Summer Trip Diary 2007

Diary of Linda, Meghan, and my RV trip summer 2007 July, August, September

6/26/07 Day 1 summer trip. Left for our Pacific Southwest summer trip today at 7:30 a.m. We drove 360 miles and stayed in Bishop at the Brown’s Town Campground & Museum which had a direct view of the local golf course.

6/27/07 Day 2 summer trip. Arrived about 3:00 p.m. at Boom Town in Verdi Nevada. It is about 12 miles west of Reno and a long drive 25 miles to Conrad & Kathy’s house in Sparks. Conrad and Kathy arrived at 4:30 p.m. We talked awhile in the trailer and then went up to the casino for dinner in the Mexican Coffee shop which was not much good. After dinner we gambled a couple hours. Conrad and I played BJ in a single deck game. The conditions were excellent and our counting was good enough for us both to win about $127 with a bet spread of $5 to $30.

6/28/07 Day 3 summer trip. We had breakfast at Baldini’s and played some more BJ breaking about even. Kathy made us a nice steak dinner with salad and homemade sour dough bread.

6/29/07 Day 4 summer trip. I had the leaking oil filter replaced along with 3 quarts of the lost oil replenished at Jack’s Auto Repair in Sparks. I also had the fuel filter replaced. The total cost was $135. I think I will have them do my transmission and radiator flush next fall when we visit again as I was impressed with their work. At night we took Conrad and Kathy to La Strada for dinner. It was quite good as usual but different than last time because they brought back the original chief. Our waiter was a real ham giving Kathy and I some free wine and free deserts because he promised Conrad chocolate soufflé from another restaurant Roxies, but then couldn’t deliver. We gave him a 30% tip. Conrad and Kathy then treated us to a play “Dancing Queen” at the El Dorado. It was a tribute to the musical group ABBA music and was very entertaining made even better by our good seats in the 5 row back.

6/30/07 Day 5 summer trip. Got up at 6:00a.m. walked the dog. Did the dumps on the trailer and drove to Baldini’s in Reno for gas and propane. Met Conrad and Kathy for breakfast at Baldini’s and then hit the road at 9:00a.m. Meghan got sick after Linda gave her a small portion of breakfast sausage. It was a long 375 mile drive to Wells. I think I was hung over from wine and dinner last night. We arrived in Wells Nevada around 3:00 p.m., gassed up with diesel and checked into our RV Park. We had last nights left over’s for dinner.

7/1/07 Day 6 summer trip. Drove to Idaho Falls and checked into the RV Park. Matt met up with us and is now part of the 5th wheel caravan for the next 11 days. We had dinner out at a greasy spoon because of the good Mormon barbecue restaurants were closed on this Sunday like all Sundays.

7/2/07 Day 7 summer trip. Drove the very scenic highways 26 and 89 to Flagg Ranch RV Park just north of Grand Teton’s NP. I liked this RV park because of the large sites and close proximity to hiking and boating on the head waters of the Snake River. Matt & Linda didn’t like the park because of extreme dust. It was advertised to have full hook ups but the electrical service was only a marginal 20 amps which was not adequate to keep the AC running without tripping the park 20 amp breaker. Matt was upset that we had no AC considering the cost per site was $47 per night.

7/3/07 Day 8 summer trip. Got up about 8:30 a.m. and Matt cooked us bacon, eggs, and English muffins for breakfast. Finally we left about 10:30 a.m. to our 5 mile hike to Hidden Falls on Cascade Creek. The hike started at a high vantage point on a mountain along Jenny Lake for the first 1.7 miles. Matt didn’t like the burned trees but the area was loaded with new trees and mountain flowers.

7/4/07 Day 9 summer trip. Got up late and had bacon and sour dough pancakes for breakfast. We did a hike along the Snake River leaving from the campground about 1.25 miles down stream. It was a beautiful little hike with the Teton mountains in the background. We took Meghan along even though we were stretching the rules about being within 50’ of a road. Meghan thought she was in heaven chasing the squirrels, prairie dogs, and the smells of the moose, elk, and deer.

7/5/07 Day 10 summer trip. Got up late about 9:00 a.m. and cooked cheese omelets for breakfast. Meghan and I headed for Pilgrim Creek Road. I drove 3 mile to the edge of the NP and into the edge of Teton NF wilderness where dogs are legal. Meghan and I walked 2 miles up along the creek. We had to cross the creek 5 times the deepest being just under my waist. Meghan is beginning to like water and really had a good time on this 88 F. day. The hike was beautiful, reasonably flat, lots of flowers, and pristine. Returned to the trailer and slept a couple hours. I made chicken, ham, and vegetable fried rice for dinner which turned out excellent this time. yum yum.

7/6/07 Day 11 summer trip. The hike Meghan and I took the day before sounded good to Matt & Linda so I did it again with them. We naturally got another very late start around noon as Matt loves to sleep late and Linda lets him get away with it. The hike was enjoyable the 2nd time in spite of having to wait for Matt to change his shoes on every water crossing. Cell phone service worked out here so we made our calls at the end of the hike. We then went to Jackson Lodge to have a huckleberry malt to offset all those calories we burned up. We had left over fried rice for dinner tonight. The campfires which were allowed in this campground really caused air pollution to all of our eyes. Why people want a fire when temperature is in 80’s is beyond me. This campground had definitely degraded off our preferred list.

