Tuesday, June 30, 2009

DAY 30: Winnemucca, Nevada - Can You Say "Close Encounter" of the Concrete Kind??

Tuesday, June 30: Winnemucca, Nevada

Good riddance, Vacaville, CA!  Hello Winnemucca, NV!!  

I must first start off by describing how we exited our Vacaville campground this morning.  You may recall we were parked right smack next to a caboose.  We were packed into this park like sardines with trees everywhere.  
Ok, study this picture.  I'm 52' long.  I have not only a caboose to the north of me (red), but between the caboose and the road there is a huge trash dumpster.  On the other side of me (#62), is a large 5th wheel, full size pickup truck and a large tree.  How do I get out of this spot? I'm not going to answer this for you.  I want to hear from you as to what you would do.......

Since we are now in Winnemucca, Nevada, you must assume I made it out of there.  We had a great drive today getting to Nevada.  The scenery was beautiful, the weather was beautiful and the roads weren't terrible; for the most part.  We did have one stretch of road, however, that white knuckled me for 3 miles.  See picture.  We had not crossed over into Nevada yet and had been going through miles and miles of construction when we came upon this.  Yes, I had seen the signs that said if your vehicle was over 101" wide, don't go any further.  Chuck said not to worry about it; we were way under that width.  Let's stop there for a moment.  When trying to calculate in your mind a certain height or width, do you imagine yourself lying in that space and calculate based on how tall you are whether it will work?  For some reason, that's what I do.  And that's what I was doing when I saw the "Not to exceed 101" width requirements".  I imagined myself lying across the RV.  I thought it would be close, but he was probably right.  After all, the semis were continuing on; surely they were wider than me!  Before I knew it, I was driving between two concrete barrier walls that were SOOOOOOOOOOOOO close to me, I think I held my breath the entire 3 miles.  Chuck was looking out his window and encouraging me with words like, "I think I could open my door and not hit the wall.......I think.." and "You're doing great, Liz........just don't look down" or "I think I see the end of the concrete barriers up ahead" but he really didn't.  What a cheerleader.  He knew by the fact that I hadn't breathed in awhile, had the death grip on the steering wheel,  and had lost all the blood out of my face, that these words of encouragement was his way of staying alive.  After what seemed like an hour, we finally moved past these barriers.  I think he was very proud of me.  We found out later from a campground neighbor that had also gone through there, that we had about 6" clearance on each side.  I don't think Chuck could have opened his door........

So here we are in Winnemucca.  For those few of you who don't know where Winnemucca, Nevada is, neither do we!  It's somewhere in the middle of the state I think.  We did learn from George our neighbor here at this beautiful campground that Winnemucca means "one shoe".  It was named after the Paiute Indian Tribe Chief Winemucca.  Legend has it, that he fell in love with a beautiful indian woman and gave her his shoe; just one shoe.  (Evidently, he felt this took the place of a diamond ring). When he died, it is said that his death was attributed to his being bewitched by his young wife, who was stoned to death......with only one shoe (sorry, I made that last part up). 

Well, thats your history lesson for the day.  Now, I need to hear from each of you on how exactly you think I got the RV out of this very very tight parking spot.  

See ya tomorrow in Salt Lake City!

Thank you to my WONDERFUL neighbors Troy, Becky, Steve, Kris and Dylan for taking care of our pets and home while we are gone.....you guys are the best!  We really are coming home.......someday.

DAY 29: Vacaville, CA - Who Turned The Heat On?????

Monday, June 29: Vacaville, CA

It's  108 crazy, ridiculous, egg frying on the concrete, degrees outside!!!!!!!! Dang it's hot here. You know, when we were heading this way yesterday, Chuck was telling me he always gets San Francisco and San Diego confused.  He can never remember which one is where.  So my response to him was just remember that San Diego is always warmer cause its the furtherest south; and San Francisco is always "cooler" because its further north.  So now he thinks we are in San Diego cause its so HOT here.  

We decided since the temps were suppose to be so high today that we would get an early start to San Francisco this morning.  The town we're staying in, Vacaville, is about 50 miles northeast of San Francisco, so we thought if we left between 8:00 and 8:30, we would miss the traffic in San Diego......er, I mean, San Francisco.  So off we went.  We were dressed for the hot weather; after all, we're from Texas; we know all about hot weather.  We hop on the trike, manuever around the caboose thats parked next door (don't ask) and off we go.  We get about 15 miles up the road and notice its gotten much cooler and the wind is really blowing.  We promptly pull over and get our rain suits on (they're really nice and warm) and head on to SF.   Of course we had one stop to make before getting there.......we unfortunately passed an Ihop, and for those of you who know my husband, know that we can't pass an Ihop without stopping.  So, an hour later, we're back on the road.  By the time we actually get into SF, its really gotten much cooler......and by the time we got to the Golden Gate Bridge, I'm FREEZING!   I'm dressed for summer, except for the rain jacket, and my legs have gone numb and my teeth are chattering.  We do the normal stops along the edge of the bridge to take pictures and then go to get on the bridge itself.  Now, this was the most important reason we came to SF.  I wanted Chuck to be sure and videotape us on the motorcycle going over the bridge.  So I'm nagging him about getting the camcorder ready; is he SURE its recording...blah blah blah.....(we all remember what happened at Mt. St. Helens don't we???!) and he's starting to get annoyed.  About this same time, I notice a sign that says you have to pay to get on this bridge.  What?????  That's absurd.  But ohh noooo, they want you to PAY for their bridge repairs by charging $6.00 to cross this bridge.  Errrrr.....this means I must now pull over to retrieve my purse in the trunk of the motorcycle.  We're on the stinkin' bridge and I need to pull over??????  Seriously????  This also means I can't go back and forth on the bridge as I had planned to make sure we have a top notch video of this experience.  Long story short, we paid the stupid $6 to cross the stupid bridge and the video that Chuck took, well, it starts out real good........but ends with us looking like we're in an earthquake on the bridge.   Hummmm....I had kinda hoped for an earthquake while in California......

