Sunday, November 30, 2008

Rain!!! - in the Desert

We had to run into Blythe, California this morning as we needed a few groceries and had some shirts at the cleaners there. We picked all that up and posted a bit on the blog and then thought what the heck we are in town so we might as well go whole hog and have lunch at Sizzler while we were there. It was pouring rain in Blythe and is still pouring now that we are back in the desert near Quartzsite. You’d think this country would just suck up the rain like a sponge but it hardly soaks in at all. All the gullies and washes around our site are running like creeks and the water is just washing the quartzsite off so it looks like some of the hills have snow on them. A pretty scary thought for us snowbirds but it is just an optical illusion caused by all the white rock.

Looks like this will be a stay inside and out of the rain day, but things can change fast here. It rained off and on most of the afternoon and then this evening (Wednesday) the skies opened up. Thought we were back home for the monsoon season. It rained most of the night and quite hard too. There appeared to be around 2 inches when it was all said and done. Now that has to be almost a years supply for Quartzsite.

Thursday, Thanksgiving for our American friends, dawned sunny with a few clouds drifting around. We decided with Bill, Marg, Dennis, Diane, Michael and Shirley that we should all get some Chesters Fried Chicken from the Love’s Truck Stop and have a kind of Thanksgiving dinner of our own. Michael brought some pasta and we sat around the campfire and ate our fried chicken. After dinner Michael and Dennis brought out the banjo and guitar and kept us entertained far into the night.

Friday was a beautiful day here and I took a couple of walks in the desert. Brenda joined me on the afternoon trek. It is really a beautiful day here and the solar panels are making up for lost time. Dennis and Diane headed off for Yuma today. We ran into town today and picked up some books at the used bookstore and a few groceries to help us fend off starvation. Also managed to check our phone messages and I guess the good news is there is no news so all must be well on the homefront.

We tried to post on Saturday but that didn't appear to catch so we will try again today. It is another beautiful Quartzsite day, mid 70's and a nice soft breeze.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Another Desert Day or 2

Pretty relaxing out here in the desert. Other than our morning walks there is not much exciting going on to report on. Monday morning Ron and Edy moved on down Yuma way as they have appointments to keep and it appears that they may have inadvertently taken the sun with them. Shortly after their departure it clouded over and if we were home I would have said we were going to get some rain. But other than a few far off sounds of thunder there was no moisture in the air.

I made a journey into Quartzsite and picked up a couple of power bars so that we can have our electrical load under a little more control. The Discovery has a 2000 watt invertor so with the extra batteries that Woody’s installed for us we are able to use most of our appliances just as if we were hooked to shore power in a park. The sun has been largely absent the last couple of days but we have a good sized generator onboard so if need be we can supplement the sun with that. Not so easy on the carbon emissions though so we’ll restrict that to an “as required” basis.
Yesterday after our walk we headed into Quartzsite with Bill and Margaret for breakfast, it was excellent. After that we wandered around some of the vendors in town and although there is a lot of intriguing stuff, I didn’t find anything that I couldn’t live without. Brenda however did a little to help out the economic well being of the town at the Beall’s store.

The afternoon was just spent relaxing and enjoying the warm weather and some good books. Even under cloud the desert is a beautiful spot and there is much wildlife activity about, mostly quail, doves and hummingbirds, but I believe a coyote visits us after dark, as our scraps disappear religiously every night.

Last night we got a few rain showers and I got up in the night to roll the awnings in as there was a pretty gusty wind blowing and rattling them. This morning we are heading over to Blythe to pick up some shirts I left at the laundry there and from the ingredients on the counter it appears that Brenda’s famous meatball soup is on the menu for later today.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Travelling Troubadours

We are still enjoying the desert outside of Quartzsite, Arizona. As yesterday was Sunday I thought I’d give you all a day of rest from reading my ramblings. We just spent the day at the rig enjoying the weather. I have taken up my desert walking again and went for about an hour walk yesterday and today at sunrise. The desert is beautiful at that time and if we get a good enough connection I will try to share it with you.
Things are going pretty well here and I watched the Calgary Stampeders win the Grey Cup yesterday so things seem to be going well back in Canada also. As the game was on I didn’t manage to annoy those that I usually call on Sundays to chortle about the weather. I thought they might be off watching the game and eating too many snacks, etc.

