The Ease of a Class C

Our 24ft Class C Fleetwood Icon may not be the biggest rig on the road, but it is more than comfortable and so easy to maneuver within city limits. We managed to find parking on the streets of Portland, Oregon when we decided to visit the famous Powell’s City of Books, Book Store. Our daughter Lara really wanted to check it out after her friend from Ireland, Laura’s husband, told her about it.

After Michael edged the RV into a tight parking spot right across from the bookstore, the three of us collectively held our breath as a cable car slowly drove past without causing any harm to either vehicles. It was a tight fit though and Michael chose to stay behind just in case a traffic cop asked him to leave. The RV was a little long both front to back, but just right in width. What an awesome RV we have! It fits 3 adults and a cat comfortably, and the mobility factor adds a lot to the overall positive experience.

We are leaving for Poulsbo, Washington today and are having a fabulous time. The weather has turned sunny and warm and Callie is having a blast on the dash and taking in all of the new sights. Her love of travel and adventure adds so much to the fun of traveling as we look forward to another awesome day. Fred has continued on toward Seaside without us to visit his brother and we will reconnect with him after the wedding.

The Importance of Good Tires when RVing

I can’t stress enough the importance of good tires when RVing. It isn’t just the thread but also the sidewalls that are important. You cannot help it if you run over debris in the road, but having blowouts can be catastrophic, dangerous and just plain inconvenient when traveling.

When we were on the way to Big Basin National Park last month and AFTER we had driven past the sign stating that there would be no services for 83 miles, we had a blowout in the back outside tire below the gray water tank. It tore through the tank and displaced the pipe by at least an inch when it blew! Michael drove the RV with great caution and at under 25 mph and we made it to a gas station finally at a crawl. He was able to get some help and changed out the tire and switched it with the spare but we had to depend on it all of the way back to Borrego Springs.

Fred just happened to have a slider issue yesterday morning after I had posted my blog on leveling, (he has a very weak motor) so we caravaned into Tillamook to have his MINNIE repaired and Michael had the repair shop work on our gray water tank at the same time. The Tillamook RV Repair Shop took care of all of our needs as we pigged out at the Tillamook Cheese and Creamery Factory across the street. I had to put aside my thoughts and concerns about the care and needs of dairy cows in order to enjoy the delicious cheese they produce and had a fabulous Caesar Salad and Tomato Soup with Cheddar Cheese Curds melted in it.

Because the repair work took all day, we headed back to the Jetty Marina and Campgrounds at Rockaway Beach and watched a magnificent sunset. It was a beautiful evening with the smell of salt in the air and the sounds of gulls calling out their mournful song as the waves lapped at the sand while the tide came in. This RV site has about 10 spaces on grass that have an incredible view of the ocean and sand spit. The photographs are listed as the Nehalem River so I am a little confused about whether it is a river or inlet. Whatever it is, the view is extraordinary!

You know you are level when your candle burns bright.

When traveling in an RV, you must make sure that you are level before having the sliders go out or you risk damage to the motor. A good indicator of being properly level besides using a level, of course, is to burn a candle and see if the wax melts evenly. Another tip is the iPhone. It now has a leveling app that is just one of many features that help everyday life. I highly recommend it.

We are at a lovely campsite called, Jetty Fisheries and RV Park and Campground in Rockaway Beach, Oregon and Callie just finished her morning walk out to the boat ramp. She loves walking in the rain and doesn’t mind stormy weather as she jumps over puddles with ease. We are about an hour from Seaside, Oregon and plan on heading to Portland today. Michael, Lara, Callie, Fred and I have been having a fabulous time and look forward to reaching Seattle on Thursday.

Who am I and Where have I Been?

I have taken about three weeks off from posting any new material because I ran out of storage space and I keep debating on what to do next as far as blogging goes. I could buy a business plan on WordPress but that seems too expensive, or delete old photographs. I have chosen for the time being to delete past images until I can figure out what I want to do next because I miss writing and posting photos of Callie. I have also noticed that I can’t remember what I did yesterday, much less, where I was last month! If I don’t attempt to record my thoughts and experiences down in a journal, I quickly forget who I am and where I have been!

Callie visited 6 National Parks last month- Zion, the North Rim Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, The Grand Tetons, Great Basin National Park, and see, I can’t remember what the 6th place was that we stayed at unless I go back and look up old photographs. (It was Monument Valley) We are currently heading up the northwest coastline to Seattle, Washington with our friend, Fred and daughter Lara to attend a wedding.

As soon as we crossed over the Oregon border, we got steady rain and it has been raining all night in Brookings, Oregon at the Harris Beach Campground. Listening to the rain last night as we slept was peaceful and soothing and the fluffy blankets have come out because Callie insists on sleeping underneath them. She is doing well and so loves traveling and resting on the dash while she helps out with the navigation.

