Pacific N/W Trip 2020

Diary of Roger and Linda's Pacific N/W trip - August-Septemper 2020

08/6/20 day 1 Linda, Charlie dog, and I left this morning driving our 2004 diesel truck towing our 2005 Titanium 5th wheel for our Pacific SW summer rv trip to the Pacific N/W. We love RV’ing and travelling to the US park systems. We decided to by pass LA to avoid traffic by staying on hwy 395 to Krammers four Corners and then going N/W to Bakersfield via Tehachapi. Arrived in Bakersfield around 3 pm and attempted to check into the River Run RV Park, but they had no record of receiving my internet reservation. I found out that the reservation service had booked us at the River Run Resort instead of the RV Park. Tried to cancel the Resort reservation but they would not do it. The RV Park I was at, said I could go ahead and stay with them for 1/2 price $25 so I took up his offer. He put me in one of his best sites pull through with shade near the office. I have stayed here several times before and I guess the manager wanted to keep my business. The temperature was about 97 F. but very dry and under the shade trees it was very comfortable. Had to buy new fresh water pressure relief valve and hose to get water into trailer. Also had to redo 2 fittings on sewer hoses to get sewage disposal system working. They had a store with good supply of parts so that was quite convenient. Brought Barley soup from home which we had dinner. Watched 2 “Mc Leods Daughters” episodes on TV using my iphone which has an entire season of down loaded one hour episodes. Went to bed and slept well.


08/7/20 day 2 Got up late and went to Costco at 10 am nearby for diesel fuel and to see Costco hearing aid technician. This is the busiest Costco I have ever been in. Most shopping lines were 20 long. I was able to get into the hearing aid department right away and had my left aid adjusted properly to fit into my hear. I do not believe that Bakersfield was impacted very severely by COVI19 as streets any stores were all very busy. I guess farming and the oil business is not concerned much about covid19 and is mostly carrying on business as usual. Got on the hwy 99 north at 11 am. Enjoyed the massive agricultural San Joaquin Valley scenery a lot. I still have fund memories of my days farming in Wisconsin while growing up. Highway 99 has improved immensely from years past. We arrived at River Point Landing Marina- Stockton around 5:30pm. The final 3 miles was through an upscale area with huge mansions located on the main San Joaguin Delta river channel. We got checked in quickly and found spot with a nice view of the cannel and marina. We discovered that this marina RV park was a party spot for many speed boaters who cruised the fresh water Delta system. We had water and electrical but no sewer. We were so tired, but after parking the 5th wheel we socialized for nearly an hour with our friendly neighbors who had come from the Bay area for water sports and partying. Linda and I were so tired and did not feel like cooking, so we had dry cereal with milk for dinner. Linda did more socializing and I went to bed about 9:00pm.


08/8/20 day 3 By 5:30am the speed boats on the huge delta channel were out in full force and full speed. I got out of bed and showered. We had some of my home made blue berry scones for breakfast. YUM YUM We began to leave the marina but ended up on a dead end road on the island and had to back up about 2/3 of a city block to get back out onto the correct exit road!!! No street signs to speak of on this island! I bet hundreds of vehicles with towed trailers have done like wise over the history of this man made island. After gassing up on diesel we started the next leg of our journey to Eureka, Ca. The first 75-100 miles was through the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta farming area. Crops really grow well here. Dikes were built around future fields. The water was pumped out and the fertile fields were left dry for planting crops of all kinds. This procedure started way back before the California Gold Rush. Most of the labor for this project were Chinese itinerate workers. The farm land owners really got rich making and using this farmland. The land was cheap to buy, labor to drain the land was cheap coollie labor, fertile land produced extraordinarily well, and the Chinese labor force knew how to grow and produce rice. Of course the present day Naturalist to not approve of draining the wet lands to make food. The duck hunters of California actually have been successful at returning some of the land back to wet lands now being used for hunting duck preserves and also preserves for other wetland birds. We avoid all off the
San Francisco freeways by staying in the wetland roads until we reach hwy 101. The wine area on highway 101 was very scenic and appeared recovered from the fires a couple years back. We reached Shoreline RV Park in Eureka around 4:30 pm and got checked in with no problems. Our site was located on a wetland estuary which was very scenic. Temperature was a wonderful moderate 69 F. The main reason for coming to the coast. I made fried bratwurst and a onion, shredded potato, & sauerkraut mixture to top the bratwurst served on Kings Hawaiian hamburger buns with Dijon mustard. Broke out a nice bottle of South American Malbec to have with the bratwurst and my home made date, pecan, chocolate chip, oatmeal cookies.


