Monday, June 1, 2009

West Coast Road Trip 2009

Dear Friends and Family,

We are home and our trip was great! Read below for our daily diary of events.

Saturday, May 23, 2009- We left home around 7:30am driving North through Colorado into Wyoming, West through Utah and into Nevada. On the way, we stopped at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah. Jimi lit the truck up going as fast as it would go on the salt flats, which was 80 mph; the salt was extremely wet. The underside of the truck, the tires, and the bottoms of our shoes had a minimum of 2 inches of thick white salt caked on like frosting. We goofed around there for a while, as Jimi drove the truck from the hood of the vehicle and we took pictures. During a very boring stretch of highway we played a made up game of “spot that trucker pee”. I had no clue there were so many jars of trucker pee thrown out on the side of the highways. It’s gross, but entertained us. That night we renegade camped near Battle Mountain, NV. We cooked supper on the grill and called it a night. We traveled 800 miles and 13 hours.

Sunday May 24, 2009- We got an early start this morning: it was about 6:30am. We made our way in to San Francisco. Driving in busy traffic with Jimi is not anywhere near one of my favorite things to do. In fact, it is something I would do just about anything to avoid. And while at the time I may think it would never end and I would not survive, I did. We stopped at the Golden Gate Bridge, but the weather was super cold and the wind was blowing so hard I could barely stand. We took a quick look and got out of there as fast as we could. We found Highway 1 and began our search for Marinas; unfortunately, we really did not find any. We stopped at a little restaurant for my birthday dinner and then began searching for a camp spot. We thought we would never find one, but after an hour or so of searching, we found one. We set up camp and watched the sun go down on the beach.  We drove 700 miles and 13 hours.

Monday May 25, 2009- After showers and packing up, we were back on the road in search of marinas. We stopped at a coffee shop for a Latte and walked a few beaches. We stumbled upon a famous drive through tree, and of course, I insisted we go. Jimi drove through it first while I took pictures and then visa versa. At this point we were on at least our fifth tourist attraction and zero marinas and beginning to wonder what this trip was turning in to.  About 3:30 pm we pulled into Eureka, CA and found two marinas; however, they were closed for Memorial Day. We had to stay overnight, so we could go back in the morning for information. We went to the grocery store and then relaxed to TV in a Motel 6. We drove 200 miles and 7.5 hours.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009- We packed our things and arrived at the first marina as soon as they opened. Since this was the first marinas we had visited we asked a lot of questions and received much needed answers. We walked around a bit and then scooted over to the second marina in Eureka repeating the process. The people at both marinas were very willing to answer our questions and share information with us. We were a little surprised, yet very happy about it. That afternoon we came upon the Redwood National Park and stopped for off road hiking, and pictures. The trees were amazing, as we felt like ants among the trees. There seemed to be no bottom to the floor with layers of tree branches, ferns, pine needles, and natural untouched plant life.  We were then able to visit a marina in Crescent City, CA and hurried up to Brookings, CA before their marina office closed. Again, the people were very friendly. That night we camped in a state park right on the beach.  We finished this evening out with Jimi taking pictures on the beach of the sunset. We sat in silence around a fire and then went to sleep. We drove 150 miles and 9.5 hours.

Wednesday May 27, 2009- We spent a good portion of the morning on the beach taking pictures. We found this really cool rock covered with oyster shells, sea urchins, and snails. Our next stop was the marina in Gold Beach. While there, we met a guy whose sail boat became beached during a storm. We talked to him for a few minutes while he was working his way to dig it out with a shovel. A flat bed trailer was on its way to load the boat and haul it back to the dock.  After our brief visit, we headed to Bandon, OR. We spoke with the Harbor Master there and she gave us a complete list of Northern harbors to visit. This information was very helpful. She also directed us to a young couple from Portland, OR who set sail for Costa Rica about a month ago. They were staying in her harbor, so we tracked them down and after inviting us aboard their boat, we spent hours talking. The information we learned from this new to sailing couple was invaluable. We could not have asked for better luck.  Amazingly we were able to hit three more marinas, before the day’s end: Coos Bay, Charleston, and Winchester Bay. Behold before my eyes after five days, we finally spotted a Wal-Mart. I’ll tell you, I was getting worried – Lol. We stopped to replenish our grocery supply, found an old logging road to renegade camp at, hiked the very scary forest, watched a movie on the laptop and got some shut eye.  We drove 120 miles and 10.5 hours.

Thursday May 28, 2009- We left our camping spot about 6:45 am. We sat in a really neat coffee shop on Florence for an hour waiting for the marina to open and then went to Newport’s marina in Oregon.  After receiving all the information we needed in both those locations, we headed for Portland. Looks like Newport would be the last Marina we would need to visit. In Portland, we went to a sailboat sales shop and toured five or six used sail boats. We talked to the sales lady extensively and the experience created more research work for Jimi once we get home.  That evening we saw several of the water falls on the Columbia River Gorge. We camped at a state park there and Jimi went back after the sun went down for pictures.  We drove 260 miles and 13 hours.

Friday, May 29, 2009- Jimi tried to get more pictures of the waterfalls before the sun showed its face, but we missed it. We packed up, found some coffee and hit the road again. Except this time we had nowhere to go other than heading towards home and we were too early to pick Daniel up on the way. So, we tried to make our way to Mt Hood, but ended up getting on the wrong road and did some four wheeling instead. Play time ended and we headed towards Boise, ID about 1 pm. We arrived in Meridian about 8 pm where we got a hotel and then walked across the street to a bar & grill for a few cocktails.  We drove 360 miles and 10 hours.

Saturday May 30, 2009- We arrived at Daniel’s house just after 7am. Daniel showed us his surroundings, which included a fort he and his buddy are working on. We hit the road at 7:30 and arrived in Longmont at 8pm, only stopping for fuel and once to eat. We drove 820 miles and 12.5 hours.

This trip was an eye opener. We learned that there are not many marinas in the Southern part of the Pacific coast North of San Francisco as we thought. Looks like we may have no choice but to live our first year further North.  We were able to talk to a lot of people and they were all extremely willing. With the information we gathered first hand, we have a lot more research to do in regards to locations, boats, clothing, and gear. So, our preparation continues….

Love Everyone,

Lorie & Jimi

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