East Towards Wyoming 8/30 – 8/31/2015

We left the Oregon coast on Sunday.  18 days went by way too fast, next time at least a month.  It rained on and off most of Saturday so we got the out door tasks done. Good thing,  it rained steady all night Saturday.  By Sunday morning it had stopped, we did the last few things we needed to do and were on the road by shortly after nine.

Heading south on US 101 once we got past Tillamook, was much better than the part from 26 coming west from Portland and then south on US 101.  Most of this road going south from Tillamook had been repaved so the ride was better.  It is still a narrow winding road with some turnouts and generally little or no shoulders. We were headed to Oregon 18 which heads east towards Salem from Otis and then connects to Oregon 22 through Salem and continues east.
Diesel in Oregon is $.30 to $.50 more than any where else we have been on this trip.  Typically it ranges from $2.99 to $3.59.  So we were surprised to find diesel at two stations in Salem for $2.37.  Seems there was some competition going on.  A third station across the street was at $3.59, not playing.  Gasoline was not on sale. $3.39 for regular, $3.89 for premium.  And you cannot pump your own gas here so we occupied a lot of their space while we took on 107 gallons.
Oregon 22 is a two lane road in good shape with reasonable shoulders.  It heads up into the central mountains and connects to US 20 (another good two lane road) that rises through the 4700 ft McKenzie Pass just before you get to Sisters, OR and then down into Bend, OR.
Before you get to the mountains it is pretty flat, few trees, sort of like lots of places out west, dry and covered with sagebrush.

TX, AZ, NM? Hard to tell.

And then the west slope of the central mountains, big trees, lots of trees.  And it rained most of the way up.  They really need rain.  It is very dry.

Normally this river (South Yamhill) would fill the picture side to side.

Everything that is brown here would normally be under water.

Water levels at this dam are about 50′ low.

Cloudy, misty, rain.  Steep climbs, slow turns, traffic not too bad.  The coach did just fine on both the uphill and down hill parts.

There are a series of dams and powerplants as well headed towards the pass.

Susan’s favorite part, nothing but nothing on the right.

And then over the pass, down hill, much drier, very few trees and grassland.
Sisters, OR looked interesting but very much manufactured for the tourist trade.  It reminded us of Durango, CO. We went on to Bend and stayed at Camp Walmart.
From Bend going east towards Ontario there is another 4,800 ft pass. And then a long downhill winding path towards Ontario.  All of this is two lane, 55 mph. Good road, not much traffic.
As you get towards Ontario the land gets very flat, mainly because they graded it that way for flood irrigation.  Many years ago they grew a lot of grass seed out this way. Now it is the onion capital of the world, or so they claim.  Over 1 billion pounds of onions from this area every year.  Irrigation canals, pipe lines and equipment everywhere.  Even the John Deere dealer had equipment that was quite odd, specialized for the onion growers.
The dirt looks like light, gray plowed up mud.  It is hard to imagine anything would grow in it but with enough water onions must.
We stopped just past Ontario in an old RV park full of museum aged rvs.  It is OK.  Lots of folks just living here in old RVs that will likely never move again. Doing some laundry this AM.  
A shorter drive to Idaho Falls today and then over another pass into the Tetons on Wednesday morning. 
More later,
Roger and Susan

Foretravel Forum Folks

While we were at the coast we had a chance to meet some folks from the Foretravel Forum.  It is always fun to do, we sort of know them from the Forum but getting to actually meet someone is great.

Dick S as he is known on the Forum is Dick Shanahand and his wife is Rocky.  They are 14 year full timers and have a 40 ft Foretravel, a popular size for full timers.  They were staying in a Thousand Trails campground up in Seaside, OR about 20 miles north of us and drove down one day for a visit and lunch. Dick agreed to bring desert and he experimented on us with his first flan baked in a silicone baking dish.  It was fabulous.  Dick and Rocky were very easy to get to know. It was interesting to hear about their full time life.  It is mobile but almost in slow motion.  There is no hurry to travel although in 14 years they have.
The Old Hippie as Rick Webster is known and his wife Debbie have a 36′ Foretravel. They also came for a visit.  I first met Rick on the Forum when they were looking for a coach.  They have had their coach now for two and a half years. We have missed them by one or two days this year alone in three places and so when we were both in Oregon at the same time we really made an effort to connect.  They came to Oregon thinking they would be able to just go from place to place finding a spot to stay where ever they went.  They found out that this is really hard on the coast in the summer.  Everything is almost 100% full. They found a place in Lincoln City for a few days and then were moving down to Newport.  They wanted to see more of the northern coast so they drove up for a visit.  We had a great visit, a nice lunch thanks to Susan and a a lemon cake that Rick and Debbi brought.  They are busy travelers, lots of shorter trips, getting longer.  And still more shorter stays also getting longer. They also were nice folks, easy to talk to and fun.

So for us we got to see both ends of the spectrum.  Long time full timers and fairly new owners. We are somewhere in between.  We are taking longer trips, staying in place for longer and are getting comfortable moving less often, for less distance and taking more time to be where we are.
It was fun to make connections. There are many more to make.  We are signed up for the Grand Vention, a gathering of Foretravels, in Indiana in October.  There should be about 120 of them there, more than half are Forum members.
More later,
Roger and Susan