Arriving in Pasco at noon, we headed straight for the dealership full of anticipation.
We couldn’t wait to see our new Arctic Fox (AF) fifth wheel. By the time we’d completed all the paperwork, it was late afternoon and we gratefully retired to our hotel room.
Next morning we were up bright and early, knowing we had a lot of tasks to complete: we had a ‘walk-through’ scheduled which took over an hour; we had to transfer all our “STUFF” from the U Haul; we had to return the U Haul; we had to find a solution to attaching the bikes safely and conveniently to the trailer during travel; we had to load everything safely inside and outside the trailer; we had to hitch it up to an unfamiliar Reese hitch; we had to get ourselves and our new home safely to Franklin County RV Park.
It was late afternoon and time for Happy Hour before we were finally driving the 2 miles down the road to the park. Plus, we were full of anticipation too, to see dear snowbird friends who were making their way North from Mesa. Coincidentally (or not), they were passing through at just the right time and had arranged to meet us. As we drove into the park, they were there to greet us….and so the celebration and inauguration of our new home began….an auspicious beginning.
The days truly passed in a DAZE. We stayed much longer than we had planned, not realizing how many things had to be accomplished: shopping for groceries; finding and organizing our “STUFF”; phone calls and e mails to family and friends; looking for equipment (like bike racks); doing taxes; obtaining trailer insurance; learning how to operate all of our new equipment (a Reese hitch, trailer brakes and controller, airbag suspension, convection microwave???, electric fireplace, built-in vac, heated seats, smart tv… to name just a few…); figuring out the height of our rig; developing arrival and departure checklists; setting up and learning how to use the new GPS specifically designed for RV’s….just a few of the many things we accomplished.
Although we were busy with our “must do” list, we also enjoyed relaxing pastimes such as: waking up to the sound of the rain hitting the roof, feeling snoozy, and NOT feeling the need to do anything, knowing we had all the time in the world; we journaled, walked, biked, talked and then repeated those some more; I started playing my guitar again.
Soon enough though, the call to explore came loud and strong. One day, we headed east to Prosser, a wine-growing/TASTING area to check out potential RV parks for future visits; another day we checked out Sacajawea State Park where the Snake River joins the Columbia and toured through the Interpretive Center, learning about the Lewis and Clark expedition (and about a Bluegrass Festival that happens there yearly, the only time they allow camping at that park);
The confluence of the Snake and Columbia Rivers at Sacajawea State Park
We explored the Snake River Army Corps of Engineers (ACE) sites all the way to the Lower Monumental Dam.
Below the Lower Monumental Dam
Above the Lower Monumental Dam.
Spectacular train trestle on the west side of the Snake, below the dam.
The first site was Hood Park just on the other side of the river from Pasco. Beautiful!
At the boat launch there we found a more detailed map of the ACE campsites and decided to explore further.
Detailed map we found at the Hood River Park.
The next site was Charbonneau, even better than Hood with houseboats and sailboats moored.
The last stop was Fishook Campground…the best but with warnings of nitrates in the water. Not too surprising since this campground is located right on the river, below acres and acres of apple orchards which had warnings about pesticides so maybe not the best place to camp.
We continued all the way to the dam, thinking we’d be able to cross over and come back on the other side but no such luck. Had to turn around and go back. By that time, we were getting hungry so went out for dinner to the Hacienda Del Sol, quite a happening place;
We cycled along both sides of the Columbia, intending to do the 26 mile Sacajawea roundtrip one day but most of the days were too windy;
Enjoying the sun during a rest stop on a cycle trip along the Columbia.
We discovered Bateman Island and spent a whole afternoon exploring that protected wetlands preserve sticking out into the Columbia River; we found a most unique little art gallery and discovered the illustrator ‘Steve O’Shea’ an amazing graphic artist!!
On one of our many stops at the Broadmoor RV Dealership, we learned that Northwood Manufacturing, the company that makes the Arctic Fox, is less than 100 miles away in La Grande, OR and that they regularly do tours. We went, we saw, we loved….loved seeing the bare bones of our fifth wheel and how it was put together. Gave us a lot of confidence in our rig.
After three weeks in Pasco, I found myself becoming quite attached….so much to do and I liked this RV Park….great internet, quiet, and friendly.
Our neighbor’s dog had had surgery but still got out on a daily basis for fresh air!!
But, with the arrival of our trailer license plate, it became time for our maiden voyage to the Oregon Coast. Feeling excited and ready to travel, I was also I was a bit worried….well….actually more than a bit, by the tunnels along HWY 101 of WA and the Oregon Coast…..
Note the sign on the far top right-hand side…that’s where the lowest height is at 14 feet.
Following behind a trailer as tall as ours, my fears were allayed somewhat by seeing this in a WA tunnel.