Saturday, October 31, 2009

Trick or Treat!

Happy Halloween! We picked a cloudy but non-rainy day to move south. We got a late start but it sure felt good to see the Entering Oregon sign.

It felt pretty good winding our way down Hwy 101 after a quick stop at the store. There weren't many views of the ocean but the ones we saw were jaw-dropping. Huge waves along with dark, foreboding skies created a very Halloweenish sight. Hmmmm, is that a word? Better than Halloweenie I think.

We finally arrived at Whalers Rest Thousand Trails near Newport, Oregon just at dusk and finding an empty site that is level and long enough in the dark is not fun. We ended up unhooking the car and driving through the section we liked to find a spot. By then, it was too dark and late to mess with the satellite dish so we just paid for cable tv for one night. We didn't want to miss the nascar race in the morning! I'll get some pictures in the daylight.

Sure hope the weather improves a little. The beach is calling us.........

Friday, October 30, 2009

Seaview, Ilwaco & Cape Disappointment

We were getting a little bored just sitting in the coach and watching the gray, gray, gray. We didn't need anything from the store and we didn't have a bunch of money to blow, so we just took a ride.

Our first stop was a drive through of the Long Beach Thousand Trails Park. Nothing too fancy here, but there is a nice path to the beach and 50 amp service. We'll be bypassing it this trip because it's only 10 miles down the road. If we're ever going to get to the sunshine, we'll have to do a little better than that.

Next, we drove through Ilwaco. It was fun to see all the fishing boats, but the town looked pretty deserted. Not too many tourists looking for sport fishing tours in October.

Then our trip took us to Cape Disappointment at the extreme southwest corner of Washington. In the state park, we parked and walked out on Waikiki beach (no kidding) hoping to see the lighthouse. But the fog was thick enough that we couldn't spot it. Then we discovered via internet that the light on the lighthouse was discontinued in 2008. Cape Disappointment was kinda disappointing.

We also saw a couple of guys crabbing with fishing poles perched on the side of a high, rocky wall made of humongous boulders. We watched them for a few minutes, but the wind was so awful that our eyes were watering and we couldn't stand it. I don't know how they kept from being blown into the ocean.

On our way back home, we stopped at Marsh's Free Museum in Long Beach. It was your typical tourist trap with some fun and interesting items. Their claim to fame is Jake the Alligatorman. I didn't get any pictures of this fine specimen (cough, cough) but it's near the two-headed calf and the eight legged lamb. least it was free!

That pretty much summed up our day. We discussed moving on down the road and another horrible storm sealed the deal. The coach shook most of the night, even blowing the satellite dish over. Doug had it staked into the ground really well but down it went. It didn't hit the car or coach, just hope it's still working in the morning.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Just a Sunset

The wind finally died down and the rain slowed to a drizzle, so we decided to take a drive on the beach. I didn't get any pictures since we still have so many from last year.

It was a pleasant drive about 10 miles along the water's edge, but we couldn't find any roads leading back to the highway. So, we turned around and backtracked the entire way.

Other than that, we just relaxed at home. Then finally in the evening, there was a tiny sliver of break in the clouds and we had this lovely sunset.

Some days are blogworthy and some aren't.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

A Year on the Road

Today was so cold and damp that we just stayed in. Doug spent some time sorting through a couple of leftover boxes while I organized the inside of the desk. Since we didn't do anything exciting, I thought you might be interested in a little update of our last year.

It's been a little over a year that we have been traveling and enjoying life as nomads. And while this life should never be reduced to statistics but sometimes it's fun to throw out a few facts.

In the last year, we visited six states. Washington, Oregon, California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas. We came really close to getting into Lousiana, Arkansas and Nevada but since we didn't stay there in the coach, it doesn't count.

We traveled 8,788 miles in our Alpine and even a bunch more in the car.

There were 58 unique parks where we hung our hats for anywhere from one night to one month. Several parks we visited more than once because our records show that we moved 71 times. Our trips have varied from 20 miles a day to over 300 miles a day. Let me tell you, 300 miles is toooooo much!
We try to keep our traveling days to under 150 miles. We're missing too much in between! There's no rush to get anywhere and we just love seeing everything. Mountains, valleys, oceans, rivers, deserts, rain, snow, glorious sunshine, blue skies, rainbows and more to come.

