To Oregon and Beyond!

Day 1, Thursday, August 5, 2021, Home to Klamath Falls, Oregon via I-5, US97: 356 miles

I returned from my last adventure, To Denver and Beyond,  two months ago, on June 7th. Other than about a 45 mile round trip in July to our son Craig’s home for just one night, Big Blue had been home bound for two months – and so had I!

It was well past time to hit the road again, and so I made plans for a new adventure. I planned to spend at least two weeks on the road, and the trip would be as far north as I could make it. I planned to visit friends and family in Oregon along the drive. I thought driving through Montana, North Dakota, and perhaps into Minnesota, as I did last summer, would be worth repeating. The weather would likely be cooler, generally, through those states than  more southern states.

Having a powerful urge to scratch the itch to hit the road, I prepared Big Blue for the adventure over a prior few days, and she was as ready as I was to just be gone.

I loaded up the morning of Day 1, and a few minutes before 1100 hours, I pulled onto the infamous CA99 and headed north. The day was relatively mild by Central Valley standards, and I didn’t need the air conditioner for the first several hours.

The traffic was typical Kalifornistan – waaaay too many cars and waaaay too many bumps and bangs along the neglected I-5. I said a lot of bad words as the coach was bounced severely over the many patches and bumps.

I discovered a great work saver, although the discovery was unintentional: simply delete all the photos of the day! Yep, and then I didn’t have any photos to edit and post. And that’s just what I did. I still don’t know how I deleted all of them. I had already downloaded the photos from the camera, and edited just one. When I went back to edit the others, there were no more photos! I know it was me that lost them, and not the computer, as I am pretty sure that it is much smarter than I.

Without photos, there seemed little purpose is describing the many views of the day, so I won’t. Suffice it to say that I never saw Lake Shasta so low, and I’ve driven by it many times over many years. It was scary low! I drove through an awful lot of smoke from the wildfires that seemed to be trying to burn down the entire state. I saw several burned out sections of the forests of the north state and even some in Oregon. I had several photos of the old burns, with the emphasis on had.

I arrived at Klamath Falls, Oregon’s Walmart lot at 1800 hours. Once settled in I headed out to find a meal from the McDonald’s inside the store. But, contrary to my navigator, there was no McDonald’s. I saw a restaurant nearby whose name I don’t recall, but the name included teriyaki. So I tried there, but the cheapest teriyaki meal was around $14! I passed on that. Then I walked into a Subway and saw entirely too many people waiting in line.

I finally just headed back to the coach and zapped a frozen meal, keeping on my diet. For dessert I walked into Walmart and bought a pint of low calorie ice cream. And the calorie total for the day was  still within the limits of my diet!

I spent the evening writing this not-so-abbreviated description of the day’s travel. As mentioned in last August’s overnight stay at Klamath Falls, the F-15 fighter jets, rightly known as the Screaming Eagles which are stationed at the nearby Kingsley Field, roared mightily overhead from time to time. The sound was nearly deafening, and I hoped they’d knock it off overnight as they did back then. It seemed, as of 2230, that they did.

After posting this new travelogue, I poured a cool one and watched some You Tube silliness for a while. I headed for bed a few minutes after midnight. It was good to be back on the road!


Day 2, Friday, August 6, Klamath Falls, OR to La Pine, OR via US97: 114 miles

Parked at Klamath Falls Walmart on the morning of Day 2.

I slept well in K-Falls where it fell into the 40s overnight – and I’m not complaining. It was pleasant to feel a bit of coolness after weeks of never ending heat back home where, this time of year, our overnight lows are always in the 60s and sometimes low 70s.

It was a cool, robe wearing kind of morning. That’s quite a change this time of year for me.

After morning chores, I relaxed around the coach, and took a few photos which I would try not to delete. The place was nearly overrun with seagulls – they were hanging around the lot by the dozen, as they were the prior evening. Apparently they, too, know that a Walmart lot is a safe place to spend the night.My neighbors, the seagulls.

After updating this blog and enjoying my first coffee of the day, I headed into the store for some groceries. I was in the store the prior evening and was surprised that very few wore masks – mostly just the employees were so attired. Back home, nearly everyone was masked as required. It reminded me of June’s trip to Wisconsin where it seemed each state had different standards.

Back at the coach, I stashed the groceries. And then it was time to phone home and talk with my lovely wife.

As I was talking to my dear Lavonne on the phone, sitting in the driver’s seat, a fellow walked up to the side window and wanted to chat. It was a strange experience: He had a pickup and travel trailer parked fairly near me. He complained bitterly about the noisy Walmart employees who, he claimed, drove by his rig during the night blaring thumpy music just to bother him. I tried explaining that I was talking to my wife, and yet he kept yapping. I finally insisted that I talk to my wife, and he kindly returned to his rig.

I had seen him in the store chatting up at least two employees, but I didn’t pay any mind at the time. He had told me that he was complaining to them about the noise. He was mannerly, but very insistent about something being done.

Too much drama over not much!

A few minutes after the fella left me, a local cop rolled up near his rig, followed by a couple Walmart employees who chatted with the cop, then soon returned to the store.

The officer talked to the fella ’til I left – a period of about 45 minutes. During that time I prepared and ate breakfast, set up Big Blue for the day’s drive, and pulled out of the lot. I presumed the unhappy fella was sent packing, but maybe they’re still chatting!

It was a few minutes after 1000 hours that I continued my drive north on US97 to La Pine where I would spend some lovely time with my niece, Jill, and her hubby, Craig.

The day was perfect for a drive along one of my favorite roads. It was sunny and bright with calm winds. I drove a bypass around the town, across the Klamath River, and joined US97.

Crossing the Klamath River on a gorgeous day to be bummin’!

I was soon merging onto US97 north bound, along miles of good, smooth highway. I drove along Klamath Lake, enjoying the lovely sight of all that water that stretches out over 90,000 acres, most of which wasn’t visible from the highway.

Beautiful Klamath Lake along US97.

The drive was a bit more crowded than what I usually see in those parts. It was a lovely Friday when many folks begin their weekend treks. There are many passing lanes on US97 which makes it easy for others to pass slower vehicles such as Big Blue.

Beautiful Oregon.

I stopped at a rest area some 40 miles or so before arriving in La Pine. I had a bite to eat as I didn’t want to bother Jill with lunch. I worked a bit on editing photos and writing more travelogue.

There are a couple miles of gravel road to drive before reaching the kids’ couple acre spread. I enjoy that rural feel of the area.

I arrived at Jill and Craig’s Little Cabin in the Woods at 1330. I backed the coach, gingerly, through the trees to the spot I park for my visits. It was so good to greet both with a big hug, and begin a couple days of rest and visiting with them.

It wasn’t long ’til Jill and Craig passed margaritas all ’round and the fun began!

We began visiting on the back porch, then moved to the front porch as the sun took over the back. We caught up with each others happenings, but mostly with their busy lives as mine is usually very sedate, and I’m not complaining. I like sedate!

When dinner time rolled around, Jill served up soft chicken tacos, which were very good. She had prepared brownies, too, and we each had a couple during the visit. They were soooo rich and sweet! Then around 1930 hours, when I was ready to return to the coach for the night, Jill packed two more for me. I just couldn’t resist ’em.

