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Saturday, November 2, 2013

Salt Creek Oct 2013

This was a quickie out to Salt Creek, WA (on the Olympic Peninsula)  Goal was to try a new configuration of set up or what is and is not needed and to re-season 2 pans with Bees Wax.  Also to “Test”? some new Happy Hour Libations. 

I had the “Beer Exchange” (red porta-cooler) that is meant to try out new beers participatants found.  Each person brings a 6-pack so others can try it.  This time we also had a “Taste Test” for some Tequila.  Mine was the Cazadores and Garrett’s was the Milagro.    Shot glasses indicate the owners.  After a taste test (A-hem, or several JUST to be sure) Milagro came in 2nd place as indicated by the two glasses bottoms up and the “Smiley Face” of the Lime.

Seasoning the Pans was a bear.  Brillo wouldn’t even scratch the surface on the thick one and boiled water & vinegar for the rusty one.  Went through a full 6” Pumis  bar grinding away down to the size of a pea as shown.

Weather was clear skies with 1 day of full fog and one night of high Winds and Rain.  I left a day early as Wind & Rain just don’t mix and it was time.

A lot to do out in this neck of the woods but the drives are a little longer than they appear.

Campground was pretty empty as you can see, max 4 spots used on the Tongue spit part.  Access to the sound side was closed for a new bench pad.  Any site along the bluff is good, when it’s not too windy.

A nice trip, I enjoy going out there off season.  Too Crowded during Season so this was perfect.

Round Trip Miles:     139 mi
Drive Time One Way:     2.75 hrs  (Hwy  WA 161 & WA-7)
Nights in “Le Droppe”:     5
Links to the Campsites:  

Google Map:   RouteMap

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Monday, October 21, 2013

2013 CICO to Balloons to Moab

Well this trip went relatively well.  Learned a lot about "Tripp'n" longer term than a 3-day weekend.

Photo album - more than you wanted...
(Cameras not in time synch, so some, well most, out of order, will try to clean up the next one, not going to do this one)

Sunday, started from Seattle, WA headed over to Mauston, WI for the CICO (Camp Inn Camp Out) via SnG (Sleep N Go) Butte, MT  then SnG  at Casper, WY,  then SnG at Sioux Falls, SD and Wed on to Mauston, WI stayed a few days.  A lot of Camp Inn Tear Drops and other home builds, fun time for all. Left Monday.

Monday, straight drive to Kansas City, KS SnG, then off to Clayton, NM.  I believe there was a stop in between, maybe not, but can't remember it right now and it's of no importance, it was just a SnG (Sleep N Go).

Got to Clayton, NM, stayed a few days, but not sure why.  Tried to see the Volcano but closed due to Govt Shut down.  Ended up going through Fulsom, NM, had no idea that was there.  Really sad to see all the boarded up small towns along the way, nation wide.  Peoples hopes and dreams ruined, gone for whatever reasons.. Really sad...

On to Albuquerque, NM for the Hot Air Balloon Festival. In a word "Disappointed"
I had the full Fest booked 10 days? but left in 2.
Balloons were nice, fun to see and they do drift right over the campsite aka, Parking LOT !!...  Winds were a little "iffy" at first but then worked great.
Whine:  Too crowded, huge dirt/gravel parking lot, parked side-by-side without hook ups at all, in the standard sites. The only good thing was due to size, Ahem, size does matter, I was able to get parked up  on a hill, above the Maddening Crowd.  The walk to the Museum was long, apx 1 mile and then about 1/2 mile to the launching sites.  Traffic was a mess, almost couldn't get back in.  I had to leave for fear of being suffocated by all the generators around and the wind was constant during the day, never put the canopy out.
A real mess.  Only way to do this would be a hotel or one of the Big Rigs..
Can't recommend it at all,  If you haven't seen the Balloons you should. Go to a local one.  We have Processor, WA that has a good one and that is worth while, camping at CHARBONNEAU PK, WA Park.

Left on a Monday? heading out to Moab, UT.  Went through Santa Fe as some recommended camping up there in a small river valley. Nice drive, saw the valley, looks nice, but not for a SnG so went on to Moab, UT.

