Tuesday, July 31, 2018

7/30 Bike Ride at Fort Stevens State Park

I was at this state park about four years ago, but I did not explore the bike trails then.  Not sure why, but I think I chose to drive around then.  The weather has been cold and damp, but I went out late yesterday for a bike ride and found the bike trails.  It ended up being fairly short because I was not properly dressed for the cold.  Will go out again and wear long pants and a jacket instead of a sweatshirt.  

Fort Stevens State Park is at the farthest northwest point of land in Oregon and is bordered on the west by the ocean and the north by the Columbia River.  I has an old fort you can tour and a lot of woods and bike trails. 

This state park is along the ocean, but the campground is tucked among the big trees.  It has over 500 campsites, most with at least electric and water and some even with full hookups, but sites are spread out over a very large area, so it does not feel cramped.  There is also a lot of privacy with big trees and all the undergrowth.

Lots of big trees.  The campground is about a quarter mile via road or bike trail from the ocean, so the trees here are big.  The ones near the beach are smaller. 

This is a map of the entire state park.  The ocean is to the left and the Columbia River to the top. 

And some photos of the bike trails.  Lots of ferns and moss hanging from trees.This is definitely a rainy place. 

Look at all the moss on the trees!

Trees are smaller here because this is closer to the beach.

There are tunnels going under the road and even a couple of bridges going over creeks. 

I am in the north campground, but the south campground has a yurt village.  

I also made it to a small lake near the south campground, but by this point, I was freezing, so I headed back to my campsite and warm motorhome! 

I'm going to try for a longer ride tomorrow a little earlier in the day and dressed more warmly.  Daytime highs have been only around 62, and it was even cooler later in the day, so I should have started earlier.  I ended up riding for almost five miles, however.  Brrrr.

Monday, July 30, 2018

7/25-27 More RV Problems & Parking Lot Camping

Back while I was at Pacific Beach State Park, I heard a clunk while putting in my slide after dumping my tanks.  I laid down on the floor and looked underneath and saw clearly that the roller that supports my slide had come loose again.  

Brief History: It originally came loose in December, 2017 and was able to get a temporary fix from the Camping World Service Facility in Bakersfield, CA.  It was close to Christmas, and they did not have a replacement roller, and to get one would take more than a week, so they bent it back into shape and reinstalled it. Cost was $1,100.  It worked fine for four months, but I ordered a new roller from Fleetwood and had it shipped to my son's house.  I knew there was a Fleetwood factory service center near Eugene, OR, and I had to go there anyway before I left for the UK, so I made an appointment to get the new roller installed.  That was done on April 18.  Getting access to the area under my slide is difficult and time consuming, so it was expensive--well over $1,000 because they had to tighten my upper kitchen cabinets, which had come loose.   

So, three months later, here I was with the same roller pulled loose again.  Before I opened it again, I had my son help me look under there while I slowly put it in. Then I taped some books on the floor to prevent the slide cabinet from sinking. 

Anyway, my appointment was on July 26 at the REV (the current owners of Fleetwood) service center in Coburg, OR, so I arrived the night before and set myself up in one of the available sites in the parking lot.  Each site has electric and water hookups, and there is a dump station available.  Not the most scenic place, but the price is right--free. Also, the slide fix did not cost me since it was still under the 90-day warranty period.
There are nearly always 10-20 other motorhomes parked at this facility.  Some will be worked on the next day, but others are waiting for parts to arrive. This can sometimes take weeks, unfortunately, but since most owners live in their units or have no other place to go because they are from a long way away, people stay in this free parking lot in hopes that tomorrow will be the big day when they can get whatever is broken fixed. 

The bad thing for the two nights I was here was the heat.  It was around 100 degrees both days, although cooler at night.  

I have had my motorhome repaired in the Decator, IN, facility, so I know the process by now, with one positive change having taken place recently.  It used to be that you had to have your rig unhooked with slides in and ready for work by 6:00 a.m. so you could be at the door when the offices are open.  (Getting up at 5:30 a.m. in the dark in Decator was not my ideal since I am not a morning person.)  At least at this facility, the starting hours have now been switched to 7:30 a.m., which is better.  

