Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Right Ramps... at last!

Yippee!!  Our Motorcycle Ramps arrived today UPS!  And they work great!  We were able to unload the bike at our site, and Jeff took it for a ride into Prineville (16 miles).  He came back cold but thrilled to have a bike with us.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Prineville Reservoir State Park

We made it!  We arrived around Noon on Sunday.  Saturday night in the Walmart parking lot went well... except for the fact that we ran out of propane in the middle of the night and were freezing!  But we survived.  After the way the day had gone, I had a horrible thought when we setttled in for the night.  I thought what a mean trick it would be for some teenagers to come through the parking lot and close the handle over the front door so we couldnt get out!  But it didnt happen.  Yay!!

My poor Harley was covered in red dirt from the rain, snow and red dirt on the road.  So it got a washing when we got to Prineville.  We lucked out... we found a gas station with diesel, propane and a car wash that we could easily back up to.

Here we are settled in at the park.  This isnt the site we will be in for the month of May, as camp hosts.  Tomorrow our ramps should be here and we can offload the bike.

We dont have much of a signal at the park, so Im doing this short post while we are in Bend today.  And its Snowing outside!  

Thanks to all of you who comment on our blog... we appreciate it!

Saturday, April 23, 2011


Speaking of living in a home on wheels… Those were my words in the midst of today’s events.  It passed… in fact, when I said it, I knew I didn’t REALLY mean it… I love this lifestyle, but if EVER there were a time that I wanted to quit this lifestyle, it was TODAY!  We don’t do stress very well…  maybe because we’ve been away from it for so long.
This was the dreaded day that we had to get ourselves off the hill.  It’s been several days since we had hard rain, so we were hoping to get out without incident.  BUT… there was incident… after incident… after incident.  The mud was not our only concern. 

We got our Swivelwheel motorcycle carrier while we were here, and we hadn’t yet pulled it behind the fifth wheel.  We had tested it behind the truck, and we had our concerns.  Yesterday we pulled the 5er off the stilts, so we could hook it up, but that’s all we could do.  The ramps we ordered to load the bike were too short… so we sent them back (after paying $40 coming and $60 going for shipping!!)   We ordered another set of ramps that we certainly hope will work, but we didn’t have time to get them before we had to leave, so we had to borrow the ramps we sold before we left last October. (funny huh?)
We weren’t about to attempt pulling the bike down the hill, so we were pulling the swivelwheel empty, and we would load our bike at a lot a couple miles down the road.  But even empty, we had some trouble.  As we backed up, the swivelwheel hit some mud and stopped, so as Jeff continued backing up, the platform continued to tilt, and tilted so far that the back was almost in the ground.  Our other new purchase was Motorola 2-way radios... so at this point I pressed my button and said "STOP!"  And Jeff stopped!  We put boards under the wheel, and it moved along from there as it was suppose to.

BUT then the truck got stuck in the mud... really stuck.  So after much contemplation, we decided maybe we could dig ourselves out.  So we dug down in front of the tire, then we laid bark in front of all the truck tires... then boards... FINALLY, we did get out!!  But we were off of the planned route out of there, and had to move to plan B (which wasnt actually a plan B, it just became plan B... we didnt have a plan B.  Plan A was suppose to work!)

Our new route took us back further on the lot, then down the hill at a different point.  As the truck started down the hill, the front of the fifth wheel got closer and closer to the ground.... and again I said "STOP!".   The front jacks were digging into the ground and digging deeper and deeper, and they werent going to dig themselves out... so we had to!  We dug a track, but then as he moved forward it started digging in again, so again I dug. 

Finally we were clear and Jeff was on his way down the hill.   

He made it onto the driveway, and pulled out in the street so he could straighten out and back up so we could load the bicycles and make an official exit.  Again, the fifth wheel shifted and slammed forward.  It had done this earlier a couple times, and we had continued to fight with it.  We have a sliding fifth wheel hitch, and it was doing its sliding thing!  They had taken the fifth wheel hitch out to load things in the truck, and evidentally it had come unlocked, and now it seemed we couldnt get it to lock in place.

We loaded the bicycles and pulled out.  Jeff drove the truck and Ginny and I followed in the car, so we could come back and get the bike. 

The plan was to take the Ultra Classic and its too big for me to attempt to ride.  But by the end of this ordeal, Jeff and I were both stressed, and nervous about hauling a heavy bike on this Swivelwheel for the first time.  So we decided to take my Heritage Softail instead.  The original original plan was to pull the "bagger" and I would follow on my bike.  But the WEATHER has been awful, so I wasnt going to ride through rain and snow and be miserable.  Now we will ride back when the weather is better and  get the other bike.
So with the sudden change of plans, AND the fact that it had started RAINING on us... the simple plan to go back and get the bike, wasnt so simple any more.  Now we needed to make sure we got what we needed off the bike we thought we were going to take, and get the things that we needed for the bike we were taking, and the battery was dead, and both were wet, and how was I suppose to carry all this extra stuff on the back of the bike?
Okay... time to stop sniveling.  We did make it out of the mud and down the hill and to the lot and we did get the bike and I did carry the stuff, and we did get it loaded and tied down, and we are on our way to Prineville, Oregon for our first camp host job of the Summer.

