Sunday, 31 August 2014
Ilwaco-Aberdeen & Back Pacific Coast Tour Aug 30
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Oyster Beds

The original plan for today was to drive north to Kalaloch  in Olympic National Park and back to Ilwaco.  At 282 miles round trip that seem like a long drive so I settled on Aberdeen, WA a distance of 136 miles up and back. We did see some interesting things. The bird was on the street in Aberdeen. We went past oyster beds which were flooded when the tide was in and mud flats when the tide went out. At south bend there were flat sculptures of animals and people which at a distance looked like the real thing. They were everywhere and probably the work of one man. The internet at the KOA is very unreliable so we stopped at Aberdeen for a while with 5 bars on Verizon and completed yesterday's post.

 

Crab Pot

On our return trip we stopped in Long Beach at the Crab Shack for lunch. I figured any place that has been in business since 1945 must be doing something right. We were not disappointed and had cod fish and chips that compared with the best we have ever had. As I write this Mavis is out shopping and I am enjoying getting my work done. Tomorrow we head east.  

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Posted on 08/31/2014 6:36 PM by Bob Duthie
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Saturday, 30 August 2014
Ilwaco-Long Beach Pacific Coast Tour Aug 30
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Long Beach

This is a classic tourist town with souvenir shops, fudge, ice cream, etc. Flower baskets and small parks were on several corners. The beach is not only long but very wide and cars are allowed to drive on it. Small shelters were provided on the beach as wind breaks. This was the weekend of the really big tattoo and music festival.  The posters in shop windows listed the tattoo artists here from places as far away as New Orleans.  March's Free Museum was the destination shop on the main street. I was impressed with the large collection of old fashioned coin operated entertainment machines.

World Kite Museum

Kite flying is big here with the constant winds on the beach. A couple of weeks ago there was a one week long kite festival. The town was jammed with people. The museum is very interesting with kites of all kinds from countries all over the world. Kite fights are popular in some areas. One whole room is devoted to the use of kites during WWII. One exhibit showed how kites were used by navy gunners to practice shooting down planes. The kite was painted to look like a war plane and an operator controlled its flight path.  A second exhibit showed a barrage kite that flew on 2,000 foot long piano wires above a ship. If an enemy plane flew into the wires a wing could be cut off. It was the air equivalent of a mine field.

Cape Disappointment

This is the location where the Lewis and Clark expedition first saw the Pacific completing the mission given to them by President Jefferson. The Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center is located on the site of a fort built in the Civil War and used all the way to WWII. 

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Posted on 08/30/2014 10:22 PM by Bob Duthie
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Friday, 29 August 2014
Bandon - Ilwaco Pacific Coast Tour Aug 28-29
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We made it to Ilwaco this afternoon after 268 miles of a twisting up and down roadway. It doesn''t seem like much but we were only able to average 20 mph.  We spent the night of the 28th at the Cape Perpetua Campground in the Siuslaw National Forest.  It was dry camping. The new batteries worked really well. We watched a two hour movie and only used 6% of capacity according to the new battery monitor.

Bay Area - Coos Bay/North Bend Rotary Club

Yesterday I went to the Coos Bay Rotary Club lunch meeting at the Mill Casino. There were 10 in attendance including the two speakers and myself. I presented our club fllag and received one of theirs. The speakers spoke about their contra dancing and music program. They were trying to attract more participation. The Mill Casino is a redo of an abandoned saw mill of which there were many at one time in Coos Bay. The saw mill left a lot of hazardous waste, but since it was on an Indian Reservation the EPA rules were not very strict. 

Sea Lion Cave

The coast is beautiful here with lots of capes and rock formations in the ocean.  We stopped at Sea Lion Caves, America's largest sea cave, and were informed that there were no sea lions at this time of year, however, there were at least 3 whales that could be seen below the cliff, and they took $1 off the $12 fee.  We watched the whales for a while and caught two in this photo. I shall always remember this place as where I dropped my wallet on a rock and didn't discover it missing for several minutes. We walked back up the trail and there it was intact. The photo taken from the path to the cave shows the 1894 Heceta Head lighthouse. It is claimed to be the most photographed lighthouse in the WORLD!

