I will soon be manufacturing a mount on our camper to place the Hughes satellite dish. I'm thinking simple, effective and inexpensive, as is my typical frame of thought. (Direcway is now HughesNet). If you have any questions on this satellite dish service feel free to e-mail us with your inquiries.
March 29, 2006
Winter is showing signs of letting go and spring is in the air as increasing numbers of anglers visit our Park in search of Rainbow trout. The anticipation of consistent 70 degree weather is something Kim and I are really looking forward to. The weather here hasn't really been all that bad, just a little cool when the wind is blowing. Overall I would say it has been moderately comfortable.
The cottonwood and alder trees are starting to grow some leaves, the area should start looking a lot greener in a couple of weeks. I bought two Australian Pine trees to plant on the south side of the host area this week. I'm hoping they will eventually provide a bit of a windbreak for the site, the wind blows really strong through here at times. Earlier this month we had several days with 40 to 50 mph gusts, and nearly lost our awning before adding second 10 pound cement block to each corner.
Everything has been going well here at St. Louis Park and we are getting more filmier with the area and the locals who visit the Park. We have found a Safeway to do our shopping at just two miles down the road in Woodburn, and a nice clean laundry mat in Keizer. Kim recently spotted a Hollywood Video while in Woodburn the other day so, on our days off when there's nothing on TV and the weather prevents us from having a campfire, we'll have options for alternative entertainment.
The grass is still a bit soggy around here, but it is better than it was last week. The trout stocking truck was here on the 21st to drop in one thousand 8-12 inch Rainbow trout. The truck got stuck in the mud while backing down to dump the fish. The Oregonian was here to photograph the stocking, but instead had to settle for a photo of the driver standing up on the truck. If you saw the photo in last weeks paper you might have noticed that the lower portion of the truck was not visible. The driver did eventually get the fish into the lake though, and a local farmer with a backhoe helped pull the truck from the mud.
Next week the ODFW is hosting a youth fishing event at our Park. They will have several other volunteers here to help young anglers learn how to fish. It should be a lot of fun. They will also provide fishing equipment and bait for those who do not have their own. 1,500 Rainbow trout will be stocked in the lake just prior to the event. We are looking forward to it and hope to have many photos and success stories from lots of young anglers.
Kim and I plan to attend next months Oregon State Parks Rendezvous in Salem. Numerous seminars are scheduled. We are signed up for several and are prepared to learn all that we can about volunteer opportunities with the Oregon State Parks division. Kim and I are also looking forward to meeting with volunteer coordinators, Park staff and those who have volunteered for the Parks division.
March 12, 2006
Getting settled in at St. Louis Ponds
Our new volunteer location is great, we really like all the ponds that surround us and each night is just as peaceful as the next. It's like living in a park. Kim and I really enjoy meeting and welcoming all of the visitors who come to the park each day, many bring their kids to fish. It is a great place for families. Seeing this is a large wetland surrounded by 7 ponds we are hoping the misquotes aren't too bad this summer, I've heard they can be a problem. We'll be at this site through September.
One of our grand sons, Troy (photo above), spent the night with us last week . He and I spent the following day picking up litter, preparing the fire pit for an evening weenie roast and casting a line in search of hungry rainbow trout. It's been in the low 40's at night and the park grass remains soggy from the late winter rains, but things should begin drying up later in April. A fair number of hearty anglers have been fishing for trout, even with the cold temps. Over 1,000 rainbows were planted on March 4. Some have experienced a fair to good catch of 8 to 11 inchers. The bass and other warm water fish should start biting later this spring.
Kim and I have been getting to know some of the regular visitors to the park and learning the best areas to fish. Our other duties include handing out park maps, refilling TP dispenser in the restroom and picking up litter around the ponds. We have some signage to put up this week. Cant mow the grass until things dry out. We also maintain a online log (pdf file) of our daily duties along with a vehicle inventory that is accessible by our supervisor in Portland via access code.
Day 3 of satellite internet access
There was a dog trial event held this weekend in the dog training area of the park. It was quite fun watching the trainers run there dogs through the various courses where they retrieved both live and dead ducks.
February 24, 2006
How time fly's when your having a fun adventure. It has been a positive and rewarding experience volunteering here at the Clackamas ODFW office this past month. As we excitedly, although with reservations, prepare to hit the road for our next destination we cant help thinking about the newly made friends we will leave behind. We hope to someday return to the Clackamas host location to stop in and say hi. Jennell Hoehne, Volunteer Coordinator, said they would be thrilled to have us back.
We went on a boat ride yesterday to help set up net pens in Clackamette Cove, just off the Clackamas River near Oregon City. Tens of thousands of spring salmon smolts will be placed into the pens, where they will live for two to three weeks prior to their release.
I have been busy checking the vehicles and getting things in order for the trip south. Kim is taking care of the laundry and reorganizing things in the camper. I noted one of the tires on the right rear of the truck is somewhat weather checked and am a bit concerned. My father, an ex truck driver, said a slight bit of weather checking on 10 ply tires should not affect the strength of the tire, just the same I plan to stop by Less Swab before hitting the freeway and have them take a look. These are fairly new tires, but I am currently right at the load limit for each rear tire (3,045 pounds) and prefer not to take any chances.
