My first trip with Wild Thing will be driving across the country from Sumas, WA home to Ashland, MA. I'm not one to shy away from a challenge! This trip will provide me with the opportunity to get comfortable with the trailer and practice the skills I need to safely handle the rig. I'm going to do a little exploring along the way, but will be mostly focused on learning about the trailer. I'm going to take it slow and easy, traveling for a few days then resting for a a few days before continuing. I expect that by the time I make it home I will at least have the basics down! I also hope to discover what I brought-that-I-don't-need and what I need-that-I-didn't-pack! Armed with this knowledge, l'll spend the next month at home readying myself and the trailer for a longer winter trip.
If all goes according to plan, this homeward bound trip will start on Friday September 22, 2017 in Sumas, WA at the border crossing. Escape Trailer Industries will bring Wild Thing across the border for me and take care of the import process. Once Wild Thing is in the USA, I'll hitch her up to my big red truck (whom I've taken to calling Max) and off we'll go!
The first day I'll drive only about 100 miles, from Sumas, WA to Lake Pleasant Campground just north of Seattle in Bothell, WA. There I'll set up camp for a few days so I can spend some time settling in, unpacking and getting comfortable with the trailer as well as ferreting out any unanticipated issues. On Saturday morning, the 23rd, I'll have a chance to meet up with my son Glen for a few hours. He will be back from his Alaska junket and completing the season with Uncruise Adventures at their Seattle location. How convenient is that?! It will be a brief visit since he only gets 4 hours of shore leave but it is such a wonderful opportunity to see him. Timing is indeed everything!
I'll leave Bothell, WA on Tuesday September 26 and drive 300 miles to Post Falls, ID where I will spend one night for free in the Walmart Supercenter parking lot. It turns out there are several places that allow free overnight stops for RV's. Many Walmart Supercenters, Cabela's, Cracker Barrel, and Camping World stores, as well as truck stops like Flying J, Pilot, Travel Centers of America and Loves, and most Casinos allow self contained RV's to park overnight for free. Each store typically sets it's own policies regarding overnight guests, so it's best to check before parking for the night and there are no hook-ups, but for one night when traveling from point A to point B it is pretty convenient and a great opportunity to do a little shopping!
Wednesday September 27 I will leave Post Falls, ID and drive 325 miles to the Merry Widow Health Mine Camp in Basin, MT to rest for a few days and check out this unique mine. According to their website, this mine at the foot of the Rockies emits low levels of radon gas which has been reported to restore health and aide in such ailments as arthritis, sinusitis, migraine, eczema, asthma, hay fever, psoriasis, allergies, diabetes, and others. Maybe it will help with my psoriasis and arthritic knees and based on my research, it can't hurt, so it should be an interesting place to spend a few days!
This is also the first park where I can take advantage of my Passport America discount. There are several discount programs available to RV'rs and I've signed up for two so far. I am a Good Sam Club member and this entitles me to enjoy 10% off the camping fees of thousands of campgrounds. Passport America offers memberships for $44.00 a year and have negotiated 50% off camping fees for over 1800 campgrounds nationwide. My membership will pay for itself (and then some!) in this trip alone!
I will leave the Health Mine on Saturday September 30 and drive 250 miles to Billings, MT where I will stay overnight for free at the Cabela's. Sunday morning October 1, I will rise early and drive 300 miles to Mountain View RV Park in Sundance, WY. This park is close to Devil's Tower National Monument (the iconic formation made famous in the movie Close Encounters of the Third Kind), the beautiful Black Hills National Forest, Crazy Horse Memorial, and Mount Rushmore. I'll take a few days to explore the area, then Wednesday, October 4th drive 350 miles to Mitchell, SD where I will again stay overnight at Cabela's.
Thursday October 5th will also be a travel day. I'll drive another 350 miles to Waverly, IA and stay overnight at the Walmart Supercenter. On Friday October 6, it will be a short 260 miles to Millpoint RV Park in East Peoria Il. I'll stay two nights using my Passport America discount and have a bit of a rest. This park looks like a quiet restful place on a beautiful lake. A good place to stretch my legs!
Monday October 9, I will drive 340 miles to Rockwood, PA and again using my Passport America discount will say two nights at Hickory Hollow Campground . Wednesday October 11 I'll drive 315 miles to the Tri-State RV Park in Matamoras, PA. for my last night on the road. Thursday October 12, I will drive the remaining 250 miles home.
My brother taught me to always "make your plans, but don't plan on it" and I have found that to be sage advice. I will be very surprised if all goes according to this plan and anticipate that I may need to make adjustments along the way . I do feel more confident having a plan though for this maiden voyage. Most of the campgrounds accepted reservations, but allow for changes with advanced notice of a day or two. I'm sure this will be quiet a learning experience and I can't wait to share it with you!
Wish me luck!