Saturday, July 22, 2017

Lincoln City Experiences

One of the reasons we bought our motorhome was to avoid summer in Texas. We loved the weather in spring, winter and fall, but July and August were not that much fun. The first few years we traveled our oldest son lived in San Francisco and our youngest son was in the Marine Corp stationed at Twentynine Palms, CA. We made a lot of trips up and down the California coast visiting our sons.

Twentynine Palms is about 150 miles east of Los Angeles and over 500 miles SSE of San Francisco. We made the trip from the Houston area to California at least once per year for several years and up and down the state of California a couple of times each year. When our youngest got out of the Marines he moved back to Texas and around that time our oldest also returned to Texas. Kathi and I had enough of California with the high prices and we agreed we had no reason to return there.

A view along US101 --The Pacific Coast Highway.
My sister and brother-in-law had been RVing longer than we had and they spent a lot of summertime boondocking in Oregon. In August of 2007, Kathi and I decided to join them on the Oregon Coast. They were boondocking in the Chinook Winds Casino parking lot in Lincoln city. We had never boondocked and were a little leery of trying that, so we moved into the Chinook Bend RV Park in the southern part of Lincoln City. We drove our Jeep to visit my sister at the casino.

A deer eating leaves off a tree at Chinook Bend RV Park
We returned to Lincoln city in 2008 and took the plunge boondocking at the Chinook Winds Casino parking lot. It was 60-65 degrees most of July and August and the wind blew off the ocean constantly. We had fun. The parking lot was not level and our front wheels were about a foot off the ground, but the windows were open and we had a blast.

In summer 2009, we returned to the Oregon Coast, but started our visit further south in the Coos Bay/North Bend Area. We boondocked at the Mill Casino in North Bend. North Bend is just to the north of Coos Bay and the bay itself borders three sides of North Bend. We usually refer to Coos Bay when we stayed at the Mill Casino. That summer we drifted along the coast north to the Three Rivers Casino in Florence and further north to the Chinook Winds Casino in Lincoln City. After a little time there, we ventured north to Tillamook, then into Washington. We visited Raymond, Rochester, Marysville and Chehalis in Washington. It was cooler in Oregon.

Picture through our windshield of RV's boondocking in the casino parking lot. The Mill Casino is in the background to the right.

One of our neighbors at Coos Bay.
In Summer of 2010 and 2011, we returned to the Oregon Coast and visited Coos Bay, Florence and Lincoln City. In the summertime from 2012 to 2014, we decided to go straight to Lincoln city, since we did not enjoy the casinos further south.

We spent most of 2015 and 2016 in Texas and Finally got back to Lincoln City July 6, 2017. We plan to stay until July 27th, then they will begin moving people out of the Chinook Winds Casino parking lot for re-striping. They are expecting a huge crowd to arrive in August to view the solar eclipse. We will definitely not be here. It has been fun boondocking here, but I think we will begin a slow drift back to Texas next week. It does not matter where we are, Kathi and I have fun together and enjoy each other. 

2017 picture of my view out the windshield at the Pacific Ocean behind the Chinook Winds Casino.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Deschutes National Forest

A few years ago, Kathi and I left Lincoln city on the Oregon coast with plans to spend the night at Walmart in Bend, OR. We had been boondocking for a while and I neglected to get diesel when we crossed I-5 moving east. We got into the Deschutes National Forest and the evergreen trees were fantastic. The winding roads through the mountains were a hoot and I was doing fine until I looked at the fuel gauge and it was on empty. Kathi never likes the winding roads, so she was already apprehensive and then I mentioned our fuel issue. We both realized no one in their right mind would put a truck stop in the middle of this national forest. The rest of the way up the mountain, around the bends and through the forest the air was filled with tension inside our motorhome.

Beautiful, snowy mountain views in the distance

We finally arrived at Bend, got some diesel, then found the Walmart store. We got parked and set up and opened our shades. Right outside our window was a sign that said, “NO RV Parking.” I showed the sign to Kathi and we both shook our heads. The tension still had not abated. Now it was worse. Before bringing our slide back in, Kathi found us a home further east and we left Bend, OR thinking we did not want to go that way again.

Great scenery

People forget.

