Early this year I had thrown out a preview of Roadtrip #6 for June 2011 outlining a rough draft of travelling up and down the west coast largely using Highways 395 and 101. Because several of the National Parks were not scheduled to open until July, we decided to postpone it back a few months.
Well it's now officially official. We're heading out the early morning of Friday, September 16, 2011 and following yet another counter-clockwise motion through the 4 western states, and the capital of British Columbia, Canada. I was able to get 11 working days off (for a total of 17 travelling days) in order to fit everything in, being the speed-runners that we are- I mean, that I am. :)
Here's the new schedule. Tell me I'm not crazy:
Fri, Sep 16 (Day 1): Hwy 395 (through June Lake, CA) to Carson City, NV
Sat, Sep 17 (Day 2): Drive east side of Lake Tahoe, to Chester, CA
Sun, Sep 18 (Day 3): Lassen Volcanic NP and Lava Beds NM, CA to Klamath Falls, OR
Mon, Sep 19 (Day 4): Crater Lake NP, OR and Mount Hood, OR to Gresham, OR
Tue, Sep 20 (Day 5): Traverse Columbia River (waterfalls) to Spokane, WA
Wed, Sep 21 (Day 6): Visit family in Spokane, WA
Thu, Sep 22 (Day 7): North Cascades NP, WA to Mt. Vernon, WA
Fri, Sep 23 (Day 8): Vehicle Ferry from Anacortes, WA to Sidney, BC, drive to Victoria
Sat-Sun, Sep 24-25 (Day 9-10): Visit Victoria, BC
Mon, Sep 26 (Day 11): Vehicle Ferry to Olympic National Park, WA, to Olympia, WA
Tue, Sep 27 (Day 12): Mt. Rainer NP/Mt. St. Helens to Longview, OR
Wed, Sep 28 (Day 13): Cruise entire Oregon Coastline (lighthouses) to Crescent City, CA
Thu, Sep 29 (Day 14): Trees of Mystery and Redwood NP, CA to Santa Rosa, CA
Fri, Sep 30 (Day 15): Through San Fransisco, CA and Pinnacles NM, CA to San Luis Obispo, CA
Sat, Oct 1 (Day 16): Drive home
Sun, Oct 2 (Day 17) (Cushion Day)
I also made a Google Maps route if you need more of a visual.
I know some of the driving days are really aggressive, but our primary focus is Victoria, Canada and I wanted to be sure to have at least 2 full days there. Second priorities are the National Parks and visiting family in Spokane. Everything else is a nice-to-have. My only wish is that the timing allowed us to visit Victoria outside of the weekend, but that just wasn't meant to be.
Once we leave Victoria and depart the ferry back into Washington, we have the option/luxury of slowing our pace, since I have programmed in a Cushion Day™ for emergencies. We're only reserving the first few nights, plus the nights and ferry departures for Canada, so we could really adjust for unexpected changes to the schedule.
As usual, I welcome feedback and other suggestions/options available to us.