Pambling Roads ~~ California to Washington

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Go West!

And we did. From the Space Coast of Florida across the U.S. of A., we made it to California. 

 

Border Patrol between Arizona and California?

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Yes, they do! Seriously, we thought we had made a wrong turn. At the California and Arizona border we had to stop at Border Patrol and answer a few questions. While we were in line I was scrambling for our passports. Luckily, we brought them just in case we decided to go into Mexico or Vancouver. They never asked for our passports but requested our driver’s licenses. The gentleman was very professional, polite, and considerate. To this day we are not sure why there is a border patrol station at the California border. 

There was a truck, pulled over to the side where a BP officer was speaking with a couple of men. They didn’t look very happy at all. 

 

Indio, California

Indio was a “rest” stop. The Best Western hotel was wonderful.

 

We ate at the El Campanario restaurant. If you like Mexican food, this is definitely the place to go. When we purchased gas at a station near the hotel, we had to go inside with credit card because the unit outside was not working properly.

 

Morro Bay, California

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We stayed at the Best Western in Morro Bay and it was wonderful, as usual. During our stay they had replaced all the furniture in the rooms. We originally picked Morro Bay because it was close to my cousins and wanted to visit with them. It was beautiful there. What an awesome area to visit!

The first night we watched the sun set on the Pacific Ocean.

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We walked around the Embarquedero and along the wharfs. Spotted some otters and sea lions swimming and enjoyed the marina and bay.

We missed the Museum of Natural History but it was highly recommended.

 

We ate lunch with my cousins on the patio of the Fairways Restaurant at the Dairy Creek Golf Course. The food was excellent, the views at the course were breathtaking, and the company was awesome.

http://www.slocountyparks.com/facilities/dairycreek.htm

 

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We spent some time at Pismo Beach. We had to put our feet in the water. We did drive over 3000 miles to see the Pacific Ocean and were determined to at least get our feet wet. The temperature of the water was about 50 degrees, so no swimming for us.

http://www.pismobeach.com

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North of San Simeon was an awesome lookout area that we found when we took a drive up the coast to see the elephant seals at Piedras Blancas. There were a lot of seals basking in the sun. It was very cold, it was very windy, and it was worth every second to watch them. We stood staring fascinated at the huge graceful beasts played around or just laid in the sun, enjoying the day. We were told that there are times when there are so many of the seals that you can’t even see the sand.

http://www.elephantseal.org

 

 

Ragged Point

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Lunch at Ragged Point, the area was gorgeous. There was a park where we were able to sit and relax and enjoy the view.

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We were going to tour Hearst Castle but there was an hour waiting time and neither one of us wanted to wait that long. We were able to see it from a distance. It was very majestic and we knew there must be a breathtaking view from the windows and patios of the home.

 

Rocca’s Surf Shack in Morro Bay

 

We were hungry, tired, and just wanted to relax. Neither one of us really wanted to dress up for dinner and decided to do casual. When we choose the Surf Shack we were not expecting anything spectacular. We figured it would just be a good quick meal.

It was not at all mediocre in any way. Yes, it is a casual place to dine but boy was the service great and the food was scrumptious!

https://www.facebook.com/roccassurfshack

 

 

San Francisco, California

 

We stayed at the Best Western in Martinez (near San Francisco) and would definitely recommend it. Best Western is always consistent with their service and hospitality. We know what to expect when we stay at one.

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San Francisco was everything we expected it to be. Our first day there was cold, rainy, and foggy. We ordered good weather, but someone didn't get the memo or either somewhere along the lines the weather gods felt our first day in the Bay Area should be cold and rainy.

We met Louise Snead, owner of Affaire de Coeur magazine and her son William. I have worked for her for eight years, spoken on the phone, emailed, snail mailed but had never met. It was great. She and her son played tour guide and we had a blast! Bless his generous, patient heart, William was elected to do the driving and made it a most wonderful time for us. We were thrilled to meet them and both are wonderful people to be around.

We saw so much, I know I couldn’t name it all.

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The Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz

Berkley and etc.

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Coit Tower on top of Telegraph Hill

Fisherman’s Wharf

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The Transamerica Pyramid Building and The Crookedest Street

Sausalito

 

http://www.sfbayfun.com

 

Muir Woods National Monument

 

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It was rainy, foggy, and cold on the day we were scheduled to go to Muir Woods where the tallest redwood trees can be found. We were determined to see them. Not knowing whether we would ever be back this way again, we did not want regrets. The drive to the park was scary, raining, in thick fog on winding roads, oh, but it was worth it.

