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.
Ah spring. Birds
calling, flowers beginning to bloom and the cherry trees blossoming
with color. Marmots coming out to fatten up on new growth grass and
other greens. Kids chasing after each other, dogs chasing after kids,
squirrels, and marmots. And amongst it all? Well for the experienced
camp hosts, the unmistakable occasional and somewhat muted
exclamations of campers working out the bugs.
In the words of the
famous Willie Wonka “So much time and so little to do.” “Wait.”
“Stop”. “Reverse that.”
Probably the most
contradictory thing about full-time RV'ing and in our case,
camphosting, is just how much there is to do and just how little time
there seems to be in each day. I'm pretty sure it is all some sort of
quantum physics thing and I have proven it countless times just this
year alone. You see, when you take a seat on a warm spring day time
slows to a crawl and everything takes on a wonderfully leisurely
pace. It is times like these where you can organize and prioritize
the your tasks for the day, plan future projects, and basically get
your life in order.
The very moment you
accidently close your eyes for anything longer than a blink it all
comes crashing home; time is relative. Upon reopening your eyes you
discover hours have gone by and you are suddenly pressed just to get
up in time to get dinner. Any thoughts of tackling a to do list or
making plans will all have to wait for another day. Curse you
Despite this hazardous
condition, we have remained at Lincoln Rock State Park and I really
have managed to work around the naps to replace a bathroom vanity and
sink. Frankly, when you look at that project and recall just how
absolutely hopeless I am mechanically, it remains something to brag
about even if I say so myself.
Last year, shortly
after our departure from Sunset Bay while we were heading south, we
noticed the plastic laminate around our sink was beginning to wrinkle
and come away from the particle board comprising the vanity top.
Unfortunately, where the separation was occurring was not the only
place some water was getting under the plastic and it wasn't until
our first extended stop in Pahrump that we discovered the faucet had
not been sealed either and had allowed water to seep under the
Enter Mr. Murphy. Just
as I was able to take a solid look at the sink and formulate a plan
for fixing it, both Chris and I came down with the flu. Our entire
stay in Pahrump with the exception of just one day was spent
sequestered from everyone and everything. That one day? Restocking
groceries and probably the most serendipitous visit to Home Depot.
You see, Home Depot does custom sized vanities and sinks in solid
surface – something we had promised ourselves after seeing the
utter disaster of the laminate topped stuff. The salesperson was a
godsend! She knew the subject matter, had some experience with the
order process and was very understanding of my complete lack of
knowledge. Even though she knew we would be unable to purchase from
her store because of our impending departure, she still took the time
to answer all of our questions – even my dumb ones!
It was another three
months before we returned to the Wenatchee area and had reliable
access to a Home Depot for our order, then another month to receive
our new vanity top and sink. With that sort of extra time, even a
klutz such as myself can actually plan and execute a successful
installation as the photo shows.
I wish I could relate
that our experience ordering the custom sink from Home Depot in
Wenatchee was as pleasurable as our shopping experience in Pahrump
but it wasn't. Plain and simple. Somehow, perhaps because of the
salesperson in Wenatchee was not familiar with the order process, our
order wasn't filled for two weeks. Then, due to a recent delivery
contract change, it took an additional two weeks to arrive. Kudos to
Home Deport though for recognizing and acknowledging the problems on
the order and giving us a $50 discount for inconvenience. Yep, will
be shopping there again but probably not in the Wenatchee store.
In three short weeks
we'll be pakcing up and heading off to Goose Lake State Park near New
Pine Creek, Oregon. Until then, I'll leave you with the camper funny
of the month.
It begins with our
normal rounds through the park when, in passing one of the pull thru
sites something caught my eye just every so slightly out of place. A
5th wheel toy hauler trailer – the kind with a master
bedroom up front and probably bunk rooms in the rear. What was
interesting was the sewer hose running neatly between the two gray
tank dumps. Thats all, just the hose connected to the front pipe,
running along the ground to the back pipe. Note, no Y-gate valve and
no connection to the dump. Yep, both dump valves were sticking out,
indicating they were pulled open. Wish I had taken a picture. Wonder
with the difference in heights, will the rear tank overflow from the
added fluid from the front tank?
I missed the final
outcome. They were already gone before our rounds leaving only a wet
spot on the pavement. Granted, it was a HUGE wet spot.
We last left you in
Yuma nearly three months ago! Here we are, winter over and we're on
our way back north. That isn't to say we didn't run into some winter
One of our goals this
season was to check out a park we have never been to yet have signed
up for hosting. Goose Lake state park is located in the south east of
Oregon along the border with California (the road into the park from
the highway is the borderline). I mention this because in order to
pay a visit to the park we needed to divert from our normal
northbound route a bit which in turn, took us right into the teeth of
a winter storm. Taking 395 out of Fernley Nevada we made the run into
the leading edges of the forecasted cold front towards the small town
of Alturas, California. Rain, slush and some not so friendly side
winds beat us up pretty bad so instead of going to Goose Lake and
then onward to Klamath Falls Oregon, we stopped at Sully's RV Park in
Alturas for a much needed break. I'm really glad we did as that night
the front went through with a vengeance – more rain, sleet, and
wind gusts over 45mph slammed into our rig causing a sleepless catnap
sort of rest that really isn't a rest.
