Monday, June 30, 2014

Raymond Area

This is a continuation of our story about Raymond, Washington, where Kathi and I spent a month in July and August 2009. Raymond is a town of about 3,000 people in Pacific County. Just to the south of Raymond is another small town called South Bend. Most of the industry in town is based on usage and availability of the Willipa River-- fishing, boat building, and shipping from a small port area.

A small Catholic Church on the way to Rochester from Raymond.
A small town this size it did not take us long to see everything. A month was way too long to stay. The nearest casino is the Lucky Eagle in Rochester, WA. The casino is managed by the Confederated Tribes of Chehalis Indians. We took the one hour drive for several trips to the casino during our stay in Raymond. I think the casino was the highlight of our stay in Raymond, even though we did not have a lot of luck there.

Roses in Raymond
Scene standing in the front of the Raymond Post Office. I cannot resist pictures of these little trailers.

Raymond Community Pool

Pacific County Courthouse -- A National Historical Place being remodeled. It is located in South Bend.

View of the Willipa River from a hill overlooking South Bend.

Another river view in South Bend

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Raymond RV & Marine

In July 2009 Kathi and I were moving north from Oregon into Washington. We got as far as the Tulalip Casino in Marysville, WA. It was hot. We were used to the sixty degree weather on the Oregon coast and the eighty to eighty five degree temperatures were too much for us. It must have been a shock to the Washingtonians also. The local Walmart was sold out of fans and air conditioners. Walmart was selling fans out of the back of the trucks that delivered them. We blamed the excess heat on Al Gore.

We moved back south thinking it would be cooler. We spent the end of July and Most of August at the Raymond RV Park & Marine in Raymond, Washington. It was hot there too, but at least we had air conditioning. After we paid a months rent we were sorry we did not move back to the Oregon coast.

The island is left center.

Neighbors across the river.
 The RV park is on the property of Pedigree Catamarans, one of eleven boat builders located in Raymond.
The RV park is on the Willipa River near a narrowing of the river caused by a peninsula jutting into the river near a small island. It gave the appearance of two merging rivers, but that was an optical illusion.

The blue building is the boat shop. The boat you see is awaiting repair.

During the month we were there, we saw geese flying north. It was too hot for them too. There were boats of all sizes on the river each day. Ducks were everywhere. Really great views out the front window of our motorhome.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Shore Acres Flower Garden

In June 2010 Kathi and I visited the Shore Acres State Park, including the Shore Acres Flower Garden in Coos Bay, Oregon. There is a beach and picnic area is for day use. The beach area and flower garden are about a mile apart.

The flower garden was originally part of an estate owned by Louis Simpson, an Oregon timber baron.

We watched beach goers wading and swimming in the cold Pacific water for awhile, then went to the flower garden. We walked the grounds until I could not walk any more and I had to sit for half an our to regain my leg strength before walking back to our car. There are a lot of flowers to see. There is a whole section for hybrid roses.

We have been to the flower garden on more than one occasion, but on this day in June there was a wedding being conducted on the grounds. Over 100 people were walking through the park viewing the flowers while the wedding ceremony proceeded without being disturbed by other park visitors. There were probably another 50 people at the wedding. This is a big park and well worth the time for a visit.

Below are a few photos from our June 26, 2010 visit to the flower garden.

Floribunda Marmalade Skies 2001

Grandiflora Wild Blue Yonder 2006

Wedding Party

William Shakespear

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Visit to Graceland

Elvis has always been a person that fascinated me. I remember his Concert From Hawaii that seemed to be such a big event at the time. The way Elvis was packaged always made for a fabulous show. He started making movies because his agent, Colonel Parker wasn't sure rock and roll would survive Elvis' tour in the Army.

I remember and relate to his early music more than I do the later songs he did for the movies. Some of the earliest recording were my favorites. I like "Blue Moon of Kentucky," "I Was the One," "That's When Your Heartaches Begin" and "Blue Moon" were some of them. My favorite Elvis movie was King Creole. I remember how disappointed I was when he died in Love Me Tender.
Kathi and I made a special trip to Memphis to see Graceland in March 2004. We stayed at the Elvis Presley RV Park and did the normal Elvis tours. I have heard that things are much different at Graceland today, since the Presley family sold management of the company. Personally, I thought all the furniture in the house was gaudy and gauche, but Elvis lived a much different lifestyle than I do.


Monday, June 23, 2014

Picnic at Monument Valley

Our picnic at Monument Valley is one of the highlights of our RV travels. Kathi made sandwiches and we drove the 100 miles from Bluff, UT to Monument Valley in April 2009. It was a leisurely drive for us and we both enjoyed the drive over and the park itself. The Monument Valley National Park is on a Navajo Indian reservation.

You have a choice to drive your own vehicle through the park or park your car and for a small contribution, go on a guided tour which includes some areas private vehicles are not allowed to enter. We opted to ride in our own car. Beside the pictures included, we saw the cabins John Wayne and John Ford used to stay in when the made so many of their western movies.

There is a hotel in the park and an RV park nearby. If we ever go again we will probably try to make a reservation at the RV park on the reservation.

These are called Left Mitten and Right Mitten. I went out of my way to find a location where I could get both in the same photo. I call my picture Close Mittens.

The mound is a Navajo Hogan. It is probably for show. It is located near the air strip and there are no other living abodes nearby.

This view is called North Window.

