Summer and our stay in Oregon flew by this year. We had four different sets of visitors this year, and thoroughly enjoyed them all. I got a new computer on the cheap, and have been re-writing the Thousand Trails Reviews site, hoping to be done in late October. Athena has been working nearly constantly while Darin, Holly, John and the RV have been having issues that require everything she can come up with. Sounds like typical life to me, Athena enjoys her work, and some times she even lets me help.
This segment of Rollingshoebox.com covers the people we saw and the events of August and September:
Athena’s Sister and Family Arrive
Athena’s sister and her family come to our Prairie Campground location. They are from the big city where they just see lawns, cars, and stressed out human beings. Hopefully they enjoy the countryside as much as we do.
Most of us climbed the obsidian flow which is a mountain of volcanic glass. This was more than I could do, so I sent the camera on with others in our group.
There is a pond here, frogs and stuff live in the algae, and the glass shards. If you have a good arm, you can probably chuck obsidian chunks in there so as to keep the water stirred up and oxygenated. You should ask the ranger first though, in case they are not in the mood for ecological help that day.
Some of our group made it to the top of the Obsidian flow. They were rewarded to a great view of Paulina Lake and the Crater. Then, Athena whipped out the camera and shot them for posterity.
Very interesting falls, reminds me of Shoshone falls park in Idaho on the Snake river. These falls are on Paulina lake which is fed by a glacier at a rate that keeps the lake-level even year around. It never dries up do to lack of water in the summer. One could call these falls old reliable. Until they quit being reliable anyway.
We all went to the lava tube cave in near Sunriver, Oregon. Athena’s sister’s family-here in this picture-along with Sarah were brave enough to spend $4.00 to rent a flashlight and go spelunking. They were gone a long time. They said they could not see much, but kept going until they hit a gate. Sounds to me like the may have found the costco security gate where the tobacco products are stored, but it was to dark to know for sure. Strangely everyone who returned from the adventure said it was really cool, but next time they will bring a coat.
Well, Athena’s sister left and now it is time to deal with the tail light bulb burned out on our 2006 Holiday Rambler Ambassador. We researched how to replace it. Our research turned up nothing but ugly solutions, which we tried. We removed the fascia on back that covers the filters and tried to pull the plug, and find the bolt neither worked. so we had to put all that back. We then discovered a slot on the side of the lamp housing between the rv and the light. The slot was right where we could get at it so we stuck a screw driver.. “A large Standard bit one” in there and gently popped off the lamp. The light was just held in by fake grease zerk like fittings. Don’t grease them, they have no hole for the grease. (This is in because of the people watching the Youtube video on how to drill an I-Phone 7 jack.) If one of these people are reading this we welcome you them and don’t want them to damage their RV by mistaking this for a grease fitting.
This where the light was removed after we pried it off with the screw driver the wire can be removed from out side the rig just pull the lamp out a shade. There is a clip that has to be slide side ways and the lamp and its feed wire will then easily separate from the lamp. Note the round tab in the bottom of the picture that appears to be bent backwards. Don’t fix it to look like the one above it. I find this to be be counter productive. It was designed to be bent back. Who knew!
Remove bulb from taillight assembly Monaco knight, Diplomat, and 2006 Ambassador . In this picture you will see little circle like eyes protruding from the sides of the white plastic bar. Just remove every screw you see, and the bar will come off easily and reveal all the bulbs. The bulbs all look good to me, left me perplexed, leaving only two options to make sure I got the right bulb. 1. Smash the assembly in to the picnic table causing all the bulbs to break which would dictate a need for all the bulbs which would eliminate confusion. The bulbs are only about $1.50 at NAPA auto parts. Or 2. Take the white bar back to the motor home, plug in the wire and have Athena turn on the signals. breaks, and backup light while I looked for the bulb that has gone on to it’s reward. Option number two worked for us, was less destructive and only cost us $1.50 as we only had to buy one bulb. How you choose to do it, it up to you. In putting it all back together, you may want to check all light assembly with the new bulbs just as I did in option 2 before getting it all put back. It would suck if you bought a bad bulb or another one went out while this assembly is being put back in the rig. Lastly the screws that hold the light bar to the lamp assembly are going into plastic, not metal, be gentle, some people don’t seem to know their own strength.
Now back to our regularly scheduled programming. Sarah’s friend comes for a visit so we take them to the Lava Cast Forest. They climbed in big tree holes made by cooling lava. The place is starting to get over grown with shrubs and trees ruining the natural makeup of the lava flow. Sadly the bushes are ruining the casts. They need to spray and pull up the vegetation so this unique educational experience will be there for their children. Maybe some enterprising person could start a “Preserve the Lava” campaign “Young Minds need to know” On last note you need a forest service pass to park here. Don’t drive 10 miles of washboard gravel with no cash or a pass, driving back to town unfulfilled sucks!
This Horizontal lava log was so darn big Sarah could pretend to be a varmint and sit in it.
