Friday, June 14, 2024

'24/#25 Mxed Bag Of Life

 With the Olympic Peninsula behind us we are now on the other side of Puget Sound and Seattle. From here we will explore some of central Washington. Islands, mountains, lakes, and some unique small towns are on the agenda. To that bag of adventures we must add some of the day to day tasks that are part of the RV lifestyle. Hence the "mixed bag of life".

 A few years ago we had a protective coating put on the roof to make it last longer and need less maintenance. This came with a lifetime warranty that was a strong selling point and is now coming in handy. Before we left Florida we noticed a couple of spots that needed some attention, so we called the company and spoke with the service manager, Jim. After explaining that we would be on the road most of the summer he said it may take a while to coordinate with a tech but we would be taken care of. With our itinerary and his list of mobile techs we finally were able to connect here in central Washington.

As I am writing this the tech is on our roof and finishing up the repairs so we can travel down the road with peace of mind. Kenny (the tech) is also a full time RVer who is traveling with his wife and three kids. As is common with Rvers we chatted about our lifestyles, where we have been, where we are going, and some of the challenges that we have come across. I will say that the company and everyone we have dealt with have made us happy with the choice we made getting this roof coating.

Once Kenny is done we will decide what we want to do with the rest of our day. Yesterday we went to the North Cascade National Park. It was a beautiful scenic drive with snow capped mountains, waterfalls, and lakes. We are not much into hiking and with our aches and pains still healing we limit ourselves to the driving loops with some short scenic walks. Diablo Lake was high on the list to see as was the Gorge Creek Waterfalls. Mary has lots of pictures she will share on Facebook. A picture at Diablo Lake had Mary complaining about her hair in the wind, so I tried to fix the problem. She wasn't happy with my solution. What do you think? 

Anyway, Kenny is almost done so I will sign off from our home in Everett Washington because.....

Home is where we park it,

Frank and Mary

Tuesday, June 11, 2024

'24/#24 The Adventure Continues, Slowly

We are at our second stop through the state of Washington and getting ready to move on to the next. Our last stop was in the southern part of the state and from there we went to Mt Hood and Mt Rainier. Wonderful scenery driving through the parks and amazing views hiking some of the shorter trails. There was a little too much physical exertion compounded by our senior citizen status that added up to sore backs, pulled leg muscles, and overall aches and pains forcing us to rest at our next stop. 

 Upon our arrival in the Olympic Peninsula we first tended to our aches and pains while planning our time here. Assorted ice packs, heating pads, and our home TENS unit got us moving again, but slower.Our brains say we are still in our 20's and our bodies just laugh. We are doing OK for a couple of old farts, we just have to remember that we are a couple of old farts!

As usual we found a lighthouse and a waterfall and walked along the shore looking at Canada. We drove some of the scenic byways of Olympic National Park and Mary continues to document everything in pictures. The weather has been beautiful while we have been here as opposed to the weather we had in Oregon and southern Washington.

 That made it a good time to get all the road grime off the rig. Since we weren't near any truck washes that have worked well for us in the past, we found a local detailer that would make it all nice and clean. Old farts smart enough not to try to do it ourselves but not smart enough to let them wash the truck also. It is a lot of truck that reqires ladders and climbing to reach everything. That call was ALL on me. I told Mary to remind me how much fun it was (sarcasm) to wash the truck ourselves. The older I get the smarter I think I am.

We are expecting our mail to catch up with us and then we will head on down the road. The Post Office has been a disapointment the past several months due to poor management decisions and the inability to keep new and qualified hires. We have been using FedEx lately and with mixed results. Apparently FedEx is having the same problems as the USPS. 

It just seems like the new crop of workers don't want to work and don't have the work ethic that was there before. I know I sound like a crotchety old man and I guess I am. I sound like the generations before us that complained about our generation. I guess it is true that as we get older we become our parents. Well it is time to start our day so I will sign off from our home in Washington because.....

Home is where we park it,
Frank and Mary

Wednesday, May 29, 2024

'24/#23 Nice To Visit, But.....

 It is another cold, damp, day here in Oregon like we were told it would be. Getting the old bodies up and going in the morning is a challenge in these conditions but we are on the move today so, up and at 'em. There is still so much to see and we have enjoyed our adventure but neither of us can see us settling down in this part of the country. Not that we have decided to settle down or come off the road but the ideal location for our forever home has not presented itself.

Today we leave Oregon and head north into Washington. Waterfalls, giant airplanes, mountains, lighthouses,  and the Tillamook creamery. All things on the bucket list now checked off and another state marked off on our map. Yes we have a map to chronicle our travels. It is not one of those big maps you see on the side of RVs with the state stickers filling in as campers go down the road. We opted for something more subtle since our RV is home and not a vacation camper. It stays inside the house for us to enjoy and not so much to let others know about our travels.

Gotta mark off Oregon

There is a break in the weather so we will get things ready to hit the road, but first breakfast. We can't travel on an empty stomach. Oh, look the sun is out! We'd better get out there before the sun is gone ond summer is over! This is me signing off from our home in Troutdale Oregon because.....

