Gladlee of Guernsey
America Summer 2018
11th June - 6th September - American RV trip
12th June - Always RV, Arizona, US
Arrived at Always RV to collect the motorhome and check everything out before departing on our journey tomorrow. Of course it would help if we could start it but a flat engine battery stopped that. As it was only six months old the service department changed it free of charge so no problems. If only..... Now the domestic batteries are playing up but we have the electrician looking at things. After spraying WD40 into the on off switch he seemed surprised there was still no charge. Out came the mains charger and yes that put some power into them.
13th June - Jacob Lake NF Campground
And so off we go on our merry travels. Of course we get to our first campsite and have no power in the domestic batteries despite having driven over 200 miles. Took the batteries out and they are dry as a bone. Did manage then to find the local NAPA store (equivalent to Halfords) and phone them, and yes, they have replacements available. Following morning we head for the nearby town of Kanab and manage to get everything fixed. New batteries and a new solenoid. All is well.
14th-16th June - Maple Grove NF Campground, Utah
We continue on to a previously visited campground, stay for a few days and "settle in" after the first couple of fraught days. Quite noticeable that Julie has immediately got back into the bird watching mode!!
17th June - Stillwater NF Campground
Not much to say on this. Means to an end en route to Wyoming.
18th/19th June - Gros Ventre, Tetons National Park, Wyoming
Just south of Yellowstone National Park we have visited the Tetons before. This time we can't walk so much as the river is pretty much in flood and where we had previously walked is now underwater. Also our first sighting of the dreaded "SNOW" on them there hills.
20th/21st June - Beaver Creek NF Campground, Quake Lake, Montana
To get here we had to drive through Yellowstone NP and we had planned to stop at "Old Faithfull", the geyser that erupts every 90 minutes or so. Unfortunately the place is so busy we can't even find a temporary parking spot so just drive on. We have been to Yellowstone before so not too worried.
The name of the lake is due to it being formed following an earthquake in the area. The earthquake smashed open a damn on the river, which then created a landslide further down, which then created Quake Lake.
22nd/23rd June - Silos State Park, Montana
Not really too much to this place but the memories will survive quite a while. First of all we take a bit of a hike round the place and trying to find a shortcut through, Ron finds himself stood on an ants nest. Not a normal one - this one is three metres across with millions of ants. Many of which take a liking to Ron. Secondly we are asked if we would mind a family with young kids camping next to us. Of course not. Then their extended family camped on the other side of us. Everything became very friendly with the two of us becoming honorary grandparents for the duration with five kids wanting us to play and swim. Of course the parents included us as well - with drinks, so of course Ron had to share his bottle of Glenfiddich creating untold misery in the morning.
24th June - Mountain View CG, Choteau
Another one of those "en-route" private campgrounds with not much to shout about.
25th/26th June - Apgar CG, Glacier NP
Part of Glacier National Park which had been one of our targeted destinations. We had picked up that the road that splits the park in two had just opened a couple of days before so we are looking forward to driving through. Unfortunately, we also find that there is a 20ft length limit which put us at 30ft out of the running for that. Never mind, we can go to the campground and use the shuttle bus. Which of course doesn't start until three days after we leave. Great walks though round the lake. Interesting visitor centre with free wifi.
27th June - Dry Gulch Provincial Park, Nr Radium Hot Springs, British Colombia, Canada
Well, we have now crossed into Canada - the land of everything being more expensive. A nice small campground though on our way through to Banff/Jasper national parks.
28th-30th June - Waterfowl Lake, Jasper NP, Alberta
Beautiful place here but really quite busy. Turns out to be a holiday period so we decide once we have found a good site, to stay for a few days. Our walks have to be timed in between the rain but as you can see it is pretty nice here. Even though there is even more snow as we get further north.
1st July - Hornbeck Provincial Park
Just a wayside park but pleasant enough spot for the night.
2nd July - Sherk's CG, Valleyview
One of our few private RV parks. Once every couple of weeks to get the laundry done and to get good wifi etc. Apparently everybody seems to call the place Shrek's and not Sherk's. The power of films in action! The best memory here was the girl in the visitor centre who was just a very nice person and incredibly helpful.