I rode in the fifth wheel, watching how the swivelwheel handles for the first 10 miles.  I'm glad I dont have to watch it all the time, because its alot easier when I dont know what its doing back there.  It is fine Im sure, its just scary to watch as it bounces around.

Its now almost midnight, and my battery is dying.   We have landed for the night in a Walmart parking lot in Bend, Oregon.  This wasnt our plan for the night, but the other plan didnt work, then the next plan didnt work, then the next plan didnt work.  So here we are... our first experience staying in a Walmart parking lot.


Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Back in Oregon

Our stay in Yreka last night was a really good one.  It was quiet and I slept great.  In fact... it was my favorite of our 5 night stays on our trip to Oregon.  The next favorite was our first night that we boondocked in a dirt lot in Holbrook, AZ.  I showed you the Yreka site last post.  Here are the window views:

We were so comfortable, we didnt "check out" until 10:30.  We had only a 55 mile drive to my parents house in Medford, OR.
Nasty Nasty Weather

This is a little better

Hi Mom!
 Mom had a late breakfast prepared for us... very good home cooking!

Then Jeff just couldn't contain himself any longer.  Our Harley Ultra Classic has been stored in their garage... he had to go check on her and start her up.

Time to move on...  but not without a picture of me with my parents.

 Bye... we will be back soon!

On to Grants Pass... 30 more miles down I-5

driving up the road to our friends house

There she is... our friend Ginny... waiting for us!

 Now for the ordeal of getting our fifth wheel up to the top where we park.  We usually take it through the field, and we had hoped it would be fine, but as soon as we turned the corner and saw the damp looking tall grass... no... this is not going to be fine.

Jeff turned in and attempted to drive across the field, but we started spinning and the mud was flinging itself inside my window all over me.  I got out... we were stuck.  The rear end was in the road and the truck was in the mud.  Ginny held back traffic as I tried to survey the surroundings and relay it all to Jeff.   Jeff did get backed up, and he pulled up the driveway.   Branches on the trees brushed the roof, but we made it to the top.

But that wasnt the end of the ordeal... by any means.  We got stuck in the mud trying to maneuver to where we would park... and I mean really stuck.

After much spinning and throwing stuff under the tires in an attempt to get traction, we did get out of the much and on to hard ground.  So we found a place that we could park, and its actually a good place. 

The ground is so slanted... check out our stabilizers!

It's been a good day, and an eventful day, and I am very tired.
We have made it to Oregon, where we will be until October. We will be here on Ginnys property for 3 weeks before leaving for our first camphosting job.

Monday, April 4, 2011

New Mexico to Oregon - Day 5 (and 4... and 3)

So much for my daily travel blog.  The last two days we were in areas where I either had a weak signal or no signal.

We stayed in Reno last night at Reno RV Park. We wanted to stay close-in so we could stay hooked up and walk to downtown.  This place was the only place we found that was this close.  We were far from thrilled with the place... it was dumpy, the sites were too small to stay hooked up, and even though their web site advertises that they offer a free shuttle to and from downtown... they dont.  But it served its purpose, I suppose... it had all the hookups we needed and we were close enough to walk to downtown.  So no more complaints here! well... need to mention that it would have been cheaper to stay in the Motel 6 just a mile away!  how does that make any sense... they dont have to make our bed!!

2:45pm  - Susanville, CA
We stopped in Susanville for fuel and breakfast lunch, and we are on our way again!

Now for Day 3 and 4:

The night of Day 2 we stayed in Laughlin, Nevada at a huge RV park (733 spaces) with shuttles to the casinos, which we wouldnt have needed except that we were on level 8 at the tip top of the park... so we walked down early evening and had the shuttle deliver us to our door late night.   It was 102 degrees!  So as soon as we could get plugged in, we had both air conditioners blasting! 

Saturday (Day 3) we drove 314 miles from Laughlin to Tonopah, NV.  We bypassed the center of Las Vegas by way of Hwy 160 through Pahrump.  We had hoped to connect with friends who live in Pahrump, but it didnt work out.  We stopped for a couple hours in Pahrump to eat lunch and wander around a bit.

We arrived in Tonapah at 7:30pm, and there were two choices for RV parking.  One was part of the Ramada inn & Casino, but they were full.  Our Passport America book listed Joyland RV Park as our other option.  I called ahead, but couldnt understand much of what the guy said... so we decided we would just follow the directions in the book to the park.  When we fueled up there, the guy fueling up his motorhome next to us asked about a place to stay so we told him about Joyland RV park and they eventually found their way there too.

