Friday, June 19, 2015

Another Sentimental Journey...

Tomorrow we begin a journey.
A journey that is to replace one we had planned and couldn't go on.
A journey so unexpected, yet so needed.
A journey we have had 3 weeks to put together.
A journey that will take us on some paths of the parents, along with some they had wanted to take and never got to. Some are roads we have been wanting to take and now was the time.

This time to we are heading to...

We've been here before, way before blogging and digital life!
Our first time here was way back in 1980 when our daughter was just 15 months old. We went up with my in laws in their motorhome. It was an incredible journey! Dad took us up the 1, a windy, but beautiful trip up the pacific coast from the Napa Valley (home for 38 yrs. prior to moving to AZ), through the Redwood's, beaches, dunes with dune rides, and so many unforgettable views. I would learn to drive the motorhome during that 2 week trip. I wasn't the obsessed camera bug I am now, but I was learning. Mom captured most of our memories that trip, setting an example that stayed with me to this day.
Then in 2002, after Mom's passing we took Dad up for his brothers 75th Birthday. Dad was weak and sick but determined to spend this time with his brother and we did all we could to make it happen for him. Upon our return, he began his journey to be with Mom.
It was like it was the way it was suppose to be...
Then in 2007, we took to the skies once again to celebrate that awesome mans 80th Birthday and had the ability to bring with us 2 "Grand's" that got to meet their first and only 3rd cousin.
Hope I counted the generations right, sometimes the senior moments take over.
Isn't life just so precious!

Each trip had memories of it's own to last a lifetime.

This trip would be a bit different.

We lost Uncle Bill on June 4th. We got the news just after blowing out birthday candles for our twins 34th Birthday. With family already gathered, it was easy to talk of the many memories he left us.

Life has many roads and paths and we are growing, I mean going on another sentimental journey.

We're leaving a week in advance so to spend Father's Day with our boys in Mesa, AZ.
Water parks and water slides have been a part of our life for well over 30 years.
Having a cousin who opened the first one in Vacaville, just over the hill from the Napa Valley began our love for them. It wasn't long before my brother opened one in Clovis, CA allowing us to spend many summers there. We also visited many other parks within a 2 or 3 hour trip just to check out as many as possible. Now we have introduced the "Grand's" to the world of water sliding.

2 days of fun before we headed on to Glen Canyon, then Bryce Canyon. My plan was to write as we went but on our 1st night at Ruby's in Bryce City, getting on the internet was not happening. I decided then my notebook and camera would tell the story until I got home.

From a glorious sunset in Bryce the night before... a magnificent sunrise the next morning....

...we began the drive along the Scenic Byway HWY 12.

I could easily flood this post with so many photos from just this drive.
Absolutely beautiful scenery!
If you ever get up in the area, don't miss this drive!


Instead of doubling back to the 89 we went down the 24 to the 50.

  Next stop was to be Richfield or Scipio. Unfortunately between Boulder and Torrey I began feeling a bit under the weather. Be it the altitude or the winding roads, or both, but it also involve not stopping when I needed too. I understood his concern of our distance each day but I also reminded him that we had it planned out so we wouldn't miss the ferry on Friday, that is still 4 days ahead.
When he missed the turn to the Capitol Reef, I became silent and decided I just wanted to get to our next hotel, quickly and quietly. It wasn't the first time he missed a sign that was for a place we had marked to stop at. However, it would be the last time!

. Though this was to be a scenic trip, I kept reminding myself that it really wasn't always going to be a stop at every sight to see trip. We tried to pick and choose what to see or do when it was time to stop for lunch or gas. Dinner time was to be motel time. I'm amazed how well it worked out.
We only had that one hiccup thus far. It was decided at that time our next stop would be in Twin Falls, Idaho, a mere 3-4 hours ahead. We would arrive a day early according to a travel plan and at that moment I felt we left sights never to be seen again.

After awhile I had calmed down and we began discussing the why's and what's of it.
Fearing there just wasn't enough time for something guided his direction, but also him forgetting the plan didn't help. If the roads or driving was getting to him, a quick stop to catch a break was always possible with the plan. There was lots of wiggle room. It then brought discussions of when we might be able to go back up and spend 2 weeks in the canyons. Exploring and capturing all the great sights we missed.
We have a very full bucket list!
So, Idaho brought a BIG surprise. NO ROOMS! I wondered if we would have had the same problem the next day. I dared not mention a sound of it but be supportive and helpful (lots of prayers) as best I could. I must say he really impressed me. When the young lady wrote down incorrect information and had us going in wrong directions, he quickly regrouped and got it done. Who'd have guessed some sporting event in Boise had travelers snagging rooms left and right. We're told that it's very unusual for a Tuesday night. After about an hour and a very helpful receptionist, a room was found and the minute my head hit the pillow I was out, completely forgetting about charging my back up battery. Had no idea we had drove over a real big gorge across the Snake River the night before. The falls were close but hubby didn't see the sign and I really didn't want to ask him to turn around. Forward only on this leg trip. Saw lots of potato fields. Crossed over the Snake River a few more times and decided to stop in Baker for lunch and to our surprise we found the Oregon Trail. Had I not been stubbornly quite for the last hours, and been paying attention to the map I might have noticed.

It was the perfect place to rest, even the pioneers found it to be so too. I think I would have made a great pioneer. In a way we are, only our wagon is our RV, and can't wait to bring her on the journey. We decided after checking out the museum that when we do we will take the byway off the 84.
I wonder what new sights will be on that journey?

