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Summer road trip report OR>WA>ID>MT>WY>UT>OR
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goldtooth
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2018 9:05 am    Post subject: Summer road trip report OR>WA>ID>MT>WY>UT>OR Reply with quote

Well it was time for our annual summer road trip in the Westy and this year we planned our longest so far. I have spent the past year going over the Westy in anticipation of this trip and it paid off. Not one issue over 2600 miles. I
recently put in a Rocky Jennings 2.2L motor that Rocky had to rebuild for me after a persistent rear main leak that went on for a year. He provided fantastic service and we have no leaks yet!

This years trip was more centered around things to do for our 13 year old twin girls. Our older daughters are 17 (almost 18 ) and 20 and could not (or did not want to) get the time off of work to come along so it was just the four of us
this time. It gave us a bit more room but we did miss having them around. We had planned on staying at Silverwood Theme Park in northern Idaho for a few days with our neighbors and good friends who have a Sprinter and were
on there own road trip. We also had booked a 4 hour horseback riding trip in Idaho for our girls who are infatuated with horses. It was a suprise for them and really made the trip. Anyway here is the general route we took.
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It was to be around 2500 miles and 15 days on the road. It was epic.

We left Portland and headed towards Spokane, Wa for a KOA that we had booked. We were not scheduled to be in Silverwood until Sunday so we just had a travel day. We decided to take the slower and more scenic Hwy 14 on the WA side
of the gorge. First stop was the Maryhill Museum for lunch and some leg stretching.
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Then a stop at the Stonehenge replica which is really a war memorial.
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After that is was just driving towards Spokane. But a stop for ice cream along the way.
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Our campsite in Spokane
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It was good as the kids could swim in the pool. What was bad were the trains that blasted their horns all night close by. Not a great nights sleep. The next morning we took our time heading towards Silverwood.
Idaho!
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We had booked two days at the RV park in Silverwood to ride the rides and play in the waterpark. If you have not been, it is a great park that is very affordable and extremely clean. Our spot.
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Not many pics of the two days as I did not bring my phone in the park.
Our twins and our neighbors girls
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Lunch
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After two days there we were ready to hit the road. We headed north towards Sandpoint Id were we did some grocery shopping and site seeing.
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We stocked up our ARB 83 quart fridge with lots of food (and the only hard ciders we could find in Sandpoint) and headed east towards Glacier National Park. We were not going to make it that far today but wanted to get close.

Montana!
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We stopped at Kootenia Falls to check out the suspension bridge and falls.
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My wife is afraid of heights but did a great job crossing the bride twice.
The falls
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We then headed out to find a campsite for the night. About and hour east of Libby we found a great campground that only had one other family staying. And best of all, it was free.
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Next stop, Glacier National Park, and lots of people!
nate
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goldtooth
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2018 10:14 am    Post subject: Re: Summer road trip report OR>WA>ID>MT>WY>UT>OR Reply with quote

Part Two

Glacier. What can you say about Glacier? It is stunning. It is unbelievably stunning. The mountains, the lakes, the roads, the waterfalls, the glaciers, the trees, the creeks. We have been to most of the national parks in the west and the
Going to the Sun road in Glacier is right up there. The problem we had was the people. Too many of them. We had planned on just a drive through and a few hikes but all of the parking for the areas we were going to hike were full and
the rangers wouldn't let people in. Oh well, we needed to find a place to stay outside of the park anyway. Next time. Anyway here is a photo vomit of Glacier pics.
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We headed out towards St. Mary and up and over a steep Hwy 49 towards East Glacier. We spotted a boondock site on iOverlander and stopped to check it out. My wife wasn't feeling it as it had a lot of trash around so we decided to head
back a few miles to a sign for camping we saw. This campground was a bit rundown but almost empty and big so we were not going to have many neighbors. We found a great looking site near a creek and settled in.
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Well the tranquility did not last long. After we made dinner the mosquitos found us. Lots of them. We fought them bravely for an hour so then retreated in the Westy to watch a movie and play games. The next morning was no better. In
fact, we had to drive the Westy with the top popped down the road just to get away from them so we could pack up. Drove into East Glacier to a gas station and repacked the Westy and cleaned up. Crazy. This would be a theme in Montana.

