Wow, it’s been a bit! I was not anticipating having zero internet connection for almost 3 weeks. Ok, well not zero, but we were so far out/off grid that what internet we could find was so slow you couldn’t really do anything with it.
Our trip was actually two trips that ended up being to close together rather than come home for a few days, and drive across the state twice, we decided to add a 3rd part of the trip, to bridge the gap, and do a big old loop from W WA, down to SW Idaho to visit family, with a few stops in between.
Get ready for a long post (opted for one big vaca post rather than 3 posts about each portion of the trip) ton of pics (mostly Mark’s with the camera, but some from my phone as well) and non of them edited…no time to do that. 🙂
First stop was Silver Line campground in Winthrop WA. We’ve stayed here before, and LOVE it! Very nice grounds, lovely lake, and if you get the right spots you have a huge open grassy area for kiddos to run around and play while enjoying a glass of wine, and view of the lake!
The view of the field, lake, and mountains from our spot.
My tip would be to get a spot along the open grassy field. The are not full hook up’s though. Power and water only. So, for a longer trip, like ours, we walked over to the bathrooms/showers when at all possible. The trailer was reserved for Sky or middle of the not potty needs.
The only negative to this campground is the dump station is on the only road out, so when leaving on a weekend, you can end up waiting for a long time if trailers in front of you are lined up dumping (it blocks the road). We were there Wed-Tues, so left on an off day and it wasn’t an issue for us at all.
If you’ve never been to Winthrop it’s a fun little town to visit. Old west style, wooden boardwalks and store fronts, some great food options, bars, winery, and cider brewer.
Right smack in the middle of the apple orchard!
Apple Cider Doughnuts
Sadly this summer is the last summer the tasting “room” will be in the orchard. They are moving to a location in town, and this tent will be for event’s only. 😦
It was over 100 every day we were in Winthrop, that’s just hot! Really hot! So we not only made use of the lake, but this blow up pool as well. We also spent a lot of time inside the trailer with the AC on, reading, coloring, and playing moose ball!
Moose Ball…it’s a moose that pops bouncy balls out of his mouth when you squeeze his tummy. I put bowls and pans on the floor for us to try and get the balls into…Sky was actually really good at this game, and had a blast.
We picked one morning to hike up to a mountain lake. It was hot, but the water was glacier cold, so it was worth it.
Yes Silas has his own camp chair. #spoileddog
After we left Winthrop we drove up to Tonasket, WA to visit a friend that we met two years ago in Winthrop actually. He has a cabin on a mountain top about 10 miles outside of town, and we got to spend a few days there as a stop over before driving to ID.
“Don’t be too cold for me water!”
The view from the cooking area.
Cowgirl Shower. There is no running water or electricity, so everything has to be hauled in, but you know what…it’s totally 100% worth the effort. Peace, quiet, star gazing, and plenty of time to slow down and relax. We loved this stop on our trip so much!
I don’t know if she was singing or what, but she had so much fun with Dan O!
From Tonasket we made our way to Hermiston, OR (we took a round about way to skirt around wild fires) for the mid point in our journey to Melba, ID.
I LOVED Melba so much. It’s small, a few stop signs and tons of farm land. Acres and Acres of crop fields, with a few dairy farms, horse properties and vineyards thrown in. And, it pulled on my small-town heartstrings so much. I grew up small town, and it felt like going home.
I don’t think there is anything better than 4th of July in a small town. The level of excitement and patriotism is off the charts. Especially since Melba is known for being the best fireworks show around, even better than Boise! I have to say while Tacoma does a good job, Melba is much, much better.
This trip was special for me. I grew up looking forward to the times my cousins were at my grandparents the same time we were, and that only happened every 3 or 4 years. But, the memories I have of playing away the summer days with them are memories that I treasure. It was pretty cool to see them as adults and see our kiddo’s playing together and having fun like we did so long ago.
Conveniently they all have home on the same big piece of property, and have great play spaces for the kiddos. After breakfast Sky would take off and we wouldn’t see her again until dinner time. She LOVED it, and keeps asking about when she gets to go back.
She got her first BB Gun in ID. Don’t worry she also has eye protection.
Pretty much that was the look on her face the whole time. This giant Mister is brilliant!
Waiting for the 4th of July parade to start with my cousins Sarah, and Becka
Visiting my cousin Linda’s cupcake shop, so yummy!
Waiting for fireworks to start.
Daniel and Sky…those two got along so well, and if I couldn’t find Sky I just had to find Daniel and she was either with him, or he knew were she was.
