December 1, 2018 Bend, Oregon

"High Above Salmon Glacier" Acrylic Painting on Canvas 18" x 24"
“High Above Salmon Glacier” Acrylic Painting on Canvas 18″ x 24″

Did Not Escape in Time!

Not Where I had Hoped To Be on December 1st

Unfortunately, I am still in Bend, Oregon and winter has caught up with me. The scene above is what I see when looking out my motorhome window, here at the St. Charles Hospital camping area. The snow is bad enough, but the temperature is going down into the low teens for the next several nights and I am not sure the motorhome is meant to withstand temperatures that low.

I have added foam and fiberglass insulation to the outside storage compartments that contain my water and sewer hookups, and have dumped 4 gallons of antifreeze into my waste tanks, but I am afraid that won’t be enough to prevent me from freezing up. This motorhome was never intended for winter camping and God knows I never had any intention of finding out what camping in the snow would be like.

My plans had been to make my escape and head for the desert Thanksgiving week, but some poor bloodwork test results has my oncologist scrambling to find a new chemo formulation that will get me back on track before leaving the area.

If I do freeze up, then I will most likely be stuck here for the foreseeable future, though I have no idea what I will do for shelter. I’m afraid things are looking a little bleak right now.

"High Above Salmon Glacier" Acrylic Painting on Canvas 18" x 24"
“High Above Salmon Glacier” Acrylic Painting on Canvas 18″ x 24″

On the plus side, my situation has forced me to resume painting ( to keep from going stir crazy ) and today I was able to complete my latest, one that I actually started last year when I was here for treatment. Only took me 13 months to complete this painting, though for 11 months of that period, I never actually worked on it, just moved it around the motorhome any time I wanted to change the bedding or look for anything in the bedroom.

This painting was a composite of two photos, the eagle taken in Seabeck, Washington where the bald eagles gather to take advantage of a sculpin spawn, and the Salmon Glacier landscape background was taken in British Columbia just outside, and high above, Hyder, Alaska. I’m actually kind of proud of this one, one of the more complex paintings I have attempted, and it actually came out quite well ( in my humble opinion, he says ).

Still hoping I may yet make it to the desert, but I am getting very nervous about my chances.


12 thoughts on “December 1, 2018 Bend, Oregon”

  1. Painting so well done! It’s beautiful! Take care of yourself ok. Still dealing with MM myself and just have to take things slower and take lots of helps.

  2. Your painting is detail oriented. I always enjoy your photographs and comments. I am sorry to hear about the latest report on your blood work and hope the new chemo formulation will provide better results. Hope all works out well.

  3. Nice painting Bob. I’m sorry that your health isn’t better so that you can escape the cold. I hope that Things take a turn for the better soon!

  4. If you are well enough, you could have the Dr send your medical records to a Dr & hospital in Tucson Phoenix area and move down there to continue your treatment.
    Here is a link to a blog who has been fighting something like you have. There may be some info in their blog which may be helpful to you.
    They have been in the Tucson/Phoenix area for several years. The blog has not been updated in about a year or more, so I don’t know what their status is.
    Their blog has multiple years so you have to select each year to see what doctors/hospital they have been going to.

  5. Most likely your Tiffin Motorhome has vents from your furnace going to your fresh, black & gray tanks.
    Do some online searching or check your owners manual to verify the furnace vents.
    Also you could join the Tiffin Owners Forum:
    and ask if anyone knows about the furnace vents and where to find the documentation describing the vents.
    About your outside access compartments for your black, gray & fresh water connections. Go buy some “trouble lights” at a hardware store and find some incandescent bulbs to put in them. They will provide enough heat to keep the compartments from freezing.
    Also buy a couple of remote indoor outdoor thermometers and put the remote in the water compartment so you can monitor the temp from inside.
    Inside your MH. When the temps get down into the low 20’s or lower open the cabinet doors below the sinks and any where you think the water pipes run. Most water pipes are routed pretty close to the outside walls and are on the floor so keeping the doors open helps keep the pipes from freezing.
    If you don’t have an “extend a stay” connection on your propane tank, get one and have a mobile tech install it. Search Amazon for “extend a stay rv propane kit”. They have several available.
    Once the kit is installed get the local propane service to bring you a large propane bottle, at least a 100 pound (20-25 gallons). They also should have larger ones they can install. Maybe the propane company will install the extend a stay kit.
    With all this prep work you should be good down to close to zero degrees.
    It might be hard to keep your inside temp above 65* so long johns and whatever may be needed to keep warm.
    Also buy some 2″ or 3″ foam and cut it to fit in your skylight and vent(s). Keep on vent open for ventilation.
    The hardware store has aluminized honeycombed rolls of film about 1/4″-3/8″ thick that you can cut and put on some windows, especially the windshield and side windows.
    Best of luck with your medical issues and staying in the cold.

    1. Thanks much for taking the time to list all those improvements to help keep me from freezing up. I have done most of them plus have drained both waste tanks then aded a couple gallons of antifreeze to each and am being very careful about adding much new water to either tank until the worst of the lows passes. Will learn more about whether I can get out of here at my next doctor’s appointment Wednesday.

  6. Sorry to hear that you are still in OR but hopefully the doctors will have you back on the road soon. The painting is beautiful! Keep up the good work. Hope to see you on the road someday, somewhere!!

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