Mary Zinn is a long-time consultant for FIRE Light Group and Wisconsin Meetings and Events. She is traveling with her family this summer in an RV named Loretta and will be blogging for us from the road. She and her family will share their photos, stories, and travel tips as they adventure their way from Wisconsin to San Francisco and back on a 10 week journey.
Campfire Stories Part 4
Next up after Glacier National Park, we headed to Sex Peak Lookout Tower in Kootenai National Forest (if you want to know more about how it got its name you can read it here). The drive to get there had a 12 mile grind at the end that was slow, treacherous driving, and even though it took an hour, it was worth it. It was by far the most spectacular place I’ve ever stayed. Three hundred sixty degree views above the tree line, beautiful sunrises and sunsets and total privacy for miles. The tower itself had two twin beds, a desk, a fireplace and some chairs for the deck. Since there wasn’t much to do there for the kids, two nights and one full day was just right. We mostly explored and made delicious meals and enjoyed the views.
We were scheduled for another lookout tower the following night, the Up Up Tower in Lolo National Forest, but after speaking to the ranger, it sounded like it was not passable in Loretta. The last crazy ride to Sex Peak was enough; so we decided add a second night at Hell’s Gate State Park in Idaho. We were right on the Snake River so we enjoyed a day at the beach and left early in the morning for Hood River as a stopping point on our way to the Oregon Coast. The Hood River visit was relatively uneventful, but we did find a place to swim and jump into the Columbia River and a decent place to stay (see my note about Motels below).
On to the Oregon Coast! The Pacific Ocean was definitely a highlight of the trip. Neither of our boys had been to the ocean before and they love the sand and water. We spent hours at the beach—one of which was hiking from and to our campsite a mile away. This photo shows how deserted the beach was. We had it mostly to ourselves!
Next up was Danville, CA where we spent five days visiting family and friends. We mostly visited with family: swimming at various pools, hanging with the cousins, playing chess with Grandpa and making treats with Grandma. It was the best family visit yet as my parents are aging and our boys are of an age where they will absolutely remember this visit.
Here are my siblings at a reunion in Danville. Our family tradition is when all five of the children are together we do a pyramid. We cannot believe how time is flying and we are now headed back to the Midwest!
Next Up: Sequoia, Death Valley, and Las Vegas
• Hotel beds have lots of pillows. Sometimes some are better than others so search for the best one to get a good night’s sleep.
• Motels can sometimes be very similar to hotels. Do your research and find a good one. They are often as comfortable and more affordable.
• Use travel websites like TripAdvisor and Yelp to get reviews of local restaurants, things to do and places to stay.