We left Encinitas, California last Monday and it is now Saturday morning. We stopped at Jalama State Beach the first night, Bella Vista in Cayucos on the second night, Big Sur on the third, The Redwoods, the fourth and we are now camped at Harris Beach. It has been so hot and dry for so long in California, that the damp and coolness of the rain is a wonderful respite. The muffled sounds of wet leaves and raindrops pinging on the top of the RV and the trill of various songbirds as they rustle underneath for food makes for a peaceful and misty morning.

The sun is supposed to come out later today, so we are planning on staying one more night. Callie got her walk this morning in the drizzle and was greeted by various campers with stories of their own to tell about adopting stray cats and kittens. For the most part, it seems like a lot of cats choose their owners, just like Callie did with me.

Through the Looking Glass

When we had our windshield replaced in Coos Bay, we were told that we couldn't stay in the RV and that it would take about 3.5 hours to finish the job. I was concerned about Callie and we told them so, and Area Glass said they would keep a close eye on her while they worked. I was skeptical but didn't have much choice, so we locked her up in the back bathroom and I went off to do laundry and Michael used their internet service in the office.

When I was finished with laundry at a local laundry mat, I came back and Michael and I took Callie out for a walk and then we had to leave again for a little over an hour while they fit the windshield and sealed it into place. We locked Callie back up in the closet/bathroom and this time when we headed out for lunch, I wasn't as concerned because it had all gone so well the first half of the job. But when we returned the second time, the workers joked that Callie was an escape artist and that they had to tie her to the sink with the leash because while they were working away, one of the guys looked up and Callie was sitting on the front seat grooming herself with no windshield in the frame. They quickly guided her to the back and tied her up with relief. She got out of the harness a second time and again was sitting on the front seat when they were ready to put the windshield back in its place. This time they attempted to lock her back up in the bathroom. I didn't believe them when they told me about it and so left again while the adhesive was drying which took one more hour to set!

When we came back the third time, I opened up the door to the RV and immediately noticed the empty leash and harness dangling from the bathroom sink. I panicked and called for her and she responded right away with a soft meow. She had climbed up into the loft and took a nice long nap while the men worked.

I went back in to tell them that I had thought that they were kidding me, and they said that they weren't. She really did get out twice, only to place herself primly on the front seat and groom herself when they weren't around. Nor was there a windshield put back in place at the time. I am so fortunate that Callie views the RV as home now, and didn't freak out with all of the construction going on AND didn't think to test whether there was a looking glass to go through or not!

Tillamook, OR

Yesterday was a rather long and tiresome day trying to find a campsite. Our luck held out until Friday. Friday's are not a good day for searching for a campsite at the state parks. There are too many people enjoying the awesome Oregon weather and the road weary must either go inland or find a private RV Park.

We finally found one in Tillamook, OR and I won't name the place because of an interesting thing that happened when checking in. Our host burst into tears when she saw Callie happily sitting on the dash and came up to the RV, and while stroking Callie's ear, confided in us that she had just come back from visiting her sick and aging cat at a sanctuary. She couldn't afford the vet bills that had piled up because of a diagnosis of glaucoma and was forced to give her up in order for her cat to receive medical care. It reminds me of the AFFORDABLE CARE ACT or as the Republican Party would like to disparagingly call it- OBAMA CARE! I believe that health care is a right and society would benefit with people staying well and thriving with good health. It should not be a profit motivating system!

Well, Callie helped her feel better because she loves to be petted and we shared stories and photographs and told her that she was doing the right thing. The host has two other cats, one of which greeted Michael and that surprised the host because the cat is usually super shy.

So, here we are in Tillamook and will leave this morning. Callie received one more dose of antibiotic with dignity and has two more days to go. The chicken flavored compound is the way to go. I have also learned to keep her wrapped up really tight, with her head back, and I tickle her chin and open her mouth up for about 10 minutes afterwards so she doesn't froth and drool on everything. It has been traumatic to say the least to be administering antibiotics for 4 months. She is definitely on the mend though! We had a nice long walk and she managed to walk out to a boat launching dock as if she owned the place!

Excited about today and can't wait to get on the road. I am also going to track down some ice cream while I am here!

Devils Elbow State Park

Michael, Callie and I stayed at Honeyman State Campground in Oregon last night and we had a private site with nice neighbors to the left of us. They recommended that we try out Beverly Beach next. Callie was able to get in a couple of short walks, but the dogs were large and numerous. It made her feel just a little uncomfortable so we didn't go far from the campsite.

This morning we got up early and broke camp so that we could get to Beverly State Beach Campground with a hope of acquiring a campsite without a reservation. Most people that we meet when we pull into our camp are astonished that we didn't reserve a site 9 months ago like they did. We are winging it for sure and so far we have had good luck.

On the drive north on the 101, we took a short excursion over to the Heceta Head Lighthouse. As you pull into Devil's Elbow Beach, you pass underneath a bridge that looks just like a Roman Aqueduct. It is beautiful to look at and the design is flawless.

