Click to Return to RVeCafe Homepage
Travel Resources

RV Stay in Phoenix, Oregon
Winter '08-'09 - page 2

  Return to page 1
Click to see What's New at RVeCafe  
Using the GigaPan attachment
February 7, 2009: Gwen and I hiked a new park today. It is the Prescott Park located on and around Roxy Anne Peak just east of Medford, Oregon. You can click here to go to a link for a park brochure. Gwen had previously taken a moonlit hike in the park with a recreation group but I have never been to the park.
While beginning the trail, I came across this photographer using the GigPan Epic panorama scanner. I had just learned of this camera attachment a few days earlier when I received and email from a friend which turned out to have a link to Mt. McLoughlin to the east
a huge photo of the Presidential Inauguration. If you click here, you'll see a copy of the email. This is another great example of viral marketing (where customers market your product for you). When you look at the photo of the inauguration, in the top right corner you'll see "Make your own GigPans with the low-cost GigPan Epic." I visited this site and saw the camera attachment. It's about the cost of a medium priced digital camera. The photographer in the photo above had purchased the attachment after viewing the GigaPan site.
Lower Table Rock in the distance

He was very excited about his purchase and even though the panorama he was about to photograph was not the best situation since he was pointing into the sun, it was his first time to use the attachment.

Prescott Park circles Roxy Anne Peak (2,200 feet) which

is located to the east of Medford. It is a city park. This happened to be a very clear day but because it was mid-afternoon and the sun was lower in the western sky, there was a haze effect. The trail was paved in the beginning then turned to gravel. We circled the mountain and found the trail stayed wide enough for vehicles although cars are not allowed into the park. There were many hikers and mountain bikers using the trail plus one set of horse back riders. By hiking around the mountain, we got a 360 degree view of the Rogue Valley. Mt. McLoughlin was to the east and had a surprising amount of snow since we have not had much rain lately. The photo to the above-left (click the photo to enlarge) is of the White City area with Lower Table Rock in the background. We had actually considered doing the Table Rock hike but glad we came to Prescott Park instead. Below is a panorama view of the Medford - Central Point - White City area as well as the Medford Airport and Upper Table Rock. You can click this photo to enlarge.
Rogue Valley
February 8, 2009: This is a report that has been waiting for just the right time. My son Ben and his wife Kim give this to me for Christmas. You need to understand that I'm not a hunter. This plastic buck sits on the ball of a trailer hitch. It's cute, at least some will think it's cute. I think when Ben and Kim gave this to me they were thinking how funny it would be for me to drive around with this poor buck sitting on my trailer hitch. I just couldn't bring myself to leave it on permanently but I certainly had to put it on to see the action. If you pass your pointer through the photo, you'll see what happens when you stop on the brakes. The target in the belly also lights with the brake lights it just can't be seen in the daylight. Thanks Ben and Kim. I just want you to know that your gift went to a good cause. Step on the brake
Gunnar in Truckee
February 11, 2009: Nope, this isn't southern Oregon, it's Truckee, California. My daughter sent me this photo only a few minutes ago. Truckee is at 5,980 feet in the Sierra Nevada mountains just west of Reno, Nevada. It looks like Gunnar is exhausted from trying to follow my daughter on cross country skis. You can click the photo to enlarge.
February 15, 2009: Yes, we are getting serious about selling our two great fiberglass sea kayaks. This has been a tough decision. We thought we made the decision last year and spent the money to build a rack to transport the kayaks while towing the fifth wheel. But we have decided we are just asking TOO much of ourselves. It would be just one more thing which must be loaded and unloaded when traveling and then stored when not traveling. So I've announced the sale at several kayak forums and listed them on Craig's list in Eugene, Oregon. I chose Eugene because Craig's list will only allow ONE listing. There are sea kayakers in Eugene and very few in southern Oregon. I'm willing to deliver to Eugene but not further north. I've referred everyone to this page. You can click on the photo to enlarge. Kayak For Sale
Neutralizing bleach in the holding tank

February 16, 2009: When driving between Bishop, California and Reno, Nevada during our recent Arizona trip, I put chlorine bleach into the fresh water holding tank to kill all bacteria. I've drained and refilled the tank three times but there is still a chlorine odor and taste to the water. I found a "10 Minute Tech" in a Trailer Life Magazine which advised putting baking soda into the fresh water tank to neutralize the chlorine odor and taste. I mixed the baking soda in water inside a bicycle water bottle and squeezed the solution into the freshwater holding tank. I'll check the water in a few days to learn if this killed the chlorine.

Today was also the day I spent several hours on the roof cleaning the edges, molding and the top using Murphy's Oil Soap because that's what the roof manufacturer says to use.

