Yesterday was a drive between and through (literally!) the giant redwood trees in Northern California. They must be the largest trees in the world, correct me if I am wrong. One of the trees we saw is said to be 8 m in diameter! Their size is humbling and quite an experience to witness.
In Klamath you’ll find one of the three redwoods that you can actually drive through. Getting Honey through the tree was like forcing twine through the eye of a needle. With Kyler’s guidance from the outside I carefully drove her through. Our mirrors don’t fold in and were therefore just a bit too wide to get through untouched, hence a few new (minor) scrapes on the one side mirror. Oh well, it was TOTALLY worth it!
How much does camping in state parks in Oregon cost? This is how much:
For that price you get a nice camp site right by the beach. At the beach you can enjoy this sunset for free:
Honey in sleep mode, so cute!
And to the Norwegians: Det er ikke humbug!
Dunes are beautiful and make for a good training hike, but it’s much more fun to explore them on ATVs! Oregon’s central coast hosts a big state park consisting of dunes and the ATV rental industry seems to be pretty big business. In spite of a few people it wasn’t crowded and Kyler and I had a radical time cruising the dunes.
The 17 km hike in Silver Falls State Park was a doozie, with its many ups and down… In elevation, that is! Several of the waterfalls could be viewed from both the front and the back and the caves and rock formations in the area were cool! Monday was a beautiful day for a beautiful hike!
The trees are getting bigger as we are getting closer to the Californian Redwoods!
Look closely! Who do you see?
Always keen! This could be keen shot number 5783!
McDonald’s parking lot internet is not providing the speed I was hoping for, so this will have to do for pictures for now. Tata!
Portland’s motto (or one of them) is “Keep Portland Weird” and they sure master the task! Our time in Portland might have been as random as the city itself.
We rolled in with high expectations as several people had told us how great the city is. At first we didn’t quite seem to have it figured out, as the street we parked on was nearly empty with cars, and people. We wandered, looked around and wandered some more. Where are the poeple? Where is the awesomeness everybody had been telling us about? All we could see were bums. On every street corner. We saw people shooting up and drugs being dealt. We were puzzled with Portland.
Amongst the bums we found an area filled with food carts, one of Portland’s claims to fame. The food was great. I got reunited with platanos fritos, that I loved when I lived in Cuba. Kyler got a fill of Indian food. We had lunch sitting on a staircase in a square together with about a houndred of Portland’s finest bums.
While walking around, not quite sure what to do, we came across a glow in the dark pirate minigolf venue. No better time than now, we though and ventured down into the dark. It was a fun time and close competition.
The glow in the dark pirate minigolf was enroute to Portland’s riverwalk and suddenly we started getting Portland. We bumped into the Saturday Market (on a Sunday), we sat down and watched the local Portlandians. The place was bustling! It was weird. It was everything we had heard that Portland is.
In the end we had discovered some of Portland’s hidden gems and had a great time!
Van life is great, but it also has it’s downsides. The last couple days displayed some of those and I figured I could share:
– Being waken up by a police officer in the morning and being told to leave. Not so much fun. Kyler gets a kick out of it, I don’t.
– Not finding anywhere to have a shower. A couple days ago we found a public pool and figured that could be a good way of getting a work out and a shower. While asking a woman for the opening hours, she placed the information sheet on the nearby table and stepped back, making sure to keep her distance. We didn’t even think we stunk that bad. The pool wasn’t open for drop ins, so we had to wait until we found a camp ground that night. Maan, does that shower feel great when you get it!
– Having no fixed address, we cannot receive mail.
– Normal luxuries such as clothing and toiletries are limited by the space in the van.
– You don’t always end up sleeping flat.
– You don’t know where you’ll sleep tonight, for better or worse.
Yesterday was spent at Cannon Beach on the Oregon Coast. It’s a cute, little, but fairly touristy beach town in Northern Oregon.
