Tuesday, July 21
We got up early this morning and headed to Aberdeen to get the tire fixed. It only took about 2 ½ hours to get there and the way over was pretty interesting because again, we followed 101 which came up the coast line but this time it was along inlets and with the low tide, it was totally different from what we had been seeing.
We were in oyster country as all along the way there were commercial oyster businesses and there were mountains of oyster shells. There was no doubt that we were stopping to get oysters and we were having oyster stew for dinner. We found a place we could stop and bought a quart of “small” raw oysters and a few smoked oysters.
We had no idea how long it would take to fix the tire so Steve stayed with the RV while they worked on it and I headed over to the Wal-mart to check out the overnight situation. It turned out there were several RVs there already so we knew it would not be a problem.
The tire was fixed pretty quickly, it turned out that it was only a nail, so that was a quick and relatively inexpensive fix. Steve joined me at Wal-mart and we parked the RV and headed in to get the ingredients for the oyster stew.
There was a Subway shop in Wal-mart so we checked out the Wi-Fi situation. They do have Wi-Fi but no power outlets but they told us there was a Starbucks across the street. So we planned to hit Starbucks in the morning to get the blogs caught up and some other on-line business taken care of.
We had a great parking spot, behind the Wal-mart, out of the way and we are parked along side the river which has a nice boardwalk that goes along the waterfront. The view is nice and it provided a good path to walk on after dinner.
It was still early in the day and I had read about a small town called Tokeland. We decided to take a drive and check it out. It turned out there was really nothing there but again, it is an oyster town so we stopped in and purchased some more seafood. They had smoked salmon spread and teryaki salmon so we added to our seafood collection. We also stopped at a couple of wineries and one winery/brewery as they did both, made their own beer and wines and tasted some of each.
Something else we learned is that this area of Washington is a major grower of cranberries. I thought they all came for the northeast, little did I know. I did try some cranberry wine and that was a waste of good cranberries, but we decided we would locate some of the cranberry bogs and check them out.
The one place was a restaurant but since we were having the oyster stew, we passed, however in their dessert case was the best looking coconut cream pie I had seen in a long time. I filed that for future reference. And, Steve, had a Cinnamon roll that was a good 8″ in diameter; took most back to RV.
We headed back to our Walmart camp. It was about 5 PM and I was preparing our dinner when a train went by, right next to us, less than 30 yards distance. We saw the train trusses but it looked old and we assumed no longer in use. WRONG, and they blew that whistle a dozen times within a few minutes.
I used my dad’s recipe for the oyster soup, which was chopped onions, butter, oysters and milk. (I used half and half)
We could not believe the size of the oysters, they were huge, even tho they called them small! The stew was great! We’re thinking they gave us the large by mistake, but it was good anyway.
We ate well and have a nice bowl left over that I will use to do a seafood chowder tomorrow.
We went for a walk before calling it a day and it was about 8 PM and here comes another train. This is going to be an interesting night if this is going to happen throughout the night. We closed up the RV as it was getting pretty chilly at this point, got out our books and settled in. We did not run the generator so we had lights and water but no other power.
No more trains tonight.
Wednesday, July 22
We got up early and headed over to Starbucks for coffee and the use of their Wi-Fi. We found good seats with a power outlet and we literally spent the entire day there. I did get almost completely caught up with the blog, in fact, this update will make us current. We also made some additional travel decisions and arrangements.
We changed our minds about going up into Canada on this trip. We also love the Northwest area and are in no hurry to rush back to the South with the high temperatures still going on. Since we have discovered the Coast to Coast campgrounds in the area, the rates are very reasonable as well as the casino campgrounds and the option to dry doc at a variety of places. We are also discovering how much of our own country that we have never seen, we want to stick to the ol’ USA this trip.
We found a campsite in Elma, WA, however we could not get in until Friday, the 24th. That meant we needed someplace to stay for 3 nights. There has been no indication from Walmart that they have a problem with how long we stay but we needed a back-up plan just in case. We checked with a casino a few miles down the road and they had no problem with us staying a couple of nights. As it turned out, we decided to stay at Walmart all 3 nights if there was not a problem as the location is good and convenient and we would only go to the casino if we had to.
We plan to stay in Elma until the 31st and then we have another reservation at a Casino RV resort close to Tacoma for a week starting on 8/2. That means we have 2 nights that we will need to dry dock somewhere but it does not appear to be much of a problem in this part of the country. We will wait and see how the next couple of weeks go before we make a decision about when we start heading east.
