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.
exploring newport 1/16 – 1/18 2015
2014, it was a year full of memories. That is what our travels are about, making memories. It is funny when we say we did not travel too much this year, then we look at the pictures and blog posts. We soon realize that indeed, we had another year with a lot of travels. We went to many new places and returned to some favorites. We had improvements and upgrades on our camper and had repairs done on the truck when it broke down. Time was spent being lazy in our chairs around the campfire and times spent hiking, biking and kayaking. Some trips were just Joanne and I and others were with Cody and all four of our dogs. Yes, it was a full year of travels and full memories to last forever.
Here is a short movie showing some of our 2014 memories:
For New Years Eve we once again camped at Riverside State Park in Spokane Washington. It is such a great resource and we really enjoy going there. We got to our site about 4:30 p.m. and it was a nice 22 degrees out. It actually was not too bad since there was no wind. The sites have the water shut off but there is power available. The bathrooms are still operating too. So we got parked and I got a campfire going right away. Joanne and I sat around the fire for a few hours while Cody played inside the camper. It was an enjoyable night and has become a tradition for how we spend our New Years Eve night.
The next morning after relaxing in the camper while drinking our coffee we went out and started another campfire to ward off the cold air. It had gotten down to 13 degrees overnight but once again the day had no wind and it was not bad when dressed for it. After getting a campfire going Joanne and I had our mimosas to celebrate the new year.
We spent a good part of the morning sitting around the campfire. After a few hours we set out to do a hike in the park. Just a short 4 mile hike today, a nice easy one. We did look for and found a couple geocaches along our way. Including finding a cache that has eluded us a few times before.
We returned to our camper and put things away. It was time to head home for the day. We had a great night spent the way we celebrate New Years Eve…camping.
As we look forward to what the new year brings we know there will be changes in our plans. There are changes going on where I work and we sadly will not be able to attend the big national rally in Colorado Springs in July. We are pretty bummed about that. We will still be getting out and camping as much as we can but it will be shorter trips near our home. That is not a bad thing really. Getting out spending time with the camper and family is what is important.
We wish you all a Happy New Year!
2014 thoughts and a new year 1/1/15
Our favorite time of the year, fall. The nights are cooler and the days are warm, a great time of the year. Fall also brings our annual trip to the Winthrop Washington area for the Fall Colors Caravan / Rally. This would be our 4th year attending this event. In fact the first ever truck camper rally we have ever attended was this event 4 years ago. We were welcomed and had a fabulous time. That trip changed what we do and how we do things on our trips with groups. So I guess it has a little something special in our hearts.
Our trip started as it usually does, right after work. This time we left on a Wednesday after work. We made our way to Spring Canyon Campground along the Columbia River and behind Grand Coulee Dam. Last year we could not stay here because of the government shutdown, this year was no problem. We arrived and got a quick setup done at our site. We took Dusty and Buddy for a walk (the other two dogs stayed at home with our oldest son) then Joanne made dinner. I got a campfire going and set some chairs up for us. Cody was content to hang out in the camper and play a game. It was a very nice night, We were amazed how bright it was out at night with the full moon. You did not even need a flashlight. The night drifted away with the warmth of the fire and the occasional yelps of the coyotes nearby.
The next morning we ate breakfast and left fairly early. We wanted to get to our friends house in Twisp Washington. We would stay the night in our camper in their driveway. We arrived in the late morning and our friend Sally was on a conference call and George was away for a short while doing errands. We parked our camper then went just a short distance away to a fish hatchery habitat area. Wow, that was a really neat place. There was natural pools and streams with a fun little path to walk along. A geocache took us there and once again, if not for geocaching we would never have known about that place.
After our little excursion we returned to our friends home. By then George was back at home and waiting to take us for a drive up to Harts Pass. Harts Pass is north of the Cascades Highway 20 and is the highest road you can drive on in Washington State. The drive up is not for the timid with some huge drop offs on a one lane road with some pull outs. The views and the finish point are worth every single second of the drive. We were completely blown away by the views. I can not explain in words the beauty of this place. We could have easily sat and looked at our surroundings for hours but we were on a time schedule. We took in as much as we could with the time we had. Breathtaking, sights permanently placed in our memory.
