Pre-Honeymoon Honeymooning on the Olympic Peninsula

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John and I were married on July 3rd this summer. It was 90 degrees. It was a beautiful ceremony, an amazing weekend full of family and friends, and it was great to be married right after the Supreme Court decision.

Prior to that, we sold my old house, moved into our dilapidated new home, designed, permitted for the remodel and moved out of the home, lived in our Airstream for 6.5 months on the property, did our business in a honey bucket, moved back into the house, had Thanksgiving, moved back out of the house, painted the interior, moved back in the house, finished it, remodeled the basement, and finished all the landscaping. Then I had a heart “incident” and then triple bypass surgery as John worked full time, while we planned and had a wedding for 100 guests. We have to thank John’s sister Fran for help through the roughest weeks.

We really needed a vacation, but I couldn’t do long flights yet. So we planned our pre-honeymoon honeymoon for the Oregon Coast and Olympic Peninsula in Margaret so we could bring Buster and enjoy some cooler weather. It was awesome.

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Our first two nights were at Nehalem State Park just south of Manzanita, which is a quaint little town south of Canon Beach and much less crowded. The beach was stunning, though the wind picks up mightily from 10am to dusk and then dies down again. The park was clean, well kept and the campsites quite nice though our drought has made everything look crispy. The campsite was very full so I recommend making reservations early.

Walking on the beach was sublime and we were shown the town by our friend, Sarah, whose family has owned a beach cottage there for years.

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The next day we drove down the coast leaving Margaret behind at the park and discovered the little seaside towns and coves along the coast. We had fresh crab at a little spot just off the highway. There are a few spots to do this, but we found this one not far from camp. Down past Arch Cape, Rockaway Beach, Bay City Garibaldi and then Tillamook we went to explore.

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The Oregon coast is, in a word, stunning. We stayed a couple of nights and then decamped for the Olympic Peninsula passing through Astoria on our way. I always love going over the bridge between Astoria and Washington. It’s an amazing sight.

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Our next spot was near Lake Quinalt Lodge at an RV camp right on the lake. It could not have been better although we were lucky as the camp was not nearly as crowded as we thought it would be.

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There, we met a few great folks, and we were able to wake up and walk Buster down to the lake and have our coffee while he played.

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We had an amazing and romantic dinner at Lake Quinalt Lodge. The food was terrific including a Brie appetizer that was delicious. The lodge is as rustic as they come and takes you back to the early logging days. You could see from the old photographs how many trees they felled around the lake and how they’ve re-populated the lakeside with them.

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The Lake Quinalt area does boast the largest Fir and Sitka Spruce trees and we took a hike along the trail where you could really see the old growth and then where trees were sheared during the hurricane force winds of 10 years ago.

The next day we drove down along 101 to explore our next planned camping spot at South Beach and took one look at the overcrowded campsite full of box RVs and ATV’s and dirt bikes and every other loud toy and decided to stay those nights back at Lake Quinalt and just hang out. We felt we’d discovered paradise on accident and didn’t want to break the spell.

To Beach 3 we went and explored the tide pools and rocks. Low tide revealed thousands and thousands of sea anemones, mussels and eaten razor clams.

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After the beach trek, I was pretty much toast; worn out from traveling, hiking and such, my body just stopped and my heart was telling me to slow down so John and I just drove out to the Hoh Rainforest and I rested in the car while he took control. We lunched at Kalaloch Lodge, which was surprisingly good! It is another one of the classic old lodges that was built with a 180 degree view of the Pacific Ocean. The trees are windswept, and the cabins sit on the edge of the cliffs overlooking a small cove.

It was beautiful as we drove up into the Rainforest and strolled along the Hall of Mosses. Since rain had not fallen for weeks and weeks, the mosses were not as brilliantly green as usual, but you could see how, during a typically wet year, how emerald colored it could be. We went slow through the trees and the trail was mostly flat so I navigated it pretty well given how tired I was. I am looking forward to being on the other side of this healing process.

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Returning, we met Malcolm and his dog, Sheena, who stayed with us for a night. Malcolm taught us Cribbage and Buster wore himself out running around with a much younger woman/dog.

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We then ventured up into the Quinalt canyon to Grave’s Campground and stumbled upon Barry, the camp host. Man, he could talk! A crusty old fellow who was suspicious of me since I was eyeing his sewer line from his trailer and wondering where it was going off to and I was asking him about it. He then said he had PTSD from the Vietnam War so I kept quiet. It was a really interesting interaction.

