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BeFair BeVegan – 038

Seattle Activism

Casinos, vegan eats and marching through the Bite of Seattle for the animals!

Podcast Transcript:

Episode Intro

Good morning from Arlington, Washington. This is episode 038 of the Two Vegans on a Mission Podcast. Thank you for joining us today.

We’ve got a jam packed episode for you that includes a trip to the beach in Oregon, another casino stopover, another winery, and then three military RV parks to review. Then we share three new, to us anyway, vegan restaurants from Salem, Oregon to Seattle, Washington. Finally, we’ll tell you all about our march through the Bite of Seattle with “Be Fair Be Vegan“. So grab your green tea and enjoy!

Podcast Intro

Welcome to the Two Vegans on a Mission Podcast. I’m Louisa, and together with my husband, Michael and ouCampr dog, Sugar, we’re traveling and living full-time in a Winnebago Class C motor home, visiting animal sanctuaries and animal rescues all across the country.

Each week we’ll share what new camping spots we’ve found, what great vegan meals we’ve eaten, and our latest vegan outreach activities. So please join us as we strive to inspire, educate, and support you in your efforts to be vegan!

Shout outs:

 First off, I’d like to welcome over 3000 unique downloads to our podcast! That means we have listeners from almost all over the world. We have several from New Zealand, Sweden, the UK, Portugal, Canada, and of course the US. So thank you for spreading the word about these Two Vegans on a Mission, and we hope you’re enjoying your time with us.

Camping

We’re going to start off this week’s podcast with our trip from Portland over to Lincoln City. We stayed at a casino… in the parking lot of the Spirit Mountain Casino in McMinnville, Oregon. It’s a huge parking lot, and it was full of RVs. These are RVs that get to stay there, free of charge, except for you do have to go inside and get a players card, but you only had to put a dollar on it. And if you didn’t want to gamble, you didn’t have to, but you got to spend the night!

Of course it’s boondocking. There are no hookups. But this was the most packed parking lot we’ve ever stayed at! There were probably a hundred RVs in there. Some of them looked like they’d been there for a couple days. So, make sure you look into the casinos if you’re just wanting to spend the night, get a good place to stay, and then get on your way. We really enjoyed that.

 

The next morning, we got up from the casino and drove into Lincoln City, which was only another half an hour drive. We stayed at the KOA in Otis, Oregon. It’s the Lincoln City KOA, but it’s called Otis, is the city. So Michael’s going to tell you what that was like.

This KOA was called a “journey” type of KOA, which means that people usually only stay there a day or two. But, we found it on the way, because we really wanted to be in the beach area along the Oregon coast. I can tell you it is really small, but the sites were well-maintained, very pretty. The bathrooms were clean and the water was very hot.

However, the biggest interesting thing that happened to us at this KOA, luckily, we had access to it as we were turning the corner to go to this KOA, it was a little bit of a steep turn. Our RV has a system in there where if you go too steep, apparently the brakes will stop you from rolling. Well, unfortunately, this is what happened and what we didn’t know at the time, some of our wires were being rubbed through raw and exposed bare, and caused a short in the electronic braking system.

This is actually a good system, but terrible for us. What it means is your vehicle, your RV, specifically the Winnebago, will slow down to no greater than 20 miles an hour. And as we creeped toward the KOA… Thank goodness it was only maybe a quarter of a mile away. We were able to get into the KOA and get to our spot. Little did we know is once you turn the engine off, the EBS system does not allow you to restart your vehicle until the problem has been addressed.

Now, we didn’t know how to address the problem. We called Mercedes-Benz, we called Winnebago. And this was on a Sunday, so getting people to really give us information was really challenging. What we found really helpful was we went on Facebook, Winnebago VIEW site, and they have a lot of experts there. Good shoutout to that group. They’ve been wonderful since we purchased our Winnebago.

They had us work through a couple of things and none of those worked well, and finally they said, “You really have to get into a Mercedes-Benz dealer.” Well, the Mercedes-Benz dealer was 78 miles away and we could not turn on the engine.

Luckily for us, also because it’s still under warranty, Mercedes-Benz set up a towing company that came out, towed us on Monday morning. Shoutout to the B.C. Towing Companies. They were wonderful! They sent out a very experienced gentleman who knew how to hook us up, take over the overdrive system. I guess that means turn it off. And attached us, and away we went to Salem, Oregon, Mercedes-Benz.

