WA: Round trip to Everett – 04/25/2017 – 04/26/2017

Parking: Best Western – Cascadia Inn
Rating: 10

Sultan, WA
Bringing Baby home

As is our usual luck, the best price we found (by a significant amount) for our new toy was all the way back west – just a few miles from where we used to live on the opposite end of Hwy 2 from where we were. So, it was road trip time. The trip over to Everett was uneventful, but the return trip was not much fun. Since this was the first time we had ever had heavy equipment on the truck, we kept it slow. The deer were doing their migration thing, so we literally saw over 500 of them (about 10% of them actually on the road in front of us). I was certain we were going to end up hitting one especially since we didn’t get back to base until it was well after dark.

Not many people are able to take their truck camper off their truck and then haul a 8000 lb excavator on it! Though I don’t know that we’ll be hauling her around much – loading and unloading it without a ramp is a nail-biting experience, but at least she is home safe and sound, and she will make the rest of our driveway clearing a breeze (not to mention awesome fun).

WA: Homebase – 04/22/2017

Parking: Temporary spot

Homebase, WA
Clearing the road by hand

The previous owner was going to put a house on the property, so he cleared some building sites and made an excellent road. He was unable to complete the project due to health reasons, so the property has just been sitting idle. The driveway has had seven years to grow young trees and was unnavigable. We cleared by hand (the above picture does not do justice to the work we had to do – some of the trees were already 8′ tall) the first part of the driveway until one of the cleared building sites was accessible, and we were able to depod. We needed the truck free to go get our new toy.

Homebase, WA

WA: Colville – 03/23/2017 – 04/22/2017

Parking: Northeast Washington Fairgrounds
Rating: 9

Although NE Washington had an insane amount of rain this past winter, generally it’s not too wet, so we resumed the property search. It seemed a good time to look for property because anything that was flooded probably wouldn’t be something that we would want to handle. We’ve done the living-in-a-flood-plain thing, and we’re done with that.

There is not much open in the way of RV parks in the winter/early spring, but the very nice folk at the Fairgrounds let us stay there despite not being officially open. Since the water wasn’t turned on at the sites, they even gave us a nice discount (take note Evergreen Fairgrounds). It was a great location to use as a base of operations to search for property in the Tri-County area.

We were not too keen on driving the rig all over the place to look at property – especially since some of the places would probably not have RV friendly access yet, and it was too wet to ride motorcycles. We decided that we were committed to get a piece of property somewhere, so we’d get a pick-up truck. Yes, we just sold two pick-up trucks last year, but we wanted one that could be flat-towed behind the RV, that was four wheel drive, and that was relatively light – that meant a Ford F-150 (the 2017s are aluminum). My partner spent a lot of time on the phone looking for the best price – which ended up being a fleet-style truck in Snohomish (a couple miles from Monroe). Seriously? I did not want to go back over the Cascades with the RV while it was still snowy. Fortunately, he did some more calling around, and found a truck in Pasco that was a good price and not a fleet vehicle (i.e., actually comfortable). Still Pasco is a long way from Colville, and it ended up being the longest one-day drive. We have our amateur radio licenses, so on the way back, we were able to communicate despite being in separate vehicles.

We had a truck, so the property search began in earnest. There is nothing better than driving around the mountains of NE Washington – it’s beautiful and quiet with lots of wildlife. We picked out a couple of places, but with it being spring break and with Gonzaga in the Final Four (thus a good chunk of NE Washington went to Phoenix), it was hard to get folk to return calls, so we just kept looking. We eventually found a perfect location – remote but on a paved county road, close enough to town for errands but not too close, good driveway with good building sites, lots of trees, no standing water, etc. The real estate agent was at Disneyland with her grandkids, and the seller lived out of state, but this agent worked in between outings with the kids and got everything handled for us remotely.

Now we have a piece of property in NE Washington where we can build a couple of garages to store some of the toys when we’re off on a trip. But first, there’s one more big toy to buy.