Thursday, July 9 (continued)
In the previous episode of RVSue and her canine crew, Bridget, Reggie, and I found a pleasant, riverside camp at Sherwood Campground, perfect in every way except for one thing — no signal for internet.
I consult the Oregon Benchmark Atlas
We’re about ten to twelve miles from the Hood River Ranger District Office on Route 35 and also from the little town of Parkdale situated in Upper Hood River Valley. From the valley, Forest Road 2840 goes to Kinnickinnick Campground on Laurence Lake. Kinnickinnick is at a higher elevation . . . . Maybe a signal can be caught there?
“C’mon, poundcakes. Let’s investigate!”
First we stop at the ranger station.
I’m told that internet signal is “hit or miss,” and given directions to the lake, along with a map of Hood River County. From there we drive through Parkdale and continue to Kinnickinnick Campground.
A quick drive-through reveals it’s not a campground I want to stay in. The lake is pretty enough, lots of people boating and enjoying water activities.
I don’t bother to check for signal because we won’t camp here.
Okay. We’ll go back to Sherwood Forest. After a day or two there, we’ll move out of the area. The blog will have to wait . . . .
I set up my lounger next to the river. The crew and I relax for the rest of the day. The campground is quiet and no one camps near us. A few overnight campers pull in right before dark as Bridget, Reggie, and I go inside for the night.
My Paperwhite provides its own illumination, so I don’t turn on any lights. That’s why I’m not aware there’s a problem until the next day.
Friday, July 10
Uh-oh . . . The refrigerator lights are off. I push a light switch. Hoo-boy, no lights. I turn the fan to “on.” Nothing. I check the two AGM batteries in the Perfect Tow Vehicle. They’re charged up nicely. Something must be wrong with the house battery . . . or worse.
It’s a devil of a job to check the house battery.
Once you remove the bracket holding it in place, the battery doesn’t come out easily because the tray was installed crooked, not lined up with the compartment’s door. For this reason and the fact that I’m eventually going to need assistance anyway, I don’t bother to find the voltmeter to check it.
My focus is on devising a plan.
Okay. We need to go somewhere for electric hook-ups.
After the usual morning routine, I pack up the crew and we head north on Route 35. I don’t yet have a plan. I turn eastward on Interstate 84 which follows the Columbia River. We pass the exits for The Dalles. Too hectic. I’m not stopping . . .
I pull off at Deschutes River State Park.
Not surprisingly, all the sites with hook-ups have been reserved for the weekend. We continue eastward on Route 30 to Biggs Junction. Friday madness is in full swing.
I want to stop at the Pilot station for gas, but I’m stuck in the turn lane. Semi- trucks come and go, one right after another, RVs lumber in and out, jockeying for a turn at the pumps or a break to get out on the highway, various vehicles pull boats or are laden with kayaks and bicycles, people dart helter-skelter across the highway, motorcycles appear out of nowhere to zip and roar through the confusion, someone lays on their horn . . . An opening! The PTV squeezes next to a gas pump. Whew!
I hand my credit card to an attendant.
Do I turn north and take Route 97 into Washington? We’d have to cross the Yakima Indian Reservation . . . .
The picture of us pushing into Washington and across the state to the Olympic Peninsula — at one time very appealing — seems at this moment to be too much work. I’m done with popular places. I want calm! I want ordinary! I want away from people in a frenzy for fun! And I need a place with electric hook-up that isn’t filled up with reservations for the weekend. Someplace where we can enjoy a peaceful weekend while the house battery is charged up.
As the attendant hands back my credit card, I look across the intersection to where Route 97 climbs a hill and goes to . . . .
I buy a sandwich at Subway (my groceries are a loss) and, after a quick potty run for the crew, we head south. I recall the peacefulness of the drive from Columbia River Gorge to the town of Grass Valley from our trip to Oregon a few years ago.
The scent of grass and ripening grain wafts through the open windows of the PTV. Far to the horizon all around us are fields of yellow and gold, gentle folds of a plush cloak tossed across the land. My stress is winnowed like chaff from grain . . . . aahhhh. . . .
Grass Valley RV Park is a small park consisting of a grassy lawn (what else!) and a showers-restroom-laundry building. The backyard view is a field of horses!
Reggie plays with his toys and Bridget snoozes on the soft grass. During the hottest part of the day we go inside and bask in the air conditioning. Although my inverter has died, I can turn on the laptop and jetpack because I gave them charge with the PTV during the drive to Grass Valley. I write a post for this blog.
When early evening coolness arrives, we walk around the town of Grass Valley.
It never came about. That doesn’t matter any more. I’ve learned to enjoy without owning. Now I have my horses. Aren’t they wonderful?
NOTE: At this point in the saga (yes, it turns into a saga) of the BLT’s lack of electricity, I sense the problem encompasses more than the draining of the house battery. You’re welcome to speculate what went wrong. However, there’s no need to give me advice on what the problem might be, because, in real time, the problem has been diagnosed and the repair is almost complete. More about that in future posts as I get the blog caught up. (My online time is still limited until repairs are complete.)
Thanks again for your patience and loyalty to my blog. Your presence and lively comments are a source of encouragement for me!
AND, AS ALWAYS, THANK YOU FOR SHOPPING AMAZON FROM MY BLOG!
“Well, Reggie, I look at it this way. We’re the ones she gives chicken every day, lightly browned in olive oil, cut into bite-sized pieces, served on plates, and, oh yeah, at upwards to $3.99 a pound. If that isn’t love, what is?”