Friday, July 31, 2015

Lunch with Bloggers, LuminAID Lanterns

Barbara and Ron picture from their blog

When we realized we were headed directly to Washington, and Barbara saw that we would be in the same area as her and Ron would be in, we all decided to have a “blogger meet up”, which typically means, “Lunch or Dinner”.  This time it was lunch, and Barbara, being low on bits and bytes with her cellular data plan, asked me to find a place and email her the location.  Well, I picked a place called “Chestnut Cottage Restaurant”, and it turned out to a perfect place for a blogger lunch.  The menu had variety, the food was good, the service was good, and the place was charming.  Best of all  was the company…it was truly a pleasure to meet Barbara and Ron.  Barbara has been authoring the blog “The Road Less Traveled”, in its current format, since early 2008.  Prior to that she was doing another blog, might have been under the same name or another, that I cannot remember.  I know I have been reading her blogs since at least 2005, give or take a year.  I also follow her sister’s blog, “Life on the Open Road”, but I did not realize they were sisters until just a few years ago.  It is always a pleasure to meet fellow bloggers who are on the road, and a real pleasure when you have followed them for so very long.  And yes, she follows and comments on our blog too.


We were telling them about how we had recently ordered LuminAID PackLite Spectra Lantern and set one up in the motorhome last night as a floor light.  By 3 am its battery ran out, and I turned on the second one. At 7:30 this morning that one was still going.  What is nice about them is they are solar powered, and they fold up to take a very small amount of room for storage.
We refolded them and put them on the dash of our car as we traveled into town, and later on our short road trip up to Hurricane Ridge. Now they are ready for tonight.  There are so many large trees at our campground that we just could not get them charged by setting them outside.  Normally we turn on our floor lights, but without any electrical hookups in the park, this was a better way of handling lighting for the floor.  Amazingly, it puts out a lot light.  You blow them up like a beach ball, and the light just luminates out from all sides except the solar side.  The style we got comes in many different colors just by clicking the on switch.  There is an orange strap which allows you to hang them from hooks, awnings, side mirrors, cabinets handles, etc.  It shinned so much last night that I ended up putting it on the floor near the fridge across from the bathroom…and that worked out just great.   LuminAID, has distributed over 10,000 lights in more than 50 countries to individuals in need of a better, safer, and cleaner source of light through their “Give Light, Get Light” program. Marsha first saw these on Shark Tank, and this is the first time we have had a reason to use them. 

Puget Sound- Port Angeles - Sequim Area

About a dozen miles up the road from our campground is the Hurricane Ridge area.  We stopped and picked up the dogs, and headed on up there after our lunch meeting and a drop by to Walmart.  Unfortunately, the smoky/smoggy skies would not allow a good picture, so I am going to try and head up there early in the morning and see what I can get.  So I will tell the story of Hurricane Ridge tomorrow.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Heart O’ the Hills–Olympic National Park

 Puget Sound along US 101

Casino Parking Lot Camping worked out great!  By 7:30 this morning we were on the road again…both amazed that the parking lot full of cars was empty except for a small handful of cars, and the dozen or so RVs parked in the back near us.  The drive up to Port Angeles was very pretty, and above you can see one of our first opportunities to get a picture of the Puget Sound, which is named after Peter Puget, a Huguenot lieutenant accompanying Captain George Vancouver's Expedition (Vancouver was an officer of the British Royal Navy).

 Puget Sound along US 101

With the sun raising up over the east, many of our glimpses were through trees and bushes, with the sun glaring on us.

 Puget Sound along US 101

Sometimes Marcia was able to get a more northern view (first pictures) or southern view (above), and what a view it was!

US 101

But much of the drive was just a pretty, tree lined two lane highway, which goes through a number of small communities, and provides that occasional glimpse of the Puget Sound.

Heart O’ the Hills Campground, Olympic National Park

We arrived at Heart O’ the Hills Campground in the Olympic National Park around 10:30.  Entrance fee was free with the senior pass, and camping fees were $10 per night with the pass, and we paid for three nights.  There are five different loops in the campground, and a total of 105 camping spots.  It is difficult to find a spot large enough to accommodate our 28’ motorhome and little HHR.  Tried a spot that fit the motorhome but the car could not fit without blocking the road.  We found this spot, loop A campsite #10 which just does fit us. 

Heart O’ the Hills Campground, Olympic National Park

We are along the road, but there is little traffic and no dust kicks up.  Those who have passed by today so far have been looking for a spot for themselves, although there have be a few who just want to look around.  For the most part there are small trailers and tent-trailers.

Heart O’ the Hills Campground, Olympic National Park

For the most part, this is the lush green forest that we gaze out upon….what a lovely, and cool (80 degrees at 3 pm) place to be.  Of course, with all these trees, there is no room for very much solar power…so we will have to run our generator just a little more, but we hope it is not too much…perhaps 90 minutes per day.


