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Author Topic: Florida to the Pacific NW  (Read 17455 times)

hoddinron

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Florida to the Pacific NW
« on: July 16, 2013, 06:34:26 PM »
Our two month tour of the Pacific NW has begun.  We started out on Sunday, July 14 leaving our home in Seminole, Florida .  But gremlins plagued us for the first two days in the form of a problem with the trailer tail lights.  Something was causing a fuse in the truck that was dedicated to keeping the tail lights and marker lights on to blow.  We stopped in Ocala after discovering that they were not working, but couldn't find a mobile RV service that would return our call on a Sunday.  So Monday we found B & E RV Repair to take a look.  The were really nice guys and did replace the tail light fixtures, bulbs etc which were rusted in place and could have caused the fuse to blow.  They got them working, but not for long, so another stop in Lake City at the Camping World and another long wait.  Finally a 20 something kid who was assigned to trouble shoot this problem figured it out!  I was so impressed!  Turns out the was a short in the wires that led from the gooseneck to the front marker lights.  Once it was disconnected, the tail lights stayed on and did not blow a fuse! 

By that time we were too tired and it was too late to continue, so we spent last night at the Lake City Campground, a former KOA. 

Today we headed west on I-10 and connected 231 through Dothan AL, and I-65 in Montgomery.  Now we feel that our trip has truly begun!  Tomorrow we plan to stay with friends in Nashville and head NW again on Thursday.  Plan to hit the coast at San Francisco, and head north along the coastal highway.  After reaching Port Townsend WA, we may take a side trip to Victoria Island or head east to Glacier NP.  Yelllowstone, and Rocky Mountain NP are destinations for our return trip to FL.

It's funny but when you leave home there is a kind of separation anxiety.  That's why it's best to make a fast get a way, and start to focus on the road ahead instead of thinking about what you've left behind.  Taking two and a half days to get out of Florida made this real to me.  I almost gave up the trip and was temped to turn around and head home, but that would be admitting defeat.  Now it's time to think about destinations and routes and make them a part of our reality, day by day.

Thanks for being there and for reading this.  I've started a blog on blogspot.com and will share it after we get a ways along and have some good photos to share.

Ron and Joyce headed for California, Oregon, Washington :)
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ArdraF

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Re: Florida to the Pacific NW
« Reply #1 on: July 16, 2013, 11:08:22 PM »
After a rough start, I hope the rest of the trip is all you have wanted in your imaginations!  It sounds like a good trip.  Safe travels!

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Kim (skyking4ar2) Bertram

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Re: Florida to the Pacific NW
« Reply #2 on: July 17, 2013, 09:02:57 AM »
I don't want to alter the perspective of your good time on the coast, but last summer we did a considerable section of the Oregon coast and the Olympic peninsula.

Because of the nature of the coast road, be prepared for narrow roads, some dips where the road washes, and a lot of traffic. The point of all this being that you should not expect to make good time. On the other side of the coin will be the views and there will be some places to pull out, but your rig will limit you  some.

As a car trip, launched from wherever you stop, there is no small number of interesting places to visit, sightsee, and enjoy the ocean air.

We stayed in Sequim for a month and thoroughly enjoyed the area, including Port Townsend.

Hope you have a great visit!
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hpykmpr

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Re: Florida to the Pacific NW
« Reply #3 on: July 17, 2013, 09:06:33 AM »
Good luck with your trip . We left Oviedo,Fl on May 9th for our 6 month western trip. It has been an eventful trip so far but we are enjoying it . We are currently In the Vancouver BC area and will be leaving for Whidby Island Washington on Thursday.Sorry about your troubles of your first few days but one thing we have found out is no matter how new your RV, expect trouble and if you do not have any you can count your blessings. I don't know where you are planning to go on your  trip but we will be in the Wasnington, Oregon , California area for another month and a half so maybe our paths will cross. Have a safe trip ....Alan

hoddinron

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Re: Florida to the Pacific NW
« Reply #4 on: July 19, 2013, 09:52:25 PM »
Trip update,

We got to Nashville and stayed with friends at their home in Brentwood, where a lot of the Country Stars live.  Tony and Dana showed us around, and made us feel at home.  Toured the music city for a couple of days and got a good feel for the place.

Then today It was time to hit the road again.  We said our goodbyes and headed out of town towards St Louis.  It was a very hot day, so I kept the speed down to keep the tires cool.  Some rough roads especially in the city centers. Crossing the Big Muddy made us feel that our Western Adventure has truly begun!  :)

Heading towards Kansas City tomorrow, then north on 29 to pick up 80, and then over to Cheyenne for the Frontier Days which starts today!  We've got to stop and have some fun along they way, right?

Still debating about where to go after that.  We could just stay on 80 to San Fran, or just head up to Glacier and then go West to WA and OR and down to Frisco.  Might be best to go to Glacier first while it's hot further south.  What do you think?  We could go through Yellowstone on the way to Glacier and drive the Sawtooth mountain road too. 

Alan, we will be in the WA,OR area at the same time you will, so it's possible we could meet on the road!

Ron and Joyce on the road east of Kansas City
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WineLuvrs

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Re: Florida to the Pacific NW
« Reply #5 on: July 20, 2013, 12:18:15 PM »
We too will be heading from FL (Treasure Coast) and using Crescent City CA / Brookings OR as our FBO while on the Left Coast. We intend to take the Northern Route I80 & I95 heading West then I10 & I40 East before the New Year. Maybe our paths will cross. Good luck and keep the shiny side up!

BTW folks in the West refer to S.F. as San Francisco or simply the City. No offense intended kind sir, but saying Frisco marks you as a rube tourist.
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therealsimpsons

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Re: Florida to the Pacific NW
« Reply #6 on: July 20, 2013, 12:49:35 PM »
We are sitting in Rawlins, WY, about 150 miles from Cheyenne. We have reservations for the 22nd thru the 24th at  Terry Bison Ranch in Cheyenne. We are attending Cheyenne Frontier Days on those dates, including the rodeo. We made our reservations in February, and bought the rodeo tickets in March.

I would strongly suggest that you make some calls for places to stay in Cheyenne. I suspect there will be slim pickings. We called Terry Bison Ranch, a Passport America park (no discounts during CFD however) and asked if we could get in a day early. They said they have dry camping only available.

We hope you get to Cheyenne and are able to find a spot. We checked on NFS and their website for the Cheyenne area said all campgrounds are closed due to falling trees that have died from the bark beetle infestation.

It sounds like you have a great trip planned. It will be fun to read your blog.
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Re: Florida to the Pacific NW
« Reply #7 on: July 20, 2013, 01:01:48 PM »
We are presently sitting here in Copalis Beach, Washington about 100 yards from the Pacific ocean.  Hoping the temperature gets up to the 70's today so I can take off my sweat shirt and put on shorts.  Great trip you have planned.  Guaranteed to be a lifetime experience.

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Re: Florida to the Pacific NW
« Reply #8 on: July 20, 2013, 01:17:27 PM »
We are currently In the Vancouver BC area and will be leaving for Whidby Island Washington on Thursday.

I do not know if you are eligible or not, but there is a VFW post on Whidby Island near Oak harbor that we stayed at for 10 days at $10/day for electricity and water with an on-site dump. Great bunch of people there. Do not miss Ferndale near Eureka. beautiful Victorian buildings.  We spent 7 weeks going from Whidby to Simi Valley. PM me if you want more information.

Edit: Fixed quote.
« Last Edit: July 20, 2013, 06:11:24 PM by Tom »
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Re: Florida to the Pacific NW
« Reply #9 on: July 20, 2013, 09:49:40 PM »


BTW folks in the West refer to S.F. as San Francisco or simply the City. No offense intended kind sir, but saying Frisco marks you as a rube tourist.

Ha! SF isn't a city. Its a wide spot in the road. Population of 825,00! For God's sake, it has a SUBURB, San Jose, that is larger, population 984,000.

Not being a rube, but Frisco a city is rubbish.  ;D ;D
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Tom

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Re: Florida to the Pacific NW
« Reply #10 on: July 20, 2013, 09:54:37 PM »
Quote
Population of 825,00! ... it has a SUBURB, San Jose

A simple google search will correct both errors  ;)
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therealsimpsons

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Re: Florida to the Pacific NW
« Reply #11 on: July 20, 2013, 09:59:11 PM »
Google "population of San Francisco city only"...it will show 2012 est of 825,000. Don't Google the metro area, or SMSA for SF or San Jose.

Google "population of San Jose city only"...it will show 2012 est of 984,000.
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Tom

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Re: Florida to the Pacific NW
« Reply #12 on: July 20, 2013, 10:05:10 PM »
San Jose is not a suburb of San Francisco, and is not even in SF County  ;)
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SeilerBird

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Re: Florida to the Pacific NW
« Reply #13 on: July 20, 2013, 10:54:21 PM »
Frisco and San Jose are not related at all two totally different beasts many miles apart in different counties. I have never understood why people in Northern California get so upset when you call it Frisco? Why is that bad, but it is OK to call it The City, like it was the only city in the world.
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Tom

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Re: Florida to the Pacific NW
« Reply #14 on: July 20, 2013, 11:08:19 PM »
It was called 'Frisco' in some old western movies.

OTOH that's like calling Los Angeles 'Angles'. 'Cisco' might have been a better (more acceptable?) name than 'Frisco'.
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ArdraF

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Re: Florida to the Pacific NW
« Reply #15 on: July 20, 2013, 11:24:22 PM »
San Francisco and San Jose are 50 miles apart and in different counties with Silicon Valley between them.

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hoddinron

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Re: Florida to the Pacific NW
« Reply #16 on: July 21, 2013, 07:24:27 AM »
Rube Tourist here.. ;D

We made it Grande Island Nebraska, and have reservations for Cheyenne WY's AB campground in a full hook up site for Sunday and Monday to take in the Frontier Days.  I know we won't see everything, but hopefully we can sit in the bleachers and watch a rodeo, which is much more interesting to us than listening to some dude yodeling.

We did pass quite a few wineries, on I-70 before getting on I-80, but had to keep the doggies Rollin' Ee-Haww!

Have a nephew in San Francisco who's in charge of  the cities IT network, and hope to stay at the Novato Campground in Marin.  That's not too far from where he and his lovely wife and daughter live. 

Drove farther than I like yesterday (450 miles), so that today we have only 352 to Cheyenne, WY.

The weather here in Nebraska is cool and dry this morning, although I'm sure it will warm up.  So encouraging to know that it's cool on the coast of Oregon! A Thanks for that nugget!  We were in Northern Wisconsin and the UP of Michigan including Copper Harbor for 6 Weeks last summer and didn't need the AC once!

We've mostly stayed east of the big muddy for the past four years and I'd kind of forgot how you really have to put in some long days if you want to get across this grand country of ours.  I'd like to go short distances each day, but we want to save some days for the destinations we have planned to visit.

Anyway, thanks for all the input regarding the left coast including San Jose and San Francisco and WA and OR!

Guess we'll stay on 80 and go to California first before trekking north to OR and WA.  We've been to most of the major western National Parks, so we can stop in Glacier, Yellowstone, and maybe Rocky Mountainq on the way home.  Blog hasn't been updated since before Nashville, but I should have time to put something on it in Cheyenne.

Cheers to you all!  And thanks!

Ron and Joyce about to head out for Frontier Days in Cheyenne!


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SeilerBird

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Re: Florida to the Pacific NW
« Reply #17 on: July 21, 2013, 07:42:47 AM »
I have a few left coast suggestions for you. I doubt you will be able to get there in time but if you can the first week in August there is the most amazing display of wildflowers on Earth (at least of all the ones I have seen or heard of ;D). It happens at the Paradise section of Mount Rainier National Park. Most wildflower explosions have millions of wildflowers. The one at Paradise has billions of wildflowers.

There is a National Park in northern Washington that no one knows about. You can have the whole place to yourself in the middle of summer. It is called North Cascades National Park. There is a great campground there called Goodell Creek. The are 21 spaces there some are right on the Skagit River, and on the weekend when it gets real busy maybe ten spaces are being used. The rest of the week it is usually empty. Stunningly beautiful park.

Also in Washington is the Olympic National Park. There is a wonderful campground right on the beach there. The campground is called Kalaloch Campground and you will probably need reservations. It is hard to beat the beaches in Washington.

The Museum of Glass in Tacoma is another one to put on your bucket list.

And at Glacier National Park the Going to the Sun highway is one of the most beautiful I have ever seen.
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Re: Florida to the Pacific NW
« Reply #18 on: July 21, 2013, 08:44:47 AM »
I do not know if you are eligible or not, but there is a VFW post on Whidby Island near Oak harbor that we stayed at for 10 days at $10/day for electricity and water with an on-site dump. Great bunch of people there. Do not miss Ferndale near Eureka. beautiful Victorian buildings.  We spent 7 weeks going from Whidby to Simi Valley. PM me if you want more information.

