It is September 1st and we are heading home for the winter. We drove about 230 miles to our first stop, Canyon Pines RV Resort on the Little Salmon river just south of Pollock, ID. We traveled 2 very steep and long downgrades, White Bird Pass and The Lewiston Grade. Engine braking made it much less harrowing than on trips past. Our site is very pretty and the sounds of the rapids are quite nice.
We spent 2 nights here which afforded us the chance to drive up Hells Canyon. We only went a few miles up the Salmon River from Riggins and the scenery was excellent.
Back to the task at hand, a few more miles south down the road took us to the Mountain Home Elks Lodge where we spent Labor Day Weekend.
Right out our front door, I found many Agaricus Campestris mushrooms. Unfortunately, most of them were past their prime. Sad, because this close relative of the common grocery store white button mushrooms, Agaricus Bisporus, is quite tasty.
Rolling on, we were off to Tremonton, Utah where we spent one night.
The next day we were headed to Deer Creek State Park near Heber, Utah where we stayed 3 nights. Because we eschewed the Interstate as much as possible, we were able to purchase ripe local peaches and delicious sweet corn which we found at roadside stands along Utah highway38. About halfway between Tremonton and Heber on Utah highway 6, we stopped at the Tie Fork rest area. It is certainly a unique and enjoyable place even if you don’t need a break.
A few more miles and we arrived at DeerCreek.
While here we explored the towns of Heber City and Midway. Bought cheese and ice cream at an artisan creamery and relaxed.
It is now September 10th and we are off to Hillview RV which is about 6 miles south of Price, Utah. We have time here to do some exploring.
With 2 full days here we did a little exploring The first day took us back up the road to Price where we viewed the Utah State University Prehistoric Museum and then on to Helper where we saw antiques, crafts and the Big John statue..
Our next stop was the Circleville RV Park in Circleville, UT. We wished we had planned more than one night. As it was a very pleasant park with many things to see and do nearby. And on the way we found a great spot for lunch.
Kanab was our last stop in Utah. We stayed at J&J RV which was on the edge of town giving us the opportunity to check out some of the area attractions.
Simply because we felt that Kanab to Prescott would be more of a drive than we cared to do and because it has been many years since we have been in Page we decided to spend a night. We checked out a couple of trading posts and went out for dinner.
Our very last stop on this adventure, Prescott Valley, AZ.
We enjoyed a day wandering around historic Jerome, AZ an old mining town and now a tourist attraction with many places to spend time and money.
On our last day we traipsed Whiskey Gulch which is the historic district of Prescott, AZ and ate ice cream for lunch. A fitting end to this years odyssey.
I will leave with a picture of the sunrise as we were hitching up to head to Tucson.
Until we hit the rode again, Your Random Rover, Gordon
It is July 1st and our first month at Bowl and Pitcher / Riverside is complete so we are off on a month-long vacation. Our First stop is Yakima. Though we have passed through more than once, we have never spent any time here. The Yakima Elks Lodge has an RV park that is an easy drive from Spokane.
Did some shopping and then walked the grounds of a beautiful arboretum which is just a few miles from the Elks Lodge. We were really looking forward to cooler weather. Spokane and Yakima are hotter than Tucson. Soon we will be on Hoods Canal where we will probably exchange shorts for long pants.
July 5th: Here we are on Hoods Canal and it’s much cooler. A good overnight stop.
July 6th: We will spend 3 nights here to see brother and sister-in-law in Port Ludlow and a few old friends in Sequim. Still enjoying cool marine air.
July 7th: 6 nights on the beach at Copalis, WA with John, Laura, Missy, and Jasmine. What a great time!
Halfway through July and we are on our own again. We have 2 days here to find new things to see in the area.
We did not make reservations early enough to stay closer to Corvallis. But the fairgrounds here in Rickreall, OR are clean and quiet. Also they were close enough so we could see brother Stephen and sister Julie while we were here. We also found time to shop in Dallas and Independence, OR.
On the afternoon of our arrival, 7/25, we did a driving tour of Prineville and purchased a few supplies. The next day we went to Bend. We couldn’t believe how much this whole area has grown. The population of Bend has exploded. When I was last here in the mid-’60s, it was a cowboy town of around 15k. Now it is a city of 106K! Exploring a little of Redmond took up our last day here.