What a wonderful time that was. We now want to return for much more. We returned to our friends home and they made dinner for us. A yummy lasagna was on the menu. After talking for a while after dinner we retired to our camper. The next day we would make our way over the Cascades Highway and stop at Sauk Campground, along highway 530 and north of Darrington Washington. Joanne and I have never been over the Cascades Highway. The past rallies we waited for the caravan to join us at the campground in Winthrop. The weather was fantastic, sunny and warm. We made a few stops on our way to enjoy the sights and of course find a geocache. We were treated with amazing views on the drive. If you ever get a chance, take highway 20 over the cascades. It is only open from late spring to early fall, it closes during the winter.
We eventually made it to the campground. Our friends lead us to the site where we all would be staying. They then left to go to Arllington Washington to meet up with the folks who would caravan from there to the campground. Joanne, Cody and I set up camp and walked around a little bit. Then we made dinner and got a campfire going. Soon enough several truck campers arrived and parked. We visited and enjoyed each others company at camp. It was great to meet new camper friends and see old friends once again.
When morning arrived it was time to caravan over the highway eastbound towards Winthrop. The weather was a little rainy and cloudy but not bad. There were still lots of sights to see. What a sight to see truck campers in a caravan. We made a few stops along the way to stretch our legs and take pictures.
That evening we had our potluck dinner. What can I say about the potluck dinners…if you go away hungry it is your own fault! So much great food and laughs with friends at dinner. Prizes were given away after dinner then we went to the campfire to relax at. It was a bit breezy so the sparks drove some of us to our campers for the night. I went to bed fairly early as I was very tired. The next morning we had a great breakfast supplied by our rally hosts George and Sally. They did an excellent job as hosts for the rally. A big thank you to them.
Joanne, Cody and I then left to go into Winthrop and do some geocaching. We found all of the ones we attempted to find. We then went to the Methow Valley Cider House just a mile from camp. We have stopped by there on previous trips and now it is tradition to go and sip some cider. Eventually almost everyone from the rally ended up there too.
Later that night back at camp we sat around the campfire. The breeze held off tonight. We visited with each other and had fun swapping stories. The next day it was time for us to make our way home. We decided to take our time as we like to do. We took a longer way home geocaching along the way. We traveled on highways we have never been on and saw just what our state has to offer.
We made a stop at the overlook of Grand Coulee Dam and had lunch. A nice view to have lunch at. We then made it back home. Another awesome time on the Fall Colors Rally. We enjoy the trip so much and look forward to it every year. Next year will be the 10th annual rally and our 5th year in a row attending it. We cannot wait. We look forward to seeing our friends once again and doing our traditional things we do on the trip.
Here is a short video on some of the sites:
fall colors caravan / rally 10/8 – 10/13 2014
I needed new front tires on the camper truck so in the morning I went to Perfection Tire in Spokane Washington to get that done. They had a set of highway tread type tires I wanted on hold for me. I gave them the keys and waited for the job to be done. When they called me up to the counter and said it was ready to go I saw my camper being drove up front and a few leaves and a small branch laying on the back of the camper and truck. I did not think much of it. I drove the camper home and the new tires were nice, smooth riding and quite. I parked the camper at home in its usual spot and after a little bit went out to wash the camper. That is when I saw it… TORN UP ROOF! I KNEW I should have looked closely when I saw the little branch and a couple leaves on the truck back at the shop.
I called the shop right away and talked to the manager. He was very cooperative and said someone would call me first thing Monday morning. In the meantime there was nothing I could do but cover the roof to protect it.
Monday morning arrived and I talked to Perfection Tire about the situation. It is bad enough that it happened, accidents do happen. However the kid working on my truck and not saying anything, well that is a whole other story. To make matters worse we would be going on a trip next week. The manager at the tire shop said someone from their insurance would be calling right away. They did call right away, Farmers Insurance. They said to take it to whatever shop I wanted and get a temporary fix on the roof so we could go on our trip. Then after the trip to have it repaired completely. So that is what I did.