Edit: Fixed quote.
  We are sitting on the hill overlooking the beach at NAS Whidbey Island as I am posting this. I don't know if you have been here since they re-built the campground or not but it is gorgeous here . I think that is the nicest campground that we have ever stayed at. Thanks for the tip on Ferndale maybe we will look it up

therealsimpsons

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Re: Florida to the Pacific NW
« Reply #19 on: July 21, 2013, 09:57:00 AM »
One final point. I think you will all agree that Oakland is a suburb of SF. Is it not in a different county? I think you will all agree that all of Marin County and its various little towns are suburbs of SF. By definition, a separate county. Until the 1980's and the dot.com and Silicone Valley explosions, San Jose was ALWAYS a suburb of SF even though its in a separate county, just like many of its other suburbs.

In the Chicago metro area, there are 316 separate incorporated municipalities in IL alone that make up the suburban sprawl, which include Cook, Lake, McHenry, Kane, Kendall, and DuPage counties. That doesn't even include Gary, IN and Racine and Kenosha, WI. They are all suburbs of Chicago. In fact, a good argument could be made that the entire state of Wisconsin is a suburb of Chicago.  ;D

I'm reminded of years ago trying to make a delivery in my truck to a Naperville, IL address (snooty posh suburb) and spent hours looking for the address only to find out the address was on the same street but in neighboring Aurora, IL (blue collar ordinary suburb). When I told the lady of the house that she didn't live in Naperville, but instead lived in Aurora, she was very put out. I live in Naperville she insisted. Same county, same subdivision, same nice homes, except that it straddled the city boundaries between the two.

By-the-way, many of Chicago's suburbs, along with many other BIG cities, have suburbs that are way more than 50 miles away.
« Last Edit: July 21, 2013, 10:00:22 AM by parttymer »
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SeilerBird

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Re: Florida to the Pacific NW
« Reply #20 on: July 21, 2013, 11:01:00 AM »
I am not going to agree that either Oakland or Marin is a suburb of SF. Just because two towns are close to one another does not make one a suburb of the other. Oxnard and Ventura California are perfect examples.
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Re: Florida to the Pacific NW
« Reply #21 on: July 21, 2013, 11:09:40 AM »
Locals wouldn't consider Oakland a suburb of San Francisco. They're even on different sides of the Bay.
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SeilerBird

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Re: Florida to the Pacific NW
« Reply #22 on: July 21, 2013, 11:11:53 AM »
Locals wouldn't consider Oakland a suburb of San Francisco. They're even on different sides of the Bay.
I think the local from Oakland would be highly offended if you called Oakland a suburb of SF. It might upset the people in SF too.
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Re: Florida to the Pacific NW
« Reply #23 on: July 21, 2013, 11:56:50 AM »
Quote
the entire state of Wisconsin is a suburb of Chicago.

Wisconsin is a place for the residents of Illinois to leave their money, then go home.  And I think you insulted the people of Racine and Kenosha.  I'm not sure if anyone really lives in Gary :)
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Re: Florida to the Pacific NW
« Reply #24 on: July 21, 2013, 03:32:08 PM »
  We are sitting on the hill overlooking the beach at NAS Whidbey Island as I am posting this. I don't know if you have been here since they re-built the campground or not but it is gorgeous here . I think that is the nicest campground that we have ever stayed at. Thanks for the tip on Ferndale maybe we will look it up

If you are in or near Oak Harbor, don't pass up a visit to Deception Pass State Park. It has dramatic views, beaches, fairly easy hiking, and a great chance to see a bald eagle or two. It's one of my favorite spots in the state, although it can be hard to get into the campground.
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hoddinron

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Re: Florida to the Pacific NW
« Reply #25 on: July 21, 2013, 11:13:14 PM »
We made it to Cheyenne this afternoon on schedule, and checked in at the AB Campground. A very nice site. Took the shuttle, $1 per person each way, to the Frontier Days area in town.  This is the biggest thing each year for Cheyenne.  Dwight Yokum (sp?) was playing tonight, and the crowds were heavy.  We bought tickets for tomorrow's Rodeo.  There's one every day this week, and Championship Bull riding at night, a separate event and ticket.  Seniors only $19 each for the Rodeo, the Bull Riding was more.

The fairgrounds have a lot of vendors and exhibits, and we enjoyed browsing.  I decided that Wyoming Cowboys are tall and their Cowgirls are blond (mostly).  Lots of good looking people out here.  I'd forgotten that western clothing was so gaudy! 

Thanks Seilerbird for the Olympic Area NP tips.  Will check it out when we get there!

Ron and Joyce in Cheyenne WY

PS - did get to stop at Cabela's in Sidney Nebraska on the way today.  Bought a tee shirt.
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Re: Florida to the Pacific NW
« Reply #26 on: July 23, 2013, 12:49:26 AM »
That Cabela's was amazing when I stopped there in '03. Do take the truck up into Mt. Rainier National Park when you get there. I was working up there the last two summers on the Stevens Canyon Rehabilitation Project and it is a great sight to see.
The campgrounds in the park itself have a 27' trailer length limit, so it looks like you are good to go with your rig. Be aware, they will be tight to get around in.
« Last Edit: July 23, 2013, 12:51:04 AM by skyking1 »
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Re: Florida to the Pacific NW
« Reply #27 on: July 23, 2013, 02:29:54 PM »
When we are in Cheyenne, we always make a stop@ Sierra Traders. They sometimes have some real good prices on their items. Have fun @ the rodeo, we are hoping to make it to Cheyenne, during the rodeo, someday.
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Re: Florida to the Pacific NW
« Reply #28 on: July 23, 2013, 02:50:32 PM »
If you are in or near Oak Harbor, don't pass up a visit to Deception Pass State Park. It has dramatic views, beaches, fairly easy hiking, and a great chance to see a bald eagle or two. It's one of my favorite spots in the state, although it can be hard to get into the campground.
As newly weds and me in the Navy as an E-4 with almost no money, Decption Pass was our favorite spot.  We would pick up fishing tackle from Special Services on the Seaplane Base, buy some bait shrimp for very little money then go ling cod fishing at the Pass.  There were hiking paths along the bluffs above the Pass and it could get pretty secluded - quite nice and necessary for newly weds. ;)  It is our goal to head that way, probably next spring, to retrace our steps, although, the seclusion probably won't be necessary after 50 years. :'(
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Re: Florida to the Pacific NW
« Reply #29 on: July 23, 2013, 02:53:29 PM »

BTW folks in the West refer to S.F. as San Francisco or simply the City. No offense intended kind sir, but saying Frisco marks you as a rube tourist.

Us western folks also refer to SF as SF and as San Fran.   We also refer to it as a middling sized city just north of Silicon Valley.

Some of us also refer to San Francisco as the basement of the National League West.   Especially, those of us down here in the second largest city in the USA.   (Go Dodgers!)
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Re: Florida to the Pacific NW
« Reply #30 on: July 23, 2013, 09:19:59 PM »
Just an update for those interested in continuing to follow this thread...

Left Cheyenne today heading west on I80.  Went up to the top of the Lincoln Highway where they now have a marker and rest stop.  Then down to Laramie for fuel.  Getting fuel I realized that I didn't have my wallet!  Called the rest stop, information center, but they didn't have it.  We went back to the rest stop, a long climb, and parked there to decide what to do.  I checked the rest room to no avail, and we started calling the bank to cancel credit and debit cards, which we did.  Joyce went back in to the information center and said something about why we were parked there so long and that we were the "lost wallet" people.  The ranger reached under the rest and handed it to her saying that she'd been trying to call us!  ( we were canceling credit card)

So in the space of three hours, we lost my wallet, cancelled credit and gift cards, and had the wallet returned to us!  An emotional roller coaster!  We almost gave up, turned around and headed home with our tails between our legs, but we didn't!  We got back on the road, and made it to Rock Springs another 200 some miles toward our destination of Oregon and Washington.

The DW was great, searching and helping with phone numbers etc.  I have now copied all the important numbers in my wallet and placed the list in the glove box. 

We hope to make it to Wells, NV tomorrow, and Reno/Sparks on Thursday and Novato CA on Friday.  A few days near or in San Francisco and then we head north.  That is if we don't have another disaster!  I'm beginning to feel like Desi Arnez in "The long, long, long trailer." :D

Ron and Joyce in Rock Spring WY
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Re: Florida to the Pacific NW
« Reply #31 on: July 23, 2013, 10:53:53 PM »
Just goes to show there are still honest people around.  Glad you found your wallet.  So the down day turned into an up day.  Great!

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Re: Florida to the Pacific NW
« Reply #32 on: July 23, 2013, 11:22:44 PM »
OK, it has been a long time since I travelled I-80.  Is it Wells or Winnemucca that has the good Basque restaurants or are they gone now. 

If someone points out the right place, recommend one for them as they are an experience not to be missed.
Jim
Jim & Pat Godward
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Hillsboro, Oregon

hpykmpr

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Re: Florida to the Pacific NW
« Reply #33 on: July 24, 2013, 08:39:53 AM »
If you are in or near Oak Harbor, don't pass up a visit to Deception Pass State Park. It has dramatic views, beaches, fairly easy hiking, and a great chance to see a bald eagle or two. It's one of my favorite spots in the state, although it can be hard to get into the campground.

We have been there and yes it is a beautiful park.
« Last Edit: July 24, 2013, 08:41:44 AM by hpykmpr »

SeilerBird

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Re: Florida to the Pacific NW
« Reply #34 on: July 24, 2013, 08:51:00 AM »
OK, it has been a long time since I travelled I-80.  Is it Wells or Winnemucca that has the good Basque restaurants or are they gone now. 

If someone points out the right place, recommend one for them as they are an experience not to be missed.
My favorite Basque restaurant in Nevada is in Reno, Louis Basque Corner Restaurant:

http://louisbasquecorner.com/
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hoddinron

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Re: Florida to the Pacific NW
« Reply #35 on: July 24, 2013, 07:28:52 PM »
Thanks Seilerbird !  We're in Wells NV at the Angel Lake campground.  Tomorrow we'll be in Reno, God willing. I'll ask around about the Basque restaurant.  About time for a night out.

Got through Salt Lake City today with ease.  This new truck is making the mountains a joy. Only downshifts occasionally on long steep grades, and going down with the exhaust brake is easy too.  This new automatic transmission downshifts automatically when needed to maintain normal speed.  Went Down a 5% grade today and didn't need to touch the brakes!

Stopped at the pull out for the Bonneville Salt Flats, walked out on the salt took photos. :D

Blog is at (link in profile)

Ron and Joyce in Nevada
« Last Edit: July 24, 2013, 08:40:56 PM by Tom »
Ron & Joyce - Retired
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hoddinron

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Re: Florida to the Pacific NW
« Reply #36 on: July 30, 2013, 09:12:38 AM »
We did stay in Spark/Reno one night, but there were flash flood warnings for the area, terrible thunderstorms, so we didn't get out to try the Basque restaurant, Tom.

Made it over the Sierras to San Francisco the next day, and stayed for a few days at the Marin RV Park, which was tight, but doable while we visited my nephew Rob and his cute family.  He took us out to Pt Reyes the following day and we saw deer and sea lions, and stretched our legs on the hike.  Dinner that night was at an Italian place in Fairfax.  Very nice little town! 

Next day we headed north up 101, and after a twisty 33 mile ride west on Hwy 20, made it to Fort Bragg, where we got three nights at Pomo RV and Campground.  That's where we are now for one more day.  Enjoying the Medocino Coast!  Walked Glass Beach yesterday and did the boardwalk at MacKerricher State Park. Also took in the light house just north of the town of Medocino.

We have no WI-Fi here, and even my Verizon service isn't so hot, so I'm giving up on the blog, which required me to fire up the laptop and resize photos and videos before uploading them.  Instead I'm going to keep a brief journal here, and upload photos to my FB account for friends back home.  It's funny but my iPad doesn't like the blog site I'm using at all.  I get a few lines on it and it stops accepting text.  It's much easier to use the iPad, which I can do even with no WI-Fi, via 3G.  And FB doesn't mind if I send it larger photos.  They just resize them!

Today were going to the Botanical Gardens, and try to get a dungey crab for dinner.  Tomorrow were striking out again for the Eureka area.  While there I hope to drive 299 over to Willow Creek to the Big Foot museum.  Anyone been there?  Is it worth it?  :o

After that we're off to Oregon and Washington, our final, furthest destinations for this trip.  With a month to go before we should be heading back, we hope to have time to see the coast and some of the highlights of these two states.  But we're truly in vacation mode now.  Drive to a preselected area, get a good spot for a few days or more, explore what's there, and move on.  That's how we roll!  :)

More later!

Ron and Joyce along the Mendocino Coast.


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indiana journey

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Re: Florida to the Pacific NW
« Reply #37 on: July 30, 2013, 02:56:05 PM »
Ron,
That little 33 mile ride over to Ft Bragg on 20 was easy compared to the drive that you will face going north. You will be able to see the tail end of your rig as you go through the MANY curves on your way to Leggett.
Have Fun,
Indiana Journey






hoddinron

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Re: Florida to the Pacific NW
« Reply #38 on: July 30, 2013, 05:16:50 PM »
Thanks for the heads up, Indiana.   :)

Ron
Ron & Joyce - Retired
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hoddinron

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Re: Florida to the Pacific NW
« Reply #39 on: August 01, 2013, 10:58:56 AM »
We had a great drive yesterday north on 101 to the Avenue Of the Giants!  Huge Redwoods!  Yes, Indiana, the roads were twisty and windy in places, but not the entire trip.  Some of the drive was four lane and comparatively level. 

