The featured image is our 5th wheel’s moment of fame, appearing on KXLY Channel 4 Morning News in a story about 4th of July camping, it was a delightful surprise during morning coffee when we saw our campsite on TV.
The following is an incomplete gallery of the wildflowers we found during our stay in the Bowl & Pitcher Campground at Riverside State Park, Spokane, WA. The unusually wet spring and early summer created quite a show.
We saw chipmunks, squirrels, marmots, quail, geese, ducks, osprey, and deer. We were able to capture photos of a few of them. Flower photography is much easier, as the flowers placidly sit and wait for you while you get the camera out and compose the picture.
The Campground and River
The Bowl & Pitcher campground and day use areas are part of the legacy of the Civilian Conservation Corps, circa 1933 to 1942, which in turn was part of President Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal Program. The CCC’s work included the park’s suspension bridge, kitchen shelter, restroom, park residence, office, and maintenance shop. All of which are still in use. CCC workers also constructed the rock walls and much of the roadway of Aubrey White Parkway which is the main road along the river that leads to the park. The gem of the park is the Spokane river and gorge.
This was our campsite for the two months we hosted for the park.
As I finish writing this issue of “Random Rovers” we are nearing the end of our stay and will soon have to begin packing things up so we can head on to our August adventure. We have enjoyed being close to family and camping in this beautiful park and plan to come back next year.
Keeping the shiny side up as always, your random rovers, Elaine & Gordon.
It is May 22nd 2022 and we are finally headed north for our summer in the Pacific Northwest. We traveled 256 miles today, starting out westward across Tucson, AZ, and then north on I10 to the I202 bypass route around southwest Phoenix, rejoining I10 to head west a few miles to the I101 northwest bypass route, then heading out of the city on US60 to Wickenburg, AZ and from there North on US93 to the tiny town of Wikieup, AZ.
We decided to try a different park this time and were glad we did. It was a very pleasant place for a night.
On day 2 we rejoined US93 northbound to I40 where headed westbound to Kingman, Az. From there it was north on US93 and then a very short distance on I11 to Lakeshore Rd through the Lake Mead National Recreation Area continuing on Nevada 167 (Northshore Highway) and 169 (Moapa Valley Highway) to I15. Today’s total was 266 miles.
The drive up Lake Mead to I15 is a very beautiful and relaxing way to avoid driving through Las Vegas. On I15 we went through the Virgin River Gorge on the way the way to St George, Utah where we spent 2 nights.
Day 4 and we are headed due north up I15 to Willard Bay State Park. We had hoped to stay a night with the fine folks at the Provo Elks Lodge but we were a little to late. All the hookup sites were full so we opted for plan B which was to have a leisurely lunch and take a short walk before proceeding north through Salt Lake City to a nice rural camp site for night. 342 miles towing but tomorrow will be easy as we are now ahead of schedule.
It made the day a bit long with 60 or so miles of big city traffic but we arrived with plenty of time to get set up, fill up the truck, and come back for dinner.
It was day 5 and we were still headed north on I15 with a little more of Utah and then on to southern Idaho. We made our planned stop at North Bingham County Park after only 149 miles.
The park was nice and its location just a few miles south of Idaho Falls made it convenient for us to do some shopping and relaxing. It rained for both of our 2 nights there but we managed to stay dry in the daytime.
Hard to believe that we had been on the road for a week but here we were heading for the last layover, 236 miles to Deer Lodge, MT, on the way to Spokane, WA. After an hour or so on I15 we left Idaho behind and entered the big sky country of Montana. At Butte, MT we took the interchange onto I90 which will take us to our destination, Riverside State Park,
We stayed for 2 nights and visited historic Phillipsburg. It rained both nights, but the again the days were nice.
The last 273 miles took us through Montana, across the Idaho panhandle, and into eastern Washington. We stopped for lunch at Coeur d’ Alene before tackling the Spokane traffic.
Our vacation is over. We will be starting our host duties in a couple of days. I will post some photos and maybe some tales from Spokane and the park soon.
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
We returned to the Bowl and Pitcher Campground at Riverside State Park to be camp hosts in the lower section.
We had impressive views from our campsite.
And many more from park trails along the Spokane river.
There were many flowers and lots of critters to watch even in the heat of summer. We saw squirrels, marmots, ducks, geese, osprey, deer, and numerous wildflowers in the park.
We enjoyed a few evenings with family at their homes and here in the park and were able to do a few little things for them. We plan to head back here next summer so that we can spend more time enjoying the “inland empire.
