I meet a fisherman while the crew and I walk the riverbank.
“Had any luck?” I ask.
“A little,” he responds modestly. “Caught a salmon yesterday. It wasn’t very big.”
“Fifteen pounds! And that’s not very big? How long was it?”
He holds his arms apart.
He pauses while I repeat his words in astonishment. Then he adds, “My wife’s the better fisherman. She caught a twenty-pound steelhead. That’s a good fish. That’s what people are fishing for.”
Again he puts his arms apart.
And, dear reader, that’s no fish story. Well, it is . . . and that’s what the man said.
Now for an abrupt shift in subject matter . . .
It’s time to talk TIRES! I tell Pete the Camp Host that I want to replace the tires on my van (aka PTV). He’s sitting in his little green cart, typical of what camp hosts motor around in.
“Oh, go over to Les Schwab in The Dalles,” he immediately suggests. “I’ve been going there for forty years and they always fix me up right. They’re a good bunch of people.”
I ask him what tires they put on his truck.
“I don’t know,” he responds with a shrug and a smile to indicate he doesn’t care to know. “I just go in there and they give me good tires. I’ve never had a problem. I know they’ll honor the warranty, too, without a lot of hassle.”
Les Schwab’s is an easy drive from Deschutes River State Park.
The crew and I zip westward on I-84 for 12 miles and take the first exit for The Dalles. The tire place is right around the corner from there.
I leave the crew in the PTV and go inside. I explain to the woman behind the counter what kind of driving I do.
“I tow a trailer with that van out there. It’s a Chevy Express 1500. I drive it on gravel roads to camp in out-of-the-way places. Sometimes I go over some pretty rough roads with sharp rocks. Then I also drive on a highway for three hours or so at a time.”
“So you’re going to need something heavy duty,” she replies.
We go outside and she takes a look at the PTV and its sorry-looking tires. Then she gets on the computer and makes some suggestions. We narrow it down to a few choices.
“Let’s go look at the tires,” she says. We go back into the rows of tires. She commences to describe the tires, how they’re made, why they’re made that way, what they’re good for, how much four of them cost, highway versus off-road, quality of ride, gas mileage, etc. Gee, this woman knows tires. I ask her a gazillion questions and she has the answers.
Long story somewhat shorter . . .
I can get four good tires for around $740. Or I can get four super-duper tires for a little over $1,000. Hmm . . . tough decision. Be a miser and save $260?
What Would My Readers Do? Gee, my Amazon earnings off-set the difference in less than a month. I touch the deep tread of the primo tires.
Oh yeah. I’m going for the gold!
But first let me say, I’m very happy with these tires and with the price. Please don’t tell me where I could have bought them cheaper or what lousy tires they are or what I should have bought instead. I don’t want to hear it! Don’t rain on my parade!
I’ve had enough rain, dadgummit!
I bought Toyo Open Country A/T II.
These are 10-ply, all-terrain, 50,000 -mile, 15-inch tires costing $232.72 each. Metal stems cost $7.75 each. The wheel spin balance cost $15.00 for each wheel.
So to wrap it up . . .
The four tires cost $930.88, plus $31.00 for the tubeless metal stems, plus $60 for the wheel balance, for a total of $1,021.88. (No sales tax in Oregon.)
The DOT stamp on the tires says: CX9XJK3113 which means they were manufactured in the 31st week of 2013. I get free tire rotation every 5,000 miles and a great warranty.
Warning: Another abrupt subject change ahead.
We’ve changed campsites!
After one night with electric and water hook-ups ($16), I move us over to the non-hook-up sites ($5). I needed to move because people with reservations are coming in. No matter. The hook-up site has a great, big, green lawn as shown in the previous post, but I don’t like having such close neighbors (see photo above).
Here’s our new site which is much better.
The photo is a bit blue because I took it very early in the morning and I haven’t learned how to adjust for that yet. Bear with me . . .
See the Deschutes River?
It’s a long story why. Suffice it to say the ranger let me move to this spot, waiving the fee to make up for a hassle I had earlier. It was no big deal. However, if I try to explain, it will make persons look bad who aren’t.
I told the ranger I’d be happy to pay, but he insisted!
THANK YOU, RVSUE SHOPPERS, FOR GOING TO AMAZON FROM HERE!