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.
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.
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.
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.
After 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.
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.
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.
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
“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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Most of us were ready to walk to town so off we went. It was only about a mile to town.
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.
No winter festival is complete with out Santa.
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.
Everywhere you turn the town is decorated for Christmas.
We went back to the center town gazebo as the tree lighting ceremony would start soon. Cody caught up with Santa.
Part of the ceremony was two alpenhorns being played making beautiful sounds. That was a treasure to hear them.
Then after a countdown the lights were turned on. Christmas songs were sung and we took in the sights of all the lights.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
We set out to hike around the area. There are great trails all around this campground and lake.
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.
We went back to camp and relaxed taking in our surroundings.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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