We're staying at "Sounds of the Sea" campground in Trinidad, about 20 miles north of Eureka.  Our site backs up to the Pacific and we hear Sea Lions barking.  Running the furnace in the morning and evening has emptied one tank, so I switched over this morning to cook breakfast. 

Taking off for Willow Creek across 299 to check out the Bigfoot Museum. Hope it's open!  Tried to call a few times but they don't seem to answer. It will be a nice drive in any case. 

We're heading north for Oregon on Saturday, which troubles me because it's harder to get good sites on the weekends.  We usually stay put on the weekends.  We may start calling around this evening.  I've been told that Harris Beach is every nice, but it's a state park, and won't have WiFi, which I'll need to pay some bills on-line in the next few days.

Ron and Joyce in Humbolt  County California
Ron & Joyce - Retired
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hoddinron

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Re: Florida to the Pacific NW
« Reply #40 on: August 01, 2013, 09:55:44 PM »
Today we took our time around camp, did some laundry and changed the propane tank, and then we headed out for Willow Creek and the Bigfoot Museum.   We drove about 17 miles south to pick up 299 east.  This was mostly a four lane highway that narrows to two lane, and where it's being repaired down to a one lane.  It took about an hour to get to Willow Creek, but once there we were delighted with the little California town!  The town Museum was devoted to the mining history of the region, the native Americans, and the numerous sightings of Sasquatch, commonly known as Bigfoot, in this region.   It was a fascinating museum, and there were several plaster castings of Bigfoot tracks, and photos of what is believed to be evidence of this creature.  Fascinating.

The town has embraced it's title as "Bigfoot Capitol" of the world, even though no Bigfoot has actually set foot in the town.  But there have been 82 sightings in the surrounding wooded areas of Humbolt Co and the Hoopa Indian Reservation.  It lies just 8 miles south of the famous Patterson video made in the 60s of a female Sasquatch walking away from the camera.  There is a Bigfoot Restaurant, and several large Bigfoot sculptures throughout the town including in front of the Ace Hardware store!  We walked the entire length of town, about three blocks, to the Bigfoot Restaurant, where we had lunch. 

After lunch we drove north out of town 12 miles toward the Hoopa Indian Reserrvation, and the town of Hoopa, where there was supposed to be an Indian Museum.  Turns out that the museum is in the same building as the Casino.  Which one brings in the most money for the tribe?  Not the museum, but it was worth a look and a talk with the curator, a young Hoopa male, who told me that the old stories of his tribe talked about the little people of the forest, not big ones, but that they were supposed to be shape shifters who could make themselves into any form including Bigfoot.  He also told me that a friend of his had seen a Bigfoot "over on Bald Mountain."  He knew the history of his tribe and other California tribes which were mostly wiped out during the gold rush days of 1849.  We had a good talk, but we were getting tired and had to head back to camp, an hour drive through the mountains.

Just had soup and cheese and crackers tonight.  The lunch at the Bigfoot was still with us. ;D
Ron & Joyce - Retired
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hoddinron

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Re: Florida to the Pacific NW
« Reply #41 on: August 02, 2013, 08:33:39 PM »
Today we hiked about a half mile to Patrick's Point State Park, and then headed for the rim trail, to take in the vistas of the Pacific, and the Sea Lions and harbor seals on the rocks below.  The trails were not well marked at all, and since we went in through an unmarked trail near a tent campground, we were never sure if we were on the rim trail.  There was a lot of climbing and descending on this hike, and my Florida legs began to give out after an hour or so.  We got to a few nice spots to look out over the rim and take photos, including Patrick's Point, and lookout Rock which we climbed down to and then up.  After that it was time to find our way out of the park, but first we had to find a road!  After a few fits and starts we were able to figure out where the highway back to our RV Park was and made the additional hike back for lunch.

After lunch Joyce had her sites set on the Redwood National Park, and seeing some Elk.  So we packed up the truck and headed north.  We stopped at the park Information center and picked up a park map, and I spoke with a guide about the best spots to see Elk and the Big Trees.  Then we headed out looking for a nice drive through meadows and trees.  Somewhere Joyce had read that you HAVE to see the Elk at Fern Canyon out on the coast.  She spotted Danielson Drive, and on the sign it said that it led to Fern Canyon.  Fern Canyon was used as a set for Jurrasic park by Steven Spielberg, so it did sound intriguing!  But it was a rough rutted dirt road, and I had 80 pounds of air in the rear tires for towing, not dirt road exploring.  But Joyce insisted that if we didn't do it, we might as well just go back to camp.  Not wanting to disappoint, I pointed the hood at the steep dirt road and we started... Bouncing up and down like popcorn popping, there was a hairpin turn.... We made it!  Eight long twisty rough, dusty, hair raising miles which included a couple of fairly deep stream fording, we found the parking lot for the beach, and... Fern Canyon!  I said, "It better not be a five mile hike!"  Luckily it was a short hike to the canyon, and along the way we spotted the Elk herd grazing right near the shore!  The canyon was just like it was in Jurrasic Park, narrow stream, rocky bottom, trees fallen across the stream, and on both sides steep vertical walls covered with moss and ferns!  I could almost hear the roar of the T-Rex!

Took some pictures of the Elk, and left to drive the hair raising 8 miles back to pavement.  Finally got to drive the scenic parkway through the giant redwoods, which by now was anti-climactic.

Dinner tonight was chicken and noodles over mashed potatoes.  Looking forward to driving instead of walking tomorrow.  Destination is Gold Beach OR.  We got reservations at The Beach Resort at Turtle Rock. 

Looking for an auto parts store for a couple of light bulbs for an overhead lamp in the trailer, and a good car wash.  After today, the truck looks like it's been on a safari!

Ron & Joyce - Retired
2012 Ram 2500 Cummins Diesel 2.73 axle
2016 Sabre 25 RL 5th Wheel

WashDad

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Re: Florida to the Pacific NW
« Reply #42 on: August 02, 2013, 08:47:57 PM »
Near Reedsport, Oregon, you watch elk from a parking lot off Highway 38, but it sounds like you had an adventure!

Rick Tyler
Still shopping...
King County, Washington

DKL

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Re: Florida to the Pacific NW
« Reply #43 on: August 03, 2013, 09:51:19 AM »
I'm enjoying your trip reports, sounds like you are having a great time. We'll be heading south from Seattle later this year so I'm keeping track of your stops as I make our plans. It will be cooler then, but being from Seattle we don't let a little weather stop us!

Cheers,
Alisa
David and/or Alisa
2006 Four Winds C
1999 VW Eurovan Camper

WashDad

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Re: Florida to the Pacific NW
« Reply #44 on: August 03, 2013, 07:19:04 PM »
I'm enjoying your trip reports, sounds like you are having a great time. We'll be heading south from Seattle later this year so I'm keeping track of your stops as I make our plans. It will be cooler then, but being from Seattle we don't let a little weather stop us!

When we moved to Washington 15 years ago, a Scout leader told me, ”We go no matter what. If you wait for good weather you'll never do anything."
Rick Tyler
Still shopping...
King County, Washington

hoddinron

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Re: Florida to the Pacific NW
« Reply #45 on: August 03, 2013, 07:44:25 PM »
Thanks for reading this blog, and actually enjoying it, Alisa!

We did find the 1076 bulbs for our over-the-table light fixture at the NAPA parts store in Arcata.  We also fueled up the truck, a new RAM 2500 diesel, and surprise surprise found a do it yourself car wash right next door!

So getting back to camp about checkout time, we hurried around getting ready to go.  Joyce takes care of things inside the coach, like putting everything away that might fly around while we're driving, locking the shower door, making sandwiches for the road, while I undo the cable TV, water hose, drain the sewer connection, unplug the electrical, and slide the slide back into position for travel. 

With everything ready we eased back onto Hwy 101 north toward Oregon.  The coast highway is partly freeway with four lanes, and partly a two lane highway that runs up and around the higher headlands.  With a posted speed of 65, we stay in the slow lane and let everyone go by.  Our speed is about 57 most of the time, which allows the truck to ease up the 5% grades without downshifting, or with a minor downshift.  Easy Peasy.  Staying on the road while rubbernecking all the beautiful sights along the coast is the hard part.  Driving a bit slower helps that too. 

Today was windy with strong winds out of the NW, and very foggy, making the ocean scenes appear smoky.  But the fires in Oregon are far to the NE of us.  When we get into the higher elevations we break through the fog into bright sunshine, then swoop down into the fog on the returns to beach level.  The only town we really had to slow down for was Crescent City, CA, and after crossing the Oregon line, Brookings, Oregon.  Brookings has a fantastic State Park with camping, but it was impossible to get in on a weekend.  It appears that this part of the coast has more beaches, and sand dunes.  ATV enthusiasts enjoy the area to the north of us on huge sand dunes, but that's just what I've read, as we're not there yet!

We use the App "Allstays Camp and RV" to locate our next campground, and it hasn't failed us yet!  It gives you the website of the campground, images, and most important - reviews!  You can depend on your fellow campers to tell the truth about a place for the most part. 

The instructions on getting to Turtle Rock RV Resort were spot on, and we got site 35 right by the trail to the ocean.  It's close to the 101 bridge but so far the sounds of the traffic isn't bothersome.  We walked out to the beach, but just about got blown away by the strong NW wind.  Our back window looks out on Hunter's Creek which runs to the Pacific about 90 yards from our site.

We're here tonight , Saturday, until Monday morning when we'll strike out for the Coos Bay Area.  To,or row will be spent checking out what's here.

I'm supposed to cook some burgers on the grill, and Joyce is making corn on the cob.  Hope the burner on my mini Weber grill will stay lit!  Wish me luck!
Ron & Joyce - Retired
2012 Ram 2500 Cummins Diesel 2.73 axle
2016 Sabre 25 RL 5th Wheel

hoddinron

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Re: Florida to the Pacific NW
« Reply #46 on: August 04, 2013, 09:40:36 PM »
The wind died down enough for the weber to stay lit and we had a great dinner last night.  This morning the fog was so thick that we stayed inside the camper until about ten am, and then we headed into the town of Gold Beach to look around.  The town was so named because of gold found along the banks of the Rogue River that flows into the Pacific at the north end of town.  That's also where the commercial fishing docks are, and the docks for the Jet Boat rides that run up the Rogue River.  It was so foggy that we didn't opt for the ride, the shortest of which was five hours long.  Instead we wandered into the museum and then into the fish market where we bought some dungeness crab and a nice filet of Haibut.  Then, being a little hungry we stopped in at the fish and chips stand named Woggys.  I had a small order of fish and chips and Joyce got a fish taco.  Both were excellent!  Have to send the photo to Jonathan who is doing a Great Circle cruise and just went through Killarney in Lake Huron, where there is a world famous fish and chips shoppe.

While in the museum we'd read about a little town 35 miles inland on forest service road 33 called Agness.  There is also a Campground there, and so we decided to check it out.  As we drove inland on 33 we noticed more and more smoke in the air.  There are several large fires in the area, and it soon became obvious that the smoke from the fires was blowing through the valleys toward the sea.  The road was twisty and had some elevation gain to it, so we took our time.  About halfway there we came to a National Guard barricade, but they were blocking entry to Bear Mt Rd, not our road, so we continued on.  Another blocked forest service road was ahead.  The smoke became to get thicker, and ALL the traffic, not that there was much, was going the other way.  We got one of those feelings, if you know what I mean.  But by then we were more than halfway there, and were determined to find Agness,  "population small."  We passed by the Agness RV Park, and saw smoke floating through the sites, and about six miles further came to the Agness General Store.  We went inside and bought ice cream cones, and a jar of blackberry jam, and talked with the proprietress about the fires.  She showed us a map and said "I ain't too worried about this one as long as it stays on the other side of the river!"  We thanked her, and drove a little further into Agness until the road ended at two private property signs and we promptly turned around.

The ride back down to Gold Beach was kind of a thrill.  Joyce said "Thanks for Mr. Toad's Wild Ride!" When we got to the end.  The other remarkable thing was how the temperature dropped as we got closer to the Pacific.  It was 90 in Agness, and 61 back in camp!

We took a walk on the beach and picked up a few interesting stones to remember this place by, as we're leaving tomorrow to head further north on the Oregon Coast.  We were planning to visit Crater Lake, but the smoke and fires in that area make that impossible, or at least unwise. 

Dinner tonight was the Dungeness Crabs and baked potato!  Excellent!  Tomorrow were passing by Coos Bay and landing at Florence OR for at least two days, perhaps three. The great sand dunes of Oregon are nearby, replete with plenty of ATV riders.  Should be interesting.
Ron & Joyce - Retired
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2016 Sabre 25 RL 5th Wheel

hoddinron

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Re: Florida to the Pacific NW
« Reply #47 on: August 06, 2013, 10:05:29 PM »
The trip north to Florence OR was pleasant, with more glimpses of the magnificent Pacific coastline.  Weather was cool and pleasant with occasional doses of dense fog.  Coos Bay via 101 was kind of depressing, but we stopped to get some coffee there since we'd left early and were well ahead of our scheduled arrival. The highway goes through the eastern side of Coos Bay, while the western side has the recreational areas and the coast. 

