Wait…this is the second post in one day? Yes, I’ve had this one in draft form for a few weeks also. 🙂
While we were having our last stay at the Pullman RV Park, our July 8 appointment to finalize the lease paperwork on the townhouse that we would begin renting was moved to July 6 on a moment’s notice. Knowing how to roll at the last minute, we quickly shifted gears. The bonus was being able to move things from the trailer before our Saturday, July 10 household move from storage to the townhouse.
We’re grateful for our new-to-us home that we’re renting with 2 bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms. There are no signs of mold, mildew, or water issues, which caused our move in May! Yay! The ground level has a bedroom and bathroom behind the garage. This is our office/guest room. In the hallway, there’s a washer and dryer behind two bi-fold doors. Upstairs is the master bedroom, master bathroom, and a half bath. As well, there is the kitchen, dining room, and living room in an open floor plan with a cathedral ceiling and two dormer windows. Off of the dining room there’s a small balcony that is perfect for two people.
We have wonderful windows on the second floor, which is our primary living space. Much less traffic noise is experienced here. Since our move, we’ve seen nimble foxes scurrying on the nearby hill and heard quail with their comical calls. (Of course, they better heed the swiftness of the foxes). We have no yard, so we will be able to take trips without a need to arrange lawn care.
The two-car garage sits beneath the second floor and affords space that Steve has organized into bicycles, outdoor gear, trailer camping gear, tools, archive shelves, and project space. Our truck is too tall to fit, yet thankfully just squeezes its length onto the driveway.
From July 6-9, we cleaned the house and moved extraneous items from storage that we placed there after the movers moved the household to storage on May 8. We also moved from Tranquility the Trailer and cleared out the pickup bed. Next we cleaned and prepared the trailer for storage once again, and moved it back to RV storage on July 9.
Move-in Day on July 10 was eventful…because, “Why not?” There were heat and air quality advisories . To make it more interesting, we locked ourselves out of the house 30 minutes before Steve was to meet the movers at storage across town. Thankfully, Palouse Locksmith was true to his word that he’d be here within 10 minutes. He even made two extra keys on the spot! Plus, we reached the mover’s team leader, who delayed leaving Moscow, Idaho a few minutes. Whew! It all worked out and Moscow Moving had us moved in three hours’ time. This was the same crew who moved us in May from the condo to the storage unit.
When we moved into the condo last year, we made do without a larger dining room table, bookcases, TV stand, and nightstands. Two weeks after we moved into the townhouse, we ordered all but the TV stand from the IKEA in Portland, Oregon. It was cheaper for the fuel and an overnight stay in a budget hotel than it would be to have the furniture shipped to Pullman.
We left for Portland on July 21. We’ve not been to Portland since our full-time RVing travels took us there in November 2018. We took a route that would divert us from some of the smokier areas of Washington. The Columbia River Basin provided such a pretty drive as Interstate 84 paralleled the Columbia River. We timed our arrival at IKEA for 2pm. It worked pretty slick to have our order ready for pick-up. After we loaded, we decided to go into IKEA just in case they had TV stands and a bench seat/shoe rack. Thankfully those were in stock, so we added to the stack of furniture in the truck bed. (When we visited the IKEA in Denver back in June, many pieces of furniture were temporarily out of stock, likely due to the supply and demand during the pandemic as well as manufacturing and shipping disruptions.) Furniture loaded, we then enjoyed shopping at Target for bed linens and that grabbed an early dinner.
On our trip back to Pullman from Portland, we paused for an hour to take a short hike to the Bridal Veil Falls and the overlook of the Columbia River. To actually be on a trail was marvelous, yet the sound of the falls certainly served as a salve in the midst of our pace. The overlook would afford us a magnificent view of Sand Island in the Columbia River to the west of Bridal Veil Falls.
Once back to Pullman, we spent the better part of the next two days assembling furniture. With these added pieces, we felt like we could really unpack. There’s a good amount that has remained in boxes since July 2018 when we placed our Denver household in storage in order to begin our full-time RVing lifestyle.
It’s been a whirlwind summer with two moves! As we continue getting situated, we take advantage of the sidewalks on our hill for our walks. One of our favorite destinations is Military Hill Park, which gives us nice vistas towards Idaho and other parts of Pullman. We walk down our steep hill to the paved Grand Avenue Greenway trail that we walk to downtown Pullman to access Neill Public Library, coffee shops, and eateries. A bus stop is only three minutes uphill and we can connect to other routes at the Pullman Transit Transfer Station.
