Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Fairbanks, AK

Sunday - Starting to get things straightened up and cleaned out. I got the Ural dug out of its corner of the garage. Topped up the tires, checked the oil, and it started right up (after I remembered the choke!).

Monday - Continuing the de-clutter process. Hauled multiple trash bags of stuff from the freezer, pantry, and the spice cabinet. Lots of stuff that’s been hanging around for way too long. 

I tossed out a bunch of clothes that no longer fit (too big!) and some that I haven’t worn for more than ten years. There is still so much stuff…

Tuesday - I noticed they sunset is once again after midnight with the nights getting shorter every day. 
Out of curiosity, I stopped by the normal Tuesday morning coffee place to see if people were still meeting. I had a great visit.

I also stopped at the university to pick up my free parking pass and Home Depot to order replacement springs for the garage door. After a brief shopping trip at Costco, I was back home. I missed the afternoon test session as it was a bit of a wait at Home Depot as only one person knew how to order replacement parts. 

Saturday, May 27, 2023

Home (Fairbanks, AK)

Saturday - A long-ish travel day today at at 500miles. The weather was beautiful and the traffic was light. The last 100miles in Canada and the first 50miles in the US were the worst parts of the highway. Lots of frost heaves and potholes. A bit of gravel and some road construction.

We had a late lunch at Fast Eddy’s in Tok. It was delicious, as always. And, we stopped at the border to get the mandatory photo. 

The Jeep has been averaging 29mpg for the trip. Much better than I was expecting. We are pretty lightly loaded as we need open space in the back for the cat. The picture is just the road on the way to Delta.

We arrived back home a little after 5pm. A ten hour day. 

Friday, May 26, 2023

Haines Junction, YT

Friday - Today was a 370mile travel day ending in Haines Junction, YT. It was partially cloudy for most of the drive with some scattered showers. 

We had lunch at A&W in Whitehorse, and they had poutine. Which is fries with cheese curds and gravy. Pretty good and the first we’ve had on this trip.

We only spotted two black bear and a porcupine today but I thought I would mention that the highways have the brush cut way back to make it easier to spot wildlife headed for the road. It makes travel much safer. 

We are staying at a hostel in a wall tent with a nice wooden floor and propane heat. It’s pretty nice and, by far, the cheapest stay on this trip. Tomorrow will be a long-ish travel day at 500miles ending in Fairbanks. 

Thursday, May 25, 2023

Watson Lake, YT

Thursday - We got an early start this morning as we knew it was going to be our longest travel day at 535 miles. Basically, the full length of the Cassiar Hwy plus some more at both ends. There aren’t many places to stay with a cat. It was a beautiful day with fantastic scenery and not a much traffic. We spotted four moose, a porcupine, and six black bear today. 

We got some gasoline at Bell II and it turned out to be enough to make it all the way up Watson Lake. With the slower speeds on the Cassiar, we are getting almost 30mpg on the Jeep. We stopped at Jade City just to stretch our legs a bit. At this point, we were only about 1½ hours to Watson Lake. 

Only a couple more days before we are back home…

Wednesday, May 24, 2023

Smithers, BC


Wednesday - The first stop of the day was breakfast at Tim Horton’s. The coffee was good as was the maple dipped donut. The breakfast biscuit was good as well. I guess Tim Horton’s wasn’t disappointing. 

Today was a relatively short driving day at 310 miles. And no rain so it was pretty stress-free. Today’s short day is being made up for tomorrow, which may end up being our longest day. No pet friendly hotels on the Cassiar. 

Driving through BC is kind of like driving across Texas. It seems to take forever. 

After we arrived, we drove out to Kathlyn Lake just a short ways outside of town. It is a non-powered watercraft lake and it was pretty quiet.

Tuesday, May 23, 2023

Quesnel, BC

Tuesday - We were on the road before 8am (kind of unusual for us). We crossed the border into Osoyoos, BC. Easy crossing. Just a couple of questions and we were on our way. We ended up driving through the rain for most of the day but I don’t think that’s in the forecast for the rest of the trip. 

