I got locked out of Enjoying the View because my email and password from my opening the account were lost in time from dial-up days. WordPress is very strict about security. Everything is still there, just a click or two away.
As you can see, the K9 park at the Salt Lake City KOA meets with Jamie’s approval. And Kinnon, too. In addition to the dog area, there is access to the walking trail along the Jordan River.
We have stayed here a couple of times before, and enjoy the relative quietness for a park in an urban setting. A light rail station is a short five minute walk.
What KOA does at this park is separate the long-term sites from those staying a few nights or so. The sites are relatively wide and level.
Tomorrow we’ll leave for Moab, with breakfast at a Cracker Barrel and a stop at Columbia and Eddie Bauer outlets in Lehi. We then will try our hand at boondocking and using our new solar system.
Our second day was a real challenge. The warning lights we ended the first with hadn’t disappeared, so we called MB in Lynnwood and headed north. Traffic was terrible, hence my attribution “The Dark Side.” The drivability reduced to full “limp mode” four miles south of the dealer, so we were lucky in the stops and goes.
Scott at Mercedes-Benz was an angel. He had received my message that we were on the way in and was ready for us. Four hours later we were back on the road. A rear wheel sensor was replaced at no charge. We ordered in some Thai for lunch and scores of folks wanted to pet the red and white puppies.
We drove a short way to Dash Point SP for the night rather than trudge through Tacoma traffic and had a decent drive to the KOA in Cascade Locks today. The rig is cruising as it should.
Kinnon and Jamie are a joy to travel with, calm and polite with each other. We’ve been getting pics of Allie and it’s obvious she’s have way more fun across the street than putting up with the Tollers!
One of the fun things about long trips is the anticipation and planning. Seeing icebergs up close is a bucket list item, but there is so much more to see and do between Port Townsend and Twillingsgate.
Our house has it’s sitter and our elder dog Allie is staying with our blessed neighbors across the street. Clothes for hot springs and the cold and windy are packed. Our two Tollers have their own gear and food and crates.
We have the additional option of 300W of solar this trip, so we’ll have the flexibility of dry camping. I’m not sure we’ll try parking lots, but there are many National Forest and provincial campgrounds to explore.
This will be our fourth or fifth long trip since 2010. We’re looking foward to visiting friends and family and finding the two lane roads. Our first day will be short and bring the joy of seeing our twin granddaughters at Millersylvania State Park.
See you next time!
A very late posting from our Redwoods trip last year. We got caught in the wildfires, but did visit a good friend in Eureka and loaded up with Marionberry goodies in Bandon.
Redwoods SP, CA
Crescent City, CA
Devils Lake SP, 7OR A classic GMC.
The first few days were marvelous, running north to Sicamous BC and then east to Bow Valley Campground with great weather and beautiful scenery. Our next segments were planned to take us across Canada through Saskatchewan and Manitoba, then across the top of Lake Superior. Those two provinces were as flat as advertised and the fields of rapeseed were gorgeous. What was not gorgeous was a railroad crossing on Trans-Canada 1 that took out both dually tires on one side, the wheel cover and damaged the fairing. Our Good Sam coverage found us a tire shop to come out and make things right.
Then things got goofy. Waking up in Ashland WI after a night of thunder and lightning, we discovered the roads to the east were closed due to flooding and that there was no way to get to the UP in Michigan. We backtracked back almost to Duluth and headed south.
We had not planned to be in the Midwest under a heat dome. The air conditioning while driving is great, but the roof-mounted Coleman on the Navion was not up to the task. Ten degrees cooler than outside was the best it did, even in the shade. When it’s 90 degrees outside it’s uncomfortable inside for humans and dogs.
We also discovered that the generator was completely dead when Sherry tried to start it in Beloit, WI. Dead, dead, no clicks to red numbers, nada. I have an appointment in two weeks with Cummins (a two-hour drive twice) to get it repaired under warranty.
More cabinet latches broke while on the trip for a total of seven. I have begun replacing the Winnebago latches with standard roller latches. While not having the positive catch the OEM latches have, they will hold the doors closed while driving. We use baskets in the cabinets, so things falling out is not an issue. I’m still working on an elegant way to secure the TV, which uses the same poorly designed latch as the cabinets.
While getting things repaired we’re now planning a trip to Northern California in October and hopefully we can make another run at Newfoundland in 2017.
Happy Canada Day! The Canadian border guard was actually pleasant and smiling as we headed north on US/BC 97. He was very impressed with our Newfoundland destination, but advised us that we were going the wrong way and that we needed to make a right turn as soon as possible. The Okanogan Valley in British Columbia is gorgeous and well populated by a zillion fruit stands. We stopped at one and selected some great fruit and vegetables, including blueberries that were affordable. My only complaint is it’s a very slow drive due to the need to drive through all the towns.