Fuel Prices

For the first time in 7 years of buying diesel we found stations where diesel was less than gas. At this 76 Station diesel was only 6 cents more than regular gas.

 

 

Yachats - Beverly State Park - Tillamook

We were up early and stopped in Yachats for breakfast at the Historic Drift In Café. There was a long story to read about the history of the café but what I remember was how a longtime owner finally had to give up when he couldn't remember who had paid after suffering mini strokes. Breakfast was very good. We stopped at Beverly Beach to see a state park recommended by a Rotarian. The beach was large and foggy. All the campsites were on the east side of the highway in the woods. It would not have been any better than the National Forest campsite we stayed in the night before. The most interesting item was the 4,100 year old stump. (Enlarge photo to read about it).  At Tillamook we stopped at a roadside view point and got this photo. Can you guess what is in that floating box?  Near Astoria we crossed the Columbia River into Washington on a 6.5 mile long causeway and bridge. We are now in Lewis & Clark country and will visit the museums tomorrow. Answer: it's a floating restroom for the fishermen. The guys in the boat just passed by it.

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Posted on 08/29/2014 9:11 PM by Bob Duthie
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Wednesday, 27 August 2014
Eureka Bandon Pacific Coast Tour Aug 27
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Trees of Mystery

 

In 1950 the sign in the left photo said "Unbelievable but True, World's Largest Group of Natures Living Wonders'".  Today this attraction is the "Trees of Mystery".  It's all the same either way; it's a redwood forest in Klamath Falls, CA.  I think the 1950 ox was much more interesting, but today they have added Paul Bunyan to the new Babe the Blue Ox. Those 1950's cars look really great and that's yours truly running across the parking lot. This business dates back to 1931.  The original Paul Bunyon was built in 1946 but destroyed by rain that winter.  The new Bunyan was built in 1961 and is still standing 53 years later. However, the 1950 Blue Ox's head had to be replaced in 2007.  In 1950 our family took a 60 day trip from Toronto to LA to Vancouver and back to Toronto. This is one of my father's Kodachrome slides from that trip.

Ship A Shore & Myers Creek Beach

How about this sign beside the Ship A Shore Motel, Restaurant & Lounge, and RV Park in Smith River, CA on US-101.  A few miles farther north we stopped at Myers Creek Beach, a Oregon State Park Scenic Viewpoint and climbed down the rocks and over the dune to the beach. The tide was out and the rocks were beautiful. One rock even had a hole in it. A large dog spent 15 minutes just running in and racing out of the surf. People set up their chairs in the parking area and just watched the sea.  There was little wind and the temperature was in the 70s. It doesn't get any better than this.  Tonight we are in Bandon.

 

Labor Day Weekend

It finally occurred to me that this weekend is Labor Day and we planned to spend the time in one of America's most popular parks, Olympic National Park, without a reservation along with thousands of campers from the Seattle area. This was not good strategy.  I decided to try and stay at a park a few miles south for three nights and then take day trips to Olympic.  Amazingly a KOA in Ilwaco, WA had an open site. The location will also make it shorter to head back east on I-80.

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Posted on 08/27/2014 10:39 PM by Bob Duthie
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Tuesday, 26 August 2014
Albion - Eureka - Pacific Coast Tour Aug 26
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It was another day of brutal hills and winding roads. The speed limit on one turn was 10 mph. However, the frequent pull offs to see the ocean made it worthwhile. Blowup the top photo on the left to see a man fishing.

We also stopped at the Drive-Thru Tree. This attraction has been there since 1922.  You can see the 315 ft. high tree, the gift shop that sells the same stuff as in the 

50's, and have a picnic. For $5 it is a good deal. 

Tonight we are in Eureka. We went by the 1885 Carson House which is now a private club. It is a beautiful Victorian house and is voted the 5th best place to see in Eureka.

