Settled in at Fairview…

Settled in here at Portland/Fairview RV Park and soon had a regular bike route around the area to enjoy. I like being able to bike to the nearby Veteran’s Clinic, post office, Target, Stomping Grounds coffee shop, etc.

One of the places I found:

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It doesn’t open until 11 AM the day I biked past but I’ll keep it on my list of places to try for later.

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On to Portland…

Dan and I spent the next couple days in Walla Walla visiting with our retired sister and the still working BIL. He works up at the old military base & Walla Walla Regional Airport as an all around maintenance guy. The airport has all these old WWII buildings so they’re cheap to rent for new businesses. I worked out there years ago at an electronics firm that designed and built frozen food weighing machines. While there at that company, they had a policy of teaching employees to fly, free, if they wanted. So I got flight training on their dime using that historic runway. Long before that, I’d gone out there once a week for over a year for USNR (US Naval Reserve) training as that’s where our meeting hall was. Might still be there. After each training session we’d all rush home, often we’d drag race through downtown Walla Walla. Lucky I never crashed, got a ticket, or blew up Dad’s engine. Almost always won those short races because my timing was good, Dad always had big engines, and those other drivers sucked.

In Walla Walla during those years, 1961-1964, there was no radio station in town that played Rock & Roll. It was all crap all the time, really snooze fest music. And a couple religious and Country/Western stations thrown in. We were too far for the average radio to pick up any Pasco station (50 miles away), which did play R&R. Though sometimes if the atmosphere was just right people could pick it up and the latest songs would be sung by the gurls to the rest of us the next day at HS. There was even a phone network for passing around the latest songs.

But we had at HS a kid (one year younger then me so…to me he was a kid) with a natural radio announcers voice, which all his friends and acquaintances, including me, were lobbying with him to use as a DJ at any local radio station. We didn’t care which one, just as long as he was the host. Finally he warmed up to the idea, after a couple years of his peers telling him he had a perfect radio voice, and went all in. Most of the student body was electrified when it got passed around school that he was going to become a radio announcer. Then our lobbying switched to the radio stations in town with a vengeance & it took a concerted grassroots effort on our part with teams of teenagers calling the stations asking why no R&R was played, while others visited the stations manager whenever they could and lobbied for our guy. And it was a struggle. The stations initially refused. “There will never be Rock & Roll in Walla Walla!” as one on air personality screamed after fielding 10’s of calls from our campaign group requesting popular songs during his call in request show. His stupid comments made the papers, outraging most parents with teenagers. Except for the religious freaks, as always, trying to block it, R&R was already widely accepted throughout most of the nation…but the radio stations in our town still objected and REFUSED to play it. Remember this was almost the MID SIXTIES. It’s not like R&R had just been invented. Occasionally you might hear a Elvis, or Ray Charles song on air but that was pretty much the extent of R&R on the radio in Walla Walla for those years.

Finally, one station, grudgingly, allowed our hero, Burl Barer (he even had a cool radio name – pronounced Burl BEAR), to host a one hour show featuring R&R from an approved play list. Damn it was good to finally have some of our own music. And Burl’s voice is so deep and rich we knew we’d launched a new city wide, state wide, maybe country wide, radio star. And that link above from Wikipedia about him proves we did! But just ONE FUK’IN HOUR PER WEEK?? Jeese. Anyway, teams of teenagers swamped the station with phone requests whenever Burl’s show ended. None of their other listeners were doing that. So they went to 2 hours per week. Then a couple hours a couple days per week. 8 pm to 10 pm. ‘Cus you kids should not have fun. It’s amazing how much the stations pushed back against it, or dragged their feet. Burl, his parents, and the station’s managers were concerned about him working at his age, what with school work and such, but he got air time, by popular demand. Other local radio station managers finally saw what was going on with this whole thing and Burl soon had two shows at different stations, eventually a weekend show. And on the other stations (except the religious or C&W) there would be the occasional R&R song played, sometimes a block of several, usually with a snotty introduction by an arrogant DJ apologizing and pandering to those opposed to ‘that music’.