08/9/20 day 4 Slept late in the cool beach air until 9:00am. Had a bagel and coffee for breakfast. Got on the road at 10 am. It was only 110 miles to Gold Beach Oregon, but it took us 4 hours to reach Turtle Rock RV Park as the coastal road was quite treacherous with man hair pin turns, steep hills both up and down causing me to brake and shift down into low gears. The scenery was breath taking with beautiful rocky coast lines, mixed forest with huge old growth trees, and lots of redwood groves. I wanted to stop often, but parking was usually not adequate for my long rig 48’+ rig. We did stop once right on the coast at moderately high view point of an ocean scene with numerous huge photographic looking rocks. The waves were pretty and high. I got my tripod out with Fuji xt4 camera and Fuji 16mm 1.4 lens. I stayed there 45 minutes taking both stills and video. It was full sun harsh lighting around 1 pm in afternoon. I had trouble with the video as I really needed a neutral density filter to shoot the video properly. Linda talked to a couple next to us painting the scene. They were both artists and lived in North Park San Diego. They had been traveling for 2 months with van and little trailer. We continued on and arrived at Turtle Rock RV Park around 4:30 am and got checked in without any trouble.


08/10/20 day 5 Slept to 10 am this morning. Temperature this sunny morning at 11:00am is 68 F. This pleasant temperature is the main reason we headed for the Pacific N/W. I made cheese omelets served with fried ham, and toasted English muffins with peach jam for breakfast. Got my computer gear all set up and started working on this diary. The wind today was 8-14 mph, to much for Linda to take a hike on the beach. We had trouble setting up our satellite because one of 3 satellites number 29 was behind a tall tree on the ridge tree line above us. Linda tried for a different site but they claimed all booked up. Linda should not come to this camp ground again as I think most sites have this problem. She can not live without her TV shows including the reruns. Unfortunately we can not get most of the major networks. I am looking into the app but for the TV networks they seem to have free ABC only. We want CBS and NBC. Around 5 pm we decided to take the 1/2 mile walk to the Pacific Ocean beach. The sand here is about 1/4 mile wide much of it very loose. Charlie dog went crazy running around in circles in the loose sand. Got to cold after reaching the water and came back to the trailer and prepared dinner.


08/11/20 day 6 Got up at 9 am and prepared buttermilk blueberry pancakes with bacon for breakfast. We decided to drive north about 10 miles to Otter Point Recreation area. When I started our diesel truck the engine advisory light came on and it did start, but engine light stayed on and I had only 1/2 power. The park people recommended Kerries Auto across the street. When I started the diesel this time it ran normal, but engine light was still on. I had the mechanic check the error code and he told me that it was a injector wiring error. I had him reset the code so I can tell if it comes back. He said this could be a glitch and it may never come back or it could return in 10 minutes. We decided to go ahead and drive to Otter Point. We had no problems and this scenic recreation area was awesome. I walked down to the view point on a trail that I found out later was not the official trail to the scenic point. It was quite scary and actually had a rope to scale down the last 30 yards to the beach. I made it in and out without falling and returned to the truck where Linda was waiting. She had found the official trail down which we both took. I got some great photos of the beach and rock formations. Got back and had snacks for lunch. Truck is still working fine, but it is a scary situation to be in. That dam truck has cost me dearly with aggravation and loss of cash for the past year. Returning we stopped just across the Roque River bridge which had a marina and several shops, restaurants, and fish markets. I photographed an old steam ship wreck which was a popular tourist attraction. Got home about 3 pm skipping lunch today. Foe dinner, we had spaghetti with homemade sauce which I brought from home. Also had salad and a nice red Malbec wine with the dinner.


08/12/20 day 7 Had trouble sleeping tonight because of the truck problems. Tried play solitaire on BBO but the app kept dropping off because of low band width. I think they turn off the cell towers up here at night because it works fine in the morning with good band width. Had breakfast at 9:30 am and returned to auto shop and discussed truck injector wiring error advisement I got on the truck yesterday. He said he could not likely find the problem if the error code was not active. He recommended I keep driving it until it happens again and then take it in to a shop. Linda and I decided to stay here at Turtle Rock RV park with present reservations dates and then head home the same way we came. I called the other parks north we intended to visit and cancelled the reservations.