We've barely touched the U.S. yet I feel we have accomplished so much. This was a dream. A dream worth dreaming and we took it past wishing into reality.

As my old friend Cinderella used to say...a dream is a wish your heart makes

Have faith in your dreams and someday
Your rainbow will come smiling thru
No matter how your heart is grieving
If you keep on believing
the dream that you wish will come true

So, here's to whatever you happen to be wishing and dreaming today.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


We woke this morning to some windy weather. But, we were determined to get out onto the beach. We both bundled up like Nanook of the North and blew our way onto the sand.

The breakers were crazy with the wind and there was very little find. Still, we walked a half mile before turning back. We were all alone with the exception of an empty truck parked near the dunes. I guess we are the only ones crazy enough to be out in this weather.

After lunch, we decided to drive to the north end of the Long Beach spit. Most of the time we couldn't even see the water. We ended up at the Leadbetter Park and wildlife viewing area but didn't see anything.

On our way back we stumbled upon Oysterville. This interesting little town was founded in 1855 and became a National Historic District in 1976.

This pretty little church was built in 1892 and is still used occasionally for weddings and funerals.

There are many of the original houses still in use, as well as the Oysterville Cemetery. You just never know what you are going to run across when an afternoon drive beckons.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Hello Pacific!

Moving day went well in spite of this view out of our window in the morning.

But, once the showers gave up, we packed and moved south. Our first stop was in Raymond. They have the most wonderful statues made of half inch steel plate.

Before you get to town they are placed along the highway and then many, many more in town. Some are very basic and others are quite intricate.

Our next stop was for diesel in Long Beach. And from there it was a short trek to the Pacific Holiday RV Resort.

We are in the end site, closest to the ocean. There's a grass covered dune between us, but we can barely see the ocean. It's just a short walk down the path to the sand.

The weather turned horrible and the winds became crazy wild. So we made a quick trip to town to find me a warm stocking cap to prevent earaches on the beach, then just tried to keep warm in the coach.

The storm dumped rain and hail on us all night long, even waking us up a couple of times. Still, we love being on the ocean.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Pizza and Rain

Another drizzly, gray day was just right for staying home and watching the nascar race. The race was kinda awful if you're a Kasey Kahne fan (which I just happen to be) but with all of the wrecks it was still fun to watch.

By mid afternoon it became quite clear that this weather was not going to cut it. Unfortunately it doesn't look any better for many, many miles down the road. Still, we are tired of this park and it's unfriendly attitude. So, we told them to cancel the rest of our reservation and we are heading out to the coast. We'll be in Long Beach, but the nasty weather is ok if you are on the beach.

Doug decided to get creative in the kitchen and tried out a couple of new recipes. First, he made ricotta cheese. It doesn't have as much flavor as we expected but the consistency is good and it tastes nice.

Then, since he had ricotta in the refrigerator and I was craving pizza, he whipped up a batch of homemade pizza dough, seasoned some tomato sauce for pizza sauce, cooked some sausage and bacon, and proceeded to build an outstanding pizza. What a guy! (You should have seen the mess in the kitchen! Everything we owned was dirty.) And I spent the rest of the evening cleaning up after him. Yet it was worth every mess.

So, tomorrow we aim the coach west.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Port Orchard Visit

We got an early start today and took a lovely drive north along Hood Canal through Shelton, Allyn, Bellfair and arrived in Port Orchard at my big brother's house.

Guy and his charming wife Mary were a can't-miss stop on our way south. We haven't seen them in over a year and needed a little family fix.

Of course our arrival was timed for lunch and we had a terrific meal along with hours of catching up.

Thanks Guy & Mary for such a nice day! We hope you make it south this winter so we can visit again soon.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Now I Know Why We are Leaving

Sometime during the night the rain started. And pounded the coach all through the day. We woke up to a lake in front of us and a very soggy site.

But, we are cozy and warm with no place to go and time to just dream about the sunshine in Arizona.

I did don a jacket and hat to wander down to the office and check in between rain showers. This weather almost makes us glad that there isn't a lot of great things to see and do in Elma.