Come morning we had,
according to the map, an easy 4 hour drive up to our destination,
Sutherlin Oregon and the Escapee park for a weekend of downtime with
visits to our favorite local restaurant, Fusion. Blatant plug: if you
are EVER within even 25 miles of this place you simply have to check
them out. This very small cafe located on the main street of
Sutherlin is a definite keeper. What's the phrase? Oh yes, nirvana!
Okay, back to the trip.
Uneventful all the way to Klamath Falls. Changing over to highway 140
we had bare and wet roads and to my shame, I grew complacent and
mentioned how nice the roads were. Oops. Within a span of just 5
miles we went from high overcast skies, and as I mentioned a really
nice road to a snow covered mess, lowering clouds, and the promise of
a lot more snow to come. Oh, I almost forgot to mention, no place to
safely pull over. Wouldn't have mattered anyway, we weren't carrying
We learned a few things
on this trip. Number 1: NEVER, nope, not EVER travel into a snow
storm again. Not even if we have chains (we won't, too much
temptation to use them). There is always plenty of time to take our
time. Number 2: There is really no good reason to press on in high
side winds – period. Why take a beating if you don't have to.
Lastly: we have a motorhome. That means we can pull over, heat up
some water, make lunch, watch a movie, take a shower, do laundry –
virtually ANYTHING other than risk our safety or make a trip less
enjoyable. (This last one will require numerous applications of a 2X4
to the side of my head to ensure I learn it.)
Our nearly four months
this winter season consisted of visiting museums, arts and crafts
shows, small quirky towns, and trying to enjoy what was a cooler than
previous winter's weather. I believe, unlike last year, we experienced
at least 4 nights where it froze or frosted up pretty good. Didn't
matter too much as each day was topping out at 70 degrees or more
with tons of sunshine to sit and enjoy.
The title of this blog
is chasing the 70's. We really didn't have to do much chasing, just
kicked back testing lawn chairs and let the 70's catch up to us.
We're currently two
days out from our first hosting gig of 2018 – Lincoln Rock State
Park. The rest of 2018 has also firmed up so here's the CnD Travels
hosting schedule for the summer season:
April/May: Lincoln Rock
State Park, East Wenatchee, WA June: Goose Lake State Park, New
Pine Creek, OR July: Collier Memorial State Park, Chiloquin,
OR August: travel and goof off month. You could run into us in
UT, SD, MT, ID, WA, and OR. Perhaps even CO. September: Wallowa
Lake State Park, Joseph, OR Oct/Nov: Sunset Bay State Park,
Coos Bay, OR
Until next time – and
I can assure you the time gap between blogs will be MUCH shorter. Shoot, new campers seem to guarantee it.
After reading the last
blog my sister, who with her husband just started this adventure
called full timing, recommended another way to deal with campers.;
one she had read about in one of those RV travel magazines.
with someone who is simply not getting it” she said “you can
impart a little bit of wisdom AND get away with a bit of minor
assault by using a vigorous slap quickly followed by the announcement
of “Mosquito!” in a somewhat loud voice.”
I've thought about this
during our three week trip southward; reflecting on how useful this
technique could be not just in camp hosting but pretty much in all
aspects of life. There are so many nuances you can utilize; in fact
you are pretty much only limited by your own imagination.
Here are a
The polite planned
slap: This is where you are facing the camper listening to what to
them is I'm sure a very serious situation but all you hear is “Blah
Blah Blah”. Calmly announce “Hold still” then quickly but
gently slap the person. You MUST follow this by the obligatory
“Mosquito!” else you risk physical confrontation.
The surprise slap: Used
in a number of ways and circumstances usually involving the
observation of a potentially really stupid activity. A good example
is the subject reaching for the black tank valve and not having a
drain hose connected. This one is time sensitive so quickly apply the
slap and shout in a somewhat louder voice “Mosquito!”.
The gracious slap:
Usually used when you are a third party in a conversation and notice
the intelligence literally draining out of the involved parties. As
the case warrants you can combine the polite planned slap with the
surprise slap by announcing “Excuse me” at the exact moment you
apply the slap. Then of course, follow the action with the obligatory
As I mentioned, it took
us three weeks to get down to the sun belt. Two weeks were used
parked in Pahrump Nevada while suffering through then recovering from
some nasty colds. Between the long desert drives and the two weeks
sequestered, I have given this method some deep thought. I vaguely
recalled my mother using something very similar though rarely
codified in such a distinct manner. If memory serves (I was usually a
little dizzy at the time), she said “I'm applying some common
My father did the same
thing but it usually involved a boot to the rear. He explained the
different location as simply going to where my head must be residing.
I can't shake the
glimpses in my mind's eye of what the world would be like if we all
practiced the mosquito defense. Of course now days we would have to
come up with a way to do it online. Hmmm, imagine a computers or
phones capable of reaching out and applying a slap – social media
would blow up!
Enough for now - today
its hello from Yuma Arizona.
Our intention is to meander the
southwest and perhaps wander as far east as Rockport Texas this
Chris is teaching herself how to knit and I'm
puttering around fixing things, breaking things or simply just
Who knows, I might just
break down and change the Jeep's oil myself.