Sunday, August 31, 2014

August 31, 2014---Kaiser Brake and Alignment, Eugene, Oregon

Bill cooked a very good breakfast this morning.  The sun was shining, but it was cooler than in the past.  All in all, it was a good way to finish August.

Late in the morning, we went to Walmart for a few items.  From there, we went to Home Depot.  It was a place we hadn’t seen before, but found it via my iPhone.  Bill was looking for something specific that he hadn’t been able to find elsewhere.  Today was the day to make the purchase and get one more thing marked off my Christmas list.  I’m making progress!

After such a big breakfast, we weren’t quite ready for lunch, but decided to go to the “pig place” to get pork chop sandwiches to take home.  I had no concern about eating in the place, but we wanted to take the food home so when we got ready to eat the food would be there.

It took us a few minutes to place our order and even longer for it to be prepared.  That was fine with me.  Yesterday, I met a “bar fly” while checking the place out.  He was a nice guy, but a bar fly, nonetheless.  And sure enough, there he was sitting at the end of the bar when we walked in.  While Bill scoped out the place, I sat and talked to Chuck.  Turns out, he was working at Country Coach in the cabinet shop at the time our coach was built, and probably worked on our rig.  It was interesting hearing about his daughter who had to work her way through the University of Oregon and now teaches in Ithaca, New York.

Another man, James, said he was homeless.  When I didn’t respond, he said he lives in his pickup camper, but has family in Junction City.  I told him we had been “homeless” for 16 years, living in our RV.  I’ll tell you right now, James didn’t look anymore homeless than Bill and I do.  You just never know the whole story!

After eating our sandwiches...probably not as good as those in Mt. Airy, North Carolina, but good...we both took naps.  

I got up just in time to watch the NASCAR race from Atlanta.  Kasey Kane won.  He is a teammate to Jeff, Jimmy, and Dale Jr.  They were all really excited that he won.  Now they are all four in the “chase,” which starts in two weeks.

I have been working on some necklaces that Lori and I made last year.  They are decorated with alcohol ink and need a finish coat.  I’m not having much luck in that department, so I’ll be glad when we get to Lori’s and I can get some help. 

Saturday, August 30, 2014

August 30, 2014---Kaiser Brake and Alignment, Eugene, Oregon

Believe it or not, we had rain this morning.  The first we’ve had since coming to the Eugene area.  Bill said it was enough to settle the dust.  I reminded him we had puddles in the parking lot.  He said it was runoff.  Such a negative attitude!  Tsk! Tsk!

We had been told of a cafe here that has pork chop sandwiches on the menu.  For those of you who have followed our wandering lifestyle over the years, you will know how much we like going to Mt. Airy, North Carolina, for pork chop sandwiches.  We were also told we would want to get the sandwiches to go, because the place was “questionable.”  We weren’t worried, because Brent takes us to a place in Jackson that has sticky floors!

Well, we thought we had found the place which had a pig on the sign, as we had been told.  Today we went there for lunch.  The place was neat, although outdated.  Pork chop sandwiches were not on the menu.  We both decided on fish and chips.  The food was OK, but it took us a long time to get our order...not because the place was busy.  It wasn’t!

When we left, we drove about a mile further south .  As we turned a corner we saw another “pig” on a sign.  Bill made a u-turn and I went in to check it out.  Pork chop sandwiches are their specialty.  Maybe we’ll try it tomorrow.

Our big event for tonight was watching the Oregon Ducks open their season against South Dakota  It was a “run away” for the Ducks, but it did show them some areas needing work.

I’m glad to have football back on.  Now I need Brent here to watch with me.  Old Tex would rather watch a Western!  The U of O is a west coast school.  Does that count as a “Western?”  

Friday, August 29, 2014

August 29, 2014---Kaiser Brake and Alignment, Eugene, Oregon

It is 1:00 and we are just getting onto I-5, going toward California.  I think this will go into the record books as our latest start for a major trip.

Bill spent time washing the outside of the coach.  He couldn’t finish the job last night because it got too dark.  He always wants our house to look clean when we roll down the road.

Alas, the trip today didn’t last long.  The brake that we had fixed at Kaiser Brake a week ago wasn’t working correctly.  A trucker pulled beside us and indicated we had a problem.  Thanks, trucker, whoever you are!

Smoke was pouring out of the left dual area.  We are very lucky it didn’t catch on fire.  Bill worked on it for about an hour...he called Kaiser and they said to bring it back.  We were already 40 miles down the road, but able to turn around with not much trouble.  

All went well on the journey back to Eugene.  The MH is scheduled to be worked on next Tuesday.  I rescheduled my appointment with Dr. Tischenko for September 8.  “Flexible” should be our middle name.

Meredith reported that there is fresh snow on the mountain tops.  She said it already feels like fall there.  Bill is glad we are still at a lower elevation.  Where is his sense of adventure?

Tomorrow, the Ducks have their first game.  I hope we can get the game on TV.  The stadium is about two miles from where we are parked, so we might be able to hear the cheering over here.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

August 28, 2014---Junction City to the Elks in Eugene, Oregon

The motorhome was ready to go this morning, and so were we.  Bill went to get fuel and then to the Elks Lodge in Eugene to park for one night.

