Update Number 3

Update Number 3

August 9, 2016 Travel 4

I had grand ideas of writing extraordinary stories of our journey.  I imagined having hours spent perfecting a fascinating travelogue…I don’t know where I thought those hours would come from and instead I’m covering a lot of ground really fast…but for those who are really interested…here is part 3 of our journey.

We’v passed 10,000 miles and seen some amazing sights having been to some of the most beautiful places in the world, yet the thing that has stuck with us the most – the thing that has impacted us and moved us and we where we have had the most fun…has been when we have had opportunity to stay with people.  When old friends have become new and new friends become old.

After leaving Jasper and attacking a 15 hour day we headed for some old friends.  With half our radiator working we headed up and down over miles and miles of ridiculous mountain passes.  Five to ten miles of uphill followed by five to ten miles of down hill…it was a slow couple of hours.

We finally arrived in West Kelowna and were blessed both by friendship and with a new radiator while there (we weren’t sure we would ever get out of there because of the 10 miles up hill we were going to have to tackle).

Chiliwack (just outside of Vancouver) was our next stop – to make some new friends (friends of my parents who we had not yet met).  I will not bore you with the details except to say that we made some very good friends who we look forward to catching up with in the future.

After enjoying the comforts of staying in a warm bed with a hot shower and flushing toilet, we were then headed off into camping territory once again.  Little did we know that EVERYONE in the world was camping on the west coast of the United States…that may sound like an exaggeration, but it very nearly isn’t.  It was as if all those people who were in Yellowstone while we were there hurried to the west coast to take all the camping spots.

The Oregon Coast

We visited a town called Port Townsend which was unfortunately a very lovely place.  I say unfortunately because we very nearly didn’t find a place to camp.  But thanks to the fairgrounds we had a place to sleep and then a nice coffee in town.

We headed off down the coast of Washington not able to stop in any parks or parking lots on the ocean because we would have to pay…sigh…I won’t say any more, except to say that we are not used to having to pay for a pass in order to enjoy nature.

Being unprepared for the fact that everyone else booked ahead for their campgrounds and we had not…we had to take what we could get and ended up paying big money for a dry campground on the highway.  We had no idea how good we had it headed through the middle of the US.  BUT, it made us appreciate the spot we got on the marina in Oregon.  The sign said ‘best keep secret of the Oregon coast’ and they were right.  We were stunned at the fact that there was plenty of room and very appreciative of the low cost.

We headed inland then, up into the forest and found a blessedly free campsite near a river.  It was a bit damp but still nice and we took the opportunity to rest for 2 nights before continuing.

The Redwoods were next.  We loved it.  Could spend a week just sitting and looking (but we didn’t).  Very different environment from the mountains, but no less amazing.

Redwood National Park

We made a rest stop in Redding, CA and paid the little extra to stay at an RV park with showers, toilets, laundry and a pool for 3 days.  For those who are interested – we did go to Bethel.  I won’t get into too many details, but if you’d like them please ask.  I will say that we really enjoyed it.  I would have loved to stay longer if we could have.

Lake Tahoe

Next we headed toward Lake Tahoe, which was an amazing lake, but we couldn’t get close to it without paying…sigh, we are cheapskates, so we found a spot overlooking the lake, but not enough to touch it.  We continued on toward Yosemite unsure what it was going to be like finding a camp spot.

WE FOUND ONE!  Just outside the park, thank goodness and the next day headed through the park.  More beautiful mountains and views, what a world we live in.  I feel quite lucky to have had the opportunity to see so many amazing sights.

First time seeing snow…followed by an attempted snow ball fight

The next night we spent in Fresno…a dry dusty hot place – the drought and fires don’t help that.  We couldn’t find a decent camping spot so we gave in and got a hotel for the night…I had a very good night sleep.

A traffic jam the next day meant our drive to Ventura, CA the next day had 2 hours added to it, but I suppose that’s what it’s like when you are in high population areas…not used to that.

We arrived at my cousins house, and honestly…we are tired of camping.

We now find ourselves back in NY…completely unexpected.  Because we decided not to go to Alaska we had a spare 3 weeks and didn’t know what to do with it.  We spent a lot of time praying because we knew it was going to be impossible to find camping and it ended up that we got the opportunity to fly back and spend a few more weeks with my parents before heading back over to the west coast (we will be in Phoenix for a week).

September 13th is the day we head back to Australia so a few more weeks to go!


4 Responses

  1. Carla Pappas says:

    Shawna. I’ve loved all your information. Some beautiful photos as well. Such beauty. The kids look like they are chilled and having fun. Education at its best. Continue to enjoy. Blessings.

  2. John & Sharon says:

    Hi dear friends! ‘Just read of your adventures out loud to John & Ruth as we are driving to the Ketchers for the holiday wknd:) I can’t count how many times I stopped to say to John ‘we HAVE to go there’! He finally said ‘yeah, as soon as Michael can afford a farm hand or gets a good farm wife’!! He’s been SO busy–they have made nearly 700 big round bales of hay, along with cattle work, fence work, mechanical work….
    Thx for the great travelogue…sending our love & prayers continue to follow you.

    • Shawna says:

      You guys should definitely go, you’d love it…just don’t go in the summer. Apparently it’s much quieter during the rest of the year! Hopefully we will have an opportunity to visit with you guys again in the future 🙂

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