Out with the Old and In with the New

Before buying our Rialta in October of 2010 we camped in either a little teardrop trailer or our 1985 Volkswagen Westfalia camper van.  We knew we had out grown the teardrop and sold that right after buying the Rialta.  But the Westy has remained in our garage unused and somewhat neglected.  We knew we should sell it, but since we’ve had it so long, we were not in a hurry to part with her.  That is, until my brother, Bruce expressed some interest in buying it.  I have mixed feelings about selling such an old vehicle to a relative.  I like the idea of keeping it in the family, but I worry something might go wrong and I’ll feel guilty.

Late last month (April 25-27) we packed up both the Rialta and the Westy and took Bruce on a short camping loop to Eastern Washington.  He drove the Westy and slept in it at night, but we cooked and ate together in the Rialta.  The first day we drove south on I-5 to catch Hwy 14 east along the Washington side of the Columbia River Gorge.  Our destination was Goldendale with a stop at the Maryhill Museum along the way.  It was a wet and cold day, but all went well and we camped for the night at Brooks Memorial State Park, just north of Goldendale.  It was cool and a bit windy there, but we found a pleasant site right next to the heated restrooms.  As it turned out, we were the only ones in the whole park.

The next day we traveled a short distance north along Hwy 97 to Sportsman State Park in Yakima.  Near Toppenish we stopped at a National Wildlife Refuge to stretch our legs and take some photos.  Arriving at the state park, we found a beautiful green oasis in the midst of a desert town with lots of walking trails and playgrounds.  Although it was a pretty park, we were disappointed to find the restrooms closed.  I can’t understand it – this is a year-round park and although it does get cold in winter, I don’t see why they can’t keep the water on.  The porta-potty they provided in place of the restrooms was a long walk away and very disgusting!

We pulled both vehicles into one pull through site and hooked the Rialta up to electricity.  The VW was not connected to anything.  We paid the normal RV fee plus $10 for the extra vehicle.  Later in the evening a ranger assistant came over to tell us we would have to move the VW to another site and pay another full RV fee as they don’t allow more than one recreational vehicle in one site.  We convinced him that the little VW should not really be counted as an RV as we were not hooking it up to any power, water or sewer, and we were not cooking in it – it should be counted as just another vehicle.  He seemed to buy that and left us alone, but overall, we were not impressed with Sportsman SP and will make it a point to not visit there again.

Upon leaving Yakima the next morning, we made our way over Hwy 12; White Pass.  It was a pretty drive with a bit of everything when it comes to weather.  We had sunshine, rain and even snow near the summit.  Bruce had never been over White Pass before so he enjoyed it quite a bit, as did Dale and I.

When we got home later that afternoon, Bruce decided to stay over one more night before heading home.  By now I think he had pretty much made up his mind to purchase the VW and after dinner we came to an agreement on price and signed all the paperwork.  We’re keeping it in our garage a little longer so he can have time to build a carport to house it in, but probably by about the 1st of June, we’ll be taking her up to her new home in Friday Harbor on San Juan Island.  I know he’ll enjoy many more miles in this great little rig and hopefully we’ll get to camp with him a few times more in the future.

Here are some photos I took while on this trip.

Click here to see all the photos in this slideshow.

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