While he was doing those things, I went to the Post Office in Junction City to mail packages to Michelle and Brent.  All of my Oregon Duck purchases are now on their way east.  From there, I went to Walmart for a prescription and several other things.  No meds were ready so we will have to go back later.  After a stop at Dollar Tree, I went to the Elks Lodge to find Bill.

There were several things Mr. Clean wanted to do before we got on the road for California.  He wanted to wash the coach and catch up on our laundry.  He is earning his name.  And he knows once we get on the road heading south we won’t have time to stop for trivial matters like clean clothes and a clean exterior.

After going back to Walmart on another “drug run,” this time successful, we stopped at Subway and took home meatball sandwiches.

I can’t say I accomplished much today, but I’m really tired.  So is Bill!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

August 27, 2014---Junction City, Oregon

This morning, I had a new experience to add to the long list of things I’ve done, been to, and seen in my lifetime.  The farm where we are parked for our RV work has three cows, a calf, and a bull, plus 800 chickens.

As of 10:30, they no longer had a bull.  A truck pulled into the pasture, shot the bull, and proceeded to slaughter it on the spot.  The company, Farmer’s Helper, had all the equipment to do the entire process.  A hoist lifted the animal to a working position.  After the blood stopped flowing the workers began to cut off the hide.  They were very professional and methodical.

As each part was taken off, it was power washed and put in the truck.  The carcass was quartered, the insides were loaded in the truck, and when everything was well washed, they drove out of the pasture.  The only thing left behind was a spot of blood on the ground and a small pile of grass, the contents of the stomach.

I didn’t take any pictures, because I thought I might gross everyone out.  I did wish I had taken my iPhone with me because the youngest cow was very curious about what was going on.  Several times, she went up to one of the workers, sniffed his butt, and got shooed away for her efforts.  It was really funny!

After the meat is cut up and frozen, the farmer will get the beef.  The hide will go to a tannery and the insides will be rendered.  It was interesting to watch it all.

And then we went into Junction City to eat lunch.  I didn’t once think about the bull as I was eating a hamburger at Dairy Queen.  How quickly we forget!

I accomplished a lot this out all the bathroom cabinets and getting Oregon Duck t-shirts ready to be mailed at  the Post Office tomorrow.

The work on the motorhome was finished tonight.  We will be able to leave in the morning.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

August 26, 2014---Junction City, Oregon

One of our errands this morning was to go to Autzen Stadium where the Oregon Ducks play football.  In fact, the team was on the practice field while we were there, but I wasn’t able to take a picture.  Security was tight and I couldn’t figure out a way to “crash their party.”  Drats!

I spent some time shopping in the Duck Store, filling last minute requests from some of our family members who have a particular fondness for the Ducks.

We have been to this place several times, but I am always impressed.  Nike and Phil Knight have put some major money into several sports facilities for the University.

I had a photo of the stadium to send in this blog, but I couldn't figure out how to do it from my iPhoto file.  Shucks!  I will enlist JP and Lori's help when we get to California.

We went to several other places, including Costco.  And lucky us...we just happen to be there at lunchtime.

Bill and I were very tired when we got home.  Even after naps, it was hard to get up and function normally again.

Monday, August 25, 2014

August 25, 2014---Junction City, Oregon

Bill spent most of the morning working on our toilet.  It was a tough job for a nearly 80 year old guy.  The toilet was heavy and the space was cramped.  He decided we need a new seal or something.  

It was nearly noon by the time we set out in search of the new part.  We went to Guaranty first, but they didn’t have it.  So we headed for Camping World which is north on I-5 and then a couple of miles back off the road.  No luck there!  Our next stop was at Everett RV.  They didn’t have one either, but located one.  Back on I-5, going south to the Springfield exit, and east on Hwy. 126 almost to the city limits.  Thank goodness, we had the Nuvi, because we were on several roads we had never been on.

At long last, we had the part!  Yippy! Skippy!

In amongst all the running back and forth and around and around, we found a Taco Bell for lunch.  Afterwards, we went to WinCo.  It was 4:00 before we got back to Junction City.  Whee!  We soothed our tired, ruffled feathers with ice cream at McDonald’s.

At WinCo, I bought some supplies for Christmas presents I am working on.  Yeah, I know!  It is still August!  But that’s what I do!  Otherwise, I get even crazier in December.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

August 24, 2014---Junction City, Oregon

I talked to Lori this morning.  I wanted to get an earthquake report from her.  She said they got a good shaking in Walnut Creek, but not the rolling kind of quake some people reported.

We decided to go back to Guaranty RV for lunch.  We were glad we didn’t wait another day or two, because Rich and Tony were packing up Tony’s Traveling Kitchen, and going to another job after they finished serving today’s lunch.  Someone else will be in their spot for awhile.

(Tony is the chief cook.  Her dad wanted a boy, so they gave her a boy’s name.  Seven years later he left.  Does that sound familiar?)

She has a special system that I think is very clever and creative.  Ahead of time she cooks, on a grill, the hamburger and chicken patties.  She puts them in big electric roasters of sauce...teriyaki for the chicken and au jus for the hamburgers.  The sauce gives the meat flavor and keeps it moist.  When an order comes in, she puts the meat on her grill, including cheese, bacon and grilled onions (all pre fixed).  She can get a burger ready to serve in about a minute.  Her husband, Rich, said at a large gathering and with an assistant, he has seen her serve a burger every minute for four hours.  She’s little and must be kind of like Mighty Mouse!

