Year 4 of our travels is in the books. We’re currently spending time in the California desert hanging out with friends Imperfect Destiny and Kirk the Tiki Bar Guy. In a continuing trend this year again saw us decreasing the total amount of miles travelled. The first 4 months were completely stationary as we finished up our time enjoying Montana winter. We took advantage of the stationary time and at the tail end (once it was warm enough) completed / started a couple of Horton improvement projects.
Once it was time to roll we made a beeline down to the Moab area to enjoy the warmth and a couple of weeks hanging out with Jim and Julie. After Moab we split ways with J&J heading into Colorado and us heading towards Oregon. We quickly found ourselves back in a CAT shop dealing with an oil leak from a blown gasket between the oil cooler and the engine block. Was the failure a complication of the long, cold and dry winter?
We were quickly fixed up and moved on to spend time in Boise where we first met up with a new friend Kevin. Kevin was out enjoying the west for the summer spending a good bit of time sampling the many breweries out here. We ran in to each other in one of Boise’s offerings and once we realized we were both camped in the same campground decided to spend some more time hanging out and exploring the other Boise breweries. Kevin spent longer than he anticipated staying in Boise and I think in the process learned to enjoy slowing his travel down a little. We split ways when he headed north to explore a canyon but the separation was only temporary.
We headed west into Oregon after Boise with a couple of stops in the John Day area before moving on to what would become a new favorite location in Sisters. While in Sisters we met back up with Kevin and introduced him to the joys of free camping in a National Forest. From Sisters we holed up in super quiet Moro ostensibly to reduce distractions while we searched for more work but in reality ended up watching a whole lot of World Cup since the park offered cable TV.
From there it was time to meet up with Brent’s parents for a week of travel together so we headed for Yakima. We enjoyed visiting several wineries while in town before all four of us moved down to Hood River. While we were in Hood River Kevin hooked up with us again for more brewery touring. All too quickly it was time to send mom and dad back to Seattle and we moved over to Portland. While we had access to a big airport C made a trip to TX and FL to visit family while B explored more of the Portland area. Once C returned Danny flew in to town to visit and then after we spent a week at the beach we came back to Portland for a visit from Adam.
Shortly after Adam’s visit we left Portland and headed back to Sisters with a stop in Corvallis. In Sisters we settled in to daily fitness hiking / biking with a goal of being ready for a climb up South Sister for Brent’s 40th birthday. Before the climb we moved down to Elk Lake in order to be closer to the mountain with a bonus of new hiking.
Our stay at Elk Lake took us into mid September. The weather was still great but since we wanted to spend time in the eastern Sierras on our way south we knew we had to get moving. We spent the next seven weeks gradually moving south along highway 395. Each stay was 2 weeks and our moving days were usually only 45 miles or so. The weather held up and we got in some fantastic hiking in the Sierras.
As the weather got colder we made a dash to San Diego, partly to get warm, partly to revisit a place we enjoyed and partly to have shipping and a reliable connection so that B could start a new gig (yay??). We spent Thanksgiving week plus two more enjoying breweries, groceries and especially Dog Beach before moving over to Yuma to finish out the year.
So that was it. 3,787 miles. 513 gallons of diesel. Six states: MT, UT, ID, OR, WA, CA. Year 5 coming up!