Honolulu in February!

We were suffering through the winter blahs, as the Pacific NW winter dragged on, grey skies, soggy days, me complaining about work, Dave complaining about the theater. One day I said ‘I think you haven’t said a thing today that wasn’t related to theater work!’, and he agreed. And then he did something about it. A couple weeks later we went to have dinner with our friends, and he surprised me with a trip to Hawaii! Leaving the next day!

I love spontaneous trips! We always have so much fun! He had even gone behind my back and asked a coworker to warn my boss I’d be taking off for a week! He had plotted with our friends to figure out where to go! So all I had to do was wrap my head around packing summer clothes:

Me: So I should take a sweater?
Dave: No, it’s going to be 80 degrees!
Me: But it will be cold at night right?
Dave: Do you remember what 80 degrees feels like?

Narrator: She did not remember what 80 degrees felt like. Everything she packed was too warm.

So we headed to the airport, and we are sitting in the waiting area, and I can hear the neighboring gate calling out ‘First boarding special needs, families with children, veterans, first class…’ and I said to Dave ‘First class, I’d like to know what that’s like someday!’ Just then our gate called for First Class and Dave stood up and grabbed our bags and said ‘let’s go’, and I’m like ‘Whaaaa?’ He said ‘I got us first class for the flight over’!!!

Check out all that legroom! Big comfy chairs with tons of room to stretch out!

And fancy breakfast!!

What a great start!

When we got there we got a shuttle bus to take us to Waikiki, to check in at the rental which was right on the beach! Looking right down the beach you can see Diamond Head. And of course it was warm and beautiful, just like you expect Hawaii to be!

And the view from our condo 9 floors up – perfect!

Making ourselves at home

That evening there were fireworks over the beach, easily viewed while chilling on the balcony

The next morning we took a city bus to Pearl Harbor. This was one of the more confusing places I’ve visited, because you need to have tickets for all the different areas, and catch a bus to get to the other half of the displays which are on the military base. We were very confused about how to get to the Arizona, because there were reserved times, we had a ticket for the afternoon, and we were trying to determine if we could go see the Air Museum first, but when we asked a park ranger they advised us to get in line then, because the previous day high winds had cancelled all the afternoon visits to the Memorial. So we did that, and ended up going over there early.

It was a beautiful memorial, and very humbling to be standing directly over the sunken ship. It was also VERY WINDY and when we left, they got everyone on board and left the memorial empty, and I heard from someone later that they had had a power outage that afternoon, so we were lucky to get to see it when we did.

Then we caught the bus over to the Mighty Mo, and wandered around there admiring all the big guns above decks, the place where they signed the paperwork to end the war, and wandered around below decks until my claustrophobia said enough was enough of that.

Then we headed over to the Air Museum. I did not take a lot of pictures, but I did take one of the restored airfield tower, and cleaned it up for a nice peiece of art:

After a hot bus ride home we discovered Shave Ice – Dave may never be the same.

And of course every night we ate like kings. Calories don’t count on vacation!

Every night while looking for food we wandered through this really fancy shopping area with places like Rolex and Tiffany and a Tesla store. There was this cool shopping center built around a HUGE tree with walkways for the upper floor winding between the trunks.

Dave found a shirt he really liked there on one of our evening wanders but the store was closed because it was so late.

We went to the Aquarium the next morning, which was a nice walk along the beach, counting ABC Stores every block, and watching the surfers on the beach. The Aquarium was small but they had a really cool display of Sea Dragons. Apparently this is a Common Sea Dragon! Pretty spectacular for a ‘common’!

The Zoo was pretty nice (though I’m biased because I think the Oregon Zoo has spoiled me, and is the best!) and it had a big central courtyard with a GIANT TREE in the middle of it. Me for scale.

After wandering the zoo we stopped for lunch and were harassed by peacocks.

Designer chickens!

One last bus ride, where we got to chatting with a nice older lady from Florida who said the zoo was fun, but she got lost in the winding paths. We thought it wasn’t that complicated, but then she mentioned she stopped at the convinience store and pre-gamed her visit with a little liquor! Lady, it’s barely even noon! Boy did we all have a laugh at that! I guess that’s what retirement is like!

Then we picked up our transportation for the second half of the trip. Time to explore the island!

I would have preferred a Mustang, but it was this or BWM. Oh well, convertible is convertible!

First stop was a Buddhist temple in the hills above Honolulu.

I loved this place, I thought it was beautiful, and really peaceful.

