In and around Washington’s coastal North Cascades

From there we walked on to the train station and figured out how to buy tickets from the machine. Riding the Sounder commuter train was great! We went to the upper deck and enjoyed the ride right along the coast back to Everett. The view of the Bay and beaches along the way is a real treat. I recommend the trip to Seattle by public transportation and hope to do it again.

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Campground review: Mt Vernon Thousand Trails, Bow, WA

We heard reports of people having low electrical voltage, in fact, we had the same problem our first night. Because of that, plus low water pressure and a failure to get a satellite signal, we moved to the “satellite row” area after our first night’s stay. After that, we had no water or electrical issues for the rest of the time we were there. I had a decent 4G cell data signal but it was having problems. It would work for a while and then throughput would just stop. The only way to get it back was to turn on “airplane mode” on the phone, then turn it back off. Things would work fine for a while and then I’d have to jump through that hoop yet again.

We like Mt Vernon Thousand Trails although the lack of sewer hookups might be a big enough deal for us to go elsewhere, or at least plan for a shorter stay, in the future.

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Shortstop: Yakima River RV Park, Ellensburg, WA

There’s no bathhouse or facilities of any kind but most of the sites are full hookups.  The campground provides good WiFi and our cell signal is quite good too.  We met the owner, a nice lady who had lots of advice about the area.  Alas, this is the last of what will be three one-nighters in a row for us.

Tomorrow we head west on I90, up and over yet another mountain, and then skirt Seattle and head north just a short distance.  We’ll be back in the Thousand Trails system and our short stays and longer drives will come to an end for several months to come.  Our deluge of blog entries should slow down a bit as our pace slows.

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Shortstop: Mountain View RV – Baker City, OR

Soon, though, we arrived at Baker City, OR and Mountain View RV. Upon arrival one drives through a mobile home section of the property. Behind that is a nice RV park. The sites are mostly pull through and level. The restrooms are modern and clean, there’s a pool, spa, and a small store. We drove into Baker City and found it to be an interesting community. Jackie was especially pleased to find that the Dairy Queen has soft-serve chocolate ice cream – a real winner in her book. Our stop here is just one night but we could easily return for a longer stay someday.

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2014 – A short visit to Northwest Nazarene University, Nampa, ID

Our stop in Nampa was a short one, less than a 24 hour day. However, we enjoyed meeting friends for coffee and then took a quick walk around the campus of Northwest Nazarene University. Being members of the Church of the Nazarene we’ve heard a lot about this school and it was nice to finally see it in person. There are many original buildings giving it a feeling of history and stability and the campus offers open areas with flowers, fountains, works of art and open areas to enjoy alone or in groups. The plaques were helpful and a reminder of the history of this Holiness institution. It’s easy to see why Nazarenes throughout the northwestern United States are proud of their school.

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Shortstop: Garrity RV Park, Nampa, ID

We arrived in Nampa after 330 miles of driving ready to take a couple of nights to recover before doing another 300+ mile day. Garrity RV Park is Passport America and the rate is quite good. The park, itself is handy, just off of I84, right in town, and close to a huge Walmart and a nice shopping mall. I’ve just said all the good I have to say. The park is mainly filled with permanent residents and the average RV age is probably 15 years old. We spent the night, went for coffee with friends, and decided to abandon our prepaid second night. Frankly, had we not just driven a long day and had made plans to meet friends the next day we would have moved on in the first place.

Shortstop: Wasatch View Estates

Our stop in North Ogden, UT was just a couple of nights. This is a mobile home park that has converted some of the spots into RV sites. The streets are wide and the sites are the size of a mobile home site – in other words, pretty big. The park itself is just minutes off of I15 and there are several fuel stops and fast food restaurants nearby. The restroom/shower is actually a manufactured home that is being used for this purpose – in other words, using the restroom or shower is like using one at someone’s house. There’s one especially nice feature – it’s the view to the east. I’ll include a photo of that view here – sorry to say our stay was brief and I didn’t get any other photos.If you need an overnight stop this one will do.

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Campground review: Dead Horse Point State Park, UT

However, I’ll add that there are modern, flush toilets in the campground. Also, there’s a sink with running water where dishes can be washed and drinking water containers can be filled. There’s also a dump station with a water faucet that can be used to rinse hoses, etc.

If you can get a spot that you can fit in, Dead Horse Point State Park is a terrific base of operations for visits to Canyonlands and Arches National Parks and the Moab area in general. It’s not only handy for touring the area, but it’s a destination in its own right.

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2014 Canyonlands National Park, Utah

We followed the main route and took the short hike to Mesa Arch. While we were driving and talking about the park I accidentally said it was an “abunderful” place and it truly is both abundant and beautiful.  Each overlook is breath-taking and the main stops are easy walks. Canyonlands National Park has been called the Grand Canyon of Utah.  I can see the resemblance with its amazing canyons, beautiful colors, towers, and views of the Green and Colorado Rivers.  We hope to visit this “abunderful” place again someday.

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2014 – Arches National Park, Utah

At one stop we took a free Ranger tour and learned the history of the park, the geological history, and how plants such as the yucca and Juniper  and piñon trees were used by the indigenous people. It was very interesting walk although one place was a scramble and I need a hand to climb up it. I recommend taking at least one Ranger led tour.

An exciting moment happened early on as we were chatting with a Canadian couple when someone glided off some rocks across from us which is illegal here in the park.

It did get warm in the afternoon so I would recommend an early start. Every one should visit this park at least once.

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