Tuesday, June 4, 2013

It's good to be back on the WWW

May 31 - Jun 13, 2013 (2 weeks) - Diamond Lake RV Park, Diamond Lake, OR
Oh, it's good to be back connected to the Web! We are still in the middle of "nowhere"! Even more so than we were on the Coast in Port Orford.  There are no convenience stores close by. The only close restaurant is at the Lodge and they just sell pricey sandwiches. The nearest grocery store in 45 miles away and the nearest Walmart is 85 miles away. But who cares? I've got WiFi internet!
Since we are not near a grocery store, this is a good opportunity to clean out items in our freezer. Since Scott does the majority of the cooking, he gets the majority space in the freezer. So my little section has 2 boneless chicken breast, 2 bubba burgers, and 3 pieces of salmon. I cooked Black Bean Chicken (from a sauce packet) & over beet pasta that I purchased back in Mammoth Lakes. Last night was a Bubba Burger...yum. I've still got 4 meals in the freezer.
I always have broccoli in the fridge. I love to steam it in the microwave and add it to salads. Only one more meal of broccoli left. Then on to canned veggies. We'll head out to the grocery store when we visit Crater Lake, since that will put us almost half way there. I could last quite a while with just items on hand. I can just pick through things and that's dinner. Scott likes DINNER, meaning sit down to a meal with protein, veggie, starch. But I've got internet!
This morning I was trying to catch up on blogs I follow, I find I'm starting to comment more on blogs. I like getting comments, so I assume others like it also.
Merikay of Merikay's Dream blog is just about ready to start Full timing. She asked for opinions about memberships. So I guess that's an opportunity for me to let you know about what groups we belong to.
Good Sam: Only $25./yr
This is our most important membership (besides Escapees). Cheap membership, many benefits. 10% off park fees & we find the majority of parks accepts Good Sam, up to 30% off Camping World and many times free shipping! But our best part is the RV Plus card! Read my review and description on my 2/15/13 post.
Harvest Hosts: Only $25./yr.
Free overnights at approved wineries & farms. Some have basic hook ups and others are boondocking. I love visiting wineries and farm markets and this is a great opportunity for a free overnight. I'm no longer a member, because hubby prefers campgrounds. Sigh.
Passport America: $44./yr
50% discount at parks, but usually many restrictions such as discount only weekdays, or discount only good for 2 nights, etc. Many parks accept Passport America, even if they don't advertise it. Best to check Passport America website. PA website can show participating parks along your route also.
Nat'l Forest Annual Pass: $80./yr , $10./yr if over 62, Free for military and disabled.
Whether you camp or just visit Nat'l parks, this comes in handy. To enter Grand Canyon is $25. Many other parks are $10-$15. It all adds up.
Escapees: $70./yr  But until July 31 the membership is 1/2 price to celebrate their 35 yr. anniversary. You can also receive a discounted rate if you are a member of GS, PA, or Woodalls.
We domicile in TX and use their mail forwarding. If you are joining just for the camping discount, probably not worth it. There are quite a few campgrounds that discount 15% for Escapees. Escapees also have a few of their own parks with a deeper discount, but I haven't been impressed by them so far. Have only been to a couple. And another reason we are Escapees members is because they have lobbyist fighting to keep our lifestyle legal. Meaning, with Homeland Security, our nomadic lifestyle is at risk because we don't have a physical address.The Dahl's (RV Sanity) commented,  "I feel I need to add to their numbers for their legislative efforts on behalf of fulltime RVers." Escapees has fought the gov't to enable certain addresses be acceptable as a "physical address".
CCRVOC (Cedar Creek RV Owners Club): $25./yr.
If you own a Cedar Creek brand RV, this is a great club to join. The members are friendly without being pushy. They are very helpful! They have great rallies. Shout out to Ray, Lee & Lee, and AG & Maryanne.
Whatever brand you own, it's a good idea to join their owner's club. Wealth of information, good contacts, and usually fun times.
Brad & Suzanne of RVing & Travels blog, are exploring NC and mentioned fog on the Blue Ridge Parkway. This is a beautiful area of the country and well worth a trip out there if you have plans to head East.
This brought back memories for Scott & I. I guess fond memories now that it is so long ago.  We drove along the Blue Ridge Parkway for our Honeymoon in 1994. We rode our motorcycles and tent camped. Ahh, to be young...well, we weren't that young. We married when we were 38 years old. We had a small tent, sleeping bags, tarp, one burner stove. It rained a few of the days and we hit some terrible, terrible fog. When riding, Scott would lead and I would follow. I couldn't even see Scott's rear light, so just imagine trying to ride a motorcycle on winding and sometimes hairpin turns along the ridge and not being able to see what's ahead of you. We stayed at a different campsite every night, so that meant unpacking, setting up camp, sleeping on 1" foam mattresses, then breaking down camp and packing it all back on our Suzuki 800 Intruders with canvas saddle bags and lots of bungee cords.