We ate our picnic lunch in our car. This is the view through our windshield. Other visitors were parked at the rail to purchase beads and trinkets from Navajo vendors selling items from the back of a pickup truck.

I have no idea why this round tree growing out of rock fascinates me, but it does.

This rock is call The Thumb.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Road to Monument Valley

In April 2009, Kathi and I visited monument valley in Arizona. This post is more about our adventures before and after we got there.

Monument Valley is on the Utah Arizona border and is southwest of what is commonly called four corners. This is the spot in the Colorado plateau where (in clockwise order) Utah, Colorado, New Mexico and Arizona meet. I heard a few years ago that they moved the marker that designated the spot where you can stand in one spot and touch all four states. It had been misplaced for years and the error was discovered after GPS satellites became prominent.

We couldn't find any reasonably priced RV parks near Monument Valley, so we stayed in Bluff, Utah which is about 100 miles away. On the way to Bluff our Alfa motorhome started emitting soot and we lost power. We parked at the Cottonwood RV park in Bluff and arranged for a tow truck to tow us to a Freightliner shop the following Sunday. They replaced a flex hose that delivers power from the turbo to the engine.

This was the beginning of a few arduous months for us because of motorhome problems. We ended up in the shop again in June and had to replace the turbo and some other stuff for a total bill over $5,000. Not a fun time.

We drove to Monument Valley during the week. I will have an additional post about our day in Monument Valley. The pictures are of our drive into the park.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Boondocking at the Mill Casino

Our normal summer boondocking stops along the Oregon coastline include the Mill Casino in Coos Bay, the Three Rivers Casino in Florence and the Chinook Winds Casino in Lincoln City. I found our yesterday that the Mill Casino has started charging boondockers $15 per night to stay in their casino parking lot.

The reason The Mill security gave for the new fee was that some boondockers have started branching out and adding dog fences around their boondocking space. Boondockers should be more respectful of others and most are. I think The Mill should have addressed the problem with the abusive boondockers and not punished all boondockers.

That scratches the Mill Casino from our travel list this year. Too bad. We gave daily donations at their casino each day we stay there that far surpass the $15 boondocking fee. It's the principle of the thing. Kathi and I may never return to the Mill Casino.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Sunny Afternoon

It was a beautiful sun-shiny afternoon yesterday in Lincoln City, so Kathi and I took a drive along the coastal areas of the city. Most of the area along the beach is filled with private homes or small inns, We took a few pictures between houses, but got our best pictures at the NW 26th St. Beach Access and the D River Park.

The signs claim the D River is the shortest river in the world. You can see the inlet from the park and have to go across Highway 101 to see the end of the river. It appears total length is about 300 yards.

D River Inlet

One of the highlights of the afternoon was spotting a whale when we were at the D River Park. We tracked the whale for about four hundred yards before we lost track of it. What we actually saw was water spraying from his spout and on a couple of occasions a tail flipping from the water. Really exciting for us, since we have been looking for whales in this area for several years and this is the first one we have actually seen.

About 200 yards offshore to the left side of this picture is where we spotted the whale.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Frigidaire Refrigerator

A few years ago we replaced the Norcold refrigerator in our Alfa motorhome with a Frigidaire domestic refrigerator. The Norcold ran on electricity or propane and the Frigidaire only runs on electricity. Kathi was never satisfied with the Norcold refrigerator -- it wouldn't keep her ice cream frozen.

Charlies Service Center in Sunset, Utah installed the new refrigerator. They had to remove the window over the couch to get the Norcold out and Frigidaire in.

Charlie's Service Center is managed by Justin Dubose and his wife, Amanda. They have become good friends. Justin, Amanda and their youngest son, Austin frequently visit us in our motorhome while we are in Sunset. Amanda made us a delicious pork chop dinner at their home  the last time we were in town.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Bear World

A few years ago we went to Bear World in Rexburg, Idaho. It was a small drive through animal park that contained mostly bears, but a few other animals also.

As we tried to enter, a bear was picketing the gate. He walked back and forth in front of our car for about fifteen minutes. One of the camp host saw the traffic was stopped and drove his jeep over near the bear and got his attention to distract him away from the gate.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

A Rainy Day

It has been a rainy day in Lincoln City. The rain did me the favor of removing the sea salt from my windshield and my solar panels. Kathi and I have not been out of the motorhome all day.

I am including some pictures from my our archive. The pictures were taken at Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco.

Bubba Gump Seafood Restaurant sign on Fisherman's Wharf.

Carousel on Fisherman's Wharf.

The Golden Bear is one of the many boats that take passengers to Alcatraz.
Boats leave about every half hour. Probably six or eight boats constantly moving all day.

Tin Man -- one of the many street mimes around the Wharf.
You only get to take a
picture if you drop money in their box.
I suspect this guy makes upward of $200 per day.

Tin Man is in front of the depot for Alcatraz boats.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Chinook Winds Parking Lot

I hurt my left foot, so I have been inside most of the last two days. Kathi tried a few machines at the casino, but had no luck. She has a wee amount in her budget for casino play and tries her best to stick to it.

Below are some pictures of my neighborhood at the Chinook Winds parking lot.

This is my view sitting at my computer. A lot of RVs in the parking lot.

This view is from the door of our motorhome.

Pig and Pancake is across the street. Always a waiting line at breakfast. 

This RV pulled in yesterday. Six adults got out to walk to the casino.  They are still here, so they must enjoy crowds.