Tonapah seems like an ok place... IF you stay on the main road through town.  If you veer off... like we did to find this Joyland RV Park... it gets a little scary.  We laughed as we wandered around trying to find where there could possibly be an RV park out here.  It reminded us of one of those movies where travelers stop for a stay at one of these little towns and they never get out.  Jeff said to our neighbor who found his way and parked beside us "If I hear a chainsaw start up, I'm comin out shootin'"  They were from Canada, and said "well at least you can have a gun... we can't even have a gun!"

The owners son (the guy on the phone) met us there once we found the right lot, so we met him at his pickup and I handed him cash for the site and showed him our Passport America card (which gives us 50% off).   I was so cold (far from the temperatures we left that morning) so I just wanted to get inside the trailer, so I was hoping this would be good enough... this didnt seem like the kind of place that did paperwork.  But he fumbled in his pickup to find his receipt book.  I said "oh, I dont need a receipt"  He chuckled and said "no... Ive got me a job now and I can even read and write...  so Im gonna write out this receipt!  My mama pays me to do this job."  I said "well, then you just write me that reciept!"  But then as he got distracted with the motorhome pulling in, I ran inside and turned the furnace on.

Despite the strangeness of this place, all went well.  We slept... we had power, water, sewer and Direct TV.  And we always remind ourselves that its all about the experience... whether its good or bad... its all part of this adventure.

Sunday (Day 4)  we traveled only 240 miles from Tonapah to Reno.

We stopped in Beatty, NV at the Candy Store for homeade ice cream!  We have cheated so much on this trip.  We very rarely eat out and we don't eat sweets, but have we ever blown it on this trip... and have we ever enjoyed it!  But we are also paying for it!  We feel like we have piled the pounds on just in the past few days.  Its so frustrating!!

We arrived mid-afternoon at Reno RV Park that I told about at the start of the post.

Back to NOW...

It is 6:30pm and we are on I-5 between Weed and Yreka, CA.  It was a beautiful drive out of Susanville to I-5 on the 44 and 89.  Lots of snow beside the road. 

We stopped near Hat Creek at a pull-out where we stayed our first night on the road a year ago March.  We went for a much needed walk through the campground across the road and were tempted to get a site for the night, but we couldnt justify the cost.  It was so peaceful and smelled so good!

7:45  Yreka, CA
We pulled off at Yreka, CA at 6:45.  We are only 85 miles from our destination of Grants Pass, OR.  But it would be too difficult to pull onto our friends property in the dark.  So... we are staying here for the night.  We found a great dirt lot off the road, away from traffic and any activity.   We have the generator running and we found one channel on the TV using the antenna.  We've got it made!  

Friday, April 1, 2011

New Mexico to Oregon - Day 2

Todays blog is like yesterdays... I will post several times throughout the day then finalize tonight.

AAaahh!!!... look what we woke up to out our back window!!

Here's our awesome FREE Site last night:

We slept really good.  We woke up a few times, and there was always freeway noise, but we were far enough away from all the trucks and activity at the Truck Plaza, that we werent bothered.

We were confused about what time it was this morning... we knew we weren't in Pacific Time yet, but Jeffs phone and my phone didnt agree.  We know that Arizona doesnt play the time change game, so I changed my phone to Arizona time zone and my phone now agrees with Jeffs.  We got up an hour earlier than we thought initially... 7:20!  That is very early for us!

We hadnt hooked up the generator, so I made coffee this morning by boiling water on the stove, then pouring it into the filter on the coffee pot... it was just as good!
Then I made Spinach and Asparagus Frittata's for breakfast.  It's fun finding a way to do things without the luxury of electricity.

 8:30am AT/PT  -  Leaving Holbrook, AZ
On the road again...

Time for a butt and pee break - Williams, Arizona

Grabbed a quick lunch snack for the road (same as yesterday) Cold grilled chicken pieces and baby carrots...  and hit the road again.

There has been a change to our planned route today.  The charted route was up the 93 out of Kingman, AZ which would take us over the Hoover Dam, then to Las Vegas.  But I decided to check into RV's traveling over Hoover Dam, and found that they inspect all vehicles (and Fifth Wheels) prior to crossing.  WE dont want to be searched!  Stay out of our house!
SO... the new route is the 163 out of Kingman, through Laughlin, Nevada, then the 95 North to Vegas.  We may stay in Laughlin, NV tonight.  It would make for a short daycompared to yesterday... only 280 miles.

Saturday 1:00pm - Shame on me... got busy and didnt finish the post yesterday.  I will have to later.  The internet connection is too slow and Im having trouble getting pictures loaded.
But a quick update... we stayed in Laughlin, NV last night.  We got in early, so we had all evening to play.