Posts Tagged With: adventure

RV Adventures: The Great Wall of Poo


You’ll notice there are no other pictures in this story. I just wanted to portray a nice, serene setting first. You’ll soon understand why.

We headed out Thursday night to Long Beach, Washington just to relax and have some fun. Reserved a spot at the Pacific Holiday Resort (a Western Horizon resort) and found our spot about 9:00 pm.

We spent the next couple of days driving up and down the peninsula, eating out, learning about a haunted library and church, and hearing stories of bear problems (who knew there was a bear problem on the beach!)  The weather even cleared enough to ride go-karts and fly kites.

Ahhh, a nice relaxing weekend. Sunday morning we got up and got ready to go. David and Josh went out to break down camp and next thing I knew, I heard David cussing. Being the supportive wife, I just stayed inside doing what I was doing. Why get in his way if things weren’t going well? Then Josh was at the door saying in his low, monotone voice, “Mom, Dad needs some clean clothes.” Again, being the supportive wife, I didn’t bother to ask why I just gathered his clothes and handed them to Josh. I looked out the door and David was standing there with poo all over the lower part of his body. He was trying very hard to keep his voice modulated and controlled. He just said, “Can you also get me some soap and shampoo?”

That’s when he told me the gray water valve had worked its way open and the hose separated from the coupler as he was trying to put it away. He looked stunned, saying, “A great all of poo came right at me.” So now he was going to head down to the clubhouse showers. Thank goodness because I was secretly thinking, “Please don’t come in, please don’t come in.” This is why there are no pictures. Because even though I am such a supportive wife, I didn’t think it was a good idea to ask him to stand there while I took his picture because this would be an oh-so-funny story.

While he walked to the showers, escorted by Josh, I just waited in the RV at the dining table. A few minutes later I saw a maintenance man come up in a golf cart, going around to the dump site. I just quietly and slowing slid down real low in my seat, hoping he wouldn’t see me. I thought, “No way I want to deal with this!” Have I mentioned what a supportive wife I am?

A few minutes later David came back, still covered in poo, and started explaining the issue to the maintenance man. I asked why he didn’t shower and he took a deep breath and said it was closed for cleaning. The maintenance man thanked him for telling him, said a lot of people will just go off and leave it and not say anything. He said he could tell it was an accident. Ya think?!

David eventually went down to the clubhouse to take a shower. A few minutes later I walked to the clubhouse and Josh was sitting talking to the hostess. She looked at me and said, “Are YOU ok?” I said, “Oh, yeah, I just stayed out of the way.” She said, “That’s what I mean, sometimes we can bear the brunt of it, are you OK?” I repeated, “Oh, yeah” and just laughed.

When David came out of the restroom all fresh and clean, he looked at the hostess and smiled a sheepish smile. She looked relieved and said, “I’m glad you can laugh about it.” His reply? “All I can say is – I’m glad I didn’t have my mouth open!”

Categories: Keatons Out and About, RV/Camping | Tags: , | 7 Comments

Open to the Unexpected: Adventures in Paragliding


Ready to go! Josh and Doug, the instructor

“Oh, my goddddd!” Josh yelled as he was suddenly lifted into the air and was high in the sky in a matter of seconds. David and I both started laughing. We knew there would be screaming involved in this little adventure.

Pulling into our camping spot at Entiat City Park, in Entiat, Washington, a beautiful small park right on the lake, we were surprised to see right in front of us on the lawn, a man hooked by a whole lot of strings to a long, narrow parachute-type of thing. Suddenly, he was running and then yanked into the air. We realized he was attached to a boat that had just taken off. It was amazing! After he had been in the air awhile, he detached from the boat and was flying way up high all by himself. We could have just watched, as many campers were doing, but decided we needed to go talk to someone about this! We approached a young woman, her name was Kari and she was visiting from Australia. I asked if this was parasailing and she explained it is paragliding. Normally they jump off of perfectly good mountains, and a bunch of them had just participated in a tournament at Lake Chelan, but they were here at Lake Entiat to take lessons on what to do when something goes wrong in the air.

We talked for a few minutes and Josh was intensely interested, then Kari asked him, “Do you want to do a tandem ride? Doug is an instructor and he might do a ride with you.” Josh was incredulous. “Really?!” he asked, and she said, “Sure, let’s go ask.” So she took us over and introduced us to Doug Shoop, owner of Aerial Paragliding in Cashmere, Washington, and he said he could take Josh up and told us the cost. Josh looked at me with pleading eyes, “Please, Mom, can I?” We went to the bank to get the money while Josh waited and talked to the other fliers, trying to learn what he could.

