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Stagecoach Daze breakfast and crafts faire
Friday, April 20, 2012: This first full day of Stagecoach Daze at Park Sierra began with a continental breakfast (bagels, muffins, juice, fruit, and coffee). The craft show began at 9 am with crafts displayed and sold by Park Sierra residents. I was most impressed with the blacksmith work by JD. He specifically made these handles for the Park Sierra storage sheds where all proceeds he takes in will go to replacing the sound system in the clubhouse. The "sheriff" is wondering the clubhouse. You can end up in jail for nearly any reason (like forgetting to wear your name tag). The fine to be released from jail is $1. Click any of the photos below for additional views.
JD displays his blacksmith work
You can be jailed of many reasons Preparing string beans for dinner
The cake walk
Gwen enjoyed the cake walk. She bought a space for $1 along with 23 other participants. When the music begins, so does the dance/walk forward. When the music stops, you stand on the closest numbers space. Two space numbers are drawn per walk and those participants get a cake. Gwen played twice, but didn't win a cake. You can see the cake walk video here. Today was also the flower hay ride. These participants are taken around the park by tractor and hay wagon to various wildflower locations. Be sure to click the photos for additional views.
The flower hay ride

Dinner on the first night of Stagecoach Daze


Saturday, April 21, 2012: Last night ended with the first dinner of Stagecoach Daze. Beef over noodles with fresh green beans (prepared this morning, see photo above). This was dinner for nearly 400 people in the clubhouse. While folks were eating dinner, 50/50 raffle tickets were sold. Nearly $1,000 in tickets were sold. The winner of the raffle would get HALF. I couldn't believe it when I heard #399069, MY ticket number was called. Click any of the photos for another view.

The evening ended with professional entertainment, a comedian and muscian from Grass Valley, Oregon (not California) ... yes, I had to look it up too. It's in a remote section of Oregon.

YES!, I won the 50/50 raffle

JD demonstrates blacksmithingDo I look excited about the $480 I just won on the 50/50 raffle. That's enough to pay for our entire stay at Park Sierra (since March 12). We had planned to stay only until April 12 but decided to stay until April 23 when we learned of the Stagecoach Daze celebration. I'm glad we did.

JD is demonstrating his blacksmithing ability. He has set up on the "North Slope" to show his skills for a couple of hours.

The photo behind JD is of the Dutch Oven cooking demonstration and tasting. That's cooking in a cast iron pot heated with charcoal piled onto the lid and under the bottom.

Getting on the Hayride Barbara tells us about how the park was built

Wii bowling was a popular tourament


Next, we hopped onto the hay wagon for an hour long tour of the park along with a history lesson of how the park was built. We also heard stories of the volunteers who built the park. One surprise was that many of the volunteers were NOT future lot holders, but volunteering just to get the park built. Barbara talked for a whole hour and still had more to tell us when our hour-long tour was over. The volunteer builders of the park did an incredible amount of work and a great job. If this park was in Oregon, it would be our number ONE choice.

While having lunch, we watched the Wii bowling tournament which had started yesterday. The participants enjoyed the virtual action of bowling.

Don't forget to click the photos for additional views.

