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Saturday, October 19, 2013

Summer 2013 in Washington and Oregon

Rain!  Rain has followed us all year starting in Branson, moving into Oklahoma and Texas and following us throughout the south (Louisiana, Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa and South Dakota).  So we figured, if it’s going to rain on us anyway … let’s go enjoy the ocean on the Oregon coast.

We left South Dakota and headed out.  Our first night’s stop was at the Deer Park RV Park in Buffalo, Wyoming.  This is an easy to get to park about a mile off of Interstate 80 and situated between I-25 and I-80.  The people running the park were very friendly and suggested a few places to eat.  Since we are back on an Atkins diet we settled for eating hot links at home.  As I write this in October, I can tell you that I am tired of meat and particularly tired of hot links.  They seem to grow in the freezer.  Just when we think we are done with them a few more packages appear and must be eaten.  I like them in August, however and our stop over in Wyoming was pleasant enough.

Our next stop was at Old West RV in Reed Point, MT.  Not much to say about this park.  The site was gravel, pull through, and 50 amp.  The park was a bit run down and there was both freeway and train noise.  We left the around 9:30 a.m. (early for us) and headed out.

The next day we drove, and drove … it seemed like Montana would go on forever.  The sky is big … as advertized, but we were worn out by the time we reached Missoula.  We had made reservations at Jim and Mary’s RV Park north of town and were looking forward to stopping.  When we arrived we were told we didn’t have reservations, but were a no-show for reservations a few weeks prior.  We were comfortably ensconced in South Dakota at the time they had us down for … so there was obviously a mistake.  We think it was the park’s mistake … they claimed it was our error.  I will say in their defense that it looked like a nice and well-run park and you shouldn’t hold our experience against them.  Nevertheless, there was no room in the inn and they didn’t have a manger.  They did offer to set us up across the street, but that seemed a bit high so we made our own reservations a bit further down the road in St. Regis.

The Campground at St. Regis was a lifesaver.  We were able to get this reservation with less than an hour’s notice.  It is located on a beautiful river and is, apparently known for its fishing.  The park was friendly, beautiful, and pleasant.  The park has nice trees, so there is no Direct TV reception, however there is free WiFi and 50 amp.  As it turns out we didn’t miss TV at all as there were a few deer wandering through the site at dusk and we watched them for about an hour before the sun finally set.  

The following day we arrived in Washington and decided to stay a few days in the Spokane area.  We landed at the Ponderosa Falls RV Park associated with ROD.   We were assigned to a place by the back fence lined with trees.  At one time this park was located in a rural spot, but today it is surrounded by the suburban homes.  Our spot turned out to be a challenge to get into, but once in we were very happy with the location and woods smelled fresh.  We would stay here again.

Spokane is a nice city although we were there during construction season (apparently another state with two seasons … winter and construction).  It is also plagued with a plethora of one-way streets … apparently some ambitious city planner decided that every street possible should be one way!  The city has all of the amenities one could want including a nice Costco (which we can’t manage to enter without spending at least $200), restaurants, and beautiful parks.  We spent some time at the park in the city center by the river and had a nice time.  Here are a few pictures.

Tower in Park

Beautiful flowers line the river

A really nice carousel

The fountain sculpture

Lynda at Boo Radley's

Leaving Spokane  we stopped at O’Sullivan’s RV Resort.  The address is Othello, WA but the park is located across from Potholes State Park.  This is a nice location for boating and water sports although we do neither.  The park has 50 amp. and we had a pull-through in the middle section.  We followed our 2/2/2 rule (Don’t drive over 200 miles, stop by 2:00 p.m., and stay at least 2 days) for this one and then we were off again.

We drove approximately halfway to the coast stopping in Randle, WA at the Maple Grove RV Park.  This is a Coast-to-Coast Park.  We arrived at 4:30 p.m. but the office closed at 4:00 p.m.  We found our reservation and a map to our site.  C2C is restricted to an area backing the road.  We had a gravel pad surrounded by dead grass, 50 amp. satellite access, and good water pressure.  Once more followed our 2/2/2 rule.  If you haven’t tried this rule, it is particularly helpful when deadheading from one favored location to another as it saves both your body and your sanity.

Leaving Randle, it wasn’t long before we had spectacular views of Mt. Rainier.  It is well worth a stop at the spacious view area to take in the sight and snap a few pictures.