I have managed to finish the installation of the cell booster and antenna on the roof and get everything fastened down and caulk so we don’t get any water incursions. It seems to work a little better so it is likely that we will get email on a regular basis down here.
Last night we had a visit from a couple of our neighbours here, Dennis and Diane, from East of Sherwood Park and Mike from Penticton. Dennis and Mike brought along a guitar and a banjo so we had some music to enjoy along with the desert sky at our campfire last night. Adds a whole other element of great to the evening. Most of the people at the fire knew some of the words but I don’t think anybody knew all the words to any of the songs, except for the musicians so there accompaniment was a little sketchy at best. Not sure what today will bring but if I get a chance I will upload this and a couple of photos.

Saturday, November 22, 2008


Here she is in all her desert finery with her solar panels and the dish deployed as well as the awnings down.

Yesterday we were in Blythe and managed to post our update. We ran in there to do our laundry and also to pick up a few things. I got a new antenna for the cell phone booster but it doesn’t give us a good enough signal to manage posting anything, although we can get email now, so at least twice a day we fire it up and see if the world has missed us. So far nothing (grin)! Thanks again Mick for your concern and Brent for the updates on Dad.
Blythe is a small California town right on the border with Arizona and appears to be a pretty laid back place. Even on main street a traffic jam consists of 3 or 4 vehicles. Hot and dry but very comfortable. We also had some running around to do and some supplies to pick up also, can’t live without things, like cheese for the lasagna and beer for Bill.

Once we got back to camp I installed the cell antenna and Brenda made a lemon meringue pie. That meant that she had to run the generator for a while to operate her convection oven. “Roughing it, smoothly” they say. Our extra batteries (4, 8 total) and the solar panels sure seem to do the trick with the power though, we have been doing almost everything we please including watching some TV at night and the power system manages to bring itself back up to 100% by early afternoon.
The last couple of evenings we have had a bonfire so are also getting to enjoy the desert evenings. Through the day it has been into the high 80’s here but it cools off nicely at night. Last night it dropped down to 51F by morning. Perfect sleeping weather.

We’ll see what today brings but I think we are going into Quartzsite for a look around and that should give us a chance to post another update.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Where Did They Go?

Well , we made it over to Desert Hot Springs to visit our friends Hal and Bunty. And what a drive it was. We left Valencia Travel Park north of Santa Clarita at about 8:00AM, just in time to participate in the morning follies on I-5 as folks head into the Los Angeles megopolis for work. Once we got off of I-5 we got stuck in a traffic jam on I-210 that lasted for over a half hour. All in all it took us over an hour and a half to travel 40 miles. Once we cleared that though we were off to the Palm Springs area.
They have a Park Model in the Sky Valley RV resort. It is really a nice place about 10 or so miles outside of Palm Springs. Boy is it warm though, when we arrived it was in the mid 90’s. A lot hotter than we are used to. One problem though we had no internet connection there so I didn’t manage to get anything posted for a couple of days. First time we had reached a spot where there was absolutely no signal for our air card to work with. I guess I better get the booster set up to see if that will help in the future.
Hal and Bunty in their "garden"

We had a great supper at Hal and Bunty’s and enjoyed visiting with them. Yesterday, the 19th, we ran into Palm Springs to do a little shopping and stock up the fridge for some time in the desert. I noticed in Palm Springs that the majority of the folks were calling me “sonny”, I guess it is because even old as I am I am below the mean average age.
After our shopping trip we helped set up their desert backyard for a wine and cheese party. Sure were a lot of friendly folks who showed up and each and every one of them happy to share their beautiful spot with us. After all the food we devoured we skipped supper, too many good snacks.
On the morning of the 20th we hooked up and moved over to Quartzsite. Unlike the drive through the Los Angeles area this one was a traffic free dream. I-10 just heads out across the desert and the fact that there is no water to be seen is not a huge issue for us modern day travelers. It certainly must have been for those who travel in this country over the last few centuries. And I think the shortage of water is again on the verge of affecting all of California. From the billboards we have seen there is a huge lobbying going on about the allocation of water. Agriculture/cities/wildlife and environment all have their advocates.
We met our friends Bill and Margaret here along with their friends Ron and Edy who we had also met here last winter. We got our rig set up for desert living so now we’ll see if everything does it part to make it all work. It appears to use a lot of power to just be, but we suspected that so we have 400 watts of solar panels on the roof to, hopefully, recharge the batteries through these sunny Arizona days. Things haven’t changed much here but it is a little dryer this year than last.
I am not sure whether or not our internet connection will be solid enough here to upload this posting or any photos but we’ll give it a whirl. If it doesn’t work we’ll update it as soon as we can. Thanks for checking on us Mick, it's nice to know someone is watching.