It is July 28th and we are heading to our last vacation stop, Hood Park near the Tri-Cities. On the way north we stopped for a break at Shaniko and lunched at Maryhill Park in Washington.
We are spending 4 nights here relaxing before returning to Riverside for another month of camp hosting. We are beginning to plan our return to Tucson in September.
On our last day we toured this Washington state park at the confluence of the Snake and Columbia rivers and enjoyed the interpretive center there. Our little vacation has been blessed with family, good friends, and nearly perfect weather. We couldn’t ask for more.
After missing last year, as did almost everyone else, we are on the road again. The plan is to spend a month in Spokane Washington, camp hosting at Riverside State Park and spending time with family, then taking a month off on the Pacific coast with stops to relatives here and there, and finally returning to Riverside for another month of hosting. Other than heading homeward after that we really have no plans maybe just randomly roving so we don’t know when we will get back to Tucson.
Our first night was in Wikieup which is really just a wide spot in the road with a few convenience stores/gas stations and diners, but it is a simple one-night stop. While not particularly commodious, Dazzo’s Rv is suitably located and has many Joshua trees and large Saguaro cactus throughout the park. When we were leaving the next morning we learned that the gas station/convenience store/restaurant/gallery where we fueled up the night before had burned to the ground. We could still smell the smoke at the park. Sad news.
5/24/21 and 278 miles to St George, UT where we stayed at one of our favorite places the, Elks Lodge overlooking a golf course and beautiful red rock formations. Actually, St George is a fabulous destination in itself. The city which has many historically significant landmarks also has beautiful parks and hiking/biking trails. On this trip, we visited Brigham Young’s winter home and did a little shopping on our day off the road.
5/26/21 and another 270 miles closer to Spokane. When we arrived at the Provo Elks Lodge there were no sights available so we spent the night at Lakeside RV which was very near the airport. We never did find the lake but the campground was OK for a night.
5/27/21 A shorter day, only 207 miles to Pocatello, Idaho.
We spent 2 nights here where we enjoyed watching the junior rodeo competition and also did a little shopping for provisions.
5/29/21 281 miles to Indian Creek Campground in Deer Lodge Montana. We are spending 2 nights here so we can return to Philipsburg and shop the Sweet Palace candy store. (Awesomely beautiful drive and fun shopping.) Deer Lodge will be our last stop on the way north. On the 31st we will drive the last 280 miles through Montana, across the Idaho panhandle, and on through Washington to Riverside State Park.
Just keeping the shiny side up, and reminding ourselves that over the hill is still better than under it.
Pull Slides In, Hitch Up, and Roll Down the Road
A synopsis of our plans
With Tucson temperatures around 107 F every day for the past week it is definitely time to start. It is June 17th, Bertha is ready to go and so are we. Our plans have us leaving on the 19th and traveling less than 300 mile on any given day with a couple of 2 night stops on the way to Spokane WA, our first destination, to see the kids and grands. After leaving Bertha with son John we will head to Port Ludlow WA to spend some time with Brother Phil and his lovely wife.
From there we are off to Vancouver BC where we will embark on a 3 day cruise to Alaska. Off the ship and onto an 8 day land tour of the Yukon Territory and Alaska followed a 7 day cruise back to Vancouver BC where we go back to reality, and start doing some of the daily chores of living again. The first will be driving back to Spokane.
Interesting Note: If I understand correctly, since these are international voyages (Canada/US and US/Canada) we get the privilege of going through customs numerous times. For instance day 1: Canadian customs at border crossing into Canada at Blaine and as the ships destination is Alaska, US Customs before getting onto cruise ship.
We plan to stop on the way back because we figure by the time we clear customs (twice) and actually hit the road it will be mid afternoon. Back in Spokane we will need to quickly reorganize and depart for Heyburn Lake State Park in Idaho where we will be volunteer camp hosts for a little over a month before we even consider heading homeward.
I will post along the way as time and internet connections allow and hope that you will follow along.
Your random rover, Gordon
We are heading to New Mexico to do a couple of months of camp hosting at The City of Rocks State Park.
