July 24 – July 26
We finally left our Walmart Camping site and headed to Elma where we have reservations for a full week. As Elma is only 30 minutes away from Aberdeen, I drove the Jeep over and Steve the RV.
The campground is very nice, small, and probably only about 50 sites but very well maintained. The sites are graveled but level and spacious. Not all sites have trees but each site has plants and flowers around it so it feels more like a park. With our Coast to Coast membership, the sites are about $18 per night with full hook-ups. I thought this was a little interesting, showers are a quarter for 3 minutes; however, you can with up to 9 quarters for 20+ minutes. I guess that is a good way to conserve water. They are very clean and spacious and conveniently located.
I still prefer the convenience of the shower in the RV but Steve likes to use the park showers as they are a lot larger, more water pressure, and assurance of hot water for the entire event.
The folks we have met are very nice and are interested in getting together in the evenings so we look forward to that. They also advised us of a city wide garage sale going on the whole weekend so that sounded good to me.
Saturday, July 25
We didn’t get out to the garage sales until around 10 AM. I’m afraid that Elma is a tired little town and the garage sales reflected that. After an hour or so, we decided that maybe this wasn’t “fun”. In fact, it was rather depressing, so we decided to stop. We went into the downtown area and there were several “variety” stores. We decided to check them out, they were more like those liquidation stores, so we decided to head back to the RV park as it was the most cheerful place we had seen.
We did make one other stop on the way back, we wanted to take a closer look at the abandoned, unfinished, Satsop Nuclear Power Plant that can be seen for miles when approaching Elma. The cooling towers are 46 stories high and their only function now is that they are used as landmarks for trans-continental flights. They were never activated and they were $960 million over budget when the project shut down. I believe they may have needed a better project manager.
We looked to see what else was in town and found that the closest Starbucks was in Aberdeen, and the closest Walmart was our old campsite in Aberdeen. In other words, there is nothing here in Elma.
We’re about 30 miles from Olympia, so we will take a drive over there on Monday and see what is there. The weather turned nasty, cool not really cold but drizzling rain and dreary so we will hang out at the RV for the weekend and start exploring the surrounding areas next week.
It gave us time to catch up on the laundry, we cooked the rest of our halibut for dinner, and turned on the TV. Other than watching the news for a little bit in the am, there is really nothing on TV but since we have both cable and satellite, we have it on. This is our trial month for satellite and based upon what I have seen so far, it is not worth the $35.00 per month. Fortunately it is a pay as you go and we can turn it off after the one month and only turn it back on if and when we want it.
Monday, Jul 27
We took a drive into Olympia and scoped out what was there. They pretty much have all of the usual stores at the malls, several Starbucks and in the distance a nice view of Mt. Rainier, but we have really gotten hooked on a lot of the beautiful scenery, as well as the cooler temperatures around the water so the town itself was a bit of a let down. We checked out the marina and a few other recommended spots of interest and then headed back to Elma. We hung around the park a lot this week, we played cards with our neighbors a couple of nights, which was fun, but decided that on Friday we would drive to Portland since we did not make it while we were in Oregon.
We were able to extend our stay in Elma so we would have a safe place to leave the RV as the traffic into and around Portland is awful, so we found a hotel that was close to their local train system, MAX, so we could take the train into town.
Not much else to report on Elma or Olympia. And to top things off, I accidently deleted the few pictures we did take so we are included a couple of photos of Satsop as the photos are pretty close to the ones we took.
Now for the RV Protector story: When connecting/dis-connecting the “Tow”, our towed Jeep, I normally re-cover the tow bar (Blue Ox manufacturer). This time, I forgot to recover, and went so far as to leave the cover on the rear bumper (cover on the left side as you look at the picture). I then drove to Elma and, lo and behold, the cover stayed on the rear of the RV. After some of the dumb things we have done, this one didn’t bite us.