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Tuesday, August 31, 2010

RV Down for Repairs

Yesterday Carol and I drove the Bounder down to Guaranty RV in Junction City, OR.  It is about 125 miles from home and took about 2.5 hours each way.  We towed our Honda CRV down with us and came home in it.

The Bounder had developed a small crack in the sidewall just under the bedroom slide out.  We had taken it to Camping World locally because they are the only location locally authorized to do Fleetwood warranty repairs.

They diagnosed the crack as a structural problem and Fleetwood authorized the fix but only if CW would guarantee if for a year which they were not willing to do.  So Guaranty in Junction City was the next nearest place.

So now we have to start all over again getting authorization.  I did keep the CW work order to give to the Guaranty folks and hopefully it will speed things up.

We had also developed a water leak in three places, two inside and one inside an outdoor cabinet under the living room slide.  I think all 3 are related as they all showed up at the same time and since it wasn’t raining outside, I suspect it is from the water supply.  I reported that to Guaranty folks too and hopefully they can fix it while it is there.

We were impressed with the service setup at Guaranty.  They seemed fairly well organized with lots of RVs coming in and out from service.  They also have a storage lot across the street with hookups where you can camp as long as you are getting serviced.

We hope to get our Bounder baby back in 2 weeks or so and hopefully all fixed and ready to go.  Our parking space out back looks really different without it.  Though maybe I can get in there now and trim the evergreens shorter while it is gone. They are already overgrowing the spot and hitting the RV.  I just had a major trim job done last year, but the new RV is bigger and I have to park it closer because the bedroom slide is much bigger.  When the wind blows this winter, I am afraid they could come close enough to scratch the side or dump sap on the roof.

I’ll let you know how the repairs go.  We’ve never used Guaranty before, so this is a first for us.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Guns, Dredges, Birds, and Driftwood

We were originally planning to have lunch with our son Jonathan in Longview.  It would be about a 90 minute drive for us, but only 45 minutes for him while on his way back to Shelton.  But the timing really didn’t work well.  We would have been having dinner at 3:30 or so which is just way too early.  So we reluctantly had to cancel those plans and will try to get with him another time to celebrate.

We went on up to the interpretative center which sits above the ruins of one of the old batteries guarding the Columbia River.  Fort Canby was one of three batteries guarding the river mouth from just after the Civil War until just after WWII.

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There are three major gun emplacements in this battery, each having guns of up to 10 inch bores.  They could throw a projectile about 7 mile, easily enough range to protect the area.  Below is one of the gun mounts at the Harvey Allen Battery, one of three in Fort Canby.

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You can also go inside the concrete works under the battery.  Here is one of the powder rooms.  The loader would open the bottom of the gun barrel, then ram in a shell followed by a number of powder bags (depending on the range desired), slam home the breech, and the gunner would aim and fire.  Then the process would start over again.

Too fast and the barrel is ruined from heat, too slow and the enemy knocks out your gun!

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Here is a picture of some of the guns.

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They are almost always on the back of the hill so that they are harder to spot and hit with counter-battery fire.  After touring the battery, we walked up to the interpretative center and looked out across the water.  There is a suction dredge working on the shipping channel and when the boat is loaded with sand, he comes near the jetty and connects the pump to a long pipe and pumps the sand through the pipe to be dumped.  More on this later in this post….

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There was also a rock full of Cormorants.  They just sat there all pretty much facing the dredge.  Maybe they were supervising!

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Carol, who took all these pictures, has this one to show all the driftwood that has piled up on Waikiki Beach.

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After lunch, our blog friends Bruce and Margie, stopped by to visit and brought their granddaughters.  We had a great time talking about many subjects including RV repairs.  They just had their backup camera monitor fixed after about 7 months of waiting for parts. 

After they left, I did some repairs to our rig.  First, one of the outside cabinet doors would randomly open while driving.  I readjusted the throw on the latch and hopefully made it longer and also tried to reposition the door.  Then I stuffed some pipe insulators on top of our washer under the cabinet top to help dampen the vibration.  Carol was able to put in a load to test it and I’d say the vibrations are down by about 75% and the noise by about 90%.  Time will tell for sure.

