Friday, September 5, 2014

Goodbye Washington, Hello Oregon!

Considering we didn't start traveling until August 1st, we sure have packed in a lot of activities during our first month of fulltiming. That's due in part to the gorgeous weather, amazing locations to visit and having wonderful friends to meet up with along the way.

Another thing that gets us out and about is our little Fitbit pedometers, Podrick (mine) and Pedro (Steven's). I could never have guessed the draw that little thing has on me to get off my butt and get some walking in each day. I live for his little smiley face. :)

The Amazing Pedometer Brothers: Podrick and Pedro

When we left Salt Creek, we meandered south on Hwy. 101 to Hoquiam for a four-night stay. Though our campground was right on the Hoquiam River, you wouldn't know it from our site. I guess every place can't offer a five-star view, but we'd already become spoiled. Still, the park was quite adequate and served us well as we headed out to surrounding towns to see what trouble we could get ourselves into.

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Our non-river view in Hoquiam                                It was only a couple of minutes away, however

Signs of Autumn along the Hoquiam River

Hoquiam is one of those little towns that, on the surface, seems quite sad. You have to look deeper to find the gems. There were a few, mostly quirky things that drew our attention. The gal at the visitors center seemed to love the place and according to her, there was no shortage of community activities she thought we should check out. At the top of her list was the first annual Gray's Harbor County Pride Festival. What's not to love about a festival? We actually walked there, so Podrick was very happy. It was a small event, but maybe now that they have the first one under their belts, it will grow in the years to come.

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Entertainment and food for thought at the very first Gray’s Harbor Pride Festival

We spent few hours on the beach in Ocean Shores and a few more in Westport, which we loved. The marina was beautiful and we had lots of fun going in and out of all the little shops. I think the great thing about living in a little ocean community is the fresh fish. Folks just walked right down to the boats to buy it. Yummy!

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The fish doesn’t get much fresher than this down at the Westport Marina

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Rush hour at Westport Marina                                Sharknado at Ocean Shores!!!

After our enjoyable stay in Hoquim, we headed to Kelso, WA for a three-day stopover. This area does not have fond memories for us, as it was here nearly a year ago that Zoe and her friends were in a rollover accident on I-5 and were brought by ambulance to the local hospital. We are still counting our blessings that they all walked away from that wreckage relatively unhurt. It was nice that we could return to make new and different memories in the area.

Our first Elks campground experienced in Kelso, WA!

Our stay in Kelso was also kind of a milestone for us because we stayed at our very first Elks Lodge facility. I only recently joined the Elks and it was an awesome place to stopover for a few days. We spent an enjoyable evening with fellow Boomers John and Connie. It was fun to get their perspective on fulltiming, and they told us all the deets on going to Boomerville in Quartzsite next January. We're definitely planning on being there as long as the weather allows us to get out of Texas in time.

With Kelso as our basecamp, we made day trips to Mount St. Helens, Cannon Beach and Seaside. We absolutely lucked out weather-wise on these trips - it could not have been more perfect. The wild and wooly Pacific Ocean has been quite calm during most of our recent trips to area beaches and Cannon Beach was perfect for walking barefoot in the sand. We really had a great time there.

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Fabulous views of Mount St. Helens               Movie theater at the Johnston Ridge Observatory

The breathtaking scale of this volcano is hard to capture in a photo

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Piggies in the sand at Cannon Beach, OR                When we arrived, there was fog everywhere!

Linda looking epic against the foggy backdrop of Cannon Beach

From Kelso we headed to Pheasant Ridge RV Park in Wilsonville just south of Portland to hunker down over Labor Day, and to spend a week with our friends, Glenn and Kris. We took some amazing hikes and a day trip to Hood River, visited the Portland farmer's market, cooked some great food and generally enjoyed the company of our wonderful friends. Our week in the Portland area flew by.
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Scoopy in Wilsonville, OR                                       Glenn, Kris and Linda at the Portland Farmers Market

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Cute eggs at the Farmers Market                            Glenn and I got lost at the mall trying to find ice cream

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Daybreak on our epic hiking day.                            Steigerwald Lake National Wildlife Refuge

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Gorgeous views of the Columbia River                                  Hiking up to Beacon Rock

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The climb up to the top of Beacon Rock was mildly strenuous but hugely rewarding

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Linda and Kris talk and walk at sunset                    Windsurfing on the Columbia River

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Last night together with our friends.                       Thank you Kris and Glenn for a great time!

Before we headed south, we stopped into Les Schwab and purchased four new tires for Scoopy. This had been on our list for a while, so we figured now was as good a time as any to get it done. Two hours later we were sailing smooth toward Eugene, where we are set up at Armitage Park. We are in this area so we can take care of some routine maintenance for Scoopy at Cummins Northwest.

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Scoopy at the RV shoe shop, Les Schwab              Scoopy at the RV spa, Cummins Northwest

This is the first time we have ever done the maintenance thing, and I have to say, the folks at this facility have been great. It is kind of weird being "homeless" while Scoopy is being worked on, but whatever. It's not like we have to be somewhere else, so there's that. Small price to pay for the lifestyle.

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Scoopy gets to start all over again.                              Only 48 states to go! 

We finally got our state map put on Scoopy's slide so we can track our voyage. So far, we have a whopping two states filled in. I always thought once we hit the road we'd make a beeline out of the Pacific Northwest, but it has taken us forever just to get out of Washington. But we are finally on our way, and it won't be long before we add California to the map. YAY!


  1. I need to get a pedometer. We went for a hike and had to guess how long it was. That is quite the climb-it should count as more steps taken when it's a steep uphill :-)
    My step-dad is a past president at his local Elks Lodge. He talks very highly of the camping benefit so when we prepare to begin our FT journey, he'll be our sponsor.
    And from what I hear, a slow pace is much better than a quick one. Enjoy!

  2. Oh, gosh, I just spent time with my new dentist talking about Scoopy and about his Country Coach, same vintage as Scoopy; about Winchester Bay and about Seven Feathers RV park... then I come home to read your blog. The RV life is SO wonderful! I knew that when we did it, and I always made a point to totally enjoy it with gratitude that we had that opportunity. I am so happy that you are making the most of it now. I know you have many, many wonderful miles ahead (and on new tires!).

  3. Love the picture of the Columbia River - one of our favorite places to boondock

  4. I think your pace is spot-on. I'd love to time all the big holiday weekends somewhere we can hide out at a friend's driveway - double bonus! Love the pics - especially the marina rush hour and the happy eggs :-) You're in Oregon at the best time of year, hope you're able to keep "down" the pace as you venture south. We are still in the high 90's in SoCal and the drought is not a good look for California so no need to rush here :-(