Hoh Rainforest

Moss dripping from large trees and huge ferns on the forest floor. There was a nice hike from the Rangers Station to the Hoh River. We arrived in the mid morning time frame and there was already quite a few people parked and hiking the trail; people from all over the world. As we left around 2:00pm there was a lineup of vehicles, at least 60, waiting to get into the park.

It’s a pretty amazing place and well worth your time to drive 16 miles from Highway 101, on a very winding road, to reach the this National Park.

Images of the Hoh River in the next installment.

Safe travels

from the Mothership

docked in Seattle!

Adventure#2: Olympic Peninsula

Our first night out we spent at Kalaloch Beach. Our site was within a short walking distance from the Pacific Ocean. Basically “roughing it” as we had no hookups. Pretty rustic, but secluded. Our Brooklyn grandson, Elliott, above hanging out with grandma on the beach. The steps down to the beach are behind that wall of large driftwood.

Was a fun night.

Adventure#2 to be continued.

Safe travels from the Mothership

back in Seattle!

Floral from Seaside

Motoring about on Big Red gave me a chance to see things I might otherwise miss.

It’s kind of like walking and doing street photography, but at a faster pace.

Safe travels from the Mothership

docked in Seattle!

Note: One week away from our next adventure. This time we are going around the Olympic Peninsula, clockwise, if that makes sense?

Also, the screen door I ordered, from the Coachmen factory in Ohio, is on its way to Seattle. Should be here on the 24th. Once here, I will have to see what sort of hardware pieces I will need and maybe have time to install it before the next adventure.

Big Red

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I mentioned in the previous post that I did most of my traveling around Seaside on an electric trike. This photo is of a newer model, but it is nearly exact to the trike I rode.

In my wife’s family, the trike is referred to as ‘BIG RED’. This trike will literally push you back in the seat if you are not careful. The acceleration is controlled ( I use that term loosely) by the right hand grip. It will do a wheelie if you are not very careful when you rotate the hand grip. There are two posts with small wheels on the back of the trike and they are there for a reason: to keep the trike from flipping over backwards. Most of the weight is towards the rear of the vehicle, including the driver. Makes for some harrowing moments if you are not vigilant.

The trike comes with all of the usual features: back and front hand brakes, parking brake, horn, lights, directional and gauges to let you know the battery level and speed. It comes with a key fob that allows you to set an alarm. If anyone touches the trike when the alarm is set it lets out a high pitched squeal. So, if someone thought they could lift it into a truck bed ( would probably take three people), the trike will protest!

When I took it out the first time at Seaside I needed to find a gas station with an air pump as all three tires were low. I had to drive about a mile to the nearest station. When I pulled in ( silently) there were three rough looking dudes on Harleys getting gas. I was a bit leery when I couldn’t find the air pump because that meant asking the attendant ( Oregon is the only state that won’t allow self pumping), which meant driving the trike up to the pumps where the biker dudes where. I asked the attendant quickly and then was directed to the side of the building ( where I could fill the tires out of the view of the bikers). Just one of those ‘timing is everything/ moments, I guess.

Riding around town was interesting in that people were doing a rubber neck kind of thing as I whirred by them. Three guys on Honda scooters zipped past me twice on the same street, honking their horns. Never a dull moment on Big Red.

I used the wire basket to carry a small backpack with my Nikon camera inside and there was a wire lid to lock it in place.

Top speed: 40+ kph!

So, that was my experience with BIG RED.

Safe travels

from the Mothership

docked in Seattle!!

Seaside Architecture

While motoring around on a electric trike ( check out Cozytrikes.com).  More on that in the next post as it is a story in itself. I was able to cover a lot of ground quickly, such as the side streets of Seaside which were virtually absent of noise from all of the tourists ( such as me). The house and cottage above caught my eye. I think the cottage is a rental or B&B. The other house is kind of a typical ocean shore house you might see along the beach, although much less pretentious and costly.The house faces West, the direction the wind and weather blown in from the Pacific Ocean, so it makes sense to have a covered porch and the second story protected by the roofline, rather than windows.

Safe Travels

from the Mothership

docked in Seattle

awaiting our next launch in just

under two weeks!

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.

Before we launch this year.

Just doing some repairs before we launch this year. The step up on the drivers side of the cab had become dislodged from its bracket. My wife’s nephew was able to reattach it with a carriage bolt so that is ready to go. The next project, with the help of the same nephew, will be to install a retractable coach step. Coachmen’s design didn’t include a step up into the coach itself. We have bee using a small, foldable step stool. It’s small, not very stable, so I felt it was time to try some after market step. Most of the best after market items can be found on Etrailer.com. They are great to work with and have quite an inventory of parts. The step should be here in a few days as it comes from their headquarters in Missouri. The step will have to be strengthened with additional pieces of steel on each side to spread the weight of the load over the width of the bracket mount. Will post some before and after photos after it is done. Sometimes you have to get creative to make changes! Having bone issues, I’m excited to have a solid step to use to enter the coach.

Safe travels

From the Mothership

Docked in Seattle!

 

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.

More from Central Oregon

Reading on the Mothership, our granddaughter misses some of the sights as we travel across Central Oregon. Needless to say, she is an avid reader ( voracious, maybe). I think that is her brother’s foot sticking up on the left. I guess I kind of got him in the shot.

Safe travels

from the Mothership

docked in Seattle!