Back at the coach, I worked through the evening chores, which is to say I showered, etc., and then settled in for the night. I edited photos and brought this blog up to date, as well.

It would be another cool night, down into the low 40s in La Pine. I have soaked in this cooler weather as there is so little of it this time of year. I planned to leave for Keizer, Oregon on Sunday where it would also be mild and comfortable for my visit.

After the blogging and editing were up to date, I watched more silly videos, and enjoyed my usual cool one. I headed for bed a few minutes before midnight. It had been another lovely day on the road and visiting family.


Day 3, Saturday, August 7, at rest in La Pine, Oregon

I was up at 0620, turned up the heaters and went back to bed a few minutes while the place warmed up – it was just 42° outside! Cool as it seemed, it was better then waking to 72° as we sometimes do back home – which means the day will heat up to the high 90s or 100s.

After morning chores, I shuffled a gazillion pills into the two pillboxes I use to organize them. Each is good for one week, so I have to do the sorting only every other week. It’s a chore most of us oldsters must deal with in our quest to keep body and soul together. Completion of all the sorting comes with a sense of accomplishment and hope. We hope we got ’em all sorted properly!

Yes, my life is made up of very small achievements.

Jill and Craig invited me to lunch around 1300 or so. Craig cooked a steak into bite size pieces that were done just right – rare and tasty. We also had salad and it was a good, rather light lunch.

They had a “disc golf” tournament in town that evening, and left in the afternoon for a few hours. I made myself at home in the coach, doing a bit of housecleaning and watching a movie DVD they loaned me.

Jill and Craig’s cozy and picturesque Cabin in the Woods. Lovely.

My cozy little cabin in the woods. At least ’til the next day when I’d head to Keizer, Oregon to visit my ol’ buddy Al and his wife, Betty. Here, Jill caught me working on my bug collection – a seemingly daily task in the summertime.

When Jill and Craig returned, I joined them in their cabin and visited maybe an hour or so as I enjoyed another of Jill’s wonderful margaritas. They really are splendid with terrific flavor. Instead of bar salt around the rim, she uses sugar with a bit of lime salt which is unusual and adds a lot to the drink.

A few minutes after 2100 hours, I bid them goodnight, and headed to the coach for the night. I spent the evening updating this blog and watching more silliness on YouTube. Along with the many funny videos, I enjoy watching the pet videos, especially of dog and cat rescues. Those videos are always heartwarming and tell of the good people who make abandoned or lost pets lives so much better.

I headed to bed around midnight after a very restful and pleasant day with Jill and Craig. Life is good aboard Big Blue!


Day 4, Sunday, La Pine, OR to Keizer, OR via US97, OR58, I-5: 182 miles

I was up and at ’em a bit after 0630. I planned to head to Keizer and spend a day or so with my old high school buddy, Al, and his wife, Betty. To that end, once morning chores were done, I set Big Blue up for the day’s drive.

Before leaving, I went into the cabin and visited with Jill and Craig for a while. I thanked them for the lovely visit, the great margaritas, and for the hospitality. It had been a very lovely visit, as always.

I pulled out of their place a few minutes before 0900 hours, and headed for US97 where I’d drive south toward Oregon’s Highway 58. That would take me down the Cascades to the Willamette Valley and I-5.

Heading south on US97.

It was Sunday morning with little traffic, the best morning of the week to drive. It was a very pleasant drive, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I drove just 17 miles when I came to Crescent Cutoff Road, which is a shortcut to OR58.

I parked on the shoulder just before the junction with OR58 to grab a bite to eat. I toasted three little, frozen waffles, peeled a mandarin orange, and called it breakfast. It was quick and easy. Then I turned west onto OR58 and headed down the mountains toward Eugene and I-5.

The traffic had increased quite a lot and stayed that way the rest of the drive. Naturally, along the curvy OR58, some pokey RVers really held up the flow, poking along and giving the rest of us RVers a bad name. The very least the jokers I poked along behind could have done was to pull over and let the mile of cars behind them pass. But, no; consideration for other drivers does not cross their minds.

OR58 is a beautiful, smooth drive. Here is a gallery of photos I took during the descent from US97 to the valley. After clicking, click on the ⓘ, then click on “View full size” for even larger photos. Click again for a huge photo.

When I reached I-5, I turned north and drove something over 70 miles to Al and Betty’s home in Keizer, Oregon. A few miles before I reached my destination, I pulled into a rest area and whipped up a chicken salad sandwich for lunch. I didn’t want Betty to worry about lunch for me. She’s plenty busy as it is.

Driving north on I-5, heading to Keizer, Oregon and a lovely visit .

It was good to hug Al and Betty when I arrived for my visit. Betty greeted me when I began to back into their driveway. Al always greeted me at the driveway and guided me in, but he’s suffering from pulmonary fibrosis, and is on oxygen 24/7. It’s really sad to see him in that condition, as he was an active guy before the illness.

Once I was parked, I joined Betty and Al in the house to begin our visit. Al was a track coach during his teaching years, so he was watching the Olympics on their last day of competition.

After a brief visit, I headed back to the coach and set her up for my two night stay. I returned in time for dinner, naturally, and Betty served up some delicious tacos. I had two, and they were more than my usual meals. For dessert, Betty served cheese cake, smothered in ice cream. That was certainly off my diet, but I surely enjoyed it.

Around 1930 I thanked them for their hospitality – especially for the night’s dessert, and headed to the coach for the night. My evening in the coach was about the same as the prior evenings. It seems that not much changes for me on these adventures except the locations!


Day 5, Monday, August 9, at rest in Keizer, OR with Al and Betty

I dawdled around in the motorhome ’til after 0900 hours. Al called a bit earlier to let me know they were up and around and I could come visit at anytime. After whipping up oatmeal for breakfast, I joined them in the house.

Al is pretty much confined to the house due to pulmonary fibrosis, which reduces greatly the efficiency of his lungs. He struggles to breath when he gets active, and he needs to take it very easy. As we visited, we watched some silliness on YouTube which he played on his big screen TV – a huge improvement over my little laptop. We watched some gospel singing as well, and I dug out my Merle Haggard DVD and we enjoyed that.

Big Blue in custody again, behind the chain link fence on Al and Betty’s driveway.

I returned to the coach from time to time to get my trip lined up for the next day. I made my route north and eastward as far from the Portland metro area as I could. I designated a good priced gas station on the Garmin navigator for a diesel fill up that would be my first stop of the day. I suppose all this could be called dawdling, too. I’m pretty good at dawdling.

The day was a restful one. I took my walk around the neighborhood. Betty fed me well, providing both lunch and dinner. I asked her not to worry about feeding me, as she has plenty to do, but she insisted that since she was making lunch and dinner for her and Al, I might as well be included. It was hard to fault her logic, and her cooking is much better than mine!

