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Internet Desert wrap up

September 8, 2015

Since we have been deserted by the internet for the last few days, we’re going to roll those days up in a single post.

In typical blog manner it’ll be earliest ‘last’

8th September 2015

Quiet morning, B did laundry for us and I swabbed down the trailer.

Then we headed out for Hurricane Ridge, fearing that fog or clouds may get in the way. For the most part, magically, they didn’t.

Olympic National Park is awesome.




VistaView from Hurricane Ridge

7th September 2015

There was no dump station at our campground so we had to drive to the mother-ship cg to get rid of our waste fluids. I must have been a bit enthusiastic in opening the valves, as I broke a plastic end of the black tank handle. It works just fine, but needs replacing. <Muse whether one can get metal ones, or even fabricate one?>

We didn’t have far to drive. We were headed for the Olympic National Forest, in particular, Port Angeles, so it was pretty relaxing, rolling down the hills, and up and alongside Hood Canal. Wow, this is just so beautiful. The sun had come out, temps had warmed up, what could go wrong? Surprisingly, nothing did 🙂

We pottered around Port Angeles, trying to find a campground that we thought was OK, and ended up at the unlikely named ‘Big Al’s RV Park’. Mostly long-timers, but it just felt better than the other places we looked at. And there was a Safeway just right there, too.

We headed down to the harbor to have a look around, and, holy smokes, that’s Canuckistan, right there! Victoria, B.C. 17 miles away by ferry. And CBC Radio (sounding a lot more intelligent than most US offerings). This is so cool.

I video skyped my pal in San Diego to show him Canada, and his reply was, ‘I’ve been there,’


Then we went up the Elwha valley to discover that they had taken out an hydroelectric dam to let the salmon get back to their spawning roots. I guess this is good for the salmon, but not so much for green energy. Fish ladder, anyone?

PortAngelesThat’s Canada, over there.

dambustersBusted dam: Salmon 1, everyone else 0

6th September 2015

This is getting a bit predictable. Guess what, we drove all the way along the winding road to get to Mt St. Helens, and what we saw was fog.

fogMt St Helens in the fog

What shall we do? We went back to Elbe, and took Hwy 7 North West, and saw some dams, and hiked a few trails.

LeGrandeDamLe Grande Dam

AlderDamAlder Dam

And we had baked potato stuffed with ham and cheese and butter, cooked on the camp fire.
5th September 2015

We set off early East along Hwy 706 towards Mt Rainier. We can definitely state this, – there are a lot of trees around here. I’ve never seen trees standing so densely close together anywhere else. Anyhow, we continued increasing in elevation, but couldn’t see much because of all the trees!

Made it up to Paradise, where there was fresh snow on the ground, and very chilly temps, and were engaged by a very cheery Forest Service (or maybe Parks Service) volunteer, who enquired whether we were going hiking. ‘Where’s the coffee?’ was the reply. Actually, she was really helpful, with all sorts of ideas about things to do and see in Washington State.

Mt Rainier was socked in with with fog and clouds.

We continued on to the White Pass entrance, stopping occasionally for meagre photo opps.

Back we went to Elbe, hoping, hoping for the sky to clear, which it never did. Hot dogs for lunch, which was a minor compensation.

B had signed up for the ‘Mt Rainier Scenic Railroad’, which was neither terribly scenic nor anywhere near Mt Rainier. But it was fun, and the logging/railway museum at Mineral was well worth it.

For dinner we had burgers from ‘Scale Burgers’ in Elbe. Greasy and huge. What’s not to like?

The camp fire ban had been in effect since June, and today, TaDa, it ended. The campground sold huge bundles of firewood for $5, and the fire was good and warmed against the dampness. That, together with an evening of eclectic blues from KPSU radio in Seattle made for a splendid evening.


Rainier2This would have been a photo of Mt Rainier, if….

deerWe stopped by the side of the road to admire the fog, and a deer and a fawn just ambled by, right next to where B was standing.


4th September 2015
Off we set from Plymouth Park on I-82 heading North West. We were a little surprised by the rolling brown hills – what we had expected was pine trees and a craggy landscape.

Which we got later. Turning onto Hwy 12 at Yakima, we got the pines and the craggy, in spades, and it continued all the way over White Pass, where we got snowed on.

Arriving at Alder Lake Park, we were redirected to ‘Rocky Point’ campground, an few miles back down the road, near the sleepy town of Elbe.

We settled in at the camp site, and it was raining. And there was a camp fire ban. I doubt seriously if you could get a campfire started without some potent petrochemicals.

We were musing that we weren’t doing our usual ‘stuff’ when we got to a campground – putting up lights, pinwheels, lanterns, etc. We decided that it was because, this time, we are ‘camping to travel’, rather than what we mostly do, ‘traveling to camp’.

Beans test: We’ve established our standard for baked beans, it’s the UK version of Heinz baked beans. They can be obtained from Fresh and Easy, Major Markets, Cost Plus and others.

However, we only brought one can on this trip. Reluctant to use it, we’ve been trying others. First was some generic brand of chili flavored baked beans. Horrible!, thin and weak sauce and the beans were not simply ‘al dente’, they were kind of hard. Next up Trader Joe’s baked beans. After adding a little tomato puree, some Worcestershire sauce and black pepper, they were most certainly edible. Next up, Van Camp’s Pork & Beans.


RainierWe went to Eatonville for some supplies, and, believe it or no, this was the best picture of Mt Rainier we got in the whole time here.

Beach1The live-in volunteer had weed-whacked a trail down to the ‘beach’ at Alder Lake (which was very low). The tree stumps are Alders which were cut down when they created the lake in 1945 or so. Apparently, when it’s very low, the old buildings that were engulfed by the dam can be seen.

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