Friday, June 24, 2011

I've Lost My GPS!!

I don't know how, but I've misplaced my GPS and I can't find it anywhere.  I charged it recently and tried to figure out where I'd mount it in Olivia but couldn't come up with a spot that would work. I haven't even used it yet. I've looked everywhere in Olivia, my SUV and my house and I just can't find it. I'm hoping it'll magically show up one of these days, before I really need it.  
Thanks for all the comments about my first trip with Olivia.  As far as the sleeping situation goes, I'm pretty limited.  The "mattress" is not removable and has hydraulic lifts attached to it as well as the ladder to reach it, so I'm stuck with it.  

I do have an organic lambs wool mattress cover on my bed at home so I'll try that out on my next trip.  I'm so comfortable driving her that I'm not willing to give that comfort up at this point in time.  When I bought her I was told that the previous owner traded her in for a different floor plan and while I don't know what they ended up with, I'm starting to understand why.  

I'm also going to go on a couple more trips before I give up on her, if I give up on her.  I don't know if I mentioned that I'm going to Las Vegas on the 4th of July.  My friends who joined me in Palm Springs want to check out the Del Webb  community in Henderson and I'm just tagging along.  I plan on going somewhere when I return.  Destination unknown, but who cares, I'll have all that I need with me...including my dog, if this works out...

When I was out and about today I was near a Petco and decided to pop in and see if they had a harness and voila, there it was!!  I tried it on my dog and it fits although I don't think he's too thrilled with it...

If I can get him into Olivia comfortably then our world is going to open up so much.  (FYI:  He used to be black and brown.)

The gym where my trainer and I usually work was closed today for a workshop so she told me to meet her at the park just down the street from where I live.  It was 56〫and drizzling when I left my house and I wasn't looking forward to working out outside.  This is where we ended up working...

and this was the view...

It actually turned out to be quite pleasant and I ended up suggesting we continue to meet there.  I promised that I'd walk there, it's that close to my house.  She often ends our sessions with a burst of speed and had me jog behind her until we reached these stairs...

when she told me to sprint up them without holding onto the railing!!! AARGH!! Obviously, I survived, but I wasn't sure if I was going to make it.  

I knew this park existed and the cement up at the top right of the picture is the road I drive on all the time to and from my house.  So it's rather out of sight but very close to where I live.  Now that I know how gorgeous it is I might go there more often.  

Looking for my GPS,  


Thursday, June 23, 2011

Maiden Voyage...Now a Memory

Yep, now my maiden voyage is just a memory...some of them great memories, some not so great.  Sounds like life, doesn't it?  

Before I go on I'd like to welcome two new followers:  Denise and I don't see a blog listed for you and 2 Tramps from Tramp's Camp.  Thanks for joining me on my journey.  In your case, I was on my first journey when you started as followers.  Stay tuned for more.  

Overall, I'd give my first trip a thumbs up.  I thought the RV park was great and I loved the unobstructed view of Granite Lake from my location.  When I first drove into my space I noticed that the man in the motorhome to my left was sitting outside leaning towards the side of his motorhome and my first thought was...TV.  I was right.  My hope was that he kept the volume down. Then I got out and smelled cigarette smoke and my first thought was...oh no, smokers.  I can't be by smokers.  Fortunately, I only smelled cigarette smoke once and I never heard the TV.  However, after I called it a night I heard the TV watcher clearing his throat every couple of minutes for hours. Then I heard them again at 6:30AM the next morning when he started his diesel pusher!!!

My first night in Olivia wasn't all that great.  I climbed into the overhead sleeper and it was pretty warm.  But it was better then the cold I'd been experiencing at home so I wasn't complaining.  I managed to get to sleep, despite the throat clearing, and woke up in the middle of the night freezing. So I moved down to the couch.  It wasn't all that great because it was too short.  Then the birds started serenading me at 3:45 AM and I wasn't happy. When the diesel pusher started at 6:30 AM, I gave up and got up.  

