Navigator noted only 10.5 VDC on our house batteries. Usually they read 12.8 VDC while no load. I dragged out the meters and read each 6 volt battery separately under load and determined that two were indeed lower than 6 volts. By reconfiguring the cables and using the stronger two batteries in series, I was able to restore over 12 VDC temporarily.
A trip to Astoria/Warrenton Oregon for four Golf Cart battery replacements at $320 with no tax, followed the local Seaside battery shop’s price of $200 more than Costco. Would have been charitable to support local Washington Peninsula business, but we left that to the wealthy philanthropists camping on the peninsula. Big guy at Costco lifted out the old set and installed the new set of four Interstate batteries into place. I did the cable connections to my cabling drawing.
After the restoration of voltage, Navigator and I ate lunch in Costco $3.51. No sales Tax in Oregon, so the necessities are somewhat cheaper. While in Warrenton Oregon, Goodwill Charity nearby had a few small ‘treasures’. Ft Stevens State Park, our next camp, is first come first serve. We drove back to Cape Disappointment to our campsite.
Nav and I trekked the nearby path of pod #2, to the black sand beach for a last view of the ocean and the lighthouse of North Head. Just a few years ago she could walk the beach and enjoyed it dearly. No longer able. The Chinese lifeboat that we monitored for many years, as storms relocated it each winter, is reduced to random shreds of orange fiberglass rubble and the little rusted lump of diesel engine is sitting upright in the sand near the pathway. Time changes everything. Rode the bike around the extensive popular campsites before nightfall.
Lined up at office for our next site in the front grassy park with no hook-ups. Still quiet and nice on grass. Pavement continues up the hill to the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center and the US Coast Guard Station, as well as the Cape Disappointment Lighthouse. We were able to obtain the wifi code from ‘Serious Pizza store, across the way, near the entrance. Nice owner with wife works hard to run the little store they refurbished and make great pizzas. Years ago he had the little shack near the lecture site of Waikiki Beach, near the entrance curve to the camping pods. The storm ravaged little beach was named after a ship’s sailing crew member from Hawaii, years ago.
Battery voltage dropping again. Nav alerted me to low readings on little Walmart digital meter that we keep plugged into lighter socket while dry camping. I had failed to fully tighten the nuts on the cables. After minor adjustment, the voltage held high throughout the entire trip.
Drove into Ilwaco for excellent Codfish and chips, lunch at ‘Ole Bobs’ on the harbor. Saturday, so the little harbor-side trade booths were set up. Lots of crafts, art and other trinkets are interesting. ‘Harbor Lights’ motel and cafe is for sale now, as is seen more and more as we travel. A formerly thriving business is now closing it’s extensive nautical gift shop as well. Signs of the ‘change’ the voters brought upon themselves?
Returned to Cape Disappointment for one last night before moving south across the Columbia River.
Broke camp and dumped our tanks. Nav watched as a class C rental unit, driven by an impatient young man, filled the fresh water tank of his unit,…. using the sewer brown tank cleanout hose at the dump station… Yuk. She mentioned that she would not like to be the next renter of that unit. Oh well, with age comes wisdom…sometimes.
Drove our rig one last time south across the beautiful Astoria-Meglar bridge to Astoria. It is under continual restoration, so a slight delay. Ft Stevens near Warrenton opens early, so we wanted to get site of preference. They are all very nice sites, on circular loop paved roads embraced by big trees. Ft Stevens itself is fascinating to explore. A bit of driving and walking tours around the various and extensive, historical concrete structures, that at times guarded the Columbia River on both sides and river front from attack, proves very educational each visit. The Pacific Northwest was well guarded, even attacked a couple of times. Highly technical, the revolutionary for their time, ‘hiding’ cannons were controlled by triangulation co-ordinates.
Two nights in coastal forest for $54 with basic electrical hook-ups, was very pleasant in comparison to several other random places we have visited over the years. Summer season has Ranger Talks on weekends. ‘Graveyard of the Pacific’ describes the hundreds of shipwrecks around the mouth of the Columbia River. Coast Guards from around the world come to the Columbia River to train at the violent current area of the offshore ‘Bar’, where the out flowing, river meets incoming tide during the winter storms.