So, laundry is at the top of the list along with updating the blog. I am excited to get back into the habit of keeping family and friends entertained with our adventures. Both good and not-so-good. Stay tuned!

Thursday, October 22, 2009


After a verrrrrry slow start, we packed up and left Bow, Washington where the Mount Vernon Thousand Trails is located. The rain held off and we had a pleasant drive down I-5. Traffic was relatively light although we did get behind a State Patrol car doing a rolling slowdown. We never did figure out why.

Then,there was a quick stop at a closed weigh station to check the weight of both the car and the coach. Washington is so nice to leave the weighing equipment on even when the station is not manned. We were able to just pull each axle onto the scale and then read the weights on the overhead screen in front of us. Thanks Washington.

Doug offloaded a ton of stuff into the storage unit and we are right where we need to be. As fulltimers, it can be difficult to carry everything you need but not so much that you put a strain on the coach chassis and engine. It's a delicate balance that is a work in progress. Literally! If something new is added to our home, something used must leave. For example, if I get a new pair of shoes, Doug has to leave a pair behind. He...he...he.

Anyway, we arrived safe and sound in Elma at the KM Travel Inn RV Park. The office was closed so we just found an empty site and set up. Wow! What a treat! It's not fancy, but 50 amp service means we don't have to turn off appliances in order to use others. Sewer means I can do all of the laundry that has piled up in the last couple weeks. And cable tv means Doug doesn't have to mess with the satellite dish in the dark. Life is good!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Truly Fortunate

To anyone that doesn't believe we are living a grand's proof. This is a picture of our site at the Mount Vernon Thousand Trails.

What a gorgeous place to stay in the fall.

Tomorrow, we start our slow journey south.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Almost Finished!

Hi all! We didn't desert you. The last week has been crazy, crazy, crazy. We have spent every minute in the storage unit sorting through stuff to keep, stuff to send to a thrift shop and stuff to dump. We have managed to downsize from a 10 x 25' storage unit to a 10 x 10' unit. And it isn't even packed full.

One of the days, we ran out of propane thanks to the cold, rainy, crummy weather. So, we packed up the coach and unhooked the power and water. Then off we went to the dump station and the gas station for propane. It was more than a little frustrating to waste an entire afternoon like that when we had so much to do already.

But, it's almost done now. Today we'll clean out the garbage bags and a couple of boxes that are coming home with us, as well as some stuff we are sharing with other people. One last sweep and we are done with that place.
A couple more days to do some work for Doug's mom and organize the coach with the treasures we brought home.

We can almost see the sunshine in Arizona!

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Just a Few More Minutes.....

By 9 o'clock this morning we were both up and accomplishing things. Moving day is such a treat that we look forward to cranking it up. Inside, everything was stowed and put away for travel, but the minute Doug stepped outside to get ready he was bombarded with well meaning friends and neighbors.

Everyone had questions and ideas about how to be efficient, where to go next, what to see, etc...etc..etc. For every 5 minutes spent on the coach, he spent 25 minutes visiting. He loves to chat.

Anyway, it was 1 o'clock when we finally pulled out of the park, heading for Mount Vernon. Thank heavens it's only a short drive!

When we arrived at the park, we discovered that half of it is closed for winter and we are one of only a handful of rigs in attendance. We found our favorite spot at the end of the still open end of the park and set up camp. Pics tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Another Lazy Day

Another quiet day around the ole homestead. Doug kept busy with his metal detector, coming home with 13 cents. And I spent a little time tracing my Swedish family back into Sweden. Genealogy has come a long ways since the days when we had to spend hours in front of microfiche machines.

The weather blew hot and cold all day with a little more emphasis on cold. Still, it's pleasant enough for short walks. We took some time to discuss our plans for this winter and are both looking forward to some sunshine in the desert. Hopefully, we'll be on our way in about a week.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Going Grocery Shopping

We needed a few groceries today and remembered a little store that we had found last time we were in this area. So, off we headed for Ferndale and the Absolute Savings Grocery store. This is a scratch and dent type store with a little bit of everything and no guarantee that you'll find the same stuff again next time you visit.