Staying in this home for a few years would be ideal. It would be nice to get more involved in the community once the Delta variant of the coronavirus becomes history.
“Living Life at the Speed of Sanity in the Palouse Region of Eastern Washington”
While we were humbled to have several options during the two-month period between homes, we looked forward to settling into a home again. This post shares details of the “in-between time”. (While it is lengthy, our posts will hopefully be part of a book for us and our family one day. Thus, it’s a journal to enjoy.)
As we traveled the two months between May and July, we pinched ourselves because it wasn’t really full-time RVing as such. Our typical cache for keeping on the go around the country was pared down so we could accommodate photo albums and boxes of photos that were more heat sensitive. Some of what we took with us while full-time RVing was actually in the storage unit this time. At one point, we realized that parts of our household and possessions were in six different places: storage unit, son and daughter-in-love’s basement, guest room at Steve’s Mom’s, living room of our friends’ home, bed of the pick-up, and the trailer.
Beginning May 3, we stayed 30 days at the City of Pullman’s RV Park at five different sites and on five different occasions. Having full hookups, free Wi-Fi, and being close to downtown made for nice stays. Because we are not permitted to have stays beyond 10 days, we camped elsewhere or traveled in between those five stays. Knowing that the camping trips we originally had in mind for the summer were not going to happen, we were thankful to have three stays other than the City RV Park.
From May 20-28, Dworshak State Park in Idaho provided a relaxing eight-days to really catch our breath. It’s situated along western Idaho’s Dworshak Reservoir. Although it was quite the welcome to have 36 curves including several hairpin turns that became somewhat challenging with one-lane capacity for lengthy RVs. Our campsite at the Freeman Creek Campground was one of the larger sites with ample shade, green grass, a small creek running behind us, and a vault toilet just a minute’s jaunt over the creek. During mid-week it was extremely quiet. Friday through Monday was a busy time with families and boat activity on the reservoir. At Freeman, we had electric and water hookups. Mid-stay we towed the trailer to the park’s dump station to empty the black water and gray water tanks.
While at Dworshak, we hiked several trails. Tall trees and a dense understory made for comfortable hikes. Most evenings we ventured down to the reservoir to soak up approaching dusk after sunset. Each time a gaggle of Canadian geese left land and glided smoothly downshore honking along the way. From morning to night, we were treated to a mixed chorus of bird songs.
We also took a day-trip to scout other campgrounds on the east side of Dworshak Reservoir. These scouting trips are helpful since websites with campground information don’t necessarily indicate low branches, narrow roads, etc. From scouting, we have a couple of possibilities for future camping though. It’s nice because Dworshak State Park is only 90 minutes from Pullman.
From June 2-17, we took a roadtrip to Denver with just the truck involving hotel stays. Thankfully because freezing temperatures were no longer a potential concern, the trailer returned to RV storage without being winterized. However, because of our first summer heat wave in the forecast, we moved some heat sensitive items to Jeremy and Michelle’s and some food from our fridge and freezer to their home.
On June 2, leaving ourselves somewhat flexible since we needed to break camp, empty the three tanks, shift fridge contents to a cooler, and get Tranquility the Trailer back to RV storage, we went as far as Butte, Montana. Since we didn’t have the trailer, we decided to take U.S. 12 across Idaho in order to experience the Northwest Passage Scenic Byway. This stretches 174 miles from Lewiston, Idaho to Lolo, Montana. We scouted the National Forest campgrounds along the Byway for future camping trips. On the 3rd, we drove to Sheridan, Wyoming. Our final day, June 4, we arrived at Steve’s Mom’s home in the Denver area.
What a relief it was to finally HUG our daughter Stephanie and Mom! Our hearts were full with gratitude and tears of joy flowed! It felt SO good to have time with them. We and our family had all committed to safe practices during the pandemic and then received our vaccines. We hadn’t seen one another since July 2020 when we returned to Colorado from Pullman to move our household from storage located in Denver metro.
For a week of our time in Colorado, we also house sat for our friends, Linda and Steve. They were gracious in providing this opportunity to stay in their lovely home with its beautiful deck for morning coffee. We enjoyed a coffee and lunch outing with them as well. During our Colorado stay, Steve’s cousins, Paul and Luci, invited us over for a barbecue dinner one evening. Our friend, Judy, joined us for dinner one night.
Our time included various technical projects that Steve enjoyed doing with his Mom. Because we live 75 miles from Spokane and major shopping, Diane shopped for household goods for our next home. There were items that we didn’t have in our first Pullman home either. Plus we needed some clothing and shoes or boots. Between IKEA, Kohl’s, Target, Cabela’s, Lowe’s, Joann Fabrics, World Market, and Trader Joe’s, good deals or sales abounded.
