Open Roads?

So what the heck is “Open Roads”?

So to keep this as simple as possible, because “Open Roads” has evolved over time. But here is how I like to explain it to friends, it is a direct payment card that is attached directly to your bank account similar to a “Debit Card”. There are numerous stations on the program and the discount varies from station to station and from brand to brand.

It is a fuel purchasing group of RVer’s, that can provide very large saving for purchasing diesel fuel. I have spoke about this program before, and it is worthy of another few words.

This screenshot shows the “Open Roads” app opened up to the fuel map, I have mine set to a 100 mile radius from my location. The app has brought up 14 fuel stations, now I can adjust the map size to find the station closest to my projected route.

This screenshot shows the closest station to my route.

With this screenshot I can check the present station discount.

There are a number of things to watch on these screenshots, first is the price that is going to show up on the fuel pump ($6.599), then the price that will actually be charged ($5.260). So that is a savings of $1.339 per gallon, but before you count all your savings there are some other cost’s involved, so always check the transaction fee, in this case it is $0.65, then the logistics company that does all the work behind the scenes takes 1% of the savings, that does not show up on this screen, but it is the same percentage for every transaction. And always check the date in the bottom corner, as to when the price was last confirmed, looks like a great savings so we will be fueling there tomorrow as we pull out of Bakersfield.

A couple of things to remember, this for diesel only at this point, to get the savings you must go through the big truck lanes out back, and they are not a clean and as pretty as are most of the pumps out front. Depending on your coach or truck you may need to use the satellite fuel pump, all truck stops have pumps on both sides of the fuel lane. You might wonder why? It is quite simple most highway transports have fuel tanks on both sides, and they carry a lot of fuel, so a driver can fill both tanks at the same time on the same transaction, and lots of these trucks carry 3 to 5 hundred gallons so tanks on both sides, keeps the truck balanced. With our coach the filler is on the passenger side, which requires the use of satellite pump, but to get the satellite pump to dispense fuel you must start the main pump. I just lay the nozzle down at the pump and carry on. Oh yea by the way there is no information on the satellite pump, that’s all on the main pump. The bonus is the pump does not kick off at a set amount so you can put three of four hundred dollars of fuel in on one transaction.

I have learnt that there is never any paper in any of the truck pumps, so if you want a receipt your going to need to go in and wait in the line with all the rest. I have started just snapping photos of the pump price, and the total amount of dollars and gallons. Also remember these are high volume pumps so there can be some splash back, there will be diesel fuel on everything in the fuel lanes, so I recommend gloves, and be careful not to track spilt fuel into your unit.

The Savings and the Benefits out way the inconvenience, you finish up and get back on the road and now the logistics company does their thing and the next day you get a transaction receipt with the pump cost for fuel, the transaction fee, the 1% sur charge, and finally the debit from your bank account. I have blown up the transaction report to show what has transpired from our fuel purchase.

This screenshot shows the price on the pump this morning when I stopped to fuel the coach. But behind all that dust the price per gallon is $6.599 just as indicated on app from the above screen shot.

This screenshot shows the total amount of fuel I purchased today with the gallons. Again not a pretty photo but it shows $315.60 total purchase for 47.825 gallons

Now you can see by the photos, that when I said the truck fuel lanes were not pretty, I was not kidding, but this is all about the savings, and the proof is in the final charge for the purchase.

This screen shot is of the PDF that I received by email the next day, and it has a lot of numbers that seem to repeat. But the line you need to be aware of is the actual amount of the draft from your account.

So the net pay line shows:

Pump price: $315.60

Transaction Fee: $0.65

1% Surcharge: $6.22

Bank Draft: $260.25

Savings: $55.35

The bottom line is that I saved $55.35 from the actual pump price. And yes the logistics company made a few dollars on the way through, but my true cost per gallon for this purchase was $5.33 which is a savings of $1.2687 per gallon. I watch people rush in to pay cash to save 10¢ per gallon from the credit/debit price, this is so much better and easier, I have been asked how can there be savings like this, and my answer is I don’t know or care as long as I can enjoy the savings!

But I’m sure much of it is from volume, lets face it did you expect those big transportation companies were paying the same price as you and me? I just feel that this levels the playing field and if the logistics company is willing to offer and provide this service, I will continue take advantage of it.

