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Concert on the dock
Sunday, July 15, 2018: Port Townsend is a musical town in the summer. This is the free concert on the dock in downtown Port Townsend. It was well attended and I enjoyed the trombone player in the band. What great weather on the waterfront and on the dock for a concert.

Fort Flagler to guard Puget SoundClam digging where he season says "The Clam Season is Over".

Saturday, July 14, 2018: Gwen and I took a drive to the east to find Indian Island and Marrowstone Island. Indian Island is mostly off limits because the navy owns most of the island. There are popular beach trails around the island however for picnics and exercise. We passed a sign telling clam and oyster season was concluded but these folks were still digging for clams. This location is just next to the Port Townsend Canal which separates Indian and Marrowstone Islands from the Peninsula. The tide was coming in creating a swift current in the canal. Here is a video showing the tidal current. Click the clam diggers to see our first view of Puget Sound from the east Marrowstone Beach. The mountain in the distance on the left is Mount Baker, a 10,781' peak. While driving toward the north end of Marrowstone we stopped at Mystery Bay State Park where there are public buoys for large boats to moor. This would be a good launch location had we brought our kayaks except for the $10 parking fee and $7 launch fee. Click the Fort Flagler photo for a view of Mystery Bay. The fee to moor your cabin cruiser is $15 per day. Our final destination was Fort Flagler. Fort Flagler is one of three forts built in the early 20th century to guard Puget Sound. They were decommissioned in 1950 because air defenses took over the guard duty job. Fort Flagler is now a state park with tours and museum.

 

Our lunch location overlooking the waterJust a glimps of the Coho Ferry

Friday, July 13, 2018: We take a relatively quick trip to Port Angeles as a "dry run" for our trip on the Port Angeles to Victoria Ferry on Monday morning. We arrived just in time to see the Coho leaving for Victoria, BC Canada. It will arrive after 90 minutes of travel time. The driving time from our location is about 50 minutes to the ferry. We took the time today to have lunch on the dock next to the ferry so we could watch the boat and ship traffic. All the ships going to and from Seattle must pass this location. The buildings you see beyond the Coho are the US Coast Guard building. I imagine this is a very busy location for the coast guard. We also walked two miles so Gwen could visit the one quilt shop in Port Angels. She DID buy $3.50 worth of fabric at the shop. I went to a kayak shop where I enjoyed looking at the different kayaks for sale but I need nothing in gear. We are looking forward to our Monday adventure.

 

The entrance to our movie theater

 

 

Thursday, July 12, 2018: This was kind of a "laid back" day so we took ourselves to a unique movie theater in Port Townsend call "The Rose Theater". Unique because it was showing a artsy movie titled "The Rider" about an injured rodeo cowboy. And unique because it was in a small room on the third floor of a historic building. Unique because it was in the "Starlight Room" with a full menu and alcoholic drinks. Also unique because of the seating style in the theater. The Starlight Room is for adults only because they serve alcohol (not because of the "R" rated movies). The photo at left shows the entrance to the Starlight Room. This is where you order from the menu and beverages. Gwen ordered a wooden bowl of pop corn and soft drinks. The room has floor to ceiling windows which are covered by heavy curtains during the movie. Click the left photo for a view of the outside of the theater. I hope we go again to see another movie before we leave.

Port Townsend, Washington Ferry
Lunch overlooking the water in Port TownsendWednesday, July 11, 2018: A perfect weather day to visit Port Townsend, Washington. We walked the "old town" and along the waterfront. It seemed like there were hundreds of restaurants and cafes, not sure how they all stay in business during the winter months. We first visited the official "Visitor Center" which recommended "Sirens" for lunch because it overlooks the water. We followed his advise and did have a very nice lunch with a good view of all the activity on the water. This town has lots of history with large home built in the late 1800s. We were offered a map with a walking tour of the homes but chose to walk the shops downtown instead. We will likely revisit the town to see what we missed and to view a movie at the historic theater. Click both photos for more views. Both are panoramas so be sure to enlarge then scroll left/right.
Lunch in Chimacum, Washington at the Farm's Reach Cafe with live music.
Tuesday, July 10, 2018: Another travel day from Kelso to Chimacum, Washington. We took hiway 101 from Olympia along the Hood Canal. This is a two lane, narrow in places, road right next to the water. We ended up with a late lunch at Farm's Reach Cafe. Today they have live music on keyboard at the deck. This is advertised to have farm fresh food from scratch similar to Lighthouse at home but not vegitarian. Gwen and I enjoyed our meals. There is not much in Chimacum, we did find a large grocery store only two miles distant. Tomorrow we will check out Port Townsend. Click the photo to see Evergreen Coho Park, be sure to enlarge then scroll left and right.
Parking lot at Kelso Elks Club, Washington
Monday, July 9, 2018: This is a travel day from Timber Valley in Sutherlin to Kelso, Washington Elks Lodge. This is a "half-way point" to reach Evergreen Coho Escapee Park in Chimacum, Washington. Kelso Elks has an RV Park and also a large parking lot. We don't need any utilities so I asked if we could park in the lot. They shrugged their shoulders and said "sure" and didn't charge for the stay. If we had a residential refrigerator like most new RVs have these days, we would want their power hook up. We have been to this area last year when we attended the FMCA Rally in Longview, right next door to Kelso. Click the photo to see how close we are to the RV Park. Gwen said she slept well but me, not so well. A train every thirty minutes and the nearby streets didn't calm down until late.
Saturday, July 7, 2018: I need a chain to secure our two kayaks when they are stored outside the RV. I already own a chain, one that I've owned for 35 years. I originally used it to chain the prop on my airplane since my partner was not paying his share How to open this lock without the keyof the plane expenses. Later I used it to secure our Honda generator when we had a fifth wheel. Now I need it for our kayaks. The problem was, there was a Brinks lock on each end of the chain and I couldn't find any keys. I watched several videos on YouTube showing how to pick this lock. It only took them a minute and said a "novice" could do it. I paid $12 for some picking tools and tried to open a lock for hours without luck. One of the videos mentioned "drilling" a lock so I tried that next. The four pins fell out almost immediately but the lock still didn't open. I worked on it another few hours and finally got it to open. I did try cutting a link with a hacksaw but it would not even scratch a link. I need the other lock permanently attached to the end of the chain. I can run the chain through a Miss Dory rim until the lock reaches the rim. I can then attach the loose end of the chain to the boats. They will be as secure as I can make them. It will keep "honest people honest". Click the photo to see how the chain will fit through a rim.

