Click to Return to RVeCafe Homepage

Spring-Summer, 2014

Return to Winter, 2013
Jump to Winter-Spring, 2014-2015
Wednesday, October 1, 2014: So today was a visit to the hygienist for a final cleaning before heading off for adventure. The rest of the day I stored all patio and outdoor furniture, filled the fresh water tank, rolled in the patio awning and moved the tools to the pickup truck. It is interesting to me that between October, 2006 and September, 2012, we did a lot of travel but never had to pack or store items because everything was in our fifth wheel and everything went with us. Now, the fifth wheel stays in Sutherlin and only select clothing and other items go with us in the Alumascape. Tomorrow, the fifth wheel gets closed which will take at least a half day.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014: The first item on the list today was to take Morgan to the groomer then off to the laundramat with the throw rugs. The rest of the morning I transferred both winter and summer clothes to the Great Blue Heron Edition. I will likely need both since we are visiting Montana, Idaho and Nevada before we continue south to warmer Arizona. I spent the afternoon doubling the number of shelves in one of the cabinets for better organization. Finally, Morgan and I spent the last part of the afternoon dodging the rain.

Monday, September 29, 2014: This day began with a physical exam for me including a flu shot and blood test. Then I finished the carpet cleaning in the trailer, filled trailer batteries and fifth wheel batteries with distilled water then changed the oil in the truck and checked the list for what has to be done next. Most everything will need to be done on Wednesday and Thursday, the list is long. So I ended the day with filling the back of the truck with all the stuff we need to take with us, like: small shop vac, folding chairs, shovel, rake, barbeque, generator and ladder.

The fall Timber Valley yard saleSaturday, September 27, 2014: This was an overcast day but no precipitation so a well attended yard sale. I showed up early to make sure to get first choice at whatever treasures might be available. I found a satellite finder for $1, a couple of woodworking tools for $1 each and (Gwen's favorite), red pepper string of lights, also for $1. Then on a second trip through I found a complete Pressure Pro tire pressure sensor system. It was identical the the one I already own. I paid $400 for mine and picked up this one for $20. I'm thinking of spare parts. Gwen did a walk through too but didn't find any treasures.

Later in the afternoon I moved the Alumascape from storage to our lot. This is the final move to prepare for six months of travel in the Alumascape. But, before the preparation begins, we drove to Roseburg for the Timber Valley birthday/anniversary celebration meal. Then, after the meal, we did some sales-tax free shopping. Gwen likes to stock up on items we would normally have to pay sales tax in other states. There are only five of the fifty states which have no sales tax (Alaska, Delaware, Montana, New Hampshire, and Oregon). We live in one of those and visiting one of the others, Montana. Gwen hates to pay sales tax as much as I do but she takes it so seriously she will buy six months of toilet paper to avoid paying sales tax. I think that's funny. Click the photo for another view. The last thing I did today was watch USC Trojans embarrass the Oregon Beavers. Bummer.

Long Valley Caldera threatFriday, September 26, 2014: This is a notice I received from a friend today concerning over 300 quakes registered during the last 36 hours near Mammoth Lakes in California. I looked up the USGS information on the "swarm" of quakes and they don't seem to be overly anxious about the activity although they have the "threat level" as "high". The USGS reports "swarms" in the past without volcanic explosions so we are to assume the current swarm won't lead to a disaster.

So, while 300 earthquakes are happening in California, I was attending a meeting of the Escapee Chapter 9 officers discussing the dates and locations of the 2015 RV rallies. That's why I'm reporting on the earthquakes, it's far more exciting.

Yard sale happening this weekend
Thursday, September 25, 2014: A busy day of errands, exercise, and a prized seafood buffet (we were taken to dinner as an appreciation for so help I gave a neighbor about a month ago). I also posted an announcement to Craigslist of the Timber Valley yard sale to happen on Saturday. We are not participating but I promised to make the Craigslist announcement. These yard sales are always popular and profitable for garage sale items. Here is the Craigslist announcement.

The new (used) golf cart for the Welcome committee

Wednesday, September 24, 2014: Today was the appreciation dinner for the volunteers at the park. Of course it was the volunteers themselves (or some of them) who actually bought the ingredients and cooked the dinner for ALL volunteers. The park paid for the ingredients. After the dinner the new (used) golf cart was introduced to the volunteers. The park bought the golf cart for the volunteers to be used mostly by the "welcome committee". The welcome committee greets all new arrivals to the park, giving local area information and park information to the visitors. The golf cart is in the shape of a European vehicle and has the BMW logo on the hood. It appears to be in very good condition.

Prepared top of 4x4 for weathervane, Behind: post buried 2 feet in the ground Tuesday, September 23, 2014: Another project which has been waiting all summer for me to complete. When we got our lot in 2012, one of the first things we did was to install our chicken weathervane to the roof of our shed on lot #55. After moving, I noticed that our next door neighbor had a nice weathervane installed to a 4 x 4 next to his shed. I liked that idea so I chose to install the 4 x 4 next to and near the steps up our hill. I put a bevel on the top of the 4 x 4 and sealed the top with glue. The vane mount was broken so I drilled a hole in the top of the post and put the vane shaft directly into the post. I also wrapped the base in plastic to help preserve the post. My neighbor also gave me twenty pounds of cement mix which I used to help stabilize the post. Later in the afternoon it was time to take a photo of the finished project and found that three deer were visiting for a snack of the green grass on our hill, an excellent time to take the photo. Click both photos for additional views. The photo behind me shows the deer on the hill. The weather vane is installed

A whole day making adjustments to the steps

Monday, September 22, 2014: Thank goodness we had an overcast sky all day, I spent the entire day re-engineering the steps up our mountain behind the fifth wheel. My first try had a few of the steps too far apart or too tall to the next step. I estimated the need for four new steps, 10 feet of pressure treated 2 x 4, 20 feet of rebar and a new "transfer" shovel. As it turns out, I only needed 2 of the four steps but I needed 20 feet more rebar, I had exactly the right length of 2 x 4. Had I put more planning into the first installation, i would not have had to do it a second time. It actually took me longer to fix the problems this second time than it took me to install the first time. Each of the 2 x 4 supports has 20 inches of rebar passing through it and into the hill. The external rebar is to keep the step in place. I finished the project just before dinner. I had to build platforms to hold the stones where there was no ground support due to the steepness of the hill, I guess an engineer would have figured that out the first time, right Tom? I watched Morgan use the new design and she had a much easier time climbing the hill. Click the photo to see the steps from the top of the hill.

Shopping for the next project

Sunday, September 21, 2014: It's another hot day so I decided to complete one more project before we leave Oregon so off to Home Depot for supplies. The project has to do with making our steps up the back incline more comfortable and usable. It means rethinking some of the spacing of the blocks and some redesign of the engineering. I decided to do this now rather than wait until next spring when we return because I suspect the winter rain will cause the grass to grow in the areas I must clear for the steps. Next spring, then, the hill will look more in a normal state of green foliage rather than chopped up to make room for steps up the hill.

Morgan is not impressed with the ramp


Saturday, September 20, 2014: I've added rails to the dog ramp so Morgan would not slip. After reading some instructions of how to train a dog to walk a ramp, I laid the ramp on the ground so she could get use to it. She is not impressed with the new ramp. It is now laying on the floor inside the fifth wheel. I'm hoping she will step on it, get use to it then not be afraid to use it as a ramp. We'll see how it goes.

tailgate plywood needs repainting

Friday, September 19, 2014: Still working on the to-do list. It started with flushing the hot water heater then replacing the anode rod because the current rod is completely spent. Next, the plywood in the fifth wheel tailgate needs to be sanded then repainted. Click the photo to see how the plywood fits the tailgate. Also, recall that the combination lock on the tailgate is from my college bicycle lock ... and I still remember the combination. I graduated college in 1969 so pretty good memory. Of course I opened that lock at least 10,000 times.

