Good Morning from Silt, CO!

9 09 2016

wp_20160909_001After a fairly early departure from Vernal, we’ve arrived at this new KOA along the Colorado River by about 1PM.  We’ll have park WiFi and good cellular access here allowing us to get caught up on at least the most critical work.  We last visited this KOA about 2 years ago – with brand new trees, grass and gravel pads, and after an unusual amount of rain the entire park was left a muddy mess.  Deep tire ruts were everywhere, it must have taken the grounds crew some time to fix broken sprinkler heads and fill in the ruts.  Today you’d never know of these growing pains – the trees are healthy, the grass is lush and green, and the back-in sites along the river offer some of the best views of any RV Park.  KOA’s are always a bit pricey, these premium sites are nearly $50 with applicable taxes.  But, the amenities are many, a beautiful pool and spa area, a sparkling clean laundry room, equally clean and tidy showers and a great kids playground.  Sites are long and level and provide a fire pit and picnic table.  And the park provided WiFi isn’t bad, especially in non-peak times.

This is our last stop of the 2016 Olympic Peninsula trip.  We’ve traveled nearly 4000 miles, parked at 18 different RV sites and spent 29 nights on the road.  In all, a great trip, and one with many places we want to return to.  Among those would be the Oregon Coast, Sequim and the Port Angeles/Port Townsend areas and Jordanelle SP near Park City, UT.  We’d also like to spend more time along the Columbia River from Ft. Stevens SP/Astoria eastward.

Steinaker State Park, Utah

7 09 2016
Steinaker State Park, site #7

Steinaker State Park, site #7

After arriving in Vernal and checking out the two in-town RV Parks, we opted to continue another 10 miles north to Steinaker State Park.  With about 30 sites spread out among scrub oak and sage, across a hilltop and along the banks of Steinaker Reservoir, this is the ultimate for privacy and beautiful night skies.  We’re in full-hookup site #7, right at the crest of the hill with the reservoir to the South and beautiful rock formations of the Uinta Mountains to the North.  We ended up with 15 or so over the air TV channels, mostly rebroadcasts of Salt Lake City.  All of this for $28/night!  Unfortunately the cellular service isn’t as good, only weak signal on both Verizon and T-Mobile.  Needing to get some work done, instead of spending 2 nights here, we’ll continue eastward into Colorado.  Our plan is either Rifle Gap State Park or the KOA in Silt.  More from western Colorado…

Jordanelle State Park, Utah

5 09 2016
Jordanelle State Park, site #90

Jordanelle State Park, site #90

We’re parked at site #90 at Jordanelle State Park on the Jordanelle Reservoir about halfway between Park City and Hebor City, UT.  Arriving without a reservation, the front gate assigned us to site 90, a somewhat short back-in site on the Wasatch Loop, closest to the lake.  RV parking is available in about 100 sites at the Hailstone Campground, organized around 4 loops and one long row of pull-through sites.  A mix of back-in and pull-throughs with 86 sites of partial hookups (electric/water) and 14 sites with full hookups (electric/water/sewer).  There are also 40 small RV or tent dry sites at the McHenry Loop and 28 walk-in tent sites at Keetley Point.  Nearly all of these sites are reservable online.  At the Hailstone RV section, there are 3 toilet/shower buildings and one central camper services building that provides toilet, shower and laundry facilities.  There is also a dump station available.

In addition to water and electric, sites provide a picnic table, fire ring and BBQ pit on a large cement pad.  The loops are organized across a hillside, so nearly all sites have some type of views across the water.  Some favorites include #90, our site, which provides good lake views as well as good privacy from other nearby sites.  It has a good shade and a fairly flat tent pad.  Site #76 is a long lakeside pull-through site with some shade.  Site #53 – 44 are perched on the edge of the Lower Fisher loop providing great views, but not a lot of shade.  #34 is a very private back-in along the same loop, but without much of a view. Over the air TV was nearly non-existent here, but with blazingly fast T-Mobile service, we could stream nearly anything we wanted to watch.  This is a great Utah State Park and one we’d return to.

