Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Early morning wake-up call

We are at the Red Wind Casino, on Washington 510 between Nisqually and Yelm (map). We had a nice anniversary dinner last night in their steak house, and we are told they also have a decent buffet. There are a handful of oversize spaces striped in the paved lot near the garage; we chose instead the gravel oversize lot across the street, where it was darker and quieter.

We had no trouble getting our licenses updated in Centralia after only a ten minute wait at the Department of Licensing. Of course, our new licenses will have to come in the mail; they gave us temporary paper ones along with our old ones now hole-punched. They charged us $10 apiece for the privilege.

From there we headed up I-5 just past Olympia to Lacey, where we learned there was a new Cabela's store. Cabela's often has RV parking, and the web page for this store advertised such along with a dump station, potable water, and even a horse corral. When we arrived there was, indeed, a dump along with plenty of oversize parking, but it was all posted as no overnight parking allowed. That prompted us to come here as a backup option; had we known ahead of time, we could have saved a few miles by coming directly here on 507 through Tenino, which would have kept us off the Interstate to boot. That'll teach me to call first.

Yesterday afternoon we got a call from Bob and Shirley Lewis inviting us along on a Northwest Bus Nuts excursion to a balloon festival this weekend in Walla Walla. We're still thinking about it, but I'm not sure I want to do a 600-mile round trip for a weekend excursion, especially right ahead of a week of projects. Had we known a week ago, we could have stayed on the dry side and relaxed a couple of days in our official home town of the Tri Cities, leaving only half that drive to get to Sumner for Monday.

We decided to sleep on it, but when we headed for bed we found that one of the cats had left us an anniversary present there. Yuck. It's been a long time since anyone has peed on the bed, and I hustled down to the litter box to see if something had gone wrong. Indeed it had. Throughout most of the day yesterday we had been getting torrential rain on and off, and for a good part of that, the wind was blowing so hard it was virtually raining sideways. Apparently, the angles were just right to flood the litter box compartment, and I found a combination of standing water and "mud" consisting of the inevitable spilled litter that collects in the bay. It was a chore to get it all cleaned out in the cold and dark at 11:30pm, but at least it was no longer raining.

We stuffed all the dirty linens in the shower so we could get to bed, and today's project will be to stop by the laundromat and try to get them all clean. The bed spread, unfortunately, may be a casualty of the situation. At least we had enough backup linens to stay warm last night; there have been occasions when pet badness has required an immediate visit to the coin laundry without passing "Go."

It was with that backdrop that we turned in a good half hour or so after we intended, looking forward to a fresh day where we could deal with the problems in a more leisurely and calm manner. That, of course, made it nearly inevitable that both our phones would ring at 5:30 this morning. It was our Red Cross chapter, in Indiana (where it was 8:30am) calling to see if we could go to the floods in Tennessee.

We are on the availability list right now, and we'd be more than happy to go to the Tennessee floods, but it would take us five days to get there, and we'd be reimbursed for less than a third of that mileage. We went back to sleep and waited until 8:30 our time to call them back and explain all of this. Sometimes, they want us to go anyway, but as we suspected, this was not one of those times, and they filled the positions with people closer and more immediately available. We did let them know that if Rainier blows, we'll be first on the scene.

While we both feel a little twinge of guilt that we were not able to go where we could have been useful this go-round, we also have the sense that this season is going to be a humdinger for disasters. We remember the hurricane season of two years ago, where the disaster volunteer pool had already been exhausted working on floods in the mid-west before the first tropical storms even hit, and by the time the second storm rolled in we were among the very few volunteers still left on the list. We ended up working 17 weeks straight that season, with only a three-day break in the middle. This season is shaping up to be a repeat, and we are content to be able to help more a bit later in the year.

In the meantime we will spend today dealing with our own personal cat-induced disaster. I have no idea where we will end up tonight, but I am hoping we can at least get a cerveza or two in honor of Cinco de Mayo.

Photo by Image Zen, used under a Creative Commons license.


  1. Interestingly enough, we today found you blog. Was interested in Odyssey, as we saw it Saturday at the Elks. Found you site today. Nice looking and workable looking rig. Maybe we will see you down the road some time. We are Satellite 9549.

  2. We were one of about 8 rigs staying at the Cabella's in Lacey last fall. We asked about the signs and they said they just didn't want people staying all summer. A group of several rigs even "circled their wagons" and had a campfire in the lot with one of those "Campfire in a Can" things.

  3. @Mary: Thanks for this information. We thought it might be okay if we asked, but sometimes the signs can be off-putting. We will remember your comment for next time.

    @Jim and Joan: Glad you found us, and thanks for your kind words!

  4. I have enjoyed your blog, and your bus is very nice. We have a 96 wanderlodge. If ever on Vancouver Island, give us a call, We live in Courtenay.
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  5. Well hope you guys are OK. Have not seen a blog entry in a few days. Just a bit spoiled to catching up with you during your travels. Good Luck.


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