2012 Travels travel blog

Carpe Diem at Roadmaster Factory
We're scheduled for towbar inspection on Monday

Washington State Route 20 near Chimacum

View of Hood Canal from US 101

We transitioned to I 5 at Olympia

Have some coal
Every car was Canadian Pacific RR

Two Union Pacific engines and one Canadian Pacific
One doesn't often see mixed...

Another view of Carpe boondocking at Roadmaster

Sat, 29 Sep: Back on the road again after a week goofing off in Chimacum. We enjoyed our sojourn, but the ole' "hitch itch" was getting to us so time to roll wheels.

We'd mostly gotten things organized yesterday so this morning's activities consisted of little more than going thru our checklist (we depend on it doubly so if we haven't been on the road for a while) and last minute stowing of gear. We got underway a few minutes before ten and headed south on WA 20 to US 101 and thence south to I 5 at Olympia.

The stretch along WA 20 and US 101 was very scenic, re. twisty, narrow, hilly, and curvy. We encountered some drizzle at the higher elevations, but nothing worse than getting both vehicles filthy dirty. Just before Olympia we switched drivers. A quick lunch break at a rest stop along I 5 and we arrived at our destination about 1330.

We are currently boondocking at the Roadmaster Incorporated factory in Vancouver, WA. Roadmaster is the manufacturer of the towbar and related equipment we use to tow Dinkum behind the coach. We're scheduled to have the entire system inspected on Monday to ensure that all is OK. We're not having any problems, but since we were in the area we thought we'd have them check it out. Especially given the workout it got in Alaska and Canada this past summer.

Our plans are uncertain at this point. We have an appointment with 3T RV in Lake Havasu City 15 Oct so that'll give us two weeks to get down there. Our exact route and timing are still in the planning stage so stay tuned.

While in the Vancouver/Portland area we'll visit Sandi's Aunt & Uncle and possibly get some shopping out of the way in sales tax-free Oregon. Bob wants to visit some of the military museums in the area so stay tuned on that also.

Mon, 01 Oct: We've had a couple of thoroughly enjoyable days. First of all, the weather couldn't be more perfect. The usual damp Portland/Vancouver area is showing off with bright sunny days and cool clear nites. We've even enjoyed watching the full moon rise the past two nites.

Yesterday, Sunday, we drove the car to south Portland to do some shopping at Fry's Electronics and Camping World. We didn't find much of interest so both stops cost us less than $20. Way to go...

Our main reason to be in that part of town was to visit with Sandi's Aunt Goldie and Uncle Josh. Goldie is the last living sister of Sandi's mother. The "Goncher Girls" were pretty special ladies so it is always special to visit with Goldie who is the spitting image of Sandi's mom. Goldie will celebrate her 90th birthday Friday, and her husband Josh his 91st a few weeks later.

We had a wonderful 2½ hour visit that ended all too soon. What fun reminiscing...

Today we had a truly remarkable Customer Service experience! As mentioned earlier we are in Vancouver for the purpose of having our tow bar and related towing equipment inspected and serviced by Roadmaster at their factory. We have been staying in their parking lot since arriving Saturday and this morning at 0900 we took Carpe and Dinkum in for their appointment.

Graham, the service technician, removed the towbar from the coach and took it to the assembly section where they diassembled it, cleaned and lubricated it, and reassembled it replacing worn parts as necessary. Meanwhile, Graham inspected the equipment on the car and found Camping World had assembled some parts incorrectly (surprise?!?). He took it apart and reassembled it correctly using new hardware.

While all this was taking place Nancy from Customer Service gave us a private tour of the factory. We got to watch them transform raw stock and billets into a quality finished product. We're really impressed with the attention to detail and quality control we witnessed.

When we rolled out just before noon we had a like new installation. All this work was performed at no cost to us as a Good Will gesture. We thank you Roadmaster for your hospitality and quality product.

Tomorrow (Tuesday) we'll continue south to mid-Oregon where we hope to spend time at the SKP park in Sutherlin. That'll be a nice jumping off place to visit the Oregon Coast, Crater Lake, etc.

Trip Summary
Miles this leg: 194.9
Total miles since Casa Grande: 8,817.1

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