Our Travel Blog

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Driving Miss Donna - what does this mean? Whenever I want to go somewhere, if Don is home he will usually drive. He always says he is driving miss Donna! This blog is for our travels, usually with our truck and fifth wheel trailer, but sometimes in our Journey. Don retired October 2011 so hopefully the travelling part will increase! When we are not vacationing check in for updates about our life at home and our wonderful family:)

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

And the end of another GREAT trip…

Our trek home after the peaceful stop on the Columbia River has been uneventful.  We managed two nights at the ultimate campground – Farragut State Park by Coeur d'alene, Idaho.  As you know this is where we like to make our last or first stop if possible.  It’s a very tranquil place, and allows us to take the time needed before entering “life” again.
On this stop we seemed to shop more than usual, which is typically a great indication that we are ready to go home!  Don was as always very accommodating in Driving Miss Donna.
We ended our trip with a overnighter at the Phillips RV park – also known as our friend Ivan’s yard.  His Canadian home is a beautiful property on the James River.  Always great to share a beer or two with!
We are not sure what is waiting for us when we return, although it appears Don may be going back to work sooner and harder than we expected.  All those summer contracts are gearing up.
Enjoy October – as usual my blogging will slow down through the winter.  Although we will still be enjoying life to the max.
Thanks for coming on this trip with us.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Driving Along the Columbia River…

I try to write every week, but although you don’t realize, by that time I forget so much.  I use Live Writer for just that purpose, so I can write as we go and post when we get wifi, but honestly that seldom happens.  So we are sitting here enjoying happy hour and I thought I would tell you about today.  We saw such beautiful countryside.

After dropping Lindsay and Connor off this morning, we hooked the fifth wheel up and decided to slowly make our way to the Coeur d'Alene area.  It was a quiet trip without Connor singing and talking to his toys :(

Rather than driving the Interstate 5 on the Oregon side, along the Columbia River, we decided to drive Highway 14 on the Washington side.  A great choice!  The winding highway with a much slower speed limit allowed both passenger and driver to enjoy.  And there is suspicion in the air as we even had a tail wind instead of the customary head wind!  Oh for a Starbucks and the day would have been complete.

Anyhow – plans are made to be changed as anyone who is semi-retired as us are aware.  I was looking at the State Park guide and noted a small campground at least 3 hours form our “destination”.  We pulled in, and as luck would have it, 1 of 16 sites (fully serviced) was available.  You know how I Iove power hook ups.  After setting up we also discovered that not only do our phones work, but the AT&T wifi data stick is performing at optimal.  First time this trip…

So a quick snooze for Don, Facebook fix for me, and we were off to explore.  There are several windsurfers out today, as well as kite surfing, and fishing.  We drove one of our “scenic routes” which is you are a regular reader you know equates to narrow winding roads.  But we saw some quaint towns, a rather large old steam engine on display, and miles of farmland and homes.

Now the chicken is in the oven, and everything smells yummy.  Ready for a quiet evening and feeling a little sad that Lindsay and Connor have returned home.

Talk soon…

Friday, September 21, 2012

Our Week on the Coast

We have had a fantastic week along the Oregon coast!  On Friday we picked Lindsay and Connor up at Portland airport and headed back to our site at Fort Stevens State Park, just outside of Astoria.  Astoria is one of the oldest ports along the Columbia River, situated on the mouth of the river.  It is actually the first settled US town on the Pacific Coast.

Our week was spent reacquainting ourselves with our favourite spots, while showing them off to Lindsay. 

This included a drive up the Long Beach Peninsula to Oysterville on Willapa Bay.  Oysterville boasts a few shops, the most popular being the Oysterville Sea Farms and the chance to buy fresh oysters for dinner!

No trip is complete without a stop at Mo’s Seafood Restaurants, and this week included 2 stops.  Poor us hey?  Since you can’t begin to taste everything in one visit, we needed to go twice to make sure Lindsay enjoyed a little bit f a lot.  Our fist visit was in Cannon Beach, which is in itself a unique visit.  Cannon Beach is a pretty “touristy” place, with a lot of restaurants and high priced shops, but a great walk none the less.  And nearby Seaside has an outlet mall, although a pretty bleak one.  We did find some treasures though, and a last top at Mo’s finished off a great day.

We stayed at a few state parks this round, Fort Stevens, Beverly Beach and Jessie Honeyman, but Fort Stevens is the best.  Easy beach access, and a coffee shop within walking distance!  We had forgotten why we aren’t totally thrilled with Jessie Honeyman, but as part of the National Dunes Area, there is no beach access, and we couldn’t find any either.

But we did fit in a lot of road trips, another visit to Mo’s in Florence, and another outlet visit in Lincoln City.  We visited lighthouses, beaches, checked out other state parks, and generally just enjoyed being together and visiting.

Aside from all of that, we had such a great visit with Lindsay and Connor.  It was so special to see Connor every day, and he was a fabulous guest.  He also happened to pop a few teeth while with us, and still he was 100% an angel!  He learned some new sounds, and found listening to Jimmy Buffet at a high volume was quite relaxing while travelling.

