Monday Aug. 31
doing the research I thought I had found a special campground that looked
like it would be nice on a lake and that we could fit into. And right alone
our travel route.
off we head on a afternoon day trip (Sunday after we landed in Omak that
to make it short not is all as it looks in real life. Leader Lake
quote "Any time is a brilliant time at Leader Lake Campground if you like
first clue we were in trouble was the dry conditions in this part of Washington.
And climbing mountain road past vast areas had been burned within the last
few days in a forest fire. Reaching the lake the sign was nearly falling
over and in disrepair. And the lake level of course had been drawn down
the topper was it was hot outside with a fire burning ban in effect. So
much for camping here.
to fret our journey continues for that perfect campsite THAT a 38 foot
5th wheel can fit into. For now electric in an RV park is pretty nice me
were parked in the Ferry
Fairgrounds at Republic, WA a town we really liked as it had
an old small mining town feel to it and way off the beaten path. It even
had a BOA and a great food store. If we were so inclined the night
life in the bars would have been something else me thanks. But then
again we could have gotten into trouble so not this time around. Terry
did visit the local museum and brought back a pizza for Saturday night
supper. It was sort of a whole wheat thing, good but not great
So now on Sunday the 4H campers were starting to arrive for the Ferry
County Fair and some later in the day some would want to be where
we were parked so they refunded our Sunday nights fee and we hit the road.
We can feel for the locals as this IS the big event of the year and they
show up early and stay late. We wished them a great fair and moved on down
the road. We could see they were going to have a great time. Kind of wished
we could have got a another spot and stayed.
where to land next. I printed out the map below and gave it to my trusty
in a paper bag navigator in the seat next to me and off we went.
We landed in Carl Precent
RV Park in Omak
which is the RV park in the Omak Stampede grounds. We had choices but liked
the idea of electric as it was getting hot and our on truck temp readout
was reading by the time we hit the valley 95.
In case we have lost you...
here is a map of the area we are exploring. We came from Republic
west on HW 20 and down to Omak where we have landed.
We dropped several thousand
feet coming down from Republic to Tonasket.
There we no other buildings
Omak Stampede Grounds billboard.
I like the Indian encampment
in the baseball and soccer fields on the right. This is all on Indian grounds
so do they really pitch teepees?
Read more below about how
they race horses down this 225 foot slope into the river and then to the
finish line inside the stadium. People and horses do die doing this race.
This is done one Indian tribal lands property and a part of their culture
so it continues today.
I found this photo
gallery of the Stampede in action. Read the
rules to participate in this controversial event.
Up from the river and into
the stadium to the cheering spectators.
We are right next door to
the arena in a full service RV park for $20. We lucked out and got an end
spot where we could deploy our satellite dishes.
The river valley is full
of orchards, apple, nectarines, peaches, plums , pears etc. We did stop
at a stand and the fridge is full of goodies.
Terry is busy making apple
crisp with the new apples. I am going out on a line here and say
that yummy word even before we have eaten any of it. But I know
it will be a real treat. OOPS he just announced or should I say asked if
he could run up to the Super Wal*Mart for sugar free low fat ice cream
to enjoy with the apple crisp. So he is off and about. Are we having
for some into happy hour sunset talk.
can look at maps, paper gazetter maps, online Streets & Trips, and
even with Google Earth, till you are blue in the face, but you never know
what you are going to see around the curve in the road ahead, untill you
actually hit the brake on that 6% downhill curve, and see the valley ahead
and your face lights up and it glows Oh My God....
travels to all... We are alive and able to see the wonders of this great
country. Lucky enough for now being healthy enough to do this,
sharing what we find for those who might follow in our path. And for others
might not get the oppertinuity to go where whe have gone.
a day trip to the local lakes and FS campgrounds most of which of course
we can't fit our big 5er into.
the drive into the wilderness was a treat.
Swan Lake is a clear-water
lake located in the Colville National Forest, just off Highway 21, south
of Republic, Washington. In the late spring and summer months, the lake
is frequented by local anglers and fly fishers after brook, rainbow, and
cutthroat trout. The mid- to late-summer months attract campers, hikers,
and bicyclists to the warm lake waters and hiking-biking trails. In the
cooler fall months, hunters take advantage of the campground's proximity
to deer which frequent the fir- and spruce-lined hills of the national
forest. Visitors to the lake are often treated to visitations from squirrels,
chipmunk, and woodpeckers. Black bear are occasionally spotted walking
the trails in search of summer berries.