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When we arrived the rain had stopped. We finally made it to the tree lover’s paradise. The majestic redwood trees, some over 600 years old and as tall as can be. We walked to the end of the paved areas and headed back. We took our time through the Bohemian and Cathedral groves where they had the biggest and widest trees. It probably took us a little under two hours but we tended to stay and stare and take a boatload of pictures.

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We stopped at the visitor center before and after our walk. Their gift shop is chock full of great stuff. I definitely walked out of there with a couple of bags and a tree. The tree didn’t survive the trip across the US. My fault entirely, I left it in the car by accident and the desert heat did it in.

 

“Rest Night” at the Comfort Inn at the California north border in Yreka. Very comfortable hotel.

 

Oregon

 

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We stayed in Grants Pass, Oregon at the Best Western.

 

Crater Lake National Park

 

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Besides seeing snow on the ground at the end of June, Crater Lake looks exactly like all the pictures we have seen. I always believed that these photographers adjusted or “photo-shopped” the blue in the lake so it would look like a deeper, more striking blue.

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They don’t. It is that blue!

Not all the roads were open for us but that was fine. We still spent an afternoon walking and enjoying the sight. Our camera broke, froze as we were taking pictures. A wonderful couple, on their honeymoon, realized what happened and offered to take a picture of the two of us together. They did and then sent it to my email address. We really appreciate them doing that for us. We chatted for a while and then went our separate ways.

They have a boat tour, swimming is allowed. However, snorkeling, scuba diving, and long distance swimming is not allowed due to possible disruption of the natural habitats and aqua life.

My husband and I had our first snowball fight. He thought he would surprise me by having some in his hand when we got in the car. Almost, but not quite. He sure was surprised when I dropped snow down the back of his shirt…I won.

We did not stay at the lodge at Crater Lake. However, it looked like it would have been a great place to stay.

www.nationalparks.org/explore-parks/crater-lake-national-park

http://www.craterlakelodges.com/lodging/crater-lake-lodge

 

 

 

The Oregon Vortex

 

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Picture one: It is obvious that I am shorter than my husband, Ray.   Picture two: Same place, only we switched places. I know look the same height as Ray.

 

The Oregon Vortex is in Gold Hill, Oregon and was far from a disappointment. It is a small area where odd gravitational fluxes occur. If the reader has ever heard of the odd occurrences around the Bermuda Triangle, this is the land version of strange happenings. The vortex has been debated and tested by renowned experts and no one, so far, has been able to explain the phenomenon. They have plumb bobs that you can move and attempt to make it look as if it is going perfectly vertical and it will appear to lean at a 30 degree angle.

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     I thought the orb on the right was quite fascinating. There are a few more pictures that have the orb in different places in the house but this was the best picture, defining the orb without any question as to what it is.

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As you stand in certain areas, you can feel the pull, your body fighting against an unknown force. We noticed the other people on the tour appearing to lean at 45 degree angles, angles that would normally make someone fall but they weren’t leaning, it just appeared as if they were. We watch a ball roll uphill, or I should shay appear to roll uphill. We did the platform test and you can see for yourself how appearances are deceiving. Your height can appear to change in front of everyone’s eyes.

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The area is only approximately ½ acre but the whole time you were there, you can feel the force of the vortex.

 

www.oregonvortex.com

 

Washington

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Tumwater, Washington       

 

The Best Western Tumwater was per the norm, friendly and clean, with conscientious employees.

www.bestwesternwashington.com/hotels/best-western-tumwater-inn

 

We drove through the historical district in Tumwater before we visited the falls. We enjoy looking at old buildings and their different architecture.

www.olytumfoundation.org

 

Tumwater Falls Park 

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We are in love with this park. The park is part of the historic district in Tumwater. The walking trails are beautifully tended. It is a peaceful walk as you enjoy the scenery, waterfalls and river as well as the geological beauty of the trees and shrubs surrounding you. We spoke with one of the park employees, Willie Robinson, who cheerfully answered our many questions.

There are fish ladders and holding ponds where you can view the salmon migration.

 

http://www.olytumfoundation.org/park.asp

 

Crosby House

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The Crosby House is located just a blink from the Tumwater Falls. The Crosby family settled in the area. They are ancestors of the famous actor Bing Crosby. (His grandparents’ home) Mr Bing Crosby did have a hand in preserving the house for Tumwater historical purposes.  Many of the antique furnishings/decor in the home are owned by the Crosby family and some were donated or loaned for display.