We also were impressed with the backing skills of a fellow streamer who had the best spot in the entire campground along the Quinalt River. It was simply amazing how he shoehorned the vintage Airstream in. The woods were beautiful as the sun was setting and light raked through the trees.

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The next day it rained, Malcolm left, and John and I were content to hang in camp and relax and read as we’d planned to leave the following morning for the Macah Indian Reservation and Cape Flattery.

The drive up to Cape Flattery and our campsite was beautiful as we followed along the coast much of the way. Stopping in Forks, we encountered the oddest, but coolest grocery/hunting/outdoor wear/fishing and general goods store you could ever hope to see. Awesome sandwiches, too!

We almost took the Twilight Tour, but John held me back. We are on Team Jacob, but a friend of mine is still Team Edward. Almost bought the t-shirt, but resisted that, too.

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On through Neah Bay and up to find our RV camp with some of the best views of the ocean one can see. It’s on the Macah Indian Reservation and is first come, first serve. You need a $10 permit to be in the reservation with an RV. We were the last ones to pull in and lucked out and got a spot for a full hook-up. In the picture, you can see the camp from the rocks. The clouds were coming in, rays of light shone through followed by the sliver of a sunset at the point. It was truly spectacular to see.

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The walk down to Cape Flattery was mostly on a boardwalk built for rainy days. The views out to the ocean, the craggy cliffs and swirling tides made for a terrific checkmark off John’s bucket list.

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On a side note, we picked up some smoked salmon in Neah Bay at a tiny little shack off the main road. There’s a sign that just says Fish so we followed it. Inside sat about five people while one guy manned the cash register. We were offered a taste and it was delicious, the Salmon jerky not so much. But we bought some and brought it home. We also tasted some salmon that had been traditionally cooked over an open pit on skewers that some women were selling for a fundraiser. It was some of the best salmon I’ve ever tasted.

The next day we drove down 112, which is one of the windiest and hardest to navigate roads pulling an Airstream. But the views are spectacular and you follow along the Strait of Juan de Fuca all the way to Port Angeles. There are some tasty RV camps along the way that we want to return to, but we had reservations at the Elwha River RV Park.

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When we arrived, we were amazed at how nice the park was. Full hook-ups, somewhat narrow, but level pull throughs, very clean laundry facilities and a location that can’t be beat. The staff was also pleasant and easy to talk to. We were to stay for 3 nights to explore all around the area, but had to leave after the 2nd night because we were put close to the septic tanks and the smell from them was extremely bad and overpowering – so much so that both of us couldn’t sleep the second night. We asked after the smell and were told they didn’t have the proper filters, and they’d only owned the park 5 months. If it were me, I’d be fixing that right away because we just simply couldn’t stay there any longer and won’t go back unless we are assured it’s fixed.

But as we arrived, our friend Merideth texted us and let us know she was arriving with 5 pounds of clams from Taylor Shellfish so John and I went to a great market nearby (Haggens) and bought chorizo, onions, tomatoes, garlic and olive oil. We steamed the clams up and they were delicious.

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Meredith joined us the next day for a trip to Lake Crescent and to see the lodge on the way to Sol Duc Hot Springs where we soaked a bit. The lodge and lake were beautiful, but the hot springs were a bit of a disappointment. I don’t know if I was just tired that day, or there were too many people or that the pools weren’t what I was expecting, but it’s not a place I’d return to. I’d opt for a more natural surrounding or a place where there are less people. The lodge, however, was rustic, the surroundings lovely and the view across the lake quiet and peaceful. The water is clear and cold and reflects the surrounding trees and sky perfectly.

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We ended the day by heading up to the top of the Elwha River where they blasted the dam away to restore the river to salmon and reverse the damage done at the beginning of the 20th century. It was amazing to see how the river has cut through the valley even though we’ve had two low water years. The falls down through the shoot are spectacular and it was a very moving moment for me to see what can be done for the good of our ecosystem rather than greedily destroy things.

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The next morning we went to where the Elwha River meets the ocean and was astonished at how decades of silt had created a huge beach, and how the river had carved its way through it. We spent a fair amount of time there and Buster had a great time swimming down the current and to the ebb.

