Thursday, January 17, 2008

Coos Bay, at last

We are at the Mill Casino in Coos Bay (map).

I'm blogging a little late today, because I've spent the whole morning installing a new TV. That's a story unto itself, and I will relate it in a separate post -- mostly because it will take a while, and we'd like to get on the road, but also because I'm certain it's only of interest to a small subset of our readers.

In any case, we lingered at the Florence Elks until nearly 2, as we caught up on email and blogs and did some errands, including picking up a tarp for the bed at the nearby hardware store. Also, we wanted to take full advantage of our electric hookup there.

Our first destination here in Coos Bay was the Wal-Mart -- the last one we will pass in tax-free Oregon. I needed parts for the TV project, we needed some new pet beds, and we also wanted to see if there might be an appropriately sized vinyl tablecloth to substitute for the tarp -- more attractive, and less likely to slide off the bed owing to a polyester backing.

Shortly after we parked, a car pulled up beside us and we were greeted by one of our loyal readers, Guy Lawrence. In addition to a nice chat, Guy offered us a parking spot any time we come through Port Orford -- thanks, Guy! Guy apparently spotted us as we drove in, and he knew we were headed this way.

We found everything we needed at Wal-Mart, and we would simply have stayed there had we been able. It was a good location with a large lot. Unfortunately, this is one of those rare cases where a Wal-Mart has banned overnight stays of its own volition, in this case due to the inconsiderate actions of some individuals. Folks had been overnighting at this store for over a year, and it was well-known among the RV community that the store allowed it, but wanted folks to check in at the customer service desk first. However, a few months ago, apparently, a number of rigs showed up, stayed for a week, left trash everywhere, and had a noisy party in the parking lot. Game over -- the rest of us will now pay for this behavior. (You can read the first-hand report here if you sign up for the Yahoo OverNightRVParking group.)

We already knew about the new policy before we stopped in, and so we had already planned to come here to the casino. On our way in to Wal-Mart, we spotted a Safeway with $3.109 diesel (with free Safeway card), and so we came the long way around to stop there and fuel up -- that's the cheapest we've seen and are likely to see from here to Mexico.

The casino has a full-hookup RV park, and 30' back-ins are $19 if you have a players' card. However there is also a free gravel boondocking lot, where all they ask is that you first check in at the RV park for a free permit for up to seven nights. We chose the free option, although we did buy a nice dinner in the casino. Ask for a fun book -- there is a $3 coupon in there for the restaurant. Dinner was tasty and reasonably priced.

In a few minutes we will pull up stakes and continue south, although I am guessing only about an hour's worth.

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