Quincy, WA

Quincy, WA is a farming town. As you drive down the local roads they have signs that say what is growing in the fields, apples, cherries, grapes, peaches, alfalfa and more. It’s beautiful landscape of agriculture. I wanted to find some local produce and this farm stand outside Quincy is a must stop.

The local museum also has a playground behind it so we decided to get some work done while the kids had somewhere to let out some energy

Friday afternoon they play a movie at the library. The library also has a nice kids area.

Finished the day at the river of course

White Pass Scenic Byway

We left Paradise, Silver Creek via White Pass Scenic Byway. There wasn’t many view points so I apologize for lack of quality pictures, and Rainier and other mountains had clouds obstructing their view. This drive was absolutely breathtaking.

When we finished through the Pass we entered, what I believe is called “high desert”

We settled in at Crescent Bar in the Columbia Gorge

I am not going to sugar coat this, I am not a fan of this Crescent Bar Thousand Trails by first impression. It may be because the desert surroundings reminds me of my hometown, or it may be the very strict and spelled out rules by management, or that the spots are tight and small which directly conflicted with my research, but my first impression was “get me the hell out of here”

We leveled and pulled the slides out and took a walk. The views started to win me over. There was some beautiful beaches along a walking path that starts at the RV park. We found some quartz crystals amongst the small gravel bars on the Columbia.

The clubhouse was decent though, we can do some extra road schooling this week. Kids aren’t allowed on the pool table.

I am going to focus on the interior design of our bedroom for the week we are here. I’m a little disenchanted with the desert, having escaped it 20 years ago, but I am breaking down those walls and I think Quincy. WA is a place to give me some better perspective.

Ike Kinswa State Park

On Father’s Day weekend we set out to explore the lake we can see from the Paradise overlook. We knew it was Ike Kinswa State Park, and we got a pleasant surprise that it was 16 min away.

I wish I had taken some photos of the campground there, it is one of the nicest we have seen. The sites have cement pads and everything is clean and manicured. They have cabins right on the lake. It’s so beautiful I considered us staying there, when we already stay for free 16 min up the road. Next time we hit Washington we will most def need to invite a lot of friends to join us there for camping.

As we drove around we realized the swimming hole was shallow enough for us to trust our kids in it! so we decided to head to Morton for the grocery store and get some things for grilling.

While driving up to Morton on Highway 12, White Pass Scenic Byway, we came upon this overlook. This is a must see, and so beautiful with the wildflowers. You have to walk through the grass a few feet to see the epic amounts of flowers that are hiding.

We invited Grandma Ruth, Aunt Shell, and Amyiah out to come swimming, and they said yes! We grilled and had a blast. There is large bathroom/changing facilities and a large play structure next to the swimming hole, kept the kids entertained for hours.

Rocket and I went for a little walk and I let him use my phone to take some pictures

On our way back home we noticed an almost full moon with a clear view of Mount Saint Helens at the overlook.

Our Week In Paradise

Each day I procrastinate blogging it gets harder to do it. This will mostly be a photo dump to get everything current 🙂

Paradise has a Camp Cat named CC. The kids go to find her every morning for cat snuggles.

The activity center opened for Father’s Day crafts, made my life easier.

On the weekend they had a magician/balloon twister come and entertain after the ice cream social. The kids had a blast and we got some balloon tips from an expert.

After that we took a “hay ride”(There was no hay, but that’s good because the pollen count is high enough for our allergies)

We have been enjoying the tennis courts, pools, and walking trails. Wild flowers everywhere!

We leave in a couple days for Crescent Bar which I believe is on the Columbia Gorge. We take the White Pass Scenic Byway.

Going with the flow

Here I am still at the Brazel’s RV Performance Center center. It’s a good thing we didn’t attempt to move on Friday, our grey tank valve is still leaking. Wyatt said we won’t be leaving til we are all good, so no worries there. He wanted us to wait to see if it happened, and it did. So hopefully Monday we will head out, I’ve given up on believing there is an end date to this madness. Fortunately I love it in this quiet park, even if the trains at night are incredibly loud! It doesn’t matter so much when you are a train lover in the first place.

So on Friday night it came crashing down on me. All the emotions of a complete life adjustment. In my former life I cleaned my house for hours everyday, tended my garden from March to late October, visited friends, had a steady date at the gyms child care center to get 2 full hours of me time, ran my resale business in the basement. Now it takes me no time at all to get this place completely sparkling clean. There is no appointments to go to, no classes to drive my kids too, no gym time. I have found myself with a LOT of time that otherwise was occupied than I am not accustomed too. I find myself too often reading the news, which is devastating these days. So on Friday night I cried and I cried. I woke the Captain and he woke up to console me, comfort me. He is good at that.

