Not on the Right Road?

We spent a few days in Prineville, OR, visiting with family. The town is fairly small, but has an old west style charm to it. While there we learned that the geographical center of Oregon is a tiny town called Post, which is only 25 miles from Prineville. So off we went to find the center of Oregon.

I googled the zip code and input it in the Garmin GPS under the Where To Address icon. The device asked for a street address, but we didn’t have one so we just skipped that step which made a list of street names pop up. We picked the first thing on the list, #27. Garmin led us out of town on Reservoir Road. There are multiple campsites along the Crooked River and the scenery is wonderful!

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Chimney Rock Campground along the Crooked River
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Chimney Rock

We followed the GPS directions on the road for 18 miles, and then it told us to take a left on G. Millican road – and follow that road for another 14 miles. Um. Math isn’t adding up here since 14 & 18 together is more than 25 miles. Huh. Having complete faith in the GPS, we kept driving and were told to turn left again on Highway 20. The GPS keeps us going for another 4 miles and tells us to turn left again and that our destination will be on the right in 2.1 miles. Whew, what a long drive for a town that was only supposed to be 25 miles! 2.1 miles later the GPS announces that our destination is on the right. It’s a bush…with some other bushes near it.

It turns out that when we didn’t have an exact address to input into the GPS earlier we should not have used the Where To Address icon, but should have used the Where To Cities icon. We had never even been headed in the right direction to get to Post, OR. We were headed to a bush in the middle of nowhere on Highway 27 – yeah, remember that #27 we picked earlier with we didn’t have a street address, turns out that was a highway…with a bush.

We should never have been allowed to leave our home without learning how to use the GPS properly. And that is my advice for the day – be smarter than your smart technology. It wasn’t even a cool bush.

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This is not the bush we found. But this is what the bush got from me. (Photo Credit Unknown)

My family in Prineville own a small business, The T-Shirt Shack . They offer customized t-shirts and other clothing and vinyl letter signs. They offered to make us a vinyl decal for our travel trailer to help promote this blog. They did an awesome job!

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The T-shirt Shack hard at work for us!
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We love it!!

 

Oregon Route 242

I think that it would be a good idea to be able to input the fact that you are hauling a travel trailer into your GPS…because the shortest route is most certainly not the best route with a truck and trailer. We proved this theory while headed to Prineville, OR from the Oregon Coast. GPS told us to take Old McKenzie Highway Oregon Route 242, which was a beautiful drive, but not a road meant for hauling your home on. It was uphill all the way and the corners were mostly just terrifying u-turns with a big drop off on the passenger side – my side. But we did manage to survive the highway and see some cool stuff on the way.

We came across the Blue River Reservoir, which was not reserving anything…it was dry and barren. The empty reservoir looked like a scene in a sci-fi movie from another planet. And what else should you do on an empty planet other than let the dogs loose to explore!

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Blue River Reservoir
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New planet, Desolate, found by Write on the Road

Rusty and Milo ran, sniffed, barked, found water and drank and swimmed. They looked like they were having so much fun swimming I decided to join them…and found myself stuck up to my ankles in mud…meh, I will leave that to the dogs.

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Rusty and Milo found water on Desolate…
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…I found mud.

After our planetary discovery we got back on the Oregon Route 242 (a.k.a the shortcut road to an early heart attack), and reached the McKenzie summit, 5325 feet, just after sunset. At the summit is Dee Wright Observatory, which is a castle at the top of the mountain.

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We have declared this Castle Write on the Road

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It felt like the top of the world, and the wind chill factor convinced me that it really was. It was a beautiful and strange area, and I am almost glad that we braved Oregon Route 242 (a.k.a the road less traveled by smart people).

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Pack it in, pack it out…plus some.

I am standing tall on my soapbox for this one. Although we haven’t been full-time RVers for very long, we have spent many years camping, hiking, and enjoying other outdoor activities. Our world is amazing and beautiful with so much to offer to us, but humans tend to do what humans do…destroy.