From there we had plotted a backroad towards Heart Butte and the road was spectacular. A gravel/dirt road with amazing views.
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It eventually popped us out onto a paved hwy but the views didn't stop. Montana is beautiful.
The highway then turned to gravel (only in Montana) and we blasted down at 50 mph. Fun.
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We needed to catch up on laundry so we stopped in Choteau for a few hours.
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From there we headed towards Deer Lodge at a KOA we had booked. It was a mistake. Small, very close spaces, no pool, and more mosquitos! Didn't even take any pics.
Next day was to go to Butte and the World Museum of Mining. We did not prebook a mine tour but lucked out as they had spots available for the 1:00 65 foot tour.
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Pretty neat tour and I highly recommnend it if you are in the area. Butte was packed for a music festival we did not know about and all the campgrounds were full. So we booked a Holiday Inn Express and enjoyed the pool and AC as it was
92 degrees out. After a restfull nights sleep we headed towards the ghost town of Bannack were we had reservations for the campground there.

On the way to Bannack we took a backroad and wound up seeing signs for another ghost town 5 miles up this gravel road. We we had to check it out.
It was Coolidge ghost town and it was pretty cool. Somehow we did not take many pics of this?
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Bannack State park
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Bannack Ghost town which is a 5 min walk from the park
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Bannack is interesting as you can go inside almost all of the buildings and there is a booklet that gives the history and allows a nice self guided tour. It was only $6 for all of us to get in. It is like a smaller, more interactive Bodie.

Part 3 coming...
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Westy Adventure YouTube Videos
Read all of our Westy adventures at That Baldwin Life
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elizer Premium Member
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2018 10:18 am    Post subject: Re: Summer road trip report OR>WA>ID>MT>WY>UT>OR Reply with quote

wow, another great trip. Summertimes are great for these trip reports. A great break from the madness of a lot of the technical threads. Thank you for sharing.
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2018 11:17 am    Post subject: Re: Summer road trip report OR>WA>ID>MT>WY>UT>OR Reply with quote

These are great trip reports! I think both joetiger’s and Goldtooth’s should be added to the sticky.

Although it’s a bit of a mystery how the goldtooths can have 17 and 20 year old kids. Very Happy
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dhaavers
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2018 11:17 am    Post subject: Re: Summer road trip report OR>WA>ID>MT>WY>UT>OR Reply with quote

Great thread & looks like a great trip...keep it up!

Cool

- Dave
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2018 11:32 am    Post subject: Re: Summer road trip report OR>WA>ID>MT>WY>UT>OR Reply with quote

Great trip report! Thanks for sharing. When we were in Glacier a couple of years ago the weather was downright wicked with rain and low clouds, but in retrospect that probably kept the people and mosquitoes away. Dying to go back there.
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goldtooth
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2018 11:43 am    Post subject: Re: Summer road trip report OR>WA>ID>MT>WY>UT>OR Reply with quote

Part 3
We left Bannack State park with good memories and lots of mosquito bites. We headed towards Dillion to stock up on groceries and snag some wifi from McDonalds. From there we didn't have a lot of ground to cover to get to Victor, Id wher we
would be camping for two days to suprise the twins with horseback riding. We decided to head north to Twin Bridges and out towards Viginia City. It was a great decision and we had a blast in Virginia City. Definately a tourist stop
but the twins had fun looking around.