Back on the road and just like every other day, my camera's battery died. Only this time I didn't have a back up, grrrrr! Taking pictures with a cell phone, going 80 miles an hour just doesn't work, they don't come out as nice. Then as we hit the beginning of the Columbia River, my excitement increased. We decided to begin the room hunt immediately since cell reception was decent. I must admit having internet access at your finger tips at times can be resourceful. However when I did a search I was only getting $200 and up for a night along the Columbia River. I didn't want to spend that much but I didn't want to drive by it either. With the help of our daughter at her desk with a PC in front of her she landed us an AWESOME room in Hood River for well below half that. Sometimes smaller is better! It was an older motel but a very well kept place. A jewel in disguise. We arrived in time for a stroll around town, a really nice dinner at a local pub that included playing a Trivia Game, and a drive up toward Mt Hood to catch an extraordinary sunset.

 Mom and Dad talked of this river often over their time. Now I know why...

The next day we got up bright and early with a plan of being in Aberdeen, WA just after lunch. If I didn't now better I think we had some angels up in heaven with their hands in changing our timeline.

We had the best breakfast with a view, a local paper to read, people sharing, and before we knew it we spent 4 hours exploring. The Locks alone had us for over 2 hours. To just say I love salmon is really an understatement! I mean I REALLY, REALLY, LOVE salmon! To watch these beauty's swim and jump before my eyes, I just wanted to be an Indian, paddling along the Columbia in a canoe, with a net and swoop one up and take one home! I'm sure some of you might know this but once the salmon start their swim up river, they don't eat. So your chance of getting one to bite is almost impossible. Some might get lucky but the best way is with a net and only the Indians are allowed to use them along the river. I mean no disrespect in wanting to be one. In fact I am part Indian, as is my hubby, but just not enough for it make a difference. We could have bought one!

If only we were in the RV, I would have a freezer to make part of that a reality. Next time!

Once off the river and onto HWY 5, we really picked up speed!
That is until a lighted sign lit up with a BIG crash ahead, ALL lanes blocked!

It just so happens we were right at a point where we could hop off the interstate
and take the scenic route to Aberdeen.

I LOVED Aberdeen!

Reminded me of places like Bodega Bay or Fort Brag in California.
We had a blast visiting my childhood neighbor and best friend since 1964. Her and her sister became my family when my family didn't act like family. (Sorry family, you all know how difficult those years were and we all had to find our own way through them) I am who I am because of them, their mom, and a few other positive influential ladies.

When we're together, it's like we have never been a part.

We were on our way to dinner at the harbor for some fish and chips.
Unfortunately as much as I love salmon, shell fish is completely different thing. Up until I got sick, I ate shrimp, lobster, then it became life threatening due to allergic reaction.
She called ahead to be sure they didn't cook the fish in the same vat as the shrimp.
The owner, who is their friend, even said there is a sign at the door stating they don't.
What a wonderful meal we had.
And to think I didn't take a single photo.
The company was way to special to interrupt it with any photos.

Good food, Good friends, Good times!

In the morning she made her special sausage and gravy over biscuit's, YUMMMMM!

We had a reservation at the Anacortes Ferry for 3:45, so we were back on the road by 10. Can't say I enjoy being out on HWY 5 again. TOO many cars for me! While at the locks a great lady told us about a ferry that leaves Port Angelas that went to Orcas but anyone else we talked to knew nothing about it. So off we went the long way around. Later, on our way home, we learned the way. For now it was 4 lanes of cars going faster then the posted speed limit.

The things one see's while going 80 mph!

The drive to Anacortes went uneventful. Interesting sights. Lots of car! Nothing new!
Having reservation for the ferry means you don't need to get there 3 or 4 hours ahead of time to get on. We had time to have lunch before getting in line.
I can understand why the businesses close by suffered with this change.
We were loading within 30 minutes of staging.

The next day was a day of remembrance.




Our last day on the island was spent about catching memories and reflecting on our time together.

It's always wonderful to spend time with family. We all have so much in common.
The laughs, the food, the spirits, all make for unforgettable moments.
Come Monday, half of us head to the first ferry off the island, while the other half waited until the evening, and part of that half stayed for the 4th holiday.

 We talked about going back up for a 4th Of July celebration someday.

What's one more destination added to the bucket list!

Remember our trip over, we were told about a ferry that went this way to avoid the Seattle, Tocoma traffic, well it wasn't Port Angeles it was Port Townsend! Really, couldn't someone have said not Port Angeles but Port Townsend? It took us 5 hours to get to Anacortes from Aberdeen, a0nd it took us 3 hours to get to Port Angeles. Here is where we messed up. We turned right to follow the coast down when we should have turned left to go out to the I-5. We thought it would be a nice scenic route, and it was, just it was really LONG! Like another 4 hours before we opted out taking the Coastal 1 any further. Once back on the I-5 we picked up speed again and made it Salam before dark.

The LONG scenic route did deliver some nice views though.

Salem was just a place to rest our heads and we were back on the road bright and early.
Zipping down the I-5.

Once we got to Mt Shasta, the temperature outside had reached 111 degree!
It was hotter here then in Yuma.
So hot that some drivers drove with their pants off!

We still giggle when we see this picture of this little old man.

Though the cars gauge said 117...

The weather app on my phone said

All I now is it was really HOT with humidity.
Give me my desert dry heat any day!

With the bay area only being a few hours down the road we decide to stop in Vallejo and visit my very best friend, who is the sister of the friend we visited in Aberdeen.
One was older, this one younger, and I was like the middle child.
Either way, with one or the other, or together, we always have a really good time.
Lots of much needed girl talk.

I love her garden, it always inspires me!

After a morning of great conversation and catch up, it was time to hit the road.
With a stop at Harris Ranch to exchange an item, we would be home by bedtime.

Our Sentimental Journey on Our Journey Through LIFE is a road trip we'll always remember.

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