Our first work project with NOMADS ended Thursday afternoon at Ocean Park Retreat Center. The day before, we completed painting the 10′ X 20′ woodshed and started splitting wood to fill it. Our team finished filling it yesterday, cleaned up a couple cubic yards of bark, cleaned our breakroom, then started preparing for our first trip in three weeks.
Building the shed was an intrigue for Jim — he hadn’t built anything like this in a few decades. It worked out fine, for a barn. Jim made a few notes as the building progressed and looks forward to another opportunity to regain some of his long-ago skills as a carpenter. Deb learned to operate the front-end loader, hauling un-split wood from behind the shed to the hydraulic splitter in front. She developed a great feel for the tractor. Now she wants one.
The salt air made quick work of highlighting every bare spot of steel or iron and created extra resistance for hinges on everything. Prepping for travels east from Pacific coast we lubed hinges on trailer and truck cover, and they don’t complain with each opening. We cleaned trailer and truck, emptied the floor mats — a clean truck makes the world brighter for these travelers. The trailer was showing a few mold spots on the inside glass so we cleaned the windows inside and out and lubed the latches — much smoother now.
Last night we parked along the Columbia River east of Hood River, after a 200 mile drive from Ocean Park. The campground is Memaloose State Park, accessed via the eastbound I-84 rest stop west of The Dalles and near MM76. We took a walk after supper and found the old quarry below and west of the campground. The quarry probably served both the railroad, over one hundred years ago, and the road builders half that long ago.
Memaloose SP campground is really nice, well-arranged and landscaped. The campground is thirty or forty feet above the Columbia River, several hundred feet from the railroad tracks and 1/2 mile from the interstate highway. There are many shaded and some sunny campsites, and our choice of sites with or without electricity.
We’re in the bonus season for state and national parks rates. Washington and Oregon (and maybe other states?) discount the camping fees after September. Our stay last night was only $15 for site with water hook-up in a campground with nice showers and comfort stations, paved rv parking, and nice fire ring and picnic table. And oh, what a view! This morning everything is calm and we have wall-to-wall blue skies again.
Last night, and until after midnight, we had fierce winds from the west. We parked almost broadside to the wind so the trailer rocked a little. The truck helps steady the trailer — we left it hitched to the trailer since our stay was only one night. No utilities, no stabilizers, no unhitching –this morning we raised the front jack, connected the 7-way plug, walked around the trailer three times for our pre-flight safety checks, and drove off.
Pendleton, here we come!
See you down the road!