John Wayne’s Waterfront Resort (Sequim)

John Wayne Marina near Sequim, on the Olympic Peninsula, was our first weekend getaway destination. We had to rebook after our Airstream pickup day got postponed but eventually we made it, just didn’t get the waterfront spot I wanted. But that’s okay, we were on our first adventure! The park is located right on the Olympic Discovery Trail which makes it perfect for cycling. However, first we drove into Port Angeles to run on the trail at the most scenic section – looking across the Strait at Vancouver Island. After warming up with some coffee and tea we wandered around the Saturday farmer’s market and hunted down a donut shop only to discover they ran out and closed early – completely unacceptable! Then we tried to swim at a local pool but it was closed for a meet, and the Y didn’t have a pool. Sorry coach 😉

also the site of my first ever half marathon finish back in 2008
also the site of my first ever half marathon finish back in 2008

So instead we went for a rainy ride east around Washington Harbor and rode through the waterfront Sequim Bay state park campground that looked charming albeit wet.

Finishing up a ride on the trail - this is the road into the resort
Finishing up a ride on the trail – this is the road into the resort (and me making strange faces)

We ate at a charming restaurant in downtown Sequim and our server who lives just outside the park entrance, gave us some pointers for visiting Hurricane ridge. The camp hosts were very accommodating with our reservation change and a late checkout (for a fee of course) – since we slept in way too late on Sunday but still wanted to head up the ridge for some exploring. I really wanted to ride up it (pretty epic climb) but wasn’t feeling well and didn’t know exactly what it entailed. So we drove to the top and hiked around a little. We drove through the Heart o’ the Hills campground across from the entrance to scout it for possible future visits but determined that we probably wouldn’t fit in the tiny wooded spots. Big place though, pretty, and quite empty.

We pulled our bikes out back in Port Angeles for a quick spin on the trail before heading back to hook up the trailer. I had identified the Port Townsend Brewery (out of the way) for a dinner stop on the return trip. Upon arrival we discovered they had no food. And there really wasn’t much around. So we had some beer then walked across the street to a Safeway and picked up chinese food (last resort) and ate in the Airstream in the parking lot across the street from the brewery. Sometimes you just have to laugh and make the best of it. While enjoying our beer we saw an entry from the Kinetic Skulpture Race pull into the marina – a giant man-powered rabbit vessel. Wish we’d known and come over earlier for the event – too funny.

parking lot dinner
parking lot dinner

 

Vasa Park (Bellevue)

Vasa Park Resort on the southwest corner of Lake Sammamish was our very first campsite after picking up the Airstream from the dealership. I was still working through the October tax deadline and this was the most “convenient” yet scenic spot from which to commute. I use convenient loosely because Seattle traffic is a nightmare. But the park is right on the Lake Samm bike loop that I (and many other east siders) ride regularly making it very appealing for us triathlete types. Susie, the camp hostess, is great. Tom got to hang out and chat with her during the day while I was busy at the office. There are only 6 or 7 year round spots – they close the grass ones for the rainy season – and the camp isn’t huge so reservations were hard to come by, even into October. We bounced around different spots but did get to spend a few nights in the primo location closest to the water. There is overflow parking across the street and Susie even let us park my car there when we left on the weekends. The population was an interesting mix of retired full timers, vintage airstreamers, biker dudes, pop-up campers, and tent campers. Kudos to the tent guys who lived it up by the campfire even in the constant rain. We stayed here off and on for about a month and the only downside was having to be off sewer for some short stretches. This mainly limits showering because the gray water tank gets full really fast from showers and dishwashing. We’ll need to get better at that for when we want to boondock (paper plates will be our friend). We do try to maximize the use of showers at the gym post-swim. Overall Vasa is like a little family campground and we are definitely on the waitlist for a long term stay for tax season.

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our first spot!

 

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best spot on the lake