Summer 2001
Up and Down the West Coast


During the first half of summer we traveled from Crescent City, California up the Oregon Coast and into Washington State.  The second half of our summer we spent making a big loop starting in Everett Washington and traveling through Idaho, Yellowstone National Park, Kalispell, Glacier National Park, Alberta Canada and returning to Everett.  We had to be back by September 7th for Max's 10th birthday with family and friends.

This webpage covers the first half.

But first . . . . . . . .let's add a little fun to these webpages.
 
HOME OF THE FAMOUS
TEE-PEE BURGER

Be the first to identify the town this burger shack is in and win a prize.  I don't know what it will be yet.  We'll have to see what part of the country we're in.  It could be maple syrup from New Hampshire, fresh frozen frog legs from Louisiana or hot peppers from Santa Fe, who knows? 

If you know where this is, click here to e-mail us your guess.
 

Our last page had us arriving in San Diego.  In between then and the Oregon coast we traveled with the public television camera crew from NHK in Japan. We are receiving fan mail from viewers in Japan and will share some responses on a future webpage.

But before we headed north along the Pacific Coast we went to a homeschool conference in Woodland Hills, just north of Los Angeles.  This was our second conference, and this time we brought our two grown daughters and their families.  They plan to homeschool their kids, but even people with kids going to traditional schools can learn a lot about coaching kids to learn and some of the negative side effects of the public system. (For stories from our first conference in 1999 click here.)

From Los Angeles, we headed east to beautiful Sedona, Arizona.  We stayed in Sedona for two weeks and helped Cheryl's dad and step-mom look for property to build their retirement home on.   It was a great opportunity for Mitch and Max to learn about the area's real estate market.  Mitch even made his first offer, and counter-offer on a piece of property with two old mobile homes on it -- it looked like good income property units.  The trailers needed a lot of work and by time we could have negotiated a deal we were about to leave town.  We kept the offer low so the deal didn't come together, but if it's still on the market in November we'll go buy it.
 
Here I caught a picture of Max and a friend talking.  What a place for a bull session -- standing in the middle of a river with a heron in the background.  After a hot day in the sun, a dip in the campground pool is sure refreshing.
 
Being in the upper 90's most afternoons, cooling off is really appreciated.  On two occasions we made it over to Slide Rock State Park.  Here, you can slide and float down the smooth red rocks of Oak Creek.

One evening, after a day of real estate shopping, we came back to our trailer.  Cocoa had been inside so I let her out and started picking up a few things -- the kid's bikes, skates, towels, etc.  It was dark with just a little light from the moon.  I heard Cocoa charge off after something in the brush.  I yelled "COCOA"  -- she minds well and came right back, but instead of coming to me as she usually does, she ran right past me into the trailer.
 
Then I saw what she was after.  I ran into the trailer but it was too late.  She laid down on the carpet and was spitting and dripping at the mouth.  A direct hit by the local skunk!!

We quickly threw her out of the house, but it took two days for the smell to leave.

The good news, (for us,)  is that she seems to have taken the main shot in the mouth rather than her body. Yuk!

This was our first good sighting of a fox.  He was about 200 yards from our trailer.  He had just caught a rabbit.  In this picture the face looks more like that of a bobcat, but it really is a fox.
On our way back to Oregon we stayed a few nights in one of our favorite cities, Bishop, California.  The city opened a new skate park and both boys enjoyed regular visits.
And since we were close, why not stop at our favorite fishing hole near Yosemite.  This river flows through the Thousand Trails Yosemite Lakes RV Resort.  On Saturday there was a fishing contest.  Mitch caught the first and second place fish while Max brought in the third place.

By the time anyone who was keeping track of our location was ready to throw in the towel.

From Yosemite we drove to Medford, Oregon to the Highway Products factory.  They wanted to make a few structural modifications to our RV tow body.  They spent two days working it over, checking everything, oiling all the hinges and locks and added some more safety lights.
While they were there, I had them add an air suspension system.  The tongue of our trailer weighs 3950 lbs.  Our factory springs were so hefty that 3950 lbs caused the truck to lower only 3/4 of an inch.  In other words, the truck rode like a rock.  Our previous one-ton pickup would drop 5 3/4 inches with that same weight.

Now with the airbags, the truck bounces over the bumps rather than thumps hard over them.

Here we are parked next to the factory.  We had power and water and they loaned us the company truck while ours was being worked on.  Highway Products is a terrific company to do business with.
Grants Pass, Oregon is twenty miles north of Medford.  We stopped here to get the suspension rebuilt on the trailer.

As a side note for anyone with a travel trailer.  Don't forget to check the suspension shackles once in awhile.  A friend of ours had theirs wear through.  They called to tell us about it and sure enough, ours were about warn through also.  Click here to learn more about shackles.

While we were in town we went for a cruise on the Rouge River on the Hellgate Excursion tour.   There wasn't much rainfall last winter and the river was pretty low, but it was a great ride and the kids enjoyed the wild spins.
Here's what it looked like out the front of the boat when the pilot brought the boat to a sudden stop using the jet reverser. The boat would stop almost immediately, bringing the nose down into the water making a huge wave.  Since the boat was still moving slightly forward, we would move into the wave.  Although very close, we never took on more than a spray over the bow. 

 

From Grants Pass, we headed southwest to Crescent City, California and Redwood National Park.

Paul Bunyon and his Blue Ox, Babe, are near the park, which skirts the Pacific Ocean.  Mitch and Max are seen standing by Paul's left foot.

Babe, the Blue Ox may be big, but not too big for our F-550 Truck with a Highwayman Box.  I don't often plug products but this company and the guys that work there are great.  I even wrote a letter recommending Highwayman products to the magazine Trailer Life.   Anyway, we loaded up Paul and the Blue Ox and slowly headed north.
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