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Author Topic: WEST COAST STATES - "Just the facts Ma'am"  (Read 12463 times)

SargeW

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WEST COAST STATES - "Just the facts Ma'am"
« on: August 19, 2012, 07:06:43 PM »
After we got back from the Alaska trip in one (relative) piece, we decided not to head off to the east coast just yet. Instead we are going to hang out on the western side of the country for the rest of the year.  I had so much fun writing the Alaska journal, and I received such great recommendations and tips from other forum members, I decided to continue the journal with a west coast flavor.  So now, please join me on my “West Coast States – Just the Fact Ma’am” tour. 

After we crossed the Canadian border for the last time we made our first stop at North Whidbey Island RV Park. We went to our friend’s house and picked up the “adult libations” and other supplies we couldn’t take into Canada with us.

We took the Port Townsend ferry over to Whidbey Island. For our 53’ rig and tow car we paid $81.15 for the ½ hour ferry ride from Oak Harbor to Port Townsend. That saved us about 200 miles of driving.  Reservations are recommended on the Ferry for larger vehicles, lest you may get bumped.  In Oak Harbor we paid a little under $30 a night for paved sites, grass between the sites and full hookups. That also included WiFi and cable, which we didn’t need.
 
The next stop we chose Sequim, WA.  Sequim is in close proximity to one of the National Parks that we had not visited yet, Olympic National Park.  We took two different off road trails in the park. The first was to “Obstruction Point”.  The trail climbed to over 6000’ and was heavily treed, with great views of the surrounding snow capped mountains. We could even see a distant glacier from the visitor’s center, which was at the start of the trail.
 
The other trail was Deerpark trail.  It climbed to 5800’ through some very twisty narrow roads.  There was a campground near the top for small rigs (class B, or truck campers) and tents.  Both trails provided a panoramic view looking down on the Strait of Juan de Fuca.
 
We stayed in the “Rainbows End” RV park. While it is right on highway 101, the traffic noise at night was negligible. We paid $35 a night for full hookups, 50 amp, and included Wi-Fi and cable. They had a large off leash dog area, and a onsite pond with lots of ducks and water birds.
 
When we got back into the states I need to fill up on propane. I was surprised how cheap (comparatively) that propane has become.  I paid $1.89 a gallon for propane at a gas station in Oak Harbor.  Apparently the US has a glut of propane right now. Propane is a byproduct of the recovery of Oil Shale mining in the east.  The story that I read on it said that by August of 2013, there will be no more room to store all of the Propane reserves that we currently have.  Wow.
 
We have now moved further south and have a spot at the Columbia Riverfront RV Park. The park is right on the shore of the Columbia, and we watch the boats travel up and down the river in route to ports in Portland, Vancouver, and points beyond.  We paid $33 a night for full 50 amp hook ups, Cable, Wi-Fi and a pool. There is a 3 acre grass area in front of the RV sites for playing games or walking the pets.
 
Diane found a local attraction to go visit today. A Grist Mill built in 1876 is still original and still operating.  We drove there and watched a demo of the water driven grinding stones turning wheat into wheat flour. We took home some corn meal and wheat flour and Diane whipped up a batch of fresh corn bread using the flour from the mill.  Good stuff!
« Last Edit: August 19, 2012, 07:15:47 PM by SargeW »
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COMer

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Re: WEST COAST STATES - "Just the facts Ma'am"
« Reply #1 on: August 19, 2012, 08:12:24 PM »
Great pictures!  Thanks for sharing.
John & Darla
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Roadhappy

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Re: WEST COAST STATES - "Just the facts Ma'am"
« Reply #2 on: August 19, 2012, 09:21:07 PM »
Sarge,

I really enjoyed your posts of the Alaska trip.  I'm excited to see that you are going to keep the posts coming for the West Coast States.
It seems like your trip was a lot shorter than it really was, probably because I wasn't in the drivers seat.  :D I hope you and Diane had a great time and I hope to see it myself one day.

Robin
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Re: WEST COAST STATES - "Just the facts Ma'am"
« Reply #3 on: August 19, 2012, 10:50:36 PM »
You're not all that far from us, we're in White Salmon, WA, across the river from Hood River, OR.  Heading to Sequim on Wednesday.
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Re: WEST COAST STATES - "Just the facts Ma'am"
« Reply #4 on: August 19, 2012, 11:59:32 PM »
Ned,

We are even closer as we are in site 100 of at the Columbia Riverfront RV Park.   Just pulled in today and need a spot for the next week somewhere as we couldn't get the reservations we needed.  We have to leave on Wednesday.
Jim
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Kim (skyking4ar2) Bertram

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Re: WEST COAST STATES - "Just the facts Ma'am"
« Reply #5 on: August 20, 2012, 12:09:49 AM »
I cannot believe this - we just pulled out of Columbia RV after a month on Wednesday! I missed my live Alaskan update and the rocket man by just that much!

