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2008: Howard Prairie Lake Resort

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Temporary parking on the lake
April 13, 2008: We've arrived to the fourth season at Howard Prairie Lake Resort. We are temporarily parked on the lake because our usual space is under three feet of snow. In fact, this was the only space on the lake which was available. The resort will open on April 15 as usual Trouble on the hill

but access is tough due to the amount of snow this year. Something happened on the tow up the mountain. The temperature gauge suddenly increased from normal to super-hot. At first I thought it might be a broken hose but I found the radiator cap was installed incorrectly. I was hoping this was the only problem but I still see water leaking so further investigation is needed. I'm sure glad I wasn't towed by a FORD.

April 15 update: While coming up the mountain to the lake the radiator water literally exploded out of the radiator cap. I found the cap only partially locked. Apparently the oil change people had not reseated it correctly unless a cap can blow itself off. Since the cap was still connected to one side but not the other, I must assume it was not seated correctly. This caused virtually all the coolant to explode out the top when it got hot. It seemed like I still had a coolant leak even after replacing the cap and refilling with coolant. I took the truck to the dealer today fearing the worst. They found a leaking water pump and replaced it under warranty and pronounced the cooling system in "good health" after pressure testing. I don't know if the loose cap caused the truck to overheat which caused the water pump to leak OR the water pump was leaking which caused the remaining coolant to explode. I just hope the problem is solved. Medford Lithia Chrysler Dodge Service Department treated me like GOLD and charged me nothing for the repair.

April 14, 2008: It will be difficult to rent fishing boats from the marina with all this ice clogging the water way. There are repairs needed to the marina docks too. Opening fishing day is in 12 days. We can hope for warm weather but it still takes a great deal of time to get the marina and rental boats ready. The resort actually opens tomorrow but opening fishing day is a big day for the resort. Let's hope for better weather. Click the photo to enlarge.
April 15, 2008: This is what our world looked like this morning at 7 am. The sun is just about to peak through the clouds after a 25 degree night and about 6 inches of new snow. As it turned out, it snowed right down to the valley floor in Ashland (1,800) feet so driving down from the mountain was on a snowy road since very few cars had gone before me. Check above for my update on the truck coolant problem I experienced while coming to the lake. You can click either of these photos to enlarge. This morning at Howard Prairie
Light playing on a frozen lake
The commute car is stuck April 16, 2008: While trying to start to work in my commute car, I backed the driver's side front wheel into a deep hole. It didn't take long to pull the Toyota out of the hole with the big Dodge 4 X 4. The rest of the commute was fine except for spraying all the cars behind me with snow flying off the roof and trunk of the car.
April 17, 2008: Moving to Howard Prairie for the season means a new commute route. The road in the photo is Dead Indian Memorial Road which climbs 3,000 feet from Ashland to the crest of the Cascade Mountains in 17 miles and several hairpin turns. This is the view I see on the way down the mountain. Mt. Ashland Ski Area is in the distance at 7,500 feet. It's still open through this weekend. Click on the photo to see a closeup look at the mountain. Commute to work each morning

The view out our back window
April 19, 2008: This is the view out our back window looking at the frozen lake. I'm writing this in the evening, a new storm has arrived so we have 6 new inches of snow and it's only 24° outside. The joys of opening a mountain resort in the spring. Click the photo to enlarge the view to see a couple of Canadian Geese.
April 20, 2008: We got eight inches of new powder snow last night. Cold temperatures brought very lite dry snow. There is one living in our trailer who loves all the new snow. That's Morgan. She plays, jumps, dives and rolls and would make a snowball to through at me if she could. You can click the photo to enlarge and see the powder she is kicking out of her way. Morgan loves the snow
Dan is blowing a path for campers April 21, 2008: Dan is a workamper, if you are wondering what kind of work a workamper must do. This is unusual, Howard Prairie does not usually have this much snow. This is NOT powder, I was able to stand on this snow bank and only sank in about three inches. Dan has a 52" blower attached to the PTO of a John Deer tractor. So this path is a bit more than 4 feet wide. He would have to blow this twice to get it wide enough for a car to pass through. Obviously, no one will be camping for a while but perhaps he is blowing this trail to make room for parking on the opening day of fishing this coming Saturday. Dan was explaining that part of his problem when blowing snow is the tractor is wider than 52 inches so he must force the tractor through this narrow path. I once owned a snowblower in a previous lifetime so I know you really must blow the snow while it is fresh. This snow has been sitting here all winter and is tough to blow. Click the photo for another view.
April 22, 2008: Our fresh water is exhausted. We must either move our trailer to the water or bring the water in some way to the trailer. Normally all the water at the resort is turned on this time of year but this season has been especially harsh. Many of the water faucets are still under several feet of snow so the water is not coming to our trailer. I carry a six gallon rubber bag and have only used it to weight down the Internet satellite dish until now. Today I filled the bag and dumped the water into our holding tank. I only had the energy to carry two bags so we have only 12 gallons in the tank. It will be short showers tonight. I'll have to do this everyday until the water is turned on. The only way to get water without moving the trailer
Sandhill Cranes at the northern part of the lake

