12/31/13:  The last of the left overs should be gone tonight!  Our gracious host has volunteered to cook the remaining turkey into a soup dinner for the entire campground - all nine of us!

Fishing continues to be pretty good but the weather has turned cold once again today (and the next few days) so I have not been outside much.  Got bored and decided to rebuild the website for Magone Lake that I started eight years ago.  Thought I would get a little more interest in it but only a few people have contributed any content.  Perhaps a revised format will help.  It does seem to get a fair amount of traffic - just no feedback.

Also created a sub page to this site to promote the campground we are staying in.  It is such a small campground the owner is reluctant to pay for a website until he is sure it will be a benefit.  We will give it a try here for a few months and see what happens.  You can view it HERE.


12/26/13:  Wonderful Christmas here at Bayou Jim's in Grand Isle.  Had a wonderful Christmas day and dinner with friends we met here WAY back in 2000 when we "discovered" Grand Isle.  Lots of fun talking about the "good old days" dry camping at the local Louisiana State Park.  

Even the cats had a great day with their presents!


12/22/13:  Christmas is nearly here and once again dear daughter sends gifts for all - the cats get the most.  No place to put a tree so put the gifts on the dash and soon after the black cat (Kinky) laid claim to them.

 

Weather has turned cool and wet today and will remain cold for the next couple of days.  Went out in the rain and caught three nice red fish this morning ranging from 28 to 32 inches.  All right here in the canal by the campground.  Lots of fun on 8 pound test line!


12/17/13: Another great day on the marsh today - same spot............

 

Four red fish on the left were caught here at the campground.  Close up on the right shows why they are called "spotted or speckled" trout.


12/15/13:  Fishing continues to be pretty good - brought in 31 from the marsh along Highway 1 between Grand Isle and Port Fourchon (my favorite spot enter N29.17482, W90.13088 in Google Earth or click Google search to see the spot) and another ten last night under the lights.  Weather is rotten here today with a north wind and temperature only in the 50s.

Had a great two weeks planned with grand daughter Kristie but much to our disappointment her flight from Oregon was cancelled last Thursday and they could not get her booked on another flight in time to make connections.  VERY disappointed we won't be able to share Louisiana with her - at least not this year.

Both of us have been suffering with a cold the last two weeks.  Sylvia suffering much more than I did.  Have been to the doctor twice for treatment and I think she is on the mend at this point.

Friends we met here at Grand Isle way back in 2000 are both here at the same campground with us.  Really great seeing them all once again!


12/06/13:  Had a wonderful Thanksgiving with our hosts and fellow campers here at Bayou Jim's campground.  Fishing has been fair to good most days and excellent on others...........................

 

All of them are speckled sea trout except the one on the left in the left photo which is a redfish.  Makes for a few fish fries when we get back to Oregon!


11/25/13:  From Coffeeville it was on to Pass Christian, Mississippi for a visit with friends.  Had a great visit with Butch & Betty.  Unfortunately we woke Friday morning to a refrigerator that was no longer cooling.  The cooling unit had sprung a leak!  Elected to discard the RV style absorption refrigerator in favor of a residential unit.  Could not find the one we would like so purchased a smaller unit to carry us through this trip.  Will order the desired unit when we get home in the spring.

From Pass Christian it was on to Grand Isle last Saturday.  We have been here a little over a week now.  Fishing has been fair with one shelf in the freezer nearly full.  Weather has turned cold the last couple of days and it looks like it will remain cold through Thanksgiving.  

Another failure (Sylvia's computer) resulted on a trip to Houma yesterday to find a replacement.  She is now going to have to adjust to using Windows 8!  While there we stopped at the local pet store and bought a couple of beds for the cats.  I think we should have gotten the next larger size...............

 


11/11/13:  On to the Coffeeville, Alabama area this morning.  Found another nice Corps of Engineers campground (Service Campground) right on the bank of the Tombigbee river where we can once again watch the barge and boat traffic going and coming.

Where We Are Parked

The View Out of the Window


11/8/13:  From Columbus we continued on down the Tennessee Tombigbee Waterway to Pickensville, Alabama.  Here we are sitting right on the waterway where we can watch all the traffic - 4-5 yachts and (maybe) a barge or two every day.  Not much traffic for the money spent but sure makes a great place to camp!