08/13/20 day 8 I booked a 3 night reservation at Redwood Meadow RV Park with full hookups about 110 miles south of here. It is right next to both a State and National Redwood park so we will spend time walking on their trails. Temperature should be moderate in the 70’s as it is only inland a short distance from the coast. Next we will drive to Sonoma Fairgrounds RV Park in Santa Rosa. After that we will drive to Bakersfield RiverRun RV park. Next day we will drive back to San Diego.


08/14/20 day 9 The wind subsided and temperature increased this morning to the mid 70’s. My phone reception has really been weird being best around 10 am. While bbo actually works for a few hours. It seems like they actually may turn off or cut back the cell towers at night!! I started on walk to the beach with Linda because it got windy and cold near the beach. I returned and she stayed about 45 minute letting Charlie dog run around on the beach soft sand.


08/15/20 day 10 Started packing up for trip south to Crescent City tomorrow. The weather and wind was mild this morning so we did a 2 mile walk on the beach toward the south. Charlie Dog loves that soft sand and goes crazy on this beach. Returned to trailer talking at bit to a couple of neighbors.


08/16/20 day 11 We left for Crescent City about 9:00am. The diesel went into limp mode 3 times within 10 miles. Stopping the engine and restarting it reset and engine returned to normal. I was petrified about getting stranded in the high redwoods with no phone service for calling a tow truck. I discovered that keeping the head lights turned off seamed to stop the problem. I was able to drive all the way to Crescent City with out engine going into limp mode. We made it to Redwood Meadows RV Park and got checked in for a 3 day stay. I called all service shops in Crescent City and Eureka area finding out the no one could get us in for 1 week or more and some had 1 month wait time. We decided to buy a new diesel truck. Chevy had no stock any where. I tried Dodge dealer Lithia Chrysler Dodge Jeep Fiat of Eureka and found a RAM 2500 LARAMIE CREW CAB 4x4 LONG BOX fully equipment with all kinds of cool optional equipment to be in stock. We made an appointment for tomorrow morning around 10 am.


08/17/20 day 12 We left about 8:00 for the Lithia dealer in Eureka about 2.5 hours away. We left the trailer at the RV park near Crescent City. The truck made it to the dealer with some limp mode episodes about 10 am. We looked over the new truck with lots of questions and did a test ride. The out the door price with trade in, was about $80,000. It took for ever to close the deal with many forms to be reviewed and signed. They only gave me $4k for the old truck. I am quite sure if I had it fixed in San Diego for about $800 I could have sold it for between $10k- $15k. We had no other options as we needed a truck to get us and our trailer home. We closed the deal about 4 pm. The new truck needed a new hitch, brake/tail-light cable installed so we took it to a shop called the Bedliners Plus to have the hitched installed the next day. The dealer gave us a free Jeep rental car to drive the 2.5 hours back Crescent City where our trailer was located. We made it back at dark. We cooked left over spaghetti for dinner. Had wine with dinner celebrating our big new purchase today.


08/18/20 day 13 We drove back to Bedliners Plus to pick up the new truck. I decided also to buy a new black anodized tool box for the back of the new truck. The total cost of material and labor at this stored turned out to be about $3600. It is sure a good think that we can afford to pay for all this. About $84,000 total with the added insurance premium. We took the new truck back to the dealer to transfer the stuff we still had in the old truck tool boxes into the new truck. I also got a 1 hour training session on Uconnect from our salesman Brandon Demille. Returned to our trailer in the NEW TRUCK arriving home about 7:30am. We really enjoyed the scenic drive this time listening to music on the Harmon Kardon sound system with about 12 speakers in our new truck. This truck is really loaded with features. It will take weeks for me to learned and use all of them. Arrived back at the trailer around 7:30 pm.


08/19/20 day 14 Got up about 9:00 am and cooked French Toast for breakfast. I filled up new truck with all our travelling gear this morning. Next I removed the Anderson Red Hitch on my 5th wheel so the basic King Pin is left which will go into my B&W new hitch. My neighbor at the park used to be truck mechanic and he provided me with advise and a large socket which I did not have with me. I will really miss that Anderson Hitch because it was so easy to hook and unhook the trailer with it. I test connected the new hitch to the trailer via King Pin and the elevations of every thing seemed to be workable. I will not know for sure until I actually tow it however.


