Friday, August 8, 2014

Back to the Future

When we initially made plans to stay in Bellingham to help Zoe and Zac settle in, we had planned to hang around for two weeks. haha, that didn't last long. We finally came to our senses once we realized we could do all we needed to do in one week and that the kids didn't really need us. In fact, Zoe is heading to Disneyland and Zac is still spending his weekends working in Sammamish. What the heck were we hanging around for?

So with an unplanned week on our hands, we could go anywhere we wanted (as long as there was a space for us, not a given in Washington state high season). So we decided it would be fun, and quite appropriate, for us to return to the very campground where three years ago, we first met Laurie and Odel and stepped foot inside Scoopy.  At the time, we had no idea what our future held, much less that we'd own Scoopy and be fulltimers ourselves. Three years ago, fulltiming was still a dream and not one that we could imagine becoming a reality any time soon. 

But here we are ensconced in Staysail RV Park in Oak Harbor, WA one space over from where Scoopy was parked last time she was here and where we first laid eyes on her. As we remembered it, there was a beautiful view out Scoopy's front window. And from where I sit, there is. A beautiful view of the bay. Not so much for Steven. This year, it seems the Parks & Recreation department decided to do major renovations in the park and there is a huge construction site and a massive pile of gravel out the front window to the left. I don't see it because my space is on the sofa, but Steven is positioned such that he looks right out over it. He doesn't even care.

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Linda’s view from her perch                                    Steven’s spectacular construction view

We had a very productive week in Bellingham but we were quite ready to get on the road again. As it turns out, we had a pretty long travel day considering we drove a whopping 49 miles. It took us nearly two hours to go less than a quarter of a mile when we pulled out of the park.

We needed to fill both vehicles before traveling and as luck would have it, we could easily navigate in and out of the station just across the street. We also decided to hook Toadie Hopper to Scoopy in the large truck parking area. All went according to plan until we realized our Pressure Pro was screaming at us. Something was not right with the inside back tire on the driver's side AND the front driver's side on Toadie. That one, at least, wasn't screaming at us, but wouldn't even register. Hmmmmm.

Steven tightened up the one on Toadie. BING! It registered and all was well. Not so with Scoopy's tire. He did this and that, switched it out with another to see if we got the same results. Nothing changed. We decided the tire needed air, not an easy process to get to the onboard air compressor when everything first needs to be unloaded from the bay. Nonetheless, Steven was determined. Then I saw him in the mirror, and he was filling the wrong tire! He thought the problem was on the passenger side, and that's where he had done all that testing. A quick tighten on the correct tire and we were good to go!

Anyhoo, we spent a ton of time figuring that out, but we finally pulled out close to 11:00 a.m. We came to the stop light just outside the station and sat waiting for the left turn arrow when suddenly, Scoopy died. I don't mean died forever, I just mean her engine stopped. It scared the begeezers out of me. It's happened before a couple of times, but only when we were sitting still, idling. This was in traffic! A whole different ballgame.

But, as usual, she started right up and off we went. Then, as soon as we got on I-5, we heard a terrible noise, one that we have become intimately familiar with. We had forgotten to close the outside cooktop vent. Man, that thing can make some serious noise! We finally stopped at a rest stop and got that taken care of.

The rest of our trip was somewhat uneventful, if a little butt-cramping on the skinny road over Deception Pass bridge and into Oak Harbor. We made it, though, and had an easy time getting into our space at Staysail. At some point during our setup, Steven came in to get something and went back out and as he closed the door, I heard a sound I haven't heard before and it did not sound good. After a bit of investigation, we found that our automatic steps are no longer automatic. In fact, they are not anything. They are just kind of hanging out, flapping in the wind. We have started a new list called Immediate Repairs.

Lastly, we have not been able to get our Direct TV to connect. We don't even care. We are just happy as clams to be here and we're just going to deal with whatever comes our way.

Tomorrow we are going to spend the day with our wonderful friends Dan and Sherrie. They were our neighbors on Pine Lake and they built a vacation home in Coupeville. We're going to an art show and visit the farmer's market, eat mussels and hang out at their place. How perfect is that?

We had a very productive week in Bellingham and even squeezed in an enjoyable day trip to Vancover, Canada with fellow fulltimers Bill Joyce and Diane Melde. Last night, we said our goodbyes to Zoe and Zac when they came and had dinner with us. We will miss them terribly. Christmas seems like it's forever from now. In the meantime, we've got lots of traveling to do, so we're going to get to it!

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We love visiting Vancouver. Such a beautiful photogenic city!

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Vancouver skyline                                                  Port Mann Bridge, connecting Coquitlam to Surrey in BC

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Bill Joyce and Diane Melde                                    Zoe at work in Vanity

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Zoe strikes a pose with her momma                       Behind every son is his momma


  1. These are just newbie startup problems and you will work your way through them and settle into the rhythm. Have you thought of using a checklist? You really have to start moving regularly.

  2. hey you were in our neighbourhood! too bad we have a new one for the summer!
    the trials and tribulations of travel days can be trying..good for you both to get through it!

    1. Sue, we thought of you when we drove through, but we knew you weren't there.

  3. Lippert Components can be a good online resource for parts to your step.

    1. Thanks for the suggestion. Believe it or not, we found the part on Should be here on Wednesday! Now, the question is, can we actually fix it? We're gonna try!

  4. Love the two views at the campsite :-). Just knowing you're continuing on instead of going back when you pull out.......wonderful! My heart would have stopped when the engine did - glad it was just a pause instead :-) Love the skyline pic.
    Where to next?????

    1. Scarred me to death, but she started right back up! YAY, Scoopy! Heading down the coast toward you!

  5. Just remembered - you do have a roadside assistance policy with Good Sam or some other outfit don't you?

    1. Yes, we have CoachNet. Not sure our steps would be covered? We may have to check into that if we can't get them fixed, but we are staying positive.

  6. Hey, if you're not breaking stuff occasionally, life wouldn't be all that interesting. Stay safe......

    1. You are so right. :) We know there will be days we wonder what the heck we are doing out here, but mentally, we're prepared for that. At least we think so. Might be surprised.