Summer Plans REVEALED…..And July Suggestions in WA?
My little teaser at the bottom of my last post raised a few good guesses (some of which were right!!) and a few fun ideas. Well, wait no more! Today I reveal all and I have to admit we’re pretty darn excited for our plans, all of which will involve brand new experiences for us and “the beast”.
Now for those of you who’ve been following the blog for a while you’ll know that I do most of my summer planning in the early winter months. Summer is typically our toughest time to plan because kids are out of school, state parks are blocked full (especially in the spots we want to be) and boondocking is harder. In the past few years we’ve gotten into the habit of volunteering during these months which eliminates alot of issues -> no need to plan, full hookup sites guaranteed, expenses go down (whenever we volunteer our monthly expenses immediately drop around 30-40%) and we get to be in beautiful places for the entire summer season doing something we really enjoy. Perfect, right??
The only gotcha is that we’re really, really picky about our volunteering gigs. We prefer to do interpretive type positions (where we interact/educate the public) in GORGEOUS, natural & green spots with IDEAL summer weather with access to LOVELY hiking trails which are 100% dog friendly. Easy, peasy right??! Clearly, it takes some time to root out these elusive opportunities so when we decided to head up to Washington this summer I started contacting the State Park Volunteer Program and poking around. Do you have lighthouse hosts up there? Can you fit a 40-foot beast up a mountain? Could we volunteer on an island? What’s the weather like? What jobs do you have that no-one else does? The Washington State Park volunteer program is not nearly as online-friendly as the Oregon one (you pretty much have to do everything by phone), but all the coordinators I talked to were incredibly responsive and within a few weeks we had 2 exciting gigs lined up. The schedules worked out so well we decided to take them BOTH.
So WHERE are you going, for Goodness sake…..?????
This was a bit of a tricky clue which was based on my blog post from this area from last year “The Foulest Place In The West?“. Yup, we’re going back to Cape Disappointment to be lighthouse hosts for the month of June. We LOVED this park last year, and June is the perfect time to be here. This will be our first lighthouse hosting position in Washington and we’re super-excited. We KNOW we’re gonna love this spot.
Somewhere High (and Sailing?)
This totally unique opportunity came from Friends Of Moran. I’ve been fascinated by the San Juan Islands on the northern end of WA ever since I originally read about them. There are several super-cool lighthouses out there, sadly without any need for RV volunteers so I tried to see if there was some other spot to try. Turns out there’s a Learning Center at the top of the highest point in the islands (2,409-foot Mount Constitution) with ONE solitary RV site. At this spectacular spot and in return for an easy 28 hours/week of volunteering we’ll be all by ourselves surrounded by incredible Moran State Park…JUST our kinda thing! All we gotta do is plonk “the beast” on a ferry, drive the twisty road up the mountain and voila! This will be our destination in August. Isn’t it coooool????!!
And what about IN-BETWEEN?
NEVADA SPRING -> After our winter here in Arizona we plan to spend springtime in NEVADA. This will be a first for us and we’re going to be doing some lonely roads (US318/US93) into deeeeeeep boonies. As part of our trip we’re going to skirt the elusive Area 51 where we plan to signal space and attempt alien contact (the chances are good, don’t you think?). Given that Nevada has ~50 million acres of public land we expect to boondock our entire way across the state.
WASHINGTON SUMMER-> By the end of spring we’ll end up right around the Columbia River Gorge, OR where we’ll visit some new spots before heading to our June job at Cape Disappointment, WA. The month of JULY will see us on the move again and this is probably the only month I’m going to pre-book RV spots this year. Our goal is to drive & visit the Olympic Peninsula (making 3-4 stops) before landing in the Orcas Island for our August job. After this we’ll race down to Cape Blanco, OR to resume the same lighthouse posts we had last year for September and October.
So, do you blog readers have any SUGGESTIONS? I’m particularly interested in spots to stay & see for our JULY travels around the WA Olympic Peninsula. As you know we prefer natural settings (state parks, national forest, boondocking) and they *must* be dog-friendly (we will be skipping beaches & hikes that are not). I know much of the peninsula does not allow dogs, but I gather there are spots & hikes which do and I’m looking for the most interesting ones. Any recommendations??
We are super-excited for our summer plans & can’t wait to share them with you on the blog. If you’re planning to be in the areas we’re volunteering this summer come by & see us!
Related Posts: Planning RV Travels
- Planning RV Travels Part I -> 4 General “Rules” For Planning Where To Stay & When To Go
- Planning RV Travels Part II -> Selecting Pace, Map Routing & Campsites
- Planning RV Travels Part III – Maps, Resources & Links
Related Posts: Volunteering
- Volunteering As Lighthosue Hosts -> What Do You Actually Do?
- Volunteering On The Road Part I – Why Do It?
- Volunteering On The Road Part II – Where To Look For Openings
- Volunteering On The Road Part III – 4 Steps To Securing Your Dream Job
P.S. Friends of Moran are actively looking for MORE volunteers this summer!! They have camphost positions open within the State Park for the months of May-September. For 28 hours/week (total) you will get a water/electric site. Your job duties include assisting in picking up trash in campgrounds, inspecting vacated sites before next camper arrives, selling firewood & interacting with campers. If you volunteer for 2 months, Friends of Moran will reimburse the ferry fees to get your rig to the island (this is a big deal!). Most importantly you’ll be in the absolutely GORGEOUS Moran State Park surrounded by miles of hiking, biking, lakes and natural beauty. Interested?? Contact Michel at