Thursday, October 27, 2011

Truck is Fixed!!!!

Yippeeeeee!!!! Ocean Crest Motors in Warrenton, Oregon, called us about 3:30 yesterday to tell us our truck was fixed. Oh, what a relief.  We quickly got ready and were on the road in 10 minutes.  It’s only 60 miles north from Tillamook, but it took us a little over 1 1/2 hours to get there because of all the twists and turns in the road.  In many areas you have to reduce your speed to 25 MPH to go around the many corners.

We arrived at 5:15, just before they closed.  Oh, it was so nice to start up the truck and hear it purrrrr.  There wasn’t any nasty smoke puffing out of the tailpipe either Smile   Heck, they even washed the truck for us which was very nice of them.

I headed back in the borrowed Mustang and soon it got dark and a bit scary for me.  I haven’t driven in the dark for over five years! Then add to that there wasn’t any moon shining and there aren’t any street lights outside of the little towns.  So all those winding roads and up and down hills in complete darkness….yes, it was scary!  I was so glad for the line on the outside edge of the road to guide me, because oncoming traffic headlights were blinding!!!

Oh, well, I stopped at Fred Meyer’s to fill up the Mustang and got home about 7 p.m.  Jim stopped and got us a pizza for dinner, but first thing we did was pour ourselves a drink….it had been a hectic day.

So this morning we will move to Lincoln City and rejoin Jim and Linda Mossman.  It’s been two weeks since we’ve been together and we sure miss them a lot.  We’ll stay there a couple of days and then move to Florence for a bit.  After that it’s see the redwoods and travel to Sacramento to visit friends who are members of our Escapee RV Club family.  After that ??????????????

Well, hopefully, that is the end of the truck problems…so far, so good.  Thanks to all our friends who have expressed their concern through facebook and emails.  It has all been much appreciated.

Remember, you are loved.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Truck Repairs

Al, the owner of Big Spruce RV Park, lent us his Mustang to take our truck to Warrenton for repairs. Man, after riding in our tall truck, driving the Mustang made me feel like I was dragging my butt on the ground…it was so low to the road.

The folks at Ocean Crest Motors were great and assured us our truck would be repaired by Wednesday afternoon.  It sure will be nice to be able to rely on our truck once again.  When you own a fifth-wheel, your truck is basically your lifeline - you can’t do anything without it.  Our Duramax has been a trouble-free workhorse up to now and we’ve been very happy with it.  Hopefully, she will be again come Wednesday.

On the drive back to Tillamook we stopped in Seaside to have breakfast at Pig ‘n Pancake , which was very good.  Afterwards we walked around the touristy downtown. Seaside reminded me Myrtle Beach with all the shops of “stuff” aimed at tourists. One place was called Carousel Mall and, yes, there was a working carousel inside with little shops all around it.  Sorry for the quality of the photo, but I left my camera in the car, so this was taken with Jim’s phone.


We plan on moving down to Lincoln City on Thursday to join The Mossman’s at Coyote Rock RV Resort. It’s a Passport America park, which means, as members, we stay for half price.  The Mossman’s site is right on the waterway and has a beautiful view of all the boats and fishermen.  Last Sunday we were taking a drive and ended up driving to Lincoln City (60 miles) just to see The Mossman’s as it had been over 2 weeks since we’d seen them. When we stopped Jim M. was outside and I yelled out the window, “Hay Mister, do you know where I can find a Bloody Mary?”  (As you may remember, Jim M. makes me a Bloody Mary every Sunday.)  We greeted each other as if it had been months since we’d seen each other instead of only 2 weeks. It will be so nice to be traveling with them once again.

Well, friends and family, that’s about all for today. I’m off to do laundry.  I waited till it warmed up because it was 39 degrees this morning.  It definitely time to be moving south….and quick!!!

Remember, you are loved.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Late Hours and No Sun in the Pacific Northwest

As most of you know, Jim and I are morning people.  In his “other life”, Jim delivered bread and never broke the habit of getting up early.  Even now he gets up between 4 and 6 a.m.  I get up about 6 - 7 a.m. 

Usually we are in bed about 9-10 p.m. after the evening news.  Well, that can’t happen out here in the Pacific Northwest.  Heck, prime time TV shows don’t even start till 8 p.m.!  So the news doesn’t come on till 11 p.m.  So that being the case, does that mean we sleep in? Oh, contra.  We still get up at our usual time…we just get less sleep.

