Saturday, May 17, 2014

We like to stay busy

Odometer - resting for the summer
Trip Meter

Friday May 16, 2014

So many projects to do and so little time..

The weather is fabulous, and the lake is full- I like to slip out early in the morning and get in a good row before the wind comes up. 

We built a raised-bed garden box to try our hand at growing a vegetable garden.  It took us some time to find some topsoil to fill it.  A local sheep rancher sells composted straw and manure so most of the box is filled with that. 

We then had to build a cage over the top to keep the deer and other critters from eating everything. Jeff decided to use electrical conduit for the framework and standard poultry netting for the cage.
We used the little MIG welder for the first time since the pack-up and move from Medford, and of course, towards the end, ran out of shielding gas.

The results are, well, very cage-like.  The two front panels are on hinges to allow us to open up the entire front to do our weeding and- if we are fortunate enough- our harvesting.  I used zinc-rich paint on all the places I ground the galvanizing off to weld, but I still expect the coastal weather to pretty much destroy it in about 5- 7 years.

While our planter project was underway, Joan came to me and said she could hear water running in the house piping during times that she was quite sure we shouldn't be using any.  A quick check at the city water meter showed a leak of about 4/10 of a gallon per minute- yikes!   That's about 600 gallons a day, and our water is very expensive here.  

I crawled under the house to see if I could find the leak there, either in the crawl space or dripping from one of the walls above- nothing wet (thank goodness!)
Next, we decided to dig a series of holes to  A) find the route of the pipe from the meter to the house, and  B) to see if I could find a wet spot that would indicate that we were close to the leak.  After about 7 holes, Jeff had the serpentine route of the service line established, but did not have a wet hole.  We decided to take the pipe loose at the shut-off we installed last summer near the city meter, and hook up a garden hose to the house piping, just inside the foundation.  This would confirm that the leak was in the service line to the street, and would save us 600 gallons a day until we had the leak stopped.

And- It did work!  Thanks to Sharkbite (R) fittings the whole process took less than a hour.  If you have not heard of Sharkbite- it is the greatest invention since plumbing was invented.

Here is a picture of the fitting I used under the house to adapt the male hose end into the 3/4 copper water line.  I cut the line with a tubing cutter, cleaned the pipe with some very fine sand paper, and pushed the fitting into place on the end of the line- that simple and LEAK FREE !

A good friend and local contractor, said if it were up to him, he'd replace the line with plastic right now, rather than chase more leaks in the near future.  Copper, which is an aweome product for a water service, does not do well in the acidic coastal soils around this locale.

So, to sum it up, Joan and I dug the whole front yard up and laid PEX plastic piping over the 40 year old copper main line to the house.

Total cost, about $60 in pipe and fittings, and a bottle of Ibuprofen for our aching backs!

Thanks to Joan's efforts, the front yard looks beautiful and undisturbed again.

All's well, that end's well, and this is a pretty awesome ending to this day!

Your Traveling Friends,

Joan and Jeff

Sunday, May 4, 2014

The Summer Place

Odometer is resting
Trip Meter 2 mi

Thursday May 1st

Joan and I hopped into the little aluminum row boat and took a leisurely row west on the lake to the dune that separates the lake from the ocean.


After tying up the boat, we walked over the dune and sat in the warm sand and watched the waves come crashing in.

Look back over your shoulder and there is the lake...

Look straight ahead and there is the Pacific.. look to the north up the beach and you can just make out the Cape Blanco light house.  This is an awesome place we live in.

Friday, I helped Mike, a friend, and a fellow Rotarian, cut 3x10 lumber for raised planter boxes for the Port Orford Community Garden.  For my labors, Mike gave me some makings for a planter .

Joan and I are keen on finishing the fence that the previous owners had started, across the back (north) side of our lots.  
We purchased the posts last summer, but didn't have time to get them set before our trip south for the winter.   Now we have time- sooo...

In they go...  The locals put posts every 6 feet and anchor them in concrete to keep the wind from blowing the fence over- we are doing the same on our section. 

Your traveling friends,

Jeff and Joan


Odometer  39601
Trip Meter 192 miles

April 16, 2014

Heading to our Summer Place in Port Orford this morning, and the excitement is building.  Yep, we are still quite enthused about the little cottage we purchased and remodeled last summer.  We actually were still working on the house as we were making preparations to head south for the winter.  It was a little hard to tear ourselves away, as the house was looking just the way we wanted, and the weather last November was warm and sunny!

