Paradise RV Resort is in Southeast Washington, near both Mount St. Helens and Mount Rainier. It’s not too far off I-5 and Highway 12, but when we reached the entrance and saw the sweeping view below, we thought maybe we had found paradise. Green valley, blue lake, rolling mountains, billowing white clouds against a deep blue sky, and snow-capped Mount St. Helens. I wanted to park Bessie right there at the gate and just stare at that view nonstop.
Unfortunately, the campsites don’t get the view, but it was still a nice place to stay for a few days. There were a couple of small lakes and lots of trails for walking the pets. The pool setup was the best I’ve seen in an RV park. It had a family pool, adult pool, baby pool, and huge hot tub. The weather was too cool to do more than hot tubbing the first couple of days, but the day we left, by the time we’d packed up camp, we were so hot and sweaty it was wonderful to dive in to and loll about before hitting the road.
Picnic without the Basket
One day we drove down to the Mayfield Lake, the one we could see from the campground entrance. I packed up a nice picnic and we brought the pets. It was sunny after a rainy day and we wanted to be out in the good weather. We found a great park: Mossy Rock State Park. It had beautiful campsites right on the lake and the day use area offered an expansive green lawn down to a beach and playground. Other than a couple of campers, there was nobody in the park.
It’s not often that Bailey gets to run off leash, but with no one around, we let her run free and she chased balls both on the grass and in the lake. She was so happy. And Gypsy enjoyed it, too. But after we’d frolicked and were ready for lunch, I discovered that I’d left the picnic basket behind. Too bad. It was such an ideal place. But at least we had some good pet playtime there.
This was our last stop before re-entering Oregon, and it brought up lots of feelings. We both feel eager to get back into our house and see our son and friends again. But it also means the end of our year-plus journey, and we have absolutely loved every minute of it. Well, okay there were a few minutes that weren’t stellar, but by and large, this trip has been everything we’d hoped it would be. And after 14 months of being together pretty much 24-7, we’re still not sick of each other. In fact, we feel relaxed and happy and closer than ever.
Some people ask why we don’t just keep going. Do we really have to go home, sell Bessie and get jobs? Why not keep Bessie, sell the house, and keep on truckin’? I could get social security in a few months, and we could live off whatever we make on the house. We’ve considered it, but we’ve decided that as much as we love the gypsy life, we’re not ready to take it up for good. We miss our friends, our home, our community. We’re ready to settle back in for a while and soak it in.