Saturday, April 25, 2015

RoadTrek Shake Down Trip - Part Two

We went in search of Sand Cranes but found only Canadian Geese, lots of ducks and Koots.  There was a Sand Crane Festival located in nearby Othello the week before our arrival.  I was really hoping I could find some Sand Crane hideouts by checking out some local ponds and preserves.... No luck, I guess they had it with the Looky Lou's and moved on to more private accommodations.  Maybe next year I will check out some of the Bird Watcher tours and learn where the birdie's hang out.

But we did find another nearby campground at Scootney Lake. (A Bureau of Reclamation preserve that is located about 35 miles south of Moses Lake.)  It was a beautiful place to spend a night listening to bird chatter. ($7.50 with National Senior Pass)

             With no competition for campsites we easily snagged a beach side campsite.

Campsites are placed along the reservoir as well. All of the sites are primitive. Each site includes a picnic area, fire rings and tent pads. Some parking spaces can accommodate RVs. There are no hook-ups for RVs. There is a dump site, however. Drinking water and bathrooms with running water are available.

 The only other neighbors!

The evening while ideal gave way to a night to remember.  Hailey had not been feeling well earlier in the evening and finally the nausea won the battle during the night. People get sick no matter where they live but it is different when you are away form the comforts of home.... Time to give some thought to what would make those moments better. Not exactly ideal in a small space but we got through it and she was feeling much better the next day.

We started off mid morning, heading out to Palouse Falls. 

Palouse Falls State Park is a 105-acre camping park with a unique geology and history.  We arrived mid week to a slew of park visitors.  Parking near the falls was a 'wait for a spot to pull into as someone to leave there parking spot.  By dinner time the day use visitors had leftm leaving a quiet park for the evening.  We visited the viewpoints, fixed dinner and turned in for an early night among the tenters and small motor homes.

 Back Porch View

This is the view from our camping spot......but there is much, much more.  The park offers a dramatic view of one of the state's most beautiful waterfalls.   Palouse Falls drops from a height of 198-feet with high volumes of water flow in spring and early summer.  this is the perfect time of year to visit Palouse Falls. ($10 to park with a view of the Falls) Pit toilets and garbage only.)

The campground(parking lot and large grassy area for tents) is located on top of the bluff overlooking the Falls. The trail follows around the bluff and down a steep trail shown in the top left of center. 

Everything worked beautifully in the RoadTrek.  The amount of driving we did on the trip from place to place kept the batteries charged with more than enough for lights and recharging.  I do need a new pure sine inverter so that I can recharge the computer but everything else was perfect!!

We carried jugs of drinking water and used the water tank for all other uses. We had more than enough water for the week and it is great to have water that pumps on demand.

 I even managed my first black water dump without any problems......except....boy can people be disgusting!  Washington State has many rest stops that provide for free RV tank dumps complete with water access to ensure a tidy emptying process.  If RV owners have an incident of sewage not dumping into the sewer, HOW can they just leave it and drive off? 

We followed the canyon for a bit....

The Roadtrek is excellent for a road trip....

By keeping our interior picked up we were able to ready for departures quickly and without any heavy lifting.  It sure was easy on my back!!

I think I like it!!

The landscape was lush and green due to spring rains...but it won't last for long before turning brown for summer.

After the short days of winter...... the sun is a wonderful thing!!

 Another wonderful journey!!

                      ~ Happy Trails~                         

Friday, April 17, 2015

Road Trek Trial Run, Part 1

Spring break was the test run for the new to us Road Trek.  My vintage trailer was a basic homey little sleeping quarters with a propane stove for cooking and an ice box.  I had solar to run the lights and recharge batteries and I liked that it had few issues to go wrong.  Realizing the RT has a more systems we had a learning curve ahead of us to learn how and when to operate all the systems.

Prior to leaving on our week test run, I had it visit an RV shop to check out the systems and have a walk through to learn how to operate the systems. The night before leaving I slept in the RT to be sure we had enough blankets to stay warm and adjust the furnace for comfort.  I could not get the water pump to pressure equalize so we ended up staying and extra night to have the RV tech show me what to do to release the air lock.  Simple now that I know!!

The day we left it snowed…..rained…..sleeted…..blew….. a typical Northwest Spring day.  But we left and headed out for a few days..  Fortunately the snow was only a one day event and melted before afternoon.

The inverter blew a fuse so I had the opportunity to figure out a few things along the way. I can see that I will need to have an inverter hard wired to accommodate the laptop as the inverter plus the computer draw to many amps to use a 12 volt plug.  So many lessons.

We traveled the first night to Spring Canyon in Central Washington and spent the first night at one of our favorite spots.  With only one other camper/fisherman we had all the peace and quiet one could want.  Set up was a breeze and we settled in for a quiet night.  We explored the beach area before heading out the next morning.

         Nightly price for seniors during the off season, $4.50now $9.00 during the summer months.  

I have never seen the water level during the winter or spring.  It is much lower revealing long sand bars and exposing the beach and dock area.

That is a whole lot of beach front exposed!

Then we were off to drive down the Coulee Corridor on our way to the Center of the state at Vantage.

What a gorgeous drive during the spring.  Most of the center of the state is arrid and dry.... but for a few short weeks in the spring it is full of green. and some wild flowers to brighten up the landscape.

We did some sight seeing and some hiking along the way.  I have lived in Washington State all of my life except for 12 years.  I have crossed the state many times and never stopped near Vantage for the Wild Horses Statues.  Oh sure I looked from a distance but never stopped to hike up the bluff.  It was never a good time or the weather was bad, or, there was always a reason, an excuse, or a procrastination .  NOT THIS TIME!

The sculpture, ca"Grandfather Cut Loose the Ponies" was created by David Govedare from Chewelah, WA in 1989–1990 and is situated across the river from Vantage, WA.   It consists of 15 life-size steel horses which appear to be galloping across a ridge above the Columbia River.

The designer envisioned the horses emerging from a 36 foot tall tipped basket.  Funding restraints have prevented the basket from joining the wild horses but the horses have become one of the most viewed art installation in Washington State.

Presented as a gift for the Centennial Celebration of of Washington's statehood, the sculpture was conceived as a memorial to the wild horses which roamed the region.

While the horses can be seen from the highway from viewpoints when traveling East and West on I-90 they can only be accessed from the East bound interstate at a viewpoint that also overlooks the Columbia River.  It is well worth the short hike.

We also crossed over the Columbia River and made lunch at the Ginkgo Petrified Forest, another stop I had never made before.

The visitor center is only open on weekends this time of year though there seemed to be plenty of folks who were stopping.  There were several trails to explore and beautiful views of the magnificent Columbia River.

I guess I will need to put it on my be sure to stop again when the Center is open.

I am in awe of the size of the Columbia River.  It is certainly backed up here by a dam downstream but it's volume is mind boggling.  Last year the river was down a great deal as the Wanapum  Dam was repaired due to cracks in the dam structure.  This year it is back to the regular volume and the campground is back open.     

Stay tuned for Part 2 and the Road Trek Review

~Happy Trails~