We stopped at McDonalds for a Teri-Mac burger, possibly the messiest burger ever created. I did my best not to leave any evidence in the Merc.

The balcony had a view of the beach, a museum with an attack helicopter on the roof, and pickleball courts, which were pickleballing at all hours. It was so much fun to watch the ships coming and going.

If we were awake, we were on the balcony. They could have just rented us a balcony. What a view!

The next morning, a breakfast whale-watching cruise! I was not sure about this whole concept, because I have never been on a boat bouncing around on the sea, and certainly not with a belly-full of breakfast, and neither has Dave.

The captains of all the whale watching boats worked together to spot the whales and direct each other to them. We got to see quite a few whales, including a mother and calf! Hard to get pictures of them though! I was even more surprised by the flying fish! I thought that was super cool!

And we had breakfast and nobody got seasick, even though it was like riding a roller coaster sometimes. Pretty exciting! Oh, and Dave lost his hat. So long, hat!

When we went back to our car we realized we had forgotten to pay for parking in our excitement to get to the boat, so we got to figure out how to pay a parking ticket! After that exciting morning we headed up to see the Macadamia farm, and the beaches on the north side of the island. I cannot get over how pretty it is here, every curve led us to more beautiful places!

After lunch we finally found a nearly empty beach to stretch out and enjoy the waves for a bit and have a nap.

Dave picked up a new hat to replace the one lost at sea, only to have the new one blow off out of the convertible! His third hat of the day had a chinstrap!

Man, look at this scenery!

We ended up at this beautful beach at the end of the day. Blue skies, puffy clouds, blue water. Paradise!

The next day was a short hike at Diamond Head

The Pineapple Farm, Where we stood in line for longer than a Disney ride to take a little train ride around the farm. My feet hurt so bad from walking everywhere all week I was just in incredible pain standing there, then when I finally got on the train I just dozed off for the whole ride.

and driving out to the far end of the island to see what was there (lots of homeless people living on the beaches).

Saw a Jollibee and had to try it. I feel like their mid-afternoon offerings may not have been at the peak of quality.

Also – Hawaii traffic! Well, isn’t that fun?

Feet are so very tired…

We finally spotted a break in the people on the beach below our hotel and grabbed our towels and ran down to play in the water. He did wade out into the ocean, but it was too cold for me, I stayed on the beach.

For our last day Dave went back and got that expensive shirt he liked from the shopping center with the tree in it.

We drove around and had a view of Honolulu

Back at the airport, dropped off the Mercedes, and ready to fly home

Not in first class anymore

This was a classic Dave Vacation, non stop go go go, we can sleep when we’re dead! We had a great time, and really enjoyed the break from PNW winter. It made the next 4 months of winter go by a little more tolerably.

October in Ashland

Yeah, I’m really behind on my blogging. Must be because I’ve been distracted with SO MUCH COOL STUFF! No, It’s because winter has been really boring and I’ve spent so much time playing video games. It’s like spring will never come! But that’s a perfect time to look back at our last trip of last season, to Ashland Oregon, where we had tickets to see a few plays at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.

We used to go to Ashland every year, sometimes in the spring and again in the fall, so we could see all the plays. Plus, it was a great vacation, we can drive there in a day without rushing, we camp at a nice county park, and it’s just an easy drive into town to see the plays, and then drive back out to our quiet park on the lake and our cozy trailer. Before we had the trailer we would go down and stay in a hotel, and it was so expensive to stay in a hotel and eat out the whole time, staying in the trailer is a big cost savings! Still, we went through some tight times after the 2008 recession and weren’t able to go for a while. Then they had focused more on musicals, which weren’t our thing, then we had the pandemic. We decided this was the year to get back down there.

The trailer had it’s new tires, and since I wanted to tighten the lug nuts a couple times during this first trip, I just ditched the hub caps entirely. Looking good! The Flex tows it like it’s not even there. Here we were stopping at Roth’s for some doughnuts for the road. Gotta have road trip snacks!

We got our trailer all settled into its spot at Emmigrant Lake, and headed down to the hardware store in town to find a few parts I needed. Because we switched to a composting toilet, I was happy to leave the black tank supplies like gloves out of the trailer, and I had fixed the trailer side connection for the grey water drain, but forgot to put a matching connector on the slinky – and this was the first time we had had a hookup this summer and needed to use it! So we headed down to the hardware store, following Google Maps, and it took us on a strange roundabout path into a part of town we were not familiar with, then around behind an apartment complex, then just stopped, leaving us looking across a field and railroad tracks at the back of the hardware store.

