Sunday, September 1, 2013

Sleeping Lady

I was greatly relieved once I realized I would not have to take out a stop sign in order to get parked in our site, but when I heard the words "back-in", my relief was short-lived. I mean, I would have had to back OUT of site number ten when we left, but the idea of having to back in first was just scary. Steven was instructed to go inside to pay, and once he was gone, the camp host informed me I should drive on to our site. I sheepishly admitted to him that I have very little experience with backing in, and he assured me I would be just fine. In fact, two camp hosts were already making their way to help me. With fear and trepidation, I left Steven behind and headed down the loop.

Sure enough, the two camp hosts were there to help. They guided me forward, then back, and I did exactly as they instructed. I had no choice but to trust them implicitly. Because there were no rigs parked on either side of our site, I felt like I had a little more wiggle room, and in the end, I backed right in with no problems. Whew. This backing in business is still a scary proposition, because Steven and I have only really done it once together, and that was when we were putting Scoopy in storage. I have no doubt we could eventually get it done, but it might not be pretty. I guess as long as there is no damage, who cares about pretty, right?

Steven's encounter with the office lady was not quite as successful. She was quite abrasive which is consistent with what a number of people have said in reviews of this park on www.rvparkreviews.com. 

Once we were all set up, Steven went out to clean the windshield and put on Scoopy's screens. I have a love/hate relationship with these covers. If they are on when it rains, it looks as though we're parked in a muddy river. If the sun is shining directly on them, it looks like we're caught in the middle of a haboob. On the other hand, they certainly keep the inside from heating up, and when the sun is not directly on them, I can see out just fine, but no one can see inside. I will just have to deal with the downsides, because I love the whole "I-can-see-you-but-you-can't-see-me" thing.

"Honey, where's the front door gone?" Steven cleans bug guts of the windshield.

Scoopy, basking in the evening sun in campsite #38. Backed in and covers on.

The next morning Steven was up and out before sunrise. He went down to the river to get some early morning shots. As usual, I slept in. 

Birds take flight as the moon sets and the sun begins to rise over Icicle River.

Creative rock sculpture down by Icicle River.

Steven sat out on a large rock in the river to watch the sunrise.

When he returned, we headed out for a walk to "Sleeping Lady", a place we thought was just a restaurant located next to the campground. We weren't planning to eat there, but just take a walk and check it out. "Sleeping Lady" is not a restaurant at all. As we walked further into the grounds, Steven commented, "This is like a Star Trek episode where they beam down into an alien village settlement."

There were very few people about and, on one side of the trail, a guy was just laying on the ground out cold in his sleeping bag. The first building we came to was small, but it had large windows. The only thing inside was a baby grand piano. We came upon several more buildings, all about the size of a large outhouse. Most had nothing in them but black music stands. The path went on and on. It twisted and turned and had several offshoots. With few signs, we had no idea where to go. We followed one guy around a long loop to a bathroom and ended up right back to where we had been. The buildings, which finally began to resemble cabins, all had names from nature, usually a bird. When we saw the sign for "Rookery" we thought we had stumbled upon a heron habitat, but no, it was just another cabin.

One of the many structures along the trail at Sleeping Lady.

We rounded a corner to find the office, the Kingfisher restaurant and bar, along with several other impressive structures, the most jaw-dropping of which was a huge Dale Chihuly icicle installation. It was spectacular.

Dale Chihuly's icicle installation

Another view of the icicle installation.


Spectacular views of Icicle River as seen from Sleeping Lady

After a bit of googling, we discovered that Sleeping Lady is a "mountain resort" with a fascinating history. The word that kept popping into my head as we explored was "organic". Every facility is nestled in with the aspen and pine trees as though it had been there forever. It is an incredibly peaceful place. I am glad that our discovery unfolded as it did, because we were just in awe. If we had just driven in through the front entrance, it probably wouldn't have had nearly the same impact. You can read more about the history of Sleeping Lady here.

Given that Scoopy is still without a car of her own, we are necessarily limited in our local travels. It was a real treat to find something so different and worthy of exploration right next door.

Unlevel and Cracked!

In an effort to spread our wings a little and get further away from home on our weekend trips, we made reservations at the Icicle River RV Resort in Leavenworth, WA for our Labor Day getaway. We both took Friday off work so we'd have a 3-day holiday, but it still wasn't enough. Steven suggested we liberate Scoopy on Thursday afternoon and spend our first night at a campground in Snoqualmie. So we did. 

Even when it rains we don't care. Onward!!
This campground is famous for flooding. It is right next to the Snoqualmie river, and as a result, parking is on the grass. No impervious surfaces here. Or sewer hookups, which was fine with us. The electrical hookups are about five feet off the ground, as every year the river overflows its banks and floods the campground. 

The watery view out our window at Snoqualmie River RV Park.

Because of flooding, electrical hookups are accessible only by stairs :)

We think Scoopy is the best looking rig EVER!!! 

It is actually a pretty serene place, but getting level is an exercise in futility, especially when the ground is wet. And guess what? We arrived in a complete deluge. Steven put blocks under our jacks, but they just sunk into the ground and split into a million pieces. Though we're not exactly sure how it happened, we do know that we now have two cracks in the lower section of the driver's side windshield. We're assuming this happened while trying to level. Oh well.

Uh oh, cracks in Scoopy's windshield!

We had planned to have a lazy morning and take off for Leavenworth around 10am and head out over Steven's Pass. But it was a beautiful day and we just couldn't hang out that long so we hit the road early. This actually worked out well because when we got to Carnation we found a place to park long enough for Steven to pick up some items from the grocery store, as well as a couple of drinks from Starbucks. 

We spotted a market and a Starbucks but weren't about to negotiate a skinny parking lot...

So Linda kept the engine running by the side of the road while Steven went shopping.

Steven with much-needed human diesel, aka Starbucks.

The roads were skinny and curvy from Carnation to Monroe but soon things improved. Since we weren't in any hurry, I pulled over three or four times to let the very long line of cars and trucks behind us go on their merry way. For much of the trip, I felt as though I was leading the parade. I think I'll add "climbing lane" to my list of favorite things. 

We stopped at the top of Steven's Pass to have an early lunch. We were purposely in "mosey" mode, since we couldn't check in to our campground until 1pm. This was the first time we stopped to have lunch in Scoopy while traveling and I must say our experience was not unlike Lucille Ball's in "The Long, Long Trailer".  We were so unlevel that dishes slid across the counter. When we sat down to eat, we had to find something to put under our bowls to keep them on the table. It was somewhat difficult to stay upright in our booth. Still, it worked out fine.

Lucy and Desi have lunch at Steven's Pass. 

We arrived in Leavenworth with an hour to spare, so we drove on into town and easily found RV parking. We walked to the little village to poke around but since we have been here many times, we didn't stay too long. We arrived at the Icicle River RV Resort just after 1pm. We had been assigned site number ten and when I saw it my heart sank. First off, it was tiny, but even more worrisome was the stop sign, awkwardly placed right at the front. No way in hell Scoopy was going to fit! Fortunately, the camp host informed me that we had been moved to site 38. Oh thank you!! Then he said, "I'll help you back in." Oh, dear god...

Leavenworth native greeted us as we arrived in town.

We love the architecture of this lovely Bavarian town.

We can't go to Leavenworth with stopping by Linda's favorite store.

Check out that tiny little concrete square and stop sign in campsite number ten!