Sunset over Lake Quinault, Olympia National Park, WA: We didn't have a great start to our stay in Lake Quinault. Upon arriving we checked in at the lodge who did the booking for the Willoby Campsite that we were staying at, one of the two that allowed RVs. The national park farms out the campground reservation to this outside firm instead of the usual Recreation.gov. This would prove to be a big mistake. All set, we headed to our campsite which was fine, right on the lake, a couple sites over from a nice pebble strewn beach. Hmm, the lodge did not give us a campground map. The camphost was no where to be found. I searched the area. Where was the dump station. For a foolish reason we didn't dump our one night load at the KOA. We figured we do it at the National Park. Wrongo Charlie. No dump station at the campground. In fact, no dump station at the privately owned RV campground up the road. No dump station any where in Lake Quinalt, in the middle of this enormous forest, in the middle of nowhere.
Not in a good mood I drove back to "The Lodge" and asked them how could this be. "If you accept RVs in your campground, wouldn't you somehow inform us that you didn't have a dump station." Can you tell I'm venting right now? "It's no where on your web site (which I remember being terrible). "So where do we dump our waste?" I really wanted to answer that with, how about in the parking lot of your fancy smancy lodge but I didn't.
The young lady, the day manager behind the counter heard my questions and said "you have to go back 2.5 hours to the town of Yuckinsack (sp)." "Whaaat!" It's a good thing there was a little old lady present (BA). I shared some of my thoughts and stormed out of the fancy smancy lodge. The private RV manager told us there was a dump station at Kalaloch campground which we were going to camp at in 3 days. The lodge says there wasn't a dump station. Who was right?
It would take 40 minutes one way to drive out to Kalaloch to find out who was right. I know, your asking the question, why didn't you call. No cell phone service in Lake Quinault and besides, the guy at the kiosk at the campground won't be back till 3pm.
I had two options. Manually dump our waste into our carwash bucket and dump it in the campground restrooms (I know, gross) or drive out to Kalaloch. Right, Kalaloch here we come. Long story short (I know, too late for that), they had a pay per use dump station. Great, we relieved ourselves of the unwanted load. While there we found out that they had a nice campground on a bluff over looking the beach. Upon our inspection the campground was completely filled which was a little concerning. We didn't have reservations in three days. We discovered that the campground which usually converts to a first come first serve campsite after Labor Day, extended their reservation only polciy until Sept 20. Oh great. After a few stressful moments, I remembered we're arriving on Sunday the 20th and we should be able to find a spot, I hope.
So, we headed back to Lake "NoDump" and dragged our chairs out to the beach. Armed with a Drumstick ice cream cone we sat and watched the sun go down over the lake. It took 2 minutes and the day's drama had left me. I was back in my element, back in the ample bosom of Mother Nature.