Well blog.com seems to be no more, which means my previous travel notes are largely missing… Oh well – on to new chapters!
Since returning from Europe I’ve done quite a bit, occasionally uploading pictures of some things but not most. So. To rectify the lapse I thought I’d post a few quick and short pieces about certain trips. So here it goes, starting with USA part one!
I left Canada two days late after realising I’d left my camera in a Starbucks in Squamish while doing uni work… whoops! So, after a quick overnight trip up to retrieve it, I was off. Crossing the border at the Peace Arch was…. long, although made shorter by my missing a sign and using the express lane that I hadn’t paid for. Again, whoops (but really, excellent…) I had previously sat through several hours in the American Consulate in Vancouver to get my Visa approved so thought it would be easy, but I was questioned as to how long I would be in the US and after saying ‘4 months’ I was told it wasn’t possible. Almost in tears and knowing I had to collect mum in San Fran in two weeks the border guard in the next booth leant over to his colleague and said ‘she’s got a Visa….’ Embarrassed, the first guy tried to come across as authoritative which was again ruined by his colleague who leant over and said ‘hard to seem stern now isn’t it…’ and laughed. By far my second favourite border guard ever. So – a quick summary of the next two weeks until I collected mum in San Fran!
Washington – beware vampires!
- A couple of nights in Larrabee SP relaxing and sorting out the car set up, which was a bit like playing Tetris but much, much more annoying… Found a spot by the beach, took note of the raccoon message and set about exploring some of the trails nearby.
- Three days in Deception Pass because it was beautiful and by the beach and woke up each morning to squirrels playing in the trees around me.
- Took the ferry to Port Townsend and spent some time in Vampire and Wolf country in Olympic National Park. Turns out this is home to the town of Forks and La Push, the setting for Twilight. I didn’t see any Vampires but camped in Wolf Country and spent time on the beaches around La Push. Hiking in Olympic National Park is beautiful – just stunning country and well worth a visit that lasts twice as long as it’s meant to… It boasts coastline and beaches, alpine areas and rainforest, so it’s amazingly easy to stay for weeks just to try and see everything. The campsites are beautiful and often by rivers with waterfalls short hikes away.
Oregon – what a coastline!
- After spending far too much time with the wolves I was on quite a tight deadline to get to San Fran so didn’t make too many stops but still managed to squeeze in some hiking and a few wines by the beach in different spots along the coast.
- Had an interesting night in one campground where I ended up next to a family of Canadians who were determined to befriend me. Was nice to have the company, particularly when a Private Investigator turned up in the campground… Not sure how sneaky he was – PRIVATE INVESTIGATOR was plastered over everything: his shirt, his jacket and his van, which he re-parked seven times. It was when he took his jacket off and we saw his gun that we all suddenly realised how very much we were in America now and we stopped laughing quite so openly…
- Spent a beautiful night at Cape Meares Lighthouse where the sunset was spectacular!
California – getting back to nature
- Taking the coast road, stopping regularly to take in the beautiful beaches, I made a beeline for Redwood National Park to see the giant trees. Spec-tac-u-lar. If you get a chance to see them they’re just breathtaking – the tallest trees on earth! Redwood NP isn’t the only place, so never fear if you don’t want to head that far north of San Fran, but more of that later.
- Stopped in at a supermarket to pick up supplies only to find canned cheese is a thing…
- Eureka, California. I’ve always wanted to go, although I don’t know why… So. now I can say I’ve been. What. A. Hole. So. Ticked off the list, at least.
- Finally stopped for my last night solo camping for a while at Humbug State Park. It was pouring so I put up my curtains and settled in to watch a film before getting an early start the next day to get as close to San Fran as possible and waited for the earthquake and subsequent tsunami. Didn’t happen.
From there I found a little motel just north of San Fran as I was to pick mum up the next day for our road trip adventure. After a massive day of driving due to getting ‘stuck’ in Olympic NP I was exhausted and cooked pasta in my room on my gas stove and watched a movie before falling asleep in a real bed for the first time in weeks!