So we follow the "scenic route" signs all around SF; all 49 miles around SF.  Chuck only fell asleep once that I know of and my intercom kept falling off my helmet, but other than that, it was pretty cool.  There were parts of this city that looked like a third world country, but other parts that had some really cool architecture.  We finally get on the road to head back to the RV.  We're taking a different route back as we (actually, only me) wanted to drive through Napa Valley and the wine country.  So we're heading that direction when we come upon ANOTHER bridge that wants you to pay to go over.  I was very very tempted to take the SpeedPass lane, but with our luck, just knew I would get busted.  So we paid the stupid $4 to get over that bridge and headed towards Napa Valley.  By now, Chuck could care less about Napa Valley and just wanted to get to Costco for more pretzel sticks, but the driver of the bus (that's ME!) was not leaving without seeing Napa Valley.  We get into Napa Valley and what do I see???????  A Goodwill store.  JACKPOT!  The stuff at the Napa Valley Goodwill store has got to be some GREAT stuff, so I throw on the brakes, make a stiff right turn and wheel us right on into Goodwill.  Chuck is thoroughly annoyed now as he's just not the Goodwill type of guy, but he patiently waited for me to finish my shopping.  They really did have some good stuff, folks!

As we're heading through the beautiful wine country, it is getting hotter and hotter.  By the time we reach the highway, it is crazy hot on this motorcycle.  We just have a little ways to go, but its a blacktop road and the heat is almost unbearable on my legs as I'm driving.  We finally get to the exit for the Costco and I'm feeling really strange about now; I'm light-headed (no comments, please); I notice I'm not sweating although I'm burning up; and I've been drinking water since we left home this morning.  I know this all means I'm severely dehydrated and by the time we get to the Costco parking lot, I am having a hard time breathing.  We get in the store and get something to drink, sit and enjoy the cool air and eventually all is well.   Here I was from Texas and not able to take this heat.  What a WHOOS!!

And that was our day in San Francisco.  Oh ya, Chuck never did find his pretzel sticks at Costco......he remembered later they were at Sam's.  Errrrrr......

I Love You Mom!  We'll be home soon.........

Monday, June 29, 2009

DAY 28: Vacaville, CA - Where Can I Get Back-Up Lessons??

Sunday, June 28: Vacaville, CA

Today we headed towards San Francisco.  It was a pretty easy drive considering we only had to take two roads; I-5 out of Grants Pass, Or and I-505 once we got to our destination in California.  Unfortunately, Liz can make an easy drive ridiculously difficult.  Let me explain.  

We packed everything up this morning; pulled the 4 slides in; lifted the jacks; put the lawn chairs in the "basement"; loaded the trike on the trailer; talked for an hour with the RV neighbors and off we went.  I had my eye on a certain gas station that we had to pass to get on the freeway, so I was going to just whip right in and filler' up.  I was tootling down the road when I noticed I just passed it.  Errrrrr......all the roads in Grants Pass are one way roads, so around the block we went.  Keep in mind when you have 52' of caboose, its not something you want to do.  Anyway, we pulled her in, filled her up and hit the road.  Shortly after crossing into California and doing a lot of mountain climbing in the RV all morning,  I needed to make a pit stop.  I saw a Rest Stop up ahead and decided to pull her in there.  I exited the freeway and headed towards the rest stop.  This particular rest stop wasn't typical in that you had to make a 90 degree turn and cross over a bridge, etc....it was just weird.  And by the time I realized how weird it was, I had passed it.  Chuck's over there saying "Turn, turn, turn" and I'm saying "Huh???".  Now we found ourselves on a narrow two lane road that skirted the canyon.....we drove and drove and drove trying to find some place that I could turn the rig around but there was NOTHING!  Chuck's frustrated that I missed the original turn; I'm needing to pee like a sailor and Murphy's nervous because he can't see what's going on.  We were not a happy family.  FINALLY, we see an old abandoned building that we "think" we can maneuver a turn around in.  I pull waaaaayyyy to the right and then sharply turn the 52' to the left, across the narrow two lane road, and heading directly at the abandoned building.  Chuck has now gotten out of the rig and directing me from somewhere behind the coach.  I finally get him in my side mirror and he is motioning for me to "Come On Back"....when I see a huge 5th wheel trailer coming around the corner....I can see by Chuck's hand motions that he's getting annoyed I'm not obeying the "Come On Back" command, but he doesn't see this monster 5th Wheel trailer coming towards him.......Just as the trailer whizzed past him, with a surprised look on his face, he motions for me to STOP.  DUH!!!  Anyway, a few forwards and then a few reverses and we got the rig out of there and I got to pee.

