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Approaching the Heceta Head Lighthouse The lighthouse from the porch of the keeper Heceta Head Lighthouse
The light is on

Sunday, March 19, 2017: One of the few clear days on the Oregon Coast so we drive to the Heceta Head Lighthouse. It's not a long hike with fair climbing. We learned the lighthouse keepers house is now a bed and breakfast but gives tours during the summer months.

Fortunately there are tours of the lighthouse although we are not able to climb to the top. Still, I was able to get a nice view from the bottom.

The lighthouse is still in use and is 120 years old. The original keeper had a large family which went to school in a small cabin nearby. The lighthouse was built to show a light once each minute and was weight driven with a 200 pound weight. The 200 pounds had to be cranked to the top once every four hours.

Click all photos for more views. I've also made a video of the adventure.

Gwen takes Morgan for a hike on the beach
Gwen's freeze power

Saturday, March 18, 2017: Waiting for the sun to appear and the rain to stop. Gwen took me for a hike on a trail she found at the park. But first, she found a Horseshoe court and threw a few for the camera. Click the left photo for another view.

We continued on the trail she found which ended at the boondock area of the park. It was under 1 - 2 feet of water. Click the right photo to see the new lake.

There is no TV access at the park but we figured out how to use ESPN APP on my tablet and were able to watch the Oregon Duck women play their first round of the NCAA basketball playoffs.

We are visiting a live play tonight at the Florence Events Center, "Moon over Buffalo".

Trail through the brush
Gwen is finding rocks with barnicals and shells

North and south Jetty at the mouth of the Siuslaw River

Friday, March 17, 2017: More rain today so we went thrift store shopping where we found some items which will fit well into the shelf I just hung. Gwen found some treasures too.

She is "rock shopping" along the Siuslaw River picking up rocks with barnacles and shells attached. I'm not sure what she plans to do with those. Click here photo for a larger view.

Next, we drove to Heceta Beach. In the view above, you can see the south jetty (on the left) and the north jetty with the mouth of the Siuslaw River between. Click the photo for a panorama view.

Finding treasures at the Elks Thrift store

Thursday, March 16, 2017: Yea! We see the sun today. We start the day with breakfast with a friend, Mark, our next door neighbor from Sutherlin is camped at the Thousand Trails Park in Florence so we meet for breakfast.

We are wanting to move to the Elks park north of town. Parking at Elks in downtown is noisy and not private. So we choose move but before we do we visit the Elks Thrift Store looking for treasures and actually find some. I'm thinking the Elks make some pretty good money here. Next, we pack up and drive two miles north of town, cross 10" of flood waters into the rural Elks park and pick a spot. All of the sites we usually park are flooded. But we are the only campers in the park so it was easy to find a good spot. Click both photos for wide views.

Moved to Elks North
Florence bridge over the Siuslaw River

Siuslaw Marina in Florence, Oregon


Wednesday, March 15, 2017: Raining all day, should be a good photography day if you don't mind getting wet. After visiting the Siuslaw Library in Florence I drove to the Siuslaw River to catch a view of the Florence bridge. I tried to upload my Webpage but learned the library does not allow FTP on their network so I'll try elsewhere. The barge under the bridge is part of the reconstruction project. Only one lane of the bridge is open which delayed us yesterday when entering Florence.

Next, I visited the Siuslaw Marina where commercial fishing and recreational boats are parked. With the heavy rain, not much activity today. I was hoping for more haze/fog to improve the photos. Click the photos for more views.


Downtown Florence Oregon Elks Club parking
Tuesday, March 14, 2017: We left overcast Sutherlin this morning and drove into the rain on the Oregon Coast. Our intention was to park at the comfortable, quiet, rural Florence Elks RV park but we arrived to find nearly a foot of water in their parking lot. This wasn't a problem now, but lots more water was flowing in from the road and the host said it might get another foot deep before it started outflow. That's a little high for our Forester. The host suggested we return to the downtown Elks location, an asphalt parking lot. This is safe for flood conditions but added traffic noise and also a greater risk to the bicycle locked on the roof of the Forester. Rain is forecast for another day, then we might check the conditions again in the country. We made this trip with a dashcam which I turned into a 16 minute video. If you want to see some of the best part of Oregon, then watch the view.
Painting my box Monday, March 13, 2017: I found this box at Michael's on sale and thought it would make a good decorative shelf. I first stained the grid then painted the frame black. I had some battery powered LED lights and decided they would look nice on my decorative shelf. I hung it just above the mirror at the entrance. Click both photos for additional views. Finished project
Hanging the driftwood mobile

Health food at the food truck court
Saturday, March 11, 2017: Starting the day by hanging Gwen's driftwood mobile. It should have been an easy job but I can't drill holes in the aluminum awning because it is a trough to take water from the roof to the drain pipe. I built a wood hook to fit over the trough. That worked. Next, adjusting the height of the driftwood. Gwen must approve. Click the photo for a larger view.

At the end of the afternoon we visited the "Pub-Crawl Food Truck Court" in Roseburg which apparently happens periodically, I'm not sure how often, this is our first one. I chose the healthy food but Gwen stood in line for a "gourmet" hamburger until she gave up and we drove downtown for fast food. Click the food truck for a panorama of all the trucks and the crowd. Be sure to click the (+) to enlarge then scroll left/right to see all.

Drilling holes for Gwens driftwood mobile Woodburn the word "beach"
Thursday, March 9, 2017: Today was a fun day finishing Gwen's driftwood mobile. I drilled the driftwood pieces 1/4" then cut 1/4" glue pegs to fit the holes to lock the string in place. I also made an arrow with the word "beach" at Gwen's request. To thread the string through the pieces, I made a 3/16" dowel "needle" to pull the string through each piece. Click the left photo for a view of the "needle". This is where the lighthouse is put to use too. When at the ocean the last time, I purchased a glass ball with the mobile in mind so it goes near the bottom. Here is the way it looks now. Gwen plans to add sea shells to it before we hang it.
Example of a "broken pattern" in photography Decoration for the kitchen I had to have this box, I think I'll paint it.
Wednesday, March 8, 2017: We need a few groceries plus parts for some of Gwen's projects so we head to Roseburg and visit Jo-Ann Fabrics. I take the photo to the left as an example of what photographers call a "broken pattern". I'm just trying to be artzy-fartzy which has been stimulated by ViewBug. Gwen is looking for fabric and I'm looking for some flat studs for earrings. My granddaughter, Chloe, may be visiting soon and I want to show here how to make her own earrings. From here, we travel to Michael's where Gwen has a 50% discount coupon. We are thinking of a decorative shelf for the kitchen. Gwen finds some words to add to the shelf. I find some lips and spectacles which I think would add to the shelf. After all, Gwen and I watch Fixer Upper with Chip and Joanna Gaines. I've learned how to decorate from Joanna so I think what I've done is pretty good. Gwen doesn't agree, click the center photo to see what I'm thinking. I have another 40% coupon so I spot a decorative box I like for above our entrance mirror but I'm thinking I will paint it before hanging it. Click the last photo for a different view of my box.
Another project for Gwen

She plans to paint and hang in the kitchen

Tuesday, March 7, 2017: Gwen had me working on another project. She printed out "Eat" and asked me to cut them out in wood. I started with the band saw but some of the turns are too tight for my band saw blade so switched to the scroll saw. It was much slower so took much longer than I was expecting. Gwen has the idea of painting the letters then hanging them high in the kitchen. Click on the "E" and you'll see the "a". No videos today. (smiley face)

Turn this block of wood into a lighthouse Monday, March 6, 2017: Gwen has another project for me, "make me a lighthouse I can use in my driftwood mobile", she said. So I happen to have some Oregon Myrtlewood on hand, cut it to size and mounted to the lathe. Gwen threatened to paint the lighthouse so I hope to change her mind with the gorgeous look of the Myrtlewood. It took a little over an hour to turn the block of wood into the shape of a lighthouse. I turned the whole process into a six minute video. Click the photos for more views. Nearly the finished project
I'm not the first out this morning A rare snow storm A unique view
Sunday, March 5, 2017: We awoke to a rare snow storm in Sutherlin. It's not really a snow storm. I lived on the California side of Lake Tahoe for thirteen years in a previous life. We didn't even count it as a snow storm until we could measure two feet. What we experienced today was a dusting then rain, then another dusting then more rain then another dusting. This is forecast to continue through tomorrow. However, we got enough snow for me to take a photo for the ViewBug site. I call it "Artzy-Fartzy" photography. It's been a long while since I last took such photos but a lot of the rules are coming back to me with the help of the "Challenges" at ViewBug. The center photo is a good example of the "rule of thirds". Click the photo to see the submission. You can also enlarge the photo of our Cameo fifth wheel and Miss Dory, just click the photo.

Morgan poses for her photograph

Saturday, March 4, 2017: I was reading an Internet article about photography instruction and the writer mentioned "ViewBug", so I visited ViewBug to learn what it was about. I learned it was an Internet location to post and/or find photographs. The photos are posted by amateurs like myself as well as professionals. Here is where you need to know that I worked part of my way through college as a news photographer in Davis, California. After college I created my own mail order business where I did all the photography for the life of the business (1972 - 1997). I had my own darkroom all those years any only gave it up when electronic photography became popular. I've not had a good camera since 1997 but recently became more interested in a DSLR (digital single lens reflex camera) when I saw so many of our Alaska tour guests have them. ViewBug has "Challenges" and "Contests" which looked fun to join. I noticed the "Dog" challenge so took Morgan to the top of our hill and begged her to pose. Actually, I held out my phone and spoke "shoot", "shoot", "shoot", "shoot" ... You see, the camera in my phone is voice activated to the word "shoot". After a dozen photos, I hoped to have one which would work. Morgan is 16-1/2, pretty old for a Golden Retriever, and lost an eye last year but, as I tell anyone who asks, "she still eats, drinks and poops regularly". Today we took Morgan for her usual walk and took a video. You can watch if you want to know what it's like to walk with an old Golden. It's a short video.

Vinyl records found at a garage sale Joe's haul
Friday, March 3, 2017: While driving through the neighborhood I came across a garage sale where the owner was selling vinyl records. I no longer own a turntable but my son Joe does and is trying to build a vinyl collection. So I contacted him and we decided I would choose a few albums for him. I returned to the garage sale, sat on the floor next to the albums and went through every album. The garage sale price was 50¢ per album. There was a lot of country albums and I'm not a fan of country music and don't know the artists so I hope there is something else in this collection. I'm really looking for albums in the 50's and found a few but most are from the 70's. I found 20 albums so $10 worth for Joe.
A project for Gwen

Thursday, March 2, 2017: Working on projects for Gwen and other's today. Gwen wanted a bamboo background for her barn quilt square so we ordered a bamboo cutting board. I cut out an 8" square for her then put an edge on the square with my router.

Our friend, Marlene, wanted several plastic quilting templates just like Gwen's yellow template. I used my table saw for that project. Click both photos to see a larger view.