Home is where we park it,

Frank and Mary

Tuesday, May 21, 2024

'24/#22 Another For The Bucket

 Mary has designated this year's travels as the "Bucket List Tour" since we are going to see many of the things we have just driven past while saying "next time". The list is very long but we are checking things off as we meander around the country. 

Many years ago I had read about Howard Hughes and the Spruce Goose. The list of facts surrounding the design and construction of this first jumbo transport plane boggles the mind. I have said that if I was anywhere near where it was displayed I would make a point to see it. Well McMinnville Oregon is now the permanent home of the Spruce Goose. The Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum is an eclectic collection of aircraft with the Goose as it's centerpiece. Planes and replicas of some original planes cover aviation history from the Wright brothers to F-14s. 

Mary in the blue shirt.

As I said, the Spruce Goose is the centerpiece and also the biggest plane by far in the exhibit. It was impossible to get a picture of the entire plane in a single frame either because of it's length or the height of it's tail. Mary was not as interested in seeing this as it was one of my bucket list items but once in the massive presence of the one of a kind airplane she was hooked. The story behind it's creation is just as amazing as the plane itself and you can read about it on line. Just saying that the fact that it was even built under the government contraints is a story unto itself.

While in McMinnville, also known as civilization, we found a Walmart and did some shopping. We will be back on the road in a couple of days with more items to check off our bucket list. So I will sign off during another rainy oregon day from our home in Tillamook because....

Home is where we park it,

Frank and Mary

Sunday, May 19, 2024

'24/#21 We're Not In Florida Anymore!

 Just paraphrasing Dorothy a little. With over eighty years of living in Florida combined we have acclimated ouselves to a warmer climate. Now we are spending over a month in the Pacific Northwest and it is not summer yet. That means overnight temperatures in the low forty's and highs in the mid fifty's. THAT's winter in Florida. Also did I mention that while it is cold it is also damp and it rains at least a couple of times a day. Brrrr!

The point I am making is that while we want to do and see things, getting started in the mornings is ..... let's say a challenge. The heat gets cranked up, I fill myself with coffee, and we try to motivate each other to start showers, breakfast, and getting dressed. Being retired means we don't have to keep to any schedule but we still want to keep the adventure going.

Well we are past the heat and the coffee so it looks like showers and breakfast is coming soon. I will sign off from our home in Tillamook Oregon because.....

Home is where we park it,

Frank and Mary

Monday, May 13, 2024

'24/#20 The Roads Less Traveled

Just sitting here in Elkton Oregon thinking and decided to share my thoughts. This year is all about the traveling and less about the destination. When we have concentrated on getting from one destination to the next there was no better way to travel than the National Interstate Highway System. Four to eight lanes of traffic with no stop lights or intersections can put mega miles in the rear view mirror in a hurry. The only way to travel faster is by plane and where's the fun in that?

This year we are stopping and seeing things more often and are more likely off the beaten path. By eliminating the calander as our guide we are taking less traveled routes on secondary roads and state highways. Many of these are just two lane roads that go through towns, over rivers and creeks, around mountains, and just generally conform more to the terrain. The Interstate speed limit is usually between 55 and 70mph while the secondary roads can be anything between 65mph down to 35mph in town. 

With these differences we have changed our driving style. Now we plan for 200 mile days instead of 300 mile days. This means finding places to stay more often. We also have to find fuel in places that may not have truck stops. We can fuel up anyplace there is diesel but sometimes the gas stations can get cozy with a 42 foot trailer. We have been known to drop the trailer in a parking lot and just drive the truck to get diesel, but not often.

Well all I can say is that this trip is definetly different than our past travels. I guess we are taking the roads less traveled and sometimes it feels like we are lost but that's OK. This is all part of the adventure. I will sign off while sitting by the river at our home in Elkton Oregon because.....

Home is where we park it, 
Frank and Mary

Saturday, May 11, 2024

'24/#19 Pacing Ourselves

 We are in a little campground alongside the Umpqua River in Oregon. My last post was about the snow around Crater Lake and how much different it was than ten days prior at White Sands New Mexico. Well we have another weather change.

We are about twenty miles from the Oregon coast as the bird flies. The elevation here is around 130 feet while Crater Lake was over 6000 feet. We are now in T-shirts and shorts as opposed to arctic wear and dealing with temperatures close to 90 degrees instead of highs in the mid 30's. Oh well, the only thing that stays the same is the fact that things will change. 

The time here in Elkton is going to be a mix of chores, down time, and exploring. Keeping the wheels rolling is tiring and expensive. Those RVers who travel, travel, travel are the ones who get burned out and disillusioned with the lifestyle. We are not on vacation and do not have to cram as much as we can in the time we have. 

Yesterday was shopping and laundry while today we took care of minor household tasks. The AC feels good and we will do some planning for the next few weeks. So I will sign off from our home in Elkton because.....

Home is where we park it,

Frank and Mary