washington state rally 6/25 – 6/29 2014

The calendar date said it was time to go to the Washington State Truck Camper Rally, finally. We left after work on the 25th and made the 2 hour drive to the resort. We would be the only ones there a day early for the rally. That gave us time to get things set up for the rally. Banners, tables and of course a fire pit were placed out. Cody played with a few kids that were camped nearby, the playground was across from us. We also set up a tent that belongs to our daughter for Cody. It would be the first time Cody slept in a tent. He enjoyed it.  Afterwards we relaxed around a fire and looked forward to seeing everyone the next day.

our site

our site

another view of our site

another view of our site

relaxing around the fire

relaxing around the fire

cody and other kids meeting and getting ready to play

cody and other kids meeting and getting ready to play

codys bedroom for the next few days

codys bedroom for the next few days

later that night i put a rainbow stick in the fire to add colors to it

later that night i put a rainbow stick in the fire to add colors to it

The next morning was rally day! Weather wise it would be cooler, in the 70’s and a chance of rain. Not bad and the rain held off around the resort. I was told it was pouring not far away but at the resort it was okay. Rally attendees started showing up throughout the day. At 8 pm  we would have a dessert potluck at our site. We all sat around the fire and socialized. It was a nice relaxing evening.

campers parked for the rally

campers parked for the rally

a couple people were not next to us but not far away either

a couple people were not next to us but not far away either

brad and his wife from adventurers site

brad and his wife from adventurers site

more campers

more campers

a group of campers

a group of campers

more and more

more and more and our main gathering spot at the canopies at my site down at the end

yep, more campers

yep, more campers

somehow i missed getting a couple other campers pictures at their site but you get how we were at the rally.

somehow i missed getting a couple other campers pictures at their site but you get how we were at the rally.

On Friday there would be a few things going on. We had a truck camper open house in the mid morning for those that wanted to show and share what they had for campers. A few others went to play golf at the nearby golf course. Then later in the the day Torklift would stop by and put on a fantastic presentation. I think everyone learned something from the presentation. A big thank you to Torklift for doing the presentation!  Then later that day Brad and his wife would do a presentation sponsored by Adventurer Truck Campers at their site. The night wrapped up with a campfire and socializing.

open house time

open house time

open hose, me talking about our camper and set up

open hose, me talking about our camper and set up

very neat seeing other setups and campers

very neat seeing other setups and campers

i finally got to see inside this camper. we have met up a few times at other rallies but i never had a chance to check this camper out

i finally got to see inside this camper. we have met up a few times at other rallies but i never had a chance to check this camper out

we were all eager to share what we had

we were all eager to share what we had

we spent about 15 minutes at each camper that participated in the open house

we spent about 15 minutes at each camper that participated in the open house

After the open house it would be the Torklift presentation. We gathered at the main gathering spot and Torklift showed and talked about the products they make. More importantly they talked about how to use the products correctly. I am pretty sure everyone there learned something. In fact, a lot of people had to readjust the fastgun tiedowns to the correct specs. Thank you Torklift for stopping by at the rally.

the torklift truck

the torklift truck

at the presentation

at the presentation

showing just one of the many products on the torklift truck

showing just one of the many products on the torklift truck

hands on, the best way to check things out

hands on, the best way to check things out

readjusting the fastguns on a camper

readjusting the fastguns on a camper

After Torklift left there would be a short break before the next event. People who went golfing would be returning to the resort. There was a gathering over at another camper site for the Tastes Of Yakima Washington sponsored by Adventurer. There was wine, beer, cheeses, sausages, fruit and more set out for us all to enjoy. They all were from the Yakima region. Adventurer campers are made in Yakima. The weather had been pretty good so far and the rain storms had missed the resort thus far. until….BOOM! Yep, a downpour hit right then. We found out just how many people we could fit under one pop up canopy.  Did we let a little thing like a downpour and thunder and lightening slow us down? Nope. We all laughed about the situation and enjoyed what was offered at the table. The storm was brief and about 15 minutes later the storm passed. That would be the only storm we went through for the whole rally. It made for a great memory.

the tastes of yakima event

the tastes of yakima event

people enjoying what was offered

people enjoying what was offered

what a great variety of things to enjoy, yummy

what a great variety of things to enjoy, yummy

this picture does no justice to seeing how much rain was pouring down. oh the wind too...yeah the wind ripped through too. we laughed and kept going.

this picture does no justice to seeing how much rain was pouring down. oh the wind too…yeah the wind ripped through too. we laughed and kept going.