 

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Posted on 08/26/2014 11:34 PM by Bob Duthie
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Monday, 25 August 2014
Mill Valley-Albion - Pacific Coast Tour Aug 25
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Albion River Marina & Campground

We had a great dinner at La Ginestra, a family owned Italian restaurant just a short walking distance from my cousin's home. Tonight we are at the Albion River Marina & Campground beside the river and under US 1 that carries the traffic over the canyon. I was surprised how quiet it is under the bridge when a vehicle goes over it.  Except for the span over the water the bridge is made of wood. While walking along the docks a seal came along, looked up at me and rested on the bottom in the river's shallow water. A few commercial fishing boats were tied up at the marina.

Coastal Route SR-1

Our 157 mile route went north to Santa Rosa on 101 then west to Bodega and north along the coast to Albion. The coastal route is so hilly and winding with speed limits of 15, 20, 25, 30 mph most of the way that when we got to a straight stretch and were able to 45 mph it felt like we were flying. The photo shows an example of a switch back and long climbing turn. There are a number of very pretty towns on the way with lots of shops. We learned that the house in the photo beside the road in Bodega was in the 1963 Alfred Hitchcock film "The Birds". 

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Posted on 08/25/2014 10:49 PM by Bob Duthie
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Sunday, 24 August 2014
Mill Valley Pacific Coast Tour Aug 24
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Our plan was to head north on the coast today to Albion. However, because of the NAPA earthquake this morning at 3:30AM we decided to stay another night and let things settle down before venturing out. All the roads and bridges have to be checked for damage before travel can resume.  We didn't even feel the 6.1 earthquake sleeping in the motorhome, however, my cousin awoke in the house with the house creaking.  There is no damage here. Her corporate pilot daughter and her co-pilot were in Napa and awoke with the windows in the house shattering. The fridge moved three feet. They are coming here for dinner and the night as her house is not habitable. Mill Valley is about 21 miles from the epicenter of the quake. Napa is much closer.  It's great to be flexible on trips like this and not have to worry about cancelling reservations. We will walk downtown for dinner tonight.  The trees in front of the house in the photo are 100 ft+ high redwoods. Click on the photo to enlarge it.

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Posted on 08/24/2014 4:35 PM by Bob Duthie
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Saturday, 23 August 2014
Carmel-Mill Valley Pacific Coast Tour Aug 23
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On the 23rd we had breakfast early and then walked up the hill to install the first Reconyx camera. It is a really well designed system and very easy to install and test without reading the manual. The pictures are amazing. We left around 11AM for Mill Valley. The traffic at San Francisco was horrific taking an hour to go four miles to the Golden Gate Bridge.  

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Posted on 08/23/2014 7:16 PM by Bob Duthie
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Friday, 22 August 2014
Carmel/Monterey Pacific Coast Tour Aug 21-23
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Monterey Aquarium

In the morning of the 21st we left the campground and drove north to find diesel. The GPS took us to Monterey where we filled up with diesel and then decided to see the Monterey Aquarium. There we several "wow" exhibits such as the wave machine. The photos show an outside and inside view of a very large wave coming over the window. We also enjoyed the kelp forest. However, the building is kind of disorganized with no flow and it was crowded. The Chattanooga Aquarium continues as our favorite because of superior lighting of exhibits (jellies) and the flow from top floor to bottom floor. There is no need to study a complex floor plan to determine what you want to see. In Chattanooga you see it all but you can skip exhibits you don't want to see.

 

Santa Lucia Preserve Reconyx Camera System

Our Carmel friends (from Nortel days) live in the Santa Lucia Preserve. This is a 20,000 acre property overlooking Carmel by the Sea. Their house is high up with a view of Pebble Beach. We camped by the horse barn (see photo).  That evening we went to the country club where an event was held by the Santa Lucia Conservancy. ‎Dr. Christy Wyckoff, Senior Wildlife Ecologist, for the Conservancy spoke on her project to learn about the habits of the wildlife in the preserve. A Reconyx camera system is used to trap photos of wildlife by day and night. At night the camera uses infrared so the animals can't see it. In just a couple of months using this camera she captured a bevy of three mountain lions walking along a trail in the preserve.(see photo). Her plan is to get many of these cameras installed by residents in order to capture a lot more data.  We had an excellent dinner at the club after the talk. During the mixer I enjoyed talking with a former Microsoft engineer who was there when the PC was developed so we had lots of stories to tell each other.

