A Short Move

Current Location: Auburn Game Farm Park Campground, Auburn, Washington

Today we moved from the Washington State Fairgrounds to the city-run Game Farm Park Campground here in Auburn, Washington. We stayed here last year for a week (their maximum continuous stay limit) and we are here again for a week this year.

Last Saturday and Sunday, we headed out to Fox Island where Cole’s grandmother has a place on the Puget Sound. We cooked dinner for “Grandma Shirley” and our crew on Saturday. The rest of the family was out to a party they were invited to. It made for a nice evening just visiting with Shirley. On Saturday, more family arrived and we enjoyed a typical afternoon at the island.

Monday night we headed over to watch the Tacoma Rainiers minor league baseball team play the Las Vegas 51’s (named after Area 51). We ended up leaving the game a little early because Malcolm had problems sleeping the night before.

During the past week, Malcolm has been working during the days, except for today. We’ve been taking care of a few errands, such as having the truck looked at by the local Ford dealer (a couple of minor problems, covered by warranty). We at least ended up with a free car wash out of the deal.

Last night (Thursday), our son David flew in. Malcolm went to the airport to pick him up since his flight arrived around midnight. The two of them came back to the trailer and immediately went to sleep.

Today (Friday), we helped Elizabeth get everything ready for her birthday party tomorrow. Our little girl turns 30 on Sunday. She’s throwing her own “Roaring 20’s” party. We helped decorate the place, then Val and Malcolm slipped out to move the trailer from the fairgrounds campground to the Auburn campground, a distance of 16 miles. Once the trailer was plugged in and the air conditioning running, we went back to help Elizabeth finish party preparations.


Westward Ho

Current Location: Washington State Fair Campground, Puyallup, Washington

We had a fun and relaxing visit for 10 days at Lake Chelan, but on Wednesday, it was time to head on west to the Tacoma area to visit with family here for close to three weeks. We packed up and headed out from Lake Chelan around 9:30 or so. We stopped for lunch on the way west and got to Puyallup mid-afternoon. We also had a guest passenger with us, as our oldest granddaughter, Violet, rode with us the whole trip.

Once we got set up, we headed up to our daughter and son-in-law’s house to visit and have dinner. We left once it was bedtime and stopped by the grocery store on the way back to the trailer.

Today, Malcolm worked for a while and we ran some errands. The family came down to the trailer for dinner. Afterwards, Malcolm and Cole went out to Fox Island to put their boat in the water. Val, Elizabeth and the girls went downtown to Puyallup for frozen yogurt and some live music from the park across the street. They also did a grocery run.


Out at the Lake

Previous Location: Crystal Gold Mine & RV Park, Kellogg, Idaho

Current Location: Lake Chelan State Park, Chelan, Washington

After leaving Deer Lodge, we stopped at Kellogg, Idaho and stayed in the really nice little campground at Crystal Gold Mine. The gold mine was a fun attraction. We found out a lot about the mine and how the miners searched for gold in the 1890’s when the mine was active. The campground was really nice, as well, with full hookups and more recently paved pads.


Ready for our tour of the gold mine


Panning for gold

We left Crystal Gold Mine RV Park on Sunday around 9:00 am and headed west into Washington state. We arrived at Lake Chelan State Park about 3:00 PM, a half hour behind our daughter and her family. After getting set up, the family dropped by to greet us. Since Sunday was a partial day, we all took advantage of it and did last minute grocery shopping in town.

Monday was chilly and cloudy. We tried a little swimming at the beach, but it was pretty miserable, so we decided to drive into town and walk around downtown. We did some souvenir shopping before heading back out to the campground.

Since Monday, the weather has been more typical of the area – 90’s during the day and 60’s at night. We’ve done a bunch of lake swimming, some bike riding and cooking out. Other cousins and friends arrived mid-week. All in all, we’re having a great time and will be here until this coming Wednesday.


Lake fun


Malcolm on his float


Violet learning how to ride on two wheels

Montana and More Planning

Current Location: Deer Lodge KOA, Deer Lodge, Montana

We packed up this morning and headed out from Buffalo, Wyoming towards Montana. Fresh from last night’s reservation-making, we were confident that we’d be staying in the Grant County, Washington fairgrounds campground on Saturday evening. Still, just to be safe, we decided to call the fairgrounds to make sure.

