It was finally time for the Wine Tour Gathering in Prosser Washington. We had been looking forward to this event for a long time. After work on Wednesday Joanne and I left home and started our drive towards Prosser. Our son, Cody and the dogs would be watched by our older son Jeff. Then for two of the nights my Dad would watch Cody. We thank them both for that. On Wednesday night we made it to Scooteney Park. The location of the park and campground is west of Connell Washington. We arrived just before sundown and had no problem finding a spot for the night. We had a spot right next to the lake and the view was amazing. There are no hookups at this campground but there are flush bathrooms, fresh water and a dump station available. Cost for a nights stay was $15.00, a great deal for the location.
We sat in our chairs outside for a bit looking at the views then went to bed. The night was very peaceful and we awoke refreshed. In the morning while standing outside we could smell the wonderful smells of the lilac bush right next to the camper. In fact many things were in bloom at the time. We went for a short walk through the park on a mission to find a geocache. There was one not far away and it made for a nice morning walk. We found the cache and returned to the camper. We got the few things put away and left to make our way to Prosser.
Making our way to Prosser we stopped in Connell to find a couple geocaches. Wow, what we found was really neat. We love finding treasures in the little towns that normally we would not stop at. Thanks to geocaching, we do.
We then drove to and made a stop in Pasco to get a few groceries. When we returned to the camper to put them away we were asked several questions by a woman at our camper intrigued about our setup. We don’t mind talking about it and spent several minutes going over things. After the short visit we drove to Prosser. We first went up the hill from town to find a couple more geocaches, of course.
We then went to the Wine Country RV Resort where we would spend the next few days and checked in. We pulled into our site and some friends of ours that were there for the gathering were in their site. We dropped off a couple things at the site and we all went to the Horse Heaven Saloon to have lunch and try a beer or two from the brewery. The food was great but we were disappointed that half the beers made at the brewery were not available. Something I will keep in mind for future trips to Prosser.
Later on Thursday more friends arrived. About 10 of us went to the resort office and did a wine tasting that was going on. Yes, a wine tasting at the resort office…how cool is that? After the tasting we walked down to the local Mexican restaurant for dinner. Lots of laughs and good food were had.
A little rain passed through the resort and a beautiful double rainbow appeared. The picture I got does not do justice for what it looked like. We returned to the resort and visited for a little while before calling it a night. There would be lots of wine tasting to do tomorrow and we needed our sleep.
On Friday a few of us drove to Zillah Washington just a short 25 miles away to do some wine tasting. There are a bunch of wineries to try out there. We stopped at some we did not like and several we did like. It was fun to travel around with fellow campers.
We returned to the resort and visited for a little bit. Joanne and I decided to walk to the wineries next to the resort to find something for dinner. We ended up at Wine O’ Clock. Wow, what a neat place. The food was amazing and the seating area was very cool. It was like a home kitchen and you sit and eat right next to it. We really enjoyed our meal and were happy that we decided to stop there.
After dinner we walked back to the resort and visited with fellow friends for a little while before calling it a night. Yes, there would be another full day of wine tasting on Saturday.
On Saturday most of us did our wine tasting in the Prosser area. Saturday turned out to be a very busy day with the Spring Barrel festivities. Lots of crowds and some interesting people watching. After a full day of wine tasting it was time to return to the resort for the potluck dinner. As always, a ton of great food to share among friends.
After dinner I handed out a 10 question test on wine tasting. The winner with the most correct won a cheese cutting kit. We all had a bunch of laughs at our uh…attempts at getting the right answers.
After the fun of the test and the prize handed out I thanked everyone for attending the gathering. I talked about the upcoming events like the National Rally in Colorado Springs and a couple other events later this year. I also hinted on a location for a rally in July 2016 that it would be in Northern Oregon. Details for that will be later this year. After that we cleaned up and then visited for a while back at the campers.
On Sunday morning we had our farewell breakfast. It has become a tradition for the rallies and gatherings we host to have pancakes, sausage and scrambled eggs for breakfast. Joanne and I started a couple hours earlier so it would be ready by 9 am.
After breakfast we cleaned up the meeting room and then packed up our things in the camper. It was time to say goodbye to our friends and leave the resort. We had a great time these last few days. We met some new friends and enjoyed seeing other friends again. When we checked out at the office we set dates for a return wine tasting trip in 2016. The dates will be May 5-8 2016.
