PT Old Man's Journeys

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Jan 21, 2017
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May 2017 my first camping trip in Mellow Yellow. Two weeks ago the wife & I came home from an emergency trip to E Oregon. Everything worked out ok, then on the return trip we scouted out 6 improved tenting, drive in campsites along the last leg of our trip, the drive from the last turnoff is 72 miles long mostly along the McKenzie River, OR. Beautiful forested two lane road. 2 campsites on top had snow still in the campground & one was inaccessible (gate down). One we stopped at was the 'Paradise' Campground. It turned out to be the best of the 6. Flushing metal toilets, garbage service, water spigots throughout the camp. Sites were all sizes but each was ideal for my purposes..

This morning May 18th. I called for reservations concerned that the Memorial Day weekend might get a little crowded, since retired with no time limitations I plan to make most of my trip starting on Mon or Tues mornings returning on Fri. 4 nights 5 days. My first target date is May 23 (Tue) until May 26 (Fri). There was 64 spots some reserved, some first come, most had already been reserved. I opened an account on, went on line & selected an available site. Entered my Interagency Senior Pass card, the fees were $22 a night (most expensive of the 6 sites) but got it for $11 a night plus fees, total $43. $10 fee to make the reservation, DONE!


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Very nice location for your first GrandMa coming/camping ?    I believe you were unsure at one point..........

I like the name of the rig....Mellow Yellow.......I just HAD to play it on YouTube.......what a blast from the past.......and the singer Donovan

OR............... Dono Van

The long torture called winter in the Pacific Northwest is nearly over, now it's time to PLAY!!!
Good find on a campsite grandpa. GrandMa coming/camping ? Nope, but she wishes me well, knows the location & spot #, won't expect me until the weekend (we tested, no cell service) told me not to come banging on the door in the middle of the night, just have to ruff it. I was going to take my 18 YO grandson along but since he's tethered to his smartphone/tablet I decided that he would be whining about being bored.

Waldenbound, The long torture called winter in the Pacific Northwest is nearly over, now it's time to PLAY!!! - I love the summers & falls here but you have to get through the soggy winters/springs to really enjoy them.
Trip report - Lasted 1 1/2 days of my scheduled 4 day/3 night stay. It had turned cooler the 2nd day. According to the weather report it was only 72 at home & considering it's 10-15 degrees cooler in the mountains, I can attest to that fact, got home just after midnight. I found several things I needed for the next journey, broom a must, canopy (was hunting shade first day, sun the 2nd). Park closer to the picnic table next time, lugging everything over an uneven terrain for each meal is tiring. Plastic utensils paper plates/cups are essential, sorry to say they will be tossed in the garbage or burnt after use.

Paper towels are manna from heaven. I think I can get by with a hot water pot & cheap pie tins, nothing more. Doing dishes is not enjoyable. Breakfast is still the best meal out-of-doors & I can fry eggs. Everything else will come fully cooked from a can, I learned to eat my meat cold rather than try to heat it. Beans & cottage cheese are great if you don't mind the beans not heated. My 2nd vegetable en tree will have to wait until I get home. Apple sauce from Walmart in the little sealed containers are helpful.

2 days/3 nights max for now until I can ease into longer stays. Shower when I get home. My bedside commode worked great. A urinal is man's or woman's constant companion. I was thankful I had a supply of Louie L’Amour books I was able to finish 2 & start the 3rd, got too cold to hold the book. A metal van conducts both heat & cold with gusto. It was like an ice box, but warmed up when I was hauling my supplies from the picnic table to the van with my flashlight at 10PM. I had got my right shoe & sock soaked then tried to enjoy my book but the cool & wet pant leg never did warm up. I jumped in bed at 7 PM trying to warm up, not in that ice box, even my nose was cold. Shorts only work on a sunny beach.

