We joined the Bedlams, Bedlam and Mayhem, for a nice weekend at Lake Sawyer just southeast of Seattle near the old mining town of Black Diamond. Black Diamond being a clever name for Coal.

Lake Sawyer is a nice little lake and we stayed in a RV resort. We had use of a nice beach where we had a picnic. We noticed the neighbor to the resort on the property line had a pear tree with fruit. The person that owned the property would turn on their sprinkler system whenever anybody would venture close to the pear tree or the property line. It must have been more fun than installing a fence.

Pear tree left, House on island right.

Picnic area.

Bedlam has a little paddle boat we took out on the lake. It took a while to get the boat set with the weight distribution problem we discovered. Bedlam and I being full figured guys (especially me) had to sit diagonally from each other or the boat would list to far to the side if we were both on the same side of the boat.

We got things figured out only to discover the next problem which was the paddle boat doesn’t move very well in the Lilly pads but once we made it through, we made a decent clip of about walking speed.

Lake Sawyer was interesting in that there were several small islands in the lake with houses on them. No road access.
Abandoned house.

Island with houses.

Me goofing off with more island houses behind.
I tried to spot where the utilities entered the homes but never spotted it. I’m sure it’s all buried and under water.

After our stay there, we headed into Black Diamond to have breakfast at the bakery, can’t miss it. A great breakfast it was. Kelli went to the bakery section and bought a couple rhubarb pies because she knows I’m a sucker for them. We also got a couple loaves of bread. It was a real tret to eat there and we’ll have to find a reason to go again.

We hung around town and checked out an antique store. You never know what treasure you may find.

There is also a Rail Road and Mining Museum on the main drag. All these places were on the main drag right near each other. I enjoyed the museum which featured mining and rail road information along with a fairly well documented history of the town itself.


After this, we parted ways. The Bedlams headed for home and we took the scenic route home. I wanted to see near by Flaming Geyser State Park. The Green River flows through the park. It’s a day use only park that seems to be used for river float rafting but there should be fishing there too. I thought it was a really nice park.

The park has some nice big open fields I didn’t get a picture of and the river float looks easy, cool and refreshing.
Only a couple miles to the east is the States newest State Park, Konasket Palmer, which also has the Green River flowing through it.

After that, we headed home. It was a very relaxing, close to home weekend.


This year we made  a mere 6 trips.

Florence Oregon at Honeyman SP

The 2014  Spring Truck Camper Rally in Electric City Washington

Lake Sawyer Washington with the Bedlam’s

Abbottsford British Columbia for the Air Show

Walupt Lake Washington solo to go fishing but ended up changing the in tank fuel pump

Walupt Lake Washington again but with Kelli, The Bedlam’s, and my friend Dave



Kelli has a reunion every year or two in Florence.

On our way to Florence, we noticed a newly framed housing complex going up in flame near the Tacoma Dome.

We saw a 1966 GTO being trailered off to somewhere hopefully to be restored.

Kelli’s reunion is during The Rhododendron Festival. There are plenty of events going on that week.

This is at the Car and Rod Show.

You’ve got to like a dual carbureted Flathead V-8.


This was a beautifully restored Dodge 383.

Very Nice indeed.

A roadster powered by a Dodge Cummins 6 diesel.

It was a cool looking beast.

This was the shot that my Canon EOS 5D Mirror detached from it’s mechanism on.

It was cellphone pictures the rest of this trip.

Kitty break time.

1940 Pontiac.

Winners Plaque.

The Florence 101 Bridge.

The Lead of the Big Rhody Parade.

We got a great spot on the parade route to watch. Having the TC next to us made for easy food and beer access.

I liked this. Very nice job putting it together.

Our friend Bill. The original blue tarp tent camper. Best bar in town!

Charlie’s so glad to have us back home in the TC.

The Car show and Parade was Saturday and the Rhody Parade was Sunday. Lots of Queens and Princesses.

One of many floats, marching bands, horses, clowns, a very fun parade.

Hurrying along, this is a FS CG at the Northwest end of Florence. There is one spot with a view and is it ever a view.

Harbor Vista CG. Call and make a reservation.

The campground really is pretty.


Haceta  Head Lighthouse. Sorry for the quality.  Cellphone camera.