We left the resort heading east towards the Tri Cities. We decided to stop and do a few geocaches and do one more wine tasting. We stopped and had some great wine to taste and had a little lunch before making the drive back to home.
We drove straight through to home, only a 3 hour drive for us. What a fun last few days. It would be a get back home and return to work deal now. We look forward to the next time we meet our friends again. Thank you to those who could attend the wine tour and thank you to Wine Country RV Resort for letting us have our group stay there.
wine tour gathering 4/22 – 4/26 2015
Yes indeed, all good things must come to an end. Nothing lasts forever so they say. We had so many great memories and traveled many a miles with it. It gave us laughs standing around it and most importantly, it gave us great food to enjoy. Yes, it was time… time to replace our barbecue. Many have seen our dear friend that is attached to a swing out bracket and mounted to the rear of our truck. Heck, some have had food cooked off of that grill. After many a meal it was breaking down. We can not really blame it, it hung out on its bracket all year long out in every element known to man. Eventually, I think everyone would break down. So today was the day to move it aside and bring in its replacement.
After removing the mounting bracket from the old barbecue I had to measure the new one so the bracket could be swapped over. I had to get some spacers from the hardware store and a couple gas fittings but other than that, no problem at all. For those that do not know, our barbecue is piped into our camper via a quick connect. So I take off the regulator that comes with the barbecue and then I pipe it in. It is all pretty easy really.
After getting the propane hose connected and testing it for leaks, I drilled bolt holes in the new barbecue for the mounting bracket. I placed four bolts with spacers and snug it all down. Simple and quick. Well, it would have been quick if my cordless batteries were charged. After they charged up it was then, no problem.
I had Chef Joanne come out and try out the barbecue. It got her approval, good thing since she cooks for us.
The new barbecue swings out and back into its storage spot just like the old one. It really is convenient for us.
So yes, some things must come to an end. Could I have patched up the old one and made it last a bit longer? Maybe. Parts for that barbecue were hard to find since it is not made anymore. We also wanted to get a two burner and the old one had only one burner. We are pretty happy with it and we look forward to the next meal cooked on it.
all good things must come to an end 4/11 2015
2000. 2000 what? Has it been 2000 days since we first went truck camping? Maybe it was the 2000th new place we camped at this weekend? The answer is 2000 geocache finds. We started geocaching on February 16 2013 and have really loved the hobby. We do a lot of geocaching everywhere we go. Not as much as some die hard geocachers but enough to keep us happy and enjoy the hobby. There are other geocachers that have far far more geocache finds than us but we were pretty happy to reach that milestone on this weekends trip.
We went to the membership campground we belong to, Ponderosa Falls Resort in Cheney Washington. I was wanting to go to a more remote area but Joanne wanted to go there, I did not put up much of a fight as I like the place too. We arrived at 5 P.M. and got our things set up. The weather was pretty good, highs in mid 50’s and lows right at freezing. No rain so that was good. There was a bit of a breeze so we did set up one of our pop up tents and one wall to block the wind while we sat outside.
The night went by peacefully and it was very relaxing. On Saturday morning we got into our van and set out to find a few geocaches. We had to find 13 more geocaches to reach our 2000 milestone. That would be easy enough and we chose to do some more remote caches than closer into town. So we worked our way west of Cheney Washington and traveled all kinds of back roads we have never been on. We really think the basin area is pretty, especially in the spring time. One of our stops for a cache took us on a 2.5 mile short round trip hike. That was a fun one to do, the trail is a rails to trail kind of thing. The trail is the Columbia Plateau Trail.
After our little hike we set off on more remote roads to find caches. One of them lead us to a historical marker way out in the middle of, well…nowhere. We love finding these kind of spots and geocaching takes us there.
We were really close to reaching our milestone now. So off we went to find the next cache and celebrate our 2000 cache find!
We told ourselves what a great job it was to get to 2000 finds. It was a fun moment. We walked back to the van and we set out for more caches so we can reach 3000 finds now!
In celebration of finding our 2000 geocache we placed a cache for others to find. I had been checking out a spot I wanted to visit and see if placing a cache there would be good. We took a little walk and found a perfect spot that offered views of a lake. We wrote down the coordinates and took note of what I wanted to say in the geocache page for it. Later that night I would send in the information for the new cache and it was published 5 hours later. So now other cachers can go out and find it.
We returned to the resort and set out to relax. We spent a little time in the pool and hot tub then went back to the camper. We said it was nice to just sit around. Then Joanne said, “doesn’t Mexican food sound good”. So we jumped into the van and drove the short drive into Cheney. I had researched a restaurant that had great reviews. El Rodeo is where we ate and yes the food was very good. I recommend it for sure.
