WheRVe we been? Our travels, 3rd quarter 2021

Looks like we flung a couple of ramen noodles at a map, and then tried to follow them around the northwest this summer. Allow me to help unravel the squiggles.

We started where we left off last quarter, in Coeur d’Alene, ID.
From there, we traveled in WA to Yakima –> Ashford –> Port Townsend –> Cashmere before landing back in Coeur d’Alene again for a couple of weeks.
Then we rolled allll the way over to Glacier NP in MT, and allll the way back to Soap Lake, WA.
After that, we made our way to OR, for visits to the Tillamook and Bend areas.
RV miles traveled this quarter: about 2370 
(Map does not reflect exact routing.)

Why all the loopiness?

Our summer was a mashup of pre-planned events interspersed with family visits that had to be finagled where and when our family members were available, plus logical places to layover during the in-betweens, plus recalculations when not one, but two planned events were canceled with less than 2 weeks notice (one fell to COVID, one to wildfire smoke). So yeah, our brains ended up looking a little like twisted noodles too.

I’ll take you on a brief tour of each of our ten major stops. Ready?

Coeur d’Alene, ID ~ June 27 to July 18

It’s a home for us. Tim went to high school there, friends still live in the area, and his folks still visit about once a year. We were lucky to spend time with them both times we swung through this summer.

Yakima, WA ~ July 18-22

It was just a 4-night stop to have some work done on the truck, but we scored on finding a quiet state park within bicycling distance of the repair shop. We celebrated our 29th anniversary at a downtown eatery on our first night, and the only other item of note was actually rather embarrassing.

Ashford, WA ~ July 22-25

Another score: a Harvest Hosts location only 5 miles from the SW entrance to Mount Rainier National Park. With host permission we stayed 3 nights, spent accordingly in their cafe, and were thus able to put in two unrushed hiking days, with gloriously sunny weather and clear views.

Port Townsend, WA ~ July 25 to August 3

Our boy! Our big boy lives in Port Townsend and we hadn’t seen him for 19 months. Oh… ummm… actually both of our boys are big, at 6’2″, but this one’s the first born. And we hadn’t seen him for 19 months. Did I say that already?

Cashmere, WA ~ August 3-10

This is an easy one. Already wrote about it! We celebrated 6 years on the road at the Escapees Cascade Mountains Hangout, during which we went on a scavenger hunt, and went hiking, and went tubing on the river, and had potlucks, and toured a candy factory, and went to a musical, and pretty much pretended we were kids at summer camp again.

Happy 6th annRVsary to us!

Coeur d’Alene, ID ~ August 10-24

We had two weeks to kill before our next event, and Cd’A was along the way, so it made sense to land amongst our people again.

Glacier National Park ~ August 24 to September 1

Time for our second round of “summer camp,” at the Escapees Glacier Country Hangout. The directors planned an incredibly varied slate of activities, and we saw more of the park than we would have on our own: west side, east side, trails, lakes, and guided tours. I cannot pick a favorite excursion or photo, and that’s why you get 12 in this slide show instead of only 4 or 5.

Soap Lake, WA ~ September 2-7

This stop was a last-minute addition. We learned that Tim’s other sister and her husband would be staying at Soap Lake in their new-to-them camper, and then Tim’s folks decided to join them in their new-to-them camper, so we grabbed a site at a campground right down the road, and voila! We had a plan for Labor Day Weekend.

Garibaldi & Tillamook, OR ~ September 8-19

When one door closes (like say, an event we’d registered to attend in WA that was COVID cancelled), another one opens (like say, a third Hangout with a spot available). And that’s how we ended up at the Escapees Oregon Coast Hangout: skidding in sideways at the comparative last minute. We were not at all sad about another week of fun in an area we’d not explored.