Coming into Waldport. Took a right and over the mountains Eastward.

Cat Creek. Slide your float boats down the 4×6 skids.

After this, we made for home over the mountains and up I-5.


The 2014 Spring Truck Camper Rally.

Our view across Banks Lake.

Our Faithful F250 and S&S camper across the way.

More of the fleet of fellow truck campers that came to the rally.

Rich, “The TC Life”, our fearless leader and provocateur  of so many TC rallies and events

People walking from group to group socializing before the potluck.

The two pork tenderloin roasts we made for the potluck.

Kelli made a cilantro lime salsa.

Folks enjoying themselves, the company, and the food at the potluck.


Kelli helping Joanne, Mrs. The TC Life.

Speed boat on the lake with no muffling.

Two birds flying off into the sunset.

This group of friends has been coming back to Sunbanks Resort for about 10 years, this same weekend.

Some of the group were out tearing up the floor. Rumor has it,  there were moves never seen before.

The next morning, Rich and Joanne put on their usual excellent breakfast with coffee, eggs, pancakes, and other goodies.

We decided to take a road less traveled as usual exiting over the hills northwest of Grand Coulee Dam.

This was something of a distribution facility.

The Grand Coulee Dam.

The Columbia river below the dam. Once one of the largest salmon runs in the world.

The salmon continued to run up the river to the dam but after the dam was completed,

There were four more years of salmon and then the run above the dam became extinct.

They had no way to reach their spawning grounds. Unbelievable no fish ladder provision was made.

The visitors center viewing station far above the dam.

This view shows the townships around the dam and the wide view of the dam.


Just love Eastern Washington Vistas. Advantage Beaten Path!

We stopped at the school in Mansfield and had ourselves a little picnic.

People including law enforcement were very friendly waving to us.

I just love the silence of the country. It was a very clean little town.

I think this was heading into Waterville.

Middle of nowhere Grange hall.

Douglas General Store. This place has a 5 or 6 space RV area which is very clean, green, flowered, well maintained.

Definitely worth a night or two. Just take a drive on the country roads and see what hidden gems you find.

This place is on Highway 2 about 2 to 4 miles East of Waterville.

A cute little church near the Douglas General Store.

This is the Douglas County Courthouse in Waterville which is the county seat for Douglas County.

This is a guy who just couldn’t slow down for the curve coming down a wet Stevens Pass.

This ends the TC Rally Section.


I’ve been wanting to go fishing for a long time and last weekend was to be that time. I took off Thursday evening for what should have been a 3 hour cruise. I got to what I thought was my turn off the highway to the forest service road I wanted. I went about 20 miles in and came to the end of the road that should have gone to my destination but no, it was a dead end.


After stomping my feet on the ground and trying to figure out how I could have done such a thing, I got myself pulled back together, got back in the truck, and drove 2 hours back down the mountain. To add a dash of insult, the road I wanted was only a mile farther down the highway. I decided before heading up into the forest on this road, I’d drive the couple miles to the town of Packwood and fill the fuel tank and get a large coffee. Fortunately, I got there just before closing. Fueled up, coffeed up, and ready to try again, I started up the correct mountain road at the lovely time of 12:15 AM. Not what I wanted to do as I should have been where I wanted to be about 4 hours earlier.

The forest road 21 I was on was nicer than the first road but had a lot of wash boarding the first few miles but got better and eventually became paved road. I rolled into the campground at about 2:30 AM, found myself a nice spot and settled in.

I slept till noon the following day. Got up and went for a walk around the campground and over to the lake. It was sunny and beautiful but blowing at least 20 MPH.so no fishing.

As evening approached, I decided to run the truck a while to charge the house batteries. I went to start the truck and turned the engine over but no ignition. Again and one more time I tried to no avail. I thought, great, all I need is a good break down 30 miles from anywhere and no cell phone or other form of communication available. Fortunately I was going to be joined by a friend Saturday. I had lots of house battery, propane, water, and food. I could easily last a week up there and toyed with the idea that being stuck up here for a week or so might not be all that bad.

As planned, my friend Dave showed up Saturday to meet me for fishing but was quite happy to help repair my truck. I had already diagnosed the problem was the fuel pump inside the fuel tank. We drove back down the mountain toward Hood River and got a replacement pump at NAPA.