July 5, 2017, we were leaving Burns, OR for our return to Lincoln City on the Oregon coast, again. I told Kathi we would be okay going through Bend, OR this time, because we filled up with diesel when we left Winnemucca, NV and had plenty of fuel to get us through the forest.

We left Burns early moving west on US 20 and got through Bend and Sisters in the middle of the day. Sisters, OR is a nice old tourist town on the eastern edge of the Deschutes National forest. Just west of Sisters traffic was blocked and not moving either direction. We pulled off on the side of the road and Kathi made us sandwiches for lunch. While we were eating the traffic cleared and we realized that the traffic delay was due to only one lane being open somewhere ahead. The lanes of traffic were alternating going past a construction area. We were fine, in no hurry and it was a beautiful day to be in the forest.

More forest views

We finally got past the construction area and entered the Deschutes National Forest. The forest was beautiful. We spent some time climbing, mountains, so going was slow, but that gave us more time to admire the trees. We past a sign that said, “6% DOWNGRADE NEXT 11 MILES.” No problem, I have gone downhill successfully many times before, so I was confident. We started down with my engine brake on and me keeping a manageable downhill speed. Then, we started getting curves around the mountains and bumps in the road. Obviously, the repair crews did not understand level, because each bump was at a patch in the road. Somewhere along that downhill run and a big bump in the road, one of the arms on my tow bar lost a connector. I spent a few downhill miles moving slower and assuring our Jeep did not pass us, especially into oncoming traffic. When I finally found a turnout, we discovered that keeping the Jeep behind us caused some bumper damage to the Jeep. Fortunately, I had a spare for the missing part and we were soon back on the road. I had to promise Kathi that was our last trip through Bend, OR and the Deschutes National Forest. I promise.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Continuing Northwest

We left the New Frontier RV Park in Winnemucca, NV early Friday morning, June 30, 2017. We had to drive to the pilot truck stop on the other end of town for diesel, then took US 95 north heading toward Burns, OR. The greenery on the side of the road was mostly shrubs and small grass and the terrain was rolling hills. US 95 is a two-lane road in excellent condition. There was minimal traffic and it made for pleasant driving. The land in this area is part of the Paiute-Shoshone Reservation of Ft. McDermitt, NV. Although the fort is in Nevada the reservation continues into Oregon.

Through the windshield picture on US 95

As we crossed into Oregon, the shrubbery went away and all the green we saw was just wild grasses, with no trees anywhere. After about 30 miles some scrub brush was added to the wild grass along the roadside. We saw several small herds of horses and a few cattle in the open range area. When we got to the intersection of US 95 and US 78, we took 78 northwest toward Burns, OR still moving toward the coast. Alongside US 78 we started adding trees to the mix of green growth. About 50 miles southeast of Burns, we started seeing irrigation and plush green grass, mostly for hay. I only remember one farm with crops, other than grass, but I could not identify the crop. We saw more and more farms that the hay was cut and ready for baling as we moved northeast.

Mountains get higher as we move north in Oregon
We got to the Burns RV Park in late afternoon and got a space under a tree that blocked our satellite reception for our TV. We also had a problem with our awning over our larger slideout. A gust of wind caught it when we were driving and did some damage to it, causing it not to extend or rewind properly when we moved the slideout out or in. I spent some time on a ladder and eventually resorted to a small hacksaw to cut away a rod attached to a gear on the roller that was causing us much trouble. The fabric is still torn, but I have it in workable condition, although it needs to be sewn before returning inland.

Am igloo like structure in Burns, OR

We did not want to travel on the Fourth of July weekend, so we ended up spending five nights in Burns. We ate one meal at the Apple Peddler restaurant and the rest of the time we ate at home. Burns is a tired old town and not much to see or do there. The biggest stores in town are farm and feed supply stores.

Thursday, July 5th, we moved further west on US 20. We got lost for a little while in Bend, OR, as there is no US 20 bypass. You have to wander through town and I got lost. Making a U-turn is most difficult driving an RV and pulling a Jeep, so when we found US 97 we got on it and found where it crossed US 20 to put us back on track.

We moved into the Life Northwest RV and Lodging in Harrisburg, OR. This is a nice RV park with paved spaces on the banks of the Willamette River. The property was purchased by the Life Bible Church a few years ago. We spent one night in Harrisburg and were ready to make it to the coast the next morning.

