The CoolRVers are actually a couple of retirees, Judy and Luke Rinehimer and our 5 year old German Shepherd Dog, Miss Shady Lady. We are "extended-time" travelers with a home in Cool, California. Thanks for following along with us as we travel North America in our "rolling condo", enjoying the RV lifestyle. Your comments are always welcomed.

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Thursday, May 26, 2011

The Alaska Trip Has Begun

After much planning, shopping, and more medical check-ups than either of us had wanted, we got the okay to travel. Started packing the clothes and non-perishables on Monday night, and on Tuesday morning moved the motorhome from its storage space to a flat area where we could level it up, open the slides for closet access, and turned on the refrigerator.  “Star” and her bed got to get in last.


With full tanks (water, diesel, and propane) we logged our starting mileage – 33,398.5 -- IMG_3009from our Silverleaf and finally got on the road about 2 hours later than planned.  Our traveling friends, Gloria and Frank King, left on time so they had quite a wait for us at our rendezvous rest area just above Red Bluff. We caravanned to the Redding Elks Lodge where we enjoyed two spaces with a picnic table.  The Kings provided Happy Hour snacks and then chili with our salad to complete the dinner.  Chatted until almost 10 pm and then retreated to finish stowing the “stuff” that just got tossed in before departure.

The rains started overnight and, with an eye on Weather Underground radar maps, we knew we would have a wet day ahead of us.  IMG_3015Oh, did I mention SNOW, too?


After a couple or rest stops we used Gas Buddy on my Droid smartphone to check out diesel prices along our route.  We thought we found diesel at Seven Feathers Casino truck stop for $3.99 – NOT. After the PUC taxes it was $4.29 – the same price we paid when we started with close to home in Penryn, CA.

Speaking of trucks, we had forgotten that Oregon IMG_3031permits “triples”.  With all the up and down grades of Southern Oregon, the truck traffic has really dominated I-5.  The good news is that  I-5 through Oregon is like a piece of silk compared to I-5 through California’s Central Valley.



We have been following a number of Alaska travel blogs and most are posting their “wildlife” statistics. I guess I’ll make that a feature of this blog, too:

(Do I get to count the pre-trip day: 1 peacock strutting along Interstate 80 in Rocklin?)

Day 1:  None

Day 2:  IMAG0407

  • 4 squirrels and two black birds fighting over something in the parking lot at the Manzanita Rest Area.  The birds won. 
  • Mickey Mouse strapped to the back of a red Jeep;


  • And then there was the 10’ tall metal cow sculpture alone in the middle of a field. Sorry no photo. 

We arrived at the SKP Timber Valley Park in Sutherlin, OR just before closing and got two adjoining sites at the top of the hill.

Today was Frank King’s 70th birthday and we celebrated at a local Italian restaurant. Fun dinner, good food, and even desserts.  HAPPY BIRTHDAY, FRANK!

NEXT:  The Trip Continues…


Tricia (Geeky Explorers) said...

I look forward to reading all about your Alaska trip! We hope to make it there as soon as we can!

Sue and Doug said...

safe travels as you continue North!....

Sharon Del Rosario said...

Glad to see you're on your way. Travel safely and enjoy every minute!

Anonymous said...

Glad to hear you are on the and sorry about the Rain in the PacNorthwest!!! Wish I could be on the I-5 waving you through Olympia!!!! Love your blog and am really REALLY jealous!!!!

Merikay said...

I'll be with you in spirit all the way!

Sherry said...

Just read your blog up to date. Thanks to Laurie & Odell for the link. And thanks to you for going to Alaska so I can just sit back, follow along and then do what you do. :-)

In the VERY DRY, very dusty desert SW right now and Alaska sounds like a GREAT idea.


Malone said...

Oh, I'm so excited! I laughed with Mo last night after reading *we're not climbing Kil..." and now I get to follow along! Yaay! Looking forward to seeing your route, and especially glad you left so far ahead of us so I can learn even more.