Our Maiden Voyage

Aug 15, 2016

This past year has delivered some of the changes that Carol and I have been dreaming of for a long time.

Carol retired in March of 2015 and I followed suit earlier this year. We also put our house on the market in May with the idea that we’d travel and search for the next place for our retired lives. After 8 weeks and no acceptable offers, we decided to rent it and we had a signed lease within a week. Now both the cottage and house are leased until July of 2017 so we are homeless, sort of.

One of our dreams was to buy an Airstream and tour the US and Canadian National Parks and that’s exactly what we are doing. Our Airstream is a 2017 Flying Cloud 25 and I’m pulling it with my 10 yr old Cayenne. You should see the faces of the old timers in their dually pick-ups when I pull in with my German SUV 🙂

It’s been a while, like decades, since I’ve been camping (maybe never for Carol?) but we were surprised how quickly we have enjoyed our new life style. Here’s Carol & TiVo and our new home. Carol calls this ‘glamping’. It’s hard to complain when you wake up to a clean bathroom and a hot cup of coffee. Did I mention that we’re going to do this for the next 11 months?

Here’s a good picture showing the relative since of my Cayenne tow vehicle and our Airstream.

Carol & TiVo small


Our New Flying Cloud

Aug 16, 2016

We picked up our Airstream, a 2017 Flying Cloud 25RB.  The nomenclature means that it is 25 ft long and has a rear bed.  The bed is small and is sideways so not the best configuration for ys.

We purchased it from Sutton RV in Eugene, OR and towed it to a local RV park for a shakedown drive. Nothing special, just a place where we can go through the motions and practice hitching and unhitching.

Fitting everything that we’d like to take along in the Airstream has been a real challenge but we’re finally there – at least for now (Carol already is thinking about remodeling). Yes, those are the TV clickers in the silverware drawer and no, we don’t actually get TV reception since we’re in rural areas. And yes, there’s a Dish satellite in our future 🙂

5 Dinette6 Kitchen8 Queen

Sisters, OR

Aug 17, 2016

Oregon in general is very green, beautiful, full of recreation activities (John: expect some activity dropping) and with low density. Parking was never an issue (image that!) and the roads were incredible maintained.

Sisters, OR is a great small town similar to a CA gold rush town with beautiful pine trees and a bunch of brew pubs (this is Oregon after all). On our drive from Eugene, we crossed the Cascades and the mountains are beautiful. Here’s a shot of the namesake three sisters taken from the side of the road.


An old barn on the route between Sisters and Bend. Sort of what my femur felt like a few years ago LOL

Barn small

Bend, OR

Aug 19, 2016

We’ve wanted to visit Bend for a long time and were happy to finally arrive.  We booked a site at the posh Crown Villa RV Park and we were not disappointed: parking on pavers, full cable TV, land yachts as sophisticated as the lunar lander and hosts as sweet as they come. Boy, we were set up for future disappointments.


Bend was really awesome once we got over the shock of seeing so many slackers smoking cigarettes on the downtown corners.  And smoking itself wasn’t disappointing, it was what they were smoking.  Had it been the good stuff, then I’d have a smile for them.  Oh well…

Next we toured some neighborhoods to see what a buck buys and we were pretty happy about what we saw.  We also stopped at Aubrey Glen Golf Club on the west side and the area was really beautiful.  Too bad I didn’t have time to play…



Crater Lake

Aug 21, 2016

After Bend, we drove down to Crater Lake for a couple of days ­ which was spectacular! We have only seen it from the air but up close it’s amazing. Deepest lake in the US and words can’t describe how blue the water is.

