Checked out of La Quinta Hotel, picked up CC and headed to Springfield Oregon. We knew the minute we arrived at AM Solar that our luck had changed. We met the owners Debra and Greg and assistant Roger who welcomed us like family to their establishment. We were booked in for the next morning to have solar panels installed on CC's roof. Debra is one of those women who have a concentrated dose of the mothering gene. She took us under her wing, gave us a local map and marked stores and restaurants of interest for us. Debra showed us to their waiting room, a comfortable space with couch, table, water and coffee,Internet and huge library filled with RV magazines and books on travel, nature, food and art of the area. We camped comfortably that night in the AM Solar parking lot.
Chris had done a massive amount of research on solar panels over the past two years and all articles and blogs pointed to the professionalism and assistance at the AM Solar company of Springfield OR. The technicians that installed the panels were second to none. The installation was flawless as wires and cables had to be routed from the panels on the roof through 2 control panels inside and sent to the basement area to hook up to the batteries and other controllers mounted there. No wires were showing anywhere inside the coach. Most of the work was completed in a day but we needed a couple of minor things done in the morning as well as a "walk through" on the ins and outs of the panels. We spent another quiet night in the driveway after spotting a nutria outside. They are creatures that dwell near water and look like a cross between a beaver and a muskrat. Creepy! They've been known to bite and scratch at dogs. Watch out Dixie.
Friday November 18, Chris took CC back to the now infamous RV Corral. Dixie and I stayed in the AM Solar waiting room with the ice packs and dog grooming tools that Debra had provided and my computer.
The microwave that had been installed on Monday was removed and reinstalled with the fan blowing properly out of the RV rather than in to the kitchen. Next, the correct jacks were installed! Hooray! Finally a propane pro named Reif installed a propane line inside CC to hook up a propane heater and outside CC to hook up the Bar-B-Que. A very satisfying day all round! Stayed one last night at AM Solar.
Saturday, November 19, we left Springfield and headed west towards the coast through fall colours, gorgeous river country, fog rising off the coastal mountains and hilly pastures with grazing cattle. Soon we entered dune country with rolling sand dunes covered in scraggy, low foliage and gorgeous grasses. Stopped near the Florence dunes on the coast and Chris and Dixie hiked over the dunes to be treated to a view of crashing Pacific waves pounding on a huge sand beach. Stupendous breathtaking views from the ocean side highway as we drove south. Huge volcanic rocks sat offshore being smashed by giant green waves and whipping up a massive surf. Checked in to The Honeybear Campground for the night only one hour north of California!