Finally, I purchased an inexpensive security camera about a month ago with the idea of publishing the URL for the camera so everyone could see what we see in the "backyard". After getting the camera, I learned I must send an email invitation to everyone I want to be able to view the camera. So, today I moved the camera to view the entrance to our fifth wheel. Now I can view this at anytime from my phone, tablet or PC plus, any movement is recorded.

A project for Gwen's sewing group

Getting some cars ready for grandson Noah
Tuesday, February 28, 2017: Remember the train for Lucy? Several years ago I built a train for grandson Noah. It is time to add some cars to that train. I just got a new tool, it's a wood burning tool which has what the manufacturer calls, "stamps". So I used the wood burning tool and several stamps to customize the passenger car.

So the stamps worked great after some practice. The wood burning tool has a dial to adjust the heat level, that took minor adjustment. Then it was a relatively slow process because you must wait about 5 minutes for the tip to come to temperature then a certain amount of cooling time to remove the tip. The instructions say, "don't remove hot tips". However, I'll admit to carefully removing hot tips with pliers then carefully threading in the next tip. Still, it is a slow process because of the 5 - 7 minute wait for a cold tip to come to temperature. The results of the process are worth the wait. I'm anxious to experiment more. Click the photo for a view of the final wood burning project.

Breakfast at CoCo Cafe

Monday, February 27, 2017: Gwen took me to breakfast this morning at a new place called CoCo's Cafe in the historic town of Oakland, Oregon. It's actually in an old dance hall and historic art gallery. The cafe is new and open only for breakfast and lunch. Click the photo to see a panorama of the hall.

But the BIG project is to fix our washer/dryer. We purchased it four years ago and it has worked perfectly however the drying function has slowed and stopped working. The dryer has no lint filter, I'm not sure what the manufacturer had in mind. As it turns out, the vent hose was blocked with lint and the lint blocking the dryer hole had to be removed too. That sounds easy but the washer/dryer weighs 150 lbs and has nowhere to go if I remove it. Fortunately the back half of the shelf is removable so standing on a stool and dipping behind the washer/drying I can just reach and replace the vent hose plus clear the lint from the dryer. Click the washer to see the space where the vent hose is located.

Fixing the washing machine

Snow in Sutherlin


Sunday, February 26, 2017: In some ways this was a lazy day due to the weather. We had a morning of snow flakes which is unusual for Sutherlin, then rain the rest of the day. I didn't really lay around, I cleaned house, repaired a non-working light fixture and replaced two halogen light bulbs plus exchanged two incandescent bulbs with brighter LED bulbs. I also did other house cleaning activities which need not be mentioned. Finally, I figured out how to get Pandora onto our smart TV and actually added some new channels like the "David Gilmour" channel. Click the photo for a view of our "backyard".

Hanging my birthday present Replaced a broken screen door latch A project for Gwen
Saturday, February 25, 2017: A day of repairs and projects. First, hang the birthday present, a combination clock and temperature gauge. This was the item which we bought while visiting Bandon. Then, the latch on Miss Dory's screen door shattered so that had to be replaced. Next, Gwen has been asking for a screen door crossbar on the fifth wheel. It was delivered yesterday so I installed today. Click the center photo for a view. Finally, Gwen has a project in mind and needs these shaped wood pieces. I hope she will publish a photo of her project.
Trying to make Bandon into a bicycle city Thursday, February 23, 2017- Today is a travel day back to Sutherlin but before we take off, let's walk the Bandon Marina. Part of the marina has a theme of bicycles plus a public bicycle repair station. Hang your bicycle on the rack to the right and use the tools supplied to make adjustments. Click the photo to see the tools supplied. Click the left photo to see another bicycle sculpture. Gwen and I walked the other side of the marina and made a video. Public bike repair station
Velocaraptor of sticks Gwen on the beach between bursts of rain Off the Bandon beach
Wednesday, February 22, 2017: Another stormy day on the ocean near Bandon, Oregon. While driving to the beach we noticed creations of a stick artist. Click all photos for more views.
Gwen's favorite place in Bandon I could turn this post! Back at our favorite Bandon Fish and Chips place
Tuesday, February 21, 2017: It has been storming all night so we decided it was a good day to visit the one store in Bandon we really like. It has lots of unique items. Some of the items are good for ideas, like the center photo. I could turn the hanging post (it's priced at $20) and we could look for unique items to hang from the post (the barn is priced at $45). Behind the barn is a carved Holstein cow ($35). We have five awning posts in Sutherlin where these would look pretty nice. Gwen found my birthday present in this store, it was the one item I thought we should get to remember our visit to Bandon. It must be assembled and installed, I'll photograph that. On the way out of town we stopped at our favorite fish and chips again. Click the three photos for additional views.
Gwen's photo of Brook, Dave and Me from the steps of the Coquille River Lighthouse Monday, February 20, 2017: Dave, Gwen's son and Brook come for lunch to Bandon from Brookings, Oregon. First we visit the Coquille River Lighthouse and the Coquille River. It's another stormy day so we are dress warmly. Belle is Brook's dog and Mazie is Dave's dog, they enjoyed visiting Morgan. After the lighthouse we head to our favorite fish and chips location on the Bandon Marina next to the Coquille River. The only location after lunch we wanted to visit was the Bandon Toy Shop for grandkid gifts. I've made a short video of this visit. Click these photos for enlargements. Dave! Nice boat!

Parked at Bullard Beach State Park near Bandon, Oregon

Sunday, February 19, 2017: This is a travel day from Winchester Bay to Bullards Beach State Park near Bandon, Oregon. We did not make a reservation figuring the park would not be crowded this time of year and the weekend campers would be on there way home today. We were right. Many of the reservable sites are filled but the first-com-first-served sites are mostly ALL available and they are more attractive than the reservable sites anyway. So I choose a site with lots of space on both sides and a mountain behind. We get 50 amps and water in this site. We plan to be here only three nights so really don't need a sewer hookup. The fee is $26/night which may be the winter rate. I went ahead and put out the awning figuring we are pretty protected from the wind and rain is forecast so I'd rather keep the door area dry. There are lots of hiking trails around the park but they are mostly flooded from the recent rain. About 1.5 miles down the state park road is the Coquille Lighthouse and the mouth of the Coquille River. We drove to the lighthouse to see Bulla rds Beach and, of course, the lighthouse. Here is a video of our trip. Click this photo for wider view.

One of the bands at the Reedsport festival  
Saturday, February 18, 2017: I mentioned taking advantage of the offer at the Winchester Bay RV Resort ... you buy attendance tickets and you get a night free at the resort. Today was that day. We visited the festival and enjoyed everything. Click the photo for a view of the poster advertising the festival. The event was well attended for the little town of Reedsport. I took a short video to show what the festival was like. Gwen got a fish taco while I got clam chowder. We also bought a special gift for one of my grandchildren.

The view from our windshield


Friday, February 17, 2017: Our first day at the Winchester Bay RV Resort. The resort is on a peninsula with a paved bike path around the perimeter. So I take Morgan for a walk to look at the river. The Umpqua River is the second largest in the state of Oregon. Here is a video if you want to walk with us.

Parked on the shore of the Umpqua River

Thursday, February 16, 2017: After a day of driving in the rain, we have arrived at the Winchester Bay RV Resort in Winchester Bay, Oregon. We follow the Umpqua River from Sutherlin to Winchester Bay where the mouth of the Umpqua River is located. The resort has the Umpqua River on one side of the resort peninsula and the Winchester Bay Marina is on the other side. This is our first time to stay at the resort. We usually stay at the marina. The town of Reedsport, nearby, is having a music festival. The resort is offering a free night if you purchase festival tickets from them so we have taken advantage of the offer. Since this is a stormy day, the Umpqua River is noisy as the waves hit the rocks only a few feet from Miss Dory. Click the photo for another view.

Marlene organized the cake contest


Tuesday, February 14, 2017: Last month Gwen was in charge of "Pie Day" so for Valentines Day, Marlene and Gwen got together and decided to do a "Cake Day". Marlene was the lead on this project with Gwen as a helper. Tonight, 16 cakes showed up which had to be judged for six different prizes. Somehow I was "volunteered" to be a judge. That's a good idea if you want to eat a piece of 16 different cakes but not a good idea if you like to keep the air in your car tires. Fortunately two other men were "volunteered" along with me. The evening was a success! The cakes were very good and I got to visit with friends. Gwen's cake won a prize so everyone enjoyed the evening. Click the photo for a view of those in line for their piece of cake. All proceeds for Cake Day will be donated to the food pantry in Sutherlin.

Friends Ralph and Janet visiting

Sunday, February 12, 2017: Our friends Ralph and Janet are visiting from Medford, Oregon. Ralph and Janet are the friends we have done our most traveling with including the nearly year long trip from Arizona to North Carolina.

Today we are enjoying breakfast together at a location suggested by my friends Gary and Glen in Roseburg. O'Tooles Pub in Roseburg is open for breakfast only on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Gary and Glen have been promoting it since it began the breakfast menu three months ago.

We made this a long breakfast which gave the four of us time to catch up. We haven't seen them since our planned meeting in Alaska.

Delayed by the wildlife at Timber Valley

Thursday, February 9, 2017: I spent most of today finishing our 2016 Income Tax. The news wasn't too bad so we took ourselves to dinner tonight. I chose to use the new action camera as a dash camera. When I got back, I created a video. If you have nothing to do for 12 minutes and want to hear some Bruce Hornsby plus see some of Timber Valley and Sutherlin visit the dash cam video.

Superbowl in the clubhouse Sunday, February 5, 2017: We watched the spectacular Super bowl Game with friends in the clubhouse today. We wanted the Falcons to win and it looked good until the second half. As it turned out, the best part of the game were the snacks and the fact that our square in the betting grid won the third quarter so we broke even on our betting. Click the photos for more views. Watching Lady Gaga at halftime

Lucy gets the train

Saturday, February 4, 2017: Remember the steam train I built for Granddaughter Lucy? It arrived yesterday and Lucy's mom made a video of her first time to see and explore the train. She seems to be excited about the train. The video is short and ends abruptly because the iPhone ran out of memory. Check out her reaction.

Here is the power I need Make the patio bright
Friday, February 3, 2017: As you can see in the photo, we have a wood step I built several years ago for entry into our fifth wheel. Behind and under that step is a tiny light designed to shine upon the steel, collapsible steps. However, in this case, the light shines under the wood steps and is useless. I happen to be browsing Amazon and noticed 16 feet of strip LED lights for less than $10. It looked like an easy electrical connection and would provide much more light to our patio. The LED strip can be purchased in colors but I chose "cool white". The strip can also be trimmed to any length but I wanted the full length. I removed and clipped the wires on the step light. It was easy to wire nut the LED lights to the these step light wires. I believe installation was less than one hour. Click the left photo for another view. Pass your cursor through the right photo for a night view. The cool white light fills our patio with light and looks great.
A pile of crab legs Wednesday, February 2, 2017: First, a bike ride to a new location with a few rain drops. Then a few utility projects. One Thursday each month, the folks at Timber Valley visit Seven Feathers Casino Gathering Place Buffet. The choose Thursday because Thursday is the seafood buffet, expensive but good. Gwen loves the crab legs, I like the smoked salmon and oysters. On the return to Sutherlin, we stopped at Home Depot for wire nuts and to examine vinyl flooring for Miss Dory. Lots of variety
Avacado sandwich Tuesday, January 31, 2017: I did another ride today then after the ride, Gwen invited me to our favorite vegetarian restaurant. Today's special was and Avocado sandwich with goat cheese, tomato, lettuce and onion. I chose broccoli potato soup with that. I brought half of the sandwich home. When we got home, the clothes drier was not working so I repaired. The last thing today was to create a video for my daughter so she could instruct Lucy how to load and unload the tank car. The train will be shipped to Lucy tomorrow. A video for my daughter to instruct Lucy

Lucy's train is finished


Wednesday, January 25, 2017: Lucy's train is nearly finished. I have a few pieces of trim I want to add and a knob on top of the tank lid. Once those changes are made I want at least two coats of finish on all the cars. Click the photo to see a panorama of the train. After clicking the photo on the right, be sure to click the panorama to show the file at full size then scroll right and left to see the entire train.

