Saturday, October 15, 2022 to Friday, October 28, 2022 (Travel to...and our stay in the Springfield/Junction City/Eugene area)

The day has come! Saturday  (Oct. 15) morning we pulled out of Peace Arch RV Park shortly after 9:30 and made our way to the Peace Arch Border Crossing. As we got closer, the traffic came to an abrupt halt...the line up to get across into Washington State was horrendous! Silly us for deciding to cross the border on a Saturday morning. A lot of folks from BC cross the border for cheaper gas and dairy. We watched a few cars change their mind and turn-around by crossing over a grass median. We still have a long way to go!
There's the Peace Arch Park. Vehicles on the left are returning to Canada. The border crossing is finally visible in the distance beyond the trees...
When we started out the crossing time was listed as a 30 minute delay, but we have learned from past experience to double or triple the posted time. It took us 85 minutes in the line to finally reach the border! We were greeted by a very nice border guard who only asked where we were headed. When we told him Yuma he said he was just transferred from there a few months ago. Loves his new posting as everyone here are so friendly...then sent us on our way!

After fueling up with diesel at the Pilot Travel Center in Ferndale...$5.61/gallon using our Pilot card saving 5 cents/gal...we continued south on I-5. It was a very smoky day from all of the wildfires...
Seattle (see the Space Needle in the distance?) in the smoke...
We decided to follow our GPS and continue through Seattle on the I-5 rather than taking the bypass, I-405 which was listed as slower. The condition of the road surface was as terrible as we remembered!  We will take the 405 in the future!

We pulled into our destination for tonight...South Sound Speedway, about 10 miles north of Centralia, WA...just before 4:00. We first stopped there last March on our way home after friends, Jim and Cec, suggested it. Thanks again guys! It was a great overnighter stop and on this trip, it works out well as it's the half-way mark to Coburg, OR, where we have to be tomorrow night. 
Sunday (Oct. 16) morning, as Steve was doing his outside stuff he finally got to meet the owner Butch. We found out he's also from Victoria, BC and used to help run Western Speedway there. He wanted his own speedway so bought this one. 

We made our way back to the I-5 and continued south. There was quite a bit of ground fog hanging around as well as smoke...

The fog gave way to more smoky sky as we drove towards Portland...
Interesting...the sky seemed clearer as we crossed the bridge over the Columbia River into Oregon...

Portland...
We arrived at our destination, RV Glass Solutions, in Coburg, OR early in the afternoon. We checked them out in 2019 and had an appointment to have our windows replaced in March, 2020 but cancelled when the Canadian Dollar took a nose-dive and the COVID-19 pandemic took over the world. Although the dollar has dropped recently, we have decided to go ahead with some renos on our RV. Some may ask if it's worth putting $$ into an older rig (2010), but it has been well taken care of and we feel better built than those being pumped out of the factories now. Besides, we know it, what work has been done...and we just plain love the layout and all of the windows!

RV Glass Solutions have 3 electrical sites at the far end of the property available to customers where we are set up in the distance...
Monday (Oct. 17) morning we were up early and ready for the 7:45 check-in with RV Glass Solutions. The tech went through the rig, checking the work to be done and asked if anyone had checked the depth of the windows...apparently they don't do many 5th wheel windows which was a surprise. That gave us a bit of a scare because if they weren't a certain measurement, they wouldn't be able to do them. Turned out they were fine...Whew!!

After he had finished, we towed the trailer around and he directed Steve as he backed into a bay. We got unhitched...and left the trailer with them. 

Time for breakfast! So we went to Coburg Crossing Cafe, a family run spot located at the TA Travel Center just down the road. A great spot with great prices...no wonder the reviews are so good!

We can't check into the hotel until 4:00 p.m....what are we going to do until then? Well, we are booked in to have our flooring done next week at Countryside Interiors in Junction City, so we decided to drive there. We introduced ourselves to Levi whom we had been corresponding with regarding the floor and carpet colours...and saw the actual swatches. Of course, they look different in person than they do in pictures but we think they will work out fine...we hope!

It was another very smoky day...you could smell it in the air! Although we really wanted to go for a walk somewhere, we decided that wouldn't be a good idea and chose to walk inside a mall instead. We ended up at Valley River Center in Eugene. 

We used to be able to overnight in their back parking lot next to the Willamette River walkway and trails but they stopped allowing it a few years ago. The last time we were here there were people camping on site, not overnighting. The homelessness situation and bad overnighters continue to ruin it for everyone! 