Here's a shot of our new neighbourhood in Quartzsite. Nice neighbours too.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Valencia, California

No new pictures today other than our baby in another location. We are now in the Valencia Travel Park just north of Santa Clarita, California. It is a nice park with a lot of shade trees and with the temps in the high 70's they are appreciated. We traveled about 300 miles today and didn't do a lot other than fuel up and take a couple of rest stops along the way. I-5 was lined with orchards most of the trip. Amazing what a little water will do to a desert. I think from the look of the resorvoirs we have seen the water is running out though. We passed by the San Luis Resorvoir in Pacheco Pass this morning and it was probably down about 200-300 feet from it's high water marks. I wonder what will happen to this country if they don't get a bunch of rain soon. Lot of people and a lot of agricultural enterprises are going to go thirsty. Guess there is a reason there was a lot fewer folks here a hundred years ago. It looks like it was good ranching country before the orchards and might be again some day, soon.

When we fueled up the diesel was down to $2.71, pretty nice change from the $5.04 a gallon we paid in Salmon Arm just a few weeks ago. For the curious minds out there the rig is getting about 8.4 mpg, so not as good as the old one, but better than we expected. As time goes by it should loosen up a little and maybe 9 is achievable. Too bad the price of oil has drug the Canadian dollar and the Canadian economy down with it. But I guess we can be certain that it will probably go back up again. Hopefully it will take the other things up with it.

Heard from Matt and Michelle, they are back from their Cuban adventure and it sounds as if the hurricane didn't affect them to much. Tomorrow we are off to see Hal and Bunty near Palm Springs so it should be a short travel day.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Wash Day

Today I convinced the folks at the KOA to let me wash up our rig. Although we drove through the rain for the first week or two of this trip we had picked up some road grime so it was nice to get it cleaned up. That was our big task for the day, well, except for continuously having to move our lounge chairs from one shady spot to another. It was in the mid eighties here, tough, but I guess it is better than shoveling snow at home. The pictures below are of the harbour that is right out the back of our rig. Day and night we are serenaded by the sea lions barking at each other as they fight for a spot on the docks. We ran down into Marina to pick up a few groceries then came right back to resume our endless shifting with the sun.

Tomorrow we are planning on packing up and heading towards Desert Hot Springs. It may take us a day or so to get there but we are planning on stopping there for a day or so to visit with Hal and Bunty from up Tattoga Lake way. Then it is off to Quartzsite.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Carmel & Big Sur

This is a shot looking back north towards Rocky Point.

Today we took a drive down California 1 from our camp to Big Sur. As always the scenery was spectacular. There are many superb vistas to stop and enjoy. The highway clings along the cliffs above the sea and at every wide spot there is a pull out. We went in the morning so there was very little traffic although when we came back about lunch time there were a lot more vehicles and folks on the road. I don't think I would want to be along there on a Sunday afternoon in the summer time. Probably couldn't get your lense out through the crowd to see the sites.

The temperatures were in the high 70's to low 80's although once we got back to our camp it was mid 80's here.

We drove as far down as Big Sur, and it appears that some of the hippy types that headed this way in the 60's and 70's have reproduced as there are some folks here who appear to be dressed in their grandmothers tie dyed outfits. It is still a beautiful spot where giant redwoods grow almost within sight of the arid coastal plains. Although it is known for its fog we had a beautiful clear day.

Big Sur

After turning around a Big Sur we headed back north and ate our picnic lunch on the beach in Carmel. It was a beautiful white sand beach that is open to the public. There was a steady stream of walkers both with and without their dogs traversing the sand and a small flotilla of surfers riding the waves offshore. As we left town there was bumper to bumper traffic heading in so it appears that visiting in the morning was a good choice.

Friday, November 14, 2008


We are still in the KOA in Moss Landing, California. It is a nice little park and the weather is beautiful (high 70's - low 80's, for you back home that means no long underwear) so we thought we should stay here for a few more days. We are booked through until Monday morning and then we'll probably begin our journey inland to the desert. But who knows for sure, as they say, "our plans are carved in Jello."