The caboose cupola is attached to the roof Tuesday, January 24, 2017: The caboose is nearly finished. The observation cupola has been glued to the roof, now just ready for some trim. I also dipped alphabet tiles and some other wood parts into polyurethane. These parts are going inside the tank car. The fun never stops with this train. Click these two photos for additional photos. Some of the wood parts for the tank car are alphabet tiles soaking in Polyurathane

It's national pie day at Timber Valley


Monday, January 23, 2017: Once each year Timber Valley celebrates Pie Day by having a pie making contest. So tonight 12 homemade pies showed up to be judged as part of the contest. Three volunteers acted as judges in a taste contest. There were also awards for a "pretty pie", "creative pie" and "most unusual" pie. Gwen's cream cheese pie topped with fresh strawberries then drizzled with chocolate ganache took second place taste test plus the most creative award. After the contest judging was complete the pies were served, three small slices for one dollar. I made a mistake and bought two dollars worth, way too much sugar. We had nearly fifty at pie day but still plenty of pie for everyone. In fact, the left-over pie was auctioned at the end. I came home with a few slices of sweet-potato pie.


Caboose windows made with a jigsaw also called a scroll saw Clamp the caboose walls while glue dries Caboose brakeman looks out a side window

Sunday, January 22, 2017: Well, as I predicted, it will be the Atlanta Falcons and New England Patriots in the Super bowl. Hopefully is will be a good game, neither of today's games were very interesting the Packers and Pirates should have stayed home. I still had enough time to work on the caboose. In doing the research, I've learned that a caboose has not been required since the 1980s, technology has made them obsolete. They were considered cars for crew and on longer trips had a kitchens where food was prepared. Working on the caboose roof tomorrow and probably another car. Click these photos for another view.

Lucy's engine is finished


Saturday, January 21, 2017: Lucy's steam engine is finished. The shipment of spoked wheels I was looking for arrived this morning giving me enough time to finish the engine then begin working on the caboose. This is one happy train engineer ready to pull Lucy's cars across the imaginary plains in the living room. Click this photo to see another view. The wood blocks I used to spell "Lucy" came with today's order. These are little letter tiles which I plan to add a finish then they will travel inside the tank car. They come 60 to a package. The roof of the engine is permanently glued because the engineer can climb in from the back of the cab. The roof of the passenger cars is removable so the passengers don't have to climb through a window.

Our new couch has arrived

Friday, January 20, 2017: A month ago we ordered a replacement couch for our fifth wheel. We carefully picked the fabric and style. Yesterday we learned the fabric we chose would not be available until the end of February so we drove back to the furniture store today to look at our fabric choices. What we learned, ALL couches have been delayed due to the snow and ice storm at the factory. It didn't matter which fabric we choose. However, Neil, our salesman, showed us another couch which was marked on sale for a price above the amount we paid for our custom couch. But Neil, being a good salesman, said he thought he could match the custom couch price. This couch rocks and has an adjustable headrest. Gwen thought about it for a minute while she rocked back and forth on her side. "I'll take it!", she said. So Neil had Joe and Wade deliver it this afternoon and I'm rocking (on MY side) of the new couch while I type this page.

Still working on the engine Thursday, January 19, 2017: Another day working on the steam engine, more parts to cut, assemble and glue. It requires windows so I get another chance to use the jigsaw. Before proceeding I must figure out where the rear wheels will go and I don't have them yet. But I do know their diameter and axle hole size so I've shaped the side walls to fit the wheels which are scheduled to arrive on Saturday. The glue will be dry tomorrow so I believe I'll be far enough along to add the first finish coat. Click both photos for additional views. Gluing pieces together
Nearly 5 gallons of chips from yesterday's turning. Behind: waiting for the glue to dry on the engine

Wednesday, January 18, 2017: Yesterday, I nearly filled my 5 gallon bucket with chips from the turning I was doing. Click my bucket photo to see the initial assembly of the engine, just waiting for the glue to dry to think about the next step. I don't use anything but glue to assemble wood toys. Parts might break, especially some of the parts on the engine because it is heavier than the other cars. If dropped, for example, onto the headlight, I'd be surprised if it didn't break. However, since assembled with quality wood glue, I imagine the break can be repaired with glue too.

I decided to put the first coat of paint onto the tank cars. You can see them by clicking the right photo.

Waiting for the glue to dry on the engine. Behind: painting the tank cars
Time to begin work on the engine, I'm using my lathe for the first time in a few years. I'm using Oregon Myrtlewood for the boiler and Purple Heart for the smoke stack and other pieces Click to see my thinking for the engine
Tuesday, January 17, 2017: It took me the whole day to turn these few parts for the engine. I have Oregon Myrtlewood, a popular wood for turning and is found only on the Oregon coast and in Israel. I've turned the boiler of Myrtlewood. I also have some Purple Heart which will contrast the Myrtlewood so I'm making the smokestack and other pieces of the Purple Heart. Click the photos for additional views. Click the last photo to get an idea of what I'm thinking of for the steam engine.
The beginning of the tank cars Monday, January 16, 2017: I'm making use of the parts purchased yesterday at Home Depot. These are Schedule 40, 2" "T", caps and plugs. I was originally shopping for 3" but that size is far too large, the 2" seems just right. My idea is to paint the pipe before creating the tank cars then filling the cars with shaped wood parts which I've ordered from Craft Parts in Texas. I also ordered the special wheels I'll need for the engine. I'm using E6000 glue for the end caps. Click the photos for a better idea of what I'm thinking about. Four tanks cars to spread around among the grandchildren
The block car for "LUCY" is done and filled with blocks

Saturday, January 14, 2017: Even with two NFL playoff games, I still had time to complete "LUCY's" block car plus a separate project for Gwen's son Dave.

I still have some other car ideas but it's time to begin thinking about an engine or two. I happen to have an old coloring book of vintage train engines which is helpful with ideas. This is a start for me but I'd really like to add a "Dr. Seuss" feel to the engines so something will likely be exaggerated. Still, the proportions must be right and the height of the hitch pins and holes must match the cars so planning is critical. Click the photos for additional views.

How do I plan, here is some help
Making passenger car roof Yes, color trim added to the passenger cars The passengers enjoy their ride
Friday, January 13, 2017: I spent most of the day in my shop finishing the passenger cars except for the final clear finish. Click all three photos for additional views. The roof on the passenger car can be lifted to board the passengers. Just before closing up the shop I began work on the block car, still thinking about a caboose.
There is some mystery, what are the red sticks and the green scallop
Thursday, January 12, 2017: After a couple days trying to rest and get rid of my cold, I had enough energy today to rearrange my shop plus work on a new car. I also colored a couple of pieces but how I will use those will be a mystery until I use these parts and photograph the results. Click the photo to enlarge this photo.

Back to my toy project


Monday, January 9, 2017: Back to the shop to continue my toy project. Today I worked on more train car bases and added two cars to the Duplo transport.

I have another project which will interrupt my progress on the toys but not for long. Also, after looking at my anode rod I want to replace that tomorrow morning.

I'll be starting the engine soon, probably a week long project. I'm thinking about a caboose although the trains these days don't have a caboose.

Winter in Timber Valley
Sunday, January 8, 2017: Our return from the beach took us into colder weather although we've missed most of the really cold temperatures. Today has been rain all day with rain forecast until Thursday. My flu symptoms have returned so I've been hanging out watching the NFL playoff games. Yea! Green Bay! Click the photo for another view.
Returning to Sutherlin Saturday, January 7, 2017: This is moving day from Harris Beach State Park in Brookings to our home base in Sutherlin. The weather in Brookings has been wet and raining most of the days but back in Sutherlin, it's been snow and ice which we must deal with once we return. After arriving I even had trouble parking Miss Dory level because the saturated ground in our parking space kept giving-way. I'm satisfied with the final parking position for now. I must get the water turned back on. I wanted to replace the anode rod but we arrived back in Sutherlin too late to visit the RV parts dealer. I'll replace the rod next week. For now, we need the hot water heater operational. I close the valves to the low point drain, replace the old anode rod, close all the open faucet valves then turn on the water. Meanwhile, Gwen turns on the furnace and starts moving all the refrigerator items to the fifth wheel. Click the photos for more views. More snow as we get closer to Sutherlin
Clear weather in the morning on Harris Beach Friday, January 6, 2017: It's a nice clear day again this Friday morning with very little wind. That gives me some time to walk to Harris Beach then take a drive into Brookings to fill the propane tank before leaving for Sutherlin tomorrow. We can't get propane in Timber Valley on the weekend and I want a full tank when we arrive tomorrow to keep Miss Dory warm the rest of the weekend. Later in the afternoon we had lunch with Sutherlin friends, Nick and Thelma. On the drive back to camp I noticed the forecast storm was approaching from the west. Click both photos for panorama views. A storm approaching from the west in the afternoon
Walk to McVay Rock State Park (pebble beach) Thursday, January 5, 2017: This is our first clear day in Brookings since arriving on January 1. We took ourselves to McVay Rock State Beach, about 3 miles south of Brookings, Oregon. It is one of our favorite beaches because of the black pebble beach, pebbles, not sand. It was nice to have the sky clear and visibility unlimited after four days of overcast and rain. It was still darn cold, by cold, I mean mid-40's, but with a wind, it felt colder. As we were walking along the beach, we came across a Blue Heron scanning for lunch. Click the photos for additional views. A lone Blue Heron on the beach
The day started with breakfast with all the campground hosts The beginning of stairs for Dave's new trailer Finished with the stairs
Wednesday, January 4, 2017: My day began with going with Dave to a camp host breakfast in Brookings. We learned all the camp hosts meet every Wednesday for breakfast together. All the talk reminded me of the talk when Gwen and I served as hosts to national forest campgrounds. After breakfast I completed my next project, wood steps into Dave's trailer so he doesn't have to use his metal steps. Both Dave and Belle (the dog) are happy with the steps. This took much of the day but Gwen had one more project, move Miss Dory to a location with a view so now we can see the Pacific Ocean from our windshield. Click each photo for another view.
Clean out the hot water heater Using my RV hot water spray attachment Dave reinstalls the anode rod
Tuesday, January 3, 2017: Dave's trailer is a 2003 Cougar. I figure no one has looked at the hot water heater for 14 years so I brought my water heater spray wand attachment to clean out his water heater. Most RVers don't even think of all the crude which accumulates in the hot water heater tank. I've cleaned out water heaters seeing awful jelly like material oozing out as I spray. Dave's wasn't that bad but we did see black sheets of something plus dirt and sand plus unknown material. This ended up on the ground and the heater cover. Imagine what heaters must look like which are never cleaned. Click the photos for views of the crude from the water heater and for a view of Dave's trailer. Of course we replaced the anode rod, it was nearly completely dissolved. Always use teflon tape on the anode rod threads so it won't "weld" the threads.
Dave's new camp host sign provided by Oregon State Parks First things first, the kitchen faucet must be replaced. Drilling into the fiberglass sink for a spray hose
Monday, January 2, 2017: We've arrived at Harris Beach State Park in the far southwest corner of Oregon. Dave must work his first day (January 1) but has Monday and Tuesday off work so we are making the best of it by starting with a few changes. As you have seen from my previous posts, the first thing I do with a new RV is to change the faucets to something more suitable. Dave already hates the original faucet so chooses a replacement which I help install. The new faucet comes with a pull out spray rinse hose and since this is a fiberglass sink, an easy install. Click the two photos on the right to see the steps in the installation. Click the photo on the left to see a very strange photo of the circuit breaker panel labels. We have been able to make out "WH" for water heater on the right, "AC" for air conditioner and "MIC" for microwave on the left, but have NO idea what the other two are labeled. I'm guessing kitchen/living area then bathroom/bedroom. What do YOU think?
Draining the fifth wheel hot water tank so it doesn't freezeSunday, January 1, 2017: We are leaving Sutherlin for a couple weeks to help Gwen's son Dave set up as a volunteer host in Harris Beach State Park in Brookings, Oregon. Dave is new to living in an RV and new to hosting in a state park. He also took delivery of his new-to-him RV yesterday so we are planning to help him make a few changes and get set up. Before leaving Sutherlin we must remove all water from the fifth wheel since we won't be leaving the heat on and the weather forecast is for below freezing temperatures. The first step is to drain the water heater. After removing the anode rod I can see it is time to replace the rod when I return. I'll also want to rinse out the inside of the hot water tank. It takes us two hours to reach Bandon, Oregon where our highway meets the Pacific Ocean. The main north/south coast route is US Highway 101, but in places like Humbug State Park, the road can become very narrow with tight, slow turns. In addition, the weather today is typical wet, Oregon winter weather. Click the photos for additional views. The entire drive from Sutherlin to Brookings takes 4 hours. Brookings is considered the "Banana Belt" of the Oregon coast. In the winter, Brookings is often the warmest city in Oregon. Something Dave is looking forward to after leaving the cold Boise, Idaho winter.  
US Hiway 101 driving south through Humbug State Park

