Left Longmont about noon, waved at Shannon as she was coming home from Frontier days (she was so excited!). Arrived in Gillette at Shelby’s around 4:30-5:00. We went to Kari and Edwards for shrimp kabobs for dinner. Brittani, Garth, and Autumn’s daughter Alexis were there. We really enjoyed staying at Shelby's.
Our Grandson-in-law Garth Phelps (yellow shirt) showed up too. along with Grand Daughter Brittani (his wife), and Alexis Brinkerhoff. Autumn Brinkerhoff's (Warren's sister) daughter that spending time with kari. Wow! That Brinkerhoff family stretches a loooong way.
We parked the Airstream in son Shelby's driveway. Here is a picture of him on his new Victory.
Day 2 - Sunday July 28, 2013
Sunday morning Kari and Edward picked us up on
their bikes. Connie rode with Edward and Ed road with Kari. Shelby road his bike. We
went for brunch. Had a good time. Left about 2:00 for Ranchester, WY.
Day 3 - Monday July 29, 2013
From Gillette we stayed overnight at a campground in Ranchester, WY before moving on to Lolo Hot Springs, MT. We drove through Missoula in route and couldn't resist taking a beer break at the Kettle Brewery next to the RR. Lolo Hot Springs gave us a nice evening camp by the creek, but we didn't partake of the hot springs. The whole place is a bump in the road in size.
Our Lolo Hot Springs camping spot between Missoula and Sandpoint. The Airstream in the foreground is an old vintage. You can just barely see our Airstream Safari trailer a little further back.
Day 4 - Tuesday July 30, 2013
In route to Sandpoint Idaho - Traveled from Lolo Hot Springs via the Lewis & Clark Trail, 99 miles of winding road along US 12 next to the Clearwater River to Lewiston Idaho, where the Clearwater meets up with the Snake. Certainly not the shortest route, but very historic and scenic.
Stopped at many quilt stores on our trip, one of the best was the Bear Paw in Coeur d'Alene. This is a picture of their Bernina machines display.
Bear Paw has quilts hanging everywhere.This is their training room. Connie was awed.
Quilts hanging throughout the store, but notice the wrap around ledge displaying all the old sewing machines. Ed thought that was pretty kewl.
Traveled a little further north to Sandpoint, ID. We considered this the "real" start to our vacation, spending 4 nights.
Day 5 - Wednesday July 31, 2013
Spent most of our first day biking around Sandpoint. Stopping at the Quilt store (of course), Coldwater Creek headquarters store, Litehouse (favorite blue cheese dressing) visitor center & factory (no tours), farmers market (bought some savory, garlic clove, raspberry jam)
Day 6 - Thursday August 1, 2013
Light rain. Couldn't resist snapping a picture (do we still "snap" with smartphones?) of Connie in front of Connie's Cafe...actually Cafe & Lounge. But wait...we then found the laughing Dog Brewery, just a bicycle ride from our campsite (we didn't ride though). The laughing Dog IPA label looks a lot like Bristol Brewery's (Colorado Springs) Laughing Lab Ale, but we're told there's no connection.
Enjoyed a dinner cruise around Lake Pend Oreille (Ponderay) on board the Shawnodese. Saw a few eagles and some beautiful views of this Idaho landscape. Met some fun folks.
Day 7 - Friday August 2, 2013
Still a little rainy. Took advantage and drove the short distance over to Laclede, my mom's birthplace, ever so many years ago. Still a very small town (maybe 200) with a logging mill. My Grandpa Curley Davidson logged and worked on the railroad in this country even more years ago. How times have changed!
After driving through Laclede, we drove north to Bonner's Ferry. A small town on the Kootenai River, about 30 miles south of the Canadian border. We both loved BF and the friendliness we found there. Three quilt stores! We visited two and received a very friendly greeting. Welcomed like regular townfolk. Welcomed likewise at yet another fantastic brewery. The town is pretty much on the right side of the bridge in the picture above. The brewery looks out to the river.
Day 8 - Saturday August 3, 2013
Traveled to Coulee City and camped at Spring Canyon campground, near Lake Roosevelt's 600 mile shoreline! Connie spotted a wild turkey right behind our "covered" campsite. We had no hookups, so for popcorn Connie ran an extension cord to the women's restroom. We no longer own the Airstream Safari...or the Ford truck.
