Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Simple Days

After several busy days running around Wenatchee, we spent the next couple days at home being lazy. Well, not quite lazy........just productive in a quiet way.

I did some laundry and cleaning, while Doug straightened up the car and took care of a couple projects. It felt good to take it easy and just let the days unfold. The temperature was hot, hot, hot, but in the evening the wind picked up and the breeze felt wonderful.

Doug barbequed hot dogs for a simple dinner, followed by a little tv and bed. Nice days.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Pizza Party

We enjoyed a third day of baseball with Jacob (lost again) and followed that with a pizza birthday party for Emma.

She had a few friends and lots of family to share her happy day with pizza, cake and many presents.

Emma has decided to stay six years old forever.

After the party, we spent a quiet evening on the river, watching the boaters and enjoying the pleasant warmth. We met our new neighbors, John and Linda H., who just came from visiting with some friends of ours. Small world! They are neat people and we hope to get to know them better before they leave.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Sunburns and Baseball

Ouch! We were expecting to watch Jacob play in one game at 10:45 in the morning. Surprise, surprise!!! There was another game at 3:15! The boys lost both games but gave it a valiant try.

We ran some errands and had lunch between the games then went back to the field for more fun in the sun. The temperature rose to over 90 degrees and there was only one tiny spot of shade. By the time we got back home, we were toast. Funny, all the time we spent in the desert in the sun and we never were burned. One day in Wenatchee and we are R..E..D.

Sure need to get some sunscreen before we head back tomorrow.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Baseball and Birthdays

Is there anything better than a little league baseball game on a warm, sunny afternoon? Sitting on the hot aluminum bleachers, watching the boys strut for the crowd in their new uniforms and the cheers from the parents at each pitch, run or hit? I can't think of a nicer way to spend the day.

Our young all-star, Jacob, played first base with a huge grin when things went well and obvious disappointment when they didn't. The Eastmont boys (our team) jumped out to an early lead but watched it slowly erased.

At Jacob's second at-bat, he took first base on a walk.

He then proceeded to steal second.

Then third.

And finally score on a steal at home plate. Oops, I just missed him sliding into the plate. (I never claimed to be a great photographer!)

Little League is such a bonding sport for a kid and his dad. Chad is assistant coach and obviously loves the sport as well as the kids. The final score left the Eastmont team behind, but we get to try it again tomorrow!

The special part of the day was wishing Emma a very happy sixth birthday! She may not be much of a baseball fan, but she sure enjoys visiting the snack bar, playing with the other little girls and reminding us to sing happy birthday to her. She graciously agreed to celebrating her birthday on Sunday after the baseball tournament.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Leaving Leavenworth

Leaving Leavenworth behind us, we arrived at Crescent Bar which is a recreation area on the Columbia River.

The park is an open area with a few shade trees and our site has a lovely view of the river.

Each site has a picnic table and a patch of grass, although most sites are only 30 amp power. The clubhouse has a nice bookswap library as well as games and sometimes meals.

But best of all, the sky is blue and the air is warm. We don't need the air conditioner, just open the windows and doors for lots of fresh air.

Doug finally unclogged the drain that has been driving us crazy. Because the drain hose is a flexible tube (due to the fact that the kitchen slides in and out of the coach), there is a 90 degree bend that the snake wouldn't curve around. So he ended up cutting the flexible hose to remove the blockage.

It's a very tight space to work in and of course, on the floor. Uncomfortable! But, with the correct fittings, Doug managed to splice the hose back together and I have water in the kitchen sink again. Yayyyyyy!!!!
My hero!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Drain, Drain, Go Away

I mentioned to Doug that the kitchen sink was draining slowly a couple of days ago and today, it quit draining completely. We tried the Drano route and that was totally ineffective.

So, the next option was to drive to Plain and buy a snake (drain auger). Doug worked and worked with it, to no avail. Then he went on the roof to try and use the snake down the vent. No luck there either.

Another trip to the store was now required, this time to Wenatchee to find the sealant for the vent on the roof and a longer snake.

