Saturday, June 25, 2011

We’re in Woodburn, Oregon


Sunday, June 26, 2011                                                                                                                                                   Lorraine’s report

Well, we are away from Birch Bay and at Woodburn RV Park by Woodburn, OR. It was a wonderful day on Saturday. Our first high 70, close to 80 degree day. The sun was out, fluffy blue clouds, and for the first time in a long time, we saw Mt. Hood.

It was nice to head back out this past week. Sunday we packed up the rig and headed out to Thousand Trails Grandy Creek RV Park. We met up with Tim, Chuck’s friend, who had been camped there for a week. I have to say, that it rained on the nice clean coach through the pass by Lake Samish; all that work cleaning the rig, undone by a short bit of rain.

I called our friends, Steve & Sandy, and made plans to meet up with them for Father’s Day. They stay at their lot at Lake Tyee, near Baker Lake.

On the way there to TT, we drove by the Outback Steakhouse and I called and asked if they took reservations; they did, so I made some for the five of us, not knowing if we would keep them.

Steve and Sandy were okay with going there for dinner, as was Tim. We made plans to meet up for dinner at the Outback, and all of us enjoyed a great meal. We went back to our rig for dessert of Rhubarb crisp.

Steve’s dad, John, had been doing poorly health wise, and Steve and Sandy had been driving from Lake Tyee RV Park to Oak Harbor, nearly everyday to see him, a two hour drive each way. He passed on Wednesday, June 22, he was 96 years old, and Sandy wrote “a wonderful father and husband”. Our heartfelt condolences go out to Steve, Sandy and the rest of your family, and you are in our prayers.

Monday Chuck and I drove around the area, after I did some laundry and some chores. We came back and I cooked dinner for Chuck and Tim. Steve had gone to Oak Harbor early in the morning, and had called Sandy to go there since his dad was headed down hill.

Tuesday we packed up the rig and headed out to Angel of the Wind Casino for two nights. Tim went home to Lynden.

If you have ever been to Angel, you know that they have a row of RV sites across the back of the property with 30 amp, no water/sewer, and the sites are not level, to say the least. We pulled into one site we used before, went in to pay for it and found it had been rented for the second night. We had to move to another site, started to set up, but again we had no satellite. So we moved to the 3rd site; found we had only spotty satellite reception and only on the lower stations, but we stayed there.

I went in to play for a while after setting up, and Chuck came in later. He reset the antenna for the satellite, hoping to get better reception, but alas, he lost what we had before. That was the first time we had no TV since we went through Canada on the Alaska trip in 09.

Wednesday, Chuck had a doctor’s appointment in Mt. Vernon. Afterwards we went to Wal-Mart in Marysville for supplies. It was fun playing at Angel; I went up one day and down the next, so overall, even.

Thursday we headed south to Lucky Eagle Casino by Rochester, WA. We were in a traffic back up that went at least ten miles, all lanes, for over an hour, south of Seattle. A big truck had been run into by something, and was totaled.

There used to be an RV Park behind the hotel and casino, but the Chehalis tribe is expanding their hotel and took the park away. But they built a new RV Park just down the road on the way to their casino. We found it and pulled in. Chuck tried to hook up to the electricity and the water, but no luck; they have no sewer. We had to move sites, again. History repeating itself so soon, who’d have thunk it?

We moved two sites over, set up and headed over to the Lucky Eagle. Both of us had a little bit of luck, and we enjoyed a very nice buffet dinner.

Friday we packed up again and drove to Woodburn RV Park here in Woodburn, OR, by the outlet mall.

On the way, Chuck took the coach in to Speedco Oil to get the rig’s oil changed etc. Chuck unhooked the car and I drove to the Outlet Mall for shopping.

Saturday was shopping for shoes day for Chuck, one thing most guys hate! I have to say that Chuck hung in there, even though we had to back track to the first store we went to in Tigard, OR. The gal that helped us there the first time was awful. She didn’t know her stock, she couldn’t suggest anything, and was just worthless when asked questions. We ended up going to another store to try and find Chuck’s size. The salesman there was helpful, knew his stock and sent us to find shoes for both of us. We both ended up happy campers. I found out they have a shoe store that carries only wide shoes for both men and women, and I have never seen that many nice shoes in wide widths in one place before.  I was excited!

Tomorrow is our son, Rick’s birthday, Happy Birthday again to you, son! Also Happy 2nd Anniversary to Richard and Sandy, hope your having a blast in Las Vegas.





6/26/11                                                                                                                                                                   Chuck’s report

Tomorrow is our son Rick’s birthday.  Happy birthday to you and I remember being with you a couple of years ago when we toured Alaska, just missed your birthday that year though.  Hope you have a good day.

