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!vlcsnap-2016-04-01-18h26m39s238vlcsnap-2016-04-01-18h26m58s029vlcsnap-2016-04-01-18h28m19s209
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.IMG_3054
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...vlcsnap-2016-04-10-18h06m50s050
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.
vlcsnap-2016-04-10-17h52m14s117Lots of bridges in Portland!vlcsnap-2016-04-10-17h50m51s291
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.vlcsnap-2016-04-10-17h37m29s614
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!vlcsnap-2016-04-10-17h34m15s827vlcsnap-2016-04-10-17h42m04s007
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.vlcsnap-2016-04-10-17h29m17s114
So, more bridges of course!vlcsnap-2016-04-10-17h27m51s596
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.vlcsnap-2016-04-10-17h22m38s477
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.vlcsnap-2016-04-10-17h14m46s401
There is one last tunnel, though!vlcsnap-2016-04-10-17h19m01s293
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 …IMG_4065IMG_0500IMG_4011
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!


  1. Ooooops, looks like I unintentionally got your readers home before you did. Sorry about that. I like the fact you can pull individual frames from that dash cam of yours. I remember first crossing the Columbia River back in about 1971 but can't remember where it was except somewhere in Washington State I think. I remember going through Yakima at some point. Liked the looks of that 'secret' boondocking spot near the ocean:))

  2. Even if Al did spill the beans it is still nice knowing that you are home safe and sound. We did enjoy keeping up with your travels.
    Be Safe and Enjoy!

    It's about time.

  3. Welcome home Ivan and Hailey! Back to the real world! Which is kinda good!

  4. It's starting to get quiet, and lonely, down here in AZ.

  5. Don't worry. When you turn the heat down in the fall, we'll all be back again!

  6. Welcome home, and back to work if you can call it work. Me too, in less than two weeks.

    When I pull stills from Nikon video they are really small. GoPro must be different.

  7. Hi, can I contact you through your email? I've something to share that might interest you.

    aarongrey112 gmail.com