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Open Roads Forum  >  Truck Campers

 > Outfitter Trip Report: Northwest Passage Second Curtain

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whazoo

Idahome

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Joined: 10/12/2007

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Posted: 10/18/09 12:46pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Leaving the Great Trees for another part of the country was hard to do, feeling as if I'd come home again and discovered my roots. But leave we did and driving past a certain tourist attraction we both did a double take. So it's true! Paul and Babe did move around the country...in a GMC/Outfitter combo. Great choice Mr. Bunyan. In fact legend has it that as Paul and Babe drove their GMC/Outfitter combo down from Canada to the coast, well that's how the mighty Mississippi River was born, their tracks gouging the way for water to follow. And then of course, heading back up from the Gulf of California to the Rockies, the great Colorado River was made. It had nothing to do with tectonic plate shifting or water erosion, like some believe.
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Mrs. Whazoo and I are going to go where no Whazoo had gone before, Port Angeles, Washington to catch the ferry to Vancouver Island BC. We felt like we were going to Disneyland. Now I had never believed in ferries before, but after that ride I do believe. I believe I'll be going back. It was more than a little exciting to drive the Whazinator into the belly of a ship and take a ride to a foreign country, even if they do speak English eh.
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Who says the Whazinator can't hang with the big dogs?
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The weather is gorgeous and it's nice to finally be putting jackets on, not having seen them since last winter. Port Angeles looks beautiful with the crystal clean air and sky reflected water. Maybe this is where the Whazoo is meant to live.
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As I said, the jackets are in play and were glad to be out of the closet.
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Now I wonder how it is that such a small smokestack can make all those clouds? That is the question that was clouding my brain as I took this picture.
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The mountains of the Olympic Peninsula seem to want to hide a bit today, but they look wonderfully cool draped in horizontal white.
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Now I have to say that having lost some time due to my breakdown, no not that breakdown, we had driven from the Redwoods in California to Port Angeles leaving around lunchtime and getting there at 1am. Knowing that Jefe was also leaving that day for the same destination, I did not think it was possible for him to make the ferry the same day we would. Some messages were lost due to ferry crossing and we arrived in Victoria at 10am, heading straight for Butchart Gardens. What a colorful place to see eh? I didn't know so many different flowers existed, being used to mainly the cactus variety myself.
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I believe these to be "dangling whazaffodils". They looked like you could pick them and blow a tune...eh?
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I was quite taken with this totem pole. I've seen that bird's pose somewhere before.
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You can see this caption coming right? I certainly hope these pictures have not been a boar...
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After leaving the Gardens we headed up the west coast of Vancouver Island. About 2 hours into the drive we heard back from Jefe that they had made the afternoon ferry. I was surprised and also became a bit depressed as I realized we may have missed a golden opportunity to camp with Mr. and Mrs. Jefe, as they were heading up the east side of the island. But we continued driving, heading for some un-known destination. That destination presented itself to us in the form of French Beach Provincial Park. Not being a fan of campgrounds or their accompanying fees, we were both open-jawed at this jewel of a campground.
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Behind this camp spot is a hidden trail to a larger area with playground...right on the beach. WOW MOM!
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It was a rocky beach, no sand in sight, but only added to the photogenics of the area as we face the Strait of Juan De Fuca from the west. And it seemed that if I squinted just right, I could see Russia!
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The Whazoos' are without a doubt, out of their element...but loving every minute of it.
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There seemed to be many of these big dudes crawling around. Heading for a slug-fest I was thinking.
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Oh yes, "Charades", I love it. Let's see, you're practicing semaphore, you're leaving, or just plain ol holding some big honkin leaves that are the only fall colors you'll see on this trip.
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We are in total amazement as we walk the campground, and glad to be here in the off season with only 1 other camper in the park. The Lady Ranger that is caretaker of this place does daily maintenance with the leaf blower among all her other duties. Much pride was evident!
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Although some spots were not very level.
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Sunset was magical and we were wishing it would never end, or that it could be bottled and opened when needed. And indeed, that is what these pictures are for.
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The following morning I had the brainstorm of the trip, we would go find Jefe on the other side of the island! And there appeared on the map to be a road going there. Now without any disrespect to the makers of that road, surely it was done in a hurry and without any thought to grading. Besides it being the winding-est road as it followed the contour of the land, it was also the roughest, most unlevel asphalt I have ever been on. At some point you might hit a straight stretch for about a quarter of a mile and be tempted to hit 40 mph. BIG mistake as we became airborne and could see through the rear view that the fridge door had opened and yes, spilled all contents on the camper floor. Only the eggs stayed on the shelf. We immediately said a prayer of many thanks. The main speed for several hours was in the 20's and low 30's, not a speed used very often by the Whazoo, as the word "light speed" is one of my favorite. We did take a few minutes to drive through Port Renfrew and was amazed at how isolated and quiet it is there, but beautiful in its own right. Luckily there was virtually no traffic on this road and we reached Lake Cowichan where the roads became better. Much rejoicing followed!

