3,000+ mile trip to Seattle and back home via the Oregon and California coast. Turned out to be just a lot of driving and not a very relaxing vacation. Glad to be back home.
Click above to play video/slide show.
Wonderful two-week trip from Arizona to Washington via Utah, Idaho and Oregon and back via Oregon and California.
Places we stayed:
Click the Play button to watch a 7 minute video comprised of mostly dash cam footage (depending on your internet speed, it might take a few seconds to load).
We made our annual RV trip to Seattle, leaving Phoenix on August 10th and returning on August 25th, 2019. This time, it was in our new 2019 Winnebago 24D motorhome.
We're already planning our next outing. Possibly New Mexico to see the fall leaves turn.
We drove the RV and towed the Jeep from Phoenix back to Seattle and stayed there for two weeks to attend the "Celebration of Life" get-together with family and friends of my mom who passed away the previous month at the age of 95. It was great seeing everybody and hearing their stories of how much they loved my mom. We miss you, mom.
Forest fire smoke was thick all the way from southern Utah to Seattle, and during the first week in Seattle, but it cleared up for the trip back to Phoenix.
We stayed at the Lake Pleasant RV Park the first week. We love this park but it's very popular and difficult to get reservations at the last minute. We stayed at the Trailer Inns of Bellevue RV Park the second week. This park is basically a parking lot, but the location is great for us because it's closer to family in Issaquah.
We stayed for two nights in Salt Lake City at the Pony Express RV Resort so we could attend our grandson's first birthday party. It was held in a city park with lots of relatives from Crystal's side of the family who live near Salt Lake City. We're so glad we were able to move our reservations around to be there. He's growing up so fast! We'd like to go back and spend some more time at Park City after we took a day-trip there exploring the beautiful area.
On the way up and back, we stayed at the Ambassador RV Resort, in Caldwell, ID. This is our go-to park for traveling between Salt Lake City and Seattle, as it has very nice, wide, pull-through, paved spaces with easy access from I-84 (and a convenient Flying J truck stop nearby for fueling up).
One park we won't be staying at again is the Solstice Motorcoach Resort in Mesquite, NV. This place is billed as one of the nicest RV parks in the country, but it's terribly run down now. The original developer went bankrupt and it was bought by someone else in 2015 who hasn't put a dime back into the property. Weeds everywhere, dead grass, empty fountains and ponds, etc. It looks nothing like the photos on their website! The only good thing about this place is the nice territorial view over the valley below.
Our new 2018 Tiffin Phaeton 40IH motorhome performed great over the 3,000 mile trip. I'm constantly amazed at how well this RV drives compared to our previous ones. I can drive 650 miles in a day if I need to without getting worn out. Love it!
Slide show from our Garmin dash cam:
We had a great time staying in the driveway of my brother's house for three weeks in Issaquah, just east of Seattle. We always enjoy visiting with all our Seattle-area relatives, and Paul's 94 and 95-year-old parents. This year's annual family picnic was held at Paul's cousin's beach house across Puget Sound, near Kingston.
We visited Mt. St. Helens for the first time since it erupted in 1980 (see video below). We were amazed at how much the area has grown back. When we were there 37 years ago, it looked like the surface of the moon because it was so gray and lifeless.
Our son and daughter-in-law's baby due date was Sept. 2nd, so we hung out at our favorite RV park, Pacific Shores Motorcoach Resort, in Newport, Oregon for another 10 days and caught the total eclipse through a light fog (it was still pretty spectacular).
We spent a week in Medford, Oregon with our new grandson, who was born on Sept. 4th. Stayed at our favorite park in Medford: Southern Oregon RV Park.
A quick 3-day drive home to Phoenix via Susanville, CA to Reno, NV (stayed overnight at a nice park: Sparks Marina RV Park) to Las Vegas (stayed at the very average Las Vegas RV Resort - probably wouldn't stay there again) and back home to Phoenix. We were very happy to get back home to our nice, big house after 10 weeks in the RV, our longest trip yet!
Time to start planning another trip!
Day trip to Mt. St. Helens video:
We left Phoenix on June 29th and stayed through the 4th of July at San Diego's Campland on the Bay in space #I-7, which was right on the bay. It was a fun-filled 10 days with live music almost every night and several fireworks shows visible, all from our camping spot. From there, we drove to Pismo Beach and stayed for a couple of nights at Pismo Coast Village RV Resort. It was a very nice spot, although it wasn't right on the ocean, but you could walk to it. We stayed at the Vineyard RV Park in Vacaville, CA for one night. I wouldn't recommend this park. It didn't deserve it's high rating on Good Sam. The next day we drove up I-5 to Medford and stayed at the very nice Jackson County RV Park for four days and visited with our son and daughter-in-law. Then, it was on to a beautiful ocean-front space #162 at Pacific Shores Motorcoach RV Resort for three days (this is our favorite RV park that we've stayed at in our four years of RVing). We went on to Long Beach and stayed at Anderson's Oceanside RV Park for two nights, which had a nice, short walk across the dunes to the beach. Then, on to Seattle for three weeks (see the next blog post).