Today we took a drive down to Monterey and visited the Monterey Bay Aquarium, good tip Moss, and had a look around there. There are some pretty neat displays covering everything from jellyfish a couple of whom are surrounding these first paragraphs up to the top predators such as sharks and tuna.

The driving force behind the aquarium is the desire to instill folks with a sustainable attitude towards our oceans. In our case it worked, a little anyway, as after we got done there we headed down the street to the Fish Hopper, shown below, for some seafood for lunch. But they only serve seafood that complies with the Aquariums Sustainable Seafood Guide for the West Coast. Who knew being environmentally friendly could taste so good. Brenda had the Mushroom and Crab Cake sandwich and I opted for the Seafood Linguini. Both were outstanding and did I mention sustainable!!

After lunch we walked along the seafront and took a few photos of the scenery and just breathed in that good fresh sea air. Helped us work up an appetite for a couple of Nestle's Toll House Cookies. Wow, who would believe a chocolate chip cookie could cost $1.89. Not me, but it all worked out as after we got back to the Motorhome Brenda was inspired to do a little baking. Now if I could get the marketing down right we are sitting on a fortune as her chocolate chip cookies knock the socks off those Nestle ones anyday. But I suppose that would mean I would have to share them. LOL The rest of the afternoon is just being spent enjoying the nice weather.

Got some news from home, that Caron, my niece, had her appendix out yesterday. She's a little sore but will be back good as new soon. Good timing as I think on Tuesday her and my Dad were off to Churchill, Manitoba to see the polar bears. If it had happened up there they may have had to remove it with a couple of sharp spoons but the freezing would have come naturally.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Camp Day

Not doing a lot today. It was a beautiful day to do nothing on, 70F and not a cloud in the sky. I polished some wheels and Brenda did a couple of loads of laundry. Other than that we have just had a camp day. We are not sure what we are doing tomorrow, maybe we'll move on and maybe we'll stay another few days. We haven't been to Monterey yet or down to Carmel and those places are pretty nice. But tomorrow will bring what tomorrow brings, that's the beauty of this kind of travel.

I took a walk down the beach today and that is the height of excitement for this day.

There were a few, very few folks, on the beach and one lonely surfer, but he didn't offer any spectacular shots.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Moss Landing and Santa Cruz

Here is the view we had from our seats at breakfast. We ate at a place called Gilda's out on the wharf in downtown Santa Cruz.

The breakfast was easily as good as the view also. I had the Fisherman's Wharf special, hotcakes, 2 eggs, bacon and sausage and it was all scrumptious. Brenda had the Chicken Fried Steak and it made mine look like the cholesterol watchers special. Tasted good to from all reports.

After that we wandered around to the point just left of the original picture and watched the surfers at play. Sure was a lot of folks there for a Wednesday morning, beats working I guess. Some cute guys down here Carley, you gotta blow off the office in San Ramon and head down here for a look.

After that we wandered down the road a little ways to pick up some stuff Brenda wanted at a local mall and then started back for the campsite. Our Jeep is being worked on this morning so hopefully that is going well. While it is incapacitated we have rented a Jeep Patriot from the dealer to run around in. Boy is it a plain Jane outfit. First time since I turned in my company truck a couple of years ago that I have seen a vehicle with roll up windows and manual door locks. You sure get used to the nicer things in life in a hurry.

On the way back we stopped near Moss Landing at the Harbour and had a look at the gathering of sea lions here on the dock. There were literally hundreds of them all stacked up enjoying the sunshine. We were told that the Orcas are ranging up and down the coast so the sea lions are taking refuge in the harbours. There is also a large power plant here and that means there are a lot of fish around the outlets enjoying the warmer waters so the sea lions have ample groceries to survive the siege. I am sure the local fishing boats are just loving having them around all the time.

There are also a few rafts of sea otters hanging out here and the fellow below was just one of many we have seen.

Well here's hoping that the draft of this will stay safe while I am off to pick up the Jeep, after I get that done I will return and let all of you know what is up with the latest calamity we have experienced.
The Jeep is home, apparently there was a wheel speed sensor on the right front wheel that came loose and wore through the wires connecting it to the computer. That told the machine that one wheel was not turning and it disabled the traction control system and the ABS braking system, nothing serious but a lot of lights lit up. Hopefully that will be all for the next little while.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Farewell to San Francisco

Like this freighter we are saying farewell to San Francisco this morning and heading over towards Monterrey Bay. The City by the Bay is very pretty but also pretty crowded and a couple of days is enough.