A doggie ramp to help Morgan into the Alumascape

Thursday, September 18, 2014: Morgan has begun to struggle climbing the steps into the Alumascape because of her age. Today I designed and built a doggie ramp to make it easier for Morgan to get into the trailer. I have a few more additions to the ramp but it's mostly finished. The next trick will be to get Morgan to use the ramp. Also I have a question about the material I used to make the ramp. It may be too smooth. I'm keeping a lookout for some in/outdoor carpet so Morgan has something to grip on the climb up the ramp. The trials will start tomorrow. Click the photo to see the ramp unfolded.

Odd Oregon fan food

Wednesday, September 17, 2014: I spotted this in our local Bi-Mart store. Seems like an odd fan food to me. My son wants the molds to make ice cubes ... he's a true Oregon Duck fan. Meanwhile, I'm working on a long to-do list to get ready for some real traveling in a couple of weeks. Here are a few of those items: check air pressure in the trailer spare tire, fill the empty propane tank, insulate the hot water lines in the trailer, move zip-ties to the trailer, replace the tarp over my outdoor wood supply, torque trailer wheels, treat the black water tank with chemical, and make sure the grand kids presents are in the truck.

A failing tire took us to Les Schwab, Behind: transmitting sensor let us know the tire was losing airMonday, September 15, 2014: Today was a travel day from Diamond Lake back to Sutherlin. As we pulled into Roseburg, my tire pressure warning alarm began to buzz showing 63 lbs of pressure in the left rear trailer tire and dropping. This is the third time the tire pressure warning system has worked to save us. Fortunately, we were less than a mile from Les Schwab, the dealer selling us the trailer tires. They found a lag bolt in the offending tire but also found that the tread was separating. When checking the other tires, another tire was separating on the opposite side. The tire warranty covered most of the replacement cost so I got two new tires. This is the kind of thing you want to have happen (if it happens at all) when you are not a thousand miles from the nearest dealer. Our long distance travels will begin in about two weeks and for the first thousand miles we will be in Les Schwab states, after that, no Les Schwab. Gwen and I have a long list of "to-do" items which must be completed in the next two weeks. We can check-off the trailer tires on our list. Click the photo to see the transmitter sensor on the tire.

First location, trees too close together, Behind: Second location worked
Oregon Ducks playing Wyoming at home, Behind: able to get all three satellites from this location
Saturday, September 13, 2014: Moving to the mountains worked to keep us cool. I had to rush this morning to get a satellite signal and TV on before 11am when the Ducks kicked off to the Wyoming Cowboys. The eventual outcome of that game was Ducks 48, Cowboys 14. The photo to the left is my first try to get a satellite signal using a remote TV to watch the signal strength rather than the point and scream method. I easily found satellite 119 but the two tree I was shooting through were so close together I couldn't get satellite 110 or 129. I searched the area and came up with a spot at the end of my cable. I very quickly found all three satellites using my remote TV to peak the signal. I got the TV on about 30 seconds before the opening kickoff! I have friends who brag about their automatic TV dish pointing by pushing ONE button ("even the wife can do it," says one friend). The pointing system is a mere $1800 when on sale. In this camping location, that expensive system would not work, too many trees. A tripod mounted system is the only way to go. This was a particularly tough location because of the trees but I've had a lot of practice by using HughesNet Internet for six years. I quit HughesNet when they became really "flaky" and Verizon 4G become available nationwide. Click the photos for additional views.
Broken Arrow campground at Diamond Lake, OregonFriday, September 12, 2014: This was an unusual travel day from Coos Bay, Oregon on the coast back to Sutherlin, our home base. Gwen met her Physical Therapy appointment. In the mean time we check the weather forecast to learn that the next three days are to be 95+ degrees. Since we are still hooked to the trailer, Gwen bought a few groceries and we drove a couple of hours into the mountains. This time to Broken Arrow campground near Diamond Lake. We had scouted this campground earlier in the month and learned this would be a quiet place to camp. It would also give me a chance to test my ability to get a satellite signal using our new DISH antenna (satellite dish) with only solar power, no hookups as we had in Coos Bay. I'll do that tomorrow, it's much too late to try tonight.

Crab kept on ice for 24 hours, Behind: too busy to talk
Jerry give me a lesson in crab cracking, Behind: crab waiting to be eaten
Thursday, September 11, 2014: The final day of the crab rally is the crab feed. These crabs were caught yesterday by the few members with boats and crab traps. We were told 90 crabs were caught to feed 40 members. That was more than enough and the left over crab was sold for folks to take home. Most members brought salads or desserts to share with the crab. This crab was about as fresh as you can get, caught yesterday, eaten today. Click the photos for additional views.
Somehow we always seem to find a good farmer's market, behind: pizza at the RV crab rallyWednesday, September 10, 2014: Gwen and I shopped the local farmer's market and found it to be one of the best we have visited. Lots of farmers and really good produce. Of course it's the right time of year for all the best. Gwen wanted to visit Fred Meyer where she found what she was looking for. When we returned to our Alumascape we had just enough time to prepare for the pizza party happening tonight. This is the crab rally so several members with boats went in search of crabs today and found enough for the group. We'll be eating those tomorrow night. Click the photo for the pizza party.
Parked at the Mill Casino RV Park for a Chapter 9 rally, Behind: Unger's floating restaurant in Winchester BayTuesday, September 9, 2014: This was a travel day to Coos Bay, Oregon on the Oregon Coast. The Escapee Chapter 9 is having a rally at the Mill Casino RV Park with something planned for each day. This was also my first chance to setup the DISH network satellite dish on my own. Gwen and I used the point and scream method. That's where I point the dish while Gwen watches the TV screen for signal strength and yells out the window to me so I know if I'm improving the signal. I have another method but I thought I'd try the point and scream method first, if it worked quickly, no need to try method two. On the drive to Coos Bay, we stopped in Winchester Bay for a bread bowl of clam chowder, click the photo for a view of the floating Unger's Fish and Chips where we like the chowder. The center of activities in this rally is the crab feed. Several boat owners are going to trap crabs and provide them to a crab feed on our last day.
Oaker's from Oakland, OregonSaturday, September 6, 2014: The Oaker's are from Oakland High School, Oakland, Oregon. They were the Oregon State Champion football team last year for small high schools. Gwen and I chose to do something different and attend the first game of the season. They are using a freshman quarterback this year and much of the rest of the team is young. They held well through the first half but they Central Linn took over and the Oaker's have seen defeat for the first time in a long time. We enjoyed the game and the refreshments.
Silverton Escapee Chapter 9 Rally, August 21 - 25, 2014
Downtown Silverton, Oregon Breakfast, Behind: a trip to the Oregon Gardens
Gwen on the tram ride, behind: walking the Oregon Gardens Don at the Hobbit House, Behind: the "girls" like the flowers Saturday farmer's market, Behind: panorama of the farmer's market
Silver Creek in Silverton, Behind: Mt. Angel Morgan enjoys a treat, Behind: Quilt show Gwen examines a quilt at the quilt show, Behind: Only Frank Lloyd Wright house in Oregon
Hiking in Silver Falls State Park The Silverton rally began with food and continued nearly every day. We also visited the Oregon Gardens, Frand Lloyd Wright house, Mt. Angel, the Silverton Farmer's Market. We continued with a quilt show in one of the rural churches then a nice hike in the Silver Falls State Park. A nice rally but a traffic noisy RV park so I would not return to the park but I would return to the camping area of the state park. What we enjoyed the most was the city of Silverton, old town. Nice restaurants and shopping area. Gwen enjoyed the Oregon Gardens and quilt show at the rural church. Someday we will want to return to the state park and hike the "10 Falls Trail". Click all photos for additional views. Exploring Silver Falles State Park

Wally Hepworth

Monday, August 18, 2014: A week ago, Gwen and I were camping at Diamond Lake. That evening a good Timber Valley friend died unexpected from a stroke. Wally Hepworth was a work horse in the Escapee Timber Valley Park. The park is a "co-op" so each member is expected to do a share of the park jobs. Wally did much more than his share. Wally was also knowledgeable about solar, batteries and a variety of other topics. For that reason, I always considered Wally to be my "safety net" for the multitude of projects I attempt. Wally has saved me from myself more than once. But in this park, I wasn't the only one which Wally helped, he was the "safety net" for most. I will miss his wise advice and friendship.

