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The project is complete


Monday, September 28, 2020: I worked most of this day to complete this block project. Once the base level is reduced, sand is spread using the template that sits on both border boards. That gives a perfectly smooth layer of sand at exactly the right height. Then it's just a matter of dropping the blocks onto the sand without disturbing the level. Click this photo to see the project waiting for the last block.

Well, this project is done. Now on to the next project, artificial grass.

Walk to the back


Saturday, September 26, 2020: Ivan and Steve are finished with the main block project but we have lots of blocks left over. Before the hillside excavation we had two block patios behind the shed but the drain rock has eliminated that area for a block patio. We have decided to put blocks to lead to our artificial grass. I will do the work on this project. I worked all afternoon and only got two border boards installed and the area between the border boards excavated. Next I need to make a tool to level the sand in my box. Once that's done, I can lay the blocks. Abby is supervising.

150 blocks had to be moved. The last section gets started Yes, I helped a little. Steve on the left, Ivan on the right
Thursday, September 24, 2020: This was complete the project day. I don't believe Ivan and Steve had that goal to begin with but I helped them a little and the job was completed today. We had to move 150 blocks from the far side of the lot to the project site. Those blocks are heavy and I didn't want Ivan wearing himself out by just moving blocks so I moved more than half. The gravel and sand on this last section had to be leveled then the blocks placed one at a time. Click these photos for the final views. Once all the blocks were installed I pressure washed each block. Some were pretty dirty. Now we wait for the arrival of the gazebo we plan to put to the side of the shed.

The front side of the shed is completed

Wednesday, September 23, 2020: Ivan and Steve got down to the heavy work today. These blocks are heavy, I know because I moved them to the far side of the lot with a wheel barrow. They worked hard today and got the entire front side of the shed completed.

The side of the shed is 11 blocks wide by 14 blocks long. That's 154 blocks. I honestly don't expect them to finish tomorrow.

My intention is to pressure wash the blocks after they are all seated.

Ivan must study the gravel first


Tuesday, September 22, 2020: Ivan and his helper, Steve, get started on the paver project. "The hardest part is measuring for the frame." Steve explained. Ivan actually reset some of the pavers leading up to this project. The pavers had settled in the six years since they were first installed. Hopefully the rest of the framing will be installed tomorrow so the laying of the stones can begin. Click the photo for another view.

Rain is forecast for tomorrow night. I'm not sure how that will affect this project. It will certainly make the sand wet which might make it difficult to level. Note: sand must be spread on top of the gravel and leveled then the stones are laid on top.

It was more than six years since Ivan, Steve and Mark first installed this deck. Mark has since passed away so the project is now up to Ivan and Steve. If you check the photos from 2014, I think Ivan is wearing the same T-shirt. Looks like they started on May 12.


The storage unit is movedWe are relaxing

Monday, September 21, 2020: Abby and I are taking a break from our moving day. Yes, Abby has been a "lap dog" since a puppy and she hasn't changed with her size. We moved everything which was stored on the patio back to behind or inside the shed. Our little storage unit had to be moved back behind the shed with all its contents. That took most of the day. We had also moved many containers from inside the shed to the patio. Those had to be moved back inside. Our neighbor, Wendell loaned me his hand cart. I used it to move the storage unit with Gwen's help. The hand cart is also ideal for moving the pavers from the far side of the lot back to this area. Wendell has agreed to let Ivan use it. Ivan stopped by with his estimate. I told him to get started. He asked for a load of gravel and a load of sand, both have been delivered. The frames will be installed first. We aren't sure the old frame boards will work, if not, we will need all new wood. If we can use the old wood, only one or two more boards are needed. Ivan has promised to get started tomorrow morning. Click the photos for another view.

A short retaining wall is neededThe wall is finished
Sunday, September 20, 2020: Tomorrow, Ivan and his crew may want to start replacing the pavers to make our patio. The park is paying Ivan to put our patio back as it was before the excavation. Before the excavation project, we had two areas with pavers behind the shed but with the drain rock now behind the shed there is no place for pavers. I'm making the patio area beside the shed larger using those pavers. The lot drops off slightly so a retaining wall is needed to make a level patio. That retaining wall needs to be complete before Ivan shows up tomorrow. Abby and I worked all day to get the wall in place. We ran two top stones short but otherwise, we are done. More gravel is needed to bring the level higher. I'll let Ivan decide what is needed. Click these two photos for more views.

Abby's personal sand pile?


Saturday, September 19, 2020: I thought I was doing something smart by having sand delivered before putting Mz Ruby on the lot. My thinking was, if I don't have it delivered now, I will have to wheelbarrow the sand to this spot. The sand is to prepare this area for artificial turf but we won't have time to do that for a week or so.

Well! Abby has adopted this pile of sand as her own personal sand pile. She is spreading the sand into places I had not intended. But, she is a happy dog. Click the photo for another view.

The project is completed
Friday, September 18, 2020: The project is mostly complete. Compare to what it looked like earlier. We have some nice new gravel but all the pavers must be installed. That will likely happen next week. We had an awning to the side of the shed but now have decided to install a metal roof gazebo. Abby previously had access to the top of the hill. I'm not sure when or if that will happen again. I could build a wood stairway over the rocks but we are thinking more of a fenced area instead. That will be decided sometime this winter. The pile of sand to the right I had brought in. We will install artificial turf in that area and the sand is needed for a base layer. The boards on the sawhorses need to be prepared as wheel supports for the front of the motorhome. Click the photo for a view of the back. Everything looks wet due to the rain. We all hope this helps put out the wildfires.

Oregon Coast Elk



Thursday, September 17, 2020: We are only one hour from the Pacific coast. There is an Elk viewing area about 5 miles from the coast. It doesn't always have Elk but this time it did. We had to stop to show Abby but she wasn't very interested. Click the photo for another view.

Beginning to place the riprapThe large and small excavators work together
Wednesday, September 16, 2020: With all the trench work done the two excavators work together to place the riprap. Each rock is place one at a time in just the right location. Another load was brought today making a total of five loads of riprap. That's still not enough so smaller rock is placed at the far end around the corner. Click each photo for much larger views. Here's a video of today's work.

The Riprap has arrivedSpreading drain rock continues

Tuesday, September 15, 2020: The ditch digging and drain rock spreading continued today. The air quality has improved from "hazardous" to "very unhealthy" but the crew keeps working. It was slow getting around the corner due to trees and buried cable TV lines in the way but the ditch digging job was completed.

The riprap arrived. They will begin stacking these rocks against the excavated hillside to keep it from moving during the rainy season.

Click both photos for another view and watch this short video.

The ditch on our lot is nearly complete Now the ditch is complete The ditch leads around the corner
Monday, September 14, 2020: The project has continued with ditch digging about three feet deep. Drain rock is put into the bottom of the ditch. A small drain pipe (with slits in the side) is placed in the bottom. Drain rock covers that pipe then the larger pipe is place over the top and the ditch is filled with drain rock. I had thought the ditch and drain rock were to be buried giving us more usable space but the rock is exposed. Click the photos to see what I mean.