Now that we have completed our hosting duties we will be spending about 3 weeks heading home via a route that we have not taken before and are looking forward to many new sights along the way.
All that glitters is not gold (Shakespeare) — Your Random Rovers
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.
Prior to heading off to Alaska and the Yukon Territory we had a few days with our Spokane family (John and Laura and their respective clans) and then a little more time with family in Port Ludlow, WA (Phil and Anette).
For Delaney’s special day we had a patriotic birthday party.
Celebrating Independence Day
Complete with fireworks!
We also had time to help with a few projects. Our time was short, but knew we would be back in Spokane again before heading south for the winter. With cruise embarkation getting emanate we left Bertha (our 5th wheel) at John’s and headed west over the Snoqualmie Pass and across Puget Sound to visit with brother Phil and sister-in-law Anette.
We had a wonderful time catching up with some of Phil’s clan. There are no better hosts anywhere. We were able to go out crabbing twice and of course that meant that we gorged multiple times on the best of all the crustaceans.
All too soon it was time to move on again. So we went off on another Washington State Ferry to Whidbey Island and then north to Birch Bay for a last night in the USA before departing from Vancouver, BC.
I have been remiss not posting until now, but there are so many pictures to go through and remembered events to put in order. I am working on posts about our cruise north , our land and air travels through the Yukon Territory and Alaska, and finally our cruise back south.
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
That’s right, we’ve packed it all up, sold the house, moved back into Bertha (our 5th wheel rv), and are tying up the last of the loose ends. We will leave on 8/24 to search for our new home in either Green Valley or Tucson, Arizona.
Off to Lake Easton
8/24/18 An unusually easy 180 mile drive took us to Lake Easton Sunrise Resort. Great driving weather and light traffic helped alot.
We are set-up here in the woods east of Snoqualmie Pass just off Interstate 90 for three nights to relish and adjust to our newly acquired homeless condition with our possessions spread out, some traveling with us, some at son John’s in Spokane, and the balance already stored in Tucson.
Life is good we will go exploring in Cle Elum.
Stopped here and really enjoyed it. A small but comprehensive and interesting collection of telephone equipment from the days when phones had tails.
This is a place that has interested me for a long time but we never took the time to stop before. We did not buy any meat but only because we currently have no room in the freezer or refrigerator. We did succumb to some chipotle ketchup and chipotle caramel sauce. Wish we had stopped before. We also went to a local yarn store, a bakery, antique store, and a gift shop. It made for a pleasant afternoon which in itself is a very good reason for keeping the drive time down whenever possible.
Tomorrow we’ll be off to Ellensburg and Roslyn.
There are lots of places to go and see in Ellensburg but we settled for their Saturday Market and a very nice yarn store (Yarn Folks). We got a couple of heirloom tomatoes, a summer squash, and some morel mushrooms at the market and some yarn and a pattern at Yarn Folks.
We had an ice cream lunch (it is hard to beat that) in Roslyn and checked out the shops. To tell the truth Roslyn disappointed us, we remembered better times and it seems like conditions have changed. Overall we had a nice relaxing day collecting a few treasures. Tomorrow we will return for the Roslyn Farmers Market.
Wow, a really nice market! Roslyn you are redeemed. We purchased some cheese spread, a baguette and a few trinkets.
I will leave you with a view of the lake. We had a nice respite here and tomorrow we are off to enjoy the kids and grands for a few days in Spokane.
Onward To Camp John
8/27/18 220 miles eastbound on Interstate 90.
Nope, there really isn’t a “Camp John”. Well, if your son’s name is John then there is. We spent a very enjoyable week here in Colbert, WA visiting with John, Laura, and their families (Laura lives just a few minutes away in Spokane). I really enjoyed the opportunity to help out a little by playing handyman on a few little projects for John and Missy.
I’ll leave you with this dandy picture (credit: grandson Tyler) of a baby Blue Tailed Skink from John’s driveway. He was only about 2 inches long and we only kept him for an hour or so before releasing him (her?). None of us could recall ever see seeing one of these before so it was an exciting find.
Big Sky Country, Montana
9/4/18 138 miles again eastbound on Interstate 90 across Idaho and into Montana with sunshine all the way!
Easy set up at this gorgeous site! All utilities easy reach, level, and did not need to un-hitch. After getting set up we shopped in a nice antique store, and the local gift shop. But we did not need trinkets or antiques so we bought some huckleberry ice cream to console ourselves.