I think she has a really efficient person and has it all figured.  She also told me her recipe for grilled onions...a little Kosher salt and a little honey for seasoning.  They were so good! 

We meet such interesting people in our travels.  Rich and Tony were perfect examples of that!

When we got back home, I worked at my desk most of the rest of the day!  So much to do, so little time!

Saturday, August 23, 2014

August 23, 2014---Junction City, Oregon

August 23, 2014---Junction City, Oregon

Today was much the same as yesterday...errands, etc.

One thing we have accomplished that we have been trying to do for a long time...buying new throw rugs for the motorhome.  The ones we had were old and the backing was wearing out.  It was a real chore to find what we wanted.  I had hoped to go with a 4x6 in front of the sofa, but that didn’t work out.  But we both like the ones we got, so we are “happy campers.”

There is an RV place here in Junction City...Guaranty RV.  Years ago we bought a small motorhome from them.  When we were shopping for our present MH, we couldn’t deal with them.  Anyway, recently they have really expanded their operation.  They now have a separate RV Store that is actually quite nice.  We have shopped there twice on this visit to the area.

One of their new features in the showroom area for new and used coaches is serving lunch.  Today we went to see just how free it was.  And it was free!  Wow!  What a deal!  And unlike other RV dealers doing the same kind of promotion, there was a choice of what we wanted to eat...hamburgers, chicken sandwiches, hot-dogs, and several kinds of salads.  And other than being free, the hamburgers were really good.  And the people running the “diner” were very nice.

I was able to work on a few of my projects while watching the NASCAR race from Bristol.

Friday, August 22, 2014

August 22, 2014---Junction City, Oregon

This morning, we went shopping at a whole bunch of places...Costco, Trader Joe’s, Fred Meyer, and Walmart.  When we got back to the motorhome, it was being worked on.  I needed a nap, but the power wrenches sounded like giant dental drills, and sleep was out of the question.

The air dryer was replaced and a crack in the tract bar was repaired.  Our old house is showing its age.  Sniff, sniff!  We hope it holds together for a few more years.  We aren’t ready to give up our lifestyle.

We will be here in Junction City for a few more days.  Our rear air bags are beginning to weather check and need to be replaced.  One more thing on the list!

There is another calf due here on the farm.  We might still be around for the blessed event.  That would be an experience to add to our list.

NASCAR races at Bristol, Tennessee this weekend.  Because the track is so short, the race is usually very exciting.  

I have several projects in progress, as usual, so some time here might be a welcome relief.  Of course, that involves staying home part of the time, doesn’t it?

Thursday, August 21, 2014

August 21, 2014---Junction City, Oregon

After a lazy start to the morning, and a wonderful breakfast prepared by Chef Bill, we drove to Eugene, about 15 miles from where the motorhome is parked.  From there we drove on over to Springfield, across I-5 from Eugene.

There were two RV suppliers there and Bill wanted to check on some things for the coach.  The first one is a salvage place that has overstock items from RV manufacturers.  It is the kind of place Bill can roam around in for a long time.  As for me, when I’ve seen one bolt, one light fixture, or one sink, I’ve seen enough.  So I sat in a comfortable chair, rocked and people of my favorite pastimes.

Our next stop was at a solar place.  That wasn’t so interesting, either, but I will tell you about the business next-door.  It is Kingsford, where the charcoal and pressed logs are made.  It is a huge operation, with “mountains” of wood chips and sawdust.  Maybe someday I’ll see if they have tours.  It looks very interesting.

But no time today...we went to have lunch with our friend, Sally.  We have known Sally for many years and try to touch base when we are back in this part of the country.  There is never a shortage of things to talk about...her kids, our kids, our grandkids, people we have known, etc.

Sally is not a technology savvy person.  That is putting it mildly.  She doesn’t have a TV, a computer, or even a cell phone that I know of.  She just has no interest in those kinds of things.  We played “telephone tag” for a week or so.  When she saw our friend, Sheila, last week, the word was passed to me, via e-mail, to CALL SALLY.  Thanks, Sheila, for being the go-between.

We were back at the motorhome at 3:00.  It is parked at the shop of a farmer about two miles north of Junction City.  He raises cows and chickens, and works on lots and lots of motorhomes.  Before I went into the MH for a nap, I took pictures of his latest critter.  She is adorable.

Bella is 10 days old.

She has big ears, big brown eyes, and is very shy!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

August 20, 2014---Eugene to Junction City, Oregon

We weren’t going to be able to park at the repair shop in Junction City until later this afternoon, so we parked at Walmart for the day.

I went into the store to shop.  That was at about 10:00.  I had a whole bunch of things on my list, plus things that weren’t.  It took me a long time.

Before I even got to the grocery section, I was very tired.  I called Bill and ask if he would come in so we could eat lunch at McDonald’s.  After eating and sitting for about 30 minutes, I was rested enough to continue.  We got a few groceries, checked out and went back to the motorhome.

As soon as we got inside, I lay down and napped for over an hour.  I don’t know if Bill napped or not.  He had done the Rip Van Winkle thing before he came into the store to save his starving!