At least they closed the road along the north end of the park that powdered my new rig with so much dirt I could wet it and grow plants. You think Alaska was bad? You have no idea, and no rig rinsing!

That's a great little place to stay, otherwise. Find the couple on the back row with the Mini Cooper and Escalade fifth wheel and tell them you know me. They are locals from Ridgefield, just went full time, and know everything there is to know about the area, including the food!

Have a great time, and sorry we missed you both! We are in Forks, headed to Escapees at Chimacum, and then Sequim for two months.

Life is good!

Kim and Christi

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mypursuit

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Re: WEST COAST STATES - "Just the facts Ma'am"
« Reply #6 on: August 20, 2012, 12:38:25 AM »
   Small world.  We live on Whidbey and drive by North Whidbey RV most days. Tomorrow we are taking the ferry to Port Townsend and going down 101 ending up at Millersyvania State Park south of Olympia.  I'm using 101 as an alternative to I-5 and driving through Seattle/Tacoma.  From there it's I-84 east in Oregon with a final destination in Saint Maries Idaho for a Labor Day weekend with friends.
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SargeW

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Re: WEST COAST STATES - "Just the facts Ma'am"
« Reply #7 on: August 20, 2012, 12:56:45 AM »
Thanks Robin! It was fun "taking everybody with me!" It felt like I wasn't alone out there! 

You're not all that far from us, we're in White Salmon, WA

Shoot Ned, we coulda past on the road!

Ned,

We are even closer as we are in site 100 of at the Columbia Riverfront RV Park.

I'll stop by tomorrow Jim and say Hi!

I cannot believe this - we just pulled out of Columbia RV after a month on Wednesday! I missed my live Alaskan update and the rocket man by just that much!

Hey Kim, we almost had the makings of a mini rally!  We keep this up we will all have to be at the same place at some point!

We leave here next Thursday and head for Horn Rapids RV in Richland WA.
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Re: WEST COAST STATES - "Just the facts Ma'am"
« Reply #8 on: August 20, 2012, 08:59:56 AM »
I think we're doing circles around each other :)
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Lorna

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Re: WEST COAST STATES - "Just the facts Ma'am"
« Reply #9 on: August 20, 2012, 11:10:00 AM »
Kim and Christi,


We will be in Sequim on Wed of this week for five days.  We will be at Gilgal Oasis and will be taking the ferry over to Victoria one day to tour the city and Buchard Gardens.  Let's see if we can get together, just send us an email with your phone # or we can do the same.  It would be great to see you again because it has been much to long.
Lorna
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Re: WEST COAST STATES - "Just the facts Ma'am"
« Reply #10 on: August 20, 2012, 01:51:07 PM »
I cannot believe this - we just pulled out of Columbia RV after a month on Wednesday! I missed my live Alaskan update and the rocket man by just that much!

Kim, weren't you in the park in WA, we are in the one in Portland.  Seems to me you indicated you were down river from Portland????
Jim
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SargeW

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Re: WEST COAST STATES - "Just the facts Ma'am"
« Reply #11 on: August 20, 2012, 02:09:53 PM »
Yep, that explains why I couldn't find you here Jim, this park only has 76 sites!
Marty--
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Kim (skyking4ar2) Bertram

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Re: WEST COAST STATES - "Just the facts Ma'am"
« Reply #12 on: August 20, 2012, 04:10:01 PM »
Ooops, yeah, the names are similar, and they are not that far away from each other....did not check the facts, ma'am....

Still sorry I missed you both!
Kim & Christi Bertram
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BernieD

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Re: WEST COAST STATES - "Just the facts Ma'am"
« Reply #13 on: August 21, 2012, 11:44:00 AM »
Kim, weren't you in the park in WA, we are in the one in Portland.  Seems to me you indicated you were down river from Portland? ???

We were at the Portland one a month ago.
Bernie & Marlene Dobrin
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Re: WEST COAST STATES - "Just the facts Ma'am"
« Reply #14 on: August 21, 2012, 11:49:38 AM »
We were at the Portland one a month ago.

And where are you now???
Jim
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Re: WEST COAST STATES - "Just the facts Ma'am"
« Reply #15 on: August 21, 2012, 11:52:07 AM »
We will be in the Portland area till Aug 30 so if anyone is in the area too, let us know.  The RV Parks are pretty full so if headed this way, get reservations.
Jim
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Re: WEST COAST STATES - "Just the facts Ma'am"
« Reply #16 on: August 21, 2012, 11:55:54 AM »
Which park?  Portland/Fairview is usually pretty open.

