a change of plans 1/31 – 2/2 2014

We had plans to go to Steamboat Rock State Park in Washington for the weekend and climb the rock. When the weather changed and put some ice and snow down in that area we decided it would not be the most pleasant climb up so we then decided to go to Lewiston Idaho and spend the weekend. Then while at work and watching the snow fall in town I checked out the web site for Silver Mountain Ski Resort in Kellogg Idaho. They recieved the very needed snow. I called my wife and said, “change of plans”. We had a couple lift tickets for the resort that were given to us and now was the time to use them. So off to Silver Mountain on Friday we went.

The weather and roads were no problem. Mostly clear and wet. It was pretty with the trees covered in snow. From Spokane Washington to Kellogg Idaho you take I-90 to get there.

lake coeurd'alene view along the interstate.

lake coeurd’alene view along the interstate.

We arrived at the resort at 5 pm. The resort allows you to park rv’s towards the back of the parking lot. There are no hookups but it is free to stay there. We parked the camper and relaxed for the night. Tomorrow was going to be good skiing with the fresh new snow.

We awoke in the morning to see that the skies might be clear up on the mountain. Could it be true? Fresh snow to ski and clear skies. Oh man, it is going to be a great ski day! First thing we did in the morning was have breakfast. After that we decided to go for a walk on the nearby trail from where we parked. There were a couple geocaches we wanted to look for. We are happy we did. Once again because of geocaching we found a couple neat spots we would never have gone to. One was at the museum right behind where we parked. The other was an absolutely outstanding veterans memorial.

our spot for the weekend

our spot for the weekend

you can see our camper farther out in the picture. this was the view from the museum.

you can see our camper farther out in the picture. this was the view from the museum.

joanne next to some old machinery at the museum. notice the gondola in the background, more on that later.

joanne next to some old machinery at the museum. notice the gondola in the background, more on that later.

rich at the veterans memorial.

rich at the veterans memorial.

After our walk we gathered up our ski equipment and walked over to the resort. At Silver Mountain you ride the gondola up to the ski hill. No driving up there. The base of the gondola is in Kellogg right next to the interstate.

rich on the gondola

rich on the gondola

our camper in the parking lot. our skis ride in a box outside the gondola.

our camper in the parking lot. our skis ride in a box outside the gondola.

As we climbed higher up the mountain on the gondola ride it became obvious that indeed it would be a sunny ski day. No wind and warm sunny weather, awesome ski day for sure!

view from the top of the gondola resort.

view from the top of the gondola resort.

Joanne and I skied together for a couple runs. I am a much more advanced skier than she is so after a couple runs we split up. We would meet up again for lunch.

what an amazing day.

what an amazing day.

very pretty day.

very pretty day.

The snow conditions this year in this part of the states has not been so great. Today was the day I was finally able to ski where I wanted. I was blown away with how much fun it was. I was also out of practice to finally ski powder. I got use to it real quick.

What an amazing ski day we had. I was getting pretty tired but just had to keep doing another run down the hill. It got to the point that I had to stop skiing and call it a day, my legs were wore out. Joanne and I rode the gondola back down to our camper. We relaxed around our little propane campfire and talked about our day.

rich sitting out relaxing after a good ski day.

rich sitting out relaxing after a good ski day.

joanne with the sun setting behind her.

joanne with the sun setting behind her.

The next morning we left to return home. What a fantastic ski trip it was. One of the better ski conditions we have had in a while. A change of plans at the last minute is not such a bad thing. Sometimes it is even better like this trip was.

a change of plans 1/31 – 2/2 2014

snow ski trip to idaho 1/17 – 1/20 2014

snow ski trip to Idaho 1/17-1/20 2014

It was time once again to take a trip to Schweitzer Mountain Resort in Sandpoint Idaho. We looked forward to getting up to the mountain where the sunshine was. The last several days it was low clouds and grey out around home. When we got to the resort we were not disappointed.  We arrived on a Friday afternoon and set up camp. We were to night ski later that day. We found out that there was a beer and cheese pairing tasting going on so we participated in that before heading up the ski runs.

our drive to sandpoint. low grey clouds everywhere.

our drive to sandpoint. low grey clouds everywhere.

joanne and cody up at the ski resort. notice the low clouds below the mountain.

joanne and cody up at the ski resort. notice the low clouds below the mountain.

waiting for the beer and cheese pairing tasting.

waiting for the beer and cheese pairing tasting.