Next post: The Deschutes National Forest and arrival at Lincoln City.

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Westward Ho!

We said goodbye to all our friends at Charlie’s Service Center after they resolved the last item on our list of issues. We got away a little before two o’clock the afternoon of Monday, June 26, 2017. Our motorhome looked great and our maintenance issues were behind us and we were ready for the road again.

We took I-15 south toward Salt Lake City, eased on to I-215 south, then I-80 west toward Wendover, UT and West Wendover, NV. The ride along the Salt Lake is always peaceful, because there is not much out that way. We saw a lot of salt, some salt processing plants, many salt marshes, some brown scrub brush and mountains in the distance on both sides of the highway. The greenery was sparse up close, but there was some green on the mountains.

Salt extraction near the Great Salt Lake

Piles of salt for processing

We stopped for two nights at the Wendover KOA. The first spot they gave us only had 30-amp service and we kept throwing the breaker. We finally called for a different spot and they moved us to one of the six 50-amp spaces they have in the park. They advertise that they have a lot of RV spaces available and that is true, but many of them have only 30-amp service with no water or sewer. They have about 30 full hook-up 30-amp spaces, and like I said only six full service 50-amp spaces. If you get there late in the afternoon in the summertime, those six sites are always booked.

We had a great time Tuesday at the Rainbow Casino. We left there about 9:00 pm with a little more money than we started with. It was a fun-filled day and we were exhausted when we got back into our RV.

Casino fun

We slept late Wednesday morning and got on the road again. The scenery was a little different west of Wendover. There was a little more green shrubbery and the mountains were nearer the highway. When we passed through Wells, NV we saw some yellow wildflowers for about thirty miles, then they disappeared again. The rest of the trip was browns and greens and few other colors. We started seeing more snow on mountains, but not snow caps. Only streaks of snow that will probably be gone in a few more summer weeks.

We stopped along the way at a Pilot Truck Center that had a Subway sandwich shop. Kathi went in and got sandwiches for us and we ate lunch in the Pilot parking lot. The food was tasty, but the buns were a bit stale. We needed the break and were ready to go when we finished eating. We arrived at the New Frontier RV about four in the afternoon and got electricity hooked up and spent the evening inside. Temperature was in the 90’s when we arrived and the low overnight was 47 degrees.

We went to bed early Wednesday night and awoke early Thursday and visited the Parker Model T Casino for a few hours, had a barbecue sandwich lunch at The Pig and returned home to rest and watch news in the afternoon.

The Pig
Friday morning, we continued our quest to the coast. We were both glad to be moving again. Kathi, as usual, was a great traveling companion. Fun, fun, fun.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Colorado Adventure

No, this is not our Colorado adventure. These adventures are for younger legs and bodies. Our nephew, David Clark lives in Colorado Springs and he invited his nephews, Justin and Austin Clark to come visit him for a week. They arrived in Colorado Springs early on Monday morning and departed on Friday. I got tired just looking at the pictures from their adventurous week.

Tour guide is in yellow, Dave is in Red an Justin and Austin are in front . Another couple they do not know are along for the ride.

It looks cool an refreshing

David runs his own business in Colorado Springs, Justin recently graduated from Texas State College and Austin just graduated from Liberty Hill High School and will be a U.S marine before the summer is over. David is an excellent host and tour manager for his friends and family. This adventure should be something for all of them to remember the rest of their lives.

Take a hike

Dave, Justin and Austin looking for more adventure.

They spent the week hiking, mountain climbing, mountain bike riding, horseback riding and river rafting. Justin took a lot of pictures and some of the river scenes were taken by the Whitewater touring company. I am sharing some of their pictures with you.

Getting ready for biking

Austin, enjoying life

Austin thumb's up, Dave showing battle scars

 Kathi and I are still at Charlie’s Service in Sunset, UT and it has been a busy week here trying to get the work completed on our Alfa motorhome. I will list just a few of the items that have been repaired or replaced since we have been here. We got a new toilet, new microwave, a new engine fan, a new alternator and a new water pump. Our washer/dryer is functional again and our propane furnace works. There were a few other maintenance items and most are complete. They will reinstall our rear-view mirror and finish waxing and caulking the motorhome on Monday. That will complete our maintenance work and we will be ready to travel to the next stop.