Google: Nailed it! You’re welcome!

So we drove around the block and found our way to the actual parking lot of the hardware store. Luckily we found what we needed so we could go back and finish hooking up the slinky.

The water in the lake was low – really LOW, here is a side by side comparison from almost the same camp spots, the left side is the mid-2000’s – definitly before 2013. The right side is now. You can see that’s the same mountain in the distance. Wow, that lake water was way way down there. We used to like to sit in our lawn chairs and watch the antics as the boaters put their boats in at the ramp. None of that now. There no water at the ramps!

That first night we went and saw a Shakespeare play that was very good, as always, they always put on quite a show there. We decided to spend the next day on a little road trip out to the Lave Beds National Monument in Northern California. We used to spend time there when we were in college at Oregon Institute of Technology in Klamath Falls, OR. So we thought it would be fun to cruise by the campus and see what had changed, and then go poke our head in a few caves.

On the drive from Ashland to Klamath Falls we took a backroad to enjoy a bit of scenery, and we not only got to see some roadside history, but we saw a flock of wild turkeys, and COWS! Yes, it’s open rangeland out there, so the cows have right of way, and you need to keep your eyes out for them.

We got to the campus and boy had it changed a lot. It was barely recognizable. We went down and took a picture at the fountain, definitly remembered that.

Walked by the dorms, they looked the same, but they had added more. Wandered through the student union until we were about to have cafeteria flashbacks. Decided we didn’t need that kind of trauma. Stopped in the bookstore for a souvineer for the trailer’s sticker wall.

Hustlin’ Owls!

We headed over to Abbys Pizza which was the hangout in college, it looked just the same, had some pizza and nostalgia before doing a quick tour of downtown and heading for the caves.

The drive out to the lava bades was down a dry and lonely road. It’s pretty amazing out there, it’s very very quiet. There isn’t much going on anywhere near there. It’s just wind and birds and the sound of tourists cars.

We went to the visitors center and checked out a couple flashlights, picked up a map, and went for a wander in a few of the easier caves. The caves here are from an ancient lava flow, which left tubes of lava as it flowed away. So many of them are big enough to stand up in, some are big enough to fit a house in, some you would need to crawl through.

One of the big ones

BIG entrance to this cave! See me in there?!

We should definitely come back and camp here and take our time poking around. We only had so much time before we had to get the flashlights back and head back to see the evening play in Ashland. The drive back was long and uneventful, except Google took us over a different highway that had a bit of snow at the top. No issues, but it was worrying us for a bit.

Ashland was pretty in its fall colors.

We saw three plays, they were all excellent. We spent a little time exploring. Had some nice dinners, and had some easy meals in the trailer. All in all, a good time was had. It was nice to get back to our old stomping grounds. Maybe we will get back to doing this more often again.

Airstreaming at the beach

For my next trip of the season, I headed out all by myself for the first time ever! Dave was doing a play, and I already had this club rally scheduled, and I wanted to go. I feel like it’s not fair to make Dave feel bad because I have to just sit home when he’s in a play, and it’s not fair for me to have to skip doing things I want to do while he does his stuff. So he gave me some lessons on backing up the little beast, and I packed up and headed out on my own.

First stop was in Newport, Oregon for lunch where it was so foggy I couldn’t even see the sea!

I had planned my trip to take this little break, stretch my legs and have lunch at our favorite spot at Nye Beach. I was a little nervous leaving the trailer parked over by the performing arts center, but it looked like the easiest place to park a trailer. Luckily it was still there when I got back.

I got to the park in Florence, OR, and the hosts had warned us all the night before that a scheduling mix up had changed us from each having our own spot, to sharing a big parking lot. This actually worked really well. All the tow vehicles were parked over in a corner, and we got to camp in a semi-wagon-wheel formation. It was great! The host helped me back into my spot, and we were all set!

I was the oldest trailer there by far that weekend. The whole point was to be a boondocking rally, which was more nerve wracking for some of the campers with new trailers who were used to having hookups. I was used to boondocking anyway, and have very simple needs, so it was no biggie for me. It got a little warm one day, but I popped open the windows and put on the awnings, and it was cool and comfy inside.

I went South on the first day and explored the dunes a little bit. I huffed and puffed my way to the top of a dune for a view up and down the coast, and even saw whales spouting not too far out to sea!

