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August 28, 2007

Lost Lake RV Resort - Olympia Washington

     August 24th - 31st, 2007  Lost Lake Resort is a first class RV park and our RPI (Resort Parks International) membership allows us to book in at $8.00 per night.  They have it all here including a private lake stocked with trout and bass.  We were so busy during our stay that we never did get a chance to fish.  Our purpose in booking in here for the week was so our son Bill and his family had an easy 1.5 hour drive to come visit us.  Bill, Heidi, and the kids (Mason & Maddie) came Fri. evening to camp with us for the week-end and then Grandma and Grandpa would keep the kids, Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday while their mom and dad worked. 

     The week was filled with lots of fun for the little ones and the big kids too.  Bill and I took part in a miniature golf tournament as the park was celebrating the opening of its new golf lay-out.  Following the tournament we were all invited to a barbecue hosted by the park owner.  The following morning we were all invited to a complimentary breakfast and it was excellent.  The pool, spa, hot tub, exercise facility were first class and we managed to go there every day during our stay.

     One of the days that the kids were with us we made a driving trip to Mt. Rainier.  We left the coach around 10:00 a.m. and were back at 4:30 p.m. having driven to near the snow line.  The scenery was spectacular.  Pictures do not do it justice.

     All of the area around here is really part of the West Coast Rain Forest and no matter which direction you drive it is heavily forested, and yet one is only a couple of hours from the coast.  The temperatures have been in the low to mid 70's and in the last two weeks we have only seen drizzle for a few minutes one morning. 

     We will be leaving Lost Lake Resort on the morning of August 31st.  Plans are to "boondock" at the Tullalip Casino north of Seattle for one night and then book in to the La Conner, Washington Thousand Trails Resort for a free 3 day stay.  The catch is we must agree to sit through a 90 minute presentation on the resort and their membership buy in program.  Anyone can sit through 90 minutes and say no thanks for 3 free days!  Those three days will cover the Labor Day Week-end for which we don't have reservations at one of our membership resorts.  We have memberships in Coast to Coast, Resort Parks International, Passport America, Escapee's, and Good Sam which covers us just about everywhere.  We can pretty well plan our stays for $8.00 per night wherever we go.



Bill and Heidi
















Pool Time
















Lost Lake Camp Site
















 Mason, Maddie, Grandma















Pool Time















Kids Friend
















Mt Ranier
















Road to Mt Ranier
















miniture golf tournament
















teeter totter time














     Now on to La Conner, Washington RV Resort!

August 27, 2007

The Coast

     August 19th-22nd 2007  We left the familiar confines of the Salem Oregon RV Park leisurely on the 19th with Jim and Pat Mellon in the lead.  Our destination was the Oregon Coast and the small town of Tillamook, a scant 75 mile trip.  After getting set up in a small but pleasant RV park just north of Tillamook we decided to tour the famous Oregon Cheese Factory located there and being from Wisconsin we for sure had to see if their cheese curds stacked up to what we were used to.  They did not.  Their ice cream however was as good as any we have ever had and we do consider ourselves experts in the ice cream field.  We also had time to tour some sites along the coast and having let the ice cream settle it was time to find the best sea food restaurant in the area.

     Early the next morning Jim and Pat headed for Portland Oregon to get some work done on an air conditioner that had been giving them trouble.  There plans included joining us later as we headed on up the coast.  Our drive was beautiful on 101 as we headed the rest of the way up the Oregon Coast and settled on a great "boondocking spot" in a field next to the harbour in Ilwaco, Washington.  The harbour is famous for all the charter boats available for those who want to take an ocean fishing trip and we learned that they were experiencing their best year for catching silver salmon and king salmon that they have had in a long time.  The charters would leave about 5:30 a.m. and most would return by 8:30 with all aboard having limited out.  Some having up to 13 or so on board.  I was tempted but decided it could wait for another day.  Camped in the field with us, overlooking the bay and all the boats was Chris and Jan Hanks.  Chris a retired North West Airlines Pilot has been coming to "boondock" in this field for several years and he welcomed us to his "funky" find.  We enjoyed his company as well as several other RV'ers who had come with their boats to stock their freezers with Salmon. 

     Jim and Pat joined us to "boondock" and again we toured the area and found some great seafood spots for dinner.  Our daughter in law Angela and grand kids, Zak and Ellie drove over to go with us to the international kite festival which was being held at Long Beach Washington.  Billed as the longest beach in the world it was a great place to experience such a festival.