Carmel Pebble Beach

On the 22nd Mavis went shopping in Carmel with Mary and I stayed with George (not real names). George and I were at Nortel at the same time the company was growing in the 80's so we had lots to talk about. Mavis was fascinated with seeing the Comstock Fairy Tale Cottages one of which had a restaurant in it (See photo and note doors). That evening we had a fabulous halibut dinner at the Inn at Spanish Bay in Pebble Beach. Before dinner we sat around a fire pit and were entertained by a bagpiper.

Media Room

After dinner I showed slides at the house in the media room. The slides worked beautifully with no hassle but the MP4 videos took about an hour to trouble shoot. It seems the Windows Media System used on the media room computer could not cope with the sound track on the MP4 videos.

 

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Posted on 08/22/2014 6:53 PM by Bob Duthie
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Wednesday, 20 August 2014
California- Here We. . . Are! Pacific Coast Tour Aug 19-20
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Yosemite National Park

This is a very large park and one of the most popular in the USA. Frankly I was disappointed. It was hard to find the things you wanted to see and there were so many cars, buses, and RVs that parking was crazy.   Then we would start on a nice hike only to encounter signs saying the trail was closed due to volunteers restoring the area. One sign said to walk 1/5 mile along the road, but when we got to that point it said go back to where we started from. The biggest disappointment was the lodge which I thought was the famous place that dated back to the 1800s.  The lodge was relatively new and the restaurant was booked for a convention group. We wound up having a mediocre lunch in the Food Court. On the way out I picked up a brochure and found the lodge we wanted to see was the Ahwahnee. We walked over and it was magnificent with a dining room that was even more impressive than the Grand Canyon lodge we ate as last summer.

We took the free shuttle bus back to a point close to where we had parked. Then we drove 17 twisty mountain road miles to the Hogden Meadow campground we had booked. There were lots of empty sites even though the computer said there was only one. National Parks need to develop a new system for reserving sites that discourages people from reserving a year in advance and never showing up. There is no power at this campsite and no internet service anywhere in the park.

The Solenoid Problem

There is solenoid or relay that prevents the engine from using the house batteries but charges the house batteries when the engine is running. I had known this solenoid was faulty but it hadn't caused any problem since we stayed every night in campsites with power.  We took every measure possible to avoid using the house batteries including going to bed early so as to not run any lights.  This morning the batteries were dead. I couldn't start the generator at all. The engine started without any problem, so we left immediately and found a NAPA store in Big Oak Flat that might have a replacement solenoid. We had no luck with that but were able to get two new house batteries installed (the old ones had been used for 4 years). I researched the web for an RV Repair Service and found one on our route in Salinas. We arrived there at 4:00PM and they had the solenoid and a mechanic to install it. We were on our way at 5:00PM. Gleasons Salinas RV Inc. is the place to go for RV service. Tonight we are at Carmel by the River RV Park. Its location is part way up a mountain on a one lane residential roadway. It's a beautiful campsite but nowhere within view of any river.  It also holds the record for the most expensive campground this year at $75 per might after the senior discount.  We will be visiting friends in Carmel for the next two nights and with hopefully more reasonable rates.

 

Water Reservoirs

The news media keeps showing photos of nearly dried up reservoirs. There is a real problem here but we have yet to see a dried up reservoir. The water level is down a long way in the reservoirs we have seen (see photo), but the aqueducts are full and the water moving swiftly.

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Posted on 08/20/2014 6:21 PM by Bob Duthie
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Monday, 18 August 2014
California- Here We . . . Are! Pacific Coast Tour Aug 17
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I had a great breakfast at the Prospector Casino including real sausage links with my eggs. The photo shows our site this morning. The hotel and casino are out of the photo on the right.

Solenoid Problem

On the way out of town we went to a couple of auto parts stores to try and get a replacement solenoid for the one that lets the engine alternator charge the house batteries when we are underway. Without this solenoid working it becomes harder to dry camp. We have to be plugged in or run the generator to charge the house batteries.