Phoenix to Seattle:
Jason joined us for a 3-week trip up to Seattle and back March 11-April 2, 2017 to celebrate my parent's 94th & 95th birthdays. My brother had a 30-amp service put into his garage so we squeezed the RV into the tight driveway between some businesses and enjoyed a week "camping" in his driveway. On the way up, we stopped at the Pomona Fairplex KOA (very poor wi-fi - worthless!!!). Otherwise, a decent park) for a night, drove to Lodi, CA the next day and stayed at the Flag City RV Resort (which we like because of the paved pull-through spaces, good wi-fi, and is a nice, mid-way stop between L.A. and Medford), while in Medford, we stayed at the very convenient brand-new Southern Oregon RV Park (no wi-fi but my Verizon phone as a hot-spot works well here) while visiting our son and daughter-in-law. Last stop before we got to Seattle was at the Pheasant Ridge RV Resort (super nice park with paved terraced spaces with a good distance between each one (Wi-fi was very slow but they're currently installing a faster version with 15 poles throughout the park. They have good fast ethernet internet in a room by the office. My Verizon phone as a hotspot works great here. They have cable TV but it's very fuzzy and has limited channels. No antenna TV channels available because of the mountain behind the park. No satellite channels because of the trees).
We averaged driving about 350 miles per day, which is the most I like to drive the RV at one time. The hills throughout California and Oregon were unbelievably green because of all the rain they've had over the Winter and Spring. We had good weather most days, except for the drive from Medford to Wilsonville, where it rained the entire way. Seattle weather was typical for March - mostly cloudy and raining about every other day. Kyle and Crystal drove up and stayed with us in Issaquah for a couple of days. We all enjoyed dinner at our favorite restaurant; Ivars Salmon House.
Seattle back to Phoenix via S. Cal. Coast:
We left Issaquah and drove the entire 450 miles to Medford, Oregon in one day, which is more than I like to drive, but we made it OK. We stayed at the Southern Oregon RV Park for a few nights, then continued on our trip back home. We decided to change directions after leaving the Flag City RV Resort in Lodi because the winds on I-5 were very strong and the forecast called for wind speeds up to 60 mph in Arizona, so we headed out to the coast on highway 152 and stayed a couple of nights at the Santa Cruz/Monterey Bay KOA, where the winds were forecasted to be minimal. The park was great, except for the roads leading to it were not made for 35' long, 13' tall motorhomes. I wouldn't stay there again because of that. Our satellite radio wasn't working well the rest of the trip, I suspect, because of being scraped by low trees. We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves with day trips in the Jeep to Santa Cruz, Monterey and Carmel, where we took the spectacular 17-mile drive through Pebble Beach. Our timing was perfect to return home (with an overnight stop at the Pomona Fairflex KOA again) because the wind died down for two days. The day after we returned home, the winds were howling again!
Overall, we drove 3,235 miles over 3 weeks, averaging 9.5 mpg.
Thanks to the RV, we've been to some beautiful places and stayed in some great campsites.
Some of the best sunsets we've ever seen are right from our RV campsites!
We left rainy Seattle on July 10th for the better weather east of the Cascade Mountains. Once we cleared Snoqualmie Pass, the sun came out the rest of the way. Temps were in the 70s and 80s, including a perfect 70° at 6,178' high Crater Lake.
We stayed at a cute little RV park right on the Columbia River in Goldendale, WA named Peach Beach RV Park. It was fun watching the kite surfers, which this area of the Columbia is famous for.
From there, we drove south and stayed five days in Bend, Oregon at the very upscale Crown Villa RV Resort. I've never seen so many top-of-the-line class A motorhomes in one park. There was even one with a trailer for their Porsche Cayman GT4 tow-car! The park was great because it was beautifully landscaped, nice wide spaces, the driveways were all paved with pavers, excellent wi-fi, and a great dog area for Spanky!
One evening, we took a drive on the Cascade Lakes National Scenic Byway, which takes you up past Mt. Bachelor and several beautiful high-mountain lakes. We ran out of time to take the entire loop, which would probably have been as spectacular as the first 30 miles that we took from Bend to Elk Lake. Maybe next time!
On Friday, July 15th We drove the 100 miles from Bend to our camping spot at the Diamond Lake RV Park, just outside of the entrance to Crater Lake. It was a very nice forest camping spot with a peek-a-boo view of the lake. No sewer, no cell phone service, no cable TV, no antenna TV, not even satellite TV because of the large trees. We rented a movie for $1 from the park office one evening and then enjoyed the peace and quite of the park for the two nights that we used this park as home-base to explore Crater Lake.