Warrenton Oregon was ‘Cod and fries’ along with a bit of treasure hunting in charity thrift shops. Returned to coach, rode the bike around the entire park and an evening of logging our trip and reading before a quiet night.
Breakfast, with electric heater to take the night chill off the interior, after which we explored the South Jetty. Still in awe of the Jetties of the Columbia River. These massive rock structures were constructed during the 1800’s, using railroad cars to haul the 30 ton ‘Armor stones’ out over the ocean, to be dumped in place, preventing the ocean from changing the channel current while enabling the river to flush the deep water passages for maritime navigation by huge freighters. Rebuilt many years ago, they are scheduled for future restoration. The Armor stones originally came from Idaho by barge before being loaded aboard specially constructed, dumping rail cars pulled by steam locomotives, as the trestles and rails were continually being extended far out into the ocean. Men of steel, with nerves to match?
The wreck’s prow is still visible, extending up from the sandy beach. An Iron hulled sailing ship, it ran aground 100 years ago. Storms this last winter exposed temporarily, the keel. The iron plates were savaged from the hull many long years ago. Climbed the observation deck while Navigator waited, taking pictures from the Honda-Jeep.
Drove out to the river side beach and watched a large ocean freighter leave Young’s Bay for the river mouth. Noted Driver’s License had expired and drove to Astoria to find out if we could contact New Mexico DMV for extension? Not possible. Easier to acquire an Oregon DL than NM from out of state. I just drove very carefully, not desiring police attention after that.
Thrift store treasures hunted, then return to Ft Stevens and chilly coach, requiring the electric heater again.
9-16-14: through 9-19:
Left Ft Stevens State Park and drove the intersting coastal 101 south to Brighton Harbor. We like the ambiance of the little privately owned fishing and crabbing harbor. Kelly and his wife run it now. His mom owns the next fishing harbor south, so they have the experience requred to manage the busy little marina, provide crabs and gear to fish for whatever is in season. Kelly boiled a large Dungeness Crab ($23) for Nav and I to eat for supper in the coach. Only one night stay, after a bit of exploring back up the coast in the Honda, and we left around noon.
Tillamook River RV Park:
Base for two nights as we explore the capes, Tillamook and points further back north. Noted that prices are rising as rapidly inflation affected Obama Dollars do not go very far. Even thrift stores are feeling the rising costs as their expenses are rising faster than their sales. Last time we stayed in this little park, a big Blue Heron electrocuted itself on the power transformer. It sounded like an explosion and knocked out power for the afternoon. Eagles have nested and raised their young in the trees nearby. Nehalem recycle center ‘Re-Store’ has organized and raised prices. Interesting, but no longer attractive for our needs.
9-19-14 leave Tillamook River RV camp:
Newport Harbor Marina:
70 miles south on 101 is always beautiful to drive. Each curve presents a panorama of ocean. Found my old ‘Popeye’ the sailor man, Keith and I discussed the marina as if we had never changed over the years. He is aging as I am. His Samoan wife is still working for the marina, as is Keith. They live aboard their sailing boat, as they have since arrival, sailing from the Philippines many years ago when we first met..
We discussed the numerous boats that are being neglected during these economically weak times. ‘Silent Running’, a beautiful sailing cruiser that was meticulously maintained three years ago, is now falling into the status of neglect. Walking the docks for many years, I recognize many of the same boats at dock. Not a good economy time for recreational sailing.
Commercial and sport fishing are doing extremely well. The effect of the China Industrial Revolution is feeding nutrients to the Arctic Ocean and the source of molecular life. Those cells in turn feed the chain of marine life upward. Fishing is great. I observed a man wheeling a load of sleek Tuna to the cleaning table, then for sale to the restaurant business. He had returned from the 35 mile horizon, where the big fish lurk. Environmentalists refer to the airborne iron compounds released from China, as ‘pollution’ and desire it being ‘controlled’, their only response to everything they do not fully comprehend.