April 23, 2008: On my way to work this morning I saw these Sandhill Cranes along with at least one other pair. I stopped and photographed them. On the way home this evening, they were even closer so took more photos. You can click the photo for a better view. They stand about four feet tall and did not seem to be afraid of me. After taking several photos they began to make a very loud call. It was a call I've not heard before and very impressive in decibels and variety. This is a very handsome and healthy looking pair. This is my fourth season at the lake but my first time to see Sandhill Cranes.

One of the several hairpin turns climbing to Howard Priarie
April 24, 2008: On my commute down then up the mountain each day, I pass several hairpin turns. This is the tightest and steepest of the hairpins. It is also high enough on the mountain and in the shadow of the mountain so it can be icy in the morning. I've driven this road enough so I know all the slick spots. This is a great road for a powerful motorcycle or sports car. I often see either coming up the hill in the morning when I'm descending. Click the photo to enlarge.
A Bufflehead and it's reflection
April 25, 2008: This morning there was a pair of Bufflehead ducks near our shore. They are very difficult to photograph because they won't allow me close. This one is about to fly. This is the only time of year it's possible to see them. Click the photo for a closer look.
April 26, 2008: Today is the opening day of trout fishing at the lake. The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife is on hand to weight and measure every fish. The fish and wildlife department is trying an experiment at the lake by stocking with larger fish hoping they will survive better. Our problem is finger size fish are eaten by bass. Last fall, larger fish where stocked into the lake hoping for a bigger survival rate. Now the department hopes to learn if the plan is working. Opening day of fishing

April 27, 2008: The last of the ice is leaving the lake. The warm temperatures for the last two days has helped to eliminate this obstacle to fishing.

Free Lunch at Ace Hardware
April 28, 2008: Today was the first day of a two week grand opening celebration at Hubbard Ace Hardware, the largest hardware store in Medford. They recently completed a remodel of the main store. They plan to give free lunch each day for two weeks. Today's lunch was ribs and coleslaw. Tomorrow's lunch will be from Del Taco. I enjoyed the ribs and think I will enjoy tacos tomorrow. Click the photo to see the new store front.
Fire equipment from all over the state visit Medford today Equipment came from all over Oregon, Bend is 4 hours from Medford
Rescue helicopters visit Medford from all over the state
April 30, 2008: This last weekend two Medford firefighters died in an off road vehicle accident. Firefighters and rescue teams from all over the state of Oregon came for the funeral and procession through the streets of Medford. It wasn't just firefighting and rescue equipment which visited Medford but a sky full of rescue helicopters slowly toured the city. The last and largest helicopter is towing a large American flag. Click the photo to see a close-up view of the flag towing helicopter. Note the legs dangling from the rear of the helicopter apparently to release the flag before it gets tangled in a rotor. You can also click the row of fire engine to see another view. The entire procession was very impressive.
Pelicans come to visit the lake May 1, 2008: The pelicans have come to visit the lake. The pelicans are usually at the northern end of the lake for a while then they move to Klamath Lake to be with the other pelicans. These are great birds with a huge wingspan. I have never seen babies in the four years I've been here so I'm not sure where the nursery is. Click for a close-up view.
May 3, 2008: Gwen and I visited Hyatt Lake today. Hyatt lake is only five miles from Howard Prairie but it is 500 feet higher. The ice still has the lake in it's grips. The marina is useless because there is no way to launch a boat and no place to go if you COULD launch a boat. The weather is warming so this lake should be available again in a couple of weeks. Hyatt Lake is still frozen
1930 Ford May 4, 2008: Jan spends the season at the resort every year. He has arrived this year in his motor home towing a handsome tandem wheel covered trailer. When he opened the trailer, he backed out the 1930 Ford sedan. Jan explained that the Ford was highly modified and could easily drive freeway speeds. He had even installed an air conditioner. Jan keeps it and his motor home in spotless condition.
May 6, 2008: I've begun a new fitness routine. I'm driving only as far as Talent, Oregon, parking at Wal-Mart then riding my bicycle to work on the Bear Creek Greenway. Southern Oregon is blessed with a paved bicycle trail which passes from Ashland to Central Point, that's 16 miles of bike trail. This means I don't have to ride in traffic. Click the photo to see a map of the trail. Be sure to choose the larger view so you can read the legend and see details. The ride is about 8 miles one way but I expect to increase the length as my conditioning improves. Bear Creek Greenway