While we were in Colorado, Diane’s sister, Laurie, brother-in-law, Tom, and doggie Cody, were on a road trip between Montana and New Mexico. Timing it just right, we met them at a Starbucks just off of I-25 for morning coffee as they traveled home to New Mexico.
On June 11, we set aside the day to “head to the hills”. We hiked on the Colorado Trail from Kenosha Pass. It was our favorite place to hike when we lived in Colorado. From there we had personal fruit pies at the Shaggy Sheep in Grant. A beautiful drive that we’ve experienced many times is over Guanella Pass. In fact, we camped in our 1999 Toyota Sienna on the pass in 2012. We stopped in Idaho Springs for Beaujo’s Pizza to go. What a gorgeous day and soaking up time in nature together.
We left the Denver area on June 16 with 100 degree Fahrenheit temps forecasted. It seemed that the furnace blasting heat wave just would’t relent! We adjusted to just two travel days. Leaving at 5:30a.m. before rush hour helped. Our overnight was at a Best Western in Laurel, Montana.
Up on June 17 at 5:30am, we had breakfast sandwiches and coffee from City Brew. The worst of the heat wave was past with a return to normal temperatures. We loved watching Montana’s landscape evolve with the various mountain ranges, the Yellowstone and Clark Fork Rivers, ranches, and Big Sky. In order to make better time, we stayed on I-90 rather than U.S. 12. As we reached St. Regis, Montana, we couldn’t help but suppport the Montana huckleberries.
Reaching Lookout Pass on I-90 at the Montana/Idaho border, we sensed home with only 150 miles to go. We arrived by 4pm, moved the trailer from storage, and nabbed an extra night at the City of Pullman’s RV Park.
After our June 17-20 stay at the City RV Park, we awoke early on the 20th bound for Kachess Campground in Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest. Our friend, Ellen, said that many national forest campgrounds were now taking reservations. It seemed that roughly 40% of the campsites were first-come, first-served and 60% reservable. We heeded her advice by reserving the first week of May. Before leaving, we made sure that our fresh water tank was filled. When dry camping, we fill the fresh water tank prior to camping in a national forest campground. Sometimes a campground may have fresh water, but it may not be potable or hasn’t met the water testing standards. Typically national forest campgrounds are miles from a water fill location at a truck stop, rest area, or municipal facility.
Taking Washington state highway 26 to I-90, it was 230 miles to Easton, Washington. Much of route 26 was arrow straight as the highway seemingly stretched for miles with ups and downs over rolling sections of the terrain. Once on I-90 after crossing the Columbia River and summiting Ryegrass Pass summit, we were captivated by snow capped Mount Rainier in the distance. Crossing the plains and the Columbia River and Yakima River basins, we were treated to an agricultural bounty from fruit trees to asparagus and grain crops. Irrigation made this type of agriculture possible. Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest stretches on the eastern slope and north and south from the crest of the Cascade Mountain range.
From June 20-25 we camped at Kachess Campground. It’s situated along Kachess Lake and surrounded by the mountains, streams, and beautiful trees. In the campground, we hiked along the lake shore and biked around the campground. An easy drive from the campground, we parked at the trailhead where we could bicycle through the Snoqualmie Tunnel. Another day we drove to the trailhead of the Pacific Crest Trail and hiked among the cedars, across several streams and snow fields. Because the daytime temperatures were creeping into the 90s and near 100 degrees, we tried to get out earlier than later for activities.
On the second day at Kachess Campground, we reviewed our strategy for the upcoming gap in our itinerary. Talking with the campground rangers and volunteer hosts, we quickly learned that we’d be out of luck to nab a first-come, first-served site. Even more significant was checking the weather forecast for the region with an excessive heat advisory beginning the day we needed to vacate our campsite. It wouldn’t be wise to consider boondocking on public lands. In order to access a strong cell phone signal, we drove out of the national forest. We needed to find a campground with water and electric hookups. Thankfully our first call was to Whispering Pines RV Park in Cle Elum, just 20 minutes down the road. They had one space left for the days that we needed.
On June 25, after our five-night stay at Kachess, we packed up and moved to Cle Elum. The temperatures climbed to 100-106 degrees. The Nash is built for four-season weather, so thankfully we have wonderful insulation. The Coleman air conditioning did pretty well, though adding fans and covering windows with blankets, pillowcases, and dish towels helped to insulate the double-pane windows. We didn’t go over 86 degrees inside the trailer. While in this location, we got up early and walked the Palouse to Cascade State Rails-to-Trails Trail. We rented numerous RedBox movies and watched the Olympic trials. One day we washed laundry in the clubhouse. Because of the heat, we decided to create a make-shift clothesline across our awning to dry our clothes. They were dry in record time, saving on electricity and $4.00 in coins.