7/7/07 Day 12 summer trip. Had a light breakfast, packed up, and drove north about 65 miles into Yellow Stone NP - Fishing Bridge RV Park. The site was small, but satellite TV worked just barely through the trees, the hookups all worked including 30amp service to run the AC, HW heater, and Microwave all at the same time. We spent the whole day in camp. Linda cleaned the 5th wheel and did our laundry. It was Saturday so I watched PGA golf and later watched a Padre game that happen to be on an Atlanta Network channel.

7/8/07 Day 13 summer trip. We had another very late breakfast and took off for the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone at about 12:00 p.m. local time. The two water falls on the Yellowstone River were awesome and the view at Artist Point was breath taking and hopefully my photos will be as good a Moran’s painting. Walked down Uncle Tom’s Trail toward the river, which is a killer 327 step drop in elevation. I was quite tired after perhaps 5 miles of walking with lots of up and down. Linda made a salad and spaghetti with meat sauce for dinner.

7/9/07 Day 14 summer trip. I made sourdough pancakes this morning which turned out very light and tasty. I decided that I needed a break from Matt & Linda today. After they left for sight seeing, I drove out the East Entrance road about 27 miles over Sylvan Pass to the exit of the park. This put me in Shoshone NF and along the Shoshone River. I did a short 2 mile hike along the river with Meghan. I was a bit apprehensive as there were signs on the road warning of Grizzly bears in the area. I returned back into Yellowstone over the summit and through the 7 mile long road construction zone. I stopped on the way back on an overlook which afforded a total view of the Yellowstone Lake and a huge snow capped mountain in the background. I snapped a few photos to stitch together for this panoramic view. Linda & Matt returned from Mammoth about 6:00 p.m. We had caritas for dinner.

7/10/07 Day 15 summer trip. This morning, I made my best sourdough pancakes yet for the trip. We all left for the Old Faithful area about 11:30 a.m. We first toured the geysers and pools on the West Thumb of Yellowstone Lake for a half hour. The weather was perfect and I got several good photos of the geyser pools. We stopped at Cascade Water Falls next. Matt did some video of the falls and river. Next we drove to Old Faithful which was very busy. It was hot now in the low 80’s. We walked about a mile around the geysers and pools. We return to Old Faithful for its eruption at 1:47 p.m. local time. This draws huge crowds and is the main event in Yellowstone. We had a chocolate sundae, toured one more geyser area to the north, and returned the 60 miles back to our camp ground in Fishing Village. We ate left over’s while watching the MLB all star game. Then more CSI and WITHOUT A TRACE on satellite TV until 11:00 p.m.

7/11/07 Day 16 summer trip. Got up really late again at 9:30 a.m. local time. I made cheese omelets; Matt made Costco bacon, along with English muffins, & cherry preserves a really nice light breakfast Ha Ha. After socializing and Linda doing the dishes it was already 11:40 a.m. local time. These time schedules are all 3-4 hours OFF for me as I like to be on the trail hiking by 8:00 a.m. local time. Matt needs to sleep late and have a full breakfast every morning, approved of by Linda. I just have to grin and bear like a good husband. Matt and Linda are leaving about noon for Mystic Falls Trail about one hour drive from here. My MS symptoms get worse with heat, as the day goes on, I refused to hike this late, so am staying in camp catching up on my rest and doing computer/astronomy photos processing. I barbecued some more nice Costco fillet steaks for dinner.

7/12/07 Day 17 summer trip. This is Matt’s last day of touring at Yellowstone. I encouraged Linda to do all the planning on this part of the trip as Matt had never been to Yellowstone before and he is the reason we are here. We again drove north to Canyon and then west towards Norris. We toured porcelain geyser basin on foot via a 1 mile loop trail. Next the Virginal Cascade Fall on the Gibbon River. We then did the Artist Paint Pot area, a 2 mile loop trail into the forest. The longer the loops the less people we saw. Next we headed south on the Fire Hole River parkway road. Matt was impressed with this fast moving river with occasional geysers in it. He was really impressed when we reached the falls. We stopped so that Matt could video a ¼ mile portion of the multiple falls. We continued south but ran into a traffic jam and returned the way we had come. We stopped at the Canyon Village Ice Cream & Espresso shop for more chocolate malts. This makes 3 malts for lunch in 4 days. This will not work for my diet!! Matt is a bad influence on my diet. We got home about 4:00 p.m. after 90 miles of driving. Yellowstone is a huge park and it takes a good week to see it even in some detail.

7/13/07 Day 18 summer trip. I made my best sourdough pancakes yet and Matt made the bacon for his departing breakfast. He got on the road about 10:30 a.m. for his Idaho Falls destination today. We starting packing up for our departure tomorrow and Linda did a total clean of hard and soft floors in the 5th wheel, and then the laundry.

