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Found 7 results

  1. We are going to Beaver Lake Campground in Custer SD tomorrow for 5 days after being in Sioux Falls getting our mailing address and licenses. After that we want to go down the Pacific Coast Highway before staying in Casa Grande, Arizona beginning October 1st. Any suggestions as for how far north we should go in Washington or Oregon to start south on the Pacific coast highway? Rick and Sharon
  2. We spent most of this week with our daughter and her family at their vacation home in Oregon. During our stay there were several days of rain and clouds. Nights were cool enough that we had the furnace running. Oregon is beautiful. Their home is on the Umpqua river about 30 miles inland where they can actually fish from their back yard for salmon. In fact, the oldest girl, age 8, landed a 20 pound Chinook Salmon on Wednesday. Her father assisted by powering the rowboat and helping her with the final capture of the beast. Dad could be described as a fish whisperer. He has taken us fishing and can almost always pinpoint where the fish will be. Anyway, we love Oregon but the weather sometimes can be a bit of a wet blanket. We were on schedule, departing Oregon this morning heading for our winter haven on the South Texas border. I try to get everything done the day before we leave but there are utilities to disconnect in the morning and the door mat to put away. Add to that sweeping the roof, we were parked under pine trees and the deciduous trees are losing their leaves so the roof was a real mess. I could let it blow off but the toad would never forgive me. Everything was wet and putting away wet materials means putting away lots of dirt. I hate doing that because it means I'll have to clean it all up later. This time it is the last trip of the year and the coach will get a good cleaning upon our return home. So I guess this will just make the dirt a little easier to see. After hooking up the car we said our final good-bye's and were down the lane to the highway. From Elkton, Oregon the trip to I-5 is a tedious drive up and down hill and around curve after curve. Despite the fact that we're starting a 2400 mile trip, I'm taking my time on this road. The light rain continues off and on all the way to I-5. Then we're on the interstate. Oregon has a speed limit for trucks, 55 MPH, and I usually drive the truck speed limit even if it isn't specified for RV's as well. This time I'm going with the car speed limit. I'm driving in the 62 to 65 MPH range so only a few trucks are passing me now. At Exit 99 on I-5 in Oregon is the Seven Feathers Casino. They have diesel fuel at discount prices, no difference between commercial diesel and private coaches which is not the normal case for fuel in Oregon. You can also fuel your own coach which is a variance from the Oregon requirement of full service fueling. While discounted for the normal diesel prices in Oregon, we're headed to Nevada and the fuel prices there are better so I'm taking on just enough to get me to the Reno/Fernley area on I-80 where I'll take on more fuel. I always do a survey of fuel prices along our route to determine where to purchase fuel. I use Flying J's posted fuel prices because the give me a good overview of a state or several states. There are times when I fuel at Flying J but I also use Gas Buddy to locate low cost diesel suppliers in an area. As a general rule, when traveling west I'll fill up at each stop, usually just before leaving each state. Fuel in Wyoming is cheaper than in Utah. Utah has cheaper fuel than Nevada, Nevada is cheaper than California. If I do things right I won't buy any diesel in California! When traveling east my general practice is to purchase just enough fuel in each state to get me to the next. The GPS routing for the trip would take us through the central valley of California but that is a route that we're avoiding for several reasons. First is the terrible crush of traffic. It doesn't matter if it is I-5 or US 99, the roads are always packed with trucks and traffic in and around towns and cities it is even worse. We have just come from the Tulelake area and decided to travel through that area to US 395 south to Reno, Nevada and then pick up US 95, a favorite route, south through Nevada. These roads are all in good condition and have little traffic along most of the route. Once we get to Tulelake we're past the mountain driving. The highways weave through the high country between mountains. There are some elevation changes but nothing like driving I-5 in northern California. Today the drive was easy, traffic even on I-5 to Medford, OR there were few trucks. Once on the road to Klamath Falls we had very little traffic at all. Even on the two lane road there were seldom any cars following us. We found a nice roadside pull off for a lunch stop and stopped several times for rest stops in towns along the way. We considered stopping somewhere in Susanville but it really wasn't on the route so we bypassed Susanville, stopping for the night at the Honey Lake Rest Area on US 395. There are lots of empty truck spaces here and we are alone at one end of the parking lot. Once we shut down the generator we should have a nice quiet night of sleep. Tomorrow we'll be in Nevada and on roads which are more familiar to us. Familiar isn't always a goal but when we're trying to get somewhere in the shortest amount of time, familiar works well. We'll do more sightseeing next year.
