Baseball at Moses Lake

It is June 21st 2018 and we are off to Moses Lake to watch our grandson Tyler play in a base-ball tournament.  In the previous weeks we had done some minor maintenance on Bertha.  Mostly just cleaning and polishing, but also revised the undercarriage lighting, replaced the hide-a-bed with a table so we would have a little more working space inside, and removed a lot of unnecessary stuff that had accumulated in all the places I find to put it.  I figured that if I hadn’t needed it I likely didn’t need to have it in my way. I am, however, sure that Mr. Murphy will find an inconvenient time to prove me wrong.

Site 207 at Sunrise Resorts Pier 4

As you can see we arrived in good condition and got set up. It proved to be a good thing that we came as do to a scheduling change our son could not get a motel room for Friday night and would have had to drive back home.  Instead they stayed with us so we got to have a lot more time with them.

Anticipation
A Sweet Bunt

Tyler did a great job a the plate.

Strike
SteeeeRike!

And on the mound. Grandpa didn’t get any pictures of his awesome fielding.

MosesLake2
Lakeside at Pier4

MosesLake1
Lakeside at Pier4

MosesLake3
Pier4 Pull-Thrus and Back-ins

We spent four nights had a really fine time visiting, sight-seeing, and watching baseball. The park was nice, the neighbors Friendly, and the sky was blue. What more could we ask for on a weekend with son and grandson?

Happy Trails,

Your Random Rover, Gordon

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Our Little Tiny Tree
Our Little Tiny Tree

Hard to believe but this is our 3rd Christmas out camping.  The two previous ones both were on the gulf coast of Texas. One a couple of years ago and the other 16?? years ago.

We are posting at this time to express our wish for everyone to have a great Christmas season with family and friends near and hope that the new year brings wonderful things.

It is extremely unlikely that we will be in our new home before mid January and maybe not then but some progress is being made and Bertha continues to keep us warm and dry.

Unfortunately, as we did not expect to be “homeless” this long, many of our friend’s addresses are locked away in storage and unavailable making it impossible to send many of the cards we would liked to have sent.  If you did not get your usual seasonal missive it was not because you were forgotten.

If you would like our new address, send a comment (with your email address in case we don’t have it) and we will reply.

Your random rovers in Sequim Washington,

Elaine and Gordon

A Trip To Forks

This year has been all about moving on and mostly about setting up a new home base, but a few breaks need to be taken.  When a chance to participate in a mushroom foray with the local mycological society here on the Olympic Peninsula came up, we packed up went to a very wet place during a very wet season to look at fungus.  Hmmmm?

Our Site at Three Rivers
Our Site at Three Rivers

We met at the Three Rivers Resort about 8 miles west of Forks, WA.  It turned out to be a very enjoyable and educational outing.  I learned enough about a couple of mushroom species to try collecting them.

A mushroom log
A mushroom log

 

Amanita Muscaria
Amanita Muscaria (Do Not Eat These!!)

 

A rather nice coral mushroom
A rather nice coral mushroom

To say we saw lots of mushrooms would be an understatement as we saw literally thousands of them and many varieties.   Among the good to eat varieties we found Chanterelles, Winter Chanterelles, and Boletus (some edible and some not)  I should have taken pictures of the edibles and some of the people we hunted with but I didn’t. I was too busy having a good time.

We actually went a day ahead so that we would have some time to ourselves which worked out well as we were able to do a little non-fungus related exploring which will pay off as it is a different world on the Pacific side and only 80 or so miles away from where we will be living.

Rialto Beach
Rialto Beach

The rugged beauty of Rialto Beach captured our imagination. We also saw a very nice gallery of local art, and did a little shopping.

Intrepid must mean: Not smart enough to stay out of the wind and rain.
Intrepid must mean:  Not smart enough to stay out of the wind and rain.

It was cold and windy and raining but we just had to take a look at Rialto beach during a storm. We are glad we took a break it might have been good for our sanity.

Your Intrepid Rovers

Gordon and Elaine.

Historic Carousel

A brief respite from building the new homestead.

William Dentzel Office Sign
William Dentzel Office Sign

We traveled to the Albany / Corvallis area of Oregon to check on the construction of our new home and to see my older brother Stephen and while there we took a little time to see the Historic Carousel and Museum located at 503 1st Avenue West in Albany, Oregon.  It was a major highlight for the trip.