At 5 pm I drove through all five loops.  Loop A, where we are, has two open spots, and there are about twenty open spots altogether in the other loops.  Only one or two “might” have met our needs.  I read that this campground was laid out for tent camping, and RVs was an afterthought.  Perhaps that is why so many sites are small, narrow and at a slant.  If you have a Class A, you are pretty much out of luck…only saw one modern class A in the park, and two smallers, older, Class A motorhomes.  I am just glad we got here as early as we did…or we would have been going to plan “B”, which would have cost more money, and not had nearly the appeal this place has.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Little Creek Casino – Parking Lot Camping

Little Creek Casino

Our dear blogging friends Karen and Tony camped at Little Creek Casino a few weeks ago and blogged about it on their blog Rolling in a RV - Wheelchair Traveling.  Little Creek has a RV park, but it is way over priced in my opinion, and there are a number of RV’s in the parking lot like we are…

Little Creek Casino RV Park

…despite there being room in the RV Park.

Little Creek Casino Parking Lot Camping     Little Creek Casino Parking Lot Camping

If it wasn’t so darn hot, I think we would not mind the crowded lot…what you see above is the back of the lot, back by the RV park, which is where the parking lot campers seem to hang out.
Little Creek Casino Parking Lot Camping

I did have to un-hook the HHR, so we are taking up three spots…not that they will be needed.  We arrived around 6 pm, and the parking lot is thinning a bit with one motorhome leaving…which had it left 45 minutes earlier we could have parked along the side of the lot and not un-hooked.

Little Creek Casino totem pole

Bubba is begging me to take him over to this totem pole.  I don’t know why because I have only seen him raise his leg less than ten times.

We drove 400 miles today, leaving the hospital RV park at 5:30 am (way early for us), stopping at a Rest Area near Tumwater for a few hours before finishing up the last 40 miles or so.  Other than the traffic in Portland, due a lot to a protest by the Sierra Club against Shell where "kayaktivists" are blocking a repaired Shell Oil icebreaker from leaving town, and today were joined by Greenpeace activists who rappelled down the St. Johns Bridge.


I think there were many more cars on the road trying to “get a view”, and the radio said that morning rush hour was at a crawl due to the gawkers.  As it is, all went well with us.  Tomorrow we plan to leave around 7:30 and head to the Heart of the Hills Campground in Olympic National Park and see if we can grab a spot for the weekend.  This is a first come, first serve 100+ camping spots park.  On Sunday we will get into a RV park near Port Angeles so that we can go over to Canada on Monday or Tuesday.

Marcia update:  Doing much better today…still having some issues but eating the right foods for a person with Diverticulitis, along with taking two antibiotics, is helping a lot.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Medford Dog Park, a Dog’s Perspective

Medford Dog Park    Medford Dog Park

“Hey dad,” says Bubba, “Last time Skruffy gave the Dog Perspective, this time it is my turn.  OK?”  

Ok with me Bubba, go ahead and tell the story….

When I first got to the Dog Park, I thought I was in Arny’s backyard again!  I searched all over, but no Arny.  Can you see me in that picture in the upper right?

Medford Dog Park

Yep, there I am over by the…..HEY DAD!

“Yes Bubba, you are doing fine, go ahead and continue.” 

BUT DAD, I don’t remember seeing that pink ribbon sticking out of the grass…where did it come from?

“Well Bubba, if you remember…my mom found out about having Breast Cancer right before we left…and I told our blog readers before we left Sacramento that I was adding a pink ribbon to all of our pictures in honor of my mamma.”

Oh, ok…I must have been sleeping when you did that.

“No Bubba, I think you were in Arny’s garage that day rolling in the bondo dust right after I cut your hair and gave you a bath….anyway, continue your story”

Medford Dog Park    Medford Dog Park

I followed that big huge wall, and went way out to the corner looking for Arny…couldn’t see him, couldn’t smell him…but I did smell so many other dogs that for awhile there I was just in my own little world…

Medford Dog Park

So I worked my way back to that bench area, when from my right I hear this very familiar “jingle”, and then a “BARK - BARK - BARK”.  Oh no, it’s Skruffy running over to me…that sure snapped me out of my little world….

Medford Dog Park

Ok Skruffy, what do you want now?   Yes, I saw those other dogs….Oh, ok, I will go sniff them with you.

Medford Dog Park

Hey Skruffy, I thought you said “Go Sniff”, not “Get Sniffed”!

Medford Dog Park

Yea, this one I heard from way out there….I think I finally found a dog with a bigger mouth than you Skruffy.

Medford Dog Park

Watch out Skruffy, this one looks like he sees lunch coming his way.

Medford Dog Park

I know dad was wanting to go pretty soon, so I started up the fence on the other side of the park.

Medford Dog Park

I circled this tree a couple of times…still no Arny, but there sure were a lot smells around that tree!