Scenery was beautiful. Trees, chipmunks, lots of crawly things, very few flies & no mosquitoes (too cold). Had a very secluded spot, camp was only 1/3 full maybe they listened to the weather forecast. No one bothered me not even the camp host since I had prepaid for the spot. She did wave as she passed on her 4-wheeled ATV the first day. With many, many trees you get a lot of floaters in your coffee cup or eggs. Some look like bugs others you can recognize right off. Carry a warm coat I don't care if the temp is supposed to be in the 90's. Long pants, warm socks are on my list from here on out.

Next time out I'm finding a place I can park for free & carry a few gallons of essential water for coffee & a spit bath. I remember a camping trip we were going on with another couple, they were to bring all the cookware us the food. They never showed so with all the food & no way to cook it my wife improvised & made pans out of tin foil, or do they make disposable fry pans? Maybe a pie tin will work, daughter pointed out I don't need a spatula just eat right from pie tin then toss. Somebody can recycle it but not me. Cash n Carry will have all the paper products I need, they burn. Below is the start of what I thought would be a great 4day/3 night stay. Next sojourn is planned for the 13th, 14th & 15th of June.

I have new respect for my wife. Feeding 3 kids & a fire-sitting-coffee drinking-basically-lazy-husband for 48 years cleaning up after them, washing the dishes, cooking, washing the dishes,,,etc all the while agreeing or pretending to agree that camping was fun. I also learned that when you are solo in a secluded 2/3 empty campground there is no one around to hear your rants & swearing. You find you have to do everything yourself. Loading, unloading, setting up camp & tearing it down at 10 PM with only a flashlight. Lucky for me I had finished 2 & started my 3rd Louis L'Amour book about the Sacketts. Our heroes were beaten up, walking in the desert with no water & fighting all sorts of vermin & villains. By jingle if they can survive & get the girl in the end so can I. Of course the girl was in the stories not real life.

Spend the better part of an hour setting up my latest purchase, a 10 x 10 Ozark Trail canopy from Walmart. Actually easier setup than I was anticipating. Got the thing up then moved it to the back stradling the doors of the van. After getting shed of the storage unit in the back I had plenty of room & wondered why I wasn't using those doors. I had been using the side sliding door. It required a lot of room to open & close not to mention the noise. Decided to close off (not use) the sliding door giving me 4 feet more wall space. I did need to get a taller step stool to use because the back of the van is higher than the side. Figured I gained 18 sq feet of usable space with removing the shelf unit. Overall I now have over 200 feet of covered space for camping.

All my supplies are stored neatly under the bed or hanging on hooks bungeed tightly to the wall now that I downsized my actual needs versus my over-the-top Asperger expectations. The canopy bag /w canopy fits nicely at the back doors & will not be there after setup when I need to gain access during camping. It actually works much better than the original setup. I bungeed the canopy to my upper roof rack rail & that lifts it high enough (4") to close the doors. I can put my table /w Coleman stove (eggs & coffee only) & chair under the canopy with ample room for others. My propane (20lb) bottle sits next to the table connected with supply tree so that I can add my 2nd supply line snaked through a planned hole in the back door for my 'Mr Buddy' radiant heater that is coming from Amazon.

The 3rd fitting is for my propane lantern on the very top, I never did give that a try on my 1st trip. Darned if it doesn't work though & look great. No more toting the supplies to the picnic table over rough terrain. I took 3 pictures in my driveway with the setup but somehow they were all erased when I hooked up the smart phone to my PC. I'm be darned if I'm going to set it up just to get a few photos, let me assure this was one plan that worked out A'OK. Next time I'll download the pics before disassembling the setup. Oh & disassembly was much easier, took less 10 minutes.
Sounds like a good trip .
Gettin' the kinks worked out too!
Sounds absolutely divine!! I just wrote a post on Facebook a few days ago about the solo thing:

"When you're single and live alone, it's amazing how quickly you get over being squeamish and just kill the bug!!!!!"

True story!