We checked into Woahink Lake RV Resort about 1:00 pm and was assigned a great pull through site that was level and had a gravel base.  The great sand dunes are accessed at the back of the resort, and right across the street from the front is Woahink Lake.  Each site is separated by bushes, some of which are Lilacs in full bloom!
We got set up and Joyce got together some of our laundry and walked it over, right across from our site.  I spent some time reading, and set up our recliners near the front of our camper.  The sun was warm, but once in a while a very cool breeze blew through making a jacket necessary. We relaxed and read books for a few hours.  I'm reading a book about the Bigfoot activity around the Hoopa Reservation, near Willow Creek CA written by a former police investigator using modern techniques.  Very interesting.  When the laundry was done and put away, we walked to the edge of the dunes behind the campground, climbing a series of steps and driveway to get there.  As far as we could see to the south west and north it was all dunes and trees.  From here it's a half miles of sand dunes to the Pacific, so we couldn't walk there.  ATVs could be heard somewhere over the dunes, as that's one of the big draws to this area. Coming back down the dunes to our camp, we then walked across the street to the lake.  There was a MacGregor 26x sailboat docked there that reminded us of our Florida home. Dinner was Sloppy Joes.  It got cold early and we read in bed until our eyes got heavy.

Today I got up early and went about three miles north to a gas station that sold propane.  I filled the empty spare tank, came back, and installed it in the port side cabinet.  We had breakfast and planned our first full day in this area.  Florence is just a few miles north and 11 more miles north is the Heceta Lighthouse.  It offered a tour and a nice walk, so we drove through Florence, taking notice of the shops and restaurants, and continued on to the lighthouse.  The approach to the lighthouse is right after a bridge and then a right turn which leads you under the bridge to the parking lot.  It was about a half mile uphill walk to the light, and I noticed that my legs were in much better condition for climbing than they had been when we hit the coast.  The setting for the light is stunning, with enormous rocks right offshore, and steep tree laden hills leading  to the highway, and beyond.  The light itself is one of the largest along this stretch of the coast and is on a bold headland.  We were told we'd have to wait for a tour for about half an hour, but the first half hour came and went before the group came down, and there was another group ahead of us, so after taking some hopefully great photos, we headed back down the hill to go to the Sea Lion Cave!

We could look over at the Sea Lion Cave building from the light house and visa versa.  It was only a half mile between the too.  The place was packed with tourists like ourselves, but we persevered, and got half price tickets because there were no Sea Lions in the cave itself at the moment.  You take an elevator down to the cave, about 120 feet, and then there are informative displays to help you understand what you're looking at.  It was interesting to be actually down in the Sea Cave, even though the Sea Lions were out in the sea at the moment!  On the way out, we got really good looks at some Sea Lions swimming in packs near the Cave's mouth.  Joyce was really good at spotting them and pointing them out to me.  Later on at a different overlook, we spotted a pod of whales feeding right off the coast.  You could see them bubble, spout and breach, but not come completely out of the water. 

We were getting hungry so we headed to the Old Town part of Florence near the river on the south end of town.  It was tough to find a parking place, but we found one behind the Bay Street Grill.  We ordered crab cakes and grilled oysters, and hungrily devoured them!  After a late lunch we walked the streets of Old Town Florence and went down to the docks to take a look at the boats and fishing fleet.  You could buy live or cooked crabs there, and tuna at $3/pound if you bought the whole fish.  Even the smallest tuna was about twenty pounds, though so we declined, having no space in the fridge or freezer.  Old Town was fun and we didn't see all the shops, so we may return tomorrow. 

Ron & Joyce - Retired
2012 Ram 2500 Cummins Diesel 2.73 axle
2016 Sabre 25 RL 5th Wheel

hoddinron

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Re: Florida to the Pacific NW
« Reply #48 on: August 09, 2013, 10:17:05 PM »
Wednesday we took a vacation from our vacation.  It was cool and foggy, so we slept in.  Joyce made some Chicken Tortilla soup, and we napped, and read almost all day.

The next day, Thursday, we drove north to Garibaldi, OR to the Harborview Inn and RV Park.  It was another great drive along the coast with scenic views at every turn.  Garibaldi is a little fishing and lumbering town, like so many along the Oregon coast.  Our RV Park was adjacent to the marina, and appropriately also adjacent to a company that took logs and converted them to chips for the paper mills.  The marina was quaint and interesting with a couple of seafood markets, and a couple of seafood restaurants, but the log conversion to chips company was just loud. I thought, "Well,  they'll knock it off at quitting time, whenever that is."  But no, this squeaking, banging, cacophony was sustained well into the wee hours of the next day's morning!  Joyce claimed it didn't bother her but it kept me from having a good night's sleep.  But I digress.  We took some long walks all around the area in the early afternoon, bought some smoked salmon and salmon pâté, and went out to dinner at The Fisherman's Corner right on the wharf. Fried Halibut for me, and fish and scallops for Joyce.  The scallops were great, but my halibut tasted like fish sticks.  What a waste of good fish.

Today, Friday, we started heading north up the coast again, and made it to Astoria by 11 am.  Crossing the bridge over the Columbia River we crossed into Washington State, thereby completing our quest to travel to or visit all of the lower 48 states!  We high fived each other for our accomplishment.  Another fifty miles took us to Aberdeen WA, and a few more miles to Hoquiam.  Sorry, your guess is as good as mine on how to pronounce it.  This RV Park is very nice, and the hosts are really nice!  It's situated on a river, and has picnic tables and fire pits right along the water.  We had an appointment at the Five Star RAM dealership to have the truck's oil changed, so we had to set up, disconnect, and find our way back into Aberdeen to locate the dealership.  Thank goodness for iPhones and google maps. The service rep, Rick, remembered me from our phone conversation, and was very helpful getting the work done on the truck, which has been so perfect on this trip.  I had the oil changed, and had several other things checked, and they gave her a good bath as well.  While that was happening, we walked over to the local Wal-Mart, and wasted a couple of hours there.  When we went to pick up the truck, it was clean, and all the work had been done, but they couldn't find the key!  There was some running around, and calling people to come to the office, but it turned out the kid who took the truck to be washed still had the key!  Everything worked out, except when they rotated the tires they forgot to change the amount of air pressure that they truck is supposed to have when towing.  Eighty in the rear tires and sixty-five in the front!  It ended up with the eighty in the front, and sixty-five in the rear!  I corrected that when we got back to camp.

So dinner tonight was fish tacos made with leftovers from last night!  Then we perused the maps and brochures that covered the Olympic National Park just to our north to find camping spots.  Most of the National Park campgrounds don't have spaces big enough for our fifth wheel, but there are RV parks near the park, and even some inside the park.  We're heading up there the day after tomorrow, and secured three days at the Forks 101 RV Park.  We plan to day trip from there.  Forks is on the west side of the Olympic Loop.

Listening to the Tampa Bay Rays game on XM radio, and enjoying the quiet of this RV park! 

Ron & Joyce - Retired
2012 Ram 2500 Cummins Diesel 2.73 axle
2016 Sabre 25 RL 5th Wheel

DKL

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Re: Florida to the Pacific NW
« Reply #49 on: August 10, 2013, 12:15:01 AM »
HOE-kwee-um  ;)

And just in case you pass through, another one people have trouble with is Puyallup.. pyoo-A-lup ("a" is short like in cat).

Have a great time on the Olympic peninsula! The weather has been fantastic. We will be staying at Fort Worden State Park near Port Townsend for the next week. Port Townsend is on the north east of the Olympic peninsula and is a charming old seaside town with restored Victorian buildings and houses. Might be worth a stop if you have the time.

Cheers,
Alisa
David and/or Alisa
2006 Four Winds C
1999 VW Eurovan Camper

mypursuit

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Re: Florida to the Pacific NW
« Reply #50 on: August 10, 2013, 11:25:49 AM »
      Welcome to Washington.  Try this to speak Washington.
       
       http://www.stevensauke.com/say/northwest.html
1997 Georgie Boy Pursuit     2008 Ford Focus
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skyking1

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Re: Florida to the Pacific NW
« Reply #51 on: August 11, 2013, 10:34:19 PM »
Welcome! We have a camping lot a few miles west of you at Ocean Shores. If you drive up to Mt. Rainier, I'll be the guy on the excavator, somewhere on Stevens Canyon road   :D
Kelly and Mary

1996 Dodge CTD 2500 "Woody"
1991 Avion 29.5 ST
Washington State

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hoddinron

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Re: Florida to the Pacific NW
« Reply #52 on: August 12, 2013, 10:23:25 AM »
Joyce and I are in Forks, WA in The Olympic National Park. We're headed to Cape Flattery today. It's the western and northernmost spot in the lower 48 states, and sticks out into the Pacific and the Straits of Juan de Fuca. We're staying at Forks 101 RV Park, which has very large sites, and so far not many people. Yesterday we got set up and then drove 30 miles to the Hoh Rain forest. Hiked a short one mile trail through the most amazing mossy trees. Imagine a conifer forest combined with a tropical rain forest with moss all over them.
The town of Forks is the setting for all the Twilight stories, which neither of us have read. But the town takes people on Twilight tours, Bella's house, her red truck, and so on. Bigfoot is also big here. The forests do look a little spooky with all the moss growing on the the trees!

We signed up to stay here until Friday, so we'll do day trips out of Forks for the next four days before moving on to Cape Angeles and perhaps a ferry over to Victoria. If the weather is clear, we want to go to Hurricane Ridge tomorrow.  Good views of Mt. Olympus, they say!

We do plan to visit Port Townsend, Alisa!  And thanks for the welcome to Washington State, everyone! We love it!

Ron and Joyce in Forks
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hoddinron

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Re: Florida to the Pacific NW
« Reply #53 on: August 12, 2013, 09:33:47 PM »
Today we drove to the end of the Earth.  At least to the parking lot, then you had to walk the rest of the way to the most NW point in the lower 48 states, Cape Flattery, WA, in the Olympic National Park.  The views were breathtaking!  Sea Lions on an off shore island, starfish in the waters below, Tatoosh Island and light house right off shore, the sea bird cries.  Along the trail we met another couple from Florida.  They were from Key West, and were there so they could say that they've been to the most NW and SE places in the US, not counting Alaska anyway. 

On the way to the Cape, we stopped in Neah Bay to visit the Makah Museum of Native American Culture.  It was only $4 each for seniors, and the museum was very well done!  Full whale skeletons, Native American artifacts from the area, boats that were used for whale hunting and fishing, even a replica Makah house that you could go inside!  We spent over an hours there, and loved it.  During that time, some of the fog had lifted, so we hoped for better visibility at the Cape, and we were not disappointed.  The sun came out and we enjoyed the 3/4 mile walk down to the Cape Flattery overlook area.  The bold headland with sea caves, off shore rocks and islands were just amazing.  Common Murres swam and flew from rock to sea and back.  Sea lions were just off shore on a large rock, and for once we had our binoculars with us.  Just looking straight down into the clear azure waters there was a lot to see.  Starfish clinging to the tidal rocks, kelp forests swaying with the rush of the waves and tide.  We spent almost two hours out on the Cape itself before climbing the trail back to the parking lot. 

It was almost three in the afternoon and we had about 90 minutes of difficult driving to get back to camp, but Joyce discovered Joyce!  Joyce WA that is!  It seems that there is a wonderful and authentic General Store in Joyce called the Joyce General Store, appropriately.  We had to check it out, even though it was to add about 80 miles to our daily total.  The store was tightly packed from floor to ceiling with goods that someone might need.  If you needed it, they probably had it, from candy to camping supplies, and in good amounts too!  We bought some ice cream treats, and wondered if they were going to melt in our hands while waiting in line for the one cashier to write everything down by hand for each person in line.  It was a treat to be in Joyce and to visit their store. 

Joyce, my wife, plotted a route around Storm King Mountain and along the shores of a Crescent Lake that would save us many miles as opposed to staying on the main route.  I thought, "Here we go again!" But it turned out great!  We had to go slowly, along a very narrow road by the lake shore, but it did end up saving us many miles,

Dinner tonight was at "Pacific Pizza" as we rolled back into Forks.  Ham, mushrooms, and green pepper in a pan pizza with very stringy mossarella cheese.  Not bad! 

Tomorrow we're striking out for Hurricane Ridge, where you can see Mt Olympus on a clear day! 
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hoddinron

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Re: Florida to the Pacific NW
« Reply #54 on: August 15, 2013, 08:58:53 PM »
Tuesday we did make it to Hurricane Ridge.  The Visitor's center is perched on the side of a mountain overlooking the largest mountains in the Park, including Mt. Olympus,and several glaciers of the hanging type.  We picked the perfect day for this trip, as the sky was a deep clear blue with no hint of rain.  We checked out the visitor's center and then headed out for a hike.  We really only intended to do the short two mile loop, but that led to another, higher one, and so off we went again!  We were climbing higher than the clouds, or was that fog, hanging over the valleys below.  As we neared the top of one peak, we could look north and see Vancouver Island where Victoria, the Capitol of British Columbia is located.  We've decided to hop the ferry from Port Angeles to Victoria on Saturday.  Yes, we have our passports.  But back to the hike!  Right along a ridge with views on all sides!  My poor Florida legs were aching, but they're sure in better shape than when we started out on this sojourn!  We had a nice tailgate picnic when we finally came down from the mountain trail.  On the way down we passed a few deer, that seem very unconcerned with our presence. 