Sea Lions are still barking across the harbor. They survive and multiply, protected by law on the harbor jetty and the docks. One grabbed a little girl from dock, as her dad unloaded their sport fishing boat. After taken down, the Sea Lion released her to survive. The harbor front shops are interesting and Mo’s is still thriving with waiting lines for their Clam Chowder and fish dinners.
9-20 to 922:
Trip back north to Lincoln in the Honda Tow, where we prowl around a few favorite places and have Fish lunch. Another trip back along the river to the logging town of Toledo Oregon, named by the son of a businessman. The sun missed Toledo Ohio.
Following the Yaquina River upstream nine miles from Newport to Toledo, a small (population 3,600) deep water port town of historic note as a lumber logging mecca in the days before the world’s ‘do gooder’ tree lovers. Toledo was at one time, lasting almost a hundred years, thriving and logs were floating 24-7 in hundreds of ‘rafts’ downriver from the surrounding mountains of the Cascades, to the rail terminals and barges.
Feeding the lumber demand of a building nation, was Toledo’s role, ‘back in the day’ ending in the 1960’s. The Yaquina River is still structured with the vertical pilings that tied off the log rafts awaiting transport and the countless docks and piers serving the needs of the accompanying Toledo boat building industry. A profitable business that also thrived from the spruce production. Fishing, the west coast’s bread and butter, drove the boat demands.
WWI aircraft were also built from spruce processed in Toledo Oregon. ‘Spruce Goose’ as well? Toledo hosts a ‘Wooden Boat’ gathering each year.
Toledo was one of many great little business opportunity cities that were scattered across the USA. All that is near dead now, except for a processing mill that seems to generate sawdust slurry for particle board, more than logs for lumber. The little ‘Art’ colony now depends on tourists to buy ‘stuff’ for it’s existence.
The mountains surrounding Toledo are now becoming overgrown with timber, getting prepared for massive forest fires. ‘Save the Trees’ is in reality setting them up for total destruction and waste, while adding mega tons of CO2 to the atmosphere. Sometimes universities and their misguided special interest groups, create the problems they then fight by passing counterproductive laws, while they wring their hands attempting to solve the problems they create?
Navigator discovered a few unique items in one little museum like shop, the home to a nice cat with blue eyes. The shop owner, retired Marine was happy to sell his first items in the last three days. One item was a little old paddle with wooden chickens that pecked the seeds when the paddle was gently swung in a circle. Is that different or not ? :>)
Toledo is near the beginning of the longest highway across America, ending near Boston. Highway 20 is the western end of that historic road from east to west. Two lanes of mostly blacktop, it winds over 300 miles through the Cascade Mountains and crosses the Oregon desert into Idaho.
We are checking this desolate route, little used but scenic over the mountains, as an alternative route bypassing smoky (logging prohibited) and therefore burning, northern California. Being a narrow, twisty two lane, hwy 20 is not motor coach friendly. Neither is coastal highway 101, but that is our chosen scenic route along the pacific coast of Oregon.
Today we ate burgers for lunch, passing up the fish and chips temporarily. :>) Tomorrow we plan to head south for further adventures, leaving our beloved historic ‘Conde McCullough’ master engineered bridge of Newport and checking out the beautiful Pacific coast of Oregon.
9-22-14 Salmon Harbor, Winchester Bay:
The drive south was fine and filled with photo opportunities. Re-Fuel at Florence, the beginning of the north end of the National Coastal Sand Dunes (really Big dunes with forests growing all over them) that extend visibly along the highway for over 20 miles. As the dunes grow, by wind that increasingly blows sand inland, the pine trees and other species take root and climb ever higher. Small fresh water lakes and lagoons are spread throughout the dunes inland.
This area encourages ATV and motorcycles rather than descriminate against the riders. Winchester Bay has rentals for those that do not bring their own ‘Off Highway Vehicles’. No telling if the environmentalists will force legislation to end this sport, thereby eliminating the livelihood of the numerous campgrounds and motels, restaurants and little stores catering to the excited tourists that arrive from all over the nation. Fishing attracts even more goal oriented visitors.
