Goodbye Lower 48, for now

The last vision of Washington…

Benton City, WA – view out front of rig

Benton City, WA – Love the horses!

Benton City, WA was an unexpected find. The town itself shows sign of hardship, but by golly the people are awesome here. I stopped there two nights ago.  The park itself was clean, altho it butts up against some poor housing area on one side.  The sites are quite roomy, pull thru, and level paved parking pads and a bunch of horses off to another side. A young gal had full command of her horses. It was fascinating watching her work her horses.  Nice free entertainment.  I think I mentioned having parked here in my last posting. As the locals told me about driving by Hanford Nuclear Power Plant. Well… the steam stacks were close to the road, but you could not see anything from Hwy 225 other than steam. That’s ok.  

I missed a turn in my attempt to do the backroads of Washington vs the interstates. I did manage to see miles upon miles of grapes starting to blossom out – wow! Alas, tho I ended up in Yakima, which I had no desire to see. I use to call this Yuck Ma, but I only saw a wee bit of it now, so doubt that name would stick any longer.  Ending up in Yakima, I found I had to get back on I-82 and had to deal with some steep grades due to it.  Finally got to Hwy 97 off of I-90 – again I did not want to reach Hwy 97 until Wenatchee, but this part of the trek was gorgeous going thru the mountains so glad I got to do it. Still lots of snow around here, but the first signs of wildflowers are showing themselves.
At Wenatchee, Hwy 97 is found on both sides of the river.  One is called the Alt 97 and the other is just 97.  I decided to take the regular road and I’m glad I did. The other road, I could see was climbing up steep roads, thru tunnels, etc. before it met back up with the Hwy 97 lot further down the road.  My route would be considered boring compared to the other, but I’m glad I took it.  Apples galore is the primary economic production in this area. Good heavens – I have never seen so many, many apples growing.
Wenatchee is too busy of a town for me to stop – so I kept trucking North on Hwy 97.  Mind you, there is no flat territory around here. You are either close to the river or high above it. And it continues.
From Wenatchee, I kept heading north, thinking I would find a broad side of the road somewhere. Not! Then looked at a few campgrounds – not open yet.  State Parks were too far off the road for me to consider, but might in the future when I don’t have a deadline.  I stopped at Pateros to pick up my mail, but kept heading north… by the time I got to Brewster, I thought it was a whole lot later in the day, as it was so dark. Well, it was dark due to clouds that did not produce anything yesterday.  The city runs a RV park down by the river.  It was full of work-kampers (working on the Wells Dam). Expensive for bare bones basic at $32/night for full hookups. The best thing going for it, if it had been warmer, was it was next to Water park. It also had clean showers and rest rooms, but the park itself – you have to go to the city hall to pay.  Really not a problem doing that.  What I did not like about the park was its neighborhood – houses, not much better than shacks, being supported by beams, trash everywhere, and the smell of fuel oil permeated the air.  I just didn’t feel comfortable with the kids & some adults hanging around that did not seem to be in the park.  I never did see any of my neighbors in the park, but it was clean around all the rigs.  So I would give this park a rating of – good for one night, but not longer.

Oroville, WA – NNE view of dusting of snow

I drove the remainder of the miles of the lower 48 this morning. A sum total of 60 miles to Oroville. Gosh this is beautiful country! The park I chose to stay at for the next two nights is River Oak RV Park here in Oroville – highly recommend this beautiful park. In the picture above, you see a mobile home park, that is next to this RV park – it is spotless. Never seen a spotless mobile home park! So there’s a first for everything. Laughing here. The RV parking is away from this mobile park, but next to it. Beautiful RV park. I got this spot along the fast moving river. Don’t know the name of this particular river, as I’ve lost count on all the rivers I have crossed up here. Nonetheless, the banks are full, its moving at a good clip and its one peaceful place to be. I love listening to the silence and the wind thru the pine trees.  

Everyone parked here at the present time, is heading north – all have different destinations – have talked with some who like me, are holding off until next week to head up – its suppose to warm up. Time will tell on that, but I have pulled out my winter bedding once again. Nights are expecting snow/rain here with temps in the 20ºF for the next couple of nights. Day time temps have been gorgeous in the low 50’s!

river by River Oak RV park
So I have 9 days to travel to Prince Rupert. Far more than I expected to have yet I’m glad I have that to play with,  if the weather turns foul. Leaving 4 days earlier & doing 2 long days gave me this time.   My route is slightly altered – but won’t know the road conditions until I go.  I have ruled out a few short cuts, such as 97c to Hwy 8 – both of which are listed as having slushy conditions.  Of course, that may all change once I’m up there.  There is approximately 900 miles from Oroville to Prince Rupert. And it might be tough to find Provincial Parks open – as that is where I plan to target.  Its illegal in Canada to park overnight at rest areas, so must keep that in mind.  I so enjoy my travels in British Columbia, so it will be interesting to see what develops.
Also, there will be no updates to this blog until I get to Haines, which is the 25th of April. I’m leaving Monday morning to cross the border early on and be on my way.  

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