Now these are more our kind of neighbours. There are crowds of sea lions, elephant seals and birds here at Moss Landing, between Monterrey and Santa Cruz. We will be here for a few days, hopefully resting up and getting the Jeep repaired. There is a lot to see and do here also and the weather is supposed to be pretty nice also. We'll see.

This fellow seems to have a itch that takes a little bending to scratch. Either that or he is wondering whether his deodorant is working. Let me tell you from my perspective he and his mates need a good bath.

Those of you who know my better half know that getting this Jeep dirty is a bad thing, and you probably also know that I am not nearly as neat as her, so she spends a lot of time cleaning up after me. I really don't try to make a mess, it just seems to happen. That said it sure is nice to have a nice clean vehicle to ride around in and if I have a shower every day and keep clean clothes on I am usually allowed to ride inside and even drive the machine.

As I said earlier we are going to spend a few days here and start the slowing down process for the winter. We have reached warm weather and seem to be avoiding the rain so far so we will move south as the weather urges us to but not at any great speed. Hopefully in the next couple of weeks we will get through Palm Desert and move on over into the Arizona desert for a while before heading back north to Vegas for the National Finals Rodeo. We have tickets for the last four performances of that from December 10th to the 13th and then the rest of the winter is free.

I was glad to hear from the folks back home over the last couple of days as this is a kind of a blind faith type of writing. You just hope folks are reading and just maybe they find it a little interesting too. Sounds like lots of changes back in the oil business at home and here's hoping those that still want to keep working are managing to do so. Your right Dennis it is great to be retired at times like this. And as for your jealousy Mick from the photos that is a pretty nice pool in your backyard in Phoenix, now you just need to use it.

Monday, November 10, 2008


Some flowers along the waterfront

Last night we went for an authentic dinner at a place our Asian (Korean) campground guy recommended, Fook Yuen. It was probably authentic and we realized that maybe we are not authentic Chinese food eaters, the dishes sounded great, but there were some spices in them that did not suit our palates. One was a Salt and Pepper Shrimp dish that sounded great and would have been if they had shelled the shrimp before putting the salt and pepper concoction on them. Once you had them peeled most of the concoction was also on the plate with shell, leaving a plain old shrimp with little or no salt and pepper taste. All that said there appeared to be a few large Asian family groups at the restaurants that were not having the same difficulties we were. Oh well, maybe we are Panda Express kind of people, live and learn.

This morning we are just hanging around camp and Brenda is getting the laundry caught up. The fellow next door to us is having a problem with his slides not retracting so I have been over there commiserating with Mel and his wife Cheng. They are from Jackfish Lake just east of Edmonton in Alberta and are heading to their winter home in Mesa. After some hocus pocus the slides finally retracted and they are off enroute to Arizona.

Once we got everything done around camp we caught the shuttle downtown to do a little looking around. We took the tour to Alcatraz, and found it to be well worth the price. There is a lot of history on that old rock and the tour did a good job of sharing it with us. Not a place you would have wanted to call home for very long.

After the tour we strolled down the waterfront to Fishermans Wharf to get a dinner. We decided to go to Alioto's a restaurant recommended by another blogger Terry. Have a look at her site she has some pretty good stuff especially when it comes to finding local jewels in the restaurant scene. Here is the link ""
I had the seafood canneloni and it was excellent, Brenda however, had a crab and avocado salad and it was not so great. The view from our table below was second to none though.

After dinner we wandered along looking into a few of the shops. Brenda found a coat that was a good deal, but I didn't find anything other than a couple of full size stallions rearing that would look good at the farm gate, but I couldn't get by the $85,000 a piece price and didn't want to break up the set.

After a little shopping we went looking for the cable cars. Shortly after we got in the line, about 20-30 minutes, a fellow came along asking all the folks going to Powell to come up front, as we didn't know where we were going we thought what the heck, if it shortens the wait let's see where we end up. The bonus was they were moving the car over to another line for some reason so the conductor let us all ride free. And to make it even better it took us within a few blocks of where we needed to be to catch our shuttle back to the RV Park.

