Chimacum Escapees Co-Op Park, a Sunny Surprise in Washington

Permanent travel opens your eyes up over and over again. Like during our first visit to Chimacum Escapees Co-Op Park in Washington state. We just spent the last week at this lovely park and have to say that it’s now on our short list of places to escape the wrath of summer.

The Chimacum Escapees Co-Op Park: a Washington We Never Knew Existed

Boondocking Evergreen Coho Escapees Park

Boondocking was just $7.50 per night. Deal!

In my recent Cheap RV Living post I mentioned how most Escapees RV club parks were nice, but in out-of-the-way locations that Jim and I would never consider retiring in. And I’ve also told friends that I hate the weather up here. Well, I take it back. 

It’s not what we thought it would be.

Port Townsend dog friendly beach

Wyatt loved the Port Townsend bay and cool weather.

The Chimacum Escapees Co-Op Park is in the Washington we never knew existed. Located on the eastern (sunnier) side of the Olympic Peninsula, Evergreen Coho Park is in an area with gorgeous summer weather, small farms, fruit stands galore, tons of art and music.

There is no HellMart within 20 miles but it’s ten minutes from the adorable, throwback seaport community of Port Townsend. If for some reason you need a city fix, it’s just a ferry ride away from Seattle.

Everything is close, but not too close

We spent a week boondocking in the $7.50 a night cheap seats. What a joy to learn the park is within running distance of the spectacular Olympic Discovery Trail. A few morning training runs, one visit to the Food Co-Op and Port Townsend and within a day, I was smitten with the area. I’m pretty sure Jim was too!

Chimacum Escapees Co-Op Park Washington

Boondocking sites aren’t anything to write home about, but what do you want for the price?

The Port Townsend region is laid back, artsy and feels like our old stomping grounds in Northern California. But it’s also without the crime, panhandling or economically downtrodden–at least what we saw. I’m not quite sure how it escaped the problems of nearby Seattle, but we just didn’t come across any of those familiar issues.

It’s got the best of what we loved about our old hometown

Olympic Discovery Trail near Chimacum SKPs Co-Op Park

The Olympic Discovery Trail is one of the best running paths we’ve been on.

The Evergreen park itself is meticulously maintained, but not uppity. It’s pet-friendly, with all breeds of dogs romping around. The laid back, accepting attitude of residents is real and the neighborhood is eco-groovy with lots of front-yard gardens, rooftop solar panels and that SKPs family vibe that the club has built its reputation on. 

And the park residents are so nice!

This park tour video led by our Escapees friend and writing colleague Sandra Haven isn’t just fluff, it’s the real deal:

And everyone we met is, or once was, travelers like us.

Sure, we were still among the youngest park visitors (for now!). And Evergreen members were still so welcoming! I attended a huge birthday party in the clubhouse for a park resident who had just turned 90 (and didn’t look or act anywhere near her age!), and was made to feel like an old acquaintance.

Chimacum Escapees Co-Op Park party

Travel is the fountain of youth.

Later, I had conversations with neighbors in the clubhouse. Whatever our ages, we were all part of the same tribe of wandering weirdos who feel a stronger kinship with the traveling life than most.

Chimacum Escapees Co-Op Park party

Nobody is a stranger at Escapees RV club parks.

We’ll be back!

There’s a lot to love about being an Escapees member. Visiting Escapees club parks and co-ops are among one of the best reasons to join. Washington state feels like a long way from our most familiar places like Colorado and Southern California, but we’ll definitely return to this lovely park someday in the future.

 

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6 Responses to “Chimacum Escapees Co-Op Park, a Sunny Surprise in Washington”

  1. Thanks for the great report on this place, I wondered about the sun factor. Sounds like a great summer spot!

  2. Sam and I love the Olympic Peninsula and have spent quite a bit of time there but did not spend any time in Port Townsend. The Escapees Park looks really nice. What a well done video! We’ll have to keep all this in mind when we head up that way again.

  3. Thanks for sharing, we haven’t been to Evergreen, but have always heard great things about it. Did you put your name on the waiting list?

    When we went to our first Co-op park 20 some odd years ago, an old time skp told us to put our name on any Co-op park we liked. He said you don’t have to buy and you can always change your mind. But at some places the list is long. Well we didn’t do it right away, but eventually put our name in the Benson,AZ park. By then we had been to only visited about 4 or 5 SKP Co-op parks. I think his advice was right on, albeit, at the time we couldn’t see tying up our much needed funds for multiple deposits. But looking back with 20-20 hindsight, I think we should have dropped a few more deposits, the co-ops are a good deal and get better every year. Yes, you tie up deposit money and then possibly purchase money, but you can always get your money back, albeit without appreciation or interest, but then also without any loss. We are now #54 on the Benson list and the last new lease holders were #121 and #118, so we could get a lot now at anytime. And we just might if we ever get sprung from Houston.

    • Larry that is great advice they gave to you! The waiting list here is over 200-people long, from a low of 40 just a few years ago. Word’s getting out. And the idea to have multiple deposits is smart. There’s a couple here who has memberships in 4 co-ops, one for each season. I kinda like that idea!

      As for Benson, that’s very much on our radar. I have heard great things about it, and the people especially. I hope you get in there soon (and out of Houston!).

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