That’s when we found it pays to be flexible again. When Malcolm called the fairgrounds office, they indicated that they don’t open the campground unless their is some type of event going on and there isn’t right now. They did suggest a nearby city-run campground, instead, so Malcolm called them up.

The first person that answered the phone said that she was pretty confident we wouldn’t have any problem getting a site, but that there is a two-night minimum. Malcolm told her that we would call around to make sure we could re-arrange some reservations. We decided that we would travel on to Deer Lodge today instead of stopping in Livingston. Deer Lodge said that we could come on in today instead of tomorrow.

We couldn’t drop the Livingston reservation without losing all of our $50 deposit, though. However, we could change the reservation to a later date, so we changed it to coincide with our trip back east in early September.

With all that coordinated, Malcolm called the first campground back again. Another person answered and he wasn’t sure if they could accommodate a rig our size, but he was going to call the camp host at the campground to see what they could do. We drove on down the road while waiting for a callback. Once he called back, he said he could put us in an overflow area where could at least get electricity. Then he asked when we planned on arriving. This is where we should have asked up front. They are completely booked over the weekend, including the overflow area.

On our next stop, Malcolm just started calling around to campgrounds up and down I-90 between Deer Lodge, Montana and the eastern third of Washington state. He finally found a site for Saturday night at a little campground in the middle of Idaho and reserved that. Once we got to Deer Lodge, we found that we could stay two nights here, so that covers us through the weekend. Phew.

After all that phone calling and planning, we’re glad that we’ve finally got all the bases covered all the way through and including Labor Day weekend. After that weekend things get a lot easier to book, so we are more confident we’ll have a place to stay all the way back east. Such is the life of a full-time RV’er.

At any rate, here we are at the Deer Lodge KOA. We stayed here back in 2013 heading west with our son riding along with us. Though it is a small park in the middle of town, it is nice and quiet. The owner was very accommodating to all our changes.


Some Montana Big Sky in the background

Tomorrow we’ll be running various errands around town in preparation for our week and a half camping with the family at Lake Chelan, Washington.




Wyoming and Planning

Current Location: Buffalo KOA, Buffalo, Wyoming

This morning we decided to take up the Mt. Rushmore KOA on their offer of all you can eat pancakes for $3. Though we only ate what they originally put on our plate (3 pancakes), it was a pretty good deal. After breakfast, we went back to the trailer, hitched up and headed out.

We had a windy drive today. A couple gusts hit us broadside and reminded us to take it easy, so we slowed back a bit. We stopped in Gillette, Wyoming at a truck stop and had lunch. It was about an hour from there when we arrived here in Buffalo, Wyoming. We were able to score the same creekside spot we had last fall when we were heading east through the same route.


Creekside spot at Buffalo KOA

After we got set up, Malcolm took care of some work. Afterwards, we decided to eat out at a local steakhouse. The food was delicious and plentiful. We’ll have leftovers for dinner tomorrow night, for sure. After dinner we went to the grocery to get a few items and stopped to fill up the truck with fuel.

Our original plans had us stopping in Montana on Thursday, then on to either Coeur D’Alene, Idaho or Spokane, Washington for a two-night Friday/Saturday stay. It is still summer, though, and campgrounds in both areas are booked solid through the weekend.

We adapted and decided to stop in Livingston, Montana tomorrow night and Deer Lodge, Montana on Friday night, even though Deer Lodge and Livingston are not real far apart. On Saturday, we’ll make a fairly long (380-ish mile) trip on over to Moses Lake, Washington. There, we hope to find an empty spot in the Grant County Fairgrounds campground. Given that nothing is scheduled until their fair in a couple weeks and they have almost 300 campsites, we figure we’ll be able to find something.

Summer destinations are the bane of the full-time RV traveler. Many campgrounds understandably book up in advance for the weekends, requiring some pre-planning or flexibility on the part of the full-timer. Once we’re past Labor Day weekend, things typically open up pretty well.