Blackberry Festival car show
Saturday, August 16, 2014: This weekend is the Sutherlin Blackberry Festival. One of the main attractions during the festival is the vintage car show. Some of the attendees spend the entire day looking at the work done by the car owners. I did a quick walk through looking for a birthday gift for my daughter-in-law but without success. I DID enjoy the pancake breakfast which means I was here early. Look at this early crowd around the cars. Click the photo for another view.
The missing steering stabilizer, behind: stabilizer installedThursday, August 14, 2014: Some time ago we had some work done on our truck in Sutherlin. Since the work, our steering has shown some subtle problems. We've taken the truck to three different locations asking for repairs and been charged by all three but the problem was not fixed. I finally took the truck to the Lithia Dodge dealer in Roseburg. They immediately said, "the
Randy at Napa, behind: the new stabilizer steering damper is missing". The dealer wanted to check all other joints and check for a replacement steering stabilizer, "even an after market part". When I returned an hour later I was told they could NOT find a part for my 2004 Dodge because the steering parts on my truck seemed to be from an earlier year. "Say What!", I'm thinking. What happened to the original stabilizer? The Sutherlin repair station probably forgot to reinstall after their work. But how would I get steering parts other than 2004 model parts? So their solution was to order all new steering parts which included a stabilizer. The cost with installation was to be $1,000. I had no alternative but to schedule the repair to happen in a week so they could get the parts. I left Lithia, drove a quarter mile to the Napa Auto Parts dealer. I met Randy, the owner. He had the stabilizer in stock and sold it to me, after giving me a "Gold level" discount card, for $43. I called Lithia and cancelled the $1,000 repair. Later in the day, they called me back and wanted $110 for the hour they kept the truck. That seemed fair assuming they really did check all steering joints. Their report was that everything was OK and I only needed the stabilizer but since none existed I must replace all parts. I have to question why they could not have made the Napa purchase and installed the part. Had I been thinking quickly enough I could have asked that they install the part I had purchased for the $110. Instead, I installed the stabilizer myself. It took about twenty minutes. Did it fix the problem? Time will tell. Click both photos for additional views.
Crater Lake always amazes, behind: panorama from Crater Lake Lodge
Gwen is on the lodge deck, behind: chipping the rocks off a steep cliffWednesday, August 13, 2014: Before leaving the Diamond Lake area we had to do a visit to Crater Lake, we haven't seen it for ten years. It's always amazing to step up to the edge of the calderas and view the size of this lake. We had remembered the location of the cafe and store differently and believe they built a new building and removed the one we remembered. We particularly liked visiting the lodge. We caught the weather just right since the wildfires to the south have been obscuring the view and thunderstorms have also been common. The narrow access road to the lodge requires work from an overhanging cliff. Click Gwen's photo to see workmen hanging on ropes to break rocks loose before they fall on passing cars. Click the above photo for a panorama of the lodge deck and lake.

Diamond Lake Store and Marina


Tuesday, August 12, 2014: Leaving Diamond Lake today. This is the store and marina. The lodge is just to the left of this location with a nice restaurant and rooms or cabins to rent. Click this photo for "bumper boats" and fun activity for the kids for $5 per boat and a lot of bumping for the kids. We left the area about noon for a two hour drive back to Sutherlin except we stopped in Glide for a snack then Roseburg for groceries.

Diamond Lake campsite on the lake, Behind: This is the way an RVer camps.
Tuesday, August 5, 2014: We are cooling off in the mountains. High temperature was mid-70s today at Diamond Lake on highway 138 in the mountains 1.5 hours from Roseburg, Oregon. We moved here in the early afternoon. We could not get a reserved site a week ago so chose to look for a first-come site and found one right on the lake with sun in the morning and shade in the afternoon. Perfect for our solar and able to stay cool in the afternoon. With our Senior Access card, only $11 per day. I chose this location because I want to begin a backpack trip on Thursday morning so Gwen can pick me up 35 miles later on Sunday. She and Morgan can enjoy the lake while I do the hiking.

Gwen gets fresh vegetables


Saturday, August 2, 2014: Finally, we make our first visit today of Lahne's u-pick farm where we got to pick vegetables from the field. We got corn, green beans, carrots, squash and cucumbers. Vegetables can't get any better than this! More to come.

Mt. Thielsen at sunset
Sunday, July 27, 2014: We had the fortune to be on the east side of Mt. Thielsen at sunset. It's what's left of a shield volcano in the cascades to the east of Roseburg. It's at 9,184 feet. In a previous life, I climbed to within 20 feet of the summit. I refused to climb to the summit without a rope.

Pressure washing the fifth wheel and Alumascape and concrete patio.

Friday, July 25, 2014: I signed up for the ping pong tournament today at 2 p.m. thinking I would have time to finish all my projects before the tournament began but it soon became apparent, I had too much to do so I cancelled my ping pong registration. Instead, I borrowed the parks pressure washer which has a 5.5 hp Honda engine and puts out 2,500 lbs of pressure. I cleaned all the crud off the fifth wheel, top to bottom, then did the same for the Alumascape which was still sitting in our driveway from the ocean trip. Finally, I pressure washed the concrete patio in front of the fifth wheel. It is surprising how well the pressure washer works. It cleans only with water but very high pressure. I even moved the cedar stairs in front of the door to get that part of the patio too. I wore ear protection because I hate listening to the sound of a gasoline engine hour after hour. Once the pressure washing was done, since the stairs are now offset from the fifth wheel door, I put a coat of Red Cedar deck stain on the stairs. While those are drying, we are using the fold out stairs connected to the fifth wheel. Gwen finished cleaning the inside of the Alumascape so I hooked up and towed it to our storage space in the "back 40". Click the photo for a larger view.

Today was the last "fun day" so event awards were given tonight along with a dessert social. Everyone enjoyed cheering for the winners. I found it funny because there was only one set of ribbons. After each event was awarded the winners had photos taken with their ribbon then had to return the ribbon so it could be given to the next set of winners. That wasn't the case with dessert. We had plenty to share with everyone and many different flavors to choose from.

My activity today for "fun days".

Thursday, July 24, 2014: This day started early with an 8 a.m. horse shoe tournament. I enrolled in the tournament thinking I would be defeated quickly then I could easily take Morgan to her 10:30 a.m. annual veterinary checkup. Well, I was defeated quickly BUT not released from the tournament. Instead, everyone must play a total of five games. It was the beginning of game number 4 at 10:05 a.m. so I found someone to take my place. Morgan is nearly 14 years old, so showing her old age but the vet says she is in good condition for her age.

I also made an appointment in the afternoon for Miss Scarlet (our Prius) 15,000 mile service. I had a problem with the Prius navigation system so the dealer updated the software. I was told we had a very old version of the navigation software and the update would take care of whatever problems we were having. On the return home, I learned NOT to push the "short route" button, but to push the "fast route" button. In this case, I pushed the "short route" and the navigation instructed me to take a route currently not available and also to "turn right" on a road which did not exist. The electronic navigation is very helpful most of the time but there are times you must "out-think" what you are being told by the electronic voice.