On my bike I painted a flag saying "Just Married" and Scott had a sign saying the same thing bungeed on his packs. We did stay one night at a hotel on the Parkway. That was for our official Honeymoon Night. We splurged and got a room with a fireplace. The next day, back on the bikes and tenting.
On the way home to NJ, I had had enough of bad weather and constant packing and unpacking. The riding on nice days was great though. Sure enough, our ride to NJ was in a Nor'Easter! Lots of heavy rain, high winds. I told Scott that we WILL make it to NJ tonight. He knew what Debbie said goes! Up Route 81 we travel. This is a multi lane highway, but an easy ride, well not in a Nor'Easter. And not once you hit the Washington, DC beltway. We hit that at rush hour. Bumper to bumper in this miserable weather. Very nerve wracking with good reason. That was a very dangerous ride. Our motorcycles only had that one small rear light. We were not very visible to other cars. So even being the experienced riders we were, we had to worry about cars and trucks not seeing us.
So even though we had rain suits and waterproof boots and gloves, the chill still got to us, especially me. But I can be one tough Bi...oops, I mean one tough Lady! We stopped for gas and Scott asked if I still wanted to get to NJ. I said y y y y yes. Scott thought that was a very bad idea and finally started to disagree with me. He said, "Talk to me without chattering".
"I I I  c c c c caaaan't." That was it. He was ready to defy my wishes! Horrors! He's in trouble now! Scott told me I was showing signs of hypothermia. I had a cup of hot coffee, but still couldn't stop ch ch ch chatterrrrring.
There was a motel next to the gas station and we checked in. We had planned to take an alternate bridge other than the Delaware Memorial. We knew on that large of a bridge, our bikes would be blown around. When we turned on the news, we heard our alternate bridge was closed because of the storm. So even if I somehow had persuaded or badgered him enough to drive on, we still wouldn't have made it to NJ that night.
But wait! There's more!
After this stressful, strenuous, miserable day of riding motorcycles, we were famished. Hey, look, there's a Chinese Restaurant next door! I LOVE Chinese food. Now I'm starting to be glad we stopped. We ordered our Chinese food and were told the typical "ten minute". Now remember, we are 38 yrs. old. There is a bar in the restaurant. WE NEED A DRINK!!!! We're not driving tonight, just walking to the motel. Let's both get a shot of something STRONG! We order two Grand Maniers.
"Can I see I.D. please?" Huh????? We are 38 years old. I don't need this "compliment" right now. Scott had his since he needed his wallet to pay. I left all that at the motel. No I.D., no service. That was the end of my rope. I turned to Scott, looked up into his loving face and said, "This has been a shitty honeymoon." Poor Scott, he felt so bad. It was definitely an experience.
But wait! There's more!
Scott just reminded me that through all this, I was suffering from a massive toothache. When we got home, I needed a root canal!
Have you seen, Rock My RV on the Travel Channel? If you're into RV'ing whether big fancy rigs, or smaller used rigs, this is an interesting show.
Scott and I are always imagining a nicer rig, but in reality, we have done so many mods to make it ours, I wouldn't want to start all over again.
This show basically guts your RV and installs your wish list items. They even paint or wrap the outside.
One episode, the RV was used for Charity. They didn't need a bed, so they changed the bedroom into a lounge area. They take out the bed and uh oh, problems. The slide mechanism is in the way. They acted like this was unexpected, which drove me nuts. If you work on RV's you KNOW there is a slide mechanism under the bed slide. I guess they needed drama for the show.
I couldn't watch when our bedroom was gutted to install flooring. It stressed me so bad. Will he know how to put everything back? in WORKING order? Yes, he did and all was well.
Anyway, check the show out.
Devin is again going nuts, NUTS, NUTS, here at Diamond Lake. There are critters all over the place!
1. There are cute little squirrels running all around. The other morning a squirrel was trying to take our cotton tablecloth. He was tugging and tugging. I finally had to shoo him away. But that little adorable critter was determined. I had put the tablecloth away, so the critter decided to try to drag Devin's "dead dog" toy away. This toy was 2-3 times bigger than the squirrel. Scat! Now the dog is put away.
2. There's also Belding's Ground Squirrels, or as one local called them "Go Unders".
They look like squirrels with very short, non fluffy tails. I thought they were Prairie dogs, but nope, Ground Squirrels. They are really driving him nutso. They dig holes all over.

