Sunday, May 22, 2016

A little bit of RVing, motorcycling, and a LOT of gorgeous

Since people keep asking for updates on our travels ......

Our first official motorhome trip was up to Elma, WA, prompting the excellent question of .... Why?

The reason for Elma is that months ago, Husband signed us up for an online challenge-thing that consists of a list of 20 dams to which we must travel via a motorcycle and take a photo of each dam with the bike in the picture, to prove we've been there.  (A shot of my mashed helmet-hair as evidence of the ride, doesn't qualify.)

The number placard identifies us from the other motorcyclists who have nothing better to do than to chase down dams.

This small community has an RV park that kindly gave us half-price off its fee, and is situated between two of the dams on the list.   Being our initial trip, Husband didn't feel quite ready to tow a car AND a bike.  So the easiest form of transportation stayed behind.

After documenting both dams and three otherwise uneventful nights in Elma, we gladly left to go up north of Seattle to visit a bro and sis-in-law who happen to live at and work for a lovely RV park.  They've been there for years, living in their fifth-wheel, next to a lake surrounded by weeping willows and geese.

I used to wonder about people who live in RVs.  Now I am one.  And now I get it.  We spent two nights parked next to their lake that visually defined "serene", in spite of the geese who were in regular violation of the park's quiet hours.   The four of us took the ferry ...

Ferries are fun, if you're not in a hurry.
over to Kingston to revisit my favorite crepe eatery which, much to our delight, is still there and still cranking out the most delicious crepes ever.  (I'm not talking about the dessert-types, although it serves those too.  Broaden your imagination to include crepes full of lemony pesto, fresh spinach, garlic, pine nuts, cheese and other heady ingredients.)  Then we visited the humongous car museum in Tacoma which, surprisingly, was really interesting.  (Not kidding, ladies.  And I'm not "into" cars.  Plan on at least two, maybe three, hours there.)
Note:  (One of the little homey, traveling comforts we discovered about RVing.)  As we were driving home that weekend, when we got hungry, we pulled over into a rest stop.  We could then walk back into our kitchen, open the fridge, make sandwiches, and sit at our table as we eat, heed nature's call in our own bathroom, and then get back on the road ..... without having to open a door to go outside.
We are still fitting our brief trips around my medical appointments, so after taking care of one of those, our next trip graduated up to towing both the car and motorcycle to Central Oregon, a region to which we are interested in possibly relocating long-term.  We are happy to report that all went well with the towing.  The Jeep did not wander off our rear bumper nor fight with the bike.  All vehicles got along harmoniously.

On this trip, Husband successfully accomplished two important goals -- golfing and fishing, and I happily checked out the local Goodwill store.  We took the bike out to visit some long lost former neighbor/friends who, in my opinion, are still quite lost from civilization.  Meaning -- they live so far out in no-where-land that they are literally "off the grid", relying entirely on solar power for electricity.  T'was very impressive, really.  But although their home was beautiful and their view was killer, I was not tempted to move in next door.  I cannot imagine having to drive that many miles through several canyons and over narrow bridges late at night, just to get home.

THEN, we did a five day jaunt up towards Port Angeles, WA, with good friends, Alan and Judy, (in a car this time) and across the ferry into magical Victoria BC, to revisit Butchart Gardens.  Sadly the roses were not in bloom yet, but everything else was gloriously mind-blowing.  Favorite comment from Alan as he stretched out on a bench to take in the view:  "I wish all these other people would leave so that I could REALLY enjoy my garden."
(It really looks like this.)
Victoria is truly one of the most beautiful cities I've been to.

Good job, Canada!  And thanks for your friendly exchange rate, giving us an extra 30 cents on the dollar!

 Then we ferried over to the San Juan Islands in northwest WA, and had a lovely lunch amid the docked yachts and sailboats and the peonies and irises at one of the Pacific NW's most picturesque spots:  Roche Harbor.

If it has been a while since you've traveled to this corner of the world and are wondering if it's still pretty....  Yes, it is.

Some of what I have learned thus far this year in our bit of traveling:
1. I prefer having a car with my RV.  Motorcycles are optional.  Husband may not agree.
2. Dams can be boring destinations.
3. There exists a Korean dish called "bibimbap".  (Try it.  So good.) -- UPDATE!  I ordered it at another Korean restaurant a week later and BLEH.  So if you're ever in Victoria, there's this little cafe called Sushi Matsuri on Menzies Street ..... but ask them to swap the chili sauce for a milder sesame sauce.  You're welcome.

And that, I think, bring us up-to-date.

Yeah, I know.  The hair.  It was windy.