Swan Lake. Now
gather a little firewood and to camp right here is what dreams are made
were pleased to be able to just experience so many spots just like this
above one. Now if we could get our fulltime 5er RV parked here.
told Terry we should pull a pop up behind the 5er so we can go camping
again. He sez how about a tent and sleeping bags... and I said "Don't
Think So"... Been there done that. Day trips to these remote places will
have to do. If you remember we did find some great spots like at Libby
Dam and on the Blackfoot River and we will find more like that if we look
hard enough. Untill then city and county parks are working well for us.
How peaceful can it get...
at Ferry Lake.
Fish lake and just sitting
here will lower your blood pressure several points me thinks.
are staying in the fairground campground in Republic, WA for the weekend
while we explore more of the area and so Terry can partake in the local
museum this weekend.
for tonight Terry is doing Pork Spare Ribs (the Republic food store had
a sale on them, so I put them in the cart, now Terry has to win a cook
off award fixing them).
are watching the tributes to Ted Kennedy tonight. What great things he
accomplished for all the people of our country.
was loved as a person who cared about us all, no matter your views on issues
of the day. A great American without a doubt. A sad time but also a great
day for us all, that this man lived, and made his mark on life as we know
it. Take care, and hug someone near you. A great spirit has moved on, and
we now have to carry on without.
you haven't figured out by now we sometimes move faster then expected.
Like every day now. After exploring sites to stay in the Roosevelt National
Rec area yesterday we got up this AM and headed on out to points
west. We headed over the Sherman Pass and Byway. Great road from Kettle
falls on HW 20 toward Republic, WA.
we explore ahead and we don't find that perfect site we end up just moving
on to a known site as the County fairgrounds at Republic as we knew were
open for us. After driving around town came back a mile or so and landed
at the fairgrounds park. $10 with W/E
I was waiting to see if
FRED was going to find the space station as Tioga
George would say. We don't lower our landing gears or deploy the slides
untill we get connected to space.
is a state park and a couple of FS campgrounds in the area but with our
rig you just don't do that without checking first. So the Fairgrounds looked
good untill we can explore the other options.
Our site or any place we
wanted to put it was the order of the day. They have a so called stated
over 100 sites (or should say camping spaces... to pack then in during
the fair, but not now as we are about the only ones who have stopped by).
Do go to their Fair
Housed in this building
is their historic
Merry Go Round...
The Ferry County Fair Merry-Go-Round
has been a part of the Ferry County fair since 1958. All 24 horses on the
machine were hand carved, but 2 of the horses are believed to have been
carved by Charles Dare, another noted carousel manufacturer of the 1900's.
Do the link above to read more.
Volunteers came by as we
got back from our day trip measuring out spaces and pounding in stakes
to define the camp spaces for the Labor Week Fair event. We can see this
is going to be a huge event for this local county.
We did a tour of the downtown
and stopped at the HUGE grocery store in town. You could see they
bought out the building next door and combined them for a combo super store.
I told them how great it was to find this gem of a food store and they
acknowledged they though it was pretty great also. Me felt the checkout
clerk wasn't bragging just stating a fact.
They still had a poster
in the window warning about icy conditions on the sidewalks and steps.
This is the end of Aug. me thinks but what the hell it may snow anytime
up here about 30 miles form the Canadian border. This is a touristy spot
but more then an upper western town even I could love. This is one cool
Now go to their
Republic city web site to see how great this out of the way town is.
A shot of the State Park
on Curlew lake a few miles north of town. It had open spaces but
state parks me thinks are kind of pricey. This one better than most but
still $19 - $25 to stay. We thought what's wrong with $10 at the
We may spend a few days right
here... there is a museum in town which Terry would like to see. We shall
see as I hate places like that. I keep telling him that is what the Internet
is for... He doesn't see it that way.
in Sandpoint, ID tends to be laid back as you can see. Time to get our
butts out of town.
We got up and decided it
was move day... So off we went. Past Newport on up northon HW 20
to Ione to see what it was like.
Lone is a very tiny, laid
back village, trying to be a tourist trap but just to far out of the way
to make it big.
But they do have a tourist
train that runs along the Pend Oreille river. Sponsored by the
Pend Oreille Valley Liones Club.
