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Summer, 2013 at
Timber Valley

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Saturday, November 9, 2013: Today was a special day to ride with Jay and Anita. My usual riding partner, Glen and I met Jay and Anita in Roseburg for a nice ride to the Lighthouse Center Bakery and Cafe, a favorite destination for cyclists from Roseburg. Jay and Anita had no problem keeping up with us and even challenged me on the climbs (Glen's a stronger rider than I am). This was a very pleasant riding day and great food (as usual) at the Lighthouse. We had as much fun visiting as riding.

We meet TerraTrike cyclists, Behind: TerraTrikeSunday, October 27, 2013: The Hitchhiker trailer behind us is visiting the park and I noticed it has TEN solar panels. I said to Gwen, "Those folks either don't know what they are doing OR they are trying to power a refrigerator." Today we noticed them setting up to ride their TerraTrikes so I yelled down to them and asked them to ride up the hill so we could see their bikes. So we met Jay and Anita who are staying in the park for a month. Indeed, they not only power a refrigerator but also a freezer using their ten solar panels and ten batteries. We ended up talking (until it began to rain) about satellite Internet and the TerraTrikes. We also learned that Anita teaches online college courses as I do. They spend a lot of time in the south during the winter where they are able to use their solar panels for inexpensive camping (just like we do). Their RV refrigerator died so they replaced with a regular refrigerator (just like we did in our Cameo). Jay says it uses much less electricity than an RV refrigerator which allows them to power the refrigerator with solar. We plan to spend some more time with Jay and Anita before they leave. We've already learned of some cheap camping in Death Valley from them. Click the photo to get a close-up view of the TerraTrike.

Oregon Ducks wip the UCLA Bruins
Oregon State Beavers struggling with Stanford Cardinals
Saturday, October 26, 2013: After the month's birthday celebration at Sizzler it was Oregon Football Saturday on ESPN. First the Oregon Ducks used the first half of the game with UCLA Bruins to practice on home turf. Then, the second half, wipped the field with the Bruins. Then Oregon State Beavers tackle the Stanford Cardinals. I'm writing this at half time so the outcome is yet to be decided but the Beavers need a good pep talk in the locker room. They are struggling with this number 6 team.
Before and after window tinting
John separates the precut images, Behind: tint must be fit to curved glass
Prefitted hatchback tint is installed, Behind: Door panel popped out Side tint is installed, Behind: left side installed Front tint installed, slightly lighter tint, Behind: precut tint ready to install
Friday, September 13, 2013: Gwen and I cleaned house today then took ourselves to a great lunch at a new restaurant in Roseburg. But my report is about Miss Scarlet getting some "eye tint". Roll your pointer over the large photo above and you'll see the before tint and after tint difference. This helps to keep the inside cooler and eliminates fading of upholstery. Oregon allows a 35% tint on the front windows and much darker on the back windows so the back had a 15% tint. Doing a professional job is all about have the right tools and materials. TintPro uses the finest film and obviously know what they are doing. All film is installed to the inside of the glass but for the rear hatchback window had to be fitted first because the glass is curved. Door panels are popped off to allow the film to be installed below the rubber guide. TintPro has a computer program which cuts the film to the exact size of each window. This makes for a fast installation with no danger of cutting car parts which should not be cut. The precut parts are laid out on glass beside the car first. Click all the smaller photos for additional views.

Mark is setting pin strips on Miss Scarlet, Behind: Another view of Mark aligning the pin strips

Thursday, September 12, 2013: The next item for Miss Scarlet is a nice set of pin stripes. Many of the Prius models we test drove had the pin strips already installed but Miss Scarlet came naked. I watched the YouTube videos of how to install pin stripes and feel confident that I could have easily done it myself and saved about $35 but Gwen refused to allow me to do it. I think she was thinking the pin stripes would be painted on. I don't know anyone who does that any more. Click the photo to see another view of Mark installing the pin stripes.

Our SKP Chapter 9 breakfast meeting, Behind: a larger view
Wednesday, September 11, 2013: This was the SKP Chapter 9 breakfast meeting. 33 signed up but nearly 50 showed up so the meeting spilled over into the main room. A couple of participants can be seen at the right but many more had to sit in the main room. The food at Abby's Pizza was good as usual. After the meeting I took Morgan to the vet for her "booster" shot then went for a 20 mile bicycle ride. I volunteered to help the Douglas County News, a weekly newspaper published her in Sutherlin, publish a weekly high school sports schedule. That has turned out to be a bigger job than I anticipated but the first week is completed. Gwen rented the new Star Trek movie for our evening enjoyment. Click the photo to enlarge.
Setting the line for the side molding, Behind: matching the molding to the masking tape Tuesday, September 10, 2013: The second item for Miss Scarlet is side molding to help protect her from door dings. These moldings are genuine Toyota so and exact color match. Easy to install following the instructions. The molding man wanted $50 to install so I did it myself so I could afford to buy something else for Miss Scarlet. Click the photos for additional views. High grade 3M adhesive tape is used to secure the molding, Behind: The finished product