I started out my day walking, walking, walking.  Even though I hate Walmart, it was the closest store, besides Costco, so I walked there.  I wanted to buy ear plugs!!  Then I decided to go join Costco and walked around there.  The RV park was immediately behind Costco so it wasn't too difficult to get there.  First time I've ever been to Costco and couldn't find a think to buy.  When I got tired of walking I decided to check out my new rocker that I got at Camping World and I couldn't get it to open.  I was not happy.  Fortunately, before I took off on another walk, a man in the row behind me asked if he could check and see if he could fix and I gladly handed it over to him.  He got it fixed and I really appreciated that.

My second night I decided to inflate the mattress in the couch and that turned out to be a disaster.  After it was blown up I noticed that the mattress was resting at an angle  but decided to give it a try.  Not good.  It was so uncomfortable that nothing could help, so I deflated it and went back up over the cab.  That wasn't really comfortable either but it was better than the inflatable mattress.

A new motorhome pulled in late in the afternoon in the space to my left and I never got a chance to meet them.  The folks from Boise lent me their DVD of RV with Robin Williams so I was inside watching that.  They woke me up at 5:45 AM sitting outside their motorhome having a very loud conversation (not fighting, just talking loud).  I couldn't believe it!!  That had something to do with my decision to leave a day early.  I guess I need to beware of the space to my left. 

Here's how Olivia looks in the sun and heat in an RV Park where she belongs, instead of in storage...

Here's the view from our space...

When talking to the folks from Boise, they told me about a website that might have a better solution to helping my dog and it looks like this...

I think it looks more comfortable than this one...

and it's a lot cheaper. 

I know this trip was a great learning experience for me.  I have some things to think about but I'll take a couple more trips before making a decision. The most surprising is that I don't think Olivia is big enough.  I also don't care for the sleeping accommodations and I would prefer to have a dedicated sleeping space and not over the cab.  I had no trouble driving her and that's really important.  I would have liked to have a vehicle to drive around once I arrived in Clarkston or anywhere else I go.  If I were going to be there longer I would have rented a car.  If I were to full-time, I don't believe there's enough outside storage.  I took hardly anything this trip because it was so short so storage wasn't an issue.  I need to figure out how to get my dog inside so that we can take off whenever I want, or full-time if I decide that's the way to go.  I don't want to have to arrange dog sitting when I want to take off...I want to take off.  I think can hear the road calling me.  

If I were to replace Olivia I'm thinking a fifth-wheel.  I think they're the most livable and then I'd have a running around vehicle.  I towed one to Tucson back in '93 and lived in it for two years, without any slideouts.  The ones I looked at before I bought Olivia are pretty impressive.  

I have lots to think about.

Missing the sun and warmth,


Monday, June 20, 2011

I Love Workampers and I Know of an Opening for One

Michael, the Workamper at the RV Park I'm staying at...yes, I made it!!!...was wonderful when it came to helping me get set up in my space. Kudos and I am forever indebted to him.  FYI...I'm at the Premier RV Resort in Clarkston, WA and there's a sign on the door that they need workampers. The phone number is 520-751-1635 or 800-989-4578.  Jackie is the manager and the person to talk to.  I just thought I'd mention it in case someone wants to come to a gorgeous place on the Snake River.  Within walking distance is Costco and Wal Mart.  I'm sitting in my RV looking out at Granite Lake and it's so peaceful.  Pictures tomorrow.  I thought I was on the Snake River but apparently this section is Granite Lake.  I'll see if I can figure out why my confusion.  

I really went out of my way to get here and drove many more miles than were needed.  I've attempted to beat myself up about it, but I decided that I was in no hurry, I wanted to go the way I did and I got here.  When I go home I'll definitely go a more direct route.

This is the view from the first rest area I stopped at...Indian John Hills...

