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Old 10-11-2010, 09:46 PM   #41
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Of course I am glad that people enjoy the photos. I snapped a lot of pictures, and a few turned out OK with some luck. We did quite a bit of sightseeing by day trips with the toad, but I will not bore you with all the excursions. I have been guilty of raving about foreign travel, and it is about time I rediscover what is here at home and spread the word to promote domestic travel.

OK, about the "Angel's Landing" trail mentioned earlier, I have found a picture on the Web, and linked it here for you.

If that view does not make you queasy as it does me, than you are ready to try it in your next visit to Zion NP. Look closely and you will see some people at the base of the tree about 1/4 up from the bottom of the picture. In order to climb up to the point where this photo was taken from, this photographer already ascended perhaps 1500ft, but probably on a trail less scary.

Just looking at the following spectators peering down to the BASE jumpers' landing made me dizzy already.



And here was a jumper who preopened his chute. What he did next was to drop and hang the chute upside down below him. For the actual jump, he did a forward somersault away from the bridge, else he would get tangled up in his chute. Preopening his chute gave him a few more seconds of gliding instead of free-falling, but it was not without peril.



Our next stop was Glenns Ferry, less than 100mi down the river from Twin Falls, where we spent a night. There was no ferry anymore, but this was the site of a historic ferry on the Oregon Trail that took settlers across the Snake River.



The ferry site is now a state campground. No, our RV was not in the picture. :-) We did not even stay here, and opted for a little commercial RV park that honored the Passport America 50% off rate. I had a friendly chat with the owner whose house was adjacent to his RV park. When we bid goodbye the next morning, I said we would stop at his park when we came back that way, probably next year.



Near the state park, there was a building housing some historical exhibits, but it was closed and we could only see some old wagons on display outside.

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Old 10-11-2010, 09:48 PM   #42
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We try to take a trip every 6 weeks or so even if it is only for two or three days.
I plan to do only "real" trips. For weekend getaways, my boonie home beckons. In fact, we have been neglecting it for the last few months.
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Old 10-11-2010, 10:11 PM   #43
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I plan to do only "real" trips. For weekend getaways, my boonie home beckons. In fact, we have been neglecting it for the last few months.
Better spin that plate...
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Old 10-11-2010, 10:17 PM   #44
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Yup, this is a great example of what happens to an RV if you don't use it...

Kidding aside, great photos of what was obviously a real trip.
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Old 10-11-2010, 10:29 PM   #45
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About the "use it or lose it" advice, wouldn't one wear it out if using it too much? Most things have a mileage limit, yes?

Back on this trip, we passed by Boise on the way up to Coeur d'Alene, and did use the opportunity to tour the downtown area, and had a picnic lunch on the park in front of the Capitol. We did this by stopping the motorhome at a Walmart not too far off the freeway, unhooking the toad to use it to drive into town. We did that quite often through the trip, and my wife and I got proficient enough to hook and unhook it in 5 to 10 min.

It only takes one to do the toad connect/disconnect procedure, but we worked out a routine where my wife watched me to make sure I did not make any mistake. Towing the toad with its parking brake on, anybody?

We then stopped for a night in a commercial RV park in Grangeville before heading up to Coeur d'Alene the next day.

At Coeur d'Alene, we parked the motorhome at an Indian casino, and took the toad for sightseeing the next two days. We walked the downtown area, and had dinner at a downtown restaurant. The next day we drove most of the eastern shoreline. The western shoreline was in Indian land, and I was told that most of the shoreline would not be accessible to the public, so we skipped that.



When we stopped to look around at a timeshare resort tucked in a little piece of land jutting out into the lake, we spotted this neat house on a rock. By the way, the timeshare was mostly deserted. It appeared that past Labor Day, most recreational places in these states had little business, and many did not even bother to stay open.



Of course we saw the famed 72-mi lake shoreline bike path that T-Al recently rode. In fact, we passed him at one point, and as I said to my wife that I should drive clear to the left to avoid hitting him, my wife asked "Who's T-Al?".