Stopped at the Corps of Engineers Tom Bevill Visitor Center in Pickensville yesterday.  The center appears to be a mid 1800s plantation home but it was built in the 1980s as a replica.  They had an old retired snagboat moored there as part of the visitor center.  Very interesting vessel used to both dredge and clear river channels with the large boom mounted on the bow (front) of the boat.  Built in 1926 as a coal fired vessel she was later converted to oil.  Read more about her at:  http://www.sam.usace.army.mil/Missions/CivilWorks/Recreation/TennesseeTombigbeeWaterway/SnagboatMontgomery.aspx

Will stay here until Monday and then on to another Corps of Engineers campground near Coffeeville, Alabama.


11/4/13:  And on down the Tennessee Tombigbee we go.  Landed near Columbus, Mississippi last Saturday.  While in the Fulton area I (Len) made a day trip over to Tupelo and spent some time in the Tupelo Auto Museum - a very impressive collection of cars dating from the 1890s to the 1970s.  I tool LOTS of photos but way too many to post them here.  If interested please go the museum's web page.   

Today we took a short ride over to the Waverley Plantation.  This was a very productive cotton plantation and the mansion was built in the 1850s and survived the Civil War intact.  It was abandoned in 1913 and remained vacant until 1960 when an antique dealer from Filled, Mississippi purchased and began restoration.  He now has it furnished in period furniture and is currently living in it.  However, it is open for tours daily.  Couldn't take any photos of the interior but did get one of the exterior.  In it's day it must have been VERY nice.  Again, there is  a great web site here for Waverley information.

We are currently camped at the Dewayne Hayes Corps of Engineers campground just north of Columbus.  There is also an Air Force base nearby with a PX and commissary.  Managed to do a little grocery shopping yesterday!  Here is a shot of an area adjacent to the campground with a little fall color.


10/30/13:  Had a wonderful visit with friends while at Big Springs.  Hated to part company with them but we need to get on down the road.  

Moved on down the Tennessee Tombigbee waterway this morning.  Big move - 30 miles - to the Fulton, Mississippi area.  Planning on slowly traveling down the length of the waterway all the way to the Coffeeville, Alabama area.  Here is a shot of the campground we are in (have to look hard to see the motorhome):

The fall colors are really starting to show and we are looking forward to seeing more of them.


10/28/13:  We left Arkabutla Lake Saturday and traveled across northern Mississippi to Big Springs Lake near Dennis, Mississippi.  Big Springs Lake is at the northern end of the Tennessee Tombigbee waterway that extends from Tennessee down through eastern Mississippi and then western Alabama.  Built several years ago for barge traffic.  A big congressional boondoggle!  The campground we are staying at is just off the Natchez Trace Parkway.  We had traversed the Parkway back in 2003 and stayed here then.  

Friends we met at Grand Isle many years ago recently moved to this area so having a wonderful visit with them - hadn't seen them for four years!  Today we joined them for a trip to Tupelo (about 25 miles from here).  Stopped at the house Elvis was born and had lunch at the Fairpark Grill.  The house Elvis was born in sure wasn't much but then back in 1935 life was just a little simpler (of course I wouldn't know - I can only imagine).


10/25/13:  We left Jonesboro after only one night because it was a little too crowded for us.  Nice quiet place but nearly full so continued on to Arkabutle Lake in Northwestern corner of Mississippi about 25 miles south of Memphis.  Nice peaceful park out in the country as you can see here:

Took a ride west to the Mississippi river at Tunica today.  Place is loaded with casinos - lost a few bucks and had a nice lunch at the buffet in Fitzgeralds.  Passed a cotton field that is ready for harvest and snapped a couple of photos:

And found a unique sign leading down to the Tunica River Park:


10/22/13:   We left Lake of the Ozarks yesterday and continued our journey southward stopping near Mountain View, Missouri last night and then on to Jonesboro this morning.  Nothing much exciting to tell you about other than the price of fuel just keeps getting better.  Filled up with diesel for $3.59 before arriving at Lake of the Ozarks.  Regular gas was $2.99 just outside Kansas City! 

Stopped at the Arkansas Visitor Center at Mammoth Springs on the way in this morning.  There is a huge spring there that puts out nearly nine million gallons an hour.  A dam was built there back in the 1880s to power a grist mill until it was converted to hydro-electric in the 1930s.  Now it is just a dam and a pretty water fall.  Sorry, didn't even think of taking the camera with me.

