Sundog, Lake Marie Oregon 2018

Monday, August 12, 2013

North thru OR and WA

I LOVE Oregon roads!  We traveled on I-5 thru Oregon.  It was a delight.  The road conditions could not have been better. 

California should be ashamed of how bad I-5 is as it runs down the center of the state, not to mention the horrible conditions in the LA area.

I am writing this as Craig drives north on our third day of travel. 

It's funny how some things that happened yesterday, that were  stressful, have very quickly faded.  First, as we entered Oregon we noted a much lower price for fuel at the Pilot station listed on our Gas Buddy. We pulled in, and  after starting to fill up,  I noticed the pump price was 16 cents higher than the price on the big green sign.  We asked and were told that the lower price was for truckers with something called a PUC card.  Live and learn.  It aggraved us both at first, but now we have learned and will look for that kind of information in the future.

The second “incident” occurred shortly after our Pilot Station upset.  We needed to stop at a big grocery some time on the way up, and since we had arrived in Fred Meyer country, this was as good a time as any. The parking lot was very full so Craig dropped me off and was going to park somewhere on the perimeter.  Unfortunately he took a turn a bit too sharp and got the car caught in a bad situation against the curb.  I stopped him before any damage was done, but the 2-vehicle rig was pretty much stuck and blocking traffic.  The only way to avoid damage to the car was to unhook the tow bar.  But this turned out to not be easy.  Since  nothing about the situation was straight or level, the pins were stuck and would not come out.

We were very lucky to be helped by a nice lady who told us she was a former deputy from Alaska. She kept me calm and settled Craig down as well. Soon several Fred Meyer people came out and directed traffic around us while we worked on the problem.  I won’t go into all we tried, but eventually the pins were freed when a strong man picked up the front of the Accent and Craig used a hammer and a second pin to get the stuck one out.  We were very grateful to everyone for their help. No damage to the car or tow bar.

It was all a bit upsetting yesterday, but today it just looks like “one of those things” that will remind us to take the right turns a little wider!

We stayed at our first SKP park.  Nothing fancy, but interesting.

Now parked for overnight at the Evergreen SKP park in Chimacum  WA.

We arrived at about 6:00 pm and there were no hook-up sites left, so we are in the dry-camp lot. We seem to have gotten the last dry camp space. I thought that SKP parks always had plenty of dry camp room, but that doesn't seem true here.  I'm not sure what we would have done if it was full. I'm going to ask about that in the morning when I go to pay my $5.25.

It has been a long day, and I am glad to be safely parked for the night. I do enjoy travel days. I like to drive and I like to sit back and watch the countryside pass by, but it is nice to be "at home" at the end of the day too.

Tonight we are having baked brie, a par-baked fresh baguette, and some wonderful fresh grapes and melon. We often had this menu when we were skiers and rented a motel room with a kitchenette.

We will be at the park tomorrow.  

[From Craig]  If you love the sound of words and names like I do, Washington is the state for you! While America is the world's melting pot, Native American names are part of the superstructure that holds the pot together.

When we lived in Texas, a lady once learned the Merikay was from Wisconsin and asked her "Could you please say some of those Indian names from up there?". So she reeled off "Well, we lived near Mukwanago, had friends in Oconomowoc and Menomonee Falls, and would sometimes go up to Lake Winnebago."  Which last name is of course familiar to RVers.

But the names in Washington seem neater than those we grew up with, probably because they're new to us. My previous favorite was Snohomish: our son lived near there.  But just read this last of places we passed today out loud: "Skokomish, Cloquallum, Wynoochee, Lilliwaup, Dosewallips". It doesn't matter how you say them, it's fun to say them however you like! The fact is, most Native American names have been spelled just like how they should be said...

What are your favorite place names?


  1. I just hate it when those pins in the tow bar bind and won't come out for love nor money!!! After releasing the little levers on the top of the tow bar and having the car in neutral so it can be pushed back and forth, I know of nothing else that can be done but pound them out with a hammer... Also leaving the car in neutral on any kind of a hill, would be a recipe for disaster once the pins fall out.... Can just see it rolling away....

  2. at least you landed safely..enjoy the peace and quiet!!

  3. When I took my driving class, the instructor said that he often makes 3 lefts to make a right turn, he will not make a right turn unless he is positive that there is enough room. But you are right, we can't let these things upset us for very long. Yes, it is upsetting when it happens, but then we have to move on.

  4. Don't forget the nearby town of Sequim, pronounced Skwim. You made good time to be in Chimacum already. Are you going to have time to explore the Port Townsend area? It's one of our favorites areas.

  5. Even after two plus years on the road, I'm aware of having to turn WIDE when I make right turns. Actually a left turn out of a gas station on my first trip crunched the side of The Palms, so I watch those carefully, too.

    When I'm turning, I think one of my eyes is looking forward and the other is looking at my side mirrors. Is that possible?

    I know how you felt about the gas being advertised that way. I did a rant post on the same thing, except where I was they posted the "cash" price, and I was using a card. I was sooooo mad!

    I'm glad the problems were solved and are now in the past. It's all a learning experience, isn't it, and it keeps our brains active. One thing about dry camping - which I love - is that you don't have to hassle with hook-ups. It just seems so much easier to me. Have fun - enjoy your night there. :)

  6. Great post Merikay. There's nothing better than good roads. We have seen more orange barrels on our trip this Summer, but there are a few states that apparently don't know what orange barrels are or what they're used for! Happy you were able to get your car out of a bind without any damage. Wouldn't know how to begin to pronounce some of those Indian names...LOL! Enjoy your trip & take lots of pics for us!!

  7. Been there. It's embarrassing and troublesome. But, no big deal in the big picture.

    Taughannock and Monongahela.

  8. Glad you were able to get out of a bind. Nice that folks were willing to help. Craig I kinda like the sound of Snoqualmie. I thought Oregon had some strange names (like Boring and Zigzag) when I first moved up here over 40 years ago, but they don't hold a candle to Washington!! Hope you both have a wonderful time.

  9. Yes, we were tricked by the same thing up here in Oregon...the price of diesel at the fuel stops here. At least the prices are decent even without the PUC #! We are loving the Native American names in this area too.

  10. My favorite town names are: Bird In Hand, Paradise & Intercourse, PA. All within 6 miles or so of each other in South East PA near Lancaster. I don't think they are native American names though.

  11. Those little 'incidents' happen to all of us & I know from experience how upsetting they are at the time. But somehow they become laughable memories & great conversation pieces later on. We once got into a similar situation in Colorado at the end of a dead end road. Couldn't go forward & couldn't back & I had already started a turn so nothing was straight. Took a lot of hammering with a small ball pean hammer to drive those pins out. No damage. Motor on Dudes:))

  12. Life seems to be full of little mishaps - I'm glad that you resolved your problem with no damage and that you were both safe!

  13. cutting corners too closely seems to be a huge learning curve. It still takes two of us to talk around a left turn with our total of 55 feet with m.h. and trailer with car on board.

  14. Washington state city with an Indian name that takes a while to learn to pronounce is Puyallup: PEW-ol-up. (Kind of rhymes with whallop.)

    Then in Oregon you have the Willamette River: pronounced Will-LAM-it. (In Oregon we say it's Willamette dammit.)

    And of course most people from other parts of the country mispronounce Oregon. The correct local pronunciation is Ore-y-gun.

    Just south of Portland near Newberg, Oregon is a state park with the Indian name of Champoeg which can be pronounced either as shampoo-y or shampoo-ick.

    Thanks for asking.


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