The US Open Men's Final, Behind: Rafa Nadal
Overhead view, Behind: Nadal ahead two sets Nadal taking the last point, Behind: The championship hug
Monday, September 9, 2013: Sports, sports and more sports. Today was the US Open Men's final with Rafael Nadal vs Novak Djokovic. It was the best first three sets I've ever seen in a Tennis match. The fourth set saw Djokovic faulter. I'm a Nadal fan so my player won this time. This wasn't the only thing we did today but it was the most exciting. The morning was grocery shopping and a visit to our favorite vegetable farm for fresh picked vegetables. Click the photos for additional views.

Tony Romo vs Eli Manning on the first Sunday night football

Sunday, September 8, 2013: This has been the first football Sunday of the season. But we did much more today than watch football. Today was also the women's final at the US Open Tennis match so Gwen saw all of that match while I caught some of it. Serena Williams came away with the championship. Meanwhile, I went for a 20 mile bike ride with Glen this afternoon. When I returned I got to see most of the 49ers game as they beat the Packers. I'd like to see Eli Manning pull off a victory over the Cowboys but I'm posting this during the fourth quarter and it doesn't look good for the Giants.

Brutus from Belgium, Behind: expanded view

Saturday, September 7, 2013: Today was a 30 mile bike ride followed by a drive to Roseburg in Miss Scarlet. During my drive I came across this unique RV. The sign in the window says, "Brutus from Belgium". This looks like one of those "go anywhere" RVs. He might have problems finds parts here in the states. Click the photo for an enlarged view.

Morgan's spa day, Behind: the results of the spa


Thursday, September 5, 2013: Today was "spa day" for Morgan. I tried to do a "before and after" photo. Tiffany is about to take a nervous Morgan into the bath booth. Morgan has been groomed many times but still acts reluctant for the first few minutes. We really like the Sutherlin Pet Grooming. This is Morgan's second time with them and they have done a very nice job grooming for a reasonable price. Click the photo for the "after" look. Look how nicely trimmed her paws are.

The South Umpqua River flows into the North Umpqua River, Behind: plenty of grass at this park, Miss Scarlet in the distance.
Kids fort at River Forks park, Behind: Entrance to the kids fort A fort tower, Behind: panorama of the fort interior Kids play equipment at River Forks, Behind: Picnic pavilion
Wednesday, September 4, 2013: Today was my turn for a blood test to learn if my vegan diet has worked to keep my cholesterol level at super low levels. After the test I dropped Gwen off for errands then drove myself to one of the Douglas County parks I've never visited, River Forks Park. This is where the South Umpqua River joins with the North Umpqua River (the photo on top). Lots of fishermen today looking for the best catch where the two rivers meet. One of the key features in the park is the kids fort, a large climbing structure (the two left photos, click to see additional views). The play structures would be a great place to take the grandkids when they visit. A large picnic pavilion is pictured behind the play structure photo.

Center caps for the alloy wheels

Tuesday, September 3, 2013: This is a silly photo but just wanted to show what I've done with the wheels. The Prius comes with hub caps over the top of these nice alloy wheels which I don't like. When the hub caps are removed the alloy wheels need a center cap. I ordered the center caps and installed them today for a nice clean look. So this is the second change to Miss Scarlet.

Labor Day Barbeque at Timber Valley, Behind: The Timber Valley picnic area

Monday, September 2, 2013: After preparing and returning the Great Blue Heron Edition to storage it was time to watch some of the US Open Tennis matches. In mid-afternoon it was time for the Labor Day barbeque and picnic in Snoopy Meadow at Timber Valley park. The barbeque is a tradition at the park. The weather was cooler which made the picnic weather perfect. Click the photo to see covered picnic area.

Gwen applies her Oregon Ducks decal, Behind: Gwen finishes her application Sunday, September 1, 2013: Today started slowly recovering from the long drive yesterday. However, my friend Glen called and invited me on a ride so away I went. After the ride, I washed Miss Scarlet, she was covered with salt spray. The photos show Miss Scarlet's first alteration, making her more personal. We are conflicted, sometimes for the Beavers, sometimes for the Ducks but always for Oregon. Click the photos for additional views. I apply Oregon State Beavers decal, Behind: What Miss Scarlet looks like now.

Miss Scarlett goes off road and takes us to the vegitable farm, Behind: We've got to have fresh corn.

Saturday, August 24, 2013: Finally! We've made it back to Lahne Farms. Miss Scarlet did her first off road driving to get us there. I kept telling Gwen to drive slowly, dirt was getting onto Miss Scarlet. Gwen is picking some Elberta peaches, the second item we grabbed, the first was fresh corn. Click the photo for a view of Miss Scarlet in the corn. Note the corn peaking through the back window of Miss Scarlet. We also got bell peppers, tomatoes, squash and fresh flowers. Miss Scarlet wasn't too dirty but I washed her when we got home anyway.

