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.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

A Blog is a Diary–Right?


Dear Diary,


20150615_121457I know its been nearly a month since my last entry but I have excuses! Between crabbing, clamming, viewing and just plain laziness, the time has simply slipped away. Far faster than it should I'm sure.


lighthouseYou'll be happy to hear that during this lapse no serious injuries to ourselves nor breakages to our home have occurred. I won't count the two times I slipped and fell into the creek or the time I had my back to the surf and got slapped by a wave. Getting soaked isn't an injury and the part of my body that hit the ground first has oh so plenty of cushioning.


We are hosting and awaiting parts for one slide's gearbox which began shedding teeth faster than a meth addict. The slide remains in so our bedroom is just a little more cozy for the time being.

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Today, October 31st we have two seminal events occurring that have me reminiscing of past times. The first is a far too fast approaching 60th birthday. The second is Chris and I have reached the magical threshold of being the senior park hosts present and will be assisting in the training of a brand new host who arrived last night.


IMG_20171030_111056755_HDRAs I do look back it has been one glorious ride! Sure there were a few potholes in the road but overall there is not much I wouldn't do again - not just because I'm a slow learner!


I treasure 20 years spent in the Coast Guard working in a variety of assignments, all with some of the finest men and women you could ever meet. A few of us remain connected and each contact with them is a reminder of just how fortunate I am to have met and now know them.


IMG_20171030_113021948I also fondly recall nearly 20 years as a 911 dispatcher. Another group dedicated to helping people who are experiencing their worst moments. Despite the seriousness of the job there were fun times and I do cherish them. Most of all, I do miss the people I had the privilege to work with.


By any measure we are still rookies at this full-time RV'ing thing and I must say it is shaping up to be another 20 years of wonder and joy.


And perhaps the occasional sticky slide.

Friday, October 6, 2017

Stuck In a Rut?

And what a happy rut it is.

We're back at Sunset Bay for the fourth time and the place continues to amaze and entertain us (mostly the campers do the entertaining). This fall the weather has really cooperated with sunny days, cool nights and an occasional drizzle to keep us honest.
One of the questions we're always asked is why we return year after year instead of exploring the country. Aside from economics we have been very fortunate to have been able to work with outstanding people in gorgeous surroundings. I hope our past, present, and future photographs convey just how wonderful the places we've visited have been. Unfortunately, mere photos can not capture the smells, sounds and the caressing breezes.

Like our visit to Charleston Bay where a fellow camphost is putting out the pots for the day. Can you hear the seagulls? How bout the buoy in the distance or the sea lions barking from the floating dock. Today was a warm one but the breeze from the ocean made it oh so pleasant while bringing with it a salty freshness to the air.


Back at the campground the host K9's made sure we were doing the job right. That and making sure I had the correct number of treats for a tour of the park. (Minus 2 for the inspection toll.)



So in a rut? Not hardly. Consider it more of building new memories in places we call “home”.

We have done something a bit different this fall though. During this past summer we found the numbers of RV'ers on the road have increased by an order of magnitude making finding spots to stay somewhat problematic. To combat this (okay, my bad, its all on me) we have changed stride and instead of spontaneous routes and stops where there is always a question of whether there will be space available, have actually broken down and made – dare I say it? PLANS!

Chris learning how to prepare fresh caught crab.
Much as I hate a teaser, I’m going to have to do it. Plans have been made but at this point I hesitate to give specifics simply because nothing is carved in stone - yet.
In general, our 2018 schedule will be filled with visits to Washington, Idaho, Montana, Utah and yes, we'll be returning to Oregon. Our intention is that for every campground we have hosted at in the past will be counter balanced by ones we have not and in some cases even camped in.




Sunday, September 17, 2017

The Vagaries and Varieties of America


BerkyAnd our tourism continues. For you grammarians out there, yes, I know I shouldn't start a sentence with “and” but hey, this is a blog which is somewhat like a blob only it has pictures and in my case on a very rare basis, a semblance of intelligent discourse.



FamilyOur last entry left us on the road to Regent North Dakota, the southern starting point of the 32 mile long, self proclaimed Enchanted Highway. According to Wikipedia this backroad is the home for a collection of the worlds largest scrap metal sculptures. DeerNo, not because there are a lot of sculptures, but because each one is huge! Scattered along the highway about every 4 to 6 miles these creations are quirky Americana at its best done by a guy who had never welded before nor was considered an artist when he began.


