About Us

Chris and Dennis are traveling around the country seeing the sights and occasionally volunteering at select locations. We avoid the interstate as much as we can and tend to stop for squirrels and shiny objects.

Friday, August 4, 2017

Boo Boo's Happen – Hanging out in the Pacific Northwest

threeforksLiving in a motorhome and traveling around may sound like life is all cherries and bon bons but I'll have you know, more often than not, its just “real life” - with all the bumps, bruises, hiccups and hundreds of assorted unplanned events. Yep, life happens.
If I mention them at all, I usually just gloss over these “happenings” as they tend to be uninteresting. Okay, to be truthful they are in all likelihood the direct result my own inherent stupidity which, if I remarked on each one, would take up volumes.
booboo1booboo3Case in point. In the last entry I mentioned returning to Wenatchee for some final punch-list items. What I did not mention was the argument I had with a small, hidden tree stump that snagged the front corner of our home. Obviously the tree stump won resulting in some cosmetic fiberglass damage. Fortunately, Larry at Interstate Autobody and Truck in Cashmere Washington once again came to our rescue (yes indeed, this was not our first visit to his shop). His superb workmanship and ultra-fast service is second to none.


I don't believe I mentioned killing my cell phone while we were at Alta Lake and I'm going to gloss over it still. I'm sure everyone knows that dangling your phone by the charge cord really isn't good for the phone or the cord. All I can say is thank heaven for extended warranties.
Are there more examples? You bet there are! We have these really cushy floor mats in the kitchen. They make doing chores like standing and washing dishes more comfortable. They also act as outstanding dart boards for dropped knives. Which reminds me of just how thankful I am for shoes.
Time to change subjects.
IMG_20170726_094812276_HDR[1]
Of all places, the most deer seen were in my sister's back yard.
IMG_20170726_183634103_HDR[1]We've traveled a little over 2000 miles since the last entry. 
We've crossed the continental divide twice, going from sea level up to 7200ft.
 No matter what  form it has come in, we remain in awe of the majesty and beauty of our country.

IMG_20170726_183512483_HDR[1]
The 9/11 memorial in Cashmere, WA.  Stunning!
custer2
Little Bighorn Battlefield
custer3custer1
fishing

This last picture pretty much sums up my luck this past month. Fortunately, it IS called fishing for a reason.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Vagabond–Back on the road.

IMG_20170715_131309545
A happy grandma
Vagabond. noun. A person who wanders without home or job.

As a kid the word was used by my mother as a dire threat and a predicted outcome if I didn't complete my chores. I can still hear her voice “Pick up your room right now or you'll end up shiftless and a vagabond like those men living out by the tracks.” To this day I'm unsure what the correlation was but back then it always resulted in me cleaning my room.

This morning it struck me. Here I am, over a half century later, sitting at the dining table while using a laptop computer (didn't exist when I was a kid) to access the internet (nope, neither did it) to find the definition of vagabond. The fact we haven't been in a house for several years didn't even cross my mind until I read the definition and even then it was jumbled about with the thought that I really need to do laundry at some point today – and figure out where we're going next.

No job: check. Wanders: check. No home: in the classical sense, check.

crop_circle
I don't think this qualifies as a crop circle.
Yep, I'm a vagabond.

And best of all, my room is picked up.

We returned to Wenatchee to complete our motorhome punch list with a modification to two of the slides and a replacement of our water heater cover. I really can't say it enough just how good All Seasons RV has been to us. 

Back in April we arrived with a myriad of items needing repair, replacement, or just tweaking and they really came through. They accepted the challenge of us being vagabonds (full-timers) with the need to have our home back each night and went the extra mile (see what I did there) to ensure each work session ended with a fully functional home each and every time. By coordinating the parts, work, and time in the shop, even though the total time-span was just over three months, the actual work was in the neighborhood of about 32 hours. This was broken down into 5 visits with no session greater than 8 hours which allowed us ample time to return the rig back to the park and continue our hosting duties. This was a novel approach for us and one we'll keep in our bag of tricks if we need it again.

So hats off to All Seasons RV in Wenatchee Washington.
Shelve1
While All Seasons worked on warranty items, my brother-in-law created our first modification to the motorhome in the form of shelves in the bathroom. Outstanding workmanship using old growth fir that will definitely last a lifetime. Chris did the final finish work in sanding and staining and matched the rest of the coach's wood perfectly.
Shelve2IMG_20170716_091308584

Our tire pressure monitor system finally arrived! After backorders, redesigns and other delays the Tire Patrol system we ordered back in December finally showed up. I'm sure you're wondering why we waited 6 months for a system we could have got cheaper and quicker if we had gone with another manufacturer and answer is pretty straight forward. Simplicity, expandability, and customer service. Unfortunately, there have been some hurdles to clear on this state of the art system so both we and the company are learning new things. Once the dust settles I'll have a full review and lessons learned.

This morning we are in Sutherlin Oregon. We intended to stay away from Oregon until our hosting gig this fall but I couldn't shake the worry of our rig not having a documented oil change in the past two years. Being a lot orphan, Monster's (yes, we did name the rig) only mileage consisted of delivery, short moves around the dealer's lot, and our one trip to Arizona so while the miles were low, I just couldn't shake the idea of having two year old oil. Since we were free of hosting duties, had no set plans, and were close to the border, a quick trip to a no sales tax state to get the service job done seemed to be a good idea.
IMG_20170719_131914294
Just one problem. Full campgrounds up and down the coast. Our only recourse was to stay inland and as luck would have it we found an open park we were familiar with just a short trip down the road. Timber Valley SKP. This beautiful, quiet, slow-paced park is where we had our first experience with the Escapee community and frankly, I have no idea why we had delayed our return until now. IMG_20170719_145024299_HDR (2)Okay, granted you have to dodge the occasional wild turkey while parking but I don't feel that qualifies as a down check. Peaceful? Oh yes! When a doe is comfortable enough to nurse her fawn on the side of the road it speaks volumes.

We'll probably stay the weekend. Oh darn.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Alta Lake State Park

3_fishing


When faced with tasks which can only be described as drudgery, look outside the task and discover wondrous avenues to enliven the mind.




4_alta_lake
5_lavenderI'm paraphrasing that quote from a college professor in a lecture I was fortunate to sit in on and though he said it decades ago it has stuck with me. Especially true when faced with some facets of a camphosting job that are not only repetitive but also far from intellectually stimulating at the best of times.
Alta Lake State Park has provided both this past month; the drudgery of watering lawns, cleaning fire rings, and picking litter countered with stunning scenery. The photos really don't do the place justice and when you consider the area was devastated by wildfires just 3 years so, the recovery is astonishing. (If you are curious, search for “wildfires Carlton complex”.)
2_bakeryOf course it wasn’t all work. Visits to local wineries and bakeries provided welcome diversions during our down time.
1_tsillanThe scenery, the outside visits and the occasional spell of surveying the local fish population provided some short term diversions the most rewarding was the opportunity to mentor a brand new camphost on her first gig. Pam, I know you'll be reading this at one point and I am not sucking up; it really has been a wonderful time working with you and we both hope we'll get to do it again in the future.
We're heading back to the Wenatchee area for some final warranty fixes before we return to wandering. Still haven't decided where, just know there will be grandkids involved at one point or another.