Planning a cross country adventure

Cross Country

I’ve been dreaming of an across Canada roadtrip for quite some time. I’d originally hoped to go last summer, meaning I’d have a year off between Alaska and my next big adventure but decided to postpone it for a year so that I could head to a trailer rally taking place in Winnipeg August 15-19, 2018 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the boler trailer. 

I have more time than the average person but not enough to make it all the way to the maritimes and do it all justice so I’ve decided to only go as far East as Ontario. In the end I also decided to avoid southern Ontario I’m worried it will be too busy and too hot for my liking and I’d rather spend some time exploring other parts of Ontario. We’ve been working on the route and today we made our first reservation at Riding Mountain National Park, we’ve also been making plans to meet some people along the way. Now we wait until March before I can start making reservations at Provincial Parks.


Driving, driving and more driving. 

Well today we back tracked a long way. I was suppose to have a big driving day today and tomorrow cutting over to the i5and up the freeway to visit family in Newburg. However based on the vast temperature difference I decided to reroute my plan. Tonight I had reservations Patrick Creek Campground in Northern California on the route that cuts east to Grants Pass, however I didn’t go. I had mom look in to cancelling  yesterday when I realized how hot the i5 route would be, but it proved difficult, the rate of the campground was $14 plus I’d paid a $10 reservation fee and now they wanted a $10 cancelation fee so I just didn’t cancel and thought I’d play it by ear.

We went for a walk on the campground beach in Fort Bragg this morning before breakfast then went back packed up, had breakfast with the added bonus of fresh blackberries picked at our site and were on the road by about 9:30 and took the 20 over to the 101, it was still winding and hilly but much better than the Hwy 1 I’d taken west the day before. As we headed east it got warmer and warmer, we hit the 101 and it was approaching 30′ then we got stuck in a road construction wait of about 40 minutes and it kept getting hotter and hotter. I took some of the water from the water jug and poured it on Rosie as I was worried about her in the stifling heat as we sat parked in the sun with no where to go but wait. At one point on the 101 it reached 38 before the temperatures started to drop as I drove north west.

We only visited one of the road side attractions I’d missed the other day and only to snap a quick photo as it was too hot to stop. When I reached Crecent City where I’d have to cut back east to my campsite reservation I had zero desire to enter the heat again so I kept going north. I figured I’d be able to camp at Humbug Mountain as it had space the other day for drive ups, however the sign said full. I knew there was a Walmart in Newport I’d seen some people camped at but that was still a long ways away. I was wide awake and enjoying the cool weather, we had a good audio book playing as I’d started 1000 splendid sons in the morning and was enjoying it, so we kept going north. When we arrived at Newport at 10pm, after about 800km and 12 hours on the road with only a few rest area stops to let Rosie out and stretch my legs and one short visit to the beach, I’m almost done the book. Of the 11 audio cds I only have one and a bit to go. It was a long day but it means a shorter drive tomorrow. Now to sleep

Odometer start of day 2068.7

Odometer end of day 2857.3

Wildlife sightings: nothing I noticed

Fibreglass Egg sightings: 4 a new scamp and a vintage fibre glass egg both just south of Eureka 5 minutes apart. Then some where further north an Escape and a Casita

As far south as we go 

Today we reached our turn around point Fort Bragg California. When I first started routing out this west coast road trip I was planning on spending the whole summer and tying it in with Route 66 but both the heat and the cost worried me. Then this summer when i took a summer teaching contract I decided I could afford a summer road trip but only had 2 weeks off. I rerouted the trip. I probably would have only gone as far as Lincoln City or Newport but I’d heard of a place called sea glass beach and really wanted to see it before it disappeared. I first saw a picture of it on social media, Pinterest I believe, it seemed surreal but after some research I learned it does exist in Fort Bragg California. Then it became quite high on my places to see list. I wanted to see it before it was gone, and worried with social media fame I might already be too late. I’d talked with a parent of a student their family had been at Christmas and she assured me it was beautiful. Today felt like I drove forever and looking at the odometer I did add a lot of km, through a lot of narrow winding roads, with hairpin turns, up and down big steep hills, towing a trailer in heat that ranged from 12 to 40 degrees, So was it worth it? I think that depends on who you are, for me a girl with a sense of adventure who has collected Beach glass for as long as I can remember it was totally worth it. Would I come again in the near future, that’s less likely. Next time I’d just loop down as far as Lincoln City. Though if I was on a road trip with a final destination further south I’d totally stop for a visit again.