We will have to get a little more exercise before we come back to San Francisco though. There are lot of hills to negotiate and there aren't many easy ways to walk around town. You don't see many overweight folks walking up and down the streets here. I am sure there are some around but they must be living in the flat parts. But it was nice to know the old ticker could still stand a little hard climbing!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

San Francisco

We have arrived. San Francisco is a place my co-pilot has never been so today is the day for new horizons. We came in on I-80 from I-505 and it was the roughest highway we have been on in a long time. Probably a little better than the Top of the World Highway from the US border to Chicken but maybe not. I guess there wasn't as much dust though. Coming in that way gives you a good look at San Francisco from across the bay and then you get to pay $8.25 for the toll to get into town. I guess that covers our tow car also. Surprisingly although we went through the truck lanes we had about 3 inches to spare from the concrete barriers at the toll booths. Once we got into town our GPS brought us right to the gate of the Candlestick RV Park. It is directly across the street from Candlestick Park, home of the 49ers.

We have a least a foot between our slide and the fellow next to us. It is clean and pretty well kept even though the neighbourhood it is in is a little rough around the edges.
Last night I polled the folks online about a place to get some Chinese food here in San Francisco and got a couple of recommendations. When we checked in here the fellow at the desk who is Chinese gave us a couple of his favourites. We have chosen to go to a place called Fook Yuen down in Millbrae. He told us that you don't go to Chinatown in San Francisco for good chinese, called the places down there Panda Express type of restaurants. I guess time will tell. And I will let you know next time whether we made a good decision or not. Eating where the locals eat has always worked for us in the past, but we don't usually get to do it in such a big place.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Redding California

California we are here - we got out of Eugene this morning, no leaks visible so we hit the road. We fueled up at the Shell for 3.19 this morning. Fuel had dropped 6 cents over night so we took on a tank full of propane with the savings. Once we got out on the road we remembered that we had got going so quick we didn't have any breakfast. The weather was beautiful and the traffic not to bad. This new chassis is better handling than the old one, but we have managed to keep it down to 55, what with the price of fuel and the fact that we really are not in a hurry to get anywhere for a while. After a couple of hours travel we stopped at the Cow Creek Rest Area north of Grant's Pass to have a little brunch. That took pretty near an hour but it was a nice spot, although there were a couple of folks bumming change around there. Looked healthy and probably would be able to hold down a job but I guess mooching money is easier work. Certainly no worries about what the market is doing.

After brunch we got going and headed over a couple of steep passes to get into California. I-5 is a twisty turny hilly piece of real estate in this part of the country. Lots of trucks over heating along the way but we appear to have made it without an issue. As we came down into California we had a little more wind to contend with but nothing the old bus couldn't take in its stride.

As we went by Shasta Lake it was obvious that the water level is low, maybe a couple of hundred feet low. Going to take a lot of rain to refill that resorvoir and maybe a little restraint on the folks who are draining it. We have stopped for the night in Redding, California at a place called the Premier RV Resorts. It is certainly clean and well kept and far enough off the highway that we should not have the sound of that to lull us to sleep.

Americas Friendliest Town - Eugene, Oregon

If all goes well this morning we will finally be back on the road. It appears that the Matt and the folks at Guaranty RV in Junction City have fixed all the leaks that we have identified. To recap, there was one under the bathroom vanity that had previously been looked at and fixed, at least temporarily, at Woody's RV near Calgary, one under the kitchen sink that had just made an appearance, and the fridge which seemed to have two, one from the ice maker and the other from underneath and probably something to do with the defrost system.

We now have a pretty flash solar system consisting of the latest and greatest 100 Watt solar panels X 4, a high tech solar monitor and an upgraded battery monitor. All that was installed by Deb and Greg and their folks at AM Solar in Springfield, just down the road.

It certainly hasn't been an uneventful stop here as even the Jeep felt the need to participate in the crisis a moment club. Yesterday as we were traveling around town killing time waiting on the RV the instrument panel started flashing warning signs regarding the four wheel drive system. We got it into Lithia Chrysler and they told us they would have a look. We arranged for a rental vehicle from Enterprise and continued on our quest for the perfect place to waste time. After a couple of hours we got a phone call from Bob at Lithia to inform us, at no cost to us I should mention, that although they had identified the problem, a wheel sensor, it would take them a number of days to acquire the parts. It appears that it will not hurt the vehicle to use it until that comes so we have made the decision to continue to head south and get it fixed somewhere along the way. The next couple of days it will just be hooked on the back of the Discovery anyway.

