June 28 - July 31 - Colorado & Oregon
As the map shows, we covered a lot of ground again in July, but most of our 1,547 miles were getting between our two primary stops - Estes Park CO and the Oregon Coast. On June 28, we hooked up and left the Terry Bison Ranch outside Cheyenne WY (21) and drove just 81 miles to Wes & Vendy Lockard's place at Estes Park CO (22), arriving around lunchtime. We were the vanguard of a group that would swell to twelve by the 4th of July, most of us having been part of the family at the old CBSI in Reedsport.
We've talked before about the Lockard's lodge at Estes Park. It was built for large gatherings, with a total of 13 bedrooms and 9 baths. Wes says they've slept as many as 36 for family reunions. It's a great place with great views of the Rocky Mountains and of the wildlife that hangs around. We've seen elk, deer, coyotes and a bear in the Lockard's yard, and Wes says there was a moose walking by the kitchen window one day this spring.
We were preceded by the Lockard's daughter Katie, just home for a summer break from her studies at Oxford in England. We were followed into town by Fran Greenfield, who flew in from Salem OR, and by Luther and Linda Pierson and their kids Brian and Laura, who drove in from Columbus IN. Actually, Laura was the primary excuse for the gathering - she was on tour with a group of singers from the Indianapolis area that performed in Denver, and she joined us after that last concert. Two years ago, most of us gathered in Estes Park after the Piersons finished up a church-based retreat at Ghost Ranch in New Mexico. We're not sure what excuse the Piersons will come up with for another gathering in two years. They've got time to work on that. On July 4, our group grew to 12 when a couple of Wes & Vendy's relatives drove up from Fort Collins. Vendy was recuperating from major abdominal surgery just two weeks before our arrival, so she was somewhat subdued. It was good to see how she improved during our 9 day's visit.
Besides catching up with folks we hadn't seen for a while, we toured in Rocky Mountain National Park a couple of times, ate very well, played some games, and generally had a very enjoyable time. Al took advantage of Brian's youth and agility to install a fuse bypass switch in the Honda intended to reduce battery drain while we tow.
Folks started drifting away on July 5, and we pulled out on Monday July 8, headed for Oregon. We overnighted at Walmarts in Rocky Spring WY (23) and Jerome ID (24), paid to park at the Burns RV Park in Burns OR (25) and arrived at the Premiere RV Resort north of Eugene OR (26) on July 11. Judy had a Parkinsons checkup with her neurologist on the 12th (good report, minimal symptom progression) and we had dinner with Judy's sister Joanna. On the 13th, we drove to the 1000 Trails South Jetty resort at Florence OR (27). Turns out that on the 14th, a 90th birthday celebration for friend Joyce Brandon was being held at the Reedsport Presbyterian Church. Good timing for us, and we got to see lots of people we might not have otherwise.
Our main reason for being on the coast was our annual doctor checkups, and we were both given relatively clean bills of health from Dr Law. For the first time in many years, our Oregon Coast visit coincided with the Oregon Coast Music Festival, and we were able to go to their annual concert at Shore Acres State Park. It was a delightful, although somewhat chilly, afternoon with some very good big band music from the "It's About Time" band, 15 members strong counting the singer person. (Judy says she wasn't a "girl singer" given that she had grandkids with her.) The band is made up of music teachers (past and present), retired music pros of one kind or another, and a couple of really good amateurs. Most enjoyable.
We also had some work done on the RV, and found we have to have some more work done that'll take a few days. We'll work that into our return in October or November as we head south again for the winter.
On July 22, we hooked up and headed north to the 1000 Trails Seaside Resort at Seaside OR (28) for 10 days. We checked in with Judy's brother John, who's settling nicely into his retirement, and with Chuck and Jan Wolfe, Jan recuperating from rotator cuff surgery and becoming most frustrated at her enforced lack of activity.
And on Saturday July 27, we met Ira & Anna at the Oregon International Air Show at Hillsboro OR for a delightful day of aerobatics and airplanes. We saw lots of first-rate acts, got just a little sunburn, rediscovered the effects of dehydration, and rekindled our desire to go again to the big fly-in at Oshkosh WI one of these years. We'll have to work on that . . .
Oh - that fuse bypass switch Brian installed in Estes Park did the trick - with almost 1500 miles of towing since, the car battery hasn't gone dead again. Of course, that still doesn't resolve why the battery charge line from the motorhome isn't doing what it's supposed to. That's one more thing we'll have worked on in the fall.
On Aug 1, we hooked up and headed north again, intending to spend August and September in Western Washington State. That's for future reports.
Meantime, there are about 105 pictures in our slideshow, including scenery, animals, friends, family, airplanes and other stuff. Have a look if you like by clicking here.