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THURSDAY - As you can see today's move was only 63½-miles, all of it on Washington Route 25 which follows the Columbia River as it flows south to the Pacific Ocean.

Just like our last stop, we'll be staying in a Lake Roosevelt National Recreation Area campground. There are 15 of these campgrounds between the Canadian Border and the Grand Coulee Dam which is located about another 50-miles downstream from us here.

Construction was completed on Grand Coulee Dam in 1939 and it effectively turned the Columbia River into a miles wide lake anywhere north of it. The area was originally called Coulee Dam Recreational Area in 1946, but in 1997 it was renamed what it is today, the Lake Roosevelt National Recreation Area.

All of the campgrounds are located on or near the river's shoreline and with my Lifetime Seniors Pass we get 50% off the regular camping fee of $23.00 a night. After October 1st, the regular rate goes down to $11.50 per night, so we are only paying $5.75 a night for each of our last two nights here. That's a bargain price for somewhere to camp that's both scenic and quiet, not like the Walmart parking lots where we've been staying.

A typical view of the Washington countryside from our travels today.

Just on the other side of this bridge over the Columbia River is our campground.

I just love this view of looking up through the girders.

Our very unlevel pulltrough site for the weekend...

...but we'll make it work for us.

FRIDAY - Today we have a pair of very important tasks to take care of.

First up is laundry! Tomorrow it will be three weeks since the last time we did ANY laundry, and that was just a single load of clothes "to get us by" for just a little while longer.

Well today we drove 23-miles to the town of Davenport, WA to take care of our laundry needs. The online photos and reviews we could find on this laundromat all looked good, but we've been fooled before by "clever marketing" (I'll leave it at that)!

Today however it turns out that it was better than advertised. This small town (pop. 1703) has the best laudromat we've seen in our 4+ years on the road, and we've seen a lot of laundromats.

It all starts at the front door. The door swings both ways (easy now you gutter minded readers). In others words, if your hands are full with your laundry, all you have to do is push, whether you're going in or out to open the door. You don't have to juggle your laundry to free up one hand to try and pull the door open. Thank You Very Much to the propietor for thinking of their customers on this point alone.

Next every single machine is in working order and they all look and operate like brand new. There are five different sized washers to choose from, priced accordingly from $9.00-$2.75, so you only pay for the size you need. There are also two different sized dryers, priced $.25 for either 4 or 6 minutes of drying time.

This place was spotlessly clean, from the floors, to the folding stations, to the tops of the equipment, to the seating areas. The place was air conditioned and cool inside, but I imagine there is also adequate heat when the season warrants it.

High up on every single vacant wall space is a whimsical laundry sign, you'll see them in the slideshow photos, and informational signs on every possible question you could have. If you're not the type that likes to plug dozens of quarters into the machines one at a time, there is even an App you can download to your phone, register a credit card and pay wirelessly to operate everything single washer or dryer in the place. How convenient is that for local returning customers!

With all that said, the best is yet to come.
Take a look at the slideshow first and then we'll talk some more.


This sign hangs just inside the front door. Notice the video camera?
This is the entire laundromat, wall to wall!
There is even a little work desk with electrical plugin just outside the bathroom.
Many "gift shop" signs and a few informational ones.
More signs!
Even more laundry themed signs!
Not funny!
Now that's more like it!
This ever happen to you?
I really chuckled when I read this one.
Now for the surprise!
You'll only find a bigger/nicer shower/bathroom in a Five Star Hotel.
Toilet, toilet paper, toilet seat liner, sink, mirror, hand soap. Yep, it's all here!
The shower was easily big enough for two.
They only ask you to squeegee down the walls and floor after use.

Since they had a First Class Laundromat I expected a First Class Shower also, we were again not disappointed!

We've experienced several dozen instances where we paid for a shower outside of the campground we were visiting. They've ranged from nice to nothing more than a plastic shower surround and a cheap curtain. We've even paid as much as $10 for a quick 5-minute shower with only modestly warm water.

This shower was roomier and better appointed than any I've ever experienced. Once the hot water started flowing from the shower head I had to turn it back past the middle and towards the cool side to make it comfortable, and I like my showers scaldingly hot!

The price for the use of this shower, in case you can't read the sign, is $3.00 for 9-minutes. That's usually plenty of time if the water starts off hot, as it did today. If it's not enough time you can purchase additional minutes for $.25 each, if you get another quarter into the machine in time.

We've seen this offering to extend the time before, but never did the equipment start beeping when you have one minute of time left. This gives you ample warning to decide if more time will be needed, usually the water abruptly just stops.

We're rating this the "best laundry and shower experience" of our 4½ years on the road!

I'll bet when you read this blog title
you thought we'd be talking about the weather here in Washington, didn't you?

SATURDAY - Today will be our day for sighseeing.

We first went and checked out one of the two picnic areas here at Fort Spokane. They are both right on the river's edge with one on each side of the Fort Spokane Bridge. On the campground side we also have the boat ramp, which is very busy now that Saturday has arrived.

Boats heading towards and away from the busy boat ramp.

The picnic area from our side of the bridge.

The other side of the bridge has a view of a large marina with a longer view down the Columbia River here at Lake Roosevelt. There is also another picnic area with a swim beach, complete with a floating sun deck anchored offshore.

A large privately owned marina is across the river.

Bridge view from the marina side of the bridge.

Sectioned off swim area with marina in the background.

Yesterday on our way into town we saw several homesites that consisted on nothing more than a cement pad with water/electric and sewer connections. Most had large fifth wheels parked on site and some even had for rent signs. There were a few more elaborate ones with permanent pavillions or storage sheds. Some even shared the site with a tiny home.

This follows along with the same idea Tricia and I have for our future homesite, but not here in Washington, we're thinking somewhere in the southwest (like Arizona or New Mexico).

Next we explored around the site where Fort Spokane was located back in the 1880s.

There isn't much left of the numerous buildings which once stood here. Today all that's left are many walkways with informational signs and pictures of what once stood in front of you.

There is a nice Visitor Center in the main building, but it closed for the season about two weeks ago. Just our luck, but we weren't going to cut short our summer in Alaska. No way!

Notice the sign reads "Fort Spokane, W.T. 1880"
The W.T. stands for Washington Territory, because Washington didn't become a state until 1889.

The Powder Magazine (1888) was located way off in a corner of the property all by itself,
so if it exploded it wouldn't kill soldiers or damage the other numerous fort buildings.

The most intact original (unrestored) building is this foundation for the Bachelor's Quarters.

This is the large restored Quartmaster's Stables (1884).

Another view of the stables with the Visitor Center (Guardhouse 1892) in the background.

This is the view of the river from the location of Fort Spokane.
It's the perfect high ground vantage point to defend the entire region.

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