So this morning after breakfast we hit the road and drove through Prairie Creek Redwoods state park where I’d hoped to camp last night but it had been full. We kept our eyes peeled for Elk but didn’t see any. We had to drop the trailer at Elk Prairie and follow the gravel road out to the coast. Rosie and I had only done a short loop at the campground in the morning so first stop was gold bluff beach where we had the whole beach to ourselves then it was on to Fern Canyon were Rosie had to stay in the car in case we encountered Elk. People coming out of the trail were complaining they hadn’t seen any. But only about 20 yards past them I noticed a whole heard sleeping in the tall grass about 100 yards west of the trail some people Only notice what’s right in front of them. Fern Canyon was so lush and green and although the trail was only .1 of a mile long and the detour to get there took about an hour it was so neat to experience it. Then we were back in the car and on the road.

I wanted to try the Cookhouse in Samoa which is an old logging camp cookhouse that still serves family style meals. It was a hearty lunch designed to feed a logger and although it was all you could eat I couldn’t even eat the first round, and skipped the vanilla pudding that was dessert. They offer soup,salad, bread, main course, dessert and tea or coffee for a very reasonable price. The homemade bread is amazing and if timing works out I might stop again tomorrow but this time just have the soup/salad/ dessert combo without the main course.

Then as I was passing through Eureka I grabbed a copy of the row by row pattern from a quilt shop though the other quilt shop I skipped today as I was worried about parking, i was told I’d probably find some if I decide to stop tomorrow. After leaving Eureka the 101 cut in land and it got progressively hotter which scares me about my plans to take the i5 home. We took the detour thought the Avenue of Giants and stopped at the gift shops and to see the Eternal Tree House however as we kept snaking through the the giant trees it kept getting hotter and hotter and I felt less like getting out and exploring and leaving Rosie in the car was no longer an option to pop in and see something for 10 min, yes when it’s upper teens no when it’s in the 30s. When the temperature reached 35 my priority became finding a place to let Rosie swim. We found a swimming hole access and were back on the road. We cut back on to the 101 which kept changing from a 4 lane freeway to a winding 2 lane road that eventually would be one lane for parts due to construction or washouts. We passed a few more tourist atttractions I’d hoped to stop at but it was getting later and hotter, at one point it reached 40 degrees Celsius, I was so glad I’d stopped to get Rosie a swim. Though I worried how I’d sleep in the trailer in that heat. I had reservations at a state campground but knew I had no electricity so the fan would be no good. We cut out on the Hwy 1 west 44 miles to Fort Bragg. It was tight hair pin turns up and down steep hills, like driving to Tofino but worse, and more than once I questioned why I tacked on this portion of the trip. Though the upside was the further west we went the cooler it got, By the time I reached the coast it was mid teens and as low as 12 degrees Celsius at one point. Then we had to drive south along the coast , I’m guessing it was breathtaking but the fog was so thick, I couldn’t see anything. We finally reached Mackerricher State Park at 7:30 pm 2 hours later than I planned so I dropped the trailer for the 2nd time today and headed out to find gas that I desperately needed and sea glass beach. I found both just up the road and headed to the beach first. I was so happy to see it really does exist though was surprised to see the main colour of glass was white, I would have guessed amber. I collected a few pieces from the dry section above the tide line, then went down to the busy section where the tide would wash over them making them all shiny. I collected a few more, and snapped some photographs they look so beautiful as the water washes them sparkly wet. We then went back and sat on a log as I collected a few more. The pieces aren’t large probably a dime was the biggest size I found and almost all white, with a bit of amber and tiny flakes of green and light blue and possibly a yellow though it might be plastic I’ll have to check it properly in better light as it was foggy and nearing sunset as I searched. Rosie couldn’t figure out why we were just sitting at the beach or constantly bending over to pick things up, when usually we always walk the beach, but she happily sat beside me enjoying the cool crips air. The fog had lifted a bit but was still pretty dense. We drove through Fort Bragg which was bigger than I expected and decided to try to take the 20 out of town to the 101 it can’t be worse than what we came in on and tomorrow I have a lot of backtracking to do if I want to have time to visit family on the way home.

Odometer start of day 1659.9

Odometer end of day 2068.7

Wildlife sightings: some turkey vultures eating roadkill

Fibreglass Egg sightings: zero

Road side attractions galore 

Today was a day of Road side attractions. After breakfast and another free hot shower curtesy of Oregon State Parks we hit the road. The first stop was the prehistoric gardens where Rosie and I got to loop through a forested trail that hid life size dinosaurs. The cost was $12 and Rosie got a dehydrated chicken treat so she loved the place. It was neat to see how big some where while others were smaller. This was Rosie’s favourite attraction.

