Well, we are off again! Rosemarie McBride and I are leaving Prescott on Sunday, August 5, going to Las Vegas for a couple of nights to visit Rosemarie's sister and her family. From there we take several days to get to La Pine, OR. At La Pine, we meet the other participating members of the Sun Country Road Runners and caravan up the highway to Redmond, OR for an international convention of the Family Motor Coach Association (FMCA). After the convention, we will take about a week exploring southern OR and northern CA, ending the week at David and family's place in Atascadero, CA. After a weekend there, we head back to Prescott, expecting to arrive home on Tuesday, Aug. 28.
If you would just a soon not receive any more of these reports, please email me at Rmason@alumni.calpoly.edu.
Sunday, Aug 5
When we got to the security checkpoint for the dam, there were no vehicles in the "search area". We pulled up, and were done within 2 minutes! There was almost no traffic heading into town. I bet thousands of motorists wished the same was true for leaving town! Traffic was backed up literally for miles to the edge of Boulder City. The drive across Hoover Dam is very slow, with a posted speed limit of 15, but there is no way we could go that fast. There were people everywhere! We had to be very careful as the parents didn't seem very able to keep their kids on the sidewalk. They would just step off the curb without even looking! (It wasn't just the kids that did this.) People would decide to cross the street at just about any time, and you had to be on constant guard!
We arrived at Delores (Rosemarie's sister) and Frank's house in Las
Vegas around 1:30 and parked in the side yard of their beautiful house.
After much talking and catching up, we had lasagna and Italian sausage
for dinner. It was great!
Monday, Aug 6
We then continued to walk to Caesar's Palace. Upon entering there was a large flight of stairs we had to climb. Beyond we could see escalators, thank heavens! Then as we approached, we could see they were not working. A little later we came to a "moving sidewalk". It also was not working. It is obvious they are move interested in keeping the slot machines working than the customers from having to walk!
We found one of the "moving statue" displays. This is a grouping of Roman statues under a huge ceiling dome. They look like they are made of marble, or at least granite. When the show started, laser images on the dome and sound effects represented lightning and thunder, then the whole array of statues rotated and the statues "came alive". The arms, heads, and mouths moved in typical Disney animatronics style. It was very well done, and quite entertaining.
We walked on through Caesar's to the Bellagio, and on through their casino to an area where they were celebrating Route 66. There were indigenous plants and flowers from the various states where the famous highway runs, along with interesting settings created to give the feeling of the various states. We walked back through the casino to see the fountain display on the half-hour. We then found that they are now only running it on the hour. We have all seen them previously, so we continued to walk back toward the car.
Passing back through Caesar's, we stopped at the second "moving statue" display and waited for it's performance. I think this was a better display, and a lot more entertaining. Then, after repeating in reverse, our path of non-operating "people movers", we left Caesar's and arrived back at the Mirage. After passing through their casino, we went back out to the tram area. Miracle of all miracles! The tram was now running! Boy, did it feel good to RIDE back to the TI. It was a lot of fun, but we have not walked as far in many years! I don't know how many miles we walked, but it was at least several.
Tues, Aug. 7
We got away around 9:15 headed for Hawthorne, NV. We called Keith and Virg Scholl, our good friends from Forest Lakes, AZ, who are also going on this trip. They left about when we did, stayed in Flagstaff, AZ, then Pahrump, NV, and were heading to Hawthorne where we were to meet. When we talked with them, we found they were about 20 miles ahead of us. They fueled up in Tonopah, NV and we caught up with them at a lunch stop afterward. We then continued on to the Whisky Flats RV Park in Hawthorne. It is a very nice park on the outskirts of the small town of Hawthorne.
After a quick tour of the town, where we found several restaurants, a single supermarket, a bank, a casino, and not a lot more, we decided the four of us would have dinner at a pizza place almost next door to the park. It was really good! This park offered free WIFI Internet access. I finally got it connected and found I had to wait at least a minute before anything would happen. Finally I got part of my email, and got tired of trying to get the rest. I turned off the WIFI, plugged in my cell phone, and had the rest of my email in about a minute. So much for that freebee! However, when later I asked Keith if he had gotten connected, he said yes, that after a couple of false starts it had worked fine for him!
Wednesday, Aug. 8
We arrived at Likely Place RV Park in Likely CA around 4:30 after several
stops along the way. This is a really pretty park about 2 miles off
the highway with grazing cows all around (but not in the park). There
is a golf course associated with the park, and it is evident that many
of the campers are here to golf. As the population of Likely is listed
at 200, we did not expect there was much of a town. The lady in the
office confirmed that when we asked what we had missed past where we turned
off to the park. She assured us there was not much. We decided
to have dinner in. Rosemarie cooked a Mexican chicken dish we had
in the freezer, and Virg brought over a salad. We finished with Pineapple
sherbet we had and some cake the Scholls brought.
Tomorrow we head to La Pine, where we will meet the rest of the group.