He received a call telling him we could go to Junction City to park, so he got things into “go mode” and we took off.  We parked in a temporary spot, so while Bill talked to the mechanic I went to Dollar Tree.  I had quite a few things on my list for there, too.

When I got back home, Bill was visiting with people from Gilroy, California.  We had a lot of places to talk about.  That was fun, but the best part was that they had a Burmese Mountain Dog who really needed me to pet him.  He was big and soft and very lovable.  It was a difficult task for me, but I sacrificed and gave him lots and lots of attention.  His name was Max!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

August 19, 2014---Eugene, Oregon

Early this morning, our “house” went into Kaiser Brake for some maintenance work.  Some of it has needed to be done for a while.  Ron tried to weld a shock mount on when we were in Colorado, but he wasn’t able to do the job.

After we got all of that in motion, we went to McDonald’s for breakfast.  From there we headed for Junction City.

Bill wanted to get some bids on getting the motorhome air dryer changed.  After checking with four repair places, he decided he wanted Kevin Waite to do the job.  Our appointment is for Wednesday.

On our way back into Eugene, we went geocaching.  We were 50% successful.  Two were easy to find and no matter how hard we looked for the other two, they evaded us.  Although that wasn’t much of a success rate, it was good being on the “hunt” again.

After eating lunch at Taco Bell, we drove to Springfield.  I needed to spend some time shopping at Ben Franklin Crafts.  Bill stayed in the car and napped.  That made both of us happy!

By 3:00, we were back in Eugene checking on the MH.  They had found a broken brake shoe so will fix it, also.  We waited in the Customer Lounge where it was cooler than waiting in the car.  Our “house” was out of the shop at 5:30.  They had repaired three major things and we were afraid to see the final bill.  We both thought it might be in the neighborhood of $1000, but were pleasantly surprised when it was just half that much.

The Kaiser owners said we could stay in their lot again tonight.  That was great.  The day was rather tiring for both of us and we were dreading the move.

Monday, August 18, 2014

August 18, 2014---Redmond to Eugene, Oregon

We missed the deadline for departure by six minutes.  There were still two motorhomes in our huge lot when we pulled out.
Along Highway 126.

After hooking the CRV on and fueling at Fred Meyer, we were “on the road again.”  Our destination for the day was Eugene.  From the little town of Sisters, there are two road choices.  One is a shortcut.  We did NOT take it.  There is a vehicle length limit and they mean it.  And we were way beyond the limit.

We stopped at a pullout for lunch and rest time.  It was nice sitting, by a clear lake, to eat our PNB sandwich feast.  
A very peaceful place.
Along the McKenzie River.

As we continued our journey we were traveling beside the McKenzie River.  It was a beautiful drive on into Eugene.

We went past hazelnut orchards and Christmas tree farms, and through tiny towns like Rainbow, Nimrod, Blue River, and Vida, and all this time we were following the river.

In Eugene, we parked at Kaiser Brake and Aligenment.  The MH has an appointment tomorrow morning.  When we got here, we met Jerry and Audrey, also having work done on their coach.  They are RV Forum friends.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

August 17, 2014---FMCA Convention, Redmond, Oregon

The convention ended with a concert last night.  We weren’t back from Prineville in time to go it, but that’s OK.  It wasn’t in our plans, anyway.

Quite a few of the coaches left today, but we aren’t here by ourselves like I thought we might be.  Bill doesn’t think there were as many here as usual and I don’t have have any idea, so we’ll go with his “vote.”

We spent the morning and early part of the afternoon watching the NASCAR race from Michigan.  Jeff Gordon won.  Yea!  He’s still one of our favorites.

From time to time we tuned in to the Denver Broncos preseason game against the San Francisco 49ers.  I’m happy to report that the Broncos won quite nicely.  And the Seattle Seahawks did, too.  Our four children should all be happy!

I made a quick shopping trip to JoAnn Fabrics while Bill waited in the air conditioned CRV.  It was in the low 90°s today.  And it seemed like a good day for an ice cream run.  Yum, yum!

Our RVing friends, Todd and Bonnie, have a son who lives here in Redmond.  About eight months ago, Donnie was in a very bad truck accident.  It has been a real struggle for him.  Today, we went to see him and were glad to hear that he is getting better, but he still has a ways to go.  It has been a tough battle for all of them.  We’ve known Donnie for about 10 years.  When we got home, I called Bonnie (now in Spokane, WA) to report on our visit with her “little boy.”

I worked on some beading projects today.  I am really out of practice.  I need to get my act together.  Christmas is just around the corner, you know!

Saturday, August 16, 2014

August 16, 2014---FMCA Convention, Redmond, Oregon

Bill and I drove to Prineville, 17 miles east of Redmond.  We went to see Kathy and Gary, and Suzanne.  We knew them in Seaside.  

Kathy and I worked at the same school and were very good friends.  Suzanne also workd for the school district, but not at the elementary school where Kathy and I worked.  Gary liked to fish and often caught trout, which they didn’t like to eat so he would bring them to us.  What a treat!

Suzanne moved to Prineville three years ago after she retired.  Kathy and Gary visited her several times and like the area.  They have now bought a second home there.  Gary has retired, but Kathy still works for the school district.