Day 9 - Sunday August 4, 2013
After attending a traditional Lutheran service at Zion Lutheran in Grand Coulee, WA, we visited the dam visitor center and signed up for the tour. The Grand Coulee Dam was absolutely fantastic. It is 550 feet tall, 5223 feet wide. It is the largest concrete structure built in North America. Enough concrete to build a 60 foot wide highway four inches thick, from Los Angeles to New York City!
Irrigating the northwest was the primary purpose for building the dam, but it's 3 power plants also provide electric energy to huge portion of the area.
We went to the laser show Sunday night. Absolutely fantastic. And the price was right! Free!
Day 10 - Monday August 5, 2013
Traveled to Whidbey Island, Washington. Crossed over Deception bridge from Anacortes. Our last days of fogless dry mornings, and summer days were over. At least until we started heading back east.
Day 11 - Tuesday August 6, 2013
We had an appointment with Anacortes Ford to have the brake rotors turned and check out a moderate thumping noise. Enjoyed breakfast downtown, then visited a knitting store and a quilt store. A fun little town. The Ford place is on the outskirts of town where we got our first, of many, chances to pick wild blackberries. We were hooked for sure. And yes! We did find a brewery.
The blueberries were right across the road from Moka Joes. How convenient! Moka Joes is just a couple blocks down the road from the Ford place. Even more convenient. We enjoyed their home roasted "Moka Joe Blend" and got a bag to go. From Anacortes, we were surprised to see a snow covered mountain. Turns out is was Mt Baker, the first of the snow cap mountains we saw during our August journey.
Day 12 - Wednesday August 7, 2013
Drove down to the small village of Coupeville on the south end of Whidbey Island. Rode our bikes around a bit and visited some shops.
While riding around Coupeville, we found the liquor store that had Cyndy's Loganberry liqueur. Got her a bottle. Also found a quaint little lavender shop that encouraged us to stop by their farm on our way back to the RV park. Connie truly enjoyed the farm; bought a couple plants...one for sister Cheri.
Day 13 - Thursday August 8, 2013
How fun is this for drylanders? Squeezing our 47' rig onto the Coupeville to Port Townsend Ferry across the Straight of Juan De Fuca! Well it was great fun even if it was a little foggy...and quite an experience. Shopped at Safeway in Port Townsend then made our way to Port Angeles and our campground at Elwha Dam RV Park for the next 3 nights.
Day 14 - Friday August 9, 2013
Our campsite was quite close to the huge Olympic National Park, which has a ton of fantastic and scenic places to view. One such place was Hurricane Ridge. Up quite a windy, yet paved road, to catch a view of snow Mount Olympus and surrounding peaks. Snow covered in August! Not that high an elevation (5242') by Colorado standards, but this is up from SEA LEVEL! What a wonderful view of Port Angeles, Straight of Juan De Fuca, and even Victoria Island on our way down.
Day 15 - Saturday August 10, 2013
Oak Harbor-Whidbey Island, Washington. Visited some more around Oak Harbor, making one more stop at Flyers Restaurant and Brewery. No food, just enjoyed another Barnstormer Brown Ale. They were still out of Afterburner IPA. what we wanted to try.
Day 16 - Sunday August 11, 2013
Travel to Grayland Beach SP, our last stop in Washington. Stopped at Hoh Rain Forest, side trip in Olympic National Park in route. We saw Tina and Wayne's truck, along with their Airstream campsite on the way out. Left a note on their windshield. Got a surprise visit from them later that night. They stayed at the park for the night. Had a nice chat about their travels as we compared notes. Said we should check out 8th Street Ale House at nearby Hoquiam. They are a youthful couple, and their dog, that are traveling the USA in their 19' Airstream. Check out their adventures...incredible journey!
Day 17 - Monday August 12, 2013
We both loved the very small fishing port of Westport, WA. Had to buy some fresh caught tuna...a half was plenty for us for several days. They even cut the loin out for us. I think this fun guy could do it in his sleep. Wow'd us for sure!
Day 18 - Tuesday August 13, 2013
Took a little time to ride our bikes down the road from our Grayland Beach campgound to some cranberry fields. Also looking for some more blackberries to pick (none ready for picking this go round). The cranberry fields were not wet, so we didn't think they were "bogs"...at least yet. Was surprised to find cranberry crops in the Westport area. There is even an Ocean Spray plant!
This cranberry winery (say what?) and bog water brewery was just outside our campground at Grayland Beach State Park. We visited at least twice.
Brady's Oysters was a new experience for us. Oysters now days are all farmed, but it is quite the process. Here you see a worker shelling. We bought some smoked ones that we liked okay with our cheese and crackers appetizers, but didn't care much for them grilled. Didn't attempt to try them raw! I did buy a tee shirt though!