Blog 456

Week 3 of our vacation 2022

Wednesday October 12th 2022: It was just a few minutes after six when I crawled out of bed this morning, having a down day is a great thing and we did enjoy ours. Today we are heading back west toward the Oregon coast and continue south on US-101 along the coast. We are presently still at the Elks Lodge in Hillsboro, I will add some fresh water this morning before we pull out, and we are aiming for a 9:30 departure. A cup of fresh perked coffee and a couple of fried eggs and we are ready to start our departure process. Starting the coach to build up air pressure, raising the stabilization jacks, bring in the slide, top up the fresh water, disconnect the power supply, put away all equipment, then pull out of our site to hook up the toad, so amazingly as it may seem at 9:30 we are heading out of the Elks parking lot in Hillsboro.

Today is a short driving day only around 60 miles (100 kilometers) west on OR-6 to the Tillamook area, and our Harvest Host for tonight “The Blue Heron French Cheese Company” in Tillamook, the trip took us through the Tillamook Forest on a route referred to as “The tree to sea scenic byway” and we arrived just before 11:00 this morning, Miss Laurie went in to register us as I leveled the coach, we have much to see today. As Laurie returned she brought me a bowl of Clam Chowder from our host, so we took a few moments to enjoy an early lunch.

Our first stop was Tillamook Creamy, anyone that has done any grocery shopping in Western United States will recognize the name for its cheeses and ice cream, that is carried in most stores (even Costco).

Then we took the toad and headed north on US-101, to many of the beaches and sights that we have been planning on visiting for months, there are many different rocks along the coast, hay-stack rock, castle rock, the twin rocks, just to name a few, on multiple beaches, the most famous being Cannon Beach or Arcadia Beach, here are a few of todays photos.

After a day of adventures we made it back to the coach close to four o’clock, Miss Laurie made some Tacos for dinner as we settled into the grass field with about a dozen other boondockers, we caught up on the Canadian news and then watched some National Geographic shows before calling it an early night.

Thursday October 13th 2022: It is 6:00 in the morning and it’s damn chilly this morning at 45°F (7°C), and the dawn is just starting to show above the coastal mountains to our east, the marine layer seems to roll in and then disappear again, and other than it being cool it has the makings of another beautiful day.

By 9:30 we have consumed a cheese & onion omelet, the coach is now being warmed by the sun, and I’m onto my second cup of coffee, we are still watching our Canadian television streaming subscription, so we are catching up on Canadian news. I most likely won’t switch to an US television streaming service until we return from our Mexico adventure, and our Canadian subscription ends around the first of November so it all works out well. Today we are headed down the coast to another Harvest Host, a little longer driving day, but still within our our four hour rule. And it is almost all on US-101, until we veer off to this nights stop, the app “iOverlander” lists many possible stops along the route that sound like phenomenal overnight spots, but the fear of a knock on the door, and being forced to move down the road in the middle of the night is not our idea of an ideal situation, so we like to stop in spots that are safe, quiet and overnight approved.

So as I already mentioned today is a longer driving day, as we have moved further down the coast to the Florence Oregon area, and the drive was beautiful as we hugged the shoreline on our trek south. And while we were not able to make as many photo stops as yesterday, we still got some photos. We also stopped in Newport to take on another 55 gallons (210 liters) of diesel fuel, and while this route is maybe not be the most economical to drive, it has been worth the price. Never having seen this area before, we have been humbled by the beauty and in ah of the ruggedness of this Oregon coast.

We just settled into our stop for tonight at three o’clock this afternoon, we are quite close to the highway so there will be some road noise, but we are the only guest here tonight, and we will be able to leave the toad attached. Old World Gingerbread Village has been in the same family forever, their claim to fame is obviously their Gingerbread, and everything on the menu is homemade, so we went inside to enjoy some “Linner” that is our term for a late lunch or an early dinner, I had a bowl of the clam chowder, with an order of fish & chips, Laurie had the clam strips, and then picked up some carrot cake for desert latter in the coach, here are a few photos.

Friday October 14th, 2022: This was certainly not the quietest overnight stay we have had, but was not close to the worst either, we were only a few yards from OR-126 which connects Eugene to Florence, so had some truck traffic all night. I was up early again this morning, just doing a little more route planning and researching things to see & do. This coastline has kind of been like admiring the Grand Canyon, every view seems to be a “Kodak” view, but you just can’t get photo that can show the real beauty of what we are seeing. A tragedy has happened this morning, my cup of fresh perked coffee is missing its normal wee touch of an Irish vacation blessing, we had stopped at a Costco in Portland, but it did not carry the Kirkland’s Irish Cream, which we knew was a tragedy in the making.

