up to the continuous heavy semi truck traffic.

We arrived home around 2:30 pm and started unloading the trailer.

 

08/14/19 Placed order today by phone to Brechbilltrailers for the following:
(3) Dexture Never Lube bearings 031-073-003 $129 each
(3) bearing clips 069-085-00 $6 each
(2) bearing grease caps model 75DC $8 each
The total price is $451 including shipping for $30 via US postal service insured for $500 Will ship tomorrow and should arrived around 8-19 mon or 20th Tuesday.

Called Alignment Plus in San Marcus and they will install the bearings on 8-22-2019. I may also have the trailer and truck aligned.


Last updated on September 8, 2019