|Sun, 14 Jun: A nice drive except for that part that wasn't so nice...
Time to mosey east. We were up early, thanks to the nearby cherry orchard's anti-bird air cannon. They start at daybreak, which this far north during this time of the year is early. We got fed, put stuff away, and got things ready for the road. Bob dumped the holding tanks yesterday, and Sandi checked tire pressure and other stuff, so we were pretty much ready to roll.
We pulled out of our site, got the car hooked up, and rolled wheels at 0810. Bob retraced our route east along Washington 28 to Quincy, then south on WA 281 to Interstate 90 and then east to Spokane.
It was a beautiful drive along I 90 thru the rolling hills of east central Washington. West of Spokane we switched drivers and Sandi continued toward the big city. We exited the Interstate to U.S. 2, which is a very busy thoroughfare in Spokane. Not just a busy street, but a major shopping street that has just about every major retailer and several malls. Late Sunday morning is a big shopping time, and the amount of traffic reflected that.
But, six miles is only six miles, even at 20 mph. Near the north end of town U.S. 2 veers to the east and heads north out of town. At the "Y" we pulled into the Wal*Mart for some shopping. After forty minutes in the store we got our groceries packed into the fridge and Carpe's storage bays. Then a few blocks farther north to Taco Bell and lunch.
It was one by the time we pulled back on the highway for the final 35 miles north toward Newport. North of Spokane U.S. 2 is a nice fast route, mostly four lanes with the remainder a nice wide two lanes. We found our turn to Little Diamond Lake and five miles of back roads later we pulled up to the Thousand Trails registration kiosk.
We got checked in and disconnected the car so Bob could scout a site. There were oodles of sites available and we were able to be choosy. Bob found a nice site with a clear view of the southern skies so we have satellite TV reception. Our solar panels don't fare quite as well as they're on the rear of the coach tucked under the trees. They don't get good sun until early afternoon, which limits our battery charging till then.
Today's drive was 190 miles with 7½ mpg. Driving a 17 ton vehicle in heavy traffic isn't very efficient.
Fri, 19 Jun: Cleaning up in Newport...
We've been here in the Little Diamond Thousand Trails park south of Newport Washington. It has been very, very quiet here, but a weekend is upon us so that may change. We were a bit leery of staying in a park associated with the KOA system. To us "KOA" generally means "Kids Obnoxious Always".
Tuesday Joan and Ken Tarkin along with Carol and Dick Lamb drove up from Spokane to visit. The Tarkins and Lambs are leaseholders at RoVer's Roost in Casa Grande, so we spend the winter with them. It was great of them to drive up and spend some time. The Tarkins were interested in visiting a Thousand Trails facility, and they seemed to be favorably impressed. As we have learned, this is a very quiet and restful place during the week. We'll report anon on what happens on the weekends. Given that the KOA section is separate we're cautiously optimistic.
After visiting we drove into Newport and lunched at Mi Cantina. It was an OK place, but both Ken and Sandi agree that the chili relleno was more like an omelet than a true relleno. But then again, spending any time in southern Arizona tends to spoil one's taste.
Wednesday we did three loads of wash. The laundry room in this park is very nice and the prices not too bad.
Yesterday, Thursday, we drove to Spokane to do some shopping and lunch at Costco. This store's pizza ovens were operational and we got our pizza fix.
This morning it was another four loads of laundry, which catches us up. Our dirty clothes bags are officially empty. That's a good feeling.
Tomorrow Ken Tarkin's family is throwing him a 70th birthday party. We're invited to help the "old man" figure out how to be a senior citizen. It is in Spokane, so it'll be a bit of a drive and we'll want to be sure to be back up here before dark. This far north it doesn't get fully dark till almost nine, so we should be OK.
Sunday we're outta heah! Current plans are to head east along U.S. Highway 2 toward Glacier National Park. We're uncertain as to how many days to take (it's a tad over 200 miles, so one day should be sufficient). Tentatively we'll see of we can find space at the Kalispell (Montana) Elks Lodge.