Thursday, February 14, 2019

Going Places I've Always Wanted to Visit

This trip is about going places I've wanted to go, seeing things I've wanted to see and doing things I wanted to do but couldn't for various reason. Since I started dreaming of full time RVing several years ago I've been reading about places other RVers go. 
You can get an idea of the size of these sculptures by comparing them to Murphy at 80 pounds. They are huge.
I don't have any sort of plan for this trip. I'm just going where the wind blows me. Searching for the sun brought me to the Palm Springs area. Little did I know this area holds many of the places I've wanted to visit. 
Murphy and I headed out one day to visit the Salton Sea but we ended up in Borrego Springs instead. Borrego Springs is about 112 miles from the campground where we stayed in Indio. The drive was beautiful. We saw the Saltan Sea, Anza Borrego State Park, and the little town of Borrego Springs. 

Best of all we saw the Galleta Meadows metal sculptures. There are more than 130 of them scattered around the desert. We didn't see them all but we made a dent. Murphy barked at them because they were so big. 
This sculpture seems to be the favorite. It actually sits on both sides of the road. 
I'm considering staying here for a while longer because they are thinking there will be a super bloom event in the desert very soon and I'd love to see that. 

I'm camped at the Saltan Sea currently. More about it next post. 


Monday, February 11, 2019

Bridget in Search of Sun

Hi!  It's been an awfully long time, hasn't it? 

I left Oregon to begin my winter trip on January 13th. I got a really late start that day and stayed in Eugene where I woke to 24 degrees, a frozen water hose and icy roads. 

After the sun came out and it warmed up I headed south. We did a long day that day and stopped well after dark. 
Mt. Shasta

The next morning was really windy and rainy but we arrived at our destination and set up in the pouring rain. 
Standing water in my campsite
We had a tremendous amount of rain while I was in the Bay Area. It was time to get moving to dryer pastures. 

I waited until the mountain passes were clear and started out for the Palm Springs area. 
Approaching one of the mountain passes on the way to Palm Springs

It was a two day trip and I did not have any reservations so I had my fingers crossed. I was able to find a space 

I'm in the Palm Springs, California area. I've been in search of sun for weeks with poor results. It's sunny here and we are really enjoying ourselves. 

I was able to get my truck and trailer hand washed for $60 if you can believe that. Look how pretty Bridget is! 

This park has two fenced dog parks. One for small dogs and the other for the big dogs! Murphy loves the dog park! 

Next post I'll tell you about some of the great things to do in this area. 


Wednesday, January 9, 2019

2018 Wrap-up and Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!
It's been so long since I posted I don't even know where to begin. In my last post I was on my way home from the Bay Area for Thanksgiving. It was a very long, two day trip. I had strong wind gusts, lots of heavy rain and even more heavy traffic but I made it home to spend time with my family for the holiday. These two were happy to see me. 
A few days after Thanksgiving I took Bridget in to get the washer/dryer replaced. The new one is working very well. Thanks again to Ultimate Airstreams for such first class service. 

The dogs have been mostly happy to see each other. Sam is the Dane mix in the back and Waffle is on the right. You know Murphy!  
These three!
Over the past several months we have been debating on whether we could get Bridget into my daughter's driveway. It was a family effort and the short answer is, yes she fits. However, I can't back her in with my truck because her tummy scrapes on the sidewalk. We needed a taller truck. The following day one of the neighbors backed her in and I've been in the driveway just steps from the front door for several weeks now. 
Christmas was fun this year. Everyone was healthy but there were some difficult days as we had some firsts without Rob. He passed away on 12/22/17 so we marked the first anniversary of his death, my birthday, his birthday the following day in December. Lots of emotional ups and downs but we made it through to the other side. 

You may remember the main reason I'm here in Portland instead of on some sunny beach in the south is because I had a new granddaughter set to arrive on New Year's Eve. After weeks of teasing us with numerous indicators she might be arriving early little Ruby arrived on her due date. She's absolutely perfect! 