Later that night we would gather at the campfire. There was a lot of time to get to know each other and reacquaint with people we met before. One rally atendee made sure we had plenty of firewood and brought a huge amount of wood. Thank you to George (mr. firewood) for that.

another nightly campfire

another nightly campfire

On Saturday some of us would caravan to Grand Coulee Dam and check it out.  We would make a stop at the visitors center briefly then drive to the other side of the dam where the tour starting point was. After the tour we would spend a bit more time at the visitors center.

at the dam

at the dam

at the waiting room before we go through security for the tour

at the waiting room before we go through security for the tour

pump house section of the dam

pump house section of the dam

on top of the dam

on top of the dam

cody and joanne

cody and joanne

cody and a prop at the visitors center

cody and a prop at the visitors center, yep…you can just make out his face

a very neat visitors center

a very neat visitors center

After the visit to the dam we would return to the resort. Time to get ready for the potluck dinner. As always there was so much great food to eat. A huge variety of things to enjoy. Afterwards there would be prizes handed out. Followed by that was a live band at the stage. Some went down to the stage area while others stayed at the gathering spot and enjoyed the campfire. We could hear the band perfectly at the campfire too.

getting the food set out

getting the food set out

is it time to eat yet?

is it time to eat yet?

dinner time

dinner time

lets eat

lets eat

im hungry

im hungry

lining up for dinner

lining up for dinner

so many choices

so many choices

people checking out the prize table and making choices for the chance at winning during the drawings

people checking out the prize table and making choices for the chance at winning during the drawings

you would place a drawing ticket in a cup for a prize pack. people had 3 tickets.

you would place a drawing ticket in a cup for a prize pack. people had 3 tickets.

me, the host for the rally

me, the host for the rally

cody helping me with the prize giveaway

cody helping me with the prize giveaway

cody making sure it was a blind ticket pull

cody making sure it was a blind ticket pull

a winner of one of the many przes

a winner of one of the many prizes

lots of great stuff to win

lots of great stuff to win

a winner of one of the $50 visa cards for natcoa members

a winner of one of the $50 visa cards for natcoa members

The next morning was the farewell breakfast. A day that is always sad as the rally was drawing to an end. We had sausage, scrambled eggs and pancakes, regular and apple cinnamon pancakes. We also had fruit that was brought to share. It was enjoyed by everyone.

joanne manning the grill

joanne manning the grill

breakfast time

breakfast time

looks like a great breakfast to me

looks like a great breakfast to me

breakfast time

breakfast time

a nice warm sunny morning for breakfast

a nice warm sunny morning for breakfast

After breakfast we all started packing up. One couple would stay another day and head out to tour the area. It was a very fun rally. In all we had 15 rigs attend, 3 rigs were no shows. Everyone said they had a great time and we enjoyed everyone’s company.  We can not wait until we meet up again down the road sometime.

I would like to say thank you to the following people and businesses for supporting the rally:

SUNBANKS RESORT, NATCOA, LANCE OWNERS OF AMERICA, RVNET, TORKLIFT, ADVENTURER, JOHNSON RV IN SPOKANE WASHINGTON,  WALEX, COLLEGE PLACE OPTICAL IN EDMONDS WASHINGTON. Along with others who donated a prize to the rally and most of all…THANK YOU to those that attended the rally. Without you there would be no rally.

Here is a video of the campground, the trip to the dam and a brief clip of the live band at the resort stage.

 

 

washington state rally 6/25 – 6/29 2014

 

 

 

it happened on the way to the parade 6/19 – 6/22 2014

Our trip this time would be to go to Ellensburg Washington for the Dachshunds on Parade. Since we have four dachshunds it sounded like a must do trip. It was the 12th year of the event and we looked forward to it. After work on thursday we left town and made it to Frenchmans Coulee to park for the night. We have stayed there before and like the place. It is dispersed camping with great views and just off of I-90 and east of the Columbia river.

our camp spot for the night

our camp spot for the night

we sat and watched the sun set

we sat and watched the sun set

After breakfast the next day we left our camp spot to head to Ellensburg. It was only a 30 mile drive and we planned to take our time stopping along the way. The Columbia river was very low due to a problem with a dam downstream. We wondered how the river looked as we have never seen it that low before. While driving down to the river you could see just how far it was lowered.

vantage bridge crossing the colombia

vantage bridge crossing the colombia

Wow, the river was low. Then it happened… the truck motor shut off and I had to coast to a stop along the shoulder of I-90. After I did some brief checking, it had appeared that my fuel pump (I have a gas motor) had failed. Well…that sucks. So I got on the phone and called a tow company. It was coming from Ellensburg  and they had a repair shop as well. Well…things can always be worse. We were okay and the truck was out of traffic. 45 minutes later the tow truck showed up and towed us to the repair shop in town. Once it got there they confirmed it was the main fuel pump in the tank. They got to work on it and had it fixed a few hours later. D&M Motors was who towed us and worked on the truck. They were very nice and got us going as fast as they could. If you are in the Ellensburg Washington area and find yourself in a similar situation, I recommend them.