I took the camper to Johnson RV in Spokane Washington and they did a good temporary fix on the roof with Eternabond tape. They also replaced my refrigerator vent. It was very great of them to get me in right away for this fix. So now we can still attend our rally next week. When we return from our trip they will have to replace the whole roof. A estimated cost of $3000.00.
I must say, Farmers has been very easy to deal with so far. They said “no problem” we will handle this for you. They called Johnson RV and are handling all the paperwork so I do not have to. The tire shop has also called a couple times today to make sure things are being handled for me. I do appreciate that service. It all would not have been so bad if the kid who did the damage spoke up. I don’t have very many warm happy feelings towards him at this point.
So we will see how it goes with a new roof in a few weeks. I will be sure to do a follow up story on it. For now, I am getting ready for our trip next week!
new tires and a tree 9/27/14
Just when I think I am done with modifying my camper and truck…something new comes to mind. As most of you know, my setup is already pretty modified and unusual. That’s me, unusual. So what did I do this time?
My camper did not come with a 12 volt power source and I finally got around to installing one. I can have my camper out for 2 to 3 days before I need to run the generator to charge the batteries. However, my phone will not last that long. So in the past I had run the generator a little bit everyday to charge it up. Now with a 12 volt source, no more doing that. It is back to 2 to 3 days before running the generator. I tried it out last trip and it worked as it should.
The next modification was to mount my new Lock and Load that I won from Torklift. A big thank you to Torklift for that! What is a lock and load? It is a metal tray with locking bars that will secure your generator or what ever you can fit in it. It mounts to a 2″ receiver. Well since I have a unusual setup (remember) I had a receiver placed in a different location than most for this project. I have a small porch on the back of my flatbed and I had the mount bolted and welded to the flatbed. The bolted part was where it lays over the wood deck. The weld would hold it completely but what the heck, can not go wrong with added security right? It is awesome having my generator easily accessed for power. I tried it out last camping trip. I ran the generator in place without removing the locking bars, it worked perfectly. I have a generator cover on order and it will be here any day now. It was brought up about blocking my lights on the camper a little bit. That is no problem because my truck lights are completely visible. Really, my camper tail lights are just bonus lights.
The next modification was well…something fun. Did I really need it? No but why not have some fun things too. I purchased on line an old fashion horn for the truck. You know, the ones that you find on the old old cars. Do not know what those sound like? No worries, if I see you I will give it a try for you. It has already given me a few laughs and smiles. My wife Joanne just shakes her head at me. I did not replace my original horn, I simply added this one with its own push button switch.
Next on the agenda was to add another storage box under the flatbed deck. I got a great deal on the brand new box and the size was perfect. I wanted a box to store my sewer hoses, gloves and such in one spot. I had a couple of those white sewer hose tubes already mounted under the bed but sometimes in the winter it was a pain to get them out. I left those where they were, I am thinking they may be good for a couple fishing poles. To mount the box where I wanted it I had to move my truck lights farther out the back end. That was a easy fix. The box fit into place perfectly with the help from Joanne. I know for some it may seem to be low to the ground but not really. My rear receiver hitch is a couple inches lower than the box. This new box is the same measurement in height as the longer one on the other side. I really like how it turned out.
Yet another modification I got done was to finally (and I mean finally!!) get a winterizing kit installed for the water system. In the past I just stood outside and pumped the pink antifreeze into the city water connection on the camper while Joanne was inside to open and close the water valves on sinks and such. Now I can do the winterizing simple and easy. One thing I need to tell you…place the valve in the correct flow direction or read the directions first. After that duh moment it was installed and works perfectly.
I did get a couple other things done too. I got my C.B. radio antenna tuned and I got the front end aligned on the truck. Today I got new front tires installed. I went with a good highway tire on the front. My rear dully tires are still all good to go.
So there you have it, the latest in modifications on the truck and camper. It has gotten to be so many things done on my setup I have lost track but I am pretty sure I am done. Hey, what is that? Oooohhhh that would be great on the camper!
a few modifications september 2014