Back in early 2011 when I first informed my friends and family that I was considering full timing in an RV once my Atlanta house sold, most expressed shock while others dismissed in disbelief. All except for my brother Don. Having been an RV owner himself for many years, his only “shock” was why it took me so long to finally come around to his way of thinking. 😉 Shortly after my declaration of intent, Don sent me a link to RV Trader for “a little Sprinter,” advertising a 2006 Itasca Navion. For those who may not know, the Navion is the “sister” to the Winnebago View, made side by side on the same assembly line in Forest City, Iowa. With the exception of the decals, they are identical.
When I found the “View Version” of the link he had sent for sale in rural Arkansas, Don went with me to do the inspection. He would also make the drive with me again the following weekend to take delivery, and drive my Honda CRV back to Texas. We stopped on the way back at Bob Sandlin State Park where he gave me an accelerated course in RV 101, from filling to dumping and everything in between.
After a year of remodeling the “log house” in Texas, the “For Sale” sign went up in May with the “Sold!” sign soon to follow, whereby he signed over the painting, sanding, staining, landscaping duties to a new owner in July. He flew out to Sebastapol, California to pick the Navion up a couple of weeks ago and made his way up to Oregon to join me at the Salmon Harbor Marina in Winchester Bay, and now he is having those all too familiar full timer mornings when you wake up and ask, “Where the heck am I?” He got a really sweet deal, a little more than half what I paid for my 2008 back in 2012. Of course, a few “issues” appeared on the shake down drive, but nothing he hasn’t been able to repair on the fly.
Winchester Bay has proven to be an idyllic meet-up spot. Unlike the State Parks in the area, the marina is only about half full, and only $15 a night. And the best part? Hiking buddy Chris is here! I haven’t seen him since February when we all went our separate ways in Anza Borrego.
We forage the fishing docks in the marina sampling the smorgasbord of seafood from fresh albacore tuna loin from the “Kelly B.” to the Umpqua Triangle oysters grown in the aquaculture “triangle” between the Umpqua River and the Pacific. But without a doubt, my favorite meal of all? “Crab Night.”
For what would turn out to be the best deal on Dungeness along the entire Oregon Coast, we walk across the marina to the “Sleep Robber” and buy four huge crabs for $8 apiece, not even sure we have the pots big enough to cook them. Between the three of us, surely we have it covered. The fishmonger on the Sleep Robber cleans them for us and splits them in half, making it easier to fit them in a pot. He also gives us a bucket of fresh seawater from his pump beneath the surface as his recommended seasoning method. “The sea water adds just the right amount of saltiness. Don’t put anything else in there. It’s perfect!” “What about serving it? Lemon? Butter?” “The only crab that needs lemon or butter is crab that’s not fresh. You won’t need it.”
It’s going to take two pots for the crabs, so Don takes half the crabs back to his rig, and I take the other half. “Bring the seawater to a boil, drop them in for seventeen minutes, no more!” is the advice we are given. I set the iphone timer at seventeen and wait for the water to return to a boil before I hit “Go!”
By the time I start the water boiling, pea soup fog has rolled in engulfing the marina to the point that I can’t tell if the white out my windows is on the inside or outside. I can barely make out the tops of the masts on the boats along the harbor. The wind has picked up, and it’s downright blustery out there. I wipe the steam from the window and see Chris coming across the parking lot wearing a coat and a knitted cap. He is carrying a bowl of piping hot roasted potatoes. Don is approaching from his rig wearing a hoodie sweatshirt, carrying his half of the boiling crabs fresh off the stove. I have prepared a big tossed salad with fresh vegetables, corn on the cob, and garlic bread toasted on the grill to round out the menu.
Hoping not to bring along the smell of cracked crab as a souvenir of my summer along the coast, I take precautions in fashioning a paper tablecloth from Trader Joe’s paper bags. We commence cracking, savoring each tasty morsel from what would surely be my “death row meal!” ordered as my Last Supper. We remark how good it feels to be inside where it’s warm and cozy on such a cold, windy night during “the dog days of August!”