It’s time to get everyone caught up on the adventures of Shadowfax! When last we posted we were just finishing up the caravan and we were heading north to spend the holidays with our kids. We were eager to hit the road again, and after two quick one night stops, we made our way up to Idaho for a week long stay at Three Island Crossing State Park near Twin Falls. It was fantastic to be in an area that was green and we
spent the week relaxing and recovering from the hectic pace of the caravan. As it was late in the season, during the week we were nearly the only ones in the campground. We explored the park along the Snake River, had
dinner at the Tannins Restaurant at the Crossings Winery next door to the park, and reveled in the cooler weather.
This stop was also a learning experience on just how long we could last without a sewer connection. As we had a water and electric only site, we would have to close up the coach and go to the campground dump station to empty our grey and black water tanks (FYI – 4 days without conserving then, after 5 days of conserving, we were only at 66% of capacity). Did we mention it was cooler? The other lesson on this stop was that when it gets to 20°F, a fresh water hose that isn’t insulated will freeze solid. After several hours of defrosting, we made a trip to Camping World for a heated water hose which has come in handy several nights since.
Ya never know who you will meet on the road …. these guys were at a rest stop on our way to ID.
We took two excursions while in Idaho, one to Shoshone Falls, and one to Craters of the Moon National Monument. While the falls were rather underwhelming (during the fall there is very little water going over the cliffs), the Craters of the Moon was spectacular! So much lava and incredible formations!
Once we were rejuvenated we packed up and headed on up to the Olympic Peninsula in Washington. Again, after two quick one night stops on the way, we arrived in the OP just in time for the Forest Storytelling Festival. Joanna was really looking forward to reconnecting with her storytelling family spending time with some of the artists she was worked with in the past. And this festival did not disappoint! It was a mix of excellent tellers, laughter, tears, old friends and many new! A perfect festival all round.
In our exploration of everything RVing we are trying numerous variations of the lifestyle. Our next experiment was staying in a single location for a month, the longest time in one place so far. We had chosen the Elwha Dam RV Park for its proximity to Port Angeles, WA and the festival. It also had several other benefits as a location.
First, our daughter’s best friend since high school lives down the road in Port Angeles with her family. Monique is now married to Eric Weeks and has an adorable little boy named Vincent. We were able to visit with them often during the month and loved getting to know Eric and Vincent better.
The next bonus was the RV park itself. It was snug in the woods just off the Elwha River next to the old dam site. The dam had been removed some years ago to restore salmon habitat. This was an awesome campground, run by an incredibly friendly and knowledgeable family. David and Chris were always ready to tell us about another hike, trail, waterfall, or lake in the area and we tried to get to all of them!
Finally, the location was great for an extended stay. In between chores of cleaning and washing the coach to remove the desert sand we spent our time exploring Port Angeles and checking out as many of the trails as we could while exploring the only rain forest in the US. The peninsula is about 1,442 sq miles comprised mostly of the Olympic National Park, so we spent a lot of time driving to each area we wanted to explore. As we had the month (which wasn’t enough) to explore, we were able to visit Salt Creek Recreation Area, Pillar Point, Sail and Seal Rocks, Neah Bay, The Makah Museum, and Cape Flattery. Another outing took us up to Hurricane Ridge where we hiked up Hurricane Hill – only a mile and a half each way but a 650 ft climb! Once we reached the top it was worth the effort with awesome views of the Cascade Mountains!
Our biggest surprise of the month was waking to 6″ of snow on the ground. (Did we already mention the heated water hose?) We had been enjoying the NW rainy, cool weather after our 40 days in the desert but the weather man got it wrong when we said we might get a dusting of snow!
Our next adventure was taking Shadowfax on a ferry crossing Puget Sound heading over to Bothell. Though a tad bit expensive ($102 OUCH!) it gave us the opportunity to see how to manage a crossing and it was a much shorter trip than driving around the bottom of the Sound.
We are currently in a lovely RV park just north of Seattle where we will be staying till January, again experimenting with length of stay, and spending the holidays with family. We got to the eastside in time to celebrate Rebecca’s birthday and then had Thanksgiving with her, her husband Jason, Jason’s mom, and several of Rebecca’s friends. Now we are prepping for Christmas.
Next up a bit about handling life on the road.
Till next time …