Rollins, MT (Flathead Lake)

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Rollins is on the western shore of Flathead Lake, south of Glacier National Park.  We parked at Rollins RV Park.

Flathead Lake

Flathead Lake is the largest natural fresh water lake west of the Mississippi River.  By surface area it is apparently just very slightly larger than Lake Tahoe but I would think that as water levels change, the honor could go to either of these two lakes.  Flathead Lake has a much more irregular shoreline than Lake Tahoe giving it lots of inlets and bays.  We took a boat tour from the town of Lakeside.  We were told that the water is clean enough that many homeowners on the lake pull their water from the lake using only basic filtration.

Next stop:  Missoula, MT

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Naples, ID

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We spent 3 nights here at the Blue Lake RV Park in Naples, ID.  It was a very pleasant lake setting.

Sandpoint, ID

Between Memorial Day and Labor Day it seems that everywhere we go we see various types of festivals being advertised.  While we don’t attempt to schedule around these events, sometimes our trip coincides with a local festival.  Last fall we encountered the Avocado and Margarita Festival in Morro Bay, CA.  Here we found that the town of Sandpoint, ID, had scheduled a beer festival to occur while we were parked in Naples, about 23 miles away.  We went down and found Sandpoint to be a very pleasant town on the northern shore of Lake Pend Oreille, Idaho’s largest lake.  We enjoyed some of the local beer, some music and the beautiful views of the lake.

Next stop:  Kalispell, MT

Eatonville, WA–Mt. Rainier National Park

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Eatonville is a bit southeast of Seattle in the vicinity of Mt. Rainier National Park which was the major purpose for our visit.  We parked at Rainbow RV Resort which is located on picturesque Lake Tanwax.  On a clear day, which we were fortunate to experience, you can see the peak of Mt. Rainier from the RV park.

Mt. Rainier

At 14,410 feet, Mt. Rainier is the tallest volcano in the Cascade Mountain Range and the most glaciated peak in the continental United States with 26 named glaciers.  We entered the park at the Nisqually entrance which is in the southwest corner of the park.  Near the Longmire area we stopped for a hike that took us up to a spot with a nice view of Mt. Rainier.  We continued on the main road stopping to check out waterfalls and other viewpoints.  We went as far as the Paradise area which is the most popular spot in the park.  It takes you to about 5,400 feet in elevation.  The National Park Service says that “Paradise is the snowiest place on Earth where snowfall is measured regularly.”  It has an average of 671 inches of snowfall per year with 1,122 inches recorded during the winter of 1971/72.  Mt. Rainier NP is a little off the beaten path but well worth a more extensive visit.

Next stop:  Portland, OR

Anacortes, WA

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We parked here at the Swinomish Lodge and Casino RV park which is located a bit east of Anacortes and Whidbey Island.  During our car road trip in 2014 we spent a few days in nearby Oak Harbor.

Diablo Lake - North Cascades National Park

We took a day trip from here, heading east to North Cascades National Park.  This park contains some of America’s most beautiful mountain scenery.  The mountains are not the tallest but with jagged peaks, cascading waterfalls, glaciers and sheer-walled cliffs there is ample dramatic beauty.  We hiked the Thunder Knob Trail which afforded awesome views of Diablo Lake and the peaks beyond.

Coupeville, WA

On another day we drove out to Whidbey Island and re-visited Oak Harbor and Coupeville.  We had to treat ourselves to the steamed mussels at Toby’s Tavern in Coupeville.  These are Penn Cove mussels which are grown right here in Coupeville.

Next stop:  Hope, British Columbia