Landscape at the hospital

 

Thursday, July 5, 2018: This was a busy day. First, we dropped Miss Dory at the mechanic to replace a rear axle seal. While that was happening we drove to Roseburg where both Gwen and I had medical appointments. After the medical appointments, lunch. Gwen had her nails attended to after lunch while I explored the nearby outdoor store. Then off to Costco where I picked up my new hearing aids. The photo was taken outside the hospital where I had my medical appointment. Landscaping has done a good job with the grounds. Click the photo for another view of outdoor decoration at the hospital.



Wednesday, July 4, 2018: It is a special day for the nation and at Timber Valley SKP RV Park. Chapter 9 continues with their rally and other events today. The most special activity is the golf cart parade. Park members who own a golf cart decorate them with patriotic symbols and drive the park. Golf carts are used throughout the park to buss around and attend the various events at the clubhouse, office, Snoopy's Meadow and dog park. Watch the video of the parade event.

Chapter 9 dinner

 

 

Tuesday, July 3, 2018: Another day of Chapter 9 activities. Escapee rallies always have FOOD as a central activity and dinner this evening was no different. We have a special family in the park who likes to cook for the crowd. This evening they cooked lasagna for a whole room full of Escapee Chapter 9 members. Click the photo for a view of the room of happy lasagna eaters.

 

 

 

Touring a wood carvers exhibit Fisherman has a catch The moose I like
 
My favorite
Monday, July 2, 2018: The Escapee Chapter 9 is having a rally in the park. One of the first events is a tour of a woodcarver's exhibit. He has large pieces carved using a chainsaw and smaller pieces for indoors. Nearly all the pieces are for sale with reasonable prices. Gwen always like Blue Herons. I liked the moose "Welcome" sign. My favorite was the jazz band group. I saw no sale signs on it so perhaps it's not for sale. Click all the photos for more views.

No Internet, no problemGwen like jigsaw puzzles

Sunday, July 1, 2018: We have returned to Sutherlin after a week at Clear Lake, Oregon. There is no communication of any kind at Clear Lake which gave us a feeling of "camping". So what do you do without the phone, TV, cell service, Internet. Gwen likes jigsaw puzzles so she assembled three during the week. I DID help a little bit but only a few pieces. We could get satellite radio so we listened to a few old-time radio shows, mostly detective shows. I prefer comedies. So now we are back in Sutherlin, back on the "grid" with Internet service. Go thing, the Wimbledon Tennis match starts tomorrow. Click the left photo for the third puzzle.

Clear Lake
Saturday, June 30, 2018: What a great day for a paddle on Clear Lake with Gwen. We did the entire lake together. I made a short video with Gwen. Give me a chance to upload it when I have better Internet.
Our adventure to Fish Lake
Thursday, June 28, 2018: Gwen and I drove to the Clear Lake Lodge for breakfast, watched 2600 Trout get planted into Clear Lake then on to a road junction for cell service. After making several calls we drove to historic Fish Lake for a tour of the historic buildings and area. I did something different to record our day. I made a slide show of the day.
Clear Lake Lodge
Wednesday, June 27, 2018: This is the Clear Lake Lodge. It is tiny but serves a full breakfast and lunch menu. You can also rent rowboats and kayaks plus rent a cottage nearby. The sign on the porch shows Coldwater Cove where we are camped plus the nearest gas and phone. I was hoping for WiFi but if they don't have a phone, they won't have Wifi. I kayaked from Coldwater Cove to the lodge and made a video to give you an idea of the surrounding area. Click the photo for a view of Clear Lake from the Lodge.
Coldwater Cove Campground
Tuesday, June 26, 2018: Rather than drive into the Cascade Mountains last night we drove back to Sutherlin to get some packages which had been delivered while we were gone. We also needed to dump our holding tanks and refill our freshwater tank before our mountain adventure. I had also forgotten a prescription which I should be taking each day. So we were in Sutherlin less than 24 hours before leaving again for Coldwater Cove Campground on the edge of Clear Lake on the Mackenzie River east of Eugene, Oregon. Our campsite does not have a view of the water but is perfect in every other way. We have no campers on three sides and the one camper in front of us is hidden in the trees. We won't get much solar so we will depend upon our generator to charge our batteries. We also have no cell phone connection which means no Internet. The next five days of posts will happen all at once at the end of our mountain stay. We live in Miss Dory ten months out of the year but for some reason, our stay in this campground feels like "camping", maybe because we have no connection to the outside world. Click the photo for another view.

