We left Milton, PA and headed east. After some long and uneventful hours of driving, we got to Maine again. I can’t stress enough how horrible the roads are around Scranton, PA. Jesus… Anyways, it was too late to get up to Bangor and we elected to spend the night at Cabela’s.
After spending the night at the Cabela’s parking lot in Portland, ME, we fueled up and headed north to Bangor. Steph had reserved us a spot for the next week at one of the few RV parks with spots available. Sebasticook Lake Campground was simply awesome and turned out to be a great experience our first time in an RV park.
The owners knew we were novices and offered to help us back in. Being me, I told them it wasn’t necessary, but not really being that confident regardless. Still, there was plenty of room to back in as the spots in front were empty at the time. The operation took a while but with Steph directing from behind we got it done. This particular spot had no sewer hook up, so dumping would be done by moving the trailer again over to the dump station and then back to our spot. They did have a “honey bucket” towed around with a tractor, but for some reason I didn’t take advantage of it the first time we needed to empty the tanks.
Meanwhile, the whole reason we came back to Maine after getting the RV was so we could rest up and finish wrapping things up there before traveling another 3300 miles back to WA. We needed to go through our two storage units and combine it all into one. To accomplish this, I took many things to the Goodwill in Bangor. I also ran a load to the local dump. But eventually we got it done. A few days rest, a bit more exploring, and we were ready to come back. I was so disappointed that we weren’t staying for good, but I would be able to see my friends and family again back in WA. Silver linings galore.
We started our trek west and it was very familiar being that we’d already traversed much of the route twice already in about three weeks time. We headed to Sioux Falls, SD to finish up some business with the address place and had a reservation at a local, state run RV park just outside of town.
This park, Big Sioux State Recreation Area, was beautiful, cheap and had decent bathrooms. Very picturesque, serene, but again, no sewer hook up. At least we had power. We only spent the night, but it was nice to have AC and not be parked at a Walmart or highway rest stop. We concluded our tasks and headed out again the next morning.
We stopped in Missoula, MT to get generators. We were headed to WA to stay at a park in Vancouver for a month, but we needed these for when we headed down to AZ. The plan was to boondock through the rest of the year and into next spring before heading back to Maine and try again. BTW, the rest stops in MT were spotless and modern.
Unlike, WA rest stops, which were old, dirty and total crap. When we got back to WA, we spent the night at a rest stop just south of Spokane and then again when we got to Vancouver the next day. They were almost as bad as CA rest stops. I don’t know what it is about Left states, but they don’t seem to give a shit about the state of their rest stops. You could say that low population states have less traffic but I-90 is the main way to get from the northern West to the East. Especially since when we were traveling it was July and August. Hell, we passed through Sturgis during the motorcycle rally. There were plenty of people out on the road. But I digress…
As we crossed over the border with OR, the weather got a little dicey with rain and high winds. But the winds in the Gorge at the time were crazy and the truck was being jerked around by the trailer as it got blasted. The dually really helped in those conditions. Being so heavy and surefooted in the back, I couldn’t help but wonder what it would have been like with a lesser truck. Eventually we got to Portland, OR and crossed the I-205 bridge into Vancouver, WA. We parked at a rest stop north of town.
I didn’t want to spend the night at the rest stop in Vancouver so we went up to the Ilani casino right off I-5 in La Center/Ridgefield. Their RV lot is gravel but large and there were already a few RV’s and truckers there. At least the casino has security and their was a giant, new Chevron across the road. The next morning I walked over there and used their rest room. After which, I had one of the best breakfast burritos of my life. For reals, who ever made those things is working in the wrong place.
After a casual conversation with the casino security officer who was driving around checking things out, we left for the RV park by the fairgrounds where we’d be staying the next month. The spot was pull through, so pretty easy to get in there. We finally got to hook up our sewer hose. Everything else came together fairly easily and we were set for the next month.
We visited friends, got items we would need for our time in AZ, and generally enjoyed being “home”. We had been gone just over a month, but it felt like years. Even as I write this, just thinking about that time makes me more tired than I already am. We were exhausted, money was running low, and our credit card debt was skyrocketing. Still, I was determined to push through and make it happen. We would wait in AZ till the weather got better in Maine, come back to find property and start the farm. Except this time we’d already have our temporary house. That was the plan. Yep.
Being back in WA was a great time for me. I hung out with my friends every Friday night, like old times and got to see my daughter and her boyfriend. My dad’s health was poor, but he was still working and doing what he always did. The latest info on the HP site was disappointing, but not unexpected.
After a month in Vancouver, we headed out in the pouring rain. We stopped to say good bye to my daughter, which was gut wrenching. You never really know how you’re going to feel about something till it happens. I didn’t want to leave, but the dream must be made true.
We took I-84 to ID and spent the night at a Boise area Cracker Barrel. Plunging south into UT, the trailer lost an air vent cover in high winds around Beaver. Basically, we had an uncovered view of the sky right above our bed. Sure hope it doesn’t rain any time soon. We spent the night in the parking lot of another Cracker Barrel in St. George, UT. Very early the next morning we headed out and got to Vegas.
It was some time after 5am when we got to Vegas and the traffic was packed. I was very frustrated. Being almost as long as a semi with a trailer and trying to get through near bumper to bumper traffic while surrounded by construction was less than ideal. But get through it we did and soon after, crossed over into AZ. We drove all the way to Kingman, AZ and stopped at a Cracker Barrel for breakfast. I was so tired that when going to the restroom I entered the women’s room by mistake. There was one woman dealing with four or five kids when I entered. There was a woman. There were no urinals. OMG, get me the fuck out of here! Abort! Abort! Talk about embarrassing.
We found a local RV repair shop and bought another vent cover, but it would be a few days before I’d have the ladder and the chance to replace it. We decided to find us some of this boondocking friendly, BLM land to camp for free on. Oh buddy, let me tell you. We were fucked. To be continued…
Editor’s note: At the time I’m writing this it’s Sunday, 12/29. The day we got to Kingman was around 9/10 or so. A lot has happened in the last three months. I’m pretty exhausted from working, but it had been over a month since posting anything and if anyone did care or reads this, a post had to happen. Another post will go up tomorrow as well.