Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Northwest Migration Completed, Thunderbird Resort - Monroe, WA - March 30, 2016

It was a nice easy drive north on Interstate 5. A 200 mile day to finally complete our annual migration from our winter time down south.

This year, we have a work camping commitment and had to be in Washington mid April. Normally we wouldn't have even left yet. We left Lake Conroe, just a little north of Houston, on March 13th. It was a good trip. We even got to claim 2 new states, Colorado and Utah. Here is some of the trip stats.

Total miles - 2,524.1  through 8 states.

Spent $707.88 on gas for the RV.

We drove 10 different days.

Spent 16 nights along the way.

Stopped and camped at 9 locations.

We spent $99.30 for campsite fees.

The average is 252.4 miles per driving day. $6.21 per camping night.

We camped at:
Thousand Trails - 4 nights
Passport America park - 2 nights
Good Sam park - 1 night
Walmart boondocking - 1 night
Elks Lodge - 6 nights
Casino boondocking - 2 nights

We are now at the Thunderbird Thousand Trails Resort in Monroe, WA.

We are going to be in this area for 13 days, visiting with our Son and his family, then we will backtrack through Vancouver and Pasco, WA to see our daughters again, before ending up at Crescent Bar Resort, the Thousand Trails that we will be work camping at for 6 1/2 months or so.

We are ready to park ourselves for a while.


Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Elks Lodge #823 - Vancouver, WA - March 29, 2016

We said our goodbyes to Steve & Dianne as they left the casino about 30 minutes before us. Our travel day today will take us into Washington and the beginning of our 6 1/2 month stay there. We stopped off just past Hermiston and gassed up. As per state law, they pummped the gas. It was $1.97 a gallon. Probably the last gas we get for less than 2 bucks a gallon for a while.

Just before we dropped down into the Columbia River gorge, we could see Mount Rainier and Mount Saint Hellens in the distance.

As they dissapeared from view, we could make out Mount Hood, along with many wind machines on both sides of the Columbia.

As we watched the mountain get closer, we also noticed some white caps starting to come up on the water. The Columbia Gorge is popular with wind surfers because of the westerly winds that are usually present. They were light today, and I was glad for that.

We passed several dams along the mighty Columbia. Here is the John Day Dam.


And the Dalles Dam.

And later the Bonneville Dam (no picture). There are 11 dams on the Columbia River between Canada and it's mouth into the Pacific Ocean. Between all the dams and the many wind machines, there sure is a lot of power generated in this area.

We just entered Portland when it was time to exit Interstate 84. We had been on this since Utah. Now we get on Interstate 205 for about 6 miles. Across the Columbia.

Goodbye Oregon.

And into Washington.

The very next exit was our destination at the Vancouver, WA Elks Lodge #823. We have been here several times.

Not too busy at all. Plenty of places to park.

They raised the price since we were here last year, from $15.00 (7 for dry camping) to $20.00. Still it is a bargain especially for this area. They have 30 Amp and water. No dump, but just out of town, north on Interstate 5, there is a rest area with a dump site.

That evening, our oldest Daughter, Candy, and our Grandson Erik came to visit. We had pizza and watched movies, and they both spent the night with us. Another great visit.

We just did one night here and will be coming back through in a couple of weeks.

On to our next stop and to see our Son and his family.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Wildhorse Casino - Pendleton, OR - March 27, 2016

This was a good travel day. We had a 258 mile drive all on Interstate 84. Our drive through this last portion of Idaho was pretty level,

and with the nice weather, it went rather quickly. As we entered Oregon,

we followed the Snake River, winding through the canyons.

Then we started getting into some hills,

and into the Blue Mountains of Oregon.

and lots of snow. None on the road, thank goodness.

To our destination, the Wildhorse Casino.

We got settled in the RV boondocking area.

Then our daughter, Kim, who lives in Pasco stopped by to visit. That evening, we watched the movie Jurassic World (it was good). She spent the night with us and in the morning, after some rain and hail stopped, we went over to the casino for the breakfast buffet.

We had a good visit and she headed back home Sunday afternoon.

Then we had some company, Steve & Dianne showed up here at the casino. They parked their rig next to us. We were camped next to them for a while in Quartzsite, AZ. They are from Vancouver Island, BC and are returning from their winter trip down south. Their blog is 'Living The Dream', located at

Later that evening, we all headed over to the casino for a couple of drinks and the Easter buffet. I forgot to take a picture, but Steve did. Good company, good conversation, love this lifestyle.

Tomorrow, we will be in Washington.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Elks Lodge #2276 - Mountain Home, ID - March 25, 2016

After three nights at the Elks lodge in Provo, UT, we had a day that looked like it would be a good travel day. The temps were up, no wind or snow. It was a good place to kill some time. There is a lot of shopping centers around us. We did go out to dinner one night at the Black Bear Diner.

This is what it looked like yesterday morning.

Snow on our Jeep and in the mountains all around us. Beautiful, but we would be travelling through some much higher mountains and we're happy to take advantage of the 50 Amp here and wait it out.

Thursday, the 24th, we took off. These mountains were pretty, but time to leave.

The traffic through the Salt Lake City area wasn't bad at all.

We gassed up at a Flying J just north of Ogden for $1.85 a gallon. And I was happy to discover that I had gotten 7.8 miles per gallon on this last tank full.

As we got close to Idaho, the high snow covered mountains became much lower. But the dang wind started up. Our RV engine was reving high as we tried to keep our speed between 60-65 mph. And it was a head wind ... arggg!

Into Idaho we went.

Our plans were to take Exit 173 at Twin Falls and head to the Rock Creek County Park. As we were getting close to our Exit, fighting the dang wind, a big storm front came upon us.

I got to test how fast my windshield wipers would work.

The front passed pretty quickly and we found our way through the streets of Twin Falls to Rock Creek as the rain was stopping. Rats! The park doesn't open till April 1st. Great! I didn't find that info on the net.

Well, at least the rain had stopped. Now we can get out and unhook the Jeep so we can get turned around. We were right in front of the entrance with the closed gate.

After unhooking and hooking back up, we turned to plan B. We will continue west to the Elks lodge in Mountain Home, ID.

As we were leaving Twin Falls, we could see the Snake River. It would be fun to explore this area further ... later.

Now Mountain Home was an additional 65 miles down the Interstate. That makes for a longer than normal day, 360 miles.

We made it to the Elks in Mountain Home.

They have 8 RV spots with 50 Amp and water. The electrical peds are new and there is a dump station here as well. We are the only RV here. They say 'Donations Welcome' So we gave them 20 bucks for two nights. That seems the 'going' rate.

Saturday looks like a better weather travel day. Next stop, the Wild Horse Casino in Pendelton, OR.