The tasting was really good. We had a great time talking to the Deschutes Brewery people who were sponsoring a lot of the events at the mountain this weekend. When we finished we went out to do some night skiing.

The night skiing was pretty good. This part of the country has not had much snow so far this year. All the mountains need more snow. Schweitzer has done a good job in grooming the snow that they have. We skied a few runs then went back to our camper for the night.

The next morning the skies were even more clear at the mountain. The low clouds could still be seen below. It was going to be a bluebird ski day today.

our spot for the next few days at the resort.

our spot for the next few days at the resort.

our camp spot viewed from one of the chair lifts right next to us.

our camp spot viewed from one of the chair lifts right next to us.

a view from higher up the mountain.

a view from higher up the mountain.

I had just bought a GoPro camera and I took a lot of video. It is a very neat camera that takes amazing video and pictures.

Here is a video of Joanne, Cody and I up on the mountain.

We had a great day of skiing. That evening there was a torchlight parade followed by fireworks. It was a great show and enjoyed by everyone that was there. After the show we went back to our camper for the night. Sitting around the campfire was welcoming. A great way to end a awesome day on the mountain.

Here is a edited video of the torchlight parade then the end of the fireworks show.

relaxing by the fire.

relaxing by the fire.

Sunday morning after breakfast we set out for another day of skiing. Joanne would stick to the bunny hill while Cody and I would ski the mountain. Cody has really improved on his skiing. I took him on a couple expert runs and he did real good. Of course he had a blast skiing the harder runs. We caught up with Joanne for lunch at the camper. She was enjoying taking a easy day of skiing.

017After lunch we set out for more skiing. By the end of the day we  were all tired and it was great to not have to drive home, we get to stay there with the camper. We started another campfire and watched the sun set on a fabulous day.

enjoyable campfire.

enjoyable campfire.

sunset on a great day.

sunset on a great day.

On Monday morning we packed up and left our getaway place. We could see that we would be in the low clouds for the most part and really wished we could stay at the resort.

a look down to the valley.

a look down to the valley.

we got down to the cold elevation from our warm oasis above.

we got down to the cold elevation from our warm oasis above.

We had all day to get home so we stopped in Sandpoint Idaho below the mountain to walk around and do what? Geocache of course. We searched and found several geocaches around town while enjoying walking about.

cody at the statue at the city beach.

cody at the statue at the city beach.

at a geocache spot. found it!

at a geocache spot. found it!

After finding a few caches it was time to head home. We had another great time on this trip. It is always a great trip out with the camper no matter what. That is why we have the camper, to get away. Now it was time to get back to the work life. That is until our next outing with the camper!

snow ski trip to Idaho 1/17 – 1/20 2014

reflection – 1/1/14

REFLECTION…

“a fixing of the thoughts on something; careful consideration.”

New years eve was upon us and Joanne and I decided to take the camper out for new years eve. Just her and I, no dogs or kids on this trip. Our camper is always ready to go for moments just like this, last minute decisions on camping. After work on new years eve day we hopped in the truck and drove just a few short miles away to Riverside State Park here in Spokane Washington. Part of the campground is open all year, the water is shut off but there is power hook ups. We really enjoy this park during the off season. Hardly anyone uses it so you end up having the place completely or nearly completely all to yourself. When we arrived at the park we found that there was one site being used and that was it. We backed into our site and started a fire. Nothing really planned on this new years eve except to enjoy the outdoors. That is just what we did.

winter is a perfect time for a fire.

winter is a perfect time for a fire.

While sitting around the fire we reflected our thoughts on all the trips we have had in 2013 with the camper. So many memories and great times. It is difficult to say what was the favorite. We had the pleasure of meeting many new people and reconnecting with ones from past trips. Really, that is the best thing from our trips, the people we spent time with.

