Day 1 begins

Saint Paul Travel Blog

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I had planned a two week trip out to the Pacific Northwest, but as the date of departure came closer, I found myself unexpectedly with more time on my hands.  I decided to extend my trip and make it a four and a half week road trip.  I had invited a few friends, but they mostly bailed on me.  My good friend Amy decided that she could join me for a week of the trip, but otherwise I was on my own.  I had never taken a trip this long before, much less a solo road trip, so it would be interesting to see how it goes.  I had been planning for weeks, months even.  I had my routes figured out, driving directions, a rough itinerary and a list of places to visit.  I only made a few overnight reservations, as I preferred to have a flexible schedule.  You never really know how long you want to spend at each place. 

I was up until 2 am – wide awake, packing… then I couldn’t get up in the morning.  I still had lots of packing to do.  When I finally finished, my car was packed full.  I’m not sure where Amy will sit when she gets here. For the most part, I would be camping.  I only had a few nights where I planned to be in a hotel – I figured about once a week.  Therefore, my car was full of camping equipment: tents, sleeping bags, air mattresses, camping chairs, campfire supplies, lanterns, etc.  I had double supplies because I had the room and didn’t want to waste time and money shopping to replace gear I already owned.  If something happened to my tent, I had my smaller, back up tent with me.  Since I was trying to keep this a cheap trip, I was planning to make my own meals, or at least to eat simply.  I had tote full of cooking supplies, food, pots and pans, a stove, etc.  And two coolers – a big one for food in the back and a small one for drinks up in the front.  Oh, and enough clothes to last a couple of weeks between laundry stops.  So yeah, my car was full!  My goal was to do this trip on $100 a day. 

The places I planned to visit were:

    - Badlands National Park and the Black Hills – South Dakota

    - Devils Tower, Yellowstone National Park and Grand Teton National Park – Wyoming

    - Craters of the Moon – Idaho

    - Oregon Trail, John Day Fossil beds, Oregon Coast, Crater Lake, Columbia River Gorge – Oregon

    - Redwoods – California

    - Olympic National Park, Seattle – Washington

    - Victoria and Vancouver – British Columbia

    - Jasper and Banff National Parks – Alberta

I planned to visit some places I hadn’t been in a long time, as well as new places I wanted to see.  I planned some big hikes and wanted to find some specific geocaches.  And lots of driving.  Since this trip covers 4 ½ weeks with many, many stops, I decided to break this blog into 4 parts.  Each part is roughly 1 week long and the stops are grouped geographically and chronologically.  

Week 1 – South Dakota, Wyoming, Idaho, Oregon

Week 2 – Oregon and California (with Amy), Washington

Week 3 – Victoria, Vancouver, Seattle

Week 4 – Jasper, Banff and the long drive home

Suusj says:
Congrats on being featured :).
Posted on: Jan 20, 2016
halilee says:
Congrats on your featured blog :D
Posted on: Jan 19, 2016
vances says:
Excellent itinerary!
Posted on: Jan 19, 2016
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Saint Paul
photo by: mahoney