     Long Beach and the kite festival were interesting but Kathleen and I managed to find some other beaches and had easy access to them as is evident by the pictures.  The weather was a bit blustery and we encountered a little drizzle but the mighty Pacific Ocean is beautiful no matter what its mood and we sure enjoyed our time along it.

     Ang and the kids left on the 23rd.  Kathleen and I bid Jim and Pat a fond farewell and we headed on up the coast to cut our distance to Olympia Washington in half as that would be our weeks end destination to hook up with our youngest son and his family for a few days.  Our destination for the night would be a "Coast to Coast" membership park and we would have a spectacular site right on the ocean for $8.00 a night, at Ocean City Washington.  This would be a place we will return.

     A few pictures follow.  Place pointer on picture for a description.



Angela and Kathleen
















Jim,Pat, Mellon and Kathleen
















beach drive
















days end
















Kathleen's walk on Beach
















kite festival
















flying kites Zak, Ellie, and Ang
















Zak and Ellie shell hunting
















     On to Lost Lake RV Resort at Olympia Washington and a scheduled seven day stay.  Bill, Heidi, Mason and Maddie would come over and camp out with us for the week-end.  Then Mason and Maddie would stay with Grandma and Grandpa for a few extra days while mom and dad returned to work. 

Rally #2

     The huge FMCA (family motor coach association) rally, with close to 4,000 motor homes being parked around the grounds would have made for a spectacular picture but the only way to photo it would have been from the air.  My pilot son Scott, actually had a stop in Redmond during the rally, and could have taken a photo for me from the air on his approach, but was quick to remind me that all of the roofs are white so it would have made for a very boring picture.

     It was interesting jump on the "tram" and ride to anywhere on the grounds that you wished to go.  On occasion on had to transfer to a different "tram" to visit certain areas but all in all it was very efficient and worked quite well.  It got a little hectic taking the tram to the evening entertainment and then some 8,000 or so people all getting out of the auditorium at one time, but it worked.  The first night of entertainment we saw the Nelson twin brothers, both now about 35 yrs old, doing a tribute to their dad "Ricky Nelson".  It was an excellent program.  The second night we sat through "Debbie Boone" who got a little long in the tooth but still was enjoyable.  The last night we were treated to a spectacular show put on by "Tony Orlando".

     We both sat through several seminars and hopefully learned a few things, but the highlight was spending time looking at all the wares that the vendors were hawking.  We bought a few things that we wished we hadn't, and passed on a few things that we wish we had purchased and I guess that is par for those who attend one of these things for the first time.  No doubt we will attend again as this annual FMCA Rally is going to be in St. Paul Minnesota next August and we will no doubt be in the neighborhood.

     Friends we had made earlier in our travels were in attendance but it was difficult connecting with them as the event was huge.  We did manage to see Hap and Wendy Happnee once and exchange hugs.  Thanks Wendy for the great book, we are getting a lot of good use out of it.  We were fortunate to have spent 5 days or so with Jim and Pat Mellon from the Chicago area at the Pre-rally in Salem Oregon and managed to sit with them at all the nightly entertainment at the main rally in Redmond Oregon.  It was at the Pre-rally that we decided we would travel together some after the rallies and explore the Oregon and Washington Coast.  In fact we left the Rally grounds in Redmond and returned to the familiar deluxe RV park in Salem Oregon for a couple days of R & R before heading for the coast.  The R & R was needed but we did find some time the second day to do a wine tasting tour as the area outside Salem has many vineyards. 

     On to the Coast! 

August 11, 2007

Rally # 1

     August 7-10, 2007  The FMCA (Family Motor Coach of America) Newmar International Chapter Rally held in Salem, Oregon at the beautiful Premier RV Resort has ended.  We met and have made friends with some wonderful folks who over the years we may well run in to again from time to time.  The Rally was hosted and organized by Richard and Suzanne Michaels and also present and active was Dave and Patsy Kessler.  Dave is the Chapter President.  Dave's wife Patsy sought us out on our arrival to let us know that she had read about us on Norm and Linda Payne's web-site.  We know that Norm and Linda have good choices when it comes to friends and Dave and Patsy were no exception.

     I mentioned a lot about the Rally itself in my last blog posting so won't revisit that but one of the highlights for us was we signed up to attend a guided tour of the Air Museum North of Salem that houses many vintage aircraft, but its real draw is it is now the home to Howard Hughe's "Sprucegoose."  We enjoyed the tour and especially getting to go inside it.

