My favorite moment of all our trips in 2013 was hiking the highline trail in Glacier National Park. After several attempts over the years to hike that trail and finally being able to was magical.

It is fun to go back and read the trip reports on this blog to remind us of everywhere we have been. We have been very blessed to be able to go and do what we have done over the last year.

After we talked about the last year and all the memories we let the campfire die out. Joanne and I went to bed and let the new year ring in. We awoke to 2014.  Joanne and I have a tradition that we have mimosas on new years morning. So that is just what we did.

our camp spot at riverside

our camp spot at riverside

a nice new years day morning

a nice new years day morning

After we had our traditional morning celebration we went on a hike. We did just a 3 mile hike. It was pretty icy in spots but the weather was a nice mild winter morning. We really enjoyed our walk.

the Spokane river

the Spokane river

a bit icy on the trail but manageable.

a bit icy on the trail but manageable.

After our hike we went back home. What a wonderful way to celebrate new years eve, camping. It might have to be a new tradition for us. We look forward to 2014 and hope to meet up with old friends and new ones.

reflection – 1/1/14

leavenworth washington 12/5 – 12/8

It was time to visit Leavenworth Washington during the Christmas time. We put out the message for anyone else to join us on the trip and we did have fellow truck camper friends join in on the trip. We met in Leavenworth for what was a fun weekend. A very cold weekend but still fun.

We left Spokane Washington after we picked up our son Cody from school. That meant leaving at 3 pm and with the day turning to night so early this time of year we made our way to Wilbur Washington for our nights stop. We didn’t want to do the drive during the night so a stop over was the plan. The weather had turned very cold and some snow here and there.

the roads were a bit slick but the truck did just fine. take your time and get there in one piece.

the roads were a bit slick but the truck did just fine. take your time and get there in one piece.

We arrived to Wilbur and parked in our spot for the night. The warmth of the camper was welcoming with the freezing temperatures outside. We had some dinner and relaxed by reading, listening to music and Cody worked in his workbook at math problems.

Cody figuring out math problems.

Cody figuring out math problems.

Joanne reading in the cab over.

Joanne reading in the cab over.

We slept very well that night. The next morning we got up and got ready to drive to Leavenworth. I went to start the truck and what I got back was a “click”. Oh man, a dead battery. I had no idea how old the battery was but it obviously could not handle the 4 degrees last night. So I took a battery from the camper and my jumper cables and jump started the truck. We then went to the local NAPA parts store and got a new battery. 10 minutes later a new battery in the truck and we were off on our trip. The roads were not too bad but we did have to slow down some with the slick roads in parts of the drive.

driving down the canyon to the Columbia river. highway 2

driving down the canyon to the Columbia river. highway 2

We made our way to Leavenworth and went into town first rather than our camp spot for the next two nights. I knew there was a brewery in town and I just HAD to check it out. We had lunch and I did some samples of beers offered there.

parking in Leavenworth. Friday was no where  near as busy as it would be on Saturday.

parking in Leavenworth. Friday was no where near as busy as it would be on Saturday.

Cody and a sculpture in town.

Cody and a sculpture in town.

oh yeah, good beer samples.

oh yeah, good beer samples.

After we had our lunch and beer, we walked in town briefly. Joanne found some wine to take with us and I filled my growler with some beer to go. We made our way to our camp spot just a short distance away from downtown.

our spot

our spot

a view behind us.

a view behind us.

There was suppose to be fire pits but they apparently were put away for the winter. So we used the BBQ pit. I moved another one over so we had two together and that seemed to work a lot better than a single one. Where there is a will, there is a way. On these cold days a fire is a must.

joanne sitting by the fire.

joanne sitting by the fire.

A while later we had 3 other truck campers show up. One would only be there for the night but we enjoyed talking with them. Two other campers would be there for the weekend.

014

015

The next morning the temperatures were very cold but it was beautiful out. The sun was out and no wind. We walked down to the river that boarders the campground on one side.

what a pretty sight.

what a pretty sight.