Finally, we arrived at our destination: Thousand Trails RV Park in Seaside, Oregon.  This is one of our favorite parks in the TT system.  We always stay on the north side of the park in the first row across from the pool, when possible.  When we arrived it was completely full with the exception of a site across from the cabins in the back, but the following day we were able to pull into the front row!  Our site had 50 amp. service, great Direct TV reception, and a Verizon WiFi and phone signal … all is well with the world. 

We stayed here for two weeks  and enjoyed the beach and the weather (not as much rain as expected).  We visited Cannon Beach and found a wonderful place called the Chocolate Café.  Here we sampled the Mayan Milkshake made with rich dark chocolate, cinnamon, and chipotle, and chilies.  Wow!   This is the best milk shake ever … a definite must have!  Our last Saturday in the park we were entertained by “Stormin Normin” who played guitar and sang all of the oldies …  great fun.

We moved down the coast to Newport, OR and stayed at Whalers’ Rest RV (Thousand Trails).  This is a lovely park, just five minutes outside of Newport with its own easy beach access.  Unfortunately, where we stayed we sere without a phone signal, very weak WiFi, and no Direct TV (we bought cable for $25 for two weeks).  Again we hung out at the beach, taking long walks.  Our favorite place to just sit and chill is Nana’s Irish Pub in the Nye Beach area.  They serve a nice Guinness (most places don’t know how to pour a Guinness) and have a delicious steak and Guinness pie.  Of course the “Chowder Bowl” is a favorite for chowder, the “Crab Shack” just out of town has the best prices on fish and chips, and for a nice fish dinner try “Charlies” which also has great views of the ocean and a decent wine list.  One final place not to miss is “La Maison.”  It is a little hard to locate, but worth the hunt.  I had a wonderful Eggs Benedict made with smoked salmon and Lynda had a fresh banana eclair that was huge and tasted like banana cream pie.

While in Newport we took in the two area lighthouses:  Yaquina Bay and Yaquina Head.  Both are really interesting to visit.  Yaquina Bay is run by the state of Oregon and Yaquina Head is run by the Feds.  Here are some pics of our Newport stay.

Our  faithful companion, Cody

Yaquina Bay Lighthouse

Bridge at Newport

Fishing Fleet at Newport

Yaquina Head Lighthouse

View from Yaquina Head

View from Yaquina Head

Enjoying the coast we headed back up to Seaside, but stopped outside of Lincoln City at Neskowin Creek RV Park.  We aren’t normally casino or buffet folk, but went twice to the buffet at the Chinook Winds casino.  It was a bit pricy ($18.95 each), but they had it all … crab, prime rib, salads, desserts, etc. etc.

Back in Seaside, we met new friends:  Nick and Terry, Rod & Susan. We enjoyed our time with them thoroughly.  We ate Chinese at the “Great Wall Chinese Restaurant” with the group and enjoyed it.  One of our friends Issy, from England recommended that we meet Larry and Carolyn, but we kept missing each other.  Finally, on our last day or two we hooked up with them.  Wonderful folk!  Thanks, Issy! 

Our daughter, Charity (who looks 12 but is 38), joined us for a week or so and we took in some sights we had seen a couple of years ago and enjoyed her company.   Went to Camp 18 restaurant,  the Tillamook Cheese factory, and to the Astoria Column.  

Daughter Charity at Camp 18

Lynda at Camp 18

Kim at Camp 18

Charity and Dad

Odd Rooster on streets of Newport

View from Astoria Column

Astoria Bridge to Washington

View from Column

Kim & Lynda at Astoria Column

The last ten days at Seaside, the weather turned nasty.  It rained sideways and was obvious that the summer season was over.  Charity’s boyfriend, John joined her and they chose to camp out in a tent … considering the rain, they proved themselves very hearty, but claimed they enjoyed it.  The day before we left Seaside we took them to the train station in Portland where they caught the train for Virginia … the trees should be beautiful on their way. 

Seaside RV flooded section

Seaside RV flooded section

Charity and John at Train Station in Portland

Portland Train Station

Thankfully we are now out of the rain and headed south toward California for a couple of months.  Until next time … keep doing what you love.


  1. Thanks for your story on TT. We're looking to stay at one of the Oregon Coast TT's and your story helped a lot.

  2. We love Oregon, especially in the summer, because it is so nice and cool. I'm sure you will enjoy your stay.