National Parks, Wildlife Refuges, etc (below)                                   Day by Day Summary


We had a great trip, traveling 9,180 miles through 14 states, for 6 weeks of fun!  We went to 7 national parks, 4 national wildlife refuges, 3 national monuments, 2 national recreation areas, 2 national grasslands, and 12 state parks. 

The new van made camping so much easier and faster than tent camping that we camped on 34 nights.  We were in Washington, Idaho, and Oregon for more than half the time, with 13 days in WA, 6 days in ID, and 4 days in OR.

We saw 229 bird species, 39 mammal species, and learned a lot about the geological formation of the Northwest.  In retrospect, a few experiences stand out above the rest: 

A displaying male Sooty Grouse running across a 10 foot snow bank at Mt. Rainiers Paradise.
A three rattlesnake walk at Agate Fossil Beds.
A glaring badger, the 3rd badger of the day, staring at us from behind the fence line on Shawn's Laramie Loop. 
A Burrowing Owl first owning a fence post and then dancing up and down to see above the grasses, when we were lost, looking for Birds of Prey.
A barn Owl that flew into the tree over the van at the Hells Gate State Park campground in ID.
A five Loggerhead Shrike day traveling to and from Hart Mountain OR.
Simultaneous views of Western Grebes on the east side of the road and Clarks Grebes on the west side at Malheur NWR.

WA and OR had cold nights with temps in the low 40s, and there was rain every day on the Olympic Peninsula, supposedly their dry season.  There was more rain and snow in the northwest this year than normal.  Paradise at Mt. Rainier had 200 inches more snow than average since January.  Alpine meadows were still covered with snow and many roads were still closed.   It was still winter in mid to late July!  But, that ended up being a good trade-off, with flooded fields at Malheur making possible some very close views of water birds.