3. Sightings of what I thought were chipmunks, I've now learned are Gold-Mantled Ground Squirrels.

4. I even saw some kind of Weasel/Ferret!
Then add to all this cuteness, there are the pests.
5. Huge ants
6. Yellow jacket type bees
7. Flies
8. Midges, known as the "blind mosquito" because they do not bite.
Excerpt from: Crater Lake Institute 
"It's early evening, the wind dies, and near the edge of the marsh a few small flying insects rise. Soon joined by others, the swarm increases and increases and increases until the mass of insects forms a long symmetrical top-shaped mass that swirls about emanating a strong, screaming hum audible at a distance of 100 yards. Cows refuse to eat. Automobile radiators clog. People become nauseated and have trouble breathing.
Where could this happen? Belize, the Mosquito Coast? The swamps of the Congo? The banks of the great gray-green, greasy Limpopo River, all set about with fever trees? Give up? It's the Klamath marsh!"
Devin certainly crashes at night. Normally the dogs nap during the day except when we take them for walks or hikes. But Devin is on the look out for critters, and then he's trying to catch bugs in flight, or he's swatting them away with his paw or twitch of an ear. No napping for this guard dog!

While walking the dogs, I have to have a really strong hold on Devin. He will suddenly pull to get to a cute little critter. This is a beautiful area and I've enjoyed walking the dogs on the shore of Diamond Lake. Yesterday, I let them do some wading. I love seeing them so happy in the water. Huh?
Deeeeeeviiiiiiiin! COME! Who would have thought he would have left the fun of the water to chase a critter? I did not have a good handle on him and off he went. Lyla is in the water and being the senior girl she is, she was having a difficult time getting out of the water. I'm pulling on her collar. No luck. I may have to jump in a pick her up and out of the water. I finally guide her over to a lower drop and she barely jumps back on land. Now where did that SOB go?!!! There he is about 150' to my left. He sees me and crosses the street. This road is not well traveled, but when there is traffic, it is 50mph traffic. A car is coming. I'm dragging Lyla behind and in the middle of the street, I'm motioning for the car to slow and pointing to Devin. Thankfully, they car did slow and thankfully, Devin did not go back into the street. There he goes, up over the levee towards the campground and also out of sight.  I call him again and say "Come". He pokes his head over and looks down at me. I say "Good Boy" in a happy voice and come, again. Miracles never cease! He came to within 5' of me. But 5' is just as bad as 50' if he dashes away when I get closer. I stayed very calm, and kept telling him he's a good boy and to stay. He laid down!!! Oh my Gosh! I think he sort of came back to me! I'm so excited. It's a slow progress but it is progress.
Play DeadPlay Dead by Harlan Coben
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Oh my gosh! What a great book! I could not put it down. I read all day and the next! I have read 12 of Harlan Coben's books. I have rated all 4 or 5 stars. Nice to have an author whose books are consistently great.
This is a murder mystery, love story, and family saga. The Author knows just when to switch back to another character's story. The book is one cliffhanger after another cliffhanger. I NEEDED to continue to read, so I could return back to the previous storyline with the cliffhanger to find out what happens, only to have the current storyline leaving another cliffhanger returning to resolve the other cliffhanger. His writing is constantly keeping you excited and wanting for more. He then reveals only enough to start all over again and keep you on the edge. Just call me Horse and "Play Dead" the carrot.

June 14 -23, 2013 Armitage County Park, Eugene, OR

WA, ID, MT, ND, SD, WY, then south for the Winter of 2013/214

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