Steve and Linda, "Our table will be called LAST"Sunday, April 22, 2012: On Saturday night we sat at a table with Steve and Linda. They immediately informed us that the table where they sit seems to always be chosen last. There are about 40 tables at the evening dinners for Stage Coach Days. Each table is numbered and the table numbers are drawn at random for diners to proceed to the serving tables for tonight's dinner. I had to take Steve and Linda's photo because, they were right, our table was chosen last. However, this time there was a reward for being last, two bottles of wine were given to the last table. Click the photo to see the reward. Steve and Linda did not want the wine so another couple shared the two bottles with us. They chose the white wine so we brought the red wine home and eventually shared with Ralph and Janet.
Auction of all kinds of stuffMonday, April 23, 2012: Most of Sunday afternoon was taken up with the Auction. Virtually everything was in the auction and unlike most auctions I've attended, the buyer had the edge in this auction (meaning, the buyer got things cheap). There were hundreds of items to auction so the bidding began at 11 am and did not end until 3:30 pm. Yet there were items that still did not get bids and were given away on Monday. There were lots of electronic items and computer items, especially printers. I believe most of them were not sold. There were also many electric heaters, not sure if they sold or not, I left about 3 pm and they still had not been brought to bid. Click the photo for another view.
Our main item to win at auctionThis is the item we won at auction . It's a Dehon folding bicycle to replace Gwen's bike which was stolen in Lodi. This is a 6 speed touring model with a nice carry rack on the back wheel. Click the photo to see the bike unfolded. I've ridden the bike and found it fun to ride. It required a few minor adjustments but was otherwise in perfect condition. Since the bike folds, we will carry it inside the trailer when traveling. We paid $60 for the bike which was a fair price for us and also fair for Park Sierra. All proceeds from the auction went to benefit the entertainment and activities at Park Sierra.
Our campsite at Buck Horn Lake
Tuesday, April 24, 2012: This was a travel day to Black Butte reservoir, and the Buck Horn campground, an Army Corp of Engineers campground so we got half off the camping fee. We were right on the water and next to Ralph and Janet, next to them is Fred and Kathy, their friends from Northern California. Our campsite was not level, in fact it was angled toward the lake. That had me worried, so I put several blocks under the wheels. Click the photo to see what I mean.
Searching for a geocache
Wednesday, April 25, 2012: One of our favorite hobbies is to search for geocaches, this is Fred's first time be he learns fast. This is right on the shore of Black Butte Reservoir. Pass your pointer through the photo to see the search.



Thursday, April 26, 2012: We finally found a cache. Everyone is recording their find. Click the photo to see a great panorama view of Black Butte Lake.

Mt Shasta on our travel's north

Friday, April 27, 2012: Friday is travel day from Black Butte Lake to Timber Valley SKP RV park in Sutherlin, Oregon. We left early, and had a perfect day for traveling. The photo is from a McDonald parking lot in Weed, California with Mt. Shasta in the background. We made good time and arrived in Sutherlin at 2:50 pm. It felt like "home" as soon as we crossed the border into Oregon. Click the photo to see us arriving at the Timber Valley office.

Roseburg farmers Market

Saturday, April 28, 2012: A fun day in Roseburg began with the Farmer's Market. There were lots of craft booths and some really nice hand built patio furniture. There were also lots of plant booths, that's all that Gwen purchased. We were entertained by the accordian band (click the photo to see them). After the market, I went to a bike shop while Gwen visited a quilt shop and enrolled in five weeks of lessons. The next stop was Costco and finally to the grocery store.

Pow Wow at Umqua Community College


Sunday, April 29, 2012: We learned of a POW WOW when I did a search for "beads, Roseburg". I learned that Baker Bay Beads was exhibiting at the POW WOW. Neither me nor Gwen have ever attended a POW WOW so this gave us a chance. We heard lots of drumming and visited many booths of jewelry, t-shirts, Indian artifacts and more. This Indian brave was dancing to the drumming. Click the photo to see the Baker Bay Beads booth. Click here for a short video of the drummers. Other activities today included replacing the headlight bulbs in the truck, one had burned out. I also did a nice bike ride into the quiet Oregon countryside.

Number 98 at Timber Valley

Monday, April 30, 2012: This is our parking location at Timber Valley SKP RV Park, space 98. Our back yard is a large, grassy hill, perfect for Morgan. These are large lots, this one is mostly undeveloped. Notice I've extended our solar panels. This park, like all SKP parks, charges for electric usage for month long stays. The electrical fee in Oregon is 10¢ per kilowatt hour, but it's still nice to save electricity. Our converter is turned off, which means our batteries are charged ONLY by solar. The batteries power all the 12 volt system, lights, exhaust fans plus the AC circuit which powers the entertainment center (TV) and computers. If you check my daily reports, you'll see that the solar usage has increased to as much as 99 amp hours, compared to 150 amp hours when we rely on solar entirely while camped in the desert. Before turning off the converter, we used only 8 amp hours each day. Said in another way, no electricity is used to recharge the batteries yet they are fully charged at the end of each sunny (or partly cloudy) day. Click the photo to see our space from the rear on the hill.