We were interested in a couple of campgrounds closer to the ferry port, so while we were in the area we decided to check them out.  Back on 101, we headed east and spotted a couple of in town campgrounds that would serve, but I was interested in the ones over in Sequim (pronounced Squim).  We kind of got lost finding one of them, but when we did we were disappointed that they had no openings for Friday when we're moving this way.  Campgrounds seem to be pretty full in this area! We checked out the KOA which is half way between Sequim and Port Angeles, and decided to lock in a site for three days starting Friday.  It's not the greatest, but it's not right in town, and we don't have to used their showers.  Friday will be moving day, Saturday we plan to be in Canada, and Sunday we'll be stocking up for a long drive down the east side of the Olympic Park and down towards Mt. Rainier and Mt St Helen's.

Wednesday was rainy all day, so we decided to stay put, do laundry, and pick up some items from the local grocery/outfitter store.  We slept, read books, and slept some more.  A lazy day.

Thursday we got a fairly early start, and headed out for Rialto Beach in an area known as Mora.  It wasn't far, and we were kind of waiting for the fog and mist to burn off.  Mora was near the "treaty line" in the Twilight Series of books and movies, between the Werewolves and the Vampires.  Jeesh!  At least they didn't bring Bigfoot into the story!  We saw a "Treaty Line, no Vampires Beyond this Point!" Sign as we made the turn for the beach.  As foggy as it was, there were quite a few folks walking the beach, which was made of large and small rounded mostly grey stones.  The beach was also littered with huge tree trunks, some of which floated in and others just fell where they grew old.  We walked about a half mile down the beach, took a few photos and walked back.  Going back to Forks, we stopped by the camp and picked up our bathing suits and towels, so we could soak in the Sol Duc Hot Springs.  This was a forty something mile drive, so we got started, but lunch time caught us before we got there so we found a picnic table along the river and had a nice lunch.  When we arrived at Sol Duc Hot Springs, Joyce decided that we should take a hike to the waterfall near there before we went for a soak, so off we went.  It was only a .8 mile hike along a fairly well groomed trail, and when we got there it was worth it!  We took some photos and headed back.  Just about that time, it started to rain.  Not hard, but it was raining. We were going to the Hot Spring as soon as we got back, so it didn't matter that much.  It was $9 for seniors at the entrance, and there were changing rooms.  Four pools, three of which were hot, but of differing temperatures, and one large swimming pool were inside the walls.  108 was the hottest, and the swimming pool was a chilly 77 degrees!  We settled on the 103 degree pool, and eased in along with a dozen or so other folks enjoying the warm waters!

I felt the tensions and pains of the day just flow out of my body as we sat in the warm water.  We stayed about an hour, and then showered and took off for camp.  When I got back I putt 80 pounds of air in the rear tires and 65 back into the front tires as tomorrow, Friday we're off for Port Angeles. 

Listening to the Rays play the Seattle Mariners this evening, and Joyce is making spaghetti and meat sauce!  The Rays are winning!!

Ron & Joyce - Retired
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hoddinron

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Re: Florida to the Pacific NW
« Reply #55 on: August 18, 2013, 10:55:31 AM »
Friday was moving day.  From Forks on the eastern side of the Olympic Loop to a KOA the northern side between Port Angeles and Squim.  It was an easy drive, and the set up on a gravel back in site was made easier by the Olympic mountains out our back window.  We called Joshua at Small Craft Advisor magazine in Port Townsend, and we agree to meet on Sunday, since we had some shopping to do, and Saturday we planned to take the Coho ferry over to Victoria. Went to Wal-Mart and stocked up on food, and returned to the KOA.  Dinner was a rotisserie chicken and mashed potatoes that we picked up at Wally World. 

We had to rise early on Saturday, because the ferry left the Port Angeles dock at 8:15.  We went about 30 minutes early and easily found parking in the ten dollar parking garage across from the docks.  The Coho was built in 1959. And was designed for the duty she still does, which is take people and vehicles over and back to Victoria on Vancouver Island.  She was repowered in 2004 with a couple of 1000 HP engines.  She's not fast, but seems well suited to her task. We sat up forward in the Observation deck in very comfortable chairs and watched our progress toward the island.  As we neared Victoria, a couple of large whales were spotted.  At first some of the passengers thought they might be Orca, as they frequent these waters, but as we got closer, they lacked the tall dorsal fins and were much larger than Orca.  I got a very good look at them as they porpoised along near the surface and spouted through their blow hole.

After we were off the ship and had gone through customs, we walked past the Parliament building and across the street to the Royal BC Museum.  Their feature this summer was "The Race to the Pole" about Scott and Amundsen's race to get to the South Pole in 1909 I think.  The display was very well done, and a lot of original artifacts were there.  It took over an hour just to get through that display, and then there was the natural history gallery and the First People's Gallery!  We were afraid that we'd spend all our time in Victoria in a museum, so we skimmed through the other two floors.

Out on the street on a Saturday in sparkling weather there were thousands of people!  The national Dragon Race was being held in the inner harbor, and it just about took over the area!  Boats with teams of what looked like 18 people each, paddling on each side with a helmsman standing and a drummer up forward on each boat, paddling as fast as they could in the sprints which were the length of the harbor, probably about a mile.  The area supporting these teams had large white tents set up with team colors and people walking around with life jackets and paddles, and medical teams, and food tents, and a band rocking out on a large stage.  Quite a sight to add to the normally placid inner harbor area right across from the Victorian Style Empress Hotel!  We walked up Government street checking out the shops and the people, and looking for China Town.  After about eight blocks we found it.  A large gate over a side street announced that you had arrived.  The crush of people also let you know that you were someplace else, as the common language seemed to have a definite Asian tone to it.  One street in particular had several restaurants, so we walked down it to check them out.  We decided on a restaurant that you had to walk upstairs to.  I thought it might be more authentic than the touristy ones, and I was right.  Upstairs the entire clientele was locals.  They were seated at four or five large tables and were being served family style from huge dishes.  I asked our waitress if it was a wedding party or something, but she seemed to be saying that it was for the dedication of a new building.

The food was fresh and quite good.  I had chicken and rice with fresh vegetables and egg roll, and a Joyce had a large bowl of won ton soup, and an egg roll. 

After we finished lunch we headed back towards the harbor, and ran into a guy who had some Ural motorcycles with sidecars on a corner.  He had a sign that offered tours for two of the city!  I struck up a conversation with him about BMW bikes, of which the Ural is a Russian copy.  He said there was a BMW single in a window right across the street, and I told him that I'd owned one in the mid-sixties.  So we went over together to check it out.  It was a meticulously restored R-26 that looked exactly like my R-27 did in 1966.

Another side street featured a Flemenco Festival, with guitar players, singers and of course dancers!    Further down towards the harbor we ran into the street performers.  The one with the largest crowd was a juggler of fire torches and large knives involving the crowd in death defying stunts while he stood on the top edges of two folding chairs!  The best part was how he tried to get the crowd to donate before they walked away after his big finale.  A very clever guy.  Yes, I was a good guy who will "Go to heaven" for donating five Canadian dollars.

We had some time to kill when we got back to the port.  The ship hadn't even arrived to pick us up for the return to Port Angeles, so we sat down on the harbor steps and watched the Dragon Boats race, while I had an ice cream cone.  Back on board we got some really good seats in the Observation Lounge, and I spent the last of my Canadian money on some snacks and drinks for us both. 

We got back to the camper dead tired, and didn't even feel like eating dinner while we listened to the Rays getting defeated by Toronto Blue Jays.  Later we snacked on Toasted English Muffins with jam.

Tomorrow Port Townsend.
Ron & Joyce - Retired
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skyking1

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Re: Florida to the Pacific NW
« Reply #56 on: August 18, 2013, 01:45:46 PM »
The whole wooden boat community in Port Townsend is wonderful, but I really like the products and folks at Pygmy Boats.
It is located at the east end of town, and the watercraft are amazing works of art. Stop by if you have time.
http://www.pygmyboats.com/contact-us.html
If you are a woodworker or appreciate exotic woods, stop by Edensaw. They have small pieces for turning pens, to entire logs slabbed and stickered in the warehouse.
http://www.edensaw.com/MainSite/Store1/Content/SiteContent/1/Home/Locations.aspx
Into vintage hardware? On the left at the second roundabout, you will see a store close to the road. The whole upstairs is an antiques display, some for sale and some not, and a vintage lighting museum. Downstairs is filled with antique and replica brass and bronze hardware and more antique pieces.
http://www.vintagehardware.com/
« Last Edit: August 18, 2013, 01:52:55 PM by skyking1 »
Kelly and Mary

1996 Dodge CTD 2500 "Woody"
1991 Avion 29.5 ST
Washington State

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WashDad

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Re: Florida to the Pacific NW
« Reply #57 on: August 18, 2013, 02:23:57 PM »
If you are a woodworker or appreciate exotic woods, stop by Edensaw. They have small pieces for turning pens, to entire logs slabbed and stickered in the warehouse.
http://www.edensaw.com/MainSite/Store1/Content/SiteContent/1/Home/Locations.aspx

I'll second the comments about both Pygmy Boats and Edensaw. If you want to understand what garbage the plywood used in RVs is (the hidden stuff under that skins) take a look at the boat-building plywood at Edensaw.

Don't forget to tour Fort Worden State Park in Pt. Townsend. The WWI-era forts are interesting, and you will spot a lot the places used to film "An Officer and a Gentleman." (And the Dungeness Spit. Don' forget that, either.)
Rick Tyler
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King County, Washington

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Re: Florida to the Pacific NW
« Reply #58 on: August 18, 2013, 08:09:22 PM »
Just got back from Pt. Townsend today. We camped at Fort Worden and had a week to relax and explore the park and the town. We used bikes to get around and had a chance to see things we might have missed otherwise. What a great place, I loved it. Lots of deer everywhere! At Fort Worden, I recommend taking a small flashlight with you to really check out Artillery Hill.  :)

Cheers!
Alisa
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hoddinron

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Re: Florida to the Pacific NW
« Reply #59 on: August 22, 2013, 09:58:49 PM »
    We went into a communications dead zone when we got down to Mt. Rainier area. :(  I wanted to contact Kelly but couldn't even get on my favorite website with my 3G on roaming!  And we stopped at a campground with no Wi-Fi!  So, sorry we didn't make contact, but we still had a great three days!
  We arrived at the Harmony RV resort on 122 off of 12 on Monday, and went straight to Mt. Rainier's Paradise area on Tuesday morning.  Great roads if you like twisty and windy. Enjoyed the Visitor's Center, and Lodge, and then had a picnic lunch before starting a hike up the mountain a ways.  There are so many trails, so we picked what looked like an easy one.  It was easy for the first half mile, and then it started to climb, and became another trail.  On the way we spotted a beautiful doe not ten feet from the trail!  Vista's of the mountain were breathtaking!  It was a perfectly clear day, which is rare according to Tony Reed, a friend who has climbed to the top!  We wanted to get to an overlook that was two miles from the visitor's center, and we gave it our best shot, but about 2/3 of the way there, my Florida legs were giving out.  Joyce said I was getting a little wobbly. I almost fell into a stream while crossing it. We'd run out of water, and snacks, and it was getting late, so we took some photos to prove that we'd climbed (walked) up to where there was snow in the meadows, and turned around.  Funny how a long uphill climb seems so short on the way down! :)
   We Will never forget our experience on Rainier!  I admire folks who can actually climb to the top of that thing!
   Wednesday we wanted to see Mt. St. Helens.  It was another long drive, but beautiful!  The day seemed a bit hazier, but you could still see the mountains.  We drove to the visitors center at Johnson's Ridge Observatory, which overlooks the side of the mountain that collapsed. An excellent Ranger talk explained what happened on May 19th, 1980 and in the days that followed.  One of the tragedies was the closing of all the Spirit Lake camps due to the lake rising 200 feet!  Inside we watched a film about how life returned to the mountains, and how the mountain was again growing inside the lava dome.  There was a short hike to a higher vantage point, and a longer one, but we'd been down that trail the day before and opted to stay near the Visitor's Center.
   The weather both days was cool and sunny, Wednesday was warmer in the afternoon.  We stopped on the way back to Harmony and picked up some beef to grill.  Listened to the Rays game.  They lost, but won the series with Baltimore.
  Today we headed east on12 toward Yakima where we picked up I-82 north to I-90.  The weather got hotter as we drove from the mountains to the high desert.  Out on 90 today it reached 93 degrees.  The truck again did fantastic, pulling the grades without downshifting mostly.  We drove about 330 miles today and landed east of Spokane at the KOA.  It's easy to get into and out of and will get us back on the road to Yellowstone in the morning.  We had a short discussion about whether to go to Glacier or Yellowstone, Joyce said "We're closer to Glacier at the moment."  That is true, but Yellowstone is kind of on our way, and Glacier is not.  Going to Yellowstone will allow us to stay longer. Also weather report for Glacier said, "smokey!"  Hmmm.  We're having to keep an eye out for the fires which have so far been to our south.  We seem to be back in the heat zone, as we had to use air conditioning when we arrived this afternoon.  It's cooling off now, so we probably won't need it tonight. 
  Out plan is to get to Butte Montana tomorrow, another long drive, and the next day book a few days, at least, near West Yellowstone.  We like Lake Hepkin Holiday RV resort, but when I tried to call, they were already closed.  We forgot that they are in another time zone!