We head on for a few more hours and decide to pull over and fix a bite to eat.  I kept looking for a good place to pull over to no avail.  I finally just took the next exit and pulled into an office building parking lot.  I did note when I picked this spot that there appeared to be an exit on the other side of the building which would make for an easy out.  We fixed a bite to eat, fired up the computer to check on places to stay tonight and talked about what route we were going to take. We finished eating and off towards that exit I drove.  Unfortunately, there was no exit.  Nope; no exit at all.....none....nada....no way to get out of this parking lot other than the way I came in....which was behind me and the 52' of rubber and metal that follows me.  I'm thinking to myself, "I can do this......I'm pretty okay with backing up the boat and jetski trailers.....I'll take my friend Nonia's suggestion and put my hand at the bottom of the steering wheel and turn it in the direction  I want the trailer to go."  Chuck gets out AGAIN and goes to the back of the rig and is doing his hand signals.  I'm backing, backing, backing and, although the trailer was headed in the right direction, I wasn't.  So forward I go.  Then backward.....then straighten up again......then backward.   This went on for awhile, folks.  We finally got out of there and headed on......

When we pulled into our RV campsite (which is a WHOLE story on its own), I step outside and feel like I've just put my head in the oven.  Man, is it ever hot.  When we left Oregon this morning, it was a nice breezy 55-60 degrees outside......light sweater weather......and we get here, and we're melting....

Anyway, tomorrow we're off to see San Francisco and the Golden Gate Bridge.....Chuck's just excited they have a Costco.

Check out the view from our dining room window.....yep, that there's a railroad car.  Do we know how to pickem' or what?!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

DAY 27: Grants Pass, Oregon - What's That White Stuff On Your Face, Chuck??

Saturday, June 27, Grants Pass, Oregon

I think the Texas hot weather finally caught up to us here in Oregon.  It was mostly HOT today!  I can hear my Texas friends laughing right now saying, "Well, its about time.....she's bragged long enough about the cool weather".  Yep, I just knew that would make your day!

But what a day it was!  We hopped out of bed this morning feeling energized and ready to see the Redwood Forest.  We were happy to see that Murphy was feeling better this morning as well.  Yesterday he was so lethargic.  He just wanted to lay around and sleep and just looked exhausted.  It wasn't until late yesterday evening that it dawned on me why.  As you may recall (go back and read DAY 25 if you need to), he had a pretty "active" day on Thursday.  Remember, that was the day he wouldn't leave his monkey alone.......kept "humping" it all day long in front of the entire campground.  Well, he must have been completely worn out on Friday from all the activity on Thursday is what I'm figuring......but today.....he's back to his old self! 

Today, we rode the trike into California and right smack into the middle of the Redwood National Forest.  It was amazing.  The lady at the Information Shack told me we needed to take this one small, slightly not paved road (don't tell Chuck that part.....he thinks I didn't know it wasn't paved) that went through some beautiful redwoods.  Said it was the most scenic road out there.  We decided to go ahead and see the coast first and then catch that "special" road on the way back.  So we rode up and down the California coast about 40-50 miles and then headed back. We're flying around hairpin curves, checking out the ocean and the beautiful redwood trees when I hear something smacking in my motorcycle helmet intercom with Chuck.  I turn around and see him eating white powdered donuts with white sugar caked around his mouth.  I'm like, "Where the heck did you get powdered donuts from"???  (see picture).  In a few minutes, he's wanting to stop and get coffee to wash the donuts down with (again, see picture).....

Anyway, we then head down this "special" redwood forest road.  We had been on the road probably no more than....oh...say....30 SECONDS when I discovered Chuck was SO not going to be happy with this road.  First: It was not paved (shhhh...I didn't know anything about that, ok?!!). Normally, not paved is not that big a deal; however, he had just detailed the trike yesterday and this was a dusty white powder road (not unlike his earlier donuts..) Second: It was very bumpy.  This is a problem as he couldn't keep his coffee in the cupholder.  Third: He is of the opinion you see one redwood tree, you've seen them all.    So, as you can see, this road was going to be problematic.  I just continued on.....oooing and aaahhhing at every tree I saw until he finally just said, "It's time.......let's get out of here!"  I have to say, he lasted longer than I thought he would.   So home we headed.

In total, we rode 250 miles today.  Long, butt-aching day on the trike, but was some of the most beautiful scenery we have ever layed eyes on.  Around every corner was a new experience.....a new smell......a new sight.  There's nothing like living this on a motorcycle.

BTW, one of the pictures above is a view of us reflected off a milk truck on the Hwy 101.  I just thought it was cool.