Got to Moab, putzed back and forth trying to find a decent campsite, finally decided on the Moab Valley RV Park at North end of town, just before the bridge for the Colorado River.  Nice park, not much shade but worked.  Stayed 3 nights and that was just about right.
Went on the Hummer Tours and that was fun.  Wanted to do the RZR ATV tours but needed at least 4 people or go alone, not ready for that since I can get lost in my driveway.  Tour was fun and for a first timer, good to experience it.  I now have a new respect for the Hummers.. kewl.. I want a RZR 1000.  It's on the list.

Then back home to Seattle. Done

Round Trip Miles:     5012 mi (according to AAA)
Nights in "Le Droppe":     20+
Google Map:   Route Map (2nd page shows back to Seattle, WA)

Fun..  On to the next one...

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Logger’s Jubilee 2013

Never been to one, thought it would be fun, it was. Crowded, buggie, kids and allergies cut it short by a day. Lawn Mower racing, Parade, Bed Racing, Flea Market and of course the Loggers… They’re ‘Knutts’.. heheh amazing.

Went to the Loggers thing as I’ve never been to one.  It was fun and with the different events kept busy. Campsite was nice, but a little on the dark side and of course the BKT’s were out in full force along with an allergy, Gawd knows where that came from, but had to leave a day early – Med’s didn’t work. 

Met Old Dive Buddy Kelly Smith there with his rig,  beer & mosquitoes the first night.

Drove out to the Mt St Helen’s Eastern lookout. Looked like a hop-skip-jump to the Windy Ridge Site.. Yikes, big mistake.  Not only Sloooow, driving and Curvy, but bumpy, like a child’s rollercoaster.. I actually started getting Car Sick on way back.

Flea Market, lunch and then the Lawnmower racing, knutts.  They had a “Ladies” run then the “Man’s”run.  Both were Knutts… time trials , then 3-4 per race.  They put curves in the track to actually slow them down to help prevent injuries.  A few crack ups, stalls and one they actually had to push them across the finish line.  Funny.

Sponsored breakfast, bed racing – fun to watch, parade, then lunch at the arcaded and the loggers thing afternoon to night.  I Left around 4-ish or 5-ish as too much sun and tired.  Same old thing..”See a tree, Log/chop/cut/saw/throw/climb it. – done…”
Loggers? They’re “Knutts” climbing up poles and pretty much free falling down, sawing logs and with the “Dragster – Fueled Chain Saw (the stainless steel one in Pics) cut through that log in 1.9 sec..  Smoke’n to say the least.  You could smell the fuel, not gas…  but Dragster Stuff. Some chopping, axe throwing and log choking (cables around logs – 50lbs each) wore me out just watching it.  Skipped the log rolling as they all seem to be on “Morton Time”.

I was up all night with Allergies, meds didn't work at all.  Went through a half roll of TP chasing the “Running Nose”..
Decided enough already and after talking with a site next to mine having the same problem, I decided enough was enough, packed up and headed on home a day early.  Seems to be something in the area, trees I suspect but???

A fun trip, good experience but time to move on to the next “Down to earth Trip”.  Got tired of the Bugs, putting on the DEET mix (Off), Sun, Heat.   Did the Combine Demo Derby last year, this Logger thing and next year booking the Tractor pulls in Tri-cities for next year.

Round Trip Miles:     177 mi
Drive Time One Way:     1.9 hrs  (Hwy  WA 161 & WA-7)
Nights in “Le Droppe”:     5
 Links to the Campsites:  
Taidnapam Park (Tacoma Light & Power)  

Google Map:   Route Map


Tuesday, August 6, 2013

PNW Tear Drop Group Meeting

This was the 3rd Annual Camping trip of Tear Drop Trailers.  A great group.  Train ride was a highlight.

Four day weekend trip down to the Morton, WA area at Tacoma L&P Mossyrock Park. 
I drove down the inside passage and other than strip center traffic was a very nice trip through the green valleys, winding around on a 2 lane highway.

Camped in the Tent area off to the left of the park, just grass and tables, pit toilets.
Went on the Train ride, would recommend the Cab Ride, apx $75 going up so you can experience the power and fire flashes and watch the Engineer and Fireman/Tender control the beast.  You go up, pretty scenery to the train depot station, cruise around on foot to the maintenance sheds and back down.  ride is about 40 min or so.