Searching the trail behind our trailer

Tuesday, May 1, 2012: The day began with Morgan and I exploring the trail/road behind our trailer which leads into the mountains to the south. It looks like a great hike for some day in the future. We had to be at the trailer this morning because the Charter cable connection at our site was not working and Charter was scheduled to arrive this morning. It was a quick fix. I learned from the installer that we can customize our cable reception at the park. Each space has "basic" and "expanded basic" Charter cable vision paid with the rent. We can add high speed Internet and HD for far less that what we pay for DirecTV and HughesNet. Something to look forward to when we have our permanent space here. I scored course assignments this afternoon then took Morgan for a walk with Mac and his master, Ted.

Men making breakfast

Helping out the landscape group

Wednesday, May 2, 2012: Today began with breakfast at the clubhouse cooked by the men of the park. Today was "Men Cooking" breakfast day, scrambled eggs, sausage, fruit, pancakes and juice plus coffee or tea. It was great. The breakfast was scheduled from 9am - 10am but I was already told by the friends we have made to show up at 8:30am so we were early, we thought. When we arrived at 8:30, many were already eating and some finished. Still plenty of food left. After breakfast, I met with the landscape group, about a dozen volunteers to help work on landscape around the park. Since this is a co-op park, every lot holder is to help take care of the park in some way. I chose to help, even though I'm not a lot holder because I would like to meet some of the park residents and get a better feel of the park since we are getting low on the wait list. Click the breakfast photo to see some of the landscape group. I used the string trimmer until my arms were ready to fall off. After working on park projects, I brought the string trimmer back to site 98 where we are parked and used it to clean up our space. My photo for a rear view. Soon after I returned the trimmer, Ralph and Janet showed up. They will be staying for ten days.

Cleaning the roof

Thursday, May 3, 2012: What do you do in Oregon on a rainy day? It rained all night and was predicted to rain all day today. My neighbor across the street, Ed, had the same idea I had and spent many hours cleaning his roof, awning, and the outside of his motor home. Following his example, I scrubbed the roof for a couple of hours in the rain. The rain helped to rinse as I scrubbed. Note the solar panels partially extended and my Davis Vantage Vue weather station at the back end of the trailer. The data from my weather station will soon be online direct from the station ... more about that next week. After scrubbing the roof, Gwen and I went with Janet and Ralph to Si Casa Flores. It's the favorite Mexican restaurant of all four of us and a southern Oregon "local" chain restaurant. Gwen took off for quilting classes in Roseburg soon after.

Cinco de Mayo at Timber Valley RV Park
Saturday, May 5, 2012: The main event today was the Cinco de Mayo celebration at the Timber Valley SKP RV Park clubhouse. This happened right after we watched the 138th running of the Kentucky Derby. Special to use because we were in Kentucky last year and took a tour of the Churchill Downs where the derby takes place. We know how exciting this derby is for all those in Kentucky and for the rest of us even though we don't follow horse racing. Our menu today for Cinco de Mayo was two tacos (actually you could have more but few took advantage), rice, refried beans, all the condiments needed for the tacos and margaritas (but you must supply your own boos if desired). The small eating area of the clubhouse was overflowing into the larger meeting room but there was plenty of food for everyone. Our table was picked second from last to line up for the food. No free bottles of wine for us (as we got at Park Sierra). Click the photo to enlarge.

Tolly's in Historic Oakland

Monday, May 7, 2012: We visited historic Oakland, Oregon, only 3 miles north of Sutherlin. The main street looks exactly like it did 100 years ago (except for the asphalt). One of the good reasons to visit Oakland is to have a meal at Tully's. Someone has spent a lot of time and money to decorate this restaurant in a historic fashion. Breakfast is very reasonable and good. The first menu item is for two eggs, potatoes, toast and coffee for only $5. The special was eggs benedict for $10.49 and every other menu item was priced between these two. Click both photos for other views.

