November 21, 2014
Our goal is to winter in Oregon to see if we want to live here year round. We have done an extremely slow wander to get here but we finally made it. We will spend at least three or four months in western Oregon and Washington just getting a feel for the weather and the communities. We may wander east of the Cascades but we aren’t into high desert so the majority of our time will be west of the mountains.
At some point we will buy or build what we expect to be our last house. We fell in love with Oregon years ago and haven’t found anywhere else that beats it. Now it is time to find out if it is truly what we are looking for… and if we are tough enough to handle the cold, drizzly Pacific Northwest winters. At some point we will be too old to just jump into the Phoenix and run away to better weather so our retirement house needs to be somewhere we want to be year round.
Yes, we’re late getting here. We’ve been told that the winter here usually starts in late October. But, guess what? They had an unusually long Fall/Indian Summer and winter just kicked into gear here so we can claim to be right on time. Sort of.
We are having to rejigger a few things in the house. The day we rolled into Oregon it was windy and pouring with massive puddles on the camp road. We wore our full rain suits but once set up and back inside we had to deal with two sets of: wet boots, wet rain pants, wet rain jackets, wet hats and damp pants and socks. The floor was a muddy mess and we were chilled. Hmmmm. We hung wet stuff EVERYWHERE, turned on the heat and made a shopping list while we warmed up and dried out.
Next day we went off to the store to buy a “Tripod Air Dryer” that fits in our shower (or living room, or between the beds, or in the main bath area). The shower is best for catching drips so it will usually be in there when needed. It is two poles that lock together. There are three legs on the bottom piece and three arms on the top. It can hold 18 hangers of wet stuff. The two ends open and close like an umbrella so it will be easier to pack away during drier days (yes, it is one more thing to store). They also make it with two tiers.
Next was the poor floor. We found a nice floor mat with rubber backing and top frame and industrial carpet type top that says it holds a full quart of water. So far, so good. We’ve been meaning to upgrade the mat we keep on the ground under the steps since our old one is mostly dead. This drenching has motivated us to work a little harder at getting that done. We plan to buy a piece of the rubber backed indoor-outdoor carpet from Home Depot that we already have in our step well. It is light weight, flexible and fairly easy to clean. They have it on a roll and sell it by the foot. It doesn’t have a raised border so water will run off it which is best for outdoor use.
Our next purchase was a small dehumidifier. We went from nose-bleed dry desert to damp air that is condensing on the inside of our windows. I’ve read where people have had trouble with condensation between the mattresses and the walls. We definitely want to avoid that so we ordered YET ANOTHER boxy thing to store on board.
Clothing wise we should be good. We have quick dry clothes, fleece and wool that keep you warm even when wet, waterproof boots, and those much needed full rain suits. I’ll add a couple pairs of gaiters for hiking in wet woodlands or snow and we should be set.
OK, Oregon, bring it on! We can do this… and enjoy it.