Thursday, April 29, 2021

Look at all those beautiful trees! And that blue sky! Can you tell I'm happy I'm not in the desert anymore?

Oregon is probably at it's most beautiful at the moment, but of course, which state isn't in the spring?
Fruit trees are blossoming everywhere:

It's making for the prettiest pictures ...


Some of them smell pretty good too!

The first seeds are already ripening and the Goldfinches are busy all day, just stuffing themselves!

The grass is already growing like crazy and although our landlord is doing the mowing of the orchard (so far), James has weed-whacked the area around the RV, and a few areas the mower cannot get too.
They're knocking a few dollars of the rent for that, and we might take over the mowing completely in the near future, as a barter. We'll see how it goes.


And yes .. it happened .. I couldn't do anything about it .. I turned 60 this week!


Oh my goodness, can you believe it. Sixty! Who'd thought that one day I would turn this 'old'!
Oh well. According to my friend Irene 60 is the new 40, so I'll take it ...
I sure don't feel like 60, but I think nobody does, or this is just how you're supposed to feel? Not bad at all actually, so I guess it's all good.

I must say, had I known I would get so many presents, I would have turned 60 a lot earlier!
Look at that! A package arrived from Amazon, send by my sister and my Mam, which turned out to be some gorgeous fine Merino roving (really it's so fine it feels like silk) and 3, yes three, beautiful jig-saw puzzles!

Talking about sweet .. how about this little cutey? The one on the left I mean ..

That's me, with my first 'real' bike, on my 5th birthday! And guess what, that's me there on the right
too, getting a bicycle on my 60th! Never too old ..
(that's not a new one, by the way, just new to me. I picked one up in town via Craigslist. It's a Schwinn, a pretty good bike, and it came complete with that cute basket. I just hope I will be able to get up those hills around here!)

All in all, I had a really nice, quiet day, just like I wanted (no big fuss please, thank you), with a sumptuous chocolate cake for coffee and sushi for dinner (take-out, they don't let people inside yet) .. and lets not forget about all those presents!

But arguably the best present of all, was the fact that I snatched up two appointments, one for James and one for myself, for a Covid vaccine!

We had to go to McMinnville to get them, about 15 minutes away. Somebody told us we were only two of 1200 they were going to vaccinate that day! Wow!
We got the Moderna vaccine, and besides some pain at the injection site we have had no other side-effects. So far ..
We'll get our second shot in 4 weeks, on May 27th. Let's just say that I'm a very happy camper!

OK, that's all I have for this week .. to be continued.

Thursday, April 22, 2021


It's been an absolutely gorgeous spring-week here in Newberg Oregon! Abundant sunshine every single day, not a cloud in the beautiful blue skies, also no wind, no rain and temperatures in the low 80s!
Very un-Oregon of course, and things are going to change soon, but for now .. we take it!

I took some pictures of everything that was blooming in 'our' yard when we arrived:

I got inspired, and when we went out to Walmart to get groceries and stock up our pantry, I couldn't resist going by the garden department and snatching up one of their colorful hanging baskets ..

After about a week of hard work we're pretty much set up right now. There were no hook-ups in place so we had to create them.
James managed to temporarily tie us into the electricity from the barn, which gives us only 30 A, but we've ordered cable and connections to set us up for the 50A that we need to run everything without constantly tripping a breaker.
All the boxes, sleeves and extra fuses are already in place, part of which you can see in the left picture:

That red hose on the right is our water-line, it has since than been 'sleeved' in PVC pipe, together with a heating coil, which we plug in during the winter when it freezes.
We even set up our 'shed', the vinyl skirt under the hitch, which comes in handy to store
all kind of 'stuff'. 


So far we all love it here! The site is really beautiful, so green and peaceful and quiet, and very safe too, we're behind a fence with a gate that's padlocked day and night (unless we want to leave of course).

Merlin wholeheartedly agrees! He seems very happy to be in cooler temperatures, seems to have a lot more energy than he's had in ages, loves stalking through the grass and snooze in the sun.
He's even taken up sleeping outside in 'his' chair again!

He's a happy camper .. or cat

Of course I've been exploring the neighborhood already. Hyland Drive is a pretty country road, very quiet, and has several even smaller and quieter roads connecting.
One road is closed off permanently for traffic on both ends and turns into a woodsy path in the middle .. very pretty!

A small creek runs through it, Otter Creek ..

All kinds of woodsy spring flowers have popped up, like this Trout Lily or Houndstooth

And I'm happy to say there's an abundance of birds in our backyard! Lots of Red Robins and small finches and this pretty fella, a Spotted or Rufous-sided Towhee ..

OK, so far for the fun stuff,  of course we also have to talk about more serious business ..
Although, it has gotten a lot less serious than a week ago!

James has done an absolutely amazing good job putting the whole back together!

First he made sure we had power .. at all!

And while he was back down there, he also replaced the stabilizer that was wrecked and, for good form, put in a new one on the other side as well .. just so we match, you know .. to look good!

   And than he squeezed/clamped the rear end back together! This was the before ..


And this is the after!


Next step is to make it water tight .. some resin and fiberglass patches will be involved ..

We'd taken two of the windows out, the ones that were partially lifted up by the crash already (!), and now that the back was restored, they could go back in ...

Today, James has worked on putting a thick layer of resin and mesh on the rips, so we're watertight. Just in time for the rain that is coming on Saturday .. and just in time for Happy Hour!

To progress!