Took Wayne and Tina's suggestion and visited the 8th Street Ale House in Holquian. We were the only ones there. Had a fun conversation with the bar tender and...enjoyed a couple of their tasty brews of course.
Day 19 - Wednesday August 14, 2013
Traveled from Grayland Beach State park in southwest Washington, across the mighty Columbia River over to Oregon and Astoria; and to our new campsite at Fort Stevens. A very nice park with lots of history, but not one of our favorites. The Columbia crossing was on this 4 plus mile bridge...a thrill. We saw several small vessels fishing for salmon...or maybe they were snagging? We loved Astoria!
Oregon is beer country for sure. Not only many many breweries, but look at the beer aisle at the local Fred Meyer grocery.
Took a stroll along the Columbia as it borders Astoria. Saw ships and a long pier out to the Rogue Brewery. Had to visit, or course.
The Fort George Brewery in Astoria was one of our favorites. Also drove up and around the Astoria's high point, they call the Astoria Column. Fantastic view of the Columbia River as it meets the Pacific!
Look at those blackberries! We had a blast walking along the Astoria Trolley tracks to do some picking. The trolley runs from one end of Astoria to the other...fare is almost free...as Shelby would say. Peaked in a public fish cleaning booth where local fishermen were taking care of their salmon harvest.
Day 20 - Thursday August 15, 2013
Fun visit to Fort Clatsop, part of the National Park system. The fort was the winter encampment of Lewis and Clark's Corps of Discovery from December 1805 to March 1806, ending their trip west. The NPS built this replica of Fort Clatsop similar to the one built by the explorers. Had dinner at the Wet Dog Cafe/Astoria Brewing Company back in Astoria. What is it with all the "dog" breweries?
Day 21 - Friday August 16, 2013
Travel day to Devil's Lake State Park in Lincoln City, OR. Highway 101 (which we were on down the coast) led us right though Tillamook and a delightful stop at the Tillamook Cheese Factory. These folks have it together and cater to the traveler. The place was packed, yet quite fun watching through the glass at the huge cheese vats and processing line. Had to wait in a 2-row line just to get ice cream at the visitor center. Well worth the wait!
Day 22 - Saturday August 17, 2013
Explored Lincoln City a bit during the day. It was interesting browsing through an open air "Author" book signing event downtown. Several authors (they had written real books) set up using typical flea market covered tables. Connie found Patsy Bookshire's table quite interesting and bought her book "Threads." She enjoyed it so much, she bought the sequel later on our trip.
Had a nice visit with some old friends from Longmont; Gary and Gail Schuetze. They live in Lincoln City and met us the afternoon after they had been to Newport harvesting their crab pots and buying some tuna from a fisherman they know there. Had to meet at the Roadhouse Brewery first, then hopped over to the house that Gary built on a litle river. Very nice home and wonderful visit.
Day 23 - Sunday August 18, 2013
Continued down US Highway 101 to Newport and South Beach State Park. Probably our favorite. Camped along side Ross and Henriette from British Columbia. Had some great chats with them eh? Also checked out Newport a bit and discovered yet another Rogue Brewery; only this site claims to be the "World Headquarters."
Day 24 - Monday August 19, 2013
Took the Discovery Tours cruise of Yaquina bay from Newport harbor into the Pacific ocean. Didn't see whales but had a nice look at the area. The boat threw out some crab pots on the way out. Pulled them up on return. Loaded with Red Rock and Dungess Crab. Sam(antha) was good to explain male/female difference and how to hold them without getting pinched.
Day 25 - Tuesday August 20, 2013
Had a great trip to Corvallis (50+ miles from our Newport campsite) today. Winemaker Elizabeth opened the doors to Airlie Winery on Tuesday, normally opened only Thursday through Monday. Connie used to work with Airlie's owner at US West many years ago.
We bought 4 excellent wines at Airlie, including a Port Style that Connie loves.
Assistant Winemaker, Nina, was a joy pouring the wines at Emerson. We shared stories of our times in Tasmania. She flies to Greece Saturday to be married on a sailboat to an "International Rock Star," from the band Information Society, better known in South America.
Katie at Block 15 Brewery & Restaurant was fantastic explaining their beers and sharing how she used to live in Erie, CO. I enjoyed an IPA while Connie checked out a quilt store 1/2 block away.