When I drove over the Columbia River at Vantage that's when I made the decision to go left instead of right, hence, lots more miles.  This is the view from a vantage point outside of...Vantage...

This is Vantage...

I told myself to remember the name of the vantage point and all I can remember is Wild Horses something.  I think this is where the name comes from...

The horses are metal and there's a way to get up to them (trail on the left)...

but I wasn't feeling that ambitious.  As I was driving out I noticed someone sitting on the first horse but I didn't stop to get a picture.

I was lucky that it was so calm driving over the Columbia.  It can be pretty windy going through there.  I found the wind many other places on the way here.  One time it felt like someone reached out and pushed me and I was not prepared for that.  

I'm fading so I'm going to end for now.  Long day and all that.

I found the sunshine,


Sunday, June 19, 2011

Quick Trip to Camping World before "Maiden Voyage"

I've been busy reading and getting educated before my "Maiden Voyage" tomorrow.  This book has been helpful.  I know that my greatest learning will be taking off tomorrow in Olivia and checking into the RV park in Clarkston.  

One thing I determined in my reading is that I need to have a surge protector when I plug into the shore line...

My two choices at Camping World were affordable or not affordable, so I went with affordable.  

You know how it goes at Camping World...there's always something else to buy that catches your eye, and I wasn't immune to that today.  I've been checking Olivia out and I really don't have a lot of storage on the outside. One of the things I need to do when I get to Clarkston, if it's possible, is wash Olivia.  When I saw this bucket that folds down to about three inches...

and then expands to a workable size, I decided I needed it.  Right now it's out in the garage because the plastic smell is overpowering and I had to get it out of the house.  Speaking of washing, where/how do those of you who are like me and can't park their RV at their home do it?  Or you full-timers? Where do you wash your RVs?  

Since the Camping World closest to me is not that close, I decided to go ahead and purchase a wand for cleaning the holding tanks because I figure I'll have to do that someday.  

What's a "Maiden Voyage" without the celebratory bottle of wine...

I think I'm ready.  Not true.  I still need to load everything onto her tomorrow, then I'm ready.  I'm not taking too much stuff because I won't need that much for four days.  

I believe that once I'm on the road I'll be ok.  It's taking too long to get going and I've had to much time to think.  Plus dealing with the sadness and disappointment that I can't take my dog, but I'm dealing with it and I'll be fine.  I said on a previous post that it will never be as difficult as the first time.  This is the first time.  After this, a piece of cake.

Heading for the sunshine,


Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Look What I Found for My Dog and Maybe Yours

Before I get to my intriguing title, I'd like to welcome Wanderin' to my blog. Google said your profile isn't available so I can't say anything more other than welcome to my journey and thanks for joining me.  

I also want to thank all of you who responded so helpfully to yesterday's post.  I got lots of helpful information and I'm feeling more confident for Monday to roll around.  I've already copied your comments and will use them for reference.  

I went and got my five gallon water bottle filled today so I don't run out of water. I'm starting to think about what I want to take with me and put it aside.  I won't need too terribly much for four days so this will be easy.

Now onto the title of this post.  I was killing time this morning on the internet before I had to leave for my massage and I was looking at products for the disabled.  I must have put in the right combination of words because next thing I know I'm looking at the Bottoms Up Assistive Dog Leash...

The Bottom's Up Leash now comes with sheepy sleeves which are "soft, padded sleeves which fits over the leg loops on the sleeves."  

I'm thinking I'm going to have to get one of these and see if it will help my dog up my motorhome steps.  If you want more info the website is:  I found the leash on another website but this one doesn't charge shipping and handling and is $2 cheaper.  It costs $32.99.  They can be returned if they don't work out, which works for me.  

Almost on the road,


Tuesday, June 14, 2011

According to Woodall's...Is it Necessary???

When I was looking through Woodall's on Sunday,  I wrote down that I needed to get a...

Kill A Watt


Outlet Tester
Now that I have them what do I do with them?  Are they necessary?

