Sporadic Blog

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Sometimes I come across some interesting things that won't fit into the "Comments" section of my main RV Roamings page.  I'm going to use this page as an "overflow" of my regular page.  However, it won't have daily entries, hence the "sporadic" title (makes sense now??).

6/1/11 "Final Score: Tree 1, Awning 0":  After putting over 45K miles on my camper in the last 5-1/2 years, I finally had a major damage situation.

I was driving the city streets of Alameda, CA and heard a big "crunch". Pulled over when I could and got out of the truck. My awning was missing! Had been pulled out of its "box", which was still on the camper.

I drove back to the scene of the crime and found the awning and one of the arms by the side of the street (someone had moved it before I got back).

I inspected the tree and saw where the awning had hit an about 5" diameter limb hidden in leaves. In fact, there were a couple of small awning parts still in the tree. The limb was essentially vertically inline with the curb, or maybe slightly in the street. I measured and the side of my camper is about 7 inches outside the edge of the tire. Add another 3 inches for the awning attached to the side of the camper and "crunch".

I'm sure the local delivery trucks know to give this tree some additional room. Unfortunately, I didn't. :(

Don't use my awning much, so I'll wait until next year to replace it. I'm heading for Alaska in about 3 weeks and don't want to take the time to replace it now.

Moral of this story: Watch out for those street-side trees! :)

 This is the tree                                                                                         This is the limb

This is the damage

7/5/10 "Ramblin' Ralph Gets Stuck!":  After around 40,000 miles of travel with my camper on my truck, I finally got myself into a real pickle!

I was taking a dirt Forest Service road to another campground in Northern Nevada.  The locals told me it was a good road for 2 wheel drive.  Well it was ... except for one spot.  And there I neglected to survey the situation for the best route through the ruts.  Got stuck with my rear end differential buried in the high center.  Truck wouldn't move one bit either forward or backward.

I spent about 45 minutes with a screwdriver trying to dig out the dirt around my left shock and rear end.  Two parties came along in truck w/trailers and tried to help me with their shovels.  Still couldn't get out.  They unhooked one of the 4X4 trucks and pulled me out backwards!!  Boy, was I relieved!  Tried to give them some money, but they refused.  What good Samaritans!  They probably spent at least 1-1/2 hours with me.  I was about 90 miles from the nearest tow service in Elko, NV and no cell service.  THANK YOU, FOLKS !

The next time I come across something similar, I'll survey the situation better before crossing it (or turn around).  After getting unstuck, I made it past the area with my left tire on the high center of the other side of the road and my right on the grass.  Wish I'd tried that the first time. :)

The whole 3 hours or so I was there, only 3 vehicles came by.

I notified the Elko Forest Service office about the terrible ruts.  Maybe they'll get someone to fix the problem and save someone else the difficulties (and worries) I had.  In case you're interested in where I was, here is a map link:

Pictures below show me stuck and the road condition after I got out.  My spinning tires dug me deeper into trouble..


7/7/09 "It's a Small World After All":  I was getting ready to leave my Cascade Locks, OR campground and noticed a unique camper vehicle in another site.  I'd seen one like it (Land Rover with a tent on top) a couple of months before, so I went over to talk to the couple in it.  Lo and behold, it was a couple I'd talked to in a Ventura, CA state campground about 2 months before.  They are a Scottish couple off on a multi-month adventure touring the U.S. and Canada. Now what are odds on this happening?  Check out their traveling website here.

6/25/08 "And the Deer Listened Intently":  Last night I was camped in a neat little campground alongside a beautiful meadow.  After dinner I was sitting outside plunking on my mandolin.  After a few songs I looked up and there were 3 deer about 75 yards away in the meadow looking at me.  Their ears were pointed at me.  For at least 10 minutes they hardly moved, always looking at me and never eating the grass.  One did start to come my way, but turned back after a few yards.  All at once they all "bounced" away at the same time.  I say "bounced" because it looked like they were on pogo sticks. :)

It was a very moving experience.  A tear came to my eye as they left.  I'm assuming that since they stayed so long they enjoyed my music.  I think I'll have to come up with an original composition called "Deer in the Meadow".  :)

7/17/07 "Closing the Loop (after 41 years)":  I was in the Navy in the mid 60s and assigned to a ship being refurbished in Portland, OR.  In the fall of 1966 the gasoline tanker USS Kishwaukee (AOG-9) sailed down the Columbia River and on to its homeport of Pearl Harbor, HI.  Today I drove across the Columbia River bridge at Astoria, OR into Washington.  This "closed the loop" on nearly 41 years of my travels and I was momentarily in the same spot (except above it) as I was those many years ago!  No, I didn't get "teary". :)

While in Astoria I visited the Columbia River Maritime Musuem.  Highly recommended!


7/11/07 "Hairy Road":  I looked at the map and saw a solid line (paved) road heading the way I wanted to go.  Yep, it was paved. however, it was only one to 1-1/2 lanes for 25+ curvy miles.  I can take the curves, but it gets a little goosey coming up to a curve with less than 2 lanes.  I averaged about 15-20 mph for the whole "sweaty palms" way.  Fortunately, I only encountered about 3 other cars coming towards me, cause it's waaaay out in the boonies.  The road is along the Salmon River with some beautiful views, as you can see below.   The road is from Cecilville, CA to Somes Bar, CA.  Here's a map link to it in case you want to drive (or avoid) it.



6/6/07 "Next Camper?": Saw this rig at a gas station.  Was tempted to try and arrange a straight swap for my truck camper. :)


6/7/07 "Neat Museum": Visted the town of Kernville, CA for the first time.  Neat town.  I was walking around town and ran across the Kern Valley Museum.  A very interesting and well organized place.  Highly recommended if you like museums.

6/4/07 "Herding Fish":  I stopped by the Hot Creek Fish Hatchery off US395 near Mammoth Lakes, CA.  I hit it just at the right time.  They were "herding" fish (it's easier than cats) by pushing a "fence" down the tank..  After they had them in a small section of the long tank, they then used nets to return them to the empty area.  They were counting them as they released them.  They wanted to keep a certain number (several thousand) for "brood stock" (for you city folks, that's to make more little fishies) and then whatever was left they were going to stock in streams/lakes.  Wish I was fishing the area where they stocked the rest.  Some big uns!!


Here are some trout in a feeding frenzy (cuz I threw in some feed pellets).  Wish I could catch 'em this big!:

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