When the time came, Doug had us sign all the usual disclosures, then proceeded to get Josh’s gear on him and explain what they would be doing. Josh started taking deep breaths and getting very serious and we realized he was getting nervous.

The two of them went out onto the grass where they would be taking off and got ready to go. Then when the boat driver came into the take-off area, he told them to hold it, they needed to fix a small problem. Turns out the rope had gotten a loop in it and they needed to fix it, and it would take awhile. So Josh had to take off all his gear, and we spent about the next hour waiting, and I could tell Josh was getting more and more nervous. But when it came time to try again, he still did it. I got the camera ready and we watched him take off. Just as he went up into to air, we heard him exclaim, “Oh, my goddddd!” and David and I both started laughing.

We watched him go very high up and after about 10 minutes they came back to land. Josh immediately sat down on the ground, his legs were so wobbly he couldn’t even run to land properly. I asked him if he liked it and he looked almost sick as he said, “I didn’t really like it.” Again, we laughed.

We did tell him how proud we were of him for doing it even, though he was afraid, and as the days went by and he had time to think about and process it, he was able to recall the parts he did like. He could see for miles and saw the many orchards in the area, a sandbar where the river enters the lake, and the old roads from the now-flooded town running under the lake.

We also got to meet a lot of nice people who were more than happy to share their love of the sport – all because Josh wasn’t too shy to walk up to strangers and find out what was going on. So when you are on vacation always be open to whatever comes along and take opportunities to try spontaneous new things – then your vacations will turn into new adventures, too!



Categories: Keatons Out and About, Outdoors, Parks, People, Washington | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Bicycle Riding on the Pt. Townsend to Whidbey Island Ferry – Washington


Ferry Kennewick

Having recently bought decent bicycles, one thing we have been talking about doing is taking our bikes on the ferry  system. So while vacationing in Port Townsend, Washington, we decided to start small and go on the Pt. Townsend to Whidbey Island ferry.

Nothing we do seems to be without adventure of some sort. We got up on an overcast Friday morning, checked the ferry website to make sure the ferry was operating on normal schedule. It was. Well, OK, the website just didn’t mention there was a problem. We took our car to the Safeway parking lot in town to park. We could have chosen to ride public transit down to the ferry dock but decided just to ride. When we got there we found out the ferry was broke down. They said it would be out the rest of the day and the next day was questionable.

Disappointed, we decided to ride around downtown Pt. Townsend. We had lunch at a little restaurant on the water and when we told the waitress about the ferry, she said, “Oh, yeah, that happens a lot.” Gulp – I’m not sure I want to go on a ferry that breaks down a lot! We continued riding, looking at the detailed architecture of the great old buildings, bought some delicious cupcakes at a little cupcake store, then rode up a hill to look out over the water. There we saw the ferry moving around so we went back down to check it out and it was fixed. David was excited to be able to go on it. I was still nervous that it would break down again. But of course, we bought our tickets.

Pt Townsend

Pt. Townsend

While waiting to get on, I went into the little building that amounts to a “terminal” and saw three young girls just staring at the vending machine. Turns out they had come over from Whidbey Island the day before, planning to spend just two hours there. Anyone remember Gilligan’s Island? Well, they decided to have dinner and by the time they were done, a storm had moved in, kicking up high winds, so the ferry was cancelled. Of course, they had to spend the night in Pt. Townsend. So the next morning they went to the terminal at 6:00am to catch the ferry back. Nope, by then it was broke down. This was now 3:00 in the afternoon. But the worst part? They had left their dogs in the car back on Whidbey. They ended up to be OK, but I’m sure there was a nice mess in the car and if it had been sunny and warm, that could have been disastrous for the poor dogs.

So now I’m really nervous, worried another storm will kick up and we’ll be stranded on Whidbey Island. David said, “Stop worrying, it’ll be fun!” I said, “If  we get stuck over there I am going to be sleeping in the softest motel bed you can afford.”


Submarine with escort ships

The time came to get on the ferry. We were able to just park our bikes at the front of the boat and head upstairs. It was a great, short 30-minute ride. It was a beautiful day, not too cold and we even got to see a nuclear submarine being escorted down to the Bremerton submarine base. It was interesting to watch several coast guard boats racing up to private boats and having them clear the way for the sub.

Getting off ferry

Ready to get off the ferry

We landed at Whidbey and took off on our bikes up the hill to Ft. Casey. We spent about two hours bicycling around the fort, checking out it and touring the lighthouse. Since it was getting to be late in the afternoon we decided that we better head on back just in case the weather picked up again.

