EP 9 – Chip’s Wanderings

In preparing to put together *something* as a summary of what we’ve been doing for the last 5 or 6 months, I realized we had some nice video of our boy in pretty places.  Sometimes just nice video of the boy.  So here’s a video of (mostly) just him.

This video will be of interest mainly to those people that either know Chip or are willing to watch 11 minutes of video to see a few pretty or interesting (definitely, to him) places that he’s been.

Most of the clips were taken at or near Chip-height and feature many of the camps we’ve been to in the last 6 months or so where Chip appears in the frame.

The full list of places is, in order:

Willow Grove Park in Lewisville, TX
Sallisaw KOA RV park in Sallisaw, OK
Devil’s Den State Park, AR
Catherine’s Landing RV park in Hot Springs, AR
Barefoot Bay RV park in Mt Pleasant, TX
Our old house in Plano, TX
The Vineyards RV park in Grapevine, TX
Shiloh Vineyard in Voda, KS
Mountaindale RV park in Colorado Springs, CO
Camping World in Longmont, CO
Buffalo Ridge RV park in Custer, SD
Teton Tails pet store in Jackson, WY
Buck’s Gas RV park in Irwin, ID
Earthquake Lake in Montana
Ellensburg, WA
Lake Pleasant RV park in Bothell, WA
Yard apartments in Portland, OR

My apologies for the noise in some of the GoPro videos.  When things get quiet it cranks the audio gain up as high as it will go and ends up recording the motor noise from the video stabilizer I use at times.

 

The music used is Jazzy Ashes by The Underscore by Orkestra available from http://freemusicarchive.org/music/The_Underscore_Orkestra/The_ExtraOrdinary_Adventures_of/05_Jazzy_Ashes

Fonts used are Lobster Regular from https://fonts.google.com/

Review – Sallisaw KOA

Sallisaw KOA in Sallisaw OK.  It’s a KOA.  For some of you that’ll mean older ill-kept park.  For some that’ll mean sites that are too close together or unsuitable for larger RVs.  For some it’ll mean a park that’s ok but you wouldn’t want to spend much time there.

For us it meant a site that was just large enough that spending time outside by the RV was pleasurable and grounds that were well cared for and good for us and the dog.

This was also the first time we had camp wifi that was marginally usable.  Previous locations either didn’t have wifi at all (state parks) or was so bandwidth limited that there was no point in attempting to use them at all.

While the park has gravel sites and roadways, there’s a wonderful set of trails winding around behind the camp, a nice large enclosed dog area where you can let your four legged friend run about off leash as well as a catch and release pond if you’d like to get in a bit of fishing.

If you don’t have an RV, their tiny houses will probably suit you.

The people working in the office were friendly and efficient and I wouldn’t hesitate to stay there again someday.

More pictures over here.

Review – Creekside RV Park

If you drive through Creekside RV Park, in Broken Bow, OK, wondering if you want to stay, you may initially be put off by the endless gravel punctuated by large boulders that divide the sites. We were.  But we wanted something better than Tiny Town for the couple of nights we needed a place to park, before leaving town.  We stayed in June 2018.

Give the campsite a shot if you need a place to stay for a few nights.

The sites are positively huge and once you’re parked, it’ll become easier to get familiar with the site layout.

Trees.  There are huge trees that provide plenty of shade for those stuck in their RV during the day.  After all, you have to get things done sometime.

One downside for us, our dog more precisely, is that the entire camp is one big gravel lot.  If you’ve got a small dog, you may find that after a few days of walking on that he will be less interested in going for walks.  Imagine if you had to walk barefoot and the gravel was a few inches across.  You’d want shoes.  While they mention a path along the creek, it was washed out some time ago and hasn’t been rebuilt.

There is a creek nearby but since there hadn’t been any rain in a while, it was mostly dry.  Still, it’s good for a morning walk with the dog.  Just be aware that if you go for a long walk in the heat, your dog may lose his mind and decide to walk into the creek.  Our boy has never done this before.  He got a bath for his trouble.

The bathrooms were clean and well tended and the owners friendly and responsive.

One kinda big downside is that because the camp is built parallel to the highway, there’s not a site that you can pick to really get away from road noise.  If you’re staying when it’s particularly warm or cold your AC or heater will likely mask most of it.  If you were hoping to keep your windows open at night, you’ll need to be a heavy sleeper.

On the other hand, did I mention trees?  They don’t completely mask the noise but they do help some.

One benefit of the gravel is that if/when it rains hard, the lot drains very quickly.

Give them a shot.

Review – Tiny Town OK

We stayed in Tiny Town, OK in June of 2018 and getting a reservation and finding the park was easy.  We were told to pick any spot and set up and so we did.

This is basically a place to park your RV while you either do something away from the site or take care of things within or around your RV such that you don’t really care where it is.

The park has changed quite a bit since the photos on their web site were taken. Most of the park is dirt/gravel with grassy areas between the sites that are rapidly filling with weeds and dying grass.  The trees that have been planted aren’t being watered regularly enough and many are dying.  Perhaps in 10 years the sites will have a bit of shade but until then, make sure your AC is working properly during the warmer months.

The sites are very close together.  Sit at your table and you’ll be staring at someone else’s sewer connection.  On the other hand, the firepits are large and wood is readily available.

The playground is overgrown with weeds though the equipment looks like it’s relatively new.