Day 26 - Wednesday August 21, 2013
Enjoyed strolling around old town Newport on Yaquina Bay. Bought another 1/2 tuna off a boat store. Connie chats with a woman if she'd like to buy the other half. The harbor Seals were soooo LOUD! But interesting to view.
Rode our bikes around Newport, exploring the shops along the beach. Ran into some hills that Connie hated, but we enjoyed the views. Lots of seaside resort places...couldn't find the brewery!
Took a break from the breweries to visit a piece of Oregon history that sits atop a bluff at the mouth of the Yaquina River, the Historic Yaquina Bay Lighthouse, built in 1871 and decommissioned in 1874. It was officially restored as a privately maintained aid to navigation on December 7, 1996. Because it is a part of the National Park system, my senior park pass got us in for free.
It is believed to be the oldest structure in Newport. It is also the only existing Oregon lighthouse with the living quarters attached, and the only historic wooden Oregon lighthouse still standing. The Yaquina Bay Lighthouse is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
Day 27 - Thursday August 22, 2013
Said goodbye to Ross and Herniette fro BC. .drove from South Beach (Newport) to Sunset Beach SP, 8 miles from Coos Bay. Stopped at old town Florence on the way. Also stopped at Winchester Bay Sourdough bakery. A great place with lots of wine/beer at reasonable price. bread isn't all that great. Florence has Fun little shops along the Umpqua? Bought some peaches, tomato, cucumber, mushrooms from a vendor near the doc. Only a couple miles from the small Charleston. A small fishing village. Check out the huge mound of oyster shells!
Met neighbors John and Edna from AZ. They were new to RVing in their class C motorhome. Rode our bikes to a bat presentation at the SP amphi theater.
Day 28 - Friday August 23, 2013
Met Ranger Maggie at Cape Arago for a hike on the ocean rocks to view tide pools; star fish sea urchins, snails, anemies?, california mussels, coral,. Drove into Charleston stopping at the Crab Shack, a very small time fish market. bought canned tuna, Petralle fish, pound of clams. Rode bikes to Shore Acres Garden Park area, former home of Simpson, to view the huge rose garden etc, then walked the one-mile loop around the cliffs overlooking the Pacific. Spectacular views. Grilled steak and steamed clams for dinner.
Went in to Coos Bay for a brief visit, stopping downtown to walk around their Blackberry Art Festival. Lots of fun vendors that were in the street. Connie shopped at a quilt store, one of the street shops. We were both intriqued by this young lady and here "normal" attire! But she explained her boots will not work to skateboard. She bought some new tennis shoes, but they "didn't match!"
Lost track of time
Sunday August 25 - Departed Sunset Beach SP and drove several hours to Valley of Rogue State Park near Grant's Pass Oregon on the first leg of our return trip. Monday August 26 - Drove 500 plus miles over desolate parts of Oregon and Nevada. Maybe passed 8-10 vehicles on our trek to overnight at the Super Wal-mart in Elko, Nevada. Tuesday August 27 - Another long drive to Layton, Utah for an overnight visit with friends Tom & Dava Mustian and son Owen. Nice visit and great to see them again. Wednesday August 28 - Another 500 mile travel day on our final leg home.
We very much enjoyed our first RV experience with our little 17' Casita, which meant getting a truck to pull it; a 2010 Tacoma. We were set! Took several fun & enoyable trips and began to realize it was smaller than we really wanted. How selfish! So we really really wanted an Airstream. Found this 2004 25' Safari beauty, but had to go to Sacramento to pick it up. But wait...we also found a buyer for the Casita that would meet us in Sacramento. But wait...we needed a truck to pull our Safari! Traded the Tacoma for a 2012 F150 XLT crew cab. So now we're set! Enjoyed the Safari on a 2012 trip to Savannah Georgia and many places in between; then a wonderful 4 week trip to the Northwest in August. Documented here.
But wait...during our August trip we realized how life is passing us by, and how much we really enjoyed the RV experience. We had been searching for a "Classic" model for sometime, but they are soooo pricey. And we still had the Safari. With nothing much to do driving the 1000 plus miles home from the NW, we managed to pretty much sell the Safari and purchase a used 2012 Classic, 8 miles from home, for thousand's less than the going rate and not going/shipping from another state. We are truly blessed! But wait! The new trailer is too heavy for our little 1/2 ton Ford. So, after much searching, we are the proud owner of a 2010 F250 Lariat. And His blessings just keep multiplying. Living the dream of our golden years. Now, if we can just manage the new mortgage payments!