Dosewallips, day 5

Friday, September 29, 2017

Heading home.

Yesterday afternoon the Elk left.  And last night the rain arrived.

I woke this September morning to a nice, soft, steady drizzle.

Besides the rain, what also came to all of us during the night last night was a Northern Spotted Owl.

Yesterday evening, I was chatting with the Camp Host woman.  We talked a lot about the Elk and how thrilling it was to have them around for four full days.  She also spoke about how much she loved hearing a Northern Spotted Owl at night, usually starting in mid-September, but this year she hadn’t heard it.  Those owls are endangered and she was worried that the one who lived nearby was “gone”.

Well, you can guess what we heard during the night. 🙂  Yep, the owl.  Here is a link to an online recording of a Northern Spotted Owl.  Ours sounded exactly like that.  I lay awake for quite a while listening to it.

This morning was quiet because of the rain … there were no kids outside playing, no elk, no people walking about and chatting, and the owl was likely asleep for the day.  With this sort of rain, the world is quieter, the air is fresher, the colors are richer.  It was lovely.

And then I remembered that I needed to hitch up the trailer to the truck.  In the rain.  Bah!

Another lesson learned.  I knew rain was forecast, but I hadn’t thought ahead yesterday to the chore of hitching up.  You can be sure that the next time rain is forecast, I will hitch up the evening before when it’s dry out.

But I was blessed again!  The rain stopped the moment I stepped out the door of the trailer on my way to get the trailer and truck ready to roll.  I took in the power cord and the dump hose and the water hose.  I backed the truck up to the trailer and hitched everything up properly, checking the lights on the trailer, and doing everything else on The List.  I tidied up inside the trailer, duly stowing each item in its assigned place, set the fridge for traveling, made sure the windows were closed and latched … all those little details.  My camera and Little Towhee were in the cab of the truck.  We pulled out of the campground with trailer in tow and were on our way home.

Ha! and then the rain started up again the moment we pulled out onto Highway 101.  But I didn’t mind the rain on the drive home.  How could I complain when I’d been given that dry window of time in which to hitch up?

For the first few minutes of the drive southbound on Highway 101, back towards Olympia, Little Towhee was excited to be on the move again.  But it wasn’t long before she was curled up in her basket sound asleep.

Later, at home, she said she would please like to be on the road in the truck only when she can see something other than raindrops on the windshield.  I will do my best to accommodate her.

Heading down Highway 101 was nice and easy even with the rain.  In truth I think the rain kept the traffic down.  Still, I pulled over several times to let faster vehicles pass.  Almost everyone tapped their horns with a little beep-beep to thank me.

Highway 101 along Hood Canal is interesting.  There are lots of communities and buildings (and people) that have been there for many, many decades.  And there are a few newer places too.  There were older RV parks and older motels (all very nicely maintained), one sign that advertised “stump clearing”, signs in two different small towns that announced local yoga classes … there were small restaurants and small grocery stores, gas stations and boat rentals for fishing/shrimping, churches and cemeteries, lots of homes, and several signs for Hama Hama Oysters (the company is now owned and operated by a fifth generation!).

The words Hama Hama come from the Twana word hab’hab which is a reed that grows along the Hamma Hamma River.  [Local residents say the name had always been spelled with one “m”, but the State of Washington named the river with two “m”s.]

But even with all of those businesses and homes, most of what borders Highway 101 along Hood Canal is forest, or the rocky gravel beaches of Hood Canal, or the grasslands and marshes that make up the deltas of the many rivers that flow into Hood Canal.  It’s a lovely drive.

A reader of this blog who is a friend of mine, who does not live in Washington State, emailed me asking me where exactly I was on the Olympic Peninsula.  Since others might have the same question, I’m including a Google Earth view of the Olympic Peninsula below.  Seattle is off the map to the right.