While we were there was saw another guest cleaning their stinky slinky on their picnic table.  Since then we’ve made a point of spraying down any table at a new site with a mild bleach solution, wiping it down and covering it with a tablecloth.

Would we recommend Tiny Town?  Well, if you won’t be spending much time there except to sleep, sure.  If you want a camp with any other amenities, you may want to look elsewhere.

More pictures available here.

Backup copilot ready

While Susan drives Buck (our towed car) to our home for the next week, the backup copilot has taken his position and is ready to guide us in to a safe landing in our berth.

We will go this way

The advantage to quiet, mostly country, roads is for chip to go wherever he wants, on a civilized surface.

We’re in Ellensburg, WA. Going to wander the town today and fear for our lives on the road.

It’s a college town. New drivers. *Shudder*

Chip Gets His First Boots!

We really shouldn’t have laughed as much or as hard as we did but seeing Chip navigate wearing his first set of boots was hilarious.  As much because of the great Irish dancer butt-kick that he performed over and over and because of the look of confusion he had while also being a great sport about the whole thing.

By the next day he was still in the mode of “What? Why are you doing this to me” but by the next morning he actually lifted his front paw up when I asked if he wanted his boots.

It seems clear that while they’re weird, he prefers his boots when we’re walking on gravel and I suspect he liked them this morning when walking through frosty ground.

Taking the beaten path

Grand Teton National Park

Oh, look. The other headlight fell off.

So, back in April, 2018 the port side headlight fell off during a test drive with the towing system.  Well, OK, more like came loose and was dangling like an eyeball hanging on by the optic nerve.  I know it happened then because during the drive both I and my passenger heard and odd noise, looked at each other and said “what was that?”  There wasn’t anything obvious so we kept going.

I found out about the light a day later while I was showing my dad around the coach.

Tiffin has no clue how to use epoxy.  The square tubing was perfectly smooth with just a few holes drilled it in and tiny little nibs of epoxy holding the brackets onto the fiberglass shell.

Fortunately with some JB Weld, sandpaper, a clamp and mineral spirits I was able to re-attach the brackets and get the headlight attached again.  Click on the pics for more.

Fast forward to September 3rd during our drive from Custer to Buffalo WY where we come out from grocery shopping to find that our starboard light is dangling like the last light.

It’s partly my fault since I knew this day was coming and really should have removed the light long ago and re-done the epoxy on the mounts.  New rule.  If it can be fixed now.  Fix it now.

Fortunately we were able to clamp and bungee the light in place and continue our shuffle off to Buffalo.

Bit of leather, clamp and bungees and we’re off!

The next day I took the time to remove the brackets

remove the old epoxy

Clean the areas with mineral spirits

Clean and rough up the brackets where they’ll make contact with the epoxy

Mix up the JB Weld (sorry, was in a hurry and didn’t get a pic), slather some on the bracket and clamp it in place.  Didn’t get a picture of that either but the end result was

I also took the opportunity to re-attach a bracket I’d missed on the port side back in April.

These things are never falling off ever again.

Click on any of the pics to see more of the process.

Review – Mountain View Resort Wapiti WY

Rough. Really Rough.  2.5 stars out of 5.

First, the good.
  1. Dark skies.  The only lights are likely to be the neighbors who forget to turn off their porch lights or have motion sensitive lights that are set off by everything that blows by.  Otherwise really dark skies and a clearly visible milky way.
  2. Friendly and eager to help hosts.
  3. Booking was easy and Erin sent comprehensive directions to the camp.
  4. Large sites.  Your 40 footer and toad will easily fit.
  5. Full hookup.
  6. Fairly inexpensive.
  7. Great views of the mountains.  Gorgeous sunrise and sunset.  These were helped/hurt (depending on the day and your opinion) by the fires in the West but even when the mountains were smoked out, the views were fantastic.

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The bad
  1. The sites are overgrown with weeds.  Not just your typical weeds but low-growing monsters with sharp spikes.  It’s clear that the hosts are busy elsewhere and they need a camp host to take care of the camp when they’re away.  The only upside here was that in the morning and evening it was cold and windy such that we weren’t eager to stay outside.  The rest of the time we were touring Cody or Yellowstone and so the state of our site wasn’t important.
  2. Many of the sites aren’t marked and so it’s difficult with some to tell if you’re looking at a spot where you’re supposed to put your coach or if you’re looking at an open area.
  3. Some sites have fire pits.  Some don’t.  There didn’t seem to be obvious logic for which did and didn’t.  It also wasn’t clear if there was a common area for everyone to use.
  4. If you have a problem with your electrical post (we lost power several times) on the weekend, you’ll probably need to move as their electrician won’t be available.  Fortunately if you’re there in September and have a decent battery bank or generator, you can probably get by without their electric as the days are mild and the nights cold (and windy).
  5. Debris everywhere.  I’m calling it all collectively debris because in some cases it’s trash that’s been dumped randomly and in some cases it’s clearly building material that’s been sitting for days or months.  For example, the “playground” has remains from past fireworks shows, a decaying grill, a stack of firewood and building materials littering the area as well as other random trash.

If they maintained their camp better and cleaned it up I’d have given them at least a 4.

Would I stay again?  Probably.  I’d at least consider it if all things were equal and especially if I’d heard they improved conditions around the camp.

More photos available here.