By the way, the bike path was converted from a railroad spur, hence it ran along flat land and would be really nice for us to try, if we remembered to bring our cheapo Walmart bikes.
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Old 10-11-2010, 11:43 PM   #46
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We need a new archive for posts like that one.
"(FAQ Archive) Famous early retirement quotes"

We used to keep similar logbooks in various places on my submarines, titled something like "Famous Naval Sayings". I don't want to get into how I learned that.
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Old 10-12-2010, 06:10 AM   #47
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From what I read on the Web, I thought this SX210IS model was out just earlier in 2010. In any case, I am happy with this little compact gem. It also takes HD video at 720p, but in that mode, eats memory like crazy.
Yes, you are correct. Ours is the SX200IS, the previous version -- same thing though. Yeah, video takes a lot of storage space... even 20gb cards are too small some times. On the other hand, look at all the images you can choose from.

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Your itinerary shows a lot of driving! I like to drive slower and linger at each place a little longer. If it weren't for a family gathering that was scheduled in advance and we were committed, I would have taken longer on the trip that I just concluded.
Yeah, we would have, also, but the train schedule had to be met. In any event, we spent a very active couple days in Mesa Verde and explored all we needed. Moab; we have been to so many times, it was more of a waystation to rest up for the marathon to Fallon (and the train schedule). But your point is well taken.
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Old 10-12-2010, 09:33 PM   #48
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I have not been in the market for electronic toys for a while and was amazed at how good and inexpensive they get. And they still get better; by buying later than you did, I got 14M pixels and 14X zoom instead of 12M and 12X, for what that is worth.

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Yes, you are correct. Ours is the SX200IS, the previous version -- same thing though. Yeah, video takes a lot of storage space... even 20gb cards are too small some times.
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...the train schedule had to be met.
Does that mean you put the motor home on the train for that leg?

I have been thinking about putting the RV on an Alaska ferry next year, so that we go by sea one way, and by land the other direction. There are ferries that take the inside passage just like the cruise ships.
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Old 10-12-2010, 09:43 PM   #49
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About the "use it or lose it" advice, wouldn't one wear it out if using it too much?
Are we still talking RV's here?
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Old 10-12-2010, 09:47 PM   #50
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Back on this trip, if you are not bored with my narration yet, we stopped at Spokane after Coeur d'Alene. We spent a day to do a bit of exploring the Riverside park in the morning, where the Spokane river flows through. This park was downstream from Spokane city center, and had an city or state RV park. We did not park our RV there, however.



We then went touring downtown Spokane on foot. The following was the Riverfront Park right in downtown.



Until this visit, we had not known anything about Spokane, and that the Spokane River Falls was also right in downtown, downstream from the above park. Only a Spokane resident would know the vantage point from which I took the following photo.



And talking about Spokane, where has Westernskies been? He was fond of this town, and wanted to buy his 3rd home here, if my memory serves.
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Old 10-12-2010, 11:44 PM   #51
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We then bypassed Seattle, which we were quite familiar with, to go to the Olympic Peninsula. Not wanting to go through downtown to get to the ferry, we dipped south of the Puget Sound, which gave us a chance to do a bit of sightseeing in Tacoma.

We then parked the RV at a state campground in Bainbridge to allow us to spend time exploring this island and its downtown. We next moved to Fort Flagler, from there we visited Port Townsend. These campgrounds were about 1/5 occupied, and we saw that most of the RVs had Washington plates. I talked to a fellow RV'er who lived in Bellingham, and another in Bellevue. I guessed they waited until the out-of-state visitors were all gone before they came out here to enjoy the seascape.



The next few days were spent in Olympic NP, which I always wanted to visit, but never had the time. We saw some deer on the Hurricane Ridge.





We stayed at two campgrounds, Sol Duc and Kalaloch. It started drizzling ever since we left Fort Flagler campground, and here was a view from inside our motor home.





