Time truly feels like it’s flying by on our #EndlessCaravan! It’s hard to believe that we’re officially halfway through our trip. Four more weeks may sound like a long time, but when we’re busy planning routes, making plans to meet friends and always adventuring, the second half of this journey doesn’t even seem like long enough!
This past week was an active one, as we covered some serious ground after (finally) leaving Jackson, Wyoming. We trekked all the way to Sun Valley, Idaho, where we spent two nights with Dottie, a sweet grandmotherly figure, who owns Riverside RV in Bellevue. Despite being a little bit of a drive from Sun Valley, we reaped the benefits of full hookups and empty holding tanks. After arriving, we hit Mahoney’s for lunch where we were delightfully reunited with the Juicy Lucy – a burger that friends originally introduced us to on our last road trip nearly three years ago. Originating in Minnesota, this burger is jam-packed with delicious, gooey cheesiness that oozes from the center when you take a bite. YUM.
Everyone in town had been talking up a local restaurant called the Pioneer Saloon, which is known for its aged prime rib, strong drinks and famous Idaho baked potato— “the Jim Spud.” After that high caloric intake, Ryan managed to track down some pick-up volleyball at a local rec center and burn off a few of those calories. Truthfully, we were hoping our time in Sun Valley would be full of warm sunshine (especially after being Vitamin D deprived in Jackson), but we woke up the next morning to two inches of fresh snow.
As we’ve mentioned before, our itinerary bows down to snowstorms. We basically follow along wherever the snow gods decide! While our original plan was slated for Big Sky, Montana, we caught wind of a looming storm at Mt. Baker and rerouted yet again.
The thirteen hour haul from Sun Valley to Mt. Baker had to be broken up, especially since we wanted to be somewhere fun for Valentines Day— not a Walmart parking lot in the middle of nowhere. Fortunately, our route wasn’t too far from beautiful Hood River, Oregon, a favorite town of ours. We made new friends at Everybody’s Brewing and spent V-Day wine tasting, drinking sake and visiting some old nostalgic spots.
We knew timing was key when heading to Mt. Baker, especially with the Airstream in tow. Mt. Baker Highway is filled with narrow switchbacks, steep roads and high snow banks. Given that the parking lot gate (White Salmon lot) closes at 5 p.m., we wanted to make sure we arrived in time and missed traffic, all while being careful to arrive before the giant snowstorm. Needless to say, we made it just in time before settling into our spot in the parking lot for the next four nights.
The RV culture in the Baker parking lot is awesome, filled with eager skiers, riders and like-minded folk who aren’t afraid of some winter adventuring, and just want to have a good time with good people. We made some friends, hung out by campfires and reminisced about our powder turns on the mountain, which accumulated roughly 3 feet just just the time we were there. We will say: the lack of Internet and sunshine to charge our batteries off the solar panels made our lifestyle a bit more difficult; but the resort’s famous Baker Chowder (salmon chowder) and great conditions made up for it. Ryan’s mastery of handling the furnace and being creative in powering the rig in all sorts of conditions is another silver lining here. The sub-zero night temperatures were taking a toll on our batteries, and we even spent one powerless night sleeping in our snowboard gear to keep warm. From this, we decided to head for higher temperatures!
Even after deciding to head for warmer weather, the accumulation of snow made departing slightly more difficult. Fortunately, everyone was incredibly helpful with shoveling the snow around our Airstream. A gentleman named Justice helped tow us out with his old-school Ford F-250.
Either way, if you live near Mt. Baker, you’re lucky to have this place as a local spot. It was the perfect place to celebrate my 29th birthday. Thanks to the incredible staff at Mt. Baker Ski Resort for hosting us!
From Baker, we are headed down to Bellingham, WA to hook up to electric and thaw out. From there we will be continuing south to Crystal Mountain where we’ll be meeting up with some friends to make some turns before cruising on down to Lake Tahoe. The journey continues!