Continuing our good fortunes, the folks at Mercedes-Benz at Salem had two very experienced technicians who took the extra time to look at our RV. What I mean by that specifically is they had about 10 RVs ahead of us that they were working on and the manager let us know that this was a really challenging situation to break away the people to come look at us. But he agreed to do a diagnostic. Once they did the diagnostic, they could see that fuses were blown and wires were crossed. And so what they did for us was to set us up to have the repair done next day.

So Mercedes-Benz at Salem allowed us to sleep overnight with electrical connection in their lot. The next day, Mike, the service technician, was able to find a couple of wires that had become frayed. He replaced those wires, replaced the fuses, and resolved all our problems. So a big shoutout to Mercedes-Benz Salem for helping us get up back on the road!

So it was a bad situation that turned out pretty good. We, of course, now have to work with Winnebago to see if we can get our parts and labor paid for because Mercedes said it was a Winnebago problem even though they fixed it, and that’s why you have an emergency fund so that you can pay for these things, get back on the road!

We also want to shout out to the KOA in Lincoln City. They were very nice and letting us stay a little longer in the day if the tow hadn’t happened when it did. So we were really glad to be stuck in the KOA. And then again, like Michael said, we want to thank the people over at Mercedes-Benz in Salem for squeezing us in and getting us taken care of, and then getting us back on the road.

The Space Vegan Restaurant

One of the perks of being stuck in Salem, Oregon is you have to find a vegan restaurant for breakfast. So we did just that! Michael got on the HappyCow, we found a place called The Space, and with a little bit of searching… It was like a treasure hunt because once we found parking, then we found the space called The Space.

But then you walked in the door and it looks like it’s upstairs, but it’s really down a couple of flights of stairs. And then you’re in what looks like it could be some kind of a bar, some kind of a place for music to be played, like an artist forum with a stage. They had bands in the evenings and then they have vegan food in their restaurant. We had a wonderful… Probably my favorite Vegan breakfast of all time was at The Space in Salem!

Michael, what’d you think?

I agree, this is our favorite vegan breakfast so far. I had a wonderful, wonderful, savory deluxe waffle. What made it savory was they had vegan gravy, scrambled tofu, collard greens, and a chickpea sausage. Never had one of those, but that was just delicious. I also had salsa and green onions on it.

It was a funky little place there, but just a wonderful brunch breakfast, and we hope to go back there someday and even try out the evening meal. If you’re in that West Salem area, you’ve got to stop by this place called The Space.

It was so yummy! I had the tofu scramble with some greens on the side. I think it was kale. It was delicious. And then I was able to pick my side and I got a biscuit with an almond scone that Michael forgot to say. We bought almond scones for later and those were to die for! You can see pictures of all of these on our Instagram @heaveninaclassc. Please shout out to those people at the vegan restaurant in Salem called The Space.

It’s a funky place, like Michael said, but super fun and so delicious. I had coffee, which I usually only have two cups of coffee a day, but this place just kept filling my coffee cup up and they also gave me soy milk on the side, so I got to add that instead of cream because you know we don’t do cream. It was delicious coffee, delicious breakfast. I even had extra that I brought home for lunch later in the day. It’s super fun to go there!

We’re going to take a little break from this episode of the podcast, but when we return, we’re going to tell you all about our great stay at a winery in Washington and what we did in our last event of activism in Portland. So stay tuned.

Welcome back to the podcast. At this time, I want to give a shout out to Marika who came out with me on our last night in Portland to chalk up the sidewalk in front of the Pioneer Plaza. We were able to write words like “be kind,” “be vegan.” I drew hearts because that’s what I draw and I drew some flowers around it. It was very colorful!

We had some people stop and ask us what we were doing. We were able to hand out some flyers that I have purchased from Vegan Outreach. And then a nice young man named Justin stopped and brought out his chalk and he wrote the words that had an acronym CURE, C-U-R-E. He wrote, “Compassion, understanding, respect and empathy.” We had a nice conversation about why he felt that those words were so important to chalk on the sidewalk near our “be kind, be vegan” stuff.