I’m also a news junky, as some of you know, which I think is funny because I use to criticize my father for always having a news station on the television.  Now I’m just like him.  Some people put on music to break the silence - I put on CNN or MSNBC.  But even I get news overload when out here the news starts at 4 p.m. and goes on till 7.  That leads into the various “entertainment” shows like Inside Edition and ET, before the prime time shows begin. Unfortunately for us, most of our favorite television shows don’t come on till 10 p.m. and by then Jim and I dozing in our chairs in an attempt to stay up.

Besides sleep deprivation we are also “suffering” from SUN deprivation.  Now, remember, we lived in Alamosa, Colorado, whose nickname is “the land of the cool sunshine”, with some 350 days of sunshine each year….the “cool” part is because it can get pretty darn cold in the winter, like -30 to -40 degrees.  So we were use to lots of sunshine and probably took it for granted, assuming we’d see the sun every day.  Not so here.  We know here we are less likely to see the sun on any given day. We just weren’t prepared for the affects the lack of sun would have on us. We never realized we needed the sun so much.  The lack of the sun definitely makes us feel gloomy and depressed.  And it doesn’t help that it mists or rains every day here on the Oregon coast, which keeps us inside a lot.

So Jim and I have decided we are going to quickly see the few additional things we want to see in Oregon and then move on to California and hopefully on to more sunshine and happier moods.  The truck goes in tomorrow for new fuel injectors and hopefully ends our problem of not being able to restart the truck after it has been driven for a while. We’ll get the truck back on Tuesday or Wednesday and then we’ll move to Lincoln City and meet up with The Mossman’s and go on from there.

Remember, you are loved.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Erased Chapter 2 Web Page

I maintain the Escapees RV Club Chapter 2 web page.  Earlier this week I was making a change to the web page and when I hit submit my aircard lost connection.  So wham … I lost the whole page!!!!!  $%#!@* No, I didn’t have any copies saved anywhere …. yes, I know…. dumb.

So this morning I spent five frickin hours redoing it all.  The frustrating part was trying to remember what I had on the page and then finding and copy/paste the html for buttons and then making sure they all worked.  UGH!!!!  Html is not my native language.

But it is all done now, although I don’t like the spacing I “borrowed” from another chapter’s web page.  I’ll redo it when I get enough nerve to tackle it again.

Take a look of my “masterpiece”

Remember, you are loved.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Knitted Socks Finished

I’ve written before about have “second sock syndrome”, where after I finish knitting the first sock I don’t want to do it all over again to knit the second sock…it’s boring. I want to go onto something else.

So when I started knitting this pair of socks in May I used the technique of two socks at a time using two circular needles.  I worked on them on and off and finally finished them yesterday.


Now that I have the basics down using this light colored wool yarn, I can now do some more fun designs in bold colors.  I like the look of socks with different colors for the toe, body, heel and cuff, so I might try that next.  But I found the wool socks on the kitchen tile are pretty slick, so I can’t use them when I’m working in the kitchen.

I made a batch of green chili using roasted Hatch chiles I got in Colorado.  Well, it came out waaaaay too hot and after trying all the ways to reduce the heat (added brown sugar, yogurt, even a potato) I finally threw it out.  Next time I’ll check how hot the chiles are before adding five of them.

Remember, you are loved.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Truck Problem Solution

Thanks to Doug and Barb of we got a handle on the problem with our 2003 Duramax Chevrolet not starting after the engine is hot.  Doug or Barb sent us a hyperlink to the Duramax Forum where our problem was being discussed.

Here is the forum moderator’s response:

“You did not state the engine- but that is a classic problem for a LB7 engine, when the injectors by-pass too much fuel when warm. (8th digit in VIN is a "1") So the engine does not start. Smell the oil in the crankcase-- smells like diesel-? Yep! Drop a little oil on a paper towel, is there a halo around the oil spot-? Yep, injectors!
To verify the problem, you will need to have the system checked.
GM had a special policy where they would replace some injectors for 7 years or 200k miles-- IF they meet a certain condition, as determined by a test done by a tech. Final approval was from GM.
Hope this helps!”

Bless his heart, because that confirmed Jim’s thoughts as to the cause of the problem - the injectors.  Our VIN does have a “1” as the 8th digit.  Could we possibly get some recourse from GM????? Could we even hope that it could happen?  We did take our truck in twice in 2010 because of this problem.  Would they honor that for the 2010 deadline?