3rd July - Queen Elizabeth PP, Grimshaw
Called in at the Walmart in Peace River on the way here to top up with supplies and then to this really quite nice Provincial Park which turned out to be very quiet. Not too much hiking here as again the lake level was very high.
4th July - Twin Lakes Territorial Park, NW Territories
Just a few miles north of the border. Yet again very friendly staff in the visitor centre.
5th July - Twin Falls TP
As the name implies there are two big waterfalls here. Very impressive. About a mile apart and both with about 50ft drops on a fast flowing river.
On the walk between the two falls we come across a small lake with mum and babies and a couple of beaver. Always better when unexpected. There is also the story of the Indian tribes that used to travel the area which is actually quite interesting.
6th/7th July - Hay River TP
Hay River is one of only a few towns in NWT but we do manage to get the timing right for this one. It is "Hay Days" which is a music festival so all the bars and restaurants have live music free of charge. The fisherman's market was the only disappointment. We had expected to be able to buy fresh fish but the only stall there either sold craft items or ready cooked food.
8th July - Lady Evelyn Falls TP, Kikasa
If only for the waterfall, this was a great short stop for us.
9th July - Fort Providence TP
The last stop before a long drive to Yellowknife. The campground is right on the banks of the Mackenzie River which is one of, if not the biggest, river in Canada.
10th-14th July - Fred Henne TP, Yellowknife
And we have arrived at our destination. This is as far as the road goes unless you want a rough ride on a graded road. We found incredibly friendly people here, good beer, great museum, good food, lots and lots of rain and TV in the office to watch England lose in the World Cup. We have two different sites as we extended our stay due to Ron hurting his back and to give him a few extra days recovery time.
15th July - Lady Evelyn Falls TP
Yes, we are here again. We had planned to go south by a different route which would have taken us about 300Km over a graded road. Bearing in mind all the rain we took the decision not to do that and stuck to the only paved road in the whole territory - the one we had come up on.
16th July - Twin Falls TP
Yes - and again.
17th July - Fox Haven Golf & Country Club,
A convenient stop and no we didn't play. It seems most of the golf courses up here also have campgrounds attached to them.
18th July - Queen Elizabeth PP, Grimshaw
The last of our duplications for this trip. Still very quiet here for some unknown reason.
19th July - Cheti Sep, Spirit River
Bit of a roadside campground a little before Dawson Creek where we expect things to start getting busy. Dawson Creek is right on the Canada/Alaska highway which we know is pretty busy at this time of year.
20th July - Lake Tudyah PP
Still heading south and still in British Columbia.
21st/22nd July - Crooked River PP, Bear River
As you can see things are not really warming up in the evenings yet. Bottle of champagne for Julie's birthday.
23rd July - Ten-mile Lake PP
Another day, another provincial park.
24th/25th July - Will-Yum RV Park, Williams Lake
Here a few years ago where we got the cheapest petrol in Canada. However that seems to have changed and now the same as everywhere. Met a couple here who took us into town in the evening for drinks and food. Good friendly people here.
26th July - Skihist PP, Lytton
Quite a climb up to this campground which is up above the James river
27th/28th July Emory Creek CG
Our last stop before getting back into the USA. Beautiful site on the banks of the James River. Can't see it but there is a railway line on the other side where we saw the Rocky Mountaineer train on its way from Calgary to Vancouver.
29th July - Larrabee State Park, Washington State, US
Our first stop back in the US. After dealing with a VERY difficult immigration lady at the border it was good to relax and chill. And get cheap petrol (gas in the US). And cheap beer too.
30th July - Deception Pass SP, Whidbey Island
Went across the bridge to Whidbey Island. Walking around just by the bridge, both of us took either bee or hornet stings. Not nice!
31st July/1st August - Fort Worden SP, Port Townsend
Stopped off at Oak Harbour for a walk and lunch, then took Harvey Too to sea today. Ferry from Coupville to Port Townsend.
2nd-4th August - Salt Creek County Park
The northern shore of Washington State near to Port Angeles.
5th August - Mora CG, Olympic NP, La Push
Out to the west coast of Washington State hopeful that the fog hasn't followed us.
6th/7th August - Screamin' Eagle CG, Ocean Beach, Oregon
One of our few private sites, everywhere else was full. Easy walk to the beach but not too much to see. Loads of wild blackberries around so, of course, chief scrumper Ron went collecting. Baking not that easy on the RV. No recipes, no scales, no rolling pin (coke can substitute). Result was delicious.