We arrived in Quesnel, BC, which is about an hour south of Prince George. Gas is about the same price as Washington after taking into account the exchange rate. About half of the trip was more relaxing and scenic. After getting on the main highway to Prince George, it felt more hectic and tiring. The rain didn’t help. 

We had dinner at a pho place. Pretty tasty!

Monday, May 22, 2023

On The Road

Sunday - We moved the RV to our friends home and got it ready for storage. Since it’s warm, no winterization needed. I did fill the fresh water tank with a mild bleach solution and ran it into the water lines. The slides are in, air bags deflated, no leveling jacks, refrigerator empty with doors open. All food not in cans, bottles, or plastic containers was put into plastic tubs. 

Monday - We are all packed up, I think, to head back to Alaska. We stopped at the Great Wolf Lodge as Bridget wanted to pick some stuff up. Including coffee. Priorities. 

We stopped in Omak, WA, which is about 40 miles from the border. Finding a “pet friendly” motel proved to be somewhat of a challenge. 

My AT&T plan has minimal data in Canada so it might be a couple of days before the next post. 

Saturday, May 20, 2023

Chehalis, WA - TT

Thursday - Not much went on today. I participated in the early test session and then dinked around sorting things out.

Only have a few more days before we start heading north. 

Friday - sold the tow dolly today. We met the buyer in Tacoma. Feels good to actually get it sold. Now, we have partial $ for a small trailer to haul the Ural. This is the Tacoma Narrows Bridge. We continued on the Port Orchard to visit my brother and sister-in-law who are staying at their daughter's home. We had a wonderful visit and we left around 4pm. Waze took us down the west side of the inlet so we did not go back over the bridge or through the Tacoma and Olympia traffic. A pretty nice route. 

After dinner at Taco Del Mar, we arrived back at the RV to continue getting ready to head north.

 - After the  morning test session, we headed about an hour northwest to the Snowbird Cidery. We went there the last time we were in the area and they were still in the planning process. They’ve been open since January and business is booming.

I tried a couple of ciders and we left with a couple of 32oz cans. Duncan was showing me his latest ham radio antenna which will be going up on a 75’ tower. 

Wednesday, May 17, 2023

Chehalis, WA - TT

Monday - Did a little plumbing work on the RV. The macerating toilet has a small variable resistor on the back of the control panel to change how long the water valve is open when refilling the bowl. It was set to max and the bowl wasn't filling all the way. The valve is embedded into the back of the toilet so I couldn't get it loose without cutting hoses. I had one more Shelly1 so I added a new pushbutton switch to operate the valve manually. Push a button, allowing 5 seconds of additional water into the bowl.

The water was out for about 18 hours here at the campground as someone had run over and broken a water line yesterday. It took them a while to get it fixed. Quite a bit longer than it did at Far Horizons in Tucson. Fortunately, we have enough water in our tank for several days.

Today was forecast to be another hot one but here at the campground, it's pretty nice. Plenty of shade and an occasional breeze blowing through. It did start raining mid-afternoon with thunderstorms and lightning around 6pm.

The last bit of plumbing work was replacing one of the blade valves. The plastic handle had broke a couple of months ago. It still worked but I went ahead and ordered a replacement on Amazon with a metal handle. It only took about ten minutes to replace it. 

Tuesday - It's pretty nice today. Around 74°F mid-afternoon. Just about perfect. It does feel a bit colder than AZ due to the higher humidity. Not much going on with us. Since it is cooler, I decided to make some Irish stew tonight. 

 - It felt hot working in the sun today. I got the tow dolly cleaned up to deliver to its new owner on Friday. I hope there is no issue with the sale as I advertised it through Facebook. We are supposed to be meeting the buyer in Tacoma on Friday. I washed off most of the oil and soot that had accumulated from the RV exhaust. It was pretty grimy. Tested the lights, checked the brake fluid, and collected all the pieces including brand new wheel nets, a new tire and wheel, and some other small parts I’ve accumulated while we were using it. Aired the tires to 50psi (max 80psi) as it’ll be unloaded for the trip. The brake fluid was still clean and I have spare covers for the master cylinder. 