In the evening after dinner, we watched a movie from the collection of DVDs I keep on the coach. The Help, staring Emma Stone and Viola Davis, is a very good movie, and Al and Betty certainly enjoyed it. Of course, I had seen it several times, and I bid them goodnight and headed for the coach well before it was over. They understood; I would continue my Oregon and Beyond Adventure in the morning, and had to get some planning and work done for it.

My evening unfolded as usual, and I headed to bed at midnight. It had been a good day spent with some very good friends.


Day 6, Monday, August 10, Keizer, OR to Hermiston, OR via OR99E, I-205, I-84: 226 miles

My stay in Oregon had been pretty mild; I turned the heater on every morning while at Jill’s and at Al’s. The day’s high temps were in the 80s at the most, but things would warm up a bit as I drove the Beyond portions of my adventure. I would drive through the Columbia Gorge en route to Hermiston on Day 6. It was predicted to be in the low 90s at the day’s destination, and I’d likely be running the generator and air conditioners there. Similar weather conditions applied to much of the week ahead. But Montana and Minnesota, should I go that far, would be much milder than most areas of the country in August.

In preparation for the trip that morning, I readied Big Blue, then I was able to dump the tanks. Al and Betty have a sewer clean-out near the driveway where I park. A sewer cleanout is exactly the same as a RV dump, and so I dumped the holding tanks. It was good to continue the trip with empty holding tanks and a full water tank.

When I was ready to continue the Beyond portion of my trip, I went in and thanked Al and Betty for the lovely visit and the good eating. I bid them good-bye, and pulled out of their driveway at 0900 hours.

In the little town of Woodburn, Oregon, just 10 miles from Keizer, I pulled into a gas station and pumped 77 gallons into the 90 gallon fuel tank. The price there was as good as I could find online, at “just” $3.46 per. It took four swipes of my credit card as the pump stopped at each $75.

The drive took me north on I-205, somewhat near the Portland metro area. I was never in Portland, but the traffic sure was heavy and I worked my way through entirely too much slow and go traffic. When I finally reached I-84, it took me east along the (mostly) beautiful Columbia Gorge.

Along I-84 the traffic was lighter and I cruised along at my usual 58 MPH nearly the entire drive. I stopped in rest areas for breakfast and lunch, and whipped up my own meals. I had plans for a Panda Pig-out once I reached Hermiston, as there was a Panda very near Walmart. I was long overdue for Panda!

The Columbia Gorge was a very scenic drive. Click!

I arrived at the Hermiston, Oregon Walmart at 1520. It was very warm, in the low 90s, heading to a high of 96°, or so it was predicted. As soon as I arrived and set up for the night, I headed into the store and took my daily walk where it was cool and comfortable. I shopped for some items I needed, too.

Big Blue at rest for a very warm evening at Hermiston, Oregon. 

Back in the coach, I turned the generator and air conditioners on at once. It was a very warm afternoon and evening, and I ran the air conditioners ’til after 2130 to stay comfortable.

I enjoyed a wonderful Panda Pig-Out of Orange Chicken, Teriyaki Chicken, and rice smothered in teriyaki sauce. mmmmm. It was very satisfying. Later in the evening as I updated this blog, I waked into the store and bought a pint of ice cream for dessert. And the next day I’d have to get back on my diet!

It was 2200 hours when I finished updating the travelogue. I then dug out the movie, O Brother, Where Art Thou? and watched it for the umpteenth time. It’s good to be so easily entertained! I also enjoyed a cool one along with the movie.

I called it a day near midnight and headed for bed a few minutes later. It had been another good day on the road.


Day 7, August 11, Hermiston, OR to Missoula, MT via I-82, US395, I-90: 372 miles

I was up and around a bit after 0630, anxious to get back on the road again! I had a long drive planned, well… it was long by the current standards of this old man. I pulled out of the lot just an hour later, which was pretty good time.

Crossing the Columbia River as I began my day’s drive.

Soon after I left Hermiston, I crossed the Columbia River – twice, because it meanders east, south, then west. I drove northeast on US395 ’til it merged onto I-90, which crosses Idaho, then across Montana where I planned to spend the night in Missoula.

The area of Washington I drove through was between the Columbia River to the west, and the Snake River to the east. That area was bone dry and everything was the color of toast except those under irrigation. I don’t know where the water came from, but I assumed it was from one of those major rivers. There was quite a lot of irrigation (Click!):

 

As I entered Idaho, soon after driving through busy Spokane, WA, I was warmly greeted by a splashy Welcome to Idaho sign. Idaho is a lovely state, and has attracted a lot of Kalifornistan immigrants – likely to the chagrin of native Idahoans.

More to Click!

Lookout Pass, at 4710 feet, sits at the Idaho/Montana state line. As one reaches the summit eastbound, Montana extends their welcome. It’s a long descent from the summit; I was happy to have Big Blue’s engine brake available.

As I topped Lookout Pass, Montana welcomed me. (Click to enlarge; click again for even larger.)

The day was hot! I ran the dash air conditioner nearly all day, and fired up the house air each time I stopped to eat or dawdle. Once in Missoula I ran it most of the evening as it was 93° when I arrived at 1800 hours Mountain Time.

Descending into Montana from Lookout Pass. Montana in the summertime is a beautiful place to visit!

I continued along I-90 in Montana ’til I reached Missoula and the Walmart store. It was good to pull in at 1800 hours Mountain Time. Yep, I lost an hour as I crossed into Montana at Lookout Pass.

Once I had Big Blue set up for the night, I headed into the store expressly to buy some of that Stella Artois beer that our son, Allen, had introduced me to when we visited them in Denver. But there was none to be found, as they were out. I tried again later in the evening, but still none. It sure would have gone well with the hot evening I dealt with.

Big Blue set for the night at Missoula, Montana’s Walmart.

As part of the evening chores, I zapped a frozen meal for dinner, staying on my diet very well for the day. Then it was time to update this blog and edit photos, etc.

It was nearly 2200 hours when I finished blogging and settled back with a cool one and relaxed. I dug out another Coen brothers movie, Barton Fink, and watched about half of it. Again. It seemed to be a pretty strange plot to me. Again. But it was surely well done, and I would likely finish it the next evening.

I headed to bed around the usual time, and slept well. As usual.


Day 8, Thursday, August 12, Missoula, MT to Havre, MT via MT200, I-15, US87, US2: 272 miles

The first day of my second week on the road was a good one, as most are. I drove almost the entire day on two lane roads, in very remote parts of Montana. The weather was mild, the winds were generally calm, and I enjoyed the drive and the beauty that is Montana in the summertime.

The Walmart RV Park the morning of Day 8. Thank you, Mr. Sam!

I did deal with a warm fridge the prior day, and was fit to be tied after all the issues I’ve had in the past. I do believe that much of my angst is due to the electronic gauges that keep me informed of the temps. Prior coaches weren’t nearly so troublesome, but then I never knew the actual temps, and even in the 50s, the food seemed pretty cool. Now I know to the tenth of a degree just how it’s doing. And on Day 7, it reached a fraction of a degree short of 60°. I programmed in the “forget” code to clear any fault codes, and that seemed to work. This morning, and all of Day 8 so far, it’s worked just fine, with fridge temps in the low 40s and the freezer at about 0°.