A last meal together before we all go our separate ways

 

 

Monday, June 25, 2018: This was our last day together. Ray and Lynne are headed to Fort Stevens State Park in Astoria, Oregon then on north to Port Angeles, Washington. Yvonne is headed to Boise, Idaho then further east. We are headed into the Cascade Mountain Lakes to do some kayaking. It has been a quick but enjoyable week traveling with these friends. Click this photo for a view of the Pumpkin Patch market on Sauvie Island.

Sauvie Island Wildlife Refuge
Sunday, June 24, 2018: The five of us, Ray, Lynne, Yvonne, Gwen and myself drive to Sauvie Island on the Columbia River specifically to see the protected wildlife area. Lynne is teaching Yvonne how to be a bird watcher and we tagged along just for the views and the nice weather. We did see a lot of Blue Herons. This must be the environment they enjoy. While on the island we drove to the Sauvie Island beach along the Columbia River, a very popular place to be on a warm day. Click the photo to see the beach.
Portland popular donut shop, Voodoo Donuts

Saturday, June 23, 2018: The five of us took a Tri-Met train ride into downtown Portland specifically to visit the Saturday Market with nearly 300 vendors. It is a quality arts and crafts fair with many artists selling their handmade goods. While downtown, we had to visit the VooDoo Doughnut shop but didn't buy anything because the line was about 50 people long. We saw lots of people carrying pink VooDoo boxes of doughnuts. I DID find a couple items for the grandkids and we found some "air plants in a shell" we had to have to hang in Miss Dory. Click the photo on the left to see those.

After the Saturday Market we walked up the street to Powell's Book Store. It is a Portland tradition with a huge selection of books. Yvonne and Lynne bought books but Gwen and I only bought drinks and a snack.

I made a video of the day which you can view here.

Shopping Portland Saturday Market
Hillsboro Elk Parking

Standing next to a stick sculpture

 

 

Friday, June 22, 2018: This was a travel day from Tillamook, Oregon to Hillsboro, Oregon Elks Club for RV parking. Ray and Yvonne took the last two hookup sites while Lynne and we dry camped in the parking lot. I learned that the Elks Club is only one mile from the Tri-Met Train Station. I walked there to learn where it was and how to buy tickets. We plan to ride the Tri-Met to the famous Portland Saturday Market tomorrow. Gwen and I have never been to the Saturday Market. The camp host also told us about a one mile walk to a strange little park with stick scultures. "Walk across the bridge", he said, "and the scultures are on the other side." He was right, the stick scultures are about 20 feet tall and large enough to walk inside. Click both photos for additional views.

Tillamook Cheese Factory
Goats and OceansideThursday, June 21, 2018: Today was a tour of many tourist activities in Tillamook, Oregon. We started with the Tillamook Cheese Factory. These are large blocks of cheese sliced into smaller blocks for retail sales. Today was the first day of the new visitor center to be open to the public, very impressive. We also toured the Blue Heron French Cheese Factory then Oysters for lunch. After lunch to the Quilt and Textile Museum then onto the three Capes Tour. I created a video of the day just click the link. Click these photos for more views.
Tillamook Elks RV Park
Wednesday, June 20, 2018: This was a travel day from Bandon to Tillamook, Oregon. We have parked in the Elks RV Park, one of the best in Oregon. You can see the four of us lined up. Lynne is to the far right in the pickup camper, Yvonne van is next to Lynne. Ray is in his beautiful Allegro RED next to us in our Dolphin. Our kayaks are covered between Ray and us. This is one of the full hookup Elks parks. Lynne knew of an oyster processing plant nearby which also has a cafe. It is popular but we were able to order our oysters and get a table. What a treat. You can see Lynne and Ray enjoying their oysters by clicking the photo.
Bullard Beach State Park
Monday, June 18, 2018: Meeting up with friends at Bullard Beach State Park near Bandon, Oregon. Our friends are Ray and Lynne, both from our Alaska trip taken two years ago. They are traveling together into British Columbia for a couple of weeks so we caught them while they are traveling north on the Oregon Coast. Click the photo to see us enjoying Bandon.
Woofstock in Sutherlin
Saturday, June 16, 2018: This was the seventh annual Woofstock in Sutherlin. A day of dog games and contests. In addition there are plenty of craft booths plus food booths set up at the fair. Gwen and I walked through the fair, watching the dogs and their owners. A professional DJ was blasting the whole park with a variety of sounds.

Time to pressure wash the roof of the fifth wheel

 

Friday, June 15, 2018: Every year the roof of the fifth wheel must be pressure washed to clean all the dirt and scum which settles each year, especially on the north side. In this photo you can see how good the pressure washer does it's job. Unfortunately, the work is slow and the whole roof can take as long as two hours. This year I am also going to tackle cleaning especially the north side of the fifth wheel. Of course, I'll do the whole trailer but I expect the north side of the fifth wheel to be much worse. Click this photo for a wider view of the roof and the job the pressure washer is doing.