7/14/07 Day 19 summer trip. It rained hard last night and then got so windy that I had to get out of bed at 5:00 a.m. and put the 5th wheel awning up in the rain and wind. Went back to bed until 6:30 a.m. and then got up to eat, dump, and pack up. We were on the road by 7:45 a.m. heading north out of the park through Mammoth and Gardiner. Saw lots of wild animals and finally a moose on the beautiful drive out. Getting into the park before noon really helps for wild life viewing. After driving 340 miles through beautiful Montana, we arrived at our destination in Missoula, MT. We stopped first at Bretz RV to get some of their cheap propane at $ .99 per gallon. We then checked into the Jellystone RV Park our favorite in Missoula because of its excellent facilities and open country to run the dog. We discovered that our satellite TV receiver no longer at distant networks, so I called All American the provider. I found out that my original sign up of 6 months had expired and I owed them another $64 for the next 6 months which I immediately paid via MC. We got reconnected immediately to Linda’s glee. We decided to eat out at Famous Dave’s Barbecue. We had the Feast for two a sampler of almost everything they serve and it was excellent especially their award winning blue ribbon St. Louis ribs. It was a bargain at $30 and we took home enough for at least one more big meal. I crashed early about 8:00 p.m. as I was really tired from the long drive, dinner, and the 100 F. + heat in Missoula.

7/15/07 Day 20 summer trip. Got up early at 5:45 a.m. to spend some time on the excellent high speed wifi they have at this park. The wifi is not free costing $3/day or $15/week not cheap but not horribly expensive. At least the wifi you pay for rarely have variable throughput and seem to be more reliable. I will take Meghan out for a run soon before it gets hot. The low last night was 60 F. We will do our shopping today for the next 10 days at the remote Clearwater NF Aquarius campground.

7/16/07 Day 21 summer trip. Got under way about 8:00 a.m. and stopped at Bretz RV to fill our new 11# barbecue tank with some more cheap $.99/gal propane. The new tank had to be bleed which is a time consuming job and I now see why they charge for it. They put a small charge of propane in the bottle and then open up the valve to atmosphere. I guess the small amount of more dense liquid propane goes to the bottom and then via pressure forces all of the air out. It took 10-15 minutes to bleed this small tank. If you don’ bleed it only about 20% of tank will be filled with propane. I wanted Linda to give the workman a tip as he was not suppose to bleed a tank for free, but she was too cheap. Got finally started west at 9:00 a.m. The drive over Lolo Pass along various creeks and then along the Lochsa River rates in the top 10 drives in the world in my book. We stopped several times to run Meghan and one time for lunch. I was really tired of all those curves by the time we reach Three Rivers. I decided to make Orofino as our destination for tonight to avoid 2 more hours of curves and setting up without hook ups in 95 F very humid weather. So we had one more night of cool AC before entering the Clearwater NF.

7/17/07 Day 22 summer trip. We took showers dumped the gray water and was on our way by 8:00 a.m. Made some final cell phone calls as we will be out of service for 9 days. It took us 2 hours to drive the 61 miles into Aquarius camp ground on the North Fork of the Clearwater River in the National Forest. Doug had saved us site 1, a nice shady spot with a close view of the river. Doug, Lana, Joe, and Scarlet Willingham had been there for two days. Doug and Joe were going to leave Thursday and fly to San Diego for the funeral of their sister’s son who was killed in a traffic accident. It got mighty hot and humid in the late afternoon about 95 F. and 85% humidity. Joe and scarlet turned on their diesel generator and invited us up to their Monaco diesel rig to stay cool in the AC conditioned space. The diesel generator takes ½ gal per hour and they have a 100 gal tank which equates to allot of hours of coolness if necessary. I need to consider a large generator to operate the 5th wheel AC if I continue to camp out in these hot places or maybe global warming will subside!

7/18/07 Day 23 summer trip. It rained some last night and the temperature dropped to 63 F. We left the fantastic fan pumping cool air right over our bed, on, all night long and it was quite pleasant. Right now at 10:00 a.m. in the shade it is very pleasant at 77 F/ 60% RH. I will only be paying on a day by day bases so I don’t loose to many camp fees if I decide to bail because of the heat. We spent a good part of the day on the river beach with Doug, Linda, and the dogs staying cool by taking a dip into the water regularly. It got up to 92 in the afternoon. We made garlic butter shrimp with linguine, vegetables, and parmesan cheese for dinner. I crashed early with the fantastic fan blowing on me at 8:00 a.m. Linda snored allot and I had to employ the Bose noise cancellation head phones early in the morning. I am now quite familiar with all of Santana and the Eagles top 30 hits and need to download some new music into my IPOD. The head phone with music playing does an excellent job of blotting out the snoring and the $350 investment was worth every penny.

7/19/07 Day 24 summer trip. The low last night was 68 F./55% RH. Its mostly cloudy today so far at 10:30 a.m. so perhaps I will last another day before bailing out of here do to heat. Spent a good part of the day on the beach of the river staying cool. We grilled a Costco tri-tip roast on the baby Weber having with it rice pilaf, and a sweet pepper sauté yum yum. We invited Lana over as Doug was gone to the funeral.

