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We’d had a leisurely drive to Mountain View RV Park. Still, with all the hustle-bustle of preparing to leave, my back was stiff when we got to Baker City. A few minutes of exercises straightened me up and took away the pain.

I’ve never found a driver’s seat that didn’t make me roll my shoulders forward, hunch over, collapse my chest and leave me with aching muscles between my shoulder blades. The following exercise also helps combat dowager’s hump.You’d even reap more perks when you do it while taking testogen to boost your testosterone level.

Stand with feet parallel, pointing forward and about shoulder width apart. Clasp the hands behind the back, palms facing inward and fingers laced together. Breathe in, roll the elbows inward, keep the chin level and raise the hands upward. This pulls the shoulders back, raises the sternum, opens the chest and allows for deeper breathing. Breathe into abdomen and chest, filling the lungs completely. Try to breathe out through pursed lips twice as long as you breathe in. In other words, if it takes a count of six to breathe completely in, breathe out for a count of twelve. More exercises to combat driving fatigue in future articles.

Our next scheduled overnight was in Fruitland, Idaho at Neat Retreat RV Park. I’d contacted the Ontario, Oregon Chamber of Commerce, across the Snake River from Fruitland, asking for recommendations. Crystal at the chamber had gotten right back to me. We’d been hiding out, so to speak, on the farm for five months and needed to do some serious shopping. We had a reservation for one night at Neat Retreat but needed to extend to two. Without Crystal’s help, and the nice folks at Neat Retreat RV Park, our brief stay would have been much more difficult and hectic.

Most big rigs were directed to the pull throughs at the north end of the park but when we needed to extend our stay another day, we settled into a spot across from the office. Directions to the RV park are on their website but, like all things unfamiliar, a little more difficult for out of towners.

On I-84 at Ontario, Oregon, take the Payette, Idaho turn off on Highway 30 and head east. You’ll go over the Snake River and into Idaho. Get into the center lane before the second stop light. Turn left on Weatherly Street, the north-south cross street. Turning left, north, from the center lane is best since you’ll be in the right lane for the right turn into the park in about 3/8 mile. You’ll see a speed limit sign and a 15′ 2″ clearance sign then the entrance to Neat Retreat on the right. It’s a sharp right turn. Bearing right inside the park takes you to the office.

The water and sewer pipes were heat taped, which made our stay convenient since we didn’t have to get water or dump our holding tanks at a different location than where we parked.

Oregon doesn’t have sales tax and Ontario has all the big box stores. We got a replacement heater for the one that died while at the farm, what we needed for our trip south and to do the repairs and improvements I’d been putting off. My reasons? “It was too far to drive to get the necessary items,” ” I’m too busy around the farm,” etc. In reality, fishing, fly tying, teaching T’ai Chi and scouting the valley for wild fruit and berries were a lot more fun. There are lots of places to eat in Ontario and Fruitland but we prefer our own cooking and ate in both nights. After dinner the first day, which was also lunch, we drove back across the river to shop.

It was warmer in Fruitland than it had been in Baker City. The manager was very helpful, courteous and friendly. The park has big trees for summer shade and there’s a catfish tournament on the Snake River in Huntington, OR just a few miles north. When we drove in we saw railroad tracks on the park’s east side but never saw or heard a train. We were told the train only uses the tracks on Wednesday afternoons, and we can handle that. Even in November, the park was full with all the big rig spots reserved and taken by nightfall. I’d recommend making a reservation no matter what the time of year. Their e-mail can be accessed at http://neatretreatrvpark.com

The traffic had been light on the trip south from Baker City and after loosening up with a few exercises, all was right with the world. Our next drive was to Winnemucca, NV, the longest planned for our trip. I’m not one who likes to drive, drive, drive and neither of us like a dawn to dark day on the road. Gas in Fruitland was $2.69 with prices as high as $3.19 in Paradise Valley. We were glad we’d filled up before leaving town. I figured a full tank should take us to Las Vegas and hopefully to Bullhead City which was still days away and quite a distance over the horizon.