Friday, April 30, 2010

Home again, home again, jiggity jig..

We left Seattle today...we begin the final leg of our 8 month journey to the west coast...I can't believe we've been on the road for 7 months already! We have over 5000 far!

Our last 2 days in Poulsbo were spent doing laundry, grocery shopping and dinners with Eddie and Patrick. It rained most of the time, which is typical for Seattle. Wednesday night we had dinner at Eddie's...fried oysters (freshly caught the day before!), broiled salmon, appetizers, and a chocolate cream pie for Eddie's birthday! It was all delicious! Then on Thursday night, we took Eddie and Patrick out to dinner for Eddie's birthday. We went to the Boat Shed in Bremerton and had a fantastic meal...we even split a chocolate lava cake that was to die for!
During the day on Thursday, Ed and I passed the time by watching old GMCs fill the RV park...they had a rally and we counted 16 GMCs by this morning! There are supposed to be 28 total, but I'm sure some probably had to work yesterday and will arrive today. We met one couple that parked behind us and they gave us a little tour of their cute!

Today we left the park around 9:15am for a 10:00am oil change appt at the local Ford dealer. We were out of there by 11:00 and headed to Bainbridge Island to catch the ferry to Seattle. One of the ferry employees was impressed with our RV and we chatted with him for quite a while. Before the ferry docked in Seattle, he came back and told us that he asked the guys up front to help up get into the right lane to catch I-90 out of Seattle..what a nice guy! Getting through Seattle wasn't as bad as I expected...we only had to go about a mile to get onto I-90 and it wasn't long before Seattle was out of sight and we were on our way to Moses Lake, WA for the night. It rained a good part of the day and it was a little windy but the highway was pretty easy and we only went about 150 miles...we got a late start!

Tomorrow we'll go as far as Osburn, ID, about 186 miles east of here...and we'll stay over night just so we can fill in our map and say we slept in Idaho! From there, we'll head up to Glacier, if the weather is good...we'll have to call ahead.

More from Glacier National Park!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Ferry trip from Bainbridge Island to Seattle WA

Today we took the ferry from Bainbridge Island to Seattle. Bainbridge Island is at the end of SR-305, about 8 miles east of Poulsbo and the rv park. It's a straight shot from the rv park to the ferry and since we were walk-ons, it was easy to park and board. We wanted to see how difficult it would be to take the RV across on the ferry and found out we don't need reservations and it won't cost much more to take the ferry than driving the extra 60 miles down and around through Tacoma. We've taken the RV on 3 ferries in the past, on the east coast, and it's really kind of fun.

Anyway....the ferry ride was very nice, only about 1/2 hour from start to finish. Once in Seattle, we walked around Pike's market which is known for it's fish market where they throw the fish around and over peoples' heads! It's actually a building with 3 floors of little shops and craft booths. There are several street musicians throughout...Ed loves to stop and listen (and of course contribute to their earnings!). As usual, the only item he purchased was dog treats for Emma!

On our way back to the ferry, we stopped for lunch at Ivar's... recommended by Eddie's friend, Patrick. Good recommendation! We had fish and chips and it was delicious!

Historic Poulsbo and oystering

Yesterday Ed and I took a drive down to historic Poulsbo WA. I had been there many years ago when I came to Bremerton for work and fell in love with it. It's a charming little Norwegian town that consists of one main road with quaint little shops on both sides. It didn't take long to stroll through, so when we were finished, we had lunch at a local restaurant and then stopped at the bakery next door that had delicious looking pastries in the window and bought 2 treats for breakfast this morning!

When Ed's son got off of work, we headed to his house, and from there we drove to a private beach about 1/2 hour down the road to go oystering. A friend of his rents a house that has access to this private beach that has tons of oysters when the tide goes wasn't quite out when we got there so we enjoyed watching the water for about an hour before it was low enough to start collecting the oysters.
It didn't take long to fill up two buckets and we brought them back to Eddie's condo where he cleaned them and we cooked them on the grill. Yumm!! Poor Eddie...Ed was eating them faster than Eddie could clean them! His poor hands were freezing and raw...oh, well! They certainly were delicious!

Poulsbo, WA

We left Forks, WA for Poulsbo WA on Saturday morning in the rain, but the drive was beautiful and there were spurts of sun (or at least no rain) from time to time. Poulsbo was 140 miles from Forks and this drive would finish our trek around the Olympic Peninsula. We drove several miles through the Hoh Rainforest and saw more logging areas and trees, trees, trees. Then as we headed towards Port Angeles, the road wound around Lake Crescent...and we knew why everyone told us we had to drive the OP. The lake is huge and gorgeous...with the mountains in the background and crystal clear was truly God's country. As hard as I try to take pictures while we drive, we had to stop and Ed, the photographer, took some beautiful pics of the lake. The road around the lake compared to some of the curviest stretches we'd been on up the coast!

Driving through Port Angeles, we could look across the bay to British Columbia, Canada and the San Juan Islands. My friend Kathryn and her husband live on Orcas Island for at least 6 months of the year. I'm hoping I can get together with her while we're here...but looking at the route to get to Orcas Island from Poulsbo, it's a good 4 hour drive, including 2 ferry rides. Maybe she can meet me 1/2 way for lunch...we'll see!

From Port Angeles, it was probably another 1 1/2 hours to Poulsbo and the distance between the two was much more populated than the previous stretch of US-101.