8th/9th August - Cape Disappointment SP, Ilwaco, Oregon
Still a little chilly in the evenings here and campfires are the order of the day (or evening).
10th/11th August - Port of Garibaldi County RV Park, Garibaldi, Oregon
We had tried to book this but found out we had failed. After no help from the campground host went to the Port office, had a good whinge and miraculously they found us a site for the weekend.
12th August - Devil's Lake SP, Lincoln City
Still on the Oregon coastline but at least we seem to have lost the fog - temporarily I would add. Been here before when the "Skunk Cabbage" was in full bloom - not good for the nose. This time much better. Good walks to the beach and town where we could get into a bar and have a beer or two.
13th/14th August - South Beach SP, Newport
Mid-holiday season and this place is heaving. Schools out so everyone heads for the beach. Heading inland after this to get away from the crowds - hopefully. Stop-off on the way at Yaquina Head Lighthouse to look at the wildlife.
Also hired bikes for the day and cycled to the estuary and the brewery.
15th/16th August - Trout Creek NF
Just picked out of the book but turned out to be a spectacular spot. Drinks spot on the banks of the river with the American Dipper performing for us.
17th/18th August - La Pine SP, La Pine
Fairly huge state park with two main campgrounds. Plenty of walking to be done by the river etc. The park is also famous for its "Big Pine". This was the biggest and tallest Ponderosa Pine in the US. Unfortunately the crown fell off in a storm so it is now not the tallest but remains the biggest girth.
19th August - Mazama CG, Crater Lake NP
And so on to a new National Park for us. The lake is at the top of what was an active volcano. The road actually skirts the rim of the crater and looks down onto the lake. Unfortunately due to all the smoke from forest fires the lake was hardly visible.
20th/21st August - Goose Lake SP, Nr Lakeview,Oregon
Looking at the map, Goose Lake shows that it is about 40 miles long and twenty miles wide. The second morning we take a walk to the lake with the expectancy of seeing lots of bird life. What we did see was cows grazing as far as the eye could see. The lake was gone. Dried out. Disappointing to say the least.
22nd August - Chilcoot NF, California
Nothing too much to say on this one - another means to an end
23rd-25th August - Convict Lake NF
Stunning location. Up in the Sierra Nevada's it really is a spectacular location. A very convenient three mile walk round the lake - done numerous times, I might add.
26th August - The Highlands RV Park, Bishop
Stopped in Bishop because it has a repair shop for our generator which has inconveniently packed up. Unfortunately the repair was beyond them. As a side benefit though Julie found her Mexican restaurant that just happened to serve pints of Margarita.
27th August - Lower Gray's Meadow NF, Independence
Again we are in the foothills of the Sierra Nevadas. Been here before and it is just a nice quiet location to spend a day.
28th August - Fossil Falls BLM, Nr Dunrovin
Very small Bureau of Land Management site that we have actually been to before. A thousand years ago or so there used to be a river here with a waterfall tumbling over the cliffs. Not anymore. There are only four sites here to fit us though we did have a choice of all four.
29th August - Shady Lane RV Camp, Barstow
Convenient stopover with laundry, showers etc. And very necessary A.C.
30th/31st August - Jumbo Rocks CG, Joshua Tree NP
One of our favourite National Parks, Joshua Tree. We have been here about five times but never tire of the place. There are a number of different campgrounds we can use and this time we elect for Jumbo Rocks.
1st September - Mayflower County Park, Blythe, California
Again we have been here before but couldn't really remember it. Nice but a bit busy (Labour Day weekend) with all the boaters heading out on the Colorado River.
2nd-4th September - Saddle Mountain RV Park, Tonopah, Arizona
Our regular final stopping place where we can get the laundry done and give Harvey Too a final inside and outside clean up. Things have heated up a bit as well with temperatures in the 40's deg C. The only issue now is that a chicken farm has been built just upwind which happens to stink to high heaven - especially in the evening as you are about to sit out for dinner. Despite law suits nothing has or it seems will happen.
5th September - Always RV
And here we are back to storage after a mammoth trip of 7,095 miles and 11 different States, Provinces, Territories.
6th September - Fly UK
A few days in the UK before heading home to Larnaca on the 17th.