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