Apr 292010

For me, it has been a very long and cold winter.  No motivation to do any writing but warmer weather is coming.  Mother Nature is sure holding off until the last minute though.  Today was quite wet and cold but I was restless so I took a drive up to Detroit Lake to see how it looked and check on the lake level.  Now, I didn’t really need to drive all the way up there to check the level of the lake since I check it online almost every day. Just needed a drive I guess.  Took Duke as he seemed a little restless too and he loves a ride in the truck.

The lake level is at 1554 feet with 1569 being full pool.  However it really only gets to a maximum of about 1564 most of the season.   The average is probably about 1560 feet.  Kane’s Marina is open and Detroit Lake Marina will open May 1st.  I could get in there now but it looked like they still have a little work to do.  The boat ramp at Detroit Lake State Park was usable and both of the boat slips were floating.  I saw a few boats in the F loop slips.  The ramps at Mongold Park was also usable.

I took some picture so here they are

Nov 182009

This is the Selene 36 named Serenity and is a bareboat charter with San Juan Yachting.  This is just a dream boat for me and I would really like to take her for a week long cruise.  I plan to take some training next year either with some family that has a nice yacht up in Anacortes or if that doesn’t work out I may have to pay for it at one of the charter companies.  I’m considering ABC Yacht Charters for this but I am still looking and haven’t scheduled anything yet.

Let’s go boating….

Nov 052009

Of the boating season that is….

Yes, so far I have found the worst part of boating is the end of the season. I took the boat in to the dealer to be winterized a few week ago. It does get a bit cold here in Oregon and although I could probably store it fine without winterizing, I am uncomfortable taking the chance. My dealer drains all the water out of the motor, checks the fluids and a few other things. It’s cheep insurance I guess.

While they were working on it, some water was found in the outdrive oil. For the non boaters, this is on the back of the boat where the propeller is. This is not a good thing. Upon further examination they found that the prop shaft (similar to a drive shaft) was bent which caused a seal to fail. It wasn’t much water but any amount is not good.

When I first heard this all I could see were dollar signs. Trust me, nothing is cheep to fix on a boat. Then John, the service manager told me that my insurance should cover it. He asked me if I hit anything this year but I had’t. Then I remembered hitting a six foot long submerged 2 X 6 last year. I was going about 30 MPH on the Columbia river and cut it right in half. I stopped and checked everything which seemed fine. Double checked again when I back home and didn’t see any problems.

Chaparral Prop Shaft

Chaparral Prop Shaft

That was early last season and I ran all this year, about 70 hours with no problems. Anyway, I submitted a claim to insurance and except for a $250 deductible all was covered. I was very happy because the repair cost came to $4300.00. I had them save the prop shaft for me. I think I will put it on one of the shelves in my office. It was only bent by 16/100th of an inch. Just amazing how such a small bend can be so damaging.

I also got a little gouge in the hull of the boat this summer. It happened when I was at Lake Billy Chinook. The last night of our vacation I went out to the island which is just across from Three Rivers Marina. I wanted to get some sunrise pictures the next morning so I slept on the boat. It was late when I went out and when I tied up in the slip I didn’t do as good a job as I should have as you can see for this photo. The bow of the boat was hitting the dock and caused the gouge. Looks like I didn’t have the stern line tight enough.



The damage was not terrible and I hadn’t planned on having it repaired for a couple of years. Actually I was going to get a fiberglass repair kit and do a temporary repair myself until I could afford to have it fixed professionally. The dealer however was able to get it included in the outdrive repairs so I was very happy. Just that small repair came to over $500.00. Looks good as new though. I did get some good pictures in the morning…..

Billy Chiook 2009 624

Billy Chiook 2009 617

Billy Chiook 2009 605

Billy Chiook 2009 597

Billy Chiook 2009 593

Oct 302009

I upgraded to WordPress 2.8.5 yesterday and I like the new interface. I did have a bit of a problem with the image uploads at first. I was getting an http error and did not have the option to create a thumbnail. The operation would upload the full size picture but would then hand with the word “crunching” in the status bar.

I finally located a fix after some time and now it is working. I had to add some code to the .htaccess file and away it went.

Here is a link to the page with the information for the fix.

Image Upload error fix.

Okay, now that’s taken care of, here are a few photos of our boat and Lake Billy Chinook. Lake Billy Chinook is located in central Oregon near Madras. It is in a deep canyon and fed by three rivers, The Metolius, The Crooked and The Deschutes.

The lake is surrounded by mostly public lands and the Warm Springs Indian Reservation. Lake Billy Chinook includes 72 miles of shoreline and a surface area of 4,000 acres. Its deepest point is 400 feet at Round Butte Dam. The reservoir stays full, or within one foot of full, from June 15-September 15th.

