Headed for the Barn

Eastbound and down…loaded up and truckin’. As the famous song from the Original “Smokey and the Bandit” movie sound track by Jerry Reed said…that’s us. We’ve reached our farthest westward point last week at Cape Flattery WA and from here’s it’s all eastbound and down (hill that is) to our winter home at Seminole Campground in North Fort Myers.

We packed up and headed out this morning from Port Angeles WA with our first destination Ellensburg WA about 70 miles east of Seattle and on the east side of the Cascade Mountains on I-90. We headed down US-101…and decided not to continue down that road to Olympia…way too close to the water and curvy roads to boot on the way up…and instead headed across WA-104 to the Hood Canal Bridge. This bridge is at the north end of the Hood canal where it connects to the Strait of Juan de Fuca…down south of the bridge a dozen miles or so is the Submarine Base Bangor where the Ohio class SSBNs patrol out of. Once Connie found out that (a) this was a floating bridge, (b) the reason it’s floating instead of being on piers is because the water is hundreds of feet deep, and (c) that it sunk in a windstorm in 1979…well, she wasn’t really happy about going over it. Nonetheless…we continued and got safely across and in another 30 mile or so got to the Tacoma Narrows Bridge.

This bridge goes over the Tacoma Narrows naturally…which is a portion of the Puget Sound once it passes Seattle and continues south. It’s the second bridge over the narrows…you may remember seeing the video below. The original bridge was opened in July 1940 and collapsed in November 1940. Turns out that there’s a severe wind problem in the gorge and the original designers forgot to take into account the fact that the wind going over the bridge deck would cause it to become an aircraft wing and pick itself up off of the cables it was suspended on. It rocked violently…almost from the day it opened…and collapsed on November 7, 1940. The only fatality of the collapse was Tubby…who was a Cocker Spaniel owned by Leonard Coatsworth who abandoned his vehicle on the bridge when it started to sway. Professor Frederick Burt Farquharson…and engineer employed by the University of Washington and who was involved in the design of the bridge…tried to rescue Tubby but he wasn’t going with a stranger and the professor abandoned the bridge by running down the centerline off the road just before it collapsed. That video is…to this day…showed to engineering students to point out how one must take all factors into any design.

The toll for the bridge was $15 for Big Red and the house…but it was over 100 miles to go the non toll way…so we just (as in West Virginia)…just paid the toll. It’s easier. The only other exciting part of the day was the stop at a T/A truck stop for lunch just east of Seattle and before we headed up the Snoqualmie Pass. We just wanted lunch…but there were zero, count ‘em none…places to park. So Neil double parked while Connie went in and got lunch…egg salad for her and honey mustard chicken for Neil sandwiches. Then we headed off and ate going down the road…the egg salad was “ok” according to Connie but the chicken was definitely in the top 3 for “Worst Chicken Sandwich Ever”.

Our destination for the day was the Ellensburg Journey KOA in Ellensburg WA just off of I-90…another 70 miles or so east. We got there…checked in…and quickly pulled into our site 67. This was a power only day for us…we had enough water for the night and our waste tanks are half full or so getting sloshed around for two days so that the indicators will work correctly…too much gunk stuck on the sides of the tank (mostly the gray tank, the black has less fat and soap scum washed down it and reads much more reliably).

Park…front jacks down…we’re stuck with a 1 degree port list and slight up angle but it can’t be fixed unless we unhitch and that ain’t happening for overnight…tried to put the slides out…and discovered that we had broken the rear LR slide bolt again. This hasn’t happened in probably a year or so…and now that we’re familiar with this repair we have spares in the basement and it only took us about 40 minutes or so to replace it and get the slide extended.

Tomorrow we’re off to Coeur d’Alene ID where we’ll visit Neil’s old college roomie (and Connie’s friend as well) Joe (better known as Jodi) Claxton and his bride Nicki Camerra…don’t ask me why their name ain’t the same…I have no idea. We’ll stay there through the Labor Day weekend and leave on Tuesday for Missoula MT for 3 nights then over to Yellowstone NP for 10 days. After that…a quick stop in Hardin MT so that we can visit St. Labre Indian School…a favorite charity of Connie’s mom and one we still donate to…before heading to Spearfish SD to see our friends Bill and Linda and attend the New Horizons Owners Group (NHOG) rally.

Sorry…no photos today. We walked over to the site of the former Elwha Dam from the RV park yesterday…and it wasn’t even worth taking a photo of.

Interesting stuff found on the net this week.

Meanwhile…in Texas.


And a prayerful request by a grand daughter.


My name is Bond…James Bond…and you are?


Guess ya’ll saw about Hurricane Harvey coming ashore in Texas this week…and has dumped some 50something inches of rain on the Houston area. Didn’t get the photo…but the Cajun Navy set off with 50 or so pirogues on trailers behind pickups to help in the rescues. God bless ‘em.

And finally…for those of our readers who missed it last week because they were in the wrong darn place…


Next post after we arrive in Coeur d’Alene.


About Gunther

The full time RV travels and experiences of Gunther the Bear and Kara the Dog…along with their human staff neil and Connie.
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1 Response to Headed for the Barn

  1. Mj Trainor says:

    ROF! Youn’s crack me up! Lots of birthdays in next 10 days’ish! I’m still a year and a week younger then my youngest older brother this week! ^5 🙂 RTR BabySis

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