The Olympic Peninsula comprises only about 10% of the geographic area of the State of Washington.  The area that I explored this past week was only that little squiggly red line, and I certainly didn’t explore everything there was to see along or around that little squiggly red line.  If one extrapolates from the area I explored and the time it took, then it would take years to explore just the State of Washington, not to mention Oregon or California or Idaho, or the Provinces of British Columbia or Alberta in Canada which I would love to see.  I’d better get busy and get exploring!

Besides all of the treasured memories I have of watching the Elk and the spawning salmon, seeing Eagles (I haven’t even mentioned those in these posts), discovering waterfalls and so many different kinds of mushrooms, discovering old boat engines and huge Shire draught horses, talking with other campers and hikers and the Rangers and meeting all sorts of wonderful folk, and listening to the owl last night … besides all of those wonderful things, one of my favorite memories will be finding the quote below posted on a campground reader-board.

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11 Responses to Dosewallips, day 5

  1. vernon says:

    really liked your camping trip and all the pictures . I hope you post about some more trips. I set here in Idaho in winter , even if we haven’t had much of a winter yet , waiting for your next trip. You just never know your blogs just might get me planning to go camping . I have started the motor home just dreaming of moving on down the road . So safe travels and thank you for letting the rest of us enjoy the trip from are recliners ( at least mine) .

    • Ann says:

      Oh gosh, that’s nice of you, Vernon. I have more adventures up my sleeve for sure! I have three short local afternoon trips to post next (they were in early October). Then I take the trailer and go camping on the north end of Whidbey Island for six days at the end of October, so stay tuned for that. And there’s more after that. But, hey, keep starting up that motorhome’s engine and keep on dreaming. Who knows, you might put the rig in gear one of these days. 🙂 Thanks so much Vernon. I really appreciate that you’re here.

    • Tim in Montana says:

      Vernon, where are you in Idaho. We are Dillon Montana and our coach is sitting unused too but our recliners are getting worn out. Lets get on the road!

  2. Ginger D says:

    You’ve had a great adventure on this camping trip. I’ve enjoyed all your posts and pictures. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Don in Alaska says:

    Just discovered your blog over o the RV Sue page.

    I left a note there, but will post the information here as well – about propane.

    Ann, unless you have a really old rig, you have nothing to worry over.

    Newer tanks have a mandated Ovefill Prevention Device.

    As of April 1, 2002, OPDs are required on all propane cylinders between 4 and 40 pounds propane capacity, per the 1998 edition of NFPA 58, Liquefied Petroleum Gas Code. Cylinders of this size manufactured after September 30, 1998, were required to have an OPD. A typical gas grill cylinder holds about 20 pounds of propane.


    Most propane places will refuse to fill older tanks and for good reason. It’s the Law.

    Some older tanks, like the one on my 1997 VW Eurovan camper are exempt from the Law mandating an OPD be installed. OTOH, the way the VW tank is installed (fill valve position) it cannot be over filled.

    (The 2001 edition of NFPA 58 modified requirements to exempt horizontal cylinders manufactured before October 1, 1998, from requiring OPDs. Also exempt are cylinders used for industrial trucks, industrial welding and cutting gases (these cylinders must be labeled with their use).

    I applaud your concern and wanting to learn more. RVs should also have a propane detector / smoke alarm / CO detector set as well.

    Older tanks can have the valve replaced with a new, compliant, value assembly with a OFD. Most propane service places will do this for a small fee – should you own a vintage rig.

    However, retro-fitting an older tank may invovle pressure testing This link explains what this is all about – consumer safety.

    Best of luck on your RVing, we love out time outdoors.

    I see now that you have a modern rig, so this isn’t an issue for you.
    Have fun

    Don in Alaska

    • Ann says:

      Hi Don,
      Thank you! That explains a great deal. I appreciated the info from Sue who said the person who fills the propane tank will make sure the tank is not over-filled, but I do like knowing why and how. And you just did that very nicely. Even tho my rig is new-ish, I’ll take a look at the links in your comments and learn from them. Who knows, I may be able to pass on the info to someone else some day. Very much appreciate your sharing your knowledge!

  4. Kristin says:

    History, nature, and geography lessons all in one. What a treat!

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