Antique Carousel Mounts and Statues
Carousel Mounts and Statues

An emu carved and painted by William Dentzel III in 2002, a statue, and an antique pony are a small portion of a large collection of Dentzel pieces for public view.

Galloper
Galloper

Grey Stander
Grey Stander

Stander
Stander

Three carvings attributed to Gustav Dentzel circa 1895. How many children laughed and rode these ponies?

New Animals Produced at the Museum
New Animals Produced at the Museum

Whimsey and Fun!
More Whimsey and Fun!

How many smiles and rides will these new creations provide?

Carving A New Pony
Carving A New Pony

This Poodle Will Make A Fine Ride
This Poodle Will Make A Fine Ride

Care To Try A Dragon?
Care To Take A Fantasy Dragon Ride?

This One Is The Cock of the Walk!
This One Will Be The Cock of the Walk!

These animals are all being created by volunteers. From sketch-up through carving and finally hand painting they are truly works of art.  If you are ever in the area I would urge you to take the time to see see this museum, studio, and gallery.   Visitors are welcome Monday through Saturday.  For more information see:  AlbanyCarousel.   All of this is part of a grand scheme to build a 52 animal carousel.  The mechanism, one of Gustav Dentzel’s last, built around 1909, has already been restored and is awaiting its new home.

Side Trips Add Fun:

Your Random Rover

Gordon

The First Step For Our New Rural Home

The title for this post is not entirely accurate.  Before we even got to this point we eliminated many existing homes and locations,  selected the piece of property, selected a builder, decided on a floor plan, created our plot plan so that we preserve the view, have our gardens and trees, and access to the shop and RV pad, and redesigned the master suite and kitchen.  Now things are happening.  Our purchase of the property was partially contingent on our acceptance of a percolation test for a septic system so we have already had that done and accepted a plan for a system.  This step is the process of getting a well drilled and then getting the water accepted by the county as being potable.  So obviously we start with the well.

Drilling The Well
Drilling The Well

The crew has drilled down around 90 of the projected 160 feet. As you can see in the photo above they have found water already.  We will continue on to get better water and a more stable flow rate.

Welding The Well Casing
Welding The Well Casing

This is obviously hard and dirty work. I am glad that I don’t have to do it.

Tag on Well Head
Tag on Well Head

Good water at 165 feet! The well has its official tag and the water sample is being checked. Soon we will be able to get the permits and start to really “get-r-done”!

Looking Forward To A New Home Base,

Your Random Rovers,

Elaine and Gordon

Hoover Dam

Originally called Boulder Dam, Hoover Dam is a marvel.

Sign at Hoover Dam
Sign at Hoover Dam

I had put touring this dam on my bucket list many years ago and finally took the time on this trip.  As an added bonus the Mike O’Callaghan-Pat Tillman Bridge is a sight to behold just past the spillway.  Both are engineering marvels that have huge economic impact. The scale of Hoover Dam and the bridge are awesome.  The amount of electricity generated and the amount of arable land created by the dam is awesome. The bridge provides a much improved traffic route for both goods and people traveling to and from Las Vegas.

Hoover Dam
Hoover Dam

Built before WWII the size of this dam and its impoundment required new construction methods such as installing cooling pipes so that the concrete could cure properly and building it with huge Lego like blocks.  Four and one half million cubic yards of concrete, 726 feet tall, and 1,244 feet long it is immense.

Mike O'Callaghan-Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge
Mike O’Callaghan-Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge

This concrete and steel composite arch bridge spans the 1060 ft gorge 900 ft above the Colorado river. Though not quite the longest or tallest bridge it is certainly impressive.  Check out the web or better yet visit Hoover Dam yourself to find out even more.  You won’t be sorry.

Keep traveling and learning,

Your Random Rover, Gordon.

 

 

Gettin’ Gone

We are both getting antsy as the appointed roll out time draws near.  We have an exciting summer planned with large portion of our time being near our Spokane family.  Should be great fun seeing them all especially watching our grands performing sports and dance.  For months we have been planning and discussing.  For weeks we have been getting ready.  So much to do. Doctors, dentists, prescriptions, reduce the frozen food supply, finish up the modifications we decided on, make repairs on the homestead, clean out the garden, pack food, clothes, computers, camera, tools and the DVR, and finally check the check lists and do whatever we forgot.  We’ve had lots of practice shutting down the homestead and setting up shop in Bertha so I know we will get it all done.