Three Hundred Miles on the Loneliest Road in America

Leaving Ely on US-6 we noted it was 168 miles of great basins (photo) to cross to get to Tonopah. Basins are completely surrounded by mountans. A billboard at Ely announced there would be a McDonald's at Tonopah. They lied; at Tonopah there was only a small sign besides the road saying McDonald's was at Hawthorne just ahead. Well "just ahead" would be another 384 miles. We didn't think this was very funny and spent time thinking about the letter we should write to McDonald's for the false advertising. However, the scenery was spectacular and traffic almost non-existent. All together we drove 305 miles to get to Lee Vining beside Mona Lake. Just before we crossed into California we looked up 7,000 feet to Boundary Peak at 13,140 ft. (see photo).

Mona Lake

Our approach to Mona Lake was from the south through the world's only Jeffrey Pine forest. The lake is a beautiful blue like the Caribbean. The island in the middle of the lake (see photo) was formed by a volcanic eruption 350 years ago. The lake is a dead sea with no outlet. It is one of the oldest lakes in North America.

Mono Vista RV Park

This is one of the nicest parks so far and we have a vista of Mono Lake from our dinette. As always for us no reservation was needed. However, I decided that tomorrow night getting a reservation in Yosemite National Park would be nice. There was only one reservable site in the entire park for tomorrow night and I got it! The locals said that people line up at 6:00AM to get the non-reservable sites. No thanks!  We will spend most Tomorrow and Wednesday at Yosemite and then head for Carmel on Thursday.

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Posted on 08/18/2014 11:55 PM by Bob Duthie
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Sunday, 17 August 2014
Utah-Nevada Pacific Coast Tour Aug 15
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Saltair Great Salt Lake

It was a quick drive through Salt Lake City on I-80 to our destination of Saltair on the Great Salt Lake. Saltair, a colossal recreation hall was built in 1893 to provide access to swimming in the Lake. By the early 1920's it drew 500,000 visitors per year until it burned down in 1925. Saltair II was quickly built but failed due to fire and floods and economic downturns. Saltair III was built in the early 80's but suffered a flood and didn't reopen until 1993. It is now a concert venue. We arrived the morning after a big concert and what a mess. One of the workmen gave us a guided tour of the hall. He said it was built in Europe and shipped over here for assembly on the site. My first visit here was in 1950 with my family and we swam in the water which allows you to float without a floaty and read a newspaper (see postcard photo). Sailing on the Great Salt Lake is a popular sport and a state park provides slips and a boat ramp. The water is currently very low. 

 

 

 

Bonneville Salt Flats

I-80 runs beside the Lake for many miles. There are two large companies, Morton and Cargill that mine salt in evaporation ponds and then put it in huge piles. A railway line is used to ship it out. Nearing the salt flat one form of entertainment is to drive your car into the flat. However, these folks got their car stuck in the slushy sand from a recent rain storm. Another pastime is to use rocks to spell out the name of your friends beside the road. One attraction looks like an old microwave tower but when you get close it's a sculpture. Finally just before heading inland there is a rest stop where you can park and walk on the flat.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ely, NV

We turned left at Wendover and took US 93A due south for 120 miles south to Ely. The main industry here appears to be gambling. We are staying at the RV Park beside the Prospector Hotel and Gambling Hall. I am glad we are in the View as the hotel and gambling hall are pretty tired. Tomorrow we will try to get within 100 miles of Yosemite, CA. Then we can spend two days in the area before heading for Carmel. The map shows our route fromRawlins last Friday to Yosemite on Tuesday. The red dot is Ely.

 

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Posted on 08/17/2014 7:11 PM by Bob Duthie
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Saturday, 16 August 2014
Wyoming- Utah Pacific Coast Tour Aug 16
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Park City, UT

We are in a very nice park in Park City, UT. This is a well-known winter ski resort. Our campsite is down near a stream with a high mountain behind it.  The drive from Rawlins was uneventful. The scenery starts out very flat at close to 7,000 ft. with the speed limit upped to 80 mph. We crossed the continental divide and then things get much more rugged.

