Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Our 2nd RV Trip! With Lots of Pictures...

So after months of keeping our little Chalet in storage we were finally able to take it out again last week.  OK, so we took it to the same park as last time (20 miles away) just to relearn some things and we DID come back to town for a few hours on Friday afternoon (I had a haircut appointment.)  Eric checked on the kitties and we did 2 loads of laundry.

But we also did great with our packing of clothes and food.  We divided up cooking duties with Eric BBQing chicken on the electric BBQ while I sauteed veggies on the stove inside.  And we have become more adept at where to put things inside the RV, both our individual items and things we need in the kitchen and living area.

We relaxed indoors and outdoors, taking in the breathless view of the majestic Columbia River.  Sitting outside with a book or a beverage is the thing to do. A constant breeze blew through the park at all hours, which was really nice on those hotter days.

In the mornings we adapted to our surroundings by taking a 5 mile walk to get our 10,000 steps in before breakfast.  It was more of an adjustment for me because I go to the gym at Eric's work every morning while he walks around our neighborhood.  But Eric is not used to big rigs and other cars blazing their way past him while he's walking.  The road near the RV park dead ends by some farms and it is just about 5000 steps to the dead end and then another 5000 back to the park.

For meals we took the Nutribullet and tons of bananas and apples for our vitamin shakes in the morning.  Lunches were combos of fruit, chips and salsa, and other snacks.  Dinners were BBQed chicken with different veggies on the side.

On our first full day we took a drive and ended up near Merwin Dam and Reservoir.  There is a nice  park area there with a playground for the kids, lots of covered picnic seating, and decent restrooms.  The drive itself, 40 miles round-trip, was lovely, as we made our way through densely forested areas along the river.  As lunchtime neared, we ended up enjoying some great Mexican food at El Tapatio in Woodland.

Here are some pictures!  Most of them show the dramatic sunrise on our last morning.

To view them full-sized (which I highly recommend after going through and reading the captions,) click on the pictures.

All set up on Wednesday afternoon. We didn't get a spot right on the river this time, but it was nice to be so close to the showers.  Our Chalet has a little shower, but we wanted more space.

Eric making the chicken on night #1.  We bought some sea salt hickory rub from a stall at the lake during the Go Fourth! activities.  Eric experimented with it twice before we took the RV out.  It is very good!

My adorable husband showing off the finished product before we sat down to eat.  One night we had onions/mushrooms/broccoli on the side.  Another night we had zucchini.  The third night?  Well, Eric had Quiznos and I had eggs and an apple!  As you can see our set up inside is simple, but perfect for us.

Thursday at Merwin Reservoir.  There were only 2 families there, picnicking right on the sand.  The weather was just right and the view was gorgeous.  See that thing that looks like a string across the water?  That is as far as you are allowed to swim.  There was also a big salmon hatchery nearby for those who eat farmed salmon.  We only eat wild Sockeye. It's so much better! 

The sun sets a lot later in the Pacific Northwest during the summer!  This is 8pm on Friday night.  Look at those fancy rigs with their side-outs.  Most of the RVs at the park were huge Class As or 5th wheels.  The most interesting one was a Rockwood Pop Up A Frame trailer. 
The Rockwood A Frame:  Tiny and with no bathroom! We looked up the price and it is comparable to what we paid for our 2001 Winnebago.  Still, it sleeps 4 (snug,)has a fridge, microwave, stove, plus AC. 
One of the things I really like about the Riverfront RV Park is the extensive grassy area and trees.  If you want to be in the shade, you can.  If you want to be in the sun, you can.  I set up my chair partway between sun and shade and read my Kindle.  The breeze blew by as I watched fishermen, boats, ships, and even saw a tug boat pushing, not pulling, a barge down the river.

Friday's sunset, around 9:30pm. 

Time to walk!  Around 6am Saturday morning.  The sunrise put on quite a show. 

Next door to the park was a field with this lone, beautiful horse.  I would say hello to him (or her) every time I walked past.

The morning view while walking against traffic. As you can see, not really conducive to pedestrians, so we walked in single file and stepped to the side when a car was coming.  To the left was a long slough that the farms on the right use for irrigation. In the middle of the slough is a long island, and on the other side is the river.

Crossing the slough is an old railway bridge.

Down the road is the house below, with its own little lake behind it with a canoe, a trampoline, guesthouse, 2 playhouses and some other outbuildings.  There is also a barn and silo.