The boating is some of the best in the state (in my humble opinion). Even on busy weekends and holidays the lake is large enough to not be crowded. It does sometimes get a bit choppy in the afternoon as the wind picks up.

Launching the Chap

Launching the Chap

First day and getting the boat in the water.

Docked at The Island

Docked at The Island

There are a couple of Geocaches on the island that I found.

The old Laredo

The old Laredo

This is our old 5th wheel. These photos are from the 2008 trip.

Three Rivers Marina

Three Rivers Marina

Looking down on Three Rivers Marina. The road down to the marina is about a 1000 foot drop. The brakes really heat up on the boat trailer going down the hill.

Marina at Three Rivers

Marina at Three Rivers

Campground at Perry South

Campground at Perry South

Perry South Campground. It is a nice little campground. I hear it gets a little rowdy on some of the holidays.

Cove Palisade

Cove Palisade

The boat launch at Cove Palisades state park.

Lucky Brother in Arms

Lucky Brother in Arms

OSP (Oregon State Police) fish and game officer getting ready to launch. Now that is a job I would like.

Time to go....

Time to go....

All good things must come to an end. Time to pull the boat out and go home. Always too short.

Oct 272009

Boy, I can’t believe it has been almost three years since I have written. Much has happened during this time as I guess you would expect. I don’t know exactly why I suddenly stopped blogging. Too many other interests or perhaps my brain just froze. I have continued to make entries into my private journal and will be reviewing it and posting some catch up articles as time permits.

One big change in my lifestyle came with the purchase of a boat in the summer of 2008. It was my first experience at boating and I have fallen in love with it. Boating and thinking about boating has consumed a lot of my time. We purchased a 22 foot Chaparral Cuddy Cabin. It is a great little boat and we are able to sleep aboard her for a night or two at a time.

Chaparral on the Wilamette

The cabin is great for our baby, Duke. He climbs inside and just crashes most of the time when we are on the water. We were amazed at how much he loves the boat. He doesn’t like to get into the water much though and after he fell in once when we were at Lake Merwin in Washington I quickly got him a life vest.

Duke in his Cuddy

Well that’s it for now. Just want to say “I’m Back”.

Dec 162006

We had a big storm in the area this last Thursday night. We lost power and had expected it but we lost in because of a tree from our property falling on the lines. About 300,000 homes lost power in the area so we don’t think the power company will get to us at least until Sunday or Monday.

Downed power line.

I can’t complain too much though. I fired up the generator and have been able to run the TV, computers with internet, pellet stove and most importantly the coffee maker. At night i plug in the refrigerator and the fan in the bedroom. The real big pain is that we are on a well so there is no water. I got a couple of water jugs I filled but no showers. I have to go to work tomorrow too… oh well, I guess they will have to deal with it..

Fir on the power line

Fir on the power line

Nov 272006

I haven’t posted in a bit. I have been busy and not that inspired for some reason. This last weekend I needed to take a drive to clear my head so I headed up to Mt. Hood and took some photos and I though I would share them. Enjoy…It was wonderful and very refreshing.

Government Camp

Alpine shop in Government Camp

Waterfalls on Road to Timberline Lodge

Trail Head to Trillium Lake

Road to Timberline Lodge

Mt. Hood

Timberline Lodge

Timberline Lodge

Road to Timberline Lodge

Nov 022006

I got back from my little adventure with my friends Elk Hunting last Friday. I had a great time and the weather for the most part was good. The temperature dropped below freezing most nights but the days were great except for Tuesday. That day it did quickly get cold and even snowed for a bit. I got there on Monday and drove over in a caravan with four other guys. We had three vehicles one with a camper and cargo trailer, one with a truck and trailer and my 5th towed by my trusty F-250. We got on the road at 6am which is what we had planned but then we had some electrical problems with the lights on one of the guys rigs. We finally located the culprit fuse and after fueling up, got on our way.

Elk Camp

Elk Country Looking  SE

We stopped in The Dalles for breakfast and got to camp a little before noon. The first thing we did after setting up our camps was to go get firewood. As I said in my last post I have never been hunting before and when I go camping a few logs last me all night for a campfire so my friends idea of a fire was a little foreign to me. We collected about six cords of wood and as you can see from the photo the fires we had were a bit large but were sure nice for the cold nights. The other thing I found about these large fires was after we built them about sunset, they burned all night with very little attention.

