...because we all like to be home now and then

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As you would all be aware...we're home safe and sound.  After Crescent City we had planned on driving straight through to Seattle/Tacoma and after chatting about it, we decided that having 'been-there-done-that' with Seattle, we decided to pick another coastal location and do a nite there before staying Seattle.  We chose a place called Waldport (another KOA campground) and were pleasantly surprised to find that we had a 'view' site of the river where it meets up with the coastline.  The weather was a little on the cool side for once and the first time since we took off I had to put on long pants to sit outside!  We enjoyed a great fire and a cuppa whiling away the hours until bed time.

The Oregon Coast is certainly beautiful, rugged and stunning all rolled into one - viewpoint after viewpoint brought yet another photo opp, but alas we couldn't stop at them all and just had to be content with taking it all in as drove north.  It's a similar coastline to say southern Victoria but with very rugged and sheer-cliff islands dotted all the way along.  The first 1/3 of coastline is all dark, gravelly sand and then the geography changes instantly to white sandy beaches stretching for miles - very strange - and there's a National Park along the way that would be a good 30 to 40 kilometres in length, called Oregon Dunes National Park. And, as the name suggests, sand-dunes of varying sizes all the way along the coast, reaching right up to the road edge in some places - and typical of American outdoor pasttimes, you can ride ATVs or bikes, or dune-buggies all over them!

Highway 101 which stretches all the way up the coast is certainly not conducive to making good time - picture the Great Ocean Road and multipy it by about a hundred times and you get a good idea of what it is like - some spots were all the way down to 40kays and very tight, having left very large Redwood trees growing against the road edge, and I mean literally at the road edge - it's lucky that their branches don't start for a good 60 to 70 feet or you'd lose the top of your trailers!

We made Seattle/Tacoma later in the arvo as we got away a little later than normal and pulled into a very noisy and busy campground (trains, planes and automobiles!) definitely not much sleep that night!!  The next morning only saw us with about a 200kay drive into Vancouver so there was no rush to get going other than the fact that Allie had planned that our last stinit in Washington was going to involve SHOPPING!  Albertan's are exempt from paying sales tax in Washington (don't ask me why - stimulates the economy I suppose being so close to the border etc) and so it saves 9 1/2% on everything. We did do some credit-card damage but for clothes, you really can't beat the prices they offer in The States, especially with everything on sale.  By the time we got into Vancouver it was about 5:30 and we had to hurry to set up, clean up, change and get over to Pete and Wendy's.  We were only staying about 20mins away so it wasn't too bad.

We had a nice catch-up with them all and the house was full and noisy as usual!  By the time we got back to the campground we were well and truly knackered but do you think I could sleep - lights and noise once again - but that's the way they do RV parks in Nth America, cram as many in as possible and hope they all obey the 'Quiet Time' rule come 10pm - naaaah, hardly ever happens.  The next day was not a good day for Allie, she was really feeling awfui and so while she spent the day lazing around the trailer with Morgan, I went in search of a sympathetic pharmacy to get painkillers etc.  We let the day slide by until it was time to head over to the Aquatic Centre for Pete's 'test event'.  There were 250 invited guests attending and it all went off swimmingly (hee hee).  A lovely centre and one that will very popular around Vancouver area for sure.  We all took along some food and basically had an indoor picnic while we were there. The whole nite finished up around 9ish.

Pete dropped by in the morning for coffee just before we packed up and I think we were heading out of Vancouver around 10:00am, only to get stuck in traffic jams for an hour, all the way to the edge of Greater Vancouver - definitely frustrating and not fun. We rolled into Clearwater in central BC around 6 I think it was. What was supposed to be a shortish day turned out to very long in the end.  By that stage I'd had enough of camgrounds and with an 800+ klm drive on the Sunday to home, I was not going to miss my sleep again so a few days before I cancelled the campground booking we had and booked us into a really nice hotel. We had hotel food for dinner, I got 7 hours sleep(!) we had nice showers the next morning, it was quiet and we had a great breakfast before we took off - all very enjoyable to finish up the trip with.

We got in around 7pm allowing for the hour-ahead change in time and unpacked as much of the trailer as we could and then proceeded to clean the house some.  I think we crashed around 11ish and not looking forward to getting up for work the next morinng I can tell you.

All in all, it was a wonderful 3 weeks - long yes, but the kind of trip I would again given the opportunity.  We saw so much, experienced even more and got the best feeling watching Morgan at Disneyland - I think I said before, that alone was worth the trip.  The trailer is packed away for a few weeks until our next trip but that will be for a weekend in a few weeks. This time ACTUAL camping - take-in take-out style, out in the bush.

PS - Photos are being sorted at the moment and will be up on the site sometime soon, love to you all...Greg & Allie



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