1 6/22   Hickory Run SP, PA finally left:  4:48pm
2 6/23 Boulder Field, Hickory Run East Harbor SP, OH boulder field at end of glacier reach
3 6/24 trail at E.Harbor, am Indiana Dunes NP, IN  
4 6/25 marshWalk Indiana Dunes Creekview Cmpgrd Edgerton WI marsh walk fun: Sora, GreenHeron
5 6/26 travel Fairmont Minnesota  
6 6/27 travel Badlands NP, SD great place!
7 6/28 grasslands,drive,Prairie Dog Towns Badlands NP, SD Upland Sandpiper,Bison,LB Curlew
8 6/29 Badlands, Custer SP, BlackHills Bismark Lake Cmpgd,BlkHillsNF Burrowing Owl, Bison, Pronghorn, Donkeys
9 6/30 Windcave,Buffalo Gap NG, Ogalalla NG, Agate Fossile Beds NM Holiday Inn, Cheyenne, WY Prairie Falcon, 3 Prairie Rattlesnakes
10 7/1 Laramie(Shawn'sTour) RV campground McGowan's Longspur + lots of new trip species + 3 badgers
11 7/2 Fossil Butte NM Cowboy RV, Pocattella ID Say's Phoebe nest
12 7/3 Craters on the Moon HighValley RV, Boise ID Vesper Sparrow in Cinder Garden
13 7/4 Kuna ID, Birds of Prey HighValley RV, Boise ID lizard, YB-marmot
14 7/5 Bitterroots, Hells Canyon  Hells Gate SP, ID Drew&Van did great on steep canyon walls!
15 7/6   Beauty Creek NF, ID Very welcome trees!
16 7/7 Mineral Ridge Scenic Area, Beauty Creek Rd, Grand Coolee Dam Bridgeport SP, WA MacGillivray's Warbler
17 7/8 Alta Lake SP, North Cascades NP BuffaloRunInn, Marblemount WA spectacular views, cool temps (50s)
18 7/9 Cascade River Road N.Cascades Newhalen Cpgrd Am Dipper
19 7/10 Thorntown Lake Rd N.Cascades Newhalen Cpgrd good BD, Sooty Grouse video/recording of female, male heard-low frequency over hill
20 7/11 ThorntonLkRd,Ferry,DungenessRecrArea Dungeness RecrArea finally actually saw Varied Thrush! Pigeon Guillemot&Rhinocerous Auklet fr Ferry
21 7/12 Dungeness NWA, Olympic NP: HurricaneRidge Heart of the Hills Campground, Olympic NP nice beach at Dungeness, rain & fog at Hurricane Ridge top mtn, Olympic
22 7/13 Little River Rd, Mora, Rialto Beach Mora Campground, Olympic NP Pacific Wren around campground + van, beach fun-huge logs; rain
23 7/14 La Push beach, HOH Rain Forest HOH Rain Forest Campground understory not as lush as last 2 sites;rain
24 7/15 Ruby Beach, oil change Aberdeen Olympic Inn low tide walk around rock islands, sea urchin, then steady rain
25 7/16 E side Mt.Rainier, Dalles Big Douglas Fir-700yr 235ft 9.5ft diam,Sunrise Lookout White River Campground, Mt.Rainier Big Doug Fir mammoth, Rainier neat 14000ft elevation, glaciers beautiful, snow deep, sun!
26 7/17 Sunrise, Paradise (crowded) Cougar Rocks Campground, Mt. Rainier some rain, alpine meadows covered in snow, glaciers have receeded 1.5 miles since records, hoary marmot
27 7/18 Paradise, Mt. St. Helens Seaquest State Park, WA, campgrounds Sooty Grouse displaying male, no Ptarmigan, 
28 7/19 State VC Mt St Helend Wetlands, Ridgefield NWR, Becon Rock State Park Horsethief Lake State Park, WA campgrounds nice wetlands walk, more Osprey than Robins,  Bacon Rock hunge remnant of volcanos and glaciers on Comumbia River
29 7/20 roadsides that worked well for species East Bay Campground, Fremont National Forest:  very nice site good birds at back country roads:  Pygmy Nuthatch, Loggerhead Shrike;  wonderful chipmunks & groundsquirrels at campsite!
30 7/21 campground <44F, back roads: 14% grade rd, Hart Mt, drive to Frenchglen to Burns motel in Burns OR could not find campground 5 Loggerhead Shrikes!   Nice dark morph RT.  Buteo w. spotted breast check pix 
31 7/22 Malheur NWR, dri ve to Chukar Park near Juntura OR Chukar Park, BLM land, Juntura OR campsite, cold night (low 40s) Great birds at Malheur NWR!  Close looks of W. Phalaropes, Avocet, B-N Stilts, and BlackTerns.  W.&C. Grebes.  More Shrikes
32 7/23 left campground and traveled; tried to find campground at Milner Hist Rec Area RV Park in Hayburn, ID Bullock's Oriole-dirt road by campground AM, Golden Eagle on aeration unit PM
33 7/24 Massacre Rock & Register Rock, ID state parks TeXs campground, Green River WY Historic Oregon Trail rocks, BB magpie groups, Pronghorn
34 7/25 travel on Rt 80 Pine  Bluffs RV campgr, WY  some rain travel day, couple of very nice Swainson's Hawk
35 7/26 town park, Sidney NE, Heartland Museum of Military Vehicles Windmill State Park, Exit 285 Rt 80 travel day, landscape changed from sage brush to grasses, corn, etc; military vehicles interesting
36 7/27 travel Rt 80, Missouri Riv not visible at border, supper in Walnut IA at small quaint "Aunt B's" motel, Stuart IA exit to North Platte SP closed, park found had no services
37 7/28 travel rt. 80, Neal Smith NWR Geneseo Campgrounds, Genesea IL Henslows Sparrows and Sedge Wrens recorded;  Dicksissel video and recorded.  Many of each heard.
38 7/29 TRAVEL Rt 80, LUNCH IN Niles MI school yard (mistaken road) tried 3 campsites, Comfort Inn, Fremont IN traffic near Chicago
39 7/30 travel Rte 80, Cuyahoga Valley NP (metroparks-Cleveland) Cook Forest SP Campground, Cooksville PA nice stream at Cuyahoga & shade, check again in other years
40 7/31 travel Rte. 80, Elk Country PA Mt. Pocono Campground, PA interesting history of elk reintroduction to PA in 1920s 
41 8/1 travel home    
Indiana Dunes IN Ridgefield WA
Badlands SD Hart Mountain Antelope OR
Wind Cave SD Malheur OR
North Cascades WA Neal Smith IA
Olympic WA: Hurricane Ridge, Rialto Beach, HOH Rainforest  
Mt. Rainier WA: Sunrise Paradise, Box Canyon Cougar Rock  
Cayahoga Valley OH  
Agate Fossil Beds NE Dungeness WA
Fossil Butte WY Hells Canyon ID
Craters on the Moon ID  
Coeur d'Alene ID Buffalo Gap SD
Black Hills SD Oglala (incl Toadstool Geologic Park) NE
Mount Hood  OR   
Willamette  OR   
Deschutes  OR   
Chuker Park OR Hickory Run PA
East Harbor OH
Custer SD
Hells Gate  ID
Bridgeport WA
http://www.fs.fed.us/recreation/map/finder.shtml Alta Lake
Beacon Rock WA
Wind River WA
Massacre Park ID
Wind Mill  NE
Cook Forest PA
Elk Byway PA