Thursday, August 18, 2011

We're in Tillamook, OR

Post One - 5:30 am

WELCOME to Connie and Barry!  They don't have a blog, but do have a Class B RV - a Gulfstream Vista Cruiser - that they enjoy when they aren't at their farmhouse in PA or their beach house in DE.  The best of both worlds?  No, that's the best of three worlds.  Thanks for following along with me and Katie, Connie!  : )

Tuesday, the plan was to go to town and do laundry, get gas and do a little shopping to get ready to move on Wednesday. Unfortunately, when I tried to start the truck at around 1:00, it wouldn't start.  It made that weird noise when the battery isn't charging.  So I called Good Sam Road Service and they sent someone out to give the truck a jump.  He said the battery is a 12 volt and was only charging 5 volts.  He said it's a 2006 battery and it's probably about shot.  I've never had a problem starting the truck until Tuesday, and so far it's been starting fine since they came out, so I've got my fingers crossed.  Having a new battery installed isn't very expensive, but I'd like this one to last a while for me.

I had forgotten that if I start my generator, there's a button on my dash I can push and the house batteries will charge the truck battery and start it.  The man who came out reminded me of that, and I won't forget again. I could have started it myself if I had remembered.  (I actually did push the button, but I didn't know the generator had to be running for it to work.)

By the time we got home it was around 7:30 and we were both pooped.  I put a quilt down on the pulled out couch, put clean pillow cases on the pillows and threw the down comforter without the duvet over us and we went to sleep.

When we woke up this morning, we were pretty much ready to go.  I put the bedding on the bunk - it's amazing how much easier it is to put together when I'm not tired.  Also, one of the hard things is putting the duvet on the comforter, there's no room in here to do it, but with the couch pulled out, the daybed was big enough to spread it out on, so that's what I'll do from now on.  Much easier than what I was doing before.

Katie and I took a little walk, got everything ready to go, and left at 12 noon.  Check out time.  When I unhooked the electric, I found a little frog in the box:

 Can you see the tiny frog?

I wasn't sure where we were going to go - there is a shopping center here called Valley River Center that I've heard about - it has all the big stores, Macy's, Penny's, Sees Candies, etc.  We drove there yesterday to check it out and to charge the truck battery.  I had been carrying around a gift certificate from See's for a while, so I stopped in and got a box of candy while we were there.

Anyway, on one far side of the parking lot, it borders a walking trail, I think a river, too, and it looked like a popular spot for bicyclists.  The shopping center allows RVs to park there free for two nights. A security guard comes around and kind of "checks people in" and lets them know he'll be patrolling the area, so it's safe.  Really nice.  I was thinking of staying there for two days.

 Hay all cut and stacked. I've never seen it stacked like this before.
Right down the road from Armitage Park.

But as we were heading out, I thought, why take a couple of days and live in a parking lot when I can be on my way.  I didn't need to do any shopping, and although it is a nice area with nice walking paths, it's not a park.  It's not a forest.  It's a parking lot.  For two days.  So I put Florence, OR in the GPS and we headed west.

We just drove all day and evening along the coast route.  We went through Florence, Wachats, Waldport, Newport, Depoe Bay, Lincoln City and all the little towns in between and ended up in Tillamook, OR.  I love driving along the coast, through the small towns; the roads were all good, no real construction slowing traffic.

I love going through these tunnels

Tunnel on Highway 126
My first glimpse of the ocean.

We went over a bunch of bridges - most have some sort of architectural structure making them different and interesting.
Bridge over Siuslaw River  taken in my rear view mirror.
We stopped here for lunch.
At Tokatee Klootchman

The three photos above are where we stopped for lunch along the side of the road.  It was super windy, so I took a few pics, walked Katie and went back into The Palms to fix lunch.  Egg salad sandwich and chips and dip.   I did a little research on the computer and had a little rest, then drove on.

Bridge over Ten Mile Creek
This was a cool looking bridge

I need a navigator - there's no way I can keep track of the bridges and tunnels so I don't remember the names unless there's a sign in the photo.

The only problem was, I didn't want to pay for a campsite tonight, and the only free place I could find was a Walmart south of here.  They said the city didn't allow parking, but they didn't care, and they didn't think anyone would bother me if I stayed overnight.  I thought about stopping there, but I wasn't done driving yet, I wanted to get further north, so I kept going.  There weren't any rest stops that allow overnights, and no other Walmarts close by after that one.