Next we stopped at Oripher state Park Wayside which was basically a nice rest area with access to 7 miles of beach. I scraped the bottom of my foot back in Lincoln City and although I’d walked on numerous beaches since it had bothered me yesterday so I bandaged it today and thought I’d avoid beach walks for a day, but Oripher was too inviting. Although I left my sandles on sand inevitably got in to them, the vet wrap kept my cut clean. Rosie loved the freedom of being off leash again. So many beaches and so few dogs / people she’s going to have a hard time adjusting when we head home.

We were back in the car and crossed the boarder in to California we drove through redwood national and state park and on to Klamath where we stopped to see Paul Bunyan and Babe the blue ox when I found out that the Trees of Mystery was dog friendly we paid the $16 to check it out. I enjoyed the Gondella ride (Rosie was not a fan) I also enjoyed all the chainsaw carvings though my favourite was Paul Bunyan in the parking lot talking to everyone and catching them all off guard.

Our next Roadside attraction was th ‘Tour Through Tree’ in Klamath. It was th largest of the drive through trees on our route and appeared to be big enough to fit Dorny. However the signs clearly state no trailers due to the steep incline, and tight corners. I’m convinced she would have made it but I followed the rules. I paid the $5 in to the collection box and unhitched the trailer before driving the 200 yards up to the tree. We drove through and snapped some photos before heading over to Kamp Klamath. I booked a private campground tonight as I planned to do laundry and hoped to use wifi. Laundry works, however wifi is really spotty so no uploading of photos yet.

Tonight is the 100th night I’ll have slept in Dorny since I bought her back in June of 2014 so we are celebrating with a glass of bubbly while the laundry is on. I’d thought about bringing the bottle of glamping champagne my brother bought me but decided it was best I save that for an occasion where I’m not drinking the whole bottle solo, so tonight it’s just a baby bottle.

Tomorrow we head to our most southern destination on this trip Fort Bragg California to explore sea glass beach, then we turn around and head north again.

Odometer start of day 1519.6

Odometer end of day 1659.9

Wildlife sightings: just more squirrels at campgrounds and A dead raccoon on the road. Unless you count the giant blue ox and the numerous dinosaurs I encountered today.

Fibreglass Egg sightings: 3 again today. A casita near Brookings Oregon, a scamp further south and a blue vintage one in the parking lot of Home Depot in Crescent City California

A longer driving day

Today we had a longer drive ahead of us we were headed from Central Oregon south to near the bottom of the state with a few sites to see along the way. We went for our morning walk on one of the campgrounds paved walkways, we went further than planned as we ere enjoying reading the inspirational quotes written in chalk every hundred yards or so. After packing up camp we made use of the hospitality centre before hitting the road. Our first stop was suppose to be Cape Perpetua but I came across a market in Yachats so we decided to walk through that. Rosie was such a good girl I bought her some homemade treats.

KWe got back in the car and somehow forgot to stop at Cape Perpetua, I thought about turning back but knew I had a longer driving day planned so we kept on going. Our next stop was Heceta Bay light house, the little beach was packed with people so we started up the .5 mile trail to the light house. It was a nice walk though the fog was pretty thick and you couldn’t see very far along the coast. Our next stop was in Florence I wanted to try the famous Mo’s Clam Chowder. I ordered a cup to go and sat out on a bench enjoying it with Rosie. It was excellent and I highly recommend trying it if you are on the coast, there are a few locations. There was another farmers market so Rosie and I wondered through it before hitting the road.

We skipped a couple of my other planned stops as I wanted to get to Humbug Mountain with time to enjoy th campground, plus it was hot for the first time on the trip, as high as 27 at one point. I did try to pick up 3 row by row patterns at quilt shops but all were closed. We stopped at the Sourdough Cafe and they had cinnamon buns as big as my head, it reminded me of the Alaska Hwy trip but we simply got a small baguette and headed on to Cape Blanco. The wind was so strong I thought it might blow the camera right out of my hand.  We pulled in to camp just after 5pm, we set up camp enjoyed some downtime befor making dinner. We headed down the trail for a nice sunset walk along the beach.  Tomorrow we head in to California and the redwoods.

Odometer start of day 1254.2

Odometer end of day 1519.6

Wildlife sightings: a couple mor squirrels at South Beach Campground. Including one that tormented Rosie while I was at the hospitality centre.