Thursday, Aug 9
This evening 10 of the 12 of us went to dinner at the small restaurant at the campground. It was excellent! The daily special was smoked pork ribs that were absolutely delicious!
Friday, Aug 10
To verify that the people who had not yet arrived had their credentials, I called them and found that they truly did have theirs.
Rosemarie and I, along with Win Gee drove the route we will be traveling in caravan tomorrow. While we were in Redmond, I drove to the holding area, found the will-call location, and picked up the packages we needed. This also allowed us to tell the others exactly what to expect during the caravan drive to the convention.
I typed up a summary of the drive for a 5:00 meeting I had called for everyone to discuss the drive.
The other 3 rigs pulled in by mid afternoon, and we were all present. The 5 O'clock meeting went smoothly and I described exactly how we would pull out of the campground, and strategies for staying together during the drive.
Some of the members went back to the camp restaurant, but we declined and ate leftovers.
Saturday, Aug 11
After we were pretty much settled into our sites I discovered I had a voicemail message on my cell phone. It was from Tim Scott of the Redmond Police Dept. He called about our caravan apparently to make sure we would have all the police support we needed upon reaching Redmond. I called him back and reported that we had a smooth drive and arrived exactly on schedule, and thanked him for his concern.
My duties as wagonmaster are now pretty much complete!
We are parked quite a ways out from the main activities, but they run trams (school buses) frequently to and from the main areas.
We had an unscheduled group dinner tonight to celebrate Marv Pitt's
birthday. We concluded with ice cream and cake, of course!
Sunday, Aug 12
In a few minutes, we are doing the final group planned activity - a potluck dinner.
OK, the potluck was a great success! Of course there was too much food, but we managed.
I think we will go to bed early tonight, as tomorrow looks like an early day.
Love from Dick and Rosemarie
Monday, Aug. 13
We tried to get into one seminar, but it was full 15 minutes before we arrived at what we thought was a very early time.
Tuesday, Aug 14
I walked a fairly long distance between an exhibit hall and the service center 4 times in less than an hour. Following a seminar, I checked the service center for Motosat, the maker of my satellite antenna, and their name was not on the list of manufacturers with service desks. I then walked to the exhibit hall where their booth was. The salesman told me I should go to the service center and see the tech, that they did truly have a table there. They were really in there, but did not have their name on the outside sign! The tech was not there, so I filled out a form, and walked back to the exhibit hall (trip 3). Almost immediately upon finding Rosemarie again there, my cell phone rang and the Motosat tech said he could work on my system right away. Again, I hurried back to the service center where I met the tech and he drove the two of us to my coach. After about an hour and a half, he had updated my firmware and replaced a motor in the antenna. It now works much better! We went to a microwave/convection seminar based on the Sharp unit in my motorhome. We both learned a lot.
Tonight, the entertainment in the main arena was Matthew and Gunner Nelson who put on a tribute to their dad, Rick Nelson. The show was interspersed with video clips from as far back as the Ozzie and Harriet show when Ricky and David were very small, and continued through just before he died. It was a good show, but the volume during the live songs was a lot louder than the clips of Ricky! It was a good show and we enjoyed it. It was a long day, and we were very tired.
Wednesday, Aug 15
Thursday, Aug 16
We made a final round of the exhibits and made our final purchases.
Mid-afternoon, all the girls headed back to the Red Hat Tea. This was open to all ladies. I visited another Foretravel couple that had tried to visit me while I was out. They bought their coach from the fellow who started and moderated the Foretravel mail list. I felt I knew the coach intimately, as he had discussed all aspects of it while he owned it.
When the girls got back, they were very happy and said the entertainment at the tea was wonderful!
Tonight the entertainment was Tony Orlando. He put on a terrific show! He is a talented entertainer who knows how to get the crowd totally involved with almost every number. His musicians are very talented in their own rites, and did quite a few numbers by themselves. I think everyone there had a great time! In contrast to last night, there was no one leaving early! They all stayed through the last number. We totally enjoyed the show!
Even though I looked at several expensive motorhome accessories in the exhibit halls, the most technical item I bought was a pair of water hose quick connect fittings. I also bought some cleaning items, based on microfiber cloths, a couple of rubber brooms, and a chair. This was a lot less than what I spent at some recent conventions!
Tomorrow we leave the fairgrounds for Klamath Falls.
Friday, Aug 17
We had survived 6 1/2 days of dry camping (well, we did have electricity!) and still had about 10 gallons of fresh water left, and our holding tanks were about 40 and 60% full. I dumped the tanks and filled the water tank almost immediately. We then started a load of wash in the motorhome and another load in the laundry room at the campground.
Keith, Virg, Rosemarie, and I then headed into town to a Sizzler for dinner.
Saturday, Aug 18
Our first view of the lake was breathtaking. It is hard to imaging anything prettier than the deep blue lake surrounding Wizard Island, the tree lined shoreline with just a few spots of remaining snow, the mountains in the background, and the lightly clouded skies. We drove part way around the Rim Drive, then returned to explore the lodge and gift shop.