These are nice people to do business with and we have really enjoyed our stay here. Not only did we get our RV repairs done, we got a few needed repairs done to our Jeep, also. The staff are very pleasant and Gilberto spent a lot of time with us the last few weeks. At one time or another, everyone in the shop worked on our vehicles, getting us ready for the road.

Our next stop will be in West Wendover, NV where we will visit the Rainbow Casino for a day or so, then we will decide where to go next. We are thinking about summertime on the Oregon coast again. It would be nice to see my sister, Carol and her husband Lloyd, who are already on the coast.

We will stay flexible and we will see what happens. I am happy just to be with Kathi. Everything else is just extra fun in our lives.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Happy Father's Day

Today is a day of remembrance for our fathers and a day of joy for we who are fathers. May it be a day of peace and happiness for all our families and our country. It is a beautiful, cool sunny day here and it has been a week with nice weather. It does seem to get a little warmer each day.

It was a good week for us at Charlie’s RV Service Center in Sunset, UT. Our new microwave/convection oven was installed, our washer/dryer works again and we got a new monitor for the camera that allows us to watch our Jeep as we travel. They also remounted the awning support I knocked loose from the side of the motorhome as we were leaving Dickinson. Our awning is now extended keeping out the morning sun. There are a few maintenance items remaining, but work is progressing nicely.

Hanging baskets of flowers in Clinton, UT. Just east of Sunset

 Jim, the auto mechanic that was off for a hand operation is back to work with limited use of his right hand. There is plenty of work to do, so Justin and Amanda are glad his operation went well and glad to have him back on the job.

There is plenty of RV work to do as several move in and a several go out each week. There are currently about 15 RV’s on the lot at various stages of the repair cycle.

First magpie I have seen in Utah.
We got a surprise visit from Butch and Debbie Schultz on Friday. They live on the Columbia River in Oregon and came to Utah with other family members and their motorhomes for some sightseeing. Debbie and Kathi keep up with each other on Facebook. It was great to see them, because it has been about four years since we last ran into them on the Oregon coast.

The snow is slowly melting off the mountains, but more flowers are sprouting up all over the area. There is so much traffic in the area it is difficult to stop and smell the roses, but we do when we can. We spend most of our days at home, in case we are needed to support Justin, Gilberto and Gilbert with RV repairs.

We ate lunch at Cracker Barrel on Saturday. Kathi had chicken and dumplings and I had a country fried steak. I even had enough left over for a late-afternoon snack.

Daisies at Cracker Barrel

Cracker Barrel art

More wall art

Kathi has done some of our laundry to assure the washer/dryer functions properly and it does. but today we need to go to the laundromat to wash sheets and towels. Too many have accumulated to make it feasible to wash in our small washer/dryer.

Our new microwave

Kathi and I are thinking about going to West Wendover, NV for our next stop, but we have not decided for sure. We talk about moving on to the Oregon coast, hovering on a mountain top or going back to the Houston area to be near doctors. We will probably continue to decide on a day-by-day basis. We are retired and happy wherever we reside.

Happy Father’s Day.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Update from Charlie's

We have been at Charlie’s Service Center in Sunset, UT as information was gathered to understand the scope of repairs and provide information to the insurance company.  Charlie’s business began as a muffler shop and expanded into auto repairs a few years later. They now work on cars, trucks and RV’s and there is plenty of work to keep them busy this time of the year. Justin and Mandy Dubose own the business and they stay busy trying to keep up with the business, taking care of their son, Austin and racing their dragster when local meets are held.

There are currently about 20 RV’s on the lot, some waiting for the owners to pick them up, some awaiting parts arrival and a few with work in progress. One of the auto mechanics is off work with a hand operation and Justin has been spending time with both cars and RV’s. Gilberto works with Justin on RV repairs and they both stay on the run. The shop is usually closed on weekends, but both were working part of Saturday to keep up with the volume of work.

We spent Sunday, June 4, 2017 at home watching snow melt on the mountains. The temperature was 92 degrees in the afternoon and I chose that day to refill our batteries with water. That was enough exercise for me and I was glad to get back inside with conditioned air.