Before R&R radio play time had become the norm, the whole town exploded in controversy about whether R&R was evil or not. Radio surveys, church’s used the pulpit to tell anyone who would listen R&R is bad, newspaper articles, hundreds of letters to the editor, radio station owners using their Bully Pulpit to lobby the city’s mayor to outlaw R&R!! Can you believe that? We even had teenage misguided Jeebus freaks at school telling the rest of us how evil that kind of music was. Gah! That did NOT go over well. It is JUST MUSIC. Which caused us to redouble our efforts. Eventually, and it took months, no, it took years, Walla Walla emerged from the dark ages and we got nearly full time R&R from a local station grudgingly changing their format. During the change over the station manager pissed and moaned about having to do it and repeatedly apologized profusely to the old timers and religious freaks. It started out playing R&R in the early morning hours only. Then eventually, after hundreds of complaints from teenagers, they played R&R from 8 to 10 pm, and several nights per week. Finally, we were making some headway. Also, the stations noticed their advertising revenue was trending up with more listeners. This was during the time when I’d occasionally turn on the car radio, hear only ‘How much is that doggie in the window’ type crappy ass’ed music, and switch it back off. Leaving it off for days at a time. There’s only so much Frank Sinatra I can stand, even to this day.

It was during the period when ‘our music’ was still only played an hour per week I was driving home from a Reserve training meeting (one night per week, on a Wednesday) that I’d occasionally stop at a pizza place on 4th street. And that’s the first time & place I heard the Beatles fully. Damn they were good. That pizza joint got a newer jukebox with 45 RPM records and since we had R&R on the radio an hour per week now, the owner took a chance and put R&R on his jukebox. He had to buy the box and sign up for the record service in Pasco though, because the business in town wouldn’t handle R&R. Holy crap, that place exploded with business from teenagers, but mostly gurls too young & immature for someone all grown up and in uniform like me. We’d call them bubblegummers (yes, I had a crew). I’ve often thought that those were probably the gurls that went on to be hippy gurls a few years later because they were so wild and reckless there in the pizza place. Oh, and the pizza was great too, and I mean great. But the music! Wow. I went from a casual listener to a fanatic overnight. The Beatles had like 3 songs on the box, the British invasion was already in full swing so there were several other British groups that most of us knew nothing about on there too, and a year later the owner told me he’d had to replace several of the records repeatedly because they got wore out being played so much. But he wasn’t complaining.

It was strange when I got out in the ‘real’ world to find out how far behind music trends those of us that grew up in Walla Walla were. We had no, or little, idea how great the music elsewhere had become. Sure there were some kids at WiHi who traveled and knew about it but they were the minority and could only share with a few as all our recording equipment back then was rather bulky, or not exactly mobile. Our record stores had not caught up for the most part either. And those with records brought in from outside were not about to share them as they would quickly ‘disappear’ or get scratched up if loaned out. This same kind of suppression of popular music also occurred with movies and dancing. Movies shown in Pasco would be advertised in the Walla Walla paper so we would know about them, but they would never come to our theater. It was an adventure getting people together to travel clear over to Pasco just to catch a movie they wouldn’t show in Walla Walla. Only ‘approved’ movies were shown there. Dancing at proms and the like was also strictly controlled. So when I saw the 1984 movie Foot Loose, (I’ve only watched it once, it’s too stupid to watch more than that), I recognized that same backwardness in my home town. Can you believe we had ignorant jackasses writing letters to the local paper editor, going to city council meetings screaming about how ‘that music’ was going to ruin out ‘Merican way of life and that it should be outlawed? And always on religious grounds. Wow. Such. Intense. Stupid. Probably the same people were still against Elvis and his style of music.

But I digress…Dan and I left Walla Walla heading for Portland and 30 minutes west of town there’s a turn off to the Tri-Cities (Pasco, Kennewick, Richland) where we spent most of our childhood. And some of our adulthood. It’s a longer route, but we took that route for memories. Here’s a picture of the New new Bridge off in the distance connecting Pasco (where we’re at at the moment), and Kennewick over on the south side of the Columbia. A couple miles further west is another bridge that when I went to college here in Pasco, we called the New bridge. We’re heading nearly due west in this picture. This is our old stomping grounds. In fact, when we were toddlers, we moved into a little cinder block house on this street a couple miles west of here.
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA This is all build up and modernized now. Use to be a dump around here.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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Crooked River to a Ghost Town…

Well, sort of a ghost town. There’s still plenty of people living there and in the surrounding area but it’s almost a wispy ghost of its past glory now. I guess it’s main claim to fame was sheep. Apparently there was good reason for running herds of sheep here back in the 1880’s. But to get there, we had to leave the Crooked River Ranch where we were staying, get back on US 97 and head north-east for around one hour to Shaniko. That’s what people would do if they didn’t need propane. I was down to around less then 1/3rd tank so I backtracked south on US 97 to the northern part of Redmond, where I found Oregon Feed & Irrigation. They sell propane, bulk, and way back early 2015 I’d stopped by and got a tank full for $1 per gallon. Whoa! So I thought I’d check again…fully expecting it to be much higher this time. Seemed to me back then that they were having a price war with the Terrebonne feed store just up the road.

