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Sept. 21 to Sept. 27, 2013- Salem OR to Rawlins WY

Saturday Sept. 21- Bend OR

We left Salem OR at around 9AM, driving east on Hwy. 22, the Cascade Scenic By-way. It was a very pretty drive, even in the clouds. We passed through beautiful tall evergreens and past clear streams. It was nice to see the clear water after all the glacier silt we had seen while in Canada and Alaska.

Bend to Caldwell

Bend to Caldwell

We had woken up to 55 degrees and foggy weather. The first 18 miles were on a nice four lane road, then the road became two lanes with intermittent passing lanes. Eventually we passed through the Cascade Mountains, and dropped back down to over 4,000 ft. We turned south in Bend, on Hwy. 97, traveling eighteen miles to the Bend/ Sunriver Thousand Trails.

We pulled into the Thousand Trails and found that they had changed the park entrance in May, confusing us. Instead of going to the Ranger Station to check in, we had to go to the Welcome Center. Obviously, a way to save money.  We had to park the motor home, disconnect the car, and cruise in the CRV looking for a site in the 50 amp section with satellite reception. The sites we thought we were going to be able to use were all taken. We found site A5, which we thought might allow us to get satellite through the trees.

We pulled the motor home into the site, and since it was almost one o’clock, we ate a quick lunch. Meanwhile the satellite was searching for a signal. Since it found the signal, we then set up camp.

We took a short nap, then went to Bend. My computer, which is six years old, is having to be re-booted constantly. It’s time for a new laptop. So our destination was Best Buy. We went strait to the Geek Squad desk to make sure that they could do the transfer. We are not happy that even with our card, we would have to pay $80 for the transfer. In addition, they would not be able to complete the transfer by Monday afternoon. They also did not have any computers, at this store, that I wanted. So that was a waste of time!

We went to Bed, Bath and Beyond to buy a new pillow for Bob. We also bought a new strainer for the kitchen sink. We stopped at Sportsman Warehouse for me to buy a camera strap for my large Nikon.

We returned to the motor home. By this time, the weather had cleared a bit, with intermittent sun peaking through. The temp had dropped to 50, so we turned on the heat. After grilling dinner, we watched the movie Tower Heist,( Alan Alda, Ben Stiller, Mathew Broderick, Eddie Murphy) which was cute. Then we started watching Cowboys and Aliens. Both of these were movies we had on the DVR from a free HBO weekend.

Sunday, Sept. 22, 2013- Bend OR

We woke up to 48 degrees and rainy weather. It was a quiet day for us, paying bills, watching the Redskins lose, playing computer games and watching some movies. We did not go anywhere!

Monday, Sept. 23, 2013- Bend OR

It was still rainy this morning. Dave Root RV Glass repair was scheduled to arrive at 8:45-9:15. They were early last time so we were prepared. We stripped the bed and took the sheets and towels over to the laundry. We had just arrived back at the motor home when the guys arrived, at 8:20. The guy in charge remembered doing our coach in 2011 and talking to us in Quartzite AZ in January. They are prepared this year and have their license to do work in Quartzite.

We ran up to Bend and went to lunch at 10 Barrel Brewing Company. Bob had the sampler which was 30 oz. of beer. He had 3oz ea. of, 150 Boise Blonde, The Boss- a harvest ale, Apocalypse IPA- their flagship beer, Sinistor Black Ale, O.G Wheat IPA- Bob doesn’t usually like IPA’s but he liked this one, Goodin’Hoppy- with chinook hops, Pray for Snow- the winter ale, Big daddy Fresh- Local Cascade hops, The Protégé- Cascade and Centennial hops, Swill Beer- Berliner Weiss and Grapefruit making this a summer ale. We had a nice lunch. Bob had the fish and chips; I had the coconut grilled shrimp tacos.

We stopped in at Walmart to pick up a few items and returned to the motor home. The sun came out and went in a lot. Since they have large washing machines, we washed the RV bra and the CRV bra. The sun even shined for a short time but it remained in the 50’s.

Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2013- Bend OR to Caldwell ID.

