Back in the Car

I only have one day left on my “vacation”, before I start work tomorrow as a WWOOF volunteer on Skipley Farm in Snohomish, WA. I am a little nervous about what to expect. I think I am going to have to draw on my hostel experience, and just learn to go with the flow.

I left Spokane at about 1 today, after saying good-bye to my cousin. I took at an easy drive through mid-state Washington. I appreciated the drive, only about 150 miles. I appreciate Washington’s attempts to educate me about its agriculture by labeling their fields with blue road signs, announcing things like “alfalfa” or “grain corn”. Unfortunately, the knee-high yellow fields still remain a mystery to me.

Since I have yet to pass the Cascades, I am still in the rain shadow of that mountain range, and am surprised by how arid the landscape looks. In fact, the region I am in  gets about 8 inches of rainfall a year.

Semi-arid climate east fo the Cascades

Semi-arid climate east fo the Cascades

Goes to show you how little I know about Washington. Well, here are some stats:

Washington is a leading agricultural state, with the lion’s share of nearly $6 billion annual agricultural income coming from crops (rather than livestock). Unlike North Dakota, which seems to be primary corn and soy beans, Washington is top producer in a variety of crops such as raspberries, peas, hops and spearmint (for oil). High on the list are also grapes, asparagus, barley and cranberries. Let the variety keep on coming. 

Tonight, I am spending the night at a Washington State park in the Wenatchee region, on the Columbia River Basin. I am near the Ginko Petrified Forest. I was pretty pumped about this camp site because I have a utility site, which means I can plug in my trailer to recharge its marine battery, as well as my laptop, cell phone and hotspot.  And if all that wasn’t a sweet enough deal, I landed a pull through site, which means no backing up the trailer tonight.

Ain't that a beautiful sight?

Ain’t that a beautiful sight?

 

This is yet again the 3rd time that I have had to pay for my site through a pay box system. I find an open site, fill out a brief form, and drop my payment into a cash box.  This all seems very trusting to me, and I can’t help but wonder how effective this honor system really is. Or if it doesn’t matter because it’s just not cost-effective to have someone sitting at the ground checking sites in the off-season.

Because I was able to get to camp so early, I had a chance to explore around the camp grounds for once, and had a chance to reflect on how profoundly odd this whole experiment is. All of this circles around the fact that I find it immensely satisfying to read and drink tea in different scenery.

I also like my brief chats with the usually retired folks that share these camp sites with me. Today, I met a gentleman who has been on the road continuously for 2 years with 7 dogs, as well as retired couple who comes to this particular camp site 6 or 7 times a year with different grandchildren. We all seem like some pretty odd ducks, who have no practical reason for doing any of this. I dig it.

Beach near Camp groundsnt.

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