I'm currently getting ready to head south for the rest of the winter. I plan to leave over the weekend but the actual day will depend on the weather in the mountain passes through Southern Oregon and Northern California. 

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

How Not to Back Your Airstream Into a Tight Space

After leaving Oregon we headed for the Sacramento area. My main reason for stopping there was to see these two wonderful people. 
Rob and I met Pete and Linda in San Antonio, Texas at an RV park. We were wedged in so tight Pete wasn't comfortable putting their slide out all the way.  That started a conversation and a friendship.

They came to meet Murphy and see Bridget up close and personal. Then we went to dinner. It was so good to see them again. Sometimes you just bond with people and we did. 
Accidentally parked under this light, ugh!
It was hot while I was there. Mostly in the upper 80s. After a couple of days it was time to head for our next destination, Pleasanton, CA.  

The drive was really easy and quick. Check-in is where things went south. I had selected a spot based on my experience backing Bridget which is very limited. The campground gave my space to someone else and moved me to a tight little spot mid row. There are disadvantages to having a small rig it seems. 

This is not one of those campgrounds where the little man or woman comes by on a golf cart and escorts you to your site and directs you as you back in. Nope! Here you are on your own and since I'm on my own I was a tad nervous about wedging Bridget's shiny hiney into our space but I started maneuvering anyway.  

I'll just cut to the chase. The road was narrow, there were cars parked everywhere and there was simply not enough room. When all was said and done I had to ask someone to move his car. He offered to direct me which was such a relief. But I also managed to catch one of the marker lights on the slide of the brand new, half million dollar motor coach in the next space.  

The damage to their rig was a large scratch for which they got an estimate and I have taken care of the cost. This couple was fantastic. So kind and forgiving. He said, "I may be the next one to make a mistake."

Bridget got the rougher end of the deal. Her marker light got torn off and was hanging by the wiring and she got dented. She had dimples now, like me.

I have since replaced the light and pulled some of the dent out with a pneumatic dent puller. I need someone with more muscle to help me get the dent smoothed out more.

The very next day I dropped my phone face down in the gravel and shattered the screen. Needless to say I had to replace it.

My washer/dryer has been giving me fits basically since I got it. It's overheating, set off my smoke detector, sends up error messages, making an awful grinding noise when it dries and another equally awful thumping noise when it spins the water out.

After getting the run around from the manufacturer I contacted Ultimate Airstreams (the ones who installed it) and they have been such a help getting things resolved. 

A repair person came out from San Francisco and deemed the machine irreparable. Ultimate Airstreams in Portland is installing a replacement machine for me on the 3rd of December.  

The fires around Chico have caused serious air quality problems in the Bay area. It sure made for some pretty sunrises and sunsets. 

I started the trip home today. More to come!

Saturday, November 3, 2018

Meeting Family and Enjoying the Oregon Coast

When we left off last post Murphy and I were in Coos Bay, Oregon. I did indeed replace my power cord and 50 to 30 amp adapter and have not had any power problems since then. 
The main reason we went to Coos Bay was to visit with family. Rob's niece, Jennifer lives near there and we had never met. She has very fond memories of her Uncle. 

Jennifer, her husband Matt and their daughter came by to see Bridget, meet Murphy and take me to dinner one evening. We had a great dinner and lots of visiting. Unfortunately, Jennifer caught a nasty bug and we didn't get together again. I promised I'd be back through there and we spend more time together.
We had some rain over the next few days but some incredibly beautiful weather too. 

Murphy and I spent some time scouting beaches and places to take pictures. I enjoyed the beautiful views. 

I took a ton of photos which are safely trapped in Rob's old camera. Apparently it's different than my camera. Eventually I'll figure out how to get them out. 