We met them at the McDonald’s in Prineville at 11:30, and sat and talked for awhile.  After discussing lunch and dinner plans, we decided to eat lunch at Mickey D’s before going to their house.

We spent some time touring their house.  Kathy is very good at decorating and has furnished their new place, mostly from garage sales, consignment shops, and thrift stores.  The theme fits in with a house on two acres among the pine trees.

Kathy, Suzanne, and I went to some garage sales.  We left the guys at home to explore Gary’s large shop on their property.  The first garage sale was OK.  I bought a couple of things.

The second one was where I hit paydirt.  The first thing I saw a medium sized cast iron pot with a handle and a lid.  Michelle loves to cook with cast iron.  The price was $27, but half price today.  Then the young man in charge told us it was $5 a bag for everything you could put in it.  Wow!

The first thing in my $5 bag was the pot and lid.  Then I proceeded to fill the bag the rest of the way to the top.  It was an exciting sale.  Kathy also bought several quilted items, but they were excluded form the $5 deal.

We took the long way back to Kathy’s house, touring the area.  The town is in a very pretty setting.

After eating dinner at Dillon’s Grill, we said goodbye to our friends and drove back to Redmond.  It was a fun day!

Friday, August 15, 2014

August 15, 2014---FMCA Convention, Redmond, Oregon

After having donuts and hot chocolate, an FMCA tradition, for breakfast, I went to my pine needle basket class.

I worked the entire two hours of class time on my project.  It looked much better as it got bigger.  Instead of making a basket with very low sides, I left it flat like a coaster.  I plan to hang it on the wall by my desk.

The coaster measures about 3 1/2 " across.
It was a difficult thing to make, but I enjoyed it and have two or three more projects in mind.  I probably won’t make very many more because of the time involved, but I want to do a little better job before I put the idea aside.  I really did enjoy the experience!

My next class was wire and bead jewelry.  It was easy and relaxing.  I have worked with wire before, but I learned some techniques today that I didn’t know.  It was a worthwhile way to spend a relaxing time.

After lunch and naps, we went to the RV Forum Happy Hour.  As usual, we had a lot of fun.  It is a good group.

My desk had been neglected since being here at the convention.  In other words, it was heaped high.  I spent this evening cleaning it off and putting things where they belong.

Bill took this picture from the top of the motorhome.  It shows just a small part of the private coaches here for the fun.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

August 14, 2014---FMCA Convention, Redmond, Oregon

There was rain falling off and on all day.  But it didn’t keep us at home.  Bill went to several seminars and I had two classes.

In my first class this morning, we started our pine needle baskets.  It was much harder than I had expected.  It took a lot of hand strength to keep everything from slipping out of place.  The stitching was tricky at first, but most of us got the hang of it.

The teacher said it should look the same on both sides.  I said mine did...both sides looked crappy!  When I got back home after class I seriously considered taking it apart and starting all over again.  Before doing that I decided to do some trimming and straightening.  It looked better when it was tidier.

I worked on it several more times during the day and got about two-thirds finished.  We have a class tomorrow and I hope to finish it.  If I do and it isn’t too dreadful, I will send a picture of it.  Otherwise, it will probably make a good fire starter.

It has been a very difficult thing to do and it is hard on my hands.  Otherwise, I am feeling much better than I did several weeks ago.

After going to the RV Forum gathering at 4:00, we went to Fred Meyer to do some shopping.  That didn’t take long and we soon were back home, listening to the rain on the roof!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

August 13, 2014---FMCA Convention, Redmond, Oregon

Before 7:00, we went to sign in for some craft classes.  I was glad we had gone so early.  Not very many classes were offered this year and they filled up fairly fast.

The class I was most interested in was about weaving pine needle baskets.  I gathered some long pine needles about a year ago, but hadn’t attempted a basket.  At last I will learn some of the techniques.

This morning, the class was an introduction to the process, including information on gathering the pine needles, how to treat them after you have them, etc.  We learned about the different kinds of sinews for lacing the pine needles together.

The class instructor told a lot of facts about the history of these types of baskets.  Vicky Nickelson is very knowledgeable about the subject.  She’s from Kent, Washington, and teaches classes all over this part of the country,

Tomorrow, we actually start a weaving project.

I also took a class in wine cork necklaces.  I was pleased with my finished product.  I used a lot of beads on mine.  I didn’t have any trouble finding the beads I wanted to use.  I have lots of that kind of thing.  Imagine that!

I have felt better these last few days.  Today, I did a lot of walking and had the energy to keep going.  Maybe I’m pushing myself more because there are so many things to do at this kind of convention.

At 4:00, we went to Happy Hour with some of Bill’s RV Forum members.  There were about a dozen of them there, most of whom we know from the rallies in Quartzsite in January.

Just as we got home, the rain started.  Today was our coolest day since we got here and it was a blue sky day until later this afternoon.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

August 12, 2014---FMCA Convention, Redmond, Oregon

This morning, we went to Smith Rock State Park.  It is a few miles east of Terreboone.  The cliffs are often used in movie scenes.  Climbers come from all over the world to climb the cliffs.  There weren’t any climbing today, but we went to their camp where preparations were being made.

Golden Eagles nest here.  We weren't able to locate any of 
the nests, but we did see two eagles soaring overhead.

The Crooked River runs through Smith Rock State Park.  Now you know why they named the river that!