I had thought of also going to Hoh Rain Forest Campground, but had plenty of rain right at Sol Duc, so changed my mind. Again, this late in the season, campgrounds were nearly deserted, but I am sure that in the peak summer months it would be tough to get a spot. Kalaloch had more people still, however. This is the most popular campground in the NP, and in the peak months, one needs advanced reservation to get in.


Our time started to run out, so we did not get a chance to spend much time on the Oregon coast. We need to come back to do it justice. For example, we barely stopped in Cannon Beach to snap this photo.



From then on, we ran out of time to pretend to be travelers, and got back into tourist mode. Things happened more quickly: 1 night in Tillamook, then 1 night in Coos Bay.

On the way down to spend 1 night in Redding, we passed by Mt. Shasta and Shasta Lake.







Napa was a planned stop, for convenience as well as a place I wanted to revisit.



This was the 4th time we visited Napa, with the first time being our honeymoon, and the last time being more than 10 years ago. My, have things changed! Freeway 80 is now 5-lane wide in each direction, and brings visitors from San Francisco to but 20 miles south of all the vineyards. And as we got to Napa in the late afternoon, there were traffic jams due to worker's commute. Boy, will I live to see Route 29 becoming a divided highway?


We then skipped San Francisco as we had been there quite a few times, and headed south to San Simeon. Hearst Castle was something we had wanted to visit for 30 years, but whenever we came to CA the timing never worked out right. This time we wanted no excuses. We stayed in a state campground a few miles away, another one that we knew would be difficult to get into during the summer months.





Our last stop before home was to visit my aunt in La Habra, a place about 10 miles north of Anaheim. To get there from Solvang, I had to drive through LA downtown, and I knew traffic was going to be brutal. So, we hung out at a state beach in Capinteria to kill a few hours, so that we would drive through LA in the evening hours (8-9PM). Oh my! I later learned that to get light traffic, we should have delayed until the early morning hours, like 2-3AM.

There were simply too many people. At Capinteria State Beach, we walked the campground, which was full by the way, and snapped this photo.



It cost $60 for a beach front lot, and $50 for the back rows. Dry camping slot or a tent spot was $35. In fact, people who arrived there without reservations and had no place to go would have to settle for an "En route camping" slot, which was simply a parking spot in the day-use lot. They were not allowed to really "camp", meaning to put out their BBQ grill or lawn chaises, and would have to leave by 9AM the next morning. The cost for that? $35 and the ranger told me there were only a few slots left. My, my, my!!!
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Old 10-13-2010, 12:21 AM   #52
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What?!?!? Someone is getting a new rod?
Of course I am getting a new rod, a long and curvy one, just like the other two posters recommended, as they spoke from experience.

And why the surprise? I thought woman RV'ers all know about this.

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Are we still talking RV's here?
Is there another topic here?
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Old 10-13-2010, 12:33 AM   #53
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OK, many of you would wonder what the bottom line was, cost wise, but don't know how to ask.

I will spare you the trouble and spill it here. According to my wife, we spent about $3200 for this trip, which lasted 30-some days. About half of that was for gasoline. I drove the motor home a bit more than 4,000 miles, and the toad about 1,200 miles. The motor home averaged 9.1 mpg. I consider that fairly good, as I got only 10mpg on the first 400-mi trip, which was on flat-land and without towing.

Other than the fuel cost, the rest was all miscellaneous things, like for food, campground fees, etc... The only big things I could think of that stood out were the $200 to buy some wine bottles to bring back as gift, and around $100 to replace the toad battery and some other vehicle maintenance items.

