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THREE STATES IN ONE DAY & THE POWER OF OLD FAITHFUL

A ton has happened lately!

Our current destination is very exciting, but I will get to that in Old Faithful time, shortly.  😀

We stayed in Wilsonville for another three nights where we had a blast with Grace, Isabel and Rowan! We swam in the pool, went walking and skateboarding until we had absolutely no energy left! It was really sad for Lalika and me, to have to leave our friends, but we had to push on heading up further North, while the weather was still good. We left early in the morning before the sun was strong and drove through miles and miles of beautiful countryside, past lots of picturesque small, ice-cold lakes and through the occasional town or small city. We stopped off at a roadside market, where the local people came and sold their fruits, vegetables, honey and beaded crafts. We bought fresh fruit, vegetables, jams and the sweetest honey I have ever tasted! Because the day was so hot, we decided to eat all the cold fruit we had just bought, under a shady cherry blossom, that hung over the table protecting us from the heatwaves. 😀 

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We continued driving and we were so enthralled in all our research of this new uncharted territory, that by the time we looked up we realized we had driven so much, we had crossed the border from Oregon into Washington State! By now it was getting dark so we pulled into an RV Park next to Lake Sawyer (which is just outside of Seattle) just as the last rays of the sun disappeared over the horizon. We hooked up and ate our dinner after having a conversation with our camper neighbours. After finding Orion and his belt on the Northern Hemisphere skyline and star-gazing ourselves out, we all went to sleep.

The next day began with a blast. The moment Lalika and I had finished our breakfast we Canon-bombed into the Lake! We made some friends with a family who owned a speedboat there and spent the morning jumping off the boat and into the water with them. Then Dad rented a paddle boat for all of us and we headed out to the middle of the lake for a paddle and a swim! The whole experience was EXHILARATING! It was hilarious fun jumping out of the paddle boat and into lilypad heaven!   Then we paddled around the lake twice more with me sitting on the helm of the boat as co-pilot Reka 😀 before we headed back to shore. We enjoyed the rest of the day in the Rec Room, playing board games and watching movies.

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The next morning we woke to an energetic breakfast of PANCAKES! I had mine with some of the strawberry jam we had bought in Oregon and boy, was it worth it! 😀 But the breakfast definitely kept us energized as we arrived in our destination of Outer Seattle! We were up for two days of sightseeing starting NOW! We caught the 9:30 am bus into the city from the Park and Ride bus stop (about 25 kilometers (15.5343 miles exactly) out of the city!  We went through cool underground Metro Tunnels where both light rail (trams) and buses ran, ending up finally downtown. 

We walked out into the very busy streets of Seattle and smelled the air that had a twinge of salt in it. The first thing we did was go to the Famous Pike Street Market, where we saw how Cheese was curdled, where we bought a Chocolate and Vanilla frozen Yogurt, as well as Berry Smoothies and nice Incense sticks. We walked through the boulevards and down to the boardwalks where the big Seattle Ferris-Wheel turned and turned, soaring to great heights! We booked a carriage and hopped in, waiting to see the sights from a bird’s eye view. We were not disappointed! We could see all of Seattle, and even glimpsed a peek of Lake Sawyer in the distance. It was a good twenty-minute ride all the way around and we also got to see all the islands off the coast of Seattle before exiting the wheel.

Our next and final attraction for the day was the Famous Seattle Space Needle! We paid our way in and entered into the  glass elevator. It took us nearly two whole minutes to get to the top and when we did, WOW what a view! Dad rushed around everywhere getting pictures from every possible angle while mum marvelled at the glass garden below us. Lalika and I wove our way through the thick crowds to see the magnificent sunset. We spent over an hour up there so by the time we took the elevator down it was dark out. Dad surprised us with Pizza from ZEEK’S PIZZA PLACE! Which kind of made me think I was Buzz Lightyear or maybe Zeek Lightyear! 😀 We ended up getting one Hawaiian without ham and one Vegetarian. At the time we ordered them, we didn’t realize that they were HUGE! (19’’) We ended up taking away most of it with us! As we were walking back to our bus station, a lady living on the streets asked us “Do you have a dollar” and Dad said, “No, but we do have warm pizza! Would you like some?” She was very surprised but very happily accepted. We were very happy that we could offer her a slice. Then we caught the bus back home and fell asleep immediately. After all, we had another day of sightseeing ahead of us! 😀