But the prices! Upon entry, there is a very large bin with the deal of the day. The first time we shopped here, the bin was full of bottles of salad dressings. Hidden Valley Ranch, Kraft, you name it. At first glance, I thought the sign said $1 a bottle. (That's a pretty good deal) Then I realized the sign read 10 bottles for $1. Yup, 10 cents a bottle. Immediately we had 10 bottles in our cart. We were tempted to get more, but how much salad dressing can we eat and store.

Back to the current visit. The bin was full of 20 oz soda pop bottles that were 3 for $1. Since I don't drink the stuff and Doug isn't fond of bottles of pop (which are difficult to store in the frig) we passed on this bargain. But, around the first corner, I spied 6 packs of Hershey chocolate bars for $1.49. These are more than double that in regular grocery stores. So, I'll be eating chocolate bars for a while. Hooray!

Then, our best bargain was unearthed. We have started doing some baking, thanks to my cousin Jenny. And to our delight, we found packages of yeast (3 packs) for 33 cents a package. We dug through the entire display and found 27 packages that didn't expire until well into 2010. I guess we'll be doing lots of baking now. Bring on the english muffin bread!

After that fun stop, we finished our regular shopping at Walmart for the items we couldn't find at Absolute Savings. But what a fun find for anyone in the Ferndale area.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Sunday is for Fulltimers

Today, we watched a number of rigs pull out of the park on their way home. It brought to mind the many weekends in our little trailer when we had to head back to the house and a "normal" life. We dreaded returning home because we loved our life in the tin can.

And now, we just smile at each other and resume whatever little chore we are working on. We are home! It just doesn't get much better than this feeling.

We turnedour attention back to the Nascar race with the doors and windows wide open and chocolate chip cookies baking in the oven. My oh my!

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Beachwood Blahs

Not a lot going on today. I woke up with a bit of a toothache and spent the whole day waiting for it to either go away or erupt into a full blown pain. But, it did neither. Just an annoying, dull ache that comes and goes. Looks like I'll be looking for a dentist on Monday.

We took a short walk through the park today since the sun was shining and it looked so nice. Fooled us! It was cold! Other than that, we just piddled around with minor chores and reading. Doug posted a "for sale" notice in the clubhouse for a couple items out of the storage unit.

And that was the extent of our day. Quiet, relaxing yet semi productive.

Friday, October 02, 2009

Fall in the Northwest

It's that time of year. The leaves are turning glorious shades of red and gold, while littering the ground. The mornings are quite nippy and the days are cool even when the sun shines. Autumn is lovely.

We are at Beachwood Resort near Birch Bay with all of the visiting Canadians. This park seems to be a haven for them in the US. It's an interesting park with one section of mobile homes and park models, one section for tents and covered wagons, and one section for rvs.

The sites are fairly cozy, but we are just killing time here while we finish the storage unit. A couple more weeks and we should be heading for sunshine.

We took a walk this afternoon to the clubhouse where we found this cool mural painted on the side.

A game of shuffleboard and ping pong had us chuckling at our ineptitude but the book selection wasn't too bad. The park has two big pools, one for adults and one for families.

Doug spotted a tiny sliver of red in the blackberry bushes and fought his way through them to retrieve a long stem red rose for me. How romantic is that?

Take a good look at the stem on that rose. It's at least 5 feet long! No kidding!

He put it through a hole in the picnic table with a water jug on the ground and it still sticks up waaay above the table. He knows how to bring a smile to my face.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

One Whole Year!

Woo Hoo! A year ago today we began our adventure. And what an adventure it has been so far. We have seen so many new places, met tons of new friends, experienced hundreds of ups and downs and fell in love with the life.

Some people discover that the nomad style isn't all it's cracked up be and scurry back to their sticks and bricks home. We, on the other hand, have discovered a lust for life and adventure that keeps beckoning us around the next bend, next highway and next state.

In a couple of weeks, we will wind our way south again to the sunshine. We still haven't seen all of our friends in the northwest, but if we have missed you, don't give up on us. We'll see you soon.

The storage unit is almost downsized to something more reasonable and the road is calling. I believe the phrase is hitch itch. We don't want to miss a thing.

I'll be updating the blog more often now so hopefully you will all follow us and enjoy the travels from your own comfortable home.