The soda fountain in Tolly's

Davis Vantage Vue weather station

Tuesday, May 8, 2012: I've added something to my weather station today. I've owned the Davis Vantage Vue weather station for two years and have been recording the weather each day to RVeCafe. The Davis station has been a wonderful station except for measuring rain in a high wind. Davis has created a location on the Internet where those with a Davis weather station can link there station to make the data available real timeWeatherLink Network, page. I have put my station online. If you visit my station site you will be able to see my weather station data in real time. To see all station data, click "summary" at the top of the page. To learn of other Davis weather stations to monitor, login to WeatherLink then click "WeatherLink Station Map" at the top right of the page. If you search for "Sutherlin, OR" where we are located today, you'll find a dot in Sutherlin. Point at the dot and you will see it is "Station:". You can do the same for any location. Search for any area of the world where you might like to monitor the weather in real time. I currently monitor three Davis weather stations in Germany near Gwen's daughter as well as a station in Lodi, California where my Mother lives and several locations where we like to park our RV. All of these stations are permanently mounted in one location while my station travels with me (of course) and is set up wherever I'm located. If you own a smart phone, download the free Weatherlink APP and add "rvecafe" to the stations you monitor.

Misty Oaks Vineyard is only a few miles from us.

Thursday, May 10, 2012: Our friends Ralph and Janet installed solar panels last year to their fifth wheel but they were lost in an accident. Today, I helped Ralph install new solar panels to his fifth wheel. It was very easy since all the wiring was already in place. I put a photo of this wine label here because I purchased this wine to share with my two sisters. I wanted to bring them some Oregon wine and this bottle was purchase at the Roseburg Costco. I specifically chose this wine because the Misty Oaks Vineyard is only a few miles down the road from us. The wine turned out to be very good and I wanted to remember this bottle for another time.

Mowing with a John DeerFriday, May 11, 2012: I've always wanted to drive a John Deer tractor so this is a close as I've come. There is a huge field behind our trailer which must be mowed about every two weeks in the spring. I spent 3 hours on the John Deer today mowing the field. I used up all the fuel, refilled the tank and went some more. After finishing the field, I went looking for more but couldn't find more so I switched to a walk-behind rotary mower to catch the areas which couldn't be mowed with a riding mower. I think I've filled my need to mow.
Celebrating my Aunt's 95th birthday in Vancouver Washington
Sunday, May 13, 2012: This weekend was a celebration of my Aunt Louise's 95th birthday. She is my father's only and older sister. We are in downtown Vancouver Washington at the Little Italy Tratoria restaurant. Good food was served to 30 family members. Many of these family members I have not seen for many years. Click the photo for a view of the Columbia River and the Interstate 5 bridges across the river. Vancouver has a wonderful walk along the Columbia which seem well used by runners, hikers, bicycles and dog walkers. To get to Vancouver, we rented a car in Roseburg. The car rental fee plus fuel totaled $95. Diesel alone for the truck would have cost $113. Another good example of the rental option savings.

Furniture piled outside in preparation for recarpeting the living roomMonday, May 14, 2012: I returned the rental car this morning to Roseburg with my bike in the back, then road home saving lots of diesel with Gwen not needing to follow me to Roseburg. After returning we worked together to remove all furniture from the living - kitchen area of the fifth wheel because tomorrow morning we are having the carpet replaced. The carpet to be removed is the original carpet, it has lasted five years. We've learned this original carpet barely has 1/4" of padding (and feels like 1/8"). The new carpet will have a quality 1/2" of pad and nice thick pile unlike the loop of the original. Yes, we will be careful to keep the new carpet low where the slide must travel over it. I've also made an appointment tomorrow to have a PacBrake installed in the truck. The truck needs extra help when towing and descending steep hills, the PacBrake uses the engine exhaust to create back-pressure in the engine to help slow the rig when needed.

Tom is installing our new carpet


Wednesday, May 16, 2012: Tom is installing our new carpet. Gwen is very happy and so I am happy. The carpet feels much different from the original, it's a nice pile with double the pad thickness and quadruple the quality of the original carpet and pad. As it turns out, Tom was able to install only half the carpet because the the piece in the slide must have the outside edge bound which will take a few days. Once the edge is bound, Tom will install it and the job will be complete. I had the same experience with the installation of the PacBrake in the truck. They were to fix the "boost leak" but once the PacBrake was installed, it was apparent the boost leak was really an exhaust manifold leak and a new gasket must be ordered before it could be repaired. So ... they still have the truck and promise to have it ready tomorrow. It better be ready by 4 pm tomorrow so Gwen can make her quilting class.