Most of us were ready to walk to town so off we went. It was only about a mile to town.

cody leading the way across the field.

cody leading the way across the field.

others close behind.

others close behind.

Once in town we made a plan to meet up later in the day. We would have dinner together that evening but did cross paths a couple times during the day. There would be a lot of people in town for the winter festival. So much going on, music, kids sledding, shopping and just having a great time.

joanne and I having a nice hot cider.

joanne and I having a nice hot cider.

No winter festival is complete with out Santa.

Santa arrives!

Santa arrives!

Some people have been coming to this event for years. Some even wear crazy hats like these guys. I think they are pretty cool hats.

cool hats. don't know who they are but cool hats regardless.

cool hats. don’t know who they are but cool hats regardless.

Everywhere you turn the town is decorated for Christmas.

neat way to decorate a tree when you have a bakery.

neat way to decorate a tree when you have a bakery.

We went back to the center town gazebo as the tree lighting ceremony would start soon. Cody caught up with Santa.

Cody with Santa

Cody with Santa

Part of the ceremony was two alpenhorns being played making beautiful sounds. That was a treasure to hear them.

alpenhorns being played.

alpenhorns being played.

Then after a countdown the lights were turned on. Christmas songs were sung and we took in the sights of all the lights.

the main tree lighted.

the main tree lighted.

lights everywhere.

lights everywhere.

wow

wow

really an amazing place

really an amazing place

I could sit and look at the lights for a long time.

I could sit and look at the lights for a long time.

We met up with our truck camper friends for dinner in town. It was nice to sit and chat and really nice to be inside where it was warm.

a couple who came from Boise Idaho.

a couple who came from Boise Idaho.

a family from Oregon that joined us for the campout.

a family from Oregon that joined us for the campout.

joanne and I.

joanne and I.

Dinner was good and we made our way back to camp. We ended up taking a cab back to the campground rather than walking. We did take one last stroll down main street first though.

love it

love it. sorry, my camera is not the best, especially at night shots. you get the point though.

We all went in our campers back at camp. After a day full of being outside in the cold weather we were ready to “chill” out inside. What a wonderful weekend it had been. It was a pleasure to share the trip with some fellow truck camper people too.

The next morning we got up and put things away. It was time to go home. The roads were no problem going home. Yes it was still very cold but better than the trip to Leavenworth. What a great time we had.

This would be our last trip in our camper for the year 2013. Wow, what amazing places we have been with so many memories. We eneded up spending 79 nights out in our camper this year. That is a lot  when we both work full time. We have been blessed that we have been able to do it. We look forward to what next year brings. I hope you have enjoyed the trip reports from this year and we wish you all a very merry Christmas and hope 2014 brings you more cherished memories in your travels.

Best regards as always,

Rich, Joanne and Cody

The TC Life

Leavenworth Washington 12/5 – 12/8

water and steel – october 26-27 2013

Our travels this weekend took us north of home to the Ione Washington area. Saturday we camped at Big Meadow Campground west of Ione. Then we rode the train on Sunday from Ione to Metaline Falls  along the Pend Oreille river. What a great time it was.

Saturday morning we left home on a very foggy dark morning. Visibility was sketchy but we drove at a nice safe speed. The weather was suppose to break later in the day and eventually did.

the fog starting to lift on our drive north along the pend Oreille river.

the fog starting to lift on our drive north along the pend Oreille river.

Our camp spot for the night was at Big Meadow Campground. It is a National Forest campground west of Ione Washington. We have never been to this campground and did not really know what to expect. The road there takes you on a well maintained gravel road up to the mountains. On our way the fog started to lift more and then like it was planed the fog disappeared when we arrived to the campground. There are about 16 sites at the campground in two different loops. There was only one person using the campground so we had a whole loop to ourselves.

big meadow lake

big meadow lake

a view to the west of the lake

a view to the west of the lake

our camp site was great. 30 feet from the lake.

our camp site was great. 30 feet from the lake.

views from the campsite of the lake

views from the campsite of the lake

the campground offers a fishing dock and small boat ramp too.

the campground offers a fishing dock and small boat ramp too.