7/20/07 Day 25 summer trip. Linda and I got up late about 8:00 a.m., had a cereal-fruit breakfast and met Lana and her two standard poodles for a North Fork River hike. We walked down stream about 2.5 miles. The dogs especially Meghan and Kate the one year old poodle started out being crazy running back and forth and chasing the occasional squirrel. By mile 4 of the hike they had really mellowed out and were moving much more slowly and deliberately. This is one of the most beautiful hikes I regularly do with moving water, big pine fir trees, huge cedar trees, many varieties of ferns, and a few flowers with always the possibility of a bear, deer, elk, moose, otters, and perhaps even a wolf. We got back at 11:30 a.m. all a bit tired but happy for the hike. I snoozed in the 5th wheel for a couple hours as it was a relatively cool today at a high of 85 F. I made sour kraut, poatatoes, and pork chops for dinner.

7/21/07 Day 26 summer trip. I made French Toast and bacon for breakfast. Next Meghan and I walked up an old logging road to ridge over looking the camp ground. It was 1.5 miles long and 800’ of elevation. I rested on my back under a Red Alder tree for an hour after reaching the top. Returned back to my truck and took a ride upstream to my raft put-in points. The first is 4.1 miles from Aquarius site 1 and the 2nd one on a nice sandy beach is 6.3 miles. All I need now is a companion to go with me. So far I haven’t had any luck finding some one to go with me, as those 65 year olds are mostly total wimps. The weather seems to be holding at reasonable low of 62 F. and high of 84 F today. Returned home and got on the computer for couple hours. Grilled filet mignon with bulls eye barbecue sauce and rice pilaf with vegetables for dinner. The Rooney’s arrived in the afternoon, so Linda and I walked over to their site to have nice long talk with Dianna. Fred was in bed not feeling well. Next I walked over to the Larsen’s site and had a nice long conversation with them. They are full time RV people. He retired early at 60 as an accountant from Boeing and now at 75 is on a tight budget but yet seems to have a very enjoyable outgoing life style. They work occasionally at parks or RV shows, do lots of fishing, get around using their quad ATV’s, and are quite the authority about the area in almost any RV park or campground they visit. Next Meghan and I walked down to Elke and Peter Braunlich site for campfire with their young grand daughters, my Linda, and Lana Willingham. It was a late night for bed at 10:30 p.m.

7/22/07 Day 27 summer trip. Got up at 8:15 a.m. and had a light breakfast. Meghan, Linda, and I headed for Heritage Grove trail to hike out into the Mallard Larkin’s Wilderness area. We missed the trail to Mallard Larkin’s Wilderness, so we only ended up hiking about 2 miles in towards Heritage Grove and then returned. We met a group of 3 horsemen and two golden lab dogs coming out, fortunately all quite friendly. When we returned to camp Joe Herring had arrived and the Giengers. I spent most of the day talking to Bob & Paula Lockhert, Rooney’s, Giengers, and Joe Herring. The high today in the shade was 93 F. We had a birthday cake a campfire for Rooney’s daughter Krystal. The mosquitoes were terrible biting right through my capilene long sleeve shirt.

7/23/07 Day 28 summer trip. I spent the morning getting the 5th wheel ready for travel tomorrow. 63 F low last night. High so far today at 3:30 p.m. is 93F. Camper’s coming in say that the temperature will reach 100 F. + in a day or two, so we are heading out tomorrow for an RV Park with full hook ups and especially electricity for the AC. We all celebrated Lana Willingham’s birthday 60 and Scarlet Willingham’s birthday 64 at campfire. Scarlet made her own birthday cake a German Dutch Chocolate concoction that was really excellent with or without vanilla ice cream which we provided. The Rooney’s provide 3 bottles of quite good champagne for the celebration. I guess I did not realize how much I had as I was really hung over the next day.

7/24/07 Day 29 summer trip. I got early and made my sour dough huckleberry pan cakes. I took my batter and grill down to Stan Gienger’s campsite where he provided coffee and bacon. The Rooney’s provided regular and spicy sausage. I would say 16 people showed up for our farewell huckleberry pancake breakfast. Yes the pancakes did taste quite good and where light. Scarlet Willingham provided me the berries from the St. Joe River area and they excellent large berries. These berries only found in the Pacific Northwest are rarely seen in a commercial store and if you did find them they would cost a fortune. Picking them is usually one of our normal activities but not this year. We got underway at 10:30 a.m. and drove to Orofino. We decided to stay at the Pink House NFS campground which has full hook ups and only cost us $9 per night with my Access card discount of 50%. It was great to have AC and to take a long hot shower. Camping in the wild for a week makes one appreciate the little thinks in life.

