Monday, June 29, 2015

Harrisburg OR to Issaquah WA

Saturday we made the drive from Harrisburg OR to Issaquah WA.  It was a terrible drive.  Somewhere south of Olympia there had been a car accident.  The backup was 4 miles long, with frequent stoppage.  Here is Jim, not driving.

Here is the traffic.  When we reached the point where the GPS on the phone showed the freeway going from red to green, there was nothing!  It was all memory of the accident that hadn't cleared out.  Southbound had it even worse.  They had the memory of a gapers block that pretty much merged into Tacoma traffic.

On the left is the Dome of Tacoma.

Now we are in Issaquah until September.  This is a freeway overpass in Issaquah.  See the hole in it?  A big truck with some sort of a pole ran into it. 

The park is looking festive with potted plants on various surfaces.

Yesterday we washed most of the RV, put on tire covers, stuff like that.  It's hot!  It's humid!  Any riding or walking will be done early in the morning.
We're here for the duration of summer.  Posting may be light, because we've hiked it, biked it, walked it and blogged it in the past.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Premier RV Resort - Coburg, OR

Our last two nights in the Coburg area were spent at the Premier RV Resort.  This is our view out of our front door.  It's very serene. After departing River Life on Thursday, we both felt as if a great weight had been lifted from our spirits.  That park was draining our life force from us.
Anyway, Premier is a nice park. It is hard up against the freeway, so there is some road noise.  However, there are no pesky trains blowing their horns at 2:30 in the morning.

We are facing the pond.  One drives in, and then backs out of the site. These are the sites behind us, which do not look at the water.  I would note, that some of the sites have fences between them.  These don't work for us because the bay doors on our big front side open up and out.  If you have that bay door configuration, make sure you ask for a site that does not have a fence.

We're on the left, neighbor on the right.

Sites are fairly level, we should have leveled a little, but were too lazy.  We have between 2 and 3 bars of 4G LTE.  Park wifi was unusable.  Water pressure is on the low side, but it's tolerable.  Sites have small picnic tables.  Laundry facilities are spotless, as are the restrooms.  Staff is very friendly.  They led us to our site, so they could ensure that we didn't run over the sewer, as it is close to the edge of the pavement.  It's a good sewer, it's flush to the ground.  Interior roads are paved, as are the RV pads.
There is a very nice common area with furniture and televisions.  There are game tables as well.  We spent some time there this morning while the RV was at Cummins having its fluids replaced.

This is a nice park, and we would come back here.

6/16 Update.
Don't take site 144 or anything closer to the freeway.  It's too noisy!  

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Lessons From the Maintenance Visit

We spent two days at Elite Repair with our laundry list of things to be fixed.  While we were there, Marty looked at the underside of the driver's side bedroom slide.  See that white groove?  That is a bad thing.

There are two rollers in there, over which the slide moves in and out.  The bottom of the slide box bows over time. When the slide box goes out of square, the rollers can gouge the underside.

Marty cut pieces of aluminum and screwed them into the underside.

So, keep an eye on the undersides of your slides if you have rollers.  Eventually the gouging will go all of the way through, and the slide will not move anymore.

We also learned that when you bring in your slides, you should have a window or the door open.  Slides displace a lot of air.  If your seals are good, air can be forced up through the roof of the RV and through the caulking, especially if the caulk is hot and pliable.  This is badness.

We did get a walk in while in Eugene.  Here we have a wild sweet pea.

This is one of the wet lands along the river walk.  If you look closely you can see two Great Herons flying away from the camera.

Tomorrow we are up and out for an 8 am appointment at Cummins to change the oil and transmission fluid. 

River Life Resort

For years we have stayed at the River Life Resort when we come to see Elite for maintenance.  The sole reason to stay here is that it's two minutes to Elite's shop.  Each year it gets worse, and this may be our last time.  The facility is being converted to a religious retreat, and their interest in running a resort business seems to have faded.
Upon arriving there is a sign at the entrance with a phone number to call to check in.  We call, no answer.  We call the after hours people, they can't help, they know nothing.   We call the other after hours person, she reaches the person who actually is in the office.  I ask what site number.  She proceeds to tell me that we can't have a pull through for 6 days, those are prioritized for people who stay 4 days.  I ask if I can have a pull through for 4 days, then.  That's acceptable to her.  I asked would we be homeless after 4 days - she said that she was certain something would work out for us.  And so it has - we're going to a different RV park.  This is not a friendly or welcoming staff member.
The building on the left is new.  One used to drive the RV up to the second building, check in and then continue on around to the pull throughs.  That route is now impassable. There are only four pull throughs left, the rest have been excavated

One must unhook at the entrance, drive to the front of the pull throughs, then back up to the left, pull forward, and then back into the pull through.

This is still an active RV site in the pull through section.

Every night we've been on the site, the 50 amp breaker on the power pole pops.  It doesn't seem matter what kind of load we're putting on it.  It could be due to the water faucet that's leaking on the power pole.
Water continues to be terrible.  It tastes bad and there is air in the lines.  We have three bars of Verizon 4G LTE.  Power is unreliable on our site.  Interior roads are still paved, but reaching your site will require a three point turn to access it.  There are no picnic tables.  No data on laundry or restrooms this trip.  In the past they have been tolerable.  Sites will require leveling.

