Road trip retrospective 1

Hi there! I don’t know what happened to my blogging habit. Actually, I do, and that’s today’s topic. I started the series Road trip Day 1 with high hopes and expectations, and crashed and burned after Day 3, LOL! Road trips are tiring. You need to pack up each day and, you know…hit the road!

Tilikum Crossing, Portland
Tilikum Crossing, Portland

Then driving is intense. If you are the driver, you are always focused on the road, if the passenger, you are focused on the map, finding a gas station, helping the driver, eating snacks…

A very Portland food truck
A very Portland food truck

Each time we filled up at a gas station, and I smelled those stinky fumes, I wished I had an electric car. An electric car would not have worked for the road trip we just took, though. The charging station infrastructure does not yet exist for places off-the-beaten-track. Also, the thought of layering on the logistics of finding a charging station and waiting an hour for each fill-up is daunting. A road trip already involves a lot of logistics. But an electric car is on our someday list, and we are excited about the Tesla’s plans for affordable sedans and more infrastructure.

Portland has lots of these flower baskets, and I could live on this street!
Portland has lots of these flower baskets, and I could live on this street!

For example, we travel with our own food. We call this “RV Light” because we considered getting an RV and then realized that there were only two reasons we wanted an RV, to have our own food with us and to have our own bed with us. Of the two, the food is the main thing. All hotels and motels in the US seem to have good beds nowadays. Good beds are non-negotiable in the hotel/motel biz. That just leaves the food, for which we have a portable plug-in cooler, given to us by my sister. The cooler plugs into the car’s cig lighter and then into the wall at the hotel. We pack our pantry into a duffel bag (which I call “the body bag” because it’s so heavy). The combo makes for a lot of luggage at check-in and check-out, but that’s okay.

Tilikum Crossing from the sky tram
Tilikum Crossing from the sky tram

I am trying to remember the places we didn’t stop, and didn’t photograph, but which educated me. Since I don’t have photos from these spots, I’m weaving in some shots I did take, and just telling you a bit about the other places.

Portland
Portland

With travel, places go from being words on a map to having more dimensions, even if just driving through. I wanted to share a couple memories because, in a way, the places one speeds through are just as important as the places one stops on a road trip.

I always wondered why northern California had a Eureka and a Yreka, and if they were very similar. They are not!

Eureka is a town on the coast. Highway 101 goes through the town and passes between a mall with chain stores on one side and a factory on the other side. You emerge from this town and descend to the coast line in full view of the Pacific the whole way. Glorious.

We came upon Yreka after descending from the pass that divides Ashland Oregon and the border of California, on Interstate 5. Yreka is the first town after the border large enough to be on a map. I-5 takes you down a long descent through hills dotted with just a few trees and lots of yellow grass. From I-5 south, I didn’t see the downtown, but did observe lots of large farms. Should you choose to live in Yreka California, you will have an amazing view of Mount Shasta and easy access to Ashland Oregon. Also, you’ll have plenty of open space.

I have not been able to keep up with a daily blog post, due to my writing schedule, and sometimes due to travel. I’m going to try blogging on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, and try to warn you if I’m going to go dark or sporadic during a trip. Thanks for reading, and have a great week.

Upper Geyser Panorama, Yellowstone, and planning is half the fun

Oh, it was so pretty that day! I’m really appreciating these photos now that I’m glued to my keyboard.

Upper Geyser area
Upper Geyser basin, Yellowstone National Park

We just made most of the reservations for our next road trip. Planning a trip is so fun. Instead of driving 8 hours the first day to Gold Beach Oregon, the grueling segment we had planned, we’re going to drive 4 hours to Trinidad California, then 6 hours to Bandon Oregon. We found really cute places to stay. We spent a lot of time booking Portland, which is super expensive. We finally found a reasonable place and also learned a lot about Portland sights and activities. I really wanted to experience being able to walk around, go to cafes and restaurants, and soak up the atmosphere. Plus we learned they have an amazing and huge Japanese garden right in the middle of the city! I can’t wait to photograph the gardens, parks, and river.

Planning really is half the fun of a trip. Now that I’ve seen where we’ll be staying and have perused the areas and maps in the process of making reservations, I’ve already begun having the next experience.

Hope you’re having a peaceful, happy, and/or exciting (in a good way) weekend.