Another train car idea using Duplo kitsSaturday, December 31, 2016: I actually expected to be doing something else today but those plans got changed. So I made good use of the extra time by continuing to work on wood toy train cars. I continue with combining the wood cars with Duplo characters and kits. I have glued a few key pieces to the wood base, one piece to secure the vehicle to the train car and another piece(s) for kids to add their own design of blocks and characters. Click the photo to see what it looks like in transportation mode. The single block locks the vehicle to the train car. I expect kids to invent train trips then add Duplo characters and kits into imaginative play.

Duplo base glued to passenger car base Passenger car walls go up
Friday, December 30, 2016: We are taking a trip beginning the first day of 2017 (two days) so I spent some time preparing Miss Dory then returned to the passenger cars. I chose to use Duplo size bricks and base plus people that fit the Duplo bricks. I purchased base plates to use with several of the cars. Duplo people are also available. I've used E6000 glue to secure the Duplo base to the wood cars. E6000 works magic in every situation I've used it so hoping it will bond plastic to wood. Click the left photo to see the router used to shape the windows. The walls attached easily, next the roof and then decoration. Click the right photo to get a better idea of where this project is going.
More steps to passenger cars Holes for the post Posts installed, trucks installed
Thursday, December 29, 2016: I made significant progress today on the passenger cars. Many more steps but at least the base has wheels attached now. I starting to test some colors for the accents. I'm afraid the color will change once I apply the clear coat so I'm checking the coloring to learn which is best. Click all the photos for additional views. Behind the first photo is the sanding machine smoothing the bandsaw cut. I'm thinking a person shouldn't have to do that, either there is something wrong with the blade, or the bandsaw, or I have something set wrong on the bandsaw. I don't know which so I'll just continue sanding.

An addition to our wind activated yard art


Wednesday, December 28, 2016: Today was a trip to Roseburg for supplies which included a trip to Costco. Each year, Costco offers a new wind activated yard decoration. I've been trying to collect them all as Costco offers them. This one is offered early so I hope it is the 2016 offer which I missed earlier. I also hope a new one will be offered in 2017. We have a nice hill behind our lot which is perfect to display and enjoy these wind machines. Click the photo for another view.

I use the jigsaw to cut out the windows



Tuesday, December 27, 2016: The project continues today with cutting out the windows. I'm making four passenger cars so two side walls with three windows each per car. That's 24 windows meaning disconnecting and reconnecting the blade 24 times, tensioning 24 times and setting up the blower 24 times. That's why this is so time consuming. I would not want to try intarsia or scroll saw designs either because of all the time in setup. I was surprised with how quickly it went and I finished in time to watch the Holiday Bowl with my Dad's Washington Cougars taking on Minnesota Gophers. Unfortunately, the Gopher's out played the Cougars so they go back to Washington without a bowl championship. Click the photo for another view.

Going to be a passenger car for the train set preparing to drill for windows
Monday, December 26, 2016: Back to the project. Working today on passenger cars for the train. I decided to use Duplo parts to enhance the train. The passenger cars need windows so that what I worked on today. Many steps to creating windows in these passenger cars. I only got started, lots more to do to turn this wood into passenger cars. Click the photos for additional views.
On the wait list for the Christmas buffet

Sunday, December 25, 2016: We go with friends to Canyonville, Oregon to have a Christmas buffet at the casino. The casino is using a new wait list system. When the eight of us stepped to the receptionist she told us there was a 35 minute wait and took my phone number to send a text message when our table was available. It worked beautifully and we were enjoying our meal in less than 35 minutes.

On the way home we decided to explore Riddle, Tri-City and Myrtle Creek, Oregon, three towns we hadn't explored before. The last town was Myrtle Creek where we left the town on the northeast side. After driving several miles we ended onto logging roads and became lost until we stumbled upon a security guard for a logging operation at the top of a mountain. He helped redirect us but it was an enjoyable Christmas Day adventure.

Lost on the short cut
Having breakfast with friends

Saturday, December 24, 2016: We started the day having breakfast with friends, Alice and Rich from Grants Pass, Oregon. They are on their way north to have Christmas with family. Alice and I used to work together many years ago at Rogue Community College. Gwen and Alice have been best friends since that time. We took them to the White Horse Coffee Shop which we believe has the best local breakfast.

On the way home, Gwen and I stopped at BiMart where they had this heater on sale. It's a miniature oil heater, Gwen likes to have a warm bedroom and this little heater will keep her warm without heating up my side. Additionally, this heater makes no noise. Heater fans make noise and bother my sleep. So this heater is really a gift for both of us.

A new heater for Gwen
Rogue One, our movie today

Friday, December 23, 2016: Gwen and I have three movies we want to see within the next week so we put the three into a hat and drew out one slip. Rogue One was today's winner. We were very disappointed with the last Star Wars movie so I was not looking forward to this movie. Fortunately, this was a much better movie. The time period of this movie is before the original movie made forty years ago. You'd have to see this movie then the original 1977 Star Wars movie to get the story line in order.

After the movie we decided to visit the Roseburg Mall to learn what stores were in the Mall. There was a long line to see Santa but all the stores were empty. I hope it's because the mall is remodeling. Click the photos for more views.

Santa at an empty mall
The Coquille River meets the Pacific Ocean, a stormy day behind this photo. First Community Credit Union home office in Coquille
Tuesday, December 20, 2016: Part of our trip yesterday took us out to a view of the Pacific Ocean at the mouth of the Coquille River. It was a stormy day so the water was rough and the wind was cold. On the way home we drove through the tiny town of Coquille, Oregon. Coquille is the home of First Community Credit Union our new bank since we have left Wells Fargo because of their illegal activities. First Community has a really nice space in our home base of Sutherlin. My history with First Community began more than three years ago when I noticed they offered a .99% loan rate on a new car purchase. I was ready to apply for the loan until I learned the Prius we purchased came with a 0% loan from Toyota. However, last April when I went looking to trade the Prius for the Forester (because we needed a car we could tow), I remembered there was a credit union in Sutherlin with good rates. I didn't expect to find a manual transmission Forester but the dealer surprised us by finding one. So now I needed a loan and did not remember the name of the credit union with good rates until I looked it up on my phone. I called First Community in Sutherlin and talked with Connie the loan officer (and manager of the bank). She approved me for a loan in less than five minutes. She had never met me and I didn't have an account at First Community in April. Later, when we learned of the Wells Fargo tricks, we immediately thought of First Community and began moving our accounts. I was anxious to see the home office since it was in such a small rural town (Coquille). The home office is on main street and an impressive three story building. Made me feel good we made the choice we did. Click the photos for additional views.
Dave and Brook, meeting us for lunch Oyster Hennesy, my choice for lunch Ocean trash art
Monday, December 19, 2016: On this fun day we drove to Bandon, Oregon on the coast to have lunch with Brook and Dave. Dave is Gwen's son. Brook and Dave are on vacation on the coast for a few days. This is a great time of year to visit Bandon because it is a popular coast town for tourists. There are no crowds this time of year as there are few tourists. We had a "fishy" lunch then walked the town. There are always unique items found in Bandon and some great artwork. Most is beyond our budget but very interesting to look at. We ended up at Washed Ashore museum. This is where ocean trash is turned into art work. Click the two outer photos for additional views.
Pressure treated wood for a frame My special order has arrived Securing the roof panels
Friday, December 16, 2016: This morning I got a phone call from Home Depot letting me know my special order had arrived. My special order was for 26" metal roof panels to cover the two north side slides. I knew what my project was to be for the day. I created a frame using pressure treated 2" x 4" then used very expensive screws to attach the panels to the frame and slide. I'll finish the ends on another day. Click these photos for other views.
Umpqua Community College Roseburg, Oregon The largest nutcracker
Thursday, December 15, 2016: The Rotary Club of Roseburg does a fundraising every fall by creating a pre-Christmas light show at the Twin Rivers Park. The light displays number more than 50 displays, many are animated. Normally music is piped throughout the park but we experienced a severe storm last night which has disabled the sound system. We started with the UCC Strong which is Umpqua Community College. The UCC Strong phrase was created after the attack which killed 8 students and one instructor plus injured another 9. The community came together to support the college staff and students and the phrase came from the community support. Another unique feature is the 50 foot tall nutcracker. Click the photos for three more views.
Chapter 9 monthly breakfast Both sides of the clubhouse Christmas tree
Wednesday, December 14, 2016: This is a day of rain, the most since we returned to Oregon. This is a special day for the park. It began with the monthly Escapee Chapter 9 breakfast. During the summer, we can have as many as 50 attending breakfast but most are in the south where we normally spend the winter. For that reason, we had a dozen for breakfast. But a smaller group makes for lively conversation. After the breakfast, Sutherlin firemen arrived to haul away all the Christmas gifts the park members collected for needy families in Sutherlin. Pass your pointer through the tree photo to see both sides of the tree with all the gifts on both sides.
Piping excess heat to under the fifth wheel Tuesday, December 13, 2016: RV furnaces are NOT very efficient. About 1/4 of the heat is ducted to the basement or to holding tanks. Another 1/3 of the heat is ducted to the atmosphere as "exhaust". Here is the formula for burning propane: C3H8 + 5O2 = 3CO2 + 4H2O. So the chemical exhaust is carbon dioxide and water. The furnace heats a chamber of air which indirectly sends the heat into the trailer then the carbon dioxide and water into the atmosphere. Unfortunately, a whole lot of heat goes with the exhaust making it only 60% efficient. For that reason, we installed an Empire propane heater back in 2009. It is 99% efficient and works great to heat the trailer. However, our single pane windows create lots of condensation from all the water the heater pumps into the air. For that reason, we have been using the furnace. I got the idea of sending the "exhaust" under the fifth wheel to help keep it warm. Click the photos for more views. Making the connection to the furnace exhaust.
Roseburg High School Winter band concert
Monday, December 12, 2016: My friend, Glen, invited me to attend the Roseburg High School winter band concert. In a previous life I played trombone from 4th grade through high school and one year in the college marching band. So any time I get the chance, I like to attend high school concerts and I'm as interested in the half time show as the football at a game. The Roseburg bands, there are three, Concert, Symphonic and Wind Ensemble were all much better than I had expected. Here is a short video I made of the Wind Ensemble. I am looking forward to the next concert.
Wheels glued to axles Saturday, December 10, 2016: Back into the workshop continuing to work on train cars. I don't like shape of the wheels for train cars so I use a hole saw to change the shape of the rear side of the wheel. The axle passes through the support block, spacer added to the top of the axle block and exterior guard added to the axle block. Of course, I must wait for the glue to dry at each step. Trucks are almost complete
Very similar to our Alumiscape Still searching
Friday, December 9, 2016: The search continues today with a drive north, first to Eugene then on to Salem. We have many trailers on the list to check from all our research. It took all day but we found enough units to meet the criteria so we can begin the negotiation. Here is another link to shopping for RVs. Click the photos for more views.

