Day 4: Over White Pass to Packwood RV Park
When we arrived at Hause Creek Campground yesterday afternoon, we were the only ones there, but throughout the afternoon and evening, more and more campers showed up. It wasn’t full by any means, but there were probably five campsites taken by the time it was dark.
I left the shade up on the window near the bed last night. It was still pitch black except for the gentle glow from a campfire. My plan was to be awakened by the sun, get in an early workout by the creek and hit the road. But the clouds moved in over night and so the only thing waking me up was a soft grey light. I might have scrapped the idea of working out because it was so much colder than I had planned, but last night I ran the generator for about 45 minutes just so my laptop would have enough of a charge to record it, and that cost me about $3, so that was impetus enough to get me to brave the temperature.
First, I made my coffee and took River for his morning constitutional while it brewed. Or so I thought. I forgot that the generator is required for anything that plugs in, so there was no coffee waiting for me. No big deal; I flipped the generator on and brewing began.
One thing that I had thought I was packing, but somehow it didn’t make it into my luggage, is a pen. The need for a pen has come up more than once. In fact, I was intending to make a list of things that I noticed I needed during the trip so I can be sure to bring them next time. And it turns out that one of those things is a pen. And of course there is no list without it.
I bring this up because I always like to write down my workout before I do it. Once I’m in the midst of the action, its so easy for me to forget what I had planned, so writing it down is one less thing to think about. Sans pen, I pondered on the workout while I sipped my coffee. I decided to keep it brief, simple and spontaneous; more of a flow workout. I don’t know if I’m at a high elevation or not, but I sure seemed to run out of breath quickly. My workout was awesome and casual and River joined in quite a bit, too. I’ll have to go back and look at the video, but I think I surpassed my 10 second freestanding handstand goal today!
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After working out, I showered. When in the comfort of my own home, I don’t appreciate the luxury that a warm shower provides. But WOW. I sure felt like a million bucks after a little exercise and a shower. Then, I cleaned up the home, put everything in a secure place and hit the road.
|He doesn't ride up there, but he likes being up there|
My destination was unknown. I just knew I wanted to go over White Pass on Highway 12 and I only wanted to drive about 30 miles today. I’m learning that 60 miles per day isn’t really enough; next time I’ll opt for a higher mileage plan. I stopped at an RV park only about six miles up the mountain because I wanted to buy some chemical for the toilet. They didn’t have any, but the lady recommended the RV place in Packwood.
“Is it nice?” I asked? I could tell by her expression that she was holding back from telling me exactly how she felt.
“Oh, it’s a town.” was her diplomatic reply. “But they’ll have a full grocery store. I only have a convenience market here.”
So, we got back on the road. And, except for pulling off the road once for a scenic view that was supposed to be Mt. Rainier but was only fog, we drove straight through to Packwood, which was about 35 miles from Hause Creek. It started raining as we were coming down the west side of White Pass.
The town of Packwood is one of those places that just seems like it exists to serve people driving through. There is minimal commerce bordering the highway and some residences behind that, but not much else. I saw the Packwood RV Park sign and the place looked like a grass field. But as I drove cautiously along the gravel road, I saw some posts in the ground with numbers painted on them. Upon closer inspection, I saw that they were hookups. Again, I carefully chose my spot to allow for easy departure in the morning.
So here at the Packwood RV Park, I have city water and electric hookups, but no Internet or phone service. I finally got a chance to put on my new waterproof shoes that I got at REI for the trip, and my fisherman’s rain hat, as I took River for a walk through ‘downtown’ Packwood in the rain. We stepped into a hardware store because his long leash is starting to fray in the spot where he treads on it with his back paws. But they only had small ones. There are no pet stores in town either, so I guess we’ll wait on replacing that and just hope it lasts.
I’m doing OK on food still, so there’s really no urgency in going to a store; it’s just a shame to pass up on going to one while I can because I don’t know when I’ll be around another one. Besides, when I was at the convenience store earlier, I told the woman I had this whole list of things I needed, but now that I was in the store, I couldn’t remember any of it. Oh, except a pen. Which I didn’t get because I was planning to shop here in Packwood. Maybe in the morning, the rain will have stopped and I’ll feel more like going out again. But for now, I’m going to hole up here in my motor home.
There is an alpaca farm nearby. Or caribou or elk or deer. I’m embarrassed that I don’t know my cervine fauna by sight, but I took pictures and hopefully someone can enlighten me. They’re running free at the moment, but it looks like they all belong in this once fenced off area. They make a funny, unexpected squeaking sound like a dog chew toy and they leave enormous turds on the grass, which make it humorous that there are signs everywhere saying to please pick up after your dog.
While I’ve never left one of River’s poops on the ground anywhere, I’ll admit I do feel silly scooping it up when we’re out in the wilderness, because I know that feces is one of the richest sources of nutrients for the soil. But I realize that if everyone just left their dog business lying around, it would quickly add up before it had a chance to amalgamate with the earth.
|This shot was taken from inside the motor home|