From Guerneville (HWY116) we drove up the famous 1 then 101 roads next to the Pacific Ocean. The ocean was wild with huge dangerous looking waves and the road was super windy. But I guess after all the time we spent in one place over Christmas and New Years we were eager to get a move on and so found the winding roads frustrating more than anything. It was a really nice drive but coming from New Zealand we had seen our fair share of ocean and after a few brief stops for a walk along the beach we drove on into the evening. We couldn’t find a place to free camp as all the beach pull outs had prominent “No Camping” signs. In the end we found a cheap $15 campground to stay in, we were the only ones there and the showers were cold but they had a nice grassy field for us to park in.
That night a Joel’s we ate pizza and watched a very funny movie called Due Date which was about two unlikely friends forced into a crazy road trip. We laughed so hard because we could relate well to their trials and tribulations on the road. After the movie we did some planning and Joel convinced us to stay inland from Crater Lake National Park and drive the 97 road through the mountains to the town of Bend he thought we would like Bend and the mountainous drive more that the ocean alternative.
We left Joel’s early the following morning an made our way first on highways then on snowy icy roads to Crater Lake National Park. At the visitors centre we watched yet another National Park movie then booked in to do the free snow shoeing ranger tour as we hadn’t been snow shoeing before. We ate some horrible canned soup in the car park as real deal snow shoers walked passed us amateurs. Then after lunch we walked to the meeting point and put on our snow shoes. Will had his own traditional ones he’d bought back in Colorado but I had to use theirs and there were so many people there that they gave me the kiddie ones. They worked out ok though because there wasn’t much snow. Certainly nothing compared to the 40 foot of snow they usually average each winter, this year they only had about three foot and it was hard packed so you hardly needed the snow shoes at all but it was a good introduction for us and the weather was stunning not a breath of wind to disturb the mirror like lake.
After lunch we returned to the road and made it to Salem before stopping into a Motel 6 for the night and a much needed shower. Will doesn't remember this Motel 6 but I do. It wasn't the nicest place with a bunch of strange people walking around and the room smelt a bit and the duvet cover had a few holes but it was clean enough. The next day we had some errands to do and had to take Scout to the vet for another check up, by the time we had all that done it was dark when we arrived in Portland 75km away. Will was keen to stop in at a Sportsman's Warehouse so we found one and after a look around what must have been the tenth Sportsman's Warehouse we have been into we had Chinese for dinner and slept in the Dodge in the car park.
We could tell the area wasn't the best but we still felt safe enough. During the night while we were both in a deep sleep we were startled awake by this loud banging on the window and someone yelling "Policía, policía!". For a moment we thought we were back in South America but no we were still in Portland. Will opened the door to find two police officers and one with his gun out. He tells us that our vehicle matches the description of a vehicle involved in a vicious kidnapping. We are shocked but almost amused as this is obviously not us… honestly how does a Dodge Durango with stickers, Chilean licence plates and a bunch of random stuff on the roof match there description? The cop is all angry though and wants to see our passports which are "under the bed and I'm naked" says Will. "I've seen it all before" replies the cop "so keep that door open". Will grabs the passports and given all the stamps in them our story cheeks out and the cops immediately turn all nice guy. They radio us in though and say that it's not a very good neighbourhood so the police will keep an eye on us. They ask us to park closer to the road and leave saying "most of the bad guys will have gone to bed now but keep your doors locked". It's 4:30am we move the car in a daze the go back to sleep. In the morning we wake up wondering if that really happened. After breakfast we hit the Interstate 5 North all the way to Seattle where the next blog will begin.
Rochelle & Will