At at 7:25 a.m., the line forms at the door, and you check in for the day.  Then your assigned mechanic comes out to take your rig into the shop.  You join the waiting room crowd in the lobby for some chat about the problems they have had with their motorhomes.  Those with cars can go out for the day, but I have only my bike, so I stayed in the lobby for a boring 8.5 hours, getting periodic status updates.  Even in the heat, I did ride my bike the mile into this small town for lunch, however.  And the second day, I rode out to McDonald's and Camping World to redeem a $25 coupon I had.    

What I have not written about yet is that my electric steps are broken.  Driving here from Fort Worden on Wednesday, a large dump truck had a blowout and lost its tire tread on I-5 about 400 feet ahead of me.  The truck was in the far right lane, and I was in the middle lane as the large piece of tire tread came rolling down towards me.  I had no time to swerve and was afraid to swerve anyway because it might cause me to lose control of my big vehicle, so I braked as hard as I could, while still staying in my lane, but I hit it anyway, except at about 40 MPH instead of the 65 MPH I had been driving.  

It made a big thud, but I did not discover until I got to REV that my steps were bent and would not go out.  It also turned out that the motor had been hit, so I had to order new steps, which will not be delivered until later this week.  I have an appointment for them to install them on Monday, August 6, but they have promised me that it would take only 2-3 hours, and I could be on my way by noon.   

Because they found a hole under my cabinet which would let water in through the slide when it rained, they used the second morning to patch it and seal it with with polyurethane and then to wait for it to dry.  I was able to take it about 1:00 p.m. with the understanding that I would not use the slide until the next day to give the polyurethane enough time to dry. 

Whew!  It was like being let out of jail.  I had a reservation at the nearby Armitage Park so I left for there so I could get laundry done, although I could have spent that night in the free "REV campground."   

While I was there, I had them also fix my leaking kitchen sink and check my roof for potential leaks and to try to tie down the old antenna mount that has been banging around.  (Fixed it, but it is still banging, so they will have to do something else.)

Anyway, rather than spending a hot week in the parking lot, I took off for Fort Stevens State Park in the northwest corner of Oregon, which is where I am not. At least it will be a lot cooler in Coburg then!!  I am getting really, really tired of repairs and hope this is the last of them. 

P.S.  This is what you do when your steps do not work.  I could go in and out the driver's door, but it is a lot easier to use this setup.

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

7/23 Paddle to Pullyap Event

Today was a leg of the Paddle to Pullyap event held by the Native American Tribes in this area. Beware that this is a very long post as I took a lot of photos of the canoes and their arrival. Here are the routes of the various groups.  I am in Fort Worden State Park, which is in Port Townsend, in the middle of the map.
As the canoes arrive, each pulls close to the shore facing forward and asks permission to come ashore and visit with their friends and relatives as they are tired and hungry. Then they back out and turn around so that the stern of the canoe faces the shore.  When they back into the shore, the paddlers get out and a team of volunteers carry the canoes onto the shore.  

You can see one boat in the background getting ready to be carried onto the shore and another one closer, asking permission to land.

Getting ready to be carried onto shore. 

And another canoe asking permission. 

Here they go!  By now the paddlers have gotten out and some are helping the carriers. 

These are really big and heavy canoes!  Many are very old and about half are dugouts, meaning they were made from a single, very large tree.  Notice that many have small sails, which they used before they came around the point into sheltered waters.  It is very windy here. 

 More arriving canoes.

Click here to see a video I took showing the process. (Check out the guy directing traffic.) It may seem calm here, but they have just come around a point, and it was NOT calm out in the main part of Puget Sound.  A small Coast Guard boat followed them from the reservation at Jamestown and nearly all paddlers wore life jackets. 

The next photos show details of some of the canoes.  This one was a dugout.  One of the older men put several buckets of water in it and covered it with a tarp so the wood would not dry out. 

As I took photos more canoes arrived--26 in all.  This is a great swimming beach, by the way, with crystal clear water. 

As the canoes arrived, the paddlers were looking for restrooms, water, and snacks.  The tents were set up with water and snacks for them, as they had been paddling for 3-4 hours straight.  Luckily, today was low 70s, so not too hot or cold.  (Water, however, was very cold.) 

The rest of the photos were taken later in the day after most of the paddlers had left. 

I think these are chisel marks. 

This one looked really old.  

This canoe was small and made of canvas and some kind of varnish or other waterproof coating. 

I tried to take photos of the artwork on the canoes. 

Last view.  I was really glad to be here during this event and be able to see it all.