Monday, September 7, 2015

Moses Lake - Where a Stop-Over Becomes a Nice Destination

Happy Labor Day everyone!!

Our final destination for the summer is Spokane, WA. It is stop number 24, and from here we head south again.

I forgot to make reservations beyond Snoqualmie River, and when I realized a week ago we were leaving on the Friday of Labor Day weekend I figured I'd really screwed up! 

Moses Lake, WA, is about half-way between Seattle and Spokane, and there were a handful of RV parks there. Looked like a good stop-over spot.

I was happy to find a vacancy at the Lakefront RV Park, although the guy on the phone didn't take any information, just said "come on in".  I reminded him it was Labor Day weekend so he at least let me give him a name and size of our rig.

Finally following my intuition, I called Friday morning to confirm the "reservation", and was told "Oh no, you don't have a spot because we had sewer problems overnight. Sorry."  Glad I called!

Sunrise RV Park - Pier 4 was the first place the Google Gods recommended so I called with fingers crossed. Caroline was delightful, assured me they had a site for us, took all the information, emailed a confirmation - yay, feeling much better!

We were on I-90 by 10:30 hoping to be ahead of the holiday masses. Snoqualmie Pass was beautiful with light rain falling, clouds dancing around the trees, and not a lot of other vehicles - perfect.

We knew we'd be leaving the forests behind when we reached eastern Washington, and were open to a change of scenery.

Rather than a gradual change, there's a very short section with a few trees, and then none, zero, zip. Ecosystems always fascinate me - the differences we can't see that mean so much to what grows where.

As we pulled in to a rest stop there was a flashing sign indicating heavy traffic ahead. Hmmmm, holiday?

Hoping it's not like this all the way

The last five miles before the Columbia River was stop-and-go traffic. Bill speculated it might be a bridge construction, and sure enough he was right. Good news as the traffic quickly cleared once we were past the lane closure.

That Columbia River is so big! Much more brown here than where we crossed it from Astoria, OR, but still amazing. The canyon walls along the water in the Iron Horse area are like carved slate with unique angles. Under the partially cloudy skies it was pretty spectacular. We didn't stop at the Wild Horse monument but could see large metal horses running across the mesa as we drove by. We'll stop next time.

For the first time in months we returned to golden hills, and wide open spaces. A completely different kind of beautiful.

I had no idea there is so much farm land in Washington, and the fields of grain and corn and alfalfa go on for miles in all directions. Where there are no crops, the land is covered in bright yellow grasses, and pastel shrubbery. The pale greens and grays and lavenders of the brush look like a watercolor painting.

Getting off the highway I turned the wrong way and when I called the park Caroline answered. She asked "Is your rig black with tan on the bottom and you have your brake lights on?"  Uh, yeah. 

So we turned around and there was the park at the end of the road :-)

Suncrest RV Park is a good size park with tight sites, both 30 and 50 amp FHUs, and most have cable as well. No WiFi. No trees so solar and satellite work well. Small pool, laundry, bathhouses, and a dockside clubhouse. What we didn't see when we first pulled in is that the far side of the park is right on the lake. They have a small beach, lots of parking for boat and ATV trailers, and a small dock and launch ramp.

The park was about 3/4 full for the holiday weekend. With rain expected for all of Saturday, they said it was the "quietest" Labor Day in years on the lake. Bummer for the town, but sweet for us :-)

I forgot to take pics of the park except for Tessa enjoying the nice green lawn at our site.

Comfy pup
Per usual we took a drive to check out the area. The lake is large and has a lot of residences and vacation homes right on the water. With a population of 22K, it has nice schools, a couple groceries, car dealerships, several nice parks, lots of sporting goods stores, and local eateries.

Tasty salmon and shrimp lunch at Michaels on the Lake

In addition to the lake where boats, jet skies, fishing, kayaks and SUPs are all popular (according to the signs and stores), there are dunes south of the lake with a large OHV area. Moses Lake is definitely a great place to go for lots of outdoor activities year-round. And I thought it was just a little spot on the map for a stop-over!

Even with the highway close by, we had a good, quiet night's sleep. As predicted the rain came Saturday and stayed off and on most of the day. We started the morning with $3.50 pancakes and coffee at the park. I made a trip to the Farmers' Market in town, but it was either cancelled due to rain or I just couldn't find it, so I hit the Safeway for groceries.

During one of the breaks in the rain we drove over to the OHV area where there were hundreds of rigs, trailers, ATVs, Jeeps and trucks, and a gazillion people. I used to be one of those sand dune campers, and although it looked like everyone was having a great time, I didn't feel much like joining them.

Dunes are always best after a good rain
About 80% of the restaurants in Moses Lake are Mexican Food (another positive for the town in our book), and we stopped for lunch at Tacos el Rey.

I've never eaten (that I remember) alpastor. It is described as pineapple spiced pork, and is absolutely delicious! I wanted to order a bucket of it to take home, but came to my senses first. If you haven't tried it and see it on a menu, definitely order some!

We also drove by Lakefront RV Park to see what we missed. Wow, the serendipity fairy was definitely watching out for us! Every site but one was full and no signs of any sewer issues. But every rig looked to have been there no less than six months, the power pedestals were falling over, the asphalt was broken, there were a couple cars on blocks. Whew, dodged that bullet!

One thing we couldn't find was an RV supply store so had to suck-it-up again and go to Walmart for toilet chemicals. All the people who weren't on the water must have decided to go there instead. What a madhouse :-(

I'm glad we stopped for two nights in Moses Lake. It not only made for two nice short days of driving, but ended up being a great destination spot.


  1. You two do have some serious luck. A nice site on a Labor Day week-end. I'm too chicken not to have 5 days all around any holiday solidly booked so I don't have to drive at all during that sir, not me. LOL!! Alpastor sounds delicious. Pineapple and pork, what's not to love?

    1. We really do Sherry! I was really sweating it that morning, but it worked out great :-) I definitely prefer to have secure reservations as well - already booked for Christmas in Borrego.

  2. I really liked that area when I was working in Washington state.

    1. It was hard to believe it was so close to Seattle, and yet the small towns and natural beauty were amazing :-)

  3. Even with a holiday, there always seems to be something out there with a spot available. Glad you found a nice place to spend a quiet holiday:) Tessa looks so comfortable:)

    1. She definitely has a favorite site type and it's one with nice soft grass!

  4. I would say Tessa liked that RV park!

    1. She loved the grass and watching all the little kids play on their bikes and boards.

  5. Sounds like a gem of an area. We've visited Spokane twice and enjoyed our time there.

    Also, if you ever have the right timing, a drive through the Palouse in eastern WA in the spring is gorgeous...rolling green hills as far as the eye can see for miles and miles and miles.

    1. Will keep that in my WA folder and check it out when we can. I should have checked the map better as our site in Spokane is right on the highway and the loudest by far of any place we've stayed. Still looking forward to solo exploring the area while Bill is off in Montana fishing :-)

  6. So glad you found a spot in the nick of time for Labor Day weekend -- and even a place that was quiet! I think the rainstorm definitely helped. We were in Pullman and were happy that it rained and kept things quiet in the RV park. :-) Tessa looks right at home everywhere she goes!

    1. It was a sweet spot to find at the last minute! Loved the rain :-)

  7. There is such a distinct change from western and eastern WA, I can smell it. Glad you found a quiet park instead of the noisy dune campers.

    1. We've enjoyed the "new" views in Easter WA - you can see forever :-)