25th anniversary of Timber Valley SKP Park
Friday, August 23, 2013: Today was the celebration of the 25th Anniversary of the building of Timber Valley SKP RV Park. It was also my first time to see the large room of the clubhouse used for a function. Like almost every SKP function, the celebration included food. In the photo above, the room is getting ready for a catered meal. Our Masters of Ceremony, Russ, is toward the right with a cow-poke hat. It really is amazing what the folks in 1988 did as volunteers. From the vision to the actual construction from bare land to a well organized 206 space RV park, we were lucky to have volunteers with the skills to make it happen. Click the photo for a meal view.
Our new 2013 Prius next to the North Umpqua, Behind: Morgan approves of the purchaseThursday, August 22, 2013: Today was my first day to drive our new Prius. I picked a mountain road next to the North Umpqua River. It was also Morgan's first ride and she approved (click the photo to see her approval). Choosing the Prius was a tough decision, I felt like I was giving up the "fun-factor" but after driving today, I'm changing my mind. We made this purchase for the fuel mileage. Today, I drove 60 miles into the mountains, climbing all the way. We got 50.4 MPG climbing and 59.9 MPG returning. We did give up some features, like power front seats, in exchange for fuel mileage. I did find the purchase process interesting. We visited lots of different brands, then once we decided on the Prius, I negotiated with three local dealers. One was 12 miles distant while the other two were 64 miles distant. None of these dealers had this vehicle (or one like it) but they all were willing to get this one located at another dealer. All three provided the VIN number which turned out to be the same vehicle (this vehicle). So all were providing a price on the same vehicle. I could have called all Oregon dealers and found the dealer having this vehicle (likely, the Portland area) but chose not to. One dealer refused to negotiate lower than the dealer invoice. The closest dealer first quoted a price $350 above dealer invoice (following Costco pricing plus a transportation charge to retrieve the vehicle from the distant dealer), then reduced their price considerably while I negotiated. The third dealer had very competitive pricing, $1400 below dealer invoice for those on the lot and $1000 below dealer invoice for this vehicle. I wish I could have purchased from every dealer I visited. I liked all the cars I drove and liked all the salesmen with the exception of the Ford dealer who apparently didn't take my interest seriously. I'm anxious to put more driving time into this car. You'll be seeing more adventure and modification photos as we make this car our own. Note the black alloy wheels, I've removed the funky hub caps. We have no front license yet so I removed the "Kendall" sign. Oregon DMV will take 8 -10 weeks to deliver the plates is what I'm told,

Dale with Will Baas handing over the car, Behind: The Prius engine
Gwen with Will Baas, or salesman, Behind: a group photo
Wednesday, August 21, 2013: We've made a decision and in a totally different direction from where I started. We chose economy over the "fun-factor". Well, I did get a moon roof so that adds to the fun-factor. I'll explain the details another day. Bill Baas from Kendall Toyota in Eugene was our salesman who made the purchase very "smooth" as Gwen has been saying. Gwen drove it back to Sutherlin and reported 54.9 MPG. Click the photos for more views.
Gwen test drives a Mazda 3, Behind: Total "fun-factor" vehicle, worthless as anything elseTuesday, August 20, 2013: Another beautiful day in Oregon. We drove to Eugene to test drive a Mazda 3 (Eugene is the closest Mazda dealer). The Mazda 3 was my best hope for a combination fun-factor and practical car and it pretty-much met my expectations. Gwen is driving, you can see the touch screen navigation to her right. This is an automatic but has manual shifting simply by sliding the shift lever to the left. Mileage is good with 39 highway and 28 city for an average of 32 MPG. When I did the research I learned the Mazda 3 will have a complete re-make in 2014 so we can't decide on this car until the 2014 models become available. The power seemed sluggish in "D", but was responsive when manually shifting. That's just like all the other cars we've tested in the "Segment C" category. The Mazda has a BOSE sound system and the salesman was playing country music, appreciated by Gwen, annoying to ME. There are economy indicators on all the cars we tested showing fuel consumption while driving, interesting. Of course, that's what this segment is all about, economy. There is a cute convertible MINI behind Gwen's photo which we found in Valley River Center (the main Eugene mall). It would have been fun to test drive but NOT a practical two seater. It actually got worse fuel mileage than the Mazda 3 even though it was half the size.

Carole inspect yarn while Jack and I look at the car show, Behind: Lots of shopping booths
'55 Chevy, Behind: Mercury with a sunroof Early "tow vehicle", Behind: Cab
    Yellow, Behind: Red
Oregon, Behind: Blue Purple, Behind: Antique overview
Monday, August 19, 2013: This last weekend was the Blackberry Festival in Sutherlin. Lots of booths, bands, mud races and a huge car show. Jack, Carole and I walked through the fair, Carole was most interested in the wool yarn (very expensive), while Jack and I walked the entire car show (209 cars). Click all photos for another view.