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SpaceNeedle Seattle

The next morning we caught the bus into town again. The very first thing we did, was have a tour of the Historical Wyndham Hotel. We had a complimentary buffet breakfast there and watched Monsters VS Aliens for about the Millionth time! 😀

After that, we headed to the Ferry Terminal. We had decided the day before on the Ferris Wheel that we wanted to go out and see one of the islands that Seattle’s coast boasted. We picked out Bainbridge Island! A half hour ferry ride away! First of all, it was a very beautiful ferry ride! The fog from the morning had cleared away so we had a clear view all the way from the beginning to the end. When we arrived we walked around town and Mum and I found a beautiful Turkish rug and shawl shop, where we both got pashmina shawls. I chose a pink and gold one while Mum chose an olive green one with a swirl pattern on it.

We walked through the town of Bainbridge, passed all the quaint little shops until we came to the waterfront again where we saw some very interesting and fun sculptures made from smooth, oval shaped rocks! After the waterfront walk we were strolling down a quieter street when we saw a sign that said “Community Garden” A lady saw us peering and invited us in. Then she gave us a tour of the majestic garden and showed us all kinds of flowers, fruits, and vegetables, even a chook shed with a spectacular rooster! Dad also got a great video shot of a hummingbird in flight! The lady even gave us rare black tomatoes before we left. It just showed us how friendly and kind people are in the community.

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When we left it was almost dinner time so we looked around the restaurants. We chose a family run, small Indian one and reserved a spot for 8:30pm because first we were going to watch a movie at the cinemas. We watched: The Odd Life Of Timothy Green. It was a pretty good movie considering he had leaves growing out of his feet, but afterwards, we were all VERY HUNGRY!! We went to the Indian Restaurant and filled up on a very yummy dinner! We walked back to the Ferry Terminal after dinner and caught the ferry back in the light of the glowing city. It was so mesmerising! 😀 

I felt like a zombie when my head touched the pillow but by morning, I had re-charged. After a quick bagel breakfast, we bid adieu to Seattle and headed on to explore the rest of Washington! We spent the whole morning driving and we only arrived later in the afternoon at an RV park called Blu Shastin, nestled in the Wenatchee National Forest, right next to a very cold but beautiful creek. I made friends with three other girls and Lalika and I had a brilliant time swimming in the pool, playing out under the trees and out in the field and watching movies together. 😀 The owner called Dave, was a really nice and fun guy. We played volleyball against him one afternoon with all our friends and when we beat him, he gave us all free icy poles!

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We stayed for three whole days and once again we were really sad to leave. As we drove out Lalika and I realized we were making a lot of friends who we could always keep in touch with no matter where we were! We decided to spend the day at Leavenworth – a german inspired town, 20 minutes from Blu Shastin. It was a sunny day and we began our sightseeing. We walked through the little village with almost every store looking like a cottage! We looked into a lot of stores and after exploring the touristy side we headed down to the riverside, where we did a little walk through the sunshiny forest that seemed to be grinning from ear to ear! We made friends with a black labrador who seemed intent on us throwing him sticks all day! But as the late afternoon set in, we had to say goodbye to our four-legged friend. 

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We spent the night at Ingalls Creek Trailhead, located off Blewitt Pass in the Alpine Lake Wilderness of Washington State. Once we arrived, Lalika and I began to play outside while dinner was being prepared. We were overturning rocks and seeing what was under them when I picked up a rock to find an American RATTLESNAKE staring up at me with cold eyes! After slowly putting the rock back down, Lalika and I ran all the way back to the RV laughing and screaming at the same time! 😀  That night I dreamt of Rattlesnakes! 😀 The next morning we embarked on our hike through the dusty bush along the side of the fast flowing river. The trail wound its way up and down the side cliff and we found ourselves sometimes way above the river, sometimes right next to it. We had our picnic lunch right by the river as the sun shone down on us, and we couldn’t resist a truly refreshing dip in the ice-cold living waters of this magnificent Creek.

