Tuesday, April 12, 2016
California, Or, Wa, Id, B.C. & Alberta!
Well, it looks like the cat is out of the bag! And I don’t mean Hailey.
Seems Al from the Bayfield Bunch let it slip that I actually made it home to Alberta a few days ago, so the blog had better pick up the pace to catch up with reality. I only have one small excuse this time (other than sorting through 5 months of mail, Christmas cards, tax info, bills, winterizing the trailer again, and getting the house opened up) It seems that the DC plug on my computer came loose on the inside, making charging potentially impossible. It finally had to go in and spend a night at the computer hospital, putting me even further behind!
So – we were still in northern California when we got to spend the night at a very private, secluded spot we know about – complete with an ocean view and free, of course. Let’s just say that it’s somewhere near Orick!
It was a beautiful and calm evening, just right for a short photo flight!
From there we moved up the coast, spending the next night in another high up ocean view spot on the Oregon coast.
… and a quiet night on a secluded back road I’ve used a number of times.
There were a lot of bridges on the way home. Here’s the highest one in Oregon. It’s the Thomas Ck bridge and it tops out at 345 feet.
The bridge over the Rogue River in Gold Beach...
It was actually spitting a bit of rain, so the pics of the bridges at North Bend and Florence ended up on the cutting room floor! The bridge at Waldport made the cut...
The bridge at Newport got the nod as well!
Sadly, at Lincoln City we said ‘so long’ to the coast and headed inland. As always, the huge parking lots behind McMinnville’s Aviation and Space Museum provided another overnight spot before heading into the Portland traffic. The museum has an impressive array of all types of aircraft and spacecraft, both indoors and out and is the home of Howard Hughes’ famous ‘Spruce Goose’. Well worth the stop if you are in the area. Next day, off through Portland.
Lots of bridges in Portland!
From here, the Columbia river provides us with the best route inland, with a choice of I-84 along the south (Oregon) bank or Hwy 14 on the north (Washington) bank. Although only two lane for much of it’s length, the Washington side usually gets our vote as it is a bit more laid back and in my opinion, much more scenic as it goes through the Columbia gorge.
Not so many bridges here, but lots of cool tunnels!
It’s a very major transportation route with highways and railroads on both shores and lots of barges and tugs plying up and down the river and through the locks.
And in case you are concerned about ‘distracted driving’, you can rest assured that all these photos on the road are simply ‘stills’ cut from video of my GoPro camera. I was worried that I had virtually no photos from the last week of the trip, till I started to review the video and pick a few scenes to show. So now you know!
At Kennewick we get to cross the Columbia again, but this time we remain in Washington state as the river curls around and heads north where it flows out of Canada.
So, more bridges of course!
From there we caught 395, as it leads us ever northward towards Spokane, Washington, and Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. Fortunately, from there they have signs directing me home to Canada!
More bridges, and I feel like I’m crossing Lake Pontchartrain down in Louisiana, as the causeway leads across Pend Oreille Lake at Sandpoint, Idaho.
Other than a bit of rain back on the coast, the road, weather and travel conditions were excellent, in stark contrast to the snow and cold that eastern Canada and the US were experiencing.
In no time at all we were at the border. As usual at this location, there were no lineups, and after a 30 second conversation, we were back in good old British Columbia in search of the nearest Tim Horton’s coffee! Near Cranbrook, we holed up for the night at St Mary’s River B&B. Now, I didn’t actually stay at the B&B, but rather parked in the driveway and visited with my friends who operate it. Check it out if you are in the area – good fishing, too!
After a scenic crossing of the continental divide, through both Kootenay and Banff National parks – where I used to live and work – we were on the last leg of the homeward journey.
There is one last tunnel, though!
Before long, the gate slid open and we were home! But not for long …
It looks like we’ll get to spend only about a week at home, before heading a bit further north for the summer job. For the first while at least, this is what I’ll be working with …
Forest fire season is well under way here, and I’ll hopefully be filling up these bombers with water and retardant to help snuff out the flames. If you have to work – it may as well be fun!
at 9:02 pm