Less and less snow each day

The insurance inspector came by on Tuesday and looked at all the repairs that need to be done, took pictures and turned in his report to the insurance carrier. They pulled our air conditioner so the inspector could see the work they had to do to make our propane furnace functional. It turned out the insurance would not cover that repair anyway. It got hot inside, but we got by using our fans. We are glad to get past the insurance hurdle.

Our Alfa at Charlie's

We expect the work to progress, now that they have all the information they need and we have agreed on a repair cost range. Of course, work progress depends on parts arrival. We appreciate Mandy and Justin working with the insurance company to get most of our maintenance issues covered. Kathi will be glad to get her washer/dryer and convection microwave back in operation. I may talk her into beans and cornbread soon.

Our nephew, David Clark has lived in Colorado Springs for a couple of years and his dad, Carl visited him this week. They have been having fun with some hiking, horseback riding and other manly ventures. Carl is my brother-in-law and just one year younger than I am. I am glad he feels like riding and hiking. I think they are having a good time.

My nephew, David

My bother-in-law, Carl

Our oldest son, AJ lives in Austin and sent us several pictures of the ROT (Republic of Texas) Rally that is going on there. There are herds of motorcycle riders in town to share a weekend of camaraderie and music fun. The ROT Rally is thought to be the loudest week of each year in Austin. I am glad I am not there, but I do like to see the motorcycles.

Motorcycles downtown Austin for ROT Rally
Another good week for us and soon we will have to decide where to go next. It may be a hard decision, but who cares. Wherever we are we will enjoy being alive.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

At Charlie's This Week

It has been a short week at Charlie’s, since Monday was Memorial Day. On Tuesday, May 30, 2017, Gilberto came by early to close our front door, so he could wash our motorhome. He used their pressure washer and it took a long time to get all the bugs and debris off the front. It looked a lot better when he was through. Mandy came by to review the list of repair items she sent to our insurance carrier. They wanted some model numbers and a better description for a few items and we helped her find the information she wanted.

Click on photos to enlarge them. The first two are of a 1948 Chevrolet Master Deluxe brought into Charlie's for maintenance.

The paint has sparkles

Great condition
A while later, we heard footsteps on the roof, followed by some drilling. Gilberto was installing covers over our vent fans, so from now on, we do not have to rush home to close our vents when it rains. Kathi wanted those vent covers installed several years ago and we finally got it done.

After that, we drove a few miles south to Layton to find the location for Quest Labs, so we could return first thing Wednesday morning for our semi-annual blood tests. We made a stop at Kent’s Market to pick up a few grocery items, before returning home. Kathi read, while I worked Sudoku puzzles. I am glad Kathi is enjoying reading again.

Wednesday morning, we went to Quest Labs and carried water to drink on the way. We used to fast before blood draws, but finally found out if we did not drink a lot of water ahead of time we failed our kidney tests. Now we fill ourselves with water to get passing grades. There were two people ahead of us at Quest and another lady came in and seemed to be in a hurry, so we let her proceed before we took our turns.

Still some snow on the mountains
The A/C did not work well on the Jeep and we already had two other items that needed attention, so we took the Jeep key to the office and turned in a maintenance request. We found out one of the mechanics was off for an operation and we assured them we were patient, just keep us on the list for repair work at their convenience.

Thursday, we were home all day watching traffic go by. Kathi was reading. A few RV’s moved around the lot as Gilberto and Justin made repairs to them. It is nice to see business in action. Friday, we spent a good portion of the day watching a pickup truck and trailer bringing in fill dirt to put on the back side of the Charlie’s storage lot next door. There is a steep drop off at that spot and the fill dirt will keep cars away from the edge.

Highly recommended steakhouse
Saturday was a fun day for us. We had lunch with Justin, Mandy and Austin at Ruby River. Mandy had a salad, Kathi had salmon with a sweet potato, Austin had a steak kabob with French fries and a root beer and Justin and I had steak baked potatoes and salad. Lunch was delicious and the conversation was light and fun. To top it off, Mandy made brownies and put candles on top so they could sing happy birthday to me, then we had brownies for desert. It was such a fun meal and I will never forget. It is great to spend time with our friends.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Happy Memorial Day

This has been another week at Charlie’s Service Center in Sunset, UT. Justin and Gilberto are still removing items for repair to evaluate the problems so Mandy can submit the insurance claim. We mostly enjoy our days looking at the mountains and reading.

