Week in Oregon Feb 17 - 25, 2002

Part of the reward at work was a full week off in February so we made arrangements for some things to do with the motorhome during that week.  We wanted to get the Honda CRV setup for towing and we wanted to get some warranty work done, so we contacted our selling dealer in Bend, OR and arranged them both.  We also contacted RV Driving School, http://www.rvschool.com/, to see if we could schedule driving lessons in Albany, OR later in the same week.  Luckily the weather mostly cooperated, even if it was winter.

To get the car and motorhome to Bend we needed to both drive the vehicles so we kept our two-way radios handy and took off.  Mara stayed home and a friend checked on her daily, we didn't know what to do with her while both the car and motorhome were unavailable.  We pulled into Columbia Riverfront Campground in Woodland, WA and hooked up at a campground for the first time.  Here is our first campsite and the view from the campground. 

In the morning one of the jacks would not come up, so we got some help from the manager and were on our way with another item for our dealer.  We decided this campground was a keeper, it was fun to watch the ships sail on the river.  Diane got to drive the motorhome over the pass by Mount Hood in Oregon, it was slushy but doable.  We were very glad to make the campground in Bend, OR.  It was cold that night and we were due at the dealer at 8AM, we made it.  They set the car up for towing, fixed what they could, but they couldn't make the jack mess up.  They supplied a car we could drive during the day, so we explored the area including the High Desert Museum but forgot the camera in the motorhome.  One part needed to be overnighted so we didn't leave until noon the next day after staying the night in their yard.  We did manage to have another nice dinner at the Pine Tavern the night before we took the motorhome in, it is such a good place.

Since it had flirted with snowing we decided to go to the Columbia Gorge and make our way west that way instead of braving a mountain pass again.  We drove to the next town north of Bend to get gas and quickly learned that you have to plan your entry and exits with a tow car attached, you can't back up.  We got to practice our new procedure of unhooking and hooking up the car so we could back the motorhome out of the gas station.  Then we headed north and down to the Columbia River where Diane took over driving.  As we headed into the sunset we hit construction, so Diane got the experience of driving on narrow roads the first time she towed the car.   We were really looking forward to the driving lessons.  We found a campground and had to go up a narrow and steep road to get to it, another first experience.

The next day Bill drove and we tried a different route from the campground, it wasn't steep but there were many narrow spots.  We made it through Portland and stopped at Camping World to pick up some accessories we decided were important and took this picture showing the car being towed:

Then we pulled into Blue Ox RV Park in Albany, OR, where the instructor, John K. Ward, said to camp.  We called him up to tell him our campsite number and he told us he would be there in the morning.  Here is the motorhome ready for lessons:

Here are the changes to the front of the CRV for towing, they are hard to see:

We had two days of lessons and it helped immensely, we highly recommend RV Driving School.  We were much more confident on our journey home to Woodinville and for the trips we took from then on.  While in Albany we tried Novak's Hungarian Restaurant and can recommend it to anyone in town.

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