Eugene has a lot to offer fulltime RV’ers on the west coast when it comes to maintenance and repairs, and we seem to end up here frequently when traveling in the pacific northwest. This year, we planned to visit Cummins Northwest in Coburg (around 5 miles from Armitage County Park, where we stay when visiting Eugene for more than 3 days, or in hot weather) for our 115,000 mile maintenance, one of the big (expensive) ones.
We arrived on Wednesday; on Thursday, we were up, packed up and moving at 7:30 for the short drive to Cummins. The good news: the maintenance cost less than anticipated. The bad news: we have a cracked manifold. We scheduled the repair (a full day) for Wednesday.
Back at Armitage, time to formulate Plan B. We had intended to leave on Monday morning, visit Carrier & Sons – an excellent RV repair facility we have visited several times – for a minor repair to our awning, then head northwest, destination unknown. Instead, we extended our stay at Armitage County Park by two more days, to accommodate the scheduled manifold repair.
Yesterday (Monday), we packed up and headed over to Carrier & Sons at 9 am. We were back in place and set up at Armitage by 11:30 or so, with the awning working perfectly once again. Today is another “day off” from attending to Scoopy; tomorrow, we’ll be heading back to Cummins at 7:30 am.
In between maintenance, repairs and stocking the pantry and freezer, we’ve had great fun with our friends who also happen to be here at Armitage… ALL of us working on maintenance and repairs, by the way! Paul (Wheeling It) is trying to get a slide fixed (meanwhile, he helped Odel fix a little problem with our water heater); Alex and Ellen are working with Cummins on maintenance and repairs. It is quite interesting to see how many big motorhomes here at the park leave in the morning and return in the afternoon – looks like it is a favored spot for many of us visiting Cummins, Monaco, or one of the many, many shops nearby dedicated to RV’ers needs.
On Sunday, Alex and Ellen invited us along on a ride into the mountains. Alex is an experienced kayaker and wanted to go campground hunting along the McKenzie River, looking for campsites with river access. A waterfall hike was part of the plan, too – so they didn’t have to ask us twice!
The 2.6 mile loop trail we hiked started at roaring Sahalie Falls (photo above). Being a beautiful, sunny, Sunday afternoon, the parking lot was crowded when we arrived at noon – I think we got the last space. As usual, crowds thinned as we hiked away from the parking lot and overlooks.
We all were amazed by the volume of water rushing over the falls, through the canyon next to the trail, and over Koosah Falls (this photo). It’s the end of August, after all, a time when many waterfalls in the U.S. are either dry or down to a minimal trickle. Later, when I Googled Sahalie Falls looking for information about the flow volume, I found this interesting bit of information:
“Even though the McKenzie River originates in Clear Lake, just a few miles upstream, the river sustains a very significant volume all year long thanks to the large drainage area to the northeast which consists largely of plains of lava flows. Water doesn't linger on the surface and seeps underground, forming one of the larger aquifers in Oregon, then it all emerges in springs around Clear Lake. The result is one of the most consistent rivers in the northwest.” (Northwest Waterfall survey)
…AND, I discovered that a handful of kayakers have braved the plunge over the 68 foot high waterfall! What a crazy bunch!
Both of the falls (Sahalie and Koosah) were spectacular, and we spent plenty of time admiring them from both sides of the river – but some of the quieter portions of the hike were equally enchanting. This blue pool was exquisite, and something I hadn’t seen before (click on the photo for a larger view). The bluish-white water in this photo is effervescent – churning bubbles of water funneled into a narrow chasm, roiling to the surface (that’s Alex on the bank, getting a close-up photo).
Now, as I write, Odel and Alex are on the golf course once again. I’ve got a list of things to accomplish while Odel is out of the house, and the laundry is underway (I LOVE our on-board washer and dryer). Later, friends.