There was something really comforting about revisiting the path from our previous trip, but once we got to the point where our path would diverge, we were ready to strike out into the unknown! The Islands!
Day 9: After packing up camp we drove to Port Townsend and took the ferry…
…to Whidbey Island where we explored Fort Casey. The kids had an awesome time running all over the fort, scampering up ladders, running down the embankments, and scaring the daylights out of the parents.
After saying goodbye to our friends we headed to the Bowman Bay campground at Deception Pass State Park.
Sam took the boys out for a paddle while the dogs ate decomposing seaweed at the beach.
Lesson Learned: Don’t let your dogs eat decomposing seaweed.
Day 10: Packed up camp, went to the vet (not related to the seaweed, Dos had an ear infection), bought groceries, saw a bald eagle flying around, just an normal day on Whidbey Island!
And then on to the ferry through the San Juan Islands to Orcas Island where we camped at Moran State Park.
Lesson Learned: Try not to camp next to the group of 20 twenty year olds playing drinking games unless you want to hear all their secrets. “OMG! You did what? With who?”
Day 11: Drove to the top of Mt. Constitution to see some amazing views of the San Juan Islands…
….before hiking around Cascade Lake, jumping off rocks, and trees, and bridges. Oliver is a natural…
…he takes after Sam.
We spent the afternoon swimming and paddleboarding at the lake. A perfect way to end a hot day.
Lesson Learned: Camping next to one person who drives a Prius, makes for a much calmer evening.
Day 12: Today was a travel day. We caught the ferry back to Anacortes and then a second ferry to Vancouver Island. The dogs were a bit freaked out and spent the whole ride on our laps.
We camped at Goldstream Provincial Park, one of the best campsites we’ve been to. The place was beautiful, very clean, with a great playground, and a series of bike courses for kids. The kids had a blast! We are in Canada!!
Lesson Learned: Canada, you are seriously beautiful and your people are incredibly nice! Even the customs officials who confiscated our firewood where really nice and gave us suggestions about places to visit.
Day 13: After a few more loops on the bike course, we headed out to visit more of the park, ate a delicious lunch, and then we were on our way to Little Qualicum Falls Provincial Park for a wade in the river and a walk along the falls.
Lesson Learned: The kids now expect every campground in Canada to have a bike course!
Day 14: Drove to the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve and the beautiful beachside towns of Ucluelet and Tofino where we went for a walk around the lighthouse…
…and then for a romp on the beach. Oliver found some cool creatures in the tide pools and Henry dug up a storm.
We ate in town and then headed back to our campsite where we discovered that the gate would be locked in the morning and that we wouldn’t be able to leave on time to catch our ferry. Luckily we were able to pack up camp and park in the overflow area.
Lesson Learned: Always check what time the campground is closed before making your ferry reservations.
Next we travel to mainland BC…
Three years ago we went on an epic road trip. We drove up the California, Oregon, and Washington coast in our Westy before turning around and driving back again through central Washington, Oregon, and finally home. The whole trip took 25 days. We learned a lot on that trip, we learned how to live in the Westy and how to weather the ups and downs of a long trip with two young kids (the boys were 6 and 3). We have done other Westy trips over the past few years, but none were as long or as ambitious as our Northwesty Trip.
Until this summer…in June we embarked on a second Northwesty trip and this time with our two dogs! For the first week we followed a similar route to the one we took last time, but in half the time…
Day 1: After a busy week and several extra hours of packing we left mid-day for a long hot drive to Hidden Springs Campground in the Humboldt Redwood State Park.
Lesson Learned: It is really hard to get a good selfie with both dogs on my lap.
Day 2: Father’s Day! We spent the morning at Mad River beach in Arcata…
…before heading to Mill Creek campground in the Del Norte Coast Redwoods State Park. The boys had a great time exploring the campground and redwoods looking for bugs until Henry got stung by wasps. Poor Henry!
Lesson Learned: If you hear screaming and you can’t tell if it’s happy-joyful screaming or I’ve-been-stung-by-a-wasp screaming, you should go with the wasp screaming.
Day 3: Another beautiful drive up the California and then Oregon coast!
We camped at Sunset Bay State Park, a spot that we wanted to camp at last time, but had missed out on. While Henry and I set up camp. Oliver and Sam went on a wild paddleboard adventure where they tried to land on the beach and had a wipeout!
Lesson Learned: When you think it’s a bad idea and your nine year old thinks it’s a good idea…it’s a bad idea.
Day 4: After checking out the seal colony…
…we headed into Coos Bay to run errands and get a yummy lunch at our favorite fish market! Then it was off to play at the Oregon Dunes, the beach, and a long drive to Cape Lookout State Park.
