Sunday, September 27, 2009

Touring WA-Seattle & Olympice Pensulia

Hi! We are still in the state of Washington and will be for about another 2 weeks. When we left Randle we headed for Hoodsport and stayed at a nice Coast to Coast Park. We went into Olympia WA a few times, one to get our flu shot and another to the Shipwreck Bead Co. What a great bead store. They also do catalogs sales, you can see their add in most bead books. Bob was hungry for Red Lobster and Olive Garden so we visited them also, on different days. We visited a small town called Union along the Hood Canal, that reminded us of the New England states. We took the ferry from Bremerton to Seattle, it was about a 45 min. ride. In Seattle we visited the Pike Place Market, what a place, it is open 7 days a week and everyday is a busy one. It is the home of the flying fish, we have seen on TV many times. They do a great job entertaining everyone especially when someone buys a fish it goes flying through the air to the counter where it is cleaned and packaged. They also sell fresh flowers , by the stem or huge beautiful bouquets for $10. The market is lined up on one side of nothing but flowers. There are many other crafts, food and vegetables for sale. It is something to see. We went to the space needle, wanted to have lunch at the restaurant but they were completely booked. The sight from the top of the needle was fabulous. While in line for the Space Needle Linda was interviewed by the crew from the Dr. Oz show, they taped her asking the Dr. a question, she will be notified if it will be aired.

Another day we visited the Olympic National Park, it was established in 1938. They were many great photo ops. We hiked the Staircase Rapids Loop Trail. The trail runs 2 miles along the North Fork Skokomish River. A micro hydroelectric power plant was installed in 1981 ,it flows through 640’ of 12” penstock to turn the Pelton wheel and drive the generator. It can produce up to 7.5 KW of electricity to supply the entire staircase area. One of the largest fallen red cedar is about 800 yrs old, it is 43’ in circumference and 14’ in diameter. It is a beautiful hike. It was a little bit of a challenging trail, but we made it. We also toured another fish hatchery. In the picture see the bucket of eggs taken from the salmon.

We are now in Chimacum, WA. We are at a very nice Escapees Park. We met up wth our friends Penni and Dave . We also met up with them in Alaska. We took the ferry from Bainbridge Island to Seattle. They were in Seattle before but not to the market. We also had dinner at the Crab Pot. We had their special Dungeness Crab, shrimp, clams, mussels, potatoes and corn on the cob. This was all dumped onto paper on the table and you just dug in. They left 2 days ago but we will meet up with them again at the Rose Parade over the holiday.

We visited Port Towsend, a cute town with a marina, nice RV Park many little shops and restaurants, along the Puget Sound. We toured Fort Worden that was built along with Fort Casey and Fort Flagler during 1897 & 1911. They were built to guard the sound cities. They were called the “death triangle” for it would be death for the invading enemies. No attack was ever made nor was a shot ever fired in anger. This was a self -contained community with everything a regular town needed. The Fort was active until 1953, when it became a juvenile Diagnostic and Treatment Center from 1954 to 1971. In 1972 it became a State Park and Conference Center. It is now maintained by the Washington State Park and is used for public education etc.

In the park is the Point Wilson Lighthouse which was established in 1879. The first white beam was seen on Dec. 15 in 1879. The original light was on top of the light keepers house and moved to the present tower in 1913 .The white light with red , flashes ever 20 seconds and comes from a 1000 watt bulb. It shines through a rotating Fresnel lens. The lens is worth about 1 million dollars; the light has a range of 16 miles. You can tour the lighthouse on Sat. only, and only a few people at a time are allowed in the lighthouse. The lighthouse was manned until the early 1960’s It is now automated and maintained by the Coast Guard. There are 59 steps to the top, but what a beautiful view.

There was a Kayak Festival on the beach while we toured the lighthouse. We never knew there were so many different Kayaks. Everyone was having a great time in the water and also vendors selling them. There is also a Fort Flaglar, which is on the same order as Fort Worden and is used in the same way that Fort Worden is being used.