2NightLights
Lights Under Bertha

As part of a project to reduce electrical load while boon-docking that included replacing all the existing halogen and incandescent 12 volt lamps with LED’s I added a string of lights to Bertha’s underside because I thought they would look pretty cool and I had heard that they would deter rodents. I wired them into the existing step light circuit so that one switch turn it all on/off. I also added a 12 volt dusk to dawn control so that I can just leave it on all the time unless I really feel the need to conserve.  All the lights together only draw 0.71 amps! (The original step light drew twice that much power all by itself.) The rest of the project included moving the two basement lights from the wall to overhead and re-wiring the front compartment light so that it is now controlled with the switch for the hitch light. Now I can see when I have left the light on (because the hitch light is also on) and I can turn the light on without reaching into that dark space.

Pull Out Spice Racks
Pull Out Spice Racks

Shopping at Camping World we saw a spice rack that we thought might work. The long and short of it was that it did not utilize the space well and I did not think it would last considering the load we would be putting on it. So I made these two racks using the clips from the kits we had purchased. They are supported by full extension pull out drawer guides in an under-mount orientation with simple wood tracks at the top. 56 herbs and spices in a very small space!  That is probably more seasonings than we really need but with two cooks each of whom have their “gotta haves” it takes a few more.

Added A Drawer
Added A Drawer

When we bought Bertha she had this very strange open space next to the desk that we never did figure out a good use for so we ordered a drawer front and I made a drawer to fit the hole. Now it looks like it belongs and is useful.

Some Added Storage Inside
Some Added Storage Inside

We added a few more places to keep items handy but out-of-the-way. There are now some hanging bins behind the sink, places to put magazines and books for night-time reading right over the bed, and some shoe “cubbies” at the foot of the bed.

6StorageUnderneath
A Little More Organization Underneath

In the basement and front storage I mounted wire baskets, and more hooks and clips to help keep most of the paraphernalia accessible.

I Think We'll Like The Table This Way
I Think We’ll Like The Table This Way

After much thought we moved the table slightly. It won’t be as convenient when we have dinner guests but will give us more room and a better view most of the time.

King Controls Jack Antenna
King Controls Jack Antenna

I was not happy with the stock over the air antenna on Bertha. It seemed like we could not get as much broadcast TV as our neighbors were getting so I replaced it with a King Controls “Jack”.  It is an exact fit on the existing Antenna Tec “Signal Commander” mast.  Very easy and the new antenna is certainly efficacious!

With a week to go,

Your Random Rover,

Gordon

It Is The Season!!

Here we are in mid December with Christmas approaching and a new year about to begin.

CTree2013 was a good year for Elaine and I.  We started it on the Gulf Coast of Texas in our Montana 5th wheel and don’t even know yet whether we will end it at home here in Sierra Vista or in our new Heartland Big Country in Columbus, NM.  Columbus is where Pancho Villa made his 1916 raid into the US and logically enough where General Pershing set out to chase Pancho through much of Mexico (unsuccessfully).  We will be going there in the near future for a few days to relax and see some different scenery.  We have been home for nearly 3 months and we aren’t used this stationary lifestyle anymore.  We are just not sure of the dates yet.  So many things happening and most not really scheduled.  Retirement is a good thing.

When we got home from our Texas adventure we foolishly (one would think that at our supposed state of maturity we would know better) went to an RV show where we found Bertha and it was lust at first sight. We traded Hanna Montana in for Bertha Big Country, did a few modifications, and headed off to the Oregon coast where we had a summer with weather that could not be beaten and some wonderful times with family and friends both old and new.

Back at home Gordon has been enjoying his wood shop and Elaine has been planning our next big trip.  We will be in Idaho for a couple of months and also plan to visit Glacier NP and Lake Louise but much is still up in the air as Elaine figures the timing and route.

Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and a Prosperous, Happy New Year — Your Random Rovers,

Gordon and Elaine

A Ride on Jerry’s Rogue Jets

Twenty-five or thirty years ago Elaine and I took a ride up the Rogue River on a mail boat and thoroughly enjoyed it so on this trip we decided to do it again and we were not disappointed.  We could have chosen one of the longer trips and though one of those might be more suitable for some folks we again chose the 64 mile mail boat run.  Yes, it really is a mail boat.  The mail is taken from Gold Beach  to Agness and also picked up at Agness and taken to Gold Beach while we tourists gawk at the birds and other creatures and of course the scenery of the Rogue River.

