March 31, 2018 Hickory Creek COE Park, Arkansas

My Campsite at Hickory Creek Park
My Campsite at Hickory Creek Park

On to Oklahoma

Tonight ends my two week stay at Hickory Creek Park, yet another great COE campground. This park is, theoretically, closed until April 1st, but they apparently always leave one section of the campground open for winter camping, although I could not find anything about that with an internet search. The sites are paved, level, and some can accomodate a large rig, I had to detach my tow dolly and move it to the side of the campsite to fit my 32′ rig in and still have enough space to park the Prius off the roadway.

The sites do have 50 amp electric but no water nor sewer. There is a dump station within the park and maybe water ( not sure since I am planning to fill up before I leave ). Fairly strong Verizon signal here and I was able to grab one of the few sites in this section that would allow my satellite dish to see out from under the tall trees.

Rapidly Rising Waters
Rapidly Rising Waters

My winter of lousy weather continued while here, with maybe three or four nice days and a lot of rain. The base of those trees you see behind my motorhome, now under a couple feet of water, were about 100 feet or more from the water’s edge two weeks ago when I arrived.

Flooding
Flooding

In fact, some of the campsites across the lake, with that section of campground set to open tomorrow, appear to be underwater, and there is more rain coming today. Notice all the flood debris floating on the water.

My Campsite at Hickory Creek Park
My Campsite at Hickory Creek Park

Pearl has been with us almost three weeks now and is growing fast, probably doubled in size since she came aboard. Doing pretty well with doing her business outside about 75% of the time, can’t wait to get to 100%, but that’s not too bad for a 13 week old pup. Already responds to her name and has mastered the four steep steps up into the motorhome after I had to lift her up the first two weeks. Very independent nature and absolutely fearless, kind of unusual for one so young, and small.  Does not want to be picked up and will back away if I want to pick her up to do something, but will actually position herself in my hand when I reach down for her when she wants to get up in the recliner with me. In other words, OK to be picked up when she wants, but not OK if I want … pretty sharp independent puppy.

Loves terrorizing poor old Sam, not sure I did Sam a favor by bringing on a companion for her, but for now, she can escape by hopping up into the dog bed by my recliner, about two feet off the floor. Pearl will probably master that jump in another week or two and then Sam will get no more relief from puppy exuberance. However, Sam does seek her out when she shuts down for naps and almost always will be laying with her when they are both sleeping.

Prius damage
Ouch!

I didn’t bother to mention it when it occurred a couple weeks ago, but my year of living lousy seems to be continuing, and the Prius, as well as my wallet, got the worst of it.

As I was exiting I-49 in Fayetteville, on my way to investigate whether Hickory Creek Campground was really open or not, I was rear-ended at about 60 mph by a driver who was later led from the scene in handcuffs. DUI in a stolen car! The rear panel of the Prius was crushed, the hatchback door thrown out of whack, and the force of the impact actually broke the back of the driver’s seat from my being thrown against the steering wheel and whipped back into the seat. Fortunately I was wearing my seatbelt. Unfortunately, the dogs and my photo gear were not, and all were thrown into the dash. The dogs came out of it OK, not so the photo gear.

My poor Prius, rear end ground off in the Yukon, pelted with golfball sized hail in Oregon, and now crunched by a drugged out car thief. Yet it keeps on going, though I am starting to be a little embarrassed by it’s appearance.  Three quarters of the exterior look like the surface of a golf ball, the windshield is cracked, and now the rear end is held on with duct tape, while I drive around with a driver’s seat that looks like I am laying down trying to get some shuteye while cruising down the highway.

Because of the car being  supposedly stolen ( the investigating State Trooper suggested there probably was a relationship between the driver and the car’s owner ), USAA, the owner’s insurance provider is giving me the runaround, trying to drag this out to discourage me from pursuing the claim for damages, even though Arkansas law provides that they are responsible for damages even though the vehicle was ” stolen “. In the meantime, I will continue on my journey with my sad looking Prius, but without some of my expensive photo gear.

Sunday I head a little north and west into Oklahoma to another COE campground. With cold weather still hanging around in the plains where I am eventually heading, I am in no hurry to proceed farther north at this time. In fact, the forecast for tomorrow calls for the possibility of freezing rain where I am heading, but I am hoping I can arrive at my destination and get set up before it hits. We’ll see.

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September 5, 2015 Dawson City, Yukon

View From the Dome, Dawson City
View From the Dome, Dawson City

The Prius Is Back in Action !