I called the store at 4:45 with the cell phone and paid by credit card over the phone. The store closed at 5:00 so they put the parts behind the store in some pallets. My luck seemed to be changing for the better. We swung by Dave’s place to pick up some more tools, 5 fuel cans, a rubberized tarp for spill protection, and a couple triple mochas for the drive back up the mountain.

It was dark when we got back to the campground so we quickly fired up the BBQ and made a nice steak and salad dinner. We sat around the camp fire for a bit then hit the hay to get an early start.

We got up and went to it, siphoning 25 gallons out of the fuel tank to make it manageable. Jacked up the truck and camper about 8 inches and started unbolting things. The repair work was moving along much more quickly than expected.

The fuel was transferred and the tank was on the ground in about an hour. 8 bolts, 4 hoses, and 2 fuel lines, and an electrical plug. I opened the tank, removed the old pump and installed the new one.

It’s amazing that a pump the size of a D battery supplies the pressure and volume needed to keep the truck running. The tank reinstalled equally as fast and after 3 hours time, the whole project was completed. I think the other campers around us were fairly impressed we did it. It sure felt good when I turned the key and the truck engine fired right up. After an exchange of fives and talking about how good we were, we cleaned up the area. No fuel spilled and the area looked pristine. We moved our trucks over to the day use area and made lunch and watched fish jumping in the lake. We decided it would be worth it to attempt this trip again before the season ends.

Way down the mountain, you cross a bridge over the river that comes from Walupt Lake.

The time rolled past 3:00 in the afternoon so decided to head our separate ways. Happily, I made it home about 9:00 with no further surprises.

This year, Summer vacation came late. I was unable to break away from work until the weekend of this trip. Highlights of the trip are, Sequim Bay State Park, Port Angeles Crab and Seafood Festival,The Town of Forks (Vampire Capitol of the Northwest), Bogachiel State Park, Neah Bay (Home of the Makah Tribe).

We got a late start and took a ride across Puget Sound on the Edmonds Kingston ferry. It was dark, raining, and very windy. Even more so crossing the Sound. One gust with quite a force behind it, hit my coat just right and blew my jacket zipper down and flung my coat wide open. I decided to head inside the ferry after that. The crossing takes enough time to get a decent walk by making several laps of the perimeter of the ferries interior so I joined in with others doing the same.

This is a shot under the pilot house looking forward in the center. Much less wind standing in the center.

This is a view looking forward from the right side. Kingston city lights in the distance.

We made it to Sequim Bay State Park about 10:00 PM . Kelli found we had hotspot internet service on our smart phones.

Kelli decided to entertain Charlie and watched movies on YouTube.

Tonight’s feature films seemed to be focused on birds and rats.

Here a few pictures from walking around Sequim Bay SP.

Our campsite, # 81, had a great view looking out over Sequim Bay.

There was another TC (Truck Camper)in the site to our left. They had taken off early.

Sequim Bay.

A walk down to the parks fishing pier and looking out onto Sequim Bay.

The park has a nice athletic field on the other side of the highway via an underpass tunnel.

This is the baseball field.

Here are the tennis courts and place to play basketball.

Here is the tunnel heading back to the State Park.

Looking through the tunnel.

I knew we were going to be getting a lot of rain over the next few days since we were going to be on the Olympic Peninsula.

The TC has a couple spots in question as far as water infiltration go. I used some white electrical tape to seal the bottom edge trim metal.

I had already recaulked the windows but wanted to make sure this section was sealed so I could do work on it later and have it dry.

So far, the tape has worked well and none of the questionable spots have moisture.

Here we are at the Port Angeles Crab and Seafood Festival. At $30.00, it was a bit pricey but goes to a good charity.

Oh yes, Crab!

All nice and festive inside under the tent. Local Peninsula Vintners selling samples of their wine at the far end.

Close up of the giant crab.

That ship is the Blackball Ferry CO. ferry COHO leaving Port Angeles and heading to Victoria BC.

The Coast Guard station is on the land spit off in the distance.

The lookout tower on the pier.

The view from top of the tower, looking back at the festival and Port Angeles.

Here is a photo from 1980 of the old Port Townsend and Southern RR that used to serve the cities along the Straight of Juan de Fuca.