It was almost 6 pm when we left Starbucks, we had been there since about 9:30 AM. We had not eaten all day, way too much coffee, so we looked for a pizza restaurant. We located one that was very good and had pizza for dinner and headed home.
We decided to run the generator for a few hours so that we could watch some TV. We finally got to check out the new satellite receiver, it worked great, there just wasn’t anything worth watching so we turned it off and read until we were ready to go to sleep.
Since we worked on the blogs and reservations pretty much the entire day, we knew there were several places we wanted to visit and check out on Thursday.
Only the 5 PM and 8 PM trains tonight.
Thursday, July 23
We got up and took showers which felt great after doing sponge baths for 2 days. We then headed out to see what adventures we could get into. We headed first over to Ocean City and Ocean Shores. Not much there but it is a huge wide open beach and with low tide, you can drive along the beach for several miles. In fact, it went on for so far we were starting to wonder if there was a road back off the beach without turning around; however, thanks to Google earth, we could see a road ahead and found our way back. We decided we really wanted some raw oysters for lunch. We proceeded to head back towards Tokeland again and find someplace we could get oysters on the half shell. Well, that just is not the way it is done in this part of the country. There are raw oysters in restaurants but they are sold as shooters. Basically an oyster in a small shot glass with some cocktail sauce on them. Otherwise, there are seafood markets that you can buy the fresh oysters by pint or quart.
We purchased a pint of “small” again, a container of cocktail sauce and a box of crackers and did our own thing on an old battered picnic table behind the market. Again, the oysters were huge, but I doubled checked the container and it said they were “small”. I’m going to have to buy some large just so I can see what a large looks like. We finished off the pint and continued our journey.
We than began our search for the cranberry bogs, I wanted to see what they looked like. Steve wanted to go back to the restaurant where we spotted the good desserts and check them out, so we also decided that while we were in the area, we should also check out the casino that we almost parked at.
We found the casino first, very small, mostly penny slots. Steve came out ahead by $16.00, I came out ahead by $20.00 so we thought we did pretty good and decided to spend it on our desserts. We kept looking for the bogs but just not finding them.
We had passed a small cranberry museum so we decided to stop. It was really very interesting because the only thing we knew about cranberry harvesting was on the Ocean Spray commercial on TV. As it turns out, Ocean Spray has one of their plans right here. We now know that most cranberries are dry harvested and not wet as the wet process damages the berries so they are used primarily for juice and sauce. The dry harvesting they use machines, but a lot of manual labor is still part of the process kind of like big lawnmowers and walk down the rows and they have machines that separate the vines from the berry. Anyway, it was a lot of interesting information and we were told where to find the bogs, and boy are there a lot of them around here.
After viewing the bogs and taking a few pictures, we headed for the restaurant and I had the coconut custard pie which was every bit as good as it looked and Steve had a cinnamon bun the size of a dinner plate with coffee, so needless to say, no seafood chowder tonight but we have to have it tomorrow night but that will work out as we will be in the campground and I can cook it outside.
We made one more quick stop at the Kurt Cobain Riverfront Park where there is a statue of Kurt Cobain’s guitar. The park is about only about 30′ x 30′, we drove by it twice before spotting the guitar as that is the only thing in the park. I got my picture and we headed back to the RV.
The nights are pretty cool so we closed up the RV, Steve got out his book and I decided to document our adventures for today while they are still fresh. I will work on the pictures tomorrow so hopefully we will be able to get everything loaded and up to date.
It is about 10:30 and the 4th train of the evening just passed. Hopefully that will be the last for the evening.
View from Wal-Mart Parking Lot Aberdeen
Park adjacent to Walmart Parking lot
Train Trestle in Aberdeen
We missed the train track
Oyster Stew for Dinner
Ocean Shores, Wa. Beach
Driving on beach at Ocean City
Grays Harbor Lighthouse
Grays Harbor Lighthouse – Looking down 135 steps
Grays Harbor Lighthouse Lamp
Grays Harbor Lighthouse Lamp catching the light
View from the Grays Harbor Lighthouse
Only the finest restaurants
Cranberry Museum, family run, in Tokeland
Wind Turbines in Tokeland
Coconut Cream Pie in Tokeland
Flowers at the winery/restaurant
Kurt Cobain Guitar Statue