We also took a tour of the Commanding Officers Quarters. This was completed in 1904 and overlooks the Admiralty Inlet and Point Wilson and is located at the end of “Officers Row”. It provided housing for 33 commanding officers and their families. It has now been restored and furnished with furnishings from the 1904 to 1910 era. There are 2 great RV parks, an upper forest campground and a beach campground. While we were touring the fort a car club from Tacoma came in and set up on the parade grounds. It was the Buick, Pontiac and Oldsmobile clubs. In all about 50 cars showed up. .See slide show below, if slide show doesn't appear click on view all at bottom.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Washington 8-2009 to 9-2009

Hi! Everyone we hope you all had a great summer.We are starting our 5th year of full timing, and starting on our next adventures. After spending a week in Oroville WA. Where we just chilled out we headed to Wenatchee WA.

In Wenatchee we stayed at the Wenatchee County Park, it was a good thing we rested last week and you will see why. This is a super park, with all paved sites and wide roads, even wifi. Our first side trip was to Leavenworth,WA. What a cute place. It is a small village in the eastern foothills of the Cascade Range. The Bavarian architecture is noticeable everywhere, even McDonalds. The Murals on all the walls are beautiful, many great restaurants and gift shops. They attract over 1.3 million tourist a year. In 2003 they captured the title of “Ultimate Holiday Town USA” on the A&E Network. It must be beautiful at Christmas time. Plan on visiting here if your ever in the area.

Our next trip was the Leavenworth Nutcracker Museum. This is a must see also. There are over 5,ooo nutcrackers dating back to the 14th century from over 40 countries that are all enclosed in large glass cases. NO PHOTOS allowed, we were politely told. The nutcrackers are made from wood, metal, porcelain, ivory and man made materials. Name any subject, and they have a nutcracker for it. We though nutcrackers were wooden toy soilders used at Christmas time, goes to show what we know. They also have nutting stones which date back 4,000 yrs, and nut bowls and picks. They also have a 14 min. video on the history of the nutcracker. There are several life size nutcrackers you can take photo’s of . The saying “from soup to nuts” comes from early 1900’s, referring that meals started with “soup” and ended with “nuts”. Margie B. you would love this museum. Check it out at

We were lucky enough to have our own personnel tour of the Stimilt Apple Processing Company. This was really fascinating; you don’t realize all that goes into processing the apple before we get to eat them. They are washed several times in the process. They are sorted by size, color and condition of the apples, the ones that don’t make the grade go into apple juice and the rest the cattle get to enjoy, nothing goes to waste. They enploy 500 people year round. The most interesting was how the apples where put to sleep, they are put into cold storage at 32 degrees, the oxygen is removed from the apples. When the time comes that they are needed , the apples are awakened by putting the oxygen back into the apples and they are just as crisp, juicy and fresh as when they were picked. The packaging is something to see, they are packed any way you can imagine, for store use, gift boxes and bags.

We also visited the Rocky Reach Hydroelectric Project. They have a fish viewing room and a video called “Experience Chelan County” which takes you on a trip up the Columbia River. They have an interpretive museum and many exhibits. You stroll thru 18 acres of award winning landscapes. Some of the attraction there are the Fish Ladder Island, a teardrop flower bed with 5,ooo brilliant flowers , including a bed depicting the US flag and many more flower beds. The Dahlia’s were huge and the colors very bright. Check it out at

Next side trip was the Leavenworth National Fish Hatchery. You can follow the spring Chinook Salmon through it’s life cycle here. The hatchery plays a huge role in the survival of this Icicle Creek salmon run. It has been in operation since 1940 and raises and releases 1.6 million juvenile spring Chinook salmon annually into the Icicle Creek. They remove the eggs from the female(up to 4,000 per female) and the milt(sperm) from the male. Eggs and sperm are combined in a bucket where fertilization occurs and life begins for the salmon. The incubating eggs are taken to the nursery and cared for at the hatchery. Check it out at