If all goes as planned we should have high speed satellite internet service up and running within a week after our arrival at the park. So there may be a short spell, Feb 27- Mar 10 where we don't have access to e-mail. I plan to have Directway install a portable dish on the utility pole at our site. Then when we leave the St Louis site I'll buy a tripod for the dish so we can set it up our self at future locations.
We will be renting a U Haul trailer Monday night to pull behind the Pathfinder for the firewood, patio table and chairs, fire ring, cinder blocks and other large items we plan on using at our next location. Most these items we are taking to St Louis Ponds will be donated to the site for future volunteers.
February 7, 2006
We worked this morning until noon raking leaves. Then our daughter dropped by with the grandkids and we had lunch in the first sun we've seen in 45 days. It made for a great day and we cant wait to feel the sun again tomorrow. Our daughter said her youngest (Joey) told her that grandma went camping forever and added, he might not ever see her again. So she had to show him where we are now living, and that indeed grandma was camping, but not gone forever.
We experienced a small leak in one of our water line connections inside the RV and our holding tank was a little stubborn to drain last night, but everything is going pretty well and were enjoying our stay. The employees here are really nice and have quickly made us feel right at home. Tomorrow we will be helping serve a salmon soup lunch in the office for a fundraising event. Mummm... Then its off the fill the bird and squirrel feeders.
February 3, 2006
There is a Fred Meyer store just two miles away and were only 20 minutes away from our daughters homes. It is quiet here for the most part, although sometimes during the evening hours there is some loud banging noises from the Safeway Distribution Center located next door. Nearby trains also blow their horns a few times each evening. We are slowly becoming accustom to the intermittent noise and its not bothering us too much.
Last nights wind storm blew down a lot of tree limbs around here and Kim and I have been busy picking them up all morning. Luckily the wind never reached the point where I would have needed to move the rig out from under the large trees, but I was prepared to do so if the necessary. The thin roofs of RVs don't stand up well to heavy limbs from above.
January 23, 2006
We are ready to go, for the most part. Everything is now in the camper and my numerous modifications have so far proved to be both functional and trouble free.
Kim and I have ordered some fitted sheets from Camping World along with a batwing TV antenna and a good quality tire gage. They should arrive in a day or two. The last modification will be to install the TV antenna, which I plan to mount off the back of the rig by attaching it to the ladder rack. That way I don't have to drill any holes in the roof. The way I have it planned I can just open the door to crank it up and make adjustments for reception. With this mounting location the antenna will be just below the roof line and protected from wind and low hanging tree limbs.
We received a nice e-mail from Jennell Hoehne, Volunteer Coordinator at the ODFW-Northwest Regional Office today. This is the location we will be volunteering at for the month of February. We sent her copies, as requested, of our 5 year driving records, drivers licenses and insurance papers for our vehicles. Read her e-mail
January 18, 2006
We are now down to counting the days rather than the weeks. Only 13 days left till we fire up the truck and hit the road. We have sold almost everything we don't need and our daughter and her roommate are now moving their things into the house.
I purchased a large portable flood/spot light yesterday to use at volunteer and hosting locations. Its 3,000,000 candle power and recharges off both 12v and 110v. Its super bright!
I have been pretty much living in the RV while its parked next to the house. Kim has been sleeping in it since we sold our bed a few days ago. The last things we have to move into the RV is the VCR and my hand tools. We plan to load our Pathfinder with the things that we need to keep handy, but wont fit in the camper. Basically using it as a portable storage area until we get the fiver. The rest of our things, mostly in storage tubs, that we need to keep for use in the 5th wheel will be stored in what is now our daughters garage.
January 12, 2006
Well, the time is going by very fast now and soon Kim and I will be leaving our home of 22 years. We are both excited yet a bit scared of making the move into a this new lifestyle. I have our truck and camper fully outfitted and have added several amenities that we never had in the past, but will make our living arrangements a bit more comfortable until we get into our 5th wheel.
I have added a TV at the foot of the overhead bed, a larger TV near the dining table, a microwave oven, phone and internet cable connections, DVD/VCR player/burner, shelving and surge outlets for my computer, extra storage shelves for clothes and personal items, and a wireless doorbell. I have also added two 6 volt deep cycle batteries for those times when we may do a little boon docking.
Our kids are equally excited and proud of us for making the decision to pursue our dreams. We will all miss the close contact our family has enjoyed over the years. I'm sure that while we are apart we will become even closer, cherishing our occasional contact and times together even more.
We have now sold most all of our appliances and furnishings, I placed the few remaining items on www.craigslist.org last night and have already sold all but two, the vacuum cleaner and the entertainment center. The kids and the Goodwill will get the rest. We don't want to place anything into storage for any length of time and be locked into paying monthly fees if we can avoid it. Everyone I have talked with who has enter this lifestyle and placed their furniture and appliances into storage wound up selling everything, but only after paying hundreds of dollars in fees.
I myself have all of my clothes in the RV and have been staying in it for the past week while it remains parked in our driveway. Kim will be joining me sometime this week, as we get a feel for living in the rig fulltime and test out my recent upgrades. While we are parked in the driveway I still have easy access to my power tools and can make any modifications I find necessary.
It has been raining now for 25 days straight and its getting pretty soggy around these parts. I kind of wish our first hosting job was in southern California where its been much dryer and in the mid to upper 70's. Eventually, as we become accustomed to life on the road we will begin to follow the sun as many Rver's do, but for now we are happy staying in Oregon near our family and friends.
This site was last updated 02/06/15