6/27/10

Road Trip=RAW

My baby graduated from kindergarten. I enjoyed 5 days of child-less bliss in Mexico with 5 like minded girlfriends. And after 10 days in a Rental RV barreling up the coast to Seattle and back with my darling family I've decided to embrace the raw food diet. Call it one too many burgerrific meals wrapped in greasy paper, the Licorice that broke the driver's colon, call it what you will but my digestive tract can't take another over processed mouthful. I need a change, I need cleansing, I need Shuma Noya?! Flaxseed oil?! Coconut Bliss?!
I choked down an In n Out meal on the last painful leg of our 2000 mile journey yesterday and woke up this morning with veggies on the brain, a squishy middle and a rotting inside.
Wait, let me recap, in the bittiest of detail (well, bitty for this detail obessessed weirdo), my fantastic journey across the Northwest. Let me first say this: #1. John and I have never ventured farther North than the greater Napa valley for pleasure purposes. So our curiosity was the first incentive. And an invitation from a wonderful cousin and her awesome family to come to Seattle was all we needed to make it an official destination. #2. Why not fly? At age 3, Ana makes it four full priced airline tickets for our family. Ugh. My other options are?? #4. Our girls were getting dangerously close to morphing into anti-wilderness princess freaks ("eew, dirt! daddy hand me my nail file!") and we knew we needed to break them quick.
After months of planning, and packing (now you know where I've been...at Target spending my daughter's inheritence), and mapping we finally set off on our 10 day adventure (now that's an understatement). We bombed up on a Thursday, picked the RV up in Oakland, dropped our car at a friend's/had dinner, and made it to Redding by 1:00 am. Friday was one of my more successfully planned days: stopped in the quaint town of Ashland, Oregon and explored Lithia Park, the Shakespearean Theater and garb, and surrounding city all by foot. Further north that same day, we stopped at the quirkiest theme park outside of Salem, Oregon called The Enchanted Forest. Strange, dusty, and rather entertaining for what it's worth.
The following morning we headed through Portland to Voodoo Doughnuts-amazing Bacon Maple Bars!!! Holy sugar! And then to Seattle for family fun, a trip to the cute zoo, and parent's night out to Tilth for dinner and Molly Moon's...can I just say this is the greatest ice cream known to man? We waited in line at 9 pm for nearly half an hour: carrot cake ice cream, honey lavender ice cream, Scout Chip, Espresso Bean icecream...you get the idea!
Monday was a sad departure from our family in Seattle but many miles awaited us and 4 hours south we were camped at the base of Mount Hood-a pristine backdrop-literally on the heavily wooded shore of Lake Trillium. Definitely an amazing family stop! Salamanders in the lake! Tuesday we drove 2 hours south to Tumalo, Oregon near Bend. More snow capped mountain views and dry dessert campground on the river. We pumped up our inter tubes and hiked up through the day use area about a mile, jumped in and floated and giggled all the way down the river right to our campsite! Wednesday was a long drive across to the Grants Pass area of Indian Mary on the banks of the Rogue River. Hot weather, cool roaring river and plenty of grassy shaded area to run and roam. I tried my first Frisbee golf course and grilled quesadillas over the campfire! We even rode this gigantic blue aluminum jet boat up the Rogue River through Hellgate Canyon! Very entertaining and a perfect excursion for our girls (at 50+ mph). Sad to leave to the beauty and oddities of Oregon, we headed across the border back to California and were pleasantly thrilled by our drippy rain forest-ish surroundings at Patrick's Point on the north western California State beach. Dense ferns and sky scraping redwoods gave way to cliff hanging views of the California coastline. And BANANA SLUGS!! And bunnies, and elk and electric blue blue jays, and the occasional rat...yep. Agate beach awaited us below our ocean view campsite where a waterfall met the sand and rock hunting captivated my entire family for hours. We then took our gigantic 24 foot motor home on the most hair tingling drive toward Fort Bragg and Caspar Beach along Highway 1. Wow, your Cal trans dollars are not hard at work on that stretch of highway. Sheer cliffs, hairpin turns and the narrowest potholed highway I've ever experienced kept John and I clutching the dash, steering wheel, and each other as we dropped down into the Mendocino County of rugged beauty and even more weirdness than we found in Oregon. Caspar Beach was a disappointment, especially the dirt parking lot of an RV park. We literally wedged our motor home into our space, inched open the door and stepped out onto our 3X7 foot sliver of dirt where a rusted out wheel rim stood in place of the fire pit. This called for a Keystone and a cigarette. No bones about it. Or teeth for that matter, apparently they're optional at Caspar Beach.
By the way, Mendocino County and my house are definitely not in the same state...they can't be-we drove 9 hours yesterday to get home!!!! We didn't even cover half of California in that stretch.
Conclusions: if you're going to rent an RV, know that Cruise America is probably your cheapest bet. Warning: you get what you pay for. So if you go that route, bring earplugs (the rattling kitchen sink gets really old on an 11 hour road trip) and don't expect the staff to have much personality or sympathy (they can't make much $$ there, so who can blame 'em). Both John and I said we'd do it all over again (with a few adjustments) in a heartbeat. Bring disposable clothes, my campfire laundry is eating me alive!!!!! RV camping is exactly that, it's camping...in an RV...not going out to fancy dinners and stopping in for a bite to eat at that great bistro for lunch (unless you have an amazing cousin in Seattle with an equally amazing babysitter). You're dusty and dirty, your crap is rolling and rattling around in a giant tin can on wheels that you can't park anywhere, and even if you could find something in your luggage that doesn't stink like campfire, the water tank doesn't hold enough shower to clean your entire family up for a presentable appearance. You're camping. You're experiencing the wilderness, you're roasting marshmallows and sitting under the stars and exploring trails and touching giant yellow slugs.
It was dirty. It was quality time together as a family, alone. It was loud and smokey and sandy. It was hilarious. And frustrating. It was sugary sweet and greasy. It was charred black. It was heavenly and stunning and wonderful. It was gas guzzling. It was icy cold and sticky hot. It was Paul Bunyan in the parking lot. It was bed head and hot chocolate mustaches. It was bunnies on the path and deer in the park. It was a potty on wheels. It was rock hunting and baseball. It was piping hot coffee and the perfect s'more. Flying wine bottles. Dumping the pooper. It was the art box, lollipops, and duct tape. It was a picture journal written by a kindergartner. It was Hey There Sister, I don't wanna miss you (sung by my 2 year old) times 134.
It was amazing. I want to do it again tomorrow.

PS I got so caught up in recapping my vacation I'll have to fill you in on the raw foods craziness next time. Glad to be back and keep those comments coming, it helps me to know someone's still out there listening:)

3 comments:

NewportJaime said...

It sounds like the RV road trip was a great bonding experience for the fam. Maybe I can convice my hubby that we should do the same thing.

I have heard about Voodoo Doughnuts and the exotic flavors of doughnuts they offer. I always wanted to go there.

Changing the diet is a great idea. I went healthy a couple of years ago and it gave me a bounce in my step.

Anonymous said...

here and listening:) miss your posts!

Grandmamala said...

Well, you just brought back fond memories for me....we took this same trip in and RV 30 years ago with the boys (age 3 and 2) and I was just preggo with Courtney. Patrick's Point was our all time favorite campground...too bad you didn't hit the Samoa Cookhouse near Eureka....serious food. Anyway, glad you are back safe and sound and thanks for bringing one of our greatest vacations with the kids back to life in 2010. XOXO The Neighba