After day 1

Saturday, September 12, 2020: This is what the back side of lots 92 and 93 look like after day 1. I believe Monday they will round the corner by lot 89 to connect to the ditch leading to the drain system. Then on Tuesday begin digging a trench at the base of this hill for the rainwater drain pipes. The park crew will first pit drain rock into the ditch then the pipes then more drain rock. I assume they will also refill the ditch to this level. Once that is completed the excavators will place large rocks to hold back the hill. Note the smoke is much worse today. Today the air quality level was measured at 596. Anything above 300 is hazardous. We stayed inside most of the time.

The digging started behind our shed

Excavator cab



Friday, September 11, 2020: The digging has begun today and it started behind our shed. Our shed was moved forward just for this purpose. The project is beginning by removing much of the hill behind space 89 thru 93. Retainer rocks will be placed where the hill is removed. Several large drainage pipes will be buried at the base of the rocks to drain rainwater from the hill. My neighbors at space 94 and 92 get flooded with rainwater. Hopefully this excavation will keep that from happening. Click these photos for more views. Here is a video to show how the work has progressed on day one.

second excavatorExcavation to begin
Thursday, September 10, 2020: The excavation behind our lot and several others will begin tomorrow but some of the equipment was delivered today to start the project. This equipment is sitting on space 89. It will interesting to learn if the project will begin here or on our lot 4 spaces away.

More than one reason to wear a maskThe smoke fills our park

Wednesday, September 9, 2020: The smoke is very thick in our park and along the whole west coast. Our smoky problems began only yesterday and already the fires have consumed more than 100,000 acres. Unfortunately the fire which began yesterday is close by and has burned the area up the scenic highway between Glide and Diamond Lake, Oregon. The area burned is the area we traveled last week to camp at Diamond Lake. It makes me sick to think that whole trip has been turned to burned timber. So now I have more than one reason to wear a mask, to filter the ash and the COVID virus.

The park has turned darkSmoke from a nearby wildfire
Tuesday, September 8, 2020: Last night a wildfire began burning to the southeast of us near the town of Glide, Oregon, only 20 miles. We have an unusual wind blowing from the east so the smoke from the fire is covering our little valley. By 2 pm the smoke was so think the sky turned black and it was as if night time had arrived. At first the sky was multi shades of brown, orange and red but slowly turning black. We are actually under a "Level 1" alert meaning we should be ready to evacuate. A very strong wind has been forecast to blow from the east but that has not happened yet. Only a few days ago we were riding bicycles to Crater Lake Lodge. Here is the view from Crater Lake Lodge today. These wildfires happen because our forests are dry this time of year. Our rain comes during the winter months and we can go 4 months without rain during the summer. Click both photos for more views.

Lots of tunes on a Saturday afternoonMy riding buddy, Erik

Saturday, September 5, 2020: My riding buddy, Glen and his wife, Kenny Lee, showed us the Kith and Kin Fermentation in very rural Ten Mile, Oregon. Our riding buddy, Erik, is performing this afternoon so we drove together to hear him play and sing. Kith and Kin Fermentation is a private brewery located in a field behind a farmhouse. It is only open on Friday and Saturday plus a very enjoyable place to be on a Saturday afternoon. The "Bun Stuffer" food truck was also present so we had some gourmet burgers with fries The Bun Stuffer and the Kith and Kin were a first for Gwen and me. The location reminded us of the "Yuma Taco Run" we did eleven years ago. We followed a group from the KOFA Escapee RV Park to a barn in rural Yuma, Arizona. A family served authentic Mexican food prepared from a make-shift kitchen inside the family barn. The Kith and Kin is a little better organized than our rural Mexican experience. We really enjoyed Erik's music. I made a video to give you a feeling of how much fun and enjoyment we had. Click these two photos for more views.

Parked in a tempory space at Timber Valley

Friday, September 4, 2020: This was a travel day from Diamond Lake Campground back to Timber Valley in Sutherlin. Except this time we aren't going to our own lot. We must park in a temporary space while the excavating takes place on our lot. This temporary space is one of the premium summer lots. It is surrounded by tall trees offering a break from the hot summer sun. It would be a wonderful lot for a summer lease holder. However, this lot is the "Arctic" zone during the winter months. It is at least 20 degrees colder on this lot than our lot in the winter months. This is one of the most private lots in the park and our choice while the excavation happens to our lot. Here is a short video to give you a better view of this lot.

Diamond Lake from the east shore
Wednesday, September 2, 2020: Here are a couple of photos showing Diamond Lake. Click the photo to see a second view.
Diamond Lake camping
Tuesday, September 1, 2020: This was a driving day from Sutherlin to Diamond Lake Campground, about 2 hours driving time. We are at the 5,200 foot level but still no cooler. Our friends, Glen and Paige have joined us with their tent for the first night. They are real campers so that means a campfire. Paige brought her dog, LuLu and Abby is learning to play with LuLu. This is pretty dusty in the campsite but better than mud if it was raining. We are here because Glen has organized a bicycle ride from Diamond Lake Lodge to Crater Lake Lodge on Thursday. I'm wanting to join that ride. Click the photo for another view. Here is a short video of our campsite.
2 trains each day
Monday, August 31, 2020: We have a local train company running from Eugene to Medford (at least) and probably much farther. I would bet it's average speed is 15 mph maybe 20 mph. I know because one day I was riding my bicycle parallel to the train tracks and I was passing the train while riding at 17 mph. Many of the trains are a mile long. There is a train assembly location just north of Roseburg making it 8 miles south of Sutherlin. We can depend upon a train coming through Sutherlin each day about noon heading south toward the assembly area. This train is usually full of empty cars headed to the many lumber manufacturing plants to our south. That is what keeps these trains in business. They pick up lumber beginning in Medford and all along the route so the evening train is loaded cars full of lumber going north to Eugene and probably Portland. I read an article today of how lumber is in big demand because of the housing boom across the nation. Apparently, according to the article, people are moving out of the cities for the suburbs to get more space due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This is one of those lumber factories with cars ready to transport. Oregon's Douglas Fir is a prime building material for houses. Sutherlin has a laminated beam factory. They make huge beams of laminated wood. Occasionally we get more than two trains each day. The third train is here to pick up the cars loaded with laminated beams. They are often working at midnight or very early in the morning. I hear them but rarely do they keep me awake. Maybe you can judge the economy by the length of these trains. The longer the train, the better the economy.

Props need replacing

Sunday, August 30, 2020: I received the new controller yesterday. I then did a test flight to learn if my problem was fixed. Everything seemed to work perfectly. Yesterday was just a simple take off and landing plus video so I placed the take off point near the shed. Everything went perfectly then I remembered I should try a still photo to be sure that was working so I took off a second time and immediately flew into the shed. All 8 props need to be replaced.

I flew again today. This time in the meadow across from the office to be sure I didn't fly into any sheds. Again it flew perfectly as I raced down the meadow and turned to return to home. I flew right into a tree! I wasn't watching the monitor so I didn't know which tree I hit. I had to use the GPS Coordinates to find the drone but read second coordinate wrong. I was thinking the coordinate was leading me into some blackberry bushes so I circled around and waded through the muddy, stinky creek to get behind the blackberry bushes. Nope, couldn't find the drone so decided to go after a ladder. Before leaving for the ladder I decided to search in the opposite direction and immediately noticed my second coordinate was getting closer. Now I was going in the correct direction. It didn't take long to located the drone under a tree next to the access road. It took me an hour to find the drone but only two of the eight props need to be replaced this time. This pilot needs more practice! Here is the video of both flying days including the crash.