Saturday, July 16th was a perfect day at Crater Lake with the temp around 70°. Didn't even need a light coat! There was still some snow on the ground from the heavy winter snows they had this year. Until you see it for yourself, you just can't believe how clear and blue the water is in Crater Lake.
Seattle to Bend Slideshow:
Crater Lake Slideshow:
Crater Lake, Oregon Video:
Easily drove the 290 miles from Depoe Bay, Oregon via Lincoln City-to-Portland-to Seattle, WA in one day, where we spent a wonderful two and a half weeks staying at the Lake Pleasant RV Park in Bothell, WA. We love this park, except for the fact that they have TERRIBLE wi-fi. In fact, it's absolutely worthless! But, there aren't any other RV parks in the entire Seattle area that are half as nice, so we spent our working hours at the local Starbucks, library and our nieces house.
We took a day-trip to Friday Harbor, in the San Juan Islands. The weather was perfect with temps about 70°, even out on the open water! Dave, Krista and the grand kids rented kayaks and had a great time paddling around Friday Harbor while the rest of us enjoyed dining and shopping around town.
Because we stayed so long in Seattle this trip, we were able to visit with all our relatives and even took my 92 & 93 year old parents out to dinner at Ivars Salmon House on Seattle's Lake Union.
The weather held out for the first week, but then turned to typical Seattle gray clouds most of the second week.
June 26, 2016 day-trip to Friday Harbor in the San Juan Islands, Washington.
Assorted photos from the trip:
Grand Tetons and Yellowstone photos:
June 13-July 9, 2014
Took our first extended trip in our new Allegro RV from June 13th through July 9th, 2014. The trip was about 3,600 miles in total, going from our home near Phoenix, AZ to Los Angeles, up the coast to Seattle and back via Eastern Oregon, Idaho and Utah. Daughter Krista, her husband Dave and their daughters were with us most of the way (Dave flew back after a week to get back to work). Son Jason flew down to LA from Seattle to meet up with other son Kyle and his wife Crystal who drove up the coast in their car. Overall, it was a great trip. Didn't have any problems with the RV (unlike the other two trips we took in rented RVs). We LOVE our motorhome! Hope you enjoy the following posts with photos from along the way.
Left Phoenix for the LA area and stayed overnight at a very nice RV park in the middle of Los Angeles (who knew?). The East Shore RV Park is high on a hill overlooking the Puddingstone Reservoir. Definitely a great place to stay while in the LA area.
Drove up Highway 1 from Los Angeles to the Betabel RV Park just south of San Francisco in one day. Super windy between Paso Robles and Salinas (the wind is not a friend of a big RV!).
Actually drove the RV through San Francisco and over the Golden Gate Bridge. Went up the 101, cut over to the 280 then through San Francisco on Highway 1 and across the bridge. Wasn't too bad a drive - better than I expected. Narrow streets, but doable.
Always enjoy driving thru the Redwoods and stopping at several view areas along the way up the Northern California coast.
Stayed at the Riverwalk RV Park in Fortuna, CA on the way up to Oregon. Love the views of the coast! Found the Oceanside RV Park near Coos Bay - turned out to be a real gem. Beautiful sandy beach!
Drove only 133 miles the next day with stops at view points and the Sea Lion Caves. Stayed at Premier RV Resort of Lincoln City. Very nice park. We took advantage of their Jacuzzi that night!
Cut inland from Lincoln City through Portland and up I-5 the rest of the way to Seattle (not a fan of I-5. Driven that stretch too many times while living in Portland for seven years!).
June 18-July 5, 2014:
Dropped by Dave's sister's house in Manchester on the way to Seattle. We were blown away by how cool this little beach town is. The view looking back across Puget Sound to Seattle and Mt. Rainier was absolutely beautiful. I want to buy property there!
Bothell's Lake Pleasant RV Park was our home for the two and a half weeks we were in the Seattle area. Very nice RV park built around a lake in Bothell, WA. You couldn't tell we were in the middle of a major metropolitan area because the park sits down in a little valley surrounded by big, green trees. A great place to stay in the Seattle area!
Took a trip over Stevens Pass to Leavenworth one day. Leavenworth is a "Bavarian Village" in the Cascade Mountains. It was a beautiful day for the trip. We had a great time there.
Took another day-trip up to Deception Pass and La Conner. The morning clouds cleared out to let us enjoy hiking around the beaches, then stopped in La Conner for lunch and home-made ice cream!
Went back to Manchester to watch what Dave's sister described as "amazing" fireworks. It truly was! One of the neighbors shot off $37,000 worth of fireworks on one side of the park, and another neighbor must have had at least $25,000 worth of fireworks shooting off from the other side of the park. We've never been so close to fireworks! It was a blast!
Continued on down to Paul's brother's property near Gig Harbor for the rest of the day, then back to Bothell for one more night before hitting the road back to Phoenix.
States We've Trekked To