Elaine and Gordon Starting Out
Elaine and Gordon Heading Out

Here we are! Front row left with blue and red caps in the picture. (Or on the starboard bow for you purists.)  Do you see the mail bag that is headed for Agness at our river pilots feet?

Elegant Terns
Elegant Terns

These elegant terns, very temporary migrant guests on their way south, greeted us on the way out.

Patterson Memorial Bridge over the Rogue River at Gold Beach, Oregon
Patterson Memorial Bridge over the Rogue River at Gold Beach, Oregon

After turning out of the harbor we soon passed the highway 101 bridge.

Swallow Nests Under The Bridge
Swallow Nests Under The Bridge

Where, on the underside, the swallows had built hundreds of nests.

Bald Eagle, Great Blue Heron, and Osprey
Bald Eagle, Great Blue Heron, and Osprey

In addition to many birds we saw osprey nests at the very tops of trees and eagle nests near the tops, fishermen catching sturgeon, salmon, and steelhead, swimmers floating downriver on tubes, and boaters rowing their drift-boats. The weather was absolutely perfect with blue sky, sunshine, and temperatures in the mid 70’s.  Wow, what a beautiful day to cruise the river.

Our View Of The River While Eating Lunch
Our View Of The River While Eating Lunch

We ate a fine lunch at Cougar Lane Lodge and walked along the river admiring the large myrtle trees and the lodges well-kept landscape.

On The River
On The River

The views from the boat were awesome!

Loading The Mail
Loading The Mail

On the way back to Gold Beach we pick up the outbound mail.

The ride was worth the money and the time it took to get to Gold Beach.  Hopefully I will get a chance to do it again.  Overall it was about six hours of fun.  Oh, I forgot to mention that it is also a thrill ride with splashing water and 360 degree turns that are quite impressive as they are delivered by 1800 horsepower! That is 3 big engines driving jet pumps to get your adrenalin going.

Hoping your adventures are keeping a smile on your face,

The Random Rover

More Time On The Southern Oregon Coast

It is getting to be late August and nearing the time we plan to start our trek back to Arizona.  No route set yet, but probably east through Idaho and then south through Utah. I suppose that we ought to make up our minds soon. We do plan to go ride the mail boat on the Rogue River which we haven’t done in many years after we leave here. After that probably back north to see some of my family before we start the big drive.

Paige, Delaney, and Laura
Paige, Delaney, and Laura in Newport

We have enjoyed having our extended family here in bits and pieces. First we got to see Laura and the girls. Unfortunately schedules precluded any more than just meeting up for an afternoon in Newport but we had a great time.  The first stop was Mo’s for lunch.  (For the who don’t know the central Oregon coast, Mo’s is a must do great seafood restaurant and a tradition that has grown from a tiny little cafe on the Yaquina Bay waterfront into a small chain.)  After lunch we did some sight-seeing and shopping.  Hopefully next time we will have more time together.

The Whole Gang
The Whole Gang

On The Beach
On The Beach

John, Missy, Jasmine, and Tyler were able to spend a few days with us camping out. We got to play on the beach, have a few cookouts, do a little sight-seeing and generally just have fun.

The Cosarts
The Cosarts

And then we got to spend just short of two days with Elaine’s sister and brother-in-law. They arrived in time for happy hour so we got to kick off our time with a small party followed by dinner off the barbeque. The next day weather was the absolute best it could be so after a sour-dough pancake breakfast we went back to see Shore Acres State Park again this time in the sunshine.  We found fresh crab in Charleston, Oregon on the way back to the rig so we all got to have a big crab salad for dinner. Thank you Bill, for buying the crab before I noticed. I did not expect that! It sure was good.

Lots of Mushrooms
Lots of Mushrooms

After a little rain I am finally finding chanterelle mushrooms. Oh lucky me! Elaine and I gathered this nice plateful in a little over an hour. And I just had to gather and dry one more batch of lobster mushrooms while I could.

Street Sign
Street Sign

Someone in Charleston, Oregon had a sense of humor when they named this street! I wish I could live on Guano Rock Avenue or maybe in Toad Suck, Arkansas. (We looked at a house there once when we lived in the Little Rock area, but unfortunately we did not like it.)

We’ve had a lots of fun and seen many new places. We will be heading out for more adventures on September 1st as we meander toward home.

Hope you have enjoyed the ride so far and that you can look in again soon,

The Random Rover

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