Little park we are at tonight is called Craighead Forest Park operated by the city of Jonesboro.  Campground is nearly full which is a real surprise but we discovered they have a Halloween decoration contest within the campground and many folks are here just for that.  A few of the sites are decorated but one is by far going to be the winner (as she is every year it seems). 

Had some fun finding the park initially.  Directions I had took us down a narrow lane that dead ended at the park boundary.  Had to unhook the pickup and turn the motorhome around in a VERY tight spot.  Not fun but glad we were not pulling the big fifth wheel - would have had to back out about a mile!


10/20/13:  Have had a nice stay here at the Lake of the Ozarks Recreation area operated by the US Army out of Fort Leonard Wood.  They have established a great recreation area for the troops and of course us old retired military folks.  Campground is only about half full this weekend but I suspect it is pretty busy in the summer months.  Complete marina with boat (nice ones) rentals, campground with full or partial hookups and several cabins to rent.  Yesterday they sponsored a bass tournament with a couple of five pound large mouth bass being caught.  They even have part of the campground decorated for Halloween.

Tent Camping Area

Marina

Five Pound Bass

Six Pound Bass

Halloween

More Halloween

And More

This morning we ventured out to the Ha Ha Tonka State Park.  This park began as a dream of a Kansas City business man (Robert Snyder) back in the early 1900s.  He purchased 5000 acres with a dream of creating a private retreat.  Mr. Snyder imported stone masons from Europe to build a castle in Central Missouri.  He was killed in an auto accident a year after construction began halting construction.  Ironically, he owned the very first automobile in Kansas City!  His sons completed construction and the structure was leased as a private hotel until the 1940s when the roof caught fire and the castle was destroyed.  The stonework still remains as a very impressive structure for it's time.  If your insterested in the history of the castle more can be found here.

Carriage House

Rear of Castle

Front of Castle

Water Tower

Interior of Castle

Lake of the Ozarks


10/17/13:  Had two wonderful afternoon visiting with Margaret.  She is doing great for 91 years young!  Here we are at her independent living facility:

We didn't get to see much of the Kansas City area but that was not the reason we came here so nothing lost or missed.  We stayed at a small (8 sites) RV park about 25 miles south of Kansas City.  Made for a nice drive into Overland Park but traffic was light.  

This morning we continued on southeast to an Army facility on Lake of the Ozarks in Central Missouri.  Very beautiful area and will try to get a few photos over the weekend.


10/14/13:  Four days at Nine Eagles State Park near Lamoni, Iowa and it was on south to the Kansas City area this morning.  Will visit a dear friend form Hondo living here in an assisted living home.  Will try to post a photo tomorrow.

While at Nine Eagles we managed to take a tour of the old (1890s) Liberty Hall, the home of Joseph Smith III, president of the Community of Christ church (current name).  Very interesting home furnished with period (and some original) furniture.  Read more here.  Also made a "short" trip to a nearby grocery store taking a scenic drive that ended up being over 100 miles including a dip into Missouri.  Pretty countryside though.


10/10/13:  Left Elk Rock State Park this morning and traveled south to Nine Eagles State Park just north of the Missouri border.  Will remain here for a few days again waiting for the children in Washington to get things sorted out.


10/5/13:  Got through a night a severe storm warnings last night with little more than a light sprinkle.  Much cooler today with temperature in the mid 60s so took a day trip over to the town of Pella a moderate sized town established by Dutch settlers back in the 1800s.  Most of the old section of town is clearly Dutch with windmills throughout.  Near the Town Square is a "Historical Village" complete with an authentic and full sized Dutch windmill with a functioning grist mill.  The windmill was built in the early 2000 by a Dutch company utilizing plans from the 1800s.  Additionally, they have Wyatt Earp's childhood home within the village and an elaborate miniature Dutch Village (note the laundry in the second photo).  Thoroughly enjoyed the afternoon in Pella!

