First Ever RV Adventure – Anacortes/Chelan/Sun Lakes

I have been doing a lot of reminiscing lately….lots of time on my hands while recovering from my ACL replacement surgery!  And while going to physical therapy and exercising at home, I have been thinking about all our past RV adventures.  It’s one of the things that motivates me to get better so we can get back on the road.

The first time my family ever RVed was in April of 2008.  We really wanted a road trip around Washington and we thought RVing would be better than being cooped up in hotel rooms.  So, we rented a Class C RV at a local dealer and made some pretty fantastic memories.


We packed WAY too much stuff!  We were only going for three nights.  But it is not surprising to those who know my husband and I.  Although we are way better now, we still have that ‘better pack it, just in case’ mentality.  The folks we rented from had quite a chuckle watching us struggle with where to put all our stuff.  We even filled the shower with our kids toys we thought they were going to need!

Our first night, we stayed at Pioneer Trails RV Resort.  I was thrilled when we pulled into this place.  This family friendly resort has a beautiful setting and plenty of amenities.  We chose a Super Site which provided us with a huge site and a private covered cabana.  Unfortunately, we didn’t have a lot of time to spend here, because after taking all afternoon to transfer our stuff from our car to the RV, we made it to Pioneer Trails in time for a quick dinner and s’mores.   I would definitely make a return visit to this RV resort.


We woke up in the morning and pulled out early looking forward to a beautiful drive along the North Cascade Highway also known as State Route 20.  Little did we know to check road conditions!  Good thing we were up for an adventure.  Yes, the North Cascade Highway was still closed for the season.  So, after noticing the signs for the road closure, we backtracked and headed down to US Highway 2 to make our way east over the Cascade Mountains.

Our next stop was to visit Lake Chelan.  It was a cold and dreary day, however we were able to make the best of it.  We walked around enjoying the beautiful scenery and played at the Lake Chelan State Park’s playground.  The day was saved when we showed up at Beebe Bridge Campground.  The sky cleared up, the campground was quiet, and we were parked right along the Columbia River.


Beebe Bridge is a small first come-first serve campground located four miles east of Chelan.  This little gem was super clean, had great bathrooms/showers, and beautiful views.  We strolled along the river, watched the boys throw rocks and enjoyed an amazing sunset.


Once again, we woke up and hit the road.  Next stop, Ohme’s Gardens.  But wait….not again!!  You guessed it – closed for the season!  Our spirits were determined not to be broken.  We had a quick lunch and started on our way to the Grand Coulee Dam.  (We have since made it back to Ohme’s Gardens and rewarded with a great family outing.  You can read more here.)


But back to the RV trip that should of ended our RV dreams!  Later that afternoon, we arrived to the Grand Coulee Dam after a gorgeous drive.  We toured and enjoyed the small visitor’s center.  Ready to tour the dam, but what?  Lo and behold the dam elevator was broken!  Seriously.  We couldn’t go on the dam tour.

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We loaded back up in our Class C and headed for our last night on our adventure.  We arrived at the ugliest, most desolate RV park I have ever been to.  One look at this place and we even didn’t park.  But the silver lining is we happened upon Sun Lakes Resort.  Which to this day, is one of my favorite destinations and we return year after year.  Thank goodness.  Our last night was a success as we explored the resort and played mini-golf.


Morning came and it was time to pack up and head back to return our rented RV.  Now what?  The slide won’t go in.  Won’t budge.  We try calling the dealer but it is Sunday and they are closed.  What are we going to do?  Not knowing that there was probably a manual override, my husband pushes the slide back in by forcing it from the outside.  But what happens when we take a curve while driving down the road?  The slide slowly slips back out.  Oh. My. Gosh.  We take it easy driving and at the first convenience store we stop to buy a roll of duct tape.  Yes, duct tape.  And in the parking lot, my husband pushes close the slide and starts to wrap the entire RV in duct tape to keep the slide from slipping out again.  Believe me, I know how this sounds.


We finally make it back.  Almost home to clean out the RV before returning it, we realize that we didn’t empty the tanks.  Not wanting to get charged for full tanks, we now have to find a place to dump our tanks.  Since we were first timers, we had no idea how to look for a dump station.  So what do we do?  I called it a dump and run.  I am not proud of it, but we pulled into a RV park and found an empty site, let out our sewer hose and emptied out tanks.  Then out we left!  Never again, have we forgotten to empty the tanks.  Plus we know how to go about finding suitable dump stations! 🙂

All in all we survived our first RV road trip.  Us like everyone else has been a first timer and everyone has good RV stories and mishaps.  I know I still look back fondly on that RV road trip and smile every time.  It is truly a wonder that we ever wanted to go RVing again!

PS – Luckily the broken slide was not our fault and we were not held responsible.


  1. OH my goodness how have I not heard this one before? And you kept RVing!!!
    BTW who is the brunette in the picture?

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