Drone controllerThe USB port

Wednesday, August 26, 2020: I have missed a few drone flights with my + Zino Pro drone. I continue to get a "USB Disconnected" error message. The message started on the first day but changing the USB cable has usually fixed the problem. This last flight that I missed, no cable would work including the new one I tried directly out of the package. Out of frustration, I posted a notice to the Hubson Facebook Forum along with all the other posts of frustration about the "USB Disconnected" error message. Several drone pilots answered my post and suggested I take the controller apart and inspect the solder connections on the USB port with a magnifying glass. I did that and saw a questionable solder joint. I emailed the company which sold me the drone and they have agreed to send me a new controller. I'm hoping that will solve the problem and I can fly again.

And the digging beginsFirst, the "catch basin"
Tuesday, August 25, 2020: The digging has begun. The park manager and crew plan to put in a rain water drain line which will include this catch basin. I believe this must be accomplished before the excavation contractor arrives to dig away the hillside and insert rocks to hold back the hill. Today they fit this catch basin but will not install it until more of the project is complete. Click the photos for more views.
Sunset at Timber Valley
Friday, August 21, 2020: This is tonight's sunset at Timber Valley. Two days ago I wanted to fly the drone and do a video during the moving of the shed. However, the drone would not cooperate. I flew it today to give you and after-the-move-view. Here is that video.
Fishing on the Plat IPlat I Reservoir
Thursday, August 20, 2020: This is the Plat I reservoir, only five miles from our park. We have never visited here, it's not well known. I do ride my bike around the reservoir occasionally but have never stopped to look at the park. We thought it would be a great place for Abby to swim but here is the sign of disappointment. I'm glad the sign says "No Dogs in the Park" because there is access outside of the park.
Jacking up the shed George takes care of his side Logs go under the shed
Wednesday, August19, 2020: The big moving day is here. The crew showed up at 8 am and began work jacking up the shed. They need to get the shed high enough to slide two logs under. These logs are then connected to a tractor. The tractor pulls the shed 14 feet away from the hillside. That gives enough room for an excavator to work on the hill. The idea is to create a rock wall to keep the hillside from moving into the lot. A trench will also be dug to bury a run-off drain line. My neighbors on both sides have a flooding situation in heavy rain. The planned drain line will eliminate the flooding. Here is a video to give you an idea of the work involved. Click the photos for more views.

The shed is ready to move


Tuesday, August 18, 2020: The shed is ready to move. The crew will be here in the morning. There is nothing but gravel in front of the shed. The plan is to move it about 12 feet forward to allow the heavy equipment to get behind to attack the hillside. Click the photo for a view from above.

Oakland City Wide Yard Sale
Shoppers like this yardSaturday, August 15, 2020: The Oakland City wide yard sale was delayed due to the pandemic until today. We attended one previously and were able to walk from yard to yard for the sales. This yard sale day was not even close to the number of vendors of the one we attended in 2014. We needed nothing so bought nothing. But it was still fun looking. Click the photos for more views.

A faucet was movedLocating the electric line


Tuesday, August 11, 2020: I continued with preparation to move the shed. I have a faucet in the path of the trench to be dug at the base of the hill. The faucet must be moved. I did that today. It had to be moved ten feet.

The second task today was to locate the electric line leading to the shed. The electric line must be disconnected. I will likely wait until the day before the move to disconnect. I needed to locate the line to make a plan of how I was going to make the disconnect in such a way it can be reconnected.

At the Florence Marina


Monday, August 10, 2020: Gwen, Abby and I drove 1.5 hours to the Oregon coast city of Florence to avoid the 90+ degree heat in Sutherlin.

While in Florence we visited our friends Jeanne and Gary. We had lunch together at the IMC on the Florence Marina. They have outdoor seating and allow dogs. Abby and Hershey enjoyed the deck while we enjoyed visiting and the nice cool ocean air. It was 62 degrees but felt warm enough to stay in a T-shirt and shorts.

Gary and Jeanne have a very nice wood shop so I was able to use some of their tools to begin a woodworking project. They have some power tools I don't have. We had a nice visit and Abby was on her best behavior although she wasn't nearly as behaved as Hershey.

The awning and gazebo have been sold.


Sunday, August 9, 2020: Both the awning and gazebo have been sold. The pavers have been stored. The shed is nearly ready to move. We have been told to be ready for the move by next week but those plans seem to change all the time.

What it looks like before the pavers are moved

Abby is supervising


Friday, August 7, 2020: Most of the pavers around the shed must be removed and stored. The shed must move forward temporarily so the excavator can get to the bank behind the shed. Retaining rocks will be set to hold back the hillside. A rainwater run-off drain will be installed at the base of the hill to help stabilize and keep the water from running through the lots on both sides of us. Click the photos for a progress view.

The awning and gazebo are for sale. We have plans for this area after the hillside project is competed. Those plans do not include the awning or the gazebo.

I admire that chickenWind vane completed

Saturday, August 1, 2020: Today was another work day. I completed the chicken weather vane which Abby admires.

I also washed the exterior of Ms Ruby. Gwen says "it hasn't been washed in a year" but I remember washing it in Brenda, Arizona during the month of March.

I still had time and the energy to ride 24 miles in 85 degree temperatures. That seems hot to me but I understand it is 115+ in Phoenix, Arizona and 90 in the morning. I should be grateful for the 85! The ten day forecast shows 85+ for the next ten days. This time of year, I'd prefer the 70 degrees on the coast.

Abby has had a long run from one end of our awning to a tree up the hill using a leash attached to a guide line. However, that was pretty hard on the awning hardware. Now her guide line is attached to the Chicken weather vane pole stretching to the tree on the hill. I also put a shock cord on the pole to give relief to both the pole and to Abby.

Abby was at the top of the hill with her attention in the distance. She would bark occasionally so I walked to the top of the hill to learn what held her interest. This is what I saw.

Installing our post againIt's upright



Friday, July 31, 2020: I finished setup today including the sewer connection, washing the windows outside, connecting the Internet, securing the awning. Then I set to relocating the the post with our chicken wind vane since moving it from the ditch location.

I borrowed a post hole digger from the park maintenance building. I was expecting this hole to be very difficult because of the clay soil. As it turned out, the clay was relatively soft and the hole digging went fairly easily.

I've decided to wait to finish the install of the weather vane waiting for the soil to settle around the post.

For the ditch project

Thursday, July 30, 2020: This was a travel day from Tillamook returning to Sutherlin, Oregon. We visited the coast for the cooler weather. It was 62 degrees on the coast this morning when we left. Arriving in Sutherlin the temperature is 96 so perhaps we have returned too soon. I found this at the park when we returned. This is for the ditch project in the back of our lot and two other lots. This is to stop the water from flooding the three lots during the winter months. We have been here two winters and have noticed our wet lot and actual flooding of the two lots on both sides. I have not considered our lot to actually flood. I still have work to do to prepare out lot to move the shed.