1847 Log

Cabin

Even the Bank

is a Windmill

Miniature

Village

Miniature

Village

Wyatt Earp

Childhood Home


10/4/13:  Four wonderful days with old Navy friends from Hawaii and California (late 1970s and early 1980s).   In addition to great visit we managed to get in one day of touring the area and traveled down to Redwing (home of Redwing shoes) and then across the river into Wisconsin for a great lunch at the Twin Bluffs restaurant in Nelson.  Then it was back across the river to Wabasha (home of the movie Grumpy Old Men).  Neat little town that was all decked out for Octoberfest.  It is also home to the National Eagle Center devoted to educating the public about eagles and other wildlife.  They have a number of eagles that could not be rehabilitated.  Even though they cannot be released, they remain majestic birds!  Here are photos of them:

And here are a few of the local scenery:

Barn Bluff

at Redwing

Redwing

 

Mississippi River

at Redwing

Mississippi River

at Wabasha

Eagle Center

Fountain

Pumkin

Tutu

Dispicable Me

Pumkins

Sylvia and

her Cronies

Fishing

Buddy

Sylvia at the

Eagle Center

And would you believe............................  these two were heading to New Orleans in their canoe.  Expected to make it by Christmas!  


9/28/13:  Yesterday it was on to Granite Falls, Minnesota where we stopped for the night at the Prairie's Edge Casino.  Today it is on to Farmington for a few days visit with old Navy friends.


9/25/13:  It was on to Webster, South Dakota this morning.  Uneventful trip except to the strong winds all the way.  We are staying at the same place we stayed in 2000 when we lost a tire and wheel just east of here.  Had to remain here three weeks waiting for an new set of axles and then they ended up being the wrong ones and we had to limp on to St. Cloud, Minnesota with the bad one anyway!


9/24/13:  Spent four nights at Theodore Roosevelt National Park.  Met up with friends from Pendleton who were also traveling in the area and had two great days with them.  Took a day trip up to the North Unit of the park with them - great scenery but did not see much wildlife compared to the South Unit.  Sure saw a tremendous amount of development going on with the oil fields in the area.  We had passed through here seven years ago and it was just a few sleepy towns.  Not anymore!  All up and down the western part of the state is alive with new construction.

We left the park Sunday and traveled on east to a Corps of Engineers park about 50 miles south of Bismarck.  We stayed here back in 2007 and thought it was a great place so stopped once again.  We are the ONLY camper in the entire park!  Pretty and peaceful!


9/19/13:  Spent the night in a casino parking lot and then continued on to Forsyth, Montana for three days.  Montana Fish & Wildlife has a really nice campground tight on the Yellowstone River.  One of the sites even has 50 amp electric service!  Had to watch carefully coming in due to overhanging tree limbs.  Spoke with the ranger and two days later they were trimming!  No trouble getting out at all!  Talk about listening to the customer!!  The river has a diversion dam for irrigation water that makes for a nice fishing spot.   Click for a larger view.

From there we headed on east on Interstate 94 to Medora, North Dakota and Theodore Roosevelt National Park.  We have been here before several years ago but still a nice place to stop for a few days and admire the scenery and animals that populate the park.  Weather turned cold today with temperature in the 50s!  Took a driver around the south loop this morning.  Several bison and a few wild horses was all we were able to see.  Here are a few photos (click for a larger image):

Peaceful Valley

Ranch House

Peaceful Valley

Ranch Stables

South Loop

Valley

South Loop

Scenery

More South

Loop Scenery


9/14/13:  From Cody we continued eastward through Greybull and Shell Wyoming (US 14) and climbed up into the Bighorn Mountains to Shell Creek campground where friends from Baton Rouge are camp hosting.  What a beautiful area!  The campground is at 7600 feet so quite cool - great change from a few short weeks ago!  We spent four days there before continuing on - northward this time into Montana.  Even saw a young moose yesterday morning that came right through the campground.

While at Shell Creek we took a couple of day trips through the Bighorn mountains.  The first was up to Medicine Lodge Lake and Upper Paintrock Lake for some fishing.  These lakes are at the 9300 foot level and what a beautiful area.  It is about 25 miles - an hour and a half on a rough old dirt road but well worth the trip.  Caught a few cut throat, rainbow and brook trout - none of any size but still great fun.  Nice small lodge at Medicine Lake.  Should have had the camera with me but forgot it!

The second day trip was a big loop from the campground down to Shell, Greybull, Lovell and then back into the Bighorns with a stop at Medicine Wheel.  This is a sacred Indian site located at the 9600 foot level.  More info here.  Did have the camera for this trip.  The weather did not cooperate with Medicine Wheel being in the clouds for our visit.  Here are a few photos (click for a larger image):

Shell Falls

Climbing out of Lovell

Medicine Wheel

Prayer Offerings

Lots of fun driving through the Bighorn Mountains.  Highway 14 follows Shell creek up a twisting and turning road that climbs from 4200 feet to 7600 feet in about 17 miles.  Grades of 8% are common.  Coming down the east side is the same.  Kept the motorhome in second gear with the exhaust brake on and came down about 30 MPH.  Only had to use the brakes a few times - mostly when pulling over so others could get around us.  Hard to believe the number of tour busses that use this route to Yellowstone!


