The Distance: 1,231 miles, one of our less aggressive months, but the eight day stay at Coach Maintenance for the Jake Brake install and the extended stay in Portland slowed our roll a bit. Total distance for the year: 7,787 miles. At the beginning of the journey I had guessed that our full circuit of the country would be about 15,000 miles, but given our plans for the next few months I think we will end up well over that by the time we finish 2015.
The Places: After finally getting on the road following our extended stay with sister Dori and Josh in the Bay Area, we have visited eleven places, starting out with one night of stealth camping in a tractor supply company parking lot in Gilroy, a four night stay at the Navy owned Monterey Pines campground, and eight days with Ted at Coach Maintenance for the engine brake and other work. We stopped at two California and one Oregon State Park: MacKerricher near Glass Beach, Jedediah Smith in the Redwoods, and Cape Blanco in Oregon. We stayed in four private RV resort/campgrounds: one night stopover at Mad River Rapids in Arcata, a couple of days in Winchester Bay, a way too short one night stop at Sea and Sand, and the end of the month at Jantzen Beach in Portland. And of course, we spent two nights in Jenny and Rich’s driveway in Hillsboro, OR while we enjoyed their hospitality and tours of the local wine tasting rooms.
We had power and water hookups for 16 days and something close to dry camping for 15, though we are fudging the definitions a bit since Jenny and Rich, as well as Ted, let us run an extension cord to our refrigerator, so maybe it would be fairer to say we dry camped for only five of those days.
The Budget: Despite our pledge to be, come hell or high water, on budget this month, we broke it a bit, going 8% over. Take away a few bottles of wine from our California and Oregon purchases and we would have been on point, but we have weaknesses. This means we have badly broken the budget for two months, gotten pretty close but a bit over for two, and actually kept on budget for only one month of the trip. Man, we need to get ourselves together, but June is presenting the perfect opportunity with our upcoming two weeks of volunteer work at Cape Disappointment State Park in Washington: free full hook up campground, two weeks of not driving anywhere, and relative isolation to keep us from spending money at restaurants and stores.
The Drama: Oh yes, we had some, but thankfully far less than the ludicrous set of fiascos from April. In the first week we had near catastrophic problems with the battery charging problem that occurred at the same time as a major downhill run into Carmel Valley, culminating in our intersection blocking breakdown there. Even after the Jake Brake install, the trips through the mountain on the way to and out of Glass Beach entailed some exciting cliff side hairpin turns and grades.
The Improvements: Eight days at Coach Maintenance cured of us the battery charging problem, improved our braking ability, straightened out a storage door, and left us with a bit of peace regarding our oil pressure situation. At the end of the month we made progress on our bathroom remodel, though we experienced a set back for the exterior appearance of the Big Kahuna.