Back at camp, we helped Keith celebrate his upcoming birthday with pieces of carrot cake.
Tomorrow we will drive to Orland, a small town just west of Chico, where we will spend the night. From there we head to Gilroy for several nights.
Till next time,
Love from Dick and Rosemarie
Sunday, Aug 19
We had scouted out a service station across the street with the best diesel prices around. Their diesel pump is out front so the approach is outside the regular gas islands parallel with the highway. The Scholls pulled out first. When we were ready, we left the park and pulled in behind Keith and Virg at the fuel pump. Although Oregon does not allow you to pump your own gas, we were told to pump our own diesel! $230 dollars later we were on the road. For the first hundred miles or so, we followed the same path as the Scholls, but did not see them. After about 4 hours of fairly easy driving, we arrived at our park in Orland, CA
Our park here is really pretty! There are mature trees in every site and grass throughout. The only problem with the trees is that it makes it hard to get satellite TV. I put my tripod out with my separate dish about 10 feet off to the side of the motorhome. This allowed it to 'look" through a large opening in the tree foliage. After we got set up in camp, we unhooked the car and drove into Chico, about 20 miles away.
Monday, Aug 20
Our park is very nice with many amenities. There are good paved roads and concrete for the RV and cars parking. It has full hookups with 50 amp electrical, TV cable, and free WIFI Internet connection.
After getting settled and connected, we drove back one offramp to the Outlet center and wandered through many stores, including a Sony factory store. Afterward, we had dinner at Mimi's
Tuesday, Aug 21
We went to the Walmart that was only about 3 or 4 blocks from our park, and discovered probably the largest Walmart either of us has ever been in! About a block past it was a very large Costco, where we bought a few things.
Wednesday, Aug 22
The Monterey Bay Aquarium is fantastic! There are two floors of
displays along with several talks and demonstrations. We started
by hearing a talk on Jellyfish followed by one on Sea Otters. We
then wandered around and saw many, many displays including huge tank displays,
outdoor displays, and scientific displays. We spent several hours
enjoying all there was to see.
After the aquarium, we boarded another trolley and rode it to Fisherman's
Wharf. We wandered the length of the pier looking at all the seafood
menus and looking into the various shops. Finally we settled on a
small cafe and sat overlooking the bay. While we waited for our food
we watched seals, birds, and kayakers in the bay. It was fun.
Thoroughly exhausted, we grabbed a trolley back to the parking garage and drove back to the park. We started packing a few things in preparation for tomorrows drive to Atascadero,
Thursday, Aug 23
Rosemarie had made an appointment at Walmart to get her nails done before we leave. The shop opens at 10 and she was able to get an appointment for then. The only problem is the park has a check-out time of 11! I went into the office yesterday to see if there was a problem staying about an hour past the posted check-out time. I was told there was a $10 charge for late check-out. I was also told that there was a group arriving at 11:30 and they would be parking in our area. I think she was telling me that even by paying the extra money, I could not delay my departure.
I decided that I would drop Rosemarie at Walmart in the car, go to Costco to pick up several items we wanted to take with us, and head back to the park. There I would hook up the car and finish making the coach ready for travel. I did all this and drove the motorhome and car over to the Walmart parking lot and parked along the edge per our earlier plan. I was there by 10:30. About 45 minutes later, Rosemarie came out with a brand new set of acrylic fingernails, and we headed toward Atascadero.
It was a short drive of about 145 miles, and we arrived about 2:30 after making several stops along the way.
Friday, Aug 24 thru Sunday, Aug 26
First we met their new dog, Leo (Leopold), which joined them just a couple of days ago. He is a 2 to 3 year old mix of a Louisiana Catahoula Leopard Dog and a Great Dane. He has a wonderful personality, is very calm, and almost never barks. He was a "found dog" for whom no clues could be found such as lost dog ads, or replies to the found dog ones. The people who found him could not keep him, so the kids agreed to.
I helped Dave put the last two ridge panels on the roof of his new steel
shop building. This finishes the mechanical construction, with only
the electrical and the inspections left to do!
Dave and Carolyn decided that it was not fair to Leo to be alone, so
we all made a trip to the local humane society and the pound. The
next day Carolyn and the kids went back and came home with a year old Border
Collie mix (ZoŽ - pronounced "Zoie") to keep him company.
Sunday, Dave filled in for the minister at church and conducted the service, including the sermon. He did very well! I was thrilled that our visit coincided with his preaching.
We head home in the morning (Monday, Aug 27) and will go as far as Barstow. Tuesday, we will continue on to home.
I have not yet gone through my photos and done my web page version of these reports including pictures, but I will send you an email letting you know when I do get them posted.
Thanks for riding along with us! Till next time,
Love Dick and Rosemarie
Dick Mason, Prescott, AZ 8/27/075