Time to move South…

I’d like to backtrack slightly here and mention that the trip I took on US-395 from Burns, Oregon to Walla Walla, Washington and back, was really very interesting and scenic. An easy drive for my 35 foot RV with attached car, hardly any traffic, numerous changes in elevation and as a result, changes in scenery. Grasslands to forested areas with mountains, rivers and streams, and a few tiny communities to explore or just pass through while gawking. Some areas looked like they hadn’t changed in thousands of years. Areas with little evidence of the hand of man. Probably shouldn’t try to oversell it, but it’s well worth spending a day or two exploring on this road if you are in the area.

My stay at Burns RV Park was nice, gave me another week to explore in and around the town of Burns. After I was pretty much done exploring there, headed back out to Narrows for no other reason than to save money.

It was starting to get cold at night. Down to mid 30’s F. So I planned on getting back on the road soon…after I watched a Seahawk’s game at the parks bar. Which it turned out, they wanted to close at 7 PM!! What?! Luckily, the game went into halftime just as I learned that, so I hightailed it home and got the game on satellite. Which meant I didn’t order dinner there at the bar. I’d originally planned on doing that.

A couple days later, it was time to move on south. And I had a plan, to travel over to Boise and check out the VA hospital there, along with getting a shingles shot for myself. Vaccinations are free to me from the VA system and although my shingles is mild, it seems to be becoming chronic, so I wanted to get the vaccination. The VA Clinic in Burns couldn’t get the vaccine, it’s too expensive or something to take the chance they wouldn’t use it all up and it would spoil.

First I checked and found a Passport America park near Boise, then I used Google maps to check out the streets approaching the hospital. Part of that search had photos and one of them of the hospital grounds showed a sign that said ‘RV Parking’. OK, I felt safe driving my RV right over there to the hospital, parking, going into the clinic getting my shot, and then heading back to the RV park. Sounds like a plan. So here’s the last picture or two of my setup at Narrows. Note the less than ideal weather happening.

One issue I had with the cold was that my slides would not work in the morning until it had warmed up somewhat. I’d stumbled on that fact at the last RV park in Burns when I needed to dump and tried to pull in the bedroom slide. When I figured out that higher ambient temps got it working again, and learned that banging on the works of the system with my rubber mallet wasn’t doing the trick anymore, I had to adapt. I’d wait until 10-11 AM and then pull in the slides the day before travel so the issue wouldn’t put a crimp in my travel. I’d had this problem previously a couple times so I’d already made up a RV Repair thread about it here: Slides not working…

So that’s what I did. Waited until it was warm enough the day before departure, pulled in the slides, and was ready to go the next morning.

On the way out. Had to spend a few minutes scraping off the frost from the car window so I could see well enough to maneuver it around to get it attached to the RV.

It’s only a 4 hour drive so no hurry, plenty of time. I headed back towards Burns, than turned onto the same road I’d traveled before to Vale, dropped off a tool the mechanic left under my hood when he did an oil change for me there a few weeks ago, and promptly ran into a police roadblock on the road heading towards Ontario, on US26. Don’t know what it was about but I tried to flag the officer to give me some idea of which way I could go, or how long the road block was, but she was totally incommunicado. So I was turned back to Vale (just 1/2 mile from the roadblock), stopped and checked my GPS for alternate routes (there’s only one, Lytle Blvd), and was soon back on my way. Here’s a route map: Narrows to Boise

I should have heeded the implied warning that this wasn’t a good travel day after having that routing problem, but I didn’t. Continued on my way into Idaho on several farm roads. Like I said, I had plenty of time, so I did enjoy the scenery along the route. I’ve never been in this part of Idaho in my life so it was all new and interesting. Even passed many acres of big lumpy roots sitting on top of the ground in several large farm fields. Soon discovered that they were sugar beets ready for the big machines to scope them up and drop them in trucks.

And then I got into Boise outskirts and it’s like I expected, lots of empty space, wide roads, small buildings. Just what I’d hoped for and the reason I was still in my RV and not driving my car. But then, boom, I’m downtown, and there’s construction all over! Have to dance my giant RV around roadblocks and up dicey streets trying to find the hospital while trying to follow my GPS. Finally, I’m on the hospital grounds, and find that it’s not as obvious to me where to go as it seemed it would be from the google maps I’d studied. Gah! Never did find that RV parking sign. Dammit. And the last straw was heading along a narrow main road on hospital grounds, and it’s scrunching me down to one lane. Cars parked on either side, making the road a one lane. And then I am almost through that area and a big semi is heading my way on the same road. By now there aren’t the cars parked on either side so it’s a tight two lane, with curbs and than lawn. We’re eye to eye, stop and I tell him I am as far to the right as I can get and perhaps he could creep up onto the curb and lawn? I’m towing a car, and it wouldn’t be too cool for me to do that. Anyway, he agrees and we both make it fine. And we both have cars stacked up behind by this point.