We set out to hike around the area. There are great trails all around this campground and lake.

on a trail that goes around the lake. we did part of it. next time we will do the whole trail.

on a trail that goes around the lake. we did part of it. next time we will do the whole trail.

such beauty here.

such beauty here.

if you look close you can see where our camper is.

if you look close you can see where our camper is.

We decided to head the other way on the trail past our camp spot and on another trail to the west of the campground. One loop is paved then other loops branch off of that trail. There was a lookout that you could climb up on and see great views.

a neat lookout.

a neat lookout.

up on top of the look out

up on top of the look out

great views

great views

a little fog still hanging around.

a little fog still hanging around.

out hiking

out hiking

We went back to camp and relaxed taking in our surroundings.

a view from my chair

a view from my chair

western larch in their fall colors

western larch in their fall colors

what a lovely place.

what a lovely place.

The next morning we packed up and went to Ione. We found out where we would have to be to ride a short train excursion a while later. We had some time before our train ride so we drove north a short way to Box Canyon Dam. We looked around briefly before we had to be back to Ione. We would be riding on the train above the dam soon afterward.

box canyon dam. one gate on the dam was open.

box canyon dam. one gate on the dam was open.

a view from the upper view point. the tracks are the one we will be on later.

a view from the upper view point. the tracks are the one we will be on later.

We arrived at the depot and got our passes to ride the train. The train has some enclosed cars, open air cars and a caboose. We choose to ride in an open car. The train uses a modern locomotive to pull the cars.

we sat in the car in front of the caboose.

we sat in the car in front of the caboose.

getting ready to go.

getting ready to go.

box canyon dam view from the tracks.

box canyon dam view from the tracks.

the river view behind the dam.

the river view behind the dam.

one gate open but still a lot of water passing through.

one gate open but still a lot of water passing through.

views on the train ride.

views on the train ride.

lots of fall colors

lots of fall colors

the train.

the train.

locomotive switching ends for the ride back to ione.

locomotive switching ends for the ride back to ione.

The train ride returned to Ione, we had a great time. We had a quick lunch then drove home. Another great weekend out with our camper spending time with each other.

When we returned home I winterized the water system in the camper as the weather was turning colder the next day. I think our warmer fall days are over. We still have other trips planed, so for our water needs we use water jugs. Sure the camper is made to handle the cold with its heated compartments but we still winterize it to be safe. So the camper is ready for colder outings now. We just have to wait for the next time we can go, soon I hope.

water and steel – October 26-27 2013

fall colors rally – october 9th-14th 2013

It was time again for the Fall Colors Rally. A rally we really enjoy going to. This would be our 3rd year of going to it. This year would be a little different for us as the caravan part of it from Winthrop to Leavenworth was not going to happen. That was perfectly fine with us as it gave more time to be spent in Winthrop, an area we really like.

We left the Spokane area on Wednesday afternoon and drove to Banks Lake and stayed at Coulee Playland Resort. Our plans were to originally stay at a park along the Columbia River but due to the government shutdown it was closed. It was the off season so getting a spot elsewhere was no problem.  So we got a spot at the resort 20 feet from the shore of Banks Lake.

our spot for the night next to the lake.

our spot for the night next to the lake.

a view across the lake. the fall colors had arrived.

a view across the lake. the fall colors had arrived.

it was a chilly day but we love the cooler days of fall.

it was a chilly day but we love the cooler days of fall.

The next morning we drove from our camp spot to Winthrop. As we almost always do, we took our time about it. We stopped several times to find a geocache along our route.

glacial sediment from many many years ago when there was glaciers and huge flooding in the area.

glacial sediment from many many years ago when there was glaciers and huge flooding in the area.

a view from up above Brewster Washington.

a view from up above Bridgeport Washington.

the Colombia river along the highway west of brewster

the Colombia river along the highway west of Brewster

the methow river

the methow river

getting close to winthrop

getting close to winthrop

We arrived to Silverline Resort in Winthrop Washington in the afternoon. We set our campsite up and relaxed. The rally group would not arrive until Saturday so we had a few days to hang out. There was one other couple who arrived on Thursday also and we enjoyed talking with them. I took our kayak out  in the early evening for a nice paddle around the lake.

our camp spot for the next few days. thats pearrygin lake in the background

our camp spot for the next few days. thats pearrygin lake in the background

just myself and my thoughts out on the water.

just myself and my thoughts out on the water.