After dinner we returned once again to the resort. This time we would go no where else. So it was time to kick back, have a beer and relax.
Happy Easter! It was Sunday morning and it was Easter. Now just because we are not at home don’t think that an Easter Egg hunt would not happen. Joanne and I went out and hid 24 eggs for Cody to find. We had plenty of spots to get them hid. In the end we had to give Cody hints and clues so he could find them all. In fact I had to walk around a bit to remember where I hid the last egg.
Another fun short trip out with the camper. Our next trip will be in a couple weeks from now. We will go to Prosser Washington for the Spring Barrel Wine Tour Rally. We have been looking forward to that for a long time. I am sure we will find a geocache or two while in that area too.
2000 4/3-4/5 2015
Our weekends trip we returned to the membership rv resort we belong to. We wanted to get out and relax after another week or so of not so nice surprises in life. I’ve been trying to get over pneumonia and it was almost gone finally on this trip. After we got one of our trucks out of the repair shop, our car had to be towed in for repairs. Along with a few other things happening, a nice weekend sitting around relaxing was what the doctor prescribed.
On this trip we had a couple new products for our outings to try out. A perfect chance to find out if our money went to good use or not. First thing was to get parked in our spot for the weekend. The weather was a bit windy and highs in the upper 30’s, lows near 20. The wind chill was pretty cold but manageable.
we put up the pop up tent and sides so it would provide a good wind block. It made it so we could sit outside being out of the wind chill. One of the first new products we tried out was a radiant hanging heater. It hung under the pop up tent. It is an electric heater, so we would only use this heater when we have power hook ups. I wont be running the generator to use this heater.
While this heater does not put out a bunch of heat it really did help heat you up while you sat under it. Being a radiant heater, it does not heat the air but heats surfaces. Overall, we were happy to have it. One new product down and others to try out.
Another new item we got was a fresh water hose. We have used a simple hose that was made for drinking water. While the hose does what it should do, it was a pain in the butt to roll back up. Especially when temperatures outside are colder. Rolling the stiff hose up and placing it in the storage area always had a word of “encouragement” from me. I wanted something that took up less space while being stored away and was less of a pain to deal with. So we bought a fresh water coiled hose.
Right away the one thing I liked about this hose was that it had quick connect fittings on both ends. I had the fresh water hose connected to the camper in seconds. Turned the water on and it held perfectly fine. The quick connects made it nice for when I took the hose off at night. Since the weather was down in the 20’s in the evening I decided leaving it hooked up would not be a good idea. In the morning I quickly hooked it back up utilizing the quick connects. So far, a thumbs up. We will see how it holds up over time now.
Now it was time to try out our last new items that we brought on this trip. Chairs. We have worn out a couple of our camping chairs. Since we have used them for several years there was no complaint they finally got worn out. This time we bought folding directors type of chairs. They have the little side tables on them. It was a style of chair we wanted to get for some time now.
All three new items worked well for us. It will be a matter of time to see how well they hold up with usage. All three products get our approval.
The weekend was filled with, well…not much. Again, it was a time to sit and relax. The hectic life that sometimes happens was put on the shelf and not thought about for this trip. We spent time in the hot tub at the resort and playing games with Cody. We walked the dogs several times around the resort. We did walk a short distance from the resort to find a geocache. Other than that, just a relaxing weekend. That was exactly one of the reasons why we became members of the resort, trips like this. It is close by and fits the bill when we are looking for these type of outings.
One last thing…the dogs approved this outing as well. Trixie and Buddy are the two on my lap. Dusty and Joey were along too but my lap is only so big.
Memberships, they are what you make of them. Some memberships are not a good fit while others are a perfect fit. Our outing this weekend was about finding out if a membership is a good fit for us or not. We were invited to spend the weekend at a K&M RV Resort in Cheney Washington and see if being a member with the resort chain was a good option for us or not. We decided why not? It would not hurt to see what we thought. Now while this trip really was not “camping” and it was more of a “resorting” type of outing, we still had the fun of getting our camper out for a weekend. That is the beauty of having a truck camper, the ability to go darn near anywhere we want. Be it out in the middle of no where with no one around or at a rv resort with full amenities.