Then I headed down to the marina for lunch at a chowder shack on the marina, which was delicious, and walked around on the docks looking at the cool boats.

Also watched this bird successfully catching it’s lunch.

I have this plan in the back of my head that someday I am going to do a photography project where I go photograph all the arch bridges in Oregon, particularly up and down the coast.

I finished up my day at an overlook near my campground, and you can just see the dunes stretching off into the distance. What a unique part of the beach! This is very different from the Northern Oregon beaches that I am used to!

The next morning I headed out early to visit Heceta Head Lighthouse. I wanted to beat the weekend crowds, and it worked, there were very few people at the beach. I wasn’t expecting this, but there were tidepools to visit, and a couple volunteer rangers hanging out to answer questions.

A few years ago we heard a lot about the starfish suffering from a wasting disease that was destroying the populations off the Oregon coast, so it was nice to see these big healthy specimens. These were quite large, bigger than my hand! The rangers said they are recovering nicely.

I think they are really cool looking!

I hiked up the short path to the lighthouse. First you come to the old keepers house, which is run as a B & B now. It was a really cute house.

And then finally to the lighthouse, which wasn’t open yet because I was too early! I saw the ranger going up the hill as I was going back down!

I headed up to Yachats to visit a popular bakery (the line was out to the street!), had lunch in a historic pub, and then drove back towards camp, stopping at every wayside along the way. The clouds parted and it was beautiful! Also, the crowds weren’t nearly as bad here as they are on the Northern beaches. I think it’s worth the extra drive to have a little more solitude! This was on a beautiful summer Saturday!

Almost back to camp, I parked on this overlook and just relaxed in the car watching for whales. It was really peaceful.

That was the whole adventure. Every evening we had Happy Hour back at camp, played some cornhole, and sat around the fire after dinner chatting. The next morning folks started heading out and I headed out fairly early too, just so I wouldn’t feel like I had to rush. I stopped at a rest stop along the way, and another random Airstreamer pulled in after me and just waved to check and make sure I was ok with my little vintage trailer! Very kind! Later I stopped at another rest stop to cook some lunch in the trailer, and one of my fellow campers stopped right after me and said hello.

Finally I made it home and backed the trailer into the driveway all by myself, and it only took 3 tries! My first solo trip was over. It’s always more fun if Dave comes along, but it’s nice to know I can go out on my own if I have to also!

North Cascades VAC Rally

About a week after returning from Camano Island, I had fixed up the problems I found with my remodel (all minor), and we headed back up North to Rockport, WA for a Vintage Airstream Club rally. It was at Howard Miller Steelhead Park, a beautiful county park right on the Skagit River. We had two loops mostly full of Airstreams, with a big field and picnic shelter in the middle.

I was hoping to get some fishing in, I brought my fly rod and gear, but the water was so high from the spring rains, there were no banks to fish from!

The hills around the campground were beautiful, with their heads in the clouds.

This is at a nearby campground we explored while wandering. Beautiful moss covered trees!

We stopped at the Oso Landslide Memorial. I remember watching this on the news. It’s so sad. Such a beautiful area, my heart goes out to those people killed, and the survivors, of the sudden, enexpected landslide that wiped away their neighborhood. That hill in the distance is where the land slid off the face of the hill, and came all the way out to the highway behind us, wiping out everything in its path.

I don’t know what this mountain was called, I was thinking it was White Horse or something. There are amazing mountains everywhere around here. We headed South and did a loop drive around through Granite Falls to Arlington on Hwy 530. At one point we stopped for a quick nap and I took Navi for a quick walk, and there was a deer right by the road watching us! We stopped for lunch at a little thai place in some town and Navi was able to join us on the patio.

Her first time eating out!

I think this was Dave after we got back from an afternoon of wandering, doing tech support for his Dad.

The next morning Dave woke me up at 5:30am to tell me there was a siren going off! Indeed, it sounded like an air raid siren, Id never heard anything quite like it!

It went off for a couple minutes then stopped, and silence! What does that mean? Was the river next to the park about to wipe us out? Did we need to evacuate? I looked outside and expected to see people standing around discussing it, but nobody was up.

So I dressed and took Navi out, and saw lights on in a neighbor’s trailer and knocked, and asked if she knew what it was, and she said she didn’t, but figured we would hear more if it was important. I tend to think a siren is always important!