Day 1: Off to Corvallis with a day to see brother Stephen. We left around 8:00 AM to mixed fog and drizzle which persisted most of the day with a few sun-breaks. Overall it was a long, lackluster day. Arrived at a typical KOA, definitely less than ideal, site had huge and inconvenient puddles and I had to back out as it was impossible to pull through. We spent our day in the area just looking around, catching up with Stephen, and doing a little shopping (found a couple of Larry McMurtry novels at Browser Books that I had been searching for).
Day 3: On to Red Bluff Elks Lodge for a night. On the long drive over the Syskiyou pass, the weather was warmer and drier so we arrived safe and sound after a resplendent day. The Elks Lodge here is easy for an over-night but freeway noise is a bother. Please do note Gordon’s wondrous under-carriage lighting.
Day 4: Up and over Donner Pass to the Desert Rose RV Resort in Fernley, NV. We lost a trailer tire on the way while Elaine was driving. Luckily it occurred at as good a location as such things can happen and a Good Samaritan helped me change it. Les Schwab Tire was only 6 miles down the road so all was well. While they were fixing us up E&I walked into town and got lunch. On the road again there was snow (not on the road) at the pass,
7,227 feet above sea level, but none a few miles later as we passed through Reno, NV. We arrived safe and sound to good clean level sight.
Unfortunately, noise from the adjacent highway again interrupted our sleep.
Day 5: On down highway 95 to Tonopah, NV. A desolate drive that is bereft of perturbation and gloriously majestic.
At Tonopah I found yet another book I had been looking for at Whitney’s Bookshelf, a wonderful little used book store where we have shopped before. (Need more time to read – the books in the “to read” stack are growing at an alarming rate). Even though our RV site was behind the Casino, car and truck noises interrupted our sleep regularly. Oh well happier nights are sure to come.
Day 6: The never welcome and always a little too exciting drive through Las Vegas. Nothing really bad just lots of traffic, construction, and congestion. Ridgeview Resort, Bullhead City, AZ where we are relaxing for a few days in a quiet park under a blue sky with temperatures in the mid 70’s. Could not ask for more right now.
It turned quite windy and cool while we were here but we managed to have a great time.
Day 9: Off to Pioneer Resort north of Phoenix, AZ where we will meet up with old friends from Wyoming that we met in Texas while we still lived in Arizona. Who said this retirement stuff was simple?
It was definitely worth the stop to catch up with old friends and to see the north end of Phoenix.
Day 11: We are off to Tucson, to see brother Bill and sister Nanette, and also will do a little shopping for products we can’t find up north. Weather again a bit windy with blowing dust for the short drive down. Not sure how long we will spend as we still want to spend a while meeting up with old friends in Sierra Vista and to get over to Columbus and Las Cruces, New Mexico before it is time to begin our hosting duties.
The Diamond J is a resplendent, quiet park out near the Arizona Sonoran Desert Museum and Old Tucson Studios. We stocked up on Tucson’s local Poblano Sauce, chile powders and spices from the Santa Cruz Chile & Spice Company (in Tumacacori, AZ), and of course lots of fresh tasty tortillas.
We also took a walk in the desert.
After a splendid dinner at Nanette and Bill’s we strolled through their neighborhood taking in the dazzling Christmas displays. (That’s Elaine and Nanette walking ahead in the bottom right picture.)
Day 18: Rolling again, this time to Sierra Vista where we took care of some business matters and caught up with some old friends. We weren’t able to catch everyone we would have liked to but hopefully will on our way back through in the spring. We camped just outside of Tombstone, AZ, the town to tough to die, which is still quite the tourist attraction, but having seen it more than once we did other things. By the way, we did drive by our old house and the new owners have made some nice improvements.
Day 21: This just might be our shortest road day ever, GPS says 11 miles to Kartchner Caverns state park where we plan to rest for a day. Well there is Mary Ann’s Mostly Books, a quaint used book store in Benson, AZ, that we will most certainly visit.
Yes the ground is wet. It has been raining off and on for the past 16 hours. This to shall pass. After all we are in Arizona.
We hiked up to the visitor center during a break in the weather.
Where we visited the gift shop and learned about limestone cave formations and bats.
The next day we went for a “2.5 mile” hike. I put the distance in quotes as it sure seemed a lot longer and Elaine’s pedometer indicated 3.5 miles. The trail went up and down some steep hills and my poor legs complained but the views were worth it.
