Travel Stories and Valuable Lessons: Olympic Peninsula

Traveling is one of those risky endeavors that leaves you breathless with joy, yet completely and thoroughly at the mercy of the world.  I know this sounds exceptionally dramatic, and coming from us, the no drama zone family, kind of shocking.  But it’s really the truth.  The Internet is full of lovely stories about family trips to various locations, but what about those times when NOTHING seems to be in your favor?  This is exactly what happened to us on the Olympic Peninsula, read on for this Travel Story!

RV Stories and Lessons
After the rains, a sign of promise! Photo: Susie Kellogg

Travelers know it’s not always a breeze.  In fact more often than not, each trip is flittered with bumps and halts in your travel schedule.

You hope your flight isn’t cancelled and you hope it takes off on time, because if it doesn’t you miss your connecting flight.

You hope your kids and you and your husband don’t get sick prior to or during the vacation.

You hope your RV continues to run like a well oiled machine and that there is no traffic, or bad weather … like what is happening to us now.

Travel Stories and Valuable Lessons

You see, we are in Seattle, hunkered down in anticipation of the remnants of a Category 4 Typhoon.   We were on the Olympic Peninsula, in anticipation of 5 days of epic travel.  However, Songda, the Typhoon, had other plans as the Peninsula is expecting 100 mph winds, and 30’ waves!

In fact, when we left we were already hearing reports of power outages and downed trees, and the bridge that leads off the Peninsula was actually closed twice today due to ridiculous side winds and flooding.  Trees were down as well and this is only the day before the storm hits.

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The peninsula BEFORE the actual storm! Photo: Susie Kellog

Tomorrow is going to be insane.  And, to tell you the truth, we probably would be bailing on Seattle and all its awesomeness if it weren’t for the fact that Brody and Kady are flying out of the country from SeaTac…on Tuesday.  So we are essentially stuck here.

We will get a hotel for Saturday and Sunday nights, I’m sure.  No big deal, really, but the kicker is, we already treated ourselves to two hotel nights this month to the tune of $600 … our large family size means we must book two rooms or risk getting found out as we sneak extra people into the room!!

But Songda has forced our hand.  Truth be told, I’d rather weather a big storm from the comforts of a hotel, with room service, a bathtub and a pool for the kids, than in our RV.  I think Dan would too.  Hotels are awesome, they are amazing, they are fun .. .someone else does all the cleaning and all the laundry for the rooms.  That’s such a win for me, of epic proportions!

And so, I’m hoping that this cylcone, this typhoon bring enough punch to land us in a hotel, because it’s all about perspective and my perspective from a hotel, especially on Sundays during football season, is often better than my perspective in our RV.  Know what I mean?

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A little pampering amidst the raging wind and unrelenting rain was so very welcome! Photo: Susie Kellogg

We had an amazing 5 days planned in Olympic National Park. We’ve been planning it for over one month now.  From Hurricane Ridge to Rialto Beach and the Sol Duc Hot Springs, Kady’s birthday week, prior to her first adult trip sans parents was supposed to be memorable. Kady even had a bucket list herself!!

I wanted her 18th birthday to WOW her, (she is leaving on an epic 10 day trip with Brody and two friends outta the country on Tues … I mean she’s not to be pitied! LOL), but I wanted her day with us to be a thing worthy of “remember when’s”.  But instead, we spent the majority of the day running from some crazy storm that was already wreaking havoc on the Olympic Peninsula a day before it was really going to unleash its fury!

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The most beautiful 18 year old on the planet, inside and out. Photo: Kady Kellogg

This alone could pummel my spirit, 18th birthday ruined, but we rallied.  We always rally.  First thing this morning we Googled things East of Seattle and found Snoqualmie Falls. Bingo.  Right up Kady’s alley.  Doing it…

But then … it took forever to get off the Peninsula!  Bridge closures, insane winds and downed trees and traffic with all the other eager to leave drivers, made the drive take hours longer than we originally expected.  Not to mention massive, I mean MASSIVE downpours.  The parking lots are like pools and the roads ponds.

Travel Stories
Despite, or maybe because of, the incessant rain, the fall colors are absolutely stunning. LIttle Ying and Yang … Photo: Susie Kellogg

So, again, plans were expunged almost as quickly as they were decided on.  Now what?  Man traveling can suck.

There is honestly not much worse than being holed up inside the RV with 11 kids.  Seriously.  Dan and I get short on patience because we can’t sit still and don’t even pretend to think our kids can, and so we did what we typically do when things aren’t playing out in our favor…drink.  No I’m kidding.  Really, totally kidding.

We do what RV’ers can do … whatever they want and so we grabbed our soccer ball, our cones, found a park and had a killer game of soccer … in the rain.  It was fun, we play a little crazy, a little rough and even the little kids charge hard.  The great thing about a big family is that we always have enough people to field a team for any sport or game!

Just like that, frustrations evaporated.  You know, we did make it to the Falls, a day late, and at flood stage, which rewarded us with a huge enormous waterfall, completely different than it’s typical flow! It was amazing!

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We made it!! And the Falls were amazing!! Photo: Susie Kellogg

Something we’ve learned while traveling is to be adaptable.  Shit happens, to everyone, but how you handle it determines who you are as a person.  Dan asks the kids all the time, “Do you suffer well?”  Pretty profound question, no?

I’m not sure I suffer very well.  I get incredibly stressed and overwhelmed with worry about a lot.  Maddy, 11, said to me the other day, “You worry too much.”

And today, I heard a homily in which the Priest said, “If your daily life is full of anxiety, stress, nervousness, fear, worry, etc,. perhaps you are not following the One True God, but rather a false god or even more sinister, maybe you are listening to the whispers of a sinister spirit?”

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Emmy, Elly and Coby, our 3 youngest, love rain, sun, snow … all weather is good weather to them!! xoxoxo Photo: Susie Kellogg

WOW!  That’s a pretty powerful statement, really.  I know he was talking to me.  LOL.  I tend to forget to hand it all over to God, especially when it involves issues re: my children and even Dan.  I take it all on myself, I carry the weight of the world, most days, on my shoulders! I think most mom’s are that way (some wives, too), are we not?

But, that’s where the Serenity Prayer Comes in handy.  My dad said it all the time, because he knew how powerless he really was.  I’m just slow on the uptake, I’m just now realizing, as I settle into my 40’s, that I can’t control a whole heck of a lot.

So why the heck worry about it?  It all works out in the end, anyway.

Happy Trails … See You On The Road!!

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If you have any questions about RV’ing, Extended Travel, How to Afford Fulltime or Near Fulltime Travel, Parenting … anything, don’t hesitate to drop us an email …

Travel Stories and Valuable Lessons is a new series, from KelloggShow about these times!  We would love to include stories from our readers, so we encourage you to submit your Travel Stories … drop us an email for posting requirements!  🙂

If you are interested in seeing your travel story (with valuable lesson) published, please email us at …

1 thought on “Travel Stories and Valuable Lessons: Olympic Peninsula”

  1. Ever heard of the UPTV and Bringing Up Bates (they have just a bit more children) on cable? You all would fit in with your large family crammed in an RV. Might name the program The Adventures of an RV Family.


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