Walking to the lighthouse is a short 1/2 mile each direction and it is a working lighthouse to this day. The lighthouse uses a fresnel lens which was created in 1822 and it captures the beam of light by keeping the light waves from dispersing into a fan shape by cuts in the glass which redirects the beam and bends it back in the same direction. The light beam is very bright and intense. The reason it is called Devil's Elbow Park is obvious when you walk down to the beach. The rocks are treacherous and jut way out into the sea. Many a sailing ship would have crashed on these rocks if it weren't for the lighthouse.

We are now waiting in a parking lot to find out if we can get a campsite at Beverly Beach State Park. Keeping my fingers crossed!!!

Sorry to say that we didn't get a campsite and are moving northward again:)
Friday's are always the most difficult day of the week to find camp sites available during high season.

Sunset Bay State Campground, Oregon

Sunset Bay State Campground is green and lush, the bathrooms are clean and spacious, and the camp sites are private. We checked into one of only two remaining sites, and after we checked in, the "Campground full" sign went up. We are in A25 and it is raining this morning as I write with Callie and Michael sleeping. Callie had her morning walk in the rain, which surprised me, and is now back in bed after breakfast. She hasn't coughed in 5 days and her appetite has returned with a vengeance. I am feeding her fresh salmon and she thinks she has died and gone to heaven. Callie is usually a finicky and dainty eater, and has been sick for 4 months, so it is reassuring to watch her wolf her food down again.

Yesterday late afternoon, Michael and I walked over to the bay and followed the shoreline from one end to the other. It is tsunami territory and warning signs are posted and geological forces are obvious if you know what to look for! The Juan de Fuca fault line is right off shore and this plate is pushing up the North American plate. Evidence of this happening is everywhere with rocks being pushed up vertically in what was once horizontal topsoil.

We watched an osprey fishing and it caught a fish on the second attempt. It circled and pivoted, changed direction and circled for quite some time before diving into the shallow water. It was low tide and a beautiful, calm, late afternoon. A seagull chased after the osprey as it flew away with a fish dangling in its talons. The speed of the osprey left the seagull short of breath and it had to give up after a feeble attempt at harassing the osprey to let go of its catch. It was warm enough for brave souls to dip in the water briefly, but mostly it was just children splashing about in the cold water.

We returned to Callie and our wonderful 24 ft. Icon RV and I made a dinner of salmon, baked potato, corn on the cob and fresh green beans. I had my glass of Chardonnay and Michael loves his one bottle of Corona beer. It is so festive to prepare meals and camp in a luxurious RV with children playing, dogs barking and adults sitting around campfires. Michael is teaching me a card game called: Rook, and I am improving every day. I am not exactly partial to games but making the effort. The better I become, the more fun it should be for me! Because it is raining this morning as I write this blog, I am even more grateful to being inside an RV….

Osprey is entering the water after a dive straight down.

Look for osprey coming out of water in middle of photograph!

Callie is enjoying watching the rain this morning!

Coos Bay, Oregon

Coos Bay has the awesome distinction of having had- One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest filmed here with Jack Nicholsen. The infamous scene where Jack steals a boat can be imagined right outside the RV window as we drive by. It is a thriving city and fishing boats are still moored at the dock and all the store fronts appear to be open for business. Other Oregon coastal towns don't seem to be as fortunate.

We needed to drive to Coos Bay to have Tony's RV Repair have a look at our windshield that had popped out slightly after our "off road" adventure at Albee Creek in the redwoods. We lost a hubcap, a valve was severed on the back right inner tire and the lower kitchen cabinets separated just a little more from the wall due to the rough road conditions. We have promised each other that we will NOT drive on any more questionable roads!

Tony sent us to Area Glass & Mirror, Inc. and we are going to have the windshield either replaced or repaired depending on what they find when they attempt to fix it. Michael was told by an auto body repair shop in Crescent City that we might have actually bent the frame of the RV because we had put an anti-sway bar on the back to keep the RV from pitching so much. He said it was a bad idea because it made the back-end too rigid for the cab. Michael was pretty freaked out about it until Tony told us the sway bar is a fabulous idea and that it was just a windshield problem. The cost could be any where from $200.00, if all they have to do is remount the existing windshield and up to $375.00 if they have to replace it. We are very impressed with both Tony and Area Glass.

We can't have the repair work done until Thursday afternoon, so we are camping at Sunset Bay State Campground and got one of the last 2 sites left. It is now Wednesday morning and it is raining lightly and typical Oregon coast weather. Callie had a walk on the leash in the heavy drizzle and many campers commented on her not only walking on a leash, but in the rain no less!

Our drive from Crescent City was beautiful and Callie spent the entire time on the dash again. It has become her favorite place to be when we are traveling.

Day 7: Columbia Gorge in Oregon

The Columbia Gorge is ancient and has so many  waterfalls flowing into the Columbia River that it is close to impossible to view in one day.  We left Callie at the motel passed out in her bed. It took her a couple days to recover from all of the excitement at Trillium Lake and off-roading. We had a fabulous time exploring and ended up at a famous historical fish hatchery at Bonneville Dam.