This RR traveled through the center of Sequim Bay SP. The tracks are gone and the Right of Way is now a nice long bike path.

Here is an HO Scale Model RR of the Prototype.

This layout was recently featured in Model Railroader Magazine as the Port Thomas and Southern RR.


Here is one of old RR Signals


Kelli decided to support a local artist and bought some of her work.


This is a display in the Port Angeles Aquarium on the pier at the festival.

It’s got a couple nice displays for a small aquarium.

This is a model of the Elwah Dam and demonstrates it’s removal to restore the Elwah River to it’s status as one of the great Salmon runs.

Olympic National Park information about the project.

Wikipedia on the Elwah Dam and River.

We left Port Angeles and the Crab Festival moving on to a favorite escape. Salt Creek CG.

It was a cold, dark, and rainy night when we arrived at Salt Creek.

The creatures of the night were just beginning to come out from under the covers.

That night, it rained and rained. Here is our campsite in the morning.

There were several tent campers around us who spent their nights inside their cars and Subaru’s.

All the tent campers were soaked from the lakes that formed under them in each campsite. Not very happy campers so to say.

I did almost feel guilty cooking sausage, eggs, hash browns, and toast with coffee. The stove vent spreading our

breakfast aromas throughout the nearby camp area. There were some looks as I did my morning walk around the CG holding my go cup with mocha in it.

Here are some pictures of the area during my walk in the rain.

Just a note. There is a WWII 16” two turret gun emplacement at the top of the hill in the CG that’s pretty cool.

That can be seen in an earlier trip report on  Port Angeles, Salt Creek, and General Area. Prior Trip Report from 2009.

There is also a machine gun bunker I’ll show quick. The report also has pictures from Hurricane Ridge.

This picture is of a little island in Crescent Bay. Migrating whales come into this bay to rub the sandy bottom to remove stuff from their skin.

The beach with the tide out.

This image looks out onto Tongue Point, a bird sanctuary at low tide.

Machinegun bunker.

International marker from a treaty agreed to in 1908 with Canada.

The resident deer population of Salt Creek Park. There are signs warning that Cougars are in the area.

We headed out from Salt Creek to drive along the Straight of Juan de Fuca Scenic Highway 112 where our first stop was Lyre River CG to check it out.

Lyre River WA. ST. DNR.  Lyre River Wikipedia.

I later read that the week before we were here,  (Story)

the body of a fisherman who had been missing, I think for about a month,

was recovered from a log pile a little up river from this one in the Lyre River CG.

We  had another unusual event happen later during this trip report in Forks, WA.

Kelli busy taking pictures.

Kelli’s picture.

On the road in the rain.

We made it to Forks, WA. It’s a small town and the only town of size serving the western side of the Olympic Peninsula.

Forks enjoyed some added tourism while the Twilight movies were playing. The fad has died a bit now.

The picture is of one of the Twilight related business that has folded. Ironically, the next week after this picture was taken,

The whole block burnt down, see following picture.

Oddly enough, this same block burnt down 87 years before this too.

The larger Odd Fellows building that was on the left, is already burnt to the ground.

The other Twilight themed store across the street is still there.

Hopped into the camper to check on Charlie and he looks like he’s doing fine, just add food.

Farm and barn outside of Forks.

A Shay Steam Locomotive on display in Forks.

Stopped to look at a lake along the road #113 while on the way to Neah Bay.

A quick blast through Clallam Bay.

You can see how nasty the weather was that day. Look at the rain cloud that moved in within a few minutes time.

A sexy town mascot. Me thinks these people need to get out more. Yes, those are rain drops streaking by.

The town of SEKIU. Several RV resorts catering to the fishing crowd.

Arriving at the MAKAH Indian Reservation. This is at the entrance to the Makah Museum.

We highly recommend visiting the Makah Museum.

Neah Bay.

The Marina.

The Ranger at Bogachiel SP told us to go to Take Home Fish when we got to Neah Bay.

We bought some salmon jerky and smoked COHO salmon.  Very tasty.

Again, we showed up on an interesting day. The man who runs Take Home Fish is a butcher and does a good business out of his shop.

On the day we came to visit, he had just finished butchering a cougar for the first time in his life.