they brought the big truck for us

they brought the big truck for us

not exactly the view i was looking for

not exactly the view i was looking for

We got our truck back on the road at 3 pm and drove the short distance to the KOA in Ellensburg. We checked in and went to our site. The KOA here is okay. You do get some freeway noise but it is in a convenient spot. We had a site along the river and those are in my opinion the best sites. We set a couple things out and relaxed for a short time. A bit later we would go back in town and meet up at a park for a potluck dinner with fellow dachshund owners.

our camp site at the koa

our camp site at the koa

the dogs camp site. they sleep in the camper at night.

the dogs camp site. they sleep in the camper at night.

the river view

the river view

The potluck dinner gathering at the park was nice. Several people showed up and we talked about our dogs of course. There was plenty of food to eat. We left after a couple hours and went back to our campsite and settled in for the evening.

the crazy dachshund lady (joanne) at the potluck dinner. the crazy dachshund guy was taking the picture.

the crazy dachshund lady (joanne) at the potluck dinner. the crazy dachshund guy was taking the picture.

The next morning was the dachshunds on parade day. We drove into town and found a parking spot. Yep, easy to do in a truck camper.  We got our dogs registered in and checked things out. There was lots of booths selling all things dachshund to look at. There was a big farmers market going on also. So with the downtown businesses and the booths there was plenty of things to buy. While we sat down at the curb waiting for the first event to start (costume contest) I noticed I had blood on me. We looked around and found out our little mini had ripped a toenail off. She did not even yelp. There was a vet at the event and he got it cleaned up and wrapped up.  She would be okay. Then it was time for the costume contest. That was hilarious, so many funny outfits.

cody waiting for the events to start

cody waiting for the events to start

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the viewing area. right before the stands filled up.

the viewing area. right before the stands filled up.

Shortly after the costume contest it was time to do the parade. The course is only a bit more than two blocks but it was very fun. So many dachshunds strutting their stuff. I was amazed at how many people were lined up along the walk just to see us all walking. Fun stuff.

parade time

parade time

lots of people doing the parade

lots of people doing the parade

saw this little dachshund out enjoying the festivities too.

saw this little dachshund out enjoying the festivities too.

We did pretty good at the event. We did not come home with a 5th dog, so things were good. I did find something that was perfect for the camper though, a nice sticker.

perfect

perfect

We made a stop at a wine store then of course I knew there was a brewery in town and made a stop to fill my growlers.

mmmm, good stuff

mmmm, good stuff

We then made it back to camp. Nothing more to do during the day but relax and watch the river flow by. Later in the evening we had a couple from Canada sit around our campfire and chatted until late in the night. It was a good day. A fun day.

back at camp

back at camp

The next day we left the KOA and made our way home. We decided to stop at the Wild Horses Wind Farm near Vantage Washington. There is a great visitors center there and you even get to do a tour into the base of one of the windmills. There are amazing views and I highly recommend stopping by for a visit.

the entry road to the visitors center

the entry road to the visitors center

this fence was very cool. there was a sign explaining the fence too.

this fence was very cool. there was a sign explaining the fence too.

amazing fence

amazing fence

up at the visitors center parking

up at the visitors center parking

very nice day with great views

very nice day with great views

the visitors center. yes, its free to see too.

the visitors center. yes, its free to see too.

a view back to the camper

a view back to the camper

cody checking out the exhibits inside

cody checking out the exhibits inside

looking up inside the visitors center

looking up inside the visitors center

joanne and cody next to a windmill blade on display

joanne and cody next to a windmill blade on display

looking up from right outside the base door entrance

looking up from right outside the base door entrance

a look up inside the windmill

a look up inside the windmill

What a great place to see. We left there and drove the short distance to the Ginko Petrified Forest Visitors center along the west bank of the Columbia River. We would do a short visit and then have lunch in a shaded grassy spot.

neat displays

neat displays

these just amaze me

these just amaze me

a view of the lowered colombia river

a view of the lowered colombia river

After our lunch we set sail for home. It was a great trip, yes the truck breakdown was not so great. Things could always be worse. We were still out there seeing things and we were safe. We will see if our schedule will allow for us to go to the Dachshunds on Parade 2015.

it happened on the way to the parade 6/19 – 6/22 2014

 

 

 

memorial weekend 5/23 – 5/26 2014

memorial weekend 5/23 – 5/26 2014

 

A three day weekend to get the camper out yet again. Where did we go? Fort Spokane campground. The campground is very near the confluence where the Spokane River empties into the Columbia River.  The campground has several no hook up sites for a modest fee. We reserved a spot months ago that was on its own little camp site section. Just a short walk from the campground is the actual remains of Fort Spokane. I have wanted to tour the grounds and the museum for a long time and we finally got around to doing that.