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We slept one more night at the Trailhead and left in the morning to see the last Washington State city: Spokane (pronounced SPO-CAN). We stayed that night in a Walmart Car-park and saw the Spokane Falls. They were situated in the middle of the city and we had to walk through a Carnival to get there! We saw, Clowns, Trapeze Artists and Stilt-walking men OH MY! 😀 It was a very entertaining afternoon! We then walked back to the Walmart Car-park and I spent the rest of the afternoon reading up on Medieval Europe (my favourite subject currently). 

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Out of one week, we seem to spend 2-3 nights in a Carpark or a Trailhead Parking Area. Because in the RV we have gas and water and a water-pump, we can cook whatever we want and stay wherever we feel like. We even have a generator, but we’ve never used it as we make do with some LED Lights, battery operated, and these light up the whole RV. Staying in places like this allows us to save on expenses and it is exciting and adventurous too.

The next day was another really fun day for Lalika and I as we crossed through THREE STATES IN ONE DAY! WASHINGTON, coming through the thinnest part of IDAHO and finally coming to rest in Missoula, MONTANA. We stayed one night in a Car-park again, as we wanted to push on to…. FAIRMONT HOT SPRINGS!! One of the best hot springs I’ve ever been to because it is set up as a Waterpark! Lalika and I went wild!

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We bought unlimited entry wristbands and stayed all day on the Waterslides! We made friends with a family from Oregon and spent all day running up and down the perimeter splashing each other, going down the water slides together daring each other to go down in one crazy position after another! 😀 It was one merry two days at the RV resort and Fairmont Hot springs! I so didn’t want to leave! 

But we had to head on to our next stop: The Lewis and Clark Caverns, here in Montana! We did a wonderful tour and we saw the most beautiful shapes and forms of crystal rock formations made from calcium and limestone. We even got to slide down a natural stone slide in one of the caves which entered the next room! 😀 It was a magical experience!!!

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We headed on to our night stop at an RV Park back in Idaho. We stayed two nights and while we were there it rained for the first time ever since we arrived in the US!

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I admit I liked the sound of rain pattering on the rooftop. While it rained we played table tennis and watched some funny movies in the Rec Room, having a good time. It turned out, that while we were there, the Square Dancing Meet was coming to town and their function was actually being held in the Rec Room of the RV Park where we were staying! We were invited by the head of the park to come and watch and maybe even have a dance, but when we actually stepped through the  doorway of the Rec Room we were not prepared for what we saw: There were about 50 couples, dressed in neon colors of pink, purple, green, red, yellow, orange and blue. The women in frilly, ruffled skirts that twirled and spun at every movement and the men in suits that looked almost like german dancing suits! The moment we arrived the dancing started and it was fun to watch! The couples spun and twirled and stepped back and forth in time to the rhythm of the music and to the instructions of the man with the microphone directing every move. It was almost like a whole different language that was coded because even though we understood the words, they meant a certain set of steps for the dancers. It was very entertaining and though we didn’t join in, we had some great conversations with the dancers. The event lasted for a good three hours and by the time we left it was 11:00pm! WoW! what a day! 

Are you ready to hear our next destination?………….

YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK!!

We arrived at the 3,648 square Mile (or 8983 km²) National Park early in the morning ready to see some amazing wildlife, geysers, and nature!! I was SO excited! It was like I was entering a Theme Park, which is what it felt like for me! We did see many Geysers that day, as Yellowstone has over 500. This is apparently more than half of all the Geysers in the world, as there are approximately 900 worldwide.  The first few were: The Painted Pots Geyser (mud bubbling up from the earth), The Celestine Pool (a beautiful azure coloured steaming pool of water, but too hot and acidic to bathe in) and The Fountain Geyser. That one was really beautiful as it just kept pushing plumes of water cascading over the rocks. It looked like liquid crystals. Again the water here was like it was coming out of a hot tea kettle. 

