Food Destination: Miners Drive In

Miners burgers destination

If you are ever in Yakima, Washington, you should totally bring your appetite to Miner’s Drive In!  Their delicious burgers are the size of a frisbee.  Their shakes are thick, and big enough to share.  The onion rings are made with fresh Walla Walla Sweet onions, making them some of the best I’ve had.

Whether you choose to sit in the dining area, or outside at a picnic table, your sure to leave with your belly full.  Even my two teenager boys are satisfied with their portions!

Miners selfie

Lessons Learned: Packing for the trip.

Five lessons I have learned when packing for an extended camping trip in the trailer.

  1. Teen boys do not do a good job packing clothes.  At least, not mine.  This often means they have too little underwear and too many hoodies.  I have two choices for this, I can micromanage them and go through their clothes before we leave (frustrating for all).  Or, I can let them deal with the consequences, and see them wear the same outfit for more than they should.  I most often choose the latter.
  2. Dogs are not helpful when packing the trailer.  Two of our dogs love camping.  When they see me start putting things in the trailer, they often plant themselves on the couch in the trailer.  They refuse to move or leave for fear of being left behind.  This is especially frustrating when we aren’t leaving until the next day.
  3. We always forget something important.  It doesn’t matter how many lists I make and check.  It doesn’t matter if I start packing a week in advance, or we decide on a whim to go.  We will forget something.  Examples over the years have included: pillows (often), cast iron pan, towels, clothes (see number 1), hatchet, lighter, medications, camp chairs, etc.  We are getting better about this, but every trip, at least one thing will be forgotten.  Usually, we just deal without it.  Sometimes we decide it is worth purchasing on the way.
  4. Cell phones are great when parking the trailer; until you don’t have any service.  When parking the trailer, hubby is in the truck with is cell on speaker.  I am behind the trailer watching for obstacles and helping to line it up.  This works pretty well.  No yelling across the campground, very little “what did you say?”.  We have yet to camp in a spot without any service.  I’m sure this is coming, and it is going to be frustrating.  I’ve already added “walkie talkies” to our wish list for the trailer.
  5. You can never have enough water and food.  I tend to over pack for food and water.  Chalk it up to paranoia of being without services and trapped by some unforeseen event.  I always over pack food and water.  I have never regretted this decision.

What are some lessons you have learned when packing for a trip?

Marco packing

Lessons Learned: Having coffee on the road.

I love my morning coffee.  One of my favorite things about camping is that quiet time in the morning.  Usually I’m the only one up.  I’ll brew a pot of coffee to enjoy with my book and nature.  I’m a fairly early riser, so the campground is usually pretty quiet and all the birds and small animals are out and about looking for crumbs left by lazy campers.

There are many ways to brew coffee while camping.  When we tent camped, I had my trusty percolator that I would use on the little propane stove.  With the trailer, I was excited to have an electric coffee pot as an option.  I bought myself a cheap electric coffee pot to live in the trailer.  Out of nostalgia, I packed that shiny little percolator into a cupboard just in case.  I’m so glad I did.

I end up using my percolator more than I ever thought I would in the trailer!  Turns out, we are boon-docking and dry camping more often than we are in a full hook up park.  When boon-docking or dry camping, the trailer isn’t plugged in to any electric service.  My lovely electric coffee pot isn’t a good choice to use up battery life.  So, I pull out that trusty little percolator, and brew my morning coffee on the propane stove just like I always have.

Lesson learned?  In order to enjoy your morning coffee, you might still need to be prepared to brew without electricity.  Having a back up plan is always a good idea.

coffee on the road

Vacation Dreaming

img_2627Today was a rainy nasty day in the Pacific Northwest. Days like today have me dreaming of our annual trip to Arizona. There is nothing like the sunset in the desert.  The wide expanse of sky with the mountains in the distance.  The temperature drops to reasonable and it is so peaceful.


Also, I bought my very first pair of LuLaRu leggings. Every thing you have heard about how soft they are is true. I want 473 pairs. Seriously. I may live in nothing but these leggings for the rest of the weekend.

Summer Means Camping And Road Trips

For my family, summer means camping and road trips.  There is nothing like taking all six members of my family and enough stuff to supply a small country, out on the road.  We pack the Suburban right up to the gills and head out on the open road to find adventure.

Packing up

We usually try to do at least one longer distance road trip as a family each year.  This year, we managed two!  Our first trip we went down to Arizona to visit family.  On our way back we stopped off in the California Redwoods.  Jedediah Smith park was lovely.  I especially enjoyed relaxing next to the river.  I’m sure we made quite the spectacle trying to air up our failing air mattress in the bathroom.

Our second road trip was Yellowstone National Park.  This is our third time camping in Yellowstone.  Each time we see new things.  This time was especially nice because we took a friend who was once an employee in the park.  He had lots of wonderful suggestions for spots to see.  I would love to stay and camp for an extended time someday.

Yellowstone National Park

We also did a few local camping weekends this summer.  I would love to be able to get out and explore more of our local parks.  Rainbow Falls state park, Cape Disappointment, and Bruceport county park were all fantastic.

Rainbow Falls has a beautiful river to walk along.  There were some areas that you could get down into the water.  We chose a poor weekend to camp though.  It seems a local farmer has been throwing an epic party for their local graduation weekend for the last few years.  The music and partying went on all night long and we could hear them clearly even with ear plugs.  I would like to try again another weekend to see if it is quieter.

Rainbow Falls

Bruceport offers stunning views of the bay.  I really enjoyed both the sunrise and sunset over the water.  The camp spot we had was nice and big.  Plenty enough room for all of our tents and people.  I really enjoyed drinking my coffee with the cool bay breeze in the morning.

July 14, 2016 Camping at Bruceport

Cape Disappointment was a wonderful beach camping area.  Plenty of rocks to climb for the boys, and a beach to walk in the evening for me.  It was nice and quiet, just the way I like it.Cape Disappointment Sunset

I’ll be back to give more details on all of our camping trips this summer with links, photos, and lots of great stories of camping and road tripping with three teenagers.

Camping Dinner Redwoods