This is the color Gwen likes best.Sunday, August 18, 2013: Today was a visit from our friends Alice and Rich from Grants Pass. They were returning to Grants Pass from visiting relatives north. We visited all morning and much of the afternoon before they left to shop at Roseburg Costco for the first time.

The photo is of the Prius color Gwen likes best. All the Toyota dealers are anxious to sell their Prius inventory but none have this color. One of the dealers is much more competitive with price. I've used Kelly Blue Book and Edmunds for a price guide and both are showing a "fair price" of $500 - $1000 below the dealer invoice. The Costco price is always $200 above the dealer invoice. The best price I've seen is $1300 below invoice, now we just have to find Gwen's color.

The cockpit of the Toyota Prius, Behind: Salesman, Cody, runs to the office for a license before a test drive. Saturday, August 17, 2013: Yesterday was a long day with some surprises. Since a front end repair to the truck several months ago, the steering has not been right. Some very subtle problems but enough so I've returned the truck to original repair shop then to two other shops. I ended at Gene's Brake and Alignment yesterday and would have a photo except my phone battery was dead (that's another sad story). When making the appointment at Gene's I was told a 2 - 3 hour wait. I delivered the truck at 7:30am, 30 minutes before the 8am appointment time. Then I took myself to breakfast and a walk in downtown Roseburg. By this time it was 2.5 hours later so I returned
to Gene's to learn that the truck had not moved since I delivered it. I decided to change my plans for the day and walk (1.5 miles) to the Chevy dealer to test drive the Chevy Cruze, another "Segment C" vehicle. Greg met me at the Chevy dealer and let me drive a six speed manual transmission Cruze. I was surprised to learn its highway mileage was 42 but city mileage was 28 for an average of 33. The Cruze felt good, drove nicely but I was disappointed in the rear drum brakes, the better cars always have disc brakes front and rear. The Chevy dealer is also the Toyota dealer so I asked Greg if he could show me the Toyota Corolla. Greg introduced me to Cody who took me on a test ride in the Corolla. I knew the Corolla was to have a complete redesign for 2014 but still wanted to learn what made the Corolla so popular. I was completely disappointed in the Corolla with average mileage of only 29 MPG. It also gave "ho-hum" comfort and performance. I asked Cody when the 2014 would be available to test. We were walking back to his office to learn the answer when I noticed a Prius and began reading the sticker information. The surprise was the 50 MPG average fuel economy, 46 on the highway but 53 in the city. This was opposite everything I had test driven so far and would later learn why. I began asking Cody questions about the Prius because the price was within the range of the cars I had been testing. The gear shift lever had only a "D", "R" and "B" (for electronic braking when coasting down a steep hill) and no tachometer on the dashboard. That's because this is a continuously variable transmission (CVT) so no gears. During the test drive, the engine would turn off when going downhill and at stop lights (hence the higher city mileage). Also, much of the time during city driving, I was on the electric motor only, no need for the gas engine. The power was mediocre but probably better than the Corolla. After the drive, I had Cody give me a "bottom line" price with the features we wanted (Cody only had 3 vehicles and none had the features we wanted). So now I'm walking back to Gene's to get my truck deciding to return to Cody because I had more questions, BUT, the truck was STILL parked where I had left it. After talking with Jay, my mechanic, I chose to get lunch then check on the truck again. During lunch I used the last of my phone battery to calculate the fuel savings per year between 32MPG and 50MPG. This turned out to be $600 per year. I also calculated the loan interest savings since Toyota was offering a 0% interest loan. Thinking about a Prius was taking me in a totally different vehicle direction. I was wanting the "fun factor" and considered the Prius to have ZERO fun factor. But it's hard to ignore the fuel savings and the better feeling of conserving energy. Interestingly, half the sunroof is covered with solar panels. We are already familiar with solar energy since our travel trailer is also solar powered. After lunch, the truck was still not finished so I walked back to visit with Cody to get my additional questions answered. The Prius is the highest price of the cars we have driven so far but not my much and the savings are clear. If we get serious about switching our focus from fun to something more practical with clear saving it will mean thinking differently about a new car purchase. The photo is of the interior of the Prius I drove. Behind that photo is Cody running to the office for a license for the test drive. On the drive home, I'm doing 70 in the truck and wondering if the Prius could easily cruise at 70+ because the speed limit in California, Arizona and Texas allows a high speed limit. I'm looking in the rear view mirror and even though I'm driving at 70, a Prius is catching and passing me easily so my question has been answered.

