Wednesday, September 4, 2019

That's Enough

We left Nampa, heading eastbound with more freeway miles than we'd had on the trip to this point. We did a bit of zigging and zagging to pick up up a line of contiguous counties but took very few pictures other than this one at Twin Falls. We spend one night at Massacre Rocks State Park west of Pocatello. Since it was mid week, we could get a senior discount on a water/electric site which was nice given the warm afternoon temperatures.

The plan was to make an early stop the next morning at the Idaho State Journal since there is a webcam cache located there that would have been a milestone cache for me. I tested it on my phone the night before and it worked well, but when we "needed" it, it didn't work so we moved down the road to another cache for that milestone.

Our line of travel was very crooked and counter-intuitive, but I was trying to add new counties and we were trying to stay high in hopes of cooler temperatures. It was a nice idea but didn't work as well as we'd hoped. The drive was beautiful with temps often hovering between 85 and 90.

I'd planned to stay at a state park with dry sites but decided the air conditioner was essential so we pulled into a picturesque RV Park in Coalville for the night. Friendly folks, nice facilities, but also freeway traffic noise all night.

Out of Coalville we headed up again, stopping on occasion for interesting historical monuments,

sheep herds,

and sites of famous mine disasters.

In Helper, we stopped to check out a variety of coal mining equipment including this mechanical back scratcher.

Loved the old, small towns scattered along the two lane highways. Even better, traffic was minimal!

We toyed with staying in Moab. We did stop, and managed to snag some late season shuttle dates for a short Green River trip, but then kept going for higher ground. After twenty years of driving past it, we stopped at Devil's Canyon campground south of Monticello. The short thunder storm did the trick to lower the temps, and we enjoyed a very nice night in a $5 site (thanks to our senior discount.)

We took time the next morning to do a Wherigo cache that took us on an interesting tour of Blanding. Managed to do it all with the trailer in tow, although getting turned around at the final was a bit tight.

As we often do, we stopped for a couple pictures in Monument Valley and then headed for our last night of the trip at Bonito Campground outside of Flagstaff - again, selected for the elevation.

110 nights, over 10,600 miles on the trailer, over 12,500 miles on the truck. We averaged just under 14 mpg for the trip with gas averaging $3.90 when converting to US dollars and gallons. Thanks to a bunch of boondocking and moochdocking opportunities, our camping costs averaged $14.91 per night.

Not only is the Scamp in the garage and the trip over, this post represents my 950th blog post. No telling when or if there will be another one. Time for a break??

Friday, August 30, 2019

Gethomitis

I've got a case of Gethomitis (say it out loud) so the blog posts are getting shorter.

Once we crossed the Canadian border southbound, thoughts turned towards home. We decided weeks ago to bypass Seattle which gave us enough time to get reservations at Fort Casey State Park. Thanks to being visitors, the dry site cost $45 :-(

but the campground is right by the ferry, nicely positioning us (again, with reservations) for the ferry in the morning. We were actually able to get on an hour earlier than our reservation, headed to Port Townsend and then around the peninsula to the ocean.

BJ's all time favorite campground is South Beach where the campsites are just behind the driftwood and the waves break right on the steep beach. At 11 a.m. on a weekday, it was clear full so we continued south, ending up in Copallis Beach where it's a bit of a walk through the sand dunes to get to the very flat beach, but it was ocean.

We stopped in Olympia for three days to visit family and wander around one of the parks before heading back to Highway 101 to head south.

We stopped for a night in Tillamook which gave me a chance to stock up on some smoked brie cheese before continuing on to our friends in Newberg where I found another farm with a long list of projects. Just one day this trip, but we may to have come back. There's something about working on old houses...

With Newberg in our rear view mirror, we headed to Nampa, Idaho where we settled into a beautiful, private RV Park. Three days to visit family and lots of friends, and power for the air conditioner since the weather is trying to get us prepped for Arizona.

We did have a chance while we were there to do some essential studying - for a geocache.

From here we head to eastern Idaho and then south through eastern Utah, trying to stay high as long as possible before hitting the desert heat. Should be home in a week.

Sunday, August 25, 2019

Southbound

As we climbed the steep road up White Pass from Skagway, we stopped for a view of the unique Captain William Moore bridge. It spans a fault line so it's only anchored on one end. Now it's being replaced by a solid concrete pour - apparently the fault won't bother the concrete???


We took the cutoff towards Jake's Corner, making a stop at a very unique cemetery along the way. Unlike so many modern cemeteries that require flat stones and straight lines, in this one, each grave site or family plot is unique.


Rancheria Falls was a nice chance to stretch the legs a bit. It has a fairly large parking lot and nearly a quarter mile of boardwalk out to a pair of waterfalls. When we were here six years ago, the parking lot sported a "No Camping" sign but there wasn't any sign of the type there now. We continued on to Yukon's Big Creek Campground for the night.

Baby Nugget was a fuel stop before we turned south on the Cassiar. It had a unique card reader system for the gas pump that only worked half the time, but the restaurant/store advertised cinnamon rolls so it wasn't a total loss. The rolls were OK, but nowhere near the best we've had on this trip.

After losing count how many times we crossed the BC / Yukon border on this trip, we knew that this time was the last, at least for this trip.

As we worked our way south on the Cassiar Highway, we stopped for a few minutes at Jade City. Didn't buy anything this trip, but did find the geocache and the coolest tundra buggy. I'm pretty sure this is what the Alaska contingent needs for their caribou hunting trips.

We understood why the Kinaskan Lake Provincial Park was so highly rated. Many of the sites (all first come, first served) backed onto the lake. We arrived mid afternoon to find a number of lake front choices. A couple hours later, every site in the campground was full!

The next day we headed for Hyder, making a stop for an earth cache at Bear Glacier along the way. Turns out, it was good we stopped on the way in - the next day it was shrouded in fog!

One of our "must-do list" items was a stop at the bus in Hyder. It's world famous, and was closed last time we visited. It was closed this time, too. Supposedly it's good, but we won't know. (As usual, you can click on any photo for a larger version if you want to read the sign.)

We stopped at the bear viewing area, and watched the fish. Seems that fewer and fewer bears are showing up here. With that a bust, we continued up the road

to get a view of the retreating Salmon Glacier. There was an active forest fire just over the pass which made picture taking a challenge.

We were going to spend a couple nights in Hyder, but we'd had three days of no connectivity so we opted for a night on the Canadian side of the border where we had connectivity and then continued our way south.

Our last Alaska stop was a bit of a bust, but still worth the side trip. As we continued south on 37, BJ managed to get a quick picture of our last bear (we assume) of the trip. It was crossing the road well ahead of us, but stopped to check us out as we slowed to check it out.

The bell tower in Kitwanga interested me. It was built in 1899 if I recall correctly. It's not clear if the Anglican church in the background is still used or not.

Home for the night was a free municipal campground in Burns Lake. Sites were a bit tight maneuvering, but the price was right!

The next night we wallydocked in Williams Lake and the night after that we enjoyed full hook ups at the Wild Rose Campground in Hope, BC. We'd rate this place at least a four if not a five. Very nice!

Although the signs said 10 minute wait, it took 50 minutes to get through the RV line at the border crossing in Sumas. Turns out, if you play (or are) dumb and drive through the commercial truck line, you get to force your way into the RV/car line near the front of the line. We watched five do it while we slowly got closer to the most surly border agent I've ever experienced. Oh well, don't have to deal with them again any time soon.