The first order of the day was to pump on some diesel before leaving Missoula. I found just one station selling it for “just” $3.29 while everywhere else was in the mid $3.40s and more.

I drove across town to find the place pretty much filled with cars, and it took awhile to figure out how to get in and out. I did manage, and besides that hassle, I found the slowest pump in the west. It took me over half an hour to pump on 60 gallons.

Amazingly, the pump allowed me $200 worth before cutting me off. Most stations require additional swipes of the card after $75, and some go to $100. At any rate, the $200 allowed me 60 gallons, and while I could have pumped on another 8 or 10 gallons or so, I was out of patience with the slow pump. But I did get the lowest price in town!

The small, very crowded station with the slowest pump ever – but the lowest price in town.

Once under way, the beauty of Montana was on display much of the day, and I shot waaaay too many photos, as usual. I’ll let those that did make the cut tell the story because, as they say, a photo is worth a thousand words.

Click:

I reached the Continental Divide at over 5,600 feet, and found the drive down from that summit to be entertaining. Mostly, I was surprised that the landscape changed so drastically on the east side of the divide. It was barren by comparison!

More to Click!

I continued driving through the remote Montana I like so much – and the northern route I chose was all new to me. The barren hills and plains became farmland, and I saw countless miles of brown, dry, harvested fields. I think they were hay and/or grain crops. I saw miles and miles of both.

Here she is! The loneliest cow in all of Montana. Well… she probably would agree.

And then I came upon several miles of construction, and had to drive about four miles of bumpy dirt roads. Big Blue came through it fine, but with mud and dirt to show for the drive.

Uh-oh. This didn’t look good. Click to enlarge and read captions!

Here’s an example of the many miles of harvested fields I drove by.

I arrived at the Havre, MT Walmart a few minutes after 1600 hours. I was ready to be “home” and it felt good to settle in. Once I had Big Blue set up for the night, I headed into the store for my daily walk.

I planned to go way off my diet on Day 8, and I did so with unimaginable success. I stopped at a Mickey D’s in Great Falls, Montana for lunch, and ordered what is about my favorite sandwich, a McGriddle with sausage, egg, and cheese. It was my first in a long time, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. As I continued my drive, I enjoyed a McFlurry with Oreo cookies. I was in Fat City!

Those treats weren’t enough calories. After my walk around the store in Havre, I grabbed the six-pack of Stella Artois beer that I was deprived of the prior evening. The beer was intended to wash down a box of a favorite snack of mine, Crunch ‘n Munch. They’re much like Cracker Jacks, but even better. Worst of all, the beer and Crunchies were my dinner! And so it was, and I’m not going to let myself take a guilt trip over my transgressions. Nope. I hadn’t had any of either in months, and according to my sense of justice, I was due!

Good grief! The guy has no remorse at all! And it was delicious. Note the bowl holding the Crunchies, complete with a spoon to make it a nice and tidy pig-out.

A few minutes after 2200 hours Mountain Time, it was time to finish the Barton Fink movie. But I got sidetracked watching more silly videos. I do find YouTube to be pretty habit forming.

A few minutes before midnight I gave up and headed to bed. It had been a good day for me, if not my diet. I promised myself to do better the next day.


Day 9, Friday, August 13, Havre, MT to Williston, ND via US2: 303 miles

The new day dawned very sunny and pleasant, and I was hankering to hit the road for North Dakota. The plan was to drive clear across Montana on US2, a farm highway if ever there was one. But first things first…

I had a bug collection that had to be dealt with if I wanted to see much through the mammoth windshields. It was quite a job to get them spotless, as I like them. And I had to run into the store for some breakfast sandwiches. I was growing tired of only frozen waffles or oatmeal for breakfast. After those jobs and the usual morning chores, I pulled out of Havre’s Walmart at 0830.

Then, I needed to pump on more diesel before leaving town. I had the misfortune of pulling into a station that advertised the stuff at $3.30, but the pump sold it for $3.35 – and there was no price difference between cash and credit, as many stations have. It was an Exxon station, and I’m sure it was an honest mistake. I was sure that someone was sleeping on the job for that to happen.

Note the diesel price on the sign; on the pump it was $3.35. Not a big deal, but someone didn’t finish their job. It was not a cash vs. credit price difference, but a higher price than advertised. That was a first for me.

When I stopped at a wide spot in the road for breakfast, I noticed a flock of sheep off in the distance. I took my camera and went outside to get a shot of them, and of Big Blue. To my surprise, a big, friendly Great Pyrenees came up to me to say hello. He seemed very happy to see someone, and was a very loving dog. Then it dawned on me that he was likely from the field where the sheep were, and he just wanted to say hello. To me, that was quite an experience because I’ve seen a documentary or two about that breed and how they are used to protect flocks of sheep.

Click!

The entire drive was through farmland and small towns, and I was delighted to be driving through it. The day was very pleasant, although the afternoon was a bit warm for me, and I ran the dash air when necessary.

This photo very well represents the first portion of my drive; I saw lots of green and growing crops and pasture land.

The lack of traffic was an added pleasure. I had the lonely US2 nearly to myself all day – note the photos’ empty highway scenes. I was so far north that I even saw a sign for a Canadian entry station.

This sign was at one of the many historic markers that are along Montana’s roadsides. Yes, it sent me to the dictionary where I learned what obsequies means. Go ahead; click the link and also learn how it’s pronounced.

Much of the scenery, especially toward the end of the day’s drive, consisted of acres and acres of brown, harvested fields as far as the eye could see.

More to click:

I stopped again somewhere along the drive and ate lunch aboard the coach. I warmed up a low-cal can of soup along with a few crackers and a couple little mandarin oranges. I’d promised myself to make up for the prior night’s pig-out. It was awful, and I had to do better – and I did. When I eat my own cooking, it’s not hard to keep my calorie count low. Usually.

I like trains. Just click to enlarge.

I was a bit surprised by how modern and attractive the small towns were as I drove through them. The smallest ones, generally, looked pretty impoverished, but the larger ones appeared to be very up to date.

I recently got hearing aids, which, of course, were actually for my dear wife. Since I have used them, she no longer has to listen to my endless Huh? and What? nonsense. During the trip I learned to pair the hearing aids with both the Alexa smart speaker and my laptop computer. Now I hear the music or talk from Alexa much better when I drive as the coach is pretty loud sometimes. In the evenings, as I watched movies, etc., on the laptop, I hear them much better directly through the hearing aids.

Click!

I pulled into the Williston, North Dakota Walmart lot a bit after 1700 hours. I lost another hour as I crossed the state line into North Dakota, and was then in the Central Time Zone.

After setting Big Blue up for the night, I headed into the store for my daily walk around the place. I also bought a few groceries. Back at the coach, the evening unfolded as usual. After editing all the photos that made the cut, I wrote of the day’s happenings and finally posted it all to the internet.

I relaxed watching more of Barton Fink, the Coen Brothers movie which, like all Coen films, was pretty interesting. But it was getting late, and as I enjoyed my cool one, I kept dozing off. I headed for bed about midnight, and slept very well.