Snow capped mountain across I-15 and east of Hill Field.
Gilberto took our microwave out to check for needed repairs and they ran it for a few hours in the shop and it seemed to be working okay. We made sure they understood it was the convection oven that did not work, since we knew the microwave was working. Last time we tried to use the convection oven almost a year ago, it sounded like we were grinding rocks. It seemed to run fine in their shop here, so Gilberto reinstalled it.

Kathi and I went to the store and bought ingredients to make a chocolate cake. Pre-heat for the cake went much quicker than normal, but we tried it anyway. After about 20 minutes the cake was supposed to be done. It was not. Kathi raised the temperature and cooked longer. After two and a half hours we decide to eat the cake with uncooked chocolate cake mix in the center. The cake was tasty, but the convection oven experience was unsatisfying. After finishing cake, Kathi noticed a dark screen on the microwave. It was dead. Gilberto pulled it out again the next day. It is sitting on the bench in the shop for further evaluation. Our washer/dryer is sitting on the floor, near the microwave, awaiting evaluation.

There are about a dozen RV’s on the lot awaiting parts or already repaired waiting for the owners to retrieve them. A few more come in each day with single complaints, get repaired and put back on the road. There is a very expensive Newell motorhome on the lot being repaired at a leisurely rate of time, since the owner’s son wants to sell it after repairs. The outside looks beautiful, but Kathi looked inside and it is a mess. Our prediction is they will finish repairs and the motorhome will never sell. We figure this million-dollar motorhome may fetch $150,000 at best.

I had a great 74th birthday on Saturday. I got a lot of birthday wishes from family, friends and Facebook friends. All messages were appreciated. We drove to the Texas Roadhouse in Bountiful, UT to have lunch with my sister, Carol and husband Lloyd Jackson. They spent Friday evening with their motorhome in the Walmart parking lot in Springville, UT. Their next stop on the way to the west coast is Wendover, NV. We had a great lunch with steak and potatoes and salad, but the conversation was even more enjoyable. We caught up on family activities and travel adventures. It really was a great birthday for me.

Decor inside Texas Roadhouse
Last Thursday we were planning to eat leftovers at home, but they cut off our power to pull the air conditioner. Our problem was actually the propane furnace which heated okay, but the heated air never got into our motorhome. The furnace and air conditioner share the same vents, with a flap that switches positions depending on the source of the air flow. Our flap was missing, so Justin created one for installation. Which required removing the air conditioner. Without use of the microwave to heat leftovers, we decided to go out to lunch. We drove into Ogden and had lunch at Goodwood Barbecue. It was not Texas barbecue, but it satisfied our hunger. Just another RV travel adventure – what a life. We are thankful to share it.

Inside of Goodwood Barbecue

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Repair Work

We have had an uneventful few days at Charlie’s Service Center at Sunset, UT. There are ten or twelve RV’s still on the lot for repair. A few have moved in or out each day and the shop is closed on the weekends, and it is very quiet here, which is fine with us.

Since we have been in the higher altitudes, Kathi and I have had spells when it seemed harder to breathe, so she looked on and found some 22-ounce oxygen canisters that people use when they need more oxygen, such as when doing heavy exercise. We are not doing heavy exercise, but the oxygen may help anyway. The package should arrive the middle of the week.

Gilberto and Justin are reviewing all our maintenance or repair items to assure they understand the issues and repair requirements, prior to submission to our insurance carrier. It will be nice to have our water pump, propane heater, microwave/convection oven and washer/dryer functioning again. Those are some of the big items, but there are many more. Almost no repairs in three years and living in the motorhome every day, maintenance items continue to grow.

We finally got all our laundry done on Wednesday and went for haircuts and Walmart shopping on Thursday. There are some sites to see around here and hopefully, we will feel like getting out more during the coming week.

Gilberto spent much of the day Friday trying to determine where the electrical wire was broken that is preventing current from getting to the 120-volt electrical outlets in our slideout. We have been using an extension cord for a month or so to supply power to our computers which reside in the slideout area. The electrical lines run through the roof of our basement. Yes, we have a basement, like where buses keep luggage. All the plastic containers were removed from our basement on Friday in search of the broken wire. They have not found it yet, but Gilberto says he now knows where it is not. That seemed to make sense to him.

