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Published: October 13th 2011
Getting Into the RV Club
After living in the RV for two weeks, my niece Ivy started to get her RV legs. She didn't mind the RV rocking a little bit when people shift in bed or sit down and she learned to walk with bent knees so that you don't shift the RV so much. She'd been watching us set up the RV and taking lots of pictures of us doing it, so it was time to have her help out.
To fully become a member of the RV club, Ivy had to perform the ritual of connecting the RV to the sewer system. You might think it is easy to connect a couple of pipes, but it is rather disgusting and surprisingly confusing with common misconnections and the ever-present danger of a disasterous leak.
If you've seen the movie "RV" with Robin Williams, you get a pretty good idea of how disgusting RV sewer pipes can be. The movie has a classic scene where Robin has to empty out the septic tank of the rented RV for the first time. I couldn't have dreamed up this scene any better myself and laughed for ages
while watching this clip from the movie:
I try and give Ivy some true American experiences when she visits and it hasn't gone well for her in the past. About 11 years ago, I thought it would be fun for her to fill up the gas tank of my car. Somehow, she managed to spray gas all over herself and I failed to get a picture of it. This time I was ready with my camera in hand and you can see the results for yourself. My favorite pic is the one with the confused grimace on her face.
We have some disposable proctologist gloves to make the handling easier, but it's still easy to get some sewage on your shoes. Ivy had some trouble getting the couplings in the right order and had to find a missing part, but with Grace and I heckling her, she ended up doing a pretty good job with only a small bio-hazard created. She did much better than these guys who had their RV full of shit when they decided to repair the pipe. I love this guys glad-bag bio-suit:
After successfully hooking up the RV
to the sewer drain, Ivy was officially entered into the RV Club. Congratulations Ivy! Your RV Club certificate is in the mail.
After the first week in the Rogue River valley, which I wrote about last time, we went to Eugene for a week with little to report except that it was a nice college town and there are some decent wineries, brew pubs and restaurants. The next Friday, we went up to stay with our friends Mimi and Nigel in Hillsboro, outside of Portland. Grace used to work in a bar for Mimi back in Taiwan and Mimi is the one who introduced us on Grace's birthday 15 years ago. Mimi and Nigel moved to the US about a year ago.
On Saturday, we decided to go up to Mt. Hood where people were still skiing in mid August. They had 800%!o(MISSING)f normal snowfall last winter. We went up to Timberline lodge where they filmed the Shining and had a nice walk around.
I saw some snow and thought I would resume our snowball fight as discussed in the last blog. This time, I didn't have my gloves but it
Finding the Gasket
Note the leakage near her foot - that's not water!
was warm enough that I could lob a few snowballs at Ivy with plenty of warning so she wouldn't be blindsided. We walked down back to the car and Ivy demanded to check my pockets for any spare snowballs. I didn't have any.
We got in the truck and were ready to head down the mountain. Right after I buckled up, Ivy shoved about 3-snowballs worth of snow down the back of my shirt. My first response was to run, but seat belts are pretty good at keeping you in one place. I bucked around like a bull in a china closet until I finally unbuckled myself and slowly got the snow out of my shirt and shorts and underwear and threw it at Ivy.
Ivy had found a large sheet of plastic and put a good chunk of the Mt. Hood glacier in her pack. It was too big for her to throw, so she waited till I was trapped and nailed me real good. She felt really bad about getting me that bad and I am still waiting for my revenge. As Nigel said, revenge is a dish best served cold.
I have some good
news to report on Poison Ivy. She had her first interview this week and got the job. She was one of 10 people interviewed for a single guide position in a bird sanctuary in Taipei. This was her first professional interview out of college and she beat all the other candidates - some even had doctorates. It was an all day interview where they had team building exercises with constant monitoring. They had a panel of 6 interviewers who grilled her for over an hour and she survived. Now she'll be teaching students and tourists about the migratory fowl that winter in Taipei. Check out the National Park where she'll be working here:
From Mt. Hood, we went down to Hood River and stopped in the Naked Winery tasting room. We also stopped at a brew pub for dinner. The next day, we went to the coast and went to the Tillamook Cheese factory for ice cream and lunch. We went crabbing and had a great time taking pictures of the rugged coast.
Mimi and Nigel were great to be with and they invited Grace and I to stay with them in their home in Taiwan
as well. We're there now. We spent a week in Portland with them and I improved my wardrobe when a friend of theirs got us into the Nike employee store. We did quite a bit of shopping in Oregon since there is no sales tax - Duty free baby!
The last week of the trip, we spent in North Bend at the Mills RV Resort and Casino. We had some great seafood, played the penny slots and saw some nice beaches and rugged coast. We got stuck in the sand dunes one night, but I'll have to tell you about that another time.
We had an uneventful drive back down to California over Labor Day weekend. We've put the RV in storage near our home and it will probably stay that way until next spring. So that was my one month's worth of RV adventures that I hope you enjoyed it.
Have a great winter!
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