Monday and Tuesday, October 6 and 7, 2014 (Travel to Fort Stevens State Park, Hammond, Oregon)

Monday was the day! Time to pack up and hit the road south! Our pack up went smoothly but as we pulled out of our site Steve noticed that the trailer brakes were very touchy and he wasn't able to adjust them. The brake module display and manual brake button weren't working but the display would come on when the brake pedal was engaged.. Well, isn't that just great?! They worked fine when we got why now when we hook up does it not work? As we were driving, trying to decide whether to head to Fraserway RV or the border, the braking seemed a little less aggressive, so we decided to continue with our plans and get it checked in Washington State.

The sign en-route to the border said the crossing wait at the Pacific Border Crossing was 20 minutes...HA! It was almost 2 hours by the time we made it up to the wicket...and after the usual questioning, we finally were into the USA. 

Here is a glimpse of Lake Samish as we headed south on the I-5...

We went directly to Poulsbo RV in Mt. Vernon only to be told by a very apologetic service manager that they were fully booked and just did not have anyone that could work on it. He recommended Roy Robinson Chev in addition to being a car dealer, they also have an RV service department...and just happen to be up the road from the Tulalip Casino where we're spending the night. We used to use Camping World but Steve doesn't like their service department.

After some troubleshooting, the tech realized that the brake module in the truck (that controls the braking of the trailer) wasn't connected to the truck batteries. The tech said the power we were getting was from the brake switch circuit and acts like an emergency backup. Well, with the installation of the new batteries in the truck a few weeks ago, I guess the tech neglected to connect that wire!

The tech is off to get some tools...

It's a pretty tight spot to get into...

About 40 minutes later, all was fixed and we were on our way. Steve will be forwarding our bill to the dealer that installed our truck batteries. We then went into a Co-Op store in Marysville to purchase some Freshcab (the mouse deterrent that we use in our trailer) only to find they were sold out...sheesh! Now we will have to figure out another spot to get it. After a stop at Walmart to do a little shopping, we pulled into the Tulalip Resort Casino RV parking area and set up for the night. I put the groceries away and we did a minimal unpacking...and then we just chilled for a little while before heading over to the casino for dinner.

Always a bad idea going to a buffet....but the food was pretty good and there was great variety. We both ate way too much and waddled back to the trailer complaining. We were in bed with lights out early...we were both tired after an early morning...and a rather stressful day!

We left Tulalip at about 9:15 Tuesday morning, continuing south on the I-5. It was a foggy start... 

Gotta love the Seattle area traffic...this is I-405, the alternative route bypassing Seattle. We flew by a good part of it in the HOV lane...not sure if we were supposed to be in it but it said buses or vehicles with 2 or we went for it. Steve was a little concerned that an impatient driver might pull out of the stopped traffic as we were screaming along at 60 mph.

We left the I-5 at Longview, WA and made our way... a bridge over the Columbia River...

...and into Oregon...

We eventually landed on SR 30 west. That's the bridge in the distance that we just went over...

We drove through the nice little town of Clatskanie. We had considered staying at a county park there but it was early yet, so we decided to carry on.

It's nice being off the interstate highway...beautiful countryside, on a gorgeous day!

We noticed some freighters out in the mouth of the Columbia as we neared Astoria...

We drove through Astoria. We'll have to make a day trip back here for a look around...

That's the Astoria-Megler Bridge...a gigantic bridge that goes over the Columbia River between Washington State and Oregon (Hwy 101)...

Another view of the bridge as we get closer...
The route took us under the bridge...

Another bridge takes us across Youngs Bay to the northwestern tip of Oregon...

It was around 2:30 when we arrived at Fort Stevens State Park (sorry about the reflection from the window). The campground is huge, with about 170 full hook-up sites, 300 electrical sites with water, along with Yurts and cabins. We stopped at the Ranger's Station and registered and were given site M-56 in the "M" loop in the southern end of the campground. It is a well treed campground with paved roads and site pads. Our site is actually a camp-host site that was just vacated for the season. We have a full hook-up site for $27/'s $25 for electric and water so for an extra couple of bucks, we splurged for full hook-ups. It's actually quite amazing that these sites have full hook-ups given the environment of the park. Just goes to show you that you don't have to be lined up parking lot style, typical of private campgrounds, in order to accommodate full hook-ups.

Luckily our site was an easy back-in, having lots of room to maneuver as the road curved. The sites are not overly large but our loop is fairly quiet right now. A number of loops have been closed already and "M" loop is closing at the end of the month. The park and campground is open year round with limited sites open during the winter months.

After getting all set up, it was time for the satellite dish...being in such a treed environment, getting a signal was going to be tricky. And after spending over an hour trying, we just couldn't snag onto a signal..drats! Oh well, we have fairly good 'over the air' stations on our rooftop antenna...and we have an internet signal on our Verizon MiFi!


  1. Welcome Back to the States!!! Great looking state park:o))

    1. Thanks Bill and Nancy! We're looking forward to another season in the lower 48!

  2. We have never stayed at Fort Stevens State Park. I looked at the map on the link but don't get it.

    Why do you cross at Peace Arch? Aldergrove/Huntington is much faster.

    1. We cross at the Pacific Border Crossing because we like to stop at the Pilot truck stop in Ferndale and fill up with diesel. Mind you, with the waits that we have experienced at that crossing, we may rethink that in the future!

  3. HEY!!!! You made it!!! Turn the hour glass over and start enjoying the USA again LOL!!

    1. You betcha, Dave!!! Looking forward to our paths crossing down south sometime this winter!

  4. Welcome! Nice to see you've started your trip south. Your post made us homesick, our son was stationed in Astoria in the Coast Guard for four years and we visited them many times, and always had a ball. A great area to explore.

    You have to do the Fish and Chips boat downtown across from the Maritime Museum and hit the Danish Bakery downtown, too. You won't be disappointed! :c)

    1. Thanks for the recommendations! We spent the afternoon walking all along the Riverwalk...beautiful!