We left Bow, WA about 9:30 on Monday July 13 — Acey 64,857.8 Thor 68,638. We had planned to stop to fuel up just outside the park as we had noticed that station had a good price on diesel AND we could get Acey in. But we arrived to find that the station was closed – looked like they were replacing all the pumps. So, we went on; we had ¼ tank of fuel, so we could go 250 miles, but, just as in your car, we like to fill up when we get down to ¼ tank in case we get stuck in traffic – or can’t find fuel! We noticed a few other stations that we passed were closed, also replacing pumps! Maybe Washington has a new law or something… We finally found a truck stop before we drove through Seattle and filled up.
We drove straight thru Seattle. We had spent time there in previous trips, on our way to Hawaii and also before we cruised to Alaska. With all the unrest going on there, we decided there were plenty of other things to see and do without going to the city. We caught a glimpse of the Space Needle as we passed through.
Soon we saw of Mount Rainier looming in the distance!
We arrived at the Thousand Trails in Chehalis around 1:30 and looked for a spot to park. Very few sites had sewer hookups, and they were all taken. Several sites had “no power” signs on the power pedestals – we parked in 3 sites before we found one that was level enough for us to stay AND had a power receptacle that our plug would stay in! (At one of the sites, our 30 amp adapter would not stay in the receptacle – really!!) By then it was after 5pm and we still needed to get groceries for breakfast – so we drove in to town, had dinner at a Mexican restaurant and got groceries. After we got back to the park, we were a bit frustrated with the day’s events and went for a walk and were rewarded with a beautiful sunset.
We stayed overnight and the power kept going off and back on all night; the power protection in Acey was doing its job! We were plugged in to 30 amps – Jim checked the power pedestal and checked all sorts of stuff in the coach. He determined the problem was in the pedestal so we moved to spot number 4! This spot had a new power pedestal and 50 amps, which is what we prefer. Still no sewer hookup, but the shower house was very close by. This park is supposedly the FIRST Thousand Trails park – and it obviously shows its age! Since our plan is to stay at this park for 10 days – our longest stay since we left the RV park in Nashville – we really need a spot that works out! Its a bit of a tight fit in this spot, but has some shade!
There is a large grassy area across from us where we can sit in the shade since there is no room to sit by the coach under the awning. We have a lovely view of the dumpster and the bath house is very close by… All the conveniences of home?!
After we got settled in to our new spot, talked with a couple of the neighbors and had lunch, we found a trail that goes around the perimeter of the campground and went for a little hike.
These yellow flowers seem to grow everywhere! They somewhat resemble dandelions but have a longer stem and are more like daisies the way they grow.
Wednesday we woke up early and headed out to Mount Rainier National Park. On our way, Jim hit a deer, but amazingly, we had no damage to the car – this was the third deer encounter with the Jeep – (the first one did quite a bit of damage, the second one was not a hit) You can see the dash cam video here (hit replay in the lower left)
The internet information about visiting Mt. Rainier suggested winter attire, so we dressed in layers. It ended up to be a PERFECT day to be there – clear blue skies and it actually got warm enough that we wore t-shirts and kind of wished we had worn shorts rather than jeans!
We took a hike and saw more really big trees!
The Narada Falls was really something!
What a nice surprise at the bottom! How often do you see such a pretty rainbow paired with a spectacular waterfall?
As if we hadn’t seen enough, we drove on up to Paradise!
Hardly anyone wore a mask at Yellowstone or any of the other places we have been, but as Covid numbers are still increasing, and Washington State has a “mandatory mask mandate” we try to comply with.
Jim says “Hey, this is July – What is with all the snow here?”! We talked with a couple that live north of Seattle and they said it was very unusual to have so much snow in the park this time of year.
Just a small creek runs thru a debris field where the glacier used to be.
The trees were very close to the side of the road as we drove through the park.
More pretty wildflowers
Another beautiful sunset after a long day out!
Thursday we found another rails-to-trails trail – the Willapa Hills Trail, which begins at Chehalis and heads west. We will follow the route of this trail next Thursday as we take Route 6 west toward the ocean! We rode past several farms, a school, along the river – and over the river and through the woods…and had a few streets to cross with light traffic.
We rode out 8 miles, the first part was paved,
but the last 2 1/2 miles was “compacted gravel” which was a bit more difficult to ride on; more experience will help to overcome that! – we turned around to ride the same 8 miles back. It was another gorgeous day to be out exploring God’s beautiful world!
There were no picnic tables at the trailhead, so we drove to Rainbow Falls State Park to eat our lunch and then went to check out the falls. A little disappointing as it was more of a rapids than a waterfall, but pretty nonetheless.
Friday we drove to Tenino and rode on another rails-to-trails trail — the 14-mile Yelm-Tenino Trail which, not surprisingly, goes from Yelm to Tenino. We started at mile 14; the west end of the trail.
