Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Oregon and Washington

On the 19th of June we arrived at the Boardman Marina Park in Boardman OR.  This is a beautiful park right on the Columbia River with large sites and full hookups, very popular location and it fills up every weekend.


We booked 2 nights but wanted to stay longer so we walked to the check in booth but the girls where out for a few minutes.  While we were waiting a man pulled up and started talking to us and told us he was the winter time workcamper.  We told him what a beautiful park it was and that we wanted to book a few more days.  Well the girls came back and between them they told us they didn't have any spots but if we wanted to workcamp they had a spot.  Workcamping wasn't in our plans for this summer as we did that last year.  They said they would take however many days we could give them and they would refund the second night that we already paid for.  Dah, it sounded to good to be true and all we had to do was make rounds at 10 at night and help anybody that came in late.  So we moved the rig the next day and workcamped for 8 days!
So this is our new site.


It's huge with a beautiful yard and good views of the river.


We took a ride to a winery called Jacob Williams to get some wine for our daughter in law, now there are tons of wineries in the area but this is the one I choose because our son is Jacob Williamson, just seemed appropriate.  Along the way we stopped at the John Day Dam where there is dry camping right along the river for 14 days.


Portland is the nation's largest wheat port, 40% of U.S. wheat is shipped through the Gorge via barge or train.  Grains, hay cubes, bulk legumes, and paper products comprise the major Northwest agricultural products headed for world export, along with that all-American favorite - frozen French fries.
Next we visited the Maryhill Museum constructed by Sam Hill who built the first paved roads in Washington state.  He thought the area looking over the gorge was the best place so he bought 5,300 acres and began construction on his mansion.  In 1917 Sam decided to turn his mansion into "a museum for the public good, and for the betterment of French art in the far Northwest of America".  The collection is amazing from Indian art to Queen Mary's gold throne, a very interesting place to visit with spectacular views of the river and Mt Hood.



Maryhill Stonehenge is a concrete replica of Stonehenge in England and is located at the eastern end of Maryhill Museum's property.  It was commissioned by Sam Hill and dedicated in 1918 as a memorial to local World War I dead. 


Our friend Doug, from the park in Wickenburg AZ, who we plan on visiting in Washington came for a visit.  He told us to arrive after the 4th of July when the weather gets better.


We will miss the beautiful sunsets over the river but it's time to move on.


If you are in the area of Boardman Oregon I highly recommend staying at this park.

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Our next move was Vancouver City WA to the Elks Lodge, $20 for electric and water.  We will stay here over the 4th of July.


One thing I will say is that the traffic around Portland coming or going to WA is terrible!!!
Took a ride to Hillsboro OR to check out Roloff farm and the area. 


Of course it wasn't pumpkin season so this is as far as we got. The town of Hillsboro is larger than what you think.  The downtown area was blocked off for a farmers market which was fun to walk through.
The Elks Lodge in Hillsboro was nice so that maybe an option for a stay, it's nice to be able to check things out.

Our next outing was to Esther Short Park in downtown Vancouver.  It's a 5 acre park and is the oldest public square in the state.  There is this really cool clock tower that chimes and then tells a story of the salmon.  The arrow points to the doors that open with the story boards.


The Chinook believe the salmon are their ancestors.
The first salmon caught is magical and is carried to the
village with ceremony.
The salmon is prepared with great care and shared
among the tribe.



The bones of the magical salmon are returned
to the river to honor the tribes of the sea.
It's a nice park but it was sad to see all the homeless people just hanging out.

The town of Vancouer was having fireworks at Fort Vancouver National Historic site so we checked that out for the 4th, we hadn't seen fireworks for two years.  Fort Vancouver was the first U.S. Army post in the Pacific Northwest.  We toured the Marshall House which was the residence for the Commanding Officer of the Vancouver Barracks.  Some of the homes along officers row are private residences or rented out for businesses, the income being used to preserve these historic homes.


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Our next adventure took us to the historic highway 30 on the Oregon side of the Columbia river.  First stop was the Vista House at Crown Point sitting 693 feet above the river.  


In 1916, construction began on a "comfort station" for motorists traveling the new 75 mile Columbia River Highway.  The architecture is amazing with marble floors and stained glass windows, sure wish our rest spots of today were like this stunning one.

There are 8 waterfalls along Hwy 30 but there were some we couldn't visit due to a forest fire last year.  


Latourell Falls and Shepperd's Falls


Bridal Veil Falls, love the texture of the moss covering this tree.