Monthly meal in the clubhouse
Thursday, June 14, 2018: Tonight was the June meal made by volunteers in the clubhouse. Tonight the menu was cole slaw, macaroni salad and barbeque chicken plus carrot cake for desert. Food is always popular and brings a crowd to the clubhouse but tonight was the largest crowd so far this summer. The room is always a "buzz" during these events. Click the photo to see the whole room.
Wednesday, June 13, 2018: Back in 2012 our name came to the Timber Valley SKP Parktop of the wait list to become a "lease holder" at the Timber Valley SKP RV Park. The Escapee RV club has one park in Oregon, one in Washington, two in California, etc. That gave us a "home base" so we would not have to carry everything with us as "full-time RVers". So in 2012 we paid a one-time lease fee for a life-time lease. Now the only expense at the park is the annual maintenance fee which must be paid this month. This year, the fee is higher than it has ever been. Some years it averaged less than $100/month, but usually closer to $100/month. This year the expenses have increased so the fee is $1,500 for the year. $150 of this is an "assessment" which means it adds to the original leasehold investment. For example we paid about $10,500 for the one-time lease fee. The assessment of $150 will be added to that so the next person coming into the park will need to pay $10,650, the amount we will be refunded when we leave. Actually there have been several assessments (for things like asphalt improvement, new clubhouse roof, retaining walls, etc.) so I'm not sure what amount the lease has increased to. That's $112.50/month (subtracting the assessment). Tell me, where can you live for $112.50/month? Now the best part, there may be a day we will want to leave Timber Valley because we have made different life choices or because we are dead. When that happens, our "life-time" lease fee is returned to us. All of the Co-Op Escapee Parks have a similar policy. Today there are about 130 on the wait list to be "lease-holders". Click the photo to enlarge the satellite view.

Lower the hitch by four inches

 

 

Tuesday, June 12, 2018: I spent the day trying to get a receiver welded only two inches below the existing receiver. The knowledgeable local welder told me the hitch would have to be removed to do the welding otherwise all electronics on the motorhome are at risk. The welder learned that the hitch had substantial rivets to the frame so a difficult removal. I decided the job became too complicated so switched to a hitch adaptor. I want to lower the connection to the car to be more level. Click the photo to enlarge the hitch adaptor.

Start the clean-out
Saturday, June 9, 2018: After cleaning out my Mother's house and garage I decided I would clean out my own storage of ALL items which I currently don't have a use. Just like my parents, I've stored many items saying to myself, "someday I'll have a use for this item". That's exactly what my parents were saying to themselves. My father even stored his college textbooks dating back to the mid-40s. All those items ended up in the dumpster. My parents saw value where there was NO value and I've been doing the same thing but no MORE. I've started with the storage unit behind my woodshop and will tackle the woodshop next, then all hatches of the fifth wheel.
Growing in the lakeGwen enjoys her kayak
Friday, June 8, 2018: Gwen took her new kayak for a test float today on Cooper Creek Reservoir. This was the perfect day, about 70, little wind and just enough speed boats on the lake to create the waves to make kayaking exciting. We paddled the entire length of the lake and back, pretty good for a first time in the kayak for Gwen. Here is a short video of our day on the lake.

Kayak coverGwen's new kayak

Thursday, June 7, 2018: We did a quick trip to Eugene today to pick up Gwen new Eddyline Sky-10 kayak. This is the same kayak I tried in Lodi then ordered for Gwen at REI then had the kayak delivered to REI in Eugene, Oregon. It was on sale plus I get a 15% rebate at the end of the year. I believe she will like this kayak better than the touring style kayak that I own. This is a very high quality built with all the touring features such as bulkheads and dry hatches and very lightweight and easy to handle both in and out of the water. Click both photos to enlarge. The right photo is of the kayak cover we bought for her boat. The whole boat slips into the cover like you are putting on a sock.

 
Moving a piano three flights of stairs Tuning the Piano Record of this piano
Wednesday, June 6, 2018: Remember the piano in my Mother's house? My son Ben took the piano to Reno for his daughter Chloe who downloaded a piano lesson APP to her iPad and began to learn notes when visiting Great Grandma. Today was moving day for the piano for Ben's garage down three flights of stairs. Ben hired professional piano movers for the job. After the piano was moved, Ben had arranged for a piano tuner. The piano tuner brought a book with him to learn the age of the piano. The serial number of the piano is 127234. This piano was made in the 1930s as explained to Ben. The last piano made at the end of 1929 was numbered 127000 and the last piano made at the end of 1930 was 128000. I hope Chloe remains interest in the piano. Great Grandma would be very excited to know that Chloe has the piano and of Chloe's interest in learning to play.

Found the problem Lee checking the heat pump

Tuesday, June 5, 2018: A problem from the Turner Road house has followed me to Oregon. Erica, the realtor was showing the house on one of the hot days and the air conditioning wouldn't work. I asked Dorana to check on it. I gave her specific instructions of what to look for. She reported the heat pump not working. That means no power or something interfering with the thermostat. Circuit breakers were set OK and thermostat was set correctly. I told her to call Lee, the man who had installed it. I told her it had to be something simple and Lee would find it quickly so wouldn't be expensive. Lee came immediately and quickly found the thermostat wire to the heat pump was broken. Now Erica will be cool and happy. Thanks Lee.

Today's project was string trimming
Monday, June 4, 2018: Today was an arm breaking, neck breaking and tiring day. I was string trimming the hillside behind our unit and then on down the mountain behind other units too. I do this only two or three times a year so my muscles aren't up to this kind of torture. No, that's not me but it looks like the outfit I wore today including the helmet.

New carpet cleaner

 

 

Sunday, June 3, 2018: Several projects today but the main time consuming project was the cleaning of Miss Dory's carpet. I wanted something efficient to clean the carpets and found it at Costco at $40 less than the retail store, even cheaper than online. This one has two roller brushes rotating in opposite directions, I hope this will mean the cleanest carpet possible. The dirty water container looked pretty dirty. I worked the carpet hard with the cleaner. Even for such a small area, I didn't finish and will finish another day.

