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Life on the Road | June Digest

Olympic Marmot, Olympic National Park, Hurricane Ridge, Washington

Hey Marmot, you’ve got something in your teeth! 😉

 How on Earth is it July already?!  We’ve been on the road for 4 months now, and still loving every minute … okay maybe not loving it when the rain’s been pouring on us for a bit, but we will take some rain if it means lovely waterfalls, rainbows and bright sunny days come afterwards!  We are now embarking on the part of the trip that I have eagerly anticipated the most – Alaska!  But for now, here is the tally of facts and figures from the last month – June 10th through July 10th:

Miles Driven:  3,530 miles  (15,524 miles cumulative for the trip!) [67,373 miles on the ‘Ru as of July 10th] 

Days on the Trip: 119!!  This doesn’t count the few days that Ryan and I both headed to Florida for a quick visit with family.

States Visited:  3 – Oregon, Washington and Alaska.  Also – CANADA! July saw us enter another country, spending lots of time in British Columbia, which is one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been. 

National Parks Visited:  1 National Park in the U.S. – Olympic National Park in Washington.  We also visited Pacific Rim National Park in Canada out on Vancouver Island, which was amazing.  Seems like the entire coast of British Columbia is/should be one huge park – it is gorgeous

Campsites:  CONFESSION:  I have lost track of the campsites.  I’ve got some backtracking to do and I’ll update the list for next month!  We just had such a wonderful month traveling through Washington and British Columbia this month that I simply forgot to jot down details day by day.  What a problem to have, eh?!  

Friends’ Homes/Properties:  6 nights – we stayed out on Rendezvous Island at the absolutely stunning property of some friends of our friends – we are still pinching ourselves and trying to figure out how we got so lucky as to be included in this group to go out for a visit to Rendezvous to celebrate Canada Day and the Fourth of July!  We also stayed in the beautiful Whistler cabin of a friend of our friends and at Hundred Mile House in British Columbia with some friends of friends of friends, if you can believe that! We are slowly but surely expanding our tribe throughout the world!

Miles Hiked:  Another confession – I’ve also lost track of hikes completed and miles hiked, but I’ll take some of the many hours of driving that we have ahead of us as we head towards Alaska to catch up on these statistics. 🙂  One thing about this trip that is important is to go with the flow and jot things down when we feel like it and not to do it when we don’t.  Anyway, that’s my justification at the moment.

Visitors:  14 – well this is really 13 people that we have visited!  We saw some friends who live in Port Angeles, Washington, had a quick dinner with 3 friends in Seattle as we were passing through, stayed out on Rendezvous Island with 6 friends (some new friends!), stayed with another friend of a friend at Whistler, British Columbia, and also crashed on the Hundred Mile House front lawn of a new friend who we were introduced to through the new friends we made at Rendezvous. We have found Canada to be an unbelievably hospitable, friendly, pay-it-forward kind of place and found ourselves being hosted, wined and dined by people we hadn’t met before.  We can’t wait to be able to reciprocate such warm hospitality one day! 

Fish Caught:  2 fish caught by Ryan (in British Columbia!), 0 by Jackie – womp womp.  Hoping for some salmon and halibut this month! 

Books Read:  4.25 (by Jackie):  I am Malala, by Malala Yousafzai, A Walk in the Woods, by Bill Bryson; Where Men Win Glory, by Jon Krakauer (if you can’t tell, I’m a big Krakauer fan!), and Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg.  I am also about 1/4 of the way through 1984 by George Orwell – have you read that one? It’s always been on my list and I’m finally getting around to it.  Ryan is still reading Guns, Germs and Steel by Jared Diamond (ok, I think he’s really stopped reading it but we’ll still give him the benefit of the doubt!) and is also reading a financial book.  We finished Bill Bryson’s A Short History of Nearly Everything on audiobook in the car, and loved it so much, I can’t wait to actually read it and soak up more of the information – I’m a visual learner so audiobooks, while entertaining, are frustrating because I can’t absorb enough of the information in for my liking.  We also started listening on audiobook to Three Cups of Tea but may be discontinuing because we have been informed that part of the story is a hoax, or a fraud – who knew?! And he was exposed by Jon Krakauer, my hero, no less – the world comes full circle, no?  So that’s been replaced by real estate podcasts that Ryan is using to slowly bore me to death.  I’m lobbying to download Under the Banner of Heaven, by Krakauer, which I read a few years ago and loved.  We’ve got a TON of driving to do over the next month so I want to get some good audiobooks.  Do you have any good recommendations?!  

Flies Tied:  0 – Still a bit busy – we have much less free time than either Ryan or I thought we would, so we haven’t tied any flies.  We’ve also seen a lot of rain in the last month so that puts a damper on evening activities.  

OH NO! Moments:  the kitchen of the camper has flooded a couple of times – oh no!  Both floods occurred during extremely heavy and extended downpour, and also while we were driving in the rain, so we are thinking it has something to do with the seals being compromised on the back hatch while driving in the heavy rain.  Not a catastrophe by any stretch, but something we will keep watching out for.

Breathtaking Moments:  There have been so many, and I am hoping that we are not yet getting accustomed to such beautiful scenery so that we continue to have so many more breathtaking moments.  On the top of my list for the last month were: hanging with a tribe of Olympic Marmot on the top of Hurricane Ridge in Olympic National Park, tide pooling and discovering anemone and starfish in Tofino on Vancouver Island, spending an incredibly fun and reinvigorating few days with friends, old and new, and taking in the majestic views at Rendezvous Island, British Columbia, and today we saw two glaciers in British Columbia/Alaska.  It’s a surprise I have any breath left, it seems!

July and August bring such mixed emotions for me.  These peak summer months bring more and more tourists to crowd us out in our campsites and on our hikes and other adventures, which is less than enticing, but here’s to hoping we at least meet some interesting people out on the road.  These months bring sunshine (mostly) and warmth, which I have been needing very much lately, but they also bring mosquitoes (AAHHHHH).  They also mark the other side of the hump – we have originally envisioned this as a 6 month road trip and we are now into our fourth month, so with that realization comes a bit of stress that the trip has to come to an end at some point.  My gypsy soul simply isn’t ready to accept this.  Good thing I’ve got Alaska ahead of me to distract myself from the dismay of getting back to reality one day!

What are your must d0 (or must skip) places and activities in Northern British Columbia, the Yukon, Alaska and Alberta?  We would love any and all recommendations that you can send our way! 

BY Jackie
BLOGGED FROM Stewart, British Columbia