About Us

Chris and Dennis are traveling around the country seeing the sights and occasionally volunteering at select locations. We avoid the interstate as much as we can and tend to stop for squirrels and shiny objects.

Thursday, May 30, 2019

On the Road Again - Returning to Goose Lake

I wonder just how many now have that little tune running in the back of their head - probably with a Willie Nelson twang as well. You're welcome.

Sorry about that.  Not really. If I was anti-social I would have come up with the theme song of Barney the Dinosaur. Or I could have dredged up the Disney classic involving a small world. Perhaps I shouldn't mention where we are headed. I'm pretty sure there could be a few who would like to snag a bit of revenge right about now.

Anyway. We're on the road this week returning to Goose Lake State Park for a month of what will be, in comparison to our stay at Lincoln Rock, a quiet reprieve. We have survived several storms, a spring break, an Apple Blossom Festival, Cinco de Mayo, and Memorial Day. We've gone from full capacity to a ghost town comprising of maybe 6 rigs in the park total and that's including the three cabin host couples and us.

An added bonus was for the third year in a row the park was the gathering spot for T@B travel trailer owners. While mostly confined to Washington state and labeled the East Meets West gathering we actually had participants from British Columbia, Alberta and one from as far as North Carolina. Taking up one full loop and spilling out into two others, over 45 owners shared tips, tricks, and customizations. An impressive showing for a not-so-good weather weekend.

We've now reached the end of our stay here for this year. Our doctor appointments are done. There are no missing check marks on our checklist for repairs and tweeks to the motorhome and we are once again stocked with the essentials for hosting in a more remote location. Last year we experienced the high of discovery at the new place and we survived the low of crashing our car. This year we're making a solid pledge for only highs and if we have to avoid a pizza run, so be it.

Oh, its good to be on the road again...

Saturday, May 4, 2019

We Are Back!

Sometimes you just have to take a step back to put things into perspective and that is just what I’ve done. Nearly a year has gone by since the last blog entry if there is one thing I have learned is while it may be nice for the readers to have fresh material it is even more critical for me to write the material. I have found I must sit down, gather my thoughts and express them in logical manner to preserve my well being. It is either the blog, yelling at people, or participating in some other less than social occupation. Since blogging is one of the few things I can do and not be arrested or assaulted, I’ve chosen this medium as the preferred course of action.

Now to catch up.

Our last blog entry left us leaving Goose Lake State Park to go to our family reunion in Hyrum, Utah. We had a new toad in tow and while a month has passed since the accident, we both were still discovering bruises and suffering from limited motion. Amazing just how much banging around we must have done in such a short moment. Physically we’ve healed up but mentally we have a bit more time ahead of us. Both of us cringe when opposing traffic crosses the line or someone rolls out in front of us and we are keenly aware of our position in the road. Looking both ways twice, even three times has become the norm.

After a fun filled and thankfully uneventful meet up with the family and the accompanying catching up, we turned back to the west to take on a park neither of had been to: Wallowa State Park outside of Joseph, Oregon. While we had not stayed in the park, we had enjoyed our visit so much in 2017 in that we just had to return to spend more time exploring the area.

Wallowa is the largest park we have hosted at so far and with three other couples working the obviously most congenial. We all shared the wood selling duty so needless to say the woodshed became our evening gathering spot. Hopefully we’ll have the opportunity to host with these folks somewhere else in the future and perhaps we’ll even return to the park.

October and November brought us back to Sunset Bay and a new host coordinator who was also new ranger! Before you ask, yes, we were gentle to the new ranger so as to not break him. We also had a bevy of hosts which for us was unusual and more surprisingly, a couple who were going through the application process to become hosts. We must have done something right as they are still hosting at parks and they’ll return to Sunset Bay this fall to host with along with us.

Winter struck during our trek south and I found out what it was like to drive on snow for a short time while crossing the Laseen Pass. We should have got used to the storms for from that point on we were either going into, suffering through or coming out of one storm front or another. If memory serves, I believe we actually had perhaps 3 days of nice weather in Yuma before we headed further south to the Gulf coast and Rockport Texas.

A day with sun and this happened
The weather came with us. Rockport had one of it’s coldest, wettest, windiest, everything yuckiest winters on the books. If it wasn’t for the outstanding Texas BBQ, the gulf shore fish fry, and the wonderful southern hospitality I’m pretty sure that trip would have been a bust. Oh, and the consolation prize of being able to hang out with my sister and brother-in-law. (I’m pretty sure my sister Tricia is going to kick my butt over that consolation prize comment.) 

Our time in the south came to an end so Chris and I headed back north in March in our typical fashion – staying off the interstates as much as we could and taking routes we’ve not been on. This took us to an RV park in Van Horn Texas where we huddled near the electric fire (yep, still winter cold and the wind blows in Van Horn). The good thing finding an outstanding steakhouse in the small town. A week stop in Deming New Mexico was also in order as the “spring” (really, just late winter) winds and dust storms crossed the high plateau. Much safer to sit and let the rig rock in the winds than to risk a journey.

Instead of taking the Escapee stop at Benson as we would normally do, we headed south on highway 80 to Douglas and ending up at Fort Huachuca. What a serendipitous find! This small famcamp was just what the doctor ordered. Easy sites to park in, a gentle breeze, and lots of sun to warm bones that until that stop, been in a constant state of brrrrrr. We so wanted to stay longer and make more use of the commissary but alas, there was simply no room at the park. Seems we were not the discoverers of this great place to stay. Who woulda thunk?

Back to Yuma we went with our route bordered by blooming flowers, sunshine and not much else to hinder us along our way. The short day trip saw us arriving at KOFA Koop to settle down for a solid week of thawing out, getting various geegahs and resting up for our next long stretch – the run up to Pahrump.

One of the things we did while hunkered down trying to stay warm was to thoroughly research and explore the Harvest Host (HH) program. We don’t mind the occasional dry camp and have availed ourselves of the random Walmart at times. What we have come to dislike however is the noise and crowds usually associated with an overnight stay at such locations. Enter HH and why we joined the group. While HH has participants such as golf courses and commercial settings, the ones that attract us are typically rural in nature; located in places that tend to roll up their sidewalks at sunset. For a modest yearly fee, Harvest Host provides you with a phenomenal list of potential FREE stops. Why do I mention this? Because our stop in Pahrump was at such a location.

Located a good five miles outside of the city is the Sanders Family Winery. For us it was a quiet, peaceful stop with a really nice wine tasting in a country day room setting. We could have stayed at the Escapee park in Pahrump and been closer to town but for the cost of a bottle of wine we had the winery all to ourselves; parked in paved and level spot located in the rear of the large estate. Loved it!
So ended spring. All I can say is the rest of the trip north to East Wenatchee and our hosting gig at Lincoln Rock State Park consisted of wind, rain, sleet, slush, snow and sometimes all five together. It wasn’t until our arrival in Prosser Washington that we saw sunshine again and only then briefly between rain squalls.

So, here we are. Back at Lincoln Rock. Back to blogging. And yes, even back to sitting in the sun and simply taking it all in. This year we’ll be in two new to us parks; Deschutes River and the Coquille River Lighthouse at Bullards Beach. Come along for the ride.