7/25/07 Day 30 summer trip. I drove 10 miles to Orofino to make some phone calls and to see the new Clearwater Crossing RV Park. All sites on the new park are right on the river. It is all asphalt with 50 amp service and unsecure WIFI. The total price of back-in sites are $23 and pull through are $27. I returned back to the Pink House NFS park. We had one of the two sites right on the river at a cost of $9 per night after my ACCESS pass 50% discount. This park is hard to beat for a close to town park. I dumped all of the past week refuse and got set up to travel. We decided to drive out to a NFS RV Park called Dent Acres on the Dworshak Reservoir. It was 20 miles with lots of 8% grade both up and down. It is really a damned portion of the lower North Fork of the Clearwater River, the same heavily forested river we camped on up stream at Aquarius for the past week. The remote 47 site camp ground is on a hill side adjacent to the river with huge grassy sites and a few trees. All sites have full hook up with 50 amp service and only cost $9 per night with my discount. We picked a site that had an opening to the south for our satellite TV reception. This NFS campground was built mostly for recreational power boaters and fisherman. The facilities are excellent and are on a large scale which is amazing, considering how remote it is. The two lane boat dock is one of the longest paved boat docks I have ever seen. There is extensive parking for boats, large group picnic areas, fish cleaning house, and a huge double dock where apparently you can moor your boat during your stay. There are a couple trails close by for hiking. It is definitely dryer than the Aquarius area during this time of year. It must be very beautiful a month or two earlier in the year as there are huge grassy areas all over the facility for play and perhaps running your dog. This place needs careful driving to reach however, as the route from Orofino has some 8% grade and the other Elk River route has 20 miles of gravel road apparently without much grade. We plan on taking the Elk River route out on Friday. There are no concessionaires at all out here so you must bring everything you need. I would like to schedule a week here sometime and rent a power ski type boat in Orofino for fishing, pleasure cruising, and remote camping at a wilderness site. It was in the high 90’s so we spent most the remainder of the day in the 5th wheel with the AC blowing on us full blast while watching satellite TV. As the day approached sunset around 9:00 p.m. in this high latitude, we toured the camp ground on foot with Meghan on leash.

7/26/07 Day 31 summer trip. After breakfast we took the truck and looked for a NFS trail near Dent Bridge, but could not find it. Linda, Meghan, and I decided to do a 3 mile walk on a trail near our camp ground along the reservoir. The shores are cut in steps, but it still seems somewhat natural and is not nearly as gross looking as some reservoirs I have been to. Meghan got quite heated from the sun so we cut our walk off a bit early. Linda got in several TV crime shows during the afternoon. We had barbecued Costco fillets for dinner.

7/27/07 Day 32 summer trip. We got up at 7:00 a.m. while it was a cool 69 F., showered, had breakfast, packed up and were on our way by 8:00 a.m. We headed out on the 20 miles of gravel road north towards Elk City. The road was excellent in spite of the fact that it was gravel. In a couple of miles we had an spectacular view of the reservoir from a very high vantage point, so I stopped to snap a photo. The next 20 miles was serious logging country. One had better stay on your side of the road or those huge logging trucks will wipe you out. After reaching Elk City we saw a sign for 3 water falls marked as a tourist point of interest only 2.5 miles off the highway. I took the trailer in on what turned out to be a scary single lane road with low limbs over head. I made it in OK without meeting anyone. The 1 mile hike to the falls was beautiful, on an old wagon trail road. Meghan went crazing chasing the squirrels up the large Douglas fir trees. The trail looped over the several falls and was really pretty. I made it out of the scary road to highway 3, only meeting one very courteous Washington driver who waited patiently for me to pull by him. We drove through some beautiful NF and wheat farm country arriving in Coeur d’ Alene, ID about 1:15 p.m. I decided to go the Splash.n.Dash Truck & RV Wash to get all that dirt road dust off my truck and 5th wheel. It cost $73 for doing the trailer including the roof and the pick up truck. It took 2.5 hours including the waiting to get it done, but my rig has never been cleaner. We then checked into the Blackwell Island RV Resort in Coeur d’ Alene. We ate at the Cedar’s floating restaurant for dinner.

7/28/07 Day 33 summer trip.Got up early doing some computer work and then took Meghan for a walk at a nearby BLM park and boat landing area across the street. Linda after playing solitaire, shut the computer down and got the dreaded blue screen of death. I talked to Tom Pautler and he suggested doing a system restore. I tried it on normal & safe mode and all I got was the blue screen of death. I will try to do some searches on Google for a fix when I can get on the internet. The computer actual runs OK except on shut down it immediately goes to the blue screen of death, so I guess I can live with it for a while. At 2:30 p.m. we visited our friends Tom & Suzie Pautler at their home in Newman Lake about 20 miles from our RV Park. We had a great time having appetizers and visiting with them in their beautiful house while viewing their expansive meadow out from their deck and living room windows. We did a thorough perusal of their 5th wheel trailer and decided that we like it better than our own trailer. They made us spare ribs, potato salad, coleslaw, and deviled eggs with an excellent Cabernet Sauvignon wine for dinner.

7/29/07 Day 34 summer trip. I drove to Great Harvest Bread Company this morning to buy cinnamon rolls for breakfast. Yum yum. We spent the day making phone calls and shopping. I bought a Harmony 720 universal remote from Costco for the trailer and the home tv/video/audio equipment control. I can’t program it until I am able to get on the internet. We met the Pautlers at the Hunters Restaurant at 3:30 p.m. They specialize in game meat. Tom and I ordered elk loin steaks with brandy sauce, mushrooms, red baked potatoes, elk vegetable soup, honey carrots, and a broccoli vegetable crossed with asparagus. The Elk and the entire dinner was really excellent at a reasonable price. This restaurant needs to be an annual event for me.

