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July Westy road trip report
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goldtooth
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Joined: August 01, 2011
Posts: 423
Location: Portland, Or
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 19, 2016 10:49 am    Post subject: July Westy road trip report Reply with quote

Here is a quick trip report from our week long circumnavigation of Mt. Rainer in Washington.

Our general route:
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1987 Westy hauling my wife and I, our 11 year old twins and 15 year old daughter. Our 18 year old daughter is working full time over the summer to save for college and didn't go.
Sucks being an adult Smile

We left around 10:00am on Sunday morning so we could get to the campsite on Mt.Rainer by mid afternoon. We were camping at Cougar Rock just west of
Paradise on the mountain.

Getting ready to leave
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Along the route
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Entering the park
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Campsite at Cougar Rock
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Went to the Jr. Ranger event at the amphitheater
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Rained a litte that day/night but not much. A great campsite that was quiet and plenty for the kids to do and explore. We left late the next morning to head up to Paradise to check out the visitor center. It was a nice display and gave an overview of what to
expect on the mountain. We were hoping for views but instead got this
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We poked around a bit and hiked a little but it was cold and we wanted to make lunch.
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We headed down the mountain to find a place to make lunch. Views were still good.
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After lunch we contined east out of the park towards Yakima. We passed a lot of great boondocking sites along the 410 but needed food for dinner so we kept on moving.
Stopped to stretch our legs a bit.
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After gas and food in Yakima (and coffee) we headed north on 97 towards one of the only campgrounds we could find in the area. A KOA in Ellensburg. Not what we really wanted to do but seemed to have very little choice. Hwy 97 was nice.
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The KOA was typical but not bad. Kids got to play on the playground and my 15 year old got to take a shower.
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My wife and I got to enjoy some wine next to the river.
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Next stop was Leavenworth. My wife had been there before but this was my first time. It was basically as I expected. A touristy town set in a beautiful area. It was nice but just a little too crowded for me. Glad we went though.
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Ciders and Brawts
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It was warm
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We needed to find a camping spot and through the kindness of TheSamba, we were referred a boondocking site nearby. I plugged the spot into the Garmin and headed out. As the road turned to gravel, I thought we were supposed to turn left but the GPS said straight.
It looked like they both went the same way enventually so we stayed straight. Well the road became very narrow and started to climb. And climb. Then the switchbacks started and my wife and kids got a little nervous. I was fine as the road
seemed to have good traction though it was dirt (loose) and not gravel. We got to the top where the two roads met and were back on smooth gravel. Wish we would have got pics but I couldn't convince my wife to get out and take them Smile.

We found the spot and the entrance was a little hairy and off camber. We just went for it, maybe freaking my wife out a little in the process. The spot was beautiful. But windy. Very windy.
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We stayed up there for an hour of so and I could tell my wife was uncomfortable. When you boondock enough, you just get a sense that a site is good or bad. We both felt like this is not the spot tonight. It was getting windier and we dedcided to head down the mountain
a bit to find something else. We packed up and left. Here is the off camber exit
YouTube:
Link


We headed down and it was much less windy. We found an area where there were some other campers off in the distance and decided it would do. Enough room for the kids to run around and stay busy.
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That night, the gravel road up to our first camps site became very busy. It was clear it was a local party spot and there was a Tuesday night party starting. There must have been 15 trucks pass our spot headed up the mountain. We were so glad we listened to our
gut and came down. How awkward would that have been to have 25 20 year olds show up while we were putting the kids to bed?

While in our new spot we did have a local come by and shoot his rifle for a while near us which was annoying. He did stop by our site after and apologize so that was nice.
The next morning we went back into Leavenworth for a while and headed out around 1:00. We went back east so we could head north on 97 towards the 153 and Twisp on Hwy 20. The drive was nice if not a little boring.
That all changed after we passed Winthrop. The mountains became real again. I mean really real. This is the part I was looking forward to.
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At a few of the pullouts on the way up, we had to be in 2nd gear going 25mph for a while to get some speed up. Overall the old 2.1 wasserboxer did pretty damn good. Slow and steady.
A quick rest near the top of the pass before headed down.
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My 11 year old in the front snapping pics.
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While we were coming down, we say another Westy on the way up going around 25mph. We of course gave him the big thumbs up and "you can do it" shout.

