The Mothership 2019

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Lots of improvements to the Mothership for 2019. Late last summer I had new Michelin tires put on. This Spring I’ve put some hours into: 1. an appropriate license frame for the Pacific NW; 2. A Weathertech rock guard for the front hood ( after I repaired 6 rock chips); 3. new faucet and plumbing for the galley sink Faucet; 4. New interior LED light fixtures and entry light ( labor intensive); 5. A screen door. Next week the mechanic who helps me is coming by to replace the black water discharge valve ( it has been sticking since we bought the Mothership). Hopefully we’re set for a few adventures over the next few months. We are taking the annual trek to Seaside, OR.  on July 1st through 6th with our grandkids.

Since we are going to Scotland for much of August, the next outings will be weekends to the ocean or Eastern Washington. My wife retires on June 28th ( officially Oct. 1st, I think), so hopefully we’ll have some time this Fall to wander about on the weekends.

Safe Travels

From the Mothership

docked in Seattle!

Moving Along

From Lake Crescent we traveled to Port Townsend. There was a park and ride spot just outside the main business district which we used. We caught a shuttle bus into the main part of town.

These are just some street shots of main street Port Townsend, plus the shot from the cab of the Mothership of Highway 101.

Safe travels

from the Mothership

docked in Seattle!!

The Day Before

24-DSC_4898Getting ready to venture to Seaside Monday. The day before usually entails packing and loading and the inevitable forgetting of some important item. The weather in Seaside looks promising, a little cooler than Seattle at the moment.

I’ll try to post as much as possible. May have to utilize public spaces for wifi. Fingers crossed.

Latest Modification

fullsizeoutput_402dA few weeks ago I purchased a retractable coach step from Etrailer.com.  This particular model is made by a company called Lippert. This one has a piece of steel, which you can’t see, running between the two mounting brackets. That extra sideways support, I thought, would help stabilize the step. This was both a safety concern as well as a convenience driven modification. Coachmen, in their wisdom, did not think the coach entrance needed a step to enter and exit  the coach. We have been using a foldable, plastic step the past two summers and it was a bit dangerous as well as a pain in the ……

After I bought this retracble step ( seen in the operating position) my nephew and I had to find a way to engineer it so it would actually be safe and work for some time. Most RV’s that come with a retractable step have a metal box just underneath the first coach stop so you attach the new step on top to the brackets and on the sides to the metal box it fits into. We didn’t have that box, so…..

What we did was get a piece of 3/16th steel to place on the top of the first coach step ( underneath the grip tape you see) attach the steel plate through to the step brackets underneath ( where you can’t see in this photo). Our thought was that the steel plate would carry the load across the step, making it strong enough to handle foot traffic. Most of the stress/load on the retractable step is downward, so using the galvanized carriage bolts and lock washers it seemed like it would be more than ample to handle the load or stresses we will put it through. The steel plate was painted with a black, matte primer to keep rust away as long as possible as well as the underside of the step. When retracted, the step you see locks into position so it doesn’t vibrate to the open position when traveling.

So, I think we are ready for the first voyage of this summer, coming up on July 9th, when we take two of our grandkids with us to Seaside, Oregon, about a five hour drive from our home. Hopefully both the new step and our sanity will be intact at weeks end!!

Happy Voyaging!

From The Mothership

docked in Seattle, WA.

Prepping the Mothership 2018

 

We’ve been prepping The Mothership for a few excursions this summer. Last Saturday we spent a couple of hours washing the vehicle from top to bottom. Lots of dirt on the roof, but now it is shiny clean. Recently, when the guy who services The Mothership came out to un-Winterize the systems, it was noted that all of the Michelin tires had cracked sidewalls where the tread connected to the sidewalls. I knew the treads depth was fine ( the Mothership has only 32K miles on it), but had never really paid much attention to the sidewalls. It really looked dangerous so I took some photos and went out to a tire store to get their opinion. As it turned out, Michelin did a recall on these tires in 2012, the same year The Mothership was assembled. I was taken aback as that meant the previous owner was probably notified about the recall and chose to do nothing. We had traveled all over the country in 2016 with defective tires! The good news was Michelin would replace all tires for free ( a cost of $1,200.000). My only cost would be the labor to replace the tires.

Yesterday I drove The Mothership out to Discount Tire ( great people) and had the new Michelins, defect free) put on. In addition to the labor costs I added an extended warranty that covers the tires for more than the usual-including sidewall and punctures. Driving home from the tire shop I noticed a difference in how the Mothership felt and handled.

Next on the prep-list is a repair to the drivers side step up. This part is made of aluminum and is prone to rust where it attaches to the coach. Wednesday evening my wife’s nephew, an ASE mechanic who does the oil changes, etc on the vehicle is coming over to asses what options we may have for fixing this issue.

Living in the Pacific NW and all of the rain we get is hard on vehicles. Just being parked in our driveway for most of the year can result in weather related problems.

We have two short trips planned this summer: One to Ocean Shores for 4 days, taking our grandkids and a couple of weeks later we meet up with our son and family, who are coming out from Brooklyn to visit. We’re taking a 4 day trip around the Olympic Peninsula. Should be fun.

I’ll keep updating this blog throughout our travels this summer.