 

Evanston, WY, Bear River Greenway

The nicest town on the route today is Evanston. We stopped at the Bear River Greenway and walked along the path. The local Rotary Club installed exercise rigs at various places along the path. The photo shows the Seated Chest Press complete with instructions for it use. Kids were swimming in the river. Not shown is the part of the river that was diverted years ago to the Historic Ice Lake.  This was originally used to make ice in the winter.  Now it is used to rent small boats in the summer.

Visitors from New Zealand

Tonight we met a couple in the adjacent site from New Zealand. They bought a 35 ft. Winnebago a year ago and have used it for two tours of 6 weeks and 8 weeks in length. They just traded it in for a trailer and GMC SUV which they are having shipped to New Zealand where it will be sold allowing them to recover most of what they spent originally for the motorhome. If they shipped the Winnebago to New Zealand it was going to cost $25,000 to have the console moved to the right side. By using a trailer they won't have that problem.  Next year they will buy a rig and tour Europe.  He was very interested in RVillage and our Touring the Great Southwest program and promised to promote these two tools to his touring friends in New Zealand.

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Posted on 08/16/2014 11:25 PM by Bob Duthie
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Friday, 15 August 2014
Nebraska - Wyoming Pacific Coast Tour Aug 15
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Cabelas

Leaving Sidney we got a good look at the vast property of Cabelas which lies beside I-80. There is the store, the campground, and an office building/distribution center.

 

 

 

Wyoming Historic Governor's Mansion

This mansion is in Cheyenne in the downtown area and was occupied from 1904 to 1976 it was occupied by 19 Wyoming first families. You take a self-guided tour a can visit all four floors. The rooms are decorate to match four different eras. The basement bomb shelter (see photo) dates back to the cold war and was equipped with a radiation detector.

Lincoln Highway Memorial

I-80 follows the Lincoln Highway opened in 1938 and was the first continuous road to run from New York to San Francisco.  The statue of Lincoln was made by a University of Wyoming college professor, Robert L. Russin, and commemorates Lincoln's 150th birthday.  The memorial is at the highest point on the Lincoln Highway. Our GPS showed 8,600 ft.  This is blue sky country and the ever changing deep blue sky and clouds and make it so wonderful. 

Rawlins, WY

We decided to take it easy and stopped at Rawlings at a KOA beside the Interstate. It's the first time we have stayed at what KOA calls a Journey Park vs. a Resort Park.  It's the kind of place we like, relatively inexpensive with just the basics, power, water, and a dump station.  It's for touring RVers. Tomorrow we will go to Park City, just east of Salt Lake City.

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Posted on 08/15/2014 7:37 PM by Bob Duthie
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Thursday, 14 August 2014
Nebraska Pacific Coast Tour Aug 14
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Cabela's Campground

After two 400 mile days, I decided to take it a little easier with a 330 mile day from Waco to Sidney, NE. RVillage found Cabela's Campground. It turns out the world headquarters for Cabela's is right here and so far this is their only campground. We walked over to the very large store and I met with the #2 Store Manager. He said he would like #1 to see my demo and will ask her to come to our site in the campground. Mavis walked back before me, and when I started a thunderstorm began. I persuaded a city bus driver to take me to the campsite.  For the last two hours it has been raining hard and for the first time in the View we had hail. I recorded the sound and will use it when I develop a Touring Nebraska video. We are now in the foothills at 4,300 feet above sea level. There are few trees and no more corn fields.

Fort Kearney

     
     

We stopped this morning at Fort Kearney and toured the fort. It dates back to 1850 and was built to protect the wagon trains travelling west to California, Utah, and Oregon. The trail is the Oregon Trail. All the buildings in the Fort were outside the stockade. The stockade was only used for protection in case of an Indian attack. Note the grass roof on the blacksmith building. The third photo shows classic hay stacks which are hardly ever found any more. Mavis remembered them from her Grandmothers farm. Tomorrow we will head for either Rawlins or Rocksprings, WY 

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Posted on 08/14/2014 7:44 PM by Bob Duthie
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Wednesday, 13 August 2014
Missouri-Iowa-Nebraska- Pacific Coast Tour Aug 13
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Driving