Sunday, May 14, 2023

Chehalis, WA - TT

Wednesday - Another travel day but it was only 180 miles. We are at a TT campground and scored a sewer site. These are kind of rare in this particular campground as most of them are taken be seasonal residents. In fact, I’m pretty sure that we are in the same site that we were in two years ago.

The site slopes to the rear so I have blocks under the rear tires but not enough to get completely level. It’s close enough. The temperature is perfect now but the forecast is for 90s over the weekend. We should be in good shape with all the trees. Even with the trees, the cellular data speeds are good enough. 

We had a wonderful visit with our friends in Centralia. 

Thursday - I guess this means that we aren’t in AZ anymore. The excessive heat is upper 70s (°F). At 2pm, it’s 71°F. Actually, the warning is for this weekend not today.

This morning, I helped Dave a bit constructing a railing for their porch. 

Friday - After the morning test session, I started to clean and re-organize the basement storage. I need to fit the Jeep back seat in here again as we will need the space in the Jeep. The portable refrigerator will be traveling with us so we have room for the seat. This also was a good opportunity to clean out all of the sand and pollen. There was a lot of both from our time in Arizona. 

Sunday - No post yesterday as I was busy helping Dave to build a small fence. They have a couple of goats and the fence was needed to keep them out of a rose garden. 

Today, the morning task was was washing the Jeep. This was the last of the ArmorAll Ceramic car wash. It seems to work really well. 

The forecast is for a heat advisory until tomorrow afternoon when some clouds are supposed to be moving in.

We spent the afternoon with Dave, Ginny, and their sons family. It was a good visit and we made a delicious dinner (steak, corn on the cob, asparagus, baked potatoes) and ending with homemade peach pie.

Tuesday, May 9, 2023

Corvallis, OR

Monday - A cool-ish day today with a light drizzle. And a low temperature of 41°F. A good opportunity to start the engine. It started and ran without an issue. The lesson is don’t use the block heater unless it’s much colder. 

I did wash the Jeep yesterday as it was covered with 1500 miles of grime from the wet roads and the diesel exhaust. Not the oily mess that we had last summer but just some soot from this pre-particulate filter diesel. In the rear view camera, you can see all the spray from the rear tires of the motor home.

Supposedly, it’s only going to be raining today. We walked around the OSU campus this afternoon and picked up Hawaiian food to-go and went to me sister’s home for dinner. 

 - This morning, we drove out to Newport to visit a friend, KevinD at Whalers Rest TT campground. We had last been here in August of 2020, so it’s been a while. We walked down to the beach and it was a minus tide, so pretty low. I don’t remember it being this low on previous trips. 

We walked around the shops in the harbor. Quite a few of the shops were closed with it being the middle of the week. It was a really nice day. 

Back in Corvallis, we met up with Brad and Brandy at the Team Oregon offices. We had dinner at a local microbrewery down the street and had a wonderful visit.

Tomorrow, we head north. 

Sunday, May 7, 2023

Corvallis, OR

Sunday - We arrive in Corvallis, OR, this afternoon and staying at the fairground RV park. Around 1500 miles and used $817 of diesel. We averaged around 7mpg for the trip. The RV park has full hookups and we’ve stayed here numerous times before. 

The RV was hard to start again this morning. I’ll try tomorrow morning with no engine heating and depending on how it goes, I may end up trying to get an appointment at the Cat shop in Albany. 

The 230 mile drive was less stressful than yesterday as we weren’t getting snowed on. There was snow off in the trees but none on the road though there was quite a bit of water on the road.

We had dinner with my mom at the Old Spaghetti Factory. I hadn’t been to one of those in quite a while. 

Saturday, May 6, 2023

Klamath Falls, OR - HH

Saturday - The low temperature last night was 39°F. I turned on the block heater but may have left it on too long for the outside temperature. When I tried to start the engine around 9:30, the engine started readily but wouldn’t stay running. Fifteen minutes later, I tried again without the block heater on. The engine started easily and ran a bit longer before dying. At 10:00, I tried again and right after starting up, the grid heaters came back on and the engine stayed running. When the water temperature is above ~75°F, the grid heaters don’t come back on after the engine starts.

