WheRVe we been? Our travels, 2nd quarter 2018

Wow. So uhhh… all that not leaving the Lone Star State we did in the first three months of 2018? We more than made up for it during the 2nd quarter!

Here’s a summary of our travels from Texas (home of our younger son and my side of the family) to Washington (home of our older son and Tim’s side of the family) and Idaho, mapped with a little help from Google.

RV miles traveled this quarter: about 3,215.

It’s not exact, but it’ll do.
I deliberately left out one-nighters, and some of our stops in WA lack labels because I had to zoom out so far to show our path from end to end.
(source: maps.google.com)

Texas to Washington, March 31 – April 12: We spent our first night in north Texas, having received a quick and positive answer to a last-minute, “Hey, I just realized we’re passing through. Are you guys free?” Erika & Tony, with whom we became friends through the Heartland RV Owners Club, not only secured us a spot in the RV park where they live, but also treated us to dinner!

In many ways, the RV community reminds us of our military community. We’ve got friends all over the place; they welcome us even on short notice; they offer generous support and assistance of all kinds; and we pick up right where we left off, no matter how long it’s been since we last saw each other.

After that, we stopped for a few days in Norman, OK, where the The Toad got upgraded tires, wheels, and axles from our friends at Performance Trailer Breaking; and we got to reconnect with a college friend of mine and her family for Easter dinner (that’s her bunny in the photo below). Moving on to Utah, we stayed for a couple of nights at the beautifully secluded and pleasantly uncrowded Fremont Indian State Park, before continuing to Hill AFB in Ogden to restock the fridge and do the laundry.

– Our scenic spot at Fremont Indian SP
– Flower, the bunny
– The face I make when I find dollar washers and dryers (hurrah for access to military RV parks)
– A nice, long hiking day in Sevier, UT
– A trail with a view, perfect for an afternoon run at Hill AFB

Skagit County, WA, April 14-30: At long last, we arrived in Washington on April 12, but had to hang out on the east side of the Cascades for a couple of days while we waited for a non-blizzardy time to cross Snoqualmie Pass — yes, in April! The primary reason for our visit was to help Tim’s folks clear the last of the stuff out of the house they’d just sold, in order to downsize to a 5th wheel. Like son, like father much? It was a perfect time to experience the best of a PNW springtime. The tulips and cherry trees were in bloom, the sun was out more often than it wasn’t, and although temps were a little chilly for my taste, we were able to enjoy several outdoor activities.

– A colorful afternoon at the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival
– Tim reminiscing with his mom, over a tub full o’ family mementos bound for storage
– An ornamental cherry tree (maybe one of these?) at our campground
– A view of the Columbia River, from our holding spot at the Wanapum Rec Area
– Midpoint of a “sluggish” run

Here’s an outdoor activity for ya: We ran our first race together in Mount Vernon, in the rain, with temps hovering around 48 degrees.
This was a 5K to benefit the non-profit agency one of Tim’s sisters works for, Community Action of Skagit County.
The things we do for family!
(photo credit: Community Action)

Jefferson County, WA, April 30 – June 1: For the entire month of May, we hung out close-but-not-too-close to our older son and his girlfriend, and were able to spend as much time with them as possible, juggling get-togethers and adventures around their full work schedules and community commitments. They had their home; we had ours.

– Hello, Port Townsend, and what fine beer you have.
– The boy, his girl, and me, at the first stop of what turned into a pub crawl. They let me tag along!
– Tim spent the first week of our stay on a hiking trip in the Grand Canyon. Off you go, dear.
– Time for rhubarb at the farmer’s market
– If you visit western Washington, don’t forget to look up every now and then

– A 10-mile hike along the Lower Big Quilcene River Trail
– Another race together, the 40th annual Rhody Run 6K
– I may have been a little excited to spend Mother’s Day with one of the reasons I get to celebrate
– Hair color shenanigans to cement my reputation as an RV park “rebel”

But yeah, it was still too chilly for me.
I got caught doing my “I can’t believe I have to wear this much clothing in May, and I am still effing cold” dance.
(photo credit: K. Eichmann)

Central & Eastern Washington, June 1-22: We helped Tim’s folks kick off their first month of full-time RV living by traveling together to a few different campgrounds. In order, we stayed at the resort located inside Sun Lakes/Dry Falls State Park, the municipal park in Bridgeport, a privately owned RV park near Dayton, and a military recreation area near Cheney. And yes, by “traveling together,” I mean we helped each other fix things that broke on or in our respective 5th wheels. Ha!

– Tim’s parents have an inflatable kayak, and we are now considering adding one to our collection of adventure gear
– A hot hike with Tim’s folks, to the ancient Indian caves above the lake
– This unwanted stowaway outsmarted our traps twice, and also dodged the root beer mug, before finally taking that one. final. bite. SNAP!
– In-laws, arriving to join the mayhem. I mean fun.
– Such different scenery than the green forests of western Washington

– Tim’s dad, a talented amateur photographer, got some fantastic shots of the rolling hills of The Palouse. The best one I got was this one of him!
– Another stowaway was hiding inside our tire covers. This is the kind of stowaway we like, but we sent him hopping off into the grass, where he’d be happier.
– The oft-photographed Palouse Falls

Coeur d’Alene, ID, June 22 – July 6: And now we’re kicking off the third quarter of 2018 in a hometown from Tim’s past. He graduated from high school here, and his family still has several friends in the area, so it’s been a trip down many of their Memory Lanes.