First thing was to figure out how we would transport our four dachshunds in our rig. This would be the first time out with all four of them. We have a regular cab truck and with two adults and one child space is pretty limited. So what we did is get two kennels and put them in the cab over of the camper. We turned the vent fan on to circulate air while driving. I have vent covers so it makes it great to leave the vents all the way open while driving. The drive was only 50 miles or so. The dogs did great, no problems what so ever.

the fold able kennels for the dogs

the kennels for the dogs

our dogs at the campsite, getting things set up for our stay

our dogs at the campsite, getting things set up for our stay

On this trip our daughter was able to join us. She was already there awaiting our arrival at the site.  She has a tent that she uses and got it set up with the help of our son Cody. Yeah there was some (maybe more) prodding to get him to help but he did.

cody and heather getting the tent set up

cody and heather getting the tent set up

our camp site

our camp site

heather and joanne getting some dinner made

heather and joanne getting some dinner made

We had a nice night around the campfire talking about things. The weather was really great. It ended up that just three sites away we had a friend camping with his family. He came over and visited for a little bit. He had his boat with him and asked if we would like to go for a ride the next day. We said sure thing, thank you.

The next morning arrived and it was going to be another great weather day. Joanne and I walked around and went  down to the river. Wow, the water level was way down right now. It was coming up and soon it will be at full stage. In fact we saw it come up 2 feet in 24 hours. For now though, water level was low and docks beached. The boat ramp was open and okay for smaller boats.

water level a ways down still

water level a ways down still

We decided that we would take a short walk over to the Fort Spokane grounds. I was excited to see the history of the place.

the trail from the campground to the fort

the trail from the campground to the fort

we love history. a great way to spend memorial day too. to think about the solders who were stationed there

we love history. a great way to spend memorial day too. to think about the solders who were stationed there

cody inside the museum

cody inside the museum

some of the remaining buildings. some like the stables have been repaired some. others only have the foundation left.

some of the remaining buildings. some like the stables  and guardhouse have been repaired some. others only have the foundation left.

the stables

the stables

inside the stable house

inside the stable house

bachelors officers quarters

bachelors officers quarters

looking across the parade grounds to the guardhouse

looking across the parade grounds to the guardhouse

The old fort grounds were interesting to walk through. There is still a bit more exploring that we will do on a return trip at some point. We returned to camp and relaxed for a little bit. I relaxed while games were played at the table at camp.

heather, cody and joanne playing a game at camp

heather, cody and joanne playing a game at camp

hey, camping is tiring

hey, camping is tiring

Our friend who was camped nearby asked if we were ready to go out in the boat. So Joanne and I went on the boat ride. There ended up being a bit of an issue with the boat. It had a fouled spark plug. So the trip was short but still fun. Our friend would get the plug changed out and it ran in tip top shape once again a short while later. We were done for our ride on the boat for the day though and returned to camp.

on the spokane river

on the spokane river

making sure the boat stays put while we waited to take the boat out. with the water way down, dock space was very limited

making sure the boat stays put while we waited to take the boat out. with the water way down, dock space was very limited

We returned to camp and shortly after that a Park Ranger stopped by our camp. He did a show and tell of a haversack. He showed and told us all about what the soldiers had in the haversacks back in the old fort days. A very interesting show and tell.

there was a lot of neat things in the haversack

there was a lot of neat things in the haversack

cody trying it on for size

cody trying it on for size

After talking with the ranger we spent the rest of the day hanging out, sitting around a fire. Another great day came to a close.

One thing that was comical in a way was the looks we got while our dachshund herd was walked. There was lots of smiles and I think looks of

” where do they keep them…in the camper at night?”.

heather and joanne taking the dogs for a walk while cody rode his bike

heather and joanne taking the dogs for a walk while cody rode his bike

Soon after breakfast our friend stopped by our camp and asked if we were up to go for a boat ride. The boat was running great. Our friend is a geocacher also and he took us to two caches on the river. One on the Spokane River and the other on the Columbia River. The caches have not been found by very many people. Those types of caches are fun to find.  We had a great time on the water and saw some great views and wildlife.

yeah...the cache is up there somewhere

yeah…the cache is up there somewhere, not sure where cody was pointing to

getting to this cache was difficult

getting to this cache was difficult

we found the cache. actually the ammo can is the replacement container our friend donated to it. the previous one was destroyed. pieces of it laid in the hiding spot.

we found the cache. actually the ammo can is the replacement container our friend donated to it. the previous one was destroyed. pieces of it laid in the hiding spot.

out on the columbia river to try and find another geocache

out on the columbia river to try and find another geocache

okay, the cache has to be...over there.

okay, the cache has to be…over there.

some of the wildlife we saw along the river

some of the wildlife we saw along the river

After finding the second geocache we returned to the campground. We thanked our friend for the great time. The rest of the night was spent hanging out at camp. Cody worked on the questions on the Junior Ranger pamphlet. Fort Spokane is part of a national park.