The next morning we set out exploring the area and looking for geocaches. As this was our 3rd time in the area we have started to explore more and more of this lovely place.

Friday morning sunrise looking towards the west.

Friday morning sunrise looking towards the west.

an abandoned structure that we visited. yes, there was even a cache here.

an abandoned structure that we visited. yes, there was even a cache here.

so many great views

so many great views

we took a forest road to an old homestead.

we took a forest road to an old homestead.

we took a hike around part of pearrygin lake.

we took a hike around part of pearrygin lake. silverline resort is at the far end of the lake in this picture.

more old structures along our hike.

more old structures along our hike.

leaf colors at the state park along the lake.

leaf colors at the state park along the lake.

chewuch river that flows by Winthrop.

chewuch river that flows by Winthrop.

its easy to park in Winthrop with a truck camper. just use a regular parking spot.

its easy to park in Winthrop with a truck camper. just use a regular parking spot.

After our time hiking and geocaching it was time for some good cider. We went to the Methow Cider House just a mile north of the campground. We really love this place, its a great place to relax and sip cider. The owners are very friendly people.

kicking back at the cider house.

kicking back at the cider house.

We then went back to camp and had a great night at the campground. The next day was Saturday and the rally group would be arriving in the afternoon. So our plans today were to hang out and get some kayaking in. Joanne and I took turns taking Cody out in the kayak. I then went out for a long paddle around the lake. Wow, that was a work out. On our outings on the water we watched a bald eagle fly around the lake edge. There were many other bird varieties there too. The fish were jumping and the sun on our faces felt great. What a wonderful time.

joanne out in the kayak.

joanne out in the kayak.

cody and I out on the water.

cody and I out on the water.

It was around noon and the fellow truck camper friends started showing up. They all got the campers set in their spots and we visited with each other. For dinner we would have a potluck dinner followed by a great campfire.

talking with friends.

talking with friends.

it was great seeing our friends again.

it was great seeing our friends again.

potluck dinner time in the clubhouse.

potluck dinner time in the clubhouse.

getting ready to dish up.

getting ready to dish up.

food looks great.

food looks great.

On Sunday morning Joanne, Cody and I went for a drive west of Winthrop to do more exploring and geocaching. It was going to be another beautiful fall day. We had biscuits and gravy at the clubhouse before we left on our adventurers.

a crisp morning start to our day. this view from the silverline resort.

a crisp morning start to our day. this view from the silverline resort.

a morning shot of fellow truck campers at the resort.

a morning shot of fellow truck campers at the resort.

a few more.

a few more.

breakfast time!

breakfast time!

our drive west of town.

our drive west of town.

this was our 500th geocache find. it was a nice short walk through the woods to the cache.

this was our 500th geocache find. it was a nice short walk through the woods to the cache.

We ended up heading west of Mazama and north of highway 20. We took a forest road until it dead ended and went for a short hike. What spectacular views along the way.

the start of our hike.

the start of our hike.

foot bridge over a creek. buddy was all for it but trixie was nervous about it.

foot bridge over a creek. buddy was all for it but trixie was nervous about it.

fall in the mountains.

fall in the mountains.

yes part of the hike took us through a burnt out section but it has it beauty too.

yes part of the hike took us through a burnt out section but it has it beauty too.

cody along the trail.

cody along the trail.

We then returned back to camp and our friends. We got together and shared some leftovers from the potluck. Afterwards it was followed by a campfire and friendship.

talking with friends.

talking with friends.

the fire felt great on a crisp night.

the fire felt great on a crisp night.

The next morning it was time for us to make our way home. We stopped several times and took in the sites to be had. What a great time.

our last drive through Winthrop...until next year.

our last drive through Winthrop…until next year.

of course there was geocaches to find on our way home.

of course there was geocaches to find on our way home.

a stop along the methow river.

a stop along the methow river.

