USA roadtrip – Vancouver to San Francisco

At last I’ve hit the road for one awesome month long American roadtrip!

It was such a surreal feeling 6 days ago when I was driving to go pick up Kelly in Vancouver. After 4 months of planning out the whole trip by email I felt like is this really happening? After so long of talking we were finally about to start walking and make these plans a reality.

The weather has been perfect every day, so lucky given it’s supposed to rain a fair bit this time of year along the northern coast. The sensation of actually feeling warmth when the sun is out is amazing. 20 degree days feel like they are nearly 30, I’ve forgotten how hot that is.

First up was Seattle, supposedly the city everyone wants to move to in America. I found the first ever Starbucks, started back in 1971. Starbucks are everywhere around here, and free wifi too.

A big eye opener was the underground tour, the city was originally built on a flood plain and now there are so many passages and first floors of buildings that were once ground level but now completely underground.

Driving further south we passed through the wonderful and small town feel city of Portland, Oregon. It was refreshing walking through a city of low rises instead of sky scrapers for once. Everywhere was so clean and the people so friendly.

Portland from 30 stories up
Portland from 30 stories up

While these cities were fun, I was most looking forward to getting to the big trees. Heading towards the coast to go camping in a California redwood forest was exciting, and it was funny the campground was exactly like I had envisioned it. Right in amongst a dense, dark forest.

Just awesome camping around these goliaths
Just awesome camping around these goliaths
A climbable coast redwood in Jebediah Smith National Park, California
A climbable coast redwood in Jebediah Smith National Park, California

The park info centre guide said go to Klamath outlook to see whales. We thought OMG wouldn’t that be awesome, but we didn’t actually think we’d be that lucky. I mean who ever is that lucky to see whales from land right?

Fast forward an hour and we had soaked up the spectacular view and were about to call it…no whales lets go. Then a man beside us goes “Just to the left of that rock”. Wewewhaaaaat?

We later learned he had been watching these whales for the past 3 days…so lucky we had a trained eye on board or no chance. We ended up seeing 3 or 4 grey whales and a seal or two. They were just hanging out so close to the shore.

Spotting a grey whale spouting at Klamath Overlook, California
Spotting a grey whale spouting at Klamath Overlook, California. “To the left of that rock”

The next couple of days was redwood central. Walking and even driving through a tree!

Strolling among the tallest trees on the planet with no one else to disturb the peaceful serenity was awe inspiring. It gave me a greater appreciation of time knowing that these trees are up to 2000 years old. Growing inch by inch year by year into where they stand now. Every handrail seemed like it was too small given the scale of the surroundings.

The "big tree" in Redwood National Park, California
The “big tree” in Redwood National Park, California
Avenue of the Giants scenic drive, California
Avenue of the Giants scenic drive, California

The last stop we made before San Francisco was at the Napa Valley. It was a big day of driving so not much time but hey I made the time to climb a light post! Now I’m here in San Francisco for the next few days and wow I love it, but that’s for the next post.

A Napa vineyard from the top of an electrical pole
A Napa vineyard from the top of an light post
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