Wednesday, August 21, 2013

The Randomness of Life and PZT

We woke up in Missoula to smokey skies......the remnant of a forest fire whose life had been extinguished the evening before.  All of the smoke appeared to be sitting between us and Coeur d'Alene, ID, our destination for the day.  Our Jello plan was to get an early start to get our 170 miles done before the heat of the day....there would be several passes to climb up and then slide down, and heat is always a concern for an older Detroit Diesel 2 stroke......let's be is a concern, but if you manage it properly that is all that remains at the end of the unfulfilled concern.  We strive for uneventful as we roll the wheels of our home along the highways and bi-ways of our country, and 99.9% of the time it is just that.  Tuesday was no different.......just in case you thought I was building to something to be concerned about.

We departed the Fairgrounds around 9 am, and within 8-10 minutes were merging on to I-90 westbound listening to the sweet rumble of our 6V92 Detroit Diesel bouncing off the center divider wall.  As I do most days when we have been on the road for a few minutes, I turned to TLE and said "it is good to be moving down the road again", to which she sweetly replies "Yeah!".

Between Missoula and Lookout Pass I-90 crosses one of my favorite North American rivers numerous times.....The Clark Fork River!  TLE snapped this picture as we crossed it for the umpteenth time.

Soon we were chugging over Lookout Pass at 4,700+ feet after climbing some 1,600 feet in a pretty short distance......all the while the engine, oil and tranny temps stayed just under 199, which is very good.   I spent a lot of time in 3rd gear on the multiple climbs running very close to redline.......redline on the 6V92 is 2100 rpm's and we were right around 2,000.  High rpm's keeps the radiator fan spinning very fast, and, therefore, moving more air across the radiator fins, thus keeping the temperature under control.

The rest area just before the top of Fourth of July Pass

We took advantage of a few rest areas as is our habit giving the 6v92 a chance to cool down, and us a chance to walk around.  We get kidded a lot about how often we stop, but I am convinced that sitting for long periods of time is not good for anyone, let alone us older folk.  A friend who is just 50 years old recently was diagnosed with blood clots on his lungs, and part of the theory is that sitting for long stretches of time was one of the contributing factors. It's nice know we are doing the right thing, if not totally by accident.

Originally our plan was to arrive at my sister's home in Spokane,  and park the coach in her driveway as we have done twice before, for the 4 weeks we would be in town.  Unfortunately their house is up for sale, and needless to say, having a large RV and trailer parked in front of it subtracts a little from the curb appeal.  As a result I had been checking RV parks in the area, as well as dry camping opportunities, the latter would involve us moving every few days, and that is not desirable.  The RV parks we had looked at were very pricey, or too small for our length.  I finally found a small park right on the Spokane River that had availability, seemed to have a reasonable daily and weekly price, and a place for us to drop our trailer.  We were thinking about staying at least a week there and then trying to figure out where else to go.  I had called the park about 5 days ago to confirm they had space, and said we would probably give them a try.

We arrived at River Walk RV Park around 12:30, found a place to park temporarily, and walked over to the office, which was closed.  There was a sign on the door saying the daily price had gone from $35 to $40, and the weekly up to $240.....hmmmm.  There was a number to call, so I did and got a hold of the manager, who said he would be right down.  Well, with the increase in rates I was definitely thinking we would be here no more than a week.  Randy arrived in short order and showed me where I could drop the trailer, so while I did that TLE went into the office to fill out the paperwork, and pay for the week.  As she walked away I told her to find out, just out of curiosity, what the monthly rate was....sometimes you can get a great monthly deal, but you have to ask.

Just as I was finishing up dropping the trailer she came walking back and said that even though it is still the summer season (12 days left) Randy had agreed to charge us the monthly "winter" rate of $470......say what?!  That's like $117.50 a week!  How could we turn that down?  Well, TLE had already anticipated my response, and had paid for the month.  It just proves what I always say....if you have a difficult negotiation send in the smart, good looking blonde.......and it doesn't hurt to have Miss Serendipity standing somewhere off in the shadows influencing the outcome.  

So, we arrived totally unsure of our Jello plan, only knowing we wanted to be in the area for 4 weeks, and the Jello firmed up and presented us with a plan we could not refuse.  How perfect is this?  We will not have to move at all, and can just commute the 25-30 miles over to Spokane to see my sister and Mom, while we sit here on the Spokane River within a mile of the Lake Resort, and about 100 yards from the Centennial Bike Path.

Just beyond those trees is the bike path into the Lake Resort

Just beyond that bridge is Lake Coeur d'Alene!

On top of all this we remembered we are now in the Pacific Time Zone where we have not been since September of last year....almost one year to the day.....and that means Prime Time television now starts at 8 pm again.....yay!!  Of course being in the PZT means we are now several time zones away from many good friends (Krash and Karen, are your ears burning?), and from the wonderful community of Cedar Key and all of our friends there....we will return to the eastern regions of our great country, but not for a couple of years.....until then we will miss you all so much!

We drove into Spokane to have dinner with my sister and family around 5:15 pm.  We had a lovely time eating steaks and salad out on the deck as the sun set, and the full moon rose.  Tomorrow I'll head back in to visit my Mother....if she is available (Mom, if you're reading this, let's have lunch....okay?), and get some of the stuff we left in storage at my sister's home ready to sell on Craigslist, and Ebay.

Thanks for stopping by!

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