Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Farewell, Tri-Cities

We are parked at the Tri-Cities Elks Lodge, in Kennewick, Washington (map). This is our "home" lodge, even though we've only been here twice. I checked in this morning at the office, and they were surprised to learn we were members, but grateful to be able to put a face with the name on the roster. This is likely our last visit to this lodge and the Tri-Cities area.

Yesterday, after a pleasant drive over the Snoqualmie pass, we continued south along the eastern bank of the Columbia, under the old Beverly Railroad Bridge of the Milwaukee Road, and into the community of Desert Aire, where we have property. We yanked our forlorn yet imposing over-sized mailbox off the shared pedestal, and tried to find anyone in either of the two real estate offices on site, to list our lot.

Not only was no one around, but our phone calls went unreturned as well, and so we continued here to Kennewick, stopping off at our mail receiving service, a UPS store, for the first time ever. We've already filed changes of address with most of our correspondents, so there was but a small handful of mail awaiting us.

Oddly, this was the quietest place we've stayed for weeks, even though we are in a fairly developed business and residential area. When I walked around the block last night, I discovered a real estate office just a half block away, and we walked over there this morning to get our property listed. If the folks up in Desert Aire ever call back, we'll have to tell them they missed the boat.

While driving around our "neighborhood" yesterday we noticed quite a few empty lots for sale. Since we bought in 2004, however, the development has "sold out," in the sense that the successors to the original 1969 developers finally sold off all the lots one way or another, back in 2006. Prices have been climbing ever since, and the least expensive lot we found on the listings was $25k. We thus listed ours just under $20k for a quick sale, at least as quick as anything happens in this area.

We also noted at least two lots with nothing but RVs on them, clearly occupied. This is in contravention of the law of the land, about which there had been a very big flap back when we were buying in. We got a steal on our lot, because that very year all the RVers were forced to vacate the development, thus dumping a huge number of under-developed lots on the market. Either the law has changed, or the finicky folks who filed the original complaints leading to the evictions have since left the area.

Now that our business here in the Tri-City area is concluded, we will head east out of town, bound for the Snake River route into Idaho. I suspect tonight will be our final night in Washington for the foreseeable future.


  1. Hi guys!

    How will transitioning to a boating lifestyle impact your Red Cross volunteering?

    1. Not clear yet. I suspect we will have to live with the boat for a while before we'll know.

  2. So now, what the heck do you do with the mailbox? Not sure why you took it down. Couldn't you just leave it for whomever buys the lot? Or is it like here in Vienna where, when we move we have to take down perfectly functional light fixtures and replace it with the bare bulb types to put everything "back in it's original condition"? Even though we'll have no use for more light fixtures in our lives...

    1. Not sure what to do with the mailbox; possibly we will just scrap it (it's mostly steel). Leaving it for the buyer of the lot would have presented a logistical problem, as it is a locking type and there was really no good way to transfer the keys. It was also enormous and taking up a lot of room on the shared pedestal -- we had figured to get one that could hold more than a year's worth of junk mail and anything else that "slipped through." That was before we learned the USPS would simply not deliver anything there at all, which suited us fine. By then, though, the box was already up. Better for the new owners to put up something more suitable for their own use, whereupon this locking one would have just become a problem for someone.


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