We decided to stay down the highway from Olympia since the city didn’t have a good inexpensive campground. Sarah found a nice camp at Chehalis and we found a cool park in the town for the kids to play at. We always try to find nice playgrounds for the kids to get their energy out at because when your house is less than 300 square feet you don’t want three kids wrestling inside. The campground was a Good Sammember, so we finally joined a camping club and saved a little money. It will only take five nights of using the membership for it to pay for itself. The kids liked the camp too, since they found a secret forest clearing behind our trailer to play in.
Washington is such a beautiful state, and we were fortunate to visit three of their National Parks while we were there. North Cascades, which is located on the states northern border with Canada, was a different experience than any of the other parks we have visited thus far. Mt. Rainier is further south and east of the capitol city of Olympia, and was incredibly beautiful in the fall. Olympic is in the north, and includes parts of the coast, it has the only rain forest in the U.S. We have loved and been awed by all the national parks we have been able to spend time in, and the Washington parks were no exception.
The best part about our visit to north west Washington was the family. It was great to see everyone we got to see during our short visit. Our hosts were great and we were able to stay a little longer without hook ups than we normally can by using their kitchen and bathroom. (I will refrain from mentioning names since this is a public website and no one gave me the OK to mention them.) Someone amazing brought a bunch of food and a bunch of beers for us to feast on for our visit. One night we were able to get with different family members for a great dinner. Our kids had a blast with the animals, fort building, and meeting their relatives. When it was time to go, everyone was sad we couldn’t stay longer. We had reservations in San Diego though and it was going to be close getting all the way down the coast in time.
We managed to visit North Cascades National Park while we were in the area. When we visit places we always try to incorporate school/education into our plans, since the main purpose of our trip is to give the kids a unique education. North Cascades has several dams with a powerhouse at the bottom and they supply power to Seattle and the surrounding area. First we took the kids to Ross Dam and had a school session on top of the dam. We got lucky and there was workers cutting trees halfway down the front of the dam. It was cool to see how large the dam was with some perspective and the worker was a small speck by the time he had repelled half way down the face of the dam. After hiking back up to the car, we went back down the mountains to the powerhouse. After crossing a bridge people scared of heights won’t like, we checked out the small museum inside the power house. The kids got a kick out of the
Here are the workers, but you can barely even tell they are there even when you zoom in a bunch!
hands on displays detailing how hydroelectric power is generated. Between the Junior Ranger program and the powerhouse the kids learned some things which is always a bonus.