We left the Portland Area and headed north into Washington. We stayed first in Gig Harbor about an hour outside of Seattle. We avoided the major city in favor of quieter adventures. We drove around the area and found the most amazing Ymca camp. I would have loved to spend a few weeks of my youth there. After a few days we moved on to Port Angeles and the Strait of Juan de Fuca. The strait is the water border between the US and Victoria, BC, Canada.
We are making our way down the coast. Staying a few nights in Lincoln City near Devil’s Lake, and then will head down to North Bend just north of Coo’s Bay to spend 5 nights. There are Dunes there to play on and explore the area over the Thanksgiving Holiday. We are thankful for your support of our adventures and wish everyone the warmth of family and friends, as well as a safe and grateful holiday!
We’ve been out of decent internet service for a bit. According to Verizon Unlimited, after you use 25 GB it slows to a snails pace and is no fun to use whatsoever. Lots of big volcanic rocks out west, most of them pretty stunning. I will show you some of the more famous and a few not so famous but still good views nonetheless.
We drove into Portland today. I didn’t take any photos. I realized that I am definitely not a true city girl. Some beautiful old churches along side new style architecture, the hustle and bustle of traffic with packed parking lots. There are more homeless tent sites here than I expected. We saw many in Las Vegas as well, but these looked a little more permanent along the side of the highway leading into the city as well as on some of the city streets. I can’t put the words together to describe how seeing them made me feel, other than sad. I understand we all make choices, and some poor choices lead us to places we never imagined for ourselves. I’m sure some would choose differently if they felt they had a choice and some aren’t even aware what choices exist. I don’t know what the answers are, or the how or whys some have ended up where they are. Another reminder to count your blessings and be kind to one another.
We stayed in Mammoth lakes, CA and had the chance to visit friends there. It was a 2 hour ride into Yosemite from there but a lovely ride across Tioga Pass and into the park. The roads have been very kind to us and the journey itself is so beautiful, there just aren’t enough superlatives to describe it all. I found Yosemite less striking than Bryce Canyon or Arches National Park; but still I am extremely grateful the land has been set aside for all to see. We didn’t see any bears, but there are signs everywhere reminding you that you are in active bear country and need to be smart with your food, and any ‘pretty’ smelling items. I was borderline paranoid, which Jeff enjoyed thoroughly.
We had to head south, we wanted to head into California and into Death Valley, but Mother Nature had other plans, Santa Anna Winds running 30-40 mph with gusts as high as 70 mph. Winds of that speed don’t mix well with our RV. We were also concerned about winds carrying sparks into other areas we had no idea where and wanted no part in trying to outrun disaster.
We headed to Lake Havasu City, AZ spent a night there and then headed into California via Newberry Springs, CA. near Barstow. I saw more trains moving than I had in my entire life. Every 30 minutes or so, one would go west and then another east. Barstow is a huge train hub apparently, who knew? There is also a huge USMC logistics base there. They must dispatch most of their equipment from that location, I sure saw enough to make anyone say oooorah! From there we headed up 395 to Lone Pine, CA , a gorgeous place with plenty to see. The following pictures are from 2 days of exploring the area, Whitney Portal road, Horseshoe meadow road, and movie road.
We visited with friends and family for a week in Vegas. As you well know, what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas! I have a few photos of the Hoover Dam as I took the tour, but the rest of the fun isn’t my story to tell. I will share that there were plenty of sights to see and a few I wish I could un-see. I know I am getting older because I was confused by quite a bit that I saw, thinking, why? more often than why not?
The last group of big photos I took sat in the camera for awhile. I was feeling like the blog was becoming more like a job, than simply sharing our views and excitement. Below you will see a small place and wide open spaces outside of Washington, Utah called Little Black Mountain and then Zion National Park. We may be going back to Zion after Thanksgiving. Most of the year, you can only see part of the park in a private car. 20 years ago, you could see all of it in a private car all year long. Now, the park is so popular, they take people on giant tour buses and you hop off and on at different spots.
Fair warning, I took 252 pictures in this park, I know some of them will look very similar to everyone by the time I am done posting. I was here once before about 20 years ago. The memory is a funny thing. I remember that I liked other areas better, but the first time I was here, I was also in charge of a 6 year old. I may have more appreciation this time around as well as more of a singular focus.
Let me start by saying our pictures and travel of Salt Lake City are very limited. There is quite a bit to see here and wish we were staying another, we got ahead of ourselves and booked another campsite near Zion National park for tomorrow night.
Again, Park City is a quaint ski town with coffee shops, eateries, and a very good distillery. Worth the time to see for yourself, about 35 minutes outside of Salt Lake City.
We went a little off the beaten path today and saw some things. There is a geyser that isn’t predictable, one of the owners of the campground we are in, says he has seen it go off 3 times. Today it made a little noise, but was still interesting to me to see.
That’s all for today, we will be heading up toward Salt Lake City in the morning so we need to straighten up the RV for another drive. Looking forward to what’s next!
I have taken about 99 pictures a day, more than I have in the last few years combined I bet. I love it, I see something I like and I take a shot. Some turn out, some don’t but I think it gives you an idea of this area of our country.