Monday, July 12, 2010

Because we haven't done any traveling since buying the house, we decided to take a 4-day trip during the week (to avoid the weekend crowds). So Tuesday, after the 4th, we packed up and headed north.

The main purpose of our trip was not only to get out of the house for a while, but to also check out some places on which to report for the Day's End (a listing of free and inexpensive places to spend the night or longer sponsored by the Escapees RV Club).

We headed off toward Newport, first, taking a detour through Elk because someone had told us there was camping along Lake of the Woods northeast of there. We didn't find any camping anywhere around the lake...oh, there was a small pulloff beside the lake, but it's not someplace *I'd* spend the night. However, we got our binoculars out and saw several turtles lined up on an old log laying in the lake and a Belted Kingfisher.

We stopped to have lunch in Newport and then checked out Pioneer Park (a USFS campground), Skookum Creek (a free Washington Department of Natural Resources campground), and South Skookum Lake (another USFS campground), as well as a boondocking area listed in the Day's End and Kings Lake Sno Park just south of South Skookum Lake Campground, which is where we spent the night.

On Wednesday morning we continued north on Le Clerc Road (on the east side of the Pend Oreille River) and checked out Panhandle (a USFS campground), and then crossed the river to go into Ione to pick up a few items at their grocery store. We then went back across the river and up Sullivan Lake Road to check out Noisy Creek, West Sullivan Lake, East Sullivan Lake, and Mill Pond campgrounds (all USFS).

After pulling off in Metaline Falls' City Park to have lunch, we drove into Metaline and then up CR-2975 to Boundary Dam. We also drove up to Crawford State Park where Gardner Cave is, hoping to take a tour, but the park was closed (I found out later that it's closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays....bummer). We did find a campground on Boundary Lake just before getting to the dam, a free Seattle City Light campground.

We then headed back south along SR-31, stopping at a rest stop and taking a walk to view a waterfall. While neither one of us remembers if the rest stop indicated the name, we think the waterfall is on Sweet Creek from looking at Google Maps (N48.824172, W117.397177).

We turned off onto SR-20 heading west and spent the night at Lake Leo Campground, another USFS campground. We'd been here earlier in the year and it was a free campground at that time. It now costs $16 or $8 with the Senior or Access Passes.

Thursday morning, we got up, packed everything, and headed to Colville for breakfast and to get diesel.

We then continued west on SR-20, stopping at Canyon Creek and Sherman Overlook Campgrounds (both USFS campgrounds) before getting to Republic where we dump tanks at the dump station just north of the Shell station.

After dumping tanks, we headed north on SR-21 to Curlew where we headed east on Deer Creek Road (CR-602), stopping at the Deer Creek Sno Park where we spent the night.

On Friday, before leaving the Sno Park, Earl was looking closely at the map on a reader board and noticed it showed a campground just above us, so we drove up the road and, sure enough, there was a small campground there...Deer Creek Campground! If we'd known about it, we would have spent the night there instead of at the Sno Park!

We continued heading east on Deer Creed Road until we got to US-395 where we headed south, checking out Kettle River and Kamloops Island Campgrounds, both NPS campgrounds in the Lake Roosevelt NRA. After crossing the Columbia River again, we headed south on SR-25 checking out Cloverleaf, Gifford, and Hunters Campgrounds, all part of the Lake Roosevelt NRA.

We arrived home in the afternoon, unloaded the camper, took showers, and just relaxed the rest of the night.