Saturday, October 31, 2015


While in Ely, we stayed at the Ely KOA.  If you have satellite, you want sites F23, F24 or F25.  There are many pesky trees here.  Our site looks directly at 93.  That's the view out of the windshield.
Interior roads and sites are gravel.  Utilities are pretty much in the middle of the site.  Water pressure is good, Verizon 4G has 4 bars.  Power is good.  No data on restrooms or laundry.  It's sort of a rustic looking park.  

Pesky trees.

It's not a wonderful RV park, but it's ok for a transit.  We would come back here.

Updated 5/20/18:

The park has gone downhill somewhat.  There are way more permanent residents and staff is not making them keep their sites looking nice.  The people next to us have stuff smeared all over the place.  The grounds don't look as good, either.
Cable TV is no longer available, apparently the provider bailed out of the entire county.
On the way out, there is a large hole on the side of the driveway.  If you didn't see it, and drove in to it, it would take a wrecker to get you out.
I don't know if we would come back here or not.

Updated 10/5/2018:

We really hate site F23, it's hard to get into.   F24, F25 and F26  are better.  They're more straight in than F23.
Verizon 4G is really slow, it's like watching paint dry.
There are more permanent residents than there were.

Updated 10/5/2019

We still really hate F23.  I asked for a different site, but this is what we got.
The giant pot hole is still next to the exit road.  They've put some white cones in front of it.  Fixing would be better.
4G is better than it has been.  It's going down to 25 tonight.

Twin Falls, ID to Ely, NV

Today was a much shorter drive than yesterday.  It was really windy all day.  Last night we were in the Central time zone, today we went back to Pacific Daylight Savings, tomorrow we'll be off daylight saving time.  We're not sure what time it is.
Today was an unusual route for us.  We generally try not to be out completely in the middle of nowhere.  We spent the day on highway 93.  Part of 93 is dual signed with 50, which is the loneliest road in America.  Indeed it is.  The other name of 93 is the Great Basin Highway.  It's the most direct route from Twin Falls to Las Vegas, but it is OUT there.  There is not a lot of cell coverage.  So far it's been a great drive.  The road surface has been good, and there is not a lot of traffic.  It's two lanes with some passing lanes.

We got diesel twice today.  When driving out in the middle of nowhere, it's good to have fuel.  In Wells, NV; I80 crosses 93 and there are truck plazas there.  In Ely, at the corner of 93 and 6, there is a Shell.  It's not a truck plaza, but the outside pumps were accessible to us.  So, we're good now until Las Vegas.  Tomorrow we'll be on 318 which is even more deserted than 93.

Update to post:  About a mile south of the intersection of 93 and 6, there is a Chevron.  In the back of the station there are real truck pumps.  Ingress and egress look to be way easier than at the Shell.

Twin Falls 93 RV Park

While in Twin Falls we stayed at the Twin Falls 93 RV Park.  If you're continuing south on 93, this is a good place to stay.  It gets you south of Twin Falls and on the way to your next destination.
It's an ok park for a transit.  The lady who works the desk is very nice.  She has an adorable chihuahua, wearing a sweater.  She and the dog lead you to your site. Our site was not really long enough to leave the truck attached to the RV, but we did it anyway.  We were not the only people extending slightly into the road.  There are many stockyards in the area.  When the wind is right, you can smell them.
Water pressure is very low.  We had to turn the water pump on in order for me to rinse my hair in the shower.  Verizon 4G was good.  Power is good.  Sites are not totally level, we had to use the HWH.  Interior streets and sites are gravel.  Sites are really narrow.

It's not a spectacular park, but it's right on 93 and easy to get in and out of.

Updated 5/20/2018:

This park has spent a ton of money putting in a lot of "big rig" pull throughs.  I'd give them an A for effort and a C for execution.  The sites really need to be slightly longer and wider.  They put in concrete curbs on each side, and one of our slides is over the curb.  If we had to do much leveling, we'd have to move to get the slide away from the curb.  My biggest complaint about the sites is the location of the sewers.  They're at the very back of the site.  For a Class A with a toad, that's a problem.  We've got 20 feet of sewer out and we're extending slightly into the road with the truck.
They've outsourced their wifi to a third party vendor.  I can't figure out how to log on to the free service.  It rejects my userid, my password, everything.  That must be why it's free.
We can still smell animal manure.  It's very agricultural.
I suppose we would come back here.