So, if you're going to Elite and decide to stay here, this is what you will be facing.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Good Eats in Harrisburg

We went out to lunch yesterday at Air Thai Cuisine in downtown Harrisburg.  For years we've seen the tiny sign pointing down a side street, which says "Thai Food."  It's an odd location, it's next to a farm and hardware store.  Across the street is a junk shop, which has a complete set of nesting Pyrex bowls that I really, really want; but have no place to put.  It's best just to walk away.
Anyway, it's a nice restaurant.  

I had vegetables with crispy tofu.  For years I have tried to like tofu, but it's just not working for me.   The vegetables and rice were excellent.  Jim had pork in peanut sauce that was also good.

If you find yourself in the area for maintenance, this is definitely a place to try.

Day two of working off the to-do list is progressing.  The slides have required more effort than we had expected, the sweeps need work.  It's good to get it done so the dirt and the rain will be kept on the outside of the bus.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Redmond, OR to Harrisburg, OR

Here is yet another boring route report.  If I don't write it down, we won't remember where we've been.  Today's route was Redmond, OR to Harrisburg, OR.  My first observation is that driving from Burns to Harrisburg would have been just awful.  Note to self, don't plan on doing that, ever.  The mileage is not great, but the roads are very slow driving.
We left the fairgrounds and drove 126 to Sisters.  Then we were back on 20 until the 20/22 split.  There is a length restriction on 20, we are too long for that road.  At Mehama, we turned left on to 226.  Both 22 and 226 have a fair amount of descending, with a significant number of curves.  But they are still better than driving 20! Just before I5, we turned back on to 20.  This takes you into Albany.  After that it's the freeway down to the Halsey exit.  There is a Shell there with a truck island.  It's a good gas station, it's level, unlike the one on the other side of I5.  We dragged and bent the gravel guard leaving that one a couple of years ago.  So, that is how we got here.
Most of my pictures were terrible today.  Too many dead bugs on the windshield, and too many clouds.  This is on the way to Sisters.

This is a reservoir alongside of 22.  As you can see out the side window, it's really low.  See the stumps?

Hay is being harvested in the Willamette Valley.

We're here for the week.  We'll be seeing Erik at Elite for all of the non-emergency issues that have been piling up over the past few months.  None reach the level of an in-frame engine rebuild, but when one owns a Class A, one requires maintenance.  We are also having the transmission fluid replaced.  It's time.
Posting may be light while we're here, there's just not that much to say about Harrisburg.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Mountain Home, ID to Deschutes County RV Park in Redmond, OR

Today's route was supposed to end in Burns, but since we got there at noon, we decided to press on.  It was a good decision, had we stopped in Burns, tomorrow would have just been gruesomely far.  From Mountain Home, we took I84 to Ontario, OR.  There is a Pilot travel plaza at exit 376.  When you take the ramp off the freeway and come up to the light, you are presented with a no left turn sign.  So, when traveling north on I-84, do not plan to go to that Pilot, it's on the wrong side of the freeway for you.  Fear not, there is a Love's at exit 374, which is also your exit to 201 which takes you to OR-20.  Once on OR-20, Ontario to Juntura is a very unpleasant stretch of road in both directions.  Today we had the climb.  The road is very narrow and is very twisty.  Do not plan to make very good time on this stretch.
It's a rather desolate drive.

There is some agriculture.

Eventually there are some hills to look at.

We ended up in Redmond, at the Deschutes County Fair and Expo RV Park.   Bend is full to the gills, but there was space here.  It actually worked out really well.  We turned off OR-20 on to Hamby Road, then on to Deschutes Market Road.  That puts you on to OR-97 north of Bend.  Our original plan would have taken us right through Bend, this is way better.  We'll be able to go to Sisters in the morning without encountering Bend traffic.
The RV park is not terrible. Interior roads are paved.  The pads are concrete, with gravel strip separators.  Our neighbor's sewer is just outside our front door, which is not so appealing.  However, water pressure is good, power is good.  There are five bars of Verizon 4G LTE.  Each site has a picnic table.  No data on laundry or restrooms.  Satellite reception is excellent due to a total lack of trees.  The park is under the flight path for the lightly used airport.  There is a train in the area.

It was a 372 mile day.  We are fairly tired.  Tomorrow we are up and out for Harrisburg.

May 2016 Update:  When reserving, ask for a gravel only site away from the grass.  They irrigate here, and they fling a lot of water.  There is train traffic now , which we didn't remember from before.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Provo to the Mountain Home RV Resort

We left Provo at 8:30 this morning.  By 9-ish we were in Salt Lake City.  On ramps were still being metered, so we were still in the rush hour.  There is a lot of construction.  In many areas the lanes are extremely narrow.  It was not a fun drive.  Given the extent of the work they're doing, I expect to see it going on for at least a year, if not longer.  If you can give I15 a miss there, it would improve your driving experience.

Once out in the country, you see a lot of this. 

There is the occasional crop duster to be seen.