Monday was pack up day and return home. We made a return trip to the museum to have Cody turn in his Junior Ranger pamphlet and be sworn in as a Junior Ranger.

coming through the gates at the fort

coming through the gates at the fort

cody being sworn in as a junior ranger

cody being sworn in as a junior ranger

After Cody being sworn in and chatting with the two rangers it was time to leave. We made one other stop to find a geocache that was at a decommissioned missile silo. Just another spot we would have never known about if it were not for geocaching.

at the gates of the old silo

at the gates of the old silo

It was a great time on our weekend trip. We got to see and learn history of the area. It was very nice to have our daughter join us on the camp trip for a couple days. We thank our friend who was camping there at the same time for the enjoyment of his conversation and boat rides.

memorial weekend 5/23 – 5/26 2014

 

wine tour – 5/13 – 5/18 2014

wine tour

It was finally time to get going and head towards the wine tour gathering in Prosser Washington. After work on a tuesday we left and made our way towards the gathering spot. First though, it was a small side trip to Yakima Washington. We would be touring the Adventurer / Eagle Cap truck camper manufacture plant there. Adventurer would be putting a new decal on the nose end of my camper for us. While they did that, we would tour the plant. So after work it was on the road and get the heck out of town.

i-90 west of spokane

i-90 west of spokane

We would take a route to Yakima that was a bit longer and stay off the interstate as much as we could. Some driving on the interstate had to be made though. We would make our way near Hanford, that is U.S. Department Of Energy land. It was a very important place during World War Two in the production of plutonium.

plant c at hanford and the columbia river

reactor c at hanford and the columbia river

plant b at hanford and the columbia river

reactor b at hanford and the columbia river

wine tour 14 011

down river just a short distance from hanford

up river just a short distance from hanford

some desert flowers in bloom

some desert flowers in bloom

the columbia river

the columbia river

desert view towards the hanford property

desert view towards the hanford property and a near full moon rising

After our stop viewing hanford from the pullouts and finding a couple geocaches we made our way to Yakima. We would arrive in town right around 9 pm. We were told to make a stop for a burger at Miners Burger in town, so we did. We were not disappointed.  It was a bit pricey for a burger place but the portions were huge and good.

miner burger in yakima washington

miners burger in yakima washington

After some dinner it was time to make our stop for the night, we were tired. There was no sense on paying for a place to park the camper since we would be there for just a few hours. So we ended up parking at a Walmart on the west side of town near the Adventurer plant.

walmart overnight parking

walmart overnight parking

After a nights rest and some morning coffee it was time to move on to the truck camper plant. It was just a few miles away but we still had time before we needed to be there. So we did what we always do… go geocaching. We ended up at a very nice park near the Adventurer plant. We had no luck finding the cache but we found a very nice park.

joanne and a nice park stop in the morning.

joanne and a nice park stop in the morning.

After our walk around the park it was time to get going. We pulled into the parking lot at Adventurer and went in to the office to let them know we were there. We were greeted warmly. They would be installing a new nose decal on my camper since mine was starting to peel off. I was not upset about it peeling off as that is a section that takes abuse. We also have our camper out in the weather all year long and use it all year long. So, some things just happen. Adventurer however was making sure it looked good.

our camper pulled up to a shop door where they would install a new decal

our camper pulled up to a shop door where they would install a new decal

While two people worked on our camper we would be lead on a tour of the plant. At the time of our tour no truck campers were being made. They were in the process of doing C class campers. Soon enough they would be back to making the campers. While on the tour everyone we encountered was very polite and said welcome to the plant. It was obvious that the workers were engaged in their work and loved it.

the framing shop

the framing shop

wood shop

wood shop

lots going on in the assembly line

lots going on in the assembly line

a key piece of equipment, the lamination equipment.  the black light above is to insure there are no missed spots of glue

a key piece of equipment, the lamination equipment. the black light above is to insure there are no missed spots of glue

putting inside and outside walls together

putting inside and outside walls together

cabinet shop

cabinet shop

class c campers going through the assembly line

class c campers going through the assembly line

We ended our tour of the plant and returned to our camper. They had the old decal off and were starting on the new one.

these two guys were very nice and willing to give advice on keeping the camper looking good

these two guys were very nice and willing to give advice on keeping the camper looking good

While we still had time we went and looked at the camper of our dreams…the brand new 116ds Adventurer camper. It was voted the camper of the year and after seeing it in person…yep, we agree.

oh yeah...new ones to check out

oh yeah…new ones to check out

thats all 6'4" of me spread out on the california king bed in the camper! AWESOME!

thats all 6’4″ of me spread out on the california king bed in the camper! AWESOME!

did i mention im 6'4"? i could easily stand in the shower with shoes on and still have a couple inches of head clearance.

did i mention im 6’4″? i could easily stand in the shower with shoes on and still have a couple inches of head clearance.