The facility where the Prius was repaired shares a building with the NAPA Auto Parts Store and it was there, on two seperate days, where I ended up shoulder to shoulder at the parts counter,

Jim Thurber
Jim Thurber
Gene Cheeseman
Gene Cheeseman

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

first with Jim Thurber and then with Gene Cheeseman of the Discovery Channel’s “Gold Rush” reality ( sort of, at least ) series. Kind of interesting to find that these guys do actual work up here. I am a little embarrassed to admit that I do actually enjoy this show and it was kind of neat to run into these guys. If I had had wheels at the time, maybe I would have been tempted to follow them back to their respective mining operations.

Anyhow, at 4:30 this afternoon, I walked across the highway from the campground to pick up the repaired Prius at the repair shop. It is missing a wheel cover and the rear plastic body panel certainly looks a little ragged ( it will be replaced at a later date when I get back to the lower 48 ), but boy, is it nice to have wheels again!

I immediately drove back over to the campground and loaded up my photo gear and two anxious pups and headed up Dome Road to check out the sights.

View From the Dome, Dawson City
View From the Dome, Dawson City

Autumn arrives early this far north as the aspens have all turned now and are starting to drop their leaves. The Bonanza Gold RV Park where I have been marooned is on the right side of the image above in the whitish strip of development along the highway.

Dredge Tailings
Dredge Tailings

That rather unique pattern of what look like stacked wafers is the aftermath of one of the many gold mining dredges that worked this region many years ago.

View From the Dome, Dawson City
View From the Dome, Dawson City

Quite a view from up here …

A Seat with a View
A Seat with a View

…with a nice spot to sit and enjoy it. This would be a wonderful place to just sit and soak in the magnificent views, but not this evening as a small group of young locals are partying here with rancid rap music ( ? ) being blasted from two of their pickups, much to the dismay of a van full of oriental tourists trying to take in the sights up here. Me, I’ll just come back up in the early morning tomorrow. I vividly remember being up here 22 years ago and being absolutely devoured by mosquitos as I tried to get some photographs. As has been the case all summer long, no bugs whatsoever this evening, probably the result of a few recent nights with some hard frosts.

Along Dome Road, Dawson City
Along Dome Road, Dawson City

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September 1 – 4, 2015, Dawson City, Yukon

Sunset Over the Bonanza Gold RV Park
Sunset Over the Bonanza Gold RV Park

Still Waiting in Dawson City

After almost four months in Alaska, it is kind of nice to again have a tiny bit of dark sky at night. This is the first sunset I have witnessed in a long while, and this was taken around 10:30 at night.

The Prius’ Fate is Finally Decided

Having spent a couple days and many, many emails, haggling with my insurance adjuster over the fate of my Prius, I finally asked to speak (via email, of course) with his supervisor. After doing my due diligence and finding some reasonable numbers for salvage value for the Prius and replacement costs of a comparable vehicle, plus studying Florida insurance regulations in regards totalling a vehicle, my two emails with the supervisor resulted in a reversal of the adjuster’s determination to total the Prius. Much to my financial delight, the Prius will be repaired and I now have a light at the end of the tunnel and I may just get out of here yet.

As of Sept.3rd, all my repair parts are now in and the Prius is scheduled to enter the shop for repairs on Friday, the 4th, and possibly be ready to go on Saturday!

I have now been sitting here just outside Dawson City for two weeks and have to admit to be getting more than just a bit anxious to get on the road again. But even if I get the car back Saturday, I still have to stay here awaiting the arrival of my Pressure Pro tire pressure monitoring system, supposedly due here on Tuesday, the 8th.

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February 4, 2014 Iowa, Louisiana

Auto Repairs and More Satellite Misery

Made my 7:30 appointment at Toyota and it took them about 2 hours to get my speed sensor replaced and I finally have my cruise control back. Very friendly, professional dealership, as opposed to the friendly, incompetent Galveston dealership. If not under warranty, would have cost me just under $400, and there are four of these things to go bad.

Yet another foggy, grey, rainy day so back home to deal with the Winegard dish problem. Called tech support, all hands busy, so left my number, and, just as before someone called back within half an hour. Explained my situation and he said it still sounded like a problem with the coax cable between the turret and the head. He noted that the replacement cable they shipped out was waiting in the park office for me and asked if I would put it in place and let them know if that solved the problem. If not, then they will talk with their warranty people to see where to go next.

Of course, now it is pouring buckets out there so I don’t think I am about to venture up on the roof in this, and it is supposed to rain all day.