Birdhouse condo

Thursday, May 17, 2012: We attended our first Timber Valley SKP Park board of director's meeting this morning. The meeting went for 1 hour and 50 minutes but few of the topics were very interesting. There are 206 lot holders in this park and I would guess that only 1/4 of them attended the meeting. Some of the items which were of interest to me: an introduction of four members who would like to be elected to the board to three vacated seats, 30 minutes of dicussion as to whether the rules of the park should be alphabetized, whether or not two members (instead of ONE member) should be required to count the quarters received in the laundry room, approval of the funds to purchase a new riding mower, and the announcement of ice cream socials beginning this Sunday (yippee!).

Tom returned today and the carpet installation has been completed. The PacBrake installation and exhaust manifold repair has been completed on the truck. Gwen was able to drive to her quilting class in Roseburg.

Creative recycling

Friday, May 18, 2012: This has been a day of coffee and pancakes at a local coffee shop then shopping in Roseburg for a few items. I worked on setting up some accessories which came with the PacBrake then found an old RV TV antenna in the trash. I needed one arm of that antenna to repair an arm I bent a couple of years ago. I retrieved then repaired my antenna. The rest of the day I scored college assignments. The photo shows a creative method of recycling. Click the photo for another view.

Breakfast at the White Horse
The "All City Garage Sale" in Oakland, OregonSaturday, May 19, 2012: Our day began at the White Horse Coffee shop in downtown Sutherlin. Leo is 77 and the owner. He has a sign out front offering the shop "For Sale - Help Leo Retire". I asked him what he will do when he retires, he says, "Become a professional blackjack player". It's a nice place to begin the day with good coffee and a quality breakfast menu. Click the photo to see Leo. Then we drove to Oakland, Oregon to shop the "All City Garage Sale". It was well attended with people walking the streets everywhere. We weren't great shoppers, Gwen found a new shirt and some quilting books. I found only a gas can to replace one with a broken cap. But I can see many items needed when we eventually become "lot holders" at Timber Valley Park. Click the photo to see a panorama of part of the sale from the community center.

The first ice cream social of the year

Sunday, May 20, 2012: Our day began with the final stage of the Tour of California bicycle race ending in Los Angeles. It is interesting that a rider can win 5 of the 8 stages and still NOT be in the top 3 winners of the race. Peter Sagen won 5 of the 8 stages yet Robert Gesink, a dutch rider, won the race with the best overall time. He won only ONE stage but was so far ahead of the others, he ended with the best overall time. After that inspiration, I took myself for a 30 mile ride. I still had enough energy left when I got home, I washed the truck and waxed the cab and hood (I'm wanting to compare the waxed part with the non-waxed part tomorrow in the sun to see if there is much difference). The big reward for this day was the first ice cream social of the year. Christy is serving five different flavors at 25¢ per scoop. Click the photo to see how George comes prepared with a root beer to make a root beer float, perhaps I'll try that next week.

Monday, May 21, 2012: I started a new dentist today because I broke a molar over the weekend. I'm happy with my new hygienist and dentist but learned it will cost $1000 for a crown on that broken This says something about the town of Sutherlin molar ... OH Well ... as my grandfather use to say, "easy come ... easy go". After leaving the dentist office I spotted this sign. Note that the people who wrote this message drain the old oil from your engine then add new oil (not much training needed for that job). Anyway, I believe this sign says a lot about this community and probably this county. The local community college (Umpqua Community College ... I still teach business courses for Rogue Community College) just tried to pass a $40 million dollar bond to build a new healthcare training facility and industrial arts facility (to give Douglas County residents true career training). It failed with about 72% of the voters choosing NOT to increase their property tax by an average of $28 per YEAR. It would have been a marvelous opportunity for the residents of this county to be able to send their children to such a local facility. So the choice remains for Douglas County children to go elsewhere (my hygienist was trained at Oregon Institute of Technology in Klamath Falls) or stay here and be qualified to change the oil in your car.