9/8/13:  After we left Idaho Falls we were without Internet or phone service for awhile.  We made it through Grand Teton National Park and Yellowstone while without.  Arriving at Grand Teton we were VERY disappointed to find they were already closing campgrounds.  We had planned to stay at the Colter Bay campground but found it to be closed.  Staff at the gate indicated it had closed to big rigs only that morning.  Their website indicated it would be open until later in the month.  Needless to say I was just a little "pissed".  We continued on north of the park to Flagg Ranch for two nights instead.  Still enjoyed the park and here are a few of the better photos (click for a larger image):

Jackson Lake

Tetons

Jenny Lake

Tetons

Snake River

From Teton it was on into Yellowstone via the south entrance.  Again we had hopped to find a place to camp within Yellowstone but there was nothing big enough for our motorhome other than Fishing Bridge at $60 plus a day.  Fortunately, we had a fallback and headed on out the east entrance to a small Forest Service campground on the bank of the North Fork of the Shoshone River.  Spent one long day touring the two loops through the park.  This is the second time we had visited Yellowstone but wanted to see it all once again.  Wish we were younger and in better condition to do some of the back country hiking but just didn't feel up to it.  

We did get to see LOTS of bison, a bear and a big bull elk.  Then out near the campground we saw a sheep way up on a cliff over the river (got several photos but just too far away for a good one).  Then this morning as we were leaving the campground a big four point buck stopped by to say goodbye (photo below).  The bear we saw (a small black bear) happened along as we were waiting at a road construction site.  We had been sitting about twenty minutes when a lady in front of us poked her head out of their sunroof and started taking photos.  I looked to the left and about thirty yard up the embankment walks the bear.  He meandered along the bank and eventually crossed the road about 75 feet in front of us.  Just as he crossed the traffic coming the other way appeared with a couple of motorcycles in the lead - you should have seen the look on the first biker's face when the bear shot across the road directly in front of him!

On our return to the campground we were greeted with a beautiful rainbow ending right over the campground!  Here are a few of the better photos (click for a larger image):

Snake River

at South Entrance

The Goodbye

Buck

Mud Lake

Area

Mud

Lake

Yellowstone

River

Bison

Aplenty

Upper Falls

Yellowstone River

Traffic

Director

Yellowstone River

above Upper Falls

Tower

Falls

The

Bear

The Bear again

Note Motorcycle

Falls west of

Roosevelt

Mammoth

Hot Springs

Norris Geyser

Basin spring

Gibbon

Falls

Old

Faithful

Rainbow over

our campground


9/1/13:  Two nights at Hagerman and it was on to Idaho Falls this morning.  Very smoky coming across Central Idaho and we can not see the mountains to the east of us.  Certainly hope Teton National Park is too smoky.

The town of Idaho Falls is a very picturesque place.  The Snake River runs right through town and the falls are a sight to see.  Idaho Power modified the river flow several years ago when they installed a power plant here but it is still very beautiful.  Here are a few photos (click on each photo for a larger view):


8/30/13:  Had a GREAT evening with friends in John Day - dinner at the Outpost followed by a few hours around the campfire at park.  Great seeing everyone again.  Wednesday it was on to Unity Lake State Park.  Met some folks there who's daughter lives two houses away from us in Madras -small world!  Then lake was VERY low and nothing but a mud flat where the boat ramp is.  I threw a line in but didn't have any luck at all.

Left Unity this morning and traveled on to Hagerman, Idaho.  Will stay here for two days and then on east.\

Been having problems with our satellite receiver overheating where it is located in a cabinet above the driver's seat.  Only way to keep it cool was to leave the doors to the cabinet open.  Stopped and got a small computer fan (and a few other items) and installed it this afternoon.  Hopefully it will keep the receiver cool without opening the doors.


8/27/13:  Left Madras about nine this morning and arrived in Mt. Vernon (Clyde Holiday State Park) around 12:30.  Good trip and little traffic.  Appeared the storm that went through the area packed quite a punch.  Highway 26 coming down Mountain Creek to Picture Gorge had a flotilla of State Highway workers clearing debris from the road where it had washed down the side of the canyon.