The Ohme Gardens in Wenatchee are well worth the visit also. It is on a bluff with a view of the snow capped Cascade Mountains and the Wenatchee Valley. In 1928 George Ohme and his bride Ruth began planting the orchard on 40 acres. There are evergreens, native stones form the paths, desert sage is a major ground cover and massive natural rock formations help form the pools. All the work was done by hand, starting by hauling water in5 gallon milk cans from the valley below, it now has an irrigation system. The Ohmes worked on the garden for 42 yrs., until Mr. Ohme died at the age of 80. Their grandson took care of the garden till 1991, when the Chelan County took ownership. Check out at

If you like fruit this is the place to visit. Cherries. peaches, nectarines. apple and pears you name it you can find it here and it is DELICIOUS. There is one stand after another, if one doesn’t have what you want the next one will, including jellies, marinades, pastries and dips. Right now the trees are heavy with any kind of apple and pears you can name, they are just waiting to be picked so we can enjoy them.

Did you ever get a gift at Christmas with Aplets and Cotlets candy packages in them? Next we toured the Liberty Orchard Company in Cashmere WA. where the applets and cotlets candies are made.. They make other flavors also but these two are the favorite. A small company, everything done by hand, and there were many samples. Great places to put on your list of must sees. You can’t leave without buying after the free sample tasting. Check it out at

Guess what! we are finally at our last side trip, before leaving this area. We told you we had a busy week. Our last stop was the Mission Creek Apple Cider Mill. Not your ordinary apple cider here. They have very unique flavors. There were many fruity flavors, raspberry ,strawberry for example and Lavender which was our favorite. They had tasting just like wine tasting. Of course we bought the lavender it was DELICIOUS.

There are 56 wineries in North Central WA, and probably that many across the border in BC. Most of the wineries have a tasting room. It reminded us of the NY wine country.

We are now in Randle WA. We are at a great Coast To Coast park that has an indoor pool and hot tub and sauna. They also have several golf courses. You can start play right from the RV Park. The trip to here through the Cascades and White Pass was beautiful. We are between Mt. Rainier Nat. Pk. and Mt. St. Helens Nat. Volcanic Monument. Mt Rainier has very dense forests and above the tree line many glaciers. It is a beautiful National Park. The snow capped mountain above the deep green giant trees is a must visit if in the area. When at national parks we try to at least visit the lodges and have either lunch or dinner. This lodge is nothing special when compared to some of the other lodges we visited, like at Yellowstone or the Grand Canyon. Lunch was just Ok. We could write all day about the beauty of MT Rainier but instead go to their web site and have a look for yourself. Next we visited Mt ST Helens. This was an awesome ride. You just can’t imagine the destruction from the 1980 eruption. The eruption covered 230 square miles in less then 10 minutes. The blast which went sideways and killed trees up to 17 miles away. We could see 2 steam vents. Again go to their web site to learn more as we could go on and on.

The dogs are doing good. Lilly is having a hard time on the stair. We did get a new medication for her hips, which seems to be helping. Her hearing is completely gone and we believe her eyesight is giving her problems when she looks at the steps. Once she makes up her mind to go up or down she has a lot less problems since on the new meds. She is 15 . An old age for a Lab. She is a sweetheart and never complains. Blazer is Blazer, very very busy.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Osoyoos ST PK-Oroville WA

$21. No hook ups. About 6 miles from the border. There is also a $5. charge to dump even if camping there. They have a water fill. Nice wide open sites with little or no shade.
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Gold Trail Clinton BC

$15. with Passport America. There are just a few pull thur sites. There is a on site Bar B Q. We didn't use so can't comment on it. Just a plain park with a great rate. We didn't have to unhook. We where just passing thru.

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Sintich Trailer & RV PK-Prince George BC

$30. with Good Sam. A very nice trailer park that has rv sites. We had cable and wifi at our site that worked well. Very well kept park. They had a rv wash.