A glass shower is nice in a small trailer
Thursday, December 8, 2016: Gwen and I are helping Dave and Brook (Gwen's son) find their first RV. They have some special plans in the near future and want to get their first RV. So we spent most of this day searching the Internet then visiting several rigs we found after Dave and Brook approved of what was found on the Internet. Part of the negotiating needed to buy an RV is to find several units which are equal in the mind of the buyer. Check what I wrote last year about buying an RV. Click the photos for more views.
My shop project Drilling axle holes for wood wheels Shaping the trucks
Wednesday, December 7, 2016: It has been four years since I last worked in my shop to build gifts for the grandkids. I need to build at least one full wood toy train plus build new cars to go with the last train(s) I built. I have forgotten much of what I did four years ago so I've been looking at the photos I took to be sure my new cars will match the first cars. Today I spent my time making the trucks for the train cars. I takes two trucks, two spacers, eight wheels for each train car. Fortunately I counted up the wheels I had on hand yesterday and learned I needed more. They were ordered yesterday and shipped from Texas today. There are lots of steps for these simple trucks. Cutting, drilling, shaping, axles, wheels, wheel caps and I'm making enough trucks for 18 train cars so that's a lot of work which wasn't finished today. More tomorrow. Click the photos for larger views.

Visiting Home Depot

Tuesday, December 6, 2016: Working in my shop some more today. However, with all the rain lately it has made us look around the park to learn how some of the other park residents handle the rain. We have two RVs, as you know, one, the fifth wheel which remains here in Sutherlin and the other we use for travel, Miss Dory. We did not get that idea ourselves. Many of the residents at all of the Escapees Co-op parks have an RV they keep as a "home base" and another used for travel. This winter is our first winter in the fifth wheel since 2012-13 and our first winter in the fifth wheel as our "home base" rather than our traveling RV. This last summer we added an aluminum awning which has been amazing. When I was walking around the park looking for winter ideas I noticed that most fifth wheel have a permanent metal roof over the slides. What a great idea. It's cheap, eliminates potential leak problems and quiets down the rain hitting a slide roof. So today I headed to Home Depot and learned I could order metal roofing in whatever length I wanted so I wouldn't have to cut the roofing material for length. I ordered eight pieces, 26 inches long. Now I just have the framing to do. Click the photo to see a neighbor's slide metal roof.

Visiting the largest Christmas craft fair. Sunday, December 4, 2016: Today was the last day of the Douglas County Christmas Craft Fair located in Roseburg at the Douglas County Fairground. Three large buildings filled with hundreds of booths with lots of clever products. Gwen found the one item she wanted for our lot. It is a metal Blue Heron yard decoration. For me the product choices were overwhelming. I think one would need to have a person in mind then shop for one person at a time. Click the photos for two more views. Gwen finds our only purchase
Is this real? The bay area Through the tunnel
Saturday, December 3, 2016: I took myself to a model train show in the small town of Drain, Oregon. It's only a 30 minute drive, not a huge show but enough to make it worth the drive. The exhibitors always amaze me with the detail of their modeling and the expense of their hobby. I took a video of the longest model train I've ever seen. I didn't count the cars but it reached halfway around the track. Hopefully, going to shows like this will keep me from starting a new hobby. Click each photo for another view.
Decorate the tree Friday, December 2, 2016: The big event today is the wine/cheese party Gwen has been planning for the clubhouse. This party is happening at the same time as the holiday decorations in the clubhouse. Thirty people attended but that was still not enough to eat all the cheese or drink all the wine. After fixing some of the light sets, the decorating was successful. The left photo is a "roll-over" so just pass your pointer through the photo to see a new photo appear. Click on the right photo to see a panorama of the entire room as folks are decorating and socializing. Clubhouse wine/cheesse plus decorating party

Now our trailer is decorated for Christmas



Thursday, December 1, 2016: So, I spent the day adding Gwen's decorations to the fifth wheel. We have icicle lights which change colors, garland on an awning support pole and over the door, plastic lighted candy canes and moving laser lights projected on the side of the trailer.

Click the photo for a night time view.

A neighbor has decorated
Wednesday, November 30, 2016: One of our neighbors has decorated with icicle lights and Gwen decided she would like some. So we had many reasons to visit Costco today so Gwen put a box of icicle lights into the cart. That will be on tomorrow's To-Do list if it's not raining.
Digging a trench for the rainwater diversion pipe

Tuesday, November 29, 2016: Today was a work day for me. I need to channel the water from the aluminum awning to the drainage ditch next to the street. The drain pipe will require a trench through our driveway. I learned that the ground under our gravel is hard and must be broken with the sharp end of a pick. That turned out to be a lot of work for this old guy. All the gravel in the pipe pathway had to be moved to a location where it would be easy to replace once the pipe is installed. Gwen didn't like the idea of black pipe at the corner of the awning so I spray painted the end of the pipe white. Morgan has been my supervisor for this project. Click both photos to see additional views.

Yes, Miss Dory is parked on our lot next to our fifth wheel. Miss Dory is allowed on the lot from November 1 to April 1.

The trench is dug, ready for the pipe, click to see the finish
Center of the main intersection in Oakland, Oregon

Monday, November 28, 2016: True Value Hardware has a 50% off coupon for ONE item which expires tomorrow. I got the idea of using it to purchase rain water drain pipe to send the water off our new aluminum awning into the drainage ditch. Unfortunately the coupon had to be used for an item costing $50 or less and the drain pipe (in 100 foot lengths) was $51. My decision was to buy five ten-foot lengths of pipe (I only needed 50 feet) and use the coupon on a 50 foot, 12 gauge extension cord which cost $49.99 but I got it for $25.

I chose to drive to Oakland, Oregon because the pipe in Sutherlin was more expensive and Oakland is only 3 miles. Oakland is a historic town with buildings dating back to 1900. The first thing I noticed when driving into town was the tree in the middle of town. Second, I noticed the wagon inside the hardware store. A man and wife own and run the store, I like small stores.

Sterns Hardware store, Oakland, Oregon

This is what kept Miss Dory home

A present for me purchased on the drive home

Sunday, November 27, 2016: The weatherman was right and this is the reason we used WorldMark rather than drive Miss Dory. Still, the driving wasn't bad. Chains were "required" but no one was checking so I saw only one vehicle with chains. I was hoping Oregon had the same rules as California: a four wheel drive vehicle with snow tires does not need chains unless the weather/roads are severe. I lived at Lake Tahoe in California so I'm very familiar with chain rules. I always owned a four wheel drive at Tahoe so it was rare that I needed to add chains. Having said that, there was always to two (plus) week period I needed to chain all four wheels because the snow plows could not keep up with the snow fall. The winter road conditions in Klamath Falls are different than what I experienced at Tahoe. I never had "studded" snow tires at Tahoe because there was always enough snow on the roads to provide traction. Klamath roads are icy which demands studs on snow tires for traction.

I've been wanting a portable propane campfire pit and learned Lowes had exactly what I wanted at the price I wanted. However, the pit was NOT available in Roseburg but six were available in Medford so I stopped on the drive home to pick it up. Call it an early Christmas gift to myself.

Click both photos for more views.

Hiking with a storm approaching




Saturday, November 26, 2016: I'm out on a hike watching the next storm arriving from the west. The weatherman promises more snow by tomorrow, the day we leave. We must cross the Cascade Mountains to the west and the weatherman promises some good snow in the mountains tonight. This path must be for bicycles but I could see roller blades on the trail too. Click the photo for another view.

Running Y Ice Rink
Friday, November 25, 2016: Running Y has built an amazing outdoor ice rink which must be popular this time of year (I'm not sure that it is open year around). Here they are preparing the rink for lessons in the morning and public skating in the afternoon. The skaters were arriving as I walked by and took these photos. Click the photo for another view.

Thanksgiving means family games


Thursday, November 24, 2016: Thanksgiving day with Gwen's family means food and family games. This game is called "LOLZ" where the players have teams. One team member must put a dentist spreader in their mouth then read a non-sense sentence from a card. The participants team members must guess what is being said within a 30 second time limit. It was humiliating and funny at the same time. With nine family members participating in this game it caused much roll-on-the-floor-laughter.

Click the photo because we also celebrated a 3 year olds birthday today. He never stopped playing the entire day and would not stop to eat until late in the day.