February 18, 2009: There is sure nothing interesting happening in southern Oregon. Northern California is getting slammed with rain and snow these last few days. Fortunately my daughter Mindy has sent me a photo of herself with Gunnar her German Shepherd. She is on a snowshoe and cross country ski trip above Donner Lake and near Donner Summit. The hard weather cleared today so she had a great time with Gunnar in the new powder. Click the photo to see a new view of the Sierra Nevada Mountains toward Truckee. The distant ski area is Northstar Ski Area. Mindy over Donner Lake
Wildlife on our creek February 20, 2009: Here are a couple of visitors to Bear Creek only a few feet from our trailer. The creek is low because we've had little rain but these Mallards don't seem to care.
February 23, 2009: Turning 62 is a lot like turning 21. One day you don't have privileges, then the next day you have privileges you've not had before. I turned 62 yesterday so I bought myself a birthday gift. It's the Interagency Senior Pass. It's call "Interagency" because it will give a US Citizen discounts with the Forest Service, National Parks, BLM, Bureau of Reclamation and US Fish & Wildlife Service. These used to be the "Golden Age Pass" but now called the "Senior Pass". Peggy was good enough to sell me the pass AND allow me to take her photo delivering the pass. Buying a Senior Pass

Rain? Yea Right!
March 1, 2009: We could use some rain in southern Oregon and northern California. The last several storms since we returned from Arizona, the weather man has predicted rain. The graphic above is for this next week. Today is Sunday. Rain has been predicted for today just like the last several storms. AND just like the last several storms we are getting NO rain, just wind. Note the gusts to 40 mph. 40 is enough to rock our house. Let's hope the weather prediction is right this next week. It's time for some rain in the valley and snow in the mountains. The threat of rain and the 40 MPH gusting wind did not stop me from washing the outside of the trailer.

March 5, 2009

Full Time Security in an RV
©Copyright by Dale Prohaska, March 2009

Yesterday I wrote my official “retirement letter” to the human resources department of Rogue Community College, my employer for the last ten years. That brings me as close as ever to the realization that my position will be ending the end of June at the college. It’s just another chapter of life beginning for me.

Each step of this process has caused me to think ahead and question what I’m doing. I’m actually finding this decision more difficult than the one I made when I was 29 and quitting my tenured fifth grade teaching position to become a business owner. The national and state recession along with knowing that there will likely never be another “traditional” position open to me, has made this a difficult decision to leave this life to become a full-time RVer.  It seems so much like a final choice.

If you’ve been following my Website, you know that Gwen and I intend to “Workamp” for another three years before I begin actually drawing on pension and retirement funds. This will allow us to travel to places we have not lived before, working from 4 – 6 months and then spending winter months camped in the southwest deserts. I didn’t arrive at this place quickly or able to make this decision, overnight. It has been a step by step process, growing in self-confidence and sacrifice of those things which have always helped me to feel secure. I think security is a lot like fog, it’s all around you but impossible to grasp it in a physical way.

I’ve learned that security comes from a lot of little things. Here are some examples. When I owned a “stick-house”, I subscribed to the local newspaper. I could depend upon that paper being delivered and ready to read at a certain time each day. The postman would arrive each day at a specific time. Each month I would get an electric bill and natural gas bill making me a customer of the local utility companies. If you paid your bills on time, they treated you as a valuable customer and you could move from one location to another with few questions and your utilities would follow you. The routines of receiving a newspaper and mail were comforting and being “approved” by the local utility companies was gratifying. After all, I was a homeowner.  Of course, our house was in a neighborhood. We pretty much knew everyone in the neighborhood and knew when others were on vacation or having company visit. There was always one person in the neighborhood that knew all the “business” of all the other neighbors and was ready to spill all to a listening ear. Even this gave me security.

Owning a home became more than a “security blanket”. As it turned out, I quickly learned that owning one-half acre made me responsible for everything ON that half acre. When the well’s pump, quit, I had to replace it. Every blade of grass, bushes and trees depended upon me to feed, water and trim and they never stopped growing. The same was happening with the house. As a house ages, things wear out, so need repair or replacement. Again, I’m responsible and must tend to the demands of the house. I began wondering if I was becoming a slave to the property since there were many days I preferred to be doing something else other than caring for all the growing things on the property or repairing old siding.

I do have a few friends who long to travel but can’t imagine not owning dirt. They try to get to another state or experience another geographic area. They rush to the distant location, take three days to see the sights then feel the need to return to the “dirt” back home to be sure the growing things are still healthy and the house isn’t falling into disrepair. I was very fortunate discovering how I was becoming a slave to my property in 2006 and did not want it limiting my ability to retire and travel. I sold all dirt in October, 2006.

So how do I get security now that I live in a fifth wheel full time. I own no dirt, don’t have a mortgage, I’m not a homeowner and the electric company has no idea who I am and can’t vouch for my credibility. Obviously, all the things which made me feel secure as a homeowner were in my imagination anyway. Just look at the number of newspapers going out of business. I wonder how their subscribers cope with security problems. I’ve learned the way I live is always changing. Much of the change is coming from the advances in communication. I once believed it was driven by the Internet but more people are using cell phones for tasks unimagined even two years ago. Instant communication – always-on – and instant information – always-available – is convenient and mind expanding but threatening at the same time. Threatening because nothing is “for-sure” any more, it’s always changing at an ever increasing pace. Just try to talk to any ten year old about text messaging.

