This is our final blog post. Having a busy schedule and limited access to the Internet makes it difficult to post pictures about our travels in a timely manner. We still enjoy full-timing; however, we will now post our adventures on Facebook and Instagram. Hope you will join us there. We thank you for following us on our travels for the past two years.
We will be leaving Washington on Monday, October 2nd. It’s been a great trip so far and we hope to be back in Texas by December. In closing, we leave you with the last few pictures taken when we visited Mt. St. Helens and Mt. Rainier.
The eruption of Mt. St. Helens took place on May 18, 1980 and to see it 37 years later makes you wonder how magnificent Mother Nature is at blowing up Her earth and making it look beautiful again.
Mt. Rainier is the highest point in Washington and the largest volcano in the continental US. It’s last eruption was in 1854; so it could happen again (given the right amount of continental shift and magma).
As we look back, we realize that we have become used to the lifestyle of full-time RV’ing. We’re not rushed; so we can take time discovering any area of the country for about a week or two before we need to head down the road. We also like meeting the people while we’re either camped out or shopping at the local stores and farmers markets. It’s one of the benefits of living this lifestyle. In closing, there really is so much to see and do right here in the good ol’ USA. Pam and I are very grateful for this opportunity and be able to reach out to people that we come in contact on our travels.
Howdy from beautiful Washington. We have arrived at Ocean City, Washington from Chimacum, Washington. We parked Max and Tana the entire month of August at the Evergreen Coho Escapees RV park (near Chimacum, Washington) on the Washington peninsula just south of Port Townsend and east of the Hoh Rainforest.
When we arrived at Chimacum (about 4 weeks ago), the sky was very hazy due to forest fires in the area (mainly Canada). Fortunately it cleared; so we got to enjoy the eclipse on August 21st (at 92% totality), which was fun to see like the rest of the country observed–some better than others.
Before we arrived, we traveled over the Cascade mountain range from Winthrop, Washington to Anacortes, Washington.
Winthrop is a small town on the Methow River. It was a mining town in the early days; but now it’s mostly a tourist town with lots of summer and winter recreation activity. We saw lots of people taking float trips down the river and having fun on nearby lakes. We took some lovely hikes and got to kayak a couple of times while we were in the area.
The rest of July we stayed in Anacortes about three weeks and explored this area including the San Juan Islands of San Juan, Lopez, and Orcas.
We also went to Seattle a few times while we were in Anacortes and Chimacum to visit Natasha and Dani and their son, Sebastian (“Bash” for short) and some friends we met while we’ve been full-timing. Also Pam’s brother and sister-in-law (Brenda) came to visit us, so we spent a little time with them in Seattle and Port Townsend.
We spent a day or two exploring Whidbey Island where Pam lived for 10 years before she moved to Carlsbad.
Washington is such a wonderful state. Its mild climate and beautiful surroundings makes it a tourist destination nearly year-round. It’s majestic mountains, shorelines and forests are a delight to hikers, bikers, hunters (and fishermen) and tour buses.
Last week we went to see Cape Flattery, the northwestern most point of the continental U.S. , where the Strait of Juan de Fuca meets the Pacific Ocean. We saw the water spouts of grey whales swimming in the area, pods of huge pelicans, and a sea otter playing in the water.
While David and Brenda were here, we hiked up Hurricane Ridge and through a park in the Hoh Rainforest. We also went whale watching with them and saw a pod of Orcas in Puget Sound.
Next week we’ll be on the Washington coast for a few days, then over to Mount Rainer and Mount St. Helens. It seems every day has been a blessing since we arrived. I’m very thankful for the opportunity to travel and see this part of the country. Along the way, we’ve met some very interesting and friendly people. It’s enjoyable to talk to both residents and tourists because they love being here and enjoy the beauty that surrounds them. Hopefully they don’t take it for granted. I sure don’t.
With a grateful heart…may you continue to seek peace, love and joy within yourself and those you encounter every day.
We took a drive to Mount Hood to see it up close. On the way we stopped at a fly shop outside of Welches, Oregon to pick up some fishing lures and get information on which areas would be good to fish near Mt. Hood. Lucky for us, the gentleman behind the counter was knowledgeable about fishing in the area. He knew just about all you needed to know if you fish ANYWHERE in the state of Oregon. Not only was he entertaining and helpful, we enjoyed his enthusiasm and courtesy to us.
After our stop at the fishing shop, we drove to the Timberline Lodge to get a closer look at Mount Hood.