My six bingo cards, Behind: I won the 2nd largest pot, $21

Friday, August 16, 2013: Wednesday is bingo night at the park and I rarely participate. Two days ago Gwen asked me to go with her so I played bingo for the first time in several months. It seems that every time I go, I win something and Wednesday was no exception. I hadn't come close all evening. My six cards had lost 8 games but finally hit on the "small picture frame" which gave me the pot of $21, the second largest pot of the evening. I put my winning dollars into Gwen's game stash to help support her "game habit". Click the photo to see my prize.

Thursday, August 15, 2013: I was with State Farm insurance from 1963 until 2009, 46 years. They wouldn't insure our fifth wheel if we actually lived in it so I decided to change insurance companies. We've been with AAA since but now we are back. State Farm is simply a better company. After my State Farm appointment this morning, off to Roseburg to visit Dr. Davol my urologist. His report was excellent. This afternoon, Ken and Delores, our across the street neighbors wanted to dine together in Roseburg so we were treated to a drive in Delores' Buick, a very nice riding vehicle. This is Thursday, right? So why is "Monday Night Football" on Thursday? Watching San Diego play at Chicago.

Repairs to the rain drain system

Wednesday, August 14, 2013: Today began with the Chapter 9 breakfast at Abby's Pizza downtown Sutherlin. The breakfast begins at 9am but if you arrive at 9am, you won't get a seat. We arrived at 8:25am and most seats were already taken. I had egg beaters, potatoes and biscuit plus coffee. After breakfast, Jack and I rode the Driver Valley loop, 30 miles to show Jack some new territory. After the ride, I noticed the rain-drain repair crew making some changes across the street. To finish off the evening, Gwen talked me into an evening of bingo. Between the two of us, our 12 cards lost 8 games in a row, then I hit on the "small picture frame" which got me $21. That winning money went into Gwen's game stash.

2014 Ford Focus

Tuesday, August 13, 2014: This was a day to make another adjustment to our refrigerator then it was Morgan's turn for her annual trip to the vet. Her report was good but she got a few vaccinations and is recovering from those. A few days ago I test drove a 2014 Ford Focus with a manual transmission. I have lots of experience in my Mother's 2012 Focus automatic but I wanted to see how the manual transmission compared. Of course the manual transmission added to the "fun factor". From what I could see, there are virtually no changes to the 2014 Focus over the 2012. It looks and feels like the very same car. I know the mileage figures my Mother gets with her car so know that the focus gets the gas mileage we are looking for. We still must look at several other vehicles before we can focus on one brand and model. I did enjoy the manual transmission and the electronic features of the Ford.

Water source house

Sunday: August 11, 2013: Today was a day with friends at the first "Roseburg Open Streets" but I'll discuss that tomorrow. Today I'll tell about planning a new "house" for our water source. Every lot at Timber Valley has a water faucet to connect our RVs to a water source. Our "water house" needs to be replaced. I've found and saved enough roofing material to cover the "house" so now it's time to come up with a plan. One of my neighbors is in the process of building a new house. I took this photo to remember his plan. The styrofoam is insulation to protect the house from the cold during winter months.

A layout for horse shoe pits

Saturday: August 10, 2013: I spent much of the day with friends, Jack and Carole from Grants Pass. We visited our favorite restaurant, The Lighthouse Center Cafe and Bakery. Then back to finish a couple of projects. While walking around the park, I found this layout in Snoopy Meadow. I wasn't involved in any of this planning but recognized the layout as two horse shoe pits in progress. I think they should be further apart, I can imagine a horse shoe bouncing toward the opposite court.

Repair of the bear damage to the tonneau cover, Behind: Enlarged viewFriday: August 9, 2013: Since AAA of Oregon won't help me replace the bear damaged tonneau cover, I have begun the repair of the cover. Fortunately the bear broke through the cover breaking the back half dozen panels which I've discarded. The cover itself was longer than I needed since I have my Transfer Flo fuel tank/storage area in the front of the pickup bed. What that means is much of the tonneau cover was rolled into the tonneau storage bin during the bear attack. So after eliminating the damaged sections, I pulled out the previously unused portion of the cover to again cover the entire pickup bed. Another half dozen panels were bent by the weight of the bear sitting on the cover so I climbed into the pickup bed and pushed up against the cover to take the bend out of those sections. Finally, the bear ripped off the leading steel edge but did not damage this steel piece. I've glued this to the cover and used pop-rivets to secure to the cover. I expect this to be back to its original condition when I'm finished. I'd love to have a new cover but found it too difficult to think of spending money to replace something which I got free. I honestly don't expect my "jury-rigging" to last forever but it should last until I'm more willing to spend the $1,000 it would take to replace this Pace-Edwards cover.