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Glacier View-Smitters BC

$25. cash. I believe it was $30 to charge. We had a pull thur which was great as we didn't need to unhitch since we where using as a stop over for the night. Great view of the glacier across the road.

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Mountain Shadow-Iskut BC

$30 a night along the Cassiar highway in Iskut BC. This is gem in the wilderness. The grass between sites and around the park was like a well groomed golf course. Great views. Wide entry road down a steep hill about third mile long. They do have a sign telling if there are sites or not at the entry. This road is not a problem at all. Very smooth fine gravel road and level sites. Very relaxing park. They have wifi which was week at our site, but we were at the bottom edge of the park.

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Big Creek Yukon Goverment Park

$12 a night.and free firewood. About 30 miles west of Whitehorse and 20 miles from the junction of the Cassair Highway along the Alaska Highway. This is a great little campground. They did have a water pump, but no dump. We had a long pull thru site along the creek.

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Haines Hitch Up-Haines AK

$31.28 with Good Sam. We were in one of their economy sites without cable or wifi and a back in. Very Very helpful owner. They book tours from here. We did take the fast ferry to Skagway from here and did the White Pass Yukon Railroad. They booked it and made all the reservations for us. They have the nicest laundry room we seen in 40 + years of rving. There are 2 state parks that offer camping in the area. We checked them out and they where for small rvs. There is another park in town along the water front but it has very close sites. If in Haines again we would stay here.

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Cottonwood-Destructions Bay

$28. a night,20 amp electric only. They have a water fill and a dump. A super owner who walked us to our site to see if it was OK. I saw her do this several other times. We had a site that backed up to the lake edge. Beautiful views in all directions. There are some pull thru sites. Only problem you have to take your trash with you as they have no trash disposal. The sites are $30, but I asked do they offer any discounts, and she said since you asked, its only $28. It pays to ask. This does fill up at night, so get there early. We where only going to stay one night but it was so nice we stayed two nights and should have stayed longer.

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Road side rest-Tok AK

About 8 miles from Tok overlooking Midway lake. The fox came and visited. This is the second time a fox visited us at a roadside rest. The other was on the Top Of The World Highway. We had 2 other Rvers join us for the night. This was a paved rest area., with great views.

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Sea Otter Valdez AK

$30 a night, electric only. A big gravel lot. There are pull thur sites here. At the waters edge they are all back ins. They have a water fill and a dump, and wifi worked fair to good at our site. The laundry room and shower area needed work. Poor 20 amp electric. The staff was not overly friendly at times. Cash only here. Great views out the back of our site and those along the waters edge. We did see sea otters and seals swimming right behind our rv.

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The Homestead Palmer AK

Sites are narrow. Trees are close. $27.90 with Good Sam discount. Water and electric hook ups. There is a dump. This is one of the cleanest Rv Pk we stayed at. It is very well run. We do not use the bathrooms and showers, but checked theirs out, and they where the cleanest we ever saw. They have a laundry. The staff was very friendly and helpful. It is very busy. This is the first place we ran into a caravan. In talking to some of the people staying there, they said they were there to visit Anchorage because there are no nice parks in Anchorage, and they wanted hook ups. I don't know as we did not look for any. It is about 40 miles from Anchorage and if you need hook ups they may be right.

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Eagle River-Chugach ST PK

About 12 miles from Anchorage AK. $15. a night, no hook ups. Paved roads and sites. We over looked the eagle river. There is a 4 day limit. You can reserve sites. A very clean and well run park. There is also a $5. charge to dump, even if camping there. We found this to be a good place to stay to visit Anchorage.

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Road side rest area-Steward Hwy

About 10 miles from Portage. We were joined by 3 other RVers. Paved lot with great views. One of the few rainy days we encounter.
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Homer Spit-Homer Ak

Homer city park, the one right passed the fishing hole. $15. a night, no hook ups. They have a water fill and a dump. Great views. A fishing town. They have a fish cleaning station in park. Self register, and they do come around and check each night about 10. A great little community theater in park, for I believe $8. a person. The sites on the water front where very close.

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