The Timberline Lodge was built between 1936 – 1938 by the WPA and contains beautiful stone mason art, carved woodwork, and heavy timber beams. This National Historic Site, which is maintained by the National Park Service and operated by a private concessionaire, and was dedicated by FDR on September 28, 1937 at a ceremony (before) its (final) completion. The project was overseen by several architects and project managers who hired local area artisans and labor (skilled and unskilled). According to the Federal Writers’ Project, “All classes, from the most elementary hand labor, through the various degrees of skill to the technically trained were employed. Pick and shovel wielders, stone cutters, plumbers, carpenters, steam fitters, painters, wood-carvers, cabinetmakers, metal workers, leather toilers, seamstresses, weavers, architects, authors, artists, actors, musicians and landscape planners each contributed to the project, and each, in his way, was conscious of the ideal toward which bent their energies.” Those employed also utilized recycled materials such as cedar utility poles, tire chains and old railroad rails to construct the 40,000 square foot building. The total cost of the building was $695,750, of which 80% of the building cost was paid to labor. The skilled workers made around $.90/hour while the unskilled labor was paid $.55/hour during construction. It’s difficult to imagine that kind of a wage paid let alone living in a government tent camp; but jobs were scarce and the project was a blessing for those unemployed during the Great Depression. Ultimately the lodge became a tourist destination for thousands to enjoy the beautiful scenery of the Northwest. The ski lifts were eventually installed and now the resort (Mt. Hood Meadows) boasts year-round skiing and snowboarding.
The view of Mt. Hood and the surrounding area astounds you. As you arrive at the summit, you get a glimpse of the nearby snow-capped Mt. Jefferson–the second highest peak in Oregon.
At the Timberline Lodge we treated ourselves to lunch as we watched tourists, skiers, and mountain climbers frolick in the snow from the restaurant.
After lunch we headed to Trillium Lake to kayak and fish. Trillium Lake is just down the road from the Lodge where people can swim, camp, kayak and fish.
The lake is small (65 acres) but the view of Mt. Hood is stunning. Pam did a great job paddling me around the lake to fish; and although I had no luck, we enjoyed our time on the lake. After we packed the kayak, we headed north through the towns of Parkdale and Mt. Hood. We saw acres and acres of beautiful fruit trees, vineyards and nurseries throughout the valley growing lots of fruits and vegtables. We often take for granted how much capital farmers in this country employ in order to provide the valuable commodities we need for survival. It’s good to see firsthand how proudly they take care of the land for our benefit. We took our last look at Mt. Hood and made our way back to our campsite.
We left there a few weeks ago and are now in Winthrop, Washington to visit, hike and fish in the Northern Cascade mountains.
Hopefully the weather will be cool and I’ll get to catch more than one fish!
We spent the day at Crater Lake (the Lake) which is located about 75 miles southeast from LaPine State Park (where we’re staying). It’s one of those “bucket list” kind of places you need to see (like Niagara Falls or the Grand Canyon). It’s truly an awesome site. Since the snow in the region has been slow melting off, the north entrance of the park was closed; so we had to drive into the park from the south entrance. A little bit longer drive but hell, we’re retired; who cares how long it takes to get somewhere!
The Lake was formed after Mount Mazama erupted over 7,700 years ago.
Before Mazama blew its top, the mountain was over 12,000 feet high. The eruption was so large it blew 18 cubic miles of earth into the atmosphere and vaporized nearly every living thing within a 30 mile radius! Now the Lake’s caldera is a little over 7,000 feet high. I always thought that Lake Superior was the deepest since it was so large; but that’s not the case here. Crater Lake is the deepest lake in the United States with a depth of 1,943 feet. Lake Superior…just a measly 1,333 feet deep.
Mount Mazama grew over 400,000 years by repeated eruptions that occurred in the Cascade mountain range which have active volcanos ranging from Northern California to British Columbia. 7 million years ago the Cascade range began to rise as the ocean crust collided with the Pacific continental crust. As the ocean crust encountered the continental crust, it was pushed down into the earth’s mantel where high temperature caused the rock to melt and be pushed up to the earth’s surface. As you can imagine this molten rock had to go somewhere and gradually overtime the Cascade volcano mountain range began to form after many eruptions.
When Mount St. Helens erupted in 1980, we got to witness that cataclysmic event but on a very small scale. As noted above, it was nothing compared to the explosion of Mount Mazama. Archeologists have found evidence that early native Americans witnessed the eruption of Mount Mazama. Those people passed the event down through the ages among the tribes story tellers. I imagine many centuries (perhaps millennia) later, the natives were able to travel to this spot and see for themselves what their ancestors told them was true. It wasn’t until the Gold Rush of the 1840s that the Lake was discovered by a mining prospector who just happened to make the 7,000 foot climb up the mountain. The first picture of the lake wasn’t taken until 1873; and in 1886, an effort was made to study and preserve the Lake instead of exploiting it for commercial purposes. It finally became a national park in 1902.
It’s amazing standing on top of the rim and looking out at what was once a magnificent mountain. But what’s more amazing is how the Lake filled up after the mountain collapsed into its huge magma chamber since there are no rivers feeding in to and out of the Lake.
