Campbell's 2017 Western Trip travel blog

Steve fixing receptacle

Failed receptacle

Moss on limbs


Kathleen getting park stamp

Hard Rain Cafe and campground

Hoh River - no salmon here either

Hard Rain Cafe and campground pano

Hard Rain Cafe campsite

InstaPot 5 minute hard boiled eggs

September 1 – Travel to Hoh Rain Forest in Olympic National Park

We started our travel day early in anticipation of long delays on Rt. 101 where a landslide cleanup yielded 30 minute delays. We were also going to pass through Forks, WA and thought that there would be some points of vampire interest – there were not.

We wanted to arrive at our campground in time to set up and have time to travel another 12 miles to the Olympic NP Hoh Rain Forest for a 2 PM ranger walk and talk.

So, there was a delay, but not due to boulders on the road. We have a trip prep process where we hook the car to the RV, yank on the car to engage the hitch locks and then do a car lights check – turn signal left and right and then brake lights – opps, no left turn signal and no brake lights. : |

We perused the MB fuse book to learn which of the 100 fuses is for the towed vehicle brakes. It is number 14 under the seat but it is perfect.

Next, I jiggled the connector ends of the electrical umbilical cord between the RV and car. Ahh, we have brake lights and then we didn’t. So, we knew that the culprit was the 6-pin connector at the car end of the cord. I tried to force the connector tighter with a strip of Velcro and that worked for a mile or so.

We decided to move on to the campground and do the failure analysis there, which we did but only after some campground campsite study.

Here at the Hard Rain Café and RV Campground, we wanted a shady campsite to keep the sun’s rays from heating up the RV and we found a perfect spot and told the manager that we had chosen Site #4 because we did not need water. She said OK and we proceeded to set-up – hydraulic levels down, slide out, electrical hook-up – opps, no circuit breaker, no power. It was a tent site. : |

OK, off to sunny site #11 after slide in, levelers up. I back into site #11, put the levelers down, slide out, water connected, 30-amp cable connected and A/C on – life is good.

Those are my outside tasks, but every time we set up, Kathleen has her inside tasks – turn driver and passenger seats around, sofa table assembled, front shades closed and toaster oven and coffee maker placed on the counter, and, the reverse when we tear down. She has done her tasks twice so far here at the Hard Rain Café and RV Campground.

At site #11, I proceed to take the electrical connector on the front car bumper apart for a failure analysis and find that two of the six small wire retainers are rusted and the clamping screws are loose and cannot be tightened. See photo.

The travel god was with us. In our ‘Oh Shoot’ tool box, I happen to have a new connector which I carefully installed putting the same color wires in the new connector as the old – all is well.

I entered the A/C cooled, RV to cool down where Kathleen, my favorite pot head, was using her 1000 watt, altitude adjustable InstaPot to make a batch of my morning cereal while at the same time, the electric hot water heater was doing its job and the electric powered refrigerator was doing its.

Then, all was quiet.

No problem. I will just go reset the circuit breaker and we will turn off the A/C for the three minutes it takes to make my cereal (fast huh?) and turn off the hot water heater to reduce the amperage load.

Upps, the non-glowing indicator lights on the surge protector that I connect to the power box for protection show that there is no power when I reset the circuit breaker, many times. We fried the breaker.

Did I mention that this is no KOA and I really do not appreciate surprises?

OK, we know the drill – water hose and electrical cable stored, slide in, levelers up – off to sunny site #7 – levelers down, slide out, water and electrical connected – we have power.

In the warm RV, Kathleen proceeds to use her pot to finish the cereal before we turn on the A/C, just to be safe. : )

The A/C remains on for 30 minutes so we think that all is well and we can leave, with Martha in the cool RV which we do. (Martha was cool when we returned.)

We arrived at the Hoh Rain Forest Visitor’s Center just in time for the 2 PM, 1-mile walk and talk which was worth the time and effort. Our ranger guide presented her information about the rain forest with enthusiastic detail. This is the dry season. In the wet season, the rain forest receives 13’ of rain.

One of the most interesting bits of information was about the nurselogs. Seeds fall on a fallen tree and take root in the decaying trunk. After hundreds of years, the fallen tree has become biomass exposing the roots of the seedlings which are now huge. The result is a straight row of huge trees with some of their tangled roots above ground level. See photo.

Another interesting item was that the tree limbs grow roots into large bundles of moss that are growing on them and the roots can grow to be 2’ long. The moss bundles provide water and nutrients. Also, the moss can be as much as 4 times the weight of the tree leaves/needles.

Tomorrow we are off to the coast. Olympic NP has a campground on the Pacific Ocean coastline where we plan to camp for two nights.

Total Mileage: 4,430

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