The parade was so much fun, and they threw candy at the kids so Sky has like 2lbs of candy to enjoy all summer long. Seeing the horses and rodeo royalty…that’s how little girl dreams are started right there.
Like most dogs, Silas did not like the fireworks or the thunder that came with a massive rain storm. He needed cuddles.
Sky was given some awesome books for her birthday, and they kept her busy most of the road trip. She loves to read!
Most of the crop field have these sheds in them, spaced out all throughout, and it took a few days before we came across one we could see in. They are bee hives! Pretty smart! I hare this only because I’ve never seen that before and thought it was kind of cool.
Like I said, dreams were started…riding Seven.
Sky can’t drive past a horse field without wanting to ride, and after the parade it was pretty clear we needed to try and make a horse ride happen. Thankfully my cousins know some horse people and arranged for Sky to have a ride and watch roping practice. Dallas, let Sky warm Seven up before they headed into practice. He taught her to neck rein, stop, and go backwards and was super patient with Sky. It was fascinating watching them practice and hearing the feedback and changes that each person needed to make, I learned a lot, and Sky would like a set or horns a rope to start practicing on.
This was the coolest (both in wow factor and temp) spot on the river ever. Perfect for a picnic, fishing, and beating the heat. The fish were biting like crazy and we all had a blast!
The sunset on the 4th, from the top of Mark’s truck. So pretty!
There are so many more pics I wanted to share, but per usual my phone and blogger are not playing well together, so they either didn’t come through at all, or are really wonky.
A few observations/tips about traveling this long, off the grid, in the heat, and with a 4 year old & dog:
-Something will go wrong, be ok with it and roll with it. We ended up at vets twice with Silas, he’s fine, but you just can’t get upset with the 3 hour delay of sitting in the emergency vet clinic.
-When out and about outside dinning is a must with a dog. You can’t take him inside, so base dinning options on outside eating area, or get it to go and find a park. That’s good for the kiddo as well…burn energy at the park during lunch. Also, there will be handing off of the pet when strolling through town, and shopping. One of us was almost always waiting outside for the other and then we’d switch. Something to keep in mind when deciding if the pet is going on vaca with you or not.
-We plan for 4 hours worth of miles per day, because 4 hours inevitably turns into 5 or 6 with potty breaks, dog vomit in the truck etc. We could have made it to Melba in one long 9 hour day, but that would not have been fun for Sky or Silas, and it’s their vacation too. Same with the trip home from Melba, we could have done it again 9 or 10 hours, but not fun for all, and thankfully my aunt and uncle are pretty much exactly half way, so we stopped for the evening at their place.
-Don’t assume that “produce” stands means well stocked produce! I didn’t purchase any fruit or veggies before leaving, because we were going to “farm” country. But, in Winthrop anyway, it was almost 100% fruit, with maybe a few sweet onions if they happened to be calling themselves a produce stand. That plan failed, but thankfully the grocery store was well stocked.
-When it’s 100+ plan one “thing” a day, do it early, and then spend the rest of the time staying cool and hydrating.
-Water, water, water! Especially when staying somewhere off grid with no water. We did’t run out, but it would have been not fun if we had. Thankfully we were prepared and had plenty of clean water for drinking. Extra propane is a good idea as well. Day 3 of the trip there was a burn ban activated so only propane grilling allowed. Between that, and being off grid for a few days, we powered the refrigerator in the trailer with our propane. Didn’t come close to running out, but just a good reminder to always be prepared.
-Accept that plans may need to change. I was pretty sick for about 5 days, to the point we were going to cut the trip short and come home, and we were all ok with that. No use getting upset, just roll with it. Thankfully on D Day I finally was feeling better.
-Bed time rules, food rules, don’ts, and no’s can all take a little break. It’s vacation after all. Loosen up and let everyone have a good time…withing reason of course.
-E readers are sort of the best thing ever. I read 4 books in 2 1/2 weeks. It was so hot, and buggy in the evenings, that by 6:30 or 7 we were in for the night. Plus, it was get ready for bed/calm down time for Sky. So the three of us would get comfy in the trailer and read, color, or play moos ball. If not for my e reader though I would not have had a big enough selection of books to keep me going.
-It’s ok if regularly scheduled workouts don’t happen. Chances are you are doing activities anyway, and doing things outside the norm, for me it was swimming, and getting some exercise anyway. Plus, we all need a break now and then!
Thank you to Dan O., my cousins, my aunt and uncle, and my Dad (for the quick visit with Sky on our way through town). You all made this trip so memorable for us and we had so much fun!