So Navi and I wandered down to the next loop where my friend/coworker Janet was camped, and knocked to see if she was up, and she was, but she didn’t know anything either. Meanwhile Dave was looking online for emergency alerts and couldn’t find any. I ended up chatting with Janet about work and stuff for a bit.

Later that day my neighbor had gone into town and bought something at the hardware store, and the clerk told her a log truck had crashed, and the siren was how they call the volunteer fire dept out! Mystery solved!

We decided to head East on Hwy 20 and explore more of the North Cascades National Park. Last time we were here we went as far as Diablo Lake, and turned back. Well, it turns out the best roadside views are juuuuust past it: Like, literally around the next bend.

Oh my goodness, so pretty! The turquoise water is caused by glacial runoff. The mountains are so high and craggy! And this is only half the view!


Looking at the tourist brochure, I saw something called the Liberty Bell, and I wanted to see that too, so we kept driving. The good stuff is always just a little bit farther! And when would we ever be out here again? We kept driving until we were on the dry side of the state.

Totally worth it!

We stopped at a roadside viewpoint, and Navi did great walking around all the people, even with the narrow pathways at the stop.

We went all the way to Winthrop for lunch. It’s a little old-timey looking tourist trap. Old buildings and wooden sidewalks. It was packed even though it was a Friday. We got a lunch and went and sat in a shady public area with picnic tables to eat. We could watch people playing mini-golf down below the deck. And of course, on the East side, it was HOT, so I tried to keep Navi comfortable.

On the way back we stopped to play in the snow. I couldn’t believe there was still snow!

Dave being a goofball

We got back too late to join our fellow campers for potluck, but boy did we have a full day!

Navi did super on this trip, but by the end she was getting pretty tired of the whole thing. Tired of strangers coming into HER trailer to check out the remodel, tired of people trying to pet her, and tired of going for rides in the car! She really did good though. It is asking a lot of her.

Concrete is just down the road from Rockport, and they are, obviously, very proud of their concrete.

On the way home we stopped at a McMennamins and thought we would just grab lunch to eat in the trailer, but then saw they had a patio, and dogs were welcome! So Navi got to eat out for a second time, and she had a nice safe little corner next to our table. the hostess brought her a little cup of water, and even came back with a piece of bacon for her later!

So other than getting through all the usual Seattle traffic (which runs roughly from Everett to Centralia it seems) we had a nice safe drive home, and another adventure was in the books!

Camano Island

Our first planned trip with the newly remodeled trailer had to be scrapped because the Flex broke down and was in the shop having it’s rear end worked over. But finally we were able to make it out and try somewhere new – Camano Island, WA.

Because it was close to July 4th, Scott & Sherry were out camping, so Navi got to go camping with us. She doesn’t get car sick anymore, but she really doesn’t enjoy it, so we try to leave her home as much as possible, but this time she was trapped with us.

We got an amazing spot at Camano Island State Park. No hookup, and it could only fit a smallish trailer, but it was perfect for us, and look at that view! The park was pretty full, and this mid-week opening was the only one I could find all summer.

This spot was tight! I would not have wanted to try and squeeze a big trailer in there, the spot was curved and uphill. It was tricky even with the tiny trailer. The tow vehicle ended up side by side with the neighbor’s picnic table, but our spot, being behind the trailer, actually felt very private. The only thing we would have enjoyed more was if there weren’t so many mosquitos!

The new layout was a hit. It was really nice to have a bed always available for lounging, and the table for meals.

What a view from the door!

It’s hard to see but if you look out on the horizon you can see Mt Ranier.

We really enjoyed watching the boats go by on the straight. We spent a day cruising around the island from end to end, found a nice park to picnic in with a view one day. Another day we picked up lunch at a nice resteraunt at the golf course and took it to a nearby beach to sit on the logs and eat, but it was a bit awkward. I guess we are grown-ups now, we’d prefer a picnic table, at least! Still, we had fun exploring.

Seattle, on the way home. I always get a kick out of seeing the Space Needle!

Crater Lake National Park

One last trip before winter hits! We decided to knock off another National Park by heading to Southern Oregon and see Crater Lake.

We should have seen Crater Lake a long time ago. Both of us saw it on family trips when we were kids. We went to college in Klamath Falls, OR, and considered going to Crater Lake because it was really close, but we always ended up spending our free weekends at Tule Lake and the Lava Beds Caves. Crater Lake was always just something I had a vague idea of where it was, and we figured we’d get there sometime. We literally drove right by it everytime we drove to school and back home. But who knew after college we’d move to another state and not get around to it for <cough> 30 years?!