The beautiful Umpqua lighthouse, inland from the ocean, with it’s majestic original Fresnel lens, still operates. Restored for the benefit of tourism. A small gift shop is located in the museum, a former light keeper residence. Modern navigation has little need for such historic methods of navigation. Some absolute fool shot at the historic lens and damaged it years ago.
I watched as the ‘Pearl J’ offloaded it’s fish from it’s hold packed in ice. The lift operator places the container where the forklift places it on the scale. The operator then collects the data onto his smart device for recording. Only a small note pad backs up the reading. A boat from ‘Deadliest Catch’, Grizzly, a deep water fishing boat, is also docked here when not in Alaska. With the fishing so good along the Pacific Coast, the big boats can earn even more profit out of Winchester Bay.
Rates, $30 for two nights, for overnight on the parking lot with no facilities, are double what they were three years ago. Another sign of the decreasing value of Obama dollars. $10 to dump and a limit of only 20 customers per day, set the stage for our departure early.
A ‘Wolf Creek’ brand camper in front of us, has a hybrid Wolf for a pet.
Drove north back to Reedsport for treasure hunting in small shops and a delicious take-out Blackberry pie from the bakery in the old part of town near the river, while partaking of their wifi.
Returned to Winchester Bay:
Brought a ‘Fish and Chips’ from the floating Cafe ‘Ungar’s Bay’ owned by Cassie, who now also operates the Blue Heron tavern in Coos Bay.
Talking to a sailing aficionado at the dock late in the afternoon, was a very interesting four hour marathon of exchange between our cultures, history and political differences of opinion. He has ridden a bicycle from British Columbia to Saskatchewan. A liberal Canadian pensioner, employed by govt all of his life, we had our differences. He has sailed to Mexico and Hawaii and returned to British Columbia, his home port as a ‘live aboard’. This cruise is to San Francisco and across the Pacific Ocean on the ‘trade winds’ documented by Murray’ after the WWII years.
One hundred years of sailing knowledge accumulated from hundreds of sea going ocean captains, Murray compiled the first sailing charts necessary for the success of every sailing vessel today.
Kevin brought out his charts, showed me the intricacies of the winds and ocean currents during our discussions. Described in detail his 40 foot fiberglass double ender vessel with it’s yanmar auxiliary diesel engine, built in indonesia, purchased in an estate sale in British Columbia where it harbors near Victoria. The full height cabin ceiling is inlaid strips of fine teak, as is the fit and finish of the cabinetry.
Kevin designed and installed a heat transfer system to bring the propane heated air inside the cabin, lower to the floor where the chill settles. It is his compact, efficient home afloat. Rare is the privilege to meet an intelligent person like Kevin, rarer still to be invited aboard. Weather is about as expected this time of year on the Oregon coast. 59 degrees and cloudy days, cooled and rained all night.
The boats that are neglected in this wet harbor, show it fast with green growing ‘fur’ over all of the decks and lines. Birds and their excrement add to the accumulation of neglect, creating questionably, a work of art? Kevin noted his own active vessel accumulating a bit of ‘furry’ growth on it’s surfaces as he awaits in harbor, the favorable north winds to drive his 40′ sailing craft further south, then turn west to Hawaii and then, Kevin mentioned as if a common natural occurrence, circumnavigate the world..
The woman owner of the ‘Staten Yacht’ a Pirate ship facsimile, is living aboard temporarily and restoring it for sale after her husband passed away. The mast had to be cut away to save the structure after rot. Deck house must be replaced and numerous items need attention.
Navigator and I drove back to Reedsport in the tow, 3 miles back north. A crippled tourist town dependent on tourism and fishing, several of the formerly prosperous, small tourist malls (small buildings with several vendors) were now closed. A couple remain that we recognized from past trips.
