Thursday, July 2, 2015

Another Sentimental Journey...

On June 22nd, we began a journey.

A journey that was replacing one we had planned and couldn't go on.

A journey so unexpected, yet so needed.

A journey we 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 wanted to take and now was the time.

We are heading to...

We've been here before, way before blogging and digital life!

Our first time 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 CA1, a windy, but a beautiful trip up the Pacific coast from the Napa Valley (home for 38 yrs. before moving to AZ), through the Redwood's, beaches, dunes with dune rides, and so many unforgettable moments and 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 precisely the way it was supposed to be...

Then in 2007, we took to the skies once again to celebrate that remarkable mans 80th Birthday and brought with us 2 "Grand's," that got to meet their 3rd cousin.

Isn't life just so precious!

Each trip had memories of its 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 about the many memories he left us.

Life has many roads and paths, and we are growing, I mean going on another sentimental journey. We will grow from this as well.

We left a week in advance and spent 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 would open one in Clovis, CA that allowed us to spend some 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.


After two days of family and fun, we were on our way to Glen Canyon Dam.
It was our first time exploring this area.

What a beautiful drive the 89 is!
We spent our 1st night at Ruby's in Bryce City.

After checking in, we went for a drive through the park.

I woke up early to drive myself back into the canyon
 for the most beautiful experience, the sun rising upon Bryce Canyon!


Sitting on my rock, soaking up the ray as they warmed my soul, I had to pull myself away, to head back to the motel to pick up hubby, and begin our journey along Scenic HWY 12.

I could quickly flood this post with many more 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, then missing the turn to Capitol Reef, we just needed to get to the highway!

Next stop, Twin Falls, Idaho!

So, Idaho brought a BIG surprise. NO ROOMS!
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 an accommodating receptionist, a place was found, and the minute my head hit the pillow I was out.

Had no idea we had driven 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 of the 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. 

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 backup, grrrrr! Taking pictures with a cell phone, going 80 miles an hour just doesn't work, they don't come out as lovely. 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 fingertips 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 lovely dinner at a local pub that included playing a Trivia Game, and a drive up toward Mt Hood to catch a fantastic sunset.

 Mom and Dad talked about 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 know 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 the 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 to 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. 

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

We were on our way to dinner at the harbor for some fish and chips.
Unfortunately, as much as I love salmon, shellfish is an entirely different thing. 
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 too 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. 

The things one see's while going 80 mph!

The drive to Anacortes went uneventfully.
Interesting sights.
Lots of cars!
Nothing new!
Having a 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.
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, Tacoma 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, and 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 beautiful 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 excellent 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 degrees!
It was hotter here than 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 car's gauge said 117...

The weather app on my phone said

All I know 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 perfect 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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