Greetings from Bend, OR! We’re getting this week’s edition out a bit late as we spent all day yesterday running around and then driving from Portland to Bend, pulling into town just before midnight. We hate getting these out on Wednesdays, as we know you’re all waiting to hear from us with bated breath.
Week 49 was our last full week in an RV park for a while as we intend to spend the next month on the road. We’ll be in Bend for a couple of days, then Boise, ID, then Salt Lake City and Moab for a week or so where we’ll be visiting Arches National Park. That’ll bring us closer to our early May destination of Breckenridge, CO where Heather will be officiating the wedding of one of her closest friends.
As we finished up our final week in Portland, we continued with the productivity and working time that we strive to focus on when we’re comfortably parked at an RV park. Most of our weekdays were spent in work mode, but we also did want to get a little bit of sightseeing in alongside our swim, bike, run training over the weekend.
We did have to make one run to downtown on Wednesday so we figured while we were there, we should get in a quick stop at the original VooDoo donuts, neither of us had actually been to this location yet. Going on a weekday afternoon was far better than going on a weekend, as there was only a short line compared with what it looked like on Saturday. But when you bite into the fresh, chewy donuts smothered in frosting and caked in toppings, you get why people line up for them.
On Saturday we had arranged to meet up with the new friend we had met at the YMCA the week prior. And lucky for us, it was by far the nicest day of the week, and maybe the month! We set out around noon to meet her on the Vancouver side of the water where she had a bike route selected for us. Actually, it’s the route used by the local cycling club up there so the entire route is marked on the road, making it extremely easy to navigate the 35 mile loop
through neighborhoods and around a beautiful lake. The roads were well-maintained, the bike lanes were wide, and there wasn’t a lot of traffic on the route, making it a peaceful and stress-free ride. It was a lot of fun and the weather made it all that much more enjoyable! Tanya was great too; she’s been living in Vancouver for about 3 years now and just started plugging into cycling and triathlon groups last year so she had a lot of tips for us to do the same once we’re up here full time. She sent us a bunch of local events and the contact information for the local groups and clubs, an awesome start for us and especially for Jim as he looks to build a business up here! We made it back to Bertha around 5:00 that evening after completing a 45 mile loop and stopping to make some repairs to Tanya’s bike. We felt great, and even better after some showers and delicious take-out Thai food from up the street. Ahhh life is good.
The following day, Sunday, was also expected to be rain free, although not as gloriously sunny and warm. We decided to head out for a long-ish run that would drop us in downtown Portland, about 6 and a half miles from our RV Park. We ran through some adorable neighborhoods on the way, alongside the Moda Center, and over the Willamette Bridge to the Stumptown coffee shop. Stumptown is well-known as some of the best coffee in Portland, and even the country, so of course we had to visit the shop at some point during our stay, though we did feel a little bad showing up all sweaty for our coffees and bran muffin.
After sipping on some fresh cold brews, we made our way down the street to the Saturday market, a funny name given that it takes place on both Saturday and Sunday. But the market takes up a few city blocks alongside the river and it’s awesome – row after row and booth after booth of handmade crafts, eclectic gifts, flavorful food options (we settled on pizza), and even some live music. We wandered around the area for a bit after finishing our pizza and somehow left there empty handed. Rather than run back, we again chose to take the bus back to Bertha, feeling pleased that we were able to get a little sightseeing in after our run.
Once we got back to Bertha, the not-so-fun aspects of preparing for departure from the RV park began. Realizing that we were scheduled to pull out the next morning, Jim had the foresight to make sure that Bertha started, since we’ve been having non-stop battery issues for a while now. And sure enough, she didn’t. Thus began the long process of taking the car battery to AutoZone to have it tested. After leaving it there for an hour and then returning to check the status, Jim discovered the employees never put it on the charger, meaning he had to wait there for another hour. At the end of that, they did end up giving us a new battery since it didn’t test well and we still had time on our 2 year warranty. Jim also had to replace the starter solenoid since it seemed that might be part of the reason for the battery draining as quickly as it was. Meanwhile, Heather was getting Bertha all cleaned up and storing our large items that only make it out during long-term stays, like the hammock and the digital piano. Finally, after a long day of running, sight-seeing, and Bertha prep, we finally got out of our sweaty clothes and into our last long showers for a while.
The next morning was really easy for our departure, we had almost everything done and pulled Bertha away from her spot at just about noon. That lead to the discovery that our house batteries weren’t working, AT ALL. We couldn’t even run water because there wasn’t enough power to run the water pump. So clearly we can’t live like that and this lead us to spending most of the remainder of the day in an AutoZone parking lot. We had to have the house batteries tested and Jim replaced the other solenoid. Sigh, and today most of this was taking place in the rain. But eventually, we got the house batteries charged to full power and it appeared that Bertha was up and running again…for now.
Yesterday morning, Heather went to get her hair done (what a treat) in preparation for the upcoming wedding while Jim got some work done. It was a beautiful, sunny Portland day when Heather went in for her 10:30 appointment, but when she came out it was hailing, a lot! Good to know what we have to look forward to! We drove out of Portland just about 30 minutes to Gresham, where Heather got the laundry done while Jim went for a nice long run. We then showered up and hit the road for Bend, stopping at the base of Mount Hood to fly the drone and get some gorgeous aerial footage of the snow, the trees, and the sunset. We made one more stop in a casino parking lot on the way to make some dinner before arriving late in the evening to a Lowe’s parking lot on the north side of Bend.
To see the aerial footage of the drone flying over Mount Hood Skibowl, click the link below.
We’re looking to exploring the area over the next few days as we’ve heard nothing but good things about this city. Stay with us as our adventures on the road continue in the coming weeks!
Total RV Trip Miles: 15,448