Thinking back, it was the cheapest trip that we have ever done, considering that we were out on the road for more than a month. Of course the vehicles were a sunken cost, and that does not count :-) Now that the toy was paid for, the more I use it for travel, the more I save!
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Old 10-13-2010, 06:47 AM   #54
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Does that mean you put the motor home on the train for that leg?
No. The RV is sitting in the friend's driveway in Fallon. I would have loved to have brought our house along. I told Brenda that we have really become spoiled during the past few years -- without our house, we are like fish out of water. We find that having your own pillow and sleeping in your own bed is only a small part of what makes RVing so great -- its the little things that count as much. Of course, it could be said that we have only forgotten how to pack but train travel doesn't allow for much luggage -- none of whch fits in your cabin with you.

BTW, earlier when I mentioned the "marathon" to Fallon from Moab, I may have not been too clear. We did stop in Ely, NV at 3:30 that day and arrived in Fallon the next day at Noon -- the "Lonelist Road In America" is well-named for sure.
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Old 10-13-2010, 07:09 AM   #55
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LOL! I think you did 6+ months of my RV travel in what 1 month or less? Dang!

Great pics! You hit some awesome spots.

Audrey
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Old 10-13-2010, 07:13 AM   #56
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nice trip... i ventured into the only temperate rain forests in the USA a few years back... the Hoh, Queets and Quinalt (if I recall correctly)... funny while I visited two of the three it never rained...
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Old 10-13-2010, 08:21 AM   #57
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I thought the RV could be transported along on a flat-bed, and would not expect it could be lived in while in transit. About putting the RV on a ferry, they do not allow passengers to even get to their vehicles while in transit for safety reasons. What if someone does some cooking, and burns the whole ferry down?

About RV traveling, I already wonder if we would remember to pack light, when we again make trips to Europe. Would the RV style spoil us? Or should I seriously think about RV'ing through Europe?

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No. The RV is sitting in the friend's driveway in Fallon. I would have loved to have brought our house along. I told Brenda that we have really become spoiled during the past few years -- without our house, we are like fish out of water. We find that having your own pillow and sleeping in your own bed is only a small part of what makes RVing so great -- its the little things that count as much. Of course, it could be said that we have only forgotten how to pack but train travel doesn't allow for much luggage -- none of whch fits in your cabin with you.
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LOL! I think you did 6+ months of my RV travel in what 1 month or less? Dang!
Actually, I am not proud of it. I'd rather spend more time and take it more slowly. I kept telling my wife that this was just a sampler, and we will come back to these parts. In Idaho we missed the wine country, the Ice Cave, Hell Canyon, for example. In Oregon, during my pretrip planning, I naively studied maps of the areas of Klamath and Umpqua Forests, thinking I would have time to explore there. Ditto for Crater Lake, Klamath Fall, etc, etc...

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nice trip... i ventured into the only temperate rain forests in the USA a few years back... the Hoh, Queets and Quinalt (if I recall correctly)... funny while I visited two of the three it never rained...
It may be like the Oregon coast, in that the summer months are normally dry, and the rain season starts at around September. But even in that drizzle, I saw some younger folks backpacking to venture out on some trails to get deep into the forests. Oh, we are just too old for that kind of adventure, and I never did any of that when young. I was working and studying way too hard...
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Old 10-13-2010, 08:28 AM   #58
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Thanks so much for the photos, the descriptions, and (yes) the costs. It is very enlightening and gives me some serious ideas for planning. Your pictures are stunning and I'd love to hear more about Hearst Castle. As a southerner, the part of the world you explored is wholly unfamiliar to me.
Thanks again NW-Bound!
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Old 10-13-2010, 09:09 AM   #59
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Thanks for the well written and illustrated travelogue - I enjoyed it. We like car trips, but have no interest (so far) in an RV.
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Old 10-13-2010, 09:16 AM   #60
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I enjoyed the photos, thanks for posting them!

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we did not have the time to check out Hell Canyon like T-Al did in his recent trip. With an RV towing a toad, I needed to do a bit of research before tackling anything that appeared too rough. I also did not have the time. This was also put on the "next trip" list.
Don't give Hell's Canyon a high priority. It's a lot of driving, and the canyon isn't that spectacular compared to others.
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