Wednesday, August 1, 2012

July 12, 2012 - Shelton, WA - Potlatch SP

Lake Pleasant Campground -  Bothell, WA
The night at Bothell really cooled down.  It was good for sleeping.  We headed out to clear blue skies and temps in the low 60’s.  We rode to Mt Rainer NP. 

We had to first negotiate the morning rush hour in Seattle and the outskirts.  It was a bit hectic as it was backed up for miles and us not being in traffic like that for weeks, left us a little frazzled.  We finally found a break, and the road we were after. 

We saw a sign for Green River Gorge, and wanted to go see it.  We never saw another sign for it.  We didn’t go back and continued on.  We entered the park from the northwest and continued eastward.  We took the road up the Sunrise Visitors Center, so Don could get his National Parks passport stamp.  The side road to the visitors center was 17 miles up and 17 miles down.  It was a little hairy in spots as the road was narrow, winding, and no guardrails.  It was well worth it though.  We had some spectacular views of Mt Rainer from several different vantage points.  There wasn’t a cloud in the sky and the mountain looming over the area was awe-inspiring.  The piles of snow were still everywhere, and the visitors center parking lot had it piled up maybe 15 feet or more. 

We took the circuitous route out of the park as it would lead us to the Olympic peninsula.  We had planned to stop at Olympic and motel it and do some laundry, but changed our minds.  We will do that tomorrow after circling the Olympic peninsula.  We stopped about 30 miles up the eastern side, so tomorrow should be about 200 miles around. 

As we re-entered the park through the checkpoint, I turned my bike off to show my pass.  It wouldn’t start again.  Don had to push me up past the guard shack, and out of the way.  We did some mental troubleshooting and determined it to be the alternator.  I took my spare alternator from the camper, and swapped it out.  Don had to jump me to get the bike started though.  We let it run for a few minutes and did some after-the-fact electrical checks and it all seemed well.  We took off and it ran well, started and seemed fine.  Thank goodness for spare parts.  Believe it or not, it was only an hour delay. 

We plotted a course for Potlatch SP and continued on.  There were some detours, construction delays and traffic.  Despite all that, we made it without too much difficulty. 

Mt Rainier From a Distance Travelling Up the Road
To The Visitors Center

Mt Rainier From The Visitors Center

Piles Of Snow In the Mt Rainier Visitors Center

Finishing Up Replacing the Alternator On My Bike
At the Second Entrance to Mt Rainier.
We both noticed that the people and their campers, here at the state park are diametrically opposed to the campers from last night.  The campground last night was a high dollar, fancy-ass, preppy sort of place.  Don't get me wrong, it was a very nice campground with a small lake in the middle and all the sites around the lake.  Ducks came up our site as we opened a package of cookies.  I guess the ducks have been conditioned to the sound of crinkling paper, and expect a treat.  They got none and after ten minutes or so, they waddled off.  I walked around our campground loop in Bothell, WA this morning looking at some of the rigs.  Other than a few transients like ourselves who had very modest units, like small motor homes, and trailers, the rest were six-figure behemoths.  In the thirty or so sites I viewed, no less than twenty were massive, decked out units, with satellite, cars towed behind, and even motorcycles on the rear, in between the towed car and the motor home.  Now…the really scary part is that this campground had maybe two hundred sites, most of which were occupied with the big motor homes – and most of the them were from Washington state.  Go figure…

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