Bean bag baseball
Wednesday, July 23, 2014: The rest of this week is "Fun Days" following the annual meeting yesterday. The activity Gwen and I enrolled was the bean bag baseball game. It turned out to be the ladies (Chicks) versus the men, (Beasts). Somehow the Chicks beat the Beasts, 42 - 34. Click the photo to see the entire field of play.
The 2013-2014 board of directors, Behind: Members presentTuesday, July 22, 2014: This is our first annual meeting to attend at Timber Valley since becoming leaseholders at the park. The photo shows the 2013-14 board of directors just before the meeting began. Click the photo to see the 109 members (lots) in attendance. This is very much like a monthly board meeting but an annual review of happenings in the park. This is also a good chance to ask questions concerning park events. As with all Escapee functions, this one included food. The men's cooking group fixed lunch for everyone. Everything ran very smoothly with three of the current board members replaced by new members taking a three year term. This is also a time for members to volunteer for committees. Gwen committed to three while I committed to two.

Seagulls have a social oreder which includes flying for fun, Behind: How to NEVER dress!


Sunday, July 20, 2014: I drove to Bandon, Oregon today to pick up Gwen. She has been visiting with a friend the last couple of days. While waiting in the car for Gwen and her friend Alice to finish shopping the town, I noticed a couple outside the store just in front of me and I quickly snapped a photo (click the seagull photo to see the couple). I just as quickly posted the photo to Facebook stating that if Gwen and I should ever dress with matching tye-dye coats, my kids should just take me out and shoot me! My daughter quickly pointed out that their grandchild may have given them those coats and now she would put them on a "wish list" for MY grandchildren to get ME. I'll admit, I would wear anything my grandchildren purchased for me but I don't have to do in PUBLIC!

While visiting Bandon, Gwen and I took a walk on the cliffs overlooking the Bandon beach. I began noticing the seagulls ridge soaring right above our heads. I knew what they were doing because my college roommate was a sailplane pilot and I'd flown with him a couple of times. The wind was blowing against the cliffs and lifting the air over the cliffs. The gulls were catching this uplifting air and riding the wave. The other part of this I noticed was they were doing it for "fun" and in groups. It seemed to be a social thing, like surf boarders waiting for the best wave then all joining in together to learn who could get the best ride. At the end of the ride, they'd turn around and ridge soar back toward us. This fun would be repeated over and over. Now we are back at the marina, the gulls have returned and all seem to be telling their wave riding stories at the same time. I told Gwen, it must be the "annual meeting" much like the Timber Valley annual meeting happening next week.

Gwen squeezes through the tall grass to the beach, Behind: a long, flat beach south of the Umpqua River


Thursday, July 17, 2014: Gwen needed an ocean fix so we hiked our way to the south side of the Umpqua River and found a long flat beach part of the Oregon Coast Dunes Recreation Area. The Dunes stretch from Florence to Coos Bay and are popular with Quad riders. We walked a couple of miles on the beach while Gwen watched for unusual shells. I talked her out of driftwood and rocks. After the beach, we visited the Umpqua Lighthouse again and the museum. The museum has a room showing the life of a sailor in the coast guard in the 1940s. She had an uncle who lost his life while serving in the coast guard in 1942. We found it interesting to see the artifacts of the 1940 Coast Guard sailor. Today was a clear day compared to the day I visited earlier. The clear weather gave us a better view of the marina and of the new 20' "kite tail" I'm hanging from my wind sock pole.

Inside the South Slough Estuary Visitor Center, Behind: beginning the 3 mile hiking tour Morgam amd I on the trail, behind: Gwen overlooks a marshy area
Gwen and Morgan on the trail, Behind: there was 1/4 mile of boardwalk
Wednesday, July 16, 2014: Still overcast in fog on our part of the coast but only a few miles inland and it's sunny and warmer. Gwen and I decided to drive 25 miles to Charleston, Oregon, where the South Slough National Estuary is located. There are several hiking trails in the park and Morgan is allowed on all but one trail. The Estuary has a nice visitor center and gift shop where much can be learned about the ecosystem of an estuary. We arrived late in the afternoon so began our hiking right away. Morgan is usually good for not much more than a mile but she liked the cool hiking weather and walked with us for three miles. The vegetation is heavy so this part of the coast must get lots of rain. We were hoping to see lots of birds and other wildlife but saw only a young racoon. This is the location of the next Timber Valley hike if we have interested hikers from our RV park. Click each photo for additional views.
Life boat, behind: Umpqua Lighthouse.Tuesday, July 15, 2014: After a leisurely morning, I took myself for a hike to the Umpqua Lighthouse and museum. The boat at the right is an early rescue boat designed to survive rough surf when searching for sailors from ships in distress. Click the photo for view of the Umpqua Lighthouse which is still in use although today was so foggy it could barely be seen on shore or off shore. The details of the lighthouse are printed on a sign in front of the lighthouse. The coastal weather is keeping us cool. We actually had sun until mid-afternoon when the fog was blown in. Highest temperature still did not top 60°.

Staying cool on Wichester Bay

Monday, July 14, 2014: The forecast for Sutherlin and the rest of the interior of Oregon is to be very HOT this week. We are beating the heat by visiting the coast for a week during the hot spell. It is almost working too well, the temperature reached 73 this morning in Reedsport with clear skies but in Winchester Bay at the Salmon Harbor Marina where we are parked it's overcast with fog and 20+ mph winds making is cold enough for Gwen to start the propane space heater to stay warm. I took Morgan for a walk after changing into long pants and warm shirt. This should be a popular time of year at the coast and there are many RVs parked around us but the local restaurants are empty at dinner time. No doubt, it is tough to earn a living on the Oregon coast. This location is only 1.25 hours from our home park in Sutherlin.

My view for my morning coffee.

Friday, June 20, 2014: This is my view with my morning coffee. It's warm in Oregon and just the right temperature for a relaxing morning.

Today was my Red Cross First Aid/CPR/AED training class which I needed to complete the requirements for my chainsaw certification with the PCTA (Pacific Crest Trail Association). I had to think about the last time I had the First Aid certification, probably 40 years ago. I'd say, "not much has changed", except the number of CPR compressions to the number of breathes per minute. And, of course, 40 years ago, there was NO AED. It's a good thing the AED talks to the user and coaches the correct use of the instrument.

Early tomorrow morning I'm leaving for a couple of weeks to spend eight days on the John Muir Trial near Mt. Whitney, California. I'll also be visiting with my grand kids in Nevada and then with my Mother in California. It will be mid-July when I return to continue with RVeCafe.

Finally, We've made it easier to get to the meadow above our trailer
Using the steps takes some practice but SO much easier than climbing without the steps Rebar is driven next to the step to be sure they don't move, Behind: Looking from the top down
Wednesday, June 18, 2014: We are wanting easier access to the meadow above our trailer. The hill behind the trailer is so steep we have not been accessing the meadow at all. Now with the steps installed, we can walk up the hill with Morgan in tow. I want to be sure the concrete blocks don't move so I drove 20" rebar into the ground in front of each step. Click each photo for another view.

The small awning moved to the front, Behind: Starting to install the large awning
Thursday, June 5, 2014: The awning project is completed. I was up early and had the small awning moved to the front of the shed by 10 a.m. Since I had just moved the awning from lot 55 it was a relatively easy move because I remembered the sequence of actions. This awning will make a nice cover for working in the afternoon. Click this photo to see me beginning the installation of the large awning to the side. Morgan spent the entire day with me. She enjoyed the new shade from the front awning. The large awning has striped gears to lock the retract action. I just held the awning in place while locking the arms. The extension arms are also about 8" short which does not allow the awning to extend its full width. I extended the arms as far as safe the added support brackets to help strengthen the arms. All these defective parts could be replaced but I'm not seeing the need. The larger canvas awning fabric is much nicer than the vinyl fabric on the smaller awning. Here is a photo of both awnings installed. I also took the shed door off, trimmed it and re-hung getting it centered better. The door opening is not square which makes fitting the door difficult but now it's better. I still have several concrete block projects so the blocks haven't been moved yet. These projects took all day but the job is done.

a new awing
Wednesday: June 4, 2014: I've brought home another project. One of our neighbors has left his lot and put his twelve foot awning up for sale. We only have a seven foot awning and have been looking for an awning large enough to cover the entire side of the shed. We purchased this one at less than 1/10th the price of a new awning. It DOES have some problems but I believe those can be solved easily. The first part of the project is to remove the small awning and remount it to the front of the shed.