We arrived at Ponderosa Falls RV Resort in Cheney Washington after work on Friday. With it being winter time the office closes early and it was closed when we got there. The resort had an envelope with our name on it at the office window telling us what site to use and a little other information. We drove to our spot and got set up. Set up, wow…full hookups…even during the winter time. Water, power, sewer, wifi and cable tv. Yeah, this is resorting. After hooking things up Joanne and I sat around our propane campfire for a while before heading inside. No wood campfires are permitted at this resort but that is what we have our propane campfire for.
The next morning we awoke to a little dusting of snow. We could now see more of the resort with it being daylight out.
We would have a meeting with the resort to go over memberships and other things in the afternoon. So we had time to explore the resort and use the pool and hot tub.
We went through our meeting and listened and asked a lot of questions about the membership to the resort chain. In the end we found a membership plan that worked for us. We chose the smaller plan but for the way we use our camper it works perfectly. We can use this resort as many times as we want with no fees. We also get to use a bunch of Coast To Coast Resorts for $10 a night. With the yearly dues we only have to stay at this resort 10 nights to break even. With this one being pretty close to home and open all year, that will be easy. We really liked all the things they have for kids and that was a big deciding factor to join. So yes, we will be back at this resort.
After the meeting we took the dogs for a walk to find a geocache nearby. We did find it and we then returned to the camper. Saturday was just a day of relaxing pretty much.
Sunday was another day to just relax. It was very nice to do that, especially after things going on at my work that have been stressful. We would later head up to the club house to watch the Super Bowl.
The Super Bowl party at the club house was fun with tons of food. They had several TVs showing the game so there was not a bad place to watch it from. After the game we left for home. While memberships to a rv resort is not for everyone, the plan we chose will work perfectly for us. We look forward to our next visit.
membership and perks 1/30 – 2/1 2015
I have been working with Pend Oreille County in Washington to see what Geoacaching can do for tourism in their county. Over the last few months I have done presentations to the parks and lands board as well as the county commissioners. They all approve for an event to be done supporting the county and tourism. So on Friday I had another meeting to get started in planning and idea sharing. We are looking to kick off the program in June of this year. Well, since I had to be up in Newport anyway we decided we would go ahead and camp up there for the weekend too. Newport is only a 45 minute drive from home but we never have really taken our time and explored the little town. So it really was a great time to combine both things.
I arrived in Newport on Friday before the meeting and went to check out a camp spot just out of town that we wanted to go to. They do not plow the road clear of snow so I drove there to see if we could drive in. The road was looking okay but then there was a logging crew working the area and blocking the access road. So no go, we would have to go to our backup plan. The choices are few during the winter with so many places being snowed in. We decided to stay at a rv resort in town. No, it is not really camping but we still had the fun of being out in our camper anyway. I got to the resort just as the host plowed our site clear so we could get in without problems. I was surprised to see complete full hookups. Heck, We were happy just to have power. We got everything set up then kicked back and relaxed through the evening.
The next day after breakfast we wandered around the campground then in the little town of Newport. We found out we were a bit too early for the stores to open so we went to Owens store to have a coffee and hang out. The inside of the building was very neat showcasing its history. We even talked to the owner and he told us the history of the building. That is something that we enjoy a lot of, history. After talking and finishing our coffee we strolled the town and checked out its shops. We did spend a few dollars on things we just could not live without.
After walking around and shopping we went back to camp for a short while. We then went to a Mexican restaurant in town. Yeah I know, a little town in Northern Idaho is not where you would expect a very good Mexican restaurant but there is one there. We filled our bellies with great food then once again went back to camp. We relaxed for a while then it was time to go to a Brewery a little ways out of town. It is a small, very out of the way brewery to go to. We made an appointment to be there, its that kind of place. We got there and had to wait a few minutes before the brew master got there. So we petted the cow and checked the ducks out. Eventually the brew master got there and the beer flowed. The brewery we went to was Top Frog Brewery. It may be a out of the way place to find but it is worth it, really worth it. He had some fantastic craft beer on hand.
After a few hours of visiting over great beer it was time to head back to camp. We sat around our propane campfire for a while then went to bed.
The next morning we had plans to do a little hiking and geocaching but the weather was not the best. It had snowed a few inches then turned to rain. So everything was a soggy sloppy mess. We decided to go ahead and pack up and head home.
Newport Washington is close to our home but we never really stopped to explore what it had to offer. It is great to finally explore the town some. We wonder what other treasures we have not explored nearby. I think this year will be a focus on things close by, even more than we have done before. So many things to see and do.