We left the TT in Bend at around 8:30, after dumping the tanks. The primary dump was closed so we had to go to the back of the park to use the secondary dump. We hitched up the CRV and we were on our way.

We drove back through Bend, then in town, turned east on Hwy. 20. We followed 20 across the state to I-84. Once on I-84 in OR, it was about 30 miles to Caldwell ID.

We drove into the Elks Lodge at exit 28 and hooked up to the water and 30 amp. $10 for the night!

We hopped into the CRV and drove from exit 28 to exit 42 on I-84 to the Camping World. We have an appointment at 8:00 in the morning so we wanted to check out the route. We also wanted to check to make sure they had the toilet that we want.

We returned to the Elks Lodge and went to dinner at the lodge. $5 each for fruit salad, green salad, roll, Imperial Chicken( chicken pot pie w/o the pot/crust, over rice). Chocolate cake for dessert. Not bad for $5. They hand you a paper plate and say help yourself.

We returned to the motor home, walked the dogs between rain drops, watched TV and went to bed.

Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2013- Caldwell to Mountain Home ID

We left the Elks Lodge at about 7:20 and drove to the Camping World. We parked the motor home, with the car behind it, but not connected. They opened at 8AM, so we were now in line for service. We settled in and watched the Today show in the motor home until 10 AM, when the guy came to get the motor home.

We put the dogs in the car and went to Walmart. One of our hand held two-way radios died. These radios are only about a year and half old. We had bought them at Best Buy in Boulder CO, May of 2012. We had bought cheap ones in the past, but decided to buy the more expensive ones. What a rip off! One is already not working, so we were looking for some more cheap ones. This time we went back to regular batteries, as our luck has not been very good with the Motorola rechargeable batteries.

This Walmart, right up the street, did not have any of the cheap radios, as they were on sale. Before we had left, the service guy had asked Bob if he had measured the toilet we wanted. Bob said no, he hadn’t thought he needed to… so the guy said he would do it and call if there was an issue. So, we wanted to stay nearby. ‘

Our next stop was at Lowes next door to the Walmart. I was looking for some over the cabinet door hangers for my pot holders. They did not have any that I liked. By this time 45 minutes had passed, so we thought it was okay to go farther away. We drove to the other Walmart and found the radios on sale, this time they are Cobra brand.

We stopped at Honey Baked Ham for two box lunches and returned to Camping World, taking the dogs in with us to the waiting area. We were the only ones there, except for a fly. Black dogs seem to attract biting black flies, so when the dogs spot a fly, it becomes a “fly emergency”! Bob is really good with a fly swatter, but we did not have one with us, so we had jittery canines.

We ate lunch and watched TV, each with a dog on our laps. Another man joined us. He is also a full-timer, and was trading in his motor home for a newer model. He was hanging out waiting for his credit union to transfer the money to Camping World.

After lunch, I wandered into the store and cruised the aisles. I found the three over the cabinet door hangers I have been searching for. Then I found a floor rug for the entry. We have looked everywhere for one we liked that also did not move all over the place!

I bought those and we continued to wait. At about 3 PM, Bob went to check on the motor home. The service rep. said that the motor home was ready but he had to work on the bill. We finally got out of there at 4 PM, after waiting for the motor home to be moved from the back to the front of the building.

We checked out the new toilet and made sure it worked, with no leaks.

Old toiletNew toilet

Then we checked the satellite. It also worked, so we connected the CRV to the motor home and left Camping World. The problem with the satellite was that it needed to be re-programmed. Whew, we thought we were going to have to buy a new roof top satellite. We had called Direct TV last evening to check on whether our receiver would accept HD. Our current TV, satellite, receiver, and portable satellite are all standard. We are not planning to make the change until 2015, but were afraid we were going to have to make the change now.

We drove back onto I-84, going to exit 54. We thought we were going to a Flying J or Pilot, both were supposed to be at this exit, but all we found was a TA. We bought diesel for $4.17 and were on our way.

