We arrived in Pocatello Idaho after an awesome, but long, day. We were greeted warmly by family and spent the next 5 days visiting family and friends, attending a surprise wedding, becoming more and more frustrated with UHaul (they forgot to ship our pod) and enjoying the fresh mountain air!
We said our goodbyes and headed through Nevada towards California. We have left Pocatello so many times, but this goodbye felt somewhat more serious. Our first stop in California was to visit Sarah’s brother and his family in the Bay Area. We had a nice visit that included UC Berkeley’s botanic garden, which was great. We saw tons of cool plants from all over the place, played on a lawn, saw the “Queen of the Andes” in bloom and saw a wedding taking shape as we departed. We then went into Berkeley to a brewery/pizza place (made for me!) for an excellent lunch. We topped that off with ice cream before heading to the marina for some nice views of San Francisco over the bay.
That night some friends from UI came over for game night! We played a new (to us) game called Power Grid, which was really fun.
The next morning we headed out and drove up the CA 1. It was a beautiful windy road through forests and along the coast. We were really enjoying the views but noticed that we were getting further and further behind the time estimate Google had given us for our route the day before. We think this was probably because Google bases its time estimates on speed limits and we were averaging far less than the speed limit due to tight curves and lots of RVs. The speed picked up a bit once we got onto the US 101 as we continued on.
We finally made it to Redwood Park a little before sunset. The park campground was full, so we found a nice private campground a few miles south of the park, watched the sun set over the Pacific Ocean, had a campfire and went to sleep.
The next morning we got up bright and early and struck north again. Our first stop of the day was at the Lady Bird Johnson Grove in Redwood National Park. We started out on the trail and decided to turn it into a bit of a jog with stops for the self-guided tour points. It was really cool seeing some of the biggest trees in the world towering over us. We had a great time stopping to gawk at the trees and seeing yet another reference to LBJ on our trip. Some of the highlights of the tour were the hollow trees that were burned on the inside but still alive. Another awesome thing was The Evertree. The Evertree if a redwood that has sprouted new redwoods from it base, which in turn have grown into giant redwoods. Thus The Evertree will live forever.
We also went to see “The Big Tree” and some Roosevelt elk. Those were cool too.
We got back on the highway and headed north. Next stop Oregon coast for lunch! We stopped in a few places on the Oregon coast and were really enjoying the views. We ended up stopping at a beach to frolic in the waves a bit too! We decided that we would save ourselves an hour two by cutting over to the I-5 since we were out of time to stop and enjoy the cool attractions anyhow. We got into the I-5 south of Eugene and shot north at the impressive freeway speed limit Oregon gave us… 70? Really Oregon? We also would like to congratulate them on slowing the freeway down for no good reason by taking us straight through the heart of Portland.
Anyhow, we escaped Oregon and made it into Washington on some bridge north of Portland. We missed the sign (NOOOOOOOO), so you’ll have to take our word for it.
Our first stop in Washington was Ankery Vineyard and Winery to purchase a birthday present for my dad. This winery was a story all by itself. When we arrived the tasting room was unlocked but utterly deserted. We ended up (after great effort) finding the owner who tried wine with us while cursing about unreliable employees. We bought a Rose Pinot Nior which tasted like a light refreshing Pinot Nior, what an odd concept. With wine in hand we arrived at my parents door in time for some birthday dessert to end our long trek across the US!