The night before leaving Cle Elum, we hitched the trailer so we could be ready to hit the road early. On June 29, we awoke at 4:30am and were on the road just before 5am. The temperature for Pullman was forecasted for over 100. With no services on the two-lane road once we were off of I-90, we didn’t want to take any chances of the engine overheating. We arrived in Pullman at 9:15am and 91 degrees. The next day we learned that buckles formed from the heat on the road that we drove, so we made a good call.
Back at the City RV Park in Pullman, we ended up having 10 nights, June 29-July 8. The first three nights we were at the best campsite with its full shade. Our last seven nights were in the tightest site with full sun. Thus we ended our two month hybrid lifestyle in triple digit heat, windows covered inside, air conditioning running, and looking on the bright side. The bright side included walk-about-towns, patronizing local coffee shops, and a surprise cookie delivery arranged by daughter Stephanie for Steve’s birthday. We took in a couple of softball games at the City Play Fields across from the RV Park. Along with son Jeremy and daughter-in-love Michelle, we watched the 4th of July fireworks. Diane went to the Sunshine laundromat on a 103 degree day. Their air conditioning was laboring, yet Diane stayed comfortable. Thankfully, four loads took only 90 minutes to wash and dry. It’s the beauty of having four appliances running at once.
Finally, July 9 arrived. It was time to finish clearing out the last of our belongings from Tranquility the Trailer. Diane defrosted the freezer, cleared the refrigerator and pantry, and cleaned the sinks and bathroom. Steve emptied the fresh water tank and hot water heater. We contemplated when we might be camping again. Because of the move into the townhouse and the persistent heat and air quality advisories, we suspected that it may not happen until winter when we’ve contemplated camping along the Pacific Coast. At the very least, we’ll be ready to go when the timing is right.
Thus ended our two month hybrid lifestyle at ten different campsites, a roadtrip to Denver, and during a record heat wave. Our 2018 Nash 26N by Northwood Manufacturing was the perfect four-season trailer to have as our home on wheels during this hot summer. We are indeed grateful for remaining safe and having options. Now we turn our sights on getting settled into our new-to-us home.
Shifting gears even at “Life at the Speed of Sanity”!
We are in between homes. Moving seems to be our knack. We just made our ninth move since September 2009. By the time we move into a townhouse in July, we will have accomplished ten moves in 12 years. Yikes!
Last year we arrived in Pullman on May 12, 2020, found a home to rent on May 14, and signed a lease on May 15. By May 20, we began living in the home having waited for the furnace to be repaired. There was instant appeal with one-level living, proximity to Jeremy and Michelle, and lawn care and snow removal included in the rent. We viewed this as a perfect scenario for renting during the pandemic and hopefully beyond. Although during that first night we were awakened by a shrill alarm, which was to the sump pump in the crawl space below. We quickly realized that we hadn’t lifted the trap door when we looked at the house. It was an oversight on our part, especially given the many years as home owners and facility managers. Steve lifted the trap door to find a pool of water surrounding the sump pump. Hence, we live and learn.
Each day the sump pump ran off and on sometimes many times an hour. We were told by an HOA board member that there was likely a seasonal spring. A plumber was called several times over the year when the alarm went off. There wasn’t much he could do except to make sure the sludge was cleared so the sump pump could work. Because the cause of the standing water was never addressed, the water just kept flowing into the crawl space. Our expressed concern has been, “If water is beneath the home, there’s a good chance that it’s impacting the home above.”
By December, a musty odor had developed inside the home. We placed Damp Rid containers in the bedrooms, kept windows cracked after showers, and ran bathroom and kitchen fans. We used two air purifiers in different parts of the house. The humidity level in the back two bedrooms remained higher than the rest of the home. December and January brought snowfall, so additional moisture. In February, Diane began watching Craigslist and various rental apps, attempting to align a move to coincide with the end of the lease.
In early April we discovered mold on several window sills. We alerted the landlord, who when she saw the mold, and smelled the mildewy odor, indicated that she’d let us out of our lease early. We immediately began in earnest scouring property management and realtor websites for a different home to rent. The rental market is hot here, partly due to being a university town. Much of the available rentals were on College Hill. At this point in life, we aren’t up for living on College Hill or in an area with college students. Finally, we found a townhouse in another part of town and signed a lease on April 30! What a relief!
