CAMPING/TRIP REPORT: TOOK NORM'S ADVICE.
Just got back from my trip. My friends in Albany recommended a new RV Park (Emerald) just off the 5 Fry. I drove past the Blue Ox which backed up against the fry. I then continued up the Fry to this park which I could also see from the Fry. I didn't like its location over looking the fry, so I just drove past the off ramp and checked out the Silver Spurs RV Park. I liked the person I spoke with on the phone when researching sites, and really liked the park itself. It did not have a fitness center like the Blue Ox RV site in Albany. But Silver Spurs is located far away from the fry, so no noise. Very clean and quiet. A really nice cliental. Also, a great trail walking area for the dogs.
I joined the Passport America Club. As it turns out, one of the parks I stay in when competing in Northern California is also a Passport Member, so this became a no brainer. I ended up coming back to Albany after our first hunt test (only place in the Pacific NW and Rocky Mountains with decent weather), so the Passport Membership paid for itself immediately.
It was also centrally located to where I ended up training both weeks, so I really saved on gas. Using my i-pod, I got back road routes to the training grounds, and enjoyed some breathtaking drives through that part of Oregon.
Regarding the trip itself, very successful! My key female passed 3 out of 4 tests in Portland and Montana. Here's a "picture" of me and my dogs with the Pro-trainer I worked with prior to the hunt test. As you can see from the ribbons, we did good.
After spending 2 weeks in the Portland/Silverton area, I moved on to Western Montana. Had a wonderful time in Butte and Missoula. I hooked up at a friend's home and trained/tested in that area for a week. Did another back to back Hunt Test, where my key female passed her 3rd test. Here's a picture of me and one of the judges.
Then I spent a week dry camping
on private training grounds. Trained with a small group there for several days and then had the whole place to myself for 3 or 4 days.
I finished up the trip back at the Silver Spurs Park. But as most of my training that week was in Albany, I might have been better off at Waterloo. Next year I'll look into that.
Silverton itself is a great little town. Nice restaurants and a couple of good sized grocery stores. It's about 20 minute drive from Salem and an hour outside of Portland. They have a community theater, but I left town before the first summer play. Gas seems to be a few cents cheaper in Silverton.
held up well. But as usual things go wrong. The heater stopped working which made it hard to get up at first light
. I'm hoping it is the thermostat. The hot water heater also stopped working the day before I left for home. My trailer friends suggest that it is a coupler?? which shouldn't be too hard/expensive to fix.
The switch on my Electric Jack broke at the beginning of the trip!!!
That was a real bummer. Luckily it went up (which was good when mounting the sway bars), but what a pain to take it down! It's only a year old, so this should not have happened. I did call Barker, and they sent a new switch to my home.
And sadly, on the trip home, my tongue cover came off. Lost it somewhere between Stockton and Los Banos. It was old, and I was thinking that it needs to be reconfigured. I am concerned because I have no idea how to replace it.
But ... worst thing ever: the carafe for my Coleman Coffee maker broke the first night I was in Montana!!!! I called Coleman, but because I was traveling about the region, it was impractical for them to send me anything and I could not find a replacement carafe that would fit at any store in town. When I started dry camping
, I couldn't stand it and bought a French Press at Starbucks. The Manager at that store also uses a Coleman when camping and, commiserating over my loss, threw in a bag of coffee.
Now I like the French Press: best coffee ever. But it is a mess to clean up. So all in all I prefer the Coleman. I'm hoping to find a steel carafe that will fit the coffee maker, so I won't have to go through this again. Mornings without caffeine is just way too awful...