11/28/10

Greetings from Portland!

We are still getting used to the time change.  Last night I fell asleep at 8:30am and this morning John got up at 4:00am, and I was up by 5:00am.  Tonight I’m going to force myself to stay up until 10:00am to help get adjusted. The weather here has been very overcast and wet. Had a high of 44° and will get down to 35° tonight. So not really warm, but not too cold. Can be outside with a hoodie or light jacket on. It rains about 50% of the day – a slow drizzle. The sun peeks out now and then for a little bit. The rain does keep the place looking nice and clean and fresh. The grass here is nice and bright green but most of the flowers are done for the year.

Here’s some pictures of our site at the Rolling Hills RV Park:

View down the road we are on

Our site - nice concrete slap

View down the road

This morning we went for breakfast at a place called Sharis – it’s a chain resturant along the line of a Perkins. Then afterwards we went to Lowe’s to purchase some paving bricks. The grassy areas around the motor home are very soft and underneath there’s wet soupy clay soil. The worst spot is right outside our door – so purchased some paving bricks to keep us out of the mud when going in and out. Our site already had some pavers in place for a RV that had a door in the middle – so we extended the path to reach our front door. Here’s the end result:

We missed not having the Subaru because we had to put all 30 of the bricks we purchased, along with two cinder blocks, in the back seat of the Jeep. After the landscaping project was completed, we took the Jeep to a car wash to get the remainder of the road grime from the trip removed and to vacuum out the mess left by the blocks. John then spent the remainder of the morning working on obtaining a replacement solenoid for the ice cube maker water line. He took the broken one out and to it to camping world. Today they had the exact part he needed in stock – the guy he talked to there yesterday said they did not have any…. He was happy to have that job completed. Only big project left is to order a replacement slide out awning. He is going to call Winnebago tomorrow and see what they tell him. I did laundry while John was doing this thing. The laundry room here is decent and they have a nice adjacent club room to hang out in while waiting for clothes to get done.

Around 3:00pm we decided to take the light rail train to downtown Portland. Their train system is called the “TriMet Max” and it seems relatively new. It took us 45 minutes to get downtown, but was a nice way to see the area. We then walked around downtown window shopping and through the Westfield mall. We went to a toy store and John purchased me a Zhu-Zhu pet – they look like large hamsters and I guess they walk around and make noise. Have not played with it yet…. It was fun watching John stand in the check out line with the little toy.

Some of the stores downtown

Large ornaments at the Westfield mall

We then walked around outside some more and decided to stop at the Rock Bottom Brewery for supper. I had a yummy shrimp gnocchi that was quite spicy. After supper we then hopped back on the train and made it home by 8:00pm.

Tomorrow it’s back to work for me. It seems like I’m starting a new consulting job, but I will be working on the same projects that I was in Milwaukee – just in different location. So once I find my new work area and get my computer setup it will be back to business. It will be nice to get “back to normal”, I guess… I’m sure it will be a big adjustment for John to be working remote again, but I’m sure he will also get back in the swing of things in a few days.

I’m off to do some computer stuff and force myself to stay awake until 10:00pm, even though it feels like being up until Midnight.

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11/27/10 #4

We’re all setup now.  John spent a few hours working on installing the new water filtration system that we purchased yesterday at Lowe’s.  We then worked together to wash the motor home – it was filthy with road grime and dirt/gravel from the road.  They use a reddish gravel on the roads when they get slick – it sticks to everything….

John's Dirty Jeep - enlarge picture to get full effect :)

The last few hours of our trip was over crappy snow covered roads.  John said he never felt the motor home slide and it seemed quite stable on the snow and slush.  The drive through the Columbia Gorge along the Columbia River was very pretty.  Lots of snow covered pine trees along the river and mountains.  Here’s a few pictures I took today:

Crappy roads heading out of Pendleton, OR

Roads getting a bit better going along Columbia River.

Heading through the gorge

Another picture in the gorge

Front of the tacky tshirt I purchased for John this morning from the truck stop in Pendleton. John says it properly portraits what it is like going down Cabbage Hill.

After washing the RV we got cleaned up and headed over to Camping World – it is only a mile down the road from us – along with a Super Walmart – nice and convenient.  John wanted to get our 30 lbs propane tank filled.  Camping World does not do propane, but told him to head over to a nearby Loves travel center.  We did and their propane island was out of order.  We then decided to just find somewhere to eat and worry about the propane tomorrow.  John drove around for 10 minutes and finally asked me if I wanted Taco Bell or Long John Silvers….  Hell No!  I whipped out my iPhone and found a decent place that has steak and seafood called Francis Xavier.

On the way to the restaurant John noticed a gas station that had a propane island and stopped in.  He spent 15 minutes waiting for the kid to fill the tank.  There’s something wrong with the tank and it was not able to be filled.  He was charged for the 1/2 gallon of propane that was dispensed into the air….

Made it to the restaurant and enjoyed a nice meal.  I had their $15.95 steak and lobster special.  It was quite good – better then expected.  John enjoyed their fish and chips – also looked good.  We decided it was our anniversary supper – since we meet 13 years ago on the weekend after Thanksgiving.

So now back at the MoHo relaxing and appreciating not sleeping in a truck stop with the wind blowing hard.  Tomorrow John will continue working on the MoHo.  He still needs to find a replacement solenoid for the ice cube maker system.  He inquired about one at Camping World, but the one they had in stock did not look quite right to him.  He will take the broken one with him when he goes back tomorrow.