Safe Travels

from The Mothership

docked in Seattle.

From Prairie City to John Day, OR.

Just some shots from the cockpit of the Mothership as we made our way from Prairie City to John Day. The Fossil Center was really busy the morning we were there, but we did get a chance to see all of the exhibits, just not go out on the trail or whatever to see the actual beds. Just keeping track of two grandchildren, when I’m in a boot and need a cane to navigate, was a challenge enough indoors!

As an aside: the motorhome you see in the photo we seemed to have followed for a couple of hours. Not much traffic on this road, which is nice. Just a bit boring looking at the back of the same motorhome for miles!

 

Safe travels

from the Mothership

docked in Seattle!

Greetings:First Voyage of 2017

After a long respite I think we are ready for our first voyage of 2017. It’s been a rough year; my co-pilot/navigator fell and broke her arm in late March. A week before that event our 16 y/o cat, Izzy, was diagnosed with bone cancer in his jaw ( amazingly he is still with us) and a week or two after that I broke the 4th metatarsal bone in my right foot ( getting out of bed). I am in a boot, but am hoping I am on the mend enough to have a normal first voyage on July, 1st. I see the podiatrist on June 30th for x-rays, etc. so that is cutting things pretty close to cast off time :-). Currently I am driving my car using my right, big toe to work the pedals, as it is impossible to work the pedals with a boot ( although I did try).

Anyway, The Mothership is Un-Winterized, re-insured for the next three months, and I think, as ready as can be expected. We are just going to Seaside, Oregon for a few days. No major voyages planned this year. We are planning on driving to Eastern Oregon to catch the eclipse in Aug. ( along with a gazillion other crazies).

Greetings from The Mothership!

Safe travels to all in 2017!!

Believe in the Cosmic Giggle………it’s real! 🙂

More Travels

The Face on the Tree, although there is a slight resemblance to the Face on Mars, is from Roswell and the place we stayed for one night. Seems like everyone in Roswell is promoting weirdness as well as UFO research. The second shot is from the Grand Canyon. We spent a morning stopping at a few viewpoints and then I lost patience with all of the tour buses and ……well, just too many humans overrunning this national treasure.

Last night there was no viable WiFi, hence no posting. We stayed in Needles, CA. just at the beginning of the Mohave Desert. It was 115 degrees when we stopped for the evening around 7pm. Tonight in Vasilia , CA. it is a cool 100 degrees. As we head north the temps should cool down a bit, we hope.

Which brings me to this point: I had a reoccurrence of my food poisoning experience in Flagstaff, AZ two nights ago and we decided it was good to push a little harder to get home by Wednesday night so I could see the doctor on Thursday. We didn’t change our route/course, just the amount of miles we drive each day and we curt down the  stay at Mt. Shasta to one night instead of two. So,…..I have emailed my doctor and hope to hear from him on Monday, which I think is tomorrow, right? I have totally lost track of days and days of the week over the past couple of weeks. I bought a $8 watch that doesn’t have those features, oddly enough. So….. I seemed to be untethered from the daily, weekly routines- which is a good place to be.

Also, all of the images I have been posting have been phone pics, with some editing. I do have nearly 1000 images on my two DSLR’s and a point and shoot camera to go through over the next weeks, so even though the journey will be over, the images will linger. If there was better wifi connections along this journey I would have attempted to post a few High Res images, but….. time constraints, etc.

I have a trip to New York set for the end of October so I hope I am finished with these images by then. When I get back from New York I actually have a wedding reception to shoot as well as a portfolio to shoot for a musician friend of mine. Going to be a busy Fall.

We have met some interesting people along this journey; this planet is worthy of preserving if we can find a way to get to a compromise and start working with nature rather then exploiting. One of my personal paradigm shifts was seeing all of the Wind Turbine farms in Nebraska and Iowa, two places I don’t think as all that progressive. They are way ahead of the rest of the nation. And, sadly, places like Arizona, which has all of that sunshine and few inhabitants did not have one wind turbine farm! Instead, what I saw were old, coal burning power plants in an ecosystem that could probably meet all of their power needs by solar. Something is really amiss with Arizona. I would bet the power lobby ( coal) has something to do with this situation. Really too bad. The coal bring power plants must be 50-75 years old and a blight on the landscape. Mountains of coal!!! Their coal has to be brought from elsewhere, so…….more waste in the system.

Anyway, I sit here using my one free hour of WiFi, hurriedly typing away while dripping with sweat; my fingers are literally slipping around the keys!!

Be well

Safe Travels

from The Mothership.

Crater and Canyon

 

Today we view both the Barringer Crater, outside of Flagstaff, AZ. and Walnut Canyon, nearer to Flagstaff. I had never heard of Walnut Canyon, but it is a pretty amazing place. Cliff dwellings are all over the canyon walls. The canyon floor is 185′, nearly straight, below the canyon surface. I  have no idea how whomever lived in these cave/cliff sites got up and down the canyon walls.

While we were there thunderstorms passed and it was cool to hear the thunder overhead while walking down the canyon.

The area around the Crater is very sparse, as you can see; kind of a moonscape ambiance.

Tomorrow, Le Canyon Grande

Till next time

Safe travels,

From the Mothership!