Last summer, just a week or so before Tom's cancer scare, we bought a cute little travel trailer.
It seemed like the perfect size for two empty nesters and two Golden Retrievers, who would sleep on the collapsed dinette. Once Tom felt better and we learned that, although he has very early stage 1 prostate cancer, we can take a "wait and see approach," we went on our first camping trip, to Fay Bainbridge State Park.
Fast forward to this summer and after just two camping trips, it became quite apparent, as the four of us attempted to squeeze by each other - people and dogs moving (or being moved) aside so others could pass, that the cute little trailer we bought was just too small.
As we looked into a bigger trailer that would be a better fit, we settled on Keystone Cougar 21 RBS (code for 21 feet, rear bath, with a slide).
Now all we had to do was find one nearby for a good price. Easy, right?
Not so easy. Downright difficult, in fact.
We found a couple around the country, but the one we liked the best at the best price was in Salt Lake City, Utah of all places.
Utah's not THAT far from Seattle, is it?
Turns out, it actually is! But we didn't really wrap our heads around "2000 miles in a weekend" until we were just about... here.
We left our house at 4 AM on Friday morning and actually had a quite enjoyable ride -- well, other than the heat. Thank goodness we had decided to leave the dogs home with a pet-sitter! They would have hated the entire weekend!
At about 8:30 PM, after stopping only briefly for breakfast and lunch, we arrived in Salt Lake City.
It's a beautiful area and because the heat is so dry, it was less bothersome than the humid heat in Seattle, at 20 degrees less!
Once we checked into the hotel and enjoyed dinner at a local Thai restaurant, we made the mistake of heading down the street to take a peek at "our" new trailer. (Well, ours if a $500 deposit constitutes ownership.)
That was a big mistake! Trailers, like problems, seem much bigger at night! We pretty much freaked out at how big it looked!
We went back to the hotel a bit stymied. I think we were both thinking the same thing, but afraid to admit it to each other: We made a mistake. We were too hasty. The trailer was too big.
Tom fell immediately asleep, exhausted from 15 hours of (shared) driving, but I tossed and turned and pondered and rationalized and questioned and, at some point I must have fallen asleep.
The next day, we headed to our "official" appointment to pick up the trailer. It had been moved since the evening before and Tom and I reacted exactly the same way at exactly the same time: "It doesn't look as big this morning..." PHEW!
Before we knew it, we were enthusiastically signing papers, and by noon we were headed back through the 105 degree desert, again without AC, this time towing our 21 foot trailer. About an hour into the trip home, Tom commented that the trailer wasn't as hard to haul as he thought it might be, and we both relaxed a little. But we both were still crossing our fingers that we'd make it back to Seattle without incident - especially as we passed more than a few people stranded with overheated cars on the side of the highway. We simply didn't have time for an incident of any kind!
While we drove the full 15 hour stretch to get to Salt Lake City in one day, we split up the return trip with our maiden camping trip with this trailer at Farewell Bend State Park, right on the Oregon/Idaho border. It was named by the pioneers on the Oregon Trail as some headed north and some headed south. THIS is where we both confirmed that we had definitely done the right thing. We loved our spacious and cozy new camper!
The next day we were on the road again by 6 AM ("breaking camp" is a matter of pressing a button to bring in the slide!), just in time for a beautiful sunrise.
Within the first few minutes of leaving our campsite, we came upon numerous abandoned and dilapidated structures - and not much else.
By this point in our "quick weekend trip," we were getting downright giddy!
"Mountain Home"? Really, where is either one around here?!
We cracked up at the sign proclaiming Washington to be "The Evergreen State." Poor Eastern Washington - constantly overshadowed by the more popular Washington everyone knows about - the lush, green, beautiful western part of the state.
By this point, only a few hundred miles from home (and still morning, since we'd left the campsite so early), we were starting to see familiar territory. What are those things way off in the distance? Why, they're mountains!
Our Cascade Mountains! Aaaaaaah...
If we lived in Suncadia already, we'd be home by now.
And look! We were even greeted by the fanfare of the Blue Angels! We must be home now!