Coos Bay, Oregon

At Klamath Lake, since we were right on the river, there wasn’t a sewer hookup on that row of campsites, requiring us to drive over to a dump site closer to the office at 7:30 in the morning.    The not so good part of the morning was that the airbags didn’t fill up, which makes for an interesting ride.   Pretty bumpy driving that few hundred feet on what looked like a smooth gravel driveway.  By the time we finished dumping, the bags filled up, thank goodness!  So I knew I would need to find someone in Coos Bay to help me troubleshoot what was happening.

We took Oregon Highway 138 west off US 97 toward Roseburg, Oregon.  It wasn’t listed in the Trucking Road Map book, so the night before I used to “drive” it from my laptop.   It looked fine and it was.   The most interesting part was it was all downhill,  about 90 miles of downhill; so the Jake brake got quite a workout,  four and a half hours with lots of 25-35 MPH corners to navigate after downhill straightaways.

We made it to Coos Bay in the early afternoon.  The rally folks lead us to a spot very close to the 101,  with three RVs between us and the highway.   Those logging trucks start really early in the morning and they don’t appear to require working mufflers.    We booked a spot with 30amp electric, but no water or sewer; so we arrived with empty grey/black tanks and full fresh water tanks for the Tuesday thru Sunday gathering.

The afternoon we arrived, we were booked on the harbor tour, which turned out to be a small fishing boat.    It was a nice cruise around the bay, but the tour guide was probably  19 years old and had no knowledge of Coos Bay at all, although he did seem to know about rock fish…  What I noticed about the bay was lots of tugboats,  from very small to very large.   I have no idea why they need so many as I only saw one ship arrive during the 6 days we were there.  It was a freighter that loads sawdust for shipment to Japan to make paper products.   There was the largest pile of sawdust I’ve ever seen right on the side of the 101 a couple of blocks from The Mill Casino,  where the rally was being held.

We were attending an Family Motor Coach Association rally, the first we had been to.   I think I now know why they opened up the organization to trailers.   Most of the folks, about 90+ percent at the rally, were very old, late 70’s, early 80’s.   And from what I gathered from the speeches, the rally attendance has been dropping dramatically over the last few years.    I didn’t see anyone there that appeared to be much younger than me, which was kind of odd to me.

The FCOC rally we went to in Tucson was probably 40% very old folks, a lot of folks my age.    It will be interesting to see what the Escapee’s rally will look like this fall, or even the 49er’s rally in Death Valley this winter if we go.

The casino was a very nice facility, except we had to walk thru it to get to the meeting rooms and it was a pretty smokey place.   Living in SoCal has really increased my intolerance for smoke-filled rooms.     There were a few good seminars, but to me, most were given by vendors hawking products for you to purchase while you were there.   I was hoping for them to be more instructional about our coaches.   I wasn’t really looking for infomercials, although a few were helpful.

Now that I think back, there were a few of those at the FCOC rally too.

The second day we were onsite, I had a mechanic from a local RV/truck shop stop by to look at the air leveling system, and of course it worked perfectly then.   After him poking around underneath, he thought the right front air leveling valve seemed way to easy to make it leak air with even the slightest touch.   I had him replace it, and of course after the fix, the coach also worked perfectly again.

The next morning I had one of the vendors do a suspension inspection.  Par for the course, it took some time to air up.  It finally did and he was able to proceed and found nothing wrong.   He did have some suggestions:   new shocks, an extra rear sway bar, and to put in those small in-line air restriction devices to slow the movement of air into and out of the air bags.  All things I will probably do prior to heading for Alaska next year.

We signed up for the wine walk and to my surprise there were no wineries involved.   Our first stop was a brewery (so I could have a beer!), then a museum, then across the street to a used clothing/musical instrument store.   Eventually we toured a democratic candidate’s HQ (their name and seat they were running for escapes me), and after that we went over to a mattress store, and then into a small hole-in-the-wall  live theater pretty much across the street from the Egyptian Theater where a young buck was going to sing like Frank that evening.  When we went in there, I had no idea what the place was.   Prior to there we had also perused an appliance store pouring wine.  Each place had a couple of wine offerings and I figured they hoped you would buy something while you were there.   None of the washer/dryers looked like they would fit into my coach.

While at the brewery, we hooked up with two couples: Tami and Scott along with Bob and Susan.    Turns out Tami and Scott were from Carlsbad,  very close to home for us.    They retired, sold their house and took to the road in a 37′ foot motorhome.   Something I aspire to do!

After the walk we all headed for dinner in the casino for burgers.    We were hungry after that many servings of wine and very little in the way of appetizers!

On Saturday we went to a few more seminars and then met for dinner Saturday night at the big tent.  The highlight of that last evening was the Foxes won the table centerpiece which consisted of a small slab cut from a tree complete with the bark and an old circular saw blade mounted vertically on it.  An odd prize to give us as we would have to carry it around in a moving vehicle.  The blades were sharp!!

And I just had to include this picture.   It’s got to be the most odd thing we’ve seen in our travels.   That’s a cat in what looks to be a modified birdcage bolted to the side of an RV parked in the RV campground on The Mill Casino’s property. It even has a cat door so he can get back inside the RV.   That was a first.

Scott showed me some mods to their moving house to channel roof water away from the windshield and front side windows.   I will be making that mod to our rig soon.   That was an awesome idea .   Also his slide wiper gasket flippers were a cool idea too.  I liked them so much I went out Saturday morning and picked up a piece of door molding, tried it on one of my slide gaskets that wasn’t flipping over correctly to seal out the elements, and at our next stop it worked like a charm.   Now I have to find more of that molding!   And I added the gutter material to my Amazon wish list.

We exchanged cards so we can keep in touch, and on Sunday morning we headed north toward Salem, Oregon, for an attempt to have our BlueOx towbar serviced at a large Airstream Rally.