The Hunger Games

Tuesday, May 21, 2012: So today was a rainy, boring day so we took ourselves to the movies in Roseburg. I had wanted to see The Hunger Games because I wanted to know what it was about that movie which has turned young people on to archery. After watching the movie, I'm still not sure why this would interest folks in archery any more than, say, Robin Hood. To me, the point of the movie is that winning is not as important as how you play the game ... any game ... say football or baseball. Too much importance is placed on winning. But few viewers will probably see what I saw. To me Hunger Games is exactly like the CBS show "Survivor" where the contestants knock each other off the show one at a time until there is one final winner. In Survivor the game is deception, lies, cheating, and making temporary alliances toward winning. Hunger Games was the same but in Survivor, losers leave the game, in Hunger Games, they are killed. The absurdity of Hunger Games is to make their point clear, winning should not be as important as the integrity played in the game.

My new dentist, Dr. Tim

Thursday, May 24, 2012: OK, today was my first day with my new dentist, Dr. Tim. He's a local dentist in Sutherlin. You might remember, Gwen and I visited the Ivy Tech Community College hygienist school in Anderson, Indiana last June for cleaning but today, I needed more than a cleaning. I broke a molar so it's time for another crown. Two years ago I got a crown in Mexico. It was my experiment with a Mexican dentist. That porcelain crown lasted only 7 months before it broke, so at least, it was a poor decision to choose porcelain. That crown cost $200 and a gold crown (December, 2009) would have been $400. Today's price for a gold crown from Dr. Tim in Sutherlin is $890. I had hoped my new Medicare dental insurance would help pay that but have learned Medicare with pay for preventive dentistry ONLY. I could have opted for a filling to hold me over until next winter when I expect to be in southern Arizona but I opted to begin a relationship with Dr. Tim since I expect to be in Sutherlin much of the year for the years from now on. Dr. Tim has a busy office with about a dozen employees and is becoming digital this month. Dr. Tim is a talker, I learned he loves fishing and prefers to spend his time off searching for the best catch. I'm sure he does good work but I've already broken the temporary cap eating almonds. I remember being told to NOT chew gum but I don't remember a warning about nuts. So now I must make it another two weeks avoiding any difficult foods until my new gold crown is installed.

Sutherlin High School actors congratulate each other at the end of Dracula
Friday, May 25, 2012: The event of the day was our attendance at the Sutherlin High School play, Dracula. We learned about the play on Thursday when I purchased the local newspaper to get the TV guide. The play was in the high school intimate theater arts room with about fifty in the audience. In the photo above, the actors have just finished the last scene, bowed to the audience and are now congratulating each other on their performance. If the job of an actor is to cause suspense and surprise, then Act Two was by far the best. It was fun getting to see the local kids perform and the proud parents and other students appreciate their effort. Two autistic students were actors and probably enjoyed the play most of all. Click the photo to see the size of this little theater room just before the play began.

Weather Station

Sunday, May 27, 2012: On the home page in the upper left corner is a graphic of my weather station as reported by Weather Underground. My weather station's current temperature and wind is reported in the graphic but if you click the graphic on the home page, a new page will appear with all my station data and graphs of the data. Note that the station is labeled "Timber Valley SKP Park" which is our current location. As we move, I'll set up a new station identification if we will be in place for at least a week or more. Otherwise, my station is always reported at WeatherLink. The Weather Underground link will also give a forecast for up to ten days in the future.

Spur of the moment Memorial Day potluck

Monday, May 28, 2012: Our day began with a quick trip to Fred Meyer for Memorial Day special discounts. We wanted some throw rugs to cover our new carpet where Morgan usually sleeps. We knew of a Timber Valley Park Memorial Day potluck quickly planned last night to happen in our picnic area at 1 pm. So we rushed our shopping to get back to the park in time for the picnic. As it turned out, everyone felt it was too cold for a picnic so the party was shifted to the clubhouse. Not everyone got this last minute news and they had decided not to attend due to the weather. Still, we had good food for those brave enough to attend. After the potluck, I went for another 20 mile training ride. Monday is also "Game Night", so Gwen heads to the clubhouse again for games.

