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 😀
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