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Reka and Old Faithful 2012

Then we saw Old Faithful. The one I had been looking forward to! It shot so very high in the air and it took my breath away! It produced a beautiful rainbow behind its trail of spraying water. There were so many people!! 

Old Faithful in Yellowstone NP Montana

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At the Visitor Centre, we saw a video on the wildlife and the rules of the park and looked at all the exhibits! It was a lot of fun! We then drove on to see more geysers: Mud Cauldron, Black Dragon’s Cauldron, Grizzly Fumerole, Mud Volcano and Dragon’s Mouth Springs. We enjoyed them very much even though they stank, because of the Sulphur which has a very NASTY smell. 

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It was getting dark so we pulled into the next village – Canyon Village – and booked a camp spot for our RV. Yellowstone is so HUGE that it takes a good week to drive around the whole park if you want to see it all! We had already driven around about half of it since we hadn’t done every single hike along the road. 

At Old Faithful, I got a Junior Ranger Book, which if I completed, I would become a Junior Ranger. So Lalika and I were working very hard, but I saw that we had to attend a Ranger Talk as one of the tasks for becoming a Junior Ranger and that one was happening that very night on the Nez Perce (one of the Native Indian tribes from the upper Washington State Area). I was very interested to hear the story, so we went and I learned how the Nez Perce fought for their freedom, because just like with the Aboriginal people, their lands were taken away from them too. The story was told in the campground’s amphitheatre, with the campfire lit, but that went out early on and it started to get very cold. We were up at 2500m above sea level and they said the last few nights the temperature had been as low as 0° Celcius!!! We had our winter jackets on but still weren’t prepared enough as we were frozen by the time the story ended. After the talk, I got the Ranger’s signature, which I needed and I was one step closer to becoming a Junior Ranger. 

We begged Mum and Dad to make chips (french fries) that night, from the famous Idaho potatoes we had bought and tomato and cheese pizza pockets. It was late, but all the cooking really warmed up our cozy RV for a good night’s sleep. It was a very delicious dinner.

The next morning, the temperature in the RV was down to 11C degrees (51.8F exactly), but the sunshine soon warmed everything up. We first headed to the Visitor’s Centre where the Ranger had to authenticate that we had done all the required activities and questions. We had to take a pledge to protect and preserve Yellowstone’s wildlife & natural features and to keep learning about and caring for the natural world, even after we leave Yellowstone. We received our new Junior Ranger badges, showing that WE WERE NOW JUNIOR RANGERS OF YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK!!

We were ready for a big hike in the wilderness, walking on top of a still living volcano, after 640,000 years (that’s when it erupted last)! Our hike started in Yellowstone’s Grand Canyon, the magnificent Upper and Lower Falls. We first made our way down some really steep and scary metal steps, nearly 400 of them, to get as close to the falls as possible, but we also had to come back up to continue on our track. Being at 2800m high, we really felt it on our lungs! The hike was very interesting, first it took us along the Yellowstone River on the rim of the canyon, then we headed away from the river to a couple of thermal lakes by a loop track.

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We saw lots of other very active landscapes, but unfortunately not the wildlife kind of activity that we were looking for. The grizzly and black bears chose not to show themselves to us, but two bison and two beautiful elks did, with some other furry chipmunks and big black crows. We even saw some tracks which we would like to believe that were made by a bear!! 😀  

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After our hike, we went on to see a couple of other sights on the map before we left Yellowstone! It got quite cold again by the end of the day and well, we thought we’d rather not stay another night! 😀 So we headed out of Yellowstone, south, to warmer climates. Mum and Dad decided it was too late in the season to head for the Canadian Rockies with the RV and we were more the SUMMER SUNNY WARM kind of people anyway! :D. We were looking forward to journeying on with the SUN!!! Destination: Salt Lake City, UTAH! 😀

Thanks for reading so far! Time for me to say “Y’all come back now ya hear”! 

I trust you enjoyed the photos!

One Thought to THREE STATES IN ONE DAY & THE POWER OF OLD FAITHFUL

  1. kraft022 says:

    I want to take family trips like this. Awesome:)

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