Like so many others, we were itching to get OUT and about. The minute I read that Washington State Parks was opening a few parks for overnight camping I ran straight to my computer and booked a week at a nearby State Park. We have spent over a year resto-moding our 1975 GMC Eleganza 2 motorhome and beyond driveway surfing (in our own driveway), a night at a casino and a night at a Harvest Host site we haven’t been able to really test all our changes – and the things we didn’t change.
We took the ferry to Manchester State Park for a 5 day stay. It’s a great park and we have visited many times, and decades ago tent camped, to enjoy the great views and fresh air. While our individual campsite had a pretty muddy spot where we parked the rv, it was easy to level. We installed the Truma application on our phone which took the guessing out of things. With approximately 235 square feet of living space we wanted to add a ‘spare room’ so purchased the Quick Set Clam Tent, I have to say what a GREAT investment. Within moments of arriving we had our home for the week set up.
Our site was without any hook ups – which is exactly what we wanted to give our solar, battery set up, tankless hot water system and whatever ‘off grid’ systems we’d installed a work out. We were as close to being one with nature as we could get and still be (via ferry) only 10 miles from home!
We had a wonderful time sitting fireside, watching the ferries go by, hiking on the trails, watching the eagles and the ducks and playing Yahtzee. One night I suggested we should go look at the stars. We went to the beach and sat on a log as it got darker, well up until a huge sea creature started making noises – pretty sure it was just a sea lion trying to enjoy a quiet swim at dusk but I quickly decided we should leave the beach and get back to open land! We went over to a picnic table, laid on our backs and watched the stars begin to appear, saw satellites seemingly racing each other and enjoyed the stillness of the night…. until….. there was a rustling in the woods and even the dog about jumped out of his skin! So on went the flashlight and back up and around to our campsite and into a well lit rv, enough with that nature nonsense!
We purchased a Blackstone grill which I really enjoyed cooking on. We had pancakes and bacon, grilled burgers and even made pizza using Naan bread for the crust. Cooking in the clam tent was great, it covered the entire picnic table and we were able to leave the grill on the table and cook outside without flies, mosquitoes or aggressive chipmunks who had no qualms about finding the dogs food and stealing a nugget or two.
A few things we learned along the way….I DO want to stick to no paper products and no bottled water, washing dishes in the sink isn’t a big deal and our Berkey water purification system gives us great tasting clean water. We were able to take hot showers in our wet bath, the tankless hot water system gave us HOT water quickly and using the Venture Wipes on non shower days worked great keeping us clean and refreshed. We do NOT need decorative pillows on the bed and have to move to the cab area each night and then put back in the morning. The machine washable carpet I bought for the stick and bricks work great and we will order a few more to keep in the rv. I DO want a basket with a handle to lug things from the rv to the tent/picnic table. We need a better trash bin. I want a tall, instead of wide, tea kettle and more portable solar lights. We NEED to verify our power monitors are reading correctly, change the spark plug in the generator, make a lid for the Blackstone grill (with a handle) and replace the propane tank.
Oh…. the tide was too low so we couldn’t take the ferry back home. So over the Tacoma Narrows Bridge and up I-5 and through the detours because our bridge ‘is broken’ we made it home safe and sound. Having the mountain ‘out’ and in all her glory was a nice way to end our trip. We are looking forward to the fall when hopefully not every campground in the state is booked and we can head out again.
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