He also was interested in learning about why he shouldn’t be eating eggs anymore. I explained how the eggs are mass produced and the chickens are bred to have these eggs every day, when they should only be laying eggs once a month, just like humans. And then the really sad part about the egg industry is for all of the male chicks that are born, they’re not needed. They don’t produce any eggs. So they are just either ground up in a macerator kind of thing alive, or they are suffocated in a big plastic bag to where they just suffocate and die right there. So they’re not needed. It’s such a waste and it’s so sad.

We don’t need eggs to survive. We don’t need eggs to thrive. We don’t need eggs for protein. And he was a very fun guy to talk to because he was open to those ideas and I gave him a flyer, which obviously, has that information in it as well. You can see pictures of the chalk that we did there because Marika was very talented. She drew pictures of a dog and of a cow. I posted them on the Instagram page. Go there and see some really great artwork. Or you can also see it on my Instagram, which is @Heaven in a Class C. So thanks for listening about our last night of activism in Portland.

 Then we headed up to a Harvest Host spot, which was over in Lyle, Washington, which is on the Columbia River. It was east of Camas, Washington and Vancouver, Washington where my parents live. So we just went east along the Columbia River into the gorge. Beautiful scenery, beautiful drive.

We picked this winery specifically because they advertise vegan wine! So when I called up and asked if we could spend the night there, Kiva, the owner said, of course we could, but he would be at the Camas Farmers Market from 3:00 to about 7:00, and then it takes about an hour and a half from Camas to get back to the winery. So he said, “Just go out there and park. It’s not really any problem.”

So we stopped by the Camas Farmers Market, had some tastes of his wine and they were very good, so we bought a couple bottles. Then we drove the hour and a half out to the winery. Well, let me just tell you, in the Harvest Host description, he has written that 26 feet or shorter is all that they can accommodate at their winery. And this is very true, because there’s a very narrow driveway that’s gravel that goes into an open field, and that’s where you park.

We parked next to a friend, the new friend named Laura. She also has a Winnebago. So she was welcoming us as we drove in. If I hadn’t seen her Winnebago in there, I don’t think I would have driven in because it felt very steep, even though it really wasn’t. It just felt steep and kind of treacherous as I drove in, but we backed into a spot right next to her.

We had a nice chat. She has a great dog named Trevor. So shoutout to Laura! It was nice chatting with you and we loved our stay out there. Thanks a lot, Kiva and the Klickitat Winery in Lyle, Washington.

Now back to our regularly scheduled information about the different camping spots that we found. Here’s some that we found in and around the Joint Base Lewis-McChord, or the Madigan Army Hospital in Washington. There were three that we looked at. We stayed at two, and then we’ll talk about the Arlington, Washington one that we are at this morning.

But we stayed first at a place called Camp Murray. Michael found this one on the military Allstays site. It was $25 for the first night because we had 30 amp plugins, and then they said we could stay one more night, but we would have to move into a 50 amp spot, which also had 30 amp hook up, by the way. But that one was $32 for that night.

So this was a little expensive weekend, but it was beautiful! Right on the lake. Who knew there was a lake right across from the Madigan Army Hospital. We didn’t know that before.

It’s a small place, not a lot of spaces for you to choose from. You can reserve up to a year in advance, but who knows where you’re going to be in a year. But if you do know, then you should check out this place, because Camp Murray was really very fun, very accommodating. And Michael’s going to tell you what he thought about it.

Camp Murray is actually a Washington National Guard RV Park. Who knew. So we’ve now stayed at all of the major services and now, a National Guard camp.

Yeah, it was really beautiful. It only had 35 sites. Where we stayed the first night was right on the water’s edge. I went to the water’s edge and actually, it was crystal clear. Kids were actually swimming. It was quiet. There are deer running around. The neighbors were slightly closer than what we enjoy, but the surrounding beauty made it really tolerable.

The camp hosts at this spot were really helpful. Helping us find our spot, walking us to the spot. We’ve never had that before. Just making it really comfortable for us there.

They have a laundry. The showers were clean and almost private. There just weren’t many people around there during the time we were there. They had walking trails all along the base. Again, we were on the Madigan, or the opposite side of the freeway, and we didn’t know this place existed during our last visits in the area. So if you’re in the Tacoma area and you have access to DOD facilities, definitely check out Camp Murray.

Like I said, we were there for two nights, and then because it’s a weekend, we were getting a little short on where to go because we don’t like to look too far ahead, we like to check out the area and see what’s available. One day we may end up in a Walmart parking lot, but we haven’t had to do that yet. So we did find another place. It was on McChord Air Force Base. They have lots of spots, but this was packed.