A big thank you for all of the comments, emails, IM’s and phone calls during our exodus from Wisconsin!  It was nice being connected while out on the long trip.  Will be interesting to see where we end up after Portland….  After this trip I hope we stay here for awhile…… at least until the Spring thaw 🙂

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11/27/10 #3

We’ve made it. We’re getting setup and etc. Will post more when we get out of “Travel Mode”.

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11/27/10 #2

We are making slow by steady progress on the snow packed road. We are st mile maker 132 on i84.

It is lightly snowing and the road is a sloppy mess. John has been going slow but confidently up and down the hills.

We are hoping to driv out of the snow and into rain un next 30 mins.

Will post again in few hours.. Only 130 miles to go.

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11/27/10 #1

Good morning from Oregon.

We made it back on the road by 7:15am. We are not used to time change yet – going to bed early and getting up early…

John filled the diesel tanks and the propane tanks before we left. I purchases John one of the “I survived Cabbage Hill” t-shirts. I could tell je wanted one.

Roads not very good this morning – freezing rain right now. Hoping it changes over to rain soon.

Only 5 more hours to go…

Will update again in few hours,…

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11/26/10 #5

We’ve stopped for the evening in Pendleton, OR.

After we left Boise, Idaho we had pretty good driving until night fall.  When we got into the mountains in Oregon and it started to snow and the wind picked up.  Driving at night here is an interesting experience because it is so dark – there’s no lights along the road at all.  Only light is the headlights of the MoHo and the other vehicles.

So John got to drive through Dead Man’s Pass in the dark with the snow coming down hard and the wind drifting snow over the road.  Then once we got to the western side of the mountain the snow changed to freezing rain and then just rain.  John got to drive down Cabbage Hill with snow mixed with freezing rain that eventually changed over to just rain.  John thinks we got off the hill just in time before it became very dangerous.  The weather radio says 4 to 5 inches of show is going to fall there overnight…

Once we got out of the mountains we pulled over at the Arrowhead Travel Center in Pendleton for the night.  It is still raining and the wind is blowing hard – can really feel the MoHo rock back and forth when the gusts hit.  They sell “I survived Cabbage Hill” t-shirts at the fuel desk – I should get one for John…..

The 4 to 5 hour drive tomorrow should be relatively flat and comparatively easy.  John wants to stop at a truck wash tomorrow to have the salt and road grime removed from the exterior and bottom of the MoHo.  I’m looking forward to getting setup at the rv park in Portland sometime tomorrow afternoon.  I’m heading off to read and get a good nights sleep….  feels like a being on a cruise ship with it rocking back and forth in the wind… will rock me to sleep…

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11/26/10 #4

Greetings from Boise Idaho.

We stopped at Camping World at exit 44 for a chance to get up and walk a bit. John noticed water coming from the exterior of the water bay – not good.

He found the water intake diverter valve had cracked from the freezing conditions lady night. He open up a toolbox riffled through it and found replacement part fir it. Good!

Then he noticed that the water filter enclosure had also cracked and needed to be replaced. We stopped at a nearby Lowe’s and found a replacement one that he will replace when we get to Portland. I hope that is the extent of the damage from the cold weather..

John plans to disassemble the entire water bay to see why it is not being heated properly. It kept warmer in the past. He also hopes to determine which water pipe keeps freezing and insulate it better.

The drive has been fine. Coming into Idaho there was some drifting snow on the road and only one lane was clear in spots – but did not last long.

John wants to drive for 4 or 5 more hours tonight – wants to get to the warm side of the mountains yet tonight…

Will post again in a few hours….

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11/26/10 #3

We are in Idaho now. There’s more snow here and the roads a bit snow covered in spots. Not too bad, but noticeable.

Temps are in the mid 20’s and our cold water lines are still frozen. We hope the pipes have not been damaged when they thaw. John checked the solenoid that controls water to ice maker and it appears damaged. He closed valve to it as a precaution.

The front windshield wipers are not spraying fluid on front windows when button is pressed. Probably frozen as well. John stopped at a rest area and sprayed Windex on windows while I turned wipers on and off.

Starting to get a bit windy again – nothing like yesterday, but noticeable.

Will post again in few hours….

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11/26/10 #2

We are making good time so far today. We are now on 84 west – it has lots of twists and turns but the road is dry and the wind is low.

The scenery continues to be very rugged and pretty. Will attempt to upload pic to facebook.

Will post again in few hours.

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11/26/10 #1

Greetings from Wyoming!

We had a decent evening at Little America. We both enjoyed their turkey dinner special with pumpkin pie at their restaurant. Nice way to end s crappy day…

We made on the road by 7:30am. We are still having problems with the cold water pipes in MoHo. Still have hot water so was able to get freshened up at the sink.

We purchased 66 gallons of diesel fuel before hitting the road. Our average mileage yesterday was only 5.65 mpg – not good. Should be better today coming out of the mountains.

We plan on making it well into Oregon today. Not exactly sure where we will stop tonight – depends on the weather and John…. Will be going through Salt Lake City in a few hours.

Right now the view is quite rugged and pretty – just a dusting of snow on ground.

Will post again in few hours…

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