While on the Rim Rock Trail, we found a geocache.  There were about a dozen listed for the Park, but most of them involved too much walking for me.

When we got back to Redmond, we went to some thrift stores.  Bill stayed in the car to rest while I shopped.  Lunch was at Burger King...we were practicing for anniversary number 55.

We had more rain this afternoon.  I worked on completing a bracelet I had started several months ago and still had several hours of work to do.  I finished it!  Yippy, Skippy!  One thing marked off my list!

Tomorrow I hope to sign up for some classes.

Monday, August 11, 2014

August 11, 2014---FMCA Convention, Redmond, Oregon

We had errands to go on this morning before it got too hot.  We first went to Walmart to get my prescription, only to find out that there was a snag and the doctor in Loveland had to be called.

Then we went to Lowe’s and I stayed in the car.  A few minutes later, Bill called to say there were some rugs I might want to come in to look at.  So in I went...and I had a very frightening experience.

I was walking along looking at all of their rug displays.  Two workers were restocking, some of the rugs being room sized, and the rolls were very big and tall and heavy.  I turned around to go back up the aisle when one of the big rolls fell out of the display area.  It hit my right hand, which was really no big deal.  But it frightened me terribly.  I thought I was going to pass out.  

I was so scared I could hardly breath.  It was such a close call.  If I had been just a few inches further on down the aisle, it would have been disastrous.  It really shook me up.  It took me quite a while to get back to normal...whatever that might be!

We went back home, ate lunch, and I took a long nap.  When I got up the temperature had risen, both inside the motorhome and outside.  Bill suggested we go for my Rx and I could just sit in the cool car.  That was a good plan.  After Walmart, we went for ice cream.

After dinner, we had a storm blow through...lightening, thunder, and rain.  Once again it cooled things off.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

August 10, 2014---Bend to Redmond, Oregon

We left Bend this morning at 7:45 and were in Redmond a half hour later.  Along the way, we passed several shopping possibilities on the outskirts of each town.  Both towns are growing so much they may someday meet.

We parked in the holding area of the FMCA Convention.  We were in a rather odd spot, but it was where the parking crew directed us.  They must of thought it wasn’t where we should be so they moved us to another place.  

About two hours later, they came to park us in our place for the convention week.  It isn’t as good a spot as we usually luck out with, but it is OK.  

After the NASCAR race from Watkins Glen, we went to Walmart to turn in a prescription which we will go back for tomorrow.  We also made a stop at Home Depot, and then went to Panda Express for dinner to take home.

It was very hot by the time we got back to the MH.  Bill ran the generator and air conditioner to cool things down.  Soon after sunset, we had some rain.  Not much, but a little helped with the heat.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

August 9, 2014---Crane to Bend, Oregon

 Before 8:00, we were on the road, driving toward Burns.  We passed through the tiny town of Lawen, which had two residences, surrounded by junk..old cars, machinery, dilapidated sheds, etc.  There was a two story old general run down as the rest of the “town.”

As we got closer to Burns, and on a curve, there stood a big cow, looking very perplexed.  Thanks goodness, it wasn’t in the mood to run.  Not long after that, there was a goat on the loose.  A farmer’s market set up in a park, but “you know who” just drove right on by.  I guess he wasn’t in the market for a farm!

We turned left on Hwy. 20 and headed for Bend.  There were miles and miles of flat farm and ranch land.  As we got nearer to Bend, the terrain became more interesting...rolling hills and trees.  We came to a canyon.  It was the site of a prehistoric river from a large ice age lake.  It was the scene of many Indian encampments.

When we got to Bend, we parked at Costco and called our friend, Guy, that we knew in Seaside.  We had a long visit before going to the business where he works and parked the motorhome in front of it.

After Bill rested for about 45 minutes, we drove to Guy’s Mom’s house.  We have known Dorothy for a long time, too.  Guy’s wife, Kelly, came, also, and we had pizza and chocolate chip cookies for dinner.  Our kind of feast!  Their grandson, Donta came for a while.  We spent a long time catching up on family news from both families.  It was hard to believe that his girls who use to follow Bill around at the race track in Portland are now grown up.  He said the same thing about our kids.

We had a great time visiting with them.  Dorothy had a sign in her kitchen that I particularly liked.

Today’s Travel Totals:  Mileage, 159---Critters, 1 cow, 1 goat, 1 deer.

Friday, August 8, 2014

August 8, 2014--Crystal Crane Hot Springs RV Park, Crane, Oregon

Today was just about the same as yesterday...not much of interest happening.  I have enjoyed the time to catch up on some things.

This afternoon, we did take a drive into the town of Crane.  We were told there was a small grocery store there, but we never did find it.  We did see a Post Office and a school.  I can’t imagine there are enough children for a school, but maybe they come in from the ranches and farms.  The school had boarding facilities, so maybe kids from far-out ranches come for school and go home on weekends.  The school had a rodeo arena and a ball field, of sorts.  

Bill had washed the Honda and he didn’t want to drive down their unpaved roads very far.  We did see two churches.  There was also a fellowship center, which sounds like it might have been a church, but looked more like a community center.  It was very new and nice.  Most of the houses were newer looking and well maintained.