Crater Lake Pano

The weather has been really hot during the days (thankfully we have great A/C in the rig) so last Sunday night, we opened a BR window and turned on the ceiling fan. When I got up Mon morning, my weather station showed 39F outside and 41 inside. A bit cold but relief from the daytime heat. So the next night, we left the window open but turned off the fan. Not sure what we were thinking as we were at 6,000 ft near Crater Lake. In the morning, it was 31F out but still 41F in. Yes Carol loves her comforter and TiVo isn’t half bad as a foot warmer 🙂

Bandon, OR

Aug 23, 2016

Traveling four hours west we reached Bullard’s Beach where we escaped the heat and welcomed the coastal fog. Daytime temps were 60’s ­- 70’s with nights in the 50’s. Perfect! Bullard’s Beach is a beautiful campground and we set up camp and then headed into Bandon, just ten minutes south.

Bandon is the quaint little town which has since become famous for the Bandon Dunes golf resort that’s just five min north of our campgrounds.  We went into town for an adult beverage and some calamari but it wasn’t up to the Vasco standard.  And boy, do we miss the crowd at Vasco.


Then back to Bullard’s and down to the beach by the lighthouse. Got driftwood?


You know how people like to show pics of their kids? We don’t have any but I didn’t want to disappoint. Here’s TiVo, our 5 yr old oversized Yorkie.


On the next day, we went up to Coos Bay for lunch and ended up in a German restaurant.  Not sure how that happened…

Then back to Bandon to shoot the Haystacks but still too much fog.  But TiVo had fun 🙂


Beverly Beach

Aug 25, 2016

From Bullard’s Beach, we drove north to Beverly Beach and camped at the state park.  What’s great about this site is that it’s a short walk to an awesome beach.  Don’t believe me?  I had to walk a good 50 yds to get this pic without anyone in it.  Pretty sweet, eh?

Beverly Beach

When I was heading down to the beach, Carol’s last comment was “Don’t let TiVo get dirty”.  Of course the first thing he did was roll in the sand and I wasn’t about to stop him. So no sex for me tonight.

TiVo Sand Washing

This was an old established camping park and here’s our site.

Beverly Beach Campsite

Adjacent to us where these kissing trees.  We found it romantic 🙂

Kissing Trees?

Crossing the Columbia River

Aug 26, 2016

Our next stop was the KOA at Bay Center / Walapa Bay, about four hours north.  I considered crossing the Columbia River into Washington to be a milestone and boy was it a doozy.

We had crossed a few bridges in Oregon that shared the same traits:  constructed of steel, green and very narrow.  So it was no surprise to see the same architecture on our approach to the Columbia River bridge.  But this one was big.  Very Big.

As I approached the incline, I started to feel a little, well, anxiety.  The lanes were narrow with virtually no shoulder and we were way above the water.  Next thing I know I’ve got sweaty palms and my heart is beating just a bit faster.  I’m thinking “Carol, grab the wheel” but didn’t say anything since she was actually in the back seat with TiVo.  I just held on until we were safely down the back side.  Whew!

Here’s the bad boy on the approach.


After setting up camp, I walked down to the beach to find some of the locals clamming as the tide was rolling in.  It’s a rich field and and most came away with some nice sized buckets.  This beach was special, calm winds, calm water and lots of clams.


Since the fog had rolled out and the air clarity perfect, I went back down at sunset to look for the elusive green flash.  This occurs just after sunset because the atmosphere can cause the light from the sun to separate into different colors.  I’ve seen plenty of pictures of it but never experienced it.  And tonight was no different 😦  Still beautiful…


Olympic National Park

Aug 27-28, 2016

After nothing but blue skies in Oregon, we encountered our first inclement weather on the way up to Olympic NP.  Surprise, right?  I had planned to drive around the peninsula on the west side but Carol was having none of it since the eastern route was shorter.  Apparently I greatly underestimate how long our drives will be – so the eastern route it was.

