August 24 –Travel from Post Falls, Idaho to Ellensburg, Washington
A short trip today. We are taking a long way around to get to the North Cascades National Park so that we do not have to climb and descend the North Cascades Mountain Range on Route 20. There are many 10% ups and downs and some 20% areas that our Sprinter and I need to avoid.
The drive across Washington on I-90 was nice, most of the way. We passed hundreds of large wheat fields with pivot irrigation that had been harvested.
On a 14-mile stretch, signs were posted naming the crops that were in large pivots. We saw timothy, alfalfa, potatoes, green manure, onions, carrots, field corn, sweet corn, edible beans, wheat and buckwheat in bloom. There were also many bee hives.
There was a strong headwind as we neared Ellensburg and on a long descent we saw a large cloud of smoke ahead. Further along, we saw the dry grass in the median was burning. The traffic going up the hill was stopped and we passed many fire trucks heading east to the fire.
Our campsite is in a KOA campground that has not water supply. They called us two days ago to let us know in case we wanted to cancel. This morning in Post Falls, I filled the fresh water tank to 2/3 full, about 20 gallons so we would have plenty until we reach the KOA near North Cascades NP tomorrow morning.
After setting up at our campsite, less a water hookup, the InstaPot was again put into service. Syracuse salt potatoes were prepared for lunch in 2-minutes and hard boiled eggs in 5-minutes. There is something about the InstaPot egg cooking process that results in the eggs being very easy to peel. Included in the photos is a view of the beef bones being removed from the InstaPot that was used to make bone broth for me.
We received notice that the ferry that we were to take across the Strait of Juan de Fuca was without a rudder and all reservations were cancelled. Our plan is to take a short ferry ride across the strait instead of driving south into Seattle and Tacoma and then drive back north to Olympic National Park, saving several hours of travel. Our new plan is to take a later ferry that has a rudder.
Waiting for us at the KOA office were our new set of tire pressure monitor sensors. This the third set that we have received so we consider this a beta test of a new product. We now have 10 sensors that are monitored continuously on an Android tablet which sits in front of Kathleen on the dash. If the tire pressure drops quickly on any of the tires, an alarm sounds and the problem tire icon turns red.
The sensors’ signals are picked up by a repeater that is in a closet over the rear RV axle and is connected to a t-style antenna. The repeater sends the signals to the tablet, in theory, but that has not happened in the first two kits that we have tested. This third set seems to be working – time will tell.
We have reservations at the KOA in Rockport, WA near the North Cascades NP for three nights. The weather forecast is changing in our favor and is 10 degrees less than forecast two days ago. We will decide where to camp on Friday and Saturday night after we get there and check out the NP campsite that we have reserved.