Now we are headed to Coo’s Bay and plan to camp in the casino lot free for two nights before deciding what direction to proceed. Home is one option, due to my expired driver’s license not renewable on line, crossing into regulatory obsessed California, especially with our two little travelers (turtle and bird) is now extremely risky.
9-24-14 Coos Bay Oregon:
It took a short amount of time to drive the rig the scenic 25 or so miles south from Winchester Bay, to the harbor town of Coos Bay. The first item of interest is another impressive coastal Oregon bridge. A large bow tie shaped green array of steel girders set in place among concrete ramp structures many years ago, it does form a high clearance for shipping, a majestic scene over the harbor entrance.
The harbor itself is an abstract horseshoe of large proportion, that wraps around and forms the front street of the city facing inland away from the ocean. At one time the city was right on the harbor docks, but a massive fire removed the city location, to a few blocks away from the harbor waterfront and brought about the new city, wisely built of bricks rather than volatile wooden frame.
The main reason for the city’s early existence, was the harbor and connected waterways to enable trade goods from San Francisco to arrive by way of ship. Coal and timber were Coos Bay products. The overland routes from the interior of Oregon were long and twisty mountain trails for wagons and horses.
Timber was and still is the main ingredient in the city’s economics. The individual mills at one time numbered in the hundreds of small enterprises. The railroads were of course drawn like a magnet and further changed Coos Bay’s economy into a politically powerful economic demographic.
With the acquisitions by the politically powerful Timber Barons, two main mills today survived the uncertainties of economic times and gradually acquired the small units. Simpson family was one noted in history. One beautiful estate overlooking the wave ravaged entrance to the stormy harbor, was burned to the ground during misfortunes of the once powerful Simpson family. A ship wreck on the rocks below the high bluff, provided the lumber to rebuild the large home, site to several lavish parties for the elite. The creative and expansive garden structure survives today as an Oregon state park, open to visitors…. for a fee.
Today we drove out past the early port town of Charleston, where we had fish and chips at a small family owned facility near their small popular harbor, to the Simpson Point. An artist’s dream, where the river bar meets the tides in a jumble of large volcanic rocks littered with seals, seal lions and every other related sea going mammal. Did you know that the ‘Elephant’ Sea Lion (with it’s big floppy nose) can dive to over 4,000 feet deep? It weighs up to 5,000 pounds… wet.
The average Sea Lion can weigh up to only 2,000 pounds. A virtual lightweight in comparison. The diminutive common Seal is a furry toy. They all congregate at one time or another on these inhospitable rocks lashed with ferocious wave action. We watched a few surfers brave the rocky vertical shoreline to impress themselves with their skill at surviving the surf, which today was running high, before it crashed onto subsurface, ancient volcanic flow rocks. Craft punishing waves approaching 19 feet, were reported on the ‘bar’, that often violent section where outgoing river meets incoming ocean tidal cycles.
Navigator and I tour this area each time we pass through, over the several years of our travels. Today we find relatively few treasures in the charity thrift shops everywhere we stop, a vast difference from even several years ago, when more wealth resulted in more quality discards.
The overall prosperity from the logging of the surrounding tree covered mountains where rain falls in abundance, is still evident, but ever more advanced mechanization removes the human element from the equation. Demands for ever rising wages, made from the vocal and politically motivated, have the end result in ever more machines to replace costly humans.
The surviving big mills are still churning huge numbers of logs into timbers, but machines do the work formerly requiring large teams of manpower. We watch endless trucks with logs go into the large wood facilities, as others leave stacked with precision cut lumber for industrial demand elsewhere.
The Japanese ships that are fully automated, loading logs from their own Oregon mountainsides, bought many long years ago for the express purpose of growing timber, still rule the harbor in volume exported.
The highly technical, automated ships process the Japanese owned logs, cut on their own bought and payed for mountain forests of Oregon, as a floating mill. The cargo then moves out of port while the onboard mills continue operating 24-7. Destined to various demanding cities, including LA and SFO. The milled lumber is to spec, demanded by Home Depo and any other quantity buyers.
