Road Trip to the Pacific Northwest!

vintique_imageClick on image to enlarge

In Phoenix, saying that the fall season is almost here isn’t very convincing. After all, we hit 102 degrees just the other day! But there is the reality that all of my summer travels are over. So from that perspective it does feel like another summer season is almost gone.

In August, Mr and I hit the road in The Turd (our 42 foot long fifth wheel RV) and our two dogs. We traveled through six states, had a couple of meltdowns, had one tire blowout (not for the faint of heart when you’re towing a fifth wheel!), visited two cheese farms, picked fresh berries and vegetables, and had an awesome adventure!

I got a pair of amazing cowgirl boots bequeathed to me!

Even though we were camping, I managed to bake an enchilada casserole, tomato tart, caprese salad, lasagna, sweet & sour chicken, and egg roll!  And, drum roll please… Beef Wellington!

I had a lot of fun using the “Vintique” app on my iPhone to create really cool effects and frames for some of my travel pics:

Stop #1: Tonopah, NV. Our first overnight stop was in Tonopah, Nevada. Our RV “site” was a parking lot behind the Tonopah Station Casino. The parking lot was pretty gross but we did appreciate having full hookups for A/C and water. Funny thing is that we got to this site (the last one available!) about 10 seconds before another RVer so, gross or not, we felt lucky to have scored the spot.

970655_10200913749418332_1526229518_nI took this teepee pic on our way out of Tonopah, Nevada.
Just like one of my best friends said, “Black gunpowder and ROCKS… That about says it all!”

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Near Lathrop wells, NV (80 miles north of Las Vegas). A Brothel AND Alien Travel Center! ‘Nuff said…

Stop #2: Tule Lake, CA: Okay, so I wasn’t the best co-pilot. My job was to read the map and steer Mr toward our stop at an RV camping spot near Tule Lake, California. Well… I got us to Tule Lake but unfortunately, the campsite was about 25 minutes south so we had to backtrack (have I mentioned before that I hate to backtrack to a destination?). We eventually got to our campsite.

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Can you spot the deer (it’s smack dab in the middle of the photo).

Mr thought the campground was really cool and rustic. But right next to the campground there was private property and the lawn was artistically littered with dried out animal horns on stakes. Creeeeeeeepy… But, the deer coming so close to our camping spot was really cool. (Maybe they were just trying to get away from being “art” next door?!?)

Stop #3: Moolala, OR. We were able to pitch up our RV on the property of a friend who lives in Moolala, Oregon. It was great! Though technically dry camping (or boondocking) since we weren’t connected to electricity or water, we could walk up the expansive lawn and hang indoors with friends. Oh, and the house? A gorgeous 10,000 square foot Victorian home! Who says camping needs to be rough?

182352_10201027373698868_1508420622_nOdie and his Big Ol’ Cow Tongue fits in with all the cows in Moolala.

Moolala is the nation’s Christmas Tree capital. So there were Christmas tree farms everywhere. And cows. Also abundant were roadside farms where you could pick peaches, berries and all sorts of yummy stuff.

IMG_1371My first Beef Wellington! 
Now I know why Gordon Ramsay makes this dish part of his Hell’s Kitchen menu.
Not an easy dish to nail–but I think Gordon would have been pleased with my attempt.

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My old girl, Indy, takes a siesta next to my newly-acquired cowgirl boots. 

What’s better than a new pair of boots? A pair of boots already broken in and ready to wear! A huge thank you to Bridgette (a REAL cowgirl) who decided to bequeath these beauties to me!!! Bridgette lives in Moolala and does an amazing job of being an integral part of her family’s cattle business while being a loving mom and wife. All cowgirl outside, all sweetheart inside!

Stop #4: Pacific Beach, OR. After Moolala, we took a drive west toward the Oregon Coast. I really wanted to camp in Astoria (where they filmed Goonies!) But all the camp spots were full. So we decided on Pacific Beach. This was Odie’s first time seeing the Pacific Ocean. He had a blast!

1146648_10201012236280442_927151095_nOdie hits the beach at Pacific Beach, Oregon. COWABUNGA!

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After his romp through the Ocean, Odie snuggles underneath a towel, in front of the heater.

Stop #5: Boise, ID. We stayed at Country Corners RV Resort in Caldwell, Idaho, which is about 30 minutes outside of Boise. The campground was super clean and pull thrus made it easy to park The Turd. But best of all were the vegetable gardens at the campground. Guests are encouraged to pick their own corn, squash, onions, tomatoes, peppers, carrots, and more!

1175583_10201039350278275_288270245_n (1)I don’t have a green thumb so this was heaven! I got to pick fresh veggies without tending to a garden.

Stop #6: Park City, UT. Our stops in Utah were actually in Wasatch Mountain State Park near Heber, Utah, and River’s Edge RV Resort near Park City, Utah. Mr and I made a trip into Park City (which hosts the Sundance Film Festival). I kept looking for Robert Redford but, alas, no sighting.

598768_10201005283346623_1879202955_nSpotted this Five Wives Vodka on the shelves of the state-run liquor store in Heber, Utah.

Stop #7: Cameron Indian Trading Post near Flagstaff, AZ. You know how when you are heading home from a trip and even if the trip was great, there comes a point where you just long to be home “right now”? That’s sort of how we felt on our final leg heading home.

1187186_10201039823050094_2144689106_nSeeing this sign added to our bout of homesickness.

We decided that even though we were only a few hours away from home that we should avoid driving The Turd at night. So we pulled into an RV spot at the Cameron Indian Trading Post just outside of Flagstaff, Arizona.

vintique_imageSign at the Cameron Indian Trading Post RV campsite

Do you dream about a road trip through the Southwest? Think that signs like the one above will be dotted all along your journey? Well then, you won’t be disappointed. Having traveled through parts of Arizona, I can confirm that this part of the country is full of signs, one-light towns, sleepy main streets and abandoned motels and gas stations that capture a nostalgic, vintage setting. You might think you’re in a David Lynch movie, but no, this is Arizona in all of its Route 66-inspired charm.

Final Stop: Cave Creek, AZ. (Home!) A great road trip and fun memories; but glad to be home.

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