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From there we took the steep pass over towards Ennis (haha)
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We headed up the 287 to 84 towards Four Corners for gas then south on the 191 to look for camp. We ran into a syncro vanagon, our first vanagon of the trip! We talked a bit about camping and parted ways. As we headed down 191, we
saw signs for a few camp spots but a lot were full as lots of people were rafting the Madison river there. We went up to check out a nice looking campground but found a ton of mosquitos again. We headed down towards the highway again
and found a pullout/dayuse area and found they offered camping. Not ideal for us but it was cheap and had a slight breeze so no mosquitos. A bonus was it was on the river and the girls got to play around. Talked to another Westy
owner camped there as well.
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The next morning we headed south towards West Yellowstone to see how busy the park was. It was nuts so we decided to move on. We had been there before so no big loss. Onwards toward Island Park Idaho were we took Mesa Falls scenic byway for a bit.
The falls
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We took some backroads into Driggs with our first view of the Tetons.
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We stopped in Driggs for groceries and ciders. We then headed to Mike Harris campground where we had reservations for two nights. The twins wondered why we were staying here for two days?
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We had a great spot that was very big. Just after making dinner we say some dark clouds and the wind stared picking up. We made a run to the Westy and it started dumping rain with thunder and lightining. It was very cool to listen
to the storm from inside the van. But in the back of my mind I was a bit stressed as we had an appointment at 9:00am the next morning to ride horses. I was hoping it would not get canceled or postponed. Not much I could do anyway.
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Sun came out!

Woke up the next morning to more lightining but it quickly moved on. Sunny skies! We headed 1 mile down the road to Dry Ridge Outfitters and the twins had no idea where we were going. As we pulled into the farm, Emma saw the horses
and said "Can we go look at them?" We parked the van and told her "yes, acutally we are here to do a 4 hour ride". She was overwhelmed and started crying. It was one of her dreams.
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Emma overwhelmed on her horse
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The girls
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We ended up getting a private ride with just the four of us and our guide Bailey.
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Long ride with great views. I will say that my wife and I were pretty sore after that ride! We headed back to camp and all took naps. Later that night another Westy pulled in from Quebec. Very nice couple.
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The next morning we headed for Jackson Hole over a very steep pass. Glad to have upgraded to Small Car front brakes for the descent!
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Saw another Westy from Cali in Jackson Hole
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Then on to Teton National park. The park was not nearly as crowded as Glacier or Yellowstone. Much better.
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Our view for lunch
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Tetons
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We were actually able to do a short hike
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Jenny Lake
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We spent most of the day in the Tetons. It may be one of our favorite parks. If you have not been, please do yourself a favor and go. We needed a place to stay for the night so we had to move on. We headed south to Alpine WY for the night.

Part 4 coming soon....
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goldtooth
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2018 12:14 pm    Post subject: Re: Summer road trip report OR>WA>ID>MT>WY>UT>OR Reply with quote

Part 4

My wife was jonesing for a shower as it had been 5 days since we last had one...... so we found an interesting RV park in Alpine Wy. In front it was a bar. A run down bar. We pulled around and saw a pretty decent looking area. RV's ans
5th wheels and a nice big grass area for tents in the middle. The old guy in his golf cart came over and gave us the pick of the spots in the grass for $20 including showers. My wife was pretty happy with that. We were able to do some
laundry as well.

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The next moring we headed south on the 89 towards Bear Lake. Some friends told us it was a pretty neat looking lake so we thought we would stop. We pulled into the Bear Lake State Park on the Idaho side and were blown away.
It is an amazing blue/green lake with sandy beaches. The water is only 1-3 feet deep for about 30 yards from the shore. It was so fun for the kids to play. It was busy but quiet.

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We made lunch and spent a few hours there. Man it was hard to leave but we had a ways to go still that day in order to make it home by Saturday.

We were shooting for Twin Falls Idaho for the night but we decided to head through Utah just to say we did. It was 100 degrees in Logan Ut and we have no AC. No problem. Spray bottles for the kids with a fan and we are ok.
I actually think that having some adverstiy makes kids (and adults) stronger and more creative.

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Miles and miles of this in a headwind
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Made it to Twin Falls around 6:00 at night and it was 95 degrees out. We got a crappy Motel 6 that the AC barely worked. Subway for dinner and bed. We were shooting for Pendleton Or the next day and it was going to be just as hot
so we booked a Holiday Inn Express for our last night on the road.

Stopped in Baker City for lunch and spent a few hours at their local market/fair/food cart area.

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Just over the pass near Pendleton
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Nice hotel for the night and a quick 4 hour drive home the next day.
2600 miles on the Westy and not one problem. Over the continental divide three times, 100 degree heat, steep passes. Averaged just over 20 mpg for the trip. Best was 23 while driving through Teton park and the worst was 17.5
fighting the headwind from Logan to Twin Falls.

