Monday, October 27, 2014

Columbia Riverfront RV Park

On August 29, 2009 we spent the night in the Walmart parking lot in Chehalis, Washington. It was exciting for us for a couple of reasons. First we were boondocking for our very first time. I did not know how to manage our battery power, so I had avoided boondocking for six years. It was a fun evening in Chehalis in the dark while I learned to manage battery power. I was probably up every two hours to make sure our batteries did not run down.

The other fun thing we did in Chehalis was watching livestock feed processing. We found the processing plant by accident, just driving down the street. We watched truckload after truckload of corn or carrots being dumped into a hopper and ground into mulch which came out a chute to a conveyor of the processing plant. They used whole plants, not just the corn and carrots, but all the cornstalks and greenery on the carrots. All around the area there was a fresh, sweet smell in the air.

We were on our annual trek from the Oregon coast to get back home in Texas before Thanksgiving. Our plan was to drive south on I-5 and go east on I-84 out of Portland, Oregon. While we were driving near Woodland, Washington, our left inside back tire blew. We have dual wheels on the back, but I did not want to drive highway speeds with a flat tire. We opted for the closest RV Park we could find. It turned out to be the Columbia Riverfront RV Park. It took me a couple of days to decide what to do, so we stayed to enjoy the weather and sites on the river.

Fishermen on the Columbia River

Sailboat and shore side observer

The Columbia Riverfront RV Park is rated one of the top 100 parks in the country. We got to watch sailboats, motorboats, fishing boats and big barges moving down the river. Fishermen in boats clustered in the evening and fished all night. The park has an outdoor pool and a 900 foot sandy beach for outdoor lovers. Fishermen catch salmon, steelheads and sturgeon. We would never have located this beautiful spot if not for the blown tire.

Adding pipe for water sprinkler system

Lots of fishing boats

I found it was cheaper to get our tire in Oregon than it was in Washington, because Oregon has no sales tax. I made an appointment at a Les Schwab tire store in Portland. They had to order the tire, so we had a couple of days to kill. The Columbia Riverfront RV Park was a little expensive for our taste, so we moved to the 99 RV Park in Vancouver, Washington which was also closer to Portland.

This boat stayed in the same spot all day.

Sailboat near barge station
 Les Schwab took us in at out appointment time and got us on the road before ten am to continue our journey. Boondocking at Walmart was fun and Les Schwab service was excellent, but the highlight of this trip had to be our stay at the Columbia Riverfront RV Park.

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