My last day to eat at Ace Hardware
May 7, 2008: Today I had to attend a meeting which meant I couldn't continue with my bike ride to work. Ace hardware is still serving free lunch as a grand opening celebration. I'm riding my bike the rest of the week so I won't get free lunch the rest of the week. Today's lunch was catered by Abby's Pizza ... I got two slices of pepperoni. Click the photo to enlarge.

Back to space Y50
May 11, 2008: We've moved back to our usual space Y50. Our deck was waiting for us. You can't believe how much more comfortable it is walking into the Cameo from our deck. It is also much more quiet in this space. The previous space was on the lake but on the main road. Every camper drove past our site, every boat motored past our site and fishermen get up EARLY. Also the lake sites do not have sewer hookup so I borrowed the pumper truck and pumped our tanks. Now we have full hookups so I can easily flush our black water tank. We look forward to our quiet space.
Theresa the artist with one of her creations we purchased as a Christmas present May 12, 2008: During our street fair visit on Saturday, we met Theresa from Roseburg, Oregon. Customers were surrounding her booth to buy her creations. There are many artists who make metal animals but Theresa adds little touches you don't find from the other artists. Click on the photo to see how Theresa has surrounded this Heron with cattails and water-plant leaves. Also check the details on the Heron itself. We just couldn't pass this up so decided to buy as a Christmas gift. So, here we are, Christmas shopping in May. Theresa wears Keen sandals, my favorite too.

The view on the way to the resort
May 14, 2008: My commute is long. This is what I see on the way from work about six miles from the resort. Mt. Mclaughlin is nearly 10,000 feet. This is the view as I drive to work. Click the photo to enlarge the view.
May 19, 2008: This is my third week to ride my bike to work ten miles one way. The bike trail passes through a new south interchange construction zone. The bike trail reopened only about a week ago which has meant 97% of my commute is not with automobile traffic. I must carry work clothes and my lunch in a backpack. Click the photo to enlarge the view. The bike trail is complete thru to my job in Medford
An Oregon fixer-upper March 24, 2008: Not far from our campsite at Howard Prairie Lake Resort is a large meadow with an old cabin. I'd call this an Oregon fixer-upper. This is a great spot to see wildlife.

Tooth before filling removed
Filling removed
tooth prepared for crown
May 26, 2008: A couple of days ago, I got to visit Peter Pastrell, my dentist in Grants Pass. He wanted to replace two fillings and prepare one tooth for a crown. Peter has some high-tech gadgets as you have seen before but this was a new tool for me. Peter used an intra-oral video camera to take these photos. This is the tooth Peter chose to prepare for a crown. You can see in the photo to the far left that a major portion of the tooth had a large filling. The filling was removed in the center photo then filled with white material before it was prepared for a crown. In two weeks, the crown will be ready and installed. Dr. Pastrell was kind enough to give me these files for this page.
June 16, 2008: OK ... Dr. Pastrell has installed the new "polished gold" crown over #3 molar. It feels like this new tooth will still be in my head in fifty years. I joked with Dr. Pastrell while he was trimming the gold crown to fit that I hoped he was catching the filings, each of the filings was probably worth $10. New gold tooth

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