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Then on up to Hurricane Ridge, a place that John really wanted to see. I’d been there when wildflowers blanketed the ground, but this time the dry grasses were a perfect complement to dissecting lines of green and blue. We spent awhile just looking out across the horizon at the line of mountains, the threatening sky dissipating and the sun rising in the sky. It was the perfect ending to an incredible 11 day journey seeing our beautiful state. Now that fires are destroying the landscape and people’s lives in Eastern Washington, this trip brought into focus how lucky we are to live in such natural beauty. We know that the land will repair itself and were lucky enough to see that rivers can be reborn, too.

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Landscape changes every day – sometimes in an instant and much of it over eons. Our trip was but a snapshot – a blip on the radar of time and we were lucky to share it together with Buster and some new and old friends. This trip served as the start of our marriage and was so indicative of the easy way we are with each other given all we’ve been through during the past two years.

Many people have asked me how marriage has changed me. It’s very simple really. I feel settled for the first time in my life, which has not been an easy one. But I know John will be there at the end of the day, I know he’s there when he’s clear across country, or making children’s lives meaningful through music. I am settled, finally, 54 years into a life that could have ended just a few months ago. I consider myself one very lucky (and happy) husband. And if we leave our lives as two halves of a whole, on a beach sustaining the lives of other beings, well that will be fine with me.

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Onward….

Traveler’s Rest, Florida

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Just outside Dade City, Florida is a place where Airstreams and their owners thrived and co-mingled. Developed by Jake Busch, a member of the Tampa Bay Unit of the Wally Byam Caravan Club, Traveler’s Rest was initially funded by Airstream enthusiasts who invested $500 a share and raised over $80,000 to help secure a site. Jake Busch scoured Florida for a beautiful location that could fulfill the dream he had of providing an Airstream Park for wintering travelers.

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He found it near Dade City, adjacent to the small towns of St. Joe and San Antonio; the are know as the “Florida Alps.” In 1972, the property was secured, volunteers helped clear brush, install drainage and water, and prepare sites for silver bullets to nestle in together for warmer winters. Wells for drinking water were drilled and a sewage treatment plant was planned and eventually built.

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Unfortunately, a corrupt contractor took advantage of the park builders and nearly bankrupted them right off the bat. Jake Busch stepped in and pulled the plug on him, but not before he and others paid him off. By 1973 part of the park was finished along with Busch Hall, which houses everything from church services, arts and craft fairs and, of course, the traditional Airstreamer’s pot-luck.

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As is the custom of ‘streamers, much of the work done was facilitated by volunteerism, and several things available today, like the front office, pool, snack area, and Busch Hall floor were the result of loans given for the cause. There was much trust and fellowship as they built out the cabanas, maintained the grounds and enhanced the park. By the end of the ‘70’s most all of the Village lots were sold as well as about 100 mobile home lots were occupied. Traveler’s rest was now a wonderful destination spot for ‘streamers and winter “snowbirds” that wanted a community.

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The golden years from the mid-70’s through the 80’s began. Tennis courts were built, Mirror Lake was created and a new golf course added. They were all enormous projects that today form the beauty that makes Traveler’s Rest unique. In 1986 the TR Times was begun by a retired newspaper editor and continues to this day.

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Can you imagine lines of silver trailers gleaming in the Florida sun? If you go to some of the larger Alumaevent rallies around the country, you might get the idea. But Utopia for Airstreams couldn’t last. Unfortunately, Airstream began developing a line of motor coaches that were strictly outlawed at Traveler’s Rest due to a clause prohibiting motor homes of any sort so that sight lines wouldn’t be ruined.

Additionally, Jake Busch was disheartened following a particularly nasty town hall meeting in his own hall. His dream sullied, Jake Busch passed away in 1993.

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Several “founders” stepped down including the park manager. Airstream sales began to decline and fewer trailers came to Traveler’s Rest as the elder ‘streamers declined. Discontent bread defections and many people simply left. Maintenance and park repair fell as money and interest dwindled and Traveler’s Rest was on the verge of collapse until the bylaws were changed admitting RV’s with other brands were allowed to stay. A renaissance of Traveler’s Roost was underway.

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As we walked around the park, we were greeted by a friendly wave from everyone. And I mean everyone. The sense of community was palpable, and while Airstreams still dot the landscape with newer and older models existing side by side sometimes, the other RV’s fit in well with the landscape in the various sections.

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We particularly liked the area of Cabana’s that were placed next to the Airstream offering what is known as a “Florida room” for residents to enjoy. Airstreams were next to mobile homes, or rested under canopies of Spanish moss covered oak trees.

