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A Buff and A Marauder; Eastbound; Could You Move Your Coach?

Okay, you smarty pants, “Buff” in the title has to do with an airplane, in this case, not a physical description of My Lovely Bride, who actually would indeed fit that term. (For those not familiar with the word, “buff” means “having good muscle tone; physically fit and trim”.) In this case, the word “Buff” has to do with the aircraft in the photo, a B-52 Stratofortress, here seen at Fairchild Air Force Base. This strategic bomber was introduced in 1952, and over 75 are still flying on active and reserve service.  

Also in Fairchild’s historic aircraft park was this WWII B-26 Martin Marauder medium bomber. It was nicknamed “The Widowmaker” because of its early poor accident record during takeoffs and landings. Fortunately, it was quickly improved and achieved the lowest loss rate of any US Army Air Corps bomber by the end of the war. It was the chief air bombardment weapon on the Western Front, used mostly against German formations in Europe. 

We moved from Fort Lewis on Saturday morning, and drove to Vantage, Washington, where we stayed in a small campground overlooking the Columbia River Gorge. When we arrived, the temp was about 105F. We had left Tacoma in pleasant 65F sunshine. Even worse, it was blowing like stink, about 35 knots, when we stepped outside after dinner. This area has such high winds that there are many “windmill farms” on the hillsides, and the local delicacy is the Blustery Burger. The river was beautiful, but we didn’t have time to paddle here; nor would we have wanted to, with high winds and waves making small boating potentially very hazardous. This was the view at sunset from our campground… not too shabby a view of the Columbia River, eh?

We are now at the Clear Lake Recreation Center in a pleasant military campground 12 miles from Fairchild Air Force Base in Spokane, WA. I will be here for eight days while Suzanne visits Her Lovely Mom Ruthie back in The Villages. When she returns, we will continue our eastward travels, with a slight detour to Alberta, Canada, returning home on 1 October.

Well, it was pleasant enough until we had a knock at our door an hour after getting settled in, and just before dinner (I was making My Lovely Bride’s favorite dish, Chicken Marsala, again). “Hi”, I said, cheerily, thinking he was welcoming us to the campground. Dave, a retired Air Force guy, replied, “Uh, I’m Dave, your neighbor here, and could you move your coach up 10 or 12 feet? It’s blocking my satellite TV reception.” I looked at Dave in disbelief and wonder. The slots here are relatively narrow, to get the most RV’s in, and they are only about 52 feet deep, allowing barely enough room to park our 42 foot coach and our Honda CR-V without the car jutting into the road. Our neighbor pointed to his satellite dish on the ground, noting that his signal was indeed totally blocked by our coach. “Dave, I really don’t think that’s feasible; the front of my coach would be at the edge of the road with no room to park my car. Why don’t you just get an extension coax cable so you can move your antenna behind your RV and then I wouldn’t be blocking it?” Dave was obviously not happy with my suggestion, but I was not about to move our RV so he could watch TV. I almost suggested that he buy a book or a Kindle, but it was apparent that my suggestion would not be well received. Sigh… 

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