Quest for propane
Feb 19, 2023 (Sun)
7:20 am Woodinville
We maintain our perfect record of never leaving on the day we plan to leave!
The original plan was to leave on Saturday, but with one thing and another (“Oh my gosh! We need to make sure we bring enough socks!”), all day Saturday was spent getting ready to leave and then realizing that when we were ready to leave, it was 3:30 pm and we’d get as far as Tacoma before we ran out of daylight and let’s just leave on Sunday, okay?
But, by golly, we’re leaving early on Sunday. The only issue is that the propane place is closed this early, but Robert assures us, “Propane is easy to find! No worries!” (remember this).
So as the sun rises, we swing by CostCo for some gasoline and with the temperature a brisk 40°, we head south for warmer climes, thus beginning:
The beat the cold tour
It’s supposed to snow in Woodinville later this week, so we’re blowing out of there in the nick of time. Destination: Phoenix, where the highs are in the 70’s and the lows are still pretty darn high.
9:00 am University Place (just south of Tacoma) 43°
But first, a stop for breakfast. Yelp directs us to a tiny little diner in an industrial area (we think the barbed wire adds a festive touch to the atmosphere).
Gini gets out of Harvey for breakfast in a funky part of Tacoma
Marcia’s Silver Spoon Café is a charming small (small) diner that manages to squeeze 10 tables into a space about the size of our living room. The dishwasher works just to the left of the counter, and you walk through the kitchen to get to the bathrooms.
The food is robust (Robert got a plate of ham, bacon, and sausage, but took a pass on the Man Burger featuring one pound of hamburger).
Robert eagerly awaits breakfast
Fully stuffed full of protein, we continue on the road south.
2:20 pm Salem, Oregon 49°
Thus begins the Quest for Propane
Harvey uses propane for a couple of things:
Heating the living/sleeping/cooking/bathroom areas
Powering the refrigerator when we’re not plugged in (that is, when we’re driving down the road)
Cooking (when we choose to cook on the stove—which we don’t usually do)
Running out of propane is annoying and inconvenient and Robert believes that propane is easily obtained at most gas stations.
2:55 pm Jefferson, OR
After stopping at half a dozen gas stations in various towns along the way, we have discovered that propane isn’t readily available—especially on Sunday. The closest we’ve gotten is a Shell station that advertised “We have propane!” but it turned out to be shut down.
Finally, Robert stops at a Love’s because they have a big, tall sign and that seems like the kind of sign that a place that sells propane would have (by Robert’s logic).
They do! They do have propane!
In Oregon, you can’t pump your own gas—it has to be pumped by an attendant. And those attendants are super busy racing from car to car and we wait fifteen minutes before one of them wanders over to pump our propane. He is baffled by our RV fitting (we guess usually they fill portable tanks?). He tries a couple of different fittings and finally is ready and—nothing happens.
“Huh,” he says, “It didn’t work earlier today, either,” he adds unhelpfully.
We inquire as to if there is another place nearby that sells propane and he has to check with somebody else and they point us down the road a bit to a Town Pump gas station.
Fortunately, this place is staffed entirely by women (two of them) and before you can say, “Howdy, ma’am,” they’ve got the correct adapter and we’ve got 10.7 gallons of propane and we’re on the road, again!
The A-Team at work
Lesson learned: Fill up with propane at the station down the road from our house, where not only do they have propane, but they are also competent.
4:45 pm Eugene 51°
Deerfield RV Park
We knew we’d want to stop near Eugene, so Gini does a quick internet search and books us a night at Deerfield RV Park. As we pull into the park, we suddenly realize that we’ve been here before! On our trip to San Francisco last May. It was on the way home:
(It’s the last two paragraphs, where we almost run over their furniture. Thankfully, they don’t remember us…)
It’s gotten warmer (51° is warmer than Woodinville has been for several weeks) and sunnier (and right in our eyes!).
We have dinner at a local “gastro pub” (which means they don’t have a “regular plain salad,” as Gini wanted).
Sign in the bathroom: “Do not flush condom. Use waste bin.” Huh, seems pretty quiet now, but apparently, it gets lively later on!
Robert got the “Frickin’ Chickin’ and it’s a lot!
Today’s summary: 300 miles
To Phoenix 1,324 miles
Why we care: Coming back, we have four days after the last party event before we need to be sitting in the audience at The Moore theater to watch granddaughter Zahara perform. So, we need to know how many miles we can go in a day—and how early we have to get up—to make it on time.
Also, we’re eager to escape the cold and get to the warm and the sooner that happens the happier we’ll be!
Map of Day One travel
Gini & Robert