We drove to Warrenton, OR (by Astoria) on Sunday and checked into Fort Stevens State Park as it was close to Ocean Crest Chevrolet where we had an appointment on Monday.

The long and the short of it is, yes, all eight injectors are bad and have to be replaced.  This is usually a $4-5,000 fix.  But the service manager, Jeff, knew about the problem with this engine and went to bat for us with GM.  The final outcome is that GM will cover a good portion of the expense as warranty work.  We had to call the two Chevy dealerships who did work on our truck in 2010 and get copies of those invoices to substantiate our claim that we did try twice to get the problem fixed, but otherwise we don’t have to pay for the whole repair.

Praises…Praises….Praises!!!!  Thank you, Jeff!!!

When Jim read the email from the service manager with the good news, he screamed and beat on his chest (guess it’s a man-thing) in celebration.

However, with their workload Jeff can’t complete the work till next Monday, and it will take two days.  But the parts have been ordered.  So we moved back to Big Spruce RV Park in Netarts, OR, outside of Tillamook where we were before.  The state park cost $23/night and here it is $13 with tax as a Passport park, so having to wait a week we might as well save the money.

When I called the manager here at Big Spruce and explained our situation and asked if he had room for us to come back, he not only said yes, come on back, but he offered us the use of his personal car to drive up to Warrenton and bring Jim back on Monday, so didn’t have to move to the state park again.  What a guy!!!  We have surely been blessed with the wonderful people here. 

Our next door neighbor was cooking down blueberries on his barbecue grill to make jam  -  he brought us a jar to share.  Other park residents have recommended mechanics, restaurants, or just been friendly and offered rides.  Great people!

So we’ll stay here for a week and maybe an extra day of driving around and trying to restart the truck to make sure everything is working OK.  The Mossman’s moved to Lincoln City last Saturday and we’ll join them there or in Newport. 

Oh, friends we are so relieved that a solution has been found and we can continue our travels instead of paying full-price for repairs and then making a beeline to the Arizona desert to minimize expenses.  We want to thank everyone for your phone calls and emails of concern and encouragement.  It means a lot to us. RVers are a wonderful group to be a part of….you are part of our family.

Remember, you are loved.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Cannon Beach, Oregon

There is a Mo’s Restaurant here and is the first place The Mossman’s ate their clam chowder.  So we drove from the Tillamook area to Cannon Beach to enjoy a nice lunch by the beach.  The drive up was beautiful and we stopped several times to take pictures.

We stopped at the Myrtle wood Factory Outlet in Garibaldi
Beautiful wood products
Many boats fishing for salmon
Many homes use roofing shingles as siding
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We looked for places to see the ocean and were pleased to find several turn-outs where we could stop.

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Outside of Mo’s Restaurant there is a beautiful beach that we had to walk on. I think this is the Haystack rock.  I went out and dipped my hands in the water so I could say I touched the Pacific Ocean LOL

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Then we went into Mo’s for their clam chowder.  Linda had the crab cakes and I had a pound of razor clams and bread.  Both were very good!




We’ve enjoyed our “playing tourists” time and eating out.  Next we have to put the truck in for repairs in Warrenton by Astoria.  We moved to Fort Stevens State Park and have a beautiful site.  For $23/night for FHU it’s very reasonable as state parks go.  I’ll take photos tomorrow and post them.

We have good aircard/internet and cell service, but no place to put up the satellite so we are relegated to four channels on the batwing.  But at least we get the major networks.

Remember, you are loved.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Tillamook, Washington

I’ve looked forward to seeing Tillamook for a long time. I’ve heard many stories from other fulltime RVers about this beautiful area, and was excited to get here. I  l-o-v-e Tillamook cheese….especially their extra sharp white cheddar cheese.  (Thank you Connie Anderson for introducing me to sharp white cheddar when we took that canoe trip outside of Bushnell, FL. )  I am a big fan of Nick Russell’s Gypsy Journal blog and Laurie Brown’s blog, Semi-True Tales of Our Life on the Road and both wrote about Tillamook when they came through here this summer.  It gave us a lot of info on this area.