Then we took a walk on the beach.  While walking south, we came to where they are dumping the dredging sand.  The ship hooks up to the pipe in the water and forces the sand about a mile onto the west facing beach where they are rebuilding it because of all the sand lost over the winter.

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There is a guard here that won’t let you get any closer, but you can see that the tractor is huge.  It and the spreader on the left work 7 days a week with the dredge.  It takes about an hour for the dredge to load up, sail over to the pipe, hook up, and then pump the load through the pipe.  A massive project for sure.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Cape Disappointment – NOT!

When we last left this exciting story, it was before sunset.  Carol took many photographs of last night’s sunset and, as you can see, it was really colorful.

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We went to the fireworks which were supposed to start, at least according to the posted schedule, at 9:30.  We arrived in plenty of time, took our chairs, and walked down to the beach and onto the sand.  When we arrived, they were doing night flying demonstrations with the kites.  They use LED lights to really light up the kites, strings, and just about everything else.  Once again, we timed it to see the Windjammers.  Then there was another group was one more group that actually flew their kites for about 20 minutes.  As a result, the fireworks didn’t start until 9:55 or so.  Unfortunately, it was cold on the beach with a stiff breeze, fortunately at our back.

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I have a fellow football official who is a licensed pyrotechnician and he happened to be doing this show.  It was a short, but good show.  Nice work Darryl!

Today, we made several short journeys.  First we went to the Beard’s Hollow overlook.  This overlook is new and really has a nice view of the coast.

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Captain Beard was a sailor who lost his ship in this area.

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After that, we went through Long Beach but it was way too crowded and there were no parking spaces.  So we went to the Farmer’s Market in Ilwaco.  It is a small market with about 30 vendors, only one of which is actually selling produce.  The rest sell mostly craft items.

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The market is held right on the Marina so you can see many small ships and boats (by definition, boats can be carried on ships, not the other way around).  The one below is some kind of a work barge that actually has a ramp on the front end that can be lowered and something driven on board.

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While the marina was crowded and not too many empty berths, I was able to get a nice one, close in, for my extra yacht.

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Later we went down to the jetty so Carol could try her internet.  There is no wireless in the state park and the cell coverage is very poor.  My cell booster makes it marginally useful, but Carol’s computer doesn’t do as well.  So we found this spot near the jetty that had enough signal that she could get on the web.

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I’ve seen these navigational aids on the Columbia in many places and I’m guessing that you steer towards them, keeping the size of area in white equal and that tells you that you are on course.  When the next marker shows equal white, you turn in that direction and proceed lining up the markers.  There is also a light at the top so you can use its beam at night to navigate.

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Also while we were at the jetty earlier in the day, an eagle scout candidate was working on his project to build a windbreak for the picnic table.  His dad and mom were helping him.  He finished the project and when we came back, it was there, ready to go, except that some calk needs to dry.  In talking with the ranger, he was really appreciative of the project and wishes they could do several more!

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Carol went back to the jetty about 4:45 to post her blog and while there, took pictures of the birds.  The one below is interesting because you can see the same type of bird in two different phases of flight, one gliding with wings extended, and one with his wings folded getting ready to push down with them.

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We also heard that our son, Jonathan, has been selected to go on to trooper basic training.  Only about a third of his class was selected, so we are very proud of him.  He is the kind of person who makes up his mind and won’t let things get in his way.  Thankfully, with that attitude, he chose law enforcement and not some criminal enterprise! <g>

Friday, August 20, 2010

Krazy Kites

Today we left Cathlamet and went to Cape Disappointment, WA, just south of Long Beach.  An easy drive under partly cloudy skies that took about 90 minutes.  As we were driving down Hwy 401, we had a great view of the Columbia River.IMG_6612 Once we arrived at our campsite and got everything setup, we had lunch and then went to the kite festival in Long Beach.  This is an international event and consists of displays of kites, competitions, demonstrations, and many booths selling food, clothing, toys, crafts, and of course, kites.

At the demo area, there must have been 400+ kites in the air.

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Some of these kites are very elaborate and require 30 or more strings to properly position the kite relative to the wind.  The kite below has about 25 that I could count.