It was getting late and we did not know where to stay yet and then we came to Diablo lake with its aqua blue waters. We pulled into Colonial campground and got one of the last spots there near the lake.
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The next day we did some hiking and left around 11:30 or so headed west on 20 towards the coast. We set our sites on Deception Pass State Park and rolled in around 4:30. They had plenty of sites left and we grabbed a huge one near the beach.
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Went into town to buy some food for dinner and some ciders. Made a nice meal and watched the kids play on the beach. Great evening. The next morning we went back to the beach for a bit.
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After that we packed up to go check out the view from the bridges before we left. My wife doesn't like heights so she stayed in the Westy.
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We headed south towards the Keystone-Port Townsend ferry. We were pretty excited to take the kids on a ferry bigger than a river crossing. We made reservations and got in line. It was a bit of a cluster f*ck acutally but it all worked out. There was even
another Westy on board.
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Got off in Port Townsend and fought the crazy traffic to find a parking spot. Walked around a bit but it was very toursity and busy.
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Decided to head towards the Finnriver cider farm for a tasting and fun.
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Bought a few ciders and headed out to find camp. As we went south towards the 101, we knew getting a spot at 5:00 on a Friday night may be tough. The first 5 campgrounds we went to were full. We then pulled off some gravel roads to check them out. Also full!
People were everywhere. We pulled over to make some dinner in a grocery store parking lot, which we do a lot.
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We decided since we were only 2 hours from the house, we would just push on and get home. It was a good decsion.

We covered just over 1000 miles in 6 days with no Westy issues. Cruised along at 65 on the freeway and pulled up the steepest inclines at 25mph. Not bad for a house on wheels.
till next time
nate
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chojinchef
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 19, 2016 10:59 am    Post subject: Re: July Westy road trip report Reply with quote

Nice post.
Looks like a great trip.

Was out in Seattle a week ago for a few days on way back from two week vacation in South Korea and Phiippines. Only saw one Vanagon - guess they were all out being enjoyed.

Thank you for sharing
LP
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Its a mistress; an expensive, whiney, needy bitch of a mistress. She is a chunky, dirty girl with bad skin, little motivation and yet she always makes me smile. She sure has been around before shacking up with me. She has a direct line to my wallet, plays with my emotions, is consistantly jovial yet with a sarcastic and sardonic side, is consistant in her inconsistancy, and every once in a while gives me a great ride and a fantastic memory.
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Steve M.
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 19, 2016 12:14 pm    Post subject: Re: July Westy road trip report Reply with quote

Thanks for posting! Really, my drivers license says Tacoma, but it's been a while since I was back there. Good to see it again.
You had a great trip.
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sciroccojim
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 19, 2016 10:24 pm    Post subject: Re: July Westy road trip report Reply with quote

Wow, thanks for sharing. Looks like a blast.

Do I spy a receiver built into that rear bumper? Where did that come from? It looks more like a stock bumper than a larger GoWesty one.
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Abscate Premium Member
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 20, 2016 4:04 am    Post subject: Re: July Westy road trip report Reply with quote

Nothing beats a boat or a Bus full of girls. And a set of twins at the end is the best.....we never figured out how to 8 in our EV so we used the boat. Now I'm down to the twins in college, we are camping more!!
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goldtooth
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 21, 2016 10:09 am    Post subject: Re: July Westy road trip report Reply with quote

thanks for the comments guys. we are anxiously awaiting our next trip now. Love being on the road.

nate
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kourt
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 21, 2016 11:37 am    Post subject: Re: July Westy road trip report Reply with quote

Great trip report. I was camped on Paradise Glacier on the south side of Rainier from Mon 11 Jul through Thu 14 Jul, and then summited Mount Rainier early on Friday, 15 Jul... extremely windy--60MPH winds and -20F wind chill! I probably saw your van at some point. Keep up the good work.

kourt
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