Ron & Joyce - Retired
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skyking1

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Re: Florida to the Pacific NW
« Reply #60 on: August 22, 2013, 10:21:00 PM »
Glad you had a good time on the mountain :) The weather has been spectacular for sure.
If you need a rest from all that great hiking, check out the grizzly and wolf discovery center in West Yellowstone.
http://www.grizzlydiscoveryctr.org/
Kelly and Mary

1996 Dodge CTD 2500 "Woody"
1991 Avion 29.5 ST
Washington State

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therealsimpsons

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Re: Florida to the Pacific NW
« Reply #61 on: August 23, 2013, 09:36:11 AM »
We stayed at Yellowstone Holiday RV resort on Lake Hebgen in late June and early July. The hosts were wonderful and this was a nice park, about 11 miles to W Yellowstone from there. If you do get reservations, we'd recommend trying for a spot on the southeast section near the water. If you are in to reading, they have a book exchange library in the office.

In W Yellowstone itself, (highly commercialized) the Grizzly & Wolf Discovery Center is a must, as Kelly mentioned. There is a neat little bicycle shop in town with some cool stuff. And the owner has pictures of a mamot that lives on the block and divides his time among the shops in the winter to keep warm.

Without a doubt you must take the 15 mile trip west of the RV park to see the site of the largest recorded earthquake in the Rocky Mountains. You will see a 6 million pound boulder that moved over a half mile in 90 seconds. The quake actually formed a lake (Quake Lake) by damming the Madison River. Since 1959 the river is gradually eating away at the dam, and it is receding, and some day it will be just the river again. Fascinating stuff there.

Enjoy Yellowstone!
« Last Edit: August 23, 2013, 09:44:03 AM by parttymer »
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Re: Florida to the Pacific NW
« Reply #62 on: August 23, 2013, 09:42:55 AM »
Patty, thanks for bringing up Quake Lake. We have driven by it many times, but need to stop and check it all out.
Kelly and Mary

1996 Dodge CTD 2500 "Woody"
1991 Avion 29.5 ST
Washington State

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hoddinron

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Re: Florida to the Pacific NW
« Reply #63 on: August 23, 2013, 09:01:15 PM »
Quick status update.

Got underway at 8:40 PST, and headed toward Butte, MT with a planned stop at Missoula for groceries at the local Wal-Mart. We like using Wal-Mart because they usually have room in their Parking lot for us, and we can pick up RV items that we run out of.

On the way, we left WA, passed through northern Idaho, and cruised into Montana. A three state day. Almost the entire day we were in mountainous terrain, climb, climb, climb, and then swoop down the other side. This time the downside runs included pretty tight turns for which the suggested speed was usually 65, or if it was really tight, 55. This was too much for me, so we took 5mph off of all those suggested speeds and felt comfortable. Again the engine brake and automatic transmission controlled the speed going down for the most part.

Getting to Missoula was pretty and easy, finding their Wal-Mart not so much. We got off at the wrong exit depending on th iExit app on our iPad. It was five miles off, so we figured it out and back tracked. We shopped, had lunch and had Joyce's reading glasses repaired! It set us back 90 minutes, but was worth it!

So, Butte was supposed to be the easy half of the day. It was only 120 some miles away, but the wind kicked up against us. About 30 knots of wind! This is significant drag on the fifth wheel, which towers over the truck. I eased off the cruise control to 55 as I saw the MPG gauge start to drop. Anyway, with losing an hour of time, as we were now in Mountain Time, and the 90 minutes at Wally World, we didn't get to the Butte KOA until 5:45. There was a line at check in. Luckily they had a Chicken and Fish concession on the premises, and we ordered a chicken dinner to be picked up after we set up, about 7pm MST.

Dinner was quite good, and now we're listening to the Rays kick the Yankee's butts! It's 7 to 2 in the ninth. Tomorrow we do have reservations at Holiday Lake Hepken Resort a few miles out of West Yellowstone on Lake Hepken. We've stayed there before and loved it!
  We have three days reserved, but if it's a good site, we'll tack on a few more!  Glad you had a good time there Patty.  We're starting to run out of books, so we'll have some to contribute, too!


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therealsimpsons

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Re: Florida to the Pacific NW
« Reply #64 on: August 24, 2013, 12:30:31 AM »
Patty, thanks for bringing up Quake Lake. We have driven by it many times, but need to stop and check it all out.

Glad you had a good time there Patty.  We're starting to run out of books, so we'll have some to contribute, too!

Just for the record, (still chuckling  ??? ) my name is Stan. The user name is a mis-spelling of part timer (on purpose).  ::)
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hoddinron

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Re: Florida to the Pacific NW
« Reply #65 on: August 26, 2013, 08:52:45 AM »
 :). Sorry about the confusion with your name, Stan!

 
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hoddinron

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Re: Florida to the Pacific NW
« Reply #66 on: August 26, 2013, 10:02:33 AM »
From Butte to Lake Hepken we decided to take the I90 exit that goes south along the river, on route 191.   You  exit at Belgrade, and follow the sign to the left for 85.  Then it goes south(right) and shortly becomes 191. There was reportedly smoke from a fire to the SW along the other route which I think is 289, and goes through Ennis.

GoogleMaps said the way we took was a bit longer, but following a river is usually following a valley that the river carved, instead of looping up, over and around the hills and mountains.   This turned out to be true, but some sections of the road were being repaired, and we had some short delays while we waited for the cars going the other way passed by, and it was our turn to go forward. 

We stopped along the way to have a bite of lunch.  The river to our right at the time, was roaring along over the rocky stream bed.  It was peaceful there, and we were happy not to have to travel too much further to get to camp. 

One last hill to climb and we were inside the caldera of Yellowstone.  You could look in every direction and see a rim of mountains.  They say that if Yellowstone ever blows its top it will make Mt. St. Helen look like a school model of a volcano. We  cruised south into the Yellowstone caldera keeping an eye out for Lake Hepken Rd.  there aren't many turn offs except for dude ranches along there so it was pretty easy to find.  Turning right, and another four miles, we could see the lake shining in the afternoon sun. 

The hostess at the check-in deck called Joyce by name when we walked up, which put a smile on her face.  We checked that we really did have site 30, and then added two more days to our stay for a total of five.  After setting up, Joyce got the laundry together and I set up the reclining chairs outside on the grass at our site.  Everything is so well cared for here,  it's a pleasure to stay here.  Yes we're 14 miles from West Yellowstone, but that's a small price to pay for such a great campground.  From our site we can look out over the water and marina, and watch the boats come and go.  There was a poker run in progress when we arrived, so there was a lot of activity, but it was a Saturday!  Also a few sailboats were out on the lake, which made us feel at home.

Sunday was August 25th and a special day for Yellowstone and the Old Faithful Inn!  It was free entry day at the National Parks, and it was Christmas in August at the Old Faithful Inn!  But first we went to see the Grizzlies and wolves at the Discovery center in West Yellowstone.  An educational and well done exhibit.  We enjoyed watching the bears hunt for their  food when they were let out of their hidden enclosures.  They turned over rocks and heavy logs with ease, demonstrating their strength and speed.  The wolves were sleeping when we went to visit, but they don't work with them until three PM, so that's why, I suppose. 

After checking out the western most street of West Yellowstone, we headed into the park.  It was Sunday, and Free entry day, so it was quite busy and traffic was heavy.  We decided to go to Old Faithful to see what Christmas in August was all about.  Along the way we followed the Firehole River and at one point watched several men wading across the river.  I commented to Joyce that it looked cold and somewhat dangerous, as the river was flowing swiftly!  We learned later that there is a certain spruce tree on the other side that gets decorated on August 25th as part of Christmas in August!  People were wading over to decorate the tree! 

When we arrived at Old Faithful, we were surprised at all the new buildings, mostly hotels, that have sprung up!  Also there is a new Educational building right in front of Old Faithful that I don't recall in 2008.  I think they were building it then.  We found a parking space, and went right to see Old Faithful geyser.  We had to wait about 25 minutes along with hundreds of others, but when she went off, as she always does about  every 90 minutes, it was worth it!

We then headed over to the Old Faithful Inn to see how they decorated the insides for Christmas in August.  I know it sounds impossible, but the whole thing got started in the 1930's when a freak August snow storm stranded the guests at the Old a faithful Inn for several days.  The staff and guests decided to celebrate Christmas early, so they decorated a tree, made a special Christmas dinner, sang carols, had hot apple cider, cooked Christmas cookies, and just made the most of being stranded!  Sounds pretty great to me!  So, the story goes, ever since then Christmas has been celebrated on August 25th at the Old Faithful Inn!

The insides of the Inn, which is an all log structure four stories tall and all open on the inside, were strung with Christmas lights.  A Christmas Tree was near the huge fireplace, along with staff dressed as elves.  Inside the gift shop, hot apple cider was free for everyone. Cookies were being baked, but not being served until later, and the carols were also for the evening hours.  It was charming!  You could imagine all those years ago, the stranded vacationers gathered round the Yuke log singing "Jingle Bells."  It was a simpler time.

We checked out the new General Store, and Educational Center, and then headed home to Lake Hepkin, about an hours long drive.  Fueled up and got some fresh bread in West Yellowstone.  Joyce made quesadillas for dinner with chicken and cheese, and read until our eyes closed.  Went down to 41 in the night.
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hoddinron

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Re: Florida to the Pacific NW
« Reply #67 on: August 28, 2013, 03:45:32 PM »
Woke up kinda sore from yesterday's hiking in Yellowstone Park. Took a long hot shower, had breakfast and began to feel better. Yesterday we went Bison and Elk hunting, and we found them! Of course in Yellowstone, that's not too remarkable. We drove to Madison junction, then on to Norris Geyser Basin, and on to Canyon, where we headed south along the Grand Loop Rd toward the Agrand Canyon of the Yellowstone, and Hayden Valley. Along the way to Canyon we came around a turn and there was a lone Bull Bison just Ka-lumping along the side of the road. Joyce grabbed her camera, and we paced him for a minute while she snapped photos. I was ready to zoom out of his way if he got tired of us being alongside. Call it a close encounter of the motorized kind. You'd never want to get that close on foot!

At Canyon we wanted to get out and hike, so we pulled into a parking lot on the north rim road to hike to the falls. I'd forgotten how many trails there are around the falls, and we picked the Lower Falls Brink Trail. It was great going down, but I kept thinking about the return trip! It was pretty steep, and even some people who looked fit were gasping on their way back. Watching the water spill over the edge was great and we were really close to the power of the falls. It's a 600 foot drop! As suspected, the climb back up was tough on this old codger, but I only stopped to rest at every other bench, and do feel stronger than when we got out west! I said to Joyce, "Remember, we're not just climbing, we're climbing at 7700 feet of elevation." Back at the top, we grabbed a snack and water, and set out to find Artist's Point, where in 1871, Thomas Moran had painted Yellowstone Falls, as his part of a government expedition to document the West.
We drove back around the Canyon Visitor Center, and south to find the South Rim Drive, where Artist's Point is located. No long hike to get to it this time! But we did run into a Park Ranger who was walking our way with a stack of photos under his arm. "Are you going to do a talk?" I asked. He replied that indeed he was in about fifteen minutes, and told us where to look for him. We love Ranger Talks. So after getting some photos of the most photogenic waterfalls in America, we met him where he said he would be.
Ranger Steve was very informative regarding the history of Yellowstone including the first white man to stumble upon it, John Colter, who went with Lewis and Clark, but asked to be relieved of duty part of the way back. The party voted on it and allowed him to wander off into the wilderness in the middle of winter, alone. It was the fist time in American history that a black and a Woman were allowed to vote! The woman was Sakajawea, and the black man was the cook for the Corp of discovery. Then he told us about the first photographer, and about Thomas Moran, the painter who went along and managed to sketch, and paint many scenes from the Yellowstone area.

When his talk ended we were starving, because we hadn't eaten lunch. Driving on down the road towards the Hayden Valley we stopped along the road, and ate in the truck. This was the area where bison herds were supposed to be gathered, and they were! They were pretty far away from the road, but we studied them with our binoculars. Also in this same area are thermal features, so we stopped at "Mud Volcano" to check them out. Of course this involved walking along a board walk about 3/5ths of a mile, up a hill, around the hill and back, taking in the features as we went. Just about half way there, we spotted a huge bull Bison lounging next to a steaming sulfur lake. He seemd to be enjoying the fumes and dust. I got closer to him than Joyce like, but felt somewhat safe as I was on the boardwalk and he was not. He tolerated me for about 30 yards and then I quietly backed away.