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The gardens are well maintained by friendly Garden Club volunteers we met. The hall was bustling with church services, the golf links were busy and several people were out for walks with their dogs. They even have an off-leash area. Mirror Lake is now a bucolic view from the wood-planked walks and trails; wildlife teems along its shores.

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John and I now know a place to bring “Margaret” that will be close to his mom’s and provide us with a community of ‘streamers and RVer’s alike, but also that promise of a hookup for electricity and sewage for our longer stays. We are looking forward to our first trip across country!

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Roman, Josephine (John’s Mom) and John

Note: Much of the information on the park in the above article was taken from their history PDF available on their website here: http://www.travelersrestresort.com

3 Months and Counting

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We are now five weeks behind the schedule given to us by our contractor. It’s a bit depressing given that fall is approaching and both John and myself are back to work. It’s a little challenging for John to get ready, and I still have a lot to do to get things done so that our finish contractors will be able to do their job and write creative ideas for a project I’m working on.

But, we do love the comfort of our Airstream and are now talking about taking off in a few years and traveling around the United States and Canada for however long it takes. We will rent out both the house and backyard cottage and upgrade to a larger model and go. It is nice to have air -conditioning in the Airstream once again as we continue to have very hot days (for the NW, anyway). The 2015 Airstream models feature ducted air so the unit is now completely outside and it is very quiet inside. We are waiting for sales on those models. 🙂

One of the things we’ve really missed is traveling around in it this summer, but since we are living full time and staying on property, it’s more difficult to put everything away and make things travel safe. When we aren’t living in it, we keep it ready to travel except for the addition of food and drink, which is a lot less to contend with. We’ve mostly missed our fellow Airstreamers and are looking forward to connecting again with them.

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We escaped to San Juan Island last week to take a break from the noise and frustrations.

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It was really beautiful and the cottage we rented was perfect for us and Buster who made a new friend in Mondo. Kit, our host shared John’s famous sangria with us and we learned a lot about the island.

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Highlights included a walk around Garrison Bay,

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A hike at the American Camp, which was gorgeous, and I showed John the treacherous Cattle Pass,

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Lime Kiln Lighthouse,

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and a beautiful sunset at the County Park.

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In the last couple of weeks, the house’s exterior has been worked on so that the Hardie Panel and shingles are really looking great. Ivan and Juan are doing a terrific job.

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Insulation is giving rooms their shape and it’s being installed, as I type, under the house. In the next couple of days drywalling will begin.

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One of the things I really wanted to do was put clear cedar planking under the eave of the main deck to give it a more elegant and finished look rather than Hardie Panel. Juan did a great job of integrating it and now it will look beautiful once the house is painted.

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We did make a mistake on the double doors and got framing that was too small – 2×4 versus 2×6 opening. Ivan and Juan came up with a great solution and now it looks fine. We both have learned so much over the past year, and I’ve been keeping a spreadsheet on what to do when, and the things to think about.

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As the house takes shape, We’ve been hosting people on the Sky Deck most evenings and have been enjoying sharing the view. It really is quite something to be able to sit up there and look out over the lake as alpenglow hits the mountains and the top of Mt. Rainier. It’s pretty stunning. Fall will be truly amazing.

Champoeg State Park, Oregon

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This past weekend, we had a great trip to Champoeg, Oregon and saw lots of folks we’ve met at other rallies and made new friends. The rally was for the Oregon Unit’s annual meeting and there were 64 Airstreams and over 100 people who were there.

Pictured above is an amazing vintage trailer that won the People’s Choice Award at Modernism week last year in Palm Springs. It belongs to Doug and Mona Heath, who is past President of the WBBCI Oregon Unit and works with Airstreams 2 Go.

IMG_5157 IMG_5158Champoeg is a terrific state park and particularly beautiful in the fall.

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We picked up pumpkins and walked to the historic Butteville Country Store where they made amazing cherry pies.

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There is a bikeway that runs along the entire Willamette Valley that is stunning right now.

We look forward to many more rallies with this group, and more adventures ahead.

 

Airstream Adventure #5: Seattle to Jackson Hole, Wyoming

I flew to Jackson Hole to work on a video project for a client and John followed a few days later with Margaret traversing close to 900 miles in 2 days and 17 hours of driving. Between our last trip to Mt. Adams and this trip, we changed out our tow vehicle from a 4-Runner to a Ford F-150 XLT with tow package. This made all the difference. Towing with the F-150 is a far better experience and nearly automatic in every way with their tow package that shifts gears, has much better braking and has a 4000 pound advantage in GVW than the 4-Runner did. It just feels much safer. John did comment that you have to remember on occasion that you are pulling something behind you.