Breakfast this morning was a couple of fried eggs, it will be a later start today as it will be a shorter day, we are moving further south to a Walmart, we need to get some more supplies and this looks like our best option before entering California on Sunday. Well we pulled away from Gingerbread Village at a few moments to eleven o’clock, and we were at the Walmart at Coos Bay OR by 12:20, and the parking lot was jammed, there were a couple of barricaded areas that would have made it a much better experience, but we parked across one of the barricaded lot entrances and Miss Laurie ventured off to do some shopping for this weeks supplies. She was going to ask about parking but we may be heading down the road a little further today, we will see what happens.

Well we made the decision to go further down the road today, there were a number of items that effected our thinking, first and foremost was this cramped Walmart parking lot, second we had only driven 60 miles (100 kilometers) today so we’ll below our guideline, it’s Friday so the traffic will be heavier tomorrow for the drive, this area of the coast was mostly sand dunes, so not our idea of desirable viewing. And last but certainly not least, we would not feel safe leaving our house here and going exploring, so the idea when we started to look at moving on, our next days drive would take us to Brookings OR, a much more rugged piece of the coastline, so after some lunch, off we headed south.

As it turned out we did not get settled for the night till after five o’clock, we are at an Elks Lodge in Brookings OR, so we have dumped our tanks, hooked up to 30 amp power and water, and are settled into site #6 looking west as the marine layer rolled in. To keep on schedule we have booked into here for two nights, as tomorrow we are driving the coast line in the toad for a day of exploration. We were talking about the views as we drove yesterday and Laurie asked. How many photos of the coastline do we actually need? My only answer was just one more, because the next one could be the “one”. We say the same thing about sunsets, mountain ranges, sunrises, and the list goes on, and the answer is always just one more.

The RV parks at most Elks lodges are on a first come, first served bases, and by the time we went to bed it looked like 15 of the 17 sites were full. For dinner tonight we had pork chops, corn and sweet potatoes, we watched the news, a few YouTube videos, and then the final episode of the power of the rings on Prime Video, and some place in there I had some Tillamook ice cream for desert. Tonight has been one of our worst nights for our connectivity that we have experienced, so this evening we experienced some buffering, but we also managed to stream video for over four hours with only a few blips. We turned in to bed at ten o’clock.

Saturday October 15th, 2022: Well I’m awake and it’s only 5:30, it is only 49°F (9°C) and I can see through the windshield that we are still socked in by the marine layer, there appears to be no breeze to help move it out, but we are hoping for a clearing later today to allow us to explore the coast, but the forecast is not looking the best. A week ago were preparing to make our way to the ferry, yes it has only been a week since we entered the States, and two weeks from now we will be in Yuma AZ, a quick glance at the map has us still 1000 miles (1600 kilometers) away. Miss Laurie has perked coffee and I smell bacon cooking as we are watching the news and I’m catching up on the blog.

Breakfast was a bacon sandwich on toasted sourdough bread, always a hit in my books, our plan is to wait till ten o’clock and see if the marine layer will break up or burn off. Well neither happened, but we ventured off anyway, instead of walking the beach in shorts and a tee shirt, today was blue jeans, a thermal shirt, with a hooded sweatshirt. I’m not complaining, we have had such great weather up until today, a cooler overcast day is and we will make the best of it. Here are a few of todays photos on our last day on the Oregon coast.

It was after three o’clock by the time we made it back to the coach today, we never did get to see any sunshine, but this was the first day in almost three weeks that we haven’t seen some sun. In fact we have had much better weather than is the normal fall weather expected on the coast, as this is normally the rainy season, so no complaints from us. Miss Laurie is chopping items for tonight’s pizza dinner, we have to make use of our electrical hook up, as we are heading to a boondocking spot tomorrow at a casino in California.

Pizza for dinner tonight, with a cold adult beverage, just a relaxed evening the news. a couple of YouTube videos, and finished of with a movie on Prime video. We turned in shortly after ten o’clock to another quiet night here at the Elks Lodge in Brookings Oregon.

Sunday October 16th, 2022: It was a 6:30 start this morning, we are moving again today, we will be in California this afternoon, so we need to top off the fuel tank, as diesel is a dollar a gallon cheaper in Oregon than it is in California. Well we didn’t top off the tank because a Casino just over the State Line has diesel fuel cheaper than here in Oregon, so now onto plan “B” departure time 11:00, load of laundry at the Elks Lodge facilities, and spend one night at the Casino.

