Sunday, October 14, 2012

Day 5: Harmony Lakeside RV Resort




Last night I tried sleeping in the bed over the cab. 
I originally intended to rent the smallest size motor home that they offered: a 23’ that sleeps three. But they only had the 27’ that sleeps five.  Last night I was sitting here thinking about that. Five? The living room table swings down to sit flush with the benches and the cushions slide flat, too, so that could be slept on. They don’t mention that that fifth person would have to be under four feet, or sleep with bent legs all night. And that that person could never use that bed during the day unless the other four people didn’t want a living room. 

Anyway, my point is, I guess that extra four feet is the bed in the back. So if I had gotten the model I wanted, I’d be sleeping in that thing that looks like an attic space over the cab. I wondered if it was worth the extra length and weight just to have that bed. 

So, I thought last night I’d sleep in the attic and see what I was missing. 

It wasn’t so bad. I’m not the fussiest sleeper, actually. The thing I dislike is a soft mattress. And the attic bed was definitely not soft. I was quite firm, actually, but I didn’t mind that. It wasn’t hard, it was cushioned, but it was no spring mattress. 

I could sit up, but not straight up. I had to slouch something terrible to sit, so that won’t be happening. Not that I’ve spent any amount of time sitting on the bed in the back, so no big loss there, I guess. I don’t know that there’s ever been a time in my life when I’ve sat bolt upright in bed, which could hurt if it happened in this attic bed. 

I imagine in the summer it might get stuffy up there, but with the temperature being in the high 40’s last night, it wasn’t colder than the downstairs bed had been.

The drawbacks have to do with it being so high. For one, it’s a climb to get up and down. And not a nice step ladder, either, but a parkour kind of climb down the back and seat of the chair to the floor. First thing in the morning, it isn’t the easiest nor wisest thing to do, especially before my morning stretch, which I can’t do in the attic.

And because it is so much higher than the center of gravity of the vehicle, I can feel the whole motor home rock a little bit as I move around in the bed. I don’t remember feeling that quite as much in the master bedroom. 

WOW. Didn’t mean to write so much about the bed!  But this is something to consider, seeing as how this trip is supposed to be a test drive, of sorts. 

So anyway, after my impromptu gymnastics session getting out of bed, a walk with River, my coffee and my shower, we flushed the tanks, returned the bathroom key to the office and then sniffed around looking for those giant squeak toys we saw last night. But they were nowhere to be found. Finally we decided to hit the road, knowing that the sooner we get there, the sooner we can eat, since I don’t feed River until we’re done driving for the day and I don’t like to eat in front of him without giving him anything.

The vehicle comes equipped with a phone book sized “US and Canada RV Guide”. I looked through it last night to find a nearby Good Sam Club RV Park because I had a 10% off coupon courtesy of Camping World.  (haha, not really. 10% off anything makes me laugh.) Actually I wanted to experience a Good Sam Club RV Park. These were supposed to be the top drawer, with the highest cleanliness ratings and amenities and services. Good Sam is like the Good Housekeeping Seal for RV Parks. So I found that there was one about fifty miles from Packwood in Mossyrock, WA and it was right on the shore of Mayfield Lake. Which was good because we hadn’t done any lakes yet, only mountains and forests and rivers. And creeks. 

I love being in nature. Here at Harmony Lakeside RV Park we have 19 cable channels and wi-fi and manicured gardens. I’m not saying I hate these things, but they’re not turning me on as much as those alpacas (or whatever they were) staring at River as we walked by -- or the calm fury of Hause Creek. 

It’s good to have them, but I wouldn’t want to go to this kind of place every time. I was really loving the campsites, but so far, the RV parks are good for the convenience. I think maybe a good plan would be something like ‘dry camping’ for two or three nights and then hitting an RV park to refuel / recharge / restock and do laundry.

When we first got here, it was the first place that was totally clear what I should do. Park here. Register inside. A live person. Here’s a map to your slot on Carson Drive. Here’s the rules of the park. As I was registering, the wall behind me was full of RV supplies I could buy if I needed. I’ve needed toilet chemical since day one, so I finally got some. By the way, even with the 10% discount, this was still the most expensive site we’ve been in at just under $40. 

After eating, River and I explored the grounds. As I said, there was a manicured garden, which was cool for about ten seconds. It felt like the grounds of a resort hotel. We walked to the lake. (We could have paid extra to park near the lake, but I thought I’d want something to do later, like walk to the lake.) We walked all the way out to the end of the boat dock and were the only ones out there. The lake was gorgeous, but I forgot my phone so couldn’t take any pictures. Then we walked through the vacant campsites on Terrace Lane and found a gravel path to another lakeshore. This one was really cool because it was all mossy rocks. It was like a whole beach of mossy rocks. 

River learned two lessons on this walk. One, it’s hard to stand on moss covered logs. Two, it hurts to hurls yourself into blackberry bushes. I tried to warn him, but he just had to smell it. 

I see on the map that they gave me at the registration desk that there is a designated Natural Area. So that intrigues me; we’ll have to check that out tomorrow. I’ll bring my phone and also revisit the spots we saw yesterday so I can get some pictures. Unless it’s pouring rain. Then I don’t like to take my phone out. 

I want to do laundry while we’re here. And after that I plan to take us to Millersylvania State Park. Its about fifty miles from here and about fifteen miles south of Olympia. Hopefully we’ll be back to being more rustic there. And my intention is to stay there for two nights. It will be the first place we stay more than overnight. 

As soon as we got back home from today’s walk, it started raining. It’s been raining pretty steadily for hours now, except for a few pauses, during which we took the opportunity to go out again. In the next hour or so, River will need to take his ‘before bed walk’. So I’m listening for our next cue. More tomorrow. 

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