Friday, November 29, 2013

Thanksgiving Day

We're always a little nervous heading out to liberate Scoopy from her storage. We're never quite sure how she's fared during our time away from her. We hadn't seen her in six weeks, since our trip to Cape Disappointment, so this is about the longest we've gone without checking on her.

Packing up was a serious challenge for us this time, since we now have to fit everything into our teeny tiny Toadie Hopper instead of the big ass Ace Yukon. We didn't pare down our stuff, and we still had to stop for groceries. In the end, the pumpkin pie had to go on Steven's lap, but other than that, we somehow managed to get it all there.

Packed to the gills! Toadie Hopper struggled with our load.

The first thing we noticed when we saw Scoopy was that she was sitting very low. The airbags had slowly deflated, but this was to be expected given the length of time she had been sitting. A quick visual check all around showed the tires were fine. It was 39 degrees inside Scoopy, but she fired right up. Then we started the generator and turned on the heat. So far, so good. The Pressure Pro let us know that three tires needed a bit of air, so I drove Scoopy out of her spot and into the large parking area to give Steven some working room.

Toadie Hopper does not yet have the base plate necessary to be attached to Scoopy, but I parked her behind anyway so I could see what we will eventually look like when we travel. Toadie Hopper looks so little behind Scoopy! This trip, she'll be staying behind at the storage facility. I got her secured in the spot while Steven finished airing up the tires.

Teeny Tiny Toadie Hopper looks like a little popcorn snack to Scoopy!

Just before Noon, we were on our way. We didn't have far to go, about an hour's drive to Lake Pleasant RV Park in Bothell. We have a beautiful back-in spot right on the little lake. At first I was disappointed, because the view out the front isn't much, but then I noticed the great view out of the side windows, and I was happy.

As soon as Steven got the electricity hooked up, I began my inside set up routine. I put out the big slide, and that was as far as we got before everything went to hell. The entire process of setting up inside and out usually takes just a few minutes, but today, it took nearly an hour and a half.

As soon as Steven tried to hook up the water and sewer, he noticed water was flowing in places where it shouldn't, like onto the ground. Turns out that hard plastic does not fare well in cold weather. Our attachment, the one we just bought prior to my trip with the girls, was cracked in a zillion places. Oh dear. We had no back up. Or so we thought.

Turns out in the recesses of the bay, there sat a cheapie attachment and the accompanying cheapie hoses. It was something we've never used, but we were about to give it whirl. It worked! Whew! We finished setting up and turned our attention to the preparation of our Thanksgiving dinner.

Backup hose. McGyver would have been proud!

Zoe, Zac and Tara arrived at our campsite and we shared our first Thanksgiving together in Scoopy. On the menu was grilled tenderloin, dressing, mashed potatoes and gravy, salad and rolls. Zoe made her famous pudding cake and we had pumpkin pie. It was quite delicious. The kids headed out soon after dinner, as both Zoe and Tara work in retail and were scheduled for Black Friday. Zoe worked overnight from 11:30pm to 4:30 am and Tara is working an eight hour shift on Friday. At least they are well-fed. Zac has a leisurely day off.

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Scoopy is thankful for a nice level site.                              The pretty view from behind our rig.

Lake Pleasant is teeming with familiar waterfowl. Brought back memories of Pine Lake.

Steven and I will be at Lake Pleasant until Sunday. Our goal this trip is to prepare a detailed list of remodel projects and small fixes. We're turning Scoopy over to a shop as soon as we get some bids and make our final decisions on what we want to get done. We're not sure exactly what the remodel will entail, but we plan to have fun putting together our wish list!

Best part about the holidays? Pie for breakfast the next day!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Born to be Wild

Cape Disappointment is known for its beautiful beaches and ocean views but the coastal weather usually leaves a lot to be desired. Maybe that's the disappointment part. We were fully prepared to spend our time there in the wind and rain. For the two weeks leading up to our trip, we kept a close eye on the weather. Sunny skies were predicted which was a little hard to believe in the middle of autumn in Washington. This time, however, got it right. Yay!

