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Author Topic: Florida to the Pacific NW  (Read 15729 times)

hoddinron

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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
Ron & Joyce - Retired
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ArdraF

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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!

ArdraF
ArdraF
:D :D

Jim Godward

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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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2016 Sabre 25 RL 5th Wheel

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.


Ron & Joyce - Retired
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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
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 #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
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 #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
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 #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
P-30 / 454 Chevy w/ Stan's Headers, ceramic plug wires, cold air intake and K-N Air cleaner
Home Port Whidbey Island Washington
U.S. Navy 1970 - 1990
"Truth is the hardest thing you'll find, because you can't change it in the slightest way. " J. Paycheck

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

http://boondockerswelcome.com/users/skyking

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
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 #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! 
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 #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
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 #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
2012 Ram 2500 Cummins Diesel 2.73 axle
2016 Sabre 25 RL 5th Wheel

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

http://boondockerswelcome.com/users/skyking

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
Still shopping...
King County, Washington

DKL

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

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
2012 Ram 2500 Cummins Diesel 2.73 axle
2016 Sabre 25 RL 5th Wheel

 

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