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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Bad Day, Good Day

Yesterday we were scheduled to leave for our trip at 9am and hoping to make 220 miles to 7 Feathers Casino/RV Park.  Just before I was ready to back the RV out, as I was going to disconnect the electrical, I noticed that the front tire on the driver’s side was totally flat.  I and do mean totally flat!  So flat, the tire had separated from the rim!

So I put in a call to Good Sam, our emergency service provider at 9:15.  They didn’t show up until 2:45 or so!  Talk about slow response! 

While we waited, I noticed that the hot water heater wasn’t working on either propane or 110VAC.  Fiddled around with the connectors and got it going finally.

The tire person was coming from Les Schwab (An outfit I highly recommend!), but he was from the Salmon Creek store and not the one just down the road.  So it took him 20 minutes to get to the house.  He remounted the tire then filled it and tried to determine where it was leaking, but could find no leak.  He suggested that since we were going on a long trip, we go to the Les Schwab facility and have the tire check in the tank.

I agreed that we needed some assurance that it wouldn’t lose air on our trip, so we went to the local LS store.  Waited about 30 minutes and they checked the tire.  At first, they couldn’t find anything either.  But in the valve cap (pressure sensor) there is a grommet that apparently became cracked.  Something he only sees maybe once a year.  But that appeared to be the cause. 

So we left Vancouver finally at about 3:45 or so.  Fortunately we had no traffic at all as we went through Portland during early rush hour.  We were both surprised at that!.  Guess everyone was on their computers ordering gifts on Cyber Monday.

We made it to 7 Feathers about 8pm.  Went to the Casino for dinner.  After Carol played the slots for a few minutes and left $7 ahead, we came back to the RV and to bed after a tiring and stressful day.

Tuesday, we got back on the road about 9:15.  Made it over the mountains in good weather and dry road conditions.  Very lucky for this time of year.  Arrived in Corning at about 4 or so. 

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We entered California, but it not as smoggy as this picture might indicate. <grin>

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As we were driving south, we had some great views of Mt. Shasta which is 14,179 feet tall.

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Got all setup and ready for dinner.  We saw a fantastic sunset.

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We went to the Rolling Hills Casino (where our RV park is too) and had their buffet dinner.  If you join their Mt Shasta Club, you get 50% off on Tuesdays & Thursdays.  So we had great food for both of us and it only cost $14.95.

Tomorrow we head to Grass Valley and DiMartini RV.  That’s where we bought our Bounder and it is going in for some warranty work.  When we bought the Bounder from them, I was very impressed with their service and support.  They run a first class operation and really, the only thing wrong with it is that they aren’t in the Portland area too!  If you ever need an RV, check them out for sure!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Power-less food almost free

A couple of interesting notes on our trip so far:

First, we went to dinner last night at the Quinault Casino, just a short (and I do mean short) trip from the park.  They have a $4.95 dinner from 4-6pm.  The entrees included a 5oz steak, a 6 oz chicken, a small salmon, or liver & onions.  Absolutely no substitutions.  While the portions are fairly small, the cost is really good.

Unfortunately, our waitress never asked us if we wanted drinks, so we all ended up with just water.  Likewise, even though they had desserts, she never asked about that either.  Afterwards, we went to McDonalds and had ice cream.

We also went back the this morning for their $1.98 breakfasts.  We had a 30 minute wait, so I went off with Charlie to play a penny slot machine.  I won $12 after starting with $2, so I was able to treat the 4 of us to breakfast on the casino’s dime.  The breakfast included eggs, hash browns, choice of bacon, sausage, or ham, and toast.  However, we were unable to have toast…….

At about 8 this morning, someone somewhere hit a power pole and created an area-wide power failure.  It took at least 4 hours or more to get the power back on.  Up at the casino, they were running on their generators which do not power everything.  They have enough capacity for light, some limited cooking, and of course, all the gaming areas and equipment.  Not enough for our toast though, so we had to pass on that.

After breakfast, our friends did a bit of gambling and then we went for a drive up highway 109 until it ends in an Indian town.  Was a bit disappointed in the cleanliness of the town.  Some of the houses were trashed as was the yard.  So we left there and returned to the RV about 2:30 or so.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Finally, a dry day!

The weather held good all day today and so we were able to do some exploring and get some exercise too.  First we went south to Tokeland.  This area is actually an Indian reservation and one of the better one’s I’ve seen.  The neighborhoods are well maintained and you can tell that folks here have some real pride in their community.  Many of the tribal buildings are relatively recent.

There is a casino here called Shoalwater Bay Casino, run by the Shoalwater tribe.  It too appears to have been built in the past few years.  We gassed the car up at a great Chevron station across the highway from the casino.  This station had such great access that I wish it was more on our way so I could fill the RV up here!

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We drove all the way to the end of the road here which was by some piers on the bay.  There appeared to be some real activity going on at some of the dock areas so we didn’t get close in.  The area below appears more for tourists like us.  As you can see, we started getting some low clouds during the day, but now 6 hours later, the weather is unchanged.

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After leaving Tokeland, we headed north to Westport.  This town on a peninsula, is one we have visited before.  We first visited the Gray’s Harbor Light Station.  The actual lighthouse was closed today and only open weekends.  This is the tallest lighthouse in Washington.  (later you will see why).

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Just west of the lighthouse is a state park that also has a 1.25mile paved walking/biking path.  We walked a total of just over a mile on this path, having views of the ocean and surrounding beach grass areas.

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On the return, we saw a different view of the lighthouse.  As you can see, it needs to be so tall to stick out above the surrounding trees.  Makes me wonder though, why they put it so far back from the beach.  There are no high hills or cliffs around here so you would think they would situate it as close as they could without fear of erosion.

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We then went up to the marina area of Westport.  We walked another 3/4 of a mile or so along the shops, most of which are closed for the season.  There weren’t many cars there and it made it real easy to get around. 

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There are many boats in the marina, either for fishing and crab trapping or for charter. 

IMG_7437After the walk, we had lunch at Bennet’s Fish Shack.  Overall not a bad place and the food was pretty good.

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After lunch we returned to the RV to relax.  Tomorrow we head to Ocean City State Park, about an hour north of where we are now.  We will be meeting our friends Charlie and Pam who bought our old 2000 Bounder.

Gray as in Grayland

We arrived here on Monday afternoon about 3pm.  The weather is random rain and cool.  Monday night there were some really heavy showers and it really (and I mean really) rained hard most of the day.

The state park here has poor drainage, so there are some very large puddles.  They are large enough to be lakes so I suppose I should set about naming them.  We didn’t do much Tuesday due to the weather.  Just drove to some stores about 20 miles away to stock up on a few things.

Stopped raining at night with only a passing shower or two, not near as heavy as it was during the day.  Wednesday, the sky is clearing, the lakes puddles have pretty much dried up (sandy soil helps that process), and we are going to go out and get some exercise – probably drive up to Westport and go for a long walk.  We brought our bikes along, but the temp is in the 40s and too cold to ride.

Internet here is via cell phone.  No EVDO service, so it is slow, but at least reliable.  Am able to do everything I like to do (read paper, check on my Raiders, etc.) but it takes 2-3 times as long.  At least my cell phone extender is really helping – gives me 4 bars instead of the usual 1-2.  That doesn’t increase the speed at all, but does help avoid transmission errors.

So now the son is out, the sky is clear and I think we can emerge from our portable cocoon for a while.