July 13, 2011

RV School

When I read in the spring that The Rally, the Good Sam Club’s annual event, was going to be held in Redmond, Oregon, this summer, I seriously considered attending.  As a complete novice, I hoped that attending seminars and talking to vendors would help me understand a little more about the RV.  The fact that Redmond is not far from Portland, where my friend Kevin lives, was an added bonus.

I flew to Portland on Wednesday, and Kevin and I drove to Redmond the next day.  The drive along the Mount Hood Scenic Byway was beautiful.  We had decided to stay in Bend, Oregon, which is a city I had wanted to visit for some time.  Kevin would work during the day while I attended The Rally, and we explored Bend in the evening.

The Rally
Most of the seminars I attended were very worthwhile.  I learned how to sanitize the fresh water tank at “Frustration-Free RVing” and was instructed on the ins and outs of Microsoft Streets and Trips at “The Perfect Trip Is at Your Fingertips.”  My favorite seminar was a hands-on demonstration of microwave-convection oven cooking.  We’ll be cooking most of our meals in this type of microwave, and I want to be able to take advantage of its unique features.

Visiting the vendors was also a highlight, since I could go shopping for things we simply cannot do without.  I’m glad I brought an extra bag to pack all of my loot!

Deschutes River in the Old Mill District in Bend
Bend is a beautiful city on the high desert side of the Cascade Range, and Kevin and I wandered through downtown and the Old Mill District, sampling local wines and vodkas.  We explored Smith Rock State Park and followed scenic byways around Mount Bachelor and across the Cascades on our way back to Portland.

Smith Rock State Park
Sunning on the Rocks at Smith Rock State Park
Mount Bachelor

July 9, 2011

Kitty Kamping

On the Fence About Camping
The day had finally arrived.  Kitty was going camping.  We had planned her first excursion at a campground close to home, Aspenglen in Rocky Mountain National Park.  How would Kitty react?  How would she cope?  More to the point, how would I cope?  Would she adapt like the good kitty she has always been, or would she fight back, kicking and screaming and put the entire trip in jeopardy?  I was more than a little nervous.

So Much Grass to Eat, So Little Time
I shouldn’t have worried.  Kitty behaved like a real camper and took to the experience like she had been RVing for years.  She still was not too crazy about the drive to the campground, especially when she slid off the back of the sofa, but once we arrived, Tim took her for a walk around our campsite, and she was in heaven.  Grass taller than she is and lots of interesting things to explore!  She didn’t even pay attention to her harness (which she hates).  She also seemed to enjoy her new kitty enclosure, which we staked to the ground next to the RV.

After dinner, Kitty decided she wanted to go out again, so we went for a walk.  She walked us for a while, and then I carried her in a sling that I had purchased – what a great idea that was.  Kitty certainly was the focus of attention.  A National Park ranger drove by, and Kitty even stopped him in his tracks.  “A cat on a leash is not a sight you see too often,” he remarked.  As long as Kitty is with us, I don’t think we’ll ever have a problem meeting people.

The next morning, Kitty came very close to becoming “coyote bait.”  Tim had taken her outside on her leash while I washed the dishes.  I happened to look out the window and spotted a coyote eying her.  I called to Tim to pick up the cat before she became breakfast for a litter of coyote pups.  Mama coyote seemed very disappointed and wandered away, but came back with an unfortunate critter in her mouth.  In speaking with our neighbors, we learned that they had watched the coyote stalking the cat for some time before I spotted her.  Luckily, Kitty escaped unharmed and never even seemed to notice potential danger.

Coyote Bait

Kickin' Back

Let Me Out

Where's It Going?

Make Me Look Pretty

What Are You Reading?
Rocky Mountain National Park

July 4, 2011

Kitty, Meet Your New Home

After reading lots of advice about traveling with cats in an RV, Tim and I decided that we would gradually introduce Kitty to her new home.  I graciously volunteered to spend the night with her in the RV while it was parked in our driveway.  Tim did not protest.

Going for a Walk
We took Kitty to her Kat Karrier and let her loose to explore.  We had prepared the RV with her bed, a litter box in the “basement” and a Neater Feeder, a set of dishes that would turn out to be perfect for the motion of an RV.  Kitty didn’t know which way to turn, or what to explore first.  Everything was so new!

Good View from Here
When it was time for bed, Tim made his escape, and Kitty and I tried to get some sleep.  Or, should I say that I tried to get some sleep.  Kitty spent most of the night climbing all over me, looking out the windows and wandering from front to back.  When she was finally convinced that she had secured the space, she snuggled up close to me in the center of the bed.  I got the corner.  I don’t think that either one of us got much sleep, but at least Kitty appeared to be willing to adapt to her new home.

Can I Drive?