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Re: WEST COAST STATES - "Just the facts Ma'am"
« Reply #17 on: August 21, 2012, 01:28:26 PM »
Both Jantzen Beach and Columbia River are full most evenings.  I haven't tried Fairview, we usually have stayed there in the past but CR park is more convenient to where the family lives now. 

We will be in Columbia River RV park from now to the 30th.
« Last Edit: August 21, 2012, 02:48:33 PM by Jim Godward »
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Re: WEST COAST STATES - "Just the facts Ma'am"
« Reply #18 on: August 21, 2012, 05:51:13 PM »
And where are you now???

We're in Bakersfield, heading to Pomona tomorrow. A friends and family rally at East Shore RV Park (next to Fairplex). Barbara and Alan Wax will be there and I believe that they are still Forumites, so we can call it another Frally.
Bernie & Marlene Dobrin
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Re: WEST COAST STATES - "Just the facts Ma'am"
« Reply #19 on: August 21, 2012, 06:29:02 PM »
Sarge, keep writing I will keep reading, great stuff.
Jim
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SargeW

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Re: WEST COAST STATES - "Just the facts Ma'am"
« Reply #20 on: August 21, 2012, 11:30:44 PM »
Thanks Jim!  It's good to know that someone is reading along.  I enjoy writing about an area and sharing the findings for others that may consider visiting the area.
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Re: WEST COAST STATES - "Just the facts Ma'am"
« Reply #21 on: August 25, 2012, 12:25:35 AM »
A few days before leaving the Columbia Riverfront RV Park we took a trip to Fort Vancouver, in Vancouver WA.  The fort was built in the 1824 to protect British trapping and trading interests along the Columbia River by the Hudson Bay Company. The fort or the trading post had never been attacked, so the military personnel that had the good fortune to have been stationed there had some pretty good duty.

In 1824 the land north of the Columbia River was territory of Great Brittan. But after a treaty signed with the British in 1846, the boundary was moved to its current location along the 49th Parallel.

The grounds and houses are free to walk around, as is the visitor’s center. One preserved row of houses called “Officers Row” are still there and are in use today. Some are residences, others are businesses, and one, belonging to the base commander is available to tour. It’s most famous resident; General George C. Marshall lived in it for about two years. If you want to tour a replica of the original fort, it will cost you $3 a person. It was about a 26 mile drive from the RV park.
 
After 5 days at Columbia Riverfront RV Park we were ready to move on. We took about a 225 mile drive east and south to Horn Rapids RV resort in Richland, WA. 
Horn Rapids is an upscale RV Resort with 225 full hook up spaces. Most sites have a large concrete patio, green grass area between sites, and nice landscaping.  It also has a pool and hot tub (my favorite) and a small general store.  We paid a “7 day rate” which basically charges you for 6 days and the 7th is free.  Staying 7 days made the nightly fee just over $33 a night.  The place is packed this time of year, so if you plan on staying for more than a day, call for reservations.
 
Enroute to Richland, we stopped at a Pilot truck stop in Wasco OR for fuel. While the fueling part was easy enough, the savings part has dissipated quite a bit.  The price on the big sign out front quoted $4.05 a gallon for cash price, PUC diesel. I knew that there was no way I was getting that price.  Since all they had big enough for us was the truck islands, I pulled up to an empty stall and tried my RV Advantage card at the reader.  No joy.

Going inside to the fuel desk I handed my Advantage card and credit card to the clerk. I had to quote a dollar amount to preauthorize, which I did.  He swiped both, and handed me the cards and the receipt.  Yep, I paid $4.42 a gallon. So much for the “RV discount” that Pilot likes talking about in the Good Sam publications.  When I pulled out I passed a Shell station on the other corner that was about $4.29 a gallon for diesel.  Some Advantage, huh?
 
Well at least Diane had time to grab us a road snack while I screwed around trying to get fuel.  I may be joining the ranks of those now shopping for fuel at alternate locations.

Also one major thing happened while we were at Columbia Riverfront RV.  On the road enroute to the park was a Les Schawb Tire store.  I have been threatening to get new tires on the Jeep, and it was about time.  I have burned through my second set of BF Goodrich MT's in four years.  Although the Jeep only has about 41K on the clock, it has been pulled another 60K or so behind the MH. 

The OE Mud Terrains are great off road tires, but towing the Jeep as much as I do really eats up the aggressive tread blocks on them. For quite a while now, where ever you drove the Jeep, it sounded and felt like you were driving on a cobble stone street.  The faster you went the louder it got, and the steering wheel had a constant "shimmy".  It just wasn't fun to drive at all.  I even rotated them every 3K like clockwork, but to no avail.  It slowed the rate of wear and these did last longer than the last set, but in the end, they still came down to the same fate. And they still had some pretty good tread on them. 