A load of Teslas

 

Saturday, June 2, 2018: Still traveling north into Oregon. A semi truck load of Teslas in front of me. On the way north I stopped in Medford to walk through REI (Recreational Equipment, Inc) but no purchases. Then off to the new Medford Costco reported to be one of the largest. I did make several purchases the largest item was a carpet cleaner. I'm really wanting to thoroughly clean the carpets in both of our RVs. On to Roseburg Costco to get gas so I have a full tank for the next trip.

I wasn't home long before I began the first of many projects waiting for me. The afternoon sun comes in the back window of the fifth wheel so we have a shade which needs to be installed over the back window. Then everything on the floor of the motorhome needs to be removed to prepare for vacuuming and carpet cleaning. Click the photo to see home base.

Mt Shasta
Friday, June 1, 2018: This was a busy day with last day errands completed by 2:30. I was on the road north by 3:00. After four hours thirty-seven minutes I pulled into one of our favorite boondock locations at the base of Mt. Shasta. I arrived about an hour before dark for the night. The first quiet night since May 8. It seemed like a long drive after a morning and early afternoon of last minute details. Click this photo for a view of my camp location.
Night photography during the day
Thursday, May 31, 2018: This photo was done by a professional photographer hired by the real estate agent. I was really impressed because the photo was taken during the day. The night time effect was done using software called Lightroom which I own but did not think of doing something like this. Click the photo to enlarge. My day was busy with visits to the attorney, bank, funeral home, accountant then close credit card accounts. Only one more day and I'll be on the road to Oregon.
For sale on Turner Rd
Wednesday, May 30, 2018: It happened today, the sign guy came by and installed a sign for Erica to get more potential buyers as they drive by the house. The photographer also came by. He uses special software to turn the house into a virtual 3D tour. When it's ready, I'll post it. I saw one for the first time only a few days ago and I was really impressed.

Friend Ray has stopped to visit

Tuesday, May 29, 2018: Our friend Ray has stopped in Lodi to visit. He is on his way south in his Allegro Red motorhome to check out the Park Sierra Escapee Park in Coarsegold, California. Coarsegold is in the foothills at 1,800 feet to the east of Fresno, California. It is one of two Escapee parks in California and one of our favorites. Rays favorite park is Jajoba Hills in southern California but it may have a long wait list so I suggested he get into Park Sierra while waiting to rise to the top of the wait list at Jajoba. He is going to check it out.

For some reason, Ray and I always have a lot to talk about and this was no different. We talked most of the afternoon then went for pizza before talking some more while I took him for a tour of Lodi.

Ray and our mutual friend, Lynne were going to meet us in Telegraph Cove this summer. Since our plans have changed, they will go alone. We may be able to travel with them along the Oregon coast sometime in June.

California Delta drive looking for kayak launch locations
Monday, May 28, 2018: During the open house, the real estate agents would prefer I not be on the property. I took myself on a drive to a portion of the California Delta. This is a triangle area with the points of Sacramento, Stockton and Antioch. There is a thousand miles of waterways hidden in this area. It's an area where those with a boat love to visit for water sports, fishing, camping, marina restaurants and sight seeing. There are lots of boats in the San Francisco area who love to come up the San Joaquin and Sacramento Rivers to explore the area. I have kayaks some of the waterways so I know it's a good place to explore. The first of the delta waters is only about 12 miles from Lodi. A kayaker with more energy than me could easily make a multi day kayak camping trip in these waters. I made a video of the drive I did yesterday. There are levi systems everywhere to keep the water off the islands which sit lower than the water level. All this area use to flood during winter months but now it is all farm land with the water controlled by the levi system. These levi mounds are very steep and protected with large, sharp rocks so I still haven't found a good place to launch the kayaks other than the commercial boat launch location which usually like to charge. My drive took me to Westgate Landing first, then the B & W Resort, then Lighthouse Marina, then Isleton along the west side of the Sacramento River where I crossed to the east side into Walnut Grove. I ended in New Hope Landing before returning to Lodi. Enjoy the video. Click the photo above for a view of Highway 12 crossing the delta waters at Tower Park.

I met Don at the Farmer's Market

Sunday, May 27, 2018: Another full day today but I wanted to share with you what I did last Thursday. Every Thursday during the spring, summer and early fall, Lodi has a "Farmer's Market" on School Street, the main street of the old business district. It is very popular with lots of people walking the fair looking for fresh vegetables and other items. I happen to come across Don at an air ambulance membership booth. Gwen and I had just learned that Brook, Gwen's son David's significant other was taken by air ambulance from Crescent City, California to Medford, Oregon. That's probably 60 air miles. She is fine but the air ambulance bill came to $67,000. We still don't know how much of that bill will be covered by insurance and how much Brook will have to cover. With an air ambulance membership, the fee would be zero. It is surprisingly affordable, $300 for the "household" for five years. There are also other options but I chose the five year option. I asked for the definition of "household" and Don told me it was anyone who receives mail at the address on record, they do not have to be related. Don was a good guy, I enjoyed talking with him. I made a fairly long video of the market. Click the photo to enlarge.

