There is so much to see on the highway that is mostly two-lanes north of Ukiah, CA. I don't think we could have chosen a more beautiful stretch of road for our first :-) We will fill in the missing 120 or so miles between Astoria and La Push on our next west coast trip.
On Monday we crossed that big floating bridge over the Hood Canal (looks and feels just like a solid bridge), and began heading southeast into the metropolis that is the Tacoma/Seattle area. After two months of small roads, it was both relaxing and weird to have all that "room" to drive! Even in traffic it was so different to not look for a place to pull over so that traffic could pass.
It was also a quick 100 mile drive to Kanaskat-Palmer State Park, just east of Tacoma. Well it was quick until the closed bridge. On the little two-lane road. With no place to turn around with the Jeep. A mile from the campground. With no cell or internet service.
While there had been Closed signs leading here, they also said local traffic was allowed, and we didn't know the bridge was before the park entrance.
Fortunately Bill still had the map app open on his phone so he could access roads in the area. Comparing this to the small note below the big sign at the bridge he was sure he could get us to the other side.
He unhooked the Jeep and with a quick three-point turn in the rig, we were both headed back the way we came. The re-route took us through a beautiful small valley of red barns and horse pasture with Mt Rainier keeping watch to the south. One of those sweet places we might have missed if it weren't for the serendipity of a closed bridge. And 20 minutes later we pulled into the park.
Kanaskat-Palmer is in the forest next to the Green River Gorge. Most sites are large with good privacy and about 18 have 30 amp electric. If some branches brushing on your AC units is an issue then you won't want to stay here, but going slow it was fine for us. Site #39 would be the best option for solar panels and maybe satellite.
Restrooms are clean, showers are free with lots of hot water and strong water pressure. There aren't many in the park so I did have to wait. Reservations made and paid online, register upon arrival either with the volunteer or at the pay station. Easy access dump station. Water spigots throughout each of two loops. Five yurts available as well.
|Appreciating the canopy on a 90 degree afternoon|
Ezra's early arrival meant having to make a couple changes, but Jeff's work schedule wasn't as flexible. It meant waiting two weeks to make the trip, but we were still able to pick Jeff up for a visit on Tuesday. It was so great to see him after almost six months - my youngest :-)
His birthday was Monday. He didn't get cake either. Just sayin'.
Jeff's been here for almost two years, but hasn't seen much of the state so I thought a trip up to the Anacortes area would be fun. Not thinking about also returning to the state park in the big city traffic, it turned into much more time in the car than planned.
Still, Anacortes is another beautiful spot, views of the San Juan Islands are something else we have never seen, and we enjoyed a delicious lunch at the marina, getting caught up with our "not-in-SoCal" son. He's the only one of six :-)
Including a couple surprise fishing goodies for Bill's birthday. Wife points back in the black.
And a Tessa trailer for behind the trikes. She was less impressed with her surprise. She'll get used to it.
It was so fun to have Jeff stay with us (our first house guest)!
|Reading in the forest|
|He's really here!|
|You think I'm riding in that thing?|