One of our favorite gift shops Looking for a special mustard Hydrangia form
Tillamook Bay
A favorite lunch locationTuesday and Wednesday, July 28 & 29, 2020: We travel around the Tillamook Bay from the south to the north and back. Weather was a perfect low 70s with little wind. We visited several locations for quilting products and dog products. We did buy a nice dog toy by KONG but it lasted less than 24 hours. That was a surprise since she still has her favorite chicken toy by KONG. I also bought a "sow ear" for the first time and it lasted only an hour. Apparently we have a "super chewer". The Hidden Acres is only a mile from our southern location while Garabaldi fishing village is in the north part of the bay. The Tillamook Creamery was on our list for ice cream. Any visitors who want to do the self guided tour must make a reservation. We also visited the Kilchis River County Park where Abby was able to do some swimming. We had a late lunch at The Fish Peddler, one of our favorites. It is located in Bay City, also north bay. Click all the photos for other views. Also here is a short video of our two days.
Drone view of the Elks RV Park
Monday, July 27, 2020: This was a lazy day, mostly walking the dog and enjoying the cool weather. This drone view gives you an idea of the size of the park and of each site. Lots of nice grass and picnic tables make it easy to barbeque. Here is the drone video to watch.
Tillamook Elks RV Park

Umpqua Ice Cream just next to Tillamook Ice CreamDrive up line at McDonaldsSaturday and Sunday, July 25 - 26, 2020: The weather forecast calls for 102 degree temperatures on Sunday so I spent most of the day on Saturday getting Mz Ruby ready to roll. We chose to drive to Tillamook, Oregon which should be a four hour drive north to Salem then west to the coast. Unfortunately, after Salem, lots of folks decided to drive to the coast so we were is bumper to bumper traffic on a two lane road. Google maps said it would be a 13 minute delay however, it was more like an hour delay. Still, we arrived at the Tillamook Elks RV Park at 3 pm. I learned our neighbor was from Palm Springs, California. He said the day they left it was 121 degrees, I'm sure 102 would be cool weather for him! Once we set up we drove to north Tillamook to visit the Tillamook Cheese Factory for some ice cream. The human line for ice cream stretched into the parking lot so we drove into downtown Tillamook to Safeway looking for Tillamook ice cream. Here we are in Tillamook, Oregon and just next to the Tillamook ice cream is Umpqua ice cream from Roseburg. Of course they have my favorite, Espresso Madness, but ... we are in Tillamook so I must get Tillamook ice cream. I picked a coffee flavor then asked Gwen if we had room in the freezer. Nope! was the answer. I must finish the Espresso Madness first. So I bought a package of mixed Danish pastry instead. Gwen still wanted ice cream and would settle for McDonald's chocolate. The drive up line for McDonald's was also long but we decided to wait anyway. We finally got to the "Order Here" post and learned they had NO chocolate so Gwen settled for a fudge sundae. We made a promise to each other to return to the Tillamook Cheese Factory for a cone of our favorite flavor.

The Elks RV park is 5 miles south of Tillamook on Highway 101 in a large open field. They offer full hookups but have raised their price to $30/night from $25/night last year. That's $900/month at the daily rate. I learned they have a much better rate by the month, especially during the winter months so we might spend a month some time. Click all the photos for another view.

Move concrete bricks
Friday, July 24, 2020: Moving more rocks today as well as pavers and concrete blocks. The rocks are already in the area for the proposed ditch. We might have a use for the rocks once the ditch digging is finished. The excavator will surely bury whatever rocks are in his way so I moved the rocks to a safe location. The pavers and concrete blocks are the first few steps for the pathway up the mountain behind us. Abby doesn't need the steps but we do. Once the crew is done with this project I plan to rework the steps. This wheelbarrow, by the way, belongs to my neighbor, George. He has permanently loaned it to me because he no longer has the strength to use it. Thank you, George! The weatherman says it's going to be 100 on Sunday, but every time I check, the forecast creeps up another degree. So Gwen, Abby and I have decided to head to the coast on Sunday morning.

Cleaning the carpet


Thursday, July 23, 2020: Today was a work day on the motorhome. First, I sanitized the fresh water tank by putting a small amount of bleach into the 100 gallon tank, then filling the tank. I then turned on the faucets to run the bleach water through the pipes including the washing machine and hot water heater. I let the bleach water sit in the pipes for a while. I filled the 100 gallon fresh water tank a second time then let it drain from the low point drain.

My second job was to shampoo the little bit of carpeting on the living room slide and in the bedroom. I was able to do all carpeting twice and the cleaning water I recovered was pretty dirty. Hopefully this cleaning will last another year.

This pole has to go.

Jack the pole out of the ground.The screen must goWednesday, July 22, 2020: I'm still working on getting the shed ready to move. I have a pole next to the shed and directly in the path of the ditch the crew plans to dig. The pole must go and it is at least 2 feet into the ground. I screwed a board onto the pole at a height where my bottle jack would fit under it. I jacked the pole out of the ground. Yes, I had to compress the jack, put blocks under it and jack it up three times. But it worked wonderfully, the pole is out of the ground. On the far side of the shed I have attached a screen to block the park's view of our clothes line. That has to be removed and will be replaced once the crew is done with their ditch digging.

I also moved some large rocks from the ditch area. We will lose them if I don't move them and we may have a use for them.

Pickup tent
Sunday, July 19, 2020: Gwen, Abby and I drove to Susan Creek Falls Campground where Lesa and her partner, Jeff were camping. They had reserved a beautiful spot on the North Umpqua River. Our visit included an evening picnic, wading in the North Umpqua, hiking around the campground and a lot of talking. Jeff has a unique tent which sets up in his pickup bed. This was Abby's first time to be in water up to her chest. Now we are anxious to get her into Cooper Creek Reservoir. Here is a short video of the camping location and a time lapse of Jeff erecting his tent.
Our storage unit must be movedUnit is moved
Friday, July 17, 2020: In preparation for moving our shed I must move stuff out of the way. That includes the little garden storage unit. I had to unload anything stored in this little storage unit. Then I got neighbor, George, to help me move the unit itself. I've moved it to our patio, a temporary move. When the heavy equipment is finished with their job and the moving crew puts my shed back, I can replace the stuff. With the garden storage unit out of the way I can now repaint the back side of the shed. I have rocks and cement blocks to move then nearly finished. The pavers making our patio will also need removing but not sure I will do that myself. Here is a two minute video of the move.
My neighbor's shed must move The crew knows how to do their job Put on logs and pulled forward
Wednesday, July 15, 2020: A moving crew arrived at my neighbor's shed. Both his shed and ours must be moved forward so the tractors can do hill work. My neighbor had done no improvements to his lot so made the shed moving simple and easy. Our shed, on the other hand, has pavers laid on three sides and an electrical line connected to the shed. Everything will have to be moved or disconnected. So this is practice for the moving crew and they did a good job and it only took a half day. Click the photos for more views.

My paint jobDoor needed new paint


Sunday, July 12, 2020: I've been putting off this job for a while. Now that the park wants to move our shed to dig behind, I've decided to get it back into tip top shape. I've patched the holes I created then painted everything which needed new paint. We learned that the paint has changed color since it was last painted. Apparently the sun has caused it to become a more bluish color. So I've repainted the whole side, not just the patched holes. Here is a very short video Gwen made while I was "Working on the paint job!"