Also in the same parking lot were two fire trucks. The firemen were aiming their binocs toward some smoke up ahead, the Alum Creek Fire. An information officer was giving people facts about the fires and answering questions. There were signs up that the next six miles were smoky, and to drive slowly with your headlights on. Instead, we turned around and headed back to West Yellowstone for a Bison Burger and Fries.
Ron & Joyce - Retired
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skyking1

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Re: Florida to the Pacific NW
« Reply #68 on: August 28, 2013, 08:45:27 PM »
Ron, it sounds like you two are doing it right.
Two years ago we went with family and saw many of those same sights. My brother and I and his sons pushed and carried my sister's husband up many of those trails, including that mud volcano boardwalk and stair cases. He is in a wheelchair.
Kelly and Mary

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hoddinron

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Re: Florida to the Pacific NW
« Reply #69 on: September 03, 2013, 08:26:42 AM »
It's been a while since I checked in!  We spent the next few days mostly around camp at Lake Hepken, did some shopping in West Yellowstone, and got ready to go to the Grand Teton National Park.

This late in the year it was possible to get reservations at Colter Bay RV Park with full hook ups for three nights, so we headed back into Yellowstone and south along the Grand Loop Road towards the Tetons.  We were hoping that most of the smoke was gone, and were pleased to not find much at all along the way.  The two parks are almost joined together so once we exited Yellowstone, it was only ten miles or so before we entered the Tetons.  And there they were!  I think of them as the Fanghorn Mountains, as I don't think there are any younger or sharper peaks anywhere in the US outside of Alaska. They are quite distinctive.  We actually spotted them from the air flying to Vancouver a few years ago. 

The check in at Colter Bay RV Park were quite friendly and helpful, and assigned us a site on the A loop close to the back of the general store.  Aside from a general humming noise, it's was quite convenient to be there!  The site was a bit unlevel, but two boards under the right tires fixed that.  We took a walk down to the information center, and the marina office, and was shocked to see all the floating docks completely out of the water!  Colter Bay was so low that there was no water at all in the bay!  I asked a couple of people about it I during our stay, and basically got the answer that Idaho owns the first 39 feet of the water in the lake, and they were draining it off Jackson Lake to keep the water flowing in the Snake River.  The fishing guides liked that, and I'm sure agricultural interests did as well.  A bad (low) snow season in Idaho was the reason given for the low water levels in general.

All of that took little away from the majesty of the mountains!  Best time to photograph them is in the morning, as they are well lit from the east at that time.  In the afternoon they are in shadow.

We had two main goals while we were there, other than relaxing and having fun.  First we wanted to go back to Jenny Lake and take the boat over to the Hidden Falls trail, and second, I wanted to ride the Tram that went up to the top of a mountain down at Teton Village.  We'd done the Hidden Falls trail back in 1991, and were anxious to compare what we remembered with the ways it is now.  So, next morning we struck out for Jenny Lake along the park road stopping to take some breathtaking photos of the Tetons along the way. I guess this trip has been well advertised over the years, because the whole area was bigger and more popular than I remember!  The concession that runs the boats had several large aluminum, craft that could hold about forty people each. In 1991 it was a wooden lapstrake runabout, inboard, that could hold maybe ten!  But that was OK.  The trip across was quick and then we were on the trail which was just about as we remembered.  Great!  As we climbed into the rocky sections above the Hidden Falls overlook, we started to look for the picas and marmots that we saw on our last trip up to Inspiration Point, but they were sadly no longer there.  Probably the larger number of tourists passing by their rocky homes had caused their numbers to dwindle, or else feeding by said tourists had caused their demise.  I don't know.. Maybe they were just sleeping in that day!

I'll pick up this thread later tonight.  Joyce wants me to make breakfast, and we have to get on the road to the Black Hills of South Dakota today!

Ron & Joyce - Retired
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hoddinron

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Re: Florida to the Pacific NW
« Reply #70 on: September 03, 2013, 05:54:57 PM »
On the trail to Hidden Falls and then on up to Inspiration Point at 7200 feet (400 ft rise from the lake), I was constantly inspired by the folks on the trail, from all over the world, all were doing well, even those older than us!  I must add that we did better than the fat lady who stayed at the dock and didn't even attempt the trail!

The views were amazing and constantly changing.  Joyce spotted a doe and fawn just below us on a switchback of the trail.  As we got near the point, there were several places where we could stop on a rock and look out across the lake.  I kept hoping that each one was Inspiration Point, but looking up, I could see people above us who were more inspired than we were!  We did finally reach the Point, just in time for a huge thunder clap!  I had been noticing dark clouds streaming over the mountain tops, and had said something about it to Joyce, but I doubt if we would have turned back any way. We put on jackets and started down, not knowing how long the storm was going to last or how wet it was going to get. It turned out to be not bad at all.  Seems a lot of the thunderstorms out west are what they call dry storms.  Thunder and lightning, and not much else.  Weird! Oh we got a little wet, but we were all dried out by the time we got back down to the boat dock!

After returning to the parking lot and retrieving our picnic lunch, we found a spot by the lake to sit and eat.  People were actually swimming!  Well, diving in to show off for their girlfriends is more like it.  The water was something like 62 degrees, which is about 20 degrees too cold for these Floridians!

After lunch we headed down toward Teton Village, and took a road that is only paved part of the way.  I creeped along at 15 MPH because every dip and bump felt like an earthquake with 80 pounds of air in the tires! When we got to Teton Village, we were flabbergasted.  We knew for sure that we weren't in the National Park anymore !
I guess it's really a ski lodge in the winter that they've dressed up as a summer resort of sorts to keep business going all year.  Very flashy and Yuppyish. Joyce said it was like Gatlinberg in NC.  Everything was on sale in the shops for 50% off, and the prices were still outrageous!  I'm not sure we fit in real well, with our "right off the trail" attire.  Anyway, I went up to see how much it would cost us to ride the tram up to the top of their mountain which as something like 10,400 feet up.  It was 42 dollars each, I think, and that was the senior rate.  I was ready to pop for it, but then another storm came over the mountain with a lot of rain and thunder and they put a hold on the tram trips for the day.  We looked around in the shops and had a coffee and decided to bag it.  There were places ahead that we could drive our truck up higher than 10,400 feet for Pete's sake! (And we did!)

We took the long loop around, on 191 north, to see another side of the park and had to go through Jackson to do it.  Wow!  That place has really grown in 22 years!  There was construction downtown and we had to creep along in the bumper to bumper traffic to finally emerge out onto the open road of the park where the speed limit is 45MPH.  On the way back we saw a herd of Antelope, and stopped to photograph them.

Our second day in the Tetons we decided to stay in the northern part of the park near Colter Bay. We took it easy in the morning, and then took a hike to Swan Lake form the Marina Parking lot.  It was an easy hike with mostly level trails. On the way out, not a half mile from the trail head, Joyce spotted a beautiful eight point buck above us about ten yards.  He didn't look the least concerned that we stopped to take his picture!  In fact he laid down and stayed right there, probably thinking that we couldn't see his head above the grass.  Joyce picked up a stick and dragged it along to scare off any bears.  I don't think they were too impressed with her stick.  We got to Swan Lake and sat down to admire the scenery.  The lake was covered in lily pads almost all the way across. 

That night I grilled some filet Mignon on the grill right by the camper and several folks came by to comment on how good it smelled. Temperatures that night dropped into the upper thirties!  The furnace ran for quite a while the next morning, our last in the Tetons.  We were moving on to Cody Wyoming via Yellowstone National Park.
Ron & Joyce - Retired
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vetmom

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Re: Florida to the Pacific NW
« Reply #71 on: September 03, 2013, 06:29:02 PM »
Nice going, making it all the way to Inspiration Point!  Sorry you weren't able to do the tram, some amazing views up there but if you are still at Colter Bay if you have half an hour before you leave I'd recommend the drive up Signal Mountain.  Going south from Colter Bay make the right after Jackson Lake Lodge for the inner road, shortly after you pass Signal Mountain Lodge on the right is a road going off to the left, goes to the top of Signal Mountain, some of Ansel Adams famous shots were from up there.  If not, enjoy Cody and be sure to hit the museum and the Irma though sounds like you are probably eating just fine on your own. ;D  I'm enjoying your adventure!

Cheryl
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hoddinron

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Re: Florida to the Pacific NW
« Reply #72 on: September 03, 2013, 06:57:04 PM »
Ohh!  That's right!  We did go up signal mountain on our second day in the Tetons!  How could I forget! Great views, except too much smoke on the east side from the Druid Complex fire in Yellowstone.  And we saw a beautiful doe on the road going up! And spotted antelope near a lake to the east.  Thanks for reminding me about that!

Thanks for following and commenting on our travel blog, Cheryl!

Signal mountain was one of the few spots in the northern part of the park where we could get decent cell signal!

Ron and Joyce headed for the Black Hills.

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therealsimpsons

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Re: Florida to the Pacific NW
« Reply #73 on: September 03, 2013, 07:12:07 PM »
We made that trip down Moose-Wilson Rd three times this past summer. Its where we saw a really big beaver lodge, and several beavers stocking the pantry with twigs and leaves for winter. After two times of jarring road, we finally learned to just move from side to side to avoid the biggest ruts and hope no one was coming around one of those many curves. We drove right on by Teton Village. Looked way to "touristy" for us.

Glad you had a good time. Have fun in the Black Hills.

Stan
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hoddinron

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Re: Florida to the Pacific NW
« Reply #74 on: September 03, 2013, 08:02:42 PM »
That's the one, Stan.  Moose-Wilson road.  Really rough on the 80 lb tires!  Sure saved a lot of driving, but Teton Village wasn't worth our time.  Good call.

Ron
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hoddinron

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Re: Florida to the Pacific NW
« Reply #75 on: September 07, 2013, 06:13:11 PM »
Wow!  Four days since my last update!  Getting lazy!

We left the Tetons and headed back into Yellowstone so that we could visit Cody Wyoming.  They have a great museum of the west there, and of course the Cody Stampede!  We didn't have any trouble with smoke going through Fising Bridge area of Yellowstone, so I guess they are getting that fire under control.  The road out the east side was fun with some seriously long grades of 6 and 7 percent, as I recall.  Again the RAM 2500 diesel handled the down slopes quite well, using the exhaust brake and downshifting automatically. 

When we got into Cody, it seemed larger than I recall, but it had been 22 years since we were there!  We found Absaroka Bay RV park on the east side of town on 14/16/20 up a hill on the left behind a Burger King.  Check in was fine, and we got a pull through full hook up site.  The downer was that we got there a day late for the Rodeo!  We got there the day after the finals!  Our consolation was that we went to two Rodeos during this trip, anyway.  One at Cheyanne and the little one at West Yellowstone.  For some reason we didn't feel like spending a whole day at the museum either, and I know you have to spend at least one day there to see it.  So we decided to take the advice of folks on this RV forum, and boating friend Hugh Horton's advice and spend a day driving the Bear Tooth Highway. Hugh spent his youth in the area around Red Lodge and the Bear Tooth on a summer camp for boys.  He raved about it as well.  On top of all this good advice,  neighbors in the fifth wheel beside us had just returned, and they were gushing about the Bear Tooth!  About the hairpin turns, the high elevations, the scenic vistas.  Sold us!   

So next morning early we headed out of Cody taking 120 to Chief Joseph Scenic Highway to link up with the "All American Road" The Beartooth Highway!  As we ascended, the morning became cooler, and the views ore stunning.  The altimeter on my GPS said 11,090 at the top, although all the maps say it's really more like 10,400.  Anyway, it was cold and windy up there above the trees!  Old snaggletooth, as I nicknamed him, was sighted across the miles.  We came to one pull off with several other cars and there was some kind of cable car arrangement that seemed to go straight down!  I didn't dare look over the side as there were no guard rails!  Another stop off was a canyon bridge where a group of teenagers were dropping huge rocks to see how long it took to hit the bottom and listening for the boom of the rock exploding on the larger rocks below. A one turnout along the Chief Joseph Scenic Highway we saw Sun Light Valley that was used by Chief Joseph of the Nez Perce Indians to escape from the Calvary in their bid to reach Canada and freedom.  We stopped at a high mountain lake, where there were a few fishermen trying to catch trout.  After reaching the top of the Beartooth, we headed down the spiraling dizzying hairpin turns.  I was glad I took the advice of experts on the forum about leaving the trailer behind on this drive.  Could I have made it?  Probably yes, but without it back there it was easier and safer, and I could find places to park on the pull outs and overlooks.  Our last turnout had a walkway out to a point with a waist high stone wall, and an additional steel railing to keep you from falling straight down a thousand feet or so.  Chipmunks were scurrying about getting nuts from visitors.  The kids loved this!  But we didn't love the way some parents put there one and two year olds up on the wall with only a short railing to keep them from tipping over the side!  And the parents were not holding on at all.  In fact one father kept turning his back while the little girl jumped up and down and sat on the railing with her back to the abyss!  I couldn't watch. We left and continued down the road to flatter lands near Red Lodge, taking 308 to 72 which became 120 when we crossed back into Wyoming. 

We only had two nights in Cody, so the next day we headed out hoping to make it to Custer SD, but it was too far for us to do in one day, so we stopped off in Buffalo, at the Deer Park Campground.  Nice overnight stay with very friendly hosts.  Trees in the campground and good facilities.  One reason we didn't make it to Custer was that we stopped to check out the Little Bighorn Battle National Monument along the way, and stop at a Wal-Mart to stock up on food.