The UCC play "Brownstone", Behind: Jay and Anita examine the UCC art work

Tuesday: June 3, 2014: Gwen and I with our friends Jay and Anita attend the Umpqua Community College play "Brownstone". The play concerns a New York home (Brownstone) and focuses on the lives for three generations living in that home. The generations sometimes overlap. I found the play moving and well done. Since it is a community college class performing the play, the acting talent varied but still very professionally done and worth the viewing. The performance was well attended and the audience showed their appreciation. I'm looking forward to the next UCC play. The college is only eight miles from our park so we have no excuse not to attend. When you click the photo you will see Jay and Anita examining the UCC student artwork featured outside of the theater.

Audio playback Sunday: June 1, 2014: Yesterday, while driving to the coast, I decided to check garage sales for the ONE item I was looking for, a radio with RCA audio-in plugs so I could hear satellite radio in the shop. At the same time, Gwen decided to check for the ONE item she has been looking for weeks, galvanized buckets to put plants and paint the numbers "93" (our lot number). We only visited TWO garage sales, Gwen found what she was looking for in the first and I found what I was looking for in the second. We both paid garage sale prices so are happy. I got a little more than what I was looking for. I only wanted audio playback but got DVD play also. I guess I could watch a movie on a tiny screen in the shop if I'm really bored. Gwen's buckets

Gwen is getting her Pacific Ocean fix

Saturday, May 31, 2014: After seeing my photos of the Lost Coast backpack trip, Gwen wanted a taste of the ocean for herself. Our reason to drive to the ocean was to visit the Coos Bay Farmer's Market. However, we learned after arriving that the market day was not Saturday as we had thought. That didn't stop us from continuing the drive to Cape Argo to watch the sea lions and stand on the beach. Click the photo to see a panorama from a cliff view point. Be sure to scroll right/left with the photo because it will not fit your monitor. If you have a little magnifying glass with a (+) in the center, click the photo a second time to enlarge. We also got a view of the Coos lighthouse. The weather was perfect but windy in unprotected areas. Gwen was wanting to collect a few sea shells (by the seashore) while I was wanting to collect surf polished pebbles. We were both successful in finding what we wanted. We ended our ocean visit by having dinner at our favorite Coos Bay Seafood restaurant where Gwen had "Slaw and fish Tacos" and I had Calamari with onion rings. Morgan also hiked to the beach but didn't care for the steep hike back to the car.

Gwen decoration on the side of the shed

Friday, May 30, 2014: This was another "ordinary" day. I rebuilt the concrete block stairs between the two levels of our lot. The stairs were originally built by volunteers in the park but have not held up well. I redesigned the support and put them back together but forgot to take any photos. I did photograph Gwen's creative design on the patio side of the shed. I don't think she is finished yet. All the items came from garage sales. Just another "normal" day in Timber Valley.

What a great lunch Gwen has made

Thursday, May 29, 2014: After five days away it is good to get back to the normal. Normal everyday routines, silly things happening in the park, getting things completed on the to-do list, scoring student assignments and eating Gwen's great meals. This was Gwen's creation for lunch. Healthy, fresh and filling. Now I have the energy to work on more of the to-do list and plan the next backpack trip.

The entrance to Seven Feathers Casino in Canyonville Oregon, Behind: Our dinner party


Thursday, May 22, 2014: George and Trudy are long time residents of the Timber Valley RV Park. Earlier this week, George invited Gwen and I to meet them at their favorite buffet. Seven Feathers Casino is a 40 minute drive to Canyonville, south of Roseburg. Beginning Thursday evening, they have a nice seafood buffet. George and Trudy love the buffet so invited their friends to join them. Everyone (except me) loves to dig into crab legs. That's too much work so I choose the pickled Herring, smoked Salmon, fresh and deep fried oysters and, of course, the huge dessert bar. This is likely the last of the good food for me for a while since I'm leaving on a backpack trip early tomorrow morning. Click the photo to see the party inside the Casino.

Clean up complete behind the shed
Tuesday, May 20, 2014: The clean-up behind the shed is complete, what a difference from a couple of weeks ago. The one storage bin to the left of the small storage unit is listed on Craigslist and if it doesn't sell, I will donate to the June yard sale. There will be no bins sitting outside. So that's the end of the projects for this week. I am sponsoring a hike for the park tomorrow then leaving early Friday morning for a four day backpack trip with friends.

Privacy Screen is approved at the park

Monday, May 19, 2014: My project for the day was to build then install this privacy screen next to the shed. Also the hangers for the gardening tools and ladder. Gwen's clothes line is behind the privacy screen and she would prefer that her laundry not be seen. Our lot is slowly getting cleaned up. I still have some concrete block work I want to do but that will not get done until the end of next week. Too much happening this week. The inside of the shop is cleaned and organized. Now I just need to put some bins away and sell a few items on Craigslist and I'll be ready to start woodworking again.

The train rolls over the penny
Put a penny on a railroad track just before the train
Now you have a FLAT penny
Sunday, May 18, 2014: I'm not sure I've ever done this, maybe as a kid. I happen to be near the tracks when the train stopped in front of me for a considerable time. I saw a lady rush to the track to retrieve her flattened penny. That gave me the idea. "Gwen, do you have a penny?" I didn't have one. She gave me her lucky penny which I placed on the track between cars. It seemed like it took forever for the train to start moving again and I didn't want to lose my flatten penny. Finally, the train began to roll. I stepped closer to watch the penny, with each car passing, it spread the penny thinner and I was afraid it would stick to a wheel and be gone. After the last car, I looked for and found Gwen's penny on the inside of the track where it had fallen off the rail. No more Mr. Lincoln!

Walking the Oakland city wide garage sale, Behind: Probably 100 booths
I joke photo for the park manager who complains about not having enough mowers.
Saturday: May 17, 2014: We spent much of the day walking the city of Oakland, Oregon (only 3 miles from us) during their city-wide yard sale. I had made a list of items I was looking for but found nothing on my list. On the other hand, Gwen found several items on her list. I took the photo of the lawnmower as a joke to show our park manager. He is always complaining about not having enough working lawnmowers. This Mower is missing the mowing deck so only $10. Click that photo to see one marked at $100. Click the street photo for another view too.
Mark is "boss" of the crew.Friday: May 16, 2014: The photo is of Mark, the "boss" of the crew which installed our patio. Mark was rarely on the job. The only thing he did was to cut the few blocks which needed to be cut. The whole crew is related. Steve is Mark's brother and Ivan is their uncle (although Ivan is a year younger than Mark). Mark was complaining about "being too old for this kind of work" today as he cut the final block. Mark is 60. Have you ever cut a cement block. Imagine the noise the diamond saw blade makes when cutting that block. Look at the cement dust floating in the air. Mark wore no hearing, eye or lung protection when making the cuts. He smokes continuously. After making the cut, he sat next to me "resting", wheezing and struggling to catch his breath. He was talking like he was looking forward to retiring but apparently he hasn't figured out, this is the body he will have to live with when retired and he hasn't taken care of that body.
mixing cement for the first time in a long time, Behind: the beginning of the clothesline pad Support pole in a bucket of cement, Behind: first pavers down This is the point I had to quit due to back pain, Behind: project finished on Friday
Thursday, May 15, 2014: While Steve and Ivan work to finish the patio project, I began a project of my own. This is a project to build a pad for the umbrella style clothesline. This is going behind the shed so will not be in view of the RV park. Gwen wants a pad so the clothes don't get dirty if dropped. I made this 5 feet by 7 feet which about fills the area behind the shed. I did what I learned by watching Steve and Ivan do the patio. I think my work is as good as their work. However, as I worked I began to get a muscle spasm in my back and when almost finished, just couldn't complete the job on Thursday night. I did finish it on Friday morning although, my back was still causing problems. The only thing left is to fill the center square with colorful rock. Click all the photos for additional views.