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Our plan was to stay at the Lazy J Corral RV Park in Hoback Junction to be near my work, but they don’t take reservations and luckily they were booked. This RV Park sits hard by the highway and has a mix of long-term residents and RVs smacked up right next to each other with absolutely no trees to speak of. We then tried KOA down the road, but they were full and the nice ladies efficiently running the front desk hooked me up with a place called Fireside – AKA – Jackson Hole RV Camp, which I’d already booked a reservation for two nights later.

Fireside/Jackson Hole RV Camp (74.00/night for a pull-through, which is expensive in my book) is a mix of brand new custom cabins built from old Wyoming snow fence, metal and other materials, which you pass by on your way into the RV sections and comprises the mid section of the entire acreage. It is a narrow slice of land. Fireside has many pull-through sites as well as several back-in. Unfortunately, since we called late, we were closest to bathrooms in a fairly narrow, hard to back into site, which John negotiated with the help of some campers.

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Pluses for Fireside include close proximity to Grand Teton National Park, Teton Village and Jackson. The bathroom is kept clean and the spots all include fire rings, picnic tables and full hook-ups provided you can park your trailer in a way to utilize the sewer line. Some of the sites are extremely close to each other, but others feel spacious. They do have a dump station, which we utilized on the way out. WiFi was very spotty and I ended up having to go into the office to conduct business.

Jackson, itself, has become a huge disappointment as it’s over-run by cars and tourists, and traffic during the day is horrendous.  We chose to stay out of Jackson as much as possible. The best part of Jackson, however, is Ernie Patterson’s Veterinary Clinic where we went to have Buster’s leg looked at, which wasn’t diagnosed by our vet in Seattle. He had been suffering terribly on the trip and required knee surgery upon our return to Seattle. We cut our trip short and headed back a week early.

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After a couple of days at Fireside, we headed up to Granite Hot Springs on the advice of the mother of two children selling lemonade at the entrance to a dog park along the Snake River. It was the best thing that could have happened. As we drove up the dirt road towards the hot springs we saw several other boondockers along the way up, which gave us the impetus to boondock ourselves along the Granite River with incredible views of the majestic mountains and valley. This river flows into the Hoback River, and joins it along the highway between Pinedale and Hoback Junction.

Pinedale has become the poster child for all that is wrong with fracking and natural gas drilling that is quickly ruining the water tables, environment and lives of the people living nearby. Winter in Pinedale sees vast amounts of Ozone depletion, methane gas usage and water contamination as a result. 32 ounces of Benzine, which is a chemical they use in this process, can contaminate thousands of gallons of drinking water. Wildlife habitat has been destroyed, and roads have been cut through pristine wilderness for huge Halliburton trucks that rumble up down the roads incessantly. There is simply nothing good about the fracking process, which this country will feel the results of for hundreds of years to come. It is sad that Dick Cheney has sold out his own state, by opening up vast amounts of territories to Halliburton and other energy companies, like he did our country.

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But back to our wonderful valley and the Hoback Basin, where we spent the entire day shooting photographs and video.

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We made our way to the top of the canyon and discovered a lake with the brightest blue dragonflies I’ve ever seen.

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Exhausted, we then went to Granite Hot Springs for a dip in the 96 degree water ($6 per person). Well-maintained and peaceful, we ended the day feeling renewed, but tired. Quite simply, heading up the Hoback Basin was, for me, the highlight of the trip and camping along the Granite River was sublime.

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John made a delicious Caprese salad, a couple of cocktails and all three of us enjoyed the evening sunset.

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After boondocking, we headed back to Fireside for two days of camping and John drove the River Road in Grand Teton National Park as I took photographs. The flowers and the Snake River were unbelievable and Buster enjoyed looking out over it along the way. It was a stunningly beautiful drive, but you need a truck with high clearance and best to have a 4×4 just in case. We stopped at Jackson for dinner at a very mediocre Mexican restaurant called The Three Piglets.

The following day found us exhausted and so we just did some chores, went to the Auto Parts store for grease and napped. We met some wonderful people from The Netherlands and Portland.

