Paradise Campground, Silver Creek, WA (6/1– 6/22)

By / July 10, 2016 / Travel Log

Drive

We are enjoying the shorter drives from one stop to the next. The drive from Seaside, Oregon to Silver Creek, Washington was just two and a half hours and was uneventful for the most part. As we were preparing to leave Seaside, we discovered that our outdoor shower would not turn off and was spraying water everywhere. We decided that we would not delay our drive and instead troubleshoot once we arrived at our next camp. To stop the leak, we had to turn off our water pump, which meant we couldn’t use our water until we fixed the issue. Luckily, we found an RV repair shop near our camp and were able to buy the parts and replace the faucet the next day.

 

Getting ready to cross the Columbia River into Longview, Washington

Crossing into Washington

Campsite

We chose this campsite for it’s proximity to Olympia, where Cathy’s family lives and where many of the events would be taking place. The scenery coming into our camp was great including a clear shot of Mayfield Lake and Mt. St. Helens, and glimpses of Mt. Rainier and Mt. Adams. Anyone who knows Cathy knows how much she loves Christmas, so it was fitting that our neighbor was a Christmas tree farm! The camp was nestled in a dense forest and deer and other critters made several appearances, which we have always enjoyed.

Great panoramic view of Mayfield Lake and Mt. St. Helens

Nice campsite at the end of a row with an empty area right below for parking

Christmas tree farm next to our campground

Christmas tree farm next to our campground

Day Trips/Special Events

When planning for our RV Reboot road trip, we knew we wanted to be in Washington in June to attend our nieces’ graduations. Maddie graduated from 8th grade and Mckenzie graduated from high school. We had so much fun attending the many graduation ceremonies and parties. We have loved watching the girls grow from cuddly little babies into the beautiful young women they are today.

8th grade promotion for Maddie

High school graduation for Kenzie

They grow up fast…well, maybe not too fast! 😉

The concession stand at Saint Martins named after Cathy’s Dad, who was a fixture at all of the events

Look what we found! Center court seat dedicated to Cathy’s little brother Bernie, a ball boy for the Saints basketball team and a member of the school’s golf team.

Kenzie and friends chillin’ on the deck

Kenzie and friends getting a kick out of the graduation video that Jon created for her

Rosie and Cathy with their sister from another mister, Roxanne!

Jon battles his way through a fierce game of HORSE.

Jon always working...testing party goers vertical jumps

Jon always working…testing party goers’ vertical jumps

Much of the first two weeks in Washington revolved around catching up with family and celebrating. We also found time to attend a few other special events. The Cystic Fibrosis Great Strides walk is dear to our hearts, as we lost three of Cathy’s siblings to the disease. It brings us great joy to walk and raise funds and awareness for this terrible disease. We walk in memory of our lost loved ones, but also for friends who still live with this disease and are hoping for many more tomorrows. It was a beautiful day for a walk around Capitol Lake with friends and family.

Beautiful day for the CF Walk

Cathy grew up in Washington State and remembers the day that Mt. St. Helens erupted. We decided to make a drive to the visitor’s center and see how the mountain looks 36 years later. The destruction definitely left its mark, but there is an amazing amount life returning to the area.

Great views of Mt. St. Helens from the Johnson Ridge Observatory

One of the thousands of trees that were flattened by the big 1980 blast

From this spot, it would have taken about 45 seconds for the blast to hit us.

Panoramic view of Mt. St. Helens

We watched a movie about Mt. St. Helens. The movie ended and the screen lifted to reveal this spectacular view of the volcano.

Many of Cathy’s friends still live in Washington so it was great to get together with some of them. Even with a longer stay here, there never seems to be enough time to see everyone we want to see. A small group of Cathy’s high school friends had an old school get together at the local skating rink. Nothing has changed since then, except maybe our fitness levels! It was much more difficult than Cathy remembers, but she still had a great time. Believe it or not, Jon escaped childhood without ever roller-skating! It was his first time and he managed to stay on his feet the entire time.  Cathy’s friends Kenna and Tony hosted a small BBQ at their place that evening. It is funny how no matter how much time passes, we are all able to pick up right where we left off. Good times were had by all. A couple of Cathy’s friends weren’t able to make it that day, but were able to meet up for lunch another day in Tacoma.

Jon survived his first roller skating experience!

Cathy, Sabrena and Heather reunited at Skateland

Picking up right where we left off

The lovely ladies of NTHS class of 1990

Group pic to end a great night

Another fun event was a birthday party for one of Cathy’s best friends’ daughter! Cathy and Stefane are both nurses and have been friends since 1986! We were there for her daughter Halia’s first birthday a couple years ago and were excited to be in town for her 3rd birthday this year and to meet Halia’s new little brother. Cathy may or may not have monopolized baby Vino for most of the party.

The sassy birthday girl

Adorable baby Vino

Baby Vino having fun with Jon

 

Guests

We always look forward to hosting guests in our RV and were fortunate to have two sets of visitors this time. Stefane, Vino, and the kids made the long drive to visit us and see our new home. We walked around camp, the kids played on the playground, and we enjoyed catching up in person. Towards the end of our trip, Cathy’s sister Rosie brought a couple of her girls and their friend for a day of fun. There was swimming, kayaking, Wii games, and daisy chain making. We love having visitors!

Was this before or after Halia bit her Mom? 😉 We had a great time anyway!

The girls managed to swim in all 4 campground pools…including the forbidden adult pool!

Doesn’t everybody look good underwater?

Maddie and her twin BFF/neighbor Merek

Awkward family photos…Traditional Mathews girls’ pose reinvented

Wii Go-Kart racing in the RV

Rosie paddles her way around the pond.

Maddie and Merek crossed kayaking off of their summer bucket list!

Another great visit in the books

 

Fitness

Jon was able to join the family at the local YMCA to keep up on his workouts and offer some personal training to the family. Our niece Maddie will be trying out for the high school volleyball team, so Jon wanted to teach her various exercises in preparation for tryouts. Jon worked with Kenzie last summer and was impressed with the progress she has made in just a year.

Jon utilizes the playground to work on various grip pull-ups.

Jon trains Maddie and Kenzie on various exercises.

Jon works on his deadlift.

Next Stop

Our next stop will be in Gig Harbor for a week-long stay with our friends Keith and Lisa, who we met during our March visit to Arizona.  One of the greatest perks of RVing is the nice people we have met during our journey!

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