Then back tracked down to
HW 20 and over to Colville where we stopped at of course at Wallmart.
is a bustling city with lumber the big industry as in the above picture.
This was right across from Walmart. I zips back and forth real fast to
pick up piles of logs and place them in the factory for processing. Their
county fair was to start tomorrow. We thought about staying over to attend
it but that thought didn't last.
Doubt we could get into
the fairground campground at the late minute.
Colville is a cool place
with a fun downtown as in the above art in the middle of the street.
We were looking for FS campgrounds
all along the way but par for the course all were very small and dark and
not big enough for our rig.
So on we went enjoying the
great day and drive.
Landed in Kettle Falls at
a Passport America campground. Not much of a park with many very old and
broken down units but for $12 who's to complain.
After we knew we could get
the dish up we took off looking ahead for our next campground.
The drive up and down the
Roosevelt National Rec area was nothing short of spectacular. (See
Views like this go on and
We looked at most of the
campgrounds as shown in the below map. It was a long drive but one that
must be down to find that perfect site THAT we can also get internet via
our satellite. We do have our must haves now don't we. Go ahead feel sorry
for us. Found our best bet was to head tomorrow to Evans campground.
What else we found was there were only a few people camping, most parks
were empty. It was about 85 today so the weather is still warm and camping
should be great. I think my Senior discount card is good at National Park
Rec areas. The campsites are only $10 and with 1/2 price $5. Kind
of silly me thinks.
The two campground host
sites at the Evans location looked like they had never been used this year
here in a few days off to Republic, WA to see what else we can find.
Will be meeting up with our friend Tad later on for even more fun and adventure.
is going to be about a little of this and a lot of that.
posted late yesterday that we had landed in Sandpoint, ID and posted a
picture of the RV park, (see Aug. 24 post below)
today is more of how we got here and what we did today.
Libbly, MT we were headed west on HW 2 and had to stop at Kootenai
started playing around with Google Picasa 3 picture software and love the
"I'm Feeling Lucky" picture improvement feature. When I retouch a
picture I do go back to Fast Stone Image Viewer and Capture to reduce size
and crop. And to think I had a photo dark room many moons ago. Me thinks
this is soooo easy now)
sign indicated a long hike going up and down, but off Terry went as I waited
and read the info signs.
soon as we had stopped I noticed a 5er that looked famillier as we had
been following RVeCafe.com
and their travels as they appeared close by on the DastormUsers
were now moving into Montana and I knew we we going west and they were
going east in the same general area. When we pulled into the parking area
for the falls I said that must be them as it was Cameo 5er and blue truck
with OR plates. Didn't see the web site blog logo at first on the side
of the unit.
was them we had parked right next to. Above pic is after they had left
when Terry got back from his hike, took it. He didn't get to meet them.
Ya that is us with a 5er with no windows in the back. Terry was still on
the hike when they came back, but I had a good chat with them and we compared
travel notes. Plan to meet up again this winter in Quartzsite. They
even are thinking of joining the Quartzsite
Gem and Mineral Club. What a deal. This is a picture they took
that I copied over from their blog.
off they went toward Swan Lake, MT and off we went to Sandpoint, ID. Without
the Internet blogs and people sharing their adventures, we would have never
met in the middle of nowhere in a tourist pullout in Montana. Way
back to Tuesday as we are staying another night in Sandpoint and today
is a day trip. We like to drive ahead on day trips to see if there
is any great campgrounds we can fit into for our next stop. (Picky
since we need a sunny and long site for boondocking) We just can't pull
up a forest service road in our big rig and hope to get turned around again
if the sites are not big enough. And the general rule, is not many, if
any, are big enough for us, most are for tents, or pop ups, we have found
me thinks. We, when in vacation mode years ago wore out two pop-ups and
a very small 5er. That was great but now pulling our fulltime house,
so to speak, we have to search ahead with only our truck on day trips
to find our next fantastic stopping spot. It's how this is done.
We lucked out below the dam at Libby. We hope to find more places like
that down the raod. Wish us luck.
there was a Bank of America in town so we stopped so I could cash a couple
of old paper checks hiding in my billfold. Inside they didn't have the
terminals so I could swipe my card to bring up accounts at the teller window.