As we were looking for a place to park we noticed Regal Cinemas. Steve said let's go watch a movie! There were only a couple of afternoon matinees and the only one that remotely interested us was 'Amsterdam', so we bought tickets for the 1:15 show. We had an hour or so to kill, so we did some mall-walking first. 

We found it amazing that there was such a huge store dedicated only to Halloween! Very cool!

We were in the Cinema (which has 15 theatres) just after 1:00...after I bought a small popcorn and a small pepsi for myself, which cost almost as much as the tickets for the 2 of us ($15 for 2 senior tickets....$14.28 for refreshments!) Crazy!

The movie was okay but I found it weird and didn't really care for it. Steve thought is was okay though. But what was really annoying was the fact that the movie was supposed to start at 1:15 but they had so many previews of other movies, that it wasn't until about a half hour later before it finally started!

This car in the parking lot was really getting into the Halloween spirit!
We arrived at the Best Western Grand Manor Hotel in Springfield shortly after 4:00 p.m. I was pleasantly surprised with our room ($115 a night) it is very  spacious with a sitting area and desk. Nice that there's not just the bed to sit on! Steve chilling with a glass of red wine (we'll have to pick up some beer tomorrow LOL) and watching TV...

At 6:00 we headed across the street to the Hop Valley Brewing Co (the sign is backwards in a selfie pic...haha!) for dinner...
A great spot with good food! and, of course a huge choice of brews! Our favourite...Robotoberfest...
The food was great too so we will definitely be returning here during our stay!

Tuesday (Oct. 18) was pretty much an inside day again...due to the smoke outside. But it allowed us to get some work done on our blog. We did go out to pick up a few groceries though. The hotel has a "free full breakfast" and with all of the money we will be spending, we certainly cannot afford to eat out all the time (drats!), but there is a small refrigerator and microwave in the room. We picked up a some microwavable dinners (and I snafued some paper plates and plastic cutlery from breakfast this morning). So we are all set with beer, wine and snacks too!

Wednesday (Oct. 19) morning we decided to get out for a walk to get some exercises before it got too smokey out. There is a Cabela's about a mile away so we made that our destination. After strolling through the store, we walked outside around the whole shopping complex and back to the hotel. Shortly after we got home, Steve looked out the window and noticed that the smoke was getting thicker again. Glad we got out when we did!

Late afternoon, we heard from Karie at RV Glass Solutions...the windows would be done tomorrow afternoon. Yay! 

Since we are picking up our trailer Thursday (Oct. 20) late afternoon, we checked out of the hotel at 11:00 a.m....so what do we do until our trailer is ready? Well, it was another very smokey day, so we decided to go back to Valley River Center in Eugene and be "mall walkers". We had a snack there and then decided we might as well go to RV Glass Solutions and wait the remaining couple of hours in their Customer Lounge.

We were watching TV in the lounge when a technician came to get us. The windows are done, but there has been a bit of an accident...our stomachs dropped....what?! He took us out to the trailer and it turns out one of the workers had decided to put the slides in (why, I don't know, when I'm sure they would know we would want to inspect the new windows). Anyway, the metal stand that holds our laundry bag had not been put back on the bed and had been caught as the bedroom slide came in, crunching the fascia board at the foot of the bed. 
They had someone come in and look at it and estimated it could take 3 hours and cost about $500 to repair, but it couldn't be done right away. As it turns out, we are now going to Countryside Interiors in Junction City to have new vinyl plank flooring and carpet installed. They also do cabinetry work so would be able to fix it and bill RV Glass Solutions...so not a big deal or inconvenience. We will return on Monday to pay for the windows after Countryside Interiors has a look at the bed and sends in their quote. We were impressed with the professionalism and friendliness of the staff and highly recommend this company. 

With rain in the forecast for tomorrow, we were happy when Levi at Countryside Interiors agreed to let us come into their lot tonight...for the work they are starting Monday. It was around 3:30 when we pulled into their lot. Levi met us and directed us where to park, against the side of their building. We leveled off, unhitched and set up...including 50 amp power...sweet!

Friday (Oct. 21) morning we were awake early. After a quick breakfast, we headed out to do laundry. We had that done, picked up some groceries and were back homed before 10:30! 

After putting everything away, we got out for a walk...and then chilled for the rest of the day. And walks and chilling were pretty much the way the rest of the weekend went.

This steam locomotive is Junction City's first train, it's now in Founders Park...

