Monday, July 9, 2007


We are at our official home, Desert Aire in eastern Washington (map).

We had a great July Fourth holiday, watching myriad fireworks over Lake Tapps at the home of Bob and Shirley Lewis. Infinity was able to knock out our short project list in the day and a half we had there, making and installing base trim and stair nosing for the new floor, and sealing the trailing edge of the front cap.

This latter item was the result of tests we did while in Harrisburg. Once the carpet was up, we found evidence of more water intrusion than we had realized from the area under the front Peninsula windows. We pulled the inside window trim while it was raining and found quite a bit of water coming down from above the window, so after the rain stopped, I pulled out a compressed air hose and a bottle of soap suds. Blasting air into the window frame from the inside while spraying soap on the outside revealed some leakage around the front cap.

When Infinity cut through the paint and dug out the old sealant, they found quite a bit of evidence of water intrusion. Since our rain gutters essentially dump all the water from the roof right in this region, I suppose it should have been no surprise. In any event, they cleaned out as much stuff as they could and injected fresh sealant into the seam, so we hope that this particular set of leaks is now behind us.

When I called our painter Friday, he was still running over on another project and determined that he could not squeeze us in today, so we shifted gears, deciding instead to swing by here to check on our property, something we have not done in nearly two years. We spent an extra night at the Infinity shop, since we wanted to be in the tri-cities this morning, but didn't want to be here on the dry side any sooner than Sunday afternoon -- it's quite hot here right now. We will stop this morning at our mail box in Richland, then head back towards the coast along the Columbia valley.

Our property here looks basically unchanged from two years ago, although a new house has gone in right next door. We met the new neighbors, Don and Cindy, just as they were buttoning their place up to head back to their other home in Buckley, not far from Sumner. We gave them our contact information -- it's always good to know your neighbors, and now they know whom to call in the event an alien space ship lands on our little plot of dried sagebrush.

After checking on our lot, we rolled over to the campground on the lake, expecting to spend the night. There was an attendant at the gate, and we were informed that camping there is now $15 per night, even for homeowners. Camping for members of the owner's association used to be free, as I wrote here two years ago. After grudgingly forking over the $15, we discovered that every camp site had a day-use car parked in it -- people wanted to play on the lake on a hot Sunday afternoon. So, apparently, even though they are collecting fees and paying someone to do so, they can't enforce even the most basic rules, like day users should park in the day-use lot. (The camp sites are closer to the water.)

We took back our $15 and drove two blocks to the full-hookup RV "park," such as it is -- really just a row of eight angled gravel parking stalls separated by perhaps ten feet of grass with a 30-amp pedestal and a spigot. It was only another $5, and just as well, because we needed to run the air conditioners from when we arrived until about 9pm, and we've had one on this morning for the last hour or so as well.

It's actually quite beautiful here, with the hills rising above the river/lake in the background, but now that they are charging us $15 for dry camping, we're less inclined to plan spending the night.

We noted some other changes as well, such as that there continue to be houses built here. In addition to our new neighbors, we've seen a dozen or so new homes or homes under construction, and that's just in the part of the development we drove through. Also, there are quite a few vineyards along the river that were not here two years ago. I expect to see more of that as we drive south into Richland, and on our way downriver.

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