I also got the following and I know they're necessary...

Gloves for sewer connection
For the small stuff

There aren't any levels mounted anywhere on my RV, but I have this...

and these...

I've had the round level in the refrigerator while Olivia is parked in Public Storage.  The graduated level is still in its packaging.  Is it ok to just use the carpenter's level inside on the floor or counter in the kitchen or is the round level enough?  

Why did I buy this yellow cord and when do I use it?  It was on the list my RV dealership gave me for things to I did...

I'm pretty clear on the filter and pressure regulator so I don't think I have any worries there.  The order for attachment would be pressure regulator, filter, white hose...yes???

As I sit here putting this post together I'm feeling my anxiety increase for my maiden trip on Monday.  I want to do it "right" and I'm not completely sure what right is.  I think what I'm most fearful of is the propane.  It isn't turned on when I'm driving,  right?  I'll turn it on once I'm leveled in the park???  

Woodall's says to check the polarity before plugging in the shoreline connection. Would that be the outlet tester?  If no red lights come on it's okay to plug in?  Apparently, the Kill-A-Watt is for testing voltage inside Olivia if I'm using the generator.  I don't know what I'd be looking for.  

I need an RV 101 class!!!

I'm trying to come up with a checklist of what to do when I get to my space at the RV park and this is what I have, so far...

1.  Level motorhome with blocks (blocks under both tires on either side).

2.  Set parking brake.

3.  Use electric outlet tester, connect electricity and make
     sure breaker is on (is the breaker on the pedestal?).

4.  Attach water pressure regulator, water filter, then white hose.

5.  Connect sewer hose, make sure both ends are secure.  

6.  Leave gray water tank closed.  

7.  Connect cable TV.

It would probably help if I were at Olivia looking at all this, but I'm not so this will have to do. 

Before I sign off I'd like to welcome two new followers:  Rian who doesn't appear to have a blog and Sheryl from "ain't for city gals."  Thanks for joining me on my journey to RVing.  Hang truly starts on the road Monday, June 20th!!

I'm tired of the 60s...degrees that is,


Monday, June 13, 2011

Excited for Monday

Yesterday I had 59 followers, today I have 58.  I hope it wasn't something I said.  

I got an email from the RV park in Clarkston that I'm going to on Monday asking why I wanted a "Back-In to Water" space.  I asked what the difference was and she said that if I drove in I'd have a view of the Snake River from my front windshield.  That's all the arm twisting it took, I'm pulling in so I can enjoy the view.  I'll worry about backing up when I leave, but I have a camera so I'm not too concerned and I back up all the time anyway.  I mentioned I was new to RVing and she said there would be a lot of people that would be willing to help me.  I just went and checked the weather for Clarkston and it's going to be in the 80s.  That's going to feel so good after all the 60〫weather we've been experiencing here at home.  

I read all the posts I missed yesterday before I started writing this post and learned that I'm not the only one dealing with older dog issues.  Do we take them or leave them at home, where they'll probably be more comfortable. It's a dilemma and a sad one.  I'm starting to feel anticipatory grief because it's a reminder that he's pretty old, especially for a large dog, and our time together is probably limited.  I certainly won't be able to enjoy him for 14 more years.  I'm making the tough decision that he'll stay at home.   If he weighed 40 pounds instead of 80 pounds I might reconsider, but he's too heavy for me to lift.  

Until I was meeting with Kim this morning, my personal trainer, I didn't now what my decision was going to be about  continuing personal training with her.  I decided that I'm worth it, so I signed up for three more months. She's going to give me a plan to follow when I'm on the road and I appreciate that. As instructed, I bought two 15 pound weights and one 30 pound weight to take with me.  I've been in training since March 2010, so I'm still pretty new at it.  When I started working with Kim I didn't know what a lunge was let alone being able to do one.  Today I did lunges with a  20 pound weight in each hand.  It was hard and it'll get easier.  She keeps reminding me how far I've come.  