We sat in the camper and drooled and dreamed of taking it home. It is on our list of things we want. After a time of checking it all out it was time to return to our camper. The decal was done.

new decal installed.

new decal installed.

You thought we were done right? So did we. I had a small hole in the screw cover trim on the nose where i had a bird hit. So they replaced it. They also checked the seals on the roof and the nose area and resealed where it needed it. All with out me asking. Wow, we were blown away at the service. Truly great people working here. They guys finished the work and we returned to the office to say our goodbyes and thank yous. We would see one of them a couple days later as they joined us on the wine tour gathering in Prosser. For now, it was time to leave the plant. What an enjoyable time we had. Thank you Adventurer!

leaving the plant

leaving the plant

We had heard that there was a must stop for tamales in the town of Union Gap, a town on the south east edge of Yakima. It was just a small shop but they did indeed make the best tamales we have had. During the spring and early summer they have asparagus tamales. Let me just say…you want them.

very very good tamales. a must stop. they do sell out so you have to get there early

very very good tamales. a must stop. they do sell out so you have to get there early

We would take our tamales and head just a short distance down the road to a agriculture museum. We parked outside the gate and ate. We then toured the museum. I will say, this is another stop I highly suggest going to. There is so much to see that a couple days could easily be spent really looking at the displays of history.

a great place to explore and learn

a great place to explore and learn

only a small view of what they had

only a small view of what they had

more outdoor exhibits

more outdoor exhibits

tools tools tools

tools tools tools

There was so much there to see, I only showed a couple pictures. It was an amazing place. We had to move on and had to make it a short visit. We will return again at some point to look more. For now, it was  back on the road to Prosser Washington where we would be for the next few days.

interesting stops along the road

interesting stops along the road

the gas pumps said 24 cents a gallon but no one was around to pump gas. darn.

the gas pumps said 24 cents a gallon but no one was around to pump gas. darn.

After a stop in Sunnyside to try a couple tastes of beer from a brewery we arrived at the Wine Country RV Resort in Prosser. This would be our home base until Sunday. This was where the wine tour gathering would be. We checked in and got our site set up. Then it was time to hit the pool to cool off. It was in the mid 90’s and the water felt great!

wine country rv resort

wine country rv resort

all set up

all set up

nice cool water to relax in

nice cool water to relax in

joanne relaxing at our site while the sun sets

joanne relaxing at our site while the sun sets

The next day there would be people arriving that would be joining us for the wine tour. We had the morning to check the sites out before they got there. We would end up driving a gravel road up to the antenna towers on the nearby hills for great views. Then we would walk around the small town checking out what was there.

from our site looking toward the antennae towers

from our site looking toward the antennae towers

up on top

up on top

amazing views from up there

amazing views from up there

yeah, well...ill leave it at that

yeah, well…ill leave it at that

neat mural

neat mural

Time to head back to the resort. People would be arriving soon. All total we had 7 rigs show up, one had to cancel at the last moment do to health issues. We had all truck campers except for one travel trailer in our group. We don’t care what they bring as long as they have fun. We all did just that.

wine tour 14 089

wine tour 14 090

wine tour 14 091

The next day we would all kind of go our separate ways and tour the town and wineries. There were times through out the day that we would meet up again. We also had the last arrival join and get parked at the resort. Later that day most of us would meet up at Desert Wind Winery and do a tour and then have dinner afterwards

yakima river

yakima river

joanne at 14 hands winery

joanne at 14 hands winery

us, enjoying some relaxing time and wine together

us, enjoying some relaxing time and wine together

another stop for wine tasting

another stop for wine tasting

met up with a fellow tcer at a winery

met up with a fellow tcer at a winery

got wine?

got wine?

It was time to go to the tour and then have dinner afterwards. The tour was okay, nothing special but the wine was great and the appetizers were really good after the tour.

our group at the winery

our group at the winery

on the tour

on the tour

joanne wondering how she could smuggle a barrel out

joanne wondering how she could smuggle a barrel out

walking back from the tour

walking back from the tour

dinner time

dinner time

We would go back to the resort after dinner and socialize there for a while. It was a warm night and the company was wonderful. The next day was more wine touring. Later that night was our potluck dinner. Once again some of us went on our touring alone and some of us stuck together. In the end we would all be back together.