On the way down we stopped for lunch and Dave showed off our ability to fit into any parking lot where he can find two parking spots end to end. This is the real reason we will probably never move up to a bigger trailer. It is so convenient when travelling to know we should always be able to find a spot to park it.

On the way down the road climbed over a mountain and as it got higher, things got colder, and by the top it was sprinking snow on us, and Dave was getting skeptical about my trip planning. The weather said it was supposed to be nice all week, so I tried to keep the faith. The trip took a little longer than expected so by the time we got to Diamond Lake, it was dark. It was also only a week out from it closing for the season, and it looked buttoned up, and completely empty as we drove past the closed ranger station and wound through the empty park. We found a spot not far from the only other trailer there, right on the lake, and didn’t even bother to unhook for the night. We checked our phones and found we had no service. I made a quick dinner and Dave went out to get something from the cooler in the car, and walked back in and announced it was snowing! We went to bed and it was the darkest and questest place I think I’ve ever been, as the snow drifted down around us, nervous to see what it would look like by morning.

To our relief, the snow didn’t stick, and the roads were clear. If we had woke up to a foot of snow, with no cell phone coverage and no ranger on duty, I’m not sure what we would have done next. We decided to pull out and head up the road to my backup campground, Lemolo Lake KOA, which was even farther off the main roads, but for some reason had cell coverage and was staffed.

On the way we realized we were low on gas, and it was getting a little sketchy for driving even farther off the beaten path and then all the way back to the main highway. Luckily there was a gas station between the two campgrounds, so we stopped there first. When we got there there were two cars waiting at the pumps, and one person was walking back to their car from the building, so we figured it was open. One car left and we pulled up and waited. In Oregon you have to wait for the attendant to pump your gas. And we waited, and waited, and waited. Finally Dave went to the building and the person in the other car said she had used the phone to call the attendant, and he was on his way (from wherever he lived, apparently somewhere nearby). A couple minutes later a pickup truck pulled up and the gentleman got out and got us all gassed up! They probably don’t get a lot of customers this time of year!

We headed up to the KOA, and got all settled in. It cost a bit more, but now we had full hookups, electricity, cell service, and a little store on site. Everything we needed. I felt a lot better about leaving the trailer unattended there. There was even another Airstream.

We were finally ready to head off to see Crater Lake.

Crater Lake is inside of a mountain that has blown it’s top, leaving a crater in the middle, which filled with water. So at the slightly higher elevation of the mountain, the snow from the previous night stuck around a bit longer.

What a treat to see the rim covered in snow! I would not have planned a trip if I had known there would be snow, because we have had some bad experiences with snow driving, and the snow piles on up here in a hurry. In fact the East Rim drive was closed by snow just a few days after our visit!

For this beautiful, sunny morning, it was a winter wonderland!

The blue-green water around Wizard Island was stunning! Even more so than the photograph could capture. And..are those fish down there in the shallows?

We worked our way around the rim, stopping at all the overlooks and chatting with folks from all around the country who had come to see this natural wonder. Everyone was just so happy to be there, and amazed by the beauty of it all!

Sunglasses selfie!

We hiked up to the Phantom Ship overlook. This rock formation is apparently bigger than it looks – 16 stories tall! It is the oldest part of the original volcano – 400,000 years old!

Crater Lake is all about shades of blue.

As we went further East, we got a glimpse of cool rock formations and colorful bands showing different layers in the rock. I wish I knew enough geology to read what it is telling us!

On the east side of the lake we were eye-to-eye with Mt Scott. Looking at a map, and then looking at it later from Highway 97…(with help from Google Earth)

You could be driving down Hiway 97, see this little mountain, and not have any inkling that Crater Lake is right there on the other side of it! You are looking right at Crater Lake!

All you have to do is change your perspective a little. Imagine the view if Mt Mazama was still there!

From up there by Mt Scott we could see across the valley to the North, where we had come from. That lake in between the two mountains (Mt Bailey on the left, Mt Thielsen on the right), in the center of the picture, that’s Diamond Lake, where we stayed the first night. The KOA is a bit further North.

Between Crater Lake and the campground there was a lot of burned forest. Mt Bailey is barely visible between the charred trunks.