Our last day together we braved traffic and once again – hold on for this – we visited a mall!  Hard to believe hey?  Then came home, ordered pizza, went to the hot tubs and are enjoying a quiet evening.

Stay tuned as I fill in our last few days by the end of next week!

 

Friday, September 14, 2012

I got my toes in the water, ass in the sand, not a worry in the world, a cold beer in my hand…

Longest blog title ever?  Maybe, but what a great week.  As I said we planned on spending it in Washington.  It was worth every minute.  We stayed longer, found new favourite spots and revisited some old ones.
To get to Washington this way you cross the Strait on a ferry from Whidbey Island to Port Townsend.  Port Townsend itself is a historic but active port, and very interesting to meander their streets.  Our first stop was Sequim State Park.  Sequim is located off the Strait of Juan de Fuca, on Sequim Bay.  It is a small state park, with close access to both Port Townsend and Port Angeles.  This allowed easy access to travelling the smaller less busy roads around the area, and just sightseeing and enjoying the views.  The 2 nights there were a great start to relaxing.
Next stop was South Beach Campground.  This is a small “dry” campground within the Olympic National Forest, and by far our favourite site in our travels 100%.  You can choose a sight right on the ocean, as we did, and within seconds are walking miles of beach.  But what is a great rest stop and campground if it doesn’t also give you access to tonnes of great highways to explore?  We made a round trip to Hoquiam and visited an AT&T store, searching for one that could put more data on our wireless data stick.  NO luck that day, but as always we gained another lesson in Wi-Fi patience in America.  ALMOST got it online, but alas no Canadian addresses recognized.  ARGH
This is such an amazing, peaceful place, we could stay here for weeks.  The setback is it closes mid-September, and doesn’t meet our schedule too well.  We will have to adjust future August/September travel dates!
Anyhow – 2 nights in paradise and we moved on.  This next step of our trip is going to be so exciting – as I write this we are sitting in the Portland airport waiting for Lindsay and Connor to arrive.  They are getting in as much travel as possible before Lindsay’s maternity leave is up.  We are spending the next week showing off our beloved Oregon coast, and can’t wait to show it to everyone in our family some day.  Do you think Don and I could come here with all the grandchildren some year?
So the next story will be “Connor Does Oregon”!
Here are a few of our favorite shots...
 

Sunday, September 9, 2012

September Week One

Well September started off quietly.  We decided to use the long weekend to relax and get ready for our jaunt down the west coast.  Lindsay and Jeremy were at the house on Thursday/Friday, on their way to Wabamun for the long weekend.  Connor is a growing too fast for my liking!

We are headed to Washington and Oregon on Tuesday, and Lindsay and Connor are joining us for a week!  We can’t wait to show Lindsay our favourite stops along the Oregon coast, and spend time with her and Connor.

Saturday was a day of organizing the house, finally getting everything put back together from the flooring and painting. It is not over yet, as when we get home I will be painting the cupboards and trim/doors.  Then that will be it this year.  I would like Don to put a laminate floor down in my office, and then I will paint it, but that depends on his work this fall.

Sunday Tracy and Cal and the kids dropped by for a visit and to see the changes.  Although we see them a lot, I love having the kids at our house.  They always are excited to play with our toys, and it’s just nice to have them.  Although of course Blake and Em are growing and maturing, it’s Reese right now who continues to amaze me.  She is in that stage where she learns something new every time, and her talking and comprehension of life is so engaging.  Then we were off to dinner with Paul and Mary.  We go out once a week, and had not met our quota this week, and wanted to visit before we left on our trip.

Monday we made a quick morning trip to Tracy’s to see everyone, including the Stecyks.  Then off to the lake to secure everything for the fall, or at least until our October return.

Tuesday was Blake and Em’s first school day, so we headed to Boston Pizza for a celebration lunch, then home to hook up the trailer and finally we are on the road!

We spent Tuesday night at Pochahontas Campground in Jasper, so we could make a visit to the Miette Hot Springs.  Our plan was to stroll Jasper on our way through, but it was raining buckets and a quick check on the weather indicate dour next destination, Clearwater, BC, was dry and sunny.  So off to Wells Grey Provincial Park and a favourite spot along the river.  We spent 2 peaceful days there, visiting Bailey’s Chute and watching the salmon make one last attempt at going up the river.  We also spent some time doing a few hiking trails, something we have not done for years.  It was great.

Next stop this week was Kamloops.  We have some great friends, Keith and Marcia Will, who live on a farm east of Kamloops outside Falkland.  Don and Keith went to school together, and Keith grew up on a farm adjacent to the one I lived on for a few years.  Although we don’t stay in touch in the in-between times, every visit is just like we saw each other yesterday.  The conversation and food is always top notch!  After some challenging life changing events in their life, Keith made some choices in life.  One of them is to become an Anglican minister.  He has one more year of schooling and will be ordained.

So that leads to today and the end of this week.  We are headed to Washington today.  Not sure where exactly, but you will find out next week when I update this blog!  Have a great week everyone!