We took off from Mesa in mid May and quickly reached Joshua Tree National Park. Joshua Tree is one of my favorite places with its unusual scenery and cooler temperatures.
We worked our way north along the western side of the Sierra Nevada Mountains and hit Sequoia, King's Canyon, and Yosemite National Parks along the way.
Continuing north through central California, we enjoyed waterfalls, the area around Mt. Shasta, and Lassen National Park. Our favorite camping spot was the free campground at Lake Shastina where we stayed for almost two weeks.
The beginning of July, we made it to Oregon where we used Klamath Falls area as our base for a visit to Lava Beds National Park and a great hike along the Pacific Crest Trail,
Plus a trip to amazing Crater Lake National Park.
Next we moved to beautiful, but buggy, Diamond Lake where we took an 11-mile bike ride around the lake. We followed OR138 just north of the lake to see some of the many waterfalls along the North Umpqua River. These wild rhododendrons were along one of the trails.
We fell in love with the area around Bend, Oregon. Not only is the area incredibly scenic with lots of wonderful hiking, but the town itself is just the right size and the people are very active. This is Tumalo Falls.
Sparks Lake is also just outside of Bend and is probably the most photogenic lake I've ever seen.
But even Bend couldn't keep us forever and in early August we moved on to Silverton where we saw Silver Falls State Park and Oregon State Garden.
At this point, my calendar pictures jump from Silverton, Oregon, to Whidbey Island which is close to the northern border of Washington and our northernmost point on the trip. On the way, we saw Mt. St. Helens, a terrific Lumberjack Festival, Mt. Rainier (in the clouds), and the other side of Mt. St. Helens. But I chose my pictures for scenic value and picked this shot of a fisherman on the beach of Whidbey Island.
We took a fun boat ride through Deception Pass.
And I'll never forget my crabbing experience.
One of our favorite stops was Sequim, near Olympic National Park where a local WIN was kind enough to take us on a hike with views for miles.
We took the ferry to Victoria, British Columbia, where we took a tour bus to see as much as possible.
We had a great day exploring Seattle.
By mid September, we were back in Oregon in seriously cute Astoria. After that, we mostly hugged the coast all the way to Redwood Valley, CA. This seagull was at one of the rest stops along US101 in Oregon.
Here we have the Yaquina Bay Bridge
And Yaquina Head lighthouse.
And lastly, Cape Foulweather which luckily didn't live up to its name. All of these last three were in or near Newport where we also visited the Oregon Coast Aquarium.
We continued south along the coast with fun stops in North Bend and Gold Beach, OR, and Eureka, CA, then through the fabulous Avenue of the Giants.
We followed US101 to Redwood Valley, then took CA20 across the state to Sparks, NV. After a day trip to historic Virginia City, we continued across Nevada, moving shamelessly quickly with only a pause to watch for UFOs along the Extraterrestrial Highway.
We joined the WINs at Boulder Beach CG on Lake Mead for a well-deserved rest.
We checked out the new Hoover Dam bypass bridge and took a trip into Las Vegas. From there it was just a hop, skip, and jump back to Mesa and the end of our trip just before Halloween.