Remember two blog posts ago?
While the crew and I are camped at Sherwood Campground in Mt. Hood National Forest, I wake up to find something wrong with the Best Little Trailer.
Let’s pick up from where I left off . . .
The refrigerator is dead. The lights won’t come on. When I put my foot on the toilet’s flush pedal, it doesn’t flush. No water comes out of the faucets. The fan doesn’t fan. And when I jam the inverter’s plug into the 12-volt socket — either one — I get nothing.
I check the fuses and reset the breakers. Still no power. I check the AGM batteries in the Perfect Tow Vehicle. Full charge. Okay. Must be a problem with the house battery (which I can’t check). It’s a Friday, not much chance of having repairs done until next week.
We travel to Grass Valley RV Park and hook up to shore power.
The lights and air conditioner work. The refrigerator and 12-volt sockets are kaput!
Sunday, July 12
Okay, the thing to do is find a repair shop, right? And once a repair shop is found, then look for a place to camp nearby. Sound like a good plan, right?
That’s backwards to me and here’s why. I don’t know how long repairs may take. I suspect there’s more to this problem than simply a dead battery. If repairs take several days, I don’t want for us to be stuck in a bad camp.
Rather than searching for a repair shop first, I look for a good camp first, one that the crew and I can enjoy . . . and also that is located near a town or towns large enough to have an RV repair shop. I study my Oregon Benchmark Atlas and in a few minutes I find it!
We break camp and motor down Route 97 . . . only 66 miles to Madras, Oregon.
Surely there’s an RV repair shop in a town of this size and with a popular route for RVers running through it.
Hmm . . . I remember there’s a Safeway along here somewhere.
I fill up a cart with groceries, including a baked chicken breast from the deli for the crew. Before checking out, I grab a styrofoam chest, a block of ice, and a bag of ice cubes.
In the parking lot I put away the groceries in the BLT, arranging the perishable items and ice in the cooler.
Bridget and Reggie didn’t have their usual meat breakfast this morning due to the refrigerator having to be emptied. I hated disappointing the little cuties! I cut up the baked chicken breast and feed the pieces to their bright faces as we sit in the Perfect Tow Vehicle.
When my crew is happy, I’m happy!
I fire up the PTV and away we go!
“It’s not far, guys. Only about ten miles out of town . . . . “
We pass farms with fields of alfalfa. The snow-capped peaks of the Cascades are in a haze in the distance. I’m feeling happy, too.
“Here we are! I hope it’s a good camp!”
Bridget and Reggie look out the windows, sharing my anticipation.
There’s drinking water here, as well as trash dumpsters!
Funny how appreciative one becomes of these basic amenities.
(Click to enlarge photos.)
We continue along the campground road.
The campsites at Haystack Campground are perched on a slope rising up from the western shore of the reservoir. One has a choice of a high site with a view of the lake and mountains or a site with access to the water, also with fantastic views.
I look through a break in the trees.
Oh, my! Isn’t that beautiful!
It being Sunday, several sites are open.
A few are reserved for next weekend. Bridget and Reggie share my excitement. I park in a pull-through site and let them out so we can investigate on foot . . . and on paw.
This close to Madras, surely there’s internet signal, too!
We exchange greetings, he welcomes us to Haystack, and then we discuss campsites.
“Take a look at sites 14 and 15. They’re both pretty sites along the water and they aren’t reservable,” he suggests. “14 is a pull-through and 15 is back-in.”
I choose 15.
It’s a large site without a site across the campground road and without a site on one side. The one neighboring site is vacant.
“I like this!”
The crew agrees. Soon we are set up and relaxing in a “reading room” with a view of the lake and Mt. Jefferson.
Shortly before sunset, camp hosts Bob and Karen stop at our site to see how we’re doing.
They’re making their last check of the campground for the day. I stand next to their golf cart to chat.
I learn that they have a home not far from Haystack Campground and, therefore, are familiar with the town of Madras and the surrounding area.
“Dave’s RV Service in Madras,” Bob replies without hesitation. “He does good work, and he’s fast. He won’t keep you waiting around and his prices are very reasonable. He and his wife, Chris, are good people.”
“Where’s it located?”
“On the north side of town near the airport. Just go up to where 26 forks off of 97.”
“Thanks so much! I’ll find their phone number online and call for an appointment.”
Clouds gather and sweep over the lake.
The clouds bring the unmistakeable smell of rain. Inside the BLT Reggie and Bridget snuggle into their places on the bed and fall asleep. Sitting by the back window I watch the sun dip low in the sky. At the right moment I sneak outside with my camera.
Later I lie in bed with Bridget and Reggie and review the day.
Well, we accomplished a lot. We have plenty of groceries and a cooler. We found a beautiful camp. And we also have a promising lead on a repair shop for the BLT.
Softly the rain taps on the roof.
I smile contentedly and touch Bridget and Reggie as they sleep. There’s something about that sound . . . the tap-tap-tap of rain on the roof . . .
It says, “Sleep well. Everything is all right.”
THANKS FOR SHOPPING AMAZON FROM MY BLOG!