7/30/07 Day 35 summer trip. Got up about 7:30 a.m. to another cinnamon roll and coffee. I got all pollutants dumped and head north 46 miles to Sandpoint, ID to visit Doug and Lana Willingham at their beautiful house a on Kootenay Bay. We arrived there at 10:00 a.m. and got park with electrical hook ups. I immediately got on Lana’s WIFI and started updating my web site. I hope to repair my blue screen of death while I am here. I am searching as we speak on a website called the first one brought up by google. Nothing good to report so far, I need to do more searching. No luck repairing my laptop, but it is still working good. Lana thinks it will degrade with time and I will have to reload my entire windows xp operating system. Linda did some laundry. Doug’s dogs especially puppy Kate was happy to see Meghan. The two of them played for hours. Doug made some fresh pesto with his fresh basil that was excellent with bagel chips. We spent the pleasant balmy day lounging on Doug’s new deck overlooking the lagoon.

7/31/07 Day 36 summer trip. Linda and I both got haircuts today in Sandpoint. I decided to subscribe to Carbonite an online website for data backup in case my laptop crashes. It cost $50 per year for unlimited space. Of course you must be on line and it takes about 10 days to backup 20GB. Doug made us a nice grilled salmon dinner with rice and I provided a nice bottle of wine for our farewell night. Doug’s noisy neighbor is gone now to Doug’s immense satisfaction.

8/1/07 Day 37 summer trip. We left Sandpoint about 9:30 a.m. for Wenatchee, WA. To our surprise we met the Giengers on the road about 60 miles from Wenatchee, so we decided to drive in together. We arrived about 3:30 p.m. at the hot County Park. It was in high 90’s and I was really tired from the trip, heat, and dehydration from drinking wine the past 5 days. I made fried rice mostly for Linda. I went to bed early and slept well.

8/2/07 Day 38 summer trip. Stan and I decided to do a 5 mile float on the Wenatchee River from Cashmere to our campground which is right on the river. It was a very enjoyable easy class 1 & 2 float with beautiful scenery through fruit orchards. At 5:30 p.m. we and the Giengers headed north to the German tourist town of Leavenworth. On the way we stopped at very nice fruit stand where we bought peaches, Bing cherries, huge fresh blueberries, peach butter honey, cherry preserves, etc. We are in a large beautiful fertile river valley famous for its orchards and produce. Leavenworth was touristy but fun. We toured several shops and then had a German dinner which was the worst dinner I have had in years. We forgot to ask the locals where to eat and paid the price. Later we went to a Gelato shop and had a wonderful Cherry concoction to die for. Came home and watched the new TV show called BURN NOTICE. Had to get up in the middle of night and lower the awning because of wind.

8/3/07 Day 39 summer trip. Got up at 8:30 and had cereal with bananas and fresh blueberries. We drove to Cashmere River park to give Meghan a short two mile run along the river. Next we went to the Aplets and Cotlets factory for a tour. This is the only place in the world where this candy is made and it is sold all over the world including Costco stores. They are delicious when fresh, are made from fresh apples & apricots, no preservatives, kind of like healthy gummy bears. After lunch we drove to Ohme Gardens. It is another amazing garden overlooking the Columbia River all made on a bare rocky landscape into a lush garden of trees, shrubs, flowers, and pools by one man and his wife. It cost $7 per person but well worth the cost to provide funding to maintain this beautiful place.

8/4/07 Day 40 summer trip. Stan and I decided to do another raft run on the Wenatchee River. The rafts were all ready to go and we got very fast for another very enjoyable float on this beautiful river. I want to come back bad next year in June when the water will be higher creating class 2 and 3 rapids. We stopped at a local bar afterward and found out that a 50 year old women who was tube floating got tangled up with some strainer logs, getting sucked under and she drowned. I stopped at a local bakery and bought some sour dough bread with wheat and walnut flour that was to die for. I never spent $8 on a loaf of bread before but it was worth it. I will never come here again without buying some of this bread. We and the Giengers had dinner together at our 5th wheel. We provided corn on the cob, sour dough wheat walnut bread, tri-tip barbecued roast, wine, and Joy Rey Gienger provided a delicious green salad. The temperature subsided to low 80’s on shade side of our trailer, so it was a quite pleasant dinner party. We cleaned up the dishes and went over to the Giengers for a campfire.

8/5/07 Day 41 summer trip. We said good bye to the Giengers and headed south to Maryhill State Park. We got one of the last sites available but could only stay one night as all sites were reserved the next few nights. The weather was very pleasant in the low 80”s. I gave Meghan several walks around the campground. Watched some satellite network TV shows and retired at 10:00 p.m. which is late for me.

8/6/07 Day 42 summer trip. I got up early walked Meghan and made cheese omelets breakfast for Linda. We left Mayhill about 11:00 a.m. heading southwest along the Columbia River and through the beautiful Columbia Gorge. We stopped at a small NFS campground called Herman Creek for a rest and a hike with Meghan. The trail headed abruptly up 800’ for a mile to the top edge of the gorge and teed in with the Pacific Crest Trail. It was a short hike but strenuous, very beautiful with a view of the river at the top. The north exposure of this slope rarely saw sun, hence lots of moss and ferns. We continued on, stopping at Troutdale to buy something at Camping World. Arrived in Albany about 4:00 p.m. and checked into the Blue Ox RV Park. This park had very nice facilities including good wifi, so we decided to stay here 2 nights.