3500 lbs in the pickup bed, Behind: Almost done with the main project

Wednesday, May 14, 2014: For the second project, we need more blocks so here I am at Willamette Graystone picking up 3,500 lbs of blocks. I put 80 lbs of air pressure into my Firestone load leveling air bags, the truck didn't look like it was loaded nearly to maximum but it sure felt like it was. Steve and Ivan got some help from "the boss" who was suppose to cut several blocks but didn't so the job is still not complete. Click the photo to see "the boys" in the 95° heat.

Ivan is screening the sand to level the blocks, Behind: Ivan and Steve work on the patio.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014: The work continues on the patio areas. All blocks will likely be installed by tomorrow. Once all the forms are installed, the forms are used to level the gravel and sand so the blocks are perfectly level. This first project should be finished tomorrow. Click the photo for another view. Steve and Ivan are related and probably work together a lot. They "banter" while working. Gwen thought it was arguing, I think it is bantering. It was a very warm day today. Gwen and I got several jobs done but I'll share those another time.

The patio work has begun, Behind: a wider view

Monday, May 12, 2014: Today, Steve and Ivan showed up to begin work on the patio in front and to the side of the shed. These guys have done many of the block patios in the park so we have hired them to do our patio. They are circling the patio area first with pressure treated 2 x 4s then will lay the block in sand to make sure they are level. While they began work on the patio I continued work on the electrical wiring and started getting the shed better organized. Steve and Ivan will return tomorrow to hopefully begin laying blocks. Click the photo to see a wider view and the outline of the patio.

Mother's Day in Myrtle Creek
Sunday, May 11, 2014: Gwen and I joined a group of friends who wanted to drive to Myrtle Creek, about 30 minutes south of Sutherlin on Interstate 5. The Myrtle Creek Elks Club was doing a fund raising Mother's Day brunch. This group has a "nose" for good food. We enjoyed visiting another town and letting someone else do the cooking and the clean-up. After brunch, we did some grocery shopping before returning home to prepare for Mark and his crew who plan to begin work on our pavers tomorrow.
Multiple reasons to drive to EugeneSaturday, May 10, 2014: Several weeks ago we took advantage of an offer from Recreational Equipment Incorporated (REI). Gwen and I needed new hiking boots, if we purchased them within a time period, REI would give each of us a $20 gift certificate which could only be used the first twelve days in May. So REI had us hooked and we needed to return before Monday to use our $20 gift cards. We wanted more than one reason to visit Eugene. As it turned out, yesterday I was visiting with my friend Glen in Costco and mentioned my need for a storage unit so Gwen and I could use our shed more for hobbies than for storage. Glen showed me exactly what I was looking for but Roseburg Costco had sold out. I called Eugene Costco and learned they had plenty. So that was reason number 2 for a trip to Eugene. Reason number 3 was to have breakfast at a unique little restaurant near the University of Oregon Campus. And finally, reason number 4 was a trip to the Valley River Center (a large mall) so Gwen could look for a new sweater. The photo shows me with the large storage shed box after two Costco employees loaded it for me. The shed display is above my head. I'm also wearing a favorite shirt previously purchased a Roseburg Costco. I picked up another in gray along with the shed. Click the photo to see our table at the unique restaurant this morning during breakfast. It is extremely popular but we got there just before the crowd and were seated inside. Many of the "regulars" sat outside (even when raining) because they must like it as much as we do. I really like their coffee and wish we had a local restaurant with as good coffee and reasonably priced meals. Actually, we have three near us however one does not serve breakfast and none have coffee as good. Only a few minutes after being seated, the noise level became so loud (only from the conversations around us) that we could hardly hear each other or our waitress. That was part of the fun. The Lighthouse Center Bakery and Cafe is like that much of the time. Oh! I got a $21 pair of Smartwool Trekking SOCKS and Gwen got a very nice REI brand fleece, windbreaker (good to 50 mph) vest. I'm sure neither of us would have treated ourselves to these nice items had we not had our $20 gift cards. I also picked up a phone carrier which will connect to the shoulder strap on my pack. I ordered this online at the REI Outlet store (on a half price sale) but had it delivered to the store to get free shipping. Finally, yes! We had to drive the truck to Eugene rather than our Prius to pick up the shed. It was still cheaper than the $100 they wanted to ship the shed to Sutherlin. If you did not already know, Eugene is 60 miles, so 1 hour from Sutherlin.
Umpqua Community College SingersFriday, May 9, 2014: This is Friday afternoon which is usually "Friendship" time in the clubhouse, but today, something special. The local community college is only 8 miles away, Umpqua Community College. The UCC Singers performed on stage in our clubhouse this afternoon to an appreciative crowd (or was the crowd attracted to the free cake and ice cream since food in the clubhouse usually draws a crowd). Gwen and I enjoyed the music and hope to enjoy more with the summer Oregon Musical Theater Festival happening at the college and other locations in Douglas County. I'm hoping we have more such events on Friday afternoon.

Unloading the new "deck", Behind: Dodging the rain

Thursday, May 8, 2014: After talking with "Mark", the person most folks in the park use to set their concert block decks, I drove to Roseburg to pick up the number of blocks we will need. It turned out to be two pallets, each pallet weights 3,500 lbs so I picked them up one at a time (my payload is 4,500 lbs). I purchased them at the Willamette Graystone, they loaded the pallets with a fork lift, I had to unload one block at a time. Thank goodness, Gwen helped. We've only unloaded one pallet so maybe we'll finish tomorrow after some Advil tonight. These blocks will be arranged in front and to the side of the shed to make a nice outdoor location for a patio. I could have built a wood deck as I did in front of the #55 shed but that would have been more expensive and would require annual maintenance (paint or stain). We have assembled the materials and beginning Monday, we will have help to laying the deck from Mark and his crew. They are the experts. Click the photo for another view.

Working inside #93, Behind: What Gwen has been doing.Wednesday, May 7, 2014: I know this must be getting boring but this is how I spent my day, moved stuff out of the shed to install the shelves and start putting items into the shed in some kind of order. I also listed several items onto Craigslist and plan to list items on eBay to get rid of them. The perimeter of shelving has been installed so now I have a little more floor space to use. I need to get my project wood OUT of the shed but must build the wood storage unit to do that. Gwen has started the painting (click the photo) so now I can build the wood storage unit. It will be raining tomorrow so most everything has been moved back into the shed.

Stablizing the Cameo

Tuesday: May 6, 2014: Today I ordered the paint to change the color of the #93 shed to Gwen's favorite, sea foam green. Then off to the hardware store to pickup concrete blocks to support the stabilizer jacks. I've never used more than four jacks but own eight jacks and have decided to use them all to try to take some movement out of the trailer. It's tough trying to seat the blocks and balance all the jacks while still keeping the trailer level. This is just one more way to make us permanent. Click the photo for another view.

Cinco de Mayo celebration

Monday, May 5, 2014: Cinco de Mayo at the clubhouse ... any reason to share food! These folks really know how to fix good Mexican. We got a Cinco de Mayo history lesson from Jerry. It was a battle with the French.

Yes, we are out of lot 55 for good, no $20 per day penalty.