Test driving a Honda Civic

Thursday: August 8, 2013: Gwen gave me a shopping list today because I needed to make a trip to Costco to get my tires rotated. That means I've put 7,000 miles on the truck in only a few months. We've got to slow down the accumulation of miles on the truck. I took an hour of the day to take a test ride in the Honda Civic EX. This one is a metallic brown which they call "coffee". It is available in automatic transmission only so I struggled with finding the "fun factor" when driving it. I consider the Honda to be "trustworthy" ... the industry calls it "reliability". The salesman says it's the most popular vehicle in this class and has the best "resale". The dashboard instruments are kind of strange and the view screen for consumer controls as well as the projection coming from the rearview camera is small. By "strange", I mean there are two levels of instruments. There is a huge tachometer dominating the entire lower instrument view. So what is the need for a tachometer with an automatic transmission, especially one which dominates the entire instrument panel? They needed to put the tachometer where the tiny view screen is located and make the view screen large as it is in the Dodge Dart. The seat was comfortable but the over-all feeling of performance and handling was "lack-luster", hence, difficult to find the "fun-factor". I do like the coffee color.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013: This morning I got a call from my claims agent from my current automobile insurance, AAA of Oregon. I've been with AAA for three years since leaving State Farm after forty years. I left State Farm because they would not insure my RV if I went to full-time travel. State Farm LogoWell, three weeks ago I filed a claim with AAA of Oregon for my tonneau cover which was torn open by a bear in Mammoth Mountain. After filing the claim I got a call from the adjuster saying a damage estimate had to be completed and referred to another adjuster. The adjuster had to verify that the tonneau was permanently mounted, I was told. I did not hear from the final adjuster so made another call. Two days later I get a phone message telling me the claim was "disallowed" because "page 17 paragraph 81" of the policy clearly stated that no after market items would be covered unless specifically listed in the policy. I checked with my agent about this disappointment who check with the underwriter, all items had to be listed and the price of the policy would be increased by 50% to cover those items. I'm disappointed in AAA of Oregon because my agent did not make me aware of this policy and all I got was excuses of why they would not pay my claim. Since I'm new-car shopping I wanted to get a quote on what insurance would cost on a new car. I visited my local State Farm agent in Sutherlin, literally 1 mile from my location. I learned they would insure my truck for less that AAA and would have paid for my tonneau cover without declaration of after-market items and for no extra premium. It's a "no-brainer", I'm going back to State Farm. I've used AAA roadside insurance nearly every year of travel and been very satisfied but certainly can't recommend their automobile insurance.

My first test drive in a 2013 Dodge Dart, Behind: Wider view

Tuesday, August 6, 2013: I think the buying process of a new car is the most fun purchase. It's the only time you get to try out all the models and see all the new gadgets the car makers put onto their vehicles to attract buyers. I hope we can draw out this process as long as possible just for the fun. The only vehicle we own is our 2004 Dodge Ram 3500 and we are "driving the wheels off of it" with around-town driving. It's made to tow a heavy load and I have all the extras to make it easy (for example a second fuel tank and exhaust brakes). But for around town driving, it's a big-fat-pig. When I refuel, it's never less than $100 and can be $300 if I fill both tanks. So we have decided to look for a "sporty" economy car. Today was our first test drive and we chose the new Dodge Dart. Click the photo for a wider view. Our list of "must-haves" includes a moon-roof, comfortable interior, four doors, nice sound system, 40 MPG, and now ... all the new electronics like built in navigation, digital controls, backup camera and satellite radio. Driving this red Dart taught us that since it had the electronic panel. I had on my list, "manual transmission" and was surprised when Gwen enjoyed the manual transmission. We will have to think about that one since "we aren't kids anymore" and perhaps we are "too old" for a "fun car". I hadn't driven a manual transmission in 30 years and it came right back to me. "Golly!" ... it was fun. The interesting feature of the automatic transmission is the ability to put it into "manual mode" and make each shift (without a clutch), it was ALMOST as much fun. Next, we have the Chevy Cruze, Ford Focus, Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla and perhaps the Mazda3 on our lists.

Tioga Pass looking east (Yosemite is west of this point).

Friday, August 2, 2013: The photo at right was taken near the top of Tioga Pass looking east. Yosemite is on a few miles to the west of this point. Click the photo for a wider view of the road leading to this summit. What I did today wasn't worth a photograph so I've added this photo taken on a recent trip. Our morning began at White Horse coffee shop because we have nothing in the refrigerator and I have no creamer for coffee. On the way to Roseburg grocery shopping we stopped at the pet groomer and made an appointment for Morgan. Gwen found a discount coupon for JC Penney so we stopped at that department store where Gwen found some new clothes. Then a quick visit to Fred Meyer for some Oregon University decal which we did NOT find. Finally to the grocery store then on to Costco for a few more groceries. After returning to Sutherlin, I connected to our Alumascape and parked it in our storage area. Gwen finished the day playing a card game at the clubhouse while I worked on this Webpage.

Vegenaise, a replacement for Mayo

Sunday, July 14, 2013: This Vegenaise is one of the products we have switched to in our quest for a healthier daily menu. It's fortunate that we are not the only consumers looking for healthier food. Since there is a large, growing number of plant based, whole food consumers, the industry is taking notice and providing tasty alternatives.