      Our last afternoon and evening at the Rally were a lot of fun.  Richard, a fun and outgoing guy apparently has a collection of hats and delights in wearing many different ones each day.  Now these are not ordinary hats but rather "goofy" styles.  Richard had sent e-mails and announcements on several occasions over the last months announcing that there would be a "crazy hat contest" at 4:00 on the last day.  Now I don't need to tell you that there were some very elaborate hats with the "Minnie Pearl" grand ol opry style being very prominent.  Kathleen and I did not put much effort in to getting ready for this contest but thought we should probably try and participate.  Many years ago, Kathleen's dad, Pondo, taught her how to make paper hats and on occasion she has made them for our grand kids.  Since we had been delivered the local Newspaper to our coach each day we had an abundance of paper.  Kathleen put no more than a few minutes in to folding and creating our hats and at 4:00 we headed off.  Their was quite an elaborate judging process as all participants were paraded in front of all in attendance at the ice cream social.  Would you believe it!!!  We took second place.  Our prize was a "cover catcher" for the end of our bed.  A very neat prize.

     We departed Salem, all 50 or so Newmar Coaches, at 5:30 a.m. for Redmond, Oregon and the main FMCA Rally where we would be in the company of some 3 to 4 thousand Coaches of various manufacturer for another 5 days or so of Rally activities.  Our caravan arrived at the outskirts of Redmond and was escorted by the local police department and Sheriff's deputies through Redmond to the Deshutes County Fairgrounds and the Rally site.  We are now parked in the "back forty" in lot #8 street 13.  This is to be our home site for the next 5 to 6 days as we plan to attend as many seminars and evening entertainments that we can handle.  The "trams" will leave our street corner approx. every 15 minutes and return on about the same schedule.  There will be many drop off points and pick-up points throughout the grounds.  Think State Fair and multiply by 10 and you will get the picture.



Kathleen's Hat
















George's Hat













August 07, 2007

Saltwater State Park, Washington

Saltwater State Park, Washington


     Saltwater State Park in Washington State had been our home for about 6 days which covered a week end and our Washington Brosius clan came to camp out with us.  The setting you see in the picture above was ideal for the little people to have plenty of space to play.  Grandpa and Grandma were in constant demand to participate in one thing or another.  It was a blast and we look forward to more week ends of the same in various parks before school starts and or the weather gets a little too cool for tent camping.

     We readied the coach to travel late Sunday afternoon August 5th, 2007 as we were planning to head for our first Rally, the Newmar pre Rally for the FMCA, to be held in Salem, Oregon.  We pulled out of Saltwater Park early Monday morning the 6th and our leisurely 208 mile drive to Salem has us arriving at about 2:00 p.m.  We registered with the "Premier RV Park" of Salem and were guided to our parking slot.  Our Friends Pat and Jim Mellon had arrived a day earlier and were just a few slots over from us.

     As I was setting up the coach and connecting the essentials I noticed that our "Access Door" for our water heater area had come loose and apparently been lost on the drive down.  No one to blame but myself as I had done some work on a faulty ignitor coil for the gas water heater and forgot to latch the cover when I had completed the work.  Bummer.

     We enjoyed an evening out with Jim and Pat and ate at a very nice but pricey seafood restaurant.  This was to be our only free evening for awhile so we retired early.  Our agenda for Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday starts with Breakfast by the pool from 7:00 to 9:30 and something or other scheduled every hour on the hour right through the supper hour.  Oh, did I mention every evening supper is provided and catered by one vendor or another.

     There are 50 Newmar Coaches here participating in this Rally so the Newmar Factory in Indiana send 5 of their top service technicians with a couple trailers full of parts and supplies to address any needs/repairs that any of us had previously submitted in our pre-registration documents.  I had about three minor things I wanted them to take a look at.  We were one of the first coaches that they started on this morning and within about an hour they had corrected or addressed my concerns.  Oh, did I mention that they ordered me a new "Access Door" for our water heater area.  They are having it painted at the factory and it will be brought to our coach and attached before this rally ends.  All at no Charge.  Now that is what Newmar is all about. 

     In addition to attending many seminars and instructional talks we are scheduled tomorrow to go on a tour to the Evergreen Aviation Museum here in Salem.  This Museum is the home of Howard Hughes "Spruce goose" and we are looking forward to getting to see it up close.

     We are "Newbies" to this Rally thing but already I am liking what I see, feel, and hear.  There is not a grumpy, grumbly person to be found.  Everyone is so upbeat and happy just to be here.  Maybe it is because we are all in that twilight time of life.  I must admit I took pause for thought when the first line of the agenda we received on arrival says, "In case of an emergency call 911, sound horn and turn on your emergency flashers", hmmm!



Social Hour















Premier RV Park, Salem Oregon













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