Move-in isn’t until July 8. To bridge the gap, we intended to extend our lease through mid-July. To remain out of the house as much as possible until then, we were planning several camping trips and a road trip to Denver. We had already begun packing up some boxes and moving them to the garage, which had a humidity level in the normal range since it was on a concrete slab.
On May 2 the situation took a dramatic turn when we discovered more mold, this time on an interior wall. The musty scent had become unrelenting in recent days with warmer daytime temperatures. A call to our landlord included she and us mutually agreeing that we needed to be out of the home immediately due to health concerns.
Scheduling a Move and Moving in 7 Days
Having been minutes away from retrieving the trailer for a camping trip when the mold was discovered on May 2, we immediately sat down and plotted out a plan. Obviously, we ditched the camping trip. Instead we began moving everything from the master bedroom, closets, and bathroom to the hallway, living and dining rooms. Our last night’s sleep was in our bed, now in the dining room.
Monday, May 3:
Visited the City RV Park to reserve four nights initially. Then added 11 more.
Pulled Tranquility the Trailer from RV storage to the RV Park.
Moved essentials into the trailer.
Began calling for a storage unit. Nearing the end of the university school year, both storage and movers are often difficult to find on short notice.
Searched for a moving company.
Steve set up a P.O. Box at the post office and mail forwarded.
Tuesday, May 4:
Exchanged calls and emails with storage companies and movers.
Wednesday, May 5:
Movers scheduled for Saturday morning at 9am.
Storage unit available beginning the morning of May 8, which was moving day.
Thursday, May 6:
Steve staged the garage to make it easier for the movers.
Friday, May 7:
Moved the trailer to Jeremy & Michelle’s driveway to “mooch-camp” because the RV park had already booked reservations for WSU graduation weekend.
Moved the archives and some fine art to Jeremy and Michelle’s basement.
Steve called the storage unit company confirming that the current storage tenant would in fact be out in the morning. Yes, the tenant would vacate the unit.
Saturday, May 8:
Movers arrived at 9 a.m.
Couldn’t sign the lease or SEE the storage unit until Saturday at 9 a.m.
Diane arrived at the storage unit company, signed paperwork, and was assured that the prior tenant had vacated the unit.
Diane drove across town to the storage unit only to find a lock on the door. The previous tenant hadn’t vacated.
Frustration was vocalized by Diane. She and Steve exchanged places. Scrambling ensued. Storage company located tenant. He moved his car from the storage. A fluid spill was cleaned by the storage company.
Steve purchased protective sheets for the floor due to potential seepage of cleaners used on fluid spill.
Within an hour, the movers unloaded the household into storage. They were diligent in wrapping the furniture, loading, and unloading. Needless to say, we have contracted with them to move the household from storage to the townhouse in July.
Later that evening we finished clearing the house of any other last minute belongings.
Sunday, May 9:
Enjoyed brunch and a relaxed visit with Jeremy and Michelle plus a call with Stephanie for Mother’s Day.
Moved the trailer back to the City RV Park for an 11-day stay.
Finished moving the last of the household to storage.
Monday, May 10:
Cleaned the home except for the carpets. Wanted to avoid dispersing any additional mold or mildew spores into the air.
Climbed into bed exhausted from this wildly intense move.
It was nice to officially be out of that house!
Thankfully, we’ve been able to cover many expenses due to the last month’s rent, part of May’s rent, and deposit refunds from the landlord.
The Two-Month Interim Period
Fortunately, we’re in a position to be fairly flexible. Last week we worked through the calendar leading up to our July move into the townhouse and put together an itinerary. With the increased popularity of camping since the pandemic hit, it’s become quite the exercise in securing a campsite reservation, especially with short notice.
Over the interim, we’ll camp at Pullman’s City RV Park as part of five different stays. We view these as “stay-cations”. We also have reservations at Dworshak State Park in Idaho and Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest in Washington. We’ll make a 17-day trip without the trailer to Denver. It will be such a relief to finally see our Denver family. Thankfully we’ll position ourselves back at the City RV Park to provide extra ease in getting into the townhouse.
We count our blessings for Tranquility the Trailer and having Spring as a good camping season. We now feel relaxed. The lack of stuffy sinuses, the cessation of minor headaches, and more restful sleeps, remind us why we needed to leave the home. We now feel relaxed. This little abode-on-wheels feels like a natural for us having been home for the better part of two years when we were full-time RVing.
“Life is a great adventure or nothing.” – Helen Keller