The windvane is saved for 93Sunday, May 4, 2014: Working another long day to finish the job of moving. Today included more trips to the dump, removing all #55 shelving and anything else attached to the #55 walls. Somehow, I was also able to lift the News-Review newspaper delivery box. This was a tough job since I had driven the post deeply into the ground with a hammer. This was a rainy day and tomorrow is forecast to be a rainy day also. I took advantage, then, of the few rain breaks to climb onto the #55 shed roof to remove our chicken weather vane. I apparently thought the vane had to survive a hurricane because I installed it with four large bolts thinking it would never have to be removed. It took a 1/2" drive, long handled socket wrench with Gwen hold the nuts under the eaves to remove these bolts. What made this especially difficult was the paint we had applied to the bolts after the installation. But, we were successful and here it is, ready for installation onto the #93 shed. So what's left? I must remove the 4 x 4" pressure treated post I buried two feet in the ground to support one tip of my ill-fated shade triangles; I must remove my shed overhead light and ceiling fan from the shed; I must rake the rocks to cover the bare dirt left from where I used cement blocks to stabilize the fifth wheel and finally; vacuum the shed floor. Then comes the months of work to organize everything in the #93 shed. You'd think we we'd bought a 2,000 square foot house. However, when you have only a 10 x 12' space, if must have exceptional organization to use it for storage and still have room for hobbies (my woodshop).

This is lot 55 where we were this morning, Behind: lot 93, where we are this evening.
Saturday, May 3, 2014: Another long day. Fortunately my friend Glen came over this afternoon to help move the heavy items. The above photo was taken this morning on lot 55. The last heavy item Glen helped with was the fifth wheel hitch. I installed it into the truck bed at 2:30. Since most of the afternoon was left and no rain, we decided to move the Cameo today. Click the photo and you'll see I moved to lot 93 about 4 pm today. I know the lot now looks like "poor white trash" have moved in but we struggled to get everything moved and tried NOT to put everything into the shed since anything in the shed will have to be moved out again so I can install the shelving plus finish the wiring. Since rain is forecast for tomorrow and Monday, I left inside jobs for those two days. Removing all #55 shelving and moving whatever is left. It will likely take us the rest of the summer to get organized. I'm hoping to get the concrete blocks laid for a nice patio as well as getting my woodshop put back together. What is interesting to me, when we got lot 55 more than a year ago, we had nothing to store in the shed. All woodshop equipment and patio items have been purchased during this time.

Gwen put down floor tile, Behind: awning movedFriday, May 2, 2014: Two big jobs were completed today. I spent most of the morning removing our awning from #55 shed, then reinstalling the awning onto #93 shed. Click Gwen's photo to see the installed awning. When you look at that photo you will see the pine shelving I removed from the #93 shed and now used as a temporary deck to place items as we wait to install the shelving I will remove from the #55 shed. We've also moved most of the items from the #55 deck (such as our new table and chairs). These items kept outside might get some weather protection from the awning.

After the awning was moved, Gwen and I installed self-adhesive floor tiles to the floor of the #93 shed (we had to wait for the tile and floor to warm before installing). This was about a three hour job because all of the perimeter tile had to be measured and cut to fit the space. We calculated correctly, it took exactly 120 square-foot, tiles. I believe this may be cheaper than the floor paint I purchased then used on the #55 shed floor, and this is much nicer.

Once the floor was installed, I made several trips to transfer items from #55 to #93. No time to install shelving into the #93 shed. We must be moved by Monday evening and rain if forecast for Sunday and Monday. That means everything we want to stay dry must be moved tomorrow and stored temporarily until shelves are installed. That means all items inside the #93 shed will have to be removed, something I was hoping to avoid because it means double handling. We'd probably need at least another two weeks to make this move easier. So, tomorrow, all shed items must be moved and wood storage unit on the back of #55 must be dismantled then rebuilt before the rain begins.

Morgan's new backyard looking south, Behind, Looking north
Thursday, May 1, 2014: The photo above is Morgan's new backyard looking south. I walked beyond the large Oak trees and took another photo looking north, click the south photo to see the north looking photo. Progress was not as quick today as I had hoped. The rough shed wiring is done and the wallboard has been replaced. Gwen painted the interior shed walls. I took all left over building materials to the trash then mopped the shed floor in preparation for floor tile tomorrow morning. I learned from painting the #55 shed floor that quality floor paint costs as much as floor tile and does not work at well. Then I will begin moving shed items. All the work I did to the #55 shed must be dismantled and moved. Gwen and I are not use to working twelve hour days so we are both exhausted.

Lot 93
Street view of Lot 93, Behind: Inside of shedTuesday, April 29, 2014: I mentioned yesterday, something might happen today at 9:30 a.m. which would cause me to remove my triangle shades. When you are a lot-holder in an Escapee Co-op park you always have the option to move to a vacant lot when that lot becomes available. If more than one lot holder wants the vacant lot, the lot holder with the longest residence gets first choice. If NO lot holder wants the vacant lot it is given to the next person on the waitlist. We have been a lot holder for a little less than two years and we have been a lot holder longer than anyone else wanting lot 93. Our current lot, 55, is a wonderful lot and we have made many improvements to it but we saw lot 93 as having enough differences, we decided to apply for the lot and we got it. It has NO improvements. Previous lot 93 holders had installed a wood deck and wood retaining wall, both were installed so long ago, the wood was rotten and both were removed by the park. The park replaced the retaining wall with concrete blocks but did not replace the deck. The park also added a truck load of gravel. When you click the shed photo, you'll see a street view of the lot. The ditch, surrounded by rocks, was filled by the park today with gravel so the ditch is gone. The shed is "rough". When we got lot 55, the shed was also rough but electrified. Lot 93 shed is insulated but NOT electrified. We expect to make improvements to the lot slowly and consider these photos the "before" photos. So why move? You can see that lot 93 has no one parked behind the lot. Instead, there is a steep hill leading to a huge lawn area. We see that as a positive. Lot 93 gets both summer and winter sun (some of the lots located further south receive NO winter sun). The angle of lot 93 has our fifth wheel pointed due east-northeast which means we will be getting summer morning sunshine on our awning area with the sun passing directly overhead and to the opposite side of the trailer in the evening putting the awning in the shade. In the winter, the sun will be low in the south, putting sunshine directly onto the awning and patio area. Gwen sees having no improvements a positive because it means that we will design the area to look the way we wish. A park rule in a lot exchange is to make the move within seven days. That means lots of hard work for the next seven days since the new shed must be improved before moving all our shed items to the new shed. Click both photos for additional views.

Our "traingle shade" purchased at Costco.
Monday, April 28, 2014: We had a visit today from the park manager to let us know our triangle shading we purchased from Costco does not fit the definition of "gazebo" within the park rules and we must take them down. There is a procedure to ask for board of director permission to keep our shade but that will take at least three weeks. So for the time being, we have no choice but to take down our shade. We might have to take down our shade anyway for another reason but I won't know until 9:30 am tomorrow if that's the case. So this is an example of the good and the bad about living in a board of directors controlled community. If we were living in our own home (our last home was in Grants Pass, Oregon) we would not need to have permission from a "board of directors" to erect shade. At the same time, the board of directors protects our park from residents doing "strange things", and today, our triangle shade canopies ARE "strange" in this park.
Great breakfast at Studio OneWednesday, April 23, 2014: We picked Studio One Cafe for breakfast in Eugene after reading the recommendations on Yelp. This is the kind of breakfast location I remember from my college days, a rustic setting with great service and great food. I especially liked their coffee. The restaurant opened at 7 am and we arrived only a few minutes after opening. We got a lot of visiting time with Gwen's son David before we all met David's girlfriend at the airport. That gave us even more time to visit. After visiting time, Gwen and I went to REI where we found some hiking boots to replace those we have worn out. We got home in time to attend a business meeting of the Friends of the Umpqua Hiking Club. This meeting was to plan the hikes for the next three month. It was interesting to know ahead of time where the hikes would lead.

Roseburg Big Horn Band
Tuesday, April 22, 2014: Tonight was a fundraising event for the Roseburg High School bands at Loggers Tap House in Roseburg. Our friends Glen and Kenny Lee have two children in those bands and invited us to Loggers with them this evening. So while we enjoyed our meals, the Roseburg Big Horn Band played "big band" tunes. It was loud, the food was good and so were the musicians.

