We left Washington state and drove right past Mt. Rainier and Mount St. Helens. Winter was approaching. The campgrounds were starting to close for the season and Eliza (who still hates riding in her car seat) was ready to slow down and take a long break so we headed into Oregon. We’ll come back some day Washington!
I was corrected several times: Its Ore-gon not Oreg-in. Whoops. Either way its a beautiful state. Our first stop was right outside Mt. Hood. We stayed at Mt. Hood RV Village Resort. We arrived at a weird time when the area was between seasons and a lot of things were closed but would re-open when winter/snow came. At least the campground had a pool. We also had the good fortune to meet up with 2 other fulltime families. We enjoyed a barbecue dinner and some fun social time. Eloise even made a fast friend with another little 5 year old who we will meet again at a rally in a few months. We explored the famous Timberline Lodge and Kevin mountain biked down part of Mt. Hood.
Our second stop was Portland. We stayed at Portland Fairview RV park right outside Portland. We enjoyed using it as a home base for exploring Portland. The weather was typical Oregon rain for half of our stay so we planned to tour around Portland on the weekend when the sun was coming out. Unfortunately Eloise came down with some viral illness and our plans were put on hold until she felt better. We were able to visit the Portland Zoo, shopped at Ikea (of course), took a family bike ride, and dined at a few family friendly restaurants (there were a few with dedicated play areas which was an interesting idea). We had fun in Portland; it was relaxed and we’ll have to go back again some day.
Our third stop was Florence. It’s a little town on the coast and it was quite picturesque. We were there just about 3 weeks and really got to make friends with other families and explore the area. We visited the coast several times and it was beautiful and very different from the rocky coast of Maine. Brown sand beaches with steep wooded cliffs. We were finally taking time to smell the roses and enjoy family time. Things in our camper were working well and we had detailed plans for exploring down the coast of California over the coming weeks. We were comfortable. So of course it all goes to hell in a handbasket. First the rain came. We figured it was no big deal. We’d been in rain before. Then the slide seal started to leak. It had leaked before several times; repaired twice. This time was worse. Much more water; much larger area. Fun. Still no big deal; we could get over that. Then water started dripping from the ceiling in our bathroom. That was new and not cool. Kevin heads to the roof: finds 2 sections where water has puddled under the rubber membrane. This was bad. Very bad. The icing on the cake was the water damage we found the next day de-laminating the side of the camper near the roof. Adding all of these issues to our known cracked frame and we were in a panic. Kevin contacted his liaison at Keystone and they agreed that the camper was in rough shape and verbally agreed to a replacement unit. Then the back pedaling came and they decided to send a technician out to check the camper. The technician took photos in an attempt by the manufacturer to claim we had altered the rig so to cause all of these issues. Crazy talk.
What happened next? Did Kevin’s mind explode brainy bits all over our walls in a fit of rage and exasperation? I’ll fill you in on the next chapter!