We're in a new RV park called the Mountain Home RV Resort, located (oddly enough) in Mountain Home, Idaho.  This is a delightful park.  We are on a 90 foot, very level concrete site.

Power is good, water pressure is good.  Interior roads are paved and very wide.   Some sites have trees that provide shade, those are generally shorter sites.  Each site has a picnic table.  Utilities are grouped together mid-site.  We have 2 bars of 4G LTE, but it's not too awful.  They do offer wifi, but I can't comment.  I have no data on laundry or rest rooms.  They do not yet have the swimming pool in.
This RV park is very easy to get to off the freeway.  There is a decent Pilot on the same exit.  There is much retail within a mile of the park.  This is an excellent overnight, and if we find ourselves in Mountain Home again, we would stay here.

Update to post October 4, 2018.

I am less enamored of this park than I was.  We're on site 17 which is really crappy.  It's narrow, and the area where you have to hook up utilities is being impinged upon by shrubbery.  They've planted a lot of trees, which are growing.  We're not getting satellite because of a tall tree that has cut off the signal.  Jim got the loppers out and removed a branch that was touching the bus on the passenger side. There are a lot of trees in the park which are going to be big. 
I don't remember trains from last time we were here, but there they are, blowing their horns.

It's a popular park.  They are expanding, which doesn't happen all that often anymore.  It's aggravating, because there aren't that many good parks in this area.  We don't like Boise and we don't like Twin Falls.  I suppose I would come back, but right now I'm kind of annoyed.
I will say that on this site the tengo wifi is really good.  Jim is watching youtube which makes him happy.

Moab to the Provo KOA

Today's route was UT-191 to UT-6 to I15.  The 191 section is fairly austere landscape.  The road is good, there are many passing lanes.  It was a pleasant drive.  There is RV accessible diesel in Wellington.

This is on the way up to Soldier Summit on UT-6.  It's a major rail corridor.  Look in the center low part of the photo and you can see the railroad tunnels.  North of the summit, there is a respectable descent with 50 mph curves.

It's greener as you get closer to Provo.

We're at the Provo KOA.  It's off exit 261, where there is also a Flying J.  It's an odd truck plaza.  There is one lane in and out (the same lane), so timing is everything when one wants to leave.
It's a good park for a transit.  We're on 308, which was long enough that we did not have to unhook the truck.

Interior roads are paved, sites are paved with a grass strip in the middle.  They're narrow sites.  The grass is full of clover.  We haven't seen any bees, but I know they're out there.  We did have to deploy the HWH to level.  Power and water hookups are in the middle of the site.  The sewer hookups are pretty far back on the site.  We didn't set a sewer because we didn't want to assemble 20 feet of hose.

The laundry is small, but clean.

Power is good, water pressure is good.  There are 4 bars of Verizon 4G LTE. 

The kids are very happy about the pool.

We would come back here on a transit.  They give a discount for AAA, which is unusual.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Portal RV Resort

While were in Moab we stayed at the Portal RV Resort.  Half of the property is regular campground and the other half is "resort" camping.  Most of the resort sites are owned by people, and the sites are rented out when the owners are not in residence.  The resort side has landscaping and access to the pool.  The regular half does not have much in the way of plantings, and people are restricted to a pond.  The pond actually looked like more fun than the pool.
This is the regular campsite area.  Interior roads are paved, sites are gravel.

Now we are in the resort area.  Interior roads are paved, sites are concrete.  All vehicles must be on the pavement at all times.  We were informed that there is a $150 fee for messing with the plantings.  Apparently they check for footsteps in the dirt to determine who damaged the plants.

This is our street.  It was an unfortunately aligned site - it faced due west into the setting sun.  In the afternoons the front of the bus was just uninhabitable.

This is the bad part about the resort side. Sorry about the picture, I shot through the windshield and there are dead bugs on it.  These are the casitas.  They are three stories tall.  There is RV parking between the casitas.  I'm not sure if our satellite antenna would shoot over the roof line of these monolithic structures.

Front view of the casitas, without dead bugs.

The resort site had picnic tables, I can't remember about the campground (campground has picnic tables as well).  Power was good, water pressure was good.  We generally had 4 bars of 4G LTE.  If you have satellite, ask for a site with no trees, some sites are not going to get reception.   The concrete pads are not level, there is slope for drainage, so we had to activate the HWH.  When the wind direction is right, there is a smell of horse stables.
No data on the restrooms.  Laundry was abysmal.  It's a tiny building with no air conditioning.  We took the clothes into downton Moab and used a place there.  It was better.
This place books out far in advance, so call early if you're thinking of going there.  We're going back in September, and staying in the campground section.
Sunset last night.

May 7, 2017 Update to post.
A new laundry, shower, restroom building has been constructed.  The laundry environment is now very lovely and air conditioned.  We were not forced to go into town to wash the clothes.
This time we stayed on the campground side in a back in.  I think I prefer that to the resort side, because the bus did not face west.  It was better having the sun on the windshield in the morning, rather than in the afternoon. 
One thing we noticed this year was an increase in ATVs in the park.  They annoy me greatly, so I was more annoyed this year.  They don't speed or do donuts or anything, I just don't like hearing them.