That night in the trailer I could just not get comfortable. The heater was squeeking, the foam matress was too thin, the leg kept falling off the gaucho (I’ve been putting up with that since we bought it), and I just wasn’t having it. I tossed and turned and in the morning we thought about what else we wanted to do down here, and decided…nothing. We came for Crater Lake, and we saw Crater Lake. We had it pretty well covered. So we packed up, and headed home.

So the next project on my list will be a remodel to fix several things about the camper which will make it much more comfortable to use next season. I’ll be sure and post to the blog as I do them.

Rasar State Park and the North Cascades

Third trip out in a year, pretty good for us. The Airstream had it’s new front window cover and we were ready to go!

We might not have gotten this trip in, as campgrounds were booked full early on, and I am a last minute planner. But I saw someone on the WA Airstreamers group on FB had reserved a spot at Rasar State Park they couldn’t use, and I jumped up and said I’d take it, not even knowing really where this park was, so it was my lucky find. It turns out this is a really popular park all summer, so this was a particularly lucky chance for us to try out a place during peak season when we would normally be home hiding from the crowds.

Mid-trip stop for lunch. It’s always nice to have the trailer to eat in while on the road, especially during these crazy covid times when many places still didn’t have indoor dining.

Nice, heavily wooded state park with big spots. Our favorite kind!

This was our first time up in the North end of WA, and it checked off one of our boxes for National Parks, because this is North Cascades country.

This was going to be a road trip within a road trip, because the North Cascades are different from your usual park. Many of the best spots are only accessable after long hikes. The views from the road are just peek-a-boo peeps at the beautiful rugged mountains in the distance. Much of the park is wilderness area, and has to be hiked into, and unfortunately neither of us felt we were up to hikes that long.

The first town we stopped in was Concrete, and the only activity going on in town so early in the day was folks lining up to pick up food at the food bank. A reminder that not everyone was doing so well in this post-covid world. We walked up and down it’s single main-street, and went to check out the historic bridge over the Baker River before heading on our way.

We stopped to check out some old-growth forests

It was really hot, like in the 90s, which was more than expected even for hiking in shady forests. We had a nice little hike around a park with old growth trees, and got a bit turned around, though we could hear the highway not far away so we finally found our way back to the car. I was starting to wish I’d brought water though.

We continued exploring along Highway 20, just stopping wherever it looked interesting along the way.

Had a pretty view for the eating the lunch I had packed.
Peek-a-boo views.
On the way back to the campground we stopped at a wildlife overlook and were rewarded with spotting a faraway elk!

Heading the other direction – towards Mt Baker, via Baker Lake.

They grow the trees tall out here!
Amazing views around every corner
Should have brought our kayak.
Hmm, maybe we’ll just stay close to the car!
Panorama from above the Mt Baker Ski Lodge – breathtaking!
Picture Lake

Super beautiful views up there, and I think that was all just the rugged mountains around Mt Baker, we didn’t quite get to where we could see Mt Baker!

We only had a couple days to explore, three nights at the park, then headed home. Definitly a fun place to visit, we could do it even longer next time. Maybe start at one end of Highway 20 and take the trailer to a campground further down as we go, just check out the entire N end of the state. This was a great little get-away though. I never get tired of looking at majestic mountains off in the distance.

Whidbey Island in May

With our newly replaced windows, we headed up to our reserved campsite at Fort Casey on Whidbey Island. We were a bit worried we would loose it, as the campground was fully booked, and we were arriving a day late, but the nice lady at WA State Parks assured us it should remain ours as long as we arrived by 2pm, so we made an effort to scoot up there with a bit of expediency.

Typical grey Seattle day. You can just see the Space Needle peeking over the stadium.

We got there and got our spot in the back row, furthest from the water, and it was..unimpressive. We didn’t have hookups, and we didn’t have a view, in fact our door faced a row of bushes away from the water. And there were three rows of RVs to look past to see the water. So, not as exciting as I had hoped. I had gotten the impression online that the rows were tiered, but the park was quite flat. So it was ok when we first parked, and we had a nice view across the Sound, but it quickly filled in.

Once we arrived we went and explored Fort Casey a bit. We had seen the Fort itself last time we were there, with it’s massive WWII gun turrets pointed out over the Sound. This time we went by the Admiralty Head Lighthouse, which is a pretty old Lighthouse, no longer in use.

Once we were settled we had a pretty nice trip, exploring around the island. We went to a beach and watched eagles fishing.

That dot halfway down the beach is a blad eagle. I wish I’d had a longer lens.
Dave stayed in the warm car and snapped a picture of me freezing trying to capture the eagle passing overhead.

