Friday, July 11, 2008

State of Washington Trip 2000

The day has finally come. Monday is the day. We have the motorhome in the driveway, all loaded up.
The doctor told Doreen Thursday to get away from it all for a while. I took her two weeks ago again to Emergency at Tri-City hospital. Every time we go we learn something. I think we can handle the next attack without the hospital.
We are going North and visit friends and relatives of Doreen in the Bay Area. Since we are pulling a car we can do a lot of sightseeing. On the way we will visit Morro Rock, Pismo Beach and other sights.
The second week we will meet my daughter and her husband at Lassen Volcanic National Park. We will be staying there a week and go four wheeling with them. From there we go to Crater Lake National Park and other Oregon parks.
We also plan on going to Seattle and take the plant tour at Boeing in Everett. Other targets are the Rain Forest, Mount Ranier, Mount Shasta, Shasta Lake etc.
We will stay in touch per E mail. I will take the lap-top computer along.

We are finally on the road.
When we left San Diego we had in mind to stay some time in Pismo Beach State Park, but it got darker by the hour and it started to rain. I kept on driving until we saw blue sky again, this was in Aromas, CA.
We found a nice RV Park and set up camp, the Saturn had changed color, instead of being white it was now grey.
The next day we drove to Walnut Creek near San Francisco and visited Doreen's sister in law and brother in law.
They forced us to sleep in the house. We took them out for dinner and had a good time with them. The next morning a friend of Doreen joined us while we had breakfast and this meant good times where relived.
On August 30th we stayed in Vacaville and drove to Old Sacramento.
Neil's Vineyard RV Park was away from highway noise and had everything a camper needs including modem hookup.
Our next stop was Woodson Bridge RV Park near Corning. We stayed three nights, drove to Chico and Corning to go shopping and watched the boaters on the Sacramento River from our camp site. I picked plums and ate a lot of them and I wished I had eaten less, but they were so sweet. They also had apple trees in the RV Park and the apples tasted better than the store bought.
Sunday the 3th we left for Lassen Volcanic National Park.
We took the south entrance which is more scenic, but a winding small road ,and it goes up and down. When we got to the 8,500 foot pass we encountered fog and wet snow. We were lucky there was not that much traffic at that time in the morning and

I was able to crawl along with little power at that altitude. We talked about unhooking the Saturn and drive both vehicles. It would have made it easier but I did not like the idea not seeing where Doreen was in this fog and later rain. We have CB,s for both vehicles but I rather have Doreen sit beside me.
We made it to the campground and found Claudia,s and Scott,s site without ever seeing their camper before. They had gone for a hike and met us at 1:00 PM at the Visitor center as arranged.
Doreen cooked up a storm at dinner time and we had a good time. The next morning the sun was out and the kids went again fourwheeling and hiking. We stayed back and went for a little drive. In the afternoon it started to rain again and we decided to leave the next day. Two days of rain and frost in the night was enough for us. But first Doreen cooked another big meal for the four of us.

Today we came down the mountain. We stopped at McArthur-Burney Falls Memorial State Park. I had been in this area before and do not know how I missed that beautiful water fall.

We drove on to Redding where we will be staying a few days and go by car to Weaverville, Whiskeytown and other places in Trinity and Shasta County. This is the first vacation where I do not have to worry about time and schedule.

We spent two days in Redding, the town we usually avoid. We were surprised. They have a fantastic Sacramento Riverwalk, it is ten miles long. We walked some of it. We used Redding as a base and went by car to Weaverville where I could not get Doreen out of the little stores. On the way we stopped at Whiskytown Lake, Lewistown and a few other places.

Our next stop was at Yreka, where we wanted to ride the Blue Goose, an old steam engine railroad. After Labor Day it runs only on the weekend and we were there on Thursday. Since the town is quaint and old we decided to stay a day.
Friday we stayed in Ashland, Oregon. We drove to the Shakespeare Center and could not park. We found a RV Park outside of town and went back by car. After checking out the Center we took a long walk in Lithia Park.

Saturday and Sunday we spent with our friends in Wilderville near Grants Pass. We always have a good time with Emmi and Bert.

We went by car up the Rogue River to Crater Lake and stopped at the Rogue River Gorge.

Yesterday we took a Jet Boat ride through Hellgate Canyon. It was very hot. The boats need only six inches of water. Our captain was a young man he spun the boat around on the spot, we had a wall of water 360 degrees around us. It was very exciting and we enjoyed it.

After the boat ride we drove to Roseburg and said "hello" to friends of Doreen and stayed in a nice county park along the Umpqua River, no hook-ups but a fantastic atmosphere.

Today we are in Portland and getting ready to tour the Columbia River Gorge. Doreen did laundry and I checked out liquids in both vehicles and went to the swimming pool since it is very hot today.
We have to go to Kaiser tomorrow morning to have Doreen's blood checked and then we go up the Gorge.

Today we took a leisurely drive up the Columbia River Gorge and stopped and enjoyed all the waterfalls.

We took a picnic lunch and ate it at Bonneville Dam. There we watched the Salmon jump the ladders to get upstream.
Doreen feels better than before, her blood pressure is super. She wants to go in October again to New Spain, in northern New Mexico. This would be the third time in three years. The fall colors are fantastic there and the little towns with their churches from the 1700's are like you see in travel brochures.
We are not done with this trip and Doreen is ready for the next one.

