We are beginning to get into a groove, and have already had some memorable experiences. At our first campsite, the Sportsman State Park on our first official whole day of being nomads, Mitch and I decided to take our bikes to Walmart. We were both excited about our first outing, me especially because it meant I could use my bike basket. We had to walk up a steep little hill to a trail, and then off we went. It was rocky, bumpy and more peddle power than anticipated. I had mapped out Walmart on my phone, and yet I said turn left and we were supposed to go right. After taking off our bulky coats, re-arranging, turning around after leading us in the wrong direction, off I go, with no Mitch behind me… I hear in the distance “BABY!” I stop, thinking he just wanted to catch up, and then I see him walking his bike. I ride back to him, and he says, “I got a flat.” Oh no! We walk back to the site, add tire tubes to our list and drive to Walmart. Papa stayed at the site with the dogs, and when we return we find that he had put the leash on Milo’s collar and not the harness and he got away from him. When he did get ahold of him, the squirmy little booger wiggled in papa’s arms so much that he lost his balance and ended up falling! Thankfully he was okay, a little sore from the experience but is doing just fine and he said after he fell, Milo came right to him and didn’t run off! Go figure!
We had a couple friends stop by to visit while in Yakima, a life long friend of Mitch’s was out of town but his wife came and visited for a while, and it was nice to catch up with her. Later in the evening a friend from DOC, Ray and his wife Tressa came by. When I met his wife, I thought she looked familiar, she thought i looked familiar, and what do you know, we went through CORE together! It was great catching up with her and meeting Ray. Good people, good times. They too live in an RV! They left Spokane this summer and moved near Yakima to learn the business of cutting meat on the mountain. They are buying a meat processing business called Nile Valley Game Processing and Smoking . I’ll tell you, they know how to make good stuff! They brought us some of their most delicious specialties. My favorite is the chili cheese sticks and of course their peppered jerky. If you are a hunter or need someone to process your meat, they’re the ones for the job. Their number is (509) 714-8896 and address is 4721 S.R. 410 Naches, WA 98937.
Second site, third day of adventures we were in Oregon and went to the Champoeg State Park. Come to find out, even in the fall they are busy! Heard more than once after arriving that you need to make reservations 9 months in advance for weekends if you want to stay! Now we know! Still no bike ride, or lovely evening stroll, we ended up searching the whole night to find another place to stay near Portland.
Third site, fourth day and we are back in Washington after finding Battleground State Park Near Vancouver, WA, It was first come first serve, so we rushed there in the morning on Friday. It was beautiful, super wooded and peaceful. It was muddy and pretty tight trying to fit our home in the longest of the sites, thankfully the camp host was there to help us back it in.
As we settle in for our longest stay yet, 3 nights, Mitch tackles the flat tire problem on his bike. Only to find that he has two flats! He must have rode through a patch of goat head stickers. Those pesky little pokey fellas were all over in his tires. After another trip to the store to get the tubes, find a place to print off paperwork and get our brakes checked (little smoky after our first hill we descended) Mitch had fixed his bike!! He hopped on his bike to take it for a little ride, went off the pavement into the ivy next to our site and rode right through a hidden Charlie poop! Oh the humor of it all!
We decided to only stay two nights at Battleground based on the weather, but we did get to see his wonderful sister Cindy a couple times and my dear friend Alice. While spending time with Cindy I told her about my shoe dilemma that I had before leaving and that I still hadn’t counted them. So her and I went and did an official count. I have 21 pair of shoes, and the funny thing is, when I showed her my hats she said I should count those too. I have 21 hats! She found that quite funny and I said “well, if anything I got one hat for each pair of shoes!” During our organizing I found 6 lint rollers, 5 super glues, 6 almost used clear tape rolls, and a drawer full of floss! Talk about accumulating stuff over the years! We are looking forward to returning to Oregon next summer and spending more time with our friends and family.
During our travels towards California we stayed at the Walmart in Roseburg, OR. It was glorious fall weather, and seemed like a really quant town. The parking lot was huge, clean and they even had an area where we could take the dogs. Thanks Walmart!
Monday we were driving again, going towards California, driving on hwy 138 to I70 and going down I-5 towards Lancaster CA to see family and warmer weather. We are trying to avoid passes, as our truck is not happy climbing hills! With routing around passes we went through some of the most beautiful sights!
After coming down off the pass, which by the way, was super easy ,we stop to fill up on fuel. As I take the dogs out to do their business I see sparkling black spots under the truck. Yep, oil leak!! Ugh. The station guy sends us across the street to a mechanic and the guy says, “I don’t work on newer trucks, best bet is the wash the underneath and look for the leak”. We arrive into Klamath Falls, OR and search for a car wash. After finding one and realizing there was no getting in with the trailer, we go to Walmart to drop off the trailer. Once Mitch cleaned off all the oil under the truck and identified the location of the leak, we decide to call a business in town that we had passed called My Mechanic.
I spoke with a gentleman about the truck and where the leak was coming from. He seemed apprehensive about working on it and I asked what was his hesitation. He said that since it seems like it is coming from above the oil pan, it is most likely the timing chain cover and it is not an easy fix, it could be a couple days and $1,200! After hanging up, I cried. When will all this stop! Haven’t we already had enough repairs? What are we going to do?
I was at the end, close to throwing in the towel on our whole journey, as it just seemed like one thing after another with this truck! Mitch suggested just going there anyway and having them look at it. When we arrived a Gentleman named Dale, the father of the person I spoke to came out to look at our truck.
He looked under the engine, under the hood, and said, “that’s it right there, I can have that fixed for you in 2 minutes. It’s a rubber seal that has a crack.”
Now came tears of joy and relief! I gave Dale a huge hug and cried a little more! He said, “ just give me $10 and we’ll call it good.” We were so relieved and grateful, thanking Dale and thanking God! Now with smiles on our face we went back, hooked up the trailer and off we went. We made it to Lodi, CA and stayed the night at the Pilot. Had our morning coffee, I making my coco-jo (half hot chocolate, half coffee), which is by far the yummiest way to go with gas station coffee, we were on our way again.
5 more hours of driving and we have made it to our destination. We are staying at the Sierra Trails RV park in Mojave, CA for a whole week!
We are looking forward to organizing; washing laundry, relaxing, visiting family and just slowing down, oh and getting stinking ball joints in the truck! Yep, still putting out money on the truck, but thankfully we avoided one big cost! Thanks again Dale at My Mechanic in Klamath Falls!!!