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2007: RV in Applegate, Oregon

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January 7, 2007: We have returned to Applegate Mobile Home Park after our Arizona vacation. Thompson Creek is higher now than when we first moved here last October. Our camper neighbors left while we were in Arizona so we are in the RV camping area alone. There are about 6 RV spaces in this 55+ mobile home park. All the RV spaces are near the creek which suits us just fine. With the additional water flow, it sounds like the wind is continually blowing but it does not bother us. Gwen has blocked off the lighting near our trailer with aluminum foil because she does not like the night lighting. We still get to visit with the mobile home owners because many of them walk their dogs next to the creek. I am able to set up my Internet and TV satellite dishes to avoid the trees, so this seems to be the ideal location for us.

January 8 - 10, 2007: These first three days of the college quarter have been so busy and boring at the same time. It is most difficult to return to "real-life" after a vacation. Everyone else's schedule becomes more important to me than anything I wish to be doing.
I guess that's the biggest problem when returning from vacation to work. On a vacation, you are doing what you want to do (or just relaxing) while at work, you are doing what others want of you. Maybe that's why it's called work? Anyway, no excitement here except for the day-long fog. Fortunately, the fog is about 200 feet off the ground most of the time. I remember times in the Sacramento valley where the fog would be at ground level for many days and visibility could be measured in feet. In the photo above, you can see easily a quarter of a mile. This is the main street of Jacksonville. I must drive this steet each day on my way to work.
Snow reflects the flash was does Gwen's bicycle tires. Janaury 11, 2007: The story today is the cold weather. In other parts of the country, single digit weather may be common but it's not common in our part of Oregon. The forecast is for 9 degrees tomorrow morning and even colder on Saturday morning. Our water was frozen this morning which is unusual. We have survived 22 degrees at Howard Prairie and our outside thermometer says it was not that cold last night. Still, we are cozy warm in our RV. I have added water to our freshwater holding tank and disconnected from water so the hose does not freeze tonight. Last summer I discovered how the trailer tanks and pipes are heated so I'll be sure to set the furnace to turn on tonight too.
January 12, 2007: What does 8 degrees look like? Many Oregonians living east of the Cascades, see 8 degrees or less in the winter but western Oregonians rarely see temperatures that low. I prepared for this cold temperature so we had no
water problems. This view is from the far side of our TV and Internet satellite dishes. The awning is at it's steepest angle to be sure we don't get a snow load on the awning. Gwen had a close call today while driving to Grants Pass for a dental appointment. The roads were icy so she was driving slowly. A white Chevy Blazer traveling in the opposite direction lost control just as it passed Gwen and slammed head-on into the Dodge Ram pickup truck just behind her. One person in the Blazer was killed and the other injured. No one in the pickup was injured. Both vehicles were knocked onto their sides from the force of the impact. This is likely a case of the driver of a four-wheel drive vehicle driving too fast thinking they have security in their four-wheel drive when they can't control their vehicle on ice any better than a two-wheel drive. I saw this all the time when I lived at Lake Tahoe for 13 years. Gwen is pretty upset about what she saw in the rear-view mirror. All the public schools closed today due to the icy roads.
January 14, 2007: This is Victor. He sets up his van in the dirt area outside of the little market in Applegate. Victor sells lots of stuff. He is basically a hardware and variety store of used merchandise. Janet and Al told me about Victor and would always set aside things to take to him. As I find things in my trailer I no longer have room or are too heavy to continue
hauling them around, I take them to Victor too. Victor speaks both English and Spanish. Since Gwen and I are trying to learn Spanish, Victor has promised to be helpful. He helped us today when I dropped off a bunch of sound system cables I no longer have a need. Victory gave us a book about Golden Retrievers which has a lot of great photos and the history of the Golden.
January 16, 2007: All the roads in Medford, Oregon turn to a sheet of ice at noon today. All the college campuses were closed at 1pm to allow students and staff time to get home on these icy roads. I was driving back to the campus at noon after a meeting and although it was only a mile, it took 30 minutes due to the conditions. All drivers were on a sheet of ice. I was surprised there were few accidents. College campus in the distance
Sun sets after a snow storm The campus is in the distance in the photo above. This weather is very unusual for southern Oregon drivers on the west side of the Cascade Mountains so few drivers were prepared. The ice storm was predicted to end at 3pm so I continued working. I assumed I could not get over the 2,200 foot pass I needed to cross to get back to
Applegate so I purchased chains at Les Schwab. They have a full refund return policy if you don't use the chains. As it turned out, by 4 pm when I was driving home, the roads conditions had changed enough, I did not need to use the chains.
January 17, 2007: The Applegate River bridge is only 1 mile from our trailer. Just on the other side of the bridge is the little community of Applegate. This is a two lane bridge which today shows the signs of an icy road. We are often walking to the store on the other side of the bridge with Morgan. This can be an interesting experience since this bridge has not sidewalk and no shoulders in the driving lanes. You must just walk fast and hope for the best. I must cross this bridge to work twice each day. Applegate River Bridge
Cell towers over our park January 18, 2007: Overlooking the Applegate valley is this mountain with cell towers to the cell company we subscribe. We get far better cell reception at the Applegate Mobile Home Park than we do at Howard Prairie Lake Resort. These towers are only about 1 air mile from our trailer and it is a digital signal rather than an analog signal as we get at the resort. The view of the valley must be great from this point. It is our goal to find the road leading to the top of the mountain hoping it will be a good hiking trail. This view of the cell towers was taken from a point near our trailer.
January 19, 2007: It's a snow day at the college, roads are too icy for travel. Morgan and I decide to use this day to climb to the cell towers. We don't know where the road begins for access to the towers to choose to go cross-country up the side of the mountain, then follow the road back down to learn where to begin next time.
The above photo is a view looking to the north toward Grants Pass. This is a very picturesque valley with many small farms and vineyards. The Applegate valley makes its share of wine. As it turns out, the small of the two towers in the company that Gwen and I subscribe to. The photo below left is looking to the east. I travel between the mountains and eventually over a 2,200 foot pass to reach Medford. The little community of Applegate is to the lower left of the photo. The photo below-right is of our mobile home park. The trees hide most of the mobile homes and our trailer. We are backed up to Thompson Creek which passes from right to left in the upper third of the photo. Click any of this photos (except the cell tower photo) to enlarge.

Click either photo to enlarge
As it turns out, the road leading down the hill goes through private property so Morgan and I decide to return down the hill the way we came up the hill. This means asking permission the next time we choose to hike to the towers if we want to use the road.
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