This is the front half, rib cage. Second image is the hind quarters in a meat locker along with two deer behind it.

He said he ate some and that it tasted very much like pork. He said there are lots of cougar on the reservation.

This island has an interesting story to it.

The lady at the museum told us about the fabrics the tribe used to make on looms from pounded cedar bark strands and the long hair from a dog they grew just for their hair.

This practice or art form ended over 100 years ago when it became easier to purchase cloth from traders.

The Makah grew the dogs on the island in the picture for their long hair to make the cloth but  when the easy cloth from traders came available, the art of the loom was ended.

The dogs were lost to history, eaten would make sense.

Wondered why this hillside was terraced. It’s been that way for a while judging by the tree growth.

We continued driving out to the point of Neah Bay and planned to walk out to Tatoosh Island

but the walk was 30 minutes and we didn’t want to leave the camper unattended getting close to dark.

Cell Phone Camera Zoom. Can’t believe I left my EOS 5D and L Series lenses at home.

That was thick forgetting all my photographic equipment when that was the whole purpose of the trip.

Closer Zoom. The cell phone camera did save the day for both of us. Dang handy devices. Nokia Lumia 900’s.

Lots of fall colors and flowers in the area. Just a spectacular view.

Please don’t eat these. A little Doris Day reference there. A childhood crush.

We were lucky to find this vantage point. Instead of parking at the trailhead for Tatoosh Island, we

saw a dirt road off to the right and took it. In keeping with the motto that all dirt roads lead to something cool, or Rome.

We drove a couple miles up it and noticed a clearing to the right and that was our vantage point.

I would bet you could camp there but might want to seek a permission from the reservation office first.

Self portrait with Tatoosh Island in the distance.

The truck and camper wanted their picture too. Didn’t think to ask Charlie. Next time.

Thought this was cool Native Art on a barn.

This is a view looking north. This beach is directly accessible from an RV park on the Makah Reservation.

From the same location looking southwest.

The Makah are trying hard to keep a healthy tribe.

There are lots of signs like this with different slogans to reinforce good behavior.

Just about sunset and a straight shot drive all the way back home to Seattle.

We would have liked to stay a couple more days but the weather was never really nice.

Kelli had also developed a full blown cold and so that was enough for this trip.

It was near dark but I wanted to walk out on this beach and see the creek as it flowed into the Straight of Juan de Fuca.

And that concludes this trip report. The object was to see the fall colors.

We have gone on the NATCOA fall colors caravan 1, NATCOA fall colors caravan 2, the last two or three years but we missed the Crab Festival that used to be our regular fall trip.

The seafood festival is a lot of fun for us and we like the Salt Creek CG especially when the weather is nice and we can have a fire.

This trip works well enough for fall colors. We got to see some new things and we left enough things to see to warrant another couple trips later this or next year.

Hope you enjoyed the show.


These are the places we traveled to this season in a condensed single post.

It takes too much time for regular in-depth posting so I decided to cheat and do highlights.

First trip was going to be the Northwest Truck Camper Spring Rally, but we weren’t able to make it. We went the next weekend, starting the first night camped in my brother’s driveway. After that we went to Rasar State Park off Hwy 20 along the Skagit River. Had a nice campsite there and enjoyed hiking the park grounds. I installed a constant-duty solenoid switch while there, completing the installation of my heavy 4-gauge battery wire charge circuit from the alternator to the new AGM batteries in the truck camper. Works great and combined with the solar system, we have all the power we need now.

Here is a link to the Rasar State Park Trip Report. http://www.rv.net/forums/index.cfm/fuseaction/thread/tid/26020781.cfm

Camped in my by brother’s driveway.

Time to wake up the sleepyhead.


Chuckanut Drive and fossil plants.

What’s a trip without looking at the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival!

Second trip was to Florence, Oregon, staying at Honeyman State Park. Kelli has a yearly reunion with friends she likes to attend. There are the sand dunes to hike around but it is a long way to the beach and not a good idea to walk the distance over sand with off-road vehicles all around you. There is the annual car show and parade along with the large number of bikers that show up for the events of the weekend. It has always been a fun trip. There are also huckleberries to be picked in the park during this time which are good in pancakes. Took Charlie for a decent walk while staying there. Here is that trip report. Honeyman State Park, Florence, Oregon, Rhododendron Festival.

