Blaine to Chehalis (Washington)

I had a typical pre-departure night filled with strange dreams, with a particularly vivid one waking me up to the sound of pounding rain at 6AM. Weirdly enough, I’ve been on an ‘early’ schedule since I got to Blaine last month, with bedtime between 10 and 12 and wake up around 8. If this had been a normal morning, I would have just gotten up at six. But since I had a full day ahead of me, I plugged in the electric blanket against the chill and went back to sleep.

The rain had turned to a gentle mist when I woke up again at 8. I didn’t have much left to do since I’d taken advantage of yesterday’s warm and sunny weather to dump the tanks and load the car. I lingered over breakfast, then went out to top up the fresh water tank and put away the water hoses. I continued to putter until I saw the park manager entering the office and went to see her to finalize my stay.

I’d given a $100 deposit for power and was shocked to learn that I had used $62 worth of power this past month!!!!!!!! I didn’t even run the dehumidifier. The only explanation is that I’ve had the 12V lights blazing in the evening since I’ve been working on my embroidery project. I really do need to convert to LED, but I don’t find that LED lights up a room as well as the incandescent bulbs do.

The manager wanted to give me my refund by cheque, but I talked her into giving me cash since I wouldn’t have been able to do a deposit for four weeks.

I’ll finally mention where I’ve been staying the last four weeks: Lighthouse by the Bay RV Resort. Lovely park and well managed, with clean washrooms, a club house, and three washers. When I arrived there was a welcome package waiting for me by the door, with everything I needed to get settled in, plus tons of local info. A lot of people there are permanent residents. If I can’t afford the gas to go south next winter, I will happily consider going back there because of the affordable monthly rent, location, and lower cost of living.

I pulled out of the park at about 11 and went down to the Texaco to fill the on board propane tank. I had a third of a tank of gas left so I decided to wait to get fuel; I’d be due at about the same time I’d be glad to have a leg stretch and pee break.

It continued to rain gently as I headed south, but by the time I hit Marysville, just north of Seattle, the rain had stopped even if the clouds were still black and swollen. I saw a highway sign announcing ‘Donna’s Truck Stop’, so I figured that’d be an easy access station, which it was. I took on $125 worth of fuel at $3.76 a gallon, so 33 gallons. That put me at almost full, with more than enough to get to Eugene.

The sky continued to clear and there were patches of blue when I hit Seattle. I stuck to the centre lane and made it through the city uneventfully even with the construction. It was the same thing through Tacoma and Olympia, capital of Washington State. I saw the capitol from the highway.

I’d asked around about good options for overnighting between Blaine and Eugene and was told the Walmart in Chehalis is RV friendly and exactly halfway. Croft says that it is his first stop after the Port Angeles ferry. That was good enough for me, so that’s where I headed.

11AM departures are a pain; too early to have lunch before leaving, but arrival is too soon after lunch to make it worth stopping for food. So, I just drove straight through and had a snack on arrival at 3.

I think I may set up camp permanently at the Chehalis Walmart! What a perfect overnight stop! Besides the Walmart supercentre, there’s a Starbucks with wifi, an Applebee’s, a Home Depot, and more. I must mention my love affair with the Applebee’s chain: awesome food, cheap prices, and portions so huge I always get two meals out of my order. Since I wasn’t driving tonight, I splurged on a ginormous mojito. *hiccup*

The weather this afternoon and early evening has been gorgeous; sunny and warm. Except for a cat who got very RV sick today, it has been a perfect day. I love my life.


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  • Did the RV park manager tell you what the charge per kw hour is? $62 seems excessive to me, and lights don’t run up the electric bill – appliances do, such as microwave, a/c, the furnace blower fan, etc. I think the most I’ve paid was $.19/kw hr in New York last year, and my bill came to about $45 for a month. Maybe the electricity rates have really gone up!

    When they are charging me for electric usage, I take my own reading when I am setting up, and then check it at least every couple of days to see how I’m faring.

  • I’m glad you like the WalMart RV Park there! Like you say, it has everything and is far enough off the highway that it is fairly quiet. If you park near the Starbucks you can use their signal from the RV.

    You might want to take the I-205 bypass around Portland. I-5 can be a traffic nightmare through the city.

    Have fun!

  • Martha, I forget the per kilowatt amount, but it was reasonable. 12V lighting uses a lot more power than people realise. I can run my battery down in one night if I read for three or four hours using a 12V light.

    Croft, I’m parked near the Home Depot and on their wifi. 😀

    THANK YOU for the info about Portland. I can’t believe no one has thought to tell me to bypass it!!!

  • Ah, you finally stopped at my truck stop 😉 LOL That’s where my jacket comes from.

  • Electricity is much higher priced in the US, I found. Even in Arizona in October, without AC, we were being billed $20 per week, that is why we headed up to the ridge to boondock.

  • A warning would have been nice! 😉

  • I was wondering if this was the ONE. LOL!

  • […] an Applebee’s just a couple of blocks (walking distance) from the Walmart, making this the second best Walmart I’ve ever stayed at. ? I had dinner then came home to find a note on the windshield from […]

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