  3. We have traveled 6500 miles so far this summer. One of the things we have noticed while on the road is that there seem to be many more motor homes on the road this year than in years past. I can recall the days when we considered purchasing a motor home and then first hit the road. We would drive down any road and see lots of RV's of all kinds. Then the industry fell on hard times. Fuel prices went up and motor homes pretty quickly disappeared from the roads and highways. We traveled through New England in 2005 and saw many RV's sitting by the roadside with for sale signs everywhere we went. We saw very few motor homes on the road. That has been the case ever since. I'm sure other FMCA members have noticed the same thing. Based on our informal observations, this year is different. Everywhere we have traveled we have seen other motor homes on the road. Noticeably more people are out and traveling this summer. We attended a Lone Star Chapter rally in late May and the turnout was considerably larger than in the past. I wonder if this will be reflected in the turnout for the FMCA gathering in Indianapolis this month. We're moving on to a new park tomorrow. We've been in Sequim, WA for two weeks. We'll move to Elwa Dam just west of Port Angeles. A week, maybe more there will give us a chance to explore other areas of Olympic National Park. Most of the park is wilderness so there are only a few roads that provide access to the park. Our days of backpacking are past so we don't get far into the interior. Still each road is an adventure. We drove to the Deer Park Campground and Blue Mountain viewpoint on Saturday. Deer Park Road is 18 miles long from Hwy 101 to the peak of Blue Mountain with the last 8 miles being a narrow gravel road. It is winding, steep and quite scenic. Louise was quite tense as many of the views were out her window on the way up the mountain. She was frequently looking down a very steep slope extending hundreds of feet down the mountainside. I was busy looking for oncoming traffic because the narrow road required negotiating with other drivers to find a place to pass. Fortunately, all drivers were taking their driving very seriously and they were watching for us as much as we were watching for them. Once we got to the top, the view was well worth the drive. We had the mountaintop experience without making the climb ourselves. We did walk a short trail up to the peak. To the south we could see the interior mountains of the park. Even now in August, these peaks up to 7980 foot high are holding significant amounts of snow. To the east we were looking down the steep slopes of Blue Mountain to the foothills of the Olympic Mountains. Off to the north was the town of Sequim where we are staying. Beyond that we could see the Strait of Juan de Fuca and across the strait we could see the southern shore of Vancouver Island. On the horizon to the northeast the snow capped volcano, Mount Baker, stood out above the surrounding terrain. All around us the view was spectacular. The trail guide highlighted the role of rain or in this case lack of it in shaping the flora and fauna in this area. Blue Mountain and Sequim are in the rain shadow of the higher mountains to the west. Those mountains take all the moisture from the Pacific air as it is lifted over them. As the air descends the eastern side of the mountains it is too dry to drop much precipitation, this forms a rain shadow. One of the other delights we've found here on the Olympic Peninsula is the Olympic Discovery Trail. This bicycle and walking trail extends 130 miles from Port Townsend in the east to La Push on the Pacific Coast. Much of the trail in the area where we are is paved. In other areas the trail is unpaved and in many places to the west it still uses the shoulder of roads. We've ridden two sections of the trail here at Sequim. To the east the trail crosses two wooden railroad trestles. One is 410 feet long and stands 86 feet above the stream below. The section passes through Sequim Bay State Park and goes on the Blyn, a community of Pacific Coastal Indians. We ate a snack at the Hwy 101 rest stop next to the trail then went on to the native art shop to browse the work of some local artists. Our return trip was easier than we expected and we enjoyed a happy hour beverage sitting in the shade when we got back to the motor home. Just as we are seeing more RV's on the road, we are seeing parks closer to full capacity. There have been a few no vacancy signs at parks so we are making reservations as we move. This is something we have seldom done in the past. If this is a sign of the times it is a good sign.
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