The best one was Multnomah Falls which is the second highest year-round waterfall in the nation.  Plummeting 620 feet, the fall is fed by rain, snow-melt and underground springs on Larch Mountain.


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Totally enjoyed the fireworks display at the fort but taking pictures of them is one thing I haven't mastered yet.

The next day we made a short move to Kelso WA staying at the Elks Lodge.


Opened the door after we parked and found out that the freezer door had opened spilling chili and beef broth on the floor that had begun to melt, what a mess!  Have never had this happen before, note to self always check inside when you stop, especially traveling over bad roads.

Next stop was Port Townsend WA where our friend Doug was staying.


We called this the compound at the gun range.  Some of the folks, including Doug, staying here worked on the range and they were all so welcoming to us.  

Doug took us to Tongue Point at Salt Creek Recreation Area on the Olympic Peninsula.  The tide levels can be as much as 20' causing the tide pools.  Looking across the water is Victoria BC.



This was taken on the pier from Port Townsend looking out on the bay, ferries and ships are constantly traveling back and forth.  Note the jackets and it's the second week of July!

One evening we went to the Rose Theatre to watch a movie.  It was the neatest venue for a movie.  The building is the original Elks Lodge and the theatre is on the top floor.  33 seats available for an intimate showing along with food, beer and wine.



Our next adventure Doug took us on was a ferry ride to Everett to tour the Boeing Facility, it was amazing!  It is the largest manufacturing building in the world and produces 747, 767, 777 and 787 airplanes.  


That's Mt. Baker at 10,781 feet.  Of course I couldn't take any pictures in the factory as it's a matter of top secret information.


A friend of Doug's was babysitting a beautiful house for the week and invited us to dinner.  
Awesome views, good food and really nice weather made for a nice evening.


We celebrated Doug's birthday playing cornhole and having a cookout.


Our next adventure that Doug took us on was a trip to Seattle.  Ferries play a major role in transportation in this area and you can't be in a hurry.  Two rides later we landed in Seattle and headed to Fisherman's Terminal to check out the boats.  Alot of the big ones were out as salmon season started the day before and none of the Deadliest Caught boats were anywhere to be found.
We enjoyed a wonderful lunch dinning on fresh caught fish, yum!
After lunch we strolled through the Carl S. English Jr. Botanical Gardens and then went to the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks.



From tug boats, luxury boats to kayaks, you never know what will pass through the locks.

Port Townsend is just outside of the Olympic National Park so Doug took us to Hurricane Ridge at an elevation of 5,242 feet.  Impressive to say the least!



We enjoyed our time in the Pacific Northwest and one thing that I will always remember is the abundance of beautiful flowers everywhere.  I believe it is all the moisture and moderate temperatures.  Lavender grows like a weed in this area.


Thanks Doug for showing us this part of the country and introducing us to new friends, we will see you in Hersey Pennsylvania in September.

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We left Port Townsend headed to Brush Prairie WA to get new awnings on the rig.  Mark has used this company all last winter to replace awnings and they are a great company to deal with.  You can stop by and have them installed if you are in the area or have your RV Technician order from them.  They are thicker than the original ones and the solid color really looks nice, as a matter of fact alot of the new RVs have solid color awnings.


Once the awnings were installed we headed to the Elks Lodge in Hillsboro OR for a few days.


Being a rock hound and lapidary artist I seek out rock shops.  Found the Rice Museum in Hillsboro didn't disappoint, it is an extensive collection in the family home of Richard and Helen Rice who fell in love with rocks on a visit to the Oregon coast and the rest is history.


Took a nice drive through the Tillamook State Forest on our way to the Tillamook Cheese Factory.


Tillamook cheese products are so good!  This company churns out more than 160,000 pounds of cheese each and every day.

We had hoped to spend more time in Oregon this summer but there is alot on our agenda so it was time to move on.  Drove back to Boardman Marina and campground for a night, then headed onto Montana.

So much to see in our great country.
Thanks for following and be sure to check out my jewelry on Etsy.































































Thursday, June 21, 2018

Monument Valley, Arches and Provo Utah

May 29th we left Page AZ  headed to Monument Valley AZ.  This stop was on Mark's bucket list as he is a big John Wayne fan.  There isn't much in the area and some of the campgrounds charge $50 for dry camping, so we stayed at Gouldings Monument Valley Campground for $62 which had full hookups.  Sometimes you just have to bite the bullet and pay especially when your in an isolated area.  That being said it was a very nice park.