morning pictures of the rigs that attended the gathering

morning pictures of the rigs that attended the gathering

wine tour 14 118wine tour 14 119wine tour 14 120

robin and joanne laughing at something...probably me for some reason

robin and joanne laughing at something…probably me for some reason

wine tasting in a relaxing stlye

wine tasting in a relaxing stlye

Potluck dinner was at 6 pm but there was a small wine tasting deal going on at the rv resort. So we pushed the potluck back to 7 pm so we could join in on the fun. After that, it was dinner time.

wine tasting at the rv resort office

wine tasting at the rv resort office

lots of socializing

lots of socializing

getting ready to eat

getting ready to eat

whens dinner im hungry

whens dinner im hungry

foods ready, lets eat

foods ready, lets eat

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wine tour 14 135

After our dinner we handed out a few small gifts that were donated by Torklift and Adventurer Truck Campers.  It was very nice of those companies to do that and it was very much appreciated. Then it was time to earn a prize. Bowling was required for that. We tried to oil the lane (remove rocks on the road)  the best we could but hey…it is suppose to be a challenge.

wine tour 14 138

wine tour 14 144

wine tour 14 148

wine tour 14 151

wine tour 14 153

wine tour 14 155

We all had great laughs and fun bowling. The winner with the best score was given a prize. We then sat around a couple propane fire pits and talked about all kinds of things. Soon, it was time to go to bed. The next morning was the day to leave. We had one couple leave very early as they had a long drive ahead of them. The rest of us stayed for breakfast at our site.

joanne cooking up the breakfast

joanne cooking up the breakfast

wine tour 14 158

wine tour 14 161

After breakfast it was time to say goodbye. We hope to cross paths once again in the future. We will in fact see some of the people again next month at the Washington State Truck Camper Rally in June. For now, it was packing up and heading home. We decided to take the back roads home. We like taking the slower paced way.

wine tour 14 162

rattlesnake hills

rattlesnake hills

It was a great trip once again. We always seem to have them and why not? Getting out there is what it is about. For now, it is back to work and house chores. No worries though, next weekend is a 3 day weekend and we will be out again with our camper.

 

wine tour 5/13 – 5/18 2014

 

 

 

 

poker run and a birthday 5/2 – 5/4 2014

poker run and a birthday 5/2 – 5/4 2014

 

This weekends trip took us to Trout Creek Montana. There was a geocache event we would attend there. It was also my birthday weekend so what better way to spend it then out with the camper having fun?

We left for our trip after work on friday. We would drive for a couple hours to our nights stop just 20 miles west of Trout Creek. Our camp spot for tonight was at Big Eddy campground. It is a forest service campground with 5 sites. It is also free to stay there. This was the first time we have stayed there.  It is a very nice little campground and even has pit bathrooms, picnic tables and fire rings. We parked the camper in our spot for the night and walked around for a little bit before darkness fell.

cody and i along the clark fork river. this is where bid eddy creek flows into the river.

cody and i along the clark fork river. this is where big eddy creek flows into the river.

sun setting along the clark fork river.

sun setting along the clark fork river.

i tried using cotton balls with Vaseline to help start the fire. it does work pretty good.

i tried using cotton balls with Vaseline to help start the fire. it does work pretty good.

After a great nights rest and the mornings breakfast we packed up and made our way to Trout Creek. The event would start at 9:00 am and we had to remember that we are now in mountain time zone. That really was no issue as we are early risers anyway. We had some time in the morning so we found a few geocaches along they way.

When we arrived to town there were a few fellow cachers there already. We didn’t worry about where we would spend the night and figured that out later. First things first…caching. For this event the local cachers set up a poker run. We would go on a loop drive and collect trinkets to show we were there. When we were done we would turn those in for cards to see what poker hand we had. We did the route with a couple other people, following each other through the local area.

a stop to find a cache with fellow cachers.

a stop to find a cache with fellow cachers.

there were some great views on the loop drive for this poker run.

there were some great views on the loop drive for this poker run.

We found all the caches we needed and returned to town and the event venue. We turned in our trinkets and drew cards. I ended up with a full house…3 aces and 2 kings! Yeah…not good enough, someone had 4 of a kind. Darn it. The hosts for the event cooked us up burgers and hot dogs. We all ate while visiting. Some of the people we have met before at other functions and others we had the pleasure of meeting for the first time. The hosts then gave prizes away and everyone got something. Geocache related items of course. After that the event drew to a close. It was a great time and the hosts did a fantastic job.

We found out that the place where the event was at had 2 rv sites and one was available. So we ended up staying right there. It was a urban camp spot but that does not bother us. We camp at all kinds of places. We liked the fact that we could walk the 100 feet or so to the lounge where I would celebrate my birthday. The site cost us $25 for full hook ups. So we set up then relaxed for a few hours before heading in to the lounge.

site 2 of the spots. there was a fire pit behind us already prepped with wood.  the clark fork river was behind our spot too.

site 2 of the spots. there was a fire pit behind us already prepped with wood. the clark fork river was behind our spot too.

the clark fork river behind our spot for the night.

the clark fork river behind our spot for the night.

