Arrival in the United States: Discover the next chapter in Laura and Julian's adventures aboard their Rainette.
“It's impressive how fast time goes by! We are already celebrating our 3 months on the road... 3 months and 26,542 km.
We had left ourselves in Victoria. From there, we took the ferry to Port Angeles and crossed the border with ease. Customs officers simply asked who the owner of the vehicle was without requiring proof. So here we are in the United States for a while. Our visa expires in February.
Let Washington State guide you, it will not disappoint you. If you are thinking of discovering some of the most impressive temperate rainforests, volcanoes, beaches, you are in the right place. Know that it will also surprise you with its arid areas, vineyards and orchards. It is the 2nd state in the United States to produce wine, just after California. We who thought we would discover abundant rain and flora there, were surprised.
The Hoh Rain Forest has particularly marked us with its ferns, lichens and mosses on the trees. At every moment, we expect a tree to wake up, talk to us and go back to a long sleep. Have we watched too many movies? Maybe! At Ruby beach, we went to discover the rocks in the mist, a beautiful atmosphere. Volcanoes are impressive: Mount St Helens for the remains of its last eruption, 38 years ago, and Mount Rainier, which is the exact representation of the volcano you can imagine. We then made a small detour to a Bavarian-style village, Leavenworth. It is the desire to revitalize the city's economy that is at the root of this madness. In Seattle, feel free to take a discovery tour of Pike Place Market. The Gumwall is a real curiosity too! It is also the birthplace of Starbucks. Know that the 1st Starbucks store no longer exists, devastated by fire but remains the first Starbucks coffee which is in fact the 4th location of the coffee giant.
We then made a trip to Oregon. Appetizer in Portland. "Keep Portland Weird" is their slogan and it promises a lot! Then we took the road to the coast that took our breath away more than once! Cannon Beach, the grey whales, the wind-shaped firs, we could have stayed there indefinitely but we must continue our journey. We're heading into the interior of the state. Painted Hills at sunrise, it stings a little bit the eyes but what a beauty. It's crazy to see how much nature has to offer! Crater lake is also impressive in size. It is a lake formed in the crater of a volcano. This will be our last stop before California.
It's a great introduction to Redwood National and State Park. This is where the oldest intact forest in the United States is located. Its trees are 1500 years old and we don't even talk about their size! At Lassen Volcanic National Park we observed the fumaroles... What a smell! It is a very beautiful park in northern California that is a little less well known than its neighbours but is really worth a visit. Then we take the road to Lake Tahoe and its blue waters. Then we decide to go back to the coast and head for San Francisco where we are now. The city reminds us of Vancouver and we look forward to discovering it.
How did we plan a road trip of this magnitude? You can't plan a year-long trip like a two-week vacation. That's impossible. At the beginning, we placed on a map everything we wanted to see, what we had been told, our discoveries on the Internet, our travel guides,... that's what shaped our journey. This gave us a follow-up, a logical route to follow.
At the beginning of the trip, we planned the route a little more precisely 1 or 2 weeks in advance. But in the end, we live day by day. We move forward as we wish and as we find ourselves on our way. Also, the imperatives for the car sometimes lead us to modify our trip (change of tires, oil change, repair,...). In Seattle, we stayed a week. We had our gearbox repaired. We changed our engine mount which had broken in 2 places in Alaska and which fortunately lasted 11,000 km before being repaired. How fortunate! We also decided to change our battery coupler and are very happy with it. It is in San Francisco that we will already change 2 tires.
On a technical level, we are very satisfied this month and feel like we are leaving with a new car.
As for what lies ahead, following some changes, we are not yet sure of the direction we will take. Are we going to continue to Los Angeles or will we completely change direction and go to Yellowstone? We thought we didn't have time to go until the end of October. But winter is about to begin, there are risks of snow and some roads being closed.
We look forward to telling you about our choice in the next article! See you soon!”