Between Doug and myself, we managed to soak every towel and the floor and the cupboard and the counter trying to get to the clog. Finally, about 8pm, we gave up. I washed the dishes in the bathroom sink and we cleaned up the mess.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Stevens Pass

What a gorgeous drive we had today over Stevens Pass. It was drizzly and cold when we left Tall Chief, but by the time we got to the top of the pass there was blue sky and the mountains were perfect. Ten thousand shades of green!

Our destination was Leavenworth Thousand Trails. We expected it to be near Leavenworth and were surprised to find it located up in the hills about 15 miles from town.

This park is very rustic and our spot in the trees was lovely. In fact, I think we found the best site in the entire park. Totally surrounded by trees and quite long. Just perfect.

We have a wide open space behind the coach with a picnic table and fire pit. Doug raked the area and set up our chairs for a comfy gathering. Unfortunately, the mosquitos were fierce and drove us inside within minutes.

Bridgit, Chad and the kids drove up from Wenatchee to visit us within hours of our arrival. We had the best conversation followed by a do-it-yourself taco dinner with Jacob and Emma in and out, in and out. What a joy to have that much energy and excitement in our humble home.

Friday, June 19, 2009

We're Baaaaaack

Hi all!!! Sorry for the blogging disruption. We had a few personal problems that necessitated a hiatus from the blog. But, now we are going to continue our adventures and I will try to fill in the blanks for the couple of weeks that are missing.

We are back in Washington and have just spent the night at the Cummins repair shop. We know we are in Washington because it's raining and we know we are in a repair shop because the wallets are open!

The engine was running very noisy and the last week or so, we were losing power when going uphill. After a couple of hours in the engine compartment, the technician discovered that the exhaust manifold was warped and the gasket needed replacing. Then to top it all off, evidence of dirt was found in the turbo charger and that needs replacing! Ouch, ouch and ouch!

Of course, the turbo charger is not in stock which meant spending the night in the parking lot and running the generator.

Oh well, home is where we park it! About 10pm, the police arrived. Doug went to visit with them and they were doing some canine training in the parking lot. Doug explained that we would be spending the night and they promised to keep an eye on us. Nice. So, we slept comfortably and today we will finish the work and get the bill.

Life in the fast lane. (or parking lot)

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Family Brings Us Back

Today was spent with my dear aunt Rosena. She is the closest thing to a mom that I have now and I cherish every opportunity to spend time with her.

Her grandaughter Jessica is her "roommate" right now and what a help she has been. It appears to be a good situation for both of them.

We have discovered very quickly that if it weren't for our families, we would have absolutely no reason to return to Washington. Everything here is expensive, the weather is lousy most of the time and the taxes will kill you. But as long as the ones we love are here, we'll be back.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Tall Chief

Our time at Thunderbird has zipped past quickly. We have spent time visiting with family, cleaning out our storage unit as well as the mundane chores such as laundry, cleaning, shopping and taking care of business.

We pulled out of the park this morning with a stop at the sanitation station (dump site) at the top of our list. Unfortunately, the tanks were full and we couldn't empty our black and gray tanks. Not nice.

But the weather was pretty and it was a nice ride to our next stop in Fall City. The Tall Chief RV Resort is green and refreshing with large, private sites. And best of all, it's not busy. We expected the park to be full with summer upon us, but it's very quiet.

We settled for a 30 amp site where we could get satellite reception for the tv and none of the sites have sewer hookups. So, we'll be frugal with water again for a few days. At least we have large holding tanks so it's not much of a problem. Laundry is the only thing that's difficult without sewer.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

New Friends and Old

We have been having a nice stay at Thunderbird. Doug tried his hand at fishing on the "free fishing" day with no luck. And, we have been meeting some great people.

We even renewed our friendship with a couple we had met at Cedar Grove Shores in Smokey Point, Washington close to two years ago. Dick and Dot are avid gold hunters and gave us lots of tips for finding like-minded people and clubs. They have been fulltimers for many years with lots of advice to share.

We also met Sam and Pat who are new, almost fulltimers. They still have a homebase in Mukilteo but are planning on spending nine months a year in their coach in the southwest. Another neat couple!