Also happy Anniversary to Richard and Sandy, the couple we stood up for two years ago.  Hope you enjoy your day too. 

What a change it’s been to be back on the road again.  Life is good once again, no alarm clocks, not wearing a watch, planning our route and enjoying being with Lorraine. 

Sunday we pulled out and headed down to 1000 Trails at Grandy Creek, by Baker Lake, about 1 1/2 hours away.  It felt good to be on the road and we were meeting up with our friend Tim who had already been there for a few days.  We were expecting good weather but caught more of the liquid sunshine we’ve been getting, our coach isn’t so nice and clean once again.

Everything worked fine on the trip, no mechanical issues from sitting so long, whew.  I didn’t know what to expect but I know everything works better if it’s used more often.  This is the longest we’ve set since we bought our coach in April, ‘07.  Only thing was one of the hydraulic jacks didn’t want to retract all the way, a little help with a 2x4 as a lever and it went up just fine.  I may have to change out the springs on it, time will tell. 

We set up in a spot next to Tim and we were able to get some satellite reception through the huge cedar trees, good thing.  This place is also a KOA, some sites are reserved for KOA, some for 1000 Trails.  Only thing different is KOA spots cost $40/day vs. our 1000 Trail price of FREE (or at least part of our yearly dues).

We have friends that spend their summers at Lake Tyee, just up the road from where we staying so Lorraine called Sandy to see if we could meet with her and her husband, Steve.  They were actually on Whidbey Island at Oak Harbor visiting Steve’s father who has been ill.  They agreed to meet with us for dinner at Outback Steakhouse in Mt. Vernon.  We had a good time visiting with them and Tim before calling it quits and heading back to our coach for desert.  Lorraine had made a rhubarb crisp and she shared some of that with our friends. 

The next day Sandy stopped by for awhile, she was heading back to Oak Harbor to see Steve who was back at his father’s bedside.  Lorraine and I wanted to do some exploring around the area and Tim decided to wait at his coach until we returned.  Later Lorraine fixed a fabulous pork steak dinner for us that we enjoyed.

Next morning Tim headed out a bit earlier than us, he was heading home and there was some work being done on the freeway and it was down to one lane of traffic for about 15 miles or so.  We got on the road about our usual time and heading down to a Casino south of Mt. Vernon, Angle of the Winds.  They have a small RV park there with 30 amp power, no water or sewer.  We ended up moving to three different sites, first one was reserved (we didn’t even know you could make reservations much less for a certain site), second was because the trees were completely blocking our satellite reception.  The site we ended up on was very un-level, I used every piece of wood I had under the tires and jacks to get it done.  Plus they managed to screw up our credit card and tried to charge us twice for the same nights, luckily Lorraine checks this every night and caught it so they could correct it.  Don’t think we will be staying there again, other places are better.

We stayed there for two days, I had a doctor’s appointment in Mt. Vernon on Wednesday morning and needed to fast for my blood test, that was a major reason we headed down there in the first place.  My appointment went well so we made plans to head out on Thursday, head somewhere to the South. 

Once again we managed to pick a travel day when it was raining.  Oh well, we are in Western Washington after all!.  We decided to stop off at Rochester at another Casino.  Lorraine gave them a call as we were traveling down and they are expanding their hotel so their campground was closed but the tribe has built a new one just a couple of miles up the road.  This campground is unattended, just pick your site and pay at a Kiosk.  We picked out our site and got partially set up when I went over to pay.  Appears the site we were in had some utility problems and it was out of service.  Shoot, sure hope it’s just growing pains with the new park and not something they have to deal with all the time. 

Put stuff away and moved to another site, paid first and then got set up.  Nice place with 50 amp and water but no sewer at the sites, just a common dump on the way out.  Once we got everything set up and we were resting, the power at our site went off.  I called the Help number and a guy came by about 1/2 later.  He had no idea of what to do so I asked him to unlock the breaker building so we could reset the circuit breaker.  It appears they have a computer system for the water and power, nothing works until it’s paid for and they have been having problems with the computer on the row we were in, just our luck. 

The attendant did turn on the power and water at the site next to us, in case we had any further problems and wanted to move during the night.  Luckily we had no more power problems but we did lose water.  Just added a length of hose, hooked up to the site next to us and spent the rest of the night using water from one site, power from another. 

We did have a very good meal at the casino however, a good buffet.  They had some crab for Lorraine and a roast beef at the carving station for me.  We both managed to walk away with some of their money too, about $0.90 for me but at least I was ahead, Lorraine managed to do somewhat better. 

