For those of you interested Only in TRAVEL, I (Jack) wrote the blog between March 2010 and October 2010 during our travels west. We saw the most beautiful places and had the best time in our big truck and little trailer. See Blog Archive below.

Mar 26, 2016

Trust Yourself and Have Good Friends

Thursday I decided I would try to hitch the trailer to the truck. The Hensley is totally different than my last hitch. I didn't have much instruction as to how to do it so I was apprehensive. I backed the trailer hitch into the trailer receiver the first try, so I was encouraged. "This was going to be easy" (supposed to be the hard part). NOT.  I spent the next three frustrating hours reading the manual, watching YouTube Videos, and speaking to the manufacturer. Everything/one told me not to follow my instincts. I was tired and defeated. Fortunately, a storm was approaching so I put everything away and came in the house.

I woke up, yesterday, saying to myself, "Try again, and this time follow your instincts." I had emailed Sandie and Jim. Sandie came to the rescue right away saying that Jim was fishing, but she would have him read my email when he got home. (I forgot to ask if Jim caught anything, Sandie!) She reassured me that the first few times were trying for them, as well. Jim was kind enough to call me just as I had started. I asked him a few questions and he was more helpful than anyone. He told me the manual wasn't helpful, and reassured me that I could adjust some parts (names?).

Within the next half hour:

All Dressed Up and Nowhere to Go! Probably for the best because I unhitched and hitched three more times. Good Practice. Now I need to push myself to get out to a parking lot and finally learn how to back up. My driveway is long and narrow and uphill, not steep but up hill.
Addition to Check List. Make sure the slide is in when driving away.

All is well that ends well. :)

Mar 17, 2016

New Adventure

Without my Buddy writing the blog, I’m at a loss for words--my mind is blank. I guess it will take practice. I’m trying out the new Blogo version—we’ll see how it works out. I ordered my trailer quite a while ago. I figured if my back stayed the same for six months, I’d take another stab at camping and traveling. (changed--I'm using Blogger instead for the first time. I'll use blogo when I have no wifi)

I will be camping with a group of friends in the Ozarks in April (the time I was originally going to leave for the west). My granddaughter, Amanda and her fiance' Brian, set the wedding date for June 11 so I can’t leave until they have tied the knot. I wouldn’t miss it for the world. I’ll camp again with mostly the same group of friends in Ohio in May. I’m sure I have mentioned the WACs on the blog before. Some of them met Jack and me in New Mexico in 2010. They are a great group of women campers.
I will meet a few of them at Ft. Stevens State Park in Oregon for a couple of days.

I didn’t think I’d ever camp again because of my back so I sold my other trailer lock stock and barrel to a lovely young couple with two little boys and a new baby girl. They are an outdoor couple if ever there was one. I thought about keeping it and getting a soft spot in the floor fixed, but none of my kids wanted to use it and it seemed such a shame to leave it in the driveway just getting older. Like a swimming pool, the value of it went up the more it was used and enjoyed—not just sitting there. It was a Jayco Trailer and it was a good trailer—lasted me eight years and a lot of miles. No complaints from me except things like where the fuses were located, and the bed location. It actually worked out fine when Jack and Lizzie camped with me—the floor plan suited them fine. I had put new tires on it, a new electric/gas water heater, and as I did every year had the roof checked and sealed. I also had it detailed. Then off she went into new adventures and making great memories for a wonderful young family. Unfortunately, the floor needs to be replaced. There was no water in the trailer--never had a leak so I'm not sure what happened. Even the soft spot was not the slightest bit damp.

Ok. Fast forward. The ablation on my back lasted six months. I felt like I had one last trip west in me—a last hoorah so to speak so I bought a Forest River Surveyor 201 RBS from Brannon at Jeff Couch’s RV Nation in Ohio. I got a good price and ordered some special things like a couch instead of a dining room table and a camera on the back of the trailer. Brannon is very easy to deal with--great buying experience. I’d like to find out about portable solar systems so I can boondock some. If anyone has any ideas or experience with one they really like, please leave a comment. It has more than enough storage. I've got empty shelves that I'm resisting filling, and room for as many clothes as I'll need. It even has storage under the bed!

Thanks to Jim and Sandie Dixon's recommendation I asked for the Hensley Arrow Hitch. Couch didn't sell them, but Brannon contacted Hensley and they were happy to sell it. Couch is now going to carry them, I think. I remembered reading that Jim said he felt it was well worth the extra money because it's so much safer to tow with, and boy was he right. What a difference towing, and this is a heavier trailer. It's pricey, but money worth spending. I told a friend I thought to myself while driving home, "Bring everything ya got 18 wheelers. I can see ya, I can hear ya, but I can't feel ya!"

I don’t know how long I’ll keep it after returning home (whenever), but I may be able to camp closer to home with friends. We’ll see. I’m not a planner except at very special times. I’ll post a few pictures. I don’t take many pictures any more since Jack was the author and he was my main subject so they aren’t very good, but you’ll get an idea as to what it’s like with the pictures.

This table stores behind the couch. It is HEAVY. I took it out of the trailer and have opted just to have a small table that I can use for my computer, etc. I don't think it was very wise to put that kind of weight on the slide out. It won't go to waste. My son can use the table in his basement.

I wanted to get up to New York to see my sister and a dear old friend, again. I decided that I would reserve a site in a fancy pancy campground "resort" for a week. She's going to come stay with me. I'm sure those of you on the west coast will hear the peals of laughter as we always have such a wonderful (and always funny) time together. Then, I'll stop in at another campground and I'll be able to spend some time with my old friend for a day or two.

From there, I will take the northern route out west. I'll take the interstate part of the time, but then try to find parallel roads to I90 to see the good stuff. Well, that's my first post. I hope to see some of you along the way. I have a two week reservation in Fort Stevens for the end of August/Beginning of September. My kids want to fly out to meet me. A couple of things on my bucket list--to ride the Mail boats and go, again, whale watching out of Depoe Bay and see the Orcas up near Victoria--that's a few of many.

Want to stop and say hi to  some of the bloggers I've grown so fond of. Have a lot of reading to catch up.