On Saturday we headed to Michaels craft store to find some things to occupy my time in a positive way.

Captain picked balloon animals, but we quickly found out it was a fun activity for the whole family. Check out my swan and rabbit/dog

We also got tools for cross stitching, super excited! We already had the tissue flowers and paper airplane book but we got some felt for flowers, and we and Sunshine started with the basic flower

Once we work our way through these supplies we are going to learn face painting. I feel these are useful skills for a nomad. If we get strapped for cash we set up shop at a farmers market and bust out some balloons and face paint 😉

During my emotional break through I also realized a big problem I’m having is that the interior design of this rig is bland, dull, and boring. Which doesn’t fit my aesthetic at all! So I ordered up some peel and stick wall paper from Target, got this amazing furry rug to match, and have selected some other things coming from China.

Rocket has come down with the sniffles so we couldn’t go to any of the awesome free festivals taking place today, bummer. We did decide to go purchase a Barker 4 wheel Waste Tote. We headed to Fife, WA where they have a Camping World. Camping World did not have a large enough tote, but I did get my hands on a Blackstone griddle on sale! And we picked up an outdoor rug, and a collapsible table.

After we left Camping world we grabbed food at a road side stand.

It was pretty good, milk shakes, burgers, coney dog type stuff. I don’t think I would stop here again for the food, but their eating area was a bunch of picnic tables in a grassy area with lots of potted flowers. The kids ran around with other kids waiting for their food and it was quite nice! Considering it’s close to Camping World south of Seattle, we may end up back here again someday.

While eating we located a Barker tote through Facebook marketplace. The seller informed me they still had it, but then didn’t respond to me inquiring if we could pick up. Seattle was another hour north, so we decided to wait a bit for the dude to message. We went to a park. I sat in the truck…

After waiting nearly an hour for the seller to message me back. I sent this message “text me in the next ten min if this is available today. I am headed south after that” Well wouldn’t you know it, he calls me in 8! We were just about to hit the interstate so he called just in time! Headed north to Seattle and picked up this beauty

So now we won’t have to worry about being on a sewer site anymore(well besides for using our washer) We can dump our tanks into here, roll it to a dump site, and dump it in.

We’ll cross your fingers for us that we get out of here tomorrow.

RV lesson number one. It will break.

The days are blurring together. We had every intention to be set down in Paradise today to enjoy a couple weeks of being stationary. Koko decided she wanted another new valve, at least she let us know before we rambled down the road.

So let’s begin where this started. As we arrived in Chehalis we were over anxious to get into the last sewer site in the park on our first day in. As the Captain maneuvered Koko in the park the one way roads led him back to the main highway. With not many options to turn a 42 long trailer around he chose a gravel parking strip, the turn around was done and he hit a patch of uneven ground, which completely wrecked one of our stabilizer jacks.

From this we learned to not ever drive the Camper in frustration, panic, or otherwise distracted mode. This is hard to accomplish sometimes with loud young children as back seat drivers. Our “moving day” skills are a constant process of learning.

So we stayed at the Chehalis Thousand Trails as we hunted for a good RV shop. We found one at Bravels in Centralia, 3 weeks after we touched down. The people here are super nice and very accommodating to their clients. Right off the bat they let us know they have a RV park with water/electric hook ups located on the property we could stay on. They ordered our parts and told us they should be in on Friday. We moved into the RV Repair shop park on the Tuesday prior, as this was our original moving day to Paradise. Thursday comes and we learn the parts won’t be in til Monday. I have an Orthodontist appt in PDX on Monday so we decide that’s perfect to leave the RV and head into the city for a couple nights. Get some errands done and see friends.

On Monday we find out the parts aren’t in. I think, it’s a blur now. So we extended our stay in PDX til Wednesday. We drove back to Centralia crossing our fingers Koko would have her stabilizer jack on. As we approached Brazel’s we could see she was still in the garage.

It felt like defeat. At this point I am feeling homeless and living out of bags. We decided to check with Paradise if we can get into a cabin on site for the night. We figure this is the perfect opportunity to also scope out what RV site we want to settle into. Paradise allows us a one night reservation(typically 2 day minimum for cabins) and we settle into what felt like a very spacious cabin. In reality I believe our RV is the same square footage.

We checked out of the Cabin at 11am and stopped at The Ribeye Ramblin Jacks in Chehalis to have lunch. Highly recommend, but warn the portions are enormous.