Pre-Beginner #1, advanced behind the photo
Wednesday, May 30, 2012: I attended the Douglas County Youth Orchestra believing I would see a full-on youth symphony orchestra of high school age or more. As it turned out, this was an orchestra of violins, violas, cellos and a few basses. The age range was 5 and older. The first presentation was of the "Pre-beginning 1" group, followed by the "Pre-beginning 2" group. Finally, the beginning group and Intermediate group performed with the final performance by the advanced group. I think the beginning group did the best but perhaps that's because the music was easier. I'm glad I went, it turned out to be interesting to see these kids perform and a huge plus for Douglas County and their efforts to bring sophisticated music to this community.

Driving a zero turn mower

Thursday, May 31, 2012: On this last day of May I got my chance to drive the park's zero turn mower for a bit more than two hours. That's how long it took me to mow the large lawn area behind and above our trailer and the whole "90" row of trailers. There IS a learning curve to driving one of these things. The idea is the ability to turn this mower, and others like it, in such a tight circle that you can mow around small trees, make a "U" turn on a dime, etc. I had about 3/4 of a mile of pavement to drive (and practice steering) before I actually arrived at the lawn I was to mow. I still almost mowed down some small trees in my first pass but got the hang of it during the 2-1/2 hours of mowing time. Pull the levers backward puts the mower in reverse, pushing forward moves it forward and the further you move the lever forward, the fast the mower travels. You can imagine what happens when you push the right lever forward and the left lever backward, a left turn. In theory, you should be able to turn on less than the width of the mower since one rear wheel is in reverse or stopped while the other is moving forward. It doesn't work quit that well when mowing an incline and this mower is well used so the tires have little tread so it slips sideways on much of an incline instead of turning. That's OK, I figured it out and got the whole lawn mowed. There is lots of lawn to mow at this park so the park has two zero turn mowers (one is brand new) plus two other riding mowers, one is the John Deer I used the last time I mowed this lawn. Click the photo for another view.

Drive-in theater and an RV park at the same time

Friday, June 1, 2012: The Hiway Haven RV Park is unique in Oregon and maybe in the USA. It's located in Sutherlin, west of Interstate 5. Apparently, the park was created from what use to be a drive-in theater. During the summer months, a movie is included with your stay each night at dusk. The folks parked in the back are expected to bring their lawn chairs to the large, flat area in front of the screen. Those RVs parked in the front row might have a chance to see the movie without leaving their RVs. The movie appear to come from a video projector located in the small yellow building in front of the motor home. Click the photo for a closer view and details of when to see the movie.

Eyeglass shades

Sunday, June 3, 2012: This is meant to be funny: "I found the perfect Christmas gift for RVers today." While shopping at the Sutherlin Grange Craft Sale, I found this snap-on shades for eye glasses. They are perfect because they come in a variety of colors, are lightweight, when not in use ... completely flat so will fit perfectly into a #10 envelope for easy mailing, cost only $1, and really work. I wore this set of shades all day today so I know they work. They stayed in place too, it'd be bad news if they dropped in front of your eyes while driving. Click the photo for a view from the front. I think I'll get one for everyone in the family, kids, grand kids and wife. They will be the first in their town with an eyeglass shade (besides me).

Gwen finds a cache at the Sutherlin town sign Dale finds a cache under the pedastal of a light post A cache is found cleverly hiden in a piece of drift wood
Monday, June 4, 2012: A good day for Geocache searches. The three finds above were not all of our finds but some of the more fun searches. If you don't know about Geocaching, it is an outdoor game of searching for hidden items planted by other who play the Geocache game. They then publish the coordinates at Geocaching and folks like us, track them down with a GPS. In our case, we have both downloaded the official smart phone Geocaching APP and use it to tract down the hidden items. It's much easier to find the initial coordinates and record the find using a smart phone. However, if you want to use a GPS for navigation like we did when kayaking off mainland British Columbia, you need to be using a real GPS device like the Garmin. On the left, Gwen finds a large cache near the Sutherlin town sign. Finally, one big enough we can add some treasures to the box. In the center, I found a small cache hidden under a light post cover. The last cache on the right is a piece of driftwood, click the photo to see how the cache was tucked inside the driftwood.
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