Through the windshield picture that looks like we will drive into a wall of rock.
Most days here have been overcast, so we have not had many good picture opportunities, but Saturday was different. We had bright sunshine all day and we went out to lunch, thinking I would take some pictures, but could not work that into our schedule. I had an Ultimate Feast at Red Lobster and Kathi had a fresh catch salmon for lunch. It was way too much for me to eat and I had leftover shrimp, lobster and crab to eat in the late afternoon.

A beautiful Newell RV that we saw when we were in Thackerville, OK.
Sunday is overcast again and the humidity feels high for Utah. My sinuses are giving me some problems, so I got out of bed, had coffee and fell asleep sitting in my chair trying to read. I am feeling a little better now, but the atmosphere is still heavy.

Wall art from Cracker Barrel
We are looking forward to Monday when there is some activity to watch at the service center. We can see the snow-capped mountains out of our windshield and see traffic moving on I-15 and not much else going on. We will probably get an evaluation from the insurance company this week and the real work can get started.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Charlie's Service Update

Saturday afternoon and Sunday, we mostly stayed inside and enjoyed the mountain views out the windshield. Kathi made tacos for lunch both days and they were super good.

Homemade taco lunch
Monday morning, Justin Dubose came out to greet us and talk about some of our maintenance issues. It was nice to see him again, since it has been three years since we were here. Kathi made me a homemade hamburger for lunch and they are always good. Most of the food Kathi makes for us comes from our freezer. She prepares many items for the freezer when we travel. It shortens prep time when we are tired.

Justin’s wife, Mandy came out to see us in the afternoon and brought their son, Austin with her. Austin has grown a lot since we were here last. He will start kindergarten in the fall. He had a super ball and enjoyed bouncing it on our steps while we talked with Mandy. We caught up on their family and shared information about our family and recent activities.

Hazy view out our windshield from our parking space at Charlie's
Gilberto and Justin do the RV work on the property. Justin would like more help, but all the young people in the area are unwilling to work for affordable wages, so help is hard to find. Of course, people with no training and no tools are willing to work for exorbitant salaries, but businesses cannot afford to pay them that much to learn the job.

Gilberto and Justin removed our washer/dryer in the afternoon, so Justin could evaluate the problem to relay the information to the insurance company. Doing minimal maintenance for three years, we have a lot of work to get done while we are here.

Tuesday morning, Kathi and I drove into Ogden to see an orthopedic doctor about my knee and hip problems. We did X-rays and the arthritis degeneration was transparent. He told me I needed to replace both knee joints and my hip joints. I told him we would only be in Utah for a brief period, so he gave me injections in each knee and a prescription for a stronger corticosteroid than the prednisone I took a month ago when we were staying on Lake Georgetown. We are hoping that will reduce the inflammation and thus suppress the pain.

Wednesday morning, we awoke to frost on the pumpkin. Not really, they do not have pumpkins at Charlie’s Service, but we did see snow on the surrounding rooftops and tops of the cars in the parking lot. Much of it had melted by 8:00 am because of direct sunlight.

Remember we did half of our laundry last Saturday. Now, it is time to do the other half. We will try and get that completed before noon and keep our afternoon free.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Into Sunset

We left the Legacy Inn and RV Park in Price, UT on Thursday, May 11, 2017 on the way to Charlie’s Service Center in Sunset, UT to get some much needed work done on our motorhome. The only service we have performed in the last three years is an oil change, replacing six tires and replacing a leaking hot water heater. All the other failed items, we postponed until we got to Charlie’s. All the RV service centers in the Houston area had long waiting lists and we could not commit to planning that far ahead. At Charlie’s, we get to stay in our RV while work is done and they work us in around other customers and when parts arrive.

We left Price going east on US 191 and drove through Helper. At Castle Gate where US 191 turned north, we switched to US 6 and kept going east. We drove through Tucker and past Solder’s Summit, then switched to US 89 northeast until we hit I-15 at Spanish Fork, then north through Provo and Orem, before hitting the Salt Lake City traffic. It was a beautiful day for travel and we enjoyed the beautiful scenery. We were also glad we missed the rush hour traffic, since much of the way we had six lanes of cars moving 75 miles per hour in narrow lanes.