The weather has changed from yesterday!
Wednesday, November 23, 2016: The weather forecast was correct, I wouldn't want to be driving Miss Dory on these roads. Click this photo to see the WorldMark unit we are using for another four days.
Cascade Mountains to Klamath Falls, Oregon The kitchen in our World Mark Condo

World Mark Decor



Tuesday, November 22, 2016: We've left Miss Dory at home for this little trip to Klamath Falls, Oregon to have Thanksgiving with Gwen's family. The weather forecast is for light snow in Klamath Falls which doesn't sound frightening but it's the pass we must drive which is keeping us from bringing the motorhome.

My son Joe has a WorldMark membership and was able to get us a two bedroom condo at the Running Y in Klamath Falls. Joe has been able to secure lodging for the family many times an the World Mark resorts are away's exceptional. This one is so nice and big we will have Thanksgiving here at the resort.

Click the photos for more views.

One of our favorite QBs.


Sunday, November 20, 2016: Today is NFL football day and the networks seem to televise the Green Bay Packers every week. Perhaps they are the nation's favorite. Aaron is one of our favorites but he has been struggling lately and tonight was another loss, this time to Washington. Aaron doesn't have to win for us to like him but not sure the other Green Bay fans will feel the same.

Adding a shade screen to the new awning Saturday, November 19, 2016: It has been raining nearly every day since our return to Oregon but we still chose to attach a sun shade to our new aluminum awning. I'm hoping it will help keep more of the rain off the patio. Click both photos for more views. I used carabineers at the top with bungee cords at the bottom to give wind relief on stormy days. Shade screen installed.

A little art and craft show in the Timber Valley Clubhouse

Friday, November 18, 2016: Again, a few errands this morning then my first bike ride since returning to Oregon. This was also my first cold weather ride in a long time. It was 44° at the beginning of the ride and 45° at the end. I couldn't find one of my winter riding gloves, I'm going to need it if it's any colder.

I finished the ride just in time to visit the art and craft show happening in the Timber Valley clubhouse. Gwen decided to show some of her sewing projects and sold some too. We also bought a few items for gifts. Click the photo for a view of the room.

Arrival (the movie)

Thursday, November 17, 2016: After several errands, I took my self to see Arrival, a movie I've been anxious to see after reading the NPR review. Gwen was not interested in the movie so she stayed home. I've never been good at understanding language structure but this has peaked my interest especially after reading "Sapiens, A brief History of Humankind", now I want to read Chiang's short story, the basis for Arrival. So I call this style of movie a "cerebral" movie, one which gives the viewer something to think about, such as the Sapir–Whorf hypothesis. Now I KNOW you want to see this movie.

Mom loves football



Sunday, November 13, 2016: Mom is a big football fan both college and NFL. Since my father was a graduate from Washington State University, she especially likes to watch the Cougars play football. Tonight the University of Washington Huskies has lost their first game. If the WSU Cougars win tonight, they will have the best record in the Pac-12. Mom does not get ESPN on her TV so I provided her with my tablet where she could watch the Cougars while she continued to watch the Washington Huskies on her home TV. Mom is proud to say none of her friends give a hoot about football but she does and has her whole life.

We are headed north tomorrow.

Mom is 91!



Saturday, November 12, 2016: This whole week has been a week long celebration of Mom's 91st birthday. Today, grandson Joe (my son) came to visit so we brought a pumpkin cheese cake to make it more special for Mom.

Great grandkids with great grandmother

Friday, November 11, 2016: This was a special breakfast day for my mother. Great grandkids, Daniel and his mother, Shannon came to visit from Woodland, California. Chloe and Noah with their dad, Ben came from Reno, Nevada. Granddaughter, Kristen came from Concord, California and I'm from Oregon. Grandma had fixed a special breakfast casserole which the adults loved but the kids couldn't stop playing. Daniel and Chloe are both in the First Grade. Grandma is about to turn 91 so she's had lots of visitors this week.

Lucy comes to visit Great Grandma

Thursday, November 10, 2016: My daughter Mindy, her husband Scott and their daughter Lucy came to visit Great grandma this afternoon. The restaurant supplied Lucy with a whole box of crayons and she made good use of them. Mindy and Scott suggested Thai food so we found a very good restaurant only one mile from the house. Everyone enjoyed the Thai food, we'll try it again someday. Great grandma really enjoyed Lucy who always eats very well.

Click the photo for another view.

Mom is getting her hearing aids tuned up

Monday, November 7, 2016: The best thing about today is it is the last day before the election and the awful ads will end. We are planning to take Mom to the theater tomorrow night so we don't have to watch the election results.

We did lots of errands today but the most important was to take Mom to the Costco audiologist to have her hearing aids tuned up. We learned that Mom's ears are full of wax which needs to be cleaned out but Jeff was still able to improve the aids.


Mom is at the Sandhill Crane Festival
The Sandhill Crane Festival is an annual event in Lodi
My favorite in the "Art Room"
Saturday, November 5, 2016: Gwen, my sisters Sandy and Dorana, Ed (Sandy's husband), Robin (Dorana's partner) and my Mother visit the annual Lodi Sandhill Crane Festival. Gwen and I saw Sandhill cranes while visiting Alaska. Each year, Sandhill Cranes migrate from Alaska to the states in the south. Some winter here in Lodi, hence the festival. This is a fun time for local artists to display and sell their arts and crafts and for tours of the waterways around Lodi. The photo on the right is NOT of a Sandhill Crane but it was my favorite of the show. Click all photos for additional views. I'll admit, my favorite item was in the vendor hall. I was able to view Swarovski Optik binoculars which must be the top of the line binocular at $2,800. I thought my Nikon binoculars were pretty special but they cost considerably less.

Mom's car is for saleFriday, November 4, 2016: Gwen and I did errands in the morning then had lunch with my sister Dorana and Mom.

Mom has decided to sell her 2012 Ford Focus. She gave up driving a couple years ago but kept the car for visitors to use. She no longer wants to pay the up-keep, insurance and license on a car she doesn't use. I'm helping to sell it as I helped Ben sell his 4Runner. I've listed the car in CraigsList. If you happen to be in Oregon, we are returning to Oregon on November 14 and could bring the car with us if you are interested.

Lunch at the senior center

Wednesday, November 2, 2016: Mom likes to visit Lowell Center, the Lodi Senior Center for lunch, especially when they will be showing an afternoon movie. So Gwen, Mom and I visited the senior center today for lunch. The meal costs $3 but I believe their is a sliding scale for those who can't afford it. The whole program is run mostly by volunteers while others are on a "training wage" and are usually offered employment elsewhere once the training is completed. Click the photo to view the room. Later, I rode Gwen's bike today for more than an hour to get the feel of a "comfort bike".

Our neighbor
Monday, October 31, 2016: Mom says she never gets Halloween visitors looking for a treat. Our neighbor seems to be encouraging visitors. We have been visiting Mom only a couple days but today I had to use AAA to jump the battery in her car while running errands with her downtown. I also had to schedule the ATT Uverse repairman to fix Mom's Internet connection this afternoon. It turned out her ATT modem was defective and the ancient outside wiring needed to be replaced. Now the Internet works as well as DSL can work. I still had time to ride 18 miles after Mr. ATT left.
Parked in Mom's driveway
Saturday, October 29, 2016: After 28 days in Verdi, today is a travel day from Verdi to Lodi, California to visit my Mother for a couple weeks. She has a large enough driveway for Miss Dory and I added a 50 amp circuit years ago for power. Yes, the pavement is wet, rain has been threatening all day.

Time for a Lucy walk


Friday, October 28, 2016: "Lucy, do you want to go on a W-A-L-K", asked Scott. Apparently, Gunner, the dog, gets too excited by the word "walk". I asked Lucy if she knew what a "W-A-L-K" was. She didn't answer but started getting ready to ride her bike so I guess she understood. We walked around the block and down the street, probably a mile round trip. She "walked" her bike the whole trip.

Click the photo for another view.

Lucy at the Discovery Museum in downtown Reno This floor to ceiling climbing structure is called "the cloud" Fishing and giant block building
Discovering skeletal joints

Thursday, October 27, 2016: I spent the morning with my daughter Mindy and granddaughter Lucy at the Terry Lee Wells Nevada Discovery Museum. What a marvelous place for kids. Lucy has a membership so she gets to come anytime. She headed straight to the cloud, a giant climbing structure about 40 feet tall. We wandered the other rooms where Lucy showed me other activities she likes.

Later we left the museum to pick up Chloe at the bus stop. Chloe and Lucy help gather the leaves in Lucy's back yard. Of course they found ways to make it fun by dumping leaves onto each other.

Click all the photos for more views.

Chloe and cousin Lucy helping dad with the leaves

Chloe arrives home from school

Wednesday, October 26, 2016: My day began early. My long time friend, David, met me at our RV park to go riding together. David and I haven't seen each other in 26 years. I lived at Lake Tahoe for 13 years in a previous life and during that time, David and I were charter members of the North Lake Tahoe Kiwanis Club. We also did long distance riding together and Nordic skating together. We were also sailboat partners with a beautiful, fast 22 foot solid keel boat. So, today's ride was special and David showed me a good riding route I didn't know of. Unfortunately, I forgot my phone which is also my camera so no photos and no Map My Ride report of the ride. David has stayed active so was in much better shape than me. But he has helped with the motivation I need to get back into good riding shape.

While I'm finishing my ride with David, Chloe arrived home from school on her school bus. Gwen was there with her camera (phone) and took 30 photos of Chloe getting off the bus. I've got two of them here (click the photo and scroll down).

Ben's 4Runner is sold!

Monday, October 24, 2016: Ben gave me ONE job to do during the month I'm visiting ... sell his 1996 4Runner that he has owned for 18 years. Well today I accomplished my job. Ben is no longer the owner of the 4Runner and I have the cash to prove it. I tried to get Ben's goat by texting him that I was taking the cash to a casino to double it but he didn't think I was funny. I took eleven days with a listing on CraigsList which surprised me, I expected a quicker response. Scott, the buyer, got a really nice 4Runner.

The whole family riding on the Steamboat Ditch Trail My Daughter Mindy with Gwen right behind on her new bike. Noah on the bridge over the only water we saw.
Lucy rides with Dad The view to the west from the trail, a panorama is behind the front photo showing the Truckee River flowing into Reno. Mindy with Lucy riding her own bike. Behind is a group photo.
Sunday, October 23, 2016: Scott and Mindy came up with an idea for a morning bicycle ride with the kids. So Chloe, Noah and their dad, Ben met Lucy and their mom and dad, Mindy and Scott at the trailhead for the Steamboat Ditch Trail. Gwen and I had never been on this trail which is not paved but smooth dirt for easy riding for a comfort bike like Gwen's or a mountain bike. The kids had an easy riding time too, Noah led the way the whole ride. Lucy rode in a seat with her dad most of the time but then stayed on her own push bike for about two miles. The views of the Truckee River and the area between Reno and Verdi were unobscured on this good weather day. Click all photos for more views. Be sure to scroll right and left when you find the panorama.