But when I got to the feed store, it’s still $1 per gallon! Can’t beat that anywhere else in the US right now I don’t think. And on the way back north the Terrebonne feed store still had their’s at $1.25/gallon. Makes me get all pissy when I’m over here in Portland and see it at $3.59/gallon.

Anyway, here’s Crooked River Ranch golf course. Very nice.

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New entries to the RV repair blog…

For my readers interested in the ‘Repair’ section of my blog…

I’ve added an Ice Maker repair, and Modifications to my shower door. Check them out by clicking the links. The shower door mods are near the end of the shower blog posting.

Thanks for visiting!

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Fall River Fairgrounds & more…

Next morning, took a few shots at the fairground. It’s the end of April so not much going on here and not many campers.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIt was just yesterday that we were in a snow storm. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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Leaving Rosamond, and on to Oregon…

Details of the trip from Rosamond, to Fall River, CA. The sailing adventure we three salty sailors had off the Los Angeles coast was loads of fun, after that, there’s really not much that happened at my brother’s place, no work was done on the project car, and my brother didn’t seem to have any projects going on that needed to be worked at. So, since I had to go to Portland for my yearly VA checkup, and I wanted to give the newer RV a workout, I called my sister up in Walla Walla and tried to arrange a visit.

Well, you know how these things go, turned out her husband and she was going to be out of town around the time I wanted to visit. But still, my son lives there in Walla Walla too and it was time to give him a visit as well. So I talked Dan into traveling with me, and together we came up with a travel plan that included stopping at Lassen Volcanic National Park for a look see. Then drifting around a bit, and finally arriving in Walla Walla the day before Teri and Gary were to arrive back in town. We’d just spend the night before they arrived at a RV park.

OK, we had a plan. Dan bought his airline ticket for a trip back from Portland, which was my ultimate destination, and I talked him into taking the long train ride from LA to Lancaster (the trains last stop) rather then finding some way to get his car down to LAX in their long term parking lot. It’s a 2 hour train trip. Then I gave him the phone number of a halfway inexpensive taxi service from Lancaster to his house. After that was all arranged, we’re ready to travel in my newer, very comfy RV. We did delay our travel one day because of strong wind warnings all along our route. The prediction for the next couple days after that event were of the mild winds type. And the next day, as we passed over a freeway cloverleaf just past Mojave (the small town just 13 miles north of Rosamond) there were two semi trailers that had been blown over the day before!

We left Rosamond on April 26th, not in any particular hurry. We’re both retired but my brother is still the impatient type and freaked out when I seemed to miss the turn to I-5 and just headed straight north on CA-14. I was intending to go up through Tahachapi, Bakersfield, Fresno, etc. because I’ve been that I-5 route so many times, I just like taking a different route from time to time. And I’m retired, not in any hurry. My brother though, jeese, take a chill pill, dude. We’re not going that far out of our way. Anyway, after we’d traveled a couple hundred miles, I’ve been watching for trouble and asked what his reasoning was for wanting to head over to I-5? I thought maybe he’d seen a traffic report and knew of a current construction zone on the route I took but no…he just thought it was faster taking I-5 because you can drive 75 MPH instead of 65 like on this freeway. Really? Checking the map shows it’s actually 3 minutes faster going the way I did. Four lane highway the entire route too. And most of it signed 75 MPH. But I never drive that fast anyway so it’s a moot point.

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAJust outside Bakersfield you get a great view from the hills of this giant valley filled with farms.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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Another Sailing trip…

The 2nd weekend after arriving at Rosamond, Brennan, neighbor Bob, and I went sailing. It was short notice so the types of vessels for rent were limited but we got a 35 foot cruiser. And it turned out the weather was the best yet. Nice strong winds, fairly heavy seas (or at least a novice like me thought so), and lots of sunshine. It was a great day for a sail along the Los Angeles shoreline.

It takes and hour and a half to get down to Blue Water Sailing at Marina Del Rey so we leave early in the AM. Dodging traffic the entire way we luck out and are only slowed down a couple times, and just for a few minutes each time. Eventually, we’re signed in, pays our money, drag our gear to the boat, prep it (which entails removing all the covers from the sails, windows, door, helm, electronics, etc.). But soon, we’re on our way, motoring out of the harbor.

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At Dan’s…

After a couple weeks in Brenda, AZ, I headed over to my brothers place in Rosamond,  outside of Edwards AFB. My plan is to park in my friend’s yard next door to my brothers place and connect to his electric. But first I have to get there, so today is a travel day.