So I give up on getting the stupid vaccination and try to get the hell off the hospital grounds and back on a freeway. Soon, after roaming around an old residential area you might typically find near a hospital in a city for a half hour, I’m back on the freeway heading back west. I’m  kinda pissed and stressed so fumble with the GPS but don’t find what I’m looking for…a RV park nearby hopefully. Can’t find anything close to the hospital. So screw it, I select the PPA park I know is nearby from the GPS memory and follow the directions for that. Stop for fuel, wash my windows, and relax a little while I’m getting a fill up. Ahhh. Restful, and I’m not in a downtown area worried about crashing or getting trapped.

So off I go into farming country again, only this time on a different road then the one I came in on. I get to a small town, follow the signs and GPS to the PPA RV park, and it’s a junker park. Ick. Not cool at all and hardly up to the standards of most of the PPA parks I’ve stayed at over the last 13 years. They didn’t have a space for me, so I headed back out, stopped and used my phone app RVParky to find another park just 5 miles away. Hmm. Pulled in and was happy to pay the $30/night charge after getting a look at the place. Nice. The road in made it seem like it would be as junky as the one I’d just left but after I got inside the park, found out how nice it is.

And here I am set up at the Snake River RV Resort

Off in the distance is one of the corn fields (?) that surround this jewel of a park.
And it’s right on the Snake River. Ain’t that nice? Way over there is a processing plant of some kind, I knew what it was at one time, but can’t remember now. They make Solent green I think.Very nice. Nice view from my front windows too. I’d mentioned the trouble I had trying to get to the VA Hospital in the office and the park manager told me we were a 45 minute drive from there, I’d sort of lost track. So not really handy for running back to the hospital the next day. There is a large group of squirrels bouncing around the center strip park like area between RV rows, but this was the only picture I could get. All grass spaces, no need to unhook the car. pretty nice. I went down and sat on the bench and decompressed for a half hour before dinner. Very enjoyable after a rough travel day.

Weather was pretty good too.


I’m going to backtrack a little here to a couple weeks ago when I was exploring Burns. I found an upper middle class neighborhood on the bluff just a mile northwest of downtown, and was driving around, when I saw these guys:

Pretty neat there would be this herd of deer in the residential area right next to downtown.


Back to travel…Since I’m not in a hurry, and I’m just trying to dodge the cold weather that is creeping into areas where I was staying, I didn’t mind having my trip to the Boise VA hospital be a bust. I’ll get the vaccination someday. No hurry as I said, it’s only annoying now to have the burning sensation from shingles come along once in a while.

So while at Snake River Resort, I planned my trip south. I wanted to go through Winnemucca because I’ve never been, while getting there on roads I’ve never traveled. The temps were a little coolish there due to the elevation but I didn’t plan on staying long anyway. I did want to return to the Snake River Resort someday. But I was antsy to head on south for the good weather and only stayed one night. If I’d thought about it, there was no real reason to hurry, and I could have stayed a week rather economically. Well, no sense crying about it. Here’s the map I followed. Homedale, ID to Winnemucca.

Shortly after leaving the Snake River RV park, head straight south until I bumped into US95. Which many miles later crosses back into Oregon. And then the traffic gets light as I travel through some really interesting and sparsely populated countryside. Did not care for Jordan, Oregon and their multiple sexist signs. Won’t be visiting there, that’s for sure. But after that, many of the small towns are rather interesting.

It’s only a 4 hour drive from the RV park to Winnemucca so I took my time along the route…