We headed right for the coast, drove through Nanaimo and on up to Parksville where we stopped at Rathtrevor Beach Provincial Park. Not having heard back from Jefe we figured they were out of reach by cell phone and so we stayed in another beautiful campground. The camper pads are not paved but compacted of soil and native gravel. Excellent leveling has been done and we were again, so impressed...eh!!
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This time we are facing the Strait of Georgia. Now I was born in Georgia, and I for one never knew we had a strait, especially on the other side of the country. It doesn't make sense to me. But then the Arkansas River doesn't start in Arkansas either, so there you have it.
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Driving back through Victoria for the ferry back to Port Angeles, we have time to stop at Rogers Chocolate. I never knew we had family in the chocolate business, and I did not have time to introduce myself as a long lost relative. But a slice of the family business was very tasty...eh.
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Victoria is one of the prettiest cities we have ever been to, and of course being right on the water accentuates that. So I take some pictures in remembrance of this beautiful place.
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I also bought a new toy while there...then I woke up and realized, it was just a dream. I can't sail.
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Back on the Olympic Peninsula we are headed to an area suggested by Camper Jeff. I'll just say right now how absolutely fantastic it is to have others trip reports to go by, and personal help as well, having talked by phone with Camper Jeff several times now. Another great person to know, as well as Tizi. And all I can say is in the immortal words of the Terminator, "I'll be back". So we drove into this campground as the sun was heading west for the night and again was impressed with a campground, this time in the states. And also relieved at no longer having to add "eh" to my sentences.
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OK, more "Charades"? Let's see, tongue, twisting, tongue, pointing, pointing tongue. I have it, you're camped at Tongue Point in the Salt Creek Campground on the Olympic Peninsula at 8:30 am and you've had 2 cups of coffee and a donut. All that from 1 little picture!
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Great views were had out both the door and window.

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As these enormous cargo ships would pass, you could feel more than hear the oscillatory
harmonic hum of their monstrous engines as they bring us more stuff...from China. Short note, I purchased something recently that said on the back, "Hecho in China". I'm so confused.
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There were some nice tide pools available for viewing, the tide having been gone for a few hours now. I seem to remember a saying that says "keep your friends close, but your anemones closer". So I zoomed in, thinking that would do the trick.
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As we are packed and ready to head out, I will take a parting shot of Salt Creek and wonder, is there a Pepper Creek too?
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There will be, to my surprise, a third and final curtain to this trip. Too many pictures to load at one sitting and I certainly do not want to cause Whazoo burnout all at once. No, I prefer to torture you a little at a time. And myself as well since I am now at home and re-living this fun fun trip through the telling of it. A third installment is another out-of-element occurrence for me, I'm in to new territory both on the trip...and off.

Thanks for reading,
Dave Rogers

fuelhauler

Southern Oregon

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Posted: 10/18/09 01:09pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

No thank you Dave for another chapter in what should be a National Geogrphic Episode. You are the trip report guru.