8/7/07 Day 43 summer trip. Linda cleaned the trailer and did our laundry today. I talked to people and did lots of work on my laptop. The Carbonite internet backup software has now done 15GB out of the 21GB I have to do. The first 30 days are free, but will I get it backed up by then?

8/8/07 Day 44 summer trip. We got on the road at 9:00 a.m. driving south to Eugene and the west to Florence. The drive west through Siuslaw NF was very beautiful even though it was heavily logged/ clear cut here and there. We arrived at the Heceta Beach RV Park around 1:00 p.m. After getting set up we drove to Weber’s Seafood restaurant in Florence for lunch. I had large fried oysters’ yum yum. At the seafood market I bought some smoked albacore, fresh Dungeness crab, fresh Dove Sole, and some sour dough bread to help with my ongoing seafood diet while visiting this coast town. From our 5th wheel site we walked 2 blocks to the beautiful pristine Heceta Beach. The tide was out perhaps 200 yards. There was a stream coming in here with huge chunks of drift wood along it. The walking was easy unless you walked inland out of the 200 yard sand area, as the surface then changed to large sand dunes. Meghan was allowed off leash and had a great time running and digging in the loose sand. It was a bit cool and windy in low 60’s which was too cool for Linda, so we only walked a couple miles. We had fried fresh Dover sole for dinner, which was excellent.

8/9/07 Day 45 summer trip. The low was 58 F. last night. Expected high today will be in the low 70’s with broken clouds. This is very pleasant weather. We got up late about 9:00 a.m. I made a cheddar cheese omelet with fresh Dungeness crab, sour dough toast, strawberry preserves, and coffee for breakfast. I gave Meghan a bath while we both showered in the 5th wheel. We went to the Heceta lighthouse about 11 miles north of Heceta. They claim that it is the most photographed lighthouse in the world. It sure is beautiful. It’s a steep ½ mile walk up to see it. The view of the bay is outstanding. After an hour at the lighthouse we drove a couple miles north to Washburn State Park and did a 3 mile walk on its beautiful beach. Meghan was allowed off leash and had a wonderful rump on the sand and in the surf. I believe that the Oregon coast beaches are most expansive, pristine, and beautiful in the world. You can walk for miles on flat sand with an occasional stream coming in. Some areas have lots of interesting drift wood also. It was 2:00 pm. now and I was tired from walking on the sand so we came home and I napped for 2.5 hours. I got up and we drove to very scenic Old Town on the shores of the Siuslaw river outlet into the ocean in Florence and toured the shops. After a bit of shopping we had dinner at the upscale ICM seafood restaurant on silts over the river. The seafood was really fresh and very good. The ocean going fishing boats deliver seafood right to the restaurant’s back door. The restaurant gets their pick and the rest is shipped to San Francisco, so food here is 2-3 days fresher than what the San Francisco’s restaurants get. I had a seafood puff pastry pie and Linda had a seafood salad. We came home and watched BURN NOTICE on satellite TV.

8/10/07 Day 46 summer trip. I had to turn on the heater this morning as it dropped down to 45 F. last night brr brr. We drove to Sutton Recreation Area just 3 miles north of Heceta Beach. It is in Siuslaw NF. It had a nice campground, streams, lakes, trails, and beach access. We decided to drive to the beach access point and hike Alder trail along Alder Creek to the ocean. This trail along the creek was beautiful flowing through the wooded sand dunes. The water was fresh, crystal clear, and Meghan had a great time running around in the water and the sand. We walked south along the stream for two miles and never did find a trail to the beach so we turned back to the car. We were totally alone in wooded wild pristine dunes, a totally fantastic hike in such a beautiful environment. We were hungry when we got back to the truck so we headed for the ICM seafood restaurant. I had steamed clams and Linda had a large bowl of clam chowder which was to die for. Next we stopped at the Crab Kettle fish market to buy shrimp for tomorrow’s dinner with Paul Flashenberg. We then headed south to the Oregon Dunes Recreation Area. The first part was almost all sand with lots of ATV’s and trails. After about 4 miles into the dunes, they had some vegetation on them and ATV’s were not allowed in this area. We stopped at a turn out and walked about a ½ mile over very soft sand to the beach. Walking on this stuff is really hard work.

8/11/07 Day 47 summer trip. We drove south 13 miles south to Tahkenitch Campground where we met Paul Flashenberg at 12 noon. Paul, Linda, Meghan our Irish terrier, Jack a bearded collie, and I started on Tahkenitch 6.5 mile hike. The first ½ mile was in thick heavy boreal forest. Then we hit a mile of huge sand dunes, but fortunately it was mostly down hill. We then encountered a 1/2 mile of wooded dunes with easier walking. Next was a mile of beautiful sandy beach. Paul found the markers to leave the beach and we head back east through some uphill dunes to 3 mile lake. Meghan ran down the steep incline to the fresh water lake for a drink and decided to run the 200 yards back up to us. She started running real fast but after 100 yards her pace changed to a walk which was really funny. Unfortunately Jack and Meghan had a couple of dog encounters, the first one being about Jack getting water in front of Meghan. Mostly they got along well but we kept a watchful eye on them. The remainder of the hike was through thick boreal forest and had 640’ of uphill. I left my camera on a bench about 2 miles from the end, but when I discovered it, I was too tired to make the trek back up the hill to get it. Although I was dead tired the hike was probably in the top 10 most beautiful hikes I have been on and I enjoyed it allot. We finished the hike and we all returned to the 5th wheel. We made barbecued shrimp, fillet mignon, Swiss chard, and rice pilaf for dinner. Paul provided the Chardonnay and we had a very enjoyable dinner. I went to bed early about 9:00 p.m. very tired from the days activities.