So I went researching for a better tire, one not so aggressive.  There are literally dozens of choices out there, and I must have looked at them all. Finally while researching on Consumer Reports.com I found a tire that looked like it fit the bill.  It's a Cooper Discoverer, ATR (all terrain radial) in a LT275/70/17. The Goodrich's were a LT255/75/17.  Consumer Reports recommended as the best AT tire in it's class. 

So I bit the bullet and ordered a set. Two days later I was at Les Schawb's getting them put on.  All I can say is OMG!  It feels like I have a new Jeep.  The tires feel like I am driving on glass, and I hear nothing but the wind noise now. The steering shimmy is gone, and the DW has a big smile on her face!  The price was decent, and Cooper has a great warranty.  I will still keep up the rotations, and keep the pressure in check, but I am a happy camper.   
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Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: WEST COAST STATES - "Just the facts Ma'am"
« Reply #22 on: August 25, 2012, 10:02:16 AM »
Yeah, Oregon has that pesky $0.30/gal extra tax charge if you can't produce a PUC#.  The PFJ site says that Wasco gives the regular RV Rewards card discount ($0.03), but they don't give any discount at all if you don't use the RV Plus Advantage card at the pump (it even says so in the fine print).  It might be worth emailing PFJ to ask why you couldn't use the RV Plus card at the pump. I can't find anything that says it wouldn't work in Oregon.
Gary
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Re: WEST COAST STATES - "Just the facts Ma'am"
« Reply #23 on: August 25, 2012, 10:17:05 AM »
We fueled at Wasco Pilot 10 days ago and used the car pumps.  The attendant ran both the credit card and the RV Rewards card, so we got the $.03/gal. discount plus our 5% cash back for a net of $4.149/gal. less the 5%.  The posted price was $3.879/gal w/PUC #.  The truck pumps were so busy we didn't even try to go there.
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SargeW

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Re: WEST COAST STATES - "Just the facts Ma'am"
« Reply #24 on: August 25, 2012, 10:35:04 AM »
Yeah, I tried running the Advantage card 3 times. Each time took me in a complete circle, and just came back to "see Cashier".  There is a sticker on the pump that gives specific instructions on how to make it work.

It didn't.  At FJ you used to get the cash price, plus the .03 a gallon discount.  That is gone with the wind now. 

The auto pumps were jammed when I was there too Ned.  And I don't think I could have fit in there anyway and made the turn with my toad connected.   
Marty--
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Re: WEST COAST STATES - "Just the facts Ma'am"
« Reply #25 on: August 25, 2012, 10:45:54 AM »
We barely fit and just got out by inches without having to get a car moved.  Lorna was not happy.
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Re: WEST COAST STATES - "Just the facts Ma'am"
« Reply #26 on: August 25, 2012, 07:34:15 PM »
BTW truckers with a PUC pay the road tax via a monthly report, rather than at the pump.
I been using the GoodSam/PFJ credit card and it has worked at all Pilots and FJs except one FJ "dealer" in La Grande, OR. It has worked everywhere else, even other "dealer/franchise" stations. It give you 6 cents off the cash price.
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Re: WEST COAST STATES - "Just the facts Ma'am"
« Reply #27 on: August 25, 2012, 11:17:47 PM »
Oh yeah, I know that the truckers still are paying there share.  It's just misleading for PFJ to post the PUC price on the big signs. It is about meaningless to the rest of the motoring public.
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Re: WEST COAST STATES - "Just the facts Ma'am"
« Reply #28 on: August 26, 2012, 10:58:07 AM »
Since probably 98% of their diesel business is with truckers, it makes sense to advertise the price they will pay rather than the general population. It's only the diesel RVers who get confused, and then only if they are unfamiliar with Oregon's fuel pricing regulations. Ditto for Indiana, which has the same tax collection & pricing regs.

I can understand your frustration, but to say  that the $0.03 a gallon discount is "gone with the wind now" seems a bit overblown. I've been receiving the discount regularly at both Pilot and FJ locations up and down the east coast as well as in Indiana, Kentucky, and Tennessee. 
« Last Edit: August 26, 2012, 11:02:30 AM by Gary RV Roamer »
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Re: WEST COAST STATES - "Just the facts Ma'am"
« Reply #29 on: August 26, 2012, 12:16:50 PM »
I can understand your frustration, but to say  that the $0.03 a gallon discount is "gone with the wind now" seems a bit overblown. 

No, what I said was that the cash price, which was around .06 to .10 cents a gallon less than the credit price, and the .03 cent per gallon discount was a thing of the past.  I still get the .03 cent a gallon discount at most PFJ stations.  But I am usually paying the full credit price.
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Re: WEST COAST STATES - "Just the facts Ma'am"
« Reply #30 on: August 31, 2012, 11:14:03 PM »
We had a lot of fun in Clarkston. We hit several of the wineries in the area, and picked up some great local wines. After a week in Horn Rapids we were ready to move on.  We had selected a park called Hells Canyon RV resort in Clarkston, WA for a weeks stay over the Labor Day holiday.  It was on the banks of the Snake River, and had all the amenities that we like when staying for a week at a location.  We looked at the campground web site and it looked very nice. 