She said this was Idaho after all and wished they had that. Very
friendly... and when I asked if a CD had been moved by my home bank
today, said it might take a couple of days for them to see any recent transactions
to my accounts. Really... how does that work... light speed digital networks
don't work well up here. Anyway she gave me my money by cashing the
had a hard time finding my accounts. Said it would be faster if I
used the NEW ATM out front (not the one out back as you can see below)
and deposit my checks and then withdraw funds. She was happy to do it,
just said it would have been faster that way. So much for face
to face service.
left happy to even find a BOA in Sandpoint.
I was inside Terry watched them load up an old ATM. This is how they do
it in Idaho
day trip from our RV park by Sagle on HW 95 was back up to Sandpoint and
then on US 2 west over to Newport and back to Cocolalla on of course back
roads. It's what we do to explore an area to see how people are really
we got got to Newport we ran into Albeni Falls...
a COE Dam and Rec Area.
Falls Dam is located on the Pend Oreille River between Oldtown, Idaho,
and Priest River, Idaho. It is located on the site of a natural waterfall
named Albeni Falls, named after early pioneer Albeni Poirier. Construction
on the dam began in 1951 and was completed in 1955 at a cost of $34 million
($261 million] in 2007 dollars). It produces over 200 million kilowatt
hours of electricity each year for the Bonneville Power Administration.
dam is 90 feet (27 m) high and 775 feet (236 m) long. Its spillway is 400
feet (120 m) long.
stayed below Libby Dam and now seeing Albeni Falls Dam. Found this
nice chart of all the dams by the COE and others in the northwest.
ever we drive the sights are more than can be imagined. This part of the
country is something else.
Eagles are everywhere.
stop in Newport,
WA A proud history of lumbering.
topography of the Newport area is somewhat unusual. About one-half mile
north of Newport, the Pend Oreille River enters Washington State and flows
north to Canada. Very few rivers in the Northern Hemisphere flow north
in a similar manner. In addition, the watershed of the Pend Oreille in
the Newport area is extremely limited. The is due to a small depression
of no more than 50 feet (15 m), which begins one-half mile to the west
and south of the river. Unable to flow uphill, the waters (from natural
springs, rainfall runoff, etc.) eventually form the Little Spokane River,
and flow southwest towards Spokane.
lunch in Newport we returned east on the south side of the river on Old
Priest River road. It mad for a great drive.
to post the store front we found in Priest
store front in Priest River.
I do the blog Terry headed back to Sandpoint to explore the tourist traps
in downtown. He likes that and I let him go for some quiet time. It works
for both of us.
will be off heading into Washington on HW 20 tomorrow me thinks.
Hope I slow down and stop early or we will wind up in Kettle Falls. There
is lots of potential on this next leg. We shall see. I know there is a
Passport America RV park in Kettle Falls for us to regroup along with a
Wally World in Colville. But we would love to find some out of the
way fishing and a to die for campsite before that, that we could spend
several days in.
have landed just south of Sandpoint, ID in a Travel America RV Park
close to Sagle right on HW 95 with full hookups and WiFi. How dare we.
at $23 total not a bad deal. In the next few days we will head west on
US 2 into Washington.
for now we are and living life as we know it, and doing it our way, whatever
that may be.
more in later posts as we unwind and explore the area on Tuesday. Early
picture as I'm at the picnic table using the netbook WiFi connected to
the satellite D3 controller to make sure we can get a sig. out before we
deploy the slides. All was fine and DirecTV as well. so we then went to
Wal*Mart and getting our bearings to the area.
We drove through a COE campground
(after we had unhooked at the RV park on our way back up to Sandpoint and
you could hardly get a pop-up in there. What a disaster. Those site have
never seen the sun and none have a view of the lake. Why pople go
there is beyond me. The tiny sites were over used and all dirt and with
rain would be just mud. Me thinks that leaves the great campsites
out there for the rest of us who take the time to explore to find them.
More later..... Time for a long hot shower I screwed up while
writing this as Terry jumped in the shower first. I'm having a Gin and
Tonic or now several, while I do this. Might be why I started out just
saying we have landed and now have gone on and on.
Did I say we have
full hookups here. I asked for E/W only and they said they charged to dump
when we leave so the price was lower if you just take a full hookup site.
OK works for me as they were very friendly and said when we first pulled
in and I asked for a open site for our dish, they said just go find one
and come back later.
There is a produce stand
next door and we shall see if they have tomatoes tomorrow. They were
closed when we got back and didn't see them before.
where we are at right now. DataStormUsers
map ID 98
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