Tomorrow, who knows where we'll be.  We'll decide in the morning.  

Friday, June 26, 2009

DAY 26: We Are In.......Wait.......Where Are We????

Friday, June 26: I'm trying to remember where we are....

Oh ya, we're in Grants Pass, Oregon.  I was sure thinking we would be in the Redwoods of California tonight, but we decided at the last minute to stop early, do laundry and get some groceries in a decent sized town.  Well, when I say "decent sized town", I mean it has a Wal-Mart.  

Supper tonight was Wendy's across the street (remind me to tell you about working at Wendy's) and we successfully got all the laundry done at the laundromat!  I know, I know; I told you guys we had a Washer/Dryer on the RV, however, you may also recall that was the first time we had used it and I've got to tell ya, you can get a total of 4 of Chuck's underwear and 4 of Liz underwear and one kitchen towel in a load that takes forever to do.  So we decided to head to the laundromat at the RV park.   We met a cool guy in there named Dan who told us all the great places to ride the bike tomorrow at the Redwood National Forest in California.  Chuck asked him how long he had been traveling and he looked at us like we were from Mars and said, "Huh?  I live here."  Okkkaaayyyy.......Anyway, he was very nice and loaned us books on the area and all.  I watched where he called "home" so I would know where to return the books tomorrow and, well, ya, he lives here alright.....Check out the picture!

Anyway, we had a BEAUTIFUL drive down from Diamond Lake.....well.....that is, once we got headed in the right direction.  The first 30 minutes were in the opposite direction......Also, we saw this camper in front of us that was L-E-A-N-I-N-G really bad...it would round a corner, and we were laying bets it was going over...and then it would straighten up and then L-E-A-N way over again on the next corner; so we took a picture of it for the future insurance adjuster......BTW, the RV didn't fail today; not once; we gave it every opportunity and it never failed.  What's up with that????  Half of me is relieved and the other half is baffled.....

Thanks for reminding me about my job at Wendy's.  When I was 16, my dad had a feeling his youngest daughter (that's ME!) would never amount to anything, so he used reverse psychology on me and said things like "Oh, you'll never be able to find a job" or "You're too spoiled; you couldn't find a job if you wanted to!"......well, he knew his youngest pretty well and knew I would consider that a dare and everyone who knows me know I rarely ever turn down a dare. But back to the story; so I went to Wendy's and applied for a job.  Didn't really WANT the job, but had something to prove to Dad.  They gave me my uniform requirements (it resembled a nurses outfit) and a HUGE button that said, "Hot and Juicy".  Apparently, they had a sense of humor as that was their slogan back then.   My first day of work, I was so nervous.  They asked me to get some cups or something out of a lower stainless steel cabinet, and as I went to open the cabinet, I must have slid it too hard as it fell off the track and broke the manager's toe.  That was Day 1.  Things eventually got better as time went on, especially after the manager's toe pain eased and he allowed me to do something other than clean the baseboards.  He claimed it was a "promotion".  Really talked it up....said I would be "perfect" for it.....said it was the most sought after job at Wendy's.....yep, he promoted me to "Wendy"; cute little blue plaid dress and red pig tails standing on the corner waving people in.  You know Dad had to be proud as he drove by.......

Tomorrow we head to the Redlands....they say there's nothing like them....so we're charging up the camcorder; putting spare batteries in the purse for the camera and we have clean underwear.  We're ready.....

DAY 25: God Was In A Good Mood When He Made This...

Thursday, June 25: Diamond Lake, Oregon

I promised you waterfalls and craters and snow covered mountains yesterday, and today I'm delivering!  

It is indescribable. The pictures and video we took today just don't reflect what our eyes actually saw.  Stunning.  To my friend Judy who will be here in another two weeks or so, girlfriend, you will not be disappointed!  I am so glad you are getting to visit here.  And for those of you who haven't been here, be making reservations now to visit this awesome place.  I mean it!!

Well, we started the day by trying to get Murphy to quit "humping" his monkey (security blanket) in front of the other campers.  Didn't work.  I don't know what has gotten into him today, but he won't stop "humping" his monkey.  He gets it in his teeth and starts thrashing it about for a few minutes and then hops on........and to town he goes.  We tried taking it away from him (with rubber gloves on, of course!) but then he just growls at us and wouldn't let us get near it.  So we locked him and the monkey up in the RV and headed out on the trike to see what we could find.  Man, I hope he outgrows this......

First stop was for gas.  We pulled into this little gas station; heard the "bing bing" of the bell that we just drove over and out came Gomer Pyle.  He had aged a bit, charged us $3.41 a gallon, pumped our gas for us (it's law here in Oregon)  and sent us on our way.  I was still fuming over having just paid $3.41 a gallon when Chuck reminded me it was a motorcycle we just filled up; it only has a 6 gallon tank and we weren't on empty, so quit complaining.  

We headed down the road to find some waterfalls we had read about when we hit a huge swarm of some huge foreign Oregon yellow bugs.....splat splat splat....all over the newly cleaned windshield.  I just had enough time to tell Chuck to close his mouth before we hit them.  Seriously gross folks.  I think I might have ate one.  Not sure.  I have felt like something was stuck in my throat all day today.

