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  • Writer's pictureInger and Jeff Latreille


~Tuesday, October 18, 2022~

Day 856 (Travel Day)

It’s never pleasant listening to the sound of trees being cut down, especially when it rouses you from a deep sleep. Since Washington is the second-largest producer of lumber in the U.S., it’s a common sound and sight for sure with logging trucks around every turn. As I could hear one after the other being toppled to the ground, it made me appreciate the effort it took for these trees to get to their mature size, only to be toppled in a matter of minutes. It also forces a heightened awareness about our own impact on the climate, and how we could do better to conserve. Maybe being so connected to nature day in and day out as we are, makes us more sensitive to the issue. Take paper towels for instance. We use a ton (not literally, but close). With no dishwasher or garbage disposal in the rig, we seem to go through a roll every 3 or 4 days. Maybe a spatula or food scraper would be a better alternative. But I’d also like to give ourselves a little credit, having adjusted in other areas very well….living with less and using less (except for paper towels!) And it really hasn’t been that hard to change our habits. I just hope we carry on the same way once we buy a home. I really believe that if all of us work individually, we can collectively make a positive impact on our planet. Circling back to those trees being cut down this morning…..let’s just hope that for every tree that’s taken from the landscape, a new one is planted in its place. They do help slow our global warming after all. O.k. enough of my soapbox lecture of trying to save our planet. 🌎❤️

A little bit of morning dew resting on the truck made finishing my wax job a little challenging. But seeing the finished product (at least on the outside), made me wish that I’d cleaned the truck way sooner. What a difference! Even our neighbors Rod and Ray couldn’t help but notice and comment on the transformation and couldn’t resist the temptation to ask if they could be next in line. About ready to head out, we thanked both of them for their warm hospitality in giving us a nice, quiet place to stay while touring Mount St. Helens. Maybe we’ll be back someday.

With our 240-mile day, we knew somewhere along the way we’d encounter more smoke. In fact, some areas near Portland had an AQI between 400-500……some of the worst we’ve seen. But as we moved a little east of there, there were clear enough skies to see Oregon’s tallest peak….Mount Hood at 11,249 feet.

This was about where the truck turned over 75,000 miles, and said goodbye to its extended warranty. We’re crossing our fingers that Hank continues to stay healthy! It’s hard to believe in 2-½ years, we’ve put that many miles on it.

Getting closer to Bend, the smoke returned, although nothing as bad as Portland’s. The last time Jeff and I were in Bend was during our dating years in the late 80’s, staying at SunRiver Lodge and skiing Mount Bachelor. I’d say we’re way overdue for another visit. We passed the famous Deschutes River, learning of its 252 mile-long journey. Since this river runs through the heart of Bend, OR, I’m sure we’ll be seeing it up close and personal as we tour the urban heart of Central Oregon.

We had planned on staying a few nights at a dispersed camping area on a forest road near Bend. (National Forest Service). When we initially turned onto the dirt road, there were quite a number of campers, mostly vans, Class C’s or tents. Jeff had read that the better sites were about a mile in, so we continued further. There were far fewer campers, far fewer choices and a rougher road the further we went in. Underwhelmed by the scraggly looking forest and having to drive in so far, I suggested we scrap this idea. It didn’t take more than a minute for Jeff to agree. Four miles in, we finally found a spot wide enough to turn around. The road was pretty rough, not to mention all the dust it was kicking up on our newly cleaned vehicles. So as not to damage the trailer, we stuck to a slow 20 mph speed. But by the time we were back on the main road, it was already nearly dark and not a Plan B to be had. We found a spot to pull over to do a little research to find slim pickings. The state campgrounds won’t allow rigs our size, plus all the RV parks at least this time of day, were not taking same day reservations. Time to look outside Bend. With hope and a prayer, we scored on reaching someone at an Expo Center RV Park about 25 minutes north of Bend in a town called Redmond, right next to a municipal airport. I spoke with Rob around 7:30 p.m., shocked that we got a hold of anyone. Closing time was 8:00, so we were very lucky. We certainly weren’t expecting to be on the road as long as we were today. They had space. What a welcome site to find something so clean, quiet and comfortable. We only paid for 1 night, not really knowing what our plans were at that point, but manager Rob made sure to offer us a site that was free for 2 nights in case we decided to extend our stay. He also offered a pull-thru site which, in the dark, was soooo helpful. We weren’t expecting to spend $50/night but must say after our long day, that having full hookups was a pleasant scenario.

Now for some grub. Yep….tonight was the speedy convenience of fast food and not something we do very often. For me, it was Panda Express….for Jeff…..McDonalds. But it was food and having it rarely wouldn’t kill us. Nice to be in a safe spot and that everything worked out in the end.

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