At the end of the month Will, June, and I are driving up to Seattle to visit my family. The idea of driving there was born out of a few things: 1. Will hates flying and avoids it at all costs, 2. Boarding June is ridiculously expensive due to her being aggressive towards some other dogs and has to go to a special for Dogs That Are Asshats and 3. Not too long ago we traded up our pick up truck for a Honda Element, the most perfect camping/road trip vehicle to ever grace the land. Perfect storm excuse for a fun road trip. We drove across the country when we moved to LA from NYC, but I've never done the West Coast trip via car; we did the Amtrak trip and it was magical.
Now, in an ideal world we'd have like, two weeks so we could go a more fun route, but I want a few quality days in town visiting family (and it's already super tight, no time for friend hanging) so we have to gun it a bit and have a couple very long stretches of driving. But the first leg will be more fun than the way back. Will's uncle has a place in Lake Tahoe, so we're going to go up the 395 and stay there - a drive we did a couple years ago and it was amazing. At the time we had to hustle there and didn't make any stops, but this time we're leaving the night before to knock out a couple hours of the drive so we have time the next day for at least one detour - possible a hike at Mono Lake, or a hot spring visit. After Tahoe we drive to somewhere in or around Eugene, then the next day a shorter day driving to my dad's outside Seattle. The way back we'll just head down 1-5 all the way home, possibly stopping in Ashland the first night and Fresno the second.
While we'll mostly be driving without a ton of time big detour stops, the one thing I'm figuring out is a few fun stops to shake our legs out and the potential to avoid fast food for every meal - which was the worst part about our cross country trip. I think California and Oregon have more potential for this to be avoided than the middle of the country. So, has anyone else done this trip before and have any recommendations? Any tips welcome! I'm finding using Hipcamp and Roadtrippers helpful.
Lastly, I made a fun visual packing list above, because why not. I tried not to keep this somewhat realistic as I'll be bringing most of these or at least some a similar version. A backpack for stops, my trusty favorite camera with lots of film and a good camera strap, a scarf for hiding gross hair days (already necessary around here from growing my hair out latley), burner bags that make campfires easy when you're tired from so much driving, a portable speaker for night time music that doesn't drain your car battery, all my favorite podcasts loaded up for entertainment, socks and boots that can take me from short hikes to getting wet in the city (inevitable), a warm blanket for the car, and a simple denim over shirt.
Herschel Hanson Backpack / Canon A-1 Film Camera / Wood & Faulk Camera Strap / Blockshop Alma Scarf / Poler Burner Bags / Beats Pill Portable Speaker / Pocket Casts App / Madewell Dip Dye Socks / Pendelton Camp Blanket / AYR Denim Clean Shirt / Ecco Elaine Boots