And Then, 2 Nights At Deer Lodge, MT
154 Beautiful miles to Indian Creek Campground in Deer Lodge.
The sites are rather close together here but Ok.
On the 6th we drove to Phillipsburg and shopped the town. Elaine found a couple of blouses and we bought a lot of candy at the sweet shop. The sweet shop in Phillipsburg is “GInormous”. It has house made chocolates, taffy, and fudge plus what must be the largest collection of hard candies west of the Mississippi. (and maybe east) From there we went on to Butte to a huge used book store, Second Edition Books, where Gordon found a paperback edition of “In Our Time”, a collection of very early Ernest Hemingway short stories and! “One Christmas” and!! “A Christmas Memory”, both hardbound in very good condition, autobiographical short stories by Truman Capote. (They happen to be my very favorite Christmas stories.) Yup, I bought ’em. Sometimes a little self-indulgence is a good thing.
The Gem State, Idaho
9/7/18 Wide open country and light traffic made this 234 mile run to the Snake River RV Park in Idaho Falls an easy drive. In packing up the night before we had noticed a water leak. Yuck. When we arrived I did some investigating. A trip to the hardware store and a little work did the trick. Good as new! Yeah!
This park really filled up in the evening with over-nighters like us. We heard train whistles all night but otherwise it was nice.
And On To Utah
9/8/18 Another 179 miles this time predominately south took us through southern Idaho and into Ogden, Utah.
Packed in like sardines here, but the clean level site has enough room and a concrete barrier wall kept the freeway noise at bay. It was just fine for an overnight. We had time in the afternoon to browse a nice local art and craft gallery and Elaine picked up a few things for current projects at Joann Fabrics just down the road.
9/9/18 Only 82 miles today. All of it southbound through the Salt Lake City metropolis.
Had plenty of time for some essential grocery shopping and went out to Chinese dinner. We enjoyed our night here.
9/10/18 Off again (this is getting old) 263 miles southbound to the St George Elks Lodge.
Could not ask for a prettier parking spot to spend the night.
Too bad we only planned on one night. We will have to come back.
9/11/18 240 miles through the last few miles of Utah, about 20 miles through the northwest corner of Arizona, almost all of the rest through Nevada, across the Colorado River and we are back in Arizona, the state that eschews daylight savings time. (I agree good thinking guys.) Maybe someday the rest of the country will wake up and quit changing the clocks twice a year. We will stay in Bullhead City for 2 nights. It will be a chance to catch up on laundry and other maintenance.
Only one more stop on our planned exodus before we reach Tucson Holt’s RV in Gila Bend. It isn’t glamorous but it has been a good place to relax and get our bearings.
9/13/18 253 miles today took us to the Gila Bend KOA Campground. Holt’s was full up due to construction workers for a project not far from here. We were greeted by a very pleasant young man who checked us in, escorted us to our site, and made sure we had everything we needed.
Our site was a 100′ long, 55′ wide, and dead level pull through. Really nice for an overnight. The ownership of this park recently changed and the improvements are very noticeable.
9/14/18 The last 134 miles took us to Justin’s Diamond J RV Park in SW Tucson.
Setting Up At Site E62
Here we were greeted by 106 degree day. About the same as it has been since we got to Utah. The whole southwest has been seeing record temperatures. By the route we chose 2,084 miles of the American west. Some of it awesome, some of it desolate but all of it interesting. This in all likelihood will be our home until we find a place to buy. We will be busy looking for a while. Wish us luck!
It is June 21st 2018 and we are off to Moses Lake to watch our grandson Tyler play in a base-ball tournament. In the previous weeks we had done some minor maintenance on Bertha. Mostly just cleaning and polishing, but also revised the undercarriage lighting, replaced the hide-a-bed with a table so we would have a little more working space inside, and removed a lot of unnecessary stuff that had accumulated in all the places I find to put it. I figured that if I hadn’t needed it I likely didn’t need to have it in my way. I am, however, sure that Mr. Murphy will find an inconvenient time to prove me wrong.
As you can see we arrived in good condition and got set up. It proved to be a good thing that we came as do to a scheduling change our son could not get a motel room for Friday night and would have had to drive back home. Instead they stayed with us so we got to have a lot more time with them.
Tyler did a great job a the plate.
And on the mound. Grandpa didn’t get any pictures of his awesome fielding.
We spent four nights had a really fine time visiting, sight-seeing, and watching baseball. The park was nice, the neighbors Friendly, and the sky was blue. What more could we ask for on a weekend with son and grandson?