Day 10, Saturday, August 10, Williston, ND to Crookston, MN via US2: 356 miles

I was up and about at my usual 0630, and ready to get the show on the road! It would be a longer drive than I prefer in my old age, but I wanted to reach Minnesota. Then, the next day, I’d begin the trek back home.

I worked through the morning chores, did a bit of housekeeping, then prepared Big Blue for the last day of  driving east. I pulled out of the Williston, ND Walmart lot at 0900 hours.

This photo could represent the entire day’s drive. It was nearly all farming country with very little traffic along US2 the entire day.

Much of US2 was four lanes, with a broad median between the eastbound and westbound lanes. I was a bit perplexed by the expense of all that roadway for so few cars and trucks. But I certainly wouldn’t complain; the traffic didn’t have to pass me in the oncoming lane all day, and that was a good thing.

US2 through North Dakota sees very little traffic, yet much of it is this splendid four lane highway. Perhaps there’s a military purpose. Check out that heavy traffic!

I was a bit surprised about all the oil wells. I realize that North Dakota has quite an oil industry, but I did not expect to see so many wells.

Click:

As much as I enjoyed the day’s drive and all the solitude, I couldn’t imagine living in North Dakota – or any such northern state – due to the very hard winters. I’m thankful that I can take my many trips through such country when the weather is suited to a sissy from Kalifornistan!

Wheat seemed to be king in North Dakota, but a check of their largest crops showed wheat third behind soybeans and corn. But for the crops I saw along US2, wheat was the most common.

Click!

The weather was warm – hot! – in the high 80s to low 90s, and I ran the dash air nearly all day. I didn’t expect anything different, after all, it was my choice to take a long road trip in August!

I had to dump the holding tanks and add water before I arrived in Crookston. In the small town of Rugby, I stopped for lunch. As I began to leave, I drove around a gas station and discovered a RV dump! I asked what they charged, and the clerk said he didn’t know they had one. So he called his boss and was was told it’s free. I couldn’t argue that price! So that chore was soon done. But – they had such little water pressure that it would have taken hours to fill the fresh tank. I would add water later.

I continued the drive, and pulled into a large gas station, just to drive around it looking for a spigot. There was one at the back of the building, so I pulled up, dug out my hose, and filled up without asking anyone. It was meant for radiators, as an air hose was nearby, so I just figured it was free. When my tank was full, I just drove on. I don’t believe anyone even noticed me.

It was a long drive, and I was happy to finally reach the Crookston, MN Walmart a few minutes before 1800 hours. The town is very small, about 8,000 souls, and the Walmart was a smaller than usual store. I parked at the far end of the big lot, and set up the coach for the night. It was good to be “home” again.

I took my walk inside the store where it was cool. Once back at the coach I could think of nothing but a refreshing cold beer – and I just had to have one. Or maybe six. I walked back into the store and bought a six-pack of Corona bottles. The two beers I downed were so satisfying! The little Walmart had the smallest display of beer I’d ever seen in a Walmart, and they had no Stella Artois, which I would have preferred. Corona was a good substitute.

Happy in Crookston with a cold beer! The clock behind me is the one I keep on home time; it was 7:05 in Minnesota.

Back at the coach I worked through the the evening chores such as a shower and zapping a frozen dinner. The evening unfolded as usual, and I ran the air conditioner for quite a while. I called it a day near midnight and headed for bed. I would head for home in the morning!


Day 11, Sunday, August 15, Crookston, MN to Bismarck, ND via US75, MN200, ND18, I-94: 257 miles

When I climbed out  of bed at 0620, I was greeted with a very windy Minnesota morning. I didn’t realize how windy ’til I stepped outside the first time. But I had a number of things to do, and I set about doing them.

After morning chores, I tackled the big windshield cleaning job. Farmland is also bugland. The front of the coach other than the windshields that get cleaned every morning seemed more bug colored than blue. If I could find a wand carwash during my travels with room for Big Blue, I’d give her a quick wash. She was looking too well traveled.

I left Walmart and headed directly to a nearby Casey’s gas station, which is a large chain in the central states. I found online that their diesel price was $3.00 per gallon, the cheapest I’d seen the entire trip. Fortunately, I was down to just 10 gallons, so was able to pump on 80 gallons at that “good” price. Again, with memories of 25¢ diesel back in my truckin’ days, I’m not much impressed with today’s low prices. Still, I was very pleased to find Casey’s price when I needed a bunch of it.

Pumping on 80 gallons of fuel at the best price so far this trip – and it was doubtful that I’d find any that cheap again the rest of the trip.

Once the tank was full, I headed toward Bismarck, ND as that was the day’s destination. It would be almost 100 fewer miles than the prior day’s drive, and I wanted fewer. I would also begin to limit my drives to about 250 miles or so a day.

I drove the two lane highways for something over a hundred miles, then merged onto I-94 which I’d stay on for perhaps the next couple of days. As mentioned before, driving through these lightly populated states on an interstate is rural driving, and nothing like the hassles of driving most anywhere in Kalifornistan.

While still on the two lane rural roads, I pulled into a gas station and convenience store in the very small town of Climax, Minnesota. It seemed that the store was closed. It was. A fella and his wife drove up to me as I walked back to the coach. He told me the place was looking for a new owner, so I surmised it had gone broke. I had a lovely conversation with them, and learned that he was a third generation farmer on the land he grew up on. What a blessing that would be! He and his lovely wife were driving home from church when they pulled up to talk to me. Now, those are the kind of folks that add to the pleasure I find just driving around farming country.

Parked in the lot of a closed gas station/convenience store for breakfast.

After bidding the good folks good-bye, I toasted myself a couple of frozen waffles, added a bit of sugar-free syrup, and peeled a couple little mandarins for breakfast. And I continued the drive toward home.

Click for some of the day’s scenery:

The drive was a very hot and windy one. It blew literally the entire day, and into the evening after arriving in Bismarck, North Dakota. I grew weary fighting the wheel to keep from being blown off the road. My fuel mileage took a hit, too.

Along I-94 I pulled into a rest area for lunch. I zapped a corn-on-the-cob and made a sandwich. I had to run the house air conditioner the entire time I was parked. It was well into the 90s there, and Bismarck was to reach 102°. It was like living in a hair dryer – hot and blowy all day! But I’m the one who chose to drive around the country in August, so I shouldn’t complain at all.

While there, I dawdled for some time editing photos and checking some ‘net sites such as my daily comics. I was again killing time so as to arrive at Bismarck later and perhaps miss some of the heat.

Parked for lunch at an I-94 rest area. Not a single truck was there as I took the photo – even for a Sunday that seemed strange.

I continued my drive after killing well over an hour at the rest area. I arrived at one of three Walmart stores in Bismarck at almost 1800 hours Central Time. After my daily walk in the store, and buying some ice to help out the overworked fridge, I returned to the coach and turned on both house air conditioners. And then I broke out a couple Corona beers and thoroughly enjoyed them.

Big Blue on the hot asphalt lot, kept me cool and comfy – so long as I stayed inside. She does take good care of me.

It was awful hot, but the coach began cooling down nicely. As I wrote this at 2210, I still had the air conditioners running and it was still hot outside. Ugh. But again… it was my choice to be here!

