Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Just Traveling……Two Days on the Road

Sunday, August 4th and Monday August 5th- These last two days have been 400+ mile days. That translates into about 7.5 - 8 hours of driving each day, since we only average less than 60 mph while towing the camper. Since there really has been nothing all that remarkable along the way, I thought that I would describe for you all what our typical ‘just driving’ days are like.

One advantage of having the camper is that our mornings can start pretty much as they would at home. If we want to get an early start, we set our alarm for about 5:30 am. Yes, that’s early, but we are morning people. We have a cup of coffee, then a bowl of cereal for breakfast, then get the camper hitched up and ready to hit the road. Sometimes, on just a ‘stop through’ overnight, we might even have been fortunate enough to find a camp site that was level enough and long enough that we never even have to unhitch.

On driving days….we just drive. We usually don’t sightsee along the way, though the Black Canyon was an exception.

We may see some pretty awesome scenery, but there is seldom a handy pull-out to stop for a picture, so I just enjoy the moment without having to be driven to get that perfect shot.

Sunday, we drove up through Salt Lake City, Utah – the stretch from Provo to Salt Lake City being one of my least favorite stretches of road, with miles and miles of sprawling city and suburbs, and usually a lot of traffic.


Just west of Salt Lake City are the Great Salt Flats. I took a couple of pics from the car window to show you….

They look like sand or snow disappearing into a lake or something…..with the mountains floating like islands. It seems weird to think that all that white is salt deposits. (We did see a Morton’s Salt Factory along the way!)


Desolate looking….and inhospitable…..with no plants or other signs of life.

Back to driving……with stops for gas or a rest stop for a bathroom (we might just pull off and use our camper). Once in a while, if a well timed McDonalds…or better yet….a Starbucks….comes our way, we stop for a Mocha.  We always pack sandwiches for lunch, which we usually just eat while driving, saving our stops for a real stretch break.

Fred does all the driving (we both prefer it that way!).  I might spend some time working on my blog or writing emails. Mostly, we look at the changing landscape and talk, looking forward to the exciting things that we are going to do and see. Our talk also turns to the plotting and scheming about projects that we want to do back at the cabin, and future trips..…..And, I once heard it said that if you have children, you will never run out of thing to talk about.   ; ) 

We have usually plotted out our route before we have even left home, and know about where we want to stop. We may have reservations, or we may just ‘wing it’, using the “Good Sam” RV campsite guide as our bible. We try to stay in State Parks where it makes sense. When it is hot, as it has been the last couple of nights, we try to stay where we will have electricity to run the AC.

Sunday evening, we stayed at the Double Dice RV Park in Elko, Nevada. It was close off the interstate, and split the distance for our driving days about right.


This RV park is just a big parking lot with electric,water, and sewer hook-ups. We will occasionally stay in places like this when convenience is our main concern, For us, it is not about the ‘campground’ experience of sitting out around a campfire, or such. Being very self-contained, we do not have to be concerned with the campground bathrooms, or any thing else. We do not even need much of a view, though we did happen to have a nice open view out our back window.

Elko, Nevada seemed like it might have been a nice town to spend an afternoon in……with cute shops and several nice museums focusing on this stretch of highway which follows the California Wagon Trail. It was, however, Sunday, at 4pm when we got in, and most everything was closed. Everything,that is, except the casinos, which are everywhere in Nevada, but they really did not interest us.  One road sign advertisement did catch my eye, however, ”Free Margaritas and serious Mexican Food.” It sounded like a good place to wait while the AC in our camper cooled things off a bit.  : )

Monday morning came early, again……and we were back on the road for another  420 miles of driving……..


We were driving along some pretty remote little roads. As the miles rolled by, the landscape changed outside our window……We stopped for fuel at Adel, Oregon, a very small little station which reminded us of some we saw along the Alaskan Highway.

Our stop for the night was Collier Memorial State Park, just out of Chiloquin, Oregon. Sometimes you just get lucky….


The site was beautiful, shady and the air was cooler…..After setting up camp and taking a brief respite, we decided to go exploring. We had read on the internet about a Logging Museum that was attached to the park. We followed the signs…..


And found ourselves walking a very lovely 1/2 mile trail that followed along a lovely spring fed creek.


The trail led to this little bridge, which took us right over to the Logging Museum.


This outdoor exhibit traced the history of the logging industry in the Pacific Northwest. It included a number of original log cabins….


And many pieces of old logging equipment such as this ‘big wheel’ used for hauling logs and this old ox or mule drawn grader blade.


Steam power revolutionized the logging industry……This ‘steam donkey’ was on skidders and used a winch to move itself, or to move logs for loading.


Next came steam driven tractors…..before the advent of the combustion engine.


This is an old Caterpillar machine……The Caterpillar company was founded in Peoria, Illinois, and was where my Uncle Irwin (my mother’s oldest brother) worked as an engineer, designing these huge machines.

After our tour of the logging industry, we settled back in our camp for a tasty supper.

Tomorrow, we have only 130 miles to drive to arrive at the Airstream Rally in Canyonville, Oregon (southern Oregon, along I -5, just south of Roseburg).

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