Our mission today included buying a Canadian mobile phone, so we stopped at the Cherry Mall in Pendicton where Sam at Virgin Mobile fixed us up after we explored options with the folks at Rogers and at Bell. Now we can call in Canada to make reservations and send/receive text message back to the US. With the exchange rate of $1.30 to the US dollar, it was a good deal.
We’ve stayed at the KOA in Sicamous before as the sites are roomy, level and wooded. It was Canada Day, so I finally got to display the large Maple Leaf flag that Mike Cullen helped us find several years ago. Oh, and did I mention the KOA also has a pancake and sausage breakfast? The cook was new and still trying to get the right temperature for the grill, but she nailed it for my short stack.
We spent Saturday rearranging gear as we often throw stuff on the beds and stow it away later. Some rain on Friday, but mostly sunny and pleasant today. Allie and Kinnon are remarkably quiet companions so far.
One of challenging yet fun things about a motor home is deciding where to put all the Stuff. Our Navion is smaller than a “small house” and we lived in our former View for six months, so arranging things is an important task in order to maintain space and sanity.
We try to follow some guidelines when arranging things. It might appear that these are self-evident, but some gear is too fragile or too large, so creativity is a must.
- Items we use frequently should be close at hand. Everything coffee and tea is kept together by the kitchen sink, for example.
- Items used together should be stored together. We keep all the canine items in the storage areas over the driver.
- Things should be organized to minimize set-up and take-down routines. We no longer carry with us the bed extension cushion as it’s been used so little and is unstable when in place.
- Items that are used outside should be stored outside. An exception is the slow cooker (above), which has its own box in the rear external storage area. After many trips we found an outside place for the X-pen, which is heavy and had been riding between the twin beds. A hitch mounted cargo carrier has its advantages!
It’s about 37 days until we take the ferry from Port Townsend, headed for Newfoundland and Labrador and we’re busy planning the trip. This will be our fourth long trip in our motor home and each journey impresses upon us the need for planning. Not that we aren’t spontaneous on the road, but this time we want to be more careful about each day.
We began planning this trip with the goal of seeing more of the Maritime Provinces of Canada than we did in 2012. Our first consideration was to not repeat the mistake we made last year by showing up before any campgrounds were open for the season!
This trip we’re going to try a daily planning form so that we can pay attention to the day and have a record for reviewing campgrounds and future trips.
Often we’ll start the day’s drive with only a hazy idea of where lunch will be or where we’ll fill up the tank. Hopefully this will help us organize our thoughts more clearly. The form is in Word and we’ll print it two to a page on both sides of the paper and place them in a binder.
Next: Organizing outside storage.
One of the major insights gained during our most recent trip is that we have stored gear, from sewer hoses to coffee makers, like we did in our 2006 View J. For those familiar with these Winnebago floor plans, our 1015 Navion V is laid out completely different.
Our first task was to develop a set of criteria to help us arrange things in a more efficient way. Our previous storage criteria was to 1) match the storage space with the shape of the gear and ignore convenience and 2) keep the weight down. We now have a lot more cargo carrying capacity (CCC) and more space. Now we have more gear and less patience with getting on our knees to retrieve that gear.
We first measured various openings and then set out to The Container Store at Southcenter. The staff was incredibly helpful and their Clear Weathertight Totes are exactly what we needed. They come in different sizes, we bought eight that will fit through the openings of all the exterior doors.
The Navion has an exterior compartment on the rear right side that has a seal and is apparently for wet items. I had stored the sewer hose and connections in here in a treated canvas bag, but the zipper broke and things were just not “tidy” enough.
The new arrangement has all the sewer items in one box, along with the hose support, knee pad, and two 25′ water hoses water hoses. The water hoses are connected end to end, so no contamination. Everything gets rinsed when used and the seal on the container keeps any smell inside. I broke the hose support into two sections so it would fit. This also helps with the issue of the sewer outlet not being very high off the ground.
The exterior compartment under the slide requires extreme yoga to access when the slide is out, so here is where we store little-used gear.
These boxes contain an extra sewer kit (we’ve been camping where twenty feet was not long enough), emergency triangle and cone, and a heavy gauge 110V extension cord.
A coffee aficionados, we needed a taller and convenient place for the coffee makers. Under the kitchen sink is ideal for us. The Black & Decker machine is used in the mornings when we leave as we can make a pot of half-caf in the thermal carafe that lasts until lunch. On the left is our drip coffee maker for boondocking (using the stove) and the pod machine is used when we stay more than one night as we have slightly different tastes in the boldness of the roast. Mark us down as addicts.
More on the interior next time. Comments and pictures about what you’ve done are most welcome!