08/20/20 day 15 We attempted to drive a dirt road on the Stout road to see the Stout Redwood grove of trees, but it looked too narrow for an 80k new truck so I turned around and left this 6 mile off road type drive. I am looking forward to getting onto an off road trail to drive the new 4x4 truck on. We decided to visit the Jedediah SP picnic area, camp ground, and nature trail. This site was awesome right on the Smith River. We walked Charlie Dog down to the River and then also probably illegally walked the one mile nature trail with Charlie. The old growth Redwood trees were amazing. Returned to trailer and socialized with the neighbors for 2 hours. Some really friendly people in this Park. We decided to go out for dinner a small restaurant on the ocean called the Chart Room. They location was extremely scenic right on the ocean with a great view of sandy beaches and forested mountains in the back ground. A boat ramp was close by and many seals were exercising their vocal cords. The food was excellent and seating were picnic tables out side at least 6’+ apart. We have fish and chips, coleslaw, and deep fried oysters. A bit oily buy VERY tasty. I want to go back tomorrow to purchase Dungeness Crab Louie to go.


08/21/20 day 16 Got up and about 8 am and made blueberry butter milk pancakes for breakfast. They came out really good light and fluffy. This is our last day at the Redwood Meadows RV Park. It was a nice clean relatively scenic park but the WIFI reception really sucked. We went into town at noon today to buy groceries. Finally have room in the refrigerator for some chocolate ice cream bars. After shopping we went back to the Chart Room restaurant for lunch I order a Dungeness Crab Louie salad and Linda ordered Clam Chowder soup. Chowder was below average and the Louie was so so. Point Loma Seafood in San Diego is way better. The ambiance right on the ocean among the redwoods is very hard to beat however. Got hot in the middle the day so we delayed our walk through the redwoods along the Smith River until 5:30 pm.


08/22/20 day 17 Got on the road around 10 am hwy 101 toward Eureka Shoreline RV Park. Took us 3 hours to drive 85 miles on the curvy coast highway. Had several stops for road construction. There are several washout areas that are really scary. The locals want the road to be rebuilt inland. Stopped several times for photo opt’s as this is really a beautiful rugged coast line. Arrived at the RV park and got set up for 2 night stay. Did some crock pot cooking and relaxed after the nerve rack problems we had the past week. Later went to the Dodge dealer to ask some questions about the new truck. It really towed the trailer nicely on the way down here.


08/23/20 day 18 The temperature is so nice and cool here. High yesterday was 70 F. and low was about 50 F. last night. High today is even lower 65 F. We did a 3 mile walk on a trail through the bay slews which was absolutely beautiful. Soo green with lots of scenic old buildings and abandoned ships and docks. This trail goes right past our RV park and goes for miles in both directions. Probably one reason this park is so popular.


08/24/20 day 19 Left Eureka about 7:30am and got onto US 101 south toward Stockton River Point Landing Marina RV Park. We somewhat reluctant continuing south because of all the big fires going on near Santa Rosa area. We actually saw no fires along the 101 hwy but 30 miles north of Santa Rosa the smoke was thick making it look like early morning twilight. The smoke smell was quite bad. Traffic was not bad at all however there was lots of road construction slow downs. We took the same route as on the way up through the scenic San Joaquin slews. It was a long 8 drive and I was really tired when we arrived in Stockton. Temperature was in mid 90’s and our AC was successful in cooling us down.


08/25/20 day 20 We left Stockton about 9:00am and got on to hwy 99 to Bakersfield for our destination to River Run RV Park. The drive down on the well maintained road was pleasant and the scenery going through the farm belt of the San Joaquin Valley was awesome. We listened to a Harry Bosch novel on the Carplay audible books app most of the way which kept me from falling a sleep. The new truck performed very well and was very comfortable to ride in. The temperature when we arrived at the RV Park was 99 F. Check in required no physical contact as our packet posted on the side of check in building included all we needed. Our site did have shade trees and a concrete patio as we requested. Only bad part of this park is the hot climate during the summer. Our AC took 2-3 hours to cool down the trailer. We had my left over fried rice for dinner.


08/26/20 day 21 Got up about 9:00 am and cooked a peach flavored french toast and bacon for breakfast. Did 1.5 mile walk around the park after breakfast before it got too hot Next cleaned up the trailer interior a bit and got my diary up to date. Watched more recorded “Good Witch” Prime Video shows.


08/27/20 day 22. Got up about 7:00 am and had breakfast. It was about 75 F. and warming up quickly. I hooked up the trailer, and was on the road at 8:00 am It was a pleasant drive to San Diego and we reached home around 2:00 pm. It was very hot near 100 F. but we went ahead and unloaded most everything from the 5th wheel and retired into our nice cool air condition house for the rest of the day. The trip was good in spite of our problems, but of course it is always nice to be home again.

Last updated on September 15, 2020