|Tue, 12 May: A stressful travel day...
Well, the forecasters lied again! What was supposed to be rain, rain, and more rain turned out to be rain, sleet, and snow! We've been suckered in this way before, where we go to bed with the pitter-patter of rain on the roof, that gets quiet and lulls us into thinking the rain had stopped. Rather, the rain became snow, which is very, very quiet.
We estimate that about 2" of show accumulated on non paved surfaces, which include Carpe's roof and other horizontal surfaces. Unfortunately, among those horizontal surfaces are the slide toppers, the canvas covers that extend with the slides to keep rain, leaves, etc. off the top of the slide. The slides cannot be retracted with snow on the toppers, so a combination of ladder, brush, and muscle are needed. Last time this happened Sandi got the ladder duty, and managed to fall off. So, this time, Bob gets the nod.
It took us about an hour to get the slides retracted, a task that normally takes a few minutes. As a result, we didn't roll wheels until almost ten, quite late for us. In a way the delayed start was good as the roads were all snow free, just wet.
We picked up US 97 and headed south to Crescent where we took the Crescent Bypass to cut the corner to OR 58. OR 58 headed northwest toward Eugene. It is a beautiful drive through the Williamette National Forest with gorgeous views. Unfortunately, the clouds hung low enough that, in places, they were below us. The state of Oregon even threw in some construction to keep things interesting. Add some drizzle and light rain to make it even more fun!
A driver switch west of Oakridge gave Bob an opportunity to enjoy the fun. We stopped for lunch at a scenic overlook fourteen miles east of Eugene. We get to enjoy lunches in some special places, including interstate rest stops. Today's stop was among the nice ones.
At Springfield we transitioned to Interstate 5 south for fifty miles to Sutherlin, where we exited and drove a few miles to the Escapees Timber Valley Cooperative, arriving shortly before two. We've stayed at Timber Valley before and will be here for a week. As with all of the Escapee's parks, the welcome was genuine and warm.
We got backed into a level site with good satellite coverage. Despite the rain Bob dumped our holding tanks and Sandi connected water and electric. We got set up and expelled a collective sigh when we realized we were snug and warm and at home.
Today's drive was 168 miles with an overall fuel economy of 8⅓ mpg.
P.S. to today's post... We had an extended Happy Hour followed by a wonderful dinner. Following clean up we found ourselves snoozing on the couch so we took early showers and were both in bed well before ten. We know how to deal with stressful days...
Sun, 17 May: Trying to catch up...
We've been parked in the Escapee's Sutherlin Cooperative Park since Tuesday. With the exception of a few forays we've pretty much stayed put.
On Wednesday our Tire Traker Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) arrived at the Sutherlin Post Office. This system comes highly recommended and consists of ten sending units and a monitor. The sending units screw onto each tire's valve stem in place of the valve cap and continuously transmit that tire's pressure and temperature. The monitor sits on the dash and displays that information for each of the ten tire positions (we also bought sensors for our tow car). The monitor is also capable of sounding an alarm should a tire's pressure/temperature fall outside preset parameters.
Sandi spent the afternoon programming the monitor with each tire's target pressure and then installing and configuring each of the ten sensors. We won't know how it works till we hit the road on Tuesday, but thus far everything seems to be working properly.
Thursday we drove to Eugene (actually Monroe, northwest of Eugene) to buy a portable inverter. Our coach has a built in 2,000 watt quasi-square wave inverter that works very well. It is, however, an older technology and quite inefficient. That means, when it is on and we're only using 100 or so watts it still draws almost ten amperes of DC current.
Our new purchase is a pure sine wave 300 watt inverter. It plugs into a 12 volt outlet and is more than 80% efficient. At no-load it draws only a few amps of current. We figure we can use it to charge/run our computers and not have to use the built in unit. We'll see...
Friday was laundry day. We had amassed quite a bit of laundry so a trip to the facilities was in order. Fortunately, our assigned site is close to the clubhouse/laundry building so it was an easy chore.
Later in the day the Timber Valley Cooperative has its weekly social hour. We met several couples we knew, including the Fletcher's who also have a site at RoVer's Roost. It is always fun to meet a bunch of Escapees.
Yesterday and today were work on the computers days. Reconciling our various financial accounts took the bulk of yesterday. Today we're doing some research into possible places to visit once we return from our Alaska cruise early next month. We will head east along U.S. 2 thru eastern Washington, Idaho, Montana, N. Dakota, Minnesota and finally head south to Forest City Iowa.
We've never visited Glacier National Park, so we'll try to spend time there in late June. We fondly recall our 2010 visit to Theodore Roosevelt NP in North Dakota, and are tentatively looking at revisiting for the Independence Day holiday. We have to be in Forest City for our rally Parking Crew duties by 10 July, so that will be our "hard date".
From Newport Washington to Forest City is 1,600 miles and we have roughly three weeks to cover it. "What if-fing" and route planning are some of our favorite RVing activities, so today is fun.
Tuesday we'll leave the Escapees park and drive to the coast. We have reservations for a week's stay at the Thousand Trails Whaler's Rest Resort in South Beach Oregon (just south of Newport). Everyone we've met who has been there tells us it is a very nice place, so we're looking forward to our visit.
Mon, 18 May:. Albert Einstein famously defined 'insanity' as "doing the same thing over and over expecting different results.". To that modern computer pros add the caveat "except when working with Windows." We can certainly agree with that, based on personal experience.
This past weekend we engaged in housekeeping chores—on our computers. We reconciled our bank and brokerage accounts, backed up and archived our computers, and performed Windows updates. Everything worked fine till Sandi tried to boot her Win7 machine yesterday afternoon. It started OK in the morning but hung during boot after lunch.
We tried the easy fixes, then some of the more inventive system restoration and check pointing. Nada, nothing worked. This morning Sandi started her compute4 with the plan to boot it to Linux via Knoppix. Instead of hanging, the darn thing started right up pretty as you please. Go figure?
A week Friday we board the Oceania Regatta for our Alaska cruise. We're busy eating our way thru the fridge as we'll be storing the coach without power so the fridge will be off. The logistics of eating most of what's in the fridge while throwing out a minimum of food is daunting. Our least favorite part of cruising...