STW3 wrapup

The third and final segment of the Second Trip West ended at Tillamook OR. We spent 5 nights there at the Tillamook Bay City RV Park. This is a basic park that we chose because it was close to Tillamook and it had cable TV. Very good cable TV – like 90 channels. There were a couple of must-see shows scheduled for those nights. Besides, we stayed at a lot of parks on the STW that not only had no cable, but had no over-the-air reception either. There were quite a few nights when we used the TV to play DVDs. I guess we had a TV deficit.

Mega RV

Mega RV



The last night at the park our neighbors were a French couple traveling in a huge, heavy-duty RV unlike anything I have ever seen in person before, but which looked very much like a unit that was featured on one of those “mega RV” TV shows. If I recall, the unit cost upwards of $1 million and could travel just about anywhere. A ladder with 6 steps was needed to reach the door. The unit was brought over on a ship. I had to wonder how much it cost to transport it across the Atlantic, but I guess if you can afford the RV the cost of shipping it is not an issue.

The other interesting feature of the park was a new yurt – kind of a Mongolian teepee with a wooden floor. The one at Tillamook/Bay City was very nice, with a plastic cap that let light in and could be raised to let smoke out. Someday I am going to have to get a closer look at one of these. Just get a look – I don’t actually have to stay in one. But maybe I would enjoy it. We’ll see.

The numbers for STW3: 1095 tow miles in 7 hops and 16 nights. 1698 truck miles. Total campground cost: $801.60 ($50.10 per night). The most expensive park, by far, was Yellowstone Grizzly in West Yellowstone MT – $78.16 per night.

The highlights:

  • Yellowstone National Park.  Old Faithful was a treat, but the unexpected encounter with a huge herd of buffalo was even better.
  • Mt Saint Helens. This was a long day trip, but it was great seeing the mountain fully recovered after 35 years.
  • Tillamook.  I got in a nice round of golf at Alderbrook Golf Course and we had some great times with my sister and her husband.

The lowlights:

  • The weather. Starting with the 2″ snowfall in West Yellowstone, the cold, mostly dreary weather dogged us until we got to Mt Saint Helens.  It was more like late fall than late summer.
  • Missing out on seeing my niece and nephews in Tillamook.  I was really hoping to see some, if not all of them.  And I was very interested in meeting my new grand nephew.  But all were busy – and some were in Europe – so I completely struck out on seeing them.
  • The flat tire in Ennis.  This was not a typical flat tire due to a nail in the road; this was me kicking the valve stem and deflating the tire.  But AAA came to the rescue and put the spare on.
  • Nearly losing the spare while rolling down I-90 at 70 mph.  The AAA guy didn’t tighten the lugnuts enough and the tire came close – too damn close – to falling off while we were traveling.

I guess the fact that I have more lowlights than highlights mark this as the least “successful” of the three STW segments.  But we made it to Tillamook unscathed so I have to say that we did okay.

Final tally for the STW:

  • 4158 tow miles
  • 6933 truck miles
  • 59 days
  • $2896.32 in campground fees ($49.09 per night)


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