Big Kids Having Fun
Our summer went by rather quickly, the activities schedule filled up fast starting with the 4th of July weekend, and ending with our trip to the Wallowa Lake in NE Oregon and visiting Bend in central Oregon and family visit in Seattle.
Each year for the 4th of July we invite all our family members to our Beach Base in Ocean Park, Washington. This year we had a good turn out, with families arriving all weekend. We played yard games, went to the beach, had many camp fires, and smores as desert in evenings. The biggest hit this year was creating larger bubbles and of course chasing them down to be pop. The bad mitten tournaments were always a back up to bubble popping, as were card playing. We all attended the Long Beach fire works and came away talking about the magnificent displays of private and professional firework bursts. All in all a good time was had by everyone in attendance.
The first thing we did in July was to split wood from our pile of logs. This lasted 3.5 days, 1 day to split the wood, 1 day to rest, half a day to stack the wood neatly, and a day to recover from all he work phew! Hey we can do this again next summer too! Now it was back to normal yard work until our friends showed up. During this time we almost missed the Longbeach Sand Castle
event, we did mange to catch the last day.
We had started Letterboxing
(or http://www.letterboxing.org/) in April while in Texas, so as each of our friends showed up this summer we introduced them to that activity. Thus we were out and about traveling from one end of the peninsula to the other, even across the river to Astoria and Warrenton to seek out our Letterbox finds. We visited the North Head Lighthouse, Cape Disappointment State
parks, and Leadbetter Point State Park
several times. There seemed to be a flurry of visitors in July and August as 4 couples arrived camped and visited for either a couple of days or up to a week. This was a great time visiting and touring our area. During the middle of the month we went to the Longbeach Kite Festival
with our friends who own "Park Model" trailer home, on a lot north a mile or so from our place. We visited the festival on the day of the seniors competition. We spent a couple of hours watching folks our age and older maneuver their kites in complex choreographed dances through the air, being done to their favorite music. We were duly impressed!
Whenever we can we try to go to the annual Mexico Cruisers Rendezvous in Cathlament, Washington. Preceding this trip we've had folks visit us for a pre-rendezvous camp out. This year was no different and we had 2 couples show up for private festivities. After much fun fireside tall tails, sight seeing coupled with letter boxing, we all headed to Cathlament. As usual many friends showed up for the weekend and there was much more reminiscing and tale tails spread around. Friday a bunch of us rode the local trolly over to Puget Island to go to their Two Island Farm's Market.
We had a wonderful port luck meal on Saturday, later in the evening there was a jam session. On Sunday we went into to town to watch the final day of the Cathlament Corral's
down hill long board races. All to soon it was Monday and time to head back to Beach Base in Ocean Park.
Visit The July & August Photo Album
In the spring while visiting friends in Mesa we decided to do something together in September. We had discussed different places to go and we settled on Wallowa Lake located near Joesph, Oregon. This is very scenic area ringed by snow capped mountains with a 5 x 1 mile lake at their feet. Nestled into the foot of the mountains at the south end of the lake is a forested state park with RV camping. At the beginning of September we left the Beach Base and went to Portland. We spent a few days in Portland visiting family and friends then we headed out for our adventure. We spent one night on the road stopping at Wild Horse Casino
in Pendleton, Oregon. Once we got to the Wallowa State Park
we stayed 4 nights or 5 days at the Wallowa lake camp ground.
One of the attractions in the area is the tram ride to the top of Mt. Howard
at 8,150 feet. We devoted the most part of one day to exploring the trails. The ride up in the tram was breath taking as we sat in the tram dangling 100 feet off the ground from the cable, gliding along amongst the tree tops. The views of the surrounding mountains and of the lake in the valley below were spectacular. We hiked the trails around the summit looking for a couple of Letterboxes that were planted. We found three out of 4 and then headed back to the tram area where we had lunch and then descended back to ground level. Before going back to the camp we found a couple more Letterboxes.
The next day we devoted to a drove out to Hat Point.
The drive out is 55 miles, 24 of which are on a gravel road through high plains desert country, while climbing to 6,982 feet. Along the way there are several view points
into the canyons we were traversing. We stopped at each and took pictures while oohing an awing at the views. The Hat point attraction is a fire station lookout tower and to view the Hells Canyon Snake river overlook of more then a mile deep. After the drive up with its view points it was hard to trump those but Hat Point lived up to it. You could see for miles in all directions and down into the canyon. We enjoyed picnic lunches while we constantly took in the view. We also planted our own Letterbox. Then we drove back over the one lane dirt road, we made much better time as we were going down hill and didn't stop for the views points.