Day 23: Finally off to New Mexico! Heading to Mesilla and Las Cruces. Another easy drive. Elaine drove the middle part which seemed to go by a lot faster than the beginning or the end.
We spent a week exploring and shopping the Las Cruces area.
In Mesilla we found many nice things but nothing said “take me home”. Even though it was cold and windy we lunched on “chocolate chip chocolate” ice cream from the Chocolate Lady. It was a wonderful bit of decadence.
Lots of great vendors here, we did buy a new tortilla warmer and had a great green chile pizza from a wood fired oven for lunch. Christmas Eve we walked through the park.
The farolitos were nice and a few people had decorated their sites.
Not quite the river from the movies but still a nice walk on Christmas, our last day in Las Cruces.
Day 30: We are headed to our last way-point, Pancho Villa State Park in Columbus, NM. Vacation is almost over. Lovely blue sky and sunshine for my no freeway route. Traveled south through the pecan orchards past Anthem and almost to the Mexico border before turning west on New Mexico Hwy 9 where we saw many hawks perched on poles and trees. It was a very quiet peaceful drive.
Pancho Villa is a great place with a lot of history and definitely worthy of a stop.
While at Pancho Villa be sure to visit The Pink Store in Palomas, Mexico, a 3 mile drive south and a short walk across the border for great shopping and a fine meal.
Do see the park’s museum at the visitor center for many interesting exhibits pertaining to chasing Pancho Villa across Mexico and the beginnings of US military mechanization and the use of airplanes.
The Depot Museum across the road from the park will also peak your interest.
If you can find the time the Luna Mimbres Museum in Deming (30 miles north) is outstanding.
Day 33: This was supposed to be the final leg to City of Rocks but traveling is never without surprises. When we arrived at the park we were told they did not know we were coming that day. This in spite of the fact that we were given that arrival date by the park ranger. As there were no hookup sites we dry camped because a hookup site was to be available the next day.
Day 34: I walked down to the visitor center and verified site availability for later in the day. We had breakfast and waited around. It was nearly noon when the park staff came to our site and told us that they had made another mistake and our site would not be available for another day. Well I only figured for one night so we were very low on water and would have to tie everything down and hitch up anyway just to get water so with this somber news we told the park to give us a call when our site was empty and available and promptly left for Temperate Zone RV Park about 16 miles away where we would have a full hook-up.
Very nice quiet park with a very friendly and accommodating owner/hostess.
Day 36: Good news our site is available so after 2,451 towing miles it is now January 2, 2018 and we are in our host site at City of Rocks State Park near Silver City, New Mexico and looking forward to a couple months here. I plan to record our adventure here in another post before we leave.
Keeping the shiny side up, Your random rover Gordon.
We sort of let the summer slip away while taking care of other matters. We also wanted to take Bertha out once and to check on the mechanical work we’ve had done on the truck before our next extended trip which will be coming up soon. So on the very last day of summer, in a light drizzling rain, we headed south down Hoods Canal and then southwest through Raymond and North Bend to Long Beach, WA. for an adventure in familiar places.
We lost the wet weather somewhere near Hoodsport, WA and were greeted with sunshine at the ocean where Elaine really enjoyed her walk on the beach. After breakfast and a stop at the Long Beach bakery to purchase cinnamon rolls for breakfast tomorrow we toured the peninsula up as far as Ocean Park and then went in search of fresh crab in Chinook. After cleaning the crab, eating lunch, and another beach walk we headed back into town to check out the Long Beach Farmers Market where we purchased fresh feta, and vegetables. (Note for friends and family — LindaLook was vacant but still looks cared for.)
The next day we went to the Ilwaco Saturday Market where Elaine found a few small things and Gordon enjoyed sunshine and talking with some of woodwork vendors. From there we headed on down to Astoria/Warren to obtain fuel and supplies so that we could head south the next day.
South to Neskowin, OR with a couple of stops on the way.
First Rockaway Beach where we stopped to stretch our legs, shop, and check out the steam train that was in town.
And then a health food, translation – ice cream, lunch at The Tillamook Cheese Company. (Elaine took this picture before it was all gone.)
On through Hebo to Neskowin where we will spend a few nights in our nice quiet pull-thru site
A great day of sight-seeing begins with a walk on the beach.