Nightly Campfire

The season opened on Wednesday and I went out with the hunters. Duston, one of the guys in our group shot an Elk the first hour of the hunt. He named him Larry for some reason unknown to me. During the next few days I went out hunting with them each morning and a couple of time in the afternoon. We saw a lot of elk but no one was able to get a good shot at a legal “spike”, so Larry was the only one taken by our group. Our youngest hunter “AJ” did get a shot off and it is believed he hit the elk. Unfortunately it ran off and didn’t leave a blood trail. We looked for it most of the day but never found him.


Big Daddy

I spent the afternoon on Thursday driving around on the forest service roads of the area. It is some very beautiful country and I may have to go up there camping again sometime. My only complaint is that the roads are very wash boarded and it really bounces you around. When I first got up to camp and checked my 5th I found a lot of things bounced all over inside and a several loose screws.


We all sure ate good up there. All of us had generators and one of the guys brought up his Treager Grill and we cooked on it most nights. I have a Treager which is a wood pellet grilling system and it is the best outdoor cooking grill I have ever owned. I don’t much care for cooking on gas or charcoal grills anymore.

I drove back on Friday but most of the guys stayed until Monday as the season closed on Sunday. I’m told they saw many more elk but still didn’t get another spike.

Elk hunting area map

Oct 172006

At last we have finally started on our retaining wall project we have talked about for a few years. Last year I was able to get a great deal on some rock. I got it from a quarry just down the road. It was suppose to be “pit run” which is just the junk after they blast and take out all of the good stuff. I was getting it just for fill. When the first load arrived there was a lot of very good landscape quality rock included. I was only going to get one load but I had them bring two more. I wish I would have got a couple more but I didn’t have anywhere to store it.The rock before the start of the wall

In talking to the dump truck driver he said that they had just blasted and they had so much rock they couldn’t separate out the good from the junk… Our good fortune. I checked recently and to get anywhere near the same type of rock would cost me over $500 a load. The first section complete

Our intent it to make a larger parking area and a place to turn the 5th wheel around with out driving up into the grass field. I tend to get stuck up there if it is at all wet. Once done I should be able to back the 5th in between the greenhouse and the pole building and then just pull straight out. That is the plan anyway. We also want to make the driveway wider and increase the radius of a very sharp corner which is currently difficult to get around.

So far we have completed about 40 percent of the wall but it is the tallest section. I know we don’t have enough rock to finish it but we should get at least another 20 feet. I’m not sure if we will get much more done this year though as the rains are about here.

Rocky is the real talent behind the construction and has done all the actual building of the wall. I work the tractor and excavate and move the fill dirt and other material. I got most of the dirt from an area we wanted to flatten so we could use it for a volley ball court and for horse shoes. I must say that I am getting good at working the tractor and I did move a lot of dirt.

Click here to see all the Wall Pics.>>>>

Sep 202006

Rocky and I just got back last Saturday from five great and relaxing days camping on the Metolius river. After I got back from Las Vegas we loaded up the RV and headed out to Candle Creek camp grounds. We actually didn’t stay in the camp grounds but at a site just outside the actual camping area. This is a little camp site I had seen on previous trips up there and it is much nicer than the ones in the camp grounds.Metolius Camp Site Rocky & Duke

Metolious River

It is more private, larger and has better access to the river and most important it is free. The little access road to get into it is a bit tricky to navigate with my 5th wheel but I managed to get in without any mishaps. I took my new Honda generator and put it to the test. It worked flawlessly and is so much quieter than my other cheep one. The fuel economy was amazing. I think we must have run it about 75 percent of the time we were there and only used about seven gallons of fuel.
Metolius River at our camp site

We took Duke of course and we were not there five minutes and he was totally covered with dirt. After about an hour his white fir was so grungy he just looked dull and he didn’t really seem that dirty anymore. His fir is so short and tight that you can just brush off any real thick dirt before he gets into the RV. Duke is turning out to be a very good traveling dog. He rides in the front of the truck and is fairly well behaved. I think he likes traveling.

We didn’t do to much other than lounge around and do some hiking around during the day. Rocky did drive into Sisters one afternoon and I took about a three hour drive around the area on the forest service roads. One afternoon I took Duke for a walk and we tried to cross over Candle Creek on a log. Duke slipped off the log and got stuck so I had to step into the creek to get him off. When I did he knocked me totally into the creek and I got soaked. All I could do was lay there and laugh. It was a bit cold but fortunately we were only about a quarter mile from camp and the sun was out.

Candle Creek CG

Well it was great fun and I am ready to go again. I am hoping to take the RV over to Central Oregon with some coworkers near the end of October when they go elk hunting. I don’t hunt but it will be a good excuse to go camping again. It should be interesting as they tell me the temperature often dips near zero degrees at night.