We also saw this:

We had a chance to chat with some fellow Airstreamers back at the park, since there were 5 Airstrems there! A Basecamp, two newer trailers, and a couple Class Bs down at the end! That’s a lot of Airstreams! Chilling out reading a book one afternoon I heard people walking by saying ‘look at the old one, it’s so little!’ That’s us alright!

Fort Casey is right next to the Coupeville/Port Townsend Ferry, which was pretty exciting.

We did take the Ferry over to Port Townsend for a day, which was fun. Drove all around, looked at the cool vintage buildings and neat little houses. We also drove out to Point Wilson LIghthouse. I wish we could have stayed for a perfect shot, since we had such dreary skies. It looks like you could get a really neat photo with the right skies and Mt Baker in the background.

My photographic goal for the trip was to get at least one really good photo with a lot of negative space. I kind of lean towards that style anyway, and then this old house caught my eye, out by itself on the end of a row, right up against the ocean, with this beautiful big field in front of it, and not a cloud in the sky.


So ends another fun little trip in our trailer. Sometimes I feel like folks want to know more about camping in a vintage Airstream, but it was nothing to talk about, since everything worked, it was just a cozy place to read and take naps, and cook dinners between explorations, and it kept us warm at night.

On the way home we stopped for doughnuts, and easily fit trailer and truck into two parking spots end to end, which is the greatest arguement for keeping this trailer anyone could make. Easy peasy, and we were off on our way in no time. Whidbey Island was a real treat, very beautiful, lots to see and do, and I’m sure we will be back.

Camping at Silver Lake, WA

First trip of the year, just a short run from home to see if everything was working. It was! Trailer kept us warm and cozy even though we had constant downpours. There was a tiny little drip at one of the windows, but no big deal. It was raining like a car wash outside, so not too surprising.

I had intended to do some fishing, because in the winter the perch and crappie all come hang out in the canals like the one behind the campground. I came here for a WDFW fishing clinic a couple years ago and caught a bunch of fish! But the constant rain made fishing sound like less fun than what we decided to do, which is go explore the nearby towns of Castle Rock and Longview.

Longview has a neat museum that covers the history of the area, and quite a bit about the Mt St Helens eruption in 1980. The fellow at the museum was happy to answer questions and come by to add his knowledge to the exhibits when he wasn’t busy.

It felt really weird to finally be out camping and chatting with neighbors, and checking out each other’s trailers after all the time spent avoiding people during covid, but hey, we’re all vaccinated now, right? Well, so far, so good! The folks next to us had one of those faux ‘Vintage’ trailers, which looked really comfy inside. Looked vintage, but with all the modern goodies. I was a little jealous!

Deception Pass Camping

In October we decided we needed a vacation from this miserable year of lockdowns and Covid, and scheduled a spot that was recommended to us at Deception Pass. It is an area we haven’t explored, and thought it would make a nice getaway. We arranged for Scott and Sherry to watch the dogs, and made our escape.

After all the wildfires, the trailer needed a good scrub.

We had reserved a spot that was supposed to have a great view, but t the last minute I realized that we might be hard pressed to last a whole week on one battery, even with LED lights! So I asked the ranger when we checked in if we could upgrade to a spot with electricity, and she found us one. It turned out to be a super tight back-in, on a corner and downhill, but Dave managed it perfectly as always.

Cell Service required some contortions…

Although you can’t tell through the trees, there was a bit of a view of the lake, though it was so foggy it didn’t really matter.

It was too foggy to even see the bridge everyone is always on about

It was a very ‘boaty’ place, which I was quite enjoying, because I have a thing for boats right now. It’s a phase I’m going through.

Saw this neat toy on the street in LaConner I think
Cleared up a bit by afternoon
Making faces 🙂

We were having a pretty good trip. I had actually packed well and we had food for breakfasts and dinners without having to go hunting around, so we could enjoy lunches out and about.

The next day we went to Port Townsend, which involved a Ferry ride.

Port Townsend was also Boaty
We had a nice lunch with a view of the water

We were waiting in line at the Ferry dock to go home, when we got a call from Sherry that Barclay was not feeling well. He had been throwing up, and looked shaky. We discussed it and decided to wait and see. But by the time we got back to the trailer we decided he should go to the emergency vet. So they tried to do that, while we packed up the trailer, thank goodness for having a simple setup, cut our vacay short, and headed home.