We did indeed find the waterfall and it was stunning......about half way through taking pictures, my batteries expired.  So I whipped out the trusty little rechargeable camcorder, took about 90 seconds of video and it too died.  Errrrrrr.....why does this always happen to me???  So back to the RV we went to get fresh batteries and to recharge the camcorder.   

After waiting an hour for the camcorder to recharge, we headed cautiously back outside through the infestation of mosquitoes to the trike and headed out as fast as we could; we were hoping to out-fly them.  Arrived at Crater Lake National Park which was so much more than I ever expected.  I can't even describe it to you.  While coming down the mountain, we stopped to take some more pictures and saw a family that looked like they needed their picture taken.  So, I hopped off the trike and volunteered to take their picture.  I think I might have misread the fact that they wanted their picture taken, but nonetheless, they appeased me and allowed me to take their picture with their camera.  We all got to talking and found out we were camping in the same park.  So we made plans to get together this evening and visit some more which we did. Super nice family from Washington with a dear friend of the family, Paul, along on the trip with them.  Paul used to live in Garland  for my Texas friends reading this.  How about that??!!!  Small world!

We then went in search of more waterfalls and some crazy road Chuck was just sure was going to be the "road of a lifetime" called Dread and Terror Ridge.  Well, Dread and Terror Ridge turned out to be an old, gravel, logging road that went to Alaska, so we finally turned around and headed out of there......  We then found Watson Falls which is one of the tallest waterfalls in the state of Oregon.  Since it was a "little" hike up to the Falls, Chuck stayed at the trike and I headed up the steep path to the waterfall.  I wanted him to feel like he was there, so I videotaped the hike up there.  I was so grateful for the benches along the path as I found myself turning the volume off on the camcorder so he couldn't hear my heavy breathing and hyperventilating.  Finally, FINALLY made it to the falls.  Whoa!  So worth the heavy panting I was doing.....Such beauty.  God was definitely in a good mood the day he made Diamond Lake State Park and Crater Lake National Park!

And folks, that was our wonderful, wonderful day.  Tomorrow, we don't know where we're going, but we're going.........we'll decide in the morning... 

 Oh ya, Murphy is STILL humping that monkey...... 

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

DAY 24: Are There Diamonds in These Here Lakes???

Wednesday, June 24 - Diamond Lake, Oregon

First things first:  HAPPY BIRTHDAY, TAYLOR!!!  We love you!

Well, we finally made it out of RV-SICK Park today....YEA!  Although we were getting pretty used to setting up camp in the parking lot, as well as camping for free, we were ready to get into a park with sewer hook-up and WATER.  We have been running our on-board water tank since Saturday night and, I've got to tell ya, Liz likes her long, hot showers and she ain't been getting any.  Chuck's been timing me in there and I barely get my toes wet before he's telling me "times up".  Errrrr.....I'm not much into this Dry-Camping business.

Anyway, we headed up to Cummins like I told you yesterday and we couldn't get the darn coach to fail.  So, they couldn't do anything and we couldn't do anything, so we did what anyone would do in this type of situation and headed up to Crater Lake National Park in southern Oregon.  It was a gorgeous drive up there and we landed in a real nice park within Diamond Lake State Park.  When we arrived this evening, two dudes met us outside the office (they appeared to be Amish or something...) and gave us explicit instructions on where and how to park the trailer.  They kept talking at the same time and giving basically the same instructions, and were getting irritated with each other for talking.  It was like they had a script they were suppose to follow and someone wasn't following it properly.  I finally made it past Laurel & Hardy into the office where their wives, Lucy & Ethel, were working.   Ethel said, "Put them in G-14" and Lucy would say, "No, I'm showing them to be in H-45".  Then they both argued over which site was best for our size rig.  Finally, Hardy walked in and said, "No, put them in B-16. It's a nicer site".  FINALLY, we followed Hardy in his little golf cart to our site; only after dropping the trailer at the designated trailer dropping site under the supervision of Laurel.  The trip from the office to the camp site took longer than the 200 miles we drove to get here.

Anyway, we're here and we have arrived at a beautiful, top of the world place.  Looking out at the beautiful snow covered mountains from the inside of the RV is breathtaking, however, once you step outside, you better run for cover cause the mosquitoes will eat you alive.  EAT YOU ALIVE!    I didn't think they had mosquitos in Oregon?!?!

So, here we are unable to enjoyably sit outside our RV (at least until we get some bug spray) with no TV, no Satellite and no cable, watching Mike and Kim's "Lost" series from Seasons 1, 2 and 3.   Oh well, I've been meaning to do that for awhile anyway!

Tomorrow I promise GORGEOUS pictures of waterfalls, craters, diamonds and mosquito bites!!!!

BTW, the pictures above are of: 1) Lucy & Laurel 2) View of Crater Lake 3) Laurel & Hardy

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

DAY 23: We Are So Blessed.......