What’s better than having a dog?
Having friends nearby with two dogs, one of which is a wriggly, pees-on-contact-but-I-don’t-care puppy!

With all the moving around we’ve done this quarter, it finally happened: I forgot which state we were in.
Let the record show that I have since taken preventive measures.
Not. One. Word.

Tim and his parents recreated a typical family road trip, during opening night of the classic car weekend in Dayton.
What a long, sweet trip it’s been.

Where to next? We’ll head east to Minnesota to visit one of Tim’s cousins, then we’ll work our way back to WA for a little more family time in August and early September. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and/or Twitter for updates as we go!


We started full-timing in August of 2015, but I didn’t think to do an annual review until the end of 2016, and it was just a listing on Facebook of places we’d visited. After that, I started using a quarterly format.

1Q 2018      4Q 2017        3Q 2017        2Q 2017        1Q2017        2016

First I was going to die of I-5 traffic. Now I am going to die of mud.

But then that’s what happens when you spend a week traveling up the 5, all the way from San Diego to just north of Seattle. ‘Twas dry and warm and overcrowded at the bottom; and it’s sopping wet and chilly but slightly less crowded at the top.

The ground is saturated here in the PNW, so wiping muddy boot and paw prints off our little entryway now makes for a full-time hissy fit job.  But we saw more people we love along the way, and we are parked for a good 3 weeks surrounded by even more people we love — including our big boy! — so it’s all good.

On Dec. 11, we drove from Escondido to Travis AFB. Other than the rainbows, the journey up the 5 was really rather unpleasant, and we do not intend to take on LA traffic in an RV ever again. Ever.

On Dec. 11, we drove from Escondido to Travis AFB. Other than seeing rainbows, the journey up the 5 was really rather unpleasant, and we do not intend to take on LA traffic in an RV ever again. Ever.

Took the wrong exit for Travis AFB, but lookit who we ended up behind!

Took the wrong exit for Travis AFB, but lookit who we ended up behind!

We spent two nights at the home of Tim's cousin Kim and husband, Rajiv, in Lafayette. She fed us, shared wonderful wine (it's her job), and let us borrow her car to drive into San Francisco to visit even more cousins. Four stars!

We spent two nights at the home of Tim’s cousin Kim and husband, Rajiv, in Lafayette. She fed us, shared wonderful wine (it’s her job), and let us borrow her car to drive into San Francisco to visit even more cousins.

The view from Kim's kitchen

The view from Kim’s kitchen

Across the Bay Bridge we went, on the dreariest possible day.

Across the Bay Bridge we went, on the dreariest possible day.

Parking in San Fran: Mercedes, Mercedes, Audi, potty

Parking in San Fran: Mercedes, Mercedes, Audi, potty

Family time! This is my cousin Mark's wife, Claire, and their son Ryan. Mark was out of town, but we'll catch him next time. Hadn't seen these two for 20 years!

Family time! This is my cousin Mark’s wife, Claire, and their son Ryan. Mark was out of town, but we’ll catch him next time. Hadn’t seen these two for 20 years!

Claire and Ryan took us to their favorite place for crepes...

Claire and Ryan took us to their favorite place for crepes

... and then down the street for a smidge of ice cream for dessert. A smidge!

… and then down the street for a smidge of ice cream for dessert. A smidge!

Ryan gave Tim a demo of Google Glass. Those two tech-heads are a lot alike!

Ryan gave Tim a demo of Google Glass. Those two tech-heads are a lot alike!

On Dec. 15, the mountain passes between California and Oregon looked clear and thus safe for travel, so we headed northward and enjoyed fantastic views of Mount Shasta from the valley.

On Dec. 15, the mountain passes between California and Oregon looked clear and thus safe for travel, so we headed northward and enjoyed fantastic views of Mount Shasta from the valley.

Hello snow in Oregon!

Hello snow in Oregon!

On these mountain passes is where I learned to use the manual shift mode on the BFT. Nothing like learning while doing, by necessity, according to that man I married and who coached me through it. Really, it's a wonder we're still married. And not at the bottom of a cliff.

On these mountain passes I learned to use the manual shift mode on the BFT.
Nothing like learning while doing, and/or by necessity, according to that man I married and who coached me through it. I may or may not have shouted something about STUPID, STUPID MECHANICAL THINGS during the process.
Really, it’s a wonder we’re still married. And not at the bottom of a cliff.

Dec. 15: We spend 16 hours on the road. Dec. 16: Lola gives me this look when I strap her into the truck, again, for the umpteenth time. Not. Fucking. Again.

Dec. 15: We spent 16 hours on the road.
Dec. 16: I got this look when I put her back in the truck.
Not. Fucking. Again.

Today, we finally arrived at our Christmastime destination, Bay View State Park. Family surrounds us in Mount Vernon, Port Townsend, and Bellingham, and Dane will fly up from San Antonio to join us next week. We get both sons with us for Christmas this year, and that is a gift!

Today, we finally arrived at our Christmastime destination, Bay View State Park. Family surrounds us in Mount Vernon, Port Townsend, and Bellingham (too far north to fit on this map), and Dane will fly up from San Antonio to join us next week.
We get both sons with us for Christmas this year, and that is a gift!

Our view of the bay, from our spot at Bay View

Our bay view, at Bay View

And someone is very happy to be not-in-the-truck.

And someone is very happy to be not-in-the-truck.

Happy all-the-holidays, y’all!