Like I said, it was a weekend and they had lots of people already reserving the spots. But they did have dry camping and they had several dry camping spots, actually from the letters A through Q. Lots of them were already taken, but we picked a spot letter F, I think it was, or G.

It was a nice level spot. It was in the trees. There was a restroom right across the street from there, so we could walk over there and use that and not have to use our own. We always like to try to do that. But it was dry camping and so we turned on our generator in the morning.

It was very peaceful there, actually. Very quiet even though it was pretty packed. So I really enjoyed that. I didn’t like paying $15 just to park, but sometimes you’ve got to do that. It was on a military base, so we felt very safe, as usual.

Then there’s another place you could go to. Maybe if you are a little bit more of a planner and you call ahead and make reservations. Michael’s going to tell you about that one.

Joint Base Lewis-McChord is an RV park. It’s also right on the lake in the area. Also, the surrounding area looks really woody, very pretty. Very, very pristine.

Now, the way this RV park is located and how they’ve situated it, is very densely packed with RVs. They have 58 spots, but they are really close together. Lots of families, lots of RVs and I don’t know what that experience will be like. Maybe we’ll stay there in the future, but just from driving around in there, it seemed a little bit too packed for us. But again, it is in the Pacific Northwest. They have tried to keep most of the trees in place, but they definitely pack them in that RV park.

And then finally, we are here at the Jim Creek Navy Community Rec Center in Arlington, Washington, which is another military spot that Michael found for us. Which I did not know that there were so many different places that we could park an RV here in Washington state. We are enjoying finding them, and Michael will tell you what this one was like.

One of the ways we make reservations is through Navy Gateway Inns & Suites. They coordinate all of the Navy RV parks, and inns, and lodging. So it’s really, really enjoyable to be able to just pick up a phone and make a reservation, and not necessarily have to drive into the park itself.

This little, teeny RV park is called Jim Creek Wilderness Recreational Area Compound. Also, I believe the base is a submarine satellite broadcasting facility. Although we didn’t see any active duty people on the base itself. What we did see was just miles of isolation.

When you come on to the base, it is very secure. They have double gates. The police officer actually has to open the gate to let you in and then they go through your paperwork, and then they just make it really comfortable. He told me where to park, where to get the information. So they were very welcoming, but it’s just kind of a little spooky when you drive up to the base.

The area itself, again, was very quiet. I didn’t know if anybody was on the base except for us. We got in there kind of late. We drove into the small campground, and I believe they had maybe 12, 13 RV sites there. Our paperwork was in the office. We grabbed that and then talked to the host, and then hooked up without any problems.

Very quiet, lots of animals running around the place. We heard that they have a beautiful lake about 15 to 20 minutes away from the RV park. We didn’t get a chance to go there because of our schedule, but the hosts were highly recommending that we try out the hiking trails, go up to the lake. They say they have bald eagles, deer. If you’re a fisher kind of person, which we aren’t, but they say they have trout up there, and they say it’s very pristine and beautiful.

Again, a lot of the treasures that are available to people who have DOD, Department of Defense, access to bases. Please check out Jim Creek Wilderness Recreational Area campground in Arlington, Washington.

Yeah, we did stay a lot of places this last week, but what happens is we also get to check out some more restaurants. When we return to this episode, we’re going to tell you about the other two vegan restaurants we found in the Seattle area, so stay with us.

In Tacoma, we found a vegan restaurant called the Quickie Too. It’s a Jamaican, Afrocentric vegan restaurant, and those are rare to find, so we said,

“Hey, let’s check it out.” It was 100% plant based. There’s R&B playing in the background. It had about five or six tables. The waiter had dreadlocks. Newspaper articles are all on the wall. Lots of paintings in the place. Really fun kind of hip place to sit down and have a vegan meal.

I had a burrito, which was called the Diablo, and it was really spicy. It had grilled seitan, brown rice, black beans, grilled onions, spicy sauce, shredded lettuce, and sliced tomatoes. It was a very large portion that I cut in half and had the rest for dinner. I really enjoyed the meal and the Jamaican atmosphere.

I had the reasonably priced Jamaican Wrap for $6.49. It was quite the deal because I also cut mine in half and took half of it home for dinner later in the evening.