Tuesday, June 23: Junction City, Oregon

Well folks, did you enjoy Chuck's Blog yesterday?  How sweet of him to write the Blog and just so all his fans know, he's out of the dog house.  Yes, he forgot my birthday.  Yes, he's a man.  And yes, he suffered for it all.  But today was a new day; yesterday is over and all is well in the world again.....except Obama is still president....  

Anyway, as you know from yesterday's Blog, the dealership here could not locate the problem with the RV.  Could not make it fail.  Errrrrrrrrrrr.......so today I was DETERMINED to make this silly RV fail.....saddled up Chuck and Murphy in the RV and headed down the road to drive around the area for a few hours.....the problem always seemed to rear its ugly head when the coach had been driven for a few hours....made sense to drive it around the block for 3 hours and then turn it off.  Well, thats pretty much what we did.  We drove up the road; drove down the road; drove to the truck stop and got the RV washed (never turning it off); drove back to the RV dealer, pulled into the service bay, said a little prayer, and turned the puppy off.  Went back to my computer in the RV and paid some bills and then came back up front to turn it back on..........drumroll please..........keep it coming.......is it going to fail........oh, please fail.........please please please fail..........turned the key......waited for the airbags to inflate.........and we're waiting.........and it starts.  Ugh........ I'm not believing this.....

So tomorrow we head back to Cummins.  I know, folks, this sounds like we have something really major going on with the RV, but in reality, its probably something very simple; loose wire, bad fuse, something very simple that is making us crazy.  So who knows what tomorrow will bring....

We were lucky enough to find ourselves with wonderful neighbors here in the RV-SICK Campground.  We have Connie & Gill from California next door to us.  They have been RV'ing for 8-9 years and unfortunately, find themselves having fried the microwave and satellite.  Not their fault; a campgrounds fault.  But they are just the nicest people ever!  Unfortunately, when Chuck spoke of us on the trike on the side of the road yesterday, he was referring to Liz's meltdown on the side of the road.  We had pulled over so I could get a grip.  Who do you think drove by and stopped to help?  Yep, our friends Connie & Gill.  How sweet......I was embarrassed they had to see me that way seeing as we had just met them that day, but hey, a woman can't pick the perfect time to fall apart, right???

 Then we have John and DeeDee and their adorable pooch, Scooter, down the way a couple coaches.  They are newbies like us and live in southern Oregon.   They make our RV problems look like a cakewalk & I feel guilty for complaining!  They are retired and John is a Gideon.  You know, the Gideon Bibles in hotels that we've all seen.  What an inspiring guy!  He has such an upbeat attitude and fun to talk to.  He could go on the road doing a comedy routine about his RV challenges thus far.  His lovely wife, DeeDee, is amazing.  She has the kind of personality that makes you want more of her.....you want to learn more and more about her.  They both have hearts of gold and have even extended their stay here to help us hopefully get our Rv issues resolved.  You see, they unfortunately hold the prize of knowing the service people the best.  They are the ones you want on your side to help plead your case.  So, they have been invaluable to us and extremely helpful.

So you see, sometimes we are dropped in certain places at certain times for certain reasons and I think I'm slowly figuring out why we were dropped here.  I can honestly say that everyone (with the exception of the Truck Wash guy today) has been so wonderful here in Oregon and Washington.  From the dude on the motorcycle in Washington who motioned for us to move into a different lane cause the road was so rough up ahead to the service people here in Oregon to our wonderful new friends, we have been extremely blessed.  

And I'm blessed to have my Charlie..........(& Murphy!)...

Oh ya, we hope to be putting another YouTube online tonight.  Go to

* www.youtube.com
* In the Search field, type MURPHYSMOM1
* It should bring up all the YouTube videos we put online

P.S.  Happy Birthday to my sister-in-law, Lucy, today!!!

Monday, June 22, 2009

DAY 22: It's Chuck's Turn.......

Monday, June 22: Junction City, Oregon

Hi guys'

Tonight I'm afraid you all will have to put up with the male side of our adventures.

We started out with the coach repairs to be made here in Oregon, however I must back up a little and mention that this day wasn't really about the coach at all.  It is Liz's birthday. That being said, old Charlie here totally forgets to wish her a happy birthday upon arising. Not good. In fact, really bad.

It's really sad the way males can only seem to lock in on one thing at a time.  Anyway the coach was dropped off on time and we started out on a motorcycle run.  Oregon is a beautiful state with wonderful mountains, lots of wild flowers and one Honda Trike stopped alongside the road.  Yes, I'm 62 years old and still trying to understand women.  Someday it will happen, I just hope it's in this life time.

After a very enjoyable day in the park we received the call telling us the problem could not be duplicated.  No surprise there.  Come pick up your MH we need the space. 

Tomorrow is another day and we will try again at Cummings Diesel. As far as tonight goes wish me luck convincing Liz that the Romans made a terrible mistake when they rewrote the calendar.

Love, Chuck

Sunday, June 21, 2009

DAY 21: Junction City, OR - We Now Know How Many Miles To Get Home..