While we were in town I had the Ford dealership add towing mirrors to the truck. I had some that were removable but they vibrated a lot. Now that the mirrors have been installed the truck had been named... Dumbo!
Halloween morning we were set to head for California so we got up early and started getting ready. It was raining and windy. It's no fun hooking up in the rain.

The drive wasn't awful but it rained the rest of the way through Oregon. I'm learning more and more about my truck and how it handles. It makes me feel somewhat more confident. I have to say, I5 is a breeze compared to those narrow back roads.

Next up, California

Friday, October 26, 2018

Fall Along the Oregon Coast

Yesterday we moved to Coos Bay, Oregon. 

The fall color were definitely at their peak yesterday. The lighting wasn't the best but around every corner along the first half of our drive I uttered an ooh or aah.  

It's not a long drive but it was by far the most challenging so far with my new rig. The roads from the I-5 corridor to the coast are two lane, winding, twisting, up and down, with tunnels, bridges, and cliffs! All in all it went pretty smoothly. 

Coos Bay is, of course, on a bay. Our campground is also on the bay and the view is great.
After we checked in at the RV park we set-up camp and set out in search of the ocean. I needed to see and smell the ocean! 

Found it but that cliff is not happening! We went looking for a better spot. 
Better but not safe for Murphy to play. 
Here we go! Murphy completely wore himself out running in the surf and chasing the sea birds. 
It's impossible to imagine how much sand can be trapped in his fur. My plan was to rinse him off with the outside shower on the Airstream. You know what they say about the best laid plans. 

I haven't opened the outside shower panel before and I can't find a key anywhere. I don't even know if I have one. It was dark, wet and cold outside so in we both went. He immediately went to sleep without even eating his dinner. Needless to say, I've been vacuuming a lot!!

The sunset was really pretty last night. I caught this reflection in the back window. It makes me happy.
I lost power last night around 8:30. It took me a while to figure out what the problem was but I isolated it to either the power cord or the 30 to 50 amp converter. Fortunately nothing felt hot. After I got things in the right position I was able to hold power all night. Today I'm going to replace the power cord just to be safe. 

We'll be here until Halloween when we head for the Sacramento area.

Monday, October 22, 2018

Bridget's Jewelry "Chandelier" Tutorial

I've been ogling a beautiful chandelier from another Airstream for months now. This week I finally decided to try and make one for Bridget. 

Figuring out what materials to use was first. I knew it had to be light weight. I ended up going to a craft store and walking up and down every aisle to see what was available. 

I finally settled on a picture frame made of wood to use as the base. I was able to find a gray frame so I didn't have to paint it.

To wrap around the frame I found some fancy tin ribbon with filigree work which allowed me to attach the crystals. 

I used my hot glue gun to attach the ribbon to the frame. I was careful to bend the corners around a sharp 90 degree angle using a rubber mallet so they would look tidy on the finished project.  

I was also very lucky because where my two ends overlapped at the end the holes lined up perfectly. You can see the seam above in the picture directly below the word seam. I didn't do anything special at the seam other than make sure it was smooth because it planned to face it away from view.

I purchased some acrylic "crystals" at the craft store and had planned to attach them using jump rings but no matter how hard I tried to close them they kept falling off of the thin tin ribbon. 
Don't use these

After some research I decided to use split rings to attach the crystals to the ribbon. 
Use these
I found different acrylic "crystals" on Amazon with split rings already attached. These work great! 

These are the crystals I used. I ordered the 38 mm size. I attached one in each hole conveniently provided by the tin ribbon manufacturer.

That's it! I was really very simple. I hung it using Command Wall Hanging Strips. I used 6 sets of the large strips because it's hanging upside down and I wanted to be safe. I moved about 100 miles today and it stayed put.

This shows one of the command strips attached to the top of the chandelier and to the bottom of the cabinet. The best advise I can give you is to clean the surface where you want to place the command strip with an alcohol wipe and dry it thoroughly.

This is a before shot of the existing light fixture. 
This is the finished product. Murphy approved!