Dreaming of Bend

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Our plan for this spring is to go to Oregon. When researching options, Medford, Oregon seems to come out on top when we consider the things that are important (weather, RV park availability, recreation, cost of living, etc.). However, it does not appear that Medford is going to be our destination.

When we first started talking about RVing full-time, I wanted to go to Bend, Oregon for a year. I visited Bend several years ago and loved the area. Bend has everything we love when it comes to recreation. Mary has not been to Bend and I was anxious to enjoy all that Bend has to offer with her. However, I am very much into looking before leaping and so I checked out some of the details about Bend. Winters are cold in Bend - several consecutive days with the high temperature well below freezing. RV parks in Bend cost more than apartment and house rentals in Asheville (over $1000.00 a month). Also the cost of living in Bend is well above the national average. With regret, we decided that Bend was probably not going to be a good choice for an extended stay.

Last week, Mary’s manager at REI told her that the Medford, OR store was not anticipating any openings this spring and that transferring to that store did not look good. He asked Mary if there was another place that we were interested in. Mary responded with Bend.

Jay, Mary’s manager, contacted the Bend store and it looks like they might be able to create a position for Mary. I think with more RV experience under our belts, we will be able to deal with the cold winter in Bend. As far as the cost of living… I really want to go to Bend and as Shelley pointed out, $1000 a month is cheap when compared to other lodging options in Bend.

I am very excited about the possibility of going to Bend. I know there will be challenges with the winter weather and I know that it will be expensive, but we love challenges and it’s only money. Of course we have no guarantee of going - the REI in Bend has to have a job for Mary.

My clothes and such are packed in the RV and ready to go. Mary still has to get her things packed. Other than our individual items to pack, we have quite a bit of gear (five bikes & biking gear; three kayaks & kayaking gear; two pairs of skis, a snowboard and skiing/snowboarding gear; snowshoes; hiking, camping & backpacking gear; electronics - two computers, two iPads, wii, multiple cameras, three GPS, two external hard drives, etc.

So far we have done the following in preparation for this trip:
  • replaced a few small appliances in the kitchen;
  • recovered the kitchen chairs - they look great;
  • replaced the kitchen table with a smaller table;
  • ordered a new recliner for the living room (should arrive around mid-March);
  • hooked up a blu-ray player;
  • put up hooks and hung six helmets (biking, kayaking & snow sports) in the living room - brightly colored helmets are sorta like art, right???
  • found a tiny memory foam / microfiber bath mat for the bathroom that actually fits in the small space between the shower, toilet and door;
  • put a new quilt and pillow shams on the bed;
  • added more drawers in the closet;
  • found Moxie a folding crate that fits under the desk in the bedroom;
  • put new step covers on the outdoor steps;
  • come up with a new way of securing pocket doors while traveling;
  • painted the 5th wheel hitch where it was starting to rust - sanded the rusting areas, painted with Rustoleum rust remover then painted over that with industrial paint - hopefully it works.

There are a few more things I want to do before we leave if the weather is cooperative. I would like to find a way to insulate the RV windows & skylight. I am wondering if I can create a sort of dual pane window using plexiglass or some other clear material inside of the windows, skylight & screen door. In theory I think it should work. I also want to repair the pocket doors that separate the bathroom from the living room and bedroom - the latch that locks the doors inside their pockets have pulled off the doors and torn up the very thin wood that the doors are made of. I have a plan for repairing this using Great Stuff and oak contact paper. I need to reattach the seal around the basement door. I want to hang new photos of the grandkids and would like to find a way to decorate the wall behind the recliner - picture frames just don’t work on that wall - they keep falling off. I am sure there are other things, but for right now that is all I can think of. An RV is like a house, there are always things that can be done.

If we don’t get to go to Bend, we will just pick another place. The one thing that is for sure is that we are going somewhere.