It's All Downhill From Here, Almost!
Jul 23, 2007
|July 21st, 2007 - Just Putting Miles Behind Us, It's All Downhill From Here, Almost!
Saturday, July 21st, 2007 - Olympia, WA
We had planned to make it to Seattle for the night. We thought there was a rest stop across I-5 where we spent several days when the RV wouldn't start. However there was no rest stop heading south and we drove to Olympia, WA, home of Uncle Wally's favorite beer. We Stopped on the way up to buy a 6 pak of Oly, but, couldn't find any. It was ok, he's since quit drinking years ago. I don't even know if it's still available, I haven't seen Oly in years.
There was nothing left to do but put miles behind us. It was all down hill from here, or at least we hoped. Our destination for the day was Sacramento. That meant we had to get thru WA. OR. and into CA. Three states in one day, a task we had not accomplished and based on our track record, questionable. Judging by our breakfast stop at The Little Red Barn getting into CA may take a little longer than expected. There's that "Red" restaurant thing again. Told Ya.. We saw the sign on the hiway and it said it had the best breakfasts! and plenty of Truck and RV parking. Larry and I know all about the best breakfasts, we eat at Pelican Isle in the harbour. Besides it was red, we had to stop.
At the freeway offramp, you couldn't see the Little Red Barn in either direction. I guessed wrong, we found ourselves on a narrow road and no place to turn around. After driving a ways we found a T-intersection and wasn't sure we could make the u-turn, we didn't. I pulled as far to the right as I could and started my u-turn and drove off the left side of the road and crossed the side street only to find out I needed a couple more feet. It was very close, I would have made it, except for the post. Instead I sat in the middle of the road blocking traffic again. Houston, we have a problem...
We couldn't back up, we thought about unhooking the jeep, but it didn't want to start, and after looking over the situation, I went RV offroading again. I see a pattern forming here. There was a freshly mowed field that looked like I could drive on. Luckily, there was one area I wouldn't bottom out or high center getting off the road and there were other tire tracks visible. I didn't think I would get stuck again, so RV offroading we went, this time on purpose, for a change. I drove right up to some farmers milking barn full of cows getting milked then used his driveway to get back out onto the road. This was supposed to be an Adventure, right?
The Little Red Barn breakfast was very good and worth the extra effort we made to get there. It must be the place to eat, there was lot's of seating outside for the waiting diners. They had the coolest tractor seat bench. As we were leaving after our great breakfast we met a couple that had seen us blocking the road and asked if we unhooked the jeep? We told them no, we just drove thru the field and back onto the road.
The next thing we knew we were in OR. heading south towards CA. In OR. it's against the law to pump your own gas! Right on, now, that's a law I like. I could spend my time cleaning the front of the RV, with fewer bugs, I was actually done before we the attendant was finished filling our tank.
The RV was about to get tested. We had four steep grades, three before Grants' Pass and one after. We slowed down but had enough power and the temperature stayed mostly in the cool, gray area. It did get to the red and once stayed there for a while but cooled immediately. Finally, we had the confidence that all things were go and CA was just ahead on the horizon. We entered CA at 5PM, it was a good feeling, we knew we were really home.
The strangest thing happened when we crossed into CA. It's hard to explain, It felt like we were just coming home from a weekend trip. It was as if the Alaskan Adventure never happened. How strange is that? Everything that had taken place behind us was nothing more than a far off memory. Home was just down I-5 and around the corner.
Larry was concerned about making it thru Redding. He thought the RV might be homesick after spending so much time there. But, Redding came and went in the rear view mirror just as all the rest of the cities on our adventure. Our next stop was Sacramento for the night and then the last leg of our trip. We drove past Sacramento, way past Sacramento. We drove to Westley, just this side of Pea Soup Andersons in Santa Nella before we found a rest area. This was the longest leg of our adventure. We logged over 750 mile for the day.
Sunday, July 22nd, 2007 - Home at Last
It was nice to be headed home, and dissapointed to be leaving the Alaskan Adventure behind. But it was a Great Adventure. "The Mother, of Road Trips." if I can plagiarize a bit. It was fun sharing the roads with all the RV'ers. It was like they were family, most of them waved as they passed by. I felt like I was in a parade with all the waving. It wasn't as much fun sharing the roads with the logging trucks, but it was fun just the same. With all the wet weather we had, I was surprised at all the motorcycles on the road.
I always pick up souvenir refrigerator magnets for my friends Todd and Anna when I travel. I was surprised but I think our second largest expense was magnets, right after parts and repairs and just ahead of fuel. I think they're going to have to by another refrigerator.
We covered four states, two provinces in two countries and 8,250 miles in 32 days. We made it home within a day of our scheduled return, even with the repair downtime. It would have been nice to spend more time vacationing and less time repairing. But, we didn't leave much on the table, it just meant longer driving days to make up the lost time. We met a lot of nice people and made a lot of new friends, too bad they were mostly mechanics, tow truck drivers, and road construction workers.
I want to thank Larry for making this adventure a reality and for sharing the costs. He's a great friend and navigator, he's so good at it he can even do it in his sleep. I want to thank Ruth for letting Larry come out and play so I wouldn't have to go it alone. I want to thank all my automotive consultants, you know who you are, the mechanics, tow truck drivers, and road construction workers for making this adventure possible. I want to thank Liz for finding this journal site and helping me get set up to document and share this adventure. And thank you to Rich and Delilia, and Wally and Lil for their gracious hospitality.
I want to thank all of you that came along for what Chick Hearn says. "A Words Eye View" of our Alaskan Adventure Tour, 2007. As we arrived home I could hear him say, "it's in the refrigerator, the door's closed, the lights out, the jellos' jiggling, the eggs are cold, and the butter getting hard. This adventure is over, however, we're always looking for the next adventure, any ideas? Want to come along? Until then,
Love Ya, Miss Ya, Wished You Had Been with Us, Charles and Larry
P.S. This journal expires tomorrow, July 24th, whatever that means? I don't know if the website is taken down or if it can still be viewed, etc. If I don't or if you can't access the journal and want to catch up, email me and I'll forward it to you. CR