No matter where we go we are always astonished at the damage that people can accomplish. We have found rusted curtain rods in the middle of streams. Piles of human feces and toilet paper piled under forest old growth. Diapers, used tampons, and maxi pads left on hiking trails.  As disgusting as it is, and as angry as it makes me to watch humans destroy my world, I can’t control what other people do, but I can still choose to do something about it.

Anytime you head outdoors, take two bags with you. One to pack out your own garbage, and one to fill with other refuse you find laying around. It is also advisable to carry some latex gloves in your pocket to make this less icky for you…used hiking trail tampons are not awesome. You don’t have to clean up everything, but if we all cleaned up something then we can keep getting closer the beautiful wonder that our world is supposed to be.

Pack it in, pack it out…plus some.

I am now taking my soapbox and neatly placing it in the back of our truck, and filling it with two bags of garbage to dump. Thanks for reading…and thanks for caring about our world.

 

Eugene, Oregon

I am not a big city person. I don’t like traffic, I don’t like crowds, and I know I am delusional because I consider Eugene, OR a big city.

We were going to spend just a few days in Eugene, but we are not shopping mall and fancy restaurant types of people. We are more Goodwill, dog parks, and WiFi kind of people.

Shopping – There are plenty of thrift stores in Eugene/Springfield area, including many Goodwill stores and a local charity, St. Vincent DePaul thrift stores.  I love thrift store shopping! There is less bargain hunting these days than when we were in a sticks ‘n bricks due to a lack of space, but I can still find great buys on clothes and, most importantly, books.

Parks –  Alton Baker Park in Eugene was awesome. They have tons to do there, but the best part for us was the dog park. The dog park was fairly busy, but our two four-legs had a wonderful time running and playing with new friends. The dog park is huge and fully fenced, with double entry points at three different locations. There are benches and covered picnic tables, and a graveled loop trail for us two-legs to walk with our four-legs. (Nerd alert — multiple Pokemon Go Stops and a couple of gyms in and around the dog park!)

We parked The Serenity at Richardson County Park. The park is pretty small, but clean with hot showers and only 15 minutes from the city. The park has a tiny ampitheater, plenty of places to walk, and a beautiful lake with a marina.

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Our big adventure in Eugene was a Def Leppard, REO Speedwagon, and Tesla concert at the Matthew Knight Arena. The bands were beyond awesome! The music was so nostalgic you could almost smell the AquaNet in the air.

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The Black Water Tank Situation (a.k.a. My Patronus is a turd)

 

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The Black Water Tank Situation (a.k.a. My Patronus is a turd)

Warning: This post may be shitty.

Due to the graphic nature of this blog post we have opted to leave out any photographs of the black water tank situation. 

We had dumped the black and grey water tanks every time we arrived and departed from a park with dump facilities. Our grey water tank seemed to be fine, our black water tank wouldn’t get below ⅔ full according to our electronic meter. We thought maybe the electronic meter wasn’t working properly…until we saw the pile of crap scarily close to the toilet opening. Well…shit.

At the time we were in a full hookups site, including sewer, so this very much meant that we had a plug. We tried flushing while admiring our black tank contents with a flashlight. We used the special RV toilet wand (expecto excremento!) hooked up to a hose from inside the bathroom. We even raised the trailer up some, to tilt it, you know, shake the poop out of it.

Finally, we gave The Serenity an enema. We shoved the hose up dump pipe and flushed the crap out of it. It took awhile, and it smelled like our combined attitudes about it, but we did get her emptied.

This problem could have been an old issue. Maybe there was dried sewage when we bought her, and it just caused a back up. Maybe we need to look into other toilet paper options that dissolve better. Or maybe…shit happens.

UPDATED – We have long since learned that this was caused by leaving the black tank drain open all the time when on sewer hookups. What happens is the liquid wastes all drain immediately, leaving the poo to become Poops Peak. So, keep your black tank closed even when hooked up, folks!