August 26 – September 6, 2015.
We have been in the Grass Valley, CA area for over 7 weeks, so when our new home was finally ready on August 26, 2015 we hit the road. Our XPCamper is everything we had hoped it would be and so much more, but we have to get familiar with all the systems and learn how everything works. We were so anxious to be back on the road, the minute it was out of the shop we just left.
Our plan is to make it to Alaska and from there head South all the way to Argentina; a journey that should last approximately 2 years. Even though we are a bit late in the season to be able to enjoy Alaska we decided to go anyway and discover as many great places on the way as possible. Our first destination was the Redwoods on the coast of Northern California. We spent our first night on the road in our new home on the shores of the beautiful Whiskeytown Lake in the National Recreation Area of the same name. We could have spent a few days there, blue waters surrounded by mountain peaks and plenty of hiking.
We made it to the coast the next day and spent time hiking and driving in the Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park densely forested with huge ancient trees.
Oregon, The Beaver State
After the Redwoods we continued North to Oregon, we spent one night in Brookings on the coast. From there we went to Bend to meet up with one of Joe’s high school friend, Jill Cuthbertson Bone. Henderson HS Westchester PA Class of 1971. Jill, Neil and their two adorable dogs welcomed us in their beautiful home for two nights and they wined and dined us. Joe had not seen Jill in over 30 years so the first night they stayed up reminiscing until 3am. Cosmos, Wine, Sambuca… Needless to say that the next day they were kind on tired.
Bend, OR. Thank you Jill for your hospitality. You and Neil are wonderful hosts. Thanks for the lunch you packed us it lasted us two days.
From Bend, we had a beautiful drive to Portland where we took a guided sightseeing bicycle tour. We only had one day to explore the city so we opted for a tour of the famous food trucks (carts). We enjoyed it tremendously. It was exactly what we wanted to experience, to get a feel for how the locals live. Portland is known for being one of the most environmentally conscious cities in the world because of its high walkability, large community of bicyclists, public transportation and public parks. We tasted great food, craft beers, rode through beautiful neighborhoods and parks and just enough of downtown. Big bonus, our guide and group was so much fun and interesting.
Washington, The Evergreen State
From Portland, we stopped for an overnight with Joe’s cousin Betty, her husband and their two whippets in Camas, WA. We met them at their house and went out for a lovely dinner with them and their daughter, we also stopped by her shop on a beautiful tree-lined street in downtown Camas. A very nice evening!
We left the next day on September 2, 2015 and had to stop in Kent, WA because our Webasto Dual Top providing us with heater and warm water had stopped working. After calling the Webasto Technical Support they directed us to the nearest authorised service center which was Pacific Power Products in Kent. We ended up camping for two nights in their parking lot until the problem was found. After removing the unit and consulting with the Webasto engineer, it turned out to be just a fuse problem.
Our next stop was Seattle. We only had one day so we decided on a Segway guided sightseeing tour of the city. We were not disappointed, we had so much fun and it was surprisingly easy to manoeuvre around. Before the Segway tour we walked around downtown, had a great breakfast with amazing coffe in the historic district of Pioneer Square and visited the famous Pike Place Market.
From Portland we made it to Port Angeles, WA to catch the ferry to Victoria, BC. Can’t wait to be in Canada again!