Sunday, June 21: Junction City, Oregon

Boy did I ever get a good nights sleep!!  And how jealous are you all in Texas going to be when I tell you the high temperature today was about 60 degrees.  Beautiful!!  

Well, here we sit at the "campground" of the RV  dealership here in Junction City to have the it checked out tomorrow.  We just came in from outside, sitting around with other customers camping here who are having their Rv's looked at tomorrow as well.   I was making tons of mental notes of what I was learning from others and hoping our problem is minor in comparison.  Hoping...hoping...hoping..... I'll never forget my friend, Jen's words, upon learning we were first getting an RV, "Oh Liz, something is ALWAYS going wrong when you have an RV".....I hate it when she's right!  Errrrrr.......

I thought I'd give you a little history on what Oregon is known for.   Now, Chuck and I discovered this totally on our own, but it has been verified by others who have roamed this state more than us.  Turns out, Oregon is known for its poor signage.  Very very very very poor signage.  We learned this last night coming in, which caused us an extra 45 minutes and an additional 50 points on my blood pressure,  and we learned it again today on the trike while looking and looking for a state park not far from us that had several waterfalls.  I googled this; I know they are there.  I saw pictures (see attached).  But we never found the waterfalls.  We drove and drove but to no avail.  So we headed the 65 miles back to the Rv.  Chuck, being the navigator he is, made sure and saved our Rv location to "Favorite Places" so we could just hit "Home" and the GPS would take us "Home" to the Rv.  So, that's what we did.  And that's what the GPS did.  We drove and drove and I just knew this wasn't the way we came in.  Finally, the little GPS lady inside the device said we only had 1,856 miles to go...........Yep, she was taking us home.....to Texas.  I know this makes my Mom very happy!

I do have to say this for Oregon.  They still pump your gas here at many stations.  Can you believe that??  I was so stunned that I took a picture of the guy pumping the gas.  Check it out.  He was a little shocked and surprised when I whipped out the camera, but then he saw our license plate and seemed to understand.  Speaking of license plates, did I mention that we lost the license plate off the trailer the trike is on???  Actually, we lost it back in Wyoming.  We have no idea where it fell off or how, but all we know is that when we got to Cody, Wy it was gone.  Turns out, about 30 minutes after discovering the license plate was missing, I was walking Murphy down the road and found a Wyoming plate just laying in the street.  I just know God put that there for us!  I just hope it's not from a stolen vehicle......so now our trike trailer has a Wyoming license plate on it and it doesn't expire until December 09.  How lucky was that???

That's about the extent of our day today.  Keep your prayers heading upwards tomorrow that they find the problem and we can be on our way.   Matter of fact, I'm just going to make you a list of things to pray for tomorrow:

1)   That they fix the RV and know its fixed...not 70%.......not 50%; but 100%!
2)  That when they do find the problem, it doesn't bankrupt us.
3)  That Chuck and I continue to laugh at stressful things & look at the adventure in each of them

See, it's a short list tonight.  Thanks for reading our Blog....we love writing it and taking you all with us on our journey.   Talk to you tomorrow!

DAY 20: Eugene, Or - Who Knows What "Dry Camping" Means???

Saturday, June 20: Junction City, Oregon

Well, today was a good ol' LONG day........we left our comfy campground in Kelso, Washington; said goodbye to our new friends & neighbors, and headed to Seaside, Oregon to see our dear friends, Travis and Jacquetta.  Travis is the brother to Chuck's & my longtime friend, Carla, and we hadn't seen them in ages.  After having a nice lunch and tour around town, as well as tour  of
their lovely home, we scooted out of town along the coast of Oregon.  

Wow!  If you've never seen the coast of Oregon, you will be pleasantly surprised!  It was drop dead gorgeous!  It would have been better on the motorcycle or in a car as opposed to 52' of motor home and trailer, but it was awesome!  

We then headed towards Junction City, Oregon as we have an appointment with the RV manufacturer on Monday to get to the bottom of why the rig is sporadically still not starting.  Chuck had spoken with them yesterday and they told him they had an RV park across the street from the dealer that we could stay in for free.  Well, anytime I hear "free", my mind starts wondering "why" and "whats the catch".  Chuck is much less skeptical than I, so he just assumed it was because they liked us.  Hummmmmm.....

It took us longer to get there than expected and we finally arrived at 10:0o pm.  We rarely ever get to a camp spot after dark and this one was very, VERY dark.  We noticed there were people there and we can hear generators running.........hummmmmmmmm......that can only mean one thing.  No Electricity.  No Water. No Sewer.  Folks, welcome to our first night "dry camping". 

Now, seeing as we came into the park in the wrong entrance, we are now backwards from everyone else, so we pull on around the corner and see a great place to park for the night.  We get out and notice we don't hear generators running or see any lights on in the RV's where we are now.  As we wandered around in the dark to help Murphy find a place to relieve himself, we determine that we are in the Sales Lot and not in the campground lot anymore.  Errrrrrrrrrr.... I have visions of them showing our RV in the morning while we're still in bed........but I ain't movin' it!!

Anyway, I'm tired, in bed right now and listening to Chuck and Murphy snore, so folks, if you'll excuse me, I'm shutting down for the day!  Good night!