So, I had to break down and stop - around 8:00.  We went to a rest stop, but the signs said overnights were forbidden, so I got out the computer and searched for a nearby RV park.  Pleasant Valley RV park was right down the road about two miles, so we turned around and went back.  This is a $29/night for elect. and water, free wi-fi and cable (I can't get the cable to work) with a 10% Good Sam discount.  Add 1% room tax, and the total is $26.39.  Not too bad, and the park is clean and has nice amenities:  restrooms, showers, laundry, etc., and the wi-fi is good.  Walking paths along the Tillamook River and Mission Creek, which border it on two sides.

 And here we are!

One thing I've learned is that if I want free overnights while traveling, I can't travel along the coast.  The overnight rest stops and Walmarts are along the Interstates where the bigger cities are. At least that's what I'm finding so far.

I'm thinking of going to Seaside tomorrow, then down the 26 to Portland.  I've never been to Portland. I've got my Washington map on the Internet to check out tomorrow, and I'll figure out where I want to go next. 

Katie was snuggled up in bed around 9:00, she was sooooo ready, trying to jump up to the bunk.  She was totally zonked.

We are right on 101, but either there isn't much traffic this time of night, or the trees are sheltering us from the road noises, because it's very quiet. It is now 5 am, and I haven't slept a wink.  It seems when I have a long driving day, I'm either totally exhausted and sleep like a log, or I can't sleep much at all.  I vote for totally exhausted, but not this time.  I'd stay here another night, but the radio reception sucks, and I can't get the cable to work, and no antenna reception at all.

I'm guessing tomorrow will be a shorter driving day, or a good nap at a rest stop. So, tomorrow we are on our way again, heading north, then east a bit.

From Me and My Dog, have a great Thursday, everyone!  : )


  1. Are you going to do the tour of the cheese factory? I don't like cheese but the ice cream is wonderful. Do you belong to Escapees? There's a Days End program that you can download for $7 (I think) for places to park every night for free or almost free that aren't Walmarts. we use it all the time.

  2. What fun! Except for the sleepless and tired part. I'm loving following Katie's adventures!

  3. If you're going to go up to Astoria & then in to WA, you might look at spending some time in Long Beach, and then going up to the Olympic Peninsula. Both areas have lots of places to explore and the weather should be gorgeous this time of year.

    Thanks for taking us along on your journey!

  4. the bridges along the 101 are amazing..and you are like me..unless I took a picture of the sign..can't remember which one is which!..enjoy the cheese factory if you go!!

  5. I prefer driving the US routes which are usually less stressful than the interstate. But once in a while you need a shot at the interstate because that's where everything is, the commercial stuff at least. I would like to drive the coastal route some day.

  6. I second what Jim and Sandie said about Day's End. It covers every state and is FULL, FULL, FULL of free or inexpensive places to overnight (or longer), perfect for a rig your size. All the reports are sent in by travelers. The Guy (that is his name, Guy Gipson) that organizes and updates it does a great job of keeping reports current. Also includes free and inexpensive dump stations. After you subscribe, you can get subsequent year's fees reduced or eliminated by sending in new reports or updates.

    If you like to boondock, it is worth the fee even if you need to join Escapees (Day's End is available to Escapees only)... a group that can be a big help to you for other reasons as well (like the discounts you will get in many RV parks). 4 Tillamook listing in the current Day's End (a 588 page downloadable PDF file).

  7. There's been a couple times when I wouldn't have minded having that generator charge the battery thing on my car! LOL Just one of the ins & out of RV living to remember. If your truck battery is five years old though, it probably IS time for a new one. That's about how long most batteries are good for.

    Do you read the Tioga & George blog? He's very good at finding free overnight camping spots. Says in towns industrial areas are good. And I don't know about out there, but in this part of the country most small towns have city parks with at least a few free camping spots. They DO appreciate if you leave a few dollars for the electric though.

  8. Wow, you have really made tracks since you left Eugene. Yes, there is a river behind Valley River Center, the Willamette, but I can see why you moved on. Love that route up the coast.

    When we visit the Portland area, we stay at Clackamette Park in Oregon City. It is a bit south of Portland but there is very little camping in Portland proper. Some RV parks, but mostly filled with full time residents and some parks not all that great. Clackamette Park is right on the Willamette River where the Clackamas River joins it. It is a city park with water and electric and an RV dump station for $20. It's small but a great place for a few nights. Love watching all the fishing boats ply the river. It is an urban setting with stores and such right across the street but very quiet at night (except for the sea lions barking, which I love to hear). Have fun and give Katie a hug from us.

  9. Thanks for the nice welcome - enjoy your travels - love reading what others are doing! Best wishes always!

  10. Did you order the software for the talking photo? I love it...gonna try to order...the free version...if I can


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