LavenderEnjoying the Lavender Festival
Saturday, July 11, 2020: We discovered the Roseburg Lavender Festival. It really about 8 miles into the countryside northwest of Roseburg. It is the beginning of a real festival but the parking will have to be improved. Since it was later in the afternoon we found parking easily and enjoyed walking thru the festival. There were about 20 vendors, not all selling Lavender related items. We visited the Sequim, Washington Lavender Festival two years ago. The Roseburg Festival has got a good start and will mature into something as big as the Washington fair. Here is a short video of our visit. The Roseburg fair includes a nice, cool walk thru Hazelnut trees. It was welcome on this hot day. Note the cedar planter boxes at the beginning of the video. They were really well done and I don't believe I could make them for the price the woodworker was selling them. He must have a better source for his cedar.
We got a certificateLast puppy class
Thursday, July 9, 2020: Today was the last puppy class. It is the puppy masters who get graded and I'd say we graduated with a "C-". We can depend upon Abby to obey the "sit", "wait", "down" (with treat bribe), "sit" when stopped after walking but in her own good time, and walk without pulling when on the harness. "Recall" (come) was not taught but she will eventually learn, "stay" was not taught and will be difficult for Abby, "settle" was taught and Abby should get a "D+" for "settle". Our instructor says if the dog misbehaves we should roll up a newspaper and hit ourselves with it because it's not the dogs fault! Click the photos to enlarge the views.
On the Pacific OceanAbby sprays sand onto Gwen
Wednesday, July 8, 2020: This was a warm day so we took a one hour drive to the ocean near Winchester Bay. This is another Douglas County Park so our parking pass we purchased a week ago will permit our parking. The forecast called for clouds and a 20% chance of rain but we had clear skies and about 15 mph wind. The wind was not so strong to keep me from flying the drone. Abby enjoyed all the new experiences. She dug in the sand continuously and play tag with the surf. This was a perfect beach for her, not crowded and the surf was mild. Click here to see a ten minute video of our day and click the photos for more views.
Returning to dockAn emergency at the reservoir
Tuesday, July 7, 2020: On a bike ride to Cooper Creek Reservoir. Some sort of emergency at the lake when I arrived. Here is a parking lot video. The ride was only a little more than an hour to see the nearby bike trail and lake. We learned today that some serious hill maintenance will be done in about six weeks. The park will be moving our shed to get behind it with a tractor. That means moving most out of the shed and the storage bin in the back. The pavers will have to be moved also. This means a lot of unexpected work for us which may make us alter our fall plans.

Shed cleaning time lapse


Monday, July 6, 2020: My son, Joe, posted a video time lapse of himself cleaning his kitchen. I decided to show him I could do a time lapse also. Today was a cleaning day for me too. Our shed needed to be cleaned and organized. All the sheds in Timber Valley SKP RV Park are identical. They were all built in 1989 when the park was completed. They measure 10 x 12 feet and are well constructed. They remain the property of the park not leaseholders. Still, a leaseholder can make improvements to the shed such as flooring, insulation, wall board, windows, decoration and lighting. I use the shed as my wood shop but both Gwen and I have a tendency to throw things into the shed with the idea of organizing it later. Well, today was the day to organize and throw things away. So here is my time lapse video of shed cleaning.

Preparing the paradeI rode and filmed the parade

Saturday, July 4, 2020: It is a tradition at the Timber Valley SKP RV Park to have an Independence Day golf cart parade. Many residents take the time to decorate their golf carts and drive through the park throwing candy at those watching. Grandchildren are often visiting this time of year so the candy is appreciated by the kids. Sometimes the spectators throw the candy back at the participants too. It is a fun time for both participants and spectators. This year, I rode with the parade on my bicycle while filming all the carts. Click here to see the video.

Looking west at Timber Valley SKP RV Park
Tuesday, June 30, 2020: I'm taking more photos for the Timber Valley Facebook page, this time while looking west. I want to get a good sunset photo but the clouds have disappeared. Click the photo for a wider view.
Getting a Douglas County Park PassThe Discovery Park
Monday, June 29, 2020: Gwen and I returned the rental car this morning then drove to the Douglas County Park Department so we can take Abby to many of the county parks. We have been given instruction by Abby's teacher to take her to many new places. So today we walked her around the courthouse, then old town Roseburg then off to the Discovery Master Gardener's Park. The fee to visit a Douglas County park is $4 for a single visit. The annual fee is $30. We want to go often, hence the annual pass. Here is a short video as we started our day at the courthouse. Click the photos for more views.
Monday, June 22 thru Sunday, June 28, 2020: Reno, Nevada
Lucy Elise Lucy's new sun dress
Elise gets her birthday train Lucy is an experienced train engineer Exploring the tank car
Spare wood parts turned into a robot Verdi Pond Fishing
We tried fishing but it was too hot At Lake Tahoe Hiking and swimming
Dust storm aproaching
Climbing Eagle Rock
Getting ready for off roadArrival at Verdi Peak
Gold Ranch RV Park
Mt Shasta on the drive to Oregon
Monday June 22 thru Sunday, June 28, 2020: Visiting my children and grand children in Reno, Nevada. I'll add more photos as the week progresses. Here is a video of our fishing attempt on Verdi, Pond near the Nevada, California border. Click all photos for more views. Our Friday adventure was to Lake Tahoe California, where we climbed Eagle Rock for the views. Lake Tahoe is one of the deepest lakes in the United States. I believe it is second only to Crater Lake in Oregon. Here is a video of our climb and the views at the top of Eagle Rock. Our last adventure was 4 x 4 driving to the top of Verdi Peak for 360 degree views. My son Joe and I had a contest of video editing. We each had 24 identical videos and 31 still photos to edit and create an adventure video of our trip to the top. Here is mine. And here is my son, Joe's. You be the judge. Which is the more interesting video?
The final transport car
The passenger car
Sunday, June 21, 2020: The final two cars are finished. The best one is the passenger car. The top comes off for easy access for the passengers. This is not the first train I've built. The first was seven years ago. The second was for Lucy when she was turning three. And now for Elise who will be three in a couple weeks.
Combining the cars with Duplo
Transport cars
Saturday, June 20, 2020: I have incorporated Duplo into these cars. The blocks and vehicles are larger than Legos so easier to snap together. I have provided plenty of Duplo blocks and people so she can arrange them however she wants. There are also blocks to build a depot. Two more cars to finish.

Tank carBlock car

Friday, June 19, 2020: Two cars are finished. The tank car is made of PVC then filled with small wood shapes such as stars, snowmen, hearts, blocks, rings and more. The block car will hold ten blocks and has rulers on each side. Four more cars to go.

The engine is taking shapeElise is the engineer

Elise has a helper


Thursday, June 18, 2020: The engine is finished and ready for work on the rails. Click all photos for more views.

Raising a shedCarefully jacking a shed

Wednesday, June 17, 2020: The most exciting thing in the park today was the raising of a neighbor's shed. Our neighbor has done a great deal of work to his lot with landscape, pavers, gazebo and fences. However, while cleaning up the lot he noticed the base of his shed was beginning to rot. All 206 sheds in Timber Valley are identical and were built in 1990. Each leaseholder is responsible for landscape and lot maintenance but the sheds are property of the park so the raising of the shed is the responsibility of the park. A crew showed up this morning to carefully raise the shed about a foot then level it. I raised my shed several years ago but only needed to raise on side slightly to make the shed level. This was about two hours of work and done to the specifications of park management. Click both photos to enlarge.