After reading the book I mentioned yesterday, Younger Next Year for Women, they've scared me into continuing to work out.  I lived with and took care of my mom and dad the last two and three years of their lives and they weren't in good shape.  Both of them needed walkers and they were miserable. The longer they lived the less they could do for themselves.  I refuse to end my life that way, therefore, I will exercise six days a week, two of them lifting weights.  

I've mentioned this before, but I like to remind myself periodically that I've lost 80 pounds.  The lunges I did today with a total weight of 40 pounds was quite difficult and that was half the weight I've lost. My dog weighs 80 pounds and I can barely pick him up.  I think that's a good reminder to continue to do what I'm doing.  

Sunshine next week,


Sunday, June 12, 2011

Reservations Made at RV Park

I did it...I made reservations at Premier RV Resorts in Clarkston WA, June 20th - 23rd.  This is the resort I've been wanting to start out at and I'm gonna do it!!  While I'm excited that I'm finally going to do it, I'm sad that I've decided to leave my dog at home with my friend/house/dog sitter.  

I thank you all for your comments on my last post.  I'd forgotten that I got a copy of Woodall's at the last RV show I went to so I started reading it today. I've ordered The Complete Idiot's Guide to RVing and it should arrive in a few days.

I'm busy reading a book called Younger Next Year for Women because I'm in a bit of an exercise crisis and I need help.  I've been working with a personal trainer for over a year and she's been a huge help to me.   A part of me wants to quit spending the money for her help and the other part of me that knows better, doesn't want to quit spending the money.  This book is about how important exercise is for us as we get older.  It has just about convinced me that I need to keep working with Kim.  She helps me with the weight lifting part of fitness and I have Silver Sneakers for cardio and group exercise/support plus a routine I do at home.  She also pushes me way more than I would do myself where weights are concerned, and she knows a whole lot more than I do about increasing the weight I'm working with.  I meet with her tomorrow and I think it's time to sign up for another 3 months and I need to know what I'm going to do.  

So, that's what I'm doing tonight.  I'll get back to responding to all your blogs tomorrow.  Thanks again for all your lovely comments.  I really appreciate them.

Sunshine please,


Saturday, June 11, 2011

Calm After the Storm...So to Speak

After all the drama (the in my head drama) that built up prior to taking Olivia out yesterday, I find myself wrung out today.  I think that I'm drained emotionally.  I'm also relieved to know that I can get under the bridge that was so in my way when it came to taking off in Olivia.  Here's the bridge again...

I also have to admit that the I'm probably exhausted from the first outing because I was on hyper alert all day yesterday.  There's so much to learn just driving down the street in a motorhome.  For me it started with the bridge, then getting gas and having to turn around in a gas station because I was going in the wrong direction for accessing the diesel pump.  And on and on and on.  I'm sure most of you know what I'm talking about.  At the time I wasn't aware of how hyper alert I was but I feel it now.  

Then there's the concern and disappointment about my dog.  He was going to be my buddy going down the road and now I'm not sure if he'll be able to go.  This morning he was going to inspect the upper part of my backyard and he wasn't able to climb up the rocks like he usually does.  Just to the right of the Japanese Maple is where he usually goes.  

I looked out the kitchen window just in time to see him picking himself up off the ground.  It breaks my heart to see that happen to him.  

The friend I was going to visit in Eastern Washington has some medical issues going on, so I won't be getting with her next week or the week after, like we were thinking.  So, I think I'll tentatively set a date for June 20th to go to Clarkston, WA.  

I think when I park at my first RV park I'll find out that the driving was the easy part.  When I arrive I'll have to deal with electrical, leveling, propane (aargh), etc., etc.  Because Olivia is parked in storage I don't have my water tanks filled, so I can't use the bathroom yet.  The paperwork on my refrigerator suggests running it 24 hours before taking off but I don't have access to electrical power. There's probably a bigger picture here I need to look at but I think I'm stuck in tunnel vision, tunnel vision brought on by fear of the unknown.  I also know that it will never be as hard again as it was the first time.  