Dinner with friends in John Day this evening and then on to Unity Lake tomorrow.

Got to looking at the data base of the locations we have been in since 2006 - that's about half the time we have been traveling.  Here is a snapshot (Click for a larger image):

Each of those red dots is a place we have camped.


8/26/13:  Made an overnight trip to Albany/Lebanon to see our son and his family one last time before leaving for the winter.  Returned this morning.

Decided to leave the motorhome here in Madras and motel it for one night.  Kind of wish we had taken the motorhome.  Got to the motel a little early yesterday (1:30 PM) and the room was not ready for us yet.  The manager was kind enough to let us check in and leave our "stuff" in the room.  She gave us key cards and off we went.  Returned about 8:30 PM and the key cards would not unlock the door.  Went to the office and could hear the TV going in the managers unit.  Rang the bell, called the phone number, banged on the door for thirty minutes with no response.  Decided to run to the local Walmart for a few things we needed and perhaps the manager would return.  Returned to the motel and still no manager.  Another couple were also having the same problem.  Again we banged on the door, rang the bell, called on the phone, etc.  Started imagining the worst, i.e, manager had been attacked/robbed/incapacitated so called the local police.   Finally 45 minutes later (after nearly 2 hours total) the manager shows up and got us in to our room.

Turns out he and his wife had received a distress call from a friend broken down on Interstate 5 and had gone to help them.  Their son (also in residence) figured the No Vacancy sign was lit up so he went to play basketball with his buddies.  What a night!!!!!  Did end up getting free (future) night with them on the house so can't complain too loud.

Sure hope this wasn't an omen regarding our journey!

8/18/13:  Thought I would post a short video compilation shot of granddaughters fishing for squirrels at Hyatt lake earlier this month.  Click here.


8/7/13:  Here it is four months into owning a motorhome and I am just getting around to updating this page.  Just been having too much fun working around the house and fixing little things on the motorhome.  

We have managed to get in a few short trips, one up the Washington side of the Columbia east of Biggs Junction for a visit with our son, a three week trip to Magone lake for the annual gathering of our friends and the current trip to Southern Oregon for a visit with daughter and her family.  We are now on our way back to the house for a few weeks before leaving early for our winter trip south.  Spending a few days here at Lapine State Park south of Bend.  

Several doctor appointments over the next three weeks for regular follow-up checks and then we hope to be headed east to the Tetons before Labor Day.  If all goes well we plan to travel the northern states as far as Wisconsin and then southeast towards the east coast before turning back west.  No firm plans as yet but a tentative schedule is here.


4/6/13:  Once again it has been a long time since I updated anything here and I apologize.  The last month has been very busy getting a new (to us) motorhome on the road.  Still have a few issues to work out but we are "getting there".  For those of you who have requested photos - click here.  The following is a copy of an email I sent out earlier this week detailing our initial pickup and subsequent trip:  

Our first trip in our new (to us) motorhome ended up with us learning a few new things.  To a newcomer to the RV'ing world
many of these "events" would have turned them against the RV'ing lifestyle.  For us, we really like the coach!

We were scheduled to pick up the motorhome the second week of March.  Unfortunately when we went to pick it up and do a walk
through they (the dealer's service techs) had found a problem with the hydraulic system that operates the slide outs and the
stabilizing jacks.  They had replaced the control board but the problem remained.  They had ordered a new hydraulic pump
motor that was due in the next day.  They said go ahead and take the unit and bring it back the next day.  We thought that
was silly and decided to leave it with them.

Picked it up the next day and brought it home in the late afternoon.  Didn't put the slides out or jack down as I wanted
to fill the fuel and propane tanks and weigh the coach the next morning.

Following morning after weighing and fueling, I again parked in the driveway.  Put the slides out and jacks down.  We commenced
loading the coach.  The next day the bedroom slide would not come in (retract).  We really do like this coach!  Back to the dealer
with the slide hanging out!  Four hours later everything seems to be working fine.

Bring it home and the bedroom slide would not go out (extend). We really do like this coach! Back to the dealer AGAIN!  Wouldn't
you know, it worked when we arrived at the dealer.  Fortunately, it quit after several successful attempts.  

