April 14, 2015

Back in the Saddle Again!

"Got the sun shining on me like a big spotlight
So I know everything is gonna be alright
Ain't no telling where the wind might blow
Free and easy down the road I go"
Dierks Bentley

This day truly did arrive. We awakened with excitement and a few butterflies, as we had purchased this rig sight unseen, relying on manufacturer and dealer photos toward our decision. We were emotionally prepared just in case the "real deal" did not match the stellar reputation of the manufacturer or meet our high expectations of fit, finish and workmanship. But as it turned out, the trailer exceeded every expectation in design, quality and livability. We were thrilled with the introduction to our new Northwood Manufacturing  Arctic Fox 25P and the service of Thunder RV and staff.

We chose to put our rig through a two week shake down cruise with a diversified menu of camping experiences from rv parks to boondocking on BLM wilderness areas. Not only did we want to test every function of the new trailer, these two rookie tow buddies needed some consistent practice hitching and unhitching, parking, backing up...and towing down desolated single lane dirt roads. And practice we did...we're just not perfect yet!

Our first night in the rig was spent at Eagles Hot Lake RV Park on the outskirts of La Grande, OR. A beautiful park offering some panoramic landscape views of the Wallowa Mountains, one of the Seven Wonders of Oregon. A long and wide pull through made parking a breeze. But, our first solo attempt at unhitching our weight distribution hitch proved to be a trial by fire...but eventually achieved after a call to our salesman reminded us we were missing a critical step. That evening, our Fox provided us a snug, warm and comfy home...standing firm and stable through a night of heavy wind gusts.

The next morning we went on the Northwood Manufacturing factory tour to view first hand the manufacturing process of Arctic Fox trailers. As we were the only ones signed up for the tour, Colby of Northwood Manufacturing was able to spend more time explaining each phase of the process, answering every question we had and taking more time to note the difference between a Northwood product and it's competitors. We ended our tour convinced we had purchased an exceptionally well built trailer, worthy of it's stellar reputation. We are confident that our rig will provide us years of adventure and enjoyment.

After our cool tour, it was time to start our trip south. But we decided for our initial official road trip we would take a "baby step", a confidence builder... and motor down the road a short distance to Farewell Bend State Park. We love Oregon State Parks,..."Go Ducks"... and as former Camp Hosts, we always try to support the state's park system whenever we can. Farewell Bend, located on the Oregon/Idaho border is on the banks of the Snake River's Brownlee Reservoir. The site is quite historic, for it is here on the river bend that Oregon Trail Pioneers rested after following the Snake River for 330 miles. They would bid farewell to the Snake and begin the more rugged phase of their trek away from the river...wagon ruts are still visible to this day. On this day though, Farewell Bend provided these contemporary travelers an easy place to park, a quiet, relaxing setting and the soothing lullaby of rustling leaves as we nestled in for the evening. Tomorrow, no more baby steps...we put the big kid panties on.

At Waypoint 44.306723°-117.224399°

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