I can’t believe summer is really kind of over and we’ve been on the road for almost seven weeks already. Despite some days of despairing that I am missing out on seeing things because I am constantly going to the grocery store or sorting through boxes looking for stuff I need, I think we are doing better than expected. The kids are very good-natured about everything, K is doing a great job driving all the time and Teddy has settled into a great traveling dog. Nothing truly awful has happened yet – allowing us to get a foundation of good experiences to help us weather the disasters that might await us.
Now that it is the end of summer, I am less worried about getting reservations ahead of time and we are able to plan just a week or two ahead. We are currently in Kalispell, Montana at an awesome campground. Our plan was to explore Glacier National Park instead of Yellowstone but Glacier was kind of a bust because I wasn’t feeling well and it was really crowded and we were not able to stop enough in the limited areas where dogs were allowed.
Glacier National Park was truly beautiful but would have been better without a dog or if we could have stayed in the park itself rather than 30 miles away. Seeing all the people hiking around while we were stuck in slow-moving Going-to-the-Sun-Road traffic was maddening. We decided to make up for that by taking a detour to Yellowstone for 3 days. I found an RV park 1/2 mile from the West Yellowstone entrance that also borders a National Forest (where dogs are allowed on the trails). I think that’s going to make it easier for some of us to take a 1/2 day trip into Yellowstone while the others hike with Teddy in the forest area.
We are going to have to keep an eye out for more National Forest areas. Today we went on a short hike in a pretty much deserted lake area of the Flathead National Forest bordering Glacier National Park. Felt much more freeing than the crowded National Park area.
D got to really try out his homemade sling and launch rocks far into the lake.
With the detour to Yellowstone and some extra days we booked at Custer State Park near Mount Rushmore, we are probably now a week behind our original plan to get to NYC by Labor Day. We may rush a bit through the Great Lakes region because we’ll have time to come back to that area in May.
Update on Oregon Coast and Washington
We had too much moving around and wifi issues to keep up with the blog. After Portland, I felt like we had missed out on the Oregon Coast and we had some extra time so we backtracked to Newport, Oregon. Beaches in Oregon are nice and cool and the sand is hardpacked and dogs are allowed on the beach so those were all wins for us!
From the Oregon Coast, we went up to the Olympic Peninsula in Washington, staying close to the Hoh Rainforest. Again, dogs were not allowed on the trails so we had to split up and go in shifts. I seem to be missing a bunch of my pictures but it was rainforesty. A side trip to Ruby Beach was my favorite, even though it was treacherous trying to manage Teddy down the slippery trail and over all the rocks.
Our next stop was just one night near Cape Flattery – the most northwestern corner of the contiguous United States. We ended up staying in a scarily deserted RV park in the middle of nowhere in Neah Bay (maybe more on that later). If I thought Ruby Beach was treacherous, I had no idea what I was in for with the hike out to Cape Flattery – definitely not a good place to try to manage a 70lb dog that can hear the call of the waves but doesn’t understand that they are coming from over a sheer cliff. Amazing views, though!
Our next three nights in Sequim were kind of a bust for me. I thought because Sequim had a Costco that there would be more going on there. We spent our first night in a (free) Walmart parking lot and two nights at a lavender-overload retired person RV park that made me feel like we ought to be whispering all the time. BUT, we did go to the Olympic Game Farm where you can drive through and feed the animals from your car.
Seattle and Spokane
We had two nights each in Seattle and Spokane, staying at KOAs. Bummer the pool was out of service in Seattle but A got an early birthday surprise trip to see the Mariners play his beloved Braves and I got to reconnect with a dog training colleague for a night out without kids or dog.
Not much happened in Spokane because we got there late and it was a little hot and there were no restaurants nearby where we could sit outside with a dog, but Teddy found a Shepherd girlfriend in the dog run. See? That’s what happens when I neglect my blogging – I forget what we even did!
Coming up next – Teddy gets his own post because he has BIG NEWS!