At one time, it was a thriving community, but the railroad route changed and after several fires, the businesses didn’t rebuild.  This I found out from Wikipedia.  It seemed to be a peaceful town, but I wouldn’t want to live there...too remote.

Tomorrow, we drive to Bend!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

August 7, 2014--Crystal Crane Hot Springs RV Park, Crane, Oregon

The campground we are staying at is stark, to put it mildly.  A few trees are scattered around, but none in the actual camping area.  They do have a mineral pool.  

Yesterday when we arrived, the temp was 93°.  Today at noon it was ten degrees cooler.  When we got settled and hooked to power, the first order of business was to turn on the air conditioner.  Cooling it down took some time, but then things were pleasant.  One nice thing about this area is that it got very cool during the night.

We made better time driving across from Colorado than we had expected so we found this place to “lay low” for a few days.  We plan to drive on to Bend on Saturday.  

Since there was not a lot going on here today, I decided to send a recap of our family gathering in Colorado. 

Our family reunion was a wonderful occasion.  It started with pre-activities with those who came to Loveland early, and by the time all of us arrived in Grand Lake, the fun really began.  There was usually something going on.  Of course, when the horseback riders, hikers, rafters, and shoppers returned to camp, things quieted down somewhat, but those of us (me, mainly) who didn’t ride, hike, raft, or shop much, kept the party going!  Several of the group were able to stay afterwards, so the merriment continued in Loveland.

In our early days of marriage, Bill and I raced sports cars...mostly Bill.  If we had a video of Bill getting frantic getting last minute things done to the car and getting strapped into the car, getting his helmet on, and things like that, it would’ve gone viral, in this day and time.  So we were called Team Frantic.

Over the years, Bill hasn’t improved much, if any, so we are still Team Frantic.  Some of the younger ones at the reunion wanted to know the history of the team name.  We tried to explain it, but until you’ve seen “himself” in action, it is a bit hard to fathom.

Brent and Bill made the frames, Meredith was in charge of the photography, and I did the decorating.  Our Team Frantic logo is in the round circle.  We made them for all the family and presented them as a surprise.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

August 6, 2014--Jerome, Idaho to Crystal Crane Hot Springs RV Park, Crane, Oregon

It rained all night, and was still raining when we left at 6:20.  We drove for about an hour before the weather cleared.

We passed thru the little town of Glenn's Ferry.  We didn’t stop today, but this area is one of my favorite along the Oregon Trail.  Those pioneers had to cross the Snake River.  The safest place to do it was at Three Island Crossing, near the present location of Glenn's Ferry.

The covered wagons were on a cliff on the south side of the river and had to be lowered by ropes, one wagon at a time, to the bank of the river.  When everyone was down, they would cross all three islands to get to the north side of the Snake River.

This is a picture I took several years.  I was up on the cliff.
I hope you haven’t minded this history lesson.  I have admired the determination of those brave souls making their way to Oregon.  If you ever get the chance, visit this little patch of history.  There is a small, but good museum there.

We continued our present day journey into Oregon with extra loud honking and yahooing.  We enjoyed the time we spent living in Oregon, but we are happy being wanderers.

Hwy. 20 was our chosen route to go west toward Bend.  We’ve traveled this route before and enjoy being out in the country.

We checked into a campground west of Crane.  We plan to spend three days here before going on to Bend on Saturday.

Today’s Travel Totals:  Mileage,  299---In-N-Out visits for 2014, 15  (I forgot to put this in yesterday’s totals.      It may take me some time to get my act together again.  You do know I am suffering from AAAD, don’t you?  Age Activated Attention Disorder)

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

August 5, 2014--Rock Springs, Wyoming

Super Driver was at the steering wheel at 6:00 this morning.  I was still in bed, trying to catch a few more winks.  I wasn’t successful so I got up, wrapped in a blanket, and took my position as the “naviguesser.”  Wouldn’t you know it?  I kept nodding off.  Go figure!

We stopped in Evanston for fuel at Flying J.  We fed the motorhome and we fed ourselves.  After finishing our breakfast, we got back on the road, soon crossing into Utah.  Our state line celebration was vigorous.  Honk, honk.  Yahoo!  We made up for yesterday’s lapse in tradition.

We took I-84 toward Ogden.  Before merging with I-15, we went on an adventure.  We were in search of In-N-Out.  The Nuvi took us a different way than I had mapped out.  It was definitely the “scenic route” and seemed longer, but probably wasn’t.  The Nuvi took us through a town what we would have missed had we taken my route.  But we found In-N-Out and that’s what really counts.

Early lunch was great.  It was yummy!  It will be a while before we have this treat again.

Soon after crossing into Idaho, (Honking and yahooing for the second time today!) we stopped at a Rest Area to do just  Once refreshed, we were on the road again, going toward Jerome.  We have been there before.  I hope Walmart isn’t counting!

There were large farms in this area.  Many were growing wheat, but there were lots of dark green fields that we assumed were potatoes since Idaho is famous for those.  Our suspicions were confirmed when we came upon a huge amount of potatoes spilled by the side of the road.  The wild sunflowers growing in the medium added a nice contrast to the scenery.

We’ve had some showers in the last part of our journey today, but otherwise it was a nice drive.

Today’s Travel Totals:  Mileage,  361.