Then back for fun and games, campfire and "Green Box" (aka pot lucks).
Weather was good, no rain, no wind, too much sun.

7/25/2013  Frank's OTRA  PNW Tear Drop Campout at Mossyrock, WA

Round Trip Miles:     206 mi
Drive Time One Way:     2.15 hrs
Nights in "Le Droppe":     3
Google Map:    Route Map 
Links to the Campsites:   

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Sunday, August 4, 2013

Zion & Bryce Canyon, Utah


Visit Bryce and Zion canyon parks. No hiking, just driving around, was nice but not mind blowing as I would have thought.

Game plan was to meet Kelly S at the KOA campsite in Cedar, UT and explore the two canyons.  It's a big place and nice to see the formations and colors.  A little driving around though and seeing the "Lava Flow" right up to the road was amazing.  

Campsite was excellent in that it was centrally located, clean, right next to town for ease of use and near the freeway for traveling along.  Did a loop from the north end to Bryce and then back across the hills to Cedar.  Nice, but long.

I'd go back but hit the Eastern side which I believe is the better side of the two.  At least we "Knocked" this side off the list, once is enough unless I got out to hike it.  Then maybe a different story.  Especially at Zion up the streams...

Photo Gallery Here 

Miles:   2220 apx 

Drive Time One Way:   12.5 hrs
Nights in "Le Droppe":   10 nights
Google Map:   Route Map 
Links to the Campsites: 
Cedar City 
(Two other ones can't remember - Twin falls, down in a gully, quite nice easy to miss and one on the way back, fergit)

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DAM Meet - Mt Shasta, CA

Crater Lake. Got to Mt Shasta, left after 20 min, too hot-buggy-dry-crowded. rerouted to Klamath Falls, Crater lake was the highlight.

Hmmmm.... Well, the best laid plans of mice & men...

It's just me, I know, I know, but after driving 10hrs from Seattle to Antlers a quick drive round about the loops and I KNEW this wasn't going to work. Luckily I met up with Sarah and Joan but alas, eventually they tried to convince me but didn't work.

After about 20-min driving around the park, aside from knowing the fellow Camp Inn campers - I left. Just couldn't see any reason to stay, not my Cup O' Tea.. min 2-6 TDs per site, mosquitoes (Sarah found those little buggars...) Wasps, dirt/dust/ hot, just not going to work. Left after about 20 mun, headed and stayed at Klamath Fall KOA which was actually nice. My thinking is KOAs are good during the OFF season.  Sort of like McDonalds, mostly clean and you know what you'll get.

After KOA (today driving for Wed was 13 hrs headed up to Palisades Park that Bob & Kathy suggested. Saw it, different name and Garmin kept saying it's .4 miles.. continued on, marina... along the river, crossed the bridge, up to the closed Deschutes park, back down a river, single lane bridge (and yes, I was getting my doubts Garmin knew where it was) back up to the butt, end up along a dusty=dirt road for about a mile and finally sunk in. Never use the GARMIN to pinpoint a state park. It shows you the center of the 20-SqMilesk miles of the park itself. went back to the park found a spot and tried to figure out what was taken or not. Figured I'd just stay to Sun when I actually had a RSVP. Sigh... I was also off a day, thinking it was Wed.. bottom line, stayed one night, now up at Maryhill SP and enjoying it. 2-3 days, not sure yet, but warm, grass open spaced... sweet...
So, I certain everyone had a good time, jut not my Cup O'Tea...

5/1/2013 Frank's OTRA DAM gathering Mt Shasta, CA

Round Trip Miles:   1176 mi appx (rerouted back via Klamath Falls)
Drive Time One Way:   9.8 via I-5
Nights in "Le Droppe":   3 nights
Google Map: Route Map 

Links to the Campsites: 


Camp-out - Lopez Island, WA

Just a weekend relaxed camping at the Beach. Love Lopez.  

Went to the Spit on the other side, but mainly just sat on the beach like bumps on a log, watching the ferry go by...
We used to dive it, but Sigh, old age and not wanted to break and ankle climbing over the rocks makes it just a "Relaxing" trip watching the ferries go  by.