The Oregonians rage among themselves politically, at the audacity of Japan to be so creative and deprive Oregonians of the jobs and timber, Oregonians self righteously demand as….. theirs.
The boardwalk has on display tied to the docks, several very large ocean tugs used in maneuvering the big ships in the deep ‘turning basin’ of Coos Bay. Several other smaller ships of historic nature, not as bulky, but still interesting, are on display as well. All orderly arrayed in the general area near the city center, easily accessed by tourists.
Our formerly free overnight campsite in the large and open gravel parking lot of the Old Mill Casino, on the former site of a large dockside lumber mill, now charges $15 a night for the parking lot dry camp. Up until a year or so ago, it was free, as the overnight guests used the Casino facilities and played it’s games of chance.
Apparently the ‘new economy’ with it’s free services for the rapidly expanding numbers of underprivileged, does not cover the amenities once offered free. A common scene now that the reality of Obama dollars dropping value requires a lot more wealth redistribution…. to buy everything of value.
We will leave the Oregon coast tomorrow, heading inland for a couple of reasons including state of California border restrictions involving Nav’s little bird. Reluctant also to enter California and it’s smoky fire engulfed landscape from ‘Saving’ too many trees, leaving the forest to burn, we are contemplating foregoing our beloved Brookings Harbor in Oregon’s southern banana belt. Perhaps another time in the future?
9-25-14 Coos Bay to Medford Oregon:
About 200 miles in 4 hours. Beautiful two lane highway with improvements in progress. Green trees, bushes, grass is closest to the coast. Less fungi inland, along with more tree variations. Meeting oncoming Log trucks every few minutes indicates a strong local economy.
One estate sale near Mertyl Oregon, with home in the forest overlooking a small river, resulted in a few little treasures and nice conversation with elderly lady. Nav wanted to buy the little house in the forest :>) Continue on to Medford Oregon. Prosperity obvious where logging and ranching is active. Lots of contented cows and green pastures.
Carl’s Jr burgers 2 for $5 with country music, first heard since Montana week of trip. Walmart at north end of Medford on Crater Lake highway is best for parking lot ‘camp’. Newer store, Eagle Point further out than the busy city store. Drove back into city center for thrift store hunt and treasures.
9-26-14 leave Medford Oregon.
Costco fuel was $3.49 per gallon fill, then take highway 140 east toward NM. Beautiful drive over the Cascade Mountains passes near a mile high. Lots of lower gear… up and back down.
is 4,000′ altitude and cold in winter. Medford lower and milder winter. Where Medford with it’s lumber mills and manufacturing appears prosperous, Klamath Falls appears distressed. Homeless in abundance on day we were passing through, defines Klamath, as does vacant store fronts. Rail terminals should provide some resources? The city center is attractive with inlaid bricks crosswalks and restored brick store fronts, cafes. Nice city park shows that they are trying.
Wendy’s lunch and leave for Lakeview 90 miles away on highway 140 now a narrow two lane, with ongoing construction straightening out the curves through the mountain passes. Farmland that requires irrigation to grow crops. Easily becomes desert without water from mountain snow. Fields of hay, beef cattle and many horses dot the landscape.
Lakeview County Fair was open for camping easing doubts of Navigator. $5 for the night in parking lot with no facilities. Quiet ‘camp’ and a local gun show was setting up for Saturday. I walked through and enjoyed the pre-show in the little display hall, before returning to coach for the night.
9-27-14 Saturday leave Lakeview Oregon:
Windy night in the fairground. Nice to get rolling again after breakfast. Forests covered the eastern slope of the mountain as we growled and twisted our way to elevation of 6,000′.
Desolation valley after the forest. One particular climb of a long ‘shelf’, growled the coach to about 3,000′ + above the valley floor, with no real hard edge on the narrow two lane highway. Long way to roll if a mistake was made. I assume a few have rolled their way to the bottom?
Met about 24 vehicles and one 18 wheeler on the entire trip east out of Lakeview Oregon. The climbs revealed a wide spread valley with high mesas that resembled the moon. Only irrigation saves it from desert. Nav drove onward toward busy hwy 95, where we turn south to Winimucca Nevada and Interstate 80. Hank Snow “I been everywhere man” comes to mind when we hear Winimucca.
