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Redwood

41°12' 47" N 124°0' 17" W Redwood National Park

Oct 7, 2014  –  by Maeva

Welcome to California! We would have loved to post an awesome “Welcome to California” sign picture from the road, but someone had STOLEN it. Yes, stolen the actual sign off the road. Can you just picture it in someone’s backyard or something?

Anyhow,  although there was no sign, we entered California which was always the prime destination and reason for us to take this road trip in the first place. We arrived on the coast, once again, right by the ocean to enter the Redwood National Park. The California Redwood are the tallest trees on Earth. 133,000 acres of these gigantic trunks make for a rather impressive forest.

And well, tourists like us just couldn’t resist going for the drive-thru tree. Pilot Steph managed to drive the car right in the middle, making us and our car feel rather small!

Drive-thru tree in Redwood National Park
Drive-thru tree in Redwood National Park

The tree below is called “Big Tree” – oh how convenient. It measures 75m and is 1000 years. Guess we’re just a drop in the ocean.

Maeva in front of huge tree in Redwood Forest
Maeva in front of huge tree in Redwood Forest
Steph jumping in front of huge tree in Redwood Forest
Steph jumping in front of huge tree in Redwood Forest

Oregon Sand Dunes

43°35' 32" N 124°12' 16" W Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area

Oct 7, 2014  –  by Maeva

We then continued down the coast, following the scenic road just by the ocean. Definitely one of the most fun drives to feel on the edge of the continent and take a look at the numerous rock formations in the ocean. We were really excited about our next stop: the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area – 50 miles of sand dunes down the coast. Following our precious guide, we decided to do the John Dellenbeck Trail and we weren’t disappointed. After a quick walk through the forest, we found ourselves in a completely new landscape. Sand, sand, sand. Mountains of sand, everywhere. And man, walking in the sand is a bit of a work out! But jumps and sprints down the dunes make it totally worth it. We even had a ‘how much sand did you get in your shoes’ competition, Steph won – but I think he cheated.

 

Maeva on the sand dunes of Oregon
Maeva on the sand dunes of Oregon
Maeva jumping on the sand dunes of Oregon
Maeva jumping on the sand dunes of Oregon
Maeva running down the sand dunes of Oregon
Maeva running down the sand dunes of Oregon
Steph jumping over the sand dunes of Oregon
Steph jumping over the sand dunes of Oregon

Seattle 360

47°36' 22" N 122°20' 31" W Seattle

Sep 27, 2014  –  by Maeva

We left rainy Bellingham on a Friday morning to go looking for the sun. After a quick stop at Wallmart to get some pizza-flavored Pringles (yes that’s a thing) we headed towards Seattle. We had already spent a weekend there last year following Sam’s great tips for burritos, bars, museums and places to hang out. So we decided to do the one thing we hadn’t done: the Great Wheel.

Not only was Seattle extremely sunny and hot, but being end of September allowed us to avoid never ending lines and we were in our own little cabin on the wheel in a matter of minutes. Definitely a fun activity to get a new perspective on the city, especially on such a beautiful day. Plus, we got to play with Hyperlapse, our new favourite Instagram toy.

Steph eating pizza flavoured Pringles
Steph eating pizza flavoured Pringles
The Great Wheel of Seattle
The Great Wheel of Seattle
Steph in the Great Wheel
Steph in the Great Wheel
Maeva in the Great Wheel
Maeva in the Great Wheel

Frenchies crossing the border

49°0' 8" N 122°45' 25" W Peace Arch

Sep 27, 2014  –  by Maeva

F I N A L L Y ! The road trip began. After a busy day of final errands, cleaning, packing, loading the van and passing our apartment on to the next tenants, we were finally on the road on September 17th. We said our goodbyes to Vancouver on a rainy-ish day and headed towards the American border.

Luckily and oddly enough, the border was super empty and we didn’t have to wait in line endlessly among a sea of cars. We did need to get our papers and stamps renewed so we went inside the building to see an agent. When we saw the amount of couples and families getting their cars searched, we thought “Okay, we’re getting searched, this might take a WHILE.” At this point I need to point out that our van was and is jam packed with food, camping stuff, suitcases, bags, books, coats, a bed, surfboards, skateboards, …. and the list goes on. I mean, this is almost a 3-month trip, what can you expect?

We were finally called by an agent who started questioning us about our trip, the what, why, how, where, when, how long, etc.
– Where are you headed now?
– Bellingham
– What campground are you staying in?
– We’re staying with a friend.
– What is his name?
– Drake Wempe.
– Can you spell his full name?
At that second, Steph and I both pictured Sam’s (his brother) forearm tattoo that has Drake’s full name. Easy!
– What is his address?
Steph took out his iPhone to find his Facebook conversation with Drake and started reading out the address, struggling to scroll due to a very bad Internet, until the agent simply said “Let me see that.”

For about 15mn, we stood in front of him as he went through Steph’s Facebook messages, not really knowing what he was doing or reading. That-was-long. We waited, and waited, in silence. And as we were imagining what questions could possibly come next, he simply handed the phone back and proceeded to stamping our passports, wishing us safe travels and a fun road trip. A minute later, we were officially on the road, U.S. side, ready and thrilled to begin our new adventure.

B R I N G.  I T.  O N.