We have begun preparing to leave Sutherlin with our Great Blue Heron Edition on Tuesday. That will mean intermittent reporting again on this Webpage.

Theresa is really happy with her breakfast at the Chapter 9 meeting, Behind: Helaine is recording the Chapter 9 breakfast in the clubhouse

Wednesday, July 10, 2013: The second Wednesday of the month is always a breakfast meeting for Escapee Chapter 9. Normally the breakfast is at Abby's Pizza in downtown Sutherlin but the group has grown so large during these summer months that we decided to have the breakfast in our clubhouse with Abby's catering. This morning was our first try at this new arrangement. The clubhouse was packed but the Abby's crew handled the crowd well. The menu was biscuits and gravy, eggs, bacon, sausage plus hash browns and juice. Everyone enjoyed the meeting and breakfast. Click the photo for another view.

Andy Murry seeking the Wimbledon championship, Behind: Andy serving.
Andy's interview after winning, Behind: The two champions
Sunday, July 7, 2013: History was made at Wimbledon when Andy Murray, a British tennis player won. The last British player winning the British Wimbledon tennis championship was 1936. It was fun watching all the excitement with the Britains watching the match. Gwen was up early and saw the whole match. I saw the second and third sets. Click the photos for additional views.

Morgan knows how to stay cool

Saturday, July 6, 2013: We've had a couple of cool days but the summer heat is returning. Morgan has learned how to stay cool with the fan in just the right position. Today has been a fun day. It began early with a bike ride with my friend Glen. The ride began at 6:30 am so we'd have most of the day to do other things. While I was riding, Gwen was watching Marion Bartoli(Italy) beat Sabine Lasicki(Germany) in the Wimbledon Ladies Final. Gwen hasn't been feeling well this week but good enough today to request breakfast at her favorite location, the White Horse Coffee Shop. After the fun start to the day, I did the laundry hanging the clothes on our clothes line rather than dry in the dryer, Gwen likes it that way. I'm also trying to solve the problem with the Weber barbeque. It works fine on a small disposable tank but not at all with a hose and larger tank. I've concluded the problem is the hose so I'm going to have one made special for the Weber. We ended the day with a Red Box movie (50¢) discount, "A Good Day to Die Hard" with Bruce Willis. I don't generally like violent movies but the "good guys" always win in the "Die Hard" movies.

Preparing for the Independence Day golf cart parade, Behind: It's a Timber Valley tradition
Morgan is ready for the parade, Behind: Dale and Morgan in Don and Irenes golf cart
Thursday, July 4, 2013: A tradition at Timber Valley on Independence Day is a parade of decorated golf carts. A golf cart is the mode of transportation at the RV park for traveling to the laundry room, club house, mail room and to visit friends so about half the lot holders own one. Don and Irene are away and loaned us their cart so Morgan and I decorated the cart and joined the parade. Click the photos for additional views. You can also see a short video of the parade from our cart, just click here.

My Dad and I hiking in the Olympic Rain Forest

Sunday, June 16, 2013: This Father's Day I'm remembering my Father. This photo was taken in1996 in the Olympic Rain Forest during a backpack trip with my sister (she's taking the photo). My Father hiked much of the way into the forest the first day with the two of us. This little frame, about 5" square, is made of Purple Heart and hanging in our "hallway". Later that evening it began to rain and set a new record for the most rain in a 24 hour period during the month of July. So my sister and I had to hike out of the rainforest in waist deep water. My father and mother "saved" us by providing a motorhome to take a hot shower, eat hot food and change into dry clothes. I 2011 I got to spend four months with my father. Visit those days. I miss my father.

Don't we have a lot of junk? Photo about an hour after opening.
An overview of the yard sale
Morgan benefits from the yard sale Left over's go to charity
Saturday, June 15, 2013: The big day has arrived. Most vendors were setting up at 6am for a 7am start time but buyers were arriving at 6:30am. The sale this year was larger than last year's sale. Last year we participated only as buyers. Because we got a lot of camping gear when we purchased the Alumascape, we decided to participate as buyers AND sellers this year. The top photo shows how much stuff we had to sell. Actually, that photo was taken about 8am so we had already sold some of the bigger items. Click that photo to see me at the table toward the end of the sale, we've sold about half what we brought. We offered "liquidation" prices as many of the other residents did the same. The next photo shows an overview of the vendors, click that photo for a panorama from above. Morgan benefited from the yard sale with a new toy and she got hundreds of pets from both buyers and sellers. Click Morgan's photo for a better view. Finally, at the end of the day we did NOT want to return most of the "junk" on our table to storage so we donated it to charity. MOST of the vendors donated their items too and the local Lion's Club picks up all the left-over's for charity. Behind the pickup loaded with charity donations shows two piles of items waiting to be transported to charity. We did not make much with our sale until I sold the mountain bike I purchased in 2005. I have been spending nearly all my cycling time on my road bike and simply do not want to transport the mountain bike as we travel. So it's gone. We will likely use the garage sale money to purchase a comfortable mattress for the Great Blue Heron so we don't have to transport our Cameo mattress to the Alumascape every time we want to travel. It's very heavy and difficult to move. Our yard sale was also successful for us in another way. We got rid of ALL junk from the purchase of the Alumascape and no longer need to take up storage with those items. There were LOTS of tired faces at 2pm!