Today's trip is 192 miles, about 4 hours from our RV space here in Medford to Port Orford.

We have chosen to go up the freeway and over to the coast from Winston to Bandon.  Port Orford is 25 miles south of Bandon.  

The weather is perfect and the trip is very pleasant.  We stopped just outside of Camas Valley to make a quick "road lunch" of soup and sandwiches.  We also stopped in Bandon to fill the diesel tank, as the price of fuel is a little cheaper here ($3.83/ gal) than it will be further down the coast.  I always want to park the motorhome with the tank full to reduce condensation.

We arrived at our Summer Place at 2:00 in the afternoon, on a gorgeous day- what a nice welcome!

We unhooked and parked all the vehicles and started the first of many trips from the motorhome to the house with armfuls of food, clothing, and paraphernalia.   In retrospect I wish I'd been counting, because every time I thought there couldn't be one more thing we'd need out of the motorhome- off I'd go for reading glasses, or a computer cable, or the Sirius satellite receiver, or.. on and on.

As it turns out, we are home for the rest of Wednesday and Thursday before we leave Friday in the car to head for Salem, Oregon, to share Easter with Jeff's mom and brothers.

Jeff decides that it would be fun to go up the coast and head over to Salem at Lincoln City, rather than the much faster route, heading over to Interstate 5 at Reedsport and taking the 5 from Cottage Grove to Salem.  For the first part of the trip is was more pleasant (I really don't like freeways unless I have to be somewhere fast).

We ran into a construction zone north of Florence and as we were sitting in the line of cars behind the flagger we looked to our left to see this scene!  How cool is that!  We are at the best picture point for Heceta Head Lighthouse- normally you would not be able to stop here without causing a wreck, on the two lane blacktop with virtually no shoulder.

  Once we got to Newport, Hwy 101 got much more crowded.  Highway 101 through Oregon (Cal and Washington too for that matter) is a two lane road with a few passing zones.  If you get behind a slow car (and you will) it is a long wait to get to a passing lane.  It's what is known as "the coast crawl".  The 20 miles of Hwy 101 from Lincoln City to Newport is called the "20 Miracle Miles", because the road stays close to the beach and the scenery is out-of-this-world spectacular. The north coast of Oregon has a lot of small towns and they are really close together, and the posted speed drops to 35 for each one.  I am normally a very patient man, but by the time we got to our turn off at Lincoln City- I'd had enough of this traffic.  Former Governor Hatfield was not too far off when he described this stretch of road in 1965 as the "20 miserable miles".  The final straw is Lincoln City.  Lincoln City is the incorporation of 5 smaller towns which once independent, had grown together into one seven mile stretch of "town" the whole 7 miles is heavy traffic and speeds reaching 25 miles per hour on a good day.   I'm actually being facetious here, the coast is beautiful, we just prefer the slower pace of the south coast.

The trip east into Salem on Hwy 22 is another 2 lane with a few passing lanes- so patience is a virtue.

We arrived in Salem at about 3PM and dropped in at Hot Stuff Spas and Pools, the store my brother and sister-in-law own, just to say hi then went to visit mom at her apartment a few blocks away.

Our stay in Salem was very pleasant, Thane and Kathy always go out of their way to make sure we are well taken care of.  Kathy put on a grand feast for Easter, and our whole extended family except sister Phebe were there.

Monday April 21st, we headed back home to Port Orford, the day was cloudy and it looked like rain would be a possibility.

I have been looking for a small aluminum row boat to use during the summer on Garrison Lake (across the street from our house) while I effect repairs to the wooden boat that I had on the lake last year.  I was surfing on Craigslist while Joan was driving- and I found what looked to be a good deal on a boat in Coos Bay.  I talked Joan into the small side trip, and called the owners to make an appointment to see it.  The boat was a little rough- but we agreed on a price that was commensurate and we rigged it atop the Honda for the 50 mile trip home.

The promised rains had finally arrived by the time we got home and we put the boat in the garage for a little refittment. 

Tuesday I did a thorough once-over on the new boat and determined that I could massage out most of the big dents and the rotted transom had to be replaced.

I laminated two pieces of 1/2 exterior plywood and coated it all with fiberglass resin.  I used stainless steel carriage bolts to reinstall the transom, where the original had 1/4" aluminum rivets..
Next posting, I'll let you know how it works out in the water.

Your Traveling Friends

Jeff and Joan