We only visited three states today compared to four (Tennessee-Kentucky-Illinois-Missouri) yesterday but we did a similar 410 miles from 8:00AM-5:30PM. Leaving Lazy Day Campground we saw the valley behind that campground.(Photo 1). We crossed the Missouri River on Hwy 2 which goes to Nebraska City and on to Lincoln. On our 2011 trip to Alaska we had to detour 95 extra miles through Omaha to get across the Missouri because of the flood that spring. (see comparative photos)


 

Double Nickel Campground & Resort

 

I found the campground at Waco, NE using RVillage and once again made a "sale" with owners Jeff & Amanda Stoy. The bought Double Nickel Campground & Resort two months ago. The campground is open for 8 months in the summer and then they have four months off in the winter to tour in their 25 foot Four Winds class C motorhome with their two children. It is a nice park but needs some work before calling it a resort. You can see our site in the photo. They also have a bar and I enjoyed a gin & tonic while demonstrating RVillage.  We also watched a little of our Great Southwest video and Jeff encouraged me to do one on Nebraska. He said content like our program is very rare.

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Posted on 08/13/2014 8:13 PM by Bob Duthie
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Tuesday, 12 August 2014
My First RVillage Sale - Pacific Coast Tour Aug 12
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We left Nashville at 7:40, arrived at the boat at 9:40 picked up stuff from the boat, and drove to our shed in Murray. We had a lot of unpacking to do to get ready to go and we started out at 11:30AM. I filled up with water and at our first stop at McDonalds the pump kept running and little came out of the tap. Then looking out the side window we saw a river of water going down the parking lot. It seemed I had remove the plug on the water heater to drain it when I put the unit away last winter. We went the rest of the way without any water in the tank. Altogether we drove 420 miles from Nashville to Danville, MO arriving at the Lazy Day Campground at 6:00PM.  The owner was in the office and gave me an opportunity to show the demo of RVillage.  It's pretty easy to sell free things and she promised to "claim" her park.  I found the park using RVillage and it turns out to be really nice. Our space is perfectly level, clean, with full hookup. The gardens in the park are amazing (see photos). The park has been here since the 60's and the present owner has had it for 20 years. It is located about half way between St Louis and Kansas City and is nice and quiet being a mile away from the Interstate. Tomorrow we will drive 409 miles to  Waco, NE.

Lazy Day Campground

 

 

 

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Posted on 08/12/2014 9:49 PM by Bob Duthie
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Monday, 11 August 2014
RVillage: Our New Planning Tool - Pacific Coast Loop Aug 11
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A couple of months ago I discovered an amazing new planning and networking tool for RVers called RVillage.  I signed up in June when there were 4,000 members. Two months later there are 10,000 members. It's a free tool that first lets you select your current location. You can then plan a trip between that location and a destination and it will show the shortest route and all the RV parks along the route. You can alter the route just by dragging the route line to another road instead of the Interstate. The RV park locations follow the new route.

Once you locate a RV park you click on the icon and a popup shows the name of the park and address.  A right mouse click on the popup opens a new tab and provides a lot more information including the name of other members that have recently stayed there or are currently staying at that park. There is also a link to the park's website.  If you would like to meet any other member at that park you can send a message.  Members can join groups and then organize "get-togethers" of people at the same park or nearby parks for pot-luck meals, cocktails, or whatever.

The comprehensive Allstays app database is built into RVillage for locating RV parks.  Park owners can join RVillage and will be able to post additional details and photos of their park. 

Everything I have mentioned so far is free to members and park owners. So who pays for it. Once RVillage learns about a park that has joined it then has a call center that talks to potential advertisers in the immediate area. This appeals to restaurants, maintenance services, local retailers, pizza delivery stores, attractions, etc. When you arrive at such a park, you click on your location. Now when you click on the merchants tab you will see the ads from the local merchants.

RVillage has solicited members to become Ambassadors. I believe in what RVillage is doing and have agreed to be an Ambassador. My job is to recruit members and parks to join. I'll be trying to do this at every park we stay at. I am armed with business cards, joining instructions for parks, and an iPad demonstration.

Tomorrow we pick up the View in Murray and head for Kanas City.

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Posted on 08/11/2014 1:27 PM by Bob Duthie
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