Our last full day was spent seeking out the local Letterboxes and visiting the town of Joesph. The day we departed we packed up our camp, said good bye to part of our group who was heading back to Portland. Another couple and ourselves were headed for Bend Oregon.
Our reason for going to Bend was to visit some friends that were "work camping"
at a day use state park, "Pilot Butte".
They spend the month of September doing this and get to park their motor home for free. They have to keep the park looking tidy, report any issues and open it up in the mornings. We were able to spend time with them when they weren't working. We planted a new Letterbox at the top of the butte and enjoyed the views and a great sunset. A lass it was time to head out and leave our friends to finish out their month of "work".
We headed to Portland and along the way decided to spend a night on the road to catch our breaths. We stopped at the lovely Memaloose State Park
for the night. This park is located on a tree covered bluff overlooking the Columbia river. The camp sites were shaded and had great views of the Columbia river and the gorge. The next day we headed on into Portland.
Visit The September Adventures Photo Album
We spent a few days in Portland visiting friends and then headed to Seattle. Our daughter in-law was having an operation and we went there to help out the family during her recovery. We spent a little over a week there and then it was time to head back to the Dirt Boat Beach Base at Ocean Park.
At the end of October Susan went to visit her mom in Pennsylvania. She usually likes to do this twice a year, after all she's 95 likes to see her daughter too. Once she returned from her trip that signaled the end of our time in the NW. The beach base had been secured for the season while Susan was gone. So it was just a matter of packing up the RV and heading to Portland.
While in Portland we'd arranged to have an early Christmas celebration with the family. This turned out to be a great time with everyone that was able to attend. We spent a very enjoyable afternoon and evening visiting with the family. The skipperette played Sequence with the grandkids and Spot It with her grandson. While some of the guys played a Wii driving games in the basement. We had a great dinner together and shared Christmas presents too!
All to soon it was time to leave family and friends and head south. Our last day in town we woke up to 29 degrees and when we tried to retract our TV antenna it was frozen in place, UP! Our host got out a step ladder, and a hair dryer to warm the base of the unit while the skipper worked the antenna retracting crank handle, until it broke free. It was way past time to head south!
We blasted down I-5 to northern California the first day. By the fourth day we reached Mesa, Arizona. We spent Thanksgiving weekend visiting with friends and family. We also took in some sites while Letterboxing. By Tuesday it was time to head to Amado Arizona and the Mountain View RV Ranch, our next RV park. This is located just 12 miles south of Green Valley, Arizona.
We spent the next 4 days getting the RV ready to sleep over the winter while we're in Mexico. By the end of Saturday the 3rd we had the RV parked in the storage lot and put to sleep. We stayed over night at our friends home in Green Valley. On Sunday we head east to Anna Texas to visit family. We took two days to drive 1100 miles. On the second day we awoke to snow and cold temps. We spent half the day driving in snow flurries. Fortunately it wasn't freezing on the roadway and we made it out of the weather and finished the days drive to Anna in cold overcast skies.
We spent a week in Anna visiting family and shopping and getting the annual safety check on the car. The girls had a cookie party and went to a baby shower. The skipper played with the grand daughters and tagged along on the shopping. We all went to pick out a Xmas tree and then decorated it. We had a little family Christmas celebration too. The Dirt Boat crew got needed hair cuts that lowed the ears a bit. Once again it was time to head out and return to Green Valley Arizona.
Upon returning to Green Valley we made final preparations to head to Mazatlan. Last minute shopping and getting some pesos from the bank. This year we are caravaning down with another couple in their car. It should be a fun trip.
Update: we made it to Mazatlan without to much trouble. We spent two hours at Klm 21 check point getting our visa's and car import papers. It is Christmas time and a lot of folks were heading south. Then we as we went through Hermosillo, always a mess, it was even worse as there was detours for road construction, we finally made it back to the main highway south. On the way to San Carlos we went through a down pour with wind and hail, we had to slow down to get through it and to be able to see. In San Carlos we spent the night and went to dinner with some friends at "Jax Snacks". The next day was the long drive to Mazatlan (8-5:30 500+ miles). When we arrived we decided to stay the night at the Bunglows rather then trying to set up the boat to live in, in the dark. We went out to dinner and went to bed early. Now its time to get to the boat!
Thanks for visiting our blog. More to follow for sure!