I think security is “feeling connected”. I can certainly feel connected to my relatives because we use email and blogs on Facebook to know what’s happening in each other’s lives. I feel connected to others who have made the same choices I am making. The Escapees RV Club has made this easy. There is always someone in the club who has an answer to a question and ready to share. In the Robin Williams movie, RV, one line I found funny. When Robin brings home the RV for their vacation, the rest of the family can’t believe it. “Why an RV, Dad? You know we aren’t friendly people.” Perhaps you must be an RVer and have been to an RV rally or an Escapees park to understand the joke.
Most of all, I think security comes from gaining self-confidence. Gwen has been working at Howard Prairie Resort for five years. It has been that five years which has slowly given me the self-confidence to know we can get Workamper positions around the country. I have been subscribing to Workamper News for more than two years. Each day I receive an email telling of the new Workamper positions available. I’ve been saving select announcements as 8 point type in a Word document. The list has grown to more than 28 pages. My idea is to be proactive and apply for positions early rather than wait for a resort to discover a need and then make an announcement. It should also allow us to choose where we want to spend the summer months. Living at the resort was also a slow realization that happiness doesn’t come from owning dirt and having a mortgage payment plus utility bills. It also doesn’t come from commuting nearly two hours each day to a good paying job to meet that mortgage and other homeowner obligations. It still takes courage and self-confidence to believe you can work for minimum wage plus an FHU (full hook up) at a resort and be happy.

So this retirement letter has taken a long time to write. I had to learn where security really comes from, it comes from within. It’s almost time for life’s next chapter to begin.

A storm at Mt. Ashland Ski Area March 15, 2009: Rain was predicted for Phoenix, Oregon today so some friends drove by looking for some adventure. We decided to visit the Mt. Ashland Ski Area. The rain in Phoenix was snow on the mountain and wind. The visability was very short, you would really have to know the mountain today to find your way back to the lodge or the parking lot. It's been a few years since I last skied this mountain. It's a fun mountain to ski and much cheaper than some of the bigger mountains. This stormy day reminded me of many fun times while skiing at Alpine Meadows near Lake Tahoe, California.
March 19, 2009: Gwen has completed her first sock project. Guess who benefits from her talent? Yes, the socks fit me perfectly. Now I need to find a special occasion to wear them. Morgan is admiring my socks and hopes the next pair are for her. Morgan admires my socks Gwen's first socks
Callihans March 24, 2009: We visited the Callihan's Siskiyou Lodge at the summit of Siskiyou Pass near the California border. This lodge burned to the ground only a few years ago but has been completely restored to better than it was. The entry and reception area looks very comfortable and has an authentic antler lamp.
We are with friends Linda and Steve. Note the wonderful fire in the river rock fireplace. We enjoyed a round of hot chocolates since it was between meals for all of us. Hot Chocolate in the bar
Last trip on the truck March 28, 2009: In August, 2003, we purchased our sea kayaks. Actually, we purchased them four months earlier and had to wait 4 months for them to be made then delivered. Today, we sold them to David and Amy. After creating the method to the left to carry the kayaks while towing our fifth wheel, we simply decided it was just asking TOO MUCH of us to have one more thing to take care of when traveling from one location to another. So we decided to sell the kayaks. David and Amy live in Seattle. We found them by listing our boats on Craig's list. We chose to meet them half way in Salem. It was a 3.5 hour drive each way for each of us. We felt good about both boats going together and very good that David and Amy would be taking the boats on some fabulous trips in the Pacific Northwest. They were as excited to get the boats as we were in 2003. You know what they say about boat owners, "the happiest day in a boat owners life is the day the get the boat and the day the sell the boat". That may not be true of these boats, they are little trouble, not like a sailboat or ski boat.
David and Amy buy the kayaks
Transient end of Holiday RV Park
April 15, 2009: We are only a couple of days away from leaving the Holiday RV Park. We are camped at the opposite end of the park. This end is reserved for over night campers. Every day, this end of the park clears out and at the end of the day, it is filled again. This is a popular park for those driving north/south on Interstate 5. With the way this park is designed, everyone parked at this end must drive to the opposite end to turn around and exit. So every camper must drive by our trailer to exit. It's fun to see all the campers drive by except those early risers at 6 am. There are many campers from British Columbia and Washington state.
April 17, 2009: Today was a special day, it is exactly two months from today that I will be retiring from the college. One of my thoughts today is when working a steady job it is possible to set up a routine. One of my routines is to visit my favorite coffee shop each morning to read the paper and drink a cup of decaf. If I miss my usual routine, it seems to throw off the rest of my day. Often times, I find something in the newspaper to pass on to other staff at the college. I have to wonder what new routine I will begin on June 18, the day after my old routine ends. I'm sure new routines will be only one of the challenges when I face the retirement unknowns. The daily routine

RVeCafe eBooks

Click for RV Stuff Travel Resources
Return to RV Trips Copyright, 2008 by