Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Squamish to San Diego - Nearly a Month in Arlofornia

I am not near the point where I am bored with all of the things that can be done in BC yet but when I have a big slot of time off it is always great to get a little further a field to see what the rest of Western North America has to offer.  This was the first long road trip that we have take our 6 month old son Arlo on, perhaps we could have warmed up with something a little less than 5300km! I was really excited to have the time to spend with him. Babies and long road trips do not always mix - but I wanted to focus more on the things that we could do, rather than those that we couldn't. With a little bit of patience and a little bit of luck (Arlo behaving himself) having a 'baby on board' didn't slow us down at all.


Day 1 - Portland
Day 2 - Florence Beach Regional Park
Day 3 - Harris Beach State Park
Day 4 - Humbolt Redwoods State Park
Day 5- Santa Rosa
Day 6-8 - Santa Cruz
Day 9-10 Yosemite
Day 11 - Inyo National Forest
Day 12-13 Bishop
Day 14 - Alabama Hills
Day 15-17 San Diego
Day 18 Santa Barabra
Day 19-20 Montana De Oro State Park
Day 21 Monterey
Day 22 San Francisco
Day 23 Oakland
Day 24 Salem
Day 25 Squamish

As far as our favourite places go - we would both agree that the Eastern Sierra (Days 11-14) was probably a highlight, the high desert is such a gorgeous area with fantastic access to the alpine for hiking; perfect weather, an beautiful fall colours. The best camping spot was in the Alabama Hills, a landscape of huge boulders, with dirt tracks leading to great secluded spots.  We had very little expectations about what the cities we would visit would be like but thought Santa Barbara was a really neat spot, its amazing how a strict municipal building code can make you think that you are somewhere in Europe.

It was fantastic to get to spend good chunks of time with some great friends in the San Francisco area, as we get older and time with old friends become fewer and further in between, I won't miss an opportunity to see them when I can - we rented the house in Santa Cruz with everyone the first weekend and then swung back through San Fran on the way back north to see them all again.

One issue that kept coming up on the trip again and again was the three year drought that the state was experiencing at the time. Some things were difficult for us to notice since we did not live in the area full time, but in some areas it was clear as one person put it - that "nature is beginning to shut down" - dried out trees, lakes with little to no water in them - on our way back north we found it actually weird when we saw our first river near the Oregon California border that actually had water in it.

We were lucky with the timing of the trip - Arlo was 6 months at the start, old enough that he was eating solid food and someone could go to the back seat while we were driving to feed him without us stopping. He was also young enough that he could sleep for long periods of time in the car seat still (on the drive home he slept about 16 of the 24 hours of driving! We did not do as much biking as we would have without him, that being said hiking was great using both the Ergo carrier and the larger hiking backpack although a nap in there caused some serious face chafe that turned into a scar for a few days after. I did get out for some great bike rides however; a few in Santa Cruz with Mike et all, the Monterey Peninsula, Montana De Oro State Park, Santa Barabara, Yosemite etc. A trip I will never forget, big thanks to Sarah - I won't ever forget the endless gourmet camping meals by headlight post baby to bed.  This was the Delica's last Hurrah - cracked the cylinder head shortly after returning home.
Love the Eastern Sierra

Its amazing who you run into in Portland when you are trying to avoid people
Beach drive - Florence OR - now all we had to do it find a way to get back to the road. 
Sarah running to stop an Arlo faceplant

Green Plate, Red Plate, Blue Plate - my favourite game. 

Gorgeous beach at Harris State Beach Park in Southern OR
THe land of the free

Bathing in State Park sinks became the norm
The crew in Barryland just outside of Santa Cruz
Adult supervision
Lookalikes on an evening stroll in Yosemite 
no caption necessary
Tioga Road pit stop

A little quieter than the yosemite campsite

The porch on the Hovel - our $45/night cabin in Bishop, CA
There is a Lobster in the Van
South Lake area hike outside of Bishop - amazing road up to 10,000ft

By the end of the trip we were shadows of our former selves
Pure Evil
I don't think there had been a lot of stollers here before 
25 nights - 40 bottles of wine?
Sunrise alpenglow on Mt Whitney - the highest peak the continental US

Arlo in his front seat tupperware
Packing up always seems to start with un-packing
'Princess' had been bike touring in the front of this guy's bike for 4 years.
Riding missiles on the USS Midway in San Diego
Pacific Beach  San Diego stroll
That's bottle of wine number 30 - Montana de Orro State Park 

Met up with some old friends at Hearst Castle
Big Sur Coast
Thanks for the great trip Bucky - but remember we did this all for you. 

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