Once again, we decided we had enough of this campground and headed further South.  This time we knew where we wanted to stay, here at Woodburn.  A few miles North of here is a Speedco service center where we have had our coach serviced before.  I pulled in there, unhooked the car so Lorraine could go to the Outlet Mall and waited for them to finish.  Once again, I was very pleased with the service they do and will continue to have some of our service done there when we are in the area. 

I left Speedco and headed to the campground we usually stay when we are in the area and checked in.  We weren’t sure how long we were going to be in the area so I told them we wanted two nights with an option to stay for two more.  They gave us a site in the middle of the place, tight area to get in and very close to the neighbors but we do have 50 amp, water and sewer.  They have raised their prices here too, pretty proud of the place I guess. 

Lorraine was able to get caught up on our laundry while we were here, plus we did some shopping.  I got a new water fitting from Camping World and changed out the black tank flushing connection that had been leaking every time I hooked it up.  It doesn’t get the whole bay wet now and the spray nozzle gets full pressure once again.   

Saturday Lorraine wanted to buy me a new pair of shoes, yeah shoe shopping was in store, not one of my favorite things to do.  Four shoe stores later we returned to the original one and got a different salesman who knew what was happening and bought my shoes.  We also found a good shoe store for Lorraine, she needs wide shoes and the name of this place was Jay’s Wide Shoe Store.  She said she had never seen such a good selection of shoes in her size before.  We had to return to the coach to take our dog out for a break and then headed back to Costco for a resupply before calling it a night and watching Lonesome Dove.  

At least the weather has been showing signs of improvement, about time.  We almost broke 80F here today, the warmest we seen since we left Yuma last year.  We are running the air conditioners for the first time in a long time too.  The temperature still drops to the high 50s at night but has warmed up nicely as soon as the sun comes up.  I am liking this warmer weather!!

We plan on heading further South again today, all the way to Salem, Oregon to an Elks lodge we’ve stayed at before.  We still have a couple more items to take care of before we head back to Blaine.  We will be there over the 4th, I have another doctor appointment on the 5th and we are working on plans for something after that.  It’s good to be making plans and doing things again, that work stuff was getting in the way of having fun. 

Lorraine has a big birthday coming up this year, she will be eligible for Medicare.  Her birthday is on August 6th, we are working on plans to have some friends get together for dinner the day after her birthday. 

Hey, how about some pictures?

Grandy Lake Campground, the sun was shining the second day we were there. 

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At dinner with our friends.


Baker Lake dam, lots of water going over it and the Lake behind it. 

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Some of the area we toured while up there. 

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Skagit River at Rockport.

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Little town of Concrete.

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Lorraine’s bowl of Salmon berries I picked at the campground.  They are similar to raspberries. 


Mount Hood to the East of us here in Oregon. 

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And once again, that was our week.  Hope you had a good one too.

Thanks   Chuck

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Ready to get “on the road” again


Saturday, June 18, 2011                                                                                                                                                  Lorraine’s report

So here goes, it’s been quite a while since we last posted a blog. Yes, we did survive a very wet, cold and windy end of winter, and an unusually cold, wet, gray spring. In fact, everything is late in blooming, with strawberries between a week to two weeks until they start coming on strong, with the raspberries right behind them. The weatherman has said that this year was record setting, with temperatures being way below normal, rain and snow fall amounts high above normal, and winds stronger than ever. And it’s finally official, La Nina has ended. Our first 70 degree day was not until May 20th a full eight months since the last 70 degree day in mid September.

Chuck finished working at the Cherry Point Oil Refinery on June 9th. He worked his last 13.5 hour shift of nights on May 25th; he started on April 9th, a total of 48 straight days, taking only 4.5 days off during that time. He worked two extra weeks after the official turn around ended. I can attest to the fact that he was one tired man after all those hours, over 900 hours or so since he started in late February. I know he is happy to be retired again.

Our life is slowly returning to normal. Chuck washed the entire outside of the coach last week, a big job. We’ve taken the rugs and bedding to the Laundromat to wash everything up from all the stormy weather we’ve had.

We hope to head out of Latitude 49 tomorrow and head south to Grandy Lake Thousand Trails out of Mt. Vernon, to meet up with Tim, who watched Misty for us when I was away to our grand daughter’s 6th birthday in California. Other friends, Steve and Sandy, are just up the road at Lake Tyee by Baker Lake, and we hope to see them at the same time. It will be nice to get away for a bit.

Last night Chuck took me to “Race for the Cure”, held in Lynden, WA. It has been 10 years since I completed my seven plus months of cancer treatment. I’ve attended nine “Race for the Cure” events, with last year being in Gloucester, Virginia on June 5th, missing the event in 09, when we headed north to Alaska. I have to say, I didn’t cry this time when we started out on the survivor’s lap; I’ve cried every year, it is just so emotional for me.