Medford Dog Park

Ok dad, I hear you calling….thanks for letting me tell the story…that park was sure fun, but nothing, and I mean NOTHING tops Arny’s backyard!

“Thank you Bubba, now I will talk about where we are staying just a bit.”

Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center RV Parking    Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center RV Parking

There are six spots at the hospital for RVs, each with water and electricity.  There is no cost, and it is short term unless you have a special circumstance which requires a longer stay.  However, there is no place to dump, so you have to take care of that yourself.

Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center    Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center
Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center

At night it was very quiet.  Around 8 we heard a helicopter land, then take off again a few minutes later.  We heard no sirens, few cars.  Happy we only have to be here for two nights…but it sure could be worse.  Tomorrow we head further north into Washington.

note:  Marcia has had a good day.  Says thanks to all well wishers.

Diverticulitis = Free, but Painful Campsite

 Belly Ache

When a mother of three says, “This hurts more than child birth”, it is time to breakout the left over Oxycodone from my oral surgery back in 2012.  And before anyone says, “Those were old, they should have been tossed out!”, try saying that to Marcia who felt relief within 15 minutes, fell asleep within 25 minutes, and gave me a chance to find us a medical facility. 

Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center ER Check-in

On Saturday she complained about a belly ache that I think started Friday night.  By Saturday night she was feeling better, to awaken Sunday with another belly ache, which was better by the time we left.  Today she told me that she felt so much better…that was just as we entered Redding.  By the time we got to Yreka, she was in such heavy pain she asked me about the Oxycodone.  There is a real nice rest area half way between Yreka and the Oregon boarder, so I stopped there, found a nice shady spot with 78 degree weather, gave her a pill, and started doing research on medical facilities in Medford.  I called a Urgent Care type of place, and they suggested going to a hospital because they would have all the equipment to test her.  There are two in Medford, and she was forbidden from telling me which one was the best….so I simply asked, “If this was you, which one would you go to?”  Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center was her answer…and I am glad…they were real good.

doctor   Nurse

The doctor, female, was very nice…a traveling doctor from down by Santa Barbara, California…also a Air Force Reservist and Afghanistan Vet.  There were two different female nurses, and one male tech nurse who will be a RN within a year or so.  The hospital was well organized, neat, and all the staff were very friendly.  We could hear the interaction of staff outside Marcia’s room, and they all seemed to get along real good…for a hospital it seemed to be a nice environment to work in.  We arrived at 3:45, and we left at 8:00.  That included blood test, urine test, EKG, and a CT Scan.  The verdict was….Diverticulitis.

rv2                  rv1

Before we left the rest area I also called   Good Sam Holiday RV Park  in Medford, just to find out they were full.  I told the lady about our troubles and she says, “Oh, Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center has a small RV park there, first come first serve situation.  Let me call them and call you right back….which she did….and she gave me detailed info on which street to drive on, turns to take, and who to talk to.  So a little after 3 we were pulling into our FREE hospital spot, with water and electricity, and by 3:30 we were headed over to the ER.  The doctor recommended that we stay until Wednesday morning, and if she has no reactions to the medications, then we are free to move on.  So tomorrow will be a day of rest…and since the Doctor gave Marcia her own prescription for Oxycodone, I think she will get lots and lots of rest…and I think I will find a doggie park for Skruffy and Bubba.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Trip to Washington-Oregon Begins—Rolling Hills Casino

Rolling Hills Casino RV Park

We left Sandy and Arny’s house by 4:20.  After filling up at Sam’s Club, and getting through the Sunday afternoon traffic, we were on I-5 and past the airport by 5:15.  Not knowing if we were going to splurge for the $28 for full-hookups, or just park in the large truck parking lot, we did stop at the rest area just north of Willows to dump our tanks.

Rolling Hills Casino RV Park

We checked into the Rolling Hills Casino RV Park at 7:30, with temps just above 90 degrees…which was the deciding factor for spending some $$$$ for A/C.  The RV park is nice, but has no WiFi and no Cable…but VERY long and wide pads, and you don’t have to worry about someone pulling in while you pull out along the same road, which are nice wide roads too.  And they do have plants to cushion between each site, and YOU pay and pick your own site.

Rolling Hills Casino Truck Parking    Rolling Hills Casino Truck Parking

In front of the RV park is a large truck parking lot, which they do allow RV’s to boondock on for a day or two.  Most of the trucks park close to the casino and to the showers, so if you park to the south, you can get away from the noise.

Rolling Hills Casino

At 8:00 we went to the casino for dinner.  I guess they are not in a hurry at casinos, because we didn’t get out of there until after 9:30.  We were please, however, that there was little smoke…we have encountered a few casinos where the smoke was so thick we just couldn’t take it.

Rolling Hills Casino

So if you are ever headed down or up I-5, and it is late, and you are near Corning, I think you would like a one-nighter at Rolling Hills Casino.

pink-ribbon for mom
Thinking about you mom…..