Thursday, December 28, 2017

The Great National Park Tour - Part 1

September 2017

As I mentioned in the last post, while in the midst of our 3-year house sitting adventure, one of life's unexpected curveballs was thrown our way. Yes, the time had come for us to take a break from house sitting and help take care of my mom. BUT, before we moved into my boyhood bedroom still decorated with teen posters, we had to finish up our last house sit in North Vancouver, BC and drive back to MN. The way we saw it we could either blast our way across the states and get home in four days, or take our time and hit up some national parks along the route. And since we had family that could help take care of mom, we chose option 2.

Our rough plan was simple... drive from Vancouver to Duluth and visit as many national parks as possible along the way. The only rule we had was that there was to be no rules. Well one... we wanted to keep the trip under four weeks, but other than that we would simply go where the wind blew us and spend as much time at each place as we wanted. There would be no "schedule," no reserved hotels and no worries. Just hit the road and enjoy the ride.

Wait... you said no hotel reservations. Where did you sleep? Good question, fictitious reader! Because we carry a full set of camping gear, our goal was to stay at as many campgrounds as possible... which, by the way, we did about 95% of the trip.

And so we began our 23-day journey across the United States, experiencing some of the most beautiful landscape on the planet. We had an amazing time and were fortunate to be able to capture a few pictures of it along the way. Ok, maybe more like thousands. But since I can't put thousands of pictures on this blog I decided instead to pick a few dozen of my favorites and post them over 5 or 6 posts. Enjoy!

(click on any picture to enlarge)

Day 1 - Vancouver, BC. We've been here several times before and hiked many of the trails in the area, but we've never seen it by water... until now.

Day 2 - Tofino, BC. Whenever we ask someone from Vancouver where we should visit, we ALWAYS hear that should NOT miss Tofino. And they are right. It's a truly beautiful place.

Day 3 - Victoria, BC. What's a trip through British Columbia without stopping at the capital?

Day 4 - Port Angeles, WA. Just because we were traveling doesn't mean we didn't have to work. Here's an example of one of the glamorous ways we get it done. At our campsite picnic shelter along the way.

Day 5 - Portland, OR. One of the benefits of house sitting is that you make friends along the way. We met two of our very best friends in Portland while house sitting for them and taking care of their beautiful great dane Duke a few years ago.

Sadly, Duke passed away last year, but we were honored to share the special moment with Nancy and Marty on the day they sprinkled his ashes on their property.

Rest in peace you big lovable boy
Day 6 - Crater Lake, OR. The first of the national parks we stopped at. Most of the area around this park was on fire, but we were very lucky that the wind gave us a break one of the days we were there. In the evening when the wind shifted back toward the park you couldn't even see the lake because of the smoke.