Saturday, April 17, 2021


Well, guess what? We're in Newberg already! And yes, that's a whole week ahead of schedule.
I've said it before .. you can make plans all you want, but things happen ..
And boy, did they happen! But let's not get ahead of schedule and I'll try to chronological-ize (I don't think that's a word) this post a little.

We actually left
Palm Springs according to plan on Friday, although even that almost didn't happen because the day before James came back from golfing, and power-washing the truck, with the wonderful announcement that the truck's computer indicated the injectors were failing again! Son-of-a-@#!$%^!
So, we canceled our next campgrounds, extend our stay in Palm Springs, rented a car, ordered new injectors and drove the truck to a mechanic ... only to find out that the injectors were all of a sudden all fine!
Long story short, it turned out that moisture from pressure-washing the truck had caused the computer to throw the codes, and when everything dried all was OK again!
Pffffft! Doesn't that beat it all!
It took us some time to reinstate most cancellations and cancel some installations .. or something like that, but at the end of the day we were back on schedule!

So, of we went on Saturday! Since it was going to be a long and hot (truck's AC still not working!) day, we left early and soon we passed our old stomping grounds, or at least the cut-off to, Lake Arrowhead. I'd hoped we could go for a visit while we were there, but it wasn't in the cards this time ..

Evertything went smoothly, until we started to reach Los Angeles and found ourselves in some endless stop-and-go traffic. Funny how you seem to forget about things like that. We quickly remembered though, that this is not a place we want to be! Way to busy!
Unfortunately we had to brave it for one last time, since I'd bought a spinning wheel (on-line) from a lady in Ventura, and passing so close going north it seemed not such a big deal to pick it up while in the neighborhood.

Eventually we reached Lowes in Ventura where the hand-off took place, and after a short lunch we were back on the road again. 


The sun was already setting when we reached the Santa Nella Campground around 6.30 pm, about 2 hours south of Sacramento, where we'd reserved a pull-through site.
And after a simple dinner, we decided to call it an (early) night. 'Nough for one day!

The next day was a Sunday, always a good day for going through a big city, and we breezed easily through Sacramento this time.
An hour later we left the I-5 (talking about a rough road!) and took the 20 towards the coast. We passed Clear Lake around noon and parked the truck alongside the road to have some lunch. We'd been here before, about 9 years ago, when we traveled from Vaillecito to Gold Beach, and it was fun to see it again. It's a beautiful area!

We made good time that day and around 4pm we arrived at our campground in Willits, the Golden Rule RV Park.


After a quick set-up it was time for ... you guessed it, Happy Hour!
We spend a relaxed evening and a good night sleep in this peaceful RV Park, which, by the way, is on the same property as Ridgewood Ranch, the horse stud-stables where Seabiscuit, the famous race-horse, was bred.

OK, moving on, the next morning we headed for Eureka, where we had the first look of the pacific ocean since 2011, when we park hosted here in Gold Beach, OR.

Yeah, the ocean!!

What a wonderful sight! This part of the coast is just so beautiful!
Lots of interesting rock formations:


And picturesque lighthouses ..

Unfortunately we had a 1.5 hr (!) delay, just before Crescent City, due to repairs being done on the continuing slide areas. This part of the coast apparently is highly un-stable.

OK, now we're getting to the part where our luck ran out! We decided to top of the truck's tank at a local gas-station in Crescent city. No problem, no?
Since we're BIG, we usually use the big truck-stations on the freeways but Hwy 1 doesn't have any of those, so we made the narrow turn into this one ... only to hit the bollard guarding the entrance, wiping out the left back-side of the RV!!!

(This picture is from after we arrived in Newberg ..)

Not good, or  %$#@*&!
Needless to say we were a little 'shook-up', especially me, myself and I, but James, always the more unfazed and practical, gassed up, pulled in a side-street and started taping and strapping things together and collecting all solvable parts from the road.
Oh well, as Forest Gump said 'Shit happens', and we went on the road again for the hour drive to Turtle Rock RV Resort in Gold Beach, where we'd planned to stay for 2 nights.

As you can guess it wasn't a very happy, although very pretty, drive ..

After talking about it for a little we decided that it was probably better to cut our week-long stay along the coast short, and head for Newberg, our end-destination, the next day.
Especially since we had rain in the forecast and we weren't quite water-tight anymore ..
After we arrived at Turtle Rock we quickly settled in for the night and walked to the beach to watch the sun go down. We definitely needed a calming end to this day ..
We actually camp-hosted at this campground during the summer of 2011, so it would have been fun to hang around for a day or two and see of the owners were still there,
check out the town and go for a hike at the beautiful State park. Bummer ..

That night it got down to 34F! Wow, what a difference with those last nights in Palm Springs (61C)!
The days were beautiful though, clear and sunny and quite warm, which made for very pleasant driving conditions, all the way from Arizona.

And so it went, we drove all the way to Newberg the next day. It was another gorgeous day and we passed all the gorgeous places we were going to spend some time at during the rest of the week .. if not for .. sigh ..
Fortunately, Newberg is only an hour from the coast, so .. we'll be baaaaack!

And this is our new site! It turns out we're in a Christmas tree orchard, how about that for a change?

It's a beautiful green, 2 acre  parcel and we are the only ones there! To get to Doug and Brenda's yard and house you'll follow that small pathway here towards the camera ..

... and go through the gate ..

It will be the extend of James' commute to work in Doug's office/house .. not bad!

OK, I think that's enough for this post. More fun stuff in the next one!