We decided to do another 2-day “car only” segment when we left on our road trip from Seattle to Oregon. We were on or way down to Oakland, CA and eventually LA. We made it a point to drive down the Pacific Coast as much as possible. We went without a hotel this time to avoid paying for a Saturday night stay and to make up for some of the high spending we did in Seattle. Plus, it’s fun to rough it a bit and we’ve been pretty comfortable this trip. We logged 937 miles in two days and saw some of the most amazing coastline we’ve ever seen (and we’ve seen a lot of beaches!). If we did it again, we could probably spend a week driving here and still not get enough of it!
We left Tacoma in the afternoon that Saturday, taking advantage of a late check-out, knowing that we would be driving late into the night before we could sleep in the car. On our way out of Tacoma we ran into a major hiccup. There was an air-show at the local Air Force Base, and the interstate was tied up for two hours according to our Google Maps. We jumped off the Interstate and went on a 20-mile detour around the AFB and finally got our way back on our route an hour or two behind. We booked it for a while, and I was pretty irritated that our day started off so sideways. We stopped for a late lunch at a recreational lakeside that helped cheer us both up a bit.
It’s funny how things seem to work out for the better though. When we got off the Highway at our first major junction, we ran into a car show (pics here) that was parading down the street. If we hadn’t been tied up in traffic we would have never seen the parade, and it was totally cool. Funny how things work out for the better, eh?
Once the car show wrapped up and our moods were greatly improved, the truly amazing drive began (for all the route details check out the Great Drive article). It started off with the lush evergreen forests that were part logging territory and part preserve. We’ve seen our fair share of pine forest in Florida, but these were all different kinds of fir’s and other trees, so it looked like we were driving through a giant enchanted Christmas tree forest.
While still being stunned by the enchanted forest, we came to the coast. We saw miles and miles of the most awe-inspiring scenery one could ever imagine. It was such a jarring juxtaposition that Lauren and I pulled over wherever we could and just gawked at the raw and visceral beauty of it. Coming from Miami where the beaches are white manicured sand, this was as jarring as the difference between Vanilla ice cream and Cherry Garcia. Vanilla may be America’s favorite, but this stuff will rock your world!
For all of our relationship there has always been something special about the ocean to Lauren and I. It has always been a combination of the soothing and the inspirational. Watching the waves crash along a sea-side cliff from 200ft above has an ability to put the world into perspective. It can lift you up and make you feel so small at the same time. We drove along the ocean for hours passing through little beach towns just enjoying the scenery. Whenever the speed limit dropped to 35, we rolled down the windows and sucked in the sea breeze.
We stopped to have a beach picnic for dinner. We all loved the chance to get out of the car and walk the beach for a while and Punkin couldn’t get enough of chasing the birds. The sea breeze was nice but a bit frigid. If you plan on going to the beach on the west coast in the evening, make sure to bring a hoodie. The sun started to set so we decided to head on our way and make some mileage.
We headed back to interstate through Newport and cruised down I-5 well into the night. By that time Lauren was passed out in the car and I kept pushing forward to make as many miles as I could. It was nice to enjoy a couple of hours of solitude. We finally stopped in the nicest rest area I’ve ever seen, a few miles North of Grants Pass where I promptly fell fast asleep beside my already slumbering wife.
Check out all the photos below, and feel free to comment!
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