We had been here before in Alfred Hitchpop and we remembered the beautiful beach by the campsite very well. In fact, we were parked in the very loop we had camped in years ago. And come to think of it, we had good weather then, too. The kids romped in the surf and we cooked outside. Maybe the key to good weather at Cape Disappointment is US! Hmmmm... food for thought!

For this trip our friends Glenn and Kris would be joining us. They arrived from Portland early Friday morning. Steven had already been up since the crack of dawn shooting a moonset on the beach but was now lounging in his favorite chair when they knocked on the door. They had reserved a Yurt that was in another loop, but it was just across the road from our spot. After they settled in, we took a long stroll on the beach to the cliffs by a lighthouse and then spent the rest of the day exploring the area. Given that all of our camping trips in Scoopy so far have been without a car, it was a treat to have actual transportation to visit nearby areas. We enjoyed our day and low-key dinner, and made big plans for Saturday.

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Steven’s self portrait with setting moon                            Kris and Linda enjoying the sea air

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Glenn takes a snapshot of a couple of hot chicks             Ah, the sea. The sound of the waves is just so calming

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Glenn Lacey: Intrepid Photographer            Steven in his element (photo by Glenn)

Glenn and Kris enjoy the sunset on Benson Beach

In search of fog and a dramatic sunrise, we made plans to head out at dawn. With two photographers among us, both with new fancy cameras, there was no way we were going to miss the sunrise. We weren't disappointed (no pun intended), it was spectacular, rising above the spot where the mighty Columbia meets the Pacific Ocean. We were in awe.

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Kris and Linda take in the breathtaking sunrise             Pelicans fly over Linda near Benson Beach at sunrise

After a warming breakfast, we headed into the town of Long Beach. The plan was to rent mopeds and head out along the 28 mile long beach. Once we secured our scooters, we were given a Scooter 101 lesson by the owner of the rental place and then made our way to the world's longest drivable beach. Well that idea was all fine and dandy until we actually got to the beach. It was high tide and the drivable beach was nowhere to be found because it was now covered by the incoming waves. It would be hours before the tide would recede, so we headed back to the rental place, turned in our scooters and planned to return in the late afternoon.

We drove around and continued to explore the area before heading back into Long Beach for a late lunch. After we poked around a few shops in the downtown area, we headed back to collect our mopeds. This time, the beach was exposed and drivable and we had a blast weaving in and out of the waves and the folks who had arrived to dig for clams.We went quite a long distance on the beach and were amazed at the crowds of people there were clamming. My guess is that there were thousands of folks out there, but it never seemed crowded at all.If you have the opportunity to ride scooters along the beach - any beach - don't pass it up. This was definitely a highlight of our trip. We put together a little 30-second video of our wild ride here.

Born to be wild. Don’t mess with this gang!

Thousands of people in search of clams on Long Beach

We stopped on our way home to snag a photo of the sunset then returned to Scoopy for a fun evening of food, wine and a blazing campfire.

I must tell you that when Steven and Glenn get together, there is usually talk of some kind of horror scene that needs to be staged. This time, they decided to set up a Halloween-themed photograph involving two "well-oiled" ladies and some dude in a creepy mask. Kris and I were enlisted to play the well-oiled chicks (although there wasn't any real acting needed, if you know what I mean), while Glenn donned a plastic face mask to provide the horror. The shot required Kris and me to be inside Scoopy having a great old time while viewers of the photo would catch a glimpse of the masked dude outside the window.  The mask outside bit required Glenn to jump up high enough to be seen through the window. He looked like some crazed mental asylum escapee who had just found a trampoline. Kris and I were actually laughing at Glenn, though we did manage to look oblivious to his presence. Although the photograph is creepy, the making of it was hilarious.

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Linda gets in the Halloween spirit  the photo shoot           The final photograph. Notice the creepy dude in the background