Sisters & Bend, OR ~ September 19-30

We found a great place to boondock, and set off on several adventures from there. Mornings were chilly, but the sun came out and warmed up our days, making for perfect hiking and backpacking weather. We squeezed in a pretty wide variety of activities, and have more on our list for an eventual return visit.

Where to next?

We’re now making our way to the Salt Lake City area, where Tim will savor some solo time while I fly to VA for Girl Time, and the fewer details I release about that, the better. Suffice it to say that since we canceled last year’s annual gathering (our 26th) because of the pandemic, we will likely make up for it with double the indulgences this year, and I cannot wait. I’ve even added nights on each end to spend even more time with more girlfriends from my Norfolk-based sisterhood. We were stationed there from 2004-2010, and I still miss the strong sense of community.

After I’ve recovered from the eatingdrinkinglaughingandhardlysleeping hangover, we roll to Hobbs, NM, for the 2-week Escapees Habitat for Humanity Hangout. It’ll feel good to get back to giving back, getting our hands dirty, and sharing the experience with other like-minded RVers. Plus, I’ll get a chance to pull those leftover brownies out of my freezer and upcycle them into something decadent for a potluck dessert.

From there, we’ll roll to Palo Duro Canyon State Park near Amarillo, TX, for about a week. It’s been on our list since before we even started RVing, and we’ve not managed to hit it right a single one of the umpteen times we’ve gone in and out of TX since 2015. This time, I made a reservation — at a highly uncharacteristic 6 months in advance!

After that, it’s back to homebase San Antonio for a few weeks of catching up with family & friends, routine annual medical and dental checks, and holy crap how are we this close to the holidays again already?

So ummm… happy new year? I’m sure I’ll post at least one fresh blog between now and then, and as ever, you can follow us on Facebook, Instagram and/or Twitter for more frequent updates as we roll along.


We started full-timing in August of 2015, but I didn’t think to do an annual review until the end of 2016, and it was just a listing on Facebook of places we’d visited. After that, I started using a quarterly format.

WheRVe we been? Our travels, 3rd quarter 2020

We put some miles on, y’all!

And thanks to friends in remote places, we were able to feel safe about where we stayed — a fair trade for making a big diamond around CO instead of spending time exploring it as we’d originally hoped to do this summer.

Just in time for fall, we drew you a leaf!
We went from TX to AZ to UT to MT to WY, and added our 40th RV state by spending a night in NB on our way back to TX.
RV miles traveled this quarter: about 4338
(Map does not reflect exact routing.)

1st major stop: 45 miles outside Kanab, UT, on private land belonging to friends of friends, who are now our friends

When I wrote last quarter that we’d planned to head northward to cool off, but didn’t really have a specific itinerary, our friends, David & Cheryl Goldstein of Landmark Adventures said, “Well, if you don’t know where you’re going, why not stay with us on the way?”

It was impossible to argue with that kind of logic.

They’d set up housekeeping in southern UT, on land belonging to fellow Escapees, Cindi & Roger, who we’d somehow managed not to meet at the Escapees Baja Mexico Hangout that we all attended in February, but we quickly made up for that lost opportunity during our very private, 12-day “Socially Distanced Unofficial Hangout Limited to 6 Escapees.”

Getting to our secluded enclave involved a 45-minute drive out a dirt road, from a point that was a 30-minute drive from the nearest town. Now that’s remote!

Getting into our designated site was a challenge that required navigating tight turns, narrow pathways, tree branches, and the other two RVs.
Tim likes to call this video “How I performed a 187-point turn into a tight spot in only two minutes.”
(We were aiming for that yellow square.)
I like to call it, “Keep your eye on your wife, and you might get a fun little dance at the end.”
The view from the property was well worth the parking hassle.
Got a little warm inside the RV, though.
Usually means it’s time to head north when I shout, “Honey, the coconut oil has liquified!”
We did some hiking through mystical rock formations…
(Location: Lick Wash Trail)
Location: Peek-a-boo Slot Canyon
… and rented one of these so that all 6 of us could go on a “motor assisted hike”
(Cindi & Roger drove their own).
Seriously, though. Who wouldn’t have a good time with a group like this?

