Monday, August 17
We headed out to Port Townsend as planned. It was another beautiful day with temperatures in the mid 70’s and lots of sunshine. We again had to go over the Hood Canal bridge which is the longest floating bridge across salt water. The bridge opens for passing ships, therefore there is always a chance of being stuck on the bridge, which is what happened to us. The good news, lots of photo opportunities so we took a number of pictures of the beautiful scenery. Traffic into Port Townsend is pretty heavy but we finally made it in.
Our first stop was down at the port. It is huge and the number of ships and/or boats in for service/repair is pretty amazing. There is lots of activity and everything is on a huge scale to accommodate the big ships they work on as well as load and unload.
There are also several ferry services that go to various ports such as Seattle, Vancouver and Alaska.
The majority of the buildings were build in the late 1800’s and have been re-purposed to new businesses. It is a beautiful little town with lots of history and lots of activity, it was easy to spend the full day.
We took a ride into downtown Bremerton which is also a beautiful little town. Many historical buildings are still in use and the town is not as active as many of the others we have visited, however it is well maintained. The Navy has a water park downtown that the kids can play in and it is also beautifully maintained. Again nice weather and perfect for walking around.
We then went further north to a little town called Poulsbo. Poulsbo is a Scandinavian village located on Liberty Bay. Many of the buildings are from the late 1800’s and, again, they have been re-purposed to boutiques, restaurants and bakeries. It is a very picturesque and another fun day of walking through the shops. We found a little restaurant with a balcony overlooking the street to have lunch and watch the people.
It was time to say goodbye to Troy and family that were so gracious to allow us to park in their neighbor’s drive while she was out of town. However, she returned early so it only seemed fair to head on our way and return her driveway. It was time for us to move on and we had decided that we needed to move further north as we wanted to visit the Boeing Aircraft Plant. We pulled out about 10:00 AM and after stopping at a dump station and taking care of business, we headed up I-5 to Marysville, WA and the Tulalip Casino.
We arrived at the Tulalip Casino Resort where they have several large designated RV parking lots. No connections but we found a nice spot with shade and made ourselves at home. We set up and took a walk over to the casino to check things out. We came out about $100 ahead so we were feeling pretty good.
We took the tour of the Boeing Plant. You are not allowed to take pictures inside and even if we could, the size of everything is unbelievably huge. We watched the 747 assembly line as well as as the newer 800 series. We also got a glimpse of the new Seattle Seahawk’s 787 with the big “12” on the tail (vertical stabilizer). It seems that Boeing has been officially named the 12th Seahawk player and everywhere we go there is Seattle Seahawk stuff with the number “12” on it. I guess that is because we are not only in Seahawks country, we are also in Boeing country. The hangers are so large that they have their own weather. Occasionally, they report light rain inside the hangers and have to pause to let things dry out.
It was about 4 PM when we finished the tour so we stopped in the little town of Snohomish, which is known for its many antique stores. The town is again from the late 1800’s with many re-purposed buildings that house many small boutiques and restaurants as well as the dozens of antique stores. It was much larger than expected and they happen to be having their Fresh Market Day as well as an art walk that evening so everything was open a little later than usual. We walked through many of the shops, the market and then found a nice outdoor restaurant where we could have a cold drink and a light dinner.
After returning to the RV, we made our evening trip to the casino and picked up a few more dollars, not as much as the first night but still better than losing.
We packed a small lunch and headed to Whidbey Island. We were told it would be better to drive north and drive over to the island and than take the ferry back. This was because of the number of Boeing employees that live on the island and use the ferry daily. So we headed up north on I-5/405 and over to the island. While there was a lot of traffic, it moved well so we made good time. We also stopped in a few smaller towns such as Stanwood, Camano Island and Mt. Vernon before picking up Hwy 20 and heading over to Whidbey Island. We stopped in several places but made it to the town of Clinton about 2 pm to pick up the ferry. Instead of the expected 1 to 2 hour wait for the ferry, the ferry was pulling up as we pulled up and we basically drove right on. The ride was only about 30 minutes and we arrived at Mukilteo. We decided to stop in Edmonds and check it out before heading back to the RV.
We again made a quick visit to the casino after dinner and again, came out with a few additional dollars ahead.
We went to Starbucks and did some upgrades that we needed to do. We then spent a couple of hours at the Tulalip Outlet Mall. This is most definitely the best outlet mall that I have ever been to. It had a store for every major designer I had ever heard of and many that I had not. The prices appeared to be very good, lots of school shopping going on but we left without a single package so I guess we just didn’t need anything. We headed back to the RV, did our farewell trip to the casino and began getting the RV ready to move on Sunday.
Sunday morning we finished the final packing and headed to Hell’s Canyon, located in Clarkston, WA. We decided after dry docking for a week, we were due to stay at a nice RV park so we made a reservation at the Hells Canyon RV Park which had been recommended to us. The drive across Washington to the Southeast part of the state was not at all what was expected. The landscape quickly turned brown and the further east we went, the smokier it got so everything was hazy.
Traffic was good and we did not encounter any problems other than boredom. I had no idea that so much wheat was grown in Washington but they are actually the 5th largest wheat grower in the US. The wheat had already been harvested so what we saw were miles and miles of brown hills where the wheat had been cut. It went on for hundreds of miles.
We arrived at the RV park which is also a marina about 6:00 PM. It had been a long day but the space is very nice and we set up and took a walk around the marina. The amount of smoke in the area is not so bad that you can’t go out and do things, however we decided not to take the river boat excursion as planned as with the smoke, the views would be limited so we will put that on hold until our next time around.
We welcomed the big hot showers so took advantage of those and settled in for the evening.