We now appear to have exhausted all the shopping opportunities here and have visited most of the grocery stores in town, so it is off to south of San Francisco, probably with a stop around Redding, California for the night.

One thing that is worth commenting on here though. This certainly must be Americas friendliest community. Everywhere we went, from the eating establishments, to the service places we dealt with, as well as the folks we just bumped into on the street, everyone went out of their way to make sure we were feeling welcome in their community. Every individual had a suggestion of what to see and where to go while we were here and always a smile on their face. Maybe there is a job for me here, I could sit on the corner downtown and be the local curmudgeon, every town needs one and there seems to be a shortage here. Although we had no intentions of being here for more than one day, our stay, although longer, has certainly been made more enjoyable by the citizens of the Junction City, Springfield, and Eugene area.

GO DUCKS, as they seem to say here.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

AM Solar

Just a brief update. We are still in the Eugene/Springfield, Oregon area. Yesterday the folks at the RV dealership had a crack at fixing some of the issues we have been having. They figured they got the leak under the bathroom vanity fixed and the fridge. Well, it seems that the leak under the bathroom vanity has disappeared for the moment anyway but the fridge still has water running out. And there has appeared another leak under the kitchen sink that wasn't there before. Strange!! As for the windshield wipers it appears that the switch that is used in our coach has to come from some place far, far away. So while Fed-Ex works on that we moved over to AM Solar in Springfield. They are installing some solar panels and a battery monitor for us. This is a small operation that I found on the internet, not hard to understand why they are recommended by many of their former customers. They have taken us under their wing and given us exemplary service. Deb and Kathy in the office spent most of the morning giving us a run down on places to see and things to do in Springfield and surrounding area. We took their advice and took a scenic drive and although it was great the opportunity for a photo so we could share it with you never presented itself. We also took their advice on where to eat lunch and headed for the Mucho Gusto Mexican Kitchen. The food was excellent and the staff was great at guiding us through all the choices. After that we headed for the local hardware store, Jerry's. Jerry's looks like a local store that has decided to play with the big guys and has a couple of huge stores in the area that are better stocked than either Home Depot or Lowe's. After getting my hardware fix we headed back to AM Solar to spend the remainder of the day. They have a great building in a great location, alongside the river. Their waiting room is stocked with a myriad of RVing books covering everything from camping in Mexico to the Alaska Highway. Deb showed us a few of her favourite boondocking spots and I am sure as we head around the country we will be trying them out. They have us hooked up to the power in their shop and tomorrow morning we will go over the system before we head back up to get our windshield wipers switch installed. Hopefully that will get done and we'll be back on the road.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

For the Diesel Pusher Fan

By special request we have compiled some shots of the inside of our new coach. It is a Fleetwood Discovery 40X with the 350 HP Cummins engine. We ordered it with all the goodies, couches instead of recliners, the big fridge and heat pumps included with the air conditioners. I guess about the only thing we didn't get off the option list was the spotlight on the roof.

This is a shot of the drivers side of the living room, this model has the kitchen at the front so just like our house visitors arrive through the kitchen.

Here is a look at the living room complete with 40 inch LCD TV

Another shot looking back from the living area to the dining area. The table extends out to comfortably seat 4 and you might be able to squeeze in 6 if two are small folk, like Christopher.

Here is a look at the kitchen area. There is ample counter space and the double door fridge comes complete with water and ice dispenser. Pretty handy if it was working right, but we will soon have it fixed.

Here is a look at the passenger side seat and the entrance door. This heated seat reclines just like a lazy boy so Brenda has a pretty comfortable ride.

And this is the cockpit. Everything is handy to the driver here, including the GPS and systems to monitor tire pressure and the braking system in our tow car.

Another look from the coach up to the driver and passengers seats.

Here is a look up the hall from the rear past the door to the head, we'll dispense with pictures of that room, suffice to say it larger than most and more than ample. It also contains the washer/dryer combination.

The last four pictures are of the bedroom. It is very spacious and has a lot of storage including under the bed and the large wardrobe, as well as the built in dresser under the LCD TV.

Hope that gives you a good idea of the layout Christopher and we'll get some pictures of the outside once we get out of the rain. See you in the spring!