Waiting in line for the ferry we started talking to another gentleman on a bike. It turns out he was from San Diego, had flown up to Bellingham and was riding all the way back to San Diego. He was riding alone and said this was the first time he had ever done anything like this. One of the most interesting things we do is just talk to people. I love learning their stories.

Ferry Bicycle Ramp2

Bicycle Ramp

Back on the ferry, this time the staff said we had to take our bikes upstairs where there are bicycle racks. You can see on the picture that there is a ramp, which works  fine for some people but I wasn’t strong enough to take my bike up myself, Josh had to help.

Ferry Bicycle Rack

Another smooth, short ride back and we were done. We rode back to our car, loaded the bikes on and headed back to our RV and slept in our own bed that night, much to my relief.

Us on Ferry

Nancy and David

Ultimately, the ride was fun, I loved taking the bikes and easily getting on and off the ferry. Eventually we would like to do more of it with the following cautions: NEVER leave animals behind and always be prepared to get stuck on the other side. Then just relax and enjoy!

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Tunnel Zip Lines, Chelan, Washington

Nancy Zipline 7_25_12 small

Nancy in full zip line gear

ZipLining“Should I give you a little surprise push?” Brianna asked. “Yes,” I squeaked with as much confidence as I could muster at the moment. Suddenly my feet were out from under me and I was in the air. Then I felt the straps catch me and I realized I was flying along. I actually had time to start enjoying looking out over the cliffs and the mighty blue Columbia River. At 52 years old I was on a zip line for the first time in my life and I was loving it!

I’m a nervous-nelly, a worry-wart. So I’m obviously not a dare-devil or any kind of extreme sport person. But last summer David, Josh and I had the opportunity to try out the new Tunnel Zip Lines just outside of the town of Chelan in central Washington. Since I had never been on one before, I stressed about it for days because the brochure said, “…an 880-foot sheer drop from one of the cliffs down to the highway.” Sheer drops are normally not my idea of a good time.

We had reservations for 4:00 and arrived right on time. We spent several minutes talking to Loretta Kelley, who, along with husband, Richard, own the zip line. She proudly explained that the zip line was all his idea. Currently there are four lines and they plan to expand that over the next two years, and will also expand to include a winery, wine tasting room and viewing patio which will look out over the river.

We met our guides, Brianna Larson, Trever Larkin, and Joey Frazier, along with our fellow “zippers”, Lisa Lingenfelter and her daughters, 15-year-old Brooklyn, 13-year-old Alison and 11-year-old, Madison. “Are you scared?” I asked them. Lisa wasn’t, she had zipped before in Mexico. Alison was really nervous. OK, that made me feel better, I was as nervous as a 13-year-old but if she could do it so could I.

We got our gear on and first went on a practice line. I liked this one – it just went straight across for a few feet. Then Richard picked all of us up in a van and drove us up to the next station. Along the way he gave us a little history lesson about some of the old items on the property such as “The Teacher’s Cabin” that gave us a fascinating look at the past.

Zip Line StageWe arrived at the second station. The three girls went first. “Good job, Peanut!” Lisa shouted to her daughter. OK, I thought, if Peanut can do it so can I. However, Josh went after the girls and there was a little glitch with the brake after he landed. So for safety considerations, Lisa, David and I walked back down and up another small hill to get to the second station so we could zip to the third station. This time, no problems and we all completed it. I was feeling pretty good. But now was the time for that 880-foot drop. David went first. My turn. The line did not go straight down a sheer cliff like I had imagined but I was still having second thoughts. Oh, but I couldn’t chicken out in front of the kids, could I? Brianna hooked me up and noticed my hesitation. “Should I give you a little surprise push?”

Zipline View

Amazing Views!

And I was flying – freely and safely. My fears were all for nothing. It was simply fun. At the end I asked the girls if they had fun and they all eagerly said yes, their fears were gone as well. It will be exciting to go back in 2014 to try out the new lines that will be added and see all the Kelley’s other plans take shape.

Getting there: Tunnel Zip Lines is located at 19840 Hwy. 97A, Chelan, WA 98816 (509) 682-0152. From Chelan, go south on Hwy. 97A for about three miles to just before the tunnel. Tunnel Zip Lines will be on the left. From Wenatchee go north on Hwy. 97A for about 32 miles and just past the tunnel, the zip line will be on the right.

A word of caution: If you have any back or neck problem, make sure to discuss it with the guides. The last line jerks you a bit as you hit the brake at the top, so depending on your medical issues, you may want to skip the 4th line.

Note: As is common in the travel industry, we were provided with complimentary admission for the purpose of review. While this has not influenced this review, we believe in full disclosure of all potential conflicts of interest.

Categories: Outdoors, Washington | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

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