The average snowfall at Crater Lake measures around 43 feet every season. That’s over 500 inches of snow every year! So after centuries of snow and rain (it is in the Pacific Northwest where there’s lots of liquid sunshine most of the time!) the basin of the mountain became full of clear and pristine water which is visible to a depth of 143 feet! The water is so clear that it absorbs the other colors of the spectrum; so when you look at the Lake, it is the truest blue color you’ll ever see! The Lake also maintains its water level by natural forces of precipitation, evaporation and seepage. Other facts about the Lake: It’s 6.02 miles across (at its maximum distance) and holds 4.9 trillion gallons of water. It has 16 hiking trails at the park ranging from easy to strenuous difficulty. It’s also accessible from the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail if you happen to be hiking that 2,659 mile trail from Southern California to the U.S. – Canadian border.
When the rim road around the park is open, you can drive 33 miles around the park in about 2 or 3 hours stopping off at various scenic outlooks and picnic areas throughout the park.
We made it to the visitor’s center to watch the 22 minute video on how the lake was formed and how the Park Service currently protects and manages the Lake. I have to say the park employee that introduced the video could have done standup comedy before becoming a park ranger. He was very good with the audience. After the movie we drove to the Rim Village where we took in our first glimpse of the Lake. Then we drove as far as we could to Discovery Point. From there, we hiked about a mile up the road since no cars were allowed due to snow removal. We never expected to see this much snow by this time of the year.
After our hike, we took our folding chairs and picnicked at a spot on the rim just down from Discovery Point. We stayed at that spot about another hour before leaving with a new adventure under our belts.
We also leave knowing that although it may be a peaceful lake now, the mountain may awaken someday with a new eruptive phase as the geologic processes that built the Cascades Range continues.
On our way to Oregon, we parked at Juniper Reservoir RV Park outside Lakeview, Oregon on June 1st. The day before yesterday (May 30th) we left Salt Lake City (SLC) and traveled to Winnemucca, Nevada and stayed overnight.
We had a blast in SLC.
The SLC area has changed so much since I lived there in 1975 on a NMSU work-study program with Kennecott Copper Corp. SLC was just a little bit bigger than Albuquerque back then then; but when the 2002 Olympics came to town, SLC took off like a rocket. Now it’s one big metropolis from Orem to Ogden.
It was great attending Patrick’s wedding…
and afterwards getting together with our RV buddies–Mike and Connie and Dave and Cindy–that we met two years ago at the RV Dreams Rally in Michigan.
While we were in SLC, we did some hiking and sightseeing throughout the area.
The Juniper Reservoir Park is situated on a 5,000 acre ranch about 6 miles north of Lakeview. It has a number of pull-thru spaces with nice views of the forest and mountains that surround the campground.
We mostly hung out and walked around. I also washed the front of the RV so it didn’t look so messy. We saw lots of pretty birds–large groups of pelicans–flying in and out of the park and on the water.
As we travel through Oregon, Pam and I can’t stop believing–is this a dream–how lucky we are to wander around like this! We have nothing to do but enjoy the beauty that surrounds us where ever we go. Believe me, life is good!
Howdy from New Mexico! Pam and I have been hanging out in Albuquerque since April 3rd visiting my family and Pam’s daughter, Jandi. My brother John’s daughter, Joanna, was married on April 28th at Los Poblanos Historic Inn and Organic Farm. My sons, Patrick, Aaron, and Anthony, were also able to attend the service, so it was nice for all of my immediate family to be together (my parents, Ross and Anne, would be so proud!). We had a blast having family all together and getting out to see some of the sites and exhibits while we were in the area. We were also thankful for being able to eat some excellent Mexican food. (They just can’t make it better any place else but New Mexico!)
From Albuquerque we plan to return to Carlsbad to visit Pam’s son, Josh, and the granddaughters for about a week. Then we’re headed to Orem, Utah for Patrick’s wedding which will be held May 19th through the 21st. After his wedding, we plan to travel to Oregon and Washington for the summer and fall. Thanks for tuning in and letting me share our continuing adventure.
We’ve had a wonderful time in Texas visiting family and taking care of annual business (banking, doctor appts, mail, vehicle maintenance, etc.) and now it’s time roll again and we are ready. Being here for the past 3 months has allowed us to “be in the neighborhood” of several family members at different times hanging out and catching up. Both of my parents, my sister, my two brothers, and one of my children live here in Texas and it is fun to come be a part of their lives for a little while. I am very thankful for them and their families and the time we were able to share with them.
So now we begin heading west tomorrow. We will ultimately be doing a Northwest trip this year, but Big Bend National Park in TX is first on the list. We are meeting some friends in the Alpine/Marfa/Fort Davis area for a few days, then on to Terlinqua TX to see Big Bend. We always intended to make this trip from Carlsbad and never followed through, so now’s the time. Then we’ll make our way up to New Mexico for a while.
We get asked quite often about how long we hope to continue this lifestyle, and we both agree there is still way too much to see and do to think about ending any time soon. This journey has been way beyond our expectations and continues to excite and challenge us each day.
We appreciate your interest and taking time to keep up with us. We continue to hope your lives are filled with peace, joy, and love.