Sunday, May 4, 2014


     The first two weeks of our adventure have been just that.  Traveling the northern route from Michigan to Washington during April results in many surprises not normally seen in summer.  We had to detour around a major spring snowstorm in Minnesota north nearly to Saskatchewan and ended up finally in Grand Forks, ND.   This put us a day behind.  We stayed in a surprisingly still closed campground in Ironwood, MI hooked up to the owners garage power, but our slider was too frozen to open.  We stayed at a truck stop in Grand Forks, ND parked in the back and ran off our generator power, but used their showers (nice and hot).  We stayed at two commercial RV camps (Glendive, MT & Post Falls, ID), a very nice US Air Force FamCamp in Great Falls, MT, and one night at a Cabelas.  FYI Cabelas will let you park in their lot for free which has horse corrals, dog kennels, water, and a dump station as well.   We de-winterized the RV in Glendive, MT.  We also used a commercial semi-truck wash in Fargo, ND to get all the last snow and salt off our rig.  We did experience several RV maintenance issues that have since been taken care of.  Better now than on the Alcan! 
     Time enroute to Washington was 10 days and our rig averaged 11.4 mpg.  We had one incredible tank on the plains of North Dakota where we averaged 15.5 mpg!  We traveled over 2500 miles using 231 gallons of diesel costing $903 which was higher than I estimated, but on this trip what won't be?  A trip here 3 years ago with our gas truck cost us $1250.  Diesel averaged $3.90/gal with a low of $3.81 in Superior, WI and a high of $4.45 in Lewistown, MT.  We also emptied both propane tanks in 10 days due to the early yet still cold weather and running the heater every night.  We bought new RV tires on our arrival, but this was a planned expense. 
     Barb was able to once again satisfy her craving for Yogo Sapphires with the purchase of an anniversary ring in Great Falls.  For those curious, Yogo Sapphires are the only naturally blue sapphires in the world and highly prized.  Nearly all other sapphires are heat treated to obtain the blue color.  

     We're here now at Mom's house in Tumwater, WA. relaxing and catching up on the RV maintenance and yearly polish and treatment stuff.  Mom has been the beneficiary of several of my creations including Venison Steaks, Chicken Cordon Bleu,  Broccoli Cheddar Stuffed Meatloaf, Chicken Pontalba, Crawfish Etouffe, Cranberry Chicken, Venison Stroganoff Topped Potatoes, and Teriyaki Bacon Wrapped Whitefish.  She hasn't complained yet.  My sister and her husband came up from Salem, OR for a few days.  Good to see them again.  We also enjoyed two nice days in the mid 80s during our visit.......I had a hard time remembering what warmth was.
     We enjoyed dinner one night with 3 other couples from high school where we devoured some delicious burgers, clam chowder, and home brew while talking about old times and far too many embarrassing episodes.   The highlight of this stop for Barb might have been her first experience at clam digging.  It was windy, cold. and rainy, but she had a blast and we dug 2 limits of clams (30) in just over an hour! 

     I am going to 'boondock' a few days here as well as I double check the solar panels and battery bank before our departure.  We depart here May 15th on our way North as the journey continues....  

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