Invited to a neighbor's backyard graduation party
Keeping the kids busySaturday, May 26, 2018: A busy day today. My sons Ben and Joe came to help clear out the rest of the house. We started with the piano. It turned out to be easier than I thought to move the piano but I forgot to take any photos. I chose to list with an agent during our Open House. We have very few lookers yesterday and today due to the holiday weekend. We need her sales help going forward and she offers a good rate. Later in the afternoon, Mom's next door neighbor, Larry, who gave Mom so much help, called to invite me to a backyard barbeque at his house. It turned out to be a celebration of graduation of one of Larry's grandchildren. It was a huge family celebration and I was privileged to join it. Larry did a smart thing to have a bounce house for the younger children. Click the above photo for another view.
The Open House begins
Friday, May 25, 2018: Erica, our agent, has begun a three day "Open House" to sell the house at 610 W Turner Rd, Lodi. Erica has gone all out. I have left Erica in charge and because the "owner" should not be around when buyers visit. Here is a video I posted tonight to many Facebook sales sites in Lodi and the county.
Mom's trash is gone
Thursday, May 24, 2018: Today is the day. I've been waiting all morning. After lunch, the truck arrived to haul off all the stuff my parents have been saving for 60 years. I didn't quite fill the bin so I offered space to the neighbors who have been helping. They filled it up. I always like watching the trash disappear. Here is a video of the trash leaving. Click the photo for another view.
Trying a new kayak
Meeting on a sand barWednesday, May 23, 2018: I got a chance today to try out a kayak Gwen is interested in. It is a recreational kayak, very light weight and only ten feet long. It's made of a new type of material, very tough and fast in the water. The owner of the Lodi kayak store, Headwaters, invited me to try the Eddyline Sky-10 at Lodi Lake. It turned out to be a paddle club with about twenty members showing up tonight. These were all levels of paddlers, some first time and others advanced well beyond my ability. Neither Gwen nor I have ever paddled a recreational kayak, ours have always been sea kayaks. I was surprised with the speed of this little kayak and how easy it was to turn. Several ladies owned the Sky-10 and I asked them many questions. They liked it for it's light weight and ease of handling. I liked it because of the quality of the build and the two bulkheads which gave a place to store gear and would keep the kayak from sinking if overturned. I mentioned all levels of kayakers showed up tonight. Every level reached the sandbar about two miles from the launch, exited their kayak, did a stretch and visit then back into the water for the return paddle. It was about two hours of kayaking. I think Gwen would like this boat.

Nearly full

Tuesday, May 22, 2018: A very busy day, more stuff into the dumpster bin until my appointment with my mother's financial advisor. I was able to get much work done with him. Then a nice burrito lunch with sister Dorana. About that time I got an offer from one of the real estate agents who looked at the house. She offered to run a three day "Open House" this weekend in a professional manner. For that, she would charge only a 2% commission if she sells it and nothing if she doesn't. My hope is to have an acceptable offer before Friday but if not, we would gladly give 2% to have the house sold this weekend. I took the rest of the afternoon to change my advertising on Craigslist, Facebook, Owners.com, Zillow plus three different Lodi Facebook selling groups. At the end of the afternoon we got our first offer on the house. It is a good offer but we need a much better offer to be able to stop the sales process and accept an offer. The dumpster bin is nearly full. I'm still looking for more to put in but fortunately, I'm not finding anything. I'm ready for it to be out of the driveway. Click the photo to enlarge.

Facebook page
Sunday, May 20, 2018: This was an "online" day. I spent nearly the whole day preparing online marketing for my mother's home. It is already listed on Zillow. I also added it to "owners.com" a "for sale by owners" site. I also added it to a Lodi Facebook items for sale site with 14,000 members. Then I created a Facebook page specifically for the house which you can see in the photo above. You can also click here for the 610 W Turner Rd. Facebook page. That part was fun to create. I could have built a Webpage for the house but a Facebook page makes it easy for people to communicate. My son Joe has been very helpful. Click the photo above for a larger view of the Facebook page or click HERE if you want to see the actual page.
Across town
In the neighborhood
Within 1/2 mile
Saturday, May 19, 2018: Saturday is open house day in Lodi so I took myself to three open houses to discover what a $330,000 house looks like in Lodi. All three houses were the same age as my mother's house. Two of the three houses were within one-half mile from my mother's house. The price range was $330,000 to $370,000. They were all smaller and none had been "renovated". All three had old kitchens, bathrooms, electrical, plumbing. The most expensive of the three had only a wall heater and window air conditioning. Two of the three had beautiful, polished hardwood floors. Mom's house also has hardwood floors but covered with carpet. Her house would show much better with the carpet removed and the floor refinished. My tour today told me that the $329,000 price is about right for Mom's house since it is in need of some serious repair.

The houseDon the termite inspector

Friday, May 18, 2018: I greeted Don from A-1 Pest Control this morning. He is doing the termite inspection for us. He wasn't looking very long until he showed me evidence of termites and explained the house would need a tent to get rid of them. "That sounds expensive." I said. He said, "Not bad, about $1,500." He continued his search and eventually crawled under the house. He will email the report to me by Tuesday with a bid to fix everything. I'm not sure what to expect. I saw lots of dry-rot when I was cleaning up and it will all have to be replaced. Later in the afternoon I worked on a Zillow ad to get the frenzy started. I've actually already had a call from someone wanting to see it. Perhaps I'll be back in Oregon before I expected.

 

Second Hand JoeCleaning

 

Thursday, May 17, 2018: I began the day with cleaning the west end of the house. I needed Mom's vacuum but found immediately the brush drive belt was broken. It made me wonder how long her caretakers had been using it with no powered brush. It was quick and easy to replace. This was a vacuum my mother purchased from a television ad and paid WAY too much money for it. I believe close to $500 but of course got "free" items with her purchase. A $100 vacuum could do better so don't get tricked by those TV ads. I also used the shop vac to vacuum the corners of each room. (Click the photo to see my Dad's shop vac.) About noon "Second Hand Joe" arrived to load donations for the Boys and Girls Club store. I call him "Second Hand Joe" but don't really know his name. He took everything which had not be spoken for. That included a few furniture items, dishes, trinkets. Now, once everything else is removed from the house I can finish the cleaning. Later in the afternoon the appraiser arrived at my request. He appraised the house at $335,000 and I needed to understand his appraisal since the house needs so many repairs. He was great help. In early evening, the next door neighbor arrived to view the house saying his family was interested in buying it. My goal is to have a sales contract with a buyer we located or have it listed with a real estate agent before going back to Oregon around June 2.