Saturday (Oct. 22) afternoon we walked a few blocks to the Beer Station. It's a rather unique spot in the old railroad station with food trucks outlining a big courtyard. It's located across the street from the train on display...
The huge outdoor area has a wood fire pit, stage, and food trailers along the side...
Another wood fire pit in the upper area...
Note the train tracks...

The train wasn't running today...
Cheers!
On our walk home, Steve took this picture of the Junction City Rooming House. We've only seen these on older TV shows...
Sunday (Oct. 23) morning we woke to a chilly start. It had rained a lot through the night...hopefully it will help with the smoke situation. 

We started packing our suitcases and finding places to put things "out of the way". Tomorrow we move out of the trailer and back into the same hotel for the week, so that Countryside Interiors can replace all of the flooring in the trailer. 

Monday (Oct. 24) we had our suitcases packed and in the truck...and everything inside "stowed away" so that they could work on replacing the flooring. It was shortly after 9:00 a.m. on a rainy day as we headed towards Eugene.

We decided to go to Costco and get our flu shots. They said it would be an hour wait, but it really wasn't that long and after paying our $49.99 each, we were done and on our way. Back in BC we could have gotten them for free but unfortunately they were not available before we left...came out just before, but we had no time to get them. Oh well, just glad to have gotten them.

Next, we drove to River Valley Mall...and lunch at BJ's Brewhouse. We had a great lunch...and then went into the mall for more "mall walking" to stay out of the rain. Since we couldn't check in to the  hotel until later...not much else to do!

We decided to head to the hotel at 3:00 and hope our room would be ready...it was and we are back in the same room we were in last week.

Of course, with Hop Valley Brewing right across the street, we partook in their 'Monday Madness' again...$3.50/pint! Again, the food was delicious, as was the beer...although we were very disappointed that they had run out of Robotoberfest!

The rest of the week was pretty uneventful as we try to fill our days. We had brought our Roku with us and were able to plug it into to the TV here and watch movies...which was great with cloudy, rainy days.

Wednesday (Oct. 26) for the first time since arriving in the area we had some sunshine and no smoke in the morning, so took the opportunity to finally get out for a walk at a local park. The Alton Baker Park is a huge green space along the Willamette River. Although there appeared to be lots of trails, we found the Pre's Trail and followed it for the most part...
There's running/walking/biking trails, fishing, dog park, and disc golf, something for everyone...


Blue Heron...
Another Blue Heron on the dock in the distance...

Steve was only 3 feet away and these ducks couldn't care less!

Paddle boarding the pond...

Ducks in the foreground and a fly fisher in the distance...

Canoe Canal...


We exited the park at the Autzen Stadium, home to the Oregon Ducks football team...
Thursday (Oct. 27) morning we went out to run a couple of errands. It was a clear, chilly start to the day but the mostly clear sky stayed all day, so after lunch we decided to get out for another walk. We went back to the park we were at yesterday and walked the other end of it. Such a beautiful day!

There are many beautiful waterfront homes along the Canoe Canal...
This end of the trail at the weir next to the highway was quite noisy... 
Steve had me hide my white vest as it's blinding in photos on a sunny day...

This is such a beautiful park! We walked almost 5 km/3miles.

For our happy hour this afternoon, we decided to walk across the street to Hop Valley Brewing for one last time. We enjoyed our brews and met a great couple who were sitting at a table beside us, Dave and Sherry (I think...it is either that or Shelly and I apologize if I got it wrong!)
Steve also spoke to Levi earlier this afternoon and confirmed the flooring will be all done by the end of day tomorrow. YAY!

Friday (Oct. 28) morning we packed up everything and checked out of the hotel at 11:00. We made a quick stop at Costco for a few things and then went to Valley River Center. We had some time to kill and it wasn't that nice out so we did a little "mall walking" again and had a snack.

Just before 2:30 we headed out to Junction City. The rig isn't supposed to be ready until the end of day which is 5:00 so we went to Safeway where I picked up a few more groceries for our travel days and fueled up the truck. Diesel has gone down a bit...$5.36/gallon but it was still a costly bill when you need damn near 80 gallons!

We arrived at Countryside RV Interiors at about 4:00. Levi was busy working inside the trailer...he said he would do his best to have it done by 5:00. So we left him alone.

Well, he managed to finish it up! We're so happy because we have 4 long travel days to get down to Yuma! He basically went above and beyond getting everything done, staying past 5:00...thanks Levi!
And Justin did a great job repairing and matching the hickory wood on our damaged bed!