Lesson Learned: Never pass up a good fish market on a road trip.
Day 5: Fort Clatsop was one of the highlights on our last trip so we made an effort to go back and this time we were there to see the musket demonstration. Oliver did a school project about Sacajawea last year and knew all kinds of cool facts about her and the Lewis and Clark expedition.
We then got back in the car for a long drive to Kalaloch Campground in Olympic National Park where we got the last campsite.
Lesson Learned: Always book ahead when camping at Kalaloch, we were lucky to get a site!
Day 6: After a quick visit to Lake Crescent…
…we headed into Port Angeles and the Heart O’the Hills campground in Olympic National Park where we camped for three nights with our friends!
Lesson Learned: When possible, drop your laundry off to get it washed for you!!
Day 7: Phew, it was a hot day on the Olympic Peninsula. After sweating through breakfast we headed back down to Lake Crescent for a hike along the Spruce Railroad trail to an awesome swimming spot. Sam and Oliver took the paddleboard out to jump off a rock while the little kids entertained themselves with splashing in the water and throwing rocks.
Lesson Learned: Never leave your camera with the kids unless you want 130 crappy selfies.
Day 8: We drove up to Hurricane Ridge to take in the spectacular view…
..and then spent the afternoon cooling off in the Elwha River.
Lesson Learned: Always cook the potatoes before putting them in the foil wrapped pack to cook over the campfire. Dinner was delicious, but not the potatoes…
This first week was mainly about revisiting our last Northwesty Trip, we went back to some of the same places that we had visited before and checked out new places that we missed the last time around. We also talked a lot about the last trip and how much the boys have changed since then. Henry is the same age that Oliver was on our first Northwesty Trip and while Oliver remembers some of the trip Henry didn’t remember any of it.
And we celebrated our 11 year anniversary!
One van, two parents, two kids, two dogs, four weeks, 4500 plus miles, two countries (Canada, USA), nine states or provinces (California, Oregon, Washington, British Columbia, Alberta, Montana, Wyoming, Idaho, Nevada), ten National Parks (Olympic, Pacific Rim, Yoho, Banff, Jasper, Waterton Lakes, Glacier, Yellowstone, Grand Tetons, Craters of the Moon National Monument), and too many State Parks, Provincial Parks and National Forests to list.
Sam, The Captain, Ax Wielder
Favorite activity on the trip: paddleboarding, running
Favorite food on the trip: Beer sampled along the way and the Black and Blue Burger at the Pony in Pemberton
Deia, The Navigator, Head Photographer
Favorite activity: Hanging out at the campsite with Henry, hiking with Oliver, chilling out around the campfire with Sam, seeing friends!
Favorite food: Gourmet Burger at the Pony in Pemberton, that place was good!
Oliver, The Risk Taker, Fire Builder
Favorite activity: Swimming, biking, paddle boarding, and jumping into lakes
Favorite food: Whatever mommy made (what a sweetie)
Henry, The Friend Maker, Expedition Artist
Favorite activity: Biking around the campgrounds, playing with friends along the way
Favorite food: Chicken nuggets (he ordered them whenever possible and likes them so much he’s asked to be called Chicken Nugget)
Peso, The Co-Captain
Favorite activity: Sitting in the front seat no matter what
Favorite food: Any food he could find, except for the doggy biscuits from the gas stations in Oregon
Dos, The Guard Dog
Favorite activity: Barking at each and every person who walked by the van
Favorite food: Its a tie between the salami he stole from Henry in Glacier National Park and that one time he got half an In and Out Burger
Westy, Van Force One, Bug Annihilator
Favorite activity: Not quite sure, but I’m pretty sure it didn’t like going over Teton Pass
Favorite food: Bugs, lots of bugs
Many more photos to come!
Birthdays are done:
Graduation is over:
We went on a wonderful camping trip to Lassen Volcanic National Park:
I went on a long overdue overnight trip with my two best friends:
Little League hit the dust:
And schools out for summer:
Stay tuned for our next big adventure!
I haven’t even started the baby blanket that I was planning on making and instead have been working on finishing up a bunch of little projects! I’ve also been posting more knitting photos to my Instagram page.
Ohhh, this yarn is so snuggly and this hat is so soft and warm! As seen on Instagram:
I also knit this little bag for Henry, using some very colorful yarn that he picked out himself. Of course he immediately threw out the ball band, so I have no idea what kind of yarn it is!
As seen on Instagram:
And finally these cute little rainbow mitts as a birthday present for our friends’ daughter. I used random bits of several kinds of acrylic yarn and didn’t really use a specific pattern, but I think they turned out pretty cute. I hope she likes them!
As seen on Instagram:
Going to cast on the next project now!