It was another great time on this rally. It was announced that the hosts for the rally would be stepping down after this one. We really hope someone else takes over being the host for it. We look forward to going on this rally as soon as the one we were on ends.

fall colors rally – October 9th-14th 2013

two trips and love – 9/21-22 and 9/27-29 2013

Over the last couple weekends we did two different outings with one love. The outings were geocache gatherings that brought some of us who love the game together. The love was time out with our camper, time spent geocaching and time spent with my family.

Our first trip was to Rathdrum Idaho where a geocache gathering was scheduled at a park in town. A nice park that we have passed by before but never stopped at. The gathering was just that, a gathering. It was great talking to local cachers about the game and life in general. When you all have a common bond it is easy to have time slip away while in conversations. We brought our camper with us because after the gathering we would camp some where. We did not have definite plans on where. A great thing about going out in the off season is that there are no worries of crowds and places filled up. Another is that we have a truck camper and can park dang near anywhere due to our size.

the gathering in the park in rathdrum

the gathering in the park in rathdrum

it is a great little park with a small creek running through it.

it is a great little park with a small creek running through it.

When it was time to leave we headed towards the east. We took our time as usual and found a couple caches along the way. Where would we camp for the night? We had plans on maybe heading up into the mountains. My mom called and said she might be at home if we wanted to head north and camp at here house. Her house is on waterfront and a fun place to stay for the night. So we headed north slowly while we gave her time to call that she made it home. However by the time we got to another place we like to camp she did not make it home. So instead we made our way to Farragut State Park in Idaho. We have stayed here before and it is a fantastic park. We would only be there for one night. So we got a place to park and then went for a bike ride to find some more geocaches and explore the park. This park is huge with many trails and rich history. Farragut was a gigantic navy station during WWII. We will be back to stay here again soon and I will get more into detail of this lovely place.

water and power hook up site. big and spread out from other sites.

water and power hook up site. big and spread out from other sites.

we found a cache. there are several in the park.

we found a cache. there are several in the park.

We had a nice and relaxed evening. The next morning we explored more of the park before heading home. This weekend was a short trip but any trip out is a good one. We returned home and worked the following week.

The next weekend our plans were to head west from home into central Washington. There was another gathering we wanted to go to on Sunday. This weekend was a no kids no dogs weekend. Just Joanne and I on this trip. We would spend this weekend exploring the little towns along highway 2 west of Spokane and take several back roads. After work we made our way to Wilbur Washington. We would stay the night there at a small RV resort along the highway. That was after we had a burger at a small place in town. Billy Burger was a highly rated place for a burger joint. The ratings were right, it was great. We loved the small seating area inside with the chatter of locals. Small towns, we really like them.

the burger place in Wilbur. we recommend a stop there for a burger.

the burger place in Wilbur. we recommend a stop there for a burger.

The next morning we had our breakfast and set out for a nice slow day of exploring. The weather was a bit windy and rainy today. Oh well, that is what rain jackets and warmer clothes are for.  We drove around the small town of Wilbur exploring.

you have to have a pig statue if your town is Wilbur.  charlottes web book for those that don't get it.

you have to have a pig statue if your town is Wilbur. charlottes web book for those that don’t get it.

look out for the big geese!

look out for the big geese!

The next town west is Almira. We stopped there and looked around. It is a smaller town than Wilbur but not without its charm.

heading into town from highway 2

heading into town from highway 2

love the old buildings in town

love the old buildings in town

more of town. sure its small but that's what is great about it.

more of town. sure its small but that’s what is great about it.

We then drove north of town away from highway 2. We made our way to the highest point in Lincoln County. There is suppose to be fantastic views of the surrounding farmlands. With the weather it made it impossible to see the view. We could only see about 200 feet away while up on the bluff.

you can make out the camper in the background 200 feet away.

you can make out the camper in the background 200 feet away.