While we waited, Steve took a couple of pictures inside Countryside Interiors. They have such beautiful quality RV furniture! We actually bought our 2 recliners from them years ago. We highly recommend this family operated business!

Then we started the exhaustive task of hauling everything that had been stored in the trailer basement and truck back into the trailer and making it livable.

We are very pleased with the work and the colours turned out great. First of all, here are some before pictures...



And now for the new! As you can tell, we are not fully set up...


Steve here...
We've been living in this unit fulltime since 2010 and just like a sticks and bricks home there comes a time when upgrades are necessary. They were expensive, especially with the current Canadian US exchange rate. When we made these arrangements the Canadian dollar was much higher and a substantial non refundable deposit was required for the flooring so there was no backing out. At least there's no state tax! I had researched RV windows and flooring in our area and there just didn't seem to be any company's that specialized in these services like they do here. 

We also have some changes in our future so we really wanted to get this work done. On our return to BC next April we will be parking the 5h wheel at a long term site in Courtenay on Vancouver Island. We'll give it a year to see if we like the campground. I lived in Courtenay for a year in 1967 and have lots of fond memories of the area. If you're active and into the outdoors there are so many more opportunities for skiing (we don't ski) camping, hiking, fishing, and riding from Courtenay north. And Earl and Allison are only 20 minutes down the road in Royston...bonus!

We'll be selling our beloved truck "Buster" and the quads. We want to get a small travel trailer, pickup truck, and a side x side so that we can get back to the type of camping we used to do. Out in the boonies on logging roads, camping and fishing lakes, rivers, and riding. It's just too hard to do this in many parts of BC when you're 63' long! This transition means that it will probably take some time for all the selling off and acquiring what we want, so we'll most likely be spending next season north of the border. 

By the time we return next spring it will be 13 years of full-timing and that has gone by in a flash! In another 13 years we will be 80...if we're lucky to live that long. So we want to change things up. We still plan on going south but for shorter periods, more local camping back home, and some international travel every couple of years.

Tomorrow we hit the road...finally! We'll be meeting up with Dave and Leslie for a month in Yuma then Quartzsite in December. It was tough being "in limbo" waiting for work on the rig to be done but glad it's all done! Now we will continue south on I-5.

12 comments:

  1. Your new carpet and floors looks awesome. Glad all the work was completed to your satisfaction. Looking forward to seeing it in Q :)

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    1. We are really happy with the outcome! See you in Q!

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  2. Exciting news! When Barb read me your headline on FB I said "They are probably selling their rig". Well, I was 1/2 right. I think you will love having a smaller rig to drive around in. You may miss some of the size, but I think you will find living in a smaller travel trailer just fine. Safe travels down south, we will miss you guys!

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    1. Another stage in life. Time will tell if we can handle living in a smaller rig but you guys as well as others have managed. Miss you guys as well and hope to get your way one day.

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  3. This is Dino and Lisa. Exciting new changes for sure. We will be looking forward to new adventures.

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  4. So much news! Now that you’ve driven some, how are the windows holding up? I love the new carpet and flooring. I like the idea of new and better/thicker carpeting. Looks great. I may be referencing back to this in a couple years. We hope to replace our furniture this year. I’m glad you’re a little ahead of us so you can do all the hard work for me đŸ˜˜. So you’ll be dropping you’re trailer on a lot. Will you be looking for land in the area to buy? Sure makes sense! Exciting news!

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    1. The windows seem fine with the travel and we love carpet and flooring. At this point, buying property isn't in the cards for us.

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  5. Glad your travels south has started as I have enjoyed your posts for years. Changes are always fun and exciting and I look forward to following along. Thanks for taking the time to share your life. John, www.RubysWindingRoad.com

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    1. Thanks for tagging along John! Checked out your blog and looks like you're living the dream too.

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  6. Great blog as usual Dianne and Steve. Steve, how much did it actually cost to redo the floors in USD? I have a 2006 MH that needs an upgrade soon and I would like to know how much to budget for it. Floor area would be different, I know, but it would give me an idea. I can do the USD/CDN conversion. So, looks like this season will your last travelling in the 5th wheel? Then parking it and using it as your permanent home (depending on how you like the Courtenay setup) and taking smaller trips mostly in BC inside a smaller trailer? Sounds like a good plan. Again, GREEN with envy at all of your travelling and I look forward to each "installment" of your blog! Cheers.

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    1. Thanks for tagging along! As every unit is unique it's best to contact Levi @ Countryside and he'll give you an estimate. We're looking forward to this next stage in our lives. Cheers!

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