Dove the bay there, not much there, just like a "Moonscape".  Rocks on the side were pretty barren when not covered by Kelp.  Just not worth dragging/cleaning/rinsing gear for a Moonscape dive.

3/27/2013 Frank's OTRA - Lopez Island, WA

Round Trip Miles: 200 mi
Drive Time One Way: 2.8 (ferry ride and wait time)
Nights in "Le Droppe": 3
Google Map: Route Map 
Links to the CampsitesOdlin Park

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Water Falls - Deschutes

Highlights of the Trip
Trying to capture the Waterfalls in the area along the Columbia River in Oregon. 

Unfortunately got "Blown Out" with Gale force winds and rain squalls.
I was able to drive around so i now know the locations and what is needed.  Also a lot of signs warning about car break-ins.  I had all my camera and computer gear in car so a little hesitant to leave it.
 Will redo after Summer.

Photo Gallery here 

Round Trip Miles:   500mi (down I-5 due to weather)
Drive Time One Way:   4.0
Nights in "Le Droppe":   2
Google Map:   Route Map 

Links to the Campsites:   Deschutes River State Park 
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Friday, February 15, 2013

Yellowstone - Winter Photo Tour

Did a fun trip over to Yellowstone with my bro, Robin from Missoula, MT, World Famous Photog IMNSHO heheh, and a group from there.  Not camping, moteling.

12 hr drive, left Seattle at noon, big mistake, ended up in Twin Falls, ID and then in the next day.  Drive home was straight through from North Entrance to Seattle, almost snow, but just beat the storm, luckily.

0700am departures, snow cat rented, can stop anytime at any place.
Great tour guides, lots of people running around on snow mobiles, looks like fun and some X-Country Skiing.

"Animules" were out, hard to adjust to the "Big Ole Bisons" just parking in the roadTechnique is to keep moving, 1mph or it'll be a 3-hr parking lot
I got caught once, LOL... and like a dumb tourist, stopped.. 

Weather was great, no snow, no wind, no blizzard so that means it's gotta be good.
Worst weather was coming back into Seattle, Rain...   

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Dog Sledding - Leavenworth

I've Always wanted to do this, so finally did.  Will do it again in Alaska, but this satisfied the urge and was fun.  These dogs "Love" to pull... biggest problem???  Holding them back, the biggest problem

Stayed at the KOA in Leavenworth, stayed there last time, close to town, power and is open.  Minimal, just took chair and small beer chest.  Got there later, hooked up computer in their WiFi and tried the Sprint phone dongle that I originally had, no signal, then did the Verizon “hot spot” from my phone and that worked, so Verizon it is..

Packed it all up and headed for dinner in town.

Talk about “Happy Drinks” Yikes… heheh a Martoonie with Pumpkin, Yeagar?, Schnapps or some 3 liquor combo, just to start, beer with meal and the “Face Plant”  151 Rum, Schnapps and coco…  and will keep that recipe, it’s a “Warmer Upper”..

Took the town photos, back to camp, no beer as needed to get up in the morning…


C-c-c-c-cold.. 18F, just ate some cheese sticks and Slimfast and headed out.  Got a little lost on a one road canyon and new GPS isn’t what it should be.

Got to the dog sledding place, it’s got to be a way of life for them, people, not the dogs.  Dogs, Alaskan Malumet? Were there just howling none stop.. They really know how to have fun, just full of energy.  Had to “Anchor” them down or they’d take off.

Got off and running and tipped over on first bend, dogs went around, but like a big semi-Truck trailer going around a tight corner sled tipped over, dogs of course kept going for about 30’…heheh.. Guide told me to expect it, might happen, so no harm done, but fun..

Then off and running up the hill, along the trails.  New trail for the dogs so a lot of stops & Starts, sniffing around.  Dogs are pretty much like cats going off in different directions, but once they settle down, they go.  The biggest problem for the “Musher” is to get them to stop..  They just wanna go…

Fun trip, worth it, might do it again, would recommend it.

Just went back to camp, hooked up and came home… nice get-a-way, not really camping, too cold, so just taking Le Droppe for sleeping…
Photo Gallery: 

 Tom & Katy Porter