It is just a few miles from the RV park I’m staying at in Brenda to I-10 and here’s a pic of the countryside. It’s a bit remote, but I like it that way. Brenda is little more than a post office. Really not much around.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA And pretty soon, I’m on the I-10 freeway.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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Off to the West…

But I wasn’t going far…just a few miles north and west. Only 67 miles, so just over an hour of travel. Reason for the move was that I wanted to get to a RV park with a lower rate, and one in Brenda, Arizona seemed to fit the bill. It is 3 Dreamers RV Park, which is a Passport American park, allowing the use of that card year round. Most of the parks in the Phoenix valley are fairly expensive, and the few that are PPA parks have far more restrictions on PPA. Usually only allowing a few days stay at the reduced rate. That’s what the park where I was staying rule was. Three days max at the PPA rate. And, they have one of those annoying PPU (pay per use) WiFi systems. I knew I might be in this area another month and wasn’t about to pay $40 JUST for WiFi when it’s free just about everywhere else. I did go ahead and pay their outrageous $15 for 3 days though.

I was fairly productive while at the Tonopah park though, for instance, found that the hydraulic oil tank for the jacks and slides was 1+ qts low of oil. Dumped a quart of oil in the tank to be safe. Also found that my passenger side rear jack was ‘sticky’ and wouldn’t always retract quickly or smoothly. Of course oil level only applies when you’re extending the jacks as the oil pushes the jacks down to raise the RV, but the springs pull them back up. Also did some online checking and found that my RV has the old style jack springs with a known issue of being too weak so that contributed to the slow rise time of 3 of the jacks, not sure that applied to the passenger side rear one though.

Anyway, my 3 days passed, and I got back on the road…and around 45 minutes later, took this exit. Turned out it passes several very large and stinky cattle concentration camps. Stunk to high thin atmosphere.

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Another trip…

Grab yourself a large cup of your favorite beverage, this one has over 100 pictures from an arboretum to enjoy…

Nearly four weeks passed before I got my Winnebago back on the road. During those weeks, I did all sorts of stuff you’d associate with moving out of one RV into another. So much stuff to move. Certainly easier than moving out of a old house into another, but still, lots to do. Had a continuous yard sale on the picnic table between the sites where my RV’s were, but really didn’t sell too much. While doing all that, had to get the old Bounder all presentable for sale. Cleaning really took a lot of time but it’s easy work so I don’t regret having to do it. I was really excited about getting the Journey on the road again for another road test but I had a little argument with Progressive Insurance. I wanted to have insurance on both rigs for 2-3 weeks so called them up and trusted the salesman to give me a deal because I now had two rigs covered, but only one driver. Sounds like a good deal for them doesn’t it? But when I checked online, incognito, it turned out they were charging me $260 freakin’ bucks more than if I’d bought insurance for the Journey without mentioning I was already insuring the Bounder.

So I called them up all indignant like and got nowhere. They would not budge, or give me a discount. OK, screw them. I cancelled the insurance on the Journey and only used the Bounder to go shopping. So the Journey sat without being driven for nearly four weeks. It ended up costing me $60 extra over what I paid for those 3 weeks where it was covered. They have an admin charge if you cancel. And though I’d paid with a CC, they only refund by check, taking 2-3 weeks to do so. Seems as though they like to punish people for cancelling. A-holes.

What I did was wait those 4 weeks, until my Bounder sold, then cancelled it’s insurance, went online and re-bought insurance for the Journey. Saved $200. And yes, they do have the best price for RV insurance so I stayed with them. I did research online and using Progressive saves me over $300 per year.

By March 29th, the day I either had to leave the RV park or pay for another week, the Bounder had been sold, I had the Journey insured and ready to travel, I had purchased all the RV’ing accessories I needed, and it was time to get back to being a full time RV’er. My first stop was going to be a Passport America RV park out in Tonopah off US I-10. About 70 miles due west of Mesa. Hmm. That’s not far enough. OK, I’ll head back up to that arboretum I’d passed on the first trip I took (see last posting) and visit that for a few hours before heading out to Tonopah. Why stay in the Phoenix area? Well, I could not find the Bounders title so I had to reorder it, have it sent to my brothers house, have him ship it to me, then get together with the new owner and sign it over. This can’t be done by mail, has to be in person, so…I had to stay nearby.

And off we go for another RV trip east of Mesa on AZ-60 towards Global. Not that far this time, just up to the Boyce Thompson Arboretum and then due east to Tonopah. It was all cloudy most of the trip up into the hills.

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