July 18, 2012

Down Days in Vancouver, WA

We have been here in Vancouver Washington (just outside of Portland) for just over two weeks now. Living somewhere stationary has been a very nice change, and it has lived up to what we were hoping it would be. Portland being the very cool city that it is has certainly helped, but Vancouver has really turned out to be very nice as well.

Esther Park in Vancouver
Walking around downtown Vancouver
One of the reasons we were looking to be somewhere stationary was to take some time to plan the next portions of our trip. When we started this trip the main goal was to get to the West Coast, and then see from there. Now that we have gotten here, and have traveled almost all of it, we need to figure out what we'll be doing next. So far our two options are: to get to Yellowstone (the last point we'd planned to so far) and then make our way back to where we think we might want to live next; the other option is to continue east from Yellowstone and explore the other coast right in time for the beautiful fall colors. So no word just yet, but we have been giving both ideas a lot of thought. (The East coast and further exploration might be calling to us though...)

Another reason we were looking forward to being somewhere for an extended amount of time is easy access to SHOWERS. I can't say enough how much I have missed taking regular showers. Yes...living in an RV and not always paying to stay at an RV park means that sometimes we go several days between showers (thank god for baby wipes). Yes, we do have a shower in the RV, and it works just fine, its just that the hot water heater is only 6 gallons, and the water pressure is not the best. Running the water pump to keep the shower going also runs down the battery, etc, etc, I have lots of excuses.

The reason showers are so important (aside from the obvious reasons) is that now we can exercise as much as we want. I am one of those people that has been blessed with a hydration system alike to a house sprinkler system, and after 30 minutes of hardy exercise it is only in everyone's interest that I take one of those fabulous showers. That being said, in the last two weeks I have ran over 40 miles, we have biked 80 miles, and we have hiked or walked at least 5 miles a day. Skyler also found a pick-up soccer team for Sunday mornings, and we have been going every weekend. He plays soccer while I run my long runs.

Walking on the Vancouver side of the Columbia River 
Biking across the Columbia River on a bike path, in the middle of the highway! 
Biking across the Columbia River
Vancouver and Portland have a plethora of parks, biking and running paths,and SOCCER FIELDS (that would be Skyler's enthusiasm). It was evident how much we have used these bike paths and bike lanes recently when we added up our gas expense for the month of July, and so far we have only bought one tank of gas. Yeah, we have driven that little, and biked and walked that much (public transport also works in our favor here). 

Swimming laps is an option at Vancouver Lake.
Many come out here to practice for triathlons.
Biking on the Salmon Creek Greenway Trail in Vancouver
Hiking around Vancouver
Chloe and Sammy have also enjoyed being somewhere stationary. They have gotten to explore the local trails with us, Chloe has explored most of the streams, and we have located an awesome off-leash dog park less than 5 miles from our RV park that we frequent now. Have I mentioned that we are really digging the Portland area? :o)

Sammy, being the Field and Stream dog that he is.
Chloe, looking for little rodents to chase in the tall grass.
To see more pictures of Vancouver, click here.

Happy Biking and Running!


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  1. Glad you guys are having such a great time! Sorry we haven't been in touch about drinks yet this week... will call soon! Enjoy

    1. No worries, we look forward to meeting up with you guys again!