Then we got there. Everything about the web site was correct. It had all that it had advertised that it had.  But what was real important was what it had that was not in the brochure. The park itself was fairly small, which is not a big deal. The sites were concrete pads and concrete patios, and had a strip of well maintained grass in between.  The problem was that the park was nestled right up against an off ramp for State Highway 12 and a bridge over the Snake River.  The highway was elevated coming off of the bridge, and any vehicle, usually trucks, came rolling down the off ramp with the Jake Brakes billowing.  All day. And sporadically through the night.

And then there was the paper plant that was somewhere nearby, and the smell of putrid raw fruit seemed to permeate everywhere.  Great, we just paid for a weeks stay.  I wonder if we can get out of here early.......  Well, it was worth a shot. Diane went to the office to see what she could do to shorten our stay (immediately would be nice). 

When she came back she said that we could leave today, and it would only cost us a nights stay. That was too good to pass up. Even though it was already about 10:30 AM, we rolled everything up and were rolling in about 45 minutes.   While she was at the office, I hit Rvparkreviews.com and looked to see what was available.  We were right on the border of Washington and Idaho, so I looked in Idaho.  I found a well rated place in Caldwell Idaho called the Ambassador RV resort.   

So we drove the 250 odd miles to Caldwell to spend the remainder of the holiday weekend.  There was a few harry moments driving up Highway 95.  There was stretch of highway where they are doing bridge work on several of small spans across the many river crossings.  In those areas the outside of the bridges, 5 of them in all had been reduced to on lane in each direction.  The outside guard rails had been removed and a "K" rail placed on the outside edge of each lane.  That significantly reduced the lane width to about 10' in each direction.  Between you and the oncoming traffic was a row of 4" cones that had been bent and run over several times.  In driving the rig over the bridge spans, you literally had about 9" on each side of the rig, and the outsides were iron guard rail or concrete.  At one bridge I came to a complete stop, as a semi was coming towards me I swore that both of us wouldn't fit on the road at the same time.  But we made it unscathed, except for the NEW windshield star I picked up on the lower drivers side of the window.  Figures. 

The park here has many of the same amenities, but has 250+ spaces.  Lots of room, no noise, and fresh air.  We will hang out here for a while, then probably head back west to Sisters RV in Oregon, just west of Bend. 

There are some off road trails here, and we may drive into  Boise to check out the town.  The moral of the story?  Life is too short to stay were you are not having fun, especially if your house has wheels.   
Marty--
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Kim (skyking4ar2) Bertram

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Re: WEST COAST STATES - "Just the facts Ma'am"
« Reply #31 on: August 31, 2012, 11:39:47 PM »
Marty,

It's still a small world...Jay and Paula McRell who were with us at Moab are there at Ambassador now on my recommendation. It's a great stop and we enjoyed the park immensely after we left Moab and headed west earlier in the summer. They will appreciate your wine stories.

Say "hi" for Christi and I!

Have fun!

p.s. I missed the P-40 Warhawk museum just a few miles down the road, if you are of that inclination.
Kim & Christi Bertram
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SargeW

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Re: WEST COAST STATES - "Just the facts Ma'am"
« Reply #32 on: August 31, 2012, 11:47:53 PM »
Great info Kim, thanks!  I will look them up and see if I can find them.  What kind of rig do they have, do you remember?
Marty--
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Kim (skyking4ar2) Bertram

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Re: WEST COAST STATES - "Just the facts Ma'am"
« Reply #33 on: September 01, 2012, 11:36:13 AM »
They have a shorter. white Class A and tow a blue Honda Hybrid, South Dakota handicap tags. See if you can talk them into Alaska!  8)
Kim & Christi Bertram
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ArdraF

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Re: WEST COAST STATES - "Just the facts Ma'am"
« Reply #34 on: September 01, 2012, 06:44:32 PM »
Boise is a nice town.  Lots of trees.  Boise is French for trees or similar.

ArdraF
ArdraF
:D :D

Wendy

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Re: WEST COAST STATES - "Just the facts Ma'am"
« Reply #35 on: September 01, 2012, 06:51:24 PM »
The Birds of Prey Center is an interesting place. Also the only place I've seen a Condor.
 
Wendy
Wendy, Mike, and Gordon
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SargeW

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Re: WEST COAST STATES - "Just the facts Ma'am"
« Reply #36 on: September 19, 2012, 12:53:09 AM »
I am a little behind on the entries for the journal due to the issues with the server maintenance lately.  I'll catch up quick though.

