Here we are again. Another incredible summer gone in a heartbeat. It's almost time for us to head home, but first, let us tell you about our final 2 weeks.
After the mega adrenaline rush from week 9 in British Columbia (zip lining, bungee jumping, partying, trespassing, cliff jumping, ...), we took a step back to relax on the last part of our journey.
We left Canada once for all and, just like birds, started our migration south to San Francisco.
First thing after crossing US the border, we stopped in a tattoo shop. I got my second tattoo while Elo befriended the red parrot in the shop. It was a big decision, but one that I don't regret.
Our second stop was Ross Lake National Recreation Area, followed by Olympic National Park. Both were big natural spaces, but unfortunately wild fires were still burning all across, thus producing a thick fog blocking the visibility - just like when we were in Alberta.
To break the routines of natural landscapes and get over our frustration from the wild fires, we stopped by the Boing factory around Seattle to visit these immense buildings and productions. In fact, these are some of the largest buildings in the world. We would've loved to share it with you guys, but they had a very strict confidentiality policy and did not let us record anything. Very impressive nonetheless!
Next up was Mount St Helens - a volcano! It had been pinned into our route just because of the fact that it was a volcano. It wasn’t much of a touristic place, and we realised that pretty quickly. We arrived in the evening and spent the night in a nice little hidden spot in the nature. However, tranquility didn't last (or could've last forever) when we were unable to start the van in the morning - once again.
We needed a jumpstart but let's just say that the traffic wasn't “jammed” over there. We kept smiling (because really there's not much else you can do) and patiently waited for a car to pass by. It felt like waiting for rain in the desert, but with a lot of faith and diligence our wish eventually came to life.
After much nature exploration, we jumped ahead on our planning to reach Portland, Oregon. As most cities we’ve visited, we didn’t spend much time in the urban scene. Partly because it's not convenient with a rolling home (a lot of empathy for turtles and snails by the way), partly because a lot of cities are very much alike and we felt more like being Pocahontases in the wild.
After a wild night in underground Portland bars we continued our way south and explored the Oregon Dunes. What shall we remember besides the beauty of the landscapes? Our adventure crossing a river barefoot, stepping on a snake, impossible camping spots and mosquito parties.
We followed the 101 and made it to our final stop along the West Coast: the Redwoods. To be entirely honest here, i think it took us a little bit too long to realise that the National Park was actually a combination of several State Parks. While we were looking for the Redwoods, we were actually already driving through them the whole time… Oops. We really enjoyed the forest and these immense trees. Trees so huge we even drove Chevy through one - folding the mirrors and one inch margin on each side, BUT STILL!
And last but not least, we made it to San Francisco. And this mainly meant we made it to Fred & Nora's, or Elo's “American parents”, because they took such good care of her when she was living in San Francisco. I had the pleasure to meet them a couple of years ago and they were already so friendly and welcoming. We were very excited to stay with them at home, relaxing and re-discovering the forgotten luxury of a real bed, a long shower and a real kitchen.
After some well deserved days of rest, we hit the very last National Park of the summer: Yosemite. With it's so famous Half Dome, waterfalls and mountains, it really was an enchanting place. But unfortunately, since it was the last weekend of summer, it was packed and so we ended up leaving sooner that expected.
The last few days were spent in San Francisco - where the party was really at. Elo's friends joined us for drinks in the city and it was the perfect way to end this summer.
Only hitch was that we still had a van to sell before flying out! We showed it to multiple people but didn't get a lot of interest - granted, it was old, with lots of miles and not in it's best physical condition (but neither were we).
BUT THEN - like a magical fairytales endings - a miracle happened. We sold it in front of the airport, literally one hour before catching my flight. This turned our goodbye into a cocktail of mixed feelings. On one hand the excitement of the sale that had just happened and on the other, the realisation that the road trip was over and that we wouldn’t see each other for a couple of months. So we decided to meet up in Paris very soon. To be continued…