Most people would walk away after all this.  But we do like the coach!  Again the tech spent about four hours cleaning all the
electrical connections around the hydraulic pump apparatus and all seemed to be working fine.

Home we came again and (you guessed it) it failed to operate. I crawled under it and isolated the problem to one single wire
coming from the switch that operates the bedroom slide.  Then figured a work-a-round by running the living room slide while
operating the bedroom and it works all the time.  Need to replace that one wire!  We really do like this coach!

Anyway, we are now ready to hit the road for Spring Break with family.  First night out we stop at Lapine State Park about 75
miles from home.  Figured we were close enough to the dealer we could return if we found anything else dramatically wrong.

Woke up to three inches of snow the next morning and very cold. Had two portable heaters going to keep the chill off.  Turned
the microwave on to heat some coffee and after about a minute everything went dead.  I figured I had blown a breaker on the
campground pedestal but, no, it was fine.  After an hour and a half of searching I called the dealer and the tech tells me
I had blown a circuit breaker on the Heart Interface (inverter/converter that charges batteries and/or makes 120 power)
Sure enough I had.  We really do like this coach!

OK, all is well now.  Let's hit the road.  Push the button to "store" the jacks and then head outside to disconnect power.
I then hear a loud "popping/cracking" sound but see nothing out of the ordinary.  Walk to the front of the coach and notice
one of the jack has partially retracted but the "foot" has remained frozen to the ground.  Apparently the loud noise I heard
earlier was a different jack's foot popping loose and reconnecting with the jack.

I tapped the frozen foot with a shovel and it popped loose also. Unfortunately, it did not re-seat itself on the jack.  Instead
it lodged itself vertically alongside the jack!  Now I have to manually retract the jack so that it does not drag on the ground.
Fairly simple process if the weather is warm and the ground is dry!  When it is cold and three inches of snow - not a pleasant
task!  Got it up enough to safely travel but the warning chime keeps telling me it is not retracted.  Rather annoying so after
about 50 miles I stopped and fully retracted the jack (on dry pavement!).  We really do like this coach!  I should mention
that Sylvia has been following in the pickup because we do not yet have the tow bar setup installed.  She would have just loved
the noise!  As it were, the cats made about as much noise as the chime did!

We make it to Valley of the Rouge State Park (a very nice park by the way).  Spent the weekend with daughter, son-in-law and
grand daughters.  Great time.  Daughter and family went home on Sunday.

Monday morning I meet daughter in Central Point and collect grand daughters for a couple of days. When I arrived back at
the campground I decided to dump the black (poopy) tank.  Low behold - it would not drain!  We really do like this coach!
Some kind of blockage in the outlet.  I ran to the local RV store and bought an adapter to back flush the tank and managed
to get it empty.  Appears the previous owner did not properly dump the tank before storing the coach.  We are still having
problems with large "flake like" deposits coming out of the tank and occasionally blocking the flow.  I am confident
continued use and plenty of water will solve (dissolve) this problem.  Did I mention that we really do like this coach!

Fast forward two days.  After taking the girls home we returned to the campground and cannot get into the coach.  Seems the door
latch mechanism is not connecting inside the door when the outside handle is pulled.  Called a locksmith (emergency roadside service).
Unfortunately, he could not get in either.  I ended up fabricating a slim-jim and got the emergency exit window in the bedroom open
(after two and a half hours). Did I mention we really do like this coach!

We left Valley of the Rouge the following day and traveled north to Sutherlin where we stayed at the Escapee park for a night.
Grand daughter from Eugene came down for the afternoon and had a great visit.

Following morning it was on to Lebanon and two days of dry camping (no hookups) in a friends driveway (thanks Darlene).
Wanted to check out all of the "other" stuff we hadn't used yet.  All seemed to work well.

Sunday (last) it was on over the mountains and back to Madras.   Really pleased with how the coach performs on the hills and we
got nearly nine miles to the gallon - not bad for a 30,000 pound bus and some pretty hard hills to climb up I-5 and strong head
winds on 97.

Still have a few more thing I want to do to it like replace the old TV with a flat screen (nearly done with that), install some
solar panels along with a few other minor things.

As I stated at the beginning of this, a newcomer would have become very discouraged with all the problems.  For us, it is
a little like "been there - done that" in many ways.  We still like the coach!  Oh, but I forgot, Sylvia has not been riding in
it with me yet - sure hope she likes it too!