33 Day Truck Camper Adventure

We had an itch to take another truck camper adventure. We discussed different places we could go. Since I had tickets to a Kenny Chesney concert (ok, I had tickets to see him twice that weekend) in Las Vegas. Instead of me flying down there, we decided to make a trip to see our family and friends out of it. We planned a big loop, going through Idaho, Nevada, and as far south as Yuma, AZ and ElCentro, CA, then making our way over to and up the coast to see our son before coming home.

 Paul had a cargo rack made for the back of the camper. It adds much needed storage space, since we are in a smaller camper.

Paul had a cargo rack made for the back of the camper. It adds much needed storage space, since we are in a smaller camper.

 You're Doing It Wrong, one of Dustin's tag lines for his products.

You're Doing It Wrong, one of Dustin's tag lines for his products.

We prefer to take roads less traveled, and to see new things, so this time we drove down the eastern side of Washington and crossed into Idaho at Lewiston. There’s a nice State Park there called Hells Gate, along the Snake River. Because of dams and their locks along the Columbia and Snake Rivers, Lewiston is reachable by some ocean-going vessels. The Port of Lewiston is the farthest inland port east of the West coast of the US.  It’s not a bad place to visit if you don’t mind the smell. I had to google it, and found that there is a pulp and paper mill there.

 At Hells Gate SP, there is an archery course. I found a wild boar to ride.

At Hells Gate SP, there is an archery course. I found a wild boar to ride.

 The drive through Idaho was beautiful. We even saw a cow scratching her tummy on a big boulder. I wish I could have gotten a photo! Our second stop was Emmett, ID, small town not far from Boise. Thanks to Apple Maps, and the truck’s GPS we ended up driving down a 50 mile stretch of dirt road that took us two and a half hours to traverse. I did say we liked the roads less traveled, but sheesh! So, if you ever find yourself on Hwy 95 heading south, don’t take the Indian Valley Road “shortcut”! 

 At this point we had hope that the dirt would turn to asphalt soon.

At this point we had hope that the dirt would turn to asphalt soon.

 Still a little hope!

Still a little hope!

 It's been a long dusty road! We gave up hope, and are pushing through with dirt "road sodas"!

It's been a long dusty road! We gave up hope, and are pushing through with dirt "road sodas"!

 A client from San Diego, Melissa and her family now live in Emmett so I had to stop to say hi.

A client from San Diego, Melissa and her family now live in Emmett so I had to stop to say hi.

 We dropped into Eastern Nevada below Twin Falls, ID and took what was labeled as “The Loneliest Road in America”. True to its name, there was little traffic, and the few towns we passed were really small. We made three stops in Nevada before we got to Las Vegas. 

 There are animal crossing bridges over the highway. I'm not shitting you!

There are animal crossing bridges over the highway. I'm not shitting you!

 There was still snow covered mountains in Northern Nevada in March.

There was still snow covered mountains in Northern Nevada in March.

 At Ward Charcoal Ovens State Park. The beehive looking structures were used to make charcoal for the nearby silver smelters. 

At Ward Charcoal Ovens State Park. The beehive looking structures were used to make charcoal for the nearby silver smelters. 

 A little info on the ovens.

A little info on the ovens.

 Thats a lot of wood!

Thats a lot of wood!

 Inside an oven.

Inside an oven.

 We were the only ones in the whole campground!

We were the only ones in the whole campground!

 I told you!

I told you!

 Our next stop was Cathedral Gorge State Park. 

Our next stop was Cathedral Gorge State Park. 

 It reminds me of old cowboy movies. 

It reminds me of old cowboy movies. 

 Inside one of the "caves".

Inside one of the "caves".

 Beam me up!

Beam me up!

 I see sky!

I see sky!

 Originally we were going to park the camper and stay in a hotel for the weekend in Vegas, but parking the camper without electric hook-ups wasn’t going to work. The refrigerator wouldn’t stay lit on propane. We got an RV site at Circus Circus. Paul stayed in the camper and I was able to share a hotel room with some friends that were also going to the concert. (Thanks, Emily and Emily!)  Paul discovered a broken fuse to the fridge and got it running for the rest of the trip. (Maybe the 50 miles of dirt roads were to blame?) 

 First stop in Vegas! That was his first In and Out burger since we left So Cal. 3 1/2 years ago!

First stop in Vegas! That was his first In and Out burger since we left So Cal. 3 1/2 years ago!

 I had friends from all over the country come to Vegas to see Kenny. I'm not the only crazy Kenny fan! Just a little piece of No Shoes Nation.