Monday, August 4, 2014

August 4, 2014---Rock Springs, Wyoming

Willie Nelson was singing as we left Loveland at 9:30.  After taking a secondary road through Fort Collins  we turned onto Hwy. 287.  At Laramie, we took I-80 west.

The drive to Laramie was nice..ranchland and rocks, rolling hills and blue sky, and a good road with not much traffic.  We have traveled this way before and have enjoyed it.

We haven’t been on the road for awhile so we are really out of practice.  The proof of that is that we missed the state line between Colorado and Wyoming.  There was no celebration!  We’ll try to get our act together for the next opportunity.

We stopped at a Rest Area before Rawlins for lunch and naps.  We had some sprinkles, but it didn’t amount to much.  There was even some lightening involved, but not much else.  The clouds in that part of Wyoming were beautiful.

We saw eight Rams.  Can I list them on the critter count?  No?  Actually they were trucks, same color and same license plate, traveling together, probably for testing the new trucks or something.  Also following, with the same color and license plate, was a Chevy truck.  Maybe he was for test comparisons, but whatever the reason, they made him go last!  Would that be considered some kind of “bullying?”

Just before getting to Rock Springs, we ran into a terrible rain and wind storm.  By the time we parked at Walmart for the night, the storm had just about passed by.

Today’s Travel Totals:  Mileage, 287.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

August 3, 2014---Michelle’s in Loveland, Colorado

Bill took Lori to the airport at 6:00 this morning.  Her plane left at 8:30.  She reported that Tucker was a good dog on the flight.

We got a text from Brent saying they made it home safely.  As you can see, they stopped at In-N-Out in the Dallas area again.

Brent said this is how Willie finishes off a bag of French fries.

Bill and I spent most of the day getting things wrapped up and finished in anticipation of leaving Loveland tomorrow.  If all goes as planned, we will go to Redmond, Oregon, to an FMCA Convention.  We are scheduled to park at the fairgrounds on August 11 and will leave on August 16.

It has been quite a long time since we have been on the road, except for the family reunion in Grand Lake.  It is hard to leave family, but Willie Nelson is singing our song. 

Saturday, August 2, 2014

August 2, 2014---Michelle’s in Loveland, Colorado

 At 8:40, Michelle, Meredith, Lori, Connor, Joshua, and I were on the road heading for Denver.  The Broncos are having a scrimmage at "Mile High Stadium," their last before the preseason begins.  Their first preseason game is against the Seattle Seahawks.  Uh, oh! The "family feud" continues!

It was fun watching the players and the fans.  We didn't get our picture on the Jumbotron, thank goodness.  I told Michelle if our picture was on there, I wasn't going to wave...with my hands or my flabby arms, or as Coleson said nearly ten years ago, my melting arms.

This picture tells you why they call it Mile High Stadium even though Sports Authority has their name bigger on the sign.

There were 38,650 people at the scrimmage...a lot of fans supporting their favorite team.

We were back home just after 3:00.  The weather was great in Denver and still good when we arrived in Loveland.  The temperature was in the low 80s.

I was very tired from a lot of walking at the football field.  I don’t really know how far we were parked from the entrance, but it was a long way.  So when we got back home, I really needed a nap.  Any excuse will do, right?

Bill made meat loaf for dinner.  Add baked potatoes, green beans, and pie for dessert and you will know that we had a great dinner.  We sat outside at the picnic table and talked for a long time.

Friday, August 1, 2014

August 1, 2014---Michelle’s in Loveland, Colorado

Meredith, Lori, and I went on some errands this morning.  Meredith had some work done on her Mini Cooper this week and she needed to pay the bill.

We took several bags of things to donate to Habitat.  Lori made a quick trip into the store to look for a suitcase, but she didn’t find what she was needing.

Our last errand for the morning was to Walmart for a few items.  Lori bought a Bronco messenger bag.  She will soon be out of Bronco country and back in Raider/49er territory...yikes...and she wanted to get one last bit of shopping in.

We drove to Windsor to eat lunch at a Hawaiian restaurant.  One of the things we had was Ahi Poke, made with ahi-tuna, onions, and sprouts, and served raw.  I have tried it before and I ate some today, but it wasn’t high on my list either time.  We also shared an order of Musubi...Span with rice wrapped in seaweed.  Most of us ordered different main dishes and shared so we could taste a variety of different things.

Before going back home, we made a quick stop at JoAnn Fabric for some thread.  When I got back to the motorhome, I worked on a sewing project until it was time to go to Meredith and Dwaine’s for dinner.  

We had pizza, salad, and pie for dessert.  Some of the group made S’moors, but I refrained.

Before leaving, we took more pictures.  Brent cooperated quite nicely tonight.

Bill and I left the party at 9:00.  I wanted to stay longer, but I was really tired.  Brent, Coleson, and Sara leave early tomorrow morning to go back to Mississippi.  (Sniff, sniff!)  It has been wonderful having them here.  We will miss them a lot. 

Coleson, Brent, and Meredith in front of the Hawaiian restaurant.

Brent is a Seattle Seahawks fan.  The girls are Denver Bronco fans.  Since the
Seahawks beat the Broncos in the Super Bowl, the Colorado dogs had to wear
Seahawks bandanas.  Here Tucker, Joey, Hapa, and Max pose in shame!