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Lake Cowichan view from our dock.

Thursday, 6 October 2016

First leg of our journey south for winter 2016/017

Oct 1st

Ray and I left Peace Arch Park by 8 am and made our way over to the Aldergrove Border Crossing. We like that one as there is usually no waits (us being the only vehicle!) and very few questions. By 8:30 we arrived at the border. This time the border guard was more concerned the passenger not walk to the bathroom in the coach while travelling.  His father and stepmom just got into an accident in Texas the day before as she was going to the bathroom and was thrown. Her status at that time was unknown. He wanted to make sure we told all of our friends so they would stay safe. Ray had to even remind him to enter the car’s licence plate as well. Quite a different experience crossing the border as we did not even get one question regarding what we were bringing into the USA. The only question he asked us for his own benefit, was do motorhomes typically have seatbelts for the couch as he had never seen them. Yes we do!

Stopping at several rest areas along the way we arrived in Tacoma shortly after lunch to “driveway surf” for the night at Ray’s sister Judy, and her husband Milt’s place. Nice travelling on a Saturday to miss all of the traffic through Seattle … it was smooth sailing. It had sprinkled on and off mostly around Seattle but the skies cleared once we reached Tacoma. Set up was a breeze for me (Ray just had to walk the dog) We all piled into Milt’s car and went out to dinner at the “Hub” brew pub. The beer was good, the pizza pretty good but the service sucked big time. Over an hour for 2 stone oven pizza’s. Maybe they had to start the dough from scratch and wait for it to rise! Anyways, we had a great visit. Ray was in bed by 7:30 to relax his back after the busy day.

Milt and Judy

Oct 2nd

We were back on the road by 7:30 a.m. so we could get through Portland before all of the Sunday drivers came out. The new front and rear jacks that were replaced the day before we left, retracted by themselves perfectly. Another thing Ray does not have to do anymore worked like a charm. Again stopping at several rest areas for Ray and Freya to stretch we arrived at the Woodburn RV Park before noon. We chose this RV Park as it has a good field to exercise Freya. I checked out the Walmart across the highway and it does have good overnight RV Parking … so next time we will stay over there and save ourselves $41.

Oct 3rd

We waited until 9 am to leave so we would miss the bulk of the morning rush into Portland and took the Highway 205 bypass to I-84. There was a little road work that we had to stop for so I walked the dog and made us some sandwiches. We had just sat down to eat it and then it was time to go. My original plans were to stay overnight at the Walmart in Pendleton but since the traffic was minor, the road pretty straight so Ray was able to stay mostly on cruise control, we decided to push on a little further and were able to stay at a lovely little state park near La Grande called Hilgard Junction State Park at $10/night. What a treat. You can hear a little highway noise but there was a little creek and lots of green grass for Freya. I even made us a campfire for an hour. Again, we do (I do) a very minimal set-up so it is much easier on Ray. Elevation gain was huge! You are at around 1000 feet in Pendleton and at the top of the long, long, hill we were at 4900 feet. The next morning it was only 3 C. We were in bed again by 8 pm watching a little TV.

Here it is ... our little gem of a campsite. There were not too many spots that would fit us but apparently you can park in the spacious day use area if you cannot fit in the campsite.

By 8 pm several more campers came in but everyone stayed well spaced out.

We even had some deer visit us at dusk. There were actually 3 of them ... but we did not notice that until we zoomed in the picture.

Do you see the three deer?

October 4th

It was very chilly overnight, the furnace came on several times to maintain at 63 F. Woke up to some sprinkles of rain. By the time we had our breakfast and coffee it had quit. Jacks up again with no help (Yeah!) and back on the road by 8:30. Today's destination is Jerome's Walmart after a quick stop at a Costco in Nampa. Note to self .... Idaho only has State Liquor Stores so we were unable to stock up with inexpensive Kirkland brand gin and only were able to buy some wine. Shortly after we left La Grande, Oregon the skies lightened up and became mostly cloudy with sunny breaks for the rest of the day's journey. Only about 60 F. though .... need to get further south!The days drive was mostly straight long stretches, quite boring, so again, with several stops at rest areas, Ray was able to engage the cruise control and we could go for a longer stretch to get south to the warmth sooner.
Here is a beautiful view from one of the rest areas we stopped at.

Baker Valley Rest Area Eastbound ... see the snow!
We found a quiet spot behind the Walmart in Jerome by the tire center to make our home for the night. Again, Ray retired early to rest his back. Good .... now I can watch the Bachelorette!

October 5th

We had a pretty quiet night until 5:15 am when the lot came alive with truckers starting up to begin their day. Ray and I tried to go back to sleep but nope ... up at 5:45 am (we lost an hour yesterday so actually 4:15 am!)

After a leisurely morning with showers, coffee and toast (waiting for daylight) we were on our way with plans to get to the other side of Salt Lake City today.

The first part of the drive was smooth and we were making great time. Fueled up in Tremonton, 40 miles into Utah after checking Fuel Finder. This price was the lowest we'd seen at $2.28/gal. Stopped for lunch at the next rest area. Now for Salt Lake City. I hate going through it and today was no different. We got stuck in a section of the I-15 that was closed to traffic in both directions. By the time we figured out a way around so did the hundreds of other drivers and we crawled for over an hour before bypassing the highway and getting back on it further south. We had some very unhappy campers in the coach! It rained/sleeted and we had some thunder and lightening right through the delay. Anyways we finally made it to our nights stopover at the Canyon View RV Park Utah, a short distance down US Highway 6 to Price. $15 for power and water and they have a sani-dump apparently. After staying at the noisy Walmart last night it was a relief to be in a quiet spot, even if we have to pay. Basically the campground is a blacktop parking area with generous spots between painted lines.The power will come in handy as the temps get down to 37 F.overnight. Next week is supposed to go back to normal temps again with lows of 50 F and highs of 70F. As we were parking the rig I noticed 2 deer in the bush behind us... will need to watch Freya. This park, I think, is for the Golf Course below us mostly. Good enough for us especially as it was mostly empty.

Home Sweet Home

Down a bunch of stairs brings you to this. Great chuck-it territory for Freya.
Do you have any food?

Gorgeous with more of the Kiwanis Park in the distance.
Oct 6th

Woke up to clear skies but cold ... 36 F. It was nice to be plugged in. The furnace came on an off all night long to maintain 64 F inside. We will wait until the sun is up and the roads dry before leaving to travel US Highway 6 through the mountains to Green River and then on to Moab for the night. Apparently Highway 6 is fairly windy on the first part and there are lots of deer that come out in the early morning and at dusk that are road hazards. Apparently a death occurred on this highway near Price last Sunday morning at 9:30 am due to an impaired driver crossing the white line and hitting the oncoming car. Of course the impaired drive survived ... not so lucky for the other driver. Glad we are travelling down the road on a Thursday, not the weekend. This road shaves an hour off the drive to Moab and is very scenic.  To be continued.....

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