I grew up in eastern Washington so I love this type of country. Big empty spaces. Even had a few raindrops on the window. And after a couple hours of sprinkles, coolish air, and overcast sky, it started to both warm up, and the clouds slowly dissipated.  Montana has nothing on southeastern Oregon when it comes to big sky. Lonely farmhouse way over there in that valley. This is a telephoto shot. And here’s Winnemucca in the distance.   Winnemucca is actually a fairly large town. I stayed at the Winnemucca RV Park and as it turned out, shortly after I arrived and set up, found out that the oscilloscope I’d put up for sale on eBay had sold! I’d had it since 1972 or so but it still works great. It’s heavy and takes up a lot of space though. And I’d found myself a new fancy o’scope that’s only a few inches thick and wide with a color 7″ LCD screen. 200MHz, 2-chan, Digital Storage Scope so didn’t need the old one any longer. The problem with selling on eBay was that the margins are pretty slim if you have to ship it very far…that is, after cutting your price to the bone, so I wanted to find a free shipping box, free packing, and be close to the buyer so shipping wasn’t expensive. Bought by a buyer that would be very close to my travel route as I headed south (convenient and lucky! I know!). I needed to get the packing somewhere, and Winnemucca was big enough that I felt I could find it here. Plus it was Friday so I was able to put the buyer off for a couple days to give me time to get it all boxed and ready for shipping. First I checked at several grocery stores and it turned out that Winnemucca has a strong cardboard and packaging recycling setup here so everywhere I went, the stores had all their boxes pretty much crushed and bundled for recycling. Doh!

I tried several grocery stores, and a couple dollar stores, but came up with nothing while on my way to Walmart…where the guy I talked to was downright hostile. I just wanted an empty box, jeese.

On the way back to the rv park, stopped into the Big R store. And asked the nice lady if they had boxes…why sure! And yep, they had just the right size, plus some packing material too. I was so happy, I bought some cookies from the high school gurl there having a fund raiser.

Still needed more packaging material though, so on the way home, spotted a small Feed & Seed store. Stopped in, and yep, they had the foam packing material I was looking for. The clerk had just unpacked a shipment and the packing material was taking up room in his trash. So I was helping him out by taking it. Could not have worked out better.

I now had the perfect size box, and as it turned out, just the right amount of packing material to properly box the o’scope. So late Saturday I was ready to ship the package…but of course, all the shippers are closed on weekends in Winnemucca. Even the retail ones. I know, I drove over to a couple and checked, just in case someone felt the urge to work on a weekend. But no, all closed.

So that’s where we’ll end today, parked in a RV park in Winnemucca, Nevada. Did not get any pictures of the park for some reason. Was probably because I was busy checking the RV, trying to get that o’scope all packed up and ready for shipping, plus researching the next days travel route. I did go out for a steak dinner that night that wasn’t very good. The park is OK, but just a run of the mill type park.

And the next time, I’ve got a one day trip planned where I head for Beatty for a short stop to shop for candy and nuts, than on to Pahrump to ship the package and then on to Brenda, Arizona (not to be confused with Beatty, Nevada), which is my planned warm weather RV park stop over for a month or so. Kind of trying to time the whole trip so that I get to enjoy weather in the 70’s all the way into Mexico.

Thanks for visiting!

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5 Responses to Time to move South…

  1. ReneeG from Idaho says:

    I’m so sorry to hear you had the problem in getting around Boise, I could’ve helped you out! In all the times I’ve walked through the VA grounds, I’ve never seen RV parking let alone an RV, but it is a very nice place.

    Yeah, I got my wires crossed on that one. I should have just headed for the RV park, got all set up, and then drove my car to the hospital. But I was convinced there would be room to park my RV. I can’t find that picture I saw a couple days before that trip in Google maps that showed a ‘RV Parking’ sign in the hospital’s area pictures so I guess it snuck in from somewhere else. I’ll know better next year when I try again.

  2. Jeff Pierce says:

    Gotta laugh – we have relatives in Winnamucca and have been to their Run-amucca. It may not have met your needs this trip but Dayton NV is a nicer stop, we’ll stay at the Dayton RV Park now and again.

    ‘Run-amucca’. HAH!

    That Dayton park looks to be just what I need for a several day visit to Virginia City. But there’s also a park inside VC…if I could overcome the trepidation I have about trying to inch my rig down those steep hills and around those sharp curves. I think I need some more practice.

    And for your play-list ….
    ~ Johnny Cash
    I was toting my pack along the long dusty Winnemucca road
    When along came a semi with a high canvas covered load
    If your goin’ to Winnemucca, Mack with me you can ride
    And so I climbed into the cab and then I settled down inside
    He asked me if I’d seen a road with so much dust and sand
    And I said, “Listen! I’ve traveled every road in this here land!”

