1. First Post – RVing Practice Makes Perfect?

By Brooke McKirdy

We started our RV experience a little early by purchasing the truck then 5th wheel in (the summer and fall of 2015) but realized that the best prices for buying were during that time.

Since then we have camped in McMinnville at Willamette Wine Country RV Park where they have old vintage RVs there to rent for $150 -$200 a night!  Glad we already had our 5th wheel.  We toured the quaint town of McMinnville and saw the IMAX movie “Forces of Nature” at the Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum.  It was a very rainy Halloween weekend and we had several issues to fix when we brought it back at the dealership after our maiden voyage.  

Our second trip was to Champoeg State Park near Wilsonville.  We checked out the neighboring towns of Canby and Aurora. We also took a bike ride/run to Butteville about a 2 mile trail from the campground and visited the nice little museum at the campground.   It was another rainy weekend, but we were able to “practice” RVing again and in the end, still had several problems to get fixed at the dealership. 

On our third “practicing” trip, we went to Eugene and stayed one night at Armitage County Park out of the Coburg area.  It was really nice and has a dog park for Schatzie.  We then headed South to Curtain and pulled off the highway to see Chris & Lorrie Rayburn (Kelly’s brother). While we were visiting, a huge hailstorm dumped 2-3 inches on the highway and we saw two accidents blocking I-5 in both directions!  Blessed to have stopped to see Chris & Lorrie and avoid the accidents!  We went on to Sutherlin to stay two nights at Uncle Dale & Aunt Jeanie’s house/driveway.  We went for a walk down the beautiful new walking and biking path (once the railroad tracks) in Sutherlin with Aunt Jeanie.  We also got to see my friends from Elkton Debbie Powell, Harvey & Virginia Krager, Debbie’s daughter Marisa and her daughter’s Haylee and Kyah.  Kyah rode a huge horse, a Gypsy Vanner/Shire!  It was very impressive!  Then we went for dinner at an old standby restaurant in Sutherlin, Hong Kong Chinese restaurant where we met Shane Powell, Tarie Carnes Berger, Jeff and Angelique!  Then we waited until the roads were well traveled and stopped at CBA or now Canyonville Christian Academy.  We knocked on Esther & Roger Shaffer’s door and had a nice surprise visit with them!  Esther is still doing great and it was so nice to see them both.  We made it over Sexton Pass and arrived at the Valley of the Rogue state campground.  We spent New Year’s Eve with Kelly’s sister Suzie and her generous husband Mark.  After looking at their new house plans for their home that will be built in Jacksonville, Mark treated us to Prime Rib dinner at the famous Jacksonville Inn!  It was wonderful and if it was not so cold outside we would have walked there from the house they are renting! The next day we got to see my friend Kelly Clayton and she drove us to Crater Lake on New Year’s day!  I have a few pictures to prove it.  It was beautiful!  The next day we hiked Upper Tablerock trail which rewarded us with a panoramic view.  We made it back to the dealership in Tualatin but one day later then we expected.  We had to spend the night at the Cottage Grove Walmart to avoid the freezing rain on the road.  Camping in the winter makes for an interesting time for all.   Next trip…Silver Falls Campground.

5th Wheel

We love our 54′ of fun!


Hard to believe it was 36 years ago that Kelly started his first teaching job here!

We brought Aunt Jeanie her new bedspread from Kelly’s sister Darlene.  As you can tell she loved it!  Aunt Jeanie prayed for one just like it!  Way to bless her Darlene!

Cute mountaintop restaurant that specializes in homemade pies.


Temps were way below freezing!

Kelly Clayton my HSBFF and I made it to the top of Tablerock on a beautiful clear morning.


Kelly Clayton at the top, but where are the dogs?  Oops.


Oh the view!