We continued east to Exit 95, Mountain Home ID. We turned right and went through town, about a mile, to the Elks Lodge. We backed into a nice site, on pavement, with 30 amp and water, again $10/night. Bob went in to the Lodge to pay. No dinner here this evening. When he took the dogs for a walk, the Secretary of the lodge stopped him to make sure everything was okay. He also told Bob to “ tell your wife when she asks how many trains are going by, that it is a lot, as this is the main line between Chicago and Portland. “ I had not said anything, yet! But there were a lot of trains, until about 10 PM. After that, we did not hear another one until 5:42 in the morning, then 6:55. We both slept really well! We had left overs for dinner and watched TV.

Thursday, Sept. 26, 2013- Mountain Home ID to Garland UT.

We left the Elks Lodge at 8:30, returning to I-84, and turning east. We continued on I-84 for about 225 miles, to I-15N. Stopping at Camping World Hot Springs RV Park. This is an RPI park, $ 10 per night, FHU, 50 amp.

This is our second stay in this park. We were here in 2011. We remember this park well, as this is where the CRV had a blown fuse which shut down the car for the whole weekend. We had to have it towed to Tremont UT and they had to get the part on Monday. So we spend three nights here.

We drove into the park and went to check in. I had made a reservation yesterday, but they did not have it, although they knew we were arriving. We checked in and parked on level two, in a nice pull thru site.

I immediately started laundry. We needed to get caught up, as we have not had sewer for a few days. It is rainy and cold.

Friday, Sept. 27, 2013- Garland UT to Rawlins WY

We left the RV park late, almost 10 AM. I had woken at 2 AM and could not go back to sleep. I finally took a Melatonin and it knocked me out. I slept until 7:30. Bob had also not slept well, so it was a late start this morning.

We left the park and traveled south on the back road to Hwy. 30. We turned east and drove through Logan UT and on to  the Logan Canyon Scenic By-way. It is a beautiful narrow winding road through the canyon and over the mountain. The trees were turning, so it was very pretty.

Garland to Rawlins

We took it slowly. As we were approaching Logan, Bob had said, I think we are going to have rain in the mountains. Not quite. It was snow! Fortunately, the snow was light and only sticking in the trees. In the picture below, what looks like fog is the light snow.

Snow, Garland to Rawlins

We finally reached the mountain top and pulled into the rest area. It was cold and windy. I took this picture of the lake and raced back into the motor home.

Bear Lake ID

I  took over driving and drove down the mountain. We turned right on Hwy. 30 and continued on our way around the lake. Bob took this picture of it snowing across the lake.

Snow over Bog Bear Lake, Garden City Utah

On the other side of the lake, we started our climb, back through mountains. This time the snow was on the ground, but luckily, not on sticking to the road. Bob checked the weather forecast and it turned out we were in a “winter storm warning area”, with a forecast of 1-4 inches of snow. EEK! 

Note in the picture below the steer crossing sign. This is free range country and the  steers are everywhere. We had passed a temporary sign when Bob was driving, ‘steer roundup’. There were steers everywhere and Bob had to slow for them several times. They must be moving them from high country to low country for the winter.

Snow, near I-80

We continued through the mountains and out onto I-80. We drove two miles on I-80, and exited to Little America. This is a truck stop on the highway. The land all around the interstate had 1-3 inches of snow, but there was no snow on the road!

We ate lunch at Little America and continued east on I-80 to exit 209, stopping for diesel at the Flying J, just west of Rawlins WY. We filled the tank, $3.95 / gal, and continued two more miles to Rawlins, stopping for the night at Western Hills RV Park, a Good Sam park, $28 FHU/50 amp. Our original plan was to boondock in the Flying J, but it was simply too cold. The forecast was for the temp to drop to 28 overnight. It was really windy, with the motor home rocking. At this point it was 5 PM, a late stop for us.

We did not bother hooking up to water or sewer, we just hooked up to the 50 amp and ran the furnace to warm up the motor home. We watched TV and went to bed!

Update on the new toilet. We really like it and wished we had done this sooner. The profile is higher and it is designed differently allowing easier cleaning. I can even get behind the toilet to clean, which was practically impossible with the old one. The flush is different with a ball in the bottom vs. the previous flapper, which Bob had to fix numerous times. It has one pedal to flush instead of two. It is taking us time to forget to push up with our foot like we had to do with the old one to stop the flush. Having to do that all summer, we got into the habit.

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