Updated October 4, 2019

We're in a big rig site again, number 38.  Jim parked on the far left of the site to move the big slide out away from the curb; so there were no issues with hitting the curb with the slide if a lot of leveling was required.  However, we can't open the driver's side bays without hitting the power pedestal, which is annoying.  We did unhook the truck from the RV which made getting to the sewer possible with 15 feet of hose. Water pressure is good.  The park wifi is worthless, it's worse than watching your hair grow.  The 4G is good.  Despite all of my complaining, we would come back.

Pendleton, OR to Twin Falls, ID

Oy!  Yesterday was a dark and stormy, very long and windy day.  Friday's drive was from Pendleton to Twin Falls.  It was all freeway driving on I82 and I84.  We made excellent time on the drive.  It was about 350 miles and that's about as far as I would want to be driving.

Note to self, it's easier to get diesel at the Mountain Home Pilot.  It's close to the freeway and is very easy to get off and on.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Wild Horse Casino and RV Resort

While in Pendleton, OR, we stayed at the Wild Horse Casino and RV Resort.  It's an ok park.  There are no pesky over hanging trees to interfere with the satellite.
We are on a 50 amp pull through site.  It's level enough that we did not use the HWH leveling system.  It's not perfectly level, but it's tolerable.  One knock on the site is how far back the sewer is.  We did not want to unhook the truck so the RV is forward in the site; we would need more sewer hose than we own to be able to set a sewer. 
Power is good, water pressure is good.  Verizon 4G is weak.  Loading anything with a lot of graphics is like watching paint dry.  Interior streets and sites are asphalt.  No data on restrooms or laundry facilities.

The tall building in the way back center of the picture is the casino.  They do run a shuttle if you want to go there and leave the driving to someone else.

This is an ok place to stay.  There's not a lot to choose from in Pendleton.

Update October 3, 2018.

I think the place is looking a little worse for wear.  Jim thinks it always looked bad.  The asphalt on the sites is dented and breaking up a little.  This time we're on site 31 which had two sewers instead of just the one in the back.  It's only 60 feet, and we're 65 feet when towing the pick up so we unhooked.  The 4G seems to be better than it was. It's still not a terrible place to stay.

Issaquah to Pendleton, OR

We left this morning!  We're actually gone from the Issaquah microclimate.  Now we're in Pendleton, Oregon where it's incredibly windy.  This is a really blurry terrible picture, taken out of the side window of the bus.  See all that brown out there?  That's the bottom of Keechelus Lake, just east of Issaquah.  There should be water in that lake, now there is vegetation.  They got drought.

Much of today's route had heavy fog.  We were in it for quite a bit, sometimes with visibility of about two feet.  Really.  It was thick in places.

Eventually we broke out into blue skies and lots of wind.

The pointy thing in the middle of the photo is a Very High Frequency Omnirange, aka a VOR.  Pilot humor refers to these as a "VOR house."  VOR rhymes with "lady of the night." The VOR is an aid to aircraft navigation. 

We made really good time today.  So good, that we were driving along thinking we should have maybe tried for more miles.  Talk about the kiss of death!  Five seconds after that conversation Jim looked at the passenger side mirror and noticed that the awning was in the process of unrolling itself.  We pulled over and stopped.  We extended the awning and then retracted it, but it did not completely close, probably due to being on the edge of the road.  Fortunately we have an eight foot ladder, so Jim was able to get to the top of the arms and bang on them, causing the awning to close.  So that was the excitement for today.  Hopefully this will not be an issue on anymore of the travel days.
We had a little sunset, not as good as Arizona, but better than Issaquah.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Traffic and the Ear

What's happening in your neck of the woods?  We've had a spectacular two days of really terrible traffic jams.  This happened yesterday on westbound I90.  It was a dry day, but somehow a truck driver managed to over turn his vehicle and completely block all lanes of I90; he was carrying 45,000 pounds of frozen burritos.  Traffic was a mess for hours.

This happened this morning, near Tacoma.  The semi jack-knifed and in the process, pushed the jersey barriers into the other side of the freeway.  People moving in the opposite direction had multiple accidents due to the unexpected appearance of the barriers.  Traffic, again, was a mess for hours.

So, when we leave tomorrow morning we will be driving neither to the west nor the south, so hopefully we will not encounter any of these types of events.