My mother at age 22

Wednesday, May 16, 2018: As we go through my mother's house cleaning out drawers and closets, we find lots of old photos. This one was taken in Pullman, Washington, May, 1947. My parents were in Pullman because my father was attending Washington State University getting a degree in poultry husbandry and animal nutrition. Mom is standing in front of the "cottage" they bought for $500. My dad fixed it up. When they left Pullman they sold the cottage for $5,000. Nice profit. My dad was in the Navy during World War II so he was attending college on the GI Bill. My mom won't be 22 for another six months in this photo. I was three months old. I'm sure I was a good baby, never complaining about anything.

Finding the Lodi Elks Club

 

Tuesday, May 15, 2018: A day of errands. I took two old TVs to the Tokay Recycle place, then drove to Staples with an old printer and scanner. They took those for recycle. A little grocery shopping came next. My final stop was the Lodi Elks Club which is really in the tiny town of Woodbridge (next door to Lodi). I had three US flags which must be disposed of correctly. The Elks club will take care of them properly. I also made appointments for a termite inspection plus a second hand store which will pick up the rest of the items in the house good enough for resale. The second hand store owner drives a Mercedes so business must be good.

Haxmat man!The dumpster arrives

Monday, May 14, 2018: This was a serious work day since now I have my "hazmat" suit and the dumpster has arrived in our driveway. When I called for the dumpster I was told they had only two sizes, 20 yard and 40 yard so I chose the smaller of the two. My father had used a storage room at the back of the house for many valuable-to-him items but then had not visited that room for many years. He passed away 7 years ago and certainly no one has visited that room in those seven years. I could imagine all sorts of wild things, insects, spiders and toxic dust in there. I ordered a hazmat suit on Amazon ($8.82) and used the respirator I found in the garage. Fortunately, my brother-in-law, Ed and next door neighbor, Larry came to help and we made quick work of that storage room as well as my old garage bedroom which my Dad had turned into a "catch-all" room. I was actually surprised because it could have been worse. I thought we might fill the dumpster but only made it half full. We put several items onto the sidewalk in front of the bin with a sign "FREE" and everything disappeared quickly. Click the photos for more views.

Lucy found great-grandpaLet's play in a box
Sunday, May 13, 2018: My daughter, Mindy, her husband Scott, plus Lucy and Elise came to visit great-grandma's home and to be with me on Mother's Day. Lucy had a request, she wanted to see where great-grandpa was buried. After some searching we found his grave marker in a Lodi cemetary. Her next request was to go on a hike in the nature area where great-grandpa was a docent. So while hiking, we found the plaque next to his bench in the Lodi Lake Nature Area. Click both photos for additional views.

I'd rather have a pancake!Spinach for breakfast?

Saturday, May 12, 2018: Noah was the first awake so I invited him to the motorhome for breakfast. He wanted pancakes so I fixed pancakes and jokingly told him I'd put mushrooms and spinach into his pancakes. Nope! But he ate several pancakes. Then I showed him the spinach and mushrooms. He decided he would eat the spinach, and ... he DID! But NO mushrooms! Click his photo! Next, Chloe came for breakfast. She too wanted a pancake so she finished off a pancake the size of her plate. Click her photo too. Chloe, Noah and their Dad had a special day planned with my sister Dorana. They dropped me off at the Enterprise Car Rental company so I could pick up a Kia Rio. Then they drove to the park for a short exercise before taking off to Dorana's house.

Help has arrived

Friday, May 11, 2018: Hurray! Help has arrived! Doris' great-grand-children, Chloe and Noah have arrived with their Dad to help with great-grandmother's house. They always loved to visit great-grandmother because she has a large concrete driveway for them to ride their scooters. They will miss their monthly trips to Lodi.

Chloe has taken an interest in playing the piano and great-grand-mother has a piano which I have been trying to get their Dad to take home. He was reluctant due to the weight and lack of space. However, during this visit, Chloe downloaded a piano lesson APP to her iPad and began learning from it. The first night she had to be forced away from the piano to go to bed. By the time she left for home, she was proud to announce she had learned FIVE notes for her right hand, "C, D, E, F and G". Her lesson APP teach how to read music at the same time it teaches keyboarding. Dad is convinced. The piano will go home with them. Here is a short video of Chloe at the piano.

Doris with her great grandchildren
Thursday, May 10, 2018: My two sisters and I visited my mother's financial advisor and her attorney today before continuing the process of sorting the items in the house. I found this photo of Doris with her two granddaughters and three of her great grandchildren. Family was always an important part of her life.

May 9, 2018: I'm parked in Mom's driveway, maybe for the last time. Mom's house will be for sale as soon as we can get it ready. My sisters have already been working hard at cleaning everything out of the house. There will be weeks of events and healing.