Fibreglass Egg sightings: a scamp checking in to South Beach as we were leaving, An escape heading north into Yachats and another scamp headed north in Banndon

More shopping with some site seeing on the side 

Well today was my other Oregon shopping day. We woke up early and since our ‘campground’ wasn’t really the place to go for a dog walk I decided to head down to Lincoln City Beach for our morning walk. Even at 7:30 am there was a few people and a few dogs, we managed to get far enough away from them so that Rosie Roo could enjoy some off leash fun.  Then we decided to head to ‘Pig n’ a Pancake’ for breakfast, I’d been seeing them all down the Oregon Coast and decided it was time to test them out. They are a coast breakfast /lunch diner. It was hoping busy but super quick and the crepes I had were good plus th y had free wifi. Then it was over to the Lincoln City Outlet stores for Some tax free shopping. It mostly window shopping  while Rosie chilled in the parkcade but I did get a good deal on a USB Protective Columbia shirt. Then it was back to the Casino to pick up the trailer.

We headed south to Newport but stopped along the way to watch the grey whales feeding in Boiler Bay, they were closer to the shore than you can usually get on a whale watching tour. Then we headed on to Devil’s Punch Bowl, the tides weren’t right to see it churning but it it was still neat to look at.

Once we arrived in Newport I popped in to the quilt shop to pick up the row by row pattern, it’s a little more complicated than I’m use to so I didn’t get the kit just the free pattern. I did get their simple 9th row kit as all the funds went to the local animal shelter.  We headed to South Beach Campground to check in. Another good deal $25 plus reservation fee for electric/ water hook ups and free showers. On one side of me I have the drinking, corn hole playing neighbors, on the other side is a big church group gathering. After some downtime in the trailer we headed to the beach for a walk then it was back in to Newport to check out Fred Meyer’s befor stopping at the light house view point to watch the sunset.  It’s a big driving day tomorrow so it’s early to bed.

Odometer start of day 1162.7

Odometer end of day 1254.2

Wildlife sightings: a squirrel at south beach campground

Fibreglass Egg sightings: a scamp just south of Boiler Bay headed north and another older fibre glass egg just north of Devils Punch Bowl parked on the side of the road covered in bumper stickers.

Less scenery more shopping 

So today was more about some shops I wanted to visit and less about scenery though I did squeeze some scenery in too, it’s hard not to enjoy the scenery on the Oregon Coast. Our morning walk was just around the campground, we had breakfast and were on the way. I’m not sure what I love more Tillamook Jerky or Tillamook dairy, either way they have good tasting cows. Our first stop was the Jerky outlet where we stocked up on Jerky and  2 foot pepperoni for $1 to share with Rosie. Then it was on to Tillamook dairy, which was a gong show but I still enjoyed the free samples though the prices on dairy weren’t that great. I picked up a cheese I’d never had before and enjoyed a lovely ice cream. They either sell by the giant scooop(s) or ‘sampler’ where you get 3 small scoops for about the same price and size as a single scoop. I tried the sampler so I could test out a couple of flavours.  I really enjoyed s’mores which surprised me. 

Then we were off on our way I was planning on taking the 3 Cape loop and to check out Meares light house. I found Cape Lookout but accidentally ended up back tracking to get to Meares light house. I realized that it was because the road I’d planned on taking was closed so it rerouted you. We really enjoyed the beach at Cape Lookout and the camping looked great too, like almost all State parks I’ve seen it was full. We looped back up to Tillamook instead of taking the rest of the scenic loop.  

I didn’t have reservations in Lincoln City and planned on parking at the Casino an d heard it could fill up. We got in at about 4pm and there was a fair amount of space. Before heading to the Casino to check in I thought I’d read a bit to see if the trailer was going to stay cool enough for Rosie. In order to camp in the RV parking lot you need to be a member of winners circle and collect 40 points, $1 in slot play equaled 1 point. As I was a new member I got $5 in free slot play and it only took me $25 to earn my 40 points. So not free camping and the state parks are far preferable however since I couldn’t get reservations anywhere near Lincoln City it would have to do for the night. I then went to do some tax free shopping. I bought a bunch more fabric at Joann’s then grabbed dinner at McMinimis Light House Brew Pub, after a bit more shopping I went back to the trailer and was surprised to see the parking lot was full with a few more in the non RV parking area. We hung out in the trailer for a bit before heading to bed. 

Odometer start of day 979.7

Odometer end of day 1162.7

Wildlife sightings: a squirrel when I was leaving the campground. 

Fibreglass Egg sightings: a white scamp just north of Tillamook and a silver boler or /scamp in th Chinook Winds Casino parking lot.