Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Maiden Voyage

We love to camp.  Over the years we've enjoyed camping in several states for many occasions.  We started out in a two-man hiking tent and self-inflating air mattresses. Our tents grew to accommodate the growth in our family.  I still shake my head in wonder when I see one our of 'family of five' tents - how did we all fit? 

Since our move to Idaho and our annual treks to the Washington coast our tent expanded to fit 8-10 people.  If you are familiar with tents this means realistically you can probably sleep 5-6 and be comfortable with a few duffle bags inside.   

After Mike's back surgery in 2010 we treated ourselves to a sweet queen size aerobed inside our 8 person tent.  The kids called it the Hilton - and we were quite comfortable. 

Our empty nest status has changed a few things for us but we still enjoy camping.  I admitted to Mike this year I really wouldn't be opposed to camping in a trailer.  After all it could open up more opportunities for us to enjoy weekends away from home without need of a hotel room, dog sitter or family and friends to impose on. 

Our middle kid family looked at trailers at a few RV Shows.  In October we happened by one near home and had nothing on our agenda so we stopped.  Naturally we had some fun going through the large Class A RV's complete with fireplaces, dishwashers, washers, dryers, ceiling fans and a ridiculous amount of space.  I don't think we are the sort of people to ever sell our home and live in such a monster.  Unless Mike sells his belongings so there is room for mine.  hehe. 

We've seen plenty of different types of trailers when we camp on the coast and was intrigued by a few of the tear-drop shapes - R Pods, etc.  

While they are cute, they are just not practical for this 6' plus family. 
Bathroom/Shower accommodations - come on in!
We spent the weekend researching different trailer manufacturers online and decided to stop by a couple trailer dealerships in our area in the following weeks. We even had a couple of folks respond to email inquiries and set up an appointment to stop by Camping World. 

Our sales person was leaving work to go home sick when we arrived so we were put in the capable hands of 'Todd'. We had a specific list of things we were looking for in a trailer - IF we were to make a purchase.  

We spent a couple of hours going through trailers which Todd felt met our expectations.  He was very thorough.  I had to be honest, when he pointed out features like stereos, TV/DVDs, A/C and microwaves, I am a very comfortable tent camper and that all sounded so excessive to me. 

After some anxiety about the length and bunks we found a trailer that had everything we wanted - big enough for adding family or friends and small enough for just the two of us.  And...  we bought it!

Grey Wolf

We already had plans to go to Sisters, OR for the weekend to join a photography group looking for Fall colors.  Since we had our own place to stay now we cancelled hotel reservations and threw in enough supplies for a quick overnight maiden voyage. 

Heading out for our Maiden Voyage
The weather was beautiful for the start of our trek to Central Oregon.  Though I'm not a big fan of the middle section between Boise and Sisters/Bend.  But once you arrive and have that stunning view of the Three Sisters Mountains it's lovely.

We stepped outside our normal camp ground comfort zone and stayed at the Sisters/Bend RV Park.  It was very nice, clean, updated and didn't at all feel like the stereo-type I have in my head for RV Parks.  

Mike worked on hooking up the trailer to city water and electricity and hooked up the sewer, leaving me to open the slide and drop down the stabilizers and supports.  I was prepared for the task at hand...  with this little gem!  
It's a tough job but someone has to push the buttons. 
Our new travel trailer. 
I think it needs a name... 

We had some difficulty with the trailer hitch - a fancy electronic beast that makes the hooking and unhooking effortless...  unless it doesn't want to unhook.  (Read - Operator Error)  Rather than beat ourselves (or the hitch) up over it we opted to stay attached and remain on the park grounds. Honestly the Fall colors weren't much to look at yet anyway so we took advantage of the opportunity and actually READ our manuals.  It's amazing what you can learn... 

We took a break from the instructions and walked Ruger around the grounds.  It was next to the Rodeo park.  Lots of walking paths to explore as well. 

Enjoying our evening stroll. 

Dinner - wine, cheese, bread and sausage.  

We bought the trailer at the end of the season because of the clearance sales.  The timing may not have been perfect.  One night in the park and then back in town to winterize and store for the season.  We are making a list for next year and looking forward to our new adventures. 

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