On the way, we drove over the Hood Canal Floating Bridge...the longest floating bridge in the world! Poulsbo is a beautiful area, and the Eagle Tree RV Park is located right past the main town on Rte 305. Rte 305 ends about 8 miles further at the ferry to Seattle, which we plan on taking today (Monday) by foot and then on Friday with the RV. It's either the ferry or drive 65 miles around the bay through Tacoma...we choose the ferry!

When we settled into the RV park, which by the way, is very nice, it was time to clean (after 2 days of rain and mud!) and do 4 loads of laundry..ughh! But there's nothing like a clean, fresh RV! Ed's son and his friend Patrick joined us for dinner after they got off work. They both work for Electric Boat in Groton, CT (which is where Ed and I both worked) and they are in Bremerton for 5 months on a job. They're staying about 15 miles south of Poulsbo in Silverdale, so it's a short distance for a visit. We had steaks on the grill, with baked sweet potatos and grilled peppers and onion...mmmmm!!! It was so great seeing Eddie...most of this stay will be spent with him...I think he misses his dad!

Yesterday's adventures will be in the next blog....I bet you just can't wait!!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Forks, WA

We made it to Forks, WA on Friday and stayed at a small RV park called the Hoh River RV Park, right off of US-101 in the heart of the Olympic National Park. We had been told by someone awhile back that since we were going up the western coastline, we had to take US-101 around the Olympic Pennisula in WA…so that’s what we’re doing!

Most of what we’ve seen since entering WA has been forests…it seems that the main inustry here is logging. We drove for miles without seeing anyone but loggers with their double truckloads of logs. All through the forests we saw huge areas where the loggers had been…some areas completely devoid of life with just dead stumps and branches, while other areas had new trees growing among the stumps. There were signs along the way that would tell the year that the logging was completed, the year that the new growth was planted, as well as the year that that particular area could be logged again. It was nice to see the care that was taken to protect and replace the trees that were being cut.

Before we arrived at the RV park, it started to rain and did not stop until today shortly before we arrived in needless to say, we holed up in the RV while in Forks and didn't peek out except to walk the dog! The park is in an area between a river and the Hoh Rain Forest, with no wireless internet, no Directtv satellite signal, and no cell phone service! I don't think we've been in a situation like this before...between the rain and the total removal of communication with the outside world, we spent the time playing Wii bowling and watching a movie...a little bit of together time with no distractions...kinda nice!

More from Poulsbo later…

Cannon Beach, OR

Catch up time...I've been lax in writing this blog for the past few days, so here goes!

Thursday night we stayed at the Cannon Beach RV Park in Cannon Beach, OR. It was about a 200 mile trek north of the Mills Casino in North Bend, OR. Our decision to take US-101 up the coast from CA to Poulsbo, WA has proven to be interesting, to say the least. This route has taken us up and down mountains, through forests, and along the coastline. Cannon Beach, I have to say, is probably my favorite beach to date on the Pacific coast…mainly because it’s mostly sand and flat so you can walk a great distance on the beach towards the water before you touch the ocean. After we set up at the RV park, we took Emma down to the beach because she adores it. It was overcast, chilly and windy so there weren’t many other people on the beach, so we let her run without the leash. She had the best time running into the water and back up the beach.

After we took Emma back to the RV we went back into the town of Cannon Beach and had dinner at a place called Doogers…we both had fried seafood with Cajun seasonings…ummm! And we even had dessert...deep dish apple crisp with vanilla ice cream..delicious!

We had only made a reservation for one night but we decided that it would be nice to stay two nights, so we could go back to the beach and walk around the quaint town. Well, that didn’t work out…when we requested another night’s stay, we were told that someone else had our site the following night! That’s the first time that’s ever happened to us! So we packed up this morning and headed up US-101 to the Olympic Peninsula in Washington, where we’re staying at a small rather interesting RV park in Forks, WA, called the Hoh River RV Park. This stop will be covered in the next blog…

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Mills Casino RV Park in North Bend, OR

We're staying at the Mills Casino RV Park near Coos Bay, OR. We arrived Monday afternoon and were supposed to head out today, but yesterday rained all day into today and the wind is very strong, so we decided to stay an extra day. Tomorrow is supposed to be cloudy but less windy, so we'll head on up to Cannon Beach OR for a night or two. That's the great thing about this RV way of life...we're in no hurry...if the weather is bad, we wait a day! Our reservations at Poulsbo WA (near Seattle) aren't until Sunday so we have 4 days to drive about 600 miles...we might even get there a day early!

The ride here was very pleasant...hilly and curvy, but nice. US-101 follows the entire westcoast for the most part...I didn't realize that the westcoast was so mountainous! That's part of the fun of this trip...discovering the world outside of our usual boundaries! We thank God every day that we have this's definitely not lost on us!
While we've been here, since it's been raining, we hit the casino...both for dinner and the slots! They have penny's great because we can play forever and not really lose that much. Last night I actually came away with $1.25! After I gave the shuttle guy $1 tip, I came away with 25 cents...yeah!

Today I'm looking for a laptop GPS program since the program I've had for the past 5 years has become corrupt and cuts out on me every 5 minutes. I think I found one that I can test for 2 months...that should get us home! It's much cheaper than the one I have so if I like it, I'll buy it in 2 months.

Tomorrow...Cannon Beach...our last chance to see the Pacific ocean...might stay 2 nights!