We went for a long, romantic walk on the beach and felt we were really doing the honeymoon thing right. While we were walking along the beach we stumbled past a wedding. Unfortunately they didn’t look too happy and our suspicions were confirmed a little later when several of the attendees started yelling at each other, including the bride and groom. We had at this point made ourselves dinner and sat down eating while the action took place. We couldn’t believe what was happening and it really made us appreciate what a warm and loving wedding we had.
We watched our first west coast sunset this time around before we packed up and got going.
In search for a place to park for the night we drove a little further south to the beach town of Manzanita. Tucked away from the main road, in a little neighborhood, we parked our van and played cards until it was time to sleep. In the morning we were woken up by a knock on the window. It was a local police officer who thought we should get on the road. His wish is our command, I guess, and we got going.
At around 5 pm yesterday we happily pulled out of the mechanic’s shop and the parking lot we had been calling home for the past 32 hours. Honey was back in shape and was purring like a happy kitten.
Yay, we were back on the road!
We drove south and followed the city centre signs to the grunge heart of Seattle. Kyler paralleled parked Honey like a moon landing in front of a string of bars which Kurt Cobain would approve of.
After a candle lit dinner for two at an Italian restaurant we strolled over to the string of bars for one drink. The Tiki bar we chose appeared to be a nice, relaxing place to enjoy a casual beer. Immediately upon entry we realized this was not the case. Amongst the hard rock, leather-clad clientelle we saw a shuffleboard table in the distance. Kyler and I ordered a beer and set up for a friendly shuffleboard competition.
Then out of the blue, this long-goateed pirate suddenly shows up on the side line. From the first rock the commentary began. “Three points for the lady!” To Kyler: “That sweater might be sharp, but it won’t win you the gold!” “Aaarrrrrg, A Knock Out!”
The intensity and vulgarity in the commentary escalated as the game went on. “That one point isn’t gonna win you a blow job!” “That tongue looks strong!” “The lady is set up for a three point, waiting for a bang!” “Aaarrrrrhhhh! Ooohhhhh!” Meanwhile the air humping and wall slapping began to create a rather uncomfortable scene, so we stopped while it was still fun. As we pulled out we witnessed the long-goateed pirate don a bicycle helmet and return back into another bar.
Thank you, Seattle.
The Oh No is not related to last night’s choice of over night parking spot, that worked out just fine. It’s rather related to a weird sound our Honey was making last night. This morning she was not feeling much better so we decided to bring her to a mechanic. The first guy we went to instantly walked to the back of the van, thinking the engine was in the back, as it was in the earlier VW vans. That made us think: Hm, let’s go somewhere else! We found another shop and they diagnosed the sound and serviced the transmission today and will be changing a part related to the belt tomorrow.
In the meantime we are stuck in Mt Vernon, Washington. Not even that far from the border! We made the best of it today and went for a walk in town, had a glass of wine and are enjoying our prime camp spot for the evening, in front of the mechanic’s shop!
Hopefully we’ll be back on the road tomorrow!
We made it across the US border – barely…
With our hearts thumping and knees shivering we walked up to the desk of the US border patrol. We felt as we were criminals who had something to hide – even though we have nothing to hide and all we want is to honeymoon around!
They make you feel so nervous!
After realizing that the visa I paid $74 to get is only valid when you enter by boat or plane and that we had no address where we were going to stay at hand we started getting real nervous. Questions were flying by our heads at rapid speed: Where do you live? (Uuuh, in our van…?) What are you doing here? (Uuuh, honeymooning…?) How long are you traveling for? (Uuuh, not sure…?) Where are going to stay tonight? (Uuuh, we googled a camp site. Uuuh, it was called RV park something…)
Yeah, we could have done our homework a little better. We took a deep breath, focused and pulled it all together. Sooo, where are we now? – In the US and A!
We drove a little while until we decided it was time to find a spot for the night. We were hoping to find a Walmart, they are known to be kind to their camper customers and are usually open 24 hours. We did not find a Walmart, instead we found a Home Depot! It’s a nice parking lot, free internet and so far so good! We are ready to set up camp for the night and hopefully no parking lot security team will kick us out mid-sleep! God natt!