I was thinking of going outside for some fresh air but it's only 66〫, cloudy, gray and windy.  Hard to believe the first day of summer is next week.  

Sunshine and warmth please,


Friday, June 10, 2011

Road Trip a Resounding Success

Before talking about my wonderful day I want to welcome Sara from My Travels as my newest follower.  I'm glad to have you along on my journey.

I had a fantastic day!!!  I loved driving Olivia and I really enjoyed having someone with me.  My friend, Wendy, from Silver Sneakers played copilot today and she did a marvelous job.  

This bridge has been in my way since I got Olivia...

I drive under this bridge almost daily and it's sort of my entrance to the rest of the world.  Until today, it's been stopping me as far as Olivia goes because I wasn't sure if it was tall enough to drive under since there aren't any signs indicating its height.   It was my stuck pun intended.  

I drove Wendy under the bridge in my SUV and she said she thought that I had enough room.  When we eventually drove under the bridge in Olivia nothing bad happened and I'm here to tell you about it!!  Talk about opening things up for me.

I need to go back to when I was still at home trying to get my 14 year old dog into my SUV.  His back legs have deteriorated since the last time he was in it and he wasn't able to help at all with jumping up.  Try lifting an 80 lb dead weight dog...not easy.  In fact, I didn't work out today because I've been having twinges in my back and this didn't help.  I felt much worse after getting him in my SUV.  I thought it would be easier with the steps on my motorhome but he couldn't make it up them either.  So I lifted him. Does this look like a happy dog?...

I was not expecting it to be so difficult so I might have to re-evaluate taking him with me.  I don't like saying that but he wasn't happy all day.  I think he just wanted to be at home, in front of his favorite window, greeting all the people and dogs going by.  This will make RVing more expensive because I'll have to leave him home with a house sitter.  I'll also miss his companionship.  

After taking off I pulled into a gas station to fill up, my first time.  Since I need diesel, naturally the pump I wanted was opposite to where I was so I had to turn around.  I love my back up camera and I'm so glad the station wasn't crowded.

We didn't really have a destination in mind until we started to think about lunch when Wendy said she knew of a good place to go to in Fall City.  I got on I-90 with the next stop being...  

Fortunately, the parking lot was a decent size.  Unfortunately, the first place I backed into had a warning sign I hadn't seen...

It told me that I'd be towed...immediately if I parked there so I pulled forward. After lunch I figured it would be easy to back into the tow zone and pull straight out.  I had just taken this picture and then I was going to back up and then pull out.  Notice the location of the white car...

I'd be more worried about him getting towed than me, he's so much smaller. Oh well, this was a practice run so throw it at me.  As for lunch...I'll never go back to Scott's.

After Fall City we were driving towards Snoqualmie, home of the gorgeous Snoqualmie Falls, and noticed a number of trains.  Turns out there was a train graveyard and a train station.  We went to both.  

Some things aren't obvious to everyone so apparently warnings need to be posted.  This was in front of the train graveyard...

I got a kick out of the reefer car, not that it held any particular significance to me.  

Notice how it's in better shape than the rest of them.  Yellow???

Plants will grow anywhere up here...

The train station...

Our final stop was Remlinger Farms in Carnation, WA, famous for their fruit pies...

We were just walking around checking things out.  We were in the garden section when Wendy had a bit of a mishap...

The display of the yard ornaments had been upright.  We were both looking at the ornaments when all of a sudden it started  to go over.  The ornament Wendy was holding came apart.  The one I was holding onto went down with the rest.  It felt like it happened in slow motion and it was completely soundless.  The container was filled with sand and we couldn't figure out how it happened.  Weird.  

End result...I had a wonderful day and can't wait to finally HIT THE ROAD. I'm ready to go.  

Life is good today,