2005 Dodge q/c 4x4 dually six speed pac brake
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sf3291

La Mesa, CA

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Posted: 10/18/09 01:37pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Yes, as always, great pictures and great story!

Not to highjack the thread, but do you notice the extra weight with the canoe and cargo box when opening the top? I presume yours is a power top. Mine seems to struggle (seems being the key word here) and hasn't left me with confidence to stow anything on top without first removing it before raising the top.


2007.5 Dodge 6.7L 3500 SRW, SWB 4x4
2007 Outfitter Apex 8

seldomseensmith

Flagstaff, AZ

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Joined: 09/18/2006

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Posted: 10/18/09 01:41pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The crowd is stunned into silence....

Well, almost. Damn Dave, those are some PRETTY pictures!


The Road Goes Ever On



2008 F250 SD 4x4 Supercab, Detroit TrueTrac, Hellwig LP 35, 2006 Outfitter Caribou 6.5


Nemo667

Louisiana

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Joined: 10/28/2004

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Posted: 10/18/09 02:30pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Beautiful country Dave. Thanks for the report. Loooking forward to part three...not "boared" at all. [emoticon]


2007 F-350 SRW 6.0L CC SB 4X4
2006 Outfitter Apex 8, 220W Solar and 3 AGM's
2013 Jeep Rubicon


FarcticOx

NH or somewhere else

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Posted: 10/18/09 03:11pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thank You, Thank You, Thank You. [emoticon] You'll have to teach us all how to do those frame things, they really dress up the post. Can't wait for part 3, wish I was gonna be in it. [emoticon]


FarcticOx

Run Silent, Run Deep
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cewillis

Tucson, az, usa

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Joined: 01/24/2005

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Good Sam RV Club Member


Posted: 10/18/09 03:28pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Outstanding, Dave.

Yes sir, Butchart Gardens are spectacular! Worth several trips for that alone.

Whazoo wrote:

Port Angeles looks beautiful with the crystal clean air and sky reflected water. Maybe this is where the Whazoo is meant to live.

A little known fact to ponder before making the final decision. I remember many years ago seeing a magazine rating of the best places to retire. Port Angeles was at or near the top of the list. Finding this hard to believe, I read on. Turns out that one of the ratings factors was 'lack of extremes of climate', or words to that effect. Port Angeles topped that catagory, with a year round average temperature of 54 degrees, +-2.
To each his own.


Cal


BlueStilly

Stanwood, Washington

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Joined: 09/06/2006

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Posted: 10/18/09 03:48pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Ah, I can smell the salt air just from the pics. Glad you enjoyed being in our neck of the woods. Having lived in western Washington all my life I will admit to being somewhat partial to the area. So many different types of camping to enjoy. From mountain lakes, streams and rivers in the woods to saltwater beaches it's all close by. Next time you come our way if you can try to spend some time in the Hoh Rain Forest on the Olympic Peninsula. It's incredible. Legend has it that these guys even roam the area but from what I hear there even harder to find than 'seldomseensmith'. Great report.

Whazoofoot[image]

silversand

Montreal

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Posted: 10/18/09 04:25pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

....no words can describe!! I've not ever seen "a local..." with several decades of travel experience illustrate in photos what you've done!

Kudos,
Silver-


Silver
2004 Chevy Silverado 2500HD 4x4 6.0L Ext/LB Tow Package 4L80E Michelin AT2s| Outfitter Caribou

jefe 4x4

West Slope, Northern Sierra Nevada

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Posted: 10/18/09 05:28pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Fabblous. Simply fabblous.
regards, as always, jefe


'01.5 Dodge 2500 4x4, CTD, Qcab, SB, NV5600, 241HD, 4.10's, Dana 70/TruTrac; Dana 80/ TruTrac, Spintec hub conversion, H.D. susp, 315/75R16's on 7.5" and 10" wide steel wheels, Vulcan big line, Warn M15K winch '98 Lance Lite 165s, 8' 6" X-cab, 200w Solar

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