Campground: Omak City park. $20 a night. Full hookups. Nice shade trees, paved pads and green green grass.
Campground: Mason County Fairgrounds. $20 a night, Electric and water. Open flat grassy sites. Next to small regional airport where they do hang gliding from airplanes. Over air Tv, two fox stations and 11 religious stations.
A new Adventure begins.
My first stop in the state of Washington is Omak. Population: 689. It’s about 100 miles south of the Canadian boarder and is in what’s called the desert high country. I decided to stay two nights, so I could tour the
countryside and visit the Coulee Dam. It currently can produce the most electricity in the US and I believe the world, though that status will change shortly. Had a guided tour down into the 3rd and newest power generation plant. Even from above, I could feel the vibration and power of the water traveling through the concrete channel ways to the generators. The two facts that I found amazing is that the total cost of the dam and generators was around one billion dollars and that the power generated creates a billion dollar profit each year that goes directly to the Treasury department. Now if we could just build enough of them, we would never have a budget deficit. It was built starting in 1933 and completed just as we entered WWII in 1942.
Note: it’s not as impressive looking as the Hover dam, but provides more power to the 11 surrounding states and is the largest concrete structure in the US.
This desert high country around here is quite arid. Though the Columbia river provides not only power but enough water to irrigate over one million acres of land. Lots of fruit trees, hay and grain fields and I understand as more vineyards go in due to the wealth of irrigation in the area that Washington will eventually surpass all other states in the production of wine.
It’s an interesting land with some pine forests, lots of rugged native grass lands, volcanic rock occasionally poking through and the ever present greenway along the Columbia river. And it’s hot! It’s reached 101 both days I’ve been here, but has cooled off some (92) due to a hazy overcast sky this late Friday afternoon. My A/C has been working overtime and I’ve had to turn off all appliances to forestall another circuit breaker popping.
Two fires started in the area, thick smoke rising above the mountain ranges. As I headed out the next day, I was able to see the fires climbing along the western ridge of a mountain range. The Valleys filled with stagnant smoke hanging in the air.
I drove most of the following day. Traveling south on 97, then hooking up to Interstate 90, hwy 18, Interstate 99 (now you know your on the west coast when the interstate numbers are this high) and finally onto the 101 heading onto the Olympic peninsula. Lots of heavy interstate traffic, something I haven’t seen all summer long. South bound was a continuous flow. North bound was stop and go traffic. Highways that become parking lots.
I finally reached Shelton, my stop for a couple of weeks while I visit friends in the area and fly
back to Orlando to renew my drivers license. (this is the year I have to do it in person). Just as I entered the Shelton area my GPS died on me (the battery stopped charging, something wrong with the power cord). Not knowing the exact location to the campground I was going to stay in, I got off the highway and drove into the small town of Shelton in search of the visitors center for directions. It being closed of course, I met two “gentlemen” on the street and asked for directions. They were very happy to do so, come to find out they were, as the saying goes, stinking drunk. Most pleasant in every way otherwise and they each had a name tag stuck to their shirts. How nice that they help the inebriated by labeling them in case they forget who they are. I got my directions and headed to the campground.
I’m staying at the Mason County Fairgrounds and it‘s only about a city block from the Super Wal-Mart. Tom and Chris have had me over to their stunning home along the water. Huge fir trees surround the property. Just to get to their home one has to drive along a couple of miles of park like setting winding it’s way along thick evergreens until it eventually opens up to views of homes hugging the sides of steep hillsides leading to the waters edge.
I’ll be doing some touring of the Olympia peninsula with them and of course I should get over to Seattle as well.
I’m exhausted. We’ve been touring the peninsula from end to end or should I say from Port Townsend to the Pacific Ocean and back. I’m really enjoying the campsite at the county fairgrounds, big grassy sites with expansive views and the small airport with it’s hang gliders. Lots of fun to watch. We checked out another park I had intended on staying in when I got back, but it was so overgrown and the sites so tight, I decided to stay where I am.
Having friends that will take the time to bring you to out of the way places. Like the castle that Tom and Chris showed me on the Olympia Peninsula that a guy built for his new bride. She left him shortly afterwards and there sits this castle with one eyed Cyclops and fruit vineyards surrounding it. To read more on this story READ FEUD POISONING.
Took the ferry from Bremerton (a major navy shipyard) over to Seattle to visit with my good buddies Jimmy and John. They showed me around the town a bit, had lunch down at the Market near the waterfront. Lots of tourists down in that area. We then went on Seattle’s own subway and busses for even more touring. What a gorgeous city. It’s a real people oriented city, great for walking, oh and maybe a cocktail at one of the outdoor café’s, with Tiffany’s, J-Crew and Nordstrom’s just across the street. Lots of local upscale shops and great bookstores as well. There are at least five districts in town and they are all vibrant active parts of this new city.
How nice to meet up with friends I’ve met while camping along the way and have a chance to see the world through their eyes.
I could babble on, but for once will stop here until next time.
and you know there are tons of pictures on my picasa site.