After a good shower, I zapped a frozen meal for dinner. And it was time to update this blog, which I enjoy doing each evening. I struggled with my conscience about buying a pint of ice cream, and on a night as hot as it was, the ice cream won.

My evening aboard the coach was pretty much as usual – and sometime before 2300, I was able to turn off the air conditioning and the generator. Open windows kept me reasonably comfy. The windows stayed open all night long for the first time I could recall. Fortunately, it was a very quiet area. I headed to bed about midnight and slept very well.


Day 12, Monday, August 16, Bismarck, ND to Miles City, MT via I-97: 269 miles

The cool of the morning was very pleasant, but the day’s high temps would be above the century mark wherever I landed for the night. There was no morning sunshine due to the haze of smoke covering the skies. The sun showed as a red ball rising in the east. I hoped the haze, predicted also in Miles City, and likely all along the drive, would help keep the temps down. Miles City would be a good drive of about 270 miles, and that would be the day’s destination.

I enjoyed doing the morning chores with temps about 70°. As usual lately, I scrubbed the buggy windshields. I checked the big engine’s oil and water levels. I checked the little Onan generator diesel’s levels, too. All was well. The generator was having a good workout this trip. It’s rated at 7500 watts and provides 50 amps to the coach – enough to run just about everything at once.

Once the chores were done, I brought this blog up to date. I wanted to dawdle away the morning to delay my start while it was cool so as to arrive at Miles City as late as possible.

But as I’ve learned the past couple of very hot days, it doesn’t matter how late I pull into my destination, it just isn’t going to be cool enough to not run the air conditioners. Even the stops for lunch the prior two days had required the air conditioner.

I left Bismarck at 1030, which was a late start. Even with my dawdling, I had a very hot day ahead. And added to the heat was lots of smoke. Cities that I drove through, as well as my destination, were rated as unhealthy air on the weather sites. And added to the heat and smoke was an increasing headwind much of the drive. The fuel mileage suffered, again, as a result.

The photos of the day were difficult to edit as they had a dingy pall of smoke hanging over everything. Not that I had to mention that to those readers who like to check out the photos – the strange appearance will be readily apparent. But…

…go ahead and click anyway!

I crossed into the Central Time Zone at the state line of North Dakota as I drove east a few days ago on the more northern US2. But I passed into the Mountain Time Zone well before the Montana/North Dakota state line as I traveled west on the more southern I-94. Strange. So I checked a time zone map and found that a drunk must have drawn the line – it makes no sense to a casual observer. Check it out.

Click on a few more photos of the day’s drive:

Apparently the heat and the smoke and the wind wasn’t enough adversity for one day. At one point I noticed the fridge flashing the “NOFL” code which meant no flame. A small propane flame powers the fridge when not on electricity. What?! Why?! And I noticed water on the kitchen floor! I stepped outside to the access to the back of the fridge – where I discovered water dripping there, too!

Cartoon Of Plumber Fixing Leaky Pipe Royalty Free Cliparts, Vectors, And Stock Illustration. Image 20413506.

I simply turned off the electric water pump to stop the flow, and continued on to Miles City before I began the repair.

Parked in the very hot Walmart lot in Miles City, Montana. And it was time to get busy!

I arrived at Miles City, Montana’s Walmart about 1630. It was 100°! I had the pleasure of tackling the leak in that heat! It took awhile, but I discovered a small hose that runs to the ice maker which we never use, had been laid up against the flame box. I’m sure it was done when the coach was built. Over the years, I surmised, the heat weakened the hose, and it finally popped a leak. I was able to place a small piece of EternaBond around it, and secure it with three very tight nylon zip ties. I believed that I repaired it, but water would continue to drain from all the soaked areas behind and below the fridge. I crossed my fingers that it would dry and the seeping water would stop by morning.

The repair; note the lower center are three zip ties wrapped around a small hose. That thingy to the left of the ties was my feeble attempt to keep the hose off that hot flame box (behind the repair). It worked!

After all that hassle, I was about beat. Still, I took my daily walk in the store, and bought a few items I needed. Back at the coach I tackled the evening chores, including a good shower. I didn’t  know how much water I’d lost due to that leak, but hoped I’d be able to finish the shower. I did.

After a late dinner, I began this blog update. When I was up to date, I watched some silliness on YouTube. I headed to bed at midnight, as usual, and slept well.


Day 13, Tuesday, August 17, Miles City, MT to Bozeman, MT via I-94, I-90: 287 miles

My day began, as usual, at about 0630, when I awoke  and greeted the new day. I worked through the morning chores and prepared the coach for the day’s drive to Bozeman, Montana.

Before leaving, I needed to buy a few groceries. One of many benefits of Wally Docking, or staying at Walmarts, is the immediate availability of just about anything one needs while traveling. Most stores even have a RV section for things one may need for a RV.

Back at the coach, I stowed the groceries, then cleaned the windshields as I’ve had to every morning of late. Bugs die by the thousands as they crash into the Big Blue’s massive windshields.

Once on the road, I discovered that I couldn’t take photos because the memory card had been set to “Write Protected”. What?! I hadn’t done a thing to the card, so far as I knew. When I pulled over for breakfast, I believe it was, I went online to find what that meant. I was surprised that the card had a little slide that one can move to protect the card from further use, something I’d never heard of before. I read that I could move the little tab to make it usable again, but when I did, it broke. The little card had been in use for years, in both my present camera and the one prior. It had served me well.

For the first 150 miles, before I got to Laurel, Montana’s Walmart, I couldn’t take a photo. For me, that was a big handicap. I must have inadvertently moved the little slide and made the card “Write Protected”. Once at Laurel, Montana’s Walmart, I purchased a new memory card for something less than eight bucks, and was back in the photo business again. It was a 32 GB card that replaced the 8 GB card that broke – they didn’t even have the old 8 GB cards available. 

While at the Laurel Walmart, I made lunch in the coach. It was so smoky in the area that I removed my sunglasses to use my regular glasses. The smoke had gotten very bad. And I continued the drive.

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When I reached the outskirts of Billings, Montana, I pulled into the Casey’s Corner station to dump my holding tanks and fill up with fresh water. Afterwards, I went into the store to pay, and was told there was no charge – it was free! In my years of RVing, that – and the prior free dump – were firsts for me! And I continued my drive through smoky Montana.

As I drew near to my destination of Bozeman, the weather seemed to deteriorate, becoming windy and cooler. I even drove through a light rain for a while, although not enough to turn on the wipers. When I pulled into Bozeman’s Walmart store, it was just 68°! What a change from the near 90° weather I’d been driving through.

When I settled in at Bozeman’s Walmart lot at 1715, I headed into the store for my daily walk, and for a six-pack of Stella Artois. I rarely drink beer in my old age, but it seemed I was  picking up an old habit. I settled in for the night and enjoyed too many beers as I updated this blog.

Big Blue at Bozeman, Montana’s Walmart for the night.