8/12/07 Day 48 summer trip. I could ‘t sleep past 6:00 a.m. so I decided to get up and go back to the Tahkenitch trail and look for my camera. I walked 2 miles to the bench where I had remembered leaving the camera and found a note saying that it was found and would be left with the campground host. I returned the 2 miles to parking lot and to my pleasant surprise found that she had it. I returned to the trailer for a big breakfast and some rest. Around noon we decided to drive 20 miles north to Perpetua Visitor Center to do a 2 mile hike along a pretty stream to a giant 500 year old Spruce Tree. It was huge. We returned and had an early dinner at the ICM restaurant along Siuslaw River.

8/13/07 Day 49 summer trip. We got on 101 south about 9:00 a.m. This Oregon coast highway is sure beautiful. The sand dunes continued for about 80 miles along with heavy forest to the east, which was heavily logged and clear cut in some areas. At about 100 miles south we entered the very beautiful Cape Blanco SP. It had two camp grounds (one being a horse camp), several historic buildings, a light house and miles and miles of beautiful beach. I parked the 5th wheel on a cliff parking area with a view of the beach and light house. We opened up the slides and window shades, enjoyed the wonderful view, and cranked up the micro wave to heat left over Hawaiian pizza from two nights back. We then took Meghan off leash on a nice trail down to the beach. Much of the scenic coast line in this area has, what appear to be huge volcanic rocks sticking up out of the ocean. Meghan really enjoyed exploring all the strange rocks and crustaceans on the sandy beach. We left and continued down the coast to our destination at the Whale Head Resort RV Park just 4 miles north of Brooking. The city of Gold Beach 20 miles north which has the Rogue River flowing into the ocean is an impressive boating and fishing area. I bought fresh green ling cod to barbecue for dinner. It is actually light green in color but turns white when cooked. It was so fresh and sweet, what a treat yum yum. Our RV park is really lovely and well manicured in the tall trees. There is a tunnel under 101 to a SP beach. No WIFI or satellite TV, but there is 30 channels of cable TV with TNT to Linda’s delight.

8/14/07 Day 50 summer trip. Got up late and had breakfast. We drove across 101 to Whales Head SP this foggy morning to walk Meghan a couple miles on the beach. As usual Linda was wearing shoes that she did not want to get wet so we had problems crossing the small creek that was in our way heading south where the beach was open. We did about a 3 mile hike and then came home for lunch. I had a dozen fresh sautéed oysters which I had purchased in Gold Beach last night. They were outstanding and only cost $4.50. We then drove to Brookings 5 miles south to see the 6,500 population town. A river the Chetco meets the ocean here, but is not as scenic as the Gold Beach town to the north. We visited Azalea Park in town which was pretty but had virtually no azalea blooms this time of year. We then drove 8 miles east along the river to Loeb SP. The drive was not pretty because it was filled mostly with poor white trash double wide trailer parks. The park on the river was OK with a huge rocky and sandy beach being used by lots of kids. We started on the river trail but ran into two big mean looking dogs that seem to threaten Meghan so we left. We drove to Gold Beach to buy fudge and fresh fish. I bought Red Rock fish for dinner, shucked oysters for lunch tomorrow, wild frozen local salmon, and frozen Oregon halibut. I barbecued the Red Rock fish which was good but not as good as the green ling cod the night before.

8/15/07 Day 51 summer trip. It is another cloudy foggy morning which puts Linda in a bad mood. She doesn’t like the fog. I kind of like it for the cool temperatures it produces. Its really heavy and rolling around like billowing smoke. We decided to find a veterinarian to treat Meghan’s dermatitis on here belly and between her back legs. We drove to 30 miles to Crescent City California, but could find no vet who would treat her today. Finally after some research we finally found a very busy vet in Brookings, OR. He discussed Meghan’s situation with us and recommend only treating her with a $22 medicated soap twice a week and a standard human adult Benadryl tab if she started itching herself allot. He didn’t even charge us an office call. We stopped at Grocery Outlet for fresh spinach, cheese, and wine. This place had fantastic bargains. We stopped at Lone Ranch Wayside, a tide pool area on the beach on the way home give Meghan a 3 mile rump on the beach. We had flash frozen barbecued wild salmon, spinach, Chardonnay wine, and rice for dinner. The salmon was outstanding and I need to return the Fishman’s Direct market to buy some more for the road.

8/16/07 Day 52 summer trip. Got up late around 9:00 a.m. and cooked cheese omelets with English muffins and whipped fresh peach honey spread. My computer gets another infected file put into quarantine folder every day. I want to buy a back up fire wire portable hard drive ASAP before the computer self destructs totally. Perhaps Eureka will have a Costco or Best Buy where I can buy one. Linda is washing and shopping today as our next campsite in Humboldt SP has no hook ups or facilities available.

Last updated on February 6, 2019