Well we arrived at the Bend/Sisters Garden RV resort, which is really in Bend, about two miles from Sisters, OR.  This park used to be a KOA, but you would never know it by looking at it.  All of the roads are paved; the sites are concrete and concrete patios.  The sites are wide with nice grass areas between the sites. The landscaping is beautiful and well maintained. We paid $44 per night for a weekly rate.
 
Sisters were so named for the three mountains that surround the city, and are named North Sister, Middle Sister, and South Sister.  Also next to the Sisters was “Broken Top” mountain. Because you guessed it, the top of it looks like it has been broken off leaving a distinctive jagged top.  Mount Washington and Mount Jefferson are also nearby.

What we found to do in the area was plentiful. On one day we drove up McKinzie Pass  to the Dee Wright observatory.  It is actually a rock and Lava observation tower that was built by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC).  Inside the round observatory built into the walls are small “portals” or windows in the stone. Peering through each one you see one of the many geologic wonders framed in the distance. A small brass plaque next to each window describes the vista that you are looking at.  The feats of the CCC are amazing, as most of the projects accomplished by them were largely done with lots of manual labor.

Then there was the “Bend Ale Trail”.  Yep, one of my favorites! A stop at the visitor center provided the map and directions for the tour.  It is a self guided tour that visits 9 of the micro breweries around Bend.  Some are newer, and some have been around for quite a while. But all make their own brand of beers in all different configurations. A few are just small tasting rooms while others have full blown restaurants attached.  I think we visited 7 of the 9 over a 5 day period before we got distracted by other stuff (shopping, cleaning ect).  I guess we will just have to go back some day to finish off the other 2, or just start over again.
 
The RV Park also had an unexpected perk. Right next to the RV Park is the permanent grounds for the annual Sister Rodeo.  I think the Rodeo is in June each year (which we may be going back for if we can get a spot at the RV Park.)  But when it is not going on guests are allowed to walk through a gate into the rodeo parking area and rodeo rink to walk pets (or kids).  Pets can be off leash and can run freely without danger of traffic or unseen hazards in the forested areas.
 
Then the town of Sisters itself is a quaint little town with lots of shops of various descriptions and an easy town walking area.  When we were there the annual “Sisters Bluegrass Festival” was going on as well.  While I don’t mind Bluegrass music, it’s not a favorite so we didn’t hang out in town for the event.
 
Two days before we were due to leave Sisters, a lightning strike started a forest fire on the lower slopes of one of the Sisters mountains. The local forestry service jumped on it right away and were containing it pretty quickly with water dropping helicopters. The day we were leaving the rodeo grounds next door was being transformed into a command post for the fire fighters.  Our timing was perfect. 
Marty--
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Re: WEST COAST STATES - "Just the facts Ma'am"
« Reply #37 on: September 19, 2012, 09:29:32 AM »
Sarge that is a pretty part of Oregon Keep up the info and pictures of your trip just love Oregon & Washington

Wendy

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Re: WEST COAST STATES - "Just the facts Ma'am"
« Reply #38 on: September 19, 2012, 10:19:13 AM »
Sarge, You forgot 3-Finger Jack in your mountain list, it's an interesting one. Also, if you're still in the area, the High Desert Museum is well worth a visit. So is Newberry National Volcanic Monument. And the High Cascades Loop is a spectacular drive.
 
Wendy
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SargeW

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Re: WEST COAST STATES - "Just the facts Ma'am"
« Reply #39 on: September 19, 2012, 10:47:28 AM »
You are right about 3-Finger Jack in the list Wendy!  The fire did discourage a bit of the exploration in the area, but we do have plans to go back. We have to finish the Ale Trail after all........

Thanks Billy! There is a lot to see in this part of the country!
« Last Edit: September 19, 2012, 10:50:04 AM by SargeW »
Marty--
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Re: WEST COAST STATES - "Just the facts Ma'am"
« Reply #40 on: September 24, 2012, 12:44:55 AM »
After leaving Sisters we traveled to the coast for a week stay at Sea Perch RV Park in Yachats, OR.  It was pricier than most of the places that we have stayed at lately, but typical for a park that you can walk out of the park and onto the sand of the beach and the crashing waves.

The park itself is fairly small, but the owners have done a good job setting it up. Even though we didn’t get a beach front site, the sites in back are terraced up the hill and fan out in a “V” shape so that your view is not directly blocked by the RV down the hill from you.  They have an amazing club house with a workout room, showers, an upstairs lounge with large windows that looks out on the ocean, and a billiard room downstairs.
 
The non beach front sites were $60 and night, and the beach front sites were $70.  Diane thought that the sites were over priced for the non beach front sites. I just think that it’s typical for that kind of place now days.
 