Then a drive down the coast. I have often meant to stop and take a picture of these rocks and trees at the mouth of the Siletz river but never did until this trip.
And a little further down the road I decided to stop at a place that I remember from childhood. This was the first stop at the aptly named Cape Foulweather that we haven’t been rained on! And another great picture.
We also spent a day just shopping in Lincoln City before heading back north to Copalis where we hoped to spend a couple of days just being bums.
It was nice when we arrived but soon turned to cold wet rain so we decided to cut it short 1 day and head home where the weather was supposed to be nice. Except for the very beginning and end of the trip we had exceptionally warm dry days. We had a great time on our short 8 night adventure to places we have been many times before. We did see some new things on the way including the new Astoria Mo’s Restaurant. (just as good as the rest)
Keeping the shiny side up, your Random Rover Gordon
It won’t be very long until we are off on a new adventure.
Off again. Left this AM for a volunteer stint at Rasar State Park. The first leg of 40 miles took us to the Port Townsend ferry dock where we had a reservation and were the first “Big Rig” in line.
We got the front row on the ferry “Skagit” for the ride across to Whidbey Island. Bertha seamed stoic about her very first boat ride but the sky was blue, the water smooth, and Elaine and I enjoyed the crossing from the cab of the truck.
Second Leg, up Whidbey Island across the bridge at Deception Pass onto Fidalgo Island and on to the Camping World at Burlington to pick up out new mattress. Old mattress out and new one in we headed back westward to Bayview State Park and set up camp. We plan to do a little sight-seeing tomorrow and then on Wednesday will proceed on to Rasar State Park
Did the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival and all I can say is: “Wow, why have we waited so long? Actually it was a wintry day chilly, windy, and cloudy but none of that put any damper on the display. I skipped taking pictures of the fields of tulips, those are available on the web, done by some very gifted photographers, and yes they are so brilliantly colored that they look like they were painted into the scene with millions of gallons of very expensive paint. We also shopped La Conner, WA where we found interesting craft and art items including The Wood Merchant where finely crafted wooden items from pins, bracelets, bowls, boxes, carvings, intarsia, inlay and furniture abound.
We are off to Rasar State Park, 30 road miles up the Skagit river on scenic Washington Highway 20. Unfortunately the new concrete pad at our site had not been poured due to rainy weather so we are temporarily on another site. Sort of dark and dismal way under the trees but we will make do.
We moved to what will actually be our site when they get it done. At least we have sunshine and we are in the group camp area. That is a plus.
Finally they will be pouring concrete so we have moved again.
When we weren’t busy being camp hosts:
We hunted mushrooms
I cleaned and sautéed a few pounds of oyster mushrooms most of which we ate right away with a few still in our freezer. It was very late in the season but still in nice shape and very tasty.
We did a lot of sight-seeing
Carved a few more spoons
We also explored all the nearby towns – Translation shopping and eating out.
They poured the concrete but we still had to wait two full weeks before moving onto it but we are finally settled in with only a couple of weeks to go. Have to admit it is a beautiful sight with large concrete patio on the edge of the forest.
Finished with our camp hosting here. Met some great people and got to know the Skagit Valley area but it is time to hit the road. Next stop Cashmere, WA over the mountains on WA Hwy 20.
It was a very nice days drive. We saw lots of snow in the pass, but the roads were clear. Took a long break along the way shopping Winthrop, a quaint tourist town. And shorter breaks for lunch and finally a fruit stand and market where we resisted all except for some fresh asparagus. Spent most of the day traveling 221 miles at our pace.
We spent 3 nights allowing us time to tour Rocky Reach Dam, explore Wenatchee, shop Leavenworth, and catch up some old friends that we had not seen for 35 plus years. We were to early for the area’s fruit crops, but found some great local produce.
177 miles southwest to Randall, WA
We only spent one night here. It has been many years since we stayed at this park and then it was under different management. Appears to be a bit run down, though it is still nice.
One more night for this trip and only 52 miles from home we drove 156 miles to Brinnon, WA so that we could go to the Whitney Gardens, famous for their rhododendrons.
We had a great trip with new and old adventures. Dosewallips is as nice as ever and the gardens were interesting.