We next made our way towards Moses Coulee, past Banks lake. The land is amazing out here. From sage brush desert to rolling farmland hills to deep gorges. We love it out here. During the summer it gets real hot but we obviously did not have that problem on this trip.

stopped along a back road just east of moses coulee

stopped along a back road just east of moses coulee

joanne

joanne

driving north in moses coulee

driving north in moses coulee

We stopped along the dirt road heading north into the coulee for a short hike to a waterfall. There still was a little bit of water coming down. I am told in spring it really cascades over and is a sight to see. Even with the small falls its worth the short hike. An oasis in the desert.

start of the trail to douglas falls

start of the trail to douglas falls

easy path to follow

easy path to follow

of course there was a geocache near the falls.

of course there was a geocache near the falls.

our camper out by the road

our camper out by the road

at the pool under the falls

at the pool under the falls

We then went further north into the coulee to Jameson Lake. This lake has great fishing from what I’ve read.

this view is only of the end of the lake, it is a large lake.

this view is only of the end of the lake, it is a large lake.

we took a small gravel road to explore more of the coulee

we took a small gravel road to explore more of the coulee

a neat rock formation

a neat rock formation

Next we found the old highway 2 road going up the west side of the coulee. It really is neat finding old roads that have been abandoned.  The unfortunate thing was that we found out it is on private land. The state sold it to local farmers. We did not mean to trespass but there were no signs letting you know that the wildlife area turned into private land. We talked to a couple of  farmers who stopped us. They were nice about it and let us drive to the top. Up top the road is blocked off.

old highway 2

old highway 2

we stopped at an old shot up car along the old road

we stopped at an old shot up car along the old road

not much left of the car

not much left of the car

i could not resist

i could not resist

a sign that was along the old highway

a sign that was along the old highway

a view from the top of the coulee. we had to turn around and go back down here.

a view from the top of the coulee. we had to turn around and go back down here.

It was nice the farmers let us explore the old highway. We love history and before long the road will be gone completely.

We then continued west towards the towns of Douglas and Waterville.

farmland fields

farmland fields

We drove around Waterville a little bit and fueled up the truck. We would be there the next day for the gathering. For the night we stayed in Douglas. A very small town but a worth while stop to see the old general store and church. The RV parking at the general store is nice with power and water. All for a whole $20.00 a night. That is where we parked for the night.

douglas general store

douglas general store

our spot for the night

our spot for the night

the old church in douglas

the old church in douglas

It was very windy that night with storms passing through. We were nice and warm in our camper and slept well. The next morning we set out for more back roads to find geocaches and to sightsee. The gathering was not until the afternoon so we had a few hours to spend enjoying the area.

old house with the sunrise

old house with the sunrise

sunrise on a back road

sunrise on a back road

what views!

what views!

an old school house

an old school house

old barn still in use

old barn still in use

a stop for a cache along another abandoned road

a stop for a cache along another abandoned road

the area of Waterville is near the Columbia river. it drops down a long way to the river

the area of Waterville is near the Columbia river. it drops down a long way to the river

hold on, we are in for a ride on this road.

hold on, we are in for a ride on this road.

pine canyon. it heads down to the Columbia river

pine canyon. it heads down to the Columbia river

another section of old highway 2. this time its public right of way.

another section of old highway 2. this time its public right of way.

old house along the old highway

old house along the old highway

this section of the old road is closed due to washouts.

this section of the old road is closed due to washouts.

more old homes

more old homes

the town of waterville in the distance

the town of waterville in the distance

After driving around the area for a while it was time to go to the geocache gathering in Waterville. We had a potluck lunch with great company and conversations. We met new people and reconnected with others we have met before.

potluck inside the Blue Rooster. a geocacher owns this bakery.

potluck inside the Blue Rooster. a geocacher owns this bakery.

After the potluck everyone went their separate ways. We went out to find a couple other geocaches before heading back home.

a cache is near this spot. we loved the sign.

a cache is near this spot. we loved the sign.

the old water tower on a hill above waterville

the old water tower on a hill above waterville

This trip was a lot of fun. We were so happy to have a chance to see the back roads and explore the little towns.

two trips and love – 9/21-22 and 9/27-29 2013