Turning the steam boiler
Turning the smoke stack from Purple Heart
Tuesday, June 16, 2020: I need to turn two pieces, the steam boiler and the smoke stack. I turned the boiler from Oregon Myrtlewood which if found only in Oregon and Israel. Oregon Myrtlewood shops are found all along the Oregon coast where you will find many turnings from that unique wood. The smoke stack I turned from Purple heart. This colorful wood is from Central and South America. I got it from a fellow wood turner who rescued it from pallets imported from South America. Apparently it is common in those countries since they are using it to build pallets. The color will really shine once I finish with Polyurethane. Click both photos to see the finished pieces. This photo will give you a better idea of what I'm thinking of.
Continuing to work on the engine A scrollsaw is needed for windows Drilling holes for the wheel axles

Putting a face on the wheels



Monday, June 15, 2020: It's a rainy day so I spent the day in my shop working on a train for granddaughter Elise. I have already made several cars which only need finishing touches but I need to build the engine from scratch. The engine is the most fun project too. The engine needs a base, wheels, cab, steam boiler, smoke stack and light. The pieces are coming together slowly. Click each photo for another view.


Exploring back roadsThe Umpqua River

Saturday, June 13, 2020: Gwen, Abby and I took a drive on roads we have never driven near the Umpqua River.

The road from Sutherlin to the coast is only one hour long if taking the state highway 138 and 38. Those are the two roads we have always driven. Today we chose to explore the roads on the opposite side of the Umpqua River. We found lots of small farms and rural properties. Many were well kept and of newer construction while others were junk yards. Although this area is only 30 minutes from Roseburg, I would consider it remote, scattered cell reception and likely the only Internet access would be a satellite dish. Additionally, the mountains along the south would block the winter sun. On the other hand, most had direct access to the Umpqua River and fabulous views. Click these two photos for larger views.

The beginning of a toy project for EliseNot much yet
Wednesday, June 10, 2020: My granddaughter, Elise, will become three years old soon, it is time to make her a train. I know this doesn't look like much yet because it has taken most of the day to find the wood I need to begin the project. This will become a steam locomotive in another day or two.

Now the deck can easily be movedWheels to move the deck.


Monday, June 8, 2020: When it is time to leave for the winter our deck must be moved so our lot can be rented. I purchased these wheels from Harbor Freight to make the job easier. Click both photos for more views.

I will disconnect the steps then pick up the deck from the opposite side of the wheels and move the deck to a suitable storage area.

Sutherlin High School Graduates
Sunday, June 7, 2020: With the COVID-19 most activities for 2020 High School graduates have been cancelled. The Sutherlin High School and City have come together to create a special day for the graduates. The graduating class formed a parade through the center of town with police escort. Which this short video of the parade.
Dream Big
Saturday, June 6, 2020: This is a photo of my granddaughter, Elise, on the shore of Lake Tahoe. Her Dad took the photo and imagined the caption. I thought both were great so I wanted to share. Elise is almost three.

The post must lowerThe post is erect


Tuesday, June 2, 2020: We have posts to protect the utilities from folks who rent our lot when we are traveling. One of the posts protects the sewer connection but it also blocks the storage drawer from fully pulling out. I cut off the post and attached a hinge to one side. When laid down the post is below the storage drawer level so the drawer fully extends. I drilled two holes for glue pegs to help secure the post in the upright position. Then I installed a latch opposite to the hinge to secure the post in the upright position. Click both photos for more views.

Creating hose access Hose passes under the cabinet The finished product
Monday, June 1, 2020: The water faucet is located inside a cabinet with a lid. The hose is crushed by the lid so I need to be able to access the faucet from under the cabinet. This solves the problem, the hose goes through the underground pipe into the cabinet, perfect. Click the last photo to enlarge the finished project.

Abby is exhausted


Sunday, May 31, 2020: After so many visitors, Abby is exhausted. We are back in Timber Valley RV Park now.

Son Joe and meBald Eagle watching the action

Saturday, May 30, 2020: My son, Joe, arrived at the beach from Sparks, Nevada. We did some beach exploring. I happen to get a close view of a Bald Eagle sitting nearby on a branch. The eagle did not seem to mind having its photo taken and gave me some good poses. This was another perfect day on the ocean for his short visit. Click the photos for more views.


Coast Guard RescueHeceta Lighthouse

Friday, May 29, 2020: We are in for a double treat today. I drive Dorana and Robin to the Heceta Lighthouse where we hike the trails with Abby. What a perfect day for an ocean view.

While on the lighthouse property we get to witness a Coast Guard rescue of a man stranded on a rock in the bay. We don't know the details but the photo at right shows the Coast Guard swimmer lowered to the stranded tourist. The basket is lowered and the tourist is placed in the basket. The helicopter then slips sideways and gently lowers the basket to the beach. Click both photos for more views. A Coast Guard boat was present but was not able to assist. The Oregon State police cleared the beach, fire department was present to assist as well as the county search and rescue. For more information on this incident, click here.

Parked at the Florence Elks RV Park
Thursday, May 28, 2020: While Dorana and Robin are at Driftwood Inn, Gwen, Abby and I are in the Florence Elks RV Park, only a few miles from their Inn. This is one of the best Elks parks with lots of trees to help block the wind and trails through the trees surrounding the park. It is also surrounded by lakes but viewable only with a drone. Here is a drone view of the park.
The Driftwood Inn beach view

We walk the beach with Abby


Wednesday, May 27, 2020: We drive 1.5 hours to the Pacific Ocean for three days of ocean views. Dorana and Robin have a nice ocean view from their room at Driftwood Inn. Abby takes her first walk on the beach, her first experience with wind blown sand, first poop on the beach and first experience with salt water. Here is a short video of Dorana and Gwen with Abby enjoying the sand and surf. Click the photos for more views.

Dorana and me with a chainsaw carving Chainsaw art Go Ducks

The Jazz Band


Tuesday, May 26, 2020: We have a chainsaw artist nearby, Ed and Mary. I was anxious to show Dorana and Robin Ed's artwork. Ed and Mary also have a unique property on the plateau above Calapooia Creek. Ed and Mary treated us like lost relatives giving us a tour of the artwork and property. Click the above photos for more views. Click the jazz band at the left for a short video.

My sister Dorana


Monday, May 25, 2020: My sister Dorana and her partner, Robin, have arrived. The first thing we do is to take Abby for a long hike on the park trail. Dorana and Robin have arrived from California. She is a "dog person" as we are. Abby likes the trail but does not like the "Gentle Leader" muzzle collar. Click the photo for a view of Robin taking control while returning to the motorhome.

The clock is finished


Sunday, May 24, 2020: The clock is finished. Click the photo to see the finished project.

A rainy day activity170 pieces
Friday, May 22, 2020: I have had this kit for several months but decided it was time to drag it out and put together on a rainy day. So I worked on this kit for much of the day and possibly got half through the instruction book. I have most of the gears assembled so turning the gears into a clock should be happening next. Click the photos for larger views.