We hadn't been to the Little Big Horn since it was renamed in 1991, shortly after we were there, by an act of congress and the signature of George the first.  It was done so that the native Americans could also put up a monument and headstones to honor their dead who lost their lives in the battle.  The Native American monument was closed for renovation, but we did see some of the headstones of Cheyenne Warriors, which said "A Cheyenne Warrior fell here on June 25, 1876, while defending the Cheyenne way of life".
Since we're on the way to Buffalo, and had a reservation we only spent about 90 minutes there before moving on.

The next day we made it to The Black Hills of South Dakota and the Custer in good time, and found Broken Arrow campground right where we left it in 2008.  New owner Jerry signed us in and was very helpful even though he had problems of his own with his huge bus type of Motor Home.  "Big Motor Home equals Big Problems," he said.

Broken Arrow is one of those campgrounds that caters to horse people who come to the Black Hills to ride, and meet their friends there,  with the season winding down they had curtailed the weekly Chuck Wagon dinners for the season, which we were looking forward to.  Half of the campground is for RVs and the other half is horse trailers,  some of these have living quarters for the owners in the front! 

Our goals for the Black Hills were to see Crazy Horse Monument, Mt Rushmore, and drive the crazy highway that loops over on itself with views of Mt Rushmore as you drive through tunnels.  Word of warning!  Three tunnels have height restrictions!  One is only 10.5 feet tall in the middle!  Don't bring your fifth wheeler through there!

This was our last vacation stop before hitting the road hard for our home in Florida, so we didn't want to wear ourselves out!  We did Mt Rushmore one day, and enjoyed the loop trail to the base of the mountain.  On the way we drove the loopy highway, Iron Mountain Road, and drove through Custer State Park's Wildlife loop.  We spotted elk, antelope, prairie dogs, and of course bison!  They are getting ready in a few weeks to do a bison round up, so there weren't blocking the road as we'd experienced before, but were mostly back behind high fences.  Close enough though. 

On the way back to Custer we were caught in a terrible hail storm, but luckily we lead no damage to the truck!  The night before Crazy Horse Mountain area was hit by baseball sized hail, and several vehicles in the parking lot were totaled a,  they had nine wreckers out there that night knowing them away! We got hit at our camp by the same storm and saw golf ball sized hail.  I forgot about our slide topper and it now sports some fine new viewing ports!  Forum members advised me to call my insurance agent right away (thanks Gary), and we'll take care of it when we get home.

Crazy Horse Monument was celebrating the Sept 6th birthday of the sculptor, Korzack, and honoring the death of Crazy Horse which happened on the same day, not same year!  It was to start at dark, and if you brought three cans of food for the poor you got in free!  The place was packed, but well staffed with parking guides, so it wasn't a problem getting parked. You could see piles of hail which looked like snow that they had shoveled off the walks!   We had a cup of coffee and toured the museum of the Native Americans while we waited for the Laser light show and special once a year "Night Blast."  We peeked inside the restaurant which was closed.  They were getting ready for the after the blast celebration.  A huge five by seven foot sheet cake was laid out and everyone was invited to partake!  The laser light show was great, and featured themes related to the artist, and Crazy Horse.  The Night Blast was a BLAST!  A minutes long series of explosions lit up the night working their way from the base of the mountain up the ramps, and along the flat portion in front of the face of Crazy Horse!  What fun.  I mean what red blooded American doesn't like to blow stuff up?

After the Blast we flowed inside with the crowd, had some cake, and then headed out toward the door.  On the way, Ruth the sculptor's wife who is keeping the project going was standing there greeting people, so I shook her hand and told her about my father's connection to her husband.  It seems that during WWII, Korzack was in my father's company in France after D-Day.  Also, he made a bust of my father and the other company commander.  When I was there in 1991, I saw a photograph of the bust in a section of the museum called "about the artist."  This section is no longer there, and the photo is gone.  Anyway, Ruth was very interested in my story, and wanted my mother who is 92, to contact her with more information.  There's more to this story that my dad told me long before I knew who Korzack was, but it would take too long to tell, and this is l Ingerson than most of my posts!

Today was the day before we get going on the road, so we spend the day around camp.  I checked all the lug nuts with my torque wrench for tightness, checked the air in the tires.  Cleaned up a few things inside the trailer, put away the lounge chairs, and went into town for a few last minute groceries.  Oh!  And I wrote this log!

We hope to make it back in seven or eight days, driving 300-350 miles per day, and taking maybe o me day off along the way.  I'll check in if we have decent 3G or Wi-Fi.

Ron and Joyce about to leave Custer South Dakota for home.
Ron & Joyce - Retired
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hoddinron

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Re: Florida to the Pacific NW
« Reply #76 on: September 10, 2013, 07:33:37 AM »
Two days of travel toward home and we're just north of Kansas City.  Wow!  It's HOT!  Saw 99 on the highway yesterday in MO.  We stopped yesterday in a funky old campground that turned out to be a PassPort America camp.  Twenty bucks a night, but it wasn't much, just a place to park with hook ups right off the highway.

We plan to stock up at a WalMart this afternoon before stopping. We'll stop thisafternoon before getting to St Louis.  Don't want to go through there at rush hour.  We're 1400 miles from home, so we'll take six days to get there at 233 per day, or five days at 280 miles per day.  300 miles is a long day for us and we trundle along at 55 MPH all day long, averaging 50MPH for the whole day counting stops for fuel and food.  Maybe we can make the last week fun?

Ron and Joyce in St Joseph, MO on highway 29



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hoddinron

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Re: Florida to the Pacific NW
« Reply #77 on: September 10, 2013, 05:49:38 PM »
At the Lazy Day Campground in Danville, MO.  It's near Montgomery City, MO, just west of St. Louis about 50 miles.  As we drove in this afternoon, Joyce said,"I remember this place!  We stayed here on the way west!"  It took me a minute, but then I remembered it too!  It was packed in July, but now in September, there was plenty of room.  We got a nice shady spot, hooked up, turned on the air, and went to the pool!  It's been hot in the center of the US!  Yesterday I saw 99 on the road, and today, 95. 

The pool was pleasant, with a temperature of 83 or so.  It felt good to us!  It was kind of a hectic day, even though it wasn't long.  We stopped at a WalMart in Columbia, MO. The traffic getting into and out of Columbia was bad.  Lots of trucks!  Must be a distribution center for a lot of companies.  Joyce said, "Half way between Kansas City and St. Louis."  Whatever it was, half of the vehicles were semi trucks and they were in no mood to slow down for us! 

The wind was with us after we turned east today, and the truck's MPG guage started reading in the mid to high 14s!  It's amazing what a tail wind will do!  Yesterday we were struggling to get 11.4 MPG.  Today 3 more MPG, and it's quite hilly here. 

Looking at our mileage since our oil change in Washington.  It's been 5000 miles since then, and we're due for a change.  Wonder if I can stretch it an additional 700 -800 miles to get us home, or should we stop a day and get it changed now?  What do you think?

Ron and Joyce in MO





Ron & Joyce - Retired
2012 Ram 2500 Cummins Diesel 2.73 axle
2016 Sabre 25 RL 5th Wheel

Jim Godward

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Re: Florida to the Pacific NW
« Reply #78 on: September 10, 2013, 08:20:39 PM »
If the level s OK, go for home!  I would.   :)
Jim
Jim & Pat Godward
AC7PO & KD7ZDM
Hillsboro, Oregon

hoddinron

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Re: Florida to the Pacific NW
« Reply #79 on: September 11, 2013, 05:51:09 PM »
Drove from 75 miles west of St Louis, around St Louis and down to Clarksville Tennessee today. About 370 miles best I can figure. Only stopped for rest breaks and fuel, once. Getting 13.9 even with all the hills. Going to get the oil changed at Gary Matthews Motors, a Chrysler RAM dealer in the morning. RAM dashboard display tells me it's time to change the oil whenever I start the engine.
Campground is Clarksville RV Park and Campground. Full hook ups, gravel pads, etc. A former KOA apparently.

Will be here tonight and tomorrow, a day of rest. :)
Ron & Joyce - Retired
2012 Ram 2500 Cummins Diesel 2.73 axle
2016 Sabre 25 RL 5th Wheel

hoddinron

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Re: Florida to the Pacific NW
« Reply #80 on: September 12, 2013, 04:42:35 PM »
So much for plans of staying here and resting. 

I got back from having the oil changed and Joyce said," Why don't we pack up now and hit the road? We could be in Georgia by this afternoon." She had just completed the laundry and there was really nothing else for us to do. We thought about it for about five minutes and I started getting ready to go.

We traveled through Nashville, and across 24 to Chattanooga, went through it, and landed at a KOA in Ringgold Georgia. All set up and thinking about grilling a couple of steaks tonight. Joyce will make baked potatoes.

Now were 200 miles closer to home than we would have been if we'd just sat there!
Ron & Joyce - Retired
2012 Ram 2500 Cummins Diesel 2.73 axle
2016 Sabre 25 RL 5th Wheel

hoddinron

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Re: Florida to the Pacific NW
« Reply #81 on: September 13, 2013, 04:08:37 PM »
KOA at Ringgold was so noisy from trucking at night that Joyce couldn't sleep until she was exhausted at 4am. 

We got up and got out of there by 9am.  Drove 344 miles through Atlanta and the rest of Georgia.  Now poised for a return to our home state of Florida tomorrow morning.  We're five miles from the border!

The NW wind was blowing when we set out, and our mileage benefitted from the tailwind!  Saw 15.2 on the MPG gauge at one point, and 15 and 15.1 for over a hundred miles until we out ran the cold front.  Then MPG gradually dropped to 14.6, 14.7.  Still very respectable for towing a fifth wheel.  The secret is keeping the speed steady and right around 55 MPH.

Tonight we're at the Eagle's Roost RV park, and it's quiet here under the trees with Spanish moss draped from the trees.  Feels good to be close to home after two months on the road!
Ron & Joyce - Retired
2012 Ram 2500 Cummins Diesel 2.73 axle
2016 Sabre 25 RL 5th Wheel

hoddinron

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Re: Florida to the Pacific NW
« Reply #82 on: September 14, 2013, 05:32:25 PM »
We completed our 11,000 mile trip from Florida to the west coasts of California, Oregon, and Washington and back today about 3:30.

We had no flat tires or blowouts on our Goodyear Marathon ST trailer tires. They performed flawlessly.
We kept our speed under 60 the entire way.  Mostly 55-58 MPH.  Checked the tire pressure almost daily.  50 PSI.

Fuel mileage exceeded our expectations - over 14 while towing the entire 9 weeks on average.  15.2 while towing was the highest we saw with a tail wind a few days ago.

Highlights were - the California and Oregon Coasts, the Olympic Loop, Mt. Rainer, Yellowstone and the Tetons, and Custer S.D.

Thanks to everyone who followed along with this journal and made suggestions as we went along.  You are all appreciated.

Ron and Joyce at home in Florida.
Ron & Joyce - Retired
2012 Ram 2500 Cummins Diesel 2.73 axle
2016 Sabre 25 RL 5th Wheel

indiana journey

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Re: Florida to the Pacific NW
« Reply #83 on: September 14, 2013, 11:04:02 PM »
Thanks for sharing your travels with everyone. We hope to make that trip again someday from Indiana.
Thanks,
Indiana Journey

therealsimpsons

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  • Stan & Becky & Moe the Cat
Re: Florida to the Pacific NW
« Reply #84 on: September 15, 2013, 10:13:29 AM »
What Indiana Journey said. I followed your posts from the day you left FL. Thanks so much for sharing.
05 Beaver Monterey Laguna IV
400 HP C9 Cat
06 Honda CR-V toad with Blue Ox

DKL

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Re: Florida to the Pacific NW
« Reply #85 on: September 15, 2013, 01:07:37 PM »
Thanks for sharing your journey, I also really enjoyed following along.

Cheers,
Alisa
David and/or Alisa
2006 Four Winds C
1999 VW Eurovan Camper

hoddinron

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Re: Florida to the Pacific NW
« Reply #86 on: September 15, 2013, 01:41:21 PM »
Thanks Stan, Alisa, and Indiana.

This forum has been great for posting our travels, and getting feedback on our thoughts and plans as we traveled across the country.  Your suggestions were appreciated!

Going so far and spending so much time on the road, isn't really what we most like to do, but how else to get there?  Fly?  Rent an RV?  Possible but not really our style. 

Next summer we'll probably pick one place and spend a month there!!  Our favorite camping vacations have been when we drive less and relax more!

Ron and Joyce cleaning up after a long trip.
Ron & Joyce - Retired
2012 Ram 2500 Cummins Diesel 2.73 axle
2016 Sabre 25 RL 5th Wheel

Betty Brewer

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Re: Florida to the Pacific NW
« Reply #87 on: September 15, 2013, 07:53:38 PM »
Like others have commented, I enjoyed following your travels.  I have noted  many spots I'd like to visit as a direct result of your informative, interesting posts.  Thank you for the efforts!
Betty Brewer

see where we are

hoddinron

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Re: Florida to the Pacific NW
« Reply #88 on: September 16, 2013, 08:04:43 PM »
Thanks Betty!  :D

Ron and Joyce at home
Ron & Joyce - Retired
2012 Ram 2500 Cummins Diesel 2.73 axle
2016 Sabre 25 RL 5th Wheel

 

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