Breakfast this morning was a fried egg, some home fries, and sourdough toast, then watch some Sunday morning television, its hard to get too phyiced up for a 6 mile (10 kilometer) journey, yes we are moving just 10 minutes down the road. So at 11:30 we are settled into the Casino RV parking area, there are only 10 sites and it is just on a first come bases so because it is an overcast day, I suspect it will be another down day.

Well it was a relaxing day but the sun came out long enough to make it think that we could get a great sunset, well I’m afraid that only partially worked out, but here are a few photos of our day

After our walk to the beach we returned to the coach where Miss Laurie, warmed up some precooked burgers for dinner, and we settled into watch 60 minutes, and catch up on some YouTube videos before calling it a night at around 9:30.

Monday October 17th, 2022: I slept till just after 7:00 this morning, it wasn’t the most restful night by any means, the lot was fairly full, so there was a bit of noise, but with the coach not being level and what seemed like an overabundance of lights, that seemed to shine into the coach, it just wasn’t the best night. We have planned a departure time of ten o’clock this morning so after some fried eggs and toast with some fresh perked coffee we prepared for our departure.

I had not fueled up in Oregon because the Casino had a fuel station that was easy to get our coach through and the price was ten cents a liter cheaper than the Fred Meyers back in Oregon, and in Oregon you can’t pump your own fuel, which seems strange after years of filling my own tank, not saying better or worse, just different. Our Destination today is an Elks Lodge in Eureka CA. with full hookups, and we are planning on exploring the sequoias in the area. There is also a Costco, so maybe we can pick up some of the Kirkland brand alcohol, and enough supplies to get us to Yuma and ready to cross into Mexico. We also explored a wildlife preserve, where we walked on the beach, seen lots of birds, some seals in the ocean and a couple of deer.

The giant Sequoias are amazing but photos just can not show the majesties of a tree that is hundreds of years old and stands over 300 feet (92 meters) tall, that’s more than twice as tall as Niagara Falls. Then the wildlife preserve, was teaming with birds, herons, egrets, all too far away for my iPhone to get a photos, but the wind swept trees on the coast and the deer, made for a great adventure. We returned to the coach where Laurie prepared a dinner of chicken, and salad, followed by some gingerbread for desert. We watched some television before turning in for the night near ten o’clock.

Tuesday October 18th, 2022: I had a 6:30 start today, it was a quiet night, and I sleep well, and we are heading further south on US-101 today. Miss Laurie is still in bed and Mister Sam had his treats and is curled up on my lap, until he hears Laurie stirring in the bedroom, then he dumps me for better things, some might be hurt but I realize that Mister Sam is a kitty of opportunity, and he had a better one.

Breakfast this morning was a toasted bacon sandwich on sourdough bread, and we are back to fresh perked coffee with a wee Irish blessing, so I’m able to think much clearer now. Today our departure time will be ten o’clock, we are traveling around 120 miles (200 kilometers), and our destination is a casino in Willits CA. Sherwood Valley Casino, we are hoping to find a spot that we can stay for a couple of nights, to slow us to sneak over to the coast for some adventure tomorrow.

Well it was scenic drive today, we drove through multiple forests of giant sequoia trees, some almost on the highway, we changed from 4 lane highway, to 2 lane highway weaving through the sequoias. 122 miles later we are parked in the Casino parking lot a few moments after one o’clock, the lot is certainly not level but it will be close enough for us, the GPS is indicating that we are above 1400 feet (427 meters) of elevation, which could certainly be possible as we have been away from the coast for most of the day, up a hill, down a hill, and you kind of loose track when you are surrounded by mountains and trees. We are slowly working our way south, the pace of travel will change next week as we jump on some Interstate Highways and make up some time. Our plan is to be in Yuma 10 days from today, we are aiming for the 28th of October, next weeks blog has us exploring some more of the coast and a bit of San Francisco.

I checked in with the Casino Security, as instructed, this will be home for a couple of nights, but this afternoon was spent with me catching up on the blog, Mister Sam and Miss Laurie having a nap. Dinner tonight was a chicken Quesada, as we watched the news, we also watched some videos about the surrounding area, to help plan out tomorrows explorations, Miss Laurie turned in at 9:30 and I’m just finishing this blog off, so that I can publish it later tonight or first thing in the morning.

As always be well and stay safe out there!

Blog 454

Day 1841