After lunch we headed to Brazel’s and found that our RV wasn’t out of the garage yet so we stopped at Borst park hoping the Captain could work while the kids played, the park was too cold so we retreated and went to Centralia Timberland Library. This was a great decision. The childrens area of the library has lots of activities and the library also has a Pokémon scavenger hunt. After Rocket completed it, he was so happy to take Sunshine around and help her find them.

The library was enjoyable enough to stay until Captain was finished with his work day. We headed back to Brazel’s and Koko was back in the park! They weren’t quite finished but we could get back into our home while the remainder of the work would be completed on site. Wyatt went over everything with the Captain once it was complete and we went to sleep in our own beds(okay the kids slept on the dinette because we still had their room set up for mobility)

We woke up this morning and the Captain noticed we had a leak in a valve! The valve we had changed. Wyatt came right over and we discovered it was not the grey that had previously had the leak, it was the black tank. You cannot move with a black tank leak. It’s very, very dangerous for the environment.

Status update it is now 3:30pm and we won’t be moving today. Moving to a “first come first serve” RV Park on the weekend is not enjoyable. Also….Wyatt is still working on that black tank valve.

This saga to be continued…….

I’m making the Russian Soup tonight my friend Kadri taught me and the Captain just set up the breadmaker for a loaf of bread. Going to settle in, count our blessings, thank Wyatt for his hard work, and watch some Game of Thrones.

PDX

I was hoping this post would conclude with a full review of the RV Repair shop that Koko(our RV) is currently being repaired at. Alas, not the case. So let’s skip past why our RV is in the shop and review our lovely and busy trip to Portland, Oregon.

Sunday night we arrived in Portland at a lovely AirBnB in Damascus. Our main objective, besides my orthodontist appt, was to wash our clothes! We’d been in the RV repair lot for a week without sewer hook ups, and also a bout of the stomach flu.

We settled in and I prepared to go out with my friend Kadri for a ladies night. We are old and feeble so ended up pushing the night to the next so we could relax.

Monday morning the Captain had to work and I had a huge day planned so me and the kids headed to East and Northeast Portland. I dropped the kids with their Grandma Ruth so I could avoid taking them to my orthodontist appt. Saw my ortho, did not get my movement appliance removed. What a bummer. Have to come back in 10 weeks when my lower alignment is done and hopefully then I can get the metal out of my mouth!

Picked up the kids from Ruth and visited with Sunshine’s friend from preschool Nola. She missed her terrible so this was high priority for our trip. Next we headed to Sunshine and Rockets preschool friends Lucy and Lincoln. After that we picked up Amyiah from Grandma Ruth’s and headed to Uncle Lances. We stayed there til well after dinner.

It was so nice to spend time with my niece Amyiah. Her mom Shell was busy doulaing a multiple day birth and Grandma Ruth needed a chance to get away to the mountains and release some energies. Shell and me fell out years ago and have rebuilt our friendship into a sisterhood over the past year. We have always had a bit too much in common, if you know what I mean. I love you deeply Shell and you are my sister. Also Amyiah has this amazing effect on my kids of them behaving better when she is around.

Although we were exhausted from our day full of fun and friends, the Captain ubered down from the AirBnB and joined us at Uncle Lance and Aunt Jenna’s. He drove me and Rocket over to Kadri and Alec’s house to spend the night with our best friends

We had to extend our stay another night because Koko wasn’t repaired yet. So on Tuesday the Captain was able to pick up me and Rocket. We collected stuff from our storage unit and took it back to the AirBnB. Found a pile of clothes for Sunshine that fit her now and donated anything larger to Trillium closet.

Kadri also has new kitties.

Tuesday night we returned to Kadris to bring her some furniture from our storage unit. She just moved out on her own and I am overjoyed that she wanted our favorite pieces which we had originally placed in our storage unit. Her new house is absolutely gorgeous. So gorgeous I took a video of the walk to her stairway.

After visiting with her and having the most amazing authentic Russian soup (brown ground beef, add garlic and onions, chicken stock and then oregano) we headed back to our AirBnB and enjoyed the hot tub after dinner.

It was the first time I got to really relax since before we set out. It was glorious.

This morning we woke up, packed and cleaned the AirBnB and crossed our fingers that on our way to pick up Sparkles we could bypass the junior rose parade taking place 3 blocks from Kadris! We made it, just barely.

We drove up to Centralia crossing our fingers that Koko would be done….

She wasn’t

So trying to remain calm and remember that the RV life is full of these moments. We booked a get away cabin with Thousand Trails at Paradise Resort where our RV site reservation through mid June is held. So here we are… in Paradise.

And I will end this post with some of the photos I took of Rose City Roses.