Mom at age 90
Tuesday, May 8, 2018: This was a traveling day from Sutherlin, Oregon to Lodi, California. This is my Mother's town since 1963. She passed away over the weekend, hence my trip to Lodi to be with my sisters during our time of grief. My mother was 92-1/2 years old. She passed quickly which was a blessing for her.
Again in Bandon on the way home. A bat in our awning
Monday, May 7, 2018: A travel day from Brookings to Sutherlin. We passed this fish made of ocean trash in Bandon. This time, no lunch, just drinks in Bandon. When we arrived home I rolled out our patio awning. We hadn't done it earlier because we were leaving for British Columbia. However, events have caused our plans to change and we will likely spend the summer in Sutherlin with short trips here in Oregon. When I rolled out the awning this little bat dropped onto the patio table. At first I thought it dead, but soon realized it was just stunned. Bats are our friends and welcome here in the park. They eat their weight in mosquitoes each night. Click the bat photo for a close up view. Yes, the little guy recovered and is off eating bugs tonight.

Gwen with her daughter Lesa

 

Sunday, May 6, 2018: Gwen and her daughter Lesa can't get enough of the beach so they are on another beach hike. The dog is Maize and belongs to Gwen's son Dave. Click the photo for another beach view.

Watching the waves
Saturday, May 5, 2018: Dave, Brook, Lesa, Gwen and I are watching the waves on the Brookings beach. This was low tide and a preparation to walking the beach. Overcast all morning then broken sun in the afternoon. Click the photo for another view.
The view from Dave and Brooks new home
Friday, May 4, 2018: We are stay in the guest room at Dave (Gwen's son) and Brook's new home. This is the view from their picture window. A perfect place to watch the fishermen and the approaching storms. They haven't gotten use to the view yet. This is the evening view from last night. Click the photo for today's view.
A lunch stop on travel day
Thursday, May 3, 2018: This is a travel day from Sutherlin, Oregon to Brookings, Oregon. Our halfway point and lunch stop is the Fish and Chips Chowder House in Bandon by the Sea, Oregon. It is an overcast day on the coast. The Chowder House is a Bandon favorite and always a line of folks waiting for their fish.

Monday, April 30, 2018: This is my new favorite tune! In fact, I think Curtis Salgado is my new favorite artist!

Kayaking Cooper Creek Reservoir

Wild life on the lakeIris along the lake

 

Wednesday, April 25, 2018: Time to prepare for a summer at Telegraph Cove, British Columbia. I need to spend as much time kayaking to improve my skills. Fortunately Cooper Creek Reservoir is only a ten minute drive from home base. It's not a large lake but large enough. One trip to the far end and back is 4.2 miles. That is almost enough to get to Hanson Island off Telegraph Cove and back. As I build endurance, I'll have to do the lake more than once. Click each of these photos for another view of Cooper Creek Reservoir. I also did a video of the drive from home base to the lake. You'll see an older part of Sutherlin, Oregon, the route to the lake, and you get to listen to Mozart along the way.

The kayaks are home
Saturday, April 21, 2018: This was a travel day to Klamath Falls and return, 3 hours driving each way. When Gwen was visiting her daughter earlier in the month she had taken the kayaks since I couldn't transport them with the motorhome. She left them in Klamath Falls with her daughter when she continued to home base in Sutherlin. The weather was finally good enough for us to make the trip. Of course, Lesa had a "to-do" list when we arrived so we spent several hours before packing the kayaks and returning. We have Cooper Creek Reservoir only three miles from home base so I can get the chance to practice my kayaking skills before heading north to British Columbia.

Gwen with her friends at the Douglas County Quilt ShowJoy is the leader of the quilt trip

 

Friday, April 20, 2018: While I said home to work on projects, Gwen went with her "Sit and Sew" group to explore the Douglas County Quilt Show at the Douglas County Fair Grounds. The girls left early this morning with the plan to explore most of the day at the quilt show. Gwen thought the show was slightly smaller than last year but it was crowded. I didn't see them again until 3 pm. Meanwhile, I repaired the fifth wheel furnace, a light switch in the fifth wheel and removed the shower "cartridge" from Miss Dory. I also scrubbed two throw rugs from Miss Dory with a brush and soap, hosed them off then hung to dry.

Welcome back snowbirds
Thursday, April 19, 2018: Timber Valley RV Park has a large clubhouse. Tonight we had a "Welcome Back Snowbirds" dinner in the clubhouse. This is just one of the many activities which happen in the clubhouse. Each night (7days each week) is game night of some sort or another. The clubhouse also has a lending library of books and videos. Various clubs meet during the day. Gwen always goes to the "Sit and Sew" club on Tuesday morning. I attend only the Webpage committee meetings. Tonight's dinner was not ready on time so to entertain the group, each "Snowbird" had to tell where they have been and what adventures they had. I was brief because the couple before us spoke for 15 minutes. After mentioning our Arizona adventures, I told them I had volunteered to take care of the clubhouse bathrooms until I left again at the end of May. I further told them "Not to use the bathrooms until I leave." That got a chuckle.
Our winter adventure to Arizona is over
Tuesday, April 17, 2018: We are back at "home base" from our Arizona adventure, the Escapee Park in Sutherlin, Oregon. We plan some changes and repairs to Miss Dory then off again on our next adventure toward the end of May. It has been raining since we arrived but it promises to be clear tomorrow. I have volunteered to clean the clubhouse bathrooms again and will do that everyday until we leave. Today, I cleared out several of the Miss Dory hatches and will repack them with our summer stuff. I pulled out bags of rocks we collected in Arizona as well as the metal flowers we bought in Quartzsite. The four, five gallon jugs I used for fresh water in the desert will be left here until next fall. It's nice to have our own washer/dryer again.

 

 
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