The weather was fickle while we were there though. Even though it was mid September, we still had our share of fog and gloomy weather. But when it was nice, it was really nice.
Other than the beach we found a few items of interest a short distance from the RV park. One day we drove to the Cape Perpetua Visitors center and took a 2 mile hike called the Sitka Spruce trail. It winds through an old growth forest to a 600 year old Giant Sitka Spruce tree that the state of Oregon named the “Heritage Tree” due to its age and tremendous size.
 
We also learned that there are over 50 covered bridges in Oregon, and another day we spent traveling around and visited 3 of them.  On that drive we disregarded the map and let “Shelia” (the name I have given to the voice on my GPS) take us the scenic route back to the RV park through miles of fire roads, hunting trails, and old forest roads.   We wound up driving 70 miles through some spectacular back country on the meandering trip back to the RV.
 
We are cutting the Western States trip a little short, as an event has come up in Southern California that I wanted to attend. So we will be working our way south instead of zigzagging back and forth.  We are still loving being back in the West for a while though.
 
We are currently at Seven Feathers RV resort (and Casino) in Canyonville.  A really nice Indian RV park off of Interstate 5 freeway a ways. We have been here before, and it’s a great stop over while going between Oregon and Ca.  And at $32 a night, it’s a good deal to boot. The next destination is back towards California wine country for a few days.  Time to restock!
Marty--
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Billy Bob

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Re: WEST COAST STATES - "Just the facts Ma'am"
« Reply #41 on: September 24, 2012, 09:43:16 AM »
Thanks for the info and the pictures they are great

BernieD

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Re: WEST COAST STATES - "Just the facts Ma'am"
« Reply #42 on: September 24, 2012, 10:35:17 AM »
Sarge

On your way south on I-5, stop in Lodi for 2 nites at Flag City RV. $27/nite (Passport America-2 nite limit) with full hookups and nice pull-thru's. Then check out Cycles Gladiator winery. We picked up a case of delicious zinfandel at a very nice price. Many other wineries in the area to tour but Flag City gets pricey after 2 nites.
Bernie & Marlene Dobrin
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SargeW

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Re: WEST COAST STATES - "Just the facts Ma'am"
« Reply #43 on: September 24, 2012, 07:17:12 PM »
Thanks Bernie but I am past that point already. Due to the forum having some ups and downs I am a bit behind on the posting to the blog.  We are currently in Paso Robles for a few days.  That will be the next entry!
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Tom

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Re: WEST COAST STATES - "Just the facts Ma'am"
« Reply #44 on: September 24, 2012, 07:42:45 PM »
Oops Marty, we missed you! Bernie's suggestion of Flag City in Lodi is approx an hour NE of us.
Tom.  Need help? Click the Help button in the toolbar above.

SargeW

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Re: WEST COAST STATES - "Just the facts Ma'am"
« Reply #45 on: September 24, 2012, 10:09:46 PM »
No worries Tom! I will be back in that area again before long. 
Marty--
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Re: WEST COAST STATES - "Just the facts Ma'am"
« Reply #46 on: October 24, 2012, 11:29:25 PM »
Well, it’s been a while since the last entry on the journal, but lots has happened. Most importantly our wanderings on this West Coast wanderings trip was cut short. We are still dealing with “issues” from our Canada/Alaska trip, and they were starting to bunch up on us.  When they started happening all at once it was time to retreat for a while.
 
But first more on the part of the trip that we did finish.  After leaving Sisters, Oregon, we headed to wine country in the Paso Robles, Ca area.  We wanted  to addend an event at our favorite winery, Dry Creek winery.  We picked a little 38 space RV park because it was close to the winery.  It was in Cloverdale, and was named Dutcher Creek RV park.  Not a big place, and kind of built on the side of a hill. Some of the sites have awesome views though. We got their one pull through space that pulls you in parallel to the side of a wall with a stunning view of the valley below.
 
The next day we went to the winery for the event. We are club members so the event was free.  They were pouring about 6 different wines that they had just bottled. It had been in barrels for about 2-3 years.  And they served or devours to boot.  At one point we were allowed to go into the back where they were just bringing in trucks out of the vineyards full of grapes. They are immediately taken to a crusher for processing.  Pretty cool to watch.  Boy, talk about not wasting time, from the time the grape was picked until it was being crushed was a few hours.
 
After the wine event we left Dutcher Creek and headed to Wine Country RV Resort in Paso Robles.  We have been there many times and it is one of our favorite places to stay when we are in the area.
 
I had also ordered and received while I was there a new surge suppressor for the RV electrical system.  My “Surge Guard” brand that I had been using for about 6 years was starting to give me fits.  At the ocean front place in Oregon we had stayed at, I couldn’t get the 50 amp pedestal plug to work.  The surge guard kept popping whenever the time delay would try to connect.  The 30 amp side would work though.  We tested the power at the pedestal but it seemed to be OK.
 