I had friends from all over the country come to Vegas to see Kenny. I'm not the only crazy Kenny fan! Just a little piece of No Shoes Nation.

 My #FriendyKen, Sally from home flew down for the concert!

My #FriendyKen, Sally from home flew down for the concert!

 We stayed a couple of nights with Paul’s folks, a couple with my Mama, a couple with Mark and Jane, and one with my sister and brother in law, Penny and Tony before we got to the coast. 

 Paul and Paul.

Paul and Paul.

 Paul's mom, Rita. I can't believe I didn't get any photos of all three of them together!

Paul's mom, Rita. I can't believe I didn't get any photos of all three of them together!

 The desert has it's beauty, but I'll take a place with trees!

The desert has it's beauty, but I'll take a place with trees!

 Where we grew up. 

Where we grew up. 

 I never pass up an opportunity to see my dear friends, Alice and Don Clark. Always a good time!

I never pass up an opportunity to see my dear friends, Alice and Don Clark. Always a good time!

 I got to see my cousin, Denver. How did she get so old in three years and yet, I haven't aged a day? ;)

I got to see my cousin, Denver. How did she get so old in three years and yet, I haven't aged a day? ;)

 My sissy, Penny, nieces, Sarah and Jennifer, and me.

My sissy, Penny, nieces, Sarah and Jennifer, and me.

 Silliness runs in the family! My great niece and nephews. Braeden, Addison, Harrison, and William, who I made into a bear for the day.

Silliness runs in the family! My great niece and nephews. Braeden, Addison, Harrison, and William, who I made into a bear for the day.

 One thing we don’t miss about California is the traffic! We decided this was our last trip driving to SoCal. 

 Going over the Golden Gate Bridge. San Francisco traffic was crazy, as usual. No thank you!

Going over the Golden Gate Bridge. San Francisco traffic was crazy, as usual. No thank you!

 We spent almost two weeks, stopping at 8 campgrounds along the California and Oregon coast before heading east to Bend, OR to see our friends Wanda and Mike. I can't believe we failed to take any photos in Bend! Although, I think we did a few Snap Chats.

 The truck camper nestled into the trees at Samuel P. Taylor State Park.

The truck camper nestled into the trees at Samuel P. Taylor State Park.

 Driving through the redwoods.

Driving through the redwoods.

 Back at the Pacific Ocean. Near Albion, CA.

Back at the Pacific Ocean. Near Albion, CA.

 At Albion campground, where the Albion River flows into the ocean. Where we paid for ice cold showers!

At Albion campground, where the Albion River flows into the ocean. Where we paid for ice cold showers!

 If you've never seen the redwoods in Northern CA, I highly recommend the trip. This was at Humbolt Redwoods State Park. 

If you've never seen the redwoods in Northern CA, I highly recommend the trip. This was at Humbolt Redwoods State Park. 

 This old tree needed a hug!

This old tree needed a hug!

 Sandy loves stumps!

Sandy loves stumps!

 Harris Beach State Park, Brookings, OR. 

Harris Beach State Park, Brookings, OR. 

 Gotta do an ocean selfie! Brookings, OR.

Gotta do an ocean selfie! Brookings, OR.

 Brookings, OR

Brookings, OR

 While shopping, I spotted the Uno logo that Dustin designed. He's done a lot of great designs but for some reason, him doing the Uno logo is my favorite! We played this game a lot while he was growing up!

While shopping, I spotted the Uno logo that Dustin designed. He's done a lot of great designs but for some reason, him doing the Uno logo is my favorite! We played this game a lot while he was growing up!

 Found this little salamander covered in sea foam. Tillicum Beach Campground, OR.  

Found this little salamander covered in sea foam. Tillicum Beach Campground, OR.  

 April 8th and we encountered snow in Oregon.

April 8th and we encountered snow in Oregon.

 From Bend, we went to Portland to see our son, Dustin. 

 Paul and Dustin. We are always so happy to see his face!

Paul and Dustin. We are always so happy to see his face!

 Our last stop was only a couple hours drive from home, at the Northern Quest Casino in Spokane. The trip took us 33 days, and we were both ready to be home, but this stop gave us the chance to hit the grocery store before going home.

 Where have you been Mama?

Where have you been Mama?

 Finley, the cat, was very talkative when we got home, as if to say, “Where the heck have you been?” Our house/cat sitter, Patti sent me photos of him throughout the month, but it was sure nice to see his little face in person!