We saw the surgeon this morning.  He said the hole in the ear drum appears to be healing.  Say hallelujah!  It'll be 4 to 6 weeks before it's known for sure, but he said he thought it would be ok.  So, it's not closed yet, but it might be.

We are leaving in the morning.  We're getting out of here just in time.  The weather is shifting into the pattern of rain every day, wind and general misery from never seeing the sun. 

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Feet and Ears

The visiting of doctors continues.  Jim's foot had not improved significantly with icing and TENS therapy so we went to see the podiatrist again.  The fat pad on Jim's heel has thinned somewhat, which has caused the bursa to become inflamed from too much pounding on the heel.  Now we are taping.  After my first foot surgery I spent too much time on crutches and gave myself plantar faciitis.  I spent a year icing and taping, it was brutal.  So now Jim will learn the joy of athletic tape.  The goal is to pooch up the heel and then strap it firmly so there is more flesh under the heel.  It's a process.  Dr. Lewis' taping is a thing of beauty, I aspire to be as good as he is.

After the podiatrist, we had lunch at a Vietnamese restaurant.  It was ok.  Not great, not terrible.  I had barbequed quail legs.  The sauce on them was really good, it had a slight taste of orange.  The quail was good, but it's kind of a pain to eat, and there's not much of it for the amount of effort expended eating it.

Then we went over to Uwajimaya, which is an Asian grocery store.  I love looking at stuff there.  We were interested to see chili paste with holy basil.
It is originally from India and is used in Ayurvedic medicine as an “adaptogen” to counter life’s stresses. It is considered a sacred plant by the Hindus and is often planted around Hindu shrines. The Hindu name for holy basil, Tulsi, means "the incomparable one." Medicine is made from the leaves, stems, and seeds. 
I had never heard of it before, of course there are many things of which I have not heard.

Cute mayonnaise containers.

Farmed tilapia.  They're good sized fish.

Crabs on the hoof.

They have a cool housewares section.  I like the egg faces.

Today we saw the ear surgeon.  The paper patch he installed two weeks ago slipped, and was no longer in place to encourage the hole to close, and so it didn't.  We discussed proceeding with the fat plug.  It has a lower success rate than the paper patch, but it's what's left in my progression of ear surgeries.  He wasn't inclined to do it, since we're leaving soon, but I convinced him that he should.  At noon today, that's what we were doing.  The surgeon makes a small incision in the ear lobe and removes fat.  Then he puts a pointed tool into the hole and irritates the edges a little; after which the fat is forced into the hole.  It's sort of like a dumb bell with some on the other side of the ear drum, and some on the exterior side.  It's a fairly uncomfortable process.  If I ever do that again, drugs will be taken before hand.  There will be at least three more weeks of showering with the cotton ball, the vaseline, the band-aid and the dixie cup over the ear.  I'm fairly despondent about this, having a hole in the eardrum increases the likelihood of ear infections, which erode the graft and likely send us back to the operating room in five years.
We're here for one more week, and then heading directly to Tucson.  Have you been watching the news?  Phoenix has been having flash flooding with swift water rescues.  Hopefully this will not be happening when we go through there. 

Saturday, October 17, 2015

More Scenery, Fish and Ducks

Yesterday was a glorious day.  It was eerily warm for mid-October.  We took the road bikes out to Carnation Valley.  It's the first time I have ridden since mid-August, and I was predictably out of shape.  When we get back to Tucson, there are going to be twice a day workouts!  In addition to losing muscle, I have gained a little weight; this trend must be halted.
This is a good looking tree out on one of the valley roads.

The valley is cow heaven.  It's not too hot, it's not too cold.  Recently King County bought a defunct golf course from a group of developers.  They're selling it off to a dairy farmer at a huge loss.  They'll probably make it up selling developer credits generated by not building houses on a flood plain.

We went back out to the fish hatchery (we're running out of things to do), to see if any fish were jumping yet.  The guy that works in the gift shop said that the fish have  sort of congregated at the weir and aren't moving.  Generally when they open the gates to the fish ladders, they move up and out.  These guys must be really tired.

I got better pictures of the ducks today.

This was fascinating.  There is a tank of little fishies, with aerated water being pumped into the tank.  It's a big facility.  These are tiny fish, they're about three inches long.

They're leaping.  They're already leaping upstream at the water.  We did not know they would do that as babies.