Casinos and fuel at $3.45 Flying J. Cod specials at Long John Silver’s before truckin’ away to Elko Nevada. Prosperity more apparent in Nevada, where they mine the earth quietly out of sight of the environmentalists and gamble their paychecks.
Elko Nevada is Walmart camp, leave 9-28-14:
On the hill just off the highway, Walmart is easy to find. We love Walmart. Camping is cheap and supplies are just a walk away. I usually spend time wandering the aisles and gathering a few items like Marvel Mystery Oil, the machinery saving oil added to fuel, that is rarely found in eco-obsessed states like California.
After breakfast we roll down the exit hill and across more moonscape toward Wendover Utah. As we top out on approach to the Great Salt Lake Desert, we are greeted with a vast expanse of … water. First time we have seen the flat salt soaking wet. 100 miles of shallow soaked wet salt with periodic tracks leading off the highway where drivers have fallen asleep at the wheel. This is one long flat, straight highway. I can imagine the repairs to fix the salt encrusted mechanicals after a fast ride into the salt slop followed by a quick stop. Big rigs temporarily leave their front end fiberglass behind as markers.
The same storm that soaked Phoenix, soaked the Great Salt Lake Desert, leaving it a dirty beige, rather than the pristine white normally observed. Salt tolerant weeds thrive when it rains. No intricately flying rocketry was seen this trip. Dugway proving ground puts on a show periodically, that can easily be watched from the highway across the salt desert.
Approaching Salt Lake City, Morton Salt is busily harvesting ‘product’. Dealing with salt. Eat the stuff, it’s prolific here. Kennicott is busy with it’s huge complexes of whatevers, producing more of what it sells. Looks like it is on break today, as we drive past the large infrastructures and around the mountain toward the Salt Lake itself.
Our goal is Spanish Fork where we fueled on trip to the west. This time Nv took us on a shortcut. Today fuel was cheaper at $3.21. Spanish Fork, which has developed rapidly over the last years, is at the southern end of the 100 mile corridor that relates and intertwines economically to Salt Lake City.
The Salt Lake itself is only a small remaining percentage of the large basin that was formerly a vast inland sea. We ate Costco Polish Dog and Pizza before continuing on to Green River Utah State Park, where we camped on way northwest four weeks ago.
The vast expanses of earth’s resultant plate tectonics causing geologic uplifts, are really brilliantly lighted as the sun sets. The layer cake of strata from eons of ‘Climate Change’ are outstanding. Range and Basin western states geology is photogenic today.
South to 7,000′ Soldier Summit pass, into Price Canyon, following the railroads down to lower elevation, rewarded us with a few trains today. Our campsite was tight in between trees. Rain and hail followed our registration. I had to put the bike away fast and watch the storm from inside the coach.
Navigator extracted the coach from the greedy trees as I monitored from outside. Dumped the tanks and headed toward New Mexico by way of Moab and Monticello, Southwestern Colorado’s irrigated farmland, through simpler landscape to Shiprock NM and turn east back to Farmington NM for the night camp in Sam’s Club.
Fuel was $3.45 at Farmington Sam’s, due to four corners fuel price controls, historically by one family. Nav found ABQ fuel ‘Gas Buddy’ at $2.94, so we only added enough to make it to ABQ. Sam’s ABQ fill, a quart of Marvel Mystery Oil added and home to park in driveway for 2 days of unloading. While engine was still warm, I crawled beneath the coach to grease the 13 fittings, drain the oil and change the filter. Fill with new oil and refill the batteries with distilled water. Even new, they took 16 ounces for each of the four batteries totaling 1/2 gallon.
Unloading treasures and supplies took two days. Chores, mowing the tall grass in the back yard and restoring other necessities, takes a bit of unwind time after an extended trip. The horizons seen, memories to store, are worth every penny spent. What an amazing country, The United States of America, One Nation Under God. God Bless .