It's nice knowing our paths will cross again in the future.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Silver Spurs and Thunderbird

Last night, we arrived after the park office had closed. The manager had left our park info and site number on the front door, so we parked ourselves and first thing this morning (10am) we walked to the office to settle up for the night.

I had forgotten to mention that we belong to Passport America and the bill came to $30. Yikes!! He quickly reduced it by half and we thanked him for our discount and packed up.

We knew it was going to be a long day, but we were determined to get to Monroe and the Thunderbird Thousand Trails park. After several stops at rest areas, we arrived about 4 pm. The back of our coach is just a few feet from the Skykomish River and we feel quite rustic. There is lots of grass and trees.

Friday, June 05, 2009

New Tires in Oregon

Our tires are shot! We've been babying them, trying to get back to Oregon where there is no sales tax. So today was the day.

We found a Les Schwab in Junction City that had six of the tires we wanted and had the time to install them. Nice people!

The tires were first siped which means they had some extra, little cuts made in the tread. This fancy machine did it quickly and accurately but the smell of the rubber was awful.

After the old tires were removed and inspected and tossed aside, the shiny, smelly new tires were installed. The whole process took about 3 1/2 hours and bucketloads of money. Fortunately, we knew this day was coming and had been saving for quite a while.

This little detour shot the day and our plans to heck. So instead of continuing north to Chehalis, we stopped in Silverton which is just east of Salem, Oregon.

Silver Spurs RV Park is a nice Passport America park with level sites and full hookups. Easy to get in and out of, it's perfect for just one night.

Tomorrow, we continue north to a Thousand Trails park in Monroe, Washington called Thunderbird. We enjoy being in the Thousand Trails system even though the parks are usually rustic in comparison with the expensive resorts. But, the price can't be beat and we like rustic.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

RV Drive-In

Have you ever been to a drive-in theater? In a motorhome? We have!

After a long drive, we stopped near Roseburg, Oregon at the Hi-Way Heaven RV Park. This charming park has been built on the grounds of an old fashion drive in theater. The speaker posts have been removed and trees have been planted to make it more inviting.

We were assigned site #88 looking out at the huge movie screen. Spiderman was planned for the evening with the radio tuned to a specific channel for the soundtrack. Unfortunately, a thunderstorm was on it's way and the show was cancelled due to lightning. Hopefully tomorrow night the weather will cooperate. The show must go on........

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Searching for Wipers

Now that we are heading back to rain country, we decided to replace the coach's windshield wipers. What should be an easy chore turned into a marathon. The wipers on our Alpine are longer than average. We checked truckstops and everywhere we could think. Finally, we found a smallish rv parts shop called Cousin Gary's and bingo! New wiper blades. They are shorter than the originals but do the job. Hopefully, we will find the correct ones somewhere along the line.

After that, we were pleased to find a Winco in Redding. They have the greatest bulk food section and the best prices, but are only found in Washington, Idaho, Nevada, California and Oregon. So, it's been a while since we shopped at one.

That finished our day just as the rain started. Good timing!

Monday, June 01, 2009

Engine Problems

We left Turtle Beach Resort and since we were close to 50,000 miles on the coach, Doug decided to stop at the first Cummins shop we saw. Well, just a few miles north in French Camp we spotted a sign and stopped. The service guy we dealt with was super nice and patient. We weren't sure if we were still under warranty, so he contacted Cummins to find out that no, we weren't.

Bummer! After listening to the coach idling and then revving, he determined that we have an exhaust manifold gasket leak. The engine makes a funny sound and it effects our mileage a little, but it's not dangerous. We will continue on and have it repaired when we get back to Washington.

That took a ton of time out of a long travel day! Still, we continued north on I-5 and after several rest stops, finally found Bear Mountain RV Resort 7 miles out of Redding, California. It's a small, peaceful, quiet park tucked in a valley with little phone reception and occasional internet.

The road into the park was quite steep, narrow and the curves were scary. But once we arrived at the front office, the owner was pleasant and we found the park to be equally pleasant. (If it only had better internet reception!!!)

We settled in and started laundry. Both hampers were full since we hadn't had sewer hookups in quite a while. What a treat to have clean clothes and long showers.