The last few times we used I-15 through SLC there was a lot of road construction with few lanes and slow traffic. The construction is all complete now and the traffic really moves. This was much better.

After SLC, we drove past Bountiful and Clearfield before arriving at Sunset and Charlie’s Service Center. We found out the owners, Justin and Amanda Dubose were out and had taken their dragster to race on Friday and Saturday. Gilberto works with Justin on the motorhomes and RV’s and he met us and got us parked and utilities hooked up.

Click on pictures to enlarge them.

Windmills along US 191

A through the windshield view along I-15
We were both hungry and drove into Ogden for a meal at the Ruby River steakhouse. It was delicious and we had enough left over for lunch on Friday. Kathi added some green beans and cooked a few more potatoes to go with our leftover steak. It was great again. Considering we got two meals for the price of one, it was very economical.

A view of the ceiling inside Ruby River
I ordered Mother’s Day flowers for Kathi from 1-800 flowers and they were supposed to be delivered on Friday, but they never arrived. I was disappointed, but maybe they will arrive on Monday. We made a trip to Walmart to pick up a few items and spent the rest of our Friday at home looking out the window at the mountains.

A view across I-15 from the front door of Charlie's Service
Saturday was laundry day. We were both struggling for air at the higher elevation, so we only did half our wash. We will do the other half sometime this week. After laundry, we came home and Kathi made homemade tacos – my favorite meal. We are having more of the same today.

We are looking forward to going over our maintenance list with Justin in the morning, then begins negotiations with the insurance company to see what they will cover. Amanda is a pro at this so know she will do her usual. We are just thrilled to be getting things done.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Casa Blanca to Price

Monday, May 8, 2017, we left the Zuni Reservation and the Laguna Pueblo near Casa Blanca, NM and the Dancing Eagle Casino and drove west on I-40. We passed the North Acomita Village, drove through Grants, Prewitt, Thoreau, Coolidge, Church Rock and into Gallup. At Gallup, we went north on US 491 into the Navajo Reservation. We drove through Yah-Ta-Hey, Twin Lakes, Tohatchi, Sheep Springs, Newcomb, Little Water an into Shiprock. We had to jog to the right in Shiprock, then continued north on US 491 into Colorado and the Ute Mountain Reservation. We moved into the RV Park at the Sleeping Ute RV Park in Towaoc, CO and settled in for the night.

The scenery Monday was mostly dirt and rock and some mountains in the distance. There were many houses in cluster about one-quarter mile off the road and we saw little sign of greenery anywhere. Tuesday was different.

We got a late start, because I slept late on Tuesday morning. I am not used to all the traveling and we are moving quicker than my body can adjust. I am exhausted, but we will stop for an extended stay at Charlie’s Service in Sunset, UT on Thursday.

Tuesday morning, we left the Sleeping Ute and went north on US 491 through Cortez. We saw a lot of horses in people’s front yards. Cows had been more prevalent prior to entering Ute country, but the Utes seem to favor horses. As Us 491 turned west, we began seeing farm land. We saw bright green fields of grass, we assumed would become hay. We saw plowed brown dirt fields, then we started seeing plowed red dirt areas. We drove through Delores, Pleasant View and Dove Creek before crossing the state line into Utah.

At Monticello, UT, US 491 ended at the intersection of US 191, so we took 191 north through Spanish Village and the scenery changed again. Words and pictures are inadequate to convey the beauty of the scenery we passed on this trip. Red mountains, green mountains and mountains with visible sandstone strata. As we moved into Moab the mountains of red were closer to the highway.

Through the windshield pictures

More colored rocks
We drove past the Arches and Canyonlands National Parks and went through Crescent Junction and turned west on I-40. Just past Green River, we turned north again on US 191 through Woodside and Wellington. Coming over some of the mountain passes, the view ahead was breathtaking in the spectacular variety of colors. We stopped at the Legacy Inn and RV Park in Price, UT for the evening. This was another special day of travel for us. I wish I could explain it better.

Wide open spaces

Unusual rock formations
When I drive through remote areas, especially with low traffic, Kathi’s mother, Virginia Hathaway’s words echo in my ears. When we first started traveling she told me, “Take care of that precious cargo.” I agree with her assessment and I never forget who travels with me.