Sea Level To Mountains
~Tuesday, October 11, 2022~
Day 849 (Travel Day)
An absolutely breathtaking way to start the day…..witnessing a bald eagle flying right in front of our trailer, possibly looking for breakfast in the nearby river. Immediately, I tried grabbing my camera, hoping this eagle had a friend trailing behind, or that it might choose to do a repeat performance. But, no such luck, though I’m grateful for spotting even the one.
We’re sad to be leaving our perfect little spot on the Hoh River, but am eager to move on as it gets us closer to “home”. With each passing day, we look forward to spending time with my mom and son once again. With only a few weeks to go, it’s hard to believe after all the miles and hours of being on the road, we’ll be back to family and some much desired idle time. For now, Mount Rainier National Park….here we come!
Driving Highway 101 south, we made a point to stop at a beach we visited the other day……Kalaloch Beach. However today, it was almost unrecognizable with the clear blue skies…..a far cry from the misty shrouded coastline of the other day. Wouldn’t you know it to be this way, on a day we’re leaving?
Our main reason for stopping was to use their $5 dump service. And believe me, the topic of extending our stay did happen, not because of the convenient dump station, but because of the unbelievable weather. Though tempting, we both agreed we needed to stay on schedule. Sometimes being so pragmatic is a curse 😩.
We stopped in McCleary for some DEF (diesel exhaust fluid) since our alarm keeps annoyingly reminding us to add it. As soon as we’re within 500 miles of needing it changed, it reminds us about every 50 miles. It’s helpful information, but irritating at the same time. Can’t wait until we find it in bulk as it’s way cheaper…..about 60% less. The tank holds about 5 gallons of it, which in turn gives us about 1,000 miles/gallon. For today, we had to settle on buying it by the box instead of at the pump. Truck stops seem to be the best place to find it.
As we got closer to the end of our 5-hour drive, we got quick glimpses of the highest volcanic peak in the U.S. At 14,410 feet, Rainier is one huge mountain that you feel you can almost touch. I’ve never had the opportunity to see it before, but Jeff had come here many years ago with his family, having the good fortune of seeing it in its winter glory. Thank goodness the clear visibility today allowed us to see it. And our forecast is stellar with an AQI hovering around 20. Daytime temperatures will be in the low 70’s. 👏👏
Our destination of Sahara Creek DNR Horsecamp (department of natural resources) doesn’t offer water. But through our reliable Campendium app, we were able to know the perfect spot to fill up the rig…….. Alder Lake Park Campground, just 10 minutes away. And what a nice campground at $35/night for full hookups. We duly noted it in case we didn’t like ours. Not necessary. Sahara Creek is quite the gem, not just because of the horses we’d get to see on a daily basis, but with how beautiful this campground is
and its close proximity to the national park. It’s so special I’m reluctant to even talk about it. We can absolutely see this campground being in high demand in the summer, but with us arriving in October, it allowed us several options. Per their map, we noted sites 11 thru 20 were dedicated only to horse trailers. There really wasn’t a bad site to be had, with our selection being far enough away from the local gun range (the sound was minimal anyway). All that’s required to stay here is the purchase of a Washington Discover Pass ($35/annually). Jeff had read reviews that this late in the season, they weren’t checking for that, so we’ll wait and see if it’s necessary to purchase one. Even with the pass spread out over the next 4 days, it would essentially be $9.00/day….a total bargain!! Maybe we’ll find the pass useful when we get to Mount St. Helens.