Setting up for the Saturday Yard Sale
Staying in the shade
Friday, June 14, 2013: The veteran residents who have done this before know to get their selling spot early Friday morning (and some ... late Thursday night) to get the shady spots for the Saturday yard sale. I would guess thirty residents have set up tables to display their yard sale items. Gwen and I are ready to sell. We already made a few sales to some of the other vendors and I have made some purchases for my woodshop. Most of the vendors are highly motivated to get rid of their "junk" so the prices a low. We probably have a hundred items which are only a nickel. We don't plan to bring most of these items back to our shed, they go to a charity if not sold by the end of Saturday. Yes, there is a boat for sale too. Click the photos for other views.

Ready for the yard sale

Tuesday, June 11, 2013: The Bee problem continues, some have moved to the bee box but the main body still appears to be in the trailer. When Mike returns we will likely dispose of the bees. Meanwhile, we have a yard sale to prepare for. Timber Valley has an annual yard sale. We attended the sale last year as buyers. This year we will be buyers and sellers. We have a major amount of stuff removed from the Alumascape to sell (practically give away). I've already made a list of the items we need to purchase and hope someone in the park has exactly what we need. For example, I mowed the lawns again today. These lawns are on the side of a hill and very difficult to mow because footing is so difficult. I need golf shoes to maintain my footing so I'll be looking for size 9.5 golf shoes. I've found some at Goodwill and St. Vincent de Paul while visiting the coast but wrong size. We also have some nice things to sell. For Example, I can't use our 2000 watt inverter any longer so that's for sale. Several members in the park are offering RVs at the Yard Sale, I collected photos of the RVs today to include those photos on a Craig's List listing of the Yard Sale. Gwen put price stickers on all items and fixed a box of 5¢ items for small items. Such a deal!

Mike, a local beekeeper inspects our new guests Mike prepares a box with frames to invite the bees home while gassing them to encourage evacuation of the trailer. Sunday, June 9, 2013: The saga of our honey bee guests continues. The bees have decided our trailer is the ideal location for a new hive. We found Mike, a local bee keeper who came to investigate immediately. He brought a box with frames to encourage the bees to regroup in the box. Meanwhile he has gassed the area where the bees had chosen to make their new hive. The worker bees will have to convince the queen to move, once that happens, we hope it will be to the new box Mike has put in place. We'll leave this overnight hoping the queen moves into the box. Click the photo for more views.
Saturday, June 8, 2013: Arriving home today, I found a large swarm of honey bees just outside our dining area slide. Thousands of honey bees were landing on the bicycle seat and swarming the area. I jumped inside without letting any bees inside and took photos. Click the photos for more views. In about an hour they were gone. I hoped, off to some tree somewhere. Then I noticed they had all collected on my wheel well around a small opening caused from the securing tape separating from the underbelly cover. I'm afraid they have decided this is the perfect new home for the hive. The large cluster of bees got smaller as they all climbed inside the hole. Now, I'm assuming they have located the hive between the underbelly cover and the trailer floor. We'll have to become friends with a bee keeper if they are still there tomorrow. We are visited by a swarm of honey bees The honey bees have found an ideal location for the new hive
Our location in space 55 at Timber ValleyWednesday, May 29, 2013: I've been on call for jury service this entire month for Douglas County Courts. My juror number was 694 and so far the largest number called was 370. Tonight's recorded message to all May jurors was that "no jurors would be needed for the next two days, all May jurors are excused." Our fifth wheel Cameo and travel trailer Alumascape are both parked on our lot in Timber Valley. We just returned from our Oregon Coast trip yesterday and now have a long "to-do list" for the Alumascape. The travel trailer is allowed on our lot for only 48 hours without a special permit, so I'll get that permit tomorrow to make the repairs. We hadn't expected to need to heat the trailer on the coast but the weather was storming most of our trip. The furnace ran the batteries dead very quickly which meant running the generator continually. So I'm installing a propane heater which won't affect the battery. I'm also moving the solar charging system from the Cameo to the Alumascape, a major project. That will also move two of my Trojan T-125 batteries replacing the batteries which came with the trailer. All the rest of the items on the to-do list are minor compared to these projects. Of course next week is "finals" week for the college course I'm teaching so these next two weeks will be very busy. Click the photo for a panorama.
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