Kruse Farms Produce and Bakery

Thursday, May 21, 2020: Today is the opening day for Kruse Farms Produce.

They have the best fresh produce mostly from surrounding local farms. They also have the best pies plus specialty sauces, preserves and salsas.

We wanted to be one of the first to visit to learn what was available on day one.

This is one better choice about ten miles from us is a "U-Pick Farm" with all sorts of vegetables which can not be any fresher.

Kirkland Brats


Tuesday, May 19, 2020: Just had to show this discovery from Costco. These are Kirkland Brats cooked on our barbeque. They are delicious with great flavor. We only found them a couple of days ago while looking for something which would be quick and easy to fix for lunch or a lite dinner. They are totally raw so take a while on the barbeque but we have learned to barbeque them ahead of time then reheat ... that makes this meal quick.

Roseburg Farmer's MarketK9Crack


Saturday, May 16, 2020: Abby and I took a drive to the Roseburg Farmer's Market today. We have always heard good things about it but never visited. That changed today. It is early in the season so I was expecting much in homegrown vegetables but I was wrong. There were lots of leafy and in ground vegetables (like beats) available. It was well attended and seemed like many were buying something. The first thing I saw was the sign at the left which required all vendors to wear masks, I was wearing mine. As it turned out, only 20% of the vendors were wearing masks. Very few customers were wearing masts, too. Click both photos for more views. The only thing I bought was a bag of treats for Abby. I got her a bag of dried sweat potato. According to the vendor, she would love them. The vendor gave me a sample of dried liver which I gave to Abby when I returned to the car. These treats are so dry I'm not sure they have an odor so Abby didn't accept the liver at first but eventually chomped it down. The sweat potato, on the other hand, was a different story. She has no interest in it at all. We'll keep trying since these were expensive treats. I did stop at Costco on the way home to buy ME a treat, poppy seed muffins. Both Abby and I liked those!

Calapooia Creek
Wednesday, May 13, 2020: Another rainy day so Gwen, Abby and I take a drive to the east out of Sutherlin. It wasn't long before we started to climb into the mountains and found ourselves following Calapooia Creek upstream. We have been this way several years ago but not since. The pavement goes for 16 miles before it turns to gravel/dirt. The first third looks like a remote rural farming area. Click the photo for one of the rural homes on the top of a nearby knoll. The last third looks a little more like driving into the movie "Deliverance". Since it is raining we turned around at the end of the pavement. According to Google maps the gravel road continues another 45 minutes to Hiway 138 where we will meet Glide. We will have to try this road when the road is not muddy. We noticed electricity and mail deliver to the end of the pavement. There is a different feel to this road because it is not a loop, it is out and back so feels more remote.
Cooper Creek Reservoir
Monday, May 11, 2020: Today's adventure was a trip, short trip, to Cooper Creek Reservoir. It is located up a short valley about 1/2 mile to the east of Timber Valley RV Park. Unfortunately the park trail leads toward the lake but stops about 100 yards short of the dam. Click the photo for another view. I also took this one and this one too. Then I flew over the lake with the drone. The lake is only a half mile from the park but the drive to the lake is through south Sutherlin and is three miles long.

Toketee FallsAmateur wire walker

Saturday, May 9, 2020: Gwen, Abby and I drove east on Hiway 138 toward Crater Lake to meet Gwen's daughter, Lesa and grandson, Dustin. We had a picnic at Toketee Lake with perfect weather. That is where I flew my drone to explore the lake. The lake is formed on the North Umpqua River, the second longest river in Oregon (don't count the Columbia River since it borders both Oregon and Washington). The Willamette is the longest Oregon river. Be sure to watch the video especially to catch the second half.

After lunch, we hiked to Toketee Falls, about 45 minutes one-way. When we arrived we were treated with amateur wire walking over the river and in front of the falls. There was a group of half a dozen wire walkers, it was this fellows turn.

Click both photos for enlarged views.

Photos for the Timber Valley Facebook Page


Friday, May 8, 2020: After a trip to Roseburg for groceries I worked on a new responsibility.

Timber Valley SKP RV Park has a Facebook page which was begun 2-1/2 years ago by a friend. He handed the administrative duties to his wife and she has grown tired of being an administrator. They asked me to volunteer to take over the duties. After a short discussion yesterday, I agreed.

I noticed the "Cover Photo" for the page did not exist. Today I took my drone to the field opposite the office to get the office in the photo with much of the park in the background.

Then I flew up the street to get a photo of the clubhouse with more of the park in the background. Click this photo to see the clubhouse photo.

I plan to use these photos as "Cover Photos" for the Facebook page. I've created several photos from the drone flight.

After the drone flight I walked some of the park looking for flowers to photograph. I'm thinking ahead to a time this next winter when I'm in Arizona. I will need new cover photos then and I won't be here to take them. So now I have ten cover photos and plan to get another ten, at least, over the summer.

"Milk Moon" over the park


Wednesday, May 6, 2020: Tonight's photo of the moon because this is the last super moon of the year. This moon is known by various names. I've heard it called the "Milk Moon" but it is also known as the "Full Flower Moon", Corn Planting Moon", and "Mother's Moon".

My activities today were to search for cycling items I can donate to the youth cycle group and clean out my cycling gear at the same time.

Next, I used much of the day to repair a pressure sprayer so we can use it to spray the weeds on the lot. I tested the sprayer by filling with water and giving water to all our new potted plants.

The rest of the day was playing with Abby so she will sleep well tonight.

Barbeque on Cinco de MayoBarbequed Chicken


Tuesday, May 5, 2020: I spent my morning string trimming the hill behind our lot. It must be done at least twice each year depending upon the amount of rain.

Once that was done, Gwen and I decided to celebrate Cinco de Mayo by getting tacos at Friday BBQ. Once I saw the menu, however (click the photo on the left to see the menu), I decided on a chicken barbeque sandwich with fried onions and garlic slaw on top. This is a drive-up restaurant so no problem with COVID-19 seating. We were in line about twenty minutes to get our food but they were very quick once they had our order.

I also took a pair of bicycle riding shorts with me and donated them to a youth cycling group. I wear bib shorts exclusively so plan to donate whatever shorts I have to the group.

Cleaning the utility side of the lotThe Leap!

Monday, May 4, 2020: I spent the entire day cleaning and organizing the utility side of the lot.

The cleaning and organizing included finding and repairing a tiny freshwater leak. It included rerouting the sewer, freshwater and electrical lines. I also refilled the exterior propane tank. I untangled the hoses located inside the freshwater compartment. Finally, I raked all the gravel to make it more even.

Abby started something new today, leaping from the floor into my lap. This makes it pretty difficult to drink my morning coffee. I might have a dog in my lap at any moment. It is one thing to have a 23 pound dog leap into your lap but different when she is 65 pounds. She is 14 weeks today. I rushed to catch her in a selfie which is not easy to do!

Click both photos for enlarged views.

Our name plate on the shedMy hat is customized by Abby

Sunday, May 3, 2020: It was probably 15 years ago we had this sign made by a company in Rogue River, Oregon. "Morgan" and "Annie" were hanging under our names but since both are gone we needed a new hang, "Abby". I tried to contact the Rogue River company without any luck so I contacted a sign company in Roseburg. They promised they could make an "Abby". It was finally finished and hung.