 

www.ci.tumwater.wa.us/historical_crosbyhouse.htm

 

Falls Terrace Restaurant

 

This is an awesome restaurant. Enjoy your meal while you absorb the beauty of a portion of the Tumwater Falls and park. Not only will you get a great view, you will be served with perfection, enjoy a mouthwatering satisfying meal, and relish in the vision of the falls. Our server was Erich. He was pleasant, friendly, efficient, and could not have given us better service, as top-notch as they come.

www.fallsterrace.com

 

 

Olympia/Percival Landing/Puget sound

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We went to the Olympia’s Farmers Market, ate lunch, and walked around there for a few hours. Over near the docks and bay area, we watched the boats and saw hundreds of jelly fish. There were so many jelly fish that the water looked like it had white polka dots.

 http://olympiawa.gov/community/parks/percival-landing.aspx

 

Mount Rainier

 

We decided to take the long way back to eastern Oregon and drove between Mount Rainier and Mount Saint Helens. We couldn’t have made a better decision.

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Mt. Rainier was breathtaking. It is a volcano/mountain that rises 14,410-foot above the rest of the Cascade Mountains and is the highest point in the range. It has over 25 glaciers on the top of the mountain. Just like in all the pictures we have seen, it has a halo-cloud over its head.

www.mount.rainier.national-park.com

 

 

Mount St. Helens

 

The beautiful drive between the mountains in the Cascades was memorable. It is something neither one of us will ever forget. Seeing St. Helens from a distance brought back those memories of watching it literally explode, watching the top and side of the mountain explode was one of those moments in life where you just can’t look away.

If you have never seen the eruption, it is on youtube.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xP2dreOI8gI

http://mountsthelens.com

 

 

Eastern Oregon

 

Our stay at the Hermiston Best Western was a bit different than most. Everything was fine except one slight issue. The first morning we were there the fire alarm kept going on and off. I slight wobble that was out of their control. They apologized profusely. We understood, although there were some guests who were not as patient with the problem.

The first night, we ate at the Denny’s. The dinner was good, above average service, and excellent desserts. They had a bar/lounge and we planned to return later that evening but ended up going the next night instead.

 

Pendleton

 

This was a side trip about a town that we didn’t know existed until we were looking at the pamphlets in the hotel lobby. This town is an historical author’s dream come true. It’s right there just waiting to be used as a setting for a great western novel.

 

 

Umatilla County Historical Museum -- Heritage Station Museum

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This is located in downtown Pendleton and is a great place to start your journey on the history of Pendleton. It is the old Pendleton train station where they have several exhibits from the early years all the way to WW2. There is an old 1930’s fire truck, a caboose, one-room school house, and a cabin on display.

There is a lot of history in Pendleton and we imagine that their galleries are constantly bringing in new and exciting things to see.

http://pendletonhistoricalmuseum.com

 

The Pendleton Underground Tours

 

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Underground tour had a note on the door that said they would be open but it was closed. We called, leaving a message, to get a reservation for a tour but they didn’t return our call until the next morning when we were checking out of the hotel.

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It was a half hour drive from our hotel but we managed to arrive a few moments late and only missed the video. It was like going through a different world, a hidden town where bars entertained the men, card rooms for those interested in gambling, an ice cream parlor, a meat market, a Duck Pin bowling alley and the Chinese living quarters and opium dens. Above ground, we toured the Cozy Rooms run by Stella Darby and her working girls.

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There is so much historical information along with entertaining tidbits from the tour guide. It is so full of history. With every step I took farther into the underground rooms, the more ideas for stories and tales went through my head. It is a smorgasbord of novelty, drama, and history.

www.pendletonundergroundtours.com

 

 

McNary Lock and Dam

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McNary is owned by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Located north of Hermiston, there is a visitor center there that you can see all the different ways the dam is benefiting the area. There is a fish viewing room connected to one of the fish ladders.

http://columbiariverimages.com/Regions/Places/mcnary_dam.html

 

So far we have written articles about ~~ New Mexico to Arizona ~~ Texas ~~ Louisiana ~~ Alabama to Florida ~~ Ohio to Mississippi ~~ New Hampshire to Niagara Falls, CA ~~ DC to RI to Maine ~~ Williamsburg/Jamestown, VA ~~ Washington, DC ~~ Georgia and South Carolina ~~ West Coast of Florida ~~ Key West 

 

 

Thank you for taking the time to read about our adventures traveling the United States. Our goal? The 48 states! I tried, really I did, I tried really hard to get my husband to agree to drive to Alaska. I didn't win that one. Maybe the next time.

It has been a great adventure, meeting the Americans, and meeting people from all over the world. Share with us, we want to hear all about it! 

Have you been to any of the places I have mentioned? Do you have stories to tell as well? Take advantage of comment section below and tell us your stories.  

 

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