Monday, October 10, 2011

Greetings from Harrisburg, OR

Well, my first day is behind me and I think I made the right decision!!!  I thought I’d be pretty emotional when I drove away from the house, but I wasn’t.  I realized a ways down the road that I was feeling relief, not regret or sadness.  It also dawned on me that I had nothing holding me back and I could go anywhere I wanted.  I had my dog with me, a roof over my head, and gas in the tank.  Wow…no wonder some of you do this for years and years.

I chose to go I-5.  I’ve always started my trips to Tucson on I-90 but then I realized that I wanted to start this new journey in a different direction.  I drove to Harrisburg, OR and I’m at the RV park where I went for the RV Maintenance workshop.  I wanted to return to the Thai restaurant we went to when I was here before, but it was closed on Sunday.  Bummer.  So I went to a Chinese restaurant and my fortune cookie said that "A bold and dashing adventure is in your future within the year."  Since it started today, I guess it's right!!

I stopped at exit 9 in Washington and visited a Birkenstock store that I’d noticed on my previous trip to Oregon.  Back then I didn’t notice the store until I’d already passed the exit so I kept it in mind.  I got a couple new pairs and I’m pleased about that. 

It rained when I was loading Olivia and it rained off and on most of the day. I hope I'll be getting away from the rain...soon.  

I thought that getting my dog in and out of Olivia would be a problem and it’s more a nightmare than a problem.  I’m hoping that things will smooth out the longer we’re out here.  He spent most of the ride hiding with his head under the plants. 

Until I took the picture, his head was down on the floor and I couldn't see it because it was hidden by the plants.  I finally coaxed him out at a rest stop in Oregon and we went for a nice walk.  There was a path built around a bunch of trees, one from each state.  He seemed to enjoy the walk and I was encouraged. 

When we got to the RV park we didn’t do so well.  It took some serious coaxing to get him to the door so that I could lift him out, all 75-80 pounds of him.  Then I tripped over a container that his food was in and lost hold of him and he landed on his side.  He didn’t say anything so I don’t think he was hurt.  Fortunately, he was close to the ground so it wasn’t like I dropped him from the top step.  But it wasn’t a great start.  We went for a walk and then we were bombarded by mosquitoes when we got back to Olivia and I tried to get us inside in a hurry.  Mosquitoes in October???  What’s that about?  I must have killed a dozen inside Olivia.

I chose to feed him outside so that we wouldn’t have to deal with the steps and that worked out ok.  Let me tell you, our routine is seriously disrupted, but we’re cheerfully working out a new one.  Cheerfully might be a slight exaggeration, but I’m not going to go all negative here, so cheerfully it is.

If you’re not aware of it we can’t fill our gas tanks in Oregon.  However, I learned today that if you want diesel you can pump it on your own.  Why?  Because it isn’t as flammable as regular gas.  Or so I was told at a Chevron station in Harrisburg.  I was also told that diesel foams, similar to beer, so I should wait and then top it off when pumping. 

I crashed around 8 PM.  It’s 2 AM now and I hope I’ll be able to go back to sleep when I’m finished with this post.  I thought I heard rain and had to go outside and get the container with the dog food and bring in the rugs that were out.  Learning curve…I’m on a learning curve and it will get easier.  That’s what I’m telling myself.  We’ll get this figured out. 

I’m sleeping on the couch tonight because the upper berth where I would normally sleep is full of stuff and there’s no room for me.  Besides, my dog is lying down right where the ladder would be resting on the floor.  Unfortunately, the couch isn’t long enough so I’m not very comfortable.  But, I did get about 6 hours sleep (a record for me), so I’m not going to complain too much.

Thought at the end of day one…I’m glad I’m doing this and I have no regrets. 
We will get the kinks worked out.  I’m keeping an open mind about Olivia and I’m assessing.  So far, not too good.  I’ll explain the limitations in a different post. 

Halfway to somewhere else,



  1. Just finding your blog and really need to start at the beginning!
    Hope your travels are Happy ones!

  2. Too bad about your dog having problems. We have to lift ours in and out of our van but so far they can still get up the steps to the motorhome (knock on wood!). You're right, a lot of things you will figure out as you go. As long as you are happy and having a good time, it's all good. Travel safe.

  3. For me, it just kept getting better and better as I figured out my routines and dove right into the freedom. I hope it will be that way for you, too.

  4. Yep, after awhile those curves straighten out and life is fabulous on the road. Enjoy these moments, someday they will all just be a memory!

  5. I am so excited for you! I felt the same way when I drove off the first time after leaving my daughter's house. Total freedom. I'm glad you felt that, too.

    My son bought a ramp so that his old German Shephard could climb into his Navigator. It was probably higher than your rig. Could you get something that would go from the ground, over the steps, into the coach? Then he could just walk up hill, and you could give him a slight nudge from behind if he had a problem. You wouldn't have to lift him.

    I don't know what other people do, but I wouldn't leave dog food outside; I'd be afraid it would attract other critters.

    This lifestyle, especially at first, is definitely a learning experience. But don't let it get you down. Any problems you have, others' have had and solved, just ask and you'll get answers. And it feels so good when you solve the problem. :)

    Happy driving - have fun!

  6. After reading your first sentence I said "YES!"

  7. Good for you. Traveling with a dog can be challenging at times but the companionship is certainly worth it. We'll be traveling down I-5 pretty soon. We're still watching the weather. Enjoy yourself as the best is yet to come.

  8. you will get the hang of it, just step by step, don't ya know....

  9. Yes, the companionship of your dog can't be replaced. Did you get that harness you talked about recently to help lift him? I like the ramp idea as well, maybe that would work. As far as limitations for sleeping in Olivia...I will be interested to see you how work that one out. In the mean time, here is wishing you sunshine and happy, safe, easy travels. Congratulations, Jeanna.

  10. Hooray, your are on your way! Could you get a plank of wood to use as a ramp for your dog?

  11. Keep thinking upbeat thoughts! But remember if you do get down, scared, or need help in anyway, there is a terrific blog network just a post away. Sometimes it will help just to write a post and hear back others have felt the same.

    So keep us posted on your happy and excited feelings, as well as your troubles. We are here.

  12. TaDaaa! Finished!Hahaa...You have Really started on a brave, new challenge! How wonderful...I know you like to read only maintainance and RV blogs...which mine Isn't, but that's ok...I'll be popping in on you often!
    Safe adventures to you!

  13. Congrats on Day 1 of your new Life Aventure! I find my travels are a mix of "old/familiar" with "new/unexpected"-- nice to never get it too much in one or the other direction! I'm sure as you spend more time in Olivia, you'll figure something out. I agree with others that a simple plank of wood ramp might come in handy for various uses-- dog ramp, RV leveler, bench, etc. It's all about lightweight, multi-use, items now! I'm sure you'll be able to improvise some solutions that make things more comfortable for both you and your dog. Have a fun trip!

  14. Hey, you need an online party! Here at the Party (on)Line, we match you up with other RVers: singles, couples and families! Chat as long as you like ($1.19/minute)! You're never alone with The Party (on)Line!

    So, here's me saying WOOT! You're on the road!

  15. enjoy the freedom and everything else will fall into place!!!