Laura's & Gary's 1st "RV Adventure" Blog.... After many months of being away from blogging...we are back. We left our keyboard back in Bar Harbor, Maine, but now we have our computers and keyboard to do the job. :) Last time we wrote we were in Maine.
We had a great time and flew back to San Diego to see Gary's mom, a few friends and make some big decisions. Selling our home and moving vs. staying vs. traveling, teaching, or MORE adventure??? Well you can guess what happened next... We did alot of work on our home in preparation to sell (should be listed later this month), bought an old RV (1996 Lazy Daze with only 9500 miles, "priceless") to see if we even liked traveling around this way. After much preparation and learning about the RV (always backpacked or camped before, never RV'ing) In early August, we left Escondido, and headed North. First major stop was Mt Shasta (laura bought new crystal bowls for Sound Healing. Then onto Ashland, Or,. (saw "Two Gentlemen of Verona and a "Wrinkle in Time" as part of their famous "Shakespeare Festival and Gary also bought his first Djembe Drum > yes, you read this correctly!) Bend, Or, was next then onto Portland (saw Laura's cousin, Andy and a true "Food Truck" mecca, and world famous Voodoo Donut Shop!) and Hood River. Hood River is fantastic (in Columbia River Gorge just East of Portland and home to truly the mecca for Wind and Kite Surfing, like a beach town in the mountains.
We met Mitch and a friend in Portland, drove North to Mt St. Helens, really neat, but eerie place since it's a "live" volcano which had a large eruption around 1982. We drove up very close and then hiked up a hill to get a good view. It was a neat view to see and very interesting to hear a Ranger talk about it.
Next we drove to Mt. Ranier in Washington and hiked part of the "Wonderland Trail up to the base of Ranier (Gary backpacked 45 miles of this 90 mile trail around Ranier 45 years ago) a gorgeous hike with the kids. There were waterfalls and beauty everywhere. We loved it!!!
After 10 days, including visiting Seattle (Pike's Public Mkt is the best!) We took the kids to the Seattle airport and they were gone... After this, we de cided to get serious and shop for an updated "full-timers" RV. Wow, this was an education!! We decided we want to travel around for at least a year and try and visit every National Park, iconic places and even venture up to Canada, and possibly Alaska.
After much research we found a used RV that is bigger and more comfortable for traveling. A 2014 36' Tiffin Alegro and bought a new Subaru Forrest to tow behind (called a "Dinghy" or "Toad" in RV speak). After owning it for only a week or so, we left the RV (dealership) and our dog "Hop" in a Boarding kennel (first time we ever paid for boarding > wierd!) and left for New York City. It was right after NYC that we flew directly back to San Diego, then after busy/crazy 8 days flew back to Seattle to pick up our dog and our new home on wheels (freightliner commercial chassis and Cummins big diesel engine)
What a whirlwind trip it was, but we had a fantiastic time in NYC. It was a festive-filled weekend with Laura's entire East Coast family. Went to her nieces' Bat mitzvah, saw a broadway show with daughter Laura..."Rock of Ages"...fantastic!!!!!! Met Laura, Mitch, my Mom, my sister, brothers, wives, cousins, neices and nephews. Wow, it was a wonderful weekend!!!
After New York, came back to our home to purging, cleaning, and getting ready for selling in the near future. It was a wild busy time. Saw a few friends and family but mostly worked. We had one week since we thought we could get it all done. And we almost did!!!
Left Escondido and back to Kent, Washington. We met a wonderful woman at a Campground in Kent, Wa., who works there. She was really a neat lady. We love hearing people's stories and would love to share hers . She left her husband with her 5 kids and moved to this RV park where she got a job. Her husband was abusive as she claims and at the same time her mother that she was very close to died. She was very sad but very happy at the same time for a new life for herself and her kids. We were so happy to give her our tent and other things to help her out. She was a really neat lady with a lot of courage to leave a miserable situation and get her kids into safety. We were so happy to meet her and her kids and see the positive side to her situation.
We also met a wonderful young lady who came and did Yoga with us a few days. She told us her story and it is also one of courage. She was over 300lbs and came from a dysfunctional family. When we met her, she had lost over 120lbs changing her lifestyle which now includes eating real healthy, light weights and doing almost daily Yoga. She lost all this weight in only a year, and is still going strong. She also found the love of her life and was very happy with herself and her life changes. It was really a pleasure meeting her and hearing her story.
We left Kent and drove to Olympic National Forest and found a very beautiful and extremely quiet campground. We think we were the only ones there. We did some hikes and walked down to the nearby lake and enjoyed the beauty. It rained that night and it was very cool hearing the raindrops on the roof of the RV and feeling the crisp air come through the windows. It was magical. We stayed a few days and left for Olympic National Park.
The next day we drove a few hours to find a most pristine campsite on the beach. In the campground book it was labeled a 10 out of 10 score, and we could see why. It is on a bluff overlooking the ocean with no other sounds other than the waves crashing onto the beach. We found a site and got set up. Over the next few days we went hiking and driving into the local towns for food and other items we needed in the RV. This time here has been a mix of hiking, running, Yoga, maintenence on the RV, and some "book work." We hear and see an unobstructed view of the ocean from our RV. Needless to say, we've extended our stay here. It's been really fun to watch Hop off the leash and run for miles since we are steps away from the beach. Olympic National Park is pristine and so well maintained everywhere you go. It is a rainforest with over 240 inches of rain a year with lots of live glaciers. We saw a whole family of Elk in Hoh Rainforest and a Bull Elk who stayed a while right in front of our walking path. We really had to have some patience waiting for him to finish eating. Confuscious sez, "Never mess with Eating Bull!.
We also went to the town of Forks, for some groceries and supplies. This is the town where the now famous Twilight book was based. Yesterday, we visited Port Angeles on the northern tip of Western Washington (ferry right to Victoria BC
This RV life is so many things: freedom, travel, fun but also lots of challenges keeping it running and working well. Lots of moving and very sophisticated electronics on board. We really like it. Laura has been having fun cooking really healthy organic meals and making green drinks in our Nutribullet. Everyday we have routines of cleaning and cooking and Gary deals with all the mechanical issues. He is learning to be a great technician and a master (Laura used this word, certainly not true yet, but working hard > feels like I'm back in school!) at understanding our RV.
Today, Monday, Oct 6th > we're just hanging around the RV taking in the beautiful Ocean breeze. Went for long runs and "Hop" walking on beach. Yoga soon and cooking another great meal with freshly caught Coho Salmon ($10.99 a lb)
Best to all of you. Love and miss you all
Laura & Gary
PS Future blogs should be much shorter and more frequent.... We know this was a long blog, probably too long.:)