Chloe has a Pokemon card collection

Saturday, October 22, 2016: Chloe and Noah began the day with pancakes and eggs with us along with Uncle Joe. After breakfast, we drove to Ben's house to talk with a potential buyer for Ben's 4Runner. Then the kids were off to a friend's birthday party. Gwen and I drove to Sparks, Nevada to meet with Bud and Anita who are traveling through to Laughlin, Nevada from our home base at Timber Valley in Sutherlin, Oregon.

I've learned Chloe likes to collect Pokemon cards. She has filled a notebook with her collection of cards. I don't get the attraction but I guess grandpas shouldn't understand six year olds.

My donut Halloween project worked better for Noah and Chloe Friday, October 21, 2016: My Halloween donut project worked better with Noah and Chloe. I clipped the teeth in the middle so there was no spring action, the donuts didn't break. Of course this 5 and 6 year old were more interested in EATING the donuts than in using them for a Halloween project. Click these photos for another view. Well, some of the teeth didn't make it into the donuts
Halloween Donut projectThursday, October 20, 2016: This day didn't work out well for me. I saw a Facebook post which showed a Halloween craft project using donuts. You insert the little plastic teeth in the center of the donut to form an open mouth (donut hole) with teeth. Just add eyes and perhaps some candy corn hair for a pretty scary monster. At least that is what it looked like in the Facebook post. I tried it with Lucy today but the little plastic teeth, which you fold then insert into the donut, had so much spring in the fold they would break the donut into two pieces. Apparently you should use glazed donuts rather than cake donuts. The sugar frosted glazed donuts worked, the cake donuts didn't. Lucy didn't care, she still had fun with the donuts. Tomorrow I try again with Chloe and Noah.
Exploring the Ox-Bow Wildlife area Lucy leads us down the trail The puddles were the best!
Tuesday, October 18, 2016: Mindy (my daughter) took Lucy (her daughter) and I to the Ox-Bow Wildlife Refuge today along the Truckee River very close to downtown Reno. This was a fun place to hike with Lucy. We had to share the refuge with half a dozen school groups and one adult group all learning about the ecology of the area. Lucy collect sticks and rocks but the most fun was to walk through the puddles and pick up mud. We watched for wildlife but saw only deer. We DID hear birds but couldn't find them. Click on all the photos for more views. After the wildlife exploration Mindy took us to The Hub. It's a coffee shop near downtown Reno. It has a bicycle wheel logo so I'll have to learn why that is. There was ONE group of cyclists at the shop so maybe a local place for cyclists to gather. This seems like a comfortable place to share a cup of coffee. Of course there is a Chocolate shop right next door. I'll have to visit again, maybe on my bike.

Lucy loves playground play equipment

Monday, October 17, 2016: Most of our day was doing laundry and talking with Progressive insurance company. But then we went for Sushi with Mindy, Scott and Lucy.

We learned how to eat sushi from Scott and Mindy so sushi time is always special. Lucy likes sushi too but tonight it was only sliced avocado for her.

After the sushi it was off to the playground where Lucy showed me all the equipment she liked. She is super coordinated on play equipment because Mom takes her to gymnastics class.

Click the photo for another view.

Weather is the story for a couple days
Saturday, October 15, 2016: The story for the whole northwest coast are the three storms lined up in the Pacific coming on shore one right after another. The last storm due tomorrow is what is left over from typhoon Songda and the weather forecasters are threatening the strongest storm in 50 years. We have already had unheard-of tornados along the Oregon coast with serious damage. Our windshield view in Verdi, Nevada at the Gold Ranch RV Park is toward the southwest looking directly at the Truckee River canyon. The western storms weave their way through the canyon and spill into Verdi and Reno. This is a great location for storm watching. This area is dry so the rain is welcome, the wind? Not so-much.

Noah enjoys Yogurt Beach too!

Thursday, October 11, 2016: So today was "help Ben day". He is working most of the time so can't be home to sell a vehicle he has wanted to sell for a while. Since I'm visiting, I can show the vehicle to prospective buyers so I spent much of the day creating a Craigslist page for his vehicle.

So later in the day, Ben took Chloe to a special science lesson while Gwen and I played "Fish" with Noah. He won most of the games. On the return to Noah's home, we decided to visit Yogurt Beach (since Chloe got to visit Yogurt Beach on Monday).

Of course we had to play more card games with both Chloe and Noah. Noah won those games too.

Now it was bedtime and the kids are all hyped up so we left. Isn't that what grandparents should do, get the kids hyped up then leave?

Attending a Julia Fowlis workshop
Tuesday, October 11, 2016: Mindy, my daughter, sent me a text message telling of a music workshop to be given at her local library. The presenter is Julia Fowlis from Scotland talking about and presenting Gaelic music. It was a very interesting one hour workshop enjoyed by Gwen, Mindy, Scott (Mindy's husband) and me. Lucy was also there but she preferred to play in the "blocks" room and puzzle desk.
Lucy at gymnastics class Monday, October 10, 2016: My plans for the day were changed early this morning. I planned to watch Lucy at her gymnastics class then go for a bike ride. I DID get to see Lucy at much of her gymnastics class and she is very good at 2-1/2 years old. But Chloe's Dad, Ben, sent me a text message saying Chloe had an ear infection and he needed me to be with her for the day since she could not go to school. Chloe and I read a book together, one I brought her from Alaska. Then we played several games of "Smack It" with Chloe winning every game. She announced she was hungry so we discussed what we could do and finally decided upon a McDonald's Happy Meal. She are every bite of chicken McNuggets, apple slices and apple juice. Then she asked about dessert so we decided upon frozen yogurt at "Yogurt Beach". Again, she ate every bite. Now we head back home and hang her craft project we completed the other day. Then we finish the day with the bingo style game, "Zingo". What a fun day. She never complained about her ear infection. Click both photos for additional views. Chloe with "dessert"
Climbing Crystal Mountain Sunday, October 9, 2016: Ben mentioned a trip to Crystal Mountain in the hills to the northwest of Reno. Gwen and I were excited about that since we had already thought of a rock border on one edge of our patio back in Sutherlin. We were unsure what was meant by "crystals" which turned out to be white quartz. My son Joe ("Uncle Joe"), Ben, Chloe and Noah took us to the mountain. We hiked to the top of the mountain where we found mounds of white quartz, beautiful rocks for our patio edge so we collected our limit, a bucket full. It's a good thing Joe and Ben were there, we needed the help to transport the rocks down the mountain. This was about twenty miles of off-road driving so Chloe left her mark on Dad's car. Another beautiful weather day. Click the photos for more views. The limit is one bucket of rocks

It's soccer day, Noah in the hat
Chloe on the lilac team

The day ends with Noah, Chloe and Lucy on the trampoline

Saturday, October 8, 2016: Saturday is soccer day for Noah and Chloe. Today Noah's game was in the morning at 11am while Chloe's team played after lunch at 1pm. The point of their play is exercise, they did lots of running and no one seemed to care about the score. The day was warm and perfect for soccer.

Later this day, cousin Lucy, my granddaughter (Mindy, my daughter is Lucy's mother) joined us for pizza and then a couple of hours of non-stop playing with Noah and Chloe. Nearly an hour on the trampoline with Lucy so excited she was yelling the whole time.

Click the photos for more views.

A day for playing with the grandkids

Friday, October 7, 2016: Chloe and Noah's Dad, Ben must work today so Gwen and I spend the day playing grandkid games. First we head to the cafe for some eggs, bacon and pancakes where both kids eat a good second breakfast (they had one earlier with Dad).

Then we do a project I'd hoped to do earlier. While in Boise, Idaho last May I grabbed some craft items at a store going out of business. We strung some ceramic figures on a paper rope to be hung from the ceiling as a room decoration. The kids made one for their cousin Lucy too.

Next, we hike around the mountain, a little more than a one mile hike. The kids found the creek behind the mountain but kept their shoes dry.

The rest of the day was in the swimming pool and hot tub. They never tire of swimming. The afternoon in the water ended only when lunch was ready.

Click the photo.

Windsor, California vacation with the Grandkids
October 3 - 6, 2016
Noah, Ben and Chloe in the pool Playing at the Pumpkin Patch Playing on the hay stack at the pumpkin patch
Still at the pumpkin patch on the dozer Chloe joins Noah on the tractor Riding bike on the Joe Rokota Trail in Santa Rosa
Running through the pumpkin patch
Scooters! Hiking a steep trail Chloe wanted to do a selfie
Walking the beach A new style tetter totter on the playground
This road caused Chloe to get out her barf bag, UGH!Thursday, October 6, 2016 reporting on the activities since Monday on a four day vacation to Windsor, California with the grandkids, Chloe and Noah and their Dad, Ben. This was non-stop activities with the kids, they really know how to take a vacation. First on the list was swimming in the pool at the World Mark resort in Windsor. Chloe is making a sour face but she was acting for the camera. Nearly all these photos have another behind so just click the top photo to see the one under. Next we head to a pumpkin patch where the kids played and saw baby goats, pigs, chickens and cows. Of course we had to ride bicycles and scooters. The bike route we chose is the Joe Rocota Trail in Santa Rosa. It was relatively safe for kids. Another day we headed to the Armstrong Redwood State Park to see the big trees. While there we did a hike on a steep trail with Noah in the lead. We got to the top with no whining except from me! Windsor is only about an hour on a slow road to the Pacific Ocean so we headed to the ocean on one of our days. We broke rule number 3, "Do not play tag with the waves." To be fair, it was a steep so dangerous beach and surf if you weren't paying attention. A state park ranger parked on the bluff behind us. He had a rescue board on top of his vehicle. I don't know if he was watching us but when we walked away from the surf (and stopped playing tag with the waves) he left. Finally, we found a great park with new play equipment where I burned my arm on a slide made hot in the sunlight. Ben chose to take the short route back to Reno which turned out to be the slow route through the coast mountains. Chloe did a good job taking care of her car sickness with a barf bag. Noah got out his barf bag but didn't have to use it. Ben decided he wouldn't take this route again. Papa (that's me) survived with only ONE nap during the four days.
Gold Ranch RV Park in Verdi, Nevada
Sunday, October 2, 2016: Probably the best location in the Gold Ranch RV Park up against the mountain looking to the southwest. That means we get sun into the windshield during the fall and winter months and we get to see the winter storms coming over the mountains into Verdi and Reno. Plenty of space for Morgan and Annie plus a nice hiking trail nearby. The winter rates begin October 1 but the fees have increased since our last visit and will likely increase again since the entire park is sold out.
Adin Supply in remote area north of Susanville, CA
Saturday, October 1, 2016: This was a travel day from Klamath Falls, Oregon to Verdi, Nevada on a two lane, sometimes very rough and narrow highway 139. Adin, California is a tiny town along the way with one "general store" named Adin Supply. Do you think they cater to the hunter? We got sandwiches from the deli for lunch. Tonight must be a special night for everyone in Adin, click the photo to see why.
On the road again
Tuesday, September 27, 2016: Gwen and I are on the road again heading south. Our first stop will be Klamath Falls, Oregon to visit Gwen's daughter for a few days. Note the dolphins in the graphics on the side of our Dolphin motorhome.