We are staying at Big Spruce RV Park in Netarts, just outside Tillamook.  It’s a Passport America campground, so we are only paying half price, $11 + $2 tax.  That’s very good for this area where most campsites cost $23-49 per night.  Plus it is convenient to travel to the outlaying areas.  The campground isn’t anything special, with only 5-6 sites available as most are permanent residents or highway workers staying here.  But the owner and residents are very friendly and accommodating, easily giving recommendations of places to see and eat.  Plus they have a strong wifi signal and we have good cell service.

The day after we arrived we took a trip around the Tillamook area visiting the Three Capes Loop, Cape Meares lighthouse and its Octopus Tree.  Then, of course, we went to Tillamook Cheese and Blue Heron French Cheese. 

It’s been 31 years since I’ve seen the Pacific Ocean - I lived in San Diego for ten years. The Pacific Ocean is so magical to me. I love to watch the crashing waves.

Tillamook, Oregon Area

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At Cape Mears lighthouse there is also the Octopus Tree. Octopus Tree (2)

Quoting from the sign, “The forces that shaped this unique Sitka spruce..have been debated for many years…. The tree measures over 46 feet in circumference and has no central trunk. Instead, limbs extend horizontally from the base as much as 16 feet before turning upwards. It is 105 feet tall and is estimated to be 250-300 years old.”

This photo of Jim and I will give you a prospective of how big the tree is.

    Octopus Tree (3)

We drove to Oceanside for lunch at the recommended Roseanna’s Restaurant.  This is a cute little town with houses climbing up the side of the hill - reminds me of Jerome, Arizona, in that manner.

Houses on the hillside
Roseanna’s right on the water-notice the rocks in the background
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View from our table
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My cioppino with shrimp, clams, halibut and salmon…yummo!

Then we drove into Tillamook proper and visited the two cheese factories.

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Both were interesting, but the Blue Heron French Cheese factory was more versatile in it’s products although they are best known for their Brie. Unfortunately, you can only buy it in Tillamook or via mail order.  Watching them package up the Tillamook cheese sure provided a glimpse at some very boring jobs.  Of course we bought some cheese.

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It was a long but very enjoyable day and we got home in time for happy hour.  Of, yes, the puppies were sure happy to see us return!

We continue to have problems with our truck, again not starting after being on the road for a long time. We also surmised that it usually happens when we are pulling the RV.  We are trying to find someone who knows enough about diesels to be able to fix the problem.  We’ve now had the truck into three separate dealerships and no one can identify the problem - nothing shows up on the diagnostics.  It will start after the engine cools down, but it’s a nuisance to keep the engine running while fueling or going grocery shopping after a drive around the countryside.  So we will move next week back up to Warrenton/Astoria area and stay at the Fort Stevens State Park and get the truck into yet another Chevy dealership.  We will make sure they do a thorough check of the fuel injectors as Jim feels they need to be replaced.

So for now, I hope you enjoyed the photos of the area and will check in on me again. 

Remember, you are loved.

Yakima Canyon Drive

During our stay in Yakima the Mossman’s took us on a ride through Yakima Canyon.  Oh, what a beautiful drive, views were so diverse.

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The beautiful drive culminated in a terrific view of the whole Yakima Valley.

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Nice day of sightseeing.  Remember, you are loved.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Astoria, Oregon

While still in Kelso, Washington, we drove down to Astoria, Oregon.  This is really a sweet town. With only 10,000 people it is a small town, but very active.

(All these photos are going to be dark as the weather was overcast and misting.)


Our main focus was to go to the Columbia River Maritime Museum. What a wonderful experience!  It was very, very well done.  We were surprised to see so many full sized boats inside. The explanation of navigating the entrance into the Pacific Ocean from the Columbia River was very interesting.

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Then we went to the Astoria Column. Built at 1926 this artwork is 125 feet tall and sits on the Coxcomb Hill, 600 feet above sea level.

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Stunning sight.
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Jim Mossman taking a photo to give you a idea of the size.
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There are 12 panels depicting the history of the area.

It was a full day.  We drove back to Kelso via the Astoria-Megler Bridge. For someone who doesn’t “like” to drive over high bridges, this was a challenge for me….but I made it across without screaming.

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On the way we saw a beautiful rainbow and actually “drove” under it… that even possible?

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Then we were back to the Kelso, WA Elk’s Club RV Park.  It was just a parking lot setting, but it was close to the things we wanted to see, so it served its purpose.

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So, off we go to Tillamook, Oregon, as we continue our travel down the coast.

Remember, you are loved.