The Big Chill

This post was intended to go out yesterday (Tuesday) but the internet froze.

We’ve been enjoying Portland Oregon for the last 4 days, visiting with Cousins Sue and Larry and at last finding GELATO! While the weather had been dreary on our visit to Oregon with lots of wind and rain, there had also been some beautiful days.
For instance, the day we arrived it rained and was a little chilly but when we found the Gelato and Yogurt Lounge I completely forgot the outside weather. That wonderful Italian treat (my favorite Italian food and word) has a very different cold to it than the cold I get from a rainy day. And then, on Saturday, we took a nice long walk to Portland downtown and had lunch, then visited Powell’s Books (what a GIGANTIC place!), then had a nice return walk. While it was brisk, the sun shone and town wasn’t crowded so a good time was had by all. We were surprised by the abundance of “food carts”, just trailers turned into small walk-up restaurants really. They have proliferated greatly over the last 2 years, sort of starting in parking lots surrounding Oregon State and making their way to many of the parking lots downtown that find themselves “roomy” from our economy.
So, we’re packing this morning to drive up to Seattle for our family Thanksgiving and it’s my job to police the outside of the rig. I got good advice from Wendy yesterday to pack up as much as possible, especially since it was predicted to hard-freeze overnight. So I dumped tanks and stowed the sewer hose, and turned on the pump so I could drain and disconnect the shore-water hose and stow it as well. A darn good thing! THIS is NOT what you want to see when you open the door in the morning and head down the steps to outside!

The Big Chill greets me in the morning

It’s a good thing that some fresh snow really perks up a landscape scene. This is us parked at Jantzen Beach RV Park, right across the street from some HUGE shopping, the Jantzen Beach Center. It’s on Hayden Island in the middle of the Colombia River, and also just a literal stones throw from Vancouver, Washington. There isn’t a sales tax in Oregon, but there is a pretty hefty one in WA, up to 9.1%. Sales tax is Washington’s principal source of income since they don’t have an income tax. In Oregon, there IS an income tax, and the property taxes are also quite high, but no sales tax. So, Washingtonian’s from the southern part of the state make their way to shop in Jantzen Beach. It’s not really legal to buy here and take there, but there isn’t any money for enforcement so it’s the honor system for WA residents to pay their own sales tax. I’m guessing in these parts, on this issue, there is also a pretty short supply of honor.

Jantzen Beach RV in Portland Oregon

Yes, Virginia, those ARE icicles on the outside of the rig!

Yes, it snowed. Yes it was 25F all night. Yes everything froze. It was tough stowing everything for the departure, but it all happened and no fingers fell off from frostbite. So we got it all together and hit the road.

Now, THIS is the part that was to be added today, Wednesday, so I’ll happily add it here to it’s belated sibling.

Our drive was pretty uneventful. The interstate had been deiced, so our only challenge was the surface streets we took to GET to the freeway. No big deal there, just very slow and easy. The day warmed up a tad while we drove and this is what actually became our only problem. With the deicing chemicals and a little sunshine on the asphalt, the snow melted into a slush so that any truck or car that passed us sprayed our windshield, requiring frequent squirts of the windshield washers to clear our vision. Which worked for about 5 seconds until our windshield washers also froze. It’s just fluid inside of a tiny rubber tube after all, and with the temps in the 20’s it doesn’t take much to plug them up. So we had to make 2 rest stops to pour some hot water into the washer reservoir and onto the windshield so we could clear it up. As long as we spritzed every couple of minutes the washers would stay clear, at least until a sizeable ice berg built up on the edges of the wiper blades and rendered them useless for vision assist. Another rest stop, more hot water, presto. The drive took 3 hours and when we got to Kent we had a lovely pull-through spot waiting for us.

Our big challenge on arrival was ensuring a running water supply. Our internal supply was OK, it’s got a heating pad installed on it that runs off of our 12V system. But the pump, which sits against the outside skin of the rig, froze up when there were no heaters on inside during the drive. Luckily, we had ordered a “heat tape” online and had it shipped to Julie & Glenn here in Kent. So, they dropped it by and we used electrical tape to pair it to a 25’ water hose, then covered all that with split foam pipe insulation. Hook it to the faucet and the rig, wrap the excess heat tape around the faucet, turn it on and Voila!, running water. It works great!

All is well this morning, but we will be off to the auto parts store to get a gallon of anti-freeze windshield washer fluid!

Oh yeah, as always here’s Tippy!

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About W&W Mudd

Once retired from high tech and education, Wendy and Warren now retired from fulltime RV-ing and have taken the leap to boating. Oh yeah, and then there's that un-retired and managing Peoples Storage in Kenmore WA thing.
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