The warranty had long since expired, so there would be no love there.  After doing some research I decided to go with the Progressive Dynamics 50 amp hard wire surge protector.  I was impressed with the features that it had, on board digital display that read out both the line voltage and amps being used on each leg of the 50 amp line, fault codes, other info scrolled continuously across the built in LED display.  It came with a LIFETIME warranty, and was cheaper than Camping Worlds “Surge Guard” model to boot.  The install was easy, and took about an hour (as I like to go slow and do things methodically.)
 
After thinking that our problems were all over now, I found out how wrong I was.  The electrical issue was fixed, but now the hydraulic leveling jacks had started “dropping” a fraction of an inch at a time, usually while we were sleeping. This made it tough to get to sleep, tougher to stay asleep, and now the dog was upset to boot.
 
Then the sewer smell started.  It was coming from somewhere, and I wasn’t sure where.  I chased it for a while, but at night it was pretty awful.
 
And the Direct TV started dropping out for no apparent reason.  It started sporadic and got worse. To the point where we couldn’t watch any of the TV’s in the front of the coach.  Again, no luck chasing down a cause.
 
Then on the way back to Ca from Oregon I noted that the rig was running hotter than usual.  Even though we were running is some hot temps in the 90’s, I was seeing coolant temps in the 215 to 218 range on big grades.  Usually this rig never got over 205 on the biggest grades.  I had suspicions that the radiator was suffering the effects of 2 months of driving on Canadian dirt and gravel roads, sometimes for hours in the rain.
   
So with all that stuff happening at once, we opted to go jacks up and head back to Fallbrook early than we had planned.  Trying to fix one issue at a campground can be dicey depending on the scope of the repair needed, but a whole bunch at once was just too much.

So we headed back to Fallbrook and traveled mostly down Interstate 5.  The trip wasn't too bad, but I did have a few tense moments pulling the Grapevine grade on the 5.  Hot weather and slow going is tough on a rig when it’s healthy, and really tough when it’s not.  It was the first time I ever saw 225 degrees on the coolant temps, and I even got a warning light on the Freightliner display warning me that bad thing may happen if it went much higher.  I backed off the throttle but kept the RPM’s up until I could get the temps to come down a bit.  I finally made the top of the grade with no other issues.  This is a definite priority when I get home.
 
We pulled into Fallbrook on Sept 26th.  This had been a long, long trip, one that felt unusually more difficult than any other in our last 4 years of nearly full time travel. 
In the next segment I will document what some of the fixes were on the rig, and a few surprises.     
Marty--
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Dean & Linda Stock

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Re: WEST COAST STATES - "Just the facts Ma'am"
« Reply #47 on: October 25, 2012, 08:13:39 AM »

    After doing some research I decided to go with the Progressive Dynamics 50 amp hard wire surge protector.  I was impressed with the features that it had, on board digital display that read out both the line voltage and amps being used on each leg of the 50 amp line, fault codes, other info scrolled continuously across the built in LED display.  It came with a LIFETIME warranty, and was cheaper than Camping Worlds “Surge Guard” model to boot.  The install was easy, and took about an hour (as I like to go slow and do things methodically.)
  The electrical issue was fixed, but now the hydraulic leveling jacks had started “dropping” a fraction of an inch at a time, usually while we were sleeping. This made it tough to get to sleep, tougher to stay asleep, and now the dog was upset to boot.     

Sarge, our hearts go out to you.  Dealing with one issue is hard enough, but you had so many it had to be overwhelming.  I bet you breathed a sigh of relief when you arrived home.

Dean also has the Progressive surge protector, and he loves it.  He feels that it does an excellent job of protecting our coach.  We have changed sites when it reads bad news.

No one is happy when our pets are unhappy.  We recently had to spend time in a motel because of a repair issue.  We thought we were going to a repair facility and moved out, only to find out we had to wait a few days for the fix.  Therefore,  I needed to return to the motel (health issues).   Our cat hates riding in the car (because of vet trips???), so Dean braved cool weather and no heat to keep him happy by staying in the coach.

Looking forward to reading your "surprises."
Dean and Linda Stock
and Sherlock (the cat)
Cypress, CA
2006 Airstream Motor Home
2006 Jeep Liberty (Towed)

SargeW

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Re: WEST COAST STATES - "Just the facts Ma'am"
« Reply #48 on: October 26, 2012, 12:44:14 AM »
Thanks Linda, and you are so right.  I may have even been able to work through the problems on the road, but when the dog started freaking out, I knew the trip was coming to a fast end.  When the dog is is not happy all night, the DW is not happy either.  And since "stuff" runs down hill, you know my position in line!!
Marty--
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