Wandering Through Washington, Part VI – Mount St. Helens Devastation

The day after arriving in Castle Rock, we hopped into the car for a drive to Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument. We wanted to take a look at the mountain that blew its top in 1980. As we drove along, we kept expecting to see the mountain. We stopped in at a few viewpoints and visitor centers, but still no view of the mountain. It was hiding in a low cloud bank. The devastation was easily visible in the valley below us, but not that mountain. We finally decided to turn around and return another day to take it in.

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Wandering Through Washington, Part V

After exploring the Olympic Peninsula for 10 days, we finally pointed our RV south and made our way to our new hub town, Castle Rock. From this point, we would get to visit Fort Vancouver National Historic Site and Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument. This blog post will cover the Fort Vancouver site which is located on the north shore of the Columbia River.

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Wandering Through Washington, Part IV

After our visit to Seattle and the Klondike, we headed further west to the Olympic Peninsula for a visit to Olympic National Park. We set up base camp outside the little town of Sequim (pronounced “Sqwim”). The day after we got there, we drove to the main visitor center in Port Angeles. But first, we stopped at a small local restaurant called Nourish! for lunch. What  a great lunch. Best we have had in quite awhile. Continue reading “Wandering Through Washington, Part IV”

Washington Interlude or A Little This and That…

Smoke Gets in Your Eyes

True. Only we need to extend the lyrics of that popular 1958 song. For us it has been smoke gets in your eyes, nose, and lungs. While the smell of smoke lingers in your clothes, fills your RV and blurs everything you see in a smoky haze. This is the way it has been since we first arrived in late July. We are now headed into mid-September and the smoke has been inescapable. There have been times where the smoke has been so dense we could barely discern the skyline of Seattle, see the peaks of mountain tops, or even more than a 20-30 feet across Lake Crescent in Olympic National Park! It has definitely been a challenge! Continue reading “Washington Interlude or A Little This and That…”

Wandering Through Washington, Part III

Wow, still more to come in Washington. After our fabulous stay in Anacortes, we headed south to Auburn, outside of Seattle. Next up was a trip to the Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park. The park is in downtown Seattle and occupies two floors of the historic Cadillac Hotel. It is a satellite site of the main location in Dyea, Alaska. Now, why would there be a satellite park for the Klondike Gold Rush? The answer was found in the exhibits of the museum. Continue reading “Wandering Through Washington, Part III”

Wandering Through Washington, Part II

After stuffing ourselves on blackberries in Concrete, it was time to move on further west to Anacortes for a visit to two more parks. The first one was Ebey’s Landing National Historical Reserve (NHR) on Whidbey Island. Continue reading “Wandering Through Washington, Part II”

Wandering through Washington, Part I

July 26, we left Idaho behind and made our way into Washington. First stop, Lake Roosevelt National Recreation Area. It was a nice drive from Idaho, except going through Spokane. I swear, they put a traffic light every 200 feet. And we were getting stopped at every, single one. For miles. Ugh! But we did have a great laugh before we got to Spokane. As we approached a small town, we saw a deer crossing sign coming up. When we got close, it said “Warning! Suicidal Deer.” That had us laughing for awhile!

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Best Laid Plans…

Remember the saying, “The best-laid plans of mice and men?” The gist of it is that things tend to go awry or happen outside the confines of our carefully laid plans. Turns out our carefully laid plans skipped entire destinations, took a detour and were modified to meet changing circumstances. First, let’s write about how our plans came to be…updated. Continue reading “Best Laid Plans…”

A Dark Part In Our History

Our first outing in Idaho ended up being a visit to the Minidoka National Historic Site near Jerome, Idaho. This was a Japanese Internment camp during World War II. It is a relatively new park, having been created by President Clinton in 2001. The Visitor Center is still a temporary site (grand opening of the permanent one is sometime in 2019). The exhibits line a 1.6 mile trail starting at the original entrance and guard station to the camp. There are only a few buildings left because the government gave most of them away after the war (more on that, later). What can be seen is mostly building foundations and leftover debris such as coffee cans, buckets, and car radiators.

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Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area, Utah

As much as we enjoyed our stay in Rapid City, it was time to move on. On July 5th, we packed up, and as Bev was retracting the jacks, I noticed a big oil leak. We just had an oil change in Colorado so we weren’t expecting that. We called a couple of places but could not get an appointment to have it checked out. We decided to change the oil filter and see if that fixed the problem. (The oil was dripping off the filter). Lo and behold, after taking an oil bath, the new Fram filter worked perfectly. The one the shop used was bigger than the original equipment and I believe that is a problem with this engine. We will just have to remember to insist on OEM oil filters when having a shop do an oil change.

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