2nd major stop: Thompson Falls, MT, for a birthday celebration that was worth the travel

We’d decided months and months before we’d even heard the word “Coronavirus,” that one way or another, Tim was going to find a way to be with his parents for his father’s 80th birthday in August.

You think we’re moving targets? You should try keeping track of my in-laws!

As it turned out, we were able to meet in Montana to celebrate about two weeks early, with the added bonus of doing so with one of Tim’s sisters and her husband.

So many of us missed multiple milestone events with our families this year. We are exceptionally thankful that this one happened.

Tim and the Birthday Dad at Kootenai Falls
Tim, his mom, dad, brother-in-law, and sister shaking things up on the swinging bridge,
just downriver from the falls
We climbed all over Thompson Falls, and let the record show that Tim’s folks
went up even higher than I did.
Pretty little riverside town.
Visit Thompson Falls
From Thompson Falls, we made a long day trip to Glacier National Park.
The marmot wanted Tim’s dad to put down the camera and just let him into the rental car.
He clearly knew that cars and humans mean food, and he was not wrong.
We did indeed have a whole day’s worth of snacks onboard.
Now if this guy had asked?
I think we’d have let him have all the snacks, and probably the car too.
“Just take the keys, Mr. Grizzly, sir. It’s allllll yours.”

3rd major stop: Meeteetse, WY, on private land belonging to friends we’d met in January

Hey, remember when we helped clean Carlsbad Caverns by picking lint with teensy little paintbrushes? That’s where we met Debra & Larry, and learned that they own 20 acres of property about 30 miles south of Cody. But when we parted with, “Hey, we’ll let you know if we come your way in our travels,” we didn’t really know it would be so soon.

But summer safety this year meant avoiding crowds, and Wyoming makes it really easy to do that (population of the state of WY = 1/3 population of the city of San Antonio).

We thought we’d boondock on Debra & Larry’s little piece of paradise for about a week, but it turned into a whole month!

Not only is Meeteetse small, but our location was on a gravel ranch road, about
4 miles from the heart of town.
A typical experience: evening drinks and shared dinners at the pole barn
The lifestyle common to our friends, both Wyoming natives, was not typical at all for us.
What a gift that they shared so many of their experiences with us.
These included a 7-mile hike with two humans on foot, two on horseback (I took this photo from the saddle, y’all!), three doggies, and a random herd of cows…
… fishing for our supper …
… canine assisted kayaking …
… stand-up paddle boarding …
… making chili using ground elk instead of ground beef or turkey …
… and making judicious use of an outhouse, which allowed us to save enough space in our black tank that we didn’t have to find a dump station until we were ready to leave,
which was 3 weeks later than planned…
… but was also just in time.
Debra texted us this pic of our “yard” just a few hours after we left on Labor Day.
We knew the storm was coming, and we made it eastward to Casper in time.
We woke up to about 4″ of snow there the next morning.
Debra & Larry got 4-6 feet, and couldn’t open their RV door!

Where to next?

Wellllllll, we’ve got medical appointments keeping us in San Antonio through the first week of November.

After that, we’re not sure. We’ve talked about moochdocking with friends in Pensacola, FL, for part of the winter, or boondocking in the southwest. The latter would put us in better position for a springtime run up to WA to visit family there, as we missed our older boy & his girl this year, along with Tim’s other sister and her family.

We’ll figure it out, and as ever, you can follow us on Facebook, Instagram and/or Twitter for updates as we go.

“It certainly was not the summer we had planned, but it was the summer we needed.”
~ that wise friend mentioned above, David Goldstein

We started full-timing in August of 2015, but I didn’t think to do an annual review until the end of 2016, and it was just a listing on Facebook of places we’d visited. After that, I started using a quarterly format.