First Two Weeks

Trip time 13.03.34.54 – Near Page AZ

I don’t know how anyone else rolls, but we no longer use the terms driver/passenger or pilot/copilot. As rail fans we’ve assumed the job titles of engineer (drives the train) and conductor (they ensure safety and comfort and make announcements to keep passengers informed). Using the GPS, AAA paper map, smartphone and asking a local, we manage to avoid being temporarily unsure of our position. When Sherry is the engineer, she is also the conductor!

The trip so far has included a wonderful stay with friends near South Bend WA, runs on the beach and river swimming for Allie and Kinnon in Oregon and a couple of great meet-ups with my brother Harry in Salt Lake City. The segments from the coast to Bend and from Bend to Winnemucca were over the limit of what we like to drive, which is about 275 miles.

Our Navion gives us sleeping options of two twin beds or a king size. We left home with sleeping bags and an assortment of quilts but along the way found fitting sets of sheets. The old bedding should find new homes in Draper UT.

Utah 14 in Dixie National Forest

Utah 14 in Dixie National Forest

Having been to Zion NP before, we decided to try Utah 14 and US 89 between Cedar City and Kanab. Not only is Dixie National Forest awesome to look at, but Midway Summit is just shy 10,000 feet. The Navion was more than capable and we often had to slow down behind passenger cars on the 8% grades. A great improvement over our previous 5 cylinder View!

Switchback on Utah 14

Switchback on Utah 14

A note of appreciation to Best Friends Animal Sanctuary. We didn’t stop as we’ve visited before, but we did note that will all the great work they do with the animals in their care they still have time to keep a section of US 89 free of litter!

Lake Powell small

The view from my bed this morning. The Wahweap National Recreational Area near Page AZ is incredible and I grilled burgers last tonight. The conductor and I ran the numbers on the itinerary later this morning so we have plenty of East Coast time before crossing into New Brunswick on April 30th.

Off to Apache Junction AZ in the morning!

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Willipa Bay

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Our first day was about three and half hours, driving down Hood Canal on US 101 to visit friends who live on Willipa Bay in Pacific County. They have  perfectly level drive with power and water. As one can see, the view is magnificent. My maternal grandfather and great grandfather moved up from Astoria and were fishermen out of South Bend and Tokeland. We have been invited back.

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First small town burger was in Elma. We don’t usually frequent chain burger places when we travel, except McD often serves good coffee.

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The dogs weathered the first day well Kinnon (above) sleeps and Allie sits and pants. Dramamine doesn’t phase her.

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Dennis and Kathy have an adopted peacock named Henry. Kinnon is a bit birdy, so Henry is now in the woods. Smart fellow!

Walkabout 2015 Preparation

route

Proposed Route

With three days and some amount of hours left until we push-back I thought I’d better offer a preview of the preparation and trip, if nothing else than to review them myself.

Above left is the most current itinerary, a counter-clockwise trip around the US and Canada. Parameters for the dates are mid-June graduation of Grandson Mitchell and the mid May opening of the Canadian Rockies.

Each walkabout we’ve taken (this will be number three) we’ve made fewer reservations and been more open to “one day at a time.” We also try to drive less each day, with 300 miles as a guideline maximum. More state, provincial and national parks.

Outfitting the new Navion has been fun, and we’ll do more rearranging on the road. The four cylinder, twin turbo diesel and 7 speed transmission make the rig a dream to drive, with 18.5 mpg so far. The floor plan (we chose the L-shaped sectional) is much more livable than our 2006 View.

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