Saturday, 11 June 2016

Big Island Hawaii to San Francisco onward to Alaska Road Trip

Our new adventure has started. We are in Canada and well on our way so there is a little catching up to do. I will be editing and adding photos as we go along. Living in campsites restricts us somewhat since most do not offer wifi. Its been 3 years since being on the mainland so its a little strange to be driving around such a huge First World country again. The roads are wider, the traffic is faster and the attitude stiffer. I have to be on my toes here constantly monitoring the GPS for every turn and every lane we are meant to be in. Numerous times we have lost our way and thankfully this has been put right by "emma" the GPS with her insistent  "recalculating" announcement.
We started our flight from Kona airport and flew the 5 hours to Oakland San Francisco. Collected our rental and were meant to drive North bound to Lakeport. "Emma" true to form directed us South bound, an error we did not expect but was very welcome as we suddenly and unexpectedly found ourselves at the entrance of the "Golden Gate Bridge".

Then onward up Highway 101 to Lakeport, a 3 hour drive to meet with some very special people who very kindly allowed us to use their RV (Recreational Vehicle) or motorized caravan for our very epic journey through the USA
Lakeport town sits at the base of an dormant volcano and is on a clear fresh water lake aptly named "Clear Lake".Dylan managed to catch a "Crappie" fish and I think it probably tastes like its name would imply. Jessica and Dylan were kindly invited to wake board and Dylan was successful in getting up.
Lakeport area is a stunning place with friendly people and worth visiting.
We had to wait in Lakeport for a few days until Michael was able to take leave from his Zip Lining job and join us. I had to return to Oakland and collect him on the 31st where we dropped off the original rental and changed over to Enterprise, a much better deal and I was able to drop off in Lakeport.
The very next day we did our preflight check on the RV. A little about the RV. It is a 27' MinnieWinni or commonly known as a Winnibago. It can sleep 7 and we are 6 so its perfect. It has a shower, toilet and a kitchen so we are very comfortable.
We left at mid-morning 31st May after having one tire replaced and made our way to our first stop near Fort Bragg on the coast. We chose to stay at the the Jackson State Park which is well in the woods among huge pine trees. We were the only RV in the park but there was one camper who insisted on bugging us and made us uncomfortable. After awhile we realized he was smoking it up and had found a place in the woods where he could be left alone to do his drugs. Not a good start and it has put us on our guard for weirdo's in the campsites. Fortunately this has been the only negative experience. Everyone has been so kind giving travel advise, hints and tips where necessary.
1st of June In Fort Bragg we went to see the glass beach which the girls loved.

We joined Hwy 101 Northbound to the Redwoods of California.
Spectacular to say the least.
In Leggett we watched some people attempt to drive through one of the great Redwood trees. A few tried but lost courage because it is a tight fit. We missed the National Forest campsite and ended up staying at an expensive private RV site but this allowed us to wash our clothes, dump our waste water and have a hot long shower before continuing up the Hwy101 through the "Avenue of the Giants" Redwood forest. We made a bad turn somewhere because Emma the GPS decided we needed to turn right into some mountains which became quite scary in the RV.   5 miles up this road I found a good turning point and we stopped to see what was going on. Annalise had programmed "Six Rivers" in the Humboldt National Forests which should have been a few hours North. The GPS found a second Six River National Forest and it was clearly the wrong one. I wonder how many people this has caught and sent them to a very remote place in California. We finally managed to get our bearings again and traveled North to a campsite called Panther Flats. We were able to shower here and I will be sure to remember this campsite for our return journey. The next day, 3rd June, we decided to do the next leg straight through Oregon, West of Portland, to the Evergreen Space and Aviation Museum in one hit.
With 3 of us driving we managed to get to the museum at 4pm. After having a quick recon of the museum which we decided to visit in the morning, one of the attendants said we could visit it for free there and then. This was a $150 saving for us and considering that they allowed us to "Boondock" or camp in the car park for free, it made for a very special and cheap visit indeed. If you have been wondering what would take us to this obscure location in Oregon, it is the location of "Spruce Goose", the largest aircraft ever built until very recently.