We arrived late afternoon, set up camp, then headed into Port Angeles for something to eat and an adult beverage.  Port Angels has a popular ferry service that links Victoria on Vancouver Island.  When the skies cleared in the afternoon, you could just make out.  Left side, use your imagination 🙂


Have you ever been into a Walmart Supercenter?  I hadn’t but wow what an eye opener.  From reading the Airstream blogs, it was clear that Walmarts are popular with the RV and I can see why.  They have everything.  And I mean everything.  Here’s Carol holding some lithium grease that we’ll use to kill the squeak in our sway control hitch.

Carol Walmart

Next day plan was to drive into the park and do a little hiking, but dogs aren’t allowed on the trails so hiking would be limited to parking lot pictures.  We chose an access road (Deer Park) since it’s close to our camp and headed out.

One thing everyone should know is that Carol doesn’t like my driving because she thinks it’s too fast and dangerous.  The reality is that if she drove as I did, it would be dangerous.

So anytime we are in a situation where my driving will get her stressed out, I give her the keys.  The road up to the viewpoint is 9 miles of blacktop and another 9 miles of gravel. Carol took the upper half at a good 6-9 miles an hour.  Now I’m dying hoping no one’s going to catch us from behind and honk like crazy.  Luckily, that didn’t happen and it took every inch of my patience to sit tight while she tackled the road.  And no, she isn’t a fan of FIA World Rally Championship racing, doesn’t even know it exists.

The weather was far from clear but here’s what it looks like from the lookout.


Riding shotgun on the way down, I thought I play with my camera to see if I could make it look like Carol was zooming down the hill.  Surprisingly, that’s exactly what it looks like.  but trust me, Carol never went over 12 mph LOL.


Then back to our KOA for some R & R.


TiVo almost got me in trouble.  He usually stays close by but for some reason, he ran into the adjacent private property that looks like something out of a Stephen King novel.  There was dilapidated toys and equipment everywhere and believe me, I was looking over my shoulder when I retrieved him as I was sure that I was going to see a shotgun aimed my way.

Last night, the weather cleared and we had our first clear view of the Mountains in Olympic NP.  Now it’s off on our two day drive to Glacier NP.


When your day is done and you got to run, Spokane

Aug 29, 2016

Carol and I left Olympic NP this morning and shed a tear for the west coast. Love it. Especially Oregon with its open spaces, beautiful mountains and trees and above all, cool climate. And lack of congestion. I think I’m in love.

We mapped out our route to Glacier NP and picked Spokane as the layover. Out of Olympic, Google had us going down and around Tacoma. I was excited as I’ve seen the video of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge collapsing but have never been there. But my navi in my 11 yr old Porsche routed us through Seattle. Umm, this is interesting. Why the discrepancy?

Carol doesn’t let me read my iPhone or iPad while driving so I’m cruising along relying on her to navigate. Then I say to Carol “Where are we?”. “You just missed the turn”. “What? Porsche says I’m on track”. So on we went and then we saw the signs “Approaching Kingston – Edmonds Ferry”. Oopsie and now I know why Google is king.

Carol wants to turn back but I’m thinking this could be fun. We pulled up and the ticket taker looked at my rig and said $93. I overheard the guy in the adjoining booth say “he has an Airstream, he can afford it”! Our rig is right at 40′ which is a cutoff. My guy says I’ll let you slip, $75. Thanks and I’m just glad to be on board. So off we went. Here’s the queue as we wait to board (it got longer as we were early).


In route, I was looking for some nice shots. This was all I got 😦


We crossed the Cascades on the way to Spokane and passed an entrepreneur. A very interesting entrepreneur. Goes by the name of Lil Red Roni. Love Entrepreneurs.


Carol was impressed and couldn’t resist another shot.


After a long and fun day, we pulled into the Spokane KOA, parked our rig and I opened the door. Uh oh. We had stopped for lunch a few hours earlier and I grabbed a diet coke from the refrigerator. I knew instantly that I hadn’t clicked the door closed. Food everywhere. Carol’s going to kill me and no place to hide. Gulp. I think it best that I start doing dishes or cooking or something…

Off to Glacier tomorrow 🙂