Taking Charlie for his walk at Honeyman State Park.

Charlie hitting the salad bar.

Taking a nap with dad after a walk.

Heceta Head Lighthouse.

There was to be a ring of fire solar eclipse on this day, but as you can see, the clouds were heavy and we missed it.

Devil’s Churn.

Boiler Bay on a cloudy day. No whales spotted this trip.

The last Lil Sambo’s in Lincoln City.

We went to the Truck Camper Rally in Montana at Glacier National Park.

A beautiful place and lots of fun.

On the way to Glacier, we finally did an overnight at a Wal-Mart. It worked out fine.

We stayed at the Spokane location and stocked up on food there in the morning.

Love those mountains.

At the S&S Truck Camper Factory.

The Rally Participants at the stage.

Singing on the stage. No…it’s not the Lollipop Kids or a pocket-pool competition.

Here’s what we sang. The Highwaymen – Highwayman

All the Truck Campers lined up outside the Glacier Park Lodge.

The Glacier Park Lodge and The Red Bus “Jammer” Tour Buses.

Glacier Park.

Opening the tops of the buses.

This was the peak at the top of the Going to the Sun Highway.

It became visible for only a few seconds then vanished from view again.

The buses at the top in fog.

The Weeping Wall.

Some redhead paid me to have my picture taken with her. Looked like a good deal to me!

Inside the lodge.

Everybody at the potluck.

The NATCOA Quilt for the Montana Rally.

On the way home, we decided to take the rougher, more scenic route through the forest lands. We did not know it at the time, but we passed through the area where the show “Mountain Men” is filmed.

Grizzly Bear Country.

We are now in Washington State’s NE corner on Highway 20. We will drive this route all the way home as it is one of the prettiest drives anywhere.

As we were driving down the road, several deer were acting funny, jumping and spinning around like this one. We also saw some very healthy coyotes.

We spent the night at a NFS CG along the Pend Oreille Chain of Lakes.

Crossing the Columbia River/Lake Roosevelt.

One of several scenic informational places we stopped to look at along the way home across Highway 20.

Just sitting out in a field. Middle of nowhere.

We drove through the Omak Stampede Rodeo Grounds for a look-see. That’s the hill for the Suicide Run. The grounds has a fairly nice RV section with full hookups.

We stopped in Winthrop for a nice dinner, then continued on late into the night all the way home. Here is the Lake Diablo overlook where we always stop for the photo shoot of the Truck Campers during the Fall Colors Caravan.

The next trip was up into the Gifford National forest. It’s a nice area to escape to.

We came upon this tree that had been freshly shredded by a bear. Never saw the bear though it probably saw and smelled us. Took a little extra caution after this. The plan was to squirt “Shorty” with honey and outrun him. Shorty didn’t like that idea.

There was a group of seven riders on the trail that day.

Here you can see the old bridge support on the side of the stream we just crossed. We crossed the stream on a log that spanned the two banks. The bikers could not get across. We figure the bridge had been out for several years and the Chain of Lakes area we were hiking to had also been closed for several years due to vandalism. We think that is why we saw the bear shredded tree because so few humans have hiked through this area for the last several years.

Mount Adams.


Checking out another lake before leaving the forest.

Scoping out a river and campground connected to the lake.

Taking the scenic route home as always.

The final trip this season was to a concert at the Gorge Amphitheater for Journey, Pat Benatar and Loverboy.

The campsite was plain, no hookups and expensive, but we didn’t have to fight traffic and enjoyed a nice evening looking up at the stars.

The lovely camping area.

The Gingko Petrified Forest.

Because of the value of the petrified wood, it has to be protected. Even so, people still try to break in and take some.

The main building for the Ranger.

A quick visit to the Denny Creek Campground on the way home.

A quick stop at the viewpoint on top of Queen Anne Hill to look at the Seattle skyline before heading home.

That concludes this condensed version of this summer’s traveling activities. Hope you enjoyed the show.

There may be two more trips this year…for the Fall Colors Truck Camper Caravan and the Crab and Seafood Festival in Port Angeles.

I have another camera to download pictures from. If there is something special, I’ll post it.