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Carson's Alaska Newsletter #28
Location: Salem, Oregon Date: Sept. 19-26,2003
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On the Road with Fred and Barb - Newsletter #28

Sept. 19-26 Tacoma, WA to Salem Oregon

Sept. 19-21 Vancouver, WA

We stopped in Vancouver, WA and camped at another very nice Elks Club facility. Its only problem was it was right above the I-5 freeway so there was plenty of traffic noise. But their dinners were great as usual. And one night they had an excellent one man band who played mostly very danceable country music.

Our reason for stopping in Vancouver was to visit our friends Dan and Jeannine Wainwright who are full time RV'ers, formerly from San Diego. We had bumped into them a couple times while in Alaska and our paths crossed once more. Dan is a paraglider and unfortunately had landed wrong after his last flight and broke his wrist. It is difficult to do any kind of maintenance on the RV with your wrist in a cast and the brakes on his 5th wheel weren't working properly. Since Fred loves to take things apart, they spent the afternoon taking the brakes apart and fortunately found the problem. Jeannine and I worked on crafts and had a great visit. Sure is fun meeting up with people you know while on the road.

Sept. 21-26 Salem, Oregon

The Safari Homecoming Rally was held at the Salem Fairgrounds this week. Over 300 Safari RV's from around the country and Canada attended. Like most rallys sponsored by the manufacturer, there are lots of service people in attendance and you are allowed 2 free repairs. We expected after our Alaska trip to need something done but fortunately we didn't. However, our tow bar was looking pretty shabby - scraped and very dirty. Also we were still using the power cord that Fred had spliced and taped back together after it got cut early on our trip. We asked the Roadmaster people to look at the tow bar to see if it was still functioning okay and they decided to just give us another one, plus new safety cables and power cord. And a new 3 year warranty! Free!!! That was worth the whole rally. Also one of the tow pins on the car was wobbling a little so Blue Ox came over and looked at it, gave us two shiny new ones. (The old ones were also starting to rust). Then we had another nice surprise when we picked up our mail. Blue Ox had sent us a check covering our cost when we had to get the baseplate welded in Anchorage. It sure is nice to deal with customer oriented companies.

The rally was really fun - terrific seminars, cocktail parties and delicious meals. But the best part is always meeting other Safari owners, sharing tips and adventures. We met one couple in their mid-70's who have been full time RV'ers for the past 13 years. They own a 24 foot Trek and had it shipped over to Europe, spending 18 months in it traveling the continent. Fascinating couple. We became friendly with another couple who was a vendor of massage equipment. Turns out he was a former construction contractor, loves to ski and scuba dive. We will be meeting them for dinner Sunday night and hope to arrange a trade of condo usage for some help on our Snowmass condo remodel.
Besides the seminars on all aspects of Rving, there were plenty of activities designed for the ladies, including a fashion show, cooking demos and craft classes. We also took a tour of the Monaco factory and watched new Safaris being built. It is quite a process - takes 8-10 weeks from start to finish. The rally also included a display of the new 2004 models and incentives to entice you to trade your old one in. (We didn't). Would you believe they are now selling a four slide model, with two slideouts on each side. While very spacious, it will limit where you can camp as many campsites are barely wide enough for slides on one side. Instead of buying a new rig, I just had my carpet cleaned!

We are now camped in Pacific City along the Oregon Coast for a couple nights. We have an appointment to get our rig serviced (oil change, engine washing) on Monday in Eugene. Then will head south. Weather has been absolutely gorgeous all week. Sunny in the mid-80's. Sure is different from our previous visits to Oregon when we never saw the sun.

Sorry, didn't take any photos during the rally.

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