Today was a travel day and we went 200 miles to Klamath Falls, OR. It rained for much of the trip and when the elevation was above 5000’, the rain turned to sleet. Not good, in my opinion. The weather improved as the day progressed. 

Tonight’s stay is in the parking lot of a golf course. This is available as the golf add on to Harvest Hosts. No hookups or other amenities but no charge either. 

Tonight’s low is forecasted to be down to freezing. I’ll probably run the generator for an hour tomorrow morning to charge the batteries and run the block heater during that time. An hour shouldn’t be too long. 

Hopefully, we won’t have a problem…

Friday, May 5, 2023

Still in Milford, CA

Friday - Since it was a non-travel day, I participated in a couple of test sessions today. AT&T worked alright though my audio would occasionally fade. Some more light rain is in the forecast but as long as it stays above freezing, we should be good. Today’s high was only 48°F with tonight’s low dipping into the 30s. 

Tomorrow is another travel day into Oregon. 

Thursday, May 4, 2023

Milford, CA

Thursday - Another short-ish travel day. Around 185 miles. We are north of Reno on Hwy 395 in CA at a small, private RV park w/30amp power. The lake in front of our windshield is Honey Lake. It looks like it’s dry but you can see ripples so it’s just brown water. That must be from the runoff. On the way, there were several other lakes that were the same color.

It was little cooler today but the forecasted low will be colder. And, there were a few showers later in the day. Other than that, it was a pretty uneventful drive. Diesel was cheaper than AZ or outside Las Vegas at $3.80/gal. This was with the TSD discount. 

We will be here for a couple of days recovering from the last several long driving days.

Wednesday, May 3, 2023

Hawthorne, NV

Wednesday - Another travel day. Around 280 miles to Hawthorne, NV, where we are staying at an RV park visiting friends Tom and Lori. Around noon, the wind started to pick up and was from the southeast. Fortunately, for most of our trip the wind was to our back. The crosswind times were kind of stressful. 

The park is alright, nothing special but it does have full hookups including 50 amp power. This allows us to use the heat pump and do some laundry. 

Tomorrow, we are going through Reno to another RV park where we will be staying for a couple of days. Traveling every day is tiring so the break will be welcome.

We had dinner at a pizza place near the RV park. It’s always fun to meet friends on the road…

Tuesday, May 2, 2023

Pahrump, NV - BW

Tuesday - A relatively short travel day at 183 miles. We are staying at another Boondockers Welcome location. They have four sites, one with full hookups. It is only 72°F this afternoon with the overnight low forecast to be 46°F. Quite a change from the last couple of weeks. 

This was the first real test of the electric cooling fan that I had added to the radiator/intercooler stack back in August while at Lake Whitney TT. I had it on low speed yesterday and today and on a long, 6% grade north on 95, the engine heated up to 222°. I pulled over at a trailhead parking lot to let the engine cool down. Plus, I had lunch. I switched the fan to high speed and continued up the grade for several more miles. Our speed never got above 40-35mph as we started out heading up the grade. When we hit the top, the water temperature was pretty steady at 215°. Warmer than I would have liked but much better than before. In the past on shorter grades, the computer would derate the engine as the temperature was getting up to 235°F. So this was an improvement.

Monday, May 1, 2023

Fort Mohave, AZ - BW

Monday - Today was a relatively long travel day at 385 miles. I arrived at the Boondockers Welcome location at around 5pm. The hosts have an RV parking spot next to their garage, which also has another RV parking spot.  The site has power and water connections but I am only taking advantage of the power. 

We had a couple of issues during the drive. The WeBoost antenna cable came loose from its attachments on the roof. A couple of zip-ties fixed it in place. And, the passenger side body panel around the rear tire came loose. The two screws holding it in place were missing. Fortunately, I had several extras in my box of miscellaneous hardware. 

The cat wasn’t behaving as usual so we disconnected the Jeep and Bridget took the cat to a vet in Buckeye, AZ. They are on their way back here right now. For some reason, Google routed her through Kingman.