Tag Archives: Mt St Helens

Monument Valley to Home

Well, our last post will just describe how we got home from Monument Valley.

We drove as long as we could each day and stayed where ever we could until we got to the KOA in Little Rock Arkansas.?? If it had not been for the Firemen stopping us just before we got to the KOA at Little Rock, we would have ripped off everything on top of our RV.?? Someone had just hit a communications line and it was hanging about 10 feet off the ground and I was looking for the KOA sign and didn’t even see the line hanging there.? They saved the motor home, and I was able to drive around it by detouring through someones front yard.

That was all great, until we got to the KOA and they couldn’t sell us anything or check us in because their computers couldn’t connect to the internet and run credit cards.?? They wouldn’t take cash either and we had prepaid when we registered, but they didn’t know that because their internet was down.?? We have forgotten how to use pencil and paper as a society.

Thanks to my wonderful wife and best friend for planning and budgeting for this trip for over a year.? We had no real issues to deal with.? Everything worked out pretty much as planned.?? We also made sure the RV was freshly serviced, along with the Honda Civic tow vehicle.? We bought new batteries, and new tires for both vehicles, and updated some of the equipment in the RV for safety.

The only minor things that I can think of was:
The RV overheating in Yosemite ( but it cooled down quickly ),
No internet at Yosemite and Mt Rushmore,
The sewer water cut-off valve apparently didn’t get closed somewhere, and the dumping process got messy,
The car A/C completely went out, but only after our last tour through Monument Valley – so perfect timing,
Some NICE gentleman flagged us down at Corn Palace SD, our car was in park and was dragging the tires !!!
( this would have been catastrophic had he not caught us just as we were starting to leave the parking lot )


See below for a map indicating our stops and what they were.? Read previous posts to find out details about each stop.

Thanks for going on our trip with us.?? Until next time……


Day12 and 13 leaving Washington for Yosemite

We stayed about 35 miles from Mt St Helens in a KOA at Castle Rock Washington.?? A very nice town and extra nice host family at the KOA.?? I give them a 11+ for making us feel welcome like old friends.?? They provided donuts and coffee free each morning, then they prepared a meal for all the guests to celebrate fathers day.? Bar-B-Q, hot dogs, chips, beans, slaw, and fixings.

The only improvement they could make would be to add 50 amp service to their sites for large RVs and a little more room between sites.?? I had to wiggle between my neighbor’s lawn chairs to disconnect my sewer, water, cable, and electric. I was afraid my tail swing was going to take out their awning.

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With all that said, we would definitely recommend this KOA.

Leaving here early due to our long 2 day trip down to Yosemite we are planning to spend the night at a Loves, or TA truck stop.? When we got to the T/A at Anderson CA which was about a 10 hour drive, Norma would not sleep there because we didn’t make reservations and ask permission.? She called, and they ask that we setup in front of the store leaving the larger spaces for the commercial trucks.? There were some beggers and dope heads in front singing and dancing and she was not having any part of sleeping there so – back to the interstate we went.

Just for anyone planning to dry dock in California, this is the only state we have been turned down to stay at the two Walmarts we tried.?? Other states we found to be very friendly and tolerant of RV over night-ers.?? California is also the only state that makes every vehicle stop to ask them if they are bringing in any plants, animals, or fresh fruits or vegetables.? If you say no, they let you right in.? 🙂

We did overheat coming over the mountains out of Oregon into California, and again climbing the long winding hills into Merced California to get to our West Mariposa KOA.? Both times we had to pull off and let the RV cool down.? We idled the engine up a bit, and turned on the dash heater to draw heat out of the engine coolant. ? A neighboring camper said they had the same problem getting to this KOA.

Here are some photos of our long drive from Mt St Helens, through Oregon, into California, and down to Yosemite.?? The mountain scene you will see is Mount Shasta just as you enter the state of California on I-5 from Oregon.

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Day 9-10 travel to Mt. St. Helens

Campground at Yellowstone Grizzly West Yellowstone.
Campground at Yellowstone Grizzly West Yellowstone.

Suffice it to say that 1-12 hour day driving followed by a 6 hour drive makes an old man tired. See previous posts for details up through Leaving Yellowstone.? However, when all is said and done we are blessed and thankful to not have had made it without incident.? After arriving at the KOA in Castle Rock Washington, we have driven the RV 2910 miles, and the “toad” almost an additional 2000 miles.

We left West Yellowstone at 8:45am with a different route out of town so we could see more local sites, and less interstate traffic.? It turned out to be a great plan as the back roads traffic was very light and the scenery was magnificent.

Danger-narrow-road-downhillAfter some hair raising construction in Idaho going into Washington with 2 way single narrow lane traffic on a 6% grade, we made it 12 hours to the Walmart in Moses Lake Washington.? We bedded down as far as we could from anyone in the far away corner of the parking lot only to wake up to be surrounded by other over nighters.

We left the Walmart at 6:00 am Pacific time and made very good time to reach Castle Rock Washington at around 1:00 pm.? By 2:30 we were checked in, setup, ate a sandwich, and were on our way to SEASIDE, Oregon.

Seaside OR, was a very nice public beach area and a quaint little town.? ( NOTE: In the state of Oregon, apparently you are not allowed to pump your own gas ).? The temperature at mid-day was 63 degrees and windy so it was too cold to swim, but not too cold to enjoy the view and absorb the beach atmosphere for a while.? We stayed there for about an hour and took a few family photos and got Norma’s feet wet in the Pacific ( checked off the bucket list ) and headed back to Red Lobster.?? You can’t visit the beach and not eat seafood.? That would be un-American.

Ship Named after me !
Ship Named after me !

Before we got to Seaside Beach, there were huge cargo ships out in the bay area and a fantastic older steel bridge that was extremely high to allow for ships to go under.? We pulled off and walked out into the bay on a pier and saw some wild sea life that were barking or singing a song out of tune :-)?? Looked like sea lions and there were several of them at the end of the boat docks, but one was swimming up close to the pier and seemed to be expecting to be fed.

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