Historic Tolley's for breakfast
Monday: April 21, 2014: This was a day of errands to Roseburg to return an item to Home Depot, groceries, Costco to exchange Gwen's new glasses and get a bag of blueberries then to the masonry shop to price concrete patio blocks. We began our day with an inexpensive but good breakfast in historic Oakland, Oregon at Tolly's. We both had a nice breakfast with a total bill of only $10. It's like stepping back in time. The decorations in this historic restaurant is also like stepping back in time. Oakland is only three miles from our home.

Saying goodbye to some special members of our park
Friday, April 18, 2014: Just before our usual Friday "Friendship" time, we had a goodbye party for Max and Eva of Timber Valley Park. They have been at the park for a long time and Max has especially done a lot of work projects at the park. They are leaving the park for a home in Eagle Point, Oregon. In this photo, Gwen is telling of our first experience with Max and Eva as we became members two years ago. Max and Eva's lot is only a few lots away from our own so we got to see them nearly every day. Folks at today's party shared how they will miss the two of them. When you live in a private community, you get to know your neighbors pretty well.

Enjoying a picnic at Comstock Park
Sunday, April 13, 2014: Enjoying a picnic at Comstock Park only about 30 minutes driving time from our trailer. This is also a trailhead for those with horses to wander the North Bank Habitat Management Area. This was a particularly nice, warm, spring day with little wind and no clouds. Click the photo for another view.

Chapter 9 at breakfast
Wednesday, April 9, 2014: The Escapee Chapter 9 breakfast meeting was filled to overflowing this morning. The meeting is scheduled to start at 9 am but we arrived early, 8:35 am and we took the last chairs. The folks in this club like to arrive early and get their breakfast ordered. The discussion this morning concerned two rallies, both at the ocean. One next month in Florence, Oregon and one in June to happen at Gold Beach, Oregon. Gwen wants to go to both. We always enjoy visiting with these folks.

April clubhouse potluck
Monday, April 7, 2014: First Monday of the month at Timber Valley means a potluck in the clubhouse. This potluck was particularly healthy with several excellent vegitarian dishes (and a couple of cakes too). Good food and good fellowship.

Lowes put the patio set on sale that Gwen wants, Behind: The table came in parts.
Table assembled, Behind: Morgan is the supervisor Assemble the chairs, Behind: One chair completed
Friday, April 4, 2014: We gave ourselves a nice patio set for our anniversary. We spotted this one a couple weeks ago at Lowes and decided we would wait for it to go on sale. The sale began yesterday so today I ordered it online with "store pickup" and within 30 minutes Lowes called saying it was "pulled" for us and "WHEN would we pick it up?" The forecast is for warm weather all next week but it's RAINING right now. Click each photo for additional views. I guess we will be PARTY people NOW.

John is repairing window tint damage

Thursday, March 27, 2014: During our winter trip south to stay warm and out of the rain, I damaged the tint installed onto the rear hatch window. I waited until I returned to Oregon to have the tear repaired. John originally installed the tint and said he would do his best to make it look good again. It didn't take long for him to fill the tear. Most people won't notice the repair, we'll learn what Gwen has to say about it. Unfortunately, our Prius is not perfect anymore.

Joe the Cobbler fixes my favorite shoeWednesday, March 26, 2014: Joe, the cobbler, fixed my favorite shoe in just one day. One of the sewn seems was pulling apart so Joe sewed it back together. I bought these Keen shoes last fall in Ferndale, California. They were on sale (otherwise I would never purchase in California due to the sale tax). I liked them so much I went back the next day to learn if they had a second pair I could buy, but they didn't have my size.

About the blue shoe laces. is an interesting site which introduces product ideas to people like me BEFORE the product has been manufactured. In fact, they offer a chance to invest in the production of the product at different award levels. The Blue Shoelace Project was one of those products. I invested $5 and 3 months later got a pair of blue shoe laces. The company making the shoelaces is the LAST American company making shoelaces. The bluelaces make a statement that I care about American manufacturing. So if you see someone wearing blue shoelaces, mention that YOU also care about manufacturing in America.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014: Good news from the doctor this morning. Next, the right shoe of my favorite shoes were falling apart so I found a "shoe repair" in Roseburg who promised to fix it. Next, to Safeway for supplies to fix a meal for a sick park resident. Off to Costco where Gwen ordered her new glasses costing $160. We also hoped to find a three gallon tub of ice cream for root beer floats at the park. But, Costco doesn't sell the tub so off to Sherms to get that three gallon tub. It was still raining when we returned home so I decided to visit the fitness club for the first time in a year and a half. I'm actually looking forward to the next visit.

A yard ornament from Costco, Behind: an eyeglass showroomMonday, March 24, 2014: Well today I debates between posting two photos, the yard ornament at the right and the eyeglass showroom photo found behind the yard ornament (click to see). That's because this was a busy but boring day. Gwen and I had eye doctor appointments today, then a meeting to help the activities improve at Timber Valley, then I worked to assemble the yard ornament which I purchased from Costco after seeing the exact same ornament in my sister's yard in Concord, California. We liked it in their yard, so wanted one for us too.

Now about eye glasses. Many retired RV travelers like us visit Mexico to buy glasses. In Mexico an eye exam is usually free or cheap ($10) and Mexico does not charge for every little add-on, they are usually just included. As I remember, the price totaled $100 - $200. Many travelers are happy with their Mexican choice. However, that price is close to the Costco price on glasses so that's the route I've gone the last two years. Last year's choice was not great so this year I chose to visit the local optometrist. I'm hoping for glasses that work better for me. So far, I like the optometrist much better than the Costco optometrist, he spent much more time with me and the fee (because I have insurance) was the same as Costco. The fee for the glasses was quoted at $350 and these are the "basic" progressive glasses with transition lenses. I expect the Costco glasses to be about $250 but I'll learn that tomorrow. Then I'll have to make a choice.

Trying to increase hiking endurance, Behind: What Gwen wants for our patio

Saturday, March 22, 2014: This is my second day for a long walk. I'm trying to build endurance because some of the best hikers can hike as much as 20 - 30 miles in a day. I don't need to hike that far, but the better condition I'm in, the more enjoyable the hike. Today is the birthday and anniversary luncheon in Roseburg so I walked nearly 7 miles toward Roseburg before Gwen caught me and drove the rest of the way. I'm walking old highway 99 (the major north/south route in Oregon before 1960). Interstate 5 is to the right of the guardrail. I'm carrying my trekking poles because I've lost both rubber tips which are needed for road walking.

After the luncheon, Gwen wanted to look for some patio furniture. Click the photo to see what she likes best. That price dangling from the chair is for SIX chairs.

View toward Sutherlin from Southside Road, Behind: Panorama of Cooper Creek Reservoir
Friday, March 21, 2014: After a long day of shopping in Roseburg I hiked to Cooper Creek Reservoir via the roads. I'm trying to find a route directly to the lake from the RV park. As the crow flies, the lake is only 1 mile from the park. I can hike to within 1/4 mile but still have not been able to locate a route that last 1/4 mile. Today I decided to hike around and try from the lake side back to the park. No luck. My friend Glen, found a promising route by looking at the satellite images of the area. I'll try his route when I get the chance. The photo above is from Southside Road looking north toward the city of Sutherlin. Click the photo to see county park located at the lake. Apparently the park caretaker has a unique form of lake transportation. I've seen it flying occasionally.
We've returned to Timber Valley, Behind: a panorama of Quail RunThursday, March 20, 2014: The first day of spring, 2014 and we have returned to Sutherlin, our "home base". We are in the process of cleaning and repairing the Alumascape before putting it into storage until our next trip. This is finals week for my college course so I've been busy scoring exams and calculating course grades then posting, so nothing is getting done on the RVs. My weather station reports a low of 35° and a humidity of 92%. We haven't seen that since leaving Oregon last fall.
Return to RV Trips Copyright, 2013 by