When there is fun to be had, teens go a hundred miles per hour, then stop for a few minutes. On work days, they stop so long the confuse sunset for dawn’s early light.
We are back in Sunriver Thousand trails. It is so cool having water and electricity. Sewer would be nice to have, but we have not had that amenity since May. Athena and I are watching the grass grow, and the little Deschutes river pass by. It is moving slower than the grass right now.
The Sheridan fire looks like it is coming our way for a visit. We saw an orange glow on the car and thought what a pretty and intense sunset. We then opened the blinds and said not again! Once convinced it was not going to eat us, we took some fun photos of the smoke, planes and neighbors. Some dumb ass according to the radio has set at least 14 of these fires. I hope when they ID his body they throw him in jail to make an example of him. My wife and kids have asthma, smoke is not their friend. Did he or she think of that! We are glad for those who chose a firefighting career, they put in a heck of an effort this year.
We took a ride on a paddle boat in Salem, Oregon – thanks to my stepmom, Zella Pantekoek. She got Dad, us and her kids together for a wonderful outing in Salem. Paddle boats are a neat change of pace.
Benham Falls Trail is a relatively easy walk to Benham falls. Bring lots of mosquito spray if going in the morning or evening or afternoon.
Churning as the Sea, Benham falls is rough and moving fast. Looking is great, and swimming would be one’s last activity.
We don’t know what they are thinking, but the four Western Oregon reservoirs are all but empty this year making power boating next to impossible if not deadly. This in turn leaves the communities with little or revenue which in turn causes them to dry up. For now, check the stats before you go, but Washington, California, and the Snake river lakes are full at this time. Are the Western Oregon dams in bad condition and need fixed, What gives? I want my lakes!
Out side of Christmas Valley a few miles is an attraction called Crack-In-the-ground. We drove about 2.5 hours from Sunriver to get here.
Crack in the Ground Deep by some estimates it may be as much as 70′
Crack in the ground is like a cave, but it is open at the top. It is about 20 degrees cooler in the bottom than outside. Why, I have no idea, but a great place to be if it is hot out, and bad place to be in an earthquake.
Christmas Valley Climate is arid with some juniper. The town it self is a typical depressed looking small town in need of some outside dollars to spruce it up.
Athena is already cleaning up after or trip to the desert AKA Christmas Valley
Athena doing business, setting up new software costs money
Old Mill District is an out door mall with expensive stores such as REI, art studios, and restaurants.
For Sale: Steam Punk Horse powered by a pot belly stove at Old Mill District Bend, Oregon
Moon rises over Red Robin at the Old Mill Casino. This place, is pretty, relaxing to walk around, but our wallet dictated we drive to Subway for supper where Athena, Sarah and I can eat for a $10 bill. These shoppes charge you that to ingest the smell.
Athena’s Birthday came up fast. I bought her cake and some icing. Then got busy working on the new Thousand Trails Reviews site which we hope we have running in about a month. So she made the cake for her self. Sarah and I added the candle. We only gave her one, because she is over 40.
Under the rainbow and over the dam. We got skunked again as we did not find a pot of gold. Maybe it was too small to see! Those stingy little leprechauns! Lead me to “Big Cliff Dam” on hwy 22 about 40 miles east of Salem. Here I sit, with nothing but pretty pictures.
Back from Salem again, I am working on Thousand Trails Reviews and suddenly the power goes out. I just figure they unplugged it for some reason, but decide I better check. I exit the rig, and they have no notion of what happened. Athena and I thought the last few minutes through and discovered the hose had moved the power cord. We opened the power cord bin and heard the reel making an arcing and a sizzling sound. I thought to my self, where there is sizzling there is steak, so I looked hard for the steak. Seeing no benefit to the scary noise we pulled the plug from the power source and removed the power reel.
Round circular thing brushes run on in power reel 2006 Ambassador turns out to be badly damaged. I don’t know what this is called. So I can’t get another one. If you know, please do tell. For now my warranty is going to replace it, but we are looking at November.
Hell’s Canyon, Brownlee Dam and the Snake River are the last we see of the scenic Oregon waters.
Our visit went well with Mom, but she wants to move back to the Oregon coast to be closer to medical care and her family. If you or anyone you know wants a Grand Victorian Home in Washington state take a look at the following video and give her a call.
As for us, we are traveling south early this year as we want to see if we can help cut costs for Holly and John by getting them out of the hotel and into an apartment and helping them get jobs that offer them some stability before winter, our goal is to leave them with independence.
We also have a date with Jason @ Accurate RV who has been doing warranty work for us all summer and will be installing the new power cord for us. His charges have been reasonable, he has been on time and he has seemed to get right to the issue and get the job done and on to his next client with no wasting of our time and money. His
web site is not as professional looking as the company it represents but I would give him a 5 out of 5. Phone 541-848-9151 Use this number in Yuma or Bend.
Good Evening and Good Night….. Look for our next blog from where ever the wind takes us.