The trail runs parallel to State Route 507 with cars and trucks of all sizes running at 55+ mph. You can hear the traffic, but we were several yards from the road, crossing it once. The paved trail itself was really quite nice with wildflowers growing along the sides. We rode past McIntosh Lake and thru a forest. The scenic trail is fairly level and it was a nice cool day to be out for a ride.
After we passed the 8-mile marker, they were working on the trail where it crosses the Deschutes River. If we were to ride around the construction, it appeared we would have to ride along the fairly busy highway, so we turned back after only riding out 5 1/2 miles.
We brought lunch with us as usual, and picnicked in the county park at Tenino after our ride.
Saturday – Jim made pancakes, as that has been our tradition for quite some time. Linda worked on the blog for a while and we did a load of laundry. Our internet connection here is spotty – we have a weak wifi signal that works at times, the AT&T MyFi works well at times, and tethering to Jim’s phone also works at times; for some reason, Linda’s phone won’t tether… we had been AT&T cell phone customers since we had “bag phones” — probably 25 years or so. Because the MyFi we purchased is AT&T, we changed to T-mobile cell service to have a different carrier in the event AT&T didn’t work. We have not been happy with T-mobile … So it goes!
After lunch, we visited Lewis and Clark State Park. It was another cool day to be out for a walk. We started on the Old Growth Trail and wandered around for an hour or so.
Lots of ferns along the forest floor and some pretty big trees here!
Sunday we Zoomed in for Sunday School and worshiped with our church by YouTube. After lunch, we had to go to the dump station as the holding tanks were full. We had a family Zoom in the afternoon and checked in with everyone. And we watched another sunset; there is a great place to watch the sun go down not far from our spot here, and we have gone nearly every evening. We have not seen the NEOWISE comet but will keep trying – there are only a few more days that it will be visible.
Monday we drove out past Tenino to the small town of Rainier. We rode our bikes from Rainier to Yelm and back to Rainier to have our picnic lunch. Then we rode on to where the Yelm -Tenino trail was being worked on from the other side, and rode a few miles up the Chehalis Western Trail. It seemed like it was ALL uphill both ways! It was a warm day and we rode a total of just over 20 miles. We both were pooped!
Tuesday was our 41st anniversary! We looked for a trail to hike on and ended up in Chehalis to check out the Dobson/McFadden Trail – after we walked up a rather steep incline, we found there was a bulldozer and backhoe working where the trial was supposed to have a big loop. Kind of a bust! We walked around Chehalis a bit, got groceries and headed back to Acey.
Linda worked a bit more on the blog and then we headed into town again for dinner at the Olympic Club. It was a lovely evening and we ate on the back patio. The building appeared to be rather old and had a lot of charm. Sorry – no photos! The restrooms were quite interesting – the sink in the ladies room was very odd.
And Jim noticed the urinals in the men’s room were rather close.
On our drive home, we were so surprised to see Mount St Helens on the horizon – we had driven this way several times and never saw her there! So, we thought maybe tomorrow we would go for a visit.
A dazzling sunset to end the day! We were hoping to see the NEOWISE comet, but it was too cloudy.
Wednesday morning we did some house keeping and defrosted the fridge and freezer. It seemed we did that just a few months ago. Jim found the drain was plugged which may have caused frost to accumulate faster. Hopefully it will not need to be done again for a while.
We packed up a lunch and drove out to see Mount St Helens. It was cloudy, but the forecast said it would clear up later in the day.We got close to Mount St Helens and took a short hike to the sediment dam – and it was quite cloudy there.
A small patch of blue was showing, but it was the wrong direction…
The visitor centers were all closed due to Covid – this is the case everywhere it seems. But there were plenty of places to stop along the way and we hoped the clouds would clear out.
The bridge over Clearwater Creek was spectacular! The sky was still rather cloudy.
Mount St Helen had a big landslide a few days before the eruption – there was a “before and after” display.
From Wikipedia: “Mount St. Helens is most notorious for its major eruption on May 18, 1980, the deadliest and most economically destructive volcanic event in US history. Fifty-seven people were killed; 250 homes, 47 bridges, 15 miles (24 km) of railways, and 185 miles (298 km) of highway were destroyed. A massive debris avalanche, triggered by an earthquake of magnitude 5.1, caused a lateral eruption that reduced the elevation of the mountain’s summit from 9,677 ft (2,950 m) to 8,363 ft (2,549 m), leaving a 1 mile (1.6 km) wide horseshoe-shaped crater. The debris avalanche was up to 0.7 cubic miles (2.9 km3) in volume. The Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument was created to preserve the volcano and allow for the eruption’s aftermath to be scientifically studied. ”
As we continued to drive, the clouds began to clear out!
Once we got to Observatory ridge, the sky was nearly clear! The wildflowers were prolific!
The landscape was kind of eerie – and vegetation is coming back.
We got back to the RV park and prepared to head to Long Beach in the morning. We will be spending some time with Linda’s brother Ted and wife Nancy.