It wasn't a long drive from Page so we got settled and went to the valley.  
The valley is a red-sand desert region on the Arizona-Utah border and is known for it's towering sandstone buttes.  Monument Valley Navajo Tribal park was a frequent location for western movies with the first one being Stagecoach starring John Wayne.  It is a self guided tour that is 17 miles through the park with stop off viewing points.


The west and east mitten butte where there has been some car commercials shot way up top!


The Three Sisters resemble three Catholic nuns dressed in habits.


Elephant Butte.


John Ford's Point is named for the first Hollywood film director to use the Monument Valley location for a film set.


Definitely worth a visit if you are in the area. 
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Next we were headed to Mancos CO to visit our friends Kate and Roger who bought some land there.
But first we had to stop at Four Corners.


Arizona, Utah, Colorado and New Mexico.

On the way to Mancos a big truck passed me kicking up a rock and hitting my windshield.  Damn, this will be the second windshield in two years!!!


At least it isn't a spider crack and we can wait until we get back home.  Anyway, we spent the weekend with our friends.  They just bought the land and the water was being hooked up and the driveway going in.  Good to see them again and we know we always have a spot in Mancos CO.


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On June 4th we arrived in Moab UT and stayed at Ken's Lake Campground just south of town.  


Nice campground with big spots but it's dry camping, now we know we were a month to late to be dry camping but we survived.

The next day we headed to Arches National Park.  This park has the densest concentration of natural stone arches in the world, there are over 2,000 documented sandstone arches.  


Most of the arches you can get to with just a short walk.  


North Window and South Window, taking photos of the arches can be challenging depending on the time of day and how the sunlight hits them.  We started out early in the morning due to the temperatures.



This is Turret Arch and if you look closely you can see me in the middle bottom, gives you some perspective as to how large they can be.


Double Arch is the third largest in the park.

Balanced Rock


The three gossips on the left and the organ on the right.

By this time it was mid afternoon and getting hot so we took a drive along the Colorado River on 128 Scenic Byway to the Red Cliffs Lodge.
Colorado River

Many movies have been filmed here including Rio Grande and the lodge maintains the Moab Movie Museum which is free and tells the rich history of movie making in the area.

The next morning we headed out early again and went directly to Devils Garden as this area fills up quick.  


Landscape arch is the 3rd largest in the world with a 306 foot span.



Can't remember the rest of the names of the arches but I think you get the idea.

Sand Dune Arch


We really enjoyed our time here and would definitely come back.  When we do it will be in the evening as sunset is pretty special along with the stars. 
This national park needs to be on everyone's bucket list. 

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We left Moab and headed to the Elks Lodge in Provo Utah and got the last spot available!  Full hookups located right in town and not 20 minutes later another rig showed up.  After dry camping in 96 degree weather we needed some power, sorry for the other folks but glad we got there when we did.


Mark's cousins son, Taylor Ward, plays baseball for the Utah Bees which is a minor league.  He got us tickets to watch him play, it was a fun evening and I happy to report that he just got picked up by the majors and will be playing for the Angels in LA.


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We went into Salt Lake City to the Temple Square which is 35 acres of beautiful buildings and gardens owned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  We met some nice folks in Moab that setup a tour for us.  The architecture and gardens are breathtaking.  


The bottom right picture is the organ in the tabernacle, it has 11,623 pipes and is the 12th largest in the world!
The other pictures including the next one are from the conference center which is huge!!!  The auditorium can hold 21,000 people and is the largest in the world and doesn't have any visible support columns.  The building is three floors and the top has 6 acres that are landscaped with trees and pants plus a nice view of the city.  The temple took 40 years to complete, you can't go in but the visitors center has a model showing you what it looks like inside.


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Hwy 189 is a beautiful drive along the the scenic Provo canyon where you will come across Bridal Veil Falls.


We drove a little further into Heber and came across Varr Airstreams Restore and Repair.  We have never seen so many in one location.  This company does a wonderful job bringing the silver bullets back to life.  If you have always wanted one I would definitely contact this company.


We enjoyed our time in this location, bowling, walking downtown and Mark even won a corn-hole tournament at this friendly lodge.

On the 17th of June we moved to the Elks Lodge in Rupert ID.


It was only for one night but what a welcome change at 66 degrees and light rain with humidity of 56.  We opened the windows letting the moisture flow through the rig and you could almost hear the woodwork soaking it up as everything had been so dry.

The next day we moved onto the Elks Lodge in Caldwell ID.


From there we headed to Oregon.

Thanks for following our travels.  

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