Monthly Archives: July 2008

The Big Trip!

We finally went on a two week trip with the Ambassador. Everything went great. We left Northern California for Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming.
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We did have one overnight stay on the way. We found a $20 hookup site on the side of the freeway somewhere in Nevada. We arrived outside of Yellowstone about 5pm the second day. We did not have any plans on this trip. No reservations. The first campsite in West Yellowstone, MT was fully booked. They had turned away about 30 trailers before we got there. We had to settle for a site about seven miles from the park entrance.

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Not a bad site. They had a stream nearby. I think the stream and weather brought the millions of misquotes though! Our site did have a low voltage problem. When we turned on the microwave the lights would dim. I confirmed with a voltmeter and found the voltage drop to 90vac. That will kill your A/C. We found another plug on the pedestal to use that worked a little better. This turned out to be a temporary fix though. On the third night we returned to a dead trailer. The park power at our site dropped to 4 volts! I had to use my 30 amp extension cord to borrow power from the next site over. Always be prepared!

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Immediately after pulling into the park we were stopped by bison. I’m not sure the difference between bison and buffalo, but they always called them bison. They would pretty much stop traffic. That was an easy indicator of something to see. We also saw moose, elk, bald eagles, and even a black bear.

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Of course the animals are not the only reason to go to Yellowstone. You have all the natural water features. The most famous is the geyser Old Faithful going off every 90 minutes. The family favorite were the many hot springs in the lower loop of the park.

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There was also the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone. I caught this rainbow in the falls.

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From Yellowstone we headed toward Seattle, WA to check out the Space Needle. Here is one of many typical rest stops for a driving break.

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The Seattle campground was the most expensive, probably due to its location. This site actually had the sewer connection in front of the trailer! I had to use my 45 feet of sewer hose for the first time. Luckily I had it!

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We picked up a city pass for $44/person that allowed for five events. These included the zoo, aquarium, boat tour, and a couple of museums. It was a good deal. The pass is good for 9 days, but we crammed it into two!

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A couple of things it seems like everyone has is an iMax theater and a butterfly house. We kinda got tired of the iMax. In Yellowstone the free movies at the visitor centers were actually more informative.

After Seattle we made our way to McMinnivile, OR to the Evergreen Aviation Museum to see the Howard Hughes Flying Boat. Better known as the Spruce Goose. They had a nice parking lot we used for the midday stop.
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Evergreen is a really nice museum if you are into planes. They also just opened a space museum, but we did not go in it.

We headed down the coast through the California Redwoods and wound up in Fort Bragg. A really nice drive. Although the curvy road from Oregon on hwy 1 to Crescent City was pretty interesting. Fort Bragg is a great place to check out the Botanical Gardens.
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I’m happy to say that the truck and trailer did great. We had gas mileage as high as 13.9 and as low as 10. All in all it was better than I thought it would be.

Only one small annoyance in the trailer was a slow tub drain. I’ll have to look into that one. It worked fine this spring when we used the trailer.

Fifteen nights in the 28 foot trailer with five people was a little bit of a challenge. But we got through it.

One thing we would do different is only pay for one night at a time. Some campgrounds were not as nice as advertised and others were better. We made the mistake of staying at a less than desirable campground for two nights just so we could have a catch up day on laundry and shopping. The campground advertised new laundry facilities which was nothing more that a new washer and dryer in the bathroom. We ended up going to a local laundry mat. Next time we’d continue on down the road to a better campground with proper facilities.

So thats the trip, not too shabby. Everyone enjoyed themselves and the kids handled the long driving days pretty well. Funny on non-camping trips its nice to get home. On camping trips, everyone always wants to stay longer.

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