As the evening wore on, and darkness fell, I continued my update of this blog. The temperature outside fell into the 50s, and for the first time in many months, I wore a robe during the evening. Rain was predicted, but as of 2100 hours, there had been none – but I was hoping for a good, hard rain, something I never see these days back home.

After the update was done, I watched some silliness on YouTube ’til it was time to call it a day. I slept well, and during the early morning hours I could hear that I was finally getting my rain – it was a very soothing sound, somehow, as I listened to the raindrops fall onto the coach.


Day 14, Wednesday, August 18, Bozeman, MT to Burley, ID via US191, MT87, US20, I-15, I-86: 328 miles

I awoke to a wet and rainy morning, and that’s not a complaint! We haven’t seen a decent rainy day in months at home where we were dealing with a serious drought.

It was a cold and rainy start to the day. I was happy to have a change from the recent warm temps.

I got after the morning chores at once, and prepared to begin the day’s drive. I planned to drive to Burley, Idaho, about 320 miles south. I would top off the fuel tank before leaving Bozeman, as the prices just go higher the farther west one drives.

After filling up at the outskirts of town, I began the days drive in the rain. It was refreshing, actually, to deal with the rain. It had been a long, long time since I’d seen rain.

I stopped for breakfast at a rest area sometime after 0900 hours. That was when my day went downhill in a hurry. As I stood up from the drivers seat, I noticed a fresh crack in the windshield. A small chip had been made a day or two before, and a very small one it was – not a spider sort of crack. That would be in the neighborhood of $1000 to have replaced!

That wasn’t enough catastrophe for my breakfast stop. I began to make oatmeal, and when I started the generator, it blew heavy blue smoke out of the exhaust pipe! I shut it down at once, and was shocked at my bad fortune of two repairs that would need doing – and the generator would likely be even more than the cost of the window! There would be a lot of labor just getting the generator out of the coach, and then removing the three cylinder, Kubota engine. Woe is me!

So those two items, made manifest within no more than 10 minutes of each other, pretty much ruined my day. The window could be put off, but not the generator. It is an Onan 7500 watt that is housed in a box that muffles the diesel engine’s noise. I called the diesel shop near home, and they said they could repair it. At least I got the repair lined up.

That breakfast stopp cast a pall over my entire day. It was kinda hard to enjoy the drive and the sights when I knew I had thou$and$ of dollar$ in repairs ahead of me.

In spite of those huge disappointments, I did enjoy the day’s drive. Montana and Idaho are beautiful states. I’ll simply present a gallery of the day’s photos here.

Just Click:

The day’s weather was a huge change compared to most days of the trip. I drove with the heater on most of the day, and wore my sweatshirt virtually all day long. At 1500 hours, driving down I-86, it was just a bit over 50°. When I climbed the mountains earlier, to something over 6,000 feet, it was just 40° – and it was the middle of August!

I was a bit subdued during the day’s drive, knowing what lay in store when I arrived back home. Along with the day’s catastrophes, I still had that leak that I hoped I’d repaired. It seemed to leak from under the fridge, and the furnace is there. For the rest of this trip I would just keep the water pump turned off except when I needed water. (Once home, I removed a couple of big kitchen drawers to access the junction that supplied the ice maker hose. Once I reached it, I simply capped the little reducer that supplied the the hose to the ice maker. End of leak!)

I was limping home with a motor home that seemed to be falling apart! I’ve often said that with a motorhome, it’s always something! But three somethings at once just seemed a bit over the top!

My evening unfolded as usual. I pulled out that great movie, The Proposal, staring Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds, and enjoyed the hour or so I watched it as much as ever. I just love the funny plot and how it all turned out.

I called it a day and was in bed at midnight. It had not been my best day.


Day 15, Thursday, August 19, Burley, ID to Winnemucca, NV via I-84, US93, I-80: 328 miles

My day began about 0630, as usual, and I was trying to improve my outlook. I still was a bit bummed about the generator, the cracked windshield, and the %&#*!! leak I couldn’t find. But there was nothing there that wouldn’t be fixed and all would be well. Perspective is very important!

Big Blue at Burley, Idaho’s Walmart store, ready for the day’s adventure.

I was tempted by a Mickey D’s just across the street from where I had parked for the night. I was hankering for a good breakfast sandwich. So I walked over and discovered they had breakfast sandwiches on special – buy one and buy a second one for just $1. What a deal! I bought two McMuffins with sausage, egg, and cheese as I just can’t pass up a bargain. And they had those wonderful Strawberry and Crème Pies, too. So I ordered one of them. Back at the coach I enjoyed an awful pig-out that would last me all day. I didn’t eat a thing ’til dinner when I had two slices of 45 calorie bread with sugar free jam. And a banana. And my day’s calorie count was within my limit, so I think I got away with that pig-out!

The day’s drive was through Idaho, heading south on US93 toward Winnemucca, Nevada where I planned to spend the night. I enjoyed the farm scenery through Idaho where the Snake River provides the water to grow the crops. Irrigation is a big deal there, where the arid nature of the place would not permit farming without it. Fortunately, the Snake River provides a lot of water.

Click!

I entered Nevada at the gambling town of Jackpot, Nevada, on the Idaho state line. There were several casinos, and the place was properly placed to attract Idaho gamblers. I often wonder if those who frequent casinos consider who pays for those massive buildings, huge payrolls, and profitability. Gamblers fund most every dime… by losing!

More to Click:

When I reached I-80, I turned west and had about 175 miles to drive to Winnemucca. I stopped at the Shell station in Battle Mountain, Nevada to fuel up. Their price was $3.80 per, the highest of the trip, but lower than most stations this far west. At home, diesel was selling for up to $4.30 per. I was pleased to read that crude oil had dropped pretty well the prior couple of days.

While at the Shell station, I asked if I could load on some water as they had a hose for fresh water. They didn’t mind a bit, so I loaded up a fair amount into the fresh water tank. Due to the leak, I wasn’t so sure I had enough on board for the evening’s shower.

I arrived at the Winnemucca Walmart about 1530 and was pleased to be “home” once again. Once set up for the night, I walked into the store for my daily walk. I had no intention to buy another six-pack of Stella Artois beer, but there it was on their cooler shelf! So I bought one and enjoyed a couple very cold ones before dinner. And I’d have four left over when I arrived home the next day.

Yessss! I planned to be home the next day, Friday, arriving a day or so earlier than planned due to the generator and water issues. I was ready to be home! Day 16 would be two days into my third week on the road, and that was enough time for one adventure.

I updated this blog by 2030 hours, and had the rest of the evening to relax. My evening unfolded as usual aboard Big Blue. I did, however, hit the sack an hour earlier, at 2300 hours. I would be up and at ’em one hour earlier to get an early start for home!


Day 16, Friday, August 20, Winnemucca, NV to Home via I-80, US95, US50, US395, CA88, CA99: 352 miles

I was up early, as planned, to begin the final day of my RV adventure. It was good to hit the road so early – at 0615! I made the decision to drive CA88 over Carson Pass just to avoid most of the valley traffic I’d face otherwise. As long and twisty as that two lane route is, I preferred it to I-80 through the craziness of Sacramento on a Friday afternoon.The view from the Winnemucca Walmart lot as I pulled out and headed for home.