    Gotta love Johnny Cash

  3. Hafcanadian says:

    Marsing’s a little bigger town, but last year enroute home from Glens Ferry we skipped over a questionable RV park or two before stumbling onto the city park (Riverside Park) along the river at Homedale. It’s older and mostly treeless, but the price was sure right, $15 (might’ve been even less as seniors); most city parks with RV spots are good values. Stayed almost a week and toaded everywhere around, including the Owyhee region and other small towns, and Oregon Trail sites in both Oregon and Idaho. The on-site host was the only other camper most days, and we became friends with them. They clued us into the best restaurants, etc. He was out each day working on the park, quite a job for an older, somewhat handicapped fellow. He was super-friendly and we enjoyed bantering with him. The view out the front window over the river was nice, but sans trees it could get warm.

    Marsing park looks great. I will definitely remember that one for next year when I try to visit the hospital again.

    Good to know about the Homedale city park. During my trip over there, I saw the Riverside park on my RVParky app and it was the closest with all the amenities. It’ll make a good backup park to the Riverside Park I stayed at. No Wifi, but it’s right in Homedale so that’s fun, and there’s bound to be someplace in town with free Wifi.

    So now, thanks to you, I have 3 RV parks in my memory bank when I travel over there. Thanks!

    • Hafcanadian says:

      I parked outside the Homedale library after closing and borrowed their WiFi several times while we were there. The Chinese restaurant in Homedale just off the main drag and towards the river was great, as was the 50’s style burger/ice cream drive-in place toward midtown. The tire place “across” from the high school but on the main highway was a couple years ago a Les Schwab, but the name was changed upon the sale. Imagine my surprise driving up to get a flat repaired after an eventful day trip to Silver City, when a guy comes running out to greet me just like at Les Schwab stores! Turns out the place is run exactly by the same people and in the same manner as a Schwab’s. Also of note, and surprise discovery to me, we ran across one of my favorite winery’s just up the hill out of town… St. Chapelle.

      Several years of travel after I started full timing in ’04 I’d do the same thing…park outside a library and try to piggy back on their Wifi. The easiest way to get Wifi I found was in small towns alongside motels. They nearly always had open Wifi. And then of course, since I never do anything online that’s weird or illegal, I didn’t have a problem just walking in and asking at the desk what the Wifi password was if they had one. They’d never ask my room number. Just so I could get my email and do my banking on occasion…but normally, I’d use RV parks Wifi and over the years, that pretty much became universal.

      But I digress…Homedale deserves a look from the sound of your description. Next year.

  4. Bruce D Stricker says:

    JIM
    I HAVE A 31 FT CLASS A DEAD IN THE WATER-NEEDS A FUEL PUMP-CNNOT ACCESS IT-CANNOT MOVE WITH NO POWER-SO I SAW YOU PUT ON AN EXTERNAL FUEL PUMP-HOW WOULD YOU KNOW WHAT SIZE AND DOES THE FUEL PUMP IN THE TANK INTERFERE
    CANT GET TO TANK AT LOCATION
    BRUCE

    Bruce,

    What you can do is follow the fuel hose to a place where you can get some slack in it. Determine if you can mount an external somewhere to the frame nearby. Measure how much wire you’ll need to run an IGN 12V power wire to the pump.

    Cut the fuel hose, be ready to plug it with something in case it siphons. Measure the hose ID.

    Now, go to NAPA and tell them you want a 8 GPM, 12V external fuel pump, continuous duty.

    Measure the pumps input and output ID. Now buy the brass fittings you need to match the pump ID to the hose ID back on your RV. Usually you need a couple barbed fittings to match the different hose sizes and then couplings between them and the threaded holes in the pump. DON’T WORRY ABOUT THE DIFFERENCE IN SIZE BETWEEN THE HOSE ID AND THE PUMPS ID (IF ANY).

    Yea, you can siphon fuel through an internal pump that isn’t working, AS LONG AS THE FAILURE HASN’T RUPTURED ANYTHING THAT MIGHT NOW BE BLOCKING FLOW (not likely).

    Wire it up with a nearby ground connection, and run the hot 12 Volt to a RUN wire somewhere. You should use 16 ga, stranded. Than have someone turn the key to RUN (but not start). The pump should start, run, and pull some fuel through the fuel filter you attached nearby.

    If that’s all working, you can set off on your trip. But remember the fuel pump will now run when the key is on even if the engine is off…so go back later and if you can, wire it to the voltage supply of the in-tank pump.

    Happy travels! And remember…this is just a suggestion about how to proceed. I’m not an expert, but I have used this method on a diesel engine and it worked fine for 13 years. And race car drivers (my good friend for instance) use externals all the time on the race track. But remember you assume any and all risks associated with working on this yourself.

    Regards,

    Jim​
    ​PS Please let me know how it goes.​

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