Sept 29 - Nov 3 - Southbound
On Sept 29, we bid Jan & Denny (38) farewell and drove about 170 miles to the 1000 Trails Seaside OR Resort (39), where we spent 11 days, many of them rainy. We had a bit of a jolt on the 30th when we discovered that Judy's bicycle had disappeared from the bike rack on the back of the motorhome. We assume somebody appropriated the bike; had it fallen off of the rack en route, we'd surely have noticed some damage to the car being towed behind the motorhome. That's what we get for not locking the bikes to the rack.
While driving about the park looking to see if the bike were someplace visible, we encountered former Reedsporters Dave & Audrey McDougald, who have made Seaside their more-or-less permanent getaway. They commute back and forth to their stick house in Welches OR, near Mt Hood. They're both looking good. Not finding the bike, we did some shopping and replaced it in Astoria. We think Judy's new bike may be a wee bit nicer than her old one.
We'd been having trouble with the tow bar that connects the car to the motorhome while we travel, so we ordered a new one, arranging to have it shipped to our next stop at Florence OR. We're trying a new brand - Blue Ox - in the hopes that it stands up to our wear and tear a little better.
We had dinner one night with Judy's brother John, and lunch another day with Chuck & Jan Wolfe, freshly back from a visit to Albuquerque for the Balloon Fiesta. We promised ourselves that next year for sure we'll be there for the balloons. We were most pleased at Chuck's complete recovery from his nasty leg fracture a couple years ago. He's walking fine without appliances and no noticeable limp. Mostly we lazed about, although we did replace the battery in the PT Cruiser, having milked the original factory battery for over 100,000 miles in 6 years.
On Oct 10 (coincidentally Al's annual birthday), we drove into Portland at Anna's invitation to cheer on Ira as he finished his second-ever marathon. It's a bit disconcerting to realize that Ira can run 26+ miles in just over 4 hours, a task that would probably take us old folks the rest of our lives (and then some). The Portland Marathon drew about 10,000 runners, and pretty well tied up downtown Portland. After Ira cleaned up, we all went out to a carbohydrate-enriched meal (big steaks) and a bit of grazing at Powell's Books.
On Oct 11, we drove about 170 miles south to the 1000 Trails South Jetty Resort (40) near Florence OR, and commenced our annual rounds of medical stuff. Long story shortened, we're good to go for another couple of years. Don't even have to get new eyeglasses. We took the RV in to the Florence RV Center for some maintenance work, and drove to the Newport (OR) Aquarium while the rig was in the shop. We hadn't been to the aquarium for a couple of years, and it was nice to see it again. We ate out a few times at our favorite Florence eatery - Benny's International Cafe - and installed our new tow bar, which was waiting for us when we checked in. We drove to Eugene for a bit of shopping, visiting with Judy's sister Joanna and enjoying lunch at the Hole in the Wall BBQ place in Springfield. And after some discussion, we bought a new HP laptop computer to replace the almost 3 year old Dell that was starting to show it's age. Kept Al busy for most of a week getting the new computer loaded.
Judy reconnected with her harp buddy Ruth Boddy, and was able to attend a meeting of her home PEO chapter. We spent some time with our Realtor and decided we might as well leave the house on the market over the winter. The current renter doesn't seem to be spooked by the "For Sale" sign, and maybe we'll be lucky. We were able to actually attend our home church a couple of times, and it was very nice connecting with folks we seldom see. Our first Sunday, Chuck and Jan from the Astoria area were also there. Way cool.
On Oct 24, we hooked up and drove the RV to church, and from there to Coos Bay (41), where we parked at the Mill Casino RV Park, a very nice place to park, and not at all expensive. We were up before dawn on the 25th to deliver the RV to Porters RV for servicing our auxiliary generator, and while they were doing that, made a fast trip back to Reedsport for one last medical chore. And by 10AM we were again hooked up and rolling south, hoping to beat the approaching storms. Almost succeeded in that.
On the 25th, we overnighted beside the Klamath River (42) in California, and it rained mightily. But the sun was out in the morning, and we headed south to the 1000 Trails Russian River preserve near Cloverdale (43) for a night. We left the park only for dinner at Cloverdale's "World Famous Hamburger Ranch and BBQ", and next morning headed out into the fog. We left US 101 at Santa Rosa, cutting through Napa County to visit the Jelly Belly factory at Fairfield (stocked up on bellyflops) before landing at the 1000 Trails Morgan Hill Preserve (44) for 6 nights. Our only really touristy outing while there was a visit to Gilroy Gardens, a combination amusement park and horticultural garden. Neat place.
On Nov 2, we hooked up and headed south to 1000 Trails Rancho Oso near Santa Barbara (45) for one night, and on the 3rd we drove the final 250 miles to 1000 Trails Palm Springs (46), where we'll be for three full weeks. We drove a total of 1,472 miles south through some of the most enjoyable scenery in the country.
We didn't take a lot of pictures on our wander south, but we've managed to assemble about 60 for a slideshow. You'll find them here.