We had a great post Vegas decompression stint in Tahoe (I know I know our life is SOOO stressful) which was great but it came time to move on. And move on we did.
It was either meet up with some really good friends of ours who’d be family camping back down South towards Mono/Yosemite or continue our Grand Adventure northbound. Since we still had over a month before wanting to be back in San Diego we decided against the southbound route and figured we’d continue or journey upstate.
We pointed Dolly North and set our sights for Lassen Volcanic National Park. I’d been there once as a kid but not since and it seemed like as good as place as any to check out next. We camped out there for a few days and it didn’t dissapoint. We made a stop at the base of the hike to Lassen Peak but decided to forgo that trudge (it was closed to the top anyway) but Bree did manage to lug her ever expanding belly down the trail to check out Bumpass Hell – a myriad of fumeroles and boiling mud pits – our reward for our mile or so jaunt into the wilderness. Lassen was beautiful and definitely worth a trip if you’ve never been.
Heading out from there we found out my mom had some bummer news with work so rather than offer support and consoling from the road over the phone we figured why not do it in person. Ahhhh there are some definite perks to this nomadic existence of ours to be sure – and just like that Seattle bound we were.
Two days of driving later we pulled into good ol’ Seattle, WA for what turned out to be an almost 2 week stay. We always enjoy our time in the Pacific Northwest (it’s truly amazing how many trees are in OR and WA – so pretty there) and even though it wasn’t under ideal circumstances we had a great visit and glad we could provide some family support when it was needed most.
After Seattle we decided it was time to start our meander South towards San Diego so next stop was Eugene, OR. We’d had such a great time with my cousin Sally last time through we were really looking forward to seeing her again (ok ok ok AND her shower). Not sure exactly how long we stayed in Eugene but we sure had a great time. Sally is by far the most active person that we know or have possibly ever met so there was always something to join in on. Bree and Sally went swimming a few times and I joined in on a mt. bike ride one day (and by ride I mean peddeling up switchbacks for a record short amount of time before getting deliriously winded, starting to hallucinate dancing wood nymphs, the 7 dwarves, then sitting on a tree stump to recover and trying to look cool while a mom and her kids jogged on by like they were on a Sunday stroll in the park – damn you fit Eugeneians – thanks Sally).
Deciding to really put Sally in her place and let her know where she stood on the athlete-in-the-family heirarchy I challenged her to a heads up battle at her own collegiate sport. That’s right – the discus. Ok granted I’d never thrown a discus in my life but come-on, really, how hard could it be? Thanks to my lovely wife Bree who would never miss a chance to document some husband humiliation, she was nice enough to video document and edit (her first time editing) the entire event (err debacle) which I will post below (warning: video is 7min long so you may want to skip it). Thanks hun.
In addition to the swimming, biking, and discus(ing) we spent a day at the Wilammete River hanging out, took a day trip to Brice Creek (really awesome), went to a Brews and Blues festival, hit up a big local annual street fair thingy, met up with our great friend Cody who was actually driving through headed to Seattle, had a bunch of great meals, got some TV time including getting to watch a bunch of the Olympics each night we were there. I mean OK EUGENE. Rock Out!
Oh and not to be left out I almost forgot, we visited both the Washington and Oregon state capitols on the drive down from Seattle. Now I don’t actually love love love the state capitol tours but Bree definitely does and it’s become sort of a thing we do since we have found ourselves in so many of them over our travels. I will admit it’s a bit cool getting some state history knowledge dropped on us that I’d otherwise never ever know (it doesn’t interest me enough to ever look it up so it’s forced learning – you know, the good kind).
We wanted to spend some time with friends in the SF Bay area so we said our goodbyes to Sally and hit the road again. I originally figured we’d just take the 5 down as we’d done PCH last time through the area but then saw we could take a new route via the 101 this time (always opting for non-interstates when possible). Great! I also realized that taking this new unplanned route would put us crossing paths with an old friend from HS who was on a month road trip with her family heading from Seattle to San Diego also.
We ended up hooking up and doing a few days of Redwoods camping with Nichole and her husband Peter and 2 munchkins. A good time was had by all and man-o-man those redwood trees never cease to amaze me.
Another day of driving found us cruising over the fog covered Golden Gate Bridge and into the bustling city that is San Francisco. We rolled over to our friends Michael and Tina’s new neighborhood in the Twin Peaks area of the city and are posted up here as I type this. We volunteered at a fundraiser with some other friends Vlad and Rachel last night at this cool first time event for up and coming chefs down near the Mission http://www.sfstreetfoodfest.com/night_market.php.
So basically we are having a wonderful adventure on our time coming down the coast and are excited for the rest of our time here in San Fran and the rest of our Southward trek down to SD.