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The animal kites are really well done.  Here is a string of 5 penguin all being held up on one string that eventually goes to a Rogallo wing type kite much higher.

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One of the competitions is formation flying.  We watched the Windjammer team from Detroit, MI which consists of 3 guys (Gary Maynard, James Kinsey, George Wright III, and Mike Carlisle) who do stunt flying.  They do tricks in the air, much like the Blue Angels or USAF Thunderbirds but not as noisy or as dangerous.

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There actually is a 4th member of the team (Nate Williams) but for whatever reason, he was not part of this competition.  Now I need to get with my oldest son, Tim, and see if we can do tricks with our kites in formation!

We went to this same festival a couple of years ago and really enjoyed it.  This time back was just as good if not better.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Cool, Calm, Cathlamet

We left home about 10:30 for Cathlamet which is about 1.5 hours from home.  A very easy drive, though it was misting most of the way.  Who would have ever thought it would be overcast in mid-August?  Just as we entered the Cathlamet area, there was a fairly serious accident on Hwy 4.  They had flaggers out and traffic limited to one lane.

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After we got everything hooked up at the park and had lunch, we went for a walk to the city center.  Just as we were leaving the RV, a barge being towed by a tug came by. 

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On the walk we discovered a walking path that took us a short distance up the river.  While there I noticed these pier posts sticking out of the water, each with a weed, plant, or bush growing on it.  Very weird!

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As we walked around town, Carol was taking pictures of all the buildings.  Everyone we met was very friendly and thanked us for coming to visit their town.  When we wanted to cross streets, oncoming cars made it a point to stop to make sure we knew it was clearly OK to cross.  All in all, a very polite and charming townsfolk.

Also came across a rather unique street name next to the PUD building.

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Tomorrow we head for Cape Disappointment, a little over an hour away.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Upcoming Trip

We are going to make a short trip to Long Beach, WA, this weekend.  The Kite festival will be happening through Sunday so we will be there for part of that.  Then we are staying until Wednesday morning.

The weather is forecast to be cool and after the triple digits we had here for a few days, that will be quite a change.  I’m hoping we can do some Geocaching, bike riding, beach walks, and maybe a round or 2 of golf even.

So you can expect some updates probably starting Thursday!  Stay tuned!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

WOA Golf in Yakima

Every year the Washington Officials Association (WOA) holds an annual conference for officials from all sports in the state.  The conference is in Yakima which is centrally located in the state so it is easier for officials to travel to.  The conference is preceded by a golf tournament on Friday afternoon.

This year my friends Tom, Doug, Phil, and I decided to enter the tournament.  It is played at a course called the Apple Tree Golf Resort.  This championship course is a long course that winds through the apple orchards and has water on many holes.

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View from the clubhouse down #9 – you have to hit over the water!

The layout on the course is superb and if you are not a long hitter (which I am not), it can be a real challenge.

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Phil, Doug, Tom and Dave getting ready to tee of on #11, our first hole

As a team, we match up pretty well.  Phil is a real long ball hitter (he had one drive we measured at 320 yards) and he had a real good day.  Tom can also get the ball well over 200 yards most of the time, though not as far or as consistent as Phil.  Doug has a good short iron game and pitches well.  I have a decent short game and am really good around the green and putting. 

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This signature Apple hole, #17 Par 3

Hole #17 is a 168 yard par three shaped as an apple with a bunker forming the leaf.  It is a very scenic hole and a challenge to play.  My tee shot here went just left into the water.  (one of 6 that went swimming without having had lessons!)  The pin for the tournament was in the extreme upper left of the apple and if I had hit it 5 yards to the right, I could have laid it real close to the flag.

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Looking from #17 tee back to #9 tee

You can see that there is a lot of water hazards on the course.  It does make it a challenge.  Our team played well, finishing at 6 under par but the winners were 12 under.  Tom did put a ball on #7 11 inches from the cup which earned him a prize for being closes to the pin.

We left at 6:30 to go to breakfast and drive up to Yakima and then got back that night at about 10:45 after a total of about 340 miles on the road.  A long day but really fun with good friends!