TeddyRThere is no theme other than the underlying one of American Gothic and 60 years ago these would have been right at home on Route 66 except for one glaring fact – no commercialization. Other than an advertisement printed on an 8 1/2 by 11 inch piece of paper posted on the information kiosk and a donations box, there is nothing but the sculptures, information about how they came about and an acknowledgement of the folks that helped make each site happen.

fish

Another feature of each site was the size of the turn-out/parking lot. When in traveling mode we are about 56 feet in total length with a turning radius of a small country and the inability of backing up. No problem here. Each attraction was graded pretty smooth and there was tons of room to get in and turn around when we were ready to leave. It is so frustrating to see an attraction, gas station or other pleasant stop only to have to pass it by because we didn't fit.

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From Regent we headed for the beach. Beach North Dakota that is. Instead of a nice visit to this border town, we ran smack dab into a Montana grassland wind storm that smacked us around like an MMA fight. At one point a side gust grabbed our slide awnings, billowing them out like a parasail. Note to self: motorhomes are really not made for parachute braking.


After pulling over to check for actual damage and a change of pants we very cautiously continued south and ran face first into Wyoming's version of a grassland wind storm that, combined with some rough roads guaranteed we’ll be visiting the dentist for loose fillings.


You know how a rainbow always makes you feel refreshed after a storm? Well, after the windstorm there wasn't a rainbow in the sky but there was an RV park on the ground. Fort Bridger RV Park in Fort Bridger was our “rainbow”. An all grass park/campground far enough from the interstate you didn't hear traffic and in the country enough to hear the cows and horses. We met a really neat couple of ladies from Virginia who were touring the western states – just friends we've had all along but hadn't met yet. We talked for hours and when we retired for the night, did so to a concert crickets. (There Annette, I said you would make it into the blog.)


Berky2I had promised Chris' sister that we would return before summer ended so they could spend some more time together than just the reunion so we headed back Riverside RV just south of Preston Idaho. While the park is tiny in comparison to most we visit; a spacious grass site with a 50 amp hookup and a view to die for is well worth the $20 a night. Look up serene in the dictionary, their picture should be there. Only downside is their spring water is at very low pressure so you have to fill up your tank and rely on the onboard pump for use.


j_summer_dressNext stop – Joseph, Oregon. Why? Absolutely no reason whatsoever. We were on the road, had no destination, and pretty much had all month to get there. We wouldn't have known about this little gem if it were not for another camp host who mentioned it. j_cougarLocated east of La Grande Oregon on the shores of Wallowa Lake and named after Chief Joseph, this small town of around 1,000 people was founded on timber but when the market crashed, the only thing holding it together was agriculture and even that wasn't doing too good a job. Then, a little over 30 years ago, three bronze foundries opened up in the area giving the town a real boost. j_chief_squawAlong came some artists as and you can see their work on nearly every street corner.


Yep, tourist candy.


j_chiefWallowa Lake is the other attraction and with it comes a very popular state park. Chris and I took a drive through and were really impressed. Pretty easy to do when we had to stop every 100 feet or so for meandering deer, bunny rabbits and squirrels. We've applied for a hosting position for next year and we'll keep you updated.


j_cowboyReluctantly we left Joseph and continued our way back to the Wenatchee area to pick up mail, do some light maintenance on the motorhome and get prepped for our 2 months of hosting in Coos Bay before heading south. I wish I could say it was a wonderful drive with amazing scenery and wildlife but it was not the case with the number and size of the wildfires cloaking the country in smoke. The news has been covering hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Jose and in doing seem to have overlooked the fact Montana, Washington, and Oregon have been the victims of some huge fires this year. Yes, I should also mention the Los Angeles area but they at least got some news coverage. Anyway, enough venting.


Crescent_BarWhat we did was to detour ever so slightly and stayed low, along the Columbia River at a place called Crescent Bar, outside of Quincy. We were still within 40 minutes of Wenatchee but since we were out of the valley we avoided a good portion of the smoke. Besides, not much could beat the view even with a bit of haze in the air.


I've used the past week's downtime to finally wire the Jeep's lights so we can do away with the magnetic ones we’ve had for the past 3 years. Took me a couple of trips to the city for parts, some scraped up knuckles, and a stiff back but I got 'er done. Mr. Keppner, would you like to visit the hot tub? Oh yes!