Since I have a broken AC Adapter problem I was not able to send any E mail the last few days. People who wrote us will get personal letters later. Friends of ours who live on Fox Island near Tacoma will have a new part. I have it ordered and hope Compaq is on the ball. Right now the computer is on battery power.
From Portland we drove to Everett, Washington and were able to get tickets for the 3 PM plant tour at Boeing. I wanted to see the building, which is the largest building in the world. They took us to the 747 final assembly line, which is similar to building 84 at Douglas, only larger.
The 747, 767, and 777 lines run side by side. I saw nothing new, the methods are the same.

Now we are in a RV park north of Seattle and today we went into the city, We went to the Space Needle and from there took a trolley which was fun since we could get off and on whenever we were ready.

I will call later our friends on Fox Island and see whether the adapter arrived, if yes we will pick it up tomorrow, if not we go to the rain forest first and come back to Tacoma in a couple of days.
I hope I can send this letter tomorrow.

My computer is still on battery power, Compaq missed the boat. They lost one future customer.
We started yesterday to take the trip around the peninsula of the Olympic National Park.

We have to go home pretty soon, I need a haircut. My barber in Oceanside charges Marines and old men $3.00. I can not find a bargain like that on the road.
Right now we are in Klamath Falls and went in town to look for a movie theater. We saw Space Cowboys already and the other films they offered did not appeal to us. Tomorrow we will take a ride around the lake.
Last Saturday we stayed at Sequim Bay State Park near Port Angeles. We had hoped to visit Port Townsend but all the roads were closed. That poor little town did not make any money that weekend. I know Doreen would have found some dust catcher.

We spend some time in Port Angeles, ate dinner in a Thai restaurant, and left Sunday for La Push, an Indian Village near Forks. The Tribal Center was closed and the weather turned lousy. So we headed for Forks and went to the Rain Forest. I have been in this area before, but for some reason I missed it. We went for a hike on the Moss Trail and loved it. I had seen something similar in Louisiana in the bayous.

The weather was fine until we got back to the car and then a fine rain came down We drove out of the forest, attached the car to the motorhome and headed south. We stopped at Amanda and set up camp.
Monday was a day we will not forget so soon. We were heading south on highway 101 for several hours. My navigator was knitting and entertaining me with stories. We had fog and a little rain. After a while I told Doreen we should be out of this coastal fog pretty soon since we were heading inland.
She looked at the map and all I heard was: "oh, oh". The map was folded at the point where we should have headed towards Olympia.
We had gone further south. Our objective was to go back to Tacoma and over to Fox Island and pick up the AC adapter which I had shipped to friends of ours. We found a place to turn and went to Gig Harbor ,west of Tacoma to set up camp at Kopachuck State Park. We found a sign and followed it. That was the last sign we saw.
We were in an exclusive neighborhood and could not find the park. Finally we unhooked the car and Doreen went and asked people. We had to ask several times more. Children had removed the signs leading to the park. I think adults helped them. One lady told Doreen: " Perhaps we do not want anybody in here".

We finally found the park and left to find our friends on Fox Island. I had made a map on the computer which brought us very close, but we could not find the house. We asked neighbors and they could not help us, they offered to use their phone. But we did it our way and finally turned in a driveway towards the water. Several homes use that same private road and we finally found a sign with the name of our friends.
We were glad to see them and I also was happy to be able to use my computer again.

They took us out to dinner and we had a good time. They offered to guide us back to the State Park and we gladly accepted.
After a while we got suspicious, it took a long time. When our friends stopped and talked to somebody in his front yard, Doreen and I knew we were lost again.
But after a while we came past a gas station and grocery store, which Doreen and I had past several times while we were looking for the park. We knew then we were very close to our home on wheels.
Tuesday we went south to Portland and stayed at the same RV Park where we stayed on the way up.
Doreen went to Kaiser again and I took care of little things.
Doreen did laundry again and did not check the laundry room hours. She put the laundry in the washing machine and came back to the motorhome. Later she went to put them in the drier and found the laundry room locked. She had to wait until the next morning to finish the laundry.
Wednesday we went to Oakridge, Oregon and visited friends.
Today and tomorrow we will spend in Klamath Falls and Saturday we go to Wilderville near Grants Pass for sauerkraut and all the good soul food.
Sunday we will drive over to Eureka and visit Claudia and Scott and go with them to Samoa Island to the Samoa Cookhouse.
Those are all short distances and scenic drives.

We are now exactly four weeks on the road. When we left , Doreen had said that if we come back and are still friends after living so close together in a small motorhome, we have it made. So far everything worked out fine, no arguments, even after we got lost.

Today we are at Point Reyes National Seashore. We drove to the lighthouse. This involved some walking, Doreen asked whether I try to kill her. The weather is super, blue sky and I think Doreen will not need the sleeping bag plus three blankets like in Eureka. Since she is on blood thinner she freezes easy.
Tomorrow we will go to Half Moon Bay, south of San Francisco. If the weather is like here we will stay for two days.

We went to Half Moon Bay and to Pismo Beach and as of 3:00PM today we are at home.

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