This last Thursday would have been my dad’s 103rd birthday. We took flowers up to mom and dad’s grave. I sure do miss him and his wonderful advice. He was the hardest working man I think I have ever known. We didn't know we didn't have lots, because he provided us a nice warm home, food and tons of love. I remember the day you turned 70, sitting in the kitchen with all the cards from your 10 children, and the happy, contented look on your face. I hope you and mom are both happy together, until we meet again. I love you daddy!!!

We would like to wish all our friends and family who are dads a very Happy Father’s Day. On the 27th is Rick, our son’s birthday. Happy Birthday Rick!!! The 27th is also Richard and Sandy’s second wedding anniversary. They are going to Las Vegas to celebrate. Happy Anniversary and hope you have a great trip!

Until next time……Lorraine


6/19/11                                                                                                                                                                          Chuck’s report

It’s been since late March that I’ve written and I probably don’t have much to say but want to get back in the normal mode of writing our blog each week.  I’m not saying we will write each week but will probably write more often than once every three months. 

I was working back at the refinery for a heavy maintenance period and a couple of weeks after to help cut back on some overtime for them.  I got tired of the hours, I had a couple of two week paychecks with 176 hours on each, good money but too many hours for an old man.  The actual work I was doing wasn’t physical but I was on my feet for the majority of the shift so my feet and legs had to get back in shape. 

While I was working nights, Lorraine did a great job of taking care of me!!!  She tried her best to keep things quite, once she even chased the guy mowing the lawn out and told them to come back in the afternoon.  I know how hard it was for her, what with me working the long hours and sleeping, she was alone most of the time. 

Lorraine did get a chance to go down to California for our grand daughter’s 6th birthday party in the middle of April.  This was right after I started working the string of nights so our friend Tim watched our dog for us while she was gone, thanks again Tim.

They only allowed us to work 19 out of 21 days during the turnaround so I usually took off two shifts off in a row.  This allowed me to have some time to rest up and still be able to take Lorraine out for an occasional dinner. 

I worked 12 hour days, four days a week for the last two weeks, my last day at work was on June 9th.  There were a bunch of us retired guys out there for this period and most of the guys I worked with for the last three/four years.  I really did enjoy working and seeing the old gang once again, and it was good to exercise the brain too.  But even though I had fun, I did celebrate when it was over. 

The weather since we’ve been here has been anything except stellar, that’s for sure.  We set record low temperature and/or record high rain totals for March, April and May.  In fact, on May 20th it hit 70F for the first time since last September, a record for that length of time too. It wasn’t until early June when we had two days in a row above 70F, not like the rest of the country was getting.   At least I was at work for most of those days so it didn’t matter too much but we are sure glad to see some nicer weather.  And being here this spring will make us enjoy the nicer weather where ever we may be next spring (I hope). 

So for the last 10 days, I’ve been catching up on things, getting back to just Lorraine and me being together again too, yea.  We cleaned the rig, inside and out, put the car I bought for work in the shop and got some errands done too.  I have a few appointments I have to make in the next couple of months so we won’t get too far away until all those are done.  But with the price of diesel and it being nice weather here for the rest of the summer, maybe staying close is a good thing.

We do plan on heading out today to meet with some friends for two days.  Then we are planning on heading down to Oregon for a short trip, need to get back on the road and we have some things to do there anyway.  But like I said, we don’t plan on going too far or be gone for too long until probably late August or early September.  Plus we have plans to meet up with some of friends from Canada, both here and maybe even at their place too, need to make plans for that to work however. 

We’ve been tossing around a few ideas for our trip South this fall.  We may travel through Utah instead of the usual Oregon coast trip we’ve made each year in the past.  Not that we don’t like the Oregon coast, that’s one of our favorite places to travel but we would like to explore something new and see new sights.  And we are thinking of spending some time in South Texas this winter, first time for that too but lots of planning to be done if we do that too. 

But enough of that, let’s get back to normal life.  We will make our plans in jell-o and take what comes our way.  Back to the “Here we are, on the road” lifestyle for us once again. 

And now for some pictures, not too many to choose from as we haven’t led a very active life for the past three months but I’ll find some, I’m sure. 


Lorraine, Susy and Kaitlyn      Susy and Kaitlyn petting the pony on a field trip from school.

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Kaitlyn’s Birthday and party.

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New Dress and best friends.

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More school friends.

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Nana, Mom, Dad and Kaitlyn.   At Chucky Cheese with the gang.

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Katie having fun.

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Lorraine got to see both of our children on the same day, Susy in California and Rich here in Washington. 

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Rich and his friend Donna. 


Spring is here, notice it isn’t raining, yea. 

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At the Relay for Life Cancer walk. 

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And that’s all folks. 

Thanks   Chuck