We skedaddled out of Hood River a couple hours in front of the worst of the heat.
When we heard the weatherman report an “excessive heat warning” for all of western Oregon beginning at noon on Monday, we decided we would be on the road heading for the coast by 9 am Monday morning. We beat our ETD by an hour, pulling out of our site and locking the gate behind us at 8 am. It was already too warm. Cool ocean breezes, here we come!
By 9:30 am, we were on the west side of Portland, watching Scoopy’s thermometer rise, into the 80’s and on into the 90’s. Overhead digital signs on I-84 and I-205 warned of a smog alert, followed by a plea to “Limit Your Driving”. Usually vibrant Portland looked hazy, hot and droopy.
About halfway to our destination, driving through the rolling farm and dairy lands, we made a stop at a roadside produce stand to pickup local blueberries, cherries, squash – and a frozen Marionberry pie. Visions of cold mornings, warmed by a berry pie baking in the propane oven, danced in my head. (What was I thinking??)
Lincoln City, 10 miles… the temperature was still in the upper 80’s. Lincoln City, 5 miles: still in the upper 80’s! Cresting the last small ridge, we hit Hwy 101, and laughed giddily as we called off the declining temperatures. Eighty-three! Eighty! Seventy-seven! SEVENTY-TWO! YIPPEE!
By 12:30, we were setting up our new home in site 26B, at the end of the row at the Lincoln City Elks RV Park (click here to read our review and see additional photos). Unlimited space out our door, lots of trees and grass, a table for Luna’s crate, water and (unreliable) 30 amp electricity at our site. No sewer, which means we have to watch the water use, but they have shower houses – a big help for water conservation.
During the last few days – maybe the last week – of our stay in Hood River, with daytime highs around 90, we noticed our refrigerator struggling to stay cold… cold as defined by our refrigerator thermometer, between 34 and 38 degrees. The temperature often read 44 to 46, even when we hadn’t been standing around holding the doors open while we communed with our tastebuds. Odel fretted over it for several days and put feelers out to several Norcold service centers to troubleshoot the problem. We hoped the cooler ambient air temperatures we expected in Lincoln City would help, buying time to determine our next move.
Odel’s first phone call went to Rick, the repairman who replaced the cooling unit in our refrigerator last winter. He is far from us, in Tucson, but is very responsive and helpful. Rick listened to our latest observations and the report from our refrigerator thermometer, then said we might need a new circuit board. He recommended that Odel call Dinosaur Electronics in – and I kid you not – Lincoln City, Oregon!
Soon we were on the way to Dinosaur, housed in a rambling home up a dirt road in heavy forest. The family-run business consists of a couple sparkly-eyed mad-scientist-type males and several large, strong, plain, friendly females. Although they don’t do repairs there (they invent, manufacture, and sell to distributors), we picked up a few more pointers and, best of all, the name and number for Lance, a local mobile RV repairman recommended by the interesting Dinosaur family.
Our next call went out to Lance. He scheduled a visit with us later in the afternoon, so we took off for a walk on the beach. Now, that’s what I’m talkin’ about! Sand, surf, and a cooling breeze – the drowsy dream of summer. We had a nice long beach walk, just in time to receive Lance’s call saying he was 30 minutes away.
By 6:30, Lance had diagnosed our problem, made a few helpful adjustments, and said he’d have the correct part to finally solve the problem in a day or two. We fired up the grill and loaded it with the fresh vegetables we snagged on our drive over, followed by Odel’s famous chicken thighs (leaving the skin ON, sprinkle thighs generously on both sides with Lawry’s Seasoned Pepper and Salt, then grill to perfection). Wine, dinner, and a wee bit of reading… I was in bed around 9:30, enjoying the cool breeze blowing across my face when – poof - it was morning. :)
7:00 am. Time for the thermometer trifecta. The temperature in our hallway (the warmest part of the RV): 68 degrees! The temperature outdoors: 59 degrees! The temperature in the refrigerator: 30 degrees! Odel was humming like a happy bee.
The Lincoln City Elks Lodge RV parking is not at the lodge, but at their own green, grassy, park south of town, about the size of a small county park. After we dressed in LONG PANTS and LONG SLEEVES, we took a peaceful morning stroll. This little branch of the Siletz River forms one boundary of the park – it looked so placid and cool as the sun came over the ridge.
Odel is out gabbing with the neighbors as I write. Guess I’ll check all the thermometers, then go see what’s cookin’. :)