RV Log Page # 0046
Tuesday - June 8, 2010
367 miles today.
Copyright - leDragonfly - All Rights Reserved
Approx. 9448 miles thus far.
Approx. 0000 miles to go!
This morning is glorious, not hardly a cloud in the sky. We were up at 6 o'clock (Pacific Time) and ready to depart at 7:30. We said our goodbyes to Janis and Greta (Dr. Furm had already left for the clinic), and a grateful thank you to Janis for the use of their RV hook-ups. We would see her and the 2 older grandkids (Alyssa and G. Jr.) in a couple of weeks when she treats them to a Broadway show and sight-seeing in Portland.
Then we left, beginning the last leg of our odyssey. We stopped in Baker City, OR for breakfast at Subway for one of our favorite morning meals and then continued on north on I-84. I had already thought this portion of the trip through, creating milestones to feel closer to home with the passing of each one. The first was Cabbage Hill, which is infamous in the trucking world as a place to be treated with the greatest of respect. Heading westbound on I-84 it is a 6 mile, 6% downgrade with some tight turns, so anyone who has lost their breaks must pray to be close to one of 2 'runaway truck ramps' on the grade. All of that said, we negotiated the 'Hill' safely, and continued on ( I think that westbound I-70 from Vail Summit is more dangerous, having seen one truck in a 'runaway ramp when we went by).
The second milestone was Pendleton, OR, followed by a first glimpse of the 'Mighty Columbia River', then descending into the Columbia River Gorge with it's magnificent views, passing through Biggs Junction, on to The Dalles, OR, and then taking the exit to Cascade Locks, OR where we would cross the Columbia River on the 'Bridge of the Gods' bridge, returning to our home state of Washington.
Now we just had about 22 miles to home remaining, traveling west on Washington State Route 14, which, after an uneventful drive through some of the best scenery we've seen on this trip, took us right on in to Camas, our home.
Where do I begin? Let's see . . . I wish I would have known what I now know about all of the aspects of the RV lifestyle that we encountered. Don't get me wrong here, as I still know very little when compared to many of the people we met along the way, but boy, I (we) would have been able to avoid some of the 'less than enjoyable' circumstances we met - wheels, tires, etc.
We have learned a lot in the last 3 months or so, such as I believe we would fair pretty well in a contest concerned about setting up and tearing down a campsite and getting ready to roll. Shirlee is very adept at her 'job' in that process - getting the interior of the 5th wheel ready - and also, very importantly, double checking my part of it. As we gained experience through our trials we began to compliment each other in that department.
I did learn that I didn't have to bring every tool I owned. Many weren't needed at all and some that were could be substituted by something else. Hey it's all one BIG learning experience.
We found that - as we've stated on previous Log Pages - that we could have done a few things differently, such as reservations. Most of the time - if not all - they weren't needed and they prevented us from staying somewhere longer than planned, or leaving a 'less than desireable area' sooner than anticipated. Hey . . . we didn't know! We are much wiser now.
One of those 'BIG learning experiences' is the sudden throwing together of 2 people in close confines for an extended length of time. We had an adjustment period that was as rolling as some of the roads we traveled on and most of those 'dips' were of my own design. So, you could say that our Odyssey was a 'growing' experience for me. Shirlee is the best navigator, cook, partner, and most of all, person that I could have imagined traveling with and making this trip as wonderful as it was. I am truely blessed to have Shirlee as my wife and partner. She always had a cold beer ready for me as we were setting up camp. How great is that?!
I am surprised that 9,500 miles went so quickly but because of our pace there were too many days in the car driving and not enough walking around to take in the sights. What was even more surprising was that some of what I thought would be ho-hum travels proved to be favorites. I knew I would love going back to see Vail and Glenwood Springs, Colorado and Sedona, AZ but my real favorite was Spearfish, SD! I would love to go back to the Elkhorn RV Resort near Spearfish and spend another month or so - there is so much to do and the area is gorgeous!
I would also add many more days on the motorcycle because that is the very best way to travel and see everything and so much easier to pull into viewpoints and scenic areas.
The best days on the road were the ones where we got off our butts and hiked the scenic trails. Happy hour with RV friends was also a very special way to relax and learn about the RV life. We met many wonderful people on this trip and that was one of the highlights of traveling.
I was worried about taking Mozie and Georgy along on the trip but the boys were real troopers and I'm happy to say that it was great having them along.
Last, but not least, I was apprehensive about 24/7 travel in a rather tight space with my hubby. Needless to say, we did work that out after awhile and I am so appreciative of a wonderful man who can negotiate a big rig in tight spaces surrounded by deadhead drivers and still find time to make sure I was comfortable in my Country Road RV sunchair and had enough wine to drink when we arrived at our site.