Moss.  The northwest is full of moss, due to mass quantities of rain fall.

Jim has pulled up lame.  I have not taken him to the rendering plant just yet (kidding, just kidding), but his new job is to make his foot get better.  If you've been to physical therapy, you've probably had the electricity patches (TENS devices) put on the affected part.  You can buy those.  We got a small one at Walgreen's yesterday.  It's battery powered.  That, and rolling a water bottle full of frozen water under the arch seems to be helping.  We don't know if it's plantar fasciitis, or what.  It's been fairly painful and limiting in how much walking he can do.  As a veteran of terrible feet and multiple surgeries, I can attest to how frustrating it is to have limited mobility.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Return of the Salmon

The salmon are returning to the hatchery to spawn and die.  It's sad.  They work so hard to make it upstream from the ocean and then they die.  This guy is really red.  He's ready.  Some of the Chinooks are huge, they're at least three feet long.

This is a big pile of fish.  They look tired.  There's not a lot of jumping going on this year.

Here is one of the few flying fish I've seen.

There are a few hardy fish trying to make it up the weir, but they never do.  They have to take the fish ladder to the holding pen.

There are a lot of ducks and sea gulls as well.  Some fish die below the weir, and the sea gulls are there to clean up the corpses.

We had a good day today.  Tomorrow is a "transitional" day, that means it starts raining again the day after.  Jim rode out in Carnation Valley today - I walked up to the fish hatchery.  If it's nice tomorrow maybe we'll both ride.

We still have no firm plans about leaving here, and won't until we see the surgeon on Wednesday.  Other than this fishy offering, I have zippity-doo-dah all to report.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

After the Rain

Yesterday was quite the day.  The rain was biblical.  However, a couple of camellias have survived the pounding.  They're so pretty.  We actually managed to get a walk in between two systems that hit the area.

The wind arrived when we were almost back to the park.  It came up very quickly and strongly.  THIS is why it's not a good idea to leave an awning out when there is a high wind warning.  It lifted the aft awning supports right out the track.  Fortunately, they've been able to get it back in the track and retracted.

So yesterday we had rain heavy enough to pixelate the satellite picture.  Between the wind and the rain, we got a little water in by the driver's seat.  We think it was driven in by the wind through the slide gaskets.  It has not happened before, so we've decided not to stress over it.  Yesterday was the remnants of a hurricane, after all.

This was today.  It was glorious!

We saw these two dogs standing in a creek in Issaquah.  They were very intent on something in the water.

This guy was whimpering he was so excited.

Look in the bottom right corner of the picture.  That's a salmon swimming up stream.  They wanted to eat the fish really badly.  Fortunately, their leashes were too short.

Other than this paltry offering, I have nothing what so ever to report.  Well, the good news that our local NBC affiliate and DISH have made peace, and NBC is back on the air.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Rain and Thinking about Leaving

Aaarrgggghhhhh.  We’re under a high wind warning (which hasn’t materialized here) and the rain is incessant.  Radar hasn’t changed much over the past few hours.


We’re still having the discussion of should we stay or should we go.  I guess when we see the surgeon week after next, I’m going to made it more clear that we have to leave.  We’ve talked about driving back from Tucson for follow up, but that’s 3,000 miles round trip.  We gotta go!  Many of our cabinet doors will not close anymore because they’re so full of water from the damp air.  I’ve booked a plan B appointment with an ENT surgeon at the Mayo Clinic in Phoenix mid November.  One wonders how difficult could it be to remove a paper patch and see if the hole is closed.  He does do the fat plug procedure in the office.  The downside to the Mayo is that they book out so far, so one wonders how good they are for after care.  I have no data.  We went once to see a heart guy, who was not impressive, and haven’t been back.

Jim is slowly adjusting to hearing aids.  They’re not a perfect solution.  The sound is not true to life, it’s definitely artificial.  They have the downside of hearing too much.  Things like road noise from the truck tires, squeaking wheels on a grocery cart, or bugs are now audible.  Since my left ear hearing has improved, I hear more freeway noise and the fans on the refrigerator. Hearing loss does smooth out the cacophony of daily living.


We had camellia blossoms next door for awhile.  The rain has pretty much finished them off.  I didn’t know they would grow here.  That’s all I have.  We’re still here, we’re bored spitless, but things are fine.

Later that same day..... Red means rain of biblical proportions.