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That evening, we met up with fellow ‘streamers, Monica, Jeff and their son Bradley for an extraordinary dinner at Couloir, which requires a gondola ride to the top. Monica is doing a story on Coloir for her blog, Just Five More Minutes and photographed their amazing dishes throughout the 4-course meal. The view was spectacular, the food delicious, and once again, as we usually do with Monica and Jeff, talked non-stop throughout. It was so much fun! For those wanting to spend less money, they do have outdoor seating at the top, the gondola ride is free and there is a deli restaurant and drinks to enjoy while watching evening descend on the valley below.

We then went through Yellowstone National Park and headed towards Montana and home to get Buster back for surgery.

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We went through Ennis, Montana, which stirred up many memories for me as I used to fish every summer there with my brother and dad and friends. It hasn’t changed at all in all these years and I was glad to see that.

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That night we boondocked just outside Missoula at Beaverhead Deerlodge National Forest (free camping!), which was also grazing area for cows. Buster was very curious about them and at about 3am I heard footsteps outside our Airstream only to discover several cows wandering through our camp.

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We stopped in at Airstream of Spokane to fix a few things and rework our hitch due to the new F150.  Doug fixed us right up and Nick and Karyn, as always, were a delight to see. Unfortunately, between AOS and the Columbia River Gorge, our TV completely came off the wall of our Airstream and broke. Still under warranty, we’ll get this fixed soon.

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Our last night found us at Wanapum State Park by the Columbia River just off I-90. The clouds were extraordinary, the campsite beautiful and well maintained with hookups ($32.00 a night) and a view that is gorgeous.

All in all, it was a great trip marred only by lots of stress from selling my house, Buster’s knee issue and me trying to work and enjoy all of it at the same time.

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However, I’m blessed to have John stick by me through all of it, and Buster be our constant joy during the whole trip. Next stop: Alumafandango in August in Oregon.

(As always, click on the photographs to see larger versions of them). All photos © 2013 by Tom Schabarum

Rally #2: Area 33

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I cannot overstate the beauty of this location. Hard by Mt. Adams, the view is spectacular. But, one of the best things about finally getting our Airstream has been meeting the people. Hands down. It’s such a diverse, friendly and deeply interesting bunch with stories and music to share that it sort of takes one’s breath away.

While Airstreams are definitely the main source of conversation, there are doctors, retired National Park Service, teachers, musicians, engineers, repo-men, non-profit workers, etc. all held together by the common thread of loving their Airstreams both new and vintage. This rally saw more vintage models than last and it was great fun to tour them and see what they’ve done. I was impressed by the creativity and ingenuity – and the attention to keeping much of the units as close to vintage as possible.

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Nestled under the trees were 19 Airstreams beautifully restored or taken care of by their owners. I was impressed that, for some, they’d brought just one from their collection of Airstreams at home. I found that amazing.

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Rob and Diane’s vintage was blessed with a rainbow on the last day of good weather. Rob let us borrow his solar panel, which we hooked up for an afternoon to restore some much needed power to the batteries. I think we’ve decided to go solar for the time being as it’s quiet and green.

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We took the scenic Hwy. 14 to the site, which was beautiful, but where I got my first real scare driving through a narrow tunnel with two oncoming semi-trucks. But the Columbia River was quite beautiful, and John loves the lore of the Lewis and Clark Trail so we stopped for lunch in Stevenson.

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When we came upon the camp, here was the view we had. Stunning. Snow-capped Mt. Adams and a wide field where the light and clouds were constantly changing.

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Carmella and Ruth’s Airstream had the best view. A rare lenticular cloud formed over Mt. Adams on Saturday night, which I was able to get in a time-lapse with the help of Rob and Diane’s vintage Airstream. Click on the photo below to see the movie here:

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Rhonda Coleman’s Design Within Reach Bambi was fantastic to see. Christopher Deam (watch his TED Talk here) designed 25 coaches initially, which started a renaissance of design in the Airstream line, modernizing them for a new set of owners. Ultimately, only 60 were built and all were sold quickly and have become collector’s items. It was so good to see Rhonda who writes extensively about Airstreams for Airstream Life and Airstream.com.

All three nights we were treated to wonderful music from glampers with guitars, mandolins and a cello. It was quite funny, moving and wonderful to listen to music by a roaring fire. I took portraits of several of our members as well, and had a great time doing so. Here are some of the portraits.

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John, who loves to mountain bike, broke in our bike rack for the first time and took Buster on a long run up the side of Mt. Adams. He told me he made it to the snow line, but I didn’t quite believe it.