Ben and I are on a short but strenuous hike

Sunday, September 25, 2016: Ben and I take my loop hike to the top of the mountain behind the park. Click here for the details of the hike. The climb was nearly 1200 feet with a total mileage of 3.5 miles. It was pretty quick for us, less than 2 hours which would have been less had we not stopped for the views and photographs. This is something we should do every other day. I don't think Ben was ever even breathing hard! We are leaving on Tuesday and I'm riding my bike tomorrow so the next time I do this hike will likely be in November. Click the photo for the view I'm seeing on top.

Ben has come to visit Riding with Ben
Saturday, September 24, 2016: We met Ben while we were camped in Mt. Robson Provincial Park in British Columbia in August. He and Maranda were the cycle tourists who shared our campsite. Ben has come to visit after making a presentation at a Boys and Girls Club. We dined at the nearby Tolly's Restaurant in Oakland, about three miles. Then today, since I'm back riding my bike, Ben and I did my beginning route, 15 miles this morning. After our ride, we went to work, washing the two cars, the fifth wheel and the motorhome. We ended the day with barbequed chicken. Ben has lots of energy so it's been fun trying to keep up with him.

Gwen is checking the seat height with Susan, the Blue Heron Bike Shop owner
Gwen's first ride at home. She DID find her helmet later.
Thursday, September 22, 2016: We combined our first Subaru service appointment in Eugene with shopping for a new bicycle for Gwen. She wants a "comfort" bike with ladies "step through" frame. She chose the "townie" 7D which has seven gears and "laid-back" comfortable ride. She had fenders installed because she plans to ride in the rain. With the "tractor" seat and long wheel base frame, it is a very comfortable ride. The frame looks heavy but it's aluminum so not too bad. Click the photos for more views.

The roll awning is gone, the aluminum awning is being installed
15" tall custom anchors for the support posts Wednesday, September 21, 2016: It took Ivan and Steve only three days to complete the installation of the used aluminum awning Gwen found advertised at the Senior Center when she was playing bingo. Follow the construction by clicking on the photos above, to the side and below to see the progress. This will create wonderful shade on the sunny side of the fifth wheel during the summer and protect from the rain during the winter months. It also puts the car in the shade in the hot, late afternoons. The anchors are custom made by a local welding shop. Steve and Ivan have installed 90% of the awnings in the park. Ivan is preparing the hole for a support post
The finished product

Another stepping stone project



Friday, September 16, 2016: Since returning to our lot at Timber Valley in Sutherlin we have done one project after another. After getting new gravel we decided to add more stepping stones to reach the clothes line behind the shed. I was going to space the stepping stones about six inches apart but Gwen wanted a solid walkway. I've been working on the project a couple days and finished today. Click the photo for another view.

Used building material of ALL kinds
Thursday, September 15, 2016: Gwen and I had lunch with friends today then, trying to save money, I drove to the south side of Roseburg to the Heartwood ReSources building where they sell all sorts of used building materials. I was looking for a substitute wheelbarrow, stepping stones and 3" square aluminum posts to extend the too-short posts on the used awning I just bought. Heartwood has an incredible inventory for anyone wanting to complete just about any home project and save money on the materials. Unfortunately, I only found the substitute wheelbarrow but it was only 50¢.
It's flu shot time in the park clubhouse
Wednesday, September 14, 2016: OK ... I did other things today like an Escapees Chapter 9 breakfast at a local restaurant then visit my dentist for teeth cleaning. But the one thing I remember the most is the flu shot. The park arranged for a Walgreen's employee to visit our clubhouse with about a hundred flu shots and I got one of them. It was just too easy to pass up.

Time for new gravel on our lot
Tuesday, September 13, 2016: We've had this lot for two years and always hated the gravel. It was too large, sharp edges and difficult to walk on. We ordered a six yard truckload of 3/8" Open rock. That means smaller size with no dirt mixed in with the rock. It's easy to spread and easy to walk on and will make a perfect parking area. Click the photo to see our friend, Bud on the tractor. Bud and the tractor did most of the work. The finished product makes our lot much more comfortable. Take note of the awning on the fifth wheel. We've already begun another project of replacing that awning with something more permanent. The "RV awning" will be gone soon.

Friends visiting

Wednesday, September 7, 2016: What a great day to visit with friends. From the left, Jim, Don, Gail, Donna and Gwen. These four were "guests" on the Alaska tour and took the time to stop in Sutherlin to visit with us. We talked about the good times during the Alaska trip and news we have heard of the other guests. We met at the White Horse Coffee shop, one of our favorite locations for a good breakfast and, of course, for a good cup of coffee. Don and Gail are returning to Astoria, Oregon while Jim and Donna are continuing south to the Redwood National Park.

Solving a hidden spring problem

Monday, September 5, 2016: I've noticed a spot on our lot which is always wet. I pointed this out to my friend Bud, who brought over John, the chairman of the committee in charge of lot maintenance. They decided it needed a "French drain" and began the work immediately. A French drain is a pipe with holes to allow outside water into the pipe. The pipe is covered with a cloth filter to keep dirt from entering the pipe. The pipe is then covered with drain rock. Any water on the lot is expected to enter the pipe then follow the pipe to the street storm drain. I've noticed a very wet lot during winter months and now seeing a wet location with no rain and quick action by Bud and John, I'm hoping the French drain will help drain the lot in the winter. Click the photo for another view. So far, this has cost us only $28 for the drain rock. The park has paid for everything else. This is what happens when you aren't traveling, you find things at home base which must be fixed.

Approaching the opening in the forest toward the top of the mountain The view from the top
Thursday, September 1, 2016: There is a mountain behind Timber Valley. I've climbed the mountain before but it has always been an "out and back" hike and I've been searching for a loop hike since my first climb on this mountain. Today I finally found the loop I've been searching for and I hope to find other loops. Today I took my hedge trimmers with me knowing I would encounter blackberry branches to wrestle or trim out of the path. My trail began wide and even appeared as if someone else had walked a lawn mower 200 yard up the trail. But the lawn trail ended and the trail narrowing and growing very steep as I hike to the west. Now, as the trail grows steeper, it become only an animal trail but still easily identified as a trail. Finally, I see a clearing in the left photo and as I break out onto the clearing I see the view behind the photo (click the photo). I continue the hike to the top of the mountain to see the view back to the east toward Sutherlin. A panorama is behind the view of Sutherlin. Click the photo then follow the road from the right, under the camera then to the left. This is the top of the mountain, the road is straight and the view is splendid. I'm looking forward to many hikes on this loop.

New upholstery for the dining chairs in the motorhome


Wednesday, August 31, 2016: Before the Alaska trip, we purchased new upholstery for the motorhome dining chairs but didn't have the time to do the work. Gwen has taken the initiative and has one cushion done. It's not too difficult to change the upholstery. We have a pneumatic staple gun which makes it easy. Click the photo for a better view of the pattern.

Visitors, they are most interested in Morgan


Tuesday, August 30, 2016: Morgan and were out on the deck enjoying our morning coffee when we had some visitors only 30 feet from us. Morgan didn't notice them but they were only interested in Morgan's movements. Eyes and ears both pointed at Morgan, they seemed to look right through me. Morgan never saw them but as she began to move, so did the visitors. Click the photo for a different view.

The cartop carrier is up for sale

Monday, August 29, 2016: A year and two months ago I purchased a cargo carrier and cross bars for the Suzuki Samurai because the Lazy Daze had such a small cargo carry capacity (CCC) that I needed to carry weight in and on top of the Samurai. We no longer own the Lazy Daze or the Samurai so it's time to sell the carrier and the cross bars on Craigslist. I worked on cleaning both items, making photographs then publishing on Craigslist. Now I'm waiting for the buyers. Click the carrier to see the crossbars.

Found! A replacement platter for the motorhome microwave

Sunday, August 28, 2016: Today we drove to the coast to visit with our friends, Gary and Jeanne. This was also a good way to get out of the heat in the valley, the coast is 20 degrees cooler. We had a good afternoon visit where we learned about their trip to the northern mid-west and they learned about our trip to Alaska.

During our Alaska trip, I hit a road bump hard enough it caused our microwave door to fly open and the glass platter went sailing across the kitchen smashing into many pieces. After cleaning up the broken glass mess I began wondering where to get a replacement. My first thought was Saint Vincent de Paul, a nonprofit organization which takes household donations then resells to provide employment. On the way out of Florence, the coastal town where we were visiting Gary and Jeanne, we stopped at Saint Vincent de Paul and found several platters. This one seems perfect for 99¢.

Park WiFi tower

Saturday, August 27, 2016: I promised my friend Glen I would help him extend a natural gas line to his clothes dryer at his new house. As it turned out, Glen didn't have a natural gas dryer but had an electric dryer. Unfortunately, the plug and receptacle did not match so since both of us had electrical experience we rewired the circuit to have the correct matching plug and receptacle. That was probably much easier than extending the natural gas line.

Meanwhile, back at the park my friend Jay was putting a new park WiFi tower on our lot to help the whole row with WiFi reception. Of course it helped our reception too. The park's WiFi is limited in speed and quantity of transfer so we plan to get our own network as we had before we began our last series of travel.

Glen's dryer
Celebration of the Timber Valley 28th birthday

Someone thought it would be funny to make everyone wear toilet seat protectors as bibs for a speghetti dinner.



Thursday, August 25, 2016: The Escapee RV Club members built Timber Valley RV Park in Sutherlin 28 years ago so the park members gave a birthday party for Timber Valley. Someone took a video of the work it took to build this park. The members did most of the work. Today this is a beautiful park and hard to imagine the two years of labor it took to make this into what it is today without the video showing the hard work.

Tonight, a member family fixed a spaghetti dinner as part of the celebration and someone came up with the funny prank of providing everyone with toilet seat protectors as bibs.

After dinner came an hour of live music provided by several park members and their friends.

Click the photos for additional views.

Wow! A lot happened today Tuesday, August 23, 2016: Ray has taken himself for a drive to Crater Lake so I'm in a mode to complete lots of projects. I finish washing the rig (I started yesterday). Next, I drove the rig to B & D Auto Oil Change in downtown Sutherlin. Miss Dory got her second oil change (we've put 11,000 miles on Miss Dory since the purchase in December). Next, Morgan must go to the dog groomer! After Morgan delivery, I empty all the storage hatches and set aside all the items no longer needed for the next trip (several items, like the floor jack, I packed only because we were "tailgunners"), then vacuumed the hatches. Finally, the entry door has been sticking so I made door adjustments. Ray made it back from Crater Lake for Gwen's great enchiladas. All hatch contents emptied and hatch cleaned

Gwen and I welcome Ray to Sutherlin

Monday, August 22, 2016: On our first back from our tour to Alaska, our new friend, Ray, has joined us for a few days at Sutherlin. Ray was one of the "guests" on the tour and also a member of Escapees. We told him about the only Escapee park in Oregon, our park, Timber Valley in Sutherlin. We get the chance to show him the area and our park. We spend a lot of time on our deck with outdoor food, what a great time we are having. Ray is a lot of fun and we have learned a lot from him. For example, I've learned to level my rig but keep the wheels supporting some of the weight from Ray. I don't understand why the rest of the guest would make fun of Ray's method. Click the photo to see Ray's method.

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