Some folks will pay extra for a "weathered" baseball cap but Abby will "weather" it for free!

Corner is mostly finishedWorking in the corner

Saturday, May 2, 2020: In between the rain showers Gwen mostly finished her plan for the corner of our lot. We did add a ceramic bird bath which is not in the photo and moved the flag thinking it might keep the birds away. We used the rubber mush again. We happen to have the river rock on hand, just moved it from the back of the lot to the front. The posts were added to the planter boxes to hold deer netting over the flowers. Without the netting, the deer and rabbits would eat the flowers.

Rubber mulch Spreading the mulch


Monday, April 27, 2020: Gwen has been looking for a bark to spread along the edge of our upper deck. She had not been able to find what she was looking for until our visit to Costco.

She found something unexpected, rubber mulch which had just the look she was wanting. This was cedar colored and made from recycled tires.

Apparently the main use is for a ground cover under playground equipment. It offers better protection when children fall.

But in this case, it was just what Gwen wanted. Click the photos for more views.

Drone view of our space at Timber Valley
Sunday, April 26, 2020: I finally had a day to get my drone connected to the new phone. All the setting had to be done a second time for the new phone. I'm really pleased because the new Samsung S20 Ultra is much brighter and it's much easier to see where I'm flying. This drone view will give you a much better idea of what the Timber Valley Escapee Park is like. The lot size can't be beat, much larger than most RV parks. Click this photo for a wider view. Here is the view which Abby likes. Here is a 5 minute flight over the park.
The parts to the gazeboRebar spike used to secure corners

Gazebo finished


Friday and Saturday, April 24/25, 2020: I bought a portable gazebo at one of our favorite stores, BiMart. It will provide a cool location to complete summer projects. I purchased this style thinking it was more stable than the pop-up style canopy of the same size. This one measures 10 x 10 feet. I like the idea of the corner design, seems better than a thin single leg of the canopy style. It took two days to complete mostly because it was my first time and the instructions called for two people to erect but I did it alone. I set the side away from the shed onto 2 x 4s to help level it. The light aluminum pegs provided with the kit are pathetic for something this size. I used my 18" rebar spikes to secure each corner. The instructions want the canopy removed in wind so I'm anxious to learn how it acts in the wind. It does well in the rain.

You can get a good view of the hill behind our lot that Abby likes to climb. You'll see the overhead line she is attached to in some of the photos. Click all photos for more views.

Walking the park Spring in the park Ferns in the park
Thursday, April 23, 2020: Gwen and I walked around our park for the first time since we arrived in Oregon. Our park is full of spring flowers and I took photos of a few. Click each photo for another view.

The deck is finally finished



Sunday, April 19, 2020: We made a trip to Roseburg today to pick up groceries at Fred Meyer. Gwen orders groceries online then a few days later they are delivered to our car in the Fred Meyer parking lot. It's a handy way to grocery shop without actually entering the store.

After the Fred Meyer parking lot, we made a quick stop at Home Depot to pick up the board I needed to finish the steps.

The rest of the afternoon I finished the steps then stained the deck. Once the stain is dry, it's ready for use.

Note the shelf for the potted plant and the solar light mounted on the corner.

Click the photo to enlarge.

Welcome to FFA Plant SaleDeck is nearly finished


Saturday, April 18, 2020: Our Sutherlin FFA has a plant sale in April every year. This year, like every year, the selection is spectacular and also very popular. I got online the very first day of the sale and nearly everything was already sold. I was still able to get some plants for Gwen. I believe she plans to put them into the new flower boxes. I drove to pick them us this morning. I was greeted at the "check-in" table by this dinosaur. It is a unique way to have a face/body shield to block the COVID-19 virus. She gave me the paperwork and the next stop gave me the plants and I was on my way.

I spent the rest of the day finishing the deck. It is completed except for the two steps where I need the lumber. Also we plan to put a sealing stain to preserve the wood. Click the deck photo to enlarge.

Yes, Abby wants to help but usually gets herself tangled in her leash.

In line at Home DepotThe frame has come together.

Friday, April 17, 2020: The new project for today is a small 3 x 5 foot deck and stair off the door of Mz Ruby. I had to stand in line for entry into Home Depot, maybe 15 minutes. The material turned out to be a heavy load for the lightweight rack on the Subaru. Click the left photo.

The frame came together pretty quickly. I used pressure treated lumber for the base then Cedar for the deck and steps. As it turns out, I was one ten foot Cedar board short for the steps so will finish them another day. I only have one 2 x 4 Cedar board for the railing so probably short on the railing too. I hope to finish most, if not all, tomorrow then use deck stain to water proof. Click the right photo to learn how far I got today.

Shopping for materials at Home Depot Mitred corners Pilot hole for 3" deck screw

Planter box assembly


Thursday, April 16, 2020: Gwen requested two planter boxes be made for our side yard. She showed me several she liked which were in the hundred dollar range. I thought I could make what she wanted much cheaper. That changed once we got to Home Depot and I had to pay $120 for cedar. That made each box $60 and I had to do a day of labor to build them. This would give me practice for the cedar deck and steps I plan to make for the Mz Ruby.

I bought 2 x 6 cedar for the frame and ripped them in half giving about 2-3/4" wide boards for top and bottom of the boxes. I cut a rabbet in these frame boards to inset the sides and hold the bottom boards. I mitred these and routered the edges for a more professional look. I drilled a pilot hole for one three inch deck screw in each corner. I also used wood glue on the corners.

I used rough cut cedar fence boards for the sides cut 13" tall. These were attached using my pneumatic staple gun which made it easy and fast.

I suggested to Gwen using pots inside the boxes rather than filling with potting soil. She has chosen to line with plastic then fill with potting soil. I hope we get some nice flowers.

Click all photos for another view.

The day began gloomy


Sunday, April 5, 2020: The temperature this morning read 44° with the Dew Point at 42° . I wrote my kids with that information and asked, "What does this mean?" Then I sent them this photo. My son, Joe, answered, "Fog"! That's why I always report the dew point in my weather observations. I actually saw the dew point in negative numbers in Arizona. It seemed the dew point was always close to the temperature in the summer midwest.

Click the photo to see what I was doing today. I unloaded the storage shed of the summer patio furniture. You can also see an overhead line with a leash attached to it. This 100 foot line is attached to a tree up the hill then to our awning arm closest to the road. Abby's leash is attached to the dangling leash giving her a 100 foot run. She likes going up the hill to play in the grass at the top then she'll run down the hill at full speed to the front of Ms Ruby. She is on a harness at the time, not connected to a neck collar.

Later this afternoon we had a fifteen minute cloud burst with thunder, lightening and hail. It was the most rain I've seen in fifteen minutes here at the park and anytime during our midwest trip last summer.

Home Base in Sutherlin, Oregon
Saturday, April 4, 2020: We have returned to home base due to the Covid-19 Pandemic which has shut most everything down. It has also kept friends and families from visiting so we are back to home base six weeks before our planned return date. Today was a stormy day bringing rain with more rain forecast for tomorrow. Abby is liking the new surrounding and liking the hill behind Ms Ruby to climb then slide down. We will get out the patio furniture when the rain stops. Click the photo for a panorama of the park around Ms Ruby.


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