What I am most impressed with is my girls. I do not know of many 13 year old girls that could spend 15 days in an old van driving around the west in the summer with no AC. No devices. No Ipads. No phones. Just their imaginations
and creativity. They became hooked on word searches. They became very good at identifying car and truck brands by the symbols. Being bored is good for kids. No one needs to be entertained all the time. Was it always easy? No. There were
fights but they always got over it. I hope they can remember trips like this and understand that you do not need to follow the crowd. Sometimes it is best to slow down and live life at your pace. Take a trip like this for the
experiences not the destinations.

Hope you enjoyed reading this as much as we did living it.
nate
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goldtooth
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2018 12:26 pm    Post subject: Re: Summer road trip report OR>WA>ID>MT>WY>UT>OR Reply with quote

jimf909 wrote:
These are great trip reports! I think both joetiger’s and Goldtooth’s should be added to the sticky.

Although it’s a bit of a mystery how the goldtooths can have 17 and 20 year old kids. Very Happy


It is the Portland rain that keeps us young! Smile
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2018 12:27 pm    Post subject: Re: Summer road trip report OR>WA>ID>MT>WY>UT>OR Reply with quote

Sounds like a great trip. I love reading your story and looking at all of the pictures!
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2018 1:36 pm    Post subject: Re: Summer road trip report OR>WA>ID>MT>WY>UT>OR Reply with quote

No devices - this right here.

Looks like a great trip.
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2018 3:02 pm    Post subject: Re: Summer road trip report OR>WA>ID>MT>WY>UT>OR Reply with quote

Its easier with girls as they turn into adults earlier than the boys - raised six.

Loved the story and pix - the girls will remember that ride forever.

Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2018 3:54 pm    Post subject: Re: Summer road trip report OR>WA>ID>MT>WY>UT>OR Reply with quote

Traveling in the Westy is my kids favorite. I have taken them on multiple 2 week trips and have the same feeling that you do- its awesome to let them be bored and experience the creativity that comes from that. It is great to show them our beautiful public lands and its awesome to travel as a family.
Bravo.
Chris
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2018 9:14 pm    Post subject: Re: Summer road trip report OR>WA>ID>MT>WY>UT>OR Reply with quote

Bravo. The only thing you did wrong was not stopping to see US as you passed through!!

We enjoy the same relationship shift with our kids when in the van. We just got back from the 4 of us to BC and on the end of trip home leg it was like a dream sequence. No A/C, 85 dry degrees, all the wonderful huge Vanagon windows fully open. We were on secondary roads, and as evening gave way to night we drove through cooler spots, smells of cows, heard people talking as we drove by, etc. It was like traveling 50 years ago.

Fantastic trip review.

Doug
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1987 2WD Wolfsburg Vanagon Weekender "Mango", two fully locked 80 Series LandCruisers. 2016 Subaru Outback boxer. 1990 Audi 90 Quattro 20V with rear locking differential. 1988 Mitsubishi Van w/ dual spinny seats, mid engine and solid axle.1990 burgundy parts Vanagon. 1984 Porsche 944, 1992 Lexus LS400, 1988 Toyota Supra 5 speed targa project in pieces, 2002 BMW 325iX
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goldtooth
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 25, 2018 9:45 am    Post subject: Re: Summer road trip report OR>WA>ID>MT>WY>UT>OR Reply with quote

Thanks for all of the positive comments guys! We do a trip like this every year but this was the longest and I think the girls enjoyed it the most. On the last day, they asked if we have to go home and can we just live on the road? I wanted to say yes we can but I do have a job to get back to. Someday....

Here are a few vids we took.


Link



Link

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1987 Westy RJE 2.2L WBX
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goldtooth
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2018 9:37 am    Post subject: Re: Summer road trip report OR>WA>ID>MT>WY>UT>OR Reply with quote

It's raining here now so I needed to read this again for old time sake! Already planning next years trip to Cananda!
nate
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1987 Westy RJE 2.2L WBX
Westy Adventure YouTube Videos
Read all of our Westy adventures at That Baldwin Life
instagram - nate_baldwin and thatbaldwinlife
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