Choosing to drive Carson Pass home meant the driving would be a handful. Highway 88 climbs to over 8500 feet, and is, indeed, a very curvy and seemingly endless climb to the summit, and then a long descent into the valley I call home.

More Click Fun:

The drive over Carson Pass is a beautiful drive among high forests of endless conifer trees. Near the pass are Caples Lake, Kirkwood Lake, Silver Lake, and Red Lake – and perhaps more. There are some very scenic views along the drive.

Once over the pass, and back down in the valley, the view was one of absolutely parched fields all along the heavily trafficked, two lane, CA88. It was, in a word, ugly. The drought is very serious, and if we have another dry winter, I am fearful of the consequences.

I arrived home at 1445. That was earlier than I had figured, but the early start and perhaps lighter traffic over CA88 likely helped. I had time to completely unload my stuff from the coach, and get it properly put away in the house.

Back home and inside our  senior gated community. Our lovely, quiet place is nicely hidden from the busy, parched Sacramento Valley.

Big Blue was as dirty as I’d ever seen her. She badly needed a bath, and she’d get one soon after I rested a full day. I didn’t bother dumping the holding tanks, but rather just backed her under her cover in the community RV lot.

I’d like to say she ran like a top, and her running gear did. But that mysterious water leak, the broken generator, and the cracked windshield would all have to be repaired. And they would be before our next trip which is planned for Colorado the end of September.


Epilogue:

The Oregon and Beyond adventure took me as far as Minnesota. Big Blue added 4002 miles to her odometer, and according to the trip computer, she averaged 8.4 MPG.

The trip lasted 16 days, and every night was spent at a Walmart except four, which were spent at friend’s and relative’s homes. It seems that I got the itch to travel the back roads scratched good and proper, and the itch should be relieved now, at least for a month.

As mentioned above, our next trip will be the end of September. We’ll drive to Denver to visit our son, Allen, and wife, Nancy, for a weekend or so. We always have a wonderful time with them.

2018-5-22cb fully-covered-at-last

No matter where you may roam, the best part is coming home. Amen. And Big Blue agrees!


Here is the link to a Google Map representing the drive. I cannot imbed the map for some reason, as it will not reproduce properly. But this link does.

About FishWisher

Over the years I have posted many exciting fishing and boating stories here, but now in my seventies, it was time to sell the boat and find less demanding pastimes. All the fishing stories are still here! I will now post my travels aboard the motorhome and other activities. I hope y'all will still enjoy the fishing and boating adventures and perhaps peek in on my post-boating activities on occasion. Thanks for dropping in and I hope you enjoy your visit.
This entry was posted in Travel: Interstate Adventure!, Travel: Oregon. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to To Oregon and Beyond!

  1. crash3289/Sandy Aerts says:

    Hey Dale, Hi!

    I’m glad to hear you finally got hearing aids. I know a couple men who got them and after one day, threw them on the table and never wore them again, and they were FREE from the VA. Jim got his there and it took him about a week to get used to them. I know he needs them tuned up but it’ll be awhile b/4 that happens. I’m STILL talking loud even when he’s wearing them! If ever you’re in a noisy place, which I doubt you’d be, the background noise is what makes Jim simply either take them out OR just lift the battery a bit and leave them in. Music and people talking behind him.

    Been following but not replying, though today I left a few messages on a couple of your pictures.

    Take care, drive safely, and get back home to Wifey soon.

    Sandy Aerts/crash3289

  2. FishWisher says:

    I love my hearing aids! But they sure weren’t free. They were $1800 to me, after some insurance paid just $350. It seems such a waste to have the VA buy them for guys who essentially throw ’em away. That’s just sad.

    Mine have Blue Tooth so I can hear my Alexa directly through them. Also my iPhone.
    -Dale

  3. crash3289/Sandy Aerts says:

    Hie Dale!
    II read that you have a tiny nick in one side of your windshield. Instead of having the whole side of the windshield replaced, couldn’t they put this little round thing over it and ooze some liquid glass onto/into it to take care of it? I’ve seen advertisements for it; Safelite Auto Glass. They can even come to your location. It would probably save you perhaps $800. They advertise that if you have the proper insurance for things like that, it won’t cost you. Just a thought. Perhaps you could check it out.
    That “Write Portect” you discovered…I knew about that. In my simple Canon PowerShot, I can protect an individual picture. Once I’ve taken a card out, I slide the tab so I don’t accidentally shove it in to see pictures and start using it.
    Well, that’s about it. I’ve been making spaghetti sauce from all our tomatoes and yesterday make a batch in my Instant Pot. Had to simmer it down as it was a bit too thin as I don’t remove the seeds. I think of it as just more nutritious. LOL Have more to make today.
    I’m happy that once again you enjoyed your trip other than those 3 mishaps. Also, yesterday, Jim had to replace the drain in my sink, and soon replace the disposal, and later today, replace the seal under the toilet. Owning our own home also has constant repairs, so I know how you feel.
    Wait a minute! I wanted to ask you, IF the CA fires continue, are you and Wifey in any danger of having them come anywhere near you?
    Now I can say, stay happy, stay healthy, and looking forward to your next blog.

    Sandy

  4. FishWisher says:

    Hi Sandy –
    Oh, yes… I’m familiar with the Safelight window ding repair. I’ve had them out several times over the years and my insurance always paid for their work. But this was a small nick from some pebble or some such thing, and in a day or two it became a crack. They can’t fix the cracks longer than a dollar bill, and this one’s over a foot long. So I’m going to have to replace the windshield. I’ve been through this before, and my share after insurance was somewhere around a thousand bucks because Class A coach windshields are so big.

    Your sink repair reminds me we have changed every sink in the house in the past couple of months. Our home was built in the 80s, and they were getting pretty chipped and needing repair. I don’t do house repairs, so we had to pay a handyman to do the work. It was expensive but they sure do look better now.

    We live in town, and around the city is mostly agriculture, so we’re not in danger of a wildfire. But some days the smoke is pretty bad. I tell folks that Kalifornistan is so rotten it seems the Good Lord is in the process of destroying it. With all the fires, it sometimes seems like it.

    Thanks for the note. It’s good to be home and get those repairs underway. We’ll be leaving for Denver again late next month.

    -Dale

    • Susan says:

      Just dropped by to thank you for sharing your adventures. Really liked this one as you dealt so well with the set backs. Don’t know what happened but part way through clicking on the photos, I was unable to use arrow to advance to next photo. Maybe me, maybe something else. Viewing this trip was a great break from the daily news game of,” How Low Can You Go” by the limbo party. I, too, live in CA but down south in LA Co. Keep on trucking! Susan

  5. FishWisher says:

    Hi Susan –
    Thanks for the comment, and your kind words. I don’t know what to suggest regarding your inability to advance to the next photo. That’s strange. As for living in LA county, I was in Maywood back in the 50s as a kid ’til high school. I used to drive through LA often to see my son and his family in Oceanside. But a few years ago I gave it up, partly for the traffic. That I-5 and the 405 through LA are brutal! Thanks for the visit, and glad that you enjoyed it.
    – Dale

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