Overview of US Pacific Coast Drive 101

Today is the official end of the independent part of our tour. After two weeks of continual movement and exploration this almost feels as if it is a proof of life post πŸ˜‚

After collecting our hire car in San Francisco we headed north over the Golden Gate Bridge and took the winding Muir Heads Road through stands of tall redwoods to reach the ocean and begin our journey of hugging the US east coast via highway 1/101. This involved five one night stops as we hip-hopped up to Astoria where the Columbia River meets the Pacific Ocean. Along the way we travelled through more mighty redwoods, even driving through one of them, saw coastlines of grey volcanic sand, followed by miles of sandy dunes and some golden beaches, visited several lighthouses, and marvelled at the drama of the rugged Oregon coast with its myriad of rock formations rising out of the ocean. We saw fabulous old mansions of the timber barons and plenty of shacks too. The sky was full of hawks, the sea had its share of sea lions, and beneath its waves lie hundreds of shipwrecks.

After leaving Astoria, we travelled on a minor road winding through beautiful countryside and farmland to backtrack to a town called McMinnville, home of Howard Hughes’ “Spruce Goose”. After spending most of the day at the aviation museum there we were glad to reach southern Portland – our home for the next three nights. One day we travelled into town to see the fabulous Rose Garden, and on another we travelled along the Columbia River as far as a place called Cascade Locks. The fish along this stretch are swimming upstream to spawn. Quite a sight!

Back on the road, our last leg was into Seattle and into the warm embrace of friends for our last four nights in the US for that stretch. Highlights of our time there included touring the Boeing Factory, the Chihuly Glass Gardens, going up the Space Needle and a whizz around Pike Place Market. Oh, and returning the hire car without any problems πŸ˜€

Up at dawn last Thursday to catch the Clipper Catamaran to Victoria Canada where we have been for the last two nights. What a pretty city which we have been exploring on foot.
Our organised tour of Western Canada officially begins in a couple of hours with a meet and greet of our tour director and other travelling companions . . . Now is the time for Bill and I to sit back and let others be the driver/navigator team. Maybe, just maybe, I won’t be too exhausted each night to write of our travels.

I do still intend to write a detailed daily “journal” of our travels to date, and hopefully I will be able to illustrate with some of the hundreds of photos we have taken. I need to compress the file size before putting them on the blog, so there is a chance that will wait until I’m home and can play on the laptop. But you can never know. I may get bored looking at snow-capped mountains from a coach window and play with an electronic device instead – hahdehahaaaa.

Saturday 9th June 2018, the Garrulous One

20 thoughts on “Overview of US Pacific Coast Drive 101

  1. Gwen – glad to hear you’re still chugging along through Washington and Canada – both beautiful places! The Muir Woods and Stinson Beach areas outside San Francisco are both quite hypnotic. It makes me feel better to know others get exhausted from their travels as well – I was pooped every night during the nine-country African safari in 2016 and after the most recent trip through Europe and then in Southern Africa. Two months back in Oregon, I’m still thrilled with my own bed…. Will look for your “daily” journal postings!

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    • Glad I didn’t go ahead with the longer trip I’d originally planned. Don’t have the same stamina I used to. And when I did the Balkans trip five years back I was uploading photos every night with out realising how much storage they were consuming. So I’m slower on that this time too. Rest assured we are loving all we are doing and seeing. Even if many nights require a new pillow adventure πŸ˜…

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  2. Sounds wonderful, glad you are enjoying your holiday. Impressed with the driving on the opposite side, well done Bill πŸ‘.

    Nothing much happening here .

    I’m now on Residents Committee, first meeting this Tuesday.

    Cheers Jenni xx

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