A new year and a big tickling urge to go somewhere. Some friends had mentioned going to the Port Townsend Elks to dance and taking their coach to spend the night. It sounded like a great new adventure especially when there was going to be a west coast swing lesson involved. Off we went. One day early so we could spend a whole day taking in the sights and shopping at historic Port Townsend.
After we got settled in and did a little foray to Eden Saw, a must stop for any woodworker, Henery’s Hardware, a modern hardware with that old-fashioned feel that has almost everything, and a thrift store or two we went for the fish and chips dinner (very good) at the Elks Lodge. We enjoyed the next day of shopping and walking the town and had dinner in Bertha before going dancing. A pretty good time.
The next morning we were off to Ft Flagler and Marrowstone Island.
The views from the back window were amazing!
We spent the first 2 nights just across the water.
Doesn’t get any better than this!
The next day we took the Ferry over and spent the day exploring / shopping the Island.
This is where we ate lunch in the middle of our sight-seeing. It was a great day and another great trip (well maybe a smidgen too short).
We plan to be out and about for the month of May and have big plans for next winter, but in the mean time it is work, work, work on the new homestead.
It was our 41st Anniversary so we decided it was time to get away for a few days, revisit some old haunts, reconnoiter a few places we had never explored, walk on some sand, pick a few mushrooms, but mainly just relax. The weather was neither all bad or all good it was September/October on the Washington coast.
The drive down to Long Beach was pleasant along well-known scenery and well-traveled roads. We got great cinnamon rolls at the Long Beach Bakery walked the beaches, took a drive through Cape Disappointment State Park where we camp hosted a number of years ago, did a little shopping in Oregon, and just relaxed.
We took some walks on the beach. (E takes more beach walks than G does) These pelicans and seagulls acted like they owned the place, imagine that.
We did some shopping at Ocean Shores and Astoria on the really wet and rainy days. (The Astoria Sunday Market is definitely worth seeing for great produce, baked goods, and crafts.) But we also found time for mushroom hunting which was fun but not productive. I have not been able to ID these guys but they are certainly different.
And found many Slippery Jacks, which are supposed to be good,but with all the very wet weather, I could not bring myself to trying the slimy things, yuck!
It was wet, cold, and windy but I got my sweetie and she is smiling because she is on the beach. Life is good.
Moved to our next stop, Grayland Beach State Park, just a few miles north of Long Beach but 70 or 80 miles drive because of the bay in between. We made a number of trips to Westport, WA, just north of the park.
Mr. Snail thinks this is his beach
In addition to the snail we found sand dollars. We also saw many mushrooms but they were not in good condition for eating.
From Grayland we again headed north through Aberdeen and Hoquim to Copalis.
One of the worlds great gourmet treats. I found a few pounds of these marvelous King Boletus in perfect condition, so of course had to collect, cook some, and dry the rest. Will enjoy these guys for a while.
The very poisonous Amanitas were in abundance. Fun to look at but don’t mess with them! We enjoyed a few days here walking the beaches and shopping in Ocean Shores.
From Copalis north to our last stop a little way south of Forks.
And a day hiking the Hoh Valley
It was a crisply chilly but bright and beautiful day at the Hoh Rainforest.
On our last day we went to Rialto Beach west of Forks, WA for one more dose of sunshine and surf.
I have been remiss, I did not realize that I never published this post from September / October 2016 and it is already mid February 2017!
Busy keeping the shiny side up, your Random Rover,
Our previous post “Carousel Museum” concerned a short side trip from an overnight motel excursion. This post is about a little R&R trip that we started the day after we got back from that 2 day 600 mile round trip. We headed out with Bertha in tow this time on a shorter and more relaxed excursion of about 155 miles each way and to celebrate our anniversary.
We left Sequim while it was still grey with light fog and drove south on Hwy 101 with wonderful views of Hoods Canal while the day proceeded to get bright and cheerful. We stayed on the back roads as much as was practical and enjoyed the small towns and farms through the windshield. When we arrived the roar of the ocean and beautiful blue sky greeted us so that we looked forward to quiet walks on the sand. There were very few people at this time of year so we had very little “busy-people” noise.
We did lazy day tourist things for a week and thoroughly enjoyed it. On our very last beach walk we found sand dollars. I have left out my usual incessant commentary to preserve the mood of our little respite.