Campground: Gust Backstrom City Park, Morton. $30 full hookups 30 amp. Cooler temperatures, scenic mountain area near Mt Reiner. Make sure you go past the check in office/house, the best campsites are down on a large grassy and nicely spaced treed area closer to the river. Large open sites.
Distance traveled: 142 miles
|Twin Falls Idaho to the Olympia Peninsula Washington|
What a nice drive along hwy 12, over White Pass at 4,500 ft. The grade leading up to White Pass was gradual and though the road is a two lane road I was able to travel at a speed of around 50 mph. Probably not a good thing, though the truck performed well towing uphill. Though I did notice once I got to the summit, my transmission temperature had risen considerably. First time that’s ever happened and probably because I was driving at a pretty good speed most of the way. Usually I travel behind a large semi-truck which forces me to drive at a slower speed. Up hill.
I have noticed on this trip that the tow-light does not come on when I press it into tow mode and the manual shifting is not responding. Hoping it’s not a big issue, other than that the truck is performing nicely and I even got decent fuel mileage even going over this mountainous terrain.
Morton is just an overnight stop before I head to the Olympia Peninsula tomorrow where I’ll spend a couple of weeks. Though this would be a great place to tour Mt Rainier and Mt St Helen.
Distance traveled: 104 miles
The Olympia Peninsula, I’ve arrived for my summer stay on this wonderful peninsula. The inner part of the peninsula is considered a rain forest, though I’ve arrived during a dry part of the season, a bit unusual perhaps for this time of year, but I’m sure I’ll enjoy it non the less. I’m staying on remote Hartstene Island. Jarrell State park is on the tip of the island and serves the boating community with a dock and campsites.
|wonderful wooded trails|
|Sandy and Erik at Jarrell St Pk|
I’m having to deal with skin cancer once again on my forehead and am working on getting appointments at a dermatologist in the area to have surgery on the affected area. It is a bit of a pain (no pun intended) to find a doctor that will take a new patient and have the procedure done quickly. But I’m working on it and hopefully will have good results within about a month. In the meantime, I get to enjoy a most beautiful area of the country along with good friends. One couldn’t ask for a better situation.
Well, along with having to deal with that, I’ve also got an issue with my truck and will be bringing it in for it’s own diagnostics and possible surgery as well. Sandy and Erik are such good sports in helping me deal with dropping it off and providing transportation while it’s in the shop.
|Jarrell State Park|
|huge ferns everywhere|
That evening, after we had a happy hour chat around a non-campfire (burn ban in place) I went inside the camper and continued reading Tom Robins memoir called Tibetan Peach Pie. Tom is a favorite writer of mine with a esoteric and weird sense of high adventure story telling ability. And he has lived in the Seattle Washington area for years. As I read on into the evening, I got to the passage where he describes his one and only experience trying LSD. It being the early 60’s and an article in LIFE magazine spurred his interest in the psychedelic drug. His experience was in a controlled environment led by a professor at from the Washington University in Seattle. Having just digested the story I heard a rapping on my door. Thinking it was my friends Sandy or Erik, I opened the door and looked out a short stocky gal dressed in dark baggy clothing, who asked me if I had a blanket? She said she was cold and didn’t have a tent or anything. It was dark outside and I couldn’t get a real good look at her, but her soft voice and obvious need for warmth spurred me onto being a good Samaritan. I quickly got an extra Mexican blanket out of storage and handed it to her as she drifted off into the night.
The next morning, having talked with Sandy, I discovered the gal was high on something (probably not LSD as in the story I‘d been reading). My next door neighbors who by chance have an Open Range travel trailer (what good taste) had given the girl some food last night as well. Sandy and Erik ended up calling the sheriff who came and got the gal who had already broken some branches and was probably going to try to make a fire in a fire restricted area. Come to find out she had broken her probation and had a arrest warrant waiting for her.
A bit of low key excitement for a normally very quite park. Along with a vehicle that drove into the dead end park around 11pm. What was that all about? I would later learn that the local islanders often come into the park to use the showers and fill gallon jugs with water. Apparently the locals on the island have minimal water availability at their homes. Sandy telling me that one woman with rather wild hair often comes into the park to get water and shower as she lives in a tree-house.
|bad part identified and replaced|
Truck update: Good news on the truck. The diagnosis was that the SL-N-Lever, which controls the manual shifting (+/- control button) and the tow mode button was bad. When the stick was removed, the mechanic said the wire connections were damaged and just broke off. Apparently it’s an item that fails often as the Chevy dealer had plenty of them in stock. Replacement cost: $260.00, what a relief it wasn’t anything more serious. Lloyd’s Automotive and Transmission Specialists of Olympia Wash. Were great at fixing the problem quickly and at a very reasonable price.
Skin cancer surgery. More good news. A clinic in Tacoma Washington will be able to get me in tomorrow for the surgery at 8:30 in the morning after an unexpected cancellation. Exceptional since it would normally take 6 to 8 weeks to get an appointment. Taking care of a problem before it gets out of control.
|my dermatologist's vehicle|
|look Ma, I have a halo|
This is the fourth time I’ve had surgery on skin cancer on my face and forehead and the second time on this particular spot on the top of my head. A very professional staff, great service and pleasant experience if one has to have a whole cut into their head so to speak to remove the cancer. Heated and massage lounge chair to lay back on while the surgery is done. Large flat screen TV available for viewing while waiting for the results between each session.
And it only took two tries to get it all this time. Stitched up and I’ll be like new in a few weeks. I was hoping the Doctor could nip and tuck a little bit tighter and harder with the stitches and I’d get a free face lift, but it was not to happen.
|Little Creek Casino Resort|
I’ll be on this wonderful island retreat in the Puget Sound until Sunday when I’ll move down to Shelton and a casino site that has very nice RV sites. More about this campsite in the next report.
|this could be a bit suggestive... look closely|
|very reasonable pencil line art|
|the Park Ranger, a thank-you bouquet for a great stay|
Laundry day, (thanks to Sandy for letting me use the private campground washer/dry) a quick trip to the local farmers market with a few craft vendors including a coffee vendor selling some of the famous coffee from up here, then back to the campground for a day with the other weekend campers enjoying a day in the deep forests of the North West. Cool temperatures in the 64-72 degree range during the day with partial clouds and sun. Crows cawing, kids laughing, adults cleaning grills and preparing breakfast and lunch outdoors. Raga music drifting across the air adding a rhythmic beat to the day as another week in the great outdoors comes to an end.
|a few more shots from Jarrell park|
|a great place to get a deli style lunch|
|down on the boat docks, lots of flowers|
|Olympia, where boating is everything|
|what a shade of blue!|
|great shops to rummage through|
|new downtown apartments and shops|
Enjoy the day, find adventure wherever you are, and put a smile on someone’s face.