The main house.  Pretty drool-worthy!  Anyone familiar with the Woodland area know who lives there?

The barn and silo to the left of the house.

Mother Nature was not to be outdone.This was the photo I got as the morning walk continued.  The sunrise coming over the hills on the right made for some dramatic lighting. 

Eric likes this picture.  The stream of the sprinkler matches the shape of the mist by the hills in the background.

Almost at the end of the road was a field with lots of cows.  Most ignored me, but a few were fascinated.  That little guy on the left with the white face stared at me the entire time I walked past and back again.  I waved. 

With a little help editing in the Afterlight app, this photo got a bit of a boost.  I like pictures with layers of sky, trees, water, and ground.

Yes, city girls like me get entertained by seeing a tractor in the middle of a field.

I like the tire tracks left behind.  It just reminded me of the importance of staying on the right path.

Walking on the return trip to the RV park I had to take one more picture of this property and its surrounding area.  It's like an oasis.

We had a great time on our little 3 night/4 day trip.  We met some nice people and enjoyed the weather and scenery.  The RV lifestyle is still pretty new for us, but despite the amount of work that goes into packing and unloading everything (if you want it, you have to take it!) it is cool to be able to be in your own space.

Like I said, we do things simply in many way compared to some of the "mansions on wheels" we saw at the park.  Just sleeping bags and blankets for us.  But we did bring our gotta-have-it necessities, like the Nutribullet, the Soda Stream, and we watched a movie on Eric's laptop. A River Runs Through It--perfect movie for those surroundings. We also set up speakers with the iPod so we could listen to our favorite tunes.

We are hoping, fingers crossed, to be able to take the RV out again next week.  Hopefully to Gig Harbor, WA, which I've always wanted to see, and which will be a little further than 20 miles away (more like 140.)  That's the great thing, is that you take your little turtle shell full of your own things anywhere you want.  It may not be fancy, but we're happy with it.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Happy 4th!

Hey everyone, we hope you had a great 4th of July!

Our last few days have been spent walking around the stalls at the nearby lake and looking at the myriad of doodads they sell.  A lot of it is *pretty* junky, but I did find a cute jewelry set that I'm looking forward to wearing to church on Sunday and Eric bought some sea salt rub for BBQing. He found a table top electric BBQ grill, which will be great for the RV, and has cooked chicken the past 2 days using the hickory rub he bought.  Wow, is it good!  Hubby's got skills.

I met my weight goal a week ago today...WOOHOO!!!!!  And now I'm working on staying within that little 5lb window, but we did indulge on some of the food during the Go Fourth event.  Who can say no to a Pioneer Burger made by the local Lions Club?  Apparently not me, because on Friday I had 2!  (Not at the same time.)  With working out every day and eating right the rest of the time it didn't make a big impact on my weight.  After all, 4th of July only rolls around once a year, right?  Those burgers are amazing and ...dare I say it?  Maybe even better than a Double Double from In n Out.  Yes, I said it.

If you are interested in reading more about my weight loss and my current maintenance goals you can visit my other blog HERE.  And here's a scary before and after photo.  No more yo-yo dieting for this lady! Two words:  Size 8.  OK, one more word:  FITBIT. My tool for success.

Yesterday I taught Relief Society at church, something I enjoy doing and only get to do a couple of times a year now as a member of the presidency.  My topic was Loving Ourselves as God Loves Us, something I feel very strongly about, especially as I've been doing a lot of self-analysis these past few months with my weight loss journey.  As I explained yesterday during my lesson, I don't think I was being as kind to myself as I thought, which was clearly exhibited in some of my previous habits.

So, what's on the horizon?  

Finally, finally, we've made some plans to take our RV out.  Between the weather and Eric's schedule, the poor thing has been pretty neglected.  That's about to change.

And I've made my plans for Utah next month.  I'm heading back to Education Week 2014 on the BYU campus for another year in a row.  No doggie companion this year and my mom has opted not to go, but I'll still have a fun time with our friend, Darla, in Orem, and enjoying the huge variety of classes offered on campus.  Ticket is bought, hotel plans are made, and I've even checked into local gyms where I can work out in the mornings.  I'm excited!

The weather is beautiful, we've got camping plans, and Utah plans, and Eric has most of the month off from work.  Things are good!