P.S.  The pictures are of Travis, Jacquetta & Chuck; their beautiful Persian cat; Travis & Jacquetta blowing CARLA a kiss; and the Oregon coast.

Friday, June 19, 2009

DAY 19: Kelso, WA: So What Do You Do On A Rainy Day In The RV?

Friday, June 19: Kelso, Washington

So, what do you do on a rainy day in the RV?   You go to the Mall, of course!  

Yep, we woke up to rain this morning.  The slow-steady-nice-hate to-get-out-of-bed kind of rain..........but we finally did and Chuck made his famous belgium waffles and I got some book work done for C & E and JC Sound.   But when your only means of transportation outside the RV is a motorcycle, rain does limit you a bit.  So, I started taking pictures of the inside of the RV; then pictures of Chuck in the RV; Murphy in the RV; then the rain through the window of the RV.   

Here's a little known fact about Chuck; when he's bored, he turns into Gladys Kravitiz.  You remember her; from Bewitched. She was the nosy neighbor who knew what all the neighbors were doing and where they were all going.  Well, Chuck's forehead was pressed up again the dining room window each time an RV went by and he wanted to know who the manufacturer was, how long it was, how many tires it had, etc......It was pretty comical......don't tell him I told you this little known fact about him.......

The rain finally slowed up and we were able to get out and about this afternoon and headed to the mall.  Not much of a mall here in Kelso, but hey, it's better than what we have back home....which is nothing.....so, we made the most of it.  We both got new shoes at Payless and Chuck made a new friend at the mall.  His name is Larry.  Larry and Chuck met at the pretzel counter and Chuck brought him back to the table with him.   Larry was a local and filled him with tons of information on the area (which we could have used prior to the day before we leave).....anyway, Larry was a pretty nice guy.  His wife finally called & said her nails were done, so he needed to leave.  

We made it back to the RV from the mall and met our next door neighbors, Pat & Lee, who were full-timers.  In RV talk, that means that they travel all year long in their RV.  They were awesome!  We learned more in one hour from them than the two years of Motorhome Magazine, Good Sam and RV Forum put together.  They were super people and we look forward to getting to know them even better in the future.

So, there's our last day in Kelso, Washington.  Tomorrow we head to the Oregon coast which we hear is some of the most beautiful scenery we'll see.  We also hope to see our dear friends, Travis and Jacquetta for a nice lunch.   BTW, to our Texas friends reading this, the high temperature today was 56 degrees......sorry to hear you're having 100 degree days......really, really sorry to hear that......(hee hee hee)....we'll be home in October.

See ya tomorrow!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

DAY 18: The Best Laid Plans......Never Work Out!

Thursday, June 18, Kelso, WA

Well, today was Mt. St. Helens Day!!  We've been waiting to see her all week.  She was even more magnificant than I ever imagined. 

We loaded up the camera with batteries; extra batteries in the purse, and the camcorder charged and ready.  The SD cards were clean and ready to record.......Our first stop was the Welcome Center prior to actually getting to her.  We watched the 20 minute video on how she started getting mad a couple months prior to erupting, continued getting madder and madder and finally let loose on May 18, 1980 which ended the lives of 57 people and destroyed 175 miles of forest.  We were armed with information and ready to check her out!  So, off we headed the 50+ miles to the next observation deck; the closest we could get to her by vehicle.  You could see her looming out in the distance with low clouds hanging over the top forcing us to use our imagination on what she looked like as a whole.  She was calling our name!!  She was saying, "Come closer......take my picture......video me......put me on YouTube......"  So, we obediently  continued getting closer and closer while the road got curvier and curvier.  The landscape started looking more like the moon and less like the lush green we were used to.   It truly was a perfect motorcycle road!  

Chuck was videotaping and I was taking still pictures (ya ya ya, I know what you're thinking....and yes, I did take some photos while driving down the road.....but I put it on cruise control first!).  We were having a great time thinking how awesome this was going to look on YouTube and how proud all of you were going to be of us for getting this amazing footage.  We were even "slightly" hoping for a little earthquake or eruption or something to make the video even more interesting and maybe get a little money out of too!  Didn't happen.  Wellllll..........we got back to the RV, sat outside on the picnic table and like giddy little kids, started uploading the pictures and video to the computer.  The pictures came out great and we were just waiting on the video to upload.............nothing.  NOTHING!  There was no video on the SD card except some I had taken of Chuck that morning and a great shot of his butt.   As nice as that was, it wasn't what we wanted.  I just knew it had to be on there; Chuck swore he saw the red "record" light on while he was taping; but the video was no where to be found.  I looked everywhere....searched the entire computer....it was not on there.  Errrrrrrrr......

So folks, you will have to live with the still shots only.   I did find someone else's YouTube video of the road to Mt. St. Helens, so if you're interested, I'll point you in that direction.  Go to:   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U9exzFRE8h0  and it's pretty much what we saw today!

Oh ya, one more thing.  Murphy met a very cute little white Llasa Apso today and is in "L-O-V-E"......