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Our camp hosts, Janet and Gary, did a wonderful job putting it all together, cooking, playing music, and being such gracious and lovely people with a killer, newly restored Airstream.

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We really do believe that we have found our pot of gold under the rainbow in our Airstream and are endlessly thankful to my Grandmother, Airstream of Spokane and the many people who’ve we’ve met so far online and in person.

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So to the great people and our little village of Airstreams under the beautiful Washington sky, we say thank you and we’ll see you next year.

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THE GOOD: The people, the location, the views, solar power, our bike rack, not running out of water or power, the potluck dinners and breakfasts, the sky, Hwy. 14, Buster’s new friends – Olga, Roadie, Wally, and Ziggy, Our new friends. One dog-tired Buster, sharing my novel, AIRSTREAMING, with many of the Glampers, The camaraderie of ‘streamers, the music! Oh, and the breakfast at Bette’s in Hood River that finished the trip.

THE BAD: The tunnel scare, realizing the 4 Runner was simply not up to the task of pulling Margaret.

THE UGLY: The traffic coming home on I-5, which is not so ugly given that the bridge at Mt. Vernon collapsed (thankfully no one was seriously hurt) and ruined many other people’s Memorial Day weekend, which saddened me.

Our First Airstream Rally: Depoe Bay, OR

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John, Buster and myself took off for Depoe Bay on Friday for our first Airstream rally ever.

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We had an amazing weekend and were a little overwhelmed by all the people we met, the names we had to learn and all of the Airstream knowledge we heard. It’ll take some time to process, but what a great first rally.

Thanks to Rally hosts, Devon and Rebecca Sigleer and Marcus and Becki  Burr. They did a great job hosting 29 Airstreams and 60 people at the Sea and Sand RV Resort overlooking Depoe Bay, OR.

We were greeted by the nice women at the front desk and then Devon helped guide John in for his first backing lesson into our site over-looking the ocean.

Friday evening was happy hour, appetizers and, for us, meeting a lot of new people.

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We looked at some incredible Airstreams, vintage and new, and talked solar panels and generators and styles and lengths.

Saturday was a nice walk on the beach, French toast, sausage and fruit by our Rally Hosts, and then lunch for John and I just down the road at a Mexican restaurant (not so tasty).

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We toured around the small coastal town and then went back to the resort for the rest of the afternoon to nap and read and ready ourselves for dinner.

My old friend, Tanya Spruill, who lives up the coast with her partner, Miles, came to visit and catch up. We hadn’t seen each other since just before our High School graduation so it was quite a treat.

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Afterwards, we met for the Saturday bar-b-que and everyone brought dishes, and the hosts provided grilled shrimp, tuna and Prime Rib, which was amazing. Another set of couples brought makings for hot fudge sundaes.

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We were also treated to an amazing sky above the ocean.

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The day ended with a beautiful beach fire with s’mores and more visiting.

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Sunday, John, Buster and I took off down the beach to look at tide pools and came back to a Happy Birthday sing-a-long for me, which was quite nice (thanks Toni for starting that!)

We then hung around to say goodbye and see people off.

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I was able to sell copies of AIRSTREAMING, which was great and I hope will be enjoyed. Then the weather turned as John and I went to brunch at a local cafe that had extremely slow service. We were sitting outside with Buster and nearly froze to death waiting for crepes. Then it was back to Margaret and naps and reading and planning our next adventure.

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A big thank you to all who welcomed us from the WBCCI Oregon Unit and those from the Washington Unit as well. Thanks also to those who shared their knowledge and wine (thanks Diane and Rob!). We are really looking forward to Area 33 (Trout Lake) over Memorial Day weekend.

THE GOOD: Great people, Amazing view, clean and nice RV Park, The weather on Friday and Saturday. We figured out Buster’s bed, which he LOVED. We really are making Margaret a home away from home. Endless power, endless water. The beach. Salt Water Taffy from the front desk. John and I travel really well together and both love being in the Airstream.

THE BAD: The little town’s Mexican food place. Dory’s. The wind on the way home scaring the bejesus out of us as Margaret swayed…

THE UGLY: At the tail end (pun intended) of dumping out the gray and black water, I accidentally pulled off the hose and a little nasty spilled out. Not too bad and I washed the little bit away. Luckily, it was at the end of the gray flush.

PS: click on the pics to see them big and beautiful.