We had a great time at the lounge. They had fantastic food and the people there were very nice. We would go back there again if passing through and need to stop, no problem.

The next morning we packed up and set out to find several more geocaches. First we toured around town to grab a few we did not get the day before. We then made our way slowly westward towards home finding a cache here and there. We stopped at a view point and made lunch. Then we continued on our slow relaxing trip home.

a geocache stop near an old home.

a geocache stop near an old home.

view point along the clark fork river. a stop for lunch

view point along the clark fork river. a stop for lunch

another spot to stop and grab a cache.

another spot to stop and grab a cache.

We would get to the Clark Fork Idaho area and that is where we stopped for a hike. It was a wonderful place that we did not know existed, geocaching brought us there. The place is called Henderson Ranch. It is owned by the Idaho Fish and Game now. There is a bunch of wildlife there. So many birds and deer and other big game.

entering the henderson ranch.

entering the henderson ranch.

 

walking back to the camper.

walking back to the camper.

It was a very nice hike, just a fantastic spot to go see. It was time to get back to the camper and head home. It was a great way to spend my birthday. I could not think of any other way I would want to spend it.

 

poker run and a birthday  5/2 – 5/4  2014

 

not just for camping 4/26/14

not just for camping

 

One of the benefits of owning a truck camper, or any rv for that matter is the multiple uses that they can be utilized for. They don’t need to be for camping only situations. Such is the case for our outing today. It is true that once again, a truck camper is the way to go for us. To get to the spot where we parked today, no trailer or larger class A would fit. The agility of the truck camper proved itself once again to be the best option for us.

Today we would be meeting up with several others to do a clean up of land owned by the Department of Natural Resources (DNR). This land is in the northwest corner of Spokane county in Washington state. The section of land is known as the “south bank”. As some of you know and have learned, we are pretty involved in geocaching. Today was an event for geocaching. It is called a cache in trash out or CITO event. That is where geocachers get together and clean up an area in need.  This area was in dire need of clean up. The front section near the road access is used for a shooting range. Unfortunately there are several people who feel that this is an area where they do not have to pick up after themselves. So today a group of us would clean the area up.

We left early in the morning and made our way to the south bank area. The camper would be a home base for the gathering and would be where we would make lunch for the volunteers. So the camper use on this trip was not for sleeping and camping but was used for a great cause. The camper trip today…not just for camping.

the set up spot for the clean up today.

the set up spot for the clean up today.

this picture does not do justice of how dirty this are is. this is from our camper looking south.

this picture does not do justice of how dirty this area is. this is from our camper looking south.

the clean up starting early before the majority of the helpers arrived. notice the cleaner area already?

the clean up starting early before the majority of the helpers arrived. notice the cleaner area already?

Not long after everyone who could make it showed up, the ranger arrived. We signed our waiver forms for doing the clean up in case of injury. We talked about a couple things. One being that our hours for this clean up earned our way to getting a Discovery Pass. The discovery Pass is something that is needed to access some of the state lands in Washington state.

listening to the ranger.

listening to the ranger.

we had about 20 people helping today.

we had about 20 people helping today.

continued talking with the ranger at our camper home base.

continued talking with the ranger at our camper home base.

There were a few people who joined us geocachers to help clean this mess up. They were from  a group called the zombie squad. They do disaster preparedness along with several other things. One being donating their time to help others. So all together we had about 20 people to clean the area up. The chat with the ranger was over and it was time to get back to work.

079

078

077

076

070

067

066

064

062

DCIM100GOPRO

DCIM100GOPRO

After some hard work we took a break for lunch. Joanne cooked up hot dogs for the volunteers. The volunteers were very nice in making a donation to cover the costs of the food. No matter what, it was our pleasure to give them a meal for the hard work they put in.

joanne manning the grill

joanne manning the grill

DCIM100GOPRO

After lunch we went back out and picked up more trash. Today the work was for 5 hours. It was amazing what a few people could do in a short amount of time. In all there was a average calculation of 1.5 tons of trash picked up. We had two piles of trash, one that was bagged and another that had large items piled up. DNR would send someone later to come pick up the gathered trash. It was an awarding feeling giving back and cleaning this land up. We all worked yes…but we enjoyed it and had fun doing it together.

DCIM100GOPRO

cleaned up. much better than it was before.

cleaned up. much better than it was before.

DCIM100GOPRO

Thank you to those that were able to attend this event. We do make a difference. You too can make a difference. Contact your local agencies to find out how you can help. All it takes is a little time and work.

 

not just for camping 4/26/14

 

 

 

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