We’ll continue east along highway 40 tomorrow, with a planned stop somewhere around Vernal, UT.  More from there…

Along the Snake River at Village of Trees

4 09 2016
Village of Trees RV Resort, Declo, ID, site #9

Village of Trees RV Resort, Declo, ID, site #A9

Good Morning from south-central Idaho at Village of Trees RV Resort just north of Delco, ID. We’re parked at site A9 in yet another oasis of trees and green grass along the Snake River.  This park of about 80 sites is organized into 6 long rows that run from the front of the property to the path along the Snake River at the rear.  Row “A” is furthest from I-84 which provides some, but not an annoying amount of traffic noise.  All sites are pull-through, provide both 30A and 50A service, cable TV, water and dual sewer ports, one to the rear and one mid-way.  Sites in row A, B & C are most heavily treed, so satellite users may prefer rows D or E.   Along with the RV Park, there is full service fuel station, a convenience store and the Village Grill serving Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner. The menu is mostly burritos, sandwiches, salads and pizza.  Delivery is included for anyone staying in the RV park.

Tomorrow we’ll continue southeast on I-84 into Utah, avoiding Salt Lake City on this final day of the Labor Day weekend and end up near Park City, UT.  More from there…

Labor Day Weekend at Farewell Bend, OR

3 09 2016

wp_20160903_020This massive “bend” in the river is where the Oregon Trail said “farewell” to the Snake River.  The Snake continues north into Hell’s Canyon, the emigrants continued northwest along the Burnt River, then to Pendleton and eventually to the Columbia River. Where we’ve traveled in just over 3 hours along I-84, the wagon trains struggled for 2 to 3 weeks at a rate of only about 10 miles per day.

We’re parked at site #76 of this large 120 site campground.  Organized around 2 main loops and 1 tent/overflow space, most sites provide water and electric.  There’s a dump station onsite.  We found no OTA TV signals and only marginal T-Mobile data signal.  Fortunately it’s the beginning of the Labor Day weekend and we don’t need to spend nearly as much time “in the office”.  Sites in the first loop are fairly close but with nice trees and hedges for privacy.  The second loop has larger sites, but smaller trees and no privacy hedges.

On Saturday we traveled back to Baker City’s Oregon Trail Interpretive Center for a very large and worthwhile exhibit about life on the Oregon Trail.  As an added bonus, Labor Day Weekend is when the center showcases trail life with full camp of wagons and emigrants in traditional costumes.  The train included an Iron Smith showing how ironwork played an important part on the trail; Carter Junction, a singing couple with harp and guitar; dutch oven cooking demonstrations (and samples); a wheelwright; cowboys and the trail bosses.  Programs vary all year long, be sure to check the centers website at  before visiting.

What’s the crop?

1 09 2016

The Yakima River Valley provides over 75% of this crop in the United States.  What’s the crop? (leave a reply below)
What's the crop? Along I-84 in northeastern Oregon.

What’s the crop? Along I-82 in southeast Washington.

Plymouth Park, Plymouth, WA

1 09 2016
Plymouth Park, COE, Plymouth, WA site #16

Plymouth Park, COE, Plymouth, WA site #16

The small, 32 site park along the Columbia River is an oasis of lush grass and tall trees in the otherwise brown landscape of fall in western Washington.  All sites offer water & electric for $24/night, about half also provide a sewer port for an additional $3/night.  Sites are long and level pull-throughs, most with shade, a picnic table and fire ring.  There are 3 back-in sites near the center of the park, next to the camper services building providing flush toilets, showers and a single washer/dryer ($1.25 wash, $.25/10 minutes dry).

Nearly in the shadow of the Umatilla Bridges, which span the Columbia River into Oregon, and only about 2 miles downstream from McNary Dam, the park is operated by the US Army Corps of Engineers.  Lewis and Clark camped here or near here on April 26th, 1806.

Verizon and T-Mobile data were both usable with the booster.  There were about 20 channels of OTA signal, including all major networks.  While we’re just utilizing this park for a quick overnight, it would make a good home base for visits around the area.  We’ll continue SE tomorrow, ending up on the banks of the Snake River at Farewell Bend.  More from Oregon…