This was a spicy, thin sliced, Jamaican style tofu, grilled onions, lettuce and tomato, sweet, spicy coleslaw, potato salad, vegan meal wrapped up in a warm lavash bread. Sounds like a lot of food. It wasn’t that big, but it was big enough for a second small meal.

I enjoyed the atmosphere. We enjoyed the waiter. He was very nice. We really enjoy going out to these different vegan restaurants. So keep up the good work, and a shoutout to those of you at Quickie Too.

The next day, we drove into Seattle just to check out where we might park an RV because we wanted to go to the Bite of Seattle, which took place on Sunday. But we didn’t know where we were going and Seattle has some hilly places, so we decided to check it out.

Then we found on Queen Anne Street, we found a very cool, mostly raw, organic superstore of vegan yumminess. It was called HeartBeet Organic. The “beet” is B-E-E-T. They had perfectly proportioned bowls and I had a whole bunch of raw vegetables in there with some red rice that had another kind of a vinegar sauce that I could pour on it. It was delicious. Not warm, not hot, mostly raw. We really never eat this kind of food, but it was very refreshing because you know what? It was quite hot in Seattle that evening.

Michael, what’d you think of yours?

Yeah, I enjoyed it. I haven’t had any raw vegan options yet, so this really hit the spot. I had the Thai Bowl. It’s steamed red rice, quinoa, and lots of raw vegetables.

This place also had a little patio table, so we could sit out there with our little dog, Sugar. So a shoutout to you all at the HeartBeet Organic Superstore on Queen Anne in the Queen Anne area of Seattle. Shoutout to you guys and I hope you’re enjoying this episode of the podcast!

Now we’re going to end the podcast with our overview of the Bite of Seattle, which I believe took place on two days. We were there on Sunday, where we met up with a group called Be Fair Be Vegan.

There were probably 30 of us in the march. We all had big posters and we all wore black with a nice T-shirt that said, “Be Fair Be Vegan,” and we marched all through this giant farmers market, fair, festival, whatever you want to call it. The Bite of Seattle, which I think is a misnomer because I didn’t see any real different kinds of restaurants there. We’ve been to the Taste of Chicago, and you get all different kinds of actual restaurants.

This was more like a county fair where you have the super sweet kind of funnel cakes, then you have the corn dogs, then you have the corn on a cob, then you have the horrible turkey legs and all the other meat products. But they’re not really from restaurants, they’re just pop-up kind of stands for this event. At least that was my take on it.

But I marched through a bunch of people. I have not seen so many people in one place in such a long time. Plus, I think it was the hottest day in Seattle this summer so far, and we’re all wearing black and we’re all walking. We walked about six miles in three hours and lots of people saw our signs, lots of people made comments. A couple of people said,

“Hey, how do I join you?” And so we had a lot of out-reachers there who were able to talk to people who might be interested in what we were doing.

And then we also had those people who like to make snide comments. But those you have to ignore if you are going to be an animal rights activist because people who are uncomfortable with their meat eating still, don’t really know how to deal with it. So they laugh at us who are trying to make a difference.

I want to say thanks to Cameron and Isaac, who were the organizers, and Joel who was in charge of the caboose because I was at the end of the line. So he was the very end of the line. Also to Jeff and Greg who we met. Jeff is the guy who was taking all the pictures, I believe. And Greg is an activist that travels around the country. Just like we do, traveling from event to event, supporting animal rights activists in their efforts and trying to help animals become free, and stop meat eating and all the dairy and egg industry activities as well!

So shoutout to all of you guys. Thanks again. And to everyone who participated, you did a great job. There are pictures on Seattle Activism pages and again on our Instagram, @heaveninaclassc.

So now, here ends another episode of the Two Vegans on a Mission Podcast. Join us next week as we travel through Bellingham and into Vancouver, Canada. We’re going to tell you about the Thousand Trails park that we stayed at. As well as maybe getting involved in some animal activism in Vancouver, Canada. So we hope you join us same place, same time.

You can go to our Instagram or our website. Website is www.vegansonamission.com. Leave us a message, ask a question, let us know you’re out there, and we appreciate you listening. So be vegan!

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We are a retired teacher, Louisa, and a retired physician assistant, Michael, married for 39 years, who want to help busy travelers begin and maintain a healthy life-style while on the road.

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